Episode Fourty-Nine: Aerdaluna’s Musings (8/23/07)
[Featuring Aerdaluna, Lorel, Smitty, and Silent Pete]
(In the words of Aerdaluna)
My friends, I have thoroughly studied the documents we found. What I have discovered is of the highest gravity. I myself find my path clear and responsibility insists that I undertake the missions these documents have brought to light but the light is dim and the future is uncertain; that which I understand is that will be dangerous by any measure. I would welcome the assistance of most of you, all of you save Lorel but only you should make this decision for yourselves and only after you hear what I have discerned from my studies.
Zan, the green and lavender gem stone you carry appears to by the same stone sold by Lorel prior to his departure to Klarn. I am fairly confident that this is so but I am not certain if this is important. I am more concerned by the mystery of it being, more so because of these documents we are discussing. Thus I invite you to listen. It involves the fate of the Seer.
After careful study of the scraps of parchment we found within the Seer’s cave and examination of the Seer’s final missive, that which was encapsulated within the green and lavender gem stone carried by this enigma Zan my best educated guess as to the meanings they contain are as follows:
They describe three involved projects or blueprints, each with multiple missions, and each riddle falls into one of the three schemes.
The first of these involves battling the Githyanki’s undead queen. She who is known Vlaakith CLVII, an undead wizard who has ruled the Githyanki for over a thousand years, and who is thought to reside within Tu’narath the capital city of the Githyanki. The Githyanki are a race descended from slaves who overthrew the Illithid Empire, who are also known as Mindflayers. The city is located of the Astral Plane, where it was built atop a god-isle, which is a corpse of a forgotten god known only as ‘The One in the Void’. At the centre of this city is Susurrus, the queen’s palace.
While most of the Githyanki may be concerned with combating the Illithid excursions, they may not know the true, deeper purposes of their mission here. I doubt the Mindflayer’s are their only principal goal. The Githyanki queen is said to be exceedingly paranoid and it is unlikely that anyone would truly know her purposes.
My study confirms that the Seer is warning us that we are going to be facing the Githyanki and their undead lich-queen. Their overt mission appears to be real enough–to clean up a number of Mindflayer incursions. There are other goals that they have which they are enacting while they are here in force; this much is certain. What those goals are is not determined yet, but probably will become clear in time.
The second task is to follow and clarify the clues that will lead us to the gems needed to complete a weapon of sorts that will enable us to defeat the dark queen–a torc which can ultimately destroy her. But the reading found in the cave suggest that doing so will cost us a friend – spells indicate that this will be a ‘noble one’. I may yet cast further magics to unravel this riddle. We have many clues these may yet lead us to gem stones of power that will be necessary to construct our weapon.
The Seer was telling us that we will need a weapon of sorts to truely defeat the lich queen. That weapon is going to be constructed from a torc or something similar and a number of gems, 21 to be exact. In the cave we found a number of clues pointing to the locations where you can find the gems we will need. There is a danger in using the torc that may cost you this friend, the noble one.
A third task involves finding the torc itself. Any and even all of these tasks might be happening concurrently so it has been difficult to determine any timeline to these events. At some point it is said that we will be reunited with a lost friend; this friend will give us information we need to get home, it is a dark friend who took a “fork” and this dark friend will reveal a path for someone else who we found (though only in mind) in a body not his own. This sounds much like Seren-Arty to me but based on study might also be the Seer.
I can confirm that The Seer was saying that we will need to find the torc. The torc will be found somewhere where you will encounter a “dark friend” who took a “fork” who will ultimately reveal to you a lost friend (the lost friend is almost always if not always referring to Serenity.
Deciphered script, ‘Clues and Parchment’ found within the Oracle’s cave:
In the first set of verses, she is almost definitely – a reference to the Githyanki’s dark Queen; Undead lich most probably – and these notes make mention of the Githyanki keep built on dead gods, the capital city of the Githyanki, Tu’narath, which I described. She most definitely must be stopped!
Again and again references to the undead Githyanki Queen, and more of the Astral Plane and perhaps too the Githyanki ships capable of travel to the Prime Material; ships able to fly through the air as easily as our own travel the seas. And mention is made of their fire-born link which is likely a reference to their link with red dragons such as we encountered in the Seer’s cave. The queen may be disguised, at least at first, she is described as onion skin – she is an enigma veiled in mystery. She is a lich and she will have a phylactery and as such she does not fear death. Normal death is not a threat to her, only through negation, the destruction of her phylactery – her essence can we succeed.
The elves have confirmed that the Githyanki have ships that fly through the air here on Greyhawk. There are apparently at least three different sizes. I am not sure how they are accomplishing this feat, but have tried to find out and failed so far and I have found no one here who can explain it with any certainty. There are rumors that the elves have gathered so far that seem to indicate that the Githyanki have access to some special spell casting/crafting magics…perhaps similar to the magics that we were studying with Arty.
