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SR's - Great Southern Isles (PbP) (Inactive)

Game Master stormraven

High-Power Pathfinder Homespun Game


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Not really having any questions of her own just yet, Findelgwing sits quietly simply enjoying the chance to hear a familiar language every now and then. If nothing else, she's curious about what the human girl is actually after.


Ushari looks at Isolde, not really liking the answer she was given. She sighs inwardly. I hope I can trust her enough to bare my secrets. But I need some answers, whether I like them or not.

She wonders whether to ask Isolde about her mysterious past, but decides to hold off for now. She takes a deep breath, and tries to quell the rising of fear in her heart. ”On my way here, I lost consciousness, and I had a…I don’t know how to describe it…a dream, a vision…I do not know. But this is what I saw…” She describes the entire vision she had of the Hill Tower, including its inhabitants and the thing she calls IT. "Can you tell me what I saw? What is the price for you to answer this question?”

Edited response to clarify her question.


STONE-FACED KILLA

Point of order... you didn't really ask a question. You might want to clarify before the potentially cryptic woman gives you some random pointless fact about your dream - then demands something from you in return.

Ok, much better. Didn't mean to be pushy... just didn't want you to get robbed here.


Ushari Velnokal wrote:
She wonders whether to ask Isolde about her mysterious past, but decides to hold off for now. She takes a deep breath, and tries to quell the rising of fear in her heart. "On my way here, I lost consciousness, and I had a...I don’t know how to describe it...a dream, a vision...I do not know. But this is what I saw... She describes the entire vision she had of the Hill Tower, including its inhabitants and the thing she calls IT. "Can you tell me what I saw? What is the price for you to answer this question?"

Isolde c0cks her head as a bird might and examines the girl before saying, "Some place no value on things without a high price. We will see if you are this sort. I can answer part of your question with ease, another part, not at all. As for price... I will ask a question in return."

"To sleep or fall unconscious beneath the Tower's shadow is to invite it into your dreams. Most do not remember these dreams. Some few do. The Tower showed you its past. We speak now of the Mainland. LONG before the Elves came to rule, the Shaudran ruled. Skilled in magic and arts, like and unlike humans in looks. Some cataclysm they brought about... what kind I do not know. I could search for this knowledge, but it is another question. Overnight, the Shaudran were gone, leaving only some of their buildings. Most decayed as works of man do. A few, like the Tower, stay as they were, untouched by time. After the Shaudran, the Elves rose to control. They stole, hid, or destroyed the knowledge of the Shaudran, especially their magic. They wiped all knowledge of the Shaudran away. As former servants of the Shaudran, they did not wish the lesser races they were subjugating to realise their 'masters' were once as lowly as they were."

She makes a curt dismissive gesture as if she realised she was wandering from your question, "There are many powers in the world - some new, some old, some older than old, and some older still. You were touched by one that is older than old but not oldest by far. As for why you could remember this vision when others might not?" She answers to unasked question, "Maybe because humans are the watered-down progeny, the step-step-step-children of the vanished Shaudran. Perhaps their blood runs stronger in you than others. Or perhaps, as the Tower's shadows has recently grown in power and length... perhaps it finds reaching minds easier than once it did. There are more threats than just goblins and Reavers - tell Thrane that."

"As for the thing you saw, I can say little. Somehow it bears a connection to the Shaudran or their Tower, but how is not clear. What it is, since you did not see it nor hear its name, I cannot say. Many things have claws and appetites. Your vision tells that it comes here from another plane though it arrives not in any Shaudran structure. Still they are connected somehow."

rolls:

Sense Motive on Ushari 1d20 + 13 ⇒ (9) + 13 = 22
Know: History 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (6) + 16 = 22
Know: Planes 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (3) + 16 = 19
Know: Local 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (6) + 10 = 16

"Now for my question - from whence have you come?"


Ushari sits silently for many long moments, digesting what she has heard. The others watch her anxiously waiting for her response, but it is a long time indeed before she responds, "It seems everytime I have a question answered, it raises ten other questions." She sighs, and then continues, As for answering your question, Isolde, I can answer part of it with ease, and yet a part not at all. This is what I know. I came from a ship that was shipwrecked on the Strait sepaarting Forestal from the Sea of Storms. As for where I came before that point in time, I cannot answer that for you, as I do not know myself."


