Akarna Awakens

Game Master Prosperum

An expedition to a hyperborean land in search of vast wealth and adventure


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Map

While most of the content of the notebooks seems to involve theories about possible locations of elemental vortices that are unintelligible to someone unacquainted with Graenirvellir's geography (and tales of unknown authenticity regarding the otherworldly visitors thereof), the collection does have one particularly useful chapter: formulae for the construction of something called a gate attenuator. While the described device was intended to channel the forces of elemental vortices found in discrete localities (and poor Tayhur's notes contain readings suggesting he believed the hot spring to be one such place), it occurs to Okoteck that if the device could be attuned to Jade's internal kinetic gate, it might enhance her powers.

Of course, Okoteck would need training in dweomercraft before attempting such a feat.

At the back of the book, there appear to be a few arcane spells of relatively little complexity. It would take several hours to decode them all, however.


F Kineticist 2 (Air & Water) / Talisman Dabbler | Perc +5 (+2 circ. to Init.) | Stealth: +7| HP 32/32 | Speed: 25' | AC: 19 [21 w/shield] | Fort: +10 | Ref: +9 | Will: +5 | Class DC 18 | Conditions: OK | Hero Points: 1 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

Seeing the geologic features and hearing Jaym'row's remark, she puts two and two together. Jade calls out to warn Jaym'row, but instead of Common, or even Cornyrian, she speaks a musical tongue which falls and crests like waves in the ocean, "Jaym'row, sǎ shûnû nǐ toku!"

Thalassic:
"Jaym'row, that gas is poisonous!"

Jade coughs, confused. "Sǎ shûnû..." She rubs her throat, then draws some water from her aura and drinks it. With one last clearing of her throat, she belts, "That gas is poisonous! Don't breathe it."

She drinks some more water and explains, "That mist stalker used my kinetic gates to return to Yomul and when its essence passed through me, I think it just gave me the ability to speak Thalassic."

She shakes her head and points to a tunnel entrance. "Anyway, I think our phosphor will be down that way."

Then, grabbing her bruised side she says, "I'd like a breather if you don't mind to heal up first. That thing got me good in the rib."

She'll use Ocean's Balm every 10 minutes while we're stopped to heal, starting 10 minutes from when I used it in the fight. If we're in a hurry, I could use potions to heal up.


Male Changeling Human Bard 2|HP 24|AC 18|F4; R7; W6|Perc +6| Speed: 25|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|Focus: 1/2|◆ ◇ ↺

"Volcanic gases," Syper responds to Jaym'row. "We shouldn't stick around here, those smells can get poisonous in a hurry."


Map

Rolls:
Arcana, Okoteck: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Arcana, Okoteck: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
Arcana, Okoteck: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Arcana, Okoteck: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (1) + 7 = 8

Jade: 1d8 ⇒ 5
Jade: 1d8 ⇒ 7

Over the next 20 minutes, Jade heals her bruises and Okoteck attempts to identify the spells in the notebooks to see if any are worth learning. He is able to identify two: deep breath and detect metal.


Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 200 Hero Pts 1| Map | Nautical Terms

Jaym'row arches her eyebrow whiskers at Jade's warning, after which she distances herself from the weird smell.

She takes out her fiddle and noodles around while Jade is resting.

As the consensus develops that we could use Zook'itt's help, Jaym'row begins to dance and play for the mephit. Then she strikes up a conversation.

"So Zook'itt, we helped rid your spring of that nasty one-eyed monster, how about you help us?" She tells him a brief story of how the group came to need certain chemicals from the tunnel. She points out how it could be dangerous for human-types to survive in the tunnels while a creature with his wondrous abilities would be safe.

Diplomacy, request: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (17) + 7 = 24


Map

You need to get him to Friendly or Helpful via Make an Impression first. I'm applying your roll to that. He is now Friendly, and you can make a request.


Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 200 Hero Pts 1| Map | Nautical Terms

Once her music and charm puts the strange elemental at ease, she then spins out what the group needs. She gives a glance to Syper and Kork to encourage them to help if he seems reluctant to help.

