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Post  Admin on Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:58 am

Aidan has discovered an obscure text in his readings …

[DARK KNOWLEDGE 31, 24, 20]

An obscure cuniform script that is blend of elven and dhakanni languages.

It has revealed that a powerful Khyber Dragonshard, first uncovered in the Demon Wastes by a powerful monstrous troll warlord named Drazakh Khan, may have been lost in the ruins when the original Dhakaani Empire fell thousands of years ago where Gideon stands today. The shard is said to have been inscribed with what is purported to be the key to the first language of the Draconic Prophecy, something that the dragons of Argonnessen and their agents would dearly wish to get their hands on. It may even harbour additional clues about the origins of the races in Khorvaire.

To investigate his discovery it will be necessary to undertake an expedition into the depths of the UnderCity which is a delicate task, given that access to the ancient ruins is tightly controlled and often forbidden.

To obtain permission someone will need to brief The Thirteen. Possibly Master Brevax could appear as “the face of the expedition”?

Aidan decides to speak to Ahlissa about it. He finds her on the bridge of the airship.

“Hello Aidan, you appear to be troubled. What is your concern?”

“I have just found out that there is the possibity that there is a very powerful dragonshard located in the depths of Gideon City. It may hold knowledge of the first draconic language as well as the origins of humans on Khorvaire.”

“Interesting. Tell me more. How to plan to retrieve it?”

“Well we have to arrange an expedition. The problem is, given The Inspired's influence here, it is going to be very difficult to convince the council to get us access there, given the fact they will probably want to hunt the thing down for themseleves.”

Ahlissa holds up a hand to silence him. “Leave it to me. Provide a written summary of what is required and I will get my people to construct a suitable cover story. We will then engage the assistance of the elven ambassador to petition the council on our behalf to search for what is clearly an ancient artifact that may have been lost long ago.”

Aidan reads out the full passage and how it may have come to be here so she is fully aware of it.

“Thank you for this Aidan, do not worry. We'll get this sorted out so we can explore. I can provide either some of my own crew or perhaps my organisation could employ some trusted diggers and other explorers to assist you?”

“There is my former Master living here in Gideon.”

“Ah yes, Master Brevax, the one we suspected of being influenced with respect to his intention of excavating the ruins of Zanarkand. Nothing more has come to light regarding him that is of concern. I agree he may be an appropriate avenue of assistance in this matter. Keep in mind that the Morgrave Outreach Society does monitor him, but we can run some interference on that, if you like.”

Aidan nods in agreement and awaits the outcome of arrangements being made.

He wites a new copy of the text he has uncovered, with a reference to where he found it for legitimacy, so that can be shared with the elven ambassador.

Three days pass and arrangements are made.

Aidan informs Jillian of his intended explorartion beneath the city. She is intrigued and asks “Do you wish for me to accompany you?”

“That is up to you.”

“Then I shall do so, for I cannot hide forever. Equally I like to help my friends out where I can. I will do this to help you.”

“Then welcome aboard.”

Aidan is informed:

  • A team of ten diggers will accompany the dig, funded by the Aerenal embassy
  • Five explorer/specialists will accompany the dig, provided by the Korranberg University
  • Five mercenaries will accompany for tactical support, provided by The Machination
  • Five crew members will accompany, provided by Ahlissa
  • Master Brevax will represent The Thirteen, as agreed
  • Jillian will accompany him

The Thirteen, if briefed, will agree to Aidan going down there but will equally be curious. What is the significance of what he is looking for? Who else knows about it? What will he do with his discovery when he returns with it? They were informed that it is a matter for the elves and their embassy alone.

While The Thirteen may agree, there is another diplomatic matter that must be considered.

The self-styled Queen of the Old Dhakaan portion of the UnderCity must be visited and offered a suitable gift (expensive and shiny) to persuade her that access ought to be granted.

Aidan considers using the crystal that the ambassador originally gave him. He seeks permission first. Permission is granted to proceed with that.

The team is assembled and preparations are made to go beneath the city.

Aidan is concerned the activity will be noticed by The Observers.

Jillian takes measures to conceal herself and Aidan when they disembark the airship (Improved invisibility). Aidan also applies his Disguise 21

“The Observers are watching – I sense them – they have seen the ship come back.”

