Volume 1: Crossing the Plains of Rhovanion.   Posted by Azurak the Blue.Group: 0
Anira
 Fellowship, 90 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sun 24 Sep 2017
at 15:28
Into the Drift
The tomes on witchcraft and rougish skills certainly caught Anira's attention but she continued looking, knowing their main concern right now was the entwives and how to find them.  When she came across several books bound in blue dragonhide she made a soft "Aha!"

Pulling each of them off the shelf, she held out the last one to Radagast.  "It would make sense to me to look in The Great Wood for anything about ents ... though there could be other useful information in the others," she said.  "I wonder if we could borrow some of these to study on the way?"
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 193 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sun 24 Sep 2017
at 15:59
Into the Drift
Lady Isilė was very impressed by the books they were able to discover and she took great interest on Mysticism, Invocation, Wizardry, Thaumaturgy and Mysteries of the East: Shining Spires of Sharandor.  Knowing that she will have to return back her after the mission is complete and help the people get their final rest or remove the curse.

In any case she wondered which of the books written by Azurak would be helpful.

True but any of the others might hold some hidden secret as well.  If only I had that spell that would allow speed reading of tomes or books.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 82 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sun 24 Sep 2017
at 17:05
Into the Drift
"Speed reading? Yes, that might be helpful," Radagast replied, "but you would still have to be careful turning the pages."

"I know of a spell called Osmotic Sleep that allows you to absorb the contents of a book merely by sleeping on it under your pillow! It was quite helpful to me in my youth."

"It still does not give you understanding of material that you don't already understand, such as advance mathematics or engineering principles."

"Given the nature of this library... broad spectrum of subjects, though not as extensive on subjects as many other libraries... and the protections put on it, it would not surprise me if there were not... hunters? Enforcers? ...that went after anyone who took a book from the library... or perhaps did not return it in a timely fashion."

"Those hunters are now among the undead population, and cannot leave the city, so there is not much chance of them pursuing us if we choose to borrow a few books."

"My greater concern is whether the books can even be removed from the library. Clearly, you cannot teleport out of the library, carrying a book. But, can you step out onto the balcony with one? Will the portal let us take one through with us?"

"Portals are not teleport devices, though, so unless there are additional protections on the portal, I can't see a problem there."

"So, counter to what Tilaleria believed we would do, I suggest we might each try to take three books with us... that we can read or study while we travel or when we rest. Naturally, we will need to return them."

"Azurak was the name of one of the Blue Wizards that were sent to the East to stop the expansion of Sauron. That makes me think that the books titled Mysteries of the East may truly be about the unknown East, rather than just some arbitrary place east of the home of the author."

Grimfast
 Fellowship, 25 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Sun 1 Oct 2017
at 19:16
Into the Drift
Grimfast is not that keen on books, but he is willing to carry some of them for the sake of the group.

He was sad that Tilaleria was so blinded by her obsession that she could not see the wiser path to take. He trusted Radagast's statement that the amulet would not be reliable the closer they got; why couldn't she? It was magic, and everyone knew how fickle magic could be. That included teleport, apparently, though he was hardly an expert on it. He was vaguely aware that it was very obscure albeit powerful magic, so its limitations might not be known, especially in this region twisted and corrupted by Sauron.

He selected three books: Belegost, Beyond the Veil and The Great Wood. Durandor sounded Dwarven, so probably of more interest to Borun. The Shining Spires did not sound like a place he would wish to visit, but The Great Wood did. And he was curious as to what this Veil was. It might refer to death, of course, but they wouldn't know unless they read the book.

"I'm ready to go," he announced to the others after storing the books into his backpack. "I think we should go through the portal. I cannot perceive anything about this place that would indicate it could be a trap, even if I suggested it. Protections there might be, but there have been no traps. A nice fireball for trespassers would not be amiss, since everything in here is protected from fire, but, presumably, not the trespassers."

"Just my two pennies, for whatever it's worth."

Borun Redbeard
 Fellowship, 192 posts
 Dwarf
 Monk/Empyreal sorcerer
Tue 3 Oct 2017
at 09:17
Into the Drift
"Durandor?" Borun replied to Grimfast. "Hmm, it rings a bell." Borun picked up the book and quickly leafed through it.

