The Blood Of The Lion

Day 49 - Epilogue

They return to the resistance plane with Pelagius (who they ask for help), and ask Hammond and Helena to help them track the Lion’s Claw. Lelouche and Falx ask Aliandra to have Eros close it’s borders as best as they can, with orders to stop Orik if he is seen at any major crossing, but she explains the difficulty in closing anything but the few roads leading east and south, particularly because Port Giles is impossible to close altogether, as it is seen as a bastion port and the primary route of trade for many surrounding nations.

Falx and Lelouche consult with Willow. She explains that when Corinth died, she felt the power of her lineage fall off of her, her duty fulfilled in helping to defeat Corinth. She notes that she’ll have to spend her time reclaiming the country in the name of Eros, bringing prosperity back to a broken land. Willow reveals her true nature to Pelagius, asking if there will be legal ramifications for her actions over the course of her journey. Pelagius reveals that he’s known she was Whisper but that in the end, her actions seem guided by the most noble form of patriotism, and therefore she is absolved of her crimes and can return home without fear of reprisal from Eros. He thanks her for taking on the guise of a villain when it was most needed to be a hero.

Willow admits to Falx and Lelouche that she knew Orik would betray them. She apologizes for not telling them when she saw it in her morning vision, but she knew that they wouldn’t be harmed, and that revealing Orik’s upcoming betrayal would have led to all three of them dying to Corinth. She was unaware of what Orik’s plan was, and blames herself for Jalmara’s death, as well as the potential deaths Orik’s escape with the dragonstones will lead to.

Lelouche and Falx meet with Pelagius nearby where Hammond and Helena are working, and they begin drawing up plans for how to find Orik and bring him to justice. Falx asks for maps of Eros, and the individual towns. Pulling up a map, Falx has Lelouche use Magic Map on them to narrow down his location using Bronne’s Ring, which they do. Orik seems to be in Gainsmead, the city at the foot of the eastern mountains. Pelagius explains that it would be simple for Orik to teleport out there, so they should rush to the teleportation circle in Gainsmead as soon as possible. They open a gate to the area outside of the town and rush in, only to find that Orik has recently been teleported. As representatives of Eros, they demand to know where he was sent, and the man operating the teleportation circle explains that he went to Port Giles. The group commandeers the teleportation circle to follow to Port Giles.

Arriving in the teleportation circle in Port Giles, Falx transforms into his beast form and smells around for Orik, but is distracted by the many smells of the marketplace. Lelouche uses Magic Map and locates Orik’s general location near the pier, and the group heads in that direction immediately. Arriving at the pier, Falx smells around and locates Orik, only to find that he is inside of the guard station on the pier that is utilized by foreign and domestic guards alike. The group discuss their options moving forward, as they don’t see an assault on the area being possible due to the number of guards as well as the possibility of causing an international incident, which Willow says is absolutely paramount to avoid.

The group discuss what reasons Orik may have, and Willow brings up her worry that he is seeking sanctuary, particularly in Penance, a small country to the north known for being a place where criminals seek freedom from the death penalty and rehabilitation instead of true punishment. Penance is considered a neutral party in global issues, and is protected by a treaty which would make getting to Orik a risky endeavor if peace between Eros and it’s neighbors was taken into consideration. Lelouche asks if Willow could, as Whisper, break into the facility, but she expresses that since she is known as a citizen of Eros, even if her identity wasn’t revealed it could cause an international incident.

Willow goes on to explain that if Orik is turning himself in, he will be held for a minimum of six months at least, and there is no way he didn’t set his plan in motion to occur during that time. She expresses that as much as it pains her, it might be best to leave Orik to his prison sentence and focus on discovering his plan and stopping it so that his work will be for nothing, and then they can focus on him when he is released. Falx expresses that at the very least, there’s no way Orik would allow Penance to hold onto the dragonstones while he was imprisoned, so he agrees with Willow that his plan must be enacted already, and they should look into it immediately.

The group head into the guard station and are stopped at the door and asked their business. Lelouche explains that they are there to see Orik, giving a brief description until the man confirms he is there and points to the back. Orik can be seen in chains, being questioned by a female guard captain that appears to be of the nation of Penance. Showing their sigils of Eros, the group request a manifest of Orik’s belongings that were confiscated when he turned himself in. The man shows a list which includes Orik’s weapons and armor as well as a small lion toy, but no mention of the dragon stones. It is mentioned that his money is to be placed in an account which he has access to during his imprisonment, as prisoners of Penance can still do business through letters and meetings in the facility as part of their rehabilitation. The guard captain explains that they can provide information pertaining to where Orik will be relocated to and how to visit him once he arrives. After a short period of settling in, all prisoners are allowed visitors.

Falx realized Orik has no intention of escaping and decides to focus on the stones, which he assumes are nearby. Falx attempts to smell around for the dragonstones, but realizes that Orik must have placed them inside of the bag of holding he stole from Jalmara, or hid their scent some other way. He begins to wonder how Orik plans on getting the items back, and attempts to smell around for a place Orik may have visited before turning himself in. After a short search, he locates enough of Orik’s scent at the port services office to figure that he’d been there doing some sort of business. Falx shifts to human form and approaches the desk, finding a stout older gentleman welcoming him and asking if he can help him with anything.

Falx explains Orik’s stature and asks his business. Seeing the Eros sigil, the man happily explains that Orik came by and requested a simple service contract from the Servant’s Guild. Falx recalls the Servant’s Guild as an ironically titled group that gives themselves up into a form of slavery to pay off debts or forgive crimes. A servant in the guild is then tasked with completing the requests of people who pay for a contract, so long as their requests would not cause them to knowingly commit a crime, and after completing the contract, they forget the task and return to the guild for their next assignment. The guild is generally used by businessmen to complete simple tasks, but has been known at times to be used by unscrupulous individuals seeking to hide their shady dealings. Falx asks for a description of the servant assigned and the man provides it.

Falx heads back out to the pier and climbs up onto an outcropping to get a better view. Looking around, he spots a number of young men closely fitting the description of the servant, and debates with himself about whether to start approaching them one by one, but realizes that he doesn’t have enough time. With ships leaving every few minutes, he’d have very little chance of stopping Orik’s parcel, if it was even still in the possession of the servant he was assigned. Falx heads back to the group.

Lelouche uses Invisibility to sneak back to Orik’s questioning and listen in. It would seem he is admitting himself for rehabilitation and will not admit his crime. The woman questioning him mentions that there is a minimum six month holding for all prisoners, and that after sentencing that could be extended indefinitely. Orik confirms that he understands, and even goes as far as to say he is prepared for a life sentence for his crimes. Lelouche doesn’t understand, and follows Orik as he is brought outside with a full guard arrangement, along with a chest containing his confiscated items. Lelouche and the group watch as Orik is loaded onto a prisoner containment ship with his possessions. Orik glances back at everyone but Lelouche (since he is still invisible) and gives a knowing smirk.

Falx leads Willow and Hammond to the port services office. Hammond attempts to convince the man to explain where Orik’s servant was sent, but the man explains that that isn’t something he can legally provide. Willow casts an unseen spell that Lelouche detects and begins explaining to the man that they are representatives of Eros and their request is directly from the new Eros Council, making disobedience equal to treason. The man seems swayed by both the threat and the unseen spell, and provides details of where the servant went just after being contracted. Apparently he got on a certain boat which had just left port. Falx and Willow go over options, and come to the conclusion that the best course of action would be to return to the Council of Eros and seek help before teleporting to Penance and meeting the ship when it arrives. Willow asks if there is anything specific that Orik requested from his contract. The man explains that Orik requested a low-level ritual caster servant. Willow worries out loud that this creates an unknowable situation, and that they should tread carefully.

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Day 48 - The End Of Her Reign

The group completes final preparations for their confrontation with Corinth the Stone-Hearted. Orik suggests to Hammond that they have a code word to disable Lelouche and Falx in case their confusion over the issue causes a problem once they are within her lair, once the memory wipe takes place. Falx asks about the memory wipe and how to get their memory back, and Hammond explains that they can get their memory back when they return. Hammond asks Willow to assist, and Willow asks them to describe and visualize the things they want to forget. Falx lists off the knowledge of the Corinth crystal that Helena created, as well as the sword.

Lelouche asks for their memory to be altered so that they recall a battle that led to a temporary brain damage, to explain away the memory loss. Falx brings up the plan with the crystal, to ensure he’s got it straight now so that he has the right things to forget in order for it all to go smoothly, and Helena brings up the idea that Pelagius floated about multiple council members being under Corinth’s influence. As it stands, Pelagius is attempting to sway the council to send an army to attack Corinth, and a moment of respite from her influence could sway the vote to his favor, as it is an on-going discussion. Orik agrees that the best bet is to break the crystal near Corinth instead of waiting for Virgil to be summoned.

The memory wipe begins, and Orik chooses “hammer down” as his code-word. Lelouche and Falx are brought up to speed on the “new story” and seem to accept it. As Lelouche and Falx are recuperating, Willow speaks to Orik and offers him a teleportation scroll, citing that she uses them often in her “line of work” and that if need be, they should retreat. It is impossible to know just how powerful Corinth is until they encounter her, and it would be best to at least have retreat as an option. If the battle seems winnable, the scroll could allow you to strike and then teleport away, creating confusion and giving them an upper hand.

Hammond offers to make some simple scrolls for Falx and Orik, seeing as they don’t have the flexibility Lelouche has in terms of attacks. Hammond gives Orik a Muffle scroll to eliminate sound and smell, so he can sneak up on Corinth. Willow gives him an Elixir of Invisibility as well, so that he can rush up with the combination of them and strike Corinth without being detected. Willow walks away and into a large tent that seems to have been made up for her, and the group heads toward Aliandra. Falx chooses a Banish Illusions scroll to help against Corinth’s power once he is inside.

The group overhears Aliandra and Katherine talking about Lianna’s mission. It seems she was supposed to report in every 24 hours, but hasn’t done so. Katherine is worried that she was captured or killed, but Aliandra assures her that Lianna is very skilled at infiltration and that they just have to trust she’s somewhere she can’t report from at the moment, and she’ll get back to them soon. Attempting to contact her could result in blowing her cover, so they can only wait for now.

Willow walks out from her tent with a worried look on her face. She approaches the group and seems concerned, so Falx asks her if she’s alright. She hesitates for a moment, and then admits she feels very uncomfortable with Corinth’s strength being unknown. She seems to shake it off, giving a report about the current status and plans of everyone involved with the resistance. Pelagius is attempting to sway the council to bring a war party against Corinth, but will have resistance from Virgil and influenced council members. Hammond and Helena will be working on new tools to fight Corinth or locate her power, in case the group fails to kill her, and Willow will help them. Aliandra is organizing some of her most trusted men to potentially assassinate Virgil if all else fails. Katherine is waiting for word from Lianna, who is currently infiltrating the Eros Alliance and attempting to break Virgil’s control over them, if it has a magical origin. The group’s mission is clear: assault Corinth’s hideout in the northern mountains.

Willow rambles for a bit about the group needing to look for alternative methods to defeat Corinth if a head-on attack isn’t likely to succeed. She mentions that there have been so many rumors over the years, there’s no way to know what is true and what is hearsay. She specifically mentions rumors pertaining to a man who swore he slayed her at the Battle of Valoris with a ballista bolt, as well as a rumor that Corinth’s vassals were working all over the nation for years before her attack, and could remain in power today. Willow notes that there’s no way to know if she has an army of vassals protecting her. Willow sighs, citing that the only way to end the rumors and answer all of the questions is to kill her, once and for all. Aliandra overhears the conversation and suggests the group go over their weapons and items to think about alternative methods of attack.

Willow looks concerned again, and Falx asks if she’s sure she’s alright. Willow pulls the group aside and explains that she went through her vision ritual this morning and it shook her to the core. She explains that the previous vision of her taking council seemed to imply she would lead the resistance, but her new vision revealed that by their actions after that vision, they avoided that future which may very well have been leading them to Corinth’s victory. They still have a chance now at a direct assault, but it’s more risky than they are currently expecting. She says that she can’t tell them all that she saw, but that they need to explore any and all options to defeat Corinth.

Falx goes and sees the beast master, who relinquishes the creature to Falx after explaining the basic commands the creature will answer to. Falx names the beast Lynx. Willow, Hammond, and Helena say their goodbyes before walking away and into Willow’s tent. Aliandra offers to drop the group off south of the quarry, so that they can avoid Corinth detecting them quickly. She has Rumen open the black African-American gate large enough for the group to go through with the beast, which Falx sits atop of. The group heads through the gate.

Arriving on the other end, the group finds themselves on a rocky area high up in the northern mountains. Lynx seems uncomfortable at first with the sudden change, but gets his bearings after a moment. Falx points the group in the direction of the nearby quarry, and notes a sign that says to keep out, and that the area is dangerous. The group heads passed, Orik knocking it to the ground as they go through the gate. They pass a few more signs, warning children not to enter the area to play, and eventually a sign that notes that there are explosives in the area and that it is unsafe to enter the mines. The group notes this and makes a plan to find some explosives if possible.

The group finds itself at the entrance to a large mine system, and Corinth’s power can be felt emanating from the inside. The power is almost overwhelming, and the group wonders how something that powerful has no history before her time in Eros. Usually, dragon movements are recorded, particularly in a country so affected by one. They shake it off and keep moving. The main cave system seems to have some off-shoots they can explore, and there is a large warehouse building that seems to be a housing for tools, which they decide to explore first.

Entering the building, they find it covered in dust, though there are recent footprints which seem to be from looters. Though they don’t find any explosives, they find a manifest of cave exploration and tool use, and note that the middle off-shoot will most likely still have explosives in it, if it hasn’t been looted as well. Falx notes that the explosives will most likely be in Quarry D, so he heads there and tells the group he’ll be right back.

Falx heads down a path marked D-1, taking his time to look around once he reaches the end of the tunnel. While the mining operation seems to be cleared out, he looks inside a cart carrying some stone and manages to find a dynamite pack with a long fuse leading to a plunger. Realizing he won’t have much use for the plunger, he cuts the fuse to a three-second burn and packs the dynamite into his bag. He also finds references to the cave mapping system and takes note so that he can find his way through more easily, and one of the maps has a note on it with certain areas circles and a skull-and-crossbones over them. Falx notes that Corinth is most likely in Quarry A, which can be reached from the outside area, so he heads back.

The group head down Quarry A’s main tunnel, finding off-shoot tunnels marked A-1, A-2, and A-3. Falx heads down A-1, Lelouche heads down A-2, and Orik heads down A-3, each agreeing to meet back in the main tunnel in a few minutes. They each head out quietly, sneaking through the underground. Both A-1 and A-2 have large claw marks on the walls, which seems to imply Corinth reached down those paths for some reason multiple times.

Falx heads into A-1, and notes a terrible stench coming from deeper in the tunnel. He eventually comes upon a large pile of bodies. The pile seems to be consisting of only human men, each wearing an outfit that seems official and originating in Eros, but the clothes don’t bear the markings of any specific area, which strikes Falx as odd. The outfit is ornate, and seems almost ceremonial. Falx inspects a few of them and finds a similar note in a number of their pockets. Each has an instruction: “Deliver the package. Don’t look it in the eye. Say Thank You. Leave.” Falx notes that they seem to have been delivering gifts to Corinth, but none were able to leave. Pondering on this, he realizes that whoever is sending these people most likely has an agreement with Corinth to sacrifice not only the gift that is brought, but also the messenger delivering it. He also notes that the levels of decomposition seem to imply the men came by every six months, but the newest corpse he can find is older than six months, implying the deliveries stopped. Falx gathers 200 gold pieces from the pouches remaining on the men.

Lelouche heads down A-2 and realizes the claw marks seem almost delicate, implying care being taken with whatever Corinth was doing in this area. Sitting in a stone chair build against the wall is the corpse of what appears to be a young female. Her race is unclear, as the corpse has aged at least a few hundred years. The clothes seem to be ceremonial and are ripped a bit, most likely from Corinth’s claws. Lelouche lays out residuum to enact Last Sight Vision, casting it on the corpse. A whirlwind of arcane power surrounds him and he is thrust into a vision of a village burned and covered in ash. He finds himself in the body of the girl, walking through the village in the darkness. She approaches a sleeping giant of a beast which Lelouche recognizes as Corinth.

