Gods of Earth and Sea

Game Master Nikolaus de'Shade


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Just as the two apparently foretold heroes are rising from the bath one of the cyclops returns, bearing an armful of extremely large and very fluffy towels. Once everyone is dried off and clothed he leads the way deeper into the temple, into what appears to be a dining room. Tyresias looks up, slightly before Ambrus is fully in view.

"Welcome friends." His eye is still completely white, but his spirits seem to have recovered quite well. "Have you spoken of the visions? Do you have a plan?" Assuming you give a truthful account. Tyresias frowns, before making a irritated gesture towards the attendent who seems determined to spoon broth into his mouth. Once again the gesture is off timed, he swings too early and nearly puts his hand in the soup bowl.

"Most curious." The cyclops rumbles. "Helm, spear and sword... There are many potent weapons in the legends, but without more clues it would be hard to be sure. Unless it's a reference to Psomeira. She is the god of Spears after all. You might well to find out what you can about Spalkis as well - he died recently, the Hero-God of Skirmishers and Sheep-stealing. He has a place at the Shrine to the Founders - some of the caretakers there might be able to help you if you cannot reach an audience with Psomeira. I will do what I can for you as well." He reaches a thick hand out in your respective directions. "Now friends, will you stay to break bread with us? The tide is coming in and the streets will be heaving for some time yet."

Feel free to RP at dinner if you want, otherwise discuss and let me know how you want to proceed. :) Also, Ambrus - did/have/will you mention the minotaur?


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

Yes, Ambrus would have mentioned the minotaur as well. He has no reason to withhold that detail.

Nikolaus wrote:
bearing an armful of extremely large and very fluffy towels.

Sheep's wool? Very appropriate.

Ambrus readily accepts the large towel. Never has he enjoyed such a luxurious commodity. It feels so soft and warm. Rubbing the woolen material across his skin really brings it to an exception mirror shine. Once dried, he reluctantly returns it to the cyclops who provided it. Ah, the benefits of a prestigious position. A man can get used to such things. But, I must steady myself against becoming too used to them lest I grow soft.

At the dining table, Ambrus frowns in sorrow at Tyresias' loss but wisely does not bring up the subject. "I would gladly break bread with you. The soup smells delicious. Inquiring after the hero-gods is as good a starting point as any. Do you really think Psomeira would receive the likes of us insignificant citizens? I'm sure, especially in the wake of Ousmariku's attack, she'll have much larger concerns. Also, I apologize for my lack of geography despite my citizenship, but where can we find Psomeira as well as the Shrine of the Founders?"

"I have an additional personal request. What can you tell me about the merfolk around Aelyosos? I saw some rally against Ousmariku during the battle at sea. Are they allies of the city? You may have noticed the merfolk corpse I left in your lobby. There is something wholly unnatural about it. I hypothesis that the merfolk was corrupted by a black slime that coats its body. I worry that this is not a singular occurrence and that additional corrupting ooze and/or corrupted creatures may still be at large in the surrounding waters that can threaten the citizens of Aelyosos. Do any of your clerics have the magical ability to analyze this substance? Or if this task is better suited for someone of wizardly or alchemical talent, do you have any recommendations? Once researched, I'd like to report my findings to my superiors."

I may be looking way too much into this encounter, but maybe I'm not...


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

"Psomeria definitely seems the strongest lead we're likely to have," Cyanea adds, gratefully accepting a piece of bread and a bowl of soup. I didn't eat as well as some did, she thinks as she affectionately cuffs Iroas over the head, then slips him a piece of bread anyway. "Was she involved in the encounter with Ousmariku? And how did Kelksiomides fare? I saw him on the barge with you and Ambrus, but I lost track of him after that. The loss of a hero-god would be devastating to city morale..." Again, she uncomfortably recalls the words of the strange man in her vision, words she couldn't help but believe wholeheartedly.

"'New gods must stand in our defense'," she muses softly, "does that mean then that the older ones will be lost? Are we meant simply to find these new gods, or..." Nervously she swallows the bread that momentarily threatens to stick in her throat as a previously impossible thought flits through her mind.. "...or are we meant somehow to be those gods? Sorry - fate and prophecy were until today of little concern to me. Some of my crew were superstitious, but I preferred to create my own fate." Her hand strays to the rapier at her side. "Like my mother before me."


