Dakkon

The Towers of the Turning Day

We’re kicked out of Darishel’s dream and find ourselves in the corridor outside of his door. Viri told us she pulled us out because something went wrong—the eladrin know that we’re there and what we’re attempting to do.

She tells us we have to go and leads us away from Darishel’s room. As we move quickly along, the stone under our feet turns to sand and we abruptly find ourselves in an oasis in the desert, surrounded by sand dunes and ghosts and wraiths that flicker at the edges of our vision. All of a sudden, monsters appear and begin to attack us.

We fight for awhile and, once we strike particularly hard at one of the monsters, the oasis disappears and we can see the corridor from the Tower of Dream again. For that brief moment, we are able to see the eladrin we’re fighting.

There isn’t much time to take them in, though, before the corridor disappears and we find ourselves in a field. There are new monsters to face here, though we’re now aware that we’re fighting illusions based on the eladrin we spotted in the corridor.

Eventually, we’re able to break that illusion and kill all but one of the eladrin fighting us. He tells us that, if we spare his life, we can make our escape and he won’t stop us. We opt to do just that, with Jack sparing a moment to take the man’s wand. We follow Viri through a wall and make our way quickly away from the Tower for about an hour.

By this time, we’ve informed Viri what we learned from Darishel, namely that the Towers of the Turning Day—and, consequently, Ariniel Who Walks Ahead and Fiamma—are in Sulacia Reach. She tells us that she knows where that is and how to get there. According to Viri, the Sulacia Reach is at the base of a pass that is difficult to get through but not far from our current location, perhaps a day and a half away.

She tells us that we will have to go on alone, as it’s much too difficult for a woman in her advanced years to get through. She tells us, though, that the area where we currently are has valuable flowers and that she’s certain we’ll be able to make it through the pass. She does warn us, however, not to travel at night.

When we ask her why she’s helping us, she tells us that it’s because she wants the Feywild opened. We all thank her for her help, and then we push on towards the mountains. The going is rough and the path is treacherous, though relatively uneventful. As we climb through the pass it gets colder. We clear the treeline and continue further until dusk when we find a place to set up camp for the night—setting up our chimes as usual. Jack decides to take the first watch and only takes a long nap, unlike everyone else who sleeps as usual. As a result, he develops a bit of frostbite.

We wake up and quickly pack up our camp, then continue up the mountain. Targoth, due to his familiarity with cold, mountainous regions, scouts the way and finds us the best path to continue along. The journey continues to be difficult—so much so that Aideena and Eben both stumble and fall a ways down the mountain at one point. We stop to help them back on the path and begin to hear noises—loud, large footsteps.

From our position, we’re able to see them before they see us; they’re massive frost giants with huge axes. We attack them and battle ferociously, killing all but one, which pleads for us to leave him alive. He’s badly injured and doesn’t speak Common, but Aideena is able to speak Giant and relays to the rest of us that the giant promises to lead us through the mountain pass if we leave him alive. We discuss it for a few moments and decide to take him up on his offer.

We follow behind him as he takes us towards a large boulder. The giant removes the boulder and we can see a path that leads down the mountain. He points towards the path and tells us that we need to go that way and then, suddenly, he keels over and dies. Jack decides to thieve the giant and finds 30 fey gold and a ritual called Bloom.

Jack also inspects the path the giant pointed us towards and we realize that nothing has traveled through this area or used this path for some time. We decide to take the path and we don’t encounter anything on our way.

Near dusk, we arrive at the Reach and discover that the path we’re on leads onto a large grassy plain. We stop at the Reach and discover that there are no towers; however, bearing in mind the name of the place—the Towers of Turning Day—and Viri’s warning not to travel at night, we decide to set up camp and wait for dawn in the hopes that the Towers will somehow be visible at that time.

