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 Aftermath and Interludes - Post Tidewater Battle [Ghesh]

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PostSubject: Aftermath and Interludes - Post Tidewater Battle [Ghesh]   Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:56 am

Storyteller Note: The following story takes place after the events of Tidewater Battle and the release of Port Town from Admiral Ferra's grip. Some are vague in terms of timeline to allow the player(s) involved to write in as they wish.

Ghesh

"Nahuas, the Unbroken Paradise, is the vast region of the Qezcahal, the jungle known as the Wild Growth, upon the island of Merata. It is the only area explored by non-natives and home to most of the native populations as well. There are more regions, far to the north, across the great unexplored jungles, but no one has been there and returned. It is rumored that Salvana the Ranger planned to venture beyond Nahuas and was never seen again."

The lorekeeper droned on in his monotone voice reading from a series of disconnected scrolls. Jiordan Kaster was a cleric of knowledge and the sole keeper of the discovered knowledge of the Lords of Qezcahal. A remarkably detailed man, he now served double-duty as the information gatherer for the adventuring group as well. Since Rakara was revealed to by a couatl and the Feathered Prophet of the Cheowakahl, Tyrant thought it best to dismiss her from her membership. 

Ghesh drank deep of a camusin berry wine from Salvana's Oasis and listened. 

"The Cheowakahl believe the Nahuas to be sacred, particularly in Mictlan, the Hills of the dead. They bury their heroes and legends here, but in recent times the various Elemental Cults have seized control. The Cult of the Black Earth retains most of the power beneath Mictlan." 

Kaster set down the scroll and made a few updating notes. Without thinking of his audience, he began to read the next. 

"The Hunapu, or lizardmen, are rumored to come from beyond the north in ancient times, but in centuries past took up residence in many of the more dangerous realms of Nahuas. They fear Mictlan, for in their lore a great dead dragon resides there. The Hunapu further..." Kaster finally realized his mistake, looked up at the dragonborn Hunapu sorcerer, and cleared his throat. 

"Moving on. You requested specific knowledge of the potential whereabouts of the Lady of the Dead, Mik'tek'huatl." The cleric shuffled the papers about with nervous energy.

Ghesh considered his conundrum. Two dragon servants, children of Tlalo-Ka, a gold and a black. Teo'quital, the Lady of Gold, was his patron and he her last hope of salvation. The Lady of the Dead, the black dragon Mik'tek'huatl, had taken the eggs of her cousin out of jealousy and rage. The tribe of the Lady of Gold had been forced to submit and it was only through Teo'quital's blessing that he had escaped. 

"Here it is. Apan, the Growing Lake. In the east of the Unbroken Paradise is a place known as Apan. It is believed not to have a bottom, but instead in its depths the lake connects to the well of the unierse and the waters of all other worlds, including the land of the dead. Atgat and Achuat are the twin withces of the waters, a brother and sister of tremendous power. It is believed that in the depths of Apan are vast cities and civilizations." 

Kaster set aside the scroll and turned a single scrap of paper towards Ghesh. 

"This is the most recent finding. In prayer, I discovered a knowledge unable to be verified without sending someone to the lake. I believe that a tower exists at the edge of Apan amid the great bogs and swamps of the jungle. This tower is of vital importance to the Queen of Air and Darkness, the Duava'rhem, and the Five. It is my opinion that it is here you will find your Lady of the Dead. In fact..."

Kaster stared directly into the eyes of the dragonborn and leaned close.

"In fact, it is my belief that the rumor of a dead dragon in Mictlan is none other than your Mik'tek'huatl. And I think the tower is the Prison of the Five. It makes sense that such a terrible beast would seize control of the place. Tlalo-Ka clearly has an interest in the return of the Queen of Air and Darkness and would want it protected or controlled. I think you have your direction, lord Ghesh." 


*****

Coryn


Fingers around the ancient staff, the powerful druid knew he had finally succeeded against the disease of Merata. With this ancient power he would cleanse the island of its curse and defeat its dark interlopers once and for all. 

When he turned back, staff in hand, the world had gone away.

