So this week in the Anduwin Chronicles…..
Abraxos is slowly sinking. Unconscious. His lungs filling with water. He stirs slightly, and opens his eyes. He sees ripples of blue water sinking further away, as he goes deeper into the ocean. The lights growing darker with each foot deeper. Until he reaches a point when he environment changes somehow. His feet meet the ground, and gravity returns to him. No longer floating or sinking, but stood, on ground. He finds himself in a small area with a sunken temple of some sort. He’s no longer in water, but there’s a windless breeze blowing through the area. Figures begin to appear in the distance in the temple. Figures with dragon heads and grand horns. Not Greyborn, but something more. Abraxos feels instinctively these are grey drakes. They begin to move, and a female appears much closer to him. She has one shaved and broken horn, but is adorned with several rings and jewels on her horns. Her lathers are simple, but even the fact she is wearing them is unusual for her race. She puts her hands out, in a calming welcoming gesture to Abraxos, whilst the other grey drakes seem to look on disapprovingly. He calms, and feels in this moment, he may be able to communicate with her, and ask a question. Abraxos gets the impression that this woman loves him, and there is a level of kinship between them.
Turning to her, he asks, “Was it wrong for me to be born?”.
“Nothing has ever been so right” is her reply, through deep loving eyes. She walks towards him, and places her hand on his chin, turning his head up to look at her gaze. “Too early my son” she whispers. He feels a pulse beat through him and his body buzzes and pulses. He wakes deep within the water, and points his blade to the surface, and is thrust upwards at speed. He breaks the water, holding his sword aloft, with a set of spectral grey wings, more like those of a dragon than an angelic. The wings beat slowly, holding him above the water, where he is seen by the party. Once breaking the water he finds he is fully healed somehow. Realising his time is short with these wings, he starts to doff his armour, so he doesn’t sink when the wings fade.
Meanwhile, Farandril sinks deeper. Deeper, and darker. His last vestiges of vision begin to fade, and then it expands. He is taken in by a bright light. His vision expands and he is draw into a calmer place. Farandril feels he is drawn towards a mahogany desk where a man sits. He sees a man, of seeming elvish descent. He has g9den blonde hair, saved on one side of his head, it frown long on the other, grey/blue eyes and he wears deep blue vestiments, with runes of Vollabuke sewn into the hem. He is sat, writing. Farandril approaches and asks where he is. The man does not reply. This man, though unknown to Farandril, is Orryon Ma’Talli, a former party member who jumped from a great height after taking the life of an innocent with dark magic, he somehow survived but has been missing since then. Farandril approaches and looks at what the man is writing. “It lies below” has been written over and over in a celestial language. It is written over and over again, in different hand writing, as though from different people, not himself. Suddenly, the man lashes out at Farandril, grabbing his arm. “Can you see? It consumes you!”. At that moment, the area goes to a pale white, and the man meets Farandril’s eyes. He has no pupils. The Templar says he had no choice, and he had to stick with his actions. The man stands for, the desk and begins to walk away, getting smaller and smaller into the distance. Farandril feels the lights fading and the darkness grow closer around him. As the light finishes fading, he finds himself still in the water, sinking, and drifting between the realities of life and death.
“I can see you”. A subtle whisper into Farandril’s eye, before he is pushed, seemingly weightless to the surface, just barely clinging onto life, before breaking the surface, floating, with his eyes open.
Almost at the same moment, the two fallen reach the surface, Patch leaps from the ox to save Abraxos, still tied on to a rope from Kavan. Karl commands his ox to rescue Farandril. Farandril is muttering over and over again to himself, asking what has he done, what about the Templar Order or the Gods. He is obviously delirious in his muttering. Karl feels Farandril’s spiritualalignmenthas shifted, since he fell. Realising that we need the statis space, Granuelle opens one of her urns and releases a former foe, Jules Talonclaw into the sea, to die, before drawing Farandril into the urn to rest safely. Brant also has an urn, and he is refusing to let his friends body into the sea to be discarded. Croxium remains in the second urn. Granuelle orders Brant to let Croxium out, and to rescue Abraxos into the other urn. He continues to refuse to do this, and to safeguard his friends body.
