Salvation

Writing's On The Wall
The continued adventures in the Crypt of the Shining Zultan

Flashback: Ubah informs the group that he feels the pull back to the Olvani Islands. He thinks he is ready to go back and help his people. Jadeflame considers this a betrayal and pulls out of Ubah, claiming Misae as its new master—although it shows interest in Haseya as well. Misae is later visited in her dreams by Donkey, who asks for reassurance that their plan to make their own path is still in effect. Misae agrees to it.

Lorday, 23 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group awakens after a night of horrifying nightmares that have shattered the minds of Tomren and Taegon, who begin to hallucinate. The group finds the flameskulls in the next room, fully reformed and sentient but petrified. They do not attack, but explain that they have instruction to guard the room they were taken from. There is a truce between the party and the skulls as they switch rooms.

The group explores the dungeon again and finds a secret door they missed that leads to a room full of statues. Misae investigates an owl head on the wall which causes a large statue of Taeron to attack Taegon. After the fight, the group finds a secret door in the owl head statue. They crawl through a crawlspace to a room with a pool of magical water. They deduce that this water enchants arrows with the Weave—they enchant an arrow of each color of the Weave, and Misae makes plans to share these arrows with Arnold.

The group finds several cyphers written on the walls of these chambers and slowly begin to piece together what the writing in the flameskull chamber might say. The session is ended with a combat encounter with a sarcophagus slime and the recovery of a precious and iconic piece of adventuring gear— a bag of holding.

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Guardians of the Tomb
Mummy lords are dicks, you guys.

Truday, 18 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The standstill at the farmstead continued. Arnold is approached by one of the farmers' neighbors, who seems suspicious, but Arnold uses suggestion to compel the man to continue walking. Tensions flare between Tomren and the duo of Haseya and Misae until it appears blows might be exchanged. Arnold enters the home and attempts to mediate between the two groups. Eventually, a compromise is agreed upon: the group will retreat back to Jasserah for now, search for an answer in the Library of Sjet when they gain entrance, and revisit this problem after they've researched the nature of the Weaveborn. The group returns to Jasserah, get rooms at the Shining Gem Inn, and get incredibly drunk.

Norday, 19 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group spends a day recovering from bad nightmares and worse hangovers. Arnold and Tomren explore the Pario Moska again since they're in town.

Venday, 20 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group sets out for the crypt of the Shining Zultan. They make camp off the roadside at nightfall. Ubah has a cryptic dream about his grandfather, Sindoro.

Taursday, 21 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group travels through the open wastes to arrive at the Tomb of the Shining Zultan. As they draw closer, their food suddenly spoils and the water in their canteens evaporates. Taegon hears his name spoken on the wind, and, after puzzling how to enter the crypt, the whispered words instruct him to spill his blood. He does so, and the door opens.

The inside of the crypt is a horror show, with signs that people had been buried alive here very evident. A ghastly cackling can be heard throughout the entire complex, and all of the dungeon is black as night. The first room the group enters is guarded by a pair of minotaur skeletons and an animated mummy. This proves to be a devastating battle for the group, who manage to survive it but require a short rest afterward.

During the short rest, an evil entity infiltrates Misae's mind and tears her apart from within, leaving her spasming on the ground and babbling incoherently. This episode lasts for almost ten minutes, and Haseya attempts to soothe her friend.

The group carries on, finding nothing in this room, and doubling back to another series of rooms where they find a statue of a naked elven woman bent over a pool of water. Arnold drinks the water and nearly becomes petrified, and is scolded by Haseya for acting recklessly. The group enters the next room where they see strange symbols on the wall. Arnold begins to cast comprehend languages and Misae explores the rest of the chamber. Misae stumbles across an altar, upon which are two skulls and a pile of coins. The skulls animate, revealing themselves to be flameskulls, and immediately attack Misae. This fight proves to be even more lethal than the last, nearly claiming the lives of the group as they are pummeled by a barrage of fire bolts and fire balls. Eventually, these skulls are shattered, and the group places their remains in the petrifying pool of water, as Haseya knows that these creatures reanimate after an hour.

Taegon knows that certain creatures of particular power levels can have a corrupting influence on their lairs. This is usually the case with ancient dragons, dread vampires, or demon princes, but it also extends to mummy lords. He presumes that a mummy lord is responsible for the madness that rest induces and the spoiling of their foodstuff. Whether or not this mummy lord is indeed the Shining Zultan, and, by extension, Taegon's grandfather, nobody dares answer. Having exhausted their abilities, the group decides to risk a night of sleep in the crypt.

Oathday, 22 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group's slumber is wracked with horrifying nightmares. Haseya and Arnold steel themselves against this mental onslaught, but Taegon, Tomren and Misae wake up with temporary insanity: Taegon and Tomren are haunted by hallucinations, and Misae has lost the ability to speak altogether. It becomes apparent that sleeping in this crypt is a danger in and of itself, and the group begins to worry if they will even make it out alive.

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Child of Fire
A new crisis threatens to break newly-formed bonds.

