8 Aslala – 14 Aslala of the year 73
Exhausted from the fight, the party rested in one of the vacant rooms in the ruins. The night was quiet, although a meteor storm, plus the comet and aurora, provided awe-inspiring views.
During the night Emmerick had a strange dream. He now had a family; a toddler daughter and a wife. While working in a garden he was approached by three Thalmun priests, who declared he was to be seized. Resisting, he released a frost spell, and the Thalmun retaliated. He was hit, and attacks were exchanged; a gout of fire missed him, and he heard screams from behind him.
He turned and was horrified by what he saw. His daughter had been hit by the attack. In his rage he unleashed a powerful spell and sucked the life force from the three Thalmun priests, which caused them to wither and die. He rushed to his wife, attempting to comfort her, but she shrank from him in revulsion. She blamed him for the attack and the death of their daughter and forced him to leave.
Shaken by the dream, Emmerick told the others about it, then tried to brush it off. He had never had a family, so his assumption was it was either his mind playing tricks on him or a vision of the future. Jalad Far-Travel reminded Emmerick that due to his illness, she and Akora had not settled on a price for her services; she felt 2 gold was fair for services rendered. Emmerick balked at the price, but Benjamin reminded him that she had been invaluable in the fight, and he acquiesced. The party set out to return to the village of Horga and besides the occasional visible meteor the day was uneventful.
That quiet ended early in the afternoon. As the party crested a rise the sky began brightening, and they saw a large meteor streaking towards them. It impacted as they began fleeing; the fireball from the impact was 22 times the size of the sun, and they were instantly hit by a blast of heat intense enough to burn and blister any exposed skin.
Before the heat had passed they were hit by the ground shaking; it was not powerful enough to knock them from their horses, but was nonetheless disturbing. Heading towards an outcropping, Calissa stole a quick glance at the site of the impact, and saw a shockwave flattening the trees as it headed towards them. The impact was 5 miles away, and the shockwave was already halfway to them.
The party reached the outcropping seconds before the shockwave struck; it was unlike anything anyone in the party had experienced before, with incredibly high winds and loud enough to cause ear pain. The party was barely able to keep control of the animals, with the horses spooked, Biggles trembling against Emmerick, and Cane and the other dogs cowering in fear.
Emmerick in particular had a breakdown; he was convinced the gods were angry at them, disturbed by this kind of retaliation after having killed a necromancer, and couldn’t understand why they were being so vindictive against the party. Calissa attempted to heal the burns but failed, although Benjamin was able to alleviate the pain.
After a while they ventured out to see what had happened; where the meteor struck there was now a huge crater, a little over a mile wide and nearly a quarter mile deep. All of the snow in the area had melted, nearly all the trees had been knocked down and the few still standing had been stripped of their bark and leaves, and all of the trees near the crater were burning. It was devastation on a scale none of them had imagined possible, and rightly disturbed them.
The party eventually ventured towards the crater, aware of the possibility of finding sky iron. The journey was difficult with the downed trees and melted snow having turned most of the ground to mud. By the time they approached the crater most of the fires had dwindled, although the area was still thick with smoke and the smell of burning rock; when they were still a half mile from the crater Sileth spotted a glowing red rock half buried in the muck. He used teleportation to lift it, recognizing it as sky iron. It was not particularly large, but it still weighed about 50 pounds, and its rarity made it incredibly valuable. Sileth decided it was his pet rock and named it Steven. Emmerick asked if he could draw a face on Steven; after consulting with Steven, Sileth relayed that Steven said no. The party continued on, with Benjamin finding an old, excellent campsite for the night.
That night Emmerick dreamt he was with a female wizard and confronted in a town by an old man and a young woman. There was a short discussion where the man and woman warned Emmerick and the female wizard to leave. They also specifically urged Emmerick to reconsider his path; he was on an extremely dangerous one and that revenge, particularly with the methods he was exploring, would destroy him. The woman he was with threatened the two, but she backed down when it looks like the old man was going to act. While the young woman seemed to be a capable threat, it was clear the old man’s reputation preceded him.
