Death's reflection in the mirror of fear
- 1 Summary
- 2 Scribe Notes
- 2.1 Key things to note about our mission:
- 2.2 Are you, are you, coming to the Undead Tree
- 2.3 The Journey Begins
- 2.4 Reflections of a Long Times Past
- 2.5 High ho, high ho, it's off to the forest we go
- 2.6 Crafty Old Towns, Crafty Old Towns
- 2.7 What a wonderful world (Artist's Residences)
- 2.8 The Tower of Song
- 2.9 Old MacDonald has a farm
- 2.10 John Brown's Body
- 2.11 Oh-e-oh, oh yoh
- 2.12 Alive after death
- 2.13 Over at the Frankenstein Place (there's a light)
- 2.14 The Sounds of Silence
- 2.15 Drink yourself more bliss
- 2.16 Tale as old as time
- 2.17 Burning down the house (or not)
- 2.18 Castle on the Hill
- 2.19 Mr Bombastic
- 2.20 Living in a Material World
- 2.21 One thousand and one daffodils
- 2.22 If I could put time in a bottle
- 3 Buffs & Mil Sci
- 4 Loot and Expenses
- 5 Calendar
- Amira Human E&E - Jono - Amirelf
- Mavric Dwarven Thespian (Wicca) (Playwright) - Lisa - Elfric
- Sol Elven Solar Celestial Fighter (Party Leader) - Nick - Sunny
- Eydis Dwarven Mind Mage - Kelsie - Elfdis
- Minerva Human Solar Celestial Blast Mage (Military Scientist) - Jacqui - Minelfra
- Reko Human Fire Mage - Nemo - Rekelf
- Employer & Mission
- Maethedir, Lore Wielder of the Oscillating Chapter of the Vermillion Archive engages you to:
- enter the Mirror World and acclimatise yourselves sufficiently to be adequate to the tasks.
- investigate the disappearance of Dewriel, Spirit Scholar of the Oscillating Chapter of the Vermillion Archive.
- recover any findings of Dewriel and return them to Maethedir.
- report on your experiences to the best of your ability.
- minimise the embarrassment and shame reflected on the royal archives and thus her majesty.
- Fiscal Arrangements and Recompense
- Your transport, admittance to the archives, interaction with the artefact with all due licences, fees and assurances will be covered by the Vermillion Order.
- On the adequate completion of your tasks each survivor shall be gifted a powerful magical item from the Archives.
- 40 whole guineas each for your time and any incidental expenses.
Key things to note about our mission:
- We won't be in our own bodies.
- Our own bodies will be cared for.
- None of our stuff will go with us, including Minerva's eagle companion.
- Elves think other races are not very bright.
- Amira is my fan girl. This is very exciting.
We are going on a flying boat to Alfheim, then into the library, then through the artefact. When we get to the other side which is the Freia, the essence of us (rather than the Hroua which is the physical), there will be constructed vessels for us which may or may not have clothes and our intrinsic abilities. We know that we will have to learn how to work these new vessels and it may take a while before we are at full capacity.
We're just discussing stuff when a Guild security person instructs us to go deal with an undead incursion about 12 miles west of the Guild. He equips us with a healing potion and restorative each, advises us to stay clear of the tree and we're off.
Are you, are you, coming to the Undead Tree
There are some villagers barricaded in a barn. Undead (zombies and skeletons) are coming out of the tree and from the ground underneath. Minerva blasts a pile of them with her multiple bolts of light. Eydis puts on her shroud of attracting undead and attracts a spectral figure rather too well!! Sol saves villagers and they declare him their Elf Lord. Amira sneaks up and whacks the spectre. It disappears into the ground, taking the incorporeal Eydis with it. We get swarmed by undead who want to eat our brains (presumably for the scripts).
Minerva is assaulted by a skeleton made up of small skeletons of animals. They try and worm their way into and under her armour but are repelled by the light. She struggles, but can't significantly damage them. Amira and I throw off the shackles of our captors - we actually do throw our captors - and valiantly defeat our opponents.
Sol and the spectral figure charge towards each other, light blade and dark blade raised. There is a titanic clash and the spectre disappears. Sol prepares to fuck the tree up with his magic sword, but we remind him to keep it clean as this is a family show. The tree begins to split in two and a couple more blows topple it. It rots away revealing the cavern.
Under the Undead Tree
The spectre takes Eydis under the tree where there is a coffin and the colours are all funny. Honestly, you couldn't make this stuff up!!! The coffin has a lid. It is made of stone with runes on the top. Eydis is still incorporeal but her hands don't pass through into the coffin. She decides to try and float up through the ground. Instead she is sucked into the tree and moved up. She can't free herself and is beginning to be absorbed into the tree. Luckily the light shows her the way out and she manages to force her way out. She reports on the glowing lights in the walls, the coffin with the runes on the lid and the cavern.
