Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: Chapter 12.7: A Thinly Veiled Change Of Heart

  1. #1

    Default Chapter 12.7: A Thinly Veiled Change Of Heart

    Sept 20

    Several received Reorx's gift of increased stamina, while others asked for his skill with crafting as a reward for freeing him from his centuries long prison. Reorx would have to craft those items individually, and promised them as quickly as he could manage, possibly when he returns to take care of the Veil. All of the Sentinels received Reorx's thanks though once again.

    Before departing, Reorx told as much as he could in a short time about the fate of Rhagmur, bringing the Sentinels mostly up to speed on the happenings there.


    Sept 21-26

    The next week in Alliance was the first week in recent memory that most of the Sentinels could rest within the walls without an immediate threat looming over them. Sure a blue dragon or seven escaped a prison, Morgion still had a foothold in Rhagmur, the elves were mostly isolated, Mistmoor was in partial civil war, Paladine was dead, and the Lion tribe was missing, but otherwise things were looking up. The Sentinels, a few months away from being Alliance's second best option to deal with a crisis were now a force to be respected or reckoned with.

    The weather cleared over the next few days as the groups went about their own tasks. Brandon and Kalthanar spent most of their time in the library, which was connected directly to the Temple of Gilean. Kalthanar had never spent much time in this particular library, but after spending a few hours in it, Brandon is awestruck at its contents. He once worked with Sheila and Jarkel to maintain the library, and he doesn't remember it being anywhere near this nice. It is now very organized, somehow deceptively larger than he remembers, and contains far more books than he recalls concerning pre-Alliance days.

    As the weather finally clears, the Sentinels look to the night sky for a report card of sorts for recent developments. As expected, Reorx's forging hammer now glows more brightly in the night sky, confirming what the Sentinels already knew: the Maker had returned.

    Unexpectedly, there was other activity in the night sky as well. Habakkuk, the Fisher King also shone brightly in the night sky. Clearly this was a welcome boon, as the good aligned patron to druids, hunters, and rangers would surely help offset some of the other challenges in the world.

    Also unexpectedly, Gilean’s constellation was beginning to dim in the night sky. Although Jarkel was rarely ever spotted outside his temple any more, he was spotted several times staring at the starry sky as if trying to decipher its meaning.

    Sept 27

    Despite the expanded library and spending a massive sum of money to pay for knowledge based miracles to Gilean to guide his search, Kalthanar finds absolutely nothing of value in the library in Alliance related to airships. Brandon who joined him has no better luck, until he is concluding his research on the last day. He hears a teenage girls voice reading a story to some other smaller kids in the corner of a library called Sheila's Corner. The kids gasp as the gnome talks of fabled Ascension Peak, a floating palace in the sky where the Gods watched over the world before vanishing. Curiously he goes over and listens as a little teenage gnome girl skims a small novel labeled "Eyes in the Sky" and embellish the key points for children. A few minutes later, her story is done, and Brandon looks at the book in more detail. The cover depicts 21 cartoon Gods looking down upon a crude map of Therris. The book is old enough that Windale still looks like a city and Alliance doesn't exist. He notes the small picture of Windale shows a small floating ship with gnomes hanging off of it. Opening the cover, the book tells of a meeting place of the Gods called Ascension Peak that floated high above Therris. In a more peaceful time, Gods could go there and discuss important topics. The book contains various pictures. While Brandon is about to write it off as pure fiction, the pictures of the gods, although cartoonish in nature, is a damn good resemblence based on the avatars of Reorx, Branchala, Takhisis, and Sirrion at least. He checks the cover for a date or author, but finds none. He turns back to the picture on the cover, and stares at a quarter inch miniature picture of the airship in Windale. He can only shake his head at calling a children's book successful research, but it was hard to argue with some of the accurate drawings. He shivers uncontrollably as he briefly hears what he believes to be Shelia's voice say, "Whatcha reading?" He whirls around to find it was the same female gnome teenager that was reading the story minutes ago. He can only smile back at the girl and thank her for inadvertently helping him with his research.


    After a week of research draws to a close, Vortigern is summoned by an acolyte of Gilean to meet with Jarkel at the temple to discuss research.

    Upon arriving, Vortigern finds a strange sight in Jarkel’s private quarters. The pale man is not writing, as is usual, but has pinned several pieces of various research notes to the walls of his small bedroom. Oddly though, a pen is writing away in a thick tome at the desk, which is being controlled by… nothing that Vortigern can see.

    Jarkel looks up at Vortigern as he enters. He motions him over to the research and begins to go over what he and several acolytes found in the research. He goes straight to the point and states, “Matilda’s research was… extremely insightful into divine items. She had actually studied the Harp of Life, well as much as she was allowed to study such an item and theorized that it was actually a prison for the God. I’m sure she’s not the only one to come to such a conclusion, but none wanted to risk destroying a powerful magical artifact to a God to test a theory. When she was in her own words banished, she had plenty of time to theorize, research, and expand on this.”

    Jarkel continues, “Knowing what we know now about the Dark Queen’s plot, it consisted of two parts. She was to be freed immediately from her prison. Matilda realized that the Dark Queen had somehow returned to the world and her research focused on how this was possible. She only had access to the Harp of Life and held no ill will to Branchala despite the mistreatment at the hands of his clerics. She focused on ways of forming a partial God back into being. Other notes all show ways of welcoming a God. At one time, she called her ritual the Ritual of Welcoming. Based on all that I’ve seen, the ritual isn’t designed to fail, and the whole preparation of the ritual involves praise and adoration to allow the item to be broken. In short, it wasn’t designed to fail. The Dark Queen wanted to return to the world and any spell that would free her had to be fullproof, not riddled with potential pitfalls.”