Much of the equipment from Abraxos and Farandril has been destroyed by the pressure and the water. Abraxos is unsure how he managed to survive, when Karl asks him directly. The samurai suggests we search for land. Brant suggests we leave some people to float, whilst he and another small group fly up to take a look and see if there are any landmarks. Granuelle, Brant, Karl and Patch ride up around 600feet, with Patch taking out his maps, spy glass and navigators tools. Patch takes out his spyglass and looks in every direction, but cannot see signs of land mass. However, he does see a bubble of marine life causing ripples. Before a massive sunken vessel bursts from the water, then a second vessel, hen a third. No banners or colours are being flown. Patch alerts the others on the ox to this information, and we see these ships floating around 500 feet away, and starting to sail in a circle around each other, almost like sharks. Through the spyglass we see figures walking around on the decks, seemingly fishlike beings. We cannot recall any further information about these possible fish people. Granuelle realises we are in the Ozmit sea, thanks to her ring that tracks where Brant is at all times. Hearing this, Patch looks at his maps and works out we are far to the north east of Onkonos, and are roughly equal distance between Nezpit and Onkonos. Granuelle instructs Karl to lead his ox back to the water.
He party reunites and we set off towards the two ships. Granuelle sends up firebolts to the sky, in a code, as a form of flare, asking for aid. The ships move towards us, with one on either side, and one approaching us directly. We are able to recognise the beings on the ships aren’t fishlike, yet snake like. YuanTi, of a species who are referred to as the Fallen. Patch warns these snake people speak nagini, whilst Kavan recalls folk tales of a snake woman bewitching an entire village and commanding the children to walk into the sea, to drown. The ships draw closer, and Kavan begins to detect magic, and senses a range of different schools of magic on the boat, through the wooden hull, as well as the whole vessel being imbued with abjoratuon, transmutation and enchantment spells to protect, alter and enchant the vessels.
Granuelle throws Patch into the air, and then climbs up herself. Immediately, spears and tridents are lowers at the necks of the two. We see a range of individuals with differing coloured scales, but some grey and brown. we try every language we know asking to parle, but they do not respond. Patch hands over his weapon, as a means to be seen as none threatening. The crowd parts slightly, and a man, with no legs but a massive snake lower half slithers towards us, and shouts we are trespassing in their waters. He declares he is high priest Tandish, and he is willing to take us all on be judged by his superior, Ester Dark Shaker, in the N’Carus, a days sails from here. We are told we will be kept in the hold as prisoners until we arrive. Granuelle offers a templar prisoner, after learning these yuanti hate the templars and he Anduwin. However, Patch reminds her, deceptively that the Templar was executed before they teleport, as a means to protect the recovering Farandril inside his urn. Tandish expresses and interest in buying Patch, whilst biting into a whole pineapple. We are all locked up, and our items confiscated for us, except Granuelle who he wishes to bargain with.
In the brig, we are locked in, and a magical shield is erected to kept us contained. Inside are several bottles of red liquid, and an older man in a large pirate hat. He says he has been moved around a lot, as the snake people believe he knows something, but he hasn’t told them yet. Karl strikes up a relationship with this man, and they share some rum. Brant settles to sleep, exhausted, and Kavan begins to drift to sleep. Patch and Abraxos have a heart to heart about heir ordeal this day, since the battle at breakfast. Abraxos says his family were watching out for him, and that’s how he survived. They talk about war, and how everyone seems to have heir own agenda. Patch encourages the samurai to rest, but Abraxos says he is fine, and plans to check on the others. He looks around and sees sleeping halfling, and Karl still drinking and talking with the pirate, and Kavan failing to sleep due to the rocking of the sea. Kavan is approached by Abraxos, and the two talk. Kavan asks if Abraxos is royalty, given his relationship with emperor of Maurdorne. He says he isn’t sure who he is, and what his lineage maybe. They discuss if the other party members can be trusted. Abraxos says he doesn’t leave anyone behind, but Kavan replies he no longer thinks like this.
