You’d think I’d be better about writing. How hard is it to put pen to paper anyway? But here I am. Playing catch up. Before we leave Bral, I will send this to you via House Seven Stars mail. Never mind the multi-verse attempting to fall apart or Illithid incursions, there is money to be made and mail to send. I love the Dragon’s (and the Bug’s) single minded determination sometimes.
After the nightmare session on Gromm, we were able to find a guide who would take us the Face of Jira so we could cast the ritual spell to find our own Jammer. They remember me here, so that smooths the way and a suitable Hadozee guide is found. He is salty and bossy. But I said Hadozee so that’s me being redundant. His name was Yaris and the Temple there highly recommended him so we’re willing to assume he’s competent. It’s funny though when he realizes we aren’t exactly incompetent. Not that he looked impressed or anything. Just not angry. Though Ef Utan struggles with silence necessary to move through the Gromm forest (a really remarkable place – must go back). Not that I loved the giant snails. We saw one that was easily 12 tons! We manage to avoid hippos, ant swarms, dinosaurs herded by giant 6 armed Gorallians. There was a lot.
After 4 days of trudging through the forest, we leave the Aurora shield and enter Kaiju territory. Immediately upon exiting the shield we run into Dream Spiders. Kenari wasn’t having any of that so she pulls us all into the ethereal so we can walk around them.
We shift back, trudge some more and hit a cliff. At the bottom is a beautiful lake and (traditionally) in the center of the lake is an island with a Gojira statue. Because putting the statue on land would be too easy obviously. Yaris tells us that is the Face of Jira. After some fast negotiating with Yaris we get him to agree to wait for us for 3 days (in case this ritual doesn’t work and we need an escort back).
After climbing down the ridge, Fen directs us on how to build a raft. Note: I say he directed. He did not build. Ef Utan (with a rebreather), Lenata and the Captain (with Life Bubble) are nominated to swim down. Lenata casted a detect object and was able to find a large enough chunk of amber for our needs. Fen joins the Captain and Ef Utan on the swim down and Ef Utan ends up using Diamond Spray to cut it out of the rock it is in.
I am up on the raft with Melchior, Kenari and Lenata and we hear a giant ripping sound above us. A hole opens in the sky. A Achaek’ek ancient mantis god kaiju strides through the hole. Looks kinda like Taj Pach really. But bigger. By a lot. The water churns up. Lenata almost falls off, Melchior does fall off. He nonsensically mutters “it’s my mantis god and I’ll cry if I want to” as he swims back, but he lucks out when Kenari choses to benign transposition with him. I toss out a rope to help the swimmers back on the raft.
Kenari spies through the rift in the sky a place that resembles the Outlands.
While paddling to the island, Lenata fills us in on the religious history of the giant mantis. I do like to know all about the giant things before they stomp me to death. It’s important to be fully informed.
We hit the island and are able to climb to safety (relatively) as there are shrieking sounds ripping across the sky. A number of people experience sonic discomfort. Kenari (quick thinking) pulls a candle out of her bag of all the things and we make ear plugs. We plane shift to the ethereal and sit back to watch the battle. It’s a full Kaiju fight – a Gojira and the Mantis. We discuss the salability of Kaiju body parts, what happens to puke in the ethereal. Regular conversation stuff. Eventually Gojira drives off the Mantis and settles in for a nap. I nap too. All the way through the casting of the ritual and the appearance of our own Jammer!! [IRL – Covid – I tapped out of game – no notes]
The smalljammer is amazing though. And it’s clearly alive – but we have no way of talking to it yet. Lenata and the Captain head to the helm room and we start travelling (it’s so fast!). Vedis is attempting to commune with the ship while at one of the stations in the helm room – pushes a configuration of squiggly bits and up on the weather deck – where ALL the rest of us are – the ladders lock, the hatches close (with arcane locks)! I encourage everyone to tie off. Just cause. Kenari manages to pick open the lock – the halls are thick with webs and fog. Some of the interior doors have closed too. The deck is filled with poison air and I end up carrying your Uncle to his room through the webs. Kenari yells at Vedis “what are you doing?” While also point out that it is not SHE who is pushing random buttons. Vedis pushes something else and the ship shoots magic missiles – so Kenari marks that one with a grease pencil. I get Fen into a room and go back and get Melchior – dropping him in a room too. Kenari gets the ship to stop – she pulls Vedis away from the console and tells her “Do not touch anything!” “Fine.” Kenari: “Sucks doesn’t it?”
We decide to head to Bral. We have no supplies so it’s the random trail rations people are carrying. Lenata casting a food & water spell once a day and my endless flask of saki versus whatever alcohol everyone else has been hoarding. Turns out it’s a lot. We stay drunk for the entire time it takes us to get to Bral. It does – in my drunken stupor – eventually occur to me to slap a House of 7 Stars flag under the Spelljoined flag on this beauty. So we hit port and aren’t immediately engaged. We manage to get off and stumble our way to The Burnt Tail to get some ACTUAL FOOD. The Captain and Fen stay behind to watch the ship and to do the port paperwork.