Strange things did happen here, no stranger would it be, If they met at midnight in the hanging tree
The tree started to look sick the previous day. We fail to determine whether there were any mysterious visitors, sounds, lights etc in the previous nights. We potion up. Under the ground it is rotten and dank. The coffin is now cracked and we can see the body underneath. Very old, maybe hundreds of years. Humanoid - not human or elf, a little bigger. GTN: greater hobbit, probably male. Minerva breaks out her Rosetta stone from her travelling cabin and translates the runes. The runes are bindings on a greater undead over 2,000 year ago. he was bound and then the blessed tree was planted to stop disturbance. The protections should last for millennia, which they did. The local hobbits squat in the cabin but Minerva boots them out.
We enjoy a lovely cup of tea and scones, and entertain the locals with fine music, stilt walking and dancing before flying back to the Guild. We go to claim our payment and are given tax free status for a season plus 237 SP. We then try and claim healing potions as part payment. The healers do not let Amira leave with a tray of potions, despite convincing tales of the bursar requisitioning them.
The Journey Begins
We are greeted the next morning by a troupe of battle hardened elves who march us out. Hovering just above the riverbank is a large ship with sails and a gangplank. We meet an elf with half a clear crystal face who asks us to step into the front cabin and stay out of the way at all times. Our employer is nearby, ready to take our questions. We go very high. There are other flying things but we try not to look too closely. Beds are very quiet and comfortable.
We research the concept of the spirit world with Minerva's pet dragon and learn that the world is somewhat shaped by the beings in it, as it is a spirit world. Reading the night sky will work. Anything we have imposed our will on may come back with us in some respect - for instance, we may be able to speak some Elven when we return due to our immersion.
Questions Have the crystal faced guards gone through the mirror world and has this caused the effect? No, this is from other battles and encounters.
We come into land. There are a lot of buildings built within the trees. We are taken in to the buildings and papers are shown. We descend below ground, about 50'. Lots of checks and papers and licences. A room with upright half coffins - sized for someone to go in. You lie down and lean back and they will lead us to the mirror. There is a perfect mirror on the wall - 6 foot by 3 foot. Mithril, decorated with priceless gems. We must focus on the abilities we wish to retain while we are there - this gains us 30 ranks (1 per day of the transition). We will have ranks in estoc for duelling. Bodies are as follows:
Short blonde hair - male (Sol) Shoulder-length dark hair - male (Amira) Blonde - female (Minerva) Brown - female (Eydis) Dark - female (Mavric) Short brown hair - male (Reko)
Dewriel - person we are going to find has been coming and going for 10 years but something happened this season and the researcher didn't return. Local residents are friendly and helpful and have been for last 10 years. They are very into their architecture and protective of it. The researcher is the only one who has been going in. The bodies we are using were going to be sent in to negotiate in a few months. They need the report/ information being gathered. Want to minimise the embarrassment and shame the Archives might suffer if they were to send important VIPs in. So they need to know what they will be facing.
Dewriel gradually formed a physical presence on the other side - took about 5 years to become competent. Dewriel has been killed a few times - duelling, monsters etc. Differences often resolved by duelling to the death. Death still hurts. Dying too many times has consequences (mental instability).
Eydis decides to go first. Body is healthy and fine, but there's no-one there. Sol goes next and I follow.
Reflections of a Long Times Past
We wake up in a beautiful room. The proportions are excellent. We are in armour and have our swords.
We follow the beautifully flowing corridors to a meeting room where we encounter Doors, Archie and Porty. Dewriel had a disagreement with the people here around a roofline, although it didn't go as far as a duel. She established a residence near the forest.
We follow the perfect road to the place of stillness. The path leads us to some trees and we see a cottage which looks crude in comparison to everything else. We think it was abandoned a few weeks ago. There is food in the cupboard, shoes on the shelf. It looks like one person lived here. Sol and Eydis find notes which suggest that the writer was close - talks about the caves. There is someone in the caves who knows about the mirrors and the information is relevant to the field of study being pursued. There is an extra page with words and pictures and symbols. Eydis and I both memorise it.
We fall into a philosophical loop about whether elves would think to have animals with minds. We fly for a while north towards the caverns. We encounter a wagon driver who apparently has no mind, but who is quite friendly and able to hold a conversation. Clues:
- Don't go up towards the flying things as they will attack and it will hurt.
- They wanted to know what faction we were with but when being told we were unaligned, called us Younglings.
- Weird types in the caves which can permanently scar the Fea.
- They make things in the caverns eg ploughs which require no work from the farmer.
- Trade/ barter basis. Very specific barter.
Random stranger tells us Dewriel was here not long ago (but may have been some months as these are elves). Who should we talk to about mirrors? Borodia or Glayweal. She had questions about music and mirrors which were of no interest to the stranger. She wasn't interested in Green so the stranger wasn't interested in her. The stranger is wanting to refine emeralds into purest green as it may be the answer to the question which is "what are the colours of creation? The primal spectrum". Has been working on green for 12 centuries; before that it was turquoise but that didn't work out - it was wrong. Green is a much stronger lead. The stranger is Verbion and he studies alchemy.
We ask for many directions and eventually end up in a cave with Borodia. Bubbling pool in the middle, alembics, molten metal, mirrors. Confirmed Dewriel interested in access mirrors and music. He is interested in reflections of reflections and you should then see what is really there. Music not really their thing - probably want to go and see The Village for that. The study of Primal Mirrors - no one has delved into that. The Village with the musicians and artists. He says our reflections are off, although Eydis is less so than the rest of us. Hard to tell because we are reflected multiple times. No use.
