Heavy Lies the Crown

Session 6: 8/12/2012

The Tie That Binds

Wraith asks Lillith to take a look at The Possibilities in her father’s stead. She confesses that she doesn’t really know anything about Artificing and that its all so soon after her father died. She tells them that the funeral for her father will be tomorrow at dawn and so the group leaves her house and heads for their ship. When they arive they find it still undergoing repairs by Sarco and proceed to rest and eat and reflect on what had happened with Lue and Humsgar. 42 stays in Wraith’s quarters and Wraith is troubled by a night of bad dreams and insufficient rest. In the morning the group is woken by the sounds of Sarco’s predawn ship repairs. After assessing the ship so far the group heads down to the town to attend Lue’s funeral and 42 accompanies them.

When they get to the docks they see only a handful of people have gathered around Lue’s casket, including Lillith dressed in black and a priest of Melora in ceremonial garb. The priest thanks everyone for coming, says a few nice words, and then invites anyone to say anything. Lillith is overcome with grief and finds it too hard to say anything, so 42 steps forward. He says that he is saddened by his creator’s passing, and that he will strive to live his life in the same spirit that Lue did; pursuing what he cared about vigilantly. The priest begins a prayer to Melora and the casket is slid out to sea. The group gives their condolences to Lillith and she thanks them and tells them they should find local jobs to make money for their week in town. The group sets off to this task; Alston to Chanter House, Athene to the general store, and Horatio, Wraith, and 42 head back to the ship.

When Alston comes to Chanter house once more the door remains silent and after much pestering about the Boom Guy’s whereabouts, the door finally answers Alston telling him hes inside. Alston cleans some grit from the door’s eye and then enters in search of the Boom Guy. He finds the enchanter’s door and calls out for the enchanter to open his enchanted door. The Boom Guy slides open an eye slot in the door and tells Alston that he knows Alston cheated him with his Platinum Coin trick and that hes never getting the dagger back. Alston begs and pleads and screams and threatens the enchanter until he finally says that he can only get the dagger back if he brings him back his money (which he already spent on the ship repairs) plus some extra. The eye slot slams shut and a frustrated Alston exits Chanter House set on finding a way to make some quick money.

As Horatio, Wraith, and 42 approach the ship they see Sarco still hard at work and Xander laying in the grass playing his lute. Mastone greets them and asks them when they hired enchanters. A puzzled Wraith enters the ship to investigate and finds two enchanters working on the door of the Captains Quarter’s. As he asks them what they are doing he finds out that they have secretly been hired by Goldenstein to enchant the ships door somehow. A not totally convinced Wraith lets them continue their work and asks Horatio and Mastone if they would like to go hunting. The group prepares for their hunt and as they disembark they find Athene, who seems to have struck out looking for books at the general store. She asks if she can tag along foraging for edible foliage. The group sets off through the forest expecting to find some animals near the river.

Alston heads to the dock looking for some quick money. He finds work as a dockhand loading, unloading, and preparing ships for sea. His dexterous climbing and urgent need of money push him to do an amazing job on the docks, even saving another dockworker’s life. After his long day of work he collapses on the dock. He wakes to find a short stout Peggy standing over him. She helps him up and into the Dock Office. She lays him down and brings him food and pets his hair until he falls asleep.

As the hunters find the river they catch the trail of a large animal. They follow it up river and spot a bear catching fish in the river. The group ambushes the bear and combat ensues and Mastone cleaves the bear’s head clean off. Athene forages and finds great success finding berries, medicinal plants, and even a bush to replant in a pot. As Wraith and Mastone prepare the bear for transport, Horatio uses his newly bought net to catch some fish. The group ventures back to the ship with their fresh finds.

