Ascendancy

03/03/12
New Beginnings

Adler has been partnered with Giskard, one of the experimental dual-souled warforged, and tasked to investigate the ruins of an old creation forge near Tanar. Just outside the creation forge, the pair come across signs of conflict, and raise their guard accordingly.

They discover that the forge’s wards have been recently tampered with, but Giskard’s clockwork bombs allow them to gain entry. Inside, they discover an inactive warforged lying in one of the forges. An improvised set of jumper cables shocks the being back to life, but to their surprise, he immediately starts ranting about demons and charges at the pair.

After a brief struggle, they manage to subdue the awakened warforged, one Sir Jarlamain Coster. Giskard manages to convince him that they are not demons, while Adler tempts Sir Coster with the promise of further demons in the complex to fight.

The trio move on to one of the neighbouring rooms, where they see a vat of elemental fire, at the bottom of which lies a strange homunculus. After applying some flame retardant to his body, courtesy of Giskard, Sir Coster leaps into the vat and retrieves the homunculus. As he climbs out of the vat and places the homunculus on the floor, it releases a huge wave of force that throws the party back. When their optics clear, they see another warforged standing where the homunculus had been, his arms aglow with fire and ice. Giskard recognises that he is one of the earliest models of warforged, used centuries ago as gladiators for entertainment. He introduces himself as Fides.

Adler and Giskard decide to bring the two new warforged along with them to investigate the rest of the complex. Returning to the creation forge’s main hall, they find that the alarm system has been suddenly activated and they are beset by the automated defense systems. Luckily, Sir Coster and Fides are proficient combatants and the party scrap the defenses without much fuss.

They head upstairs to see what else awaits them in the creation forge..

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11/02/2012

Having come to the ruins of old Altus in search of more God-artifacts, the party have just defeated a group of mages who had been trying to summon a dragon. Looting the room, Ahava spots a magical card sitting in the maw of the dragon statue. Grabbing it, he barely has time to see that it reads “The Fates” before swirling magical energies coalesce around the exits, trapping the party.

To their consternation, a phantasmal dragon starts pulling itself out of the statue. Roaring at the party, “You fools! Do you even know what you’ve taken? I’ll have to call a council to deal with this!” It scribes a quick series of runes in the air, which Ahava recognises as a spell for communication and summoning. Turning to the party, the dragon then starts ranting about unknown power, and mages and something called the Waiting Dead. Recognising the term, Darhe’el blurts out, “Aren’t the Waiting Dead the spirits of Haaza’s followers? What does that have to do with a dragon?” At this, the dragon flies into a rage and starts flailing at the party.

They dash about in a mad effort to avoid injury whilst trying to calm the dragon down. Luckily for them, it is only a few minutes before a shimmering portal opens up in the air and a strange gnomish looking female appears. “Haaza! Stop playing with the mortals! The council you summoned will be assembled shortly.” The dragon, whom the party now realises is Haaza himself, abruptly curls up into an ashamed ball, “Sorry Tierza.”

More portals pop into being, from which step a host of amazing humanoids. Ahava realises that these are the Gods of Altus, and the party falls into awed silence. Except TC, who goes up to Sune demanding to know about a persona in his head. Ignoring them, the gods start an animated discussion amongst themselves.

Most of what is said goes over the Clowns’ heads, but they gather that the Fates card is part of “The Deck of Many Things”. It was released into the mortal world by Navis and Novis as an amusement, but its power could now pose a threat to the gods and something they called “The Ascension”. They also note that Ehrim is missing from the council, and wonder what could have happened to keep him away.

Eventually, Vindir throws up her hands in exasperation, “Look, we all know that we each have our own agendas and agents in place. Enough with the politics and pretenses. I’m done here!” She turns to her companion and they both disappear through a portal. Soon, only Tierza, Haaza and Sune remain. Peering at Ahava and the card he holds, Tierza says to Sune, “Well, looks like you’ve had first dibs on the Deck, but I’ve had my eyes on this group too.” She leaves through a portal too, while Haaza disappears into his statue and Sune vanishes with a puff of smoke and a cheeky wave.

The party are still standing in shocked disbelief, when a man forms out of a pool of shadow on the ground. “Phew! Thought they’d never leave!” They recognise him as Vindir’s companion. Turning to Darhe’el he says, “Dar! Don’t you recognise your old friend Marcus?” Realisation dawns, then an uncharacteristically violent Darhe’el lunges and grabs Marcus by the throat, “You betrayed us!”

“No no! You’ve got it wrong, I was attacked by the shard hunters too! I only survived by making a bargain with Vindir to become her champion and servant.”

Darhe’el takes a minute to process this, then lets Marcus go. Brushing himself off, Marcus says, “Look, I just wanted to let you know that everything wasn’t your fault, and that those hunters are after -” He is cut off as Craig slams into him with his weapons drawn. The Clowns are taken aback by the unprovoked assault, but they soon feel a familiar presence around them. “The shard hunter!”

Facing overwhelming odds, the shard hunter is quickly beaten to within an inch of its life, but with a last burst of effort, it grabs Marcus’ obsidian and teleports away. “No! That was Vindir’s Unseen Blade, we have to get it back!” Marcus tells the Clowns that he will seek Vindir’s assistance while they pursue the shard hunter. Quickly agreeing, the party race out into the ruins of Old Altus, tracking the magical trail of the hunter. Darhe’el pauses to make a quick call to Asimir, who then magically appears at their side. With his help, they track the shard hunter to a nearby Consortium outpost, where they see the shard hunter hand the Unseen Blade to a weird frost tiefling.

The party draw their weapons and charge at the tiefling, while Darhe’el manages to convince the Consortium lackeys lounging about the outpost to lend their assistance. The lackeys ferry healing potions to the party and feed Darhe’el some mana oil, causing his power to reach ludicrous levels. The tiefling is a powerful frost magic user, but falls quickly to the combined assault of Craig and TC, who picks up the Unseen Blade. Meanwhile Ahava and Darhe’el keep the shard hunter and its shard executioner companions busy. Just as they are about to finish off the last of the shardminds, Asimir casts a powerful spell over the Clowns, rendering them unconscious. He then picks up the Unseen Blade and chuckles over the helpless adventurers.

With the power of the mana oil still surging through him, Darhe’el bursts up from his magical stupor and lunges at Asimir. His pulsing psionic energies are so ridiculously ludicrous that his charge rips a hole in the space-time continuum, sending him and Asimir hurtling through the Domains. Asimir is momentarily amazed at Darhe’el’s power, but quickly casts a spell to teleport himself to safety, leaving Darhe’el alone and suffocating in the void between planes. Just as everything is about to fade, a portal opens and a strange gnomish looking female appears, “Come Darhe’el, I have great plans for you.”

