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Session 12: Acclimation?
Lena stepped into her interview with Dan where she was informed about the Zone of Truth being cast. She did not resist, and the questioning proceeded in much the same way it had for the other party members. The tone changed, however, when she revealed the identity of her biological father: Silas Angel. While minor attempts were made to reveal certain secrets about him, Lena was not probed extravagantly. The interview ended and she was asked for a demonstration of her magic ability. Afterwards, she was told about a resident of Telor who had known her father and Dan offered to have her escorted to this person. Lena accepted.
She was taken to a large interior estate. The door opened to reveal an elderly woman named Akasha who immediately recognized Lena as Silas' daughter. She was invited inside readily and welcomed. Lena made herself as comfortable as she could in the sitting room, and Akasha produced a magically-induced portrait depicting a young Silasalong side her, both smiling and embracing in what looked like a disorderly study. Akasha explained to Lena that she used to work with Silas; in fact, she was his tutor when he was a very young man. She assisted him to develop his magical abilities for 10 years. During that period, he surpassed Akasha in knowledge and skill, so she charted her own path once she realized that she could gleam no more knowledge from him and that she was actually holding him back.
Lena had many questions, and Akasha took the time to answer them. Yes, Silas andher were no more than dear friends. No, she did not know Lena's mother. Of course, she would mentor Lena as long as she was able. Akasha then began to expand on Lena's first lesson regarding the language of Arcan--the root of all thought and information, the somatic and vocal component of all spells, essentially, the dictionary of a reality which, properly mastered, could amend reality itself. A brief demonstration allowed Lena to develop a less taxing, more efficient way of casting one of her learned spells. In order to assist Lena further, Akasha asked to borrow Silas' spell book, which she studied all through the night while Lena slept. The following morning, Lena took her spell book back and found a sleeping Sklooh stationed just outside the front door.
Once Dan was finished expounding aboutTelor, and after Lena quelled Sklooh's wrath, the lizard man ascended the mountain followed by Eggsy and Igan. Lena, though, went to find the Argathans who had departed for their housing in the lower levels of the city. She arrived to a meeting of the Argathan men, and they thanked her for paying their way, but raised their concerns about it being a temporary fix. Having been interned by Telor into a glorified labor-camp, they expressed their intention to leave as soon as possible. In Igan's absence, and with circumstances being what they are, Gruff became de facto leader of the non-magical citizens of Argatha. Lena tried to comfort them by telling them a bit about a mysterious man named Tarquin Blackwood who might be able to help them, but ultimately ended up leaving them to their devices and returns to Akasha.
Having just recovered two griffon eggs forObahn, the male Pillarmen were offered compensation. The griffon-tamer told them that he could not pay them their dues all at once, but would be happy to pay them what he could manage over time. Igan, off of his adrenaline-fueled high, turned his mind back to the grim situation he led the Argathans into. He asked Obahn for some advice, and was told that it is possible to make a life for yourself here if you are willing to put forth the time and effort. Obahn was once without station, but after years of tutelage under a resident druid, he managed to come into his own. Igan departed to speak with the refugees.
While the Kaela-devotee went to address his would-be followers, Egg-spiker had mechanations of his own. With Sklooh in tow, he went to a calligrapher to have a number of letters drafted detailing the desire to fight against the so-called slavery that the Telorians imposed upon non-magic residents. He requested that they be sent out to the most powerful non-casters in the city and left a sort of pseudonym with which he hoped he could be identified--"follower of Bismuth." He suggested that those interested in his proposal convene at The Cave In, a local tavern. So both Sklooh and Eggsy departed for the literal hole-in-the-wall for drinks and rebellion.
After encountering a disgruntled laborer in his search for the Argathans,Igan eventually succeeds and calls to order a small number of the Argathan men and vocalizes his apologies and concerns. They talked and schemed and eventually settled on some sort of plan to bring about an uprising. Igan asked for a few of the men present to volunteer as workers in the mines and to use the opportunity to probe prisoners and lower-class citizens for discontentment and hostility towards the Telorians. With this accord, and after relating Obahn's tale, Igan departed.