Alston wakes and informs Peggy that the reason he worked so hard on the docks was so he could afford to get his Father’s Dagger back. She is surprisingly sympathetic and insists that she loan Alston the rest of the money he needs. He reluctantly agrees and they share a beautiful moment of bonding together. She makes him promise that he will get his Father’s Dagger, go out and live his life, but eventually return to her and pay her back as well. He agrees and runs to Chanter House. He barges in and yells for the Boom Guy to open the door because he has his money. The door swings open and Alston enters to find many magical runes and designs and notes and magic circles on the walls and desk. He also sees a collection of magically enchanted weapons on the wall. He apologizes to the enchanter and hands him the money. After an hour or so of inspecting each and every coin the enchanter finally agrees to relinquish the dagger. He tells Alston that he had the front door hold on to it. Alston rushes down stairs to the front door. The door spits out Alston’s Dagger and laughs at him. An irritated Alston snatches the door’s tongue, instead grabbing a heavy wooden ball of some sort from the door. Alston pockets the ball and his dagger and takes off towards the Possibilities.

As the group returns they share the story of their hunt with Alston and show the spoils of their ventures. Alston shows them the now enchanted dagger and tells them about his work on the docks. Mastone presents a gift to Horatio, the mounted head of the Death Boar he killed in Ogre’s Death. During the night, Alston sees the usually unfazed Wraith seems tired and inattentive to the festivities and asks him to step aside and talk to him in private about what’s been going on. He takes Alston to his quarters and begins telling him that he’s been troubled by terrible dreams, about distant worlds and past lives none of them will ever have the fortune to know about. Upon hearing this, it dawns upon Alston that Wraith is a god—or at least the avatar of one—and says to Wraith that he never much cared for most gods, but feels like he could believe in a god like Wraith who is actually there in the flesh and who can hear and respond to his calls for help. Wraith then asks for Alston’s hand and carves the eight pronged cross symbol that appears on his mask. He tells Alston that he will do his best to protect him, and in turn that Alston will conduct himself in a matter that is worthy of being his first disciple.

The party rests for the night and then the next day they head into the village to explore and shop a bit, taking 42 along with them. After buying 42 a large two handed macepole, they walk through the streets of Anchordown. They hear some screaming and find that the village is under attack by dozens of savage Gnolls. The group quickly enters the fray to defend the village and finds that they are challenged by 4 gnolls and that with dozens more waiting, this may be more than they can handle. As 42 enters the fight and valiantly helps to defeat 2 of the gnolls a large shadow passes over the village. The air turns cold and an ear shattering roar rends the air. The party sees a large silver dragon fly overhead and begin attacking the gnolls. The dragon effortlessly slays or freezes the remaining gnolls and then flies off towards the clifftop.

The confused party quickly gets to the task of tending the wounded villagers and putting out fires. Wraith and Alston quickly run off to Lillith’s house to find it in flames. They quickly enter the fire and Wraith begins searching for Lillith as Alston attempts to rescue Lue Henn’s burning books. Wraith finds Lillith unconscious in a side room and jumps in to save her. As he lifts her up the roof partially collapses in the doorway, sealing him in with her. Alston senses the danger his newfound God is in and rushes to find him. Alston finds the blocked doorway and quickly shoots a Magic Missile at the rubble at the same time that Wraith attempts to burst through the debris. The pair barely make it out of the house before the roof completely caves in. The two begin to try to resuscitate Lillith and eventually she coughs up soot and sits up looking scared and confused. She sees her house engulfed in flames and weeps. She slowly recovers and thanks Alston for saving her father’s books and Wraith for saving her life. As Athene and Horatio arrive on the scene Wraith asks her if she would come with them on their journeys, as the ships Artificer. He tells her that it would be a great chance for them to protect her, for her to study the ship and 42, and with her house just having burnt down she finds it too hard to say no. The group escorts her up to the Possibilities, passing 3 sentry towers that seem to have been overwhelmed by gnolls before they reached the town.

