Episode 17: A Sad Story
ReunitedAsími Kallitéchnis stands in the room watching Ianthe and Ianessa. The group watches quietly. Magnus, in a fit of frustration grabs Asími as if to throw him. Instead, Asimi places a hand on Magnus's shoulder. "Calm. Down." Magnus looks startled, and the flash of anger passes. He releases Asími and speaks lowly. "Who are you?" Otlyn, meanwhile, considers for a moment and then focuses her senses through the dragon armor. She looks at Magnus and Ianthe, then over to Ianessa and Asími. For the first time, she notices the aura as colored. Magnus remains orangish green. Ianessa however has a golden color and focusing back on Ianthe, she notices that Ianthe also carries a faint golden tint flickering through. Asimi however is a pure, radiant and overwhelming silver. Otlyn pipes up. "We were told there was a dragon here? And now I'm confused." Asími counters, shaking his head. "A dragon? The little ones are so polite to those who they consider ancestors." Otlyn asks, innocently, "Why do they consider you their ancestor?" Asimi shrugs. "That's a much longer story." "We have time." counters Otlyn. She tilts her head to the side and doesn't break eye contact. He sighs and stands. As he stands, he waves his hands dismissively at Vulcan. As the spell is broken, a stream of expletives from several languages streams from the previously silenced Vulcan's mouth. Asími smiles softly. "Please. The lady is sleeping." He places a hand on Ianthe's shoulder, who flinches. "Join us when you are ready." Otlyn flares the fins on the side of her face in an attempt to look intimidating. Asími steps over to the corner and vanishes. As he leaves, Ianthe sobs a mix of anger and frustration passing across her face. Otlyn asks "What are you going to do?" Ianthe looks up. "I don't know, she was already dead." Otlyn eyes her. "Why don't you come with us and hear what Asími has to say?" Ianthe doesn't respond. Finally, Ianthe responds to Otlyn's urging. With a last glance at Ianessa's form, she stands. "We're not through." Cille pats Otlyn on the head and follows Asími towards the gate. Otlyn stops them. "Wait. You need to hear this. He glows." She proceeds to share what she experienced. Magnus asks "He is dragon?" "More than you to. And so is she..." gesturing at Ianessa. Otlyn instructs Magnus and the others on how to use the armor, with Vulcan nodding. Magnus gasps as he looks to his own hands. As the others focus, they can see the auras and the slight colorations Otlyn described. Cille shakes her head and steps through the portal, the others following close behind.
His side of the storyMagnus, immediately on emerging from the other side of the portal. "You are dragon." Otlyn mutters. "Much tact here." Asími raises an eyebrow. "As apparently was your..." He looks at Magnus then sniffs. "Great, great grandmother, I'd say." Magnus stops short. He holds his face steady as he is reminded of his own family's part in the mythical history of the empire. Cille watches, then interrupts. "At least we know who the death squad is after." "Death squad?" Cille nods. "We were following a church of Dieu death squad who were here to kill, interrupt or otherwise disrupt something. We suspect they have Phlios and that's how they were able to enter." Asími looks surprised. "Why now? This place has been hidden for millenia." Cille recounts the story of the fall of Froúrio, the involvement of the White Dragons. Magnus interrupts "And the raising of the dead." Asími who had been listening quietly interrupts. "Tell me of the dragon. And tell me of the dead." Cille drops the disguise on the armor. "We received these scales from..." "...a friend" interrupts Otlyn. Cille nods and continues. "A friend who helped us drive off and kill two white dragons. We later killed a much larger one in Froúrio." Asími asks several questions about specific markings. Vulcan shakes his head. "Not the same dragon." At that point, Asími asks about the dead. Magnus takes over, and in short clipped speech describes the necromancer, the raised giants, the zombies and wights that they've fought over the past several days. Asími mutters. "Skotádi." Magnus continues. "There is unholy alliance between Empire, Norjord and dragon." Asími snorts. "I suspect that the alliance isn't as even as your kind suspect it is." Magnus agrees. Asími claps Magnus on the shoulder and stands. "I cannot leave this place." Otlyn asks "Physically?" Asími shakes his head. "Period. I've left her once in order to save my wife, and nearly paid for it with my own life. Only through Chryseis's intervention are we alive today." Cille and Magnus search their memory. The names sound familiar, but they are unable to place it. Asími rolls his eyes a bit and says "Skotádi. He looks at Cille. "Your people would call her Hel." He looks at Ianthe and Otlyn "Or Hecate." He sighs. "We've been here since your people came to this world." Otlyn asks "We?" Asími nods and gestures at Vulcan, Otlyn and Ianthe. "And your people." He looks at Magnus and Cille "And part of your lineage as well. It's why you can use magic. And why the newcomers, the humans, can't. They came here from somewhere else. When we saved the humans and brought htem here, let's just simply say we recognized our mistake too