Chapter 1: Shard of Fate.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
 GM, 68 posts
Tue 8 Sep 2020
at 14:41
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
The team headed to find the elementalist known as Shard bids their allies headed to the ruins farewell and make their way to the east gate. There are horses available to rent to speed their journey if they so chose to take them. Whatever their final preparations before leaving are, they find the trip uneventful as they move along the road east towards where they have determined to start their search.

It's a simple matter finding the camp since it has been marked on the map for them. A cursory inspection reveals the drake and smaller draconian tracks, as well as the boot prints of a single humanoid. The camp doesn't seem to have much left in it, the man either cleaned up his camp well or anything left might have been taken already.

A detailed search finds a few markings in what appears to be Druidic on a few nearby trees, forming a triangle around the camp if you to connect them with imaginary lines. They are not the same lettering. Jade happens across what appears to be small metal objects buried only a little bit into the ground that resemble lockets without the mounting to attach a chain. They have the hue of adamantine and don't have a visible latch, the hinges findable but protected somewhat by the shell of the locket. They don't open. As intricate as these things are and their apparent material, it would be weird to just leave these around if you picked up camp.

It is worth noting that the lockets were each positioned directly in the between each of the marked trees, forming their own separate imaginary triangle.
Jade Eurydice
 Kineticist, 22 posts
Tue 8 Sep 2020
at 19:41
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
Jade nods slightly at the stables.  "As time is of the essence, I believe we should rent horses if we don't already have them.  The sooner we find Shard, the less chance there will be for more issues to have occurred."



Jade stared at the clues the group uncovered.  "A ritual of some sort?  The lockets form their own little triangle and... could they be meant to contain something?  Or to point the way toward something?"

She looked around the area some more, trying to figure out where the two imaginary triangles would be pointing if one drew a line from them.
Imryll Quizeiros
 Eldritch Knight, 23 posts
 HP 51/51, AC 20
Tue 8 Sep 2020
at 20:49
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
Imryll looks around the camp slightly disappointed. When they discover the position of the druidic marks and the buried objects he seems to be quite puzzled.
"I'm not sure if this is some kind of druidic ritual or from any other cult, but it is certainly suspicious... I'm not an specialist tracing people in the forest, anyone can tell from the steps of the man or the drakes of they are heading towards any specific direction? I'll try to find the meaning of it, but certainly it will be easier if we can ask him directly."
He then spends some minutes trying to decipher the meaning of the ritual.

21:41, Today: Imryll Quizeiros rolled 28 using 1d20+9. Religious ritual - know religion. [roll=1599597682.40318.347520]
Sarn Theris
 Hellknight, 34 posts
Tue 8 Sep 2020
at 21:17
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
Sarn shakes his head at the prospect of tracking prints in the woods. He mentally kicked himself for not considering that overmuch when they split the groups. He decided to direct his mental energy toward the lockets and druidic symbols instead. "Is anyone capable of detecting any residual magicks on these grounds?"

He started mentally tracing things out along with Jade, "I don't think it's pointing any particular direction. Aren't these overlapping? It's making a star, is it not?"

He saw that Imryll was going down a similar path and conferred with the elf about the religious and magical significance of a six-pointed star.

[OOC: Sarn Theris rolled 14 using 1d20+6. Aid Knowledge (Religion). Successful aid to add +2 to Imryll's check.

This message was last edited by the player at 21:17, Tue 08 Sept.

Dungeon Master
 GM, 69 posts
Tue 8 Sep 2020
at 22:50
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
While looking over the various components of the ritual Imyrll recognizes the lockets as a material focus for highly powerful binding magic, a little circulated trick due to the expensiveness of them both from their material and the difficulty in forging adamantine with this much precision. A locket that is hard to open or breach is easy to place and move around and is a sealed vessel. Components similar to the magic on a conceptual level are often used to aid rituals. The lockets probably have reagents in them.

