Chapter 02:

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Session Number: 172
Date: Sunday 21 April 2013
Venue: Densial's
PCs & Players:

Ariel Sor12 (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)
Violet Drd12 (Tammi) (kills: none)

XP Awarded: TBA

ro tells tr about their Minehome trip. tr is more than a little disappointed that Moradin's clerics would stop to count the cost of leaping to the aid of one of Moradin's clerics. ro says that she would be reluctant to go back to the dwarves without at least having made good her promise to try looking elsewhere. tr What is the point of being a cleric of Moradin if when you are in need, Moradin turns his back? That is what I see. ro I hope, tr, that I bear witness to the fact that Moradin is not turning his back. cal Would the dwarves at the monastery be able to explain things to tr? tr Yeah, alright, let's go do that then, coz I've got a few things to say! tr storms off towards the tent. After a moment's hesitation, ro follows. "If you don't mind, I will go alone," she tells the others. "This is family."

There is a small child in the basement of Moradin's temple at Kharag Monastery. "Hello! I'm Lem. Shall I … who shall I get?" ro "Would you please escort us…" tr interrupts. "I'm not feeling too well, I think I should go back." ro Excuse us for a moment. child goes upstairs. ro Don't let your proximity to this place change how you feel. You feel strongly about this, you should talk to someone. Let's go talk to sv. tr I'm good. Maybe we should go ask the elves. ro tr, what's going on? tr Nothing. ro tr, fifteen seconds ago you were ready to rip heads off shoulders. tr The headmaster, right? ro The headmaster that loves and cares for us.

Back at tri, the others notice a crowd of soldiers gathering with raised voices around eth and Paulinarrion. go over. People seem to be agitated about reports coming back from the field about arachtria. Has been a report back from all of the fronts that arachtria were being tracked and occasionally battled that all arachtria have been withdrawn simultaneously. There has been no contact with arachtria for 48 hours, a luxury they have not enjoyed since the SpiderKillers were formed.

The conversation continues beneath Moradin's temple at Kharag Monastery. tr Having considered it, I think that the decision the dwarves made was a good one. ro doesn't believe tr, but doesn't have the patience to try and eak out of him what she already knows. Lem asks if he should get one of the teachers. ro Actually Lem, could you please escort us to Sir Veketh? (to tr) I just wish to see whether arr has left any messages. Lem takes them to sv. ro quickly establishes that there is no news from arr. ro sv, we met the high priest of Moradin in Minehome. While he did offer help, he did encourage us to look elsewhere. sv What do you mean, encourage you? ro He said that if we had other options available that came at less of a cost, that we should pursue those. sv Less of a cost? What would it cost? ro It would mean having one of their clerics not standing in the breach for Minehome for a time. They were prepared to offer the services of one of their clerics for however long we needed it, to get there and back again, but they did make it clear that while that option was available and would be fulfilled as is their duty, that could we do it another way, it seems that they would prefer that. sv Ah. ro I accepted that at the time, but it makes me pause. Does that seem right to you? sv It would not be proper for me to pass judgment on Arfelt's decisions. (ro senses an unresolved 'but'.) ro I understand, sir. We will not take up any more of your valuable time. sv I always have time for you ro, and you tr. tr shuffles his feet.

They return to tri, immediately spotting the unusual activity. The crowd is dispersing. eth spots tr and ro and heads over. "Odd news," she says. "I have just had word that the arachtria we have been surveiling have staged a coordinated withdrawl."

"This was when, exactly?" ro asks.

"About 48 hours ago."

At that time, tr was at saj and the others were making their way to Minehome.

"They were not pursued?" ro asks.

"For some time the arachtria have been using some kind of magical gate, like a Dimension Door. We cannot follow them."

You have arcane minds on this? eth Yes, and divine. It will take some time to divine what's going on. The thing that is concerning me is that this has never happened. On one hand it is a blessing, it gives us a chance to regroup; but on the other, one has to ask why? What is going on? Reports from our encounters suggest they are searching for something. Have they found it, or have they simply given up?

