The foundations of the ruins in Unbaraki seemed to be dangerously close to collapse since the troupe fell through them into the depths over three days ago, and Gideon used this to his advantage, bringing down the ceiling with his storm-magic to hinder his foes, but indeed ended up trapping Tsvolat in a tiny alcove, forcing them to spend time digging him out. What seemed to be another punctuation in a long string of misfortune for the Azarak family, it was not the last blow fate’s hand held for that day.
Inadvertently rousing a stone construct from it’s millennial sleep, they forced the hostile statue back with cunning and force, but as Tsvolat attacked, the construct became flesh, and the dwarf was turned to stone. The creature immediately called for parlay, claiming that the curse that he had transferred to Tsvolat was compelling it’s hostility, but now had regained control. With Saorise’s rod crackling with wild magic pointed at it’s head, a grim, firm scowl across her face, Gideon cast his judgement:
“Do it, Saorise!”
The creature’s short second life was extinguished in a violent bolt of brilliant iridescence.
Daybreak Over Unbaraki
Carrying the petrified statue of the Dwarven barbarian, they ascended the final level of the dungeon.
Stepping out into the open world again, you see the first prismatic rays of the sun rising over distant mountains. The air is thick and still and you can hear the buzzing of insects as you look down from the top of a vine-choked pyramid. Pontius’ keen eyes stretch out through the hazy dawn to see from here where the unnerving but subtle line where the jungle stops and the forest begins.
There is a faint pulse of arcane energy when you step out into the light, but upon checking his pack, Gideon finds that it wasn’t some last note from Gamamil, but rather the crystal that gave it off, before returning dormant. It isn’t long before admiring the view isn’t your priority anymore because the temple has started shaking beneath you and you hear the deep cracking sounds of the temple’s foundations tearing.
The earth swallowed the temple entirely, Grotto being the only one making it out into the jungle unscathed, excelling in the most honoured of pirate traditions – running away. After coughing the dust out of their lungs and digging up the statue of Tsvolat, they began their trek back to Earthreach.
The Sombre Pilgrim
In the forest they met a man, Jolnir, who sat with them and shared shortbread with them and told them he used to live in the forest long ago, returning to relive bittersweet memories before they were lost to him. It seems that Gideon and Saorise only had bitter memories of the places they called “home”, but Jolnir seemed to think that in time, those memories would become sweeter as they realised how much those places had shaped them into the people they had become.
A Feast in Earthreach
The elders in Earthreach immediately took Tsvolat with them to perform a ritual to reverse his petrification, whilst the others bathed, relaxed and feasted with the villagers.
When you finish bathing, they give you each a simple elven long-tunic, while your clothes dry, and they lead you out to the great stone in the center of town. It turns out a feast in Earthreach is a little different than perhaps you are accustomed, scattered throughout the glade are tables piled with different food and drinks in wooden goblets, almost like stalls at a market except the stall owners are freely taking from each other’s stalls and standing around drinking and laughing with their friends as they move around the village trying all their neighbors’ foods.
The Big Reveal
Udokal invited the group to his private meeting area at the top of the great tree in Earthreach where he reunited them with a changed Tsvolat. Indeed, it was not just petrification that had been transferred to Tsvolat, but a divine essence, turning him irrevocably into one of the creatures from the immortal realms known as a Deva. His skin had changed hue to a light purple shot through with chalky streaks, and despite being Tsvolat and having Tsvolat’s personality and memory, the former Dwarf now felt the compulsion of having a stronger connection to the gods themselves.
Udokal listened to what had happened in Unbaraki, and revealed to them what Gamamil told him of what would happen there.
“Gamamil has spent the last few hundred years studying. Travelling the planes and collating secret knowledge from across the earth, some of that knowledge he came here to seek out. I don’t know when it was that he first noticed it, but he believes that certain sensitive individuals can tug on the threads of destiny and see what may, or what must come, and that these seers relay the knowledge they have plucked from the fabric of the cosmos into what we call prophecy. If this was possible, and not just guesswork from imaginative individuals, then it serves to reason that people from different times and different places would start to say the same things. He has spent his time weeding out the false prophets and filtering through the miscommunications of the true prophets, and has compiled a compelling story of what’s to unfold using prophecies from distant peoples across thousands of years. Some of his “master prophecy” he has lifted from the tales of my people, and despite that he felt that not all our tales were useful, he saw certain things that lined up with what he already knew. He has convinced my people, the elves of Earthreach, first among the sons of Wintersbreach that our prophecies are coming true. Gamamil told us that Gideon Toma, son of Godwyn Toma, was coming to Wintersbreach, was coming indeed to Earthreach, and that he would be the chosen one, and that he would save our world from a coming age of darkness."
Gamamil believed that Gideon was an object of prophecy and that by “freeing” the prisoner from “The Prison of Import” as Gamamil called it, another piece of the prophecy had been fulfilled. Udokal was skeptical, however, as all five of the troupe had been present at the time, and mentioned some more of the prophecies of his people (which he mentioned may have been kept or discarded for Gamamil’s “master prophecy”), including that the chosen one had siblings, and that his siblings would inherit ultimate power, where the chosen would sacrifice that power to save the world. How reliable these prophecies are, or indeed how literal, was something Udokal could not answer.
“Some stories say that he dies, others that he lives for ever.”
Seeing that the trail left by Gamamil had dried up here, the group decided to continue on with their quest to discover more about the barrels, and that they would travel to the area of the forest marked for them by Morgendaan, where fey creatures are sighted, in order to capture one for Baldersbalet games, in the hope that it will bring them closer to the movers and shakers – the infamous Gosser Family.