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

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Originally Posted by Shayuri
She gave the Duke a graceful bow.

"An honor to meet you, your grace. Forgive my lack of manners earlier. There was a lot happening at once. I am Siel, and this is Thrak. Sadly, our visit to your fine city seems to have been cut somewhat short by these events. I realize I have no standing here, but whatever aid or counsel I can give I freely offer."

"This threat would seem to hang over far more than just Baldur's Gate, after all."
"Indeed," Eltan replies. "And do not worry about being overtly formal me. Lord Eltan will suffice. I am not a king."

Originally Posted by Shayuri
Silhouette indicated the hobgoblin with a wave of her hand.

"It was Haspur that told me this one could be important. He implied he may even join our cause, despite being a servant of this Empire."
"And so it seems he is important in that he has knowledge that he is willing to share," the Grand Duke says. "Whether or not that knowledge is vital enough to save Toril remains to be seen."

Originally Posted by Shayuri
"With due respect," Silhouette said, coming closer to Tocrhor and peering down at him, "With an invasion of our world looming, you might forgive us seeing a lone outlaw as a secondary problem? If that?"
"Ah, you are correct, dear miss. Forgive my own hubris. As I said, it is hard not to put the empire's business first before that of others. I am sorry."

Originally Posted by KainG
Kethrendil lowered his eyes. "His name is... was G'axir the Seer. He... passed away recently. Like Haspur, he also received portents of the future. He warned me of the coming danger today, but I fear the strain of this particular vision was too much for him. Time permitting, I plan on returning to the Blade and Stars Inn where he currently lies, and take care of his earthly remains."
"G'axir the Seer is dead," the news shocks Eltan. "But I just saw him yesterday! If he is still in Blade and Stars, I will have his body recovered and taken to his home. He was a solitary man, but a good soul. As his friend, I don't think he'd mind if you were to handle his affairs and watch over his holdings. They aren't much, but I know he has a sanctified crypt underneath it where he wanted to be laid to rest."

Originally Posted by tekknowkub
In response to Eltan, "He will meet us in front of Gond's temple.. he is not as mad as you all perceive him to be. He was 'Chosen' by the late goddess of magic, Mystra..."

There is a slight pause, "Is 'Chosen' perhaps a position or title... it sounded as though there was an emphasis on that word during his conversation with... himself."
"Chosen? Haspur! I can't imagine that to be true. And where is he?"

"I am here, Lord Eltan," Haspur steps into the temple. His voice carries unnaturally through the temple even though he only spoke in a whisper. The man's bearing has changed since the last time he was seen near the inner gate. He appears much older and his hair has gone stark white.

"Tempus, it is true," Eltan gasps.

"Aye, Eltan," Haspur replies. "Mystra came to me years ago and graced me with her power but my madness kept me from accepting her gift. Now, with her death, more of her essence has come to me, as it has to all her Chosen." Haspur walks through the center of the temple and many of those that once belittled him now look upon him with wonder. "Moments before her death, she funneled a part of her immortal soul into the Chosen of Mystra to help safeguard the power of the Weave. Elminster of Shadowdale received the bulk of this blessing, as she was closest to him when the Divine Sphere of the Dragon Empire entered the sphere boundary of our great star, Amaunator.

"That Divine Sphere of an Imperial starship ripped her and the Weave asunder, which has severed Toril's arcanists from the world's most powerful arcane traditions. The Weave was destroyed, in part, but not completely. Parts of it exist where magic is strongest and where the Chosen walk."


"Mystra told you this?"

"No, she died for me, in silence," Haspur bows his head solemnly. "I was told by another god who favors me."

"Who?"

"Lord Kelemvor."

"He wasn't destroyed," Eltan says. "What of Tempus?"

"Your god still lives, Eltan. As does Gond and many of the other gods but not all."

"What of Tymora?" "Where is Umberlee?" "Is Waukeen gone again too?" The citizens gathered in the temple bombard Haspur with dozens of questions. What would have overwhelmed him before is now rebuked with a flash of power.

"Silence!"

The temple itself seems to tremble in fear.

"I cannot see everything that has happened. I only know what Lord Kelemvor told me. I know that Tymora and Umberlee still live but neither of them are godly anymore. There powers were stripped from them by the Betrayer."

"What?" "Who?" The crowd mumurs.

"Ao."

The temple is stunned into silence.

"Why would he do this to the world!" Eltan shouts in anger.

"He is one of them," Haspur says plainly. "He is an Aspect of the Twelve. An ancient god of the Dragon Empire. He promised the Aspect of the starship Centurian that he would strip the gods of Faerûn of their highest powers in exchange for being allowed to return to the Imperial divine realm through the Divine Sphere. In doing so, nearly a dozen gods and goddesses were made mortal. Another twenty or so managed to remain divine in one form or another. All the other deities of Faerûn have perished. T-turned t-to d-dust."

