Sifr

The Untimely Dream
Season Two / Episode Seven
In which travellers take to the road, a magical message seems unaware of relevant developments, a mercenary is mangled, and the night is spent in an unremarkable place . . .

Arathel, Sitani, Naedas, Taga, and Margot meet Nola outside of Greybay and the group discusses their travel route and supplies. Naedas and Nola go back into the city to purchase light horses and convert the coins found on Vertwater Island into gems. With their supplies in hand, they set off. During their first day on the road, Arathiel receives the following sending from Katina Argyr, a name he is unfamiliar with:

“Apologies for delay, bureaucracy too slow. Victim deceased; creature found on victim head disappeared, believe summoned. Status report? Current location? Aid required? – Relay, from Tzenka”

Arathiel replies to the sending,

“Pursued target, but they evaded capture. Believe was drawn into a trap, location unknown, some backwater prime. Assistance would be appreciated but not necessary. Pursuing way home.”

Throughout the day Nola discusses her Prime Material with the others and the dangers that keep most people from travelling too far inland, including aberrations, oozes, basilisks, and spells that come to life and attack their casters.

They encounter a basilisk and a second creature they cannot identify and Sitani is petrified in the fight. Nola uses a strange power to twist space into thousands of tiny fragments, using a series of voids in space to cut into the Basilisk, segmenting it into chunks. Nola and Taga wring the Basilisk parts over Sitani, covering him in blood and curing him of the petrification.

Returning to the road, the group spots a pair of gray ooze and are easily able to evade them. As night falls, they ride through a bog with the ruins of a stone tower sunken into it. Though the first level of the tower has been lost to the bog, they find a large second storey window at ground level, and with Margot’s assistance they herd the horses inside, planning to stay the night in the tower.

Sitani and Taga stealthily explore the tower, finding an old, confused Homunculus on the next floor, which they decide to give a wide berth. On the topmost floor they are attacked by an Invisible Stalker. The others rush to the top floor and, when the Stalker begins to lose the fight, it retreats. Naedas communicates with the Stalker in Auran, explaining that they did not know anyone was living in the tower and didn’t mean to invade. The Stalker, named Varsha, apologizes for attacking and agrees to let them stay the night in the tower unmolested. In exchange, it wants to go with them, leaving the plane when they do. Both parties agree.

That night, Sitani, Naedas, and Taga have a communal dream. They feel that they are in their homes – wherever they believe home to be – and also in the homes of every other person present in the dream: Abacus Rex and Nerissa, the winged woman present during their escape from the Harmonium Nemausus facility. Nerissa speaks to them through the dream:

“You are in terrible danger. You have drawn the eye of those most dangerous in Sigil, and that of Gulbrand. He searches for you, and I fear it is only a matter of time until he pays the music and you are revealed by the King. Make no mistake, Gulbrand’s halo is awash with blood, and he will have you bite the iron the moment he finds you. You must leave! I will meet you in Ysgard, and from there, we will branch out to the Gnarl, to a place that is safe. I will be with you soon — believe well.”

They wake up with a perfect recollection of a portal in Sigil’s Guildhall Ward, a towering golden archway they must pass through to activate it, and its key: one ounce of silver. When they leave the tower ruins, Varsha brings the homunculus. On the road, a huge armour-plated beast with a dorsel fin bursts up from the ground, attacking Arathiel before jumping up in the air and landing near Sitani, Naedas, Taga, Nola and Margot. Varsha slams the creature from the back of Margot’s horse. Unable to see Varsha, the creature retaliates against Margot, knocking her from her horse and breakig her spine, paralyzing her.

Taga, Sitani, and Arathiel battle the beast to the ground, and Nola rushes to Margot, healing her. One of her Cure Moderate Wounds spells lingers after the casting, twisting into a humanoid shape and becoming a spellhaunt that attacks Taga, stripping her of her enchantments, though it is quickly defeated. Varsha holds Margot upright on her horse and the group rides on, reaching farmland and the hamlet of Falbarrow just before dusk.

Doors and shutters are all closed in the village, and one lone man stands out on the road to greet the travellers. The man, Ira Vincent, welcomes the group into his tavern, where he rents them a spare room to rest in for the night for 1 GP. Upon discovering that one of their party is injured, he vacates his bed for the night, letting Margot use it.

Ira prepares dinner for the group and discusses his village and his prime material world. He briefly discusses the farming his community does, revealing that they don’t keep animals and the people of his world all consume plant-based diets. He also discusses a group of bandits in the nearby area, stating that they seek out interesting things, and there is nothing of interest in Falbarrow.

