So last time on the Anduwin Chronicles….
Back in our initial vault, beneath the city, we review our findings as Ebeneezer finds an unoccupied corner and goes to sleep. 428 chooses to rest near the doorway of the vault. Other individuals around the vault begin to pack up their belongings. Sivaras tucks away a dark crystal orb she found in the mages tower and tests her connection to her sources of magic. Brant, being physically and psychologically drained, rests down for the night. 428 takes out one of his bottles of wine and inspects this. He uncorks it, and a whisp of magical energy gently makes its way out of the bottle in a pink plume, and an over powering but pleasant aroma is detected. Smelling this, he takes a swig, and feels his health restore as wounds close and scraps regrow flesh. Feeling revitalised, 428 chooses to finish drinking the bottle, as it is obviously helping him to feel better. A dizziness passes over him as he finishes the bottle and he realises he should probably leave the other two bottles alone for now. Meanwhile, Granuelle continues to experiment with her armour augmentations, and attempts to imbue magic into her augment. She thinks that this type of magic is currently beyond her, but if she wants to achieve a faster result, she would need someone more powerful or better skilled to help her. She scans the room for Maximus Metal, the augment smith from before the Andromeda attacked. Farandril continues to keep a magical light going, and checks on the civilians before praying and retiring for bed.
As the room all settles, and continues packing, an air of disquiet fills the room. As his meditation completes, Farandril awakes and checks the people, and helps some pack. He then tries to speak to commander Bronx. The general magical and elemental exposure lets us wake as our magical sources return to us in a powerful and overwhelming manner, nearly causing us to be drunk on the magic around us. Ebeneezer wakes early, and heads upstairs to brew a potion in the elemental chaos storm outside. He is not subtle about this, but no one stops him. He takes ten minutes to brew dragons breath in the chaos, hoping to gain additional power into the potion. He sees, lightning strikes and wind whipping around on the surface. He keeps himself under the lip or the shelter access tunnel as he hears the energy storm crackling above him, and in that moment, lightning shoots down straight towards him. He dives out of the way as best as he can, but is still hit in the arm as he rolls with blast. He keeps brewing as the bolt strikes him, and manages to bottle the lightning and chaos elemental energy. Successful, Ebeneezer returns to the vault, and sees him companions waking.
Granuelle uses her magical spoon of plenty and some spices to provide a bland but filling breakfast for us all. 428, seeing Ebeneezer return to the vault, makes his way over to the man. The Goliath stares at the man for a time, before the alchemist breaks the silence and asks what he can do to 428. The Goliath asks about “the other” referring to Eddie. 428 shares he doesn’t know where he came from, or what his race was or is. He tells Ebeneezer that Eddie looks strange and different and he does understand why Ebeneezer would drink a potion and choose to influence or change himself. Ebeneezer tells 428 he needs Eddie, because Eddie does the things Ebeneezer can’t bring himself to do. 428 recognises a similarity in this motive, as he fights because he can and no one else will. The Goliath asks Ebeneezer where he learn his alchemical skills, but is told that it is a long and personal story. In his trademark fashion, Ebeneezer offers a deal. 428 tell Ebeneezer how he got to be what he is, and he will tell of how Eddie came into being.
428 shares he was taken by Greyborns to the Watchers Tower, in BeJórne. He tells the alchemist he was kept deep in a tower, which grew down into the earth. 428 tells that the Greyborn took him apart, experimented on him, with surgery and magic and made him into what he is today. 428 is interested to learn whether Ebeneezer can made a change go another way. The Goliath has seen him go from man to monster, and he wants to change back, from the monster he sees himself as, to the man he was. Ebeneezer shares he doesn’t know how to do this- yet. Bu given the right encouragement, time and supplies, he “could” learn.
Ebeneezer then tells 428 that is kind of research will cost him money and time, and that both are limited. He suggests that he might get somewhere in a few years, if he had the inclination and incentive to persue this Avenue. The alchemist suggests the Archmage May have enough magic to help him. Ebeneezer suggests the with enough magic, he could go back, but he may need a tower that goes up and down. Ebeneezer tells him that 428should accept that how he is now, is his new normal, and he should accept that.
Ebeneezer then tells 428 that he was a quiet young lad, and needed somethings done, that he couldn’t do. He explained that he dabbled in chemicals and that Eddie seems to manifest as the solution to his difficulties. 428 is worried about the dark look in Eddie’s eyes, and Ebeneezer shares he has kept him in check, but that he is away Eddie has seen more daylight in the last two days that he has in the previous five years.
