Interlude 1: Travelling to Charmonde (capital city of Navarene). Arrive 18th Pretor 1015. No significant encounter en-route.
Adventure 2: Charmonde
Arrive: 18th Pretor 1015
Charmonde – capital of the kingdom of Navarene. Not walled, but four mighty fortresses stand at each corner of the city. As Sica, Lorn and Dorn enter the city; two guards wearing the distinctive city livery approached them.
“You are Sica Sendrilla? You are to come with us.” Without further warning they drew their weapons; Sica was taken by surprise and took a stunning blow on the head. Lorn and Dorn reacted swiftly; within seconds one guard lay dead and the other was captured. They dragged them off into the shadow of one of the fortresses. They questioned the captive; as they suspected, he was not a real city guard.
“We were sent here to escort you to meet Lord Sollars”. “Then why did you attack me?” “We thought you would refuse”.
Lord Sollars had a magnificent town house on the edge of the city, seven stories high, made of green stone. They were taken to a dining hall on the second floor and Sica was invited up to meet with Lord Sollars on the third floor. The meeting room was filled with unusual games of all kinds; board games, physical games and pure thought games. Lord Sollars was a slender man with long willowy hair. His voice was surprisingly loud.
“I am a collector of curios and oddities, mainly games and puzzles. Come, play me at Stricken.” He indicated a complex game set up on a three-dimensional triangular framework near to a window. Sica had played before, but was not an expert. They played for some time when suddenly Lord Sollars let out a loud cry. “Replay that move you have just done. That move is illegal; in fact so is the one before that and the one before that. You are cheating! I will not tolerate a cheat in my service. You will leave now.”
A somewhat bewildered Sica and the brothers found themselves out on the street with the door of the tower firmly locked behind them. They found lodgings in a inn offering bed and basic meals for 2 shins per night. The inn (“The Jack’s Needle”) featured rubar races in a rear room. Sica took a chance and wagered 4 shins at 2:1 odds; he also foolishly accepted a side bet. He came out of the back room 8 shins lighter.
The following day he went out to find the marker stone. He knew, somehow, what it looked like (a synth cylinder with glass-like panels set in it, with a plunger device on top. To activate, the plunger must be pushed fully down.) Some enquires on the street led him to the Asaranti University, where he met a young student called Zulkha.
“I know who you are, Sica of Sendrilla.” “Does everyone in this place know me?” “Listen and I’ll explain.”
She looked around; then carried on. “There are three factions within the University, where the Stone is. One faction wants to see the Stone activated. The second faction does not want to see the Stone activated and is seeking to have you killed. The third faction wants to, well, control the Stone and therefore needs you under their control.”
“And which faction do you belong to?”
Zulkha smiled. “I am pro – we want to see the Stone activated. The Makers put it there for a reason and we must fulfil that reason.”
“Then why have you not activated it yourself? Surely you have tried?” “Oh yes, many have tried. Only the Keystone can activate the Stone.”
“So they tried and failed?” “No, they tried and died. All of them.”
Zulkha rose to her feet. “I’ll take you to the University later; we’ll disguise you as a student. Meanwhile, look out for a man named Lord Sollars; he may want to speak to you. He is prominent in the third faction; the one that wants to control you.
Getting into the University was relatively easy; however there were guards posted around the chamber where the Marker Stone was.
“They are Prefect Allors’ men – he is Anti. They will kill you on sight. We need another plan. I’ll arrange for you to meet with my people tonight. Go back and wait for me.”
That evening, Lorn and Dorn wanted to come along, but Sica advised them to stay behind, but to stay vigilant. He had the suspicion that they may have to get out of the city in a hurry. Zulkha turned up on time and they took a tricycle out to a small tavern on the edge of the city. Zulkha led him to an upstairs room where six other people waited.
“These are the Innfellows”
There was no time for further introductions; suddenly the door burst off its hinges and a group of armed men leapt in, followed by a masked Nano wearing green leather armour.
“It’s a trap!
The Innfellows drew weapons and put up a fight; an intense burst of green light left many of them stunned and confused.
“I am Scylla. I’m sorry Sica, but you really can’t be allowed to activate that device”
Sica dived for the window; intending to break through the glass. He crashed though, just as a green energy bolt from Scylla hit him in the right thigh. Sica rolled with the blow and into the shadows; he ducked back into the inn and took up a table by the bar; quickly using his Disguise skill. He saw Scylla and his men escorting all of the prisoners out; Zulkha was amongst them.
Back at the tavern there was a message waiting.
“It would appear that we got off on to the wrong footing at our last meeting. Please accept my apologies for my behaviour,, but Stricken is a game very dear to me. My late wife was a Nadir. Please dine with me at my manse tomorrow evening. Sollars
With Zulkha captured, Sica could see no other option than to go along with the invitation. Lorn and Dorn accompanied him.
Over dinner, Lord Sollars explained that he represented the Guild of the Open Path, affiliated with the Navarene military. The do not want the Stone activated as yet until there are enough troops in the city to combat any threat.
“We just want to know what the Stone does, so that we can decide on the best course of action”
“Am I a prisoner?”
“Of course not, you are a guest. You can see the Stone tomorrow.”
Sica, Lorn and Dorn were taken to a comfortable room high in the tower. As they expected, the door was locked; the lock looked complex but Sica had no intention of trying to escape. He settled down to rest for the night.
The following morning was dull and overcast, with heavy rain. Sica rode with Lord Sollars in a palanquin to the University, where they were met by several other men and women. Sica noted that at least two of them wore military uniforms. He was escorted to the Stone chamber, the guards were gone. Inside the chamber was the Stone. As Sica looked at it, he realised that he did not need to actually touch it. He concentrated and the top cylinder slid down into the base. The Stone began pulsing with a kaleidoscope of flashing colours.
“What have you done!” howled Sollars and leapt for the Stone; the other members of the Open Path looking on in dismay. While they were distracted, Sica, Lorn and Dorn simply turned and walked out; no-one stopped them.
Back at the “Jack’s Needle”, Sica pulled out a map of the Steadfast. Closing his eyes; he let his left middle finger wander across the map until it stopped. He looked; his finger rested on Qi; capital of Draolis and largest city in the Steadfast.
End of Adventure
Activate the Marker Stones in: Qi/City of Bridges/Auspar/Thriest/Mulen/Rarmon/Glavis/Orrila
Sica advanced – Moving towards Perfection (+1 Intellect Edge)
Lorn & Dorn are now L2 (6)
Lorn & Dorn 2(6)
Scylla the Nano in Green