Glayweal - a cave made into a building with doors and windows. Some professional adversity. She says there is no difference in reflections and there is no meaning. She last saw Dewriel about 3 months ago and she wanted to know things which were of no interest to Glayweal - access mirrors are a dead end alley. Research done long ago but it came to nothing .They can't be done from within here, only externally. We have tea and interrogate Glayweal. There may be some clucking and some rudeness. I feel a duel may be coming on. Or not. We make ourselves very unpopular. She clearly knows something about what happened - was definitely not telling the whole truth. Appears to be able to reflect magic back.
Back to Borodia's cave. He is not helpful. Evening seems to have fallen and we head into the foothills to find somewhere to stay. We don't seem to be hungry and we don't have any camping gear. We sleep. There are complaints about the poor accommodation but the ground seems soft and comfortable. Reading the Night Sky tells us that we should check in the tree, the cave, the vale and the building-ishness.
High ho, high ho, it's off to the forest we go
We have a plan. We're off to the trees, noted on the map as the Joyful Forest. It's called the Joyful Forest because it's full of narcotics. We get a mild buzz on and collect some fruit in our socks. Eydis practices some omphaloskepsis. Minerva has over indulged too much in the berries. Sol has absorbed some local plantlife and is floating a little off the ground! Beautiful Belariel (a stranger elf) propositions Amira and kisses them. They are excited and some of their bodily functions are different from what they are accustomed to. Eydis suggests renaming all of us as follows: Elfdis, Minelfra, Rekelf, Amirelf, Elfric and Sunny. Amirelf and Minelfra are getting it on with a couple of partners. I climb a tree and brachiate through the trees after being plastered in green paste. Unfortunately, the elf in the tree knows nothing about Dewriel. We make our way to what is either the Azure Sea or the Lake of Tranquillity. Some of us have to go back for other people's armour while those people swim in the altogether (in the lake or sea)! I take a rememberry and can remember the transition period between the mirror and here.
We fly up to determine where we are. Everyone gets dressed, after a fashion. Minerva experiences the joys of flying wearing no pants but it doesn't seem to bother her too much. I have berries to give her to keep her happy but she is very rude. She seems to be very unappreciative of the fact that some people went back to collect her armour which she had left behind. Apparently some people can't cope with a bare bum.
Crafty Old Towns, Crafty Old Towns
The town has walls carved with stories. I could stay here all day reading these panels, but we do have a job to do. The stories are amazing. Interwoven, detailed, in depth sagas. There are buildings and people and docks on the lake. It feels cosmopolitan.
Amirelf discovers that girl underwear does not work so well for a boy body. We purchase a teapot, cups, tea, food, bags and some more underwear and trousers. Rekelf goes back to fetch Minelfra while the rest of us investigate the music sector of the town. I find instruments. Dewriel worked on a harp together with one of the instrument makers. She took a small harp with her which they had made and tuned for her (we remember a harp case back at her house). She wanted to increase her understanding of music. We need to go to the Artist's Residences down south by the Wild Waters.
There are weirdly no inns. What town doesn't have inns? Luckily we find a mattress shop. We make a list of what we need and in the morning we will each go to a shop and try and find things we need. There may be a pot of happy tea made and shared.
Rope, blankets, pot, hand axe or dagger, water skin, tarp.
Amirelf, discussing their new penis: "Pork swords are not the chop"
The mattresses are extremely comfortable but luckily, Minelfra wakes us all up pre-dawn and we sneak out before the owners return. We find the food quadrant and trade for bread and pasties - surprisingly no halflings anywhere. There is delicious nutritious food and cream buns. The bakers tell us that there is farm food available up at the Farms (one with Arda) in the northeast. Our party leader foolishly differentiates between yesterday's adventures in the joyful forest and today's adventures with cream buns.
We acquire practical stuff, then we notice that there are heavily armoured people near the mattress shops where we slept last night. Craftspeople feel they have been disrespected and that the culprits should be found and made to give satisfaction. We spend about an hour studying the story panels outside the city, and think it needs a lot more time to get all the information. It does look like this is a history which goes back thousands of years. We make a great escape and sing quietly as we walk. There may be some berries involved.
What a wonderful world (Artist's Residences)
A beautiful town. Each building is different and uniquely beautiful. Looking for harps, music and mirrors here.
We find music and harps. We are directed to find Grey, a painter of grey.
We find a grey house on a lake shore. Elfdis says it's not grey, it's all normal colours.
Sunny is being very punny.
Thinhel is the name of the painter and she is very hospitable (apparently female, hard to tell with elves). She offers us tea and advises she was a friend of Dewriel. The paintings over the walls look grey to most of us, but to Elfdis, they are scenes of people, landscapes, sunrises, trees, animals and so on. We think the furniture is made of grey wood, but Elfdis says it looks like wood to her. Elfdis and I debate as to whether the tea is Earl Grey or Lady Grey. Thinhel leaches the colour out of things to see what's there beneath the colours as they are a distraction. Grey makes things grey for herself. Philosophical questions are asked about art.
