The Fog of Ious

The Town Hall and the Shadow of the Divide
..Repairing the former and being confused by the latter.

2, Palesun, 200

The recent shed of Mana Oil in your last battle had Arcanist Folork in a huff. He gradually begin to lose his patience with the party as some of them showed an increasing amount of disregard for the books in the library. Before he lead you down into the library’s scroll storage room, he explained that the suits of Animated Armor that attacked you typically attack Enemies of the City — a distinction typically reserved for the most dangerous of Corvale’s criminal population. He tried to provide a cursory explanation as to how it’s possible, but outside of being related to the Elder of Corvale’s discretion, even he did not know precisely how the statues determined their targets. The entire scene had him so distracted that he never even stopped to think that many in the party are currently listed as Enemies of the City,

Folork’s encroached on his fit to such an extent that he didn’t notice Aiko steal a scroll of Jump or Dio Make off with a collection of books, one of which containing a thin rectangular gem. She received a vision when she touched it — she saw herself flying away rapidly from what appeared to be a web. Dio later learned that at least one of the books contained information on The Elemental Plane of Air, his home. The gem, aside from being thin and transparent and catching the eye of our resident thief, is thus far unremarkable.

The party received scrolls of Fabricate from the library, as they were asked by the Townsguard outside of the Town Hall. On their way back to the site of the repairs, Jamster revealed that his newly-found spellbook came with a voice: The voice of Ignamus Ignamus has been guiding Jamster in small ways over the past few hours. To his dismay, he found that only he could hear the voice.

The party used the repairs on the Town Hall as a way to plant the devices given to them by the person they believe to be Frath Starag — as of this moment, the Mysterious Box remains under the chair inside the building so that the Old Man could presumably spy on the Elder. Various antics ensued; but the party managed to plant the devices with only one carelessly dropped and broken!

The Party was then approached by a robed Elven woman who introduced herself as Aero who came to thank the party for their efforts. she also handed the party Strange Coins bearing a unique sigil — that of The Shadow of the Divide. Not much is known about this organization. According to some, they are the Hidden Heroes of Corvale. To others, they are its greatest threat. At any rate, they seem to be able to bring the dead back to life: Something is amiss here.

Aero told you that the devices would need a week’s time before they could be used. this is just as well — coincidentally, Malark Sum is set to give an address to the people in The Divide’s Town Square in that precise amount of time, to usher in the season of Earthrain as is tradition. Aero assures you that things are going to explode, when the time is right. She advised you to prepare.

How will the party spend their week?

Suits, Scrolls and Mana Oil
Also books. Don't forget books.

2 Palesun, 200

The party found themselves at the Broken Plate — the same establishment they left shortly before being chased into The Divide by the Townsguard. This time. they found themselves to be labeled ‘Enemies of the City,’ by a proclamation posted on the tavern wall. This is a status reserved for the most dangerous individuals in the city; most in this class are either ousted from Corvale — as was Frath Starag — or they die fighting the Townsguard.

The Townsguard, as luck would have it was spread thin. You were able to overhear the noises of Town Hall repairs just outside of the tavern, and you could safely walk across the street to investigate. Several wizards appeared to be assessing the damage you caused while a member of the Townsguard watched impatiently. It turns out, spread thin or not, not all of the Townsguard seems to have seen the notice. The guard immediately recognized Ciraena, and asked her and “her lot” to go to the Library of Ious to fetch spell scrolls for the reconstruction. Reluctantly, the party went along save for Aeson and Jamster.

The rest of the party was attacked by Animated Armor while at the library, to the dismay of Arcanast Folork. The party triumphed with the aid of Balstiose, and Ixal. What happens next remains to be seen.

Exploring The Divide
...And Killing a Suit of Armor

2 Palesun, 200

Left with no other recourse except The Divide, the party initially found themselves without much of a sense of direction. With nothing more than Aeson’s sense that the party would do well to lay low, it seemed like things would continue that way for some time. Fortunately for them, there is always something going on in The Divide!

