Day 1- Warriorsday, 3rd of Neogi 5043 O.C.
I have arrived in Greatspace and made contact with the dwarf, Dugan, who works for the Company of the Seven Stars. I have a lunch appointment tomorrow with Drake, the green elf. No one wants to mention where the Captain is and I can’t seem to locate Tavist. He’s probably in a bar, somewhere, if the rumors are true. The Octupus-style vessel they were travelling on appears to have seen some heavy fire. I have seen Kay—who must be a priestess of some power—working with the crew on repairing her ship. You can see by the look on her face how important that vessel is to her.
The trip to Greatspace on the Radiance was uneventful. Breaking into and out of the spheres and riding in the open flow have been truly amazing experiences for me. There is a freedom in travelling that I didn’t expect to find. This being the first time I have left Spiralspace, everything is new—I feel like a child staring about me.
The war is reaching farther than the news on Bral has reported. Greatspace is completely mobilized and appears ready to handle an invasion. There is an air of urgency to the citizen’s actions and trading proceeds at an almost frantic pace. The merchants I traveled here with appear to be doing a brisk business.
2nd day—post lunch
The meeting at Hermes Restaurant (garish decorations, slavish waiters, but the food was acceptable) was not all that I would hope for. The crew is suspicious—I suppose with good reason. Apparently, the Captain and Tavist have not seen fit to inform them of their little mishap on Bral. I was questioned thoroughly, but because of my promise, I was unable to give them any decent answers…they are willing to suspect me because I am Shou; but it doesn’t seem to have occurred to them that if I wanted to harm someone, it would already have been done. I petitioned them repeatedly for the chance to travel with them and prove my good intentions…Tavist has invited me to a picnic tomorrow (he smelled of alcohol) to let me know his final decision.
3rd day—post picnic
Tavist, for all his cleverness, attempted an interrogation that was rather akin to a child trying to pluck meat from the delicate insides of a crab’s shell. But they have agreed to allow me to travel with them as a regular crewmember. We leave soon.
In the flow between Greatspace and Grommspace
They gave me the Rastipede’s room. After several hours of labor, it is clean. I think this was a punishment—or perhaps a test—not sure. I do know this: sentient bugs do not live any cleaner than regular bugs.
It appears that we are actually on a rescue mission. One of the Company’s ships was captured or destroyed on a planet called Armistice in Winterspace. Kay has scryed and discovered that several of the crew are still alive and are trapped on the planet which is most inhospitable, since it has 1) heavy gravity, 2) winter-like weather and 3) orcs. The crew is, most unfortunately, in dire straights and we are making all speed to Armistice in an effort to rescue them. The crew of this ship appear to be a steady lot. Hardworking and relatively disciplined, which is amazing given their leadership. I have been assigned to guard duty and spend on-duty hours guarding Kay in the helmroom. She talks incessantly.
She has, however, been telling me about her home. Planet Gaea in Grommspace. She is a Hadozee and they share the planet with the Grommans, in peace from what she says. It sounds like a beautiful place. A wild planet, its jungles inhabited, but not destroyed. I would love to see it.
The Captain has not made an appearance yet. I can’t tell who is supposed to be in charge, if he is not, but I suppose since everything appears to be getting done it doesn’t matter. Drake refuses to drive and so-far several people have joked about asking me to drag Drake to the helm, but I have not been ordered to do so yet.
The flow has been quiet (except for Kay) and there hasn’t been much happening. I have, in my off-hours, been training hard and have offered to teach any of the crew anything they care to learn. No one has taken me up on it. The taint of suspicion still clings. Kay has offered me the use of the meditation room which they have set up. She doesn’t know how much her kindness is appreciated, though I have tried to thank her.
As we approached Grommspace, we were passed at rapid speeds by 3 EIN warbirds. Where are they heading too? What is happening on Spiral?
We enter Grommspace. Its amazing. There are no stars…but these long columns, easily 2-3,000’ that are resting on ?? hold up braziers which blaze with flames that do not dim…As we travel in the wildspace that is space in the spheres, we are misted with a light rain…It has been weeks since I have felt fresh water on my face and find myself wishing for a downpour. We have no time to stop, but we do pass a planet which is all water…amazing. I had heard of these things, but could never imagine them. Who knows what life teems in those waters?
The air grows stale from too much use…Kay announces that to try to pass by a planet and gather air that way would eat up too much time and she has become hysterical since entering Grommspace, after her last attempt to Scry the crew trapped on Armistice.
As she described it, she was speaking with one of the crew who had told her that only 2 of their priests were left, that about 10-15 men had died in assaults from the orcs and that they had locked themselves into a cave with stoneshape spells…as the crewman was telling her all of this, Kay had a vision of a dark blue-skinned orc carrying a wood rod inlaid with crystals and then the scrying was cut short. All of her attempts to communicate with the trapped crew have since been unsuccessful. She is consumed by worry for her crewmates, her fellow priests and her fellow Hadozee whom I gather are among those trapped on the planet.
