Tir Na n'Fir

An Endless Expanse
Thoughts from the point of view of Cora'sol "The Immortal"

cross posted from Cora’s Travel Journal

The more I study about being a Sacred Druid, the more makes sense with regards to my encounters so far. The book I was gifted with has provided me with much information regarding the history of the druidic tradition. There is an affinity for life as a whole that resonates within me. My god/dess is the world itself, and Life in balance is apparently one of the keys to this order.

In the weeks that I have studied, I have expanded my capabilities remarkably, although there is still much to learn. Perhaps there are others out there who might be able to provide more insight. The K’oa – the bird people- that I have long held trade with might also know more.

.oOo..oOo..oOo.

We made a short stop at the trade point just outside of Na’Silar to restock and re-outfit ourselves appropriately. While we were spending some time in one of the local taverns, we heard several bards telling stories that the adventuring party was directly or indirectly involved with.It was both amusing and a little disconcerting to hear of the world-news, knowing that we were somehow involved with each of the things mentioned.

We also picked up a new party member – Fife MacDrosten. He touts himself as a huntsman, and shows a remarkable proficiency with the darts and knives he toys with. I noticed that he was trading archery tips to the city guards. Perhaps we can teach each other a thing or two? He has agreed to travel with us, I think more for the sake of the adventure itself. Regardless though, he seems capable.

Being back in the city reminds me sharply why I prefer the sands. I forget that people can be cruel to each other just for the sake of being cruel. I am reminded also that differences are not always acceptable to others. There’s a reason I never say much, or stay long, when visits to civilization are necessary.

We saw Shalev safely back to his family-home, so that he could reunite with his people. He did make quite the impression, and his people reacted to him with due respect. His mother seems quite capable, and very proud of her youngest son. When he introduced me as his teacher, she rose to greet me in an unprecedented display of equality. There was a shared moment between us there, an unspoken and understood statement that he has made both of us proud, and that I will do all in my power to ensure his safety (although I know he thinks he’s ensuring mine.) so long as he and I travel together; and that she would ensure he has a safe and prosperous home to return to.

Much was said without words between she and I.

It will be interesting to see what his mother negotiates with regards to his betrothal to the Princess of the White Palm Oasis. She seemed rather … determined on a few of the points that he mentioned with regards to the way things played out in returning the Princess to safety.

There will be stories told about this match for eons, I’m certain. The bards that tell of it will certainly get their money’s worth from the tale.

There is apparently some ….strife with regards to his older brother. Jealousy perhaps? He’s already shown blatant disrespect on a number of levels, and has made one obvious and failed attempt to assassinate Shalev. I imagine that will only make his life more difficult, and hope that he is not stupid enough to attempt it again. The consequences of his actions have already started a bit of political upheaval, that I think will go unfavorably for him in the end.

While we were there, Kellyn refilled the city cisterns, at Shalev’s request. It appears that the gift Martek gave her in making her younger also may have erased a little bit of her control. She’s volatile to begin with, so the learning curve here might prove to be a bit unstable. The gift of water in the desert cultures is always a profound one, so this almost effortless act on her part accorded her to be treated almost like royalty.

.oOo..oOo..oOo.

Once things were settled with his family, and the preparations that he needed to be a part of were complete, the party decided to continue on toward the port city where we would hire a ship to take us to our next destination.

Oceans.

How I can describe something I have no memory of ever seeing before now? I was asleep when my people crossed the oceans two and a half millennia ago. I am a desert creature, and the shifting sands are my home.

The sea. It’s impossible. Seeing that stretch of endless water. It’s… wrong. Chaotic. Unpredictable. Unsettling. So much larger than I could have ever imagined.

The ground moved and swayed with no rhythm or discernible pattern. It literally left me speechless, and more than a little horrified. It made me feel… insignificant. I can’t say that I like that feeling.

Lan seems quite taken with the chaos here, and quickly shifted to her seafaring form to frolic in the waves and unknown depths. The travel through the desert has been difficult for her, so we stayed for an entire day to allow her the freedom to play and rejoice in the turbulent waters.

