In the night, Bob had a dream/vision where he finally met Sark, his mysterious patron. Sark explained that the Empress’ plan is to take over Issylra, bring power back to the land, and then … something else, even Sark is unsure of. But more importantly (to Sark), she has chased his students, like Bob, out of New Vasselheim, and castigate them to the Godless Lands to the south. Sark wanted Bob to travel south, with his blessing and protection, to find and heal those people.
Also overnight, Rinn had a strange dream that he was watching a storm from the hills just by the city walls. Lightning struck old Vasselheim, and a deep voice told him to come. To come to the forge. When Rinn said maybe he would then, the voice replied “Good.” And Rinn woke up to a cloudless sky. Mysteriously, water was collected on his sill, as if it had rained, but nowhere else.
In the morning, an errand boy with a cracking voice brought a message from the Empress to Tunk, asking him to see her and bring one friend. By dint of everyone else saying “Not it!” Bob was picked. This led to Bob and Tunk wanting to run some errands to collect needed items. Bob’s request for … semi-legal drugs took them to a mysterious ‘drug store’ in the shady Rat Docks. There, an unnamed old person listened to Bob and once they were certain Bob would help the people in Issylra suffering from PTSD following the destruction, cut him a deal. They also bought some acid and poison from Stubby and told her to try selling her wares (like the Wrymling heart) at “The Night’s Trinkets” for the best price.
For Tunk, they went to John’s Marketplace and met the ostentatious tiefling owner, who happily sold them some oil for Tunk’s staff. While there, they heard a muffled explosion, and John’s patrons complained about ‘Ivan,’ a mysterious crazy man who has his own store (Clocks & Cogs) where all sorts of weird shit was sold.
Following the shopping, Bob and Tunk met with the Empress who wanted to hire them to scout, but not engage, in the mysterious reason causing the southern lands to be poisoned. The belief was that the land was blocked to scrying and to the eyes of even the Gods (hence Godless Lands) due to one of the myriad objects of power stored in old Vasselheim landing there. The popular theory is that it was either the Horn of Orcus or something to do with Arkhan the Cruel, and his hand of Vecna. After a little wheeling and dealing, the two accepted a small amount of money (500 gold for Bob), a tour of the mushroom facilities (Tunk), and two official crests of approval from the Empress. She also provided them with two horses, a wagon, and supplies for the journey.
Bob and Tunk departed immediately, leaving a void in the hearts of their friends.
Tāmarai finally sought out the Xhorhasian Embassy, where she met Lanna Kryn, the senior most ambassador and member of Den Kryn, the ruling family in Xhorhas. Mistress Kryn explained she came to Issylra 6 years prior, with her guards and assistant (and wife) to recover three lost Luxon Beacons. Two were found, and while one was recovered, the other was lost. When the Bastion of the Platinum Dragon exploded, Saanvi Mirimm, Mistress Kryn’s wife, was inside and is believed to be dead. She was consecuted, as is Mistress Kryn, and since they have one beacon, Saanvi’s soul should have returned. Readily agreeing to communicate with Xhorhas (and Tāmarai’s house) to inform them that Tāmarai was alive, just trapped on Isslyra, what Mistress Kryn would not ask of Tāmarai is for her to recover the beacon. Even though the magic that brought Tāmarai and her friends back would allow them to travel safely, it was unfair to ask that of someone so young and in her first life, without being consecuted.
While Tāmarai talked to the representatives from Xhorhas, Rinn and Stubby went to The Night’s Trinkets to sell some of the collected items from Ravenia/Draconia, and purchase a gem for her work. Then, out by where Rinn was in his dream, they had a heart to heart. Rinn said he’s not spying on them. So Stubby explained they’d been gone for five years and she was Lady Victoria Viqul Elaina Vessar De Rolo of Whitestone (and the Grey Hunt). Rinn, not being very familiar with ‘De Rolo’ and what it meant did take to heart Stubby’s warning. If the Empress knew who she was, Stubby would probably be murdered.
- Bob – Changling Warlock (Pact of the Old Ones)
- Rinn Shrike – Half-elf Sorcerer/Rogue (Storm Sorcery)
- Stubby – Half-elf Artificer/Artillerist
- Tāmarai Shikomi – Gnome Bard (College of Lore)
- Tunk – Bugbear Monk (Way of the Cobalt Soul/Expositor)
This was Bob and Tunk’s final appearance for the time being.