Sneaking slowly, she reaches the area under the beast and takes out a ritual scroll, which immediately burns. Corinth’s breathing changes suddenly and she rises from the ground, looking down into the girl’s eyes. Corinth laughs, but then attempts to move and can not. A look of anger and worry crosses the beast’s face and speaks a language Lelouche hasn’t heard before. Through the mind of the girl, he can tell Corinth is cursing her existence and telling the girl she overestimating herself and that it won’t end well for her. Through the vision, Lelouche feels the girl tell Corinth “I know… I’ve made my choice.” before a bright flash of white light erupts around her.

An area that Lelouche recognizes as near the Mogwam forest in Eros appears around the girl, but she is quickly lifted up into the air. The is thrown and caught before being torn to pieces and thrown to the ground. There are a few seconds after the landing as the girl’s consciousness begins to fade. Corinth lands near her and turns her to face upward into the beast’s eyes. Corinth screams at the girl, “YOUYOUWHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”. A claw smashes down onto the girl and the vision cuts out, thrusting Lelouche back into the cave area. Checking the corpse, he can see that the legs have been essentially re-attached to sit the girl in this area. He checks the corpse for belongings but finds nothing, not even a bag.

Orik heads down A-3 and finds a miner’s corpse under a large rock that seems to have caved in from the ceiling and crushed the man. The room has a number of other rocks that seem to have fallen in on it, and there is a hammer on the ground next to a shiny, unique stone that looks almost polished. The stone looks out of place, coming through the ground like a growing mineral of some sort. Putting his hand on it, he feels a light vibration running through it. Picking up the hammer, he lightly taps the stone. Suddenly, Lelouche, Falx, and Orik feel the cave rumble and shake, with small bits of stone breaking off. All three of the group rushes back to the main tunnel, meeting up.

Orik recognizes as he arrives that the strange material breaking through the tunnel must be a resonating stone. He recalls from his youth, reading up on the mining history of Dwarves, that this material expands naturally in mining areas, particularly ones with magical influence surrounding them. Applying force to the stones causes them to resonate the power exponentially, which causes a number of cave-ins. Orik explains to the group that the mining area was most likely abandoned because of these stones, as they might run through a large number of the cave areas. Lelouche and Falx share their own stories and they clarify that the outfits the male corpses were wearing were different from the outfit the female corpse Lelouche found was wearing. Falx floats the idea of what Lelouche’s vision might mean; that if a civilization couldn’t defeat Corinth, perhaps their goal was to move her to a new area like Eros. Lelouche and Falx read the arcane power fading from the vision and confirm that the girl must have moved Corinth to a new plane, so that she could not return. Falx and Lelouche both recognize that the only way to do that is if Corinth was on a teleportation circle, which would be difficult to get a dragon of her strength onto.

Falx leads Lelouche to the pile of corpses and Lelouche uses Speak With Dead on one of the newer corpses, hoping to discern some information. He asks what the gift was that the man delivered, and the man describes an ornate and lightly enchanted sword, a gift from the one who sent him. Lelouche asks who sent him and the man describes King Leonne The Fifth sending him with “a gift for a friend” back in 1342 DR, 24 years prior to this year. Lelouche decides to use Speak With Dead on the female body as well, and leads the group over to her. He asks the girl why Corinth has kept her body there. The girl speaks, citing that her corpse seems almost like a trophy to Corinth, or perhaps a reminder not to be fooled again. Falx asks about Virgil, describing him as best he can. The girl notes that the man came her and Corinth told him about how she came her, about what the girl had done. “Corinth didn’t know what plane she had come from, so she couldn’t return… my plan had succeeded.” The girl describes that Corinth then convinced the man to help her, but she isn’t sure whether Corinth used her psychic influence or if it was just a convincing argument. Lelouche asks the girl to explain what happened, and the girl describes how Corinth arrived here.

“In my plane, Corinth was a scourge on my people. She burned our lands, and defeated the heroes brought against her. She would rest in the ashes of the cities she burned, perhaps to taunt us. I was the last in a long line of attempts to get rid of the problem. We build a small town and under the stone we hid teleportation circles. She burned the village as planned, and rested just on top of one, as we’d hoped. I was sent with enchantments to hide me and a scroll to end Corinth’s reign over us. I locked her to the circle, and sent her to a random plane. I would die, but she couldn’t hurt my people anymore. I’m sorry that she came here… there was no other way.” With that, the corpse fell back to being inanimate and the group sat in silence for a moment. They gather their things and head back to the main path. Falx shifts into his beast form and hops onto Lynx, who begins acting strangely and signals that he smells multiple small creatures nearby, possibly dragon children.

Orik whispers “Hammer Down”, and Lelouche and Falx find themselves frozen in place. Lynx stops in place as well, not seeming to mind that Falx has stopped ordering him. Orik uses his Muffle ritual scroll and tells Lelouche and Falx that he’ll be right back. If they hear him say the code word again, they should run as fast as they can to his aid. Orik heads down until he realizes Corinth is around the next corner. Chugging the Elixir of Invisibility, he sprints around the corner at Corinth, who he finds sleeping in a large open area at the tunnel’s end. Pulling out the Corinth crystal, he throws it in front of him and pulls out his hammer in one motion. As it lands beneath her underbelly, he throws the hammer onto it at full force and smashes it to pieces. The power bursting from it throws him back, filling him for a moment with a power he recognizes from when she screamed at him in Bronne’s vision. Orik yells “Hammer Down!” and Lelouche and Falx unfreeze.

Entering the room, Lelouche and Falx see Corinth pulling back and screeching in pain from what they assume is the crystal’s power. Corinth screams a warning cry in the direction of a nest that looks to contain three of her children as well as two large eggs, and the children back up toward a wall. Orik yells to the others that there seems to be three large resonating stones in the room, and to be careful around them.

A battle ensues. Falx toys with the resonating stone to drop stones from the ceiling onto Corinth, since her large size makes it difficult for her to dodge them. Lelouche notices a ballista bolt lodged in Corinth’s back and rushes up to her, getting close enough to Fey-Step to the bolt and use his Time Ravager scroll on it. The bolt grinds down to rust in moments and Corinth lets out a tremendous scream, flailing in pain from the rust entering her blood stream. Lelouche is pinned to a wall by Corinth, but Orik rushes to the dragon hatchlings and taunts Corinth with their lives. Corinth turns immediately as Orik slits the throat of one of her children, and throws Orik all the way across the room, up onto a ledge along one side. Orik rushes back down as Falx and Lelouche damage the beast more and more. Falx continues hitting the resonating stones, eventually hitting one in just the right way to make a stone fall from the ceiling onto another resonating stone, which causes a great quake through the room. The group dodges giant stones as the room fills with rubble and smoke. Corinth is caught under two stones, one pinning her tail while another slams her in the back, knocking her to the ground.

Corinth speaks to the group psychically, telling them of the plane she came from. Dragons were used as entertainment, enslaved and tortured for sport. She described her rise to power, breaking free from her chains and drawing power from her rage. She began terrorizing the people and freeing her kind. They sent other dragons, against their will, to kill her, and she was forced to slay her own. It was only when she was sent to this plane that she realized she had failed, and she sought to conquer this land before the people here came to be as those that enslaved her kind before.

The group remains unswayed, and Corinth continues, explaining that over the years she has placed ideas and influence in the minds of nearby kingdom leaders. As a backup plan, she created a situation where if she falls, kingdoms will bring war to Eros. She implies that the group, by killing her, will bring ruin to the kingdom they are attempting to save. Lelouche tells her that they’ll accept the consequences if she isn’t just bluffing, and the battle continues.

Orik reaches her as she is faltering, and rushes under her. Taking the Lion’s Claw, he thrusts it into her underbelly, cutting her open with a large gash down her middle. Corinth attempts to turn, but her body begins to fall out from under her. Orik disappears in a pile of her innards and her body comes crashing down upon him. After a moment, it is clear she is defeated. Lelouche and Falx yell out for Orik, cutting through the exposed underbelly to find him. Surprisingly, they find a large opening in Corinth’s stomach, and the arcane traces of a teleportation scroll being used. It would appear Orik escaped being crushed by teleporting out, so they exit the beast again looking for him. Feeling around through the darkness, Falx finds the way back toward the cave system leading out, and voices can be heard on the other side shouting for any survivors to shout back.

Lelouche and Falx search the caves but Orik is nowhere to be seen. They head to the rubble and use Falx’s Wizard’s Escape to float through the cracks with the two remaining baby dragons and Lynx in tow. Appearing next to a large contingency of Eros Alliance troops, they are asked if there are any other survivors. Lelouche asks about Orik, but he hasn’t been seen on this side. Lianna announces herself and comes forward, showing that she had managed to break the power over the Eros Alliance and lead them here. She asks if Corinth is felled, and Lelouche confirms she is dead. Falx gives her the scrying record of Corinth’s last moments. They head out to the quarry exit as Lianna shouts for the rockfall to be cleared and for Corinth’s death to be confirmed. She requests that Corinth’s treasures and dragonstones be brought out. Lianna commands that the baby dragons be slain, but Falx demands that they be left in his care. Falx takes them on as his wards, to be delivered to sanctuary, and Lianna agrees on the requirement that their sanctuary be outside of this plane.

The Eastern Coalition army can be seen across the quarry, seemingly at ease next to the Eros Alliance, an odd but welcome sight in these times. Lianna suggests that Lelouche and Falx get back to Aliandra in the other plane, and Lelouche calls for a door, which opens nearby. The two step through as Lianna announces to an Eros commander to march to Tulley Keep once things are settled her, and seek an audience with the council. “The country will need peacemakers,” she says. She follows through the gate, leaving the Eros Alliance and the Eastern Coalition to their devices. Lynx appears on the other side with them a moment later, and the gate closes.

Aliandra rushes to the group as they arrive, and asks what happened. Lelouche recounts the battle to her and tells her about the dragons now being in Falx’s care. Lelouche asks about Orik, but Aliandra notes that he hasn’t arrived, and that it is slightly worrying. Willow rushes over and congratulates them, but during their recounting of the battle to her, Willow interrupts and holds a hand to her head, receiving a mental message. She listens for a second, and then explains that she was just contacted by Jalmara, but she wasn’t making any sense. She heard her breathing as if she was running, and what seemed like the sounds of a fight which ended with a scream. Falx asks Rumen to open a gate to the closet in the facility Jalmara is hiding out in, fearing that Orik may be there attempting to kill her.

Walking out of the closet, Lelouche and Falx find themselves in the control room, and it is covered in blood. On the large table there is a scrying record and nothing else. Falx touches the record, activating it. As the scene appears, Orik’s voice can be heard shouting “HAMMER DOWN”, and Lelouche and Falx fall paralyzed. They are unable to look away as Orik walks into view in the image of the record, covered in blood and dragging a whimpering Jalmara behind him by her arm over to Gorn, who seems to be bound with ropes on the floor. Jalmara’s face has been beaten, and she is lightly struggling. Orik gives a monologue to Lelouche and Falx through the scrying sensor, congratulating the two of them on their attempts to do good in this world, and thanking them for bringing him closer to his final goal through their failures.

Orik can be seen dropping Jalmara to the floor and walking over to Gorn. She struggles to stand and stop him but can barely move. Orik raises his hammer and crushes Gorn’s head in, killing the beast. He cuts open Gorn’s stomach and reaches in, and after a minute pulls his hand out with a small collection of stones which he then pulls close to the sensor so that they appear large in the record image. Orik tells Lelouche and Falx that Jalmara seems important to them, and he’d like to take something important away from them. He walks behind her, pulls her head up by her hair, and slices her throat open, dropping her back to the floor. The record stops as a smile crosses Orik’s face.

As their bodies come back under their control, Lelouche and Falx look around and find the bodies of Jalmara and Gorn, the former being huddled in the corner and the latter being in pieces, strew about the room and the connecting rooms. Falx recalls that Whisper had found a dragonstone among the treasure pilfered from this very room, and after some thinking, recalled what they were.

Dragonstones, if current dragon biology science was correct, were pieces of dirt and rock that found their way into a dragon’s lungs during it’s life time. As the dragon breathed, more ash and dust would collect on them, and they would be compacted and super-heated and cooled over the many years of a dragon’s life. During this time, dragon magic would be imbued into the stones as well, so that when a dragon was slain, these stones could be used in dragon-related rituals. Most notably, powerful dragonstones could be used to summon dragons, an ability Falx now assumed Orik must have known about and something that should never be in his hands. From what he knew, Falx assumed that stones as powerful as the ones inside Corinth could probably summon any dragon on any plane, an ability he found slightly terrifying even when not in the hands of a Dwarf like Orik.

Falx and Lelouche call Aliandra for a doorway, and the group heads with her to Tulley Keep, since she had received word from Pelagius that things had been handled there. Corinth’s control over Virgil seems to have faltered in her absence, and he had the sense to surrender and admit to his crimes. From what information he gives, it is clear he feels that the choice to be Corinth’s vassal was ultimately his, and that he wishes to throw himself on “the mercy of the reclamation”. Hearing this, Aliandra explains that the reclamation is essentially a life of servitude to the kingdom, and a renouncing of all titles and land. All council members that were serving Corinth are cleared of all charges on the assumption of not being in control of their own facilities, on the agreement that they step down from the council, which they do without resistance.

They receive word of the Overseer’s hazy mind being cleared, but that he has announced taking a back seat in his role, content to living out his days in meditation and introspection after all of the chaos he feels responsible for. He is cleared of wrong-doing by the council after it is argued that his mind was not his own, and that his attempt to slay Corinth decades earlier proved his dedication to Eros, even if his mind was ultimately taken by the beast.

Falx and Lelouche take part in recounting their own information for the story of Corinth’s time in Eros, from beginning to end, to the council. Through the testimony of the Overseer and others, it is made clear that the men found all wearing the same outfit in Corinth’s quarry were sent to deliver gifts she forced King Leonne The Fifth to send her as part of her control over him, and the deliverers would be killed upon arrival. Falx makes sure to be extra thorough, to ensure the full story, including how Corinth arrived on this plane, is made clear for the historical record. It is revealed through Virgil that when the Overseer stepped down as king, he tasked Virgil with creating a new deal so that Leonne’s children would never know of his shame, but Virgil was swayed by the beast to attempt to take the throne, as she had revealed to him his withheld lineage and that he had a claim to the throne. Virgil was told by Corinth that war would come to Eros if he did not take control, but he pleaded for the council to understand that this did not absolve him of his crimes. He became her vassal in a fit of rage and envy over his siblings, and a lust for power that he had always felt.

The remaining council invites Aliandra and Lianna into their ranks on the request of Pelagius, who puts Aliandra under the council’s watch. Lelouche and Falx realize he is protecting her until her child is publicized and able to be born and raised to reign as the next king, but nothing is said about that subject specifically, which they take to imply it is still deemed unsafe to announce. The council is put into power “until the next potential suitor can be found to take the thrown”. Falx brings up what Corinth said about planting seeds in the minds of the leaders of other kingdoms to bring them to war if she fell, and the council announces plans to open up strong diplomatic ties to all neighboring countries in order to avoid that outcome. The council asks Lelouche and Falx how they can reward them, but the two of them agree to return with their request after dealing with a “sensitive situation which has arisen”, alluding to Orik.

300 EXP from role-playing + 500 from combat = 800 EXP total (30000 EXP total)

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Day 47 - Final Preparations

The group moves through the black doorway into the new resistance plane, arriving in time to overhear a conversation between Aliandra and Lianna. The two, not realizing the group were standing behind them, discuss the idea of infiltrating the Eros Alliance. Lianna feels confident she can discover and break Virgil’s control over them fairly quickly if sent in alone. Aliandra asks what Katherine would do if Lianna is discovered and killed. Katherine walks over and speaks up, to both women’s surprise, noting that perhaps one of the group members could be sent. Aliandra and Lianna turn to discover the group has been listening, and Aliandra comments that their services are needed elsewhere. Lianna and Katherine walk away to speak to Hammond after Katherine suggests that, if Lianna is to go, she should be prepared with ritual scrolls which he could provide.

Aliandra asks about Willow, as she hasn’t been in the plane before. The group introduces Willow as a trusted friend that offered to help with any blacksmithing and perhaps enchantment work, as she is skilled in both. Given the blacksmithing equipment left over in the plane from Lord Merideth‘s work, Aliandra suggests she take inventory and they’ll meet up and talk about what Willow is capable of after the group discusses their next move.