Haspur begins to tremble and the light surrounding him burns brightly. He is encased in spellfire and another voice, a darker voice speaks in the temple of Gond.

"I am Lord Kelemvor. Like you, I was once mortal. Do not give into despair, citizens of Baldur's Gate! The gods of Faerûn are still with you even diminshed by Ao the Betrayer! Yes, there have been deaths amongst the gods, but the strongest of us remain and will help protect this world from the invaders! Listen to the offworlders who have come to warn you of the dangers of the Dragon Empire."

The voice grows silent and Haspur falls to the floor unconscious.
 
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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Originally Posted by Knightfall
"G'axir the Seer is dead," the news shocks Eltan. "But I just saw him yesterday. If he is still in Blade and Stars, I will have his body recovered and taken to his home. He was a solitary man, but a good soul. As his friend, I don't think he'd mind if you were to handle his affairs and watch over his holdings. They aren't much, but I know he has a sanctified crypt underneath it where he wanted to be laid to rest."
"Thank you , my lord. That will be a great relief." The elf bowed towards the grand duke before resuming to help the injured to the temple of Gond. Along the way, he wondered about their hobgoblin prisoner. For an agent of a brutal and aggressive empire, he was surprisingly civilized and reasonable. If only the ones at the top of the food chain were just as well, these coming troubles might not even exist.

Originally Posted by Knightfall
"He is one of them," Haspur says plainly. "He is an Aspect of the Twelve. An ancient god of the Dragon Empire. He promised the Aspect of the starship Centurian that he would strip the gods of Faerûn of their highest powers in exchange for being allowed to return to the Imperial divine realm through the Divine Sphere. In doing so, nearly a dozen gods and goddesses were made mortal. Another twenty or so managed to remain divine in one form or another. All the other deities of Faerûn have perished. T-turned t-to d-dust."

Haspur begins to tremble and the light surrounding him burns brightly. He is encased in spellfire and another voice, a darker voice speaks in the temple of Gond.

"I am Lord Kelemvor. Like you, I was once mortal. Do not give into despair, citizens of Baldur's Gate! The gods of Faerûn are still with you even diminshed by Ao the Betrayer! Yes, there have been deaths amongst the gods, but the strongest of us remain and will help protect this world from the invaders! Listen to the offworlders who have come to warn you of the dangers of the Dragon Empire."​

The voice grows silent and Haspur falls to the floor unconscious.
Kethrendil felt another chill pass through him. What of the Seldarine?! Blessed Corellon, are you still with us? the elf wondered. Although he lapsed in his theological knowledge, Kethrendil still prayed and honored the elven pantheon. From what little he knew, even they were affected by the Overgod during the Time of Troubles. He hoped they survived this latest crisis.

But first, it looks like G'axir was right. Haspur is vital to the coming battle. Kethrendil bent down to Haspur to check on his condition. He also looked up to the other. "We need to find a way to repair the Weave. We've seen how powerful the archmages of Faerûn can be; it may be the only way we can put up an effective resistance."
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
"Repair the Weave?" 'Siel' says with an arched eyebrow. "I shouldn't have to remind you what happened the last time a mortal tried to control that. It didn't end well...for him or anyone else. Magic doesn't seem to be completely gone though. I was able to use a spell or two during the fight after all."

"Even so...perhaps it's possible to restore more magic, even without the Mistress of the Weave?" She looked at the hobgoblin. "Will the destruction of the Weave impede the Empire as well? Or did they bring their own magic along with their gods?"
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Originally Posted by Budda the DM
"I will observe, record, and remember what happens during these events," Soumral says in a level tone of voice that carries with conviction. "I will protect my home with everything that I have."
Soumral can't help but be affected by the voice of Faerûn's Lord of the Dead. No one could hear that voice and be affected. After the deity speaks, the silence in the room is deafening. Neither citizen nor clergy nor knight nor knave seems to know what to say next. The one who beaks the silence is the elf named Kethrendil.

Originally Posted by KainG
Kethrendil felt another chill pass through him. What of the Seldarine?! Blessed Corellon, are you still with us? the elf wondered. Although he lapsed in his theological knowledge, Kethrendil still prayed and honored the elven pantheon. From what little he knew, even they were affected by the Overgod during the Time of Troubles. He hoped they survived this latest crisis.