A feeling like settling into a warm bath washed over the druid. A pervading chill whispered at the edge of touch. At first everything muted - the sound of battle, the lightning of the behir, the collapsing rock. Then he heard the distant muted sound of chirping frogs and crickets on a shore, the evening bustle of the jungle. 

A moment later, the world erupted into vibrant life. Frogs and night birds sang a chorus; the air was awash with autumn scents; the moonlight painted the flowers in iridescent blue, silver, and violet, and the rushing of the river nearby became a complex symphony. 

Coryn turned, the staff of the woodlands had vanished, and he was seemingly alone. 

"Not alone." 


The druid turned and the obfuscating fog about the world fell away. Where before he had stood deep beneath one of the ancient Sylvar'rhem pyramids, now he in an open field. The pyramids had vanished, each replaced by a gigantic vibrant crystal, each of a different shifting color. The sky was alight with the fading colors of an ever-setting sun and set each crystal to twinkling. 

It was a world of eternal twilight and it was full of vibrant and deadly life. 

A small sylvan creature stepped out from around a twisted tree, branches of silver and gold reaching out to intertwine with one of crystal and bark. The creature was feminine, but certainly not a woman. Not humanoid at all. Her rail thin body showed the shadow of bone beneath the flesh in terrible gaunt beauty. Her hair was wild and ever-floating behind her head, tangled with leaves, twigs, and glittering gold. Her eyes, her wide, terrible eyes, were full of black and night with but a tiny pinprick of starlight. 

She extended too-long arms. 

"Welcome to the Summer Court, the land of the Lady. You have passed through the sacred crossing as only one of your kind may do. Join us in celebration, Coryn of Rhetaea. Here, you may eat whatever you like." 



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PostSubject: Re: Aftermath and Interludes - Post Tidewater Battle [Ghesh]   Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:43 am

Ghesh

Thank you Jiordan for the information. It will prove invaluable in the days to come. I do have some questions about the two witches that watch over the lake. What is their purpose there and are they hostile to visitors of the area? Also, if you have anymore information on the history of the Hinapu I would be very much interested in hearing it. Being of a Hinapu tribe myself, I see no reason why such information should be hidden from me. You are a master of your trade and if there was a person who could find these things out it would be you.

Coryn

The Druid looked at the fey creature and the surrounding area with suspicion and confusion. He snatched a frog out of the air in mid hop and bit off one of his back legs. He chewed while he pondered his situation. *Bites off the the other back leg* If he really was here in the Summer's Court, that means he was somehow teleported into the Feywild. *Bites off the head* Was the staff even real or just an illusion? *Pops the rest in his mouth and chews while contemplating* Will the disease still plague the land in his absence? Was the legend of the staff false? Who is this creature that welcomes him? "You seem as though you were expecting me. I have some questions for you before I can begin to trust you. If you will not answer them, then I will simply kill and eat you where you stand." Coryn proceeded to question the creature while taking in the environment around him.
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PostSubject: Re: Aftermath and Interludes - Post Tidewater Battle [Ghesh]   Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:14 pm

Ghesh
 
To his credit, the cleric did not allow the discomfort of the situation to prevent him from offering advice. He gestured to the vast array of scrolls and sighed.
 
“There is little time for study of the natives of Merata. I am overworked and the Lords of Qezcahal have other needs. I fear I cannot offer you, a native Hunapu, much about your own people.” He sat heavily on a cushioned chair and looked down at a personal notebook.
 
“The only insights I have found remark upon what the lizardfolk refer to as the Change.” He skimmed his notes with rapid clarity flipping page after page. Finally, he stopped at a series of strange marks and a sketch of a dark tower.
 
“Here. The Hunapu lizardfolk, as you may well know, tend to shift and change in the direction of their patron dragon. Your own people I am certain held a gilded color of burnished gold. Tezzicteca’s servants were falsely feathered, but naturally a jungle green. Here,” he tapped the tower, “rumor has it that the lizardfolk are black as midnight with great bone horns hung about them as affectations. That is why I believe your Lady of the Dead to be there, but there’s more!”
 
