- You got your rings from a lady named Eldura, she asked you to look for the three Omens and destroy them. They are: The Silver Flame, The Blind Crow, The Broken Axe.
- You got some cool items
- You fought a Circus Ringmaster that turned out to be a weird Mad Scienticst. He had crazy contraptions and weird hybrid monsters all of which had the Silver Flame symbol somewhere on it. After bringing the tent down the now revealed Prof. Tallow convinced you not to kill him and you found out that he really doesn't like Lia.
- Lia stole his car and bug
- You all met back up to stop a heist at the Throsh Bank but merely robbed what was left and found a dead guy in the back witht a silver rose dart in the neck.
- You saw a light in the sky that branched off in four directions, one straight up, three streatching out to the horizon in different directions, fromt eh tallest tower in Tornak.
- When you quesitoned Tallow, he couldn't help with any information on the Silver Rose Assasin or the Holy Path, but he did react to the lights in the sky and kept telling you that there was very little time left, Karthset may already be on his way.
- You dropped him off at the police station and took a long rest.
Feel free to read the more indepth version below but the above points are very cruicial.
The cave sparkled with inexplicable gems. Lights from nowhere permeated the darkness of the cavern laying soft delicate patina on the cavern floor, the travelers, and the white haired woman who faced them.
“I am Eldura, I have been waiting for a long time.” She motioned to the group to come closer. Few moved but an inch. “Who are you?” Balthazar asked, his tone of annoyance clear and bright. “Again, I am Eldura, and I have summoned you here to help me.” Atalanta gazed around the room, bored. Balthazar rolled his eyes. Sakaald became curious if watchful. Wrax smiled, his life being guided by the direction of the wind, this seemed as decent a gust as any to be blown away by. Wren waited with intent. Lia, at the back, remained cool, but missed not a moment.
“That is not what I meant and you know it.” The period on Balthazar’s words hung in the air, pulsing with the tension of the group. Eldura relented, she stretched out her hands and did her best to explain “I brought you here for selfish reasons.” “Damn right you did.” Atalanta’s attention refocused on Eldura, her monologue senses tingling. “I thought I ended the darkness with my death, I now see that my efforts to conceal the truth should have been spent destroying it.”
Atalanta cut in, “We don’t need to hear your life story, we get it, you are a lady who needs something, but what do we get in return?” “You don’t understand my dear Atalanta, It is necessary for you to have a full comprehension, or at least some understanding” Eldura attempted but again she was cut off. “Why should I care?”
“What is your deepest desire?” Eldura’s words cooled the room. Silence. “Tell me aloud, or tell me alone, what is your deepest desire? I ask, because if you choose to help me, if you choose to find and destroy the Omens, as I should have done, I promise, your path will lead to your deepest desire. It is all I can offer.”
The group regarded each other, then sat in single thought. One by one they walked forward to the white haired lady. Lia, Sakaald, Atalanta, Wren and Balthazar spoke, but Eldura kept their words silent. Only Wrax spoke openly, “Three squares and a flop, I’ll be good.” As each left her presence, openly trusting their heart’s desire to the unknown, warmth spread through their bodies. Their injuries began to heal, their hearts began to lift, a sense of contentment and purpose, a feeling previously unknown to some of them, settled in their minds.
“Long ago, my most trusted soldiers scoured the land, rooting out darkness and bringing peace to the world. I charge you, blessed adventurers, to take up my mantle, find the Omens: The Silver Flame, The Broken Axe, The Blind Crow. Destroy them, and cast darkness out of Ageron, forever. Those who accept, come forward and claim your ring.” Eldura opened her hands, six golden rings sat waiting.
They each took one. As they did Eldura chimed “You can even customize them however you like, this was just my default design.” The group set about making their rings unique. Some blackened the metal, others made them shiny or wooden. As they changed and altered their rings each noticed the interior. There was an inscription. Their names, in a strange runic script, with an attached honorific; Eldura’s Men.
“Eld Freishan, Older than Old Freishan. The first language of Ageron. You can now read it, and understand its power.” Eldura had noticed the groups confusion, but after this simple explanation she waved her hands. “Now go, Find the Omens. Save the world.”
The Laughing Pig was bustling. The evening revelry was in full swing as the bar maids and taps flowed. Seated around a table near the back, unseen or perhaps put a better way oblivious to, Six travelers came too. Food was on the table, mugs of ale and wine in their hands. The head of the table sat at the edge of the raised area of the bar in which they were seated, so that Atalanta stood eyelevel and a part of the seated group. On their hands were the rings. In their heads confusion.
As the night wore on each made their way to their room, or stable. Each pondered, in their own way, their new mission.
