It is right around Christmas time 1235/1236. The Brass Expedition is heading out next week, the annual rituals have been cast, the Treasury report indicates we are solid in stores and incom for both vis and silver.
Other officers should make reports
Arachne receives a mysterious letter, delivered by a boy from down in the village. It reads... I can deliver Valten to you at Val-Negra in one year. Meet me at midnight in the Valley of Chaos. Bring no one. This must remain secret.
The Valley of Chaos stands outside the Caverns of Entropy, outside of the regio.
And I guess no one had the common sense to keep the boy? Ooooh no. As if I had the time to track him now.
Hum... Let me think...
She'll give a sealed letter to Carmen, to open should she fail to give news in the following days. The letter explains the above, and tells Carmen that Arachne left a lock of hair in a small box in her quarters.
I should be back shortly. But just in case....
She'll, of course, grap an AC to the covenant.
Taking her staff and a small bag of spiders and spell components, she'll cast Sight of the Active Magic* and all her defensive spells before departing, as well as both Eyes of the Cat and Eyes of the Hawk. She goes early, after Sunset, flying invisibly**. Once she arrives, she'll deposit a 4-5 spiders at the meeting place and nearby.
Then, she'll grab a few rocks, in clockwork order, from hidden spots around the place, and fasten then on her sash in the same order.
Afterwards, she'll go a little farther, and, despite being still invisible, hide within a bush. She'll then use small wooden pecks from one of her spiders to cast a lvl 40 Intangible Tunnel to it, and see through its eyes***, waiting for whoever she's supposed to meet.
Yes, she's a little paranoid.
Relaxed, mastered casting: At worst, she rests 2 minutes. She maintains it with her Bracelet of Relief: 1d10=5 + Sta 1 + Conc 4 = 10. Ok.
** She flies with Soar of the Birds, concentrating. She's invisible through Veil of Invisibility, maintained by her talisman. Either relaxed mastered or Talisman, no dice (Precedent in LoH).
*** Mastered, relaxed, CT 37 + Aura + 1d10=2. At worst, she loses 1 fatigue. She maintains it with her Bracelet of Relief: 1d10=9 + 5 = 14.
She rests for 2 minutes if she needs it.
Then she cast Through the Eyes of the Spider (1d10=1*1d10=1 = 8+16+Aura vs 15), maintains it (1d10=3 +5) and Animate the Wooden Spider (1d10=4 + 31 + aura vs 10), also maintained (1d10=2 + 5 vs 6)
She's sooo all for it!!!
Woolen Carpet: ReAn base 1, +1 conc, +2 very unnatural, +1 carry 1 person, +1 to fly as fast as a horse can run, +5 maintains concentration = lvl 15 before uses/day
I believe there's another design somewhere, but still, this should help you.
The grog, Triste, responds to Arachne politely [color=green]The boy is still here ma'am. I told him not to leave.
Presuming you question him, he doesn't really have much to offer other than some stranger came into the inn and gave him a silver to deliver the message to Arachne.
She arrives at the valley prepared and early. The spider scout around as she hides. Waiting, waiting, waiting...
Imagine the valley is U shaped, just like in the D&D module we are ripping off :mrgreen: The full moon, bright and high in the sky, illuminates the landscape and creates twisted shadows in the light fog.
The spider she is using for sight spys something. The far end of the valley, the inner peak of the U. Flickering darkness eminates from a cave entrance, something like a flaming shadow. A figure steps forth as the effect apruptly ceases. It is a man, dressed in flowing black and red robes. Pale skin, sunken cheeks, burning black eyes.
It is Metron...
In the Valley of Chaos, outside the Caverns of Entropy...
Metron steps forth from the flaming shadow effect that was the sigil for his transportation spell. His eyes are crackling black orbs, his stoic countenence set with determination.
He speaks his soliloquy in a loud booming voice. There is no need to try to hide from me Arachne. I can now see everywhere illuminated by shadows. And I come in peace, with a desire to help you. The enemy of my enemy is my ally. I want Valten dead as much as you do, perhaps more. And I would be pleased if he were to suffer, but I am satisfied as long as he is dead.
I have also been tracking him, I know of his true goal and I know where it is hidden. And I know how to use that to trap him, render him defenseless, and allow you to easilly torment or terminate him as seen fit.
I was there when it all happened, in Taglyn.