"Ousmariku is a force of destruction." Tyresias says thoughtfully. "It would not be strange if even its blood could turn folk out of their right minds or that it might have attracted a creature such as you say. However, many of the merfolk see humanity as an interloper in their seas - your attacker may have had a more mundane motive. Perhaps it is worth investigating in future though."

At Cyanea's question he shrugs. "You have seen everything that I have done since the battle. Kelksiomides is alive, that would be a change in fate that all cyclopes would see. We all knew when Spalkis died, Fate... rippled, even though many knew his passing was soon to be. If I were to guess she will be then I would say Pantheon Hill. Both Hero-Gods will be present in majesty to reassure the people. You will have to swim unless you want to take the bridges."

The two major hills in Aelyosos are Seers Heights, where you are now, and Pantheon Hill, where the Hero-Gods are based. The two are connected by long rope bridges, but these get very crowded once the flood rises, as it has done while you've been in the temple. Everyone who can't get to the bridges swims or use boats to travel between the huge floating rafts that make up a large chunk of the city.


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

"A swim's fine by me, but I don't think he'll be too keen," she jokes with a nod toward Ambrus. "With this meal, I'm ready for what may come, whichever route is best. Is there anything special we need to help us to gain an audience with the Hero-Gods? I'm certain everyone will be vying for their attention - it's going to be no small feat to meet with them."

If Tyresias has no further advice on how to gain an audience, she'll use Diplomacy to gather information on the topic.
Diplomacy to figure out how to gain an audience with Psomeria: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (19) + 11 = 30


"You could tell her about the myth reading." Tyresias suggests with a shrug, "Or say I've sent you with a message, either should get you an audience, but if you want to keep quiet about the reading then the second might be best. If people think you are linked to the gods then they'll start hanging onto you like limpets..."

On the way across the bridges Cyanea is able to pick up a lot of gossip. Apparently Kelksiomides, with the help of the Merfolk and their chieftain, managed to drive off Ousmariku. The Hero-God was unwounded and is holding court in the Acropolis of Heroes. Psiomeria has taken over guarding the city and is out patrolling the harbour.


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

"I am definitely not swimming again! I don't care if the bridge is crowded, I can be very forceful if need be."

"Regarding the merfolk, if you have time, and if you don't mind, I'll leave the body at the temple for now. I can also take a sample of the slime with me, if you can lend me a vial or jar in case I come across someone else who can study it. I'll return after our visit with the hero-gods. If it seems safe enough to do so, I'd like to return the merfolk to his people for an honorable burial. Perhaps that will buy some goodwill between our people."

Ambrus scrapes some of the black sludge into a vial and then leaves with Cyanea towards the bridge to Pantheon Hill.


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

Cyanea nods and departs with Ambrus. The way would be crowded, she knew, but she was used to a ship's hold - being shoulder to shoulder with others wasn't anything new.


Exactly as predicted the bridges are heaving with people. The air is palpable with relief - Ousmariku's wrath having been turned aside much earlier than usual but there remains a frisson of unease, hence the number of people hurrying to complete their daily tasks as soon as possible.

Just as the pair make their way across the final bridge to the acropolis there are shouts up ahead and the press thickens. Pressing forwards Cyanea in Ambrus's mighty wake they find a circle of people surrounding three figures - two of whom Cyanea immediately recognises as members of the Marid's Treasure.

The other is a towering figure, seven feet tall and apparently all sculpted muscle. He wears no shirt and only the smallest of loin-cloths. His long hair flows most of the way down his back and his legs are unnaturally pale compared to his upper body, as though they were new-born that day. His only accouterments are a necklace made of what appears to be coral and a mighty spear - so large that even Ambrus would have trouble lifting it!

Between the group lies a chest, spilled on the ground and containing some particularly fine pearl and coral jewelry that Cyanea had traded for further east.

