Zeitgeist - Case Notes
Table of Contents
Partial proposal of new planar arrangement:
Planar Location, Name Energies (Slot) Traits
A. Jiese, the fire of industry Fire, Life Precision technology functions.
B. Caeloon Air, Life People are more resilient in the face of tragedy.
C. Av Death, Life Conjures physical reflection of whatever world it orbits.
D. Ostia Water, Life Rapid healing and automatic stabilization.
E. Urim Earth, Space Gold blocks teleportation.
F. Apet Air, Space Planar travel is limited to the local system.
G. Ascetia Time, Life People are more aware of history.
H. Nem Death, Time Lingering souls are stronger than corporeal undead.

Urim, Apet, Nem: These three are necessary for keeping external invaders at bay, such as Gidim.
Av: Important to fey origin creatures, I imagine. Can't imagine Chandra would be too happy without it.
Jiese: Important to industry and technological progress. I'm less sympathetic to this, but I see more good than harm. If it's present, we absolutely need the protection against invaders that the triumvirate of Urim, Apet, and Nem provide.
Caeloon: Has a desirable trait, and we possibly owe it to the Calily and the monks that gave us some guidance in the Gyre. Even if the trait weren't desirable, we may owe it to them strictly because of that.

The absence of Avilona, Mavisha, and Reida:

  • Avilona's trait is considered harmful, and despite Gerald trying to claim it was part of the Ancients' design, he doesn't realize its current traits are due to influence of Kasvarina and the Obscurati on a failed mission of theirs, which we saw in an Arc of Reida-induced flashback.
  • Mavisha's trait is neutral, at best, and if we find something more appealing, I want to consider that as a choice. Ostea might actually be good, potentially, though I'm unsure of the long-term effects of it on natural ecosystems.
  • Reida's in the same boat as Mavisha. Neutral at best. Not sure what the Voice of Rot wants with it either.

While the original setup had Space-Apet, Earth-Urim, and Death-Nem, all possible permutations of this arrangement are as such:

Permutation Comments
1) Space-Apet, Earth-Urim, Death-Nem The original arrangement.
2) Air-Apet, Earth-Urim, Death-Nem Frees up Space slot. Caeloon and Av compete for the Life slot.
3) Space-Apet, Space-Urim, Death-Nem An obviously impossible permutation.
4) Air-Apet, Space-Urim, Death-Nem Frees up Earth slot. Caeloon and Av compete for the Life slot.
5) Space-Apet, Earth-Urim, Time-Nem Frees up Death slot, and potentially Air or Life. Caeloon can be placed in either Air or Life. Av can be placed in either Death or Life.
6) Air-Apet, Earth-Urim, Time-Nem Frees up Space slot. Caeloon would have to be placed in Life, Av would have to be placed in Death.
7) Space-Apet, Space-Urim, Time-Nem An obviously impossible permutation.
8) Air-Apet, Space-Urim, Time-Nem Frees up Earth slot. Caeloon would have to be placed in Life, Av would have to be placed in Death.

5) gives us the most flexilibity here, I think, but 1), 6), and 8) would also work.

Avatar of Revolution

The Ritual of the Axis Seal

The ritual details you retrieved from the Grand Librarium of Alais Primos, combined with Pemberton and your own observations of the drained lakebed on Axis Island let you know the following with confidence. Uncertainties remain, however.

Physical Space

The ritual actually involves the entirety of Axis Island, but it is centered on the Axis Seal—a hundred-foot diameter disk of gold, which covers a twenty-foot diameter hemispherical depression in the bedrock, ten feet deep. Out of this depression flare intense blasts of energy from across the multiverse. If the seal were properly seated atop this depression, it would focus that energy and create the sun.
The seal lies in the middle of a four-hundred-foot diameter field of flattened stone, around which carvings of primitive orc runes form seven rings, each twenty-five feet farther out. Spaced somewhat irregularly around these rings are vertical pits. The golden seal itself would only cover the central depression and the innermost ring, but when it is in place the other pits are inaccessible.
The rings represent, in order outward:

  • The plane of fire. (Red)
  • The plane of air. (Orange)
  • The world itself, which has no pit, but is surrounded by a smaller ring that does have a pit, representing the plane of life. (Green)
  • The plane of water. (Dark Blue)
  • The plane of earth. (Gold)
  • The plane of space (Gray), which is surrounded by a smaller ring that has its own pit, representing the plane of time. (Light Blue)
  • The plane of death. (Purple)

Each pit is about fifteen feet in diameter and contains the fifty foot long white stone shaft of a petrified tree. Halfway down that shaft, a small alcove can hold an icon, which represents a particular plane. The Ancients used gold icons marked with symbols representing a constellation, which set those worlds’ place in the night sky. Any handheld item can be used as an icon, but crafting one requires either close knowledge of the plane, or prolonged study of it.

Energetic Tendrils

Arcs of energy from the central depression mostly crackle upward, but every minute or two one will slice out laterally to a distance of several hundred feet. The force is enough to blast back and likely kill anyone who tries to come too close. Sometimes where one of these arcs strikes, a sliver of a world appears – a forest, a crackling lava field, a waterfall—only to vanish a few seconds later. Sometimes even creatures are visible in these slivers. The tendrils are slow enough to avoid if you keep your distance.

Obscurati Interference

The Ob built a small bunker to the northwest of the seal, which was damaged by saboteurs loyal to the Voice of Rot. Ritual mages chanting from within that bunker shielded the colossus Borne, but when they died, the colossus was struck by a tendril and crippled.
When Borne was damaged, he collapsed, and the hundred-foot disk of the seal fell atop him. The colossus suffered immense damage across his body, which cracked his torso and blew apart half an arm and one-and-a-half legs. The ritual was left incomplete.

Manipulating the Ritual Pieces

Crisillyiri scholars posited that the Ancients used mass ritual telekinesis to lift the sunken columns that control the planar links. You’ll have to find another way to lift them.

Crane Mechanics

If your airship is equipped with a crane, decide where to mount it, but it’s probably best on the rear. It is treated as a ship component, and can be damaged if dealt one ‘strike’ in naval combat, or destroyed if dealt two. In person-scale combat, it has 200 hit points and resist 20 all. Repairing it mid-combat if it’s damaged would take at least a minute, ten crew, and an Intelligence check (DC 20), or some sort of magic. If it is destroyed, repairs require magic.
The cables are the most vulnerable spot, and while the gripping claw is deployed, 100 damage dealt to the cable will sever it. Replacing a cable uses the same rules as repairing the crane itself.
The crane has enough lifting capacity to pull one of the 15-ft. diameter, 50-ft. long stone columns in the ritual field out of the ground. To do so, the ship must be positioned so the crane is within thirty feet of the column, no more than sixty feet above the ground, and someone must spend a move action and make a Dexterity check (DC 15) to operate the crane and grab onto the column. No more than one attempt can be made per round.
Once the column is grabbed, directing the crane to lift it only requires a minor action, but it takes two rounds for the column to emerge enough for its planar icon to be replaced. Extracting the full 50-ft. column takes four rounds. If the crane releases the column, it slides back into place over the course of a round.
If the ship moves while hoisting a column, the crane operator must make a Dexterity check as a free action (DC 20) or else the crane loses its grip. If the ship moves out of range, though, the crane automatically loses its grip. Moving directly upward can pull the column out in a single round. If a column is pulled entirely out of its hole, re-seating it is a very fine process, nigh impossible in the heat of battle (DC 25).

Divine Intervention

With the sacrament of apotheosis, a PC can use his divine strength to grab a column and pull it out of the ground. It takes four move actions by sacrament-empowered PCs to lift a column enough to access the planar icon, or eight actions to remove it fully. Multiple PCs can contribute actions in this way.
A PC who chooses the Tower Above boon has quadruple the effect of a normal sacrament-empowered PC. One with the From On High boon can completely lift a column out with a single move action, and can carry it as easily as he’d carry a one-handed item.

Moving the Seal

The immense golden seal is much heavier. It requires four move actions by sacrament-empowered PCs (or one action by a PC with Tower Above) to lift the seal barely off the ground and move it 10 feet. A PC with From On High can move the seal forty feet with a single move action. A crane on the ship is insufficient.

Swapping Icons

It’s as easy as knocking aside the old icon and placing in a new one, though the new one must belong to a plane that is sufficiently charged with energy of the appropriate type. Once the column is lowered fully into the ground, the new plane is linked to this world with a mighty surge of energy. Whoever placed the icon in the column is then able to control that energy. The DM knows what that energy can be used for.

Planes and Powers

Do note, in the original planar set-up, the plane of earth Urim caused gold to block planar travel, so the seal made interplanar travel within the system limited; and Apet made planar travel from worlds outside the system difficult; while Nem attempted to destroy intruders from other worlds. Almost any other arrangement of planes will result in a world that can be more easily reached by travellers from other planes.