Karl is deep in drink with the captain, who we learn is captain Morgan Sellmy, who seems focused on the suspicion that everyone knows something about the murder of his daughter. The drunker he gets, the more he accuses people of being involved in his daughters death. Karl enthusiastically tries to encourage Abraxos to have a drink, but Abraxos quit drinking after some unknown incident. Downing his last bottle of rum, Karl passes out to enter his own form of a rest.
On the deck of the ship, Granuelle is taken by the high priest into a room inside. She sees the transition from th outside of the ship being somewhat rotten, to well maintained inside. She is flanked by two other yuan ti guards, and asked to take of her weapons and armour, she reluctantly gives them her hammer. They begin to discuss a sale price for her slave, Patch. He tells her he can give the slave a good life, and guarantee his survival. Granuelle explains she still has use for Patch, and doesn’t want to traumatise him by changing owners too offen. She asks who the yuan ti expect the party to survive in the city, as it is wholly underwater. Tandish explains they will be tried in an air chamber, for a time, until there is no more air. He tells her she needs to prove her might and worth in a trial- a conquest of valour. She is told to join the party, as this is the only place with air, once he ship goes back underwater. He orders her to surrender all her items, as a show of cooperation. More guards are called in, and all her items are taken, and stored in a box. She is lead into the brig, and locked up with the party, as a prisoner. The vessel then starts to dive, and we feel it sinking, but rather submerging. Slight puddles, of a couple of inches but staying dry otherwise. Outside the cage, the water continues to rise, until the guards see, to become more marine like, and can swim at a frightening speed. Granuelle tells the only one awake, Abraxos, of what she has learned about the upcoming trial, and fight. We settle to rest for the night, and the following day, take time to heal ourselves before arriving at the yuan ti city.
The next day, we arrive at the underwater port. We are kept waiting for an unnecessary long time, nearly another twelve hours before a human looking woman, still snake like, but less so. Beautiful with long black hair swims up to the cage doors, before slipping through the gaps of the bars. She is very pale, and carries a leather sack with two urns. They fall out. She says, the whole party, back together again. She introduces herself as Ester, the Dark Shaper, before walking around the brig with purpose and a sense of ownership. She is excited to see the group, and shares an “amazing idea” with the party, as a way for us to live and see the dry land again. Ester asks if Granuelle lies about having slave culture, and Granuelle explains she has people employed in her party, but they are servants not slaves. She states that usually, trespassers will be executed, or face the trials, without knowing what type of foe we would face. Ester asks the party to compete in the trials, and to win, and so earn an audience with her father, the yuan ti emperor. She wishes the party to assassinate her father with a particular blade, and she will take us to the nearest dry land, which we learn in the common tongue is known as the Land of Storms. They barter for Granuelle’s magic items, in order to better compete in the trials. We are offered what we need for combat. Brant is given his urn, of Croxium, and confirms it contains Croxium and not Farandril. Brant checks the terms of the deal, and being upset by Granuelle’s attitude of late, he attacks her for a short time until Abraxos steps into stop the fight. Ester confirms her desire for the party to compete and then kill her father. Granuelle then let’s the recovering Farandril out of the urn. Suddenly, there is a templar stood before a yuan ti. He is tearful and distraught. Seeing him, Ester is freaked out, and steps through the magical barrier beyond anyone’s reach. Farandril is shaken, and convinced he has been brought back from death, as in the urn he was held in stasis, without a concept of time. He is freaked out and concerned about where he is all of a sudden. Farandril asks Ester if she has knowledge of Sivaras Marvolus. Ester, it turns out, is also looking for Sivaras, as she has questions for the former party member yuan ti, as Sivaras allegedly know a great deal Ester wishes to learn. She has her own agenda and plans to lead her people, better than her father who has grown weary and lazy and neglectful. Bitter and twisted of the past. Ester speaks of a disease afflicting her people. Scorn, an illness of the sea. After a further discuss, and Farandril panicking about being in the urn for two days, and loosing time, as well as being aware the “he can hear and see him”. Farandril may be referring to th darkness we just faced. Ester declares us her champions, and we settle in for travel to N’Vantis, the yuan ti capital city.
And that’s where we left off.