22 Longday 509—Afternoon
Savaric has gone inside the shrine at the behest of a mysterious old woman. Surm, Rilka, and Mõrvar are about a 100 yards into the woods, standing around the crisp remains of the last Inquisitor tied to a tree.
Mõrvar relates to the others the encounter with the demon as he was torturing the Inquisitor and the final immolation of the man during the battle.They determine that it was a Babau demon—a low-level demon usually created from the souls of lone killers. They are usually employed as assassins. Surm notices that while the man is completely burned, the tree to which he is tied has nary a singe mark upon it. Mõrvar doesn’t seem very impressed but Surm and Rilka insist that they are dealing with the interference of a powerful being here…perhaps Jörn himself. Mõrvar decapitates the ashy remains.
Savaric emerges from the shrine with Ghost as the others make their way back to the clearing where the guards are gathering up all the goods from the fallen Inquisitors. Alfhild and the others have returned with the Inquisitors found horses as well.
Savaric relates to the others his experience with Vigdis Blooddrake within the shrine and tells them of the prophesy she saw concerning him and the Spear of Salvation. Surm recalls the Aedonii stories and mosaics of underwater creatures—mosaics that related both adoration and terror regarding these creatures. Surm has also heard of Ysarian steel, but nothing more about it.
The Cord debate what to do next and whether or not the forces of Jörn are involved and actively working against them in this.
They finally decide to head to Josemeedt and make a show of force against the Jörnites there, making it known that they have defeated the Inquisitors and the “Darkshadow”, hopefully forcing the cult to back off from taking their revenge on the Cord—at least for a while.
They finally make a camp outside the shrine and, that night, further discuss their plans for treasure distribution. The night passes without further incident.
23 Longday 509
That morning, Savaric reveals that he is no longer having the prophetic dream that has been plaguing him since his revivification in the Tomb of Secrets. However, he feels like “something” is causing a pressure in his head. Rilka performs a detect magic on his head and is momentarily blinded by the overwhelming aura of power. Surm tries heroically to look and determines that is divine magic of a divinatory nature—he theorizes that perhaps it is knowledge hidden in his mind of how to make this weapon waiting to be unlocked when the time is right.
This does not reassure Savaric.
They spend the day traveling quietly through the Jossian forest westward toward Josemeedt. That night passes without incident, save for the witnessing of a comet passing overhead.
26 Longday 509
After several quiet days of travel, the party arrives outside the wooden palisade of Josemeedt around noontime. Surm gathers up the symbols of Jörn and hangs them off of his saddle. According to his plan, he is going to ride forward of the party in a display of strength, making it known to any hidden Jörnites in the settlement that the Inquisitors are no more and the Darkshadow is dead. Just before the party is to go in, Mõrvar decides that he wants to be the one at the front, and takes over the plan. Surm lets him and falls back.
Mõrvar, flanked by the Cord and the troupe of guards, rides slowly through the settlement. Shopkeepers and traders emerge, stopping their dealings to gape at the display. It very much sends a message of “don’t mess with us.” Eventually, they come to main hall of the settlement where they are met by the Steward of Josemeedt, Brun Thandirsson. He acknowledges that he has heard of the Cord’s exploits and remembers them from their last visit to the settlement. But, as last time, he asks that they have their armed force camp outside of the walls. They are welcome to trade as much as they like, but the encampment needs to be outside. It is clear that the Steward is intimidate by the display of power of the Cord, but is determined to do his duty to the settlement.
Mõrvar flounders a bit, looking back to Surm for guidance—but Surm just waves at his brother to continue. He wanted to lead—then lead. Mõrvar indicates that the Cord will do as asked and asks for directions to the hall of Yülthn. The Steward indicates the needed hall. Mõrvar also announces the death of the Jörnite Inquisitors and assassin—which is met with some bewilderment and congratulations by the assembled folk.
Alasir comes forward to Surm and offers to lead the guards off to set up the encampment outside the walls. Surm nods at him to do so and Alasir makes those arrangements as the main Cord moves forward to the Hall of the All-Father.
The Hall of Yülthn has a large common room with an adjacent longhouse with living quarters inside. Rilka catches one of the common room servers and gets them to fetch the priest for the Hall. They are soon met by a woman with dark hair and grey eyes and the customary crooked staff of a priest of Yülthn. Her name is Katla Stormheart. After a brief exchange, she takes them into one of the inn’s rooms to have a private conversation. Surm tells the story of their encounter with the Jörnites and with the green gemstone and the mission of Grimnir Erolsson, her predecessor. Mõrvar turns over the holy symbols to her. She takes the symbols, promising to have them melted down. She is disturbed to learn that someone here in the settlement is heading a cult to the Sly One—but all she knows now is that it is a blacksmith; there are several in Josemeedt. She remembers seeing the men with the cassocks in the common room, but they claimed to be pilgrims of Saemundil—she thought nothing of them at the time. She promises to share their information with the temples of Ketill and Saemundil here in the settlement.
As far as Grimnir Erolsson, all she knows about him is that he had left on some mission and never returned, thus she was summoned to fill his place here. She did here that he was headed for Saemundiljeim—perhaps he left out of Rosemeedt? But Surm remembers he was supposed to head north, not west. She shrugs. Her understanding was that he headed west.
After leaving the symbols with Katla, the rest of the party spend the afternoon trading in the settlement or staying in the camp outside the walls. Mõrvar mostly sits in the camp and broods. Rilka buys traditional Jossian meat pies for everyone (stuffed goat’s stomach’s with meat and herbs). That night, everyone spends the night in camp and Kortash and Rilka spend the night together.
27 Longday 509
The Crimson Cord sets out from Josemeedt to Kalimsport, figuring that they can use their University contacts to get more information on Savaric’s quest.