"Why have you stolen our rightful treasures?" The merfolk demands in a booming voice. "Thieves! Trying to repay our sacrifice with theft! I will have you blood to water the harvests!"


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

Merfolk again? He sighs internally. Are all of them shapechangers?

Ambrus is a boulder parting the sea as he bowls through the crowd to get to the center of the commotion. He is unconcerned with knocking bystanders to the ground. In his mind, anyone who eggs on violence is complicit to any harm caused. He positions himself in between the two parties and thrusts out his hands to the sides, palms up, indicating a stop. "What is the meaning of this! I am an Aelyososian officer and I will maintain the peace! There will be no bloodshed here unless you force me to take your own! Lower you weapons at once and explain yourselves!"


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

Ambrus may have been on the side of peace and accord - but Cyanea was decidedly on the side of her crew members. "These people are under my command," she explains both to the merfolk and her newfound companion, "and any issue you have with their conduct, you will address with me!" She motions toward the heap of jewelry on the cobblestones, hoping none of the pieces were damaged by the rough handling. "If these are the treasures you speak of, I bargained for them myself from a Casmar merchant in Katheer. They belong to me and to my crew, and my crew has been acting on my orders to sell our cargo. If you wish to arrange a trade, I am more than happy to discuss price with you, but if you claim it to be yours already, then you have stolen from my people and from me, and I do not take theft lightly."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16 If you decide Intimidate is more fitting, take 4 off the result.


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

Ambrus turns to the merfolk, "What say you? What claim do you have to these items? Any contention of ownership should be resolved in the courts not on the streets. If I must, I will escort you there myself. If you insist on violence, you will need to go through me first. But know that I have the Aelyososean army at my back and I need only occupy you until reinforcements arrive."

Ambrus wants to trust Cyanea, but he has only known her for less than a day...


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

"I have no desire for violence, and I insist on nothing except receiving a fair price for what I have rightfully traded for," Cyanea responds indignantly. "This was part of the cargo from my ship that we unloaded just before Ousmariku arrived. I bought the chest and its contents myself, a month or so ago, and I have ledgers to prove it. What claim do you presume you have?" she adds with a turn to the merfolk, making no effort to suppress the sheen of water that dances and skips over her skin.


"Very well soldier!" The mer says, with a wide grin that looks dangerous rather than reassuring. "These treasures are only to be found beneath the sea, the property of my people. Recently there have been many thefts and humans harvesting our treasures without proper permissions. They thought we would all be destroyed by the behemoth no doubt! But we were not!"

He turns to the crowd for applause before returning his focus to Ambrus. "Be the judge soldier. What is your decision? Who has the right? Those who nurture and grow such crops, or the human who says that they are hers without a shred of proof to back it up?"

Diplomacy or other social skill as you see fit Ambrus. :)


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

Cyanea laughs dryly. "I'm certain you have restored every cent of treasure you've gathered from every shipwreck that has sunk - treasures of our world, after all. And that you track every bauble you buy back to its maker, to ensure that no hint of dishonesty sullies its past.

I stole nothing from you, and neither has my crew; I have receipts and ledgers to prove my rightful acquisition of the chest, as I have already said. If these were stolen before they reached my hands, then I have no knowledge of it. But as a sign of goodwill, I ask only the price I paid for the lot in return for its deliverance into your hands, so I make no profit off your loss. Surely you can see this is the fairest option."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 11 ⇒ (10) + 11 = 21


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

"Surely not all items found beneath the sea fall under your domain. The oceans and seas are as vast as the continents of land. How can you be sure that these pearls and coral belong to the merfolk of the Obari Crossing? Were I an olive farmer, I could not claim the fruits of Absolom or Cheliax. But tell me this. What is it you truly desire? Did you come on land seeking this treasure specifically? Or did you just happen to cross paths? You claim that your lands are being pillaged. Whether these items once belonged to your people or not, surely it is only a small fraction of what was lost. It would seem that the true solution to your problem would be stopping these poachers from further desecrating your land. What if I could secure a pledge to increase Aelyosos' navy presence in the area to combat these thieves? And if these items are valuable to you, Cyanea has made you a fair offer for their return."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

"And I offer as well the name of the man from who I purchased them," Cyanea offers. "I cannot guarantee that he is the thief, if thief there truly is, but perhaps it will help to give your people some answers." Mutual goodwill with the merfolk was worth some give and take - they were not enemies one wanted when spending a majority of time at sea, after all.

