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Pointer-left Investigator__male_2_thumb
Lhynard
Posted by the GM
Per Multiversum
Chapter 3 — Avilda
~ eighth-day, 18th of Flamerule, the Year of Rogue Dragons, 8 bells
Wildspace


The next morning, the Frihet left the Rock of Bral and headed toward Toril. Solisar had reminded them about the danger of returning to Toril without taking precautions against the dragons, but Ombert had explained that, before their last visit to Lantan, while the adventurers were searching for Onran's abode, he had shared the same fear. "Apparently, only a single dragon is known to live on the big island of Lantan," said the halfling captain. "We learned that this dragon, an ancient blue, thinks of the entire island nation as his hoard. He has spent the whole dragonrage paroling the seas around the islands of Lantan, ensuring that no other dragons come near his property. If anything, Lantan is thus one of the safest places on Toril to visit right now!"

   As the Frihet launched into spelljamming speed toward their home planet, Hakam approached Solisar, who was below deck in the wizard's lab that the elves of Evermeet had constructed for them.

   "May I speak with you in private, Solisar?"

   "Of course, good cleric," said Solisar.

   Hakam shut the door behind him and shared the results of the previous night's divination. "Is there an elven chameleon god in the history of your people?"

   Suddenly, Solisar flashed back to his visit to the human city of Silverymoon last Nightal. Just before he had met the most alluring Loremaster Rivermantle in the library-temple of Everdusk Hall, he had been examining the statue of a god to whom he had never paid much attention, Erevan Ilesere, the Trickster,... the Chameleon.

   "I do not know how I did not think of it earlier," said Solisar, "but there is indeed a god known as the Chameleon among the Seldarine, Erevan Ilesere. He is the god of trickery, not evil, but one representing the more... playful tendencies of elfkind. Though perhaps one of its least popular members among the elves of my own people, he is respected somewhat by the green elves, who are Belvin's kin."

   Upon hearing Solisar's answer, Hakam's own memory was triggered. "Erevan? Is that not the name of the god whom Jayce nominally follows?"

   Solisar did not know the answer to Hakam's question, as he did not know Jayce very well, but Hakam did not need the answer; he knew that it was true.

   Jayce was a relatively irreligious human, but he had told a strange story of receiving healing for his injured leg as a child from a passing elven priest of Erevan, who also left him with a mysterious tattoo. Later in their adventurers together, but before the time that Solisar had joined them, they were joined briefly by a roguish fellow named Mick. Mick also bore a similar tattoo, which he had also received from a cleric of Erevan in his youth. The tattoos magically glowed when near each other and in fact caused pain to either man if they drew far apart after meeting. It was not until several months later that they learned that the two tattoos were the two halves of a map of an ancient temple of Ubtao in the jungle of Chult, a temple that ultimately led them to Samber.

   Connections were formed in Hakam's mind regarding Yashiera's prophecy that had hitherto evaded him, and he smiled with understanding.

   He again discussed with Solisar the prophecy. "So, Thard Harr, Erevan, and Ubtao are allied, and they do not see the 'dark cloud approaching from beyond them.' What is the pool into which they are gazing? A portal? And what is this dark cloud?"

   "The Shadovar could be the dark cloud, potentially," said the elf.

   "They have a dark cloud around their digging site; that is true."

   "Or the dark cloud is their goddess."

   Hakam nodded at the grim thought. He also remembered his brief time as a captive of the Shadovar cleric Chalan. He wondered if revisiting his conversation with her then might lead to new insights. He thanked Solisar for the helpful conversation and returned to his quarters.

   Meanwhile, above deck, Sofi approached Szordrin as he was standing alone gazing down at Toril. They were in orbit around the dark side of the planet, as Ombert tried to spot where to drop down into the atmosphere for the most direct approach to the tiny islands of Lantan.

   "May I ask you a question? You seem deep in thought."

   "Yes, of course," he replied.

   "You seem very intent on quickly tracking down this rakshasa cutter," she said. "What motivates this? Do you desire revenge? Is it to provide for your own safety? What is driving you on this quest?"

   "Both," said Szordrin. "It started out for revenge, but now it seems like my own life may depend on it. Onran may not have simply been murdered; he may have intentionally given up his life to save mine, so it is even more important."

   "Do you think that revenge will make you feel any better?"

   "Yes, I presume so," he said, but his voice lacked confidence. "We can only know when it is done."

   She nodded. It looked like she had something else to say, but whatever it was she kept to herself.

   "Do you think that the stars are beautiful?" she then asked.

   He looked at her, and she was staring off at the endless number of bright points in crystal sphere of Realmspace. "Yes," he answered, though without the awe that had been in her voice when she asked.

   "You never saw the stars growing up, did you? You lived underground."

   "That is true, but Onran taught me the beauty of the stars and explained how they revolved around Toril and the sun. So, I gained a great appreciation for them long before I ever saw them with my own eyes from the Forest of Mir."

   "I, too, never saw stars as a girl. Sigil has no stars, nor a sun nor a moon. The same is true of the Outlands. It was not until we exited the Astral Plane and entered the wildspace of the Prime that I first gazed upon them. Their beauty left me speechless. I only had a few minutes to take in their beauty, for we entered the clouds of Coliar after that, and, as you know, the sky of Coliar is only white, gray, or black." She sighed. "They are wonderful to me."

   Szordrin let her enjoy the view but remained by her side. Shortly, sunlight burst around Toril's orb, and the stars faded. Szordrin asked her a question. "Now that you are coming with us, what do you hope to gain from this journey?"

   "I am hoping to scan who I really am and who Pistis Sophia wants me to be. Maybe it is woven into your story; maybe it is not. It is too early to say."

   "Do you have any idea how long you wish to travel with us?"

   "As long as you will have me or until it is clear where I am supposed to go next." She paused. "Tumble to this, I have literally given up everything that I own in life to follow Pistis Sophia. It is just me and my mug." She held it up for him and smiled. "That is all."

   They were descending now rapidly and burst through the clouds. Sofi's red eyes widened with excitement upon seeing the blue ocean for the first time. "Is that water?"

   "It is," said Szordrin.

   She giggled with glee.

   Szordrin said, "I heard about the incident with you and Brad. Your response was fully justified and should keep him from bothering you again."

   "Is he that way with most women?"

