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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