Caelin gave Jervaise a tired, jesting look with his bloodshot eyes.
"Should you handle this one, or me? I proposes this deal: if you travel to the Fellnight, defeat the Queen, take the crook, repair the faengard and save the world, I'll fix an extra-special breakfast."
With a sharp laugh, he began rubbing his tired face with one hand. He then went quiet and looked at the ground before him, thinking on the enormity of the task.
|Taecuss dyn Bru|
Addressing the fey leaders present... "The frontier town of Bellis, do you know it? We have a great deal of friends and family there, our precious loved ones. If we leave this realm for the Fellnight, would you be willing to guard them as if they were your own kin against the Queen's forces? I cannot speak for the others gathered, but I would be glad to risk the next two centuries I could expect to live on this mission if I knew they were safe. Or, at least as safe as is truly possible in these uncertain times."
Jervaise sighs, obviously more than a little shaken.
"That fell creature sought to twist our minds, remove our souls, and make us forget what we are, rendering us into nought but crude beasts. Seeking to enslave Fey and Mortals alike would be crime enough in my book, but she has gone oh so much further! I will do what must be done to end her threat!"
He then tosses a mischevious smile in Caelin's direction, and becomes a bit more like his old self again.
"Throw in a decent lunch, and you have a deal!"
Jervaise then becomes a tad more serious, when he turns to address the Fey.
"Whilst I appreciate what has been done thus far to aid us, do you have anything that could be used to ward off transformative magic, or make the invisible, visible? I am sure that none of us have any desire to end our days as a bird..."
|NPC: Oreius Dawnsprinter|
|NPC: Maligorn the Satyr|
We can try to procure the items you need from Bellis, the elves or the fey. We should be able to find something to help with the things you mention, but even with this dire situation, the owners are not going to part with them for free.
Feel free to level up and spend the loot you have found to buy items and consumables. Please post a summary of whatever changes you make and what you buy in the OOC.
|NPC: Devarre Snowgaard|
It is a hard task that awaits you, no doubt. I will lend whatever aid I can. I can prepare potions and oil of many different kinds. If you wish, I may have time to make a few before you leave.
Devarre has the Brew Potion feat and will make you any potion/oil from the druid spell list at cost price (50%). Just remember that time is a factor and there is a limit to how many he can create per day. Any other consumables and most magic items can also be procured with relative ease.
|Taecuss dyn Bru|
After the panic of the nightmare is over, Taecuss turns inward and brooding. He sits for hours, gazing into the distance.
Arcane spells are no trivial matter; precision and accuracy are key and any mistake can mean failure. For hours, the elf calls upon his recollections from decades prior, when a wizard friend was trying to root out an invisible comrade playing a prank on him. The arcane formula, while powerful, was certainly within Taecuss's ability now. For most, it would be an impossible task to recreate an arcane ritual witnessed decades prior in such a short period of time. But Taecuss wasn't most. His keen elven mind was trained in the bardic ways to absorb and recall information. Combined with the desparation he was feeling after being so helpless in the dream, he felt he could do it. He had to do it.
After several hours, the elf snaps out of his trance, his familiar smile restored and a knowing look in his eyes.
FYI, just a little rp on adding See Invisibility to his spells known.
Goodluck sat naked beneath the sky.
He was a long way from his beloved sea, from the salt breath that sustained him, from the waves that were his true home. But Gozreh was everywhere, a constant presence and he felt Him best under the naked sky. He mentally composed himself, allowing the constant pain from the barnacles eating into his flesh to drop away, to focus on the air on his skin, the water in his body and the air and the wind that caressed him. He embraced the world and felt his body become one with it.
In this state, he prayed. He prayed for the strength to defeat the evil queen that had sought to escape her prison. He prayed for the power he would need to save this land. He prayed that his comrades would stay strong and fit for the battle.
He did not pray to survive this battle.
He knew that his time was limited. Like the leaf, he would fall and become food for the next generation of life. Like the sea, his wave would break upon the shores, only to be mixed back in with the stuff of life.