The placement in relation to the field and the druidic runes seems to back up that information, as binding magic tends to be in circles. Sarn's insight reminds them that six point binding circles are often used to stabilize areas in advance of a summoning ritual if an area has a thin barrier between planes. Doing so makes the summoning less likely to cause permanent damage to the plane. It can also be used to make summoning more consistent if variables are at play in it. Imyrll's experience in arcane magics tell him that most common conjurers wouldn't even have the means by which to check planar stability. You'd need to be around the groups level of experience and specialized at minimum or much more experienced to have that kind of thing. After using them even for stabilization they are fine to move.

Sarn seems a little startled when he examined the locket with Imyrll though.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:51, Tue 08 Sept.

Sarn Theris
 Hellknight, 35 posts
Wed 9 Sep 2020
at 04:32
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
Sarn nodded after the conference with the elf. Imryll's thoughts had confirmed his own. "Stabilization before summoning," he muttered as he drew his sword and took a knee near one of the lockets. A hand leaning on the hilt, he put the point of his sword near the locket as his lapis eyes focused on the item.

"Impossible," he said quietly as he looked from his blade to the locket. He ran his fingers over the device and repeated his sentiment, "This is impossible."

The Hellknight rose and walked to another one, repeating the process of kneeling down with his sword near the trinket, "This is true adamantine. Astral metal. Purer. An order of magnitude more difficult and expensive to forge such things using this. You could bind a demi-god with these..."

Theris paused and blinked a few times before rising and turning to the others, "The Interloper could have been summoned here. Or something worse...something that unleashed it..."
Neva
 Sphere Singer, 26 posts
Wed 9 Sep 2020
at 08:20
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
"Why would he summon something that would destroy his own drake?"
Meanwhile, Neva was looking for tracks.

10:19, Today: Neva rolled 11 using 1d20+7.  Survival (Tracking).
Imryll Quizeiros
 Eldritch Knight, 24 posts
 HP 51/51, AC 20
Wed 9 Sep 2020
at 08:56
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
"Maybe he came here to stop the ritual from happening, I don't know. We will need further investigation."
Imryll looks around the camp together with Sarn reviewing the adamantine artifacts and the druidic markings while Neva checks for tracks.
"This raises a few questions... Who is powerful enough to get the required components and perform the ritual? What was summoned? For what reason? Did they succeeded? And if they did... he turns towards Neva for information about the tracks
"Where did it go?"
Imryll while speaking out loud looks for signs that the ritual was completed (and something came to this plane).

09:54, Today: Imryll Quizeiros rolled 15 using 1d20+13. Knowledge arcana. [roll=1599641699.37913.347520]
Jade Eurydice
 Kineticist, 23 posts
Thu 10 Sep 2020
at 02:59
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
Jade frowned.  "I have a bad feeling that we're not going to figure out some of these unanswered questions until we've been attacked by something horrible.  Still, it's worth asking them."

She did her own look-around of the ritual site, looking for more clues or tracks that seem to lead in a particular direction. (37 Perception)




22:58, Today: Jade Eurydice rolled 37 using 1d20+18.  Perception check.

Vagras of Kleinhold
 player, 15 posts
 Future Loremaster
Thu 10 Sep 2020
at 06:27
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
"That doesn't make much sense," Vagras said with a frown, "A summoning or binding of that magnitude here? With little to no protections or permanent fixtures?" He looked around the camp, going over in his mind what he knew about summoning and planar travel. "Whoever did it is mad, desperate or incredibly powerful... or maybe all of them. And why leave the lockets behind? That's not something you can replace easily. Let me see if I can find any magical traces." After speaking a few arcane words, Vagras began looking around the camp and at the lockets to see if any magical auras were still present.

