The story began on the first of Needfest, 1150 I.C. ( C.Y. 605)
Zeshyn the Dai-Kyu, Vanaran Archer, Crab Clan
Seppun Ozawa, Human Monk, Imperial Families
Cortana Tsunoaru, Draeni Wizard (Iounmancer)/Rogue, Unicorn Clan
Arimura Kasumi, Human Fighter, Unicorn Clan
Raen d’Arth, Human Magus, Gaijin
and Maerk the Red, Kakaran (Warforged) NPC Cleric of Wee Jas, Gaijin.
Our session began on the 9th of Fireseek, 1152 I.C.
(Notes got blown up somehow, so….)
Party approached the Skaro Fortress in the Wren, and at about a half-mile out, a cloud giant riding a white dragon came out to intercept them. After doing several flybys, he finally jumped off the dragon and took control of the wheel, directing the ship to a dock made of the same cloud-stuff as the fortress, and bade the party to follow him inside. Once there, a slightly more regal cloud giant calling himself Marshal Dieg asked them their business, and when Kasumi asked after the Well of Twilight, he told them that they would discuss the matter after dinner. They were then led to accommodations scaled to their needs, plied with liquor, cheese, and veggie trays, and left to their own devices for two hours.
After a lavish meal, they presented the writ that Minister Seppun had provided them with, and while Dieg allowed that the 20,000 they offered was too small a sum to secure the Well of Twilight, it was sufficient for them to tell the group who they had sold it to five years previously: a religious group located in the nation of Astariim. He even threw in a map to the location where the deal had been made.
The journey to the map’s end took the better part of 25 days, even by airship. At the end, they found a large pyramid (345’ at the base) in pristine condition, with a capstone made of crystal. Outside the pyramid lay a moderately sized temple, flanked by two 70’ tall obelisks of white stone. Landing nearby, the group was soon met by a delegation from the temple, led by the High Priest, Temet-al. After grilling each of the party members as to whom they served, they were invited inside to discuss matters in private.
Though the party made several eloquent arguments concerning the Well, and the forces that would doubtless follow and try to take it by force, Temet-al remained steadfast in his position that the Well was a sacred artifact, one that he was loathe to give up. At best, they managed to convince him to ask his deity (Set) about the matter. While he did so, the party was told to return to their airship.
While Temet-al prayed, the party aboard their ship discussed what the next step would be (assuming that Temet-al was unwilling to give them the Well). Amidst the discussions, Cortana decided to investigate the crystal that capped the pyramid, as to her it much resembled the types of crystals her people had used to power the inter-dimensional craft that had been used to flee their second homeworld. While studying the crystal (looking for flaws she might exploit to destroy it to cause a distraction, a strange, black-wrapped mummy appeared on the slope of the pyramid a few feet beneath her (where she was Flying, Invisible) and began casting about, obviously looking for whoever or whatever was also there.
Unlike the mummies with which she was familiar, this one, far from being susceptible to fire, seemed to burn with it’s own internal flame, faint puffs of smoke occasionally escaping from between it’s wrappings. Rather than be found by the thing, she retreated back to the ship. A few minutes later, Temet-al returned, pronounced that his god had spoken, and that the Well was to remain in his keeping Unwilling to provoke a direct assault, the party took once more to the air.
They did, however, take time to reconnoiter a small caravan they had spotted earlier, one that was perhaps a day from reaching the temple complex. One sledge, in particular caught their attention, for the two drivers of the sledge was wrapped head to toe in heavy cloaks, heedless of the incredible desert heat (even at this time of year, Astariim lay near the equator, and was quite hot.) on the sledge their camels towed lay a hut perhaps 10’ in all dimensions, one one side of which a small protrusion from the wall hummed and pumped out plumes of hot air. The two drivers were eventually revealed to be eleti,
Seeing this, the party landed their airship some distance from the temple, and took up a watch to see what transpired when the caravan arrived the following morning. As the caravan offloaded it’s goods,several of the guards of the caravan entered the temple but did not exit. When the hut aboard the eleti’s sledge finally opened, a figure in Granbretanian armor, wearing a Beast Mask of an unfamiliar order (perhaps Ferret or Weasel) emerged and entered the temple. After a brief time, he left, under guard, and returned to his hut, bringing his two companions in with him. Soon thereafter, the sides of the hut fell away, revealing a large clockwork of some sort, a cabin supported by two gangly legs and sporting twinflamelances where the eye just felt arms ought to be on the figure. Said clockwork then began advancing on the temple, spewing fire and sending the bulk of the guards and caravaners fleeing for their lives (except for one individual, who pointedly neither fled nor fought, and who seemed to position himself in order to get the best view of the assault).
Erupting from the sands, a dozen of the black-clothed mummies attacked the clockwork, losing half their number but eventually pulling the Granbretanian from the cabin and slaying one of the two eleti. The other eleti was taken prisoner by the caravan guards who had entered the temple earlier, and who joined the fight late. The party, for their part, just watched it all, taking note of the caravaner whom nearly everyone felt was a spotter, paid to watch the fight to learn what defenses the temple had.
Returning to the Wren as the caravan packed itself up and began to leave, the party arrived at the caravan’s next destination early and was waiting for them when they arrived. Cortana went to that same caravaner’s stall, ostensibly to examine his wares (she did buy a bolt of cloth whose pattern she found familiar) but when she tried to surreptitiously cast Charm Person on him, he revealed that he had a tattoo on one palm that worked like Countermagic, allowing him to break her spell. Afterwards he was noticeably hostile, though he did agree to meet Cortana later to discuss the incident.
Kasumi kept an eye on him as the afternoon progressed, while Cortana used Invisibility once again get a look at the crated goods the caravan had taken from the temple in exchange. The crate she opened contained a number of jars of a strange black granular substance, and a number of black strips of cloth reminiscent of the mummy’s wrappings. Towards the end of the day, the caravaner could be seen talking to another member of the caravan) one who, like himself, had fair hair (though Raen was sure that he had bleached his own).
As night fell, and the party discussed their next steps aboard the Wren, Zeshyn spotted several archers firing flaming arrows at the ship. As the battle raged, two of the figures obviously fled the battle, each taking a camel in opposite directions. As we ended for the night, Maerk had taken the helm of the Wren and taken them 100’ above ground, which while it sheltered the party from missile fire, exposed the ship to flaming attacks that were harder to extinguish. It is the 9th of Readying, 1152 I.C.