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[v.3.5] Realmsian Dragonstar: The Battle of Toril PbP Game [IC] (On Hiatus)

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Silhouette lifts her dagger so it rests on the palm of her hand. It rises into the air and seems to suddenly split into a dozen versions of itself, each one glimmering darkly as it orbits her. Collectively the daggers formed a kind of swarm pattern, dizzyingly complex.

She then sends the daggers zooming through the air at the remaining harrowblade! In the end of course, only one of the daggers is real...the others exist only to attempt to make it harder to dodge or deflect that one, fatally precise throw.

The dagger then returns to Silhouette's hand.
The dragon is quite distracted by the dozen daggers that swoop towards it. It snaps and snarls at several of them. The real dagger manages to hit the dragon but it just barely deflected by one of its hard scales.

OOC: Harrowblade's Sense Motive check > 1d20+2=17 (not even close, flat-footed [-2 to AC])
 

KainG

Explorer

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Yin Hun continues to pump bullets into the harrowblade, this time opting to fire only two shots while aiming more carefully.
The first shot quickly kills the harrowblade. It motions to let out a death howl when the second bullet rips through its head. It falls to the ground without another vocalization.

OOC: And that concludes our practice combat. I'm going to work on converting Rodan as an NPC next. Once he's done, I'm going start fleshing out the first scene at Candlekeep. Of course, the group could choose to examine the downed escape pod and look for the harrowblades' lair, but I'll likely hand-wave any results. Heh. :)
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Road to Candlekeep
After dealing with the harrowblades and burying Kethrendil, Sergeant Loranys Zeichaim decides it's best for the wagons to move another mile down the road away from the dead beasts and the burning escape pod. Very few complain once they learn of the harrowblade attack. The sun has completely set before the camp is setup again and the citizens are completely exhausted. The Flaming Fists help guard the sleeping citizens through the night. During the starry night, more plasma bolts rain down from above in the distance. The ship weapons fire seems to be directed along the coast far to the north and towards The Reaching Woods to the east. More than likely 'that' weapons fire is targeting the cities along the River Chionthar such as Elturel and Scornubel but its hard to know exactly where the plasma bolts are hitting the ground. More streaks of light appear in the night sky forming an unnatural borealis. Looking back towards Baldur's Gate, only a few plasma bolts reign down in the vicinity of the great city. Other lights appear above the city, which look like streaking balls of flame dancing with wild fury. Every once in a while, one of these balls of light explodes over the city.

In the morning, more than a dozen members of the Flaming Fists appear on the road out of the haze of the fog and smoke. Grand Duke Eltan leads them into the makeshift camp. He tells you that Baldur's Gate has fallen and that the Imperials, led by High Artificer Albaier, rounded up any survivors and either killed them or fed them to 'hovering' metal beasts, as he described them. Yin Hun realizes that the beasts are Imperial transports used for hauling cargo or prisoners. Lord Eltan is glad to know that the citizens are still alive. He tells you that these transports left the city, heading north long the road towards the Fields of the Dead. After that, he and his soldiers lost sight of them. They circles back and came across the River Chionthar over an old rope bridge. The Imperials seem to be avoiding the southern side of the river, for now. He tells them that he managed to send messages to most of the members of the Lords Alliance but he can't be sure the sendings got through. He mentions that he found no trace of the sorcerer Gondal or the wizard Lanthalim. He encountered Brielbara in the street but she fled towards Waterdeep wih half-a-dozen other citizens. She had lot access to her magic. "Lord Belt is dead," he tells them. He tells you the other Grand Duke died while trying to protect the palace from the subsumed cleric of Gond.

He tells you all this while helping to get the caravan of wagons moving again. He is worried that the Imperials will discover their location and send a force to capture them. He mentions that the Imperials rode fast moving mounts that skimmed across the ground. Rodan knows from the description that what Lord Eltan saw were enercycles, most likely. He also describes a massive vehicle that Yin Hun knows is a thunderer (a mecha). Lord Beltan says this metal monster appeared at the northern edge of the city, almost as if out of nowhere. "It was most likely cloaked," Rodan notes nervously. The caravan hustles down the road as fast the people can get the wagons to move. A few of the older wagons can't take the strain and are soon left by the side of the road with wheels broken. The caravan soon comes to Friendly Arm Inn, which is already overrun with refugees from the farms and villages to the north. Bentey Mirrorshade is frazzled beyond reasoning as he and he staff have had to fight to keep the refugees from tearing the place apart. When you and Lord Eltan explain to him what is happening, his face goes pale. "That's why my magic won't work," he says. He soon agrees to give up control of the walled hamlet to the Flaming Fists. The Fists work quickly to move the worst of the wounded into the stone keep of the Arm for the night to come. More fire can be seen in the sky to the north and west, as well as several flashes far to the south.

In the morning, it is decided that the worst of the wounded adults will stay in the keep with a small contingent of Fists to watch over them with the help of a few of the priests of the Temple of Wisdom (dedicated to Garl Glittergold). Bentley and his wife, Gellana, agree to travel with you to Candlekeep to help try to convince the monks to let in the youngest and weakest of the refugees. "I don't know what's going to happen when we get there," the gnome says. "But I doubt they'll let in very many of us. This Haspur of yours will surely be welcome, as well as any priests of Oghma, Deneir, Gond, and Milil. They might even open up to those gods' followers without the normal price for entry." He goes on to tell you that the monks value books more than lives, so it isn't a guarantee that they will let anyone in. The caravan soon continues down The Coast Way and Lord Eltan pushes the people and as hard as he dares. Several horses die of exhaustion just before the road intersects with the Way of the Lion, which leads straight towards Candlekeep. Wating at the crossroads is the rider that Lord Eltan sent ahead to inform Candlekeep of Baldur's Gate request. With him waits two monks from the keep's order. They have come to see the throng that wishes entry and they are shocked to see so many packed together on the road. Of the two, it is the man named Amanther who speaks to Lord Eltan and you in private. He warns that if this full caravan tries to approach the keep, they will face the full protections of the keep, which are not all magical.

"We are willing to take the Chosen named Haspur into our midst, as well as the young and infirm. As well, the Magister has asked us to allow a handful of you into the keep with the blessings of dead Mystra. No member of the Flaming Fists will be allowed to entry Candlekeep without paying the price for entry, not even you Duke Eltan. And if you try to force your way in, you will find that we are still strong enough to stand against you even if out magic has been deminished. Do not test our resolve."

Lord Eltan debates with the man for nearly an hour while the wagon's fort-up and another makeshift camp is set up at the crossroads. Bentley Mirroshade provides several large tents for the camp, which is used for triages for the walking wounded. The rest of the refugees huddle in and amongst the wagons as it begins to rain. The storm is a natural one and it washes away the dust and grime of the road and fills water barrels to catch rainwater. You listen as Lord Eltan tries in vain to change Amanther's mind. The monk will not budge on the strictures placed on the conditions for entry. The entrance-gift must be paid for any of the others that wish entry and they must approach Candlekeep in the traditional manner, stellar invasion or not. There will be no exceptions to the rule. Even when Yin Hun and Rodan offer future texts on the Dragon Empire, he will not relent. "The entrance-gift must be paid for all others," he intones. The monk is maddening polite even when Lord Eltan or anyone else raises their voice. "I realize you are in a dire situation, but we will not allow you to bring that situation into Candlekeep. I am so sorry, but we must protect the library at all costs."

