Three Seas

Reverb Nations
Not Good Vibrations

In the immediate aftermath of the Ringing of the Nixor Lux (the tale of which is already becoming the story of legend and song), our various heroes went in their separate directions, to help the city recover, to repair the Lost Quarter, to report to their various superiors what they had discovered inside the statue, and to plan for how best to protect it.

Pooling their resources and knowledge, Domr, Jasper, Kiran and Fazial conspired to create a number of false crowns and deposit them in the Crown Repository. However, when they gathered at the underground tunnel entrance where Patir had let them out before, not only was the door completely missing – nary a seal to be seen – but the group was surrounded by men in black robes in a failed ambush attempt.

While Fazial managed to convince to of the men to wait the fight out on the promise of extra money, the rest of the attackers proved to be fanatics devoted to the Tauron secret – personal assassins for Mateen Kadari called the Brotherhood of the Black Knives. This fanatic devotion did not, however, prove to be helpful against an enraged weather god in an enclosed space. While Jasper quietly dispatched one of the enemy minotaurs after the brute beheaded his own companion for desertion, Domr loudly dispatched the two dwarven enemies with a blast of electric fire, instantly frying them and rendering them into ash.

From this encounter, Kiran managed to find a new devotee, a human Brother of the Black Knives named Mishtal, who had heard her name from his own friend Kazan, the man she had healed at the Nixor Lux almost a week ago.

Now thoroughly annoyed, the group headed above ground to get the decoy crowns into the statue, but on the surface they found a cadre of city guards waiting for them at its base – including their leader, Dromos Kagano, who had been among the Thrice Faithful inside the Cathedral of the Three when Domr rang the bell. As Jasper snuck the crowns into the chamber (which involved stealing an Opening Stone from the sleeping Patir), Fazial, Domr and Kiran spoke with Dromos about the current affairs in Arafel, and he led them to a private room inside the Cathedral.

There, Dromos revealed that he wanted the group to dispatch Mateen Kadari once and for all, while they told him about the assassin’s branch of the Tauron Unification Church. Dromos explained that he had tried every political, economic and violent trick he knew, but that Mateen had been evading him for years.

Kiran promised Dromos that she could get Mateen in trouble in an actual court, because she could use Mishtal as a witness. However, she wasn’t quite sure whether to use the Dragonkin or Dwarven legal system.

While Domr set his cultists to look for Mateen, Fazial asked Dromos about rebuilding the Lost Quarter, and Dromos explained that with local Dwarven politics standing as they did, Fazial would need to find and convince Marina Tragalos, the second most powerful dwarf in the city, that it was in her best interests to assist with this plan.

The group then decided to retire to the Hole in the Wall to mull over their situation and plan for the immediate future – including what to do about Mateen’s amateur assassins. Real assassins attacked them, then, right in the restaurant as they ate, showering the group with illusory bugs and throwing poisoned daggers at them from the shadows.

In the ensuing fight, Fazial and Kiran tried alternately to hide from their attackers and to confuse them, while Jasper rendered two of them into a catatonic state, and a third chased Domr into the kitchen.

As Maggie the Waitress chased out all of the offending patrons and cleared the room, Domr froze the kitchen in a small wintry storm, but when the last assailant attacked Maggie (or rather, defended himself roughly while she hit him with a frying pan), Domr released another blast of elemental power, freezing the gnome solid, before shattering him.

Interrogating the dreams of the would-be killers made it clear that these assailants were not sent by Mateen this time, but by Abbas Shivin, the notorious Gnome terrorist and leader of the Termites, a group of rogue gnome assassins who no longer play by the conventions of the other families, and that he was apparently working on behalf of the Dragonkin Prince.

As Kiran, Jasper and Fazial used their influences and resources to draw the infamous killer out into a meeting, Domr discovered that Kadari was hiding in an underwater grotto in the northern Underborrough, in a place that had been submerged by the slow rising of the water level beneath the city. However, before that could be dealt with, the group managed to finangle a meeting with Abbas.

As the four of them established a base of operations in an abandoned warehouse in the southern Underborrough – Domr gathering his brooding thoughts on the roof, and Kiran arranging for a meeting below – assassins gathered in the streets and alleys outside. As it turned out, however, they were not only enemies. Fazial’s friends with quiet knives had come to his aid (and also to take down the Termites, who were ruining the business).

At the meeting, Kiran managed to find out that she was the target of the Dragonkin assassination attempt, but when she tried to negotiate with Shivin, he revealed that he was not interested in peace, and in fact wanted all of the other powers to be at each others’ throats and killing one another. Thus, he had attackers poised to kill dozens of key players throughout the city, loudly on behalf of other groups who might plausibly have a reason to see it done. The goal, for Abbas, was total war.

With this in mind, Kiran declared the fight begun, and her elven bodyguards (sent by Fazial’s halfling employers) covered the windows while she and Jasper took out the leader and Fazial’s friends and Domr between them destroyed the enemies outside – while also summoning forth an army of watery ghouls and flooding the area with brackish water.

