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  #436  
Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 09:09 PM
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Swan Song
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There was a bit of awkward tension in the room as Almavalesh sat leisurely and watched the adventurers fully find back to their former selves. The mood in which they awoke very visibly differed from how they had appeared before undertaking the dream journey, and the debonaire mage couldn't help but pick up on a few particular concerning facets. Both Aurora, Baka, and Rolen seemed to awaken with headaches, where the latter two held their heads disorientedly and didn't even seem willing to speak as if each noise only added to their current suffering. Although the tortle druid managed to light his pipe and even returned a weak smile to the eternal bride, it was still clear that he was in a terrible condition which wasn't necessarily a foreseen side effect to the oneiromancer's magic. Particularly noticeable was Grimly Packer who had drawn a dagger and had swiftly gotten to his feet as he was now pressing his back against the wall in a more than suspicious manner. Almavalesh raised an eyebrow as he then could listen to Aurora making some disconcerting comments that weren't easily interpreted, however the latter half about a cultist seemed to incur the wizard's curiosity in particular. And although Oguun rejected that it could be a matter of concern for the adventurers, Almavalesh interjected to finally get on the same page.

"I suppose you must have been able to see the dream within a dream even? That is surprising, though not entirely outside of my estimations. Hmm..." For a brief moment the diviner mused to himself before he noticed that the adventurers weren't as impressed as he was and so he brought the matter to less theoretical concerns. "A cultist you say? You must be speaking of the adventuring anointer then?" On this subject Almavalesh's expression sobered and he appeared a mote contrite. "I never really got to know the man. After his death I found my way home in a mere fugue state." He recollected himself as he realized most adventurers wouldn't know such a medical term. "That is to say confused, semi-conscious. By the time my wife sat me down, I had already forgotten the entirety of what had transpired." The gentleman wizard furrowed his brows slightly. "Though I had taken the man for a respectable person. You discovered him to be a cultist? I am not exactly sure how I could have pardoned that. Was there evidence in the basement? No, these would not have been part of the dream as I never saw his basement." For a moment he contemplated this a bit longer before he recalled Aurora and Oguun's positions. "Either way, if that is what you ascertained, then someone should most certainly go to verify and dispose of any wickedness. That is if it has not already happened. The man must have been dead for a while now, I am sure it was noticed."

Having confounded most of the adventurers with this unheard-of information, Geghard walked up to the older human and received a small nod of recognition as he accepted the Eversmoking Bottle and a small pouch with about three dozen gold pieces. The adventurers in general appeared rather skeptical about Almavalesh's assertions, however the young Derek Draven was the first to regather his wits and so he confronted their employer about his highly dubious behavior where everything that the diviner had explained to them within the dream mere moments ago seemed to be gone from the diviner's mind. While Derek spoke, Geghard had reached the door and Grimly was hurriedly scampering over to his side, but both of them stood still for a moment as Almavalesh narrowed his eyes in befuddlement. "I... do not recollect any such thing. It's not uncommon that the oneiromancer forgets the journey while the patient remembers, but..." The wizard's gaze flickered back at Aurora. "Invaded? Battle?" He seemed to be trying to connect the dots. "Aasimar?" He shook his head and looked back at Derek. "Which was it then? A devil or a demon? Are you sure that you aren't confused by the dream within a dream?" Almavalesh began to scan the room with his eyes. "Your familiar..." But then he stopped, staring into the distance for a moment. He blinked once, then twice, before staring back at the adventurers with a blank expression. Then the debonaire mage patted his coat before his gaze fell over at Geghard by the door. When he saw the bottle in the spear master's hand he appeared to become quite uncomfortable with a distinct frown on his face. "Apologies. I must have... been in a fugue state for a moment there..." Almavalesh blinked. "That is to say confused, semi-conscious. I'm sorry, I've fully lost track of the conversation. But in earnest, thank you all for your help today. It was a great success." He looked between Derek and Rolen, though still slightly shaken. "Maybe one of my fellow wizards could help me protocolize what had happened during the dream journey?"
 