But first, it looks like G'axir was right. Haspur is vital to the coming battle. Kethrendil bent down to Haspur to check on his condition. He also looked up to the other. "We need to find a way to repair the Weave. We've seen how powerful the archmages of Faerûn can be; it may be the only way we can put up an effective resistance."
Originally Posted by Shayuri
"Repair the Weave?" 'Siel' says with an arched eyebrow. "I shouldn't have to remind you what happened the last time a mortal tried to control that. It didn't end well...for him or anyone else. Magic doesn't seem to be completely gone though. I was able to use a spell or two during the fight after all."

"Even so...perhaps it's possible to restore more magic, even without the Mistress of the Weave?"
"If there is even a chance that the Weave can be fixed, we have to try." The High Artificer of Gond stumbles into the temple's main hall from a small antechamber he'd retreated to after learning of Mystra's death. He is unsteady but not as pale as he was when Shazer'a and Soumral saw him stumble out of the front of the temple to address the crowd earlier in the day.

"Thalamond, I see you're feeling better," Eltan says. "Have you learned anything else?"

"Not nearly as much as he knows, it seems," the Gondite replies, his eyes on Haspur.

"You heard," Eltan says.

"Yes, I heard him speak, and, and the Lord of the Dead. I can't believe it. Lord Kelemvor spoke in a temple of Gond. He could not have done that without the Wonderbringer's blessing. Unless, things are changing so rapidly..."

"it will be all right, Thalamond."

"NO! You don't understand! It will not be all right! The world is going to change in ways that are both brutal and... and... wonderful." The cleric looks at Shazer'a and then he sees Rodan. "Oh, you worship one of them. One of these Twelve stellar gods. How I envy you!"

"High Artificer, don't say that!" One of the older priests of Gond exclaims in shock.

"You don't understand, Idriane. Their technology. It is beautiful beyond all compare. Yes, it is dangerous too, but the poetry of it all. The things they can do with is is astounding. I have seen these things in my dreams. Gond dreams of it himself. I am sure of it. It troubles him, and it calls to him. It is painful. Oh, the pain!" The High Artificer falls to the floor clutching his head. "The pain! Beautiful pain!" He begins laughing hysterically.

"Somebody help him," Eltan orders. "Take him back to his antechamber. By Tempus, are we all going to go crazy!" It takes four Gondites to gather up the High Artificer and take him out of the hall. He laughs and sobs the whole way.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Originally Posted by Shayuri
She looked at the hobgoblin.

"Will the destruction of the Weave impede the Empire as well? Or did they bring their own magic along with their gods?"
"If your Magus goddess had lived, she might have been able to use this Weave as you call it to block the magics of the Empire's wizards, maybe. However, with her death and its destruction there is little that can be done to block the magical power used by the clerics of the Unification Church or the wizardry of the Imperial Society of Arcane Magic. However, wizards are not what you should worry about. It is my kind you should worry about. Sorcerers. We have a place of honor in the empire, although very few choose to act honorably. Sorcery is favored by the Ten Houses. I don't know if you have sorcerers here on Toril, but in empire, sorcerers are the blood and heart of arcane magic. and that blood is draconic.

"There is something else I must tell you,"
Tocrhor forces himself into a sitting position despite Nel's protests. "The invasion that is coming to your world is a mistake. It should not be happening. Lachlan, one of the pirates, picked Toril because he thought it was an Imperial colony that was inciting revolt against the Dragon Empire. I've seen the the report myself, but I now know the information is an error or a falsehood of some kind. I knew that the minute that we entered Baldur's Gate and I saw the, limited advancement of your technology. My mission was to infiltrate Zugorim's crew and gather enough evidence to bring him to justice in Empire. My superiors have always believed that Zugorim was responsible for attacks on Imperial colonies in the past but nothing could ever be proven. This time we thought we had him.

"When I discovered the mistake and informed my superiors, they called off the strike team that was to move in and arrest him even though I suggested we go ahead. There would be Imperial involvement, regardless, due to presence of the battleship and two dropships. I was ordered to say nothing, do nothing, and to remove myself from the situation. They terminated my mission! But I could not stand by a watch him and his black-hearted villain terrorize another Outlands world! I came with them for the first time on a raid and watched and recorded everything. It is on my datapad, in there."
Tocrhor motions to his pack on the floor next to him. "I wanted to do more sooner, but I am ashamed to say that I was afraid. I am an explorer and sorcerer not a great warrior."

Tocrhor looks at the Grand Duke. "In a way, I am guilty. I should have tried to stop them sooner. I am sorry."

