Timespan: From Entropy 10:1208 to Entropy 11:1208
After the intense battle the characters search the room a bit more and then decide to rest for the night. They decide to use Delad’s new knife, the Exodus Knife of Nephelim, that he found in a past fight. As they create the door on the wall, it morphs before their eyes as what appears to be a prison cell door reinforced with metal plates. They enter it hesitantly and the door opens with ease. They find themselves walking into a lovely town with no one there. A small building is in the center and, after further inspection, it seems the rest of the city is just an illusion with walls of backgrounds depicting the city. The small building is the only place for the party to really go as it seems the area around them is only about the size of a 20 foot cube.
As soon as the last person enters a small humanoid figure darts by them all at the speed of light to try and go through the open door. Before anyone can do or say anything, the short fellow hits the door opening by an invisible force. It hits the ground with literal birds and stars circling it’s head, ‘Ouuuuuuuch! That’s smarts!’ The hairy-top headed creature says rubbing its head. ‘Guess I can’t leave then!’”
The group begins to talk to the creature and find out his/her name (as no one can tell what gender or race it is) is Nephelim. The creature seems to be able to morph and create inside the small 20 foot dimension to it’s liking but can’t leave it. She/he shows it’s power by being able to do more back flips then Delad and being able to turn Thorin into a bunny rabbit so he/she can play with it.
Nephelim also seems to enjoy games and any question the characters ask, it will play “stone-papyrus-blade” (essentially rock-paper-scissors) to decide if she/he will answer the questions. When asked a question that he/she doesn’t want to answer, he/she will cheat to win but hates it when the party tries to cheat. It will also buy/sell items like normal for “shiny” things (better deals are given when playing it’s game).
When asked why he/she is here it answers that Sehanine trapped it here because she didn’t like Nephelim. That was almost 7 months ago he/she says.
They stay the night and get some much needed rest. During the night Jayden finally notices that Ralph is not with him. That morning the group is able to buy equipment from Nephelim in exchange for “shiny” things. Not understanding why he/she needs gold when he/she could probably make it his/herself, the group continues to buy some equipment from Nephelim and some even get better deals by playing it’s favorite game and winning versus Nephelim (Leo’s really good at the game apparently)
The group leaves Nephelim after being asked if they can figure out how to get the fey out. They agree and search the mines some more. Jayden finds Ralph outside of the door in the mines and he says that he wanted to make sure they were protected from the outside. Jayden says ok and they continue on their way.
After avoiding and almost avoiding some traps, the party stumbles upon a battle happening deep within the mines. Some of the cursed miners are fighting a group of warlocks and what appears to be a priest. The party begins to help the group of non-cursed people and the battle turns to their side but all of a sudden, the non-cursed group begins to attack the party. The party takes care of both opposing sides and capture the priest. He throws a skull to the feet of them and says, “Take it! I don’t want it anymore, this is too much of a hassle!” he tells them he is Eibon, a Keeper of the Ancient Ones. His group proves this by showing them the tattoo on them.
Eibon is only able to say, “Take it, I don’t want it anymore. You can have it. The skull is just too much work!” He snivels and cowers before the group and a new group comes down the tunnel towards them. It’s Kyrynn along with a shifter, Senna, and a couple of mages and soldiers. Kyrynn says that Eibon has been trying to take over the Keepers by finding the artifact inside this mine and sell it to gain a better economic foothold in Edom. This was against protocol and Kyrynn explains he knows this because he is the new leader of the Keepers of the Ancient Ones.
Kyrynn says that Valmour who owns this mine is getting antsy and so he took some of his men who came not long after the party entered the mines and wanted to help find the the artifact. Kyrynn also says this was a test for the group to see if they would be able to help the Keepers for their main goals.
Upon further question of the Keepers main goals, Kyrynn says, "We are trying to get the artifacts away from the evils of the world, especially Stondylus, even though that’s a complicated story,” he says flippantly.
“This is what I think of the artifacts of the Tabula Rasa: Many people believe these relics would answer questions about the past world but does it really matter how the world was created? Would it truly affect our way of thinking? Let’s say we found out what happened during the Tabula Rasa? How would it change our current lives? The reason I say this is because we have found that anything from the prehistoric time that is found has only destroyed many lives and whole nations. It’s never once helped us understand our history. The gods have left these artifacts for us mortals to only tempt us.
The Keepers are a group that has been kept for over a thousand years when the first king of Midia found a relic from the Tabula Rasa that wiped all of his enemies out including his own kingdom. The forgotten clans of the Yaslin mountain dwarves over 700 years ago found a magic machine to excavate their mines. They lost control of the magic and their whole town was buried deep into the Underdark and was lost forever. An elven woman who wished to be the most beautiful being in all of Erryes 300 years ago found an artifact mirror that changed her into what she wanted. She went mad with discrimination against all who she felt was inferior to her and controlled the 3 elven empires of Kehynn and forced them to destroy each other. It took many lives of the Keepers to take those artifacts away from them. No one deserves them! At least that’s what we originally thought. Now, we think we have found a reason to give the artifacts a chance to help us for once.
