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15th of Reaping - Too Many Eyes to be Blind

July 25, 2017 08:45PM
At dawn we set sail again, though within an hour or two we needed to hide our provisions and move on foot, the box traveling with us as always. The thing we sought towered before us, Anstruth Tower, though it appeared only part of it remained. The core of the building had clearly shifted, jutting from the swamp at just a slight angle, with what was now clearly a bridge on one side. A bridge that likely lead to another tower, now sunk into the swamp.

As we approached, we saw movement on the bridge several stories above. Anu advanced and was able to get all the way up to the edge of the bridge before being spotted. As she ran back toward us, several monsters dived into the murky pool below the bridge, giving chase. She noted the priest on the ledge was covered in eyes. I knew this creature to be baêvare-cashmanêm from fathers stories, and prepared for his power. He spoke a command that washed over the battlefield, causing Dove to flee and Alaric to halt his advance. He is a danger, but the masyô xrafstrâish at this command were closing. I targeted him with Daylight, blinding him and sending him fleeing to mid-bridge. I then used moonbeam to fry several of these fish like fiends, moving it about the field to capture each grouping. Dove regained her composure and ran to the roof over the bridge, attacking the cashmanêm from her new vantage point. Once the fish were scattered I moved the beam up to encompass the cashmanêm on the bridge. His vision denied, he was quickly burned to death.

Taking a short rest on the bridge, we searched through their items and found many old coins and items. These coins though were from centuries past, depicting royal Tieflings and other odd figures. The bridge had one entrance to the tower, sealed by a magic barrier with runs swirling in patterns around it. As I read the runes, the message was clear: This seal was formed so no one could break it, save those of the pact or of lineage, which was likely long gone. I was relaying this to the group as Anu walked to the door, touched it, and instantly the seal was broken! How could this be? Was she of noble lineage? The Garaphos were an important family, and she may have been of them, but they were not at the level required for this. My mind buzzed with a fragment of a memory. Something Kaxandria said... about lineage and spirits? I could not recall it.

After our rest, we proceeded into the chamber. The towers core was hollow, with rings around it's edges. In the center was a grand area, with statues and books strewn about the floor. Anu missed the books, instead focusing on a hidden door left ajar on the left of the landing we were on. The antechamber was home to the head of the school, a Tiefling woman who apparently sealed herself in and then poisoned herself millennia ago. Her corpse was only somewhat rotten maybe a year old by my estimate, preserved by the seal, as most things here were to some extent. Fiona was interested in the remaining poison. I gave her one of my empty ink vials to store it in, knowing its potency.

We then examined the other side of the hall for another hidden door. Finding it, it was difficult to open from this side. With some examination of its sister, Anu was able to open the door using a crafty cantrip, and we found ourselves in a larger area, clearly for study and relaxation. Pictures of the head mistress adorned the walls, her eyes bright as fire. Again, the memory from Kaxandria... The eyes being part of the soul. Damn, if I could only remember. I turned to ask Anu to find she had already moved on, opening more doors into a hallway with a stairwell and many other doors. As she touched another door, the building shook and took on a noticeable keel. Was unlocking these doors causing the whole thing to shift? We decided to only open doors after thought from now on.

The rooms we did open were devoid of items of value. The headmistress had a journal that explained what had happened. The king had demanded they join his war effort, and on their refusal set siege to the school, which is Bardic in nature. They sealed the school with a spell that allowed only the leaders of the schools, or the king himself, to open it. Most then took the research and books and items of import through a magical teleporting mirror to another school, fleeing as best the could. But she remained to destroy the mirror, to prevent entry by any for reasons not clear to me. After all, now devoid of it's contents, what good was it to the king?

As we worked toward the main floor, the books and items found were mainly trinkets, and books on history written in Infernal. Fiona had found a set of pipes, magical in nature, and was trying to play them, sounding much like two cats mating. Interesting items, but nothing that would solve the problem of the food crisis. Anu was a buzz, going to and fro, looking at everything. I chose to stay on the second floor, to keep an eye out for possible attacks from above. It was then I saw one of the statues MOVE. I called out, and started attacking the statues. Blasting bits and parts from them, I managed to stop one from killing Dove. Others, with a sheen of marble, followed Anu out from under me, chasing her, and possibly a cup that flew over her head in time with her. These were harder to kill, deflecting our magics, and attacking quite well. Alaric attempted to shatter them, which destroyed one and injured the other. It was enough to get a few spells in, finishing off the set.