Back in the physical realm, the Clowns have recovered and learnt of Darhe’el’s heroic sacrifice from the Consortium lackeys. They resolve to hunt down Asimir and avenge their fallen friend.

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08/10/11
Season finale

With Whisper masquerading as a cabal leader, the party sends up a signal flare to the Garuda. Shortly, an envoy appears from the Raven tribe with instructions from Iru; the Clowns are to bring the cabal leader to the home nest for an audience. Deciding that it is unlikely to be a trap, the party sets off to the Raven tribe village, with Whisper, Fara, Seras and Alina the interpreting security officer in tow.

The Garuda village is made up almost entirely of dwellings high up in the trees, with no access for landwalkers. The party find themselves subject to many wary stares as they are led to a pavilion set up specifically for dealing with land walkers. Iru and his council of Garuda elders are waiting inside.

GarudaGreetings are exchanged and Whisper is brought forward to be addressed by Iru, who intones gravely, “We are grown weary of your constant intrusions in our lands, and demand that you cease all such activity.” Before Whisper can interject, he continues, “We are aware of your bases on the islands, and have thus far made no moves against you. We give you one chance to remove yourselves peacefully, or we shall be forced to raise our hand.” Whisper sputters indignantly, “What! You Garuda steal our holy relic, and now you have the gall to issue us an ultimatum like that?” At this, the entire council rears back, puffing up their feathers, and the guards make ready their weapons.

“whoa! Let’s all just calm down!” Darhe’el steps in, realising that Whisper doesn’t have any tact at all. “No one here is being accused of anything. Just, you know, their holy relic was stolen just over a month ago, right before, you know, a stranger came to your tribe, you know, Asimir, yes that guy. And, like, you know, we would just like to ask him a few questions, so if you could let us do that we won’t have to kill anymore of your guards notthatwe havedonethat atallnopewehaven’t. oops.” Iru is skeptical, but decides that the Clowns have been fair with their dealings in the past and so starts a quick casting to contact Asimir. Embarrassed, he finds himself unable to connect, and instead conjures a scrying circle from the stones in the pavilion.

Everyone there is amazed to see scenes of Garuda fighting with otherworldy beasts, with two great rifts rending the landscape asunder. The council immediately break out in alarmed chatter, and Iru tells the party to leave, saying they would resume negotiations once the situation was dealt with. Knowing that Asimir is likely to be at the rifts, Darhe’el instead offers the aid of the Clowns. With a dismissive wave, Iru tells him to do whatever he wants, just stay out of their way.

Back on the Cloudchaser, Captain Evar sets sail for the rifts on the other side of the island. A pack of flying beetles and jellyfish lies straight between them and their destination, and the fearless Captain decides that the fastest route is straight through. Tc mans the harpoon gun while the rest of the party prepares for combat. The flying beetles latch on to the ship and start gnawing through the cables connecting the air balloon to the hull. One of the jellyfish goes for the Captain, while another wraps its stinging appendages around the harpoon gun to disable it. A flaming skull materialises and starts flinging out bolts of shadow, obscuring TC’s optics and pinning him to the ground. Fortunately, the creatures seem to be preoccupied with eating the ship instead of the Clowns. Once the skull is extinguished, they clean up the monsters with little danger to themselves, though one of the cables has nearly been chewed all the way through.

Captain Evar orders makeshift repairs and presses on towards the rift. As they draw close, the party see a deva standing in the middle of an arcane circle, surrounded by Garuda. They hear a magically amplified voice, which they can understand(magically) even though it seems to be addressing the Garuda. “Look. I know I lied to you and pretended to be one of your people blablabla, but it was for your own good and anyway we have a really big problem to deal with right now so let’s just talk about it later alright?” The deva turns to look at the crew of the Cloudchaser, which has drawn level with him, “Ho adventurers! You look like a sturdy crew (and I’m assuming you’re here to help). I’m going to force the rift energies to take on a physical form, which you can poke at. This will allow you to help close the rift without requiring any magical knowledge on your part. Couldn’t be simpler!”
Reliquary of souls faces
As Asimir starts his spell, the Mask of Deceit floats up and suspends itself in front of the rift. It rapidly enlarges, then splits into three faces. Tendrils of energy spin themselves out of the rift and attach to the faces, twining into physical bodies, a stone giant, a water titan, and a twisting nether hulk. The stone giant steps forth first, flinging chunks of earth at Asimir, disrupting his concentration. The Clowns rush forward to surround the massive creatures, covered by supporting fire from Kaira and Seras. Asimir stumbles back, and the disruption in the ritual causes the three forms to merge into one colossal being, which stomps the ground, unleashing a terrifying burst of energy. The Clowns are gravely injured by the blast, but inspiring warcries from TC and Darhe’el keep everyone on their feet. Fara’s constructs also dart back and forth amongst the melee, dispensing their restorative infusions.

The rift gargantuan splits back into three, and the water titan spits gouts of liquid, pushing everything backwards. Darhe’el unleashes rapid attacks with his psionically charged greatspear, weakening the titan’s defenses and creating openings for the rest of the party to pile on. TC and Whisper work together to flank and cause massive damage. The nether hulk sends its draining energies out, sapping the adventurers’ will. Angel warriorTemporarily empowered with flight by Iru’s shamanistic magics, Ahava charges repeatedly at the head of the giant, teleporting back to safety after each strike with his divine blade. Craig makes clever use of Fara’s explosive constructs to cause maximum amounts of injury along with his own twin swords.

The fight rages on as the party struggle to bring down the three rift titans. Another stray attack hits Asimir and causes him to falter. With a triumphant roar, the titans merge again and release a flurry of magical energies. The Clowns have used up almost all their jokes. Darhe’el and TC are pushed to the very edge of the cliff by the blasts. Just as the titan is gathering its energies to sweep them off, Ahava teleports behind it and deals the final blow, causing it to dissipate in a flash of energy. The rifts implode, sucking all the remaining otherworldy denizens away as they do.

