The Stone-skinned Odyssey
the time is dire and dark
action is required
The Stone-skinned Odyssey
“In this war, we face not only mortal danger, but a more sinister attack—an assault against our hearts and minds. The githyanki threaten to drive us to defeat through neglect and treachery. Neglect as we refuse to take the bold steps we must to survive, and treachery as our enemies lead astray those who could be our allies, and mobilize them against us.”
—Amyria, appealing to the Coalition
“We have confirmed that the githyanki have built a network of allies across many planes before beginning their attacks upon our realm, and one of these is Cachlain, the powerful fomorian known as the Stone-Skinned King. From his secluded lair, he is providing transport for the forces of evil. Like the Elsir Vale, Cachlain’s realm contains portals to different planes and locations, unlike our portals in the Vale, all those within Cachlain’s kingdom are under the King’s direct control. Though the githyanki possess many means of transport, the Stone-Skinned King’s portals are especially worrisome, since they appear to connect to lands near several cities states within our Coalition. The fomorian has total control over the portals, using rituals that took decades to take effect; no one passes through one of the portals without Cachlain’s seal. We need information and we need in now, I have taken the liberty of inviting a guest to this proceeding who is familiar with Cachlain‘s court, Bilgamesh of Shinaelestra … Bilgamesh, if you can describe the court please?”
“Cachlain, the fomorian king, rules a subterranean complex of caverns, much of it chipped from great crystals and shaped by cyclops slaves into immaculate, enormous corridors and rooms. Cachlain is particularly fond of beautiful magical craft, and his citadel is filled with arcane torches and doorways that open on command. Constructs are his favorite marvel, and he has many throughout his realm. It is said that once upon a time, when the king was in an especially mad mood, he had a stone golem pried apart, and its stone armor affixed to his skin. This is why he is called the Stone-skinned King. Now he revels in gladiatorial combat hosting tournaments in his Arena of Blood.”
Trellara continues, “We have found out about the troop transports, but we do not know how many troops he is moving or the extent of Cachlain involvement, nor do we know what Cachlain is gaining for his assistance. What we do know is that Cachlain provided the Seed of Winter to Nefelus’s invaders and rumors have spread that he wants the Seed of Winter back and we are using the recovery of the Seed to our advantage.”
Sidgevin interrupts, scowling, disbelief clearly written on his face.
“Can you truly have been so reckless, to entrust the Seed of Winter to a band of thrill-seekers? Must the realm entire pay for your lack of foresight? Isn’t it bad enough that the humans have forgotten their own gods, cursing this world with their ignorance, all in favor of their own greed and pursuit of power. Already their actions have burned a hole so deep in their hearts that it threatens the very world!"
"Simberious’s own actions were the catalyst for the githyanki wrath that is upon us. You would all know this if only you paid heed and listened to what he himself has said. His involvement in this conclave poisons our efforts, and your willingness to participate hastens the dooms that is upon us. Many of you will die and the world will be poorer for your loss, but I will not be among you. Taer Lian Doresh is strong, we will not yield and we will not fail. I will be a party to this farce no longer!"
Taking his feet, the Vindicator’s chair flies backward as he stands, bows in surly, contemptuous fashion before exiting the hall, leaving only Odos, Fariex, Trellara and Simberious at the table to represent the Seven Platinum Shields coalition.
Fariex offers, “Well … this is unfortunate.”
Simberious adds, “It is incredulous, and foolish beyond belief, but perhaps we should have anticipated this.”
“I did,” responds Odos, “Sidgevin’s purposes and reasons are his own. We have bigger concerns, yet the impact of Sidgevin will impact us all in due time. Right now I suggest we open our body to new members, one for each of our slain fellows, and I suggest we replace Sidgevin as well.”
Simberious answers, “I second your suggestion Odos, but carrying on with Trellara’s theme, once again Cachlain’s slavers have been actively using the portal we discovered. The portal that connects the Elsir Vale to Feywild at the source of the Elsir River at the foot of the mountains. Trellara?”
“Yes, this portal leads to Feywilde near the entrance of Vol Thomil, at the place the Stone-skinned King and his underlings make his court. Once again they have been taking slaves from the Elsir Vale then transporting them through the portal to Cachlain’s realm. And as Odos has pointed out our council is broken, enemy forces have killed two of our members. We have lost both Lord Torrance of Sayre and Kalad of Overlook; their bodies have been defiled, their spirits are lost to us. And for now, there is no time for us to mourn, nor do we have we the luxury of retreat. We must turn the tide if we are to survive. We find ourselves in need of bold, assertive leadership, and given that, we have already taken steps to deal with Cachlain, for better or worse. Filling our two empty seats, yes, but we should not be over hasty regarding Sidgevin departure. I know him better than you, his blood runs hot but patience can be equally astounding. Given that which is clearly at hand, our necessary first step is to now consider the several candidates have been nominated by this body, and have presented themselves here in Sayre in good form in response to our invitation. They include: our envoy Amyria, Bejam of Nefelus, Eoffram Troyas of Brindol Council, and Zefram Troyas of the Elsir Consortium. And perhaps no one here is better qualified to introduce these most worthy applicant’s than Finellior.”
For Fin, Ian and Eoffram:
You should determine who you will support in their bid to join the Coalition of the Seven Platinum Shields. Your actions may very well determine whether your candidates will be welcomed as new leaders within the Coalition.
AMYRIA: Amyria, is a deva, a race of creatures whose essence lives in perpetuity through reincarnation. Her most recent reincarnation occurred after her primal essence was awoken within a platinum sword that had once been carried by Lord Magnus. A cadre of heroes known as Brindol’s Brigade recovered the stolen blade from a hobgoblin with aspirations of grandeur. With great effort Amyria awoke within the blade and eventually developed the ability to speak and be heard. As a sword she entreated the heroes to free her from the blade by performing a ritual at the Fortress Graystone. The effort required to speak drained Amyria of her life force, however, and she was only able to provide minimal guidance on the trek to the fortress with had become the den of deadly tribe of gnolls, the Wicked Fang and their leader the Destroyer. Eventually the heroes prevailed and performed the ritual that finally released Amyria allowing her to take her current flesh-bound form. Still, she found she was unable to remember anything of her purpose for being there, and only the vaguest flashes from her past lives. Amyria retreated to Overlook to find herself in prayer just as the city came under attack of the githyanki know as General Zithirruun. After the githyanki was defeated and the siege ended, Amyria allied herself to Kalad of Overlook and together they made their way to Sayre with the goal of putting together an alliance against what Amyria recognized as a concerted attack the threatened all of Klarn. In the course of her efforts events within Sayre revealed that the githyanki advance was far more serious than the attending leaders had realized, and that the githyanki had been spying on them for years. The githyanki had even excavated an ancient relic of immense power beneath Sayre, a device they called the Bitter Glass. Amyria struggled to mediate the dispute between desperate githzerai survivors Aziff, Gal’ott, and Odos encouraging patience and wisdom in the way they dealt with the githyanki spy Telicanthus concerned that the political backlash from all of his friends would put the surviving githzerai at risk. Eventually with the help of her allies Amyria was chiefly responsible for orchestrating the Seven Platinum Shields Coalition. Amyria’s extremely passionate appeal and her selfless idealism rallied the leaders meeting in Sayre to discuss the invasion. When she did spoke, almost glowed with her inspiration and belief in what is right. Amyria has continued developing, having grown in her role as a scion of Bahamut and force for good, Amyria was tasked to become the special envoy to the isolationist island nation of Nefelus, due in part to her heritage (the rulers of Nefelus are all devas) and also because she had shown herself to be a capable diplomat. Still, her friends from Brindol’s Brigade remain her favorites when it comes to getting a job done, and thus she took Bhenedict along to help with Nefelus’s problem. Amyria admitted that she was uneasy about meeting other devas, especially some as ancient as members of the Thraxinium. She was also concerned what might happen if she failed in this task but she didn‘t and she has returned to the Coalition with a key ally — one that could provide substantial military and magical support.
BEJAM: Bejam is one of the Thraxinium of Nefelus, the ruling council of mages in that Deva island magocracy. You and the other coalition envoys saved Nefelus from a blockade of ice caused by Chillreaver and the Seed of Winter, and now Bejam has agreed to represent Nefelus interest in allying with the Coalition of the Seven Platinum Shields. Bejam is thoroughly logical and clear-headed, when Bejam speaks on a subject, his words hold the weight of something that has been heavily analyzed and well-thought out. A member of the deva Thraxinium, one of the seven leaders of magocratic Nefelus. He turned to the Coalition and its agents for help when Nefelus was threatened. With your assistance he managed to save Nefelus from permanent climate change. Nefelus controls among other things, a mighty naval fleet. He is a strong believer in protocol, and – like all Thraxi – he has a sagely expertise in all fields relating to arcane knowledge.
EOFFRAM TROYAS: Eoffram, a member of the Brindol council, an outspoken and at times rash defender of the Elsir Vale, and has become even more so as he hears more news of war. When speaking, he is somber, methodical, and powerful but debate is generally not his cup of tea. Most times he appears to prefer to make quick, decisions and to take direct action than to get bogged down in endless chatter. There is no doubt that the Councilman truly seeks to do good, whether his efforts are better spent on the road with his friends in the Brigade or with the Platinum Shields in Sayre has yet to be determined. Eoffram is willing to serve and sacrifice whatever he can and more if it helps bring shift victory and an end the war. He believes a quick, decisive victory is what is needed to strengthen the coalition.
ZEFRAM TROYAS: Since the coalition’s inception, Zefram has be eager to be of assistance. His role with the Elsir Consortium has become increasing important, and his political maneuvering has led to his appointment as the new Warden of Brindol since Lord Jarmann went missing. Zefram now enjoys influence over trade in several lands, and he can easily access any raw materials needed for the war effort. Traders in every major city-state know his name. He’s an expert at arranging deals, especially when time is tight, and some say there is no better negotiator and that Zefram is exactly what the coalition needs for its cause.
IAN WHITESTONE: Since the death of his father, Ian has taken on a greater role in the day-to-day management of Sayre were he is very popular among the populous and the university staff, if not with his step-mother. Still his status as a ‘bastard’ still prevents Ian from holding any official title within Sayre’s hierarchy but there are no such restrictions within the coalition and Ian’s talents are undeniable. Still he has little influence beyond Sayre and his friends within Mendelland.