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (5) + 7 = 12

If he won't do it out of kindness, perhaps he can name a reward that would make him willing to help.


The little scamp is kindly disposed toward Jaym'row, clearly appreciative of the music. As she levels her request, he pauses to think. After wrestling with himself for some time, he nods reluctantly, then raises an admonishing finger.

"If it's out of sight of the entrance, that's to your misfortune, as I won't go any further without company. Now, how would I recognize the thing I am to seek?"


Male Changeling Human Bard 2|HP 24|AC 18|F4; R7; W6|Perc +6| Speed: 25|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|Focus: 1/2|◆ ◇ ↺

"That's a reasonable question, Zook'itt. How would any of us recognize the thing we seek?" Syper responds.

"I'll volunteer to explore with you, but we will need to know what we are to find from a distance."


M Tengu Magus 2 | HP 24/24 | AC: 18 | F +7 R +8 W +6| Perc: +4, Low-light vision | Speed: 25' | Spell DC 17 | Hero Points: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 1 | Current Effects: | Okoteck's Notes

"Interesting selection of spells..." Okoteck murmurs to himself. Though the truth is, he's more interested in the style of the spells. Are there differences in how spells are done here? Given the existence of a magic school here, and the presence and obvious power of elves, how much might have been retained here of the ancient knowledge of magic that has been lost to the rest of the world?

...such thoughts make him rather oblivious to the discussion currently going on.


The elemental scamp shrugs. "I suspect there aren't many rocks that glow in the dark, so they shouldn't be too difficult to find."

He nods at Syper. "Come to the entrance and be ready."

He takes flight, performs a midair loop, and rockets into the tunnel.

A few minutes later, he blasts back out carrying a faintly glowing yellow rock which he deposits into Syper's outstretched hands. In direct sunlight its green phosphorescence is essentially undetectable, though by cupping your palms you can see a faint green glow.

"That it?" the scamp asks politely. Before you can respond, he adds, "It better be, it was the only one I could find without leaving sight of the entrance."


Map

Okoteck:
The spells are relatively simple in application, mere cantrips in fact, and all dealing with elemental magic. However, the notation is unique, involving a runic alphabet you have never seen before, though clearly based on Jotun. The spells are inscribed as a series of glyphs concatenated into runic staves. Your familiarity with arcane lore allowed you to piece together the identity and purpose of two of them, enough perhaps to learn and prepare them with a bit of additional study, but the other two are too difficult to decipher without a more thorough knowledge of Thalian magical notation.


Male Changeling Human Bard 2|HP 24|AC 18|F4; R7; W6|Perc +6| Speed: 25|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|Focus: 1/2|◆ ◇ ↺

Syper, holding his breath, nods and gives a thumb up before heading back out with the new glowing rock.


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Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 | HP 28 | AC 19 | Fort 7 | Ref 7 | Will 5 | Perc +5 | Speed: 25 | Class DC 18 | Hero Points: 2/3 | ◆ ◇ ↺

Kork struts up to the scamp after a few moments of searching the area immediately next to the now dead... thing.

He comes in just as the scamp hands over the yellow stone to Syper. Kork's jaw drops and his eyes go wide. "Fool!" Kork cries out. "What Patches do? Can have anything! Wings, castle, fame, wealth." Kork points both hands at the rock in Syper's hands, but looks Syper in the face, questioning the bard's life decisions. "Pick rock? Genie useless now!"

He facepalms with both hands and drops to both his knees. His arms extend to support his torso above the ground, and he hyperventilates.


Map

pbfffff


Male Changeling Human Bard 2|HP 24|AC 18|F4; R7; W6|Perc +6| Speed: 25|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|Focus: 1/2|◆ ◇ ↺

Syper chuckles. "You know what, Kork? I'll grant you a wish. I can't guarantee I'll get it for you immediately, but I'll do it. What do you wish for?"


Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 | HP 28 | AC 19 | Fort 7 | Ref 7 | Will 5 | Perc +5 | Speed: 25 | Class DC 18 | Hero Points: 2/3 | ◆ ◇ ↺

Kork looks at the rock glowing softly in Syper's hands. And back to Syper. And back to the rock. "Hmm." the goblin scratches his shaggy beard that is starting to kick in. "Patches grant wishes now? Explain."


Male Changeling Human Bard 2|HP 24|AC 18|F4; R7; W6|Perc +6| Speed: 25|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|Focus: 1/2|◆ ◇ ↺

"I'm no genie, so I can't just snap my fingers and poof, you get whatever, but I'll do what I can to make it happen. You want wings? I'll figure out a way to give you wings. You want a castle? First castle I can claim is yours. So, yes. One wish. All for you."

Syper smiles, glowing stone in hand, one eye sparkling a bright blue.


Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 | HP 28 | AC 19 | Fort 7 | Ref 7 | Will 5 | Perc +5 | Speed: 25 | Class DC 18 | Hero Points: 2/3 | ◆ ◇ ↺

He stands up, and still seems a little disappointed. "Fine." he barks at Syper as he scans him up and down. "Kork test Patches' skill." the goblin grins triumphantly and points at Syper's eye patch. "Kork wish Patches have both eyes!"


M Tengu Magus 2 | HP 24/24 | AC: 18 | F +7 R +8 W +6| Perc: +4, Low-light vision | Speed: 25' | Spell DC 17 | Hero Points: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 1 | Current Effects: | Okoteck's Notes

"I'm trying to read," Okoteck says testily. He doesn't look up from the books.


F Kineticist 2 (Air & Water) / Talisman Dabbler | Perc +5 (+2 circ. to Init.) | Stealth: +7| HP 32/32 | Speed: 25' | AC: 19 [21 w/shield] | Fort: +10 | Ref: +9 | Will: +5 | Class DC 18 | Conditions: OK | Hero Points: 1 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

Jade scans the ground for interesting rocks and other objects to use in her daily talisman-making, but stops for a moment to watch how Syper responds to Kork's wish.


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Male Changeling Human Bard 2|HP 24|AC 18|F4; R7; W6|Perc +6| Speed: 25|Conditions:|Hero Points: 1/3|Focus: 1/2|◆ ◇ ↺

Syper looks shocked at Kork's request. He thinks for a moment, sighs, and responds, "Master Kork, your wish is granted."

He reaches up and takes off his eyepatch. And... indeed, his other eye is intact underneath the patch. But its color, although also a shade of blue, is nowhere near as vibrant as the one that had been showing. It is duller, grayer. Honestly, it is more normal looking, compared to the piercing cerulean of his right eye.

Side by side, the effect is pronounced. The left eye is a dull steely shade, the right the color of sunlight streaming through seawater, gathering yet more focus than when it seemed both eyes would be the same color.

"I suppose the rest of you will have more questions," he sheepishly responds. "But we've worked together long enough, feel free to ask."


Goblin Bauble Finder Thaumaturge 2 | HP 28 | AC 19 | Fort 7 | Ref 7 | Will 5 | Perc +5 | Speed: 25 | Class DC 18 | Hero Points: 2/3 | ◆ ◇ ↺

The goblin squints at Syper. He contemplates the development of the situation, whatever contemplating means in the goblin noggin he calls his head. It takes a while. Deflated, he exhales and sits down. He gazes at Syper's face, lifts his hand and extends his index finger. He moves it slowly side to side, watching whether Syper's eyes trace the motion.

"Colour not match. Kork not trust Patches with wish. For now. Improve, then Kork make real wish." he smiles, showing his shark teeth.


M Tengu Magus 2 | HP 24/24 | AC: 18 | F +7 R +8 W +6| Perc: +4, Low-light vision | Speed: 25' | Spell DC 17 | Hero Points: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 1 | Current Effects: | Okoteck's Notes

Okoteck sighs, and scoots further away from the noisy distractions, turning his back to them.