As the dust settles, Iru hops over to Asimir and caws angrily. Appearing from the rubble, Alina translates for the Clowns’ benefit, “You! The elders banned you from our tribe. How dare you show your face here again?”. Asimir replies, and it seems his translation spell is still in effect, “It was nice to see you all again too. Anyway, you’d never have been able to close these rifts without me, so I’m just gonna go now and let’s leave it at that alright?” Turning to Whisper, he says, “Thank you for the use of your relic. You can have it back now.” Whisper is too flabbergasted at Asimir’s audacity to reply, and simply snatches the Mask of Deceit up, reverently tucking it away into his pouch. Finally, to the Clowns, “Well, you lot arrived just in time to give me a ride off these islands. Let’s go then!” Darhe’el pipes up, “You know, we’ve been tasked by the Arcanum to enlist your help in closing the rifts that have been appearing around Alter. It seems you’ve the same goals as well, so why don’t we, you know, work together for now.”

“The Arcanum finally got off their asses eh,” Asimir says amusedly, “let’s talk more on the ship; I think Iru’s just about had it with me.” The Clowns pack up and return to the Cloudchaser, setting sail for Tanar.

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17/09/11
Illusions and Masks

The party set up some traps for the eventual return of other members of the White Mask Cabal. Ahava and the remaining cabal member are tied together to maintain the charade that Ahava is part of the cabal. The party hear footsteps and voices nearing, and someone exclaims at the ineptitude of new recruits leaving the trapdoor unlocked. A figure in a white mask and dark clothes enters the room and triggers the trap, knocking him to the ground. Unfortunately he manages to shout out a warning to his companions. Two other figures with white masks enter before dark smoke fills the whole room, obscuring everyone’s vision.

When the smoke finally clears, the party are surprised to see doubles of themselves in the room with them. Ahava senses does not sense an illusion but manages to sense the presence of magic cloaking someone else in the room with them. Craig and Darhe’el quickly decide to take down their respective doubles, while TC is bogged down with confusion as his analytical engine struggles to come to terms with the situation. Ahava hears a voice questioning him about his identity, and deduces that the person in the room with them is the high-ranking mage Kaira previously mentioned by the white mask cabalist. Darhe’el manages to discern the rough location of the cloaked figure, and Ahava drops his pretense to charge the mage. However, the mage takes the opportunity to add more confusion to the mix by taking Ahava’s form. In the end the party are still sticking to their strategy of focusing on their doubles. Realising that the party are experienced adventurers, Kaira orders his subordinates to drop their disguises and just kill them all. The features of the faux party members shift and are revealed to be changeling agents.

The mage conjures an illusory horde of soldiers to harass the party as the changelings dart in and out to deal devastating strikes. After a fierce fight, the party manage to defeat the changelings and subdue the mage. They revive the unconscious TC and bring Kaira back to the ship to hand him over to the garuda.

Back at the Cloudchaser, the party frisk Kaira and discover identity papers linking Kaira to the Merchant House of Fremen but notice that they are high quality forgeries. When questioned, Kaira maintains his claim to be a member of House Fremen which cause the party to be suspicious of him. However, Kaira expresses his admiration for the party’s skills and suggests that they aid him and the cabal in recovering an important artifact from the garuda. He offers the party reward and the opportunity to get into good graces with the merchant houses of Tanar, many of whom are members of the White Mask Cabal. He claims that the cabal undertakes less savoury tasks for the merchant houses to maintain their economic and political superiority, and expresses his interest in enlisting the services of the party for the cabal’s cause. Knowing his duplicitous nature, the party still decide to go along with Kaira’s plan and hope to discover more about the White Mask Cabal.

Before going, Fara activates a connection between TC and a spy drone that they sent to the garuda’s home island. They notice that there is a rift in the air near one of the settlements where elementals are pouring out and the garuda are striving to fend them off. They also utilise Kaira’s scrying crystal to spy on the main settlement and see the garuda shaman Iru possibly sending off various other garuda shaman to aid the other garuda at the rift. They also notice a garuda with Iru who looks quite different than the other garuda, and suspect this may be the garuda Asimir.

Kaira is freed, and they return to the abandoned mage tower to meet with his other changeling contacts. Kaira plans to use a changeling to take his place with the garuda and maintain his distance. He also indicates that having a changeling tag along would be crucial as they can sense the artifcat that they are seeking. Kaira sets of a flare, and several figures eventually approach their position. A lean changeling in dark leather armour addresses Kaira. He introduces himself as Whisper, and appears to be a sort of leader among the other changelings. Kaira explains that they had an altercation with the party and that his changeling retinue were indisposed. Whisper seems irritated at this. From their conversation, it appears to the party that the changelings appear to be a sort of mercenary band who are allied with the White Mask Cabal for some strange reason. It also seems that the artifact being sought by the Cabal was originally in the possession of the changelings who had some sort of deal with the Cabal regarding it. Upon hearing Kaira’s plan, Whisper volunteers himself for the mission and begins to make preparations. The party question them about the artifact and how they are to find and retrieve it. Whisper reluctantly tells them that what they seek is a magical item called the Mask of Deceit. The changelings are a sect who worship Ehrim, and believe that the mask was created by Ehrim himself and bestowed to the first changeling. It is rumored that anyone who wears the mask can take on any form, and no method of divination can tell the difference without the wearer’s consent, save Ehrim and his favoured children, the changelings. The changelings can sense the rough position of the artifact which becomes clearer the closer they are to it. After Whisper is ready, they head back to the Cloudchaser and prepare to contact the garuda.

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03/09/11
Into the wild blue yonder

Finally finishing the preparations for their Altus expedition, the Clowns headed to the airport to meet up with Fara, Seras and Galros. There they were introduced to Captain Ivar of the Cloudchaser, an experienced and skillful dwarf, who told them the journey to Altus would take about two full days travel. He also warned them about the Garuda, a race of territorial avian people that had settled in Altus. After a quick tour of the ship, the moorings were cut loose and the expedition officially set sail.

The journey was mostly uneventful, punctuated by Darhe’el’s constant bouts of airsickness. Craig spent the time holed up in his quarters, while TC barely left his position at the bow, where he kept a constant watch for their destination. Ahava spent hours working with Seras to figure out how he could bring passengers along with his teleportation.

Raven2 ewNear dusk on the second day, TC finally spotted the outlying islands of Altus floating in the distance. Captain Ivar pointed out one of the islands, which he knew to be the main Garuda settlement, and announced that the ship would be heading there first to announce their presence to the Garuda, thereby pre-empting any misunderstandings. As they drew closer to the island, a massive unkindness of ravens burst forth, heading straight for the ship. Peering intently at the birds, the Clowns noticed that they seemed strangely synchronised with each other; a sweeping mental probe by Darhe’el identified only three sentienrs amongst the entire flock. They tried their hardest to communicate the peaceful intent of their mission, and eventually some of the ravens split apart from the rest and coalesced on the deck, shifting into a Garuda.

