Eventually Magnus returns to the hotel, and meets Journ’ee, Orryon and 428 in the bar, who inform him of the change of room and why, before the collected allies return to Granauile’s room together. Back in the room Journ’ee starts to open up about his own past. He wants to feel trusted and suspects that being more open with his allies is one way to achieve this. He tells the group that he once was part of a mercenary group known internationally as the Smoldering Embers. He hopes this disclosure and history sharing will go someway in helping Granuaile forgive him. As it happens, she has already moved on, and tells the assembled group that Journ’ee’s prank had not in itself upset her, but has reminded her of her time in the Bladed Magi. She was one of the only women in her unit, and in the army was opened treated poorly because of this. Her story shares how fellow soilders of the time would make comments about sex and sexuality as a means to upset her. Whilst this conversation takes place, Brant has found a book in the suite about famous faces to see in the city. He appears to be looking for interesting information about people of note. However, to his shirgrin, the book appears to be more of a guide to the celebritites and gossip, rather than people of any real significance. When the allies have finished repaired the bridges that they could and with the promise of a seminar on the Mind by Hugótaire Strathholme on offer. The party agree to go out for the evening, leaving Renly in the room. Brant is not too interested in this, and wants to continue reading the book he found, hoping to find something of use. Granuaile is also not too interested in a lecture about the mind, and so she remains in her room. Therefore Magnus, Journ’ee, Orryon and 428 set out to attend the seminar, collecting the stormy blue cloak from the reception desk for 428 on their way out of the hotel.

Two dwarfs, an elf and a giantkin, dressed in relative finery leave the hotel, cloaked for warm, and shrouded in shadow through the unlit streets. Crossing the river, and returning to the site of the university to attend the promising lecture by the country’s Prime Minister. As they arrive, a familiar and uneasy sight besets their eyes. Soliders in simple dark leather uniform, with short blackened capes and baring the Imperius insignia. It seems that leaving Derimyre has not seen the party’s last interaction with the shadowy organisation just yet, as the Imperius militia are providing additional security at this event, assisting the existing guards. On arrival, Journ’ee is stopped by the guards as the party enters. He is swiftly arrested and taken away from public view. Magnus and Orryon decide to address Journ’ee’s arrest after the lecture, as the overall goal of possibly meeting Gregor Megenof is too great an opportunity to pass up.

Magnus, 428 and Orryon take seats at a table looking towards a stage set up in the centre of a round room. Several other tables are about on the floor, as well as a few select rows of chairs on a higher level, looking down from the mezzanine and balcony. The tall elven figure of Prime Minister Hugótaire Strathholme steps onto the stage from amongst the gathered minds wishing to hear him. He speaks for some time about the nature of mind, and the concept of thought, asking his students what they think about world events, and about his own theories on mental magiks. When he is finished his lecture, he opens the floor to questions, but also invites himself to ask questions at random. 428 looks as though he wants to ask something, but stays quiet, instead beginning to work on the book Orryon gave him back in Majorai. Hugótaire suggests the the prospective students of the university think about which school they want to study in, and offers to help some students with the choice. Those he speaks to, he asks their opinions on matters of the arcane and mundane and gives guidance to the student on which particular college of study they may benefit from the most. Magnus speaks about wanting all people of the world to address issues when all people are at risk. He manages to, in his mind, secure some aid against the enemy. Orryon thinks of Magnus’ words and his own recent involvement in world events. He tells the gathered wise words that 428 had once said to him. “If you can do something, then you should, as there are people who can’t”. With this phrase and idea, he gets a standing ovation. With the lecture ended and the Prime Minister leaving the university to attend to essential civic duties, the learned attendees begin to leave too; heading out of the university site, and towards a private function to continue the discussions and debates into the night. 428 does not want to continue the education as he feels he might not fit in, so makes his way back to the hotel, planning to think some more about what the Prime Minister spoke about, in terms of his own mind.

