Dinner over, you find yourself relaxing as the dishes are cleared from the table, when a golden and translucent letter appears above the table before you.
It looked to be a sheet of gold leaf, shining as only gold can in the candles of your dining hall. You are the only person that can perceive the letter, and your mightiest divination's can't discern it's presence. With a touch of your finger, the golden sheet unfolds, revealing the runes written above a large red wax circle, nearly three inches across, and appearing to be raised half an inch above the surface of the letter.
"Thy adventure's and exploits have garnered Our attention. Your realm will soon be in grave danger. Three days hence Our warning shall be evident upon the celestial alignments. Once warned, ye must declare thy readiness by placing thine palm upon this seal, lest thine world come to naught. The end cometh."
Further attempts to touch the paper are fruitless as your finger pierces the translucent image. When you rise from your seat, the letter folds itself and turns sideways to your vision, disappearing from view.
Xara pushes herself up from the soft moss of Sanctuary's dining glade, her meal of beans, vegetables and fruit forgotten. She reads it over several times, having to pause a moment to decide in which of her many languages this particular note was written.
"Boys, it seems like someone on the celestial realm feels there's a spot of trouble brewing."
She stands up to let Trig and Fritz have a good look at the note, reaching out to touch the seal, just as the note vanishes.
Desperately pushing aside the riotous babble of the dining dwarves, Hase focuses and concentrates on the letter. Spells fail, and tentative fingers touch nothing.
"Rogar!" he shouts out, drowned out by dwarven din.
"ROGAR!" louder now, and the call is carried on by his dining companions.
Out of his peripheral vision he senses more than sees Rogar approach.
"Do you see this?" he asks
"See what?" answers the self styled Dwarven King, peering over his shoulder.
Uncomfortable with the close contact of even this closest friend, Hase rises and slips aside to allow Rogar access.
"There's nothing there." Rogar says apologetically.
Hase's head snaps back, but Rogar speaks truly - the table is blank where the letter stood.
It must have been in my mind.
Is it that which brought me back?
Come to call in my debt?
I can do a lot in three days.
Gelein looks at the strange letter above his table. Looking around he notices no one else seems aware of it. Once he touches it and the message is recieved. He thinks on it. He gets up and takes a walk outside the tower to take in the view.
"Well I suppose if it is of interest to Nethys. I should cast a few spells to be sure. After all, three days could be when the all seeing chooses to end this world and who am I to question."
He turns around and walks back, communing with Nethys to divine his will.
Vanshoon is puzzled by the strange dreams. If it wasn't for the letter of yesterday, he'd probably discard the thought and work for the mission at hand.
Now, there was no immediate mission, although there could easily be another one if he asked Euphemi.
Vanshoon already informed the priestess about the Isgerian slavers he was kindly asked to deal with, in answer to a Sending spell: "Cage picklocked. Slaves escaped under illusion. Slavers didn't notice illusion. Subdued slavers one by one. Put them into their cage. No bloodshed, thanks to Shelyn."
Walking through the Plane of Shadows is always a quick and easy way to find a safe place to rest and come back home in Augustana at the local temple of Shelyn. His mother and sisters were all good and well, but it was imperative to let everyone believe that he was always on the move and never actually in the temple. In truth, Vanshoon wanted to keep an eye on his family while working on the "begs for help" that Shelyn's clergy was receiving in ever increasing numbers. Being a hero of freedom has its costs, and Vanshoon quickly learned that despite his power over the shadows themselves, he couldn't help them all. But it doesn't matter, as long as he does his best to help everyone he could, he would do his part.
But now, those dreams demand an answer. Vanshoon wasn't even sure if the letter was reality or some other sort of illusion, perhaps Vanadia was tampering again with his mind to trick him again.
But the letter AND the dreams, that was too much for a concurrence. He would've asked Euphemi about the meaning of that strange letter as soon as he could.
As usual, Vanshoon met Euphemi in the shadows. Euphemi was supposed to be alone in her chamber while praying to Shelyn for wisdom, but what's a more delicious offer to the Goddes of Love than a kiss by her lover after a successful mission in Her name?
Vanshoon and Euphemi learned through a Commune spell that the deity hearty approved of such beautiful emotions between the two, but were it to become public, both Euphemi and Vanshoon would have been in peril. The fact that meeting people unseen was Vanshoon's forte, was just convenient.
