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Old Kentucky Shark
May 25, 2012

If you think you're gonna get sympathy from the shark, well then, you won't.


Haunted Zevra


Avra, -- Zevra's mother-- croons gently as the priestess holds out the book. She traces a ghostly finger over each page, memorizing the sigils of the rituals. Sighing, Zevra comes over and holds it open for her, flipping pages when her mother reads to the end of a section.

"Not only have we never heard of Hi’ilei, even the dead I've spoken to have forgotten her name." She broods on this for a moment. "Although... do you have any maps? Of what the world used to look like?"

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Melchiresa
Jun 21, 2006

Nice guy.
Tries hard.
Loves hot dogs The Game.




Iole's mouth gapes after Sathain shares the frightful images in her mind. "I...I can't believe it. It's true? Nobody was able to hear the gods speak again? Not a one..." she trails off. "Please do not apologize. This simply reaffirms my desire to help you."

Iole is clearly still somewhat shaken but is quiet for a moment as she ponders Zevra's question. "Regrettably, I am not certain if we retained maps of the world below, since we in this temple primarily kept to ourselves. Even before my death, it had been years since I had traveled far off this mountain. The hills were rolling and green - sometimes up here we would get mist and fog rolling into the valley below. The travelers that came here would tell us that the temple and the little village below were the first signs of life they had seen in days."

She picks up a stray piece of paper flung to the ground during the battle and places it flat on her palm. She waves her hand over it and a shimmering image appears on it. "This would be how I remember the view looking down the mountain. It is...quite different."

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Shaiha maneuvers herself around Sathain to peek at Iole’s image. While she is familiar with the concept of a verdant plain, an expanse of green so vast that it meets the horizon, it’s quite another to see it. Even as a pale reflection of the real thing, the image fills her heart. “It’s beautiful.” She takes a moment to appreciate the scene. Even in her gladness, however, her mind races with questions. What does Daclamitus intend with tge orb? What are they actually supposed to do to bring green back to the world? Is Iole even genuine? She hates that the last question even comes to her, that the harsh world of Athas has acclimated her to ask it of everyone she meets. She opts to hold these questions on the back of her tongue. Instead, she says, “We’re honoured to have your help, Iole. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from us - nobody seems to know much about these places of power anymore, us included. I’m sure we’re arrogant for even trying, but the need is too great to pass on.” Shaiha gives a little shrug and a smile, though she hopes the sincerity in her voice will come across. She means what she’s saying - while still not completely sure their goal is even possible, even attempting it means more to her than anything.

Old Kentucky Shark
May 25, 2012

If you think you're gonna get sympathy from the shark, well then, you won't.


Haunted Zevra


Zevra gasps. It's one thing to hear second-hand rumors from the long-ago dead, and it's another to be shown a vision, in full color. She reaches out to touch the water-filled valley, and her hand passes directly through it with a ripple.

Zevra's mother, Avra, neglects her readings to wander over. She stares at the illusion for a long time. "For this, I stayed behind. I knew, deep in my bones, that my worthless daughter had a destiny ahead of her. Despite her uncountable shortcomings, she will help you bring this vision to life. I swear it, just as I once swore vengeance, on her behalf."

"Thanks, mom," Zevra deadpans.

LogicNinja
Jan 21, 2011

...the blur blurs blurringly across the blurred blur in a blur of blurring blurriness that blurred...


Unlike the rest, Sathain looks all the more heartbroken to see that vision. It hits too close to home. "It's like the Land Within the Wind. But... everywhere," he murmurs. More parallels than one, there: like the Land Within the Wind, it's just an image, a mirage.

"You said you felt your... Hi'ilei... stirring. Are you sure? She's not... dead, or fled beyond the world? If you can feel her, where is she?"

Melchiresa
Jun 21, 2006

Nice guy.
Tries hard.
Loves hot dogs The Game.




Iole furrows her brow. “Where she is is…quite the question. When you roused the sphere, I only briefly felt her stir. It was such an unfamiliar sensation that I could hardly be sure it was real. Just from that brief moment, I cannot determine her location. Perhaps my abilities have weakened over time.”

Melchiresa
Jun 21, 2006

Nice guy.
Tries hard.
Loves hot dogs The Game.


Iole’s ghostly image fades a little, glowing less luminously. Her voice is much softer as she speaks. “I fear that I...lack the vigor I once had. Speaking with mortals for so long has drained my energy. I must bid farewell until we speak again. The remaining guards in this temple shall have no quarrel with you, and you shall be able to return to the outside undisturbed.” She smiles softly at the party. “For the first time in countless years, I feel there is some hope.” She returns to the shrine, where her skeleton lies, and fades away.


The return to the outside is uneventful. Somehow, after making Iole’s acquaintance, the very air in the temple seems to be lighter. Athas’ oppressive heat is unable to penetrate the temple walls. Through the doorways comes an occasional cool, refreshing breeze. Bevus is pacing outside of the temple doors, muttering incoherently. The sun has nearly set, conveying just how long the party has been gone. He beams upon seeing the party.



“At last! I worried you had been lost to the ruins! I was beginning to wonder how to explain it all to Daclamitus too. What did you see? What lies beyond that door?” He barrages the party with questions, but at one moment catches himself. “It grows late. I should return you to Cromlin. We must talk on our journey!” The Bevus before the party is a far different man than their previous acquaintance - he is a talkative man, almost cheerful by Athasian standards, and curious.


