Episode 27 : Dreams Of Far Away Places
 

The next three days we spent resting and recuperating from our experiences underground. Domund Garsson talked a lot about missing his trees and having developed a real dislike to being underground. He indicated that he would be leaving our little group to go wandering on his own. We split the remains of the Dragon's hoard with him, he walked away with about 600 gold, 2000 silver and a number of precious gems, not bad for about a weeks work!

It was during this time we encountered a stranger amongst the Druids. He was Brother Hameth. He was robed in black. He had a chest plate linked by morning star shaped fastenings front and rear. On the front there was the impression of a black morning star. Brother Hameth proclaimed himself to be a Priest of the Goddess Synvaarna, Greater Goddess of the Underworld and Death. He inquired about joining our little party, and we accepted him in.

During this time Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream. His first dream was centred about the magical well that Serra Ibin Raaviat had told of previously. Grimwold Mindbreaker saw himself wading into the fountain and just feeling the power recharge him. He cast a series of spells and each time was soon on maximum power points. The dream ends.

Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream. This time his dream was of a Alchemists tower perched on a spire of rock projecting from the top of a cliff. A river ran to the tower and split around it, and poured as two waterfalls off the edge of the cliff. The dream ends.

Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream. This time Grimwold Mindbreaker wanted to dream of the Elf that had imprisoned the Dragon in the Staircase. The dream took a different course. Grimwold Mindbreaker was standing on a set of docks looking out to sea. In the harbours floating at rest lay the Ibn-Fatwaani. He turned about him and saw that the main square of this town lay immediately behind him. The town is of mud brick buildings, parched and dry. Minarets reach skyward. The smells of exotic spices reached his nostrils, as did the smell of camel. There came the sound of Arabian music from across the square. The source, very close to a Statue of Agastar, in one of the corners. The dream ends. Serra Ibin Raaviat said that it reminded her of the port city of Karmac, the provincial capital in the north west of West Haarn.

Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream. This time Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream of the Elf that had imprisoned the Dragon in the Staircase. Grimwold Mindbreaker was walking through a palace, green marble under his feet, opulence and taste everywhere. A many and splendid sight. Tapestries on the walls depicting Elves. To his left, voices, in Elvish, talking and laughing. Grimwold Mindbreaker looks and sees two Elves sitting at a table talking. One is Senwyn, High Priest and Regent of Rivienna, the other is the Elf that imprisoned the Dragon. They talk of the Cru, how they had successfully chopped that orc's head off. The are interrupted, by a crack of thunder, a giant crashing noise follows. Senwyn, mutters to Agastar and vanishes to appear on the castle rooftop overlooking the courtyard that holds a Dragon beside the crushed remains of a Statue. Chaos ensues. The second Elf runs to the corner of the room grabs a broom and putting it between his legs flies into the air and out a window and from there into the distance.

Grimwold Mindbreaker watches the fight between the Dragon and the Elves. The Dragon roasts Elves all about, crushes the winged chariot when he rolls on it, and sends flames across all the courtyard. The Elves enclose the Dragon using multiple air wall, wood wall, stone wall spells. A dozen archers appear on rooftops and fire magical arrows into the Dragon drawing blood. Senwyn calls out and a mace appears in his hand. He throws this at the Dragon is brutally knocked back. A few moments later the mace reappears in Senwyn's hand and he throws again and again. The Dragon takes to the air, breathing flame as it goes. Senwyn cast a spell absolution pure and gets a direct link to Agastar. The Dragon drops from the sky unconscious. He repeatedly hits the Dragon with the mace and other Elves on horse back charge into it with lances. The Dragon dies. The dream ends.

Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream. Grimwold Mindbreaker took out the crown from the Dragon's hoard and did use it. Each time he used it he grew brighter, and brighter. He did grow so bright that none could look upon him. The dream ends.

Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream. Grimwold Mindbreaker stood in a dark, dank castle. The smells reaching his nose told him that alchemy was at work here. There came the noise of furnaces and bellows working away. The clang of metal on metal. He saw a large stone table, in the centre burnt a flame, a green flame, an exceptionally hot magical fire. About this worked nine Alchemists, all old, all male, all casting one spell onto an axe. The axe crackled with fire and energy, the blade shining. The Alchemists all spoke in the Eastern Tongue. There were two with symbols of the Goddess Wendinni. Into the room came a muscled Easterner, bald, and clad only in flowing baggy trousers. He takes the red hot axe and plunges it into a tied up slave. A lighting bolt arcs from the blade and the slave is cut in twain. The dream ends.

Grimwold Mindbreaker did dream. Where would be safe, where to trade magic? The dream showed him walking through an Eastern bazaar, made up of dark alleyways, covered side streets. In the air hangs the aroma of burning camel dung and wax lamps. There are secret corners where deals are struck, secret handshakes and secret signs. The buildings again are of mud brick, minarets line the skyline. The dream ends. Serra Ibin Raaviat thinks on what Grimwold Mindbreaker tells her, it is the city of Gorennibad. A fortress city of 7,000, ruled by a Sultan of the Royal Blood of West Haarn, a Horse Lord. It is a dark and sombre place, a bastion for the black market and the slave trade. Death by foul means comes quick. Thievery is an art, and the law is strict and severe.

