It started as a simple Dungeon Run…
Five adventurers, merely looking for some extra coin, found instead one of the most powerful relics the world has ever known. The Secret Keeper’s Amulet. A tool of fate that gives you, the watchers of the time stream, a way into the world of Ain, to influence events as you see fit.
But recently, the team has begun to question whether there are forces even more powerful than the amulet. Forces that have started to notice them.
Siv, Fahima, James, Uggo, and Lily have learned much in the short time they have been together. They made contact with a secret society of wizards called The Natural Order, who set them on a grand quest to save the Wardens, Ain’s ancient protectors. These elemental titans have gone missing, and so far, our team has found and freed two of them, the Storm Warden, and most recently, the Inferno Warden. Each time, the rescue has resulted in a vision, an unlocked memory of a time lost to history - a window into the mysteries of the events that necessitated the creation of the Wardens in the first place.
To free the Inferno Warden, the team had to reach the bottom of the ocean, defeat abominable hybrid creatures and fight a mighty Kraken. To get there, they relied on a Natural Order wizard named Claudiette, who used her magic to protect them inside a sinking a pirate ship as it plummeted through the most dangerous parts of the sea. She also provided them a way out, placing a portal spell to a location of their choosing inside a Glyph of Warding, which she inscribed on the floor of the broken ship’s hull.
In the aftermath of the undersea battle, and the Warden vision that followed it, the team found themselves returning to consciousness, one week later, in an unexpected situation - floating on an island made entirely of junk. Scrap and salvage pulled from the sea and glued together by tiny amphibious creatures, which the Gods of the Time Stream dubbed the Salvagemanders. And that is how they will forever be known, because that’s way better than what I was calling them.
The Salvagemanders commit their lives to cleaning the sea. While floating aimlessly on the surface, using their makeshift cranes and claws to pull trash from the water, they discovered Lily’s mother and sisters, who survived two nights on the open ocean after their own ordeal near the Kraken, by huddling in the warmth of our heroes, who still burned from their connection with the Inferno Warden. The Salvagemanders fished all of them out of the water, fed them, and gave them shelter in their home:
Yabakul, the City of Scrap, which proved to be a strange location, indeed. A sprawling mish-mash of discarded items, stuck together by regurgitated mucus adhesive, and turned into art and architecture by the industrious little creatures with salamander heads and humanoid bodies.
Investigating their new environment, the team discovered that some broken bits of the pirate ship they rode to the bottom of the ocean had made their way back near the surface during the swirling, boiling tumult of the Warden’s escape. In looking through the debris pulled out of the ocean by the Salvagemanders, Siv discovered pieces of the ship’s hull, shattered and broken, but still showing remnants of the golden symbol of the Natural Order, the Glyph containing Claudiette’s portal spell.
But even with enthusiastic help, the team couldn’t find all of the splinters of the Glyph before sunset and the beginning of the ceremony of Night Drift. There, in a cramped junkyard hut, the team was invited to drink the potent Yabakul clam juice and surrender themselves to serendipity.
While Siv secreted his portion into an empty glass bottle, James and Fahima couldn’t manage to keep theirs down, vomiting the slimy substance into their hands. Uggo and Lily, their constitutions strong, drank deeply, and fell into lucid dreams, each seeing a stirring vision unique to them.
After the conclusion of Night Drift, James and Fahima met up, showing each other the new spells they learned after gaining a level of experience in the Kraken fight. In the shadows, across the junk piles, Siv watched, as he considered whether to drink his pilfered portion of the clam concoction. When Fahima retired for the evening, Siv saw James linger, cast his devastating Hunger of Hadar spell, and then step inside it. When the spell dropped, so did James, ice crystals cracking across his body, his barely conscious form collapsing in a heap.
Siv raced to his aid, alerting the other heroes, and soon Lily was using her restoration magic to once again pull James back from the brink of death. As the team reckoned with what they had seen, Uggo enraged, summoning the spirits of his ancestors, who warned the team that the Orcs prepare for war.
As we ended last week, Fahima nuzzled into James’ hut to provide comfort and warmth to the still cold, shivering warlock. As she drifted off to sleep, James remained, staring at his reflection in a broken piece of a mirror, glued to a wall of junk, floating on an island of scrap.