Chapter 02:

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Session Number: 132
Date: Sunday 29 April 2012
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Arrian Rog1/Clr10 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Calico Drd11 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lionel Rgr6/Wiz1/ArcA4 (Ash) (kills: 2 rabbits, 3 squirrels and a bunch of guavas)
Rowaine Pal11 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz11 (Densial) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

The party are gathered in the strange clearing with Trina's submerged root, about a hundred feet from the island's edge. Calico, in the form of a large dog, looks off towards the forest inland. He looks back towards the others. Troll looks for a stick to throw.

If there is a chance to take the piss, Troll will take it.

"Any idea how far to go?" Rowaine asks. Calico shakes his canine head, then leaves the clearing. The others follow.

The forest trees are large and widely spaced, giving reasonable visibility of the way ahead and the sky above. Rowaine, Arrian and Harley take off and circle above. The forest stretches out for vast distances. They see two mountains in the distance, in different positions than before, the closest nearly forty miles away.

Holy crap, this thing is huge! It would probably leave a trail of dead vegetation in its wake! You should be able to track where it has been! Park this over Trina, and she would die! A great hideout for vampires!

There are multiple clearings in the distance - grassed areas, some rising to form hills. They see no bird life, no curling trails of smoke that might betray civilisation. They descend and continue on foot.

Rowaine asks Lionel and Calico about the local fauna. "There are creatures living here," Lionel says. "Squirrels and rabbits and the like, but fewer than I would expect to see on the ground below." Beau conveys that Calico agrees.

After an hour of walking Calico shows no signs of stopping. "Who is carrying food?" Rowaine asks. No one is. "I'll handle it," Lionel says, disappearing into the forest. The others continue onward, led by Calico.

Nothing much happens over the next hour; Lionel returns with two rabbits and three squirrels.

"Calico," Rowaine asks, "do you have any sense that we are getting closer?" Calico looks at the ground in a gesture that indicates he does not. "Why are you a dog?" Troll asks. "He prefers to be in animal form," Beau answers on his behalf.

A man that can't talk because he prefers to be a dog, with an eagle interpreter that talks like a man.

"Wouldn't this be faster by air?" Arrian asks. Indeed it would. Harley carries Rowaine and Troll with Arrian and Lionel in tow on a Disc. Calico changes into a pegasus as his bat form would be outpaced by Harley. They climb into the air. Calico make a beeline towards a hill in the distance. He lands at its foot and sniffs the ground, then starts climbing the hill. Rowaine suggests that he wait while she and Arrian first take Harley and scout the area from the air.

Arrian's sharp eyes scour the landscape as Rowaine directs Harley in a lazy circle around the hill. It is entirely uninteresting, a uniform pile of grass-covered earth without even trees or rocks to break the monotony. They return to the others.

"It's definitely here, Calico?" Rowaine asks. The pegasus nods its head, pawing at the ground. He starts walking up the hill.

The ascent takes ten minutes. At the top, Calico takes his human form. "The grass is magical here. Does anyone speak celestial?"

"I do," Troll replies.

"The necklace is telling me to say something in celestial," Calico says, "but I don't know what it means." Calico whispers the celestial phrase to Troll:

"Dispel the rift and open the gateway for it is time to amend the mistake of a Roulae."

"That makes no sense at all," Troll says. "What is the necklace saying to you?"

"It is telling me to say the phrase now." Calico starts saying the words.

"Hold on!" Troll yells. "Stop that!" Troll prepares a spell, in case Calico continues with the phrase. Calico stops half-way through.

"What?" Calico says, looking at the others. "He said it was nothing special!"

"Back off," Troll says.

"Let's just cool down before we activate any magical effect here," Arrian adds.

"What was the phrase, Troll?" Rowaine asks.

"It talks of opening a gateway of some kind."

"Anything about the nature of this gateway? Like, for example, a gateway to hell?"

"Not really."

"Could you look at magic on this hill and figure out what is going on?" Arrian asks. Troll takes a careful look, aided by a Detect Magic spell. The grass does indeed bear a lingering aura of magic, from the evocation, conjuration and abjuration schools. The aura is strongest at the hill's crown, gradually fading away to nothing at its base.

Troll looks at the others. "If you guys go down the hill a bit," he starts, "there are a few things I want to try." Rowaine's alarm bells sound. "I'm good here," she says, planting her feet like that of a dwarven defender.

"Troll," Arrian says, "what are you doing?" He too senses something is off.

"Trust me," Troll says. "It'll be safer if everyone just goes down the hill."

Arrian believes him but is unmoved. "It might be safer for you if we stay here and you tell us what you intend to do. Let us make our own choices."

"No dwarf left behind, Troll," Rowaine adds.

"I prefer that you all left," Troll retorts.

"Noted. Are you going to do anything, or are we going to have to start digging?" Troll sighs and says the celestial words aloud. Atop the hill in front of the group appears a four-walled timber structure with a pitched roof. There is a closed single door in the near wall.

"Calico," Rowaine says, "I presume the necklace is telling you to go there?"

