Taena

Half-elf Bard with a troubled past

Description:
Bio:

Taena’s Father was an Eldar noble, known for a mean temperament and a certain lack of discretion. The lord had fallen to the sensory enjoyment of hosting and attending parties with the other lords and ladies of the Eldar.
Taena’s mother was a primate, but other than that not much is known of her. Taena does have a signet ring, the sole item to remind her of her mother. Although, Taena won’t show or talk about the depiction on the ring.

Taena grew up being made to serve, generally performing in the courts of eldar nobles. She learned to sing, but rarely showed that talent publicly, instead preferring to stumble through attempts at playing instruments.
Taena was despised by her father for not being talented and managed to escape by being banished from the court.
She learned how to create illusions and other minor magical effects from observing travelers to and from the eldar noble courts.

Taena encountered the main party in South Lexus, where she had been in town for about a week and a half.

The only other distinctive item known about Taena at this time is that she’s dismissive of any and all religion.

Dramatis Personae

Taena’s Adventure Journal

Initial Meeting of the Party

I was encountered in a tavern in South Lexis.
The party paid my entrance into the nicest inn in South Lexis in exchange for the recommendation and some help in
securing the “services” of “Gem.”
The party asked me for assistance in scouting out the town of West Lexis, where a woman on horseback and four
dwarven guards had headed. It seems the party has some history with this woman.
I went into the city and made some discrete inquires around the woman and the dwarves, learning they’re hanging out
in a building off of temple square.
Corm seems like a worthy candidate for a new ballad, but thus far, he’s only talked tough.

West Lexus Entrance

I brought news back to the main party, explaining the process of needing papers to enter the city. I spent the night
near the farmhouse in an outbuilding with some farm hands.
The next morning (high day), I followed Bignose + Fenwick who went to town with Anna and her brother, Arronel. I
watched them attempt entry to the city and followed.
Inside the city, I spotted a beautiful woman on a horse, who seemed to meet the earlier description I had received. I
went to a coffee shop, watching the woman. Eventually the lady went into the Emporium. I went next door to the
academy to inquire about her and the head of the Emporium.
When the beautiful lady later emerged, I worked up the confidence to approach her and ask about learning about
being a bard. She instead told me that she was looking for a group of travelers, in particular a barbarian, wizard and
dwarf (sounds like Corm, Zan, and Flint). She gave me her name, Merit, and said that she has something for their
advantage and to inquire for her at the villa should I manage to locate the group of travelers.

The Start of the Festival

I came back to the farmhouse to find the party, only to learn that they intended on splitting up in the morning, with half
of them heading back into town and half of them walking around the city. They seem confident that walking on water
isn’t a problem. How odd!
I spent another lovely evening with the farmhands before trailing the wizard and peasant disguised colleague (Fenwick)
into the town, all the way to the academy. I learned that there’s been some commotion around the temple, involving a
group of clerics that went into the green dragon and seemed to come back out and return to the temple of Tem shortly
thereafter.
Eventually, Merit showed up! She had some sort of talk with the wizard, clearly exuding an aura of authority before
heading off.
Fenwick and Zan made a quick stop at the temple of Haf, where they turned in some sort of ruby object they’ve been
keeping very discreet. They were given a bag in recompense, which from the look on Zan’s face must contain
something of great value.
They quickly made their way back to the Green Dragon, where Zan went in while Fenwick sat with the cart again. I
waited, keeping an eye out because they said they were meeting Merit. Zan was in the inn for a while before I stuck
my head in, noticing Merit sitting at a table talking with someone.
Merit left the inn after some time, and when I attempted to follow her, she simply disappeared in front of my eyes.

De-Merits

I came back to Fenwick and described Merit disappearing. He suggested telling Zan, so I headed inside to find Zan and Bignose in a conversation about what Merit wanted and where Anna and her brother went.
Over in the corner, I notice Santana, a sandwalker. He tells me of Algul, a city of industrious humans who fell upon rough times. I also learn the lament of the sandwalker, desert ecology, creatures and people. He tells me of the formers, an insectoid race in the sands and of the existence of a shaman. They are proud people. Santana also tells me that he thinks Merit has been changed by the false elder (the fae). She seems to have great power in circumscribed ways.
Once they explain the party’s situation to Santana and he watched Merit come back in and threaten the group, he offers to help them escape. The party agrees that I can come along. He has us meet him by the west gate.

