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> The Eastern Waystation & Reports Available
ethuil
post Jan 30 2017, 10:11 PM
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Following your investigation into the situation as it stands in Port Miere, I have been instructed to make ready the waystation and place it at your disposal for the foreseeable future. It is shielded from scrying and ritually warded against external transportation.

The Deep Lord’s map has been installed here and is accessible at any reasonable time for your examination. Thanks to your efforts in resolving the barriers within the Mittlenacht, our artificers have been able to get the map working from Primus.

To assist you in your investigations, we have begun compiling a list of the anomalies indicated upon the map at its present settings, and I am pleased to report that we are now over halfway through our assessment. I have made available for you this summary of the first 25 anomalies, which concern the buildings of significance in the city. We are now devoting our time to studying the lesser buildings and their phenomena.

Additionally, work is being done to see if other combinations that would activate other portions of the map can be discovered (without, I should make clear, any actual testing of these combinations). Should anything come to light, I will of course inform you.

Regards,

Inquisitor Daedalia Wilton


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- Rebecca
PS: My inbox is full on purpose. Please email stantz[at]gmail[dot]com if you need to get hold of me.
PPS: I just published my debut novel (:O) - check it out here if you like historical fantasy! - https://goo.gl/9YFgyL
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Christine
post Feb 6 2017, 12:06 PM
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Whilst obviously I’m hoping to avoid being sent anywhere with mercenaries in the next 36 days, experience has shown that I rarely get what I want, and that when I do it is usually bad.

So I had a look at this list, and it seems to me the anomalies that might need to be dealt with quickly are : -

#15 because it relates to the events of the Dawn and we may well want to deal with that now – if we can understand more about why the City went, we can try and work out how to get it back. Also, if there is information in the Inquisition building we don’t want anyone else getting it first, and we know SOFE has forces in the City. I would suggest #16 is dealt with at the same time as they are in the same place, and possibly #23 as it is also a period of time from the Dawn.

#19-22 because the Grey Tug was instrumental in empowering Salas’ Rite of the Ocean’s Claim and part of the mechanism which took the City into the Nacht. Thus we want to understand that to work out how to get the City back. I’d also suggest that dealing with whatever empowered the rite is a good idea before trying to deal with the echoes of that rite.

#3 and #12, because they are actively sending forces to threaten the City. But, those forces are being combatted by those already there, so it isn’t necessarily vital that mercenaries deal with it if there is “mercenary stuff” (whatever that is) to be done.

I’ll defer to Inquisitor Wilton and Anacrites as they actually understand this secundal business, and anyone who can actually scry about what might be best, but those are my thoughts.

I wrote a report about what we did last time, too, I’ll try and dig it out and have a copy sent over.

Liara
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Christine
post Feb 6 2017, 12:09 PM
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Here's the report. Clearly I have too much time on my hands.

Liara

Inquisitor Wilton

I’ve taken a moment to put down my recollections of the mission to Port Miere, in case it is helpful, while I remember it and in case I am not around for the next excursion. A lot of the ritualising was done by Anacrites who can probably speak better as to the details of that, and who has I understand returned the Miere threat map to the Inquisition – I will send him a copy of this.

The Mittlenacht path to Port Miere appears to be populated by memories of those who escaped Keys, and their regrets at leaving homes and wealth behind. These are not real people however who could be helped in any way, only manifestations of the ‘Nacht. Also present were ‘Nacht versions of the Reaver alfari, who were hostile.

The entrance to Miere was secured by a well trapped ward which Anacrites dispatched.

Within the city there is tension between the Alfari and the citizens.

The Alfar are led by the Five, being those favoured servants of the Reaver Lord. Not all are currently present. They are Mielikki, the Fist of the Reaver Lord, to whom we spoke in Miere and who I had met over the Dawn, Ilmatar (a mage), Tapio ( a druid), Louhi (a priest with knives who had been corrupted by Certizal and was slain in the assault of the Avatar of Salas on the mercenary group over the Dawn), and Achramas, who was bound to the Spear of the Reaver Lord in his Halls, and who was released from that by a small group of us when Certizal’s hold was broken.