He looks back to 'Siel'. "The destruction of your world's magical Weave will only help the invasion. They will come with not just sorcerers but powerful technomancers who combine arcane energy with high technology. The clerics of the Unification Church draw their power from the stars themselves. The Divine Sphere on the battleship above will act as a lens for that magic but even if you managed to destroy the ship, a Divine Sphere is nearly indestructible. It is a relic of ancient times. It is connected directly to the Eternal Dragonstar. The birthplace of the Dragon Empire. Once it has entered your world's sphere of influence, almost nothing can remove it from the system. And if it falls to Toril, it will bind itself to the planet's core."
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
"I notice you used the term...nearly indestructible," replies the half elf with a little smile. "Has one ever been destroyed?"
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Originally Posted by Shayuri
"I notice you used the term...nearly indestructible," replies the half elf with a little smile. "Has one ever been destroyed?"
"I've never heard of one being destroyed in my family's lifetime and that is ten generations," Tocrhor replies. "There are legends of Divine Spheres being sundered by exploding stars or vengeful Outlander gods, but I have no way of knowing if such tales are based on real events or fantastical fabrications. At the very least, it would likely take a very powerful being to destroy one. A god. Or a archfiend or paragon of good, maybe. No mortal could harm it with mortal weapons. Of that, I'm sure.

"And the idea of destroying a Divine Sphere is considered blasphemy to those in the Unification Church,"
he adds. "If you managed to do so, somehow, the Church would see it as an affront to The Twelve. It would start a holy war that could lead to a stellar crusade against Toril and other Outland worlds that would dare try to repeat the act." Tocrhor purposely stares at Rodan as he speaks.
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Rodan shrugs, "I'm not the Holy War type. I worship the Wanderer because we are of like mind and philosophy, but the Wanderer understands best those that seek to go their own way instead of banding together with armies and nations in order to do violence as some sort of group activity."
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Originally Posted by Deuce Traveler
Rodan shrugs, "I'm not the Holy War type. I worship the Wanderer because we are of like mind and philosophy, but the Wanderer understands best those that seek to go their own way instead of banding together with armies and nations in order to do violence as some sort of group activity."
"So, like me, you're not a fighter," Tocrhor replies. "I have a feeling you and I will be hard pressed in the conflict to come. At least martially, but there will be other ways for us to make a difference."

The hobgoblin looks at Nelalwe and points to his back, which the air gnome has taken possession of. "In there you will find details about my mission and what is to come. There are also two dermapatches in there. If you would be willing to give me the lesser one, I will gladly donate the other to one of Lord Eltan's men. It will have the same effect as a healing potion brewed by a hedge wizard." Tocrhor tries to stand up but his strength fails him. "The d-datapad has e-encryption on it. The unlocking code is a RES cypher k-key known as Copper Moon. I'm sure your master, Shazer'a, has heard of it before, if he truly was a m-member of the Imperial legions.

"The datapad has d-details on my RES mission to infiltrate the Fire Wyvern's crew, as well as details on their activities in the Outlands for the last 5 Imperial c-cycles. More importantly for this world, there are some details about the starships that entered Toril's star system, although they aren't official reports. The RES isn't the I-ISPD-D. We don't have access to classified data."


OOC: Shazer'a can open the datapad with a sucessful Knowledge (Geography) check [DC 15], since the RES is an exploration organization. There is a +2 circumstance bonus since Tocrhor named the type of encryption on the datapad.
 

Shayuri

First Post
"Tocrhor...you mentioned you were a sorceror," said Silhouette. "I wonder...do you have any power left at the moment? It would be useful to see if your people's magic was entirely unaffected by the destruction of the Weave. Even if you're accustomed to casting spells without it...it's loss almost certainly is playing havoc with magical energy all over Toril. Clearly your people do not need magic to wreak havoc, but if their spells are impeded it could have some impact. Especially if they're not expecting it. Sorcerors have power, but in my experience they often lack the intense understanding of the nuance of magic theory. It could be an area we have an advantage."

Thrak looked at her, but held silent. The irony of Silhouette quoting the man who once had thought to call himself her master was not lost on him, even if the others gathered wouldn't have the context to know it.
 

tekknowkub

First Post
Dakashi speaks up from his silence, "We don't destroy it... we use the power of the Divine Sphere to rebuild the Weave and Mystra herself..."

He also reiterates a previous question, "What of the Gem Dragons? What is there place within this Dragonstar Empire? Perhaps we can enlist their help... or the help of Saridor."
 

Shayuri

First Post
The look Silhouette gave Dakashi was equal parts impressed and annoyed, and lasted only a moment.

Well, if he was that good at guessing her mind, she might do well to try to recruit him. Otherwise she'd be constantly having to account for that intuition...
 

tekknowkub

First Post
In that moment Dakashi smiles at Silhouette and his eyes seem to shine, his skin seems to sparkle, and his hair seems to be made of strands of ruby in the wind.