The Cloudchaser’s Garuda interpreters immediately rushed forward to address the representative, who introduced himself as Iru. Donning one of his angel costumes (don’t ask), Ahava tried to pass himself off as a cousin of the Garuda race, but was merely met with contemptuous disdain. Through the interpreters, Darhe’el learnt that someone calling himself Asimir had recently integrated himself into Iru’s tribe, and had been helping to close the planar rifts popping up around the land. It was very likely that this was the same Asimir that the Clowns were searching for. However, Iru bluntly refused to let them dock and contact Asimir, who he had taken on as a student.

After much persuasion, Iru gestured at Ahava and revealed that large numbers of white-masked landwalkers had been sighted on the neighbouring islands and were causing trouble for the Garuda. He agreed to consider letting the Clowns contact Asimir if they brought him the leader of these white-masked people. Seeing no other alternative, the party agreed to accept this quest. In a burst of wings, Iru dissolved back into ravens and departed.

That night, the Avenging Clowns held council, eventually deciding to send one of Fara’s constructs to the Garuda home nest, in an attempt to secretly locate Asimir. Meanwhile, the party would head to the other islands and investigate the white-masked people.

Piloting a skiff to the islands, the party saw ruins dotting the landscape, but could detect no overt signs of habitation. Once they’d made landfall, Craig quickly discovered fresh tracks which led to a ruined tower. TC cleared away some of the rubble from the tower, revealing a trapdoor. Attempts to pick the lock failed, and Craig was unable to force it open. Ahava then realised it was a basic arcane ward around the trapdoor, and spoke the magic words “Open Says Me.”, causing it to swing upwards and open.

Ahava and masked menCautiously heading down the stairs beneath, the party found a partially collapsed chamber filled with magic lightglobes and workrooms. Creeping forward, Craig overheard a pair of people in one of the workrooms, talking about expecting an inspection from one of their superiors soon. A mage named Kaira was apparently in charge of the magical device they were using and the arcane ward, along with someone named Jakic. Learning this, Ahava sauntered forward and banged on the door of the workroom, “You idiots, this place is full of security flaws! I can’t believe I managed to get in without either of you knowing.” He flung the door open to find two white-masked men staring dumbly back at him, “Well don’t just stand there! I’m here to carry out the inspection. One of you come out here and help me unload my belongings.” Utterly taken in by his deception, one of the men obediently followed Ahava back out into the chamber. Unfortunately for him, Darhe’el and TC were lying in wait and unleashed a flurry of surprise attacks as he rounded the corner.

Maintaining the charade, Ahava cried out in alarm and ran back into the work room, shoving the other masked man out to face Darhe’el and TC. It was two against two now, but Ahava wasn’t done with his performance. He staggered forward, clutching his sides and collapsed in front of the two masked men. Darhe’el mentally rolled his eyes at the ridiculousness of the situation as Craig came vaulting over Ahava’s prone body, licking his blades, “Your boss was no match for me, and you’re next!” Shocked and awed, the masked men didn’t put up much of a fight. The Clowns decided to leave one alive for interrogation.

The prisoner woke up to find Darhe’el and TC staring down at him as well as the sounds of Craig’s maniacal laughter and Ahava’s entirely believable screams of pain echoing from a neighbouring workroom. Darhe’el hissed menacingly at him, “Your boss is being a little sstubborn, but you look like you’re more clever than that..” He quickly capitulated and told Darhe’el that they had been scrying on the Garuda home nest in an attempt to find a precious artifact for their cabal.

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13/08/11 - 2
Expanded Log

Darhe’el and Ahava awaken from their slumber feeling unnaturally weak and tired. They are both surprised to see that the wounds they sustained in their dream are also physically present albeit to a lesser extent. They also each notice red dust on their clothes. Perplexed and worried about the state of Craig as he was unconscious the last they saw him in the dream, Ahava and Darhe’el rush to the offices of the Avenging Clowns to check on their comrade. They find him still unconscious in his chair and are unable to wake him, no matter how hard they try. They are even more worried to find that TC is nowhere to be seen. They hope that TC has just gone to get help. As they attempt to administer first aid, they discover red dust on his clothes as well as a greenish glowing crystal shard in his cloak. Darhe’el tries to awaken him using his psychic powers but is disturbed when he can’t seem to feel Craig’s mental presence. They are so intent on Craig that they almost do not notice the bluish glow that fills the room as teleportation runes appear on the floor. There glow intensifies and forms an outline of a warforged and finally TC appears from the teleportation circle. He appears somewhat disoriented as the glow around him fades, but soon rushes to his friends’ aid.

Ahava and Darhe’el are surprised by TC’s sudden appearance but are grateful for his help as he shoulders Craig and they head to look for the cleric, Marek. They locate Marek performing her morning rituals and enlist her aid in treating Craig. She notes that his body is physically sound, except for some bruises, and that he does not appear to be suffering from any natural poisons. However, Marek also fails to awaken Craig, but discerns that his malady may be of a magical or psionic nature. They immediately send a message to Seras explaining the situation and requesting the attention of a suitable member of the Arcanum. In the meantime, they bring Craig to an unused room and also get some help from other guild members, but to no avail.

As the group wait, they question TC on his mysterious disappearance and reappearance, as well as the changes to his body that they now notice after the immediacy of Craig’s situation has worn off. TC explains that last night, he and Craig returned to the company office to retire and found the message from Chip, Ka’da and Jacob. There was also an item for him from the Iron Council in the form of a small cube. The cube reacted with TC, causing some of his coverplates and tribal markings to shift around. He now sports a sigil in the shape of a half-cog, which is the symbol of the Iron Council. When he touched the symbol, he was transported to a strange place. TC recalled that he first found himself in a large hall that contained various forges, tools and workbenches. As he was about to leave the hall, he heard footsteps outside the door. A figure entered the workshop and called out to TC to join him outdoors. TC recognised the figure as being the Primus of the Iron Council, and followed him out.