Isolde considers this a moment. "Strange things happen on those seas - sometimes natural, sometimes not. If you are concerned with where you have come from... there are ways to learn where you were born though it is less easy to learn where you have recently been. Have you any other questions you would ask of me?"


Ushari responds with a sigh, "Isolde, I have more questions than I even know how to ask. However, there is something I wanted to show you." She reaches for her pack, and unties it. "This was in my possession, yet I have no memory of ever owning this or seeing this before." She continues, as ahe pulls out the magical puzzle box, which had been wrapped in her dress.

She shows it to Isolde, "What price for answers on this?"


Isolde puts her head down on the table to watch the puzzlebox as if it were alive. "10 Gold - a spell will be necessary."

Assuming you don't have an issue with that...

Isolde mutters a spell to herself and holds the box. She frowns slightly and then starts playing with the box, quickly figuring out how to expose the buttons. She uncovers five of them - the four on each of the side faces and one on top, you hadn't found.

She puts the box down on the table and taps the top button. From the bottom, four legs spring out to support the box and a soft complex lullaby begins to play. The music emanating from the box is surprisingly rich. Something about the tune is familiar, somewhat comforting, and slightly sad for Ushari. The box begins to move in time to the song, bouncing on its legs.

Isolde smiles and says, "It is a music-box. I think it was a gift from he who sired you." She presses another button and a sprightly dance song begins playing. It carries no particular feeling for Ushari.

rolls:

Know: Arcana 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (9) + 16 = 25
Spellcraft 1d20 + 15 + 10 ⇒ (13) + 15 + 10 = 38 Identify


"A music box?" Ushari whispers, "From my father? Ohhh..." Once the tune has finished playing, she takes the music box from and sits down in her chair cradling the box, touching it and feeling it, as if trying to see what other answers it holds.

"Thank you, Isolde. I don't have any more questions."


Isolde merely nods and looks at Fin, Jayse, and Straehan. Her question is unstated but obvious, anyone else?


Fin looks somewhat nervously at the others and when none of them step forward, she answers in a rush...

Aquan:
"Ma'amIwouldverymuchliketoknowwheremyislandisandwhereIcamefromandwhathappen edtomyfamily. WhenIsawtheReavershipIknewthatIhadseenitbeforeandIhaveaterriblefeelingevery timeIseeroundearslikethemanandwoman. AllIhaveleftofmyhomearemapsandmyysword."


STONE-FACED KILLA

Jayse sits patiently, interested but skeptical.

She seems to know a lot, at least. Maybe she can read my tattoos. Or what the power of my stone is.

So he bides his time until the woman is finished talking to Findelgwing in their strange tongue.


Isolde repeats Fin's question in Common at about half speed, savoring and digesting it. "So, you also don't know your past. Are you from the same shipwreck? Are all of you from it?" She eyes the elf and the others curiously.

Heal check (take 10) 10 + 7 = 17


Ushari nods, "That's right, Isolde, we are all from the same shipwreck. I have no memeory of meeting Jayse, Fin, or Straehan before the wreck."


Isolde's eyes narrow in thought. "This is... beyond an accident."

She mentally files the information away and turns to Fin, asking in both Aquan and Common, "You ask a great many questions... but you have not asked my price. All of you have questions like this, yes? This is more than mere knowledge; several arcane powers must be used. Beings from worlds beyond this world may need to be consulted.... I wonder how much you are willing to pay for these answers?" She seems to be asking the question of all of you, not just Fin. You get the unsettling impression this isn't about her turning a profit... it is more of a warning and an: Are you willing to pay the price to acquire this knowledge and accept the consequences of having it?


STONE-FACED KILLA

"Well, I guess that all depends on the price." He leans forward, speaking for the first time in a long time. "We want this information, but only a fool buys an item without knowing what he's getting himself into. I realize you may not fully know the scope of the answer, but at least give us an idea of what kind of price we may be looking at here. If you can. I want these answers as much as these two, but I don't want to put my neck on some unseen chopping block, either."


