Journal Posts

Tag: darromar

Chapter 1 — Sage Advice
Gullbeak called back from the outlook that the River Ith was approaching, and Captain Ombert began calling out orders to the sailors to bring the ship down to land in the river upstream from the city to the east.

   Oma safely lowered the spelljammer, finding it far less scary to land when in control of the vehicle herself from the spelljamming helm in the center of the ship. They picked a spot at a bend in the river, sheltered by trees, hopefully avoiding being seen by any of the farmers in the region. They did not want to scare anyone with a flying sailing vessel.

   Hakam, Solisar, and Szordrin were to accompany Mythlos to visit the palace, while Jayce intended to find the bardess Jimena, with whom he had previously recorded music magically for profit. Belvin stayed onboard in case Yashiera's reply came, and Leokas stayed with him. Kytharrah wanted to join the others, but he was forbidden, as it was not thought that minotaurs would be welcome in the human city. "I will stay with you, and we can practice some axemanship," Nargroth had said.

   "Have you heard from your grandfather or friend since we last saw them?" Jayce asked Mythlos, as they walked along the river west toward the city.

   "Faelar and Gargantos went to the Forest of Tethir," Mythlos explained.

   "I have always wanted to visit Suldanessellar," said Solisar.

   "They went to the very place. Faelar wrote that it reminded him of Moonspinner Web."

   "And you?" asked Jayce. "I hear that you were not present for their most recent adventures and their second encounter with Samber."

   "I found a mentor in the High Forest, who could teach me the ancient elven art of spellsinging," said Mythlos.

   "Do you still carry around that magical frog with you?"

   A loud croak from Mythlos' pack confirmed it.

   They reached Darromar from the southern side of the river, entering the city on the Ithal Road, which became Star Street once they passed through the gates.

   "Some of the architecture here reminds me of Calimport," said Solisar.

   "The former name of this city is Ithmong," said Hakam. "It was one of Calimshan's holdings."

   They came to the Wheel Market on their right, one of Daromar's two large marketplaces. "Asdefk's Inn is coming up on our left," said Jayce. "That's where I am meeting Jimena."

   "Is not that where we spent the night when we were last here?" asked Mythlos.

   "It is," said Jayce.

   "They had moderately good Calishite food," admitted Hakam, "for a Tethyrian establishment."

   "Very spicy," said Mythlos.

   After Jayce entered the inn, the other four crossed over the Ithal Bridge and entered the Royal Quarter, walking along the Riverside Road uphill toward Ithal Crag, the rocky hill upon which the royal palace of Faerntarn sat. Passing through the Garden of Rhinda, a beautiful flower garden, they circumnavigated the hill and presented themselves to the palace guards at the north gate, having assented the steep trail up the side of the crag.

   "We are the party of Sir Mythlos Moonspinner, Lord of Barony Nadjar," said Hakam and motioning toward Mythlos, "here on appointment to see the duchess Valmeyjar."

   One of the guards inspected Hakam's signet ring and official documents. Once cleared and confirmed as registered visitors, they passed under a barbican gate with a series of three heavy portcullises and were welcomed into the courtyard of the main keep, surrounded by its fortified, granite curtain wall. They were led by one of the young armored knights, a member of the Warriors of the Star, to one of the four halls located within the greater complex. Several other guards followed in the rear.

   They followed the lad up a set of stairs, down a hallway, and through a closed door. The young man announced the nobles within before the visitors had even stepped into the room.

   "Saers, I present to you Lady Vajra, Royal Warlady, Duchess of Ankaram and Regent Royal for Princess Cyriana; Lady Perendra, Countess of Elemetar and Court Vizera; and Lord Gamalon, Count of Spellshire and Court Sage. Ladies and Lord, I present to you Sir Mythlos Moonspinner, Lord of Barony Nadjar; his personal cleric Hakam Hamdulah Anachtyr; and two mages, Solisar Keryth and Szordrin Dundragon."

   "Northerners can never introduce someone properly," mumbled Hakam.

   They stepped within. The room was long with a high ceiling. Two large tapestries of seaside imagery hung on the long walls. A chandelier hung over a long wooden table. At the back of the room was a wooden pole with a small beam at the top upon which perched an owl.

   Around the table sat three humans, a man and two women. The man was older, with a salt and pepper beard. He had several old scars across his face and a green gem where his left eye had once been. He had dark skin and a bald head. He dressed in wizard's robes, and several Ioun stones were orbiting his head.

   One of the seated women was exceptionally tall. She rose to her feet when the adventurers entered and stood over six feet. She had dusky skin and short dark hair, except for a single long braid that hung behind her almost to the ground. While dressed in a formal gown, she also wore thick metal bands around her wrists and neck. She looked like she did not belong in such attire. Her muscular arms looked confined in the tight sleeves of her dress.

   The other woman, in contrast, looked like she was born to wear nobles' clothing, and her high-necked, long-sleeved yellow dress was clearly tailored to her form. She too had dark skin. Her hair was tightly cropped, and she had a large forehead and brown, almond-shaped eyes.