We have been discussing at lengths about your mission that you have decided to undertake. Our most recent member of our secret society has brought to light about the prophecy that was fulfilled by you, Delad, over 30 years ago. Our new member told me this after I healed you and noticed your mark on your back. This worried me greatly and I tried to search for you but you have all been moving so quickly around this whole world that I couldn’t find you. When I found out from Senna that you were in Kinsmet I knew you’d eventually have to get to Edom. I knew because of you, Kaori Shintaro. Tell us, and everyone here why you are looking for the artifacts?”
Shintaro is reluctant at first, but eventually tells them the whole story of the the kingdom of Lau Jahnan and how he is connected to it. He explains that the King is somehow a part of him now. He strives to resurrect the kingdom to it’s once former glory by finding these 7 artifacts. He’s already found 3 of them that have bits of supernal written on each of them that he can translate.
Kyrynn paces back and forth with one of his servants bringing him a cup of tea, "we already knew about you Shintaro. It’s obvious because of the artifacts you have and are searching for. The primal spirits have given you the conscious of the King Quang Ziu.” With that, a burst of yellow light and Malakiy appears over Shintaro.
“Behold the proclamation has been shown true. Kaori Shintaro holds dominion over the ancient kingdom of Lau Jahnan," the angel says. The holy being disappears and it seems that no one else except the party noticed the angel; as if time itself had stopped.”
Kyrynn continues without skipping a beat, ‘Our friend, Lin Yao, here,’ as he points to the Shifter next to him, "told us of your quest, Shintaro.”
Lin Yao begins to circle you, Shintaro. Shintaro smiles and says, “You’re looking quite well.” The young looking shifter seems to scrutinize and judge Shintaro with his eyes, as if he was an old man. “Hmmm, not too young are you? Weak knees already at your age, I see,” as he strikes his staff at the back of your legs, “knotty hair,” as he pulls on your back arm hair and shakes his head. “I can’t believe the king chose your body when he could have had a younger one! Well, anyhow, it seems you’ve already found me and some of the artifacts of our kingdom. Good, good. You will find the primal spirits, like myself, guiding you to find the rest of them. With all of them, you will be able to find our kingdom on Rhodantus hidden underneath. The artifacts will lead you.”
Kyrynn chimes in, ‘the reason we are helping you find these artifacts is because Lin Yao tells us the Lau Jahnan Dynasty has a relic that will lead us to the gods door. Yes, the one that opens every time you become sick, Delad. Now you see why we are helping you use these artifacts? That Door must be closed by any means possible. If you must destroy it, so be it. The gods have already been affecting our world we believe. Sehanine came through and gave the dwarven boy that power in Duvik’s Pass I told you about. Closing the door permanently is our first priority for the Keepers while getting rid of the gods already here will be second, that is why it is imperative for your group to complete this mission. For the sake of the world, if the evil gods come into power here, no mortal being shall be safe.’ He trails off for a moment thinking of the repercussions of what might happen in the worst of scenarios. The group thinks he even feels this way about Pelor after Leo heard his latest sermon in Edom. "You have found many of the artifacts already, so you must complete your journey along with Shintaro here.”
Lin Yao looks at Shintaro again and says with a smile, "You must be confused, Shintaro as I should be over 900 years old, and here I am, younger than you even. Well, the Primal Spirits have bestowed a gift upon me just like they did to you. The King gives you his life power and the same thing happened to me. I was a simple shifter shaman in a small tribe in the country of Cush some 15 or so years ago. After the primal spirits had given me the memories of Lin Yao at a very young age, I slowly became him in every way possible: speech, etiquette, mannerisms, memories, etc. I then went to find out what happened to the others of our kingdom, and found myself in Kinsmet. King Braivemor trusted me for my knowledge of Supernal even though I was only a small child. I helped him translate the scrolls of the warforged to create them as I wanted our knowledge from the Lau Jahnan Dynasty to continue today. I was continuing the King’s work today, some 900 years later. However, it seems the warforged were unable to protect him,’ he turns and bows to Leo, “my condolences Prince Leonus Anima. The 4 artifacts you are looking for are going to be very tough to find.”
Kyrynn picks up as he finishes his tea, "One of them is in the temple of the Sun Dial on the Island of Resen. We have a contact there that will meet you in the fountains of St. Elizabeth when we give him the signal. Don’t worry, he’ll find you when you get there, as he doesn’t want to give his status away. The second is in possession of the king-ahem-I mean co-king, Sir Eglon III and his family in the new nation of Midia-Urartu. The capital, of course, is your best bet to start.
