Present: everyone but Jason, Rob Game: Nick’s Serathis
Previously . . .
The group headed to “Null Lake” to rescue Senka, and were intercepted by 3 bullettes. After quickly dispatching them, Teodoir scouted ahead and discovered that the way was still guarded – Hooks around the lake proper, sure, but the path to the lake seemed to be blocked by….Faradians?
Genn plumbs the Memory, but doesn’t find any mention of the Hooks vs. the Faradians, or any recent tales of Faradians in the area. The path up to the Lake is blocked by Faradians; the group considers other options.
Teodoir continues to scout closer to the Lake, to see what might become of Senka. He sees that she has a staff, but has been stripped of other gear. There are eight Hooks, along with three ballista that appear to be able to spray water from the lake. There’s also a Mojh, and a woman that appears to be a Magister.
Genn and Natalia set to work thinking of a plan; the Memory shows Genn they have some telekinetic powers, and generating blinding light (in addition to innate blind fighting).
Lacking any other ideas, we decide to walk up the path and try our luck with the Faradians. Arkith leads. As we approach, they raise their great axes. They do not respond to any of our attempts at conversation, and as Arkith approaches they clearly seem ready to strike. We consider climbing around them, and after some discussion, settle on casting Flight rather than trying our luck with fighting these guys.
As soon as we’re in the air, the Faradian above us leaps into the air, taking Arkith down to the ground. The rest of us are unharmed, as is Arkith
- they aren’t harming him, just restraining him; it’s almost as though they know what he’s about to do. “Go on without me - leave me!” Arkith calls out. As he stops struggling, they tie him up and keep him restrained with them. We, reluctantly, go on.
We fly up toward the lake; suddenly Teodoir gets hit by something, and stops—then is engulfed in a flaming sphere. Combat insues, vs. some invisible opponent. He goes down; a sprite appears, catching Teodoir as he falls, and says, “Your friend is about to die; I suggest you stand down.” Natalia asks, “Who are you?” She replies, “I am a member of the Circle; what is it to you?”
Genn talks to her emphasizing that we are only here for Senka as a personal friend, nothing more, and reveals that the group is the Stormfront; she muses at this, noting that we are the ones that killed D’khanir. She proposes a deal; we get the Circle out of their contract with the Hooks (by any means needed, including killing a bunch of Hooks), they will pass info to us from the Slums as it suits them. She goes so far as to say if we attack the device w/o a caster around, they will aid us in freeing Senka. As she leaves, she says, “You may already be too late; the Mojh that wants the Amulet is already on the Lake.”
We land, tend to Teodoir, and reassess our options.
The undergrowth is fairly thick; movement would be at half speed. We are still flying, however.
A plan slowly comes together; Genn will try to cut the hoses that lead to the devices; Stye will attempt to pick off the Hooks at range, Erin’s character will charge in for distraction and general blood spilling, and the faen will support us all with spells/arrows as they can.
As we get closer, we see the Mojh from the library—still holding the Council Staff of Unravelling, Kavisaret. Undaunted, we set the plan (such as it is) in motion.
Styr takes out one, our warmain charges in, and then Genn jumps on the ballista and takes out another (crit, confirmed w/ 20, crit again!) before falling to the ground at the hands of another Hook. Natalia also takes a bad hit. “Did you bring my little friend?” says the Mojh at one point. The members of the Circle (finally!) join in combat. Teodoir heals Genn, and Natalia heals herself while jumping onto the ballista to prevent anyone else from using it. Styr drops another one with three arrows. We kill several more Hooks; the Mojh sighs and says, “I should have known the Master would turn against me.” Then he flies off.
We find Senka in some sort of magic-induced coma (“Coma” spell, it will wear off in a few days); looking at the crafting tables around her, the work on the Amulet she was being forced to create was started by someone else. We retrieve her and what she was working on. We speak to Fenora Drake; leader of the Shadow Circle. They were set into service after falling into a trap set for them by the Hooks, led by the Steelclaw brothers—they were the ones who abducted Senka. The Mojh was behind it was once referred to as by one of the Hooks as “Xarthran”. Fenora Drake introduces us to the rest of the Circle: Nerislyassa was the mojh caster part of the Circle, as well as Ashe Bitterslice (the rogue sprite almost-killer of Teodoir). They have a safe house in Serathis. As for the Faradians, the Circle doesn’t know much; the Faradians killed the watch, but then didn’t do anything else other than guard the cliff side. The Circle has heard of us; our reputation among the Slums is that we can be trusted to keep our mouths shut in dealings, and that we are not not people to be messed with.
Natalia attempts to gather some of the magical water from the lake, and succeeds. As we fly (literally) away, we see the Steelclaw brothers leading the rest of the Hooks; they had the final member of the Circle, and seeing us escape, they kill her instantly. The Hooks, knowing they can’t catch us, watch us go.
As we get to the cliff face, Arkith joins us. We part ways with the Circle, promising to catch up with them at Grom’s Pit sometime in the future. We get Senka back to Boren’s; he’s ecstatic to see that she’s alive, less ecstatic to see Senka in a coma and that we know her identity. The Hooks still have the majority items, save for her staff. Senka does wake up in time; “Hi,” she says in a voice we’ve never heard. “Thank you for saving me.” She explains how she was abducted, and forced to cast the Evolution spell into the amulet that Xarthran now has. Boren and Senka offer to perform a ceremony on one of us in payment for our deeds, that would grant us considerable elemental benefits; Nick has the details (hint, hint).
The Circle now owes us one, as do Boren and Senka. We promise to meet with the Circle in the future to discuss the Master, and otherwise swap information (and in Teodoir’s case, possibly other things with Bitterslice).