Three Seas

...Everything Goes to Hell
You Disappear Without a Trace for One Year, and...

Our heroes return to Arafel to find the following state of affairs:

  • The Elven Federation has largely withdrawn from Arafel to face the Unconquered Sun.
  • The violent offenders who escaped from Xanith Prison Island during the riot, which is totally nobody’s fault and probably still justifiable anyway, have begun moving into the abandoned Elven Quarter.
  • The dwarves blame the gnomes for the prison break, which is totally unjustified, because there was absolutely no evidence of that whatsoever, and a lot of interracial garbage has started up again.
  • The Termites have reemerged with Abbas Shivin as a sort of folk hero among the gnomes.
  • The Mountainborn are doing just fine.

Jasper trails some miscreant dwarves back to their hideout to find them in the employ of another Abbas Shivin impersonator, inferring that the goal is to strengthen the Termites’ political position by exacerbating racial tensions.
He captures the gnome terrorist and then interrogates him with Dōmr’ and Faziad’s assistance, and learns of a meeting place.

Jasper then contacts Marina Tragalos, one of the remaining voices of sanity in the city, and shares his information with her. With a combination of gnome assassins and Tragalos guards, they capture five more Shivins.
The dwarves take three for questioning and the gnomes take two.

Jasper also begins encouraging the migration first of the Assassin Clans and then of the gnomish people in general upward into the Elven Quarter, in an attempt to give the gnomes an above-ground existence and to control the violence and chaos of the escapees from Xanith Prison. He has Faziad il Rabin and the nephthani (halflings) handle the paperwork to make the take-over of the abandoned real estate legitimate and legal.

The heroes retrieve the The Crown of Tides, which chooses Faziad il Rabin as its bearer. Faziad then convinces the Crown to stop slowly flooding Arafel.

using the Crown and The Sword of Storms as well as information provided by the gnomes, our heroes (sans Kiran, who is in Radhna with her kin) journey south to Lamia to hopefully recover the Orb of Stone.

On their way there, the heroes must stop to resupply and rest in the iblis city of Masana, and catch a gnomish caravan into jinn territory. Once there, they learn that the Caliph has been poisoned and that the iblis (dragonkin) are on the verge of a civil war between the more secular and religious elements.

Jasper appeals to the gnomic healers in Masana, pointing out that as awful as the caliph was, the caliphate was the only thing preventing outright fundamentalist rule of the iblis. However, the caliph had ordered several pogroms against the gnomes of Masana, so their general response was “screw that guy, we’ll see how the next ruler shakes out, and if necessary we’ll retreat to somewhere more gnome-friendly.”

The caliph died and the iblis degenerated into civil war. Our heroes went south with the caravan, with Dōmr bullying his way past the city gates that were supposed to be sealed with the caliph’s death. The iblis guards offered some pursuit, but some illusion magic covered their escape.

After further confusing and evading an unrelated military engamenent between iblis and jinn forces, our heroes reached a larger jinn outpost, and after enjoying their hospitality for a while, managed to finagle permission to approach the Forbidden City, using Firoz the Deceiver as a precedent.

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Domr's Doom
  • Our heroes settle down in Yesod for the harsh northern winter, have a lot of arguments.
  • Faziad il Rabin makes business contacts everywhere, as normal.
  • They discover the Monastery at Yesod and its vast library, and discover the presumed origins of the Three Artifacts, linking them to ancient deities/avatars: Hadad/Teshub, Yom/Leviathan, and Mot/Ba’al.
  • They argue some more, and then continue their journey.
  • They battle cloakers, bug monsters, human centipedes, and giant pumice belching slime dragons.
  • They encounter the greatest of these beasts, which Dōmr Blæwaz and Kiran stall until Jasper traps it in “twenty centuries of stony sleep,” at which point it melds with the mountain.
  • Our heroes proceed to Teshub‘s throne, where they find Tauron’s skeleton collapsed in the process of thrusting The Sword of Storms into Teshub’s chest, amid a city full of minotaur skeletons and a jungle of poison-spewing necromantic black roses.
  • Dōmr pulls the sword out of the skeleton, revealing the hole in existence that the Sword was plugging, through which all the corruption of the North was flowing.
  • Kiran attempts to plug the hole with her scimitar. It predictably fails. She tells the others to flee while she attempts to hold back the corruption. Jasper knocks her unconscious and Dōmr teleports them away.
  • To contain the corruption, Dōmr buries the whole valley under glacial ice and snow, using the The Sword, with whom he has achieved some kind of understanding
  • Our Heroes argue some more, and then head south.
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Into the North
a new threat

