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The Kalarian Precipice - Chapter Six

Carthum could understand the others' quiet displeasure to an extent, but this was a quest that went far beyond their own lives and souls. Perhaps it was all smoke and mirrors of ancient magic, but Carthum had faith that Suru had chosen them for this. It was enough for him.

He agreed with Dain as well- Annit must follow her own path, especially as she seemed so certain of it. But she left with knowledge much as reliance. If they failed, there would be another that knew of their quest.

Perhaps, back in town, they could learn more about the adventurers that had headed north. Perhaps they had signed contracts of their own.

They may well be lost, but that did not mean they should forget about them.

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First Post
The others are a bit somber- forcing Metea to pull back a bit herself. A part of her could not understand why Annit would not accompany them; the restraints of duty aside. Certainly, the others were perhaps thinking such a quest was a duty all of its own.

But Metea? This was opportunity. A trek into the deadly Sands of the North, seeking a tincture unknown to any... there were such secrets to be found and recorded.

It went far beyond duty or altruism. Or heroism.

It was mystery!


First Post
There were many questions Otiroth would had liked to ask. About the other paths Immel had mentioned, about Lorica, about the world that lived beneath the feet of Kalair above.

But they did not have time. Or- perhaps they did, but this quest into the depths of the mines had been for more than just answers of where to head next. They had been tested in battle. They had learned more than just a few new spells.

Some things had to be let go.

They would travel north to the sands for all of Kalair- including Immel's people.


Ensuring that her guests are rested and nourished, minds sifting through the pieces of a possible future like fragments of some impossibly precious stone, Immel smiles, waiting patiently. Then at last, it appears that the visitors are ready to proceed, to head out to meet a fresh awaiting fate.

“Friends, before you depart from our home, ripe with visions that Lorica has chosen for all, there is one more thing a lady of land and sea may offer. Please, follow me.”

Immel turns and leads you through a short length of tunnel, back to the dais-centered cave. She points to one of the coralesque tables and beckons for you to gather around it. On its top sits an old iron cylinder with a wooden stopper, around the size of a pitcher of ale. Beside it lies a small sack woven from grasses of the seafloor.

“Within this vessel lies a tide’s sacred waters. We have filled it with the well’s strength, an arcane and divine elixir like none other, a fusion of powers from gems that have sat within, their precious magic entwining and mingled. This is Lorica’s will. A handful of her breath, to be taken and meet with the mouth of the world, somewhere… in The Sands.”

“I must of course caution you. The strength within contains chaotic possibilities infinite. A great stew of sorts, formed from magics that sunwalker’s laws conspired to destroy. Healing, death, protection, destruction, love, summoning and beyond. Use not these waters for your own benefit, unless perhaps your very lives and quest depends on it. A dip of a finger is all that can be risked. A mere droplet at crucial opportunities. This is a power that must be respected, learned and protected, and now… Lorica sees fit that you deliver her breath to the beginnings of the earth.”

She slides a hand into the small sack then, grasps something inside, and then opens to reveal her palm before you. Two small stones, clear as a sky and smooth as a spring’s breeze.

“These are seeing stones, formed of a rare chance, a fork of lighting upon sand. Together, they have tumbled in the sea’s depths for years unknown. Like brother and sister, they are kin to one another, for what one sees, so does the other.”

Immel goes on to demonstrate. Looking through one of the small stones reveals the surroundings of the other, as though a set of unattached but still-living eyes.

“These two too, are yours. No distance is beyond their bind.”

Sela enters then. It is time for farewells, and any final questions the visitors may have...

<We have a few options coming up soon. You are welcome to continue dialog with Immel of course, then once you are satisfied, Sela can assist the group in returning to the surface, and we can fast-forward to the next morning in Kalair (party rested and equipped for extensive travel). Or, you are welcome to return to unexplored sections of the mines if you think there could be more secrets hidden and applicable to your cause. Or, perhaps there is something else you’d like to do?>


First Post
Dain - The Afterparty

Reaching into the clay basin, Dain splashed another handful of water on his face, washing off the last bits of soap from where he had shaved. Looking up, he took a moment to stare at his face in the burnished bronze plate that served as a mirror in his small room behind the Apothecary Shoppe. His hair was trimmed, though still long, and his goatee and beard had been cleaned up. The image that stared back at him was a man with a name that he had not been born with, a man with only fragmented images of a life before awaking in Kalair.