It is relevant that the Reaver Lord is a mantle, most recently assumed by Asa Volki, who was previously and is now the Primal deity known as the Trickster. The mantle was corrupted and broken. Asa is no longer the Reaver Lord, indeed there is not currently a Reaver Lord until someone else takes up the mantle. This is probably worth bearing in mind when looking at the things previously done by the Reaver Lord and his alfari. I do not know when Asa assumed the mantle (I have some vague recollection of him not having done so entirely willingly, but that may be wrong), but believe it was after the events referred to in the paperwork we recovered. From my very brief dealings with Asa after the mantle was destroyed, did not seem likely to have done the things spoken of in those papers. If this could be confirmed it would make things clearer.

Returning to the Alfar – until recently Louhi was dead, and Achramas had prior to our arrival departed the city for an unknown destination. The three of the Five that remain are enforcing the curfew to keep order until their forces can depart. They would not normally take a city, they would as Reavers take only what they can hold and burn what they did not want – they are here because their Lord under the dominion of Salas and Certizal ordered them to be here. They wish to leave, following the freeing of the Reaver Lord from the control of Salas and Certizal. They attempted to depart after Salas’ black ship left, but the storm forced them back into harbour.

Whilst they are quite brutal and their presence is an occupation, they are not in general trying to kill the citizenry. They were concerned that well-coordinated attacks had been made against their forces by the locals, leaving some of their people dead, and if this could not be resolved were likely to take violent action. Scrying revealed that mercenary action by that group against the Alfar would result in at best violent reprisals against the locals, and most likely the deaths of all the merceanries involved. Having seem four of the Five fight over the Dawn I am inclined to agree with that assessment.

Separately it seems that at present the food situation is acceptable but this may change.

We formed the view fairly early on that it was likely a third force was trying to cause trouble and violence between the Alfar and the locals – followers of SOFE were our most likely suspect, not least given the deception of some of Anacrites’ scrying. We agreed with the Alfar that we would speak with the local Watch and try and get to the bottom of the attacks, and that were we to do so they would remove the curfew and behave less oppressively towards the locals.

Travelling through the city we entered a Mittlenacht anomaly which seemed to alter time, recreating the time when Silver Folk attacked the city. They were being drawn to a beacon, a silver sword in a stone, which when removed stopped their attacks.

We spoke with the Watch who were keen to overthrow the Alfari oppressors but had no real means of doing so, confirming our belief in a third party. They spoke of Alfari murdering citizens and behaving brutally. We travelled to the site of the most recent killings and found dead Watchmen and an Alfar, who had been killed in a ritual manner designed to cause his soul dishonour and enrage his fellows. The killings were carried out by formless creatures that looked either human or Alfar, had etheric blades and vanished into the walls once the attack was done. A knife left at the scene was a ritual blade dedicated to Certizal.

We were able to relay this information to both the Alfar and the Watch and hope that this has calmed the situation down. Any future group should be sent with someone who is able to deal with the abashai of Certizal, which if they are the same as those fought over the Dawn, can only be slain by dark spirits.

We then went to investigate Salas’ ritual chamber, which we believed Achramas might have travelled to. It was warded with magical and spiritual wards and occupied by a number of undead, including an Echo of the Love of the Spiter, which we did not kill as we were able to recover what we needed from behind it, but could only be destroyed by dismissal of the 7th rank or a power that would destroy it utterly (what Tai of Talthar calls “the holy uppercut”. And he would know).

We found the chamber where the strike against Keys and Miere was enacted, which had resulted in the death of all Salas’ forces there as some sort of sacrifice (misuse of the word but there it is). We also discovered the threat map of Port Miere which is now in Inquisitional hands. It had four dials which had been added by the Blauz to enable defences to be activated. The defences were triggered using a two-part numerical code, which they had transmitted by reference to key historical events in the history of the Third Age – the battle of Bridge End, the use of the Rutreth by Glorianave against Seval, an encounter involving the Knights of the Land and one other. The date of the engagement and its location gave the numbers needed for the relevant dial. Anacrites I believe has a full translation and the paperwork, I have a partial one.

Whilst myself, Arnold and Anacrites dealt with the map, the rest of the group investigated another of the anomalies. This involved a man in a cage, an echo of Louhi, and a druidic rite. I believe that it was established that Achramas went to the cell where Louhi’s body was held, restored him to life, and then was stabbed in the back by him, he still being in the service (willingly or otherwise) of Certizal. She was able to escape, he has also gone. We do not know where.

