leitz game

Session 2.5: Choose Your Own Adventure

Via e-mail between sessions 2 and 3…

One day on their way to the Happy Bear for lunch, Bracenoticed some odd footprints in the soft ground. They were goat prints. The party rounded up their horses and follow the tracks out of town. As a result of early morning rains, the dirt was soft and the tracks were easy to follow.

They lead out into the plains and seemed to lead toward the wizard’s tower the group had explored previously. They moved fast through the plains and although it started raining again, now heavily, they made up a lot of ground. After about an hour of wet riding, they saw two shapes on the horizon: a man and a goat. They approached cautiously.

As they arrived, the man and his ungoat were waiting for them. They appeared to be the man and ungoat from the the Lion’s Mane. The man was wearing old, ripped robes and clothing. He has a ring on each finger and armor under his clothes. Both the rings and plate armor were made from [[Elerium|Elerium]. His robes were a jade green with gold highlights. This was Maztael Sarntull, Lord of the Ethereal, the Soul Collector

(Hereafter the party’s dialogue is prefixed with a P and Maztael Sarntull’s with MS)

MS: “Why have you come?”

P: “Since our night at the Lion’s Mane, our lives have been full of questions. Our survival likely depends on finding the answers. We believe you have the knowledge to answer some of these questions, if you choose. We have come to ask you for this aid.”

MS: “Ahh yes. I’m sure that I do, but there isn’t anything more valuable in this world, or any other for that matter, than this type of information. I’ll be willing to tell you something you don’t know, in exchange for something I don’t know.”

P: “That seems like a fair deal. What would you like to know?”

MS: “That’s the thing. I doubt you know something I don’t.”

P: “It is true that there is little we know that you would interest you, Lord Sarntull. Perhaps you even already know when the Azlantians prophesied that the Age of Legends would be reborn?”

MS: “Yes. I know that has been prophesied and has been realized. What else do you know?”

P: “Hmm. Perhaps you also already know everything I could tell you about our ‘fellow travelers’ at the Lion’s Mane? Such as the opium dealer, the three elves, and the fortune teller?”

MS: "I"m familiar with them. Some more than others. They are of little consequence to what I’m trying to do. I care not."

p: “You do not see them as potential rivals? Interesting. Even with all your vast power I expected a greater concern for their identities and motivations. One of them might, for example, strip a tower of ancient tomes before you have the opportunity to examine them.”

MS: “Are you saying Archmage Rivenlin’s tower has already been pillaged?”

P: “It has. We have more information on this subject, if we have found something that interests you enough to offer knowledge of your own?”

MS: “Agreed. I’ll give you a little bit of information in exchange for that fact. What do you want to know about?”

P: “We would like to understand what happened to us at the Lion’s Mane and why. We’ve discovered some things since that night but you know more.”

MS: “The event at the inn was a natural and often times predictable cosmic
event. When Ley Lines come to intersect, they emit bursts of magical
energy. This type of energy is raw and incredibly powerful. It can
produce supernatural and extraordinary results. Arcanists try to
control it and have it do with they want through ritual, but even if
they don’t it can have any number of effects. What you’re seeing is
probably the affects of the raw magical energy.”

“Do you have other pieces of information you want to trade?”

P: “Certainly. We know several things about the looting of the archmage’s tower: when it happened, who led the looters, and what happened to the items taken from inside. If you were looking for something specific there, we could also give you the information we have about its current location. Are one or more of these pieces of information, or something related to them, of interest to you?”

MS: “I’m not particularly interested in who did it at this point, though if you have any of the items I might be interested in them.”

P: “We have three ancient books and a historical document from the tower, as well as several more common magical objects, if any of these are of interest. It surprises me that you have no interest in who took most of the items in the tower. With your power I would think you to be in an excellent position to bargain for them, if you chose.”

MS: “These items are of no interest to me.”

P: “Which items would be of interest to you?”

MS: “Not interested in any history books.”

P: “Are the Red Mantis a subject of any interest for you?”

MS: “They’ve been after me for sometime now, but lack the strength to seriously challenge me at this point. I have little time remaining to be concerned with them.”

P: “Respectfully, haven’t you thought that twice before? Are you so sure your plans are beyond the appropriate kinds of sabotage?”

MS: “No. Even I can only hold onto these flesh and bones for so long. Either I achieve my two century long goal soon or my human body will just wither and die.”

P: “With so little time left, surely anything that can give you an edge or save you some time is of value. Even things that you cannot personally spare the time to chase could spell the difference between success or failure. Perhaps you’d be willing to tell us what you are still seeking, whether it be a thing that once was in the Archmage’s tower or otherwise, and provide us some means to contact you with it?”

