Temerity | World Anvil

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Played by
Mariston 6930
Tue 30th Jan 2024 03:20

Session 24, Getting Noticed in Coral Gate

by Temerity

Things are wrapping up in Ecathan. We are the celebrated heroes for defeating the Nightwalker and saving the Royal Family, not to mention pretty much saving the entire city. The next day, we all agree to go our separate ways for a few weeks before meeting back up in Etonia. After we meet back up, we will continue our search for the vile Necromancer, which will most likely take us to Coral Gate.
Will stays back in Ecathan to spend some time with Chandler. Julia tours Ecathan and makes some local contacts. She then travels back to Etonia and checks on Chrystos (See Session 19, You're my Best Friend). Eowyn immediately heads back to Etonia to spend time at the Library where she studies and scribes scrolls for the duration. Finally, Vardai trains with the Ecathan Rangers, working to perfect her skills, and then heads to Etonia and does more training with the Etonian Guard.
I decide to travel to Grandma Willow’s hut and practice my Herbalism skills with her. I learned a bit about herbalism from my mentor, Thornwill, but Grandma Willow knows far more (about Herbalism). We work on plant identification and how to make various potions and herbs. I stock up my herbalism kit with more materials for future work.
One thing I learned about Grandma Willow is that she is easily underestimated. She appears as an older lady who might easily be overpowered. In truth, she is cunning, wise, and commands magic that I can’t know the extent of. Woe to the person who makes an enemy of Grandma Willow.
The second thing I learned is that Grandma Willow often speaks in riddles. She won’t answer a question directly. In some cases, I think she is bound by prior oaths from directly revealing information. At other times, I think she just likes the game of speaking in riddles. During a meal, she started talking about our upcoming trip to Coral Gate.
“A matter of Dragons is almost as tricky as a matter of Queens,” she tells me. “When you go to Coral gate, watch for the bones. They are precious… take care of them.”
In her usual riddle way, she just gave me a quest to help her, or help myself. When dealing with Grandma Willow, one can never be sure if her actions are for the benefit of herself or for the benefit of others. I believe it is almost always both. She is playing chess on other peoples’ checkerboards. Regardless, I have a task… go find dragon bones while in Coral Gate.
After spending multiple days with Grandma Willow, I make my way back to Etonia, courtesy of a portal. I catch up with the rest of the party, and we discuss getting to Coral Gate. There are two primary ways, by sea and by land. Going by sea is much quicker, but involves dangers such as Pirates, Harpies, and Kraken. Going by land is more scenic, but involves such dangers as Highwaymen, Displacer Beasts, and Tarrasques. I am open to either. The party decides on the sea route, particularly since we destroyed much of the Coral Gate navy (See Session 20, You Need a Better Nemesis).
Discussing further, we discuss Bartholomew and Menk. Menk, of course, is a halfling and the suspected Necromancer; and is now supposedly dead. If you recall, Fassad and his party supposedly defeated Bartholomew (See Session 21, The Nightwalker and the Simulacrum). Bartholemew, who does not appear to be a halfling, is supposedly the brother of Menk. We last encountered Bartholemew in the ruins outside of the Red Lion Inn (See Session 3, Of Cantrips and Spell Choices).
Eowyn asks me to prepare the spell Moonbean, as it will reveal shape changers. I can do that, but I will have to drop a different spell. I had recently started preparing Ice Storm; perhaps I could sacrifice that. Julia suggests sacrificing Detect Magic, since others in the party can cast it. I reluctantly agree. Moonbeam is a spell that requires my full attention to move and use, and I have to concentrate on it. Moonbeam has all of the same problems that Flaming Sphere has, which is why I rarely use Flaming Sphere (although Flaming Sphere is always prepared whether I want to prepare it or not). Of course, Ice Storm is a one-time alternate damage spell that hits a lot of bad guys and slows them down. Detect Magic, in a way, is one of my “go to” spells… I have probably cast Detect Magic more than any other spell not counting cantrips. OK, I don’t really want to change up my spells, but I follow their advice and prepare Moonbeam instead of Detect Magic.
During the discussion of what spell to prepare, when I was discussing the merits of Ice Storm, Eowyn says, “You are such a Hot Head, I am surprised you prepared that spell.” I am a little offended at her comments. Of course, I feature Fire and Healing as my primary spell types, but I like to carry a few other types of spells.
Our first task when we get to Coral Gate will be to locate Fassad’s sister, Theia Bheda. She was last rumored to have ascended to High Enchantress but now seems deposed from that role. She is known to run a magic shop in the downtown area. She also, according to Julia, has a girlfriend named Fatima.
Most of us buy potions of healing before we set out on the ship. As we get underway, we learn the ship will be passing through the Bay of Claws. It is characterized by deep mists and large rocky spires. It is renowned as being tricky to navigate through. Often, voices can be heard that can confuse a ship’s crew. I am now convinced that we will definitely encounter Harpies. However, as we pass through the Bay, there is no mists and the sailing is clear. We arrive at Coral gate without incident.
Julia has disguised herself. Being from this area, she is afraid she will be recognized. She changes how she wears her hair and her accessories. The changes are subtle, but effective. In public, we are to refer to her as “Oriana” to keep with her disguise. Eowyn is concerned that her disguise is not enough of a change. I remind Eowyn that Julia is traveling with a Tiefling (me), a Half-orc with a big axe and hair shimmering of diamonds (Vardai), and an Elf with a tail adorned with runic emblems who reads her life’s story to anyone who will listen (Eowyn). Julia will not stand out.
Once on foot in Coral Gate, we stop by the Magic Shop first. There’s a note on the door, “Family Emergency, be back when can.” So… the shop is closed and Theia may not be in town.
We decide to head to a well-known tavern called the Reef Mists. On the way, Eowyn starts talking about Coral Gate culture and famous regional dances. As a former courtier, I did have to learn many of the regional dances to better perform my duties at Balls. I attempt to demonstrate the first dance Eowyn describes, but am not entirely familiar with it. Then she describes a second dance, a Fire Dance. It is more steeped in Shamanic Rituals… I know this one. I perform it flawlessly. I even put a flare into it with my Produce Flame spell. I am perfectly sure I can perform this dance to perfection if called upon. Furthermore, I am absolutely sure there will be no need to perform it.
