Trying Times

Evenings in the Elven City

TODO start of session is evening in the city, immediately after end of last session
Here, the party can split off to do things on their own, including exploring the city, socializing, and so on.

Aida

Day of Arrival

First Day

Second Day

Third Day

Darias

Day of Arrival

Upon Arrivial in the elven city, Darias, emotionally worn out from the perilous journey and extreme stress, was easily intrigued by the apparently friendly and exotic mainlanders. Their city reminded him greatly of Brightmill, and the strange but elegant and lovely art and architecture put him somewhat at ease. Being directed to the elven temple to "Pelor," he learns, along with the rest of the group, that the head priest believes that they are on a quest from Pelor. He claims to have been expecting us due to a vision he has been having. After concluding the conversation, the priest directs them to an inn.

Darias takes the opportunity to drop most of his stuff and wander the town in something of a daze.

After all of that, he heads back to the inn, and Darias and the rest take the opportunity for a more-than-usually easy sleep. That night, Darias receives a strange dream…

Seemingly just after you drift off to sleep, you fall into a vivid and disturbing dream. You feel as though your soul drifts from your body, out of the inn, and into the city, picking up speed as it goes. By the time you've left the city - heading east, you think - everything around you is an unintelligible blur as the landscape streaks by.

Within moments, you find yourself hovering bodilessly above a body of water. You're completely turned around and unsure of where you are and what direction you're facing, and you don't recognize anything of the area. The moon, directly overhead, shines down on you seemingly bright as the midday sun. In front of you, an expanse of white sand stretches away as far as the eye can see. All that breaks the monotony of the seemingly endless sand is the sight of four travelers trudging wearily along the shoreline.

Interested, you drift closer to the party of travelers. Silent as the wind, you drift up behind them. The four march in deliberate order, not quite military yet not quite not, all clad in heavy robes. Slipping up from behind, you first glide past a stocky and strongly-built woman. Turning as you pass, you see a plain face surrounding deeply-compassionate eyes. She's whispering words you cannot hear and fingering something hidden beneath her plain and dusty robe. Her olive skin glistens with tears she's desperately trying to blink away, and she keeps glancing to a spot ahead of her.

Passing her, you come to a wiry man, thin but tall and strong. His darkly-tanned skin is weathered; you'd guess he's at least a decade older than the woman behind him, though he may be older than that. Despite his age, he looks strong and healthy. His robes are rich and well cared for, and he looks as though he wears no armor beneath them. His face is drawn and tired, his lips set in a firm line as he trudges onward.

Next in line is a younger man of diminutive stature. He practically seems to float over the sand. As you look at his face, you realize that despite his grace he must be near-exhausted, as his eyes keep drifting closed.

Turning away, you finally come to the last member of the group. Her robes are torn and stained and have not been mended; through them, you can see the glint of metal armor. She carries a sword and shield openly, the only member of the group with her weapons unsheathed. As you pass her, you recognize her face; how could you not? It's been burned into your brain since that night… she is the dark-skinned demon that crossed the Bridge! Her features are set in grim determination despite the tear-tracks that line her dusty face. You glance down and notice something dangling from a chain in her sword hand as you feel the scene receding. As though your body is forcibly reeling you in, you feel the landscape stream by you senselessly again until you are slammed back into your body. You awaken with a startled gasp at the sensation of falling.

First Day

At the start of day 1, Darias gets up, samples the strange elven cuisine (a bit low in protein, but fine food), and heads out into the city. He wanders, and is drawn to a magnificent… treehouse. A finely crafter set of buildings tucked into the lowest branches of a great tree, a spiral staircase leading up to one of the chambers. Transfixed by the beauty of the design, he wanders around the base of the tree, catching sight of the building from many angles, then climbing (not really aware of his actions) the staircase and finding himself in the threshold of a large room with many smaller, meticulously cred for trees indide, along with stylized carvings of animals decorating the walls. A strange, white bird of enormous size (essentially, a 2-foot-tall owl) spots him, and glides down to a perch hidden among one of the small trees. Darias is fascinated by the bird, and slowly approaches it. He hears chuckling, and turns to see a 20-30-year-old woman (in elf years) standing at the end of the room, dressed in green robes and carrying a large, unstrung bow. He begins to make a startled and somwhat embarrased apology, which is stunted by the fact that neither of them can understand what the other is saying. The elf shows interest in his crossbow, and he demonstrates how to use it, and lets her examine it. She, in turn, lets Darias examine her bow. He strings it and is surprised at the draw of the weapon, as well as the fact that is seems to be constructed of layers of various woods and materials rather than fashioned from a single piece of wood. Darias introduces himself, and she indicates her name is Kazuo-Glenn. Glenn goes about her business, praying, it seems, but doesn't seem to want Darias to leave. So, Darias sits down on the ground and sketches the white bird, as well as Kazuo-Glenn (particularly the strange ears). After a while, Darias takes his leave of her, noting as he goes a carving of a face resembling Ehlonna above the door into the room.