"Hi again, my beautiest gem. I thought I'd come by and see you, sorry for not knocking at the door." Vanshoon smiled, then he kissed her again.
"I think I have to talk to you about some strange things that happened to me yesterday and this night... it makes me shiver and I can't find a sense to all of this."
|Derric the Advisor|
Derric woke from his dreams, trying to hold onto his dreams as they slipped away from him, leaving him only with a vague recollection of them. Still, they left him uneasy.
As he walked through the halls of the Guardian's Tower, observing the various classes and studies going on, he kept pondering about the dream. What did it mean? Derric had never had any sort of dream like it before, and it disturbed him. Not to mention the letter that he had recieved yesterday. If there was one thing that Derric had learned in the twenty seven years or so of his life, was that there was no such thing as consequences.
Heading up to Marian's quarter's, he knocked on her door politely. Receiving permission to enter, he sat down on a corner near her dresser.
"Something is brewing Marian, between the letter I got yesterday and these dreams... there's something wrong about it all. I'll probably be leaving in a few days time. I need you to make sure that everyone is prepared, the Guardians might be needed in the coming days."
Xara wakes during the night from the dreams. Unable to return to sleep, she summons Trig and the two quietly discuss them and their possible meanings until the artificial dawn of Sanctuary lightens the "sky". The illusion of red streaking the star-filled void miles above their heads always dispels the reality of the nothingness ten feet up.
By the time the residents had risen, they had both agreed that something serious was happening, and by the time breakfast had been prepared and brought to them, they had agreed they needed to leave to seek answers. Xara smiled sadly as she watched her charges preparing for morning service. Brylor of Taldor and Kal of Rahadoum could not have been more different, but they were brothers in Saranrae, but persecuted for their beliefs for different reasons. Here, they tended to the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the residents. They would leave soon, though: faithful of Saranrae could never remain for long, for they could sense that their "sun" was nought but an illusion. Just like the Gozrehites.
After morning service and two hours past dawn, Fritz finally rose from whichever mossy knoll and willing companion he had found last night.
"But we're leaving him, right?" Trig asks, but his face already knew that hope on that had already faded long ago.
Trig and Fritz look at Xara with blank stares, then look at each other. Trig's ears twitch slightly, "What letter?" Fritz shrugs his shoulders, "what did you put in your coffee this morning?"
The next morning brought the first manifestation to the world of Golarian, at some point in the day, depending on where one was, the sky cracked.
Appearing out of the constellation of the Kraken, a glowing ball of light shines forth brighter than the sun. This ball glows blue in the center with red lightning like flares shooting out from it. These flares are slowly spreading out across the sky. Currently they cover about 20 degrees of the sky.
Rioting is quick to follow as the populace becomes frightened of something unexplained.
|Derric the Advisor|
Derric stood at the doors of the Tower with Marian beside him. As he got ready to leave, he turned to the headmistress.
"Marian, this is what I warned you about. Get the Guardians prepared, who knows what will follow in the coming days."
Packed up, he kissed the elf on the cheek. Backing off, he casted a greater teleport, sending himself to Almas. He would talk to the People's Council first, and hopefully he would meet up with some of the other powerful men and women he had met on his travels. They had their share of disagreements, sure, but the world was ending, those disagreements could wait.
Gelein stands atop the tower. The strange magic in the sky, Nethys had not blessed this. A soft hand touches his neck, he looks over at Shiqos. He places his forehead to her's for a moment.
"Well I must see what this is about. Do make sure things are taken care of for a while."
He had already heard of the people in the near by cities rioting. No such thing had happened in his own island or among those near by. The dragon pets, gnomes, and elves all seemed largely unimpressed. Such did each have their own way of dealing with the event. Still their was the threat that fear would best better judgement and things could turn towards the temple or its people. None the less he had his duty.
"Oh and keep an eye out. You never know when someone may do something foolish."
With that he ruffled his wings and took off.
Inside his little conjured cottage Hase is dealing with his secretary Phum- a dwarf foisted on him by Rogar. Currently Phum is explaining all the messages & requests that had been left for Hase while he slept.
"The Hag Elsbena..."