Outside, TC saw a strange grey sky and many buildings and workshops surrounding him. The yard and streets around him seemed strangely bare and unadorned. Everything had a very utilitarian look, plain but somehow beautiful in their simplicity. TC joined the Primus on a nearby stone bench and started questioning him about where they were and why he was transported here. Primus explained that he had sent the cube to TC as he wanted to speak in person. He had heard from Arda that TC had been experiencing strange dreams, and wanted to investigate the matter personally. Primus explained that warforged did not dream naturally, and what TC had seen must be some sort of vision or sending. Primus then placed his palms on TC’s head, and suddenly TC found himself seeing his vision again. Oddly enough, he could see the Primus beside him and it seemed as if they were watching the scene from a different perspective. Primus observed a humanoid form seemingly encased in a giant crystalline shard. The figure appeared to be writhing and screaming in agony as though the crystal was not there.

As the viewing ended, TC asked Primus if he knew why he was seeing visions of a trapped human and if it meant anything. “The person you see in the crystal is no human. He is what you would call a deva. And yet, not. He feels somehow…incomplete. This is troubling indeed. I must consult with my master”, Primus explained. TC asked who Primus referred to as master, to which he only smiled and said “I do not believe it is time for you to meet him, nor is it even time for you to fathom who he is and why I call him master. Although… you may glimpse part of him now.” As Primus completed his sentence, he turned to look out the gate of the compound. As TC followed his gaze, he noticed someone walking up the road toward them. He had the strangest sensation, as it appeared that the figure was walking closer toward them and also staying stationary far away. The figure’s features also seemed to be blurry, and TC could not even what race he was. As the figure walked, objects appeared to construct themselves out of thin air around him. Lampposts, ornate railings, benches and statues appeared to grow or build themselves around him. He also appeared to be whistling and swinging a blacksmith’s hammer around his right hand. As the figure drew closer, Primus turned to TC and said “I have now seen what you have seen, and heard what you have said. I do not yet comprehend its meaning or significance, but we shall speak of this again soon enough. Now go; it is not yet time for you to meet him.” And with that, TC found a teleportation circle forming around him and soon found himself back at the guild.

As the group pondered the ramifications of TC’s tale, Seras arrived at the guild with an elderly githzerai in tow. The githzerai appeared to be bossing him around and complaining that he was being taken away from some very important research. Seras introduced the group to his companion: the esteemed psion Sercu, senior professor of psionics at the Arcanum of Tanar. Seras suspected from Darhe’el’s description of last night’s events that a psionic attack was responsible for Craig’s state and had requested the help of an experienced psion, although it appeared as if he was beginning to regret his choice of Sercu.

The group lead Seras and Sercu to the room where Craig is in. Sercu examines Craig intently while they explain the details of the events to him. He grunts in seeming annoyance and asks to see the crystal shard they obtained from Craig’s cloak. “Aah such amateurs. Even you, ardent. In fact, especially you, since the others are as ignorant of the psionic arts as you are of dental hygiene and could be excused”, mutters Sercu. Seras glances at Darhe’el with a weary expression and rolls his eyes. Sercu explains that they had been attacked by a mindshard dominator and that he had somehow pulled psionic projections of themselves through their dreams in the mind domain. “Tsk. Nasty stuff, mindshards. Which god did you offend to attract the attention of one? Any god with eyes and a fashion sense, perhaps.” tutted Sercu. He goes on to explain that Craig’s psychic projection is trapped in the mind domain in a dormant state as he fell unconscious there, and that it is possible to recover his psyche if they enter the domain once again. However, since Craig is not in his physical form they will need to send psionic projections to lead him back to his body.

Sercu is now legitimately interested as he claims that not many psions have experience working with a warforged mind. He continues to boss Seras around, demanding ritual candles and ki focuses to aid in his ritual. Once the preparations are complete, Sercu sends each party member into a deep sleep while he draws out and guides their psionic projections using Craig’s crystal as a focus. Each party member has some difficulty focusing their minds on the task at hand which causes some delays getting them to their destination. And a pony.

The group finally reach the place that Darhe’el, Ahava and Craig encountered the mindshard and notice Craig’s body, or his psionic projection in the shape of his body, slouched on the ground. As the party draws nearer to grab Craig, the crystals scattered around his body start to levitate, spin and coalesce into the shape of a mindshard. They hear Sercu’s alarmed voice in their heads telling them to flee as they cannot risk further harm to Craig or themselves. Sercu states that he will hold off the mindshard’s psionic attacks and try to prevent it from following them. Sercu tells Seras to lead the party out as he has studied the domain of paths. Seras is slightly puzzled at Sercu’s instruction but manages to guide the party to away from the mind domain. However, it appears he is not accustomed to traversing the domains as a psionic projection and they end up scattered in the earth domain.

The party find themselves on different rocky outcrops surrounded by a sea of sand and mud. In the distance they spy rugged mesas, plateaus and looming mountains. Fortunately, they have all arrived within visual range of each other. The party can see Craig’s still unconscious form on a central hill. However, before the anyone can make their way to Craig, a mud elemental erupts from the ground. More mud and silt elementals emerge from the sand and they all appear to be agitated. As the group try to move toward the central outcrop, the elementals attack them. Seras is concerned that the elementals seem to be able to hurt their psionic projections and are intent on harm. A large form suddenly erupts near Craig and grabs him before slamming him into the rock. The rock gives way like water before the hideous monster and Craig is entombed in the rock.

Seras identifies the large monster as a Terraguhl, and urges the party to recover Craig’s “body” and leave the domain. The party are able to dispatch the other elementals but Ahava also ends up entombed in the rock by the Terraguhl. However Ahava successfully managed to dig himself out of the ground and reach Craig. The party hear Seras seemingly holding a telepathic conversation with Sercu, and they appear to be arguing. Seras seems to be confused by Sercu’s instructions and claims that Sercu’s explanation of psionic travel through the domains are outrageous. Finally the Terraguhl and the other elementals are subdued but the party start hearing loud footsteps drawing closer and see stone behemoths striding closer to their location. Seras finally scrambles up the rock outcrop, teleports Craig’s body out of the rock, and calls for the party to hold onto him as he prepares to lead them home.

As the party hold onto Seras’ shoulders, they see glimpses of the domains flashing before their eyes. They see lush jungles, strange skies, a cabin on a lone isle, workshops, deserts and alien landscapes before they finally find themselves in a blurry representation of the room they were in. They can see their own bodies lying on cots . They move Craig’s psionic projection to where his physical body is as Sercu completes his ritual to return them and they feel themselves pulled back into their physical bodies and they finally awaken.

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13/08/11
Craig's Listless

Earlier, when Craig and TC returned to the Clowns’ office to retire for the night, there were two packages waiting for them. One was a message from Chip updating the team on the effort to locate Darrak. Ka’da, Chip and Jacob had decided to split up and follow different leads in search of their missing friend. They had also sent messaging devices back to the office, so that they could be contacted if their skills were required back in Tanar.

