Tag: Emma

Emma, Session 14

10th day of the 3rd ride, month 6 , 1262

When the arrogant Dærlan noble-lady commanded us to vacate the reading-room, the men looked to me to take the lead. I saw no reason to start any trouble. We gathered our materials and headed elsewhere. There was some uncomfortable banter, and James sought to provoke the guards through blatant intimidation and insolence. They were either utterly unimpressed or too disciplined to take the bait. Either way, we departed without incident.

We settled for a much smaller reading-room. We ran into Falka on our way over and she had some news for us.  For one, she found a map of the village and the surroundings where Lord Destan had been rumored to have been seen last. The other news was that she had received a letter from the older Lord John that she was to not help the people claiming to help Lord Destan.
in other words: Don’t help our merry band of adventurers.
The letter seemed perfectly legitimate, which made everything rather uncomfortable. We decided upon a compromise, where she would no longer be actively involved in our researches but would still be available for some queries.
In that light I asked Falka to have a look at the queer golden coins we had recovered from the tunnels at the Sheridan Estate. She did not recognize them to be coins that might have been in circulation in any epoch of human history. They were not from the Verdant Kingdoms.

To inquire further about the coins I suggested that we visit the auction-house once more. James, Emrys, and I set out. We were welcomed in friendship and there was no hint that Willem had been contacted by Lord John in the same manner as Falka had been. Such had been James’ assumption.
We inquired about the leathers that had been sold and were allowed to examine them. We found them intriguing, especially since they seem to have been crafted from the same source-animal as the peculiar ones the gnomish rats had been wearing. The main difference was that these were crafted far more delicately and carefully. Willem was unable to tell us what the source-animal might have been.
We also showed him the coins, but was unable to tell us where they hail from either. He did say that he had met a sorcerous character not too long ago who had accidently tried to settle his accounts with some coins of similar ilk. The sorcerous character had ominously suggested that these coins were ‘not of this world.’

Finally we inquired what was up for the block today. Willem told us about a collection of fine paintings but that the star lot of the night was expected to be a bejeweled pendant. We asked him if we would be allowed to see the pendant and he happily obliged. The pendant held a Lyrium Crystal. Upon learning this we decided that we would join the auction that evening. Willem was delighted to have us.

We spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for that evening, while we let Luca continue undisturbed. After dinner James and I headed back to the auction-house. Emrys decided to visit the Golden Cockatrice. We asked Astrid to keep an eye on Luca, and to make sure he would eat a little something.

I wasn’t fully comfortable at the auction. Far too wealthy and presumptuous a crowd for my taste, but I lingered around the lots keeping an eye and ear open for whatever would come up. The people were clearly engaged in some sort of social game of cat and mouse to gauge each other intentions. Almost a ritual one might argue. I wasn’t too well at home in this particular ritual, but at least my demeanor wasn’t too conspicuous either.
James was much more at home in this environment, and this was all for the better, since he was able to procure good information. He talked to a group of dwarves and a group of elves in turn. Each of the groups  hailed from native lands, and each was there for one lot in particular: the pendant with the Lyrium Crystal. James discovered that the Elder Races realize that a new Age of Fear will be upon us soon, and that they intend to hide from its onslaught as they did the previous time.

This will not improve their standing in the eyes of humans. Emrys and James will likely suffer even more from the callousness of the Elder Races.

We partook in the auction and made a bid for the pendant. The excitement of an auction is quite something to behold and contagious, so I begged Sedna to calm the spirits in the room during our lot, but to no avail. Admittedly, I had been infected as much as anyone there. We failed to procure the pedant, but left with our gold supply intact. The dwarves picked up the pendant for one-thousand-and-six-hundred crowns.

We returned to the inn to rest. There we caught up with Astrid and Luca. Luca was in a foul mood when he heard about our endeavors. It was a bit unfair if you ask me. We left him to his own devices at his express wishes, and then he faults us for not including him in the proceedings of the evening. His also made his attack against me rather personal, after I had opened up to him. That was unnecessarily hurtful.
There is a light inside that boy that is kind and helpful. But there is a darkness in there to, that is bitter and hard and unforgiving. I pray we can keep him in the light.

Emma, Session 13

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

We arrived at Bournemouthe in the late afternoon, as the bustling city was starting to wind down. We got a glimpse of the bustle and prosperity of the town. It is evident that there is a wealth of exotic and uncommon items available here. We will do well to stock up on supplies here. If we can’t find it here, we will not likely find it further on in our endeavor.

