Chapter 07:

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Session Number: 151
Date: Sunday 28 October 2012
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Arrian Rog2/Clr10 (Fergus) (kills: none)
Calico Drd12 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lionel Rgr6/Wiz1/ArcA5 (Ash) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal12 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz12 (Densial) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

8am. if tor is coming, he will be at the hill by 10am. the scouts there have been asked to redirect him to the area where the star was found. ro advocates going to the hill but it is too late not to risk missing them. ro lio, tell us when it is 11am will you? cal turns into a bird and circles above.

10:30 cal sees tor and one other in their guard uniform approaching. warns ro. she and the others wander over to the area with the star slab. ro well met, friend tor. your meeting went well? tor I met with some of the other guards that I could trust. Only Nenris would come. ro have you felt it necessary to keep this from your mistress? tor there's no telling what she will do, she is very unpredictable. I would rather find proof of something before going to her. ro wise. so you will accompany us? tor we will. ro and you know of our intent to visit the other camp first? we are on good speaking terms with a man named Pope. We have extended the same invitation to him as we have to you. tor I will be willing to travel with him, but I will not cross over to their island. ro again, wise.

leave. get to bridge. cal stays with tor and Nenris while the others proceed. get to settlement. calm guards with signal. see Pope and Elmore, the wiry scout. they will accompany the party to the centre. ro tells pope that they were successful in bringing along two from the other tribe. ro names tor. pope says he hasn't heard of him.

go back to bridge. tor and pope eye each other suspiciously. cal pulls ro aside. cal by the way, you know the guy I say in the woods north of the hill, when you met tor? that was pope. ro oh. cal I only remembered now. ro he watched and didn't act? cal he never saw you. after I warned you and you told tor, that's when he said we have to go. ro interesting. ro eyes pope and tor. ro perhaps we should have an understanding between us while we are together? we will be civil, no fighting, no spying. we are here for one purpose and that is for the benefit of all - to get everyone off this island. I hope we can all agree that that is what we are here for? just remember that when, not if, you leave this place, you will be free men to go your own ways and none of this will mean anything. they agree. move out, following the coastline and anton's previous path. get to the sand bar. lio takes half an hour to find the tracks. follow them inland. lio thinks it will take up to 2 hours to get in the vicinity of the ruins, as marked on the map.

ro talks with everyone their tactics. arr our goal is to stop people being trapped here. find out what is going on, why are they still doing this, work out a way to stop it. ro getting home seems to be entirely dependent on their participation. pope it's not dependent on them. ro it's not? how do you know this? pope legends, rumours about people getting off the island without going near the centre. ro there are other places? but the books that you read tr, talked about the meeting people sending the kings home again. tr as an aside, we meet this dwarf, then we find a hole in the ocean and a whole bunch of information about this place, and then he says oh, you should go that way. all the answers are over there. I'll go with you, make sure you get there ok. you first! ro you are saying that he might be in league with them? tr aye. ro the only information we have about these people in the middle is from boron. tr aye. something to bear in mind.

agree to talk.

half way between the green line and the ruins, alo's tracks veer to the right, to the north. keep following them. 5 minutes later the tracks become erratic, as if alo was lost. lio almost loses them. 10-15 minutes to reacquire, then they stop next to a large cairn. not marked on the map, not at the ruins yet. magic still suppressed. no tracks leading away from the rocks. arr searches the rock pile, others assist. ro lio, is this particularly difficult terrain to follow tracks on, or is it more like he has just disappeared, he should have left tracks here? lio he should have left tracks. his last tracks were made with his two feet together. no indentations of a staff. arr finds a trapdoor underneath the rocks. no traps.