Taursday, 14 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The battle with Qolzythirant, the pale orange dragon, begins. Haseya is quick to cast offensive spells while Tomren attempts to blind the dragon. Tomren's spell fails, but he is successful in weakening the creature. When he does, his face becomes sunken and pale, and Haseya notices.

Misae quickly runs to the device keeping the giant vulture held in a cage high overhead. After determining it would take too long to crank it down safely, she cuts the cable, sending the cage hurtling downward. The impact injures the vulture, but also breaks open the door. The king vulture, three times the size a man, steps out and begins attacking the dragon.

Taegon teleports on top of the dragon and, with his mythril katana, begins slashing into the beast. The dragon hurtles upward 80 feet in the air, corkscrewing as it flies to shake off Taegon, but Taegon holds fast.

As the dragon rights itself, Taegon pulls out his katana and infuses it with the holy powers of his deity, slamming it into the base of the dragon's neck. The dragon slumps in the air and Taegon finds himself plummeting toward the ground in a deadfall.

Quickly, Haseya commands the king vulture to meet Taegon midair, saving him from certain death. The giant bird rockets upward, grabbing Taegon free from the dead dragon as the corpse falls to the ground, katana still lodged in its skull.

Qolzythirant hits the ground with a tremendous boom. The vulture lands beside it gracefully, and Taegon tumbles out of the vulture's grasp, springing to his feet and pulling his weapon free of the freshly-slain dragon.

Haseya spoke with the vulture, who knows of Ga Jakadi and agrees to serve him as his mount. The group began dismantling the dragon body, scavenging it for all manner of organs and parts. Misae, a little grossed out by the process, wanders the ruins of Arakoy and finds a dead gyppa woman draped over a nest containing four eggs. One has been broken, but three are intact. Misae calls for Haseya, and Haseya collects the eggs, delicately holding them in her papoose.

Misae continues exploring Arakoy and finds Qolzythirant's "hoard," a smattering of coins and woven relics. Within this hoard is also a suit of chitinous full plate—after casting identify, it is revealed to be made from the carapace of the tlincalli, the scorpionfolk of the eastern wastes. Taegon claims the armor as his.

The group makes their way back to Karamezra with the help of the king vulture. Taegon and Tomren ride back on Sunshine, as the king vulture refuses to touch it.

Oathday, 15 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group arrives back in Karamezra and present the king vulture to Ga Jakadi. He lets Moras go as promised and names the vulture "sneaky bear" in his own tongue after Misae and Haseya. Moras hugs everyone and acts like an idiot. The group flies back to the Sand Circle so Moras can confront them. Moras gives them a scathing lecture, and Daphissa apologizes for her actions, saying she will lend her help to the group. Just then, Ga Jakadi arrives in the circle, worried about the "traitorous druids." The druids are furious that a gyppa is within their midst, and Ga Jakadi is furious that it appears an alliance is being forged. The group quickly sides with the gyppa, and the druids open an attack on the Kha and his mount, and exile the group. Sebba Kurtbach, the timid dwarven druid, leaves with the group, disgusted by her archdruid's actions.

The group returns to Abbas's farmstead with Moras and Sebba in tow. They see smoke on the horizon and rush to investigate. They are relieved to find Abbas and Ozra fine and healthy, burning a large bonfire, as the fifteenth of Whitefall is the Day of Flames in Bratana. They are fed ice cream and sweets and offered a boat ride back to Karna.

They arrive in Karna around eight in the evening. Haseya confronts Tomren about how he looked sick when he cast spells, but Tomren claimed to know nothing about it. Moras wonders why Tomren and Haseya went off to be alone and asks Misae if they're "a thing." Misae is immediately suspicious of Moras's intentions and Moras quickly becomes flustered. 

Once the group arrives at the Butterfly hideout, Narida invites Misae out to explore Karna. Misae agrees, and the two go out for a night of drinking and mischief. The night ends with Narida saying she lost her mother and is fighting to free the slaves so nobody has to go through what she went through. Drunk and misreading the moment, Narida tries to kiss Misae, who politely rebuffs her. Narida laughs it off and apologizes, and the two girls return to the base, where Haseya is waiting with worry and anger. Narida disappears into Arnold's room and doesn't come out until morning.

That evening, Taegon has a dream that he is lost at sea on a boat in a storm. He hears the Lady of Light calling for him and for his aid.

Arday, 17 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group begins their journey to Jasserah to complete Tomren's next justicar contract. Before leaving, Haseya meets with a Butterfly-friendly leatherworker to commission a suit of dragon scale mail out of the scales collected from Qolzythirant. The rest of the day is spent in travel.

Truday, 18 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group arrives on the outskirts of Jasserah as the sun is setting. The address leads Tomren to a small goat farm, where a father and his two daughters are finishing daily chores. Upon seeing Tomren, the father commands the daughters to go inside, and he rushes behind them. Tomren casts hold person and freezes the man, who is screaming profanities at Tomren. Eventually, the man breaks free of the hold, and runs inside, grabbing a scimitar.