Falx asks about the dark spirit curse that is inhabiting him and Aliandra sends him over to Hammond. Hammond seems immediately concerned and tells Falx that while he doesn’t know the solution at the moment, the curse seems to be slow-moving enough to not worry about over the next day or so, and he is confident he can contact the right people if Falx gives him a day. He mentions that Falx could go himself, but Virgil has effectively taken control of Tulley Keep in the preliminary stages of being sworn in as the new king of Eros, and so going there would present a problem for the group. Falx agrees and says that he’ll come back when they’re done with whatever Aliandra needs them for.

Falx hands Hammond some of the papers from the Enclave, and Hammond brings out a device for translating the text. Reading over it, Hammond asks about certain warlock tools that are mentioned. Willow walks to a nearby table after overhearing the conversation and begins unloading the devices they grabbed from the Enclave control room. Falx unloads the few he has as well, and Hammond looks over the collection. Willow hesitates a moment before also placing the dragon stones on the table as well, which Hammond doesn’t seem to notice while he looks over the device collection.

Orik asks Hammond to convert the head of the dracolich into something he can carry with him. Hammond suggests a helmet-attachment, noting that it would be quite intimidating but would also block his vision and hearing a small amount, so it was a trade-off. Orik takes him up on the offer, and Hammond says he’ll complete the task while the group is away. Orik notes that the resistance seems to be recruiting, as there are a few new members in the plane, and that they seem to have gathered quite a large amount of resources in crates, as if they are looking to expand their operation quickly.

Falx has a short conversation with the beast trainer Augustus, who explains that the remaining war beast has been calming down to the point where he could be controlled by Falx with his short amount of training. He notes that Falx should train for a few hours, going over the basic commands, when he returns from his task. In addition, he makes sure that Falx understands that the bond between a beast and it’s trainer is an important one and that the safety of that creature was Falx’s responsibility. Falx agrees and promises to take very good care of the creature.

Lelouche asks Hammond about the possibility of training dragons, explaining that they have a friend who requires a bit of help. Hammond goes very quiet, noting that there are people even in this plane that would be very much against the idea of aiding a dragon in any way, particularly any child of Corinth’s. Hammond says that, on top of his current tasks, he will look into some information and possibly after this is all over, he can help their friend to work with her dragon companion. Lelouche thanks him, and the group returns to Aliandra.

Aliandra explains to the group that they want Pelagius for the resistance, but that he has given an ultimatum, saying that he needs the group to complete a task for him before he agrees to join. They are to meet him in the Warren Tower Mage’s Guild, as he will be teleporting there within the hour from the council at Tulley Keep, and he will explain. Aliandra gives the group a contact scroll and has Rumen open a gate to Warren Tower, which they step through.

The group arrives in the guild area of Warren Tower, and walk into the Mage’s Guild. Asking for Pelagius, the guild members explain that he is expected to arrive shortly, and that they can wait in the meeting hall. After a short time, Pelagius arrives and greets the group, asking what they are doing there. The group asks to speak to him in private, and they go to a back room to talk. Pelagius explains that he is pleased they came to see him, and wants to get right to the point: There is another person that must be convinced to join, and he can’t go himself. The group is uniquely capable of recruiting this person, specifically because of their control of the Corinthsbane items.

Pelagius explains that around a month after Prince Leonne The Fifth left to hunt down Corinth, one council member spoke out, convinced that the prince might fail and never return. She claimed that the council should be forging new Corinthsbane items using the siphon they created to draw in the beast’s power, in case they need to send another party to hunt the dragon. Fearing the creation of too many powerful items that could fall into the wrong hands, and that outwardly doubting the prince was a form of treason, the council dismissed her and rumors spread that she was mentally ill. In the night, she stole the siphon and left the city. The council originally worried about the power siphon, but when the prince returned claiming the beast was dead, they called off the search, as the siphoned power would dissipate quickly and be useless soon. The woman never returned.

Given that Corinth has recently been revealed as still living, the siphon has been drawing power for decades, and Pelagius is curious about what she has been using it for. He believes that she might have created useful items for fighting Corinth, and that she would be invaluable to the cause with the knowledge she attained over years of studying the power drawn from the beast. Pelagius explains that although creating another siphon would be immensely difficult with so few people remaining that are knowledgeable in black dragons, he has figured out a way to track her. He removes a small trinket from a pouch on his side, and lays it on the table.

Pelagius explains that he was a very close friends with the woman, who he refers to as Helena. Falx and Lelouche recognize that he seems to be speaking of her as someone he was romantically involved with, but they don’t interrupt him. The item on the table is a ornate, hand-carved wand. He explains that he formed it for her as a gift and she valued it greatly, but left it with him when she disappeared in the night. Pulling out a Magic Map ritual scroll, and a map of Eros. Utilizing the scroll, a dark spot hovers over the map before settling over a point north of the city, west of the road to Port Giles. Pelagius explains that whatever Helena is doing, she should be there. He recalls there is a small village in that area, so she should be within it’s walls. Pelagius hands the ornate wand to the group, saying that it will convince her that he sent them.

Pelagius has three horses brought to the group and sends them off. The group heads north, finding the village around dusk. They arrive into town to no fanfare, with the townsfolk not seeming to care about their presence. The area is a farming village and the people appear to be happy, but Falx notices that the land here isn’t generally arable for producing food, and that it’s an odd place for a farming village to thrive. Lelouche and Falx feel around for arcane power that must be present around the siphon, but find the opposite of what they expect: Absolutely no arcane power can be felt in the area, not even the amount you would expect in any general outdoor area on a mortal plane. The group realizes that the absence of power seems to indicate someone must be shielding a power from being found.

The group approaches a man that seems to be discussing mill work with his son, and greets him. The man introduces himself as Anton, and after a short conversation, Lelouche explains that they’re looking for Helena, and were sent by an old friend of hers. The man takes a serious tone and addresses his wife, citing that someone is there for Helena. Anton’s wife can’t hide her facial expression, revealing that she is worried about the notion of someone visiting Helena. Anton leads them down the main path of the village toward a large barn. A man comes up to greet him but Anton dismisses him, explicitly stating that someone is there to see Helena and that he can’t talk at the moment. The man’s facial expression resembles the one that Anton’s wife, and he excuses himself quickly. Anton reaches the barn and tells the group to wait inside, citing that Helena will be around soon. Anton opens the barn door but seems hesitant to enter, so the group goes ahead without him. They watch as Anton closes the door, peering in and seeming worried as the door closes.

The group are left in the barn. Falx and Lelouche immediately feel a sense of foreboding, so they begin to look around the barn while Orik relaxes. Lelouche recognizes that there is some sort of mixture of arcane power and the blocking spell they assumed earlier, particularly around the floor. Falx looks around the barn and recognizes that there are very few things in a barn, given that it should be used for storage or farming equipment. Falx notes that the floor seems to be open in the center, and toys idly with a pitchfork, setting it back down to the floor. Instead of a dull sound, the metal makes a loud clanking noise. Falx brushes away some dirt and reveals a hard metal floor. Falx immediately transforms to beast form and climbs up on the rafters, suggesting the others do the same. Lelouche fey-steps to the rafters, but Orik declines the suggestion.

Orik stands in the middle, joking that the others are cowards. He draws the Lion’s Claw from it’s sheath, and immediately feels arcane power begin to build. He realizes that the only reason to use psychic magic to hide arcane power is to hide an insanely large amount of power, particularly obvious to him since he recognizes that he isn’t trained in the arcane and can feel it. He suggests the Falx touch the sword, explaining the situation, and Falx jumps down quickly. Touching the sword, he feels the power and immediately realizes something is very wrong, given the amount of power that is building in this particular room. He jumps back to the rafters and prepares for battle.

A few moments pass and the barn floor begins to hum. Purple light flashes in positions around Orik and golems appear, drawing their transmorphic weapons on Orik. A woman appears, seemingly from thin air, and tells the group they shouldn’t have come here. Orik approaches, but the golems put their weapons to his throat. Lelouche recognizes the woman must be Helena, and fey-steps down to a respectable distance from her. One of the golems turn and put a sword to his throat, but he remains calm and draws the ornate wand from Pelagius, showing her. Helena waves her hand and the golem behind Lelouche falls to dust, reforming near Orik. Lelouche explains that Pelagius sent them and that he wants to apologize. After a few moments turning the wand over in her hands with a face full of regret, she dismisses the golems, and they all fall to dust.

The group explains their purpose there and that Pelagius is asking them to join the effort to kill Corinth and save Eros. Helena smiles, saying that the apology is late, but she accepts it. She brings the group down to the basement of the barn, through a doorway that seems to have been hidden using the same psychic magic that blocked the arcane power being found when they arrived. Helena explains that she knew Corinth hadn’t died when the siphon never stopped pulling in power, and that she has been utilizing the power to enhance the farming capabilities of this town in exchange for discretion for her experiments. She has been attempting to create something to counter Corinth’s power, but hasn’t been successful in anything but finding a way to block Corinth’s control over mortals in the town. The group explain that the council she remembers is mostly dead, but they are part of a resistance that Pelagius is ready to join, and they plan on killing Corinth and potentially Virgil the Red, who is assumed to be the beast’s vassal.

Helena explains that she has created, in the process of researching Corinth’s power, something that could aid in the creature’s defeat. She removes a large crystal from a device in the center of her research area, explaining that the siphoning of Corinth’s power has left a crystalline deposit, a physical manifestation of Corinth’s power. She claims that the crystal, if cracked open near enough to Corinth, could temporarily flood her with her own psychic energy and disable her ability to enact control over mortals, including both the group and Virgil. She offers it to the group, along with her joining the resistance, on the agreement that Corinth will be killed, and not bargained with. Falx explains the method they’ve discovered to track Corinth and confirm that they will locate Corinth and have plans only to slay the beast and save Eros.

Walking back through the village, Anton approaches and Helena explains that she is off to further her mission, and that they shouldn’t worry about the crops in her absence. She apologizes for the possibility that she will not return, citing that it’s something she has to do. She is given a horse and heads back to Warren Tower with the group, arriving back at the Mage’s Guild, where Pelagius is waiting outside for Helena, apparently having heard of her arrival. The two share a moment together and embrace, and Pelagius apologizes again to her before the group heads inside with them. Lelouche talks to Helena about the Corinthsbane items, and Helena explains that while she didn’t have a hand in creating them, she recognized the sword immediately when they arrived. Falx asks about the shield, and Helena notes that she hopes it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Pelagius puts a member of the Mage’s Guild in charge, citing that he is stepping down and doesn’t know if he’ll return. After saying his goodbyes and organizing a transaction to sell Falx a bag of holding at a discount, Pelagius asks Lelouche to contact Aliandra, and asks if it is alright to bring some trusted members of the guild with him.

Lelouche agrees and calls Aliandra. A black gate opens in the back room of the guild, and the group walks through with Helena and Pelagius, along with his guild members. Aliandra greets the group and thanks Pelagius and Helena for joining the resistance, citing that she is assured with their help, the goal is nearly at hand. Aliandra explains that Hammond has been working and has located Corinth, as well as finishing Orik’s helmet ornament. Falx asks Hammond about the cure for his curse, and Hammond explains that he will be ready to remedy the issue in the morning and that Falx shouldn’t worry. Falx heads to Augustus for beast training and they work together for a few hours, getting enough headway to feel comfortable bringing the beast out of the plane the next time they leave.

Orik heads to sleep naked, not even closing the drapes of his sleeping area, while Lelouche pores over the remaining decryption from Tomlin’s tome, and unlocks the last ritual before the book becomes indecipherable. The group heads to sleep and wakes up the next morning to Hammond, who has finished his work on the healing item needed for Falx. Falx accepts the healing and feels the dark presence dissipate from his body.

Hammond and Aliandra explain that, working through the night, Hammond has located where Corinth is most likely hiding. Her power is located somewhere in the northern mountains, and they believe she must be hiding in an abandoned quarry in that area, as it would be a perfect place for her.

The group go over the specifics of the power of Corinth’s crystaline power deposit, noting the possibilities that are open to them with it. Falx brings up the possibility of sending the armies to help, but Aliandra believes the Virgil will convince the armies not to go, citing that it’s too much of a risk. As such, their only real option is to go on their own, with only the help of the resistance members they currently have. Aliandra explains that dragons are subject to the same physical restrictions as humans, and can’t heal perfectly, so they generally use vassals to fight unless there is no other option but to fight. She puts it simply: A creature that lives thousands of years wants to put a buffer between themselves and anyone that could potentially get a lucky hit and give them a permanent injury.

Helena brings up one last point. Orik, given his ownership of the sword, is immune to being read or detected by Corinth using her psychic powers, but Falx and Lelouche might be readable as they approach her. If they want to use the crystalline shard, Falx and Lelouche need to voluntarily subject themselves to a memory loss spell so that they know nothing about the shard. Corinth will be caught unaware, but Falx and Lelouche will have to deal with being kept in the dark about their own plan. They agree, deciding to go over the plan with Orik before they go through the process.

300 EXP from role-playing = 300 EXP total (29200 EXP total)

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Day 46 - Felling The Abomination

The group approaches the dracolich within the Enclave’s underground facility, and Falx attempts to sway the necromancers to join and fight the beast. The men retort back with confidence that they will be victorious, and that they are fully devoted to their cause, to the very end. The group battles the men and the beast as Whisper and Jalmara control the various devices throughout the room, always in contact with the group telepathically. The group aids the dragon in destroying the Arcane Wall spell that the necromancers are attempting to hold up, and it eventually is shattered by the beast, destroying a summoned creature standing in front of it, and releasing the beast.

During the battle, Whisper explains that the lens and beam she controls can’t be seen from the control board, and that the group will have to let her know how it is reacting to the actions she takes at the board. As the battle goes on, Falx explains to her what each action seems to do, as she is attempting to line the beam up behind the lens, where it can fire a killing blow on the beast. Falx gets up close to a summoned beast from the necromancers, and the creature enters him as smoke through his wounds.

Though they try to focus on the creature, it isn’t finished off before the necromancers, and their binding drops, empowering the beast and giving it it’s full control back over itself. The group struggles to make headway as it begins healing itself with the damaged flesh sealing each hole they make in it’s hide, and it’s bones cracking back into place slowly. Falx focuses on giving Whisper instructions, eventually lining the beam up correctly. Managing to get out of the way with some quick movements, he orders her to fire the beam and a great light fills the room. As it fades, the group finds that the beast has been torn in two, it’s back half all but erased from existence. Bronne’s spirit can slightly be felt by Orik as it finds peace and dissipates to nothing.

Gathering themselves and healing up, the group begin checking the bodies of their defeated enemies. Lelouche and Falx each take an ornate knife from the two necromancers, while Orik uses his hammer to shatter the dracolich’s neck, pulling it’s head free and carrying it to the door, satisfied with his find. The group meets back up with Whisper in the control room. Falx explains that he feels the darkness of the creature that entered his body, and Whisper advises him to seek the help of a Paladin or priest immediately.

Looking around the room, Falx gathers whatever papers he can find that seem to be related to using the implements to track dragons across long distances. At first he gathers the implements described in the letter, but Whisper just begins grabbing every instrument that she can fit in her haversack and says she’ll drop off the items with you when the group arrives back in the plane they’re heading to. She specifically focuses on two stones she picks up, which are referred to as dragon stones, forged in the lungs of a dying dragon and harvested from it’s corpse. Whisper notes that she’d like to be part of this resistance since it lines up with her goals, but the group mentions that Pelagius doesn’t trust her just yet, and so it would be best if she arrived in commoner’s clothes. She heads out of the room for a minute, returning in her blacksmith’s outfit, hammer in hand. She explains that she’ll join the resistance as a blacksmith and offer her services and knowledge of magic and enchantment.

The group discuss Jalmara joining the new resistance, but Orik puts his foot down on the issue. He cites that he would offer no guarantee that he wouldn’t kill Gorn, and Jalmara accepts this as an inevitability if she were to go with the group, so she turns down the offer to join. Lelouche lets Gorn out of his bag and the beast re-appears from the squid after a few moments. Jalmara rushes to it and begins tending to it’s head wound. Willow offers her a salve from her bag, telling Jalmara to rub it on the inside of Gorn’s mouth once a day and he’ll have no trouble recovering. Jalmara thanks her, and explains to the group that this facility is the perfect place for her to make a home for now. The Enclave protected this place against detection, there are plenty of supplies and food storage areas, areas to rest, supplies for short travel, and tools for defending the area and detecting intruders. She decides to stay there with Gorn and clean the place up. Whisper advises her to remove the bodies as soon as possible, and not let Gorn eat any that have been affected with the rotting curse. Jalmara assures the group that she’ll be here if they need her help in the future. Lelouche pledges to seek help from the beast trainer, since he may be able to help with training and raising Gorn. Before leaving, Lelouche gather’s Bronne’s ring, which is now empty but could be used to hold a spirit, with the right implements.

