Old Kingdom : The Forsaken

The Spelled Archives (Chap. 26)

We mend the Sendings and do the proper rituals for the dead bodies they butchered.

The next day we see the Sendings have started to repair the house. Serena also repairs the enchantments on the house so it won't attack non-Wallmakers.

We need to go to Belisaire to the Spelled Archives to find Oathbreaker to get Quinnona out of her ice coffin. 

Serena is confuse about why we have the disgraced king with us. Corian takes her aside to tell her about our recent adventures.

Finn, accompanied by Evie, goes to retrieve Tiburolt from the airship. He is not in his quarters. Evie immediately starts searching the ship for Tiburolt. He is in the Captain's Quarters drinking the fine liquors. Evie tells him off. But Finn tells him off worse when Tiburolt says he was bored.

Evie felt awkward and went off to drink brandy. She gets drunk, takes off her shirt, and starts yelling on the deck for Muriel to come join her. Muriel is fetched with cinnamon rolls and a fancy necklace for sister-distraction.

We discuss our immediate plans to find Oathbreaker. Tiburolt says Hastinean may actually have it because he gave him the sword. When asked why: "He asked for it." Tiburolt recalls Hastinean wanted it for "breaking the wills of the prisoners." Tiburolt claims it was really the parasite controlling him at the time that did it.

Roxie uses her Sight to try and divine where Oathbreaker is right now. Her vision is surrounded in fog and she feels a cold presence, worming its way into her consciousness and freezing her. "The Distant Prince welcomes you…" The cold sticks with her even as she comes out of the vision. And her actual vision is left somewhat blurry.

We see her eyes are visibly clouded over when she comes out of the room. Finn says Roxie has had a Free Magic spell cast upon her. Corian quickly uses some Free Magic himself to determine what it was. He thinks it was trying to enthrall Roxie. Evie casts a healing spell on Roxie.

Tiburolt says Hastinean had a second lab that is not on any map in Holsen. He built it after Finn's Free Magic accident.

Evie asks Serena to take a look at her soapstone Dog. Serena notices it has no Charter marks on it so she's a bit confused. 

Evie interrogates Tiburolt about his intensions with Finn. He says he doesn't have a "plan." Evie chews him out a bit for his mopey behavior. Evie tells him if he wants Bells, then convince the rest of us that he deserves them.

Tiburolt tells everyone that he would like to take up the Bells in the service of our cause. Corian says he thinks he can help Tiburolt about control of Free Magic temptations.

Roxie and Muriel try to run a hat scam on the rest of our merry band but Finn is really not buying it.

 We agree to give Tiburolt's Bells back to him but Evie says if he betrays us she will kill him.

Tiburolt doesn't have any more info about the location of the lab in Holsen but he does think Hastinean may have left some information back at the island prison in Belisaire. The Reformatory was disbanded when Hastinean's arrest was ordered so hopefully it is no longer guarded.

We head to Belisaire. On our way there Serena works on a security system for the airship so it won't be stolen again, or specifically stolen from us. 

We park in a commercial lot and Corian disguises the ship with Charter Magic to make it blend in. Finn looks for a Charter mark that could distinguish this ship as Lenariel's. Finn finds it and dispells it.

Serena and Evie go to Belisaire Castle to get armor. Roxie goes to check in with the Nightblades. Finn, Muriel, and Corian go to talk to Farisean.

Serena and Evie talk to a clerk at the Castle and ask about the armor. The clerk says there is something they should see. It's the lantern we already found and know we need to return to the Abhorsen's house. They are also straight-up given a couple sets of armor because they "have so many of them." And the clerk confirms that Hastinean did indeed check out Oathbreaker. And he says Evie's parents came in the other day looking for the Twilight Blade but it is missing.

We get to Farisean's house and it looks like there's been some repairs done on it. A Sending answers and waves us into a sitting parlor and there is Farisean's wife, Osiren, but not the man himself. Apparently he is missing – he was at the Castle during the attack and left to check on Osiren and their children but never made it there. She asks if it's true that Finn has Tiburolt but Finn is evasive. And she says the reinstated council members are looking to bring Tiburolt to justice, that is, put to death. 

Roxie goes to check in with Maltoral and get the vibe of the city. Apparently the Nightblades have been hired to find the former king. Moreover, they have already found him and they are expecting Roxie to bring him to them to show her allegiance to the Nightblades. Mal says he will do his best to stall them but soon there may be some hard choices to make.

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Oathbreaker (Chap. 25)

Roxy is negotiating with HR. She does not think any of our group wants to be a test subject so she denies the contract and just gets payment for the Sendings we already put down.

Evie and Serena are searching the archives. Unfortunately the archives are just dry catalogs of things that were made in the past. It lists what was made, for what purpose, and who it was given to. Nothing much beyond that.

Evie finds something about "Oathbreaker" for the 42nd Abhorsen, Zariel, to shatter "both barriers and Will." Isha and Serena agree this sounds like exactly what we need.

Finn, Corian, and Muriel take a look around Vashalok Castle. We spot someone going into a hidden doorway that usually appears as a normal wall. We act casual then examine the wall, which appears to be solid wall. Muriel uses a detect magic spell and finds some Charter Marks that are around the hidden rotating door. Finn figures out the Charter Marks need a counter-sign to pass through. We also find a dormatory, a testing ground that spills into the courtyard. There are a lot of tests in progress. We stop to watch and observe a Charter fan that create gusts of wind that helps a partner jump higher and further. We also see a Chartered suit of armor and other Charter spelled armor. And we see Free Magic creatures of low level that have Charter Spell collars and advanced handlers. A tester trips and a creature tries to pounce on them but another Charter Mage forms a cage around it. We are convinced there must be something more dangerous here so Finn casts a spell to detect high concentrations of Charter magic. It leads us back to that hidden door inside the castle.

Evie notices Serena hasn't come back to the dorms and goes to find her in the middle of the night. She finds her passed out in the archives and guides her back.