After leaving Kazuo-Glenn, Darias walks around the city, just soaking the atmosphere in, and getting his bearings. He sketches more of what he sees, mainly some of the wildlife, the architecture, and what crafts catch his attention. After a while, he decides to head to the "Pelorian" temple, to have words with Head Priest Tighearnan. Darias vaguely explains his fears about retribution from the gods. Tighearnan thinks that is quite unlikely, as Darias is one of the Questors of the Gods. This makes Darias feel somewhat better. After all, even if the priest is correct, it doesn't mean something else might be threatening his family. He asks about the dream he had last night, and Tighearnan says he is not sure, that visions and dreams are things the recipient must puzzle out. Turning to leave, Darias asks about Kazuo-Glenn. He learns she is a huntress and priestess of Faeliel Runraiion (the only one that regularly stays at the temple, really). She often helps train woodsmen and their raptors.

Second Day

On Day 2, Darias goes through the elven city and stops at the various places of work for the craftsmen he saw on the previous day. He observed their work and made what questions he could convey, and learned much. He learned that the elves were skilled in making:

  • Exceedingly fine wire extrusions - the elves usually use these techniques to make jewelry using softer metals like silver, but they can still make finer steel wires than he'd seen
  • Paper that is more difficult to tear (standard paper there)
  • Paper waterproofing techniques using some plant extracts to coat the paper with a substance that makes the water bead off (so long as it's just a light spray) - more difficult to write on, but still usable. More expensive than normal paper, but still only as expensive as normal paper on the Isle. Also harder to burn. Used in paper lanterns.
  • Techniques for laminating woods together using a special resin and time spent in clamps - mostly used for bows, war fans, and similar
  • They don't seem as well-versed in making heavy steels or complex mechanisms; they don't have crossbows, for instance.

Third Day

The first part of Day 3 is spent going back and watching again some of the elven craftsmen at work, as well as purchasing supplies and gear, along with books on the various manufacturing techniques, as well one on the language in which the other books are written. After lunch, Darias goes to inspect the walls and the defenses. He notes the strange weapons they use (single-edges, curved swords, leaf-bladed spears, and those layered longbows), and their dispositions along the walls. He tries to make a suggestion or two on a wall-joint improvement or things of that nature, but language issues pervade, and much of what he would suggest are ideas requiring large, untested, and (in some cases) just-thought-up devices.

Maleos

Day of Arrival

  • Attempted to help fight fires using lame bullshit like Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, and Conjure Raindrops.
  • Sought out a "Temple of Pelor." Was directed to a temple of Onónion Birvir. Temple occupants cast a spell and then began speaking Isle to the party. Maleos simply asked "What is it Pelor wants of us?" Was told about the attacks. Maleos volunteered information about the burnt villages and the creatures they'd seen making use of the forest trails. Master insisted they'd seen in a vision that their fates were tied together and that they would be the ones to destroy this creature, save the village, and return the item that is missing. Maleos asked Master Tighearnán for instruction and notes on the communication spell they were currently using, healing spells, fire defense spells, ice attack spells, and any other spells they felt would be useful in fighting the creature.

