Posted on June 10, 2011
The Acts of The Lords of Rannick, XX
The grateful and exhausted townsfolk gave the group shelter for the night and in the morning they were up and ready for a full morning of dabbling in the great beyond. Runners from town hall found them late at night and passed on an invitation to see Mayor Deverin at noon the following day.
The first order of business was to get Albedon back from the Astral Plane and into a new body. The body itself is randomly determined, somehow made out of expensive oils and would pull Albedon’s intellect and soul back into the strange new body. Don cast the spell and after 10 minutes of ritual, drew forth Albedon in a new form: a new, dwarven form. Squatter, beefier but still the same old elf inside; Albeardon.
Once they had reunited Albedownhereforawhile with all of his gear, they went to meet Father Zantus. He was reluctant to restore Albraidmyhairlikegimlidon or cure Kerplak’s deafness until everyone had been accounted as healed, but was happy to heal normal wounds. Regrettably, all the healing he had to do drained him of his potions and scrolls, so he had none for sale. Drawing the party into what I have now retroactively decided was the apse, because I couldn’t remember church parts yesterday, he laid out his idea. He had – but was he stressed, very reluctant to use – two scrolls of Speak With Dead. While he found the idea distasteful, he was concerned with discovering the motive for the raid and the identity of the perpetrators.
With the party’s agreement he cast the spell, and at the end of the ritual, the temperature of the apse dropped significantly. They were joined by the presence (or at least the voice) of the dead stone giant. Bemused at having been defeated by such small, soft creatures, the giant remained confident that the town and civilization would be no match for the horde of giants that was evidently due to invade the lowlands of Varisia. He hailed Mokmurian as his leader, a stone giant who had broken with tradition and learned the ancient magics of Thassilon, uniting the giant-kin beneath his banner with promises of riches. Mokmurian’s lair was in the Iron Peaks in the Storval Rise, not too far from the monumental Storval Stairs. The fortress he had named after the gates to the afterlife and Mokmurian had broken many of his tribes taboos by occupying the fort.
As for the raid itself, it was led by Teraktinus, who was on a secret mission for Mokmurian. The giants were to distract the town by plundering it while Teraktinus went about his business. The deceased giant didn’t know the goal of the mission, only that they would be bringing back a stone and that the wise ones of his tribes can tell a lot from stones.
After the seance in the Cathedral, they followed up with Brodert Quink. Brodert shared his unorthodox view that the Old Lighthouse was some type of ancient weapon and that the coast had been much further away in the days of Thassilon’s might. He believes the tower structure was just part of a larger complex of buildings, probably those uncovered by Dagfinn, Lonny and Kerplak way back when they were investigating the goblin incursion into Sandpoint. Quink is more than happy to talk, at length, about his theories regarding ancient Thassilon, but they are best summarized by Ash, Corwin’s close personal friend and historian.
When noon rolled around, they met with Mayor Deverin, who asked if they would go after the giants. Regardless of the fact that they had buggered off with a dozen citizens, one of them her brother, the party was all set to go anyway, to seek revenge for Albedon’s death. Vengeance is motivation enough, it seems. They began plotting out how they would get there. The most direct route is to head across land to Galduria on the shores of Lake Ember, a town with Varisia’s third largest school of magic. From there, they can proceed by land or by boat up Lake Ember to Wolf’s Ear, then following the Lampblack River to Ravenmoor and then the Storval Stairs. All told it is a journey of about 320 miles, mostly along country roads, but with some open and rugged terrain. On horse, it was estimated that this would take about 9 days and the giants already had a day’s advantage.
They next went by the Goblin Squash Stables (the sign has a very graphic depiction of a horse crushing a goblin) to pick up some rides. Going with light horses and ponies, they got ready to leave the next morning. In the evening, Zantus was satisfied that all who needed life-saving attention were fine and he could burn off the Cure Deafness and Resoration spells that Kerplak and AlBalinsonofFundin needed so badly. The Elf/Dwarf… Dwelf?… still suffers from the trip back from death, but not so much anymore.
Setting off early the next morning, they put some good ground beneath them and by evening had run into a caravan of Varisians, leading their brightly coloured wagons south due to rumours of increased danger from giants from the Storval Plateau. They are only rumours at this point, but reliable enough to send the nomads closer to the protection of the “Chelish Towns”. The Varisians were pretty up front about getting something in return for the protection of their temporary camp, as nomadic Varisians usually are. Corwin offered to regale them with stories and Tersplink kept them entertained with a few tricks. They were pretty happy and shared their food, fires and wild dances with their sultry womenfolk. They also did a roaring trade in traditional scarves. Dagfinn and Corwin probably already have scarves, being half-Varisian, but the nomads were selling ‘special’ scarves, the types with hidden blades, pockets and chains in them. Albedon and Kerplak browsed the neck-wear before plonking some money down on them. Of other interest was the Varisian tattoos – simple curving symbols, interwoven with each other. Arradin and Corwin got some ink, while Albedonewiththedwarfjokesnow traded a +1 War-Razor for a sleeve-length tattoo that bristled with arcane power as it was inked in. This kept him up all night, but Albedon hasn’t quite got the hang of sleeping yet.
The stay with the Varisians was safe and pleasant, with no-one getting manacled to a love-rival for a frantic knife fight. They left the next morning with, presumably, as much money as they came with barring legitimate expenditure and certainly weren’t robbed as they slept. And that was where we left them, heading out on their second day, in pursuit of the stone giants.