late. It was easier to be absent from this world, rather than to be worshiped, or worse, hunted." Cille interjects "Obviously someone's breaking that oath now." Asími chuckles. "I have no doubt which one or two it would be. Tell me about this hunting party?" Cille starts, then gestures to Magnus. "Can you fetch your friend?" Magnus steps out briefly and returns with Astor. Astor repeats his story. "They were hunting something big. The brought the old man as some form of key, and there was a dark skinned foreigner who led both the Knights of Humanité and the hired help. The hobgoblins." CIlle asks "So either they're after you..." "They're not after me," completes Asími. He asks Astor to further describe the old man. After Astor does, he swears quietly. "That does describe Phlios." Cille looks at Asími and then breaks the silence. "So when you say you can't leave... You can't leave the cavern? Or can't leave the tower." "The tower. I've broken that rule more than once, so they've seen to it that I can't." He pauses and smiles at Ianthe. That's why you exist... and why Ianessa..."
How we got hereMagnus growls. "What is wrong with her mother?" Asími sighs. "I don't know." He pauses again. "Everyone, sit down." Otlyn sits down next to Staff, and waits as everyone else takes their seat. Asími launches into a story. He describes how he used to sneak out and visit the islands and farther lands. One day when he came to Eleusis, he came across a young girl who was sketching the Shrine. He had a conversation, and then after waiting for her to leave, he entered. Days, weeks and months went on. But everytime he came back, she was there drawing. And while Asími knew the reality behind the shrine and the hidden city, Ianessa only knew that she felt drawn here for some reason. So after some time they started to make dates of their meetings. Asími would bring her paints, canvases, and other art supplies and Ianessa brought him stories of her life at the Akadímia. Eventually Ianessa graduated, and didn't want to go home. As a graduation present, he provided Ianessa a set of magical paints. These paints were in the hands of an average painter more vibrant. In Ianessa's hands however, she could bring her paintings to life. The statue upstairs is actually a self portrait from Ianessa using these paints. Throughout, Asími's warmth towards Ianessa becomes clear. He continues to tell of how their relationship developed into love, how they were married and planned to live quietly on the islands away from her family. Ianessa's relationship with her parents had always been strained. She believed that they thought of her as flightly, spoiled and shallow. Instead, she saw them as demanding who believed she existed only to be a pawn in some political maneuver. Ianessa could never stomach the conditions back in Asteriápolis and the directions. Eventually, Asími's clan found out about his relationship with Ianessa and confined Asími. He was not to have any further contact and they believed Ianessa would simply drift back into society. "They believed a good 50 years would cool me off." "What they didn't know was that we were married, and what none of us knew was that she was pregnant with you." He snarls. "They never even let me say goodbye." Ianessa waited and searched for him. As she became aware of her child, she became more frantic and more depressed. The burden of the special child on her body eventually became too much. Asími confined, watched helpelessly. He arranged for intermediaries to get her back to her family. However her branch family immediately disowned her. He tried to get her help, but it was refused by the family or her. Alone, helpless, and broken she tried to take her own life. Asími couldn't take it any more. He left the caverns himself even though it meant a death sentence for himself. He arranged for Ianthe to be taken along with a request to Phlios, whom he had known when Phlios was just a lad. He brought Ianessa back to his world and placed her in the slumber you see now in order to save her life and search for a way to make her whole again. In order to protect her, he confessed his crimes and begged for clemency. Chryseis eventually intervened and took pity on him. She acted as his bond and allowed him access to supplies and knowledge in his quest to revive Ianessa. However while magic can heal the body, it does not easily heal the mind and spriit. So every day he continues to search for a cure, and helplessly watches over Ianthe sharing her exploits with the slumbering Ianessa. Magnus, wrapped up in his own self-righteous anger, shouts "And you let her think her mother was dead." "For all intents and purposes, unless I can find a cure... she is." Magnus clenches his fists and jaw. "And yet... idiot. You look down on us. You are idiot. I want nothing more of you, and he walks out." Asími seethes as he watches Magnus leave, but turning to Ianthe slowly calms down. Astor looks at Asími and Magnus and cringes. "He's been like that for a long time." He stands and chases Magnus out. Staff looks at Otlyn shocked, and Otlyn returns the look. Cille winces. "What he lacks in manners, he makes up for in combat." Ianthe sits, processing all she heard, in silence. Asími looks on, but leaves her to stew in her thoughts.
