Border War Campaign Part 16
by, 04-14-2009 at 05:14 PM (1230 Views)
Both Gaias and Zephyr did not make it this week. However, we've had yet another player join our merry band bringing the total to 6 players. The new character is Fractured Sapphire, a Twilight Caste investigator/interrogator. His presence has given me the opportunity to do some interesting things with the story. But more on that later, back to the good stuff.
P.S. Less gaming than last time due to goofoffery, but there were definitely happenings of significance.
Fractured Sapphire, a man of the Guild, had received a missive from his superior, Ominous Whispers. The pair had never met, but Whispers was quite explicit that the details of her current mission merited the talents of a diplomat with his "special" skills. Eager to discover what the fuss was all about, Fracture set out for Three Oaks to meet up with Whispers and arrived, several days later, only a few hours after she had gone to Sumar's capital to bargain for the removal of Kalia's warmongering Elder. She left midday on the final day of Calibration blissfully unaware of the uproar caused by the Abyssal. Fracture's arrival was coincidentally timed; he was able to observe Willow, Rami (with the Abyssal in tow) and Gaias leave the tea house for the woods to the west of town. Following behind he was both unnoticed and unaware that he himself was being followed by Kageto and Wraith (in the guise of a snake).
Willow had Rami lay the Abyssal out at the base of the great tree and called down the tree god to complete their deal. Ever petulant, the tree god asked her to come back later so that the god might devote some time and attention to properly interrogating the Abyssal. Refusing, Willow instead brought the Abyssal to consciousness and insisted on the god fulfilling her part of the bargain immediately. Wood-skinned and leaf-faced servants of the tree appeared to show Willow to a door that opened in the trunk of the great tree. Further servants restrained the Abyssal and began to slowly torture him as the tree god asked him questions. None of those watching stepped in to help the Abyssal and the curious tree god became somewhat overzealous in her attentions. The tree's servants lifted his body up and sealed him to the trunk of the tree, unbreathing, unmoving, dead to all the world.
Meanwhile, inside the tree itself, great wonders were revealed to Willow. After stepping through the crevice in the trunk, Willow found herself on a platform carved from the living wood of the tree. Around the inside and hollowed out of the core of the tree were massive bookcases filled with book after book. All were different and many of the wood-skinned servants clambered up and down spiral staircases, rearranging and tending to the books. One of them approached Willow with two books in hand. The first was an ancient-looking tome printed on fine but aging linen and bound between burnished copper plates. It was an achingly thin book and the cover was etched with erratic calligraphy from many different hands in many different languages. All seemed to have a common thread: they spoke of an evil witch, a cold and heartless woman that had to be put down for the safety of all mankind. The second book was newer, thicker, printed on extraordinarily fine sheets of wood rather than pressed paper and bound in living leather. Across the cover was a delicate filigree in ever shifting patterns that reminded Willow of the masterwork architectural features of the school she used to attend.
Willow was presented with a choice: she may only read one book. The rest were forbidden for her; she could not even touch them. Further, she would only be allowed to leave this place with the book if she swore never to speak of what she discovered within it to anyone. Willow agreed with one exception: that she would be allowed to speak of it to a child of her flesh. The tree agreed to this exception and Willow chose the copper-bound tome, turned and exitted the massive library in the tree.
While she was inside the great tree, Fracture had approached the group and asked if any of them knew where he might find Ominous Whispers. She had mentioned that there were other powerful players in the area and those gathered here seemed to fit that description. After being told that her last known whereabouts were the tea house that morning, Fracture inspected the body of the Abyssal sealed to the tree and left at top speed, leaping through the treetops. Willow emerged, carrying her book and it was decided by all to return to the tea house as well. Kageto and Wraith, never having made their presence known, remained at the tree. Transforming back to her human form, Wraith expressed her dismay that no one stopped the torture of the Abyssal (now known to be called The Traveller) and wondered aloud if Kageto had been aware that he would be treated like that. Kageto swore he knew nothing about it and the two resolved to leave the area.
Fracture arrived at the tea house and questioned those within about the goings on in the past few days. He received wildly exaggerated tales about battles happening in front of the Council Hall and left to investigate as the rest of the party arrived. Fracture determined that there had been perhaps one injured person at the Council Hall, decided that the "portal to hell" he had been warned about was nothing more than an odd spot in the dirt a few yards across, and intuited that his best course of action would be to seek his superior to the west in Sumar.
To be continued ...