In this state, he felt his mind roam, embracing the mysteries of the wind and waves. He felt a sudden knowledge, of ice and of the holy anger of Gozreh against those who would pervert nature. He smiled, for he could see that these gifts would aid him and his comrades in their battle. He thanked Gozreh one more time and stood, walking back into camp to retrieve his items and see to preparations.
The Queen would fall. One way or another, the Queen would fall.
Caelin slept well, if briefly, waking in the cold pre-dawn light. If not completely rejuvenated, he was filled with a restless energy that moved him to full activity.
This was his favorite time of day. Aumgwe was just stirring and Caelin stroked the great bird's chin.
"Let's eat", he whispered.
The pair went out to a nearby clearing. It was too dangerous to go on the long hunts they usually enjoyed, and Caelin briefly wondered if there would be anymore of those outings, but he pushed that thought out of his mind.
He sent Aumgwe to a branch on one side of the clearing and walked to the center. Picking some dried meat from his pouch he waved the morsel to the bird to get its attention. With a quick flick he threw the bit high into the air and gave a command to "attack".
Aumgwe surged from his branch and sailed across the clearing, snatching the jerky just as it started to fall back to earth.
As the eagle landed on the opposite side of the clearing, Caelin smiled. Today might be a difficult day, perhaps his last. But it would be another day in the woods with this beautiful beast.
And that was enough.
Gathering his friend to his arm, he walked back to the camp sharing a few more bites and some calm, quiet whispers.
All right, guys - game on. Sorry for the extended break, I kept tinkering with your surprises. But here goes. Enjoy.
While you all recover from the ordeal of the nightmare visitation, the scouts and outriders of the Conclave forces head out to intercept the Fellnight army and locate the entrance to queen Rhoswen’s realm.
It is late in the afternoon the following day when you are summoned to meet with the conclave leaders. The camp is rapidly emptying as the main body of the gathered forces depart to fight the invaders.
You arrive to find Maligorn, Aripha, Oreius Dawnsprinter, Lielaera Shantru, Devarre and Palombier standing in a clearing. Several of the unicorns that helped rescue you from Dead Man’s Drop are waiting nearby, and pixies and pseudodragons carrying messages flurry to and from.
Seing you approach, Maligorn speaks up. ”Lielaera’s scouts have located the entrance to the Fellnight Realm. It is a few miles north of Dead Man’s Drop. Our forces are preparing to march as we speak - the vanguard is already moving.”
The centaur leader Oreius scrapes a rough map in the ground with the tip of his lance. ”We are here.” he says, pointing. ”It will take our forces a full day to get there. My centaur riders and the unicorns can make it in a few hours, and Palombier and his fellow unicorns have agreed to teleport you there if you wish to go at once. I would strongly advice you to wait until we can support you, and draw the attention of the Fellnight army before you enter the realm. Our reports indicate that the queen’s minions are numerous and highly alert.”
The beautiful nymph Aripha steps forward. ”We will let you decide the best course of action. But before you go, we have something for each of you. Knowing the difficulty of the task that face you, we have gathered items of power to aid you.
She faces Caelin and hands him a delicate silver circlet. ”You feelings for the fey are well known, Caelin. I know being among us must have been awkward for you. But the fey court considers you a friend, and we hope this will help you overcome the foe who is a fey herself.
Aura faint abjuration and transmutation ; CL 3rd
Slot head; Price 8,000 gp; Weight -
This delicate silver circlet is decorated with images of reveling fey creatures. It is usually presented as a gift to non-fey to better help them participate in fey festivities.
If the wearer of a Feyfriend Circlet possesses Iron Will, he is instead treated as having Improved Iron Will. This includes instances where Iron Will is gained through temporary means, such as magic items or the adaptation ability of a ranger with the infiltrator archetype.