<u>An Invitation to the Circus</u>
The morning was met with renewed energy. Sakaald and Wrax spent their morning wandering the city while the rest of the group woke up slowly, reconvening in the quiet taproom. As the four sat munching, a messenger approached. “I am looking for a Lia I believe?” Lia was slow to identify herself. The messenger, not much for conversation himself passed her a small package and took his leave.
Inside the package was a small door card and six tickets. Alonzo Kalarupti’s Amazing Monstrous Marvel’s Circus, was emblazoned in gold on the striped purple and blue background of the door card. Time and location marked below. A few testimonials spotted the card, but what drew her attention was the mark, in black ink, on the back of the card. In Eld Freishan it said simply, Silver flame. The inscrutable symbol that had marked so many of Lia’s previous days now sat plain as day. Silver Flame.
The group asked about Alonzo Kalarupti, but Lia could offer no answer. She had hunches, thoughts, but no definitive answer. Wren, studying the show times, became annoyed. His show was suppose to be taking place in the center of town at the same time as this Kalarupti’s matinee. Resolved to not let this circus steal his thunder he proffered an idea. “Why don’t we go out and put up more of my flyers, we could do some shopping or searching along the way, but If I can throw up a few more of these then maybe I won’t lose to many people to this guys Circus.”
The group agreed, for the most part, and set out into town. They walked around, Wren putting up posters, other buying odds and ends, but Balthazar, not finding anything much to his liking, lead the group away from the center of the city. After winding through tight alleys and darkened streets, they stopped at a small shop on Madras Alley.
The two story wooden structure leapt out from the surrounding cramped alley, begging for passersby to take a look. The top floor was half timbered with white infill typical of many homes in Tornak, but the first floor was carved wood and brick. The carvings were exquisite, many depicted interesting epic moments, some scenes pulled from a farce, and even a few that were outright obscene. The carvings bordered the darkened glass windows behind which sat the oddest assortment of items: a pair of antlers, several books on ketchup, a small statue of a sword wielding Dragonborne, a tin case with Herrata painted on the top, a broken horseshoe, a bronzed poop. The door, set with multicolored glass like a jester’s kit, sat under a sign which read, A Mana of Speaking.
The four of them made their way inside. Behind the counter a man sat talking to a flying book. He was rather jovial, introduced himself as Chowder, and offered the group several of the oddest sounding but most interesting items they had ever encountered. They bought up as many as they could and left, Chowder calling after them to return anytime.
The day was getting on. So the four of them regrouped with Wrax and Sakaald and followed Wren to his stage.
Wren cleared an area in the middle of a well trafficked square. He called out to his audience and began to perform his tricks. Arrows flew. Objects were hit, Sparks and fireworks flew, the crowd, and even some of the group, were visibly impressed. As Wren’s last trick shot burst apart his targets in a shower of golden sparks, one man’s claps continued long past the crowd’s cheers.
Alonzo Kalarupti stepped out of the crowd. For it could be no one but Alonso Kalarupti. Dressed in a bright red jacket with curled tails, a wide blue moustache and beard and a tricorn heavily plumed hat, the circus master began to laugh and call to the small marksman. “So, you are the one who cleared out my matinee?” he continued to chuckle. “I had seen your fliers up around town and when my audience kept bleeding away I thought I’d at least come and see the man costing me my fame.” Again, he laughed, mirth and joy flowing like warm sunlight.
He noted Wrens skill, and commended him again. He asked if Wren would be interested in joining his troupe. Wren, unsure about this strange man, made no commitment but it was clear his interest was piqued. Alonzo took no offense. He instead offered Wren and his friends tickets to the show. “Perhaps you’ll change your mind and travel with us after you’ve seen my monstrous marvels.” Alonzo winked and set off back to his circus, leaving the group to ponder the strange man.
With two sets of tickets in toe, and after a bit of bickering on whether they should even go to the circus, the group made their way to the open field where the tent had been erected. Before they walked in, though, they decided to check the tickets Lia had received against the tickets Alonzo had just given Wren, and found a curious magic around Lia’s. Responsible heroes, when given troubling magical items, dispose of them properly or research the nature of the magic inside them. Eldura’s men set about scalping the seemingly cursed tickets and made a few lanterns in return.
Atalanta caught out of the side of her eye some centaurs milling around the back of the tent. They seemed to be applying paint and costume armor to each other. As the rest of the party made their way inside the yellow and blue striped big top, she trotted over to say hello.
The blue and green centaur welcomed their sister gladly. Atalanta asked about the nature of the show and they told her a little. Their piece, it seemed, was a recreation of a battle the centaurs had fought many centuries ago against the elves and lost, but it has been brought back to life on this stage. Atalanta suggested that maybe, instead of losing this time they improvise and win. The centaurs seemed to be taken with that idea, and talked about the possibility as Atalanta moved back into the tent to join her friends in the stands.