Lelouche calls for Aliandra and explains the area they are in, and a nearby closet that would make for a hidden exit and future entryway. One of Rumen’s black doors appear in the closet as the group says their goodbyes to Jalmara. They step through, to the plane of the new resistance.

300 EXP from role-playing + 300 from battle = 600 EXP total (28900 EXP total)

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Day 45 - Entering the Enclave

As Falx studies beast handling with the old man inside the white plane, the rest of the group discusses current events with Aliandra. She asks what their next move will be, and they go over a number of possibilities. Bartan asks if there is anything specifically she needs of them, and she explains that she could use one of them for a very important task. Bartan offers to split off from the group to complete it, and she asks him to stay behind to have the task explained after the rest leave. Lelouche gives him a hug and tells him he’ll miss him most of all, then refers to him as the Tin Man, a reference which is lost on those in this mortal plane and place in time. Lelouche then asks about Bartan’s wife and where to find her, in case he doesn’t return. Bartan explains how to find her in Warren Tower but assures Lelouche he’ll return.

Falx asks about the specific ability of Rumen to open doors, and how much control he has over where he can open them. Aliandra explains that he can open them practically anywhere, but she is attempting to limit him to non-polulated areas or areas that they have control over. For example, she notes that Lianna has a number of trusted members of the former Southern Resistance that run businesses in Castle Valoris, which allows them to open doors inside the city, knowing that only trusted friends will see.

Hammond has Rumen open a door to his room in Tulley Keep. He tells the group that he will work outside of the plane on potential recruitment since the group unintentionally revealed the door and he must make an excuse for it, or risk causing suspicion about the new resistance before it is time to reveal itself. He heads through the gate as Rumen opens it, and it closes immediately afterward. Rumen walks back to his post, seeming to be watching Aliandra intently from a distance.

Falx takes a break from training and comes over to find out the consensus of what Aliandra needs and what the group will be heading to do next. Aliandra explains that she can drop the group at the base of the mountains east of Gainsmead since they expressed interest in hunting down the Enclave. Aliandra expresses that, based on what they’ve told her about the visions of the ring, the Enclave might have information on how to track down Corinth the Stone-Hearted, and so that should be their top priority at the current time. She asks Rumen to open a door for them, and he does so. The black gate stands in front of the group, and they say their goodbyes. Aliandra explains that she will pick them up whenever they contact her, and she gives Lelouche a contact scroll for that purpose.

The group heads through the gate, and as their eyes get used to the sunlight, they find themselves at the base of the mountains east of Gainsmead. Orik takes the lead, attempting to find the path up through the mountains to the Enclave. Recalling the vision, he eventually finds the path and the group begins heading up, with Orik in the lead. After a couple of hours, in which there are quite a few times they have to turn around and retrace their steps, the group manages to find an outcropping with signs of recently travel, and they realize they are getting close to the Enclave’s facility.

Approaching a canyon that seems to lead down into a highly traveled area, Orik feels a weight lift from him, and he examines Bronne’s ring, realizing it can be removed from his hand. He places it on a nearby rock, bidding the dead dwarf goodbye. Falx asks him incredulously if he took off the ring, and Orik just says “no”, unconvincingly. Lelouche uses Mage Hand to take it and place it inside of his bag, which Orik pays no mind to, happy to be free of it.

Orik decides to head down into the canyon while Lelouche and Falx head up the canyon wall to look from above and check for traps or people ahead. Orik searches for traps within the canyon, managing only to find a few corpses strewn about, all wearing the same black robes. Approaching one and turning it over, he finds a gruesome sight, the men having gray, bubbled skin and seeming to have quickly rotted. Orik recognizes it as a necromancy curse (specifically a “Decrepitcy Curse”), and informs the group. Gripping the Lion’s Claw, he doesn’t notice anything different in the area, though an uneasy feeling in his stomach settles. Orik confirms that the other corpses in the canyon suffer from the same curse. Falx realizes that a necro-dragon could enact this curse, though he realizes that anyone creating a necro-dragon would also have powerful necromancers under their command, so he leaves the subject for now.

Orik calls down the others, and Falx and Lelouche come down to meet him. Heading forward, they find a stone gate into what appears to be an underground facility. In front of it are more corpses that seem to have suffered the same fate. It is unclear whether these people were killed by the Enclave members, or are Enclave members themselves, though Orik notes that the robes are reminiscent of the few he could see in the visions. The group continues on, through the facility gate, into a large opening room.

The room is dimly lit by torches that seem to need replacing. As their eyes adjust, they realize the room is filled with even more corpses. Two appear to have been fighting each other bare-handed, showing scratches and dripping blood between them. A general feeling of unease and nausea affects them but the group continues inside. Falx locates a sign on the wall with arrows that appears to be a room marker board, but it is encoded or in a language he’s never seen before. Reaching into his bag, he reveals his Lens of Reading and waits while it decodes the sign. As the words become clear, he reads off the following rooms: “Meeting Hall”, “Dormitories”, “Control Room”, “The Pen”, and “Prison”. Falx makes a note of each direction and recites them to the group, who decide the “Control Room” is their best bet.

Lelouche realizes that a spell is permeating from inside the facility and causing the nausea, but it is farther than his ring can detect. In addition, the rotting effect on these men seems to still be active, though lesser than when it killed them, as they seem to have been affected quickly and without any warning. He informs the group that they have a bit of time before it reaches a point where it becomes dangerous, but they should keep their attention on the effects as they continue forward, and get out if they need to.

Heading down a long corridor, the group can hear noises ahead of them that sound like levers being pulled and knobs being turned. They attempt to move quietly, but they stop when they see a figure up ahead wearing a black cloak like the dead men strewn about the facility. The figure seems to be at one of the control boards in the room, and it is unclear how many others are in the room, judging by the amount of noise coming from it. The group backs up, deciding to get a disguise from the dormitories before heading into the control room to face however many people might be inside.

The group finds a number of black robes, with Orik specifically finding a closed-off room that contains a box with items made to fit a Dwarf, and he takes a Dwarf-sized black robe. He notes that it is most likely Bronne’s, and that there are no other dwarf items around, so he will be rather conspicuous, given that the Enclave most likely knows Bronne is dead. The group heads back toward the main room at the opening of the facility. Orik realizes that every time he touches his sword, the nausea clears, so he does so often, and suggests the same of the others, resetting the spell’s effect back to null each time.

The group heads toward the Meeting Hall, but finds a terrible sight in the hallway leading to it. It appears a large number of men and women attempted to leave the Meeting Hall through the hallway rather quickly and for some reason, the people up front seem to have stopped, which caused a large jam and the people died in a heap, climbing over one another. After a short investigation, Falx realizes these people seem to have clawed into themselves, most likely from the pain, gutting their own stomachs and tearing at their own eyes and ears, most likely due to the intense pain of the rotting curse. He explains this to the group, adding that whatever strength the curse was at before, it seems to have died down quite a bit, as they are only barely feeling it’s affect.

The group climbs over to reach the Meeting Hall, and Lelouche’s ring goes off, signalling that he is around 50 feet from the source of the curse being cast. Falx ignores a man who seems to have stabbed himself through the neck and is lying dead against the wall, instead reading some encoded documents using his Lens of Reading. He goes through papers on the large meeting desk and reads them off to the rest of the group. It would appear the Enclave has agents scatted throughout the kingdom, entrenching themselves in different groups to gain information and influence. Most notably, they seem to be attempting to gain information from the Sentinel Guild, having a few agents in high ranking positions within it. A few pages note the method of controlling the necro-dragon, and how it will eventually be a dracolich when the conversion is complete. The papers cite that there are to be three necromancers keeping the dragon under control at all times. Nothing in the papers describe having a problem keeping the beast under containment. Without them, the area would apparently need to be vacated, as the beast does not yet understand how not to radiate it’s power.

Falx directs everyone back to the main entry hall, and asks where to head next. Citing that the Control Room seems to be their ultimate goal, they decide to go to the prison first just in case they can find something of use. Heading down a large staircase, the group smells the prison before they can see it. Lelouche’s ring stops going off, which seems to indicate they are farther from the source than the Meeting Hall, but it begins going off again as they approach the prison as if an entirely different spell is being cast. As they enter the prison, they find the source of the smell quickly. The enclosed space is full of small cells and each one has one or more corpses in it, rotting and bleeding out onto the ground.

The group collectively feels an intense feeling of déjà-vu, and Lelouche recognizes it as a feeling from the vision they had with Whisper. Falx recalls an image of a cloaked female figure turned away from view, head against a stone wall. Rushing down the corridor, he passes countless corpses that seem to have torn themselves apart from the pain, eventually coming upon the figure from the vision. Turned away and facing the wall, a female form covered in a burlap fabric seems to be casting a spell over and over again. Feeling for the arcane power, Falx recognizes it as a “Wellness” spell, which is a spell non-healer magic users tend to use when they don’t know exactly the problem but want to make something healthier in general. In the cell on the other side of the stone wall the figure is leaning against, there is a large pile of some sort under another burlap fabric piece. After a moment, Falx realizes the shape is moving and hears a light growling, recognizing it as a beast of some sort.

Falx attempts to make his presence known, but the figure doesn’t turn toward him. Finding a key set on the wall, he opens the cell and enters slowly, approaching the figure. Getting a closer look, the figure seems to notice him as he speaks to them again. Shuddering, the figure slowly and painfully turns toward him, revealing a face absolutely covered in the gray skin and bubbling of the rotting curse. The figure’s eyes, ears, and mouth are covered in the bubbles, making communication and vision rather difficult if not possible. Falx manages to explain that he is giving her a Seed of Healing, and that she needs it to feel better. The magic effect of the item is immediately clear, with the bubbles and gray skin receding just enough to make the face of the figure recognizable as Jalmara. Falx realizes the beast next door must be Gorn, and that Jalmara must be attempting to keep him alive with the Wellness spell. Falx asks if Gorn is well enough to be touched to the Lion’s Claw to help him, but Orik hears him and goes into a rage, realizing they are yet again helping Jalmara and her dragon.

While Falx and Orik argue, Lelouche pulls out one of his Potions of Vitality and applies it to Jalmara, whose eyes seem to have cleared enough for her to recognize the group and that they are there to save her. As the potion takes effect, the gray skin recedes a bit more and the bubbles do so as well, to the point where she can speak and seems to be able to at least walk. She begs the group to help save Gorn. Lelouche asks if she can calm him to the point where he would accept being transmogrified, since he can’t do so with a dragon unless it agrees.

After a long talk about how the group and Jalmara have a common enemy in Corinth, and how Corinth herself represents what he truly hates about dragons while Gorn does not, Orik goes into a rage and demands that Lelouche turn him into a squid again, citing that he won’t be responsible for what he does otherwise. Lelouche, not thinking clearly in all of the confusion, Fey-steps to Gorn’s cell and attempts to transmogrify Gorn, forgetting that he isn’t accepting of the effect so it can’t be cast on him. Orik’s attitude changes as he sees Lelouche in danger as Gorn seems to be angry he has an intruder in his cell. Gray skin can be seen between Gorn’s scales, and the bubbles, though small on his body, can be seen covering the beast, and he is clearly in pain. Lelouche attempts to use Instant Friends on Gorn, but the effect unfortunately fails on the beast.

Orik’s mind clears as he sees Lelouche in danger, and he runs to the cell door. Not even asking Falx for the keys, he slams his foot into the cell door lock, knocking it from it’s frame after two hits and kicking the cell door open. Rushing over, he takes the hilt of the Lion’s Claw and slams it into Gorn’s head, knocking the beast to the ground and into a dazed state, though temporarily clearing it of the nausea affect as well. Jalmara rushes in, holding Gorn’s head in her lap and shushing it to calm it, which seems to be having a positive effect. After a minute, she hints to Lelouche that he is calm enough to accept a transmogrify spell, and Lelouche turns the beast into a squid, placing it in his bag of holding immediately. He describes that Gorn will be safe in there until they can find a place to heal him properly.

Lelouche asks Jalmara how she arrived her, citing that the last time they saw each other, she said she was going to head south over the mountains. Jalmara unknowingly describes the moment that Corinth‘s tooth exploded in Tulley Keep, noting that Gorn was hit by some sort of psychic magic and went wild. She attempted to keep him under control, but eventually gave up, and passed out while trying to speak to him directly. She was fortunately strapped onto the saddle on him, so she didn’t separate from him, but he went uncontrollably to the mountain pass outside of the Enclave facility. She only knew where she was because in the few moments after she was woken up by the men subduing Gorn, she could see Gainsmead down the mountain behind them.

Falx, hearing Jalmara mention her passing out while “speaking with Gorn directly”, recalls her gauntlet and begins searching for where prisoner personal effects are stored. Finding a small room, he locates the cubby that Jalmara’s things were in. From the fact that only the gauntlet and her clothes remain, he ascertains that the Enclave most likely took all of her magic items except for the gauntlet because they had no idea what it did. He takes her belongings and returns to the cell, giving her them in a satchel he found in another cubby.

Through some talking about Gorn’s loss of control, Lelouche realizes that perhaps the tooth was a method Corinth was using to hide herself, and perhaps Gorn latched on to that effect unknowingly, which is why he was never drawn to the Enclave until after the tooth was destroyed. He doesn’t share the information about the tooth with Jalmara just yet, since it seems irrelevant to their current situation. Through some more conversation, Jalmara describes the danger in being this close to the necro-dragon or dracolich, and that they need to leave the area. Apparently the beasts are known to be uncontrollable, to the point where utilizing them generally consists of just releasing it in a certain direction to cause chaos, then subduing it again through very powerful magic until it needs to be utilized again. Jalmara pledges to help in any way she can to destroy the beast, since they are essentially mindless in comparison to a pure dragon like Gorn, and because they are a risk to all mortal life.

Heading up to the main entry hall and down the hallway toward the control room, the group no longer attempts to be quiet. As they approach, their footsteps become loud enough to hear from the room and the figure ahead seems to notice their presence. In a rush of movement, the figure turns, reaching out a hand, and casts a spell that places a pure black wall at the end of the hallway, blocking the group’s path into the Control Room. The group catches a short glimpse of the man’s face, but not a front view, and he doesn’t seem recognizable. Orik grabs the Lion’s Claw but notes there is no illusion to the black wall. Lelouche recognizes it as an Arcane Lock, and informs the group as such. Approaching the locked wall, Lelouche prepares to use Knock to unlock it, but Falx decides first to speak through the wall since Arcane Locks don’t block sound.

Falx shouts for the man to settle down for a moment, but the man shouts back that his “hands are tied at the moment”. The man asks how the group is still alive, but Falx just repeats the question back through the wall. “I came prepared,” the man says. Falx retorts that they did the same. The man says, “You’re not with them” but Falx explains that he isn’t sure what the man means. After a moment, the man clarifies, “You’re not a member of this facility.” Lelouche speaks up, stopping his preparation for Knock, “No… Are you not a member of this facility?”. The wall disappears and Lelouche picks up his ritual components. The man in the black robe ahead turns to them, “I know that voice.”

This close to the room, the group can see that the man is reaching out in different directions and utilizing a form of telekinetic magic to control multiple controls around the room before returning to the main control board in front of him. Whisper’s figure begins to appear on the man, the black robe and masculine face disappearing to reveal her full outfit, save for the mask which can now be seen tied to her side. Willow smiles at the group.

Falx asks if “we’re containing right now?,” and Willow responds that, “Containing would be wonderful. I’d say right now it would be more accurate to say I’m nearly pushing back the tide. Could one of you kindly move over to that control board over to my left, and another to the levers on my right?”

Lelouche and Falx take the positions described, and Willow begins to explain to Falx the symbols on the control board. He asks what exactly they’re doing, explaining that he can read the symbols but they appear as Common to him, so if he knows what he’s supposed to be doing he can figure it out without specific symbol descriptions. Willow describes that the control board should be a “lens control” and that he needs to cycle through the four different lens configurations in sequence. Falx assures her that he has it and begins doing so. Willow describes to Lelouche that his levers control the focus on the lenses once they’re positioned, and that he needs to complete a sequence she describes with Falx’s timing.