What does Thinhel know about Dewriel?
Hasn't seen her for a while. Knows that she comes and goes from the outside world - she knew but had forgotten until Dewriel convinced her it was real. She realises we are from the outside world. There are children here for those who choose to have them. They are born as babies and grow normally to adulthood. Dewriel talked about important nobles coming in - only a few months ago. No known enemies - at least no-one whose opinion matters. Was doing research o music and theories about music being the source of creation - fundamental sounds of the world which ca be more clearly heard here. The Silent Ones have similar theories and she spent some time with them although they are hard to communicate with. Dewriel was looking for something to do with the Alchemists. She did do some paintings of Dewriel which Elfdis says are largely nudes - swimming, reading (a very old text about the Mirrors of Fea which was from the Archives and she returned it some time ago) - love has been painted into these pictures. Mirrors - access here is through mirrors (confirmation int he Archives). Worked with some people in the Aspiring Tower on the records and doing some work on the bodies to shorten the acclimatisation period. Dewriel left her harp here and Thinhel still has it. She left it here while she went talking to the Alchemists, bureaucrats (archivists) or the Castle (Martial Keep) - it's all politics to her. Dewriel had been killed a couple of times in duels, some time ago when she arrived early on but not often enough to be a problem.
If you settle somewhere, over time it gradually shapes to meet your needs or expectations. She only has one bed, but we can sleep on her lawn. She warns us not to go too far out into the lake as it's wild water. Elfdis thinks there are elementals or the water is elemental water somehow and once I eat some berries, I can see it too. Some of us swim but we don't go too far. The water makes us feel energised, but we feel like we should sleep. Well, some of us do. DAs reveal that there is no magic.
Sunny tells us the world through the window is grey which is true for all of us except Elfdis.
Thinhel paints things which haven't happened yet. She doesn't think she could paint us finding Dewriel. She is quite upset about Dewriel being lost or broken. And she thinks she wouldn't exist elsewhere - she was born here. Dewriel thought there might be a few of the originals - the first ones who came here - still here. She thought there might have been people finding ways to leave. As far as Thinhel knows, Dewriel hadn't found the originals.
We go back to the rocking harpist. His harp has extra strings - an extra octave, an extra dimension, which Dewriel helped him with. His music is amazing, but I can't play along with him as I'm putting him off. I take careful note of the design. He is a little offended by my poor abilities, but not enough to require a duel.
The Tower of Song
We fly purposefully between settlements and get where we're going faster. It's all in the power of the mind.
The Aspiring Tower is ivory. There are runes which asks one of the fundamental questions of life and basics of philosophy. There's a guy throwing rocks into the water. He and Elfdis have a very long and boring discussion about the methodology of him throwing stones into the water. He goes into the Tower and Elfdis and Amirelf follow but the rest of us can't get across the threshold. Elfdis observes it's bigger on the inside. Her mind speech works for the group, even with some of us inside and some outside. She climbs a ladder and looks out a window. The window is also bigger than it looked from the outside.
Elfdis accosts various people in the tower and asks them to find information about Dewriel. They head off to do that. Elfdis and Amirelf start doing some reading. The Mind Speech goes off. We will knock on the door if we need something. The rest of us head off to the Farms (One with Arda).
Elfdis and Amirelf study and learn! Someone (Aphedrean) recognises her - or at least her body - as the person designed her. The person is fascinated that Elfdis is a dwarf and can do philosophy. Apparently their design and instructions for the bodies were flawless. They are disturbed that some of the instructions seem to have been done incorrectly. It was done as a favour and is not something the person normally does. Curious about dwarves and orcs and trolls. Deep conversations about dwarven facial hair and why (male dwarfs) grow it. Elfdis maintains it's sexy as hell and the philosopher finds this hard to believe. She is generally fascinated by the stories, but gets very grumpy at the thought that there were any issues with the transfer into the bodies. A list is requested of the people who built the bodies.
Some of the bureaucrats were going to investigate Dewriel's disappearance and then write a report. He does not return for several days.
Elfdis shows the paper from Dewriel's house to Aphedrean. Her thoughts were undisciplined but the paper reflects the ravings of a broken mind. The person thinks that berries or alchemical substances, adventuring in the Vale, exposure to the hungry ones could all have been a reason for this kind of mind break.
Amirelf causes some trouble in the tower by stacking books, building a staircase of books and literally interpreting knowledge. Apparently putting them in elphabetical order is not welcomed here. They are put outside by the archivists. We find them outside when we return from the farms. Their privileges are not completely revoked however as they can still go in and out.
Old MacDonald has a farm
Farming is the best path. Getting physically directly in contact with the earth. There is a substantial solidity out there somewhere which exists. To get closer to this, you need to get up close and personal with the ground. They are full of earth nutterishness, but seem to be the first to know that there is more outside of their own world. They do seem to be more responsive and less strange than others we've spoken to . But there are some who are completely immersed in the work they doing. We resupply with really high quality produce.
Fields are in different states of growth. There's always something ready to pick - in one field, there are 4 seasons to ripen the food and it's all at a different stage.
