The Trial of Bayhaven

New Friends and Old Spectres
The fair kingdom of Ancuan is a broad, fertile and peaceful land. Filled with bountiful herds of animals, flowing fields of produce and grains, and shorelines overflowing with fish and mercantile ships carrying exotic goods from worlds away.

It is here our story begins, in the capital city of Glavis, on the shore of Kelen Bay, at a small tavern on Nurel’s hill. Simul the oneiromancer sleeps in the back corner, with a single blue eye keeping watch. Drol sits at the counter drinking and talking with the locals, socializing pleasantly as he watches his longtime friend, Darpan, work magic at the stove. Darpan wields cooking utensils as if fighting chirog in the dark. Yet, he produces perfect Tinker Tasties every time, so his spastic movements and inevitable messes never bother his employers.

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It wasn’t until a guard from King Asour-Mantir’s Transparent Palace came into the tavern that these three individual’s converged. Well, at least Drol and Simul converged. Darpan fell asleep over his stove and was subsequently put to bed by a comely barmaid. The palace guard sat down to a gill of Ander’s Special and told anyone who would listen about his tiring day. Apparently, a farm boy came to the palace seeking an audience with the king. The boy was distraught and spoke of tales of war and famine in the west, but the guard had to turn him away like all other visitors.

Drol and Simul were intrigued by the boys claims and set out to find him. After stopping by another tavern and searching through several job postings, they discovered that the boy came from a town called Rual. Apparently a neighboring town called Bayhaven is waging war on them. The leader of Rual is offering a 1000 shin reward to any who offer aid. Another notice, however, offered a somber warning. Travelers heading in the same direction as the unsuspecting farm boy were to be wary. An unknown sentient being had been sighted in the steam fields north of the city. Drol and Simul traded looks and headed off at a run to catch the boy before he ran into a dangerous creature unprepared.

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They caught up with the boy just outside the city gates. His name was Parvel Sinclair. He was sent to Glavis to seek an audience with the King, but like all other emissaries was turned away at the gate. Upon questioning the boy, Drol and Simul discovered very little. Save that Bayhaven is a town populated by mutants and Rual is curiously empty of any and all save humans. Drol has his suspicions that something sinister is going on between the two towns. While the rest of the party spent the night at the inn, Drol headed to the Hive – a large library and storage facility for census information and public records for the kingdom of Ancuan. Searching the records, Drol discovered that there is no record of a town or city called Bayhaven anywhere in Ancuan. Furthermore, the peculiar city of Rual was founded by an Angulan Knight by the name of Lev Strobach. Could this be the explanation for the absence of all visitants and abhumans in Rual?

The party began their journey the next morning. A still slumbering Darpan was strapped to the back of Parvel’s aneen. The rest of the group walked alongside the beast chatting mildly and amiably as they ventured northward and westward past the city gates. They were interrupted, however, when they came upon the steam fields north of Glavis.

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Simul put his hand up, stopping the caravan in its tracks. He saw nothing, but he sensed something in the mist. “Something is watching us. But it doesn’t feel hostile…”

Drol commanded Parvel to guard the aneen and their sleeping comrade and ventured forward to stand beside Simul. Drol’s eyes narrowed as something moved out of the corner of his eye. His head whipped around in response. Behind a pillar of stone and steam lurked a small shimmering cloud of pink smoke, barely discernible from the steam. It shrunk back as Drol stared at it. His gaze softened. “Come on out. We know you’re there. My friend here says you don’t mean us any harm. If that’s true, you have nothing to fear from us.”

The pink cloud seemed to peak from behind the stone. Although it made no noise and seemed to have no real shape, it was clearly shy and able to understand the Truth. Both Drol and Simul felt a slight pulling at their minds. The creature wanted to establish telekinetic contact. Simul instead responded in kind, using his Dreamcraft to project a construct the creature could communicate through. His construct took the shape of woman made of smoke and ash.

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The light pink cloud, turned a hot fuchsia as it’s consciousness melded with Simul’s. In broken Truth, the smokey construct began explaining. The pink cloud was actually a creature called a Sruu. She had come from deep beneath the earth where her people dwell in their own civilization. Some time ago, she had become trapped in one of the steam vents and was thrown up into the Ninth World. Now she was lost. Others of her kind were once trapped with her in this place. Now they were all gone. Dispersed into nothingness. She pleads for help. All she wants is a way home to her people, before she too becomes dispersed.

Drol and Simul are quick to agree to help the poor distraught creature. Simul suggests that she goes into a vessel to prevent her imminent dispersement. This train of thought gives Drol an idea. Taking a clay vessel from Parvel, Drol requests that the Sruu enter it. She agrees, but before entering vows to reward both Drol and Simul if they help her. She extends a singular tendril of pink smoke and touches each human on the hand before entering the milk jug. The sensation is daunting, like electrified cotton being stuffed in your ears.

Drol seals the jar and ties rope around the neck of the bottle before lowering into the vent that the Sruu originally emerged from. He lowers the vessel as far as he can before cutting the rope and allowing the vessel to fall. Both Drol and Simul place their ears against the stone pillar and llisten for the sound of the breaking jug. Seconds pass, then minutes.

After nearly half an hour, Drol sits back on his heels and sighs heavily. “I didn’t hear anything. How are we supposed to know if she…” At that moment pink glitter erupts around both Drol and Simul’s heads. Suddenly, they feel more equipped to handle mental attacks.

They smile at each other. Simul says wryly, “I think she’s home.”
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