Zeitgeist

Island at the Axis of the World
Episode One

Five RHC constables – Walker, Sorvad Heron, Christian, Calaqueia Ravenhorn, and Gladness Malach were detailed to oversee the protection of the launch of the RNS Coaltongue, a new, steam-and-magic powered steelside craft, the first of its kind.

Assailants unknown attempted to sabotage the ship by using an Azure Rod and fire crystals to overload the magical power centre.

An unknown Eladrin female in league – it seems – with the Duchess herself and posing as her handmaiden seemed to be at the heart of the plot. Despite the best efforts of Sorvad Heron, she was able to escape. Constable Heron also observed the Duchess fleeing through the water on what appeared to be a giant squid…

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The Island at the Axis of the World
Episode Two

The early warning system of the city showed, for the first time in seven years, that Risur and Danor were once again at war.

After a briefing from Stover Delft and Lya Jierre our heroes were informed that Sokna Rell, the Eladrin Enchantress, together with an unidentified water-breathing male had attacked Axis Island – Danoran territory – using troops wearing Risuran uniform. Tensions between the countries still ride high, and unless the island were returned to Danor within three days, war would be declared.

Ten ships were dispatched to Axis, together with a mage capable of creating a temporary Teleportation Circle to allow transport there once the ships were in position.

Using Principle Minister Harkover Lee’s teleportation circle to reach the ships, the party used experimental submariner gear created by Herons Research and Development Ltd in order to reach a sea cave to the north of the island which connected to one of the island’s mines. Rescuing the surviving miners, who had been brutally treated by their captors, they used a ruse to enter the fortress, releasing the miners to cause chaos while ordering a tactical bombardment from the ships offshore.

Fighting their way into the central area, they now stand outside the maze guarding the entrance to the central fort…

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The Island at the Axis of the World Part Three
Episode Three

Rejoined by their colleague Calaqueia Ravenhorn, our heroes were about to enter the maze and assault the fortress within when they saw an Eladrin armed with a flaming sword leap a prodigious distance from ship to ship even as the naval bombardment continued.

As the newcomer arrived on shore, killing members of the police action and the invaders indiscriminately, a sudden change occurred – the sun turned blue, and it seemed that the entire island was changed to a green land, with all the markers of industry disappeared.

When the world returned to normal, one of the ships outside the harbour was heavily damaged.

Making their way through the maze without disturbing the walls – even as the stranger cut his way through them with fire – they found their way to a clearing protected by a fey creature. Refusing to believe that they wished her no harm, she attacked them.

Attempting to negotiate, Walker refused to draw his weapon several times, taking a great deal of damage from her attacks. Finally he gave an ultimatum: that if he were forced to draw his pistols, there would be no mercy. The woman agreed: there would be no mercy.

Shortly after, the fey surrendered to Gladness Malach. Everyone but Walker left the clearing to travel to the tower, meaning that none of them were present when he put his pistol to her temple, and said “No Mercy.” And then fired.

The fey’s body merged with the plants and Walker moved on, catching up with Sorvad Heron, who had felt her leave the forest, and who thought that perhaps he had heard a shot come from behind him, as Walker strode past. Sorvad said nothing.

Making their way into the tower, the party listened as Duchess Ethelyn of Shale engaged in an argument with Asrabey Varal, an emissary of the Unseen Court sent to kill her. They were too late to save the Duchess, and Aubrey’s plan was to take both Sokna Rell and Lya’s cousin back to the Unseen Court for punishment.

Walker arrested Sokna and told Asrabey that she was now in his custody, and would be tried in Flint. A short debate on the law ensued, and it was established that during this period, while the island was still between countries, each inhabitant would abide by the law of their own native state, and thus Risur legitimately held primacy as they had arrested her first.

The Treaty of Axis Island was then signed by Lya, Asrabey, and Walker (acting for King Aodhan), in which it was agreed that custody of the island would return to Danor at midnight.

At this point, Kala arrested Lya’s cousin. Leaving the tower, Gladness Malach retrieved a book on astronomy and looked through the telescope within the tower: a telescope focussed upon a blue star…

Sorvad Heron found and interrogated a goblin prisoner Grahhhsacaash, who said that he had been brought here and forced to work on a giant ship fusing magic and technology – the RNS Coaltongue itself. He told Sorvad that there where another group of goblins working on a different much larger project. Sorvad took the goblin with him on the ship leading to Flint.

