After a week of ‘downtime’… things got kinda hairy.
Stubby had a dream, maybe a vision, where her mother from the future (the one where they were all missing 80 years) was wearing a dingy blood red robe, and was casting some sort of runes or spell. When completed, there was a flash of sickly greenish yellow (not the same as the color of Flynn’s magic) and a voice said “I can help you.” Dream-Vex then turned to look at Stubby. Vex’s hand and eye were those of Vecna, the Whispered One, and she pointed at Stubby to draw her closer. But the Champion of the Raven Queen, Vax’ildan Vessar, interposed himself and protected Stubby, telling her to remember the name “Kas.”
When she woke up, Stubby ran hell to breakfast for the Temple of the Raven Queen. While her friends scrambled to catch up, Stubby made an offering and was visited by non other than the Raven Queen herself, maskless, wearing her own Deathwalker’s Ward. The Raven Queen said that if Stubby was to follow her path, then to find the answers from Kas, her “Champion,” Stubby must go to Old Vasselheim and seek out Raven’s Crest.
As the Raven Queen left, in a literal cloud of ravens, Tāmarai and Rinn arrived, finding a much shaken Stubby, who explained what had happened. It was clear they needed to go to Old Vasselheim.
Rinn quickly went to The Slayer’s Take, where he saw the new Asst. Captain for Outside the Wall being promoted, and was thanked by Pansy (Asst. Capt. Inside the Wall) for his quick thinking the week prior. The Thieves’ Guild had formally apologized and now there was some ‘deal’ struck that was advantageous to the Take over the Guild about working in the city walls. Meeting with Otel elaborated this very little, suffice that Abe the Assassin was in for a long time of punishment for his own stupidity. Oh and it was now pretty much an open secret in their circles as to who Stubby really is.
From Otel, Rinn got a map of Old Vasselheim, a list of places he could sell the wyrmling bits at a better price, and a notarized authorization to get the normal Take discount on traveling supplies (5% off) for the trip to Vasselheim. Also while there were no contracts for specific items in OV, the Take would pay for a list of what creatures were out there (so as to help make contracts) and a local mapmaker would pay for a decent map of OV.
Otel also explained a bit about who he was and why he personally was invested in this journey. Otel had indeed come with the others from Xhorhas, to recover the Luxon Beacons. Originally a spy for Xhorhas in the Take, after the destruction, Otel felt his talents were better served outside of the Embassy.
Since the Luxon Beacons allowed the Consequted to be reborn into new bodies, and since people generally ‘awoke’ to their many lives around teen hood, Otel was able to help find them and get them the help they needed. But he also believes that there is a second Beacon still in Old Vasselheim.
Meanwhile, back at the Temple of the Raven Queen, Tam and Stubby met with the head priest, Gleason, who talked to them about Kas. According to Gleason, Kas was the first Champion of the Raven Queen. Using his sword, and their four Trammels, the mighty Vox Machina defeated Vecna.
Except … that wasn’t what happened, at least not as Stubby knew. The sword had been yeeted by her Auntie Keyleth into the Etherial Plane, and there were only three Trammels (one of which – the Raven Queens’ own – shattered on use). And Gleason’s story got odder and odder until, at one point, he seemed to split into two people, each telling a different story about Kas. In both, however, Kas’ remains were in the Champions Crypt on the fourth basement of the Temple of the Raven Queen in OV.
It appeared that Gleason had no memory of that strange event. Bewildered, they shared with Gleason a copy of a book they had uncovered in Vorugal/Gelidon’s Lair, which showed a different history of events from what Gleason knew.
What he did know was that it was most likely that they’d tripped Gelidon’s trap to escape, but that the time travel was … not Gelidon’s plan. Which meant, did the time travel cause the destruction of Vasselheim, or did the destruction cause the time travel?Gleason suspected that they’d jumped to the wrong timeline, but stressed it was not his area of expertise, and they should ask for Saphy in the Temple of the Luxon.
Leaving Gleason to his existential crisis, the trio did just that (after a pit stop at home to clean up). At the Temple of the Luxon, two youths (human and dwarf) were practicing their UnderCommon outside. A slightly older half-drow was helping them and, when the trio arrived, absently explained that the others had recently come into their past life memories, and were struggling with the change. But wasn’t it delightful that they were allowed to practice their religion here, outside Xhorhas!?
The young human was set to fetch Saphy, a wizened halfelf, who took a look at the three (well the two) and said this meeting needed to happen in her office. Saphy explained she’d lived in Vasselhiem for a few lifetimes, one starting pre-Calamity when Vasselheim was a glittering beacon of civilization, or whatever. She was rather dismissive of the claims. These days, she was an Archivist, but her passion was understanding the way possibilities changed timelines.
According to Saphy, there were obviously fixed points in time that could never change. That was why, for example, even the use of spells like Fortune’s Favor didn’t always work. While you were able to pick another mote of possibility from your own future, sometimes that didn’t actually change the outcome.
As she listened to the story, Saphy decided that Gleason was wrong. It wasn’t that Tam and Stubby were out of time, it was the Raven Queen and her temple! Because Saphy knew there were three Trammels. If the kids’ theory was right, and the Empress was a descendant of Stubby from the future (which frankly was looking more and more plausible every day), then she was likely an heir of the broken and evil Vex in the future, who sided with Vecna, and was come to revenge on Stubby for all that happening to Vex.
But. Unravelling the truth would take Saphy some time. She didn’t have a good theory as to the chicken-vs-egg conundrum of if the explosion caused time travel, or vice versa, but suspected it was truly related.
Armed with even more questions, the trio decided the best place to seek answers was, in fact, in Old Vasselheim.
- Rinn Shrike – Half-elf Sorcerer/Rogue (Storm Sorcery)
- Stubby – Half-elf Artificer/Artillerist
- Tāmarai Shikomi – Gnome Bard (College of Lore)