Serenity, seems to fit the descriptions of the one who is lost. A key lies within the Book of Fantastic Travels, the book given to us by the Gith in the Seer’s, cave. Was this a Githyanki, I am sure it was. I have also reviewed this Book of Fantastic Travels, it is a sort of a spell book that will likely aid our travels, I should keep the book and learn the spells it holds. Here is the gist of it:
Book of Fantastic Travels:
This slim volume is bound in a thick leather travel cover. It has clearly been to many places though it has weathered well. The interior has a brief essay on the topic of Fharlaghn priesthood. What follows are instructions for allowing the reader to travel to other places. These are incantations that can be cast by anyone who meets the prerequisite studies (typically a high Knowledge (arcana or psionics) check), so not just spellcasters can use these.
- Invocation, the First: Stairway to Heaven, Highway to Hell (appears to be similar to an Astral Spell)
- Invocation, the Second: Beyond the Silver Rainbow (appears similar to Planeshift to a specific plane)
- Invocation, the Third: Boat on the River (appears to summon some kind of boat that can fly through planes)
- Invocation, the Fourth: To the Land of Autumn Mist (appears to be another variant on the Astral Spell)
- Invocation, the Fifth: Dreams of the Everyday Housewife (appears similar to Planeshift to a specific plane)
- Invocation, the Sixth: Knee Deep in Stardust (appears similar to Planeshift to a specific plane)
Additionally, the book will give a +4 on Spellcraft checks to learn spells that relate to travel or transportation.
Initially I was confused by,
Former friend now enemy found
Trust her not she’s frozen ground.
Words of wisdom she’ll impart
To tear away at true friends heart.
Through my divinations I was able to determine that this is the Seer. Serenity is not a former friend, nor is he a dead.
Two found dead with one was friend
Can confusion, cloudy mind fog end?
Two found dead a trap there lies
The souls not in the glassy eyes.
Two found dead one life is given
Sanity from them both is riven.
More confusion, but I believe this describes Serenity and the Oracle. Dead eye are often said to be glassy. Regardless those found will be mad, insane and I expect we will able to repair their minds when the time comes.
Moons and asteroids seek and find may be a metaphor for the gems we need seek; we will definitely have to construct a device to break the phylactery’s magic, of this much I am certain.
And I believe we are not the only seekers but we have some clues to aid us:
One is in a wizard’s tower. I have determined this is near Tonnsborg – basic geographical research has revealed that this is a town on the Icy Sea on the border of Blackmoor and the Land of Black Ice to the north.
A second is under the sea in a Sahuagin cave: Gearnat – more geographical research revealed that the Sea of Gearnat is a long, curved bay whose two ends have separate names: Woolly Bay on the west, and Relmor Bay on the east. Because ships have sailed here since the Wild Coast and Pomarj were settled centuries ago, superb navigational charts exist for the whole area. The Gearnat was once known as the Sea of Yar, after a famed Suel explorer who proved to be an enemy of Aerdy expansion (hence the name change to honor the head of a Rauxes navigation school when the Great Kingdom came to rule here). The Gearnat is fed by three major rivers, two of which (the Selintan and the Nesser) allow shipping deep into the interior of the Flanaess, to the Nyr Dyv and beyond. The third river, the Harp, is little used at present for shipping, as it is the border between two potentially hostile states (Nyrond and Ahlissa). The Gearnat is lashed by storms during the spring and autumn, and ships cross then at considerable risk. The Straits of Gearnat, between the Pomarj and Onnwal Peninsulas, are open to shipping despite pirates from the Orcish Empire and hostile Scarlet Brotherhood ships from Scant, which enforce the collection of a much-hated toll for “safe passage” (received by “neutral” Lordship representatives on anchored vessels). Numerous warships from Greyhawk, Hardby, Nyrond, Irongate, and other states patrol this region south of Nyrond.
A third lies within a mountain of undead: west of Lassathan – research reveals this as the name of a former town (now in ruins) in the Bandit Kingdoms near the Crag Rift and the Tangles. It is a slightly mountainous region so it would be any of a number of mountains in the area though probably not too many to investigate…the most famous of these is the White Plume Mountain.
All these encounters will feature Bone Lords, possibility a Count?
Ultimately the Githyanki with fall with their Queen’s struggles or are these yet other cities? This combined with the next two lines cause us to think perhaps this is referring to the Sea of Dust where the lost Suel civilization lies buried beneath the sand, the Sea of Dust is behind the Hellfurnaces and earthen rock…perhaps there is a roc somewhere there as well. Under a tomb sealed by a burning block or maybe sealed by volcanic action and likely the location of another gem.
Yet more gems lie where darkness creeps and dragon rule these heavenly deeps. ‘The blessed’ will have the clues we desire, but the blessed of whom? Could the blessed refer to a cleric sect where the dragons rule? I remember too, ‘the Blessed’ was the name of the crazy woman that attacked us in Brindenford and flew off with Iris last we saw…could it be her?
Perhaps a half-dragon or someone who is at least draconic…we’ve encountered a good handful of them so far and even have some in the party. ‘Flunkies’ must be minions of whoever the dragon-child’s sire is.