First Day

First part of first day is spent at the temple with Saul.
To Pelorians: "can anything be done to help this poor man recover his memory?"
The short note is "no" - the long note is that the priests will look at him and try some things, but they won't be able to help him immediately.
Maleos will of course observe the things.
The best they can determine, it's some kind of unfamiliar magic preventing his memory from returning.
This takes until just before midday on the first day.
Conversation with a Druid who saw the battle with the creature: The Nature of Nature

Second Day

Did some poking around, using Pelor's Compass to attempt to find a direct way to communicate with Pelor.
Lost In Translation
Need to Know

Takeaway:

  • Came clean with Saul about some things. He now knows Pelor sent us on a mission, that something terrible happened, and he told us "You must fix this. Hurry!"
  • Introduced Saul to the possibility that Pelor could be deliberately clouding his memory in order to prevent him from making a terrible mistake.
  • Maleos (basically) asked permission to withhold some of the details until we better understand the details we have.
  • Encouraged Saul to wear his heart on his sleeve, thinking it may be better at understanding Pelor's will than our hearts.
  • Was reluctant to divert from their quest to go slay this creature, especially feeling that the city has enough spellcasters on hand to take this creature on their own with the proper planning and ritual casting.

That night, Maleos attempts to tell Pelor: "You know what we're planning, and why. You know what I'm withholding, and why. I accept that there may be reasons why you cannot speak to us directly. But if we are interpreting your will wrongly, Saul, Master Tighearnán, and myself all need to know it before we make things even worse. Communicate with us in any way you can. We need to know."

Maleos goes to bed with Pelor's compass grasped in his hand. He lies on his back in roughly the position he was in the last time he woke up holding it.

For a while, he is vexxed by the frustration he felt when he was screaming into the pillow previously.

A translator and his bodyguard? Bah. The way this has been going, she'll probably turn out to be his wife or something. It's literally the only way that what happened could turn even worse.

After stewing for a bit, he purges such thoughts from his mind with careful meditation, trying to make his mind and soul a clean slate for whatever dreams Pelor may choose to send him.

Third Day

Since they appear to be the wrong number of people by one to fulfill the vision, Maleos will suggest to Master Tighearnán that they send the town's strongest warrior, best archer, or most powerful offensive spellcaster accompany them. Combat experience greatly preferred. (OOC, might very well end up being a Druid.) This individual will receive the best of our protective spells in combat, and we will formulate our tactics around making the best possible use of their unique gifts. Further recommend this individual be given some magical means of communicating directly with the town leadership while far afield.

After this, will insist on speaking with the town's leadership in person about preparing a proper defense plan, in the event that they are unsuccessful or do not return:

  • Ritual-scale Quench spell. Ideally designed for unnaturally strong fires, area-of-effect, long duration.
  • Ritual-scale Ice attack spell.
  • Sleep in shifts, warriors keep watch, always a spellcaster on duty.
  • Plans to evacuate parts of the city to the most defensible structures in the event of an attack.
  • Improvised stone fortifications? Magic that flows through the trees themselves to make them unnaturally fireproof? Temporarily recall Druids to defend the town until they hear the all-clear from us that we've killed the creature? Thinking outside the box/adapt to their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Main thing is to get the leaders and mages thinking about coming up with a proper defense plan. More than one of us are concerned the Priests may be interpreting these visions incorrectly. Better to have a Plan B and not need it, than need it and not have it.

8-hour session studying magic with Saul.

Saul

Day of Arrival Through Second Day

For the most part, Saul spends his time working with the priests at the temple of Onónion Birvir. He has a variety of things to discuss with them, including:

  1. Can they do anything to help restore his memory? They eventually find that they cannot.
  2. What were the details of Tighearnán's vision? Saul spends a large part of the first day discussing this with the priests and arguing over possible interpretations of the vision. He isn't fully convinced that Tighearnán's vision pertains to the party.
  3. Can he help with anything in the city, recovery-wise? He offers up what healing abilities he has for the use of the temple to help those injured in the attacks recover from their wounds.
  4. Other theological issues. How do the priests see Onónion Birvir? Is he Pelor, or is he a different but similar god?

Third Day

By the third day, Saul has discussed the theology and learned as much from the priests as he can in his short time here. After having spoken to Maleos on the second day in the city, he decides to approach the priests to see if they can teach him any of their magicks that might help in the potentially-coming fight.

A Hunting We Will Go

Elf priest tells PCs after a few days that he's had another vision as he expected. He'd marked another village on their map that had been destroyed. He had a vision that the demon-creature wreaking this havoc is holed up there and resting and will be for a few days. He asks the PCs to hunt it down and slaughter it, telling them that he's seen that they can. He's also seen that if they choose not to do so the creature will return to the city and destroy large swaths of it, killing many.

//TODO ENDS WITH DEATH RITUAL OF PURGING FIRE - SEE WAGON EAST FOR RETURN TO ELVEN CITY AND CELEBRATION/


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License