Tales of the 13th Age

Session #2 - July 22, 2014

Several days have passed since Ursamir and Kavik met. The two continue to work towards their respective goals, Kavik ministering to the prisoners and Ursamir trying to obtain information about his family. The tremors on the island have grown more frequent and stronger, and rumors abound as to their cause, but no official word has been given from the governor or any of the other island authorities.

Ursamir learns of a brutal orc warlord named Gul (“ghoul”) who reportedly led raids in the area where Ursamir’s homestead was located. Ursamir skulks around the mines, finding other orc prisoners to speak to and attempting to learn as much about Gul as possible before confronting him face-to-face.

Eventually, Ursamir requests a meeting with Gul. The orc stares intently at the half-elf from within his cell, revealing that he is aware that Ursamir has been asking questions about him. Gul confirms that he did indeed lead raids and Ursamir’s home and family may have been part of the casualties. He continues on in gruesome detail about the horrors that he and his troops inflicted on the men, women, and children who lived in that region. Ursamir listens intently, saying little.

Meanwhile, Kavik runs into one of the guards whose acquaintance he has made during the past two weeks or so at Darkskye. The guard eagerly repeats a joke that he’s recently heard:
“What do you call a deer with no eyes?” he begins.
“No idea!” the guard responds excitedly.
“What do you call a deer with no eyes and no legs?” he asks, his normally dull facial expression changing into an amused smile.
Still no idea!”
“What do you call a deer with no eyes, no legs, and no genitals?” the smile now turning into an impish grin.
Still no fu-”

The joke goes unresolved as the guard is impaled on crystal spikes that shoot from the wall near where he is standing. A moment later, large chunks of the floor crumble away and go plummeting down along with the guard to ground far below, and it is all Kavik can do to scramble away from the opening to avoid a similar fate.

Deep in the prison, Ursamir is wounded by another crystal growth that bursts from a nearby wall. Moments later, he manages to dodge out of the way as large chunks of rock fall from the ceiling. The guards who escorted him to meet with Gul are not so fortunate. Ursamir scrambles to his feet and sees that a mountain of rock now blocks the way to Gul’s cell, the fate of the orc unknown at this point, though he has little time to ponder that at the moment as the tunnel continues to collapse around him.

Through sheer will and determination, he escapes the prison and makes it to the upper levels of the island. Chaos and destruction abound. Ursamir catches sight of Kavik and the two proceed together, but the floor opens up beneath them and they begin to fall. Ursamir courageously attempts to use Kavik to break his fall, but the smaller elf with his lithe, almost feminine physique proves to be more nimble and turns the tables, landing on Ursamir.

When the two come out of their daze, they see that they are another tunnel deep within the mines. The ever-present crystals now glow and pulsate more strongly than they have seen before. Besides falling from the sky and crashing, there is something strange and dangerous afoot at Darkskye.

The two half-elves catch sight of a group of two prisoners and two guards walking towards them down the tunnel, their eyes filled with an eerie glow. They carry mining equipment and have and wear tattered clothing, and despite their obvious wounds and the danger of the situation, they immediately set about mining the crystals in the tunnel. Ursamir and Kavik attempt to engage them and ask them about their business, but they are largely ignored. Ursamir then places a hand on one of the guards’ arm, stopping him from swinging his pick. The guard turns his pick on Ursamir, followed by the rest of the group, but they are dispatched without too much difficulty, in particular thanks to Kavik making use of his magic.

Continuing further down the tunnel, the pair spot another prisoner who seems strangely possessed by the magic emanating from the crystals. In one of his hands is a magical key that is required to deactivate the barrier that prevents prisoners from escaping Darkskye. Ursamir and Kavik give chase to the prisoner, who is moving with an almost supernatural speed and dexterity over the rubble that is strewn everywhere along their path. They lose sight of their quarry as he rounds a corner, but find him lying face-down and unmoving once they catch up to him. Turning him over, they see that he has many burns that appear to have been caused by magic, and crystals begin to converge and grow over his corpse as he lies there. Ursamir claims the key and the two notice that there is a supply room nearby with an open door. Searching the room, they find two chests still intact. The first, marked with the Emperor’s sigil, contain three healing potions. The second is marked with the Elf Queen’s sigil and contains a pair of runes and magical amulets. After stowing their newly-acquired gear, Kavik and Ursamir move one and continue to search for a way out of Darkskye.

Eventually, they find what they are looking for: a large hole in floor, through which the top branches of a large tree protrude. Through the hole they can see the ground far below, littered with chunks of rock and crystal and broken trees. Ursamir uses the key to deactivate the magical barrier, but before they can begin their descent, numerous crystals begin to coalesce into a large humanoid form which moves menacingly towards them. Ursamir interposes himself between the creature and Kavik, and a viscious fight ensues. Ursamir’s axe and Kavik’s spells are little avail against the hardness of the creature’s crystalline body. The monster lands several mighty blows with its fists on Ursamir who falls unconscious. Kavik rushes to his aid and revives him by pouring a healing potion down his throat. Ursamir rises to continue the fight but quickly falls again. After being revived by Kavik a second time, the two half-elves decide to take their chances with a leap of faith from the prison rather than continuing to face the monster.

