Session Notes for 2005-09-08
We survey other statues in the room. I recognize some as fairies I've seen at the courts. There is a fine statue of the Faerie King dressed unusually formally. There are many I cannot identify. There is one statue apparently commisionned by the Queen. The statue is of the old man we met in the library, perhaps the Queen's father. Our guide doesn't know who the statue is of.
Morningglory asks to see the paperwork on the statues. We're led to an office filled with paperwork. It proves to be the wrong office, Morningglory is looking for sketches, not sales records. The next office appears to be the correct place. The office is a mess. The office is staffed by a dwarven man.
At Morningglory's request, he pulls out sketches of the Red Queen. Unusually, all of the pawns are identical. According to the notes, this was specifically designed. The pawns look unhealthy, perhaps undead. The Red Queen is the king piece. The queen piece is a young fairy man in simple, elegant clothing. According to the notes, it was one of her right hand men, a mage of an unknown name.
I ask about the statue at the base of the Grey King's mountain. The dwarf digs through his notes to find answers. There were several early drafts that were destroyed. One was made of the unusual stone; it was rejected by the Faerie King. The statue was done by Barake. He did the queen, one of the bishops, and the pawn.
I realize we've been rude and introduce myself. The dwarf's name is Tarin. My gift from the King reveals that his inner nature is that of something mole-like.
When I ask about Barake, Tarin suggests we try another office. If Barake still works for them, he should still have an office. If Barake left one hundred years ago, we're probably out of luck. One hundred years? Tarin says that in the Faerie realm, dwarves can live to be thousands of years.
Indeed, heading down to the next office, a helpful dwarven woman looks up Barake's record. Barake left about 170 years ago, probably to head to the mortal realm. We're probably out of luck.
Back to the first woman who keeps the paperwork on sales. We learn that the Bloody Queen set was commissioned by the Faerie King. Two in his court purchased sets. Another was sold to an anonymous purchaser.
Morningglory requests copies of the sketches of the Red Queen and her queen. It will take about an hour and cost several gold pieces. Morningglory agrees. We thank our guide and head out.
We're not sure how to proceed. The last stanza of the poem regards the Red Queen, her throne, and someone in her thrall. Its meaning eludes us. We decide to head back to our manorhouse to consider the situation.
On the path back, Dorian says that her magical sense of location is acting strangely. Her internal map is jumping around, strongly even for the path. Dorian and I faintly hear someone laughing, but we cannot determine where it's coming from. We carry on. We continue jumping around and occasionally hear the laughter.
Morningglory won't put up with it and opens a gate back to our world. We end up far to the south. However, Dorian's map briefly reappears and I hear the laughing again. Morningglory notices movement in the trees. She leads us toward it.
We come to a clearing. The cleraing appears to be empty, but the laughing is louder. We step into the clearing. As we do, someone steps into the clearing on the other side. It's a hazy form. It slowly solidifies. It looks like the Bloody Queen. She is even carrying a glass orb of swirling colors. I greet her and she returns the greeting. Lyle asks why she brought us here, she cryptically suggests we brought ourselves here.
The form becomes hazy, then resolidifies into the Grey King. "He cannot follow you through the door out of Faerie." With that strange statement, he fades again, this time into a sheep. It pounces on the ground like a cat, then fades into the Faerie Queen. She faces me. "Don't shake his hand. It carries danger in its touch." It shifts again, this time into a beautiful fairy woman sitting on a stool playing a harp. The melody is lovely. Another shift, now into the Fairie King, dressed in the casual style he normally does. The shifter lounges on the ground. The shifter looks at Dorian. "Follow your instructions, not what the doors say. Don't trust the doors." Another shift, this time into the Dragon Matriarch's neice. She shakes her head, giggles, and skips around. Another shift, and turns into Morningglory. Morningglory's doppleganger addresses her, "Keep your friends close, or they will get hurt and confused." The form suddenly disappears.
How very, very interesting. Some sort of prophecy? A trap. We agree that the doors may refer to the Grey King's magically connected rooms. Perhaps the doors are mislabeled to catch the unwary.
Morningglory opens a gate back to Faerie. We command the path to take us to our manor house. After a bit of travel Dorian announces that we're heading the wrong way. Apparently we're heading toward the Grey King's manor. Interesting. Some things are unavoidable.
Lyle uses his ability to summon a small fairy, a brownie. He asks a few questions, but fails to gain any useful information.
Lyle suggests stalling to see if the unknown force stops interfering. Morningglory has a good point that it seems likely to help. We decide to see where our manipulator is leading us.
The rest of the group seems interested in jumping between our world and the faerie world. Options include climbing the mountain in our world, then shifting into the Grey King's lands. Another option would be to shift out if necessary.
This gets me thinking. Our two worlds are very similar, but not identical. Were they identical once, but have since split? Will major changes be reflected in both places. Morningglory suggests that a major catastrophe might impact both worlds. That would be interesting to see. Lyle asks me to cease the conversation. Ah well.
We arrive at the moutain quickly. The rest of the group wants to send the horses back. The horses are apparently smart enough to make it home on the path. Morningglory leaves a message in her horse's saddlebags. The horses head off.