Probably doesn't merit a new roll, but maybe a circumstance bonus to the last one?


The huge merfolk scoffs at Ambrus' attempt at mediation, but Cyanea's offer causes him to pause. He steps forward and looks closely at her features before nodding firmly.

"You deal well water-born. In recognition of our common heritage I will accept your deal, to be paid in human gold from those shipwrecks which have lawfully entered our territory." He grins, apparently accepting her shot about fairness and restitution of lost property. "So say I, Duoa-Ilox, hero of Aelysos. When the Hero-Gods and the cyclops accept my right to a myth-reading and I ascend then I will recall this meeting."

With that he offers a slight nod to Cyanea and marches off into the crowd, which parts before him. Half-way across the bridge he leaps from the side and dives perfectly twenty feet into the sea water below, his legs forming seamlessly into a tail as he goes.


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

Ambrus huffs at the merfolks dismissal. "Well I thought I argued well. I guess land and sea just don't mix. No offense." He ponders for a moment. "Duoa-Ilox. Never heard of him but I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of him either. So he's going to request a myth-reading too? Is this something anyone can ask for?"

"Anyway, crisis averted. Good work, Cyanea." Ambrus gives her a hard back pat with his slab-like palm. "Do your men need further assistance, or shall we proceed to our destination?"


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

"When you are ready, send word and I will come with the treasure and my ledgers. I look forward to completing our transaction, Duoa-Ilox." Cyanea returns a slight bow, watching as the merman withdraws. "By his departing words, I think you're right, Ambrus. I don't know enough about myth-speaking to know if Duoa-Ilox has any right to expect it, but it's clear he thinks he does. He'll see to it we hear from him again. At least this meeting did not go as poorly as it could have. Conflict with the merfolk is the last thing I need right now."

Sighing, she turns to her crew members. "Sorell, Trathan, you all right? Go ahead and take these back - and make sure they're marked as set aside as sold. At least we're getting something for them." As the two men leave with the chest, she turns back to Ambrus. "Onward and upward, then. But if we do manage to gain audience with the Hero-Gods, I hope like hell Duoa-Ilox doesn't hear about it..."


Cyanea Michailidis wrote:
As the two men leave with the chest, she turns back to Ambrus. "Onward and upward, then. But if we do manage to gain audience with the Hero-Gods, I hope like hell Duoa-Ilox doesn't hear about it..."

The odds of that seem slim as word is already rippling through the crowd who witnessed the confrontation. The merman at least appears to be a person of note, and it may just be that Cyanea and Ambrus have become so as well...

Pushing onwards, with Ambrus parting the crowd most effectively, the two heroes make their way at last to the great agora which is the crown jewel of Pantheon Hil. The great building gleams with white marble, long colonnades with elaborate bas reliefs and mosaics telling stories of the great hero gods of Iblydos. Small shrines burn fragrant incense, sending many wafts of perfume throughout the thick air.

The agora is heaving with a mighty queue of people, all apparently seeking an audience with Kelkiomides, whose huge figure can just about be glimpsed in the middle of the wide space. This could be a long wait.

Queue or do something to skip the line? I leave it to your... creativity.


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

Cyanea probably will disagree with me. As water, she may want to carve a path through. As earth, I have timeless patience.

Ambrus sighs and queues at the end of the line. "I suppose it can't be helped. It is not unexpected that the cities populous would seek its leaders after a tragic event. While I had hoped to speak with Kelkiomides urgently, I am loathe to trivialize the other petitioners. Their concerns may be just as valid as our own. If we truly are prophesied heroes, I suspect that at the right time we will find ourselves exactly where we need to me."

With that, Ambrus crosses his arms and closes his eyes and goes into a meditative state. He stands so still, a seagull mistakes him for a statue and lands on his head. Until the line moves, he let's it be.