   "They are all like that, these sailors," said Szordrin.

~~~~

To the crew of the Frihet, as well as Oma, Jayce, and Hakam, the island of Suj was a familiar place, but for the remaining adventurers, a visit to Lantan was anticipated with interest. What strange, gnome-filled, remote island produced such bizarre clockwork toys as the ones that they had been selling on the Rock of Bral? They, of course, had been told a little about the place, but it was always different to experience a new land with one's own eyes.

   The fact that they were able to visit at all was mainly because of Jayce and Captain Ombert. When Hakam had visited the island, he had done so under cover of darkness and took his rowboat to shore distant from the actual port. Lantan was known to have a fear of visitors and, in fact, surrounded their entire island nation with smokepowder sea mines. Too many people would want to steal their advanced technology, the natives thought, after having visited. (In truth, most of the people of Faerûn found the Lantanese too strange to want to conquer their island.) Ombert and Jayce had convinced the right people to grant them access to Dtakkar, one of the port towns of Suj, the smaller of Lantan's two main islands. They had landed the spelljammer within the mile radius of the island, safe from the floating bombs, and now flew an official merchant flag allowing them to sail into the port.

   Lantan was a tropical island nation, built on what once were volcanic islands. The low mountains could be seen in the east, but they were approaching a flatter peninsula. Everywhere they looked was covered with jungle, but unlike Chult or Coliar, a constant cloud of steam was rising from several places, a sign of civilization and, more specifically, of the toy factories for which Dtakkar in particular was known.

   The port was not a large one, as Dtakkar was not a large town. In fact, there was only a single dock. Some sort of obnoxious gnomish contraption rose from the water and acted as a crane to offload shipping goods onto a wooden platform with a ramp higher up to the town itself. The ramp, they soon realized, was a moving one; the planks were attached to a belt, which was pulled by gears. A single other ship was in port when they arrived. Bansh noted that this ship was lanteen-rigged. It had a single triangular sail that was maroon-colored. They observed the crane unloading the boat and then watched the moving ramp carry crates from the dock up to the aerial town.

   Dtakkar, like most settlements of Lantan was built some fifteen feet above the ground on metal stilts and platforms. Homes with little turreted towers were the primary form of architecture here, and they were connected by an inter-web of wooden boardwalks and bridges spanning from one structure to another. They did not see many people about, but the evidence of the bustling population was heard in the sound of clanking metal, sounding horns, whistling pipes, and grinding gears. Those they did see seemed to dress in loose robes. Men and women each wore wide rimmed hats to keep the sun out of their eyes, and they seemed to favor the color yellow, as a good six in ten persons had the color somewhere on their clothing.

   They docked, and a small group of them disembarked. Jayce remembered exactly where to lead them. They soon found themselves at the front door of a small house but one still large enough to have its own little corner turret with pointed metal roof, painted red, which reminded some of them of the pointed hats that gnomes often wore. (Given the high population of gnomes here, they wondered if this connection was intended. Jayce had also always wondered if the gnomes wore the hats so as not to be run over by the taller humans.)

   Before knocking, Szordrin prepared himself with magic to read minds.

   After knocking, they waited a minute before the door opened. "Who are you?" asked the man, in Lantanna. Only Szordin, Solisar, and Jayce understood the words, but the meaning was clear enough to everyone. It was not a friendly question. The man who asked it had probably seen six or seven decades. His hair was thin and white. He had a mustache and was probably handsome in his youth.

   "We were hoping that we could speak with the lady Avilda," said Jayce, whom they had requested to do most of the talking for them. He spoke in his native language to the man.

   "What do ye want with my wife?" asked the man in strongly accented Common, once he saw that the group included so many foreigners. Then he recognized Jayce. "I know who you are! You are that man who did my wife hassle several months ago about her ex-husband. You talked with her enough. She does not want remember him anymore. Leave us alone." He began to close the door. Szordrin knew that the man's thoughts mirrored his spoken words. When are these people going to leave my poor wife alone? She does not want to remember that jerk. This is rude. What business do they have bothering our peace.

   "This is not about your wife;" said Hakam, "it is about Yunoko."

   The man stared at the short, dusky-skinned man in banded armor and a tunic, and appeared exceptionally confused. "I do not know what 'yunoko' is!"

   "Good sir," Jayce began in the Lantanese tongue, "I recognize how socially inappropriate it is for us to return again. You are a good husband, wanting to protect your wife, and I respect that. If you wish us to leave, we will agree to your wishes, but please hear me for just thirty more seconds of your time. As you know, her ex-husband was not just a bad husband, he was a disturbed man. Unfortunately, he has caused harm to more persons than only your wife. His actions could have repercussions that affect happenings on multiple worlds, not only your family. We would not be here if we did not think that the information your wife may hold may be crucial to our ending Samber's destructive and aberrant actions forever. If you permit us ask her but a few questions, I give you my word as a fellow Latanna that we shall never bother you again, and your wife will not only be able to leave Samber forever in the past but also know that she helped protect Faerûn from potential great harm."

   The man paused and thought. Well, there is no doubt that he is a true Lantanna; I can take him at his word. He is not lying to me; he will leave us alone after this. Maybe if five more minutes with my wife will save the world.... He spoke again in Common. "If she will agree to it, ye may ask us both your questions, but ye take longer than five minutes or ye cause her a tear shed, I will toss through the window your skinny body."

   Jayce was not a particularly heavy human, to say the least; he was built like a pole. Nevertheless, Avilda's husband was even thinner. Even so, the man's tone sounded like he literally intended to attempt to throw Jayce if they tarried to long, and Szordrin knew that he was visualizing doing so in his mind's eye as he made the threat.

   "Play?" asked Kytharrah, but he was quickly quieted by the others.

   "As soon as she is ready," said Jayce, "we will get right to our questions. Shall we stand here?"

   "I shall get her." The man closed the door on them.

   Szordrin whispered some words to Ferry while the man was retrieving his wife, and Ferry nodded.

   When the door opened again, despite having been warned in advanced by their bard, they were still all taken aback. The woman before them, except for her pale skin and white hair, looked like Ilthian's older sibling.

   Kytharrah might have been confused by this, except that she smelled nothing like Ilthian. (In fact, he had noticed before that Ilthian had no smell at all.)

   Avilda looked nervous, particularly upon seeing a minotaur. She clung to her husband. Kytharrah gave her the friendliest puppy look that he could.

   "Do not fear him," said Jayce. "He is harmless, like a pet dog really."

   "He is like a young child," said Sofi. "I assure you that he is safe." Sofi stroked the fur on his bulky arm to demonstrate.

   "I thought that I answered you your questions already," said Avilda in a very thick Lantanese accent. "What more do ye want?"

   "We have further questions," said Hakam, "not about Samber but about a woman we believe that you knew as well, Yunoko."

   Szordrin felt what might be described as a mental sigh coming from the Lantanese woman's mind, as if it were exhausting to think back on old memories. He saw flashing through her mind the blurry images of men and women dressed in their fanciest clothing, smiling, dancing, and eating at what he soon realized was a wedding. A woman in a beautiful white kimono approached Avilda in her memory.

   "I was not actually friends with Yunoko," said Avilda. "She was a friendly enough lass, but I only her met twice, first be at her wedding, second be at mine."

   "Can you tell us anything about the manner of her death?" asked Hakam, wasting no time.

   "I only knew that she had died because I heard it from my ex-husband. He received a letter. We were told that there would be no funeral."

   "Why not?" asked Szordrin.

   "Samber never went into details, but Onran said that there could not be a funeral."

   "Did you know Master... Onran well?" asked Szordrin.

   "Like Yunoko, I did not know well him. I met him a few more times than Yunoko, as he was my ex-husband's best childhood friend. As far as I know, he moved away from Lantan with his gnomish family as a young ladd. Occasionally, he would come back and Samber visit. We went to their wedding; they came to ours. Samber and he corresponded frequently, but I did not know well him. He seemed a nice enough ladd, but I thought that my husband be nice at the time as well."

   "Do you recall whom she spoke to the most at her wedding?" asked Hakam.

   "I know not how that answer," said Avilda. "Yunoko was half-Wanese, half-Cormyrean. Her father's family was there, dressed in Cormyrean garb. Her mother's family was dressed in those Wanese robes that they all wear." Szordin caught glimpses of the scene in her mind as she spoke.

   "Do you know how they met, Onran and Yunoko?" asked Szordrin.

   She shook her head.

   "Do you know anyone else to whom we could speak who knew either Onran or Yunoko?" asked Solisar. "Anyone whom you met at the wedding?"

   "We were the only Lantanna at their wedding," said Avilda. "I spoke with Yunoko for long at the wedding. She was very easy talk with, and I no one else knew. She was a very kind woman and was friendly to me because so out of place I was." Again, Szordrin saw the briefest images of Yunoko as she spoke to Avilda at the wedding, and he felt strong emotions of not belonging among the rich nobles.

   "Where was their wedding?" asked Hakam.

   "It was in Suzail, in Cormyr," she said.

   "Do you know where they lived?" asked Hakam.

   "They lived in Wa," she said.

   "Do you know if they had any vacation homes?"

   "I do not know where they a vacation home built themselves, but when the second time I met her, says she, how much she loved her honeymoon. Says she, they spent most of it swimming naked and free together and alone on some other world. I did not know what she was saying; I just had a smile on me and my head nodded. Says she, the place was beautiful, full of water, clear as glass."

   "Can you provide any more specifics about either their wedding venue or their home in Wa?"

   "I at their home in Wa never be, but the wedding was at a fancy place, some place official like. There was a black, dragon-shaped throne in the back of the room, with many tapestries."

   Avilda's husband finally interjected. "Ye promised five minutes. It has been that long. The time is up. Leave us be now."

   "I thank you kindly for your information," said Solisar.

   The man and woman returned into their home and left the adventurers outside.

   "I think that we need to visit Cormyr next," suggested Hakam. "That seems to be where most of the remaining threads lie."