It is revealed that Tomren's target is Neema il-Aspis, a 9-year-old sun elven girl. Misae is immediately shocked and furious about this, and refuses to allow Tomren to continue. The man begins attacking, slashing at Misae, Tomren, and Taegon. Misae forces Haseya inside the house, where the mother and sister of Neema are terrified of the massive bear creature that has appeared before them.

The session ends here, with the group splintered. Tomren is insistent on completing his duty, while Taegon seems to be searching for a compromise and Haseya and Misae are set squarely against him. The entire Aspis family is furious and terrified, and there doesn't appear to be a good solution in sight.

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Sandstorm
The Sand Circle isn't everything the group expects it to be.

Truday, 11 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group leaves Karna early in the morning to head south to find the Sand Circle. As sunlight wanes, the group encounters a friendly goat herder named Abbas who invites them to stay at his farmstead overnight in exchange for helping him with his chores. Abbas and his wife Ozra feed the group and Abbas regales them with stories from his adventuring days. He gives them a handful of trinkets and potions he has kept as mementos of those days hoping that they will come in handy for the group's future endeavors.

Norday, 12 Whitefall, 6934 EY: Walking through the wilderness of the Bratanan deserts south of the Gypparra mountain range, the group eventually discovers an enormous sandstorm. Althoug initially worried that this natural disaster would move their way, Tomren studies it from afar to see if it is moving. As he discerns that it is remaining still, Haseya knows instinctively that that is where the Sand Circle Grove is hidden.

The group enters into the sandstorm, where they manage for a while, but eventually lose Misae, who collapses and fades from vision. Arnold is swept away by the powerful winds. Haseya desperately tries to keep everyone together by tying rope. Ubah and Taegon both lose consciousness, and Haseya attempts to pull them out of the storm, but eventually gives in to the fury of the storm. Tomren is the only one standing and makes a desperate dash for the eye of the storm. He nearly makes it, but finally loses strength and consciousness.

The group awakens to find they are being cared for by a dwarven druid. A tall, muscular sun elven woman enters the mud hut they are in and introduces herself as Sift il-Abreen, demanding to know what the group is doing in the Sand Circle. The group is confused, as they had been under the impression that the Sand Circle needed help. Sift arrogantly explains that the Sand Circle is composed of only the fittest and finest druids in the world and would never have need to 'call for help.' She offers to let the group meet the archdruid, which Haseya initially declines. Sift responds by calling it the cowardly way, and Haseya gets pissed and agrees to meet the archdruid.

The group is led into the Sand Circle's heart-tree, which is a gargantuan cactus that has been hollowed out and used as a place to house the majority of the druids here. Walking a spiral staircase all the way to the top, they end up in a lounge room occupied by a gnomish woman with wild green hair curled up with an enormous clouded leopard. Sift introduces the group to the gnome, who is named Archdruidess Daphissa Beestinger. Daphissa is just as arrogant and haughty as her subordinates, and quickly puts to rest any notion that the Sand Circle needs help. Sift mentions that perhaps this confusion has to do with "that human druid" who came through a few weeks ago. Daphissa is furious that Sift has spoken out of turn, but is trapped by the group who demand to know what's going on.

Daphissa explains that Moras came through, and he was sent on a trial to prove himself. She refuses to tell the group where they sent him unless they can prove their strength by receiving a venomscar tattoo. Many of the group volunteer for this task, but because Arnold seems the most eager, he is chosen first. Because of his dwarven resilience, Arnold takes the venomscar tattoo without losing consciousness. Daphissa seems angry, but is true to her word, and tells the group that she sent Moras to Karamezra to steal a gyppa egg.

The group set out immediately southward to find Karamezra, making their way through the mountainous terrain of Gypparra. Eventually, it becomes obvious they will not find the city before nightfall, and they set up camp. Tomren has a dream where he meets a talking crow named Lot. 

During Misae's night watch, the ground begins to rumble and quake. Misae moves to be at the ready just as an enormous dune worm burrows through the rock and knocks down Haseya's tent, attempting to eat the woman inside. Another dune worm attacks Tomren in his tent, and a battle ensues with the group exiting the victor.

As the group huddles and patches up their wounds, they are suddenly visited by a half-dozen winged scavengers. These gyppa, vulturefolk, work quickly to hack into the savory meats of the freshly-killed dune worms. They make snarky comments to the group, until their attention is caught when they begin to get asked about Moras. When the group shows sympathy toward the gyppa, agreeing that stealing their eggs is wrong, the gyppa reluctantly agree to show them the way to Karamezra.

Venday, 13 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group travels through the night and arrives in Karamezra, exhausted. They learn that Karamezra is an entire city carved into a cliff face. Because the gyppa can fly, there are no ropes, ladders, or stairs to scale the cliff. A few consider scaling the cliff face, but Haseya transforms into a crow and flies to the top of the cliff, where it plateaus into a courtyard leading up to a magnificent palace, also carved into a cliffside. There, she finds Moras in a cage, who urgently shoos her away, saying he's thankful help has come but that if it looks like druids are helping him then the gyppa will turn their wrath on the Sand Circle and, while the Sand Circle are "dicks," he doesn't want to see anyone die on his account.

