Chapter 13:

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Session Number: 169
Date: Sunday 31 March 2013
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Ariel Sor12 (Fergus/Craig) (kills: none)
Calico Drd12 (Yeran) (kills: none)
Lionel Rgr6/Wiz1/ArcA5 (Ash) (kills: none)
Rowaine Pal12 (Craig) (kills: none)
Troll Wiz12 (Densial/Tammi/Craig/Fergus) (kills: none)
Violet Drd12 (Tammi) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

ro and tr at branch, others on horseback heading out from saj towards the oasis. ro not worth flying for a day. plus we could easily miss them. set up camp inside temple. get water and bedrolls from tri. others travelling.

lio navigates. travel for a day and get to the oasis. dusk approaches. temple is a little under a day's ride away. set watch and get through the night.

Morning. ro and tr figure that the others will try to Teleport to the temple, so wait half an hour. they don't turn up. tr has two Teleports: enough to get there and back again. erase the previous note in the sand and write another one in dwarven: "Gone to saj. R." Teleport to their tent at saj. party not there. go outside, people going about their business. ro must make a will save. makes it. nothing going on at the top of the pyramid. ro asks tr for paper, writes "gone to see the oracles, will come back here." go to oracles, the tent where vio was ministering. realise that there is now a language barrier. try anyway. get nowhere, they do not understand common or dwarven. go back to tent, try to figure out whether the party have been there. notice missing horses. guess that they have set out on horseback for the temple - will take two days. ro what else can we do while we wait for them? ro it all went down at the top of that pyramid. try fudging our way past the Devs. go up to Dev houses. guard outside. ro mimes by pointing at herself and tr, mimes walking, then points to the top of the pyramid and smiles questioningly. diplomacy check at -6 = 26. guard allows them in. taken to stairs and are allowed to the top. ro if its cold we'll go down. it's not cold it's quite warm.

area clear of snow. see stairs going down. ro will save 26 success. look around. ro remembers that the others talked about a big egg thing coming up out of the flagstones. no such thing now. ro asks tr to look for magic: no. see figure walking up the stairs, it's a boy. ro greetings. boy looks at tr. welcome master. how may I be of service today?. ro does not recognise. tr what is your name? boy saju. ro thinks about the figure below (will save 17 followed by int check 14) cannot remember what that person looks like. tr how did you come here? saj I have been here since your family placed me here. ro tr do you remember what saj used to look like? he didn't look like this, but I don't remember what he did look like. something's up. tr will save 13 int check 24 he realises that he can no longer remember what saj looked like. ro that's weird. ro detect evil. no. ro to boy do you recognise me? ignores. tr repeats. saj I have not met this lady before. ro yeah you have about a day and a bit ago. ignores. tr this is my friend ro. we came here yesterday. saj I was unavailable yesterday.

ro is this your domain? saj it is. ro yesterday morning we were a mile and a half down in a subterranean cave filled with luminous beings. saj there was a creature that was trapped there, trapped by myself and tr's parents many years ago.ro what was this creature? saj its name was conchata. it is an immortal, an evil creature. I believe that you would call it a lich, a dracolich. ro how long prior to your freezing did you do this? saj years. ro I regret to inform you that the creature is now at large. saj that would have been difficult. It was the subject of very powerful compulsions. ro except at the behest of tr? saj yes. it would have had to have been led out. ro it was. saj well that explains a bit. these creatures are very powerful spellcasters. I doubt that there is a mortal alive that could best it. ro how did you best it the first time? saj (to tr) there is information that I could divulge, but is information that is normally kept only by your family. tr ro is family. continue. saj my specialty in war is fire, I am able to shape it and intensify it. the downside is that I am susceptible to cold. this pyramid is currently enspelled to be cold and I am undoing them as we speak because they limit my abilities. My other primary ability is in reading and manipulating minds. this is not known by many. I was able to trap the creature by changing its mind, preventing it from doing things. ro can you do it again? saj it was a particularly bloody battle last time. these sorts of creatures do not go down easily. many lives were lost. tr can you leave this place? saj not without a wing. I have backpacks but no wings. I can of course go to the other towers; currently I am forbidden from doing so. ro is that a matter of thawing? saj no. because of my ability to … their limitations are imposed by me.

