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Session 4 (Temari)

Played on 2005/12/18

6th of Acrylis, 4927 (continued)

The Freed Ones, a name Temari had stuck onto the beings blue-eyed humanoids they had found awaiting them above ground, had all but finished moving into the ruined city. The group found themselves being treated as some sort of demigods.

The hunting lessons Conlae had imparted appeared to have had some value to them. One of the Freed Ones approached Conlae with a dead bird with "something unedible" attached to its leg. He handed Conlae a piece of paper. Conlae eyed the piece of paper with interest and then pronounced it was a nice piece of paper. Temari winced inwardly at such ignorance. He couldn't even read!

Temari tried to ask the Freed One to refrain from shooting doing messenger birds, but as he pointed out, there was no way to tell the difference to ordinary birds. Ah well, there was little more she could do about that. She read the message the bird had been carrying. It was a cry for help from a city called Eastpire -- apparently, a dam had bursted and they urgently requested the assistance of mages.

When Temari informed the others of this, only Conlae's reaction was as she had expected. Caitlin freaked out at the mention of trouble in Eastpire, worry flooding over the diminutive creature. Urdos almost spat at Temari's feet at the mere mention of mages. When Temari, shocked to see so vehement a reaction to her chosen profession, politely asked what was wrong with mages, Yriryn in his calm voice told her that mages were no good for anything. Neither of them had the grace to exclude present company.

When Temari pointed out that she had ill-deserved such words, neither seemed inclined to agree with her. To comound her confusion, Caitlin gripped her arm strongly and told her that if she was a mage, she must go to help Caitlin's birthtown and her parents and old friends. With some prodding, Caitling informed the rest that Eastspire was founded near an evergrowing lake. For some reason it only grew, never lessened. To prevent the water from flooding the city, an enormous dam had been built far upriver, to lessen the inflow of water.

Urdos' opinion, which he voiced loudly, was that the people themselves were to blame for remaining so close near certain disaster. In his opinion, the town should just pick up and move. Caitlin tried to explain that the city was too big for this, and that the dam had stood for many years, so this was not a temporary solution and that the people did deserve help. Yriryn nor Temari could point out fault with Urdos' reasoning.

When Temari asked what she thought that their little group could do to timely aid a big city so far away, Caitlin pointed out she was a mage. "Well, not precisely," muttered Temari to herself, "but the next best thing." In the end, it was determined that if the drawing on the wall had been a map, then travelling towards Eastpire could bring the group close to one of the locations marked by a star. This was enough to convince Urdos, and since the others had voiced few objections or interests elsewhere, it was decided that they would travel towards Eastpire on the morrow.

22nd of Acrylis, 4927

After many days of travelling -- first through the desert, roughly by the way Temari had come (more to save Urdos a week of desert than that it matched their heading), and later through plains and grasslands on the outskirts of the desert, and finally through forested areas and swamps -- the group had found a rhythm to sustain the daily travels. Urdos would call on his snowy white bears every other hour, and Temari had to walk on herself, as there were not enough mounts. Late in the afternoon, Conlae spotted a column of smoke rising above the trees.

Upon inspection, the band found the smoking remains of a forest hamlet. There were few survivors left. One of them explained that they had gone into the forest to gather wood. They raced back when they saw the smoke. The entire village was ablaze, and there was nothing they could do.

The mood in the group changed. It was apparent that everyone had taken offense at the gruesome sight. However, there was little that could be done about it -- no tracks to find, no leads to follow, only the anger at the rampant destruction of life.

28nd of Acrylis, 4927

It had been a week since the horrible sight of the destroyed village. As Caitlin was also burdened by worries over Eastpire, there was not even her eternal optimism to lift the spirits of the party. Temari felt clearly that something had to happen soon.

At that moment, the trap was sprung. The group found themselves ambushed. Among the enemies were spellcasters. Dangerous though they were, little good it did them. Conlae roared with fury, Yriryn calmly stepped into the midst of the fray, Caitlin danced around the edges, scoring a hit everywhere it was not expected. Then the battle became to convoluted for Temari to concentrate on the others, and she and Tasurn turned their attention to a nearby spellcaster.

After a short, brutal battle, Temari found some of the oppressive mood left by the smoldering remains of a peaceful village had lifted. She methodically checked one spellcaster for his spell components, determined to find out what magics this group had wielded. None of the components provided any clues to her, which left her baffled for a while. She searched the body for other components, but only found a piece of paper -- the same message from Eastpire.

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