“Grr… I don’t suppose anyone knows the hieroglyph for idiot cop,” I mutter to myself as I scibble on the walls of our jail cell with a piece of chalk Ayrun Sorpic was kind enough to create with one of his cantrips. I had concealed my lockpicks in my headscarf just in case when they told us we were going to spend the night in jail… but was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt first.
As long as they do something before my patience runs out, anyway.
Thankfully the magistrate militia came to pick us up before my attempts at vengeful grafitti got any worse. After a trip to a manor house in High Town we (except for Vedis for some reason) were succinctly informed that the Lower Magistrate, out of the kindess of his heart, is going to mitigate the normal sentence we would all suffer for a fine. Lucky us that this fine just so happens to be a similar amount to what the Frostfire is worth. Imagine that. For their sake, I hope they take it apart and sell it for scrap… because if I ever come across it again being used to commit crimes, a lot more than words are going to be exchanged.
After we sign an agreement to hand over the Frostfire we are released (though Vedis is held for additional questioning)… and I suggest we immediately head back to the ship to see if we can figure out how Sapphira went from venting in the hold to suffering in a 10th Pit hideout. The others agree, though Ef Utan says he’s going to stop by House Moune to see how Wilhelmina Uft is doing first.
I search the ship fore to aft the best I can… but all I can find are traces of a purple dust in the hold. After closer examination I mutter in disgust as I wipe it off my hands, “Drow sleep poison.” Just great… are we going to find that every group of the shadier variety are trying to get involved? What next… trolls?
Oh god… now I’ve got that image in my head again.
I am in desperate need of a smoke and a good drink after this past day. Once Ef Utan Izenik returns we all agree to head over to the Shady Rest to see if Rory can help us shine any light on the most recent events.
“You all really did a number on Murwara,” Rory Quickfoot mutters around his pipe as I quickly down a pint of ale. “It seems he thinks you all are responsible for the death of his nephew, Yazir.”
Lenata of Celestian gasps and the others seem to do their best “Who me?” act. Heh… this must have been when I drew the short stick and had to go to the library by myself. That story can be told later, though.
“No… waitaminute,” I say with a slight slur as I set down my mug and wipe some stray ale from my chin with the back of my hand. “Those bastards were leaving daggers in my soup long before any of that happened. While that’s a great cover, it’s got to be more than that. Any word on the rest?”
“The 10th Pit has dealt with the Drow before, but none have been seen here on Bral. You never know, with those shady bastards, though. As to the gnomes on the…the…”
“Let’s just call it ‘Clashbang’ for short,” Ef Utan says with a wave of his hand.
Rory Quickfoot continues with a greatful sigh, "…the Clashbang, they were quite vocal about what they were doing while they were here. It seems that they discovered some kind of minor artifact while they were out there in the Flow. They called it “The Dream Stone,” and it supposedly has power over other people’s dreams."
“Well that gives us something to start looking into, at least,” I say as I stand up with a slight sway. “I’m going to hopefully walk this off before I get to the Seeker Library to do some research on that stone.”
“Sounds like a plan, I’ll join you,” Ayrun Sorpic says as he stands and we steady each other.
“I need to go see Lady Moune in the morning,” Lenata of Celestian says quietly, and we all stop to look at her. She blushes slightly as she says, “She’s my godmother.”
Well, well, well… the farther we travel, the smaller this universe seems to get.
Minutes seem like hours when you’re in a library… and hours feel like days. Eventually Ayrun and I were able to find that this Dream Stone reportedly allowed you to control the dreams of another… as long as you were able to conduct the ritual. I ponder how this might connect to everything else that’s been happening lately while on my watch on the ship that night… when I fall asleep and begin to dream. If someone is manipulating my dreams, I hope they give me good ones at least…
I shake my head and look up in disappointment when I fail to see any scantily clad male catfolk around. Damn… one can hope, anyway. Instead I see the rest of the group standing in a circle with Sapphira’s hand floating in a black light.
“THE CIRCLE IS INCOMPLETE,” a voice booms. “THE CIRCLE IS INCOMPLETE… BUT A REPLACEMENT HAS BEEN FOUND.”
Suddenly there is a flash of purple light… when I wake up with a jolt and find myself unable to shake this nervous feeling. I check the ship to make sure nothing has changed, and peek in on my friends to see that they are all still sleeping. I sigh in relief and turn to leave the room when suddenly Sapphira’s hand begins to glow beside the sleeping Lenata of Celestian. With a sound like air rushing out of a room the cleric convulses as a glow of energy seems to be sucked out of her into the offending body part. Before I can reach her side, however, the energy absorbed by the hand shoots out and slams the unsuspecting Ayrun Sorpic into the wall with a thud. The hand then promptly decays and falls apart to dust.
The others wake up with the noise as I check on the cleric and mage. Thankfully Lenata of Celestian seems to be fine (if feeling a little tired), and other than a small bruise on the back of the head and a pretty new tattoo on his wrist, Ayrun Sorpic is ok too.
