Days of Change

From Ardrana

This page is about the adventure. For the holiday, see Day of Change.

This adventure began when Shale and her company arrived in the city of Agropthos after passing through a portal from a cave complex near the Sandilaht Trail into the city's cemetery. There, they met up with Emi, Gilbert and Rin -- who had arrived by boat three days prior -- at the Inn of the Shifting Sands. Isu was also there along with Zaikum, who along with another friend Ikuyan had been intending to attend the Day of Change festival. After catching each other up on previous events, Gilbert seemed excited at the prospect of investigating the cemetery, but only Makoto shared the feeling, so the party settled in for the evening while Zaikum escorted Solidus to the temple of Varice.

While Illiger went to the adjacent hookah room and opium den, the rest of the party planned their next move. Along with Gilbert and Rin, Makoto and Maialen both showed interest in performing at the festival, while Shale considered trying to hire herself out to a local smith. Zaikum returned and told the party about employment opportunities on the north side of town, including a story about a pair of Halflings trying to locate a lost pyramid in the deep desert.

Preparations

The next morning, Solidus rejoined the group at The Shifting Sands, and everyone set out for the Festival Center north of city's main thoroughfare. There, the performing members of the group -- Gilbert, Maialen, Makoto and Rin -- went inside while the others checked the nearby job postings board. After discovering that there would be an hour's wait, Gilbert came back and led the rest of the group to the Dune Trail Inn, which they had heard might be a less expensive place to stay. There, they encountered a Dwarf who appeared to be down on his luck. He introduced himself as Klaven, a Dwarf of Thorin's clan like Shale and Rakeor.

The party inquired about rooms with the barkeep, Duneshay, then learned a bit about the city's current situation from Klaven. They also asked about the Halfling pyramid hunters, whom Duneshay identified as the Waterbuck brothers, who had mounted a few failed expeditions over the past couple years. They fell to discussing another caravan guarding job instead, while Shale talked about getting work with a local blacksmith. They were approached by Akhrab, a member of the local caravan guild. Just then, Hafsa -- also a guild member -- arrived, telling Shale about the blacksmith who did business at the caravanserai, a half-ogre named Kernaar. After being introduced, she also noted the similarity of Klaven's name to that of one of her prior acquaintances, Blaven. The Dwarf claimed to be his younger brother, and Hafsa told him she thought he was staying at Gladdy's Boarding House a few blocks to the east.

While the others followed the Dwarves to the boarding house and Emi went her own way, Gilbert returned to the Festival Center. There, the performers secured a space on the grounds for four days. Gilbert and Maialen, who had broken a string on her lyre, set off to get it repaired while Rin returned to The Shifting Sands and Makoto decided to scout the area. The kitsune drew more stares than she liked, so purchased a headscarf to cover her ears. On the street, she noticed that a few people were wearing the same skull amulets that she had seen in Cardimer.

At Gladdy's, the Halfling proprietor told those present that while the Waterbucks kept a room there, they were not in town, although she expected them back for the Festival. The party went to Blaven's room, where Klaven woke him up and greeted him warmly. The elder brother told them that he'd been up all night doing a job for the temple of Nevis, guarding the cemetery after a mausoleum had been broken into earlier in the day. He wasn't sure if they still needed people, but said he'd spoken to a priestess named Lucretia. Blaven promised to bring Shale to meet the blacksmith, but not until after a visit to the nearest watering hole. The priestess was impatient, however, and set off for the smithy while the brothers carried on to the pub.

At the smithy, everyone else looked on while Shale demonstrated her abilities to the master smith. While the result was less than adequate, Kernaar invited her back that afternoon to do work that might prove more suitable. She agreed, and the group headed back to the inn. They were the last to arrive, and everyone relayed their experiences before noting that Rin was missing. Gilbert found her in the hookah den, and Maialen endeavored to guide the more-loopy-than-usual Rin upstairs. Once upstairs, Maialen tried to get Rin situated, but the Elf suddenly kissed the Lastini priestess just before passing out.

