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Chapter Five: Bapdis Orjo's Gift of Reconciliation

Jan 11, 2017 12:13 am
Zangua is dreaming.

At first there’s nothing but whiteness and cold, so all-encompassing he wonders if he has fallen into a snowdrift, or gotten lost in a blizzard. In the dream, he can’t feel his body, only the paralyzing core of coldness he has been reduced to, a heart of ice with nothing left around it. With his dream-logical mind, he comes to accept it, even feels a sense of comfort in the fact that the ice and snow has stripped him of everything but this: here there is no battered, exhausted body imprisoning his soul, no Servants of the Six-Pronged Crown hounding his every step, no self-important Hazardians with unknowable motives to worry about trusting. There is only the cold, and the cold will never leave him.

The white blankness before him shifts. He is no longer buried within it, he is floating, and he can see different shades of white now: the dark white of the mountains and the ground below, pregnant with whatever lies buried beneath, the pitiless clear white of the sky, the blue-green white of the massive glaciers sliding inexorably between the mountains, carving out valleys, smashing into each other, sinking into hidden seas.

You will find me.

One of the glaciers is calling to him. He lifts his dream-sight toward the horizon, to a frozen ridge crusted thick with snow and glacial ice.

I will find you, and I will conceal you.

Zangua sees and knows his glacier immediately, set like a jewel within a mountain valley, snow resting upon it like a shroud.

You will conceal me, and you will seek to understand me.

He floats to it, allows himself to circle around it. There is a presence within the glacier, a state of being and potentiality so great his thoughts cannot contain even the idea of it, and yet, it is vulnerable. Zangua knows that.

I will understand you, and I will protect you.

The floating point of dream-perception that is Zangua drifts down closer to the glacier. The presence inside the glacier did not come from this land, did not seek out this place.

You will protect me, and you will attend to me.

It endures the cold. It is not of the cold. Zangua wonders, am I of the cold? Or do I endure it? Did I come from this land? Did I seek it out? Or was I placed here? He sinks down further, to the sides of the glacier, and sees the tracks in the ice and snow.

I will attend to you.

He circles around the glacier and sees the mouth of the cavern that leads within.

You will attend to me, and you will bring ME FORTH

Zangua wakes up. He is sitting upright, breathing hard, drenched in icy sweat. It’s light out, it’s only mid-afternoon. Felor is still snoring peacefully in the bed next to his. He blinks his eyes. Already the details of the dream are slipping away, receding like melting ice. Only the last voice that spoke inside his head remains a vivid memory.

He sits there for a long while, until his breathing slows, and the chill leaves his body. Within the span of half an hour or so he feels calm again. A bad dream in a bad city after a full day and night of madness, he tells himself. He gets up to refresh himself and clear his head with a hearty meal and a good drink, and considers finding his way to a weaponsmith to buy a glaive to replace the lost catchpole.

When Zangua returns to his bed, late that night, he lays his head down and sleeps peacefully, untroubled by strange dreams.

The next day, after enlisting Vhezyen’s help to identify and unload some of the treasures they took from the Badgerways, purchasing new equipment and provisions, and attending to some other long-neglected orders of business, the party reconvenes at the Caryatid for an early supper and to discuss their plans for the immediate future.

Once inside the common room, the proprietor approaches you. "You have visitors waiting for you in one of the private dining halls. A man of the Trigon and a young lady. This way, if you please." She gestures for you to follow.
Jan 11, 2017 11:12 pm
Vhezyen, naturally drawn to mystery, is most curious. "Well, I must say... while I absolutely treasure what can be found within texts and the like, the last couple of days have been exciting, to say the least. Events are unfolding in a most peculiar way." He looks to the proprietor, then back to the group, putting down his drink and pushing his chair out as he does so. "Shall we?" Not really one for social rules, he draws on one anyway, a hint of a smile barely showing. "It would be rude to keep them waiting."

When the group is ready to meet in the private dining hall, Vhezyen would be happy to put down dinner and go. Also, Vhezyen recalls what he knows of the Trigon, (assuming History, +10). As Octo let us know this is coming, I'm guessing we don't have much to be concerned about here.

Tacking on my portent rolls for the last long rest after the History check.