Then what?Cille breaks the tension. "So if they aren't here for you, why are they here?" "Chryseis of course." Cille looks confused. "What do they teach you kids these days?" Vulcan pipes up. "That there are no dragons." Asími smiles weakly. "There is that." He gestures at Cille. "Your people have called her many things, but most common is Sif. The island's people would have known her as Demeter. She is the oldest living member of our kind." Cille asks "So can we get her a message?" Asími shakes his head. "She watches me, but I don't know how to reach her. If she's in the city, she's down in the lower cavern." He considers for a moment then with a small spell whispers "Bring me Saarl." Otlyn asks, "Who's Saarl?" Asími flashes a wan smile and nods out the door. "His worst nightmare." A few moments later, trotting up in studded leather armor with a large sword strapped to his belt is a three and a half foot tall Kobold warrior. He bows gracefully. "My lord." Asími smiles at him with a patient smile. "It seems that lady Ianessa's and I's family has joined us unexpectedly and is in need. They need assistance in finding lady Chyseis." Saarl snaps to a firm salute, draws his blade and declares upon it. "For my lord and my lady. I will protect them and do as you ask!" Cille goes "awww" as she sees a mini version of Magnus. Asími looks at Ianthe. "You're welcome to stay here with your mother, or go with your friends to save your cousin." Ianthe looks at Otlyn and Cille. Otlyn says "Whatever decision you want to make." Ianthe responds with an incredulous "That's helpful!" look. She turns to Asími and snarls. "I'll be back," as she stands. Asími looks to Saarl. "This is my daughter. Protect her." Saarl immediately drops on his hands and knees. "I swear by you my gods and my oath, I will protect her." He stands, puffs up, and bows with a flourish. "Saarl knows these chambers as well as anyone. You can trust him." He pauses. "Though I'd suggest you take your angry friend's friend out, as he may not far well below." Vulcan and Cille ask whether he can stay here, to which Asími just shakes his head. The three stand and step outside, along with Saarl. The group standing around quietly discusses what happened. Hermione and Eunice agree to go back to town and take Astor with them and support preparation. Eunice, after hearing what transpired, gives Ianthe a hug and whispers something in her ear. The two girls nod once, and then they head up towards the stairs.
DecisionsSaarl describes the disruption to the western side of the caverns and shares a sketched map of the caverns. He indicates the actual passage down. Otlyn petitions the group to help the Myconids. Cille asks Saarl about the threat who responds, "The thing that disrupted the myconids and the mining to the south? Earth elemental of a sorts." Cille asks "Can you do anything about it?" He shakes his head. "That would be another quest." They discuss and it'll take about 30 minutes. Magnus forcefully declines "The longer we wait, the further they get towards their goal. We have wasted enough time as it is. We'll come back and help them after we've cleansed these caverns of the taint of Dieu." Ianthe scowls a moment and then turns back to the discussion. "Ok, let's go." Saarl straightens at this. "As you wish."