After consulting a local we decided to quarter at the River-Stone Inn. It was described as a reliable if somewhat dull place, which well suits our needs. The dullness is pervasive and emanates from the large dour-faced owner Elmund. Emrys failed to bring lightness to the place, but did procure a good amount of information on Lord Destan.
It seems that he quartered his guards at the River-Stone, while he enjoyed the hospitality of local notables: the Lansdowne family. The Lansdowne family operates an auction-house, where the Sheridans auctioned off magical items to establish their wealth.

We had a good meal at the River-Stone and discussed our plans. Emrys, James, and Astrid would spend the next day to find some supplies as well as visiting the Lansdowne auction-house to inform about Lord Destan. I requested 25 crowns worth of silver dust, so that I might make more holy water. Luca suggested to find healing potions. Luca planned to spend all of his time at the academy’s library and I volunteered to assist him where I could.
While the others retired in exhaustion, Luca insisted to start out for the library immediately. I escorted him there in the darkening warm evening.

We noticed that Ioun Island, which houses the Academy was guarded by Crownsguard instead of local Bournemouth guards. On the way over I thanked Luca for having my back with the whole Vadoma ordeal. His honesty allowed me to see the matter in its proper perspective. I expressed my desire to deepen our friendship, and the bonds within our group.
The Island was fairly quiet, which all manner of students quietly studying or practicing outside in the warm evening. We found the library without trouble.

At the library, Luca immediately inquired after a certain Falka to a librarian and he hurried of to find her. Falka turned out to be a middle-aged woman, who studies and teaches ancient history at the Academy. She was both surprised and happy to see Luca. It appears the two had been in correspondence, and that Luca is in the possession of one or more books that would interest Falka. I did not interfere in their greetings.
Falka explained to Luca and me how the library was organized and that she would be available from time to time to assist in our research. And that we were more than welcome to make use of the study-rooms of the library. Moreover, she explained that she had helped Lord Destan as well and could help us find one or more items that interested him. She also explained that Lord Destan was very much interested in the Silver Crusade.

Since it was already late, and I felt my connection to Sedna weakening, I decided to retire to the River-Stone. Luca was adamant to stay and start work. Falka joined me and we departed. We chatted on our way and I inquired about a Dunagore legend, since she hails from Dunagore. She revealed two interesting things. First that Dunagore Castle is unlike most Lyrian castles in construction methods and scale. The latter is especially interesting, since it seems to have been built for individuals of extraordinary size. Secondly, she could tell me about a certain Admiral Karadim who was betrayed by his daughter, which all happened at Dunagore, but, as Falka emphasized, was not from Dunagore.
She wasn’t particularly interested in the legend, but said she would be happy to see if there was more for me to read on it.

10th day of the 3rd ride, month 6 , 1262

The night was thankfully dull and I got a good night sleep. After breakfast I headed back to the library, while Astrid, James, and Emrys set of into town.

Back at the library I found a sleepy Luca, who, despite his stubbornness, had been overcome by sleep. We were joined by Falka a little later. Luca asked me to excuse myself while he and Falka sorted through something. I waited outside the reading-room until a clearly indignant Falka came storming by. I went to join Luca and inquired about what had happened. It turned out that Falka was unable to read from the book that Luca had brought for her, and neither could I. I have no understanding of why this might be, but it seems that the contents of the book is privy to young master Luca and no-one else.
Given that Falka might prove crucial to our endeavors here at the library, we sought her out to make our apologies and to regain her trust. I mostly served as a beacon of calmness to allow Luca to mollify the indignant Falka. He did so to great success. So much so, that Falka offered her services for free and immediately sought to provide a particular poem that Lord Destan had been interested in.

The ancient poem is possibly the only record in which the Crimson Tower is named by name. The poem provides an artistic description of the tower and introduces direction to it, but these were missing. Falka explained that Lord Destan had been looking for the second part of the poem, but couldn’t tell if he had actually found it. We decided to make our own effort to find the second part. Realizing that Luca would be much better suited in this task than me, I beseeched the Mistress to help young master Luca in his quest. After some hours of work, during which I doubt my efforts were particularly useful, Luca achieved victory and recovered the second part,

The second part of the poem provides a set of cryptic directions to find the Crimson Tower. Many parts make rather disturbing allusions and suggestions, but for now we are focused on the name of the lake in which the tower is supposed to stand: The White Eye.