Hiring a ship made for quick and uneventful travel, and here we are. A half a world away from all that is even remotely familiar to me, and traveling toward who-knows-what. That is the life of an adventurer though, is it not?

I feel… exposed here. Perhaps that’s partly due to the change in attire. Desert silks and robes have no place here, and the leather armor that I acquired in the city fits well, and comfortably. But it will take some getting used to. It’s good to have a bow in my hand once again. I have the layan bow that I picked up from the dread-priest during the quest to resurrect Martek, but I can not use it yet with any reliability. I will continue to practice and hone strength and skill to be able to use it, but in the mean time, I picked up a Penician bow to use.

New equipment, new outfit, new place.

The party as a whole remains the same though, and it’s good to have something familiar to ground me here. I do look forward to seeing what else lies over the horizon. It will be interesting to be in a place where no one knows of me. Perhaps I could use a little humility?

View
Returning the Desert..
Thoughts from the point of view of Cora'sol "The Immortal"

Cross-posted from Cora’s Travel Journal

We’re finally going home.
Well… “home” is relative, I suppose, as my home tends to be wherever I find myself wandering for the moment.

This particular moment, it finds me wandering back towards the city of Na’Silar however briefly.

Even I recognize the necessity of visiting structured civilization periodically.

We finally succeeded in returning the desert to the people as a whole. The enchantments that cursed it have been broken. After over a year of traveling through the sands, battling mages and efreets, exploring lost tombs, buried libraries, and forgotten ruins; we have at last succeeded in resurrecting the Arch-mage Martek, and returning the desert to his watchful eye.

It seems that I have taken the first steps in becoming the last …the ONLY…of the Sacred Druids. The last of my kind. The ONLY of my kind. These titles are not new to me. I have no idea if any elves like me remain, but I do know that I am the only Sacred Druid in living memory, and current existence at this time. As a gift for helping to resurrect Martek, I received the only remaining copy of the Initiate’s guide to Sacred Druidry.

Hopefully I can do justice to the role I have been given. Being a Sacred Druid meshes well with my natural inclination as a Ranger; and while it will potentially mean leaving the desert behind, perhaps it’s time to continue on. Oh I’ll not move too far. There’s a peace that I find in the shifting sands that I found no where else in my nearly three millennia of traveling. For all of my desire to learn if there are others like me out there, I can not deny that the desert is home. Certainly the longest I have ever stayed in one place.

.oOo..oOo..oOo..oOo.

While this adventure may be complete, it has succeeded in stirring my wanderlust with a fierce vengeance, and given me a sense of family that I find myself growing quite fond of. A somewhat dysfunctional little family to be certain, but we work well together when motivated, and can be quite intimidating as a whole.

Each of the party members has their place in my thoughts now:

