Seken

Dancing, Dancing,

The Mastiffs took care of the Devlin mercenaries that followed Alice.

Curiously, the Avatar? of Har-Tam was sitting by the edge of the bridge waiting for us. Leo went to talk to her and the rest of us greeted Jinko, who was also waiting on the bridge. The avatar apparently told Leo that one piece of the builders soul which was stored somewhere we were familiar with would be coming very soon. It was then we began to faintly hear music. dancing figures vaguely visible in the trees. The center of their dance then emerged. It was her. Analisse. From below. Only now, not only she could hear the music. And she had a piece of the builder’s soul. Her song was very compelling, and it was twisting things. In a bad way. We tried to talk her out of going anywhere, but she seemed determined. so I called to Varys and told him to deafen her in the wild hope it would work to stop the dance. She dropped like a puppet with cut strings.

We had Jenko take her to the temple of Caillech as fast as he could to get her out of the way. We started to proceed there and were intercepted by Nergal. We had an interesting discussion about the relationship between them and how Annalise was the one through which the voice spoke that told the skin changers how to become and what to do. And how the one who hurts had tried to infect her. And how He had done something about it. We all eventually made our way to the temple where there was much arguing.

I may have to attempt the stupid thing.
I don’t want to, but I can’t ask anyone else to do it. Even if I succeed without becoming one of the Yearning, I will have crossed some line beyond which there is no return.
I must be certain that it is necessary.

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Disrupting the hunt.

I am sometimes amazed at our ability to find trouble. We decided we needed to prevent the Devlin influenced mercenaries from doing whatever they were doing by ourselves. Without help. So, we decided to “sneak” through the fens in a not very sneaky way, because we’re terrible at it.

Someone was able to figure something out about their strategy, that they were hunting something, much like a fox hunt on the estate. with a line, and beaters and so forth. when we got close I called on Gelt for assistance and it seemed at first that nothing had happened, and then it was clear that something was in front of their line. something terrible in its destructive beauty. It would reduce things that got too close to their component parts somehow transmuting them to primal essences. It destroyed their line briefly, and slowed them, perhaps giving the quarry a chance.

Alice used this distraction to move ahead of the line, and in the process accidentally attracted the devourer, but managed to escape. again delaying the pursuers. We made it to sight of the main force who was trying to destroy our liaison with Har-Tam. We did what we could to aid her, and fled. In the confusion we lost Alice. I swore that I had the feeling that she was taken by the devouring aspect of Gelt, and I plead with Him to spare her,so that she might do more to free those who need it in the future as she just had here.

We exited the wood, and were greeted by Mastiffs massed, waiting. Alice burst out of the woods! I was most pleased to see her, praise be to Gelt! But she was persued by the minions of Devlin, it seems.

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A Short History of Two Kalbs, A Bard, and a Concerned Prostitute: Part 33

As we collectively caught our breath, we spotted the woman on the side of the bridge, eyes staring off into the hills. It was the Avatar, somehow still alive after last night’s display. Leo spoke with her and we found out that a piece of the Builder will be coming upon us shortly.

That was when we heard the music and I ran to the wards, beckoning others to follow me. Surely dear readers you’d consider that after last night’s escapades we’d be a little more careful. Of course not. They stood their ground and the music grew louder. When Byron beckoned for me to join them, I double-checked to see Alice countering the song.

I joined them hesitantly before Byron gestured for me to silence the woman. Well, Byron usually only does this for a good reason. Or this was Gelt giving us one last hilariously suicidal nonsense. I gestured and the spell flowed out with a prayer to Benjiro.

The woman halts and then seems to collapse. Checking on her, it seems as if she has been dead for a long time. Afterwards, we attempted to perform some divination only to discover a magical maelstrom swirling around her, making any kind of magic dangerous. We gathered her up and started moving to the Temple of Caillech in hopes of reaching the temple proper. Skin thieves were the ones dancing in the woods and they made themselves apparent.

After hastening Jinko to run with the corpse along with Cinnamon we spoke for a time with the one known as Nurgle. We discovered that they are followers of Makka and their fates are intertwined with those of the dead lady. Now with Nurgle and his skin thieves keeping watch and Korm of Caillech conferring, we needed a plan.