After the battle, though, the party discovered that Abbas had been a dupe, and the real assassin was still at large.

Finally, Domr went to warn the Mountainborn to gird themselves for attack, and Kiran and Fazial went back to her embassy to gather a party of diplomats to confront the Dragonkin Prince. Jasper, however, went early to Mutazzim’s bedchamber, where he discovered not only that the Prince had no knowledge of an assassination attempt, but was quite distressed about it and planned to see Kiran that very night.

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For Whom the Bell Tolls
Time Marches On

Two days after the Festival of Redressing, Abbud, Kiran and Jasper returned to Kiran’s favorite new bistro, the Hole in the Wall, a bistro in the Eastern Underborough run by an unimpressed Gnome waitress named Maggie. The trio was greeted by Dōmr Blæwaz, the last of the Hundred Fathers, who has a habit of using the Hole as a refuge from his horde of devotees, and Faziad il Rabin, the Halfling agent assigned to maintain Kiran’s accounts while she stays in the city.

As Kiran told Dōmr and Faziad about her adventures at the Nixor Lux with Jasper and Abbud, the group began to discuss the mysteries of the statue. Dōmr in particular was puzzled, because the last time he had been in the city, more than three hundred years ago, the statue was not there – only the Cathedral of the Three. However, it is broadly known that the Dwarves lost the ability to work with Whitestone long before even that time. Who built the statue, really, and how did it get up there?

During the conversation, Abbud realized something even more grave: he had not known prior to the conversation that Tauron had been a devotee of the Nameless, assuming instead that the Minotaur must have been an adherent of the Threefold Faith. This revelation brought up a deeper problem: the Tauron priests were hedonists who wander the streets of the city in a state of perpetual debauchery, drinking, cursing, having sex with strangers (and friends), praising idols and drawing lewd images on the walls all over the city. This was tolerable when they were simple nonbelievers, but knowing that they were doing it in the name of the Nameless (ironic as that might be) sent Abbud into a rage.

Without warning, Abbud stood and began stomping up to the Overborough and to the Cathedral at the foot of the Nixor Lux in order to demand satisfaction for the grave insult to his faith the statue represented. His companions, sensing trouble (and in Dōmr’s case, something foreboding), followed him and tried to dissuade him from doing anything rash. By the time they reached the monument, Abbud had become calm, but still needed to speak to someone in charge of the church to straighten out these theological problems.

There, the group discovered that the Cathedral had not been rededicated at all, but had been partially crushed under the hoof of the statue when Tauron’s army came to take the city. Now, the remaining devotees of the Threefold Faith kept the building without furniture or adornment, with no glass in the windows, as a site of quiet contemplation and prayer for the return of the glory of the Three.

As Abbud spoke to Argus Morogo, High Priest of the Three, and Jasper kept an invisible eye on him lest he begin breaking heads, Kiran took Dōmr and Fazial out to the base of the statue to show him what she had discovered about the water running down the sides. The underside of the statue was now protected by the elements, and the new Raiment had turned the base of it into a kind of ersatz tent. Dōmr decided to test a theory about the statue, and laying his ear against the foot of the Nixor Lux, he rapped on, using his storm magic to ring the statue like a gong.

The effect was tremendous, and shit got real.

Faizal, Argus Morogo, and several of the worshippers inside the Cathedral were all thrown to their feet as the thunder resonated greatly through the entire statue and further down into the city, shaking the entire city with the force of the great hidden bell that the entire structure had become. Water shook free of the statue in a heavy mist, and every bird for miles took to wing in shock. On the western side of Arafel, an entire neighborhood sloughed away into the Astreian Sea, unmoored by the vibrations.

Dōmr himself was knocked into a vision of his own childhood, centuries ago, before his people made their ragged escape down from the High Mountains. He glimpsed a vast, all-encompassing darkness, and horror beyond his mind’s grasp. The experience sent him into paroxysms of dark prophecies of doom, which in turn rang out against the statue with the continued vibration of his magic, causing his voice to ring out across miles seemingly from the throat of the Nixor Lux.

Inside, Abbud was thrown into a sympathetic vision state, and glimpsed the horror that Dōmr had witnessed. The sight brought him to his knees, and, curious, Jasper reached into his mind with illusion magics and projected the scene against the walls of the cathedral in a horrifying panorama that terrified the worshipers inside. When he recovered, Abbud and Jasper went outside to help Dōmr confront Mateen Kadari, the leader of the Tauron Unification Church, about his “hollow prophet” and the impending end that was going to sweep down from the North and kill everything and everybody. In his towering fury, Dōmr caused storm clouds to gather and a fell wind to blow in from the sea, driving hail down into the crowd, while Abbud breathed cold and darkness, and Jasper, noting that the statue was glowing and seemed to be moving, used his illusions to link the Nixor Lux to the prophecies of the mad Human.

