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Session 116 - Gnomes. It's Always Gnomes.

posted Jul 6, 2016, 6:35 PM by Will McCain
Glorious day! The streets erupt in celebration, for the Maladroits have returned to Riparia!

After wading through the jubilant mob, the group makes a quick stop at Bramblewick to check that their home base is still in order and not Jonided. After a delicious lunch prepared by Lucas and with nothing amiss, they set out for the Ivory Tower, bracing themselves for reliving their journey on the far shores of the Plane of Shadow. 

Arriving, they found all of their allies in the Tower arrayed in Rufus' study. Eueth had even joined in by way of the window sill. While Fensorciela was in high spirits at being part of such bustling magical work rather than stuck in the tedium of the Dragon Council, Morvant and Cordova were visibly upset. They revealed that Rufus had been working himself to exhaustion in his magical research on the Shards. The three of them had hardly been outside the Tower, and grumbled in a bit of jealousy over the Maladroits travels. The group pressured Rufus into taking a small break so that they could at least recount their journey to the other cosmology. 

Between the siege laid on Magus, the creatures born undead around his ziggurat, and the panoply of wonders that was the prison of the gods, the Maladroits were able to hold the great minds of the Ivory Tower in rapt attention. Cordova was particularly touched by the dagger Callon gifted her that had been blessed by her patron, Olidammara. When recounting the final confrontation with Dram, the Maladroits became divisive and angry in their retelling. The people of the Tower were surprised that Dram yet lived, but chose not to speak much on it.

The Shard of Transmutation was finally brought to bear and joined its fellows. Delving into the mindscape, Callon found that the new Shard had a penchant for taking the form of its brethren Shards. Hoping to find his sister now possessing the Shard of Conjuration, he was instead met with uncertainty and conjecture to her final fate. One good piece of news revealed to him was that Dram hadn't done anything to the Maladroits as they left, but merely discharged some electricity in frustration. He had no knowledge of the true nature of the Shard he possessed, but that was not guaranteed to remain so. One day, he would have to be dealt with. Permanently.

Leaving the Tower, the band of lethal misfits headed to the Green Olive to see if any of the groups they had sent out on missions had returned. After sharing a somber drink together, they were greeted by the return of Yanjing, Amii, and Triss. Their journey to the magical battlefield had changed them much, with Amii in particular now sporting flames in her hair. It had been a trying experience, but they had found a great treasure: a vein of Philosopher's Stone. As merely a nugget of the fabled substance was already an artifact of great worth, an entire vein of it was worth several kingdoms. 

Next to arrive were Elistra, Nico, and Watch. Their journey in search of the Songbook of the Lost Realm had taken them to the jungles of the southwest. They were able, with the aid of a friendly people they found, to play enough of the Songbook to fully summon their king. He desired that his kingdom be allowed to finally pass from mortal memory so they could find peace. The three adventurers agreed, and in exchange for performing the ritual to deliver this boon, the king let Watch record the chronicles of his kingdom. He used no names, however, so that it could never be summoned. Each also received special training. And Nico became a dual shield fighter!

Finally, McGraenge and Qip trudged into the inn. Though completely exhausted, they recounted what they had learned in their pursuit of Dreadthorne. Even though they kept their distance, it was still very perilous. In so doing, they had learned three important things. First, Dreadthorne did not actually possess the Shard of Power, which meant that they now had no idea what it was that was taken from the king of Riparia. Second, his constant movement was in search of the Shard of Power, and, indeed, the other Shards. Finally, when they did catch his eye one day, they saw a reticence in his face that suggested he might not be as zealous in Caesras' cause as they thought.

Happy to be reunited with their friends, the Maladroits enjoyed the camaraderie before they were drawn away by Horus to meet with Cloverbell and Clobbbb. They were aghast to find the leaders of the Hooded Lantern sprawled weakly upon a pair of cots with wounds that would not close. Some channeling of divine might from Alera was able to close their wounds, at which point they weakly recounted the surprise attack they suffered in the sewers. They asked the Maladroits to investigate for them, as the pathways were crucial to their missions.

Deciding not to waste time, the group headed to the sewers where their friends were attacked. They found the same dimness that had been described by Cloverbell. Proceeding cautiously, they came upon a pair of Shadow Golems asking them for a password in gnome. Not knowing any proper response, they pressed an attack. With careful tactics, including well-chosen spells by Knox and Alera despite the magical immunity of the constructs, they kept the advantage, even when a third golem revealed itself. They were even subject to the draining attack that left Cloverbell and Clobbbb withering. 

Finally having dispatched their foes, they searched the area they were guarding and found a narrowing tunnel hidden in a corner of the sewers. Above it in gnome was written "Welcome to Gnometown".