   Hakam recognized both women from Countess Kyrin Hawkwinter's wedding. The taller woman, Vajra, Duchess of Ankaram, was the lord of Mythlos' lord, Count Oxsal Keeneyes of Monteshi.

   "Yes, yes, we know who these brave adventurers are," said the Court Sage, also standing. (The second woman, Perendra, remained seated.) "They were in part responsible both for exposing the crimes of Duke Hhune and for ensuring the rescue of my grandniece Rhinda. Come in and welcome! Please, take seats at the table with us, wherever you find it comfortable."

   Szordrin sat himself closest to the Court Sage Gamalon. "I am an admirer of your writing," said Szordrin, as one of the servants in the room pushed his chair in for him.

   Gamalon chuckled. "I was not aware that I was known as an author. What, pray tell me, have you read of mine?"

   "I read of your experiences while living upon the Rock of Bral," Szordrin replied. "Perhaps we may speak more of Bral after the official business is completed."

   "I would be pleased to do so," said Gamalon.

   On the other side of the table, Vadja turned to Mythlos and asked, "Where is your bard, Jayce? I was to notify him that the queen herself listens to the magic keyboard enchanted with the J&J Duo's music."

   "Forgive me, your ladyship, but what is the J&J Duo?"

   "Jayce and Jimena, Mythlos," mumbled Hakam.

   "Yes, of course," said Mythlos. "He is, as a matter of fact, attending a meeting with Madam Jimena at this very hour."

   "He is collecting royalties for his work," said Hakam. "We could arrange a private performance at reduced cost for this present company."

   Vajra laughed, "There is little time on my busy schedule for entertainment."

   "In that case," said the cleric, "perhaps I should provide a full report on my lord's keep."

   "You may give it."

   "As I informed you by magic, the blue dragon Yrevkethend targeted a dragon slayer of renown, one Rinald Overman, whom we had once in our employ. The monster tracked him to Sir Moonspinner's keep and leveled it and the nearby village of Stonethrow."

   "We believe that the dragon Yrevkethend is affected by the Dracorage curse," explained Solisar. "Indeed, we have assisted a brass dragon companion of ours in fleeing this very plane, because he too was feeling the effects of it."

   "I also have a close relationship with a brass dragon," said Gamalon. "A noble race. His name is Alaerurrgos, and I have been a sort of tutor and protector to him after Iryklathagra slew his family in the Year of the Gauntlet. He began acting very strangely on exactly the first of the year, which aroused my suspicions. Ultimately, we had to use magic to hold the poor creature in temporal stasis.

   "We have been in contact with many of our most knowledgeable wizards," continued the old sage. "The greatest minds in Faerûn are at a loss to explain why a dracorage appears to be happening now. The only clue we have is that dracoliches, undead dragons, seem unaffected by the curse. So busy have I been investigating this rage, that my good wife Mynda effectively rules my county of Spellshire in my absence."

   "For my part," said the Lady Vajra, "we are trying to keep track of the activities of the most powerful dragons of the region. The blue wyrm whom Gamalon just mentioned, Iryklathagra, is known to be raging throughout Calimshan. Earlier in the year, she razed the Twin Towers of the Eclipse on the border of Amn, a site sacred to Bane. The loss of a dark god's temple was of course no loss to us, but the attack was very close to our northernmost territories. I suspect her eyes are now on Calimport, as she has a deep and ancient hatred for the Shoon Empire that once held power there."

   "May it never be," said Hakam quietly.

   "The first destruction that we had confirmed in Tethyr was the loss of a settlement on the Dragon Reach at the end of the first month of the year. Thankfully for us in West Faerûn, the most concentrated dragon destruction has been far north of that in the Cold Lands north of the Moonsea and bordering the Great Glacier, such as Damara, Impiltur, or Narfell."

   "The Great Glacier?" inquired Solisar. "Do you think that this rage has any connection to the ice witch, Iyraclea? My people of Evermeet have been concerned about her recent activities."

   "Have they?" said Vajra. "Perendra, has the embassy of Evermeet informed us of this?"

   The other woman shook her head, but said nothing. Indeed, she seemed rather unhappy. Szordrin whispered in Ferry's ear, and the weasel scurried off his shoulder. A few moments later, Ferry appeared on Perendra's lap. A smile appeared on her face, and she began to pet his soft coat. The owl on the stand behind her, however, stared directly at Ferry and licked its beak.

   "We will look into what we may regarding Iyraclea," said Lady Vajra. "In any case, here, far from the Glacier, our army has been under great stress for the last several years. In the Year of the Tankard, two towns of Amn defected to join Tethyr. Gamalon and I have spent much of our time in the north working with the citizens of these towns. In that same year, we lost the town of Kzelter in the south to the city-state of Mintar, which had fallen under the sway of the Church of Bane. Thus, we had to send our troops to two fronts. On top of this, an army of goblinoids, ogres, and other foul races rose up and attacked Amn near our western borders with that nation, giving us no small amount of concern. And now, dragons are raging! Thus, we have little choice but to mobilize our militias." She turned to Mythlos. "Sir Moonspinner, will you be able to lead the people of your fiefdom of Nadjar in Monteshi if called to arms?"

