It started as a simple dungeon run…
But it has become much more. The Secret Keeper’s Amulet. A powerful artifact of chaos magic, which connects the team to you, the watchers of the time stream, and allows you to send your blessings and curses into their world. An amulet that has started the team on a quest to save the Wardens, legendary protectors of the realms of Ain, who seem to have been disappearing.
Disappearances that are being tracked by the wizards of The Natural Order , one of whom resides in Nightstone Abbey , in the large city of Terlis . Our team sought the aid of this wizard, Hermil Fesh , James Quillus ’ old mentor, who believed clues to the mystery of the Wardens might be found in a book, locked inside the Abbey’s vaunted library. But when thieves broke in and stole the book out of Fesh’s very grasp, our team was forced out into the city itself, searching for answers.
They managed to acquire some useful new items in Terlis , but also ran afoul of one of Nightstone’s chief administrators, Audric Lucern , who was assisting in the enforcement of Terlis’s Moratorium on Magic, a new law enacted following magic-related crimes perpetrated in the city. A confrontation in Terlis’ Yarley Market forced Fahima to part with her baby phoenix, Meep , and served as a reminder that magic could only be practiced beyond the city’s walls.
In the city, however, our adventurers seem to have been watched. When Siv caught a glimpse of one of the thieves from the library, he gave chase through the streets, atop and into buildings. The chase ended with Siv taking grave wounds, the thief escaping, and our team deciding to slip away, out of Terlis and into the lawless Shantytown to the north.
Encountering some of the odd characters that reside in the ramshackle abodes of Shantytown resulted in the discovery of a Thieves’ Haven, tunneled under the ground, the entrance hidden beneath a nondescript tent. Investigating, they found it abandoned, an overgrown poison farm the only danger that still remained inside. But what also remained inside, was Hermil’s Fesh’s stolen book. Well, what was left of it. For it appeared that the rogues had cut the pages out of its spine and put them into another binding, leaving behind only the ornately illustrated cover, its emblazoned title: The Heroes of the Aureate Age.
Upon leaving the Thieves’ Haven, Fahima was happy to see her baby phoenix flying back to her, only to have that joy dashed, as the arcane energy of magic missile came out of nowhere to knock little Meep out of the sky. It turned out the wielder of those arcane energies was a young magical apprentice named Grell, who apologized profusely, even as Uggo tackled him to the ground. When the team forgave him and even healed his wounds, Grell agreed to lead them to the wisest person he knew in Shantytown. A woman he called The Hag. A mystic he described as kind and terrible, a speaker of truths.
So as we ended last week, Grell guided our team through the cluster of dilapidated houses and loose structures that make up Shantytown, and brought them to an unusual tent, adorned with beads and silks of many colors. Ticking and humming sounds coming from inside, Grell pulled back the flap at the entrance of the tent, and the team stepped through.
What you all find inside is a tent crammed with items and odors, a feast for the senses. Candles dripping wax hang in tiny brass holders in every corner, incense burns in tiny dishes, and there is a pungent aroma that hangs thickly inside. The front of the tent is absolutely packed with shelves and stands, each cluttered with bits and bobs - doo-dads whirling and whizzing, tiny ticking clocks and rotating oddities. Miniature statues and ornaments depicting strange creatures and arcane symbols. Scarfs stretched across surfaces in many colors and patterns. Orbs and angles, crystals and charms. It is a maze of stuff - like you’ve stepped into large antique shop that has been jammed into a space much too small to fit everything.
As Grell leads you inside he says, “She is in the back. I suppose I should tell you the rules - “
But before he can finish that sentence, Lily, eyes wide in amazement at all the curiosities on display, sees an item on a low shelf and says, “Oh James, look at this. Just like the-”
And the moment she reaches out to touch it you all hear the sound of wood breaking. Grell turns and says, “No! Wait-” but it is drowned out by the loud crack. Like the snap of a thick tree branch. And in that instant. Lily is gone. The Secret Keeper’s Amulet, which she wore around her neck, falls to the ground with a thunk.