Grimwold Mindbreaker cast intuition. He opens a portal to the wyvern cave on Pentyce Island. The portal cracks open the air on the narrow ridge above the old wyvern. The old wyvern immediately starts to turn. Grimwold Mindbreaker jumps into the cave and onto the piled coins. He reaches for the sword in the pile and grabs it. He partially draws it from the scabbard when he is struck by the power of the sword and left stunned, he quickly cancels his spell. Burnt into his retina is the Elvish script along the swords length, lumina or lumina.

While we wait for Grimwold Mindbreaker to prepare his next spell Brother Hameth comes over to the halfling, he says, "I need a particular ingredient for one of my spells, it happens to be a halflings brain. If you die, could I have yours? I promise to wait the appropriate time for the soul to depart.". The halfling looked at Brother Hameth in disbelief and did not respond but made his way to the other side of the camp fire.

The next day Serra Ibin Raaviat heads into Tornburg on a recruitment mission. She goes to the Bard's House and makes her enquires about recruits. She finds that Sven and Svall the twin, Northmen Axemen are both still in Tornburg and she hires them. Further enquires are in search of a crew for a sailing ship. She makes the acquaintance of nine sailors who have just jumped ship. Their ship had been headed for Middleburg and with the troubles there at the moment they did not want to go. Serra Ibin Raaviat looks over the mischievous sailors and hires them. The terms they get are 15 silvers a month, no retainer, but an appropriate portion of any booty and a more liberal access to booze than their last ship. The former second mate now first mate, tells Serra Ibin Raaviat of how one of them was mistaken for Crayg Rydorsson when they were in Middleburg last. Serra Ibin Raaviat's reply was along the lines, "No he is definitely not Crayg Rydorsson, I should know I left Middleburg with him!". The first mate quietens, "Yes, miss.", and goes over to the other sailors and whispers nodding at Serra Ibin Raaviat.

Serra Ibin Raaviat also makes inquires into Clerics of Lumina wanting to travel, but finds none. Sven speaks to Serra Ibin Raaviat, "Are you sure these sailors are trustworthy?", "Yes, I'm sure, we can be kept in line.". They return to the "Congress of Animalia.", and camp the night outside its walls. In the morning we are ready to leave, we head down the coast road, the sailors whisper, "What's the name of their ship? It must be anchored in a cove outside Tornburg.". At an appropriate spot out of sight of the city, Grimwold Mindbreaker points the Wand and speaks, "The Falls of Wisdom Ashee.". The portal appears, it is dawn, a warm wind comes through the portal. We enter, then the sailors, carrying the well tied up Wartroll, and last are Sven and Svall. The portal snaps shut.

We are standing in the morning light on the side of a hill. The hill is covered in olive bushes and the ground is parched and barren. In front of us a ridge rises to a plateau. From the plateau plummets water from two waterfalls into the rivers running 200 yards to our left. A rock juts into the air splitting the waterfall, upon the rock rises a tower. The air is warm and dry. The sun has just come over the horizon. A track can be seen rising along the ridge. Liam, the first mate, inquires, "Where is the ship? What is its name?". Brother Hameth mutters, "Its a ship of the desert, a camel and its full of Arab seamen.". Serra Ibin Raaviat does not hear this remark and replies to the first mate, "Its the Ibn-Fatwaani, its ours, the Coven stole it from us and we are going to get it back, that is the ship you will sail.". The first mate turns to the sailors and relays the message. "Hurray.", they cry as one.

Vernon Zarck flies up to look over the edge of the plateau. He sees that the rock, sits in the middle of the river and splits the river in two, forcing it over the edge as two waterfalls. The rock is connected to the mainland by way of two bridges on either side. The tower is six stories and rests at the highest peak of the rock. On either side of the river he sees a small village, with cultivate land all about. We start to head up the track leading to the top of the ridge. Brother Hameth lags way behind he is fascinated by the olive bushes that grow here. So engrossed is he that he fails to hear six horsemen approach. Serra Ibin Raaviat sees them and sees them point at Brother Hameth, she tells the others to hid and goes to Brother Hameth.

The horseman are clad in leather and chain armours. They have scimitars and composite bows at the ready. They approach Brother Hameth, one comments to the other in West Haarnic, "Foreigners!". Brother Hameth looks up, in Tradetalk, "Greetings friends.". The horseman leader does not speak. Serra Ibin Raaviat comes up, and says in West Haarnic, "Greetings, great and noble warriors.". The captain replies, "Woman, show us your pass documents, quickly. This is restricted land. No foreigners allowed. Is he your owner?". "He is not my owner. I am his translator.". "Do you have a pass document?". "I have been told to lead him to the Falls of Wisdom.". "Does he have a pass document?". "No.". "This is restricted land. You are under arrest. Tell him to drop his weapon.". Serra Ibin Raaviat turns to Brother Hameth and said, "They want to arrest us for being on restricted land without pass documents. You are to drop your weapon.".