Rolls

History - (1d20+10)

( 6 ) + 10 = 16

Portent 1 - (1d20)

( 8 ) = 8

Portent 2 - (1d20)

( 12 ) = 12

Jan 11, 2017 11:25 pm
As you know, Vhezyen, the Trigon is the administrative center of Hazard, consisting of the Hierophant and the Innocent's respective palaces, an assembly hall for the representatives of the various city districts, a public forum, and the offices of the city bureaucrats and other officials. For a rough visual analogue, picture St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, but triangular.

The placement and layout of the Trigon is only about 200 years old; prior to that the Innocent was housed at the Temple of Ziu-Pater, the Hierophant gave pronouncements from the now-destroyed House of All Gods in the New Temple District, and the other governmental offices were scattered about the city.
Jan 11, 2017 11:54 pm
"I wager I know who our visitors are," Domarc says.
Jan 11, 2017 11:57 pm
Zangua burps. He is surlier than normal this morning, but chalks it up to recovery from the stresses of the past few days. With a grunt, he prepares his equipment to see to these visitors.
Jan 12, 2017 4:48 am
"Better go see what he wants, then." Leth says, still rubbing sleep from his eyes. "Could be worse. I was half expecting guards to show up looking to arrest us by now."
Last edited January 12, 2017 4:49 am, a total of 1 time
Jan 12, 2017 4:53 am
"Day's still young," grumbles Zangua.
Jan 12, 2017 12:13 pm
Mordred immediately stops picking at the unpleasant human food in front of him, and heads for the private room, anticipating a reunion with Zora.
Jan 12, 2017 1:48 pm
Earlier in the day:
At the inn, with his shiny new armour laid out and ready to don, Felor decides to experiment with the magical rings that Vhezyen had identified. The newcomer claimed that they could somehow store mystical energy or magics for later use. Kneeling down to pray, he concentrates on the rings and attempts to imbue them with Fjorgyn's holy power.

Attempt to charge one ring with Hold Person, and the other with Cure Wounds (level 3 slot).
Quote:
Mordred immediately stops picking at the unpleasant human food in front of him, and heads for the private room, anticipating a reunion with Zora.
Felor stands from the table, weary from the previous day's events despite the rest, and still unused to his bulkier armour. He follows the others to the private room.
Quote:
"I was half expecting guards to show up looking to arrest us by now."
"Aye, and who says this isn't them?" Felor mutters, right hand lightly resting on the small hammer hanging from his belt.
Last edited January 12, 2017 4:36 pm, a total of 1 time
Jan 12, 2017 4:45 pm
"I'm going with Gethro and the young lady from outside the the estate on the night of the fire," Domarc says, taking a last bit of food from the table before rising. "I have a sense that the lack of guards interested in us might be because some institutions in the city think we still have a use."
Jan 12, 2017 6:01 pm
Let's step back in time for a moment as Felor attempts to charge the rings.

Felor prays over the copper rings, willing Fjorgyn to imbue them with her holy power.

Edit: The first ring starts to swell and glow with heat, and then pops, showering the immediate area with droplets of molten copper.

Felor, do you still want to try charging the second ring? Also, feel free to make an Arcana or Insight check for analysis of what just happened here.

And now back to current events.

Entering the private dining room, the party sees Gethro Moag and Zora seated at a long table. Tankards of ale and a board of bread and cheese are set before them. Zora lifts her head at your arrival, palpably relieved to see you all.

"Welcome. Have a seat," Gethro says, standing up out of courtesy. "The Cronim didn't want to let this one out of their clutches, but the Hierophant felt it was important for us to have this chance to confer, so he made it happen. They'll be expecting her back before sundown, though."

"I'm a danger to the city," Zora says dryly. "Can't have me running around just anywhere."

"Well. The Servants of the Six-Pronged Crown are the danger. Far moreso than we previously thought. That much is true," Gethro says. "To attack a noble house so brazenly...such a thing was unthinkable. And yet, it happened. Tomorrow, the Innocent will profess that the gods have revealed to him that Madam va Locra and her daughter have invited the conflicts of rival witch-cults into the city, and the Hierophant is expected to order Zora banished from Hazard. It is not likely he will have much choice to do otherwise. However. All of us here know that this will not eliminate the threat posed by the Six-Pronged Crown, will it?"

"Noooo," Zora says. It sounds like she might not be working on her first tankard of ale so far this evening.