Isolde struggles to answer the question in a way that will make sense to you, "I do not know how far I will have to go, how indebted I must become to find these answers. You, in turn, will be in debt to me. This is not a matter of money or goods but services. And there will be ah... connections formed between us. This will not cost your souls, if that is your fear. Your services to me in payment may, at times, hold some dangers... but you will not be compelled to do that which is against your nature. Like thatching my roof... I will help you and you will help me. Understand? No chopping blocks. Your debt will be with me. My debt... well, there will be chopping blocks, maybe."


Findelgwing nods in understanding and flexes her right arm to show she is willing to work. A look of serious determination paints her youthful face.


Isolde accepts Fin's answer and starts with her while Jayse, Straehan, and Ushari consider their choices.

She pulls out a small box from her shelf, a bowl, a blade, and a spool of black thread. She has Fin place her mapcase and sword on the table. Isolde holds the mapcase briefly, frowns, and puts it aside. She then touches the blade and gasps. Examining it carefully, she seems lost in thought and says nothing for several minutes. She stops to cast a simple spell and then an elaborate spell before resuming her stare. She seems to watch a story play out across the blade, unmindful that tears fall down her cheeks and drip onto the table.

Isolde's look returns to normal, as if the tears had never happened. She uses the black thread to take Fin's measure - capturing the full length of her body. She cuts the thread to 'record' her measure, then opens the small box and pulls out a vellum envelope, and a bar of wax. She holds the blade and gestures towards Fin's hand. "A little of your blood is necessary." Fin offers her hand and Isolde makes a small cut across her palm, dripping some of the blood in the bowl and some on the table. She hands Fin a clean rag to staunch the wound and casts a spell on the blood on the table while simultaneously sealing the ends of the thread with a mixture of the blood in the bowl and the wax.

If you weren't so fixated on watching the blood on the table which writhes and starts forming itself into words in some obscure language, you would have noticed that Isolde balled the thread up, placed it carefully in the vellum envelope and put it in the box.

Isolde looks at the blood-formed words and only grunts. She looks at Fin. "Come. There is a thing you must do. Do not be alarmed; no harm will come of this. The rest of you, stay here." She grabs Fin's sword and walks down to the lake (with Fin following) and hurls the sword into the lake. She grabs Fin's arm in her knotty, strong, grip before she can react. "WAIT! Your sword will be returned. Sit here and cool your feet in the water... then you will have some of your answers." She turns and walks back up to the hut.

At the kitchen table, Isolde wipes up Fin's blood and then looks to the others to see if they have made their decisions.

rolls & stuff:

Cast Identify
Cast Legend Lore
Use Focused Trance x2 1d6 ⇒ 4 rnds 1d6 ⇒ 6 rnds
Know: Dungeoneering 1d20 + 12 + 15 + 20 ⇒ (13) + 12 + 15 + 20 = 60 Identify, FT
Know: Geography 1d20 + 11 + 20 ⇒ (16) + 11 + 20 = 47 FT
Know: Nature 1d20 + 15 ⇒ (5) + 15 = 20
Cast Blood Biography


STONE-FACED KILLA

As the woman re-enters, Jayse pulls the small rock out of his hidden pouch and lays it gently on the table, then begins rolling back his sleeves to show the extent of his tattoos on hands and arms.

"I'll agree to your terms." He says, and there seems to be a strange weight to them. "I also don't have any memories before waking in the shipwreck. And the few I have raise as many questions as they answer. This rock was among my possessions. I don't know what it is, but it has a power none of the others seem to be able to feel. I remember being trained to fight, but I don't know the reason. I have these tattoos on my hands, and they're elsewhere on my body as well. These glyphs," he points to the few that seem to match the Bollini language, "are Bollini, and seem to indicate my history was related to the Bolline Islands, but I don't seem to be able to read them. What can you tell me of any of these?"


Ushari looks at the witch woman with an expression of hope in her eyes. Even though this price may be a steep on to pay, the alternative is only being an incomplete shadow of myself.

She waits until Isolde is finished with both Fin and Jayse before she replies,”Like Jayse has said, I also accept your terms. I have little else to show you other than my music box, other than to say it was secreted in a blue silk dress fitted to my body.”


Isolde's face registers surprise when Jayse mentions Bolline. He alone catches her quickly-masked worried glance at Ushari. She quickly cleans her blade and bowl, pulls out another vellum envelope and a fresh wax stick.