Obscurati Planes

Eight planes are currently linked.
Planar Location, Name Energies Traits
A. Jiese, the fire of industry Fire, Life Precision technology functions.
B. Perlocus, a voice on the wind Air, Earth Persuasion is more effective.
C. Mojang, a wild artifice Earth, Life Nature follows orders.
D. Ostea, the beating heart Life, Water Rapid healing.
E. Ratios, the cold logic Earth, Space Intuition is weaker, reason stronger.
F. Fourmyle, the selfish dominion Death, Space Casual teleportation.
F. Baden, the ghost moon Air Flight is easy.
G. Illocus, the cascading flame Fire, Time Consequences cascade rapidly.
The following planes were previously linked.
Planar Location, Name Energies Traits
B. Avilona Air, Death Flight is limited to five minutes.
C. Av Death, Life Conjures physical reflection of whatever world it orbits.
D. Mashiva Water, Time Islands conceal secrets.
E. Urim, the shattered golden chain Earth, Space Gold blocks teleportation.
F. Apet Air, Space Planar travel is limited to the local system.
G. Reida Life, Time Strong prophecy.
H. Nem Death, Time Lingering souls are stronger than corporeal undead.
These planes were bonded in the Gyre.
Planar Location, Name Energies Traits
47. Urim, the shattered golden chain. Earth, Space Rings of gold block teleportation.
50. Caeloon, the paper wind Air , Life People are resilient in the face of tragedy. This is too complex to represent mechanically.
24. Ascetia, the hidden jungle Life, Time People are more aware of history. By the time everyone is an adult, they naturally acquire a +5 bonus to History checks.
19. Obliatas, the devouring light Any It deals 1 radiant damage per every minute to any undead that can see its place in the sky. Depending on where it is placed in the system, it’s possible that roughly half the year, night-time would be safe for undead, while the other half day-time would be.
31. Dunkelweiss, the Fermented Peaks Earth, Life Alcohol is good for you. It produces the same intoxicating effect as before, but does no damage to long-term health. Indeed, hangovers are easily held at bay with a brisk workout, meaning the heaviest drinkers tend to be the most fit. A night of intense carousing functions as a remove affliction ritual, with a +5 bonus to the skill check.
39. Apet, the Distant Plane Air, Space Planar travel is limited to the local system.
49. Nem, the plane of ruin Death, Time Lingering souls are stronger than corporeal undead.
53. Av, plane of mirrors Death, Life Reflections hold magical influence. Conjures a physical reflection of whatever world it orbits.

Completing the Ritual

If at any point all the columns are in the ground, there are links to planes producing all eight energy types, and the golden seal is placed over the central depression, your information implies that the ritual will be sealed with magic, and the changes made will become permanent.

Final Sacrament

Even with powerful magic it would require years of effort to reopen the seal and make further changes.
It's unclear what would happen if you try to close the seal while columns are still out of the ground.
The party may have learned the sacrament of apotheosis from memory events using the lost arc of Reida, or been taught it by Ashima-Shimtu or anyone she told it to. While the full scope of the ritual varies depending on the nature of the belief being harnessed, in this fateful hour the sacrament can focus the faith of millions so that their champions can transcend the limits of mortal flesh and confront a threat unmatched by any in the world’s history. Those who would use this power would be wise to appreciate the immense gift and responsibility they are being granted.

Performing the Sacrament

For the ritual to function, its subject or subjects must be adherents of an ideology that is strongly held by at least hundreds of people. The more fervent and widespread the belief, the greater the boon granted to the subjects shall be. If the belief has a name, the bond to the adherents is stronger, but even those who know it by a different name can contribute.
The ritual requires four people to perform, at least one of whom must be a spellcaster of level 15 or higher. The ritual performers must spread entrails and blood of a lion, an eagle, a whale, and a dragon in a ring. Two golden urns sit in the center of the ring, one empty, the other filled with a mixture of the animals’ blood. The subject or subjects of the ritual stands in the center, and those performing the ritual use the animal blood to paint the name of the belief across the subject’s flesh. The subject then must shed a notable quantity of blood (enough to deal 20 damage) into the second urn.
The subject or subjects recite the incantation of the ritual: “Before I was nothing but words. Now I am all that is believed. I am faith made flesh. I am flesh made a god.”
Once they complete the incantation, their appearance will shift as the power of the faithful floods into them. They might grow in size, their eyes might glow, and if they are not strong-willed enough their entire personality and body might be overwhelmed by the image the believers have of their ideal.

Effects of the Sacrament

The recipients of the ritual, hereafter referred to as ‘the vessels,’ all gain the following special abilities, as well as specific boons they choose. The number of boons depends on the extent of the faith empowering them.

Mental Effects

The vessels each feel a subconscious connection to all the believers granting them power, hereafter referred to as ‘the masses.’ There’s no control granted by this link, but each side can sense the desires of the other. By concentrating, it’s possible for the vessel to speak to any or all of the believers empowering him.
Weak-willed vessels lose their sense of self as the faith of the masses transforms their personalities to match what they believe. This is what happened to Kasvarina’s daughter, who was not prepared to be the focus of so much power. Indeed, trying to turn people with weak wills into vessels would drive them insane.

Physical Effects

The vessel is immune to environmental damage that was not created by an active spell effect. The vessel has resist all 30 against other attacks, and is immune to the charm effects and slow, immobilized, and restrained conditions. However, anyone who says the vessel’s real name ignores these resistances and immunities for one hour.
The vessel gains blindsight within 20 ft. Additionally, he can manipulate objects at a range of 20 feet as readily as if in his reach and has a lifting capacity as if he were Large. As a move action he can shift between his normal size and Large, gaining the attendant space and reach. However, this does not alter any of the vessel’s ability scores, defenses, nor damage.
Physical harm that makes it past the vessel’s defenses is shared with the masses. The damage affects the vessel normally, but similar injury is also spread among the masses. If an attack deals 20 fire damage, the vessel would take 10 fire damage, and 10 fire damage would be spread around believers scattered across the world, causing one or two to burst into flames and die. The vessel feels all these deaths.
The death of a vessel has a much greater backlash, though only if no other vessel also shares in the ritual. If all the vessels of a ritual die, many among the masses also perish. The specifics of how widespread this would be are unclear.

Additional Boons

The number of faithful contributing to the sacrament determines how many ‘boons’ are gained, which must be divided among the various vessels. If there’s a dispute, the vessels choose their boons in order based on highest Charisma. The DM will inform you of how many boons the party has access to, which depends on how much renown and support you have around this world and beyond. You and the DM may agree on alternative boons, at his discretion.

At-Will Encounter Power. The vessel chooses one encounter power of level 20 or lower from any class. He can use that power at will once per round. (Pick something thematic. Searching for the optimal minmaxed choice is forbidden. You’re a god now, not a munchkin.)

Tower Above. The vessel’s blindsight extends to 50 ft., as does the range he can manipulate objects. He has the lifting capacity of a Huge creature, and can become Huge (or Large), which does not alter his ability scores or weapon damage

From On High. Requires Tower Above. The vessel’s blindsight extends to 200 ft., as does the range he can manipulate objects. He has the lifting capacity of a Gargantuan creature, and can become Gargantuan (or Huge or Large), which does not alter his ability scores or weapon damage. The character in this form is roughly 50 feet tall. The vessel also gains a fly speed of 12, with an altitude limit of 60.

Unstoppable. The vessel gains a +6 bonus to speed in all his modes of movement. All his attacks now deal half damage on a miss. When the vessel dies, he may choose any attack power he can use and have it affect those who harmed him in the past half hour.

Creator. As a standard action, the vessel can create any mundane object up to Huge size anywhere within his reach, or repair a damaged or destroyed object. This can repair up to two points of hull integrity to a ship. If used as an attack, the creation is gradual enough that it requires an attack roll (primary ability score +9 vs. Reflex) and does no more than 40 damage.

Plentitude. The vessel is immune to blinded, dazed, and stunned conditions, perhaps because he has multiple heads or simply multiple aspects. The vessel can have equipped any number of handheld items, and is always considered to have two hands free. This could be because he has many limbs, or simply shifts reality, or can call items to hand or dismiss them with a thought. This boon does not grant the vessel extra actions, but the vessel does gain a +6 bonus to attack rolls for opportunity attacks.


The effect of the ritual lasts for one day, though a vessel can spend two standard actions to end his connection to the faithful. Otherwise, only killing all the vessels will end the ritual prematurely. The ritual cannot be performed again for the same ideal while the first is active, so typically no more than five or so people can act as vessels at once.

The Grinding Gears of Heaven

Planes, arrangements, energies, and aspects

A planar arrangement is a set of eight (or nine?) planes connected to the material plane, corresponding to eight energy slots.

A valid arrangement has at least one plane that has

For example, Av has both Life and Death energies, and can occupy either the Life or Death slot in a planar arrangement.

So, it looks like planes have two kinds of attributes.

  • One is a list of energies they are associated with, meaning what slots they can occupy in the planar arrangement,
  • The other is a list of aspects that they provide in addition to their main energies. These influence the material plane in ways unique to the source plane.

Some planes also have moons. These seem to just serve as extra sources for aspects, though it's unclear what influence they have on energies, if any.
There are also binary stars, which seem to be pairs of planes that occupy two energy slots at once? I need to reread the logs on this. Apet and Reda may be examples?

This is a complete guess, but it may be possible for Ernst to create a new plane with his astral seed and to guide its development with custom energies and aspects. If we are short a slot where no known plane is suitable, but we know what energies and aspects would be beneficial, this may be an option.
- This option also requires Ernst's cooperation.

Old arrangement (pre-ritual):

Core?: Vona
Life: Av
Death: Nem
Space: Apet
Time: Reda
Fire: Jiese
Water: Mavisha
Air: Avilona
Earth: Urim

New arrangement (post-ritual):

Core?: The Gyre
Life: Mojang
Death: Av
Space: Fourmyle
Time: Illocus
Fire: Jiese
Water: Ostea
Air: Perlocus
Earth: Ratios

Current compilation of planes and their known energies/aspects:
(things that aren't well expounded on are things I'm making guesses on based on the guidebook. guesses are marked by ?)

Energies: Core?
Aspects: Revelations? Discoveries?

The Gyre:
Energies: Core?
Aspects: No, very nO

Energies: Life, Death
Aspects: Dreams, Mirrors

Energies: Death
Aspects: Ruin

Energies: Space
Aspects: Distance

Energies: Time
Aspects: Cycles?

Energies: Fire
Aspects: Cunning

Energies: Water
Aspects: Movements, Conflict?

Energies: Air
Aspects: idfk. guidebook says "Influences weather, notable deaths, and animals." Apparently it used to provide flight before the early Obscurati members damaged it.

Energies: Earth
Aspects: Fortune? Imprisonment?

Energies: Life
Aspects: Craft, Artifice

Energies: Space
Aspects: Empowerment

Baden, moon of Fourmyle:
Energies: ?
Aspects: Flight
Further note on Baden: "It is a ghost moon, as if it was once dead. Skyseers sense energy on it that is sympathetic to the Gyre itself."

