Keeping up with the Kestrels
Dennet Kestrel, with permission from Earl Jovery of Hendor and the Royal Magister of the Hall of Mages, has been assigned to the Outpost to help provide assistance during the re-stabilization of the stronghold. The Outpost suffered countless structural damage, both above and below ground during its extraplanar jaunt to the Ithzir valence, and Dennet is a master in earthen magic and will be assisting in providing new wards, magical defenses, and expansion of the Outpost. His assignment may also include other projects that have not yet been made public at this time.
Traveling with Dennet Kestrel, will be his family. His wife Reannah, his daughter Naimorai, and his son, Cyph. In addition, Drandea, his wife's mother, will also be accompanying them. It is not known how long the Kestrels will remain in the region, but it's speculated it could be months, or even a year or more. Sir Michol, the acting Commander of the Outpost after Thadston's leave, is said to already be preparing living quarters for the Kestrels.
Over the next several months or so I will be out and about doing some NPC/Roleplay with the Kestrels after they arrive in Wehnimer's Landing. So I would definitely highlight those NPC names. (Dennet, Reannah, Naimorai, Cyph and Drandea.) My focus here is going to be an emphasis on intrigue, some mystery, and lots of role playing. I have details and history drawn up for each of these NPC's, as well as other interesting facets of their lives, past and present. I look forward to revealing those over time, exploring additional developments, and watching how it all unfolds with you, the players in the mix. Much of this is also open-ended, so let's see where our mutual storytelling takes us as we enjoy "Keeping up with the Kestrels!"
The Story of Us - Dennet and Reannah
On 3/10/17, Lady Reannah met with many adventurers in her bedroom inside the Hendoran Outpost, and when asked, she recounted the tale of her and Dennet's initial romance.
Dennet was born in the Swale, in Chastonia, and immediately surrounded by wealth and power as a Kestrel.
Reannah was born to a soldier, a city guard, member of the Silver Shields in Immuron, Honneland, and a woman of a questionable reputation.
Neither would have met under normal circumstances within the Empire, had it not been for the hand of fate guiding them together.
Reannah lived on a farm about half an hour travel from Immuron. Her parents barely made ends meet, and she often spent days at her uncles house spending time with his horses he was breeding. Her father, Derrick, was a guard in Immuron, a member of the infamous Silver Shields. Her mother, Drandea, spent years as a wash woman in a tavern in town, and because of her birth and rumors from Brisker's Cove, many had unsavory things to say about her, but Reannah's father cared little for that and defended her honor.
Reannah was the first born, and her parents had two sons after her, but both died shortly after birth due to unknown reasons. She was old enough to understand it slightly, and since then has always cared for others, sought to help and protect, and make people right.
This is what led Reannah to do a lot of volunteer work in the city of Immuron. She spent hours a week lending her time and kindness to an orphanage in the city, many of the boys and girls the lonely children of imperial soldiers lost in battles. That is when she met Dennet Kestrel.
Dennet, a young Archiver of the Hall of Mages at the time, was on assignment with some other Archivers, who had been sent to Immuron to assess a collection of relics supposedly brought in from the remnants of Toullaire, also known as the Wizardwaste. One morning, a young orphan boy was caught by Dennet trying to steal his waterskin. Dennet asked why the boy felt the need to steal water, and the child explained that they could not afford anything, and often went to bed hungry and thirsty.
That day, Dennet visited the orphanage, and used his earth magic to create a well outside of the orphanage, as well as a series of small earthen aquaducts to help provide a more frequent source of water for the children, as Immuron was known for frequent rain.
It just so happened, Reannah had been there that day (despite it not being one of her normal volunteer days, her mother had to work extra, so Reannah went and did more volunteer work) and she saw Dennet, and what he did for the children, and her heart melted for him and the way he was with the children. Furthermore, seeing what he did with magic helped create the first spark in her about discovering ways magic could improve the way of lives for others.
It just so happened, that Dennet also fell quickly for Reannah. He loved her smile, her face, her composure, her heart. She did not care that he was a Kestrel, and she was honest with him, often too honest, and he found it refreshing. When Dennet was not doing his work for the Hall, he was spending every waking moment with Reannah during that long summer in Immuron. They fell fast in love. When Dennet's assignment had come to an end, he had no choice but to return to the Swale as he was seeking a promotion within the Hall. At the time, Reannah's parents banned her from following him, and so their relationship remained, but was strained by distance. Letters were frequent at first, then sometimes silence for several weeks.
Back in the Swale, Dennet soon became a Magister, and took some time and traveled back to Immuron. He and Reannah caught back up on their passions and love, and Dennet then proposed to her. He had asked her father's permission, and the father had obliged, despite the resistance put forth by Drandea. She did not trust Kestrels. But Derrick, Reannah's father, knew that Dennet could provide a better life and more comfortable life for Reannah than he could. Within the month, Reannah moved to the Swale with Dennet.
For several months back in the Swale, Dennet and Reannah saw their marriage suffer heavy setbacks. Dennet was consumed with the Hall and his work and working on being promoted to a Grand Magister. Reannah was new to the area, and not of noble blood, and lonely with no friends or family. There would be stretches of days where the two of them did not even see each other or talk to each other, primarily because of Dennets work.
Dennet achieved the status of Grand Magister, and for awhile his workload lessened and he had begun to devote more time to his wife. She was pleased to tell him she was pregnant.
Dennet's life changed when Naimorai was born, she had her mothers hair and her mother's fair skin. Dennet would then come to love and adore Naimorai, making her his entire world, and even giving more attention again to Reannah. Life was good for them, for a very long time. A year later, Reannah would be pregnant with Dennet's son, Cyph.
Their life in the Swale continued to be one of challenges, but equally fond memories, as their children grew. Reannah would eventually travel back to Immuron for a year and a half, with her son Cyph, when she learned her father Derrick died. She helped mourn with her mother, and then eventually helped move Drandea from Immuron to the Swale.
Almost three months after returning from Immuron with Drandea, Reannah became deathly sick, and now treated plinite is the only thing currently found to bring her ease.
Timeline of Events: First Half
The timeline includes events that occurred that could be considered "public knowledge" to those not present, as rumors and gossip can spread as townspeople talk, etc. However, there have been some more secretive events involving the Kestrels over the course of this time, and I have omitted those from the timeline. I leave it up to the PC's involved in those situations to decide what and when they wish to reveal.
- 1/10 - The Kestrel family arrives in Wehnimer's Landing. Grand Magister Dennet introduces himself, and spoke with many adventurers for over an hour. Glimpses provided of his family, wife Reannah, who appears ill, his children Naimorai and Cyph, and his mother-in-law Lady Drandea. Many appear curious at the items and locked crates escorted from the Kestrel wagons into the Outpost, including some rhimar-edged chests with silvery wards.
- 1/11 - Dennet met with more people outside of town, and Raelee led them all to two locations where the adventurers had used plinite-fueled pylons to battle the Ithzir invasion. Dennet collected some dirt from the areas into some vials and tucked them away. Raelee and Hapenlok gave Dennet a piece of charged plinite to research, and later another piece of plinite was stolen from Hapenlok by an unknown thief.
- 1/13 - Cyph, the son, was found in town at Helga's where he chatted with many present. He had Sareyna buy him some wine. He kept referring to his grandmother, Drandea, as Nonna. He was slightly insulting to both Magisters Bekke and Raelee, and grew nervous at the sight of some guards in the corner of the tavern. He was escorted back to the Outpost later by Sir Bristenn and Sir Cryheart. Rowmi used his mental abilities to touch Cyph's mind and was met with cerulean flames and the sound of a whip cracking along with screaming.
- 1/14 - Naimorai, the daughter, was seen in town with some Hendoran knight escorts. Adventurers watched as she eventually ditched her guards, and they found her searching for the music shop. Iowen suggested the lady buy a harp, which she did. Goblyn later arrived in the small park peddling poisons, and Iowen and Naimorai and Goblyn seemed to be whispering an awful lot with each other. Naimorai announced that she'd call upun Iowen in the future to help teach her harp lessons, and then she was escorted back to the Outpost when the guards caught back up with her. Kayse blended into the shadows when she noticed Iowen and Naimorai whispering. She moved closer to the two and overheard a few things, but is still piecing together what was said. Kayse asked Rowmi to "swim" the mind of Naimorai. Later that evening, Kayse inquired to Goblyn if there were antidotes for her poisons.
- 1/16 -Telare and Severine are met by a dark hooded figure in an Icemule bar. He called himself Scar, his skin was pale, and covered with pink and white scars. He inquired about the Kestrels in the Landing, they confirmed Dennet was there, but were withholding further details on others. Scar then cut Severine's throat and fled. Later that night in Helga's Tavern in Wehnimer's, Scar arrived to see Ephya, Stormyrain, Altheorn and Melvin. Scar addressed Altheorn and the imperial outlaw brand on his neck, inquired about the Kestrels in town. Altheorn and Ephya confirmed the Kestrels were in town and whom. Scar left, no one injured.
- 1/17 - Dennet, through Raelee, contacted Rowmi asking him to meet. Rowmi insisted Kayse be present during the conversation. Dennet wanted to restore Rowmi's "collar" which stifled his mentalism. Because Rodnay had removed it to help invade Chaston's mind, Rowmi refused, claiming he had followed his word with his agreement with Brieson. Dennet then compromised with Rowmi, who agreed to cease using his mental magics on the Kestrel family's minds or anyone who worked in the Outpost. In exchange, Dennet promised to grant him access to some Hall resources, a trainer from the hall to work on his abilities, and freedom to remain without a collar. Kayse tried to warn Dennet about his children but was dismissed.
- 1/20 - Cyph showed up with his grandmother, Lady Drandea. She told stories of her life, growing up in Brisker's Cove, how she used to steal things, met the original Lord Eldurn Winter, hated her son-in-law, and was trying to find women to date her grandson. She soon retired for the night, and Cyph did shortly after. Once Cyph and Drandea left, Scar was seen by adventurers leaving after they did, but moving off in a different direction.
- 1/21 - Lady Drandea met with some adventurers in the Stone Baths, where she offered up a vial of blood to some present to have it researched. She provided no details. It was later learned through rumors and gossip that the blood was suspected to be Lady Reannah's, and contained traces of plinite within it. Those involved in the initial experiment were Cruxophim, Leafiara, Raelee, Rhayveign, Lisbethany, Areigh and Maylan.
- 1/22 - Drandea returned and others informed her about the plinite in the blood. She seemed angry, then hid it her angry, then asked others to research if the plinite was infused on purpose or could have been exposed by accident. Later, Scar was seen running around, and many adventurers followed him into the woods, where his traps were set off and cut of lots of peoples' legs. When he was almost surrounded, he rushed through and pushed Maylan out of his way so he could escape. A locket around his neck got caught on Maylan's sleeve and it was torn free and fell to the ground. Luxelle provided a loresong for the locket, which showed two girls being burned alive in cerulean flames, while a man rushed into the fires to try to save them.
- 1/27 - Dennet comes into town, claims he is disappointed in the adventurers and reveals to them all that the blood Drandea provided was his wife's, and if they have questions, to come to him and not deal with that crazy old woman who is his mother in law. He says the plinite is on purpose, and it helps to ease her illness that is afflicted her, to which there exists no known cure, or even cause he claims. He tells people to respect him and his family.
- 1/28 - Blue flames are seen in the woods and a fiery blue figure is chased down by adventurers, but then vanishes, and shortly after tons of blue fires spark up in the Lower Dragonsclaw forest where many have to rush to put them out with water buckets. Many suspect it could be Reannah, or Cyph as the mysterious fiery figure. Later, Scar, whose real name is Carenos, abducts Maylan into the trees where he demands his locket back, and she returns it. When others show up, Carenos/Scar flees. Dennet is later told of the blue flames and says he will investigate.
- 1/31 - Naimorai has the adventurers take her to the Elven Village, where she looks around. She admits she admires elven culture and items. One of the elven village folks says he sees through her and recognizes her guilt. She then requests to leave immediately and return home. Sir Michol, of the Outpost, informs the Militia Captains, Stormyrain, Shirkon, Khristal and now Shinann that they will have access to the Outpost, including the current mayor, Puptilian. Later, Dennet shows up, and with Bekke's help, activates some magical wards he had setup to trace the blue fiery figure in the woods. They follow the blue motes of light and it leads them to the Alabaster Spire, the home of the Faendryl Enclave. Dennet claims they must be involved, and then says he will assist further if needed.