With three shelves of "botany", surely there would be something useful about ents? Perhaps the most obvious was "The Magic of Trees" by Miranda Portwood. Borun was unsure if there was anything about ents inside, or even if the content was likely to be accurate. Nevertheless, he took the book.

In the "combat skills" section, Borun found "Perfect Self: Two hundred years of meditation" by the elven ascetic Rinudia Maethel. No doubt that would be an excellent read. While Borun had heard a little about elven unarmed combat styles, a book by the undisputed queen of kick-boxing would be enlightening.

Walking past the "roguery" section, Borun noticed an intriguing title: "Second-storey Man" by the notorious hobbit thief Rosco Undertree. Borun quietly glanced around, then furtively picked up the book and browsed through it. After five minutes, he reluctantly returned the book to the shelf.
Saxon the Dead Smith
 Fellowship, 157 posts
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 03:48
Into the Drift
Saxon had gone missing for about two shakes of a dragon's tail until he was found sitting behind one of the chairs. He was good to travel with a group but when it came to studying he was used to being alone, deep in the woods, surrounded by living treats that wanted to eat him alongside too many monsters. When there was mention of a spell to learn the contents of a book by sleeping on it he perked up. "Please teach me that spell when you get a chance."

Ye Compleat Catalogue of Alchemaria was firmly in his hands and there was a sense that if he could juice the thing through his Formula Alembic and learn all its secrets he would have. Next to him he also had the text on Necromancy and Technomancy. Alchemy naturally gave itself over to more advanced creations.

He would take the eastland book if no one else did, but he was a bit selfish when it came to Knowledge.
Anira
 Fellowship, 91 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 12:47
Into the Drift
Anira listened to the others but mostly she wondered about the potential that the books might not stay with them once they stepped out of the room.  "One way to find out," she said lifting a book in her hand and heading to the doorway they had entered, hoping something didn't zap her when she stepped out onto the balcony.



Just seeing if the book will remain with her though know it's possible it might not and also that something might happen.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 476 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 19:36
Into the Drift
Anira steps out onto the balcony carrying the book, and is at least mildly surprised that nothing happens. There appears to be no magic in place that would punish such effrontery (or, if there had been, it may have long ago worn off), nor does the book disappear.

In retrospect, of course, it now seems as if the magic of the library was there to protect the books. There might be a loophole in that one can't teleport out of the library... presumably with a book, but stepping out of the room lets you do that. Then again, maybe there was some protection to keep the door closed, and they bypassed that. After all, the apparent main entry into the library was up the stairs.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 194 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 19:45
Into the Drift
She took the four books that was mostly on her mind to study
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 83 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 20:05
Into the Drift
After observing Anira's actions, Radagast spoke up again.

"Do you want to use the portal, or would you rather we teleport to Forstan?" he asked the others.

"I admit that the portal could be risky... dangerous, but as I tried to advise Tilaleria, these lands have been twisted by the wrath and fury of the Dark Lord Sauron. Teleporting from here on will also be risky. As you can see by the inhabitants of Naethrul, magic has been altered, perverted in ways we can't begin to understand."

"It could teleport us to some unknown locale, divert us into a trap. We could wind up bouncing all the way back to where we started from."

"I would only risk a short-range teleport to somewhere within sight and that at least had the appearance of neutrality. We know nothing about Forstan, so we cannot say what its status is."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 195 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 21:15
Into the Drift
Let us use the portal. Be a shame to come all this way as deprive it of its power for so long.  She smile while looking at the mirror
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 26 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Sat 14 Oct 2017
at 21:39
Into the Drift
"Bah. Portals, teleports... hate 'em all!" Grimfast grouses, but you can probably tell he's half joking.

"It would be a powerful trap, indeed, if it could hold all of us. Then again, anyone using it would likely be rather powerful, too."

"So, what do we do? Spell out Forstan in the symbols?"


He walked over to the mirror and began touching the symbols that he thought spelled 'FORSTAN'.

"Say... you think if we spelled out some other place the portal would take us there?"

He paused for a moment before touching the last symbol as he scrutinized the symbols.

"G-D-O-V-M-T-E-Z..." he spelled out the symbols he could read. "Anybody heard of Geh-dov-meh-tez?"
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 84 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 13:04
Into the Drift
Radagast watched as Grimfast touched the final letter, and there was a sudden shimmer to the mirror. It was still reflective, but it was like there was a constant ripple to it now. If it was open, nothing was visible of the other side through the 'glass'.