We found a spear that looked similar to, but was not, the broken spear of the Reaver Lord which was destroyed in the Halls to free him – to which Achramas had willingly been bound many years ago and from which she was released when the spear was broken. By this copy of the spear were three pages, written by Achramas, detailing the history of the Five and their shaping by the Reaver God into his chosen minions, which is fairly unpleasant. Nym has these. At the end the papers refer to someone named Rosie, which we believe is short for Rosemary or similar – in any event not an Alfari name. We have no further clue as to her identity, although finding Rosie might give some clue as to Achramas’ location.

In summary, although the immediate tension between the Alfar occupiers and the local citizens has been resolved, there are a number of threats to the city, shown by the map, and the forces of Certizal (Louhi probably amongst them) are still at large.

Liara

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ethuil
post Feb 6 2017, 12:25 PM
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I am happy to take the advice of those of you who will actually be venturing into Port Miere at this juncture. If at any point we uncover details of an anomaly which would cause it to take highest priority, I will let you know - otherwise it is up to you.

In the time that has passed since issuing you the report, none of the anomalies' statuses have changed - this is particularly relevant with regards to the Grey Tug, which we were concerned could be likely to worsen. From what we can tell, however, it is stable enough that you may freely choose where you wish to go.

My only request is that you make a decision within this week, so that I can deal with the necessary paperwork.

Inquisitor Wilton


--------------------
- Rebecca
PS: My inbox is full on purpose. Please email stantz[at]gmail[dot]com if you need to get hold of me.
PPS: I just published my debut novel (:O) - check it out here if you like historical fantasy! - https://goo.gl/9YFgyL
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dnsmantra
post Feb 6 2017, 02:28 PM
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If there is anything I can do to be of assistance, please let me know, particularly in the nature of any of the structures I originally built or in terms of the nature of the mittlenacht/defences of the city. Inquisitor Wilton no doubt has all the relevant information, but I am here if you need me. As my home for many years, the city has a fond place in my heart.

Nexus
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RichFromant
post Feb 6 2017, 05:54 PM
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Had forgotten just how much we got up to that day, all sounds about right though, good work. Was nice meeting you all, even if it did start off as a bit of a mercenary murderers meeting, luckily though we all got let off, or still doing time for it in your case.

I am up for going back again when ever people want, have the picnic basket for a few more months yet so can bring food and drink along with me as well. They all seem good places to go to first, they all so sound like they aren't going to contain silverfolk who will melt your face again!

Harley


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Fionamullin
post Feb 6 2017, 07:03 PM
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Mind if I tag along Harley?
Penny


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RichFromant
post Feb 6 2017, 08:18 PM
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Fine with me, although not really my place to say!

Was plenty of need for the cure wound last time, wouldn't want you getting rusty at it.

Harley


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Fionamullin
post Feb 7 2017, 04:23 PM
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OK then would not like to see you addicted to Total.
Penny


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Fi
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ethuil
post Feb 11 2017, 01:48 PM
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In order to process the necessary paperwork I will require a choice as to which anomalies you wish to tackle this coming Starsday within the next day.

Inquisitor Wilton


--------------------
- Rebecca
PS: My inbox is full on purpose. Please email stantz[at]gmail[dot]com if you need to get hold of me.
PPS: I just published my debut novel (:O) - check it out here if you like historical fantasy! - https://goo.gl/9YFgyL
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Christine
post Feb 11 2017, 03:14 PM
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Although replying no doubt dangerously increases my chances of being sent along (31 days...) I'll stick with my suggestion of #15, #16, #23. These are : -

Anomaly #15
Location: Inquisition Building
Nature: Temporal Convergence
Notes: This location appears to be locked in a set period of time, likely from the Final Dawn responsible for Port Miere’s divergence from Primus.

Anomaly #16

Location: Inquisition Building
Nature: Planar Weakness
Notes: A significant number of undead have been observed at this anomaly through the map.

Anomaly #23
Location: Docks, Promenade
Nature: Temporal Convergence
Notes: This location appears to be locked in a set period of time, likely from the Final Dawn responsible for Port Miere’s divergence from Primus.