OOC: There is a hint of a strange power/energy bleeding off of Dakashi and manifesting in these unusual characteristics.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
Duke Eltan said:
I cannot simply let him walk away if he cannot provide a reasonable defense for those actions! For you to ask me otherwise is unreasonable! I know of no ruler on this world who would let one of my subjects enter his or her domain and commit horrible crimes and then let that person go!

Tocrhor said:
"I understand. And do not judge the half-dragon too harshly, great sir. His heart is in the right place even if he might have overstepped his rights on your world. It is hard for us imperials to not think of our empire as the center of the universe,"

Shazer'a bowed his head to both Eltan and the wounded hobgoblin, "I apologize your Grace, it was not my intention to imply you could or should not follow your own laws. I was trying to speak to your statement of harming him to gain information, that I could not allow in good conscience. As Tocrhor says, it is hard to not thing of Imperial law applying somewhere, especially for one born of a great house. I meant no disrespect.

Haspur said:
when the Divine Sphere of the Dragon Empire entered the sphere boundary of our great star, Amaunator...[Ao] is an Aspect of the Twelve. An ancient god of the Dragon Empire

Listening raptly as the prophet began speaking, Shazer'a can only nod his head and whisper to Nelalwe, "so that is what happened. Odd that this planet was once part of the Empire but lost to us in the wars of Asemet and Qesemet..." and he is cut short as the voice of a god echos from the prophet. Looking intently at the human, Shazer'a gives him a nod of respect when Kelemvor stops speaking.

Nelalwe retreive the datapad from the hobgolbin's pack and brings it over to Shazer'a. Fiddling with it for a moment, he is able to bypass the encryption and begins verifying what Tocrhor said.

OOC: Knowledge (Geography): 1d20+10 = 24

"Attempting to deconstruct a divine sphere to rebuild your magical weave? I don't know that any on this sphere possesses that level of power, save perhaps that deity who just spoke through your prophet here. And the Gem's play little part in the galactic politics. Most of them are far to difficult to motivate to act in any one direction, and they have not yet put the will together to form their own kingdom like the chromatics and metallics have done," Shazer'a replies to both questions without looking up from the datapad he was scouring for information.
 

Shayuri

First Post
"Power is a funny thing," 'Siel' says with a smile. "It can reside where no one suspects. This 'divine sphere' has wreaked havoc in our world. Using it to attempt to undo that havoc is as good an ultimate objective as I can imagine at this point."

"Of course, achieving it would require us to fight through hordes of enemies wielding magic and tools we can barely begin to comprehend, into the skies far above Toril and onto a vessel that dwarfs anything we've ever encountered."

She pauses and nods.

"So I'd say we have some work to do."
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
"Tocrhor...you mentioned you were a sorceror," said Silhouette. "I wonder...do you have any power left at the moment? It would be useful to see if your people's magic was entirely unaffected by the destruction of the Weave. Even if you're accustomed to casting spells without it...it's loss almost certainly is playing havoc with magical energy all over Toril. Clearly your people do not need magic to wreak havoc, but if their spells are impeded it could have some impact. Especially if they're not expecting it. Sorcerors have power, but in my experience they often lack the intense understanding of the nuance of magic theory. It could be an area we have an advantage."

Thrak looked at her, but held silent. The irony of Silhouette quoting the man who once had thought to call himself her master was not lost on him, even if the others gathered wouldn't have the context to know it.
"I did cast a spell earlier during your confrontation with the pirates," Tocrhor replies. "I felt no disruption to my magic, and I doubt I would if I did so again. While the magic of your people is tied to this Weave, Imperial magic is not. Now, if there are natural magical barriers on your world, I'm sure those would affect me and any other Imperial sorcerer. I can't say for certain, but a magic dead zone would still be a dead zone unless it only exists because Toril's Weave exists.

"There are many places in the galaxy that have such magical gaps including entire star systems. The Dragon Empire avoids such places as starcasters, the engines of a starship, won't work there. There are nonmagical engines that allow travel through such magic dead zones but such drives are inefficient compared to a starcaster. The closest star to your world with significant magical dead zones is a system known as Aegis. This region of space is named for that star. It's world, Bluefall, is one massive magical dead zone with a few areas in its deepest seas where magic does work.

"If a demonstration of my magic will convince you that my magic is independent of your Weave, I am willing,"
he says. "With Lord Eltan's permission, of course." The hobgoblin looks at the Grand Duke.

"I have no objection, as long as the magic isn't destructive," Eltan replies.