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Last edited by Mindsiege; Nov 27th, 2022 at 02:50 PM.
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  #437  
Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 09:26 PM
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Derek Draven
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Derek experienced an unfamiliar emotion as he watched the wizard before him speak. At first, he was hopeful that he could be reasoned with, but then, right before his eyes, he watched as the demon manipulated Almavalesh mind. And a profound sadness and sense of defeat came over the young man. His master Janfadar had told him many cautionary tales of wizards dabbling in dangerous arts losing their minds, driven mad from learning forbidden secrets about the multiverse. He hadn’t expected to see it himself so soon.

He looks to the others pleadingly, hoping someone might have a solution to the problem, but knowing that if they did, they would have suggested it already. Derek didn’t think Almavalesh was a bad person. He didn’t deserve this fate. Derek wanted to help him. to save him. That’s what he became an adventurer for. Not for wealth or fame, but to make the world a better place. Had he already failed? When Almavalesh asked him to stay with him, alone, Derek felt conflicted. He wanted to help the mage, but while Derek was young and nave, he wasn’t a fool. So long as the demon could influence his mind, Almavalesh was dangerous. Derek did not want to be alone with him.

“Perhaps another time. I need to bring Nephala back.”



Stat BlockAC:12(16) HP:6/6 STR:7 DEX:14 CON:11 INT:16 WILL:14 CHA:16
Passive Perception:17
Spells Prepared/Spell Slots:1st 1/2, mage armor, charm person, false life, magic missile
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  #438  
Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 03:43 AM
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Aurora
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Aurora sighed, disappointed about the responses she got. 'A dream within a dream', what was that even supposed to mean? She slowly stopped carrying about it. If their contractor decided that the job was done, then she was not going to argue with him and he even felt like beyond helping. However, she did make a note in her mind to report or ask about the potential cultist.

"Let's go sell that thing quickly. I need some rest... and a party or two..." The bride slowly left the room.


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InitiativeCharacterACHPStatusActionsPosition
- Aurora Turpis 16 6/11 -

 
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  #439  
Old Nov 26th, 2022, 06:41 PM
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Geghard Van, Human FighterSheet | AC: 19 | HP: 12/12 | Status: Normal
Second Wind 1/1 | Polearm Master | Dueling Style

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"Here," said Geghard, offering the bottle to Aurora. "I'll find you at the Inn."

The wizard was repeating himself, and otherwise evincing mental impairment. To Geghard, this was actually an improvement."Almavalesh," he asked, "do you know anyone in town whose integrity and arcane knowledge you trust? I'd like to arrange a meeting. But first: what is this 'dream within a dream' you mentioned?"

 

 

Last edited by secretID; Nov 26th, 2022 at 06:41 PM.
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  #440  
Old Nov 27th, 2022, 12:43 PM
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Oguun
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Oguun paused outside the mage's room to hear the rest of the conversation. It only confirmed that the mage's knowing of himself remained damaged. The significance of the 'dream within a dream' was uncertain. As was whether or not it was significant that Almavalesh now recalled Lee but not the basement of Lee's dwelling. It seemed a very specific item to be omitted, and the level of detail had suggested that mage was highly familiar with it, knowing even the contents of hidden compartments. Whether or not it corresponded accurately to a material location could be easily tested. Determining whether or not the mage had been there might be more difficult.

He waited a moment longer in hopes of hearing an answer to Geghard's question, though the value of anything the mage said was questionable as long as he remained influenced. Leaving the mage with the compromised Rolen seemed equally questionable, but likely unavoidable.