So undead and time. I suggest hiring someone good with undead (just saying, not volunteering) and hoping that the strange time-travelling apiarist shows up.

Liara
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RichFromant
post Feb 13 2017, 10:17 AM
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They make sense, sound suitably dangerous places to go visit.

I will head to the waystation early with the picnic basket and stove and start cooking us up some breakfast, so you probably want to get there in time for that. My scrying (as always) reveals its not good to venture out in the morning on an empty stomach!

Harley


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Fionamullin
post Feb 13 2017, 03:34 PM
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I will be coming out as well.
And agree with Harley breakfast is important but so is lunch so please can we break bread at noonish as well.
Thanks in advance.
Penny


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Fi
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Carlo
post Feb 15 2017, 03:10 PM
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QUOTE(Christine @ Feb 11 2017, 03:14 PM) *
Although replying no doubt dangerously increases my chances of being sent along (31 days...) I'll stick with my suggestion of #15, #16, #23. These are : -

Anomaly #15
Location: Inquisition Building
Nature: Temporal Convergence
Notes: This location appears to be locked in a set period of time, likely from the Final Dawn responsible for Port Miere’s divergence from Primus.

Anomaly #16

Location: Inquisition Building
Nature: Planar Weakness
Notes: A significant number of undead have been observed at this anomaly through the map.

Anomaly #23
Location: Docks, Promenade
Nature: Temporal Convergence
Notes: This location appears to be locked in a set period of time, likely from the Final Dawn responsible for Port Miere’s divergence from Primus.

So undead and time. I suggest hiring someone good with undead (just saying, not volunteering) and hoping that the strange time-travelling apiarist shows up.

Liara


Luckily, I'm somewhat of a professionally skilled necromancer... and, lucky for you... they are letting me out on starsday for good behaviour!

That, or there's an inspection and they are getting rid of me for the day as they think I might cause trouble or something.

I can't think why...

Max
Sorcha's Priest
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Christine
post Mar 13 2017, 11:55 AM
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Sorting out my paperwork (there's a lot, turns out) and found the notes about Port Miere - did anyone manage to find out any more about Rosie / Rosemary? Any chance I can get another look at those papers on the history of the Five?

Liara

We found a spear that looked similar to, but was not, the broken spear of the Reaver Lord which was destroyed in the Halls to free him – to which Achramas had willingly been bound many years ago and from which she was released when the spear was broken. By this copy of the spear were three pages, written by Achramas, detailing the history of the Five and their shaping by the Reaver God into his chosen minions, which is fairly unpleasant. Nym has these. At the end the papers refer to someone named Rosie, which we believe is short for Rosemary or similar – in any event not an Alfari name. We have no further clue as to her identity, although finding Rosie might give some clue as to Achramas’ location.
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Fionamullin
post Mar 13 2017, 07:04 PM
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Sorry Liara we got way laid by dying, ooc Lee ran something horror, not port mier.
Penny


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Fi
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Carlo
post Mar 13 2017, 08:35 PM
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QUOTE(Christine @ Mar 13 2017, 11:55 AM) *
Sorting out my paperwork (there's a lot, turns out) and found the notes about Port Miere - did anyone manage to find out any more about Rosie / Rosemary? Any chance I can get another look at those papers on the history of the Five?

Liara

We found a spear that looked similar to, but was not, the broken spear of the Reaver Lord which was destroyed in the Halls to free him – to which Achramas had willingly been bound many years ago and from which she was released when the spear was broken. By this copy of the spear were three pages, written by Achramas, detailing the history of the Five and their shaping by the Reaver God into his chosen minions, which is fairly unpleasant. Nym has these. At the end the papers refer to someone named Rosie, which we believe is short for Rosemary or similar – in any event not an Alfari name. We have no further clue as to her identity, although finding Rosie might give some clue as to Achramas’ location.


Not long until you're out... I'll look after them for you though don't worry. Although, I lost a finger again this morning. Could you pop it back on before you leave?

So, I tried asking Sorcha, and the Library Spirit from the Dales about Rosie. I don't think either of them knew, or actually answered, but I got something.

Something/someone said it was pretty obvious, but they explained the following from the various things that we already know.

Rosemary is referred to in something that was written by Achramas, who was the Spear of the Reaver Lord who you gave a new body/life to after the spear was destroyed to remove the mantle of the Reaver Lord from Asa Volki. Achramas is shielded from scrying.