"I have never seen them give up. What will you do from here?"

"We will continue to scout for them."

"I wish I could offer my services, princess, but we are on a slightly different road at this time," ro says. "We have business in Avarriel. Do you wish me to pass on a message to your family?"

"A messenger has already been despatched," eth says. "My mother will know probably by now."

ari Teleports the party to Avarriel - all but tr, who has no interest in visiting the capital. They arrive outside an up-market inn. lio knows the city, he directs the others to the mages' guild, which is quite close to the palace and next to the library. ro introduces herself as ro Kharag of the Silver Hand, paladin of Moradin and Elf-Friend. "Interesting combination," the elf at the desk comments. ro's request to see Schmitt is granted.

ro begins introducing her companions, new to Schmitt. The mage immediately notices that the blink dog is not what it appears. ro speaks the purpose of the meeting, to visit Ruelock's domain, and asks whether Schmitt knows a way to travel to and from the plane of shadow. sch There are naturally occurring portals. They do shift though. There are spells - didn't you have a cleric? ro He left to further the investigation on his own. Do you know of any magical items that one might purchase or have commissioned?

sch I myself have an object that I use to travel the planes. It is not something that I would normally lend; it is quite valuable and took a good portion of my life to create. ro A costly device indeed. sch I am the only one here that specialises in planes; if someone else has an artifact like it, I am unaware of it. ro I know this is a very unusual request and I hope it is not one that offends… What might I offer or say to convince you of the need for this device? sch You just want to travel to the plane of shadows, and then to another? ro Yes, to the domain of Ruelock, which our information suggests can only be reached from the plane of shadows. From there, after some period of time, I know not how long, I wish to return, bearing my lost companion. sch I understand your plight, but this item cost me too much to risk losing it. ro Would one such as yourself be interested in learning more of this plane, first-hand? sch The transitive planes are not my interest. I could send you there, but I will not loan my device or go with you. ro I understand. I do thank you for your time, and if we are successful in our endeavour, I would be willing to share my experiences with you if that is of interest. sch I may know of another device, only by reputation, something on the edge of my memory, I would have to look up my notes. ro May we return? sch Absolutely, give me a couple of hours.

ro and others leave sch to his research, wait in lobby. At cal's behest ro uses an arrow to play fetch with him, until stern glances from the guild staff put an end to that. cal goes outside with vio. He attracts attention from several elves with sticks with loops on the end, so blinks back inside. vio is left to explain the presence of a large dog in the city. They advise caution. vio goes back inside and passes on the message.

Two hours pass and ro is summoned back to see Schmitt. The lead he had is not as promising as he originally thought. The device is mentioned in a historical account from over 200 years ago. The historian Diadorus wrote of a rod that the mage Alstus created for planar travel. The rod was last mentioned as being used in the human kingdom. It was a unique item. Alstus was an elf. Schmitt explains that particular for the transitional planes, they 'overlap' with the material plane. Leaving from one point on one plane can take you to the corresponding point on the other plane. This may explain why Alstus was in the human kingdom. Happened about 230 years ago. There is no record of Alstus afterwards. ro I feel our needs are probably more pressing than chasing after an artifact that could take us a very long time to track down, if we are successful at all. I daresay we wouldn't be the first to go after it. I say the chances of finding it are very slim. It is interesting, but I would guess that it is probably not useful - to us, at least. sch While I was researching, I reacquainted myself with the research that the queen asked us to do. I understand that K'at has it about that when you are next here, he would like to speak to you. ro Thank you, I will seek him out. leave.

