Flames and Steel: The Chromatic War

Daora and Niece's Mephitic Ivy

The adventurers had had a rough day. Being sent to Trinity on their quest to rid the world of The Plague of Kassadin turned out to be a crazier endeavor than they had anticipated. But they had made it through and were now in Trinity, finally free from the Hall of Doors for the remainder of the day, they had decided to take care of a few tasks while in the metropolis.

Most arrived at the Guild of Arbiters fairly early into the night. They would be staying the night here before they set off on their way to Daora the following day.

Well into the night, Al’ev “Olive” Reldin finally arrived back at the guild. None of his companions seemed overly worried by what took much longer than he had intended. His meeting had been interesting. The situation had become much more dire than he had previously thought.

The rest of the night went on without any significant events. When the morning arrived, they group gathered up their things and went to talk with Groatal about the best way to get to Daora, the elven town where they were told they would be able to find Niece. Niece was said to have knowledge of the type of magic that could help the heroes with the plague that was afflicting Kassadin.

They emerged into the front room at the same time as one of the guild’s errand boys, Trevor. He was followed by a younger looking, but well built, human. It turned out that the human was a young weapon-smith named Devon. He was a recent addition to the guild and had been brought in to help craft weapons for the arbiters. It was around this time when Al’ev realized his longsword had gone missing. Knowing that he had had it when he returned to the guild, he quickly looked at each of his companions and pulled out his second longsword asking which of them had his weapon. Given what he had learned yesterday, he couldn’t afford to be missing weapons.

Crim smirked and pulled out Al’ev’s blade, then tossed it into the guild’s ceiling. The sword stuck for a few seconds before it fell to the floor again. Al’ev cursed under his breath and muttered something about wishing the blade had fallen on Crim instead of onto the floor. He vowed he’d not let the ninja get away with this childish prank.

Letting it go for the time being, he decided to ask Devon a bit about why he was brought into the guild. Apparently the guild’s requests for magically imbued weaponry had recently gone up. Crim nodded at this noting that he was requesting a “flaming sword.” Unnerved at the thought of this particular half-elf with a flaming sword, he asked Devon what that had to do with him exactly. Devon explained that such weapons had to start out as very high quality makes. Secondly, he noted that those requesting such weapons would have to retrieve the materials needed to create the items of their requests.

Somewhat awed by his knowledge of steel and magic, Al’ev asked if the young blacksmith would be interested in joining them on their adventure noting that he’d have the perfect opportunity find any useful material while they traveled. He was further impressed when Devon told the group he had some knowledge of the use of a longsword. It was shortly agreed after that was revealed that Devon would be accompanying the group to Daora. This lead the group to question Goat about a anything new happening while the young human went to grab his equipment.

Indeed there was news to be heard. Some of the other arbiters had reported to Goat on events that had unfolded in the elven town of Orleon and the halfling town of Basque. It was ereely similar to what had occured in Crustakin Hold a few weeks prior. The Sahuagin had struck, taking several individuals into the seas. In Orleon, the arbiters had noted that they were being taken away in bubbles similar to those that they had seen cast by the wands Sindri Stribog and Al’ev had found after The Battle for Crustakin Hold.

When the wands were brought up, Goat was unable to tell them much about them except for confirm what they had begun to suspect all along. Al’ev brought a theory he had been working on to Goat’s attention. The people’s souls seemed to be fuel for the magic that was cast by these wands as well as the portal they had discovered in the lair of the brine dragon. However, only their clothing was found. No bodies. He took a guess that if it were possible to reverse whatever had put them into this state in the first place, it may be possible to return them back to normal. It was nothing more than a theory, but it was one he had been thinking about ever since they had found the wands in the first place.

Asking about how they were to get to Daora, Goat told the group it would take up to 15 days by foot. That was time they all knew they didn’t have. Goat knew this too so he sent Trevor to procure a pass for the Hall of Doors. With little else to do but wait for Devon and Trevor to return, time passed slowly.