Map

The steam mephit waves goodbye and resumes relaxing in the pool as you embark on the two-day trip back to Fiskurvellir. A brief squall coming in off the coast on the evening of the first day turns the road to mud, but Jade’s ability to rinse and dry boots, tents, and bedrolls with a flick of the hand keeps the filth to a minimum, leaving you all somewhat presentable for your return to the Aurali village.

The villagers smile more warmly than they did before, the story of your exploits off the coast having traveled as Othek’s new wall ornament becomes the talk of the village. However, they still keep their distance from events they perceive as beyond their station.


5-21-870, noon

As you step into Nirri’s hutch, you find Irila sitting in her rocking chair, with Amka the saruqi huntress on an adjacent stool and the house-spirit Jårstul sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of her. Hearing you enter, the crone smiles and says kindly, ”I was just about to entertain the household with a story. Come, sit! Lunch will be ready soon!”

You notice an iron pot on the hearth, filled with lentil soup stirred by a wooden spoon that appears to be moving under its own power. A burlap sack emerges from a cupboard, floats over to the pot, and tips in a considerable amount of fresh lentils for the recent arrivals. Moments later, Irila begins her tale.


"There were once a King and a Queen, and they had a son called Sigurd, who was very strong and active, and good-looking. When the King came to be bowed down with the weight of years he spoke to his son, and said that now it was time for him to look out for a fitting match for himself, for he did not know how long he might last now, and he would like to see him married before he died.

"Sigurd was not averse to this, and asked his father where he thought it best to look for a wife. The King answered that in a certain country there was a King who had a beautiful daughter, and he thought it would be most desirable if Sigurd could get her. So the two parted, and Sigurd prepared for the journey, and went to where his father had directed him. He came to the King and asked his daughter’s hand, which he readily granted him, but only on the condition that he should remain there as long as he could, for the King himself was not strong and not very able to govern his kingdom. Sigurd accepted this condition, but added that he would have to get leave to go home again to his own country when he heard news of his father’s death. After that Sigurd married the Princess, and helped his father-in-law to govern the kingdom. He and the Princess loved each other dearly, and after a year a son came to them, who was two years old when word came to Sigurd that his father was dead. Sigurd now prepared to return home with his wife and child, and went on board ship to go by sea.

"They had sailed for several days, when the breeze suddenly fell, and there came a dead calm, at a time when they needed only one day’s voyage to reach home. Sigurd and his Queen were one day on deck, when most of the others on the ship had fallen asleep. There they sat and talked for a while, and had their little son along with them. After a time Sigurd became so heavy with sleep that he could no longer keep awake, so he went below and lay down, leaving the Queen alone on the deck, playing with her son. A good while after Sigurd had gone below the Queen saw something black on the sea, which seemed to be coming nearer. As it approached she could make out that it was a boat, and could see the figure of some one sitting in it and rowing it. At last the boat came alongside the ship, and now the Queen saw that it was a stone boat, out of which there came up on board the ship a fearfully ugly Ogress."


”Oh, no!” gasps Jårstul. Amka smiles at the domovoi’s childlike exuberance.


"The Queen was more frightened than words can describe, and could neither speak a word nor move from the place so as to awaken the King or the sailors. The Ogress came right up to the Queen, took the child from her and laid it on the deck; then she took the Queen, and stripped her of all her fine clothes, which she proceeded to put on herself, and looked then like a human being. Last of all she took the Queen, put her into the boat, and said, “This spell I lay upon you, that you slacken not your course until you come to my brother in the Underworld.” The Queen sat stunned and motionless, but the boat at once shot away from the ship with her, and before long she was out of sight.

"When the boat could no longer be seen the child began to cry, and though the Ogress tried to quiet it she could not manage it. So she went below to where the King was sleeping with the child on her arm, and awakened him, scolding him for leaving them alone on deck, while he and all the crew were asleep. It was great carelessness of him, she said, to leave no one to watch the ship with her.