Just after leaving the port, Sokna, in the brig, refused to speak with anyone other than Christian, telling him why the Duchess had invaded – they Danorans had been building something on the island. The Danorans believed that, whatever it was, when it was completed it would ensure superiority over both Danor and Elfviar. Sokna feared that when the weapon was complete they would use it to destroy both nations. Constable Kala suggested that it must be some kind of doomsday weapon, to the general agreement of the party. With just two hours left before the island returned to Danoran control, everyone realised that they would have to go back to find out more about this, and report to the king…

Before the party had time to process this Sokna said fair well to Constable Christian. With this, a giant squid attacked the ship, tearing her loose and allowing to her escape with a mysterious aquatic man as a wall of water rushed towards Christian and into the ship…

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The Dying Skyseer e1
Episode One

With the RNS Impossible holed and rapidly sinking, the party had to act quickly to save the ship.

While Cala and Christian went to save Nathan Jierre, who was trapped in a cell rapidly filling with water, Sorvad Heron and Walker acted quickly to block the hole. Nathan attempted again to escape, but was restrained by Cala before he could do so.

With the ship stabilised, the party returned once more to Axis Island to investigate Grahhhsacaash’s claims about a large manufacturing project using goblin prisoners. They found a workshop filled with cages and diagrams, together with the corpses of 19 goblins, throats slit.

Grahhhsacaash confirmed that this was where he had worked on the RNS Coaltongue, along with four goblin colleagues. He was unable to confirm what the other 15 had been working on, and all of the blueprints on that side of the room had been burned.

On further investigation, the party found two teleportation circles, each of which only connected with one other teleportation circle. Three maps were also found of Flint – two of which seemed to show the connected circles, one of which was in the Nettles and one in the Docks. It seems likely that these teleportation circles are unlicenced and therefore illegal.

Before the party could return to their boat, Kingsguard Elborne and a number of troops appeared, claiming that they had found directions to this place from the fortress, and the troops which had invaded Axis Island.

Surrendering two of the maps of Flint – and secretly retaining the map of the teleportation circle in the docks – Walker negotiated an Safe Passage Agreement with Elborne, so that they could legally stay on the island and meet Lya Jierre, King Aodhan’s fiancée.

During these negotiations, Ricardo Gibbons made a friend with one of Elborne’s guard.

After meeting Lya Jierre and being tasked with carrying a cargo to Flint, the party sailed off. Approximately half way through their travel, though, the ship was attacked by a Berian pirate clan led by a Minotaur. Despite ditching the cargo (a move which would ordinarily result in the cessation of pursuit), the pirates continued to draw closer to the ship, eventually boarding it. The fight was hard, but eventually all of the attackers were killed.

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The Dying Skyseer e2
Episode Two

After finally making it back to flint the party was assigned to form a task force charged with investigating the mysterious events on Axis Island, the Danoran involvement, and the whereabouts of Sokna Rell.

Two months of investigation led them to a string of cases of industrial sabotage. A group of arsonists had been targeting factories across Flint. One of these factories was believed to be the location of one of the teleportation circles the party found on Axis Island.

In addition to this there where also several incidents of less violent sabotage such as boats being untied and left to float out to open sea, machinery being tampered with and delivery wagons being damaged. One of these incidents included a report that Sokna Rell had fled the scene using some form of magical flight. (Magical flight for more than a few minutes has been thought impossible since dragons became extinct).

When magical flight was again reported in an apparent attempted robbery at the Danoran consulate the party decided to investigate further. The suspected burglar turned out to be an elf by the name of Nilasa Hume. Security chief Julian LeBrix reported that he had shot her during the robbery whilst she was mid flight and she had landed on the consulates fence impaling herself.

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The Dying Skyseer e3
Episode three

After speaking with Nilasa Hume through a spirit medium, the RHC discovered that Julian LeBrix shot Nilasa after she was impaled on the fence surrounding the Danoron Consult. Also, that a wage clerk, Cillian Creed caused the damages to her face which were healed shortly afterwards.

The RHC also learned that the last person to speak to her before she died was Professor Wolfgang von Rechlinson. They traced the Professor to his hotel, but there the trail went cold. Calaqueia Ravenhorn was able to recruit an informant who was working for crimelord Laurence Kell.

The RHC then proceeded to arrest Julian LeBrix. Christian also arrested Cillian Creed on suspicion that he knew more than he was letting on. Cillian Creed claimed to have no knowledge of harming Nilasa Hume in the events leading up to her death. He claimed to have been out drinking on the eve of the murder and has no recollection of what happened.

