Wednesday, July 3, 2013

041 - Five wraiths over Mulkan

Session 14 - Frost Wedging part 3 of 3. 

A chip from the Imenstone
This session report covers the adventures of the Palantir Commission members who have crossed into the shadow world. Its timeline is intertwined with the previous story (Act 40). 

Act 39 - Lossoth Tales...
Act 40 - We're not in Kansas anymore
Act 41 - Five wraiths in Mulkan 

Act 41, Scene 1 - The eye of the storm

Arnadil banked on his leather glove to keep the Imenstone from affecting him. This theory went out by the window. The tumult of the world of the living was suddenly replaced by a void. Little of the world around remained: there was a standing stone close to his head, but it was crystal clear and didn't look to be solid anymore. The shard was clasped tightly in his hand. Astor, his gondoling sword, was glowing like a mirror in the sun. He turned around and saw Kasper and Finbert in similar predicament as his. Where his other friends stood, there were only faint outlines, barely a shade darker than the background. Arnadil noticed that the amulets were also glowing, and in his pack, one of the ruby encrusted in the key of the library of Annuminas. The three friends nodded at each other, planning to let go of the shards and return to the world of the living. Neither Kasper nor Arnadil managed to let go: against their better judgment, they chose to remain in the shadow world while Finbert vanished. 

The voice of Galdor came in distorted and barely audible. Thannolf flashed to their left, standing beside the Imenstone with his arm through the obsidian. Thannolf seemed to panic and struggled to get himself away from the spire. He fell over and vanished. Where Araliniel stood, a shadow extended and arm and offered the extra tribal amulet that was made to be placed in Shapithui's heart. Kasper rose to his feet and snatched the jewel. 

Kasper noticed that it was compelling to descend into the earth through the Imenstone. He observed that indeed, this seemed to be the thing to do now that it was revealed to him. Thannolf, Finbert, Araliniel and Irina popped into the shrine as bright green outlines. Each one of the them holding a shard of the Imenstone in their hands. Sir Galdor and Halin were still on the other side, but the company members were in no capacity to wait longer. The company discovered that they could fly out of the shrine, unbound by gravity. 

Arnadil grabbed Astor and the key to Annuminas' royal library. Kasper grabbed his treatise and the extra amulet. Thannolf realized that his walrus tusk knife was solid to his hand and grabbed it. The other members of the company were left holding a shard and wearing their amulet. They took off into the sky and left behind earthly belongings and friends.

Act 41, Scene 2 - Now what?

Kasper and Arnadil gathered over the shrine and found it difficult to see in the blinding light of day. Finbert, Irina and Araliniel joined them. Their appearance was vaguely similar to their living form, just enough to recognized each other. In daylight, their outlines were pale green and their garb indistinct. The shards, the amulets, Astor, Kasper's book and one of the ruby in the key of the royal library of Annuminas were the only physical objects that the wraith could interact with. Ther ability to communicate was a bit limited.

They decided to head for the temple in Mulkan. Because of the blinding light, they had to fly closer to the ground until they could see clearly the edge of the cliff. From there, they headed South along the fjord, ignoring the struggle of their fleshy friends down below. In fact, the thought of the living grew distasteful to them, and they though better to avoid close contact with Galdor and Halin for the fear of doing them harm against their own will.

Once close to the ground, they discovered that what looked like snow in the world of the living was a writhing carpet of boned terrors in the shadow world. Even as wraith forms, they shivered at the thought that they had been wading into this desolation for the last few days.

Act 41, Scene 3 - Five wraiths over Mulkan

It took about an hour to get in sight of Mulkan. The wraiths were following the clifftop of the fjord until they ran into a number of totems. The amulets on top of the totems were shining bright into the shadow world. To their relief and surprise, the amulets didn't influence them at all. After a brief pause, they located the watchtower to the North of Mulkan and slipped pass the tribal defenses of the village. 

Mulkan was quiet. In the middle of the afternoon, men and women were busy at their craft and did not notice the presence of passing wraiths. The five company members flew to the temple and entered its vaulted roof. The Palantirs were clearly in sight. They seemed to flicker if you kept your eyes on them for long enough. In the shade of the temple, it was slightly easier for the wraiths to see. They could see the three shadows of the temple guards as if they were crosshatched sketches.

The Palantirs appeared to be floating in mid-air. This was because they were encased in the stone altar on the other side. Araliniel in vain tried to move the small Palantir of Arnor. She then activated the masterstone of Amon Sul. The visual reaction in the shadow world was more dramatic than on the other side. The effect was nearly stroboscopic for the wraiths. The flicker on the other side was bright enough for the temple guard to take notice. The hobbits noticed that their weapons appeared to be extending into the shadow world to an extent. The temple guards' sword looked a lot more dangerous all of a sudden.

Araliniel showed the others around the Palantir. They caught glimpses of Minas Tirith and the Palantir room in the white tower of the citadel. But contact was sporadic and almost painful to maintain. It looked like when the image was clear, it would be possible to pass through the Palantir. But the stone was too unstable to try. 

The excitement made them miss the approach of Elder Tiani into the temple. He walked towards the Palantirs. His face became clear as if an enchantment allowed him to pop his head into the shadow world (or as if he had lit a flashlight against his chest and pointed it upward). His revulsion turned to disbelief when he recognized the wraiths as the Southrons. He took a step back, regained his composure, and fearlessly ordered them to leave the temple. He then uttered a few more words in something else than vernacular Lossoth. This set his hand ablaze with a green fire that roared in the shadow world. Sparks scattered in all directions. When any touched a wraith, it set it completely ablaze. The fire didn't appear to cause any harm, at least at first.

Arnadil considered using Astor, but instead charged with his other hand first. He was followed by Finbert and Irina. The three wraiths converged on Tiani at the same time and passed though his body. Arnadil snatched Tiani's amulets (there were about 5) and placed them around his neck. The contact with the wraiths sent the elder into a shock. He fell unconscious to the ground. In the world of the living, the wraith could discern shouts and yells, but the light outside the temple was too bright to tell what was afoot. Kasper took a step backward, nobody around was paying attention to him. He invoked waves of shapeless wraith-like swirls that sprouted from underneath and scattered in a whirlwind to eventually fill the temple as they scurried away from his hands [ This is how the Panic spell look like in the shadow world. ] [+].

Many of the villagers were sent into panic, including the temple guards that were charging towards the wraiths to rescue their elder.

And thus ended this session. Tiani lays unconscious on the temple's floor while the villagers and temple guards are thrown into disarray by Kasper's spellscraft. The Palantirs remain out of reach as they are embedded into a thick slab of stones that the wraith cannot move. Tiani now knows that the Southrons are very wicked creatures.