There are grape vines. Crates of grapes are sent off to the Town. Presumably there is wine at some point - we will have to check it out. Milk is also being shipped off.
There are all sorts of animals. Lots of herders, domesticated animals and pretty much everything you can think of which could be farmed. We take a couple of days to explore the farm areas.
John Brown's Body
A troop of 6 from the Martial Tower arrive. They have been called by the Aspiring Tower people (using the wind) to take Amirelf away. We share lunch and they give us cautionary tales about the Hungry Ones and staying away from them. They know who Dewriel is and warn us away from being like her. The head guard is called Maegor and he buys our story about being younglings travelling around to try out different occupations. We should just rock up to the Martial Tower and say we want to apprentice.
They seem quite reasonable (unlike the Aspiring Tower boffins) but are quite tight lipped. Elfdis reminds us she could cast telepathy and get extra information from them. But then she goes back inside. She suggests that we find a potion and put a locate into it so she can drink it and then try and locate Dewriel as she's seen a picture of her. We can take food and berries for trade.
Amirelf is full of interesting ideas, but I wonder if they are normally like this? They seem to be very disruptive and also very ass-lickery.
We fly purposefully to the Caverns of Alchemy. It doesn't take very long. (The Deep does appear to be very deep - Sol says unfathomably deep) Sol successfully trades some nuts for two blank potions but loses the instructions. We think you ritually cast into them and then drink them. He head back purposefully.
Amirelf tries to locate Dewriel again and has the same problem - there seems to be something missing from all the bits of the locate.
Oh-e-oh, oh yoh
Heading back, Minervelf and Rekelf observe about a dozen small flying beasties heading towards us from the mountain. They dive and close to within 100 feet. They seem to be flying monkeys or small hairy people or kobolds with wings. Amirelf flies at one and displays superior aeronautical skills. Minervelf fires a pile of bolts and hits lots of them. There is consternation at volume; much screeching ensues. Rekelf sends a firebolt at one and hits! Sol flies at them but four of them swarm him. They are keen on his backpack which he's happy to sacrifice.
Minervelf also gets swarmed and a large chunk of flesh gets ripped from her leg. One impales itself on my estoc and tumbles lifelessly to the ground. Sol sheds his pack and loses the monkeys. Minervelf is being savaged. Amirelf attacks brilliantly and dispenses with one of the monkeys but too late as Minervelf is plummeting to the water. She plummets too fast and I miss my strafing run completely. Rekelf takes out another one and the rest of the monkeys fly off. Amirelf retrieves Minervelf's body from the Deep, narrowly missing the jaws of the Behemoth known as Banana. (Note that the Behemoth may or may not be in the Deep, but Sol seems to think there's one there) We head back to the Tower and Sol attempts to resurrect Minervelf.
Alive after death
It's the morning and Minervelf is alive but very sore. However she is very happy and says she feels much more like herself, much less depressed and although there is something missing. There is lots of physical damage which needs to be healed. Amrielf ritual casts location into the potion. We observe that when Elfdis is in the Tower, there is a piece missing of Dewriel - a shadow. When she comes back out, the shadow is there again. We're not sure whether part of Dewriel is in Elfdis or part is in all of us. Elfdis heads back into the Tower - she is waiting for the information to come back. Also, she wants to move up more stairs. She seems quite reluctant to abandon this pursuit of information.
Minervelf takes some painkilling berries and when Amirelf locates her, there are two arrows. Her body cannot be woken up - she is apparently comatose. Those berries are potent. Rekelf suggests cremating the body. We all loudly protest of course.
Over at the Frankenstein Place (there's a light)
Minervelf casts a light spell from her spirit figure and the rest of the party suddenly have shadows which only she can see. After a time, Minervelf is conscious again. She tells us the lake was really fascinating but she didn't check it out and stayed with her body instead. We decide to experiment so she can see if the lake water is special; if she can get through the walls of the tower and if she can DA the shadows. Minerva eats 3 more berries.
The Mind Speech we have on stays on her. She casts another light - we can't see it but she can and it casts more shadows. The DA on Rekelf and Elfric reveals another entity as well. The Tower still won't let her in. She checks out the bucket of water but it's not especially interesting. The Lake is still interesting and she can walk on water. There's a light over at the top of the tower which wasn't there before. Sol is frustrated by the lack of positive action so takes some of the ecstasy berries and heads on up the tower to the top. He can see Minerva. It's a long way up to the top and Minervelf can see the thread connecting him to his body snapping. We can see that he is dead.
The part of Minervelf which is missing wanted to find an answer to the mystery but wanted her to keep it to herself. Minervelf can still see the same aura in the ones she DA'd as she could when she was in the astral.
Elfdis gets a piece of paper from one of her researchers. He slips it to her subtly and as though there is nothing happening. It is a warning to leave.
We cast flight on Sol, mount up and head south to the Joyful Forest. We arrive around midnight - some of us flying and some running. We set up a camp and wait for the runners. Sol is much less happy than Minervelf and wishes he'd gone into the light. Sol feels less mentally strong and physically able than he did before - he had extra martial skills which he doesn't have now. The memory of the last few weeks are very hazy and as if he was a passenger in the body rather than the one in charge. Minervelf confirms she felt the same.