He flipped the book around to show a single sketch. “I drew this from a vision. Look not at the lizardfolk himself, but at the tribal designs. The tattoos…”
 
Ghesh leaned close to examine the tiny marks, eyes narrowing in frustration. “I can’t read them.”
 
“No one can! No one alive any way, not without magic and knowledge of ancient elven languages. The tattoos, they are relics of the Five. Symbols, or pieces of symbols, of their past. They’re not a real language, these Hunapu have bastardized them beyond their origin. Ask yourself this,” Kaster set the book down with elaborate care, leaned back and steepled his fingers in dramatic fashion. “Where did they learn those marks if not the Tower of the Five?”
 





Coryn
 
The waiflike fey being danced back a step and bowed with slow grace. “My lord Coryn, grand druid and newest arrival, of course you have questions. And I, as favored of the Lady of Summer, Queen of this place and personal servant of the Summer Court,” she allowed her words a pause for effect, then continued. “I welcome your questions and offer answers, but you need not be hasty. You will not be leaving this place anytime soon. You can’t. None of us can.”
 
The pixie, or sprite, or whatever strange amalgamation of creature she was, lifted up into the air on razor-sharp diaphanous wings. “We are all bound here by the Five from the Dark Wars. You touched the sacred staff which means your power was great enough to start the disease.” She smiled at that and darted around his form.
 
“It’s simple really. The Lady knew that druids of your ilk would come eventually. That you would come close to obtaining the natural power of the land you’d need to re-open the portal. That can’t happen, you see. Hence, the trap. The staff is a relic of a servant in the Queen’s court, a transformed dryad of enormous power. When she perceives a being such as yourself to be a threat to the weakening of the barrier, she spreads disease. She spreads rumor. And when you find the staff, she sends you here.”
 
The fey alighted on a branch a few feet overhead and giggled.
 

“The best kind of trick, really. You thought you would save the world and all you really did was get yourself banished like so many others. But don’t be upset. This place is a delight beyond your wildest imaginations. What better place to spend eternity?”

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PostSubject: Re: Aftermath and Interludes - Post Tidewater Battle [Ghesh]   Tue Mar 28, 2017 9:46 am

Ghesh

Intrigued by this new information, Ghesh switched gears and decided to inquire about the Five since it was clear he won't be able to get anymore info on the Hinapu. "Can you tell me more about the Tower of the Five and what is rumored to be inside of it? Since translating the original symbols of the five that the Hinapu wear require magic and knowledge of ancient elven languages, do you know that language and/or know of some magic that could help with that? There could be some valuable knowledge in that tower, if I venture there, that I might be willing to use as payment for such information."

Coryn

"My apologies, I didn't mean to disrespect a queen in her own domain," Coryn said with a bow. "You said that you were trapped here by the Five. Are the Five here and why did the Five seal this plane of existence off? Although it would seem apparent that travel between the two planes is not impossible since I came from one to this one. I have also encountered other creatures that have breached the barrier. By trapping me here, you may have inadvertently given the enemy an advantage in controlling the barrier. If I could be powerful enough to disrupt the barrier, could I not also be strong enough in the future to strengthen it? The enemy is actively trying to break the barrier. Cults of Elemental Evil are on the rise. If the Barrier was created to protect that other world, there may not be much left to save in the years to come." Coryn then spun with a flourish and turned into the dryad, Rose. If he was going to find a way out of this existence, he needed to learn and become one with the land and it's creatures the best he could and Rose was the best form for the job in a world where fey creatures are everywhere.
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PostSubject: Re: Aftermath and Interludes - Post Tidewater Battle [Ghesh]   Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:17 pm

Ghesh
 
The cleric stood, placed both hands on the small of his back. As he stretched, a low moan escaped his lips followed by a deep sigh. He rubbed his eyes with the back of his hands and, finally, sat in the padded chair.
 
“You don’t understand, the combination of symbols is a bastardization of real language. It’s something they’ve made up themselves. I could probably figure out a few of the symbols, but I’m not entirely sure it’s even meant to be real language. Just,” he waved his hand in a circles, “symbolism. To be frank, I think they’re simply meant to honor their ‘god.’”
 
He smiled at that for a moment, but it was short-lived.
 