To solve the air problem, Drake summoned air elementals, 3 tiny whirlwind cones and orders them to make air. Drake was unable communicate with the air elementals and they eventually dissipated and returned to their home plane. Kay, who proved once again that she is a favored child of her god, summoned a large air elemental and politely asked him if he would be willing to refreshen our air, since we are in a hurry and are trying to save friends of ours. The elemental complies and the air is freshened again. Kay releases the elemental who returns to its own plane. Drake, I am discovering, is somewhat erratic in his treatment of others…not what I would expect from a holy man, but then he spends more of his time in study, than in prayer.
We pass through Grommspace and re-enter the flow, on our way to Winterspace.
Warriorsday, 22nd of Dragon, 5043 O.C. (flow—2 weeks out)
Today, after 2 long weeks, we spotted an EIN warbird destroyed and abandoned. Ozzy referred to it as “scro salad”. The crew decided to investigate the warbird and as I was watching the warbird and trying to keep a general eye out for other ships, I realized that the Captain was there. Our first meeting did not go well. This is highly unfortunate and may take me some time to recover. I knew he was of the Oni, but no one mentioned he also had mind powers. Apparently, away-teams link with him and when he tried to do so with me, I ducked. I was left behind…deemed untrustworthy. I had no idea. I explained to the Captain after he returned from the warbird that no one had mentioned this to me and that I most certainly did not intend disrespect…I hope he is willing to trust me in the future.
The Captain, Kay, Dugan and Ozzy went to the warbird. They found nothing but dead elves, but do come back with the Captain’s log. Drake read it and discovered that the scro broke the elven blockade in an attempt to get to Armistice. The Scro were supplying helms to the orcs trapped on Armistice. The orcs, who were betrayed and abandoned by the elves after the last war, have adapted to Armistice and have grown strong and huge…a natural ally for the Scro, I am sure. We are going to focus our search on the largest of the 3 continents—near the eastern coast. The Captain, after he read the log, decided to send the Turtle ship back out to warn the EIN of the Armistice blockade being broken.
What follows is an account of our time in Winterspace.
We entered Winterspace. There were several planets in the sphere. 1 firebody, 4 earth bodies (ranging in size from C to F). Armistice is the size F planet and it has 3 moons of its own (size E) which are supposed void. We take up an orbit near the closest moon.
After much arguing and discussion and after Kay made several inquiries of her god (who should perhaps be nominated to an even more prominent position within the pantheon for 1) being patient and 2) having Hadozee worshippers—I will have to mention this at the next conclave). It was decided that Kay, the Captain, Drake and Ozzy would teleport to the surface to the place where last the crew were known to be. The captain was sucked into a bottle by a Drake, who seemed to take an inordinate amount of joy in doing so…he stroked the bottle and said “I have you now” with this grin on his face…I just don’t know about him.
Tavist, Dugan and I are left with orders to continue hiding behind the moon and to wait for contact from the away-team. After they leave, Tavist and Dugan (I must meditate more frequently on the meaning of and the use of patience) decided that hide behind the moon actually meant fly around and see what’s up. I argue with them, but to no avail. This is not a military crew. I took up a spot on the deck, armed with bow & 2 quivers of arrows, fans and sai stuck in my belt and a spyglass to attempt to keep a lookout…the crew were pretty high strung, but were handling themselves well. I spotted a ship coming away from Armistice which suddenly turned into 12…Tavist, who is driving, maneuvers the ship back behind the moon but he is not quite the pilot Kay is. We hit the gravity envelope of the moon and suddenly the air was thin.
Dugan cast a couple of spells and discovered one that will refresh the air—without tormenting air elementals. Amazing—really.
As Tavist and Dugan were debating about poking around again, I spotted a Scro ship heading in sphere—towards the planet. We ducked again. I would have thought, at this point, that they would be content to stay behind the moon and wait for our compatriots, but no. We came out from behind the moon again and beheld a thing—well…there are no words to truly describe this horror… It was at least 3,000’ long. It was cigar-shaped and had tentacles and fins…the tentacles themselves had snapping heads that moved with in such a way, that you felt the entire ship was alive. Indeed, the fear and loathing of this thing was so strong that general panic broke out—myself included—and Tavist turned the ship the other way and hit spelljamming speed like his life depended on it. I have never—and I don’t think Tavist or Dugan have either—run across anything like this creature-ship.
Eventually, the effects of this creature-ship wore off and we turned back towards Armistice. It took that giant monstrosity of a horror to tame Tavist and Dugan, but after that encounter, hiding and waiting patiently suddenly seemed much more sensible. It is unfortunate that we can’t bottle the effect—instant sensibility born of fear. I stayed on the deck, near the speaking tubes and kept a look out.