Energies: Time
Aspects: Expression

Energies: Water
Aspects: Healing

Energies: Air
Aspects: Speech

Energies: Earth
Aspects: Logic

Undoing the Obscurati's Ritual

The best minds of Risur could surmise:

  • The ritual seems to need eight different planes, though just what determines a good match is unclear. The Ob kept Jiese, and they moved Av, but the other six planes were swapped out.
  • The Axis Seal had a golden cover, and Danoran excavations on Axis Island discovered golden icons linked to the worlds of the night sky. The party recovered one of these icons (Apet in Adventure Three), so they can figure out how to craft similar icons. Crafting one requires visiting the world you want to link to, and the only place available with worlds is the Gyre in the sky above.
  • Very dangerous energy is pouring out of the centre of the ritual crater on Axis Island, and the sun was at the centre of the planetary system. Since the sun is missing and the seal is open, maybe something needs to be put in the middle, or maybe the seal just needs to be closed.
  • It's unclear how to survive the energy of the seal, but even the colossus wasn’t strong enough by itself. It required defensive magic performed by Ob mages in nearby bunkers, and when someone killed them, the seal's power tore the colossus apart.

The ritual text from Alais Primos also reveals:

  • You need at least one plane with each of eight energy types – Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Life, Death, Space, and Time. Most planes have two primary energies they can be used for. Each world chosen will lend some of its nature to the party's homeworld.
  • Any physical object can function as an icon for a world; the Ancients just used gold because they had tons of it and it was long-lasting. Crafting an icon requires visiting a world and channelling its native energies into an object, which it absorbs over several days. Then you need only to mark the icon with some symbol to represent the world.
  • The sun will appear when the ritual cover is lowered.
  • The Ancients had specific chants performed by several hundred allies at the site of the ritual to keep the energy from going out of control. The Ob apparently used those same chants, and it was working until they were sabotaged.

Gorged on Ruins

Synopsis of the Biography of Triegenes

Triegenes’s autobiography, much like the mortal man himself, is simple and unassuming. Its nine chapters are less than two hundred hand-written pages, and could be easily read in a couple hours. A fish hook made of crude iron keeps the leather band around it in place. He originally composed it as a long epistle to his followers, wanting them to know who he was since he was expecting to die in his battle against the leadership of the Demonocracy.

He discusses the ups and downs of his early life, referring to events involving cultures and politics long since vanished from the world. One day he was caught in a storm at sea and barely survived. Though he couches it in compelling metaphor, the core of the story is that he nearly died, realized that he was nearly forty, wife dead and he with no child, and he didn’t think he had been kind enough to others, so he vowed to challenge himself to do better. Due to local events, he ended up leading people into battle against conquerors from across the sea.

Several chapters are devoted to lessons he learned leading people in a war to establish a nation. He spends an entire page extolling the importance of getting enough sleep. A recurring theme is knowing that the purpose of power is not simply to gain more power. After several great victories he had his own nation, but he wanted to defeat the Demonocracy. He was worried that perhaps his ambitions were arrogance, but he defends himself as being motivated to help the slaves of the demons, people who were denied a chance to make more of themselves.

From the writing, it is clear that Triegenes did not trust some of his closest advisors during the campaign against the demons. Some suggested he take a more authoritarian and rigid approach towards ruling the lands they conquered. One passage includes a section that is underlined: “Their desires for power and comfort cannot come at the expense of the people, and I will not allow a new Demonocracy to rule in my name, no matter how pretty the clothes it wears or the masks it hides behind.”

The final chapter explains that he has learned how to gain the power of a god, but that if he dies with that power, so too will die those who believe in him. He has always challenged himself to become greater, and this would be the pinnacle of that goal. But if he has this power he fears he’ll become a tyrant, and he doesn’t want to risk the lives of his followers. He ends with what reads as fatalistic humour. “I have the greatest catch on my hook, but I’m not sure I want to eat it. After all, I’m only fighting horrors from the Abyss. I probably won’t need it. If I die in this battle, better it be as a man, not a god. I suppose I have enough power already.”

The revelation of his biography, then, is that he never used the sacrament of apotheosis. He defeated the Demonocracy with his own power, and died in the process. Tales of his ascension to divinity were mere stories told by those who took power after him.

Ursaliña News

Several colourful playbills and official notices adorn corner signposts in Ursaliña, all affixed with the two-headed bear that is the city’s seal. All news is written in Draconic and Giant (translated here for your convenience).

Letter from the End of the World

I, Vlendam Heid, son of Anisim Heid, son of Modya Bohm, dictate this letter to professional stenographer Dema Derellova, whose keen fingers won’t type on anything but a mastercraft Unalako-brand mecha-typograph. It was personally delivered courtesy of a novel understanding of the teleportation mechanics of this new world, which was crafted by the least-secret conspiracy of our age.
May you have the wisdom and calm to face your coming end.
In a previous correspondence I alerted you to the threat of Grandis Komanov, a radical who had perverted the intent of my philosophical writings and in the process acquired a following of depraved and disgruntled ne’er-do-wells. She inspired a variety of religious devotion among those whose lives were in such a state that they would welcome the end of the world. You might be imagining now what the recent changes in the cosmos could have done for her recruitment efforts, but I assure you you have underestimated her success.
My people have had centuries to refine our fascination with the bleak and gloomy, and though many doomsayers have come and gone, our current situation has rather captured the imagination of a nation. I say this as I look out upon an army of what I wager is twenty or forty thousand souls. If I may get to my point, I am in the city of Bhad Ryzhavdut in the far east of Drakr, and we are under siege.
I have included in this box materials from Bhad Ryzhavdut’s museum of pre-Demonocracy history. It may seem idle fantasy to you, but it appears our besieger is aided by the reanimated (and rather enlarged) bodies of five ancient warlords, who were prophesied to be present at the final battle of the world. Scouts report she is digging for something in the Old City, and we suspect she will transition from siege to slaughter once she has whatever she is excavating.
Already several thousand citizens of this small city have defected, enticed by Komanov’s promise of unadulterated freedom to follow their most base urges. She claims the end of the world is nigh, and I admit it is hard to dispute her. As you appear to be the foremost experts in averting calamity, I write to you in the hope you will make this your problem to address.
Should you decline, I have witnessed your heroics and, with the assumption that your absence is for honorable reasons, I shall not begrudge you. But humbly I entreat you to not let this madwoman lead my nation to an ill-deserved end. Wherever your duty takes you, prepare yourself that your best efforts may fail, and that you might perish in undertaking your duty.
Your friend at the end of the world,
Vlendam Heid

The Siege of Bhad Rhyzhavdut


Museum Brochure Clipping


Risuri National Defense


Four large nations prepare to invade
Risur, and incidental forces from border
states and the eladrin enclaves in Elfaivar
supplement them. While the monarch and
company pursue matters of planetary
salvation, it is nevertheless necessary to
prepare for our national defence.


The total Risuri standing military consists of some twenty thousand soldiers. We believe a further eighty thousand citizens could be meaningfully armed and readied, but this would require immense social and economic upheaval.
Our best estimates of the invading forces’ military numbers are as follows, and include conscripts and ‘soldier-equivalent’ monsters. Each hostile nation can certainly field additional forces, but we believe these are the limit of what could be rapidly deployed.

  • Ber. Thirty thousand. Heroic dangers include immense beasts and druids that can turn into them, plus potentially-unknown weapons designed by Tinker Oddcog.
  • Crisillyir. Forty-five thousand. Heroic dangers include summoned hosts of angels and powerful divine spellcasters.
  • Danor. Fifty-five thousand. Heroic dangers include elite hivemind-controlled small arms fire and lantern-derived energy weapons.
  • Drakr. Seventy-five thousand. Heroic dangers include giant arcano-scientific artillery and forbidden curses of the old Demonocracy chanted by entire armies.

Military history of course shows that mere manpower is not a key determinant in victory, but it cannot be ignored. Even at our peak, we are outnumbered two-to-one. In a siege a defending force can typically resist an aggressor up to three times their numbers, but of our major cities, only Shale is substantially fortified.

Likely Objectives

Risur has five key centres of power, which the invaders would need to target to defeat us.

  • Shale. Naval power. Fortified, with the largest standing army. Navy based out of Shale is first line of defence against sea invasion.
  • Flint. Industrial production. Limited physical defences, but significant military presence.
  • Bole. Raw materials. Accessible from the southeast, but poorly defended.
  • Slate. Economic and political centre. Difficult for invaders to approach, reasonably fortified. However, traditional defence pacts with the fey are likely no longer active.
  • Weftlands. Food and manpower. Very broad area, hard to defend but also hard to attack.

Arcane and Technological Standings

New inventions of magic and technology are hard to predict, but we should assume Han Jierre wouldn’t launch an attack unless he had a trump card for our primary defences. We know the Danorans have advanced firearms with munitions enchanted to deter flight and other magic. Drakr has in the past deployed immense cannons capable of levelling yards-wide swaths with a single shot. Ber is renowned for its trained warbeasts, and Crisillyir’s long tradition of divine magic might even be bolstered with actual entities from the other worlds they’ve long claimed they believe in.
Finally, the new hivemind phenomenon might create unusual options for large-unit tactics. We are operating in uncharted territory.
If we have any luck, it is that the confederacy arrayed against us do not have a three-hundred-foot-tall golem.


If they follow the strategy that seems to best exploit our weaknesses, Drakr and Danor could link with a fleet from western Ber and focus on Shale. They could attack within a week, and together they could defeat our naval defences, albeit at great cost. A new beam projectile witnessed at Axis Island would defeat our walls and make the city’s centralized defences pointless. If the invaders did not worry about casualties, they could seize the city within a week. Three weeks is more likely if they are cautious. Success here gives them relatively uncontested access to our seas.
Simultaneously, eastern Ber could unite with Crisillyir to target Bole. A full defeat is unnecessary; all they need to do is stop shipment of raw materials to Flint, which would slow the beating of our industrial heart.
We predict that, barring providence on our side, the nations arrayed against us could be in a position to assault Shale in as little as six weeks.