In a townhouse of one of the heads of departments at the university, Magnus and Orryon bump into their contact from earlier in the day, Billique. The robed magician approaches Magnus and Orryon, asking their thoughts on the seminar. Magnus shares that it was certainly interesting, and is helping him to decide if he will enrol. He tells Billique that his own area of interest is Anduwin studies, and he was hoping to hear from a renowned professor, Gregor Megenof. The academic tells the wizard he is in luck, and leads both the dwarf and the eld out to a balcony terrace where a man sits in elegant purple robes, holding a simple goblet of wine, trying to stay way from the rest of the party atmosphere. Billique introduces this man as Professor Megenof.

Speaking in hushed tones, Megenof and the adventurers begin to discuss the fabeled Anduwin artefacts. Megenof is weary, as he has been met with ridicule from the academic community for his work, and wants to know what Orryon and Magnus already know and believe. Magnus tells the professor that he once held one of the items. He was part of a mining facility in Skalt some years ago, where they unearthed the Ice Stone. His employer took it off his hands, and he didn’t see the stone again until very recently, in the procession of a trusted ally. Magnus is careful to not name the Sultan, or give too much of the party’s hand away. Orryon is less weary and tells Magnus to stop being so secretive, and mistrusting potential allies. Orryon does name the Sultan, and tells the professor that they have been charged by the Sultan of Derimyre to find and retrieve the others for a specific purpose – The Aratarum Velentai. Megenof thinks that the combined effects of all these items may be enough to undo the immortality blessing, and could sway the direction of the war. Magnus asks what the items are, confirming what Brant and he already know. Between the dwarf and the elf, five of the six items are listed, with only Vollabuke’s Courage being unknown. Magnus again shares his theory that it may not be an item, but infact may be a person. However, Gregor tells the dwarf that his own research suggests that Vollabuke’s Courage may infact be a shield. He tells that around half a century ago, there was a lot of activity by the Templar Order, and that when they returned from wherever they had been, they placed additional security messures beneath their stronghold at the Peaks of the Anduwin. Magnus asks more questions of Gregor about the nature of these items, and the professor explains that each of the artefacts are powerful, and thought to have been involved in the Sundering in some way, being able to cause a strange ripple in reality itself.

Meanwhile, Journ’ee is secured in an interrogation cell. His items have been removed from him, and he waits what comes next. In the prison, a high ranking dwarf clerk official walks in, to process the fiery dwarf accused of theft. Journ’ee denies any wrongdoing and almost gives the clerk a phase name. In a moment of half inspiration, Journ’ee conjures Magda into the room, and tells the clerk that it was Magda who stole the item, and he is very disappointed in his familiar. His attempt to get Magda to take the blame for the crime, does not appear to convince the clerk, who tells Journ’ee he will have to spend the night in the cells, until he is processed and the victim can come to identify the theif.

The seminar afterparty has moved on from elegant debate and is now more of an excuse for the academics to drink and be merry – reliving their student days. On the terrace, Gregor remarks about the blood moon over head, but neither Magnus nor Orryon seem to notice, trying to get additional information from the old professor. Magnus, Megenof and Orryon discuss their collective therories on the items. They wonder if each has an opposite. The Lantern of Light being the opposite of the Ice Stone; as fire and ice. The Flute of the Whispering Winds reflecting the Chalice of Eternity; for air and earth. When considering the Sword of Marr, then the final item being a shield sounds to have the right link with the sword and the elements or life and death. Megenof tells his guests that eighty years ago he was part of an expedition to the site of the Sundering, at roughly the same time as the Republic of Maurdórne fell. Most of Gregor’s party of researcher met an unpleasant end. By being in the site of the Sundering, and where items of the Anduwin were thought to have been combined, members of the research team began to be twisted and changed by exposure to the wild and untamed magik still polluting the air of Maurdórne. The professor thinks that the artefacts want to be found, and that there is little good that can come from bringing them together, after what he believes happened at the Sundering. He urges the pair that if they do find any items, then they need to be destroyed.

Fearing that this conversation may have reached its peak, the dwarf asks for potential contacts in the country that may be of assistance and Gregor mentions only one other man survivied the expedition to the Sundering. An old friend and cleric named Salaman. Gregor says he cannot offer help directly, but could see to it to send the sealed notes from the expedition to Magnus for review. He gives a simple feather to Orryon to work as a means to help earn the party favour with Salaman in Al‘Hanral. Gregor warns that Salaman may be cautious as the expedition ended poorly, as many men were corrupted but the nature seemed to call forth a fiendish creature.

