Faerin's Nineteenth post
To my dear friends Welby, Zora, Bareres, Elanna and Henk,
I hope you are well and that no further incidents have transpired since we left Woodsong and the Arcarost valley.
As you know, we have been investigating the strange occurrences that led to our first encounter all those months ago. When last we spoke, we were dealing with resealing Sevalaxos Brimbreath who escaped from his prison in Arcarost when we were dealing with Xerax, finding the Morrigan who had seemingly gone missing and stopping an invasion from the Fey Realm. We now know that these events are all connected somehow.
We were at a loss several weeks ago in Woodsong when we learned that Marianne held an aspect of the Morrigan. We did not want a repeat of the incident with Sevalaxos and resolved to first acquire more information about the Gods and what was transpiring.
Using the special connection to the Gods of this world that Thorin and I share, we called upon them for guidance in these dark times. We also sent a message to Avalok, a Bringer whom we had met before. However it was Mocta, another Bringer who came to us. We explained the situation to her, but she was also unaware of what had transpired with the Morrigan and Dianecht. She was able to tell us that the current guardian of the ravens of the Morrigan was Pax, the son of Dianecht. She claimed that neither the Morrigan nor Dianecht could be responsible for the current issues with the Fey Realm as the Gods would never break the Pact that exists there. Furthermore the Fey Realm is kept at bay out of fear for retaliation from the Gods.
Mocta did share with us that there was an aspect of the situation that we did not know yet and she told us where we could find more information. She repeated the same three places that Avalok had once told us about. Firstly, a cave to the East where a creature called Yeshua lives. Secondly, in the tower of Matt Mattonwy in Matt Sadom. Thirdly, far to the West somewhere in the Dragon Empire. She also added that we would be able to find the same information in the Nine Hells, but this seemed very unappealing.
Thus we decided to go to Matt Sadom. From our very first encounter, the tower of Matt Mattonwy has come up several times. The path that Lugh has laid out for me and my companions seems to travel through there and it is high time we visited. Before we left, we set up a cover story. We pretended to be part of a mercenary company called the Brotherhood of the Shield. We requisitioned custom green tabards with an amber shield symbol for everyone. I am usually not one to hide who I am, but my experiences with the Jewels have revealed to me that this is necessary to complete our quest.
We took the griffons, still on loan from the Fanghunters, to Matt Sadom. We had one last look over the Arcarost valley. When we were leaving we saw the clansmen building a fort near one of the old towers. We also saw your own tower still perched near the clansmen camp! We passed over the second wave of clansmen refugees from Aurion that are now approaching the Arcarost Valley. They fired arrows at us from a great distance, so I am somewhat worried what will happened once they settle the valley too. There is a more than good chance that this second wave of refugees will not get along well with the first wave that is currently settling near Woodsong. I would ask you to keep an eye on the situation and ask the Tower Guard to send scouts ahead to greet this new group. As we moved into the territory that belongs to the Jewels, we saw many airships patrolling the Kingsroad. We passed many farms with fields filled with livestock. Finally we flew over mines that according to Varris are filled with residuum.
Just a days away from Matt Sadom, we were stopped in the air by a wizard called Brydon. He was an emissary of Matt Sadom currently stationed at a town called Swindon. He asked what our business was in Matt Sadom and Varris explained our cover story of an mercenary company scouting for new contracts and magical items. This cover was however immediately put to the test when Brydon tried to hire us to scout what was happening in Aurion. We agreed but on the condition that he also supply us with a letter of introduction that we could us in Matt Sadom. We would need some allies if we ever wished to get close to the tower of Matt Mattonwy. Thus we set out back to Aurion.
Fierna disguised our approach from enemy airships with a cloud of fog, while Varris made us invisible for quick scouting. Aurion has definitely seen better days. Plumes of smoke are still rising from the slums where the clansmen used to live. There is a large camp of soldiers and giants guarding the portal to the Fey Realm. The giants bear the Rune of the Sky, indicating that these may be mountain giants. In any case, the siege of Aurion is still very much ongoing.
We reached out to our allies within the walls of Aurion using the sending spell. We contacted Rovaart Temps, the noble whose election campaign we had run, who immediately replied that he wished to leave the city with our aid. We sent out our one-woman-party, Nissa, to liberate him. She changed into bird and summoned a gaggle of pixies and set out towards the city. We set our camp in the forest outside and waited for a day. We heard distant explosion but manage to keep our heads down from any conflict. Our beliefs in our gnome friend were not misplaced as indeed on the morrow, she returned with Rovaart as a very confused bug. Nissa returned Rovaart to his true form who was grateful for the rescue.