::Elsbena:: stated a voice in his mind from the artifact Rogar had called "the Wytch King's Crown" and Hase called "The Headband of Gossip" ::is an eighty seven year old half-orc witch who has been reprimanded for using disguises to seduce much younger men in the nearby town.::
"...asks that you put her in touch with a member of the Circle who can reincarnate her into a younger, preferably elven, body. She claims to have the necessary components. Finally, Rogar has sent word that the sky has cracked, and some panic and rioting has set in."
"Next time" Hase says through gritted teeth "Mention the sky cracking first."
Striding to the door Hase flings it open and looks up, then turns back to Phum
"Out." he says
"But sir! The schedule!" Phum exclaims
"Forget the schedule. I'm going visiting - see if anyone out there knows what's happening. Tell Rogar unless I have a good answer then tomorrow we expand the Circle and start taking in refugees. Tell him to get a Coven together."
Where to go first? he ponders The Academae? The Guardian's Tower?
GM: a simple sending spell only has a 5% chance of failure when contacting another plane. With an entire university faculty, surely somebody will get through. No need for special contraptions.
Early the next morning, a gate opens up in Xara's cramped office at the Korvosan Acadamae. She rushes towards the headmasters office, needing only look out a window to know why she had been summoned so urgently.
"He's expecting us," Xara says by way of greeting to the headmaster's secretary before she knocks on the office door and sees herself in. "Headmaster. Looks like it might rain, wouldn't you say?"
@Derric Arriving in Almas, just within the Embassy District, the roar and din of riots assaults your ears. In the distance you can see heavy black smoke billowing up from what looks to be the temple of Desna.
@Xara Looking out the window Xara is greeted with chaos. Across the courtyard she can see a multitude of people shaking the gates and crying for answers. More immediately, and possibly the reason for her urgent summons, the top of the observatory building is missing, the dome and top floor are gone. The lower three floors remain intact, and from this vantage point no damage is visible.
@Vanshoon Gelein & Hase where are you now, and where are you going?
you may want to reconsider your skills, since you have fly at a base of dex, +3
A Profession: Astronomer check of DC 20 will let you know it is really high up, alternatively, profession:astrologer DC 25 will give you the same result. Survival DC 25 will work as well.
How high is he going to fly, or more importantly, for how long? I am assuming that your flight is at a less strenuous angle rather than attempting straight up, which would be a DC 20 fly check.
At that angle, your climb speed is 15. This will allow you to increase elevation by 1.5 miles per hour. After one hour of flying up (I am assuming you are generally circling above your keep) you will need to make a DC 15 fort save (easy so far) due to the altitude. After hour two the save is DC 16, and you must also make another DC 15 fort save unless you are protected against cold.
After hour 3, you need to make a fort save of DC 17 for the low oxygen, and the cold save increases to DC 16.
After hour 4, the altitude DC is 18, the cold save is now every ten minutes and the DC's for the 4th hour are 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.
You have now reached an altitude of mount Everest.
To reach the edge of the atmosphere, you will need to fly for an additional 47 hours.
For each hour you would need to make an altitude check of +1 per hour, in addition, starting at hour 10 and every six after that would be second fort save for altitude, in addition, the cold Dc would continue to increase by +1 each ten minutes.
I haven't checked, but you would also start making fly checks for flying through 100 mph jet streams (a -12 skill check). In addition at the edge of the atmosphere you would effectively be in a vacuum and then have to contend with both extreme cold and extreme heat.
Did you memorize endure elements today?
|Derric the Advisor|
"Damnation, I hoped it wouldn't devolve this quickly." Derric looked up at the cracking sky, then started towards the Temple of Desna. The Council would have no power over the chaos in the streets right now. Not until they managed to mobilize the army to restore order. But if the temple burned, then lives were at stake, and thus took priority.
I didn't say how high it was, I just told you what would happen the higher you went and asked how high you were going. If it was 50 miles up, it would still take you 33 hours to get to it.
How is Derric traveling to the temple?
Hase, if you happen to pass a window, or arrived in the courtyard, you would also see the top of the observatory missing and the mob outside the front gate.
Well he cast endure elements and mind blank everyday no matter what. Also his Fort mod is +22 so only once he failed that the first time would he no longer bother with it and just scry it back home in the tower. I reskilled him figuring I can do without heal, his Fly skill mod is +20 now.
|Derric the Advisor|
Hase appears in a summoning circle of the Arcanaeum - one of the few places guaranteed not to have a teleport trap.
