Grand Duchy 16

Grand Duchy of Adventure

Session 16
May 7 - May 21, 2014

Returning the Statue

Tserdain 20th of Thaumont, 1001AC

Removing the Shards

Everyone was still for a few moments. The only sound that could be heard was the heavy breathing of the Company. The Gargoyles were  destroyed; disintegrated when Remar and Ree broke the Black Mirror at the far end of the room. Everyone carried wounds from the most recent battle and Griffin was nearly unconscious. The light from Draven’s holy symbol is partially blocked as the young Acolyte rests heavily against a wall. Ree’s magical light slowly fades, making the room just a little bit darker.

Griffin sits propped against a wall.  He coughs, and struggles for a weak smile. “Well, gotta say I didn’t see that coming.” He looks around the room. “Ree, you <cough> okay?  Remar?”


Marcel picks the shards embedded around his neck, his hands, and wipe some fluids accumulating on his hands. It looks like blood, but he is unsure: everything seems to be spinning. He feels like he is in a tiny cell, or a cooking pot. He looks around and hones in on the weak voice of Griffin across the room.

“I’m right here buddy.”, he whispers as he crawls to him. There is enough light to keep his bearings, but not that much more. Others are coughing, moaning. The damages are too extensive, Marcel makes a mess of bandaging, or rather can’t figure out how to do it without causing more harm.

“I always make a mess of thing, Griffin. I always do.”, he starts crying. Griffin is drifting in and out of consciousness.

“Draven!”, he yelps. “Come here if you can… I’m afraid that we’re going to lose Griffin.”

Griffin opens his eyes and wheezes, “Oh, hey, Marcel.  Wow, you look terrible.” He rattles. “But we won. *cough*  Yea.” He waves his hands feebly in front of him.

Breaking the mirror was a spur-of-the-moment decision. He really just wanted the images he saw in them to go away. Ree yelling into his ear did not really help matters either. But this sort of pain was totally unexpected. Trying to get through the nausea and disorientation he was experiencing, the mage reaches out to his magic in an attempt to try and stem the damage he had suffered. The vertigo appears to be overwhelming. Hearing his name, he replies, “I am okay, I think. It just hurts.”  

After catching his breath, Draven stands up straight and holds his glowing holy symbol up high, looking over his friends. He smiles a weak smile and shrugs, “Guess I have a job to do here. I have asked the Immortals for much help this day, let’s see what my hands are good for. Does anyone have any medical supplies?” he asks, then, getting no response, “well, how about any bandages? No? Hmm, I guess I’ll have to get a new shirt when we get back home.” He starts ripping strips of fabric from the cleanest parts of his clothing and starts bandaging up his friends. He makes a quick round among his friends then steps back to look at his handiwork. “Could have done a better job if I had some real bandages I think. I’ll have to call upon the Immortals to stop the bleeding for a few of us.” He lowers his head and speaks some quiet words of prayer over Ree, Remar and himself.

Draven does his best tending to the wounded.
The Acolyte then spends the next several hours performing first aid on his comrades then himself. All the while, the young man winces and frowns at his skill. “The Immortals are truly divine,” he comments often, usually when wiping someone elses blood from his hands.

Griffin winces as Draven bandages his many wounds. His hand scrabbles in his bag and he pulls out a stoppered vial. “Here, brother, I was saving this for you. Can’t have the healer knocked out, can we? If you or one of the others needs it, it’s yours.”

Draven tries to protest about taking the potion but Griffin convinces him. He unstoppers and drinks the contents of the vial and immediately feels better.

Remar embraces Griffin and thanks him. “That was close. I didn’t know that was going to happen. Sorry.” Looking around, the mage wonders what is left to do now. They got rid of this mirror and whatever hold it had on the island, but does that mean the pixies will now relinquish the hold over what they supposedly stole?

“Ow! Ow! Gently, Remar, gently! I think that Draven’s shirt is the only thing holding me together right now.”

“But hey, you did good, made the right call. You and Ree probably saved us. I know I wasn’t doing much against those monsters.” He pauses. “It was like I wasn’t doing anything at all.  They were ridiculously hard to hit, and even when I did it was like it didn’t hurt them at all.” He looks up at the mage. “Could that be some sort of magic? And if so, is there a counter?”