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The Ruined Prime
Season Two / Episode Six
In which realizations dawn, storms strike, disguises are donned, cursed places traversed, and a curious cartographer pledges their assistance too readily . . .

Arathiel, Naedas, Sitani, Taga, and Margot wake up in the centre of a small forest clearing. An eerie silence permeates the area, and the bodies of the scaled dog-creatures have been left completely untouched by any sort of predator or scavenger, though grasses, weeds, and vines have crept up from the ground and begun growing over them, reclaiming the bodies into the earth.

They pick a direction and walk until they reach a shore with a wooden pier and a handful of decrepit rowboats. Picking out the best of the boats, they make their way across the expansive body of water and into the unknown horizon. It starts to rain, and then it starts to storm. The ship is overturned.

The group washes ashore and wakes up on a desolate beach near the hamlet of Bellhaven. The local people seem extremely mistrustful and suspicious, locking themselves in their homes, and their leader Mitzi LeBlanc emerges. With the aid of a Share Language spell, LeBlanc tells the strangers to leave, adding that they seek out Euthymia, an old witch living on the outskirts of town who communes with fairy spirits.

Euthymia tells the group that Vertwater Island, where they had come from, is a cursed place where only the fey roam. The people along the coasts are superstitious and mistrustful of magic, but the realms inland are ruled by mages. Euthymia suggests they travel to Greybay, a coastal city three days away, to obtain a map from the Cartographer’s Guild before making their way east to Wellshadow.

Arathiel, Stiani, Taga and Margot don large hooded cloaks to hide their inhuman traits, in order to raise less suspicion from the locals, and the group journeys to Greybay where they meet Nola Duffy, leader of the cartographer’s guild. Duffy has the group follow her to a private office where she discusses her world, reveals that she is a spellcaster, and tells them she will accompany them to Wellshadow personally. She gathers her supplies, including a horse and camping equipment, and they depart the city.

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The Long Hall
Season Two / Episode Five
In which treasures are scoped, an endless way is walked, unfamiliar monsters are defeated, and a once-hot trail goes adrift . . .

Arathiel, Naedas, Sitani, Taga, and Margot emerge on the other side of the tunnel in a veritable dragon’s hoard; coins cover every inch of the floor, and jewelled objects of precious metal jut up from the money like glittering islands in the sea of coins. Three of the walls are smooth worked stone while a fourth is a rough, jagged cavern wall.

After requisitioning useful magical items from the hoard, the group kicks in a jammed door and heads down the corridor behind it. The hallway stretches on seemingly forever, though the end is always in sight and the other room is always only a handful of steps back. A fleshy morass of eyes and mouthes rises up from a series of repeating puddles in the ground, but is handily defeated.

When the group finally reach the end of the hall, they find the long-dead bodies of dozens of winged creatures scattered across the floor, each about the size of a cat. Their broken bodies are batlike and buglike at the same time, with two sets of wings, a long nose like that of a mosquito, and six legs each. There is no sign of whatever killed the creatures.

They ascend a set of stone stairs and emerge from the tomb, finding themselves in a lush, green forest, where they defeat four winged dog creatures and rest for the night, the killer’s trail lost.

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The Men who Folded Themselves
Season Two / Episode Four
In which another victim falls, the flayer is found, and an unfamiliar road is run. . .

Arathiel notices a new pattern in the Goatswood Flayer’s movements; after returning to tracking the killer on foot, he notes that the Flayer has been spending a lot of time in the Shattered Temple district of the Lower Ward. Tzenka and Arathiel believe the killer is preparing to kill again soon, and they gain command of several teams of patrolmen, ready to move in on the killer from multiple angles when the time comes.

Naedas, Sitani and Taga move Margot out of the Roundabout House and interview all current residents, looking for any suspicious characters. Robert, Robert, and Jimmy suggest the house could become self-sufficient selling baked goods provided they get more ovens and equipment, which Sitani purchases for them.

On the morning of the 20th of Blooming, the Flayer becomes more active than usual. Arathiel and his team get into position, tracking the killer into the Lower Ward. Arathiel hears a loud scream, rushing to a winding alley, where he sees two men, one writhing on the ground and the other standing over him. The man on the ground lays in a pool of blood, struggling and squirming. He is bleeding from his wrists and has a strange and very offputting creature attached to his head. The second man is tall, with a frayed suit and a pair of spectacles visible beneath a large hooded cloak. He holds a small, perfectly clean razor in his hand.

The killer turns and flees as soon as he catches sight of the Mercykillers. Arathiel orders Tzenka to attend to the victim and gives chase, pursuing the killer out of the Shattered Temple district across the ditch into the Hive. Arathiel takes a shortcut through the Roundabout House, calling for Sitani, Naedas, Taga, and Margot to join him.