Could the legend be true after all? I would almost hope that my previous assumption was true, that we were merely chasing after the wackiest of three brothers who himself was on a pointless endeavor.

I started transcribing the entire poem.

A little later we were joined by Emrys and James who were seemingly impressed with Luca’s work. Before they could tell us about their adventures in the city the door opened and a stern, if not arrogant looking young lady ordered us to vacate the reading-room.

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.

Emma, Session 11

7th day of the 3rd ride, month 6 , 1262

After the ritual at the Royal Water-gardens I retired to the Sacred Baths of Sedna to recuperate, while my compatriots pursued more errands. Along the way we ran into James strutting about as if nothing had happened. I missed much of the details, but it seems the scoundrel has rejoined our group and will assist in our endeavor to find Lord Dustin.
James himself is uncertain about what had occurred at the estate and the ancient crypts beneath. All he remembers is slinking of in the dead of night in order to ‘investigate’ some private areas of the estate, before blacking out entirely. I can’t say this inspires much confidence, nor does the sinister arcane marking that has since appeared on the palm of his hand. I have no idea what it is, but it can’t be right, can it?
Best be careful around this one. If not for his own endeavors, then for the potentially sinister outside influences.

I picked up the platinum rings on the way back to the Careless Wanderer, where I hoped to rejoin my compatriots for dinner. Reunited with my friends we found James eager to placate us with fancy chilled drinks. Soon after he started to ask the details about the accursed portal in the ancient tunnels. I recalled the horrid thing with a shudder, but we were all willing to indulge our returned friend.
I doled out the rings and Astrid handed hers to James instead, who wears it on his thumb. Well, at least I can assist most of my fellows. Perhaps Astrid needs it the least anyway.

We agreed to depart around sunrise the next day, so as to make good time in the cooler part of the day before the sweltering heat of summer would strike at us in full force, as it was now at the Careless Wanderer.
I also suggested that we take our spending money to Luca’s room since Emrys was expecting guests for the night,. I later learned that this suggestion was only accepted out of politeness but not acted upon.
After dinner I retired to the common room and James departed to his own abode elsewhere in the city. The others made merry.

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

I started the day early and helped the stable-hand to prepare the cart and the horses. James was punctual. The others not so much. Astrid needed a few minutes to shake off the worst of her cups from the night before. We found Luca near catatonic on his bed with his door broken. He admitted to sleeping poorly and night-terrors, which supposedly awoke much of the Careless Wanderer, including Emrys, who was responsible for demolishing the door.

This is why one shouldn’t drink to excess.

We had to knock rather hard to wake Emrys, but awaken he did. He was in quite a bewildered state. He indeed entertained guests the night before, judging by the half-finished bottle of wine. Luckily, our treasury was still here. James and I promptly brought it to the cart.
After needless delays we departed a little after sunrise. We made our way out of the Eastern Gate and onto the Silesian Road. James procured some snacks for the two of us at a bakery he was familiar with, which I appreciated.

Upon the recommendations of Lorynn and Durham we would aim to make it to the Inn at the Crossroads, a place with a fine reputation. It is located approximately halfway between Kingsport and Bournemouth at a junction with the northerly road to Whitefork. Despite our delay, we should make it there without trouble.
We also planned for a longer break during the hottest part of the day, which we were planning to do at the Seat of Friendship, which we were expected to find half the way towards the Inn on the Crossroads.

James and I shared the reins, for James explained that he was interested to learn how to control a cart and horses. I patiently instructed him and hoped to explain that rapport with the animals is key. I think he is picking it up well enough. Luckily our team of horses is well-mannered and docile enough.

We found the sacred grove called the Seat of Friendship without trouble a little after noon. The grove was pleasantly cool and there were all manner of folk there. A number of druids tended the primordial oak that grew there, one of which joined our group for a pleasant conversation. A conversation that Emrys took the lead in. Luca showed interest in a weedy looking man who was openly peddling in fear. I paid them little to no heed.

