Surcease

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Surcease was a mini storyline by GameMaster Quilic set in Mist Harbor that had minor environmental messaging beginning in December 2019. Characters from this story previously showed up in The Nazhor Chronicles. Surcease was followed by Clipped Wings, the premium storyline beginning January 5, 2020.

Summary

To be completed.

Persons of Note

Timeline of Events

Gathering at Greth's (12/22/2019)

  • Adventurers gather at the Stumbling Pebble Bar II to discuss the snow falling on Four Winds Isle.
  • Greth mentions he is having young'uns work in his kitchen, inventing chores for them, in order for them to stay warm.
  • Greth tells adventurers it hasn't snowed in many years and he's worried about the ability of the town to handle it.
  • Greth says there's been on word of any of the meek from The Nazhor Chronicles and Ilsola is working on a book. Duvainiel is back in what she sees as her homeland and Selbi is reluctant to recall her.
  • Greth explains that Mistress Selbi is in charge of the town and she comes in to the bar frequently. He also said that Socius is "otherwise engaged" and has a theory about the cause of the snow and that there's a reason we haven't had snow or natural disasters in a long time. He says he doesn't know what the reason is, but something has gone wrong. He also mentions that Socius is busy working on Selbi's plan.
  • Socius is secretly there and watching the adventurers.
  • Greth says the native people of the Isle, the Iyo, are dealing with divided loyalties. They had been in contact with Socius for a long time "but recently began to shun his attempts at communication."
  • Greth explains that his focus is on the young people who live on the streets and alleys of Mist Harbor who are ill equipped to handle extended cold weather. He asks adventurers to keep their eyes open, "They are well hidden, but as the cold settles in, they will emerge, likely the worse for wear." He added, "I have Penre bringing around canteens of hot soup, but he has had less and less luck locating the ones we know of.
  • Greth states that the militia building is nearly ready after Xilona asks if it could be a safe haven.
  • Adventurers hear from Socius: A quiet voice ripples through the room, "The Flock are being dealt with, and Greth will have no shortage of funds to take care of any who might need it." Before the last echo fades, a dark shape slips through the doors and out into the night.
  • Adventurers volunteer for tasks to both assist the town in managing the colder temperatures and separately seek out the cause of the snow which seems quite unnatural.

GM Cast: Greth, Socius Leiffen

Adventurers: Defender of Mist Harbor Akenna, Apsaras, Lord Crime, Lady Darcena, Lord Faerinn, Juspera, Mistress Khobra, High Lord Kobane, Defender of Mist Harbor Naamit, Rinori, Defender of Mist Harbor Rohese, Sreka, Chatelaine Traiva, Vatha, Xanlin, Xanthium, Defender of Mist Harbor Xilona


Player-submitted Log

An Industrious Evening (12/22/2019)

Vignette: An Industrious Evening
Juspera set out for Icemule at dinner time. When she hit the glacier, the fading light was casting long blue shadows on the snow; then the sun went down, and the vanishing glow on the western horizon was soon barely enough light to see by.

She turned right up a side path that led in the direction of 'Mule. The snow under her boots became soft, and then she stepped and sank in to mid-thigh. Grumbling, she pushed back up onto the crusty surface, but fell through again a dozen steps later. Soon she was punching through on every step, post-holing past her knees, the granular snow working its way into her boots and soaking her socks. She looked around her in the near darkness. Light touches of wetness on her forehead told her snow was beginning to fall.

"Forget this," she mumbled. "Nothing wrong with Landing wood."

Her leggings and socks were soaked by the time she made it back to Uxbri's tent. The wood was stacked on every side, its musty, ashen bulk honeycombed with rot. Chattering, she asked the price for a piece, then asked again when she thought she'd misheard.

It was only a hundred and fifteen silvers.

She tried to do the mental calculation to determine how many pieces of wood she could buy with the nearly four hundred thousand silvers that had been donated by the Mist Harbor adventurers. Then her mind drifted to the question of how many vaalin lockpicks she could buy with four hundred thousand silvers. She stopped when she realized she was staring into space, thinking how she'd left a kettle on the hot stove at Aspis.