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

Hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait...Cyanea was growing sick of it. The last three days had been nothing but waiting and queueing and seething while precious moments ticked away and opportunities were lost. Her companion wasn't incorrect - everyone in the plaza had troubles that needed attending to, worries that needed reassuring. But if the cyclopes were to be believed (she still wasn't quite certain of it, deep down) the fate of everyone there could hang upon the actions Cyanea and Ambrus took.

Spreading word of their myth-reading from the cyclopes, the visions they had seen and the dire warnings they had received, had a chance of speeding them to the front of the queue - but it had just as good a chance of inciting panic, and a riot was the last thing Aelysos needed right now. Cyanea had been known to slip a coin into the right palm to gain audiences in the past, when it was expected, but such a maneuver here could quickly erupt in resentment and come to blows. And when it came down to it, the encounter with Duoa-Ilox had been more public attention than Cyanea preferred already. A grand pronouncement didn't sound like her idea of fun.

"I suppose you're right," she finally concedes to Ambrus, sinking to the ground beside him (the stones immediately dampen in a circle around her as she rests). "I wonder, though, would it be best maybe to send a message to the Hero-Gods? Get them word of the myth-reading, so they can decide how high a priority it is? See if they would agree to meet with us later, either here or somewhere away from the temple?"


"A myth reading?" The man in front of Cyanea turns around with an expression of interest. "You know of a myth-reading? I have only ever heard of such things! Oh, where are my manners?" He clears his throat and extends his hand. "Jaric Trevelyan at your service, I am a traveller and scholar from Absalom. I came to investigate the ancient legends of Iblydos but my ship was stranded here when the behemoth approached and now... well... I shouldn't be bothering you with my problems. But please, tell me more about this myth-reading!"

Roll a skill check to influence him, choice of skill will determine result. :)


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

Ambrus opens his eyes and shakes Jaric's hand. "The name's Ambrus. A scholar, you say? It seems we have found ourselves with an abundance of time. Speaking with you would be a welcome diversion while we wait. It just so happens that Cyanea and I have had the honor of receiving a myth-reading ourselves. Apparently this is a talent of the cyclopes of Aelysos that they perform only on special occasion and at great personal cost. Cyanea and I were deemed worthy and are on our way to speak with Kelkiomides about our quest." Ambrus gestures towards the line in front of them. "But it would seem we have run into a slight delay."

Diplomacy, I guess.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 2 = 11


"By Nethy's black eye!" Jaric exclaims. "That is quite something! I don't think there's been a confirmed myth reading in nearly two centuries! This is fascinating, wonderful news. Do you mind if I make some notes?" The question is clearly a polite fiction, he's already digging a charcoal pencil out of his pocket and scribbling furiously.

"You, my lady, what feats of valor did you accomplish to gain such a reward?"

You got his interest at least Ambrus... :)


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

"Honestly, not much. I stood beside Kelkiomides during the battle with Ousmariku but was summarily thrown from the ship's deck before the fighting even began in earnest. While in the sea, Cyanea and I helped save the life of the drowning cyclop who performed our reading. Perhaps the myth-reading was merely thanks for saving the cyclops' life or perhaps he was able to see something in us beyond our deeds."


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

"As he says," Cyanea answers with a nod toward Ambrus. "When Ousmariku approached, I was at my ship on the shore, making sure my crew had abandoned it with everything they could carry. All my crew." She sets her hand on Iroas' head, and he bellows softly in response. "I have spent my life on the sea as a ship's captain, and seen too many lost to it. I could not abandon the cyclops to such a fate, not when it was in my power to rescue him. The myth-reading was offered to us out of thanks - I was not familiar with the ritual before it was performed, and I did not know what to expect. I still don't know if I fully understand its significance, but we both received visions during the reading, and we had hoped to seek the Hero-Gods' guidance on what we saw. It appears that will take some time."


"Rescuing a drowning cyclops... life-debts... bond of honour." Jaric murmurs, writing furiously. "This is wonderful! Wonderful! I absolutely must go, must research. Thank you both! So much!"