The killer continues through the Hive into the Slags, where he ducks into an abandoned warehouse. The five pursue him inside, where they find a huge maze of crates stacked into great rows. The warehouse feels claustrophobic, endless corridors stretching out into infinity, and it makes Naedas and Sitani nauseous. The ceiling converges into a cathedral-styled dome, and a desecrated statue looms over the crate walls, depicting an eight-armed being covered in hundreds of eyes, holding a smashed spear in its right hand.

As they continue through the warehouse, the crates begin to vary in their materials, and an increasing number appear to be covered in leather, then fur, then glowing metals, glittering scales, tree bark and fruit skin. They defeat a trio of wriggling translucent worms with tentacles on their heads.

The group hears someone whistle three notes, each progressively higher pitched, and then a bright flash of light as the killer escapes through a portal. They locate the portal, activate it, and follow the killer through.

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Further Down the River
Season Two / Episode Three
In which a pilgrimage is undertaken for the prospect of knowledge, a divide is crossed, an arduous puzzle is bestowed, and a cloying secret stays dark . . .

Naedas, Sitani and Taga accompany Arathiel into the Outlands to meet with the alchemist Gilles Søren. They depart on the 5th of Blooming, taking a portal from Sigil to the Gate-Town of Automata and then continue spireward on foot.

They cross the Ma’at river, jumping across a gap at the middle of an incomplete bridge, and then continue to make their way downstream toward Thebestys and into the fourth ring.

Upon reaching the Alchemist’s estate the group is welcomed into Søren’s home and provided lodging to rest from their journey. They discover that they are not the only house guests present, briefly meeting a coven of witches known as the Council of Three.

Arathiel shows the ichor from the crime scene to Søren, and though the alchemist is not immediately able to identify it, he agrees to continue to research the substance, contacting Arathiel immediately should he uncover anything.

They return to Sigil on the 16th of Blooming and check in with Tzenka Sobol, who reports that Severin Corma came forward with more information, stating that following his meeting with the Justiciar he met with his associates and determined that Ephrath, a Priestess of Shekinester and occasional colleague has seen Alim Sushen in the Cage recently.

Additionally, while Sitani and Naedas have been off-plane, the residents of the Roundabout House have acquired a number of ovens and begun baking and selling massive quantities of bread. Margot reports that these developments concern her, suspecting that a shapeshifter may have infiltrated the house.

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Danger, Danger
Season Two / Episode Two
In which one sworn to wisdom is untrue to the truth, a mysterious material remains shrouded in secrecy, and a capricious friend comes forward . . .

On the 4th day of Blooming Tzenka shares what she’s found on Alim Sushen with Arathiel. Alim is not in Sigil, and her contacts in the City Barracks don’t know him. She spoke with Severin Corma, a suspicious Harmonium factioneer in the Temple District who claimed not to have seen Alim but was lying.

Naedas and Sitani tell Arathiel and Tzenka about the Nemausus Rehabilitation Camp, and Arathiel reports the incident to one of his superiors, a dwarven Justice Dispenser. Naedas and Sitani are offered protective custody.

Arathiel takes the mysterious ichor he found at the crime scenes to Wooly Cupgrass, an alchemist in the Market Ward, but Cupgrass is unable to make sense of it. Arathiel begins researching Alchemy himself and notes that the author of a book he found, Gilles Søren, lives in the Outlands.

Dolly comes to the Roundabout House and informs Naedas and Sitani that Gulbrand is in town looking to get revenge. The pair accept Arathiel’s offer for protection.

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The Goatswood Flayer
Season Two / Episode One
In which criminals are corralled, an operation is undertaken, and information is exchanged . . .

Sitani and Naedas purchase a rundown house in the Hive for themselves, Robert, Robert, and Jimmy, founding the Roundabout House, and keep Margot employed as a bodyguard. They set up utilitarian bedding on the main level for Sitani and the Roundabout House’s guests, while Naedas occupies the three bedrooms on the house’s second level. Sitani and his charges patrol the Hive at night, fighting crime and stopping evildoers.

On the morning of the 11th of Nimbus, Sitani rises to an unusual quiet. Looking out the windows, he finds Hiverunners Road to be deserved, devoid of its usual vagrants. Two Mercykillers, Arathiel Horgold and Tzenka Sobol, arrive and investigate the house. They explain that this is the house the Goatswood Flayer’s first victim died in.

Around peak, one of Shemeshka the Marauder’s tiefling guards delivers a packet of information to Naedas containing a list of dates and locations ostensibly related to Alim Sushen. Naedas and Sitani go to Arathiel and confirm that the information lines up with the Goatswood Flayer killings. Tzenka begins investigating Alim Sushen as a potential suspect.

That night when Sitani, Rob, Rob, and Jimmy go out on their patrol, Arathiel follows them. They prevent an attempted rape, tying the attacker up and bringing him back to the Roundabout House. Arathiel and Sitani debate whether Sitani’s Roundabout House is legal or ethical, but ultimately Arathiel agrees to assist Sitani to obtain some form of license for his operation. After Arathiel leaves, Sitani and his companions go back out on patrol, taking in eight more criminals. Two of them are deemed unrepentant and delivered to the Jail.

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The Justiciar
Interim One
In which a killer is on the loose, an investigation is mounted, and an oath of justice is sworn . . .

Arathiel Horgold, a Mercykiller paladin, is leaving the Jail after work on the evening of the 6th of Revolvis when he is approached by Madamme Lis, owner of a Lower Ward brothel. Lis tells Arathiel that Santana Elofson, one of her girls, was found dead and the patrolmen won’t tell her what happened. Agreeing to look into the matter, Arathiel and his partner Tzenka Sobol go to the Black Sails Inn, where the body was found, and speak with the Harmonium officers. They learn that Santana was the seventh victim of the Goatswood Flayer, a serial killer in the Hive and Lower Ward known for removing their victims’ faces and jaws.

On the 17th of Halcyon the killer strikes again, killing Grace Von Kedra, a tiefling and Doomguard factioneer. Arathiel and Tzenka go to the crime scene and, though the body has already been removed, they find a sticky black ichor intermixed with blood near the door.

The Triad of Order agree to use a Justiciar to bring the Goatswood Flayer to justice and Arathiel is chosen. Factol Mallin leads the ritual that binds him to the killer.

On the 11th of Nimbus, the Flayer’s ninth victim Cordell Lockery is found in the Goatswood district of the Hive. Arathiel and Tzenka go to the Mortuary to investigate the victim’s body, which has had its jaw and the facial skin removed, consistent with the Flayers’ other victims. They determine that the facial skin was removed with an expert level of precision, and note that the removal of the jaw prevents the use of a Speak with Dead spell. They additionally notice a series of small needle-like punctures along the victims’ skull.

At the scene of the crime, an alley off of Radagast Street, the pair learn from the Harmonium that the victim had two sets of wounds: a puncture wound in the neck, believed to have killed him, and an active defense wound on his left hand, believed to have been caused grasping for the killers’ weapon.

A trail of blood leads into the alley, and the pair find a bloody glass shard 5 feet from the largest pool of blood. Intermixed with the blood, they find more ichor. The trail of blood and ichor leads through the Hive and down Hiverunners Road, where it ends abruptly in front of a small home.

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& Things That Don't
Season One / Episode Thirteen
In which illusions are affirmed, rubies are recovered,
a meeting is held in the back of a butchers shop, and
a sissy is finally sent home . . .

The group stands before Abacus’ mother, Evania Rex, in the hidden room of her home. She stares straight ahead, entirely unmoving and reacting to nothing as Abacus stammers out his intention to take a ruby from her, and while the group suspects this might be an illusion and not the real Evania Rex they are unable to confirm either way. They find a single large ruby in a hidden compartment among her jewellery and make their escape.

The following day, Abacus, Naedas, Sitani, Taga, Tim, and Margot attend their meeting with Pearl in Stephen’s Butchers, during which the titular butcher is also present. They share the information they possess on the Rehabilitation Facility, but omit all details concerning Amalia and Loopwyn.

The group then goes to the Triona statue, where the portal to Faerun is. They defeat a group of Doomguard factioneers guarding the portal site, then activate it and send Tim home.

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Things That Move
Season One / Episode Twelve
In which a caper is cooked up, a stalker is caught, an estate is explored, hidden corridors are discovered, and a young man reunites with his mother . .

While scoping out the Rex Estate, Abacus, Naedas, Sitani, Taga, Tim, and Margot discover they are being watched by the air genasi woman they saw outside the Barracks previously. Upon cornering her in an alley, the woman introduces herself as Pearl and explains that she is an enemy of the Harmonium afraid for their safety. They arrange a meeting in a more secure location the following day.

Under cover of night, the group sneak into the Rex Estate, finding the inside of the home extremely unnerving. Passing through a series of empty corridors filled with strange traps and animated statues, they eventually discover a secret passageway leading to a hidden room where Abacus’ mother Evania Rex has been waiting for them.

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