Our Heroes begin to journey north on a quest to retrieve The Sword of Storms to wield against the Unconquered Sun.

  • Faziad il Rabin and Dōmr Blæwaz go ahead on Turpin the Robust’s and Sam Trout’s ship, The Wicked Bitch while Jasper, Kiran, Eclipse, and Edelbert the Wrong follow on The Teary Maid.
  • Dōmr and Faziad have their own adventures,which should be chronicled here. At some point Dōmr creates an immortal undead horse.
  • When Kiran and Jasper arrive, our heroes and their retinues split into teams and begin to trek northward toward the doom.
  • Jasper, Eclipse, and the local guide form the advance scouting team, while Kiran, Faziad, and one of Kiran’s guards form the second team, with Dōmr, flitting between them using his newly-acquired magpie form.
  • Edelbert and a couple of additional guards, plus a few halflings, form the rear-guard.
  • The heroes encounter a series of once-human (and once-animal) monstrosities, corrupted by the foulest of magic, and eventually come upon a ruined keep. Consolidating their forces, they break into the keep, which they find to be packed to the rafters with dead ghosts.
  • Dōmr asks the ghosts what’s up, and learns that a great evil was sealed here long ago, and the unsealed by a subsequent expedition.
  • Our heroes delve into the catacombs, where they find a dwarf helplessly reading from a book on a pedestal and arguing with himself. Various attempts to cover the book fail pyroctechnically, even Jasper’s attempt to blind the reader with illusion magic (incidentally killing the dwarf). Dōmr then destroys the tome, severing one of the Doom’s anchors to this world, and receives a vision of a massive demonic entity pinned to a mountaintop throne by The Sword of Storms.
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Game called for Comic-Con
Tune in Next Week!

Teasers for next session:

There will probably be at least one attempted murder.
Dōmr Blæwaz will proclaim doom, DOOOOM!
Jasper Will most likely stab someone.

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I just want to KILL!
  • Dōmr Blæwaz spends some time investigating the Dragonkin settlements to the south before returning to Arafel in a blast of lightning.
  • Noting the mage’s return, Jasper engages him to kill Dromos Kagano
  • After meeting with Turpin the Robust, Patir the Staid, and Sam Trout, Dōmr agrees.
  • They devise a plan to lure Kagano out of hiding; Dōmr uses Necromancy to reanimate a handful of Kagano’s ancestors, which they sneak into the Nixor Lux and use in an assault the guards Dromos had statiined there.
  • Using the zombies and a ghost as a distraction, Jasper slips into the areaand incapacitates all of the guards, waking one long enough to flash a replica of The Crown of Tides | The Crown of Tides]] at him and say “you lose” before vanishing.
  • Rather than following the breadcrumbs back to the Kagano family crypt, Dromos grabs a bunch of dearves and sets fire to the gnomish warrens to flush Jasper out.
  • Only vaguely aware of this, Jasper slips into the Kagano home, hoping to catch him there, but settling for questioning his wife, while Dōmr talks with Argus Morogo, the two of them incidentally and independently comfirming that Dromos’ current behavior is out of character.
  • From this and from Jasper sensing illusion magic in Kagano’s presence before, Jasper and Dromos determine that Kagano is also being controlled by an outside force.
  • After a tense showdown involving Dromos using his own nephew as a body shield, Jasper (using illusion) and Dōmr (using spiritual Necromancy) manage to destroy the force manipulating Dromos, though doing so sends the dwarf into a deep sleep from which he might not awaken.
  • Jasper likens this to the Lesser Stars of the Second Sun, which Dōmr, upon hearing it described, likens to Fae magic. He goes to Pallavan representative in the area to meditate on the matter, receiving a vision of some malevolent dominant force coming down from the fae mountain, a force somehow opposed by the Doom to the North.
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A Quick Recap
to keep events straight