As we were waiting for the away-team to return, we saw one more ship—an ogre elephant ship, heading out sphere from Armistice…for a nasty frozen little world, it was quite the hotbed of activity.
Kay, a Gromman child, Brul and the Captain all teleport back to the ship. Drake, Ozzy and the rest of the crew flew back from the surface with an invisibility spell on them. Kay took the helm for this maneuver, because getting them out of the atmosphere required more piloting skill than Tavist possesses. The crew’s flight back did not go well…but everyone managed to make it back. As they were coming back to the ship, we saw a second ogre ship taking off and heading outsphere…seems like everyone wanted out of here in a hurry.
I don’t know what all happened on the surface. Kay tells me that the blue orc who’s staff she saw was an orc with powers like the Captain’s and that he was responsible for saving the rest of the crew. He didn’t want to leave his homeworld, but he did ask that they bring along Brul (a historian and a drall) who wanted off of Armistice. I gathered that their meeting with the blue orc was a little rocky, but apparently he was neither part of the Scro who are attacking everyone or in agreement with his own fellow Armistice orcs who wanted revenge for the Elves’ betrayal.
We are now in the open flow and have been for 63 days. We are avoiding the rivers of flow, because of all of the ogre activity. Kay is strangely insistent that we avoid all ogre trouble and yet wants to make all speed for Grommspace to get everyone—particularly the kid—home.
I have been teaching Tavist and the Captain to speak Shou. Tavist is teaching me how to tumble…Ozzy and I have been sparring and training together and I am still serving my shift guarding Kay while she is on the helm.
A sphere is sighted and we enter…almost immediately after entering, Kay turns the ship about and heads right out again. I gathered that the sphere we entered was Moragspace—home of the Scro and that the Company had caused some trouble here. A surprise, to be sure.
The pilots are complaining of a drag on their energy…they are finishing their shifts early and are more tired.
DAY 123 (59 days later in open flow)
Dugan and Drake, using magic, went along the ship looking for anything that might explain the trouble with the pilots. Drake finds a creature at the edge of the ship, out beyond the tentacles…A strange glowing cloud type thing that was and wasn’t physical…I ran out to the edge of the tentacles and attacked, with Drake…it appeared to be only interested in Drake and I was able to hit it many times…eventually it was expelled, but Drake’s sword was damaged and is no longer magically enhanced.
DAY 133 (10 days later)
We enter Realmspace…Kay calculated the amount of time required to travel from here to Grommspace and told us today that it would be about 30 days to Grommspace. I hope she is right…I didn’t get to see much, as we flew right through and didn’t stop at any of the planets.
The crew is talking about the child…he makes them uneasy. He floats in the air while meditating. Also, Drake doesn’t appear to be sleeping well.
I am still spending my time teaching Tavist and Captain the Shou language…they are not the most motivated students I have ever had, but they are trying. Their accents are atrocious. If only they were willing to learn diplomacy…perhaps some basic courtesy. I have also been spending time talking and training with Ozzy. He is not a typical Giff…Dugan and Drake spend most of their time in their rooms, studying, I suppose. At least Dugan is willing to drive and give Kay breaks from the helm.
DAY 158 (25 days since Realmspace)
Today we spotted a Smalljammer ship, just floating in open space. Drake, Tavist and I went on board, but were forced to come back quickly. I had to carry Tavist, who passed out from the smell. Drake says the smell was caused by numerous spells—something called Cloud Kill—which poisoned the air. Drake was depressed, because while he was arguing for spending the time cleaning the ship and taking it, Kay kept insisting we had to keep on moving. That we didn’t have any time. After everyone pressed her about her insistence that we get the child home, Kay allows that the child is in fact a demi-god who will die if not returned to Gaea. She says that she doesn’t know all the details and that we should ask Galas. Galas tells us that the Gromman gods live among them and that the child is unusual in that not only does he have the mark of Kong (?) but that he was born on an outworld planet. This has apparently never happened to the Gromman before, but they are convinced that the child’s life depends on getting home.
Drake is bereft, because we have to leave the smalljammer…profit, profit, profit. He is truly a merchant noblemen…where’s the priest?
I make an effort to spend some time with the child. He likes to meditate and frankly, I find him to be quiet and peaceful…calm and comforting really.
We are late for Grommspace. Today we found an EIN flitter—badly damaged, but Drake hoped it was salvageable. Tavist and Drake went on board and found a Drow elf, sleeping…now I have heard tales of the Drow, who hasn’t…but their reaction to this elf…it was something. They subdued him, while he was sleeping…even after realizing that the elf was blind and then stripped him of all of his items and hog tied him. This is how I, the Captain and Ozzy found the situation when we flew over. Drake spoke to the Drow in elvish and found out that he was a Spellmaster and a Priest of Ta on a ship called The Llasa Revenge in the armada of the Nation of Twilight. His name is Dostrealt. Drake cast spells of one sort or another and became terribly concerned…the Drow was apparently incredibly powerful…more powerful than Drake, I gathered—just from his reaction. Dostrealt tells us that he was abandoned by his armada because he had been cursed…some sort of curse that is communicable and causes random bad stuff to happen…We stayed on the flitter overnight and waited for Kay to come across in the morning to remove the curse.