~~~~


With Oma at the helm, the Frihet rose from the waters around Lantan and took to the sky. Solisar had her take the ship clear into orbit. There were not many clouds in the sky this day, and he hoped that they would be able to spot the Sea of Falling Stars, upon which borders the nation of Cormyr rested, from wildspace, thus avoiding any danger posed by the raging dragons. At spelljamming speeds, they should be able to place themselves over the waters in nearly no time at all; however, it would be two hours later in the day at that latitude, and it would take some time to both ascend and descend.

   As they climbed higher and higher in elevation, Hakam readied a spell to complete one further task, communication with Chief Grak, or "Captain Stubs". Since Samber had taken back Ilthian and also apparently stolen the sea charts from Ombert before that, they feared that Samber might also try to take his sailing vessel back from the goblinoids who had used it to escape his island.

   "Remember us? We saved you from the bone devil. We are looking to return to the island. Could you tell us how to navigate back?"

   Hakam waited for a few moments and then heard the gruff voice of Captain Grak in his mind. "Ahoy! This be Cap'n Stubs! Still no arms or legs, but otherwise alive! In the Nelanther now. Maybe I can help. Goonya begs me thank...."

   Hakam asked Jayce what "in the Nelanther" would mean.

   "The Nelanther Islands," answered the bard, "pirate islands and uninhabited desert isles. Hundreds of them. Most do not even have potable water. We shall be flying directly over them on the way to Cormyr, though I am sure we will not be able to spot them from as high as we will be. They are non-human, non-demihuman humanoids mostly. Not the sort of place good folk would want to visit. Great place to hide though!"

   "Should we stop there on the way then?" asked Leokas.

   "We are not ready to stop Samber directly," said Solisar, "so I see no need to learn this information now."

   "I agree," said Hakam, "but having the knowledge in hand may be better, if he is seeking out his missing vessel."

   He paused and then spoke again. "However, we do not know on which of the hundred islands Grak resides, and I do not have the magic of another sending ready for this day. It shall have to wait."

   They passed out of the gravity well of Toril and felt the usual mild jolt. Ombert gave the order to jump, and the magic of spelljamming launched them hundreds of miles to the northeast in seconds. In 40 minutes, they would splash down in the Sea of Fallen Stars and begin sailing to the great Kingdom of Cormyr.
Session: 120th Game Session - Monday, Aug 31 2020 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Tags: Chapter 3 , Lantan , Recap
Pointer-left Investigator__male_2_thumb
Lhynard
Posted by the GM
Per Multiversum
Chapter 3 — The Shou Embassy of Bral
~ sixth-day, 16th of Flamerule, the Year of Rogue Dragons, 6 bells
Middle City, Bral


The ship bell rang six times, and Belvin snapped out of his trance. Jayce and Oma had learned to roll the ship as they traveled through wildspace at spelljamming speeds, to simulate the day cycle by using the ship's keel to block the sunlight and keep them in shadow at "night". With the sixth bell, the bard rolled the ship clockwise, so that the sun appeared now on the starboard side. Belvin did not need this gesture as much as the humans on board. Hearing the bell from within his spiritual visit to the Feywild was enough for him to come to full consciousness. As they were back to a 24-hour schedule, it was time for his prayers to Thar Harr.

   He was snuggled, of course, against his camel, who was sleeping in the small pen at the center of the main deck behind the mainmast, next to Leokas' horse, Cloud. He looked about as he stood up and stretched. The halfling boatswain, Niff, was behind him on the aftcastle deck at the wheel. Bansh, the hadozee, Gullbeak, the gnome, and Patrik and Diero, two humans, were manning the decks and sails. The only other person on the deck was Sofi, the monk that they had taken with them from Coliar. She did not seem to sleep as much as the other humans, though he knew that she was not entirely human, not that her curled horns kept that a secret from anyone.