“The question now is what changed when this mirror broke”.
Marcel is thinking about the Pixies, and the elves. Are previous relationships still holding and are the elves still seeking the statue.

“We’re in a bad shape, here. We are also in the middle of the land of feys. I gather that this mirror may have had an effect spanning much beyond this room.”

He scans the room. “I’ll poke my head out of the temple for a minute. Anyone care to join while we find a way to get everyone safe back to shore. And oh yea, what do we do with the statue in the end. My head hurts just thinking about it, and it did before we got hit”.

Griffin says weakly, “Whoa, whoa, whoa!  Slow down, cowboy! No sense goin’ lookin’ for more trouble while we’re as beat up as we are.”  He reaches into his bag and pull out some bread and cheese. He helps himself and then passes it to the soldier.  “Here, take a load off. Have a bite. That statue isn’t going anywhere.”

“Of course, we could try and decide how we’re going to get it off the island once we DO go up.  Snatch and grab?  Magumical tricks? Remember I promised I wouldn’t touch it, so I can be a distraction or something…”

“Griffin, my friend. I didn’t mean to steal the glory but scout ahead. You’d do it if you didn’t look like you got dragged behind a horse for a while. Wouldn’t you?”

Griffin groans, “I’m certainly not feeling the need for glory right now, my friend, but I would be up for scouting if the rest of you were ready to back me up.  Which we’re not.”

Marcel steps up and pace around the room a bit. “This place is too weird to hold loot, I bet.”, He looks around every nooks and crannies, seeking something of value or, if all else fails, something any weirder than what he has seen so far today.

The fact is that Marcel is worried about Dragons. He has this sinking suspicion that the maps isn’t lying about this. They should not be here. Granted, the chain of even flows nicely and leads to this room: but things aren’t adding up in his narrow mind.

“First the goblins, then the pixies acting out of sorts.”, his mumbling trails off as he tread lightly out of the hall to listen up the shaft where the electric ladder still stands. He pokes it one more time, then listens as carefully as he can.

As Marcel pokes the ladder with his spear, he notices quite a few more sparks than the previous time he had poked it while up above. It seems that maybe the metal ladder has built up another electrical charge. The young warrior ponders this development.

Marcel remembers the marks at the other end of the ladder. He assumes that damaging the runes dissipated the magic. He pokes around to make more sparks and makes his way to the others...

Remar seemed to consider Griffin’s question for a few moments, oblivious to the musings of Marcel, and then answers that he is not quite sure whether or not magic was intrinsic to the creature or if they were merely strong naturally.

Still muttering to himself about this, Remar takes the time to investigate the others for wounds and to determine if there is anyone that requires healing other than himself. Kneeling down next to Ree, he begins reaching for his magic to try and heal her, and then tries to heal himself and Marcel for the most he is capable of. His first attempt with Ree did not seem to work quite well, but he did begin to feel his own pain lessen in intensity and believes he also managed to succeed in healing Marcel. “Better, Marcel?”

Griffin chuckles, then winces, “Hey, Remar, think you could share the love a little this way?”

gem frame.jpg
The Dark Mirror's frame - it looks valuable!
Chastising himself for forgetting Griffin, Remar slowly makes his way over to him and also tries to help him with his wounds. He feels himself get incredibly tired, but is satisfied by the result of his spellcasting seeming to be successful. He needs rest now; he performed a great deal of magic.

Everyone is feeling much better, though only Draven is back up to full strength, everyone else feels that they can at least keep up. While continuing to rest, the room is searched and nothing of any interest is turned up with the exception of the now empty mirror frame. It is large, heavy and made of gold, encrusted with many sparkling gemstones.

“That looks like it might be a bit difficult to carry with us, even when we climb back up. I do wonder if it could be… subdivided…”

Griffin visibly pales. “Subdiv.. Oh, no no no. Don’t you know what this could be? I’ve heard stories, old tales at my father’s knee. This could very well have been the Cursed Mirror of BluÖyCu. Why, that frame alone could be worth a thousand gold!”

“But you’re right - it would be difficult to carry, even on one of the horses. We may have to leave it here until we can come back for it.”