Orryon takes his leave, to catch up with 428 if possible, whilst Magnus looks around the gathering for a particularly tall dwarf known as Cornellius XI, eventually finding him. He talks to some other academics, near to Cornellius but does so loudly in order that the taller dwarf might hear him. His attention is caught as Magnus begins to talk about the Neverwalk. He shares his theory about the dimentions and types of reality being referred to as twelve plus one. Cornellius is impressed and offers Magnus private tutoring if he enrols in the university. Pleased with this outcome, Magnus too leaves the party as three of the party walk back towards the Hotel Vanquiz Imperial. Whilst walking back, the three do catch up with each other, and decide to leave Journ’ee to the cells for the night, and to take action after sleep, as it is getting very late by this point.

49 Days Remain

We arrived in Quince. There is so much Magik here the Magnus is in his element. A friend of ours was awarded a title and lands. Lady Granuaile of the Fourth House of Mountainsfoot.

 

I met with Caleem again before we left Derimyre and he hasgifted me the most impossible thing. He calls it Hope. This is the substance that reversed the ageing of that man. It is healing beyond all other and arguably the most unethical thing.

 

If we could continuously reverse the ageing process, then have we not achieved a level of immortality? Does this mean we deserve to live on? I wonder what father would think. To subvert the natural order of things?

 

Should anyone have this level of power over life? Ethically I don’t know if I could use this on anyone. That kind of healing is more of a curse than a gift. I must think on.

 

Hugotaire provided us a lecture this evening on the concept of the mind, which was most interesting.

We also met with a scholar here named Gregor. An expert in anduwin Artefacts. He told us of his studies and that he believes the sixth item to be a shield.

 

Magnus and I are speaking once more, since recent events. We have together theories that the Six items represent each an element as well as being connected to an Anduwin each.

  • A’Dal: The Flute of the Whispering Winds – Air
  • Kaine: The Lantern of Light – Fire
  • Marr: The Sword of Marr – Death
  • Paz: The Chalice of Eternity – Earth
  • Y’Shaj: The Ice Stone – Water
  • Vollabuke: Vollabuke’s Courage – Life

– Orryon Ma’talli

Dawn creeps through the hotel windows, stiring to wake the party of adventurers. In the arly hours, Magnus wakes Orryon and asks him to accompany him on a few errands, including a trip to the Lighthouse. The elf accepts the invite, hoping to support the wizard in whatever he plans to achieve there. The elf leaves a note for the rest of the group, to inform them that he and Magnus had chartered a ship to the Lighthouse and will return shortly. When the giantkin wakes, 428 feels uneasy, having heard of the Prime Minister’s seminar on ethics and the mind. He feels a sense of guilt for having broken the bath in Granuaile’s suite. He leaves the hotel himself, with only he knows what on his mind.

On route to the docks, Magnus explains that he needs to visit the Lighthouse to take the ashes of the bishop’s loved one, and that this will form a part of him being recommended by that bishop for the Trials of the Anduwin. Orryon wants to visit this powerful Anduwin structure in the hope that it may give more answers to his visions, and go someway to explain who and what he is. Magnus recognises that during the crossing, he will have time to read, and so visits the Library of Kaine once more, and gains access to a few books, and scrolls detailing what is known about the trolls living in Naramiá, before the duo reach the port proper and board the ship as it casts off. Captain Stor O’Marrow helms the vessel and tells their crew that the journey will be from Quince as a supply run to the Lighthouse, before they rest and return. Many of the sailors appear to have ran this route several times, are eager to get into the open waters and bask in the glow of the Anduwin structure.

Another early riser, 428 starts a search for work, as a means to repay Granuaile for breaking the bath at the hotel. He does not have many skills outside of fighting, but knows that with his skill, he may be able to offer services as a door guard at a tavern. He thinks about trying to work at the hotel, but wants to put some distance between the hotel and his earning, so that he can be paid in earnest without Granuaile knowing. With this in mind, he finds employment at the Leaky Bible, meeting the barmaid, Maggy and the tavern owner, Scraggy Joe, where they offer to pay him twenty gold pieces for a trial shift of his strength, if he can also participate in a “protection” visit for a patron that Scraggy Joe hasn’t seen in some time.