"Books are more important than lives," the other monk says with his head bowed.

Lord Eltan loses his patience and storms out of the tent. He refuses to speak with the monks again and decides that he'd rather risk the open road than kowtow to the monks and their restrictions. He spends the rest of the night dealing with his people and making plans to push on to Beregost along The Coast Way. Eventually, he relents to letting the youngsters and the very old to make the journey to Candlekeep but not without an escort. He places the responsibility on your shoulders and sends both Belgeon and Loranys with you after forcing them to give up their ranks in the Flaming Fists. It is the only way Amanther will let the two warriors come along, but they must still pay the entrance-gift. Rodan pulls out an old Unification Church tome from his possessions and gives it over to allow entry for Belgeon. Yin Hun shows the monks his electronic mapbox and agrees to give it up if they will allow more people into the keep. While the two monks are intrigued by the map, they are more keen on the written instructions that comes with it, which include dictonaries for six distinct languages not native to Toril. In the end, Amanther agrees to allow entry for Loranys and half-a-dozen other citizens chosen by him and his fellow monk. Both Shazer'a and Nelalwe give up their place in the keep for two other citizens and Nel even gives up her Language and Linguistics datachip along with the dead hobgoblin's datapad, which she saved during the fight with the High Artificer. While it is scorched, she managed to get it working again. The datachip and dozen Outlander texts get two dozen more refugees a place in Candlekeep for a tenday once Nel shows the monks how it works.

When Lord Eltan hears what you have done for his people, he is extremely grateful. He is also grateful to Lord Shazer'a and Nelalwe when they inform him that they will come with him to help him spread word of the invasion to the southern lands*. They will go with him and the other refugees to Beregost to petition the priests of Lathander for aid. After that, they will travel on with a group of Fists and other able bodies warriors to the town of Nashkel on the northern slopes of The Cloud Peaks and then onto Athkatla to find out the situation in Amn. He and Nel say their goodbyes in the morning and the caravan splits. The bulk of the refugees continue on towards Beregost while two wagons filled with children and the elderly travel the Way of the Lion towards Candlekeep. With the monks guiding the way, it is a quick but challenging trip to the massive keep, which crowns a long, rising-from-landward ridge of rock that juts out into the Sea of Swords. Its walls rise from the cliffs of hard, purple-black volcanic rock, and enclose a small forest of many-windowed stone towers. Along the way, the caravan comes upon other supplicants who have been turned away for not having the entrance-gift. They head down the Way of thE Lion, despondant. Amanther and the other monk refuse to speak to them and insist the others do the same. "We have already warned them of the dangers to come," Amanther says casually. "The Magister informed us of this Dragon Empire and what it entails, but we must stick to our rules. We cannot let this madness engulf Candlekeep and the bulk of the keep's protections remain intact. Her presence along has gifted us with much of dead Mystra's magical essence. Haspur will add to that energy. The library must be protected regardless of all other costs."

The arched gates of Candlekeep are as high as three men, and fashioned of vertical bars of unknown, lightning-repelling black metal as thick as many human forearms. Both of the gates bear, centered in their upper third, the castle-and-flames device of Candlekeep, worked of the same metal and joined to the bars, so that each gate seems to have been formed all of a piece rather than being welded or fitted together. The gates both stand closed and a dozen monks stand at attention, ready to spring at a moments notice. A regal woman stand in front of these monks along with a man to who the other monk's defer. "Welcome to Candlekeep," the man says. "I am Ulrant, Keeper of the Tomes. Normally I wouldn't be here to greet you myself, but this is a special case, it seems. This is the Magister," he motions to the woman next to him. "She will give you her name if she chooses. Now, for the required entrance-gifts." He looks at Amanther. "There are many more here than we agreed to take in, Amanther."

"These are their substantial gifts," he shows the Keeper the unique Imperial books and technical gizmos. "This magical map includes several unique language texts that originate from this stellar empire of theirs." He motions to Yin Hun, Emiko, and Rodan. "And this device holds dozens of books that, as far as I can tell, are not a part of our collection."

"We shall see," the Keeper takes Rodan's Unification Bible and nods in approval. He studies the electronic map and the various language dictionaries with great interest. Once he's gone through it all, he looks at Rodan and Yin Hun. "You are allied with this star empire?"

"No," Rodan replies. "While I am a cleric of the Merchant, I do not come from the empire myself. My world was conquered by the Dragon Empire. I now work to resist them and their Red Emperor who takes so much and gives nothing in return. While the Unification Church is the core religion of Empire, it does not always serve the empire. There are parts of it that do, but my belief in the Merchant doesn't make me a thrall of the empire."

"Truth," a monk steps up to Ulrant and nods in approval.

"And what about you two?" the Keeper asks Yin Hun and Emiko. "What brings you to our world? Do you wish to spread knowledge or death?"

The Keeper of the Tomes waits for an answer while studying you all with great interest. He remains calm and composed. He is both authoritative and supercilious in his demeanor yet there is a also a disquieting acrimony in his gaze.

OOC: *If "Salthorae wants to get back into the game, I'll find a way to bring Shazer'a and Nelalwe back into the group along with news from Amn and other Lands of Intrigue.
 
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KainG

Explorer
This was one of the top things that Yin Hun hated dealing with on primitive worlds: stuck-up locals clinging to dumb traditions as their world burns around them. Losing the mapbox and language chips will put a crimp in their intelligence resources. He and Emiko will have to rely more on the locals for info, and relying on others was one of the other top things the soldier hated. Still, the sacrifice was worth it to keep a few more people safe; he hadn't become that far callous. Yet.

Candlekeep was actually pretty impressive, but Yin Hun is pretty sure no matter what defenses they might have, magical or not, will be insufficient against the might of the Dragon Empire. They're fools is they think otherwise. Still, we're going to need any help we can get.

With a stern look on his face, Yin Hun addresses the Keeper."Both. The both of us are here to prepare you to resist your inevtiable occupation. You won't be able to win against this invasion, but play your cards right, and you can survive. And maybe one day overthrow your occupiers. Assuming the Empire doesn't just glass the whole planet."

"You keep boasting about this place's magical capabilities, and about the knowledge kept within. Well, you better get ready to share it. You people have very few advantages against the Empire, so we're going to need every one." The soldier says this last bit looking directly at the Magister.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
This was one of the top things that Yin Hun hated dealing with on primitive worlds: stuck-up locals clinging to dumb traditions as their world burns around them. Losing the mapbox and language chips will put a crimp in their intelligence resources. He and Emiko will have to rely more on the locals for info, and relying on others was one of the other top things the soldier hated. Still, the sacrifice was worth it to keep a few more people safe; he hadn't become that far callous. Yet.