As the group finished their lunch, they were surprised at the arrival of their former comrade Gairevander. He told them he'd been tasked with spreading the word about Carrolwood, and had just arrived along with Dudex. He invited the group to have dinner with him at the Eastern Palms Inn, where the project had arranged for him to stay. After he departed, the group -- save Maialen, who remained to wait for Gilbert's contact regarding selling Maeish's spellbook -- set out into the city again, with Emi and Makoto accompanying Gilbert to sell some items while Solidus returned to his temple to inquire about the skull amulets and the rest seeking Blaven and Klaven.

Shale, Rakeor, Illiger and Siege found the Dwarven brothers at The Barking Bunny, and after trading stories agreed to meet back at Gladdy's before heading to the temple of Nevis. They all accompanied Shale to the smithy, where Shale forged several axe heads.

After selling a pearl they'd found along the Sandilaht Trail, Gilbert returned to the Shifting Sands while Emi and Makoto checked out Yanna, whom Emi had been advised to contact by the thieves' guild for a safe place to lie low. Later that afternoon, party members slowly gathered at the Shifting Sands, compared notes, then split again, with Makoto, Maialen and Solidus accompanying Emi to join Gaire for dinner while Gilbert continued to wait for his contact and the others joined Klaven and Blaven to head to the cemetery.

The prospective guards met with Lucretia along with Yves, whom several of them had also met in Daro. They were examined by the priestess of Nevis, who discovered that Illiger was carrying something magical. Siege reminded her of the dagger with odd markings they'd found outside the Dwarven mine, and after seeing it Lucretia asked Illiger to accompany her to the temple. Shale and Rin tagged along, and they met with the High Priest, Stog. Shale told him the whole story, including Shale's group's identity as yesterday's trespassers, and had Rin show them the skull symbol. Stog and Lucretia then explained that the symbol belonged to members of a rival cult to theirs -- "pretenders", as they called them -- whose aims and location were still somewhat murky. After promising to try and acquire one of the amulets, they were dismissed to return to the inn.

Meanwhile, the others met Gaire and Dudex at the Eastern Palms, and adjourned to their suite for dinner and conversation. Solidus mentioned some of the creatures they encountered, which piqued the interest of the two, but dinner was otherwise uneventful. Maialen played a tune on her lyre, and an inebriated Emi attempted to dance, only to land (with a bit of trickery by the kitsune) face-first in a bowl of grapes. Gaire asked the half-Elf to come back in the morning to deliver a message to Cleo, who was staying at the estate of a friend in the city, and everyone bid each other goodnight. Back at the Shifting Sands, Solidus and Maialen found Gilbert and Rin talking to a Desert Elf named Gamal, who was the bard's contact to sell Maeish's spellbook. Gilbert said he had some information that should be discussed privately, and they agreed to wait until everyone was together.

After leaving the cemetery, Shale and Illiger went around to the night market, where Shale saw a dock worker wearing one of the amulets. The hengeyokai asked him where he'd gotten it, and he mentioned an Elven port to the south. They returned to the graveyard, only to find the Dwarven brothers had been dismissed as too drunk to be fit for guard duty. On the way to Gladdy's, she and Illiger filled the Dwarves in on their recent exploits. Arriving at the boarding house, Gladdy told them that the Waterbucks had returned, and were likely in the Dune Trail pub.

After meeting Makoto waiting for them outside, and Emi arriving as well, they entered to find the two Halflings talking to a pair of Humans who seemed uninterested in their tale. They seemed about to leave when Blaven introduced himself, and they were joined by the rest of those present. The two Halflings -- a holy warrior named Andy and a priest of Raskill named Paul -- told them about their quest for the pyramid. They mentioned that they originally heard the tale from their cousin Toby, and at that point Klaven realized that he had actually been part of the same adventuring party. Shale told the Waterbucks that they would discuss it with the rest of their group and get back to them in the morning.

Early the next day, Emi delivered Gaire's message, running into Makoto along the way. They arrived at the estate of Lady Sofistia, which contained a lush grove and garden that seemed to be quite out of place in the desert. They saw an Elven woman among the trees, but when they tried to approach her the trees blocked their path. They eventually got her attention and chatted with her a bit before giving her the message to pass on to Cleo.