With a first-rate eye witness in tow, we returned to Brydon. He was very pleased with our report and that we managed to secure someone from inside the city itself. Rovaart could now brief the wizard on everything that had happened these past few weeks in Aurion. We were paid and received our letter of introduction. We left for Matt Sadom as soon as we could.
I was stunned at first sight of Matt Sadom. I had long believed Aurion to be the biggest city on Ourborros or close to that, but Matt Sadom is an entirely different story. Each of its districts seems to be a city unto itself. Its walls are massive and the traffic at each gates beggars belief. Where do all these people come from? And what to do they want in the city? The world is seemingly massive and I am now fully convinced that the hills I call my home are almost the smallest possible fraction.
Inside the city, the experience did not cease. There were people everywhere. Avenues as large as Khan Hall are crowded with people travelling on and off. Food stalls and salesmen line the streets hawking their wares. Everyone just seemed so busy. I originally thought this was just an Aurion thing, but now see that it is common across the Jewels.
While we had no trouble entering the city, we were quickly pointed out that we could not bring our griffons with us into the densest parts. We were referred to a stable, the Sweet Goose, where we left the griffons for seven days at a cost of 50 gold. We were almost fully lost again, but luckily Nissa seems to have a knack for getting around cities. She guided us to a tavern well hidden among the houses without any outward sign. It was a pleasant enough place. The building itself seems to have had better days, but the patrons were friendly enough. Although one was a bit too hands on for Fierna’s liking and he was promptly banished from this realm. I hope he was returned in a confused state later. After this incident both Fierna and Varris decided to seek out another inn that catered more to their delicate tastes.
We had arrived in the evening, so decided to only start our quest of getting into the tower of Math Mattonwy after a good night’s rest. We went out looking for food and sought some new experiences. Nissa led us into a less wealthy part of the city where we found a quaint little shop selling sweet meat. There we eat some crow – actual crow, the bird – and it wasn’t too bad. We returned to our inn and closed the evening with a few drinks. Surprisingly the bar did close at midnight, which is when most Dwarfs only get started on the serious stuff, but city life is just weird.
The next day we went to a tailor and bought ourselves some fancier clothes. This was so that we would be presentable to the city nobility and wizards. We then visited Guildmaster Melchor for whom we had acquired a letter of introduction from Brydon. We were lucky to have this letter as his assistant was very hesitant to grant us even the smallest audience with the Guildmaster. When we proceeded tot the audience chamber, we were confronted with a large masked individual on a giant throne. However Nissa was smarter than the Guildmaster as she soon proved that the figure before us was an illusion. The true Guildmaster Selkar Melchor was hiding in the same room. After this reveal, the mood become a bit more amicable and the Guildmaster seemed to want to help us. However the Guild had no say in who could enter the tower of Math Mattonwy. To get such an invitation require noble or wizard connections. But they gave us some helpful leads and offered us good deals on their supplies. After some asking around, I managed to acquire a new shield infused with Residuum that I am very pleased with.
Our goal was to get into that tower and search its library. So we split up to tackle different possible routes. Miri went scouting in the slums and found a hidden temple to Lugh. Thorin and I asked around and heard rumors that someone broke into the tower last year (I wonder who, Welby?). Also a bell tower has been silent for as long as anyone can remember, sounded for the first time several months ago. This incident seems to have coincided with the release of Sevalaxos. Fierna visited some nobles and actually soon managed to secure an appointment with the Magelord after explaining the importance of our mission.
We had some time to kill before the appointment in the evening so we went shopping. During this time, we ran into the most peculiar shop run by a group of gnomes. Their specialty was miniature buildings and they had thousands. In fact, they had a replica of the entirety of Matt Sadom on their first floor! Each miniature was magically enchanted so that the windows would light up in the dark as if tiny people actually resided within. It could also make the sounds associated with the building, so a blacksmith could be heard striking his anvil. They were utterly fascinating, so I bought ten. I asked if I could commission a design, but they would need to visit or see the building in question. In essence, this would cost about 700 gold plus the cost of manufacturing. Quite a princely sum. But should I come into riches in the future, I would strongly consider it. Varris meanwhile had been noticed for his musical talent and the gnomes soon recruited him to play our various songs that they could use for their tavern miniature. So should you ever encounter a magical mini tavern in the future playing music, know that it is our good friend Varris that is playing to you from the past! Magic can truly bring wonders to life!