"Of course not," Tocrhor says. He steadies himself as best as he can and then looks at Lord Eltan. "This spell is called Hide in Time. It will cause me to slip through a gap in my own timeline for a few moments. I won't be visible during that time and won't be able to interact with anything here. Imperial arcanists often use this spell in combat to allow for the casting of other spells or to activate magical items. I promise that I will not cast any other spells while, away."

"Very well," Eltan says. "I will take you at your word."

Tocrhor closes his eyes and casts his spell, speaking in his homeworld's language while gesturing with his hands. As he finishes his spell, he disappears for almost 30 seconds of time before re-appearing. He is calm and he is looking directly at Silhouette.

"Well, that proof enough for me," Eltan says shaking his head. "It seems we won't have a magical advantage in this conflict. In fact, we aren't likely going to be at a disadvantage. Of course, Haspur did say that while near Chosen, magic won't be as unpredictable. We will need to keep him close, keep him safe."

"If these chosen of your fallen Magus are conduits of arcane magic. Then you must protect them at all cost," the hobgoblin suggests. "The Dragon Empire will target them once they have learned of their existence, if they haven't already. Such beings, while rare, are hardly unique in the galaxy, and the Empire has always considered them a threat. And many of the divine Aspects of the Unification Church have enhanced beings that are more than mortal but the Unification Church doesn't call them Chosen. I've heard the terms Demi-Being, Favored, Legendary, or more simply, Champion."
 

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Dakashi speaks up from his silence, "We don't destroy it... we use the power of the Divine Sphere to rebuild the Weave and Mystra herself..."
"Hmm, that would be a very difficult proposition, but not entirely improbable," Tocrhor ponders. "Divine spheres have been used to re-coalesce a divine Aspect that was partially destroyed or lost beyond the Veil of Stars, but I'm not sure what it would do to Outlander deity. More than likely your Magus would be remade as an Aspect of the Unification Church. She would have all the power of the stars behind her, but she wouldn't be the same deity, in theory."

"Attempting to deconstruct a divine sphere to rebuild your magical weave? I don't know that any on this sphere possesses that level of power, save perhaps that deity who just spoke through your prophet here.
"I've studied the history of the Outlands and every time an Oulander god came into contact with a Divine Sphere, it did not end well. In most cases, the deity was simply sundered by the power of thousands of Aspects connected to the sphere. I think in one case the god's power was corrupted and it fell from grace and became a demon. Of course, I read that ages ago during my youth and it was a story not a historical text."

Shazer'a bowed his head to both Eltan and the wounded hobgoblin, "I apologize your Grace, it was not my intention to imply you could or should not follow your own laws. I was trying to speak to your statement of harming him to gain information, that I could not allow in good conscience. As Tocrhor says, it is hard to not thing of Imperial law applying somewhere, especially for one born of a great house. I meant no disrespect.
"I accept you apology," Eltan replies. "We will not let it fester. Tocrhor has agreed to submit to the rule of the Grand Dukes and I will hold him and you to it. That is good enough, for now. We have bigger concerns." He speaks to Tocrhor, "What can you tell me of this guild you belong to? Are there any who would follow your lead and help us?"

"The Royal Exploratory Service isn't a guild, as you would call it," Tocrhor says to Eltan. "It is a star-spanning organization that is nearly as old as the Empire. The members of the RES, often called trailblazers, are on the front lines of exploration in what we call the Outlands. Worlds such as yours exist in in the Outlands and are, legally, not considered to be part of the Dragon Empire. Diplomacy is, to put it simply, our bread and butter. The RES makes contact with new worlds and determines whether or not to recommend a world for integration into the Empire. It is not our way to conquer. The RES began as a limb of the Qesemet long before the bulk galaxy came together to form the Dragon Empire under the Imperial Charter. Before this, the Golden Kingdom was in conflict with the Asamet of the Iron Kingdom in a Great War than spanned the stars. Only once peace was forged, did the RES become a tool for the Empire as a whole, although trailblazers prefer to avoid the worlds under the rule of the Asamet. The RES is protected by the Qesemet to this day.

The RES has three main divisions, or guilds if you prefer, there are the Explorers and Contactors who travel through the Outlands and meet with the leaders of worlds that seem promising to add to the Empire. This is done carefully, as many Outland worlds such as Toril have no knowledge of the Dragon Empire. To visit these worlds overtly is considered, what word would you use, taboo? It isn't completely forbidden but it not advisable. The damage that could be done to such, developing worlds is considered dangerous. It could lead to insurrections, holy wars, and even plagues. The other guild are the Scientifics. They are more concerned with learning about the planets and stars, as well as unknown magical phenomena. They don't do well with humanoids.

