Author Topic: The Crystal Dominion - Session 05 Summary  (Read 2439 times)

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avisarr

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The Crystal Dominion - Session 05 Summary
« on: March 22, 2009, 04:18:41 PM »
The Crystal Dominion - Session 5 Summary

[DN Note: A new party member joined the group. A knight from Arkalia who was also under some economic obligation to serve the Company and had been assigned to the Swordtongue Guild to render assistance. i.e. a new player].

In the previous session, the party had attended an auction at the Rulander Guild which was a high class social event. In the midst of explosions and chaos, the group managed to steal the letter of Mazuris. The following morning, Arkril, the house mage of the Swordtongue Guild, cast a powerful spell that prevented all manner of scrying. He felt confident that they could take the letter out of the lead lined chest without fear of a tracking spell.
Upon removing the letter, Ethos began translating the letter from Traxxian to Southern. When he had finished, he read the letter to the assembled group.



Here is what the letter said:

Windrise 7, 742 cy

To My Oldest and Dearest Friend Jardell,

This letter will find you by the hands of Imret, now a lieutenant in the Dominion. I have come to know him well this past year and I trust him as I do you. I have spoken of him to you often and you may count him a trusted ally. Even so, there is the chance that this letter may be intercepted. For fear this letter may be seen by our enemies, I will be careful with my words. May this letter speak plainly to you, but befuddle prying eyes.

Much have I enjoyed our games and riddles. But I fear our games will soon come to an end. I fear a dark time is upon us. The shadow of the Iron Brigade is spreading. Every month they sway the council further and make more outrageous demands. Every month, we make greater concessions.

I have no love of the Iron Brigade and have never trusted Tyrian. I fear he means to usurp the Dominion’s position and wrest control of Kalrothis from us. I have seen his mind. The Legion’s wizards have become too powerful because of the crystals and Tyrian and his Brigade are jealous of that power, for it is something they will never taste. The crystals are nothing to them and so, to destroy the mine, is also nothing to them. They seek to rein in the wizards of this land by shutting down Kalrothis. But that is not enough. Its very existence is a threat. As long as the mine remains, there are those who will try to mine the crystal. And that is where Tyrian’s plan becomes quite bold. The greatest defense Kalrothis has is its secrecy. And that secrecy may very well be its downfall. Although many live within the mountain, most are slaves who never see the light of day. How many know the location of the mine? I have counted. It is only twelve men. Of all the thousands in the Legion and tens of thousands in the War, there are only twelve who know the way to the mine and how to enter it. The Iron Brigade plans to kill those who carry the secret of its location and wipe Kalrothis from the world. It is Tyrian’s plan to erase Kalrothis from the memory of the world.

I have protested before the Council, but it seems your fears are true. Too many of the councilors have already been bought. They care only for what profit they may find today. They are too blind to see the greater picture, the threat of the Iron Brigade and what they might do.

More important than the mine is my research. I have had a breakthrough and I believe now that I have finally found the cure for Arkulyte addiction… the cure that has eluded me for so long. A cure could open up a new age of magic for the wizards. If news of the cure is discovered, it will make Tyrian even more determined to bury Kalrothis.

All of my research into the crystal, its purification, its uses and applications are in the Arkulythe Grimoire. I have added the cure as well. The grimoire know holds all of my work from the past twelve years. The entire book is written in Quindon. I know you never mastered Quindon but I believe you have enough to relearn it or perhaps to teach it to someone else. A thorough understanding of Quindon will be needed to read the grimoire. That is also why I write this letter in Traxxian rather than Quindon. This is a matter of great urgency and I need to you act quickly rather than be fumbling with past Quindon ciphers.

I do not trust the Brigade soldiers here. There have already been attempts made to take the grimoire. Even if they cannot read it, some fool may try to burn it. So I have placed the grimoire behind guards and wards to keep it safe. Should this letter be discovered, I trust in my craft to protect it.

Because we are outnumbered and the council cannot be made to see reason, I have decided to take action. Soon Tyrian will make his move and we are running out of time. To ensure that Kalrothis is not erased from history, I have created a map for you and will be sending it shortly. I am forced to conceal it from both the Dominion and the Iron Brigade.  Everything, coming and going here, is inspected. A map would surely be discovered as would any magical means to conceal it. Thus I have taken great pains to conceal the nature of this map mundanely.  The secret of Kalrothis is contained within the Path not taken. I leave it to you, my friend, to follow my meaning and find it. Which pieces? Find the map in Jenna’s inspiration. The map is plain to see for those with Eyes to see it. And if humbled by my words, find the key in that which you love most. I bequeath these three to you, old friend. See that they are protected. Do not let Kalrothis and all it holds become buried by small minded men.

I am entrusting this information to you and you alone. It is my hope that we will meet again for another game, but it is my fear that I will not see you again. Kalrothis, and all it contains, must be protected at all costs.

Your friend until Time and times are done,

Mazuris




Baldorin took a few hours to read and study the letter. When he was finished, he gathered the group and told them the following:

The arch mage Mazuris was a genius and a man of many talents. He was a master of magic and penned many spells himself. Less known is his talent for writing, poetry, art and music.