After dispatching countless assassins, Our Heroes, Dōmr Blæwaz, Kiran and Jasper go their separate ways.

  • Our heroes are reunited with Abbud Taneen, who had been by then been revealed by Mutazzim to be an assassin set by The Listener, Ulu’ummin Yu Guriq to kill Kiran.
  • Kiran and Muttazim hit it off, however, and begin what promises to be a torrid and complex romance.
  • This revelation (and relationship) takes a backseat, however, to the ongoing attempts to kill Kiran, as exemplified by the Termites and the Brotherhood of Black Knives.
  • Abbas Shivin has proven to be a slippery bastard already, and Dromos Kagano basically offered to pay Our Heroes to bring Mateen Kadari to “justice” and into Dromos’ custody.
  • After some debate with Kiran, Dōmr Blæwaz and Jasper conclude that they should not kill Mateen on the spot (though Dōmr really wanted to) and instead will collect a wyrgeld for the attack on their persons.
  • The heroes track Kadari into the undercity, where they encounter more of Kadari’s rather inept assassins, and eventually confront the priest high himself in a hidden grotto beneath what Kadari called The Gyre, an inverted whirlpool marking where the magical pull of the Diadem of Tides actually lifts the waters off the sea floor, creating this little pocket of air. Kadari is a bitter, defeated man when they confront him, convinced that his life’s work has been ruined, but he readily agreed to call off the Black Knives and to pay reparations to Dōmr’s tribe in the form of 24 goats.
  • This, however, is where things get dicey. Immediately after this agreement is secured, Abbud Taneen attempts to arrest Kadari, though Dōmr blocks his initial sword swing.
  • Kadari takes this opportunity to cut his own wrists, preferring death to capture, but Kiran seals his wounds shut before the first spurt finishes. Abbud then clubs him unconscious with the flat of his blade, but he vanishes into thin air before he hits the ground.
  • Abbud and Kiran assume that Jasper, who has demonstrated his proficiency with invisibility, must be to blame, and Kiran orders him to reveal himself and Kadari. The scene closes with Kiran shouting into an empty room.

A few days later:

  • Kiran is holding a private audience with Mutazzim Al Walahi when the tatoos which denote her position in the succession of Radhna spontaneously shift, indicating that she is now second in line, due to the death of her cousin.
  • A flurry of communication follows, including Dōmr traversing a lightning bolt to Radhna in a matter of seconds, in order to obtain more information.
  • The princess was killed by strangling shadows, a form of illusion magic, casting suspicion on the gnomish assassin clans.
  • Jasper investigates this, and verifies that while it is possible that a gnome assassin did the deed, no clans are claiming credit, and the Termites don’t have that kind of reach.
  • Kirab’s remaining cousin is sent to Arafel “for her protection,” and after an initial greeting the two siblings are forbidden from ever being in the same place at the same time.
  • Jasper returns to heroic form and to Kiran’s defense by neutralizing the Tsieu Bao assassins attempting to eliminate both princess during their one and only meeting.
  • Jasper arranges for the transportation of the captured assassins by hiring an older minotaurs named Edelbert the Wrong, a sad sack whom Jasper immediately decides to befriend.
  • Various interrogation techniques and mystical examinations reveal that the assassins were in fact enslaved by the Unconquered Sun, who wanted to foment war and unrest among the unassimilated elves.
  • During this time it is also revealed that the Second Sun is not a “true” hive, but an arrangement of hierarchical command nodes (“His Lesser Stars”).
  • During the attempts to examine the one captive spy Adara didn’t summarily execute, the captive’s mind is shown (via an illusory projection) to contain nothing but the sun. As the interrogation progresses, he begins to smolder and burn. In a fit of desperation, Jasper gathers local shadows and forms the illusion of an eclipse, which he casts into the assassin’s head. It takes everything he has, but it breaks the Second Sun’s control of his puppet… leaving nothing behind.
  • Kiran, feeling betrayed by an entity with whom she had secretly hoped for peace, and realizing the depth of violation that becoming a member of the Second Sun indicates, resolves to cling to her ideals of peace and justice, but also to destroy such monsters.
  • Jasper takes the vegetative assassin to a gnome mistress of Restoration magic, who rebuilt a person out of what was left. However, even she is unable to restore his former sense of self. The reborn elf calls himself Eclipse, after his first memory (Jasper’s illusion) and is given into the care of Liu Sheng Tzi.
  • Jasper and Kiran reconcile, at least somewhat, over the issue of Mateen Kadari though it remains a sore spot.

Later still:

  • Word reaches Jasper and Kiran that Mateen Kadari and other members of his cult have been captured and imprisoned in Stillcrypt, the dwarven prison island.
  • While Kiran has a private audience with Mutazzim Al Walahi, dicusssing love and politics, Jasper slips away to infiltrate the prison.
  • Kiran begins testing the waters for an alliance between Radhna and the dragonkin, though considerations of both geography and vastly different cultures make this difficult.
  • Jasper commissions a stealth raft trip to Stillcrypt, only to find Dromos Kagano also covertly visiting the prison. Using his mastery of invisibility, the gnome assassin slips into the prison by following Kagano.
  • Kagano begins questioning Mateen Kadari about the whereabouts of the keys that would allow Kagano into the whitestone chamber containing the Crown of Tides.
  • Things begin to get intense between Kiran and Mutazzim. Passions are high, and both conversants grow more committed to their ideals and their people, but also to pursuing what is between them. Al-Walahi also reveals that he is a direct descendant of Aisha of the Nameless, as exemplified by his very human countenance and his bright blue eyes (before her adventures in the North, Aisha was dark of hair, eye, and complexion, but whatever happened in the mountains sent her home with blue eyes and white hair, which has marked her descendants since).
  • Kagano takes Kadari to the torture chamber below Stillcrypt, where Turpin the Robust is imprisoned awaiting torture, Patir the Staid is being stretched on vertical rack, John Trout is having his skin removed in one inch strips, and someone is trapped in an iron maiden.
  • It is at this point that Jasper decides enough is enough. Darting through the shadows like a serpent, he kills all of the torturers, the gatekeeper, and Kagano’s two personal guards in a single frenzied flurry of shadow and steel Radhna Ironwood.
  • Unfortunately, Dromos himself manages to evade Jasper’s next attack and even sees his face before teleporting away like the cheating bastard he is.
  • By now, things between Kiran and Mutazzim have moved beyond words and into “tasteful fade to black” territory.
  • Jasper takes the keystones from the fallen gatekeeper and with some trial and error he locates the “master keys.” Gathering up the most weaponlike torture devices, he opens all of the cells and manacles he can as he flits from shadow to shadow, leaving the impromptu weapons behind from the guards.
  • Under the cover of the rioting prisoners, Jasper and the tortured people slip out, cloaked in illusion, to Dromos’ barge, which they ride back to the city.
  • Jasper sinks the boat and carries the torture victims back to Kiran’s clinic, just in time to interrupt the fun part between her and the Dragonkin prince.
  • Things get tense for a bit, especially as Kiran insists that Jasper has somehow done something wrong because “those law abiding torturers probably had families!” and something about the importance of the rule of law. Jasper’s nonchalance (“What law? I broke none of the laws of my People”) only seemed to infuriate her further.
  • Nevertheless, this was a win. Kiran and Jasper managed to keep the Crown from being disturbed for just a little longer.
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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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