A Path to Victory

However, the situation improves marginally if even one country refrains from invasion. If two refrain, we can likely avoid defeat, though we would assuredly lose territory. Danor alone would be unable to take and hold territory by itself.
We believe our best strategy is a holding action, focused on defence, to stall the enemy while our monarch persuades those who remain in the nations of Ber, Crisillyir, and Drakr that they should abandon this invasion. Fortunately, the new nature of the world appears to have produced grand perils for those three countries, which we can use as leverage to shift their positions.


The Forward Symposium

Set to take place in the Congressional Hall of Danor, the Forward Symposium has put the career politicians of Danor out on the street, with only a few allowed to attend. With the recent changes in the world, the congress has been relegated to a lesser role while Sovereign Jierre and Nicodemus temporarily take direct control of matters of state. Characters familiar with architecture know that the Congressional Hall of Danor is famous for its retractable metal plated roof, a device that is opened on days of fair weather in the Danoran capital city.
Through political connections, divinations, or asking El Extraño’s spy network, the party can learn that the following dignitaries will be in attendance. Each dignitary also has a small gaggle of attendants and aides, bringing the total number of people present to over a hundred.

  • Nicodemus the Gnostic (Obscurati representative)
  • Sovereign Han Jierre (Danor government representative)*
  • Minister of War Eloise Duffet (Danoran military representative)
  • Brakken of Heffanita (Beran government representative)
  • Prime Cardinal Tito Banderesso (Crisillyir government representative)
  • Chancellor Dmitra Takhenova (Drakr government representative)
  • Sagu Jacksdotter (League of Malice States government representative)
  • Lord Kulp (Nalaam economic representative)
  • Betronga Sidhon (Eladrin survivor representative)
  • Vlendam Heid (Eschatologist philosophy representative)
  • Various military and opposition political representatives from each of the major nations.
  • Various locally-notable politicians and philosophers from Border States, Malice States, and colonies in old Elfaivar.

*While Han Jierre is scheduled to attend, he will be absent. His wife Gelsey stands in for him.

Brakken’s Bond

Brakken is willing to test his abilities on the PCs to ensure the joining works, and that the PCs are familiar with the effects. Treat Brakken as having a Charisma bonus of +18 for purposes of the bond. The following is a summary of rules while the PCs are linked with Brakken:

  • All members of the bond (including Brakken) can communicate telepathically with each other.
  • By concentrating (a minor action) any member of the bond can shift their senses of hearing and sight between Brakken’s perspective and their own. The bond persists even if a character resumes his own senses, and he can go back into Brakken’s later if he desires.
  • While viewing the world through Brakken’s eyes, the PCs can attempt to speak through the minotaur. Unless Brakken or another linked member resists the words being spoken this happens automatically. If Brakken or another linked member attempts to resist, have them make opposed Charisma checks to see who wins.
  • While viewing the world through Brakken’s eyes, the PCs can attempt to take control of the minotaur’s movements and actions. Brakken prefers to be asked and then follows directions, and normally will resist this (as above). But he will let a PC do it if his life is in danger. A character controlling him in this way can use all her own personal skill and prowess.
  • Brakken can attempt to eject a PC from the mental bond as a standard action. He must succeed three consecutive opposed Charisma checks to do so.

All of the mental bond’s abilities work within a maximum range of 10 miles. While normally not an issue, this prevents the PCs from sitting in Risur while Brakken travels to Cherage.

Mechanics of a Broken Age

The following is a breakdown of mechanics that have changed since the completion of the Obscurati’s ritual.

  • Black Hole Sun: Characters cannot normally use powers that produce significant light or have the radiant descriptor. A character can spend a healing surge as a free action to overcome this limitation for five minutes.
  • Even then, no magical effect can produce light for more than 5 minutes. (Magic can produce fire, however, which emits light; only magical light is affected). All existing magical light effects such as everburning torches end.
  • Blood of Ostea: All creatures immediately stabilize when rendered below 0 hit points, and hit point loss itself is not enough to kill a creature. To slay a creature, one must spend a standard action to deliver a coup de grace to a creature that is already at negative hit points equal to or greater than its bloodied value.
  • All creatures reduced to 0 or below immediate heal up to 1 hit point after 1 minute unless they are killed first. Creatures regain all hit points after six hours of consecutive rest.
  • Death is Death: Deva who die reincarnate one last time, but as a different race or creature, appropriate to how they lived their life.
  • Flight of the Fey: Eladrin lose access to their racial ‘fey step’ ability. Instead, all attacks made by eladrin deal full damage to insubstantial creatures due to their connection to the new plane of Death.
  • Magic Mishaps: Whenever a character uses magic (either personally or with a magic item), there’s a chance that the effect causes a mishap (10% for at-wills, 30% for encounters, and 70% for dailies.) If it doesn’t mishap, it instead just fails. Perpetual abilities are generally unaffected.
  • A character who can use magic of some sort can spend 8 hours researching and practising, then make an Arcana check (DC 20). If he fails he can try again. If successful he becomes able to safely use powers of up to 1st level, with no special chance of failure or mishap. Each further day he can make additional checks to regain mastery of the next higher level of magic (2nd level utilities, 3rd level encounters, 5th level dailies, etc.), up to whatever is the highest level he knows. A character can only attempt one of these checks per day.
  • Alternately, a character who has mastered a level of magic can spend 8 hours to aid another character with his or her mastery attempts, granting a +5 bonus to that character’s check.
  • Existing magic items with activated abilities are dangerous, but can be rendered safe with a moment’s concentration by a magic-user who is at least as high level as the item.
  • Reign of the Rational: All creatures gain a +5 circumstance bonus on Diplomacy checks if they use rational appeals rather than emotional ones. All creatures take a –5 penalty to Intimidate and Insight checks.
  • Impossibly Distant: Planar travel works to any of the new worlds in orbit, but all other planes are out of range. The Dreaming and the Bleak Gate are inaccessible. The Gyre can be reached from various areas in the world, but travel is perilous, and one-way. Summoning spells work normally, though.
  • Teleportation and Communication: Gold no longer blocks teleportation. However it is not possible to teleport to a location unless you can either see it or you have travelled to it before. Any travel before the Ob’s ritual does not count, and scrying is insufficient, so it won’t be possible to teleport around the world for a while, until the PCs travel the traditional way first.
  • Similarly, magical communication cannot contact any creature unless you can either see it or have interacted with it since the Ob’s ritual.
  • You cannot teleport to a spot that is owned or otherwise controlled by someone who has chosen to bar teleporting intruders.
  • What constitutes ownership tends to follow social consensus. Streets and forests are public unless signs are prominently posted or fences (or even token lines of rope) are set up. The owner of an area can make exceptions for specific creatures or groups of creatures. This restriction only bars teleporting into an area, not out of an area or within an area.
  • Fourmyle Jaunting: Every creature is able to jaunt—to teleport within line of sight as an innate ability. As a standard action once per day, a character can teleport anywhere he has line of sight to. He cannot teleport to a spot he could not reach normally (e.g., you have to be able to walk or climb there, so no teleporting through a barred cage). He also cannot teleport if he’s being held.
  • A character focused on mobility (DM’s discretion) can instead use this ability once every five minutes.
  • (There will be a rash of robberies in the coming weeks until word spreads that all you have to do is think and you can bar teleporters from your property.)
  • Three Miles is so Last Age: Magic that restores life to the dead are no longer limited by the body having to travel less than three miles from where it died. However, spirits of the dead are visible in mirrors, standing near their bodies. After a few days, these spirits wander off and might be glimpsed occasionally in reflections.
  • Wings of Liberty: Magical flight is now possible, and its duration is not limited.

Reality Shift

In Adventure Seven, Schism, the Obscurati voted on how they wanted to design the new world. Though Nicodemus deemed the actual vote to be illegitimate since spies cast ballots, the ultimate decision closely resembled the MAP proposal—a combination of Miller’s Pyre, Panarchists, and the Arboretum, with a token effort to appease the Sky League by including flight.

New Solar System

Planes that exist following the Great Eclipse are:

  • Av. The plane of life now turned to the plane of death, still with a Dreams and Mirrors aspect, drifting far from the sun, nearly unseen.
  • Baden. Small spectral moon around Fourmyle with a Flight aspect. It is a ghost moon, as if it was once dead. Skyseers sense energy on it that is sympathetic to the Gyre itself.
  • Fourmyle. Plane of space with an Empowerment aspect. Allows you to teleport wherever you can see, or where a place is your ‘domain.’ This plane is filled with craters of warm air, habitability scattered across a desolate surface.
  • Illocus. Plane of time with an Expression aspect. Arguments build and cascade, since people do not revert to their normal status quickly. This plane burns with fire in a ring around Fourmyle.
  • Jiese. Original plane of fire with a Cunning aspect. Unchanged from the previous plane with the same name.
  • Mojang. Unlikely plane of life with Craft and Artifice aspects, which has a faintly purple surface. The terrain on this world is wildly varied, though only a handful of animals exist—such as yellow frogs – that exist seemingly independent of an ecosystem.
  • Ostea. A bloody plane of water with a Healing aspect. People heal faster, but blood empowers magic in unusual ways.
  • Perlocus. Plane of air with a heavy Speech aspect. Words will carry more weight to sway people’s opinions. This plane is surreal; when you say something it has a physical influence.
  • Ratios. Plane of earth with a Logic aspect, leading people to use reason in their arguments. The planet is bland and static rock.

There is no sun. The planets orbit a nexus, but the sun is missing. Instead, dim light is granted by a cloud of stars that seem to be pulled into the Gyre. Skyseers sense that the world is slowly drawing closer to the Gyre, and predict within a year or two the world will be pulled in.

The Last Starry Sky

The Rites of Rulership

The monarch of Risur derives powers from his or her position, but must rule with the approval of the populace. Herein are described the narrative and mechanical nature of the office.

Becoming Monarch

The current king or queen typically appoints a successor, which can be done as simply as saying out loud to a person that they are next in line to the throne. Anyone can be named a successor, regardless of race, nationality, or family. Aodhan held off naming a successor because he was unsure how marrying Lya Jierre might have affected Risuri politics.