A Sand Mound

Santana and several sandwalkers meet us and give us each a camel to ride. We travel along until it gets dark and travel through the night. At dawn, we come up on a caravan street after traveling 10 leagues. Santana suggests we continue to travel at night and I agree to take 2nd watch. In the middle of the watch, the blue sky and bright sun begin to turn dark. I wake up Santana who is cranky, but we witness a few moments of complete eclipsing of the sun.
As we travel, Santana explains that Merit is likely a changling, a child abducted as a babe and taken to the land of the fae. The Fae aren’t supposed to walk the lands.
We head north to the land of the founders. On the 2nd day of travel, we spot a young dragon flying overhead. Coming upon an oasis, we find that same dragon hanging out near the trees. The dragon lets us drink some water, and we leave it a blue valuable stone before leaving. He tells us he will see us again.
Santana walks us to the border of the former’s land, and gives us some liquid goo to coat ourselves with. We follow suit, and after arriving at a large mound around 3am, we wait until morning, when some large insectoid (6 legged) creatures come. Santana speaks their language and negotiates with them for our transport through their land. We each are assigned a founder to almost saddle upon, and set off, with the exception of the dwarven wizard who struggles a bit with mounting the ride.
The founders take us down in their mound and along some dark tunnels.

The Formers

After a few hours, we reach a larger, less populated area. We are asked to get off in some small alcove, so I hopped off and took the chance to stretch my legs.
There’s a much greater variability in the formers in this area. An opening appears, from which emerges a smaller former, who speaks clear common and invites us into a much larger, empty space. After walking the aisles, he opens yet another wall into a brightly lit space with many books. He refers to himself as the ‘speaker’ having just obtained the post after the darkness (88 years ago)
The spirit talker offers us some water and fried crickets while asking us to tell of ourselves. Corm mentions the death and spirit of Ackpub. The speaker seemed interested, so Corm laid Ackpub’s body down in the room.
After a lengthy conversation with Flint, he explains that his apprentice has rebelled, attempting to create a new people. The apprentice took a very valuable liquid called rhum. The apprentice took an immature great one (forcing its maturity). The apprentice took off a few weeks ago and suborned others to his cause. They are believed to be far from here at the edge of the sand in the north.
We offer to help ‘eradicate’ the problem so to speak, and are told to not touch the books while the speaker disappears for quite some time. We use the chance to look around the room, finding some odd books. A few of the tomes are in Orcish, Orcish! There’s also a book open about the star watcher, sand walkers, and other variants of the race. Finally, we take the opportunity to sleep.
We are awakened when the speaker returns and warns that one of the myrmidon has aligned itself with this splinter group of formers. When Corm asks if we should bring back survivors, we are told it is best if none or only the immature great one survives. He gifts us seven vials of iridescent fluid (an anti-toxin) to protect against the warriors. After a quick briefing on the warriors, he gave us a stone vessel to fill with the rhum.
The great one agreed to transport us to where the rebellious group is, along with the speaker’s apprentice. We are taken to meet the great one and are escorted into a grand hall. There’s a worker-sized former on a balcony who looks us over one by one. The great one eventually invites us to enter ‘her presence’ and the speaker seems surprised but lets us into a chamber below the balcony where we meet the real great one for a moment.
Suddenly, we are in a desert, at sunset. Zan sends off Swift, who spots an oasis nearby. Upon approach, we are confronted by a sphinx who says the formers have taken her home. We offer to get her home back, which seems to amuse her, but before taking off, she throws Bignose a very pretty scarab.
We continue through the oasis, approaching a large mound, with a few formers working around its entrance.

Fake Formers

We encountered a large mount with 2 smaller mounds nearby. I cast an illusion of the great mother on the far side of the mound. What commotion! We used the moment to hop down a smaller opening and after wandering through a series of tunnels and rooms, we arrived at a large room. 2 warriors showed up and immediately left with alacrity.
When we rounded the next corner, 4 warriors and two workers were present. We engaged the warriors in combat as another 2 warriors came up behind us. we killed 3 of the original warriors, while the one ran off. The 2 who had come up behind us headed down a side hall.
We decided to head to where the one wounded warrior seemed to have gone, and find a large room with a dais. Behind that dais, there was a fancy room; and stepping in we found warriors, an extremely large former, and who we can only be led to believe must be the speaker’s apprentice.

Fighting the False Apprentice

In this 60 ft deep room, a couple of walls appeared to be dug out to form bookcases- without books. Pearly light with no apparent source pours forth into the room. The walls are established with some solidarity and care.
At the far end of the room, there was an elevated balcony with a railing. In the corner, there were two workers, and in the center on the balcony, there’s a worker and a scrawny former, with the vestments. A myrmidon (guardian of the queen) is in the center.
As we opened the door, a rain of spears came descending down upon us.

