In the Land of Ta’as

Date: 9/15/ – 9/20/367 AL*

“Mayday, we’re hit! Mayday!” Tara struggled to keep her voice steady.

“Shit.” Simi wrestled with the unresponsive controls. “Strap in!”

Switches were flipped, controls were tweaked, panels were opened… nothing worked.

They could hear the rest strapping in as the ship fell from the sky toward the frozen Land of Ta’as. They had thought all the magics were broken here, just as they were in the rest of the world. They thought wrong. Mara threw up an emerald magic link and they all knew what was happening.

“Ah, fuck, we should have gotten a key from the Womb of the World.” Roger’s thought was first, but they all knew they’d gotten overconfident.

Sapphire magic shields were thrown up, gear was grabbed, curses filled the cabin. Simi and Tara finished the calculations, and Mara relayed their chance of surviving the fall: death was certain.

“What?!” thought Roger, as everyone’s eyes turned to him. “Ah fuck…” It was a slim chance, but the only one they had. He willed them all, including their survival gear, into Amethyst space, hoping that Simi’s odd abilities would let them navigate safely to the ground and not into it.

They tumbled into the snow along the track of their fallen ship… it was cold. Colder than they’d ever been before. Agate magic was cast for warmth, the crash was salvaged, and odds of survival were calculated – not good.

Castle spotted movement in the blowing snow. Nothing could be seen with emerald magic and suddenly, the party was surrounded by a pack of horrifically modified polar bears, escorted by nomads camouflaged to match the snow and ice.

The tense confrontation broke when Tara spoke to them in Ta’as and translated the nomad leader’s words, “A storm is coming. You must shelter to survive.”

They spent two days sheltering with the nomads in magically powered refuges, but the party learned little from the nomads. Only that they lived in the wilderness, free from the towering cities of the Ta’as, scavenging for scraps of magic to survive. And that the city of Kotlas was near, with one hundred mountainous buildings, each a city itself, each one a different investigation by Os’Ta’as.

Some had survived the Star Fall and some had not. The people of these city-buildings were not likely to shelter the party… and some would be outright hostile.

In the dark on the last night, a woman called “One Who Sees”, spoke to them against the will of her leader. She spoke, “If the world is saved from the Gods falling, it will fall to what grows here. Once lost, then found. Towers fall, towers rise. Lost again. Time ticks on, hit reprise. Lonely death hound seeks the skies.”  

She shared her vision… a dog howling… mushrooming amalgamations of magic and flesh… cruel laughter… an inexorable consumption of the very world… and the party as the force that could stop it.

Marcus’s visions – visions forced upon him by the obscene synthesis of gnihton blood, spice, and topaz visions – confirmed the possibility.

And so One-Who-Sees lead them to a buried entrance of a tunnel from the farms to the city. With Simi’s strange outworlder knowledge and Mara’s magic, our heroes crept into the first city-building they encountered – all of its powerful Ta’as magics dead.

In this dark and frigid place, they found the corpse of a strangely dressed person – a Ta’as. They then found another… and another… until they saw that there were hundreds of the dead around them. Clearly these Ta’as had once tried to flee the dead building… but the cold and starvation had made their wondrous home into a frozen tomb.

Further investigation uncovered fortified defenses around a staircase leading up, and dead defenders, killed by simple weapons instead of the magic weapons of the Ta’as.

Stairs were climbed, a tunnel was traversed, a great tree was exited. They discovered an enormous gallery divided into four sectors – once farmland, now harvested and frozen, empty of people. Mara cast an emerald scan, and found people – many people – further up, people who were not Ta’as, and six Ta’as held captive. So, back into the tree, up more stairs, and into a chamber where eight warriors guarded four seers engaged in a mystic ritual.

Plans were made, plans were discarded, Ta’as were contacted with emerald, information was acquired, a confrontation avoided. Marcus shared visions with the four seers, who agreed to take counsel with their leaders and our heroes, seeking a solution. For their world too will end in frozen darkness if a way is not found to halt the growing abomination in the center of Kotlas.

Our heroes prepare to journey to the adjacent city-building, which is rumored to be still alive with magics. Magics that may help save the world… or bring their deaths.

-B. Thomas

*After Lore – the time of the Rogue-ing and the beginning of the Rogue Culture – 1000 years from the creation of the World of Abantey.

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