The Blood Of The Lion

Day 16 - A Shared Secret

Jansen wakes up and toss tosses himself onto the floor, immediately throwing up the contents of his stomach. He finds himself in a cold sweat, screaming after having the third vision of the ring. The ring burns his hand for a moment before subsiding. The combined fear of the dream and hangover from the last night hits him like a bolt of lightning. Before even washing up, he rushes to find the rest of the group, barging into their rooms and collecting them together to share his dream. In his bewildered state, he rushes through it but the group doesn’t have anything to contribute. He begins to calm as he realizes he is back in the real world and safe from this pervasive vision.

Jansen clenched his fist, then relaxes a bit and walks back to his room, cleaning himself off in the bath. Falx goes over what he knows of dragons, planning to ask Jansen about the egg from his dream when he returns. Rye turns on the tub spigot in her room, and Orik wakes up yelling and thrashing in the water. He climbs out of the tub, seeming angry at first but then starts to laugh. He speaks up, “I need a beer,” and leaves for the tavern.

Falx asks Lelouche what his thoughts are on the dreams. Lelouche feels confident they are connected to each other and to the ring, and that it might be time to look into it before it becomes a problem. He questions whether the dreams are all about the same Dwarves, but with Jansen indisposed, he leaves the question for later. After a minute, Jansen comes out of the bath, dressed and ready for the day. Lelouche asks him about the ring, and Jansen clarifies that the ring from the second vision was ornate with designs, while the ring from the third vision looked like his, a plain silver band.

Falx asks about the egg from the dream. Jansen describes something similar to a lode-stone but covered in scales, about eight inches in height. The scales are a number of colors, but Falx explains that this doesn’t historically indicate anything about the dragon it contains. Realizing they might be better off asking these things at the Mage’s Guild, Falx drops the subject for now and goes to the tavern to order some food. Getting a small meal, he sits down to eat. Lelouche and Jansen also order food and eat while Rye eats one of her rations. Orik is seated at the bar, and barely acknowledges them. He has three ale mugs in front of him, along with an order of lamb.

After they eat, the group heads to the Mage’s Guild, hoping they can answer some questions. They pass through the craft sector on their way, and Micah waves to them as they approach. Falx heads to him and asks how he’s doing. Three apprentices are working alongside him efficiently while a sound comes from the back that the group assumes is Willow. Micah explains that Willow will have to take a break soon but he’s handing the extra work with the new help and seems comfortable.

Falx wanders through the blacksmith shop, noticing how clean and organized things seem to be. Looking through the inventory, he notices Willow in the back looking rather stressed, almost worried. Falx asks Micah if it’s alright to head back and talk to her. Micah says not to take too much of her time. Willow at first greets him roughly, but does a double-take and stops hammering, saying hello. Falx makes small-talk, telling her that business seems to be going well. He notices stress in her voice and asks if she’s alright. She tells him that she’s fine, seeming angry at being questioned. He asks again and she falls silent for a second and then tells him, direct and curt, that she’s fine. It is evident that she doesn’t want to talk about whatever is bothering her. He tries one last time, asking if there is anything he can do to help her. Willow replies back that unless he knows much about metallurgy, she can’t imagine he would be of much use. He takes the hint and heads back out.

Lelouche bids Micah farewell and heads toward the Mage’s Guild. They arrive at the front gate, being ushered in by the greeter at the door. Lelouche heads to the front desk, pantomiming the old man to asks if he’s around. The clerk lets out a small laugh when he realizes who Lelouche is attempting to refer to, and tells them they must be looking for Pelagius. He walks off to find him, coming back a few seconds later with the old man in tow. Pelagius greets the group, asking how their adventures have gone. Lelouche and Rye explain that it’s been alright but they’ve been perplexed recently by the events in Mogwam Forest. He perks up a bit and tells them to hold on while he heads to get something.

Falx’s position in the room allows him to be the only one to see what Pelagius does in the next room. He watches as the man disappears around the corner then comes back into view holding a large leather-bound book which he sets down on a table, standing while reading as if he is rushed. The book doesn’t seem to be mass-produced, and almost seems like a journal with tabs in it. He pushes through the pages until he seems to find the page he’s looking for. Falx watches as he reads for a minute, then seems to notice something with a reaction that might be worry. Pelagius almost looks over to them but avoids their gaze at the last second and puts the book away. He comes back into the room and there is no sign of worry on his face. He tells the group that he isn’t sure what could be the cause of their trouble in the forest, but they should tell him if they experience anything strange in that forest in the future. Falx accepts this and thinks that he must have imagined the strange feeling he got while watching him in the other room.

