8th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150
The party has headed off early eager to return to Tabott’s Corner. Lucky decides that in order to try and save Tiberius from being harmed by the red stone any further that he will carry it, Tiberius agrees, without reluctance unsurprisingly. It seems like it is getting colder by the minute, the warmth of Naylos that promised another mild Nimos has evaporated. Half a day into the descent the Brae ruins rise again from the pathway. Remembering what occurred previously, they approach the remnants of the village cautiously. Norhtal volunteers to scout out the ruins to determine if there are any surprises. It is a tense few minutes until they see Norhtal appear in the narrow main street waving them down from their vantage view point.
As they make their way through the ruins they realise how very vacant and dead it is. It now seems to be utterly drained of life, no more echoes remain of what once was. The Temple to G’zakthanx they can see has collapsed in on itself a final testimony to the departure of the god of these islands. There are dark brooding clouds forming from the east behind them dimming the once clear bright day. The clouds rimmed in gold and shaded green foretell of worsening weather.
The party continues on after a cursory search without turning up anything.
The rest of the day’s journey is uneventful and as last light fails the temperature seems to drop suddenly as well, a quick rising mist swallows most everything. Then swirling down through the glooming dark comes impossibly large snowflakes, slowly drifting down and landing softly. Everything the party knows about this season tells them that this is not meant to happen, the first falls of snow are not meant to come until 2nd Nimos. The omen is not a good one at all. Norhtal is repeating over and over soft “This isn’t right.” Just then Tiberius screams in agony as the sun starts to vanish. Lucky’s plan of attempting to preserve Tiberius by separating him from the stone failing.
At this stage there is some debate about whether the party should just press on through the worsening weather or to just find somewhere hole up for the night. The prevailing wisdom of holing up for the night wins out and Norhtal scouts out a cleft in the rock face surrounded by a small copse of pines that keeps out the worst of the weather. It is here in the light of their lanterns they create a make shift shelter from pine boughs and needles, light a fire and wait out an increasingly cold night.
The dawn breaks through the steady snow and Tiberius is awakened by a call for help from a small voice. The strange thing about it is that he can hear the call for help with both his ears and his within his mind. He leaps up as best he can and wakes the others. When asked what is happening he explains that he can hear what sounds like a child calling for help. Lucky runs from their shelter and listens now hearing it too and runs towards the place the voice comes from with the others in tow. Through the copse to the track down that leads to Tabott’s Corner. Pausing to get his bearings he realizes that the voice is coming from steep almost cliff like drop on the other side of the track. Lucky looks over and sees a small animal caught on a rocky out crop about 15’ down the 30’ decline. A weasel. This does not faze Lucky and he starts to careen down the decline landing more or less safely next to the weasel who quickly runs up Lucky’s body to sit on his shoulder. The rest of the party looking down expresses a little surprise, wondering where the child was. The weasel then sees Tiberius and says “There you are master, I have come to serve.”Lucky and the weasel, who subsequently introduces himself as Bright Eye Sharp Tooth are hauled up the decline by the others. There is some discussion about the strangeness of a talking animal, added to the fact that according to brighteye sharptooth he can not say how he came to be in that condition either.
After this the party press on through to Tabott’s Corner. With the weather as it is and the deepening snow the journey takes a couple of hours longer than it would normally. The cold is an enemy and despite having warm cloaks the party fatigues as they travel. The snow falls heavier as they travel also, culminating in the last few hours of their journey in a blizzard, that without Reollo and Norhtal’s absolute direction sense.
Finally entering Tabott’s Corner the party goes and sees Hyael Orthon, Iaral’s lead factor. They report the previous agreed story with the free holders on G’zakthanx. That they had clean out a vein and it had taken them three weeks to find a new but less productive vein.