 


 
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  #441  
Old Nov 27th, 2022, 05:31 PM
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The End of a Journey
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It was disturbing for the adventurers to witness Almavalesh as he was before them right then. Each with their own feelings they made their resolutions and considered what they were going to do now that the quest which they had been hired for had been completed in such an unsatisfactory manner. Feeling the threat of an invisible enemy looming over the elder wizard, Derek Draven would not see himself put into the vulnerable position of spending time alone with the afflicted diviner. When the developing necromancer rejected Almavalesh's request to bring his memories of their dream journey to paper, the debonaire mage still looked disconcerted from his own state of confusion after the ritual, but he nodded to Derek with understanding before looking over at Rolen who was currently receiving a massage of his temples from his big spider familiar Ara. Before the elven wizard could voice his opinion as well however, Aurora made her way through the room with an announcement of her desire to sell their magical price as soon as possible. This seemed to distract Almavalesh from awaiting Rolen's reply and just as he meant to speak up about something, Geghard handed the eternal bride the Eversmoking Bottle and then turned back to his former employer to inquire about some remaining topics of interest.

Looking at Geghard with astonishment, Almavalesh shifted slightly on his armchair at the same time as Oguun left the room and stopped to listen to the rest of the conversation from the hallway outside the chamber. "The dream within a dream? Did I mention that?" The gentleman wizard seemed to experience quite some awkwardness over the lapse in his short-term memory right in front of the adventurers, and before he could give his actual answer to the questions it was Grimly Packer who pitched in while nervously patting Geghard's armored shoulder. "Ah! I just remembered that I had this date with one of the barmaids which I'm incredibly late for by now!" He laughed awkwardly, retreating from his position next to the spearmaster as he shimmied out of the doorway that was slowly getting rather occupied with indecisive adventurers. "We'll see each other at the Inn later, okay? I gotta run!" The half-elven rogue intended to hasten his exit without awaiting any more of Almavalesh's confusing assertions, but the small spectacle had been enough to allow the debonaire mage to order his thoughts as he brushed past Grimly's suspicious behavior and began to answer Geghard's questions with a slightly more composed expression on his face.
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"Ahem. The dream within a dream is something that I've theorized about within the context of the ritual which we've all just experienced together. Essentially, it postulates the possibility of the dream journeyman tracking the memories and experiences as the original dreamer had experienced them to the fullest." Almavalesh seemed to recognize that not everybody was able to follow his explanation and so he ventured to clarify himself. "You see, during this dream that I had you enter, my past self experienced its own dream seance as I attempted to treat the anointer with my oneiromancy. While I have lost my memory of it, those events should have still remained imprinted on my soul, meaning they would have left an impression on my mindpalace even if my recollection of the events has been barred. Now the matter which I wasn't certain about was how many layers of consciousness would the dreamscape express to you adventurers during your dream journey on the track of those indentions within the palace of my mind. The dream within a dream would signify the events that my past self experienced as part of the oneiromantic ritual that occurred on the day in question in the anointer's home."

Talking about his arcane science, Almavalesh seemed to have lost a bit of his embarrassment. "Hmm, since I mentioned it to you in my delirium, it appears that you were able to experience said dream within a dream? Very interesting. Since that part of my memories appears unrecovered, I assume the events within that dream were increasingly traumatic. After all my patient perished during the seance. I suppose I can count myself lucky to only have had my memory momentarily impeded." The wizard regretfully shook his head before he looked back at Geghard and remembered his other request. "Now, another capable wizard of integrity within Westhaven? Truthfully, the wizarding circles are a rather closed community, and a man of my ilk who lives his life while rejecting seclusion is rather uncommon when I reflect on myself for a moment. Nor am I in great correspondence with anybody. I suppose there would be some wizards part of the Scarlet Legion? I would infer that you can trust them. There are certainly a few more among the adventurer crowd of Westhaven, but I can't say that I know any of them personally." On that note, after Almavalesh appeared to have finished his thought, Rolen raised his hand and spoke up in a pained voice. "That's why working together like this is a great opportunity, isn't it Master Almavalesh?" The elven wizard gave the surprised gentleman a deferential look. "I would gladly help with putting what happened today to paper. Maybe over some tea? I have a bit of a headache right now..."
 