The nest morning we are summoned for a meeting. Isha and Caverron are both there in a heated argument. He is saying absolutely no one may go to the Wallmaker's Hall because too many have been lost there. Apparently something invisible has been attacking people there. Isha says the Wallmaker's Hall is where we could find information about Oathbreaker. Of the last team of Charter Mages that was sent there, only two of the eight returned. When they sent others with armored Sendings they came back trashed. 

They tell us that there's a consultation fee and hand us a bill with directions to the edge of the Great Wood. We take the hint and leave.

We get to the Western edge of the Great Forest. We find a large mansion that has fallen to nature, at least partially. There are trees and vines growing into it. Serena points out that the doors are intact and a good portion of the building seems to be as well. Muriel doesn't think there are any undead around even though animals seem to avoid the general area of the mansion. Evie spots the knocker on the door that seems to be magic in some way. Serena examines it further and sees it has the symbol of the Wallmaker on it. She also points out there is a wide set of footprints around the mansion that are only a day or two old that go to the house and also back into the forest. Evie does some hardcore investigation of the footprints and she thinks the more recent ones go into the forest.

Serena makes a Charter Magic bucket trap for the door. Serena goes inside and guides us all in. There is a grand hall and the remains of a beautiful chandelier. There are chunks of wall missing and broken windows that allow light inside. There's the scent of dust and mold and live plants inside here.

We find rusted suits of armor and busted open doors. We find the library behind large double doors. Half the room is actually forest and most of the books look moldy and ruined. A few look preserved by Charter Spell. Muriel doesn't sense anything Undead but she does sense two "fragmented" corpses in rooms nearby. Evie finds a few intact Charter spelled books. We start to notice sounds coming from the interior of the mansion.

We start exploring and find a few useful items. We find an old rusted forge. The sounds are louder in this room, coming from behind a closed door. Corian listens at that door and hears pacing footsteps and soft clanking like flatware. Serena opens the door and we see Sending carrying plates and smell food cooking – particularly meat like pork. Muriel has a bad feeling it's cooked people though.

We investigate the dining room and larder and we do indeed see chunks of humans hanging in the larder. And there are six place settings at the table. A Sending is heading straight toward Serena and it is holding a sharp pair of scissors. She tells it to stop but it does not obey. Instead it pulls out a measuring tape and takes her measurements, then promptly leaves.

We recall that sometimes very old Sendings can act up. These ones are very old and faded and their Charter Marks are faint. They may not even be aware that they are cooking people.

We go to explore the second floor. A few of us need to be pulled up by more physically adept party members. The second floor is precarious with chunks missing. Mostly this floor seems to be bedrooms, all very weathered. One room has intact display cases with proper Charter spelled items inside. But none of them look like Oathbreaker. There's a ring, a lantern, a clockwork messenger bird, a battleaxe, and some other wooden thing. Muriel and Evie's Danger Senses tell them they are being watched right now.

From the trees that encroach upon this room we hear a low clicking noise. Muriel pulls out the Wind Fan and throws a gust at the tree. It strips a bunch of leaves off the tree but we don't see anything aside from the swirling leaves. Serena's Charter Wolf, Thorn, hops over to a hole in the floor and starts growling at it. As Serena looks down she sees golden arrows pointed up at her. She reflexively throws up a shield.

Three arrows come flying at Serena up out of the floor. Her shield holds up against the attack and we hear footsteps moving around downstairs. Corian casts a spell to strengthen the floor. Finn casts an oil slick right at the foot of the door. Muriel starts casting the best goddamn Diamond of Protection of her life.

Evie shouts, "We don't want to fight you! We mean no harm!" No response.

Roxy investigates the items in the display case. The lantern says, "The Beast of the Great Forest resides within. Do not open." It also says that it is to be taken to the Abhorsen house.

We hear something landing on the stairs and then bursts in the door and fuckin eats it on the oil. It is person-shaped. Evie notices a handful of Charter Marks that mark it as a Sending. Corian casts his Mending spell on this weird Sending lying on the floor. Its Charter marks flare up but then die down again, not enough to make it visible. Roxy tries to calm its emotions. Evie casts mage hands on it to hold it down in the oil.

Finn examines the ring in the case which is called Covillous and can "change you into a monstrous thing." The oar says something about Charon and the "Drowning dead."

The Sending stands up but does not attack. Corian and Serena work together to further mend the Sending. The Charter Marks get much stronger – it is now apparent this was the Hunter meant to get meat for the larder. Maybe now it won't be so confused.

Finn examines the bird. It says "I am Corax, I fly to Belisaire and then back to you." Corian gets nothing more from the oar.

Roxy and Evie look through the books. They find the tale of Zariel and her lover who encased herself in a statue similar to what Quinona did. Oathbreaker should be in Belisaire in the Spell Archives. Finn knows if it is there, there should be a record of it.

Finn deciphers the oar. It says, "I am Charon. I call forth the Drowning Dead." Corian looks at the battleaxe which is really hefty. It says "No walls will hold you should you swing my blade."

The Sendings give Serena some nice custom clothing but it is not armor. She tells the Sendings to throw all the food out and start over from scratch. 

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Book 2 The Girl in the Iceberg
Chapter 24 New Beginnings

Finn gathers what few people of authority remains in the castle and declares that he is taking the king into custody.  No one of any real authority being present, they have no argument against him doing this.

At Arielle's request Evie and Muriel take her home to be reunited with their mom and dad.  While their father Fenrir is elated to see her again, their mother looks horrified and upset.  Yuriel tells them, "I don't know what kind of cruel trick this is but I want that monster out of my house."

Evielle takes her aside and talks to her privately.  Yuriel is afraid that this can't be real and she'll have to mourn Arielle all over again. Evie explains what they went through to get Arielle back, even presuming that no one has ever forgiven her for the original accident.  With patience and loving words she convinces Yuriel that this is the real Arielle and she needs to take the chance to bring her back into her life.  

Meeting up the next day Joran introduces Serena to the group, she is a student at the magi's college and a Wallmaker.  It is at this meeting that Evie learns of Finn taking custody of Tiburolt and a heated debate ensues.  Neither of them seems satisfied with the outcome but in the end Tiburolt will be traveling with the crew until such time as Finn or some higher authority changes that.  It is a very uncomfortable first impression for Serena.