With that done the party decide that a well earned evening of drinking a potential carousing is called for before they spend sometime resting up. So late in the afternoon they decide to go to the inn The Roost. In walking the short distance from Hyael’s home and The Roost two things happen very quickly. As the party step onto the porch of the tavern they hear a clear voice saying “It’s the drunken moron and his friends. What are you doing here?” and whilst the others do not know the voice Sirath recognises it well enough as belonging to his old captain Tiberius Dolis Eulo. The party turns around, Sirath controlling his temper indicates that it is none of his business and with Dolis is a man who Reollo recognises as Brosphor Alutain, a halfling, who introduces himself as Murdo Alanthia and another three soldiers. A brief but fiery discussion occurs where Dolis attempts to intimidate the party with his new elevated rank of Beldrin’s captain of guard telling them that as such it is very much his business to know what they are doing. The party, not without a growing desire to hurt Dolis, tell him that they are on business of Iaral.
At the same time Tiberius sees at the end of a colonnade of trees on the square a person standing in the shadows. The thing that attracts his attention however is that the figure is radiating a clear, bright silvery blue light. Tiberius approaches the figure and sees that it is a woman of a singular striking beauty. Tiberius says to her “Novus Trasler I presume.” Novus replies “Tiberius, I have found you at last.” She indicates that he is to follow her to a nearby house.
Meanwhile the rest of the party have finished their discussion with Dolis. Brosphor embraces his old friend Reollo in greeting and Reollo is surprised to find how thin and sickly looking Brosphor is. Dolis walks off insulting Sirath again on parting “I will see you again idiot” with Sirath being able to control himself. The halfling and the other three men follow Dolis.
Tiberius sits down with Novus and she tells him that Aesur has a particular interest in him, that she has come to restore some of the balance for Tiberius. Novus seems to know exactly what has happened to Tiberius. She asks to see the stone. Novus explains that the Ulation civilization used stones like these to make war mages, but sometimes the magic became tainted and the instead of just making the potential war mages they picked up bits and pieces of the previous users of the stone. What Tiberius had picked up was a Tainted Mage Stone. This particular one also drained the user, eventually killing them if they did not have the right potion daily to ensure their safety. Novus also outlined what the stone was able to impart onto Tiberius. Novus went onto explain that Aseur was willing to save Tiberius’ life. In exchange for Tiberius making a vow to Aseur, he would take the life drain away. Tiberius agreed to the conditions. Vowing that he would only used his magic for the benefit of others, not for selfish reasons and he would limit himself to one college of magic.
At The Roost Reollo and Brosphor caught up over a few drinks. Brosphor filled Reollo in on what he had been doing for Beldrin. Mostly it was boring things, being stuck in Fallsea. But occasionally he would travel to retrieve important research or venture into dangerous areas to get hard to get ingredients. Brosphor said that he had recently been up to Crestwell, but had not found what he was sent to find. He was not on his way back to Fallsea to report.
The snow continues to fall and there seems to be no end of it in sight. Tabott’s corner settles in to wait out the snow storm to blow itself out. The party takes this time to have some rest, recuperation and training. Tiberius ended up spending 11 days flat on his back unable to do anything but read. Sirath spent 3 days resting up to full health, but over the next 12 days he also spent a total of 62 hours inebriated and missed out on taking full advantage of the training on hand. Reollo rested up for 2 days, Lucky for 1 day and Norhtal had no wounds to recover from, but kept to the room he shared with Sirath and Lucky, preferring to not be amongst people. However their time at Tabott’s Corner was not to be entirely restful.
11th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150
In the morning there was a considerable commotion in the great trade hall. Lucky and Reollo went to see what was happening. They found out that the night before someone had been murdered, the details of which appeared to be very similar to that of the murder’s that have been occurring in Fallsea. Without much difficulty they determine where the murder scene was. Arriving at the scene Lucky and Reollo find Dolis and the Halfling standing outside. Dolis demands to know what they are doing at the house where the murder happened. Lucky explains that they have had some experience with similar incidents in Fallsea and they want to help. Dolis dismisses them, warning them to leave as he being Beldrin’s Captain is the only authority in this place. Lucky ignores Dolis and says that he is going to have a look around. Lucky bends down and begins to clear away snow, hoping to find underneath the snow signs of burned foot prints. Dolis grabs Lucky from behind and an attempt to grapple him and throws Lucky to the ground. Lucky gets up ignoring Dolis and goes back to searching under the snow. Dolis states that Lucky is a slow learner just like Sirath and will have learn the hard way. Dolis then attempts to grab Lucky again. Lucky spontaneously develops an understanding of un-armed combat due to his lucky nature and wild talent ability and then reverses the grapple and throws Dolis some distance. Dolis then stands up and un-hitches a savage looking flail and unsheathes his sword in one fluid movement. Reollo then steps in and convinces Lucky to come away and placates Dolis at the same time. But Lucky is left with no doubt that he has earned himself a formidable enemy.
