The Chromatic Domains

A Fitting Introduction to Tief

After resting another night in Rivermist, the group of adventurers left the city to again head south. Roads south appeared much less traveled, and before noon, the trees abruptly ended and gray plains stretched south. Just after leaving the forest’s border, a man ran screaming toward the party from the north. He was easily knocked out and restrained (after a small mishap by Udoka resulting in a brief belief she was a fish). This man (later known as Sudeiman) apparently came from Tief looking to recruit for his “organization”. He shunned all party members for not being Green chromats (which he was), but decided to journey with them for a time seeing as how they were travelling to the same place.

On the road, conversation further revealed Sudeiman to be somewhat out of his mind. tangential to the path, the party came across a streak of blood that led behind a large rocky outcropping. Some stealth and preparation let the party dispatch the displacer beast hidden on the other side. Shimazu, as usual, took its head. The blood streak came from a now dead dwarf with an apparent affinity for potions.

The image of Tief came far before the party came close to it. The city was stacked on itself. A high wall once guarded the populace below while the grander buildings sat on stilts. It took hours to reach the walls, much of which was filled with Sudeiman describing his existence in Tief and his organization’s doings. After finally reaching the walls, Sudeiman insisted that the party not breach the walls, as the city was filled with poison gas. After some arguing, Sudeiman greeted a man from his organization who apparently was not there. Sudeiman was then immediately disregarded as the party entered the city of their destination.

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The Forest

The party decided to help the elven blacksmith recover her lost sword, and the next morning they set out westward after getting a few more details. Along the way, they were attacked by wolves. Upon reaching a marker (a large rock next to the river), an enchanting song pulled some of the party off into the forest. Two harpies managed to charm most of the party before they broke free of the spell and rid the world of the creatures. They then continued to follow the directions given to them by the blacksmith, and began seeing spider webs that covered trees. Eventually, they stumbled upon the lair of a giant spider. Shimazu attempted to covertly attack the spider before it saw any of the party, but failed to land a hit. The rest of the party then joined in the battle. Not more than half a minute later, another giant spider entered the lair; this one had a sword in its back. The spiders were slain with relative ease, helped in part by some dwarven acrobatics. After things calmed, Shimazu noticed an unusually clean box. Inside were a few pots of paint; apparently mundane but with an aura of magic to them. In experimentation, Sefyr painted a spear on her arm. As soon as she was done, she found that a real spear was painfully protruding from her arm. After taking some time to identify the paint, they were realized to be marvelous pigments.

Having rested and retrieved the sword, the party returned to Rivermist uneventfully to collect their reward: a magical protective cloak. They then rested in Rivermist for one more night, planning on continuing south the following morning.

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The Unfortunate Mingling of Satyrs and Spears

Woken by the peeking of sunlight into the caverns, the party makes a small meal and prepares to continue the journey to Tief. Mere seconds after walking through the mouth of the cave, they were ambushed by bandits. Initially surprised, they took some hits, but had little trouble overall dealing with the problem. Somehow, Antinonco managed to restrain and pacify one of the bandits’ mastiffs. He renamed the dog Yacco and fashioned a leash for him with rope.

Setting off again (this time uninterrupted), the party came to a small village about an hour away. There they saw a couple people carting cabbages. Sephyr approached them and offered protective services to them. Initially unsure anyway, the man refused after the party warned him against agreement. Antinonco visited the butcher and purchased some meat for himself and Yacco.

Another two hours on the road produced a slightly larger town with a few shops. Antinonco looked for some leather to make some simple armor for Yacco. Sephyr went into a clothing store to see some not-so-appealing working clothes. The shopkeep was friendly and indicated that his sister, a dragonborn named Niri, who lived in Rivermist could probably point her in the direction of finer fabrics. During this, Shimazu stumbled upon Urin, the dwarf whose name was on the letter found in the possession of the orog in the caves. Delivery of the news seemed to deeply impact the dwarf, who thanked Shimazu and left solemnly.