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  #442  
Old Dec 3rd, 2022, 09:23 PM
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Farewell, Almavalesh
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Earlamar Xyr was already hurrying down the steps as he arrived back in the Inn's common room, and he sighed a breath of relief as he looked over his shoulder and saw that the other adventurers were still listening to the lunatic mage's ravings. Or at least that's what he imagined they were doing since none of them had followed after him, and he hadn't waited to find out or get caught. He weighed the freshly pilfered coins in his right hand before he quickly confirmed that Almavalesh had indeed paid them with five gold per head, putting the total sum at just one short of three dozen pieces. Yeah. No way I'm staying involved with any of this any longer! I was waaay, in over my head there! They'll be lucky to get out of this in one piece. Phew! Truthfully he felt slightly bad to have abused Geghard's trust in the end there, but there was no way that he was going to subject himself to these events any longer. With the madwoman Aurora in possession of that supposedly magical bottle, Earlamar simply felt it in his bones that taking an earnest cut was just as likely to earn him a saber between the ribs as it was to make an actual come-up. And he really needed all the gold he could get his hands on, and he needed it quickly. This is way worse! Way, way worse! The half-elven rogue had understood fairly little about the nightmare that his party had just gone through. But when dream demons were manipulating noble wizards and his neck ended up choked by some devious schemer's web once already, Earlamar's instincts were telling him with alarming clarity that it was high time to pull his head out of the sling, definitively. Yeah, I barely know them other chaps. Half of them I'm not even sure I want to know. Geez, getting a ticket off the continent as soon as I've arrived makes all of this such a waste... As the rogue exited the Inn on Your Shield unmolested, he rubbed his temples in frustration. Maybe I don't make for that much of an adventurer after all, eh? Well, plenty of ways in the world to earn some gold. No need to die for the sake of aiming for a romanticized profession, right? And thus Earlamar Xyr disappeared in the net of streets between the unsuspecting citizens of Westhaven.

Back in the upper rooms of the Inn on Your Shield, Almavalesh Avalladasz gratefully offered Rolen an invitation to his own home for the afternoon. "As you may have seen in my memories, my wife is a hobbyist herbalist. I highly suspect that she will have some remedy in store for your headache. I do hope that your side effects from the ritual subside quickly. I'm still a bit beside myself as well, haha." The debonaire mage gave a bit of an awkward laugh though he did manage a handsome smile, which quickly faded however when he looked over to all the adventurers already gathered by the door and then noticed the awkward silence that had fallen over the room. Apparently sharing about his particular brand of arcana had not resonated well with this adventuring audience, and the human wizard couldn't help but feel that he was holding them up at this point. At least they were polite about it, but although they had experienced something unique today, it seemed to Almavalesh that he had overestimated how appreciative an unlearned group of adventurers would be over the opportunity that he had given them today. They barely even looked content with their pay, and while the gentleman was still slightly embarrassed about his small episode after the ritual had finished, this definitely marked the moment to release these adventurers to the rest of their day. "Ehem. Well, as I was saying, I am rather thankful for your assistance today. I can work out the recountings of today's journey with Rolen when I meet with him in the afternoon. Don't worry about the state of the room. I have booked it for a bit longer and I will take care to clean up and restore it by myself. I wouldn't hire adventurers for quite such a menial task." The debonaire gave the group a winning smile, and then Baka as well as Rolen got up to join the others by the door. "Maybe we'll encounter each other again, though I know the West Marches are quite the busy place. Maybe your earnings from today will aid your adventuring careers. Not every quest will be as leisurely as this one." Almavalesh smiled as he coursed his eyes over the group until he ended on Baka, then Aurora. "If any of you ever seek help in the matters of the arcane or matters of the soul, due to a troubled past mayhaps, please feel invited to find me in the future." He seemed sincere as far as anybody could tell. "Have a splendid rest of your day, and farewell!" And then the magician turned away to the ritual in the center of the room and began to clean up his work. Starlight gave a little twitter as the adventurers moved on with their day. What had this trip to remember changed? What had been set into motion? Only time would tell.
GM instructionsThank you very much for your participation. I had a lot of fun being your GM and playing this adventure with you!