Walking past the terrified student he continues through the hallways, passing a window and..
Damn. Well. That's not a [i]good sign.[/i]
He stops momentarily to look out the window.
"When in doubt, go to the top." he mutters to himself, and heads towards the headmaster's office.
@Gelein You realize that without someone to scry, you will not be able to get a closer look at the phenomenon. (I couldn't actually locate a divination spell that acts as telescope...)
@Derric Your walk quickly gets bogged down by groups of people blocking roadways. The general tone is one of consternation and fear. As usual, people need someone to blame, and often it's those in charge or educated. You catch occasional phrases of people wanting to pray to one temple, burn another down, or vent at the local government. The watch is out in force and retreating to central areas. Unless you take pains to disguise yourself, you quickly find yourself surrounded by a similar mob demanding answers, after all, you look like someone that should be doing something. You will be recognized quickly.
@Hase entering the headmaster's office, you find the headmaster greeting someone else, a drop-dead gorgeous half-elf, nobody other than the talented summoner Xara.
"Hase!" Xara says by way of greeting. "Yours is a welcome face to see today. The headmaster was about to tell me what happened here."
|Derric the Advisor|
Seeing the terrified looks on the faces of the people. Derric decided to speak.
People of Almas, I know you are scared. Some of you may recognize me, I am Derric, the High Guardian. Be reassured, I will be gathering some of the greatest minds in Golarion in order to find out what is happening here. But for now, I ask only one thing of you: return to your homes, something strange is happening, yes, but it is not the end of the world. Right now, you are the greatest danger to yourselves. And what use is this" Derric pointed to the smoking temple of Desna "What good does this do? How murdering your fellow man help you in this time of apparent crisis? Return to your normal lives, knowing that the situation is being dealt with."
Diplomacy probably: 1d20 + 35 ⇒ (20) + 35 = 55
If that doesn't convince them, I don't think anything would.
@Gelein to whom are you asking, and what is your first question(s)?
@Derric This group heeds your words and with faces still displaying the fear they hold, they disperse. Unfortunately, you find yourself making the speech at every corner. A quick glance back shows that but a few streets back yet more people congregate where you have so recently cleared space.
After a short while you are able to get a look at the temple. A quick glance is enough to tell you that the mobs had nothing to do with the wreckage you find scattered about.
From across the courtyard you can feel the malevolence that pervades the temple. There is an invisible line encircling the shrine. Outside this line stand members of the watch. Some looking outwards to ward people from approaching, other's facing in with trepidation. It is obvious many have emptied their stomachs upon the ground, and not a few look to have voided other orifices as well.
Peering around to get a view of the courtyard, you soon see for yourself the gore that has evoked such a reaction. For within that circle, that invisible line surrounding the church, nothing appears to live.
Scattered around the temple grounds any living creature was viciously eviscerated, and their bowels strewn about, hanging from lamp posts, trees, and benches.
The temple itself has been laid to ruin, the observatory itself looks to have been completely, and violently, demolished.
@Xara and Hase Nodding, and waving to the other seat before his desk, the headmaster glances to the door of his office "that will be all Robsich." Settling uneasily back into his own chair, he glances at you for a moment before sighing "As you can see through the window behind me, the observatory is gone. A few hours ago, just before dawn, strange lights appeared all around the observatory. They flew through the walls, and gathered around everyone in the building. It was like the lights were guiding everyone out. And then they, and the observatory disappeared. At first we thought there were no casualties. A head count showed that Grossimn Fubgroth, our head astronomer is missing."
"As for the lights I don't know what to make of it, and neither do any of our tenured. The Queen has called on the Hell Knights to help restore order in the city. We have been okay here on the grounds, but I fear for those faculty and students that have off-campus housing."
@Vanshoon PM sent, need a little info.
Commune only works for your god (Nethys for me) or if he chooses to not pick up one of his direct agents. I think Gelein should be important enough not to get a busy signal. As for the questions.