Tomren produces a 24-foot ladder from his robe of useful items and uses it to scale the cliffside city. The rest of the group follows behind him and eventually reach the top, exhausted and breathless. The guards here demand to know what's going on, and with a few quick words from Arnold, the group is granted an audience with Kha Ga Jakadi, leader of Karamezra.

Ga Jakadi proves to be a menacing, vicious, and angry creature who has every intention of eating Moras after several days of suffering. He goes on at length about his hatred for sun elves and the druids, and how their stealing gyppa eggs as sport could lead to the ruination of his very short-lived people. The group shows sympathy for his plight, and Ga Jakadi is surprised. He reluctantly agrees to release Moras if the group will go to a village called Arakoy, the last village to rebuff Ga Jakadi's attempts at unification, and serve as his emissaries to convince them to join his nation. He also knows they have recently captured a king vulture and desires the bird as a mount, and says the group should return with this animal as proof of their successful mission. The group is allowed to stay in the palace that day and evening to recoup and sleep. Arnold has a dream where he meets a rose-colored dragon that calls itself "The Warden."

Taursday, 14 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group set out in the morning westward to find the village of Arakoy. After nine hours of arduous and perilous travel, the group finds what they think is Arakoy—but they find it in absolute shambles. The buildings are smoldering ruins, and gyppa corpses are strewn about, some burned, some half eaten. As the heroes begin to piece together what happened here, a terrible roar can be heard alongside the beating of wings, and a drakirant—a corrupted orange dragon, a dragon of zeal—lands near them, launching into a pompous tirade before issuing an attack.

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Butterfly
New allies found, and new plans are formed.

Norday, 5 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The day was spent exploring Samsandi. The group converted their gold to electrum, Arnold bought hot weather clothing for the group, and Tomren and Krystof visited the Tomb of Mhal'kazet. 

Venday, 6 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group left early in the morning, having an altercation with an abusive noble on the outskirts of town who was treating his wood elven slave very poorly. This soured Haseya's mood for the remainder of the journey to Karna. The rest of the day was spent traveling to Jasserah, where the group arrived late in the evening.

Taursday, 7 Whitefall, 6934 EY: After making a quick visit to the Pario Moska, the group left Jasserah to continue their voyage south to Karna. They began to see the temples and crypts in the Valley of the Zultan to the west. Tomren begged for a detour but was shot down.

Oathday, 8 Whitefall, 6934 EY: Travel to Karna continued. During this day, the group passed by the Tomb of the Shining Zultan, and Krystof explained that it housed the remains of an "albino" sun elf who had went mad and was reviled by the sun elves.

Lorday, 9 Whitefall, 6934 EY: More travel to Karna. On this day the group encountered a human apothecary named Godwin Stafford who was relieved to see fellow outlanders. He was desperate to return home to his wife and sick sister, and the group bought enough of his merchandise to pay his way back home.

Arday, 10 Whitefall, 6934 EY: The group arrived in Karna around noon on this day and were immediately taken in by its beauty and the wonders it contained. They bought a horribly translated guide to the city and a map. Their first stop was the Falcon's Perch Inn, where they discovered that Zafar had already purchased rooms for them. They then traveled to the Library of Sjet, and were disappointed to find out that it was only a single, simple tower. They were required to fill out forms that included a waiver of liability, which aroused much suspicion. Finally, they were given small discs that would light up when it was their turn to enter the library.

At this point, the group split up, except for Taegon and Haseya, who explored the city together. Each had their own little mini adventure, described below:

Tomren: Tomren visited the theater district, where he saw the Dancing Djinn, one of the twelve wonders of Karna, and was magically photographed next to it. He was present during the arrival of a foreign dignitary from Realm; an individual of great importance: a member of the Valorous Family. Finally, Tomren received another justicar mission, this time taking him back north to Jasserah.

Taegon: As Taegon traveled with Haseya, he noticed more and more elderly and wealthy sun elves mutter at him, or spit at him, or stare at him with hostility. Eventually, an old elven woman explained to Taegon that he looked like the Shining Zultan. It was revealed that the Shining Zultan was actually an outsider with glowing eyes who was obsessed with accumulating knowledge and eventually went mad. He was entombed with his followers and the knowledge he had accumulated because the sun elves believe it was the knowledge that drove him mad. Taegon learned that the Shining Zultan's name was Taerah ur-Stariiz, and that his long lost grandfather's name—Taeron Stareyes—could not be coincidence.

Arnold: Arnold did indeed have an adventure, but it will be chronicled at a later date.

Haseya: Seething over Misae sneaking off without saying anything, Haseya explored the city with Taegon. Her first encounter was with a wealthy sun elven nobleman and his spoiled son who wanted his father to purchase Ahiga. Haseya politely declined, even when the man offered 5,000 gold pieces for the fox. At this point the man became verbally hostile, shouting epithets and throwing up rude gestures. Haseya held her temper, but as the merchant walked away, another elf approached, this one clad in orange robes and with a bald head. He said he was called Razeer al-Wahl, and that he was a monk of the Hungry Flame. Razeer claimed to be able to see Haseya's inner rage, and that Haseya had wanted to kill the man. Haseya denied the claim, but Razeer insisted upon it. He told Haseya that she was a perfect candidate for his order, and suggested that she seek out the Monastery of the Hungry Flame, south of the Scorpion Wastes.