She hears one of the horsemen whisper to a second, "Is he a Priest of Synvaarna?". Brother Hameth puts his hands on his hips and pats his morning star, "Tell him I will not put down my holy symbol for any man.". Serra Ibin Raaviat turns to the captain and states, loudly, "Oh, great and might warrior, my master, a Great Priest of Synvaarna, will not draw forth his weapon, but he will not be parted from his holy symbol.". A horseman rides up to the captain, "He's a priest, be careful he might curse the lot of us and then animate us!". The captain thinks, then speaks, "He may keep his ball and chain, but he is coming with us. This is restricted land. No foreigners are allowed here. He does not have a pass document, he is under arrest.". Serra Ibin Raaviat said, "My master did not know that he needed a pass document. What must he do to get one.". "He must go to Mughribakarnd and get a pass document from the Sultan or the Grand Vizier. We leave now. Where are your horses? Camels? Elephants?". "We have only just arrived and do not have any.". "You are talking in riddles, wench, explain yourself.".

Serra Ibin Raaviat said, "The Priest of Synvaarna, did use his great and powerful magic to bring us here.". "You still talk in riddles you silly wrench.". "The Priest of Synvaarna did open a portal between here and the western continent and we walk through.". "If that is the case he can make a door to the Sultan's Palace!". Brother Hameth turned to Serra Ibin Raaviat, "What did he say?". She repeats his words. Grimwold Mindbreaker smiles from his invisible form, he thinks to himself, "You want a portal, you'll get a portal!". Grimwold Mindbreaker points the Wand, "Mughribakarnd Ashee.", he becomes visible as does a portal. Grimwold Mindbreaker cries out, "Guys, we are leaving.". The halfling like a magnet jumps up and sprints to Grimwold Mindbreaker, he'll follow the Wand to hell and back. The remainder in our group, lugging the Wartroll, jump up and race toward to rift in space. We are all through, Grimwold Mindbreaker final words are, "Go shit yourselves!". Serra Ibin Raaviat hears galloping horses and the words, "None of you saw any of this, right!". The portal snaps shut.

We are outside the southern portion of Mughribakarnd, the City of Prays, upon the main south road. This is the National Capital and regional Capital for the Central Province. There are about 4,000 people in the city, of whom about 200 represent the wealthy elite, the remaining populous serves them. There are three large Temple here, they are dedicated to the Gods, Agastar, Lumina and Wendinni. The town is of mud brick buildings, parched and dry. Minarets reach skyward. Immediately to our south we see a camel train, comprising three divers and six camels coming toward us and the city.

They come up to our position. We call on them top stop. They eye us up and down. Serra Ibin Raaviat speaks, "Travellers, tell us what we must do to get pass documents?". Before any can reply, Vernon Zarck cast sleep and sent all three into a slumber. He looks through their robes and removes a piece of paper. The pass document contains three names, and thumb prints. The pass document is only for travel and trade in the southern province, specifically excluding protected lands. The pass document is issued in Fa'Haarnakarnd and bears the wax seal impression of the Overlord. On inspecting the camels packs, Vernon Zarck finds only brass pots and pans. In the distance to the south we see another camel train of 6 drivers and 18 camels. Vernon Zarck's viper administers the last rights to the traders.

Serra Ibin Raaviat says, "It best if we went to Gorennibad, there we can get forged papers.". Grimwold Mindbreaker said, "Gorennibad it is.", he points the Wand and opens a portal. The camels bolt. We step through and the portal snaps shut again. We stand on barren hills looking down on the Fortress City of Gorennibad. No buildings exist outside the walls. Everything has a covering of dust and grime. The heat has started to build up. We walk to the southern entrance to Gorennibad. At the gates stand guards, dressed in the manner of the horsemen we met earlier today. They stop us, "Pass documents.", the guard states holding out his hand. Then in very bad Tradetalk he states, "Papers.". Serra Ibin Raaviat asks, "What papers?". "Entry papers.". The halfling comes up with a silver coin in his hand. The guard focuses on him, the halfling hands it over, "Papers.", the halfling says. "Papers.", the guard replies and waits. The halfling continues handing over coins but stops at a total of seven silver. One of the other guards looks at the sight of the Wartroll, and mutters, "Ogre!". Serra Ibin Raaviat giggles, "Much worse, much worse, a Wartroll!". She says, "Where can I get some papers?". The guard just motions over his shoulder into the city proper. We enter the city of Gorennibad.

 

 
(c) 1997 One Night in Middleburg Rolemaster Campaign Journal by Ross Stopford  
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