Dain Darkspring.

A dark spring indeed, that I sprung from. Oh, Essithea...who am I and why am I here?

He grimaced at himself, and then grinned. "You're here to save the world. Or help end it. So no pressure there, eh?"

He wondered how the others had spent their night back from the mines. Had Jeovanna drowned herself in ale and frightened the patrons with Gnollish war-songs? Did Carthum spend the night kneeling at the shrine of Suru? Were Metea and Otiroth waking up in each other's arms...and tail?

Arse. That's an image to forget!

What about Annit? Dain had gone back and forth over whether to seek the rogue out. There seemed to be something unfinished between them. Or at least, he thought so. The idea that she might be oblivious to the fact, or in the arms of some lover, or in counsel with her father, had stopped him. Now he wished it hadn't.

You could very well die on this journey, you fool. And you may be dying a virgin... He looked at himself again in the bronze plate and then shook his head. ...No, definitely not a virgin.

He had dreamed of Annit the night before, and of Essithea. Twisting bodies, mingling voices. He was probably mad.

Turning, he surveyed the gear arrayed on his sleeping pallet. His request for some stronger leather armor and a shield had been granted. The armor was dark brown, and studded with black plates. The shield was circular and of moderate size, with a black iron boss. Dain himself had stayed up late painting a twisting black tree on its leather-covered surface, reminiscent of the image that had been graven upon his sword. At the bottom of the tree was a wavy black line, representative of a dark pool of water. The darkspring from which he had emerged into Kalair.

There were other things as well, all necessary for a long overland trek. But not so much that it would slow him down.

He began getting dressed and getting packed.

The rest of his life was starting.
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First Post
Metea & Otiroth: Afterparty

It was strange, being back in the city. Metea watched the streets below. Lit only by moonlight and the flickering lights of businesses that had not yet put out their road sconces, the cobbled streets of Kalair's merchant district were quiet and serene. A few people wandered here or there, but it was too early for anyone to be especially drunk. Not in this part of town.

The tiefling ran the pads of her fingers over the amulet around her neck. Beautiful. The darkness did not much matter. And was that music she heard, gently drifting down the street from the door of some nearby club, just out of view?

She certainly heard something. Footsteps. Metea's tail began swishing just slightly, and she'd turn towards the door as it opened.

Otiroth came in, carrying a small pack. He looked troubled, but that look faded and a smile returned as he set down his pack by the door and headed in to join Metea at the window. It was, after all, his loft, overlooking the streets, connected to his master's shop by a collapsing ladder. "Everything is prepared," he said, wrapping his arms around Metea from behind. He'd rest his chin on the top of her head- carefully. He was watching those horns!

Metea held onto his wrist, but other than a few swats at his legs with her tail, she didn't immediately respond.

Upon returning to the city, they'd been busy. Preparing. Metea had called in an old favor with a leather worker- he'd have some basic armor for her ready in the morning, before they left. She could perfect it on the road.

She had not had many people to say farewell to. Her patron, she did not bother to visit in her tomb. She knew. And Carthum and Otiroth- they were coming with her.

Otiroth had been away for much longer. More to do. More to arrange. Metea did not know what he had told his master, but certainly he could not have told him... everything.

There was so much to be told, and if they disappeared into the Sands, no one would ever know.

"I brought us dinner," Otiroth said finally.

If that was a cue to release him, Metea didn't seem to notice it. He didn't let go, either, so it was all even, in the end. "Cheese, some bread, some Surilie wine... well... the wine is only going to be Surilie wine for about an hour," the sorcerer went on, after silence had become nearly uncomfortable.

He'd put together a decent meal, for them, the sort that wasn't always easy to get on the road. His pack was no doubt full of spices of all sorts.

Metea turned around in his grasp. Popped a little kiss on his lips. Then a longer one, because... why not? They were on the precipice of either glory or failure. There could be no half-ways, not for this.

She smiled up at him. Remembered the thrill of his flames, and the terror of his injury.

No going back. This was how it was meant to be. Demon and dragon- to either save the world, or end it.

"It sounds amazing," Metea whispered. "Let's get started."


First Post
Jeovanna: Afterparty

Jeovanna hadn't gone drinking.

Hadn't gone... only drinking.