"Sigurd was greatly surprised to hear his Queen scold him so much, for she had never said an angry word to him before; but he thought it was quite excusable in this case, and tried to quiet the child along with her, but it was no use. Then he went and wakened the sailors, and bade them hoist the sails, for a breeze had sprung up and was blowing straight towards the harbor. They soon reached the land which Sigurd was to rule over, and found all the people sorrowful for the old King’s death, but they became glad when they got Sigurd back to the Court, and made him King over them.

"The King’s son, however, hardly ever stopped crying from the time he had been taken from his mother on the deck of the ship, although he had always been such a good child before, so that at last the King had to get a nurse for him—one of the maids of the Court. As soon as the child got into her charge he stopped crying, and behaved well as before.

"After the sea-voyage it seemed to the King that the Queen had altered very much in many ways, and not for the better. He thought her much more haughty and stubborn and difficult to deal with than she once was, and before long others began to notice this as well. In the Court there were two young fellows, one of eighteen years old, the other of nineteen, who were very fond of playing chess, and often sat long inside playing at it. Their room was next the Queen’s, and often during the day they heard the Queen talking.

"One day they paid more attention than usual when they heard her talk, and put their ears close to a crack in the wall between the rooms, and heard the Queen say quite plainly, ‘When I yawn a little, then I am a nice little maiden; when I yawn half-way, then I am half a troll; and when I yawn fully, then I am a troll altogether.’


”A ha! Caught!” squeals Jårstul triumphantly. Amka giggles.


"As she said this she yawned tremendously, and in a moment had put on the appearance of a fearfully ugly troll. Then there came up through the floor of the room a three-headed Giant with a trough full of meat, who saluted her as his sister and set down the trough before her. She began to eat out of it, and never stopped till she had finished it. The young fellows saw all this going on, but did not hear the two of them say anything to each other. They were astonished though at how greedily the Queen devoured the meat, and how much she ate of it, and were no longer surprised that she took so little when she sat at table with the King. As soon as she had finished it the Giant disappeared with the trough by the same way as he had come, and the Queen returned to her human shape.

"Now we must go back to the King’s son after he had been put in charge of the nurse. One evening, after she had lit a candle and was holding the child, several planks sprang up in the floor of the room, and out at the opening came a beautiful woman dressed in white, with an iron belt round her waist, to which was fastened an iron chain that went down into the ground. The woman came up to the nurse, took the child from her, and pressed it to her breast; then she gave it back to the nurse and returned by the same way as she had come, and the floor closed over her again. Although the woman had not spoken a single word to her, the nurse was very much frightened, but told no one about it. Next evening the same thing happened again, just as before, but as the woman was going away she said in a sad tone, ‘Two are gone, and one only is left,’ and then disappeared as before. The nurse was still more frightened when she heard the woman say this, and thought that perhaps some danger was hanging over the child, though she had no ill-opinion of the woman, who, indeed, had behaved towards the child as if it were her own. The most mysterious thing was the woman saying ‘and only one is left;’ but the nurse guessed that this must mean that only one day was left, since she had come for two days already.

"At last the nurse made up her mind to go to the King, and told him the whole story, and asked him to be present in person next day about the time when the woman usually came. The King promised to do so, and came to the nurse’s room a little before the time, and sat down on a chair with his drawn sword in his hand. Soon after the planks in the floor sprang up as before, and the woman came up, dressed in white, with the iron belt and chain. The King saw at once that it was his own Queen, and immediately hewed asunder the iron chain that was fastened to the belt. This was followed by such noises and crashings down in the earth that all the King’s Palace shook, so that no one expected anything else than to see every bit of it shaken to pieces. At last, however, the noises and shaking stopped, and they began to come to themselves again.

"The King and Queen embraced each other, and she told him the whole story—how the Ogress came to the ship when they were all asleep and sent her off in the boat. After she had gone so far that she could not see the ship, she sailed on through darkness until she landed beside a three-headed Giant. The Giant wished her to marry him, but she refused; whereupon he shut her up by herself, and told her she would never get free until she consented. After a time she began to plan how to get her freedom, and at last told him that she would consent if he would allow her to visit her son on earth three days on end. This he agreed to, but put on her this iron belt and chain, the other end of which he fastened round his own waist, and the great noises that were heard when the King cut the chain must have been caused by the Giant’s falling down the underground passage when the chain gave way so suddenly. The Giant’s dwelling, indeed, was right under the Palace, and the terrible shakings must have been caused by him in his death-throes.