ro have any of you been here before, do you recognise this place? tor not my territory. pope just stares at the trapdoor. pope never seen it before. arr opens it. very dark inside, there are stairs that go down and head west. ro I am tempted to leave these alone. arr why? ro because I don't want to follow these, pop up in the middle of their camp, surprise them and lose any opportunity or hope of negotiation. tr I should think surprise is a good idea. ro surprise is a good idea if you want to kill them. right now, I think we should go with plan a and talk to them. if it doesn't work, if we are shut down, then I might consider using this, but not in the first instance. arr don't we want to know what happened to alo? I'd like to check this out. if it comes to a point where it looks like it is emerging, then let's stop there, but this is knowledge that we don't have that we could have before going to speak to them. tr bor what do you think? bor I'm not too sure about this trapdoor, I didn't know it was here. ro how long did you stay with them before you were evicted? bor a couple of weeks. sensemot 32 truth. pope wants to go down. ro agrees. ro lio you're our best bet when it comes to following tracks so you should go; I think neither tor nor pope should go because the practically are at war with these people. we are neutral still.

pope ignores ro and enters trapdoor. ro pope! pope I'm just going to check it out. it's a straight line, it's not like you need to track much. ro do you know what you're looking for? pope something interesting. ro can you track? pope not really no. ro then please let lio do his job. I am also concerned that this place might be guarded, and that your face might be known. pope let's stop talking and go, then. come on lio, whichever one you are. ro do you insist on going with him? pope yes. ro alright. then I feel it is only fair that tor should have the same opportunity. tor if you are not all going, then I will stay with you here. ro I intend to stay here. arr I'll go. tr says he will too. Elmore and Nenris stay.

fire up a sunrod, lio/arr in front, pope/cal in rear. ro how long will you be? arr give us an hour. 2 mins into underground trek, lio sees magic and turns into an eagle. changes into a blink dog. cal keeps an eye on pope. keep following tracks. 2 more minutes see a chamber ahead. still dark. enter. 30x30, empty. another exit straight on. arr goes there and listens. hears nothing. search. along centre of southern wall see seven holes in the wall in the shapes of the seven objects. cal sees no magic in the room. nothing on the opposite wall. tracks continue through the room. listen: hear footsteps to the west. arr holds up hand, signals he heard something and then retreats. all head back to exit, leave and close trapdoor. explain findings. ro have to assume they are coming out here. so we either wait for them, or move on. might be better to be discovered by their scouts and brought in. arr not here, the less they think we know the better. all but lio move away, leaving him to hide and observe the trapdoor. lio leads party away then returns. after a time he returns. lio no one came out.

tr we have a staff it's nonmagical but alo didn't have a magical staff and he left. ro do we try it? tr no we need to find out what's going on here, we can't just leave.

head towards the ruin. after a few minutes magic works. ro eagle's splendour. arr magic vestment on ro's shield. cal casts Eyes of the Avoral for bonus to spot. spot checks: ro 12 arr 37 cal 37. lio pope arr cal see a couple of people 120' ahead, attempting to hide. ro I think we need to let them do their job. I think we keep walking noisily. do that. tr pulls out bow so he looks less like a spellcaster. both see the party, one heads south and stops still in sight, the other heads west out of sight. continue on. the one that stayed close tries to stay hidden and watches the party. ro tr shall I get the staff out? tr no, we don't want them to know that we've got it. 300' in front, see the stone brick wall of the ruins, 20' high. no one in sight. stop 100' hear a voice "announce yourselves!" ro lady ro Kharag of the silver hand, paladin of Moradin, at your service. the others follow suit. pope introduces himself as Jack. whispering. arr who are we addressing? someone please wait. pope thought he heard them say bor's name. go to the gate on the south side! ro as you say. head south. wall would take 10 minutes to walk its length. walls crumbly at the top. get to southeast corner, head west. see 2 guards. ro may we approach? guards you may. ro approaches, hands at her sides. guards why have you come here? ro to speak to your leaders about this place and yourselves. guards we will let you speak with them, but bor is not allowed inside. ro might you give us the courtesy of a reason why? guards no. cal were you expecting this bor? bor yeah, I was. ro bor are you being absolutely honest with us? do they have any reason to not wish you here? bor when I first came here I sort of did a couple of bad things. ro such as what? bor I'd rather not discuss it. bor asks guards if he is allowed to wait outside; he is. tr asks if he should stay with him, bor declines. tr will our friend be safe here? guard so long as he does not try to enter. tr what's your name? guard Emund. barred gate opens and party is lead through.

