Return of Hadrach

Tears and Fates

25-Grunni through 5-Galenui

The morning after the dragon Nazal the Spiteful killed nearly half the party, Griangi and the Wizard Tora prepared several scry and teleport spells to retrieve the lost and scattered party members and left just after dawn on the 25th of Grunni. With the scrying, he discovered Marigold had been killed, and the locations of Elvira who was safe and speaking with a giantess, and Pannya, who was fleeing Nazal after crippling his wing and successfully cursing him.
Two teleports later, Griangi, Pannya, Elvira and Tora all stood before the giantess Svedjanna, a Norn who promised to meet them the next day outside of Urga. Tora teleported all by Svedjanna back to the city, where they met Dinara, a ranger looking for a lift to her home of Tabak in Uliss. The party accepted and she joined them.

On the next day, the party, including the recently escaped Shakaari and the ranger Dinara met Svedjanna outside the gates of Urga where she offered the party a gift – a taste of power by touching the Tear of the Fallen Gods. All of the characters were affected in some way, but all felt more powerful.

Culled from Facebook; mostly cleaned up:
Dinara looks at the Norn, and asks " I am not afraid to touch your tear, but why vwere you expecting me? I do not know these people or this Hadrach you speak of. "

Svedjanna smiles placidly. "All people have their role to play – as the threads of fate are unraveled, their place in the tapestry becomes more clear. It has become apparent that the threat that Hadrach’s allies present can no longer be delayed. For want of two hundred years, the heroes nor the artifacts are in place. Something had to be done.
Nodding at Elvira, “her soul was not ready- her next life, probably.” She nods at Griangi, Kia and Ezra. “They are simply too young.” Nods at Shakaari, “Her brother’s place was to sacrifice himself for Elvira – but it happened two hundred years too early.”
“Other heroes have not yet been born, and so we have had to find new ones to re-weave the tapestry. Your threads have been moved so that you are here, now, with us today. So will you stand in? Will you be the imperfect hero this world needs?” Svedjanna finishes, looking at Dinara.

Griangi looks at the Giantess, and then at the ranger.
“You look strong, Ranger, but much has to be done before you have our trust. Every person here has bled for me and in the name of freedom from the chains that Hadrach’s fellowship would put on the world. Are you ready to do that?”

Shakaari “I’m making us all matching tabards!” interjects Shakaari.

Griangi "Actually, Shakaari, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. Later. Well, Dinara?

Shakaari (Shakaari begins measuring Griangi for a tabard)

Griangi glares murder at the amnesiac gnome. “I SAID LATER!” while Jarbold gently ushers her away. Shakaari then measures Jarbold for a sidekick’s tabard You never knew someone could sigh in an Irish accent, but he somehow does it. He rolls his eyes and attempts to maintain concentration on the conversation.

Dinara I am not strong, I do not vwin arm wrestling contests

Griangi “Strong or not, I asked you a question. What’s your answer?”

Midori shuffles her feet akwardly, listening in on the conversation. Every so often, she glances over at Kia and Ezra, wondering just how the two elves got themselves wrapped up in this very significant quest.

Dinara let me get this straight, you tell me you dont trust me, and then ask me to swear fealty to you – for a quest you have not bothered to tell me about. I do not know you, or necessarily trust you yet either. Ve have only just met. I do not say no to you, but I vwill not say yes at this point with this level of information.

Griangi “Are you telling me that you took the Norn’s gift and now aren’t even sure if you are going to use it for her purpose? What more information do you need than a 15-foot benevolent demigoddess telling you it’s your destiny?”
“…and when did I learn the word ‘benevolent?’”

Griangi turns to Svedjana, “Well, you told her she’s in this, do you want to tell her what she’s in, exactly?” He looks over his shoulder at Midori “That one will want to know too, I think.”

Griangi mounts the now six-foot-tall Ragnar and looks down imperiously at everyone but Svedjana, at whom he looks up. Imperiously.

“Oh, I don’t know, Griangi…” Shakaari says, surprisingly coherent, “meeting a demigod doesn’t necessarily make you want to go along with them. I mean, you all met Hadrach, right?”

Griangi “Benevolent. Demi. God. And I’m not asking for anyone’s fealty.” He looks at both Dinara and Midori. “Just your loyalty.”

Shakaari “Benevolent? How does one measure the benevolence of someone you’ve just met?” Looks up at the Norn. “No offense. I mean… I assume you’re a class 4 Fate-or-Destiny-related pseudo-divinity, and thus perceive the Prime Material Plane from a temporally variable perspective, but, as you know, mortals such as ourselves perceive the fourth dimension in a strictly linear fashion, and are…” (this goes on for awhile)

As Shakaari talks, Griangi roots around in his bag, pulls out parchment and a quill (he already gave Shakaari the ink pot) and throws it at Shakaari’s feet, looking pointedly at her.