MS: “I can’t say what was there, because I haven’t been there. Nor have I known the arch-mage. All I know is that it was old and hidden. Now it appears. Would have been worth a searching, but no more it seems. Do you have any other information you want to trade?”

P: “I assume you are already well-versed in the Azlantian tongue? And that there’s nothing I can tell you about the Ashwood and its contents that you don’t already know?”

MS: “I’ve spent 150 years in Old Azlant. I can read it and speak it fine. What I need is information regarding transcendent vectors.”

P: “Transcendent vectors?”

MS: “Yes. Paths to immortality. The Time-traveler said I should speak to you, but it’s starting to seem like folly.”

P: “Is the Test of the Starstone not your chosen vector? Who is this time-traveler, since they seem to know of us? Is there a reason you have chosen to avoid undeath, for example?”

MS: “Undeath has its own problems. It gets hard to gather information looking like a skeleton. Though someday I might regret not pursuing it when I was a younger man. The old woman. She was in the Inn and comes around when significant events are about to unfold. Yes. I look at all leads, but the one I’m most familiar with is the Test of the Starstone.”

P: “So you might, for example, be interested in what someone besides yourself who had taken the Test said to me?”

MS: “Perhaps. Though why don’t you just tell me who this person is?”

P: “His name is Sul’rayu. He was part of a successful Test, although he himself did not reach the end.”

MS: “Hmm. Where can I find this person?”

P: “I believe this information could be very valuable to you. What do you offer for it? Perhaps we could walk with you and show you the way, and on the way there you could enlighten us further on a number of topics?”

MS: “No. You tell me your information, then I value it and give you an appropriate level of information in return.”

P: “Hmmm. But how will you know the value until you speak to him? I am not refusing your terms, I just don’t completely understand how this will work. If it piques your curiosity, I can tell you he was a companion of Norgorber’s. Also: You don’t have to take my word that this information is valuable to you. You have the fortune teller’s word on it, do you not?”

MS: “You worry about giving me the information, I’ll worry about validating it. The Time-Traveler speaks in riddles. Who knows what she really means.”

Tzurak draws him a map. He looked over the map. Everyone experienced something odd… sort of
like deja vu. The conversation now seemed familiar and yet new.

MS: “What do you want to know about?”

P: “We want to know more about Old Azlant and its lost arcana, and what steps we should take to pursue this same knowledge, either by somehow traveling to Old Azlant or by some other method in the modern age. We’ve heard all the common histories of the glory of Azlant and its fall, but believe that your knowledge goes far beyond these tales.”

MS: “That’s quite a question and a bit more than your information was worth. I will, however, give you some of what you ask.”

“On the lost arcana… First some history. Way back when when the Azlantians were first trying to figure out their place in the world, they worked engineering projects and built kingdoms. They worked
philosophy and understood religion. They also worked magic and unlocked its mighty power. The discoverers of magic, The Wizard’s Counsel as they were known, took this knowledge to High Lord Savith
and presented him with their findings. He was astounded at the power of it and declared it sacrosanct. No one should learn of magic’s true power, aside from a few of his closest allies: members of The Wizard’s Counsel. There was a problem with this decree, however. If The Wizard’s Counsel could stumble on this type of magic, why couldn’t others also figure out these secrets on their own? They debated for quite some time and came up with a solution that’s worked for thousands of years. They decided to poison the well of magic so to speak. They came up with a concept of a wizard’s guild to teach the unwashed masses ‘magic’. They came up with books and lessons that used the magic they discovered, but in a different way. They baked inefficiencies into their teachings so that wizards coming out of the guilds would be using an imperfect and inefficient versions of what would be called Pure Magic or now sometimes Old Magic. The magic in use today consists of children’s parlor tricks compared to Pure Magic.”

“This leads to the second part of your question… how to learn more about the arcana and Old Azlant. I know these truths because I lived in Old Azlant nearly 150 years and am myself an esteemed member of The Wizard’s Counsel. If you wish to learn the ways, you must also go there. Know that the prophecy has been realized and Old Azlant is available to those who know where to find it… for now. Who can say how long the portal will remain open? The portal is currently at the center of the Eye of Abendego. I suspect you will probably die either on your way there or inside. I hope you know what you’re doing. I also hope you can keep your flapping mouths shut regarding this information. It’s the most valuable thing there is. This concludes our transaction.”

And with that, he and the goat disappeared.

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