Succession and Acceptance
When the current monarch dies or abdicates, the successor must be approved by the House of Nobles. The House of Nobles includes the current holders of any Baron, Viscount, Count, Earl, Marquess, or Duke titles (or the equivalent) handed out by the current or a previous monarch. Such titles can be revoked by royal decree, with consent of a majority of other nobles.
This can be done procedurally in advance if the nobles know the successor, which prevents a discontinuity of the monarchy. A consequence of this is that if a king who has named a successor dies and remains dead for more than a few minutes, the powers of the crown will be passed on, and cannot be reclaimed even if he were brought back from the dead. (Roland Stanfield or other devas could potentially become monarch, but only for one lifetime.)
If the current monarch dies without naming a successor, the House of Nobles can name one, but they must have majority approval of all nobles living in the land the monarch will rule.
Formal acceptance by the nobles grants the new monarch the powers detailed below under Lord of the Land. Once the people of Risur accept their new king or queen, he or she also gains the powers of Monarch of the Masses.

Contesting Control
At any time the monarch’s authority can be challenged if a majority of the nobles issue their grievance to him or her. The monarch retains the powers of Monarch of the Masses, but loses those of Lord of the Land.
Similarly, if the monarch is not supported by his or her citizens, the powers of Monarch of the Masses will be weaker.
The nature of the Rites has trouble with planar travel, and if the monarch travels to another world his or her power can be contested by a majority of nobles or citizens on that plane.

Powers of the Monarch

Of course the monarch has political power to direct the army and navy, and to make broad dictates which generally the nobility enact into law. Immense wealth is available for his or her use, though restraint must be shown to avoid weakening the country. But the most famous powers of Risur’s kings and queens are tied to their defence of the homeland. The rites of rulership grant the monarch sufficient might to fend off a fey titan.

Lord of the Land
While in Risur, the monarch can spend a minor action once per round to move up to four 5-ft. cubes of earth, stone, or foliage up to five feet.
The monarch can name creatures to forbid them from entering Risur via teleportation or planar travel for one month, but must know the person’s actual name. Likewise, the king can spend ten minutes to open a pathway to the Dreaming, though the current state of the planes prevents such a transition.
When the monarch is engaged in battle with a person or group actively contending for control of Risur’s territory, his power is elevated to match the strongest individual among his enemies. When facing a fey titan, this gives a mortal man incredible strength and stamina, but it is of little use against invading armies, since the monarch is likely already about as powerful as even the most dangerous of his or her enemies.
When the monarch is in an encounter with a hostile creature that is contesting control of Risuri lands (or if the monarch is trying to conquer lands controlled by his or her enemy), the monarch gains the following benefits.

  • A bonus to attack rolls and defenses equal to the difference in levels.
  • A bonus to Strength-, Dexterity-, and Constitution-based checks equal to 5+ half the difference in levels.
  • Regeneration equal to the difference in levels. Double this regeneration if the enemy is an elite, and quintuple it if the enemy is a solo. This is in addition to the default regeneration 10 from Monarch of the Masses (see below).
  • For the purpose of abilities that depend on size, the monarch can choose to be considered the same size as his or her opponent. (Zidi the Halfling Queen once put Granny Allswell into a headlock.)

Effects that factor in the difference in levels only care if the enemy is higher level. Fighting a lower-level foe never weakens the monarch. And the monarch only gains bonuses from a single enemy, whichever is of the highest level. After all, the rites were designed to help a man fight a fey titan, not two fey titans.
For example, when King Dukain (level 20) fought the Voice of Rot (level 28), he benefited from a +8 bonus to attack rolls and defenses, +9 to physical ability checks, and regeneration 50.

Monarch of the Masses
The monarch gains a +5 bonus to saves against charm, fear, and poison. When the monarch falls to 0 HP or below for the first time in an encounter, each of the monarch’s allies within three miles is dazed for one round. However, the monarch has regeneration 10, and if he or she would die from a failed death saving throw, he or she can choose instead to become stable.
The monarch also receives the Crown of Risur, which lets the wearer always know the preferred names of those he or she can see. As a free action the crown’s wearer can say someone’s name to grant them a save against charm, fear, or poison; but a given creature can only be granted one bonus save in this way per day.


Sacrament of Apotheosis

The ritual must be centred on an individual who represents the god or idea that is being invoked, and the power that person gains depends on how many followers that god or idea has, and how fervent. In addition to some archaic chants that take an hour, the ritual performers must sacrifice a lion, an eagle, a whale, and a dragon, then use their blood to adorn the subject with the name of the god or idea. Finally, the target must drink a cup of blood from a believer and recite the mantra, “Before I was nothing but words. Now I am all that is believed. I am faith made flesh. I am flesh made a god.”
The subject will rapidly transform into a physical incarnation, maintaining that form for a day. He’ll gain unrivalled strength and resistance to injury, but anyone who knows the name of the actual person within the incarnation will be able to harm it as easily as they would a normal person. Also, once the effect ends, the subject is severely weakened for days or weeks. Finally, if the incarnation dies, a backlash will strike the believers. How severe a backlash is relative to the intensity of their belief.


Train Schedules


Grappa's Letter


Revelations from the Mouth of a Madman

Hostage Letter


The Bruse's Challenge

Bruse Shantus is holding a competition to decide whether Risur (represented by the RHC Constables) or Danor (represented by Lya Jierre and her associates, also representing Obscurati interests) will be granted access to Tinker.
The Bruse, his vizier Zarkava, and his minister of dragon affairs Kenna, as 'head, heart, and purse-strings', will each have one vote, based on their opinion of the two parties. The other two votes will be determined by who wins each of two challenges, to get the three of them more time to get to know the parties before their votes after the completion of the two challenges. Whichever party gets the most out of 5 votes wins access to Tinker.

The Rules

  • First, neither group may leave the grounds of the summer court before sunrise on the next day (Summer 2 is the official start date of both challenges).
  • Second, if any member of either group or anyone affiliated with them attempts to locate or contact Tinker before the end of this contest, the offending group will receive the ire of Shantus and his nation. No cheater shall be allowed to meet with the gnome, and anyone who acts in bad faith will be named an enemy of Ber.
  • Third, if any member of one group attacks anyone in the other group, the attackers will forfeit. Shantus grins and admits he’s open to a bit of interpretation. A little friendly disruption via third parties is fine, but we’re all civilized here, and he won’t abide killing someone from the other side.

First Challenge

The Cantabrilla Railroad will connect the nation’s east and west coasts so that freight won’t have to travel along the southern coast, which has its share of hostile territory, such as the unincorporated gnoll tribes. The entire length will come to three hundred and twenty-five miles, stretching between the cities of Reo Pedresco and Renza.
To motivate its fast completion, the Ministry of Dragon Affairs hired two companies: Griento Railways out of Renza, and Liss Rail Construction out of Reo Pedresco. Whenever a company completed twenty-five miles of the railroad on schedule it earned a bonus, and as the two groups near the central linkage point the Bruse is offering even greater bonuses for whichever company lays the most track.
Currently the heads of the two lines are separated by thirty-six miles, and each side can lay one or two miles of track per day. Going is rough because the route passes through the central river lands, rugged terrain full of steep gullies carved by numerous rivers and streams.
The Bruse will award one vote to whichever group gets their railroad to lay eighteen miles first. He assigns the RHC to help Liss Rail Construction and Lya’s group to Griento Railways

Second Challenge

The “Riven Sea of Gold,” Marrajado de Oro, forms part of the border between Risur and Ber. For centuries Risur had to defend against naval attacks from fleets of the dragon tyrants and later by orcish warlords. But times have been peaceful since Vairday Bruse united the nation.
However the current executive authority there, Cavallo de Guerra, is a thorn in Bruse Shantus’s side. He’s refusing to pay a fair share for the construction of the Selestala Railroad, which will link his capital city Citado Cavallo with Seobriga. This is just the latest dispute.
The Bruse tasks the PCs with convincing Cavallo to make a public pledge of loyalty and agree to pay for his share of the Selestala route. And he tasks Lya’s group with discrediting Cavallo, by convincing him to launch an attack on Risuri territory, specifically the fort Manhill, which has long defended against orcish attacks. Whichever happens first earns its team a vote.

Beran News Clipping

(Translated from Beran)


Radical Eschatologists


Central District's Subrail Routes


Epistle from Heid

I, Vlendam Heid, son of Anisim Heid, son of Modya Bohm, dictate this letter to professional typist Kimsta Vicked, who uses only the finest Zhugo-brand mecha-typographs. It was delivered by Trekhom-based Mori Couriers.

May you have the wisdom and calm to face your coming end.

I send this in hopes it can help you prepare for whatever end may befall you. While I accept not all who are exposed to my writings and speeches shall interpret them as I would desire, it does not surprise me that some radicals claim the name of this movement I inspired and pervert it to ends inimical to my intentions, and to what I believe any good citizen of this world, man or dwarf, would support.

There is, in the frigid north of Drakr, a dwarf woman named Grandis Komanov whom I cannot in good faith call a philosopher. Rather she is, if I may use a pejorative term, a spiritual leader. One of Komanov’s adherents came to me this evening and in a most vulgar fashion bragged of what one of his peers would be doing in your city of Flint. I believe he thought I would show him approval, but his intentions—and moreover his enthusiasm for the methods—repulsed me.

Komanov has taken the volumes of writing I have produced, condensed them to a simple aphorism “Prepare for the end,” and then encouraged an interpretation that more closely resembles “Make things end.” You may not be familiar with my nation’s old history of monsters in the frozen wastes, but we are always putting up with zealots who derive worldly power by preying on the beliefs of those seeking spiritual power from these long-perished entities. Komanov continues this tradition, but appears much more invested in the fiction she has produced.

In short, my visitor this night claims a group of Komanov’s followers—who alas have several days’ head start on this letter—head now to Flint with the intention of disrupting your peace summit and causing a great tide of mayhem and death. They think peace between your two nations will forestall a doomsday they greatly desire.