saj the towers do what they are told. they can be suppressed. there are many things that can cause a tower to become inactive. ro do you know the other 47 towers? saj I know all the towers. it is my job. ro we might have a conversation about that later. you seem rather more powerful than the towers we are familiar with. saj It is not like that. all the towers have their own specialties. for example, I can burn you in a heartbeat so that there is nothing left but a wisp of smoke, but I cannot heal you. ro is that useful against the arachtria? saj that is why this area is now a desert. there was a great battle here. ro how long will it be before you are at full capacity? saj It will take months to unweave the spells in place here. tr who placed the spells here? saj I don't know. ro is that something that we can assist with? saj I don't think so. tr can you use your fire to make the place warm - without laying waste? saj I cannot create that level of fire here, it is too cold. ro the dracolich spinned rather a large tale about ancient ones versus arachtria in times long past. Does this mean anything to you? saj no. ro what do you know of arcanites? saj another of the Roulae's creations. I was never party to that experiment.

I was not party to many experiments because it was deemed unwise.

the others debate how to get to the temple. They could teleport, but that would mean leaving the horses behind - at an oasis with grazing and water, but a place that is visited only every few days. the druids are concerned. vio talks to them with a spell, trying to get them to stay. it is a frustrating and distracting conversation.

ari gets bored and teleports alone to the temple. sees ro's message. she writes: if we do not meet, back every morning. A. teleports back to oasis. asks what to do. lio and ari teleport to the tent at saj. see ro's note. ari casts Tongues on herself and lio, then they head up to the oracle's tent.

man at doorway to tent. have you seen a rather tall blonde woman in armour recently? guard there was someone like that. she came and left again. ari what time? guard earlier this morning. ari did you see which way she went? guard back down. ari was anyone with her? guard no.

vio changes into an eagle, looking for other people in the area.

ari and lio debate where ro might have gone. pyramid? walk to the Devs. ari hello we are looking for our friends, you may remember us the last time we met with your family. a tall blonde woman? she didn't come this way? has anyone else come this way seeking passage to the top? no. we would like to continue looking for them, would it be possible to pass through to get to the top of the pyramid? don't be ridiculous, no. ari I would like to speak to someone above you please. another comes in finer garb. ari we need to get to the top I expect you to help us with that. don't be ridiculous, who are you and what do you want? ari my name is ari of the kingdom of xxx. that's nowhere around here. ari that is no matter. last time we spoke to xxx. serv we shall see. gets woman. she says she has never seen these people before. serv lying is against the law here. ari (to woman) your name is xxx and yyy days ago you brought us a tray with assorted food upon it. woman I am sorry sir I do not recognise these people or know what they are talking about. guards! come! ari who is the liar here? teleports all to the top.

saj would you like rooms, refreshments? ro what sensory range do you have? saj I can sense people and arachtria for some miles. ro are there any arachtria around? saj no. ro are there any automatons within the pyramid right now? saj no. ro there were… statues made of the same material as the arachtria, with red glowing eyes. saj I would have destroyed them as soon as I woke. there are none here now. ro can you sense the presence of this dracolich anywhere? saj no she would easily be able to hide herself from me. it took many humans to fight her to bring her out so that I could ensnare her. ro you can transport us through to the other towers? saj Of course. ro you have a good supply of imithrium? saj yes, plenty. ro would you please transport me to abbey? saj for that I would need permission to communicate with Abbey.

cal turns into a bird and joins in looking for people. can't see any. goes out further. still can't see any.