In addition, a Feyfriend Circlet grants the wearer a +2 bonus to diplomacy when dealing with fey.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Iron Will, eagle’s splendor, resistance, Cost 4,000 gp
The wood elf Lielaera approaches Meycho. ”You honor Ketephys as well as any elf ever could, Meycho. Take this, and use it in his honor.” She hands Meycho a dark wooden disk gleaming with the glint of mithril inlays.
Badge of the faithful companion
Aura faint abjuration and enchantment; CL 3rd
Slot none; Price 8,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This circular disk of darkwood features mithril inlays depicting a hawk soaring over a crescent moon. A small pin on the back allows it to be fastened to a cloak or shirt. It functions as a holy symbol of Ketephys.
If a worshiper of Ketephys is wearing a Badge of the Faithful Companion while casting shield other on his animal companion, the bonuses to AC and saves granted by the spell are doubled. In addition, the caster is granted 10 temporary hit points, which may only be used to negate damage taken through the spell.
RequirementsCraft Wondrous Items, aid, shield other Cost 4,000 gp
The centaur leader trots up to Jervaise and presents him with a fierce looking helmet.
“I have been told that you have a fierce charge for a two-leg. I trust you will prove worthy of this.”
Helm of brutal discouragement
Aurafaint necromancy; CL 3rd
Slot head; Price 8,000 gp; Weight 4 lbs.
The visor of this metal helmet is wrought to imitate a fearsome demonic visage. When worn, it amplifies the wearers ability to weaken the resolve of his opponents.
Any opponent that the wearer has made shaken through the use of demoralize must make a DC 13 Will save in order to attack the wearer. If the save fails, the opponent immediately becomes frightened for the remaining duration of the demoralize.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, sanctuary, scare; Cost 4,000 gp
Devarre steps up to Goodluck. ”We both venerate the power of nature. But you wield the might of Gozreh as her chosen vessel. These should help you channel her fury towards those that would defile her domain.” He hands Goodluck a pair of grey gloves adorned with clear gemstones.
Aura faint necromancy; CL 5th
Slot hands; Price 8,000 gp; Weight -
These fine grey gloves are adorned with five clear gems on each hand. Whenever the wearer casts a spell with the [sonic] or [electricity] descriptor, one of the gems on each hand fills with a swirl of dark clouds.
Once all five gems are filled, the wearer of the gloves can activate them as part of spellcasting to apply the Thundering Spell metamagic feat to that spell. Using the gloves in this way does not change the slot of the altered spell, but a spontaneous caster must still use a full-round action to cast a spell in this way. Once the spell is cast, all five gems turn clear again.
Alternatively, the wearer may expend just one active gem when casting Gozreh’s trident to give the summoned bolt the thundering special ability. Using the gloves in this manner does not count towards charging up a gem.
If the wearer removes the gloves, all gems turn clear.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Thundering Spell, blindness/deafness; Cost 4,000 gp
Finally, Maligorn approaches Taecuss. ”As a fellow bard, I trust you completely to compose a legendary ballad worthy of your great adventure. This will allow you to use the power of you music to enhance the magic you wield.” The satyr presents Taecuss with a glittering necklace of colored crystal.
Necklace of arcane resonance
Aura faint evocation; CL 5th
Slot neck; Price 8,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This exquisite necklace is crafted from dozens of tiny, brightly colored crystal rods. When worn, the rods seem to resonate softly whenever the wearer speaks or sings.
If the wearer uses a spell trigger or spell completion item while maintaining a bardic performance, he may as a free action expend another round of his bardic performance to increase the save DC or the caster level of the item by one.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, Harmonic Spell, arcane concordance; Cost 4,000 gp
Once all the gifts have been presented, and their powers explained, Palombier speaks up.
”My kin and I are ready to carry you once more. Shall we use our magic to carry you to the entrance immediately, carry you swiftly on our backs to scout the area before the main army arrives, or follow along with the conclave forces as they move?”
|Taecuss dyn Bru|
Taecuss accepts the necklace with great reverence, clearly at a loss for words, a miracle in its own right.