The elven ambassador has also provided an item that Ahlissa passes to Aidan. It is a small silver rod which is inscribed with elvish writings. When a command word is spoken ('Obfuscate') it activates countermeasures that last for a duration of 12 hours to prevent scrying of the users immediate location (120' radius).

Aidan and Jillian disembark and go the a safe location with the five crew members. There they meet the other members of the team. A small building in the middle of town.

In advance of the meeting, Aidan reaffirms the cover story for the expedition. He is informed that the elven ambassador has referenced an Elven artifact – the "Metal Chime of Athandor”, a device said to carry inscriptions of the origins of elvenkind prior to the enslavement and oppression of them during the Age of Giants.

Reaching a meeting chamber, Master Brevax embraces Aidan and greets him warmly. “Ah young Master Aidan, so good to see again after this short while. I had no idea you would be attending this expedition. What a small world. I must say I was pleasantly surprised to have received an urgents summons from the elven ambassador requesting that I personally represent The Thirteen on this task. How did you come to be invited also?”

“I'm just the guy that helped them decipher some writing.”

“Yes, quite, this elven artifact does sound rather interesting. A metal device, inscribed with symbols, that may offer a better clue as to the origin of elvish settlement in this region.”

“Yes … I found something in a ruined city we visited, so I think the clue to this comes from there.”

“Well, good. I see we are all assembled. Now first things first, have we the gift to present to Queen Ashkaan at hand? May I see it please?”

Aidan produces the fine crystal. Master Brevax inspects it and acknowledges its suitablility. “A most precious example of exquisite elven artisry. I believe the queen will be most pleased. Now, gentlemen, oh forgive me … and ladies … I don't want to be an alarmist but you need to know that not all parts of the undercity are the safest. Some parts are very unstable and others are infested by all manner of unsavoury creatures. From time to time The Sentinel will deploy teams to eradicate the worst of the vermin but there are many things undiscovered in many parts that can cause grief to explorers. That is why I have one of the finest team assembled, a joint expedition it seems between the city authority and the elven embassy. ”

Master Brevax outlines the plan …

Old Quarter, old building entry point through basement, sewers, tunnels, caves, Queen …

“We don't expect to meet any opposing factions as this item, as I understand it, is not known about outside of this team or its sponsors. But stay on guard nonetheless.”

The team moves from the safe location, not as a whole, but in separate groups. Take the same precautions with invisibility, etc.

Arrive in the Old Quarter and reach the building without incident.

They pass to the undercity and go to where the Queen is located. At the entrance to a wide rough hewn tunnel, they are met by two ogres who glare at them.

Everyine is apprehensive and on guard. But Master Brevax counsels them and calms the situation down. “State your business,” the first demands.

Master Brevax replies “We are here to pay our respects to your Queen and have with us a gift for our safe passage to the depths below. Will you show us to her?”

The second ogre grunts and shifts uneasily while the first agrees. “Follow,” it says.

The group follows while second ogre falls in behind.

As yopu move through the tunnel into a wider audience chamber, which is lavishly decorated with fine carpets and silky wall hangings and other fine furniture (seems out of place), they are led to a large lounge seater couch on which the queen is resting and coiled.

She looks up lazily and then stretches out to her full length and height (10') and demands with curiosity to know why your team has come to disturb her rest.

Apologetically and respectfully Master Brevax informs her of your groups intent to venture below, to search for an elven artifact.

She snorts with derision and disgust at learning that something precious to the elves is hidden in her domain and she indicates that she would only too pleased to remove its taint, for a price of course. Something special, perhaps, a shiny gift?

Master Brevax reveals the crystal which she accepts with curiosity. “It is magical,” she exclaims. “This is indeed a wonderful gift. You are free to explore the tunnels beneath and I warn you not to cause harm to my followers as that will cause your demise. I also have news that may interest you … you are not alone in these parts. A team from Karrnath, sponsored by man named Mhorvaeus has already proceeded into the depths over a week ago. They are also searching for something. I am uncertain of what that might be. You may go now I trust Iron Axe and Blood Bringer have been excellent hosts – follow them, they will lead you to the tunnels that you need to go.”

The ogres lead them through a labyrinth of tunnels and then leave your team a large broken iron grating that covers an older looking tunnel that heads downward at a steep incline into utter darkness.

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