Inspecting Quinona's ice coffin, Serena comes to the conclusion that while she can make something to break the ice it would likely kill Quinona in the process as she has tied her life force to the crystal city.  She and Joran both feel that the Wallmakers of Vashalok castle may have a better chance of figuring something out.  A debate about where to go next follows during which the GM nervously fears they may not actually chose to go to Ponstayn as she has felt she made it perfectly clear that's where the plot is trying to take them.  However, they do finally decide to set out for Ponstayn after making fun of it's name some more.

The trip goes by without incidence save for Serena getting a little upset with Finn for trying to get to know her when all she wants to do is hide and play with her charter creations and Thorne, her Charter Magic Wolf sending.  

On approach to Castle Vashalok they spot a group of fleeing panicked people shortly followed by what looks like a massive rampaging version of the Armoured Sendings that were all over Belisaere castle.  The group manages to subdue the monstrosity leaving it in a pile of lifeless bits of armour.  Caverron, fourth descendant of Vashalok, and the current CEO of Vasholok Enterprises claps and offers them jobs as test subjects immediately insisting they get paid for their help.  Roxy looks over the contract given to her by Lady Isha of Clarke, Engineer of the third heirarchy, but does not approve.  She decides to take it up with their HR department.  

Speaking with Serena's contact in the castle and Caverron they learn that while breaking the ice is simple, separating Quinona's life force from it will be much more difficult.  While they can absolutely develop such a creation it could take months or longer.  Isha offers to look through the Wallmaker Archives in hopes of finding something similar that may have been made previously by the Wallmakers which could speed up the process.  Serena and Evie, never ones to shy away from some serious research offer to join her.

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Long Live the King
"You threw your piece of bread into the ocean!!"

We look for somewhere to drop off Finn to sneak in to find the King. Evie points out we should get him to the Charter Stones under the castle. We need a boat, so we need Quinona. And we also need her for her Wallmaker abilities.

Muriel casts a Charter spell to locate her girlfriend in the heart of the city on the ice. We are led to plaza with a crystal coffin with Quinona encased inside, dormant but alive. Muriel can sense she is trapped in Death but not passed on. She is doing her job here.

Roxy goes to steal us a boat. There are several docked nearby and no one is paying attention to them. It's about the easiest burglary she's conducted. Evie gives Finn the Silence Stone. Finn starts rowing the boat towards the castle.

Finn finds the original Charter Stones of the castle in the waterway. They are already partially enveloped by the Chaos Stones. It looks like they are suctioning away the Charter Magic. Finn examines the coated Charter Stone and it feels very uncomfortable to be this close to them both. Finn strikes the Moa staff on the Chaos Stones with intent to bind them.

A strange reverberation starts and the Charter Marks get sucked out of Moa into the Chaos Stones. The staff shatters in his hands. The Chaos Stones undulate and grow larger, creating cracks above as they push farther upwards into the castle.

Above Finn hears a voice singing that sounds like the King, but also someone else at the same time. Finn finds steps into the castle and uses a secret passage into the entrance hall which is full of corpses. The scent of blood is heavy in the air. The sing-song voice continues talking about the Seven and the Charter in a creepy way.

Finn goes back down to establish a link with what remains of the Charter Stones. He can feel the Chaos Stones too as a cold lump in the pit of his stomach.

In the Grand Hall there are ten armored Sendings waiting for Finn, smeared in blood. They turn and make a path for Finn that leads him ever closer to the voice. It is singing "The Nine Bright Shiners" but not the corrupted version. The Sendings are perfectly still as Finn walks past them.

The floors are slippery with blood and occasional bone pieces crunch under Finn's shoes. He is led ever closer to the roof. There are four armored Sendings just outside the exit to the rooftop but they do not move to intercept Finn.

The King is standing on the rooftop overlooking the Kingdom. Finn: "You've redecorated." The King turns and it's obvious there is some Free Magic thing growing out of him, similar to what was afflicting Finn before. Finn asks if Tiburolt is still in there and the King says a very small part. The King says of the Charter, "we need it to live." He claims they live on the border between order and chaos, not quite the same as other Free Magic things.

The thing retreats for a minute and Tiburolt surfaces. "I'm so sorry, Finn. I didn't mean this to happen." He says he didn't mean this to happen, but he did purposely seek out the Void Dwellers. He kept some of the eggs in his bedchamber and they started whispering to him. They are the reason Tiburolt has a corrupted Charter Mark. He implanted one in his hand. It saw Tiburolt's anger over fearful villagers killing his Abhorsen father. Tiburolt scared away the Princess by replacing the bells on her wedding day with Abhorsen bells. Apparently all this was to scare people so they would feel Abhorsens were needed again. And the Mages are locked in a room downstairs, protecting themselves. Tiburolt tells Finn to leave so it won't kill him too.

Finn asks how he can trust him now. Finn steps forward to touch Tiburolt's Charter Mark and the creature busts out of his arm. The thing says they have to cut him off now and can't let Finn leave. Moreover the Mages won't be allowed to live much longer either. Finn's arms are bound by the Chaos Stones.

Finn kicks the Void Dweller King but it hardly phases him. It sniffs at him, "What's this in your hand?" Finn stretches forward to kiss Tiburolt to try and reach him in a Charter Link. His eyes flutter open and then Finn's thorn grows into a massive briar sword. Finn goes to town with his new sword plus Elariel's blade. He slices the Void Dweller out from Tiburolt, removing 20-30% of the King's body mass. The Void Dweller's glowing weak point is exposed and Finn targets it with his Shooting Star spell. The Void Dweller bursts and the Chaos Stones begin to shrink.

Finn sings the songs of the witches to try and transfer some of his grass-arm to Tiburolt and heal him. It shoots out of Finn's hand and stitches into the King. Tiburolt's eyes open and he takes a deep gasping breath. Finn also casts a Charter healing spell to help it further. The King coughs out some small red crystals and Finn smashes them with Elariel's sword. They are pulverized into dust.