Before Kay came over, we attempted to interrogate the Drow…Drake casts an array of spells and we are all able to understand Dostrealt…he seemed—for a scary Drow—to be rather forthright. He did not know and (of course) wasn’t about to tell us what his armada’s last mission was…he laughed when the Captain suggested that the Drow worked for the Scro…he seemed to be everything he was supposed to.
The Captain though…hmmm…unstable at best…for some reason, the Drow infuriated him and during the interrogation he struck the Drow several times. Even after it had become clear that we weren’t about to get any information from Dostrealt about anything—the Captain kept on striking him. Drake, who at first wanted to gut him, argued for keeping him captive and turning him over to the EIN. There is always a certain amount of violence when dealing with a prisoner of war, particularly during an interrogation—but what the Captain did…the way he expressed his anger and frustration…well…to say he lacked discipline would be like saying that water is wet.
Kay came across after all this and removed the curse.
We returned to the ship and Dostrealt was set up in a room with the praetorian guards watching over him, completely bound and gagged and without his staff, which lets him see. Everyone else divies up Dostrealt’s stuff—which really made me…well, uncomfortable but we left on Dostrealt his ring of sustenance so that he wouldn’t require feeding. Hopefully, this will contain him.
Ozzy, Tavist and I spoke to the Captain today regarding his treatment of Dostrealt during the interrogation. He did not seem interested in our worries. I am concerned by the Captain’s irrational actions and fear that this is the sad result of the stress of our journey.
There have been odd disturbances all over the ship—people are getting pinched and tripped and pushed off the rigging…but there doesn’t appear to be anything there.
So much has happened in the last 9 days, I haven’t had time to keep up with my journal.
A couple of days after my last entry (so Day 169) as I was meditating with Kay in the mediation chamber, I felt something pinch my butt. I jumped up and yelped a bit. Kay asked me what was wrong and when I told her, she immediately cast detect magic and then took off after something…I chased after her—but was unable to see whatever it was she was following…we ran out on the deck and Kay points out across the tentacles—"there" she says and makes to climb out the tentacles…I leapt out onto one of the tentacles and…following Kay’s directions, end up with the demon (that’s what we discovered it was) on the ballista…I shouted at the crew to hold the ballista steady and not let it get pointed at the deck. They looked at me like I was crazy. Drake joined Kay on the deck and using the cloak he stole from the Drow, cast a web spell entrapping me, the ballista crew and the demon to the ballista. That’s when I saw it…a tiny little demon—far from home and scared…Kay comes up and starts commanding it, but it doesn’t respond much except to allow that it wants to go home. Ozzy ripped me out of the webbing and then ripped out the rest of the crew. We tie up the quasit and I put it in Drake’s closet, for safe keeping. His new fun, now, is to tell everyone he’s going to “web” them.
As we were dealing with all of this, the ship suddenly jerks about 90 degrees—the flow disappears, the mast snaps and we suddenly were somewhere else. Not in the flow…not anywhere…there was air, so we kept on breathing…but there was nothing in the sky…Kay immediately attempted to contact Celestian, but nothing happened. When we looked around we found that we were surrounded by the decaying wrecks of at least 20 ships and who knows how many others that were no longer recognizable as such.
Kay flew to the helmroom to discover Tavist knocked out cold. She ripped him out of her helm and sat in it…I have rarely heard wails like that. I almost wish that I spoke Hadozee, because the other Hadozee looked impressed by the shrieking and yelling that was coming from the helmroom. I swear, Hopaaka may have blushed…hard to tell with the hair, but I think he did.
We crossed to the nearest ship, a Neogi ship called The Huntsmen that smelled like Umberhulk. We found that its helm was also dead, but that it had a secondary helm which was working…unfortunately, according to Kay this wouldn’t draw enough power to move our ship…too small. We agreed that night to rest and try more exploration in the morning. We needed to find a working helm to get out of the Vortex.
The list of ships we saw: 1 manowar, 1 dwarven citadel, 1 squid ship, 1 cog, 1 nautiloid, 1 galleon, 2 beholder tyrant ships, 2 Shou dragonships (the Imperial Court and the Imperial Trader), 2 gnomish sidewheels, 2 hammerships, 3 tradesmen, 3 Neogi deathspiders.
2nd day in Vortex
We fly over the elvish Manowar (the Queen of Spheres). Its been there long enough for its sails to have grown and curled over on themselves many times over. We searched that ship and found nothing of value…nor did we find any bodies, which was odd. The helm there doesn’t work and we don’t find a secondary helm, but we did find the Captain’s log. We found out from the log that it was an independent trading vessel belonging to the Company of Flaming Arrows.