"It says go inside the building," Calico confirms.

"I dunno," Troll says. "I am feeling very 'led' just now, and I don't like it!"

The group circumnavigate the building, inspecting it closely. "Don't touch anything!" Troll warns, keeping his Detect Magic spell active. The structure is made entirely of timber. It has no windows, just one door with a wooden, turning knob. It looks to open outwards. There are no inscriptions to be seen, and the architecture is not distinctive. Arrian checks the door for traps, finding none.

"This building is not showing any magic at all," Troll says.

"Calico," Rowaine says, "you were following a lead which was another creation of the sun elf - is that right?"

"Yes," Calico says. "That is what Harkon told me."

"I have not heard of any such structure," Troll comments.

"Neither have I," Arrian adds.

"It is very towerish to me…" says Rowaine, thinking back to the appearance of Elondel.

"Maybe…" Troll begins. "I don't want to just do anything for the sake of it."

"I understand there is some mistrust here," Calico says. "I am only doing what the necklace tells me."

"That is hardly comforting," Rowaine says. "You don't know what you are doing, and neither do we. Arrian, do you have a Divination spell?"

"Not today…"

"I don't mind waiting a day," Troll says. "For safety's sake."

The group set up camp at the foot of the hill, off the strange magical grass, at a location near the treeline with a view of the building's door. Rowaine asks Calico about the grass; it is not the same sort as that found in Trina's grove or at her root here.

"It may just be that we have awakened another 'tree' or 'tower,'" Rowaine postulates.

"I don't think this thing is either," Arrian replies, "but it may lead to one."

"Let's head back and ask Trina, Elondel and Abbey," Troll says.

"Dare we leave the building here, in the open?" Rowaine asks.

"I can stay," Lionel offers.

Calico offers to assume pegasus form to carry someone back to Trina's root. "Nope, that's OK," Troll says. Troll memorises the area for an hour, in order to be able to Teleport back. He and Rowaine will travel to the root on Harley, Lionel first indicating the direction they should travel. They see a clearing in the distance, about five hundred yards to the right of where Lionel points, and aim for that.

"Arrian," Rowaine whispers, eyeing Calico, "keep an eye on him. Don't let him do anything stupid."

Arrian and Calico spend time establishing camp. Lionel hunts for more game.

Rowaine and Troll head out, on Harley. Troll keeps looking over his shoulder to gauge the return journey. They arrive at the island's edge. Troll is pretty confident he can guide them back, he saw some fairly significant landmarks that should be easy to follow. After landing in the clearing, Rowaine lights a sunrod and hammers it into the centre of the clearing - a beacon to aim for. They then take off and fly over the island's edge, descending to cloud level and start flying to the left. Troll regularly calls out Trina's name. They figure that if they follow the cloudline around the circumference of the island, they will pass within sixty yards of Trina's root.

Five minutes later, the pair see a break in the cloud. They reckon they have travelled more than twice as far as they should have.

"Troll!" a woman's voice says with an element of alarm from the area of reduced cloud. It doesn't sound much like Trina. Rowaine and Troll exchange glances. Is it a trap? They investigate anyway, Rowaine urging Harley into the clouds. Troll draws two wands, Rowaine readies her lance.

The clouds break up, revealing a face. "Trina asks, are you Etella? Are you Troll? If you are, come with me, I will show you where she is. She told me to direct you."

"She does these sorts of things," Rowaine says. She addresses the face. "What may we call you?" The face turns and retreats, saying nothing. The others follow. The face disappears into the cloud, which quickly dissipates. Ahead is Trina's root.

"How may I help?" Trina's voice asks.

"We're coming through…" Troll says, then thinks. "In a bit. Hang on."

Troll uses the Marvellous Pigments to draw a timber platform, tethered to the mountain's underside with anchored steel cables. He starts adding a suspended wire rope ladder to reach the top without the need to fly. Rowaine waits patiently. Troll looks behind him. "You want to go on through?"

"No," Rowaine answers. "I'll wait here. I'm fine."

The task takes Troll two hours in total, and is now familiar to him for the purposes of Teleporting.

The group transport to Trina. Troll asks her about this new building while Rowaine asks the same question of Elondel and Abbey. None of the entities sense a new presence or can offer anything to explain the phenomenon.

Trina is the youngest of the trees.

Rowaine, Troll and Harley transport back to the floating mountains, appearing on the new platform. "Great, that works," says Troll. "How about the ladder?" Rowaine and Troll carefully climb up, Harley flying protectively underneath. Once safely atop the island, they head to the clearing where Trina's branch once grew, verify they are in the right place, then Troll spends time memorising the area. They then fly to the clearing with Rowaine's glowing sunrod.

"Think you can lead us back?" Rowaine asks Troll.


Troll is good on his word; the group make it back to the hill where the others wait.

"Did you remember food?" Arrian asks.


The group survive on rabbits, squirrels and berries, then spend the night, maintaining a watch. The next morning, Arrian prepares and successfully casts a Divination spell:

"We intend to go into the building…"

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