Gethro smiles patiently. "Many witnesses saw Gorham and the dragonborn fly north when they fled the city. We believe they have a stronghold somewhere nearby. There is a full cohort of the Hazard Army stationed at Solyhill. Their commander is loyal to the Hierophant. At his word, they will set forth to confront and destroy the Servants of the Six-Pronged Crown, and, if she lives, rescue Madam va Locra. For you see, because of this clever girl, we believe we can divine Gorham's location."

Zora takes a satchel that she'd been holding on her lap and places it on the table. She opens it, and pulls out a cloth that she unfurls for all of you to see. It's Gorham's hood, black and pointed, with a strange face embroidered on the front in white thread: round eyes and a vertical mouth.

"It still holds traces of his breath and strands of hair. Much can be done with this." Gethro looks at each of the party members in turn. "But about one crucial matter, we remain ignorant. We do not know why they have gone to such great lengths to obtain the Iron Sphere of Sthombo. You have the copy of the manifest I gave you. For the safety of Hazard and Bload, I would ask you to make the journey to Vorch and learn what you can about the significance of the Sphere. I can make all the necessary arrangements to get you there."

Zora packs the hood back up, all the while staring rather intently at Mordred.

Rolls

Just rolling some dice - (1d20+6)

( 4 ) + 6 = 10

Molten copper spatter damage to Felor - (1d3)

( 2 ) = 2

Jan 12, 2017 7:21 pm
Mordred tries to intuit what is up with Zora.

Rolls

Insight - (1d20+3)

( 12 ) + 3 = 15

Jan 12, 2017 7:28 pm
Your best guess is that it has to do with wondering if you were able to decipher the string.
Jan 12, 2017 7:39 pm
"Vorch? Hmm. I think my grandfather had a second home there. I always felt safe when I would visit. Know what I mean, Zora?" He is trying to ask Zora if she feels safe with Gethro.
Last edited January 12, 2017 7:40 pm, a total of 2 times
Jan 12, 2017 7:55 pm
"Banished, huh?" repeats Zangua. "Why not let her go with us, if that's the case? Aren't we essentially getting kicked out, too?"
Jan 12, 2017 7:57 pm
Zora and Gethro both give Mordred a puzzled look. "You may have it confused with a different place," Gethro says gently. "Vorch is an untamed island to the south of Bload."
Jan 12, 2017 7:59 pm
"If Zora leaves, I presume you all would be allowed to leave with her," Gethro tells Zangua. "You don't seem to be of much concern to anyone right now. Chorcarz seems to think of you all as little more than hired mercenaries."
Jan 12, 2017 8:21 pm
"Hmm. I suppose I must. I was very young the last time we went there. I'm sure he had a second home by the sea, though."
Jan 12, 2017 8:28 pm
Zora squints, then her eyes suddenly grow wide. She throws a quick glance over to Gethro, then looks down at her tankard, then back up at Mordred. Gethro, meanwhile, is elaborating on the fact that while Shamush acquitted himself quite well in fighting off the Six-Pronged Crown's men on the ground, Vad, being a sorcerer, who as well was placed with Martjan and Zora at the time of the attack and was incapacitated -- but not fatally harmed -- during the fighting, has attracted some suspicion. The Hierophant did not deem it prudent to spend the political capital necessary to get him a temporary release to attend this meeting, and Gethro expects him to be exiled along with Zora.
Jan 12, 2017 9:33 pm
Vhezyen addressed Gethro. "You mention arrangements for the journey to Vorch. Exactly what would they be, and how long do you expect it would take to get there?"

Perhaps we just let Zora go? The 6PC got what they wanted, otherwise they wouldn't have released her. She's a big girl, I'm sure she can take care of herself. From a gamer standpoint, I'd like to 'leave room' for any new NPC's we meet, rather than 'collect' them. Mainly, I feel like the party is 'freer' on it's own, more self-reliant.

Ever mindful of potentially unearthing mysteries, Vhezyen will do a History check on Vorch, in an effort to recall any events, legendary people, ancient kingdoms, past disputes, recent wars, and lost civilizations.

If it's alright, I'd like to throw an Arcane check on top of that, as part of his recollection, as an effort to recall any mystical traditions or legends of magic artifacts they might have.
Last edited January 12, 2017 9:34 pm, a total of 1 time

Rolls

History - (1d20+10)

( 10 ) + 10 = 20

Arcane - (1d20+10)

( 19 ) + 10 = 29

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