- 2/4 - Another night while Goblyn was around, Naimorai arrived again and was having a whispered conversation with the merchant. She left rather early that night, as if she had business elsewhere.
- 2/7 - Hendoran knights came into town and announced that Sir Michol had gone missing, and was last seen on the night of the 4th, just days before. They had found no clues or evidence, as if he vanished altogether. Dennet came around, met with some of the adventurers and revealed he had tried to help the soldiers find him, but he had no luck either. He did however send word to Earl Jovery.
- 2/8 - A Hendoran knight showed up in town and informed adventurers that at the suggestion of Archmagister Nayor, an Imperial Magister of the Hall of Mages, that Earl Jovery had appointed Dennet as the interim commander of the Outpost until Sir Michol was found, or in the event Sir Thadston returned. The knight said he'd bring an item of Michol's clothing after some requested he provided it so the bloodhound Winston could perhaps track his scent. Later, Rysus, leader of the Brotherhood of Rooks showed up and informed many that his "urchins" had witnessed Sir Michol arguing with a woman early in the morning on the 5th, before he had supposedly vanished.
- 2/11 - The same Hendoran knight returned nights later, with a pair of Sir Michol's old boots. The adventurers used the bloodhound to track Michol's scent back to the Outpost, and to the cellar below the kitchen before the trail ended cold. The adventurers found a grate leading rom the cellar to outside Lake Eonak, where they saw Naimorai bathing nude in the cold waters. She swam to the shore, got dressed, and was asked dozens of questions about Michol. She did admit to having seen him, and arguing with him about the time she ditched his guards in town. Naimorai claimed Sir Michol was extremely rude to her, and even grabbed her arm. She claims she left the argument angry, and stormed off to bed.
- 2/17 - Cyph was around in Helga's Tavern, getting drunk. He claimed his father kept saying he was too dangerous. He also was informed his Grandmother was trying to get him to marry Ysharra, and he did not object. He did accidently, or perhaps on purpose, let it slip his father had been secretly planning to utilize some of the Hendoran soldiers in raids against the Rooks beneath the town, and some suspected due to the stolen plinite they had. When Cyph left, the ghosts of two dead girls briefly appeared in the corner of the bar, then disappeared.
- 2/18 - At the opening of her Pie Shop, Goblyn tells Kayse she has constructed a list of ingredients needed for an antidote and she would give it to her at another time.
- 2/19 - A fiery blue figure was yet again seen in the forest outside of town, as blue fires sparked up, but were also accompanied by huge blue fire elementals that devastated many people. Carenos (Scar) was seen pursuing the figure through the woods, taking a few crossbow shots at the flaming humanoid, once striking it in the side. A streak of fire hit Carenos, burning him and wounding him, so he ran to town to get healed. He was questioned by many adventurers present, and he informed them that the fiery figure was Cyph, and he was hunting him for the torture and murder of his daughters. Carenos informed the adventurers that he'd get his revenge, and so long as they stayed out of his way, he would not have an issue with them, then he stormed off into the night.
- 2/28 - Drandea came about and met with some adventurers in the Stone Baths. She accused Dennet of poisoning Reannah, and informed those present that despite the rumors, Cyph was not a murderer, and the man with the scars is a liar. She then went on to inform others that Cyph, while in Immuron with her and his mother, was abducted and tortured one night by unruly guards. Drandea was again promised a good story from Kayse, and she said she would come for it soon.
- Dennet was about on the amulet, and asked the three mayoral candidates (Cruxophim, Leafiara, Hapenlok) some questions about their past.
- Lady Reannah hosted many adventurers in her room in the Outpost and told the story of her and Dennet meeting and falling in love. But before the heard her story, the adventurers saw six wagons full of rune-etched shadow black golems arrive to the Outpost and march into the tower. Many recognized them as re-purposed golems from the War of Shadows once used by Elithain Cross.
- A ship from Brisker's Cove arrives, carrying spices, silks, etc. A Tehiri man disembarks from the ship as a traveler. His name is Quinshon. He is rather creepy, and dark, and he says he has come on the request of Dennet, and his services have been required, and he is also supposed to help a student.
- Rysus comes around, hangs out in the Mayor's office, and explains some intel on Quinshon. Tells he's been called the Dissembler, but unraveling and reshaping peoples minds. He's a bit of a mentalist and sorcerer, and once a Magister in the Hall of Mages in Phannus, but since removed, but is still sometimes in their employ. Later, a wanted poster is put up on town, for the missing Lana Orpharion, the niece of Lute, the music shop owner in town. She was last seen days ago.
- Carenos comes into town, asks if anyone has seen Cyph recently. Carenos explains that his bolt had poison on it, and Cyph will likely die soon, or take his own life due to the pain. Carenos will stay in town long enough to ensure he's dead. Before Carenos leaves, Kayse sneaks into the shadows and pickpockets a small black vial out of his cloak. She then scraps some residue from the inside and gives it to Raelee and Cruxophim. That same night, Lana is found out by Lake Eonak, and she talks about someone in a bone white mask having experimented on and hurt her, but she cannot remember much else, and then Myasarie helps sooth her with some plinite shards, but it only works for awhile, then she melts away.
- Dennet comes into town, people ask him questions, and he admits Cyph is the blue fire creature, has struggled with his powers, and he has been wounded and missing for weeks. Dennet asks the adventurers to help find him, alive, and Dennet will use a bane coffin to capture him and subdue him. The adventurers break into groups, and he's found near some dead trees in Trollfang, and Cyph unleashes tons of blue fires and elementals, telling people to stay away. He flies towards town, burns a tower, and he eventually flies off disappearing into the night. Dennet says he'll need those with mastery of air elements to help adjust a bane coffin to perhaps lure Cyph with magic and trap him inside.
- Kayse writes Goblyn a message on her chalkboard in the Pie Shop asking to hire her to study the vial she got off Carenos. She finds an envelope on the floor of the shop (which mysteriously appears), puts the vial in it, and hides it behind the blackboard. Later that evening, Goblyn meets with Kayse and sets interesting payments for the original batch of antidotes she wanted--there were a few adventurers in the Pie Shop basement when Kayse showed up and when she inquired why, she was met with awkwardness and avoidance --which made her suspicious of a few people.
- Quinshon finds Rowmi, tells him he will be his tutor. Tells him to come prepared with his objective. Quinshon is asked a bunch of questions by the adventurers, about Lana's death, he tells them he knows nothing.
- Dennet comes to the Hearthstone porch to gather adventurers to help make air wards on the bane coffin. Before they begin, Dennet wonders aloud where Magister Raelee is and Leafiara locates her, spotting her at Melgorehn's Rest along with several adventurers and Goblyn. Leafiara's curiosity perks up, especially when Raelee arrives at Hearthstone moments later while the others remain at the Rest throughout the night, but for the time being she doesn't mention this to anyone at Hearthstone. Drakehealius, Yakushi, Aleid, Leafiara, Dergoatean, Arshwikk, and Kayse help make the air wards, and Dennet adds a blood sigil of Cyph's blood to the bane coffin to target Cyph and try to capture him inside of it. Some say they'll use air magic to help try to suffocate Cyph's fire, and help trap him. Many others do not like the plan or the coffin.
- Goblyn meets with Kayse, Pukk, Kirael (And eventually Malisai and Rowmi) regarding the vial she was given to study. Goblyn reveals that the poison used on Cyph, applied by Carenos crossbow bolt, is called the Long Suffering, and has ties to Mularosian cults. It does not cause death, but endless torture and suffering, and often its victims take their own lives.
- Dennet recruits Raelee to help lead an expedition into the Bleaklands, which he'll keep a portal open for, once the Hendoran outpost expansion is finished.
- Illoke minions invade Wehnimer's Landing. Some suspect Dennet and his earth magic is to blame, but no specific reason is announced or discovered...yet. (This may have been a side effect of Quinshon and Rowmi's practice but it is not known publicly yet).
- Cyph returns, and soars around Landing and its environs, lightning blue fires and spawning blue elementals. Dennet rolls out a pylon outside of the Outpost, and some adventurers use the pylon to keep knocking Cyph out of the sky and weakening him. Alasatia, in the solarium of the Alabaster Spire, lights blue fires to lure Cyph to try to talk to him and protect him. It works, he eventually crashes through the dome ceiling of the Spire and tries to talk with Ysharra, Alasatia, and others gathered, but he struggles. A black whorl of shadows is seen in his cerulean flame form, presumed to be the poison Carenos used. Cyph calms a bit, but then Dennet arrives with the bane coffin, and Cyph freaks out, so Dergoatean and some other sorcerers use a controlled void to help weaken Cyph's fire as the coffin pulls him in. After a big struggle and a lot of damage, Cyph is locked up inside the coffin and taken back to the Outpost.
- Some adventurers see some black mein golems escort three black wagons to the Outpost, each one carrying half a dozen bane coffins. When questioned, Dennet claims the coffins are a backup incase he encounters any powerful magical entities when exploring the Bleaklands of Talador.
- Drandea makes her presence known on the amulet and is not happy adventurers imprisoned Cyph in the coffin. People meet at the Stone Baths to console her about why they resorted to capturing him. Drandea informs the group that Carenos was in Immuron while Cyph was there and that he is Mularosian. She informs those present that she has a contact in Brisker's Cove and will need to go there to get information on the "Long Suffering." She also noted she would be telling her family that she was in River's Rest visiting during this time. Drandea asked Shinnan to take care of her daughter while she's away. Drandea left to pack and Dennet's thoughts were heard over the amulet. Adventures met him outside the outpost where he gave Cruxophim a vial of Cyph's blood after he was wounded by Carenos. Elementz also inquired to Dennet about Carenos and Dennet made it known to Cruxophim that he wanted Carenos dead or alive.
- Elementz arranged to have a peaceful manhunt for Carenos with the assistance of fellow adventurers and Lux who had sang the loresong of Carenos' locket. They started in Rook territory where the adventurers were given some information about how to find the man they were seeking. The voice in the shadows said Carenos hunted on Leyan or Feastday and was often seen in the trees or caves in the wilds. Deciding to hold off until the next day, the town then heard a whisper within their minds asking for "help" and shortly after "..itona..." Dergoatean and some others speculated that this was the Ithzir word for help and a group had gone to the Reach to look around. During this time, Goblyn met with Kayse and gave her an antidote for blood-poisoning (the poisons on her cart) as well as a list of how to make the antidote. Naimorai appeared on the porch, along with Goblyn after her meeting. Naimorai was seen whispering with Goblyn, Rhayveign, and Iowen frequently while those were gathered around. Naimorai said she would send for Iowen for harp lessons and dinner. At one point, after Rhayveign had done the same, Naimorai extended her wrist to Goblyn to try some perfume, and a few small faint scars were seen on her wrist. When Naimorai noted she did not care for the scent, she asked instead for some sandalwood-based perfume to be wrapped up to take home with her. Goblyn then handed Naimorai a red velvet bag, ostensibly to comply with the request.
- Elementz, with the assistance of Ariond led the party into the wilds to try and find Carenos with other adventurers. Many adventurers saw the fate of traps or orbs, that Carenos had set off to try and escape (or perhaps he was just hunting for food). Eventually a group stumbled on Elementz speaking alone with Carenos, who wanted Cyph delivered to him in the coffin. Golems were heard approaching and Shinnan fogged Carenos to safety. A group stumbled upon Shinann and Carenos, who was seeming to talk to someone in his head. A figure wearing a dark green veil was seen inside of Carenos' eyes and the image of Carenos was missing from the crowd. Tyrrah and Lornieh attempt to fend off a mob calling for Carenos' head as he was brought into town for his own safety. He was speaking to demons inside his head and when Rowmi attempted to calm Carenos, he was murdered within the Wehnimer's Landing Temple. Carenos was later arrested, however, and charged with the murder of Rowmi--in view of many witnesses--within the lawful confines of the city.