After killing the lot, Corm goes to the back of the room and opens an invisible door, with a look of amazement that none of the rest of us could see it.
Corn and I walk in, while Bignose seems to have gone nuts, bashing the dead body of the myrmidon.
Flint goes to find Zan who went screaming mid-fight in fear. I leave to go find the wizards when the great one doesn’t seem to want to come along.

In the end, we end up watching Zan try to transfer some of the Rhum from a container in that room to our stone vessel, spilling some in the process. Corm takes on the beastly task of dragging the battered great one up to where we agreed to meet the speaker’s current apprentice.

Trogs, formers, dragons and elementals

We took the rhum back to the apprentice, who didn’t seem ready to take it. He pulled out a small black sphere, stepped on it, and suddenly the speaker and two myrmidon appear.

The speaker appeared a little distraught over the amount of rhum recovered but he changed to a happier attitude when we explained the rest spilled. He offers to perform some ritual on Ackpub’s body. The ritual is performed in some sort of language similar to celestial.
I am able to perceive a distinct whiff of a trog.

This “thing” speaks broken common and a funny draconic.

The speaker gifted Zan a book, the nature of the divine. It had a rainbow on it.
The first part was in calligraphic elvish. The second portion seemed to have some notes and the end has an oddly written elvish discussing the darkness and the events henceforth (oracles, a theological controversy and the like)

He also gives us some former goo and an amethyst necklace.
The queen suddenly appears and does something to my mind. After a few moments, she says, “This worked out better than I could have hoped- thank you for returning my daughter.”
The queen, the rest of the formers, and the body of the other queen all suddenly disappear.

We spend the night in the former tunnels and come morning, we head off across the desert. Around noon, we notice a flying sinuous blue form. (Garrick)
Around 3pm we make it to another oasis. This one has palms and we forage enough food for several days.

Before sunset, Ackpub notices a blue dragon flying in to the oasis. He kneels down, and after some conversation, Garrick leaves us.
We have an uneventful evening and by midday the next day, we arrive at the black road.
Mid-afternoon, we got up near a caravansary, where Ackpub scouted out ahead. After looking inside, and pronouncing a clear judgment of “pig” and then “be ready for oink,” the rest of us approached the same building. Zan spotted an air elemental, which split into three separate elementals that we then dispatched.
The best part of this fight was solving the age old question of does shooting an arrow into a whirlwind of air do any damage, and the answer in this case appears to be a yes.

Gnome-where to Run

We use the moment to examine the crushed bodies of some previous travelers in the caravansery with us. Their clothing is travel stained, clearly not being of high social status but not beggars.
There is paperwork on them, passes and associated paperwork for west Lexus. They are identified as four of the temple guards for Lan- the gardener. He’s associated with horticulture and agriculture.
They’ve been dead for hours but not days. It’s conceivable they died the prior night.
The horses don’t have tack on them.
They have 4 badges with stylised roses, the symbol of Lan. There are 2 potions, which while detecting magic, I feel have some arcane nature to them. (Conjuration- creation)
There is a palisade around the caravan and a gate that seems to give off a magic aura. Ackpub walks up and touches it. Jokingly I make a zap sound. Then we are suddenly pulled up into it, a space lit by dramatic columns of light that are moving around like searchlights. We see vistas of improbable distance constantly changing in front of us, flames, abyss, or clouds. Then, at once things stop and we are in a place.
There’s a gnome crying. He has a beard down to the floor, a staff, and three hats.
There’s an icosahedron on a small pedestal. This doesn’t appear to be worked. On each of the faces it is blank. Slightly off from us are two foot diameter translucent orbs glowing softly green. There’s a solid black floor around the orbs.
Bignose looks at one of the orbs and reports it looks like a translucent glass.
Bignose touched the orb and vanished. The green light disappeared.
There’s an ambience of slightly dim light.
After 15 sec it is getting hard to breathe.
We see no doors.
The crying gnome tells us to stay together. We point to the right orb and make a dash to it. He touches the orb.
He was making an adamantine golem with the brain of a golem.
He explains the lab has 20 rooms. Each connects to three others. The orbs take you between them. The lab knows it’s in trouble, and can only provide air to one room at a time.
All the rooms look the same except the entrance. Wumpikins can’t touch the stone but he can be teleported if someone nearby touches an orb.
The magic removes anything left in a room.
Some of the rooms have been damaged.
The gnome intersperses his crying with a series of information about the lab, including the presence of some struts in the room with Wumpikins and a shelf of alchemical potions.
After extensive investigation, we discover a layout of rooms, with one entrance room, 3 first order rooms, 6 second order rooms, 6 third order rooms, 3 fourth order rooms, and the room with Wumpikins.
2 of the rooms in the intervening area had been damaged.

Taena

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