So, we set up our camp and have a dinner of fish and listen to Aideena as she tells us the story of the kings of Calathea. Afterwards, we agree that I’ll take the first watch before Aideena takes over. Everyone else sleeps until dawn, when the Towers suddenly become visible. We all get up and watch the Towers resolve themselves in the dawn light. There are two of them and they overlook the Steppe of the Sun.

We don’t observe any obvious doors or windows, but we begin to head towards them, bearing in mind the fact that the Towers were not visible until dawn and they look to be fading even as the sun rises.

As we get closer, we notice that the air is shimmering and rippling in three places and, suddenly, three portals appear and open, letting in three huge monsters. Aideena can’t discern any arcane power around the portals, which strikes her as odd, before we’re attacked by the monsters that have emerged from them.

We are able to discern that one of the monsters is from the Astral Sea, and one appears to be made of metal and is completely foreign, if reptilian. While we’re fighting the monsters, Jack is able to get close to one of the portals and he feels something strangely similar to the pearl before he put the feather on it and neutralized it. It’s not exactly the same, however; whereas the pearl is complete chaos, this is different—more controlled and orderly.

We manage to defeat the monsters by essentially pushing them back through their portals and begin to make our way to the Towers once more when a door slides open. There is no one there, but we realize that we’re running out of time; if we wait too long, the Towers will disappear completely. So we enter the door and walk into the Towers. It’s empty inside, made of marble, and completely quiet.

The quiet is broken by the sound of footsteps and we turn towards the staircase where an eladrin is descending towards us. He introduces himself as Ariniel Who Walks Ahead and he tells us that he has been waiting for us. He looks like a normal eladrin except his eyes are translucent. There is nothing about him that seems untrustworthy or deceitful and he gives off an air of supreme calm.

He informs us that he’s an oracle but, unlike other oracles that can only see a piece of one outcome, he can see all outcomes. He tells us that he knows about the prophecy that sent us on our quest for Fiamma—who, he tells us, is preparing herself and will be down momentarily. She, like us, came to seek answers and he tells us that he will explain what he can and answer our questions insofar as his answers would be helpful.

Jack hands him the pearl and asks him about it. Ariniel Who Walks Ahead looks at it, smiles briefly, and tells us that there are 6 others, that their power—like his—is not arcane. He tells us the power is psionic, that the pearls were shaped here, but have a connection to the Far Realm.

He also tells us that he can only tell us so much because we will always possess free will, that we are never fated to do one thing or another.

Ariniel Who Walks Ahead then tells us that Fiamma is ready to see us and, a moment later, she descends the staircase. She’s got red hair and appears as far from snooty regalness as is possible. She smiles tremulously at us and apologizes that it was so difficult to find her. She tells us that she very much wants to talk to us and suggests that we do so while we eat.

While everyone eats, she tells us that her adopted family lived on the run and that she started having dreams which prompted her to seek out Ariniel Who Walks Ahead.

We also describe how we came to find Ariniel Who Walks Ahead and Jack sees the eladrin smile at the mention of Viri. Jack asks if Viri is a witch; Ariniel calls her Viridia and tells us that she’s the Witch of Fates. He says that she likes to take a more active hand in the world than he does, and refers to her as an explosion in time. He says that’s she incredibly powerful, but not evil—and we’re inclined to agree with him, given how she helped us on our journey.

He tells us that we should trust our instincts, and then he turns to Jack and tells him that he’ll see his sister soon. Jack stares at him for a moment and asks where they are and whether the right one will be the one he sees. Ariniel Who Walks Ahead answers yes to that.

He says that we need to go back the way we came and that to open the Feywild, we need to make our way through a maze and undo the knots of leylines at the heart of it. Once we do that, we will need to leave the Feywild as we will no longer be welcome here. He asks Aideena, specifically, if she’s comfortable with being exiled from the Feywild and she says that it’s no different than growing up—she’ll be following her in parents’ footsteps.

Fiamma tells us that she wants to come with us because she needs to see her father. She wants to meet him, to talk with him and try to reason with him. This sort of talk puts me on my guard, but I’m at least partially reassured that she seems to be nothing like her father and she understands that what he’s done and is doing is wrong and needs to be stopped.