He rushes off, leaving his place in the line free for you both to occupy and causing a minor disturbance in the packed agora. The commotion seems to draw the interest of someone important and the crowd parts as Kelkiomides himself strides through them. He looks down at you both and a spark of recognition appears in his eyes.

The Hero-God stops and reaches out one vine-wrapped hand to shake Ambrus'. At his touch there is a flash of green-brown light and the entire agora, whispering furiously about this breach of protocol, falls suddenly silent. Kelkiomides notices and looks around before smiling a wry smile. A circle of vines leaps up around him and he steps backwards through it and disappears with a single word.

"Come."


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

Cyanea's breath catches as the hero-god approaches. She was not a native of Iblydos, and had not grown up with stories of their valor. But there was something about this man's bearing that left no doubt - even without the strange vines criss-crossing his skin, she would have recognized that here stood a person of power. Her heart in her throat, she prepares to greet Kelksiomides, planning her bow of respect...and then she sees the spark of recognition in his eyes, and all the plans of niceties are forgotten, replaced with confusion and wonder.

He...knows us? How could he possible know us? Know me?

After several moments, she finally remembers herself and manages to bend in greeting, the silence pressing upon her harder than the noise ever had. Her normal articulacy fails to reassert itself, and she remains speechless. At his invitation, she meanders forward more out of reflex than conscious thought, marveling at the gateway as she prepares to pass through and take in what lay beyond.


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

Since this is Ambrus' second meeting with the hero-god, he is less shaken up by the encounter. He shakes Kelkiomides' hand firmly but is a little hesitant with magic he is unfamiliar with. He turns to Cyanea, "Well I guess word reached him after all. Since he's taken the time to greet us personally, it would be rude to keep him waiting." Ambrus steps through the portal, wherever it goes.


The portal opens into a vineyard, sitting above a ruined village. Kelkiomides is standing with one foot on the wall, looking down towards the burned out houses.

"So, you have the gift and the cyclops have revealed your destiny." He says, voice deep and slow. "This is a weighty thing, especially for you foreigner. I know your ways are not those of Iblydos - this is not your fight. No-one will think the less of you if you choose to leave. Ousmariku is a foe beyond most people's nightmares. If you choose to stay... well. What do you know of my ascension?" He asks, the question coming out of the blue.

Knowledge History, DC10:
The popular story is that Kelkiomides fought off a great bandit raid on his village singlehandedly, gaining mythic power when he defeated the bandit king, armed only with a vine staff.


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

Knowledge (history) untrained: 1d20 ⇒ 11

"A little," Cyanea replies, finally finding her voice. "One of my mother's crew told me the tale once - as a bedtime story." At the admission, she blushes furiously. "But it was one of my favorites. I remember thinking how brave you were, to fight off so many bandits by yourself. Those were the kind of stories I always liked. Ones where the heroes defied their fates, made their destiny their own despite the odds against them. Where they had a chance to turn back, but didn't. And...it looks like it's my turn to live one of those stories."

She smiles, not quite as confidently as her words suggest. "I've got a boat in splinters at the bottom of the sea, a crew I can barely pay back wages for, and no leads for a new cargo. My future's on Iblydos, whether I like it or not. And if I can keep my crewmembers safe, protect the place where they'll make their own way from...well, they're my family. My home. That's what I'm fighting for."


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

Knowledge (history): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (14) + 2 = 16

Ambrus recalls the tale of Kelkiomides ascension as told by a bard around a campfire during one of his many campaigns.

"I know little of the requirements to become a hero-god. I've heard tales that you gained your mythic power by defeating a horde of bandits with just a vine staff. It is an impressive feat. But even that, is that all it takes? If one gains enough martial prowess, one can become a deity? That thought seems rather far-fetched. If that were the case, sword-masters around the world would has this power. And as for Cyanea and I, what great act have we performed to gain this destiny? Or perhaps we have not yet performed it... Are you going to drop us before an ancient dragon and see if we can wring mythic power out of it with our bare hands?"