   She heard him stir and turned from where she was standing at the port rail.

   Always inquisitive, she asked him about what happened when elves tranced. His answer was brief, but he explained to her about how it was a way for elves to revisit the memories of past lives.

   "Is it like dreaming?"

   "It is more vivid, more real, than that," he said.

   Not one for long conversations, he turned from her and knelt by his camel to offer prayers in the Druidic tongue.

   She watched him silently but intently, which might have bothered some, but Belvin felt no such discomfort and ignored her until his prayers were finished. He rose to his feet again, as he felt the divine power of nature fill his person.

   Sofi had talked with Hakam for many hours about Anachtyr and the faith of that church, but she had not yet queried Belvin about his deity.

   "Why do you worship a dwarven god?" she asked rather bluntly.

   Ilthian, the woman created by Samber, had also asked many questions, but while both women were curious, Ilthian was far more naive, and Belvin was beginning to sense that Sofi's questions were less about the topic at hand and more about the person to whom she was asking the question.

   It was a question that Belvin had been asked many times since he had chosen to follow the strange dwarven god, rejecting the patronage of Rillifane Rallathil the Leaflord, the god most often worshiped by his forest kin.

   He gave the same sort of answer that he always gave. "It just happened," he said, and then he turned his attention to grooming Kamil.

   She wandered off to watch the sailors and began a conversation with Bansh about the gods of his people.

~~~~

The 150-million-mile journey ended at the second ringing of twelve bells. It was now the 17th of Flamerule. Summer on Toril was nearly half over.

   The journey back was mostly without incident, with one notable exception. The men of the ship were at first delighted to have another woman on board. Sofi had been spending a lot of time with Jayce, listening to his stories and songs, and laughing at them along with the sailors. One of the sailors, Brad, drastically misinterpreted one of her laughs as a sign of romantic interest and foolishly thought this would warrant permission to give her backside a playful squeeze. She almost broke his arm. (Kytharrah was impressed and fascinated by how lightning fast she had grabbed Brad's arm!) That was the last time that any of the sailors tried flirting with her.

   Oma was at the helm this time when the ship came in to the asteroid city, and she guided the vessel into position without any difficulty.

   The Bral docks were just as busy at night as they were during the day. The population of nocturnal creatures living in the Low City was high enough that businesses in that district never closed. Nevertheless, the bodies of most of the adventurers were still struggling from the switch from 30-hour days to 24-hour days, and many wanted to find inns or other boarding to sleep off the jammlag in an actual bed instead of a hammock. (On the Frihet, only Captain Ombert and first mate Loreene had beds.) They agreed to meet at a tavern in the Middle City at nine bells and went their separate ways. Hakam went to stay at the Pantheist Temple of Tyr, while most of the others went to find an inn. Sofi, however, asked to stay on board the Frihet. She did not have money to spend on a room, nor did she think it fitting to sleep in a bed, when the spot on the hardwood floor in Loreene and Oma's room was more than enough for her needs.

   The morning came, and the adventurers sat at a table in the tavern and made plans for the day. The first goal was to sell the metal eggs that they had recovered after the fight with the so-called marauders in the gem mine.

   They went about the town asking around. It took Jayce two hours to find someone, a rare animal keeper, who knew exactly what the eggs were, lonestone marauders. However, he informed the bard that no one sold large animals on the Rock, because there was little space to keep them, and they ate too much and breathed too much of the precious air. Thus, the keeper was not interested in purchasing them.

   However, the man did suggest that they try at the Lesser Market. They all were very familiar with the Great Market. It was where the shop of the Count of Tethyr, Gamalon, was located, and they had already purchased things there in the past. The Office of the Middle Magistrate was there, which Hakam had also visited. The Lesser Market, in contrast, was Bral's alternative market. More honestly said, it was the center of Bral's illegal trade.

   "What do you think about selling these at the Lesser Market," Jayce asked Hakam.

   "The operation of the market itself is not illegal, is it?" Hakam replied. "If we are to sell legally acquired goods there, which we have, then we are guilty of no crime. These are living items; we should be rid of them as quickly as possible."

   So, Jayce, Oma, Hakam, and Szordrin headed down into the Low City to try and off the eggs onto someone. It took another couple hours of walking about the crowded plaza calling out that they had rare, valuable eggs, before they found someone who indeed was very interested. It was a gnomish fellow, with wild hair and eyebrows and his long beard split into two separate spikes. He was willing to pay 1,600 gold pieces per egg. Szordrin and Jayce were convinced that one could make as much as 4,000 per egg. They were able to talk the gnome up to 2,400 but no further. Hakam was eager to get rid of them, so they accepted this final offer.

   Back at the tavern, over a late lunch. Jayce sat down and calculated everyone's share of the cash. He handed a platinum trade bar and five gold trade bars to everyone involved in the battle against the marauders, except for Oma, who received half that amount.

   "I have never seen so much money in my life!" exclaimed Sofi.

   "Why do Sofi and Nargroth receive a full share and I only receive a half share?" asked Oma.

   "It is in your contract," said Jayce, "and Nargroth and Sofi do not have contracts."

   "I can share some of mine with you, Oma," said Nargroth.

   "So, having a contract is worse than not having one," said Oma, ignoring or not hearing the offer. "How is that fair?"

   "Both Nargroth and Sofi have more skill at adventuring than you," said Jayce.

   "Did Nargroth or Sofi, oh, I do not know, say, summon undead ogres from another planet in Realmspace through another plane of existence and compel them to fight for us? And I have been adventuring for almost a year now; Sofi has had exactly two battles with us! Please feel no offense, Sofi."

   "No, you are correct," answered Sofi. She then spoke to Jayce. "If Oma gets only half a share, than I only get half a share. Redistribute it." She slid her trade bars back across the table.

   While Jayce did so, Szordrin discovered that someone in the Lesser Market must have pickpocketed him; he was short nine gold pieces. (Szordrin was simultaneously embarrassed and in awe at this ordeal, but nine gold was not a great loss at this point in his adventuring career.)

~~~~

After lunch, some of them went shopping. The casters purchased spell components for their new spells or prayers. In particular, Hakam acquired a set of platinum rings, which he explained could be used to protect others in the party with divine protection if he so prayed over them. Szordrin acquired some pearls with which to identify some of their recently acquired magical goods, particularly the unknown potions.