The party re-discovered Dio being accosted by a few children, who were marveling at the unusual creature that he is. For at least one of them, this was nothing more than a ruse; one of the children very nearly made off with some of Dio’s belongings. But Aeson was able to stop the child. After an exchange of goods, the child was sent on his way with a letter of recommendation. This won’t be the last time he tries to pick pockets. The party spent some time getting reacquainted with their new companion.

During these exchanges, Aiko attracted the attention of a mysterious individual while handing out food to…everything. He originally spoke in a tongue that she could not understand, but quickly realized he was not speaking to a thief, and continued on in Common. He wanted Aiko and the party to meet near the Town Square in the next thirty minutes. Aeson overheard the initial conversation, which he knew to be in Thieves’ Cant. This sent him in the direction of the voice while Dio, Ciraena and Jamster went to investigate a contest announced by a citizen.

His challenge was simple: Defeat his champion in exchange for a sack of gold. His champion was not simple at all. The human’s champion was touted a “Gnomecraft Marvel” to the crowd. It was a suit of armor animated by a combination of mechanical and magical means. Dio challenged the strange foe, while the others watched from the sidelines. Magic was forbidden to cross the circle to aid the challenger, but that didn’t stop Jamster from using his newly-discovered magic to cheer Dio on as loud as he possibly could while Aeson and Aiko began to carry on a conversation with the mysterious figure.

Dio made quick work of the construct, although it very nearly bested him. The citizen offering the prize reluctantly honored his word. In a crowd throwing coin during his bouts, perhaps it won’t be too hard for him to re-earn the money. With the flash of a pale green crystal, the suit of armor was once again back on its feet (rather than standing on its hands and feet while being torn in half, which it seemed just as comfortable with).

The mysterious figure finally introduced himself quite bashfully to the party has the crowds settled. Somehow, he had caught wind of the party’s escapades in the City Proper just hours ago. He said that he and his organization were looking for a way to do away with the corrupt Elder. While he and Aeson carried a conversation on in Thieves’ Cant, the man eventually revealed his request to the party: Plant strange devices around the Elder’s office. Compensation was discussed, but the party was mostly taken aback by Aeson’s realization that the devices looked like bombs.

As the man vanished in a flash of light, Ciraena got a glimpse at his face: She saw two scars on each side of his face which she knew to be a defining physical trait of none other than Frath Starag. How in the world did he appear before the party? Will you accept his quest? Just what “Organization,” does he represent?

Chased into The Divide
...By the one competent guard in Corvale?

The party spent just a bit too much time in the damaged Town Hall, but perhaps it wasn’t wasted? The party agreed to hide the Mysterious Box in the building so that the Old Man could spy on Sum.. Only time will tell what he will discover. Speaking of discovery…. Aeson left the box under a chair with no other efforts made to throw anyone off the trail. He did a pretty good job of it though.

Jamster serendipitously found a hammer in the suit of armor that he…relocated, not long before. When the townsguard (singular) finally reached the scene of the commotion to chase the party, it proved itself useful. One unconscious guard later, there was no doubt that the hammer was magical.

The party entered The Divide covertely thanks to Aeson. With the severity of your actions, it’s likely that you will have to stay hidden for some time before the Townsguard gives up its search. Get ready to spend some time among the rabble!

The Gang Destroys Town Hall
...At Least Partially.

An hour back in town, and things are as chaotic as they have ever been. Initially, the party mistook a middle-aged man for a wizard playing pranks on them. Much to everyone’s (including his) surprise, the voices you heard thrown behind you belonged to the Old Man whom you first met atop Frath’s Tower. It seems he has been busy with his research while you were out slaying Worgs. He related, almost boastfully, that he’d worked out how to speak with the party via the main gem set in the Mysterious Box. He also mentioned that he had to expend expensive components to pull it off, so his communications will be short at best. Before his crystal catalyst shattered, he offered his assistance in “Just about anything you can think of” as thanks for prompting him to his discovery.

Igan Dundragon met the party amidst this and other antics and offered the party a chance to grab a drink. While he initially planned to take you to Oaktavern in The Divide, the beginning of the season of Earthrain prompted him to choose a different location to save time. As you are all aware, a festival is held a month after the start of the season, and Igan would surely have to confirm as much with Elder Sum, The Grand Disciple, and the Head of the Explorer’s Guild.