Kelkiomides smiles tiredly. "The minstrels do love to embellish stories like that. Yes my village was attacked, but I was not there. My family died without me. It was only afterwards, when the forces of Pol-Ptirmeios rounded up the bandits that did it that I met their killers and I forgave them - new life must always succeed misfortune. It was... unsuitably heroic for the bards, but it was right - and my ascension to mythic power came immediately afterwards. So, Ambrus, do not assume that your actions must be violent. Many monsters must be slain, but not all challenges can be solved by swords."

The Hero-God falls silent, gazing across the ruined vineyard as the sun sets before him. "I have always focused on doing good. Psomeira fights and drives away evil. I want simply to make life better for our citizens - which is why I lead the delegation to Ousmariku. I think your deeds are yet to come, I can feel your potential like a beacon but it is not unlocked... yet. Tell me of your visions, and I will help you if I can."

Upon unfolding your tale Kelkiomides nods. "Yes. I know not of your whole prophecy but this spear... that I do know. To the north of here is the tomb of a Hero-God named Theseus. He fought to free Liachora from beasts and before he died erected a vast maze in a high mountain pass, so that no monster could attempt to attack his city. Find the Labyrinth and you will find the burial place of Theseus - his spear was legendary. I believe it is what you seek."


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

"The northern side of Iblydos? Or do we need to prepare for a longer journey? Forgive me - most of my time in Iblydos has been spent less than a hundred feet from Aelysos' dock." At least it was something to go on - something she could do. Cyanea had never been a patient person, and the waiting was starting to wear on her. "Any stories you know of this Labyrinth would be of use as well - if Theseus set any guardians to watch over it, or the like."


"I can take you there if you wish, but you would have to return under your own power." Kelkiomides replies, "For mortals it is a journey of perhaps a week... As to the Labyrinth, it was designed to trap monsters, so I imagine you will find some there, maybe many. Theseus had great reverence for Athena, Goddess of Strategy. His spear is meant to have been a gift from her - so watch for her signs, the owl and the shield. I am no expert in Lore however, if you wish to return to Aelysos there may be more knowledgeable sages there who can guide you."


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

"Knowledge can mean the difference between life or death when you put yourself in mortal danger. Any soldier worth his salt knows that. I would recommend speaking with these sages before setting off on our journey. If they know of any common monsters we are likely to encounter, perhaps we can take note of any weaknesses we can exploit or attacks to guard against. We should also stock up on supplies if we are to be away from civilization for more than a few days. If we temporarily part ways, Kelkiomides, how much time will you give us, and where should we return to meet you when it is time to depart for the Labyrinth?"

"Also, I feel like I should warn you. We came across a large and brash merfolk named Duoa-Ilox who may be seeking you out. He is seeking a hero-gods permission for a myth-reading on himself. He was not in the best of moods when he headed off."

"Thank you for taking the time to speak with us and aid us. It is truly an honor just to be in your presence."


Kelkiomides nods wearily. "Duoa-Ilox has been demanding that for years. He feels that his people deserve a hero god of their own - I suspect their attack was to 'prove' that he was worthy..." He shakes his long-haired head, before mustering a smile. "The honor is mine. To aid you who may be my fellows... it is a good thing to be sure." He plucks a large red fruit from a nearby tree and offers it to Ambrus.

"Crush this and spread the juice in a circle - it will take those of you inside it where you need to go. Good fortune friends. I hope to meet you again in time." With a clap of his hands the vine gate springs up again and he gestures you through. "I will remain here for a little time. Fate be with you both."

What next?


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

"Thank you for your aid. It is more help than we ever could have hoped." As she backs out of the vine gate, Cyanea offers one more bow before turning to her ally. "So, to the sages, then? Knowledge, I suspect, will be our most valuable weapon in this endeavor. If we discover ourselves in need of any particular supplies, I have some money put aside. I had hoped to save it to replace my ship..." She looks wistfully down toward the shoreline. "...but this is more important."


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

Diplomacy (Gather Information): 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (15) + 2 = 17
Perception: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (4) + 10 = 14

Ambrus thanks Kekiomides again and steps through the vine portal to return to the city. From there he starts making inquiries about the Tomb of Theseus. "Maybe that scholar Jaric knows something. I wonder if we'll see him again." Ambrus keeps an eye out.