We will again be sailing, perhaps we are taking ships to get to the Sahuagin earlier and then again for something either as slaves or pretending to be slaves, this time we seek a gem within watery graves, or at the very least where something is dead.
All these clues and more, yet how many gems will we need, oft and again the number five resonates within these lines, is five the number then, no, at least my divination have set the number at 21 but this too could be false.
But this much I can say, the undead Queen already has a gem and it would appear that we will be fighting her for it. And take heart for these prophecies if not false state that in the end we will preserver and be victorious.
I discerned little order to these additional parchments but they state many additional prophecies:
They describe a land within which we will have to fight ourselves, perhaps a land of mirrors like a demi-plane. I have heard of such a plane or demi-plane referred to as the Plane of Mirrors. Mirror planes allow quick travel between the various mirrors that are linked to each, but each plane contains a mirror version of any traveler that enters it. This mirror version has an opposite outlook and will seek to slay his real self to take his place so we should plan ahead for this so we will prevail.
It is said our party need follow an Elf, is this Elf me? I cannot say. Reference is this glittery path where former self become whole once more, may this reference one of us or I hope, Serenity will be made whole.
Then too is referenced a battle with endless death. Speak “peace” and we will be freed transporting in the blink of an eye. While other lines discuss the ‘Eye of Gu’n’ragh, the greatest of psychic storm upon the Astral Plane, I don’t know that these are linked but only that they are both mentioned. Our escape is described, as the mind being the key- trading thought for dream. Travel in the psychic realms, and perhaps in limbo is a journey of the mind.
To a land capable of absorbing and or enveloping things where a pool will be our guide, perhaps an Astral color pool of peach color, but we should watch for a flash of blue within.
Where we will sail the Sea of Fire and seek the city where the Charcoal Throne gives rule; mayhap a reference to the City of Brass on the Plane of Fire; it is said a Sultan rules here.
We may need to find someone named Melchoir, who we will need pay for some further guidance to a gem. I have determined that Melchoir is a brass-merchant, likely in the City of Brass.
Regardless, there would appear to be another gem within the Eye of Gu’n’ragh.
And then too there is mention of a pale rider…a reference to some other undead mounted knight, I wonder…while spheres of nothing circle our spark, in yet more cryptic musings. There is mention of Nerull and Wee Jas, two gods of the dead. Is this then the land of the dead?
Then there is this stanza which I completed:
A myth it seems e’en in the lands of magic
perhaps because of fate most tragic
Should you wish the metal sphere reveal
Woe will strip your new found weal
Called the eye in the sky by those who know
tis said to watch everything below
it will soon the next you seek display
to search for on another day
So we have to go to a mythical land, the “eye in the sky”, to find the location of the next gem perhaps? The faerie court is said to be shadowy but a sylvan paradise. We will be wise to avoid fey gifts, no matter how tempting they may be.
The next few seemed to be distinct from the rest…though in what way I was not able to discern immediately…
We shall travel far from home is this a description of Astral Projection? And if so I will need to protect our bodies, it appears to be a reasonable interpretation. Not all will be as it seems – control my mind, and other’s minds is what I do best but can I help you to control yours? Can I control everyone at once? We will have to consider these questions.
The truth resides within the mind, but I believe we will be aided by the Book of Fantastic Travels. We must review this Gith gift immediately and before we travel. I am certain it will be of help.
Much of what I know is second hand. Is Limbo timeless, Istar’s Treatise on Gates described to construction of timeless Limbo prisons, some of these riddles speak of time. I am not certain what this portents.
Someone wears a gem upon his brow, will this be Serenity?
Who or what is Ozymandias – I have found some references to Ozymandias. He seems a despicable character, perhaps a Necromancer – I will do some further research on him and poems that may relate to him.
There are many references to 5, and two of the riddle of an Elf. There are more than 5 gems referenced, I believe the 5 references the negation device, perhaps the number of pieces in is in or maybe the number of guardians.
Is Serenity one of the 5? This seems out of place with my theory that the 5 relates to the negation device?
Did the Oracle guard one of the gems or a piece of the device? No, I do not believe so.
If seems certain that she knew her fall was coming and that she did not flee from it.
She (the Queen?) seeks to rip reality, the horseman are everywhere, Red, Black, White, Green – I know of Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Red, Black, White, and Pale) – pale may be a reference for green. Could this not also indicate a connection to the five chromatic dragon colors? Are the gems orb, also described as moons and asteroids? Are we now discussing Orbs of Dragon-kind?
The Sargonne Prophecies are something associated with the Illithid. It is said to be their history of the future and this may be an insight into a concern that the Githyanki Queen is more powerful the expected and more active then desired/
Is Glyth a seed? – Glyth was mentioned in the Vates treatise. Therein Glyth is the name of a planet in the Realmssphere. It is a harsh Mindflayer colony world. There is a moon circling it called Haven where different mind flayer factions come to meet on neutral ground.