Quendir’s Introduction to the Team:
After navigating through his elven homeland forest and connecting thoroughfares, Quendir Eldris found himself on the Great Western Road. Heavily traveled by merchants, officials and explorers, he happened upon two other adventurers at a farmer’s vending stand, which bordered the edges of the Ferulian Forest. After watching a mighty bearded Orc and a Human woman purchase and begin to eat the farmer’s “orange fingers,” Quendir inquired about the crunchy snacks. They both replied that the treats were fried, locally grown flower pedals. Seeing an opening to introduce himself, Quendir revealed his first and last name and paused for the adventurers to reciprocate. The Orc, who appeared to be a warrior, presented himself as Cael Grobsplitter. The human next to him followed with her name, which was Aurora Kule. Quendir noticed that some of Aurora’s implements were magical in nature, but he refrained from inquiring. However, Cael and Aurora confided that they were heading toward the great city of Arbelos, which was purported to be a large, modern settlement. Quendir quickly asked if he could join them on their journey there, and they agreed.
Meeting the Farmer:
After lingering at the farmer’s stand for a while, the team asked the proprietor if there was lodging nearby. The farmer introduced himself as Malburn and quickly offered them to stay the night at his family home, starting with supper in the evening. Having no previous plans, the three adventurers unanimously agreed.
As planned, the team found themselves at Malburn’s dinner table with his wife and three sons. During the middle of the meal, Malburn mentioned that he had seen an Oracle recently enter an expanse of ruins that bordered the edge of his land. He was particularly concerned about her safety, due to a long-term Nit infestation within the crumbling structures. Malburn indicated that it was “bad luck” for an Oracle to meet their demise on one’s land. Unaware of the historical significance, Quendir inquired about the Oracle and who they were. Malburn described them as beings that are exclusively female in gender with a short stature, around 4 feet in height. They typically have platinum blonde hair, exceedingly fair skin, and black eyes with golden-colored sclera. Historically, Oracles have been known to foretell the future with alarming accuracy. After describing them to the three adventurers, Malburn asked if they would be willing to either remove the Nits from his ruins or see the Oracle off to safety from his land. In exchange for the favor, he offered some coin and a day-long ride to Arbelos. Cael, Aurora and Quendir all agreed to help Malburn with his concern.
Preparing for the Adventure:
After dinner, the adventurers were shown to their rooms for the evening, but they were still highly alert, in anticipation of the adventure the next morning. After a short conversation with Aurora, Quendir discovered that she was a fellow Evoker. Excited to share their previous research, they refined, shared and scribed a new set of illusionary spells. Cael perfected a couple new battle techniques, and they all found themselves late into the night. At the risk of being exhausted, they quickly found their beds and tried to gather as much sleep as possible.
The Nit Nest:
Early the following morning, the team arose surprisingly refreshed, ate a small bit of breakfast, and headed toward the farmer’s ruins to find the Oracle. As the adventurers approached a series of man-made stone structures, they began to hear what they surmised to be the humming of wings within. After slowly approaching the ruins and finding an intact doorway, Quendir peeked inside and spotted a large collection of Nit nests that were attached to the ceiling. With a closer look, he could see the Nits’ appearances, which resembled small insectoid Fey with rapidly beating wings. After reporting his findings, and also not seeing the Oracle within, the three adventurers decided to track around the ruins for any further evidence of her presence there.
Through Her Eyes:
After a short period of time, the adventuring team began to hear the voice of a woman with the ruin walls. Finally pinpointing the sound, the team found a naked woman resembling the farmer’s description, who was sitting at the edge of a garden fountain. Strangely, she was having an active conversation with a seemingly invisible presence, whom she referred to as “my Lord.” She also spoke of a war ending soon, which further peaked the team’s interests.