It is no surprise to Jayse, having seen some of Isolde's methods, that he is also measured with thread, his hand cut, and the blood spilt on the table and in the bowl. Again she casts a spell and his blood writhes forming incomprehensible characters and words. Instead of a grunt, she nods, as if it confirms something.

Given the eager look on Ushari's and Straehan's faces, she cleans the bowl, blade, and table yet again - anticipating more bloodletting. All the while she looks at the small innocuous stone that Jayse has put down and the glyphs on his body.

When the table is clean again, she sits down and touches the stone. Whatever she senses, intrigues her. She picks it up and looks carefully. She smells it and even licks it. She bounces in her chair slightly, clearly excited by the stone. Isolde washes the stone and places in it Jayse's palm but then suddenly grasps his hand, forcing the stone between their joined palms. She stays this way for a long minute, in a trance, not speaking, and unwilling to relinquish his hand. When she lets go, the stone is still in her hand.

The look on her face is that of a happy little girl who has received a great treat. For a dour woman she almost looks giddy. She holds the stone in front of Jayse's face and then flicks it away with her middle finger. Instead of flying across the room, the spindle-shaped rock begins to tumble in an orbit around Jayse's head. He has a sense of its power yet again.

Isolde watches it circle for a time, her smile growing with every revolution. She reaches up and gently scoops it from the air. She again holds it before his face. This time she places it close to his brow, directly above the bridge of his nose and slowly lets go. It hovers there, spinning slowly on its axis. When he moves his head, it retains its position, mirroring his movements.

She casts a quick spell and begins speaking a strange sounding tongue...

Jayse:
Jayse understands perfectly what Isolde says. He realises this is his native tongue. "This is Bollini. I see you understand it, though maybe you didn't know you knew it. Most humans fear the people of Bolline. Since Ushari does not seem to remember this fear, and it may erode your friends' trust if your truth alone were concealed... may I speak of these matters in Common? Or would you prefer they be private?"

rolls/housekeeping:

Cast Blood Biography
Cast Identify
Cast Tongues
Use Focused Trance

Know: Dungeoneering 1d20 + 12 + 15 ⇒ (19) + 12 + 15 = 46 Identify
Know: Arcana 1d20 + 16 + 15 + 20 ⇒ (8) + 16 + 15 + 20 = 59 Identify, FT
Know: Planes 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (15) + 16 = 31
Know: Geography 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30
Know: History 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (19) + 16 = 35
Linguistics 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (12) + 5 = 17


STONE-FACED KILLA

Jayse watches in fascination as the woman makes the stone float around his head, then begins to realize it may not be she who is making it float, but the stone itself. He grabs it from where it hangs in front of his face and tries to place it in a different location on his head. Will it take up whatever position or orbit at which I place it? Or do there seem to be specific places that it works and others that it doesn't?

Jayse looks surprised at her words, responding in kind as he tinkers more with his power stone. His face is concerned as he speaks back in the strange tongue.

The strange tongue:
"I guess that depends how damaging this truth is. I seem to remember my people having some kind of secret, but I don't remember what it is. I'm beginning to trust these people. Well, I know little of the elf, though her actions have been trustworthy."

He thinks for a few moments, subtly casting his eyes across his new friends one more time before continuing in common.

"Say what you know in plain common. Maybe what you reveal will strike some memories of theirs as well."


DM

Jayse - the stone can be made to orbit your head, sit in front of your 'third eye' (i.e. - the brow position Isolde placed it in), or (after you experiment with it some) it can float directly above your head. Also, it can be set against your brow so that it appears attached to your forehead... so it can look decorative.


DM

Fin sits in the cool evening, dabbling her toes in the water, wondering at the purpose of this exercise.

The lake's waters swirl and eddy around her feet. She debates taking a quick swim when the lake itself seems to rise up forming a massive living wave that stoops over her. Fin knows a water elemental when she sees one and this creature is massive. size Huge It politely hands her sword to her. Its voice is like a sluice of water receding down a rocky beach. "Hellooo, Water Sister. This is yooours, I think. You are far from your hooome waters... as far as this metal. I have not tasted your like or its like in a looong time. Tell Eldar Sister that you taste of Eowynnane, she will understand. Cooome swim when you may. Gooooodbye for now, Little One." Without fanfare, the elemental merges into the lake.