Do not believe the lies about me. I am a being of pure magic, transformed into a Daimonic Magus after the several many Ordeals and Mysteries I have been subjected to. If required to gain your trust, I will allow you to perform Apromor's Test of Negative Response.
I have studied and discovered much in the area of Magic Realm Magic. I can provide you Lab Texts to develop spells you can use while in Taglyn, which is in the Magic Realm, that will allow you to defeat Valten with ridiculous anti-climatic ease.
All I hope in return is that you kill that foul deceiver and perhaps make him suffer. After that, if we ever see each other again, we owe each other nothing.
Don't bother asking the advice of others. They are certain to reject the idea. This is between you and me. Accept my offer and I will hand this grimoire to you now. Or give me a sign and I will leave it on this rock and go my way.
I know you can hear me. I see your spiders all around. I stand here in your web under a flag of truce. I have nothing to hide and offer no harm.
Good idea. As it is, the Cradle one can only carry one person, so this would be quite welcome
Oooooooooh!!! NIce! Metron? What the hell? Now, I am interested.
She'll move the spider upwards on the slope, in order to be able to check the valley for new arrivals. I figure he hs second sight, so putting illusions to talk would be useless. So she'll bring down her invisibility spell (Unravel the Fabric of Imaginem), lifts herself, and walks calmy towards metron.
She'll stop at about a dozen paces from him, resting on her staff with her right hand, the left one discreetly touching her AC to andorra.
Now, this is a surprise. Hello, Metron. Long time, no see.
Oooh, and you alreadly have a nice wall of text for me!
Too much work, bump me if need be, I'll answer to this later. Looks great!!!
Then presume the monologue is spoken face to face.And after he finishes, he stands there staring eye to eye. When was it when we last met? I cannot quite remember, but I do know you well enough to know you are the only one of the Andorra magi willing to listen to reason. The have hounded me without cause many times.
Metron, metron, metron... As much as I am pleased to see you, you know as well as I that trying to perform Apromor's Test on you would be a waste of time at best*. In all honesty, this would also be pretty bad form. I enjoy your company so much already, I wouldn't dare to spoil the mood by such a blatant display of mistrust.
Now that we've taken that out of the picture... I'm curious. You obviously have been spying on us, which is good sport.
I wonder, though. What could have Valten done to deserve so much of your hate, enough that you'd put aside your feud with Andorra, and be willing to risk an attack from us? You know as well as I how dangerous and brash my sodales can be, you took a big risk contacting me.
And really, if this secret of yours is so powerful, why would you give it to me, instead of ending his life by yourself? If I was as paranoid as my sodales, I might think you're trying to swindle me. So, while I thank you for your help, I'd really like if you indulged my curiosity and told me your story. After all, is there a better time than winter nights for a few tales between friends?
Her reasonning: It's easy to master DEO for Magic Resistance, thus making sure she won't penetrate unless, maybe, she has an AC. Even if he hasn't done this, she can't be sure at all she'll be able to penetrate his Vim Parma. Yet, there's no way for her to tell the difference between failing to penetrate and succeeding, but with the spell being unable to affect him. It could also give him a rough idea of her Perdo Vim abilities. Thus, there's little for her to gain in trying this. Moreso, being a magical creature doesn't mean he ain't a wicked traitor.
She doesn't trust him at all. She thinks he plans how corrupting her with occult knowledge. Been there, done that. But in a way, she genuinely enjoys Metron. He's clever and interesting. Which is also dangerous to her, of course.
I am not welcome at Val-Negra, and I feel that really is the best plan to trap him. He is powerful in his niche. A Necromancer and a Perdo specialist. As a magical being, I do have to worry about potential ablation. And he knows my weaknesses. It would be foolish for me to confront him directly.
I did take a risk contacting you. But I did not arrive here until I was sure you were alone.
The reason I hate Valten so much is because he is a deceiver and destroyer. I will admit that the Shadow Flambeau were seduced by infernalism. I unknowingly dabbled in it myself, led into it by my Master Rassus. He was fully aware of what he was doing, and I am glad he is dead. Valten conspired with him, and helped deceive us. Others, such as Relegare and Releganta, Lapho and the rest, including myself, we were all deceived into believing the lies of Rassus' mystery cult. Valten helped. I am forever a pariah because of him.
And a few years ago, Valten killed Lapho, whom I loved. He did it to preserve his secret involvement, just a year before attacking Andorra.