Lelouche tells the old man that he doubts they’ll go back to the forest any time soon, especially considering they don’t know when they’d come back out. Lelouche pulls Jansen over to him and talks to him privately about his dreams. He prods him to tell Pelagius about the dreams and ask what they could mean. After a second, Lelouche pulls Jansen forward. Jansen tells Pelagius about the visions he’s been having, and that the ring burns at times, though he isn’t sure whether it’s following a pattern at all. Lelouche speaks up, asking if there is any precedent for visions of this kind. Pelagius tells him that visions aren’t unheard of in magically inclined people. He stops for a second and asks for clarification on Lelouche’s question about the colonies, which Lelouche provides. Pelagius mentions that there would be Dwarven colonies in the far east, passed the edge of the kingdom.

Lelouche joins with Falx to explain all they know about the eye patch, explaining it seeming to have arcane power and explaining the three lights he’s seen when looking through it. He finds that the mental block over his memories and on the matter and ability to express them seemed to be lifted, and gives as much detail as he can. He can tell that the lights moved, but can’t discern any sort of pattern. He explains the mental block as well, and Pelagius stops him. He asks for clarification, “You were only mentally blocked in the forest, you say?” Falx confirms it, and Pelagius asks if he can see the patch. Falx hands it over to him, and the man moves it over his hand carefully.

Pelagius asks where he found it, and Falx tells him about the cave. When asked if there was anything indicating where it came from, Lelouche mentioned that it was in a bag from the Sentinel Guild. A quick, almost indistinguishable look of worry flashes across the old man’s face, and he hands the patch back to Falx. “You shouldn’t tell anyone you have this.” Falx asks him what it is, indicating that otherwise he may have to keep asking around about it. “It’s a map to something that shouldn’t be found.” Jansen asks if the object would be a danger to anyone if found, and Pelagius tells him that it might be a danger to many people. Falx tells him that he’s going to need more to go on, almost pleading in a polite way.

Pelagius sighs, and leans against the nearby table. “There are objects in this world, artifacts, that contain powers that not all people can control. It is in the best interest of all people of the plane that these objects do not fall into the wrong hands. Sometimes that means it is best to keep them out of any hands.”

Falx: “Are the objects being kept or are they just hidden from the world?”
Pelagius: “I’m sure there are a few people left that know where this item is.”
Falx: “So what if these objects fall into the wrong hands… what if they move?”
Pelagius: “I’m positive that if this object moved, you’d know it.”
Falx: “But it is moving… the lights are moving. Can’t you tell me what these items are?”
Pelagius: “I don’t think it would be wise to continue this conversation.”
Falx: “So if any of these lights move, should I be concerned?”
Pelagius: “You should be concerned so long as that patch is in your possession. Keep it hidden, don’t tell anyone you have it. This is all I can tell you.”
Rye: “We’re going to go find this thing and come back here and shove the eye-patch up your ass.”
Falx: (ignoring her) “Should I be worried if the lights are moving?”
Pelagius: “I wouldn’t be worried about something as small as that.”

Rye moves around the room, beginning to knock things off of a nearby shelf. Pelagius asks her politely to stop. Rye begins moving slowly toward another item, but Lelouche uses Mage Hand to stop the object from falling. Falx thanks Pelagius for his time and advice, and the group heads out. Lelouche uses Mage Hand to place everything Rye knocked over back on the shelves. From the main room, he can hear Rye flipping a table as she walks out. Parchment containing announcements for the guild are strewn across the floor as Lelouche follows the group outside.

Lelouche mulls over the conversation in his head and notes that Pelagius specifically asked to see the patch after they confirmed that it acted differently in the forest. Seeking more information, Falx suggests they go the Sentinel Guild. He puts the eye patch away in his bag so as to prevent it from being recognized. He remembers back to his conversation with Sentinel Guild members in Port Giles, and they told him that the forest was safe enough to cross. He wonders if they were being malicious, and wishes to ask them about it.