Later, Haseya and Taegon walked by an alleyway where a handful of urchins were kicking a vulture. Haseya scared the children away, and the vulture, to her surprise, spoke: "Sand Circle. Trouble. Send help." Taegon healed the bird and it flew away, but Haseya knew that going to the Sand Circle was a priority.

Misae: Misae snuck away from the rest of the group, tired of being treated as a child that needed to be monitored at all times. She visited the market district, enjoying the Verdant Square. When she encountered an ice cream vendor, she was quick to try to purchase some—but a tall, handsome sun elven man interrupted, insisting that he pay for her instead. The man introduced himself as Eskandar za-Tavana, and proved to be quite charming. He commented on Misae's beauty, and suggested they get tea sometime. Misae agreed to the date, but before further plans could be made, Eskandar was called away by a magical message from his employer—the Lord of Servitude, who oversees the slave trade in Karna.

That evening, Misae was returning to the Falcon's Perch when she was approached by a man who looked at her as a commodity. He offered 5000 electrum for her and asked who her master was. Misae was quickly getting angry and worried when a sun elven woman swooped in, smacking her across the face and shouting at her for wandering off. The elven man identified this new woman as "Kamaria," and the woman quickly ushered Misae away.

Kamaria apologized for hitting Misae and asked her if she was with "Ubah, Arnold, Tomren and Taegon." Confused, Misae said yes. Kamaria then said she had people she needed to introduce Misae to, and led her away.

Ubah: Ubah was taken in by the moskas of the Parandur. He found himself in a moska devoted to Reti, the ostrich-god of healing and protection. There, he asked many questions of the priests, who eventually suggested to Ubah that he visit Aya Jasheed al-Atar in Khariib.

When the group assembled in the evening, they were worried to discover that Arnold and Misae had not made it back to the inn, and Zafar had yet to check in. The proprietor of the inn informed the group that they had been left a note. This note gave instructions on how to find a secret hideaway where an anonymous individual said they wished to discuss a business proposal, and not to wait for their friends.

The group apprehensively followed the instructions, which led them to the Mouse and Oyster Pub. Here, they found a secret staircase that led underground. What they discovered was indeed a secret hideout—the secret headquarters of the Butterfly, a resistance movement seeking revolution in Bratana.

Immediately, the group recognized Beasts for Peace playing on the stage here, and that the band was accompanied by Arnold. Dancing on one of the tables was Misae and a new friend she and Arnold had made—the flower girl from Samsandi, whose name was Narida sil-Ghaznavi.

Zafar came up to the group and apologized profusely for not contacting them sooner. He dodged questions about himself to introduce the group to the leaders of the Butterfly: Kamara sha-Aridus, and Mitra sha-Najafi. Mitra was an older woman who had a sharp tongue and a clever wit, while Kamaria was very focused and business-oriented. Kamaria explained that the group were known in Karna and considered heroes by the Butterfly because of their exploits in Molentius and the destruction of the Brotherhood of Chains. This act caused a destabilization in the slave trade that the Butterfly hopes to capitalize on to begin their revolution in earnest. The group agreed to help the Butterfly with their movement, and Kamaria explained that they weren't on a strict time table—that remaining unpredictable in their timing was actually an advantage—and that the sands of Bratana would test each and every member of the party in some way and that hopefully these tests would lead the group to allies that would aid the Butterfly.

Misae tried to mend things with Haseya, but Haseya was still furious at her friend. Narida tried to get Misae to sneak out for more fun, but Misae declined, explaining that she couldn't risk Haseya becoming more angry.

Haseya was the first to meet Theletos, a bizarre creature made mostly of crystal but with four spindly arms that separated into eight total hands. The creature communicated via envisaging, giving Haseya mental imagery such as a dove in flight, a child holding out a flower, and a purring kitten. Despite the creature's horrifically odd appearance, its innocent nature endeared it to Haseya. Kamaria approached and explained that the creature just showed up one day, but it had been giving images of breaking chains and freeing slaves, so she thinks it wants to help and has allowed it to remain.

Arnold tried to use the rod of wonder during Haseya and Misae's heart-to-heart speech, but Narida appeared and took the rod away from Arnold, bopping him on the head with it and tucking it away between her breasts. Arnold was stunned when the rod did not return to him as it normally did.

Tomren had a reunion with Emanaya, the felice warlock who helped the group escape initial captivity in the Valley of Chains. It was mixed emotions for Tomren, who was wary of Emanaya's warlock nature but enjoyed her personality. Emanaya explained that she was hear to help the revolution, because she believed in freedom. After a back and forth about using magic "to kill," Emanaya suggested a walk. The two walked the hallways of the Butterfly's underground hideout until they were alone. Emanaya suggested that Tomren had a darkness inside of him and that she could feel it. Tomren continually said he didn't know what she was talking about until Emanaya moved her hand from Tomren's chest to his face, causing his skin to become pallid and his cheekbones to sink in. Tomren quickly pushed her hand away, returning life to his face. Emanaya made the suggestion that Tomren could be rid of this "darkness" if he took a patron. Tomren flatly denied, saying he would not be thrall to another power. Emanaya argued that he was already a thrall—a thrall to the Towers, a thrall to the Empire, and a thrall to death—and then walked away, leaving Tomren to stew in anger and frustration.