The next morning the party continued on, with Steven still floating alongside Sileth, having cooled to the touch overnight. The day was quiet and when they drew close to Horga Sileth wrapped Steven in a bedroll and put it in Benjamin’s cart so as not to draw attention. They first visited the tomb where Akora had been placed in stasis. Benjamin sought out water and elfroot to make him comfortable, and when they found him he had not been disturbed. The candles inside the field were still lit, caught mid-flicker, and the parts of the apples outside the field had decayed some while the parts inside were still fresh. Satisfied that Akora was safe, Sileth dropped the stasis field.
Akora was confused as to why the party had immediately brought him back out of stasis, as for him no time had passed. Pointing out the burns from the meteor impact, Emmerick initially convinced Akora that he had been in stasis for three years while they hunted down Morden. He told Akora about the meteor, and Akora told him it was punishment for the others not worshipping the Silver God. Emmerick also informed Akora that he owed him 2 gold for paying Jalad, as he had not settled on a price with her, and Akora begrudgingly repaid him.
Akora was still in very poor health, and Sileth believed it would take him weeks to recover as he had been nearly completely drained by Morden. Benjamin thought he could brew something that would speed Akora’s recovery, but Sileth told him the damage done was far deeper than anything a potion could help with. It was not simply a matter of damage, but his life energy had been almost completely sapped by the curse. Anything Benjamin could make would make Akora feel better, but would not speed his recovery. They decided Akora would stay in Horga while the others dealt with the ring and Lady Kurral. While traveling there, Cane dunked Biggles into the snow, which elicited a “mangy mutt” comment from Emmerick.
Sileth said he would allow Akora to recover in his house, although he mentally took stock of everything he owned, not trusting the Kandari. They engaged in a discussion over the merits of the Naxos’s overthrowing the Derosi; as a Derosi, Sileth compared it to having spent a huge amount of time for a loved one, only to have a homeless child take a shit on it while on the way to delivering it.
Sileth took Steven to the village’s blacksmith, selling him five pound piece of sky iron for 2 gold; he then gave 1 gold to the local healer to check in on Akora while the party was away. While Bieito was out, presumably beating off to corpses in the village graveyard, the others discussed what to do with the ring. Sileth revealed he had taken and hidden it after the battle with Morden, wary of Bieito getting possession of it. It was extremely powerful and he believed that beyond the base properties of the ring that it had either a corrupting curse or a malevolent spirit imprisoned in it, rendering it remarkably dangerous to use. He felt the best course of action would be to destroy it however possible, and the others agreed.
Emmerick then mentioned the dreams he had been having; with little to go on, the others assumed they were premonitions, although they were troubled by this news. Emmerick had never shown signs of magical abilities, so to develop them in such a way was unusual. Emmerick did, however, take the opportunity to paint a face on Steven while Sileth was distracted. Benjamin, having been taught druidry by Jalad during the trip, took the opportunity to test his skills and shaped the trees near Sileth’s house to create a treehouse for his dogs to sleep in.
The next morning the party set out for Skara, and their trip was uneventful, taking three days. They arrived in Skara late on the third day, again getting rooms at the Spectrum Creature. After several nights of no memorable dreams, Emmerick had another featuring the same woman. This time the two were discussing defeating the Thalmun and ancient legends. She mentioned a place called Turev having been used to imprison hundreds, if not thousands of demons, and that someone skilled in all schools of magic could unlock it. They would need several specific weapons that were used to lock the seals to break them, however. The weapons she mentioned were:
In the morning Emmerick told the others about the dream, and Sileth in particular was very disturbed by the details. He knew of legends surrounding Turev; it was an ancient necropolis in the far south, beyond the Kandari Empire somewhere in the Untamed Lands. If the legends were true and the seals were broken, it would be disastrous on an unimaginable scale.
Emmerick finally came to the realization that the dreams were not his, and that they were Morden’s. The others speculated part of Morden’s consciousness had been contained in the necklace Emmerick had found on his body, was transferred to Emmerick when he touched it, and it was establishing control over him. To test the theory, Emmerick attempted to perform a cantrip, but only succeeded in bursting a blood vessel in his eye. Sileth began questioning him to see if his personality or arcane knowledge had changed; while the personality questions were inconclusive, as both he and Morden were Uthad and disliked the Kandari, the arcane knowledge questions proved Emmerick could answer a few questions he would not have been able to previously. Emmerick asked him whether it would get worse, but he lost track of the following minute and had no memory of Sileth’s response or what else happened.
