The party continues to make their way to Trinsic where they hope to take a ship to Magincia and join up with the Council of Mages.
After their meeting on the road with another party of adventurers, the group continues their way down the road before finally making camp, a little less than a day outside of Trinsic. During their travel that day the Ranger takes the flute out of his bag which belonged to Barracoon and hands it to Lysander who has been without an instrument since his escape.
This proves to be a questionable decision, as Lysander seems to become engrossed with the instrument, never failing to let it leave his hands. As the group makes camp that night, Lysander plays a song and puts nearly everyone to sleep. After turning in for the night, the rest of the party discusses what should be done, fearing that the instrument has taken hold over Lysander. The rogue decides to steal the flute during the night, which is being held by Lysander while he sleeps. He successfully steals the instrument and places it in the bard’s bag. The following morning Lysander wakes and without hesitation reaches into his bag and retrieves the flute.
During the night, the ranger is startled during his watch and walks into the woods to investigate. A large dire wolf dashes straight towards him, tackling him to the ground and licking him in the face. The ranger’s dire wolf companion has returned to him.
The group makes it to Trinsic, which is being held by silver cloaks. The city is peaceful and everyone is going about their day normally. The party secures passage to Magincia later in the day and sets sail that night. A day later they arrive in Magincia and make their way to the town’s central library where Lysander is to meet his contact on the island.
They make their way inside and are told to wait while Lysander disappears into a room in the back. Several hours go by before the party becomes suspicious. After some investigating, they realize Lysander has slipped out another door and they do not know where he went. At this point they decide to go straight to the Council.
As they walk up to the bridge to the Council’s fortress they are stopped by a line of guards. They mention Lysander’s name and tell them they are here to speak with the council about the sigils. A guard briefly disappears and returns with a woman by his side, who welcomes the party inside. They are taken to a banquet hall where they are offered food and drink as they wait.
A few hours go by and the woman returns. She summons them to the main council chamber where they are asked what their business is, and how they know about the sigils. The group explains what has transpired with Joris, the guildmaster for the Federation of Order guilds, and the work they have done, stating that they believe the Lord Commander of the True Brits tried to have them killed, and are holding Joris captive.
The council reveals to the party that they have been used by the True Brits as a black ops group to secretly kick off a war between the factions by taking the sigils and making it appear that the True Brits were not the aggressors who plotted the war.
They also ask for the dagger back which belongs to the Lord of Cove. The rogue protests, but the ranger hands the dagger over anyways.
It is then that the council tells the group that they believe the king is being held in a place called the Star Room, a place which can only be accessed via a portal at the bottom of the Terrathan Fortress, home to spider beings, located in the Lost Lands. But in order to activate the portal, they must retrieve the Ophidian matriarch’s scepter from the Ophidian Fortress, home to large snake beings, which is in the middle of the desert in the Lost Lands. They ask that the party travel to Moonglow where they will go through a secret portal in a mage shop to access the lost lands, and find the king.
The party accepts the mission and is equipped the following morning before setting sail for Moonglow. They make it ashore two nights later and while traveling towards the mage shop are stopped by a group of black cloak guards on patrol. They manage to talk their way out of the situation, but are escorted the city’s inn for the evening. The next morning they make their way to the mage shop.
Once inside the party acts somewhat suspicious, but nothing prepares the mage merchants in the shop for what they witness next. Eventually the monk walks over to a pentagram and shouts the words recdu recsu. He briefly disappears and reappears. Everyone is stunned for a moment, and after some quick thinking, the monk shouts recdu and again disappears, this time he doesn’t come back. At this point the rest of the party runs over and does the same. They all appear in a room, unsure of where exactly they are. They are in a mage shop in the city of Papua.
It is at this point the ranger realizes his dire wolf is not with him. He quickly shouts recsu and reappears next to his wolf in the mage shop, which is growling at the mage merchants. He grabs the wolf by its mane and shouts recdu, instantly teleporting back to the room with the rest of the party, this time with the wolf by his side.