Quendir decided to approach the Oracle first. After a couple attempts to get her attention, she finally looked his way and referred to him as “Runecaster” and “Ancient One.” Oddly, although the Oracle was speaking directly to Quendir, her gaze was not set directly upon him, and seemed to peer as if she could see through his frame. In the seconds that followed, the Oracle turned her attention to the air again and said, “Sure, I’ll help you.” Quendir asked the Oracle to clarify, and she responded to him and the presence as if she were embarrassed for Quendir. After referring to the surroundings as ruins, the Oracle quickly corrected Quendir that they were surrounded by grandeur. To gather further information, Quendir casted a spell of Truesight to detect any surrounding illusions. His spell confirmed that the surroundings were as they appeared to be. He surmised that the Oracle was perhaps seeing either the future or past and acting within it accordingly. Playing along with the Oracle’s perspective, he asked if his remaining two companions could join her on her errand to help the invisible Lord of the keep. She accepted Cael and Aurora’s audience, formally greeted them with appropriate future-tensed titles, and all set out to complete the Oracle’s errand.
The Oracle’s Errand:
As the group exited the enclosed garden, the Oracle introduced the keep’s host as Kirut. She further added that the Lord of the keep asked a favor for her to bless his baby daughter. To the team’s surprise, they noticed that the Oracle’s path led them back to the previously discovered Nit nest. Knowing that the Oracle was not aware of her present surroundings, Quendir casted a visually-reflective, floating carpet of obscurity, which was designed to shield the party from the Nits’ view above. Even with the greatest effort to remain quiet, Aurora and Quendir sensed the alerted presence of a shadow-caster. In coordination of keeping the oblivious Oracle protected and avoiding further detection, the three adventurers engaged in combat with the alerted Nit. Although Aurora and Quendir were able to temporarily contain and mildly damage the defending Nit with their illusion-based magic, Cael leapt forward and smashed it with his great war hammer in one fell swoop. As he lifted his hammer, the obliterated Nit presented as a sticky pile of chitin, folded wings, and oddly-smelling ichor. Fortunately, at this point, the group was at the threshold of another hallway and avoided the attention of the other preceding Nits.
Glistening with sweat and catching their breath, the adventurers observed the Oracle as she nonchalantly entered another room. As they followed after her, the team surveyed a modestly-sized room that was line with tattered, decayed furniture. The Oracle centered her attention onto one particular pile of loosely constructed wood, which resembled a crib. After a series of coos and playful words that one would express to a baby, she spoke a blessing over the imperceptible child. After the monologue, the Oracle turned towards an empty corner of the room and gave a reverent bow and indicated that she was finished with her favor.
As the Oracle expressed that her task was done at keep, the group of four exited the crib room. On their way back out, the adventurers noticed that the previously defeated Nit had treasures to distribute. Quendir acquired one Potion of the Weaver, which restores all exhausted mana power. Aurora received two Potions of the Weaver. Cael subsequently secured one Potion of the Warrior, which restores one’s vigor to perform additional strenuous battle maneuvers. Finally, Aurora, Cael and Quendir split three gold sovereigns between themselves. Fortunately for the group, Quendir’s illusory rug was still floating in the air within the Nit-infested room. Knowing that the incantation was close to expiration, the group hurriedly exited the ruins without further detection.
A New Companion to Arbelos:
Appearing satisfied, the Oracle indicated that her next destination was Arbelos. Surprised at the coincidence, the adventurers asked to join her and offered a day-long ride with them on the farmer’s cart. Without hesitation, the Oracle accepted their company. The adventuring group excused themselves for a short while to report their activities to the farmer. The Oracle indicated that she would wait for them.
As Aurora, Cael and Quendir approached the flower fields, they quickly spotted Malburn tending to them. To his delight, he greeted the adventurers and inquired about their findings. The group explained their encounter with the Oracle, and Malburn was extremely pleased. As promised, the farmer indicated that his son was preparing the cart toward Arbelos and also handed three silver sovereigns to the adventuring group. Aurora, Cael and Quendir exchanged pleasantries and quickly headed toward the farmhouse to pack up their items for the trip to Arbelos.