ari and lio appear at the top of the pyramid. ari are you guys ok? that boy, he wasn't so friendly to me. ro ari, meet saj. lio that's saj? ro we think so. ari what about that old guy? ro this is yet to be proven but we may have been seriously misled and done a great misdeed to the world. if this is indeed saj and if he is telling the truth, then what was below is a dracolich called Conchada. ari oh dear. ari what makes you think this is the real saj? he wasn't very friendly to me. ro I came here with tr. ari that family thing again? ro yes. but it has yet to be tested. see a piece of flagstone go down and pop back up with plates of food. other stone blocks pop up to seat height. ari I left the others worrying about horses. ro you don't know in which direction they are going to go? ari no. ro can you go back and tell them where we are and to come here? ari. yes. we tried coming here by talking to the Devs and they didn't remember us - not even the woman that gave us food. ro it could be suspicion or fear about what is happening to their oracles, the war between their gods and the ancient ones. ari so all that stuff the first saj said about the ancient ones might be poppycock? ro could be. all that talk about differen planes, different times, existing both here and there in pools… I don't know. were this saj be able to transport me to elo or abb that would weigh heavily in his favour but in order to do that saj needs a limitation lifted and I am very reluctant to do that right now. ro what shape was Conchada restricted to take when imprisoned? saj no restriction. ro I can't seem to remember what she looks like. why is that? saj it could be that she has altered memory. ro you say that you are able to do that as well. are you doing it? (sense motive) saj no. seems to be telling the truth. ro you say that this Conchada is able to do this as well? saj yes she was able to use the type of arcane magic that master uses as well as mental powers. ro would she have to be close to do that? saj probably sight. ro looks around, sees nothing. detect evil. nothing. ro were she here, would you know? saj there is a good chance but it is not certain. ro would you please check? saj I have already. I can pick up no anomalies. that might be because she is lying low. ro did etella's parents explain why your communication with the other towers was restricted? saj It was only restricted towards the end. I wipe the memory of me from most of the towers as the war was getting worse it was decided that a lot of the knowledge of the creation of the arachtria would be held here with me and the other towers weren't allowed to know about it. why, I can only assume. ari what about this knowledge about the arachtria? tr can you tell us? saj you wish to know how to make arachtria? I can show you how to do it. ro how do we stop them, once and for all? saj lots of really hot fire works well. ro we have heard snippet of information about how they draw power from something called 'the source'. Do you know about that? I am trying to find a way to stop them all. saj I know nothing about this source, just how to make them. they do run on magical power, I suppose if you destroyed all magic in the universe… if I had known a way to destroy all the arachtria, I probably would have done it by now. ro do you know what lies beyond ankella's and triella's private quarters in elo? saj no. ro is there any way to prove who you are to us? saj open communication with elo and abb and bring them here. ro any other way? saj I could burn a lot of stuff. ro I'm fairly sure the dracolich could also do that. saj I could modify your minds so you think I'm saj. ari what? if he can really do that, then nothing we are doing here can be relied upon. we could get him to alter my mind to think that something provable isn't true. If he can do that, there is no point in not trusting him. ro I respect the offer but I don't like it. what is something that only saj would know? a block pops up with a backpack on it. ro asks tr to detect magic on it. It looks very much like a tower backpack. saj simply take this to either elo or abb and show it to them. lio that doesn't sound like a smart idea. ro how many of these have you got? saj three. ro tr, happy to burn one of these? ari what is it? ro a device that creates a wing, a remote extension of the tower. ari is that what's at tri? ro yes. saj you have been at tri? ro yes. what do you know of tri? saj tri has a branch not far from here. tri is prior to the towers and the war with the arachtria. she is more of a peaceful being, associated with nature. you say that there is a wing at tri? mmm, that was something that your parents thought was ill-advised to do. there has never been a branch and a wing next to each other. I do not know the reason why. ari can you explain the risk that tr's parents were trying to mitigate by breaking communication and erasing the memory of saj? saj there have been a number of henchmen who have been somewhat similar to yours, who have been given access to the tower network. if any of them were to change allegiance or be compelled to do something then I would be able to modify any tower to think something different. ro so you can rewrite the permissions on each of these towers? you could have it so that they didn't know who I was? saj you, yes. I cannot do it for anyone of the Roulae blood. that is intrinsic to all towers. my power could be abused by anyone who has been given permission to access my skills. this limitation has to be removed by you etella, or anybody of your family. ari we probably need to let everyone know that there is a dracolich on the loose, give them time to set up their defences. saj a creature like Conchada will probably seek a refuge, start amassing power and followers. ari did she have a base the last time she was active? saj not that I know of. ro I could go out to the desert with this backpack and activate it - see if it works as a real backpack does. ari but this boy could already have compromised your memories, you cannot count on that. ro I'm interested in trying. I kind of understand your point, but I want evidence - as long as tr is happy with it. tr, are you happy to waste one of these backpacks? tr sure.

