The more doors you open to the mysteries, or sacred knowledge, the smaller you feel. And because you begin to feel smaller and smaller until your ego disappears, the more humble you become. Therefore, any man who behaves arrogantly with what little he knows, or claims to know all, only reveals to all that he really knows nothing.Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
Session 20 – Clarity
Advice to the reader
In order to interpret the structure of my gaming session posts effectively, it is strongly suggested that you peruse A Readers Guide to Play Sessions on The Old Bard, if you haven’t already.
To better grasp what I mean when I bring up Fate questions, you might find it useful to keep the Mythic Fate Chart accessible, potentially in a new window or tab in your browser.
The Story So Far
The party has returned to the carnival where it was revealed that Eldon Marrowwind was actually the elder brother of Blyris Bledsone. And most importantly, that the sinister figure that has been pursuing them is in fact the youngest of the Bledstone Brothers, Odyn Bledstone. Odyn was the very sorcerer who killed Mara’s husband and placed the curse on her. They retired for the evening, and the next day Mara awakens before the rest of the party.
Day 19 – Scene 58
ATGM: At the end of the last session, we bumped up the Chaos Factor to 7. We've now esablished a new scene, and I want this scene to be about Mara seeking more clarity from Alaric. Therefore "Clarity - Mara seeks Clarity from Alaric" is our "Expected" scene but we're going to test that now using Mythic to determine if that is in fact the path we follow. I roll 1d20 for a result of 10. Our Chaos Factor is 7 so that's over, so this means we continue on with the expected scene. Even though this is an expected scene, I just want to inform you that this will mainly just be a story telling post, to finish revealing things that need to be known before we the rest of the adventure unfolds.
As dawn spread its golden tendrils across the vibrantly colored tents of Blyris Bledstone’s Menagerie of Curiosities, Mara Jourdain, still reeling from the past night’s revelations, found sleep elusive. The echo of the disclosures had stirred a tumult of questions within her.
Preferring clarity to the turmoil in her bed, she rose and slipped on her cloak, setting off for the heart of the carnival. Her purpose was singular – to find Alaric, whose newfound identity offered some semblance of a lighthouse amidst the storm of her confusion.
She found Alaric sitting at a breakfast table in the carnival’s bustling center. His long, grey hair shone in the morning light, his face a canvas of age-earned wisdom.
“Mara,” he beckoned, noticing her arrival, “Join me.”
Determined, she seated herself across from him. “We have some things to discuss, Alaric,” she announced, her words slicing through the quiet air of the morning.
Alaric nodded in acknowledgment. Then his eyes fell upon an intricate rune in Mara’s possession – a symbol that sparked a deep recognition in him. It was the same rune that had once belonged to his brother, Odyn.
“That rune…” Alaric started, eyes locked onto the familiar symbol, “It belonged to Odyn.”
Nodding to Alaric’s inquiry, Mara begins her story, “This Rune was discovered in the goblin caves to the west. We had heard a rumor about it. They said that it was a charm that could help me regain my human form.” Her eyes flit down to the Rune momentarily, its significance painted in the solemnity of her gaze.
“We didn’t know anything about it at the time, only that I was desperate to rid myself of the curse that had befallen me. So we made our way to the caves, Morn, Thenelis, Ulmog, and I, hoping against hope that the rumors were true,” she pauses, a nostalgic glint in her eyes as she remembers their shared struggle, “We battled goblins, found the Rune among their stolen loot, and brought it back to Dreadmere.”
Sighing, she continues, “A mystic in town showed us how to use the Rune. It can transform me back to my human form, though not permanently. I must keep it with me at all times to maintain my human guise. The mystic also told us that the curse can only be reversed permanently by the sorcerer who cast it…,” Mara’s voice trails off, her gaze meeting Alaric’s.
“Your brother Odyn,” she finishes quietly. The realization hangs heavily between them as Alaric absorbs the significance of the Rune and its connection to his family.
“You know, it’s rather peculiar how we came to know about the Rune,” Mara begins, her eyes distant as she recalls the past events. “When we were in Dreadmere, the townsfolk had somehow learned about the Rune being kept by goblins in a cave to the west. The story quickly spread around the town. Everyone was talking about a magical Rune that could undo a magical transformation.”
She smirks faintly, “Imagine our surprise when we realized they were referring to my curse. We were skeptical, of course, but desperate enough to give it a try. It was almost as if someone, who knew about the Rune’s power and its connection to Odyn, wanted us to find it… ” Her voice trails off, leaving the unspoken thought to linger in the air.
Alaric’s brows furrowed as he considered Mara’s words. “It seems you’ve been caught up in Odyn’s games. That Rune… He probably intended for you to find it. He was always one for manipulations and convoluted schemes,” Alaric said, his voice tinged with regret.
“Considering your proximity and Odyn’s affinity for the arcane, he might have found a way to manipulate the townsfolk into spreading the word about the Rune. It is, after all, a perfect bait for his grander plans,” Alaric explained, his grey eyes thoughtful.
Mara leaned back in her chair, studying Alaric intently, “So, how did you end up in Athesa, Alaric?” she asked, her tone earnest and expectant. The mystery of his story and the ties it had with the strange events that had transpired drew her in, and she longed to understand more of this complex web that they seemed to be ensnared in.
Alaric responded to her query, his voice carrying a nostalgic tone. “When I left Blyris, I was desperate to find Odyn, hoping to bring him back into the fold or, failing that, to protect others from his twisted magic. I headed west, into the heart of Epica. It was an area rife with trade, bustling with travelers and traders from all corners of the realm – a place where information flowed as freely as the wine.”
“Athesa, being a large city, seemed a perfect place to set up base. Its position along major trade routes ensured a constant influx of fresh news and gossip. I reasoned that any word of a dark sorcerer causing trouble would surely find its way to such a hub. But, of course, whispers and rumors are not always brought to the ears of a stranger.”
He paused for a moment, his gaze distant. “So, I decided to make a place for myself within the city, to earn the people’s trust and gain access to the information I needed. It wasn’t easy, but over time, I rose in their esteem. Eventually, I found myself in a position of leadership, where any significant happenings within the city were reported to me. I was in the best possible place to hear news of Odyn, I just needed to be patient and wait.”
As the morning light filtered through the windows of the dining hall, Mara and Alaric turned their heads toward the entrance at the sound of familiar voices. The door swung open, revealing Morn, Thenelis, and Ulmog, looking somewhat bleary-eyed but ready for the day’s challenges.
Morn, in his usual attire, appeared almost regal despite the tired lines on his face, while Thenelis’ half-elven grace was ever-present. Ulmog, the shortest amongst them, nonetheless carried himself with a quiet but undeniable strength, the transformation from a mere peasant to a stalwart warrior evident in his stance. As they moved into the room, their gazes swept across the space, finally settling on the two figures at the breakfast table.
A few moments later, the door once again opened, this time admitting the tall figure of Blyris Bledstone. Clad in his characteristic steampunk attire with a tall hat from which a mechanical claw could be seen partially extended, he cut an imposing figure. His dark wood staff, adorned with precious stones and intricate carvings, was in his hand, its tip sparking with a slight magical energy that dissipated into the air. His dark eyes immediately found the group gathered at the breakfast table, and his lips curled up into a smile as he moved to join them.
That’s it for this session. The ultimate goal here was just to get you caught up on things that needed to be revealed so I could post the spoiler alert post where I had sat to help build out the big reveal starting in session 18.
In the next session, we’ll start discussing and building on a strategy to counter Odyn’s schemes.
Till next time!