- Plane Weaver
Rumours have been circulating that a new power has been uniting tribes, villages and towns along the borders of the Empire of Rastaban and Eustragath with great speed and show of strength. The Council of Seven have let it be known they are keen on understanding who or what this new power is and whether they will be a threat or ally of Rastaban. To this end, warriors and diplomats have been summoned to investigate the situation. Interested parties should report to representative of the Council Galen Telemere.
The group of diplomats receive instruction from Gelen Telemere on behalf of the Council relating to learning about a certain Klein, who has fought against the Empire of Rastaban in the south-east and quickly gathered power and supporters to his side. If he could be made a friend, he might prove a useful ally, but if he would be Rastaban’s enemy in time then he may need eliminating.
The party set out into Imperial territory, generally avoiding patrols, though having to avoid a confrontation with a ragtag band of the Empire’s soldiers. On the outskirts of what is supposed to be Klein’s territory they discover a band of scouts and foragers slain by Strife Hounds and help a survivor to return home near Klein’s base of operations - a former fort of the Empire.
Finding their way through the encamped army outside, the party present themselves to Klein’s people and gain an audience with Klein and his advisors - a former Imperial Governor Caius, the warrior-bodyguard Drake from Eustragath and Luca, commander of former Empire troops now loyal to Klein. They present their greetings and inquire about Klein and his situation, in turn being circumspect about where they are from. Though Klein deduces that they are from ‘the other’ Rastaban (he was rescued by people from there), things don’t quite progress to trust. The party learns that Klein is not merely someone to have adopted the name of a storied warrior from ages past, but truly the man returned having been previously trapped by the God-Emperor (his inveterate foe… or so Klein claimed) and now seeks to free people from the tyranny of the Empire of Rastaban. The party try to find common ground in being both enemies of the False Empire of Rastaban, but Klein suggests that Rastaban’s worth can be proven if the party help him secure the services of two factions in Eustragath - the Readers of the Wind and the Crimson Pelt. The party agrees.
They travel deeper into Eustragath, facing difficult climbs, sheer cliffs, and assaults by groups of angry birds. On the outskirts of the Readers of the Wind territory they see evidence of creatures from the Plane of Conflict running rampant and soon come to speak to the Readers themselves. The Readers are unable to help as they are suffering in the defence against a strong assault of Conflict - in exchange for the Party’s help they agree to send a group to see Klein and consider joining him (for they know the stories of his exploits well). The Party locate the source of Conflict in the area, what the Readers called the Rift, is focused on a man, seemingly once an Imperial Weaver, but now an opening to Conflict. Once the Rift is closed the party joins to find the Crimson Pelt. On the way there, and following a harrowing assault by Cliff Scorpions and a rock-fall, the party decide to enact an experimental ritual to try and contact the Shroud via Harken’s lay connection. They seek guidance on how to deal with Klein as they believe he will surely consider Rastaban a target after he has dealt with the Empire - he will be a threat, but perhaps they could use him as a distraction for the Empire while Rastaban’s goals are achieved. The ritual works, but the whispered secrets shared in worship of the Shroud are also shared to each other and the Party for a time find themselves unable to tell the truth.
They are assaulted by a group of warriors of the Crimson Pelt, driven to the brink by a seeming lack of sleep. The party are able to subdue them but have difficulty communicating with the leadership of the Crimson Pelt who soon arrive on the scene. Eventually they are able to make themselves known and the Crimson Pelt source their aid in dealing with the dreams that have been afflicting the Crimson Pelt. They ask the party to take a ritual and potion to visit the Dream and hopefully discover a way to stop their nightmares. The party agree and find themselves in Dream where an ancestor of the Crimson Pelt, calling themselves Clarity, explain that they have been trying to appeal to their descendants to help. It seems that a Court of the Plane of Conflict are trying to make their way into Dream and Clarity cannot stop them alone. With the party’s help they are able to stop the assault of the Court of Quarrel and return to travel with the Crimson Pelt back to Klein.
Back at Klein’s fort preparations are being made to face the 8th Legion which has come to dislodge Klein. The party are invited back for an audience and Klein agrees that they may open negotiations for a mutually-beneficial friendship: while Klein will continue to engage in war with the Empire, they will co-ordinate with Rastaban and Rastaban will send material aid to keep Klein’s campaign alive. To this end a strong mindlink is established between Tenebris and Drake and Klein agrees to select ambassadors to the city.
The way back to Rastaban is blocked by the 8th Legion and Klein asks for the PCs to help in the fight that will occur the next day. When it comes the 8th Legion begin an unexpected ritual to open the battlefield to the Plane of Conflict. Klein and a few picked soldiers rush to stop them while the party gains a direct path to the 8th Legion’s commanders. The party assault and rout the leaders of the Legion while Klein stops the ritual. Unfortunately, although Tenebris goes into a berserker rage that makes him impermeable to the enemy’s swords and Harken commits the deaths on the battlefield to an Erosion entity she has made a deal with, the Legate in charge of the Legion is able to escape (though the second-in-command tribune is captured).
With the Legion defeated, the Party are able to return and report to the Council.
The battle against the 8th Legion is won, though soldiers speak of the sense of impending doom that pervaded much of the battle (and this is mostly ascribed to the Conflict ritual) but many have noticed that a lot of the bodies of the fallen seem to have faded or otherwise disappeared.
Harken leaves almost straight from the battle and makes her way carefully back to Rastaban. Alessia and Tenebris stay for the celebrations and party following the battle. Tenebris constructs a moving fortress for Klein which may act as a command centre, vantage point and fortification. The prisoner, Tribune Cassian is given over to Luca to interrogate before they allow him to be taken to Rastaban.
On their return to Rastaban the diplomats recount what has occurred and their assessment on Klein - he is dangerous in his wish to secure freedom for people - after the False Empire he is very likely to move on to Rastaban. They recommend that he should be used against the False Empire and then removed. Galen notes this with satisfaction and thanks the diplomats for their service, though Tenebris is to be retained for longer in help to the city as a connection to Klein via his mindlink with Drake.
Tenebris contacts Lyra the Blessed and recounts the experience and conversation he had with whoever was on the other side of the Mark including details of the Emperor being in Seluga and Leiliana being held captive there. Harken contacts the Erosion entity again, “Death” and agrees to open a long-term link with Erosion. As long as she can consign deaths to Death via this link, the sense of impending doom will grow until the inevitable must happen. She hopes to use this power to kill the Rod.
Harken makes a trade with Alessia where Alessia’s secret might be returned to her and in exchange Alessia performs a ritual to connect Harken with the Outsiders she had encountered in Dream. Harken contacts one of the Outsiders, who is amused and piqued by her interest. Harken asks for knowledge, but the Outsider claims that something simpler would befit her and Harken asks for a higher understanding. As Harken is sent back, her comprehension of the world is greatly changed and Alessia has to quickly stop the ritual which itself strangely changes form, threatening to connect everything that is not Harken to the Outsider.
Disturbed by Harken’s changed attitude, Alessia tried to get Tenebris’ help. When he examines Harken the scale of the problem and affliction is clearly too big for them to deal with and they agree to monitor the situation and hope that something can be done.
Alessia and Tenebris discuss the possibility of their friendship flowing from their recent adventure together and Tenebris warns Alessia of the Eye that she has in her hand. Tenebris offers to help remove it and uses his dagger to excise the ichor while keeping Alessia alive during the harrowing experience. In turn Alessia keeps Tenebris alive after using the dagger to remove the ichor in him. Weird bonding ritual, but whatever works!