The tale of how Sayer and his companions ventured into the heart of the Brass Sea to thwart The Sultan, epic though it may be, must be told another time. For the wheels of fate grind forward, bringing woe and wonder to the fore.
Aelostrian bleeds beneath the heel of Imperial conquest. Feeling the suffering of her people, Akasha Delithrang returns to her homeland to aid in their time of need.
Engrossed by the intricacies of magics, Kiranek Fateweaver recedes into her tome, completely consumed with the research. The companions carry this tome still, to one day draw their friend from the lofty secrets of the arcane.
With the weight of responsibility holding sway, Count Elbanor stewards the companions by managing the stronghold of Coldwater Anchorage, the Chainstay.
Krinkle, the enigmatic bard, lingers near the periphery; her true intents kept to herself .. at least for now.
Even Sayer, the staunch advocate for wild adventure, gave pause to the responsibilities of a new partner. He sailed forth with his freebooting bride at his side.
Finally we come to Boris and On’ogg; two heroes left to right so many wrongs in the world. The two make the most of their time in transit to the Imperium, crafting what they can while planning their next move.
With the war ravaging much of eastern Aelostrian, they surmise that moving through the lands of man might prove less difficult. Docking at the port town of Drybrush Station, they found themselves at the customs office. Though On’ogg’s reputation within the Order of the Alabaster Aegis serves him well, Boris finds his path forward somewhat impeded.
With her paperwork in fine order, Dorothy continues forward to run errands before they travel back to the Praetorium Quaerentem. At that moment, the paladin’s request for a traveler visa rings open on the arcane network, drawing the attention of an old friend…
In the annals of an Imperium Archivum, Thadeous Wobblegrinder closes a tome and places it on top of a stack of books. Nothing worthwhile, not yet. Rubbing his eyes, he thinks of his old friends. At that moment, Eclasius Vorander touches upon his shoulder a note from the intelligence office of the Matriarch.
“As I understand it, you were asked to be notified Master Thaddeus..” he whispers and excuses himself with a curt bow. Thaddeus reads the note and without hesitation makes his way from the Archivum.
In the chambers above, he finds the Matriarch Palthorius dining in the Great Hall with only the motionless guardsmen as company. The wizard requests leave from his station, citing as grounds the need to resolve personal issue. Showing some small concern, she inquires whether he may need assistance, but Thaddeus reassures her that he should be able to handle things.
With leave granted, Thaddeus turns to leave and steps through the spatial anomaly created by his Cloak.
Meanwhile, for an inquisitive rogue, the investigation goes well. Professor Norrath agrees to an afternoon sojourn to the park in order to pass along any more information might prove useful. With assistant in tow, he asks the rogue to pass along a special coin to Dorothy Redbranch, believing the adventurer to be able to move without the notice of this would be killer. The hope seems to be that he may be able to dissuade any further violence with his presence.
He travels to Drybrush in an attempt to intercept this student as she returns to the Imperium.
Within the time needed to snap a finger Thaddeus finds himself outside the governing chambers within Drybrush Station. Within he greets his old friend On’ogg and Baatu, who has been entertaining the local guardsmen with great success.
Reunited, the three make way through the town. They soon wrangle Dorothy back into the party and find a tavern to share drinks and stories. So entranced in the moment, they fail to see the figure sitting outside a very specific tavern who seems to take heed of their arrival.
Within, the companions take a much needed respite. The mysterious figure continues his vigil for some time before presenting himself to Dorothy. Passing along the coin given to him from Professor Redbranch, he notices her eyes glaze over as some arcane message is communicated through contact with the coin.
She introduces the inquisitive rogue to the companions and greetings are exchanged. Resolving to take Dorothy back to the Praetorium, wait out the night at the tavern.
Come morning, they book passage on the mechanical locomotive, which runs along a track through several small towns en route to the grand city of Pallorgrad.
While on the train, commotion is heard from the cabin ahead, where Dorothy had gone to rest. Suddenly, a narrow blade slices some ways through the wall, a minute line of blood slipping from the wall where it had cut through.
In a flurry of activity, the companions come to the aid of Dorothy only to find her slain, her dwarven head rolled to the corner of the cabin. Those within the cabin hear some slight noise from overhead and the companions move to intercept the killer. They find a figure, slight of frame, running along the top of the train. The emergency stop lever is pulled and within moments the train begins the long effort of halting.
The rogue climbs atop the train and is able to shoot an arrow that pierces the peculiar armor of the killer, who turns and moves into a guarded stance some forty feet forward on the next car. “I have not come here for you”, she says and then immediately falls to a knee, placing an outstretched hand on what seems to be a series of arcane symbols that had been drawn on top of the car. With a flash, she disappears from the top of the train as it screeches to a stop.
Within Dorothy’s cabin the companions note several interesting clues. Dorothy’s tome, an item not far from any wizard, was not within the cabin. A torn page was found folded into a paper bird. When flattened, they found upon the sheaf the word ‘Shrike’, surely left by the mysterious killer.
Inspecting the damage to the wall, they noticed that the cut was uncanny in it’s ability to slice through the matter.
The train authorities are apprised of the situation and the locomotive is soon on it’s way again.
The companions arrive in the city of Pallorgrad and make immediate passage to the Praetorium Quaerentem. On’ogg and the rogue surge forward upon the paladin’s celestial steed and rush forward in an attempt to forewarn Professor Norrath of the imminent danger. The rest of the companions follow suit in their own ways.
They find the Professor with his assistant and question him with a deep urgency. With a insightful eye they press more and more from the old man, who’s shiny veneer begins to split somewhat. Professor Norrath grows at first impatient with the scrutiny and then anxious. A remark presses him into a fit of rage and he inexplicably throws himself from the window, plummeting from a great height.
Without a moment’s hesitation the rogue calls out to “watch the other one!” and throws himself out after Professor Norrath, gaining the distance in a moment and manipulating the air around the two falling men. He makes a harrowing escape from certain death. Taken into custody, Professor Josiah Norrath teeters back and forth in a sitting position, staring forward with a lunatic’s gaze.
In the office above, the rest of the companions take heed of their situation only to find the assistant has silently taken leave of the chambers.