Ysobel Shadowcaster:Rain 5
In which we are much admired.
The Goddesday festival was more exciting than any of us had expected for a number of reasons. Between competitions, while we were shopping for a few odds and ends, Nadeira noticed some Fateweavers behaving furtively in the crowd and decided to follow one of them. Being Nadeira, she said nothing of her intentions. She did tell us later what had happened, but when she came to find us she had a difficult time telling us what happened. It seems the Fateweavers in question were also part of the Republican movement in Ptolus, and they had set up several kegs of gunpowder in an obvious attempt to kill a large number of important people.
We all agreed that we really needed some help with the whole matter. The guards had been bribed to abandon their posts, and someone would have to be held accountable. We decided that Kaira Swanwing was the best person to turn to for help. Her position with the Knights of the Golden Cross gives her great authority in the city, and the people who needed to know what happened would listen to her. Had we tried to bring the matter to resolution on our own, we would probably have waited for weeks to see the right people.
Kaira arranged for members of her order to guard the stands for the remained of the day. Leto returned to the dueling lists for his magical battles, and the rest of us obtained standing-room-only viewpoints nearby. Each duel was fast – it was very difficult to see the combatants because of the great flashes of light and the trees. I do not know exactly how he did it, but Leto forced trees and other plants to grow in the empty ring in an instant and made them grab at his opponents. It was quite impressive. There were three winners of the magical duels – Leto received a scroll with three spells inscribed upon it, and a pearl of power.
My friends continue to amaze me at every turn. After winning a magical duel and saving the lives of many people, Leto and Nadeira both chose to compete in the footrace. Ina n amazing upset, Leto won by a mere arms length at the last minute, passing Nadeira in a final burst of speed. And after a long day in his armor, Otto still entered the jousting tournament.
That joust is one I will remember until I die (may that day be long in coming). The Commissar oversaw the event and presented the prize at the end – a magical longsword of superior workmanship. There were thirty-two competitors in the joust that day. So many competitors required multiple rounds and several passes in each round. The competition was fierce and many lances were broken. Otto was (in my opinion) one of the better riders today – he was not unhorsed even once, and goodness knows his opponents tried.
The final match of the day was most impressive. Both Otto and Lord Steven, his opponent, are riders of superior ability, though Lord Steven has had the benefit of many years of private instruction. I think it would not be unfair to say that Lord Steven is more skilled with the lance, but Otto is incredibly lucky and highly talented in his own right. A few more years of practice and I would certainly place money on Otto’s skills surpassing Lord Steven’s in the jousting arena.
I do not speculate on their skills outside the jousting arena.
The final joust seemed destined to end quietly. Both knights broke lances on the first pass, but Otto missed the second pass. Both knights missed the third pass. Lord Steven was to be declared the winner but he asked for a fourth pass – he seems to have a flair for the dramatic. The fourth pass was decisive – Otto unhorsed Lord Steven, surprising everyone on the field and making himself an instant crowd favorite. The Commissar himself was thrown by the upset, though his bias in favor of his nephew is understandable.
After the presentation of the sword to Otto, Kaira Swanwing stepped forward and announced our role in undermining the plot against the nobles. It seems the kegs of powder left by the Republicans were set underneath the Commissar’s seat in the nobles section of the stands, and we saved the lives of many rich and powerful people. Some of them make me nervous – the representatives of House Vlada’am for example – while others are more intriguing than unsettling. The man sitting for House Dallimothien had a small silver dragon with him, and his beauty was startlingly alluring. The lure of his house color is more understandable – my own vanity cries out for me to wear that silver and to outshine it.
Lucky am I that the chances of me making a fool of myself over someone so obviously above me in station are remote.
The final event of the day was the much-anticipated Gauntlet. Otto sat out, tired from his exertions, but the rest of us lined up to try our hand. We decided that Nadeira should attempt the last pass, as she had the best chance of victory. I made my attempt first. I might have finished had I not grabbed that handle in the darkened slit – the jolt of energy really knocked my breath out of me. Leto managed to get past that trap and some of the others beyond it, but only Nadeira managed to get out of the maze with barely a scratch on her. Her use of the traps as a means to avoid injury was amazing.
