Actually that roll was good enough to deduce an interesting fact about Vlrc
Vlrc takes the proffered letter in one of her long-fingered hands. She holds it up to her smooth black eyes and hums
"Dear Veridis. Certainly I can show you my little knothole to Yggdrasil. "
Vlrc turns and walks out of the counter area. Despite her size she moves with an insectile grace, delicately maneuvering towards a narrow wooden display case. She stops at it and touches it for a moment. A green portal shimmers to life, narrow enough for only one to pass through at a time
"I am afraid this portal is one way. You'll have to find another way back once you visit Crux. Give my best regards to Veridis and invite him to call upon me next time he should visit Sigil."
Justin watches Vlrc as the giant ant takes the letter from Karrin. His mind clicking almost audibly as he remembers a few facts that he read, and then a few more. His eyes widen slightly.
Justin starts to open his mouth, then snaps it shut. He nods affably at Vlrc as the ant shows them the portal.
"We shall do that, of course. As soon as we see him again. Our pleasure.' Justin says cheerfully.
The wizard seems, excited. As if he would really like to ask Vlrc a question or three. But it seems that Justin has picked up a smidgen of self-control somewhere.
The wizard approaches the small portal.
"Huh. Knothole is right. Good thing I haven't gained any weight lately." He says with a smile at Vlrc to show he is joking.
"Ladies first?" he asks innocently, gesturing for Karrin to precede him,...
Again through the rabbit hole...
The party enters single file, and are transported back to Yggdrasil, where they had left only a few weeks ago*
I know in the strange time-compression that is online PbP it has been literally three days since you were in Crux, but I'm going to assume you took a bit of time to relax, look about and enjoy life after the temple incident
They emerge on a fairly large side branch, the portal popping shut as the last party member emerges. It us early morning Big Bark time, and the sourceless sunlight has a golden quality, lighting up the bluish leaves far above. The scream of a hunting eagle is all that can be heard in the stillness.
A path worn smooth in the branch's bark winds its way downwards towards the distant looming main trunk of Yggdrasil
Thanks for link down memory lane monkey! :)
Justin stumbles a bit as he exits the portal, the transition from one plane to another always seems to mess with his equilibrium a bit.
"You can say that again Merle." He says shaking his head.
"On the other hand, please don't." He adds wryly, taking another look around and synching what he sees with his memory.
knowledge planes 1d20 + 8 ⇒ (6) + 8 = 14
Ekuur raises an eyebrow at Justin's elbowing, and whispers back, What is a formian ant?"
Upon emerging once again from the portal onto the World Tree, Ekuur still remains awestruck by the sheer size of the thing. However, unlike before, he feels much more comfortable, almost familiar with the place. He silently wonders how much of an effect carrying Lauralia has had on him ...
Sorry guys, My mother in law died unexpectedly early yesterday. Funeral is tomorrow. Will catch up soon as I can next week.
My condolences Rags. Take your time, I doubt we'll get too far
The path brings them downwards towards the main trunk of Yggdrasil. The day is warm and the feeling of peace keeps a spring in their step as they pass along the deeply-ridged bark. They discover a signpost carved in the bark pointing the way to Crux.
A few hours of walking bring them within sight of the wooden town tucked in the crutch of a large branch and Yggdrasil. Orchards of smaller trees and giant fan fungus line the road as they near the town's outskirts
Any actions please post. I will try to update if no other actions
At first glance, the town looks normal. Various folk walk back and forth, tending to the chores townsfolk anywhere might do. There seems to be more activity than there was last time they were here, as if trade has picked up. Piles of sawn wood line the outside of the large mill that sits along a river flowing within a wide fissure in Yggdrasil's bark.
"Well it could be that the people were afraid last time we were here, maybe now they feel safe to come out of their houses? I mean there was that nasty possessing spirit and stuff, but now he's gone so people feel safe again . . . but maybe not really safe because of the letter? So now we're back and we'll soon discover what's up. Course that doesn't mean that we can't speculate what's up. I'm going to guess something to do with that wand."
"That would be excellent, Lady Kind. Why don't we head to the King's Table and I will stand you all for a meal and a drink? We can discuss what's been going on. "
He looks at the party
"Thank you all for coming. I really appreciate it"
Veridis and Capt F'Moil escort them to the inn they visited previously. They head to a private function room where they are treated to whatever food and drink they want. Veridis makes small talk while they eat, and when everyone is settled he speaks
"You folks were amazing dealing with our problems before. Your handling of those evil spirit things has improved our lives greatly. But,"
"I am saddened to say that despite all your efforts I fear that these creatures are returning from wherever they originate. Not to the extent as before, but worry some enough I felt it was wise to contact you ."