The lights dimmed, and the show began. Alonzo Kalarupti stepped out center stage, he called out for cheers, they were given, he called out for boos, they too were thrown. He wove a tale of cities in the clouds and riders of winged monsters, and as he spoke hippogriffs with humans astride flew out of the back of the tent and began to perform incredible aerial acrobatics. The Flying Carpaccios were a wonder to behold.
They were soon followed up by the Fantastic Linguinis. Their trained rabbits bounced and hopped and somersaulted around the tent. Jumping from tight rope to tight rope, and swinging with their masters on the trapeze.
The Strong Strombolis were last, and they came out with large elephants and bug bears to fight the warrior centaurs. They lead the charge against what they assumed were willing losers, but chaos soon erupted. The centaurs took the Strombolis easily, subdued the bugbears and attempted to corral the elephants. Soon, with the act in disarray, Kalarupti interrupted and ushered the actors off stage.
It took some time but eventually Alonzo got the crowd back under control and brought the attention back to focus on him and him alone. “Ladies and Gentlemen” he began, “I apologize for the confusion and mistakes of the Strombolis, but trust me when I say that the first portion of our show is only a taste. For you have seen many fantastic things, acrobats who perform feats few of us could even dream of attempting. But this is not Alonzo Kalaruptis Amazing Acrobats, no. I promised you monsters, I’ll give you monsters. “
The lights dimmed again. A singular spot light on Alonzo. “Look ladies and gentlemen at the real monsters!” Lights came on, focusing on six people in the audience. Their looks of confusion plain to see, as Alonzo began to laugh. Softly at first, then louder to an insane pitch and speed. The crowd stayed dead silent. Kalarupti’s laughs died slowly, to be replaced by a low, calm, even voice. “It seems my dear Lia was smart enough to pass her tickets off to you lovely folks. I actually thought that I would get to see my favorite group of gladiators again, but alas it seems that you will have to bear their burden instead.”
The lights changed from a pale blue to a hot orange burning the unfortunate audience members to cinders. At the same time, Kalarupti sprouted two rotary blades from his back and began to rise into the air. “I know you are here Lia! It is I Professor Tallow! And I will bring this tent down before I let you escape alive.” He did not have any idea how right he was.
The Carpaccios came back out into the ring. Their hippogrifs mutated and transformed into hideous beasts. Atalanta, who had been near to the ring entrance, was caught in a chain bomb and thrown to the floor. Before the group could fully react to this attack, one noticed that Lia had disappeared. Rather than overthink it, Balthazar, Wren and Sakaald rushed from their positions to fight.
Wrax? Wrax went outside. He took out his axe and began to chop. One rope after another. Chop. Chop. Chop.
Inside, Wren managed to knock Tallow out of the sky. As he bent and tried to fix his pack the rest of the group fought the hippogriffs back, Atalanta slowly figuring out how to stand up. Once she did though, she called forth a beam of moonlight which encircled and burned Tallow as he rose back into the air.
Soon the Linguinis joined. Merging with their rabbits to become hybrid monsters that sprinted around the circus floor and tight ropes. Sakaald, engaging with the rabbits on the tight ropes, managed to hit one as it attempted to swing across the trapeze. He cut the wire under another causing it to fall to its death.
Balthazar fired blast after blast, wounding and knocking his opponents to the ground. There was a point blank monster fight, but Balthazar has asked me to keep certain… misses… off the record.
Wren fired at Tallow again, knocking him out of the sky. At the same moment, the elephant and bug bears from the Strombolis, twisted and mutated made their way onto the circus stage. Before they could do much of anything, half of the tent collapsed, trapping them under its enormous weight. Atalanta rushed out, along with Sakaald and Blathazar. Wren and Tallow, though, became trapped under the tent as the second half fell.
When the dust cleared, and Wren extracted from the folds of the tent tarp, the group weighed heavily the options of killing Tallow on the spot or, as Tallow so persistently kept saying, use him for information. They decided to take the highroad and threw him into their secret prison in Porfiry’s hideout.
They slept in shifts, keeping an eye on him, and waited for Lia’s return.
It was during the first act when Lia’s suspicions were roused. The invitations, the monsters, all of it seemed a little too familiar. The second act solidified her suspicions. The chaos of the third act gave Lia the opening she needed. While everyone was focused on the uncontrolled rebellion, she quietly made her exit. Lia made her way to the area behind the stands. If something was going to happen she was confident her companions could handle it, perhaps it might even be easier if Tallowrupti thought she wasn’t there.