   In the meantime, Jayce went on an errand to find out if anyone on the Rock might remember the young Samber and Onran when they had visited some number of decades ago. He was gone for three hours. When he returned, he had a huge grin on his face. "I am the greatest," he said. "I found us someone who met 'Ronan and Ramseb'."

   After he sat down, Jayce happily explained how he had found the information. "I suspected that if I was to learn about two wizards who visited the Rock when younger, I would need to talk to someone who both has lived on the Rock for a long time and has interacted with wizards.

   "The first name that I came up with was Gamalon, but as you know, he has retired from keeping shop and gone on to become a count of Tethyr. However, his shop is still here, of course, on the starboard side of the Great Market. So, I talked to the new shopkeeper that Count Gamalon had hired to run the place in his absence.

   "I learned that Gamalon moved to the Rock in the Year of the Striking Falcon, which was 40 years ago. He left the Rock to move back to Tethyr during the Reclamation Wars about six years ago. Samber and Onran definitely would have come to the Rock in that time. Apparently, Gamalon was an adventurer on Toril before he came to the Rock, and one of his adventuring companions was a dwarf named Gyudd. Gyudd also came to the Rock and opened a shop, Cap'n Gyudd's, over on the border of the Dwarven District on the leading edge. The two used to send potential customers to each other. Cap'n Gyudd still lives here, so that was where I headed next.

   "Before I entered the shop, I asked around a bit about Gyudd himself to see if I could learn how I might get on his good side. I learned from the local dwarven bars that Gyudd was known to love beer more than women and that he smoked a great deal of tobacco, despite smoking being illegal here. I simply entered his store with my pipe out and asked for recommendations on some pipe weed and got him talking. I said that I would buy him a beer to thank him, and so we walked across the street to his favorite pub, and I got him talking.

   "The Cap'n had an ivory peg leg and hair that matched. He told me some wonderful stories of his days as an adventurer — clearly exaggerations — and his true feelings about tourists. When it was clear that he had a superb memory for an elderly dwarf, I asked him about Ronan and Rembas and described each of the men.

   "'I know just who ya mean,' he said. 'Young depressin' fella with hair the color of a carrot an' a friendly chap with golden eyes an' silver hair, probably one o' those angel-descended folk. I can't tell ya humans' ages well, but they looked barely men. That was in the Year o' the Behir. I remember because it was the same year that Clan Battlehammer saved a town in Icewind Dale on Toril, an' I had a young cousin who fought in the battle against the goblins.'

   "The Year of the Behir was 1342 in the Dalereckoning," Jayce said. Then he returned to Cap'n Gyudd's story. "'They came into Ol' Gemhead's shop one day, while I was sharing a beer at close o' day with me friend. We were talkin' about happenin's down on Toril. The silver-haired one explained that his parents had frequented Gemhead's shop when he was a boy, and he wondered if Gemhead sold anythin' useful for planewalkin'. Old Gemhead says, "Nay, but ya might want to visit the Interlink Consortium o'er on the port side, as they sell just those sorts o' things ya might need." That's all I remember. I'm not sure that their names were whatever ya just said, but they both started with the same letter; I remember that much.'"

   "Gyudd said that you were welcome to come ask him more questions, but he really did not think he had anything more to add."

   "So," said Hakam, "we have a year and a place."

   It was getting late in the day, being about five bells in the afternoon, and they had one more place that they wanted to visit for information, an embassy of Wa. They had certainly seen some people on Bral that they suspected to be Wanese, but as all of them were from the western side of Toril (or below the surface), none was particularly good at telling anyone from Kara-Tur apart. After asking around, they learned that Wa had no embassy on Bral. Nevertheless, they decided to visit instead the Shou Embassy, hoping to learn something about Wa through its neighbor, the Empire of Shou Lung.

   They had passed the Shou Embassy many times during their time on Bral. It was the impressive building with the lung dragon and bronze foo lion sculptures on Dock Street next to the colored archway to Shou-Town. Hakam, Jayce, Szordrin, and Solisar took this errand and approached the guards wearing horned helmets and red, distorted demon masks.

   The guards did not even acknowledge the visitors; they stood as still as statues.

   "Are we permitted to enter," Hakam asked them, "or must we make an appointment."

   There was no response.

   Szordrin, by means of his language magic, repeated Hakam's question in High Shou. There was still no response. He wished that he had prepared the ability to detect thoughts that morning.

   The main door to the embassy, an ornate wooded gateway, was wide open, so Hakam carefully passed the guards. They did not respond, so he kept on up the steps and the others followed him.

   The interior of the building was beautiful. The floors were wood-paneled, with different colors of wood and fancy designs in the corners. Even the simplest elements of the construction were artistically done.

   A woman was standing in the hallway. She had jet black hair piled high on her head and supported with pins. She was dressed in a narrow dress of bright-colored silks. The skirt nearly brushed the floor and had two slits running up to her hips. The tight bodice had a high collar. The dress was embroidered with golden thread in the shapes of dragons. On her feet were a pair of white slippers.

   "Welcome to the Embassy of Kai Tsao Shou Chin to the City of Bral," she said. Her utterance was monosyllabic but otherwise crisp, perfect Common. She gave a slight bow with her hands together. "How may we be of assistance?"

   Hakam said, "We have some questions about events that may have occurred in the Wa empire, and we were hoping that your embassy might be able to help us to learn more about them."

   "Would you be so kind to follow me?" said the woman. "I shall have tea brought for you while I summon one of the clerks of Lord Chan Fu Wi of the Ministry of State. He may be able to answer your questions."

   She led them to a small room through a red door frame with no door. There were ornate chairs and side tables made of multiple colors of wood. Movable, folding screens divided up the room into smaller segments. These wooden screen panels were decorated with images of flowers and trees.

   A tray with assorted teas was brought out for them by another woman wearing a similar form-fitting dress but in less vivid colors. It was set on one of the side tables. The teas were delightful to sample.

   Shortly, a man came in wearing a long tunic reaching almost to the floor. Like the woman's dress, it was made from silk. It had buttons from the floor all the way up to the high collar. This person also wore slippers.

   The man spoke with flawless Common. "I greet you. My name is Kuang Ch'ung, Minor Clerk of Lord Chan Fu Wi of the Ministry of State of the Empire of Shou Lung. How may I be of service?"

   Hakam repeated his earlier request. "We have some questions about events that may have occurred in the empire of Wa. We hope to hear your perspective or that you can point us to people who might tell us more."

   "I shall help in the best way that I can," said Ch'ung. "Do you have any specific questions?"