Falx asks about what happened here, and Willow describes that something must have happened just after she arrived, though she locked herself in the Control Room which seems to be an immune area to necromatic effects. She recites that the beast killed one of it’s handlers during the chaos, and that she’s been helping keep it at bay for nearly half a day at this point. Willow asks about Jalmara, and Lelouche describes that she is a friend of theirs who came here with a dragon named Gorn. Willow asks if she “lost him”, attempting to respectfully ask if Gorn had died, but Lelouche assures Willow that Gorn is alive and well. Looking through the large window at the edge of the control room, Orik notes that the necro-dragon is being handled by only two necromancers, who seem to be having a difficult time containing it. The beast is slamming an Arcane Wall with it’s body and claws, and the wall seems to be slowly losing strength.

Upon Orik describing this, Willow describes the situation they are in at the moment. She received a vision of coming here and completing this pattern on the machine, but not what it would do or that the dragon would be released. Until the group arrived, she imagined that the vision, which included a call for her to bring an item to block necromatic curses, would lead to her death. She was beginning to accept that the beast would break free and kill her until the group arrived. Now, they have the ability to help the necromancers contain the beast, but eventually they will have to sleep or will fail in their duties for some other reason. The beast, on the other hand, is no longer mortal in the traditional sense and doesn’t need to eat or sleep, so it would eventually win out even if they all helped in the control room.

Willow explains three options they have, given the situation they’re now in. The first option is to leave the facility quickly, but when the beast is unleashed, it is sure to kill a great number of people, even if it is still young. The second option is to rush down and fight the beast, in which case the necromancers will bind it to their bidding for the battle, so the group will have to fight all three of them. The last option is to allow the beast to break the Arcane Wall and kill the necromancers, then fight it alone, but Jalmara explains that if the beast isn’t bound to a human, it will actually be far more powerful than it would be otherwise.

Willow asks for Jalmara to stay in the Control Room to help her, as they can use the lens control to continue weakening the beast during the fight, particularly since Jalmara won’t be useful in combat in her current state. Willow tosses a head circlet to Jalmara, which seems to begin reverting the effect of the rotting curse slowly. Willow notes that the Control Room has telepathy built in so that the controllers can speak to the handlers at will, so she will stay in contact. Falx attempts to speak to the necromancers below, asking what the situation is. A voice replies, calling the group “Interlopers” and citing that this was their fault. Falx attempts to explain that they are actually helping the necromancers from the Control Room, but the voice booms back, noting that he doesn’t believe Falx and that “you’ve doomed us all”. After some deliberation, the group decides to rush down and fight the beast and the necromancers together.

The group heads out of the Control Room, heading to the main entry lobby and then toward “The Pen”, which leads down to the area below the Control Room window. As they enter, the size of the beast takes them by surprise, as it appears smaller than it appeared from up above. The beast is large enough to fly, though the group recognizes it doesn’t seem to know this since it was most likely kept in this small room it’s entire life. As the lenses circle the room and machines turn on and off around the beast, the group prepares for battle.

300 EXP from role-playing = 300 EXP total (28300 EXP total)

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Day 44 - The New Resistance

Orik wakes up on the floor of The Rusted Clam, throwing up before attempting to recover from his vision, resting his head in his hands on the bar. Falx heads to the castle to see about the man that Merideth had kept around to unlock the other plane, but can’t find him right away. There seem to be a lot of people rushing around handling the issues that come after a battle and losing their lord, so he decides to head back to the bar and handle the issue in the morning. Bartan heads with the group, believing it best to stay with them and head out with them on a plan for vengeance.

Lelouche is awoken from his meditation in the early morning by a female voice. After a bit of surprise, he realizes that Whisper is contacting him telepathically. She tells him to gather the group, and he does so. She explains that she’ll be out of contact for the day, because she had her morning vision and has to handle some business. She informs the group that Virgil showed up at Tulley Keep fairly soon after the battle between Lord Leonne and Lord Merideth, which indicated to Lelouche that he must have traveled through a warp portal or something similar. She confuses Lelouche even more by explaining that he marched into town, not appearing at the town’s warp portal, and that he brought sages who could confirm his bloodline connection to the Overseer for his claim to the throne.

Whisper explains that the council of Tulley Keep sent out a call for people from Warren Tower and Castle Valoris. Specifically, there are a few people that the group might remember: Pelagius, Zaveir, Overseer Leonne, Walfred, Aliandra, and Hammond. The meeting isn’t fully public knowledge, nor is Virgil’s arrival, but people did see and news (as well as rumors) will spread soon.

Falx heads to the castle to find the mysterious man that served as Merideth’s portal opener. Falx asks around, and describes the man to a guard captain. As the guard seems to realize who Falx is referring to, one of the guards behind can be heard describing the same man as “unnatural”, which Falx agrees with. The head guard explains that Falx is a bit late, as that man has gone missing, along with Aliandra. He is currently a suspect in his disappearance. Falx curses his luck, and returns to the group with the news. Lelouche checks his ring, noting that the symbol representing her essence is discolored, which he assumes might mean it is inaccessible, but at least she isn’t dead.

The group heads to try to meet up with Pelagius, hoping to catch him before he leaves for Tulley Keep. The mages seem to be preparing something unspecific, but the group pays it no mind and asks about Pelagius. Apparently, he has gone to Tulley Keep through a warp portal just a few minutes prior. Falx realizes that Walfred most likely wouldn’t utilize a warp portal from Warren Tower, as he is the only one called who isn’t extremely close to royalty or magically inclined. The group makes a plan to intercept him on his way to the city by warping to Falqueth and heading north.

Arriving in Falqueth by warp portal, the group discusses the possibility of stealing Walfred’s essence and the possible risks it might present to them to attempt. Falx seems to think it’s a terrible idea, while Lelouche describes all that they could learn by sitting in on the meeting. Their conversation is stopped by Orik spotting Walfred’s caravan. They approach, showing their western sigils and riding up next to Walfred to talk. Falx rides alongside him while Lelouche, Bartan, and Orik chat in the back.

Falx explains that their business has them looking to speak to Pelagius, and implies that Walfred is also heading there to meet with him. Walfred seems wary of the implication of the meeting, as it is a secret, and only confirms he may speak with Pelagius when he arrives at Tulley Keep. Falx mentions Merideth and gives his condolences, but Walfred explains that Merideth made the right choice to act as a martyr for the sake of Eros. Lelouche mentions avenging Merideth, and the two share a candid conversation about the things that must be done in war. Lelouche realizes Walfred most likely isn’t going to recognize the group at this point from their interactions in Warren Tower prison.

Walfred asks about Bartan, since he has no sigil, and Falx explains his role attempting to avenge Merideth and help the group. Walfred expresses his appreciation for any wandering adventurers that take up the call to serve Eros. The convoy continues on into the city, passing through without a security check, as Walfred’s presence dictates. Lelouche looks around, thankful that there doesn’t seem to be a massacre after the events that surrounded their departure. The people in the city seem to be unhappy, most likely treated poorly by the southern guards that seem to have replaced the northern guards that were keeping order in the town under King Oreth’s reign.

Falx approaches Lelouche and whispers that it would be unwise to attempt to take Walfred’s essence, as Walfred has spent the last few years tracking Whisper and will most likely have safeguards in place to prevent disguises or invisibility, or really any kind of illusion magic. Lelouche takes the advice to heart and decides against taking Walfred’s essence, bidding the man goodbye instead. He shakes Walfred’s hand, and Falx wonders if Lelouche took the man’s essence or not, since he never outright said he wouldn’t.

The group heads to the castle and rush to meet up with Zaveir and Pelagius before they enter the meeting. Both men are met near the door to the council room and the group discuss matters with them. Falx talks with Zaveir, who apparently has been attempting to guide the conversation toward delaying any attempt by Virgil to claim the throne. Lelouche asks about the man that disappeared with Aliandra, and Pelagius explains that the man is a “summoned spectre” whose purpose is unknown, but was decided by Merideth. His ability to open a door to another empty plane is generally seen as useless for mortals to learn, as it is highly time-consuming, so summoned creatures learn the ability and then are erased from existence when their purpose is served.

Lelouche greets Zaveir with a long hug, and the two share a moment where they speak like the oldest of friends. Zaveir asks about their business in Tulley Keep, and explains that he’s hopeful the council meeting will bring all of the tragedy to an end. Lelouche pulls Zaveir to the side and voices his concern about Virgil possibly becoming king, and Zavier explains that he believes the council won’t give him the throne so easily. Orik and Falx suggest, if possible, that the council should demand to see Virgil’s body to look for signs of being bound to Corinth the Stone-Hearted, but Zaveir explains that it would come off as rather absurd to demand that of a man like Virgil. Even so, he will attempt to bring up the issue in the meeting.

Falx asks about Wall-Mart, and apparently business is booming, particularly since the people outside the wall might be safe from marauding armies if the war ends because of recent events.

The group hears some shouting, and some guards approach while discussing that Hammond seems to have disappeared. Asking about the disappearance, the group is told that Hammond arrived in the city, but disappeared at some point in the last hour. Zaveir tells them to look into it as he enters the meeting with Pelagius.

The group heads to Hammond’s chamber and are accompanied by two lower-level sages attempting to find arcane clues in the room. Lelouche excuses them for a moment and feels around until he finds something very specific: A doorway to another plane has recently been opened in this room. He requests help from the two sages and they perform a ritual to help him tear the hole back open, managing to open a hole just over a foot in diameter into what appears to be Meredith’s pocket plane.

After a moment of discussion where they speak in ambiguous terms to avoid describing that the plane is something they recognize, the group decides to force their way inside. Falx uses Scattered Form to turn himself into a swarm of insects and flies through the hole as Lelouche holds it open. Bartan, being a ranger, dives through the hole in an acrobatic move that slides him just inside the diameter of the hole, rolling to catch himself on the other end. Lelouche loses his grip on the hole just afterward, leaving Falx and Bartan on the other end.

A man Falx recognizes as Merideth’s summoned specter approaches with Aliandra, who holds him back as he appears ready to attach Falx and Bartan for breaking into the plane. Aliandra introduces the man as Rumen, and asks him to re-open the doorway. In Hammond’s room, a doorway appears on the wall and Lelouche explains it away as being part of his spell and for them to wait in this room for him and Orik. The two of them walk through the black portal and it disappears behind them as they arrive in the pocket plane.

Aliandra welcomes the group to the “New Resistance”, and explains that Rumen acts as “their door” to a place where she is now attempting to form a resistance against Virgil, who she believes is assured to take the throne. Rumen is tasked as a specter to protect Aliandra’s unborn child, on the order of Merideth shortly before her death. She describes that they stole Hammond and “an enterprising young woman named Lianna who I believe you may have met”. Aliandra adds that Lianna asked them to bring in Lady Katherine, revealing to the group that she is most likely the leader of the southern resistance they met prior.

Aliandra describes that they have plans to bring in others, such as Pelagius and Zaveir, as well as some higher members of her war party and Markus, the leader of the Sentinel Guild. Lelouche suggests Dimitri, since he is bound to serve them, and Aliandra thanks him for the suggestion. She notes that Walfred might be tapped as a war planner in the near future.

The group greet Lady Katherine, who seems to be rediscovering her brash nature after years of being timid in response to Lord Leonne’s treatment of her. Aliandra explains that they have to stagger their recruitment until it can be assured that the kingdom won’t respond by locking high-ranking members down using arcane methods, or sniffing them out by any clues they leave.

Falx asks Hammond about potentially tracking Corinth, even possibly using one of her kin to find her. Hammond explains that without the tooth, he isn’t sure what could be used, or if her kin could locate her, but it would certainly help, as any dragon would have a direct link to a psychic dragon in the area. Lelouche presents the dragon scale Jalmara gave him, and Hammond asks him to leave it with him. Lelouche requests that they leave Gorn alone if this all plays out, and not to hunt him down to kill him just because he’s related to Corinth.

Aliandra interrupts the conversation to explain that the group has created a bit of a conundrum since Hammond’s disappearance is now evident as being to a separate plane. Hammond volunteers to go back, providing a cover story that the plane is a place of meditation for him. He notes that the lower sages will most likely know it isn’t the truth as they are knowledgeable in his abilities, but they can be trusted enough to not disclose his deception to the guards as they have worked under him for years.

Lelouche asks about possibly erasing someone’s memories, and Hammond describes that it’s a highly complicated process, though possible. Falx notes that one of the beasts of war seems to still be in the cages within the plane. He asks if it is the last, and Hammond explains that it’s a bit unruly and gave them trouble when the rest exited the plane, so it was left inside. It’s handler went out and died in the battle, attempting to act as a replacement handler in case another was taken off their mount. Falx approaches the old man that he recalled as the instructor of the handlers. The man expresses his surprise at Falx returning, and offers to teach him now that he has a bit of extra time on his hands. Falx gets to work laying aside some books to read on the subject, deciding outright to tame the beast.

300 EXP from role-playing = 300 EXP total (28000 EXP total)

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Day 43 - The Only Verdict Is Vengeance

The group comes down from the wall, watching as the information of Merideth and Lord Leonne’s death is spread through the huddled masses. A few people can be heard discussing that they’re going to go to the castle to find someone to tell them how they can help. Guards are leading people who are seeking a way to help toward the castle, or outside to help move the bodies, as they might not get another chance to do so if there is a second attack in the near future. The group decides to help with the effort to move the bodies out on the battlefield, heading out the main gates with a large group headed by a knight captain shouting orders.

As they walk out into the field, the group wanders over to an elf they recognize as a fellow adventurer. Orik exposes himself to the man, hoping to impress him. The man is unimpressed, but Falx assures Orik he is very impressed. Lelouche apologizes and introduces himself as Lelouche Lunarsphere, Eladrin Wizard. The man introduces himself as Bartan.

The group rummage through the pockets of the soldiers and find a few pouches of gold totaling 60 gold pieces each as they move the bodies. Lelouche looks around for Lord Leonne’s body and finds a group of western guards effectively protecting the body from the townsfolk who would otherwise desecrate the corpse. Lelouche approaches the corpse and notices that Leonne’s right leg seems to have been torn from under him, and his chest-plate was collapsed inward far enough to have crushed the man’s rib cage. It would appear he was killed by an impact from the bodies the demon threw during it’s rage. Seeing that no guards are protecting the leg, Orik grabs it and begins shadow-fencing with it, to the delight of the townsfolk.

Lelouche notices while searching the bodies that he no longer has Merideth’s essence in the ring. He asks to investigate Leonne’s body and the guards allow it, recognizing Lelouche by his emblem. Meanwhile, Falx looks around and spots a felled beast from the western army, and sneaks up to the dead controller still mounted on it’s back. Pretending the pray over the body, he inconspicuously steals a four-finger ring from the man’s hand, and takes the beast-controller poncho the man has over his armor as well, recognizing that it could be used to help him control a beast if any remain in the other plane Merideth had stored them in.

Orik glances around and notices the forest still on fire, though it burns slowly and will most likely be simple to put out once the troops reach the edge, or could possibly put itself out once it reaches the more green center of the forest. Lelouche looks for Leonne’s sword and finds a few guards removing it and placing it in a cart, which then gets loaded with parts of Leonne’s armor, most likely to be put on display in the castle. He assumes the parts are being removed to prevent the townsfolk from desecrating them or stealing them. Lelouche searches the arcane energies around the battlefield and uses Invisibility to slip past a few guards, taking a head-chain off of a fallen general from the southern army and pocketing it before returning to Bartan.

Bartan looks over Merideth’s body, finding the corpse with a slightly transparent sheet placed over it out of respect by the guards. Her head has been placed by her body at the neck, and the guards are attempting to keep people away even though they seem to only want to pay their respects. A number of townsfolk are crying in the area, having lost the will to move bodies after seeing their leader felled. Lelouche looks over Merideth’s body for arcane power while still invisible, but recognizes that he doesn’t want to loot her body, and even if he did, the sheet’s removal would be noticed if he moved it, so he turns visible again next to Bartan, startling him, and says hello again.

