18 Awakening 509
Before the expeditionary forces and the Aethyngs make to return to Soos, Rilka says a blessing to Bruni over all. Surm and Mõrvar finish up identifying magical items for everyone. Then the ships head out of the narrow harbor and back south toward Soos.
The Crimson Cord head back across the city and below the cathedral to where the huge viper skull is located.
After a long, logistical discussion, it is decided on how they will teleport with the skull to Kalimsport involving a combination of bull’s strength spells, communal ant haul spells, magical belts, and the like. They then decide to explore the cathedral before leaving.
They head upstairs and Savaric finds some food stores near the site of the slaughter of the thralls. He takes some picked fish.
Exploring the other floors, the eventually find a large stash of mundane items that Savaric goes through to find items to sell later. They find their way back to the eighth floor bedroom of the priest. Savaric searches it again and finds a secret compartment. It is magically trapped. Surm fails to dispel the trap—twice—so the rest of the party head downstairs while Savaric opens the compartment.
An arced chain of lightning shoots across the room toward Savaric, but he manages to fully evade it. Inside the compartment is a large chest. The chest is not trapped, but it is locked. Surm cannot disable the lock so each of the Cord take a turn at trying to pry it open and eventually it is broken into.
Inside is a neat horde of treasures—coin, gemstones, scrolls, potions, and wands.
They gather the bed clothes of the priest in hopes of carrying out some of the Ysar remains with them back to Kalimsport.
In going through the mundane items, Savaric comes across a signet ring depicting a rose and a trident. Surm identifies it as a noble signet for a branch of the Cantrill family in Borael out of Northold.
Rilka says a prayer over the bodies of the slaughtered thralls. She and Savaric also gather fuel to make a pyre to burn their bodies.
The party then descends into the chambers beneath the cathedral.
They explore all of the chambers save those that delve deeper into the city and the deep, dark pit at the center. They find nothing. Savaric keeps wanting Surm to cast dancing lights into the pit, but Surm refuses, not wanting to draw the attention of anything large enough to call that pit home.
They return to the skull chamber. Surm and Mõrvar determine that the skull is emitting what is essentially the equivalent of an unhallow spell—making all the area around it unhallowed ground. This may explain the reaction of the Aethyngs. While it only seems to be lightly affecting them—it could have a more repellent affect on others.
Finally, they make their preparations to teleport and do so—into Lecture Hall #12 of the University of Kalimsport.
19 Awakening 509
It is late at night/early in the morning when they arrive. Fortunately, no one is in the lecture hall, as the huge skull takes up most of the room. The Cord makes their way out and heads to the offices of Mandreth Kerendal.
They find the sage in his office, dozing at his desk. They apprise him of the current situation in lecture hall #12 and Surm also explains that they would like to discuss arranging an expedition to explore an Ysar city (as they realized now that they forgot to gather up the Ysar remains). Would Master Kerendal make arrangements for them to meet with Chancellor Valtaer in the morning? Around 10 am? Master Kerendal is a bit overwhelmed, but happy to help. He will also arrange for no one to go into lecture hall #12.
That morning, the group sorts out their magical gear and goes to the markets to sell. Rilka goes and gets her falchion mended.
At 10 o’clock, they return to the University to meet with Chancellor Valtaer. It is clear that he is not pleased. He chastises them for not notifying them of their return with a giant, evil skull before teleporting into one of their lecture halls. Surm tries to placate him and wants to make arrangements for a pre-assigned point in case such a need comes up again. The Chancellor assigns them Simdak Hall in Choynden College, an older hall that is probably no longer in use.
Surm then talks up the Ysar site, though he does caution that they cannot guarantee that the site is 100% safe. But if they are interested in sending an expedition there, the Crimson Cord can help them do that. The Chancellor seems interested, but says that he will have to consult with the Master Bevins, the Master of Antiquities, to be sure. He will get back with them at noon. The Chancellor also bluntly asks Surm for his terms. Surm says that, of course, the University will need to provide the means to teleport them there and back. Further, he will require two caster level thirteen greater teleport scrolls for his trouble. The Chancellor says that if the Master of Antiquities wishes to launch an expedition, that the terms are acceptable.