Throughout all of this discussion, I’ve been watching her intently because I’m wary of what her personality is like—and where her loyalty will lie—and also because I’m desperately curious to know what she knows.

Eventually, we’re able to talk a little away from everyone else, where she lets me know that she knows what I am—a Changeling. She tells me that she was trying to be discreet about it because she didn’t know who else knew—which I appreciate—but I reassure her that the rest of the party already knows about it.

I ask her what she knows about her family and—more specifically—what she knows about how she escaped. I want to find out if she knows about my father’s role in her rescue but I can tell, fairly quickly, that she does not. All of her information about her family seems to be second and third hand and, more than that, it’s clear she’s just as anxious and desirous of information as I am.

This puts me in an awkward position, since she clearly doesn’t know about my father’s role and I’m not sure if I should tell her, or how. From the way she talks, she holds the Guild of Garter in high esteem because she feels they saved her life by placing her with a family away from Easar.

She also says that she has some ideas about why her sisters have been killed but, before I can truly think of how to tell her how she came to be alive, she drops a bombshell on all of us by telling us that her brother, Navuul, is actually involved with Second Dawn—that he is, in fact, the founder and head of it.

This is particularly surprising to me because I knew that his ascension to the throne was the primary goal of the group, but I’d had no idea that he was in charge of it all.

When I’ve recovered a bit, I mention carefully that I dislike the king because he killed my father. Fiamma is very sympathetic and wants to know why. I explain that my father used to work for the king when he was still the crown prince, as a Scrivener, and that he heard rumors of the girl children of the king being killed. He tried to find a way to save them and eventually managed to save one—only one. Fiamma understands what I’m saying and runs off, obviously upset. I try to go after her, but Ariniel Who Walks Ahead stops me by telling me that I should let her be as she comes to grips with what I’ve told her.

After this, Targoth—with very little expectation of an answer—asks Ariniel Who Walks Ahead about Druuk. As expected, he doesn’t answer, saying that he is not a wind-up toy to be asked any question at all, and tells us that he can’t really tell us anymore. He says that we are welcome to eat and drink as much as we want and that we can spend the night in the Tower.

He tells us goodbye and that he won’t see us off in the morning. We tell him goodbye as well and he leaves.

Targoth and Aideena discuss what consequences could arise from unraveling the leylines and reopening the Feywild—the Fomorians could end up on our plane and she would be exiled from the Feywild for life. Aideena acknowledges this, but also says that it needs to be done.

We sleep soon after this and awake in the morning, just before dawn. I see Fiamma sitting at the table, eating a bit of breakfast, and we have a conversation to resolve what I told her the day before. I tell her not to blame herself and that my father made a decision to help and try and save an innocent life. She thanks me for her reassurances and for my father’s sacrifice and we’re both relieved to have said our piece and be able to move on a bit.

Soon after, we’re all ready to leave the Towers and, as soon as the sun rises and the door opens onto Sulacia Reach, we leave the Towers and begin to make our way back towards Calathea.

The first part of the journey is relatively easy, following the path that the giant had cleared for us.

At one point, though, we reach a narrow part of the path. Looking carefully ahead, we see lots of boulders holding an avalanche back, all of which is guarded by two monkey-esque creatures. To see if what their intentions are, Aideena produces ghost sounds off to one side and we see the creatures look that way expectantly. Other than that, though, they don’t move.

Jack decides to sneak up onto the ledge they’re on and take care of them to ease our way through. What he’s attempting to do is difficult, though, and he’s prone to the cold, so his attempts to surprise them fail.

We battle them and, as we do, some eladrin rush out of hiding and try to capture us to take us to the Prince of Frost.

After a protracted battle, though, we’re able to defeat and kill our enemies without triggering an avalanche. Jack thieves some magical plate armor and we move along the path, finding our way down the mountain and to the edge of the forest by dusk, where we decide to make camp.

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