Character: Ozrak, Fiona, Eindride
Chaos Factor: 6
Threads: Seek medicine, Convey old religion, Investigate Eigans, Help Eindride get her land in Sunsu, Investigate the demon of Doowallee, Find out why the Blind Scar guild targeted the airship, Discover relationship between Eigans and Blind Scar
Scene Setup: Near a thundering waterfall amidst a shadowy jungle. The air is filled with wisps of smoke. An airship has crashed.
Scene Altered: Chaos roll 5, Remote scene, Disrupt Suffering
While Ozrak and Eindride took turns at watch sleeping through the rest of the night in the Jungle of Storms, Eindride’s father, Jobrin, came back to consciousness slowly. His blinked several times before he could focus on his surroundings. It was cold. He was on a brick floor. Trying to move caused him pain, but he heard the clink of the chains that bound him to the wall. How am I alive? Where is Welna? Was Eindride home during the attack? Where am I now?
“Psst!” came an urgent hiss from somewhere over there. Is that a door? It was really too dark to see, but a low flickering meant there was torchlight down the hall some distance away. “Psst!” the sound came again, perhaps from that blurry body by the door, quickly followed by, “Hey!” It must be a person. “Keep moving, Jobrin. Come back to land of the living,” the voice said quietly while it tinkered at the door. Are those iron bars on the door? “We’re going to try to get out of here. I know you can’t have much strength left in you after what that demon did, but it’s now or never.” With that, the door swung open and person walked in. Jobrin still couldn’t tell who it was but felt a hand grab his firmly and pull him up to his feet. Or at least make the attempt because he immediately fell back down. “This will help,” said the voice. A female voice? A burning liquid poured down his throat, and he began to sputter and cough. “It’ll have to do,” she said. “Let’s go.”
“Who are you?” Jobrin asked in a quavering voice as he tried to once again to rise to his feet and follow the woman out of the room. “Poor Jobrin,” the woman said sadly. “You don’t remember, do you?” With that she turned and led him from the room.
Ozrak and Eindride heard the waterfall before they saw it even through the rain and occasional thunder. An 80-foot cliff stood before them with the water cascading down into an elongated pool of turbulent water before moving on downstream. Where the waterfall was located had actually eroded deeper into the cliff face over the centuries so that the rock walls of the cliff jutted out further than waterfall like arms cradling this natural wonder.
“There’s supposed to be Nigella’s Heartroot behind the Rutwater Falls there,” said Ozrak to his companion. “Not sure how we’ll get back there. Seems to be barely enough room for the water in that narrow gap.”
“What’s this we? I’m staying right here on dry land. I don’t need the root, after all,” said Eindride.
Ozrak only grunted and nodded his head as he began taking off his armor. “May as well give me a hand with this armor then,” he said to her. “I don’t particularly feel like sinking, nor do I like the idea of having that pounding water tear away all the oil on my armor and rusting it.”
After removing the armor and all other unnecessary equipment, Ozrak strapped back on his dagger and a small belt pouch. “Just in case,” he said patting the dagger at his side. “I’ll be quick,” and he headed toward the water’s edge.
“You’d better be!” Eindride called out after him. “I’m cold and don’t feel like fishing out if you get hit by lightning!”
Once Ozrak reached the cliff, he was forced to get into the water. It wasn’t moving swiftly in this area as it was part of the deep pool carved out by years of water of driving into the ground below, but the water did eventually flow out of the pool and downstream meaning there was a little pull on him in the water. It was freezing! Ozrak sucked in his breath involuntarily as he jumped in feet first. There was no gentle slope into the pool here. It was pure rock on the bottom and sides that had been smoothed over the years.
When he bobbed back to the surface and began to tread water, he noticed that the pool had eroded the bottom part of the cliff making a giant overhang. On the roof of the overhang near the edge, moss was growing. The bottom layer of the cliff wasn’t a layer of hard rock. It appeared to be a softer rock that the lapping pool had eroded more quickly than the harder surrounding rock. So that was how something would grow here! Encouraged, Ozrak began forcing his way deeper into the inlet that housed the waterfall. Is there anything living in this mini-lake that would attack Ozrak? (50/50: 68, no)
Staying under the overhang to protect him from the falls, Ozrak found that the same erosion-created overhang had formed directly behind the falls. Maybe it was the way the water sprayed all around or the perpetual mist in the air, but there were honest to goodness plants growing on the roof of the overhang behind the falls. Sure enough, there was one with dark red leaves in the shape of a heart. With no purchase for his feet, Ozrak reached up to grab and pull the Nigella’s Heartroot out of the ceiling. It came out easily as there was only a shallow root system. He then stuffed it underwater and into his belt pouch. He did this several times to make sure he had enough and headed back out. Is Eindride still there? (Likely: 26, yes)
“Got watch you need?” Eindride called out to him.