Cocking an eyebrow at Griffin, Draven reconsiders his words. He was sure that the hardened treasure hunter would be the first to draw a knife and start jimmying precious stones free of the gold filigree. “I’m sure it’ll be safe here. We can gather it upon our return. And you can wear it about your head like the halo of an immortal while we ride back!”

The young rogue looks sideways at the priest, with a half-grin. “You really think my head is that big, Draven?” as he gestures at the empty frame.

Marcel enters the room while the others are discussing about the mirror. He walks to Remar.

“I never thought that I’d ever say this, but I think that I’ll need your magic to lift me up to the upper level. The ladder seems to have regained dangerous magic, I think that I’ll need to discharge it from above again.”

He approaches the frame, raises and eyebrow.

“Well, at least I’ll need your magic just before we decide that we’re good to go again.”

“Hang on, Marcel.  Ree, can you help these two out?  Combines magic and traps - could be right up your alley.”

Remar looks at Marcel with a very apparent grin. “Right. Let’s get going, then. Should we bring the mirror with us?” He looks over to the mirror and gestures with his hand in an attempt to try and emulate something hovering.

Griffin shook his head sadly. “Alas, my friend, I think it would be a little too unwieldy for us to cart around while we continue our search for Stephan. My hope is that once our mission is complete that we can return and recover it. The wagon will be a good place to store it until we can get back to Kelvin.”

“So, no ideas on how to retrieve the statue? A Zanzibar Marketplace? Maybe a Follow the Lady?” He is met by blank stares. “A Smash and Grab? Seriously?”

Remar does indeed stare blankly at Griffin. “Smash and Grab sounds so rudimentary and uncivilized, though. Why don’t we call it Deep-Sea the Pixies?”

Griffin frowns and shakes his head. “Deep-Sea the Pixies? We don’t have enough people, and where would we find a trained cat down here?”

“Remember, ideally we are already across the lake before the pixies know the statue is gone.  The Elves are happy, we get paid and an Elven guide, and the pixies are long behind us.”

Going Up?

After a short rest to catch his breath and regain some of his magical energy, Remar says he is ready to take a look at the ladder. Ree has already checked it out but reported that she didn’t really think she could help with it, though she did confirm that it seemed as if the ladder was again charged to give a shock to anyone that touched it.

“Well then, we’ll have to get back up without using the ladder.”  He eyes the shaft going up, and turns to Marcel and Draven. “Care to give me a boost?”

The two companions step forward and try to boost Griffin up to the shaft opening. As they lift the young Thyatian, Draven stumbles and they nearly drop their friend. “Let’s try again,” Griffin encourages them. Again the two men hoist Griffin up toward the shaft opening. This time, however, Marcel calls out and drops Griffin back to the floor. He grabs his shoulder, grimacing in pain. “I think I pulled a muscle,” he exclaims. Marcel looks at Griffin then up to the shaft and shakes his head and looks away.

Watching her companions fail at their attempts to climb up, Ree starts the motions of casting a spell. After a moment, she balls up her fists and throws her hands down in anger. “Dammit!” and stomps off a bit.

Remar steps up and says, “Let me try,” and gets into position with Draven to boost Griffin up. Again, Draven is unsteady in his lift, but it is enough to get Griffin up to the lip of the shaft. The nimble Griffin is able to grab the edge and start to pull himself up into the shaft.

With a loud grunt, Griffin pulls himself up into the shaft and starts to climb up the shaft and about halfway up, he loses his grip. As he starts to fall, he remembers the ladder behind him and contemplates grabbing it.

Feeling himself sliding backwards, Griffin thinks fast.  Fall and get hurt, or grab the ladder and get hurt? It seemed like last time the ladder zapped him and then the others could climb down. “Falling!” he yells, and reaches out to grab on to the ladder.

Griffin manages to turn and grasp the ladder. As he does so, a burning shock courses through his body, nearly making him lose his grip on the cold metal ladder. Amazingly, he holds on. He pauses for a moment, catching his breath and weakly calls out down below, “Not falling.” He then slowly starts climbing up the ladder. “I think the ladder is safe to climb now,” he adds as he nears the top.