“Welcome to the group!” I say with a relieved smile as I throw my arm across his shoulders in a hug. “You are officially part of the insanity now.”
Ef Utan Izenik shakes his head and grabs the bridge of his nose. “I could use some breakfast before we start the insanity for the day… how about the rest of you?” There are a number of groans and nods in agreement as we all stumble over to the Laughing Beholder for some much needed food.
Mmmn… I love this new drink he calls “Coff-eee.” It’s dark and bitter, but it seems to be just what the body needs after a long night of bad dreams.
I like it even better when it comes with information.
“The 10th Pit has a ‘special prisoner,’” Luigi whispers as he checks on our table. “The rest you’ll have to find out for yourselves.”
My first hope is that it’s our missing Tiefling… but after that stint with the dream and the tattoo transference, I’m not holding out much hope for our stoic friend. Still, that’s something to think about as we check on some leads today.
Ef Utan Izenik is kind enough to do the search through city records, as he wants to see who owns the warehouse we investigated. Lenata of Celestian goes to visit House Moune, and I flip a coin because I can’t decide which would be the most boring. I end up going with Lenata of Celestian and promising not to touch anything as she speaks with Cornelius, the Major Domo of House Moune instead. It turns out that Lady Moune is a busy lady.
Eventually we meet up again at the ship and go over what Ef Utan Izenik found. Apparently the warehouse is owned by House Kulleck, a house that owns several grain asteroids and is run by a viscious bastard who like to publicly embarrass people.
“Yeah,” I grumble as I remember our night in jail," that sounds like our guy."
Our leads for new information seem to be drying up, though… so out of desperation we convince Ayrun to try a Scry spell using the assasination token that Cain leaves after his kills. Alas, no luck as he seems to be magically blocked… but Ayrun decides to buy a few Scry scrolls for future possible attempts anyway.
While we’re pondering what to do next, a curious white cat jumps up into the window of our ship.
“Hey there, little one,” I coo to it as Ef Utan groans. “We’ve got enough animals on this ship already.” The cat meows, jumps down and walks out into the hall as I stick my tongue out at Ef Utan and follow it out to the docking area.
The cat stops on the ramp and meows at a hooded figure in the distance.
“Identify yourself before you come any further, friend,” I call out in warning, my hand straying to the holster of my Dragon Pistol.
“We only wish to talk,” the figure answers as it lowers its hood to show a race that I have never seen before. Before I can ask it, however, the cat in front of me starts to change and become another of them! I jump back, but they don’t seem to be trying anything funny; maybe they did just come to talk.
I put on my best “Don’t mess with me” face as I reply, “Ok, come on inside where we can talk in private. No funny business, though, which includes muttering anything under your breath or strange hand movements.”
“Thank,” the one (I think he’s male) who used to be a cat begins… “You,” the one with the hood (I think she’s female) finishes as they both walk into the ship and leave me looking back and forth between them.
After a disorienting talk with the two who seem to complete each others sentences, we discover that these pale skinned and black eyed creatures are Divati, a race where one soul is shared between two bodies. I’ve heard of soulmates before, but this is beyond anything I’ve ever seen/heard of. The male is named Parvat, with the female named Parvatta. Parvatta is an ‘urban druid’ who has been communing with the spirits on Bral to try and find someone of her clan who is missing thanks to the 10th Pit: Melkot / Melkoth the Dreamer. It seems that he’s a powerful sorcerer imbued with… for lack of a better term… ‘dream stuff.’
Curiouser and curiouser… a sorcerer imbued with dream stuff and a stone that controls dreams… it’s too much of a coincidence that they’ve both disappeared so close together like this. Could it have to do with the Spelljammer? Are our dreams being manipulated (hence that goofy Kobald and the warnings from the Dream Lord) in order to get us to find the Spelljammer for someone else? I think I need to update my chart.
After some discussion we convince Parvatt / Parvatta to join us on a trip over to Ironpiece in order to do some more research about this Dream Stone. Before we take off, though, we need to wrap up some loose ends here on Bral.
Lenata of Celestian checks on Kelson and Wilhelmina Uft, but they are both still feeling pretty out of it, unfortunately. Experience has shown that we really need a back-up pilot, though… so we hire Aspodel Quickfoot, a friendly female halfing from the Temple of Celestian too. After confirming that Quickfoot is indeed her last name, we also check in at the Shady Rest to let Rory know we’ll take good care of his family for him. He’s not there… but a note for us is… and it’s a rather interesting one at that.
I, N, X in common? A pair of exotic slaves.
You know, usually I love it when I’m right… but somehow knowing that the Illithid, Neogi and the 10th Pit are all involved in a plot together involving the Spelljammer just makes my stomach churn.
We head back to the ship to process this new information and get ready to leave when it seems that Vedis Valentine has finally been released from her questioning.
“Wait…wait! Don’t leave without me, because have I got a story to tell you!”