As promised before, the thread will stay open for you to RP as a party if you'd like to coordinate any joined efforts. But technically everybody is now free to go their merry way. You are free to write a small outro post for your characters, but it's not at all mandatory.

About the rewards from your quest, following the WM treasure rules you were rewarded with the Eversmoking Bottle (333 gp) and 35gp in coins. Alas, as narrated Earlamar did manage a successful pickpocket attempt in the previous post and he has made off with the 35gp by himself. But this also means you don't have to cut him in on the gold from the magic item, which I'm expecting you will sell to split the gold among yourselves. Once it comes to splitting, Baka will explain to you that he will forfeit his cut. If you ask him why, he will explain that he "
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkaon View Post
He had no interest in coin, or fame, or any of that nonsense.
doesn't care about such things". Rolen however expects his fair cut, so you will have to split the 333gp between five people. If everybody gets an equal payout, you'll have earned a bit more gold than is usually intended for 1st level WM adventurers. You've all quite earned it for going the extra mile with me.

Please coordinate how you want to split your rewards in the OOC. If you sell the item (my recommendation) then I'd like to ask a single player to volunteer and make the relevant post in the WM Magic Shop thread.

As of this post, your characters will be eligible for a successfully completed adventure and thus have earned themselves a level-up! Please follow the instructions in this thread. One of the requirements to resolve the level-up are to make a narrative post for your character in either the Fireside or the Downtime thread. Hopefully the process explains itself from those four links and the latest examples in those threads, but if not I'll be in the OOC for questions! Once you have successfully completed your WM level-up, you can return your character to the Inn on Your Shield thread and join any recruitment for the next adventure. Don't forget to also list your character in the Party Planning Thread, it really helps and is theoretically a requirement to join new adventures. You may list yourself as hoping to join the next part of this plot if that's what you'd prefer.

Now about the last step which I'm personally really excited about, please reach out to me in the OOC thread (secreted or unsecreted if you want the others to know) about anything which your character wants to achieve/attempt in the wake of the events from this adventure. There is a required (narrative) downtime of two months between WM adventures, so I'll help you to resolve anything which your character does after leaving Almavalesh in the Inn on Your Shield and during that two-month time span. Since what your characters get up to in the time might affect the overarching plot, I will start recruitment for the next episode once everybody has given me the go-ahead that there's nothing else they want to do. So even if your character feels like Ealarmar and tries to forget anything ever happened, please get back to me about that and let me know in the OOC.

Otherwise, thanks again for being such committed and creative players! I'd be glad to see you in my game again!

Rolls: Lady Luck

 

InitiativeCharacterACHPHandsStatusActionPosition

Character AC HP PP PI Movement Conditions Resources
Derek Draven 15/12 6/6 17 20 30' Active Mage Armor Arcane Recovery 0/1; Spells I. 1/2; Short rests 0/2; HD 1/1
Earlamar Xyr 15 6/7 12 10 30' - Short rests 1/2; HD 1/1
Oguun 18/16 9/9 14 13 30' - Spells I. 0/2; Short rests 1/2; HD 0/1
Rolen Galanodel 16/13 2/8 11 16 30' Active Mage Armor Arcane Recovery 0/1; Spells I. 0/2; Short rests 0/2; HD 0/1
Baka 19/17 1/11 13 11 30' - Spells I. 0/2; Short rests 1/2; HD 0/1
Geghard Van 19/17 12/12 11 13 30' - Second Wind 1/1; Short rests 1/2; HD 1/1
Aurora Turpis 17/16 6/11 15 11 30' - Spells I. 0/2; Short rests 1/2; HD 0/1
Nephala 12 0/1 13 6 10' / 50' (fly) dead -
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Last edited by Mindsiege; Dec 4th, 2022 at 07:15 PM.
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