Eck's Zalted Game
Title: Suddenly Remembered Crossroads
Real Date: 03/30/2013
In Game Date: Ascending Earth 15 , Realm Year -5ish).
- the table at the top of the mage tower.
- what to offer the travelling troupe of performers (one unit of food, misc. minor artifacts, silver, jade)
- vetoing Shin Miyazaki’s plans for his own private shadowland
- once our affairs are in order in Anvil, traveling with Markus to Nexus to rescue his enslaved damsel
- investigation of the crossroads, fey infestation, fog, strange dust, giant spider, fey tree
Players received a warning from Whispering Memories regarding the sighting of hobgoblins at the Forgotten Crossroads. With rumors of an impending fey invasion the players thought it best to scout out the Crossroads and address any problems.
A group of traveling performers offered to play in Anvil of Serenity. Self-reputed to have the effect of delaying a fey attack on any city they perform in for a year and a day, the players debated on what to offer the troupe to encourage them to perform in Anvil. Though skeptical about the troupe’s claims, it was decided that the carnival-like atmosphere the troupe would provide would serve as a well-deserved distraction for the citizens of the city. After some discussion, the offer of food, a few minor artifacts, silver and some jade was sent and accepted by the performers.
Tales of the heroic actions of the player-characters were shared with the performers, and the players were privately invited to come with the troupe instead of remaining in Anvil. They claimed a fey attack is inevitable and it would be a shame to lose such heroes in such a way.
The group discussed their options and were further encouraged by Hidden Ember. She said that the players had done more than their fair share to help the city and she would completely understand if they decided to leave with the troupe. Akira felt she couldn’t leave now since her hospital was just getting established. Dargar felt that a life of uncertainty and constant travel wasn’t in the best interest of his son. Ayr felt that it was nice to finally be settled somewhere and didn’t think Elias would welcome the nomadic life. Markus was the only one of the group that considered leaving but only for the chance to retrieve his enslaved love.
With things settling down as well as could be expected in Anvil of Serenity, Shining Serpent proposed that after Crossroads was dealt with the group should consider assisting Markus in his endeavor. The group heartily agreed, ready to make the long journey to Nexus and do what is necessary to rescue the damsel from the clutches of the evil slaver.
With the possibility of encountering fey at the Crossroads, the players decided to wait for cold iron weeapons to be made. After some time, the players started out for the Forgotten Crossroads. Along the way, evidence was found by the trackers of a group of approximately 20 people who had made camp on the road around a month prior. A discarded supply sack bearing the insignia of Anvil of Serenity was found among the tall grasses lining the road, much to the chagrin of Shining Serpent. Cursing the thieves under his breath, the studious bureaucrat made a note of the now-empty bag of supplies, sure to add it to his official accounting books once he returned to Anvil. The players came to the conclusion that the group who had made the camp was most likely the bandits that Nicholas the nervous necromancer had mentioned.
With only about an hour of daylight remaining, the party arrived on the outskirts of Crossroads. From a distance, a strange layer of thick fog obscuring the ground near the center of town was observed. No signs of life could be seen (lights on in the buildings, smoke from chimneys, etc). As the party made its way into the town proper, all color seemed to drain from their surroundings. The tufts of grass underfoot turned to ash, blowing away on the slight breeze. When the first buildings were approached, a layer of a strange sepia-toned dust covered every inch of the town.
Reluctant to proceed deeper into the town, Ayr decided to scale the side of one of the buildings to get a better look around. As she climbed, her foot brushed against a window pane and the glass shattered instantly. Instead of falling to the ground in shards, the broken pieces fell gently to the earth much like tree leaves in autumn. When they touched the ground, the ‘glass’ turned to water before finally forming into smooth pebble-like blobs of glass.
Unable to gather much more information from scouting, the party traveled to the center of town. With thick fog covering the ground, the party noted that the ground underfoot was unnaturally bouncy. Shining Serpent cleared away some of the fog with his hands and unexpectedly found thick strands of webbing. A moment later a nearby warehouse exploded, revealing a gargantuan spider. ‘More food for my children,’ the massive abomination hissed as it slowly stalked toward the group.
Despite being faced with such a foe, the party steeled themselves and prepared to fight. Ayr loosed a volley of arrows, each striking true on the beast but having little to no effect. Realizing the monster was covered in an armored exoskeleton, Markus and Dargar rushed forward to defend the others.
With steel flashing, Dargar and Markus disabled the abomination while Shining Serpent jumped atop the beast, disabling one of the thing’s legs. As Dargar slashed open the underbelly of the spider, he was buried under an avalanche of white silk. Luckily his cold iron raptor claws burned away the foul substance before he could be suffocated.
The spider roared in pain and anger, splitting in two. The legs the party had already engaged began morphing into various fey creatures while the other half reformed into a new version of its original form. However, Ayr’s arrows coupled with the steel and skill of Dargar, Shining Serpent and Markus made short work of the creatures, and soon they stood victorious.
Faced with the obvious presence of unnatural fey energies, the party decided the best course of action would be to burn the web and as much of the affected town as possible. Once back on firm ground, Ayr shot a flaming arrow towards the center of the web, which swiftly incinerated the web and the surrounding buildings at the center of town.
A few hours later the smoke cleared and the flames died down, revealing the expanse that had been covered by the web was now a gaping chasm. Dargar dared to gaze into the darkness, immediately finding himself fatigued. With all the will he could muster he turned from the void despite the almost overwhelming urge to continue gazing into the vast nothingness.
For many hours the party attempted to escape the fog wall around the town, only to find themselves constantly re-routed and walking toward the center of town once again. After some time they happened upon the journal of the town mayor. Among the last of his entries was the admission that he had planted a special seed at the center of the town. A mysterious passing merchant had sold it to him with the promise that the resulting tree would ward against the coming fey invasion.
With this new knowledge the party attacked the tree with their cold iron weapons, ignoring the screams of the arboreal parasite. Once the tree fell, the party made sure to burn the remains to ash and the fog lifted from the accursed town. At the same time, the ground around the center of town began to repair itself, closing the treacherous void.
The party returned to Anvil of Serenity, much to the relief of Hidden Ember and Shin Miyazaki. Miyazaki confirmed that what they had witnessed was clearly the work of the fey, though if it was a planned attack or just a rogue fey at work was uncertain