Calaqueia Ravenhorn went to meet her uncle Braska Ravenhorn in a fashionable Berian restaurant. There she received the alarming news that a marriage had been arranged between herself and Reva Cleavesong. The date was set as one year from now.

Walker visited the Thinking Man’s Tavern, where he engaged in a conversation with one of the peripatetic philosophers there about qualia and the nature of shared reality. This conversation led to the philosopher passing on information about two known associates of Nilasa Hume, and the address of where a deal was supposed to go down.

The team broke into said address in the middle of the night and found a large supply of fey pepper and other illegal alchemical materials, including 20 vials of a strange liquid that when Gladness Malach tasted a small drop of, it suddenly made him want to visit a pub.

After securing a warrant the team searched the premises early the next morning. A battle ensued and the two gnome shop owners, Mr and Mrs Wareyes, were taken back to the RHC for questioning.

After questioning the shop owners the team found out that all of the supplies were part of a huge deal to be arranged in the near future.

Calaqueia Ravenhorn’s informant told her that Lorcan Kell was willing to sell the location of Professor Wolfgang von Recklinghausen for the price of 1000 gold pieces. Visiting Kell at a theatre, the money was handed over and the location supplied – a disused church in the Nettles. The RHC hurried there to find Prof Rechlinson, who was initially unwilling to trust them. The party members all displayed their badges, which caused him to change his mind.

The Professor informed them of a threat to the safety and wellbeing of the world – Witch Oil, a source of enormous energy, and also a potentially devastating weapon. The Witch Oil is formed by the consumed souls of sentient beings.

The RHC was about to leave with the professor when they were waylaid in the church by The Wine Drinking Man and his cronies. A battle ensued, and a standoff, during which Cala’s sister Nimrath Ravenhorn was brought forward as a hostage. Christian escaped with the professor and the situation was resolved without loss of life.

The RHC returned to confront Julian LeBrix with Prof Rechlinson’s testimony, causing him to confess to the murder of Nilasa Hume.

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The Dying Skyseer e4
Episode 4

With a day remaining before the gnomes are due to pick up the spell-storing wands, the RHC decided to follow up on some of their other leads.

Calaqueia Ravenhorn went to visit Nathan Jierre, and found that Lya had cut off all contact with him. Nathan seemed quite sorry for himself.

Going to a Malach factory, Christian, Walker, and Sorvad Heron established that Heward Sekim was treating the workforce well, possibly under the influence of Thames Grimsley‘s unionisation programme. The factory was also guarded by Thames’s men. Walker thinks it possible some of the other factory owners might want to close down a factory with high wages and a satisfied workforce, lest they infect other workers with their newfangled ideas.

Heward Sekim was the person who posted bail for Nirissa Hume, the dead Eladrin woman. He told the party that she was a good person, trying to move away from a life of crime.

Nilisa often went to visit Nevard Sechim, a skyseer living in the Cloudwood outside the jurisdiction of the city. Nevard is Heward’s father, and a powerful skyseer, who might know something about the blue star which was seen for a moment on Axis Island. He predicted Nisilla’s death…

Carrying a letter for Nevard, the party walked through the two-storey copper vats filled with bubbling acid and ascended to the Cloudwood. On their way, the party engaged in a quick battle to save two criminals from a gang of goblins. The criminals were employees of Lorcan Kell and were scouting the Cloudwood for evidence of a rival gang known as The Family.

The Family is a new group, supposedly with links to the kingdom of Crisillyir. Laurence Kell’s thugs were let go with a warning.

Reaching the camp, everyone spoke with Nevard. He explained that the camp was an area of sanctuary, where all were welcome, whatever their previous experience or deeds. Any attacks in the area would be met by force, and all were welcome. Walker reacted strongly to the notion of Sanctuary, a reaction which Sorvad noted. Sokna Rell it seemed, was also a visitor to the camp. On hearing this, Walker asked if a meeting could be set up between the RHC and Sokna, at the neutral ground of the camp which Nevard thought would be possible.

Nevard also told told them that he had indeed seen a vision of The Blue Sun. But for the past three months, having visions had become more and more difficult, and that the problem – whatever it was – appeared to be located at the top of Cauldron Hill, a centre for cursed magic. While mostly safe in the daytime, those who ascend at night rarely live to tell what they have seen there – and those who do, never came back unchanged. Nevard said that if he could get to the top of Cauldron Hill at night, he would be able to have a vision – and give more information about the blue sun. As part of this vision quest, Nevard would drink a potion together with the characters which would psychically bind them to him.