He returns the party to the outer edge of Cromlin, where a camp has been set up. A fire has been started with food cooking over the flames, lovingly tended to by Daclamitus with Bevus joining him to assist. An unknown figure looms nearby. He smiles warmly, in a grandfatherly way, at the party.



“Welcome back. I am sure you had quite an adventure, yes? Iole certainly is a spitfire, but she is a dear soul. Speaking of dear souls, I have located one more unique person who will be of great help to you.” He gestures towards the figure, “this is Kalakote. Perhaps after we speak, you should take some time to rest and get acquainted, yes?”

Daclamitus turns from tending the fire and the food and looks to the party. “Your journey into the ruins was successful, but that is only the beginning of our work. There is much more to be done from here. I would suggest looking towards the Silt Sea, beginning in Balic to speak to my contact there. Or, you may wish to speak to the Druids of the Crescent Forest.”

Take a long rest and level up to 12! Everyone gets one free level 12 item of any rarity from the temple stores

Doomykins
Jun 28, 2008

Didn't you mean to ask about flowers?



Kalakote PDF

A large figure clad in chitinous armor silently watches the group arrive, committing himself to passing wood and tinder into the flames, patiently tending the fire as though a servant to the other men. Once introductions are made he comes to attention and looks down each of the party, idly wondering if Daclamitus had organized a team of scholars first. Mentalists and Elves? They were small. Half-giants clear seven feet easily and Kalakote's shaped plate boosts him further to nearly eight feet in height, the natural spires of the centipede extending further as wicked horns. The natural colors of the insect have been worn down by hand and replaced with paints to match the desert colors of a large cloak. Cracks and hollow spots show in small stretches of the shoulder and chest, outlined by light blue paint. He removes a wrapped great sword from his back and sets it aside to lean against the camp's tent. His helmet follows, set beside the blade, then his largest traveling pack. He fetches something wrapped against the elements and straightens up, giving everybody a fresh look over once again. An old wound mars his right eye but it moves in sync with the left and he chuckles, taking everything in.



"Warriors, let me add to your revelry. This is a reminder of the home I leave behind to help the Honored Sage." He draws the leather wrap from around the bundled goods and shows off a bundle of dried and smoked bird meat, the heavy smell of salts and hot spice released into the air. "I am Kalakote, the Eater of Revenants. Your work is of a noble sort. If Master Daclamitus is right, then Athas is not in a decay. It has died and we shall see it reborn, honoring the efforts of this era. I would serve you as blade and vanguard to see that joyously done." He speaks seriously yet never seems somber, instead sweeping his free hand to his chest and bowing at the waist, still holding the gift up with one hand to be accepted.

Wol
Dec 15, 2012

See you in the
UNDERDARK




Throughout the journey back to Daclamitus's place, Shaiha busies herself with research and practicing some different magic from her usual, poring over notes she's copied down from various ancient texts and temple carvings over her last few adventures. The group is forced to get accustomed to various half-formed magical phenomena as they're eating their nightly rations, setting in for the night, and trying to get to sleep. One night, while everyone is sitting around a small fire, "enjoying" the jerky remains of a kank Jascha had brought down a week ago, Shaiha leaps up from her seat with a shout. "Okay, everyone. I've figured out summoning magic. I can feel it. I just reach into the arcane fabric, like so..." Shaiha breathes deeply, closes her eyes, makes a subtle gesture with her left hand as if isolating a thread in a loom. "And pull it into the shape I want." With a wave of her hand, a ghostly serpent begins to form around the fire, glowing a vibrant azure blue with arcane energy. The serpent sways its head back and forth hypnotically, lingering a few seconds before leaping forth, striking a point in the sand at Shaiha's behest, and vanishing. "And the world pulls back. Infinite possibilities and no harm done."

Over the next few days, Shaiha sets to work repurposing the enchantments on three of her relics to serve as foci for summoning spells. While they no longer serve their former purpose, the arcane energy within the relics now anchors Shaiha's conjured creatures so that they may linger a while longer. Pleased with her success, Shaiha is in visibly high spirits by the time the party reunites with Daclamitus and his towering companion. "Kalakote, is it?" She beams up at the grim giant. "I am Shaiha Nilil, a doctor when I'm called on and a seeker where secrets are found. I see Daclamitus's words have stirred yet another bold heart." She sweeps an arm across her midsection as if to suggest a bow, but doesn't actually lean forward - she's short enough as it is, especially compared to this newcomer. "Speaking of which, what we've returned with is an orb. An orb that I...would like to take the time to examine now that I'm not distracted. What exactly is this orb going to do for us, Daclamitus? The actual details of this restoration are still a mystery."

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Wahad
May 19, 2011



Everything by design.


Kayode "Baba" Babatunde

"I am Kayode, of house Babatunde," says the old man to the newcomer, "but most people call me Baba." His journey back had been spent in solemn contemplation, meditating on what they had found in the temple. He still hadn't been sure of all the implications. Athas, a green world, once? A green world once again, if Daclamitus had his way of it. Things would change so drastically, he wondered if he could even imagine all the consequences. Still, hopefully Daclamitus was up to answering some questions. The man's knowledge of certain things was...uncanny, to say the least.

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