The party determined that a complex thaumaturgy spell cast by Calissa could expel Morden’s consciousness from Emmerick; it would require her to cast a powerful light spell coupled with inducing flight in evil creatures and granting immunity to necromancy. As it would be a custom, freeform spell it would be even more difficult than usual. With sufficient time and materials the difficulty could be reduced, but casting it would still be a gamble. Calissa and Sileth both contributed 1 gold towards materials, and she began preparing.
While Calissa prepared to cast the spell to free Emmerick, who was experiencing more blackouts, Sileth took Steven to several of the local blacksmiths and sold most of the sky iron, netting 40 gold, a huge sum. He returned when it was time for Calissa to cast the spell; it was exceedingly difficult, but she managed to succeed, and Emmerick was freed of Morden’s influence. He was disappointed, however, that he had not retained any magical abilities. Meanwhile, Bieito was missing, presumably again beating off in a graveyard somewhere.
That evening Sileth visited the Frozen Dryad shop, and while the owner Authulf was displeased at again being disturbed when closing the shop his demeanor changed when Sileth showed him gold. As an alchemist and the closest thing to an artificer in Skara, Sileth believed he might be able to assist in destroying the ring. Authulf examined it, explaining that it would be exceedingly difficult and time consuming; it could be separated into its individual components, but the diamond at the focus of the ring had a corruption curse on it or a spirit trapped inside it. The materials he would need to eliminate that aspect were rare and it would most likely take two weeks for him to be able to obtain them, though in the meantime he could separate the other components of the ring to make it more difficult to reassemble. Sileth agreed, and gave him 5 gold for his time and work, with the understanding that the components not imbued by necromantic forces could be sold as part of the compensation. While Sileth met with Authulf, Benjamin created another treehouse, this time for him and his dogs to sleep in.
Sileth returned to the Spectrum Creature and informed the others of the plans for destroying the ring. Not wanting to wait two weeks but not wanting to leave Authulf unwatched, he hired a messenger to travel to Horga and ask Akora to return to Skara. The rest of the night was quiet, with Emmerick filling in Temba Open-Arms on how the trip had gone, and she was glad to hear about Jalad being an excellent fit for the party.
While drinking, Benjamin and Emmerick both overheard people talking about a group of adventurers having overthrown Idran Mannik in Recco. The group was getting quite a bit of praise, and the party was pleased to be so renowned, until they brought up that it was them and were told that was bullshit. The real group was a bunch of Hoscans in town, who knew all the details and had Mannik’s jewelry to prove it. Benjamin and Emmerick in particular were outraged that others were taking credit for their exploits, and were told the group was staying at the Skanky Vampire tavern near the docks.
The party set out to find and confront this group, and when they found them they recognized Arngrim and the Laughing Brawlers from the road to Skara several weeks earlier. Emmerick confronted him, angry at them taking credit for his party’s work. Arngrim countered that it was a great story, Akora having given them all of the details and some of Mannik’s jewelry, and that it was getting his group free drinks and was a hit with both women and men in Skara. Sileth was amused at the audacity, and while the others were disgruntled they felt it might end up being a blessing in disguise as any of Mannik’s friends would seek out the Brawlers for revenge and would lessen pressure on the party to stay away from Recco.
Body Count: None. Everyone lives! Again!
Baller Moment of the Week: Sileth and Steven, Emmerick painting a face on Steven, Benjamin’s treehouses, and Calissa purging Morden’s consciousness from Emmerick.
Fuckup of the Week: Emmerick’s lack of realization that the dreams were not his own.
Running Body Count: 114 humans, 56 creatures, 76 undead, 1 demon
GM note: the meteor impact was a 50 meter iron asteroid entering the atmosphere at a 45 degree angle and moving at 25 km/s. It impacted at 15.4 km/s, having started breaking up before impact, and the impact was the equivalent of a 14.8 megaton blast. The fireball from the impact was 787 meters wide, and at a distance of 5 miles it had an intensity 44x that of the sun, enough to cause second degree burns. It generated a 5.4 magnitude earthquake, followed by 254 mph winds, blowing down 90% of trees and stripping the rest. The shockwave was 95 db, which coupled with the air pressure was enough to cause pain. The final size of the crater was 1.02 miles with a depth of 1150 feet. Results provided by Purdue’s Impact: Earth! simulator.