We leave the city of Quin-Long in the morning. It’s dusk now and the chair has been sold. Tarak’rabeth tells Chen that she will be staying for a few days, since this is her birthplace and she can use his funds to catch up later if he can pigeon her as to where he’ll be. It is very different but just as green as my home in the Kingdom of Greenwater. The step pyramids and even walking past not one but three dragons throughout the day has been so exotic. Some don’t have wings and Chen’s concubine tells us that they love to take new forms one day and lounge in the natural form other days to weeks on end. The crew loves us because we have brought so much income to the group and shared it so evenly among everyone.
Tadje has been looking for more magic aside from what he has in his single grimoire. He convinced Chen to take him to a Dragon and introduce him since he is from Yin-Drakkos, and has that Dragon sensing ‘ring.’ Tadje is very eager and is seemingly conviced Chen must know some powerful Dragons since he avoided death at the Nightstalker! All of this is being done in an effort to acquire more magic, and before I thought he would say no, Chen tells him he knows a rather friendly Thunder Lizard named, Rhavamanthys.
Chen was going over the basics regarding Rhavamanthys as they left the ship:
- roughly 600 years old or older,
- about 40 ft including the tail and 18 tons,
- and the deepest emerald green scales you’ve ever seen.
Chen and Tadje arrive back in the evening with a gigantic water clock from the dragon, Rhavamanthys. The captain remarks how exquisite the clock is and offers to mount it in Tadje’s room to avoid it breaking. When Bumi asks where such a ‘heavy’ looking treasure would have come from? Tadje tells Bumi that a Thunder Lizard will be on board the ship to teach him magic as far as Bezroku. Rascal wants to know if the boat will hold such a large creature and off he runs to pester Captain Akshay. The captain answers his question but inadvertently refers poor Rascal as my pet which makes him scowl, and when he discovers their are no wings on the Dragon he stomps proclaiming his last poo is smarter than Tadje.
The next morning is very pleasant, and the breeze feels almost as though the boat is rocking on water. I am woken up with a lovely plate and Rascal is given a bowl of fish as well from the new cook, a Shirn-Karya. The spices used are all local to the city and it would appear he is classed as major talent among his “brothers of the mind.” He loves to have dreams of what to cook for those he works for to help keep his mind sharp, and even learn new recipes sometimes.
When the dragon arrives, the form he has taken is an “all” green yen lord, a very deep forest green. He arrives with just one bag. “Dang that slow green one, he doesn’t even know what a dragon is. He brought another poopy tail instead”, my poor Rascal is most distraught maybe some extra fish today. Bumi and the dragon discuss their “official ambassadorial business.” They discuss the ‘trade agreement’ the wizard made, that Tadje will trade rope magic for spell magic he does not know on a one for one basis. Afterwards Tadje shows him to his room and shortly thereafter most of the magically inclined on the ship feel the immense expenditure of energy coming from the same room.
Aside from the new cook that is also a Shirn, five new warriors, Martial Sai that were hired to help with the Chaaya’s Quest. The three are Shirn, two Shirn-Rahl & a Shirn-Lulhi. The last two of the five is a pair of golden scaled, green striped Yin-Lords.
The captain explains to Rascal that the dragon is the Yin-Lord, since he was still fuming that another poopy tail had snuck onboard. Rascal is very excited about the notion of riding him and being a real pirate, oh this is not going to end well. I will have to warn our guest before Rascal does something I know I’ll regret perhaps permanently.
The beginning of the day when we set sail is very pleasant. At dinner, we re-tell the stories of the pirates, and our encounter with blacksword to our new guest and some of the crew in the room. We make it to ithendral at the end of the 21st. We arrive ahead of schedule. Way off in the distance, we can see the Mount Skyfast as the sun sets. It’s a hazy bump in the distance but it’s there.
We arrive in Ith-Angdral, and notice the dwarven “sky-navy”. Their vessels are all skyships and very blocky in design and use some of rotating blades was their skywings. These ships are not even half the size of ours, though in fairness most aren’t half our size. However, they have 63 ships in docks or hovering and those are the skydocks we can see.
We decide to land and the captain wants to resupply and do some trades for items that are rarer outside the Dwarven Empire. Tadje heads out with the crew but when they return three hours later and ahead of schedule they mention he is still haggling over some alchemical components. The Captain left instructions if he was not back in another hour to go acquire the little green runt so we could be on our way. Tadje’s return is agitated by the knowledge he might be able to acquire an item the Arch Mage of Arcanus Tower, Zhuyin Hu, would trade rare magic for.
What’s not surprising is the one million marques per ounce they want for the alchemical metal, Gantrium! Consideriong its magically conductive properties, when made into jewelry magic users spend less of their energy to cast magic. It’s also rumored to be used to make rune weapons, and act as a powerr source in the Skythrones on most sky ships! When Tadje mentions needing a few ounces of the mystical component Rascal runs off and returns with a 4 ounce metal measuring spoon from the kitchens. He pats him on the leg mentioning the spoon should help and runs off again to practice what he calls “Dragon Riding.” Tadje tries to thank him and explain why it won’t work but Rascal is gone and leaving the Gosai talking to air. Bumi agrees after some major convincing on Tadje’s behalf that his country may have need of such an element and agrees to meet with the seller.