Isolde inclines her head to acknowledge Jayse's decision and begins speaking in both Common and Aquan (when Fin returns). "First, your name is Jayse and Findelgwing is Findelgwing." She indicates the blood writing that was on the table. "Blood never lies. This is good because your minds have been touched, memories erased. That which can erase your memories can alter them as well. So it is good to know that you are who you remember yourself to be."

"You have traveled far to come here, Jayse. You are of Bolline." She pulls out a wax tablet and quickly sketches the Great Southern Isles below a massive continent. Resting in the crook of the continent, on its northern extreme, she makes a little separate blob and points to it. "These are the Bolline islands. You have come from there... it is maybe 15,000 to 20,000 miles as birds fly. IF you were bird, it is a long journey. Northern part of Miir is untamed, dangerous, last refuge of the High Elves and other things. No one would come straight, so your journey must have been longer and very dangerous."

See the "Miir - Flat Map" or the "Miir - Global View" - the only blob of island on the northern side is the Bolline 'chain'.

"Here Bollini people are unknown. On Mainland, they are feared, and are apart from other races of man. This is foolishness but it is so."

Sense Motive DC:22 or Jayse:
Isolde is holding something back, attempting to shade the truth about why the Bollini are feared.
I's Bluff 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (16) + 6 = 22

"You speak Bollini, as we just did, and you can probably read it too. Just had to 'remind' your mind that you could do it. Can you read those characters on your hands, now?"

Jayse is able to make out several words but some are spelled wrong and most are a complete mystery. What words he can make out suggest a metaphysical theme. He shares this with Isolde who responds, "I suspected this may be so but I am sorry for it. I think this is a magical script written in Old High Bollini. It is an ancient form of what you know. None alive now speak it except maybe in Bolline." She sighs and seems to draw on everything she has gathered so far, "I think the tattoos are a... a... mystical conduit to marry the powers of your body with the powers of your mind. I think they are supposed to unify your flesh and spirit." She seems to find her own speculation galling and irritating, as if her inability to provide a concrete answer is shameful.

More later...


She turns her attention to the stone and her eyes light up. "This is the most curious thing of all. It suggests a portion of your journey here. I must tell you a thing of the Mainland. There is a place, near the center, a land called Oxex. It is said to change often - one day a mountain grows, the next day it sinks and is replaced by a lake." She shakes her head, seemingly at the foolishness of people, "This is not so. It is a hole through the planes and dimensions in the multiverse. One day it is a sliver of here, the next a bit of Tarterus, the next a bit of the Ethereal plane, and so forth. It is a dangerous place to go. If you enter the land when the planes shift then you may never get home again..."

She points to the stone, "That stone is Abyssidian. It comes from one of the Abyssal planes that occupy Oxex every so often. It is prized; nothing is harder or stronger. It resists magic and prevents intruders. Many kings of men have tried to gather enough to layer their castles with thin sheets of Abbysidian to prevent teleportation and stop insubstantial creatures. So, how did you come by it? Were you in Oxex? Who worked that stone for you? That stone was made for you and no one else. This, I know."

She shift gears, cutting back to an early comment by Jayse, "I am not surprised that your friends sensed no power in it. The stone is not magical... yet." She holds up a hand to forestall Jayse's understandable objection, "It still has power locked within it. That is what you feel. It is the power of its potential. In its own time, it will become magical... but, right now, it waits."

Mike - feel free to have Fin return OR I can include that in my next post. Up to you.


From outside you hear the sound of fast-approaching footfalls and then Findelgwing bursts thru the door with an excited look on her face.

Aquan:
"AwaterelementalbigasahousesaidthatItastelikeEowynnane. I'mgoingtogoswimwithitnowok?"

With that the girl sets her sword by the door then races back towards the lake leaving a trail of clothes in her wake before she dives in.


LOL. Well played, sir.

The flurry that is Fin arrives and leaves as quick as a zephyr leaving Isolde blinking and trying to recall what she was doing.

Eowynnane? Oh no.


STONE-FACED KILLA

Jayse watches the elf's antics, shaking his head before going back to pondering his tattoos.

Bollini:
"So you said the people of the mainland feared the people of my islands. Do you know why?"


Bollini:
"Psychic abilities are very rare. The Bollini are the only race where mental powers breed true across generations. People fear what they do not know. Mental powers are largely unknown, but they are powerful being both like and unlike magic."