- Beldrin comes to speak in the Mayor's office to announce that Madame Surofee is resigning from her position on the town council and that there will be a vacancy now. A list of candidates will be generated by the end of the month for the town to vote. Beldrin informs those gathered that Carenos is being kept and protected from magical wards, but he is not answering any questions. Mayor Cruxophim asks if it could be arranged to have Carenos casually answer some questions to get information out of him. It is decided the town will wait before sending Carenos to trial. Dennet arrives shortly after to congratulate adventurers on the capture of Carenos and inquires about the town's plans for him. Magister Raelee suggests a formal extradition to put Carenos in Dennet's possession, Cruxophim tells Dennet he would like to speak to his advisers and those gathered before this happens. Lornieh brings up the question if Cyph will be charged for his crime and Dennet claims those are wild accusations from the Mularosian.
- A large group went to go to see Carenos in the Brass Tower--the questioning lead by Ariond and Elementz per the request of the Mayor. Carenos isn't on his best behavior and during the interrogation ends up biting off Elementz's ear and killing Winrie with Ysharra's dagger. Carenos answers a few questions about his daughters' murder as well as fills adventurers in on why Cyph killed them. A group of Mularosians ended up beating Cyph back in Immuron after he had stumbled into the den of darkness when he was seeking female company. Cyph was beaten and tortured for two days before his "fire awoke" and he escaped. Within one to two weeks, Cyph found the home where Carenos and his daughters resided. Cyph tried to bring Carenos the same pain he was given, but it only empowered the Mularosian. Cyph ended up turning to Carenos' daughters by torturing them and burning them alive. Carenos also states there is no cure for the "long suffering" and that he wants the coffin that Cyph is in to make sure he stays in there to have a lifetime of suffering and pain.
- A Wehnimer's Landing militiaman delivers a parchment to Mayor Cruxophim. The parchment bears the seal of Honneland, as verified by Sir Cryheart. This message from the Commander of the Silver Shields claims that the Lord Carenos Sorrells perished in a fire that also claimed his estate and the lives of his two daughters two years prior. Immuron states that the man who claims to be Carenos (also known as Scar), is subject to the laws of the Protectorate of Wehnimer's Landing. Later that same evening, Reannah Kestrel visits the office of the mayor and makes a request: Release this man into the custody of her husband, Grand Magister Dennet. Meanwhile, Naimorai and Iowen slip off together, ostensibly for dinner and a music lesson.
- Cruxophim does blood tests in his office with Lisbethany, Sareyna, Aleid, Martyle, and Ferghal volunteering to assist by drinking blood. Captain Shinann and Kayse observe. The blood tests confirm that his samples are in fact from the specimens he received them from (Cyph, Reannah, Naimorai), but additional testing shows that Dennet might not be Cyph's father.
- Hapenlok begins to have visions regarding the night that Naimorai and Sir Michol argued at the outpost over a series of a few days. His visions (or regain of memory) concludes that he killed Sir Michol in a grove of trees. A doll head was seen poking out of Hapenlok's pouch and he removed a white-bearded burlap doll. Speculation began occurring, since the doll was stuffed with flowers (that might cause madness) and scarabs and others who had a doll made by Raznel were not stuffed with anything. Dennet announces his arrival and asks Cruxophim how the town is proceeding with Carenos.
- Grand Magister Dennet gives a small tour of the renovated outpost. Among other things, a rune-carved door was installed. The Grand Magister states that this, and future doors, will be a gateway - "a nexus of portals". He further states that perhaps in the coming month the "Talador operation" will be discussed. As the crown thins, several visitors to the outpost hear a faint voice whisper in their mind - "...he...". More extensive thoughts or visions are reported by others.
- Drandea, mother-in-law of Grand Magister Dennet, returns from a trip to County Torre. After a bit of back and forth with the crowd gathered in the rain, she states she had little to no luck in learning anything about an antidote to help her cure her grandson of his so-called living sorrow. It is her believe that if it exists it may well be known only to the Sorrow King or his highest disciples. Quinshon arrives, more back and forth ensues, and Drandea retires to the outpost for the evening.
- Bekke shares with a group of adventurers, quite publically, that Dennet threatened her because she used Acorn, a Rook urchin, to try to deliver a message to Thadston about Dennet's takeover of the Outpost. According to Bekke, Dennet warned Bekke not to try to undermine him again, and Quinshon revealed that Acorn had been abducted by him, and was actually trapped inside of his shadowy burnoose, like a pocket dimension.
- Kayse gets Augierose and Jandria to help her create the antidote for the potions on Goblyn's cart and they successfully create it.
- Adventurer's follow a pair of rune-carved black mein golems to the Black Sands and watch as they march into the bay. When the golems return to the shore, each is carrying a small obsidian triangle. Upon return to the outpost, they are met by Grand Magister Dennet who informs the gathered that the artifacts recovered from the bay are parts of the outside of the Ithizir pyramids that were lost there a year prior. The Grand Magister claims that these parts will be studied in the hopes they can be used for defense of the outpost.
- Some members of the Hall of Mages and fellow colleagues of Dennet arrived to the Hendoran Outpost and brought a number of mana pylons. Many were speculating why, but Dennet explained they were to help defend the Outpost and Landing, and also a defensive or offensive measure in their operations into the Bleaklands, which are the remnants of Talador.
- One night, people all over and around Wehnimer's Landing began hearing voices. Men's voices, women's voices, children, even voices speaking Ithzir, Tehir and krolvin. Many adventurers traveled to the Outpost, and a Hendoran soldier's head exploded, so did that of three of the mages who had come to work with Dennet. Many other adventurers' began feeling the same pressure, and a number of wizard adventurers' heads exploded.
- The following night, Dennet appeared and finally revealed that he had discovered Rodnay, the blue-skinned Ithzir boy, when he and some of the Hall of Mages members were surveying the initial environs of the Bleaklands. He explained that Rodnay was secure and in his custody, and said he is not sure if he is alive or dead, and the strange things happening could be echoes of his mental powers as his body is shutting down. Many present doubted that. Dennet invited Subarashi to help observe Rodnay, to help keep transparency open between the Outpost and Wehnimer's Landing. He also invited Shinann to continue her care and company of his wife Lady Reannah, and invited Leafiara and Sareyna to do the same. In addition, he asked the three of them to help watch after Lady Larsya, the young daughter of the Baron of Bourth who had aged rapidly and was not stuck reliving a loop of memories. Larsya's father had not yet returned, or any representative from Bourth, so Dennet felt she needed looked after.
- The trial of Carenos is announced to be coming soon. Lady Reannah brings chests of donated coins to the Wellington Home Orphanage, and she expresses her desire to be at the trial if she is of okay health.
- The trial of Carenos is held in Wehnimer's Landing, with Judge Renpaw overseeing it. Dozens and dozens of adventurers are witness to the event. Lady Reannah and Lady Drandea send word that they cannot attend due to Reannah's health. The trial begins, as people are asked to speak for or against Carenos. The accused does little to help his case by being disruptive and rude. After hearing all arguments, Judge Renpaw announces he will weigh in on the matter of the next night and decide a verdict. Before the audience is dismissed, a brown hooded figure moves within the crowd on the balcony and fires a brass-handled crossbow, hitting Carenos with a poisoned bolt. The figure shatters a bottle, causing magical darkness, and escapes. The bolt is later discovered to have been laced with the Long Suffering, the same poison Carenos used on Cyph. Carenos was then taken to the brass tower to be watched constantly by guards as he was seen endlessly writhing in agony and pain, and pleasure (Mularosian after all) from the poison.
- A memorial service in town was held for Lana, the niece of the music shop owner who was found after she had gone missing and died from some unknown disease or poison or plague.
- The Hendoran knight, Gregory, informs that the outpost soldiers have heard rumors of a suspect in Sir Michol's disappearance, later acknowledging that the suspect is Hapenlok. As a precaution, the outpost's joint operations with the militia will cease until an investigation into that matter is concluded. Gregory asks Magister Raelee to leave the room. After she does, he reveals to Shinann a torn page from a book owned by someone at the Hall of Mages, showing that someone is spying on her and tracking her activities. Additionally, on this same page, "Rowmi has successfully created an anchor. Captain Stormyrain removes Hapenlok from active duty until the investigation is concluded.
- On a rooftop, a Rook unfurls the flag of Chastonia, from where the Kestrels hail, and sets it ablaze. Shinann notes that it's because of the abduction of Acorn and the removal of his eyes; Goldstr reminds us that Dennet likewise is after the Rooks; Raelee reminds everyone that it's because of the past when Rysus stole plinite from a ship and murdered mages from the Hall.
- Shinann and Kayse end up communicating with Rodnay one night via drops of water. Rodnay ends up showing them a vision of where he is kept, but it is a room neither of them have seen before. Naimorai shows up and Kayse attempts to steal the locket around her neck. Naimorai catches her by the wrist and blisters appear on Kayse's skin and immediately vanish.
- Kayse receives another antidote from Goblyn--who is vague about what it is for and strict about no one knowing Kayse got it from her. Kayse enlists Augierose to help create the extensive potion and they are successful, Shinann assists with the collecting of items.
- A wounded giantman is found outside of town near the hollow tree in the Dragonsclaw Forest. His leg seemed to be bent awkwardly, but his wound could not be healed. The giantman acted and spoke oddly, as if in a trance, or not even real. Many began to speculate he might be a golem or some automated construct. Later, when others tried to help the giantman stand up, he fell over, his face sliding against a tree trunk and flesh scraping from his face to reveal half flesh, half red mein golem. The golem eventually stopped moving and died, and Mayor Cruxophim consumed the body with his shadowy magic before it exploded. But then moments later the golem exploded INSIDE of Cruxophim, ripping open his stomach and sending red mein shards flying everywhere.
- A group formed to perform a divination ritual to try to scry and find out more information about the disappearance of Sir Michol and any connection with Hapenlok and the voodoo doll they found. The ritual was performed at Lake Eonak, and was partially successful in the fact it showed some mysterious figures talking and plotting in the creation of the voodoo doll, but no identities were discovered. Despite that revelation, there was still no concrete evidence to clear Hapenlok.
- Grand Magister Dennet finally opens a portal to the wasted remnants of Talador, now known as the Bleaklands. Some golems and mages accompany Dennet, along with a black strongbox that some of the golems carry, and a deep amethyst light is seen glowing from. Dennet tells those gathered that he will be conducting some far off research in the Bleaklands for likely a few weeks. The heroes then continue to explore the Bleaklands, where they discover pockets of unstable mana restrictions, both hot and cold weather, slicks of ice, glowing blue vultures, undead phantoms, ashen wastewalkers and bleakworms, and even some zombie Blameless crusaders. Additionally, some of the old sounds of Talador echoed through the Bleaklands, as if the strange magical destruction preserved some audible loops. The portal remains open for now.
- Stephos DeArchon arranges a meeting with some of the adventurers out on Widow's Walk where he warns them that there is a pending conflict between the Rooks and the Hendoran Outpost coming. He informs them that the Rooks are likely to attack the knights and mages in the Outpost, especially with Dennet gone. The Landing adventurers begin to prepare to be caught in between a war.