Eowyn and I start debating about dancing in general. Eowyn, not entirely wrong, states that dancing is a demonstration of sexual desire. Having been on the Court in Augustin Citadel for 6 years, I know better. A dance is a form of political power. Observing who dances with whom, and why, shows the influence of not only those who partake in the dance, but also those who sit the dance out. Dance is a form of political theater.
We arrive at the Tavern. I am prepared. Unlike the previous time I got drunk (See Session 19, You're my Best Friend), this time I have the Lesser Restoration spell prepared. I have practiced it extensively and am sure I can cast it even when highly inebriated. Now… to find the Moonshine!
We decide to work the room. Eowyn surveys the room and stands by to subtly assist anyone who requires an assist. Julia, maintaining her cover, talks to a table of professors at the mage academy. One professors laments that a tower was destroyed by a Plant Growth spell. He’s fortunate to be an Illusionist and working in a different tower. Apparently, the Plant Growth spell wrecked everything (See Session 17, The Escape of Acgozluk). When Julia asks about the new High Mage, the professor sarcastically responds, “Oh yes, Bartholomew… he’ll fix everything. It says so right in the flyer.”
Will works a table, and he asks about Theia. The response is that, “She’s last week’s news. She’s gone. It’s like the wizard of the week.” Apparently, there’s been six disappearances recently. The person Will is talking gets nervous and abruptly leaves. Will quietly starts to follow him.
I grab some Dandelion Mead since they don’t have any Moonshine. It is actually pretty good, much better than the Dark Ale they are also offering. I pretend to be a little lonely and a little drunk in order to attract some male attention. A person named Taylon introduces himself and starts flirting… just the opening I need. He says he’s a High Mage (obviously he’s not). I stroke that portion of his ego to get him to brag about stuff. I start to lose him. I am not as focused on flirting as I should be, since I am multitasking a bit to hear Julia’s and Will’s conversations. Fortunately, Eowyn subtlety gives me some magical help, and I recover. With a bit more flirting, I learn that he is putting in an application with Bartholomew to work on some Dragon Bones. Cool, I just found out the Dragon Bones are here!
Julia puts us all under a Psychic Link and tells us there is a tunnel underneath. I disengage from Taylon and his ego as graciously as possible, while hinting he might get future benefits, and walk towards where Julia is rallying us. While the three of us were working the tables, Vardai had been checking the posting boards and found some useful information about moving stuff, most likely contraband, from the docks to a warehouse. Now, Vardai casts Pass Without Trace and we enter the passageway to the tunnels beneath.
We catch up with Will. Will notifies us that a Drow and a few others are in the next area of the tunnels. Julia says that she used these tunnels before to meet up with a person named Relan Munter to deliver Hex Glitter. The tunnels are frequently used for smuggling. So… the plan is for Will and Eowyn to go into the next area and act like they are supposed to be there. Eowyn casts Detect Thoughts on herself.
Will and Eowyn approach as we stay hidden. Will says, “Hi, I’m Bill. I think you have something for me.” The drow is looking at a log book. She looks up, considering “Bill”. Eowyn picks up (using Detect Thoughts relayed through the Psychic Link) that the drow has a medallion she doesn’t want to reveal. The drow says she has items in the crate for an “Estate Sale.” She offers the crate to Will; which contains Eyes of Charming, a Potion of Heroism, and a key… minus the medallion; in exchange for something that Bill can offer. Will offers her his Cloak of Displacement, which he swaps out for his mundane cloak. She is fooled and takes the mundane cloak as payment.
Hmmm. If Will has a Cloak of Displacement, why does he keep getting hit in combat?
They conclude their business and quickly return. I can see this going over well… we just sent the most distinctive and talkative elf (with a tail adorned with runic iconography) on the continent into a negotiation and swindled a thief who is a member of a smuggling network. We might as well pose for the “bounty” posters to ensure they capture our likenesses perfectly.
The address on the crate is Theia Bheda’s residence. So, they are cleaning out her belongings. We go back to street level in order to break into her house and investigate. We need to see if we can discover where she might be before the bad guys do. We pass some guards, thanks to Eowyn’s spells and Vardai’s Pass Without Trace. The key works on the front door, which has a foreclosure notice on it.
Julia ritually casts Detect Magic. I am annoyed I do not have the spell prepared. I feel blind. We investigate the main floor and the modest upstairs. I find a secret compartment in a desk. There’s a letter with a seal on it which Julia doesn’t recognize, still intact. I use my forgery kit to copy the seal, and then we open the letter. The letter is from Fatima (Theia’s girlfriend noted above). The letter conveys a tone that is partially hoping and partially pleading. Fatima is hoping that Theia will come back. So… even Fatima may not know where Theia is.
We continue exploring, moving into the basement. Julia says the basement is filled with divination and enchantment magic. Julia is even picking up some illusion magic and transmutation. There’s a mirror. Crap… I don’t want to get trapped in a mirror. On Will’s suggestion, I grab a bed linen and cover the mirror so that we don’t inadvertently look into at the mirror.
We think there might be something behind the mirror, but we don’t want to trigger a magical trap. I decide to use my second most commonly used spell, Dispel Magic. Guided by Julia… Crap! This is so hard. I am never dropping Dispel Magic again. I will prepare Dispel Magic forever, even if I have to stop preparing Plant Growth, which I’ve heard is good for destroying ships and towers… I cast dispel magic. The spell was high level and it took some effort to dispel. According to Julia, I dispelled something that was Transmutation. I cast Dispel Magic again, this time dispelling an illusion spell. The wall vanishes and opens into an entrance… into a hidden laboratory!
• Thank you to George Sanders, his Anhult Campaign, and World Anvil. Thank you to Lassastrix for proofing.