ro gets ari to teleport all to the oasis. vio is surprised, cal above notices their arrival. ro gets everyone to back away scores of yards, then deploys the backpack, paying particular attention to its behaviour. It makes all the right noises. she beckons everyone back and asks tr about it, who concurs. two hours later, the process completes. doorway appears. ro tr, can you call saj here? he appears. ro tr can you get saj to take us all back to the pyramid? Including the horses? saj does what tr asks and all appear on the pyramid. ro asks tr to allow her and ari to go back to the wing at the oasis. ro destroys it then ari teleports them back. ro we need to warn the oracles now that the statue guardians have all been destroyed. saj I don't know what you are talking about, there is nobody inside my pyramid. ro there were. saj there is nothing down there that I don't know about or allow. there is nothing there. lio is it possible that there were things there before you awoke? saj there were things there last time I was here. I changed everything when I awoke. I make rooms and corridors as requested. when they are no longer required I get rid of them. My internal structure is maintained by my will. when I awoke I removed all internal structure; there was no reason for it to be there. cal was it the same as when you were last awake? saj yes, it was more or less the same as I made it, given that it was thousands of years ago. ro before you awoke there were metal statues made from arachtria material with red glowing eyes… saj no such objects existed. ro they appeared to have a symbiotic relationship with some humans that live on the side of this pyramid, humans that are called oracles. when these statues were destroyed the oracles died soon after. Is this an effect that you are familiar with? saj no. ro if you have destroyed thoses statues then the other oracles will soon die. saj there was nothing there. I would know if there was anything inside my pyramid and there was nothing there. if there was a person there I would know about it. If there was a piece of metal there, even a very small piece, I would know about it. There was nothing there. ro do you mind if we look down the stairs? saj sure, what do you want it to look like? ari don't change it. go down a flight and see a dead end.

ro we need to speak to the oracles. asks ari for Tongues spell. ro gets saj to transport the horses and cal and lio to the bottom of the pyramid where cal ties them back up at their tent. others head down to the oracles' tents through the Devs tents. ro walks through like she owns the place. they are challenged by the person that showed ro the way up. stop! what are you people doing here? you can't just walk into a person's tent! ro you don't remember me? guy who are you and what are you doing here? ro you showed me through the Dev's tent when I requested access to the top. guy I don't know what you're talking about. you are trespassing get out now before I call the guard. ro certainly, I know the way. ari the same thing happened to me, they're not remembering. leave. head to the orange oracle tent. speak to guard. ro may I speak to the oracle within? guy who? ro the oracle within. you have oracles here? guy what do you mean? it's just us here. ari you are a guard? guy I guard the people that live here. ari may I inquire as to the name of the people who live here? guy the Manthus. ro where are the oracles? guy who are they? are they another family? ro no, not specifically. may I come inside? guy do you have business with anyone here? ro I thought I did. guy then I don't think so. ro ari, should there be an oracle here? am I right? ari yes. will saves for everyone. ro 32 ari 15 vio 25. ari cannot remember what the oracles looked like, having trouble remembering much about them. ari who were the oracles? what are they? ro revered members of this society, prophets in touch with the gods. but you know this… is this saju at work, or is this Conchada? I want to know. do you remember saju? ari the boy at the top of the pyramid? of course. ro do you remember the one before that? ari will save 17 int check 19. ari does not remember a saj before that. ro do you remember that the saj you do remember has the ability to play with memory? ari yes. ro I wonder whether that's what's happening now. I want to confirm this. getting back up there is going to be interesting. do you remember having trouble getting through? ari ro are you saying that there is something interfering with my memory? ro not just yours. ari whose? ro the people here. ari you think that these people are forgetting the same things that I'm forgetting? ro correct. either that, or I'm crazy. ari doesn't think it is a spell - not affecting this many people.