We meet a dwarvan alchemist and I ask him if he knows Valryk. The room stops and the dwarf wants to know how I know him. I turn into Vora. The gentleman bows and says that he’ll be back. Valryk is with him! I give him a hug and he demands to know why we’re there. Valryk learns that we’re trying to buy the gantrium. We find out this is one of his sourcces to finding out about Blacksword. We negotiate for at least an ounce, more if possible for testing. Valryk asks what they can expect in return, and Bumi offers information on the patent proposal.
Valryk presents the Runesmith Guild to us after returning after 20 minutes. (there are several elderly dwarves with him). They want to guarantee a member of their guild has a seat on the patent counsel with Bumi. The spokeperson for the Runesmith Guild informs us (by gesturing to a Dwarf to his right hold what could be a metal rod, mace, nightstick..) that Torrin used to be an assistant to Drodd. He vowed to never share the secrets before being turned into a rune weapon (that explains the bluish-grey metal stick). He says that Drodd’s desscendents don’t believe in the tale of a ten thousand year old Dwarf running a shadow organization to destroy the Elves and anyone that allies with them. However, they do believe in dwarven supremecy. He asks for a guarantee to be on the council, and offers at least 2 ounces of gantrium – and all of his trade secrets to go with it!!
Bumi states that he will try, but can’t guarantee this. The dwarves leave abruptly. Bumi says that it’s not that he doesn’t want to have a relationship with the runesmiths, but he’s concerned that we’ll be in a war against them because of the fact that the children of drodd still exist. What the dwarf offers is extremely distressing because they want control of the patent office, and they’ll be playing with livelihoods for entire countries. The dwarves give us three days to think it over.
When we get back to the ship, there is a courier waiting for us. Stating ‘…if you wish rooms for your friend’s companions, travelmates, and staff, there are hotels that will offer service to us on behalf of the Korin Ithrik government…’ None of us partake of the offer and instead sit in council deep into the night with Bumi.
Bumi agrees to allow the dwarves on the seat on the counsel after considering everything. He uses the circle on the Chaaya’s Quest to contact the former Gosai ambassador Narakosh. She is advised that the civil war situation in Fikir Tayfa is getting worse. When we go back my husband is not among the council. The spokeperson for the Runesmith Guild pulls out the Gantrium and a pile of papers. Bumi tells them that he agrees to grant the guild of runesmiths a seat on the council, or if he fails to do so his country will join them as non-presiding members of the organization. They ask him to sign paperwork, which Bumi does and it is with a quill that is enchanted to sribe in liquid silver! A silvered rune is applied to each page making them indestructible!!!!!
When Bumi asks about Blacksword the spokeperson for the Runesmith Guild waives over a trunk, filled with books. The books were written by sons and daughters of Drodd, and they have detail magical knowledge so advanced it would shake the world. Among the secrets they have figured out how to break runic bondings, or reforge a good rune weapon into one of darkness. As part of this process, the soul has no choice in the issue. In Badenfeld, up to 100 were thought to be unleashed in that eleven day nightmare. The dwarves have been tracking 27 of them – and Blacksword is one o the worst. Blacksword comes from Bumi’s homeland. According to the dwarves, the image of Drodd’s hand in the runic tome Valryk had is 8,000 years old.
The way that Drodd got in and overwrote the dust wall hasn’t been done by anyone else. They think that the Great Undersea Tunnel was used to burrow and bypass the defenses of the land. Drodd is thought to have gotten through from the crystal caverns.
The crystals deep in the earth have a will of their own.
Over the past 8,000 years there has been a character like Blacksword. He is deliberately murdering people of Fikir Tayfa that live outside of the dust wall. He is looking to murder their descendents. Whatever the crystal caves are and hold, Drodd got out early, and turned it into a Living Rune Weapon!!! The spokeperson for the Runesmith Guild also gives us a warning: if we’re ever to hit Baalgor Island, we need to get the chests off the ship. Otherwise, the chests will explode and cause damage in the process. The first chest has documentation from Drodd’s descendants: notes, journal entries. The second chest holds every documentation of any run ins with Blacksword (in addition to Blacksword, there are also 27 other dark rune weapons).
The Dwarves also get pigeons and knows why we’re going to Bezroku. I think the chests will be stored in my personal realm. The Dwarves offer to use a massive teleportation circle to move the ship. Thankfully this appears to be a lengthy and magically expensive procedure because this would allow the nation of Korin Ithrik to seriously compete with the Three Brothers Trading Company! The circle would take us to a skies near Bezroku, but they need three days to make it big enough to move the ship. It was mentioned that three of the Dwarven mages that will help with the circle, also helped raise the skydock 15 years ago. They really are the best of the best.