He tosses a large leather pouch on the table
"This is a retainer fee, and also a proper thank you for your efforts last time. Our trade has quadrupled since you left, and Crux is grateful "
A few large gemstones peek from the bag's mouth
"The gems are yours with our thanks, even if you are not interested in helping"
Yeah. Crazy week. I'll be back to what passes for normal soon. I hope. :)
Justin smiles at Nari. Mostly to prevent him from staring at the bag in a mirror image of Merle.
"Of course we will. Or to be specific, we will be most happy to try." Justin says with a grin and a salute of his mug.
Justin doesn't say what he's furiously thinking. That the LAST time they dealt with the spirit-things, they did so only with a good deal of creative-magical-engineering, and a greater amount of luck. Which was all well and good. But he refused to rely too much on luck. It never failed to desert you at the worst possible time.
Justin smiled inwardly. He DID know a couple of new tricks. At least this time they weren't walking completely blind.
Justin turns to face Veridis, mostly to prevent him from trying to figure out where exactly all of the food is transported to once Karrin puts it into her mouth.
"Well Veridis, Why don't you give us what details you have? What's been happening, exactly? And why do you think it is the same spirits returning?" Justin asks, snagging what looks like a chicken leg before Karrin finishes off that particular platter.
Veridis nods to all who talk, smiling as he watches Karrin scooping up a third plate
"The sense that something is awry isn't as bad as it was. We don't have folks going barmy, but.."
"Some folks have gone missing. Some of them had no reason to disappear. They left no trace, it might be a coincidence, but after what we went through"
"If feel better if some trig bloods checked it out for us"
"Missing? I can see how that might worry you, especially considering what you just recently went through. Lucky for you We happen to have one of the best trackers in the Planes with us." He grins, tilting his head towards Isaac.
"Can you show us where the missing people lived? And were last seen? No offense, but Isaac might be able to pick up on something that you might of missed." Justin says apologetically.
"And Merle and I can try to find any mystical traces. As a general rule, folks don't just 'vanish'. And if they do, they usually have help. Magical or otherwise." Justin offers.
Sorry, slammed with end of semester performance stuff. (It is ALWAYS something!) :P
"We should also check to see if there was any connection between the missing people and if there is a noticeable pattern to where they were taken from," she nearly whispered she spoke so softly. "It might help us predict who is at risk of disappearing next so we can stop it."
Justin blinked. He had been so concerned with finding clues to what had happened, (and how he could deal with 'it' if 'it' turned out to be another spook of some kind) that he hadn't even considered trying to prevent another disappearance in the future.
"Good idea Nari." He says to the still-shy mentalist, nodding in obvious approval.
Ekuur polishes off a chunk of roasted beef with a slug of ale from a mug, and listens to the conversation.
"A good idea, yes. But might I also suggest we learn not only where they were missing from, but also when? All missing at the same time or at different points, same or different time of day, that sort of thing. Veridis, is this something you could even tell us now, or know who could?"
"Sometimes there's patterns where you don't expect," Karrin says as she licks off her fifth plate, "And an outside eye can help. My associates are real smart and stuff. I'm sure if there's any pattern to be found they'll see it."
Karrin discreetly begins cleaning off whatever remained on any of the serving dishes (just to make room of course) onto her now clean plate. She piles the platters to one side and then she acts surprised when her dish is now mysteriously full again. She sighs and goes to cleaning the plate one more time. Work work, it never ends.
"The disappearances seem concentrated along the branches upwards from Crux. The only thing I can think of is the large portal to Ranais there, but that portal has been warded against undead using it, plus it is further warded on the other side by the Pelorian Church's menhirs."
"I worry that whatever force it is, might not be undead after all. Perhaps it has found a way to circumvent the wards and emerge from that accursed place to harrow us."
"Well the portal certainly leads to Undead Central. But that doesn't mean that other creatures might not be comfortable there as well. We didn't stop to sight-see." Justin observes wryly.
"Well, before we start inventing bogeymen that might not exist, we should check out the areas where the people vanished. Isaac has eyes that a hawk would envy. It might just be something local-ish causing trouble. Some migrating predator from another branch or something. Just because something is dangerous doesn't mean that it's extra-dimensional." Justin says hopefully.
But the wizard's mind whirls as he starts cataloging possible creatures that COULD have come from an unwelcome portal and bypass undead wards.
And the worried wizard's mind starts by listing them alphabetically,...
Veridis finishes his mushroom salad and rises
"You all have rooms reserved here at the Kings Table. Take a bit to settle in, and feel free to contact me should you need anything. I fear I have business to attend to, but I trust you all will be diligent in your efforts. Good hunting"
he lays four inn keys on the table and makes his way out of the inn