I feigned interest in my visitor’s claims, and elicited two pieces of information you might value. First, the leader of this group is Grundun Zubov who is not known to me. Second, they have hired a crack marksman for reasons I can only guess, one Kvarti Gorbatiy. His name kindled some recognition, and I pored through old correspondence to find a letter he had written me a few months past. Unless his demeanor has greatly changed in the intervening time, I suspect his involvement is mercenary and not philosophically aligned with Komanov’s radicalism.

While I assume you will pursue actions to obviate any disaster they intend, I entreat you first to prepare yourself that your best efforts may fail and that you might perish in undertaking your duty. Nevertheless, I wish you success.

Ekossigan's Poem

When spring returns to winter, / The cauldron births a spark.
The steel betrays the vintner, / The silver spurns the arc.
The fire-bride’s dissension: / Dismissed by green-adorned.
The wheel-woven dead man / Shall wake the cauldron-born.

Phyllis' take:

'When spring returns to winter' — Ekossigan underwent a transformation of the 'spring' to 'winter' in our encounter with him. I don't know if there is a causal relationship, but it does point to the timing of things. Borne awoke shortly after — hence 'the cauldron births a spark.' 'The steel betrays the vintner' refers to how Borne awoke at the worst time for Quital — who, might I remind you, has a family famous for its vineyards.

I am unsure as to the next three stanzas' meaning, though the likeliest interpretation I have of the bit about the fire-bride is the king's willingness to marry Lya, despite her involvement with the Obscurati. (I am uncertain if this could instead refer to Asrabey and Kasravina somehow, or if I'm off-base entirely. I could be the fire-bride, for all we know, but I certainly have no intent to wed anyone currently.)

'The silver spurns the arc' is still a mystery to me almost entirely — does this mean Ottavia or someone in the silver cell rejected something? Does this refer to the Dreaming, somehow? Or the moon? Was it a Dreamer's Moon on that night, when the influence of the Bleak Gate would be at its strongest during the lunar cycle? Does it refer to the arc of silver reportedly visible in Apet? Does it, and this is stretching things, refer to Heward Sechim or some other factory's practices of etching silver? Something to do with needlewire, the substance that the Ob injects into its subordinates to communicate with Nicodemus?

'The wheel-woven dead man / Shall wake the cauldron-born.' This part troubles me, and is what has troubled me for a long time in our affairs with the Obscurati. Their subordinates always seem unaware of their plans suddenly going awry. Macbannin's mansion suffering an earthquake at an inopportune time (us being present to arrest him). The seal and the lanterns underneath our own HQ were stated, by Sijihen, to have been prepared — but obviously by someone other than Sijhen. Borne awoke on Quital, much to Quital's dismay and surprise. While Nicodemus denied these things, I know of no one else that could orchestrate these "mishaps." (Anyone sufficiently high up enough the Obscurati chain of command could have done so, but "dead man" also seems to pinpoint Nicodemus, at this point.)

Briefing Dossier

This dossier is official correspondence of His Majesty King Aodhan’s Royal Homeland Constabulary. By the powers of his office, the king has sealed this document, and any unauthorized individuals opening it shall come to the attention of the RHC.
Unapproved opening of this document is an offence against the crown. Let those who transgress be struck down, as established in the Rites of Rulership.

Peace Summit of 501 AOV

Spring 8. Mediator Brakken of Heffanita arrives from Ber. Drakran observer Steffan Eberhardt is already in town.
Spring 9. Danoran vessel Freux Rouge arrives, carrying Captain Rosalyn Taylor and Minister of Magic Pierre Riquier. For the Risur delegation, Geoff Massarde and Kian Doherty arrive from Slate.
Spring 13. At 6pm, Danoran vessel Lux Profectusque arrives, carrying Sovereign Han Jierre, Minister of Outsiders Lya Jierre, and Minister of War Eloise Duffet. That evening a banquet involving all dignitaries and begins the Peace Summit.
Spring 14. King Aodhan and Sovereign Han Jierre hold private talks.
Spring 20. The talks are scheduled to end with a formal declaration of betrothal between the King and Lya Jierre.
Spring 22. The Sovereign and most of the delegation will depart, while Lya Jierre will begin a nationwide political tour. Life in Flint can return to normal.

In the Risur delegation.

  • King Aodhan.
  • Principal Minister Harkover Lee.
  • Royal Engineer Geoff Massarde.
  • Minister of Agriculture Kian Doherty.
  • City Governor Roland Stanfield.

And for the Danorans.

  • Sovereign Han Jierre.
  • Minister of Outsiders Lya Jierre.
  • Minster of War Eloise Duffet.
  • Minister of Magic Pierre Riquier.
  • Naval Representative Rosalyn Taylor.

And finally.

  • Mediator Brakken of Heffanita.
  • Drakran Observer Steffan Eberhardt.

Persons of Note

Hereafter labeled as PN#.

  • PN1. Danoran Minister of Outsiders Lya Jierre. Niece of Sovereign Han Jierre. Witnessed at gathering of Obscurati in Vendricce. Involvement unknown.
  • PN2. Nathan Jierre. Cousin of Lya. Researcher at Axis Island, accomplice of Duchess Ethelyn of Shale. Involved in extraplanar observation.
  • PN3. Luc Jierre. Brother of Lya. Arcanoscientist, inventor of artifact identified as “Wayfarer Lantern.” Delivered lantern to Lya Jierre and PN5 in Vendricce.
  • PN4. Sovereign Han Jierre. Ruler of Danor. Involvement unknown.
  • PN5. “Nicodemus.” Unnamed individual smoking cigarettes (leaf of Nicodemus) at gathering in Vendricce. Appeared to have a leadership role.
  • PN6. Duchess Ethelyn of Shale. Sister of King Aodhan. Claimed skyseer vision warned of threat to Risur. Attempted assassination of king. Attacked Axis Island. See attachment PN6a.
  • PN7. Reed Macbannin. (deceased) Mayor of Flint district of The Nettles. Operated facility on Cauldron Hill refining substance identified as “Witchoil.” Committed suicide in prison cell.
  • PN8. Cillian Creed. (deceased) Butler of Macbannin. Infused with Bleak Gate magic, granting shadowy physical form. Performed murder, organized smuggling operation, attempted cover-up, and likely other criminal activities on behalf of Macbannin.
  • PN9. Her Majesty Princess Fairy Dust, Hana “Gale” Soliogn. Eladrin refugee from Danor. Hostile to Danoran industrial activity in Flint. Unconfirmed role in murder and arson of industrialists. Sent PN10 Nilasa on spy mission in Danoran consulate in Flint.
  • PN10. Nilasa Hume. (deceased) Stole financial documents from consulate, linking Macbannin to various criminal enterprises. Murdered by PN8 Cillian Creed.
  • PN11. His Grace the Duke of Slaughter. Lorcan Kell. Crime lord in Flint district Parity Lake, with base of operations in location identified as “Theater of Scoundrels.” Renowned for violence and cruelty. Examination of stolen financial documents reveal many factories in Parity Lake changed ownership—we suspect by intimidation—and were registered in the names of known members of Kell’s guild. Strong certainty that Kell aided Macbannin in smuggling various industrial goods to destination unknown. After Macbannin’s arrest, Kell’s guild apparently accompanied agents of the Obscurati during the attack on the RHC headquarters.
  • PN12. Leone Quital the “Steelshaper.” Aided PN8 Creed in attempt to recover documents at an abandoned church in The Nettles. Demonstrated ability to move and shape metal without obvious spellcasting. Had a Crisillyiri accent, likely related to the owners of Quital Vineyards.
  • PN13. Lady Inspectress Margaret Saxby. Former head of the RHC in Flint. Apparently worked to help Macbannin maintain secrecy, believing it was part of an official Risuri military project. Appears to have no direct affiliation with the Obscurati.
  • PN14. Kaja Stewart. (deceased) Arcanoscientist in Macbannin’s laboratory who stole items identified as “Ancient Artifacts” after Macbannin was captured. Worked with PN11 Kell to fence these items. Dead through possibly faked suicide in cell at RHC headquarters.
  • PN15. Caius Bergeron. Alleged patron of archaeology. According to PN14 Kaja, Bergeron brought Ancient Artifacts to Macbannin for examination, to determine their powers and risk. Funded multiple expeditions to Ancient ruins. Killed via exneuralation by Sijhen. Arranged bodyguards for PN3 Luc on Avery Coast Railroad, apparently with intent to accompany to Vendricce.
  • PN16. Sijhen. Mysterious being, identified as a “Gidim.” See attachment PN16a for details of Gidim. Entity sought to return to its own plane. Believed dead or banished when its portal collapsed. No apparent affiliation with conspiracy.
  • PN17. Xambria Meredith. Archaeologist who excavated location identified as “Ancient High Bayou Ziggurat.” Recovered Ancient Artifacts, which were delivered to PN15 Bergeron. Possessed by PN16 Sijhen, and shared memories. Provided the name “Obscurati” to identify hostile conspiracy; we suspect the name was gleaned from consumed brain of PN15.

Obscurati Intelligence

Herein an overview of knowledge about the organization identified as “Obscurati” by Person of Note 17 (Xambria Meredith).

Section the First: Obscurati Organization
The Ob (for short) appear to have a very strong focus on secrecy and compartmentalization. It is possible they have other cells of their organization that we are unaware of simply because the operatives we’ve interrogated were not privy to the full scope. Indeed, given the conspiracy’s assets and international span, it seems likely they are up to more than just operations in Flint.
It is imperative that we trace the chain of command to its top and then work our way down to lower tiers of other cells.

Section the Second: Operations in Flint
In Flint, we suspect PN12 Steelshaper convinced PN7 Macbannin to work on a fake Risuri military project. Macbannin operated in our world and helped smuggle materials, we suspect into the Bleak Gate, which are likely being used to construct something that requires a great industrial base. Macbannin also refined witchoil, which likely would be used as fuel for whatever is being created. The Ob want it to remain secret, and have gone to elaborate lengths to keep it so.
The Ob appear to have a base, and likely factory or assembly facilities in the Bleak Gate, and possess means to travel between that world and ours with relative ease.

