Add a Journal
Q & A
Welcome to The Chosen's journals. Each character is invited to keep a
journal and write down the thoughts of their characters as they wander
through Nyternia. In addition, the DM has a journal which highlights
each session. The players are:
DM's Journal, session #8
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Awakening near the same time from the group dream, the party again compared notes. They had made more progress through the noisome puzzle, but still had not mastered it. The party decided to rest for the remainder of the day and prepare for the trip to see Chias. Malif worked on his hand crossbow modifications to allow it to load quicker, and Errol put out a want ad for a cook to prepare meals while they were on the road.
The party set off early towards Chias' manor. The weather was mild and the party enjoyed the sun and the open expanse before them. Towards dinnertime, they reached the crossroads between the main boulevard and the path which would take them to Chias.
Since they would have to travel the next day anyways, they decided to camp there for the night.
Towards noon, the party reached Chias' estate. It was a large expanse set close to the ocean. Beautiful white sand streched as far as the eye could see on both sides. Inside the estate walls, a well kept park seperated several houses and a mansion. There were two people milling out the gate; upon noticing the party, one stood up and greeted them.
"Welcome to the estate of Chias. I am Steven; how can we help you?" he asked. He was a plain dressed man, about six feet tall and dressed in comfortable clothing. He did not appear armed.
Though the party did not have an invitation, Kestrel produced a letter of introduction from Mortenser and offered it to Steven. "Well I'll take this up to Chias and be back with his reply. In the meantime if you want to rest and feed your horses, you are welcome to come in and make use of our stables," he said and then disappeared up the path to the house.
About 15 minutes later, Steven came back. "Chias is about to eat lunch now, but he will be available to meet with you in about 90 minutes."
"Do you have anything to eat?" inquired Errol. Kestrel mumbled something unintelligible while Steven said he would see if he could find something from the kitchen. In a few minutes he returned with some sandwiches.
Shortly after they had finished a leisurely lunch, Steven came back to lead them to the main mansion. They were ushered into a comfortable living room filled with artwork and furniture. Chias looked to be about average height with white hair. He wore loose fitting silk trousers and a shirt. He was sitting on a couch and beckoned for them to sit on some nearby couches.
"Mortenser speaks highly of you," Chias said. "So, what brings a group of students all the way out here?" The party explained about the strange reoccuring group dreams they had been having, leaving nothing out. After they finished the story, Chias stroked his beard and said thoughtfully, "Had it been just two of you I would think it were some remarkable coincidence. Given that the six of you all experienced it though, it is almost impossible for it to be simple coincidence.
"I have only heard of one other instance where a group claimed to share dreams. I had discounted it as a fairy tale, but if I remember it correctly, it shares a lot of common elements with the story you've told me.
"It was about 5000 years ago, and the group in question was Ladrim, Samita, Bruni, and Melbar. Ladrim was a cleric while the other three were paladins. You may remember them from your history lessons... this is the same group of people who later would found Sola. Early on they described something very similar to what you are talking about now."
The party then asked if Chias had any idea who was behind the dreaming, and also if he had any insight to how to defeat the test. Chias responded, "There are no Belar living who would have enough power to orchestrate something like that this, and possibly no Belar ever, certainly not in the last 15,000 years. As to how to defeat the test, unfortunately I do not have any insight. However, if you have time let me go upstairs and consult some tomes. I may find more answers there. I will return in a couple hours. In the meantime, feel free to wander the beach or the park."
True to his word, Chias called them back a couple hours later. "I've found out some more information. The Sola group, by all accounts, gained quickly in power. They were able to attain circles of magic and powers far faster than their contemporaries. If it is true they were able to train and learn through the dreams as you did, this could explain how they were able to do it.
"In terms of who could be behind the dreams, again, I am convinced it is not a Belar. It is possible a very powerful devil or demon would be able to manifest the dream, but the Belar aggressively restrict extraplanar creatures from coming into this realm. Also, from what you have described, it does not sound like the work of a demon or devil.
"The only other power I know of would be divine workings. Of course while it's certainly possible for a god to create this situation, the gods rarely meddle in trivial affairs, so I doubt it is their work either.
"I have been working on something similar to what you have described, only it is in a trance-like state rather than in a dream. Properly induced and maintained, this state can help a subject solve problems and deal with issues he otherwise cannot deal with. Whether this will help you or not, I am not sure. But it is worth mentioning.
"You must gather an uncut topaz worth at least 1000 gold, a potion of suggestion, and relaxation candles. Pour about a cup and a half of water into a clay or tin bowl and suspend the bowl in any manner you see fit. Underneath, light the candles so they will heat the water. Submerge the topaz into the water and pour about 1/5 of the potion into the water. Make sure you are indoors in a small room. Breathe in the vapors for about 30 minutes while relaxing your muscles. Think about what you want to dream about. In my subjects this induces the trance.
"For my subjects one of the hardest things to learn is that they are in a dream state. This doesn't sound like it will be a problem for you. Even then, though, it can be hard for the next breakthrough. Dream states are not like reality. Things which are impossible in the real world are quite possible in dreams. The trick is to believe that you can affect a change. Once your mind can believe something is mutable, you should be able to control that element of your dream.