OOC:
23:18, Today: Vagras of Kleinhold rolled 29 using 1d20+14.  Spellcraft.
23:18, Today: Vagras of Kleinhold rolled 21 using 1d20+14.  Knowledge: Planes.
23:18, Today: Vagras of Kleinhold rolled 35 using 1d20+17.  Knowledge: Arcana.
Cast Detect Magic

Sarn Theris
 Hellknight, 36 posts
Thu 10 Sep 2020
at 13:38
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
"Or he was trying to banish it and didn't have time for permanent fixtures. Perhaps he got caught in the vortex but one of his pets was infected," he offered while picking one of the aforementioned lockets up to inspect it more closely and hold it up to Vagras as he searches it for arcane energies.

There were half a dozen possibilities and each one could have played out a few different ways. His was actually an uncharacteristically optimistic one. Building off of what the magic-user mentioned, Sarn nodded, "Not replaced easily is an understatement. It would be insane to leave these here. Whoever did had to. Maybe fled and lost. Much more likely taken, taken over, or dead."

This message was last edited by the player at 15:51, Thu 10 Sept.

Imryll Quizeiros
 Eldritch Knight, 25 posts
 HP 51/51, AC 20
Thu 10 Sep 2020
at 15:31
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
"Should we assume if no tracks leave this place that was the case, because I'm concerned about leaving using other means of transport."
And points at the sky.
"Is there any way we can proactively chase whoever did this? I would not like to find out first time by a monster from an outside plane attacking me while I'm eating... again."
Dungeon Master
 GM, 73 posts
Sun 13 Sep 2020
at 14:06
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
Vargas' inspection of the area reveals the ground around the camp has many magical effects. Most visible is the ground is altered to separate it into individual sections free from the others near it, likely to accommodate magical manipulation with size limitations. Such a thing is not uncommon among telekinetic or earth magic specialists of decent strength, as it covertly increases the defense of a camp without usually empowering attackers. The other magical effect detected is confirmation that a binding ritual of some kind did in fact occur, but no signs are remaining of a summoning.

Jade's examination of the area for tracks reveals that no fresh tracks actually leave the camp. The most recent departure is drake tracks that left a day or two ago, before the infection window of the interloper spine. It seems less likely the infection took place here. Furthermore, though it isn't a totally certain confirmation that nobody flew away, none of the tracks have the common 'hop' that most things do when taking off, even  with flight magic. She also discovers the ground is modified to be sections when looking at the ground, also noting that these 5ft by 5ft cubes making up the ground have been moved within a day or two, maybe around the same time the drake left, but it's hard to be certain.

Expanding the search wider than the camp, she finds tracks that go near the camp, their owners getting knocking around, and then they leave. It's hard to tell what they were doing from the tracks, but clearly some violence occurred here that wasn't immediately apparent from the abundance of tracks within the camp.
Jade Eurydice
 Kineticist, 25 posts
Mon 14 Sep 2020
at 00:33
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
"Anyone good at woodscraft?" Jade asked after a minute of looking around.  "Looks like a drake left here on foot a while ago.  Easy to see here on cleared ground, but I'm not really keen on trying to follow them over-land."
Sarn Theris
 Hellknight, 38 posts
Mon 14 Sep 2020
at 03:02
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
Theris shakes his head and walk over to his mount, a big, heavy warhorse. He gave him a pat on the neck and quietly muttered to the horse "Alright, Scourge?"

"My expertise lies with the gods, the planes, and the law. I am a fair hand with animals and medicine, but not nature I'm afraid," he looked back at the collection of what seemed to be mostly magic-users. There were some martial skills mixed into the bunch, but none of this crew were rangers, or likely even amateur woodsmen.

Sarn tossed the pure adamantine locked in the air and caught it again. "But," he paused, "What do we make of these carved out sections? You're an earthbender, right Jade? Can these be pressed down or moved around in any meaningful way?"
Vagras of Kleinhold
 player, 16 posts
 Future Loremaster
Tue 15 Sep 2020
at 01:43
Chapter 1: Shard of Fate
Vagras shook his head, "No, woodscraft is not one of my areas of expertise. I could probably tell you what made a certain track, but I'm not great at following them." Looking around at the magically prepared campsite, he appears impressed, "A fine bit of magic went into this place. If Shard did it, he knows his stuff."