The other package was for TC, and contained a mysterious well-engineered cube. Being the curious individual that he was, TC inserted the cube into a (cough) socket in his body . A strange transformation happened and the symbol of the Iron Council appeared among his other tattoos. And as if by magic, TC suddenly felt a strange sensation and was teleported from the Adventurers’ Guild.

TC regained his senses to find himself in what appeared to be a blacksmith’s paradise. Many forges and workbenches lined an impressive hallway. Hearing footsteps, he quickly tried to hide under a table. He was discovered though, by none other than Primus, leader of the Iron Council. They spent some time talking about the warforgeds’ origins as well as some strange visions that TC was having. After the encounter, Primus teleported TC back to the adventurers’ Guild.

TC reappeared in the Clowns’ office just as Darhe’el and Ahava came rushing from their homes to check on Craig. During their psionic encounter with the mindshard the night before, Darhe’el had mortally wounded Craig while under the mindshard’s control. It appeared that the battle had some physical effect on Craig, as he could not be woken up. When shaken, a crystal from the dream world rolled out of his hand.

Worried, the companions tried dragging Craig to the Guild’s chapel to see if Marek could help resuscitate him. She couldn’t, but was able to identify that the attack was psionic in nature. The companions contemplated dragging Craig down to the basement for safekeeping, or dragging him to the Arcanum so that the wizards there could take a look at him. In the end, they decided to contact Seras and request help from one of the Arcanum’s psions.

Seras soon arrived with a Professor skilled in the psionic arts. He told the companions that the only way to revive Craig was to re-enter the psionic dimension and retrieve his body there. Using the crystal shard as a focus, the companions and Seras (eventually) focused their thoughts and were transported back to the same desolate landscape they were trapped in the night before. They soon found Craig’s body, but just as they were about to reach him, monsters started to appear out of hiding to ambush them. Seras contacted the Professor to beam them out.

Something went wrong though, and the team reappeared in what looked like the Domain of Earth. Seras was familiar with this realm due to his studies, and was excited that the psionic and elemental domains were somehow connected. His eagerness soon disappeared when the team was attacked by rock, silt and sand elementals. One of the elementals was able to use its elemental abilities to bury Craig deep in the ground. The team managed to defeat the elementals and reach Craig just as a great many more elementals appeared. Forming a (sorta) human chain, the team was transported out of the domain.

As the companions traveled back to the physical realm, they witnessed numerous domains flashing before their eyes. They saw the realm of the mindshard, a forest domain, an island domain and even the warforged workshop that TC visited. They arrived back at the Adventurers’ Guild without incident though, and Craig appeared to be alive and well, but sound asleep. Seras returned to the Arcanum with the Professor, and the team was left wondering about the great disturbance in the force. They didn’t have long to get their thoughts together though, for they would soon embark on a journey to the floating city of Altus!

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06/08/11
Stop hitting yourselves

Darhe’el, Ahava, Craig and TC return from their excursion to the forest with an adult phase spider an anchorstone in tow. Seras leads them to deposit the items in the designated laboratory and receives a message that they are to meet with another mage in his workshop. Seras guides the party to a small workspace where a bored looking human mage is idly tinkering with some alchemical equipment. He introduces himself as Clem, and explains that the Rift Committee has asked him to provide the party with some enchanted items to aid in their work. He provides the party with a magical couter and magical gloves, and tweaks the enchantments to fit the items to the Darhe’el and TC.

While chit-chatting with Clem, the party notice that he seems dissatisfied and frustrated with what he perceives as menial work, and the Arcanum’s lack of interest in his research. There are numerous vials of mana oil in his laboratory but upon questioning, he reveals to Darhe’el that they are all ordinary and do not possess the unusual qualities of the mana oil from Lake Yelta. Seras explains that Clem is doing research into the applications of mana oil in enchanting magical items, but has not made much progress. He was previously working on using mana oil as a conduit to facilitate destination focussing in magical teleportation devices, but due to the recent events has been forced to halt his research. He complains that the Arcanum now mainly requests him to test previously enchanted magic items to ensure they still work properly, which is a tedious process.

As Clem finishes his adjustments to the items, they hear a knock on the door and see Gelros poke his head in. Gelros greets the party brightly and asks if they are leaving to the Adventurer’s Guild. He has been looking for them, as he is planning to head to the Guild to have dinner with his old friend Rodin and would appreciate the company on his walk there. The party agree to accompany Gelros, and take their leave of Seras and Clem. As they walk to the Guildhall, Gelros bores the party with his tales of past expeditions and bits of Altusian history. When they reach the Guild mess hall, they find Rodin at his usual spot at the bar with scrolls surrounding him. Gelros and Rodin greet each other cheerfully and start a boisterous conversation. The party are invited to join them for dinner and drinks, as Rodin is also curious how the meeting with the committee went.

At dinner, the party give Rodin a summary of the meeting, which seems to meet his expectations. The party also question him and Gelros about the floating islands of Altus. They proceed to explain that the islands have been abandoned after the last great war as they are now unstable. The outlying islands are prone to crashing to the ground, and even the stable islands have been inhabited by vicious monsters and spirits. Drakes and rocs have established nests in the ruins, and magical aberrations are rumoured to still wander underneath the surface of the islands.

Gelros and Rodin reminisce about how they managed to clear out most of one of the main islands many years ago. They had managed to secure an area that used to be the noble district of the main city, which is now used as a staging point for Arcanum expeditions and historical tours. However, they speculate that the rifts are probably occurring on the islands as well and the safety of the islands may not be as before. Rodin also updates the party on some of the goings on in the guild in recent times. It appears that the guild has been kept quite busy, as the rifts make the surrounding areas less safe. The party are relieved to learn that the annoying Kors and his company will be away at Daru for a while on an engagement. Rodin also lets Darhe’el know that Cale would like to have a chat.

A few more mugs later, the two dwarves start singing about Bosmerta the Bearded Beauty, who could fell an army with a flick of her facial hair. Our adventurers decide it best to beat a hasty retreat.

Darhe’el decides to check in on Cale before he leaves, and finds him having a quiet drink and smoke out in the courtyard. Cale informs Darhe’el about the Slyblades Mayana and Kashik’s previous ties to the Thieves’ Guild of Th’Mall. He also brings news that since Darhe’el left Th’Mall, the guild has been in turmoil as more and more members went missing and were presumed killed. Some members, like Darhe’el, fled to Tanar but have also recently been disappearing. Darhe’el leaves Cale with even more questions on his mind.