With a large handful of missions and leads to pursue, the group agreed that the top priority was helping the Sand Circle druids, who sounded as if they were in trouble. Haseya wanted to leave immediately, but was talked into resting for the night by a concerned Zafar. Taegon, Haseya, and Misae returned to the Falcon's Perch Inn, and the group rested after a very long day.

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Demons in the Night
Things get heated on the Emerald Serpent

Arday, 27 Deadtree, 6934 EY:  The group decides to tackle Tomren's justicar bounty to bring in Ka'theres Moonstalker. Zafar accompanies the group on this mission. Ka'theres ends up being a phoenix-soul sorcerer who is an accomplished spellcaster and nearly kills the party, but Zafar is able to render him unconscious, and Tomren claims his bounty. After the fight, Ubah makes it clear to Tomren that he will no longer accompany him on justicar missions. Tomren, unwilling to force anyone to help him, says he understands.

Truday, 28 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The group meets with Ara Jakata, the captain of the Emerald Serpent, who has agreed to ferry the crew across the Angan ocean for a reasonable fee. The ship sets sail that day, and the adventure on the seas begins.

Norday, 29 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The ship continues sailing southward. The group attracts the attention of an immense dragon turtle, the guardians of the shores of Sarenul, who swims alongside the ship for several tense hours before losing interest and drifting back to the Sarenulian shore.

Venday, 30 Deadtree, 6934 EY: An uneventful but pleasant day of travel. Misae gets her tan on.

Taursday, 31 Deadtree, 6934 EY: Another uneventful but pleasant day, but in the evening, the group is ambushed by a gang of five bearded devils and a bone devil who have been sent by Ruzazel to claim Jadeflame from Ubah. Ubah resists the demons and fights them, but is severely injured in the encounter. The devils say this was a warning and that next time Ubah had better be prepared to surrender his weapon. Haseya kills a bearded devil by herself, but nearly dies in the process. Zafar turns on Ubah, infuriated that Haseya, who has become a close friend to Zafar, nearly died, when Ubah only a few days ago expressed a certain amount of cowardice in helping his friends with their troubles. Zafar and Ubah have a brief but fiery argument before Zafar turns his attention to healing Haseya. Misae stays up all night watching over her friend, making sure she recovers.

Oathday, 1 Whitefall, 6934 EY: A day of recovery and awkward silence amongst the group. Haseya receives a letter. Otherwise, an uneventful day of sailing and travel.

Lorday, 2 Whitefall, 6934 EY: A crystalline dragon is spotted portside of the ship and Ara Jakata calls everyone up to see it. He explains the goldrak, or crystalline dragons, are wardens of the oceans and open waters. The group admires the dragon for some time, until a megalodon frightens the dragon out of the water. The dragon attempts to escape, but the attempt is futile; the massive shark catches the dragon out of the air, dragging it underwater for a meal.

Arday, 3 Whitefall, 6934 EY: An uneventful day of sailing to Bratana; the weather becomes more arid.

Truday, 4 Whitefall, 6934 EY: Land is spotted around 1 in the afternoon. By three, the ship has landed safely in Samsandi, gateway to Bratana. Zafar explains that he is leaving the group to ride ahead to Karna to assess the situation and hopefully grease some wheels. The group explores Samsandi, looking for supplies or sight seeing. Arnold encounters a beautiful flower girl and buys out her entire stock; in exchange, he receives a kiss, and a curious memento: an amethyst pin in the shape of a butterfly.

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Lost in Port Siraston
The ninth largest city in Pryme is kind of a shit hole...

Truday, 21 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The group made a quick exit out of Eruk early in the morning. They learned that a new passenger had joined the Mistress—a hunter named Midolf Parimir. Although initially suspicious of this new passenger, it quickly became apparent that Midolf was what he seemed. The group made it to Eruk that day, and for the first time saw the Dragonsguard, the giant wall that separates Sarenul from the rest of the Great Continent.

Norday, 22 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The group spent a pleasant day exploring Eruk. Haseya and Misae encountered a troop of heibai riders, and Tomren bought a woven relic. The entire group explored an art museum that held many artifacts of the conflict between Realm and Sarenul. That evening, pretty much everyone but Zafar, Ubah and Haseya shacked up with a random stranger.

Venday, 23 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The group spent the day traveling to Matutu. During this time, Taegon confronted Arnold about killing the woman back in Zelgaruk. Arnold attempted to defend himself, explaining it was an accident and that he felt awful about it. He tried to lighten the mood by using the rod of wonder, but ended up getting the group stuck in a pit of butter. They arrived in Matutu that evening and spent the night there.