We head up the mountain, magically sped; we're still on some sort of magical path. As we progress, mist quickly thickens. The group is concerned with magic effects and falling. Perhaps this is the place where Morningglory should"Keep her friends close, or they will get hurt and confused." Lyle has some silk rope and we tie ourselves together with harnesses. I lead, Morningglory is second, then Lyle, then Dorian. We stay close togetherand head into the thick mist.
The mist seems to part around us. the effect centers on Morningglory. Outside of the sphere, the mist is thick and obscure vision several feet out. We head upward. The path grows increasingly rough. We see no signs of life, neither plant nor animal. After an hour or so, we think we're arrived near the top. As we continue, the mist thins a little and the path widens. Several minutes later we see the walls of a castle in the mist. Approaching, we see a large wooden door in the wall. Two humanoid shapes stand by the door. Getting closer, they turn out to be very pale fairies.
The forms appear to bother Morningglory. She loudly invokes her god, Kelemvore to strike down the evil. One of the guards looks briefly shaken, but otherwise unharmed.
We approach, and the guards attack without provokation. At least without provokation beyond Morningglory's shouts. This mist is thin, but we're still surrounded by a bubble of no-mist, limiting our ability to maneuver. The guards aren't carrying weapons. Lyle and Dorian open fire on the guards. I move to block one of the guards.
The guards advance on my and Dorian. One grabs me. Another grabs for Dorian, but Dorian twists out of the way. The rest of the group focuses on the one attacking Dorian. Dorian cuts it down with her scimitar.
I pull out of the grapple and fall back. He tries to grab me again, but I lean out of his grasp. I repeatedly try to strike him, but keep hitting armor. He keeps failing to grasp me. Morningglory finally shoots the guard down.
Look at the bodies, they have sharp fangs and seem distinctly unhealthy. I don't think I've ever seem undead before. I had heard that they looked more rotted. Interesting.
Other than being large, the door seems unexceptional. There are no symbols. Lyle checks it over and decides its probably safe. He opens it to reveal an entryway.
There are two dark doorways, forward to the left and right. In the middle a single chair faces us. The room is faintly mist filled as well; Morningglory's bubble continues to push the mist away. Perhaps remaining roped together is a good idea. The room is quiet, we cannot hear anything further in the castle.
We decide to head to the throne room. The doorway to the left should lead us there. The doorway to the right would lead us to the servant's quarters.
The door frames are covered with symbols and writings in a variety of languages. "To follow doom, take this gate" reads a label on the left door. The doors themselves are Our instructions say to push the triangle, the T, and the sixpointed star. Morningglory does so. The doorway shimmers and returns to mist-filled darkness. Stepping through we arrive in a stairwell, as the notes suggested. The notes specify to touch circle, triange, and a pair of squiggly lines on the only other doorway. This leads us to a courtyard, again matching the instructions. A pair of doorways are present. The instructions indicate on of the doors and the symbols square, circle, and the eight pointer star. That leads to the kitchen. The room smells faintly of rotten food. A door and the symbols upsidedown triangle, circle, and square lead us to a great dining hall. Most of the chairs are dusty, excepting the head chair and the chair to the right of the head chair.
The next hop, taking a door to the right of the table and touching circle, square with the top quarter removed, and an upside down T, should lead to the throne room. The empty doorway shimmers again, this time slightly differently in an unknown way, and we step through.
The room beyond is more heavily filled with mist. There is a triangle and diamond formed black and white tile pattern on the floor. As we move in, the bubble of clear air shrinks. Our visibility is limited to several feet beyond the bubble. The castle remains as quiet as a meditation room.
We move forward through the room, arriving at a dias. As we step onto the dias, we can see a throne made out of a dark wood. The arms looks to be carved like hands. The back forms two large horns. The feet are of claws holding balls. The seat is cushioned with grey fabric.
Exploring the dias in the mist, on the far right side we find a small chess board table. There are some pieces in play. The pieces are arranged matching the pattern in the book we found so long ago. The side are white versus black, but with a red king (designed like the Red Queen) leading the dark side. The opposing side has the Faerie Queen and King.
Morningglory plans to open a gate back to our world. Lyle suggests that he'll use his dagger to sweep the Red Queen into a bag when Morningglory is ready. Morningglory reports that it's hard to open the gate, it may take ten or so minutes.
Almost ten minutes later, the mist starts to swirl. A portion coalesced into the Grey King. The rest of the mist in the room thins.
The Grey King is unamused by our presence. We're all a bit glib; what could we say to explain our presence. Lyle pinches the Red Queen with amazing speed, but the Grey King immediately notices. He is further unamused and demands it back. Lyle remains glib and unapologetic.
Lyle pulls out his flute and tries to play a song, but the flute crushes in his hands. As Lyle and Morningglory stall the Grey King, we hear a weird distressed wood sound. That sounds bad.
The King slowly advances, but stops at the bubble.
I gesture to Lyle that I'd like to hold the piece. Lyle has been holding it with a bag. I grab it. It feels odd. The Grey King scowls at me.
Before I can determine what exactly it feels like, the gate opens and Morningglory drags us through.
The mountaintop lacks and castle. It's misty, but the mist doesn't part around us.
The piece feels unusually warm and feels like it might be faintly pulsing. Similar to the large statue at the mountain's base.