Finn asks the King a bunch of questions. Some things are revealed. The King did indeed plant the sabotage thing on the air ship. He and Hastinean were working together the whole time. Tiburolt did actually love Finn and propose.

Evie bursts in, followed by Muriel, Roxy, and Corian. Finn says the King has been "de-loused." Corain examines the King's new arm. Tiburolt says he will need to stand trial to be executed. Roxy, Evie, and Muriel go to look for the hiding mages downstairs.

The girls see the doors have almost been shreded by the armored Sendings and Free Magic creatures. But now they have dissipated. Muriel sends a Charter message through the door to let them know the danger is gone now. Inside there are injured mages including Finn's mom and Quinona's dad. Muriel immediately tells Quinona's father what happened to her and he asks to be taken to his daughter.

We take Joran to Quinona's ice coffin. Elariel and Ariel are already there, bells in hand but looking stumped. Muriel asks if this problem can't be solved by bells. Elariel thinks it has something to do with that Quinona put herself in that coffin rather than being held against her will. And she is NOT in Death, she is somewhere else. Joran leans on the coffin and whispers to his daughter.

Roxy uses her Sight to glean what needs to be done to free Quinona. She Sees Muriel using some sort of enchanted gauntlet to punch through the ice. Evie knows that there are many lost artifacts made by the Wallmakers. Joran suggests that maybe we just need to find a powerful Wallmaker to make such a thing.

We go to ask Ramoniel about where to find a Wallmaker of sufficient enchanting power. She suggests Vashalok, who made the armored Sendings that were protecting the castle. She doubts his trustworthiness now but he is certainly powerful. Ramoniel says he's in Ponstayn which is further south, just west of the Great Forest. Evie asks what Vashalok may want in return. But Ramoniel says he just wants to make things. We need to go pick up Finn, Corian, and the King, and go on a quest to Ponstayn.

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The Final Stone
You only know you love her when you let her go

Evie talks to Finn about whether he's okay. She's being super subtle about it tho, so he doesn't get oversad about how his boyfriend may be evil. But then she starts to oversell it. He says he wants to come up with a plan for when we get there. "He probably just loved me for my demon arm." So then they talk about the possibility of the king being evil, and how his charter mark was a "little" corrupt, and how suspicious he's being. 

Roxy and Dipper are having a /great/ time. Dipper won at sex, totally. But Roxy has a nightmare. She sees the castle as she did in her vision, but she's drawn in closer. She hears a chorus of voices, singing a corrupted version of the Nine Bright Shiners – "We'll sing you a song of the death of you all – five die the shiners, watch them fall." She sees Rogariel's body.

Hears: "Why do the ten stand to fight – to take from us the Charter's light?" Then Dipper's body, seen amongst the dead. "Five will die before the end – to the Ninth their souls we'll send." Then Bronwyn, with her skull smashed. At the top of the stairs, she recognizes she's just outside of the king's bedchamber. His voice, hoarse and weak – "What if One came to face me alone? Whose faith was tue, whose heart brightly shone?"

"Tell them all to hide away – on the city of ice they safely stay." Then she sees Ramoniel, bells cracked, lying among the dead. Then on to the roof, where she sees Elariel, lying dead in a diamond of protection. "Tell them all to hide away – on the City of Ice they safely stay. None can stand against our might – Stronger we'll be the more that fight." Then another flash, and around Elariel, she sees the rest of us, okay but in shock, lots of wounds, not looking our best, and in the center is Finn holding onto the lifeless body of the king.

"Bring an end to man sowing strife – Drink deep the Charter to give us life."

Roxy tells us all what she Saw, and that kind of puts a kink in the planning. Evie is sure that this means that Finn needs to go in alone. Dipper wants to go in with a more giant army. We nix that. There is some discussion on whether we should send the other five to the Clayr's glacier, since they would be safe in the city of ice. Finn argues maybe he should be let off alone.

Roxy goes away to try and focus in on Finn's future. It's difficult, because the vision has already been seen for a possible future then, but now she sees a further vision of the castle, further out, people panicking, running from free magic creatures and armored sendings, but just NE of the castle, she sees what looks like a giant crystal flower blooming on the water, but there's a thin bridge connecting it to the mainland. Her vision stays there a bit, and she sees the chaos stones falling and crumbling. Then her vision moves forward into the castle, and doesn't see any of our friends there, but she still sees Finn and the king alone at the top, Finn holding the King's lifeless body.

Evie gives Elariel the book that vindicates her, and Elariel hugs her hard and says she doesn't know how much she's done. She can finally clear her name. Then we just argue about how to send Finn in. Elariel thinks the city of ice thing could be done, but from her assistant Numiel's notes, it would take a wallmaker. Which none of us are. But Muriel's girlfriend is a wallmaker! So we resolve to find Quinona.

"I'm really ready to go into the castle now, thanks, Evie! Gawww, if I'm lucky, I'll /die/."

We get to Belisaire, and the chaos stones are in place, but so is the ice city. People have managed to break most/all of the bridges from the castle out to the city, with free magic creatures trying to build a bridge. We agree to drop off our friends at the ice city. Evie has the MOST AWKWARD goodbye with Rogariel, we all have the biggest facepalms. Dipper goes to console him, a little over-solicitously. Just about everyone is unhappy.

But Bronwyn comes and gives Finn a real good pep talk, says he hasn't failed, in what he's done or as a brother. Roxy grabs Dipper and tells him he can flirt, but to stay alive and she's coming back.

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The Old Days
"Butt grabbing for science"

After the battle we meet in the Abhorsen house.

Roxy uses her Sight to look in on Farisean, the head of the Royal Mage Corps. She Sees an oppressive atmosphere in Belisaire. Farisean and other officials are arguing in a conference room about the King and revolts in the city. The whole castle begins to shake and rumble. Roxy is pushed away from the castle in her vision and massive building-sized chaos stones erupt from the ground around it.

Elariel says those stones would be impossible unless they found a living host there in the city…like the King. She says the stones "hatch" from the void-dwellers which bind with people. The void-dwellers are from the sea but also kinda from another dimension?