We then headed over to the Imperial Trader. Its flying the colors of the Shou Long Empire. This helm is also destroyed, but we find the log which I spent a lot of time reading. While I was reading, the Captain tried his hand at lock picking. He didn’t do well. He started sweating and shaking from the poison while Tavist and Drake stood there laughing…Kay was able to do something for him and they went back to work.
I found out, from the log, that both of the vessels were travelling under the aegis of the Ministry of Divine Light and were part of the Imperial authority. They were to engage in trading and collect tribute from various outposts of the Empire. They were planning on betraying the emperor, when they got snapped into the void. The logs were about 10 years old. We continue to search the ship and we found a chest full of cinnamon, 6 chests of money and 6 large bolts of yellow silk.
We took casts of the footprints around the helm in the second Shou vessel and then headed back to the octopus.
There, we found chaos. While we were gone the Drow managed to escape. The praetorians report that a multi-colored flash of light and heat exploded from the Drow’s cell and knocked everyone out and the Drow was gone. Luckily, no one was seriously injured—but the Drow was gone. Drake is especially perturbed when he realizes that the Drow was able to do all this without his hands, his voice or any spell components. Apparently the Drow was tougher than we all had thought. We search the ship up and down, but find nothing anywhere.
Except that the Drow had found his staff in Dugan’s room (he was “studying” it) and he found his spellbook in Drake’s room. Most lovely, he spent some time defaming Drake’s room and the meditation chamber. Drake was fit to be tied into knots and Dugan was ready to kill.
3rd day in Vortex
We investigate the Dwarven citadel. Dugan looked happy to be there and he explained to us how it would work. Amazing stuff…that would be something to see. I wonder if the dwarves would ever let me on one?
We then headed over to one of the gnomish side-wheelers…they really are everything everyone is scared of. We found the Captain’s quarters, and Kay spoke with the dead captain who didn’t remember what killed him or why. He did list all of his hiding places on his ship—my god—do gnomes do nothing but build compartments? We opened the one in his room and found a slip of paper that referred to a secret elvish weapon and said only “E=mc2”.
As we were looking around, Ozzy found a huge lever that said clearly—do not ever pull this lever—ever ever…or something along those lines, so he pulled it. After a horrific racket, a door slides open. We crawl through and find a green crystal chair hidden in a room. Kay squeals with glee and sits in it, only to realize it doesn’t work…the Captain looked at it for a while and then he sat in it…it apparently was a psi-helm. The joy cannot be described…to know we had a way out!
*Day 4 Missed it
Day 5 Uneventful
Day 6 Uneventful—Don’t see any drow
Day 7 Missed it
Time passed oddly in the Vortex—many of us starting feeling oddly fatigued and several of the crew became desperately ill, requiring much of Kay’s attention. We spent the time after finding the gnomish sidewheeler in debate over whether to search further, whether to try to swap the psi-helm into our own ship…the crew carried on repairs to the Octopus, Kay mourned her broken helm and ended up ripping it out and putting it into this bag she has.
Day 8 in Vortex—DAY 183
We decided, finally, to transfer everyone/everything to the gnomish sidewheeler. The Captain’s studies had determined that it would take Tavist, Ozzy and I enhanced by Kay with a brute spell running full tilt in the hamster wheels to provide the steering he would need. The unfortunate side effect of the brute spell was that it made all three of us incredibly stupid. So we basically were giant hamsters. That was not a particularly good day. Luckily, the plan worked, we were able to punch our way out of the Vortex. Unluckily, the drow who had escaped had commandeered a Neogi Spidership and raised dead to crew it for him.
Immediately as we punched out of the Vortex, we spotted the Sphere about 2 days away. Hoping desperately that it was Grommspace, we made for it all speed. Dostrealt was hot on us and (he is quite the pilot) had managed to activate the Spidership’s main weapon. Without a prayer of outrunning him, the Captain brought the ship to a halt so that we could possibly board and attack. Drake mentions wanting a Spidership in addition to wanting to recapture Dostrealt. As we stopped, Dostrealt flew by at spelljamming speed and we haven’t seen him since. I would, honestly, prefer not to. I don’t think Drake feels the same way…neither does the Captain, I would guess.
So now we are finally in Grommspace (yes, that’s what the sphere was) and we are about 7-9 days away from Gaea. It’s slow going, because only the Captain can drive.
The crew have renamed our poor little ship—it is “The Infernal Contraption”. I found something rather paint-like…I won’t bother to re-write the gnomish name here—and painted this in Shou across the back of our ship. Drake has been sending up signs that follow us in blinking pink that say “We Are Not Gnomes”.