At the same time as this exchange, commander bronx approaches Farandril, and asks about the nature of the recruits he has found in the party. The elf tells that leaving the vault had showed the parties abilities and he believes they can be trusted for now. He states that the Sultan spoke on behaved of the party. Bronx tells Farandril that last night another scouting party was sent out to see if conditions were ether or worse overnight. He explains that the accounts found a tunnel that will take civilians to beyond the outer wall, without being in the line of fire of the Andromeda. He also warns that there was a “shimmer” in the air nd it made the accounts feel uneasy. Bronx offers commendations to the party, if they offer to help. Bronx shares that the party sound like a group that templars have been searching for. Farandril also recognises that the items exchanged between the party and the sultan were Anduwin items, 2 of the 6. Bronx also asks Farandril to subtly find out if the party had met the primary target, Orryon.
Farandril reapproaches the group and asks if the party will consider being an advanced group to make the route to the tunnel to the mountains safe. Brant is concerned that people in the other vaults may be being abandoned. Farandril shares he will confirm this is not the case with the commander. Farandril asks Sivaras to come and question the scouts, as he sees her as the main arcanist of the group. He suspects he may be able to gather further information from the scouts about the nature of the shimmering reports.
Going back to Bronx, the commander shares he plans on emptying this vault, and then moving survivors from their existing vaults into this one. He plans to evacuate the city in phases and that he, Bronx, will be the last to leave. The elf relays this information to Brant.
Farandril leads Sivaras to the scouts, who tell they saw something that made them feel like they were in the presence of a god. One female dwarf says it spoke to her, but she is silenced by a male scout. Sivaras unleashes her yuan ti suggestion and commands the dwarf to tell her what it said. The man wrestles the girl to the ground and yells, “we said we wouldn’t speak of it”. Farandril orders the man to let her speak, and he then lunges without a weapon, but wildly throwing his arms toward the elf’s neck. The man dives wide. And a commotion is heard across the vault. Hearing this, Ebeneezer throws a dagger at the man lunging. The blade clinks and misses. Bronx hears this commotion, and commands it to stop. The male gets off the ground, and Farandril swings him round and down to the floor. The man yields against the elf’s attack, and claims he didn’t attack anyone. We are unsure if he is telling the truth. The female dwarf begins to collect herself and get her breath back. Farandril orders the man to hell him everything. Sivaras awaits the suggestion taking effect with the female.
She tells Sivaras that she felt a shimmer, tearing to another reality. She put her hand through and it was cold, and a voice asked her what year it was, and where she was. It asked her about some names, but she cannot remember anything more. Sivaras apologises for using magic on the woman and offers 2 gold coins by way of apology. The Templar dwarf assumes this is a bride and turns it down. Farandril speaks wit the man, who corroborates the story but cannot add anything further.
Ebeneezer approaches Sivaras and offers her notes made by the Archmage on how to create and manage the shield over the city. After some stilted exchange, she accepts the papers in exchange for a favour, to be redeemed at at later date, within one month.
The rest of the party prepared, Farandril speaks with the party and they head outside. The elf gathers up a selection of maps to reach the tunnels from he scouts. He brings these over and shares he anticipates it will take half an hour to reach the tunnel. We assemble at the doors, and are struck by the sheer magical heat. All of us are stretched away from out connection to our magic slightly. We pull cloth over our faces, as the blood mist once again fills the air. Reviewing the maps, we realise the route the scouts took and feel we can follow this with a degree of success.
As we walk along, lightning whips down and strikes at Brant and Ebeneezer who are traveling in the middle of the party. Granuelle and Farandril take the lead, and 428 walks with Sivaras at the back of the group. Sensing the lighting strike, 428 lunges forward to push Ebeneezer down and out of the way of the strike. The yuan ti wizard Druid feels her three difference sources of magic pulling her in too many directions at once. She is weak and stumbles. 428 takes the light in in stead of Ebeneezer and resists some of the damage. Ebeneezer shouts over at 428, it’s good to see him “running into lightning as well as fire”.
As we continue to walk, and use cover, Farandril notices the sky appearing to clear in one area. The dust is less intense here and Farandril announces we have reached the danger zone, at the edge of the drawn map. We see a perfectly spherical dome around us, with its central point 100ft away. It’s giving off a shimmer vaguely. It’s 40ft and 20ft wide. See this, 428 starts to walk towards the shimmer, and Ebeneezer follows at a slight distance.
As the Goliath approaches, he senses a presence and his steps faulter slowly, but pushes forward. Granuelle draws her cross bow and circles in a wide berth, and notices it is flat and 2dimentional. Farandril and Ebeneezer continue forward, and Sivaras walks onwards slowly. Brant stands and asks if the party is still visible when looking through it, from the other side. We are now 50ft from the shimmer. Sivaras asks her Familiar to “go see” but a soon as it makes contact with the shimmer, it bursts into magical energy. 428 and Ebeneezer move closer, and and hear sounds coming through it. Ebeneezer can make out the sound of faint waves lapping a distant shore. The Goliath cannot year anything distinct coming from it. Whilst looking at the curtain, 428 instinctively pushes his left hand through. It is cold, and a bit wet, and seeing this, he pushes his head through the shimmer.