They approach a large building, decorated with imagery of swords and shields. Over the main doorway is a sign reading “SENTINEL GUILD” and there are people occasionally coming in and out. They walk into a large hall with groups of men and women and a desk at the far back beckons them, as a clerk stares in their direction. Falx approaches the clerk, telling him that they are adventurers looking for information about the forest. The clerk asks if they are seeking protection services, but Falx corrects them that they were told the forest was safe and found that not to be true. The clerk tells him that if they encountered beasts, the guild would be happy to send someone with them, but Falx says that their issue is more complicated than that. The clerk calls over a man named Simon, and Falx recognizes him as a Ranger. The clerk describes the conversation he had just had with Falx, but from the perspective of the guild’s services possibly being needed. He sits back down and leaves Falx with Simon.

Simon: “What kind of help are you looking for?”
Falx: “Information mostly. We traveled through the forest and encountered many strange occurrences. Not beast-wise…. temporal.”
Lelouche: “We came out two weeks after we came in, but we only experienced about a day. We also heard a strange voice… we were wondering if anyone else around here had any similar experiences.”
Falx: “We left the forest with no missing rations or any indication that we were in longer than a day. Seeing as you do a lot of escorts and go through the forest commonly, has anyone else reported something like this?”
Simon: “You’re messing with me right?”
Lelouche: “No?”
Simon: “Folks around here wouldn’t take too kindly to you making fun of our boy.”

Simon pulls someone over another man and says “tell him what you just told me.” and they explain it again. The man speaks up, “It sounds like what Tomlin was walking about. Are you looking for Tomlin? Because you’re a little late.”

Lelouche asks for clarification, and the man continues: “He offed himself… came back spouting some nonsense like you just said and now he’s gone.”

“How long was he in the forest?”

The man describes an ex-employee named Tomlin heading off on patrol one day. He was missing for three months, then came back and signed off his post like nothing had happened. “We told him how long he’d been gone and he couldn’t believe it. We thought he was crazy, talking about getting lost in the forest and getting all turned around over and over… said he heard a voice that led him back home. Two weeks later, he left us a note saying he was going to end it and now he’s gone. Haven’t seen him since. It happens sometimes in this line of work. You see a lot of death. A lot of pain… sometimes it breaks a man.”

Jansen asks about the specifics of the note. The man checks with Simon while saying “I guess it’s fine to show them, right? Couldn’t hurt.” and then tells the group he’ll be right back, heading off to get the note for them. He brings back the note and Jansen reads it: “Can’t deal with it any more… the search for meaning… never ends up getting me anywhere and now that it has I feel more lost than ever. It’s over. This is bigger than I’ll ever be. Don’t look for me. Tell my wife I’m sorry.

Jansen tells the man that he’s sorry for the guild’s loss and that he understands how a person could have an adverse reaction to an experience of that type. He then asks if they know anything else about the forest. Simon speaks up, saying that rumor had it Tomlin knew something about the forest before he ever went off on that patrol. He had a strange fascination with it, even organizing a search party one time, which he paid for people outside the guild to do when the guild wouldn’t help him.

Lelouche asks if they can know where he used to reside, so they could perhaps investigate further. The wife is still around, but the only thing he left in the guild headquarters was his equipment, which was divided out to others. Simon leans close and tells Lelouche that he shouldn’t be giving this information, but if they could help his wife out with some answers she would surely appreciate it.

Falx brings in the torn Sentinel Guild bag from the cave and gives it to them, explaining where he found it. He gives his condolences and asks if they need it for identification. Simon says it’s probably Tomlin‘s, since they’re not missing many bags, and they appreciate it being brought back.

Lelouche asks about the search party, but Simon clarifies that Tomlin brought in people from out of town and told them “he didn’t want them getting into any trouble.” Simon admits that toward the end, they just thought he was a bit unhinged and didn’t look to much into it. His voice sounds a bit as if he feels guilty for not paying more attention to Tomlin toward the end.

The group heads off to Tomlin’s old house, waving as they pass Micah yet again on their way. They knock on the door and a middle-aged woman answers. Falx asks if she’s the wife of Tomlin. She says she is and asks if they’ve seen him. Falx tells her about the bag and attempts to imply that he thinks it is evidence that Tomlin is dead. She asks if they came all the way here just to tell her that her husband is dead. Falx indicates there is a bit more they’d like to talk to her about. He tells her that Tomlin wasn’t crazy, and that they experienced similar events to the ones he described. She asks the group to come inside, leading them to a table and shutting the door behind them.

300 EXP from role-play = 300 EXP total (18000 EXP total)



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