Today has been a most interesting day. I think the Captain may have truly snapped. Perhaps the strain of piloting is wearing him out. It must be the space sickness. As we were heading towards Gaea, we were approached by 3 EIN Man O Wars (flying the system colors of Grommspace)—Emerald Class (as Tavist informed me) and a strange ship—almost armada sized—that looked at times like a bulb, a plant or a fish. The ships stopped and took up formation around us, so the Captain stopped and came on deck. The crew mumbled a bit about EIN boarding parties, but we have all been too happy just to be in a system to complain about much (even our gnomish vessel).
From one of the armadas, 7 figures flew over wearing these suits that looked like mini-plants. The leader, a void elf introduced himself as Lord Elrohir. Lord Elrohir politely introduced himself and asked us what our business was in Grommspace. This is when all began to go wrong. The Captain appeared to have suddenly completely forgotten manners, diplomacy and sheer civility…he demanded that the entire armada escort us back to Gromm so that we can deliver the child…Lord Elrohir doesn’t get why this is so important and offers to send a small escort and the Captain suddenly starts mentioning some Elvish lord I had never heard of and favors they had done for him and then says and “this is how the you get treated” and before you know it, Lord Elrohir has his sword at the Captain’s neck, his honorguard (6 Hadozee Oathpack Squad) have weapons drawn (nice staffs), the ships have pointed their weapons at our vessel, Ozzy has pistols out and the Captain is agreeing to a DUEL!!! A DUEL. The crew is openly mumbling about space sickness…I wanted to fall straight off the ship—Tavist looked like he would have been happy at this point to let the Captain’s head get lopped off…oh…it was a wreck. They set the duel for tomorrow morning and scheduled a dinner for tonight. Lord Elrohir has left his second, Chewbev, here to make arrangements with Ozzy for the duel.
Tavist told Lord Elrohir about Kong Rex, our Gromman demi-god child and after conferring with his Hadozee, Lord Elrohir has agreed to an increased escort to Gaea for us and the child. After the duel.
I have come to my room to regather my senses—although meditation has proved impossible and I have resorted to writing down this account. I am going to go and work on making the Captain see sense. May all the gods in the known universe assist me with this.
Well…the Captain is not dead. We managed to make him see some sense and he agreed to apologize to Lord Elrohir. He also agreed that we needed to share all the information that we had with Lord Elrohir as soon as possible. Last night, Kay prepared a special feast—a “hero’s feast” she called it, on the deck of the ship. Everything went well…we presented the Hadozee honor guard with bundles of cinnamon wrapped in squares of yellow silk and Lord Elrohir with a larger bundles that was held together with a bracelet Dugan created out of precious metals from about the ship and some of the scry-resistant crystals from Armistice. The Captain managed a passable apology and a half-decent bow (that took some bit of time). Lord Elrohir proved himself a gentlemen and allowed that he was willing to forego the duel.
We began discussing our recent adventures and gave Lord Elrohir all the information we had about the Vortex, Armistice, the ships we saw coming and going there and Dostrealt. When we told Lord Elrohir about the large green ship, he said it sounded like a “witchlight marauder” which startled Ozzy to no end. Ozzy told us that they were planet eaters used during the last Unhuman War.
Lord Elrohir told us about the new ship. Model: Ormralast…called “The Lady Leonestra”. Its beautiful. Kay, of course, asked to drive and was turned down. Several times. She was even denied a tour. Lord Elrohir asked how soon we could get ready and like an idiot, I wave vaguely at the Captain and allow as he has to sleep before we can take off. A grave and awful tactical error, if ever there was one. I am just not accustomed to lying and subterfuge, it didn’t even occur to me that I shouldn’t mention the state of our driving capabilities…
Lord Elrohir did tell me that Spiral is still under the control of the Scro and he said that Bral “is still on the fence”…he didn’t elaborate there.
At our speed, it will actually take about another 7 days to get to Gaea.
We have, today, landed on Gaea. Kong Rex has gone off with a group of churchmen…funny, how they knew he was right there as soon as we landed. Kong Rex pointed at the Ormalests at one point and said “those are from home”. Home, Gaea? Or home, where he was born? I wonder. The High Priest, Sp’Bow of the Council of Elders, offered all of us and all of the crew lodgings and food and our basic necessities in return for bringing home the child.
While we were travelling here, Kay scryed to the Rastipedes who had taken the Turtle to find the EIN and warn them about the blockade being broken on Armistice. The Bug told her that he found and told Admiral Icharis and that they were safe in Realmspace. Kay also contacted K’Tharr on Bral who told here that the sphereside situation was stable, Bral had enforced a peacebond on Elves and Scro alike but that the Company was still being audited and what the **** did Tavist and the Captain do? Tavist was finally forced to tell all about the ruckus that he and the Captain caused in Shoutown. Lucky for them, Drake has been holed up in his room studying and didn’t hear this gut-spilling frenzy. He will soon, though—what Kay knows, all know! The Captain later got a scry saying that the audit was on hold, his daughter had arrived and when were we getting home?