In the tavern, he seemed to take a keen interest in the Mysterious Box, which had been revealed (possibly) inadvertently by Aeson. Igan told the party that he’d overheard Sum mentioning a strange box, and that the Elder seemed to covet it like nothing else. Aeson managed to sell Igan a false box for a quick profit as the rest of the party engaged in various antics. Jamster: Keep the coins you’ve discovered in mind!
Aiko happened to overhear an illicit conversation between Elder Sum and an unknown party (The Town Hall happened to be across the way from the tavern) – which eventually prompted the party to investigate. It seems Sum is very upset over the loss of the Crystalized Magic that was to be imported into the City. Boxes bearing the same symbols the party found before stealing those same crystals were found in the Elder’s Office. Without a doubt, something is amiss.

This prompted the party to 1) Burn down the front door of the Town Hall, 2) Knock out and tie up Igan Dundragon, who happened to wander over at the wrong time and 3) Blast a new hole in the wall of the building. For all of this, the party doesn’t have much to show. The Elder was nowhere to be found when the door was opened, and the only evidence of the conversation they heard was a Gnomecraft transmitter present in the room.
Just before we left off, The Old Man began speaking through the crystal once more. This time, he surmised the party was in trouble, and offered to help. He suggested the party hide the box somewhere in the building, so that he might eavesdrop and gather information.
What will you do now?

Lots of Things Fell from the Sky
...Including a new party member!

Last time, lots of things fell from the sky, several of you discovered new abilities, and some goblins died. Ciraena was hit in the head with a rock, which triggered a kind of vision. In it, she saw a cluttered worktable near shelves that contained tome after tome of arcane knowledge. Against the opposite wall of the room, she saw a distinctive banner depicting a golden dragon. Perhaps this vision is in some way related to the magical abilities she displayed later in the session?

Perhaps already wary of falling objects thanks to Ciraena, Jamster deftly dodged the heavy, dust-laden book that feel from the sky shortly thereafter. While its exact contents are uncertain, it appeared to be a book describing various deities. Given that only Ioun and Erathis are known to exist on Ious, this knowledge is very obviously otherworldly. There also appears to be some validity to the claims it makes, as it seems to have triggered divine powers in Jamster.

The others (who were either not hit with objects, or who avoided them) got to observe the cause in some detail. It appears that portals were opening in the sky with loud pops and depositing their contents – mostly dirt and dust – onto the material plane. Could it be that time of year already?

Perhaps the strangest thing to fall from the sky was…some sort of bird person. The newcomer had some time to speak with the party – as well as could be done given the chaos raining down from the sky. It seems he was thrown from the Elemental Plane of Earth to the material plane unexpectedly. His plane of origin was revealed to be the Elemental Plane of Wind. Planeshifting is no easy task, and those who do often accomplish it by accident rather than by choice. What forces could have caused Dio to arrive in the world? He is a creature that has never been witnessed on Ious before.
He got a chance to demonstrate his aerial combat abilities, as the entire group became acquainted with one another over combat. Jamster demonstrated his divine power, and Ciraena’s sword began issuing forth magic – the likes of which seem to rival some of Aiko’s spells. The end of the bout with the goblins that attacked the party proved definitively that most everyone has gotten more adept in fighting over the course of their travels together.

Now, you find yourselves staring down the gate to the City of Corvale, having found your way back after your recent quests. Just as you begin to walk into the city proper, you hear a voice. “Aiko…Ciraena, Jamster.. erm… the rest of you… Can you hear me?”

Flame, Bolt and the Worgs
....and an incident with a dead lamb.

The worgs wasted no time in attacking the party. They swarmed the group while shouting strategy and making good use of their abilities. Combat began on even footing, but the odds shifted against the party seconds into the fray. Flame and Bolt emerged from the cave with four underlings — these ones specially armored — bringing the total to 12 against six.

Flame’s fire breath made a lasting impression on both the party, and several of the worgs. Both he and Bolt were resolute in their efforts to maintain the fighting, but as more creatures were injured, Bolt’s resolve began to wane. With three worgs dead, and Aeson dying, she finally decided to speak up, asking the party to consider negotiation.