When they reach the ship they inform Sarco Sardonyx that Anchordown was attacked and he takes off towards the town. The crew boards the ship and then meets in the wardroom to discuss the day’s events. They conclude that there is no logical reason that Gnolls should be this far North much less attacking Anchordown. They decide to attempt to track down the dragon and ask if it has any clues as to why they did so. They venture North through the woods to the river and follow it east towards the cliff. When they reach the cliff edge the foolhardy Alston peers over the edge and spots a cave hidden behind the waterfall roughly 30 feet down. They tie off a rope on a tree above the cliff and climb down into the cave. Horatio, who went last, loses his grip and begins to plummet to his death. Alston’s quick reflexes are the only thing that make him swing out on the rope to catch Horatio just in time and the pair come swinging back into the cave entrance. Alston’s heroic success cause him to throw up a shower of sparks which illuminated the large silver dragon with 3 scars running over the left side of her face that has been watching the whole event.

The dragon laughs at them and asks what they are doing intruding into her lair. The awestruck and terrified group introduces themselves and apologizes to the dragon. She recognizes the party from their attempted heroics in the gnoll attack. She introduces herself as Maethraniel, and informs them that she has no clue what provoked the attack but would not sit idly by while the innocent villagers’ lives were being brutally taken away. She explains that she moved into this cave roughly 3 months ago and that the villagers do not know of her existence til now and she has enjoyed spending her days watching them from afar. As the party examines her magnificent horde of fine art, jewelry, and piles of coin; Alston asks her for advice and she suggest he not test a dragon. He immediately ignores this and pesters her with another question. This rudeness provokes her to blow her frost breath at him. Wraith shoves Alston out of the way and takes the brunt of the frost breath unto himself. Maethraniel, surprised by this act of selfless valor, tells Wraith he can have one favor. She also tells Horatio that his silence is most wise in the face of a dragon, and that he may now ask one question of her. He asks her where she got the scars on her face. She flares with anger and embarrassment at this but collects herself and calmly explains that she used to have a far greater lair with a much larger treasure but that something forced her out and she escaped with but a third of her treasure and the scars over her eye. Shocked, the group sits there in silence. Maethraniel peers over at Athene saying how beautiful the hamadryad is. She talks of how she loves to collect fine pieces of art and that Athene is a living piece of beautiful art and that Maethraniel would love to add her to her collection. At first this terrifies Athene but when the dragon explains that she means to make the hamadryad her own personal champion Athene dares not to refuse. She demands that Athene hand over her dragonbone shield and a terrified Athene cooperates. She then gifts her with a fine silver Wyrmguard Shield befitting a true dragon champion. Wraith decides it is time to leave but before they leave he tells her that there is a war coming with a threat from across the sea, and that in the days to come they could use her as an ally. She bows her head to him and says that when the time comes she will be there to aid them. She then asks if they’ve ever ridden a dragon before and offers to give them a ride back to their ship. When they get dropped back at their ship Mastone sees the dragon and feints on the maindeck. The crew boards the ship and gets some rest.

During the night, Wraith finds Alston hiding underneath a secret floorboard (thanks to the Holy Symbol he carved into Alston) and finds that Alston is feeling pretty down on himself. He feels like he’s terrible at being a rogue, a magician, and a sorcerer, and always gets himself into trouble. Wraith proceeds to tell him that even though things don’t go as planned, Alston is a good friend and a valuable adventuring mate. He suggests Alston take up studying so next time he sees Seabom he can impress him with his progress, to which Alston starts diligently studying.

Over the next two days the crew finished up their last business in Anchordown. Athene and Lillith went shopping and Athene taught Lillith how to forage. Horatio caught some more fish and Alston kept his face glued in his book, using a relatively unused storage room as a private study. Wraith went into town looking for a Holy Symbol of Melora, so that he could keep communion with her after he left, and ended up having a long conversation with the priest who did the funeral rites earlier in the week. At the end of the week, the group gets informed by Sarco that the ship is done and that he even left his makers mark on the ship’s keel. The Captain and his crew thank him and the crew meets once more in the wardroom to discuss where they should head next. The group decides to head for the Library of Dorn, the same place Athene was headed before they even met. As the ship takes ascends once more; Athene, now down in her lookout post, spots a dark-haired humanoid female in a grey dress waving goodbye to them from the forest floor. She looks familiar but Athene cant quite put her finger on it. The ships takes off with a new destination, and a new sense of unity between them.

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AniMerrill

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