I am not the warrior hero that these others are, but they treat me as such. I must strive to be worthy...
Finally, he responds to the question with "I'll defer to my collegues, but I think that we should get to the entrance quickly; the sooner we can put an end to the threat she poses, the fewer champions of the fey that will be lost in combat against her forces."
Caelin blushed slightly at Aripha's works, and placed the circlet gently upon his own head. "I thank you, fair nymph, for your gift. I will treasure it, and do my best to honor both its name, and the one who has bestowed it."
Turning to the others and the task of the Fellnight Realm, he bowed to Oreius.
"I, like Taeucss, would prefer to move quickly. But I hold your advice in high regard, and you counsel some patience. Am I correcting in hearing that you suggest we wait for the main army to advance for a day, and then begin our mission with the help of the unicorns?"
|NPC: Oreius Dawnsprinter|
"I understand your desire to move at once, Caelin. Every moment you delay gives the queen more time to prepare, once she discovers she can no longer spy on you. But moving quickly means we will not be able to support you. If you decide to wait, you can accompany the army as it moves. You can ride on the unicorns, and once we join battle with the Fellnight fey, they can carry you to the entrance by magic. Doing this will make sure the main forces of the queen have other things on their mind than guarding the entrance."
Sorry guys, it took me a while to notice that this thread was active again :-/
Throughout the day of preparation, Jervaise wrestles with his conscience; that nightmare truly shook his confidence; if it was any indication of what the actual Queen would do, he was truly concerned. Normally, as a soldier, he accepted death as being part of his lot in life, but he was confident that he would be judged favorably when his time came to stand before Pharasma in the Boneyard... Yet, this Queen seemed to threaten the sanctity of his very soul!
Still, he could not in good conscience abandon these people; the indigenous Fey, the local Andoran settlers, even his old campaigning buddy Meycho - they would all expect him to carry on, to live up to the ideal of the Eagle Knights...
Swallowing his fear, Jervaise vowed to do better.
By the following day, Jervaise was back to his normal self, laughing, joking, and telling old war stories, his resolve reaffirmed.
When the Conclave reconvened, Jervaise is impressed with the range of gifts they provide to the chosen warriors, but in particular, an appreciative gleam appears in his eyes when he is given the helm.
He grins at the Centaur.
"Oh, I dare say it is not quite as powerful as that of one of your folk, but I reckon I will be able to make good use of this. Thank-you."
EDIT: Comment in the Discussion thread.
|NPC: Palombier the Unicorn|
|Taecuss dyn Bru|
"Master Dawnspringer makes an excellent point, one I am inclined to support. I do not mean to be so mercurial in my support, but as I said I am no master strategist." The elf turns to his comrades, looking for one of the battleharded souls to voice a strong opinion or decision.
As a character, Taecuss doesn't have a preference. As a player, I think going with the army would provide a good distraction for our effort, and minimize our getting noticed by scouts for her army.
|NPC: Oreius Dawnsprinter|
"Splendid - Gather your gear, we ride within the hour!"
Oreius and the other leaders begin issuing orders, and soon messengers are running to and from, and signal horns start to sound, announcing the departure of the main force.
Unless otherwise stated, I'll assume each of you rides a unicorn. Longer post coming up.
|Taecuss dyn Bru|
Mounted on the backs of unicorns, the Champions of Bellis observe the departure with a mixture of wonder and awe.
The conclave army is relatively small, numbering about 100 individuals. Centaur cavalry mix with elven and half-elven infantry and a wide variety of fey, including thorns, nymphs and satyrs.
In the middle of the column Vinroot strides along with several other treants, each loaded down with supplies and large rocks for hurling. Above it all, pesudodragons and pixies flutter about.
Although Jervaise is quick to note the seemingly complete lack of discipline and a structured chain of command, the army moves through the forest with remarkable ease, each small band or individual creature maintaining complex and seemingly random patterns of movement. Here and there, signs of battle and random destruction can be seen.