Eventually both returned and the group, minus Trevor, set off for the Hall of Doors. They were met with several guards outside. When they were admitted inside they saw yet more guards. After failing to procure a return pass, the group continued on to the door they needed to use. It was both frightening and amusing that so many guards had been put on duty after yesterday’s portal high-jacking. Both could also be said about the amount of guards and mages that continued grow until they reached the door to Daora.

The group proceeded to file through the door. No incidents occurred until, a now tense Al’ev, went through. He felt the tug, it was the same as the day before. But this time he felt an equal force push from the object he was clutching in his pocket. Silently thanking his mother, he continued on, well aware that he was almost back in the Larian Mountains again instead of where he stood now, the southern forests of Quellion. There were no further incidents with the portal, though the mage and guards on the Daora side were quick to return to the Hall of Doors. They left the adventurers with sketchy directions on how to reach the tree tops where the elven town actually was.

This didn’t prove to be a problem for Devon who seemed to possess a sharp mind for such things. He lead the group to the stairs specified by the mage. Up they went, slowly becoming dizzy as they ascended more and more steps. They reached the top just as a couple of them started to feel a little sick from the spinning climb. They emerged onto closely woven branches of the trees they were in. It formed a solid floor upon which several elves could be seen walking. In the trunks of several trees, almost as if the trees had grown into the shapes themselves, were various buildings that the town consisted of. It was an amazing sight and one which several would never forget.

Apparently Sindri did see something he found interesting right away. The halfling was a flash of silver hair, beelining for a particularly attractive looking Elven woman. He desperately tried to get her attention but was ignored until the halfling couldn’t resist any longer.

He groped her.

She did react to this, quickly screaming for the guards in elvish. Before the situation could deteriorate any further, Velius and Devon attempted to better the situation with words, dragging the halfling away. They even managed to discover that the town’s tavern would be the best place to start looking for Niece, the elven woman they had come to find. Apologizing for the halfling’s actions, the group continued on to the tavern.

When they reached it, Sindri once again shot off in search of something he liked, whatever it was that was giving off the pungent smell emenating from inside the tavern. The rest of the group quickly followed knowing that they couldn’t let the sorcerer be without some type of supervision given his actions upon entering the town. Neo went to the bar keep and ordered a drink. It appeared as though these elves didn’t drink in large quantities. The glass Neo was given was quite small compared to the mugs most were used to in the taverns of the other species. Deciding to take a drink anyway, he was nearly shocked at the potency that was contained in the small amount of liquor. It was almost as though it were pure liquid fire as it went down his throat. Grinning, he quickly ordered another.

Sindri wasn’t about to be left behind and asked for a drink as well. He quickly got into an argument with the barkeep over if he was old enough for a drink or not. The rest of the group knew that this is one argument he wasn’t going to win. Al’ev pulled the halfling aside and promised to buy him a drink later. Obviously not happy, the halfling simply nodded. While that was happening the barkeep mentioned that he did know of a girl named Niece who was an assistant in the town’s local school.

Al’ev noted that this school, like all elven magic schools he knew of, were under the jurisdiction of the Illundra. This put him on guard. He tried to warn Sindri to be on guard as well as the two walked with Velius and Devon to the school, but the halfling was simply too distracted. They arrived at the school, aware that some guards appeared to be shadowing them the entire way. When they got inside they were directed to one of the classrooms where they found an elven woman studying plants.

It was the woman named Niece. That was the good news. The bad news is that she wasn’t that great with magic. Hearing why they had come to her in the first place, she did have a thought. Niece may not have been great with magic, but she was extremely knowledgeable about plants. She knew of a seed that could potentially do the same thing as their permanency filter idea. Accepting that this may actually work, they asked her to gather what they’d need. She said she’d need a day or so, but that she would send for them when it was ready. Nodding, Al’ev decided to check out the school’s library, for it had been a while since he had last been in a library of magic. Niece gave them her pass which they promised to return before leaving. Sindri went with Al’ev to the library while Velius and Devon decided to find out where Crim had disappeared to as well as figure out where they were to stay that night.