She smiles, "But the greater fear of Bollini is their reputation, their discipline. In ages past, promising Bollini youths were trained from their earliest days to harness the power of their minds and bodies as one. Their bodies became living extensions of their will... and their wills were iron-hard and committed to a single task which they performed without fault or remorse."

"The Bollini 'Hand-Dancer' was a mentalist and martial artist whose sole purpose was to kill. They were assassins without compare. And because they looked like other humans - they were even more greatly feared. Anyone could be a Hand-Dancer... I think you can see why it would be dangerous for anyone of Bollini ancestry to speak of it too freely, particularly if they had skill in martial arts. Thankfully, the Hand-Dancer is mostly considered myth now as none have been seen for generations."


While Jayse considers what has been said, Isolde turns to Ushari. "I can tell you little more of the music-box than I already have. But perhaps your blood will tell us more..."

She performs the same ritual, incision, and spell. She frowns at the blood writing on the table. "You are Ushari and your family name is Velnokal... but you are also known, in some small circle, by another name. You are called Despair's Daughter." Isolde shakes her head, "I can make no further sense of that... but you are from Crux." She says the name as if it is meaningful before realising sheepishly that, to them, it carries no weight.

"Crux is the capital of the Realm, called the City of a Thousand Spires. It rests on the shore of the Endless Lake. It is the center of all politics, all intrigues. The Empty Throne waits there." As Isolde speaks of the city, images of soaring spires and a lake so large it looks more like an ocean spring into Ushari's mind. Yes, she has run across the high parapets of that city and there was music - sprightly tunes and lullabies.

Tumbling Ushari from her reverie, Isolde touches her hand. "You danced there, I feel. It was a passion for you." The music from Ushari's previous flash intrudes again, accompanied by the feel of swirling bodies. But there is something odd to it. Ushari doesn't feel a sense of happiness from it, more of a need.

Isolde lets her go. "I can tell you nothing else for now. It is all jumbled."

rolls/housekeeping:

Cast Blood Biography
Know: Geography 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (4) + 11 = 15


DM

Fin shallows dives into the lake lit by the rising moon. With bold strokes she swims far into the lake. Aside from the odd fish curious about her toes, she is alone. She floats for a time watching the stars. When she is bumped by a log, she decides to swim back in. She sets off with powerful strokes only to find the shore is no closer and the log is still next to her. Again she sprints through the water only to find she hasn't progressed a foot. When she stops and treads water, she is propelled towards shore at an alarming rate... but only for a few moments and then she stops. Fin realises that water elementals have a sense of humor equal to their control of currents.

A mound of water raises slightly out of the water and speaks in the voice she heard before. "Yooou are back soooon, Water Sister. Doooo you like clean water better than stinky huts?"


Ushari sits down in the chair after Isolde's pronouncement, her thoughts awhirl with fragments of her past life colliding in her mind. Despair's Daughter? What does that mean? Am I the bringer of Despair? Is my father Despair? So many questions, so few answers. Her attention returns to her reverie of the dancing tunes she has heard before in her own mind...and knew without a shadow of a doubt, she was wearing her dress during her dances. The thought of wearing it again fills her with a sense of excitement, tinged with fear. Was I well liked? Well admired? Who did I dance with? Were there boys that enjoyed dancing with me? Was I a courtesan, like Straehan? Was I something...more?

She only knows one thing for certain, the answers she is looking for lay in Crux, which she knew is a long journey from Forestal.

A troubling thought occured to her, if Jayse is from Bollini, and Fin is from an unknown island far from here, and she is from the Mainland capital of Crux, then what possible agent arranged for all of their being present on a ship sailing in the Archipelago?


Findelgwing nods enthusiastically, her voice spilling into the night air like a fast-moving brook. Suspecting that it might want to hear news of the seas, she recounts to the great elemental all that happened earlier: building a raft, fighting off sharks, the Reavers, and finally pulliing the others ashore after the storm.

At length, lying on the surface of the lake like a child might rest their head on their mother's lap, she repeats the name Eowynnane and asks the great elemental if it remembers anything about the place.


DM

The elemental makes a hmmphing sound as it ponders her question. "Nooooo, Sister. It has been too looong and all streams flow into each ooother eventually. Eldar Sister has the memory. I recall oooonly being bit by a swooord like yours." 'He' chuckles.