I don't know which spirits answered me though. But I'm no expert at all.

If you want to know any more I'll adopt the moose position immediately.

Max
Sorcha's Priest
68th
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Christine
post Mar 14 2017, 09:51 AM
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We know all that. I'm always deeply suspicious of things that answer scrying about them, so that in itself is interesting.

Anything more you can find out about the exact nature of the anomalies we're going to look at would help. Don't worry about the other thing, and I don't even want to know about the finger.

Liara

QUOTE(Carlo @ Mar 13 2017, 08:35 PM) *
Not long until you're out... I'll look after them for you though don't worry. Although, I lost a finger again this morning. Could you pop it back on before you leave?

So, I tried asking Sorcha, and the Library Spirit from the Dales about Rosie. I don't think either of them knew, or actually answered, but I got something.

Something/someone said it was pretty obvious, but they explained the following from the various things that we already know.

Rosemary is referred to in something that was written by Achramas, who was the Spear of the Reaver Lord who you gave a new body/life to after the spear was destroyed to remove the mantle of the Reaver Lord from Asa Volki. Achramas is shielded from scrying.

I don't know which spirits answered me though. But I'm no expert at all.

If you want to know any more I'll adopt the moose position immediately.

Max
Sorcha's Priest
68th
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Christine
post Mar 16 2017, 02:05 PM
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I’ve got a copy of the three pages written by Achramas, one of the Alfari Five, which are below. Achramas is missing, as is Louhi who tried to kill her. Max could probably describe the Reaver Lord fairly succinctly.

Been trying to make sense of the Rosie reference, which is bothering me more than it should, and drawing a bit of a blank. Given that the pages were clearly left for us “I was reforged into the spear that you destroyed”, why is she addressing this Rosie person? Rosie isn’t an Alfari name, and it isn’t an obvious diminutive for any of the Five – I’d toyed with the idea of it being Louhi because assassin / shielded from scrying / corrupted by Certizal which is known to answer its own scrying, but I think I’m reaching.

Scrying hasn’t done more than allowing something involved in all of this to answer, and didn’t tell us anything more than we knew. Any suggestions welcome, otherwise I imagine it will all become clear in time.

If someone does have spare scrying, I’d like to know when and in what circumstances Asa Volki became the Reaver Lord rather than the Trickster – I have a thought that the mantle was somehow pushed upon him, but can’t remember where I read that.

Liara



We were not born siblings. The Reaver Lord made us siblings.

We were the children of his most devoted; those who had forged their lives through dominion and through battle. Five children, all born in His name, within the same year. It was said He had a plan for us.

When we were six years old, our parents took us to an island. They told us that the Reaver Lord had a task for us. And then they left us there. They left us there for ten years.

The island was not empty. The island was full of things more terrible than most people can imagine. I am sure you could imagine them. Perhaps it is best that you do not try.

It took a year for us to believe that our families would not return. We bound ourselves to one another in blood and we began, even then, to call each other sister, brother. We were everything to one another, because there was nothing else but the terrors of the island.

When we were twenty years old He came for us.

He told us that we were his chosen. That He had commanded us to be left here so that we would become what He needed; true Reavers. Reavers who were more than the others. Reavers who were better. Who understood what it was to wield strength, to bring destruction, to endure all and to secure victory. He told us this, and then He took us back to the ships, and He left.

We killed our parents first. They had done this to us. We hunted them down, all ten of them, and made certain that they knew what was responsible for their deaths. Then we took control of His Reavers. We wanted to claim them, to make them ours, to take them from Him.

It was what He wanted all along. When the corruption fell upon our people, we understood. We knew why. We knew what His great trick was; to prepare us for a life without Him. To give us the power to weather the day upon which we would give Him up.

The others were angrier, but I stood before the God that had created me and I was grateful. For all of the terrible days, for the fear and the loneliness, for the blood and the pain. They had made me into what I was and I was proud of what I was. I understood. I understood why He had done it.

So I gave him everything; it seemed little to give up. He had already claimed all that I was.

I was reforged into the spear that you destroyed. I was given the task of ensuring that, when the time came, there was someone to free Him. To free us. I asked Him what would come after that; what we were meant to do when He was gone and we were alone. He laughed, and he told me: Achramas, you already know. That was the whole point.

