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Gem of the South

Initial Brief

The Circle of the Enlightened Mind is seeking people of adventurous spirit to assess what dangers remain in the forest and attempt to find the ruins of the long lost second city of the Empire.

Applicants should attend the offices of Professor Xenie within the department of human logistics.



  • The party find that the waters of the southern ocean contain murderous erosion-touched fishfolk
  • The party discover that the False Empire is attempting to prevent access into the forest. It doesn't seem like they really have the manpower to make this more than a notional effort.
  • Dangerous wild animals still live in the forest.
  • The avatars of the forest will offer to bear people through its depths in exchange for additional service in the Dream War. The exception is those who have been touched by Outsiders who are still subject to considerable (though not unreasoning) hostility.
  • James agrees to take on the burden of deciding what should be done about Candle, the forest binding his life to the task. It appears that the forest has a preference now for letting people handle such affairs so that it can maintain its full concentration on battling the godlike entities Outside.
  • The City of Sutalin is at the centre of two great rituals- one a withering Erosion effect intended to drive back and destroy the forest. The other a protective gem of Perfection intended to preserve the city from the ravages of unleashed erosion.
  • It appears that both rituals were somewhat flawed- the Erosion effect has driven the forest back some distance from the city but is also causing the manifestation of hostile denizens in the vicinity. The Perfection spell does seem to have physically preserved the city but the mortal inhabitants don't seem to have been completely shielded and have spent the following centuries experiencing death of the mind even as their bodies remain untouched.
  • The Philosophy of Seluga have already arrived at the city and set up a camp outside the 'death-zone'. They are using erosion empowered mole creatures to excavate tunnels through the city and posting members of a penal legion to protect the entrance. Their scholars employ some sort of Perfection based protections to briefly weather exposure to the Erosion within the city.
  • Jades discovers that the 'gem' around the city is suffused with the screaming, mad ghosts of the citizens and touching it is mentally hazardous.
  • Candle and James cooperate to attempt to shunt the erosive effects down his link to a Mysterious Touchstone. The Magos stirs at the connection and *something* flows back into James.
  • The party prevent one of the Selugan field team from destroying the city in order to free the inhabitants from their ancient agonies.
  • The Selegan scholars claim to have been briefed about the possibility of a Rastabani expedition and offer hospitality at their camp.


Whilst James and Jade run for the forest, Candle trots up to the Selugan camp. Much to everyone's suprise the Selugan's don't try to kidnap her, instead furnishing her with a new sword and diplomatic papers to take back to Rastaban. Returning to the party she endeavours to ritual the papers as insurance against their meddling, but Jade takes the opportunity of her concentration to snaffle the documents with a shroud miracle.

Returning via dream, the forest is willing to allow James to continue to take responsibility for Candle's future. It also detects that he himself has been corrupted by an outsider since they last met. He accepts the forest's intervention and the arboreal avatars drive a thornshard into his chest. Vines sprout out to crisscross his torso and then blossom into flowers which begin to drip out sickly streams of black ichor. Eventually the ichor flow stops and the forest pronounces the infestation cleansed, though the changes to James' appearance are rather radical.

Making their way back to Rastaban, Candle abides by her agreement to turn herself in to the Bureaucracy. After confirmation of an Outsider connection she is swiftly quarantined in a cell. The others make their report to their superiors, handing across the diplomatic papers. The Bureaucracy seems fairly set on returning to Sutalin and doing whatever is necessary to prevent Imperial property from falling into foreign hands. Jade and James are then able to report to the Circle who are pleased with the news of the Forest's relative safety and of a site worth further investigation.

Candle is eventually subject to a number of interogations wherein she protests her willingness to act in the City's interests, putting the power of the Mirror to work for Rastaban. However her claims that she is unable to her them locate her sister Cloth are not well recieved and it looks like her incarceration may become permanent. Some time later however another bureaucrat visits her, appearing most interested in what the Mirror might be able to do to upset the current regime in Rastaban and bring about a new world order; Candle appearing receptive to this they arrange for her to be offically disappeared into the deep vaults and her paperwork to lost itself in the great machinery of the bureaucracy. They caution that should she draw the attention to her freedom then the agents of state will likely be on her trail soon enough.

Returning home Candle finds that her mirrored house has become an offical Unplace and her cats are nowhere to be found. Using her theatre contracts Candle is able to obtain the services of an suspicious ichorworker to help her forge a new identity.

Jade and James get themselves checked out by Bureacracy medical team who pick out an Erosion affliction that seems to be wittling away at their health. Given their good service the organisation arranges for a Perfection weaver to correct the problem before it can develop further.



You have aged 3 years from brief exposure to the Erosion field around Sutalin

  • 2 Favour from the Circle for your report
  • Strong affliction of the Mind: Awareness of True Agony. You have experienced secondhand what it is for a painful death to be drawn out over centuries. As a roleplaying effect you are likely to disregard the presence of short term discomforts and pains even to your detriment.
  • Due to your permanent Connections to James you will detect as very faintly Forest to a detailed examination by Sense of the Forest
  • You have a rather gross looking spear held together by mole bits.
  • 2 Favour from the Circle for your report
  • Severe Affliction of the Body: Thornshard. You will appear as a Foresttouched to most people with all the attached social stigma. In addition you count as a creature of the Forest for ability purposes.
  • Has shifted the locator connection from between the enchancted garments to between yourself and Jade
  • Should you become aware that Candle is free your oath to the Forest will compel you to take whatever decisive action you have decided is appropriate.
  • 1 Favour from the Order of the Throne for providing interesting political information that the bureacracy would prefer to keep a lid on.
  • Gain the Warping Visage Mutation
  • Candle is officially In Custody of the Bureaucracy. Any revelations suggesting this is not the case may gain you a Hunted status.
  • You have the attention of most definitely Treasonous group.
  • Minor Affliction of the Body: Decaying. A sliver of Erosion has made its way into you and is accelerating you towards the grave, this makes you more prone to sickness and infirmity. Mechanically the negative consequences of any other Body Afflictions are doubled.
  • As an Erosion Weaver Decaying also grants the following: You may *permanently* reduce your death count by 10s in order to instantly cast any Spell.
resources/adventure/gem_of_the_south.txt · Last modified: 2019/11/24 01:26 by joesmoke