"As for whether or not there are members of the RES who would come to Toril's aid, I would say yes, as long as the Qesemet give the order. As with all such organizations, there are factions within the RES that lean more towards the Asamet but they are rare."
Tocrhor gives a sideways glace towards Shaz, "There is another division in the RES that I was recruited into that is a guarded secret even from Qesemet's most loyal soldiers. They... we are called the Rundowns. We're mainly spies and enforcers that act as the eyes and ears in the Outlands even those Outland worlds on the edges of the one of the Asamet domains. It is a tough life filled with danger and fear. Being caught isn't an option. The RES will not speak out for us if we're caught by the minions of the Iron Kingdom. There are many amongst the Rundowns that want to do more than spy and hunt for Imperial criminals. They want to fight. I- I never considered myself to be willing to fight back, until now."

"Are any others from your guild here?"

"No, but I could send a message with the right, technology. There wouldn't be a guarantee that any of them would hear it. I know there are some Rundowns working in the Arkhan system and across the Altara boundary. If I had an ansible, it would be simple." Tocrhor notes the puzzled look on Lord Eltan's face. "An ansible is a magical device that allows the user to send a short message across the stars with no limit on distance. It works much like a universal spell, sending, and can be sent to a person or another ansible. An interstellar telegraph, if that makes sense."

"What's a telegraph?" a wounded citizen asks.

"Never mind," Tocrhor sighs before looking at Shaz. "I'm assuming you don't have one?"

Listening raptly as the prophet began speaking, Shazer'a can only nod his head and whisper to Nelalwe, "so that is what happened. Odd that this planet was once part of the Empire but lost to us in the wars of Asemet and Qesemet..." and he is cut short as the voice of a god echos from the prophet. Looking intently at the human, Shazer'a gives him a nod of respect when Kelemvor stops speaking.

Nelalwe retreive the datapad from the hobgolbin's pack and brings it over to Shazer'a. Fiddling with it for a moment, he is able to bypass the encryption and begins verifying what Tocrhor said.

OOC: Knowledge (Geography): 1d20+10 = 24
The datapad contains everything Tocrhor said it would, as well as details about the activities of the RES in the Aegis Region. It seems this sector of space is considered a gold mine for Imperial research. Not only is there details on new worlds discovered at the boundaries of Imperial Space, but also previously unknown data on the region known as the Thel'math'shar Frontier. A star map of the region shows not only Toril's system, Amaunator, but also three other stars along the frontier that Shazer'a has never heard of before: Lernaean, Tinja, and Liga, as they are named on the map. Shazer'a knows that the last star in this region added to the Imperial archives, over twenty cycles ago, was the star known as Golden Star. Like Amaunator, Golden Star is a yellow star but the closest thing it had to a habitable world was a desert world that barely fell within the system's habitable zone.

Amaunator, it seemed, was very different with a powerful magical core that made it a prime target for the Dragon Empire. It's magical rating was well over 7,000! That would make it comparable to some of the Dragon Empire's most important core worlds. If conquered by the Empire, the system would become the center for Imperial expansion in the entire sector and beyond into the unknown Outlands. The system, and Toril would eclipse Savell as the most important outer system in the Domain of Golion. The system was clearly on the copper dragon side of the dividing line between the Domain of Golion and Domain of Altara of the whites. The world of Toril could one day rival House Golion's throneworld, Meneer, if it survives the whims of Emperor Mezzenbone.

Shazer'a also notes that both Tinja and Liga both have magical rating in the high 3,000s while another yellow star called Sirion has a rating that puts it between Amaunator and Tinja, in the mid 5,000s. Sirion sits right on the dividing line and is marked as being an ecological protectorate with a notation that Shazer'a doesn't recognize. These stars could lead to a new rush of colonization along the Thel'math'shar Frontier. Another star, well beyond the frontier, given the name Titanite, has little data on it and is marked with a warning icon.

It seems the RES has been very busy in this region of space.

However, it is Toril's mithral rating that is most troubling. It is the second highest possible, as Shazer'a knows it from his Imperial training. The Mithral Directive would be in effect the moment that Emperor Mezzenbone becomes aware of Toril. Mithral is valued by the Empire for use with starcaster. It's value is beyond compare, and Toril and the rest of the system has so much of it that the world cannot be ignored!

Tocrhor sees the look on Shaz's face. "You understand, don't you? What is coming to this world no one can stop. Note even your Liege can save Toril from becoming part of the Empire. All we can do is try to save the world from being devoured completely and Dragon Empire resting its bulk on the world's bones." The hobgolbin gives Shaz a look that the half-dragon has seen many times before, abject acceptance. "Check subfolder four," he adds. "It shows the false report that Toril is an Imperial colony that is rebelling."