He sees, on the other side, a small island, with waves, and a smashed up lighthouse on the hill. It is a peaceful evening and there is a moon in the sky. He looks beyond the sea, and see that the water runs out, and seems to fall off the edge. Beyond this, he sees stars twinkling and then blackness beyond that. Ebeneezer then steps through the veil and joins 428 on the other side. They see a campfire and wonder if they should “say hello” or wait for the others to decide. 428 comes out of the portal and talks to Farandril about what he saw, and Ebeneezer waits inside, on the island. Farandril encourages 428 that the mission is to check the tunnel first, and the can come back to this if it poses a risk. He leans through and tells Ebeneezer this, and the pair exit the portal.
We leave the shimmer behind and continue to make tracks towards the tunnel enterence. As we walk, Farandril starts to add details to the map, with where the shimmer is, and whatelse we come across as we walk. We keep going for a further ten minutes until we find a trading outpost. It had been raided and sacked, with a few corpses across the floor and sacks and barrels half emptied in a hurry. There is a rail track and several mine carts leading away towards the stoneface of a hill wall. We approach the tunnel area and the entry way is barred by detritus. We agree to get out of the chaos energies and Granuelle manages to clear the way with 428s assistance. it is dark, and there are some smashed lanterns on the floor as well as another handful of mine carts. Granuelle gets into one of the carts, and 428 pushes her off. The cart rolls down, picking up speed rapidly. She careers down the shaft for around a mile before fast approaching a load of other carts. She tries to pull the break to stop herself, and manages to break the break. The cart crashes as the half orc is thrown through the air until her sudden stop and the damage it brings, landing her back in the cart.
The now loosened carts begin to move again now that the blockage has been cleared. Granuelles cart starts to slowly move forward and sees ahead that the tunnel is now slightly illuminated and bares some signage stating “40M”. The cart once again picks up speed. She takes out her ceremonial Templar blade and tries to use this as a temporary break to stop the carts motion. The sword is chewed to pieces as she drives the blade deeper into the break mechanism but manages to stop the cart eventually. She is now 4 miles away from the other party members. Noticing the distance, she releases her magical stead, Julio, and rides him back up the mine shaft to the party. After a short while, she bumps into 428 who had set off to find her. She puts Julio back into his void urn.
Meanwhile, Farandril casts sending to transmit information about the shimmering and the tunnel to commander Bronx. Farandril is given instructions to investigate the shimmer by the commander. As Granuelle and the Goliath reach the party, Farandril casts a healing spell on the half orc as we prepare the make our way back to the shimmer. Farandril shares the orders from the templars. Granuelle expresses some frustration about being used as free labour for the templars mission without thought to the party. She is concerned about being asked to risk her life for very little gain, and she would rather think of the wider mission. She reaches to Ebeneezer for support, who shares he is just interested in getting out of danger as fast as possible. 428 wants to help people, and so a decision is made to go to the shimmer and investigate. Ebeneezer feels it is important for Sivaras to get out into the chaos. Sivaras sets off, and is followed by Ebeneezer whilst the party argues about whether they should stay in the tunnel or investigate the shimmer. 428 then stands and leaves the tunnel, followed by Farandril. Granuelle and Brant hurry after the group and everyone heads to the shimmer veil.
At the portal, Sivaras casts detect magic and then steps through. She gets a huge amount of Conjuration background noise but the connection to the spell is cut as soon as she steps through. Brant is unsure about going through the portal, but begrudgingly walks through, and Ebeneezer points out where the bonfire was. The stone Granuelle threw is no longer here, nor are the footprints on the beech. We stand and wait for something “odd” for around five minutes with nothing happening before hearing a deep heavy breathing coming from all around us. “Ah, Visitors” it says.
The colossal grey dragon head erupts from the water, and then a claw pulls out of the water and slams into the beech near the lighthouse. It’s head alone is the size of the island. Seeing this, 428 says “Visceron” then leans forward and exhales deeply. We freeze in fear, with the exception of Brant who has seen this dragon before, and realises this is Visceron the second, rather than the entity 428 met in the plain of air. The dragon says that the party has something they want more of, referring to the Anduwin devices. Viscioron then picks up Brant and brings him to eye level before saying he has seen Brant before. He angrily states he is imprissoned in this plain thanks to “our kind”. He threatens Brant saying that he and his companion bated his children, his innocent children. Brant shares that as soon as he realised what was happening, they tried to save the children, the innocents. Viscioron the halfling back down, and commands Brant to prove his loyalty before being allowed to leave this realm. Viscioron also offers to give information to us, once loyalty is proven.
Brant asks how loyalty can be proven, and the dragon pulls a dark cloud from the sky and punches it to the ground, and whispers “survive”. He begins to lift his claw, and we see a strange creature with many legs scuttling towards us.
And that’s where we left off…