  • the surly destruction mage, Kellyn. Even with her turbulent temper and highly unpredictable magics, is an interesting traveling companion, and I am apparently one of the few that she considers friend. There is certainly much more to her than meets the eye, and she keeps her story close. I find myself watching with a little amusement to see what she will do next. As a gift for helping in his resurrection, the Arch-mage Martek gave her a book of knowledge, and also made her considerably younger. With her already awe-inspiring power levels, this might prove to be an interesting combination for her.
  • the strange seal-fey creature Lan. She’s a selkie. A fey-creature that can shift from humanoid (appearing as both high-elf, and orc as she chooses) to seal. She has a strange relationship with Kellyn, as apparently she is the avatar of the goddess Kellyn follows. She has her own brand of magic, and seems to be able to find whimsy in any situation. Her gift from Martek was a palantir. We do not yet know what it does, but she finds amusement bouncing the shiny glass ball on her nose as a seal.
  • the wary blacksmith, Ishmael. I do not know what he thinks of the adventures and of the party now. He still seems afraid, and almost resigned to whatever fate traveling with us might bring to him. I’m glad he decided to continue traveling with us for a time though. His gift was information. He now has the knowledge of where to get a special hammer that will allow him to work with any metal; as well as a bar of a specific material that he can use to trade with the gnomes for additional information and skill training.
  • Sha’lev. First my student, now my friend. Of all of my students, he has shown the most promise. I have watched him grow much over this past year, and he seems to be coming strong into his own. He has taken on the role of First Paladin of the goddess of Law and Order, Ma’at. It makes me proud to see him succeed and make a powerful name for himself. He has found himself a bride too, it seems. It is his marriage that we are returning to the city to bear witness to. I don’t think his bride (the party-rescued, and newly reinstated Princess and Priestess of the White Palms Oasis) quite realizes what she has gotten herself into, but I imagine she will see soon enough. His gift from Martek was a book that, when read for a week, will help to restore the Dexterity and skills that he lost during an encounter with the undead. He also received specific knowledge on where he could go to advance his fighting skills, information on how to dedicate a temple to his goddess, as well as knowledge on beginning a quest to further his advancement as a Paladin of Ma’at which would give him a sword comparable to his needs.
  • there’s ’Lev’s cat Amit. A giant liger, powerful and intelligent, he is a valued party member in his own right. I recognize a loneliness in him, as the only of his kind. Perhaps as a Sacred druid I can help him find a mate somehow. It’s a thought worth considering anyways. I’ll have to ask him what he thinks. Martek gifted him with a limited-use metallic coating on his claws that would allow him to take levels from his enemies and transfer them to himself. Amit is already a truly impressive creature. This makes him even more so.
  • and finally Tobias. My heart. I never thought I would find love again, after so long. I didn’t even think it possible. Yet here he is. Renowned warrior in his own right, my desert elf has become more than just a companion, and I can not deny that what I feel is love. The thought actually frightens me a bit, believe it or not. Maybe there’s more than one wedding in the works? Who knows. Elven courtship can take centuries, although my Tobias has picked up the quick pace of the humans. So we will see if he takes his time, or decides to go ahead and pursue more. Martek’s gift to him was a spiked mace that would be nearly impossible to damage, making it extremely useful for Tobias when he is running.

In the course of the adventure, we sadly lost three party members along the way.
Ahriman, a mage of noteworthy skill with regards to mental magics, sadly was lost in an encounter with a ghostly ship on the glass-sea. He encountered something that caused a crisis of faith within, and he could not cope. The party members tried to help him through the crisis, but were unfortunately unable to do so. This crisis of faith caused a loss of his powers at a critical time, and the loss of his power contributed to his death.

Alex, a fighter whom we encountered in the hidden village at the gates to Martek’s place. His party had been killed by the warring factions of peoples there, and he accompanied us through the labyrinthine maze of the traps and passages to find the minarets that we needed to resurrect Martek. He was sadly lost in one of the wings of the crystal towers, when he could not follow the other party members through one of the puzzle doors.

and Timu, a blind mage of some skill, whom we discovered lost within the temple proper. He made it through to help us resurrect Martek. His gift for helping, was a one-way ticket back to his homeland. I hope he does well wherever he returned to, and is treated with the respect he deserves.

.oOo..oOo..oOo..oOo.

This particular adventure has been a long, and difficult one. We’ve lost several party members along the way, and gained a few new ones. It will be good to relax for a space of time regardless.

As a final parting gift, Martek made it so that anyone we encountered along the journey remembers nothing of us, or of our accomplishments. This is a blessing in many regards, but also a curse in a way, as any story we share of this adventure will be thought as nothing more than a drunken sand-tale.

Resupplying, resting, and re-outfitting the party will take some time, and quite a bit of money, I imagine; but it is well earned leisure time for us all. This will give us the time we need to take a look at where we are going next. There are several options open to the party, and as adventurers I’m sure new opportunities will arise along the way.

View
Story So Far (16 Mar 14)
goo gone

Stuck in the Garden of the Chimes past Martek’s gate, the party has found themselves confronted by great doors. But no handle, lock, or hinges. It was suggested to them that they try using magic stones to open the door, but they quickly figured out that they were one short.