- Conflict breaks out between the Rooks and the Outpost, as the Rooks begin to converge on the stronghold, chanting the names of the five citizens that have gone missing and the Rooks blame on Dennet and his mages. All out war ensues, as Rooks launch fiery arrows and exploding orbs at the Outpost, and the forest comes alive with mercenaries that attack the outpost. In defense, the Outpost dispatches Hendoran soldiers and golems to fight the Rooks and mercenaries. The adventurers are caught in the middle, suffering causalities from both sides of the conflict. The Rooks continue to launch exploding orbs from the rooftops of town, so the golems begin to man pylons on the Outpost and fire into the town, exploding some shops and buildings. Eventually, some of the Hendoran soldiers on the walls reveal themselves to be Rooks in disguise, and turn and slaughter some of the Hendoran soldiers, and help raise the portcullis. More Rooks and mercenaries invade the Outpost, all the while the Landing heroes are working to fight both Rooks and golems and end the conflict. Soon, Hendoran soldiers begin to fall back inside, as large crystalline spheres rise up from the Outpost and float into the sky. Within each sphere churns a fiery blue humanoid, almost looking like Cyph. The orbs melt and a host of blue fire elementals are unleashed on the Rooks, and many of the adventurers get caught up in the onslaught. Finally, the Rooks appear to be on the run, so the golems head down into the Burrow Way tunnels to pursue them. The adventurers move their efforts underground, still trying to fight both sides and stop the conflict. More exploding orbs from the Rooks, and exploding golems rock the underground. There are so many explosions and tremors that a wall of dirt breaks open, collapsing to where adventurers can dig away at it. After some time of moving away rubble, the twisted corpse of Sir Michol is found, apparently buried in the earth and knocked loose by the battle. When Stormyrain performed some lore singing on the corpse, it was revealed that a woman, her features unseen by her cloak, save for a flash of silver at her wrists, was seen uncurling her finger and magically breaking, bending and bloodying Sir Michol in his chambers, as he was penning a letter to Earl Jovery warning him of dark magic. The vision ended with Sir Michol's final breaths being trapped in the earth, surrounded by darkness as he perished. Many speculated on who the murderer was, but it was finally evident that Hapenlok was cleared in the murder. The night ended as both the Rooks and the Hendorans suffered causalities, with no real winners.
GM Kenstrom is taking a small storyline break until around July 11th, give or take a few days. Some teasers were posted as an interlude in the meantime
Pools of churning ink bled across the sky which stretched as far as the broken grey dirt of the wasteland. The occasional streak of blue glowed in the night as a huge vulture circled overhead. Dust and ash swirled about, carelessly rising and falling on the hot winds of the area. The towering black constructs marched behind him, moving effortlessly and unhindered by the ravages of the remnants of Talador, now known as the Bleaklands. The man with the mismatched eyes stopped in his tracks, squinting against the grit in the air. “Here will do.” said Dennet. “Yes, here will do quite nicely.” The Grand Magister raised his hand, and with the mere furrow of a brow, the fragmented grey earth submitted to his will and walls of blasted stone rose high overhead, stretching wide to slowly form a huge earthen dome. Dennet gestured, and a wide opening in the stone dome appeared. A handful of blue-robed mages moved out before Dennet, disappearing through the doorway. The golems soon followed, dozens of them, and two of them carrying a large black strongbox in their clutches. Dennet looked back into the distance of the Bleaklands, where a speck of red light of his portal was still visible. “I’ll be back soon enough my love. But first…” The Grand Magister turned and stepped inside, and just as the opening began to seal up, a deep amethyst light began to glow from within the earthen dome.
She sat with her back to a wall, her face not far from the glass of the window as she watched the summer rain drizzle down from the sky. She could still smell the fires from the night before. She could still hear the screaming as both soldier and thief burned and bled all around that great outpost. She sighed, and her hand instinctively went to the silver locket around her neck. She sighed again, turning the locket around in her fingers, eyes never removed from the darkness of the sky and the darkness of the forest. She slowly rose from her perch and walked across her room, snatching her green cloak that hung on a rack above a harp and a zither, both of which had been carelessly abandoned on the floor. She moved like water through the hall, down the stairs, and amongst the armored knights as they clamored about at the feast tables, some still wearing the wounds of the recent battle. Some paid her no mind, others watched her movements. Both received her icy stare equally, as she stepped through the steel door to enter the dungeons below. Finding the crack in the earth, she pressed through and found herself once again alone, standing before the cold dark waters at her feet. She slowly undressed, tossing her cloak onto a stone ledge nearby and lowered herself into the cavern’s waters. It was cold. It was comforting. She submerged herself, sinking into the icy depths of the water, surrounded by darkness and left wondering if this was indeed home after all.
“M’Lady, do you require anything else for the evening?” the squire asked. Lady Reannah did her best to sit upright in her bed, but the pain in doing so was clearly evident upon her face. But with every grimace, she fought hard to twist it into a smile. A futile attempt, but a courageous one nonetheless. “No, that will be all. My watchers are coming soon enough this evening, should I need more.” Without further word, the squire nodded and left the chamber. Reannah sat there for a moment, maintaining her composure as if someone might visit any moment. But no one did. Those moments passed, and the lady collapsed the rest of the way into her bed, her breathing getting heavy as she stared up at the ceiling. Her legs itched, a sharp fiery pain seeming to return at that moment. She lifted her arm weakly to scratch it, but her strength went out. She sighed, shifting uncomfortably in bed, trying to rub her leg up against her other leg, then against the sheets. But it was all to no avail, the itching and pain remained. She thought she would have become used to it by now, but it never got easier. She was able to inch her hand over slightly, grabbing a letter that was on the bed next to her, and held it awkwardly up with two fingers as she tried to read it. A summer breeze drifted in through her window from time to time, and with each time causing the parchment to twist in her grasp, so reading it had become challenging. Regardless of her pain and struggles, Lady Reannah smiled with each word. It was the last love letter she had received from her husband, dated now 5112. She repeated the contents in her mind, over and over, remembering that night, remembering that moment, and remembering a time when there was no pain.
The old woman slowly closed the door of the chamber. She had only briefly peeked in to see her grown daughter in bed, fingers curled around a letter that kept threatening to slip from her grasp. She tightened her jaw, her eyes narrowing as she cursed Dennet beneath her breath. She ambled to her room, the tip of her cane tapping on the ground as she moved. Soldiers in the hall walked by her, many of them giving her a wide berth as they passed. She studied their faces as they went by, half out of habit, half out of reminiscing of her deceased husband. She moved to her small quarters, where nearly a third of the room had been set aside for storage of food and clothing for the Outpost. She knew that Dennet had done it to slight her, but she hadn’t cared, and certainly wouldn’t show it if she did. Drandea closed the door behind her, and dropped her cane to the ground. Crouching to the floor, she reached beneath her bed, pressed on a wooden plank and slid open a small cubby hole. She withdraw a small black velvet bag and tucked it within the folds of her greatcloak. She moved quickly to her door, drooping down grab her cane and headed out. It was not long before she had traversed the tunnel beneath the kitchen and slipped up through the grate, rising to stand beneath the shadow of Melgorehn’s Reach. Moments later she was at the shore of the Locksmehr River, nestled among the thick brambles of the area. A whistle sounded nearby. She whistled in return. An elven man stepped out of the brush, half in shadow, half in moonlight. He said nothing. Drandrea pulled the small velvet bag from her cloak and tossed it to the elf, who deftly caught it. The old woman nodded, and the elf emptied the contents into his palm. Two faceted, polished gemstones. “One for you for the delivery of the message, one for her should she reply. I’ve a dozen more should she agree to my request.” The elf nodded, slipped the brilliant gems back into the bag and slipped off into the night
They were fishermen. Butchers. Dockworkers. But through it all, they were fighters for the freedom of their town. Without fail, they had answered the call time and again. Their faces shrouded by the silver beaks of their masks. By day, their hands had been raised to help the welfare of the town. By night, their hands had been raised against the imperial aggressors at their doorsteps. Now, chains bound their hands and feet, and the dull throb of pain rippled out from the large bruises and cuts on their bodies. They could feel the hot, heavy breath of the Hendoran soldiers on their necks as they were escorted into the depths of the outpost. The door opened with an eerie creek, and they were shoved into the room before thrown down onto their knees. The chains dug into their skin, but what was another sting of pain when they had felt so much already. “These were the six that we captured alive.” A soldier’s gruff voice said. “That will be all.” A voice from the shadows spoke. The Hendoran soldiers nodded, looking a bit uneasy, then wasted no time in leaving. The prisoners looked up as the shadows along an earthen wall peeled apart, revealing a tall Tehiri man with slate blue eyes staring out over a cotton greyish-green veil. His burnoose was black as night, and seemed to twist and move as if woven from living shadows. Quinshon stepped forward, the shadows of his burnoose coming alive as ribbons of darkness began to thrash about hungrily. He slowly released his breath, causing the greyish-green veil to ripple. Beneath it, he smiled.
The brass walls of his personal hell were blackened and rippled, as if subjected to an intense heat. The smell of the sea and the din of the active dock nearby drifted in through the window. His pale grey eyes twitched endlessly, always watering as he blinked uncontrollably against the throes of anguish that wracked his body. He had never felt such pain. He had never felt such pleasure. For a few moments, he felt some relief. Those flashes of peace came few and far between. The rest of the time he was trapped in an endless cycle of misery and ecstasy. He slowly crawled to the center of the tower, his dirty clothes only being further stained as he dragged himself through puddles of blood and excrement/ He propped himself up against a wall, and pulled his knees to his chest. He rocked back and forth. Back and forth. Back and forth. He kept murmuring to himself, rambling over and over and over. Not his. Not his. Not his. The words echoed in his mind like the ringing of bells. Not his. Not his. Not his. His eyes widen for a moment, as if he is about to say something else, but then his jaw tightens and his scarred face distorts into a pained grimace. Carenos falls to the ground, curled up in a ball, squirming as a flood of agony washes over him.
Amidst earthen walls, a youthful boy with unruly brown hair sat deathly still within the opaque confines of the crystalline coffin. All around Cyph’s vessel, silver wards had been carved into the walls and ground, and many still glowed with a faint light. A handful had lost their light, depowered during the recent conflict. Nearby, some piles of rubble had formed, and periodically the ceiling groaned as specks of dirt tumbled down the walls. But the crystalline coffin stood firm among the wards and displaced rocks. But the walls still trembled from time to time, after effects of the massive explosions that had shaken both the outpost and the tunnels beneath town. Then, ever so faintly, a small wisp of blue energy seeped up and out of a tiny crack within the coffin.
Timeline of Events: Second Half
- A temporal storm begins to flare up along Melgorehn's Reach and destabilizes the red portal in the Hendoran Outpost that leads to the Bleaklands. In turn, the portal begins to vanish, and re-appear all over the Lower Dragonsclaw and Upper Trollfang forest. Then, from the portal begins to spawn Blameless zombies, bleakworms, vultures, and other denizens of the Bleaklands. Finally the portal settles near outside of Wehnimer's Landing, and begins to grow in size, and a huge black floating maggot creature covered in teeth and arms can be seen nearing the portal, trying to cross through. The giant bloated creature even spawns swarms of insects that attack adventurers defending the town. The heroes use the pylons to help fire on the portal, weakening it so it begins to shrink. Grand Magister Dennet and his mages and golems finally escape the Bleaklands before the portal closes. Some of the mages die while trying to escape.
- The next night, Grand Magister Dennet explains his findings in the Bleaklands will be made available in time. Later, Quinshon also mentioned that Subarashi will finally be given access to help observe Rodnay. In a war of words after the Hendoran Outpost conflict, many were angry Dennet had Rodnay, and some even tried to broker a deal if the stolen plinite could be given over to Dennet, he would in turn hand over Rodnay back to the town.
- Sir Gregory, a Hendoran Knight informed some of the adventurers that he sent word to Earl Jovery to send a new commander, or name a new commander, in light of the murder of Sir Michol being discovered. He also informed the heroes that Osment "the Augment" was coming to Wehnimer's Landing to investigate the death, because it matched some dark magic used to murder a man named Johnathan in Chastonia. Johnathan was the nephew of Lady Sionwryn Chydenar, Baroness of Mestanir. She had sent Osment, who was a member of the Red Brigade, to use his anti-magic skills and items to find the murderer. The death of Sir Michol, and the dark magic at work, matched Osment's findings in Chastonia, so now he is staying in Wehnimer's Landing temporarily to get to the bottom of it.
- Osment arrived in Wehnimer's Landing and found temporary residence in Wayside Inn. He was seen wearing a lot of anti-magic items, such as kroderine gauntlets, and a belt full of Mandis crystal shards. He said he would begin questioning people over the next few weeks in regards to his investigation into the murder of Sir Michol.
- In River's Rest, during the Pickle Festival, the merchant Jellybeard showed up and had informed some people that some old woman had come to River's Rest several weeks ago, seeking him out to obtain some poison, which he later remembered to be called the Long Suffering. He did not have access or information to such a rare poison, but he did sell a magical brass crossbow to the woman, which was imbued with a powerful magical means of sighting, greatly increasing the user's aim.
