Abria

The Hands of Fate

Cret, Kathra, Rolen, Vendara, and Zzigourd each received a strange fate card from a messenger. With the card came a note reading "Westreach Isle, The Dented Flagon 18 Nekheros, one hour after noon" and a bundle of coin.

Zzigourd was seeking passage North on the docks in Lyra, while Vendara was studying some fragmented tomes on arcane theory in a library near the south edge of the same city. Both were found by the messenger and eventually sought caravans west to Kassion.

Cret was having his first taste of life outside of the Arche Peninsula in the town of Arche, when he was approached by a messenger. He was quite excited as he had never seen a picture like that or ever been given a message. He eventually sought passage on a boat south to Kassion, although he was confused as to why he had to head south to go north.

Rolen was in Kassion already, experiencing the local colour after having escaped some “family problems”.

Kathra was in one of the surface towns near the Khaldain border. It took her nearly two months by caravan—cursing her uncooperative horse the whole way—to reach Kassion.

There they each booked passage on the Raven’s Wake, a supply and trading ship which was aparantly the only vessel planning a trip to Westreach Isle in the near future.

After expenses, and they each had exactly enough money leftover from their mysterious package to cover their passage on Raven’s Wake.

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The Briney Seas

On 27 Turros 5102 AF, the Raven’s Wake set sail for Westreach Isle.

Making good time due to clear skies and favourable winds for the first eleven days of the journey the crew are dissapointed to become suddenly becalmed just north of the Whistling Tides.

After spending two full days some of the passengers notice the increasing agitation of the crew and try some subtle ways to find out what they are concerned about. Unsuccessful, the go back to their cabins for the night.

Shortly after dawn, cries of alarm sound from above. They passengers also hear the captain shouting at them to hurry to the deck.

Once on deck, the passengers see that a dozen or more amorphous greenish blobs have come over the side of the ship and are starting to disolve parts of the deck and attacking the crew.

Vendara quickly identifies the creatures as brineys, something she has read about but never had to pleasure of seeing in person. The joys of practical research.

While the crew is struggling to kill half of the creatures, the passengers decide to take on the rest before they destroy the ship.

Zzigourd and Cret decide to take the direct route, charging at the front rank of brineys, while Vendara fires bolts of lightning. Using Vendara’s advice, Rolen starts firing blasts of cold at the front rank of brineys. By this time the group is seeing Vendara’s warning firsthand; each time they seriously injure on of the brineys a spawn splits off. Annoyingly the spawn immediately join in battle alongside their ‘parents’.

Suddenly the rear ranks flow forward, completely outflanking Zzigour and Cret, and even reaching Kathra, Vendara, and Rolen in the rear.

Kathra decides to stay and protect the magic users in the back of the group and calls on her mightiest prayers to even the playing field.

Zzigourd and Cret both get covered in caustic acid that slowly eats away at them. Annoyingly neither one seems to be able to shake it off.

The passengers find themselves surrounded. Each of them is hurt, especially Zzigourd and Cret who are barely standing despite constant healing magic from Kathra and Rolen.

Rolen sees the opportunity to turn the tides, and calls upon a spirit of stone to move the brineys aside and provide protective cover to his allies. The stone spirit knocks half of the remaining brineys overboard, giving the group time to mop up the remainder while they crawl back up the side of the ship.

Zzigourd and Cret make short work of those remaining on deck with support from Rolen and Kathra, while Vendara starts blasting those climbing up the ship’s side.

With the last few brineys left, Cret falls to a particluarly nasty wound.

The group mops up the straglers, and Kathra and Rolen quickly rouse Cret. Cret suffers from a nasty seeping wound for the next day, but will be fine long before reaching port.

The ship isn’t so lucky. Five crew are dead, and several more are seriously injured. Serious damage has been done to the ship, but it will still be able to make port. the captain plans on staying a few extra days in Westreach Isle to make some preliminary repairs. All considered, not the Raven’s Wake’s best journey.

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Bar Fight!

Upon reaching the port at Westreach Isle, the group decides to head toward The Dented Flagon right away. On the way there they notice a group of figures hanging out nearby in the shadows next to a warehouse.

The Flagon is basically empty, with a lone adolescent half-elf sitting in a corner booth and a barkeep organizing some dishware behing the bar.

Cret and Kathra both decide to order a drink while they are waiting. Vendara watches the door, while Zzigourd explores the common room. Rolen decides to ask the youth why there are no locals around, and why he is hanging around the bar.

During this conversation the group hanging around outside comes in. Two of them stay to guard the front door, three of them move towards the corner booth, while the other two head towards the back door.

One of the mysterious group, a women in leather, manhandles Rolen out of the way, while the youth starts to crawl under the table.

Cret tries to politely diffuse the situation, but the woman reacts with violence. While Zzigourd is talking to the apparent leader of the mysterious group, a fight breaks out between Rolen, Cret and some of the group.