Shakaari “Oh, thanks!” Shakaari begins diagramming the time-space continuum, explaining it as she goes.

Jarbold tells her how fascinating it is and walks her about thirty feet away to talk more about it while the Aeon glares at Griangi.

The Norn shrugs.
“I suppose that she has accepted is enough. The skeins of fate have already found her here, today, just as the Princess,” nods at Akiara, "has been brought here earlier than she would have been. I would prefer to invite your help, rather than insist on your cooperation, but time is short, so I shall simply warn you: Turning away from this new destiny invites danger, madness, death.
“The future is not etched in steel or chiseled into stone, just as the past can be changed, rewritten, forgotten.” The Norn sighs as if suffering some great, deep pain. “Still, as the weave is formed, one can predict and see what it will make. Imagine a mug of ale pushed off of a table; should nothing intervene, you can predict, indeed it would be destined, to fall to the floor and spill the ale. You mortals can usually only see to the floor. We can see beyond…” She shakes her head, as if trying to clear it.
“The mug of ale is the world. It has been pushed off the table by the Infernal allies of Hadrach. You are the hand that must catch the mug.
“You must collect the Artifacts of Hadrach, then face him and his allies before they have gathered the strength necessary to enslave the world. This will take you to ”/wikis/hettach" class=“wiki-page-link”> Hettach’s Ruins, into the vaults of Cloudwalk, and over the Slave Pits of Molgar. You will return to the Beacon of Tesra, and to the smoke-filled roads and passages of the Drakkenstone.
“Since the tapestry has been shifted, and the threads are only now being realigned, I cannot see all that fate has in store, or where all of the threads lie. Some of you are necessary because of who you are. Others, you have been offered the honor of standing in for those who could not be here.

“Drakkenstone?” Shakaari asks, returning to the conversation despite Jarbold’s protestations. “Why does that sound familiar? thinks for a moment Do you think it might have something to do with that dragonborn sorcerer you used to know? The one who’s being held prisoner in Hell with that Tesran sellsword?” pauses “Wait… did I spend time in Hell? That doesn’t sound like me.”

Svedjanna shakes her head, “No, the Drakkenstone… you call it, ahh… Draima?”

Shakaari “Well, that just raises more questions!”

Griangi sighs (it sounds kind of like a growl) and shakes his head. “Dinara, Midori, you can come with us on our next teleport jump if you like. How far you go with us after that is up to you. We are committed to fighting this fight to the end; the Devils cannot be allowed to win. Know that if you are not committed as we are, you are a danger to us. Trust and loyalty are our shields. We need them to survive the coming battles.”

Midori thinks long and hard as she looks at the snowy ground for several minutes. “I still want to know jus’ ‘oo this ’Adrach is, but I guess it doesn’ matter when the fate of the world’s at stake. And I’d rather ‘ave a cause to follow than to continue wanderin’ aimlessly.”

Shakaari “Do you know what your tabard size is? I seem to have lost my measuring ta—” notices one hanging from her vest “—oh, nevermind; here’s another one…”

Midori The teenager stares down at the red-haired gnome, "Er… That’s all right. I don’t really want a tabard, if it’s all the same to you. Midori side-steps away from Shakaari, towards Kia and Ezra.

Svedjanna regards you for a few more moments as you stretch your limbs. They feel heavy and sluggish, as if you just woke up from not enough sleep. The Tear sparkles and glows and pulses with its bluish white light. One by one, your eyes are drawn back to it, and you can almost hear a thousand thousand voices inviting you to reach out for the massive gem.
“I must tell you this…” Svedjanna says, "and I am sorry to say it to you. The power of the Tear is but a seed that has just sprouted in the fertile soil that is your souls. What it has given you is fragile and small, and easily destroyed. It must be cared for and properly watered, lest it wither and die, leaving you bereft of the mighty tree it could become and you all the smaller without it.
“The seedling feeds on great deeds – heroic deeds. To ensure the power of the Tear takes proper root, you must prove yourselves worthy of it. You must kill the dragon Nazal. He has been a parasite upon this land, a beast that has made his own legend. Worse, with the twists to the weave that has brought you here now, and the deaths of your comrades, he is poised to become a deadly force here, dominating the region with hate, with tooth, with claw and with avarice.
“Kill Nazal. Prove yourselves the heroes the world needs, or this region will fall under a dark shadow that will not lift for a thousand years, and the seeds within you will wither and die.

Svedjanna says all this while she folds the Tear into the furs it is nestled in. Once fully wrapped, she binds it with a stout leather cord and stashes it underneath her fur-lined cape.
“One other thing – Time itself bends around the Tear of the Fallen Gods. Be warned – the hour spent here in its presence has been as a week out there,” she motions towards the city behind you. “It can also twist reality and realign some threads of the Great Tapestry. When you are ready, I will send you to intercept the monster.”

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