"The King now understood how the Queen he had had for some time past had been so ill-tempered. He at once had a sack drawn over her head and made her be stoned to death, and after that torn in pieces by untamed horses. The two young fellows also told now what they had heard and seen in the Queen’s room, for before this they had been afraid to say anything about it, on account of the Queen’s power.

"The real Queen was now restored to all her dignity, and was beloved by all. The nurse was married to a nobleman, and the King and Queen gave her splendid presents."


The domovoi claps excitedly. ”I knew they’d get that old hag!”

After a moment, he grins sheepishly at Irila. "No offense intended, nana."


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Irila laughs understandingly. "None taken. I may be old, but I am no ogress."

She turns to Amka. "Rumor has it that the great-great-grandson of that wise nurse was the jarl's father, Vrykr." Amka nods, amazed.

As the lentil soup gets close to boiling over, an invisible hand picks it up off the flame and sends it floating over to the table, where a series of clay bowls and wooden spoons are lined up for the impending midday meal.

The wizened crone turns to face the party. ”So how goes your quest?” she inquires expectantly.


F Kineticist 2 (Air & Water) / Talisman Dabbler | Perc +5 (+2 circ. to Init.) | Stealth: +7| HP 32/32 | Speed: 25' | AC: 19 [21 w/shield] | Fort: +10 | Ref: +9 | Will: +5 | Class DC 18 | Conditions: OK | Hero Points: 1 | Shield HP 20/20 BT 10, Hd 5 | Deflecting Wave ⟳ Resistance 2 vs B or S dmg; 4 vs fire or acid | ◆ ◇ ↺

Jade grabs a bowl and ladles herself some soup. "We went to the hot springs and met a steam mephit and his master, a mist stalker, which turned out to be hostile so we fought it. It left an eye behind when it died, which turned into this turquoise gem--"

She puts the ladle back into the pot and fishes in a pocket for the gem to show Irila. "--and its essence used my kinetic gates to return to Yomul and now I can speak Thalassic. Jaym'row and I found a tunnel full of volcanic gas and the mephit helped Syper go down into it and get the phosphor. Okoteck found the borax we need in the walls of the basin. The mephit also showed us a bag of notebooks that belonged to his master, which Okoteck has had his beak buried in since we got them."

Seeing the soup continue to simmer in her bowl, Jade briefly activates her aura, creates a small chunk of ice, and slides it into the near-boiling soup with her spoon to cool it down before digging in.


M Tengu Magus 2 | HP 24/24 | AC: 18 | F +7 R +8 W +6| Perc: +4, Low-light vision | Speed: 25' | Spell DC 17 | Hero Points: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 1 | Current Effects: | Okoteck's Notes

Okoteck closes the notebook he was reading with a sigh when it's time to leave the hot spring. Only then does he realize he's missed a chance to examine the corpse of the mist stalker or interrogate Zook'itt about its home. Priorities, Okoteck. That which cannot be done later first, he reminds himself.

Before they leave, he says to the steam scamp, "If I discover a way to return you to your home, I will endeavor to return."

*******************************

Okoteck can't help but start picking apart Irila's story as he listens. Why would the underground giant want a human wife? For that matter, what had the ogress truly been after? He pushes such thoughts aside, reminding himself that sometimes stories are just stories.

"The mist stalker was enemy, not master, to the mephit," Okoteck corrects Jade's recounting. "A foolish mageling by the name of Kirrin Tayhur summoned both, but failed to take proper precautions with the mist stalker, which killed him. Apparently he was to be a student at the frœthleikr hus in Oxbane Keep, which I would be very interested to see."

