Our Journey began the 11th of Coldeven, 599 CY.
Last session it was the 12th of Sunsebb, 599 CY.
Our Merry band consists of the following:
Akono, human gamba fighter,
Alexander, human swashbuckler,
Alianna, olven wizard,
Elzedar, mongrelman rogue
Emerald, human fighter,
Firax1s, fraal psion,
Kitiana, human cleric of Mystra,
Omi, human druid,
Tahiri, human jedi and, introducing
Taz, human fighter and his dwarven manservant, Lassiter.
The group spent the next week in Dantredun, while Alexander studied the arts of the wild in his quest to become a ranger. Emerald, after making her report, found herself at loose ends and decided to join the group officially, and was filled in on the greater motivations of the group.
On the day of Alex’s return from the wilderness, after he’d been ejected from the inn and sent to a nearby bathhouse, a tall stranger entered the establishment, preceded by a wary-eyed dwarf. Emerald sent him a drink from one end of the bar, just as Kitiana, acting on Alianna’s behalf, did the same. Within minutes, nearly all the women in the party were gathered at his table, ignoring the dwarf, except for Tahiri, who slunk off to the bathhouse to find Alex and stir up a little mischief.
After Tahiri returned, but before Alex did, another stranger strode into the inn; garbed head to toe in ornate black plate armor trimmed in gold, he ordered an ale, which he proceeded to drink through a straw, without removing his helm. Sensing his interest in her companions, Tahiri questioned him, learning that his name was Galen, and that he had come to deliver a warning, but that he would only do so once the entire group was assembled.
Later that evening, when everyone was present, Galen introduced himself to them at large, and delivered his warning: his companions, whom the group knew as the Cult of Mabelrode, had recently come into possession of a document that they felt indicated that the group would be coming into conflict with them over some plan they were setting into action, and that while their past encounters with the cult had been random, now the Cult was seriously interested in them.
By way of explanation, he gave them a document that interested the party a great deal; a longer and more extensive version of the prophesy they’d received from the hill giant matron Yorglok. It read as follows:
“In ages lost, once all were one
our kingdom strongest beneath the sun
then men rose up with war machines
to make our lifeblood run in streams.
Strangers came bearing silver flame,
from the future’s past, before magic’s wane.
Arrows eight with hidden faces
broke our gate to other places.
Where once the lines were clearly drawn
now disorder ruled the dawn.
Dragon, man, and giants sundered
in darkness, sealed? So it is wondered.
We feel the loss of half our souls,
turn for turn beneath the poles.
Left to huddle deep in caves,
our spirits tainted in bygone age.
Bound in ash, and stone, and gold,
our ancient Scepter, stolen, sold.
Cast by men into Creation’s Maw,
A lowly demon turned it to his need,
becoming master, Lord, then Prince.
Smiled, he did, and twisted it,
and we in turn were further split.
But what he wrought he could not hold,
not for power, not for gold. The witch
of ages caged him, true, and cast his bauble
What giants wrought, men then held,
and with it’s might an empire weld;
but what once was lost was lost anew,
and now a serpent holds it, spelled.
Twice came the Prince to Liga’s soil,
bound to Service, bound to Toil. First
the witch and then the prankster,
woe to them that serve their master!
This serpent knows not what it holds,
except for power over souls. Abomination,
you might call it, in far off temples,
olves exalt it.
The serpent who controls the staff
considers lesser beings chaff. And in his step to
ascendant status, accepts the loss of magic, status.
Twin thrones, both built of skulls,
one of children, the other, culls.
He’ll shatter both, for Powers sake,
if must, the very world he’ll break.
Dragon-bone and ancient magic,
could stand atwixt a future tragic.
Magic’s wane upon us soon, hastened
by the Wane of Moon. Steal the scepter,
rod, or wand; break the staff lest Chaos bloom.
Child of Dragons, Child of Man,
Daughter Fey and Daughter Graf, can
you break the Binding Staff?"
Having delivered his message, he made his farewells, though it quickly became clear to everyone that he and Kitiana had some kind of history. Galen would only say that for Kitiana, this was their first meeting; for himself, it might be one of their last. The dates of his birth and his death were both known to him, and it had been decreed that he might not die before his time.
When pressed, he admitted that his association with Kitiana had been in what might be called the ancient past; he himself was swept unbidden by the winds of time to this era or that, and while he remembered Kitiana (and remembered her fondly), not much else of that era was still clear enough in his mind for him to give them any good accounting of it.
Having duly mystified everyone present, he said his farewells.
Seeking inspiration, Kitiana retired to her room, likewise Tahiri to her own. Kitiana’s prayers to Mystra for guidance went unanswered, but her plea to her departed mother bore fruit; she received a vision of herself and some companions on a hillside, with Galen mounted upon a clockwork steed upon the road. He told her that his companions had entered the city of Hartridge, and were in the process of building a supply of weapons with which to arm the populace. If they succeeded, he claimed, the war would only become that much harder to win.
Tahiri sought answers in the Force, and having asked different questions from Kitiana, received different answers. She saw a land of men ruled by dragons, who, when the dragons had departed, was conquered by a race of dragon-kin who brought terror and suffering where the dragons had brought peace and prosperity. In a distant land, a race of noble giants learned of the human’s plight, and sent a vast fleet to aid them, and when they had driven away the dragon-kin, stayed to rule over the men.
But all the men were not happy under the giant’s rule, even though they were fair and just. Some of them rose up against the giants, just as it seemed that the dragons of old had returned to their lands. A great war erupted, in which the men, aided by strange machines, seemed to be winning. Amidst all this, somewhere in the north, a vast magical device built by an unknown race malfunctioned, bringing about the doom of their world.
Returning to Greyhawk, the group paid off Alex’s falsely premised debt to Venne the loan shark to get him off their back, and returned the items they’d gotten from Progilius to the Temple of Boccob. Kitiana received her training as a Chaneller, and various sages offered their interpretations of the prophesy the party laid before them.
While some of the passages meant nothing to anyone, others made a kind of sense. “Arrows eight with hidden faces” was clearly the followers of Mabelrode, and “Creation’s Maw” was an often used mythological name for the Abyss. The “witch of ages” might well be Iggwilv, and “the prankster” might well be Zagyg Yagrene, former mayor of Greyhawk and now a demigod in service to Boccob. This narrowed the likely demons down to one known as Fraz-Urb’luu, known to be missing a staff and to have been bound by both Iggwilv and Zagyg.
The ‘Twin thrones, both built of skulls, one of children, the other, culls" might refer to one of the known rituals for creating yuan-ti, though what use the second throne would serve none seemed to know. The one passage that caused the greatest stir among the sages was the one that went "Magic’s wane upon us soon, hastened by the Wane of Moon"; Boccob’s faithful were always vigilant about forestalling the prophesied Wane of Magic, and wondered what the cycles of the moons might have to do with it.
As we broke for the evening, the party was digesting the largess of information they had received, and formulating their plans for the future…
It is now the 13th of Readying, 600 CY.