- Osment interviewed Captains Stormyrain and Shinann of the Landing Militia.
- Mayor Cruxophim allowed Ysharra and some others to visit Carenos in his imprisonment in the Brass Tower. They had questioned Carenos, but he was wild and hardly lucid, chanting and laughing and drawing pictures on the walls with his own blood. He even had tried to chew off half of his own mouth. He kept uttering random things like she's not his, she's not his, and blood of the shadow, and the Talon. Some other adventurers, such as Shinann, Kayse, Stormyrain, Cryheart, etc eventually stormed the tower to prevent what might be occurring. In the end, Carenos, in some moments of clarity, begged for his end. Making a tough choice, Ysharra cradled Carenos in her arms and slit his throat as everyone watched him bleed to death. His Long Suffering had ended.
- Dennet and Reannah come to town, and ask the adventurers to show them a nice spot to dance. Everyone heads over to Silvergate's Ballroom where everyone dances the night away, including Reannah who seems to enjoy some melancholic moments with her husband, as if she knows her end may be coming. Reannah also announces her and her daughter may go south before the winter to help protect her health against the cold. Dennet also announces that his work should be completed by year's end and that he got a missive from Sir Thadston that he is returning to reclaim control of the Outpost. Many in the crowd do not actually believe Dennet about the letter from Thadston.
- Dennet, making good on his word, offered to escort Subarashi down beneath the Hendoran Outpost to visit Rodnay in the magical coffin like he had promised. For that night only, Dennet allowed Subarashi to let others accompany her down there as well. Dennet left for awhile, and when others were in the presence of Rodnay, the boy seemed to come alive, his mind revealing memories of many present, and kept showing off an amethyst light. In time, he became erratic, and Quinshon arrived and quieted Rodnay and told those gathered they needed to leave.
- Osment interviewed Chaoswynd and Severine.
- Osment interviewed Cruxophim and Ysharra.
- Osment interviewed Subarashi and Lornieh.
- Osment interviewed Leafiara and Elementz.
- Osment interviewed Xorus and Rhayveign but shortly after walking off with them he went missing. His scribe had been sent off to fetch some water, and when he returned Osment was gone. Rhayveign was questioned by many, but claimed Osment had felt ill and wanted to question them at a later time. No signs of foul play or anything further was noted in Osment's sudden disappearance. Xorus was nowhere to be found. When asked later the dark elven warlock dismissed the idea Osment is missing as the young human scribe being a "paranoid racist with an overactive imagination."
- Dennet comes into town and talks with many gathered. He explains that within a few nights he plans, with the aid of Quinshon and others, to try to do a magical ritual to transfer the mind/spirit/soul of Cyph into a corpse, removing Cyph from the body that is poisoned with the Long Suffering. Mayor Cruxophim agreed to find a suitable body, young, male and not very damaged. In exchange, Dennet offered to make a generous donation to the family who volunteers the use of their loved one's corpse.
- Osment reappeared once more and met with everyone at the Wayside Inn; he explained his absence to those present by the fact that he had gotten sick for a night or two, perhaps on too much brandy, and informed everyone of his conclusion that the Kestrel family was innocent of the murder of Sir Michol; as such, he stated that he would be departing the following morning to pursue his prior investigation in the south. Afterward, Dennet met with Mayor Crux and others gathered on the matter of acquiring a suitable body to transfer Cyph into. They proceeded to the Temple Graveyard, where a town guard brought a wagon with three 'properly' acquired corpses to inspect. Dennet decided upon the first body after poking them for a bit, thus concluding that bit of macabre business. The Mayor informed him that he had personally inspected the bodies beforehand, and assured Dennet he would clean and prepare the chosen cadaver for the ritual.
- Reannah went swimming with many adventurers in the tidal pool in the North Shores neighborhood outside of the town walls. For a good amount of time, she seemed more full of life, even playful, but had some moments of sorrow as she told others of her concerns about Dennet's plan to transfer Cyph's mind into another body, and if it would be successful, and if it would still even be her son.
- Dennet, Quinshon and a number of adventurers met in the Circles of Stones where the ritual to transfer Cyph into a new (deceased) body would happen. Dennet drew wards on the ring of stones, and adventurers watched as the process occured. Dennet placed a smooth obsidian device on the body's head, as Quinshon worked his magic and transferred the memories from Cyph in the glass coffin into the body they had prepared. During the process, some of Cyph's memories came to life, appearing before the crowd and showing that Carenos and a Cult of Mularos did infact torture Cyph in Immuron, but somehow he got away or escaped. But later, Cyph, in his rage, hunted down Carenos home and burned his two daughters alive, while making Carenos watch. After awhile, the ritual was declared successful, and Quinshon, at the request of Dennet, had taken some of Cyph's painful memories (like his murdering two girls and being tortured) and erased them, so if Cyph woke up, he would not remember those dark moments.
- Drandrea showed up in town, very angry that Dennet performed the transference of her grandson's mind and warned those present that he better hope the process worked and when the new body woke up it was her grandson.
- Lady Drandea shows up again in town, physically angry and full of rage and claiming Cyph woke up, but is not her grandson. He sounds different, moves different, and doesn't remember a majority of their own time spent in Immuron. Drandea blames Dennet and cannot believe Cyph barely remembers his own grandmother. Some adventurers present tell Drandea that Dennet requested Quinshon erase some painful memories, so now Drandea believes Dennet erased most of her from Cyph's mind on purpose. She accuses Mayor Cruxophim of being in cahoots with Dennet but then she says she will testify to the murder of Lana Opherian, the girl from Landing, and that Dennet was responsible if they will apprehend Dennet, she will be able to provide more evidence if he is out of the way and that many soldiers in the Outpost do not trust him. In the end, no one believes Drandea and says she needs evidence now. Drandea threatens Cruxophim and storms off.
- Cyph awakens in his new body. He is escorted to the Blue Phoenix Tavern in the Outpost by some soldiers. Many adventurers come to visit him. He remarks on his new physical features, noting he is more handsome than before. He still has clumps of missing hair. His speech is off, stammering some, and he appears weak, and was seen using a cane. After some time and some conversation, he returned to his quarters.
- Thadston rides on a horse back to town, seemingly having ended his quest to hunt down Raznel and save his son Disean. Notably absent is Casiphia, the woman who Disean had fallen in love with and had traveled with Thadston to go find him. Thadston appeared very stoic and spoke very little. He told those gathered that he had returned, the witch was still at large, but his son was gone and shared no further details. Winston, the bloodhound, begins to snoop around the Mayor's office and seems to be unsettled by Thadston, but then Mayor Cruxophim feeds the bloodhound a black apple and the hound chows it down and seems content to rest. Thadston does not linger long, but does warn that he will have no tolerance for enemies of the Empire any longer.
- Dennet shows up in the Mayor's office one night, claiming to be visiting on business, and casually comments on Thadston's rigged attitude lately, comments that Reannah and Naimorai are doing well, and Cyph is recovering his strength. Dennet does confirm when asked that he is indeed willing to trade Rodnay for the cache of stolen plinite the Rooks took, and he would like to avoid bloodshed. Dennet also explained he would watch the world burn and die if it meant saving his wife, and while he wishes to avoid bloodshed, he does not mean to be stopped in saving Reannah. That same night, Crook, a little urchin girl who presumbly works for the Brotherhood of Rooks, appeared in the Mayor's office and explained that some of the mana pylons had been transported through a blue portal to somewhere dark and she could not see what was on the other end. She was rewarded with gems and coins for her information.
- Two militiamen appear in town and comment on some girl telling them about a corpse being found, but didn't say where. When they found nothing, the guards gave up their search. But some adventurers did their own search party and found a corpse in the Burrow Way tunnels beneath town, no sign of struggle or violence, just dried blood that had seeped out of his eyes. When Stormyrain tried to perform a loresong on the corpse, she was met only with blinding shadows. Leafiara recognized the corpse as Samuel, a dockworker who sometimes donated herbs to the town center. The heroes went to the docks, and some workers confirmed Samuel hadn't showed up in a day or two, and hint that he worked for the "King", which meant Rysus and the Brotherhood of Rooks. Some speculated that Quinshon had murdered Samuel and was seeking information from his mind.
- Sir Thadston shows up one night to make an announcement. He declares that there will be no tolerance for enemies of the Empire, and that includes the Brotherhood of Rooks who had launched an attack just over a month ago on the Outpost. He said his goal was to hunt down the stolen plinite and kill Rysus. He refused to share details of his operations and plans coming up as he said there were too many sympathizers in the crowd. Mayor Cruxophim and the Militia Captains reminded Thadston he had no authority in the town and any raids within the walls would be viewed as crossing a line and defended against. Once Thadston returned to his outpost, Dennet appeared, as if invisible the whole time, and commented on Thadston's rudeness and rough behavior. He said to those present that he would try to keep Thadston distracted and at bay long enough for the plinite to be recovered with little to no bloodshed.
- One night, Hendoran soldiers and Landing militia were found on the 2nd floor of Thrak's Inn, trying to arrest Lady Drandea. The Hendoran soldiers explained that they had discovered a magical sighted crossbow and a vial of empty Long Suffering poison in Drandea's quarters in the Outpost, and had tracked her new whereabouts to the Inn. The Hendoran soldiers were reminded they have no jurisdiction in Thrak's and the knights left. After some coaxing from those adventurers present, Drandea opened the door, but when others went inside it was blackened by magical darkness. Drandea used the cover to escape. She was later tracked down in the stash room of the pawn shop, where militia captains convinced her to go with them and they'd protect her in custody and keep her away from the Outpost. Drandea was escorted to the Militia Barracks in town. That same night, a tremor was felt through town, and Rysus appeared in the Mayor's office to tell them it wasn't the first tremor, there had been a few more underground ones days before. Rysus was asked if he'd give up or trade the plinite, he had no price to give, but said he'd be willing to listen to offers. Not long after, Rodnay reached out to Kayse's mind and warned her that someone was intending to kill him and he wished to live.
- Mayor Cruxophim pardons Stephos and Alendrial DeArchon, and rumor of such spreads quickly. A brick etched with the word "Traitor" is thrown through his office window, perhaps signaling the first sign of unrest.
- Several Militia members gather outside of Moot Hall, where they verbally and consecutively excoriate Mayor Cruxophim for his decision to pardon the DeArchons; they cite loved ones who died at the hands of krolvin armed by Stephos' profiteering, and throw away their Militia badges in angry protest. Judging by the diverse reactions of those also present, the decision remains contentious at best.
- The Tehir shaman, Teuriz, opens a portal to the Shadow Realm using Evia's black veins, an intractable reminder of her last visit to the same dark world; once inside, an unlikely alliance of adventures attempt to locate and rescue Acorn... among other things. The rescuers eventually discover the urchin mired and helpless within a pool of blood and shadow, and using Lylia's soulstone (which once belonged to Aralyte, who was trapped there previously) as a guide, attempt to pull him free. A Faendryl woman presumed to be none other than Aralyte herself rises from the mire to help, and with what appears to be the last vestiges of her strength, the blind urchin is successfully extracted. Meanwhile, back in the Landing, a clash between Thadston, the Rooks, and several other parties arises down in the Burrow Way tunnels when Thadston attempts to find the stolen plinite on his own with brute force. He is ultimately unsuccessful in his mission, but many Rooks/Landing citizens lose their lives in the conflict. In a move for transparency, Stephos and Mayor Cruxophim reveal that the plinite was missing because it had already been recovered, and assure those present that it is being held safely until the exchange; Kayse later voluntarily confesses to having bartered the agreement for such through the Arbiter and on behalf of the Mayor.
- The exchange between Mayor Cruxophim and Grand Magister Dennet (mediated in part by Kayse, as per their own agreement) goes off without a hitch, save for one minor snag... when Rodnay is released from the bane coffin, it is revealed that Maylan has conspired with the Rooks to murder Rodnay during this most vulnerable moment; however, Rodnay makes short work of the would-be assassins, sending a wall of arrows flying toward Maylan that stops just short of perforating her beyond all recognition. After Rodnay collapses, Kayse and a few others then sequester him in a more private location, where he can recuperate for some time.