Farther down the road, the path turned to the forest of Ithygra, the party hoping to stop in Rivermist for the night. After some time on the path, Antinonco began singing to pass the time. The music attracted two satyrs, who appeared to enjoy the music. Some conversation revealed that they enjoyed shadowgrass. After Udoka inquired, the satyrs agreed to share if Antinonco played more music. The dragonborn agreed and pulled out his dulcimer. The satyrs began dancing around as the other party members joined in. Sephyr also attempted to join in by tapping the end of her spear to the ground in time, but was very much inconsistent and off-beat. As one of the satyrs passed in his dancing, he kicked the spear from her grasp to stop the banging. In a strange and unfortunate bounce, the spear managed to embed itself in the satyr’s leg. Thinking Sephyr had attacked it, both satyrs immediately drew their swords. After a brief attempt at failed diplomacy, the satyrs were beaten down. One was stabbed through the back by Sephyr while the other was restrained by Antinonco at the brink of death. He was healed and released, running into the forest away from the party.

This sparked a discussion on why the satyrs attacked, as nobody except Sephyr had seen what happened, only that Sephyr’s spear protruded from one of their legs when they started fighting. Sephyr insisted that she would never use such a precious artifact for fighting. This claim was met with confusion and accusations, as she had certainly been fighting with the spear and using it as a tool. Sephyr then stated that she has no memory of ever using the spear. Udoka seized the spear and attempted to break it. Not only did she fail, but the attempt caused immense mental pain. While holding it, she also felt an indescribable purpose wash over her, as if it would influence her actions. While in pain, Sephyr wrestled the spear back. At this point, the rest of the party voiced their concerns with the existence of such an artifact in their party. The best they could convince Sephyr to do, however, was to wrap the spear up and place it in her pack.

They continued to move south slightly less comfortably now that they knew one of their party members might pose a threat to them. As they neared Rivermist, there were suddenly ambushed by a squadron consisting mostly of elves. The party apparently fit the description of some bandits that were reported around the northern edge of the forest (quite possibly the bandits slain earlier that day). They were relieved of their weapons and escorted to Rivermist. When one of the elves retrieved Sephyr’s spear, she reacted with near hostility. Before reaching that point, Udoka threw a heavy punch and knocked Sephyr out.

Unarmed and in the custody of the Ithygrian military, the party arrived in Rivermist. Just before entering detention, a tired-looking Gyliam showed up and vouched for their identities. The party was released and their weapons returned with the exception of Sephyr’s spear. The party had mentioned that the weapon was cursed, and so the elves wished to study it in isolation before leaving it with an unconscious dwarf. They stated that Sephyr would be able to recover her weapon as soon as she requested, however.

Udoka, now free to explore the city, went in search of a blacksmith. She found an aged Red elf smithing weapons in a variety of designs. She settled on purchasing a single-edged greatsword with a dark blue scabbard. The elf inquired about whether Udoka was an adventurer. Hearing that she was, the elf asked that Udoka and any in her party search for her lost sword. While travelling in the northwestern region of the forest, she was attacked by a large spider. She managed to fend it off, but it ran away with her sword still lodged in it. If they were successful, she would give them a protective cloak.

Meanwhile, the rest of the party exchanged some awkward words with Gyliam who indicated a good place to stay for the night. They parted and purchased rooms. Udoka returned with her new weapon and the elven smith’s offer. Though the general consensus was to ignore the offer due to their more pressing mission, they waited to make a decision until morning. Udoka had Sephyr tied up to prevent her from charging through the forest looking for her weapon, and everyone went to sleep.

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Monsters and Dwarves

After enjoying a night’s rest at the Broken Axe Inn, the party saw a boy run into the inn saying his sister was taken by monsters. Ethed, the innkeeper, immediately left to rescue her. The party followed and tracked the monsters (a bugbear and a goblin) into a cave near the lake. The monsters were handily defeated and the girl was rescued. Upon looking around, a couple potions and a spell scroll were found, as well as a chest full of coins. A large portion of the coins were given to the town.

They then set off again into the forest toward Dahn Kalduhr to see Gilgam. After a few hours walking, a couple voices were heard around a bend. Shimazu moved off the road to observe from a distance. A half-elf and a Blue dragonborn came around the corner arguing about whether grasshoppers had the ability to fly. Upon some discussion with the party, it was decided that they could not. Shimazu rejoined the party after their passing.

Eventually, the forest thinned and a large tunnel was reached. It stretched far into the mountains in a straight line. About an hour of walking showed the party their first view of Dahn Kalduhr, a large crafted dwarven city.