The guards load Merideth’s body into a wagon while the rest of the bodies onto stretchers or carry them away grabbing only arms and legs with the help of the townsfolk. The group stays and helps until it seems like everything is nearly handled, and they decide to meet up all together, along with Bartan who is near Lelouche still. Falx introduces himself and asks if Bartan is a member of the western army, seeing as he in town. Bartan explains that he is a semi-retired adventurer working as a hunter in the city, but volunteered to help during the battle, as his archery skills are useful up on the walls. Bartan offers to join up with the group after hearing that they released the demon, and asks if they are searching, like him, to avenge Merideth. The group confirms they are, and that their next move should be to seek out the council to see where they could best be utilized.

Returning to the council chamber, the group finds a meeting already taking place, which they silently walk in to and sit down. Aliandra and Pelagius are both sitting in as well, as honorary council members like the group, but neither are doing any of the talking. The council is discussing who will be the leader of Eros now that all three children have died. It seems unanimous that Overseer Leonne, sitting silently while he is talked about, is not in a proper mindset to lead with his increasing dementia and memory loss. The council is discussing possible suitors but no one is of direct lineage, so they are talking about the possibility of calling people in to make their claims. One council member offers up the possibility of the councils of each town forming a bonded council to rule over Eros in the mean time, but there seems to be a lot of disagreement about whether the other cities (particularly Castle Valoris in the South) will agree to that.

Falx requests the floor and it is granted. He offers up that Virgil is orchestrating the events and that his capture should be a priority. Council members argue, and one shouts out that they can not dismiss a national hero on the request of a few adventurers that have only recently come to town. Even with Merideth’s trust, the group is not a trustworthy source for such a large decision, and they would have to bring evidence if they want action taken against Virgil. The council also breaks into a small argument when another member brings up that although they did so with a general’s blessing and are therefore not able to be punished for the action, releasing a demon was a war crime, and a reckless action that could have resulted in many more deaths, including that of the townsfolk.

Orik attempts to shout over the council, claiming that the Eros Alliance must be held accountable for slaughtering northern soldiers, but some of the more shrewish members of the council voice back that “Oreth’s people” can not necessarily be trusted to have not started that confrontation, and again the group is not a viable source unless they can provide evidence of foul play by the Eros Alliance. Orik and Falx argue that they were there, and Falx claims that Virgil wouldn’t be hiding if he had no reason to. The council explains that a lack of evidence pertaining to any wrong-doing makes it impossible for them to make a judgement call based only on the group’s testimony. Orik dismisses their refusal, saying that if Virgil comes to town, they should at least be wary of him.

Lelouche moves to sit next to Aliandra and quietly asks her thoughts privately. Aliandra whispers to him, “You should leave. You’re not safe here. We’re not safe here.” Lelouche gets the feeling that she is purposely leaving out information, but possibly doesn’t feel safe discussing it in the room. He thinks to himself that he isn’t sure whether she means she isn’t safe in the council room, or in the city in general, or even all of Eros. Falx advises the council that the group is fully supportive of the plan to unite the kingdom under a three-council rule until a suitor to the throne can be found. The council explains that they’ve already sent ravens to the other councils, but there are many doubts about the possibility of an agreement between all three cities.

Falx notices something peculiar when glancing around the room. Having taken notes on Whisper’s vision in Myrefall, he notes that Pelagius happens to be wearing an outfit eerily similar to one that could be seen on one of the people who seemed to be muttering into Whisper’s ear. He makes a note of it, planning to speak with Pelagius after the council meeting. The council seems to be nearly complete with the meeting and Pelagius exits quietly, as does Aliandra. Falx wishes the council well with the planning, and some supportive members of the council express that they hope a peaceful resolution can finally come to the nation. The group bids them a farewell, though Lelouche returns quickly to note that the demon was originally a summoned assassin targeting Oreth. The council accepts his claim and says they will take it into consideration.

Lelouche heads out and meets up with the group, agreeing to meet them at the bar later. Lelouche catches up with Aliandra Aliandra, asking to speak to her in private. She leads him to her guest room and they discuss how she’s holding up. She claims that she feels that all of these events are her fault, and can’t escape the guilt. She expresses that she doesn’t feel safe knowing that Virgil will make a claim soon, and that she’ll be found out when she starts showing, if not sooner. She also notes that even heading to the smaller towns might end in her being recognized, and she has no idea who to trust other than the group. Lelouche offers the group’s services if she plans on leaving the country, and she tells him that she will contact them in a day’s time. She hands him a contact scroll from a pouch on her side, and dismisses him. He heads toward the bar to meet up with the group.

Meanwhile, Falx is walking with Pelagius, having caught up with him to discuss the recent events and how he is feeling. He explains that the Mage’s Guild acolytes heal him up a bit more every day and he doesn’t deal with much pain anymore. He adds that he’ll be fully recovered soon at this rate. Falx expresses that he wants to be open with Pelagius, and manages to confirm that Pelagius knows about Aliandra’s pregnancy. He also confirms that he knows a bit about Elder’s identity and that it’s another sad loss of a great man, and that the nation needs heroes like Keigar, now more than ever. Through some conversing, Falx explains that he thinks Whisper is a legendary hero in the making, but Pelagius has his doubts.

Pelagius goes on to explain that, if they are properly understanding all that has occurred, Virgil is most likely going to make a claim soon. He explains that if that is to happen, and Virgil takes control of Eros, Pelagius will quietly leave his post and not return, as he knows he can’t stand against Virgil but also can not stay at his post protecting Eros while knowing that it’s king received the crown through such methods. Falx expresses that he understands, and that he hopes there is still time to stop that from happening. He then bids Pelagius farewell and heads to the bar.

When they first reached The Rusted Clam, Orik and Bartan are met with a depressing scene of soldiers and townsfolk alike drinking to forget the worries that come with war and the loss of their leader. Orik attempts to brighten to mood and introduces Bartan to his favorite drinking game, and the two go head-to-head. After a drawn-out battle, Orik passes out on his last drink and Bartan is awkwardly left with the unconscious body of his new friend. After a few minutes, Falx shows up. Seeing Orik passed out at the bar, Falx only shakes his head and sits next to Bartan, giving a knowing nod. A few minutes later, Lelouche shows up and apologizes to Bartan for Orik, who immediately attempts to lift his head before mumbling and passing back out.

Bartan asks Lelouche what his plan is moving forward, and the two discuss the larger issue of Corinth the Stone-Hearted and Virgil The Red, and how a play for the throne might soon make the group enemies of the state. Falx raises the point that Virgil is most likely bound to Corinth and therefore if they went directly for Corinth, Virgil would be summoned and able to be defeated, though they might have to face Corinth at the same time or right after. Falx goes on to explain how a dragon’s bind works, and that it offers that possibility of finding Virgil, as well as a way to identify Virgil by the binding which leaves a scar, most likely on the back of Virgil’s neck. As such, finding Corinth would lead us to Virgil and give evidence to his betrayal of Eros.

Lelouche asks Bartan to allow him to test his ring’s power on him while he’s a squid, and Bartan reluctantly agrees after Falx explains that although it is uncomfortable, he will be perfectly safe. Committing the test, Lelouche finds that the ring allows the user to become a person who is trans-mutated, with no negative effect. The group returns to the talk of Corinth.

Orik sits up upon hearing Corinth’s name, finally awake enough to talk, and shouts “SO WE KILL THE BITCH”. The group discuss the merits of the idea, but Falx sadly admits that with no way to find Corinth, they’re just as lost on the next steps as they were before. He expresses that he almost wishes he knew how the Enclave tracked dragons. As an immediate reaction, Bronne begins screaming as if his ring is delivering him an immense amount of pain, and he passes out. Orik witnesses Visions of the Ring 06 and wakes up to find that his ring feels particularly less powerful, almost as if Bronne expended the last of his energy to give that vision.

300 EXP from role-playing = 300 EXP total (27700 EXP total)

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Day 42 - The Last Lion

Orik drinks like it is his last night on earth at the Rusted Clam as Falx keeps him company. Overhearing some men talk about whether they should leave the city with their families before the upcoming battle, Orik saunters over and openly calls the men cowards for considering running. One of the men stands up and yells back, asking what Orik would do if everyone he knew was subject to slaughter should the walls be breached. Orik stands his ground, citing that he would fight to his dying breath. He them pulled out his hammer and smashed it down into the table, shattering the wood and all of the glasses upon it. The men go silent, as does the entire bar. Orik grabs a drink from a nearby table and drinks it without saying a word before leaving the bar. No one attempts to stop him. He returns to the room with Falx and they head to sleep.

The next morning, the group heads out and sees the townsfolk going about their business as if everything is normal, though a few can be seen loading up wagons with their possessions to leave the city. Most people seem calm and confident, considering that war has been declared by their leader. Falx decides to head to a library to try to look up information on beasts of war, to prepare for the battle, so he heads to the castle. He asks Merideth for access to the hidden plane and is sent there to study. Approaching a man that appears to be the head trainer, he asks for any information or guidance, and the man agrees to teach him in whatever spare time he has. Falx asks for confirmation of whether someone, with the right training, could possibly control one of the beasts, and the man confirms that yes, anyone can be taught and the beasts can be acclimated to anyone with enough time. Having trained mid-sized beasts in his past, Falx considers the chance that he could become properly trained to be worth the time, and starts studying.

Orik and Lelouche head to a shop to find some items, since their gold is starting to weigh them down. Lelouche heads to Pelagius at the Mage’s Guild first and asks for any information he can offer about the golden gauntlets he took from the Last Lions, and Pelagius explains the power they contain but can’t recall anything about the group itself. Pelagius asks them both what place they plan to take in the battle, if any. He offers the idea that adventurers can turn the tide in war, but it is up to them to determine their path. No one can decide it for them.

Lelouche suggests that he will try to keep his eyes open for an opportunity to use the Jester’s Mask if it could help in the war effort. Pelagius offers the idea that he should ensure he understands the limits of the power, since his explanation of the ring did not clarify whether it would work with the essence of someone who is no longer living. Lelouche makes a mental note to find out when possible. Pelagius adds that if he sees the two in battle, they are welcome to ride to his side, as he feels comfortable with their powers, though the average soldier would most likely find their volatility off-putting as potential allies in war. Lelouche and Orik decide to head to Merideth and consult her war council about where they would be most useful during the battle. Pelagius wishes them good fortune and safety on the battlefield.

Orik and Lelouche meet with Merideth in the war council room and watch over as the battle plans are explained. They decide to head north to meet with the commander tasked with committing a pincer attack on Leonne’s main force. Beforehand, they agree to join the citizen volunteers that are setting traps in the forest, since Leonne is expected to send a small contingent through the forest and they want to prevent the bulk of that group from getting through. Lelouche offers that he might have some information about the coming force, and excuses himself to go and check for a raven from Dimitri. He returns with a letter detailing that Lord Leonne has become aware of the small force in the forest, and is planning to come through the forest with a much larger force, steamrolling the citizens and not taking any prisoners. Dimitri also indicates in the letter that there is “another force, heading somewhere other than Warren Tower” but he isn’t sure where it’s heading exactly.

Orik suggests that men be sent to the southern mountains to cave in the tunnels through the mountains so that they can’t be used to send men through. Merideth sends a contingent to handle it, citing that it won’t take many men there and it’s worth it to cover their bases. Orik suggests burning the forest, but a war council member explains that fire moves slow enough for an army to avoid it if they see it from far off, and that it would be unwieldy and the smoke might cause problems for them on the primary battlefield. Merideth cuts the older man off, “No… Orik is right. We should alter all of our traps to fire traps. We’ll eave the eastern coalition a welcoming gift that will shake them to the core”. She then jokes, “The forest has been growing too quickly anyway…”

Orik and Lelouche are sent to help aid spreading of fire traps all along the forest, with the triggers only existing on the western-most traps, so that when they are triggered, the hidden traps will go off, surrounding the forces and taking out whatever army heads through the forest. They head off to do this, preparing the forest until the horns blow signalling the eastern army is approaching. As the battle begins, they head north to meet with the forces for the pincer attack. Falx is notified in the hidden plane and heads out to meet with Orik and Lelouche, having learned quite a bit about dealing with the west’s trained beasts.

The group meets up with a small army over the hills just south of Port Giles. A scout sits atop the hill and keeps an eye out to signal for when they should ride south. After a long wait, the scout indicates that forces are coming, but heading directly toward them. It would appear that Leonne was sending a contingent force to Port Giles to cut off escaping citizens, and their goal shifts into stopping this force before it reaches the town. Their army heads to the top of the hill, breaching it as the approaching force reaches the foot of the hill. They have the high ground, but a smaller army. A bloody battle ensues, but the group manages to barely squeak out a win against the eastern army. As their few remaining men (including the general that was leading the army here) gather together, Lelouche uses some dying enemy soldiers to test his questions pertaining to the use of the ring. He discovers that if a person dies, their essence is taken from the ring, and if he is masquerading as a man who dies, his disguise immediately drops and it actually causes him physical pain.

When the army is set to move, they breach the hill once more and survey the primary battlefield. What they find is a bit more chaotic and brutal than the expected, as Leonne has pushed back the beasts with a fortunate application of spearmen. A large chunk of the forest, possibly representing a quarter of it’s full space, has become nothing but a black smudge on the landscape as smoke rises over the land and the treeline continues to recede from the fire.

As they ride south, Falx manages to pinpoint Merideth’s position and sees her leading a charge toward the center of the battle. He also manages to spot Lord Leonne, who is staying in the back and taking out any injured men on the field while his men fight and die in front of him. Falx leads the group toward the back, seeing Aliandra rushing north to the area Merideth is in and heading to meet her. Lelouche recognizes that Leonne is about to overtake the western forces, so he uses Invisibility and Fey-Steps to Aliandra’s horse, alerting her of his presence and asking her to do a full retreat. He suggests that if Merideth falls, her child will be the rightful heir and that is more important than this battle or any other.

Aliandra considers his request, and yells out to Merideth asking her to pull back. Merideth orders Aliandra to pull back and lead her men back inside the castle. Aliandra reluctantly agrees, heading back inside with her men and Lelouche. Falx and Orik ride out to Merideth, and Falx urges her to consider a retreat as well, but she remains on the field, saying that if Eros falls, she falls with it. Falx recognizes that Merideth is acting as a Martyr for her city, and that this may be the best move. Knowing he couldn’t convince her otherwise, he heads into the castle with Orik.

Aliandra is sent to the war council as the group is led up to the wall to watch the battle in the distance. From the wall, they watch as Merideth’s forces are routed and surrounded. Leonne makes a demand for her men to throw down their weapons, and for her to kneel to him and accept her defeat if she wants her men to live. Her men throw down their weapons at her command, and she delivers herself over to Leonne’s forces. Leonne brings her to a hilltop and announces that if she bends the knee to him, he will be lenient on the western soldiers. Merideth kneels before him to great applause from the eastern forces. Leonne raises his sword in victory, then sends it down upon Merideth’s head, cutting it from her neck.

The men atop the wall cry out in anguish, though their resolve seems to have hardened against Leonne. If he thought that having Merideth kneel to him would weaken their morale against him, he was apparently wrong. Lelouche suggests the idea of sending his demon over the wall in a catapult, and after some discussion with a nearby captain, the man agrees.

Lelouche heads to the nearby catapult, pulls the demon squid from his earring, and drops it on the catapult bowl, yelling for them to release the ropes. The catapult is launched, and there is a moment of hushed silence as it floats over the battlefield toward Leonne and his men. As it fades far into the distance, the group squint to watch, seeing the small dot in the sky morph into a slightly larger dot before it lands, right in the dead center of Leonne’s army and next to the man himself.

The next few moments in the distance can only be seen as a flurry of blood, bones, and parts of siege machinery being thrown through the air. Dust rises and screams can be heard from the horizon. Men on the wall seem to be holding back a mixture of horror and glee as they watch Leonne’s army be torn apart. After a few moments, the dust clears and what is left of the army is scattered among the bodies in what can only have been called a massacre. The last of Leonne’s men commit a full retreat back north of the forest.

As the group watches the men leaving over the horizon, Falx calls out that he sees another army over a hill in the distance, wearing the colors of the Eros Alliance, and he manages to spot a man in the front in similar armor to Virgil’s famous gold equipment, though this armor is pure black. The man raises a hand in the distance and his army turns around. Falx deduces that this was Virgil attempting to make a move and defeat whoever survived the battle between Leonne and Merideth, but the demon’s interference may have convinced him it wasn’t the best plan at the moment.