Rosie, all that you did is only because He let you. What else has He done?


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Christine
post Mar 18 2017, 11:27 PM
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Inquisitor Wilton and everyone else

Thought I’d write this down while it was still fairly fresh in my mind – there were a lot of us and lots happened, I’ve probably missed bits out – it isn’t intentional and if people can fill in any gaps it would be helpful.

We’d decided to look into 3 anomalies - #15, #16, #23. These were : -

Anomaly #15
Location: Inquisition Building
Nature: Temporal Convergence
Notes: This location appears to be locked in a set period of time, likely from the Final Dawn responsible for Port Miere’s divergence from Primus.

Anomaly #16

Location: Inquisition Building
Nature: Planar Weakness
Notes: A significant number of undead have been observed at this anomaly through the map.

Anomaly #23
Location: Docks, Promenade
Nature: Temporal Convergence
Notes: This location appears to be locked in a set period of time, likely from the Final Dawn responsible for Port Miere’s divergence from Primus.


We travelled to Port Miere without Nacht-related incident, having discovered that we might well meet the fallen angels of Certizal and this could be an issue because they could only be slain by dark spirits. None the less we carried on, with the intent of using Harley and Penny’s feast powers to finish them off, or Francis’ plan of getting our hands on some unholy water because they were still angels. We also knew we would find numerous echoes of people, who were not real and for whom we could do nothing – Anacrites had a way of ascertaining if those we met were real or echoes, which was useful.

We headed towards the Inquisition building, and spoke to some of the locals who told us that the ruins of the Temple of Primal Sunlight had been creating lights that blinded people, and some undead had been seen nearby.

Anomaly #15

The Inquisition building was warded, and once this was removed we fought past some lightning-bound statues, flying swords, and found some Alfar trapped in the moments just after they had been freed from Certizal’s hold over them by the destruction of the Reaver Lord’s spear and the removal of the corrupted mantle of divinity from Asa Volki. They were trying to get to their ships and kill any followers of Salas of the Deep that they found, an attitude with which it is hard to disagree. Having worked out that in order to free them we needed to deal with an anchor, we moved on.

We fought some cultists of Salas, who we killed, and found an altar containing an undead spirit (7th rank, name escapes me but Bradley has it) – this was bound to the corrupted altar and had control over 12 souls, belonging to priests of the temple of Primal Sunlight who had been captured and sacrificed there. The altar needed to be cleansed, then the undead called out, and destroyed before it could use the 12 souls to heal itself or be re-summoned, then the altar needed to have light called into it and be blessed. By means of some considerable scrying, flying, the bar spirit miracle, some prayer and blessings and a lot of beating the undead with swords, this was achieved and the souls were not consumed, and were instead laid to rest.

Next we fought through watery elementals, generated by some sort of artefact, and found a powerful individual (I think an Alfar but he may have just had a whole Salas / shells / seaweed / angry man thing going on) who had been responsible for the sacrifices of the priests but was now pacified by an artefact holy to Tsu Ling that he was carrying. I think Penny has the artefact and it is going to be given to Mar’Eth or Tsu Ling.

We took the artefact from him, he became enraged, and after a fierce fight we killed him. That ended the anomaly and the area began to settle into the normal passage of time.

Anomaly #16

We moved on through the building to find the area of planar weakness, which proved to be an area where the plane of undeath was overlaying the part of the Nacht that Miere was now in. We fought quite a lot of undead, including a ward where we had to call out one of 5 named undead to defeat them and thus be able to cross a ward – turns out that being an undead butcher lets you cut off people’s legs with a single blow. Maybe he was just an undead called “the butcher”. Anyway, we went through, fought more undead, and had to travel through a portal into the plane of undeath proper, past an undead portal guardian. Luckily it too fell to our now practised technique of surrounding our enemies with a circle of large warriors and battering them into submission.

Within the plane we needed to find 4 parts of a seal, dismiss the undead within them, reunite them and get out before the plane collapsed. We gave it our best go for about quarter of an hour before Anacrites snapped and used power, which was just as well as one part was about 10 feet up stuck in a wall and only reachable by use of a long stick. Bradley dismissed the undead in the seal fragments, avoided their death vengeances, and the seal was broken as we all ran out.