The assistant's question jarred her from her reverie. She told him she'd take two pieces of firewood, just to start. She hoisted one on each shoulder, feeling a trickle of something slide down the back of her shirt as she did so. Shaking her head vigorously, she trudged back to town, then froze when she realized she couldn't turn her teleportation bracelet while she was holding a large chunk of wood on each shoulder. For five minutes she twisted in a variety of contortions on West Ring Road, trying to reach her bracelet without dropping the wood, before realizing she could bring one piece at a time. She set one down on the side of the road, where it tipped into the sodden gutter.

She had no idea where she'd teleported to in Mist Harbor. It took her a half-hour to find Gardenia Commons, but when she did, she set down the lone piece of firewood with pride and sat on a bench, looking about surreptitiously see if anyone had noticed. The handful of people there were absorbed in chatting, arranging their items or spelling up. Still, she paused to admire her work. In her mind's eye, she was bringing bundle after bundle to the Commons, her sweaty brow aglow with the luster of hard work and virtue. Everyone was telling her how wonderful, wise and generous she was. A tall, handsome Human was complimenting her firewood-carrying technique and was offering to buy her a drink...

A drink. That sounded like a very good idea.

One flask of whiskey and one refill later, Juspera realized exactly how sore her shoulder was. She reached up to massage the muscle. Her fingers trapped something against the skin, and she drew the thing out to examine it. It was a dead earwig.

She stood immediately, dropping the flask, and let out a shriek that could have pierced vultite. She grabbed her shirt and began shaking it out. A small avalanche of ambiguous debris fluttered to the snowy ground, from where several bits began to crawl erratically away. Juspera stomped the moving bits into the snow, panting and cursing. Finally she snatched her flask from the snow and drained the last drop, then let out a long exhale.

"A job well done," she spoke decisively to herself. The square was now empty; it was late. She would have to get the other... how many? A hundred? A thousand? ...pieces tomorrow. With a hazy kind of apprehension she realized she couldn't recall exactly what she'd done with the rest of the donation money. She quickly suppressed an intruding tendril of panic.

It was no trouble. Everything would be clear in the morning, once she slept off the whiskey.

Originally posted on the official forums by ZILAL on 12/22/2019 at 11:34 PM CST.

A Wish and a Promise (12/28/2019)

Vignette: A Wish and a Promise
Sprinkling a handful of pine needles into the flames, Rohese closed her eyes and whispered the words of a prayer to the Sacred Pine. It was the penultimate day of the Feast of the Immortals and she was re-enacting a family tradition from her childhood. As curls of fragrant smoke began to emanate from the fireplace, filling the air with its sharp festive tang, she waved a pine cone through the haze and duly made her wish.

Rohese rose to her feet and smoothed out the drape of her cotehardie. Adding the pine cone to those already adorning the windowsill, she extinguished the candles scattered around the room and headed to bed, comfortable in the knowledge that she had shown due piety.

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Soft snowflakes drifted silently past the Manse window and Rohese was reminded of her promise to Darcena earlier that week. Pulling her wrap around her shoulders, she pondered the fire blazing in the hearth and thanked Lumnis for her own fortune: she was warm and wanted for nothing in her life. In hindsight, the wish she had made yesterday seemed rather trivial now given the circumstances of those suffering with the inclement weather in Mist Harbor. At the gathering earlier in the week, she had suggested that the Firefly Villa might open its doors to the needy and resolved to deal with that matter immediately.

Penning a short note to the Proprietor, and adding a promissory note to cover any additional costs, Rohese added her seal to the envelope and called for a member of the household to see that it was delivered to the Villa as a matter of urgency.

As the door closed behind her maid, Rohese was suddenly aware of a chill breeze and whispering sounds on the wind; no, it was more like a song … the chorus of the sirenflowers!

Retrieving her pine cone from the windowsill, Rohese headed out of the door in pursuit of the maid to ask her to deliver a second message: this one to be given directly to the Lady Elaejia Silithyr.

Her wish had been granted and she knew exactly where to start looking!

Originally posted on the official forums by CHIVERST on 12/28/2019 at 06:57 AM CST.