Ambrus doesn't see any signs of Jaric, but after some looking around and a few drinks bought in taverns he unearths a few elderly men who claim to have once ventured into the Tomb of Theseus in search of treasure.

"It was that woman that beat us!" One of them declares loudly after two glasses of a deep red wine. "She was beautiful." Another one adds, "Voice like an angel... it was magic, nearly had Angelo walking straight into a pit. Good thing we had Melissa with us! She slapped us around the face and broke the spell. Better be careful lad! Lots o' monsters ahead."

------------
The cities sages are largely in hiding, with their most important tomes protected from the expected rampages of Ousmariku and the doors of the Temple of Athena, where the sages can usually found are firmly shut.


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

Ambrus thanks the elders. "Well, its a start. Certainly something to be wary of. There's a few things I want purchase from the market then maybe I can see if the library holds any more information on the creature described." OOC I'm guessing a harpy or siren.

Ambrus wants to purchase the following items:
Earplugs - 3 cp
Healer's Kit - 50 gp
Trail Rations (x14) - 7 gp
Potion of Cure Light Wounds - 50 gp
Potion of Protection from Evil - 50 gp

Old Coin Total: 735 gp; 3 sp; 9 cp
New Coin Total: 578 gp; 3 sp; 6 cp

Let me know if any of these are not okay.

Knowledge: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (1) + 2 = 3 Plus any modifiers from library use. Well, I'm just an idiot... What's a book?


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

"'Woman with a voice like an angel', he told you? Then it sounds like we need to do whatever we can to not hear that voice, whatever it is." For a moment, she mulls over the description, leafing through the book in front of her. "Just some soft wax would at least help, but it might be better if we got something that would stop sound completely. Isn't there magic that can do that, like a potion or something?"

Knowledge (nature), which probably doesn't apply: 1d20 + 10 ⇒ (16) + 10 = 26 I'm assuming anything that could sing you to your doom is not covered by Knowledge (nature), but it's the only Knowledge I've got. XD If not, use the dice roll for a library search with a +0 modifier plus whatever bonuses I could get from library use.

[ooc]If it's available, Cyanea will pick up a potion of silence for 300 gp. She'll also get earplugs (3 cp), and wandermeal (7 days' worth for 7 cp).


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

After the shopping trip, Ambrus makes his way to the library. If the door is shut, he'll knock otherwise, he'll enter and try to speak with a librarian.


Shopping is fine Cyanea. No library search bonuses until you get in :P

Ambrus pounds on the door to no avail, but Cyanea's sharp eyes catch sight of a shutter above opening slightly. It appears that the temple is at least not deserted...


LG Oread Fighter 5 | 43/75 hp (5 nonlethal) | AC 20, T 13, FF 18 | F +7, R +4, W +3 | CMD 22 |Init +2, Perc + 10

*Bang* *Bang* *Bang*

"Open up! Is someone there? We are here on unofficial business yet of great personal importance. Simply put, we are on a quest. We were set on this path by a cyclopean myth-reading and direct guidance from the hero-god Kelkiomides himself. Will you aid us?"


There is a long pause and then the sound of chains from the inside. The temple door opens to reveal a young man, boy really, wearing a gray robe and a frightened expression.

"Are you really from the Hero God?" He asks tremulously. "The priests all went to the sanctum to pray and enact a ritual, but they haven't come out and it's been hours... I'm not allowed to go in there alone."

It doesn't take much to see that the boy is terrified and waaay out of his depth, figuratively speaking since the temple is fairly high in the city and avoids most of the regular flooding.


Female Undine Kineticist 5 | 55/55 hp, 10 NL | AC 23, T 16, FF 23 | +8 F, +10 R, +5 W | CMD 17 | Init +5, Perc +11 | Burn 2/6 | Active: Shroud (+3 shield), Elemental Overflow (+2 atk/+4 dmg)

"Yes, we are truly from the hero-god. Do you know how long the priests will be? Or would it be better for us to leave a message with them so they can return it when they have finished? I wish no delay, but if their ritual truly is uninterruptible..."


"It shouldn't have taken this long." The boy replies, "They said an hour, two at most... but I'm scared."

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