Roguesday, 7th of Beholder, 5043 O.C.
Gaea is a fascinating planet. Its about 70% landmass—1 giant continent and is practically all jungle. Kong Rex directs the Captain to a city astride a ravine (Tavist, Ozzy and I get stupid again) and the Captain manages to land in a river dock. There is already docked there an EIN Man O War and a new type of Man O War…larger and modified.
After the Gromman priests took Kong Rex with them, we realized there were two elves with them, who were apparently waiting to speak to us. They introduced themselves as Legadril and Seraldon (more void elves) and requested a meeting. They inform us that our message about Armistice has gotten through and that High Command at Lionheart has been apprised. They also thanked the Captain for his services in Moragspace. I will have to ask about that sometime.
We cleaned up and met the elves at a nearby hotel. After some chit-chat and lunch, the elves informed us that they knew we had a psi-helm and that they wanted it. Drake allowed as how we were willing to allow them to study it, but that they would need to offer us a ship of our own, as we have no other method of transportation. Drake also gave them a copy of the Book of Dukash (not sure what that is) and they told us they would be in touch.
We followed Kay down the trees (finally some real exercise) to look at the market. At the bottom of the ravine there were mushroom farms…steak mushrooms Kay called them, but they don’t taste like steak, they just cut and serve them like steak, because they are so big…
We ate at this lovely hotel at the bottom of the trees—Kay ordered everything and Ozzy accidentally ate some grubs. He was not thrilled. I watched Ozzy and some Gromm play a throwing game. The natives here carve beautiful daggers out of black obsidian.
Kay dragged us to the waterfall this morning. It was amazing…there were two huge statutes, one on either side, about 65’ tall. The first was a statue of Kong the Overgod and the second was this intricate tree of life figure. We waited and at about 12 bells or so, the sun rose over the waterfall and the entire area was lit by a rainbow. Kay seems incredibly happy to be home.
We went to the market today, as well. I actually had some money with me, and my compatriots must be rubbing off on me, because I felt like spending it. We divvied up one of the chests of money we found on the Shou ship (rights of salvage—no I don’t feel bad) and Tavist gave to each of the crew 5 gp for whatever—even though room and board is covered—and each of us got 125 gp. At the market, we headed first to the Gromman section, where I purchased: a 4’ tall statute of Kong (for the mediation chamber), a new staff carved with Kong and other Gromman figures, a set of large lacquered cups that appear to be made out of leaves and an amber medallion carved with the likeness of Kong.
While we were shopping, the Captain got a funny look on his face and walked off. I followed him (I don’t like to let him out of my sight, really, since he is our only way home at the moment). He stopped before a void elf and introduced himself. They spoke briefly and then the Captain walked off…I think he might have been looking for others with psi powers. I didn’t know that was a talent amongst the elves.
After shopping, we had dinner with Legadril and Seraldon. They told us that the EIN has made some awards in the Company’s name back on Bral. And that a “rather substantial” deposit has been left with the home office. They also told the Captain that since our Octopus had been lost, there is under construction the new Super Octopus which is based on the plans that the Drake had drawn up. (how did they get a copy of those plans?) Unfortunately, however, that ship isn’t ready quite yet, so they will be sending us home onboard the Arrowhawk. They have commandeered the Infernal Contraption.
Where is Drake’s head these days? The elves commandeered the Infernal Contraption, admit to having copies of plans he made for a new ship and are shipping us home like cargo and he is not noticing any of this. They do mention that they will be sharing the information with us as they discover it from the Contraption, but even that fails to get Drake’s attention.
When we get home there is to be a meeting, apparently, with Silvanos and Ambassador Silmara.
Day 3—Gaea—DAY 197
We, the crew and all of our possessions have been dragged off the Infernal Contraption and are aboard the Arrowhawk to go home. We have been informed that travel will take about 3 weeks.
Drake and Dugan have taken it into their heads to harass the elven mages on board for new spells. They spend most of the trip in the brig, after my brief and aborted attempt at diplomacy classes fails.
Tavist, somehow, managed to talk me into gambling. I need a retreat.
We have arrived on Bral. Finally.
We were at the office of the Company of the Seven Stars today—briefly. We received an invite to a brunch tomorrow at the House of Ellodan (they are spice traders if I remember) in the Enchanted Forest. I got paid. I need to send this money to my monastery. We found out that the EIN had deposited 60,000 gp to the Company, which their gnomish manager had used 50,000 gp of to buy a new dragonfly. Dugan flipped out and demanded his sixth share—since this was supposed to be a reward for services in Moragspace and he doesn’t care if there is a new ship or not. Another large deposit was made to Gaddarick Main to make the audit stop. The word is out all over Bral that the Company is now an EIN creature. Drake is pissed. I got to give a quick history lesson, as some people seem to think that having honest books is enough to protect one against an audit.