Elfdis the locate on Dewriel and her arrow is also fractured, but the strongest part points directly at her, confirming that part of Dewriel is inside her. The other arrows are pointing North, South West, South, East, so Dewriel is all over the place. We hypothesise that all of us are carrying passengers to some extent and whether we should die to rid ourselves of any possible passengers. I feel fine and in control and we want to keep Dewriel where she is, but the others may wish to shed their alter egos.
The Sounds of Silence
We head south towards the Vale of Delusions. We have to land in some trees mid-flight. It doesn't go well for some of us. Something is very wrong and it's to do with a noise just on the edge of our hearing - a low thrum. There is a small elf which Elfdis' arrow is pointing to. We acquire the small elf, but two bigger ones come towards us with swords drawn. Sol and Elfric draw their swords too. We have broken their code of silence and they insist on reparation. Sol dramatically kills himself and Amirelf quietly slips away with the help of Minervelf and Elfric. We are allowed to leave and head back to the Joyful Forest where we are greeted as conquering heroes. Sol is resurrected using berries and Elfdis is recovering fast with the assistance of the uppers. Minervelf, Rekelf and I do our best to look after our party, but Amirelf does not return to their body.
Drink yourself more bliss
The Joyful forest elves party with us. Elfdis turns blue and her small elf doesn't like the partying. Sol is back on full health and Elfdis' arm seems to be fixed. Minervelf is happier than before and Rekelf appears to be in state of bliss. Elfric has taken some chillaxing substance. We party, some of us too much and eventually sleep. When we wake, Amirelf is alive, Minervelf is much happier than after the last visit to the Joyful Forest, Sol and Elfdis are completely back to normal and Rekelf is tucked up safely. We collect some nuts for trade, plus some of the healing berries and some of the chill pink candyfloss plant (for the mini elf).
We prance through the forest towards the river to take mind altering slugs. They don't work on Elfric. Elfdis and Amirelf lie in the mud and commune. When Rekelf takes the slug, Elfdis and Amirelf are mentally attacked. Sol takes a slug and is also one with the world. Elfdis works out that the forest elf is the attacker, so we render them unconscious and purposefully leave.
What's behind your black door?
We head north, stopping to collect more nuts on our way as trade goods. we come out of the forest and follow the locate arrow up to the mountain to a pair of sealed black doors. Very little trace of any tracks. Elfdis telepathies but there is nothing inside, Minervelf DAs the doors for nature of the magic - sealing and not magically warded, trapped or cursed. Amirelf casts opening. The door opens and Elfdis gets a few more minds, but just small ones.
Inside, it's grey and shadowy and dusky inside. This is a storage cavern lined with shelves and chests. We follow the location arrow to a bottle. There doesn't seem to be a mind in the bottle, just liquid, but other bottles have traces of minds. Amirelf suggests we take some bottles and move things around to make it less obvious what we've taken so we do this then head out, close the door and cover our tracks so that anyone coming in can't see us. We take shelter in a cave with good visiibility.
Genie in a bottle
The bottle looks like a potion bottle, but less robust than an adventuring potion bottle. We open one of the other bottles which had a fragment of mind. Elfdis gets a wash of thoughts and memories about refining spleens from the living to make an essence to increase MA well above normal. Having broken the seal, the thoughts are leaking out. We dispose of the bottle but the thoughts are a bit gross and wash over us. No one has come for the few hours that we've been here.
We think we need to go to (in order): Craft Towns, Soulful Towers, Artists Residence, Vale of Delusions, Martial Keep
Tale as old as time
We decide to avoid making ourselves, naked, green, smelly or in any other ways memorable as we go into the Craft Towns. A limited precog suggests that this plan has some chance of success. We take sensible precautions, although Elfdis's mind does get quite full of the people in the town. People here are very focused, not scatter brained as they are in the real world. This confirms what we've observed from our conversations with them. We come to a closed up building with no windows, no crenellations and no minds inside. It appears unguarded. Front door is locked and noone responds to a knock on the door. Amirelf opens the door using magic. Once the door is cracked open, Elfdis can hear something with their telepathy, but not quite actual minds. This time, there are shelves and shelves of books. We poke around until we find a book which seems to be where the locate arrow is pointing. There is no thinking coming from the book. It is a story in an odd fashion of telling - first person but weird narrative. We tuck the book away and quietly leave. DAs reveal the doors are alarmed in some fashion, so we casually saunter out the door and close it behind us, then leave the town, tempted though we are by delicately painted cupcakes and very nice pants. We purposefully move out of the town and towards Dewriel's house.
Burning down the house (or not)
We return to Dewriel's house and limited precog to see what will happen if Elfdis drinks the potion (she is arguing with us all) or feeds it to the mini fairy (who is asleep) or reads the book (still reading 2 hours later). Minervelf chooses to read the night sky and get clues. Minervelf and Sol have become Heliomancers who can now read the sun rather than reading the night sky! Question is: how do we reunite the pieces of Dewdriel. Answer: is possible to do partly, possible to do fully, but difficult to do it all. Triangulation ensues to confirm our next course of action - definitely Soulful Towers, Martial Keep and the Lands of Chaos rather than Vale of Delusions. The Martial Keep arrow seems weaker than it was, so we decide to go there first. We fly over the top of the Lake of Tranquility which is especially tranquil this morning.