After a full day, the conclave force comes to a halt. Wood elf scouts emerge from the green to report on the situation ahead.
Oreius rides forth to greet them, and quickly returns. Above the treetops, the last light of the day is rapidly fading as he relates what he has learned from the scouts.
"The portal to the Fellnight Realm is just up ahead, not a mile away. It is a small hillock ringed with pale white mushrooms. The nearby trees seem to loom towards it, shading it. It is guarded by a handful of spriggans and worgs, but nothing our forces can't handle. We will launch a number of ambushes to draw most of them away. Then the unicorns will teleport in and dispatch the last few before dropping you off."
Aripha speaks up. The nymph sorcerer has neither armor nor weapons, but she too is unmistakably prepared for battle.
"To enter the Fellnight Realm, you must enter the fairy ring and will yourselves to move into the demiplane. When you leave the ring again, you will enter the other realm. To us, it will seem as if you fade from sight as soon as you make the transition. Once you are there, you must make your way past the queen's soldiers to the opening in the faengard and replace the missing wardstones. That will prevent the Fellnight fey from passing through, although we expect a number of them has already made it out past the opening. We will have to deal with them as you venture further into the Fellnight Realm."
"Remember, to fully restore the power of the faengard and lock the Fellnight Realm back into place, you must infiltrate Rhoswen's palace, wrest her staff from her and use it to perform the ritual to mend the faengard once more. Now, do you have any questons before Oreius orders the attacks?"
|Taecuss dyn Bru|
”For our sacred allies who may not understand, can we carry them with us as a burden?” He nods, referring to Meycho’s avian companion, Falling Star. Can the animal companion be “carried” as encumbrance through the passage, or does it have to be left behind?
”So, the ward stones must be in place first, and then we can move on to confront the queen and take the staff from her? The ritual to mend the faengard… is it to be performed on this side of the barrier? “
Did I miss where we were given the ritual to be performed, or are we expected to return the staff to one of their arcanists that can perform it?
|NPC: Maligorn the Satyr|
"You should be able to carry your birds with you, if you hold on to them as you make the transition. As to the faengard and the ritual to restore it - the magic of the crook and the runes on the wardstones should guide you. The precise details of the ritual is lost to us. But the wardstones burn all Fellnight fey, so I would recommend that you place them back in the faengard to keep more of them from passing through. This is just a temporary solution, however. If the warding ritual is not restored, the Fellnight realm will eventually be pulled through and merge with our world."
"We will do what must be done. the Fellnight Realm must not be allowed to merge with our reality!"
He then checks all of his weapons and equipment, securing the former for easy retrieval, and goes through a series of limbering-up exercises in preparation for the planar crossing.
I am sure that we will have the fight of our lives on the other side of that portal...
|Taecuss dyn Bru|
Oreius grins broadly. "Excellent. Time to clear the woods of some Fellnight vermin. Mount up and get ready. We will launch our attacks across a wide front. Once we have cleared the way for you, I will sound my signal horn three times." He raises his spear in salute and rides off with the other centaurs. Most of the elves and fey follow swiftly, vanishing into forest like ghosts.
Palombier and his fellows gather closely together, each of the noble magical beasts with a rider on its back. Caelin and Meycho each grasp their feathered companion firmly.
"When the horn sounds, just hang on. We will get you to the hill and take care of any remaining Fellnight fey."
The night grows dark and quiet, and the minutes seem to stretch on forever. Then the first faint sounds of fighting can be heard. The noises are scattered, and far between. Clearly, this is not a pitched battle, but rather a series of skirmishes, a deadly game of hide and seek in the moonlit forest.
The suddenly three deep notes issue from the north. Before the last one has subsided, the unicorns spring to action. The trees blur, and suddenly you are all racing towards the hill where the entrance is located.
A few spriggans remain, and turn to meet you with angry shouts, but they are caught completely by surprise. The unicorns lower their long, twisted horns and sweep over the bramble-covered figures.
They pull up and come about just short of the ring of pale, white mushrooms.