Section the Third: Wider Operations
The Ob are interested in reaching or manipulating other planes. It is possible PN15 Bergeron’s funding of Ancient expeditions is merely tangential to their main activities, but PN3 Luc’s invention, the Wayfarer Lantern, has the potential to influence planar magic. Additionally, Axis Island had unusual planar fluctuations, and PN2 Nathan was studying other stars.

Section the Fourth: Goals
Unfortunately, we lack enough information to present anything but baseless speculation.

Attachment PN6A: Ethelyn's Prophecy

Duchess Ethelyn of Shale allegedly received this prophecy. It, along with numerous other factors, motivated her treason against the crown.

A globe spins on its axis, and a steel ship sets off to war on a sail of shadows. The world passes into night, and blackness grips all of Risur as the stars fall from the sky. The king’s eyes turn a soulless white, and he moves as a puppet, his strings pulled by a man who has already died a thousand times.

Though we are wary of putting excessive stock in prophecy—if for no other reason than the desire to avoid hubristically bringing its predictions to pass in the course of trying to prevent them—we can see some obvious parallels to current situations.
The “axis” likely motivated Ethelyn to target Axis Island. Likewise the “steel ship” suggests the R.N.S. Coaltongue, a prominent Risuri steel warship. The “sail of shadows” could simply be the smoke from its engine, or might be related to the Obscurati’s penchant for hiding, particularly in the shadowy Bleak Gate. However, the ship has not set off to war, and indeed the current peace plans will hopefully avoid any imminent war.
We see no obvious correlations in the rest of the prophecy. If it is true, that suggests the events have not yet occurred. Stars falling from the sky could relate to any number of meteor showers, or perhaps the incursion from Gidim, a previously unknown world (see Attachment PN16a), but this is only speculation.
—— Royal Skyseer Cliff Swanland

Corraborating this prophecy with others — see my notes elsewhere — my own interpretation of the rest of the prophecy corresponds to parts of Seedism lore, where both meteor showers and rakshasa are prominent. The entity known as Nicodemus, who I suspect is a rakshasa, 'a man who has already died a thousand times,' who has reincarnated that many times, is trying to somehow gain control of the King (one such method being the king's betrothal to Lya Jierre, a confirmed Obscurati member) — though I do not know for what ends or purpose.
—— Constable Phyllis Lenz

Attachment PN16A: Gidim

Creatures identified as “Gidim Warbeasts” appeared several times, apparently summoned from the planet Apet, also known as The Distant Plane. Apet is source of teleportation and divination magic, and the incomplete silver ring that surrounds it is source of foresight magic. Travel to plane was believed impossible, and no creatures could be summoned from there.
At Ancient High Bayou Ziggurat, a golden plate sealed a portal to a small pocket dimension, which appeared to have originally been part of Apet before being sliced away. Several creatures escaped, including PN16 Sijhen. Based on explanation from PN14 Xambria, the entity was not native to Apet, but rather from the planet/plane/star called Gidim. Alternately, the creature’s race might just be called Gidim. We are operating with dubious nomenclature.
Sijhen, like the Gidim Warbeasts, existed primarily as manifested thought, with ability to become solid. Our best guess is that they feed on thought or emotion, either indirectly—like plants requiring intangible sunlight—or physically. After PN16’s arrival in Flint, numerous victims were reported having their brains removed through the palates of their mouths. Apparently Sijhen acquired the knowledge of the minds it ate. The warbeasts appear to have been lacking higher intelligence. Sijhen’s possession of PN17 might have been dependent on circumstances, or could be trait of entire species.
Entity attempted to open a portal to its homeworld, though no place called Gidim is known to our skyseers or astronomers, and such travel would normally be impossible. It acquired an ancient artifact known as “Ancient Star Map” which it appeared to use to direct its portal. The possibility of an extraterrestrial race possessed of these powers is greatly concerning, but is beyond the scope of this current investigation. Henceforth, by order of the king, all information about the Gidim is to remain secret, and any previous statements are to be disavowed as a deception perpetrated by unknown fey entities. Until further information is acquired, any additional incursions by the Gidim should be kept hidden from the general public to avoid a mass panic.

Ranyard Muldrate
RHC Slate branch
S.C.P. Division
On behalf of Lord Viscount Inspector Nigel Price-Hill

Always On Time

Letter from Elanor Yanette, Day 4


Cover Identities

  • Chandrasekhar

Ananth Rao, wandering chanter of the Dirge of Vekesh. Goes between 'fabulously wealthy' and 'penniless' with some regularity - asceticism is good for the aesthetic. Towards the 'fabulously wealthy' end of the spectrum right now - he's making his way home to Elfaivar, to tithe it all. Currently engaged in nightly philosophy duels with a dwarven philosopher he's recently met on his travels, and trying to keep Jeremy in the precisely correct amount of trouble for the betterment of his character.

  • Gerald

Jeremy Smith. Son of a well off factory owner who recently completed his schooling but isn't quite up to the task of inheriting the family business just yet. Was sent off with [Chandra], an old friend of his fathers, to go travel the world for some time to gain more worldly experience. Kind of a lazy good for nothing, but is moderately decent at tinkering around with machines.

  • Phyllis

Hilda Straub, originally hailing from Drakr. Well-versed in the philosophical tradition, she went abroad to continue her studies, eventually finding the variety of the Panoply school in Ber to better appeal to her own outlook more than Heid Eschatol does — one that celebrates the life that exists instead of focusing on merely the end. She's become something of a continual world-traveller, having just made recent acquaintances of [Chandra's Cover Identity] and Jeremy at a lecture in Ber. She has an elegant and refined look to her.

  • Ernst

Stocke Alistel. A freelance engineer that can fix pretty much anything at a glance. He's supposedly drafted up the blueprints for quite a few golem models and sold them to the highest bidder. Despite being wealthy to some degree he is incredibly frugal. He's travelling across the continent for a trade show.

  • Garrett

Jack Noir. Security expert and consultant to the wealthy. His company "Safeway Security & Consulting" (SafeSACk) sells advice and equipment for both mechanical concerns (locks, traps, fake doors, building layout) and preventive social exploits (OPSEC practices, instituting companywide ID measures, anti-phishing measures). Owns a minor stake in a business insurance firm. Attended the Kaybeaus Armament and Technology Exposition to keep up on the latest tech, used that knowledge to secure a few new contracts. With those papers signed, he decided to take a casual vacation. Consulted for Jeremy Smith's father, though the two of them being on the same train at the same time is coincidental. (OR IS IT…)

  • Zane

Anthony Batali. A quiet half-orc cook with consumate knife skills and a strong reluctance to talk about hsi past. He has the insignia for the Ber War College on the ring securing his neckerchief, but says he's doing research for his final thesis, An Army Marches On Its Stomach: How Diet and Nutrition Affect The Bodies Humors. or Eating Your Way To Victory


  • 85 Autumn, 500. Your ship departs Flint. Trip to Beaumont should take 7 days.
  • 1 Winter, 500. Your ship arrives in Beaumont. Your ship sails for Trekhom. (You have a ten-day buffer in case of trouble at sea.)
  • 11 Winter, 500. Train departs Beaumont at 7:30 a.m.
  • 11 Winter, 500. Train arrives in Cherage by 6:00 p.m.
  • 12 Winter, 500. Train departs Cherage at 7:30 a.m.
  • 12 Winter, 500. Train arrives in Orithea by 6:15 p.m.
  • 13 Winter, 500. Train departs Orithea at 7:30 a.m.
  • 13 Winter, 500. Train arrives in Trekhom by 6:30 p.m. Your ship will be waiting at the harbour.
  • 14 Winter, 500. Train departs Trekhom at 7:30 a.m. Your ship sails for Sid Minos.
  • 14 Winter, 500. Train arrives in Nalaam by 6:00 p.m.
  • 15 Winter, 500. Train departs Nalaam at 7:30 a.m.
  • 15 Winter, 500. Train arrives in Sid Minos by 5:30 p.m. Your ship will be waiting at the harbour.
  • 16 Winter, 500. Train departs Sid Minos at 7:30 a.m.
  • 16 Winter, 500. Train arrives in Vendricce by 6:00 p.m. Your ship will be waiting at the harbour. Trip to Flint should take 8 days.


Digging for Lies

Obscurati Rings

  • Mayor Reed Macbannin. Bronze Ring. “Overcome Black Arts.”
  • Lady Inspectress Margaret Saxby. Bronze Ring. “Opportunity Begets Glory.”
  • Caius Bergeron. Gold Ring. “Old Bergeron Gold.”
  • Finona Duvall. Gold Ring. “Original Brave Ideas.”
  • Ottavia Sacredote. Silver Ring. “Orthodoxy Bolsters Gods.”

The Pardwight Museum of Natural History

A Strange Letter

Hans Weber received this letter shortly after Xambria disappeared by the seal of Mavisha.