Candlekeep was actually pretty impressive, but Yin Hun is pretty sure no matter what defenses they might have, magical or not, will be insufficient against the might of the Dragon Empire. They're fools is they think otherwise. Still, we're going to need any help we can get.

With a stern look on his face, Yin Hun addresses the Keeper."Both. The both of us are here to prepare you to resist your inevtiable occupation. You won't be able to win against this invasion, but play your cards right, and you can survive. And maybe one day overthrow your occupiers. Assuming the Empire doesn't just glass the whole planet."

"You keep boasting about this place's magical capabilities, and about the knowledge kept within. Well, you better get ready to share it. You people have very few advantages against the Empire, so we're going to need every one." The soldier says this last bit looking directly at the Magister.
"Truth," the nondescript monk says to the Keeper.

"It is as I told you, Ulrant," the Magister adds. "Our world is facing the end of an age and the beginning of a new one that will either destroy or transform it."

"Aye," the Keeper replies with a nod. He sighes and rubs his chin thoughtfully. "We will have the dubious honor of being witnesses to the end of an eon."

He looks at Yin Hun with a measure of respect. "You have spoken truthfully even though it would have been easier for you to try to lie or give me a half truth. I am aware of what happened in Baldur's Gate and news has come to me from other parts of Faerûn. The news is not good." He pauses and sighs. "We will allow you and all these others here to enter without the usual strictures, but I must ask all of you not to enter the inner coutyard without being invited. Come with us."

The Keeper motions to the monks arrayed in front of the gate. One of them bangs on the massive gate and the left gatedoor slowly swings open. The Keeper and the Magister lead the way inside while the other monks help the children and infirm inside. The massive gate door is large enough to allow the wagons to enter with space to spare.

"The other Avowed will see to your charges. We have set up several large tents over near the keep's baths," Ulrant points westward towards a large building that sits near one of the outer wall's towers. "They will be cared for there and will be washes and cleaned by our acolytes. They will be allowed to stay for a tenday, and we will have to limit their activies while they are here. Those that need healing will be taken to the House of the Binder, our temple to Oghma. They will be provided whatever food we can spare."

The Keeper leads them eastward towards two buildings that stand against the outside of the inner wall of the keep. The gate leading into the restricted courtyard stands open but several tall monks stand guard in front of it. The Keeper points to another building just inside the keep to your left. "That is the bunkhouse. It is for the Gatewarden and his Watchers. Do not enter it without being invited. No exceptions." He leads them towards a man who waits patiently. "Ah, here he is," the Keeper says. "This is Zorbath Sturon, our current Gatewarden. He will be in charge of your security while you are here."

"Well met," Zorbath says politely. "I'm sure I can count on you not to cause trouble while visting Candlekeep. You are each welcome to a room in the House of Rest and the Hearth will provide you with good fare at a reasonable price. You are free to visit the baths and use the keep's stables. And if you are a follower of Oghma, you may attend service at The Binder. There are also open shrines dedicated to Deneir, Gond, and Milil along the southern wall of The Hearth." He points to the second building next to the House of Rest. "Under no circumstance are you allowed in the bunkhouse, and you may not enter the Court of Air without Ulrant's permission. As long as you follow these rules, you will be welcome to stay for a tenday, no more. Break them and I will exile you personally."

"Also, if I agree to let you into the courtyard or through the Emerald Door, you must go through all the strictures that are required by our Order," Ulrant adds calmly. "Even the Chosen with you must abide by these rules," He looks towards the wagons heading towards the stables where Haspur still slumbers. "And if any of you are caught stealing while here, the thief will lose a finger, at the very least, and all of you all be exiled." He bows politely. "I will leave you in Zorbath's capable hands."

"Thank you for your kind words, Keeper," Zorbath bows to the monk.

"Once you have settled yourselves at Rest and eaten a meal, come find me in front of the The Binder, and I will tell you the news I have learned from other parts of Faerûn." He bows to them again and heads along the wide pathway past the House of Rest and The Hearth. The Magister goes with him.

"Winthrop will provide you rooms," the Gatewarden motions to the inn. He waits for you to comply and you notice there are several other soldiers nearby, watching overtly. Their faces are serene and without menace.
 

Shayuri

Villager
"A whole tenday," Silhouette murmured sarcastically. "Well, I hope the libraries here are as legendary as their generosity is not. We'll need to act very fast to organize any kind of serious expedition in that time."

She looked around for a moment, orienting herself, then said, "Thrak, see about claiming us a room and some food. Hm. Maybe nose around and see who's here already while you're at it. Mercenaries. Quartermasters. Labor. We'll need people if we're going to caravan into the desert. I'm going to see a man about library privileges."

The shadowy sorceress reached into her pouch, produced the tiny communication device that Yin-hun had been showing her, and delicately hooked it around her left ear so the bud poked just inside. The catch to turn it on would be just behind...yes, there.

Silhouette then turned and looked at the others expectantly. "What are the rest of you planning? Perhaps we can coordinate efforts."
 

Buddha the DM

Explorer
"I was going to see about some food first," Soumral says as she looks around the keep grounds. "Then possibly look to see if they have any bows available for sale."
 

KainG

Explorer
"Emiko, can you with Thrak? We can use the room as a temporary base of operations." Turning to the rest of the group, Yin Hun says, "Before we left that forest, I managed to retrieve several useful items from the downed escape pod. It belonged to a member of a species called the Fraal. They don't have close ties to the Empire, and normally take a neutral stance in interstellar affairs. They're known to be geneticist; knowledgeable manipulating the nature of flesh, to put in simpler terms. They're always exploring; this one might have taken an interest in your world when its discovery was made known."

Glancing around at the guards nearby, Yin Hun leaned in closer to the others and lowered his voice.
"In any case, we've got some extra gear that might prove useful on our journey. Most of it is redundant for Emiko and I, so feel free to take what you want. We'll explain how to use them to you. Adn we have another item that these librarians might interested. I held onto it in case we need another bargaining chip. We need to make sure the salvage we got from the pod is secured as well. We can't use them now, but if manage to get our hands on a ship, they could be useful."

"After we're set up, I think Emiko and I will try to gather more intel about this desert we're going to, and if there's any record of any weapons or anything that can help up us fight against the Empire. If these monks' boasts are any part truthful, then there must be something we can use."
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
"A whole tenday," Silhouette murmured sarcastically. "Well, I hope the libraries here are as legendary as their generosity is not. We'll need to act very fast to organize any kind of serious expedition in that time."
"The Keeper has already let you come into Candlekeep without all of the usual restrictions," Zorbath notes. "If we stayed completely true to out traditions, you all would have been turned away at the gate. A fully loaded carvan of people cannot just roll up to this fortress and expect to be let inside. We do understand that change is coming to Toril and that change will likely be violent. If the library's tomes are going to be protected, or at least preserved, Candlekeep can't become a permanent hideout for freedom fighters."

"Yet you'll put out the children and the elderly too," Rodan replies indigantly.