   "Our particular question regards the assassination of one Emperor Goshukara Kando. We have learned evidence that he may have been an imposter, a fiend taking human form, a rakshasa. Do your people know anything of this?"

   Ch'ung nodded. "It is true that emperors are sometimes assassinated. The most recent assassination in Wa, I believe, occurred nearly a century ago. I do not know the details of it, however. You must understand that the modern emperors in Wa are very weak. The true power in Wa lies in the hands of the shoguns, the military commanders. The emperor is only a puppet to the shogun. It has been this way for centuries."

   "Is the current emperor descended from this Goshukara Kando?" asked Hakam.

   "Presumably. The imperial line is kept mostly as a symbol of earlier times. The nation of Wa has only had one 'ruling' dynasty since the the 833rd year of our calendar, which was almost 2,000 years ago."

   "Dynasties can have branches, can they not?" asked Hakam.

   "True," said the clerk, "but I do not know the details well enough to give you the complete genealogy from Kando. It is also news to my ears and to the ears of Shou Lung that Kando may have been an imposter, as you say."

   After a slight pause, Ch'ung also said, "You should know, Wa and Shou Lung have a tenuous relationship. In centuries past there was open warfare. For a time, the Emperor of Shou Lung even controlled the island of Wa. It was not until the 12th Emperor Chin of the Kao Dynasty declared the Unleashing of Shackles that Wa was granted permission to exist as an independent state. This was over a thousand years ago, yet memories go deep. At that time, the emperor of Wa did have real power. It was in the last two or three centuries that Wa's shogunate rose to power."

   He continued. "Wa is an isolationist nation. They do have open ports with Shou Lung and even a community of Shou living in the city of Nakamaru in the north of the island, but they are still very cautious in letting the outside world know about what happens on their islands."

   "Are rakshasa common in the stories of your people?" asked Szordrin. "Or have they or any other fiends been known to try to infiltrate the government in your histories?"

   "'Rakshasa' is a Nubari word from the Malatran peninsula, a jungle land separate from either Kara-Tur or Faerûn. The rakshasa, while we know of their existence, do not play into many of the tales of Shou Lung. I am not an expert in Wa history, but I have not heard of rakshasa in any tales of Wa either. Nevertheless, Kara-Tur is a realm where the spirit world and the natural world are in close contact. To those of you from the western parts of Toril, it can be very odd coming to Kara-Tur, where the spirits can and do walk the earth as they please. It would not be hard to believe that a maleficent spirit, such as a rakshasa, would try to corrupt the mortal bureaucracy established by the Celestial Emperor. It is believed by most that the line of an emperor is a divine line.

   "I shall also note: honor is very important to my own people, so it should not be taken lightly when I describe Wa as a rigid honor-based culture. It would be very bothersome, to say the least, to the average Wanese citizen to learn that there had been an imposter in the divine line, even though their emperor does not truly rule. The emperor is still a symbol of pride and honor for the people."

   "Where could we find a Wa embassy?" asked Hakam. "And would they report to the shogun or to the emperor?"

   "They would report to the emperor in name but to the shogun in practice," said Ch'ung. "However, I do not know that they have any embassies in any lands. Again, they are isolationists and wary of any foreign presence."

   "You mentioned a port open to Shou traders," queried Hakam.

   "They are open to trade, but only at a few ports and to a limited number of nations, such as Shou Lung and T'u Lung — and only since Shou Year 2589, thanks to our Eighth Emperor Kai Chin. They will only permit trade with nations to whom they have offered an invitation."

   "Are there any large communities of Wanese people living in Shou Lung lands or elsewhere?" asked Hakam.

   "The Shou Lung province of Wa K'an, or, in your tongue, the Land that Views Wa, contains a people known as the Waka. Some of these people have mixed blood with the Wanese. Most are descendants of Shou who lived in Wa during our nation's occupation of that land. When our countries made peace, those Shou were allowed to return home to Shou Lung, and many settled in Wa K'an. Additionally, some Wa nobles in exile from Wa have fled there, though not in large numbers."

   "Have you ever heard of the organization known as the Harpers operating in either Shou Lung or Wa?" asked Hakam.

   "If you speak of the Harpers of your wizard Elminster, I have no such knowledge. In my understanding, that powerful wizard cares only of the affairs of Faerûn and does not venture into the lands of Kara-Tur with any frequency."

   The group of four adventurers looked at each other to see if they had anything else to ask among them. Kuang Ch'ung volunteered the following: "I had said that relations between Shou Lung and Wa were tenuous. I shall note that this is especially true here in wildspace. Wa is jealous of the power of our Imperial Spacefleet, and they have attempted to built a fleet of their own vessels to challenge our power in wildspace.

   "We believe — though it is not proven — that the Arcane have helped them to develop two vessels, about a decade ago, which they call the tsunami and the locust. The tsunami is a massive vessel, the largest vessel in all of Realmspace. It is like a segmented lung, a dragon, built of metal. It carries at least twenty smaller vessels, the locusts, with which they can swarm and overcome their foes in wildspace. We do not know the exact number, but Wa possesses at least three of these enormous spelljammers. As of yet, they have not spread far from the orbit of the Tears.

   "Our dragonships occassionally have come into conflict with their tsunamis. They are known even to have captured some of our vessels. Additionally, the Elven Navy has had a few wildspace battles with Wa. Neither of our peoples are officially at war with Wa, but relations are tense."

   Ch'ung looked directly at Solisar as he spoke these last details. Solisar nodded.

   As a show of good faith, Hakam showed one of Yunoko's letters to the clerk, in case he wanted to pass on the information about the imposter emperor to the ambassador. Kuang Ch'ung seemed very intrigued and thankful for this. The only thing further that he could add after reading it, however, was that the letter was signed in genuine Wanese calligraphy. "It is the character for 'love'," he said.

   As they departed the embassy, Hakam noted to this companions, "I suspect that we will have to journey to Cormyr to follow these leads further."

   "Do we have anything more to do here on the Rock?" asked Jayce.

   "I do not wish to tarry," said Szordrin. "Let us return to Toril and talk with Avilda. Then, we should seek out what we can in the Kingdom of Cormyr."