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A Short History of Two Kalbs, A Bard, and a Concerned Prostitute: Part 32

Our report to the High Seer was brief, but to the point. Devlin had changed and the death of the High Necromancer had only made things worse. We gave what information we could in the hopes that the High Seer can find more information regarding the situation and perhaps some insights on what we could do next.

Letters. So many letters. While Byron and Cinnamon went to go seek Ivraham, we sent out letters of warning regarding the change in Devlin and to be on guard against him. It took significantly less time with the help of bureaucratic acolytes capable of penning out the basic forms.

When everyone returned. Leo received an animal messenger speaking of a situation happening in the forest near the cemetery. After some argument about the logic regarding that plan, we made our way to the park, stopping to find the bridge wards would hold against the Blue Hounds in case the new not-High Necromancer couldn’t hold them.

Ivraham led our crew into the woods where we managed to avoid an initial confrontation with Devlin’s hunters. After some preliminary scouting, I can only describe Byron’s actions as “chewing on a stick” that caused a horrible transmuter beast to spawn in the midst of the mid ranks of Devlin’s line.

This cause untold death and mayhem, which I suppose was Byron’s intent? When we heard the lines being quickened, we moved to help the Avatar of Hartam with illusions, trickery, and various clever ploys. Alice disappeared in the turmoil as we retreated, attempting to pull back Hartam’s line.

I felt a tingling, a seer’s sense if you will, that Alice was going to do something… brave. I pushed my power to change her fate and a part of the tapestry went dark to me. The rest of us made it to the edge of the woods where dawn was fast approaching. We waited there, hoping that she would return and Alice made it through, disheveled and followed by Devlin’s troops.

We made a quick retreat as the Blue Hounds and Devlin’s corrupted fought one another. We had done what we could for the Avatar of Hartam. I whisper a prayer to Aisling that she is safe and will find us soon.

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A Short History of Two Kalbs, A Bard, and a Concerned Prostitute: Part 31

After the High Necromancer’s death, we were honored to attend her wake. It was a somber affair, but towards the end Cinnamon ran in out of breath. Devlin’s mercenaries were on the march. Their soldiers were mutilated with chains, hooks, scars… everything that would cause them pain without necessarily killing them.

The parade of around 100 to 150 soldiers made their way down the Graveyard district. We followed them making inquiries and casting what spells we have to uncover what happened to them. Pooling our information together, we believe that Devlin had become corrupted by Maka and in doing so changed him from conflict to strife.

In Devlin’s castle, we poked around until we realized that the unconverted men of Devlin were going to be killed. With quick thinking, Leo and I arranged for them to be hired. We made our way quickly out of the castle and made our way to the Market day. There were A LOT of magic items for sale and together we chose various items present there. After some haggling, I went in with Cinnamon for a cloak that allows you to go into the ethereal realm and become invisible. The ability to go through walls may come useful.

After the market, we made our way to the High Seer to see what can be done to avert the oncoming disaster…

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A Short History of Two Kalbs, A Bard, and a Concerned Prostitute: Part 30

Morning finally came and we discussed the next big thing on our docket, the Dollmaker. Leo and Alice took to the streets, trying to find pieces of whatever information they could sniff out on the subject. Between their efforts and a certain librarian working diligently throughout the night, we uncovered a cycle of girls who would become psychopaths in some fashion.

At a village half a century ago a girls coming out party ended with the river going uphill and killing everyone. The coming out party in the city, well, after that at least one of the girls there was found with her eyes gouged out.

The more information we found, the more convinced we were that the Dollmaker was some kind of Avatar of Maka. Her desire for destruction would be the fuel for the Builder. She needs to be stopped.

After a busy night of looking through so many papers, we finally met with the High Necromancer. Viewing Chip, she understood that a time of change had come. We watched as she disintegrated and a loss was felt throughout all of us.

Looking back on it now, I knew the times of destruction and change were finally upon us.

