On August 7th, Year 12, the group that signed a fey contract with the Great Rakshasa join up again to help Randall pursue some alchemical research he has been doing to try to discover the missing dryads. While he has developed a sort of fey compass to point to fey with the help of Logi (his phoenix henchman), he also wants to develop an oil that can be used to create a communication mirror (like those possessed by Rovert and Verdis that can contact anyone near a reflective surface) temporarily on a pool of water. While he has access to these mirrors through them, he needs one he can bring into the fey, since they can’t communicate across that boundary.
- Randall (HuS): Level 12/6 Human Druid/Alchemist (Level 3 Druid Grove)
- Oliver: Level 7 Winged Fox Animal Companion
- Midas: Dryad tree house turned treant
- Snass (TrS): Level 6 Kobold Monk
- Irssdanish (First Claw): Awakened Wolf
- Minssdanish (Second Claw): Awakened Wolf
- Sinssshdanish (Third Claw): Awakened Wolf
- Level 3 Wolf Animal Companion
- Polly (MiM): Level 5 Dwarf Brawler
With the communication oil recipe theorized, he knows he is missing one ingredient: the blood of the gods (also known as ichor, according to some alchemists he consulted). He decides, after striking out with those he consulted other than a cryptic vision from Agon’s book, that the best place to find more information is the factory all the mirrors were taken from.
They set out from Confluence riding in Randall’s new tree transport while he does some research on allowing Oliver to breath fire. They take three candles to use the Odsev teleport circle to go to Ker Vedno if needed. They stop in at Shadow Spires where Dohasan requests that if they do go to Ker Vedno, they take samples if possible of the creature in the main chamber to hopefully be able to use it to replenish the dwindling candle supply.
They continue on along the Nefil Road, dealing with a troll attempt to ambush the running tree near sunset (with the help with Rovert’s cloud cover) and then continuing on into the night. They reach Jagged Hill and Randall senses that the woods on the north side of the hill are more tame and less arcane, so they head around the north side.
During Snass’s watch up in the treant’s branches, he is attacked by a volt. He successfully retreats down to the balcony an wakes the others. Though Polly and Randall both fall with volts latched onto them, they manage to clear out six volts that rush into the balcony. They continue, Midas find his way through the woods as best he can headed east between hills.
Randall dissects the volts through his watch for information about their electricity and hovering. During his watch, they stray close to a Garim camp on its way back from checking on a massive dragon Garim trapped millennia ago.
During Polly’s watch, near dawn, Midas says that they have reached a river too wide and fast for him to cross. Polly wakes the others to face the problem and Randall hears faint screaming in the distance and uses his natural empathy see kobolds being attacked by a skeletal kobold that appears and disappears sporadically.
With Snass on his back, Randall takes falcon form and flies to the scene where they attempt to fight the ghostly creature, which Snass’ fists can’t hurt. Randall’s dagger (Bron’s Might) does seem able to hurt it, even blasting it with extra magical energy. However, it backfires as well, sending him to an otherworldly place where he is almost attacked by an alien creature like a glowing, flying lamprey. When he returns, he manages to finish the apparition before it kills many more of the kobolds.
They learn that the kobolds are travelling south on the river with their large raft, fleeing Schek Garim encroachment on their lands. These lands are technically Vale lands and they know Verdis will be responding strongly to this threat. The kobolds help them cross the river and they continue on until they think they are close to Odsev. Randall flies up, seeing orcs and goblins camped at an ancient dwarven structure that fits the description.
They approach and Randall pays to have access to the facility records the goblins are studying. In fact, Randall is able to pay them for some information they already have on ichor: that it was highly restricted, only those with clearance could research with it and goods produced with it were for military use only, due to the cost.
With Polly translating the dwarvish to Randall, Snass hunts shard beetles. Polly finds some information about a researcher at the factory who had been using the ichor for research into magic reflecting mirrors, a project that was approved by the factory foreman, but not by the dwarven military. What was more, the result was being sold to civilians. Accompanying this record was a letter from the military substance suppliers accusing the foreman of being wasteful in producing ichor based products.
With this information (and a little more digging to find the researcher’s room number), Snass goes to search his room, but only turns up his journal. Polly searches through it and finds that the researcher was distraught when he learned he had been doing illegal research. Something seems a little off, so Randall hires one of the goblins to go through the journal as well and he finds a secret cipher at the back of the journal.
Snass brings the cipher to the sentient chest of drawers in the foreman’s office who mocks him for not knowing a cipher used by dwarven children. He also demands to know what a kobold is doing there, what after the orcs and goblins and all. The foreman (Rovert) hasn’t been around for years and just sends representatives looking for information. The factory doesn’t even seem to be running!
So they break the hard news to him that, just as he feared, the factory is shutting down, but if he can solve the cipher, Randall is willing to take him on in his alchemy endeavors. Between the three of them, they get him up the stairs (eschewing the elevator) only to find it raining harder than they have ever seen (though Randall could sense that coming). Snass follows the decoded note to find a vial of ichor under the researchers bed and they have everything they came for. With no sign of the rain ending, they wait through most of the next day before bidding farewell to Schek Garim and loading the chest of drawers into Midas.
Not knowing if they can find another barge across the river, they follow it up river until they come to a kobold town with a bridge Snass knows. By the 11th, they make it back to Randall’s grove where he starts to develop the communication oil together with Gerald. They expect to be done by August 21st and ready to bring into the fey to contact some of the faerie.
This was real initiative and a really good result despite the many obstacles. Previous trips to Odsev mirror factory used the flying island or were carried out by NPCs taking the long way. This cut through the hills went better than I expected. Midas helped with this.