“I shouldn’t joke. They’re god is likely one of the most powerful dragons on this island, or in any other land. If it guards the Tower of the Five it is either a close confidant of Tlalo-Ka or it has gone rogue and rivals her in power. You said it took your Lady of Gold’s eggs?”
 
At Ghesh’s nod, Kaster continued with alacrity. “There you go. Likely, the Lady of the Dead is making her own bid for power. If she is the dead dragon beneath Mictlan, well….”
 
He blew air and ran fingers through his hair.
 
“I just don’t know what to think other than that you’ll have to go there yourself and that the idea is remarkably dangerous.”
 
He began to gather the materials into an order known only to him.
 
“About the Tower of the Five, I know it must be the physical prison. The key to opening the way, to bypassing the barrier and returning the Queen of Air and Darkness and the Lady of Summer must lie within. It is obscured by magic from all but the most powerful divination. That terrifies me.”
 
When he had his materials packed into a magical bag, he leaned forward across the table and stared directly into the dragonborn’s eyes.
 
“Are you sure you want to do this? Release the Queen? Fight the dragon of the Growing Lake? Return the elves and their ancient war? I know you are on a path and you feel it righteous, but truly, I beg of you to consider the ramifications of what you and yours are going to do.”
 
 
Coryn
 
“You ask a lot of questions,” the fey being giggled. The smell of grass-in-rain came on suddenly as she rose up from the ground on a bed of emerald blades. She looked down at the druid and beckoned.
 
“You should come to the court of the Lady of Summer. You should ask her your questions.”
 
The fey creature turned and began to float on the bed of nature in the direction of a hitherto unnoticed castle of silver and gold.
 
“The Five are here, but asleep, bound away. Their children, the Sylvar’rhem, People of the Stars, are here as well, but their memories of your world will not be the same. The ritual and its workings cloaked them all in mystery.”
 
She paused. Tilted her head as if catching words upon the wind.
 
“I say too much, she says. The Lady of Summer does not wish for me to reveal too much. It would be a waste if we had to kill you.”
 
Her movement forward was sudden and quick. “You will follow.”
 
“What do you hope to achieve here, druid of the mortal realm?” She looked back over her shoulder with amusement. “You will never leave this place.”

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PostSubject: Re: Aftermath and Interludes - Post Tidewater Battle [Ghesh]   Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:52 am

Ghesh

Ghesh stood up slowly and stared the cleric in the eye. "Do not mistake my intentions as the same as my companions'. I am going to destroy the Dead dragon and her followers then retrieve her children. That is my mission from my god...period. I care not for what my associates wish to do involving the barrier and the Queen. They are helping me with something I can't do on my own, so I will repay my debt and help them with their goals."

Ghesh bowed politely. As he took his leave," Thank you master sage for the information and words of warning. I shall share this with my associates. Good day and safe travels."

Coryn

"I see that you changed your response from 'can't' to 'won't'." Coryn said with a smirk. As he transformed into the dryad Rose, he suddenly felt his consciousness leave his body and get pressed into a vessel. His body turned not into Rose but into a dryad of even greater power and beauty.
http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/binturia/images/6/61/Dryad2.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140725043114
The form touched the collar around her neck,"Shhh, that's enough Coryn. She and the Queen are not ones to be aggravated." She looked at the fey as the emerald grass started to carry her off. A light hearted giggle escaped her lips," Long time no see little one. Ahhh it feels so good to be home again. I can't wait to be in the Queen's presence once more." She followed the little fey at a brisk walk into one tree and out another yards away over and over again to keep up.

Within the collar, Coryn roared out in rage and confusion. "What have you done? I demand that you release me at once! I have to escape here and get back to the town that needs me. Who are you and why am I trapped in here? Damn you get creatures and your trickery!"

The ancient Dryad known as Thorn listened to his words in quiet patience. "All your questions and concerns will be addressed shortly. I saw that you would eventually get yourself killed here, so I decided to step in. Stay calm. You will have your body back soon once I can trust that you won't do anything foolish to jeopardize your safety. I led you to the island and now this world for a reason. Be patient." She continued her magical travel through the forest to the realm of the Queen.
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