- Naimorai meets with various people on the Black Sands, and requests Deacon Irar's presence in the Temple of Koar; Naimorai then opens a portal directly to Tamzyrr, and allows the remainder of the entourage to wander around unsupervised while she and Irar have a private prayer session. Local gossip later suggests that Jellybeard was spotted consorting among the acolytes, and that the raven-haired woman (Naimorai) was seen giving Irar a vial of some sort.
- 10-3-17 - Cyph is still speaking slowly and his magic is gone, but he feels stronger and is walking without a cane or the help of soldiers. Cyph gives Leafiara a sack, saying she might find its contents useful; later in the night after he leaves, she tells everyone that healing herbs were inside. Cyph wants to join the Landing militia and become a citizen; Shinann says she'll submit the form to Marshall Thrayzar and Crux says he'll prepare the citizenship paperwork. After Cyph leaves, the ghosts of Carenos' daughters appear again.
- 10-19-17 - Rodnay is aware that Dennet possesses a "Talon" which Quinshon wants, but he (Rodnay) doesn't know what it is. Rodnay seeks help to go to the Swale, where he'll be able to read the minds of five members of the Hall to learn what the Talon is, so long as Raelee can get him there and Landing adventurers will protect him. Raelee requests that Rodnay let her speak with them first, but (at least unless I missed it) Rodnay neither agrees nor refuses her.
- 10-22-17 - Cyph hits on Leafiara. Cyph is speaking well and training hard. Naimorai wants back the vial she gave to Irar. Irar will not divulge to Cyph or Reannah, nor anyone else, what the vial is. Reannah has overheard (and seemingly isn't supposed to know) that, during the process of curing her, Dennet will need a group of volunteers to aid him with prep work beforehand in the Bleaklands while she'll have protection and remain here.
- 10-24-17 - Some militia members are uncomfortable with Cyph, but Cyph tries not to mind it. Cyph forgets that he already had flowers delivered to Leafiara, thinking he should deliver them in person, and doesn't seem to know what day it is; adventurers discuss whether his mind is still troubled after the transfer. Rodnay again discusses his plan to go to the Swale, hearing out concerns. Rodnay stresses that he does not want the Talon for himself, but that getting it will be a measure of prevention from Dennet or Quinshon doing whatever it is they're working toward. Rodnay reveals/confirms that Naimorai is Quinshon's daughter. Rodnay agrees to Shinann requesting more time to consider what to do, but insists that everyone should move quickly. Rodnay reveals that Reannah has 60 days left to live, but it could be less if her condition worsens.
- 10-26-17 - Dennet, having heard from Raelee that Rodnay knows about the Talon, takes several adventurers to a secret underground chamber beneath the Outpost to speak with them. Dennet assures that he won't let Quinshon have the Talon (and later in the discussion says he'll kill Quinshon to keep it from him if need be). During Cyph's transference, the fire elemental within him remained trapped in the bane coffin. Dennet now intends to travel to the Bleaklands and use the Talon there to transfer the elemental's power into the plinite and merge it with pylons to give Reannah an "endless source of stability" and "keep her ailment at bay". Dennet advises not to let Rodnay go to the Swale, saying it will draw too many eyes from the Hall toward the Landing. Kayse says Dennet can have their help for his information about the Talon; Dennet initially says Rodnay should only need to know that the Talon will be used in the Bleaklands and that Quinshon won't have it, but then relents because he "cannot afford" for Rodnay to "pry" in the Swale. Dennet gives a history lecture on (at least as he says) all the information about the Talon that Rodnay would have acquired if he went to the Swale, and says he will permit those gathered there to tell Rodnay.
- 10-28-17 - Cyph chats with people and seems increasingly unable to remember things. Quinshon arrives and says, after being asked about Cyph, that he's dying, the body is rejecting the mindgraft, nothing can be done about it, and Dennet has been informed. Quinshon tells the group his real reason for coming out was to speak about the Talon, which he says he'll take from Dennet after he's done using it in the Bleaklands; he makes clear that he's not asking for permission. Quinshon says he wants the Talon to aid against the rise of the Blood God (Grishom Stone) and his Emerald Sun (Star of Khar'ta). After all of this, there was some very lengthy after-discussion among most of the regulars about who to trust, whether to help any specific party get hold of the Talon (including Rodnay, who doesn't even want it, or keeping it in the Landing), the destabilizing effect of the Talon, political repercussions, why Quinshon called Bekke "Lightbringer," the roles of Teuriz or Grishom Stone in all of this, and more.
- 10-31-17 - Irar holds a prayer session in the small park, but collapses into a fit of coughing shortly after starting. Irar offers a vial to Leafiara, seemingly (but not confirmed) to be the one from Naimorai; she takes it after he insists. Irar continues coughing and choking, slowly getting words out one at a time and naming a few people like Goblyn, Lheren, and Naimorai without much of any clarity what it means. Leafiara eventually passes the vial to Kayse, who seems to have suspicions about poison, but the vial's contents aren't what she thought. Irar claims he's done his duty and wants to see his altar, so the group takes him to the blood marble altar at the Hendoran outpost, where he appears to "snap out of it". Irar holds another prayer session at the altar, seeming to not remember what happened in the park; still coughing, but less so, he acknowledges that some woman gave him whiskey and he isn't feeling well, so he goes to sleep. The group runs off to the mayor's office to investigate the vial further, where Kayse pours it into some blood wine, drinks it, falls into a state of euphoria, and dies. Shinann notes that the liquid in the vial was blue and Subarashi speculates that it might be Rodnay's blood since Rodnay said Naimorai and Quinshon were the ones who took it from him. Irar returns again, now realizing that he's lost the vial and asking where it is; several people won't tell him what happened, but even when others do tell him he seems to immediately forget about it and continue asking where it is. Kayse, wanting to feel the euphoric feeling again, drinks more wine, then quickly hides the remaining wine, before dying again--commenting that the death was welcoming and worth it to feel what she did when she consumed the wine.
- 11-4-17 - Dennet opens the portal in the Lower Dragonsclaw this time instead of at the Outpost, keeping the creatures further from town but making it more likely that they'll get through. In the Bleaklands, Dennet and Raelee prepare the area around the black sapling for the ritual. Golems deliver the plinite, the Talon, and the coffin with the fire elemental as blood rain begins to fall. Dennet begins to siphon the fire elemental with the Talon and it lashes out at everyone gathered with fire. Ysharra believes that the elemental is still under the effects of the Long Suffering, saying that the poison has a spiritual component and wondering if that too will become a part of the Talon. As the fire elemental is almost drained, its final attack is unleashing lightning elementals. The floating nebulous maggot covered in eyes and teeth is spotted approaching the group in the Bleaklands. As Dennet nears the end of the ritual, a small crack appears in his obsidian ring and several raise concerns that Quinshon will be able to screw with his mind now. After returning to the forest, the ritual seemingly complete, Dennet collapses and is returned to the outpost by the golems, with a visible ripple appearing along his face.
- 11-7-17 - Dennet is recovering and Reannah is feeling hopeful about her cure. Reannah wants her mother Drandea back in the outpost both for her (Reannah's) sake and Cyph's; Shinann says she's free to go and Stormy says she has to check if the charges against her have been cleared, but will let her know Reannah wants her back. Quinshon has examined Dennet after the Bleaklands trip and Naimorai is tending to him. Reannah recalls her father people-watching with her from the rooftops and making up stories about them...and then suddenly seems to relive that moment in a daydream before snapping out of it and leaving for the night.
- 11-12-17 - Dennet assures that his mind is still protected, but the crack in his Ithzir ring means its magic won't hold forever. Cruxophim offered temporary wardings to help with Reannah's mental instability in the interim while preparing her final treatment; Dennet agreed. Dennet mentions that in the Bleaklands was not his first time handling the power of the Talon, but he hopes it was his last. Dennet briefly lays out the plans for the last step of the cure, next Feastday: he'll need assistance infusing the pylon pillars with the new plinite, explaining there might be some magical side effects until the process is complete. Dennet says that after the next steps of the cure (yes, plural), he'll look to the group gathered there to decide the fate of the Talon and to ensure that Quinshon is "handled and dead".
- 11-13-17 - Drandea is free to go as of tomorrow, as the militiaman who brought assault charges against her has dropped them. Grand Magister Octaven inquires by magical orb about whether "an artifact of importance" is located near the town as well as whether the plinite has been recovered; Magister Raelee confirms that they're with Grand Magister Dennet and Octaven thanks her, Mayor Cruxophim, and the town for the information, mentioning that the Hall was not aware of where Dennet was. Octaven says they'll send representatives soon to retrieve the plinite and the artifact.
- 11-14-17 - Dennet expects the Landing to turn into a war zone when Octaven's group arrives. Dennet says he's "lied about a few things" but many he has not, and says he "almost pleaded" for an assignment in the Landing because he knew the plinite was here and needed it to save his wife. Dennet says Octaven is a member of a rogue group in the Hall of Mages, which he was also a part of in the past, and that the group had manned the ship containing the plinite, having stolen it from the Hall before the Rooks and some Landing adventurers stole it from them. Dennet says Octaven and her group will be arriving in around two weeks without the Hall's backing (as, if she succeeds, she'll claim afterward that she had to act in secrecy to protect the mission). Dennet says curing Reannah does need to happen near the Landing due to the established pylons and the power in the area. Dennet cannot ask the Hall for help because it would doom his own unapproved work. Dennet will "not yet" tell adventurers about the mein golem wearing flesh and, when questioned about Thadston, says "One cannot begin to imagine what Thadston has endured.". Naimorai is looking for Irar and will seek him out tomorrow (Leyan/Wednesday). Cyph will escort Drandea back to the outpost tomorrow.
- 11-16-17 - Naimorai wants her vial back from Irar, who says he no longer has it and believes he was poisoned, saying he is sorry; she says she does not think he is sorry yet. Kayse, who does have the vial, returns it to Naimorai and she walks away, saying she hopes they can move forward from this slight and that she is sure Irar wishes he could forget all of it.
- 11-16-17 - Cyph gives Leafiara an early Feast of the Immortals gift, a necklace from his grandmother; she's reluctant to take it and Irar interjects that she's not interested in him (Cyph), who seems disappointed but says he didn't mean anything by it and that it was thanks for looking after his mother. Cyph immediately forgets giving the gift, among other things, but remembers that he's there to escort Drandea to the Outpost, so the group heads to the barracks. Cyph begins reliving old memories and recounts the following.
1 - From when he was going to leave with Reannah for Immuron: he didn't want Naimorai to go with them, as she was cold and fought with Johnathan all the time, who gave her a locket 2 - From an unknown time: he stole Naimorai's journal and she wanted to go with Dennet to Toullaire, but Dennet wouldn't let her or anyone else 3 - From when he just joined the Hall of Mages: Octaven was his trainer 4 - From before he joined the Hall: Reannah cried at night and he thought it was Dennet's fault, as she heard her speaking to him in a language he doesn't know; Goat correctly guesses it's the Tehir "Vobriqi, rafir" 5 - From before he was going to Immuron: Dennet was saying he (Cyph) needed to master his power and wouldn't amount to much if he left 6 - From when he was still in the coffin and also from when after he was transferred: he saw Quinshon, Naimorai, and Dennet taking Rodnay's blood and Quinshon had some blood samples and muttered names, but he doesn't remember who 7 - From some time after arriving in the Landing: he was friends with Lana, who Dennet introduced him to 8 - From some time after arriving in the Landing: Naimorai's journal said she met with some locals beneath the Outpost and mentioned something about a doll
- Cyph becomes lucid but weak and admits that he burned Carenos' girls alive and liked watching him suffer, and starts apologizing to them. Cyph realizes he's dying and says not to trust his father or "any of them," brings up the diary, says "she" killed Michol and is going to poison... but he can't finish the thought. Cyph expresses a lament that he wanted to live longer, kisses Leafiara in a "fleeting moment for boldness," apologizes again to the unseen ghost girls, and says he would have liked it in the Landing, then passes away. The ghost girls visibly look over Cyph's body, then disappear.
