We spent a month at the dwarven city, each working toward our own ends. In my case, I learned the more about the art of the blade and mountain survival, given that we’re traveling in them. Given time, I suspect my bladework may exceed that of Alex or Ikari, two of the better swordspersons I’ve known, though their skill paled in comparison to my new teacher. Per his request, I will not relate who instructed me, nor mention him to any others, appreciating as few might the desire to be left alone. It may be worthwhile to return here, someday, if only to see Ishmael, who has elected to stay and become the master of the forge. He fulfilled his commission by giving me an easier to read breakdown of the formula with notes and citations which may be sufficient to begin the process of work to create Egyptian Bronze. They have the metals needed to combine it here, and if we are able to establish a trade route, our smiths may be able to purchase raw materials here which will allow us to market this new technology.
In communing with Ma’at about Fife, I’ve learned the basics of a new ritual, too complex to cast currently, which may permit me to learn whether his soul is in balance, and if not, what he would need to restore that balance. This may help him shed the bad luck which trails him, and which may cause him to die rather quickly, unless we are able to correct it. This spell may also help me learn the status of my own soul, as I have not yet had the chance to establish Law, and am uncertain where I would need to go to do so. In the interim, I have taken back the bronze spear, so that if it comes to a battle, I might use it in hand to hand combat the way Ishmael Dragonsbane did. Sadly, Fife’s current condition precludes him from being trusted with what may be our most effective weapon against it.
Our next task will likely involve getting to the city, and through the use of the compass and my armor, I’ve learned that the dragon is actually a fae, and circles the bowl every night, always in the same direction, and at different speeds. Having obtained a sense of his pattern, we departed, taking only one cart and twelve of the oxen, so we would be able to switch them out as needed, if speed was an issue. Given the possible need to hide from the dragon, I asked for a test and discovered it would take us approximately one hour to pull off the side of the road and hide, and while that is not ideal, with practice we may be able to reduce the time it takes to take shelter. In the course of hiding, Lan discovered that this bowl is actually a fairy circle, and that the dragon is likely trapped here, and I wonder if the dragon is not looking only for a way out, more than anything else. It’s something to consider, though I have no idea what it would take to either free the dragon or break the circle, if needed.
When we traveled to the large tree where the druid was said to live, we met an orc who had been trapped by two brownies and was now in their debt. They were geased into making addictive cookies for ten years, several of which have passed, and the cookies and additive enough that Jaeger was soon in debt for nine gold pieces. After a bit of conversation, he seemed frustrated and ill tempered, though to be fair, his situation was such that he needed us to escape, and my cautioned questioning delayed his freedom. He mentioned something called the “Silver Quill” which appears to be a name for Leilana, who is goddess of the orcs. As I understand what Lan told me, through some characteristic she possessed in life, Leilana became the goddess of the orcs who regenerate, when they gained enough belief to generate a goddess. She’s been trying to stop them, with no avail, and those we seek to stop killed Yeager’s friends and family, making him cautious about traveling with us. At this point, I paid his debt, so he would have the freedom to go with us or not, as he chose, and he elected to accompany us, at least for now.
That night, we were visited by two dwarves who were returning to the dwarvish city from battle, and who appeared to be sorely wounded. They described the gnomish city as both locked up and raided by the Rasbabans, a group Taran mentioned in passing when telling stories around the fire about the city where Gran’tir lives, and who had begun marketing a new metal. The senior dwarf warned us that the gnomes would likely be unfriendly, given that it was humans who had raided them, and that the forges of that city were now cold. After Lan healed the dwarves, and they had eaten, they elected to press on, to continue to the dwarvish city, and we went back to bed.
I the morning, Yeager used magic which came in very handy when he was able to manipulate the earth itself, to make the cart travel much faster, and I suspect he will be of considerable use, if all his spells are of such utility. We made excellent time and are now outside an enchanted forest, which we believe contains the ents that Cora wishes to speak to. If we are fortunate, we may be able to find out more information about the city of Emer, and sylvan trees, so that we may prevent whatever is tapped into the soul wells from corrupting them, something Cora fears greatly.