As Brant Goldust stirs to consciousness he finds only one sleeping companions in the bunk bed room, Renly Anford. After a brief look around the suite, he finds a note from Orryon explaining he and Magnus have taken a ship to the Lighthouse. He cannot find 428, but imagines that destruction will lead him to the giantkin sooner or later, Lady Granuaile begins to wake from her own master bedroom and Journ’ee remains in his cell from the night before. Realising that if Magnus and Orryon are away, he will have time for a few errands of his own, Brant heads downstairs and asks the concierge about Herbology, and places in Quince where he could gather reagents and learn new receipes. He is given little help, as the desk staff can only recall of a previous college at the university which specialised in druidic magik, but the last of them departed the city long ago, to return to their natural and sharmanistic route. Not finding this particularly helpful, Brant sets out on his own and begins to look for items at a bargain shop before he stumbles upon- Mextor LeGrainge’s Herbology and Archaeology specialist shoppe. In his usual way, and half sensing that this shoppe may not be legitimate, he accidently upsets the proprietor and leave, seaking out and finding a more legal and safer venue where he is able to acquire a lot the materials that it seems are on his list, as materials and specific tool sets. However this vendor tells Brant that he will need to visit Marty Shaw Jr in order to obtain red eye pearls. Whilst in this reagent store, Brant asks about a laboratory he could use, to observe the alchemist at work, and to study, as a means to discount the price of his sales, and also so that he could use the lab in his own time, and if he provided his own ingredients. The owner is unsure and tells Brant that he will think about this, whilst he makes arrangements for the rest of his order.

Granuaile reviews the dwarf’s note and proceeds to the hotel’s stables where she can check on Julio and her steed’s recovery. Whilst there she asks what there is to do in the city, having also come to the conclusion that the trip to the Lighthouse may take some time. She is told about a Grand Melee in the city, involving prizes and that anyone may enter. Learning of this, Granuaile visits a weapon shop and makes a purchase of a number of javelins for 428, knowing that he is strong, but that he has often had to run at enemies, where these javelins might help him to strike from a distance whilst he is still closing the gap. The smith in the weapon shop asks Granuaile if she is in the market for anything to be augmented and improved. She has not heard of this kind of enchantment before, and so learns a little from the store keeper who also provides her a leaflet about the nature of augmented weapons and armour, as well as the cost involved to do this to an existing item.

In the cells nearest to the university, and held below ground, Journ’ee receives a visit from an official looking dwarven man who warns him about the upcoming trial. The fiery dwarf continues to try his luck by sticking to his story that Madga had stolen is against her masters wishes and that he is infact innocent. The official tells Journ’ee that they are still waiting to hear from Billique about the level of offence and the charges to be brought. Hearing this, Journ’ee asks if he may challenge his accusor in a duel for his freedom and honour.

The ship cuts its way through the relatively smooth water, leaving Quince, journeying down the diver to the south, before it can follow the meandering to the east and into the ocean proper; and then onwards to the Lighthouse. During the sailing, Orryon and Magnus spend some time talking. The most they have done for several days. Orryon tells the dwarf of his visions, and shares his diary, telling the dwarf that he knows that his wings are not a spell, and that it appears to be something he can naturally do. Orryon also tells how he saw a shining radiant Jackal just before Amelie awoke and that he believes that Paz is watching him for some reason, and that this and his wings may be connected.

Having made his purchases and acquired a pair of what he believes to be dragonhide gloves, with a natural poison resistance, Brant journeys through the noon sun back to the Vanquiz Imperial where he finds his guest. Renly is alone, and so Brant takes the opportunity to speak with him. Asking him what he knows of his family, and why he does not think there is honour to be had with the Anford name. Renly tells the bard that he does not know much, just that one of his ancestors went far against doing what was right, and this brough shame to the family, who fell out of favour and the lineage nearly snuffed out entirely. Brant tries to convince Renly that the Anfords are a good family, and that the stories are not all that bad. Brant tells it from a perspective of having heard stories, but there seems to be something more in the passion he expresses. Renly accuses Goldust of all manner of things, even telling him that he should change his name, since he knows so much about the Anford family that Renly himself didn’t. But Brant sits quiet, unsure how much too really share with this man, who appears so mentally broken.

