Session #90: New Year New Trouble

GM : Logan

System :

Max Player Count : 5

Level Range : 7-10

Client : The Rhoegn Restoration Team

Current Players :

Location : Rhoegr

Date : 04 Jan 2020 05:00

Start Time : 8 PM

Job Link : [[[]]]

Session Description :

Hello,

We in the Rhoegn Restoration team are collectors and refurbishes of Rhoegn history, physical or otherwise. A thief has recently broken in to our headquarters and made off with some very important historical documentation. We would like to request the aid of the Frontier Guardian Core to help us find him. He was last seen in Malserpus and we will have a representative meet you there to provide the information that is needed.

The payment will be 3000 gold total

Session Summary :

Buckle up kiddos, this one's a doozy, especially in terms of L O R E.

The Squad: Ephraim, Merisi, Thom, and Jacques (and Nugger).

The Mission: A team of archeologists has a bit of a problem. They dug up some really neat stuff in the tomb of the Sword of Rhoegr and handed it off to their Unraveler to uh.. Unravel it. What’s an Unraveler? Well knowing Logan it’s probably some weird psionic archetype (we did learn the fellow was a Cryptic) but essentially, he can separate things into their component parts. People too. Asmar el-Malserpus, the unraveler in question, is useful to the archeologists because, unlike a divination mage who could just translate a document, he can lay the meaning bare, so that anyone can read it. And it also works on encoded stuff, which a Logos spell can’t handle. So, he started doing this to a particular document they found, apparently a personal account by the Sword himself, when he uh… snapped. Grabbed the docs, ran off to a spooky abandoned mansion, and started making the place even spookier by unraveling it too. He also took a brooch recovered from the same ruins.

I should also mention that Asram the Unraveler is a retired member of the FGC. Not a lot of people retire from this line of work, so it's entirely likely he wasn’t particularly stable to start with.

The job was in Malserpus, and on the way there, we met that weird dude from the Merril arc again. Who talks to swords n stuff. He remembered Ephraim, and thanked him for the map, though nothing on the map had turned up any leads. He heard a bow calling out to him from the Ash Wastes and went to dig it up, and succeeded. So now he has two shortswords and a bow. I am sure that this array of weapons will only grow. He says he’s moving on to Terrisea soon, after he makes his way to Maltyelma. Given the way he talks, I think he can talk to the spirits that are attracted to a weapon of power and significance. Neat.

Anyhow, we reached Malserpus. Logan has written more about that city since the last time we were there. Apparently it was built on top of a nest of (now deceased) sand krakens, and is as much underground as above. Probably more underground. Most of the city wall is comprised of a giant dead snake encircling the city (which hasn’t quite finished decomposing) hence the name. It is also the alchemical center of Rhoegr. Hardly the alchemical center of Pia Suirenia as a whole, but in Rhoegr, it’s where the brews are bubbled. And it smells. And it’s not just one smell, it keeps changing, so you never get properly noseblind to it. Merisi really regretted her Scent trait for a few minutes there.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by Rattanya el-Malserpus, from the Malserpus Ranger Corps. It seems that it is traditional for the members of the various Ranger Corps to change their surname to el-[insert city name here], because now the city is their family or something like that. Asmar, therefore, is also part of the Ranger Corps. Rattanya (a female drow) gave us the briefing presented above (because the job description wasn’t very enlightening) and three enchanted leaves that could undo the effects of Asmar’s unraveling in a localized area. She also asked us to see if we could recover the people she sent in initially.

So yeah, the place is a mess. The entry room is stable, but everywhere else is being unraveled. Braving the unraveled rooms prompts saves vs. negative levels, and gives us stacks of Unraveling (what is it with Logan and stacks of shit). The stacks are actually helpful though, because more stacks makes us (or should I say, Thom) more able to communicate with Asmar. We see phantoms of him throughout the place, acting… well, a bit unhinged. Ranting and raving about HOW CAN THIS BE??? And so on. Despite difficulties, we are able to recover all the scattered pages of the document, both of the rangers, Asmar himself, and the brooch. Jacques, upon touching said brooch, passed a DC 23 Will save, and, according to Logan, was not possessed by the spirit of an ancient red dragon. Which… is good!

So, Asmar and the rangers were all kinda… out of it. So on Ephraim’s insistence, we sat down in a newly stabilized room and discussed what to do with them all. Because from the glances we’ve had at the documents, it's stuff regarding the Queens, and Ephraim says anything related to the Queens is very sensitive information. He was wary of reading the documents, because look what they did to Asram. Merisi argued that it was unlikely it would have the same effect on us. Asram, from what we could glean, was not an especially stable individual to begin with, and he had a rather unique way of seeing the world that may have also made him vulnerable to this sort of thing. After some back and forth, Merisi took the risk herself (her fatal flaw is curiosity, after all) and read it. Sadly, Adam had to go at this point.

To summarize: the Sword had witnessed the second Queen completely lose her mind and start attacking her cabinet members. She was defeated, and the final blow delivered by her own daughter. As the Queen died, the Sword saw that the Princess’s eyes changed from their normal bright blue to her mother’s steely gray. And they’ve stayed like that ever since, while the Princess began to act more and more like her mother (pre-mind losing). And all the while, Archduke Xavier was there.

After reading the account, Merisi asked Ephraim what color Queen Rosa’s eyes were (gray) and what color Princess Bianca’s were (red) (weeb). She then said that she lacked the context for much of what was in the document, and handed it to Ephraim, who also read it. Ephraim, who does have the proper context, started chanting shitshitshitshitshit and declared that we weren’t able to recover the document or Asram. This could not get out. Jacques and Thom didn’t get to read it either. We used Nugger to smuggle Asram out, and assumed that Thom Charisma would be able to do the necessary talking, even though Adam wasn’t here.

That officially ended the session, but Ephraim and Merisi still had things to do in dealing with Asram. We took him to Ephraim’s safe house out in the Remlith, and Ephraim asked a favor from Yvette to have Asram’s mind wiped of the past month or so. This should cure the madness for now, but she warned us that he would relapse eventually. She replaced the lost memory with a story about how he had been part of the excavation of the Sword’s tomb, but had accidentally destroyed something of great value and was now fleeing the country in shame. While Yvette worked, Ephraim and Merisi discussed Xavier. Or rather, Ephraim told Merisi about Xavier. Merisi isn’t from Pia Suirenia and hasn’t been here that long, so she doesn’t really know anything about Rhoegr. Most of what was discussed is known already, but he did share one interesting tidbit that is new.

Dahren, an extremely powerful mage from the Pink Fox universe, where Ephraim is from, and evidently the man responsible for Ephraim’s exodus from that plane, is here in Rhoegr. And Xavier took notice of him. Dahren seems bent on becoming a saint, and Xavier seemed to regard him as a potential threat. There was a negotiation at Ephraim’s house and they managed to not start killing each other. The point of all this being, it's further evidence that Archduke Xavier is not what he appears to be. I mean, just to appear in the Sword’s account he would have to be at least two thousand years old. He may be an elf, but even elves don’t live that long.

Also, Ephraim seems to have been tasked by Queen Rosa to find and fix the curse of her bloodline. So, this is all very relevant to him. We have a couple theories about what’s going on in the account. There’s obviously some kind of transfer of power going on between the Queens and Princesses, and it’s not far fetched to think there might be a soul transfer as well. The two Princesses we have data on had different color eyes, blue and red, while the Queens have all had gray eyes. The Princesses are individuals, while the Queens are all sort of the same person? Freaky.

So, the deed done, Merisi said that she “knew people back in Terrisea”, that she "could get Asram somewhere safe” and that she "would take care of him.” I put all this in quotes because, individually, all those statements are true. What she did was take him to Menande, lead him north of the city, find a nice secluded spot, and kill him. Bled him dry while he slept, nice and painless. Loose ends and all that. Ephraim doesn’t have to know about it or have it on his conscience. And as she sees it, it’s something of a mercy. As Yvette said, he would relapse eventually.


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