The party’s reluctance initially led to more bloodshed, but they eventually agreed to hear her out. During this respite, Kreelash got a look at the paintings rendered on the Cave walls that seemed to offer some clues as to the origins of these intelligent beasts.

Bolt explained that the entire pack was merely acting to better their own lives, though she admitted to hating the people of the nearby village, who have hunted her and her kind for ages. She offered, amidst growling from Flame, to aid the village or even relocate if the party promised not to reveal their whereabouts.

Flame’s anger appeared to be steadily building during the entire exchange, and he exploded just as an agreement was reached. He attacked Bolt fiercely, wounding her gravely enough to leave her out of the fight as he attempted to best the party. Ultimately, this lead to his demise as the party’s efforts weakened him, and Amabella’s quick thinking got Bolt back on her feet to unleash a thunderous roar that allowed Ciraena to finish Flame off.

Bolt was not pleased with the bloodshed; less so with the loss of Flame. But she was willing to understand that the situation could not be helped. That is of course, until Kreelash attempted to kill her while she had her head lowered. He managed to wound her, but she escaped into the den. The rest of the party reacted with shock as the warlock simply explained that he followed the whims of his patron. That and a skinned sheep seem to have satiated the higher power, Kreelash or both.

What you have left to do now is up to you. The worgs’ den has yet to be explored. But it may be time to return to Corvale and address the evidence you found linking Malark Sum to some of the illegal shipments moving into Corvale. Be sure to collect your reward from the village, whatever you do.

Worgs in the Woods
...Talking worgs, too!

The party followed Nephis into the Settlement as she took charge and carted Karon to a hut next to the village’s main source of entertainment; the Shepherd’s Crook. The Tiefling’s injuries nearly killed him on the spot, and time finished the job shortly thereafter. Almost immediately after this, the party heard a commotion coming from the pub.

An Elf, a Tiefling and the Party walk into the bar. After a general lack of interaction with the former and perhaps more interaction than was needed with the latter, Kreelash and Amabella joined the party. One made claims of service to a greater being, and the other was quick to tag along once some financial incentive was procured.

And who better to provide a financial incentive than the Halfling shouting about worgs? To be fair, he wasn’t the only one. It seems that the entire village council is abuzz over what to do about the beasts. After a bit of direction from the barkeep, the party ultimately learned of the village’s plight. It seems a pack of worgs has recently been causing more trouble than usual to the village’s livestock — enough to start talks about the village’s demise. This wouldn’t be uncommon fate for a Guild-sanctioned settlement, which makes the village’s success up until now all the more worth holding on to. The village used to have a wizard to protect them the ravages of the Wilds, but he seems to have gone missing ages ago and is presumed dead.

At any rate, the worgs seem to be highly intelligent — at least intelligent to speak Common, the party later found out. The party offered to help with the village’s problem and managed to track the creatures to a cave at the end of the western woods. Their intelligence spans further than the power of speech.; rough drawings adorn the external walls of their den, they seem to be capable of using fire and a handful of them even seemed to be ‘wearing’ scraps of leather to create a crude sort of armor.

It may have been interesting to observe them for some time, but that’s no longer an option. The party triggered a tripwire trap the worgs set, and they are all currently baring their fangs at the party!

Leaving the Mine and Heading Home
...and here comes the giant fist!

After the short-but-loud conversation with the Old Man, the rift that facilitated it vanished, and the party was left to determine how to proceed. After unlocking the last of the boxes in the main chamber, the party decided it might be too risky to rest, and set out for Corvale.

Goblins in the Wilds aren’t strictly subterranean creatures, apparently. The party encountered a group of them as they began their journey back. Two were riding boars, and the entire group appeared to be foraging. This may be an isolated incident. It may also hint that perhaps these creatures aren’t as dim-witted as commonly believed. The consideration remains moot since they’re currently dead.

At the halfway point on the journey, the party decided to venture out to the Guild Settlement they saw previously in order to rest. The moment one of them set foot on the trail, they also saw the Stone Golem they encountered last time. It’s hard not to see a massive construct that emerges violently from the earth and chases you.