It quickly turns into a rout for the mysterious group, who are all knocked out, including their leader who attempted to flee out the back.

As the group works to restrain their captives, Vendara notices a strange magical energy emanating from them.

While Kathra is working on restrainig the leader, she notices that his condition is worsening even though his wounds are bound. Using her healing magic she manages to stabilize the leader. In the meantime the other captives are reduced to little more than desicated corpses.

The bartender returns with some town guards, Cret orders some food, and the group explain the situtation. The guards take the surviving captive into custody.

The youth identifies himself as Liam. He says he was supposed to meet some people there and lead them to Lady Jala. He mentions that he was told to expect up to eighteen people, but did not know any names or faces.

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The Jerachoa Tree

On the way to Jala’s house, the group came upon a tree in a circle of white stones near a bridge. Liam told them it was called the Jerachoa Tree.

Cret and Vendara moved to investigate the tree while the rest of the group (with Liam) stayed back several yards. Cret sensed a powerful lifeforce emanating from the tree. Vendara was able to instinctively sense that it was a reincarnation point for deva, although it had not yet been used.

Shortly after investigating the tree the group where attacked by a covey of five dusk hags and their trio of trained wolves. The lesser hags were only a minor annoyance, and Cret took out one of the wolves and all of them with support from Kathra. Meanwhile Zzigourd, Rolen, and Vendara were taking on the hag’s leader and the other two wolves. Everything was going fine until Zzigourd ended up getting dunked in the river by the lead hag, and Vendara ended up getting pinned down by the two wolves. Once Zzigourd, Cret, and Kathra rejoined Rolen and Vendara they finished up the wolves with very little difficulty.

Although the fight was fairly short, Vendara was not in the best of shape afterwards.

During the battle Rolen noticed a fairly large opening in the Jerachoa Tree several feet above his head, but did not have time to investigate. The group settled down for a brief rest.

After resting near the Jerachoa tree the group decided to investigate the opening. Zzigourd and Cret both attempted to climb its branchless lower trunk but were unsuccessful. Eventually Cret managed to secure his rope to a branch a few feet above the opening and Zzigourd volunteered to climb up. While the rest of the group stood tensely ready for an ambush or some kind of magical trap, Vendara sent her raven familiar to enter the opening while Zzigour hang on the rope at the entrance.

After Vendara reported there was a wicker basket and a glowing staff inside, Zzigour tied to rope around his waist and entered.

A couple of minutes later, Zzigourd had the wicker basket and the staff on the ground and Vendara examined them while Cret wound and stowed his rope.

Vendara quickly claimed the Jerachoa Staff for herself. After a brief discussion, Cret and Zzigourd each took possession of a bottle of Jerachoa Wine and Cret also held the Nectar of Purity.

Liam told the group they were getting near Jala’s house.

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Tea with Jala

The group finally arrived at Jala’s house. Liam warns them to avoid touching the fence.

The group enters her house and sees Jala sitting on a chair. Nearby several more chairs sit in front of a table covered in a variety of sweets.

Vendara correctly guesses that Jala is of the Travelling People and greets her with the customary hand gesture. The group eventually has a seat, and Vendara and Liam start to sip at some tea. The rest of the group is either not hungry or too suspicious to partake.

Jala explains that she sent for the group to retreive her fate cards. Apparently the deck was stolen by a group of goblins about half an hour before the group arrived.

When questioned further, she admits that she knew the goblins were going to be stealing the deck because she had a prophetic vision several months ago. She also admits that she made no attempt to stop the goblins from taking the deck, and that she made sure she was away from the house and the door was unlocked. She assumes from what she saw in her vision that there were roughly a dozen goblins. She knows from their tracks that they headed north, away from town and deeper into the forest.

Vendara asks Jala about her visions. Jala says she has visions that come to her with little control, showing her various things that have or will occur. She says that she also uses her deck to perform readings regarding a specific question, person, or object. These tend to be more reliable.

Without her deck she is unable to perform readings with the same accuracy, and would like very much to get them back. She also says that the fate cards the group has were drawn from her deck when she did a reading for the best group to retrieve her deck. She drew eighteen cards, each a different person who would be likely to succeed at retrieving her deck, plus one indicating that Liam should meet them at the Dented Flagon.

The group tells her about the mysteriosu group they encountered at the Flagon. Jala suggests that they might want to bring the survivor to the Jerachoa Tree to revive him, and possibly question him. She seems eager to have information on why the mysterious group were there and started a fight with either Liam or the group.

The group asks if she has had any recent visions. Jala mentios off-handedly that the mayor will want to see them in four days.

Cret questions why they should help her (and whether she is sane or not). Jala offers the group 150 gp each upon return of the deck. Cret immediately heads out the other door to start investigating the tracks.

Jala tells Liam it is time for him to break his promise. He is no longer forbidden from using his powers in the presence of others. He offers to accompany the group while they retrive the deck of fate cards.

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