Wednesday, August 25, 2010

8/25/2010 - Khurahaen & Xe Manse

The ship was headed to Khurahaen and when we arrive the port was closed due to an attack by a swamp demon that someone had loosed in the Misty Sea.  Dozens of ships have dropped anchor and are waiting.  Ariadne seeks out Reiner and asks him to go into the sea and take a message to Kolera.  He takes a small pack with him and goes.

Omar, the first mate warns the waters are treacherous, filled with riptides and porcelain crabs.  He also hints about a place or event called the Crucible of Salt.

While waiting for it to be over, Ariadne sent Reiner into the city by swimming.  He then becomes worried later and asks Jezzik to relay a message to him.  It involves some humor as he requires a fish.  It takes some time to catch one.  Once in hand he breathes a message into it that will be relayed to Reiner when it swims to him.

Everyone finds something to do with their boredom and wait it out.  After day two the ennui finally ends after they hear a ruckus above.  They see some great beast swallow up an anchored ship not far away.  As everyone cries out and begins raising the anchor, it turns into chaos.  The demon takes on another ship before being attacked from above by a figure held in the winds.

The creature spits out a mass of slime and garbage, as well as slime encrusted undead crabs and a few men.  Some land on the ship decks  and we engage them.  Twink has bad luck and breaks her sling.  Kain reaps them like chaff as does Jhary and the others.  Halfway through the fight, Krixil wakes up and joins in the fray, destroying them by touch.

Ariadne kills the "leader" if there was one, with a consecrated bolt he got from Jezzaine.  The creature is eventually put down by Ariscio of the Three Winds, who destroys it in the sea.  Adze provides healing, but at a cost and Kain gives up his glowing leaf to ensure Twink and everyone is healed.

The port was torn asunder in the fight so we were redirected to the Mud Flats to the east of the city.  We say goodbye to the brothers when we depart.

There we left the ship on long boats.  Officials there do not charge us tax as an apology for the attack.  Krixil slips away from us, lumbering off to send down roots near the mound that acts as the center for the Amarydion religion here.  He was odd and none missed his departure.

Ariadne split away to search for word of Reiner.  The rest noted the large makeshift hospitals in place to treat the wounded.  He isn't there but Ariadne charms some people to send word to her when or if he shows up.

The city is in an uproar but it quiets down after a while.  Reiner shows up finally and leads Ariadne off to discuss things with Kolera.  The rest of us bunk down in an old, rustic mansion that lets out rooms for travelers.  The owners are odd and Sultrani gets spooked and won't go inside.

The others are not so sanguine and take rooms at the place, known as Xe Manse.  Kain spends some time in the yard and then in an attached lower level room to train with his blades.  While shadow fighting the mirrors he finds, his reflection talks to him and then drains into his eyes, taking him over.

Meanwhile, Ariadne fare well with Kolera, managing to sweet talk her factor, whose name seems to be Neggie.  He passes on to Ariadne that staying at the Xe Manse and that it has a bad reputation.  So much so that he insists Ariadne return, taking with her one of his tower guards

Twink, meanwhile is succumbing to the same influence back at the Xe Manse, though her innocence allows her to fight it better.

Sultrani meets up with Collin and Ariadne.  They agree to go in together.  A bell rings and Ariadne starts going inside.  Sultrani tries to stop her by knocking her over but she hisses and glares back at her with burning red eyes.  Eventually, Collin grabs her  but whatever it is takes over Sultrani and frees Ariadne.  With her last bit of will, Sultrani breaks her shoulder and the pain dislodges the spirit.

They see a ghostly figure in a party dress run into the mansion. 

After they recover, Collin provides the two necklaces of his god.  He hopes they will help.

They move back and see the possessed Kain and Twink threaten them from the windows of the mansion.  Uncertain what to do, they depart, going to where Krixil had taken root.

The way there was covered quickly but entered in disappointment.  He will not waken and the priestesses will give no help.  Someone speaks up, perhaps all at once it came to us, that we should go to the moon goddess' temple.  So, back to the city.

They moon goddess' priest lets us in and we pray before the pool.  Sultrani goes the extra mile and sacrifices her true name to the pool.  Help comes in the form of an aged man, heavy with power.  He says little but smiles much and in the light of the moon walks the city to the mansion, us trailing behind him.  He has us stay outside while he goes within.  In minutes, light streams from the mansion and then smoke.  We resist going in but only just.  In seconds Twink and Kain come out, free from their possession.

The man speaks with everyone before leaving to go back to the goddess.  He gives his name, Sotineln Moonwalker and marks Kain's cheek and Twink's shoulder with the mark of the goddess.

Exhausted but free, they depart.  Collin takes them back to Kolera's Tower, sure she will let them stay.  Neggie greets them and lets them while Ariadne rejoins up with Reiner, who is finally awake.

Everyone beds down except Ariadne who meets up with Kolera.  To Ariadne's surprise, she's a gnome.  Loquacious too.  They haggle and deal; when it ends, Kolera get back her goods: the lightning in a bottle.  Ariadne gets a line on a ship, a skyship to be specific, for which she gets to be the captain.  She won't own it until she finishes the journey and has to work for Kolera for a time afterward.  She wants Ariadne to pilot a trade route from Khurahaen to Arad in Aradnast.