There were many people in the crowd who showed interest in her abilities – those she displayed and those she did not. I have a feeling she’ll be receiving some kind of invitation from a secret society one day. Maybe one day she’ll even tell me if it happens.
The prize for winning the Gauntlet was a magical artifact – the Chronocharm of the Laughing Rogue. Apparently it is one charm among several that can be worn at the same time – something like prayer beads, though without the divine slant and certainly intended for different purposes.
After much-needed baths all around, we prepared to join the festivities at Castle Shard. It seemed only natural for us to display our newest (and cleanest) weaponry as part of our costumes for such an eminent occasion. We spent most of the evening mingling and being introduced to various dignitaries, minor nobles, and people of influence in the upper levels of various organizations. I have to admit that my shyness overcame me, and I was too terrified of being thought a fool to ask for an introduction to Doradian Mythlord, but we spoke with Lady Rrill for some time, and she managed to have it happen without any awkwardness.
After a little while, we noticed that the light from the crystal shard began to flicker. No one else noticed anything strange at first. After a short time no one else could notice anything – everyone but us seemed to slow down dramatically, as if time were stopping and we stepped out of it somehow. A young elven man stepped out of the shard – a man with floor length silver hair. He was upset about something – he thought there would be more of us, and that we would be more powerful than we are. He caused the shard to bring us here – and he is the Dreaming King.
It seems that we are to go to Dretha Phantas and retrieve the Cask of Frozen Dreams and the Dreaming Stones. We will meet Unthon Aedar (whoever they are) and they will help us (why do we always need help?), but first we must find Callista (who is she?)
I must admit, having my uncle back to tell me that the world is full of things I won’t ever understand would be comforting right now. Having the rightful king of all elves (possibly both here in Preamal and in all other worlds) tell me that I am not meeting expectations yet is just a bit more than I can handle without some pang of homesickness. At least at home no one expected great things from me because of my hair.
And yet I find that I enjoy trying to meet those expectations, inconvenient as they are when I fail.
As the party wound down, Nadeira found a young man to her liking. I believe she was trying to get him to take her to a luxurious inn. I hope she is not disappointed – she sings when she is happy, and it makes the house more cheerful. I could use some cheer.
Nadiera Bin Mustafa: So I followed the female Fateweaver through the throngs of people. She peeled off behind a tent and I crept back to hear what I could hear. I peeked around the corner and saw two women. The one I’d been following passed striker of some kind to the other woman. She told her, “Don’t strike it until the Grand Joust.” Oh, this is not good! She said they had paid off the guards. Then the one with the striker took off. I followed her, I was not going to let her out of my sight.
She noticed me following her and tried to lose me. I kept up with her though. Then she headed under the noble’s stands. I followed but got kind of disoriented. I lost sight of her, but after a few minutes, I could see her crouching. I didn’t want to kill her, I needed to know the plan, but I had to debilitate her. I used my bolas, bit as easy feat with all the obstacles under the stands. I did manage to hit her though and I was able to pin her down and find out what the plan was. There was kegs filled with gunpowder under the Kommissar’s seat. Her job was to light the fuse at the right moment. She screamed, “Run, we’ve been found out!” I tied her up with my belt and left her there to go find help. She yells at me, “You can’t stop the Republicans, you tyrant!” Great, I’m a tyrant…
I got to my party first and told them what happened. We all went to find Kyra Swanwing. We took her to the spot, but the girl had escaped, or been rescued. At least nobody will get blown up at the joust today.
Jevakonor, the woman we had seen with the crystal arm was overseeing the magical duels. I don’t know a lot about magic, except for what I’ve seen Leto do. So today was a real treat for me. Leto was fearless, he had his standard tricks, but had backups in case those didn’t do the job. He had a flaming sphere that followed the opponent around. Cool! His first opponent seemed an easy defeat. His second put him in a web. Neat looking; Leto webbed him back. Leto knocked him out pretty quickly. The third opponent was a female. He took her out really quickly. The last was a male wizard. It looked like he was a decent challenge, but in the end, Leto won the day!! Jevakonor presented him with a pearl of power and some scrolls, courtesy of the Inverted Pyramid. Neat!