So yes, I have good cause to hate him as I do, and good reason to be wary of confronting him myself.
You 2 are in conflict, and you're trying to use me to your ends. Not that I care, I just have to make sure to avoid the inevitable backstab and double deal.
Aaaaand... For a pariah, you know a lot about our plans. How many people knew we were gonna trap him in Val Negra, much less than it still exists? We've got a spy in our midst.
Truth be told, I'd have confronted him regardless, but I'm glad for the help. I'm not really sure on how to confront him, really. Aside from burning and skewering him, of course. He dispatched the entire contingent of Andorran magi, which is quite an impressive feat. I don't know if I can beat such an opponent.
Do you know of any weakness he may have? A weak art, a weak parma? And how is your book supposed to help with him? Not that I intend to come within a mile of it.
He is not as powerful as you may fear. He is just an excellent strategist, natural for a Flambeau magus. There were only two magi at Andorra when he attacked, and he used a Twilight wand crafted by a Verditius to do it. Dimir Taar I know nothing about and have no idea why he has not yet returned. Antonio, I know more about him since he was so famous. But he was also old, though he did not look it, and on the verge of Final Twilight anyway. Pietro was hit with the same wand and has returned already. I think he used up that wand by now. The fireball wand was made by me and he has had it for decades. Point is that he depended on planning and the magic of others and he still failed at his quest.
The book contains spells of Magic Realm magic, things I learned while I was hiding out at Val-Negra until Octavian and Inigo discovered me. I don't know if they will be useful or not, but it can't hurt. Still, I know what he seeks and I know how to trick him into walking into your trap. Exactly how I will do that is my secret.
I also know where to obtain an Arcane Connection you can use on him. I am willing to do this for you.
And, though I expect you to think I am lying, I rerally do have a goal of trying to redeem myself.
Metron... If you really wanted that, you'd go to a monastery, forswear your magic, and spend your life in repentance for your sins.
No. Even assuming you're speaking the truth, you're seeking vengeance, and to clear your name regarding your former peers. Maybe even seeking allies and friends, an end to loneliness. These are very human goals, and I wouldn't fault you for it, but this is not the same thing at all.
Now, really, as much as I may enjoy the company, I don't care much. You know as well as I than I, too, seek vengeance over Valten. I'm no better than you on this, although I also hope to prevent further misdeeds on his part. So whatever your true goals here, I'll take any help you can provide me, so long as it helps me get the job done. Just don't expect me to turn my back on you.
An insightful and venemous spider you are, my friend. You would have made a splendid Flambeau.
And a monestary is not my destiny, for I am quite beyond mere humanity at this point. I am not yet quite certain of what I am even capable of.
But I tell you this. Everywhere a fire casts a shadow, I am there!
Metron takes a step closer to Arachne as he finishes his sentence, then suddenly disappears in an implosion of darkness.
After the dramatic exit, Arachne notices a small pile of three texts left behind. One is a short Grimoire of Magic Realm Magic spells
MuIg25 Torch of the Realm Bound Reveler
PeCo10 When Fortuna Blinks
ReIg(Me)20 Between Dream and Shadow
ReVi20 Swift Wings of Timeless Days
ReVi(Ig)25 Invocation of the Flaming Shadow
The second book is titled "Truth and Fire", his history of the Shadow Wars and his side of the story. I will think up stats latter.
The last book contains notes on Valten. I will post his stats on the wiki under villans sometime in the near future.
That… was not really reassuring.
That last sentence would go a long way toward explaining how he was able to spy on us, but to do this without an Arcane Connection? This does not bode well.
She looks at the books as if they’re about to bite her, then sighs
Come on… You’re a big girl now…
She casts a few DEO on the books, take them, puts them in her bag, and comes home. And there, just in case, she goes to the chapel, and put some droplets of holy water on the cover.
Afterwards, she teleports to her quarters, and sit alone, thinking troubled thoughts.
I have it on my computer. So many things I have on that half broken piece of crap. I will get around to lugging the tank to the library soon.
The spells should either be in RoP-Magic (maybe under a similar anme) &/or are on Metron's sheet on the wiki. I think the first is a realm/void travel spell. The second one is Theurgy, having to do with the Daemonic Flaming Shadow.
Metron's notes indicate that he believes that he is this daemon. That his long series of Ordeals and Quests have made him an Immortal Magus.