428 finds the hours pass slowly, but eventually, the early evening comes at the Leaky Bible. He is summoned into the back room, where is is given his first “protection” assignment. Scraggy Joe tells the giantkin that he is to pay a visit to Benton, who apparently owes the Bible a sum of gold coins. As this is his first job for the tavern owner, 428 is accompanied by a full bloodied orc warrior. Dim, and brutish, but powerfully built, Mort the orc carries an ebony axe that sparks with some elemental sorcery. Moving through Quince, into a poorer neighbourhood, 428 and Mort arrive at Benton’s home. Mort hangs back, wanting to see what 428 is made of, and so watches as he begins flexing powerful muscles as a means to intimidate and show strength, rather that it come to actual violence. There is a bit of confusion setting in over the giantkin, as Benton explains that he does not owe the tavern money, and that the organisation is called the Bellépónts. 428 sees a small girl within Benton’s home, and tells the man to run, and hide with the girl, as well as keep her from seeing or hearing what is about to happen. Benton says it is foolish and brave to take them on, but seeing the giantkin’s might, thinks it may be possible. Benton also hints that Scraggy Joe may not be the leader, and infact it may be the barmaid, Maggy. 428 tells Benton to seek help from friends if it goes wrong and then fakes an injury, hobbling back to Mort. The orc begins to get suspicious almost immediately but 428 feels his cold blood boil as anger at seeing the young girls plight fills his senses, his feet pound against the flagstone as he rushes the orc, beating him with the butt of his axe, before bringing the bladed side down with a ferocity that is rare even by orc and giant standards. The giantkin sparks in his battle fury and cleaves Mort’s head from his body, with lightning sparking off of him. As 428 leaves the scene, his lightning catches thatched roofs and in the summer heat, begins to burn. He does not notice, and so does not turn, as he angrily walks away, back to the hotel, having learned the truth about the Bellépónt run tavern. Over his massive shoulder, the fire begins to spread, licking its way across rooftops, helped by the dry weather, and unhindererd as no one seems to notice the fast but steady growth of flames.

In his cell, Journ’ee is woken up by the guard captian. He is told that his punishment is to be to compete in an open event, and that his offer of a duel has been accepted, if Journ’ee can survive long enough in the event to duel. Journ’ee notices that through his cell’s barred window there is an orange glow to the air. The dwarf has an innate affinity for fire, and quickly realises that there is a burning spreading through the city. He pleads with the guard captain to let him help, as he can “fight fire with fire”. Reluctantly, the captain accepts his offer, and brings Journ’ee into the city for the first time in days. He is lead to the edge of the river where several of the guard and university staff weaves spells over the river, funnelling water directly onto the blaze. Journ’ee makes his own gestures and the flames part around him. Having cleared a place to stand he can see the now raging inferno tearing down buildings and structures. Whilst the magicians from the university try to do their best with the river water, Journ’ee considers how to help. He begins to conjure a fireball, and aims this at a building that is not yet burning. The dwarf hopes that he can burn this down, and create a moat of rubble, to starve the flames of any more fuel. However, seeing the injured and burned civilians he chooses not to cast this magik in such a destructive manner. He continues to exert his will over the fire, and starts to extinguish the flames, while the magicians move water as best they can. There are dozens of mages influencing elemental magik of fire and water to quell the blaze, with junior apprentices moving earth and sand, and trying to gust the air to prevent the flmaes consuming move of Quince.