“Aye,” he responded. “But I need to get dry before putting that armor back on. Let’s look around for someplace to start a fire. I’ll dry off quickly, and then we must be on our way if I’m to be in time to help the seer back in Hemor.” How does Eindride respond to knowing Ozrak is helping a seer? (Prejudiced, Belief, Focus: Future Action)
“A seer? I didn’t know your friend was a seer?”
“Well, she’s not a friend exactly, but I was seeking her aid in my quest to find evidence of the old gods. However, mayhap I didn’t need her as I found some evidence at your airship crash with those boarmen.”
“Of course you didn’t need her! A seer. Bah! I can’t believe that you believe in that horse dung. My parents tried using seers to predict the best crops to plant, and it seemed to work for them, but it had to be just luck. We were a rich family that the seer was taking advantage of just to fleece us of a bit of coin. I have half a mind to give this seer friend of yours a piece of my mind!”
“Easy, Eindride! Easy. She’s sick and dying. If we don’t get this root back to her, she’ll be dead before the week is out if she’s not already. I asked the local healer to keep giving Fiona water and broth before I left, but they said their magic wasn’t working on her. For true healing, she needs this herb, so let’s find a dry spot out of this perpetual rain, light a fire, let me get dried out, and then be on our way. I promised ye I’d help, but we must first help Fiona.”
“I don’t see the good in helping a seer.”
“Ye may not, but ye should see the good in helping another person. Come on.” Ozrak carried most of his armor and handed the rest to Eindride to carry as they searched for a place to dry out. Can they find something? (Likely: 27, yes)
Down the edge of the cliff, the companions came across a small cave entrance that looked like it would suit their purposes. Ozrak set down his armor and hefted his axe. “Stay here. Let me check it out first.” Discern Realities: (8, one answer) What should I be on the lookout for? Guide Adversities. As Ozrak approached the cave entrance, he noticed it was indeed big enough for a couple of people to fit side-by-side, but it was more than just a quick depression in the rock. It went deeper. And there appeared to be light further back. Defy Danger: Mental Fortitude (8, worse outcome). Something back there was compelling him forward, guiding him deeper. He moved ahead.
“What is it?” called out Eindride. “What do you see?” But Ozrak didn’t respond. Moving deeper into the cave towards the fascinating light, he saw what appeared to be the dead body of a small bear on the floor of the cave with an eerie light suspended mid-air a few feet behind the bear. The fur of the creature was matted and looked wet or covered in gel. Just when he was reaching forward to check on the body of the bear, he stopped himself. What am I doing? he thought. That was when he noticed the shimmer in the air and that the shimmer was inches away from him and slowly squirming closer. A gelatinous cube! Knowing it would be dangerous to strike the cube with his axe, Ozrak backpedaled quickly. It’s either fight for the cave or stay wet. What do you do?
He needed this cave. Things always seemed to be popping out to attack him, and he had to get his armor back on. Thinking quickly, he ran out of the cave and called to Eindride, “Quick! Get the driest sticks you can find! And hurry!”
“Just do it!” Ozrak ran out and rummaged through his pack for his flint and steel. “Find sassaphras if you can!” he yelled.
Does Eindride know what that is? (Unlikely: 41, yes) Within moments, Eindride was back saying, “Way ahead of you. Here.” And she handed him some sassaphras.
“Well done. This burns even when wet,” he said taking the bundle back to the cave entrance to have a dry spot to light it. Can he light it in time to drive back the cube? Defy Danger: Quick Thinking (6, no, 6 XP). The light the cube used to entice its victims was getting closer, and the branches wouldn’t light. Abandoning the tactic, Ozrak moved back out of the cave. Does the cube follow? (Unlikely: no)
“So much for getting dry,” said Ozrak standing back out in the rain. “I’d be soaked through anyway at this point. Help get that armor back on, and let’s get a move on. We’ve wasted enough time.”
“You’re so wishy-washy,” said Eindride with a smirk.
Ozrak suits up and they begin the journey back to Hemor. It should be a 3-day journey. Undertake a Perilous Journey (9, 7, 5, 3 days, 3 rations, we miss danger if there is any, 7 XP) Is there any danger on the way back? (Likely: 84, yes) Which day? Day 3. Making it back to Hemor was the easy part, but once they arrived, things did not go as planned.