The day goes by mostly without incident, with the exception of coming across the remains of an old battle at which Savaric finds a bag of wooden toy soldiers. These he decides to keep to give to the orphans back in Yrda.
29 Longday 509
As the troupe makes its way down the road through Leilior, they encounter two men wearing the livery of a white winged horse on a black field. Surm recognizes the symbol as belonging to a minor noble by the name of Eoin Ma’Phorick. The two men are looking at a piece of parchment, looking at the passing riders, and then back at the parchment.
As they pass, Rilka inquires as to what they are doing and they inform her that there is a bounty on this bandit. They show her the parchment and it is wanted poster. They are seeing if any of the passers by fit the description of the wanted man. So far, they haven’t found him. She wishes them good luck and the troupe continues on its way.
Other than that encounter, the day passes without much fanfare.
5 Starfall 509
After crossing through Leilior and Ornis through the past week or so, the troupe finally arrives at the gates of the magnificent city of Kalimsport around noontime. The troupe head into the city through the gates and make their preparations to stay at the University of Kalimsport, per their previous arrangement. Surm has Alasir give the troops leave and informs him that they will be staying in the city for eleven days, but asks him to check in every five to see if there are new instructions or situations. The troops head out with Alasir in the lead. Mahgnus opts to stay with Surm and the rest of the Cord at the University.
Surm speaks with Master Mandreth Kerendal about looking into the matter of the crystal spearhead as it is supposedly of Aedonii make and he is an expert in Aedonii affairs. Kerendal is happy to help and tells Surm to give him a week to see what he can find. Surm also gets the name of Selevan Vosper, an expert on Ysarian culture, to get information on Ysarian steel.
Surm goes to see Vosper, a mousy little man with thinning brown hair, a mustache, and a paunch. Vosper tells him that he could look into the matter, but informs Surm that his best bet would be to contact Lord Paranthiel Springvale in Almathriel. He is an expert in Ysarian antiquities and, frankly, wrote many of the treatises he would be researching. Surm, slightly incredulous, avers that he will do so.
Meanwhile, the rest of the cord look into securing various magical accoutrements around the city. Rilka also files the paperwork to get a tenancy agreement to erect a shrine in the Temple District of the city. This is after Surm manages to get her the needed references in the form of Master Kerendal, Lady Gynn, and Lord Cranbarrow.
11 Starfall 509
Surm gets word from Master Kerendal that he has some information that may be of use to him.
Cassite is a rare element only found in the deepest reaches of the underground kingdoms. The secrets of its use were thought lost with the Aedonii. However, a dagger manufactured some fifteen years ago in Khazak-Ur has been uncovered. Its actual manufacturer is unknown.
The dagger is known to bear the following mark:
Crafting with Cassite Crystal is a delicate process—failure by 5 or more will result in shattering the crystal.
Weapons forged from Cassite have the following properties: +3 to confirm critical hits due to never losing their edge. It ignores the armor bonuses from all armor and deflection bonuses. It also reduces the creation cost of magic weapons/armor by 15%. Weapons made from Cassite Crystal have a hardness of 30 and hp of 10/inch and is assumed to be of masterwork quality. However, Cassite crystal will shatter on a confirmed fumbled attack roll…
Armor imbued with Cassite has the following properties: Hardness 30, hp 25/inch, offers SR 20 to the wearer, including against magic missile (as the shield spell). Armor imbued with Cassite is automatically assumed to be of masterwork quality. However, if protecting against a confirmed critical hit, the crystal will shatter…
Surm thanks the sage for the information and offers to pay, Master Kerendal insists that it is nothing for the group that saved him from an orc pit.
15 Starfall 509
As the troupe is scheduled to leave the next day, and they have heard nothing from the city about Rilka’s application, she and Surm head to the Hall of Records to inquire about Rilka’s tenancy contract for her shrine. They eventually get to see a clerk by the name of Tamsyn Wyndle. After a lot of bureaucratic maneuvering, they manage to get her a tenancy contract and a building license so that she can begin having the work done.
16 Starfall 509
Surm speaks to the sage Belurian Springstorm, the elven liaison in the University, about the possibility of teleporting to Almathriel. He’d like to have a reference to use for familiarities sake in the spell. Springstorm does have a painting of a park in Almathriel that he could use as a reference. Surm decides that he, Rilka and two guard volunteers will travel ahead to visit with Lord Springvale about Ysarian steel. Tarben and Halvor volunteer to accompany them.
That morning, Surm casts the greater teleport from the scroll and takes them to the park in the elven city of Almathriel. They arrive on target, in a small clearing. A gleaming white spire dominates the skyline. They see a couple of elves that take notice of their arrival start in surprise, but continue walking down their path.
They emerge from the park and Surm starts making inquiries as to location of Lord Springvale’s estate. Soon, enough, he gets the information—it’s not too far away from the park. So the four make their way toward the nobleman’s residence…
Later that evening, the four return to Kalimsport through a teleportation circle located on the campus of the University, startling the University monitor assigned to watch the circle. They return to the rest of the party.
Surm explains that they have made an arrangement with Lord Springvale. He has a job that they want the Cord to do—there is a site of Ysarian ruins that have been overrun by “dusky skinned dwarves” and “pyrohydra” and his expedition has been chased off. He wants the Cord to clear it out. If the Cord does, then he will provide the Cord a source of information on Ysarian steel. He will also split with the Cord, 50/50, any Ysarian antiquities found within the ruins. Lord Springvale is not interested in incidental treasure found on the dwarves or with the pyrohydra.
The ruins are located east of Almathriel, the elven capital. They will begin traveling there in the morning. Once there, they will head to the ruins and begin their work.