The sounds from the room draw the attention of a young man, who opens the door and stands there, asking who they are. Immediately the monk falls to the ground and pretends to be injured. The man is skeptical and does not approach. Realizing that his plan isn’t working, the monk successfully gets to his feet, quickly grabs the young man, drags him to the portal, and yells recsu. Almost immediately after the monk re-appears, alone.
The party then makes their way through the door and into what appears to be the front of a mage shop. A man is immediately seen and asks who the group is, and nearly immediately after, he asks what they have done with his son. The monk replies that he has enrolled him in a foreign exchange student program.
Several party members try to move quickly towards the man, however he successfully casts a spell which holds them in place. He runs out the door, calling for the town guards. They return and quickly subdue the party. The monk assures the man that his son is alright, and asks to go into the back room to get him. He explains to the man that there is a portal, and that there is a phrase which can be used to traverse it. Together to two return to the shop in Moonglow where they find his son surrounded by the mages who are asking him questions, but do not appears to be aggressive.
At this point everyone goes through the portal and back to the Lost Lands. The party is then taken to the center of town where they meet with the city’s ruler briefly before being put in jail.
Some time later the group is led back to a main room where they explain how and why they got to the city of Papua. The king decides that the group’s intentions are genuine and tells them how to get to the Ophidian Fortress. He also explains that his daughter, a druid, will go with them and be their guide. But also, that they must bring the scepter to him so that he may examine it, and will have to leave behind two party members as a show of good faith. It is agreed that the ranger and barbarian will stay behind.
The party sets out the following morning, riding ostards, giant lizards which look like ostriches. After a day’s ride they make camp and set out again the following day. Later that afternoon they decide to dismount and approach the fortress on foot, getting there an hour or so before dark. They find the fortress is situated in a canyon, surrounded on three sides, and a lot of ophidians guarding the entrance.
It is decided that they will wait until nightfall before attempting to approach. After searching the area, they realize that there are far fewer ophidians out front. The monk decides to take this opportunity to move up to the fortress entrance, leaving the rest of the party behind. He nearly makes it there before being spotted. He manages to stun a guard and kills it, but not before being spotted by more ophidians. He turns and runs, flying past the party members and telling them to run as well.
They decide to make their way through a passage in the side of the canyon and soon find a narrow opening with a hill about mid-way through the passage. While everything else is sand, the hill has luscious green grass growing on it. They make their way to the top of the hill where they decide to rest for the night. It is determined that the hill is magic, but they are unsure why.
Later in the night a group of ophidians spots one of the party members on the hill and stand near the side, but do not attempt to come up. The party decides to take shots at the ophidians with ranged weapons while the monk goes down for hand to hand combat. Right before killing the ophidians, more arrive, include an ophidian mage, who begins launching fireballs on the hill. Some party members are knocked unconscious, almost near death, however they survive. Right after the battle two guards from the city come riding up; the princess’ personal body guards.
After a brief search, the party finds an amulet on the mage which ultimately proves to double all fire spells for the group’s wizard.
The following day the group decides to return to town to regroup and get their other party members, realizing they will need more people in order to successfully complete the task. Upon return to where they left their mounts, they discover the ostards have left. The princess turns into a bird and scouts the area, finding the mounts well over a half day’s ride away. She flies to retrieve the mounts while the party waits for her return.
Later in the day the party is ambushed by well over a dozen ophidians, and after a tough fought battle, and much help from the princess’ guards, they manage a victory. The princess returns the following morning with the mounts, and they make it back to town.
During this time the barbarian is sitting in his cell and a woman walks into where he, the ranger, and the wolf are being held. He asks her to open his cell, and offers to pay her. She accepts and he pays a hefty sum. She then walks away, seemingly doing nothing to uphold her end of the deal. Some time later the barbarian hears a click. He checks his cell door and it is open. He decides to exit his cell, and go through the door and exit the room.
He finds himself entering a huge banquet, and is asked by a girl to come sit with her and enjoy the food. He accepts, and some time later finds himself very much at peace. Feeling suspicious, he decides to intimidate the girl to obtain answers to questions unknown. It partially works, and sends the girl scampering away. His intimidation does not go unnoticed by others at the banquet however.
To be continued…