Having dispatched captain rikos and his associates, the party went about the business of vacating the transitore de fer. masquerading as a faceless, ming dalius was able to signal the damp beard, hagar blackstrand to draw closer to the ships hull. once in place, nowhere created an escape route using bridge of roots and almost everybody was able to board stealthily. just as the final initiate crossed onto the demonrudder, a guard caught sight and barked an alarm, alerting the rest of the ship. a hellbreath dragon cannon was loaded and fired, clipping hagar’s vessel but luckily, that was the only shot they were able to fire before ming ignited his incendiary device. a mighty boom echoed as ash and embers rained across manaloxel bay and the transitore de fer, minus a good quarter of its hull, capsized and began to take on water.
Upon reaching the shore, chorum indicated that an underwar was all but solidified, based of the actions that just transpired. time being of the essence, he urged everybody to follow him to the halfhorn warehouse. begrudgingly, uffizi further emphasized her need to speak to the kintyne and requested that your stay be brief. once inside, you encountered doblin, who expressed how impressed he was with your work and indicated that die’nash shared a similar sentiment. chorum confirmed that he had heard you executed the rescue, pro-bono. wishing to even his debt, he indicated that the halfhorn cache would be opened, each of you would be able to choose an item as payment and the value of said item would be deducted from his trove. doblin nodded, confirming the request, and both tieflings invited you to follow them further into the warehouse.
upon reaching the back wall, chorum began climbing a stack of pallets. contorting his hand into a vaguely crippled shape, he muttered:
“this sightless wishes to gaze upon his entitlement.”
As if wielding a key, he inserted his hand into the stone ceiling where it slid effortlessly into place.
“this keeper permit your request to view”, responded doblin, intoning confirmation before placing his left fore arm against the wall and bisecting it with his right fist.
Muscles bulging, he grunted and rotated his arm clockwise 45 degrees. when it reached this position, a series of loud clicks echoed, followed by the sound of stone grinding against stone. the floor gave way to a 10 foot wide aperture, which dilated, revealing a spiral staircase that dipped into darkness. chorum hopped down from the pallets and indicated the stairs while saying:
“welcome to the vault of the fallen”
Descending the spiral staircase, you found yourselves inside a chamber that opened up 100 feet in every direction. pale torchlight bathed the room and, at equal points from the center rested oaken tables covered with an assortment of treasures ranging from weapons, amulets, books and idols. the organization was meticulous, almost museum quality and far more than you would expect from a common guild of thieves.
“you may make your selections”, instructed chorum, as he leaned against the stairwell and gazed towards the ceiling. when your eyes joined his, you realized that there was no ceiling above your head, bur rather a pitch black sky, dusted with twinkling stars and the occasional wisp of a cloud.
With your choices made, you returned to the warehouse where doblin indicated that bedding, food and a bit of ale would be provided. he went on to explain that in the morning, the fallen halfhorns would be employing the help of ravel to get you out of the city. exhausted, you acknowledged the plan and tucked into a much needed rest.
The following day, as you heard the warehouse door open and shut, you were greeted by ravel’s voice stating:
“the wizard and his dancing bear? that’s who’s whisked this city into a frenzy? my favors do not come cheap doblin, you know this. perhaps you have better use for your coin? maybe a good bottle of coddlebrock brandy, and not that piss yulon’s been brewing out in the bog, either." “not my coin love, and not my favor either. you know what die’nash requested"
“not my coin love, and not my favor either. you know what die’nash requested", responded doblin
shrugging, ravel turned to you and continued:
“die’nash wishes to meet but the faceless are scouring the city for you. not ten minutes ago i heard a man say if he caught you, he’d use your guts for casing tomorrow morning’s sausage so, it’s probably best that you travel with me. as you know, my menagerie is outside el’shala. taking it into the shrouds would raise suspicion, but… i, can bring you to it. when this is done, you and die’nash shall discuss your business as my guests and i shall take you anywhere in undyne."
she turned to doblin and said,“and when that is done. debts are repaid. yes?”
“fully.” replied doblin.
Ravel continued,“if you are ready, the magic that we call upon today keys off animalistic energy trapped inside each of you. it is wild magic though, so we cannot predict the form you will take. we merely know the illusion is seeded in yourself. now, who’s first?”
Weaving her incantations, ravel transformed nowhere into an estin scorpion, syracen into her bear form, only shrunk down into a mere cub, raktess into a hexapod that she encased in a jar of sea water and ming into a nacturian butterfly.
When it came time for the child uffizi, strangely, she requested specific permission before casting the magic that caused her to transform into a will-o-wisp. storing this final creature in a stain glass lantern, she gathered the collection and escorted everybody through the streets of summerset to her menagerie.