Nobody around the entrance to the city seemed to know the name “Gilgam”. Antinonco decided to visit a nearby market stall that had seemed to attract a large number of viewers. There they found an eccentric dwarf selling potions. Udoka, skeptical of the dwarf’s intent, asked the dwarf to prove the effectiveness of her wares. She gave a small portion to an elderly dwarf with an aching back, and the apparent result was instant relief and healing. While Udoka argued with the merchant, Shimazu caught a young half-elf stealing a potion. The child refused to talk and ended up escaping into the crowd, which had begun to dissipate since Udoka’s disruption. The dwarf was now demanding compensation from the party for driving the crowd away.

On the verge of the intervention of guards, a dwarf with orange eyes pushed Udoka and the dwarf (apparently named Sefyr) apart. He introduced himself as Gilgam, and asked the party (somewhat reluctantly) to follow him. He also told Sefyr that he would pay her the compensation she was looking for.

Gilgam’s house lay on the far edge of the city. It was relatively modest on the outside, but the interior was comfortable. He paid Sefyr, and when the party indicated that their discussion should be more private, Gilgam told them that Sefyr would be joining them on their mission, as she had been to Tief recently. He then gave more details on the bandit king and the prismatic crystal.

Apparently, a prismatic crystal is an object that can store reserves of chromatic energy. An adept chromat wielding the crystal could have potentially limitless power with it. Gilgam believes the object to be inherently heretical, and warned that it may be too great a danger for the world.

Gilgam also gave the party some information about the investigation of Eva’s murder, which he apparently knew quite a bit about. During the discussion, his eyes also turned a violent purple. Before the party left, he emphasized that the secrecy of his existence be as significant to them as their mission. He appeared to almost regret interacting with the party, though he was very hospitable.

After finding a place to sleep for the night, the party (a member larger) again started travelling west. This path was much less grand and simple as the eastern entrance, as these tunnels connected to the mines. The party had little trouble finding a course to the exit. Along the way, they occasionally passed dwarves, all of whom were friendly (or apathetic at the worst). There was a brief encounter with some kobolds, but it was of no danger. Later, however, they encountered the corpses of three recently killed dwarves. They followed the blood trail of whatever creature had made the attack to the end of a side cave, where they discovered an orog. The orc had badly injured its leg, probably fighting the dwarves, and was dumping some items when Antinonco jumped around the corner and shot at it with a crossbow.

Injured as it was, the orog stood little chance against the party, which quickly dispatched it after crippling its armor. In this small cavern, another potion and spell scroll was found, as well as a box containing an ornamental dagger and a letter. Apparently, this dagger was being delivered to somebody named Urin, who is somewhere to the west.

After backtracking and continuing toward the exit, the party finally emerged from the caves to a starry night. They made camp not far from the edge of the tunnels to sleep for the night.

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A Potential Threat and Eva Argent

Shimazu, Udoka, and Antinonco met Gyliam Argent a few hours outside Silverlight City before heading in. The city was clean and friendly, as diverse in race as any place in the domains, though still mostly human. The Sapphire Tower stretched to the sky as the party approached. Upon entry, Gyliam went to fetch a student, Roshea, before bringing them to meet Cyra Darkwater.

Just before entering the meeting with Cyra, the party met Gyliam’s six-year-old daughter Eva, who quickly befriended the party. At such a young age, she already showed signs of natural control with Purple, and her eyes showed slight signs of progress. She was able to make very fragile objects that looked almost transparent (much more delicate and glass-like than the result of a color spray). Even more interestingly, she was able to animate those objects to quite a complex degree. She followed her father and the characters around for a time.

Gyliam directs the party to Darkwater’s office where the characters finally learn of their task. The bandit “king” Hamath has found a potentially dangerous artifact. The characters have been chosen specifically for their abilities or relationship in the context of this mission. Darkwater believes that this could be a prismatic crystal, but what that means is unclear. Mentions of such an item are scarce in historical documents. The Tower cannot be seen taking an interest in Tief lest others wonder why and try to take the crystal for themselves, which is where the characters come into play. Darkwater ensured that expenses within Silverlight City would be payed for. They would also receive 50 gold pieces each upon leaving, and another 450 for returning with the artifact. However, once they leave the city, the party would receive no official support. They were to keep their mission as secret as possible.

Darkwater suggested that the party meet with a dwarf named Gilgam in Dahn Kalduhr, who might know something about the nature of the crystal. Before embarking, the party decided to gather necessary gear and rest for the night.