A Found Note

A note within a ritual book aboard Il Draçon de Mer provides insight into the goals of Caius Bergeron and his associates. The following is translated from the Common dialect of Danor:

Memorandum for Finona Duvall,
I was impressed by the flawless professionalism of your clean-up at the High Bayou excavation. The previous expedition was
staffed with cavalier fools, but you emerged unscathed from peril, which highlights your intellect and acumen. I think you have
the potential to benefit my associates greatly, and if your work continues to be of this masterful calibre, I shall recommend you be
brought in more fully.
To wit, I trust you will handle this your fourth dig site with the same skill. However, for your new Drakran bodyguards, this
will be their first time opening a seal. I am confident neither is so loutish and disruptive as Master Rackus was at the ziggurat of
Jiese. Nevertheless, it is imperative that we avoid a disaster like what occurred at the bayou ziggurat.
The magic and defences at these ruins are complex and secretive, so while I thoroughly trust your familiarity with the dangers,
we need take no unnecessary risks.
Firstly, each of the golden seals were crafted by the Ancients specifically to close a portal to another world. Examination of the
relief images on each suggests hostile creatures had been entering our world through these portals, and that the Ancients used
the seals to slow an invasion. The creatures were not of any known modern race. Be certain your allies are forewarned, and keep
close eye on their mental stability. At least once disaster has struck because someone panicked at the revelation that the world
was much larger than their current conception.
Second, the peculiar nature of the seal magic appears to have trapped a small mote of the other world on the far side of the
portal. I suspect that this somehow redirected the existing portals to this pocket dimension, and that perhaps simply closing the
portal was beyond the skill of the Ancients. Though ages have passed, and we can only assume the invasion forces were stopped
somehow, each time we have opened one of these seals, creatures have survived within. Make sure everyone is armed at all times
and ready for battle.
Third, the hostile creatures appear to have belonged to different factions, as the seals of Jiese, Nem, and Apet depict distinct
sorts of creatures. The Ancients clearly dealt with threats from worlds beyond those known to us today, since the beings that
emerged from the ziggurat of Apet do not match any of the current lore of that world. Indeed, the strange beasts were not even
the same sort as portrayed on the seals. Do not presume that simply because you are opening a portal to the plane of water that
any creatures beyond must share the same elemental affiliation. Use multiple warding circles in your initial explorations; we can
afford the expense.
Fourth, either time or magic has had the effect of concentrating the inherent planar energy within the mote beyond the seals.
When the Mavisha seal is finally opened, expect intense energy to pour out. This will probably just be elemental water energy, but
as always, precautions rule the day. Make sure first to know the nature of the energy, and set up appropriate wards. If possible,
do not be nearby when the seal opens.
Finally, while we have endeavoured to maintain a certain discretion in our activities, we have attracted the unfortunate attentions
of an RHC squad, and I fear we might be being watched by agents of the Unseen Court. Be prepared for attack from
without as well as within when you’re at the dig. Afterwards, maintain the greatest discretion in transporting the golden seal.
If necessary, abandon it so you can make sure to reach me with your research. While a ton of gold is valuable in its own right,
we’re fairly certain any gold suffices for these seals, so your examinations of the abjurations are more valuable than the physical
Please try to enjoy your journey. Seobriga in Autumn is lovely, and I trust the more rustic charms of the land around the ziggurat
of Mavisha will provide a pleasant respite from the stress of avoiding ancient curses and otherworldly carnivores. I await
your return with an admitted enthusiasm, and I insist you recount your journey with the utmost detail while enjoying the finest
wines from my family’s vineyards.
Do be safe, Finona.

Your benefactor and cohort,
Caius Bergeron

P.S., If complications arise, do try to wrap up before Winter. It would be a treasure if you could accompany me by train from
Beaumont on the 11th. I have a meeting to attend on the 20th in Vendricce, after which I plan to stay in Crisillyir for a few months.
I would love the company of a vivacious young woman, since my host is somewhat too aged and philosophical for my tastes.

Thoughtform Creatures

A PC within 5 squares of any creature with the Thoughtform trait can spend a minor action to try to influence the creature with its thoughts. The PC makes an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma check, and chooses to target Fortitude, Reflex, or Will. A character can only attempt this once per round.
Fortitude- If the attack hits, the creature loses insubstantial and phasing until the start of the PC’s next turn. If it’s flying, it must land on its turn or fall.
Reflex- If the attack hits, the PC can slide the creature 2 squares.
Will- If the attack hits, the PC is invisible to the creature until the start of the PC’s next turn.

The Murder of Nilasa Hume

Nevards prophecy

"I saw a dark figure, standing atop Cauldron Hill, towering over our city. The sun set, and he cast a shadow across Parity Lake, stretching northwest, into the sea, beyond the horizon. He is born in our city, but his ultimate goal is elsewhere. And also things moved in his shadow—indeed, his shadow moved before he did, for while he was mighty, he was controlled by others." Borne. Being controlled by Grappa, Quital, who knows who else.
"I saw smoke hiding his face, for he was made mighty by industry. In my vision, a king chased him out to sea and defeated him by slicing him free from his shadow. But the cauldron had already shattered, and many thousands were drowned and devoured in its roil." Also Borne. Created by industry, chased out by Aodhan, and the cauldron-born.
"I saw three birds alight on the peak, the first of black silk, the second of black steel, both weeping blood. But the third was made of stars, and it sang many songs."
"I tell you this: Cauldron Hill is not safe. Twice will danger arise, and twice will we be deceived into thinking it is safe to return, but we must avoid the place and avoid being tricked. I have arranged shelter in the Cloudwood, where people can be safe until the darkness passes." Phyllis notes: The first return being our attempt to arrest MacBannin, the second return being Borne.
"A woman sat on a leather couch in a waiting room, surrounded by red curtains. She held a gold coin and rolled it across the back of her fingers. A pick lay against the side of the couch. He asked her what she was waiting for, and she answered in a language he didn’t know, saying, 'The place I’m going isn’t here yet.'" This line definitely refers to Meredith Xambria, from what we now know. The pick symbolizes her profession and the dig site, and the coin is the Apet Icon. … though on second thought, I am not so sure now.
"A trumpeter carried a lantern onto the stage of a darkened theater, and the people gathered for his performance applauded, then lit lanterns of their own. The theater never got bright enough for him to see their faces." The Obscurati, and the secretive nature of their organization. Not sure on the identity of the trumpeter, nor what event this actually references.
"One man tore himself in two, and his twin selves fought over a woman, tearing her into three, who ran away. Mice skittered around them, collecting cheese fallen amid the rails of a trainyard. Then a train roared down the track past him, but it had no one driving it. In the distance it derailed, and crushed two of the women, but which of the three survived?"
"A man carrying a bronze staff with three keyholes is assailed by swords and arrows and fire, but nothing kills him. He began to take off his robes, revealing tiger fur beneath them, while stars fell from the sky all around him. Then the sky was dark, and when the sun should have risen, instead a pale glowing cloud floated in the dark." The man resembles tales of rakshasa in Seedism, gods in the eladrin religion's pantheon that turned against their fellows and were cast out, turned to cats that walked like men. References to the sun rising and the pale glowing cloud seem to refer to the Obscurati's goal of "illumination" — and a prediction to the contrary. The imagery of the pale cloud evokes that of Nem, and seems to imply that instead of the enlightened, perfected society that Ottavia and Lya have spoken of, only ruin awaits.
"Finally, tyrant and murderer languished in prison, hanging from twelve chains and hooks that pierced her feet, her legs, her thighs, her shoulders, her arms, and her hands. But the thirteenth hook that sealed her mouth swung loose, and it fluttered in the breeze as she whispered a map that led everywhere." We may have met this 'tyrant and murderer' already. Ashima-Shimtu. The map does not refer to anything involving us directly, but it may refer to either the Ancient Star Map or to the ritual that she gave to a pair of travellers — that which was used to summon and slay Srasama, causing the Great Malice.

Further notes: I am going to make an incredibly bold claim. Miller's disappearance in history, while he fled the Clergy, matches up with the Great Malice. In fact, he had tried to start a new nation within the newly formed Malice Lands, Pala. Miller's writings have been used in history to influence the thoughts of others, using their uncertainty as a vessel to fill with someone else's will — to speak, and to manifest thoughts and ideas as real, much like the belief in Srasama to her physical avatar. That is, Miller's writings from his time in Pala share a trait in common with the ritual that Ashima-Shimtu gave to the pair of travellers on Odiem. They both describe how to turn noumena into phenomena.

This identifies at least one of the travellers. The second, I believe, is someone with the motive to slay Srasama, or to at least enact revenge against the gods of Seedism. A god himself, cast out and made into a rakshasa, who now leads the Obscurati to their new age. We know this man to be ages old, and their consciousness has persisted this long, likely through cycles of reincarnation mentioned in tales of Dhebisu's arsenal. See also, Ethelyn's prophecy, and the lines involving meteor showers and the "man who has died a thousand times." I suspect this second person/fallen god/rakshasa is the one we know as Nicodemus.


  • The fetch with our offer to Recklinghausen went in the northeast direction from HQ. In that direction is Cauldron Hill, Parity Lake, the eastern part of Northshore, and The Ayres. Willing to bet that he's in Parity Lake, given that's where Kell has the most influence in, but wouldn't be too surprised to see him in Northshore or on an island somewhere in The Ayres for safekeeping. Could always use another fetch to triangulate.
  • We apprehended some of Kell's men in Cloudswood, too, right? We haven't tried to get information out of them yet. Plus, if it comes down to needing muscle against Kell, the group we helped might be able to help.

Criminal File of Nilasa Hume


Person of Interest Information Request
Request No.: 3217
Customer: Royal Homeland Constabulary
Name: Nilasa Hume
Birthdate: 26 Spring, 471
Criminal ID #: 24680
Jurisdiction: Flint Division of Peace and Order
Race: Mularbora (human/elf)
Sex: Female
Height: 68 inches
Accent: Flinter
Hair: Black
Eyes: Green
Spellcaster: No
Known Aliases: None
Present Place of Residence: 47 Magazine Street, Parity Lake, Flint. Sechim’s Alkahest & Etchings. Factory — workplace and home.
Past Places of Residence: (1) (Alleged) 3.6 miles east on Batata Road. 0.4 miles south on Flogging Lagoon trail. Cloudwood. Greater Flint County. Flogging Lagoon musician commune — transient lodging (departed Spring 499).
(2) 82K Fogwall Street. Parity Lake. Flint. Shared building — mother’s home (demolished Winter 495).
Arrest Record: Juvenile Records. Juvenile records forgiven in accordance with Stanfield’s Matriculation Act of 328. Juvenile record notes “various petty thefts, confidence capers”; details lost during Parity Lake central office relocation.
Supporting Criminal Activities. (Misdemeanour.) Case No. 8176. (85 Spring, 500.) Released on bail, sponsored by Heward Sechim, 47 Magazine Street, Parity Lake. Court date set for 4 Summer, 500. Suspect apprehended in raid on known den of criminals, loc 12 Oxen Street, Parity Lake. Suspect in presence of two men whom the arresting officer recognized as former accomplices Ford Sorghum and Travis Starter. Lack of official records detailing affiliation prevented holding suspect. Alleged accomplices plead guilty to various warrants and were remanded to Goodson’s Estuarial Reformatory.
Attached Continuation Sheets: -0-

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