It was all Kiran could do to settle things down, and when Dōmr finally ran out of steam, he rode a lightning bolt out of the area in a flash to escape and think about what had just happened. His memory fuzzy, he wandered back to see what damage he had caused.

While he was away, Jasper, looking up at the statue, realized that its throat was an opening, and rappelled up to investigae, followed by Kiran and Fasial. Finally, Dōmr returned as well, and while Abbud stayed below to continue discussion matters with Argus, the rest of the party began to climb up until Fasial noticed that there were marks indicating that someone had fallen down from the apex to the bottom of the staircase that ran from the top of the Nixor Lux’s reaching arm down to the pit of his stomach.

At the base, they found the body of Patir the Staid, who had fallen because of Dōmr’s thunder. Dōmr tried to speak to the Minotaur’s spirit, while Kiran investigated his body. Between them, they managed to resurrect the priest in the brief time between death and the spirit leaving the body, a rare miracle. Patir, in response, took the party up to the top of the tower in order to show them what they had found. At the apex, the party found the Crown of Tides, one of the three most famous artifacts in history.

Patir explained to his visitors that the Crown had been found by Tauron and his companion, Aisha of the Nameless (youngest bride of the Prophet), and they had at some point brought the relic here for safekeeping and to remove it from proximity to the earth, having found in a city buried beneath a lake. On questioning further, Patir told the party that at the time of Tauron’s rise, the Threefold Empire, the Unconquered Sun, and the then-new Mujahideen of the Nameless had been vying to find and take the sacred object for their own in a bid for dominance. Tauron didn’t trust anyone with it, and so he hid it to prevent balance from shifting toward any one group – even his own coreligionists – with Aisha’s help and blessing.

This sparked an argument within the group, as Kiran argued that there were at least two deserts that had been created by keeping the Crown in Arafel, while her companions pointed out that there would always be deserts created by the Crown no matter where it was, and that moving it from its hiding place now would doom millions of city dwellers to suffering and death. Abbud, who had come into the statue during this latter half of the conversation, remained silent.

With their concerns unresolved, but with a tentative promise extracted by Patir that the group remain silent about their discovery, the Minotaur priest led them out through the tunnels beneath the statue to the Underboroughs below, sealing the way behind them. As they made their way down into the city’s underbelly, the group began to realize the extent of the chaos created by Dōmr’s outburst above, and with the understanding that this conversation wasn’t over, each of the five heroes went off in their separate ways to help the city to recover from the ensuing riots and fire.

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That's a Big... Statue
Get Some Culture in You

Kiran, Jasper, and Abbud Taneen found themselves amidst the bizarre Festival of the Redressing, the annual event in the height of summer when the Tauron Unification Church tears the massive tattered robes from the Nixor Lux and replaces them with new clothing sewn together from the cast-off sails of all the ships outfitted at Arafel throughout the previous year.

Neither Kiran nor Abbud had ever seen the festival, both being relatively new in Arafel, and so Jasper took it upon himself to show them his favorite place for viewing the festivities. From the bell tower of the defunct temple of Ryzor the Munificent.

While they were up there, the trio encountered one of the many small performing troupes who parade through the streets on Redressing Day. In this case, a Dwarf dressed as Tauron the Pious followed three women of various races who were all covered in green body paint and dressed in hideous mouldy rags. “Tauron” whipped the women through the streets with a leather strap while they hurled obscenities and curses at everyone they passed.

As they walked past, Jasper threw strings of tiny wooden beads down to the performers, and “Tauron” obliginly strung them over his fake horns. Other passersby similarly tossed beads, fake coins and bits of bread at the passing performers, but at this point the trio of heroes were distracted as the Rending began.

The Rending, as it turned out, consisted of Priests of Tauron hanging from the robes of the Nixor Lux and allowing themselves to plummet, supported only by their traditional kukri knives, which tore the robes into strips. Two of the priests fell off while the trio watched, and despite Abbud’s attempt to stop her, Kiran, unable to resist the need to help those in pain, dropped down from the tower and ran to the base of the massive statue.

Forcing their way through the crowd, the trio found the two priests with broken legs been rapidly buried beneath the falling sailcloth. Between them, Abbud and Jasper managed to rescue the two injured men from the heap, and Kiran healed them. One of the two priests had a hold vision as Kiran knelt over him, and declared that she was a Saint of Tauron. For her troubles, she was handed the first strip of the torn robes of the statue, a holy cloth of white which is always damp and cool to the touch.

While they watched the priests being led away, Kiran noticed something odd – as she pressed her fingers against the base of the Nixor Lux, Kiran saw that water was flowing freely down the statue – it was actually a gigantic fountain! However, before she could investigate further, Abbud, concerned with how the City Watch might feel about a silly Elf girl touching the most important landmark in Arafel on a holiday dedicated to that landmark, picked Kiran up and ran with her all the way to her clinic as she tried to retain a shred of dignity as her diaphanous Lashmirii robes tangled around her ankles.

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