It, at least, had not been her first stop. And once all was said and done, she had stood in front of her favorite watering hole with a pack slung over one shoulder and a grimace on her lips. The smell of roast meat was tantalizing. The smell of stale hops... even moreso.

People mingled on the streets, walking here and there- even with the sun down, they were rowdy and loose. The whispers of trouble to the north may have reached even the most oblivious citizens' ear by now, but did they care? No. They waited for someone to protect them. To bear up the sword and shield and stride into the abyss on their behalf.

She had been chosen for this. A wolf on the prowl. A protector.

The clank of armored soldiers on city streets. Jeovanna turned to watch the two guards march past. They looked back at her. She recognized both of them, and she knew they recognized her. Not a nod. Just a stare of wary recognition from both sides. They marched on.

And Jeovanna headed in for a drink.

Carthum One-Tusk: Afterparty

The church provided. The great god of light listened.

Praise Suru!

Carthum had gone into the great chapel along with a slender, ancient priestess of his order. The two stood alone under the great archways of the temple, below the light everlasting.

Carthum bowed his head in prayer, said the necessary rites. Turned his gaze to the great light above when all was done. And, when he had spoken his piece, the priestess had woven the ancient spells, passed down only in song and secret as such writings were forbidden in Kalair. She had given to the half-orc two vials of pristine water. The liquid seemed almost silvery for a moment- before it settled and faded back into normal water. The delicate vials looked especially tiny in his large orc hands.

The church's quartermaster would have more prepared for his journey. He had had to tell the church little- only that there was a quest Suru demanded of him. They had not questioned it. Perhaps they had known even before he did.

If they had a sturdier armor or shield to spare, he would take it, but Carthum asked for nothing aside from the two vials of holy water he now tucked into a pocket, close to his heart.

He would spend the rest of the afternoon praying, and creating a rough but sturdy leather binding for the black stone, so that he could keep it always easily about his wrist. The leather would protect it from prying eyes.

Praise Suru!

He knew they would succeed!


The return to the surface had indeed been relatively uneventful, compared to the treacherous descent. With Sela's help they'd retraced their steps back to the trapdoor with ease. It was then time for painful goodbyes and farewells...

The dwarf was thankful to at last see the light of day and fringes of Kalair in the distance. His saviors, they would always be welcome into his family home now, perhaps on some future day. For now though, he waddled off to reunite with his father, the tale of his brother's demise weighing heavily on his mind.

Annit too had parted ways, a painful departure from those she had so quickly grown to appreciate, befriend and respect. The rogue may even have shed a tear, taking her father's side for the walk back home. But this wasn't the end. One day they would meet again. To her, Lorica had made as much clear.

It was many hours later that a lone skull sat quietly within a perfume shop’s storeroom, hidden away between crates of scented dry flowers and other aromatic oddities.

“Lorrorku dasilidas? Dorrorku lasilidas, no, but I am close,”
he whispered tonguelessly. With freedom had come other things, memories and recollections. Ways to reinterpret past knowledge. Gifts to retwine into something that might be of value. He would join them in their task if they would still have him. Magaw enjoyed their company, and The Sands, such a place was a lure he'd not refuse!

“Kulorror lildasasd.”

A hum in the mind, fuzz in the peripheral vision, he'd done it! Magaw for the space of a few seconds, was nothing but a blur. He smiled to himself with pride.

“Ah Magaw, you still got the goods old friend.”

They'd all be meeting soon. A reunion of cave-met friends to travel once again. The Sands, hopefully one of them had thought perhaps to acquire him a nice little hat?

<We can zap forward to all meeting up and heading off if you like. Let me know where you are off to and by which direction. Who is carrying Lorica's waters? Also, the Seeing Stones. Feel free to have left one with Annit or the Dwarf or someone else if you like.>


First Post
Dain - New Directions

Dain was waiting when the others arrived, sitting on a boulder facing away from Kalair in silent contemplation. His new shield was on his back, along with a pack and his bow and arrows. He was contemplating the mountains, which dominated the horizon to the north.

“I think we should strike for the Toros Swamp, and once there we can keep it on our left and the Eyne River on our right. It will be a hard path, but it will lead us to navigable passes through the mountains. After that…those of us who might still live will face the unknown. Glory or death, that will be our tale.”

Essithea, I know you will be with me. I have bled for you, and will do so again.

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