At about this time, as the sun was beginning to set, a large number ofTelorians seemed to be shuffling out of homes and businesses in ceremonial garb. Eggsy ascertained from the barkeep, a duergar, that there was a religious ritual going on this evening. Nevertheless, Eggsy stayed to wait for rebels while Sklooh kept the alcohol flowing. Unfortunately, Sklooh depleted his glass quickly and scanned the area for other means of securing drink. He found himself being stared at intently by a small creature of seemingly similar heritage--a Kobold. Sklooh approached and it became evident that she was in awe of the large lizardfolk and that she had things that she had wanted to say to him. She introduced herself begrudgingly to Egg-spiker as Kasj Kethend, "Little Jewel." After buying Sklooh a few more drinks and attempting to be casual, she asked him if he would accompany her after dark to the mines. Sklooh agreed.
At around that time Igan ran into Lena who was wandering about looking for Tarquin Blackwood in the midst of the robed figures who were going to worship Moira, she ascertained. Igan was interested in going to the ceremonies, but Lena convinced him to lend his thaumaturgical voice to her cause in trying to locate Blackwood. With a bit of standard Lena trickery, Igan made a spectacle of himself by yelling out for the man with magical enhancement. Blackwood never responded, but Eggsy, having heard the call, responded in kind, and soon there was an incredibly disruptive shouting match going on. Their voices were silenced by some disturbed magicians, and they decided to meet each other along the way.
Kasj led Sklooh towards the mines along with Eggsy, and when they were intercepted by Igan and Lena, Kasj insisted that Sklooh accompany her alone--she didn't trust these warm-blooded types. So Sklooh pushed through towards the mines. Eggsy decided to go back towards the Kenku's chapel, Lena went to meet up with Akasha, and Igan proceeded to the center of worship. When Akasha opened her door up for Lena, she was relieved to see that Silas' daughter had not gone to the religious rite. They spent the rest of the night discussing magical syntax and perfecting Lena's spells.
Igan followed the crowd to a large inner-Parthenon built into the mountain where he saw a conglomeration of spell-casters practicing flagellation and blood-letting to honor Moira by evoking a sense of mortality and fear of death. Igan joined in by allowing his throat be slit, but not until after he noticed a crowd of white-robed priests in the back of the colonnades with four red-cloaked individuals processing in behind them. Igan felt the blade run across his neck, his warmth leave him, and he was dragged among the other celebrants who had resigned to mortification.
Eggsy arrived in time to witness the liturgy of the other Kenku along with the Aarakocra. Now that he had taken time to investigate, he did notice a stone in the center of the sanctuary behind the alter. This stone was unlike Bismuth, however, as the exterior was sharp and glassy. Egg-spiker discerned that the Aarakocra were acting as high priests, and that the Kenku performed their duties in this temple as a sort of deacon-class. Once the service had concluded, Eggsy asked a fellow Kenku about the religion being practiced. He learned that the other Kenku had similar religions to his until coming here where they were taught by the Aarakocra about a pure religion with which they must unite. Bismuth, the Kenku claimed, was just a single piece of a larger rock-god called Metorin, that was a mystical flying being illumined in a blinding divine light. Metorin had subjected itself to this world as a testament to the Auran peoples, and once all of his shards were united, he would return to former divine glory and elevate the Aurans to a divine status along with him. It was providence. Egg-spiker prayed to Bismuth for direction, but there was no acknowledgment.
Finally, Sklooh and Kasj made there way to the mines. The small lizard woman instructed Sklooh that secrecy was necessary, and they both sneaked into the tunnels so that she might reveal something of great danger. Many hours passed of stumbling through the rocky passageways in the dark, but Kasj revealed to Sklooh three features of what appeared to be a great beast: a solid, shell-like wall; a single large eyelid; a few sharp ivory stalactites that appeared as large teeth, more than twice the size of Sklooh. The two of them retreated from the mines and avoided a potentially dramatic encounter with a night patrol man. Sklooh was led back to Kasj's house, where he was greeted by a warm fire and a room full of sleeping Kobold females.