"We are not an orphanage or a hospice, although the children could stay longer if they wish to devote themselves to Candlekeep as future acolytes of the order. There wouldn't be a guarantee of acceptance but bright minds will be given a chance to stay, if they so choose. We will not force them to stay and become monks."

"They won't survive on their own," Rodan insists.

"Then they must find permanent shelter elsewhere," Zorbath replies calmly. "We are willing to help them find a safe refuge from this invading empire, but it won't be here. We will do what we can and that is all."

Shayuri said:
She looked around for a moment, orienting herself, then said, "Thrak, see about claiming us a room and some food. Hm. Maybe nose around and see who's here already while you're at it. Mercenaries. Quartermasters. Labor. We'll need people if we're going to caravan into the desert. I'm going to see a man about library privileges."
"Aye," Thrak nods. "I will do my best.

"If you are seeking aid for your quest," the gatewarden says. "Find a man named Firebeard Elvenhair. He's a mage of some skill and he travels a lot along the Sword Coast. His main trade is books, which makes him valuable here, but he dabbles in other items as well."

The goliath nods and heads into the inn.

Shayuri said:
The shadowy sorceress reached into her pouch, produced the tiny communication device that Yin-hun had been showing her, and delicately hooked it around her left ear so the bud poked just inside. The catch to turn it on would be just behind...yes, there.

Silhouette then turned and looked at the others expectantly. "What are the rest of you planning? Perhaps we can coordinate efforts."
"I was going to see about some food first," Soumral says as she looks around the keep grounds. "Then possibly look to see if they have any bows available for sale."
The gatewarden points Soumral towards The Hearth for food. "And Winthorp should have goods for sale at the House of Rest. While he doesn't carry a wide selection of weapons, I'm sure he has something of value."

"I will go check on Haspur," Rodan replies. "And make sure he is well taken care of." The raptoran bows to the gatwarden and then walks off towards the stables.

"Emiko, can you with Thrak? We can use the room as a temporary base of operations."
"Will do," Emiko replies to Yin Hun. She follows the big goliath. The two of them enter the inn together. The edifice is quite down to earth. 'A typical backwater hostel', Emiko thinks.

The place is quite clean, however. A bald, rotund man stands near a table and chats up a guest. The guest is definitely dressed like a noble, although he'd be laughed out of any noble court in the empire. Said guest seems to be complaining about something. The bald man diffuses the nobleman's anger with a well-timed joke and a free drink. Then he notices Thrak and Emiko. There are an odd pairing and they smell of the road. The nobleman holds his nose and gags through a silk handkerchief.

The bald man just smiles and greets them warmly. "Yer are welcome in The Rest. I'm assuming ye are two of the guests that ol' Ulrant told me would be arriving from Baldur's Gate. Well met," he shakes both their hands, Emiko's first and Thrak's second. "I am Winthrop. I've set rooms aside for ye and yer companions. While they aren't my best, the rooms are cleaner than an elf's arse! Har!" Then he whispers, "A private bath is extra, I'm afraid. But I'll only charge ye a single silver each for use of the tub and changing the water, of course. You can choose to use the keep's bathhouse."

KainG said:
Turning to the rest of the group, Yin Hun says, "Before we left that forest, I managed to retrieve several useful items from the downed escape pod. It belonged to a member of a species called the Fraal. They don't have close ties to the Empire, and normally take a neutral stance in interstellar affairs. They're known to be geneticist; knowledgeable manipulating the nature of flesh, to put in simpler terms. They're always exploring; this one might have taken an interest in your world when its discovery was made known."
"Fr-hall," Belgeon tries to say. "I've never heard of them, which isn't surprising, I guess."

"Do you think these beings will help us?" Bentey Mirrorshade asks. "Or are they just more invaders?" The gnome had had to give up several rare cookbooks to the monks in order to get his wife, Gellana, and their two children safely inside Candlekeep.

KainG said:
Glancing around at the guards nearby, Yin Hun leaned in closer to the others and lowered his voice.
"In any case, we've got some extra gear that might prove useful on our journey. Most of it is redundant for Emiko and I, so feel free to take what you want. We'll explain how to use them to you. Adn we have another item that these librarians might interested. I held onto it in case we need another bargaining chip. We need to make sure the salvage we got from the pod is secured as well. We can't use them now, but if manage to get our hands on a ship, they could be useful."
Before he heads of to check on Haspur, Rodan tells Yin Hun that he'll take a look at the items later if no one else claims them. The idea of getting a hold of a ship and getting off this planet plays through the raptorans mind and he looks towards the wagons where he knows Yin Hun and Emiko stored the pods components.

"I'd be interested in taking a look at what you got and learning more about this empire we're going to be fighting," Belgeon says eagerly but queitly. Yin Hun notes that without his Flaming Fist uniform, the soldier looks younger—a lot younger.

"Right now, all I want is a meal and a good night's sleep," Loranys says while stifling a yawn. She walks with Soumral towards The Hearth. The two of them enter the eatery along with a young refugee who is carrying a basket. The inside of the The Hearth is cozy and smell of food wafts out the door—freshly baked bead, slow-roasted chicken, and the smell of spices.

Soumral notices a happy petite woman who is taking care of everyone with a smile. She hugs several patrons that she obviously knows and pats the young boy on the head when he comes up to her with his empty basket. She rubs the dirt from his cheeks and fills the basket with bread, fresh vegetables, and cheese. He nods in thanks and rushes out with his treasures.

The young miss sees the two woman enter and she greets them warmly and offers them seats around a table with others. "I will bring you some plates," she says. "I am Elisabet. Welcome to The Hearth."

KainG said:
"After we're set up, I think Emiko and I will try to gather more intel about this desert we're going to, and if there's any record of any weapons or anything that can help up us fight against the Empire. If these monks' boasts are any part truthful, then there must be something we can use."
"I'll put together some notes on my experiences while I was there," Belgeon adds. "Since you had to give up your magical map, I can draw a map from memory. Well, the parts I saw, at least, and the route we took to get from Baldur's Gate to Citadel Adbar, and the road to Ascore too. That will get us to the edge of Anauroch. Of course, if we're going to take a ship up the coast, my map will only be good for part of the way. I'm sure the monks will have a detailed map, but whether or not they'll let us copy." Belgeon shrugs his shoulders. "I think I want some food first." The young man heads towards The Hearth.

"I'll join you all shortly," Bentley says with a wink and a nod. "I have to go check on my kin and make sure we get settled in the tents." The gnome heads off towards the baths and he soon catches up with Rodan.

Gatewarden Sturon waits patiently for Yin Hun while Silhouette goes after the Keeper of the Tomes to discuss 'library privileges'. It doesn't take her long to catch up with them.

"You wish something, do you Miss Silhouette," Ulrant says plainly to Silhouette. "Of do you prefer Lady Siel van Atsmiaan, or perhaps the name your sire 'gave' you at birth"
 
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Shayuri

Villager
Silhouette grins. "You're sassy for a librarian," she replies. "Silhouette will do just fine."