Shelter From the Storm (12/29/2019)

Vignette: Shelter From the Storm
Greth stood in the doorway of his bar and watched the snow pelting down, his brow furrowed. It hadn't been this bad until now, and he was growing more and more concerned. The kitchen was fairly full of makeshift cots, each one holding a small child wrapped in a dirty blanket, but several had remarked on others who weren't present. Greth was worried, and his conversation with Socius the previous evening hadn't set his mind at ease as much as the man had clearly hoped.

The children. It always came back to the children in his experience. Greth heaved a sigh and shook his head. He looked over his shoulder at the bar, then back to the snow.

"I can only do what I can do... but I can at least do that much," he grumbled.

He trudged to the bar and pulled a tattered quill, cracked inkwell, and dirty parchment from underneath it. Placing the parchment on the bartop, he dipped the quill in the inkwell, missing the first time, and then began to scrawl slowly. After a moment, his tongue crept out of the corner of his mouth, and his eyes screwed up in concentration. He crossed out a word, then wrote it again, but shook his head and scratched out the new iteration as well. He hurriedly wrapped it up and threw the quill to the bartop with a muttered oath.

He held up the parchment and blew on it, his eyes sweeping back and forth over his penmanship. With a disgusted grunt, he muttered, "S'good enough," and stomped to the kitchen door. He peeked a head in carefully and caught the eye of an elderly man in the corner, holding a young child in his lap and rocking slowly. Greth beckoned, but indicated there was no rush. The elderly man nodded in time with his rocking and then carefully stood up, so as not to stir the young one in his arms. He carefully placed the sleeping child into a cot and tucked a blanket around her before quietly padding across the room to Greth.

Greth handed him the parchment with a rumbling murmur, "Take this to the Commons and post it somewheres that folks will see it. Then go tell Mistress Selbi what we're doin'. And bring in some more of that firewood that's been stockpiled when you get back. We're gonna have some more to take care of, Jastev willing."

Penre accepted the parchment and scanned it quickly, long since used to the oddities of Greth's writing. He glanced at the man, a brief sheen of wetness in his eyes that he quickly blinked away.

"I'd be happy to, Greth. This is a great thing you're doing."

Greth grunted, his expression growing stern.

"I can only do what I can do... but I can at least do that much," he muttered, turning away.

Penre bundled up quickly and wandered out into the snow, and Greth began to stoke up the fire in the bar. There were going to be some cold children who would need the warmth.

In the center of Gardenia Commons, a rough parchment is affixed to a stake driven through the snow and into the ground. Upon further inspection, the parchment reads:

Theres kids out there in the cold that don't got a warm place to sleep. I needs some help roundin em up. Pleez be on the lookow-... lewkou-... keep an eye open fer any of em. If you find one, bring em to my bar n I'll make sure they gots a warm bed an a meal.

~Greth

OOC: Greth needs some help rounding up children lost in the snow! If you find one, tell it to FOLLOW you, and lead it back to Greth's. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Originally posted on the official forums by GM Quilic on 12/29/2019 at 10:29 AM CST.

Saving the Children of Mist Harbor (12/29/2019)

  • Greth expresses concern about the depth of the snow and the kids out there in it. Socius arrives and says "It's done...but it will take some time to take hold, I fear." He says they're doing everything they can and Greth says it isn't enough.
  • Greth asks that adventurers and Socius help to lead kids back to the Stumbling Pebble Bar II to keep them safe. He will help keep the children safe.
  • Adventurers work to rescue children.
  • Socius gives some information (not in the provided logs).
  • Penre continues to help with the children in Greth's place.
  • Greth explains that his child died when the child was four months old.
  • Greth explains that he asked Selbi and Socius to use their magic to turn Stumbling Pebble Bar II into a safe place.

GM Cast: Greth, Penre, Socius

Adventurers: Annelie, Akenna, Ceyrin, Faerinn, Juspera, Lady in Waiting Lynaera, Defender of Mist Harbor Naamit, Flockmaster Nehor, Relic Hunter Ordim, Lady Regwen, High Lady Rohese, High Lord Talinvor, Tatria, Telsas, Chatelaine Traiva, Xanthium, Defender of Mist Harbor Xilona

Player-submitted Log

See Also