The party did not escape this encounter unscathed. The Golem managed to strike Kairon just before the party reached the gates of the Guild Settlement. The Golem stopped chasing the party as soon as they crossed the threshold. It is unlikely that he will survive his injuries. The Wilds are cruel and unforgiving.

The Party met Nephis Rein, of all people, during their efforts to escape. It seems that this settlement is her home! She was able to offer up some information on the Golem. The Golem acts as an indiscriminate guardian for the village; it attacks all who step foot outside of the settlement and all who step near. Its origin is unknown, but it is a normal part of life for these villagers.

A village of people who routinely dodge the giant, and the home of Nehpis? This village may be trouble…

Exploring the Mine
Falling down the stairs, and being frustrated by a box.

Following up on Maseer’s Information, the party has finally entered the lair of the individuals linked with shipments of crystallized magic to Corvale. The mineshaft was relatively small, as far as they come. The entire area was in much better shape than any of you had likely anticipated. Typically, precious gems are gathered from these sites until a discovered vein is depleted or it becomes unsafe to continue mining. It’s hard to say how this one fell into disuse, mainly due to the renovations it underwent at some point in the past.

There were a series of four small chambers lining the halls to a central room. Each of the smaller rooms was guarded by stone doors bearing various symbols. The party discovered a Stave, a Dagger, a Sword, and the symbol of the Ironhouse Clan. Each opened only in response to the actions of a single party member, and the rooms even repelled anyone else (with the exception of Kairon, who was able to enter the room Aeson opened — perhaps due to similarities in their proclivities?). It’s unclear how this is possible, but by all accounts these rooms were made for the party.

The rooms contained a series of challenges suited to the party’s skills. After a few mishaps and a bit of accidental bloodshed, the party overcame them and unlocked the door guarding the central chamber. Each success was punctuated by heavy metallic clanking of the door’s mechanism being undone. A similar sound was heard just after one of the hooded individuals entered the mine to ‘secure the loot.’ Maybe there were other ways to open the door? Given the nature of the magic in the smaller rooms, that must have been the case.

The floor of the chamber bore the remnants of a magical circle, and that magic circle bore a box which was jarred open when the door came crashing down. It began spewing out a gas which exhausted those who took it in. Aiko’s quick thinking caused (along with a little bit of injury) the gas to go up in flames. The box also held a set of magical items that also appeared to be tailored for the party (in some cases, literally!). While it would ordinarily take time to study magical items to gain their effects, this information seemed to be instantly and intuitively presented to the party.

The party spent time examining the other crates that were present in the main chamber. For the most part, these appeared to be large shipments of magical crystals bound for various locations in corvale. The majority of them were cheaply made but nonetheless permitted within the city. Other boxes held banned contents, and some of the latter set seemed to be linked to Elder Sum! A smaller parcel in the room bore the warning “Don’t forget Sum’s other parcels! He’ll kill us, otherwise!” It may not be the most damning evidence, but it’s certainly nothing. Further research might be warranted.

One box in particular, the one bearing the Emblem of Clan Ironhouse, contained a scrap of paper and a large blue gem worked into a stone key. When the latter object came too close to the Jeweled Box the party has been carrying around, it accepted the key in an explosion of blue light! The box now holds half the keys it was designed to bear..

Shortly after the key was discovered, the party met the strange old Wizard they encountered on the top of Frath’s Tower. Much like last time, this meeting was chaotically arranged via a rift tearing into open air. In contrast to your prior meeting, the party got a chance to hold a proper conversation with the man. Everyone was present while he spoke with the exception of Kairon, who remained hidden.

To summarize his vulgar shouting and warnings: The box you hold was designed to channel the destructive force of the gems set in its keys. The gems, on their own, are enough to cause major damage. The Wizard’s familiarity with them stemmed from an incident in which his entire village was nearly brought to the ground by the magic contained in one, before he was able to stop the individual responsible for the crystal’s use.

In no uncertain terms, he warned you not to show the box to anyone, and to avoid those who show an interest in it, in particular. The destruction it could bring might mean the end of the world as you know it.

He also warned you “Not to go carelessly shoving keys into things that tear holes in reality!” in case you needed a reminder of his overall mood about the party.

How will you proceed, adventurers?


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