There were also Szygani here. Much like me they travel the lands, but following the roads and tracks of the world instead of the streams. They are poorly understood and mistrusted by most people. I have had little interactions with them before, but have heard that they can have insights and understanding that most common folk would not value. For that reason I approached them and brought one of the mysterious ruby-like crystals with me. Their leader, Vadema, examined the stone with great interest and discussed it in an unfamiliar tongue with one of her impressively mustachioed companions. After a while she offered the same appraisal as Eryka.
She wanted to trade with me for the stone. I offered to simply gift it, but she refused. I admitted a poor interest and skill in the art of barter to Vadema and explained that I live a life of service instead. This led to an unexpected theological detour. She was interested to know which of the ‘New’ Gods I serve and I happily explained about Sedna. In return I inquired about the ‘Old’ Gods and she explained that the Szygani worship the moons and Mashkar, the Bloodmoon, in particular. I am intrigued, perhaps even envious of their seemingly ancient customs and their close link to nature.

Ultimately Vadema offered a small silver pendant for the stone with the symbol of Mashkar. I inquired if the pendant would secure a certain rapport with other Szygani I might meet, and she assured me it would. I considered this a fair trade and accepted.
At this point James rudely interrupted and demanded from Vadema what she ‘truly’ knew about the stone. She stayed calm and declined to know anything more than she shared with me. James is certainly truthful about one thing: he is a Kingsport native and a real city-slicker. I don’t think that Vadema and I were merely ‘trading commodities’ but a little more than that. Friendship and respect perhaps? Not all things are purely transactional my dear James.

Admittedly, I could be wrong about this and I was cheated by Vadema. But somehow the ‘transaction’ feels right. That must be worth something, mustn’t it?

Also, we all noted that Astrid’s eyes have taken a rather … lupine … character. We didn’t press the matter too hard.

After a good deal of leisure time I prepared the cart and signaled our departure. We left the Seat of  Friendship in fairly good spirits. We are bound to arrive at the Inn at the Crossroads rather late.

While on the road James and I were alerted by a panicked scream in the forest. James immediately dashed for cover in the thicket while I roused the others of our company.
We soon discovered a couple of gentlemen beset by well-armed and armored louts. I approached them and demanded that they stand down, but to no avail. Violence would follow.

The struggle was quick and brutal and we were victorious. Despite my bold approach I came out of it unscathed! Astrid drew much attention with her enormous sword, a price she paid in blood many times over. James was swift and lethal, running all over the place, being nearly everywhere at once. Emrys covered one flank fairly effectively until the poor soul was struck by two arrows in the back. He dropped like a sack of bricks.

I performed a grand prayer to Sedna that restored much vitality to both Emrys and Astrid.

Luca … Luca’s talents appear to expand and become ever more terrifying.  The dark blasts of raw magical power he conjures seem to grow in lethality and feel ever more grim and disturbing. In addition he now wields deadly fire.

I fear for the young man.

Two of the armed assailants fled after our display of power, while four of the assailants perished. The two gentlemen were most grateful. They explained that they were merchants on their way to Kingsport, when their guard turned on them with demands for gold. When the guard found the offers insufficient they turned to violence.

I offered the merchants to join us on the road to the Inn at the Crossroads but they were still contemplating to press on to Kingsport. They relented however when James painted a rather bleak picture for them and their survival should they continue.
This was perhaps a bit excessive, but thankfully it serves a benign purpose. Oliver and Trent now join our merry little gang until we reach the Inn at the Crossroads.

It will probably be dark before we get there.

Emma, Session 9

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

We departed the Sheridan Estate in the early evening. I took the reins and guided the horses and the cart at a slow pace back to Kingsport, The trip was a quiet affair. Undoubtedly the day’s events were weighing on all of us in some way.
We came upon the Kingsport gates just before they would close for the night. We could make out Lady Ravensbourne on her griffin overhead. We were ushered through the gate and continued to the Careless Wanderer.

We were greeted quite friendly at the Wanderer. The Silesian stable-hand, Durham, and Lauryn all shared a curiosity in our dealing in Lynnecombe-upon-Lynn. Emrys pledged to reveal much of it later in the evening, after we had settled in. Astrid and I were comfortable sharing the common room, while Luca craved more privacy, and Emrys opted for luxury. We used Emrys’ lodgings to store our belongings. In particular the treasure chest in spending money the Sheridans had provided.

I shared a bottle of Erveluce with the group, which we enjoyed with the last bits of food from the kitchens. Luca toasted to a job well done. All things considered, the job was well done after all and I shared in the toast.