Falx looks out and confirms after some searching that Leonne is most definitely dead on the battlefield. His body is left among the rest, not even carried away by his men. Lelouche looks to a general to his left, worried that his use of a demon might be considered unacceptable, as it was most definitely a war crime of some sort. After a long moment of silence as the man looks out across the wall, Lelouche hears him whisper under his breath, “Fuck yes.”

300 EXP from role-playing + 300 EXP from fighting = 600 EXP total (27400 EXP total)

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Day 41 - War Is Coming

Willow sets up a large circle of residuum as the group watches. When asked if she needs any help, she hushes the group and then points each of them to a spot in the cirlce. “Don’t move, don’t speak… hell, try not to think too hard. It’s a delicate process,” she says. Standing in the center, she takes a low stance and then begins to rise, walking slowly around the interior of the circle, chanting quietly. Swirls of arcane power begin to float around the room as she begins the ritual, and the colors form a wall around them floating over the circle’s perimeter.

A flash of light comes and goes, leaving behind a new place and time. A creature looms above the group, who are now outfitted in full gear. A darkness floats around the beast, concealing it’s shape. The group look on as the creature fades into the smoke that surrounds it, and a new vision appears of a figure draped in dirty cloth shivering in the corner of a dungeon cell. Tears fall from a face hidden in the cloth, and the figure fades again. Whisper appears in her full disguise and behind her stands a group of well-dressed figures without faces, each leaning over her to whisper in her ear as she looks ahead. She then steps forward, disappearing into the smoke as the visions before. Finally, two lions fight in a savanna while a third lion stands in the grass, watching and waiting.

The colors begin to fade and the world around the group comes back into view. The vision completes and Willow is laying on the ground, apparently having fallen unconscious in a fetal position. Falx rushes to her and helps her wake up, as horns are heard outside. Willow manages to speak weakly, saying that it’s a town-wide announcement and could possibly be word from Merideth to all Western towns. She asks the group to go and see what the news is and then return to her. Lelouche helps her into a chair, and she insists he go with the group as she is fine in the room while she recovers.

Orik leads the group out into the town square in front of what used to be Elder’s Estate, and finds the townsfolk approaching as nine men ride in on horses. The men are outfitted in clothing that seems to imply they are from the Southern army. The man leading the group announces that the Southern Valley and Northern Heights are now one nation, the Eastern Coalition, and that they are here to find conscripts for an army that would bring back a united Eros. They stress that it is entirely voluntary, but when they imply that any conscripts will be safe from harm, Orik feels that the man is issuing a veiled threat to the town.

Orik speaks up, putting to words that he doesn’t feel the man is issuing this announcement in good faith and that it seems threatening. The man replies loudly for all of the townsfolk that it is no threat, and that they just want cohesion between the countries. He then stresses that it would be “in everyone’s best interest” if the two sides weren’t at odds. Orik implies that the South killed innocent people in Tulley Keep, but the man corrects him, claiming that the people from Tulley Keep are alive, and any who haven’t been conscripted are awaiting news to find out their role in the combined nation.

Some of the townsfolk seem to be speaking to the other man willingly, but it is unclear whether they are doing so because they feel threatened or because of genuine interest. Orik speaks up again, saying that the man has come here to take a peaceful town full of people in mourning over a respected leader, and try to recruit them to a cause they don’t support. Orik tells him that he won’t let the man force the townsfolk into this agreement, especially for “a corrupt city and a corrupt leader”, insulting Castle Valoris and Lord Leonne.

The man’s face changes to one of anger, and he approaches Orik, drawing his sword. The other men step down from their horses and do the same, and Orik draws his hammer as well. Falx speaks up, citing that there’s no need for violence, and that they should talk this out. A man behind the militia’s leader speaks directly to him, saying that they are on strict orders and that violence won’t help their cause anyway. The man in front puts his arm down for a moment, seeming frustrated. He looked around to the townsfolk and offered another announcement. “If anyone would like to sign up, you may talk to any of my men. Would someone point me in the direction of the leadership of this town, so that I can speak to them?”

A few townsfolk point toward the manor, and the man walks to the gate. Lelouche walks up to him and apologizes for his companion’s behavior, and introduces himself. The man introduces himself as Captain Liam, seemingly unsure of Lelouche’s intentions. They shake hands and Lelouche takes Liam’s essence into the ring unnoticed. The group gather together at the gate and it is opened for them to Liam’s surprise. They walk in together, uncomfortably, toward the building.

The council comes into their audience hall and sits, and Orik sits with them even though people approaching generally stand and visitors generally sit in an area to the side. Lelouche and Falx sit to the side as is expected of them, while Liam stood to address the council. Ignoring Orik’s position, Edgar speaks up, asking Liam why he has come. Liam attempts to say that he is here on a peaceful mission to get conscripts to unite Eros again, but Edgar cuts him off and says that there is no chance they will allow this. Liam tells Edgar that it would be unwise to not let the people decide, and Edgar assures him that he will let each and every citizen make their own choice. Edgar turns to another council member and tells him very blatantly in front of Liam that he should go and announce that the council encourages each citizen to make their own choice, but that the council does not support the war and does not encourage any citizen to become a part of it, as the town is a symbol of peace.

Liam leaves, clearly attempting to hide his anger, and the announcement is made. The group watches as the citizens who seemed to be taking interest tear up the conscription sheets and return to their business. Liam looks furious, but makes one last announcement that his men should go door to door looking for volunteers for the next hour. The group watches to ensure no one is being threatened and when the hour is over, Liam points his men to head out of town. Orik gathers with the townsfolk watching Liam and his men leave. Orik shouts, “And STAY OUT”, which elicits celebratory shouting from the townsfolk around him. The horses jump a bit at the noise and the men look a bit silly because of it as they leave down the southern road.

The group returns to Willow, who seems to have recovered. She describes what she saw in the vision and it’s clear she saw the same thing as the group, which they confirm. She asks what their thoughts were on what they saw. Lelouche says that he thinks the lions represent Merideth and Leonne, with the third being Virgil, and Willow says that she believes the same. When asked about the figure in the jail cell potentially being her, she replies that she might be a bit too confident, but she honestly doesn’t see herself being so broken as the figure appeared, even in the face of defeat or failure. Lelouche offers the possibility of it being Aliandra, and Willow confirms that is at least a possibility if they can’t keep her safe inside of the castle.

Falx asks about the faceless people, and Willow explains that from her own body language in the vision, she wasn’t upset with what they were telling her, and was perhaps a group giving her advice. Falx asks if it could be the council here, but Willow says she doesn’t think that’s the case, given that she would probably recognize them even without faces based on their bodies and clothes. Falx makes a note of the clothes he remembers from the vision, so that he can keep an eye out for them in his travels.

Orik confirms with everyone that the beast is most likely Corinth, but Willow says that it might be metaphorical and not representing an actual beast at all, or it could be something else entirely from what they know. He then explains what just happened outside and she says that she caught a bit, peeking out the door though she was too weak to intervene if something had happened.

Willow explains that she expected the south to send a conscription signup to towns along the borders. They do so in order to secure Western citizens that can be used almost as a silent bargaining chip against the West, as well as lower the morale of those who remain since their family and friends are essentially taking up arms against them if war comes to the West from the new Eastern Coalition. She jokes that they “came to the wrong town” if they were looking for willing soldiers, as the council’s word is highly respected here and they would never allow people to be tricked or intimidated into it.

She asks the group what their next move is, and implies that she will be waiting here to handle a few things but she could parlay those plans if they needed her anywhere specifically in the next few days. Falx offers up the idea of attempting to stop the southern army (or now the Eastern Coalition) but Willow suggests that the best move might be to go and see Merideth, as she should be planning for a potentially imminent attack and they could be of use to her. Falx agrees, especially since the eastern army is conscripting volunteers along the border, it might be best to consolidate forces around Warren Tower. The group heads out of town, citing that they will contact Willow when they have news. Falx tells her to stay safe and says that Avandra guides them both.

The group arrives at Warren Tower around noon and heads directly to Merideth. The are ushered in and a meeting is set up. Merideth comes out shortly and greets them, and asks them what news they bring. Falx explains the border towns being conscripted by the Eastern Coalition, and asks what her view of it is. Merideth explains that this was an expected move by Lord Leonne, since he wants to consolidate power and appearing as a peace maker is his best method of doing so before a direct attack. Her view is that the conscription, if anything, implies that the attack is coming sooner than expected.

Falx asks her in vague terms what her views are on less-than-moral actions taken during war to ensure victory. Merideth feigns ignorance and a man standing next to her steps forward, but she puts an arm out to stop him. Falx clarifies, informing Merideth that the group is aware she may be prepared to use beasts of war against Leonne, but the moment he says the word “beasts” his voice cuts out, as well as the rest of the group. Lelouche’s ring goes off, indicating a nearby spell. “How did you…” Merideth begins to say but trails off a bit. She turns to the man to her left and tells him, “You might as well show them.”

Without a word, or even an indication that they understand what is occurring, everyone leaves the room except for Merideth, the man to her left, and the group, leaving them alone. The man gestures a rectangular box in the air, and a door appears against a wall in the direction he is pointing. He opens the door, which leads to a pure black space that Merideth then walks into and disappears. The man gestures for the group to follow, which they do after a moment of hesitation.

Through the darkness the group finds what appears to be another plane, a pure white space filled with dozens, if not hundreds, of workers. The man appears behind them a moment after they arrive, though no door is seen with him. Merideth begins to explain that months ago, her sages received a vision of coming events and she began to prepare. In doing so, she violated a sacred rule of war, which is the banning of beasts of war being used for direct combat. She shows the group what is occurring in the plane as they walk.

A large assembly line area is laid out with blacksmiths producing weapons, builders making siege defense implements, and devices being made to control and tame monstrous beasts. The beasts themselves are in large caged areas, being managed by handlers and generals who appear to be preparing to utilize them directly, riding them and directing them using simple commands. Merideth explains that she knows the law’s punishment on her for doing this, and that if it protects the nation she is prepared to accept it.

Lelouche exclaims his frustration, knowing that the blacksmiths had been here this entire time. Merideth laughs a bit, citing that “they would have been a bit difficult to find, I think” before continuing on. She explains that “almost every blacksmith in the city agreed to come under my payroll for this, and they will be rewarded handsomely on top of knowing they helped save this nation.”

Falx asks her about what happens to the beasts after the war, and Merideth smiles, assuring him that they will be released after a six month time of peace after the war. In addition, they will have a transition period to get the beasts prepared to re-enter their own worlds since they’ve been mildly domesticated in the process of training them. Falx seems content with this, and asks if he can see the beasts up-close, which Merideth agrees to and they begin walking in that direction. Lelouche asks for some sort of assurance that “the beasts won’t be used until the terms of war are violated by the other side,” but Merideth interjects, saying that “the terms of war were already violated at Tulley Keep.”

Approaching the cage areas, Falx asks how the beasts are given orders and who controls them. Merideth explains that a small subset of her best generals have been brought in under complete secrecy to train with the beasts. The beasts have been made comfortable around the men and the men have been trained in the commands as well as how the beasts are to be used strategically during the fight. In addition to all of this, there are a few magical items the generals will use to exert control over the beasts, should that be needed in the fight. The beasts themselves will have a good amount of protection spells on them, which should at least ensure they can do quite a bit of damage.

Merideth stops the explanation, and asks the group if they’ll have any trouble keeping all of this a secret, and the group assures her that they won’t tell anyone. Orik asks where they are in terms of her army, and she explains that the group is not conscripted or trained, but if they would like to join the fight, they are more than welcome. She will inform whatever general they would like to fight with and accommodations will be made to utilize the group’s unique ability. Orik attempts to imply that Falx might be a good candidate to lead a beast, but Merideth explains that the generals have been trained for weeks and the beasts have gotten used to the specific controller they belong to for that long as well. In addition, the generals are known by the army and inspire confidence that a stranger would not. She offers that a beast could be dispatched in the same area as them if they would like to work directly with one.

Falx asks about Merideth’s strategy for the war, and she explains how her strategists believe the battle will go. Lord Leonne will most likely come from just north of the forest, as the southern ground is too soft for his siege weapons. Orik suggests the forest as a strategic position, and she explains that it has been factored into their plans. Falx asks about the Eros Alliance, but Merideth explains that there is a general lack of information about the Eros Alliance troop movements, but she doesn’t believe the South is actually allied with them, so it hasn’t been taken too much into consideration. She adds that if the Eros Alliance were allied with the South and came into the siege against her, she would be forced to stay inside and let them attempt a siege, as there is no way she can stand against both armies.

Orik asks about the possibility of Corinth becoming involved, and Merideth explains that they can’t prepare for a dragon attacking, and that if it occurred, they would most likely fall to the attack. Orik offers himself as the key to defeat the dragon, pulling the Lion’s Claw from his sheath. Merideth expresses confusion, and he explains that he wants to be the one to kill the dragon. Merideth explains that she’s heard many heroes say similar things before, and that it doesn’t inspire much confidence if you’d need to get within arms reach of a creature that can fly above them and strafe her people with fire. Orik suggests that if her father could slay Corinth with this sword, so could he, but she corrects him that her father apparently did not slay Corinth with it, so she’ll stick to relying on her current methods of war planning. Falx asks about flying mounts, and she describes that she has very few and that she believes Leonne will have a few as well, so she has none to spare to prepare for a dragon that she doesn’t believe will show up.

Lelouche, while the conversation continues, feels for the arcane power over the beasts. He detects spells of protection and spells linking the controller to the beast. One beast in particular inspires a feeling of fear and dread, which he recognizes is most likely a spell radiating from the beast onto any creature that first comes into contact with it. As Orik approaches, the beasts react almost violently, but he recognizes this is most likely because he is the only one not wearing the colors of the west, and he backs off. Merideth asks if they are satisfied with what they learned, and whether they are prepared to return to Warren Tower. The group agrees, another arcane door is opened, and the group enters it, returning to the castle audience chamber again. Lelouche’s ring goes off again and all of the people from when they were last in this room silently file back in. Lelouche recognizes that the man is using some sort of mind control which the people must have agreed to and allowed themselves to be set under as part of working so closely with Merideth.

As the people in the room begin to return to their senses, a man near the main doors announces that “the horns are blowing” and Merideth sends out a steward to receive the announcement. The group follows him and head out toward the main square of the city in front of the castle. A large announcement is being made that Lord Leonne is calling for Merideth to “surrender unconditionally to the Eastern Coalition, and unite the kingdom under the banner of King Leonne The Sixth”. The announcement seems to cause a lot of talk among the townsfolk, and the group heads back into the castle with the steward as well as the messenger from the east.

Merideth invites the group to a council meeting that is called for the announcement. The messenger restates the request for surrender to the council, citing that the west’s surrender is the only peaceful resolution. Merideth states that a surrender is not forthcoming from her end, and to inform whoever sent the message. The messenger leaves, and the group remains with Merideth and the council. The council speaks openly among themselves, somewhat ambiguously talking about strategy for a battle with the eastern coalition. Merideth hushes the council and announces that now is the time to declare war against Lord Leonne, as war is coming either way, and they need to begin pulling in their supporters from the outer areas, as well as possibly asking for help from nearby nations, and they can’t do that without a declaration. She notes to the group, “It looks like you’re going to get that battle you wanted.”

Falx asks if it would be viable to for a siege against Leonne, but Merideth explains that he owns the entire eastern side of Eros, and that the west doesn’t control enough siege weapons to even manage an attack if they wanted to try to focus on one of the two cities he now controls. Their plan, therefore, is to meet them on the battlefield when he comes to the Wast, since he must if he wants to keep support from the Eastern citizens. Warren Tower is the most defensible city in Eros and can withstand a siege for months if needed. The castle has never been taken by force since it’s creation decades ago.

Falx asks about “the cavalry”, implying a question of where the beasts will be released. Merideth speaks openly, citing that since they are on a separate plane, they can be released anywhere that they can get their men to with the proper scrolls to open the gates. Utilizing a type of siege tower that forms a wall, they can open the doors and unleash them anywhere on the battlefield. Their current plan is to have them released from the north after Leonne’s forces move forward, delivering a pincer attack from their flank.