Leto and I ran a footrace together. Out of 27 runners, Leto and I took the lead. He pulled ahead at the last minute and won the race, but I was a close second! It was really fun!
Then, the Grand Joust! All the nobles were in the stands and they all has banners flying with the house colors. It was really quite a sight to see. We noticed the house of Vladaam was represented by a dark skinned woman with small horns. They seemed an accepted Noble house by everyone present. Dragons were flying around and the Kommissar strides in looking all decked out and pretty. Truly regal!
Otto certainly had his work cut out for him. His first and second round weren’t too terrible. The third opponent just looked scary. He had black and red freaky armor, but Otto won that round too. The fourth opponent was a Knight of the Pale. He kicked his butt!
But the fifth! Whoa, it was the Kommissar’s nephew, Stephen Ernst. He had beautiful armor. An eagle of Ptolus and a lion of the Ernst family showed prominently. Otto had a slight lead and then on the second pass, Stephen gained the lead. The third pass was crucial. But then, on the 3rd pass, neither one hit. The judges were ready to call Stephen the victor, but he motions to allow one more pass. I have goosebumps right now just thinking about it. So on the last pass, Otto knocked Stephen off his horse and was declared the winner.
Otto received his prize, a longsword and a 2500 gold credit to the Bull and Bear Armory. I’m sure he’ll have fun with that! But right after he received his applause and cheers, Kyra Swanwing comes down the says, “Wait! Bring down your friends!” She tells the Kommissar and the whole audience about the Fateweavers plot. Then she says, “If not for their bravery, many of us would have lost our lives today.” We noticed Lord Zavere if the audience, looking down proudly on us. The Vladaam family just leered at us. The Kommissar invited us to dinner. A simple gesture, but with huge significance.
After all that, Stephen Ernst congratulated Otto. He is true knight. He accepted his defeat honorably and says, “We’ll have to talk again.”
Next: The Gauntlet! What I‘ve been waiting all day for! This is what I’m made for!
Ysobel and Leto decided to give it a try too. They went first, giving me the upperhand, so I could watch and learn. Ysobel was stunning! I know she’s an elf and everything, and they are known for their stealth, wits and agility. But she really was impressive. Sadly, she didn’t make it to the end. But her sacrifice would not prove in vain.
Leto went next. He actually made it to the end and with very few points taken off. He was much more light on his feet than I’ve seen him be. I was impressed. He had a chance of winning really, except for me.
I went in like a gale wind. I decided to just charge ahead and let my natural talents guide me. The pit traps were easy. I’d seen them go off, so they were easy to avoid. There was a small room with a large rolling stone ball. I just weaved and leapt through it.
I scurried across a log over some water with ease. Then ducked through some falling stone blocks. So far, so good. Then there was a swinging gate with spikes. It went around a corner, so it could really get you in lots of ways. I decided to just use it to my advantage. I stood just beyond it’s reach when it came close. Then I jumped up on it, climbed up and flipped off over it when it swung to the other side. Pretty simple really, but it felt like it looked really cool! Next I jumped over swinging log.
The next part proved difficult. I had to round 2 corners with spears shooting out from 2 sides. I had to get around the next corner without getting shot too many times. I decided to just bolt. So I started running and didn’t stop. I think I got hit once. Not bad at all. Next were the pit traps all along the floor in a room where I had to pull levers to open door at the end. Thanks to Ysobel, who learned the hard way, I was able to get through that room with no consequence.
The last room was the hardest. Spears were shooting every which way and there were 2 ways to choose from. One seemed better, with just spears shooting. The other seemed more tricky with a bolt of energy shooting down the hall at you. I took a risk. I had not seen anyone try scaling the wall. My hope was that without touching the floor, the energy bolt might not be set off. It worked! I made it down that hall, with nothing happening. I had no choice after that than to tumble through some spears. Two hit me, but I was still okay (You had to have 5 hits to lose points).