"Doesn't seem very practical... not being able to see where you are going, does it?" he said as he approached the mirror.

"Not that teleporting does it any better."

He slowly touched the mirror with his hand, and found a liquid-like substance, yet it didn't flow out of the mirror. He pushed against it, and his hand disappeared into it.

"I would hazard a guess that it is currently a two-way function... given the nature of it. I will go through first. If everything is safe on the other side, I will attempt to put my hand back through and gesture for you all to join me."

"If I am unable to do that... well, you're on your own."


He continued to move into and through the mirror until he was gone from sight.

About 10 seconds later, a hand stuck out of the mirror and waved everyone else to follow.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 477 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 13:43
Into the Drift
As the others followed, you all find yourselves standing on a high platform overlooking an amazing sight--below you is spread a city of crystal spires!

The portal on this side appears almost identical to the one in Naethrul, except that this one is made of crystal.

You look up and see that the tallest crystal spire of all is the holding the platform. It soars another 100 feet into the sky, tapering as it goes, only to be topped by a large gold sphere.

Even the platform you are standing on is made of crystal, as is the railing around the perimeter of the platform.

The crystal is not perfectly clear, but has a rainbow of colorful specks throughout it.

Along the outer side of the central spire, you now spot a flight of crystal stairs that winds its way down and around the spire... into the crystal building that forms the base of the spire.

As you continue to gaze out over the spectacular sight, Lady Isile notices some specks below that separated from the city and begin to fly upward. It only takes a few seconds before they resolve themselves into some sort of crystal and gossamer flying device manned by a single person.

There are a dozen of these flyers, and it isn't until they get to within 100 feet that you realize that the people in these devices appear to have blue skin and blond hair.

Once they reach the platform, they fly around it, observing you and apparently evaluating you. Lady Isile, because she spends so much time in the sky, notices that they can't hover. They don't have to fly very fast, and they can pull up into a stall for a second or two, but they do not appear to be able to hover in place.

Finally, two of them begin circling around the spire, drawing in closer with every circle, until finally they are within the edge of the platform's railing, and they both land gracefully on their legs. The diaphanous wings fold up onto their back somehow.

You can see that they are wearing a crystal harness. One is male, one is female. They have pointed ears like Elves, but are of tall stature.

They stand there and watch you for a minute with eyes wide in wonder before taking a tentative step toward you, arms outstretched, palms facing you.

"Attro am I. Duana is she," the man says. The words are understandable, but the grammar is odd, and he has a significant accent.

"Welcome you are to Forstan."

He clearly doesn't say anything more because he's waiting to see if you understood him.
Anira
 Fellowship, 92 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 16:05
Into the Drift
Anira had followed behind Radagast, heart beating a little faster but slowing as he was obviously okay and they would not be separated from him.  She took several moments to look around and found the city absolutely breathtaking in its beauty but she knew that some of the deadliest things were beautiful so was concerned again when they were observed.

She had remained still and calm with her hands out so they could be seen were not not wielding weapons nor gesturing for any spells, hoping these people would not mistake them for trying to attack.  When the two landed and approached, those hands shifted to palms up and she inclined her head respectfully.

"I am Anira and we thank you for the welcome," she said slowly and clearly.  She looked to Radagast then, deferring to him yet standing slightly to the right and in front of him in case she felt he needed protecting.  Of course he was far superior to her but that's why she felt the need to guard him.
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 196 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 16:55
Into the Drift
Taking shape of her familiar flying figure she then flew through the portal mirror to see what wonders Radagast walked into.  Not slowing down her pace when coming through she took to the air to get a better look and grasp of the landscape.

Afterwards she noticed the flying shapes and flew back to where Radagast and the others were just in case trouble was at hand.

Once seeing the shapes of the two that landed so graceful she knew they had to be kins to the Elven race but she never seen these ones before or read about them.  Her mind raced as to wanting to learn more about them and in time if allowed she surely will get that opportunity.

Now that she got herself familiar with the landing they were standing upon if needing to teleport again.

When she got next to the others she allowed her true form to take shape.  Allowing them to notice the long ears and graceful form that she also possessed.

"Greetings to you as well. Lady Isilė am I.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:04, Tue 24 Oct 2017.