Once everyone had assembled at the Shifting Sands, Gilbert told them about Gamal's client who wished to purchase the book. However, he also said that Gamal mentioned a shop where he might get a better price -- a shop where Gamal had seen the skull amulet available for sale. After that, the Dwarves told them of their encounter with the Waterbucks, and a concern was raised that the Halflings didn't intend to leave until after the festival. Klaven especially preferred to leave sooner, thinking that they could find the pyramid on their own. Although he couldn't remember its location, he remembered that one of his companions on that venture, a priestess of Laurent named Al Sha'in, or her friend, an assassin named Trave, might know. Thus, while Gilbert went with Illiger and Solidus to the shop, Klaven and his brother went to the temple of Laurent with Rin and Maialen, Emi and Makoto went to see if the thieves' guild might have a lead on Trave, and Shale and Rakeor went off to alert Hafsa to their revelations to the temple of Nevis and to find a place to practice.

When Shale and Rakeor arrived at the Dune Trail, the Waterbuck brothers were there. They discussed the mission a bit more, and Andy warned them they would likely need enchantments to combat any undead they found within. After finally talking to Hafsa, the Dwarves went through the marketplace and spotted an arena being erected for the festival. The coordinator, Givido, was excited to see a priest of Perasin and asked Shale to judge some of the planned events. Shale agreed, and she and Rakeor commenced sparring.

Gilbert, Illiger and Solidus went to the shop recommended by Gamal, which turned out to be a disreputable-looking tent filled with all sorts of miscellany called Safi's Mirage Arcana. Safi, the proprietor, told them he'd been sold the amulets cheaply by an unknown man. Solidus acquired three of them, while Gilbert accepted two hundred gold pieces for the spellbook and Illiger purchased a trinket.

At the temple of Laurent, the group spotted Isu and another woman in line to take a turn at one of the Wheels of Fate. While the others talked with Al Sha'in, with Klaven and the priestess reminiscing about past adventures and companions, Maialen approached Isu and her friend, who introduced herself as Ikuyan. Isu mentioned that she had been reading the future using cards, which told her that something ominous was afoot in the city. After Maialen received a vague fortune, Isu offered to perform a reading of her own, and would join the party for dinner. Maialen was rejoined by the others, who said Al Sha'in had been little help, except to mention that she hadn't seen Trave in over a year. Klaven and Blaven then departed for the Dune Trail to get some ale while everyone else met at The Shifting Sands.

The party discussed their findings, and shares of the spellbook money were doled out. Concerns about the amulets increased, and everyone went out to gather more information. Gilbert went with Maialen and Makoto to see if they could talk to Lady Cragganmore, while Illiger went off to look for trouble. Rakeor, Shale and Siege headed back to the temple of Nevis with an amulet while Solidus returned to his temple with another.

At the temple of Varice, Solidus tried to meet with High Priest Nerym, but had to settle for turning the amulet over to one of his underlings. Upon telling him where he'd gotten the amulet, the underling grew disturbed, warning Solidus to avoid Safi due to his extremely chaotic nature, and said research on it would be of the highest priority. Meanwhile, Shale, Siege and Rakeor went to the temple of Nevis and gave another amulet to Yves.

Gilbert, Maialen and Makoto went to Sofistia's estate, and after Makoto briefly spoke to a couple of her dogs they were invited inside by a servant. Asking about the greenery, she told them she was a druid, and went to find Lady Cragganmore. The mage arrived in her typical foul mood, and after seeing the drawing of the amulet claimed to have seen it in her travels to Greece, where she believed it to be connected to their god of death. They pondered the implications of this before returning to the Shifting Sands.

Illiger headed into the southwestern part of town, where she happened upon two men beating up a third. While considering whether she should insert herself into the melee, she was approached from behind by a hooded figure. The figure said that he -- or, rather, "we" -- had the mysterious dagger in their possession, and offered to return it to Illiger that evening if she joined his group. He said that he was part of a sect that rejected the teachings of Nevis as weak, and that death should be feared, not simply accepted. She agreed to meet with them at midnight, and went off to find Rin...

Cast of characters

This adventure is being run by John Proulx. Below is a list of characters who have been involved at one point or another: