Session Forty-Four Summary (Graveyard of Empires: After the Fall)
Session 44, May 12 2021
We continue at 6:30AM on the 9th of Laurilden with the party split between the guardhouse near the edge of Jaegger's domain and the south shore of the Vargwater River. The latter of these groups has just spent the night camped in the jungle with Alisceon Hayne and the surviving dervishes after Narthax the dragon managed to draw off the Devil Birds that had been in pursuit; the former group spent their short resting period brewing some healing potions and now intend to travel south in hopes of finding their companions ...
The Imperials head off towards Xen Khel. Lungmold crosses the river and discovers that big game hunter Ranarth Quinn and his two hirelings, Alfredus & Cesario, were in one of Jager's old storehouses near the docks. Lungmold used the boat to get the rest of the party to the North side of the river. Ranarth had sent some hirelings to Vargen 5 days ago and they haven't returned. Ranarth has been in the wilderness for a few months. He claims to be from a small island with a fishing village, but is a lie.
Velkin sketched a capable drawing of the Threehorn (Triceratops) with Ranarth posing with his foot on the snout so others will believe him.
Ranarth had his hirelings cut off and clean the horns for more proof. Brendil asked for two of the horns so he can attach to his helmet. They made a handshake deal to work out payment when they reach civilization.
Rallion, Kauri, & co. make their way out of the caldera of Jager and spot a rhinoceros and avoid it. Part way down the mountain path they are attacked by seven small lizards and kill three and wound a couple and the lizards flee. We take the three killed. Gath eats one and the other two are kept for later. About a half hour from the storehouse Rallion spots a lot of tracks of short humanoids. Some with shoes, some with claws. They headed toward a cave. Rallion made not of it and headed towards the storehouse hoping to meet the others, if they lived.
Velkin reads the book by the Dragon Emperor and learns the following:
Inquisitorial Notes on Dimensional Travel and Barriers
i. This is a long treatise that starts with the story of Azrael and his Dragon kin accidentally punching through the inter-dimensional barrier and arriving in Meidia
1. Azrael was working on a way to harvest the souls of lesser beings to power greater magics than his kind were capable of doing on their own; he focused a great amount of power into an ornate knife carved from his own bone (surgically removed); Azrael kept this artifact for his decades of work to try to find a way back home (Gharmazollond)
ii. This is followed by some of Azrael’s findings that he shared with his Inquisitors: the theory about resting energy levels of different dimensions and the relative difficulty of “punching” upward versus downward
1. Also discussed is one of Azrael’s alternate hypothesis: that Meidia’s dimension is one of an indeterminate number of inter-dimensional gravity wells to which many neighboring worlds connect – think of a funnel narrowing to a point. Meidia’s dimension can’t be this point (it’s possible to access other dimensions), but it is close to this core dimension
iii. There is also discussion of medial spaces between dimensions, like the shadow realm, astral plane, and the transpatial dimension of the DVLs
1. Azrael spent a lot of time on these things, thinking they might provide a way to claw back to a higher energy dimension (sort of like tacking into the wind with a ship)
2. Azrael was convinced that the DVLs knew something more about the structure of the cosmos than they were telling their so-called masters (i.e., the ancient dwarves); his only proof of this was a conversation with an insane Daemon who claimed that the DVLs were migrating through a nested set of false worlds on their way to overthrow their creators in “Reality” (perhaps the point of the dimensional funnel or the lowest energy dimension?)
iv. Related to the last point, the book mentions early research by Azrael on some humanoids encountered on Meidia: these beings claimed to be native, but tests on prisoners indicated that they originally came from a lower-energy dimension (which obviously fascinated Azrael).
1. Azrael never discovered how these “natives” traveled to Meidia’s dimension, although he did produce some theories about their magical abilities
2. These anti-magics seemed to be powered by the energy differential between them and the world; most interestingly, there seemed to be locations on Meidia that were eruptions into the world from that lower-energy place; often these were sacred sites for the native humanoids
Rallion, Kauri, & co. reach the storehouse and are greeted by surprise by Lungmold, Ranarth, and the rest of the party. We share introductions. Ranarth eyes the "lizards" Gath & Oskar with particular interest, since lizards are his specialty. Gath's odor and Oskar's tea seem to convince him not to hunt them for trophies.
Rallion shares a high-level overview of the new world situation, since Ranarth and his hirelings don't know about the loss of magic, devils invading the cities, Dragon Empire being affected, and that we seek to restore magic that is not of the DVLs.
We elect to stay and rest.
First watch Lungmold & ? hear two demon birds fly over.
During watch, Rallion shares the 2nd watch with Cesario. Cesario tells of an old Imperial outpost about 4 or 5 days North, past Jager's. Ranard had heard rumors about it and they went to check it out but it was filled with undead (not the kind with odd fungal type growths). Rallion made sure to ask this since Ranarth had been bitten by one. This was a couple weeks ago, so he should not be infected with the undead making disease.
On third watch, Brendil and Alfredus hear something. Lungmold scans and detects perhaps 100 of the 18" high lizards seeking to eat us for killing their brethren earlier.
Rallion used one of the 3 daily uses to speak with animals and gets them to agree to eat the three horn. It seems to appease them.
Lungmold lifts Brendil up to a hole in the roof. Brendil tosses down a flask of oil and hits near the snout which scatters the lizards and misses with the torch.