"As for what I wish, it's access to some of Candlekeep's books, and maps. As much as it must pain you to hear, my companions and I are only planning a stopover here. Alas, we must press on, but we'll need some bit of the knowledge of this place to do so. Specifically, maps of the Anauroch and surrounding areas, as well as any relevant books."
 

KainG

Explorer
Emiko greets the innkeeper in kind. "Thank you, Mr. Winthrop, I'll take it into consideration. We should get set up in the rooms first, though."

Once inside the room, Emiko scopes it out. She mentally maps out entry points and exit routes. Taking several more minutes, she examines the integrity of the room's construction, checking for any gaps that anyone outside could take advantage of peeking or listening in.

-----

"Neither are likely, the Fraal want to remain uninvolved as much as possible," Yin Hun tells Bentley. Turning to Belgeon, he says, "Good. It won't be easy, but I will get you ready to fight. But Loranys is right. Get some food and rest, and we'll start fresh tomorrow morning. And bring anyone else who is willing to fight."

Yin Hun contacts Emiko over his comm unit. After confirming where their temporary lodgings is located, Yin Hun enters the inn and heads into the room.

"Go ahead and get refreshed, and get a meal in," he tells her. "I'll secure my things, then do the same after you. I'll meet up with you there. And afterwards we'll meet up with the others at that 'Binder' place with the old man."
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Silhouette grins. "You're sassy for a librarian," she replies. "Silhouette will do just fine."
"As you wish, Miss Silhouette," Ulraunt replies with a bow.

Shayuri said:
"As for what I wish, it's access to some of Candlekeep's books, and maps. As much as it must pain you to hear, my companions and I are only planning a stopover here. Alas, we must press on, but we'll need some bit of the knowledge of this place to do so. Specifically, maps of the Anauroch and surrounding areas, as well as any relevant books."
"Ah, a true seeker of knowledge," he replies. "Of course you may gain access to one of the reading-rooms after you've gone through the mental and physical tests required by the order. You will have to answer questions truthfully about you, your life, your struggles, and about what it is you hope to learn while here. Anauroch is a vast place and out collection on it is so as well. It might help for you to think about narrowing down what it is you want to learn about the great desert. Ancient history? Flora and fauna? The history of the shades? The various tribes of the Bedine and D'tarig? Magical mysteries and hidden treasures, perhaps? There is a great deal to learn but you only have a tenday to study what we have in the archives." He pauses. "You do understand that you cannot take anything with you when you leave unless you pay to have one of our illuminators make a copy. And it cannot be a magical tome. An illuminator could probably copy a nonmagical book on Anauroch within a tenday, as long as it isn't exhaustive. You can get only certain sections of a book copied but anything less than a page has a minimum cost of 100 gold. You should have a clear idea of what you want after the 24 hour meditation period is completed."

Ulraunt walks with her and the Magister until they reach the temple of Oghma. "When you are ready to sit down with one of our monks to make you case for entry past the Emerald Door, head over to the necessariums," he points to a series of buildings. "You will be taken into an audience-chamber to begin answering questions. While the questioning won't last the entire time, it will be extensive. 'Truth is the key to the door'." He pauses for effect. "The bulk of the time must be spent in quiet reflection, but you cannot sleep. You may eat and study any written missives you already possess. Once you've completed the time in meditation, you will be allowed to enter through the Emerald Door and be granted access to the reading-rooms within the keep, within limits, of course. While reading through your selections, one of the order will stay with you to answer any questions you may have and find other tome or scrolls that might interest you. Time will go quickly, so have a plan before you enter. You can chat with members of the order in the necessariums before you begin the ritual, but do not tarry. You only have a tenday before you must leave Candlekeep."

He stops in front of the temple's doors and smiles at Silhouette. "I hope you find your answers, Seeker Silhouette." He bows again and steps through the doors into the temple.

"If you want a good general reference on Anauroch, I recommend a book called 'A Stranger in the Great Desert' by a dwarven scholar named Arastrukara Darkbranch," the Magister suggests. "It gives good overview of the desert and its dangers without detailing every rock and crevasse. Matron Darkbranch penned it ten years ago but the information is still reliable. If you get it illuminated by the monks, it should cost you roughly 200 gold, and they'll be able to finish it before you have to leave. If you want something more exhaustive, I suggest you take a look through the massive tome called 'Eras of Anauroch'. There is no way for you to get even one chapter of it illuminated within a tenday and it would cost you and companions a large fortune. But reading even parts of it could save your lives."

Emiko greets the innkeeper in kind. "Thank you, Mr. Winthrop, I'll take it into consideration. We should get set up in the rooms first, though."
"As you wish," Winthrop replies cheerfully. He points towards the stairs. "Just head up stairs and pick one of the rooms with a copper plate tacked to the door."

KainG said:
Once inside the room, Emiko scopes it out. She mentally maps out entry points and exit routes. Taking several more minutes, she examines the integrity of the room's construction, checking for any gaps that anyone outside could take advantage of peeking or listening in.
The room is cozy and well insulated. There aren't any huge gaps in the walls, although they aren't very thick. She can clearly hear another guest snoring 'loudly' through the walls of one of the rooms. She doesn't pick that one.

KainG said:
"Neither are likely, the Fraal want to remain uninvolved as much as possible," Yin Hun tells Bentley.
"Darn, that's too bad," Bentley says. "They sound they could be quite powerful allies."

KainG said:
Turning to Belgeon, he says, "Good. It won't be easy, but I will get you ready to fight. But Loranys is right. Get some food and rest, and we'll start fresh tomorrow morning. And bring anyone else who is willing to fight."
Belgeon nods. He heads towards the Hearth to get a meal. The smell of foods draws the young soldier quickly inside.

KainG said:
Yin Hun contacts Emiko over his comm unit. After confirming where their temporary lodgings is located, Yin Hun enters the inn and heads into the room.

"Go ahead and get refreshed, and get a meal in," he tells her. "I'll secure my things, then do the same after you. I'll meet up with you there. And afterwards we'll meet up with the others at that 'Binder' place with the old man."
Emiko nods and heads out. The room will do. It's primitive but clean and safe. Emiko managed to get a room with two beds and a large wooden cabinet with an option for an iron lock. There is also an old chest that has seen better days. The blankets on the bed are warm and woolen. It will be a restful night's sleep at least.

Yin Hun passes the inn's owner on his way out. The man seems friendly, as well as wise beyond the rustic surroundings he's likely lived in his whole life. Yin Hun also notes that Thrak is schmoozing up the locals for information. The big goliath seems to have a way with people when liquor is flowing. That could prove useful in the conflict to come.

Entering the Hearth, Yin Hun feels like he's steps into a holo-novel about the days of yore. Well, as much yore as there ever was in the Empire. It feels surreal, but he knows just how real these peoples lives are going to get over the next few decades. There is hope and joy in their eyes, which might dim or might turn into fierce resistance. If he does his job right, it will be the latter.