As they leap out of the opening in the floor, Ursamir uses his skill with hunting large wild beasts to lasso the crystal golem. Ursamir and Kavik plummet down through the tree branches to the broken ground below. The rope goes taut as it reaches the end of its length. The momentum of the fall puts the golem off balance. It teeters for a moment and then comes crashing to ground behind the half-elves. As Ursamir and Kavik struggle to their feet, the golem does as well. The implacable creature begins striding forward, but with each step, large chunks of crystal. Before it can reach them, the crystal golem crumbles away, indistinguishable from the other chunks of crystal littering the landscape.

Their reprieve is brief, however. Kavik and Ursamir hear a rumbling sound with builds in intensity and volume until they see the source of the sound: the water from the lake atop Darkskye bursts forth through the opening that they themselves exited from moments ago. The two are swept up in the deluge, which carries them away from the fallen island. While trying to keep their heads above the churning water, they are able to surmise from their surroundings that Darkskye crashed somewhere in the Wild Wood. The path the island took is obvious from the destruction around them: trees are flattened and rocks and large pieces of crystal cover the landscape. As they float along in the newly-created river, they spot a village in the distance.

Eventually, the flow of the water slows down enough for them to make their way towards the shore and they begin backtracking towards the village that they saw. Along the way, they catch sight of something unusual: what appears to be a boar, unmoving, but strangely mutated in shape and with crystals embedded in its hide. After getting close, they can see human limbs protruding from the dead beast. Moving it out of the way, they recognize the savage man that Kavik attempted to minister to lying unconscious.

They feed him the last healing potion and he springs to his feet, wild-eyed and alert. After managing to calm him down, Ursamir and Kavik attempt to see if he has any knowledge that would help them make sense of what just took place. The man is cagey in his responses as he fashions a large club from a fallen branch. He acknowledges that their chances for survival will be better if they travel together, and the three set off for the village.
Almost as an afterthought, Ursamir and Kavik ask him his name. The man obliges: Kronus.

They reach the village of Onkafield sometime later. The villagers are welcoming to the strangers, but on edge because of the island’s crash and the resulting destruction. Ursamir, Kavik, and Kronus are weary from their ordeal and decide to spend the night resting in the village.

Full rest, party earns an incremental advance.

Part I - Wyrd of the Wildwood
Session #1 - July 7, 2014

In the sky above the Dragon Empire floats a magical island known as Darkskye. In times gone by, the crystals mined there were once a mighty source of power, but both their light and potency have diminished in the current age (although it is rumored that the residual dust left by the crystals as a result of the mining operation can fetch a fair price from back alley alchemists in Shadow Port). In recent generations, the island has come to be used to house the most dangerous prisoners of the Dragon Empire, who are sentenced to work in the mines until their final days.

Darkskye is largely self-sufficient, with a lake and several internal reservoirs of water, a small village on the surface, and the prison cells built within the mine itself. Travel to and from the island is normally accomplished via a teleportation circle that shuts down during emergencies.

Although falling within the domain of the Dragon Emperor, the island has naturally drawn the attention of the other Icons. The High Druid is appalled at the use of magic and technology to take something as wondrous as a flying island and subjugating it to be used for something as vulgar as a prison mine. She regularly sends agents to observe the state of affairs and goings-on at Darkskye. One of these agents, the half-elf Ursamir (Zachary), clings to the hope that his time at Darkskye will prove fruitful and provide him with clues about the whereabouts, or fate, of his wife and son.

Another half-elf, this one having seen less than half of the forty-one years that Ursamir has lived, has been sent as an emissary of the priestess to bring the hope of repentance to those who have been condemned to spend the remainder of their lives trapped on the floating rock. Observed from a distance by Ursamir, Kavik (Mark) spends his time aboard Darksye attempting to minister to the prisoners. One of them in particular piques his interest: a brooding, muscular human with intricate tattoos adorning his body, possibly tribal in nature. He projects an aura of savagery, though whether this aspect of his persona existed prior to coming aboard the island or came about as a result of hard time spent in the brutal conditions of the mines Kavik is uncertain.

Kavik reaches out to the man and tries to engage him in conversation but is rewarded for his effort by being sharply rebuked and mocked. After the man turns his back to the young half-elf, Ursamir approaches Kavik and the two introduce themselves, their common heritage a point of interest for them. Shortly after their introduction, the entire island begins to shake, not much unlike a mild earthquake – if such a thing were possible on a floating island. Though the two half-elves had not experienced anything like it during their time on Darkskye thus far, it passes as quickly as it comes, and the two continue about their business, though not quite certain what to make of it.

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