They ran into an old elven fellow outside the school who asked them if they’d be willing to pay some gold pieces for an answer to life’s questions. Perhaps knowing that the answer was 42, or perhaps because he saw the old man reaching for his rapier, Velius drew his weapon and proceeded to stab at the elf’s feet. Knowing it was Crim in disguise, he didn’t let up. He finally connected with one of the ninja’s toes when the guards who had been shadowing the group into the school shouted out for them to sheathe their weapons.

Devon spoke quickly and well attempting to get out of the trouble they had managed to get into this time. For the casual observer, it appeared as though some outsiders had attacked an elderly elven man for no reason. When they made it apparent that this was no elf but was Crim in disguise, the pair returned their weapons to their sheaths and let the three off with little more than a warning. Devon promised he’d be getting the ninja back for his actions.

Meanwhile, Neo was enjoying drink after drink of the very good elven liquor. But he wasn’t beyond keeping an ear out for anything out of the ordinary. He heard the elven man in back spouting a tale about how he was turned into a creature with a tail, specifically a newt, by some witch out in the forest. He had obviously been drinking, so Neo didn’t pay him much mind. He did take interest in another fellow who had just entered the bar though.

The man set down his bow, grabbed a stool next to Neo and pounded down a glass of the strong liquid. The man appeared to be wearing the robes of a monk, somewhat similar to those of their companion Garyuu Reddaile. These robes were dirty from travel however. It turned out that the man had seen what had become of Crustakin Hold. He was just passing through and planned to be staying the night at the local inn. By this point Velius and Devon had returned to the tavern to inform Neo they had procured a room for the night. Velius was having a chat with the newt-elf in the back while Neo was talking with the monk. He had heard some mention from the heroes of Kassadin of a monk who they had ran into meeting this one’s description. Eventually through the course of the conversation the monk learned that the heroes he had been searching for were in town and would be staying in the local inn. He told Neo he’d be staying there as well and hoped to talk with them.

Not wanting to let too much slip away, Velius, Devon and Neo returned to inn.

After a long day of looking through books as he attempted to teach Sindri the intricacies, or the lack there of, of Ignan, and failing to get much done due to the frequent visits of attractive young elven women in the library, Al’ev decided to call it a day and head back for the Inn. Sindri followed and the pair arrived in time to sit down to a small feast and discuss what they had learned with the others.

Stories of the day swapped they were interrupted by the old monk arriving at the door. This was the monk they had ran into outside of Kassadin on The Trek to Varalon. Showing a little surprise, he asked if they had any stories but not before Al’ev could learn this stranger’s name.

“My name is Al’ev” the magus said.

“Zane.” The man said as he held out his hand. Shaking it, Al’ev related to the man most of what had happened in The Crypt of the Eternal Flame. He left out a few details, such as what they took from the Crypt, among other things. But the story was mostly intact. They also related a little bit about what had happened in Crustakin Hold when they learned he had been through there.

With a yawn, Zane bit them all goodnight. Not sure what to make of the strange traveling monk, they decided to turn in as well.

The following morning they were summoned by Niece, who had procured the seeds they’d need. They all arrived at the school and found her in the same place as last time. This time, however, she had several strange looking plants floating in water on the desk.

“These are Mephitic Ivy plants.” She explained, “They feed on toxins and poisons in the water.” She then told them all about the various qualities of the plant, where it was naturally found and answered all the questions they threw at her with very little hesitation. They learned that these plants would become more toxic over time as they absorbed more and more of the poison in the water. This was indeed a temporary solution, but it was all they had. And when they heard about the more elderly elves discussing the permanency spell, they knew that, though theoretically possible, it was magic well beyond what anyone they knew could perform. Thanking Niece and promising to have someone keep detailed notes about the plants as they preformed their work on the water well of Kassadin, they took the plants carefully and set out for the portal they had come to Daora in.

When they arrived, they were disappointed to learn that Sindri, dispite his best efforts, was unable to create a stable protal for them to use. They quickly realized they had a very long journey back to Kassadin and set out to find where they could purchase some mounts for the days ahead….

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Daora and Niece's Mephitic Ivy
Azcatryo

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