He finds Emiko sitting and eating at a table with Soumral and the two plainclothes Flaming Fists. The matron of the eatery greets him with a smile and a plate of food. Yin Hun can tell its good by the enticing smell and by how much Emiko is putting away. Hunger quickly takes over, and he's three plates in before he realizes he'd been famished. He truly enjoys himself for the first time since coming to Toril. There is laughter, music, and local jokes he doesn't quite get.

Time passes and eventually the goliath joins them. The hostess and Winthorp's wife, Elisabet, eyes bug out when she sees him enter. She shakes her head and laughs at herself before heading back into the kitchen to tell her cooks to put some more meat on the fire and dig deeper into the pantry.

Thrak enters with several other people in tow. Yin Hun and Emiko saw them in the inn. There is a big man with a tattoo on his face, a young woman who looks like a local spellslinger, a savage looking half-elf, and a tough-looking ronin who looks like he could be of Yin Hun's bloodline. With those come another man that hadn't been in the inn. He is tall. So much so that he has to duck his head like Thrak had done when entering. There is something arcane about him, but he also has a sword strapped to his back.

Thrak points to you and the others while taking a look around the eatery. He shrugs and then finds the sturdiest chair in the place and moves it to your table. He sits downs and Elisabet brings him a platter with a bit of everything on it. The newcomers come over to the table and Thrak (semi-)introduces you all to them before digging into his meal. He stops to gulp down a huge mouthful of food before speaking again. "These adventurers are seeking help in getting to Waterdeep," he says to Yin Hun and Soumrel. "An opportunity has come up and they need more bodies to help protect a caravan. The lord who owns the caravan is named Gruen Bleth. They aren't leaving right away, so I thought we might travel with them."

"Have you explained what happened in Baldur's Gate," Belgeon asks.

"No, I decided that should come from Yin Hun or Rodan," Thrak replies. "They can descibe it better than I could hope to do."

"We do know that something big is happening," the human woman says. "The monks never let so many strangers in Candlekeep without the required books. Ever."

"Imoen," the tall man says. "Lets wait and hear what they have to say."

"Aw, c'mon Landor, there is danger in the air — like... like it was then — m-maybe worse," the woman named Imoen muses. The tall man gives her a firm look, and she crosses her arms sullenly.

"Swords, not words!" The tattooed man exclaims.

"Not now, Minsc," the half-elven woman insists calmly. "Sit down over there and make sure Boo is okay."

The tattooed man's eyes go wide and he nods fiercely. He rushes over to a corner and opens up a pocket on his belt. A... rodent scampers into his hand and he cradles it like a delicate egg.

Is, is he alright?" Loranys asks.

"Yes, he'll be fine," Landor says. "Minsc's a great warrior, but he's not much for conversaton. And he can come off as odd."

"That is an understatement," the ronin says. "I am pleased to meet you all. I am Yoshimo Nishimaru." He bows gracefully. "I hope we can come to an agreement on traveling together. I have this sense that the roads will extremely dangerous without great numbers."

"I am Landor Sombragard," the tall man says. "Imoen and I grew up together here in Candlekeep, although I don't live here anymore. I spend more time in the North."

"And who's fault is that?" Imoen mocks.

"Winthrop is a nice man, but his not my father, Immy."

Imoen sticks her tongue out at him, and he smirks, barely.

"I guess we're doing introductions," the half-elf says. "I am Jaheira Virsatraen." She says nothing else.

"Way to be friendly, Jaheira," Imoen says while rolling her eyes.

"The merchant lord should be along shortly," Thrak says as the hostess refills his platter. "He seems eager to hire as many bodies as he can. It could be beneficial to all of us. There's another option as well, but I don't know the details."

"Is Silhouette going to be here soon?" Belgeon asks. "Oh, I'm Belgeon," he adds to the newcomers. Imoen shakes the Flaming Fist's hand and grins.

"She'll get here when she gets here," Thrak replies. "What she's doing is important but hopefully she's not ruffling the monks' feathers... too much" He grins.

Loranys stands and bows to the newcomers. "I am Loranys of Baldur's Gate. We come to Candlekeep to seek knowledge that will help stop an invasion from the stars."

"An invasion from the stars?" Landor looks at his allies and then notices Yin Hun and Emiko's clothes. "So my visions aren't just dreams." He takes up a chair and sits down next to the offworlders. "Tell me of these invaders and I will tell you what I have seen of the possible future to come."

Before Yin Hun can start. Bentley and Rodan walk in. Rodan notes the look on others faces. The raptoran sighs. "What happened now?"
 

KainG

Explorer
Yin Hun greets the newcomers with a sharp nod. He gives them a quick introduction to himself and Emiko, and their purpose on their planet. He then goes on to explain the Dragon Empire and their intent on conquering Toril, and the opening salvo at Baldur's Gate. "The Imperials have crippled your magic, and their gods are co-opting your priests. Their technology is far beyond yours, and they can call upon the resources of hundreds of worlds. In short, conquest is inevitable. But resistance, if done carefully, is possible. With time and resources, your world might regain its autonomy, even under the boot of the Empire."

The alien soldier had already gotten his estimation of these adventurers. They were well-armed and carried themselves with a manner Yin Hun had seen in special forces operators. They might be useful in the coming fight.

Yin Hun turned to Soumral and the others. "Waterdeep is on our way to Anayroch, correct? Joining them on this caravan might be useful."
 

Shayuri

Villager
Silhouette listened to the man prattle with outward calm she didn't feel. Clinging to rituals while the world literally burned! A small man, with a small mind, cowering behind the only defenses he'd ever known long after finding out they would not protect him. Their magic was gone now though...would it be so hard? A spell, a command...taking Ulraunt would mean all further barriers would melt away. Even those morally opposed to such acts would be forced to admit, in time, that one man's freedom of will was a small price to pay for information that could save lives! Who was he to stand in her way?!

She closed her eyes for a long moment, riding out the storm, then opened them again and nodded.

"Thank you, Ulraunt, for your suggestions. I'm sure I'll find them useful."

Magic was ever a sword with two edges. The apprentice's mistakes was in believing that the second edge was on the opposite side of the blade from the first. It wasn't though. It was in the handle. To wield magic was to be wielded by magic. This was the key to Mystra's power...and the other goddesses who had borne the weight of the domain of magic. Power used was power offered.

Silhouette had learned long ago to touch a different magic altogether, but its touch was on her as well. Sometimes the line between using and being used was thin indeed.

Twenty-four hours was a long time to be sequestered with no one knowing. She decided to visit the others first and explain the situation. Perhaps she could set them to some of the tasks she would have done herself in that time, and thus lose less to this idiot's charade.

Well...she'd done far more demeaning things for far less rewards before, though those days were not ones she was eager to relive.

=====

"They call it 'technology,'" Thrak adds, "But it is like magic. Magic machines. Some large enough to carry soldiers and horses, that fly through the air. Some small, but able to throw fire like wands...except they don't need wizards to do it. I haven't seen much of them yet, but we have a few from the same world as the invaders who have come to help."