“Alright, Marcel, let me get a look at that arm…”

Draven is pretty sure that Marcel just strained his shoulder, but can’t’ really do anything about it through the armor and short of putting it in a sling, which he doesn’t have, it will have to wait until later to do anything about.

Not waiting for the others, Ree comes back and grabs the ladder and begins to climb before Griffin is done. She smiles briefly when it does not shock her and quickly she ascends. The others follow, Marcel taking a little longer to climb because he can only use one arm, and within a few minutes, everyone is gathered in the room with the destroyed skeleton horde.

“Good enough for me,” says Draven, and starts up the ladder after Ree. “I think I’m about done with dungeon crawling. Griffin made it out to be much more fun than we’ve been having…”

Remar thought it was unfortunate that Marcel and Griffin had got hurt, but, really, there did not seem like an end to the pain today. Maybe it really is time to get things resolved with this statue. “So, Deep-Sea the Pixies?”

Marcel is looking up, holding his sore muscle. “I wish that I’d understand your banter here”.

Okay, note to self, when in a shaft like that, brace against the walls instead of trying to climb a flat vertical surface.  “Well, Remar’s proposing a classic con using three shills, two smurfs, a roper, some muscle, and a trained cat. Although we don’t have a trained cat, and I don’t know why we’d want to convince the pixies we’re rug merchants from Ankara. Remar?  Care to elaborate?”

Remar ponders a moment. “The cat I can conjure as a very believable illusion. Some variations do not need shills. We have a roper and some muscle. We just need two smurfs and then we can run out, distract them with the cat and rope, take the statue, and run away while dragging them into the trap we place in the water.”

Griffin frowns. “Ah, that’s what I was afraid of… Why hurt the pixies if we’re already clear? A bit bloodthirsty, aren’t you?” He ponders a second. “Now that I think of it, you almost ruined everything up top by attacking the pixies while we were still talking.” He pokes the mage in the shoulder. “You need to take it back a notch or three. Self-defense is fine, pre-emptive strikes are not.  Clear?”

Remar pokes back, and then begins to examine Griffin. “Hold up, you’re really hurt, Griffin. Stand still a moment.” Putting his efforts in casting a spell to heal Griffin, the mage lets his magic begin to take hold over his friend. Unfortunately, his efforts seemed to be in vain as the spell seems to fizzle out. “Well, that didn’t work. Sorry, Griffin. Looks like you’ve had enough for today.”

Once everyone is where he can get them to stand still, Draven sets about looking into wounds, on both Griffin and Marcel’s shoulder injury, taking his time to be thorough.

After another hour of medical treatment, both Griffin and Marcel are in better shape. Marcel can once again move his arm fully and Griffin does not have to lean on anyone else in order to walk around.

“So, really, are we going to spend the rest of the day down in this dark, wet hole, or are we going to get up there and get that statue back for the Elves?” Ree blurts out. “I’m ready to get out of this pit!”

Griffin smiles. “Well, heaven forbid we inconvenience you any more, Ree. Here’s the plan.  Marcel, when we get topside, you grab the statue.  I’ll yell at you a lot, but you march it to the raft. When we get there, Ree, you’re the trained cat - make us a good distraction. We’ll make the switch then.  Remar, make your illusion of the statue and Marcel will walk it back and leave it.  Then we all pile on the raft and make haste for the shore.  Sound good?  Then let’s go!”

With that, Griffin starts climbing up the ladder.

As he hangs there, he pauses for a moment. “Oh, and if we have to abort, the signal is ‘Petunia’.  Got it?”

By the time the members of the Company reach the surface, the day has grown long and the sky has started to darken. The wind has picked up considerably and the few scattered clouds race across the evening sky. A quick look shows that the statue is nowhere to be seen. As Griffin starts to curse, the sound of loud and hearty laughter can be heard coming from the direction of the beach.

Griffin jerks his head towards the trees and says simply, “Ree?” The young girl nods once and slips off, disappearing into the trees. “Well, gentlemen, as my Aunt Petunia used to say, ‘What’s all that ruckus?’  Shall we go find out?” And he gamely limps down the trail to the beach.

