25 July 2014

Earthdawn: Adventure Log 23 - Rainbow in the Dark

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

Note: This is not a canon event.

In this version of Barsaive, the northwest is a hotbed of political activity just below the surface. Glenwood Deep has been deeply involved in these machinations for some time, even if the vast majority of the populace are unaware. In particular, they have a strategic location between Iopos and Ishkarat; inhabiting the primary route between the two.

On the whole, the windlings of Glenwood Deep keep to themselves, but they have an incredible intelligence network spanning the entire province - windlings do make the very best spies (when on task). Information is disseminated in secret to those who can make use of it. At times, these are the Windmasters themselves. Whether it is under the cover of darkness, or the guise of a minor skirmish far off course, the work under the guidance of the Warmaster to keep the two ambitious powers in check.

This has lead to uneasy alliances with other powers in Barisave, including Blood Wood and, most recently, the urshan. Many of these decisions are troubling to the windlings of Glenwood Deep, particularly the relationship with Blood Wood, but they trust their Warmaster whose line has led them for generations.

There are problems. Notably, the Warmaster does not have an heir, nor a successor. Also, her methods have been getting considerably more brutal. The entrance of the urshan into the province has only made things worse, and the shifting balance of power is forcing Iopos and Ishkarat to act more swiftly and recklessly than they would prefer.

Adventure Log – 023 Rainbow in the Dark

Written By: Elmod, From the Other Side of the Well, of Glenwood Deep

Date: 22 Charassa – 25 Charassa, 1508 TH
Group Name: Mismatched Steel

Group Members
Bongani the Scout
Coriolis the Swordmaster
Elmod the Nethermancer
Honeysuckle Sunspray the Windmaster
Ting the Swordmaster

The Rainbow Pride festival and tournament continues.

In the morning, I find Regia making a small doll that I must force her to tell me who of - and she seems remarkably knowledgeable about doll constructs - intending to make the doll for Mistriel. I take the doll away eventually and encourage her that this is not a good idea.(1)

I do find Mistriel and she gives me a brooch that turns out to be a Thought Link charm, and she suggests to use it with Honeysuckle's competition, which we do.

During the competition of matching stones and riddles, with the the help of Ting and Bongani's historical knowledge, we help Honeysuckle pass the round.

I hang out with Mistriel and try to learn more about her. Mostly she has a lovely neck, though she has some bad previous experience with Horror constructs, so that went poorly.(2)

A lot of orks and now clowns are around the festival.

Ting and Honeysuckle visit with Physt(3) and enjoy making friends.

The next round is the penultimate test in the tournament. It is a small tunnel that thwarts Physt. Honeysuckle and a few others are in the final four as end tournament competitors.

More orks, possibly scorchers or Skull Wargs(4) with thundra beasts, have arrived in town and the ambiance is threatening.

As the tournament is about to begin, I hear my mentor's voice behind me and find Mestoph there. Mestoph says hi, he's been netherwalking a fair bit, when Mistriel shows up, alarming Mestoph in recognizing each other. My new brooch starts glowing as Mestoph crashes into the astral plane - gone. About then I also notice the orks start attacking the urshan and all hell breaks loose.

Then Regia pokes Mistriel and tries to activate her finished doll - luckily as expected(5) without effect. I leave the encounter to find my band mates and give protection.

In the melee, I learn Ting and Honeysuckle are pursuing the clowns. I scare off one of the slower clowns that scared Ting. He probably went insane after that.

We all give chase to the clowns.

Rasp(6) attacked me and I tried to give him Pain while he seemed to resist it. He jumped at me again and landed a gruesome blow. I yielded to him, he took me with a blade to my throat - and then Ting jumps at him while he slits my throat.

I don't remember after that.

Honeysuckle revives me with a last chance salve and we try to recover. At least Ting also fell in the attempt to avenge me.(7)

We recovered a little and eventually have an audience with Poison Wing and Honeysuckle is awarded the prize for the tournament - which was also the blade of Honeysuckle's father, Firefly. And Poison Wing is her mother.(8)

The perhaps war with Iopos looms as we recover from our wounds in Glenwood Deep.(9)

*     *     *
(1) So. Creepy. Seriously. Though, having read all of this, maybe the doll knows something.
(2) So. Creepy.
(3) Obsidiman Purifier with a strange fascination of blood charms. His logs are fascinating in the insight they provide to obsidiman culture and thought because of how atypical they are for an obsidiman.
(4) Possible, but an awfully long way from home. Also, we have not heard of the Skull Wargs leaving the area. They are primarily focused on Ardanyan.
(5) Can something actually be both lucky and expected?
(6) A t'skrang mercenary. He cleans up messes and does unsavory things for Iopos.
(7) What are friends for?
(8) Verify this. Forge this log and eliminate the final sentence. Place the original in the sealed archive.
(9) Received and edited by Ela Pono

As should be obvious, the contents of this log were what the character experienced, rather than everything which happened. Because there was an awful lot which was not captured. There was also quite a bit which dealt with the author which was deliberately withheld. Is it ironic when the scribe omits all of the details related to him which he doesn't want out there, but is more than happy to record the same for others involved as off-hand comments? It certainly amuses me.

Nonetheless, this is a session which laid the groundwork for some major events taking place over the next few arcs. A number of factions were involved in the events which went down at the festival, all operating with different goals. There was a significant counter-intelligence asset of the windlings which was put into play to draw out other factions. This was followed by using their new allies, the urshan, as a display of force, culminating in an object lesson.

It was an arc which re-energized everyone and was a lot of fun with a great deal of group involvement, information revealed, and lots of action. This was the primary goal. There was also some surprising character growth for the three returning characters. Two characters retired at the beginning of this arc for some which were a better fit. The end of the session was pretty grim. Brutal public executions as a statement will often do that. It also planted the seeds indicating the Warmaster, Poison Wing, may not be right in the head. Also, incredibly dangerous.

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