The very last section and I out! I had to get past a team construct design to kill me. I decided to just try jumping and flipping through to the end and see what happened. I was lucky! I did not get hit! I landed flat at the finish line with no points deducted! I won the gauntlet! I was presented with a charm, Charm of the Laughing Rogue (how appropriate) and 2500 gold pieces. Wow! I need a bath!
Then off to the party at Lord Zavere’s. We looked fabulous, we looked proud, we felt great! The castle was glowing. What a party! Everyone was there and we were introduced to so many people. We talked to Stephen Ernst, he is quite attractive, but also kind of reserved. Lady Ryll is looking beautiful in a dress with magical butterflies on the train.
After a while, we were all standing around the shard and the weirdest thing happened. The shard started to flicker and then it seemed like time slowed. The shard started throbbing like a heartbeat. We could see a form inside the shard, an elven male. He got up and stepped out of the shard to talk to us. Am I dreaming? It HAS been along day. Or maybe I was killed in the gauntlet? Anyway, he says, “Are you al that came?” He tells us he may have caused the Night of Dissollution by bringing us here. He was trying to stop it, but something went wrong. He says he is the Dreaming King, ruler of Dredaphantus. He tells us that when the time comes we must come to Dredaphantus. Urthonaedar will help us. He tells us to find Callista and then we’ll know it’s time to come. Then he went back into the shard and time went back to normal.
What have we gotten ourselves into now?
Leto Schreyer: Ah the Gods Day Festival. A time of great merriment as well as some devious schemes that involve assassination and great chaos. At least this is what we have found out about the fate weaver in my previous journal. Nadiera had decided to follow her to see what she might have been up to. She followed her under the stands of where the Commissar as well as a great number of Nobles were to be seated for the main events.
We found explosives as well as a Flint Striker. She was planning on blowing the entire section of the stands to pieces. Well, we could not allow that so we found Krya and told her everything that we had discovered. She was extremely grateful for what we had done and said that she would take care of the fate weaver.
Now on with the rest of the festival.
The magic duel was one of my favorite events. I was in it and I was able to pull out a win. I had no idea that it would happen either. I was able to show that I not only dabbled in the arcane path, but I had a very palpable divine streak in me as well.
Jevicca Nor was the one to present me with the prize for this event. A Pearl of Power. What a boon. She also presented me with a scroll with 3 spells on it: Haste, Fly and Dispel Magic. I was in awe of her. I have always admired her and here I was receiving a gift from her. It was amazing.
I was also able to squeak ahead of Nadiera in the foot race and win some cash.
The final event was the Grand Joust. Otto’s big event. He has been waiting all festival for this moment and it has finally arrived. He goes through 4 competitors before there are only 2 left. Otto and Lord Stephen Ernst, Nephew of the Commissar himself.
They go through the passes and on the final pass, no one is hit. Lord Stephen requests another pass to finish the joust. Otto agrees and Lord Stephen in unhorsed by Otto. The crowd went wild. The commissar presents Otto with a +1 Magical Longsword as well as a 2500 gp credit at the bull and Bear Armory. The gifts were presented on the list by the Commissar himself. Kyra was present as well and she mentioned the events that occurred with the fate weaver and the assassination attempt. The Commissar was extremely grateful and has invited us to dinner at the Palace with Kyra there as well.
The final event is the Gauntlet. Ysobel, Nadiera and I all 3 try to go through. Ysobel and I got pretty far, however, Nadiera, being in the trade that she is in, was able to get through fairly effectively.
Her award was the Chrono-charm of the laughing Rogue.
After the Festival, All of the nobles and the movers and shakers of Ptolus, were invited to a party at Castle Shard hosted by Lord Zavere and Lady Rill.
It was a great time and we learned a lot. We learned that we made a lot of friends as well some enemies. Apparently, House Vladaam now is watching us very carefully.
We also learned that we may also be the group that brings back Ysobels Long since dead God Ardaen. Boy can Zavere throw a party. Nadiera even got lucky.