The Resolution

The Company heads down the sandy path to the beach and when they round the last stand
Akaios is in a much better mood
of trees, they see an unexpected sight. Akaios is sitting on a log on the beach surrounded by Pixies. They are all talking and laughing. A few of the Pixies are doing flips in the air nearby. The statue of the beautiful woman is laying on the raft, tied down with a few lengths of rope. 

When the Pixies see the group approaching, they immediately end their frolicking and approach, floating very slowly and low to the ground. They all have their heads down, some of them even begin crying as they approach.

The  Pixie in the lead, the one that had done much of the talking during the previous parley, moves forward and drops to the ground. The two foot tall Fey takes a knee and spreads his arms out wide. “Please, mighty heroes of the Grey Company, accept our eternal apologies for the pain and strife we have caused you. We wish to make amends to you and yours, the statue we freely surrender and take claim to the responsibility for absconding with it in the first place. It was not rightfully ours, we had no reason to steal from our good friends the Elves. Some evil magic had been holding sway over us, this we now realize, but now that evil hold is gone and we see the errors of our ways.” He bows low. “Please accept our apologies and let us know if there is anything within our meager power to help set this right.” All the other Pixies have landed on the beach and take up similar penitent positions.

pixie leader.png
Pixie leader
Griffin sits down so he’s not towering over the pixies so much (and cuz sitting down feels safer right now.) “Friends, it warms my heart that the pixies are freed of the curse hidden in the temple.  Of course we forgive you!  Twas a foul magic indeed that could put you at odds with us and your cousins the Elves.” He looks around, then calls out, “Ree?  You can come out now!”  He turns back to the pixies. “My friends and I faced some fell forces down below, but eventually Remar and Ree solved the riddle of the Cursed Mirror of BluÖyCu and destroyed it, freeing you.”

He points to himself, and Remar, and Ariadne. “Of course, it was not easy. Have you a healer among you? Ours have pushed themselves to their limits, and myself, Remar, and Ariadne are still wounded.”

The Pixie leader goes on, “Oh, of course, of course. You have been wounded by the great evil that has enthralled us, and in the process, saved us. Of course we can help with your wounds. We have a healer!” He turns to the gathered Pixies and calls out, “Petunia, Petunia, come forth and help our friends!”

A cute little Pixie female flutters forward. She is wearing a shimmery silver robe and has a ring of what looks like tiny stars circling around her head. She approaches each injured member of the Company in turn and heals them of all their wounds. 
healing necklace.jpg
A Healing Leaf
The Pixie leader continues, “We would also bestow upon you these gifts of our appreciation.” Several other Pixies flutter forward, each of them bearing several shimmery necklaces with a single golden leaf hanging from it. “In times of need, simply eat the leaf and it will help with your wounds.”

The necklaces appear sized for Pixies, but as they are placed around each person's neck, they magically grow to the right size. "They must be consumed immediately after being removed or they will lose their magic," the Pixie warns.

“We thank you for these generous gifts, my friends. I have two more requests for you, if I may.  First, I don’t know if you plan on staying on this island now that you are free of your curse, but if you do, I would mention that there is still danger under those ruins, and I would caution you to keep out yourselves, and also to discourage others.  There is something we will hopefully be returning to recover, and we would hope to still find it there.

Second, we seek a friend who has been taken by Goblins. If you know anything of the whereabouts of Goblins in the area, could you help us find their camps so we might hopefully rescue our friend?”

Remar shakes his head and mutters under his breath, “So much for our plan.” It is a pleasant surprise, of course, but Remar was almost absolutely certain they could have taken the pixies on had they still been adamant about keeping the statue. At least he thinks so. Maybe sort of. Possibly? No, for certain. Absolutely certain.

Continued on GDA17 - What Does the Elf Say?

Cast of Characters: 

Garrett "Griffin" Constantine, a Thyatian rogue of a gambler from Penhaligon rolled by +Arne Jamtgaard 
Remar Umerus, an Alphatian battle mage that escaped forced service in the Thyatian army (conjured by +Ben Lipe and) piloted by +Alex Safatli 
Marcel Maas, a down on his luck Traladaran soldier turned mercenary commanded by +Christian Blouin 
Draven Rickart, a Thyatian Acolyte of the Church of Karameikos piously played by +Jason Packer 
and +Jason Woollard as the DM

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