19 May 2016

Earthdawn: Adventure Log 37 - Something Old, Something New

This is the thirty-seventh Adventure Log in an ongoing series about Earthdawn. Introduction and Index.

Adventure Log – 037 Something Old, Something New

Written By: Bogani Kreskas

Date:  11 Riag - 18 Riag, 1508 TH
Group Name: Mismatched Steel

Group Members
Bongani the Scout
Elmod the Nethermancer
Honeysuckle Sunspray the Warrior
Ting the Swordmaster

Uriel the Illusionist

(1)The letters we found in the antlion's stomach are intriguing - they speak of a doomed expedition seeking the disappearing city. What a find! Our first task is to track down these mysterious adepts - Forest Fire, Tamlin, Jesser, Krassa, Jenneth, and the unnamed author of the letter.

Ting discovered, by careful questioning, that Krassa, the ork Swordmaster, was found dead in an alley. We discovered the name of the last member was Lyra, the sad contents of the antlion's stomach. Forest Fire died in the Badlands from the poison of a terrible beast. That leaves Tamlin, Jesser, and Jenneth possibly still alive, but if they are they are likely still in the Badlands. That is not an encouraging state of affairs! Perhaps we should ask some equipment merchants to find out if the Ancient Blades stocked up for their fated journey.

While working in the forge, Honeysuckle was approached by a violet-haired elf with something to sell. How mysterious(2)! She asked him to visit us that evening at our inn, the Gilded Toad.

He is a pleasant, purple-haired elf, a well-appointed man. Honeysuckle was able to read the coin's history, but the specifics of its bloody history(3). We made arrangements to research the object the next day. Perhaps it will illuminate this mystery!

During the night, a mysterious visitor carved a cryptic symbol(4) into the wall above his bed. I was able to determine that the carver used a blade not suited to the purpose, but I could find no evidence of how the artist managed to make his mark without disturbing the elf(5).

Elmod attempted to find a lead on our mysterious coin, progress was slow. Uriel, however, was able to find Shilpi the Dwarf(6), a collector of rare antiquities. His shop was pile high with doodads and knickknacks of all varieties. Uriel took the lead, proving his worth by making friends with the collector(7). he told a tale of a forgotten empire from before the Scourge, hidden from the world(8). The dwarfs knew of the way to return the empire to this world, but they are understandably secretive. Shilpi mentioned Kaelgrose, the clan of Baere, as well as Kussin. Baere is in the northwest of the Badlands - mines containing true earth and rich farmlands. The Ancient Blades often returned to Kratas, as one member was a blood elf(9).

Shilpi was very helpful, and eventually we returned to the Gilded Toad to discuss our next move. Elmod requests that we watch over him in the night. Uriel offered to guard him with his magic, while I listened from the next room.

In the midst of the night, a creature crawled into Elmod's window. Uriel watched it with his astral sight, finding the pattern unlike anything he had seen before(10). How strange! The creature became spooked and dashed from the room, but we will surely meet him again.

Honeysuckle spoke to her people and found that Forest Fire was a windling trickster Thief that had a weakness for arson(11). Honeysuckle had an enjoyable time while Elmod returned to the library, but alas made no additional progress. Where are the remaining Ancient Blades? Where are the keys?(12) The disappearing city eludes me, but I feel compelled to find it. In that way it has a sort of power over me.

We set a trap for Elmod's nightly visitor. Uriel cloaked the others in shadow as I waited outside in the street. Alas, the creature did not appear. We prepared for our journey to the Badlands, but in the process discovered that the clever Lyra had hidden a gem, some sort of spell pattern(13), in the bottle with her notes! A wonderful find!

Alas, we discovered that Shilpi had been murdered! Uriel was able to avoid the guards and enter the shop, but the authorities were in the process of investigating the crime. He took a jungle t'skrang mask to remember him by, then investigated the body. How unfortunate that I was not there to uncover the mystery.

We quickly went to see our friend on the Travar Council, who we brought up to speed.

And then we ventured into the Badlands. We do not have a lot to go on, but it might be enough for me to find the glorious dragon city. On the third day of our trip, we find a crisis in the desert - 12 desert espagra devour what is left of a poor woman. We leap into action!

We reached the poor woman, too late, but not too late. The wretch turned out to be Jenneth, who has been surviving (barely) for days. She spoke of a terrible black mantis with a poisonous bite. She spoke of a Horror-domain, a land of darkness and madness. She is hurt and disoriented, so we return to deliver her to safety.

Then she gave us a magic sword(14)!(15)

*     *     *
(1) This log got lost, then misfiled during the submission process. It was recovered when a junior librarian attempted to file it, became confused and disoriented, then Zamrica was kind enough to direct the junior librarian to me.
(2) This seems like an understatement. Only this group would react so nonchalantly to this information.
(3) I take whatever was done to the back half of this sentence as a personal affront. What about the specifics of its bloody history? What is bloody about its history? This is important information that needs to be preserved because adepts always die with this rattling around in their head and not written down! We are also treated to a rendering of the coin. It features a dragon on one side, and a marketplace (?) on the other.
(4) In a bizarre twist, this symbol was actually drawn on the log. At least, what is claimed to be the symbol. It is to parallel, vertical lines with space between them. Seven lines are array from the top at increasing angles and five similarly from the bottom. It looks a little like a stylized tree.
(5) I have read enough of these to know it's probably not a notable accomplishment to escape the notice of that elf. Especially if he's sleeping. Also, my guess is magic. It was probably magic. Because it's always magic.
(6) Shilpi was actually somewhat famous. Also, no one ever called him "the Dwarf" as a title. No one.
(7) I was hoping this log would provide some clue as to where this guy came from. No, he just suddenly shows up one sentence. Did he use an illusion to make them think he had always been traveling with them?
(8) I have read a lot of logs about this topic. They always end up with the adepts either dead or insane. There is definitely something out there, but I don't know if it is actually a disappearing city. It seems more like an elaborate lure for a Horror.
(9) Based on the Ancient Blades logs, that would be Tamlin. This is by process of elimination because virtually nothing is written about her.
(10) Details!
(11) I guess that technically counts as a trick.
(12) Now you know my pain.
(13) What sort of spell pattern? By my count, every major spellcasting discipline is represented. Someone should be able to give me more information!
(14) Of course she did.
(15) Received and edited by Ela Pono

Confession time: I lost this adventure log for a while, to the point where I thought it didn't exist. There was also an extremely long gap between sessions in real time.

Most of this session was continuing the thread of the lost city the group has decided to find. Building up the mystery, providing some hints and leads, also evidence something exists out there. The other parts were to introduce some new plots in the background and have call outs to previous events. One of the latter is the black mantis. There were quite a few more details that did not get recorded, but immediately after it was discussed, everyone at the table immediately knew where from where it came. The culprit is still taunted about there part in introducing that particular black mantis into the world.

This session would have benefited a great deal from having the subsequent session follow much sooner. Much, much sooner. There was over half a year between them. Just way too long. I think I'm honestly pretty lucky my players are still interested with such a large gap. Many games have perished over less.