see lots of ruined buildings inside. cal spot 34 sees someone watching from far away, around a corner, looks like the guy he was chasing in xxx south of ashhope. watching the party. no one else is paying much attention. about 20 people in the vicinity. being led to the centre. cal cannot see any rings on fingers. the building they are being led to is two storeys tall and in good repair. many people around bear staves and wands. ro detects evil, no. two people walking towards party. one is female human, well-dressed. other is male elf. no staves, wands, symbols. woman walks straight past, man stops. greetings my name is Samon. not evil. ro greetings sam my name is Rowaine Kharag, originally from Kharag Monastery near Minehome. sam undoubtedly you people are here so you can try to return home? arr partly for that. ro are we in the right place to return home? sam you are. ro how is that achieved? sam we have our ways of transporting people. he is scanning the party. tr looks around for an ambush. feels like he is being watched, but no one is reaching for weapons. arr what is this place? sam this is our home, where we live and try to make peace with our deities. arr who do you follow? sam I don't follow one personally. others do. ro what is the dominant religion here? sam we don't have a dominant anything here.

Chaotic, then ;-)

arr did you come here through the portals? sam some of us yes, but most of us were born here. ro for generations and generations? sam only a few, we have been here for about 50 years. arr it's a puzzling island. there seem to be lots of people trapped here. sam most of the people we know to have come here we have sent back. some of the more dangerous and unreliable people we have kept here. arr what do you mean by dangerous and unreliable? sam the nature and history of this island means we must keep it a secret. We know that if the people on this island were to leave, they would not keep it secret and it needs to remain so. tr why? sam I can't discuss that. ro how do you guarantee that those you send back keep this place a secret? sam we have magical means to tell if people are lying. ro correct me if I am wrong but it would be your strong preference if no outsiders came here. sam due to the history of this island, we have to keep it open. ro this is quite a tension. from a certain point of view, people are being trapped here against their will, and you are the people holding the key to their freedom. sam their ability to leave isn't just located inside these ruins. dotted around the island are other places. ro these locations and the knowledge of how to use them is freely known? sam no. ro so what use is that to them? sam there is no knowledge required to use them, it is just their location. They are well-hidden. I'm sure you know some of the history of this place, that it was once a meeting place of kings. in order for people to come here, our ancestors had to build a mechanism for them to leave of their own free will. unfortunately we are unsure as to the location of these other exits; that lore was not passed down. ro you have been here for generations. I presume that one of your highest priorities was to track down these areas because you do not wish the knowledge of this island to get out. it seems like you would be anxious to have these areas under your control. you have been unsuccessful for all these years? sam we have occasionally tried to find them but it becomes increasingly more difficult the more people that come here. we believe that anyone intelligent enough to find these places would not willingly let others become trapped here, so they would not disclose their locations. tr why does the island have to stay open? sam that is not within my authority to discuss. tr whose authority is it? ro the woman that passed us? sam yes. tr where is she then? sam she is busy. tr I can wait. ro have you heard of the name alo? sam yes he came here about a week and a half ago. arr did you send him home? sam no, he found one of the locations and sent himself.

both arr and ro believe sam is telling the truth, but not all of it.

sam he described an area that sounds similar to our descriptions of the areas. he accurately described the interior of one of the locations. ro so you know what they look like from the inside? sam yes. ro could you describe them to us? sam it depends. mostly they have big square stone walls with seven symbols on all four walls.

surely they would know about such a place right under their nose…

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