The third is in the city of Frosthaven. Unfortunately, that’s all we know because all of our contacts have been silenced for some reason.
Lin Yao picks up, “we do know that a group of dragons have taken over the southeastern section of Lykovia. It’s plummeted into an eternal snowstorm because of the blue and white dragons that have taken control of the land.” The group remembers that the southeastern section of Lykovia is home to Frosthaven. Already the coldest part of the world. "It’s obvious that your group can handle this though as you’ve proven your worth many times before in Cush and Kinsmet. The fourth talisman is being looked for by our new…ahem, member of our society. We hope to find out soon enough to let you know where to go.
Lin Yao pulls out Shintaro’s gloves. He starts to hand them to the shifter but pulls them away when Shintaro reaches out for them and says, “we need your cooperation for this, Shintaro. The primal spirits of Melora are on the Keeper’s side to destroy this door. Our kingdom will rise again if you’re successful but we’ll need your help until all of the gods are accounted for and the portal is taken care of. Do we have your word as both King Quang Ziu and Shintaro?”
Shintaro says ‘yes’ as in both forms of King and himself. Lin Yao hands the gloves over and says, “Good, King Quang Ziu will become the dominant conscious upon awakening Rhodantus with the artifacts, make sure you remember that. Good luck and may Melora be with you.” Lin Yao then begins to help with the ritual being made by the other mages.
The young girl, Senna, who seems to be in her late teens, is a bit shy to your group at first. But she does come over to you and begins to apologize profusely, “I’m so sorry, my friends and I thought you did destroy Rydelle City with your artifacts. That’s why we attacked you and tried to steal them. Please, forgive me!” She begs for forgiveness from Delad and he accepts it.
She looks at Thorin and says curiously, “Are you the one named Thorin? My mother told me about her 1st husband by that name.” Wide eyed, Thorin asks, “Was your mother’s name Yuma?” and she says yes with a tear in her eye. They embrace realizing that they are half brother and sister. Thorin is excited and realizes that he finally has some sort of family.
Senna explains, “My mother brought me up in Edom all my life. She told me about your father and the great work they did in Rullmenn until his death. She said she couldn’t bear seeing her child not growing up with a father figure and she knew that your father would prefer you to be in the same place he grew up in, the Sun Dial of Pelor.”
“My father’s name is Teman Loot’sko. My mother and he met 20 years ago here and they were very happy. She returned to Edom and began helping the Keepers and he was a soldier from Lykovia. He was a part of a special guard of a diplomat of Lykovia during the war between Lykovia and the dragons that now rule over that part of the country. He left the service and settled in Edom for 12 years or so. Though the army never lost touch with him, or maybe, it was that he never lost touch with the army. You see, he was always concerned about Lykovia and, when I was a little girl, he decided to leave to go back to his services with his majesty’s army, despite what my mother pleaded.
He was gone, just like that, 5 years go by and all we get is a letter of condolences. He was MIA and presumed dead on what is known as the Crimson Warfield. But, what makes this story eerie, was the fact that he came back last year, healthy as can be. The report was wrong, he had a religious epiphany, he explains, from Pelor and in this vision while alone on the Warfield, abandoned, he knew he had to give his life to Pelor and get his family to pilgrimage to the Sun Dial on Resen. He knew the religious affiliation Yuma has with Pelor due to her first husband so she agreed. With my work with the Keepers underway, I stayed while my mother and father decided to go there. She felt it was time to see you, I guess. But the bad news was that we heard from our contact in Resen that she got there with Teman and disappeared almost immediately. I fear for her life because," she pauses for a moment to take a deep breath, “our contact noticed that their behavior was peculiar. I didn’t think too much of it when father came home but after thinking it over, I think something happened to him on that battlefield while he was away and while they were traveling to the Sun Dial, it affected her as well.” She wipes another tear from her eye, "I know you have to go to Resen but can you find our mother as well? Please, my brother!” Thorin agrees realizing his mother is now within reach.
