Session Notes for 2005-07-16
Morningglory is concerned that the Grey King might try to grab us if he learns who we are. The others agree. She suggests we disguise ourselves. We find some hooded cloaks in our wardrobes and wear them to conceal our features.
We ride along the path toward the Grey King's mountain. A bit before evening we come to our destination: a statue in center of a clearing. The statue is life size and slightly tall for a fairy. The statue depicts a striking fairy woman. She wears a circlet. She is wearing a flowing dress over full armor. Her face is stern. She holds a six or so inch sphere and has a dagger by here side. The statue looks to be made of a snow white stone with grey veins. It's similar to marble, but less complex in its pattern.
Morningglory casts a spell and inspects the statue for magic, but she doesn't see any magic. She says it makes her uneasy for some reason. Morningglory touches the status. It is cool and smooth.
I search the statue carefully. When I touch the skin of her hand, it feels strange, like snake scales. It almost feels like it's writhing. Her face is similar. When others touch her, they don't feel this. Apparently my faerie granted power is working on the statue and the statue or the woman is like a snake.
We head away from the mountain to camp. As we go, Morningglory is suddenly stuck by a headache. She says she got a sudden vision of the the statue, sitting on a portion of a giant grid. The statue was red. A giant hand was reaching down to pick up the piece.
I'm reminded of the diagram in the book we found a long time ago. I ask to see the book and the seeing stone. I can't believe we forgot to look into it. The book proves to be a diary of a servant of the Grey King. It includes lots of diagrams of doorways to the Grey King's castle. The doorways are not fixed, apparently they can lead to different places. The book documents some of them. It also documents some other minor details, like the use of minor magical items. The chess-board-like diagram is in a section about the Grey King's throne room, but lacks any label.
Lyle thinks that the grid diagram was drawn by someone other than the author of the rest of the book. Dorian agrees.
Morningglory examines the page for magic. She says there is a very, very faint magic. It isn't concealing anything. It might be a side effect of how it was created or written.
I suggest we try pushing the statue over. It proves to be too much for me alone. Lyle gives me a hand, but it's not enough. Lyle has a crowbar and that does the job. We knock the statue over onto its back.
The statue was on a short pedestal, just a few inches. Another few inches were in the ground.
Well, that wasn't as enlightening as I would have hoped. We try to leave again.
Morningglory has another brief vision. This time the hand looks like it was stunned in pain. The had was grey and ashen.
We ask the path to take us to a safe place to camp. It takes us back to the forest to the south. We camp.
While on watch, Morningglory reads the book more carefully. The first part discusses getting to and from the kitchen. Dorian takes second watch and reads more. The section covers a broader area. It explains using magic items to get food. It has some more directions, especially regarding the servant's quarters. On my watch, I read some more. The third section discusses the main hall and entertaining area. The diagram is in this section. There are notes on interacting with various people, and their preferences. Most are identified by two or three initials. "G" is the most common person. G doesn't appear to like anything and the servant is afraid of G. On the fourth watch Lyle reads the rest of the book. It contains more of the same. The servant is growing increasingly frustrated. He is worried about messing up. The notes are more sloppy. He makes allusions to G's invulnerability; nothing can hurt G or stop G.
We decide to visit the Ice Princess to ask about the Grey King, the dwarves, the Bloody Queen, and the statues. This should be interesting.
In late afternoon we arrive at the base of the mountain. A path has been carved into the side. We reach the top as the sun is setting.
At the top is a spindly, delicate palace made of ice. We're in front of open gates made of ice. We head in.
Some servants are in the courtyard. The servants are very very pale and platinum blond fairies. They offer to take our horses. Morningglory says we're looking for information. We're lead to the princesses assistant.
We're lead into the palace. It's cool, but not cold. The walls are amazingly smooth. To the touch they are extremely cold and dry.
We're introduced to a woman is elaborate blue robes with a complex hairdo. She says that the dwarves are quite nice and expects they would happily give us a tour. The princesses palace regularly interacts with the dwarves. When Morningglory asks about the chess pieces, she offers to introduce us to someone from the dwarves artistic department. The woman introduces herself as Attila as she heads out to speak with the dwarven representative.
While we wait, I look around. On some shelves carved into the walls are some books. There is also a small ice statue of a beautiful, stately woman. There is a gold disk about four inches across on a stand. The disk has swirls and faerie writing etched into it. "For Atilla. Thank you for many years of loyal service." reads the writing.
A small but elaborate tapestry hangs on the wall. It is about two feet tall by three or four feet wide. The tapestry depicts an old fashioned map. The ocean has a sea monster lurking in a corner. The map doesn't seem to be too accurate, but it appears to depict the areas around the Ice Princess's palace.
Eventually Atilla returns with a dwarf. The dwarf will lead us down to the tunnels the next day. Atilla introduces him as Brunto. He feels like a bear.
We cannot get an audience with the Princess. Apparently she went off that morning to visit the Faerie King. This is apparently unusual; she usually visits the Faerie Queen.
That morning we head out, following Brunto. We head most of the way down the mountain before arriving at a big cave entrance. To either side of the entrance are two large statues. They statues depict the Faerie King and Queen. The King has a slight smirk, the Queen looks very serious.
Heading in, we travel for some time. magical torches are spaced regularly. After most of an hour, a male dwarf is sitting on the ground waiting for us. The dwarf is writing on a clay tablet. It takes a while before he notices Brunto. I greet him. He introduces himself as Lauren. Lauren feels like a house cat. Lauren is an artist and has been asked to give us a tour. He's never done this before.
Brunto heads off. We're shown a space nearby to leave our horses. There is food and water. We follow Lauren down one of many passages.
We learn that they no longer make chess sets with a queen based on the Bloody Queen, but they once did. At least one model would still be around. They have many workshops making chess sets.
The first workshop we come to has a number of workspaces. Some people are working in clay, a handful are carving stone. A small number are writing on parchment or working in clay. Lauren shows us his workspace. Much of his work is of bishops. He typically does a priest and priestess for each side.
Looking at the sets, no two pieces are the same, but the pairs of bishops, knights, and rooks are identifiable.
When the Bloody Queen was being used as a piece, she was used as the dark (red or black) queen.
Pieces are almost always based on a model. Most of the fairy royalty as had statues done of them; they use the statues as the basis for chess sets.
Lauren leads us to a wide circular cavern. Niches are along along the wall. Each holds a full size statue.
The statue of the Bloody Queen here looks almost identical to the statue before. This one has her hand at her side; there is no orb. It's possible that she was reworked at some point.
There is a statue of the Grey King. It is very tall, only the Faerie King is taller. He is very plain. Something about his face is unnerving. His eyes are sunken in and his visible hands bony. While most of the male faeries are depicted in armor, he is wearing flowing robes. The robes seem to be swirling around him. It's not clear where the robes begin and end.
None of the statues appear to be of the same stone as the statue outside. Asking about it, he says it is a stone they no longer have. It was harder than most marbles. He doesn't know much about the stone.