Craig heads for his makeshift sleeping arrangements in the Clowns’ office, while Darhe’el and Ahava leave for their own rooms in Lowtown. On his way out of the Guild, Ahava is interrupted by Marek, the Guild’s resident cleric. She can sense his recent encounter with a divinity, and invites him to share his experience. Ahava decides to reveal to her all the details about the realm of darkness and the deva who empowered his sword. After performing a divination ritual on the sword, Marek tells Ahava that the deva in his vision was a manifestation of the goddess Sune herself. She goes on to say that clerics of all faiths have been having close encounters of the divine kind recently, leading many to suspect that major events are unfolding in the realm of the gods. She also makes him promise not to let the Arcanum know this fact, as she feels that magic users are misusing the energies of the land. He promises, then takes his leave.

That night, the party find themselves haunted by strange dreams. Ahava recalls the morning he discovered the unlimited supply of masks on his face and Craig dreams of being pursued by aberrant, unnatural horrors. Darhe’el relives the night his team was killed by the mysterious psionic presence, a nightmare he has had many times before. But this time, he can feel that presence again, as if it were somehow close by, beckoning him to follow…

Gasping in fear, Darhe’el jerks himself awake. To his surprise, he is not in his rooms, but in the middle of a weirdly shifting landscape filled with glowing green crystals and rocks. A short distance from him is a whirling mass of crystal shards, which suddenly projects loudly into his mind, “A/ahh, YO\U’re the o|NE TH]at go+T Aw-a!y. Th||is ti/me I AM goi\ng to ha]VE y\ou|r -fr|IE\nds FI^N[ish the j|ob.” Looking around, Darhe’el is taken aback to see Craig and Ahava standing behind the shardmind, but he breathes a sigh of relief when they charge straight for the crystalline being. Hefting his greatspear, he too joins in the assault.

The party quickly become frustrated as their blades are unable to find purchase in the rapidly moving swarm of shards. The shardmind takes this opportunity to launch its counterattack, flinging out crystal spikes that become embedded in the adventurers’ bodies. Ignoring the pain, the party continues to slash away, unaware of the true nature of the shardmind’s techniques.

Ahava is the first to fall prey to the mental domination of the shardmind; he turns to strike at Darhe’el. Craig succumbs shortly after and starts to pursue Darhe’el as well. With the shardmind’s laughter booming in his head, Darhe’el does his best to fend off his teammates’ blows. Fortunately, it seems some small part of them is resisting the domination, holding themselves back from unleashing their full strength on Darhe’el. Finally they manage to fight off the corrupting influence and regain control of their actions. Drawing on Sune’s blessing, Ahava’s sword begins to emit a radiant light, destabilising the shardmind and forcing it to coalesce into a solid form. Now that they can get good hits in, the party quickly dispose of the creature before it can take over their minds again. As the shardmind dissipates, their vision fades out and they wake up in their beds. Was it all just a dream? Funnily, Craig finds some of the green crystals in his pocket when he awakes..

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30/07/11 Part 2
Here and there and everywhere

Almost a month has passed since the strange rift occurred at the Arcanum. Since then, other rifts have started appearing randomly throughout Tanar. Reports from other cities and towns indicate that the rifts are also occurring elsewhere. Furthermore, the strange earthquakes are still happening and magical energies also seem to be fluctuating wildly. Teleportation and transportation magic has become very erratic, transformation and communication magic is nearly impossible while elemental and summoning magic seems to have been greatly boosted. The Arcanum has started intensive research into the arcane fluctuations but so far have failed to uncover the underlying cause or solution. They only suspect that the rifts and the earthquakes are connected to the magical turmoil.

After sealing the rift at the Voyager Sanctum, the Arcanum has been tasked with aiding the local city guard in sealing any rifts that occur within the city. The adventuring guild has been very busy as many adventuring companies have also been engaged to aid in the effort in Tanar and elsewhere, including the party’s company (The True Beliebers Fan Club). Ahava has been requested to drop by the Arcanum regularly so they can study the seal that was made on him that allows him to teleport safely. The enchanters at the Arcanum have also provided Ahava with enchanted Boots of Freedom and Craig with Iron Armbands of Power. Strangely enough, none of the arcanists who were there at the time can remember who the mage who made the last seal was. The only recollection the party has of the last mage was that he was an eladrin mage in blue and green robes.

The company have learnt that Darrak, who used the Consortium teleporter with Chip, has not made contact with any of their group or with the guild. As such, the company have been working with Selon, Soira and the Consortium to see if they can locate and retrieve Darrak. Selon recently suggested that they seek the Arcanum’s help as they are trying to stabilise teleportation. Not long after that, the adventuring company is summoned to the Arcanum to discuss the rifts. Ahava, Darhe’el, TC and Craig make their way to the Arcanum, while Ka’da, Chip and Jacob continue to pursue clues to Darrak’s whereabouts.

On the way to the Arcanum, several small rifts suddenly appear along the street the party is on. The other pedestrians recognise the rifts and scatter, while someone goes off to alert the guards. A peculiar creature with bright yellow eyes, long pointy ears, bluish skin and abnormally large clawed hands pokes its head out of one rift. It opens a dimensional window in the air through which it pokes its arm, which then reappears behind the party to steal a healing potion from Craig’s pouch. The party identify the strange creature as a boggle, an inquisitive and mischievous fey creature. Fortunately, it is not particularly dangerous but it can be a nuisance and may turn violent if it is provoked. More boggles appear from the rifts and start causing mischief with the abandoned stalls and wares. One boggle even manages to obtain Darhe’el’s greatspear and another manages to steal Craig’s swords. The party attempt to recover their belongings and are mostly successful, but the boggles become agitated and start attacking them. The party manages to subdue the boggles and even have the idea to capture one to bring to the Arcanum. As they are trying to figure out how to transport the boggle without it teleporting to escape, they spy a mage and a guard arriving on the scene. The mage is amused to see the captive boggle and conjures magical shackles to restrain it. The mage then accompanies the party to the Arcanum with the boggle towed behind her, leaving the city guard to sort out the mess on the street.