ari I do not like having my memories changed. ro shall we go have a word with saj? ari through the Dev's tent again ? ro no. ari you want me to teleport? vio I can take people up there on my carpet. ro take tr. I don't need to go.

vio takes tr to the top on her carpet. saj master. tr people's memories appear to be changing, including our own. is it you that is doing this? saj no. and I would have to say yes to you if it was. tr then who is? is it anything to do with your awakening, the removal of the spells on this place? saj I don't know. I could investigate, once the pyramid is no longer unnaturally cold. tr the only other person that you said could do such things is this Conchada. saj yes. she has both arcane magic and mind magic, infrequently found in the lands. she was very good at both. there are a number of things in the realm of mind control that could do this, although very few at this scale. I have tried to emphasise her abilities in such a way that you would understand that she has much more available to her than anybody else I know of. I do not know the limit of her powers. for all I know, she is able to do this. there are a number of ways in which this might be achievable. I, for example, could set a trigger in somebody's mind - not yours, I cannot affect you - that something would occur should certain things happen. tr but you are not? saj I am currently expressly forbidden from altering minds. vio can he read minds to see if he can bring the memories back? tr can you? saj yes I can. my abilities were infrequently used; your parents seemed to think that this type of manipulation wasn't a good thing to do. It was only used very infrequently, usually to get information. it is an intrusion that many people would find abhorrent. I myself have no qualms either way but I do feel it is my duty to point out these things. tr how do we detect whether this creature is still here? she is undead, presumably. there are spells that can detect undead, can you do those? saj no, that is not my skillset. ripping minds apart and then burning them, that's my skillset. tr is there any way that we with our abilities could help you detect this dracolich if it was in the area? saj No. If someone blew something up I could probably detect that but I cannot tell one person from another generally speaking. tr if you investigated a person's mind that had been changed, would you get any useful information from that? saj I don't know until I investigate them. tr is there any chance of your investigation harming the person? saj I wouldn't think so. nobody has ever been harmed before. tr if you were to examine someone's mind and they didn't know that they had some memory loss, would you be able to tell? saj possibly. you can see scars on the mind. it depends on the skill and the care of the one that made the change. tr see if you can see if find any memories in my own mind that have been edited. saj ok. tr how long will it take? saj well I've just done it. You appear to have a trigger in there waiting to fire that is going to start erasing memories. tr what is the trigger? saj it appears that anything to do with the creature from down below, a lot to do with the things that occurred around here. every time you think about it or talk about it, your mind tries to forget that stuff. tr can you stop that trigger happening? saj I should be able to. tr do that please. saj that would be altering your mind. tr my mind has already been altered. is there any other way of stopping this trigger happening? saj find the person who did it and make it them take it out. tr do what you can to remove the trigger now. saj it is all gone. tr can you detect the same thing in vio? saj yes. ari I suspect that saj can help, would you be willing? vio yes. tr can you bring any other people in my party here? saj sure, any of them. tr bring all of them please. tr saj says there are triggers planted in our minds to start removing memories of the first saj, whatever it is, when we think about it. I have asked saj to remove that trigger from me. I recommend that you allow saj to do the same thing for you. it is up to you. ro saj can you reverse this memory loss once the trigger has activated? saj the memory has been removed, I would have to implant it again. lio this draco lich thing, could it remove your memories? saj I wouldn't expect so. I am not alive, I do not have a brain or thought patterns. tr can you do something to stop similar triggers being implanted in the future? saj not really. cal can you tell whether the people on this pyramid have had the triggers implanted? saj asks for tr's permission to investigate. tr yes, two people. saj yes they do. tr are there any memories waiting to be lost that they still have? saj no. tr will the trigger have any further impact on them? saj no. tr then don't do anything. tr ro, cal, lio, ari, are you happy for me to ask saj to investigate your minds to see if there are any further memories that you could lose? all yes. tr please do so. saj they all have the trigger, some have had memories removed. tr who wants the trigger removed? all yes. tr please do so. tr tell me the story of how the dracolich was captured the first time. saj there was a battle far off from here where hunters found the dracolich and lured it here. when it was close enough I was able to capture its mind and make it go underneath the ground and make it stay there. tr how were you able to detect it? saj I could see it. it was a big thing blowing the shit out of everything. tr unlikely to work again, that trick. ro Conchada had all her memories when she was in this prison? saj yes. ro so she has just completely bluffed her way out. vio remembers some inconsistencies in the conversation with "saj." e.g. in one part of the conversation she said that the automatons were something, then in another part she said she didn't know anything about them.