The group continues to talk to Senna and about where they should go next. They know they must take the skull back to the statue in order for the curse to be lifted so they plan to do it, even though they are not too happy with Kyrynn not being as forward as he should have been with all of this. In the midst of their conversation and upon mentioning the name Stondylus they hear a loud “boom” as they hear the ritual is complete that the mages were working on. The mages, after working for a long period of time there in the mines begin to summon the images of their newest member of the Keepers of the Ancient Ones. Jayden hears the most familiar and haunting voice he knew say, “My ssssssonnnnnnnsssssssssss.” The half-elf whips around to think that Master Stondylus is in the room with them, ready to fight and all they see is an image of a familiar dwarf in the magical ritual circle projected onto the wall for the group. The dwarf, they remember to be Councilman Horatio Pashin, one of the seven council members that rule the mighty dwarven kingdom of Pashin in the Yaslin Mountains where your long time friend Oskoor lives. Jayden remembers over 30 years ago how he helped him find the mines in the mountains when he was secretly trying to find the temple to Sehanine to help Stondylus complete the ritual on baby Delad. But Horatio seems a little different though. Bags underneath his eyes show that he hasn’t been sleeping well and his skin seems to be stark white. He smiles wide and continues to talk with the same voice of the ghost, "It seems you’ve found the Keepers now. I’m so glad to hear that, I’ve always thought you should be helping them. Now we can work together.” Jayden, realizing that Stondylus has now possessed Horatio, is quite mad.
The party, very angry at this point, yell at Kyrynn to explain what is going on. With a sigh, the priest of Pelor explains that Horatio has been with the Keepers for the past 6 months, but he died of a heart attack only a month ago. So Stondylus took over his body to ‘reanimate’ him. The party remembers that Stondylus was never able to reanimate dead bodies before so this must be his new found strength as they recall he is gaining more power for each person he possesses and stays with for a certain length of time. Kyrynn says they needed Horatio’s power because he held sway over many of the votes in Pashin with the councilmen. Pashin’s government knows about the Keepers and helps fund their explorations for artifacts. Since Horatio originally became a Keeper and none of the other dwarves wanted to help, it was necessary to keep Horatio “alive,” to an extent. Stondylus had already possessed the shaman’s body and found the memories of Horatio intact though he was officially dead. Stondylus wants to find artifacts as well and agreed to help the Keepers so long as he can work with them as well. In fact, right now Stondylus is finding clues with their funds to find the fourth talisman that they have no clue where it is. Kyrynn didn’t want to agree but found this to be the only way for their society to stay alive for the greater good of finding the fourth talisman. So he told Stondylus that as long as he didn’t do anything rash while being councilman, than he wouldn’t reveal the fact that Horatio is actually dead and is being possessed by a ghost. Stondylus explains he only wants to find the artifacts in order to learn more about his past as he can’t remember much about it either. He thinks the artifacts are somehow connected to him since he knows Supernal. His theory is that he is quite old himself, maybe as old as during the Tabula Rasa, but he doesn’t know how old.
The group, claiming they will not work with Stondylus, begin to argue with Kyrynn. Jayden begins to question Stondylus about himself, his brother, and who Ralph is. Stondylus doesn’t have too many answers but says, “You should probably go to Frosthaven. There you should find some answers. Besides, do you really trust what I say? It would be better for you to learn of your past on your own.” Jayden, more angry than he has ever been before, tells Stondylus he won’t be so formal with him when he sees him in person again. Stondylus also says, “Don’t be so harsh, I sent a gift on my behalf for you, Jayden.” With that, a dagger is teleported to the party. Stondylus continues with a toothy grin, “You remember your old dagger when you worked with me, don’t you? I made it specially for you. When your brother was being stubborn and wouldn’t let you use his sword that’s stuck in you, we made this dagger for you not long ago. Of course, this was before I learned how to pull out the broken sword myself for you. You remember its name, don’t you?”
The name slips into Jayden’s mind unwillingly as it reminds him of a time of his past that he wishes to forget. The only times he seems to remember of his past life are the ones he wish he could forget. Unfortunately, the name stays and he says it out loud in a soft and disheartened voice: Widowmaker. After Kyrynn and his mages check the weapon, they find it to be totally fine and not cursed or being tracked in anyway. Jayden takes it reluctantly.
Kyrynn and Stondylus talk of the negotiations at Pashin for more money to help back the Keepers in order for them to find the Door.
Kyrynn, although bitter, says that he so far can trust Stondylus and that Horatio did die of natural causes. He also tells the party that some of his men are working undercover next to Stondylus to make sure he doesn’t screw up and, if he does, they will kill him.
Jayden, full of rage, takes Eibon to interrogate him away from Kyrynn. The Keepers resist at first but Jayden tosses the soldiers to the side with his magic out of anger. Some stay and try and talk to Kyrynn. Thorin insists that he take Senna with him to Resen but she says her main job is to protect the leader of the Keepers (Kyrynn who has not been leader for very long now).
Jayden, Delad, and Shintaro talk to Eibon and he says everything that Kyrynn is saying is on the level but doesn’t know anything about who Stondylus is. He agrees to secretly be working for the party to be their eyes and ears while they are away.
When done, Kyrynn says Eibon will be thrown in their special prison called the “Pit.” The Keepers agree to wait for the party to get back to Edom with them after they fix the skull.