"This is it. Gods speed you on your journey and keep you safe from the foul magic of the Fellnight Queen," Palombier says as way of parting as you dismount and move towards the hilltop.
Last chance to cast spells or make other preparations. Otherwise, I assume you make the transition to the Fellnight Realm right away.
|Taecuss dyn Bru|
As you enter the mushroom ring, you exchange brief glances, and then try to focus your minds on making the transition.
The effect is subtle, but noticeable. The darkness seems to deepen, and you lose sight of the unicorns standing guard. Above you, the stars and twin moons shine, giving off just enough light to see by.
Almost at once, you sense that you have indeed arrived in the Fellnight Realm. The evil influence of Queen Rhoswen can almost be physically felt, and the shadows bend in ways that defy the normal laws of physics.
Around you, all is quiet.
The Fellnight Realm has several qualities that affect your characters. Please make the following adjustments to your character sheets:
Mildly evil-aligned: PC's of good alignment suffer a -2 circumstance penalty on all Charisma-based checks while in the demi-plane.
Enhanced magic: Illusion spells with the shadow descriptor and conjuration spells with the creation descriptor act as if they were cast with the Extend magic metamagic feat if they have a duration other than instantaneous. Such spells do not require higher-level slots.
Dim light: The sky of the Fellnight Realm looks like a night full of bright stars, though its two moons match Golarion’s moons. The sun never shines here, though plants grow normally, artially sustained by energy of the First World. Ambient illumination outdoors is typically dim light at all times, though lights (such as torches and light spells) work normally and storm clouds may temporarily block the starlight and moonlight.
Jervaise shivers unconsciously for a moment, then nods to the others.
"Well lads, the Evil Queen is not going to defeat herself; our allies are fighting, and dying, even as we speak - we owe it to them, and to ourselves, to finish this as quickly as possible! Let's get started..."
So, for clarification, those with low light vision are therefore fine, as dim light = normal light for them?
This place gives me the chills, Meycho says. I'd better cast some protective magic...
With that he intones a short Elvish prayer, and the ring on his finger, and the matching ring around Falling Star's leg, briefly light up and a this thread of silver can be seen connecting them.
Cast Shield Other
Aumgwe shuffled and fluffed on Caelin's shoulder, giving the elf's ear a tweak with its beak.
"Yes, I know. And I'm sure he's fed better than you, too, and gets to hunt more and is always in breeding plumage and surrounded by females", Caelin whispered sarcastically. "Now help keep a look out.
|Taecuss dyn Bru|
With a shudder, Taecuss takes in a deep breath, then sniffs at the air. If you were to describe the change that's come over him, it would probasbly be best summed up as crestfallen. With the corners of his mouth down turned, he says "Let's do this quickly so we can escape these shadows quickly. Which way?"
Is there an obvious trail or road leading away? Any landmarks in the distant that seem like obvious destinations? If not, Taecuss will take one of the rune stones out of his haversack; does it seem to suggest a clue as to which way to go?
Funny you should ask. I just so happen to have a map prepared of your current location. Anyone wishing to look for tracks, please roll a survival check. Also, I have a little bonus info for anyone making a successful DC 18 knowledge (planes) check.
The hill you stand upon is surrounded by tall trees which lean in to shade it. There is an opening in the trees to the east.
|Taecuss dyn Bru|
Take ten on the knowledge check (allowed due to bardic ability) for a 22 result.
In a near whisper that seems to carry almost alarmingly in this strange land, Taecuss says "Beware, warriors. This realm is timeless and small. I doubt we will age here, though we will still have need for sustenance. The shape of the realm is unlike the world we all know so well. Most likely it is spherical, and if we were to walk just a few weeks, I expect we would arrive back where we started."
Caelin scanned the ground in the dim light.
Survival Check: 1d20 + 18 ⇒ (2) + 18 = 20 +4 more if there are fey tracks
The fey and their allies have entered the ring from the east.
He scouted to the eastern side of the ring.