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Session 146 & 148 - Where Everybody Knows Your Name

posted Aug 6, 2018, 9:10 AM by Will McCain   [ updated Sep 8, 2018, 6:05 PM ]
The Maladroits returned to Riparia, their adopted home for the past few months of their quest. Though thankfully free of the Invincible Trio, it had still become an unwelcoming place thanks to their efforts. Trying to keep their minds on the task at hand, they headed to the Tower to confer with their few remaining allies. On their way to the top chambers, they came across a half-elf wizard by the name of Simone who had recently arrived from the Tower's sister school, the Ivory Academy. She was a scholar of legends and lore, and told them the story of a faraway mountain range called Avannan. This particularly caught Callon's attention, as his original vision that lead to him leaving Morend involved a mountain range and being gifted with the Avanni language. After he surprised the scholar with his knowledge of the shattered moon, she went on to explain that it was fabled to be the resting place of the goddess Avanna. Dwarves guarded its depths, but dwarves unlike the kind known today. These were dwarves of legend, and spoken of as closest to the ideal of dwarves. All she could say to its location was that it was purported to be in the far east, beyond Morend and Tortuftus. They hadn't even conferred with the Divine Blade, and yet the party felt their path laying itself in front of them. 

Meeting with the masters of the Tower was a somber affair. Rufus looked somehow even weaker than before, and it pained the group that they could not, considering the stakes of their collective efforts, ask him to stop his work. Callon ventured into the mindscape for one final communion with the Divine Blade Aria now that only one Shard remained. Many shocking truths were revealed, from Carissa being awake to Oragor gifting the tattoo they had seen on Jonid to his lieutenants so that he could communicate with them. It occurred to Callon that he had not seen the Shard of Illusion yet. When he asked, he watched as Aria reached out through a hole in the air and grabbed the hand of another of herself and used the hand to slap Callon across the face. Now outside the mindscape, he realized that Aria had been the Shard of Illusion the whole time and was talking to Callon in bubble of illusion. He shared what he had been told, even though none of them could be sure what was true and what was a lie.

Since they had begun collecting the Shards, everyone involved in the effort had been wondering how they would forge them once more into the Sword of Magic. What they had recently learned of Avannan gave them hope and at the very least a lead. They began their preparations like they had for every other sojourn, but realized that not only would this journey perhaps be longer than any other so far, but they also had little reason to return to Riparia. Since they would be heading east, they decided to try going by sea, and sought a way to make the Dibs sea-worthy. The first task, of course, was bringing it over from the Plane of Shadow. A visit to the Tiderunners Consortium availed them of a method, but they would have to do a task first. There was a meeting soon between leaders of the Crow and the Stingblades to exchange some very dangerous items. The Tiderunners couldn't afford to get involved openly, but they could send adventurers to try and stop it.

The Maladroits wanted to do this undercover, so they availed themselves of Lucas' Gem of Gender-change. With some additional disguise work from Lucas, they began roaming the town as new adventurers looking for dark dealings they could take a stand against. After gathering enough info, they headed underground and hid in order to ambush the two groups. The underworld bosses finally arrived with their attendants, but before the Maladroits could make their move an unexpected group of heroes burst onto the meeting and declared their intent to stop the exchange. Rushed into action, the Maladroits had to struggle with helping the quickly overwhelmed heroes and trying to apprehend the leaders and their contraband. Unfortunately, the Stingblade leader escaped with a terribly potent poison, but they were able to capture the Crow leader who had come for a strange, wispy creature held in a cage, which Knox and Alera suspected was the manifested form of a soul.

Having done their duty, the Tiderunners used their artifact to bring over the Dibs and began to fit it for the sea. Lucas watched and learned what he could of seamanship. Callon, in his female form, was spared the slurs and hostility that the Maladroits usually received from the denizens of Riparia thanks to the rumors of the Invincible Trio. He found himself wistful of Morend and the respect his name and profession awarded him. 

Eventually, the work was done and the time came to leave. The Maladroits went through the city and got their affairs in order. It was solemn work, and not a few tears were shed as they said goodbye to friends who had stood and fought by them. They offered their now-empty rooms at Bramblewick to Elistra, Yanjing, and any other of their allies who might need a place to stay. Lucas checked in with Emmett and Kokichi. Alera paid a final visit to the Congregate. Callon promised the preserved body of Cordova that they would bring her back one day. Knox took Amii to the top of the tower and shared a kiss with the fire-haired mage. 

After their separate business, the friends took a final stroll around the city. It had loved them, hated them, but still had welcomed them and became home for a time. They took to the air with Knox's magic and watched the evening shadows stretching over the great city, just as they had every day before. Should the Maladroits succeed, it would see many more. The next day they set out on the Dibs, into waters and futures unknown.  
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