Walker, seemingly obsessed with the blue sun, decided that he and Nevard would set up to the top of Cauldron Hill that very night – as the next night would be taken up by the Gnome Rendezvous. Everyone agreed to go with him, despite the magical danger. Seeking and getting permission from Mayor Macbannin, Mayor of the Nettles, they found out about some of the dangers – such as the intense and supernatural cold – and protected themselves against it with a potion brewed by Sorvad.

At the top of Cauldron Hill, the party were attacked by strange, otherworldly creatures from the Bleak Gate. One of them even drew Sorvad halfway through the gate before Sorvad was able to dispatch it.

It is 1am at the top of Cauldron Hill. And Nevard is preparing…

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The Dying Skyseer e5
Episode 5

Nevard Sechim took his readings at the top of Cauldron Hill, and needs time to work through them. He said that he will be able to prophesy again within two days.

The RHC squad slept, then went to the Wareye gnomes to make a deal to intercept the wand shipment – 600 one-shot wands at a payment of 1PP apiece. While Mr Wareye just wanted a divorce from his wife – a request easily granted – Mrs Wareye demanded an island in the sun and her freedom in order to assist the RHC. Instead, she was offered a five-year reduction in her 15-year sentence if she agreed to help within the next 30 seconds. She accepted.

While the rest of the party discussed what to do, Christian went to Stover Delft and requisitioned the 600 platinum pieces that had been seized from the Gnomes’ shop.

The party rendezvoused with a boat hired by the gnomes and took it to <island>, where the exchange would be made. Gladness gave Mrs Wareyes the ring that his father had given him and made her wear it to prevent her teleporting away, while Mr Wareyes held the money for the exchange.

At this point, Christian suddenly realised that the exchange rate was 1PP for 100GP rather than 10GP, which meant that he had just passed over approximately five years’ salary to Mr Wareyes – and that Christian was the only person in the group who had signed for it.

With the party outnumbered five to one, Mrs Wareyes started negotiating with the other party for passage away from the island to her own island in the sun. Christian warned her with his Whisper spell that this was not a good idea.

The captain of the other ship took the money – so an offence had now officially occurred, and Walker attempted to arrest everyone there for Arms Dealing.

At this point, all hell broke loose.

Mr Wareyes attacked Mrs Wareyes, who quickly dispatched him. The crew of the ship delivering the wands were convinced by Walker not to join the fight, after being told that they would not be arrested if they stayed out of it.

Mrs Wareyes and two members of The Family were captured alive, but all other combatants were killed. As Walker promised, the crew of the ship delivering the wands were allowed to go free.

Christian returned 599PP to the RHC coffers, having lost one somewhere during the battle on the waterfront, and Mrs Wareyes was additionally charged with breach of the peace, murder, and wasting police time. She won’t be getting out of prison for a very long time.

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The Dying Skyseer e6
Episode 6

After handing in the retrieved wands and the money he had requisitioned, Christian received a message from Morgan Cippiano, a senior member of The Family

Meanwhile, the elves from the factory pickup were interrogated. Left alone in the interrogation room with the female elf, Gyeneth, Sorvad Heron found himself angrily out of control, and struck her twice. Terrified, she told him the location of the drop-off point for the wands, and that Sokna Rell was behind the importation. Sorvad told Walker how he got the information, and that it was a lapse that wouldn’t happen again.

Christian met Morgan at the Homebrew Café, a coffee shop in the Central District. Morgan offered to help Christian out in his investigations, if Christian would help get some members of the Family released from custody.

Visiting Nevard Sechim in a local hotel, the party found a man from Ber in the lobby, seemingly watching and waiting. They were unable to work anything more out about him.

Naveed told the party of [[Nevard’s visions | his visions]], and afterward Sorvad stayed behind to talk about his recent experience crossing into the Bleak Gate. Naveed advised that Sorvad seek a spirit medium. Not wishing to talk to Guffet Scorch due to his association with the RHC, Sorvad determined to find a non-associated spirit medium.

Cala and Sorvad found from Naveed that a skyseer’s visions can be shared with others. Concerned about Walker’s seeming obsession with the blue star, they agreed not to share this information with him for now. Sorvad also asked Cala for support with the spirit medium.