- 11-18-17 - Dennet says the pylon plan has been delayed to next Feastday. Dennet says that Reannah doesn't know about Cyph, asks that no one tell her, and says he'll cut off everyone's access to Reannah until they can perform the ritual. Dennet says he did care for Cyph and thanks everyone for welcoming him, saying the Landing showed him more affection in a year than he did throughout his life. Dennet says to tell the Mayor he'll want the body. A hooded figure brushes by Irar briefly. Irar excuses himself to visit Koar's shrine, but a chill fills the air and he's later killed in the shrine, seemingly by a shade (...which Leafiara knows because she was spying on him)
. Irar claims that a shade boiled his flesh, turned his heart to ice, broke his body, and told him he failed (it's unclear as to failing at what). Irar continues saying that he wants to ask for a Watcher, and everyone who ran over continues saying no. (For those only following along in logs, I think I've cut this particular plot thread out in the past, but he's been asking for as many people as he can find to help him try to contact the Church. As far as I can tell, nobody's ever agreed until tonight when Hap said he might be able to get word via Sir Mires or Felcroth.).
- 11-19-17 - Sir Thadston says the Koar shrine at the outpost will be closed off to all, including Irar, until they can be sure that the incident resulting in his death the night before will not be repeated. Irar is also requested to avoid the outpost in case of danger following him; failure to comply will mean imprisonment. Mayor Cruxophim doesn't yet have Cyph's body ready to give to Thadston, so Thadston says he'll return for him tomorrow. Mayor Cruxophim doesn't yet have Cyph's body ready to give to Thadston, so Thadston says he'll return for him tomorrow. Thadston doesn't have any leads about the coming assault and doesn't wish to share who called him back to the Outpost initially.
- 11-25-17 - Grand Magister Dennet leads adventurers to six pylons located in underground tunnels near Melgorehen's Reach. While activating them, they cause temporal rifts and encounter old foes including Jantalarians, krolvin from the time of Talbot Dabbings, kobold bandits, Mularosians, and even demons controlled by Grishom Stone himself, along with bearing witness to a Drake. Though greatly struggling, Dennet completes his work with the pylons, returns everyone to above ground, and is taken back toward the Outpost by Naimorai.
- 11-28-17 - Reannah seems to be improving, but Dennet has seen her health improve and then fail before, so it's a waiting game to see if it sticks. Dennet wants the Talon to be returned to the Hall (but not Octaven) rather than to go to Quinshon. Dennet warns to be prepared for Octaven's arrival in two or three weeks, saying he would expect spies in the area sooner than that (I'm leaving this as the bullet point, but quite a bit more discussion surrounds this about whether this is/should be the Landing's business, whether Dennet should leave, what happens if the Hall officially identifies Dennet and/or Octaven as rogue mages since they aren't currently identified as such, etc. and I'd recommend reading it if you have time). Drandea has been allowed back into the outpost and only she and Naimorai are allowed to see Reannah; both have agreed to keep Cyph's death a secret. After Dennet leaves, Quinshon arrives to reiterate that he'll take the Talon and later use it against Grishom Stone. If Dennet's work is finished before Octaven arrives, Quinshon will take the Talon and leave then; if not, he will help defend the Landing against Octaven and take it afterward; he warns against opposing him. After Quinshon leaves, Drandea arrives and says she'll find evidence against Dennet and Quinshon and present it to the militia captains (and specifically not to the mayor)
11-29-17 - Grand Magister Octaven reaches out to the Landing via communication orb and offers to ensure protection of the town if they will either aid her and the Hall, or at very least stand down, in apprehending Dennet, his family, and his projects--including Rodnay. Octaven denies being a rogue mage but says that Dennet has been one for years; however, she will not offer proof. Most of the Landing gathered there is most contentious about Rodnay; Octaven says he can be returned after being "fully investigated and presented" (but many are dubious of this too). After she breaks communication, Rodnay arrives and says a kind of "fog" is approaching that seems to be hindering his powers, something beyond the forests. Rodnay says he can get an occasional peek at Dennet and that he's planning one last thing to cure Reannah, but he (Rodnay) can't learn more yet. Rodnay does not know who Octaven is, but will not go with the Hall and says they will know suffering if they come for him .
- 12-1-17 - Grand Magister Octaven contacts Mayor Cruxophim again to ask if he's made a decision. He is not willing to hand over Rodnay but otherwise has no objection to her apprehending Dennet and his projects. She closes communications and shortly afterward explosions rock the Landing, destroying ballistas, pylons, and the defense towers of several Houses.
- 12-2-17 - Four ships approach the Landing and their workers disembark, complaining of a thick fog that they went through for two days with winds that pushed them back and eventually returned them to the Landing. The captain makes the decision to deliver the supplies to Vornavis by land starting tomorrow. Afterward, Naimorai--or at very least someone dressed like her with her eye color--is briefly seen passing through town.
- 12-4-17 - * Drandea says Reannah seems to be getting better. Drandea says she wants nooses for Dennet, Quinshon, and Naimorai, saying she has Naimorai's journal and evidence against the three of them regarding "the murder and experimentation of Lana among other town citizens, the murder and cover up of Sir Michol, the framing of Hapenlok, and the kidnapping and torture of Osment" Drandea requests protection from the militia but Shinann requests the evidence first; Drandea says that she's sent for it and it's on its way (there's some speculation I cut out about whether a red-haired militiaman who passed by earlier in the night was the intended delivery man, but he wasn't found any other time that night)
Drandea takes a drink of whiskey Kayse gave her earlier in the night and falls into a euphoric state; Kayse attempts to give her what seems to be an antidote, but is too late as Drandea dies, and giving her the antidote after death does nothing. Militia men carry Drandea's corpse off and muse about her having spent time with an "Andrew" [seems to be the same red-haired man who passed by earlier]. Kayse worries that she's suspected for murder and Shinann says she has no choice but to take her into custody until this is sorted out; Kayse goes along willingly and Shinann calls Hapenlok and Subarashi with her as witnesses and leaves the area
- 12-9-17 - Octaven's group should arrive in the Landing by next Feastday and they will likely attack with golems and elementals, at least initially. Reannah is getting healthier and has not been informed of Drandea's death; access to her remains cut off until at least after the ordeal of battling Octaven is over. Shinann requests two of the Outpost's pylons be given to the Landing to help with defense; a lengthy debate between everyone gathered ensues, as Dennet would rather invite Landing defenders to come man them in the Outpost itself, but before the night is over he does agree to provide two pylons so long as the Landing. Dennet inquires about Drandea's body and Cruxophim offers to make arrangements to get it to him. After Dennet leaves, a hooded figure arrives and tells Stormyrain of a contact in hiding who will reach out to her in the coming week and says that Andrew has what she needs
- 12-11-17 -Stephos DeArchon delivers wagons full of weapons for the coming conflict. He will not be here to help in battle directly, though, as he'll be down south.
- 12-15-17 - Hapenlok proposes constructing elemental barriers around the pylons in advance of Octaven's attack to avoid a repeat of them being quickly destroyed. Shinann says he can't do that, as that magic hasn't been tested with the pylons before and it's uncertain what will happen, and he also didn't consult with the militia before starting to move forward with his plan. A night-long debate starts up about what to do with the pylons, but amidst it Hapenlok and Rhayveign begin to create the magical barrier. Shinann orders militiamen to arrest them if they continue, so Hapenlok and Rhayveign eventually stand down. Hapenlok resigns from the militia. About four dozen Landing townspeople have taken sanctuary beneath the Outpost so far. Dennet says warding the pylons was a good idea... weeks ago... but that Octaven might not come after them immediately since the Outpost is a high priority target as well. Dennet gives Raelee a list of names (unknown who or why). Dennet says Rodnay's powers will be hindered early on by the fog.
- 12-16-17 - Bullet points
- Portals open all throughout and outside of the Landing, besieging the town with--among other things--steam elementals, water elementals, fire elementals, lightning elementals, frost arachnids, hawk-owls, frost golems, steel golems, blue crystal golems, vapor hounds, constructs, and fire beings. Octaven's attack intensifies with patches of darkness around town and a slowing effect that makes movement difficult. Battle continues throughout the entire night to close the portals.
- Octaven's forces make their way to the outpost as icy fog rolls in, discharging lightning. Initial lightning strikes are deflected by Dennet's wards, but eventually the lightning begins piercing the shields--with a bolt hitting Sir Thadston, whose skin melts away to reveal a now-defunct black mein golem. Seeing this, many Hendorans march back, angry at Dennet.
- Rodnay tells the Hall to leave (unclear whether this is to Octaven, Dennet, or both) and telekinetically destroys many of Octaven's golems from a visible position floating midair. However, in the ongoing fray and with amunet communication temporarily disabled, a dissenting Landing militiaman fires on Rodnay, nicking him in the side; he falls and disappears.
- Dennet takes to the sky and harnesses the power of the Talon to destroy many of Octaven's forces throughout the Dragonsclaw forest and create a wall barricading off enemies entering from the North Dock, then descends out of sight. As Octaven's forces slow--but do not stop--several defenders branch out to search for Rodnay.
- Shortly afterward, a stone hand seizes Shinann and takes her underground. Dennet says she'll be the new host for Reannah and that they'll leave after he's done. Much later in the evening he reveals more of his final plan, saying that his and
Reannah's memories of their children, of Quinshon, and of the Landing will be erased and they'll have a second chance at a fresh romance.
- Rodnay, though still in an unknown location, is alright and says the plinite pylons--previously established beneath the Reach in the Plinite Hollows created by Dennet--need to be destroyed. While opening a pathway to them, he provides an orb to look in on Dennet, Reannah, Shinann, Ysharra, and others, but most of the Landing defenders who got there are immobilized.
- Rodnay finishes opening up the path to the Plinite Hollows, so Dennet seals off the outpost sanctuary with Landing townspeople and Bristenn buried inside, raising questions about whether they can simultaneously protect the town from its ongoing invasion, dig out the townspeople, and destroy the pylons. The Landing has no doubt it can.
- Rodnay warns that Naimorai is in the shadows to attack the groups destroying the pylons, but before anything comes of it the groups begin to get transported through time--to Maelshyve Keep during the Undead War somewhen prior to at latest the year -15,185, when elves and giants aim to destroy Despana. Adventurers defend against undead until the temporal hole eventually returns them to the Plinite Hollows.
- Naimorai's presence is felt, then attacks from the shadows begin severing Landing defenders' legs; they continue destroying pylons regardless and briefly see Naimorai in the shadows. Next the group is transported through another temporal hole to Toullaire somewhen prior to at latest year 4565. While staving off soldiers and mages, Naimorai's attacks continue as she's in Toullaire with the adventurers. However... after the hole in time returns the group back, Naimorai is not with them and a brief glimpse of the past reveals her stuck in Toullaire centuries ago.
- The group continues destroying pylons, along with another trip back in time to Kezmon Isle somewhen prior to at latest year 4873. Meanwhile, at the outpost, the sanctuary is dug out and the townspeople safely escape. As the final pylon is destroyed shortly afterward, quakes rock the Plinite Hollows and the Landing above.
- Adventurers move on to pursue Dennet and Quinshon--and Rodnay aids by opening the way to their chamber, but seemingly too late as Quinshon gains control over Dennet and ethereal motes melt into Shinann's body, the ritual to transfer Reannah seemingly complete. Before Dennet can give up the Talon, Rodnay intervenes and seems to magically attack Quinshon, as the Black Shaman's mouth is revealed to be filled with shadowy ribbons and teeth before he screams, grabs at his face, and disappears back into shadow.
- Shinann is confused and seemingly thinks she's Reannah, but also shows signs of not even being sure of that; however, it's at least clear that she doesn't know she's Shinann. Reannah's own body is dead.
- Dennet, realizing he's failed, surrenders the Talon to Octaven through a portal and says that it's better with her than Quinshon. The cavern around them begins to collapse, water rushing in through cracks, and Dennet tells the gathered adventurers to leave or die, seemingly intending to remain there and die with his wife. Many adventurers refuse to leave for various reasons, staying to see his end, even as rockfall hits them, until at last a jagged rock falls from the ceiling, impaling Dennet and Reannah.