   "I shall return to Ombert then and tell him that we shall be ready to depart in the morning," said the bard.

~~~~

On the way back to the Pantheist Temple of Tyr, Hakam stopped at the northern end of the Great Market, outside the shop named Gamalon's Curios. He knelt at the largest cobblestone just outside the main door, placed his hands on the rock surface, and prayed to his god for ten minutes, ignoring the merchants and pedestrians on their way home who looked at him with confusion.

   Suddenly, Hakam spoke to the stone, "Tell me which wizards have walked upon you."

   Instantly, a flood of visions passed through Hakam's mind in rapid succession until they paused around the image of two younger men. The first was a younger version of the red-headed wizard who had exiled them nearly a year ago. The second was a silver-haired, bearded man. The man's hair style was quite similar to that of Szordrin, but the faces were very different; Onran's was much rounder in the cheeks. His eyes stood out, being of a golden color, almost glowing. Samber carried a staff and wore about his neck a silver cog with four spokes. Onran was wearing a pair of red leather boots, presumably the same as that pair that Leokas now wore.

   (He also became aware of the existence of a treasure vault deep below Gamalon's shop, but he had no interest in robbing Gamalon!)

   That night, Hakam also took incense that he had purchased and entered one of the tiny prayer rooms within the temple. Within the small, square chamber, he lit the blue, purple, and white candles and filled and lit the censor that hung suspended by a chain from the ceiling. Thick incense filled the tiny room. He knelt at the altar, a miniature stone warhammer and a functioning balance, and placed his offering of gold coins upon one of the scales. The balance tilted, of course, since the other tray was empty. Hakam began to recite a long and complicated prayer. When he finished it, he began again. On the 20th such repetition, the scale suddenly defied gravity and balanced.

   "How can I learn more about the god represented by the chameleon in Yashiera's vision?" he asked Anachtyr.

   Perhaps one of the other elves knows more about elven history, lore, and legend than the wild one.

   The voice in his head was not his own. When it had finished its brief message, the balance tilted again and the candles were suddenly snuffed out.
Session: 120th Game Session - Monday, Aug 31 2020 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Lhynard
Posted by the GM
Per Multiversum
Chapter 2 — Legal Matters
to be written...
Session: 119th Game Session - Monday, Aug 17 2020 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Lhynard
Posted by the GM
Per Multiversum
Chapter 2 — Marauders
to be written...
Session: 119th Game Session - Monday, Aug 17 2020 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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Lhynard
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Per Multiversum
Chapter 2 — Ropers
Kytharrah rounded a particularly large cluster of crystal growth and spotted motion from the corner of his left eye. It seemed like one of the stalagmites to the north had moved. He gripped the dark leucrotta bone in his fist, ready for if it moved again.

   Suddenly, something shot out at Kytharrah, explosively launching from the stalagmite, like a frog launching its tongue at a fly. It looked like thick, fleshy rope. In the brief instant, Kytharrah was reminded of his little sister Cassiera's insides before Hakam had fixed her again. Kytharrah swung a perfectly timed swing and smacked the fleshy rope aside with so much force that it tore apart, splattering mud-like gore. Fleshy fragments plopped onto the ground. The limp end of the "rope", still attached to the stalagmite, began to slowly recede into a hole in the side of the rock.

   Leokas responded immediately, hopping onto a raised stone platform while nocking an arrow. He let it fly, and it struck with enough force to puncture the stony surface of the stalagmite. A second arrow glanced off its shell. A third arrow missed, and the fourth also stuck in.

   "It has a thick hide!" Leokas warned.

   Nargroth roared and leaped recklessly down the stony slope. Landing on his feet, he rushed over the rocky ground toward their strange attacker.

   Oma began summoning, while Szordrin snagged a piece of sap-encased eyelash from his pouch and vanished from sight. Belvin clutched his holly and mistletoe and prayed for wisdom as he moved to a better vantage point, and Jayce began strumming a riveting tune, which immediately filled them all with a surge of courage. Seven illusory copies of Solisar appeared in a cluster around him.

   "I should not have complained about punching plants;" said Sofi, "I know even less about how to fight a rock." Even so, she followed behind Belvin and readied herself in a defensive posture.

   When Nargroth closed within two yards of the living rock formation, it suddenly bowed forward with an unexpected rapidity. The surface stretched apart, revealing a circular, tooth-filled maw. Nargroth dropped low to one knee and slid along the ground with his forward momentum while raising his double axe in defense. He yelled out in pain as many stalactite like teeth burst through the chain armor about his forearm and punctured his skin. "Kumash damun, dukhal!" he cursed in his mother's tongue.

   The stalagmite sprang back upright and stared at its attackers with an enormous single eyeball. Then, three more appendages blasted forth from it like a frog's tongue. This time, two of them flew out toward Belvin and the third toward Kytharrah again. One missed Belvin, but the other two fleshy ropes wrapped quickly around their targets' waists, like snakes, and began to constrict. The fleshy rope made contact with Belvin's skin, and he felt a strange sensation, which reminded him of a past time when he had been stung by a bee and began to feel its venom. He felt the muscles throughout his body begin to weaken.

   Kytharrah swung down the leucrotta bone and once again splattered the tentacles apart, first freeing Belvin and then himself. Once severed from their connection to the stalagmite, the "rope" around each of them loosened and fell off. What was left of them began to retract back to their source.

   Hakam called upon Anachtyr for protection and an immense wall of whirling swords appeared instantly between the monster and the party, a new power he had never evoked before. The wall of blades stretched from floor to the ceiling 20 feet above and crossed the full width of the chamber as far as Hakam could see. The blades diced what was left of the retracting rope tentacles into bits, leaving only a yard or so to be pulled back into the holes from which they had launched.

   Leokas paused in his shooting. The barrier of blades made things more challenging, but he concentrated on the rate of the spin of the blades and timed his release. In the next ten seconds four arrows left his bow. Three of them passed by the swords, but the fourth was cut apart. Of the three, two had enough force to puncture the rocky armor of the creature, and one of them dove deep enough through that the stalagmite groaned in pain, opening its circular mouth again.

   "How do you like those arrows, nothokari?" roared Nargroth. "Now taste my axe!" With a whirling flourish, he too timed his swing perfectly to avoid the spin of the floating swords. First, one axe head then the other cut chunks of stone from the monster. It quivered and began to move along the ground away from the swinging.

   "It can move?" exclaimed Sofi. "How?"

   Now a huge skeleton burst into existence, summoned by Oma's spell. It stood upright like a massive bear, yet it had a large beak instead of teeth. It appeared just in front of Kytharrah and shambled forward, swinging through the blade barrier to strike at its foe with its sizable claws, but the swords swung down and cut the skeleton apart. Bone fragments were scattered and thrown in all directions as the wall decimated Oma's summons in but a few seconds.