The Descent into DangerThe group sets off. They pass through Eleusis, Caverns of Riches, 02. Gemstone mine. Saarl pauses at the Eleusis, Caverns of Riches, 01. Glyph of Hopelessness and points at markings on the floor. "Don't step there, and don't look back." Everyone gets past. Otlyn nearly steps on the glyph. Saarl winces, but the group manages to get past.
The Spider KingThe group continues to follow the trail. Saarl cautions them "Be wary. Danger lurks from here on." Eleusis, Caverns of Danger, 10. Spider King's Lair Spider King Encounter (1:37:00)
Following the trailThe group follows the invader's tracks. Eleusis, Caverns of Danger, 08. Crossroads "Where are these locals you speak of, little Kobold?" asks Magnus. Saarl describes the sorcerer, alchemist and two headed one. The group debates then continues to the north.
The sorceressEleusis, Caverns of Danger, 07. Sorcerer's Retreat Encounter (2:25:00) Otlyn makes fast friend with the "Hoppy" toad. The sorceress and Saarl great each other. She makes a double take when she looks at Ianthe. "How can I help?" Magnus and Cille begin to speak at the same time. After a moment, Magnus continues. "Greetings. A band of humans and hobgoblins wearing this crest..." he gestures at his own, "...are seeking to do harm. They must be cleansed of their false teachings." She laughs. "They came through here about 8 hours ago." She waves her hand and an illusion forms that makes the room look empty. Dismissing it she continues, "I led them down to the south away from here. They were here, but I had no desire to engage with them." "So they headed south?" Magnus asks. She nods. "Did you manage to catch how many their were?" "Dozens." Saarl and her banter for some moment, as Cille looks at the tracks. Otlyn continues her conversation with Hoppy. Magnus asks "Do you know where to reach Chryseis?" "Downriver." She looks meaningfully at Saarl. "But I wouldn't recommend taking it from here. The Binyip's active again." Saarl nods. "Then around we go." At that point, Otlyn spots a pile of scrolls behind Darabeth. "Oh! Can I see those?" Darabeth looks skeptically. "They're dangerous." Saarl whispers in her ear. Darabeth looks more skeptically. "Asími said that?" She gestures for Otlyn to go ahead, while she looks at Ianthe. Magnus asks "You know who Asími is?" She giggles. "A rat in a cage?" Magnus retorts "More like an idiot in a cage." Darabeth's expression changes quickly to anger. Cille looks sharply at Magnus. "Down boy. You have anger issues since we came in here. Settle down." Magnus turns and walks away. Cille shakes her head. "The Magnus I knew wouldn't have killed that hobgoblin." Cille heads to scout the cage to the south, and Saarl warns here that there are things that aren't what they appear to be in these caves.
ApologyIanthe wanders over and tugs at Magnus's sleeves. She looks up at him. "I owe you an apology." "Owe me an apology?" "This has been bothering me since we left. I was frustrated, angry... I should not have compelled you like that." Looking down she says, "I'm sorry." Magnus smiles and places a hand on her shoulder and nods. "Apology accepted. Now accept mine. I do not know... I can't imagine how difficult this is for you... I don't know how to help you best. Whatever you need, I am here." Ianthe gives a half smile. "My parents have been dead to me my entire life." She shrugs. "It's an opportunity... or perhaps nothing. But don't be angry at them for me. That's for me to decide." "Okay" he says. She smirks. "I have sixteen years of tantrums to share." Magnus laughs. "If you ever need my help in a tantrum, I'll help you." She rolls here eyes and turns back to the room towards Otlyn with her scrolls and toad. Looking back over her shoulder she calls out, "I didn't think you were into spankings" as she wanders off.
Roped inSuddenly, a shout comes from the cavern below. Saarl shakes his head at Darabeth and heads off. "I warned her." Otlyn drops the scrolls and the toad and follows him along with Ianthe and Magnus. Eleusis, Caverns of Danger, 06. Tangled Ropes Roper Encounter (2:43:00)
- 8 large gemstones (100 gold drachma)
- Dagger +2 with markings of knights
Character(s) interacted with
- Darabeth (from area 7)
Liam: "To whomever stole my Microsoft Office. I will find you. You have my Word."