1. What is the blue glowing ball with red lightning in it's middle?
2. Where did it come from?
3. What is its purpose?
4. How much will it grow per day?
5. Who created it?
6. How was it created?
7. Can it be reversed?
8. How can it be reversed?
9. What effects will it have on the world?
10. Can it be destroyed?
11. How can it be destroyed?
12. What effects would its destruction have?
13. Where is the one who created it?
14. Is there knowledge on this phenomenon?
15. Where can I find this knowledge?
Thats all I can think of right now. Hope I did not miss anything important.
"Not Grossin!" Xara laments, grief in her voice. "Still, if those lights were leading people out, as you say, perhaps this abduction of the observatory, despite the ominous lights in the sky, was benevolent. I can't really confirm for you in the academic sense I know you prefer, but I have good reason to believe that things are finally about to come to a head between Desna and Lamashtu. Perhaps the Desnan forces needed an observatory for something, and so borrowed ours, along with our chief astronomer. Or perhaps somebody at the Acadamae was doing things in the observatory Desna didn't like. Was anybody planning on any unusual demony summoning/binding naughtiness, headmaster?"
@Gelein Nethys is an interesting deity. Are ye prone to the light or dark side, and just how mad are ye? Do ye find yerself bouncing between the two poles?
@Xara and HaseThe headmaster shakes his head, "I was not aware of any unusual events planed. Though there was some mention of a party, or composition coming up in a couple of days. Grossin was to have a proposal on my desk later today." Headmaster Ornelos stares out the window thoughtfully for a moment, "Desna and Lamashtu? I haven't heard anything recently about those two... what makes you think they have something to do with that? I would expect Lamashtu to be somewhat more, violent."
Turning to Hase, "About a third of the students saw it, along with a handful of staff. Those that tried to magically observe the event are recovering in the medical ward. Typical response, though any first year should have known that such magics were going to have a very strong aura."
Gelein is not mad in the triditional sense. He is well aware of everything and functions like any person does. He is just amoral and does what he considers best without regard to things like morality. So in that respect he is balanced, he will destroy and protect as needed or required by his god.
|Derric the Advisor|
Derric looked at the wreckage in dispair. So much death, so much unnecessary death...
Muttering out a quick spell, Derric conjured up a mount beyond the circle, looking out for what happens.
Casting Mount into the clearing.
Hase looks thoughtful "If I can talk to someone who saw the event I can rifle through their memories. Maybe I'll recognise something."
"I'm not really set up to summon a member of either host today - but it could be useful."
"I'm worried we're getting distracted though. An observatory being stolen this close to the sign appearing suggests one of two things. Either someone wanted an observatory, and took this one or that someone wanted to make sure no-one can get a decent looks at the sign."
Xara shakes herself out of her reverie. "Sorry, headmaster. I had a dream, or rather, a Dream. Following Desna, the goddess of dreams, I don't tend to discount out of hand those types of dreams that come to me. I saw two possibilities: one was Desna vanquishing Lamashtu, the other was...not."
Turning to Hase, she nods assent to his plan, still too distracted by her own thoughts to respond verbally.
"That would probably be wise, would it not? Let us talk to some witnesses first, unless, headmaster, you have more to tell us?"
@Gelein As you complete the casting of your commune spell the incense billows into a cloud floating before you.
Within the cloud you see two figures, one a trumpet archon sporting a black and white mask, the other a skeletal lich, lightning sparking across his bones. The two figures appear ethereal, their images overlaying each other, separating, and converging. This is a far cry from the usual hissing voice you usually hear from the cloud of incense.
"Nethys sees you, we are the voice of Nethys, 'ask your questions mortal. / reveal your desires Tathor.'" the statement was spoken by both, though they diverged mid sentence.
I'm giving you a LOT of poetic license since most of these are yes/no questions You are not sure which of the two gave each response, for those responses with two answers (that's what you get for following a god of duality).
1. What is the blue glowing ball with red lightning in it's middle? "The end of your world / the salvation of your world"
2. Where did it come from? "learn this you must."
3. What is its purpose? "A promise / A warning."
4. How much will it grow per day? "Until it is done."
5. Who created it? You see their mouth's moving but hear no sound.
6. How was it created? "By forces of will."
7. Can it be reversed? "No"
8. How can it be reversed? "Not applicable"
9. What effects will it have on the world? "The end of your world / the salvation of your world"
10. Can it be destroyed? "No"
11. How can it be destroyed? "Not applicable"
12. What effects would its destruction have? "Not applicable"
13. Where is the one who created it? "No one created it."
14. Is there knowledge on this phenomenon? "Yes"
15. Where can I find this knowledge? "The Library of the Ages"
As the last answer is given a swirling mass of opalescent light and midnight black forms in the background the two figures turn and upon seeing it, they seem about to solidify as they back away from it. The cloud rushes forward and engulfs them. The cloud of incense smoke swirls about itself and winks out of existence leaving you alone in the room. The bowl of incense before you has grown cold. You realize that you have been sitting still for six hours.