We have 3 paperwings and a wyvern…some people need to be left behind at the Abhorsen House. Especially since we don't have enough pilots. But we remember that Lenariel left on foot…meaning her airship is still parked somewhere relatively nearby. We're gonna go steal an airship.

As a criminal, Roxy knows that airships are typically warded to make it a brick in the case of robbers. Muriel pilots an airship with Finn being a passenger and Dipper takes Roxy on the wyvern.

We see crumbled chaos stones from earlier. It seems like the town is largely evacuated though. Most of the Dead and Free Magic creatures appear to have wandered away from the site but we still need to be careful. Roxy guides us stealthily towards the airship. A Free Magic creature spots us. Muriel casts Slow Free Magic Creature so hard we are able to cheese it and leave the creature in the dust.

We get up to the airship and Roxy cases the joint. She finds a Charter logic puzzle type lock that she decodes and makes the airship ramp come down. Roxy disables the defenses of the Sendings aboard and tells everyone else to come abord. Muriel starts making preparations for takeoff. This is the nicest combination of speedy and luxury she has ever piloted. We head back to the Abhorsen House.

Meanwhile the others are making preparations by gathering supplies at the Abhorsen House, except for Evie who is treasure-hunting. She finds the area below the House where there are Free Magic creatures being held in Charter-spelled bottles since they cannot be killed. But she does find some cool books, including something that says Elariel did not actually forsake her vows – it was her apprentice who created the ice prison and took her Abhorsen destiny. She also finds a couple of Charter Skins.

We take everyone who is not Belial with us on the airship. And one paperwing and one wyvern too. Evie ransacks the captain's quarters for Lenariel's cool stuff. She finds a large cache or cash. She also finds the Silence Stone – a small white orb that creates a bubble of silence withing ten meters around it. It has been used against Abhorsens in the past. There is a small satchel with Charter marks on it – Evie sees there's a swarm of magical insects inside. And also a small handheld fan that slams her against the wall of the room when she gently fans herself.

Finn and Corian rush into the captain's quarters when they hear the thud. Evie claims she was practicing her "lady wiles" and it got away from her. Corian examines the fan and determines it can cause gale winds when it is waved. Evie hands the bag o' bees to Corian; she does not want it. Corian can tell it will be swarm of something but not necessarily bees. The Charter Skins are for a wolf and giant eagle. Evie "gifts" the fan to Muriel.

It will take us about two days to get to Belisare, just after the chaos stones from Roxy's vision are supposed to appear.

But Evie also gets it on with Rogereal. The sexiness of pending death and all.

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Deep Into Death
"Hey Charter-bags!"

Elariel and Ariel will go into Death while sheltered in the cave while Dipper and Corian watch over them. They form a Diamond of Protection. 

The rest of us make our way towards the Abhorsen House. We leave the horses untied and let them go. Evie and Finn do a perimeter check of the island while Muriel lets the others into the Abhoresen House. Evie makes note of a well that she recalls contains a secret escape route only for last resort. At the Southern tip of the island there is a tower and Sendings are fishing. The Paperwing platform is closer to the Northern tip of the island and has enough for maybe 4 people.

Muriel figuratively kicks open the door. The place has a stale odor and a Sending is picking up empty bottles of booze. Ramoniel groans; Belial is surely here. Ramoniel storms into the parlor and the others follow. Belial is lounging in a chair surrounded by bottles. Ramoniel knocks the bottle out of his hand. She tells him to hand over his Bells because she's relieving him of duty. He reached for his Bells but Roxy grapples him and Muriel takes his Bells. One of the Sendings comes in an puts the Abhorsen coat on Ramoniel. The Sendings escort Belial to some quarters.

Ramoniel hands over the Abhorsen-in-Waiting Bells to Evie as we prepare to go into Death. 

Back in the cave Ariel and Elariel are preparing to go into Death. Corian and Dipper cast their Diamond of Protection. Dipper casually mentions he thinks Roxy would be happy on The Island of Wailing Pines. As Corian and Dipper chat about girls, fog rolls into the cave at their feet. They ready themselves for an attack.

Back at the House we find a feast prepared. Muriel sits down and lets herself be pampered while Evie tries to fight off Sendings with Abhorsen-in-Waiting armor. Ramoniel finally gathers us to go to the top of the tower. Rogereal kisses Evie for good luck; she dips him.

Evie and Muriel go into Death. They make their way through the First Precinct until they find Ariel and Elariel. Together we all head farther into Death. In the Fourth Precinct Elariel stops us to ask how far we have gone. Elariel warns us that in the Seventh Precinct there is bubbling water that may scald us and obscure our view. And there is a Chaos Stone in the Seventh Precinct that exists there as a living thing. Scholars that studied it went insane. We need to rush through and get to the Eighth Precinct. Elariel says it will talk to us; do not listen and do not stop. We need to fight it with the strength of five Abhorsens, not just three.

In the cave glowing red eyes peek in. A small Dead Hand wanders in. Corian casts a wall of wind across the entrance to the cave, creating a massive howling sounds as the Hand is swept away and slammed into a tree. Dipper nods, impressed.

On the tower Roxy, Finn, and Rogereal spot a large dark cloud heading their way. A telescope shows that it is a mass of gore crows bearing down on us. Finn notices Lenariel coming toward the House too with an army of Dead. Finn goes to look for Belial. He is passed out in the bed. Finn throws a basin of water on him. Finn demands he active the House's defenses. All Belial does is tell a Sending to do such and then tries to go back to sleep. Finn does not let him, he badgers Belial some more about how the defenses work. Finn follows the Sending supposedly off to make the waters rise around the House. The waters do indeed start to rise and the stepping stones are covered as the banks of the whole river rise around the House. Roxy and Finn can see the fog rolling in around the cave entrance. 

In Death the gaggle of Abhorsens are trying to rush through the Fifth Precinct. Muriel trails behind Evie, guarding her back. Ramoniel is ringing Saraneth as we run. Evie and Muriel agree together to ring their Kibeths together. The Dead start walking further into Death on their command.

In the Sixth Precinct the water is very shallow but full of the Dead. Muriel is grabbed by the Dead. Evie comes to her aid.

