The session opened where the old one left off, with the party standing before the storm mother Syrisie, glowing with the power of the sun, and a little more than annoyed.
Syrisie was very apologetic, basically groveling, about the whole matter, and was keenly aware that she was in a great deal of trouble. She appealed to the party's pity and pinned the blame on the desires of her subjects (lesser gods), which seemed to contain a grain of truth.
Amber, however, noticed something. In her panic as the party was breaking out of the ice, Syrisie let slip that "she was acting under another's orders" or somesuch. Amber tried to persuade more details from her, but then Largo muscled in and manged to utterly terrify the Storm Mother. Syrisie then seemingly confessed all she knew, handing a piece of parchment to the party, an "anonymous letter" she explained.
This parchment listed the names and castes of each and every member of the party. This included the Sidereal, which hardly seemed to make sense, as even the rest of the party don't fully understand their strange fifth member. It also listed a time and exact coordinates, which the party estimated were when they fell asleep and were captured.
As an apology and means of transportation, Syrisie presented the party with the Resplendent Dolphin IX, a small First Age submarine. She also gave them directions to someone who "had been searching desperately for them." The party figured Syrisie wasn't foolish enough to try to kill them again, and headed off to the coordinates. It was only a couple day's travel.
Fern, being the most knowledgeable about First Age contraptions and being a capable sailor besides, took the wheel. After a day, she noticed the sub starting to handle a little sloppy. She realized that the Thousand-Hands Convoy, her cult, was nearby, and the party made a short detour.
On the island, each member of the party was greeted warmly by a rather large reception. Fern's disciple, White Mountain, organized the inhabitants of the island to gather their tools, and Fern set up workshop right there on the beach. A bit of exploration in the mechanisms revealed that the sub folded up into a portable barrel. A few hours later, the wear and tear on the engines was fixed up, and the party continued on their way.
The party reached the coordinates to find open, flat ocean. Raven suspected it was a trap or a dud, but Amber suggested diving. They did, and the party ran into the great Lunar Leviathan.
Leviathan first moved toward the party aggressively, asking how "she dare come here"- but in realizing the contents of the submarine, swore an oath from surprise and greeted the party warmly. He recognized Adamant Fern immediately, and then spotted Largo and did a double-take. He asked Largo's name, and upon hearing, displayed a deep joy and leaped into the sky. He then explained that he was Largo's Lunar mate.
The party was generally shocked by this turn of events. In particular, Fern had read the history of Leviathan in her studies and realized that Leviathan's Solar Mate would be the reincarnation of Kendik Arcadi, the Grand Admiral of the entire First Age Solar fleet. A little more processing led to remembering the story of Amyana. Raven congratulated Largo on finding his First Age mate.
Leviathan made a grand cry to call to his nearest followers, then asked how much of his past life Largo remembered. Largo responded negatively, not remembering a thing, and Leviathan looked quite crestfallen. Then he came up with a plan. He gave the party directions to another spot in the sea, not too far from where they were, and told them that perhaps he would remember a bit more there. He then gave a wry smile and requested that the party not die. With that, he departed to prepare for "a grand welcome ceremony."
The party headed where they were told, and found something deep under the ocean on the very sea floor. A manse, The Tomb of Amyana.
Entrance to the tomb was a little confusing, as it lacked obvious doors or windows. Amber then figured out that its constant motions provided not only a melody but had a pattern, and that during certain measures the rotations of various pieces could allow entry. Her comprehensive analysis of the movements made it a relatively simple task to duck between the whirling crystal sheets.
Once inside, the party found themselves in a hallway that split in three directions. Fern noticed that one direction was geomantically stronger than the other two, and the party headed in that direction.
Upon rounding a corner and entering an air-filled passage, the party heard a scream. Rounding a corner, they came upon a Midnight caste abyssal standing in front of a chained man which Raven identified as Mark the Yellow Gull, a bronze faction sidereal likely sent as an assassination attempt.
The Abyssal proved to be quite a challenge in combat, but the party landed several solid blows, Raven managing to drive his blade clean through her chest. Rather than stay and fight, she attempted (and failed) to give Raven a caress with her hand and immediately turned around and stepped into the prison where her captive was chained. As she did so, she dropped five vials filled with a crimson liquid.
The prison collapsed, and Mark let loose a scream as the abyssal appeared to enter him bodily. The chains of his prison followed her, tearing through his chest, and his screams turned into a high-pitched, feminine cackle. He collapsed, unconscious and possibly dead, and his body landed on and shattered the vials.
Largo, in a battle rage and at Raven's urging, slew the hapless Sidereal before he could awake and attempt his mission.
Thinking fast, Fern cast countermagic on the vials. The vials burst into four Blood Apes, Demons of the First Circle. These were dispatched by the party in a heroic and bloody battle.
After the party cleaned themselves, Largo took a step toward the center of the room, holding the Hearthstone set in the submarine. According to Leviathan, this hearthstone was either attuned to this manse or significant somehow. Locating the geomantic center, he moved toward a glass table in the center of the room- and saw something that he somehow recognized. Encased in a block of solid glass beneath him was a beautiful face, eerily similar to the Abyssal's, only with bright blue eyes. Fern remarked it was strange that her eyes were still open in this tomb, and recognized the body as Amyana, the most drawn and pictured of any Solar in the first age.
The party realized that the Abyssal they had fought must have contained her tainted Essence shard. Fern concluded that this might explain a bit of Leviathan's supposed madness.
The party attuned to the manse and rested for a couple hours. Then they headed back into the original three-way hallway, and explored the other two forks. Each of these contained a small chamber and one minor hearthstone, as well as two strange stones (for a total of four) that seemed to resonate with the members of the party.
The party began to experiment with the stones. Largo and Amber figured theirs out fairly quickly, and Dax and Fern each made some progress.
Character Thoughts and ReactionsEdit
Steve was pleased to see that a group of five accomplishes about as much as he had hoped across the time span of a session, and is pleased at his ability to manipulate the length of banter to suit his needs. Thinks the Leviathan conversation could have gone better, but was pleased to see how excited everyone was with their rocks. Is laughing to himself that the party was impressed at how well his plot fit with canon because they really haven't seen anything yet. Oh god they haven't seen anything yet. Also, that's the last battle that's going to be all bloody... I realize I had done that in the first one, but considering I had you fighting BLOOD APES... well... Likes the submarine. The submarine is cool.
Fern used to think there wasn't much that could faze her... and then she found out just who Leviathan's mate ended up being. That shook her pretty thoroughly. The mysterious stones have helped her recover from that particular shock, though: she's rarely happier than when she's on the scent of a good solid puzzle.
Amber, not knowing much about our orcal friend, was chiefly unphased by his sudden appearance and relevance. She is quite proud that her musical talents made the party's life much easier when attempting to enter the manse, as well as proving herself combat-capable. She is still amused that no one has actually seen her attack a target in melee. The trip to Coral is also going to be pinned as top billing to the team, even if she has to social-fu them into going along with her plot. Also, om nom nom.
Largo is glad he was able to lay some social smackdown on the storm mother(gah too many esses!!!). He is also proud that despite his limited intelligence, he was one of the first to figure out his castestone. Still a bit confused about the whole Leviathan thing and quite peeved that he hasn't been the killing machine he was raised to be. Hope that changes...