Finally reaching the Arcanum, the party are greeted by Seras, the Translocation Student who was with them during the rift incident at the Voyager Sanctum. The other mage chats amiably with Seras, as he calls for some other student to help her bring the captured boggle to the Magical Creatures Department. Seras explains that most of the students are being mobilised to help with the rift incidents and to aid the senior mages in investigating the magical fluctuations. Taking their leave from the mage and the stupefied boggle, Seras leads the party to the Arcanum library where they enter a room dominated by a large mahogany table. Seated around the table appear to be a few senior mages, nobles, guardsmen and some familiar faces. Selon, Gelros, Dorin, Arda, and Fara are in attendance and rise to greet the party. Selon explains that the group is a committee assembled to investigate the rifts and arcane fluctuations and deal with them. Selon is representing the Arcanum as well as the Adventurer’s Guild. Arda, Fara and Dorin represent the Iron Council and Consortium, who have agreed to lend their aid. Gelros is serving as an adviser to the Arcanum and the noble houses.

Chip had related the snippets he heard from Burn at his cabin on the peculiar island to Dorin and the Arcanum, who together with Arda and Gelros have managed to piece together a theory on the strange goings on. Arda goes on to explain to everyone that the magical phenomena are all related to an event known as The Gathering. Gelros had encountered scattered mentions of it from arcane texts written around the period of the Great Mage War with Raza. Abnormal fluctuations and strange occurrences had happened during that time, but was assumed to have been the effects of the magical war. Now, the Arcanum theorised that it was actually The Gathering that had caused those fluctuations and is now happening again. It is also suspected to be related to the high concentration of magical energies and other oddities in Coren.

The committee would like further investigation into the Gathering and proposed to engage the aid of the reclusive scholar Asimir, who was branded a heretic long ago and now roams the continent of Alter conducting his studies. Asimir has great knowledge of the arcane arts and had studied the domains of magic all his long life. He believed the domains to be the foundation of all power in the world and that they ebb and flow in time. Most recently, some adventurers had reported spotting someone fitting his description in the sky ruins of Altus. The party are thus requested to work for the committee and undertake a trip to Altus to contact Asimir. Seras, Gelros and Fara are also tapped to go on this expedition. The party agree to aid the committee, in return for substantial reward.

Although a goal is set, planning the trip to the sky islands of Altus will still take some time, especially with the difficulties faced by magical transportation. The party are thus asked to help out with another task while Fara and Gelros make preparations for the trip. A phase spider has been spotted in a forest not far from Tanar. This is unusual, as phase spiders have never been spotted outside of Coren and the domains. The Arcanum suspects there is another rift in the forest and request the party to seal it as well as capture the phase spider for study. Phase spiders are one of the few creatures which can teleport intrinsically, and the Arcanum is hopeful that the study of the boggles and phase spiders will help them perform reliable teleportation again.

Seras travels along with the party to the forest to aid in restraining the phase spider. When they reach the forest, the find a clearing that looks completely incongruous with the rest of the forest. Bluish sand appears to cover the ground, and blue-gray rocks tower around the edge of the clearing. There are also 6 small rifts around the clearing, and three strange tall, dark, tapered stones streaked with silvery blue veins in the centre. The party spy the phase spider tending to a few eggs near its web. Seras suggests also trying to obtain the eggs. Craig notices a strange shimmer at a corner of the clearing. A dimensional marauder suddenly phases into view and tries to make off with a spider egg. The phase spider taps the egg and an immature phase spider hatchling emerges. As the phase spiders and dimensional marauders square off, the party attempt to capitalise on the situation to capture the beasts. The party scramble around to keep up with the teleporting spiders and marauders, and end up in the rifts which transport them around the clearing randomly. They also notice that the three stones seem to prevent or disrupt teleportation somehow. Finally, they manage to defeat the beasts and capture the adult phase spider. They also pry out one of the stones, which Seras has dubbed an “anchorstone”, to return to the Arcanum. As soon as they remove the stone, the landscape changes back to a normal forest clearing again. Wondering at the strangeness of the clearing, Seras leads the party back to Tanar where they are then informed to prepare for an airship trip to Altus.

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30/07/11
The Ruins Outside Lasette

The party managed to escape the stampeding killik and collapsing tunnels on the outskirts of Lasette. In the race out of the tunnels, they successfully recovered the seal of House Kajida from the Gray Cartel and emerged out of the tunnels into the partially caved in basement of a ruined building. There were various other low ruins and what appears to have been the base of a tower.

They made their way back to the town where Grimas and his friends have informed the constabulary that Gray Cartel members were murdered in cold blood. The constables warned the party that they would not be welcome in town for fear of reprisal from the Gray Cartel. Fortunately, Gelros had almost completed his preparations and the whole group made their way to the same ruins which contained the tunnel exit.

Gelros conducted his investigation of the ruins safely while the rest of the party fended off any wandering beasts or killik from the tunnel mouth. The Gray Cartel seemed to have fled the area and left the group in peace. Gelros successfully recovered several scrolls and document cases in a buried library which he explained would be of interest to House Kajida as they contained records of the inhabitants of the estate, including their lineages. Gelros was quite excited to discover that a couple of mages had once lived there and they were affiliated with the military research division of the old Altus empire. He speculated that they may have chosen to operate in Lasette due to the easy availability of raw materials from the mines, and may possibly have even overseen magical transportation of the products.

While they were camping out at the ruins, Gelros would give long lectures about the history of Altus. He speculated that the mages were in residence at Lasette during the great War of Mages, when Altus waged war against the mage state of Raza. Eventually, the sorcerers of Raza eradicated most of the mages of Altus and either destroyed or stole a large amount of magical knowledge. Gelros was hopeful that he would discover some hidden store of arcane lore of the time. After almost 2 weeks at the ruins, Gelros was ecstatic to stumble upon a previously hidden secret cache in the ruined tower which contained several magical recording tablets. Excited with his discovery he contacted House Kajida and later informed the party that they would be departing back to Tanar shortly. There were no further incidents of note, and they all made their way safely back to Tanar.

Back in Tanar, Gelros met with representatives of House Kajida and the Arcanum. They agreed to plan a joint expedition to fully explore the ruins in more detail and possibly discover more about the mages who once lived there. In the meantime, the magical tablets would be loaned to the Arcanum for study. Gelros was very enthusiastic and was also very thankful for the party’s aid during the pilot expedition. Gelros warned that future expeditions may become more dangerous if the Gray Cartel took an interest, and also the killik agitated by the earthquakes. He recommended that the party be engaged to aid in future expeditions, which was nominally agreed by the Arcanum and House Kajida. The party were paid 800 gold for their work, and bade farewell to Gelros as he stayed in the Arcanum to aid the study of the tablets and plan the next expedition.

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