While travelling in the ethereal whale – truly a fascinating experience – some of the members of the group suddenly fall into a deep sleep. Fenelyn, Ef Utan (a bodyguard of some sort) and myself are all awake. Fenelyn says that there are soporific magical effects all around us. I realize, as I am staring at him, that Riakka is not actually present. It takes me a moment of concentrated reflection, but he fades away as illusions do. I splash some water on the faces of the rest of the group and they all wake up.
We realize we are trapped in the ethereal whale with no way to control it. After some effort, we are eventually able to speak with the creature. The whale makes it clear that it will not stop because, “you have an appointment” and it has been tasked with delivering us to this appointment. Lacking the will to attack such a peaceful creature – the entire group decides to ride it out.
Eventually the whale lets us off at a cluster of asteroids. I have never seen this area before, but the Astral is large place. No one can know all of it. The asteroids are all covered in ruins that are beautiful and haunting. I move up to the high ground along a wall to get a better vantage point and keep my eye on everyone. The group determines that this cluster of asteroids is old. It’s odd, too, that they seem to have their own gravity. Not completely unusual – but different for most of the asteroids you get out here. Eventually, after looking around I come to think that these ruins were somehow pulled from Celestia itself. The Captain thinks that these came from The Dreaming because of the Hellenic and Morpheus iconography.
We hop over to the next rock so everyone can inspect that area too. There is a statute that is gathering a lot of interest from the group. While I’m keeping lookout, we all realize that the ethereal whale has left us. The statute appears to be Araushne – an ancient elvish goddess of safety, protection and community. The same elvish goddess who, myth has it, eventually evolved into Loll the demon spider goddess of the drown. Araushne was all but wiped from mythology and lore – so the fact that this statute exists here confirms the great age we had all assumed.
Ef Utan casts a spell and announces that the statute itself and the walls around it are imbued with magic. After some studying, its determined that the aura is of pure illusion magic and there are possibly gates behind the statute.
As we are studying the walls and statute, a searing purple light flares into existence – crashes into Lenata and she drops to the ground writhing in pain. The rune remains on the wall light flashing. Kenari hits it with a batch of alchemist fire. The Captain hits it with more fire, then Melchior (a gunslinger…fascinating) shoots it with his pistol. Ef Utan hits it with a Scorching Ray spell and then a flaming sword. The rune’s glow is greatly diminished, and the symbol is fading when it hops onto Ef Utan and pulses on his forehead. Ef Utan is dazed and scorched. I jump over but fall (!!) – the rune attempts to jump to me but fails. It hits a rock instead which flies into the air and then crashes back to the ground between us. The Captain (a Psion…hmmm) does an Energy Push and sears the Rune out of existence. The priestess puts Ef Utan out and heals his injuries.
As we are pulling ourselves back together, Fenelyn observes the gate more closely. Strangely, he cannot determine the plane to which this portal leads. He does realize that it is a keyed portal and what the key is, which he sketches for all of us on a parchment. He also realizes that this portal was actually created by a deity. After a few more moments of study, he notes that the second portal is the same and that they are both 2-way portals.
Kenari is paying great attention to the statue and eventually declares that it is – in fact – a statue of a Rygar, a member of one of the elder races.
Again, there is a voice from behind us. A male – much like the statue – a Rygar. This Rygar is apparently known to most of the group as Tain of Refuge. “Thank you for getting rid of that Rune” Tain says. Apparently, it had been a bit of a bother. He goes on to say that there is “too much coincidence around you” and that “something is interfering with fate.” Ef Utan asks Tain if he has some light to shed on this particular adventure. There is some mention of Tain making money by gambling on the outcome of this group’s prior adventures. Tain starts discussing these asteroids. He says they came from the Astral. He tells everyone that they need to find the City of Rempha and talk to the Modron, Secundus.
Tain cautions the group about the Fate Eaters, also known as Inevitables – the insectoid creatures who attacked us earlier – he says that “something is trying to change history again.” He says that we have to find Secundus – who is the craft of the Time Winds Gate and that it won’t be easy. The Gate is on the edge of Rempha, the City on the Sands of Time – in the 4th layer of the 7 heavens. An unnamed Solar Angel runs the city, followed by Secundus, then Metabriel – who is Lenata’s ancestor. Tain also tells us that these portals will, in fact, take us to Lunia – the first layer of the heavens.
We know that this plane will be difficult for some of the members of the group – given that it is a realm of law & order. Tain tells us to seek shelter at Castle Malhevik. Where the Wizard Malhevik spends eternity attempting to atone for his sins and failings. Ultimately, the group decides to go through the portals and since Fenelyn is determined to go with them – I decide to go too.
We step through the portals and immediately drop into an ocean of holy water that comes to just under our armpits. Some of our shorter members are forced to paddle a bit.
Plane travelling whales, killer runes, ancient gods and God-made portals. Just a normal day for Etsuriko, it seems.
Heh, look at the old logs she wrote during the Seven Stars Campaign. They beat Die, Vecna, Die.