The Blood Of The Lion

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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Korberos

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