ro this dracolich knew an awful lot about the towers. cal it is a mind reader. tr could it have pulled these thoughts out of our minds? saj I don't see any reason why not. tr it could know a hell of a lot more about the towers - and the arcanites - than it did before. tr saj are you aware of the arcanites? saj of them, but I have never met them. tr do you know how they were isolated from this world? saj not of the magic used. Krull might, he was involved in the creation of the arachtria. tr where is Krull? saj physically? what do you know about planets? tr not much. ro where are we in relation to elo and abb? saj what sort of distance do you know about? tr miles. saj you are around 2500 miles ssw of elo, on a different continent. tr would the towers be vulnerable to the dracolich's abilities? saj no, towers aren't built that way. tr what about tri? saj oh I doubt she'd be able to take tri on. tr was there a tower that was involved with the creation and imprisonment of the arcanites? saj not particularly, I think elo probably had a lot to do with that sort of thing, it sounds like his sort of area. He was head tower.

tr I want to reenable communication. saj is unable to do anything with minds without the express permission of a roulae at the time, or someone who has those rights delegated to them. those powers are considered too dangerous to be allowed to be interpreted. tr revokes all rights to do such things and grants them solely to ro. there were about thirty people on the list, saj doesn't expect any of them to still be alive. tr also says that when saj is in conmmunication with the other towers, to revoke any permissions those people might have for any of the other towers. tr then gives saj permission to reestablish communication with the other towers and edit permissions as I have stated. saj done. tr please put me in contact with elo. elo appears. elo ooh. tr are you aware of the process of how the arcanites were separated from this world? elo no. tr do you know who would be? any towers? elo Krull might. tr do either of you know the location of Krull? saj Krull lives in a very cold place, around 7500 miles away. tr do you have any contact with krull? saj no. tr gets abb here. tr asks abb to contact tri and notify her about the release of conchata. tri intends to hunt it down and kill it. ro a bit concerned by tri's response. go to tri. facilitate conversation between tri and saj. tr tri I understand that you want to hunt down the dracolich? tri I am going to put out a call to look for it. tr inform me or eth if there are any opportunities against the dracolich that might risk you, and do not take those steps without doing that. ro asks if tri has a mind that might be affected by a psion. tri I am all minds. tr have you encountered psionics before? tri yes. tr is is conceivable that a psion might be able to impact your mind? tri? I suppose so. tr can you take any defensive measures to prevent that? tri I could kill them. tr without killing? tri I have no special powers in that area. tr tri might be vulnerable…

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