Azurak the Blue
 GM, 478 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 17:14
Into the Drift
Having flown through the portal and taken to the skies, all the while marveling at the wondrous cityscape below, Lady Isile was quite surprised when she ran into... something. Fortunately, she hadn't been flying straight up or else she would have ran into it directly! As it was, she'd only sort of bumped into it as she had been flying a bit obliquely.

Thinking at first it was some attack by an invisible creature, she quickly turned her attention outward, and that's when she saw... it. 'It' was a nearly transparent dome that covered the entire city! It felt like something solid, but she could not identify what it was made out of. She was pretty sure, though, that it wasn't just force... perhaps something akin to glassteel.

It had been hard to spot from any distance, and since she hadn't been looking upward, she'd completely missed it until she'd bumped into it. As it was, once she was more than 50 feet away from it, it was all but invisible. However, she could tell that it covered the entire city because, from this lofty point of view, she could see that curve of the cultivated strip of land that encircled the city proper.
Grimfast
 Fellowship, 27 posts
 Beorning
 Feral Hunter/Skald
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 17:27
Into the Drift
"Grimfast am I," the Beorning spoke up, following Lady Isile's example.

"And this be Radagast the Brown." He couldn't quite fathom what form he needed to use in this altered grammar.

He knew Radagast would never have used the adjective, and it might not matter this far away from rest of the realms, but the Blue Istari had been out this way. It might mean something to these people.

Borun and Saxon could identify themselves.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 480 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 19:11
Into the Drift
"You are the first visitors to Forstan in over a thousand years," Duana replied.

"Where do you come from? Did you come from Naethrul? What news can you tell us of the world?"
Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 198 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 19:15
Into the Drift
Taking a step closer to Radagast and whispering something into his ear.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:04, Tue 24 Oct 2017.

Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 85 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 19:24
Into the Drift
Radagast's eyes widen slightly in surprise at Lady Isile's words, but he recovers quickly.

"Yes, we come from Naethrul," Radagast explains.

"No one has come this way because we thought the East was lost. The few who dared venture this way have never returned. We now know why... at least, up until Forstan."

"Sauron rises once more."

Lady Isile
 Fellowship, 199 posts
 Moriquende
 Sorceress/Oracle
Tue 24 Oct 2017
at 03:07
Into the Drift
She looked at the two when the name Sauron was mentioned.  Wanting to see if they know of the name and any body language happens.

23:07, Today: Lady Isile rolled 41 using 1d20+21 with rolls of 20.  Perception.
Anira
 Fellowship, 93 posts
 Half-Elf
 Witch-Rogue
Tue 24 Oct 2017
at 15:03
Into the Drift
If they were the first visitors in a thousand years, that meant the others of Radagast's order never made it here.  Or they could be lying.  Anira studied them as Lady Isle whispered to Radagast and he was forthright with the news of Sauron.



10:01, Today: Anira rolled 27 using 1d20+19 with rolls of 8.  Sense Motive on Greeters.
Azurak the Blue
 GM, 482 posts
 Storyteller
 StarMaster
Tue 24 Oct 2017
at 19:27
Into the Drift
If Anira is referring to the Blue Wizards, they went into the East in 1050, fifty years after they arrived in Middle Earth. The current year is 2955, so there has been 1705 years for the Blue Wizards to have gone about their business.


Attro and Duana seem concerned at Radagast's mention of Sauron.

"Alatar's Great Dome has kept out the Dark Lord for all that time," Attro responded. "Is there any reason to think that it should no longer protect us?"


At this exchange, the others look around but while they cannot see the dome at this range, it now becomes obvious that it extends to the ground, for the arc of its circle is a clear delineation between the cultivated fields of Forstan that surround the city and the Broken Lands that lie beyond it.

In fact, you now notice that there is a darkness to the Broken Lands that may not have been there in Naethrul. Or maybe it's just the contrast between the outside and the inside.
Radagast the Brown
 Istari, 86 posts
 Istari Ranger/Druid
 Wizard/Nature Warden
Thu 26 Oct 2017
at 21:31
Into the Drift
"We do not know yet what power Sauron has managed to gather... that he could come back from the grave," Radagast replies. "Specific reason? No. General reason... yes. That as well as time. Even Alatar's power would not last forever."

"Have you noticed any change in the dome? Has it changed color? Fluctuated in any way?"