Back at the hotel Granuaile summons Manuel and asks if the party will be safe, as she sees almost a quarter of the city set alight. The concierge tells that the hotel can be locked down. The giantkin has returned to the hotel now, and falling into a deep sleep, wracked by guilt around his actions. However, at the moment Granuaile asks Manuel about the fire, 428 bolts awake. He smells the flames and looking around his eyes find the emberous light over the city, and glowing through the small window in the bunkbed room. He comes through to the main living area and there he gets his first glimpse of the scale of the problem. He sees the rest of the party – Granuaile, Brant and Renly tired. His allies are all injured, bloodied and wounded. The giantkin looks over his allies before his eyes roll back slightly. When they refocus they are blood red and a voice whispers to him that he is a “failure”. Hearing this, the giant wakes properly this time, having previously found himself to be in a waking dreamstate. He stumbles wearily into the living room, and still sees the orange hue colouring the night air. Granuaile offers him food and that is when she and Brant both notice his eyes are red. 428 says he needs to make things right, as he left the hotel earlier. Brant wonders if this is 428’s comment on possible involvement in the fire. The spy admonishes 428, which impacts the otherwise bold and powerful giantkin.  Granuaile shares that she knows of the horrors of battle, and has seen friends and soilders fall victim to their own minds, having seen such gruesome events. She shares her own experiences of witnessing such acts.

Brant, Granuaile and 428 leave the hotel, and whilst out, the see civilians fleeing the flames. Hundreds of people running from their own homes, carrying precious little items with them. 428’s deep red eyes survey the horrors of innocent people trying to escape with their loved ones and their lives. The sight shakes him and his anger subsides at the taunting voice in his dreams. His vision locks onto the sight of Benton, holding onto the little child’s hand, dragging her quickly across the bridge. At seeing the familiar duo, 428 runs to them, and picks the man up, who in turns lifts his child, that he refers to as Emily, and brings them back to the hotel to Granuaile’s suite. Brant and Granuaile do what they can to assist in the rescue effort, and physically help people over the bridge and to get clear from the flames. Unbeknownst to them, their tenuase ally in Journ’ee fights the same fires, and works to their shared goal. The work is tiresome and nearly endless, but eventually, the flames relent, and water wins the night. Journ’ee is complimented on his work and allowed to return to his travelling companions. Although he is still to face his trial by combat, his relative freedome is thanks for this heroism and valour against the flames. Orange and yellow once again fill the sky above Quince. The fears of the flames no longer looming, but the dawn sun rising, revealing the aftermath of the midnight inferno.

That same warming sunrise illumates the Desolate Ocean and the supply ship alike. During their travel so far, Magnus and Orryon have managed to learn that this vessel is hemled by Captain Stor O’Marrow, and is mainly used for short voyages of a logistical nature, under the Marche family business. The waves rock the ship with a reassuring rhythm, and Magnus sets about reviewing the books and scrolls he obtained from the library of Kaine, hoping to learn more about the native troll populous south of Quince. Whilst the dwarf studies, Orryon takes time himself to investigate the vial of Hope that Kaleem had given him. He notices that the fluid is kept in not a glass vial, but a crystal one, that appears to be in itself extremely expensive. Orryon’s experience with potions and poultices has led him to learn that this type of vial is more commonly used to transport volatile concoctions. He thinks back to his own practice and the time in the Arboreum, and he surmises that there are approximately twenty uses or doses of this valuable healing elixir, and that it should be used sparingly, just as Kaleem told him.

48 Days Remain

 

One of the most intriguing days in my short travels. Magnus and I set out for The Lighthouse. I thought it wise to tell him of my dreams or visions. We will perhaps think on them some more. At least the crossing so far reasonable. The sea has not yet upset me. And for that I am grateful.

– Orryon Ma’talli

 

The fiery dwarf does not go back to the Vanquiz Imperial, and instead wanders the streets until sunrise; somehow arriving back at the remnants of the blaze. Journ’ee sees that the arena took some fire damage, and wonders to himself if he will still have to fight, seeing the venue so ruined. He believes he managed to stop the fire and so starts to interact with the residents that didn’t flee the flames. He goes to a particular house, and breaks in. There he finds papers referring to the houses’ owner. A Mr R. Sandlewood. The dwarf choose not to steal anything but when he thinks someone else is about to enter, the dwarf turns himself invisible and climbs into an iron safe. The door is slightly twisted open from the fire, but he is able to squeeze in and hide, listening for sounds of movement. No one ceoms. He waits, and eventually his invisiability spell ends, revealing him to the world, were it not for being hidden within a partially closed safe. Another hour passes and the dwarf begins to move, and chooses to leave. On his way out, he spots a pale white smoking pipe. He picks this up, and in its place, leaves his own old pipe, burned, damaged, used and well loved. He starts to make his own way back to the party now, and on his way, hears town criers declaring that death toll from the citywide fire.

