3 Sydenstar (Miresen/Sunday) 845 PD
Breakfast Planning and Pranks
In what may have originally seemed like a nice gesture, the group let Rinn sleep that night, taking the three watches for themselves. Stubby had the last watch, and the ‘let Rinn sleep’ motivation may not have been so magnanimous afterall. When Rinn wakes up that morning and goes to wash up (washroom in the Gardener’s House), he spots something written and drawn on his forehead. A dick, and the words ‘so do you’, in reference to the note he left with Stubby the day before. Seems like some retribution for his comment ‘you sleep too soundly’ was had! He is Not Amused and there is much swearing in draconic. Though he verbally says nothing over breakfast, but his grumpy look at Stubby says A Lot. Tāmarai very carefully has no reaction.
Aside from Rinn’s grumpy looks, over breakfast they discuss their plans. They do need to go see the Titan and hopefully find the mechanical dragon along with Victor. Though before they leave, they can see about checking out the pillar of flame at the Bastion of the Platinum Dragon, and see what they can find out about it. They don’t know if they could find a way to put it out now, but even if they could, they shouldn’t just yet- it will be obvious even in New Vasselheim that it’s out, and who knows what might happen then.
They pack up, getting together all their things and making the house a bit neat (putting away the mattresses, etc), before heading out, since they probably won’t be back here tonight. There’s plenty of animal tracks around in the dirt and grass on the Terrace, and off of it- it seems that the areas of red-orange taint seem to be less? One can hope that fixing the time split for the Raven Queen will help heal things around Old Vasselheim even faster.
Guardians at the Stairs
They head up the hill where the Platinum Dragon temple is, up one flight of stairs (Tāmarai, Rinn, Stubby, Fisch), they get to one plateau, then head for the next set-
Tāmarai up front both hears and feels a rumbling. To the right she spots three piles of rocks that are moving, slowly standing up. She yells to run, and they all take off for the stairs. Stubby and Fisch see that the rocks are constructs made of stone, with shields on both arms. The one in front points at Stubby, and the three take off after them.
The second set of stairs is steep, and very high. Tāmarai, being a gnome on stairs designed for medium-sized creatures, is slowing down, so the creatures are starting to catch up to them. She tries Hold Person on their pursuers- and then realizes that the spell won’t work on constructs, they aren’t people! Fisch grabs her, and Stubby gets an Idea, and directs all of them to get onto Fisch (he’s big enough that he can carry the other three). And she then casts Spider Climb on the bear, and he then manages to get to the wall and start running on it sideways, just getting out of range of the constructs! However, the constructs follow, running sideways on the wall as well. Tāmarai casts Faerie Fire on them, lighting one of them up, and-
Init: Rinn, Tam, Constructs, Fisch, Stubby
Rinn tries thunderwave, not so much for damage but to try to knock them off the wall if possible. Sadly, it doesn’t work and hardly damages them. Tāmarai shoots at them with her crossbow, missing her shot, but she does Inspire Fisch to keep booking it. Stubby sends Sentri after them to try to distract them, and the mechanical bird manages to do so. Stubby then also fires off a Grease splatter at them, causing two of them to actually begin to slide down the wall, slowing them down.
As she’s doing this, she notices a symbol on their shields, a three-fingered hand. Wait. Stubby makes the gesture, and calls out “Friends? Learn from my mistakes! Friends!” The two sliding down look up at her with as much surprise as a blank rock face can manage, and the one still close by is still following them, but not looking so aggressive as it makes the symbol back to her. Tāmarai notices this, and yells at Fisch to stop, which he does. They all make the symbol, and now the constructs seem friendly! Fisch heads back to the stairs and hurrah they’re on a flat surface now. Stubby magics the Grease off of the other two, and they try communicating with the constructs. They can’t talk, but they can nod or shake their heads, but really complicated questions confuse them. The constructs can take them to Victor (at least where he had been, it’s unclear if they know if he’s alive or not), and also the titan. It seems they were set here to try to either guard the pillar of flame, or keep people away from it, or something like that.
They do ask the constructs if they’ll take them to Victor, after they investigate the pillar of flame. The constructs settle down to wait, though Stubby does take a moment to investigate their hands and feet to see how they were able to stick to the walls and follow them.
The Pillar of Flames
Up at the top of the stairs are the remains of the two watchtowers, now blasted into rubble. There’s lots of rocks strewn across here, and it’s very bright. Here is the glory and the pride of Vasselheim, the now-ruins of the Bastion of the Platinum Dragon. They are probably the closest that anyone from New Vasselheim have ever gotten. The remains of the domed spire is shooting up a blast of power- this close, it is less like a flame and more like a magical blast, especially since there’s no heat. It’s huge, nearly 30 feet in diameter, over 90 feet around (redwood tree size), and it disappears up into the sky. It’s currently mostly blue, though Rinn’s been in New Vasselheim long enough to know that the colors slowly shift with the season. (Yellow-green in spring, now it’s blue, and he’s heard it’s more purple in the winter.) Rinn tosses a rock in. From his perspective it seems like it was swallowed by the flames, but Stubby can see it was sort of ground into oblivion, as if the blast were a belt sander. (Though it does NOT look like the hungry orb of annihilation that is under Whitestone.)