A new member of the party, Alex, informed them of where one such stone was (after having been confiscated by what passes for a constabulary here), and so they went in search of it. Before they could ask, however, they were told of a marker that indicated how to effectively use the stones, and they went off on a quick side quest for fish.

The marker told them of another word to add to the incantation but when they checked the stones they had, some were missing. Cora quickly tracked the footprints of an elf (not the usual problem here) and rushed to find him. North of the fish was a clearing with a mound of stones and skulls (where justice is pronounced), and caught up with those same lawful guys who said he’d also robbed them.

From the edge of the clearing Cora fired an arrow that carried an enchantment from Kellyn to weary the figure on the mound. He was placing the gems around him on the ground when he took up an unusual pose, caught the arrow before it could release its magical power, then returned it by use of a transparent bow (made of laen, Cora knew immediately, eyes flashing green).

Further magical arrow attacks were attempted, one failing immediately but calling up a stone fae circle that left Lan giddy. Tobias raced across the plain after seeing his lady attacked and almost did devastating damage but was deftly dodged at the last second by a panic’d elf.

Alex and Shalev arrived on the mound and began a flurry of sword strikes that nearly killed… er…. actually really DID mortally wound the dark elf by slicing open his throat and bits of the rest of him (that Kellyn worsened by trying to tear out his throat from a great distance), when he called upon the power of a spider brooch he was wearing and healed himself, revealing his (anti)paladin nature. At this point things get… odd….

Lan, in a fit of giggles, opened a gate to the outer lands and invited in The Horde, a cloud of tiny fey that moved as if a single creature. She then told them of the grave evil on the mound and gave them free reign to dispatch it, so they exploded his armor, pierced his skin 6000 times, and battered him into amorphousness.

Shalev grabbed up the bow and presented it to Cora, and told the Princess that this was how he protected those that were his. Tobias cocked an eyebrow, but was bemused when the Princess asked “so, is she yours? What about me?” to which Shalev answered “we are not married yet.”

The Princess has been in hard contemplation since, while studiously avoiding Lan having never seen her take such dangerous actions. The Horde dispersed into the jungle. The lawful gendarme offered to escort everyone back to the fort to protect them, for they now know that the great doors will open, and Ishmael suggested that the Guilders here may be out to attempt a “stealie” on the divine power in the next world beyond…..

View
Story So Far (08 Dec)

Checking other rooms, the party has found other shafts with stuff falling forever, magic-eight-ball prophets, and eventually a stone bridge that summons shadows that do nasty things to paladins. In fact, Shalev suffered badly at the touch of one of these vile creatures before dispatching them in their fear of Maat.

Eventually they decided to feed a rope down in the Western shaft until it looped back around, and have climbed upwards to a landing with stairs 50 feet higher than the floor they were previously on.

The mages detected a light trap, but Ahriman antagonized the efreet on the other side by attempting to freeze him with one of the light beams. The efreet fired a beam of fire energy, which was countered by the amulet that Ahriman had been given by the Sheik….. only to fall to the fireball that came along at the same time. Alas, the efreet wasn’t interested in playing and disappeared.

The party carefully picked their way through the trap and uncorked a bottle containing the princess they were there to rescue, and after likewise liberating the Star Gem in the next room, left to find the Djinn that will safe the desert.

If only they knew how.

In the mean time, Kellyn summoned a whale for dinner.

The party finally got into the City of Phoenix, which they raised from the sand by opening the bottle containing the Djinn, but only after the blacksmith recognized how to coax him out did the GREAT EPIC BATTLE start.

Now, the party is looking for an ancient city on the Athis river, where the last Star Gem was kept.

View
Story So Far (24 Nov)

A long fight with a translucent creature ended with calling up a bunch of fairies, setting them on fire, filling a room with oil, changing the tiger into a liger, then running away after scaring the bad guy into also running away….

only to see the flaming fairies run into a pit that falls over and over and over… Lan jumped in and discovered that the pit also had some mummies in it, so she added some trees and wolves and badgers and rain and….

well, that was enough….

Eventually Cora took the flight potion and went in and rescued Lan and the fairies, who blessed Lan with a glowing head.