We are heading out for some drinking tonight.
First, I will never again drink ANYTHING called “a hero’s drink”. As a matter of fact, it is now a rule that Kay is not to order me ANYTHING. Not food or drink. I must need a retreat more than I thought, because I actually agreed to go drinking and then drank everything in front of me and crashed some party at a guy’s house named Hastain…and I distinctly remember singing! Singing!!! If I keep this up, I will have to leave my monastery and become a drunken master.
The brunch. Where to begin? So much information, my head swims with the wonder of it.
First of all, we actually were allowed into the Enchanted Forest, which in and of itself was a treat. I’ve always seen it from the outside, but I had no idea that the elves were able to create such an environment here on Bral.
Fong Lu from the Seekers, as well as some Seekers I didn’t recognize were there. Also there was Sorten, several EIN officers, Silvanos, some humans (from Bral and offworld) and Admiral Icharis—who had recently traveled here from Realmspace. For an elf, particularly for a void elf, the Admiral doesn’t seem to be quite the racist one would expect.
He gave a speech to the assembled crowd about how we need to act now to save the spheres. He told us that Realmspace had been hit hard and had been in the centerlines for the last year. He also told us about how planet Borka had been destroyed. He complimented everyone for their efforts (the Seekers and the Company particularly—what did they do in Moragspace?), but of course said he must ask for more. Funny, how the two always follow hand in hand. He also told everyone that they have finally located the Scro homeworld—a planet called Dukash and that it is about 18 months out from known space.
Apparently, its possible that Dukash, himself, is riding at the front of his army now.
Admiral Icharis asked Kay and Drake to join the scryers in the temple since they have seen members of the Scro high command and could possibly find them. Kay and Drake (of course) went below and when they came back up, they said they had found Morkitar (?). Drake cast an illusion of what they had seen below in the scrying…something about Dukash ascending and making the elves pay for Armistice and for Borca and learn fear of their secret weapons. The Captain told everyone assembled about the minerals they had brought back from Armistice and what their capabilities were. This may be why all efforts to scry Dukash have met with utter failure. But who knows…
The Admiral told us, also, that the war situation was critical in 7 different spheres and that we all needed to act now. The Admiral, displaying his non-elven traits, allowed as how the effort needed to be completely collaberative—i.e., among all the races, and that this had not gone over well with the High Command. Oh well…
Apparently, the Scro have been able to teleport ships out of danger or are willing to simply blow them up, rather than allow other forces to take them. Also, the Empire of Wa has joined in the war effort (interesting that—must see what else I can find out there).
Interestingly, and what has everyone worried, is that intercepted Scro communications indicate that the current engagements are a distraction to the bigger effort? What the hell are they up to?
At the end of the day, after Silvanos, Fong Lu and various EIN members had met in conference, Admiral Icharis announced that there were 11 possible targets and so there were 11 missions…two of the EIN were supporting a giant silver bowl between them…Ozzy must have seen this before, because he ran up and grabbed a slip of paper.
The EIN are outfitting us completely for the excursion. Our mission is to investigate 4 mantis ships which have landed in front of a giant monument on Oerth in the Greyspace system. We are to assume that Dukash is leading his warriors personally—apparently everyone on every mission is to make the same assumption. We are to figure it out and stop them. That’s all…
Scarily, all of the major churches have communed with their gods and have received no answer…nothing…why are the gods not answering?
The planet Oerth and this monument is apparently loosely associated with the Vecna Cult. The Captain doesn’t look happy about this…I think he was talking about them with his daughter last night. The rumor is this monument or whatever, has been around since before the Devastation of the Baklunish and may be some sort of window to other worlds…portals? I don’t know. The Captain will be getting some information from the Seekers before we leave.
When Ozzy picked the mission and as everyone else picked theirs—large elvish sigils appeared glowing leading the way down different paths. I went with the Company down our path and there were elves waiting there for us. They told us they would be transporting and dropping us on Oerth—we would not get our own ship and that they would be responsible for picking us back up. They gave us all wondrous objects, but mine—well…what am I to do with this? It’s a beautiful mithral circlet with a star ruby set in the center…it’s a circlet of blasting. Everyone else received magic items as well…
We don’t know when we are going to leave…we will be contacted by the elves when it is time to depart.
Day 3 Bral—Early at Monastery
I have given the Shou dragon ship journals to Mui Bei to give to Lord Chan. I have also given them my 300 gp which I was paid by the Company after our return. I still have 48 gp from when we went shopping on Gaea and I don’t really need more than that…I don’t really need that…but, I think I should hold on to it, because you never know.
We have just met with an EIN officer who has told us we have to go. I have one hour to pack and just stopped to leave this note. Our means of transportation are unknown, as we were all sworn to secrecy and have signed a Contract of Napthas. I am having this journal delivered to Mui Bei for safe-keeping at the monastery, with my personal effects.