In the meantime, Walker met with an old friend. Living in a small apartment in an alley in one of the rougher parts of town, Clinn Goodman is an ex-RHC copper living off a small pension. They met while Walker was working in a factory, and Clinn owes Walker for something. It’s clear that Walker respects Clinn, who was once Policeman of the Year, and still keeps the copper trophy on his mantel.

Walker offered to pay for Clinn to live somewhere nicer, but Clinn explained that this was his home. They reminisced over a bottle of cheap whisky, and Walker said that he thought Clinn would like the people he worked with. And as we find out the dreams are getting worse, there’s one question on his mind: “What if she’s coming back?”

The meeting with Sokna Rell went ahead as planned. She tried to blow up the Coaltongue – though it seems she may have been misinformed as to the fatality of the Azure Rod if inserted into the boiler – , was working with the Duchess on Axis Island, and asked Nilasa Hume to get the papers from the Danorian Embassy. She is also behind the non-fatal factory attacks.

Sokna informed the party that someone was trying to do bad things in the Bleak Gate – producing Witch Oil there. She gave the party a book containing a ritual to find gaps in reality, where one plane bleeds into another.

Christian made a deal with Morgan Cippiano, in exchange for releasing his men Morgan would give the RHC the people behind the factory arson’s. Christian upheld his end and Morgan gave him the exat time and date they would attack Heward Sechim’s factory. The factory was attacked by two dragonborn, one of which survived the encounter. Sorvad gave her his word that if she gave him information, he would arrange a proper dragonborn funeral for her brother.

Sorvad’s fear and worries about the Bleak Gate followed him home, and when a street dealer offered him some Fey Pepper to lighten his load, he bought a dose.

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The Dying Skyseer e7
Episode 7

The sixth day of summer has arrived, and all of the SCU have arrived back at the Watch House after a good night’s sleep. All except for Sorvad Heron, who hardly sleep at all , spending most of the night awake and staring at his recent purchase of Fey Pepper.

Calaqueia Ravenhorn asked Walker to sign a piece of paper, which he did without looking at it, as usual.

At the Watch House the guys started to talk about the previous days finds. Christian gave the book containing the Detect Planar Energy ritual to Sorvad, who told everyone that it was a way of detecting portals to other planes of existence – including that of the Bleak Gate.

Using the ritual, the party found their way to a Malach Industries Warehouse, with a portal to the BLeak Gate open inside.

Investigating via an access ladder to the roof, they were able to see an open portal within a caged area inside the warehouse, and a large mechanical Golem in the middle of the room, motionless. Christian called for the Marines, meeting them by the main door as everyone else paused on the roof by a skylight

Christian gained access to the warehouse with smooth talking about a pending assault, as a result of which he learned that safety precautions were essential within the warehouse, the same ones that must be used at the Manor Reservoir. However, Christian’s ability to fast talk soon came to an end, and he called to Walker “Just shoot them already!” Walker obliged, and the battle was on.

As the rest of the team descended from the roof, Cala noticed that Sorvad seemed almost mesmerised by the portal.

While Walker sniped from the raised walkway with his Ragnarok Pistols, Cala quickly jumped on to the Golem’s back, slowing it by feeding her Berian Salt Block into its engine, slowing it down. While the team engaged the Golem, the scientists within the caged area set light to a stack of papers, causing Sorvad to snap out of his trance and sprint towards the burning paperwork.

Sorvad was able to save 90% of the paperwork, but one of the scientists escaped into the Bleak Gate, closing it behind him.

The battle won, the Golem (made from Goblin steel) was taken to Vince Gritting at Heron R&D for analysis.

The papers Sorvad saved contained notes on a Jaguar whose blood had been replaced with the same sort of oil which flowed in the Golem’s constructed veins, together with correspondence to Malach Industries regarding the warehouse. The altered cats was being held within The Bleak Gate and awaiting to attack at the agreed time and place.

The team had over the Dawn Square prior to the rally to check the security arrangements. They meet up with Peter Slackjaw, the officer in charge.

At 16:30, both Sorvad and Christian felt a great arcane presence building as a portal was opened to The Bleak Gate, revealing a force of Altered Jaguars and the undead, there to kill Nevard Sechim before he could deliver his final Vision.

After the creatures were defeated, Nevard delivered the last prophecy to the party and the few remaining people in the square:

“A figure stands upon cauldron hill looking over Parity Lake. Controlled by others, when examined more closely the shadow moves independently from the figure. The King chases the figure into Parity Lake by separating the shadow from the figure’s body, but it’s too late as the Cauldron shatters killing thousands.”

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