Upon arriving, she unlocked the door to the vardo and stepped inside. as soon as you cleared the archway, you were bathed in beauty and bore witness to the very definition of lavish. rather than the cramped, animal laden sleeping quarters you expected, you were greeted by stone pathways that gave way to moss covered statues, elegant water features and gentle reflecting pools. stags darted past shadowed forests, while hawks rode the cool wind overhead and, almost immediately, you got the eerie feeling that you were no longer standing in feywin, but rather its echo, elsewhere. a small ruin seemed to serve as ravel’s home, but it was beautifully adorned with decadent fabrics, incense burners and an assortment of cages containing a variety of creatures. a small cooking fire sent a tendril of smoke into the sky while the clink of wind chimes formed a chorus in the breeze. in the middle, at a small table, sat a female tiefling clad in ornate leather armor pouring. as she poured herself a glass of wine from a elven decanter, she looked up and noted your approach.
Turning back to you, ravel whispered arcane words from beneath her breath, and immediately, you reverted back to your normal form. she then began walking up the small path to her home, barely pausing for you to gather yourselves.
feeling her job complete, she left you to conduct your business and began moving around the house, tending to her animal’s needs.
Die’nash raised a glass, offered you a seat and said:
“it’s a pleasure to finally meet you. we are indebted to the safe return of chorum, so i shall honor my part and share what i know. doblin mentioned you were inquiring about an object that was transported by the faceless from summerset to emberfast? is that correct?"
as she inspected it from various angles, a troubled look spread across her face and she went on to inquire,
“where is the baneroot phylactery? "
recalling what transpired beneath the highhouse of tandus quint, you explain that, at best you can tell, it was consumed as part of the ritual.
tracing the crimson veins spidering across the crucible’s face, uffizi continued with a hint of frustration buried in her voice. “prison’s like this are not intended for the prime. even now, this one is slowly decaying. look, it bleeds.” running her fingers over the crystal fissures, she turned them towards you covered in deep, crimson smears.
“if there is no baneroot phylactery, the body is gone, all that remains is the spirit, slowly corroding."
Upon completing her inspection, she paused for a moment and then, in a quiet voice of reverence, said:
“here lies galganax, gloom dragon of the grey wastes. foolishly, somebody cast her body back into the astral sea, where it has a chance to be found, where she might… reclaim it. and, when she does, she may feast upon her own flesh …and become dracolitch."
reflecting on her earlier sentiment, she continued:
“this item was never intended for here. it belongs in the feydark. to allow galganax to rebirth on a weak world such as this would merely fuel her."
concerned, die’nash responded,
“we knew the faceless were smuggling a load down to the float, hell, we almost pinched it but we figured it was just a normal haul. it wasn’t until bits of copperstacks began popping up all over the city, that we started digging deeper. we still don’t know who the load was sent too, just who did the sending. a week past we received word that the flock of legacy was shifting from summerset to gulenthore. i’d bet my trove, they’re looking for that”, she said, pointing to the crucible.
“we even heard rumors that the talons of rekrok had been called into play, but that could just be hearsay. what i do know is there’s only one person who can manipulate the flock, and that’s kalko. i also know he doesn’t work out of the goodness of his heart. there are some deep pockets looking for that crucible. chorum mentioned what was inscribed on that ledger you found on the transitore de fer. give it here, i think that faceless shit rikos might have tipped his hand."
When presented the ledger found in riko’s footlocker, she traced out the line:
“now this one", she said, shaking her head, “this one is a fuck-of-alot trickier to track down, but i’m sure they have the coin to do something like move the the flock. the seven always broker through an intermediary, they have no base of operation, hell they barely exist, it’s like doing business with ghosts." eyeing the crucible suspiciously, she continued, “personally, i say you get that thing as far away from us as possible. the fallen halfhorns are willing to help however we can, but that ember you just cast on the transitore de fer is smoldering. fire is on its way."
her cadence darkening, uffizi responded,
“this item must be returned to rest in the safety of the feydark. the prison will not hold forever and i doubt any of you want to be here when it cracks. more than ever, i must speak to the kintyne known as brambleshoot so that a plan can be devised. somebody is toying with ilythiiri magic that is not meant for their hands."
having stayed out of the conversation to this point, ravel interjected,
“the transportation of of a re-birthing wyrmlitch was not part of our agreement ”/characters/dienash-nyzer" class=“wiki-content-link”>die’nash. you can’t still expect me to act as transport?"
“dos orn. l’seelie court d’erth’netora undva ol.”
(roughly translated drow – “you will. the seelie court of stars commands it.”)
to which ravel replied,
(roughly translated drow – “fine.”)
upon which she then turned to you and inquired,