- A shouting voice from outside claims to have found Andrew, but Stephos over the amunet announces that he's coming to the Mayor's office, where he reveals that Andrew has met his end and that he has some remnants from Naimorai's mostly-burned diary. He reads them aloud and reveals the following:
- Dennet had taken Lana and tested plinite in her blood, hiding his identity at Naimorai's suggestion by wearing a bone mask.
- Naimorai had acquired a poison to bring Reannah "a quick and painless end," loving her but not believing Dennet would be successful in healing her.
- Naimorai had found allies or even friends around the Landing who swore to keep her true powers a secret to others. She implies they are new teachers for her who will help her master the art that accidentally killed Johnathan in the past.
- Naimorai unintentionally killed Michol, meaning to frighten him, but admits it felt good to watch him twist inside out. Her allies helped her cover up Michol's death and frame Hapenlok by providing the components for a voodoo doll; Quinshon implanted false memories; Dennet hid his body in the earth.
- Naimorai had developed her talents under Quinshon, learned she was truly his daughter, and welcomed it.
- Dennet, Quinshon, Naimorai, and her allies had planned to abduct Osment and give him new memories, with Quinshon allowing Naimorai to help to further her studies.
- Naimorai had known that people would suspect Thadston to be a golem, but Dennet insisted on him to keep the soldiers in line and go after the Rooks.
- Dennet and Quinshon had known that merging the plinite with the pylons would give Reannah enough temporary relief to transfer her into a living body, using Shinann as the host after Leafiara and Sareyna had been ruled out.
- Naimorai had lost trust in Irar and wrote that she shouldn't have confessed anything to him; she meant to either get the poison back or end him.
- Naimorai had been unmoved by Cyph's death, as Quinshon said it was a lesson in perfecting the ritual; the new plan was to give the transferred Reannah and Dennet new memories and erase her (Naimorai) and Cyph, which Naimorai felt was liberating to her.
- Naimorai had bent the shadows to her form and "tore the Deacon open" at Koar's altar in the outpost, and mused that she could poison someone as effortlessly.
- Quinshon and Naimorai had made arrangements to depart with the Talon to the Sea of Fire after the ritual with Reannah and Shinann, taking on new names. Naimorai's would be... Rachel. In other words: the Naimorai lost in time centuries ago will become Raznel.
- Stephos gives the remnants of Naimorai's diary to Mayor Cruxophim, who says he'll make them public knowledge.
Stephos read the surviving excerpts of Naimorai's burned journal after the battle ended and Dennet was dead:
"...and my father has taken the young woman Lana. We're going to test new levels of plinite in her blood. He doesn't dare wish to experiment on mother. I've recommended that he wear a bone mask, like that of the Black Diabolist, to hide his identity and misguide the others should we be caught, or she witness too much... ...I've acquired the poison I need for mother. I do not do this lightly. I love her. She has always been there for me, despite the jealousy I sometimes catch in her eyes at how father dotes over me. Sometimes I feel there is something else in her gaze, perhaps doubt, like I was a mistake. But I love her. I do not think father will be successful in healing her. I know of no other option than bringing her a quick, and painless end. That is not cruelty. That is compassion. ...I've found a few allies, perhaps dare I say friends here in the north. They have sworn to keep my secrets and my true power to themselves and not alert the others. After I accidentally killed Jonathan, I had no way of truly understanding or mastering my art back home. The Hall, while they permit some, would never tolerate me. Not that I much tolerate them. I'm quite fond of what I may learn from some of my new teachers, especially... ...I did not intend death with Michol. But he spoke so harshly, and accused me of many things, and threatened to expose me, and my father. I meant only to frighten him. But I must confess, it felt good. I felt alive. The power in my veins, the turn of my hand as he twisted inside out. Some would never possess the stomach to witness it. Instead I looked upon it like art. Like observing the amazing brushstrokes of a masterful painter's work... ...my new allies agreed to the plan and to help me cover up the death of Michol. Some were skeptical, but ultimately all were on board. They'll help provide the components needed to create a voodoo doll to help frame Hapenlok for the murder. It should be easily believable, as he is a known victim of some witch, and she has a hold over him they say. The black shaman will help infuse false memories, so even the poor halfling believes it himself. Father has already concealed Michol within the earthen walls... ...I've been growing exponentially in my arts. The black shaman has been teaching me many things, of blood and of shadow. Soon I may be able to pass into the shadows themselves, taking any targets unaware. I've learned the truth of my bloodline. Strangely, it was welcome. For so long, I had felt lost, and apart from it all, despite Dennet's adoration. Now I understand. Now I am aware of exactly who and what I am... ...and he'll discover everything, from Jonathan, to Lana, to Michol, to Hapenlok, and our future plans. I don't need Osment meddling now. Dennet and Quinshon have come up with a plan, and my allies here in the north have also agreed to participate and help. We'll abduct the young Mestaniri man and weave new memories for him. Quinshon has promised to allow me to help this time, to begin furthering my studies... ...to which he denied, but I told him many people would suspect Thadston is not himself, and likely even predict he is a golem, like one of the original experiments they discovered in the woods. But Dennet is insistent that the guise of Thadston be used, to help keep the soldiers in line, and a figurehead to aim at the Rooks to gather the stolen plinite... ...there is now new hope for my mother. If the plinite can be merged with the pylons as Dennet claims, then she'll have some temporary relief for a while. Which is exactly what both Dennet and Quinshon said is needed for the final step. This time, it will work. We will use a living body. Out of the three, Shinann has been chosen as the host. The other two who watched my mother have been ruled out and… ...or so he claims. But I do not trust Irar any longer. I suppose I never should have in the first place. I was naive to confess so much to him. It was not even a year ago that the Church of Koar was hardly a reliable source. I'll get the poison back, or end Irar, one or the other. Part of me hopes he makes it a challenge... ...my brother is dead. I suppose I should be moved by it. But Quinshon says it was a valuable lesson in perfecting the ritual and our powers. I suppose in a way he was dead long ago, when his magic overcame him and he was poisoned by Carenos. But now Dennet has changed his plans. Once my mother's spirit is transferred to Shinann, he plans to have Quinshon weave new memories in their minds, erasing me, erasing Cyph, and giving them a new chance elsewhere. Should I be sad to be so discarded? In truth, it feels liberating... ...was so rewarding. It's finally come to pass. I have bent the shadows to my form, stepped through them, even walked upon the sacred ground of Koar's altar. I was alive as I tore the Deacon open. It was far more exhilarating than any death before. From the shadows, I can render flesh so easily perhaps even poison just as effortlessly... ...Quinshon has told me to be prepared. When Octaven comes, and the ritual with my mother and Shinann is completed, we will quickly depart amidst the chaos. We will need to travel by foot, since the Talon may bring about adverse effects moving through the shadows with it at this time. He's arranged transport to Phannus, then into the Sea. He will take a new name, and I as well. I've chosen to honor my mother's middle name... I will be Rachel."
The tattered end of his grey cloak swept across the floor as he approached the bar. The hour was late, and only a handful of inhabitants sat at various tables or corners within the bar, some of them watching as he entered. He sat upon the stool, setting his dented helm down on the countertop and nodded as the barkeep slid him a bottle of ale. He looked up, steel grey eyes staring coldly into the bartender’s face and suddenly the tavern grew quiet. “Where is she?” Thadston snarled more than asked. The barkeep furrowed his brow, “Where is who, sir?” With a blur of speed, Thadston smashed the bottle on the counter and lunged forward, driving the jagged and broken glass bottle into the barkeep’s face with gruesome results. He leapt up to his feet and kicked back with one leg, sending his stool flying towards another man who had now been encroaching on the commander. The stool broke against the attacker and he stumbled away. Thadston grabbed his helm and hurled it at another attacker who came from his left, the side of the helmet breaking the man’s nose and dropping him to the ground. Thadston growled as an arrow arced across the room and bit into his shoulder, but he simply grabbed the arrow, pulled it from his flesh and flipped it around and charged the archer. His assailant was caught off guard by the man’s speed, and Thadston drove the arrow into his throat. Effortlessly, he drew his sword from its sheath and had it to the neck of the last person in the room. “Where is she?” He snarled again “Up…upstairs…” the younger man whimpered, before suddenly having Thadston’s sword cleave him from neck to groin. The grey-eyed man charged up the stairs like a rampaging bear, door after door splintering into a thousand pieces with each kick. He reached the final door and bashed it open, only to find a half dozen bodies scattered about, their blood painting the floor and walls like a crimson tapestry. Standing near a wooden chair and some frayed rope bindings, stood a woman with wide hips and curly bluish-black hair. She twirled two polished daggers between her fingers before placing them back into her baldric. Her dark brown eyes regarded Thadston and she smirked. “What took you so long?” Casiphia smiled. Thadston did not.
The air shimmered before her.
She watched helplessly as the caverns began to fade, the others watching her, many of their faces twisted in anger or scorn. She reached out with her hand and her mind. She tried to grab one of them, any one of them, to try to latch on and not be left behind. Then, in a final desperate attempt, she tried to twist one of them, any one of them, to try to pass along one final strike.
Then just like that, the plinite cavern was gone.
Naimorai stood for a moment, frozen in disbelief over what had just happened. Her mind raced with a thousand different thoughts, calculations, and she dare not admit it, but fears. She heard the stomping feet of the Chastonian soldiers approaching to where the ruckus had been, and so she quickly slipped into an alleyway, tucked away into the shadows. She held her breath as they passed.
Just then she turned to leave the other way and she bumped into a young man who had been reading through a thick tome and paying no attention to his path.
“Oh! I am so sorry!” The young man said as he fumbled and dropped his book. Naimorai was quick to bend and pick it up. She flipped the tome open, viewing its inside contents and a scribbled name.
“Peter?” She asked.
The young man nodded, taking back his book.
Naimorai smiled, “I’m going to need your help.”
The faint light of a torch cast shadows in the divot of the scars along the man’s scalp in the shape of a crown.
He marched silently, dragging a body behind him, before hoisting it up and tossing it onto a pile of other corpses. “These are all we’ve collected for today.” He then turned and positioned himself along a wall within the earthen chamber.
Shambling out of the shadows came an old woman, her back gnarled and bent, her fingers long and twisted, with her eyes green and glowing, like two swirling pools of acid. Her hair was frazzled and her scalp speckled with blisters. Raznel cackled at the sight of the corpse, “Oh, that will do just fine my boy, that will do just fine!”
The old witch sifted through the bodies, running her jagged fingernails along their arms and faces, muttering to herself, and at times licking her lips. “Yes, these will be fine for now.”
The young man turned to leave, but the witch stopped him.
The young man nodded, his eyes cold and solemn.
Raznel smiled, “I’m going to need your help.”
The pool of blood began to bubble as the blue-eyed man slowly emerged from its depths.
Two Tehiri women approached, carrying a long red robe for the man and draping it over his flesh as he ascended from the sanguine pool. He nodded to them both before crossing the chamber and pausing before a smooth obsidian wall covered in archaic sigils. Hovering in the air beside him, was a red orb. He held out his hand, and the orb floated down into his palm. His eyes went to the sphere, regarding it, as if studying something within.
One of the Tehiri women interrupted the silence, “As the harvest comes closer, what will be done now, lovib o keke?”
Grishom Stone grinned from ear to ear, as the scarlet glow of the orb bathed his face in a crimson light.
“We will make the heavens bleed.”
A cold wind passed through the woods, stirring the deep blanket of brown fur needles covering the ground. Snow continued to fall, gradually blotting out the earthen tones of the forest floor. Heralded by a heavy snort, a large brown boar slowly moved south across a moonlit valley, approaching an expansive black forest.
Stretching out like a blemish against the natural surroundings, the black forest looked foreboding, resembling a tangled nest of huge black roots, twisted and coiled over one another like a gnarled black ribcage.
The boar sniffed at the ground and then suddenly paused, as if on alert.
With blinding speed, a length of thorn-covered black roots burst out of the forest and speared the side of the boar! The animal squealed and frantically tried to charge off, but the roots pulled the beast to the ground and dragged it into the depths of the black woods.
Shortly after, the dying cry of the beast was replaced by the silence of night.