“68 burnt in their homes; Fires raise quarter of Quince; Men, women and children; 68 lost their lives; Magicians and students bravely tackled the blaze” The crier repeats his news as he moves through the district.

Nearer to noon, the rest of the party wake from their night of activities rescuing people. Brant decides that Renly is too recognisable and so plans to take him around town to disguise him by means of a haircut, and different poorer clothes. He is pointed in the direction of a barber named Horatio by the concierge, and successfully persuades Renly to adopt a Mohawk style. After this the spy takes his ward to search for a different outfit. He fails to negotiate a cheaper price at a store to have something made, and so instead collects items from donations made to one of the smaller temples in the religious quarter before they pair come back to the hotel to consider what next.

The giantkin wakes and starts to clean the soot and ash from his body. His new blue cloak already damaged, torn and bloody. He looks out the bunkbed room window, taking sight of, the damage he has done. Now settled, Granuaile remembers the weapons she bought for him, and offers 428 these. However he refuses, not wanting to take anything from the half-orc, until he has paid her back for the broken bath. He instead starts to talk about wanting a tattoo, and not knowing much about them, or where he would start in getting one. Brant manages to talk him out of this. When she remembers the javelins, Granuaile also recalls other items she has not looked at, and so chooses to investigate the patches torn from Rhogar’s robe, as well as the clear glass rob, with the four swirling elemental style lights. Spending some time with the sphere and drawing on her Bladed Magi training, she realises that it is chaotic and of Anduwin make.

The ship has travelled far enough into the Desolate Ocean that the Lighthouse starts to be visible. And when the sailors can see the Lighthouse, the light itself can reach them. Each of the sailors seem to all be expecting this warm radiant glow. They each start to pull shirts of themselves to bathe in the light. The light reaches Orryon and Magnus, and they both experience the light for themselves. As the light washes them; magik pulling forth their vitality and life force, imbuing boosts as well as lifting their agility and their force of will. Some of the sailors appear to have been bolstered by the light to be stronger, where others scale the rigging without difficulty at speeds that suggest they have been blessed in someway. Every person exposed to the light is improved in someway, and spirits are clearly high. The light works over the sailors almost like a drug, and that they appear to have signed up to this particular supply vessel with the specific goal of feeling the radiance, and feeding that addiction.

47 Days Remain

 

We sail still. A feeling of calm has come over me, and my fellow travellers, it seemed to start when we first caught glimpses of The Lighthouse. In its light, I find I feel faster, more physically able. Even my will and magikcal abilities feel to have increase in the strucutres glow.

 

Orriyana, I must tell you of this Hope Vial. I’ve had time to look at it. Its powerful, and seems to have the arcane in and even around it. Caleem saw it fit to enclose it in an expensive crystal vial, the kind I have heard they use for volatile or explosive concoctions. I’d guess I have around two dozen doses to use, but again, I fear what I can do and whether anyone should have such command over life and death.