Back in the cave the Dead are having trouble getting past Corian's wind wall.

Back at the House the gore crows have started dive bombing the House's shield. Roxy tries to call fog but can't manage to obscure more than just their feet. Finn is vigilant concerning the integrity of the House shield. They notice the Dead Hands are not able to get into the cave int he distance, but also see mordicants approaching the entrance.

In Death the Dead have their hands around Muriel's ankles. She cannot break free but Ramoniel uses her sword to slash them. The Abhorsens keep running. A sinkhole swallows us down into the Seventh Precinct. The water is almost scalding hot. There is steam everywhere. This is Muriel and Evie's first time this far into Death; they hold hands. On the horizon a wall of fire marks the portal to the Eighth Precinct.

A pair of mordicants push through Corian's wall of wind. Corian uses his glaive to slice through one of them. Dipper uses his hammer to smash in the head of the other mordicant. It doesn't kill it, but it does slow the undead abomination down.

Back at the House the shields are giving out. Luckily Finn is a badass mage and he knows how to pump more more power into the shields. But instead Finn creates a black hole to suck gore crows into it. Roxy launches an ice spike at Lenariel but she sees it coming from that far away and dodges it.

In the Eighth Precinct Ariel calls out to her sisters to come with her. Muriel tries to convince Evie it's a trick. Ariel holds out what looks like a red pebble to Evie: "It's not too late." But Evie grabs Muriels's hand and runs for the Gate. Ariel turns into a mass of red and black tentacles. We run through the Gate.

Finn throws a Shooting Star at Lenariel that slams into her. He tips his hat at her, even though he is not actually wearing a hat. Roxy makes the "suck it" move at her. Finn tells her to "Take your Dead and leave!" Roxy screams at Lenariel that Finn is going to absolutely fuck her up and Lenariel looks visibly shaken after that blow. She rings a bell putting the Dead to sleep and retreats.

In Death Ariel and Elariel summon the Gate to the Ninth Precinct. They want Evie and Muriel to wait for them in the Eighth Precinct and keep the Gate open for them. Elariel says the Dog is waiting for them, and if Elariel and Ariel cannot make it back the Dog will still come for us. Elariel indicates that we should say our goodbyes to Ariel just in case. Evie tells her to please come back. Muriel tells her to come back to us whole and human. Ariel hugs her older sisters and goes through the Gate. After awhile Ramoniel starts getting impatient. The Dog bounds out of the Gate and greets Evie enthusiastically. And then Ariel, 8 years old, steps out of the Gate. Elariel, a short chubby woman, come out of the Gate too. We all follow Elariel.

The Seventh Precinct is as we left it. A spell is cast and the steam is parted in a path to a Chaos Stone. It undulates in Death; it is a mass of tentacles that forms the shape of the Chaos Stones we have seen in life. The Abhorsens surround it and work together with their Bells. Elariel pulls Astareal and shouts at them to run for life. We hear the beginnings of the Bell as the Gate closes behind us.

In the cave Elariel's dead body opens and reveals a human corpse. Corian rushes over to see if he can help. Ariel's human form has appeared and is crying atop her old Dead body. The Dog appears out of Death and snuffles at Elariel's gear. She tells Corian to tell Evie she she'll see her later. The Dog barks in Elariel's ear and turns into a small soapstone sculpture. Elariel's eyes flutter open.

At the Abhorsen House, Corian delivers the Dog's message and hands Evie a familiar small carved soapstone figure.

All the Abhorsens are back in Life. But Evie has lost her Dog.

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Sword Beyond the Gates

When last we met our merry band of … heroes? Whatever. Jury is still out on that one. 

Anyway, we have horses that have been acquired through totally legit means as well as information about the upcoming sword deal and have returned to the ship to spend the night. We still don't know how we're going to get the sword (it is not going to happen via my mom Dominique). We spend the day discussing how to get the sword. Many plans are being discussed, should we get the sword before the deal the deal? During the deal? After the deal? Should we club the buyer or Lenariel, hide them in a closet and glamour ourselves to look like them? We also are discussing sending Corian to seduce Lenariel and then we steal the sword? (No kink shaming in this house!) 

Evie remembers that Lenarial usually travels with a small crew, typically two guards who typically carry Charter-spelled swords and wear Charter-spelled armor. She is pretty capable herself however as she is an Abhorsen also. Muriel suggests that we could drug Lenarial's lackeys, hmm good idea but how? Roxy uses her Sight to view the Lackeys and unfortunately they arrive in town and head straight to the hotel to do the deal. Damn. No drugging opportunities. However! We are thinking we can ambush them after they land their airship to avoid town police interference. Finn suggests that we start by sending one person in to try and convince her to give the sword to us before outright attaching her. Muriel then adds that we could approach her and tell her that we have a message from the Clayr and that if she goes through with selling the sword then dire consequences will befall us all. Duh duh DUHHH!!! If she still does not give up the sword then we will ambush them!! ARMBURSH THERMM

We happened to have stolen enough money to afford rooms at the hotel the buyer is staying at and decide to stay there an try to spy/gain more information about Mr. Wolfgang. Roxie get many rooms but just not quite enough and shucks Evie and Rogariel (Evans) are forced to share… oh darn ;). Sexy sexy times happen in Roxy and Dipper's room and Evie and Rogariel's room Rowr! 