Her moves were quiet. Lia couldn’t risk being noticed or her plan would fail. “If I were an insane scientist where would I hide my research?” She asked herself in the semi darkness. A click from behind her head made her freeze. Lia waited. All at once her hand shot out and grabbed at something in the rafter above her head. Wriggling in her hand was a small delicate mechanical spider. Silver Flame written in the all to familiar rune on its chest. All at once Lia’s ring began to glow. The little animal started to struggle for a second then went limp. The glow faded. After a moment in the darkness the spider sprung to life. It sat calmly in Lia’s outstretched hand, inquisitively. “Um, Hello?” Lia said, tentatively. It waved a tiny leg in reply. “Do you know where Prof. Tallow’s research is?” The little spider became suddenly excited and jumped off of her palm and started to skitter away on the dirt floor. A few feet away from Lia it stopped and looked back, waiting.
Following the spider out of the tent Lia made her way through the circus encampment. The tiny spider machine lead her to a decent size wagon that seemed from the outside to have no place to hook up a horse or mule. Further examination and disengagement of the traps and alarms allowed Lia to find numerous items of interest inside of the cramped yet cozy interior. Before she could really dig into any of the research papers she found, snapping and ripping noises from the tent pulled her away from her task. Outside she watched as the Circus tent collapsed. Screams and shouts of fleeing audience members signaled that now was probably the best time to leave.
Lia made her way to the front of the wagon. After some trial and error she finally got the thing moving, and drove off into Tornak to ponder her next move.
<u>Questions, Light Robbery, More Questions</u>
Prof Tallow’s alarm clock was one not to be envied. After a night in prison, thorny vines whipped his nuts as they strung him, thorns and all, bodily in the air. “Ow jeez ah god, ow ah my nuts god ow dammit jeez who the hell do you think you are?” A slap from a thorny vine quieted his complaining for a short time.
Unsure what exactly to do with the Professor, Atalanta had made an executive decision to string him up in thorny vines and at least get some answers. He was about as forthcoming as you’d expect a mad scientist struck in the balls by thorny vines would be. He knew nothing about Bo and the Holy Path or who the hell Agmun-Dai is. He told them how Lia had come to his island and started to cause havoc, eventually destroying his experiments and forcing him to flee. That was quickly called out as bullshit and he revealed that Lia may have kinda sorta accidentally washed up on the shores of his island and he may have kidnapped the unconscious body of on of her team members and turned him into a monster hybrid man that he tricked Lia and friends into battling gladiator style.
The group questioned him for a while about the Silver Rose assassin and The Holy Path but unfortunately he didn’t know anything helpful. They all resolved to just turn his ass over to Porfiry at the end of the day.
All at once there was an earth shattering KaBOOM!
Everyone, not imprisoned, rushed outside to see what had happened. Smoke seemed to be coming from a location to the west. Atalanta, Balthazar, Wren, Wrax and Sakaald ran to it. Across town Lia, who had forgotten where the hideout exactly was, saw the smoke and heard the boom. She too moved towards it, figuring correctly, that her team was either the cause or soon to be the ones to exacerbate the situation.
The group came upon the scene, and found a number of town guards men standing in rank some yards away from where the smoke was dissipating. The Throsh Bank had a huge hole where there would probably have been some very ornate door. Four large iron warforged soldiers stood at strategic positions around the breach not moving. The guards were quick to inform the group that these warforged were the bank guards and were not letting anyone near the entrance.
Undeterred Atalanta created a large Fog Bank that obscured the entire area from sight and the group moved in to attack. Both fortunately and unfotunately the fog obscured the team’s vision making it extremely difficult to find the warforged to hit, but did have the desired affect of preventing any of the warforged from seeing them. After fits and starts, and a late arrival to the scene of Lia on her fancy new wagon, the group managed to cause a minimal amount of wanton destruction and make it inside of the bank.
Inside they found the building to be mostly intact. Behind the teller counter the cash drawers were empty, and the vault seemed to be empty for the most part. In the Bank Office they found the body of a man, Alvin Throsh, dead at his office table, a silver rose protruding from his neck.
After stealing all that was left the adventurers made their way back to Porfiry’s hideout, informing the guards along the way that the bank was empty.
As they approached the hideout a flash of light in the sky branched out in four directions from the tallest tower in the city. A bright flash of yellow directly upwards into the sky, and three branching off in different directions towards the horizon. As soon as they appeared they disappeared and the world continued as if nothing had even happened. Curious, but not overly worried the team made their way back downstairs to their prisoner, Lia now in toe, and continued to question him.
He was visibly nervous when they entered. He asked if they had seen the lights and began to mumble under his breath in worry. “What if he saw? He couldn’t find me. Karthest is stuck down there you’re okay.”
Unable to get more information about the Silver Rose or the Holy Path the group turned him over to Porfiry at the jail as he yelled to them to keep him safe. “Karthset might already be on his way!” The team took time to rest and resupply. The next morning was going to be busy.