Harrowed Realm, 1st – 16th Hour
The party (Adanna Fionn, Finwick Shortwick, Horros Moonshadow, and Ra Quel), having defeated the silver-tongued Bernaditi, freed the halfling, and began to ask a few questions. The halfling, Eduard du Leon, had a story that was hard to believe. Apparently, he was a noble, long since believed to be dead, from a kingdom long since decayed. Finwick was actually familiar with Eduard, and could corroborate some of his story. He knew a few things that were helpful to the rest of the party, and agreed to join them in their search for Zassrion, for he had a few questions of his own he would ask.
After feeding Bernaditi an elixir of truth, and interrogating him for a few minutes, they were able to confirm what Biyo had already told them. In order to find Zassrion, they would need to find the other Conspirators of the Realm, and take the tokens they had stolen from Sonnorae. Only then could they find the scarf hidden in Striding Fortress.
And so, the party went searching for the Ticktock man. After roaming the endless brambles of the realm for 12 hours, they were able to find the lone mountaintop that was his home. They easily fought and negotiated their way through the caldera’s defenses, eventually ending up in the Ticktock’s man shop. There, next to the endless mechanical rhythm of the Ticktock Wall, the party accosted the Conspirator. It was long battle, but they wore him down. With a final ferocious axe strike, Ra Quel ended the Ticktock Man’s life, and the rhythm of the Realm stopped.
The trouble is, you think you have time.
Eduard du Leon
Three hundred years. I’ve been dead for three hundred years, or so they tell me. Whether true or a lie, one thing is certain: this is my punishment, and I deserve it.
I will not discard what honor remains me by giving into despair. I may be dead but I am still the Lion of Kyndale, and a Cavalier of the Paw.
I will find this Zassrion and learn what I can. And when I do, I will “thank him” for the “gift” he gave me. I am being strongly sarcastic.
My newfound companions are strange and brutish — they fight with all the grace and strategy of a mob of children chasing a greased pig — but after an eternity of loneliness and starvation followed by a second eternity of torture and humiliation, I welcome them. And while lacking military discipline, they have individual strengths: the cleric is kind, wise, and a powerful healer. The halfling isn’t really Order of Paw material, if you get my drift, but he seems quite adept at magic, and is well-read, to boot. The monk is lightning fast, and sees things others do not. The barbarian woman… well, we’ll see. I’m sure she has many positive qualities.
It feels good to hold a lance again.
I miss Hugo. He was a damn good dog.
It worked. The Elixir of Truth led to that vile Beneditti spilling his guts. It turns out BO was right, Beneditti despises Zasrean. His spite derives from an apparent unequal sharing of the spoils after the conspirators betrayed and banished their creator, Sonoray. Whereas Beneditti got her tongue, enabling him to lie masterfully, and the other lords got pieces of her granting them powers as well, Zasrean got her scarf. This scarf is special, as it allows the wearer to “see things beyond this world.” This undoubtedly is how Zasrean contacts our native plane, and likely how he transported Deveroe’s body to Story-kin.
It seems this is also how Edward, our newest acquaintance, came to be in Story-kin as well. Careful to correct us if we mispronounce his title, Sir Edward of the Southern Paw called to Zasrean as he lay dying, scorched by a dragon while on a mission to the Dwarven city of Carem. He claims he did not know what he was doing or why, that he was just following the vision of a mysterious woman he had known years before. He laid with her in sin as a younger man and never saw her again, but as a keepsake carried with him the deck of cards she had given him, cards identical to those in our Harrow Deck. In his last breath, she came to him and whispered “you must give into him Edward, Zasrean is your only chance.”
Despite his haughty nature, we easily pitied and welcomed Edward after Finnwick informed him of some harsh realities. Not only had Edward led to the death of his family and the deterioration of the Southern Vale by not reaching Carem, but whereas Edward thought he had only been in Story-kin for 3 months, in fact 300 years had passed in our world. He was distraught, and then intent on joining us to confront Zarean.
We are distraught as well, as we now realize we are in danger of a fate similar to Edward’s – because for every moment we spend in this realm, time flies exponentially in Far Primus. Because of this we sought out the Tik-Tok man, one of the eight conspirators. He is in possession of Sonoray’s eyes, enabling him to oversee the running of the realm, the changing of the seasons. And, we hope, the power to delay or even stop time.
Beneditti admitted he had no intention of leaving the Midnight Circus, and no interest in warning the other lords of our existence. He also promised under the Elixir of Truth to no longer torture his servants if we left BO Venna as his companion. And Beneditti’s token was pulling us in the direction of the Caldera anyway, so we headed through the Briar toward the Tik Tok man. We experienced a bit of difficulty entering the Volcanic bastion, until Horros pulled the appropriate cards from our Harrow Deck, easing our way in. We eventually defeated the Tik Tok man after a tiresome battle, and stand here now in his lair trying to decide what to do next…