Taursday, 24 Deadtree, 6934 EY: In the morning, Misae and Tomren paid to scrawl a message on the Dragonsguard, and then the group continued onward to Port Siraston. The journey was mostly uneventful; Misae flirted with the wall guards, and Tomren spoke to Krystof about magic and his time as a collector for the Yellow Tower.

Oathsday, 25 Deadtree, 6934 EY: Another relatively uneventful day of travel on the way to Port Siraston. Discussion was had with Zafar about his horse, which caused him to become very guarded and attempted to divert attention from himself. Tomren received another assignment to bring in a sorcerer named Ka'theres Moonstalker.

Lorday, 26 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The group finally arrived in Port Siraston. When Zafar identified himself as "Zafar za-Farahani" to the gate guard, he was pulled aside. Zafar instructed the group to go on without him and he would find them; Krystof offered to stay with Zafar and check the horses and the wagon. The group was immediately approached by three men: Vitus Armuski, a brusque dwarf who offered to be the city guide at a high price; Connelly Faraday, a jittery young human man who offered a much lower price but seemed inexperienced; and Swift Wind, an articulate and polite wood elf who appealed to Haseya and Misae, offering his services for a reasonable fee. After some discussion, the group agreed to go with Swift Wind.

Quickly, it became apparent that Swift Wind was actually a bandit, and lured the group into an ambush in Corso, a corvo neighborhood known for its crime and brutality. The group made quick work of Swift Wind's minions, but the wood elf himself got away, much to the anger of the group, particularly Misae, who felt personally betrayed.

The group was now hopelessly lost in Port Siraston. Haseya flew up but the enormous city nearly made her nauseous. She was able to determine that the docks were to the south before she retreated back to land. The group wandered for a while, ending up in the Guild District. Here, they encountered a strange shop called the Rainbow Rat. Tomren begged for them to go in, where they discovered it was a shop where one could buy a dyed and taxidermied giant rat, put into a pose, and dressed in clothing of the buyer's choice. Tomren purchased a rat dyed black in a dancing pose dressed as a wizard. Haseya was weirded out by this. Misae bought a tiny hat to put on Haseya when she was in hawk form, much to Haseya's dismay.

The group eventually found their way to the docks but were unable to find an inn. An elderly felice woman agreed to help give them directions if they patronized her, as she was a fortune teller. The group agreed and had their fortunes read, then the woman pointed them to the White Hart Inn—one of the only reputable establishments in Port Siraston. There, the group waited for the arrival of Zafar and Krystof so they could plan their next move.

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The Mysterious Murder of Miss Julie Johnson
I still can't believe you did that.

A very detailed description of these days was written but then lost during a power outage, so this update will be uncharacteristically brief.

Venday, 16 Deadtree, 6934 EY: Group meets with Zafar, told to speak with Krystof Kraus. Zafar agrees to accompany group to Bratana. Krystof met and allowed to come with group to Bratana despite reservations about his 14-year-old granddaughter being left alone to run his shop.

Taursday, 17 Deadtree, 6934 EY: Primarily downtime waiting for Manora to return. Haseya and Misae write messages home. Haseya dreams of a giant crystal that warns her of "the Eye."

Oathday, 18 Deadtree, 6934 EY: Manora arrives successful from her mission. A majority of the Dunezar conflicts are resolved, at least temporarily.

Lorday, 19 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The group aheads out with Zafar and Krystof in tow aboard Farlock's barge. They meet another passenger, Ileena Bayle, who is traveling to Sarenul to consult with oracles to determine where her missing son has gone.

Arday, 20 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The barge makes a pit stop in the city of Zelgaruk to sell some cargo and bring on more cargo. Haseya, Misae and Arnold, curious about all of the missing children, goes to the Imperial outpost to find documentation. Arnold fucking kills an innocent woman. Misae and Arnold are imprisoned, and Tomren has to use his authority as a justicar while Haseya used her shapeshifting skills as a druid to get them freed. The group returns to the Indigo Blade Inn, where they rest and (hopefully) plan a quick escape in the morning. Misae has a dream about a donkey who tells her she isn't special but he wants to help make her special and forge her own destiny.

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Jadeflame
The beginning of something big.

Lorday, 12 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The heroes continued their exploration of Opha'copa, the Jade Ziggurat. Their encounter with the basilisk was deadly and nearly defeated the team; however, the two who were turned to stone reverted back to normal upon the realization and learning that this was a lesser basilisk.

The group also encountered the undead remains of a naga, which guarded the crypts of Opha'copa. After taking out the guardian, Misae found a snakeskin cloak which she later identified as a cloak of protection.

The group then found the final gem needed to open the door, the Ruby of Shim, but had to fight a black pudding in order to claim it. After this combat, the group agreed to bar the door to the room they were in and risk spending a night in the ziggurat.

Although the group was not attacked, they were greeted by a visitor in the night; something attempted to get inside the room, but could not get through the barred door. This confirmed the groups' suspicion that something knew they were there.

Arday, 13 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The heroes took the four gems to the large door and inserted them into the slots that fit the puzzle. A mechanism ground the four gems into dust and shards; when the heroes picked up the shards, they discovered they had become infused with the Weave, and were Woven Relics now. 