13th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150
In the morning there is another considerable commotion. Another murder has occurred. This time Sirath goes with Lucky and Reollo to where the murder has happened. Before they even get close they can tell that Dolis has taken up position as with the last murder scene. They decide then that it would be worthwhile to look at the last murder scene. This is now unguarded. Lucky quickly checks the ground around the small house, without success. They contemplate breaking open the door when they realize that widow has a simple catch system. Gaining entry the find themselves in a one room house it is relatively bare, but clean. Clean everywhere but where the bed in the corner is. There is gore and blood splatter all across the walls and floor. Whatever happened there was not fast or painless. They search the room without any success.
16th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150
In the darkest time of the night Lucky and Sirath, who are sharing a room with Norhtal, are awakened by Norhtal yelling. They awaken quickly and find the hollow man Arkazul standing in their room. In his hand is the black rod. He looks at Lucky and says “I will see again soon.” and then promptly vanishes. Lucky, Sirath and Norhtal then wake Hyael rousing him from sleep to inform him of what has just happened. It becomes clear quite quickly that Hyael either does not understand the significance of what has just happened or is so out of his depth of experience is unable to determine the correct course of action. It is likely to be both.
The heroes then decide that the only other option available to them is to go to the magi tower. They leave Reollo and Tiberius to their rest and head across the holding to the tower. Its black triangular shape juts up into the night and as the three of them bang loudly on the tower’s soild door it takes sometime for the door to be answered.A young man opens the door and enquirers what business they have. Lucky asks if the magi is there. The young man states that he is Haeral Tillum the apprentice magi, that master Ilallo is away at Fallsea for a meeting of the Council of the Magi. Lucky explains what has occurred to Haeral. Haeral states that Dolis and Brosphor are currently in the holding and it is his belief that in absence of Master Ilallo they are more than capable to deal with the current issue at hand. Sirath not satisfied with that answer at all attempts to intimidate Haeral into letting them use the library of the tower in order to search for relevant information that may help. He succeeds in doing so, but to the point that Haeral retreats inside and up the stairs stating on his way that Master Ilallo will hear of their brutish behaviour. Lucky, Sirath and Norhtal discuss the merit of pushing the situation further and decide to leave.
16th day of 1st Nimos Second Epoch 2150
Shortly after morning meal the alarm is raised from the walls. The party rush out to the wall near the holding gate where a crowd has gathered to look out towards the trees some 50 yards away to the south. Dolis, Murdo and his three henchmen are amongst the crowd. As the the party gazes across the snow, which they now realise has banked high up against the holdings 15’ walls allowing in some places ready access to the holding, they see just outside the trees edge five hill giants. Without discussion Dolis and his men, except Murdo, draw their weapons and slide over the edge of the wall ploughing through the banked snow towards the large figures. Lucky asks Murdo whether anyone has tried to determine what the giants want. Murdo indicates that this is no longer a consideration, Dolis will handle the situation.
When Dolis is about half way to the giants Murdo prepares his redwood bow, notches an arrow with red fletching waiting for a signal to let fly. At this point another alarm sounds from the eastern wall and the party runs to the wall there. As they approach the two holding guards in the towers at either end of this part of the wall let lose their arrows and the party’s gaze follows to see approaching the wall two ogres at a striking 8’ each and a cliff troll standing at about 9’ tall.