By the time we had finished shopping, it was time for our appointment. It was well into the late evening as this was the only time slot still available. Having heard so many tales about the tower of Matt Mattonwy, I was looking forward to our visit. The main entrance hall of the tower was already a sight to behold. The entire night sky could be seen on the ceiling, complete with clouds and everything. Varris told me that it was in fact an illusion projected by braziers on the ground. We walked through long corridors, taking in all of the sights. We passed a beautiful garden, which simply took our breath away. Nissa was most impacted, for when she saw it, it seemed like she recognized it. Later she would confide in me that she had seen this garden before, in one of the visions she had seen from her mother. Eventually we arrived at the Magelord’s office. He excused himself as he was currently eating his dinner. We told him what we had learned so far and the dangers to our world that we faced. He seemed to take us seriously and agreed to allow us to spend a single night in his library. The Magelord then took us through a dark and ominous corridor, and left us in the library. It was massive, far bigger than one could ever believe to fit inside the tower. Tomes and scrolls stretched as far as the eye could see. It was clear that in one night, we would only scratch the surface of the knowledge contained within.
You are my most dearest friends, and I will be completely honest with you when I tell you that what we learned in that night in the library was ultimately useless. The information we need to reseal Sevalaxos had been removed centuries ago, around the time that he was first entombed. This was also about the same time that Arcarost fell, so the two may be connected. Indeed, our only recourse may be to follow the footsteps of Matt Mattonwy himself on his pilgrimage to the far West. The only location left where we may find what we need, seems to be in the Dragon Empire where Matt Mattonwy had once visited.
As we left, Nissa made a final inquiry to the Magelord regarding her mother. The Magelord was unaware of any gnomes residing in the tower and referred Nissa to the administrator. We then went to the administrator, who told us that indeed a gnome called Jane was living in the tower. She was assigned as an assistant to a mage called Amelut Nebarun. She had living quarters, so we went to see her immediately.
We journeyed once more through the tower and I am pleased to tell you that we did find Nissa’s mother, Jane, living there. But she no longer remembered Nissa or anything from her previous life. We arranged to return in the evening for a meal as Jane was late for work.
Confused about the encounter, we set out to investigate after a brief rest. I went in search of any gnomes living in the city who may have been familiar with Jane, but could not find any. Varris asked around if anyone had had any dealings with Jane, but was ambushed by a gnome with a crossbow. Luckily Varris outwitted the gnome with a quick invisibility and dimension door spell, and was able to get away. Nissa and Fierna had a similar encountered as they were threatened to stay away from Jane by a gnomish thug. Fierna used her magic to read the mind of the thug and learned that he had been sent by Amelut, Jane’s employer.
We were resolved to keep our appointment with Jane and returned to the tower that evening. We were surprised to encounter Amelut at the dinner table. Apparently Jane had invited him. However he seemed friendly and entirely unaware of the thugs that had been chasing us all day. We probed around with our magical senses, and discovered that indeed Jane had been enchanted. Nissa quickly stripped the magic away and Jane’s memory returned. But instead of a heartfelt reunion, she implored Nissa to get away and run as far as she could. Jane told Nissa to leave for the sake of her brother and sister, and her own life. We scanned the room quickly and detected an undead presence next to Amelut. The ghost of gnome seemed perched next to him, watching and waiting. Not wanting to risk the life of Jane, we left with many questions.
We ended our evening at the Sorcerer’s Delight, an inn that was fancy enough for Fierna and Varris and lively enough for myself and Thorin. After all that we had learned in the last day, we all needed a strong drink. However the strangest thing happened. At another table, a young man died suddenly and without warning. He screamed in terror before collapsing on the ground. I rushed to his side, but was too late to save him. Varris used his magical senses to discover that he had been killed by a powerful spell, possibly targeted by coins being used in a card game. The guards arrived and asked us questions. We do not seem to be the primary suspects but were requested not to leave town should they have further questions.
We had wanted to leave the city and summon the Bringer Mocta once more, before resuming our travels. But it seems for now, we are remaining in Matt Sadom. In addition, we are planning to free Nissa’s mother from whatever has her trapped and thus had our travels put on hold in any case.
Give my best to Father Porthas, should you see him.
Also give my regards to Ivar and May if you encounter them.