@Derric You cast a spell and summon a majestic celestial horse into the midst of the courtyard. There are several gasps and exclamations from those onlookers that have not fled, at the sudden appearance of the horse. The horse itself trembles in fright, standing hoof deep in gore. Nothing happens for a moment, and then one man breaks away from the crowd and heads for the horse. Several steps beyond the line his body suddenly bursts apart, scattering gore and internal organs across the courtyard and the people standing outside. The horse shrieks for a moment before blinking out of existence. You feel that the malevolent spirit that permeates the area is focusing on you before it suddenly disappears.
@Hase and Xara Headmaster Ornelos nods, "you may speak with those that are willing to share, but do not press any for answers, there has been enough trauma today. As for the Whitethrone, I can not answer." Glancing at a clock on the wall, the headmaster continues "please keep me updated on anything you learn."
|Derric the Advisor|
"It's still here,"Derric muttered,"Let's see if we can't fix that.
Muttering out a spell, Derric looked around, searching for any sort of magical auras.
Casting Detect Magic, looking for a source of magic. I intend to Disjunction this place the moment I can find the source
I dont suppose I could read their lips. ;)
Gelein thinks on the Library of Ages among other things. Seemed the one who created it was protected by magic, likely the same that he protected himself with.
Knowledge (Arcana, History, Planes, Religion)
1d20 + 28 ⇒ (7) + 28 = 35
1d20 + 28 ⇒ (13) + 28 = 41
1d20 + 28 ⇒ (3) + 28 = 31
1d20 + 31 ⇒ (17) + 31 = 48
@Derric Some of the townsfolk have minor aura's. A couple of the higher ranked watch are also sporting aura's. Looking inward, there are multiple with viscous aura's lingering. Looking at the dead bodies you can sense that the aura's are centered on several of the bodies, though it appears to have faded off those closer to the building itself. You feel the evil of the aura's becoming attracted to you as you gaze upon the courtyard with your eye's glowing from the incantation. The building itself does not radiate any aura's that you can detect at this range.
@Gelein You scan your memories and are unable to recall any reference to a Library of Ages.
|Derric the Advisor|
Derric grinned in the direction of the evil auras. It was aware of him now.
I wonder if it knows who I am? Derric thought as he turned to the guards.
Tell everyone to stand back a bit, this could get interesting. the sorcerer told the guards. Turning back to the auras, Derric waited for the crowd to recede 10 feet back, then spoke, "Dodge this. DISPARO"
At the end of his sentence a bubble of magic shimmered then disappeared, breaking apart magical effects and suppressing magical items.
Mage's Disjunction centered so as to it ends right in front of him.
Xara shakes her head, a rueful smile even today at the typical attitude. "Of course, headmaster, I wouldn't want to take up any more of your valuable time on such a trivial matter as this. If you'll excuse us..."
Turning to Hase as she stands, she says, "We should talk to a few of the faculty who witnessed the lights, especially those who actually work with Grossin. They might have an idea or three of what he was up to lately. It might benefit us to find somebody capable of communing with Desna, unless you feel like a trip to Elyssium to try to track her, or one of her chief servants, and ask directly."
I've looked, but can't find any reference to Desna's home, maybe because as goddess of travel, she's never settled down, but I'm guessing the chaotic good plane might be a place to start to find Desnans. If Xara and her +29 bonuses in Knowledge Planes and Religion would know of a better place to start, assume she would have said that instead.
Does gate allow you to see through the opening, to check out conditions on the other side, or do you step through blind?
"You're right. Where would we find the most powerful priest of Desna? Absalom? Somewhere in Varisia?"
gate spell description does state 2-way window
who is nosoi and how is he casting spells? Or possessing someone?
feel free to post any questions you would like to ask students/faculty