Finding Stable Ground

Previously, James spent all his energy in finding out the location of the night master’s hideout by hitting all the usual, well-known spots; socialising, drinking, and gambling. He worked his way from the usual, well-known spots to the not so usual and lesser known spots until the sun came up, he was dead tired and couldn’t see straight anymore. At the same time, the other heroes went to visit Vydia, who conducted a ritual to divine the whereabouts of Hamish and got in contact with an alien creature named Xarrombus who seemed to be the young mage’s captor.

Third Day, First Ride, Autumn Twilight, 1262

(Silvermoon is waxing, Bloodmoon is in high sanction, Darkmoon is waning)

Before going to sleep for the night, Emrys decided he wanted to commune with Toruviel. He prepared himself by washing himself, changing his clothing and meditating while Toruviel lay in his lap. Toruviel, appreciative of the tumultuousness of the day, filled Emrys’ mind with images of flight, soaring above snow-peaked mountains.

Emrys learned that during the contact between the heroes and the mysterious Xarrombus, Toruviel witnessed half of the conversation, only hearing what Emrys said. Emrys explained what had occurred, what he had witnessed and what he had heard. When Emrys asked if Toruviel could explain more about vaults and their purpose, they explained that they were built as fortresses during the Age of Fear where people could find sanctuary and protection. Later they were repurposed to be vaults to house the Senhadrim’s libraries and armouries during the Great Waning. Each vault was assigned a keeper, who in turn found a powerful guardian which would protect the vaults across the ages.

When Emrys asked whether Toruviel was part of a vault, they said that they were never allied with a particular fortress, but that their heart went out to Ard Thoradun, confirming that it was a vault in its own right, with the thane as the keeper. Emrys remembered well that at the Landsdowne auction house in Bournemouth, the dwarves of Ard Thoradun bought a lyrium crystal and intended to use it to seal their gates.

That was not the only thing that Emrys learned about Toruviel; the member of the Senhadrim was three hundred and forty-nine years old when their consciousness was transferred into the moonblade. Also, they were mostly concerned with convincing the elves to stand with the humans during the Age of Fear, when the elder races decided to retreat to their sanctuaries and leave the humans to fend for themselves.

This got Emrys curious, and he asked whether there were any elves left alive that would remember the Age of Fear, like some of the elves in the Worthwilde. Toruviel believed that it was quite possible that the Gwyndeith, the Lady Without Ending who rules the Aen Canell, would still be alive. This prompted Emrys to ask whether or not Toruviel knew Réonan. Toruviel admitted that they didn’t recognise the name, but that they had suspected that Réonan was a pseudonym of a celestial once named Zerachiel, who, when ordered back to Olympus in the Astral Sea, refused and turned renegade in order to stand by their commander; Aureus the Golden One.

Exhausted, it was time for Emrys to sleep.

Fourth Day, First Ride, Autumn Twilight, 1262

(Silvermoon is waxing, Bloodmoon is waning, Darkmoon is waning)

The morning started early with Luca waking up with a plan to visit Dagran Forgewright in order to deliver the coal that he had been gifted from James. He discussed the plan with Quentin who still felt uneasy about what they had learned about Hamish’s captor the previous day. It was mid-breakfast when James returned from his nightly escapades, looking like the walking dead, smelling of alcohol. Without a word, he retired to his room.

When Emrys woke up and joined Luca, Quentin and Astrid at the breakfast table he spent a good while recounting all that he had learned about vaults from Toruviel. Quentin mused whether the rank and file members of the crusade would have known about the fortresses and their locations, casting his mind back to the crusaders the heroes brought back from Old Llygad.

Astrid mentioned that she was somewhat disappointed by the revelation that Réonan was a celestial; she seemed like a normal person and in that way reminded her more of her own gods, who she claimed regularly walked among her people, albeit often in disguise. Quentin spitefully concluded that there was no better way to make oneself more palatable to humans than to appear human.

The visit to Forgewright Arms was uneventful; Dagran was very grateful to receive the bags of charcoal which the heroes had brought, while simultaneously lamenting that his business had been supplying simple arms and armour to the new recruits of the queen’s army. Several dozen men stood outside of the smithy being handed their equipment by a quartermaster. All the while Kargath Stormwolf, the controversial smith who worked at the Forgewright Arms was standing at the back of the forge, glaring menacingly at the recruits.

Dagran told the heroes that the great sword he had promised, fully socketed with the blue lyrium crystal, would be ready in about a ride’s time, and with that the heroes returned to the Careless Wanderer.

At the Wanderer they found that James had woken up. James was feeling like shit, but was hiding it remarkably well from his friends while they explained to him what had happened at Vydia’s manse the previous day. Luca shared his suspicion that the reason why scrying from Hamish lead to Xarrombus was because his friend had likely been infected with one of those strange slugs, and Emrys voiced that it would be useful to question Réonan about Xarrombus. James said that he wanted to visit his master, armed with the knowledge of the location of the night master’s hideout.

But the heroes agreed to first visit Emma at the Sacred Baths of Sedna in order to explain to her the situation and convince her to take possession of the tablets while the heroes went to find Hamish.

Arriving at the bathhouse they were met by Dagmær who lead the heroes to Emma’s private quarters. Emma patiently listened to the heroes story and agreed to take possession of the tablets, but only on the condition that the heroes would commit to helping her dispose of Muirgheal; the weapon had been weighing on her and the need for a resolution was becoming bigger. While the other heroes consented to helping Emma with her predicament in return for her help with the tablets, this did not sit right with James; too many people understood the importance of what the heroes were undertaking, but nobody but them seemed willing to make sacrifices.

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