He bobs his shaved head towards Yin Hun and Emiko and the others. Then he leans forwards and says with a grim smile, "I have heard them say many times that conquest cannot be stopped...but for my part it is not the outcome of the war that defines us, it is the struggle and the clash!"

Thrak settles back in his chair then, which creaks alarmingly under him. "It is said my ancestor once wrestled a mountain...betting it that if he did not lose, the mountain would give his people a home for all time." He nods. "He wrestles still...for though he cannot win, until he stops he has not lost. At times the mountain shakes with the contest, but until the last days we will have our home."

"Gods of light and dark, Thrak, not that story again."

The voice was feminine, amused more than impatient. Silhouette had arrived, tall and onyx and statuesque. Her eyes roved over the new faces at the table in turn, weighing each and moving on.

Thrak moved over and made space for her to pull a chair up.

"I see we've made some friends. I am Silhouette."
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Silhouette listened to the man prattle with outward calm she didn't feel. Clinging to rituals while the world literally burned! A small man, with a small mind, cowering behind the only defenses he'd ever known long after finding out they would not protect him. Their magic was gone now though...would it be so hard? A spell, a command...taking Ulraunt would mean all further barriers would melt away. Even those morally opposed to such acts would be forced to admit, in time, that one man's freedom of will was a small price to pay for information that could save lives! Who was he to stand in her way?!

She closed her eyes for a long moment, riding out the storm, then opened them again and nodded.

"Thank you, Ulraunt, for your suggestions. I'm sure I'll find them useful."
He beams a smile at her before he enters the temple.

"I think he likes you," the Magister says quietly. "Well, he likes your determination and zeal. Be quick of mind and physically tempered and the monks might become more pilable." She glances at Sil's face. "If you let anger guide you, however, you will make enemies of them long before the Dragon Empire subjugates our world." She sighs and stares at the sky. "Elminster told me about it once, but I could hardly wrap my mind around it. For while I've studies the planes, I've rarely delved into the subject of Arcane Space. Most of what has been written about that subject is poor conjecture, of course. Air envelopes and galleons sailing from world to world, bah!" She shakes her head. "No, the universe we live in is a great deal more dangerous than that."

She notes that Silhouette's face is less angry and more, impatient. "I'm sorry to ramble on so," she apologizes with a beaming smile. It is so genuine that it hurts the tiefling's gut. "I must stay with Ulraunt, for now. But we can speak more later. Well met, Seeker Silhouette."

Shayuri said:
Magic was ever a sword with two edges. The apprentice's mistakes was in believing that the second edge was on the opposite side of the blade from the first. It wasn't though. It was in the handle. To wield magic was to be wielded by magic. This was the key to Mystra's power...and the other goddesses who had borne the weight of the domain of magic. Power used was power offered.

Silhouette had learned long ago to touch a different magic altogether, but its touch was on her as well. Sometimes the line between using and being used was thin indeed.

Twenty-four hours was a long time to be sequestered with no one knowing. She decided to visit the others first and explain the situation. Perhaps she could set them to some of the tasks she would have done herself in that time, and thus lose less to this idiot's charade.

Well...she'd done far more demeaning things for far less rewards before, though those days were not ones she was eager to relive.
The Magister watches Silhouette walk away, for a while. There is something about the woman's eyes being on Sil that makes the tiefling's heart race.

Yin Hun greets the newcomers with a sharp nod. He gives them a quick introduction to himself and Emiko, and their purpose on their planet. He then goes on to explain the Dragon Empire and their intent on conquering Toril, and the opening salvo at Baldur's Gate. "The Imperials have crippled your magic, and their gods are co-opting your priests. Their technology is far beyond yours, and they can call upon the resources of hundreds of worlds. In short, conquest is inevitable. But resistance, if done carefully, is possible. With time and resources, your world might regain its autonomy, even under the boot of the Empire."
"I will not bend a knee to these gods," Jaheira says plainly. "Nature is my goddess."

"Technology, like what the priests of Gond use?" Imoen asks, hopefully.

Shayuri said:
"They call it 'technology,'" Thrak adds, "But it is like magic. Magic machines. Some large enough to carry soldiers and horses, that fly through the air. Some small, but able to throw fire like wands...except they don't need wizards to do it. I haven't seen much of them yet, but we have a few from the same world as the invaders who have come to help."

He bobs his shaved head towards Yin Hun and Emiko and the others.
"Worlds, not a single world," Rodan corrects. "The Dragon Empire is an empire of thousands of stars. Its people come from countless worlds and there are more intelligent species than I'd ever be able to count in my lifetime."

"That sounds awfully big," Imoen says glumly. She looks at her childhood friend.

"Aye," Landor nods. "It is as I've seen in my dreams." He pauses to let Thrak continue.

Shayuri said:
Then {Thrak} leans forwards and says with a grim smile, "I have heard them say many times that conquest cannot be stopped...but for my part it is not the outcome of the war that defines us, it is the struggle and the clash!"

Thrak settles back in his chair then, which creaks alarmingly under him. "It is said my ancestor once wrestled a mountain...betting it that if he did not lose, the mountain would give his people a home for all time." He nods. "He wrestles still...for though he cannot win, until he stops he has not lost. At times the mountain shakes with the contest, but until the last days we will have our home."

"Gods of light and dark, Thrak, not that story again."

The voice was feminine, amused more than impatient. Silhouette had arrived, tall and onyx and statuesque. Her eyes roved over the new faces at the table in turn, weighing each and moving on.

Thrak moved over and made space for her to pull a chair up.

"I see we've made some friends. I am Silhouette."
Introductions are made all around while food piles onto the table. Elisabet goes well beyond the norm. Imoen gives her a hug and a peck on the check and says, "Thanks mum." Once everyones plates are full, Landor speaks of his visions.

"At first, I thought it was a dream of previous horrors I've faced. My past is, bloody, and I often relive those events in my dreams. But this time, there was no voice of Bhaal or visions of... Sarevok."He pauses and Imoen pats him on the arm.

The warrior named Minsc puts his rodent on his shoulder and pulls his chair closer at the mention of that name. He listens intensely to his old friend's words—although his mind doesn't fully understand everything that is said.

He takes a deep breath and nods. "No, this was quite different. I saw all of Toril burning. Not just Faerûn. I saw these magic machines lay waste to towns, fortresses, and cities. Even the stongest of the world's castles and cities fall, eventually. Even Candlekeep. Endless hundreds of massive walking metal monsters that tower over defenders like giants lay seige to Athkatla, Calimport, Selgaunt, Silverymoon, Suzail, Waterdeep... and even Thaymount. They do indeed throw fire, like Thrak says, but also lightning, cold, all the known elemental energies. And some shoot powerful metallic spearpoints, from strange metallic bows, that can tear through flesh, bone, wood, stone, steel, and even mithral.

"At the same time, the Gods of Faerûn are forced to battle strange avatars that walk the lands of Mulhorand. The Mulhorandi pantheon and their followers go over to the empire—and are changed. Gods battle gods across the landscape, skies, and seas. There are avatars that look like metal machines and they carry weapons that can burn cities to dust and shatter mountains. The other gods of Toril eventually join the fray and the result is a cataclysm beyond anything I've ever witnessed."