Emrys then took the stage with some musical performances and songs. The songs narrated much of our adventures upstream and seemed to impress the patrons of the Wanderer. Not to diminish Emrys’ abilities as a performer, but I think the consumption of Durham’s homebrew liquors must have lubricated the impressionability of quite a few of the patrons.
Some of the patrons reacted negatively to the name De Courtenay, calling them ‘traitors’. Dame Julie Lewisham on the other hand is a bit of a local hero and inspired enthusiastic much cheering from the patrons.

I lingered in the back of the room soaking up the many feelings and impressions of the people inside, without bothering to become personally involved. I just let the tide of emotions come over me. Luca later left me and Astrid to act all conspiratorially with a troop of travelling traders. Astrid had her cups.

We picked up some rumors. First of all the conflicts on the Plains of Strife seem to be picking up again. Secondly, it seems that Farcorner is struggling with wild tribes. So much so, that they have taken the dramatic step of declaring rebellion in order to attract attention from the crown. More disturbingly, there are reports from a variety of places throughout Lyria of sightings of rat-like creatures. Always in connection with ancient ruins.

7th day of the 3rd ride, month 6, 1262

The next day we convened at breakfast and decided that we would need the entire day to sort through a collection of chores in Kingsport. We also decided to do these together. Since we all had things to purchase, make or barter, we decided to head for the markets first. Later we would visit the Bard’s College in order to appraise the strange coins from the tunnels. That could be interesting.
On the way out the door we were accosted by Magda, the blind owner of the Wanderer. She told me to go and see Dagmær at the Baths of Sedna. I was planning to visit and make a donation anyway, but it was good to be reminded. Supposedly Dagmær had an important matter to discuss.

At the markets Astrid and Emrys went their own way to purchase weapons and a scabbard. Toruviel and Emrys quickly drew a crowd, allowing Luca and I to approach a jeweler in relative quiet. The man was an apprentice and carefully watched by his senior guild-members. We agreed that he would make four platinum ring with a simple droplet design on each of them. He would fashion one in about an hour so that we might inspect the craftsmanship and take sizes for the other members of our group. The total cost was four platinum dragons for raw material, eighty crowns  in my personal coin, and eighty crowns from our spending treasury Luca then asked the jeweler to have a look at the chest of rubies. He deferred to a specialist, a lady by the name of Eryka. She led us to her workshop and examined the rubies with great interest. Eventually she declared that these were not rubies but some manner of crystal of unknown provenance and nature. When she asked another for his opinion, he too was at a loss. Since the stones were of a mysterious nature there was no price to negotiate and we kept the stones. We did allow Eryka to take one for further examinations.

When we returned to the market, Emrys and Astrid were also done and we proceeded to the Baths of Sedna. There we split the group across gender-lines.
Astrid and I enjoyed the baths and I got a chance to speak to Dagmær. She had been visited by a most generous donor and was hoping that I would ‘grace’ the donor with a visit in order to bless their well. She indicated that the donors are from the house Germaine. I reluctantly conceded and waited for her runner to return.
I also donated fifty crowns to the baths.

The group gathered at the entrance of the baths and made our way back to the main road, where we were greeted by a luxurious carriage and a handsome young man who introduced himself as William. I insisted that my entire company would be allowed to join and so we entered the carriage as a group. Neither the carriage nor William bore any noticeable sigils or emblems.

The carriage carried us up to Garamond Hill and actually into the Royal grounds. Was it a ruse and are we summoned to the royal palace? That turned out to be the case.  For a few minutes I supposed that we had been summoned by some official in the court, but it was actually the Queen Isabella de Valois herself who had summoned us!

I wonder what Olkin would say if he could see me here.

We were brought into a spectacularly gorgeous garden with an abundance of running water. A truly beautiful pleasure-garden. The others joined the Queen’s entourage and enjoyed their company (and food). The Queen took my arm and guided me across the garden, all the while inquiring about my background and our recent adventures. I indulged her curiosity and spoke frankly and truthfully.
Ultimately she revealed why she had summoned us. She wanted me to bless the spring that feeds the garden. I was happy to do so and performed an exhaustive and complex ritual of consecration at the site of the spring, named Bláthnaid or flower. The spring reveled in the attention and I believe the consecration was successful, despite my inexperience with the practice. Her Grace certainly seemed content.

We were then to depart the gardens to return to our chores. Upon our departure the Queen impressed upon me that her house is devoted to both Chauntea and Sedna, and that this is the reason why the lily is their sigil.

Praise Sedna for the honor bestowed upon us! Surely we are following the right stream!