Go to K'at's place, which is also close to the palace. As approach, see a familiar figure: Arrian. He and ro embrace. He has been working with K'at. He believes he has begun to narrow down what has happened to Krag. He has found references to Ruelock being one of Gruumsh's most powerful servants. He has been unable to discover anything about its whereabouts. arr asks after the arcanites, ro brings him up to date, and also tells him about Conchada. arr That is not good news. ro It seems that you have the means to get to Ruelock's domain but do not know its location; I have the location but not the means to get there. Will you join me again? arr Of course! There is nothing more important to me. ro You are able to Plane Shift How many can you take? arr Eight. ro Then let's return to tri! tr waits there. arr gets some gear from K'at's house then ari Teleports them all to tri via the monastery.

arr tells tr of the link between Ruelock and Gruumsh. tr (to ro) Didn't you want to be an orc once? You and your nice friends? I remember, because I wasn't orcish enough. ro I also wanted to be a princess when I was seven. I grew out of that also. arr I remember when you wanted to be a princess, you were so cute. In a stuck-up kind of way. I have the means to get to the plane of shadows and back. tr I have a desire to go to the plane of shadows and back. arr That seems complementary.

tr wants to let arr know the location of the portal on the plane of shadow, takes him to saj. arr not keen to have his mind tampered with, arguing that it is not necessary since tr knows where the point of correspondence is on the material plane. He eventually agrees to the process. tr asks saj to pass on the details of the location, first to himself then to arr, so he knows that whatever saj does to arr is first done to him. return to tri. The point of correspondence is on the coast about two day's travel north of Ashhope.

Transport to the wing in the Mithral Mug, Ashhope. tr asks whether ari wishes to speak to her family. She thinks it a good idea. Asks whether the others would like to come. Also consider returning the stone given to them by the human monarchy, but don't because it was a gift.

All go to ari's family home. On the way there, ro says to ari that it is good and fitting that she should wish to speak to her family and that she doesn't wish to dissuade her from that, but warns her that they are walking into peril and to perhaps not to go into too much detail about the road ahead. ari says she has never been terribly good at secrets, but she will do her best.

Go in the gates. Noticed, people moving rather quickly towards the manor. Keep approaching.

Soon after, an elderly gentleman leaves the front door and trots towards ari. Young miss! Alfred, butler. They embrace. introduced. ari says that she would like to visit her parents. Are led in. Two middle-aged people in fine dress emerge. They stand a bit uncertainly. father gathers ari into an embrace, muffled 'my girl, my girl.' ari introduces others to her parents. everyone led into a parlour and offered refreshments. father Lady Kharag, I believe I've heard of you… You have been in the capital before? ro I have indeed. father I have heard mention of you in relation to Lawmeron? ro You are correct. father and I believe the name tr did come up as well. You were involved in that matter? ro We had a small part to play, yes. father Well, for whatever small part you played it has certainly been a boon and a blessing to us so thank you. cal, do you prefer food for dogs or humans? cal wants human food, ro adds a request for a bowl of water also. father What brings my daughter and her friends to Ashhope today? ro We have business north of here, near Carthenage. Your daughter was interested in coming along. She is quite taken with interesting matters. father She does like to travel. It was a difficulty earlier in her life but ari we have come to understand that this is something that you need. ro How fares the city? father The harvests go well and since the events that destroyed the local towns, trade has resumed. Trade is the city's lifeblood and so the merchants are very pleased. And who are your family? ro I come from a monastery of orphaned children. My family are the people at the monastery. They fare well. father Your parents' family did not take you in? ro I know very little of my history. I was very young when I appeared at the doorstep of the monastery. father And yet you are introduced with a title? ro I am a titled paladin of an order of dwarven paladins. father A paladin? Of a dwarven god? Yet you are human? ro Born and raised in a dwarven monastery. The All-Father has shown me no less of his grace because of my ancestry. father This must have something to do with you sir tr, and forgive me, you seem to have the appearance of an elf. tr It's just a birth defect. I don't like to talk about it. father It has been lovely to meet you but if you are passing through, would you mind if I had some time with my daughter? ro Of course, sir.

ari walks with her parents. 45 minutes later she returns. leave and head back to the Mithral Mug.

Briefly discuss getting the towers to transport them the requisite distance north, but figure they might miss something. Might also find out things by asking questions at Carthenage. Set out to the north on foot.

Morning when they leave, arrive at Carthenage shortly before dusk. Not quite a city. Surrounded by farmland as it is a service town for Ashhope. ro suggests one task being obtaining a map of the area.

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