Our heroes set out to Salatene to seek answers and maybe get some magic goodies. The road was a desolate waste. The small towns and villages they past were little more than rubble and corpses. As they were starting to look for a place to set up camp, they spotted some torchlight near the top of a hill in the distance. Deciding that any civilization was better than none, they made their way to what turned out to be some sort of hideout built into the hills. A man (he didn’t give a name) let them in in exchange for a wager up front to be gambled later. His explanation was a little vague, but he seemed to enjoy the idea of betting on the bet itself, as if gambling was a way of life and a philosophy for him. Feeling that they could take back their stuff if this was a trick, they decided to see what he was up to. He collected a sword from Steve, a false deed to a ship from Roxy (via Steve’s forgery skills), some coin from Will (enough to be a fair price for a room and a meal at an inn), and a piece of elemental ice from Magus (it’ll keep your drinks cold forever… I think.) From the rest of the crew, he collected odds and ends, happy with whatever anyone would gamble. He then led Steve, Roxy, Magus, and Will into what he called The Den of Thieves (“Not very original, but why be subtle when you’re among your own.) The place was filled with what seemed to be a gang of bandits and thugs just trying to enjoy the last days of the world. They were told the one rule of “Don’t fuck with anyone inside.” Which, as he explained it, meant that you don’t steal from, lie to, or knowingly cause or contribute to a fatality. Cheating is still okay, but if you get caught, it’s between you and the one you cheated. The next stop was a room at the bottom of a flight of stair that was filled with odd trinkets and minor magic items. Magus also felt the presence of something distinctly unnatural among the items. In the middle of the room were a large chest on the floor and a small box on a pedestal. The man rolled a die into his hand and counted from left to right and came to Magus as the first to play out the wager he made. Magus decided on the small box. The man put on a glove and showed Magus what he had chosen; a ring made of what appeared to be pewter with an image of a woman with her hands closed in fists. (For those of you who care, the image was a representation of Fate. She sees all and is immutable. When Magus put the ring on later and saw the new image, Fate was blind and the open hands represented openness to change.) This was clearly the source of the unnatural feeling. Their host explained that the ring is supposed to be able to do absolutely anything, but the only people to have tried it so far either died, or manage to get the ring off in time to collapse into a coma for a couple days. Using the low Wisdom, Magus took the ring and it immediately began to fill him with pain. He heard something yelling in a language he couldn’t understand and saw a terrified and confused Mordecai. Everyone else saw a spasming Magus and were unable to get a hold of the ring. Mordecai held out his hand and Magus grabbed it and the shuddering terrible pain was replaced by numbness. Mordecai explained that something about the ring was tearing fate apart around Magus and somehow brought the two of them to some null-time outside of reality. RETCON: I forgot to mention this, but there was something else Mordecai was supposed to say. So here it is. “Your fate is important. It is a fixed point in the lines of Fate. Roxy and Will, too. Steve is another matter, he destroyed his own fate and now creates a new one as he goes. But NONE OF YOU can safely use that thing on your finger.” He told Magus that because the two of them share enough of their fates that he was able to stabilize Magus’ mind enough to think clearly, but that the two of them were dying as they spoke. The only left to do was tell the ring what he wanted and hope for the best. He wished for the only things he’s wanted consistently his whole life. He wished for the curse on his family to have never happened.
(I did prepare a few extra possibilities, but I’m glad this one is the one that played out. I almost didn’t roll the die to see who picked first, but I figured “what’s the worst that could happen?”)
The character’s alternate selves found themselves in the court of King Magus XXIII calibrating Prince Magus’ wedding to Princess Shiara.
I won’t go into the all the details here, but I will send you guys the things I had typed up that contain all of that. I’ll also be expanding upon the “new” history. I hope the backgrounds work for everyone. I tried to appeal to what would make the characters most happy. Roxy has a fleet of ships and has declared it a sovereign nation (not recognized by any other kingdom… yet). Steve is a free man responsible to no one with a father to watch out for his mom. Will is proudly serving his kingdom in a position higher than any commoner could hope to have and his family is taken care of. Magus’ bloodline is so powerful that many consider it divine. (He’s not thrilled about having to be king someday, I imagine, but it’s not that bad, really.) I didn’t want to give too much away, so I didn’t ask any questions and just went based off of what I have seen. Before the next game, we can fill in some of the gaps. I can’t/won’t tell you guys how long this will alternate section will be, but I will say that you guys (in and out of character) will have some say in it. And I’m still not sure how XP here will change over in the original. I’ll let you know when it comes up.
Anyway, a strange half-elf gets up from the floor screaming and looking very much like a thing from the Far Realm and mutters something about being too early. Then he walked to the great window and saw a tear in the sky and things pouring out. He muttered “No, I’m right on time,” shattered the window and stepped out. Then a Fucking Colossal red dragon began to tear the castle apart. Will lost sight of the Baron when a tower collapsed and Magus led the others into a sanctuary until they could figure out what to do. When he saw his father face to face with another dragon, he set out to help. Out side the castle, they found Will digging through the rubble and a then that whole incident with the Huge red dragon happened. The party escaped through a portal back into the sanctuary and are now trying to figure out what the hell to do next.
Okay, so I’m changing the end of the last session a bit.
The dragon, wounded and tired, lets out an angry roar and takes flight, headed in the direction of easier prey. You guys are now left standing among the debris of the wrecked castle.
Here are some details that may help keep you guys together and give you a potential goal.
Tackett: You are, of course, bound to search for your baron. Magus is not your prince, and even if he were, you don’t even answer to your own king. Besides, Baron Zandakar is a scholar who has been studying the Far Realm. There’s a good chance that whatever it was he was trying to retrieve could be important to what is going on. Perhaps Prince Magus, with his knowledge of the planes and the elements could help as well.
Magus: Your family’s safe room has several fixed scrying mirrors, and several that can be targeted. You really have no political reason to care what happens to Tackett, but if he gets eaten by a dragon, he’s no good to anyone. And you do know that his baron is prone to collecting odd bits of knowledge. Of course, you are just a prince and you do have to answer to your father, if you can find him.
Quint: At several of your recent performances, you have noticed a strange man attending. He sits quietly, writing the whole time. You approached him once, and he told you that he was The Historian, and the he was recording your stories. You tried to demand royalties, but he laughed at the idea that knowledge should be paid for with such a paltry thing as coin. You asked why, if not for money, he wanted them, and he said, “With enough knowledge of the past, the future is not so hard to see.” You don’t know why, but your gut tells you that this man knows something, and your gut is never wrong. Rarely, anyway. Okay, so maybe 50/50, but you’ve always come out ahead, so it may well be worth looking into.
Roxy: Something about this reminds you of the grim wastes beyond the Veil of Storms. While even remembering that terrible place makes you shudder, there may be answers buried beneath the silent ruins. Of course, you’ll need help if you are ever to make it back to your ship.