A Tainted Earth...

Tainted Earth, Sacred Skies Session 2

Session 2 (5/27/13)

Still Day 2—Aug. 15, 2081

Travel Interlude: From Jungle Jaunt to Mountain Climes/“Does That Sign Say, ‘Beware the Friendly Giants?’”

Party chops through jungle brush and scales/soars up a cliff to behold the desert of crumbling pyramids & obelisks beyond the mountains. We opt to circumvent the rock giant settlements marked on Alister’s map by journeying an extra day and a half. A magical rainstorm makes our ascent difficult & reveals some malicious caster is 2-4 miles away. We take shelter in a cleft, perform a nightly Lesser Res cleansing, & set watches.

Encounter Three: Monster Served Extra Crispy/“It Appears I May Have Overestimated the Necessary Force.”

—Horrible cries approach our camp. Combat! Vs gibbering mouther. Munthraurix’s spell (boosted by a summoner’s rift into Fire plane) reduces the aberration to ash. The fireball also causes the cleft to collapse inward, revealing Pre-Cataclysm old Elvish carvings in a door. Old carvings read “Here Lies the Hall of Knowledge” & below it newer symbols say “College of Weaponry.” It seems the facility was re-purposed. We sleep again.

Day 3—Aug. 16, 2081

—Regulus reports the soldier we let escape is reporting on us to Moti via crystal ball. We recover gear.

Encounter Four: Borrowing a Library & Disarming a WMD/“Did It Seem Weird to Equip Your ‘Survey Ships’ with Slicing Blades and Bombs? Wouldn’t That Just Destroy Everything in Its Path?”

—We descend into cave beneath the cleft. Richard trips an acid trap on the door but evades harm.

—In the rotunda reception room we pack up all 500 books on engineering & magic (written in Raptoran w/ Draconic margin notes), mostly to keep them from Moti. Duffy keeps a second copy of Warmage’s Maxim for Critas’ great library. Richard keeps a manual on the planes (although its info. on paths to planes is outdated). Regulus & Munthraurix gather the rest, e.g., Crystalline Matrices and You, Siege Engineering, a book on dragons, and a tome of lost knowledge on how to build and maintain the core of a sky city. (Technical note: The giant rings to support sky cities are like those for airships, but more enormous & requiring many precise types of crystals & carved runes & lots of elementals, far more than can be summoned easily nowadays.)

—The next room is almost filled by a slender grey craft w/ a dorsal fin & wings (made Keen to slice through flesh & other obstacles), which floats over a pedestal. Glyphs on the fins/wings denote a complex flight spell. Richard barely resists being pulled inside the craft when he touches it. Regulus detects a modified soul-trapping Magic Jar spell used to provide a pilot. Explosive Runes, too.

—We experiment with the controls & end up revealing a cylinder that stores a Raptoran-looking body, on which Duffy casts Blood Bio. His answers: “I am Alan Rek, a male Azlan research advisor. I am alive…barely.”

—We revive Alan w/ Lesser Res & he asks if the catfolk is a creation of Cal, the biomancer who altered his race when they migrated from another plane. Alan claims centuries ago his race migrated to our plane when theirs collapsed & lived beneath the waves to avoid alarming the natives. But eventually his race (which had an undersea city, Critas, that could float in the air during emergencies) sought other promising races to share their technological advancements. Cal (an Azlan) gave the Raptorans their current avian features and flight to support life in the sky.

—Alan seems to recognize Munthraurix’s draconic blood & regrets he has no gold to appease him. He does not know the true dragons’ fate, except that some lived beneath the waves like his people.

—Alan’s last memory is of assisting a Quorian elf 1200 years ago who put spells on him so he could pilot a survey ship with his soul. He insists the crafts like his were not weaponized until later & is dismayed to learn of the Cataclysm.

—Alan has heard of Moti, a very shrewd & long lived individual (neither Raptoran nor elven). They’ve never spoken but he’d find it ‘threatening’ if Moti took possession of the rotunda library’s knowledge or the WMD.

—After much debate, Alan agrees to pilot the WMD to a nearby temple, where a summoned outsider will meet him with his body. He will re-enter his body & find a way to keep the craft safe.

—Regulus confirms the soldier is still tracking us, huddled in the rain. The Control Weather spell may hail from another servant of Moti to slow our progress.

Loot:
→ From gibbering mouther: None.
→ From rotunda library: 500 books, including Warmage’s Maxim, a manual on the planes [Richard], Crystalline Matrices and You, Siege Engineering, a book on dragons, a How-To book on sky cities.

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