Shazer'a finds the subfolder and is incensed with what he finds! The report says that Toril has existed as a colony of the Dragon Empire for over 500 years. The world was contacted and peacefully settled. It says that in the last 20 years, dissidents and radicals have tried to turn the world away from Empire and declare independence. The report gives Toril a lower magical rating and a technology rating on par with Savall's primary world. It is a farce!

"There is no way that report isn't a fabrication," the hobgoblins states bluntly. "All you have to do is look around you to know its not true. I don't know who wrote it, but it is watermarked with the Imperial symbols for both House Mazorgrim and House Golion. I cannot believe for a second that Grand Duke Kupric signed off on that document."

Shazer'a sees that three Imperial ships were 'dispatched' to deal with the insurrection. Two Imperial dropships and, he can hardly believe it, an Imperial battleship called the Centurion. While not an Imperial flagship, the Centurion is of a class of starship that is the second largest ship design to ever exist in the Dragon Empire behind only the feared deadnoughts. For such a ship to be sent, the Emperor's goals for Toril are clear. The names of the two dropships are omitted from the report but Shaz can guess that the ships will be dangerous constructs filled to the brim with armored troops, hovertanks, and worse.

He also reiterates a previous question, "What of the Gem Dragons? What is there place within this Dragonstar Empire? Perhaps we can enlist their help... or the help of Saridor."
"... the Gem's play little part in the galactic politics. Most of them are far to difficult to motivate to act in any one direction, and they have not yet put the will together to form their own kingdom like the chromatics and metallics have done," Shazer'a replies to both questions without looking up from the datapad he was scouring for information.
"Yes, those dragon's have little clout in Imperial politics, although they are definitely not powerless. Psionics has its place in Dragon Empire just like arcana and the divine power of the Unification Church. Imperial citizens with such abilities are highly valued, so psi-dragons, as they're often called, are even more so by their draconic peers. They tend to live in the domains that comes closest to matching their temperaments and individual values. They are highly independent and prefer to keep to themselves and remain neutral when issues come up. I doubt very much they will care about Toril or what is about to happen here. The psionic traditions on your world are, I'm sorry to say, typical in comparison to other worlds where bio-psionics are strong.

"Bluefall, for example, has a strong psionic field around it, as does, if you like stories, a desert world rumored to exist somewhere in the Outlands well beyond the edge of the Domain of Deserene. That world is likely a myth. There is a strong psychic tradition amongst the citizens of the star group known as the Thunder Cluster, but their mental abilities are magical not psionic. The people of Bluefall have a few powerful bio-psions. There is also the world called Tsalokhiin that once stood against the Empire. Unlike with Bluefall, the tsalokhi's star system isn't filled with magical dead zones, so when they stood up to the Empire, the Dragon Emperor sent in the Legions. They're world was conquered and destroyed and the tsalokhi are now star nomads."


OOC: More replies tomorrow. I have to work on my other campaigns.
 
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KainG

Explorer
"I don't quite understand all this talk about 'Aspects' and 'arr-ee-ess' and what not, but I get the gist of it," Kethrendil said while still overseeing Haspur's condition. "Land has riches, and a state wants it, regardless of the locals. It's an old tale, be it in the Dalelands, or in the vastness of space it seems."

"What I wonder is why the fabrication. the subterfuge?" The elf looked at Tocrhor. "If this Mezenbone is like any other red dragon I've known, he should have little reason to simply send a vast fleet in and take Toril. What would happen if the false pretext was exposed publicly?"
 

Shayuri

First Post
"Politics," answers Silhouette simply. "Even an Emperor cannot ignore the other nobility. The subjects. Otherwise he would have to spend his power simply keeping control, rather than expanding his control."

"That said, I doubt one backwater world would be enough to spark a rebellion. Even if it was, whoever replaced him would still want to annex us, even if by less extreme methods. If what we're hearing is true."

She frowned. "Then I ask, are we having the wrong conversation? Rather than asking how to resist this Empire, should we be asking how best to accept them while still retaining a measure of self-control?"
 

KainG

Explorer
Kethrendil nodded to Silhouette. "That's what I was thinking as well. If annexation is a foregone conclusion, how can we force this Empire to the negotiation table, and make sure our world retains some measure of self-control? Is such a thing possible?" he asked this towards Tocrhor and Shazer'a.

He looked down to Haspur. "Although that may be putting the cart before the horses. We're going to need our magic back. We have one of the Chosen with us, but the others spread across Faerûn for all we know. Maybe one of them, the Lady Alustriel or the Sage of Shadowdale will at least have an idea on restoring the Weave."
 

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