"One last thing. I have spent many years studying what happens to the brain while in these trance states. These trances cause a buildup of toxins in the brain. If your dreams are like the trances, it would be quite dangerous to attempt to enter this state more than once every two weeks."
With that Chias had nothing further to add. The party thanked him for his time and rode back to Pavalar uneventfully.
With only two days till the trial and the party Tera had asked them to attend, the party didn't want to start any new adventures. Instead they sought out more information. First they managed to find Mortenser in his office despite it being a Saturday.
Asked about Sola, Mortenser explained what he knew. "The ruins of Sola continue to be haunted by undead. When they first appeared several Belar went out and obliterated them. However, shortly thereafter (perhaps 20 years?) the undead reappeared. The Belar again destroyed all the undead, and this time looked for anything evil which might cause them to later reappear. They found nothing, but the undead again appeared after some time.
"Since then, the Belar have ignored it. The undead do not stray far from the ruins, and everyone has learned to skirt it."
Vaugner recalled that his dad had occassionally treked to Karnos to operate his circus there. Since the ruins of Sola were near that path, he led the party to his dad, and asked if he knew anything about Sola.
He replied, "It's not too bad really. We usually just hire a few extra guards. Most of the time there are no undead at all, but occassionally some ghouls will wander down far enough to harrass a caravan.
"You know, it's curious you ask about Sola. I remember about 20 years ago, I had, one of my guards and his friends set off for adventure in Sola. Oster I think his name was. He was going stir crazy in Pavalar and just guarding the circus, I knew that soon he would want to set off on his own.
"We were moving the circus to Karnos, and he was on the trip. After we passed the danger zone, he left with some of his friends to explore Sola. I remember meeting him afterwards... we stayed in touch for quite a few years afterwards. I remember he found something he thought of great value there. And then years after that his band went back to Sola, though this time they were disappointed with whatever was there. They did all make it back out alive though."
Vaugner stopped by the thieves guild to try and find more information. He discovered that Oster's band was of four people: Oster was a monk, a woman named Calmert was a wizard, and two others, a paladin and a druid, who hadn't been around for several years. Their adventuring party was pretty old and only semi-active. The two of them kept a camp outside of town, but never in the same place, though Oster often came in to buy supplies and catch up on city gossip.
Malif discovered that the new design for loading bolts also afforded a much snugger fit. This allowed the hand crossbow to be manuevered into angles and positions previously impossible. Because the hand crossbow had always been modeled after the light crossbow, and few people used it, no one had thought to design it as a completely seperate weapon. By adjusting the strips of loaders he had previously added, he thought he would be able to aim the hand crossbow so it would have a much higher chance of finding a critical area. He set to work on it immediately.
Vaugner and Blink went to the various adventuring guilds and left notes trying to set up a meeting with Oster if he came by. Kestrel went to The Traveling Minstrel to see if Janson knew Oster, but Janson had never heard of the monk. He also managed to find Lydia's husband Douglas. Kestrel asked about how to find an uncut topaz recently mined.
"Well topaz's aren't too uncommon, but you'll probably have to go to a mining town if you are sure you want to get one that is freshly dug out," he said. "The mining town I worked at, Tsarkin, was rough, but it wasn't too bad all things considering. I'm sure that you would be able to find one there. The mining town sells gems uncut to jewelers, who usually cut them then sell them to merchants. You may be able to find something in Gront, but Pavalar is too far south most likely."
The party also investigated the cost of a potion of substance. When they went to the mages guild to purchase one, they were informed that because it was a dangerous substance, they would need a permit to purchase the potion, whose cost was 750 gold.
Malif spent this day hard at work on his hand crossbow while the rest of the party mostly rested. Kestrel taught the cauldon some simple commands, and commented the cauldron seemed happy. He also brought the cauldron by his mom, who wondered if the cauldron were truly safe. Kestrel explained about the dark auras caused by the Cherbas which were absent on the cauldron. Kestrel's mom, however, was doubtful, and suggested that perhaps he might want to delve deeper into the mystery.
Blink and Errol hit the library to find out more about Sola. They discovered that Sola had prospered for about 30 years after its founding, but eventually several guilds, led by the warrior and mages guilds, wanted take some shortcuts to build Sola's power. The city founders, who led the cleric and paladin guilds, were unwilling to compromise their principles. A plot for treachery was created by the warrior and mages guilds, and they were able to create powerful evil magic items.
In one final bloody day, almost the entirety of the Sola population was destroyed in a massive battle due to either a use or misuse of an evil magical item.
In addition to the history lesson, Errol and Blink found a nice map of Sola as it existed when it was a prosperous city.
After such a long delay, the trial went surprisingly quick. The judge asked the party to confirm their stories. After hearing them, he released Alana saying she was free to go. The party saw Alana skulking away after the trial; it was evident she had not seen them. Deciding to deal with her later, the party left without flagging her down.
After dinner, the party arrived at the party. Among the people already there was Kestra, Samantha, Brock, Jay, and Ravni. Actually, looking around, they noticed that almost the entire class was there, celebrating the end of finals. There was food on a table, and people were raving about a new type of alcoholic drink. There was a group of people playing a dice game in the corner while others were playing a game similar to charades.
After briefly surveying the scene, the party mingled into the crowd, waiting to see what would come next.