"Now that we have the components, we are planning on getting the glass made for your planned weapon, as well as going to the current monastery to discuss what they know of the spirit we are to face."


”Oh my,” she mutters, clearly impressed as Syper holds the rock out for inspection. Out of direct sunlight, its glow is faintly perceptible. ”This is a fine specimen, and more than enough to make a full bottle. Now I just need the right lens…”

When Okoteck withdraws the volcanic borax from his pack, she nods. ”I am no glassblower, but I know that this is precisely what we will need,” she says, pointing at the faintly yellow, crumbly cake.

She then pulls out a small leather pouch and sets it on the table with a clink. ”This should be enough coin to get the lens blown. And here,” she adds, pulling out a piece of parchment, ”are the specifications I’ll need.” She sighs. ”It’s been ages since I’ve been to Oxbane Keep, I don’t know who the best glassblower would be.”

A strange smile crosses her face. "While I don't know the best glassblower, I have an inkling as to who the best hedge wizard might be. It's been awhile since I've seen Aldinngenga. If he's established a frœthleikr hus and taken on apprentices, perhaps he's among the few to have grown less cantankerous in his old age." She chuckles mildly.

She then glances at Jade. "He might know something of the elemental planes. My specialty are the occult realms of the Other Place and the Dark World, whose fates are linked to ours."

The crone looks back at Okoteck. ”Keep in mind, I’ll need the lens ready by noon on Midsumar Day so I can charge the phosphor. That's less than a month from now, so if you're going straight to the monastery, do not dally overlong. Even if the current abbot is, as I suspect, a man of many secrets.”

As she notices your expectant stares, she sighs. "Us old women have ways of knowing when a man is not being honest with himself in matters of the heart. The ache is plain on his face. Priests of Morghast are not forbidden to marry, but not everyone is cut out for the role of spouse to a cleric. I do not know by whom or by what, but he is troubled; though he has hidden it well these many years."

She shrugs. "Though in fairness, I suppose the secrets with which you must now concern yourselves are of a more esoteric nature."


M Tengu Magus 2 | HP 24/24 | AC: 18 | F +7 R +8 W +6| Perc: +4, Low-light vision | Speed: 25' | Spell DC 17 | Hero Points: 1 | Focus Pool: 1/1 | Spellstrike: 1 | Current Effects: | Okoteck's Notes

"We will keep in mind the need for haste," Okoteck assures Irila. "I would be surprised if we spent more than a night at the abbey. From there to Oxbane Keep, and then back here, we should have enough time. Though to be fair, the unexpected might strike."

"Should I pass on your greetings to Aldinngenga should I see him?"

While in town, Okoteck searches for either the inks he needs for writing in his spellbook, or supplies for making them himself, then attempts to copy the two cantrips he'd found in the notebooks into his own spellbook.

Arcana: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (7) + 7 = 14
Arcana: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23

He feels just about ready to copy deep breath into his own notation, when he realizes he's misunderstood a critical section of the spell. After staring at it for a while, Okoteck has to admit that there are too many possible interpretations to the section given his current (lack of) understanding of the local notation. Detect metal, however, gives him no such trouble.

The work reminds him, however, that he has a question. Looking to Hyggiandi, Okoteck asks, "I've read something of how witches work with their familiars to learn new spells, but some of the accounts seemed... suspect. I don't suppose you know how?"


Okoteck Tomu wrote:
"Should I pass on your greetings to Aldinngenga should I see him?"

”That would do me a kindness, yes,” replies the crone, a grin tugging at her lips as she reminisces.


When Okoteck inquires about scribing new spells into his grimoire, Nirri fetches some parchment and ink from her stores, asking only a moderate fee for their use.

"Here, I have a study with a desk in the back of the hutch," she offers kindly.

Okoteck pays a 2gp cost in inks.


As Okoteck finishes his work and turns to Hyggiandi, the white raven ruffles his feathers uncomfortably.

"To teach me a spell, you must have it written on a piece of parchment, which you then burn, mixing the ashes with water to form a poultice." He shudders. "Then I drink it."