"Come. I will shooow you something interesting." Without warning he dives, carrying Fin down towards the bottom of the lake. She notices a small odd-looking creature swimming along in their wake. She also realises that she is breathing water without effort.

The lake steadily deepens and then drops away precipitously towards the center. The elemental swiftly descends carrying Fin down to the bottom. "Sister needs light to see." In answer to his request, the creature following them touches a shell which begins to glow. It throws the shell into the depths, lighting the rocky bottom of the lake and a submerged building. There isn't much left of the house. It is a blocky building built around a central courtyard. The elemental drops into the courtyard, in what was once a small pool. Along the walls of the courtyard are a number of deteriorating frescoes of water scenes, beaches, dolphins and a couple water elementals.

He hovers in the middle of the wading pool and laughs. "They wanted a small pooond in their big house. Now their small house is in a big pooond. They have art-pictures of me too - new ooowner - on walls!"

He watches as Fin swims around for several minutes satisfying her curiosity before saying, "We should return to surface, now. I think yooou need to talk with Eldar Sister." He sweeps her up in a flow of current and rises quickly to the surface, letting her go close to shore.


With a smile for Isolde, Straehan says, "Well, I'd like to know who I am but I have no stones, swords, or boxes to show you. But what I'd really like is access to all of the knowledge in your head."


Findelgwing thanks the elemental and wrings-out her hair in the lake so that she does not carry off any more of his essence than can be helped. She then begins getting dressed again and waves in the direction of her new friend as she returns to the house.

Once back, she sits down next to Straehan, her face lit with a contented glow. She does her best to quietly await her turn with Isolde, although she cannot help but hum to herself whilst she waits.


Isolde performs the same spells and rituals on Straehan. Unlike the streams of incomprehensible text the others saw in their blood text, Straehan's blood forms a pictograph of a snarling beast surrounded by words.

The image intrigues Isolde who runs her finger through some of the words, looking confused. She thinks for awhile and then sets out a clean wax pad and stylus near one hand. She holds Straehan's hand and watches him closely. Of it's own volition, her other hand begins scribbling on the wax tablet - pictures, doodles, and words in various languages. After an hour of writing, her hand stills. She drops the stylus and rubs the cramps from her hand.

Isolde studies the wax tablet, trying to make sense of what her hand wrote. After a few minutes, she speaks:

"You are Straehan. Your mother, a gnome. Your father - a red dragon. Their union was... not consensual. How you are not more draconic, I do not know... but the dragon's blood flows strongly in your veins. You were born in Polkepi on the Mainland but you called no place home for long."

"Now, I must tell you a thing. There are many planes of existence, some very different from this one and some almost alike. Those that are similar, we call Mirror Worlds. You, Straehan, are from a mirror of this world, one that is similar but not exact. In your world, for instance, Polkepy is spelled with a 'y', here it is spelled with an 'i'. How you arrived here, I cannot say. There are many gates to many worlds sprinkled across Miir. It is possible you came through one of these. I'm sorry, I have no more to tell you."

rolls:
Cast Blood Biography
Use Automatic Writing

Know: Arcana 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (1) + 16 = 17
Know: Geography 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (12) + 11 = 23
Know: Planes 1d20 + 16 ⇒ (20) + 16 = 36


Isolde wrote:
"Now, I must tell you a thing. There are many planes of existence, some very different from this one and some almost alike. Those that are similar, we call Mirror Worlds. You, Straehan, are from a mirror of this world, one that is similar but not exact. In your world, for instance, Polkepy is spelled with a 'y', here it is spelled with an 'i'. How you arrived here, I cannot say. There are many gates to many worlds sprinkled across Miir. It is possible you came through one of these. I'm sorry, I have no more to tell you."

Achooo! A– aaa– Achoooooo!!! Goodness, where did that come from?


Isolde turns to Fin, debating what to say, "As far as your friends have come... you have come further. You are Findelgwing. Your sword is made of Pearlsteel... a rare metal that is not native to this world. You are not native here either. You are both from Eowynnane. Come with me." She leads Fin out the door and points to a section of the sky littered with a pattern of stars.