   Just when Nargroth and Kytharrah uncovered their eyes after shielding them from the scattering bones, there was a massive flash of light followed by the sound of an explosion, as a ball of fire erupted behind the stalagmite. As the wave of fire expanded outward, it moved around the stalagmite without touching it at all, as if some invisible force protected it. Szordrin's fireball did nothing at all to the creature.

   Belvin screamed something in Druidic, and the ground began to rumble. With cracks and grinding sounds, something burst from the ground behind the stalagmite, a giant fist of stone. Then two more near the first emerged. The rock hands opened and grabbed for the stalagmite, and two caught it, wrapping around it and holding it from moving. It writhed around but could not free itself from their grasp, but its dense form could not be crushed, even by the earthen fists. One hand fell away, as the stalagmite jerked about, but the hand of rock simply grabbed a hold again.

   With a magic word, the eyes of the eight duplicate Solisars glowed blue. Then, forty bursts of force shot from their collective palms, rippling through the stale cavern air and pummeling the grappled stalagmite monster.

   Leokas hesitated, as his companions' spell effects appeared one after the other. He did not think he could strike the monster while the stone hands clasped it. Then he saw movement to the right, through the barrier of blades. Two more stone hands broke through the ground and grabbed at another stalagmite, sensing that it too, was living. One grabbed a hold successfully, but with a rapid jerk, the stone monster slithered across the ground to get away from the giant hand, fleeing to the dark corners in the northeast of the chamber.

   "There are two of them!" Leokas called out.

   Sofi saw this too. She rushed to the right, sliding down stone into a "valley" in the cavern, getting closer to the second stalagmite, but pausing and taking cover behind a large central column. With the blade barrier up, there was little she could do but wait.

   The first stalagmite then wriggled free from its prison. Kytharrah had watched Nargroth time his swings. He waited, he waited, and he swung with all his might. The long thigh bone of the leucrotta stuck at just the right spot. With a moan, the creature's hard shell shattered, and it crumbled apart, its softer, mud-like insides spilling out in an oozing mess. Kytharrah pulled back, just as a whirling blade from the wall swung down. It glanced off the thigh bone and knocked it aside, but the edge could not cut the adamantine-like material.

   Hakam moved after Sofi and clutched his holy symbol, calling forth a spiritual sword and hammer together. They appeared on the other side of the blade barrier, in flanking arrangement on each side of the second, slowly fleeing stalagmite. The force sword seemed repelled by an invisible force surrounding the monster and dissipated, but the hammer struck it at its peak and knocked off a small chunk.

   Leokas waited for the second monster to move into his line of sight and released. Arrows plunged into the monster in succession as his companions moved along the rough terrain parallel the blade wall and around the large central column. Jayce's enchanted music continued to spur them on.

   Belvin, however, found that he was too weak to move quickly. His gear felt like it had tripled in weight, but he knew it was the effect of the strange magic in the fleshy rope that had temporarily bound him. "Come back toward me!" he shouted to Kytharrah and Nargroth. "The hands may try to grab you as well if you are too close to the blade wall."

   "I think that there is a third one to the east!" announced Oma. She began another summoning incantation.

   Belvin looked to where Oma had directed and saw movement in yet another stalagmite. "Let us toast this thing!" he screamed, as he pointed his finger. A column of holy fire fell from the ceiling and enveloped the monster. A gritty, earthy growl of pain was heard, and lines of fire appeared in the cracks of its earthen flesh. Smoke came out of body as it writhed about.

   The eight Solisars tossed a bit of mica into the air, and a cloud of glittering gold dust appeared and covered the same monster, allowing the humans in the party to see it in the darkness of the cave. The now sparkling monster shot out its fleshy tentacles, but they were futile attempts, as the gold particles had blinded its single large eye. The flopping, elongated masses began to recede, and the monster slowly slithered back away from them.

   "Shatter!" commanded Hakam, but nothing happened. Though blind, its magical resistance was still defending it from direct magical threats.

   Kytharrah charged ahead of the others with a supernatural burst of speed to reach the blinded stalagmite, and he whacked it hard with his improvised club.

   "Kytharrah, use your magic axe, not the bone!" called out Solisar. "Its magic defenses are too strong."

   "Leokas, I have transformed your arrows!" echoed Szordrin's voice from somewhere in the shadows. "Draw from your side quiver!"

   Leokas nocked an arrow from the quiver on his hip, and the tip of the arrow magically ignited. He began to time the spins of the whirling swords again. He watched the stone hands try to catch the slithering stalagmite and fail. Hakam's divine hammer was also pursuing it. It did not fail, cracking down again on the rocky hide of the magical beast.

   Leokas' target moved behind the central column of the cave before he could get a clear shot. Instead, he jumped to the side to aim at the third stone monster and released the fire arrow. The flaming projectile struck the center of its gold-dust covered eye and disappeared wholly within. The monster wobbled and tumbled over. It rolled a few yards and then was still. Leokas shot it again, just to make sure.

   Nargroth paused in his running. There was no end in sight to the blade barrier, so he could not get to the remaining enemy as it slowly moved to the northeast, with grasping stone hands and a hammer of force behind it. Another owlbear skeleton appeared, but Oma could not cause it to appear beyond the barrier. The brainless creature pursued the stalagmite as well, and was blasted into bits by the spinning swords as the last summons had been. "Hakam, lower the barrier!" shouted Oma. "I am wasting my magic! Nothing can get through!"

   "That is the whole point!" Hakam shouted back. "Summon them on the other side!"

   "I cannot reach that far!"

   "Try another spell for once!" shouted Belvin, as he stumbled weakly toward the others.

   Belvin felt Szordrin's invisible hand touch his shoulder, followed by a surge of new strength in his muscles. He was not at full strength, but at least he could move more than a stagger now.

   Then Solisar moved up to Szordrin, whom he could see with his magic vision, and spoke magic words over him. "Your invisibility will last another minute, my friend," said the sun elf.

   Kytharrah watched Hakam's summoned hammer strike the slowly crawling stalagmite on the other side of the barrier. He moved to try and help, but balked at the spinning blades, snorting in anxious frustration.

   "Kytharrah, use your words," said the Solisars together, coming up beside him. Sofi and Nargroth also stood by, unable to reach the remaining foe either.

   "Swords," said Kytharrah, pointing.

   So, Hakam finally dismissed the wall of swords with a wave of his hand. Minotaur, half-orc, and tiefling rushed forward. Hakam instead went to Belvin and tried to remove any curse that might be upon him, but his full strength did not return.

   Kytharrah, of course, reached the stalagmite first, ahead of Nargroth or Sofi, this time with his axe drawn. He swung. The blade sparked, as it struck against the rock skin of the monster. It made a rumbling moan, was struck by the spiritual hammer, and then punctured by three simultaneous flaming arrows. The creature ignited and burned to death from inside out, leaving an ash-filled stony shell.
Session: 118th Game Session - Monday, Aug 10 2020 from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
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