Nirri perks up. "It's a very simple process. You can also learn a spell from another witch's familiar. Here, I can teach Hyggiandi a simple divination so that you never lose true north. Come, Ístra!"

A tiny mouse crawls out of the pocket of her apron, climbs up her arm, and squats down on her shoulder, rubbing his paws over his snout.

Nirri smiles adoringly at the tiny creature. "Teach our raven friends the magic of finding true north."

The mouse chirps an affirmative, scrambles down her arm, over the floor, and up the furniture, taking a position on the desk across from Hyggiandi. He stands on his hind legs, chirruping and gesticulating in what you recognize--strangely enough--as a dry and measured tone.


"Hm. You don't say," Hyggiandi replies, concentrating intently on the staccato squeaks.


Nirri pulls out a small wax candle and informs the magus, "This wax was prepared in a special manner sacred to the Silence in Snow. If the ritual succeeds, the wax will light on its own, burn down, and the wafting smoke will transmit the knowledge from Ístra to Hyggiandi. If the ritual fails to garner her attention, nothing will happen. If she is angered, however, the wax will burn but no boon will be gained. I will do my best to guide you through the ritual."

For the next hour, Okoteck, Nirri, and their familiars commune together, the bowl of ritual candle wax sitting on the desk.

Okoteck, Nature, Aided: 1d20 + 4 + 1 ⇒ (19) + 4 + 1 = 24

The wax lights with a yellow glow, and the smoke circles the heads of both creatures. Hyggiandi tilts his head.


"That's rather minty, isn't it?" he says, nonplussed by the sensation.

Add know the way to your familiar. Nirri asks no payment for the wax.


Map

As Okoteck engages in his studies, the rest of the party spends the day resupplying from passing traders and scouting nearby farms for a pack mule. One of Bronwen’s properties yields a decent specimen, a mule john named Sleipnir.

5-22-870, 8am
The next morning, after an exchange of silver, Othek hands over the reins to Sleipnir and an assortment of saddlebags, then slaps him on the rump.


”Neigh!”

Each player pays 5 silver 6 copper for their share of the mule. It can store 12 bulk in its saddlebags.


Othek smiles. ”Easy, boy.” He flashes a sideways smile at his sister Inga. ”Raised him myself. He’ll do fine; he’s a strong mule.”


Inga replies wordlessly with the long-suffering smile of the younger sister. She then turns and nods cordially at the party. As her gaze falls upon Jaym’row, she smiles warmly and comments, ”I so enjoyed our sparring sessions. I hope to test you again someday when you’ve learned some new tricks!”


Female (she/her) Catfolk Rogue (Captivator) 2 | AC 19 + nimble dodge hp 24/24 XP 200 Hero Pts 1| Map | Nautical Terms

Jaym'row smiles back and says, "Indeed. I haven't needed to use my rapier lately. But I did make some good shots with my bow. Perhaps we can compare archery techniques before I have to travel on to our next adventure."

She also shows Inga how she casts a figment to create a distraction. "I can also make magical music to set the mood when we spar," Jaym'row adds, proud of her new spellcasting tricks. She demonstrates and then pulls out her own violin and plays a melody that fits with the sounds of a guitar and flute. As she speeds up her melody and shifts to a minor key, the accompaniment changes to match. Then she dances a bit to the background music before the effect runs out of magical mojo (about a minute).


Those villagers working nearby stop to listen, clearly entertained. Othek and Inga sway with the tune.

When the music ends, a thought occurs to Othek, and he barks a laugh. ”With music so fetching, and magic so bright, you might even bring a smile to the face of my sourpuss little brother.”

He shakes his head and turns back to the party. "Be sure to stop in at the Stone Hook tavern. The proprietor is too nosy by half, but at least he's honest. The quicker you clear out the abbey, the quicker I can rebuild it for you with stone from the quarry... Once it's been cleared out too, that is."

Othek bids you farewell, and his sister Inga wishes you a safe journey as you step outside the village walls, Sleipnir in tow.

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