That night Corian as he is just on the edge of falling asleep (likely after sexy times with Bronwyn) hears a lovely melody playing out in the street… It makes him want to take a walk and find out what the beautiful sound is… (Oh NO! The Pied Piper that is stealing all the children!) Corian follows his instincts and leaves the hotel to discover the source of the sound. He notices someone else, a young maybe 13 year old child out walking also. Corian follows him, but not too closely until he gets to the edge of town. At that point Corian tries to get the kid's attention and notices that his eyes are closed and he doesn't respond to Corian's voice. Not good. Corian grabs the kid's shoulder and stops him from going any further. Corian wakes up the kid who opens his eyes and is very startled! The kid thinks that Corian is trying to kidnap him and yells for the guards! As the guards footsteps come closer suddenly the music starts up again but is playing a different tune… after a minute the guards and the kid all collapse to the ground. Corian thinks quickly and picks up the kid and heads back into town. The sound changes again and this time Corian can't resist it and he is frozen in his tracks. He is bound and can't move. Corian tries to whisper Charter marks to afflict confusion on his pursuer and although he pulled off the spell it still doesn't seem to have an effect on them. The person seems to be old and decrepit looking, wearing rags, she (it turns out to be an elderly woman) gathers the kid up and whispers to Corian, "Someone must save the children…" The music resumes and the kid begins to sleep walk on his own again following her out of town. It isn't until the footsteps fade into the distance that Corian is released from the binding spell. Corian rushes to the edge of town again and tries to look for the old woman and the kid but they are nowhere to be found. He gives up and heads back to the hotel. 

The next morning arrives without further incident. We spend the part of the morning foraging for poisonous plants we can use, unfortunately only finding some that will cause severe stomach aches/the runs. Eh. It'll do. We spend the rest of the morning scouting around the hotel and airship site in preparation. Evie spots some good airships around that we can hide behind when Lenarial's airship arrives. Roxie finds placed around the hotel that can serve as good hiding spots for ambushes or hiding spots if we need to get away from anyone.

We get in our places and are ready when Lenarial and her two lackey's arrive and disembark their airship. Corian approaches cautiously and the guards demand him to state his business. Corian tells Lenarial that he has a message for her from the Clayr. He tells her the Clayr have seen her with a sword and warns her that they have seen negative consequences if she proceeds with selling the sword. Lenarial the Jerk only seems interested in the money and isn't interested in any negative consequences that may befall the Kingdom. Ah well we tried. Corian gives us the signal to attack!

Roxy tries to sneak up behind Lenarial, so far successful. Evie starts to provoke Lenarial to distract her attention. Finn casts a binding spell on one of the guards and it is an epic spell! However somehow the guard's armor uses all of it's Charter-spelled energy to block the spell, damn. Muriel conjures her Hamsters and somehow that also causes the other guard's armor to use up all it's Charter magic protection. Roxy continued to be The Night and snuck up behind Lenariel bound her arms to her side and puts Alacrea (her Charter-spelled boot knife) to her neck. Suddenly Lenarial is willing to Parlay saying that we found the one thing that she values over money. Roxy is sufficiently threatening and Lenarial motions to the sword at her side. Roxy calls to Evie to get the sword from Lenarial. She says that she supposes the King sent her for the sword too. Say whaaat?! The pot thickens. Apparently the King sent Romaniel to retrieve the sword and when she was taking too long he sent Lenarial. Evie asks Lenarial if she slept with the King too? Lenarial just smiled and didn't answer. Seriously what a Jerk. Evie tells the lackeys to drop their swords and remove their armor. They look at Lenarial for approval and she nods for them to follow our commands. Lenarial continues to be a total Jerk and she and Evie banter for a while. Suddenly Muriel's danger sense goes off and she says "we gotta go!" Roxy knocks out Lenarial and we jump on our horses and try to get away as fast as possible. Suddenly the ground starts rumbling and Chaos stones start erupting out of the ground! SHIT SHIT SHIT

Evie and Muriel yell at us to cover our ears as they ring their bells to try and send the dead back before they fully arise. The three Abhorsens, Evie, Muriel, and Romaniel ring their bells and delay the dead from rising! Elariel and Ariel on Evie's request send a huge flock of gore crows to the town and Corian and Dipper (riding on his bound free-magic creature that is currently a wyvern) go into town to try and scare/convince people to evacuate. We ride on to the Abhorsen's house! It takes us the rest of that day and into the night to get there. Unfortunately Elariel and Ariel cannot cross the river to the Abhorsen's house. Evie finds them a cave that can be secured for them to stay in while we are in the house. 

Ariel is very sad that we have to leave her and Elariel says to her chagrin that it is possible for them to be human again. Their bodies are just in front of the 9th Gate. Elariel says that it's not worth it to be human again but after some discussion with Evie Elariel reluctantly agrees that they can try to retrieve their bodies. She says that she knows where they are and how to bring their bodies back, after all she has done it once before. Elariel says that it was Ranna that kept their bodies there. She says that she heard (felt?) Ranna call to her and that's what kept her from crossing the final gate. Elariel also requests that Muriel and Evie go with them into Death and travel with them as far as they can but Elariel and Ariel will need to go alone into the 9th to get their bodies. 

The Plan! Muriel and Evie will travel with Roxy, Finn, Rogariel, Romaniel, and Bronwyn into the Abhorsen's house and Corian and Dipper with stay with Elariel and Ariel to protect them while they go into Death to retrieve their bodies. Muriel and Evie will then go into Death from the Abhorsen's house to meet up with Elariel and Ariel to join them on their journey. Once Elariel and Ariel return from Death they with travel with Dipper and Corian on Dipper's wyvern to get to the Abhorsen's house as fast as possible. 

THEN we will use Ytanitha (the sword we procured from Lenarial) and save the world!!

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We made a mistaaaake...
Journey thru space and time...

We broke the the glaive, and are now hurling thru space and time. Damn. Folks are throwing up, the ship is breaking, and we are fucked.

Muriel repairs the ship with ice magic well enough for us to land safely. We need to figure out where the heck we are in time. We head into town. Roxie knows folks inn town because the Night Blades do business in Ancelstaire. We find a newspaper saying that it is yesterday. Also we notice that Abhorson  are not welcome in this town.

We decide we want to prepare for Lenariel coming to town. We are going to ask around and find out about deals going down. We notice that on a bulletin board says that the town has many missing children. They all went missing in the night, many on the same night. 

Muriel goes to a local tavern and recognizes another ship captain. She begins talking to the ships crew. She is so cool. She is schmoozing and drinking (nursing a beer really…) and cool. Galindra (the captain) comes in. They go to talk in the big G's room. Muriel asks her about the sword, does she know anyone who might be interested in such a thing. G says maybe a fellow named Killian or Wolfgang. Apparently Killian doesn't like people from the old kingdom.  He also likes charter spelled artifacts. He will be in an upscale location. 