Roshea obtained some plate mail from the Silverlight City barracks (though the fit isn’t quite perfect). Udoka purchased a cape and some leather bracers. Antinonco acquired some studded leather armor and a feathered hat. Shimazu got some darts. Gyliam attended the party and paid for all items from the reserves of the Sapphire Tower.

Once everybody felt well-equipped, Udoka visited a tavern on the southern side of the city where she met a handsome tiefling. The two enjoyed each others’ company and spent the night together.

Shimazu, Roshea, Antinonco, and Gyliam returned to the Sapphire Tower where they had an evening meal in the dining hall among the students. Eva met up with them again and suggested against eating the cabbage. The party suggested that Eva should try eating more cabbage to grow tall and strong.

After the meal, Roshea retrieved her former chainmail and gifted it to Gyliam, asking him to hold on to it until Eva grew old enough to use it. She then retired to her room. Antinonco also returned to his room and practiced on his dulcimer. In his practicing, he discovered an elven boy listening at the door, and invited him to continue to listen and to play along on his flute. The boy was actually quite good.

Gyliam, before leaving his meal, asked Shimazu if he knew the game chess. When Shimazu replied that he did, Gyliam invited him to his room later in the night to play a game. Shimazu gladly accepted.

After a few hours of rest, Shimazu engaged with Gyliam in a game of chess in Gyliam’s room. Shimazu handily beat Gyliam the first game, and Gyliam narrowly beat Shimazu the second game. Gyliam then discovered that he was actually playing against the son of established tactician Oda Nabunaga. Some more discussion led to Shimazu bidding good night to Gyliam.

As Shimazu left Gyliam’s room, he saw a dark figure near the windows pull a dagger from Eva’s throat.

Shimazu sat stunned for a second before the figure noticed him and bolted. Shimazu cried out to Gyliam, awakening Antinonco. The dragonborn and Shimazu pursued the figure down the hallway as Gyliam went to his daughter. Antinoco managed to sear the assassin’s shoulder with lightning, and Shimazu lodged his dagger in the figure’s right leg. In response, the assassin shot a poisoned bolt into Antinoco’s shoulder, which incapacitated him. The assassin then jumped through a window into the city. Shimazu followed, but lost sight of his target. He quickly picked up a trail of blood and followed it to the north wall of the city overlooking the river. He jumped in the river and followed it downstream to the docks, asking anyone he passed if they had seen a man with a wounded leg. For the rest of that night, he saw no signs of the assassin, including the dagger he threw.

Shimazu returned to the Tower after speaking with the military police. Antinonco had stabilized, apparently hit with a tranquilizing bolt. Cyra Darkwater stood by, saddened and angry, though careful not to project it. And Gyliam sat quietly against the wall with his daughter’s head in his lap, her lilac eyes staring into nothingness.

Shimazu made a promise to Gyliam that he would take the head of Hamath. Cyra, anger in her voice, asked Shimazu to rid the world of this evil man. Cyra and Antinonco then walked to Roshea’s room (in the students’ quarters) to inform her of the death of Eva. Touched, she traveled to support Gyliam as Eva’s body was moved from the Tower.

The rest of the night was relatively restless and solemn.

Come dawn, Udoka returned to the Tower to learn the awful news, which inflamed something in her that hadn’t been there before. The party requested that Cyra inform them of the state of the investigation when they reached Dahn Kalduhr. She agreed, and the party set off with a more personal determination. Just before leaving, they visited Gyliam a final time. Each of the party bid a final farewell to him. Antinonco offered him a small purple scrap of cloth, promising to return successful or never to return at all.

After a day’s travel and a short encounter with some wild beasts, the party arrived in a small town named Lemoor just outside the forest east of Dahn Kalduhr. They spent the night in the Broken Axe Inn. It’s a nice place owned by a young human woman named Ethed. In the morning, they expect to continue their journey west.

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A Contract

You are en route to the Silverlight City to answer the summons of the Sapphire Tower. Upon reaching a small inn on the road outside the city, you met with your guide: a loud but respectable human named Gyliam who tells far too many stories. As the last of you arrives, you will make your way into the city.

You were approached at some point within the past few weeks with a proposition: The Sapphire Tower is in need of adventurers. You were handpicked as a candidate. If you refuse, you will not be bothered again. But if you accept, the reward is substantial in both reputation and gold. Any questions you had concerning the nature of the job were refused. In order to know more, you needed to agree to travel to the Great Blue City (expenses paid). For whatever reason, you’ve all decided to come to learn more.

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