"That is the constellation called The Crown. You can see the base of the crown and six stars that make its points. The second 'point' on the left - that is Eowynnane. The people living there name it Elsemar. That is your home. How you came here, I do not know. It is possible you passed through a gate to come here, though I have never heard of a permanent gate to Eowynnane but there are many gates of which I am ignorant. Possibly, you slipped through into Oxex if it touches Eowynnane. Or it could be that you were transported here by some sort of SkyShip. Of these, I know only rumours... My point is that you may yet return home, if that is your wish. Come, let us go back inside."

When they are reseated, she continues, "Now, for the rest of it. Your father forged this sword and carried it for many years. Unfortunately, it was passed on to you before it should have been. It grieves me to tell you that your father died bearing it and you took it from his hands. Pirates - human pirates - brought this sadness to your shores, I fear. I know you also have other family but I can see nothing of their fates for they are not tied to your sword. I am sorry."

Bah! NOW you can sneeze!


Hey, with all these time-space anomalies, who can say that I didn't? ;)

This explains everything: Thousands of years ago...


DM

Isolde sits back heavily in her chair, clearly tired from all the spell-work. She watches as you digest and discuss (or not discuss) what has been said.


Ushari looks across at her newfound companions, as she feels a kinship with all of them, despite their varied origins. She knew something had brought them all together, some…force…perhaps divine in nature, perhaps something else. She did not want to leave them, if it could be helped.

She responds to the others, ”Well, I believe we have some decisions to make as to what our plans together are. We can discuss it later though, for right now, I think we need to return to Forestal with the potions, and let the town know of the new threats we have uncovered. What say you all?”


Isolde moves to and paws through her cluttered shelves. After a bit of searching and muttering, she returns with a small, elaborately scribed box. She casts a spell over it holding onto the heroes' 'measures'. Satisfied, she seals the measures again in their separate envelopes, put them in their storage box, and shelves it.

She pushes the scribed box towards the heroes. "Take this. It will allow us to speak from time to time. Just open the box and talk. You will need this for a task I have for you. When you leave this island, call on me whenever you find a large oak tree. OK?" It can only be used once per week.


Ushari Velnokal wrote:
"...for right now, I think we need to return to Forestal with the potions, and let the town know of the new threats we have uncovered. What say you all?"

Straehan looks out through the window, seeing the black night outside. "Right now I think sleep is a better idea than travel. Goblins see well at night, better than you or Jayse do, at any rate. We've got a camp set up as well... and I have to wonder what other tasks Isolde has for us. I can't imagine all we she needs from us is locations of trees when we leave Amador."


Isolde seems amused by the comment and enjoys translating it... then she casts a spell on Fin to give her own voice a rest. She is unused to talking so much.

Fin - you now have Tongues for the next hour and a half (game time naturally).

FYI - it is about 10pm and it is the 9th day since you woke up in the ocean.


Ushari looks outside and her eyes widen when she realizes how late into the evening it is. She walks over to Isolde and takes the box from her, and stores it in her backpack, next to her own music box.

She smiles at Straehan, "Well, I enjoy moonlit walks as much as the next lady, but it would be wise to wait until morning, I agree."


"There is another task I may ask of you... But first I wait to hear your thoughts and plans. Perhaps our purposes are the same."


Findelgwing's eyes go wide and she points up to the constellation, babbling incoherent before throwing her hands up in the air and holding her head in disbelief.

When the two return inside, she sits as still as a statue while Isolde informs her about her father's fate. While the wise woman can tell her nothing of the rest of her family, it doesn't require a lot of imagination to figure out what must have happened to them.

With no clue that a spell has been cast upon her, Findelgwing simply sits still at the table by Straehan. Her elbows are upon the table top, fingers run thru her hair as she holds her head looking down at the sword laying across its surface. Although she keeps expecting them, no tears fall from her eyes.

You are surprised when you can understand her speak, although she appears to be talking to no one but herself. "I knew they were gone... somehow I've always known... But how is my home that tiny light in the sky? Why would the round-ears attack us? How could I have survived if they killed the rest of my family? What can I do about it now... from so far away...? I knew I didn't belong here with these people, but I can't leave little brother alone with them..."

While the girl had gotten used to the fact that Isolde was able to speak to her in a familiar language, when Findelgwing hears Ushari speaking her native tongue, her eyes narrow with suspicion. Has she been playing some kind of a trick on me?

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