The letter makes mention of “the path not taken”. This refers to his abandoned career as an artist. In his younger days he seriously considered joining the ranks of the great artists of the day. Among his closest friends, he called this the Path not taken. So, obviously, we may deduce that the map is cleverly concealed with in specific pieces of his art.

The letter then states “find the map in Jenna’s inspiration”. Mazuris had a niece named Jenna. She suggested combining art and poetry… something she had heard from travelers returning from distant Aggradar. Mazuris created a piece for her in this style. A huge oil on canvas painting with a poem written beneath. The piece was entitled The Way. It was given to Jenna as a gift only days before the Crystal Dominion fell.

The letter goes on to state that “the map is plain to see for those with Eyes to see it”. Before the end, Mazuris had begun experimenting with stained glass art. In the final days of the Crystal Dominion, he had created a set of four windows of abstract stained glass patterns which he called The Eyes of History.

It’s likely that these must be combined in some way in order to reveal the map. So, what we are looking for is an oil on canvas painting called the Way and four stained glass pieces called the Eyes of History.

Captain Moldower addressed the group: The current whereabouts of these pieces of art is unknown. However, major pieces of art and their sales are usually a matter of public record. We’re lucky that Drakkel is a city where such major purchases are often recorded.  Baldorin is going to spend the next week or two researching the problem. Because he is a wanted man, we’re going to keep a close eye on him and have him guarded at all times. Your group will be responsible for assisting in this guard duty. However, I know that several of you have training you wish to complete. So, when not on guard duty, you can pursue your own studies.

In other words, the players had time to train and advance in level while Baldorin conducted his research. The players were also paid by the Swordtongue guild for services rendered thus far. With cash in their pocket, the party members spent some time on the town, did training and following up on a few personal projects. They also assisted the guild guards in protecting Baldorin and keeping him safe and out of sight.

After about a week and a half, they regrouped and met with Baldorin. Baldorin had been successful in tracking down the locations for the specific pieces of art.

Baldorin: I have good news and bad news. I have found the locations of all 5 pieces of art that we are looking for. However, they art is scattered about and some of them may not be easy to acquire.

The main piece is The Way. It’s the painting and poem on a single sheet of canvas. It was given to his niece Jenna. It turns out that this piece was bought and sold several times over the centuries. It’s now owned by a wealthy guild master and crime lord who lives a short ways out of town. It’s unlikely he’ll be willing to part with it, so we will need to steal it.

The great arch mage Mazuris was buried in his family’s vault at the Church of Saint Aldrik, of the Imarusian faith. Here. In the city of Drakkel. Many Drakkellian families, especially noble families, follow the old Traxxian tradition of burying their dead in great vaults with much of their treasure and prized possessions. Mazuris’ family did this. A great deal of his art and treasure were placed in his burial vault with him… along with the stained glass pieces. However, it was not the entire set. Only 3 of the 4 were placed there.

For reasons we don’t know, this part of the stained glass art was separated from the other three. It was purchased by a wealthy merchant forty years ago. His name is Grendalin and he now lives in the town of Price.


Captain Moldower interjects…  None of these pieces will be going anywhere soon. We have the luxury of time now. I’d like your group to go after the artwork at all three locations. You can go after them in whatever order you deem best.

The players decided to go after the stained art glass piece in Price first.  Ethos, the cleric, was needed elsewhere on guild business and so the five of them (Ebrin, Eiran, Alan ,N’sahd and the new character, a knight named Tristan) went on without him. The five booked passage on the Lady on the Water , a luxurious riverboat. The trip was uneventful. They arrived at the town of Price two days later in the evening. 

They decided to book rooms at the Blue Mountain Inn, a small inn just outside of town where they could keep a low profile.

The next morning they went to the mayor’s office and library and look up public records. They discover that the merchant named Grendalin had died six winters earlier. However, they also discover that he had a son who was the owner and proprietor of the Wounded Wolf Tavern in town. The son’s name was Reldun.

They went to the tavern that afternoon and discovered the stained glass art piece that they were searching for right there in the tavern’s common room. It was in plain sight, integrated into the architecture of the fireplace in such a way that it was illuminated from behind.

The bartender brought them ale and food. The bartender, while talking with the party, asked them if they had a healer in their group. Unfortunately, Ethos, their healer, was not with them on this mission. They asked the bartender why he needed a healer. He explained that it wasn’t for him. Relduan, the owner of the tavern, had a dog that he loved more than anything. The dog had fallen gravely ill a few days ago and Reldun was desperate to save the animal . The local healers had come and gone but were unable to help. Reldun had even sought to venture into the forest nearby to seek out a witch that lived there… a witch who was said to have powerful magic and a way with spirits. Folk said that she could cure anything. Reldun wanted very much to go to the witch and have her cure his dog. However, the town’s constable would not allow Reldun, nor any of the town’s folk, to go to the witch. He said that good and decent folk ought not deal with the likes of her ilk. The constable, a tyrant of a man, had threatened Reldun with imprisonment if he even ventured into the forest to seek out the witch.

