Celestial Winter – Session Fourteen, Taking Off

After consulting together, the group decided on the following stratagem. Edward and Bridgette would rescue the expedition members held captive throughout Berdent. At the same time, Caldus and Kendra would break in Farbod’s palace and rescue Eibon.

Deciding that sneaking in the servant’s entrance didn’t play to their strengths, Kendra and Caldus broke into the palace dungeons from the city sewers and then stealthily made their way up to the royal quarters. They had an encounter with giant rats in the sewer but managed to evade the guards in the palace thanks to Edward  learning the guards’ patrol patterns while gathering information.

Carefully avoiding the expertly trained and magically equipped Royal Guards, Caldus and Kendra found ordinary guards outside of the chamber where Eibon was being held. Caldus used a Spellstrike Arrow containing a Silence spell (cast by Balthus last sitting before the arrow incident) to keep the guards from calling for help before the duo engaged them. Kendra had a rough time hitting the guards but Caldus had several lucky shots that quickly ended the encounter.

Caldus waited outside the chamber while Kendra headed inside to discover Eibon in elegant surroundings. The only sign of imprisonment was a gold manacle on his ankle. Kendra berated the confused Eibon for resting in luxury while his home town starved and the other caravan members were enslaved. Eibon offered weakly that he didn’t have a choice and – not recognizing Kendra – asked who she was. Eibon did recognize Caldus when he popped his head in and finally understood that this was a rescue. Eibon asked about the fate of the others and warned that Farbod had sent a military expedition to the valley – thinking that the famine was a sign that Ernhardur had become weak.

Kendra asked where the food was and Eibon responded with a sly, knowing smile. He explained thatFarbod kept most of the expedition’s magical tradegoods in a nearby room and forced Eibon to reveal their magical workings. But, Eibon assured them, he had kept many secrets from Farbod including where the food he had already traded for was hidden.

Eibon guided Caldus and Kendra to a nearby chamber where they stealthily defeated another set of guards. Instead, they found the wealth of trade goods from Haven. Smiling, Eibon grabbed some well crafted but empty leather bags…then, speaking a command word, showed them to be filled to the brim with an incredible amount of grain. Farbod hadn’t knew this secret. Even better, Eibon assured them, was another item whose power he had kept secret from Farbod. Eibon dug through the treasure to find a tightly wrapped carpet which he unrolled. When he spoke a command word the carpet levitated off the ground.

Kendra and Caldus quickly snatched what they could from the treasure room, along with the magical bags holding the grain, and then boarded with carpet with Eibon. They flew through the palace halls and escaped through a sky light.

Eibon, Kendra, and Caldus used the magical carpet to help Edward, Bridgette, Lance, Roe, and the others escape Berdent. However, as only six individuals could ride on the carpet at a time the trio left the others behind to hurry back to Haven with the sorely needed grain and word of the impending military attack.

Meanwhile, Edward and Bridgette lead the rescued slaves home on horseback.

Kendra and Caldus were given a heroes’ welcome at Haven. Spazzlethrop (missing – assumed dead after a week of searching by the group) was given a funeral pyre (burning clothing from his house since his body was never found). But they quickly gathered every fighting person they could and used the magical carpet to scout out the approaching military expedition. Caldus determined that it was a group of 20 soldiers including a Cleric of Farbod – about two days ride from Haven.

Caldus lead a series of hit & run raids against the military expedition. The highlight being a nighttime attack from the air with Spellstrike arrows holding the Fightball spell while a Bard cast Illusory Creature to show the likeness of a Red Dragon. Whittled down to half their numbers, the military expedition retreated to a nearby hamlet and hid there for several days before attempting to approach Haven in secret. Caldus killed two more of their number in hit & run attacks before Kendra lead a group to confront them directly. The military expedition promptly surrendered – admitting that they had wanted to retreat after the “dragon” attack but that when the Cleric communed with Forbad he was ordered to continue the attack. Instead, the Cleric decided to surrender and beg Ernhardur (as the stronger deity) to take his group in.

The Elders of Haven left the decision of what to do with the surrendered soldiers to Kendra and Caldus. After some deliberation, they disarmed them and allowed them to seek haven in Haven.

Shortly after this, a local farmer came to Kendra and gave her a muddied teal disc in the shape of a giant lens. He shared that he’d seen Spazzlethrop holding a black lens like this and thought it might be useful.

Caldus compared it to the Green Lens he had and found it was similar. Kendra lamented that the Black Lens had been lost with poor Spazzlethrop and that they could not visit “Old”. Kendra decided and they should try to see Ernhardur. The found many new passages into the Sanctuum by flying with magical carpet but each of them was magically protected. Landing a one, Kendra yelled at the mountain until the Acolyte Sothiel opened a doorway to let them in.

Kendra demanded to see Ernhardur but Sothiel answered that the Dragon had passed through the Stargate. Undaunted, Kendra headed to the Stargate and had Sothiel open it for her. Ask her what she saw there. Kendra then stepped through the Stargate and accidentally took Caldus with her. Ask them what they experienced.

Kendra asked Sothiel about many things – including the Stargate, how they could help Ernhardur, the Somlacygot, the true nature of the Observatory, and the swamps of the world.

Returning from the Stargate, Kendra headed to the library to glean more information on theSomlacygot – the creature whose heart Ernhardur apparently needed for a powerful ritual that had something to do with the comet heading towards the world. She had a tense encounter with Balthus here and offered him a magical item as a peace token, but he refused. Some other Acolytes helped Kendra and Caldus research the Somlacygot and swamps around the world. But they came up with few leads.

Finally, Kendra and Caldus used the secret passage to get into the locked Observatory where they used the Green Lens to pass beyond. They found themselves in the hills near Fila. Using the Teal Lens, they opened a portal that returned them to just outside of Springfed in the Valley. Flying back to Ernhardur’s Sanctum they were greeted by Sothiel who expressed concern that they had been missing for six days! Apparently Edward and Bridgette had been looking for them after returning with the rest of the rescued caravan members.


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