Emma, Session 12

8th day of the 3rd ride, month 6 , 1262

Following the confrontation with the unfaithful mercenaries we made good time to the Inn at the Crossroads. The traders Trent and Oliver were happy to accept our hospitality and to return to the Inn. We arrived in time for supper, which the traders offered to pay for us in recompense for our charity and hospitality. I think we are all a little too embarrassed to let them, since they had just lost a lot of money, while we are sitting on an ungodly amount of it. We didn’t tell them that though.

After some confusion it was decided that Luca will look after the accounting instead of Emrys. Neither I nor Emrys has the disposition to appreciate the wealth for its true value (albeit in very different ways), James might well get sticky fingers, or account in a way that is perhaps a little too favorable for him. And to be fair, those riches must be unfairly tempting to him, like a Siren’s call.
Luca is a man of letters and numbers, so surely he should be able to manage the accounting. I also feel that, the hints of darkness in him notwithstanding, we can expect him to do it fairly for all. The treasury has been put in the room I share with Astrid, since that would mean that two of us will be guarding it.

The Inn at the crossroads is a small but bustling community centered around the inn. The inn has two main buildings, one for people with a limited budget, and one for the more well of, which at the present includes us. We were put up in the second building. Each of the men took their own room, while Astrid and I took a double on the ground floor.

We spent the evening lounging with an abundance of food in the central square of the town, basking in the lingering warmth. Trent and Oliver later joined us. After some pleasantries Luca suggested to them that they would be welcome to come with us to Bournemouthe and take a boat from there if they would fail to find a replacement escort. I was pleasantly surprised by Luca’s kindness to these strangers and agreed. Suddenly James objected, pointing out that there was nothing to gain from this charity. The force with which he made the objections stifled the conversation and scared of  the traders. They went to find us replacement drinks and the option of coming along to Bournemouthe was no longer raised for the rest of the evening. I retired shortly after, urging Astrid and Emrys to show some restraint.

Not that I expected them to take much heed of my urgings.

9th day of the 3rd ride, month 6, 1262

I awaken, certain that there is someone else in the room. I grasp a few crumbs of moss and produce a bluish-green light to help me see. I inspect the room, heart pacing, but find no-one other than Astrid, and nothings seems to be amiss. I calm myself and go back to bed.

I awaken, certain that there is someone else in the room. I grasp a few crumbs of moss and produce a bluish-green light to help me see. I inspect the room, heart pacing, and find a eerie floating hand fumbling at the latches of the shutters. I rush at it and call upon Sedna to draw all life-giving water from it.
The hand vanished.
A few moments later I hear someone rushing from the room through the door. I wasn’t quick enough to see who or what it was. I rouse Astrid and rush after the intruder by ear.

I follow the intruder to the lobby, where I became woefully disoriented.


Unfamiliar surroundings and a terrible hurry got the better of me, better head back to my room. Astrid was still hot on the trail though, for I saw her rush by.

Once back in my room I heard someone drop on the ground close to my window, and I figured I would do the same. It was James, who was awakened by all the commotion. The two of us went in pursuit.

At the main gate of the town we found Astrid looking around frantically, but with no trace of the intruder. After a little while James and I noticed footsteps appearing on the dusty trail without feet or a body being perceivable. We pointed it out to Astrid and a furious chase ensued.
I managed to outline the figure by marking it for death, but unfortunately this was insufficient to end the chase. After a few more frantic moments James managed to bring our opponent down.

It was Vadoma. When she went down, the bag with red gemstones spilled from her hands and onto the path.

I collected the stones and saved her life, allowing the guards of the Inn at the Crossroads to collect her and lock her up. We asked the Cpt. of the Guard for permission to interrogate her before she would be placed at the Lord’s disposal for justice. Given her background, that ‘justice’ was expected to be cruel and swift.

I couldn’t rest much more that night. I was quite upset. When I first met Vadoma and her brothers I likened them to kindred spirits. Where I follow the streams, they follow the earthen paths of this world. I liked to think that Vadoma and I had made a good connection and created some mutual respect. I assumed that they were a lot like me, helpful in nature.

I was wrong.

In fact, she disparaged me and decided to steal the stones from us. That was her mistake however, for my compatriots softened my mistake and prevented her success. It left her locked up and headed for the gallows.

I was greatly saddened by her breaking of faith, but failed to properly express this disappointment to her the next day during the interrogation. I barely managed to throw the trinket she had given to me in exchange for the stone at her feet.
I introduced her to Luca and saw him extract information from her with ruthless efficiency. But he also made her a promise: to try and have her released from custody. My anger at Vadoma notwithstanding, I was very grateful that Luca promised to try and spare her life.

She told us that the red stones are Lyrium crystals. Powerful objects that can be used to enhance magical effects of all kinds. Together with Lyrium ore, it can be used to craft powerful magical items … like Muirgheal.
Vadoma wanted to acquire the crystals to buy refuge at the Elven realm of the ‘The Lady without End’.
Occurrences throughout Lyria as well as the appearance of these Lyrium crystals all point to one thing: the Age of Fear is returning.
The crystals themselves have lent their name to this kingdom. Lyrium crystals were the source of power for the Knights of the Silver Crusade, the precursor to the Lyrian knights.
I don’t fully understand how, but there appears to be a connection between ‘rifts’ between the planes and the occurrence of these crystals. It seems these stones are like a boulder in a stream, water can flow on either side of it. The darker side or the lighter side.

After the interrogation Luca spun a story that the night’s events were the result of a fundamental misunderstanding between Vadoma and me, and that it was essentially a ’deal gone wrong’ that need not end in further tragedy. The Cpt. of the Guard was sympathetic to the situation and promised to release Vadoma, although he expected her and her people to banished from the Lord’s lands for the foreseeable future.
James then forcefully interjected to prevent Vadoma’s release, which thankfully failed.

Eventually I learned that he expects Vadoma and her kin to chase us to the ends of the earth in order to acquire the stones. Although I must admit that to be a possibility, I don’t think she’ll be stupid enough to challenge us again. My gullibility notwithstanding, she nearly died, twice, and has nothing to show for it.
Our mercy may on the long run prove more fruitful. The Szygani have proven themselves knowledgeable and powerful in their own way. I don’t see how getting one of theirs killed will help us. When the Age of Fear returns, we may well need them as allies.

What I have learnt is that I should have confided in my allies earlier. My instinct to speak to the Szygani to gain information was right, but I handled it poorly. Blinded as I was by the prospect of finally meeting kindred spirits. I projected my own demeanor onto them, where they were considerably more devious and calculating. I should have brought my allies along.
In my thirst to seek belonging and kinship with other humans I was too eager to trust Vadoma and her brothers. She took advantage of this. I can’t even fault her for it, given the degree of hostility people generally seem to generate towards her and her kin. But it still hurts. It cut deep and laid bare a simple fact: I shouldn’t be looking for people to trust, I should learn to trust the people I’m with. I shouldn’t look for people to belong to, I should start building the community to which I will belong.

We packed up and left the Inn at the Crossroads., burdened with new terrifying revelations about the troubles ahead. I feel in my bones that Destin’s endeavors are related to the returning Age of Fear, I have no proof, I just feel that this is the case.

We made good time and around midday we were in sight of Eastbourne. We didn’t enter and rested in the shade by the road instead. We then continued on to Bournemouthe, which we reached in the early evening. For the next couple of days we will stay here to make find out as much as we can about Destin and his endeavors.

Leave a Reply