Stubby puts on her Identify Goggles. It is super bright, and it takes her a moment to process it. It’s layer on layer of spells, being funneled and shot into the sky. She edges close to it, (Rinn ready to grab her and pull her back), and she can see that there is a gap between the ground and the fire. She can see a little into it, there seems to be a base where it flares out a bit, and that may be where it’s coming from. Stubby steps back, and tosses the end of a rope into it to see what happens. She loses the end of the rope, and when she pulls it out, it’s not heat-burned off, but friction-burned off.
Rinn pokes around in some of the ruins to see if he can find a way down to the lower levels beneath the Bastion. He’s hoping for stairs to a basement, a service entrance, but nothing of that sort- but he does find the privies, and a large sewer hole. It’s actually larger than it had been, the original one blasted out by magic to its current size. It’s dry and relatively clean, so it could be a means to get down. Rinn marks the bit of building he found it in with some thieves’ cant signs, ‘enter here’ and ‘danger inside’, so they can find it easily later.
The three of them debate going down to check it out, (Fisch has been keeping back from the pillar all this time, he’s heard what happened to one of the bears who got too close and does not want what happened to happen to him!), but they decide to wait. Though Stubby does another test, pouring some water down into the crack between the ground and the pillar. Some water flows down through the crack. Some of it hits the gush of magic, and the water seems to pass through with very little reaction. Seems like water won’t be able to put the fire out.
Though enough rain might- Fisch mentions that it rained in the city yesterday, but the ground up here doesn’t seem like it got rained on at all.
Since solid objects seem to get ground/blasted away into nothing, but water passed through it, Rinn wonders about air. (And then Tāmarai says they should try normal fire as well.) He sets up a torch near the pillar of flame, using the smoke from it to mark the air he directs in (Gust!), and then to whip some of the flames in as well once the torch is burning more powerfully. The movement of air survives inside the pillar for a bit before it dissipates, as if the pillar of flames wasn’t there. The flames from the torch do touch the pillar, and it’s slightly disturbed, (much like the water, a small reaction from the interaction), and the (normal) flame picks up a bit of color from the magical pillar for a bit before it goes back to normal.
Now they have some ideas and some information, so now off to the titan and Victor. They head down the stairs, meeting up with the constructs, and off through the city. (Though one of the constructs stays behind, going to where Tāmarai first saw them, and it settles in to wait, looking like a pile of rocks again.)
Looting on Their Way Out
It’s a slightly circulous route, but probably a safer one. They pass by the Take, and hear a chorus from the (unseen) rats bidding them a farewell. They pass a couple of fancy houses, and decide to spend a bit of time looking for some loot, (this expedition needs to pay for itself). One house gets skipped, having some suspicious noises coming from it. The next one looks already ransacked, but they still poke around, and do manage to find some valuable pieces! Aside from those items, there are some paintings up on the walls, it looks like this place was owned by a well-to-do elven family, over many generations. The magic that blasted through the city had some odd effects on some things- rotting leather and cotton, over-tarnishing silver.
(Rinn finds a platinum bracelet set with a sapphire 2500 gp. Stubby finds an embroidered piece of silk- 5 yards, pattern of the everlight, 3000 gp. Fisch finds a small gold statue of the Everlight, 750 gp. Tam finds an eyepatch, diamonds surrounding a sapphire, the sapphire carved to resemble an eye. 2750 gp.)
Stoked by their good luck, they decide to check out a few more houses, Tāmarai spending a few moments to cast Detect Magic before they look around some more, which helps her to find some interesting items.
(Bags of bullets! 2 bags of 5 each. Enchanted bullets that cause fire damage. Spell scroll of banishment 4th level. Small black sphere, bead of force.)
But, if they’re to make it all the way to the Titan and where Victor may be (both in the same general direction), they need to start on their way. They finally get out of the city, and collectively breathe a sigh of relief for exiting the dead, still-tainted place. It also seems like the further they get from the city, the less the red-orange taint is. Even reaching the city gates, blasted a mile away, the color around them has receded. They continue on, going past where they met Fisch- who does also know where the titan is, and the remains of the mechanical dragon. There’s a bit of a (silent) debate where the constructs want to turn off the road, but they may know better here, and they head for the titan.
One thing to note, the constructs do NOT move quietly. Oh well. They are heading along a small trail, crossing a river, and a couple of streams. The trail is heading upwards, and the woods start to change a bit, becoming a bit more thinned out, more conifers than deciduous trees. Then the trees end, and there’s no grass on the ground. They’re around the edge of the mountain, snow on the ground, and they see a shape. It seems the explosion of Vasselheim caused the titan to fall. There’s the ruins of scaffolding around it’s lower parts, some of the pieces marked with a letter ‘T’ and lightning bolt- seems that Lightning Tetsuo had been here! He had been digging into the titan while it was still standing before the city blew up.
They carefully step into the clearing, and Fisch and the constructs go onto alert, all standing tall, Fisch with his nose in the air, the constructs holding out their shields. There’s an ‘oh shit!’ from some of the nearby bushes, and six people come out and take off. Seems like the local bandits (Fisch’s ‘assholes’ he referred to earlier) weren’t up to dealing with a party that included those constructs!
So now they are at the titan…