That resolved the anomaly and removed the planar weakness. A check of the threat map confirmed both anomalies were no longer showing on the map as threats.

Anomaly #23

The final anomaly was in the Docks area and another temporal anomaly. After a brief amusing interlude involving Rufus and a demon, we investigated the ward over the warehouse containing the anomaly. The ward involved a spell that detected animance and then checked for an earthpower marking, casting the know foe spell if it wasn’t present. From the fact that it didn’t cast the spell on me, we worked out that the warding was most likely created by Achramas, the druid of the Reaver Lord’s Chosen Five, who I’d met.

At this point we were attacked by psychic crab creatures with the heads of squids, summoned from an island through a portal. It is fair to say that this proved the truth of Achramas’ statement in her letter about the island where they were abandoned being “full of things more terrible than most people can imagine”. I would not, myself, have imagined psychic crab creatures with squid heads (they were not even crab apes).

Those of the group who had gone through dealt with the portal summoning the creatures, and we then had to go through a darkness to find assassins who had a candles which would remove the darkness and allow us access further in. By this point there was a growing suspicion that Louhi, the assassin of the Five corrupted by Certizal, was involved.

We fought past some alfari echoes, some sound activated statues, and an echo of Mielikki, the Fist of the Reaver Lord and the warrior of the Alfari Five. After defeating him, we found Achramas, who was hiding having been wounded by Louhi.

It is difficult to tell if this was really Achramas (although my view was that it was) as scrying by Anacrites about her seemed to be being deceived, but as she says she was not doing this, it might be that something else is doing so to try and make us distrust her. We had already had something answering Max’s scrying prior to travelling, which Achramas says was not her, but that wasn’t unhelpful, so it is really difficult as this stage to work out if this unknown force is one thing, and whether or not it is broadly on our side or not.

Achramas seems to be on our side, although this is likely because at the moment our interests coincide and she feels some sense of debt for being given another chance at life. She indicated obliquely that she had in some way misused that gift, which is concerning as I don't know how; my appraisal for what it is worth would be that she is not a bad person, has done bad things and has undoubtedly had horrible past experiences (but who hasn't), and is a product of the Reaver Lord's creation. I think we should carry on working with her, but bear in mind that she might not always be on our side.

On the Asa Volki/ Reaver Lord point, if anyone is interested, Achramas said that the Reaver Lord who left them on the island was the former holder of the mantle, and it was Asa Volki who collected them and put plans in place to have an escape from the mantle, through the spear, should he need it.

Achramas explained that Louhi was within the building, looking for an echo of his previous self, so that he could try and steal vitae from it. He had been brought back weaker and with a more physical form than he had previously had, after losing a lot of the power he had gained from Certizal when he died / the corruption on the mantle was removed. He was different in some way; he had not known or used the secret phrases that he and the others of the Five had always used. Whether or not the theft of vitae from his former self was even possible, and it shouldn’t be, it would have had terrible consequences for the stability of the place.

Matters were complicated further because the real Louhi is the anchor for Salas’ ritual chamber, which we need to gain access to at some point. We could not kill Louhi as this would prevent us from ever dealing with that anchor. Killing the echo-Louhi was therefore the best thing to do initially, as it would thwart Louhi. If we could somehow incapacitate Louhi that would also be extremely useful.

Achramas let us travel further on, where we then had to find four keys to pass into the area where Louhi had gone. These were guarded by some alfari echoes (including an echo of the druid Tapio, one of the Five), undead, and assorted other creatures – with the keys found we passed through the ward and found Louhi and the echo-Louhi, which we could distinguish by the former being physical, as had been mentioned, and the latter spiritual. Once we had worked this out (from the safety of a pair of Bar Spirits), Bradley killed the echo and we avoided being killed by Louhi. We were not able to kill him and eventually he fled.

Interestingly the scrying (bearing in mind that Achramas had said he was shielded but could not deceive scrying) indicated that he had left and that this was a lie – in general the “deceptive” scrying all seems to have been accurate, and the indication of deception untrue. That may change, but I think holds true so far, although Anacrites may correct me on that.

With the echo killed and Louhi fled the anomaly was resolved, and Achramas transported us back to the waystation.

Liara
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