Castle on the Hill
The keep is HUGE. We leave Rekelf outside with the pieces we have gathered so far. We find a postern gate which looks more like us than the grand front entrance. We meet a cook who lets us in. We investigate the kitchens and learn about the food and the brutal basic training. We take some of the pulp that the chef foists on us. While we were inside, the magics we had running were suppressed. We decide to hand over a note purporting to be from Dewriel to see what telepathy gives us. We will have to do this outside the gate. One troop goes through but none of them know anything about Dewriel. Another guard captain thinks briefly of someone called GWERIAN and then tells us to report to the Marshall. We go in but know we can't use magic in here. Gwerian is supervising weapons maintenance at the tower and appears to be supervising the weapon making. He takes our fake note and tucks it away.
Minervelf observes the apprentices who don't react to the mention of the name but - Gwerian suppresses a reaction - some confusion, concern, curiosity. Gwerian asks us to wait and he can tell us about the training here. We pay attention to our surroundings while we wait. The place is all about the martial action. Sneaking in would be both easy and difficult - not many locked doors, but lots of places where it would be easy to kill people. It's all very regimented so it would be possible to use that to break in, but would require quite a lot more observation. After a couple of hours, Gwerian offers to give us a tour of the place and takes us up to the top of the tower. We are hoping he is going to talk to us rather than throwing us off the top. It is a 5-floor tower, so very high. No-one lives in the tower. He knows all about her, including that she is from the outside. Her mind broke and when he last spoke to her, she was scattered in her thoughts and paranoid. He believes that someone messed with her mind, repeatedly. She suspected there were factions within the groups which were working for their own interests against those she represented. She believed there were factions everywhere; Gwerian isn't sure that this is true.
He was interested in stories of the outside. Comparison of cultures, interesting facts. Everyone here has their own interests and are working for themselves. She was primarily looking at the alchemists and the Tower. He thought she was indulging in fantasies and that the overarching conspiracy theory was unlikely due to the individualistic nature of the society. He did have a trusted contact in the Vale of Delusions, Berthor, who was supposed to be looking after Dewriel in the Vale. He has gone missing. Maintain a disciplined mind before going into the Vales of Delusions. Lands of Chaos is never the same twice - very creation focused. They were the ones who created the bodies. He suggests we abandon the lead for the Soulful Towers - if they take against us, they will simply devour us. There is an agreement that you can only be consumed if willing; however people do go missing there and there are others who are willingly nibbled upon. He thinks Unifying Order are too bureaucratic to manufacture a plot and lack imagination.
He gives us a gem which Dewriel left with him to be given to someone from the Oscillating Chapter of the Vermilion Archive.
He offers us assistance, weapons and armour and supplies if needed. We agree we will try to get word to him if we find Dewriel. He advises there is no governing council but that the factions talk to each other and Dewriel influenced that as well. Some factions were not pleased about her coming here and her influence. Factions may have been divided internally about her. He concludes the tour and sends us on our way. We believe we have been observed and assessed by people perceiving what is going on around us.
We get back and Rekelf has disappeared. We find him back at Dewriel's house, without the book, potion or mini elf. He says he flew back, but didn't have wings when we left. He has no recollection of when we last saw him. We hypnotise and telepathy him to find out more information. We question him and ask what faction he is associated with. We think it's the Soulful Tower. He's telling some truths and some lies. An elf approached him while he was waiting and cast wings on him - same as our solar wings. He flew towards the Joyful Forest until the wings started to run out, then landed and ate some berries which made him feel floaty. This is not the truth. He last had the book when he saw us (a lie) and the bottle and mini elf when he met the big elf. The locates on the three items has disappeared.
There is some discussion as to whether we should kill Rekelf, Elfdis and Elfric to remove the passengers. No decision can be reached. We check the arrows for the Soulful Towers and Lands of Chaos and the Soulful Towers arrow has disappeared. It seems that someone is destroying the pieces of Dewriel. We have two with us - the gem from and Elfdis herself. We hotfoot it purposefully, yet quietly towards the Lands of Chaos.
Living in a Material World
The Lands of Chaos are...chaotic. Shocker. Bright yellow hills, insects flying backwards, elves with goat bodies and feet, carnivorous grass and the like. We find a helpful, pure black spider the size of a house who tells us about the Creationists and it knows of Dewriel. It is paying more attention to Minervelf than the rest of us, so she scuttles in behind us.
It knows Dewriel is from the material world, current Elven empire but it seems unlikely to the spider being. It offers us its protection and sensibly, Sol asks what the cost is. It would put a mark on us that would enable us to be identified as under their protection but also keep tabs on all of us. The being is called Goliant, an old elven word from before the time of the Empire. Amirelf takes the mark of Goliant - a weblike tattoo on their face. Elfdis and Elfric also get the web mark. DA reveals it has a separate aura which is the mark of Goliant.