    He pauses and says, “Given that the Dark Queen has successfully remove Paladine from the world, it is clear that there is a second ritual. Clearly, this ritual is designed to completely eliminate a God with I would assume no chance of them returning if done properly. This ritual is unknown, although based on several conversations, I believe you know of one person that knows of the ritual: the former High Priestess of Takhisis in Portenfer. Some of the towns dark elves now mention this was Ult’s sister. I believe that she yet lives, and has clearly fallen out of favor with the Dark Queen. Do with this information what you wish.”

    He adds, “While I regret that I found no way to force the ritual you know of to fail, I do have a theory. Altars are a critical part of the ceremony. Matilda mentions the word altar on practically every page of her research. If you wished to dissuade Chemosh from re-entering the world, don’t give him a guiding beacon or anchor that he seeks.” Jarkel pauses and chooses his words carefully, “Gilean teaches us not to speculate, but document. I strongly believe though that if an altar to Chemosh would guide him that an altar to a rival God would… well, not help him. Irritate, confuse, anger, confound. You pick a word. I can’t guarantee that the ritual would fail in this way, but I would expect it to be unlikely to succeed. I also don’t know what would happen to the altar, but I would not expect that Chemosh would take kindly to its presence. If you cared about the altar you are performing this at… I would not recommend performing it.”

    He pauses some more and says, “If you plan on trying the Ritual of Forming, the obvious question is ‘what happens if Chemosh doesn’t return to the world’? As best I can tell, it was only designed to succeed but was also not incredibly simple to perform to prevent the other Gods from quickly returning. A week ago, I had no idea what would happen if a ritual failed. Fortunately for you and unfortunately for me, I can at least partially answer that question.”

    He states, “The stars at night. Have you seen them? Surely Reorx’s constellation now burns once again in the sky. However, there are other changes. You know of Branchala, Reorx, and Morgion. Sirrion and Nuitari are also present as planets and stars. Habbakuk, the Fisher King has also returned to the world. And… sadly, the great Gilean – my patron God - has dimmed in the night sky.”

    He motions to the floating pen and says, “I can’t say for sure what happened, but I believe that someone attempted to return him to the world via the Ritual of Forming… and it very tragically failed. Gilean is not among us, but… it appears that he left some mark on the world. The pen, chronicles events faster than I ever dreamed. Our meager library has… transformed. I have walked across it a thousand times, and it takes around 23 paces to do so. Now, it takes around 68 paces. The books are organized, and we have found books we believed long lost predating the founding of Alliance. In short, Gilean may not have returned, but his essence did not simply disappear. It did his bidding.”

    He finishes, “I don’t know what Chemosh’s essence will do if it fails to form him, but I doubt it will restock our library and help me chronicle the events of the world.”

    Vortigern states solemnly, "It's as I thought--no matter how much good you do, it's never enough and there are no rewards for seeking the light, only the shadows, why else would my god and those that survive when others so good of heart fail and die." Vort rises, "Thank you Jarkel, thank you." Vort leaves with a heavy heart, knowing that the story is already written, and he's but a footnote.

    Sept 27 Evening

    As the others start to assemble their gear and make their horses ready to head to one of Owl’s warehouses as agreed to, Vortigern tracks them down. He somberly tells them that based on the results of Jarkel’s research, he had prayed to Reorx to keep the Veil safe for the time being until a more permanent destruction method could be found.

    Given this recent turn of events, the Sentinels stood at the north stable trying to decide what their next course of action would be.
    Last edited by zebsen; 11-07-2019 at 04:15 PM.

  2. Default

    Vort was sullen and not much for conversation, "I'm going home to my woman. See you tomorrow." The dwarf then turned and walked away.

  3. Default

    Brandon watched Vort depart. It pained him to see the jovial dwarf so downtrodden, but he was silently pleased the cleric had reached the right result in the end. After a time, Brandon turns to the rest of the Sentinels. ďI propose we attempt to visit the Tower of Sorcery from the Burrows. It is time we reclaimed our items and tried to rescue Veril and Company.Ē
    Last edited by Hideous; 11-07-2019 at 04:36 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Palmerston North, New Zealand
    Posts
    5,876

    Default

    "Have you managed to work out how we do not get trapped inside it as well?" Hrothgar asks.

    He is puzzled by the ever shifting moods lately. But takes it all in stride.
    Corn canít expect justice from a court composed of chickens.

  5. Default

    Kalthanar nods, “I agree Brandon. It is high time we explored the missing tower. I hope to find Lunitari’s orb there as well.”

  6. Default

    Kalthanar replies to Hrothgar, “We have the doorknob. It should allow us to pass through safely. I believe the basin confirmed as such.”

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Palmerston North, New Zealand
    Posts
    5,876

    Default

    He turns his horse back over to the stable-hands and retrieves his gear, slinging it over a shoulder.

    "Very well. Time to spend one last night with Mava. It may be a long 'time' before I see her again - until the morning"

    He gives a nod and a smile as he walks off to find his ebony goddess.
    Corn canít expect justice from a court composed of chickens.

  8. Default

    Kalthanar snaps his fingers, "Of course! Jarkel's research proves correct. The Staff of Mishakal was broken upon an altar dedicated to evil. Recall what we found in the lair of the Queen of Scales."

  9. Default

    "After we save the tower, we should discuss making a trip to Windale," Brandon says to Kal and Rian. "The key to finding the airship you're looking for may be there, along with the Time Lever."

  10. Default

    “Indeed the airship,” replies Kalthanar. “Windale is becoming more and more of a priority although I doubt Zebsen will furnish the exact location of the Time Lever until we have secured the support of an evil god.”

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •