"The stones were a tool. A tool used for defense, yes, but that does not diminish the fact they were objects that could only sow destruction. Even though they guarded the town for untold years, they were also the implements of their destruction. With every threat they repelled, the caused a legend to grow, of a city that could not fall. Riches flowed to the city, and more and more Kiris Dahn became an object to assail, requiring greater use of the stones."
"But that is not their greatest sin, is it Treona?" a masculine voice sounds from higher in the tower. Turning to see where they voice came from, a regal-looking man in his mid-forties descends the stairs. He continues, "With a tool of such powerful defensive applications, more often than not the target was not some external threat to the security of the city, but an internal one, where the only threat was political."
The sage looks a little stunned at the man appearing from above, but continues, "Yes, sir, I suppose that was a common use of the stones. The Kiris family would often use them to protect their power in the city from foes of all sorts. Often the need for the stones was due to selfishism rather than altruism. not meaning any offense, milord." The regal man shakes his head at that statement, and indicates for the sage to continue.
"Now, I am unsure about just where the last stone is hidden, but my research suggests it would be in the library, one of the temples, or the Kriris estate itself. This is quite fortunate, as I also understand the goblins do not live in these areas."
Per'dra cleared her throat gently. "I'm certainly glad to hear that, because from what I've heard, goblins can be far more than annoying! However, would you care to introduce us to our newest visitor?"It seemed awfully strange to her, and awfully convenient, that a tall and officious-looking gentleman would appear in their midst out of nowhere. Still, she was prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was giving them valuable information about the Stone and its uses. As for the war of words between the Revenant and the Eladrin, I agree with Margrave,she thought to herself. The thrill of battle and the hunt is far different from taking pleasure in killing another with malice beforehand. In my opinion, the difference between a warrior and a murderer is the intent to destroy, not defeat.
Visancourt, Margrave's familiar, cocked his head curiously at her and made a soft cawing sound. Startled, the Bard met his gaze, and neither one of them flinched. Hostile intent was not what she sensed from him, however. Am I crazy, or did that undead bird just read my mind?
Loric frowned at the mention of the stone's dark power. Who was this mysterious sage asking us to retrieve it? Could she really be trusted. A million questions began to swim around his head. Leaning up against the wall, he dug into a pouch, finding his tobacco pipe and pouch. Soon after, the air was filled with the pungent smell of halfling pipeweed.
At being questioned who the man is, the sage looks at the regal man with a look of anxiety, but he nods to her and the man begins to speak. "I am Kiris Alkirk, last heir of the Kiris line, and Treona was soothsayer and advisor to the Kiris nobility for since the days of my grandfather. I hope you realize the severity of this issue, and am glad to see that some," indicating the dwarf, "have a sense of urgency in the matter. Even though the stone has lain dormant for many years, it is still a danger should it be found and used."
"When I was informed of the possibility that a stone still may exist, I spread word of Treona and the need for adventurers to recover it. While I hope that the mission to destroy an object of great power and abuse would be motivation enough, I understand that the task is dangerous. You will be well compensated for your efforts, as I still possess a portion of my family's wealth. You are also free to salvage whatever you can from the ruins, as I daresay anything of value be better used by you than a horde of goblins. I have little hope that the city could be reclaimed, so its treasures are yours."
The sage picks up the conversation from here. "Now, I am unaware where the stone may lie, but I know how to find it. There is a very special type of energy that the stones would radiate, and I can teach you a minor spell that can find this energy should the stone be near. I have some supplies to help fuel the ritual as well that you are welcome to as well."
"As for handling the stone, it is quite likely that it would destroy anyone who would try to disturb it, given that it has not been tended to for some time. For that, you will need this." Whoever is nearest Treona would be handed a necklace which looked to be made of wrought iron. A dull red stone is the focus of the necklace, which is framed by what appear to be a pair of curling ram's horns. "This is a Kiris relic, worn by the heirs to the family. It is attuned to the stone and should protect the wearer from any harm."
She then sets to digging in a pile of books, trying to find something.
It takes Eelen a while to process all that he has heard. "I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but I am willing to help anyone else who chooses to participate in this endeavor." Eelen FrostSilver level 1Show
Threatening Rush +6 vs AC, 1d8+2 + mark all adjacent enemies UEMNT Dual Strike +6 vs AC, 1d8+2 + mark UEMNT, attack second target +19 vs AC or Ref, 1d8+7 + mark UEMNT Basic Melee +6 vs AC or Ref, 1d8+5 + mark UEMNT Basic Ranged +6 vs AC, 1d6+5 + mark UEMNT Basic Off-hand Melee +6 vs AC, 1d8+5 + mark UEMNT Fighter Challenge Immediate Interrupt: Marked enemy shifts or makes an attack that does not include me, +6 vs AC, 1d8+5 + mark UEMNT Opportunity Attack +9 vs AC, 1d8+5 + mark UEMNT + stops movement Fey Step Move: Teleport 5 Guardian's Counter Immed Interrupt, CBurst 2, ally within 2 is attacked and I am not included in attack: We shift switch positions. Attack now vs me. After attack, I get to retaliate with Basic Melee. Distracting Spate +6 vs AC, 2d8+6, Target grants ME Combat Advantage UEMNT Tempest Dance +6 vs AC, 1d8+5 (+1 (dex mod) if I have CA). Shift one and attack 2nd target. Shift one and attack 3rd target.
Equipment: Adventurer's Kit, Chainmail, Longsword, Short sword, Javelin (3)
"Count me in!"Per'dra exclaimed, raising her right hand in salute. "A dangerous artifact, crumbling ruins, treasure, and heroic deeds: what's not to like? Of course, I will be careful..." She trailed off, because from what Treona had said about the Stone, it reminded her of more than she cared to remember. In the hellish depths below the Underdark, my former masters wait, exerting the same kind of control over one's mind that this Stone just might...In order to refocus her thoughts, she turned and looked at the others in their adventuring party, forming impressions of them one by one.
Loric, the Cleric of Bahamut, may be old, but he's tougher than he looks. Ronin reminds me of the Dwarves who attended my concerts back home: attached to his ale, but forthright and brave. Eelen? On the one hand, he's brash and youthful, almost like a child! However, when arguing, he's a seasoned veteran. Margrave...She paused in her meditations. I doubt I'll ever be his friend, but I'd fear for my life if I were his enemy.
As for myself? I'm the wild card, the odd one in this deck, and not even I know what I'll do to find that wicked Stone!
As the party is making arangements, Treona apparently finds whatever it was that she was looking for.
"This should come in handy," she beams as she hands over a worn parchment and unfurls it. What you see is a map, presumably of Kiris Dahn, and there are some notes scrawled over it, along with some locations highlighted.
"Now, like I said, I don't know where the stone would lie, but I suspect based on my research it would either be in the estates themselves, the temples, or the library. They are the oldest parts of the town, so it would stand to reason that these would be good places to look."
1: The city gate. She has it on good authority that there are always at least a few goblins patrolling the area. 2: The slums. She doesn't know much about what they are like now, but they are likely a warren for the goblins now. 3: The library. 4: The temples. 5: The Merchant's Squares. She has pretty grave doubts that anything of value has survived the goblins' occupation if the party were to try and scavenge for goods. 6: Inn of the Tallest Fir. Nothing noteworthy about it, but should serve as a good landmark as it is a very tall building with a stylized tree painted on the side. 7: The Kiris Stables. They were once famous for fine horses, but she doubts that any occupants there now would have a similar distinction. They would probably give a quick path to the estates, though. 8: The Baths. Another good landmark, as there are distinctive columns rounding the area. They also point out a good way into the estates outside of the main path. 9: Kiris Estates: Very large marble mansion. Likely to be goblins there as it is in a fortified place. The town's treasure vaults can be accessed below the mansion, and she holds out hope that they have gone undiscovered.
"Well, then, what are we waiting for?"The only thing that Per'dra loves more than her family, friends, and a good story is her keen sense of adventure. She knows that Kiris Dahn likely holds several in store for her and the others in their adventuring party. "The sooner we get to Kiris Dahn, the sooner we can find and return the Stone!" She catches Ronin's eye first, then Loric's, then Eelen's and Margrave's last. The Bard is still uneasy about making full eye contact with the Revenant. His unsettling gaze bothers her, but oddly enough, Visancourt's appraising look helps her to smile at his master.