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Byron's View: Chip Speaks
Or, The Tiniest Godling

After returning to the city to find a pillar of green flame standing in my home district, we of course proceeded to the Big House. After a calming drink and some discussion, a number of us decided to go to speak to the Banded Eagles about the probable source of the attack on the place and warn them of the builder’s true abilities. I certainly hope they take it with some seriousness. I am not at all sanguine about what might happen if the Builder becomes fully invested in that place. While there we ran into a former colleague of Alice’s and he seemed to have some interesting insights into the nature of the Spot that had been there before, and some unique abilities of analysis. We brought him back to the apartments where he performed an elaborate ritual upon a sample of the Tar that Varys still had, and he was able to determine that it was devine, and of the same nature as the Spot, though that nature is not “knowable” he claims it is much like Calliech. We sent him on his way with more of the tar and an admonition to be extremely careful with the stuff, and to report his findings. I suspect we will have to seek him out. We had a very surprising meeting the next day with our erstwhile assassins, the Shadowed Hand. Alice seems to be considering their tutelage. We’ll have to keep an eye on her. On our return Varys decided that examining Chip was very important, and after the long discussion engendered by this decision, we determined that Chip was part God, and Cinnamon accepted her destinyless destiny, and acknowledged that she was responsible for her fate. Upon this Chip spoke up “About damn time.”

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Byron's View: The Country House.
Or, A gentleman comes down.

I had been spending some very productive time on helping the Banded castle with The Spot, and various other things about town, as well as playing with Chip quite a bit, when we met up at the Big House. Cinnamon was apparently concerned that I was using too much, and as a favor to her I agreed to stop even though I have been quite busy. It was not long before I was napping upstairs in one of the suites and apparently it turns out that we needed to go to the Estate to visit our cousin Vasily out at the country estate where Mother is taking care of him these days. First for some reason, Alice needed us to stop at the College of explosions. At some point while I fell asleep outside, Varys tricked Cinnamon into doing something highly inadvisable which rendered her trapped within a vision. The blessing of Gelt was fortunately able to free her and we were free to move on. after a long, long carriage ride we arrived in time for breakfast. We managed to arrange for brother dear to have his secret meeting with Vasily, and everyone got a tour of the grounds. We return to the city in the morning.

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A Short History of Two Kalbs, A Bard, and a Concerned Prostitute: Part 29

What a productive few days! I managed to get some scrying work done within the Temple. We managed to put together some of the prophecies regarding the girl and none of it looked good. This “Dollmaker” is a problem and one that will be the focal point in the future. I’m at a loss as to how to effect this.

We met at our normal gathering place and while there, we followed up on a few people Leo wanted to keep tabs on. After a bit of scrying, we determined that we should head on over to the Kalb’s estates to talk to certain individuals.

However, we first visited the Magic University where it seemed like our contact was affected by some spell backlash that caused her to be irrationally aroused by my person. I kept her off the others so my companions could go explore, although in retrospect that seems like a terrible idea. After wandering around the school, we saw many experiments going awry and a door that magically transports you someplace strange.

Well, Cinnamon in her wisdom decided to go through the door for a third time (after tripping me in the 1st). One thing led to another and suddenly we were in the basement wrestling while she shouted out “I bite the spiders!” while attempting to masticate me.

The less said about that the better.

The trip out to the estate was far more pleasant. We had some cordial conversations and good meals while Leo wrapped things up with his cousin. A nice little vacation. I spent some of that time looking into Alice, who is proving to be far more interesting than she lets on…

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Byron's View: Mustelid Coffee

After speaking with the Necromancer on the matter of the young architecht’s unfortunate situation, and allowing them to confer in private, we departed back towards the city, intending to contract with the Architects to construct new hands that we could get enchanted for her. We were waylaid on the way there by the hunter of Haartam, who had returned as promised and led us to the avatar? of Haartam that could help us with our grim request. She(it? they?) said that they would help us find the builder’s soul, or help us separate it from it’s shell, but they could not do both without someone agreeing to join the hunt. Strangely, Leo agreed to this bargain, and we were once again on our way. We made it to the Tower of the Architect, and explained our needs and what was actually the deal with our golem friend, and she was welcomed home. We then proceeded to my apartments where we arranged for the lessening of Ivrahim’s psychic burden by doing an incredibly dangerous mind thing between he and Cinnamon. This will hopefully tide him over for a while. While they recovered, the rest of us went to the Banded castle and informed them of the disintigration spot, and had a fine dinner at the attached dining establishment. Upon our return no one else seemed to want coffe strangely. I spent the night mostly playing with Big Brother Chip and reading.

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