   Mythlos rose and bowed, "Of course, my liege. It is both my duty and an honor to defend the people of Tethyr. I can also call upon aid from my grandfather Gargantos in the Forest of Tethir. He may be able to persuade a number of elves to join us."

   "That would be a feat," said Vajra, more to herself than to anyone else. "Foxfire and Mirthal have had little success."

   "Is there any means to draw the raging dragons away from the cities, using bait of some kind?" suggested Hakam.

   "Perhaps, but none of us know clearly enough the workings of a dragon's mind when it is not raging," said Gamalon, "much less when it is sick with madness."

   "Whatever can be done to help rebuild, I repeat that I am at your service," said Mythlos.

   "I thank you, Sir Moonspinner," said Vajra. "There will be a meeting here at Faerntarn in half a tenday with all of the warlords of Tethyr to discuss a strategy for defense against the dragons. Will you be in attendance?"

   "I shall."

   "If so, then I believe our business here is done, unless you have further questions of us."

   "Do you have further news about the paladin Rhinda?" asked Hakam. "And did I correctly hear you that she is a relation of yours, Lord Gamalon?"

   "Yes," said Gamalon. "Rhinda is the granddaughter of my brother Kessel. She is recovering, though slowly, from the trauma she experienced at the hands of the gnolls. I believe that she will be fully healed in time."

   "What about her paladin companion?"

   "I know not of him or her," said Gamalon. "What name?"

   "Interestingly enough, the young man shared one of each of your names." said Hakam. "He was Gamalon Valmeyjar."

   "Mine is a common enough name," said the sage.

   "My surname, however, is not," said Vajra. "I was orphaned as a young girl during our civil war. To the best of my knowledge, I am the last of the Valmeyjars."

   "If we learn anything of him, we shall send word to you by spellmagic," said Gamalon.

   Since there were no further matters of state to discuss, Vajra excused herself from the meeting and left to attend to other matters. The Lady Perendra followed her out, with the owl now perched on her extended arm. Ferry returned to Szordrin's lap.

   Gamalon looked excited to talk about Bral. "So, you have questions about the Rock? Do you have means to travel there?"

   "We have a acquired a spelljammer, yes," said Szordrin.

   "Our divine quest is leading us there," added Hakam, "but we are not at liberty to share more details than that."

   "My first question is about the Interlink Consortium," said Szordrin. "Do you know it?"

   "The Interlink Consortium? Of course I know of it. A reputable source of portal paraphernalia for the planewalker. It is located on Wasp Street, next to Frada's Provisioning, on the port side of the Great Market in Middle City. (I should note that north and south are meaningless on the Rock! Everything is given in terms of the direction of the Rock's orbit around Toril, as if it were a massive sailing vessel. The docks and Low City are toward the leading edge. 'Starboard' is to the right if one is facing toward the docks.)

   "You should also know that they have moved their headquarters off-world. They still maintain their 'flagship' store on the Rock of Bral, but the business is run elsewhere. Prince Andru's taxes were too high for them. As a noble of Bral, the taxes are not as heavy a burden for me to maintain my own shop there. Plus, I ran a curio shop, not a factory!

   "Now, if you are, by chance, curious for curios, my shop is on the starboard side of the Great Market. I think that you may find items of interest to you there."

   "Do you know what a Galormansko's sequencer apparatus is? We know that the Consortium sells them."

   "I do not know what a sequencer apparatus is, no, but I do know the name Galormansko. He was a mage from the world of Oerth, the same world as the famous mage Mordenkainen. Both mages did a fair amount of planar travel. I once met Galormansko on the Rock, during a cross-crystal-sphere wizard's fair; he was a very old fellow, hard of hearing and almost deaf. He spent most of the time falling asleep during other wizards' speeches. I imagine that whatever a 'sequencer' is, he sold the rights to its manufacturer to the Interlink Consortium."

   "What about a wizard by the name of Onran?" asked Szordrin, mentioning the name of his former master, who had been murdered, presumably by a drow assassin. "Have you heard of that name?"

   "I have not; I am sorry."

   "May we use you as a reference?" asked Szordrin. "That is, may we claim that we know you if we run into any... trouble... on Bral."

   "Certainly," said Gamalon. "In fact, you may have my card." He handed Szordrin a small wooden card with a runic image burned into it. "That will prove to other wizards who know me that you have met me in person."

   They thanked Gamalon for his extra time. As they were getting up to leave, Mythlos, who had only this day learned of the plan to visit the Rock of Bral, asked, "How far away from Toril is the Rock of Bral?"

   "About 183,000 miles from Toril, by our scholars' best calculations," said Gamalon.

   "183,000 miles! How large is the whole crystal sphere?"

   "By most estimates," said the sage, "Realmspace is some three billion and two hundred million miles in radius. Wildspace is larger than anything you have ever imagined. If you are journeying to wildspace, prepare to have your understanding of the world changed forever."
Session: 102nd Game Session - Wednesday, Jun 13 2018 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
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