- As we get further into the lands, dimensions will become unusual
- The three of us who are marked can see a strand in the sky. We should follow that for half an hour and then follow Amirelf's arrow.
- Goliant can see into Elfdis's head. There is a duality there.
One thousand and one daffodils
We come to a stream which is in roughly the direction of the arrow, so we follow it. Stream changes colour a few times as we follow along. Amirelf tries to speak with Goliant in her mind but there is no response. Elfdis also tries but no response.
Arrow points to a homestead where there are minotaur, 12' tall. There are masters here who shall decide our fate. Minotaur is quite polite but naked. A manly chest and well endowed but with a bull's head. He walks very lightly on the ground and doesn't leave a mark which we think he should do given his size. We wait patiently. There are some minds, closed off to us, but detectable. Elfdis feels a brush of a really really really bad mind. The masters will see us at some point. I have a bad feeling. The minotaur says he will crush us with his arms or throw us in the air and gore us with his horns if we try and fight him.
We decide to DA the gem we got from the Martial Keep. It is a partial long-lived sentient. It is storage magic and triggering release is transubstantiation. Sol tells only Minervelf, the rest of us don't know. A few hours go by. We investigate the Minotaur, who DAs as a barely sentient being. After some time, we are approached by an elf who apologises for keeping us waiting. If he had realised we were the Envoys, he would have interrupted his ritual sooner. He gestures to make a table laden with food, and another gesture for food. His name is Anandurial.
He thinks we are nobles from the outside. So the VIPs from the Archives. Not us in other words, so we need to fake it until we make it. He tells us it has been 30 millennia since the mirrors were lost as far as Dewriel told him. It has been a year since he last saw her. We take a mid-prandial perambulation. Then we get down to talking. Anandurial is keen to leave this world for ours. He finds it difficult to believe that there is a conspiracy which would have dispersed Dewriel. He lets us know that Soulful Towers, Harmonious Residence and Dewriel all contributed to the personality and skills put into these bodies. Anandurial built the bodies. He believes it is possible that there could be more than one occupant in each body. It is very clear that each of the factions involved wanted to have someone of their own riding along with the envoys from the outside. He has a shard of Dewriel - a lock of her hair. Dewriel's body is one of the only ones created from the outside, that he knows of at least. The hair is an anchor, created by Dewriel, and used to grow the new bodies.
Putting bits of Dewriel together will work better into a body which is already inclined towards that. Anandurial gives us a demonstration of an egg smashed, and trying to put it back together. Until you get as many bits together as possible, you don't know what the egg will look like. Anandurial can put the bits together but not sure what we will get.
Amirelf proposes that someone checks in with our employers. We suggest that two people are sent back, Amirelf and Rekelf. Looking for direction from them - get as much of Dewriel back as we can, leave her there. We have a vote and Amirelf and Rekelf return to the employers. The night passes and they wake up.
If I could put time in a bottle
There is some discussion about Minervelf's manservant in a bottle. Apparently, he chooses to be there and it's for his own safety. However given that Minervelf says her family treat their slaves kindly and that they have slaves to chastise other slaves, we take this with a grain of salt.
Amirelf tells that the employers are still tosser elves. They think that Dewriel has let them down and hope it will not reflect badly on them. If we can get Dewriel back together, they think they can rehabilitate her. Separate to that, they are wanting to know the reasons and machinations of those who are possibly working against the envoys and outside elves. If we stay for more than 3 months it is likely that our connection to our real bodies will be broken and we won't be able to go back. Should read and memorise Dewriel's notes to bring back. They can't create a portal into here. Amirelf intends on leaving as we have done a lot of what we can do.
Rekelf describes that he was feeling as though he was in a dream, sometimes in control and able to interact with us and sometimes not. He feels that the bits of Dewriel are in the Soulful Towers. He didn't go back to the employer because he's not ready to share information with our employers at this point.
Minervelf reads the sun to ask where the missing pieces of Dewriel are. Impression is that they exist but are hidden from the light/ shielded from the sun, but last seem heading west.
Anandurial needs the locks of hair to be able to anchor any more husks/ hosts, so is reluctant to incorporate those with Elfdis. The gem was crafted by a master craftsman from Craft Towns and it appears that it is designed to transfer its knowledge at the point the possessor passes through the mirror.
Buffs & Mil Sci
Loot and Expenses
|Autumn 821wk: Fruit (4)|
|Lugnasad||1||Guild Meeting Undead tree||2||Travel to Alfheim||3||Mirror travel||4||5||6|
|28||29||30||1||2||Harmonious Residence||3||Caverns of Alchemy||4||Craft Towns|
|Autumn 821wk: Harvest (5)|
|5||Artist's Residences||6||Aspiring Tower||7||Farms||8||Farms||9||Farms/ Martial guard||10||Caverns of Alchemy/ Monkeys||11||Back to the Tower|
|12||Silent Forest||13||Joyful Forest||14||Nut collection||15||Equinox Craft Towns||16||Dewriel's House/ Martial Keep||17||Vale of Chaos||18||Dewriel's House|
|19||Harvest Moon ..||20||21||22||23||24||25|
|Autumn 821wk: Vintage (6)|