Orik requests a contingent of men to work under the group, heavily implying he would like to have adventurers to heal and support them in battle. Merideth says that she can’t spare any adventurers under her current control, but she can offer them some men with healing and buff scrolls if they had some in mind, so long as those men could stand in the back and stay out of battle, since her soldiers are all set to be deployed already and revising their strategy would be a mistake at this point. As far as the scrolls, she can offer them quite a few since they have an agreement with Maraketh to get supplies, and in return she will grant them their sovereignty publicly, since they have wanted it for a while and Eros has technically been in charge of them, though they don’t enforce their laws there.

Falx asks about their plan, and Merideth lays it out quickly. If the western army, with the use of the beasts of war, can take out the siege weapons, Lord Leonne will retreat. Knowing he can’t siege the castle and that his men would just be picked off slowly if he tried to impose a military embargo by surrounding Warren Tower, he would be forced to head back to the east, and Merideth’s forces could pick off a good amount of them during the retreat. Afterward, they would have plenty of time to receive help from the surrounding nations, as she has a better standing with them than Leonne. So long as this battle ends with the siege weapons being destroyed, she is confident she can win the war, and only worries what Leonne will do once he realizes his plan will fail. With that said, it’s an issue she will have to handle when it comes, as he is too childish and impulsive to know what he would do in that case.

Lelouche looks over to Aliandra, who has a temporary place on the council and has, for the duration of the meeting, been sitting silently. Merideth tells the group that she has to speak to her council about the upcoming plans, and that they should be prepared for an attack to come soon, so they should remain in the city if they want to participate. She also expects a bit of anti-west sentiment after the beasts are revealed, so they should be prepared for that. The group heads out, as well as the members of the council that are there only for honorary reasons. On her way out, Aliandra is stopped by Lelouche, who asks to speak with her in private. The two head to a guest room in the castle which seems to be her chambers, and he asks her if she might be pregnant.

Aliandra confides in Lelouche that before his passing, Oreth and her had a relationship, and that she realized she was pregnant just before the attack on Tulley Keep that took his life. She partially blames herself for what happened to him, as he had intended to marry a woman from a nearby nation to form an alliance, which would have cemented his rule over Eros, but he refused to marry for an alliance because of her. He hoped he could end the divide in Eros without forming a marriage alliance so that he could marry Aliandra after it was all over. Lelouche considers taking her essence into the ring without her knowledge, but instead extends the request openly.

Lelouche asks her if he could take her essence to help protect her in the future, should the need arise. After a moment of thinking, she agrees, but when he goes to take it, nothing happens. Lelouche asks her to wait a minute and exits the chambers to find Orik and Falx. He asks Falx to help him solve a problem, and attempts to take his essence, but again nothing happens. He heads to the washroom, asking the group to wait for a minute. Arriving in the washroom, he activates the ring to turn into Willow, but realizes very quickly he hasn’t thought this through, as he can’t see the illusion himself. He turns himself invisible and heads out, whispering in Orik’s ear that he needs Orik to follow him into the bathroom. Orik, hearing Willow’s voice, doesn’t quite understand but follows along.

Entering the bathroom, Orik turns around and is met by what appears to be Whisper. Lelouche attempts to ask Orik what he sees, but Orik just gets confused by the question and begins to freak out. After some back and forth, Lelouche manages to get Orik to explain that he looks like Whisper, full outfit and all. Lelouche drops the disguise, and Orik punches him in the face for making him have a moment where he questioned his own sanity. Lelouche asks Orik to let him take his essence, and Orik agrees begrudgingly. Lelouche takes his essence into the ring and turns into Orik briefly. Orik is immensely confused for a moment until Lelouche turns back, recognizing that the ring must have a maximum of three essences in it at a time.

Lelouche returns to Aliandra and takes her hand, taking her essence into the ring and explaining the confusing situation. He tells her that they should keep this secret among themselves, which she agrees to. Lelouche tells the group that before they leave the castle, they should send a raven to Dimitri, the member of the Last Lions they ritually bound to aid them, and ask if there is anything he can tell them which would help with their current situation. Once that is done, Lelouche heads to the inn and Orik heads to the Rusted Clam for drinks.

300 EXP from role-playing + 0 EXP from fighting = 300 EXP total (26800 EXP total)

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Day 40 - The Fallen Hero

The group wakes up at the Mage’s Guild, gathering in the dining area to get some breakfast together. They decide to ride there right after eating, getting their horses from the stable and heading out. Pelagius tells them that he will continue working and see them when they return. The trip is mostly uneventful, except for a short stop when some ruffians block the way. The group quickly deal with them, beating them senseless, breaking their weapons into pieces, removing and burning their clothes, and stealing 60 gold pieces each and their water skin. The ruffians are left tied up near the street to be found by the next traveler.

The group arrives at Myrefall in the late afternoon, finding it decorated in a way that implies reverence for a recently fallen hero. There aren’t any direct references to Keigar The Invincible, but it is clear that the decorations are indicating Elder‘s recent death. Heading into the center of town, they find the sheriff Renard, who greets them and asks what they’re back in town for. They say that they’re looking for Edgar, and are pointed toward Elder’s manor. In Elder’s absence, the council has moved in and made the outer grounds into a children’s park, with a statue to fallen heroes in the back yard area.

Adaline and Edgar greet the group as they enter, asking about their adventures. Lelouche tells them what has happened recently and Adaline confirms they just heard this morning about what happened with the South invading Tulley Keep. Edgar asks what they can do for the group. Falx asks about Elder’s burial place, and Edgar reveals that the statue in the back is actually a tomb for Elder, though they don’t publicize that fact and there are no markings that will reveal that.

Adaline mentions that they’ve been holding onto the artifacts that Elder had left over from his life, but were going to liquidate them to expand the town since they can now open it up to more outsiders. She offers the group a single item, their pick of the artifacts, and an offering of gold as was promised when they were last in town. She rewards them each with 1000 gold coins, citing that they’ve more than earned it. She asks if there is anything in particular they needed to know from what they could get out of Elder before his passing.

Lelouche asks about the girl that visited Elder, and Adaline describes a girl that matches the description of Willow, but admits she doesn’t know the girl’s name, only that she is one of Elder’s lineage. The girl used to visit frequently but Elder kept her identity, as he does with all of his lineage, a secret. The girl was here for the funeral as well, though she kept to herself. Adaline mentions that she specifically didn’t ask Edgar out of respect for his desire to keep the lineage safe as well, even though he seems to know the girl personally.

Lelouche asks if Elder revealed anything about Corinth, but Adaline explains that Elder wouldn’t know much about that. When Corinth first came to Eros, a group of sages were brought in to attempt to temporarily give Elder his youth and his sense of mind so that he could help to fight the dragon, but within hours he would return to being frail in body and mind, so he was kept in the town. He wouldn’t know much about Corinth unless it was already fairly public knowledge.

Orik asks if Elder mentioned Whisper at any time, and Adaline explains that Elder once confirmed that Whisper was a member of his lineage, and that he believed in what he was trying to do. The group realize that Adaline doesn’t seem to know that Whisper is a female, and specifically Willow, but they don’t reveal this while she explains. Adaline continues, saying that Elder mentioned Whisper being “important to the future of this nation”.

Lelouche asks about whether anyone in town has seen troop movement, but Adaline explains that they’ve only seen border movement and that most troops would be on the main roads which are far enough away that they would be difficult to spot. She has heard that the Eros Alliance has been seen as well, and don’t seem to follow main roads, but she isn’t sure what they are doing in general. Falx asks about The Legend and whether it remains open in Elder’s absence. She notes that it is, and is used as a place of reverence. Orik leaves immediately to go and get a drink.

Lelouche asks if the Eros Alliance came into town at all, and Adaline tells them a story about a few high-ranking members coming in on what seemed like a rumor-tracking mission. The men didn’t seem to know exactly what they were looking for, but were asking about whether the town was housing any powerful adventurers or held onto any powerful items. The men claimed they were keeping an inventory of powerful items in case they need to be protected during war time, but Adaline knew well enough to play dumb. The men seemed to know that some great power was in the town, but not enough to know what the source of it was. After a little back and forth, the men left and she hasn’t heard from them since. Lelouche says they were probably looking for the group, but Adaline offers the possibility that Elder’s power may have been detected outside of the town and been mistaken for a powerful item.

Adaline explains that Western army officers came during the liquidation of some of the less valuable items, and made a strange request. During Keigar’s travels, he defeated an army that utilized beasts of war, and when the Western officers came by, they seemed interested in the harnesses and other accouterments and purchased the entire lot. The items were kept as trophies and held only sentimental value, so Adaline was happy to sell them, but she was a bit confused as to why the Western army would want them. They also bought some basic items such as morale-increasing items and powerful weapons that generals might be given before battles to increase their effectiveness. Adaline mentions that Meredith isn’t really the type to war-monger but it is wise of her to be prepared.

Orik enters The Legend and notices a lot of new references to Keigar, though they are still ambiguous enough that it seems the town is keeping the secret for now. The bar seems almost dedicated to him in his absence. Orik orders four drinks and sits, relaxing as the townsfolk celebrate the life of their fallen hero.

Falx asks if he can see Elder’s tomb, and Adaline walks them out with Edgar. The monument shows a man raising a sword to the sky, and has an inscription on the front: “To those that rise at times of need…”. The monument shows no sign of being a tomb, but stands as a sign of respect to Keigar even in anonymity. Falx asks Adaline if he can see Elder’s library after a moment of respect. She leads him in and he looks for any new information on black dragons. He discovers that they are resistant but not invulnerable to psychic and illusion magic. In addition, their connection from their mental form to their physical form prevents transmutation after they reach adulthood.

Falx and Lelouche decide to meet back up with Orik, and head out of the manor. On their way out, Falx notices Willow in the garb of Elders helpers, many of whom are doing odd-jobs around the building. Falx, realizing Willow must have noticed them but not that they noticed her in return, asks Adaline to inform the girl that they’d like to speak with her when she’s free. They head out and find Orik, already quite inebriated, at The Legend. Lelouche orders a specialty drink, “The Unbreakable”, finding it to be a delightful stout ale with a hint of cinnamon.

Falx attempts to explain to Orik that Willow is going to meet them and that they should keep their knowledge of her secret identity a secret, but it is clear Orik is too drunk to understand fully. Falx challenges him to a drinking game instead, ordering a group of shots over to the bar with them. He manages to beat out Orik, who passes out on the bar. Falx feels a bit tipsy but feels accomplished, assured that Orik won’t ruin their plans in a drunken stupor. He gives a wink to the bar man, hinting to just let Orik sleep for a bit. A few minutes later, Willow enters the bar and finds the group, nervously sitting down next to Lelouche.

Willow makes small talk at first, seemingly worried about being noticed in town by the group. Falx asks about Micah, and Willow notes that she feels bad for leaving him but that family comes first. Falx asks her to elaborate on having family here, and she mentions that her parents own a small farm here and needed her help. Orik wakes up for a moment, mumbling but not managing to get anything coherent out before falling asleep yet again. Falx recognizes that Willow seems to be bending the truth and must be hoping they still have doubts about her identity. He continues asking her questions about her work and her time in Myrefall, and she continues answering but seems to be clearly hiding her real purpose there.

Lelouche asks if Willow had met Elder, and she offers another bend of the truth, saying she’s met him a few times on visitations while living in town. Falx heavily implies that he knows Elder’s identity, and Willow lets out a sigh of relief, “So you knew…”. Falx explains that they were the ones that broke the curse on him, and Willow thanks them for that, citing that she wasn’t sure what the townsfolk would have done when his health deteriorated to the point where he couldn’t walk or talk anymore, which was upcoming, so it is a relief to know he found peace.

Falx cites that Elder “knew what you were doing” to Willow, heavily implying that he knows her identity as Whisper. After a moment of hesitation, she admits to being of Keigar’s legacy. After more pushing and insistence that they know her identity, she confides in them that she figured they would be the first to identify her as Whisper. She notes that she worries that the information might put them at risk, citing that someone could use Seek Rumor, for example, the group might show up in the vision since they know of her and might have future interactions with her revolving around that knowledge. As such, they should be on the lookout for anyone inquiring about their business. As the bartender passes by, the group and Willow fall silent. Lelouche suggests they head to a back area to continue speaking in a more private area.

Willow signals to the barkeep and he points her toward the back room. It is clear he knows her and that she must come in a lot by his familiarity with her and the subtle cue he picked up on. Willow leads the group to the back, Orik managing to stand up and hobble over with them, barely conscious. The groups sits down and Lelouche asks her views on the southern invasion that just occurred. Willow cites that she only just heard about it that morning, and that each morning she commits a ritual similar to Seek Rumor to find ambiguous but often-times helpful visions of things to come, which had showed her hints of the invasion before it occurred. Sadly, there was no way to stop it.

She cites that she was in the pre-planning stage of a plan to confront Lord Leonne or possibly infiltrate his army and destroy his war machines, but that she hasn’t gotten far in that yet. She also notes that in her vision of the events of the invasion, the people in Tulley Keep were fighting with the southern army over a child, which she still doesn’t fully understand. She admits that it could be a metaphor, as the dreams tend to be full of them. There was also a reference to “The East” becoming a part of the war, but she doesn’t foresee the country to the east becoming involved, since it had a lot of reverence for the Overseer and wouldn’t want to attack his children if not provoked. She knows for sure that the vision was telling her that the war wasn’t over, and that more action is going to come soon. She also notes that there are many people who would benefit from the children dying, so it might be difficult to pin the blame on Virgil.

Lelouche and Falx bring up the possibility that Aliandra might be pregnant with King Oreth’s child, and Willow admits it makes a lot of sense. If she had a potential successor to the throne in her, she would be a target of either Virgil or Lord Leonne if either of them knew. Meredith can most likely keep her safe if that is the case, but the southern army will most likely come after her, since neither Lord Leonne or Virgil could risk a successor for either of their plans.

Lelouche describes the artifacts they’ve found, and while doing so he takes her essence secretly. Willow admits that when she broke into Castle Valoris‘s vault, she was after a map that would track the items and potentially even find them after they were removed from their hiding places. Falx notes that they need to find that map, but Willow notes that the security measures put in place after her last attempt make it next to impossible, and she has no plan to get inside the vault now. Falx brings up the idea of asking Zaveir, but Willow notes that just getting into the city would be difficult, as the warp portals are closed and the army is patrolling through the entire south to prevent any invasion force surprising them. Willow also explains that since Zaveir helped them escape the city, he is most likely not in a position to help anymore. She sighs and explains that there doesn’t seem to be a way in, even with all of them working together.

Falx asks Willow about her magic abilities, and she admits she is a Psion, an arcane magician specializing in telekinesis and arcane alteration. He shows her the staff Tomlin had on his body and asked if she could potentially alter it or make a similar item to track the Devil’s Mouth. After looking it over for a bit, she concedes that she wouldn’t know how to do something of that sort, because whoever made it seems to have had intimate knowledge of the power of the spirit that hid the shield. Even if she could make one, it tracks the spirit’s power, not the artifact itself, and the spirit is now gone.

Willow asks about the group’s involvement with the southern resistance. Falx asks what Willow knows about them and she explains about Catherine and the resistance’s desire to get her away from Lord Leonne. Willow explains that on top of the many protections over Catherine put on her “for her own safety” by Leonne, she has also been broken in spirit and would possibly be very difficult to convince to leave even if they could contact her. In addition, Willow attempted to look up information about where Catherine came from, but the records have been erased. She notes that she planned to eventually go to the surrounding nations and look for information in their history books, but always had more pressing issues to deal with.

Willow explains that her visions give her the general idea that the Eros Alliance is being led by someone with malicious intent, but is not a malicious entity itself. Falx asks about Commander Pierson, but Willow says that your record of what happened leads her to believe there are people above him, so he wouldn’t be the leader of the entire alliance. She adds that she had a vision of herself fighting alongside the group at some point in the future, but she isn’t sure what you were looking for, other than that it wasn’t the Devil’s Mouth or anything inside the Castle Valoris vault.

Willow invites the group to stay the night in town and join her in seeing the next oracle vision, and they agree. Lelouche asks about going to a spa for the night to relax, and manages to convince Willow to join them. They head to a small day-spa on the edge of town and take a break from their adventure for the night, occasionally seeing Willow in the shared areas, as most of the areas are separated by gender. Orik gets a very pretty braid done on his beard.

The group heads to sleep in a nearby inn and meets with Willow in the morning in her workshop. She has had food delivered for the group and they eat together before she begins her oracle ritual as they stand nearby to watch.

300 EXP from role-playing + 0 EXP from fighting = 300 EXP total (26500 EXP total)

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