Eventually everyone moved over one room and found a big glass altar to Aurat, the God Of Light, who traded Ahriman’s Pharonic staff for a gauntlet that defends against undead.

View
Story So Far (03 Nov)

The party is sitting in the desert outside of the Oasis, trying to decide what to do about food.

Travelling at night to look for lizards and scorpions, and to avoid heat. In the mountains, found an oasis that was made of spirit water. A pair of eyes appeared and talked only to Shalev, and offered to answer basic questions. He asked about the crypt, and when the questions where exhausted, the oasis vanished and the party was refreshed and their water skins were filled with clean water. Even the camel looked happier.

Have traveled down to the Crypt, and after some anti-fear magic, the party eventually decided to crack the statue pedestal and knock it over, they found a pit underneath it. Shalev lowered himself down until a set of blades came out and cut his rope, dropping him through the air. He luckily caught the lip of a circular room, and with Kellyn’s help to create stairs down, the rest of the party finally descended into the darkness.

The “west” passage contained a statue with swords. So, they walled it in.

The “east” passage had a statue with silver bows that Cora couldn’t take.

The “north” passage had an efreet statue that Cora set off intentionally, causing a fireball that killed half the party until extensive magic and polypilng was done to fix everything. Everyone had to rest to recover from the incineration, including Shalev’s cat.

The “south” passage had a bladed figure statue that looks like…. blades, but some look like a handle, and some look like hinges….

They entered the room behind and found a statue, then found secret doors around to “bypass” the worst of things. They’ve found an unhelpful oracle and a box full of snake skeletons guarding a book…..

Only to notice that Ahriman was not there. Apparently an attempt earlier to look into the past went awry enough to make him feel uncomfortable with the way magic is working. Kellyn has been trying to talk him through it.

The party has moved to another room for safety, but the door just opened and in has floated a ghastly figure who said “you’re not dead enough to be here. We can fix that….”

View
Story So Far (27Oct)

Travelling out of the Oasis to the east, discussing next efforts, and found the northern road to the crypt. Party is suggesting returning to the Temple to cleanse it….

Identified a wand as having 11 charges to immobilize humans, has invocation word.

Group has decided to return to the oasis, finally, though there is not a lot of food to make the four-day trek.

Attacked by three spectres, but Shalev banished two. Kellyn dropped a rock on it, Ahriman lit the rock, then lit it up, and Cora broke her scimitar inside it before falling to the shrapnel from the exploding blade. After a round of trying to convince it to not attack, Shalev finally killed it and absorbed the power into his brooch.

Found a scrolltube with a map between the temple and the crypt, a potion in a bottle made of feathers (flight, made of distilled crows), an ancient wand of polymorph (18 charges), and a highly marked evil evil nasty scroll of evilness (protection by Gnu Tar Tek from the undead, 10 paces radius).

Went back to town, got some food to travel with, and ready to turn back round.

“The only horse I need is over there wearing a loincloth” — Cora

View
Story So far (27Oct-2)

…..going on….

Caught by the Fortune Teller in the bazaar, a quick deal was made to get a message to the Sheik, then the group headed into the guildhall to find their way into the catacombs under the temple.

Found in a room used by a Mage, a treatise on the management and study of spirits and demons (realm) [introduction], from the Library of Bralizzar’s Academy of The Will, and two scroll tubes now with unfinished scrolls of protection from undead.

Looted the body of what looks like a paladin of Lolth, found a cloak, boots, sword, dagger, javelin, elven chain, and a holy brooch (destroyed).

Found the body of what looks like a follower of Lolth, killed in her bed. The area was ransacked. Ahriman used magic to follow the past, and went outside to continue his spell, only to be seen by the Oasis guard and the Sultan’s first son. He was taken into custody.

Cora followed in the shadows, but was jumped by a dark figure who cursed her for being an elf. She stabbed him in the face, and he turned into a mist and flew away.

Ahriman was talked to by the son, who clubbed himself in the head with a stone to make it look like Ahriman was escaping. Ahriman, being infuriated by this, stabbed him in the neck, took his family seal, then made himself invisible and walked out the front door.