While the party waits for the Master of Antiquities to be consulted, Mõrvar goes to see if Beldis is in town. He finds out that she has been seen around in a week—the theory is that she’s lying low for some reason. Mõrvar comes back and tells the others, wondering if they want to help him find Beldis. No one else is really interested. He grows angry, saying that they don’t care about his feelings, and then he sits and broods.
At noon, Chancellor Valtaer lets them know that the Master Bevins is, indeed, interested, and is sending Esteemed Professor Lanara Tevis to lead the expedition. What they can do is take their wizard, Magus Solman Barrow, to the site so that he can be familiar with it and plot out a place to put a teleportation circle in order to bring others. Professor Tevis wants to come on this outing if there is space. There is.
Tevis and Barrow have their cold weather gear ready and they all gather for the greater teleport. Surm readies the scroll and casts, taking them into the first floor of the cathedral. Magus Barrow starts plotting where he is going to set his circle and Surm takes Professor Tevis down below to see the Ysar remains.
She’s clearly taking it all in. She confirms that it is Ysar architecture, but it is also different than that she has seen—much more twisted and dark. She also doesn’t know what being these Ysar were worshipping but is clearly different than the ones presented at other Ysar sites. She also confirms that the remains are Ysar. She is clearly fascinated and happy to be there.
Finally, they gather up to return. Magus Barrow handles the return trip.
Chancellor Valtaer hands the two requested scrolls of greater teleport over to Surm.
The Cord then head out and scroll over to Soos. They arrive just outside the village. They then walk in after being greeted by the sentries and reacquaint themselves with their horses. The people of the village recognize them and inquire about the success of the, which Surm is happy to report. Then they start asking about the individual fates of their loved ones, which makes Surm uncomfortable. He persuades them all to wait for the rest of the force to arrive before worrying about it, and they all take it in stride, just being thankful that the raid was successful.
Savaric goes out and hunts, finding food for day for the Cord.
Everyone finds a place to sleep for the night, between offers from townsfolk or the main longhouse.
20 Awakening 509
That morning, the ships arrive from Jarlheim. There is much rejoicing from the people on the shore as the raiders disembark. Kremlach declares that the journey back was easy—smooth sailing all the way back. It’s also clear that he and the majority of the expedition are a little bit drunk.
Surm gives Kremlach the money from their sale of the magical treasures and Kremlach thanks him.
A feast is prepared in the longhouse. Many songs are song and speeches made. Their victory is attributed to strength of arms, the blessings of the gods, and their strong brotherhood. The only somber moment is when Kremlach calls out the names of all 140 fallen warriors and then leads the room in a song of Valhalla. Then the festivities begin again and last into the night. Eventually, the feast dwindles down people start heading off to their beds.
21 Awakening 509
The Crimson Cord and the victorious Aethyngs ready themselves and begin their march west to Aeth.
27 Awakening 509
As the column marches along, Surm and Savaric notice that two winged creatures are flying overhead. One, a dragon, continues flying to the west, toward the mountains. The other, a strange creature with the body and head of a lion, accompanied by the heads of a dragon and a goat, is plummeting to the earth.
Savaric shouts a warning, debates whether or not to fire on the flying dragon, and eventually settles on keeping an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t double-back. Surm casts feather fall on the strange falling creature.
As the creature gently wafts to the earth, the column forms a circle around the site of its landing and readies itself. It alights and the creatures rights itself, puffs itself up with a defiant roar, and attacks. The Cord and the Aethyngs are ready for it and make short work of the creature that Surm identifies as a chimera.
Mõrvar decapitates it and Savaric cuts out its teeth.
2 Growth 509
The troupe finally arrives in Aeth. The King is hale and healthy and eager to hear of their victory. Surm tells a passable version of the tale, but promises more at the feast. Rilka and Savaric are less than helpful with their interruptions and attempts at tale-telling.
The Ulrich’s visit with their family while feast preparations take place. Mõrvar broods the entire time.
That night, the Aethyngs feast and Surm tells a more rousing version of the tale. The Crimson Cord sit at the King’s right and left hand. In the course of his speech praising the Aethyings, he thanks the Crimson Cord for presenting Aeth this opportunity for glory.
The seven elite Aethyngs and Brythia present the King with the Viper banner and the twin war hammers of the frost giant leader. King Alrik is well-pleased.
After the feast dies down, people head to bed. The Crimson Cord plan to head to Aldasar in the morning.