– Orryon Ma’talli

During the evening meal aboard the ship, Magnus comes to Orryon and asks for his help with a particular spell. He tells the elf he will need ropes and manacles. Orryon is worried but agrees to assist, and be there to help and heal if needed and the spell goes wrong. Magnus takes out five pieces of parchment and begins to fold them into paper boats. When each one is made, he lets it drop from the boat down to the water, and when the paper is wet, he casts his magik sending a message across the plains of existence and to a certain person. He does not speak, but thinks his message, hearing a reply in his mind. Each paper boat representing another message he sends, to another person. Magnus sends messages to his children to Bastel Procter. Magnus’ sons speak to him, though they are tired, he is pleased to hear their voices. Bastel Procter tells the wizard that the Andromeda has moved on but that the Council of Protectorates do not think it is quite finished. Magnus’ fourth paper boat is used to reach the Seer, but although the spell has never failed before, this time, it reaches no one, confusing the wizard and leaving him with a choice. He could continue with his plan or retry the Seer. Magnus tells Orryon to tie him down, and to bind him. The wizard tells his friend that if anything goes wrong, then Orryon is to kill Magnus, without question or hesitation. The elf is uneasy but complies as a blue orange shimmer forms around Orryon’s body, before fading form sight. The elf knows he is more protected now, as his magikal armour sits invisibly over his body. He then bursts forth a radiance of his own as he did with the Seer before Amelie was rescurrected. He hopes his own spell can support Magnus in whatever his plan is. The final paper boat falls, touching the waves below and the magikal message is sent. Magnus’ mind reaches across the world and finds his target. Emperor Nethalian of Maurdórne. Magnus calls the Emperor out, and makes threats. Magnus finds that this message somehow is able to be longer, and more details, with the Emperor replying multiple times, where previously the magik limitied replies to the singular. The two manage to psychically connect and the Emperor attacks, surging a mental assault forward. Magnus feels his very soul attacked, but Orryon’s radiance persists and helps bolster the wizard’s own force of will, to resist the barrage of attacks. He feels without assistance he would have fallen into unconsciousness, but as it is, he survived and has lost a significant portion of his own stamina and constitution. The moment the assault is passed, and no longer striking, Magnus breaks the connection, and ends the spell. He breathes deeply, and looks up from his manacled and bound position into his friend’s face.

“The Emperor is afraid” he says.

Orryon casts healing magiks over the dwarf, rising slightly off the grown as he does so, his own glow intensifiying. Magnus tells Orryon that the Emperor would not have attacked with such ferocity if he didn’t consider the party a threat. Enraged at Magnu’s stupidity, Orryon’s wings appear and he subconsciously rises from the deck up to the crow’s nest, his wings fading from existence once he has landed above the ship.

Out of nowhere, a storm begins to manifest rocking the ship violently. The sailors start to become afraid about the storm’s strength, and the sudden changes in weather remind both Orryon and Magnus of Al’Zieharia. Magnus advises the captain to sail towards the light, issuing orders to sail into the eye of the storm where the water will be calmer. Magnus conjures Sisero and finds a safe spot as the waves grow higher. Water spills onto the deck, and the dwarf freezes his feet where he stands. Lightning strikes the boat, bursting small fires on the icy deck. It crashes down again striking the crow’s nest. Again. The boat shakes and begins to crack.  Orryon starts to worry as he leaps from the tops of the mast down to the deck. His cloak helps him to avoid serious injury as he tumbles over the wet wood. The fire begins to catch near the stern and Orryon’s mask slips as fear creeps in, worrying about dying in fire. As often happens, when people are in need, and injured, Orryon’s mind clears and he is able to get to work. He beings to try to save members of the crew; getting them to the lifeboats, as lightning thunders again and again.  Waves continue to swell larger, threatening to sweep over the boat. Magnus goads goad the Emperor, screaming into the sky that he was right, and the Emperor is clearly afraid. He takes a step, freezing water around his boot, pinning him to the boat. Then another step, unfeezing and refreezing the waves to enable him to walk forward to the bow. He commands Orryon to save himself, and uses a forceful push of frozen water to drive him away. Magnus’ magik calls forth a fog cloud to shroud the lifeboat’s escape when blackness grows in the night sky. From it the symbol of Maurdórne; a dragon comprised of purple fire. The dragon flies towards the ship, erupting into a fireball. By this time Orryon has encouraged a small portion of the crew, those that still live. The wizard takes his position at the bow, feet frozed in place as he casts and counters what spells he can, fighting a storm and fire to buy the crew and his friend time to escape. He commands his familiar to fly to Orryon’s shoulder on the lifeboat, knowing that Orryon will realise if the familiar suddenly vanishes, Magnus has fallen. When the lightning finishes striking and the boat has all but sunk, the storm relents and Orryon and the survivors are able to search the wreckage for Magnus or his body. The single small skiff struggles in the waves, but as the ship sinks, the storm subsides. Orryon and the crew call out for Magnus, the captain or any other survivors. They find only one; a dwarf in a sodden grey hat, barely conscious hanging onto a block of ice. Thirty eight souls on the crew, and two passengers set out from Quince. Nine souls survive.