Upon entering the room, they found a massive chamber that housed a single object; an artifact crafted of gold that looked like an ornate sword hilt without a blade. It hovered in the air above an altar, and light shown down on it from a window above.

Just then, the group was ambushed by the troll that they had been hunting. The troll grabbed the hilt and attempted to wield it, but the weapon reacted to Ubah's presence, and a jade-colored flame erupted from the hilt. The troll, terrified of fire, threw the weapon aside, and charged into battle with just its claws.

Having prepared for this fight, the group made very short work of the troll. Arnold summoned a fire elemental and Taegon scored a very fortunate, gruesome, and critical hit on the troll. Ubah cautiously approached the weapon that seemed to call to him, and Tomren issued a word of warning, but it was too late: the hilt flew to Ubah's hand, and the flame blade burst forth. This summoned an intense booming sound that knocked everyone in the room prone except for Ubah. An enormous column of brilliant green light issued out of the sword and into the sky. Tomren also saw a vision of a man he thought he recognized. And then the ziggurat began trembling and collapsing.

The group made a desperate exit out of the ziggurat, but were stopped in the entry hallway by the guardian of the ziggurat: an opha named Tenoss. The group valiantly fought against Tenoss while the ziggurat threatened to consume them in collapse. They ducked and doged through falling debris and slew the serpentine creature. They made their daring escape just in time, as Opha'Copa exploded behind them. The debris knocked several members of the party unconscious, but all had survived. The enormous pillar of green light still existed, likely visible for miles around. Upon further recollection, Tomren knew the man's name to be Aethyr Phane, and that he had been one of the founders of the Towers of Ten. He also read the words inscribed upon Jadeflame, and knew them to be the words of one of the Towers, but could not recall which. Finally, each heard a voice in their head tell them the same message: It begins. Misae, however, did not hear a voice.

Truday, 14 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The group spent this day traveling back to Dunezar.

Norday, 15 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The group returns to Dunezar triumphant. They immediately travel to the Hunter's Take lodge to claim their money. Leodolf apologetically explained that he cannot issue payment because Floriano had yet to deliver the money as promised.

The group decided to seek Floriano out, but he beat him to the punch; the door to Leodolf's office open, and Floriano strode in with two of his lackeys. Floriano explained that he felt insulted by the group's unwillingness to help him immediately, and said he was only willing to pay half of what he agreed upon. Leodolf, a fan of contracts and rules, warned Floriano that that was not how the rules worked. Floriano then responded with a threat of violence. Leodolf, quicker than his appearance would suggest, produced two flintlock pistols and, with two shots, killed Floriano's men. Floriano produced a dagger, but Leodolf's blunderbuss was already in his hands; he shot over Tomren's shoulder, and the spray of shot hit Floriano's arm, causing him to drop his knife. Leodolf lit a cigar with one of the still-smoking pistol barrels and walked over to Floriano. He used Floriano's knife to carve out the shot, and then used the cigar to cauterize his wounds. He searched Floriano's person and found a bag of gold—an amount equal to the agreed-upon amount. Leodolf told Floriano he knew he would bring the full amount, because Floriano is a coward. He then demanded that Floriano leave, which he did. He turned the money over to the group, who were relieved to no longer have to worry about Floriano, at least for now.

Ruminating on what their next move should be, Tomren identified Jadeflame as an incredibly unique and powerful artifact that deserved further research. He realized then that, after all business had been resolved in Dunezar, the group had one place they needed to go for answers: the Library of Sjet in the country of Bratana, far to the south.

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The Jade Ziggurat
Turns out, opha just love traps.

Lorday, 12 Deadtree, 6934 EY: The heroes spent this day exploring the inside of Opha'copa, the Jade Ziggurat. It did not take long for them to learn that the ancient building was a death trap, and nearly every room or corridor held a deadly trap to deter invaders. They agreed to put Misae in the front to utilize her trap finding abilities.

After a number of traps triggered, some traps disarmed, and a handful of fights against orogs and barbarian slaves, as well as an entire fight circumvented by Haseya speaking to some angry venomous serpents, the group found an enormous door with an intricate and gruesome carving. The door was emblazoned with opha hieroglyphics. Arnold cast comprehend languages to decipher the script, which read:

" The Lady of Torture desires your tears;
The Lord of Slaves demands your blood.
The Lady of Death wants a drop of venom,
The God of War demands the royal gem."

After experimenting with a couple of different ideas, the group abandoned this puzzle to continue exploring the dungeon. After a time, they discovered a giant diamond. Although it held no magic, they began to question if this diamond's purpose was tied to the door. As they continued exploring the dungeon, they discovered a sapphire and an emerald of equal size. During this time, they also encountered a pair of fire snakes that they battled, Misae acquired an elaborate and deadly magical bow, and the group circumvented an encounter with pyfron slaves by trapping them inside their quarters.

The group now approaches what appears to be the entrance to some sort of shrine. Before they can open the door, however, a reptilian hiss issues forth from behind them, and they find themselves cornered by a dangerous new foe: a basilisk.

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