Ahriman, at the guildhall, told his party “The prince just implicated us in his murder. We have to leave.”

North of the city, Shalev opened the magic book and out fell The Book of Amon-Rey and The Tale Of The Years of Munafik, priest of Amon-Rey.

The party is discussing just clearing out the entire Oasis so the princess has a place of her own because everyone else sucks.

View
Breakpoint....

This breakpoint after which we’ll start using the adventure log more. This is also a Wiki, so if you see things in the log needing entries, it’s worth putting a slug in so we can create them so people can remember or keep them up to date. So, yes… I’ll allow a player to keep the log, or I’ll type a running commentary… but, this will happen during game play, so the log is accurate. Everyone good with it? Cool.

View
So What Next?

Lan brings in a decent amount of our stuff, though we’re pretty broke now. We all walk up to where Decland was and I realize that Toshi makes magic items. I pick up Decland’s sword with some fabric and take it back to camp. We end up pushing Decland out to sea, as it is the best way to take care of the body in this area.

Once Lan brings up my chest I use my orb and slate to look at the sword. From the Slate I get:
Crawlsagat – Artifact grade sword. Medium length leaf blade. Not particularly sharp but can hit any target ever. Cannot be blocked. Imbued with energy called Crawls and another engergy called Decland. Can Share the Love once a day. Can direct to and call up “herbs”. Can summon a crowd once a day. Can talk to squirrels three times a day.

Great. Decland is stuck in a sword. We’ll have to fix that at some point.

We decide to move ourselves and our stuff inland. Lan finds fresh water coming from a certain area in the ocean. We walk over to it and find a marshy area that has a pretty decent stream. From there we follow the river/stream inland. As we follow the river, we find mountains to the right where there are occasional streams flowing to the river. Lots of small animals are around though, so we have a decent amount of food. It begins to rain. We camp and see a large bird fly out of the mountains and then back.

The next day we decide to continue to the mountains where we see a lot of green. We follow a small river with the horses because we have no way to store our water. After three days we see most large birds and see them fly back with food. They seem very large. A deep fog rolls in after a couple days and we continue on towards the forest.

Once we enter the forest we notice very large nests among the trees. Some birds fly down and begin to talk to us. WTF TALKING BIRDS. They have gold eyes and brown feathers. They ask Lan if she is a druid and we tell them that she is the avatar of the last druid we know of. They tell us that they are Sha’hao (talking philosophy birds) and they introduce us to a centaur that lives with them. He’s a druid. Lan tells him she does magic, but doesn’t have any good spells to show him.

I tell him that I’m a mage and remember that HOLY CRAP I can make water (I’m dumb). I make some and the centaur is impressed. Taryn makes fun of me. They ask Taryn to tell a story and he tells them about the Roc he met.

The Sha’hao tell us that the minions of Lolth are taking trees from the other side of the mountain.

Taryn talks to one of the older Sha’hao and shows him the Roc claw. The Sha’hao tell him that he has been chosen by the Roc to continue his mission.

They also tell us of a desertwalker. She’s a mage and came with the Great Ships before mankind. She left the city to live in the desert because the cities were not clean of thought. She normally travels with students.

I give the Druid Centaur Leilana’s old druid staff. He uses it to raise and ent for his forest. We explain how we found the staff in the mage tower. They tell us that Bartholomew was buried in the mountains by Dwarves.

They also tell us that there are older dragons in the mountain range. We repay them by sharing with them our Elven brandy. One takes a drink to the desertwalker.

I decide to try and contact Leilana to tell her about what’s happend to our group. By doing this Leilana takes me as one of her followers and I end up with power in faith. WHICH I HAD TOTALLY AVOIDED BEFORE NOW, THANKS. She tells us that Bella is with her now though, so I’m happy.

The centaur brings us a deer and Tobias smoked the deer for us to take with us. Before we decide to head out we have Lan try on Decland’s armor. She does and is able to overcome the dragon inside. This means she’s able to shapeshift into the dragon while she wears the armor.

Then we head off into the unknown.

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.