Anu had apparently discovered a meed container that had some magic left to it. We found if enough was drunk, the imbiber could speak, read, and write high Elvin . Further, if enough was taken, they gained the ability to play an instrument, as Fiona was not plunking out a crude version of "The Cows Lament" and what I believe to be an old Elvin funeral dirge. The meed was not enough for all of us to gain this, but already having such skills, I took a lesser dose, now adding some poetry of old and high Elvin to my language set.

Scanning about the area more, we found the frame of a large mirror, shattered shards all around the ground. Alaric attempted to move the frame, but it was solid and unmoving on the wall. Anu and I realized there may be bolts through the wall, which would be part of the interior, so we went to seek the other side of the wall. What we found there were more statues, and a stair well leading down to another sealed door. We called for the others, but Anu was impatient, and unsealed the door, causing another rumble. The others came quickly after that, as I wandered into the room.

This was clearly an altar and a room of worship to an Old God. A symbol of the God, one I remember seeing before but did not recall the name of, floating softly over the alter. Anu searched the dark corners, but there was nothing there. I tended to the alter, thinking maybe there would be a secret compartment or door around it, as was and in places still is practice. The others were here now, searching as well in the dark. It was then I lost my balance, and without thinking brushed the symbol with my shoulder.

I felt the rift opening behind me... I knew it lead to Nuranda, though how I'm not sure. I had summonsed the vîsîmca by touching the symbol. Through the rift came a sûnahe fravashi, with the head of a dog, the body of a man, and the eight wings of glory. Instinctively, I prepared for his xraθwa-xruš, bowing slightly, extending the wings fully out. The xruš echoed through the room, causing Alaric and Dove to drop to there kneed, and Anu to flee up the stairs. I looked up to realize this was not just any fravashi, but a family friend, Bralaunus! In my delight, I called out his name, and told him in Celestial he was among friends. We started a conversation about so many things, so delighted I was to see such a familiar face here. After a few sentences, Alaric shouted out "in Common please", shocking me back to reality. Anu had returned, and the others were standing now, agape at both the Daēvanąm before them, and of course myself with wings fully spread and visible in the dim light of the rift. Instantly a fear washed over me, that this was all now to be discussed. Quietly, via telepathy, Bralaunus comforted me: "It was not your fault. You reacted naturally. Besides, these are your friends are they not? Surely this will not matter to them in the end?"

I turned to the group, and introduced them by name to Bralaunus, explaining he was an age old friend to my family, and in fact the one who trained my father, and his father before him, as a Daēvanąm of Pelor. This brounght to my mind several questions, each answered in turn. Bralaunus had been a servant to another before Pelor, and as his old master went cold, he and many others shifted to the similar up and coming baγa known as Pelor. The previous Goddess was one worshiped by bards and story tellers, who would speak with him often here. This was why they sealed the tower... To avoid the King finding out about temple here. "But now the king knows, does he not?", said Bralaunus. I was puzzled, and asked "How so?" Bralaunus replied "His eyes have seen it. She stands next to you after all."

Part of Kaxandria's story replayed in my head, and Bralaunus, in his wisdom, helped me recall it in finer detail. Reincarnation. The trapping of the souls. The eyes of each Tiefling being a different shade, each indicating their status and the soul they contained. Anu had in her the soul of the king! The spells responded to her because they were keyed to her, not her physical body, but the soul within her!

We had much to discuss... This would prove to be a long night. One that will take pages to document, I'm sure. But Bralaunus has offered to watch over us as we sleep tonight, so we may be rested before we attempt to destroy the great evil trapped outside in the failing spells. We will in turn take this alter symbol to a new place, where bards still sing, and philosophers ponder, so Bralaunus may again speak with those of like mind. I'm sure Tarol or Nyx will know of such a place.

Tonight we talk... everything in the open, finally. And then we sleep, preparing for the day ahead.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/26/2017 07:37PM by woody. (view changes)
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15th of Reaping - Too Many Eyes to be Blind

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