After food (oh delicious dumplings) and arranging to have a bunch of food sent to the jammer we head to Luigi’s but we are intercepted by the City Guard. Someone wants to talk to us. That someone is Diadam Cartan. So – crap. We get escorted in and he instantly starts with “tell me about the warship.” Ef Utan objects. It’s not a warship. It’s a cargo ship. Cartan is unhappy – he doesn’t like anything new. He wants the Fireball Alliance to study it. We all say NO. He goes on for a bit about potential dangers. I realize where he’s heading and I do a thing. Basically (oh shit is Tavist going to try to kick my ass for this – do not tell him Anya) I let Cartan know that we are under the umbrella of House of 7 Stars and they are ultimately responsible for our actions on the Rock of Bral. He is actually satisfied by this declaration and lets us go! As we’re heading out of the castle and down the street, we realize we are being followed by a ferret and a ninja. So I announce our destination loudly. I don’t want to make these guys work too hard.
We get to Luigi’s but it turns out he’s off. I didn’t know he took days off. This may be the first time I walked in and he wasn’t here. So we head back to the dock where it turns out our Jammer is causing quite the stir. Fen and the Captain are trying to keep onlookers at bay. A contingent of House of 7 Stars guards show up and ask me I wanted them deployed. (Seriously, I got fired right?) I put them on guard duty and do the same to the 8 monks who show up from my monastery. Together the crowd is pushed back. Kenari has a brief conversation with Sandyfoot. We see Adriana Shipwright, Serig Tomigjack, an Honor Guard around Lady Serena and an elven gentlemen. We board the ship and as I am trying to talk to it, I hear faintly “bloodfist”.
The crowd stays to watch, because this is Bral and Penumbra is something new. While we are hanging out, I also see several Merchant Lords from the Council – I make sure to write down who and point it out to Fen. Tavist will want to know. Maybe if I come up with some good gossip he will overlook my trading on his name? I see the Dragon Lady there too and trade bows. Kenari works the crowd a little but doesn’t come up with much.
Waiting for Luigi to return to the bar, we have a long discussion about the ship’s potential name. It takes a bit but we eventually settle on “Penumbra.” Vedis spends some time investigating the ship controls and realizes that they are psionically active. So the controls shift based on the needs at the moment. We get some shipments – which need inspecting. The House of 7 Stars kit included a still and some very detailed instructions.
After some more settling in and organizing of deliveries and a lengthy conversation about baths – we all head to Luigi’s. Kenari: “Hey Luigi, stop if you heard this one – what do a drow, a mindflayer and an beholder all have in common?” Luigi: “That’s easy – they are all from the Underdark.” Ef Utan: Come on. The underdark? That’s it? We’re going to Greyhawk. Luigi: Commodore – control your crew – they need to calm down. Captain Vedis invites Luigi for a private tour on Penumbra. He agrees and we take off to get away from Bral (and the spying).
Luigi to Vedis: I must admit a small amount of pride that one of mine made it through. Luigi goes on to explain that the Rule of Three has been satisfied. We have the ship, the others made it to the loop, the circle has been closed. “Now the real work begins.”
To you Anya, I am happy we’re just NOW getting serious about saving the multiverse. That’s inspiring.
Luigi goes on to explain that the weak spot where they are working will set off a domino effect. The linch pin from our side is Oerth – specifically Greyhawk. We have to get there and cause chaos. [Done.] We can’t let Greyhawk fall. Fen thinks to ask who our best point of contact there might be. Luigi tells us we will have to head into the Deeper Dark and talk to Eclavdra. He also tells us to talk to Taj Pach & Tavist about the Wizard Illithid we’ve seen in so many visions. The Spelljoined with tattoos are “disassociated from the webs of fate”. Also that the Illithid are avoiding the fates by using chronomancers and using (and breeding) fate-eaters to clean up loose threads. Also, this ship is hard for them to see. He lets slip that there is an Elder Brain on Oerth – so we will have to deal with that.
When Lenata asks about getting the Drow to work with us – Luigi says “the young man from Dis will have to prove his worth.” [Your uncle’s gift of speech vs. the drow? This will be entertaining to watch.] Luigi tells us also that “the ship knows where you need to go and what you need on the way.” But that “you’re it. The speed at which the fall is happening is accelerating.” So no pressure. After some more conversation (drow etiquette) and vague reassurances “you will get the weapons you need” – The Captain views the flames Luigi has set to dancing in the cargo bay. Us on the deck of this ship, the chronomancer and her group surrounded by a web of threads that lead to looms, the crew from the future standing on their starship talking to a ghost.
Not just any ghost Anya. Captain Theridon.