Roxie goes to chat with the Night Blades. She uses the symbol of a gore crow in lingerie to get into the secret hideout. There is more secret and weird Night Blade talk. She finds out that there is someone looking for the sword along the border of Ancelstaire. Mal has been tight-lipped about the whole thing. She also finds out that there are some Pan Pipes playing at night (probably a necromancer) and kidnapping children. Also… (geez these guys know a lot…)  the king may have been in town 2 days ago. He was in disguise (not a royal visit) and was around the airships. 

The Red Stilikin is where Killian is staying, possibly Lenoriel. We can't get the lady at the desk to tell us the whether Killian and Lenoriel are staying there. So Muriel conjures a hamster in her drink and Eviel checks the Ledger. Indeed, Killian + 1 (we think Lenoriel) in room 5.

Roxie uses her sight to try and devine something about the deal tomorrow. She sees Lenoriel meeting with Killian in his room. They both have guards. 

Muriel is going to try and get us a ship. We are going to talk to illiariel (the forsaken). She says that we can be anywhere (in life) when we go into death to destroy the chaos stones. They are at the 7th gate, surrounded by dead things. Ramoniel thinks that we should go to the  Abhorson's house, when we go into death. We will go on horseback. 

Muriel suggests she can also sabotage Lenoriel's airship. Finn is still trying to re-work the Prince's sabotage item from our trip. Roxie steals money for us to buy horses. 

And how are we going to get the sword you ask…????

 

 

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YAS KWEEN

People are paired off for the night. Finn and the King, Roxy and Dipper, Corian and Bronwyn, and… uh… the Abhorsen sisters. Evie starts research on Ganel. Finn awakes alone, but finds the King and says goodbye. King has loaned us the use of a larger airship equipped with military equipment.

We decide to start looking lower a couple miles out from the chaos stones; our agreed objective is extracting Ramonael and anyone she's with and getting out of Dodge. A couple days out, Muriel can see the Chaos stones further out, so we slow and go lower. About a mile out, the ship nosedives, the sendings seem to be taking it down hard and fast. Ahh yeah.

The extra sendings are attacking the airship as Evie wrestles for control of the wheel. Finn helps Muriel to her feet and then goes to attack one of them trying to chop the ropes, blowing it over the side. Evie yells for Corian, who scrambles up and goes to her side to analyze the charter "hacking" that seems to have occurred. Roxy draws her charter boot knife, which grows to cutlass size as she swings. Dipper jumps off with his pig/wyvern and tries to keep the airship together. Fighting breaks out around the ship and the military sendings fight to chop the ropes. Corian works on "resetting" the sendings' charter magic, which eventually works with the three remaining ones.

Roxy Sees Ramonael unconscious in a cave, and we head for the nearby mountain range. But then, looking out towards Ganel, we see an undulating mass that Ariel identifies as many dead, dissolved. Then Finn sees a group making their way towards Ganel, with Hastinean at the lead. And it looks like he's taking the free magic-infected remnants of his party with them.

We make it to a cave by following recent hunting trails through the woods, and Finn notices a glamor covering a cave entrance. We go in and see a jumpy soldier who says he and the Aborsen-in-Waiting are the only ones who got out, and Ramonael is grievously injured. Evie has to go into Death to see if she can be brought back from beyond the first gate.

Ramonael goes into Death, and the Dog appears beside her, ready to be her companion. She goes through the first gate, and makes her way around the sinkholes in the 2nd precinct, freezes the whirlpool and walks down into the 3rd precinct. She sense Ramonael's presence just ahead.  She and the dog break a chain holding Ramonael in place, and an abomination surges up to be sent away by the Walker Evie is ringing.

Ramonael and her guard, Ragarael (Captain America), call the thing in town a Grimgather, breaking bodies down and making a construct. They tried to get to an airship, but free magic woodwyrd smashed it with a tree. They ran through the woods, and the abomination holding her could only be defeated by taking her into death with it.

Ragarael pulls us aside after Ramonael goes to sleep, and says that he was here a few days before her, before the Belisaere army. He had come initially with the King, and was left to watch over things until reinforcements came. They got there, and there were no chaos stones, but the King was certain the reports couldn't have been wrong, but the stones appeared a couple of days after his leaving. Evie asks "And… who gave us the ship?" Finn gets super defensive since it's his boyfriend, super awkward. 

Ragarael thinks that since all the Abhorsens were called here, all others might be dead. Roxy sneaks away to try and See the king, but her vision gets clouded when it closes in.  We set up watch rotation and in the morning, Ragarael and Evie talk, and suspicion clouds their thoughts on the King. Finn and Corian talk, Finn is very conflicted, lets Corian know the King has a corrupted Charter mark, asks if someone with a corrupted mark retains any of themselves. Corian tells him that they can turn back, but they have to be willing to give things up in return.

We take them back to the ship and search the ship for any magical tracking items. Roxy finds a red orb in the bottom of a barrel of apples, and we examine it – seems to be the thing that broadcast the signal to hack the sendings. Finn analyzes, finds it to be a device made by the same people that make the armored sendings.

Roxy experiments with the remembrancer's mirror, finds that it goes back about 24 hours, but she can look at different places. She tries again to See the King, but her vision clouds again. She reports that the mirror only shows her a previous day. We head towards the Rift, and it gets colder and colder, and we stop at a town and find the provisioners at a church of the 9 bright shiners, and then onwards to the Rift proper. It's a huge gash in the earth, and hard to find places to climb down. We travel another day on foot, find a path that looks like it leads down into the Rift.

Ragarael's shield is pretty damn cool.

We finish descending and see the ice city in the distance. However… the ice seems to be no longer there. From a bit above it, the city is super not encased in ice. Chunks of the original huge chaos stones remain, some pieces crumbled and fallen. The buildings are mostly intact. The original Clayr's library is near the center, and some old paperwings at the edge.

Ramonael says that the two other Abhorsen corps members were left with the encampment, and maybe they found a way to break through the ice?

 

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