The major events and journals in Temerity's history, from the beginning to today.

Session 1, Cross Quarter Day in Trier

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03:51 am - 30.03.2022

Session 2, It's really not that important.

I’m not really sure why, but I seem to remember that Sophie was quite nice to us. There we were, in the woods, and Sophie, a short female with grayish white hair and a nice one-piece dress, waived goodbye to us with her knotted staff. Will was acting ...

11:26 pm - 30.04.2022

Session 3, Of Cantrips and Spell Choices

I knew she could do it. Peggy strained hard against her opponent. The sweat off her brow was matched only by the torrential downpour outside of the Red Lion Inn. After what seemed like an hour, Peggy pushed her arm across his face and won the match. My ne...

03:21 am - 25.05.2022

I Might Just Set Him on Fire

There we were, on our final day of travel heading into Etonia. We caught up to Eowyn and exchanged tales. No, that’s “tales”, as in stories, not “tails”, as in rear appendages. Anyway, at the same time that Will and I and the Drumbeat Initiat...

02:08 am - 23.06.2022

Session 5, Cleaning Up Loose Ends

Did I mention that Vardai is really strong? She swung that hammer and the bell rang. And then she did it again! The second time, the proprietor was worried she would damage the High Striker. The bell tower shook so much I thought I was going to have t...

05:21 pm - 24.07.2022

Session 6, That was Fun

I am stronger now. No, really, I am. Ok, you are right, I can’t lift or carry more stuff… I can’t jump higher. But I can cast more spells, and better ones. I’ve been working on Flaming Sphere and Scorching Ray. There are lots of good spells f...

01:54 am - 25.08.2022

Session 7, We’re Not Evil, You Know

I have mentioned before that Vardai is really strong. Although today, I think she is just really tired. I mean… earlier today we fought off that ambush I described earlier. And then we pushed hard on the road to make it into Montsilt. I just think V...

11:45 pm - 25.09.2022

Session 8, Stories of Mages, Kings, and Demons

I walk through a rare bright spot in the forest. The forest canopy prevents nearly all direct sunlight from touching the ground. But yet, the colors inspire awe. Or maybe my Tiefling eyes make the shadowed colors more vivid. Wildlife sounds fill the a...

10:58 pm - 22.10.2022

Session 9, Into the Lair (of Emotions)

Eowyn is crying. As I told you last time, Eowyn became possessed by the demon whom I later found out is named Fangclaw. Eowyn had warned us about Fangclaw; but up until this point, Fanglaw hadn’t been a problem. After observing this possession, I now...

04:27 am - 29.11.2022

Session 9, You Have Betrayed Her Once Again

We are running. We are chasing the large goblin (or was it a demon?). Well, it was definitely a demon. It escaped Vardai’s axe and Dimension Doored itself across the complex. As we are running towards it, I shout out to the party to remember that th...

11:55 pm - 26.12.2022

Session 11, Feldspar and Centipedes

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05:05 am - 24.01.2023

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Played by
Mariston 6930