The party asked to speak with Reldun and then offered him a solution. Since they were not from the town, they felt that the constable’s orders didn’t apply to them. They also said they would happily confront the constable if the constable argued the point or tried to imprison Reldun out of spite. They would seek out the witch and obtain a cure from her. They explained to him that they wanted the stained art glass piece for their lord, who was a collector. They would save the dog in exchange for the glass piece. Reldun was delighted and readily agreed to the trade. They could have the piece of glass if they would but save his dog. However, Reldun feared the dog would not survive much longer. After much discussion, it was decided that the party would take the dog with them into the forest to see the witch.

To insure the safety of his dog, Reldun decided to have his bouncer, a brute of an ogre named Ruthog, accompany the party. It would be Ruthog who would carry and care for the dog.

N’sahd, the party’s wizard,  stayed behind at the tavern to keep an eye out for any possible pursuit or any sign of the Grey Guard guild.

The party traveled on horseback into the forest to find the witch. It was a short journey and only took them about 4 hours. As they reached the valley where she was supposed to live, they heard the sounds of crashing and screams ahead.

They charged forward on their horses and burst into the clearing.  They saw a tree house of sorts. It was built into a massive living oak tree and had some elven influence in its architecture. The house was under attack. A monstrous humanoid creature, standing some 15 feet tall, was beating on the side of the house with an uprooted tree. The creature was a giant of some kind, but was hideously deformed. A third arm sprouted from its left side. It’s twisted face was lopsided, it’s skull deformed. One leg ended in a cloven hoof.

The elven ranger began firing arrows in the creature even as the knight charged and began hacking at he rode by at a full gallop. The creature’s hide was thick and some of the elf’s arrows were deflected.

The arcanologist pulled out the scroll of invisibility and read it. He and his horse vanished. However, upon approaching the creature, the invisibility spell failed. Some strange field of antimagic surrounded the creature.

The ogre bouncer put down the dog that he had been carrying in a basket and charged the giant. The knight and ogre continued battling the giant as Ebrin and Eiran continued to fire crossbow bolts and arrows into it.

The knight wheeled about and charged again, but was knocked off the horse. Lying in the ground at the giant’s feet, he was struck by the tremendous club and pummeled into unconsciousness.

Alan, threw one of his alchemical grenades at the giant, the impact of which knocked the giant to the ground. The giant was momentarily stunned and struggled to regain his feet.

The ogre, taking advantage of the giant’s condition, leapt up onto the giant’s chest and struck.  The blade sank deep into the giant’s chest, killing him instantly. The ogre continuing hacking to make sure.

An old woman of decidedly mixed heritage burst out of the front door of the home. She was holding a staff of some kind in a threatening manner with one end pointing at the ogre. “Friend or foe?” she demanded.

“Friend! Friend!” they cried, “we just killed this creature that was attacking your home”.

“Quickly, can you help our friend?" they asked "he’s was injured in the fight”

The witch brought out a bottle with a thick red liquid in it. The potion was poured onto the knight’s battered and bruised body and down his threat. Within moments, the magical elixir revived him. He was soon sitting up and spitting out blood.

The party quickly explained the situation with the dog. The witch happily agreed to help since they just saved her house.

The witched explained that the creature was an etherbane, although unlike any that she had ever seen. Normally only seven feet tall, this one was a giant of its kind. She asked the party to drag the creature aware from her house. She explained that in the creature was an internal organ that generated a powerful anti-magic field. The aura of this organ operated even after death. She would not be able to work any healing magic on the dog with that foul beast lying dead outside her door. So, the party dragged the creature away from the house.

The witch described the organ that created the anti-magic field. She then asked the ogre and arcanologist to cut out this organ from the giant for her while she worked on the dog. They agreed and brought the strange looking internal organ back to her. She explained that the bile like fluids from this organ were extremely valuable in alchemical research. The arcanologist, taking a great interest in this organ and its fluids, suggested that the party, having saved her from the creature, was entitled to some of the rare and valuable liquid. The witch agreed.

The witch extracted the fluids from the giant’s internal organ and divided the fluid. She put half of the fluid in an empty wine bottle and gave it to the arcanologist.

The witch spent the evening concocted a foul brew and feeding it to the dog in small doses. The party rested and ate.

The next morning the dog was beginning to improve. The witch thanked them profusely for saving her and said that if they were to return in two weeks, she would have more healing draughts for them.

They thanked her for the help with the dog and took more of the medicine with them. They returned to the town of Price and brought the dog back to Reldun, the tavern owner. He was very pleased. He gave them the stained art glass piece and wrapped it in saddle blankets so that it would be protected on the return journey.

The party, including the wizard, spent 2 more days at the tavern. All their food and rooms were free.  They needed to wait 2 days for the Lady on the Water to return. After 2 days, the riverboat arrived. They boarded and sailed on it south to Drakkel. They successfully returned to the stained glass item to their guild.

Mission accomplished.

And so ends Session 5.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 08:46:00 PM by David Roomes »