"Aspects of the Unification Church," Rodan whispers in awe. The fear grips him and his heart races. 'No, no, no, no, no, no!' His mind races. 'Not that! Anything but that!'

"Its way worse than we thought," Loranys says. The Flaming Fist's eyes are full of tears. "It's the Time of Troubles all over again."

"That's not the worst of it," Landor replies. "In my dreams I see colossal metal—ships?—flying high above the world. Dozens of these ships bombard the ground from the sky. They rain down fire and deadly energy that my mind cannot fathom." He stops at looks and Yin Hun and Rodan.

"It's called radiation," Rodan says angrily. 'If the empire bombs the world with radioactive weaponry, Toril is doomed', he thinks. He looks at Yin Hun and Emiko. "We should flee as soon as we can and take as many people as possible."

"It does not end there," Landor continues. "For while this 'ray-dee-aye-shon' kills millions of people, the conquest of Toril becomes a war against freedom and nature. Those that survive are rounded up into camps and taken away in these magical flying machines Thrak mentioned. Those that resist are killed or put to work as slaves. Archmages and kings are shackled almost as easily as merchants and serfs. They are all forced to cut down the forests and dig up the mountains—timber and precious metals, and mithral. So much mithral is taken. This empire takes every vein of the metal they can find and any arms or armor made from it as well. The steal half of the world away in a heartbeat and then builds massive cities on the world's ruins made out of glass and metal, which are then ruled by infamous chromatic dragons of the world who choose power over freedom."

"Your world is destined to become like mine," Rodan says glumly. "The empire came and took everything we had. Yes, we fought back. Half of the world gave its lives to try and stop them. And my world was more advanced than yours. We had just begun learning to build guns and ships and some understanding of space and its rules." The raptoran pauses and sighs. He looks at Landor and the others with a sadness in his eyes. "I am sorry."

"Is there no hope, Landor?" Yoshimo asks.

"The future is not set," Landor replies. "But it will take more than hope to change it." He looks at Rodan and Yin Hun again. "In some of my dreams, it is not as dark a landscape. The end result is the same, but more of the world's people and culture survives. The world becomes balanced between cities of technology and the natural world. A powerful force called Golion comes to rule the world and in a strange throne room, an ancient red dragon seethes in anger."

"Mezzenbone, the Red Emperor," Rodan answers. "If his minions can be thwarted by Grand Duke Kupric and House Golion, your world might have a chance to merge into the empire more naturally. Somehow, we need a way to get the Grand Duke on our side. After all, he was the previous Dragon Emperor before passing the Dragonstar Throne onto Mezzenbone 40 years ago. His political power is immense."

"There is no fate but what we make for ourselves," Landor says with a nod.

"Do any of those fates have us winning?" Belgeon asks.

"None that I have seen," he answers.

"Do not worry so, old friend," Minsc says happily. "Boo says all our enemies will fall! Minsc will lead with blade and boot! Boo will take care of the details."

Landor smiles. Imoen laughs. Yoshimo nods. Jaheira sighs and shakes her head.

The platters and mugs are soon empty and your bellies are filled. Elisabet comes around to see if anyone wants more food or drink.
 
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Buddha the DM

Explorer
Yin Hun turned to Soumral and the others. "Waterdeep is on our way to Anayroch, correct? Joining them on this caravan might be useful."
"If we're forced to travel up the coast Waterdeep would be on the way to the Anauroch desert," Soumral says and she idly picks at her food while thinking. "The only problem with travelling past Waterdeep from here is that we'd have to go past Baldur's Gate which could pose problems."

"If we go that route I'd recommend we stock up on supplies perhaps a little more than normal as a precaution,"
she says looking around.
 

Shayuri

Villager
"Any course we take must avoid the cities," Silhouette says quietly. "To go near them now is to risk annihilation or capture. Our only protection against eyes in the sky is the sheer size of Faerun. We must be lost in it."

Her gaze lingers on Landor.

"Dreams of a dead god, and of the man who attempted to assassinate his way to sole rulership of Baldur's Gate...and now a prophecy as well. You're no ordinary mercenary, are you?"

Her mouth twists in a scowl and she sighs and looks away.

"As much as I'd like to explore that further, it will have to wait. The monks are insisting I follow their forms to gain access to the library, and that means a full day of explaining and proving myself to them, in isolation. Unfortunately if anyone else wants in, they'll have to do it as well. As well, they'll be charging me handsomely for any information I take out with me so...Thrak, I'll need whatever's left of the gold."

The goliath leaned forward and put a purse on the table, which she collected and peered into before putting it into a pouch.

"So," Silhouette said, "it's probably the best use of our time if I take all of our questions in myself to research, rather than each of us going in individually. I know what I mean to look up, but have any of the rest of you information you seek from Candlekeep?"
 

KainG

Explorer
"Soumral and Silhouette make good points," Yin Hun says to Landor. "We should avoid major settlements. And if Waterdeep is as important Baldur's Gate, then you can be sure that it'll be under assault as well. Still... it would be good to assess the situation there while we're on our way."

The soldier turns to his companions. "I think it'll be a good idea to join up on this caravan. Do you all think the same?"

Emiko slides the Biotech implantation manual over to Silhouette. "Here, you might be able to use to pay them off. It seems like something they would definitely want," she says. "I was planning on trying to access the archives as well, but you're right that only one of us needs to go. I can instead help the boss train the locals. I wanted to look up for any means to return magic to full power, or if there are any weapons of mass destruction hidden on your planet. I'll transmit the details to your communicator. In fact, while you're doing the research, we can stay in touch and update each other immediately through the comms. I can show you how."
 

Shayuri

Villager
Silhouette glances at Yin Hun with a slight frown. "You confuse me. On the one hand, you say I'm right to avoid Waterdeep...on the next breath you propose we join a caravan traveling...to Waterdeep. No. I do not think the same. The situation in Waterdeep isn't relevant to us right now. The risks of 'assessing' it far outweighs any benefit I would expect to gain."

She accepts the 'implantation manual' with a curious expression, and turns it over in her fingers. It crosses her mind to correct Emiko's assumptions...she seems under the impression that the monks could be 'bought off' with this. Similarly, there was no need to consult the libraries of Candlekeep for the answer to her question. With Mystra dead, the answer was plain; nothing. Presumably the divine mantle could be claimed by another, but how that would happen was unlikely to be in any mortal library, or a mortal could attempt to resurrect the Weave...and it just so happened that the only place that had been tried before was exactly where they were going.

But you never knew when something like this thing Emiko was giving her would come in handy. Handing it off to the monks would simply ensure no one ever got use of it. Better, perhaps, if it was looked after by someone who wasn't so eager to toss it away. And if Emiko didn't think Silhouette was going to use this, she'd probably want it back.

She pocketed the manual with a nod at Emiko.

"I'll let you know what I find. Does anyone else have any requests for me?"
 

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