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Episode #102: The Leaning Towers
Batul wants much to honor the woman who helped raise his son
Faruq thanks Batul
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A day and a half or two days travelling to the Leaning Towers, Diliram is happily going over how you met, how she was so happy to find brave mortals willing to free her lover,
Namared, happy to experience all these things... Sheik Khaldun's group, the terrifying genie there, the struggle against the Brotherhood of the True Flame, she's thought
experiencing these struggles more... appreciating better that mortals help one another instead of Efreeti going after powers, Dao after wealth, etc. She seems very appreciative
of this, constant references how she'll never forget us, she'll see mortals in a new light, and it will change how she deals with them in future, etc.
Azizullah speaks up to thanks Diliram for her accompaniment; that she has been invaluable to the brothers in their pursuits.
Faruq thanks her for teaching him much more about the nature of genies; that he values her friendship and hopes that they might see each other again one day.
Arriving at the ruins, the heroes can see distinctly the nine towers... representative of the 'council of nine', those terrifying geomancers from an age ago. Some are well
preserved, some not, but did they owe their longevity to their structures or to the magic used to create them? It was almost humbling to think that this is where this climactic
battle took place... where eight of the nine were laid low by Suhail min Zann and his group.
This was hallowed ground.
Strange now, that the snakes that populated the area were friends... all due to the siblings' efforts to continue the legacy of memory to Queen Sharamaz from her father upon his
Faruq & Azizullah begin exploring the ruins again... having learned much since the last time they were here, they were hoping to find some more information.
Finding a piece of battered bronze... it has distinct similarities to the clay tablet they're carrying... the asfir (nine-spoked wheel) on it.
Taj joins the siblings... immediately approached the heroes and circled Kal familiarly.
Drawing The Breakers of the Nine Chains, Roheen asked again for the sword to devulge more information on the Lions of Yesterday:
Known Lions of Yesterday:
Suhail - Cleric without peer - (Ashtarek's brother)
Ashtarek - Paladin - (Suhail's brother) - Ashtarek's folly (Suhail could not talk him out of the folly of his heart)
Hussam - Monk - studied under ancient mystics (fists and feet)
Setarah - Sorcereress (water in her veins instead of blood). Anytime the earth elementals would draw near, she could summon a monsoon and reduce them to mud. Why didn't
Ashtarek target her with his affections; she would have made a fine bride for Ashtaraq, but he did not choose her.
Mutamin - Sage (great consultant) (was not buried alongside the rest of them)
Breaker said Ashtaraq distrusted the wizard Mutamin a great deal, perhaps because the Geomancers 'denied' him the knowledge he would have preferred for himself.
Suhail only ever accepted him as an ally, never as a friend. Included in the group because of his prowess, not as friend.
Breaker thinks that wherever Mutamin ended up, he likely adopted another identity. Mutamin was far too interested in the magicks the Geomancers were using, not necessarily in
Sharamaz appears, slowly slithering towards the siblings... he familiar visage still strikingly beautiful. Bowing and kneeling, Sharamaz says, a warm smile on her
Sh: Please, you of all people, for all that you have done, for what you have done for me, for my father, for my kingdom... need not do that. What can I do for you?
K: We have questions regarding the region you are now occupying.
Sh: Yes, the air is heavy with history. Not of my own people, but of yours. I will answer as best I can. What is it you wish to know?
K: Were you present during the fall of this place?
Sh: I was not, but my ancestors were...
The diamond on her forehead begins to glow...
Sh: If you are willing to wait, I would be willing to see what my ancestors can recall of this place.
Sh: This may take a day or two, this place is very old... please make yourselves comfortable...
Diliram is amazed at this; thinking Sharamaz wondrous and amazing, happily volunteers that she will 'take care' of the siblings while the queen enters the trance, lost in the
reverie of her ancestors.
Further investigation of the ruins does not yield much more new information. Faruq seems sure that each tower had it's own 'responsiblity', one in particular that seems quite
large, tipped over and covered in vines, and deep in his soul he seems certain that Tisan would have claimed it as her own. Faruq's imagination makes him think that the towers
likely acted like a magical network, allowing seamless, interwoven casting and an interconnected use of multiple magical disciplines... how could this be possible? Surely there
must have been something else enabling this...
After a day has passed, Sharamaz joins the siblings... having woken from her reverie, tearstreaks clear on her face, but a placid, peaceful smile on her face.
Sharamaz offers to share the image with the siblings telepathically and the siblings immediately agree.
The intense experience begins as though they are 'viewing' the scene as if from the perspective of a snake... the clothes worn by those around do not seem at all what is worn
They all have wine-coloured skin and their eyes are all one colour: all black, all blue, all white eyes, and they have a variety of hair colours, but basically it goes between
shades of black, white and silver. They have bizarre white symbols (inverted triangles, dodecaderons, etc) on their bodies.. engraved... and they're under attack. The city
they're in is being pummeled by earth quakes and a round of earth elementals. They defend themselves with a magic we haven't seen before... waving their hands in the air, these
mathematical symbols appear in the air... and it seems like they're using protactors and compasses as implements... banishing the elementals, opening up the earth and swallowing
their enemies whole, or assaulting them with some sort of psychic magic, felling their enemies without physical assault.
The fight looks hopeless however, and they're being overwhelmed. Earth elementals, fiendish gargoyle-like creatures and more summon more and more to tear the defenders apart.
Behind them all, one bald man with a very long beard seems to be controlling them... clearly a geomancer. When a wine-skinned defender dies, the strange man immediately
animates them as undead under his control.
Each of the siblings sees the same thing: this man gets down off his horse (nightmare), approaches one of the wineskin defenders, puts his hand on their forehead and his eyes
light up, he seems to be draining 'something' from this person, and then there's a pop, and the geomancer's gone maybe 10 sec, and then appears again in the same spot, but this
time, HE has the same sigils on HIS body... similar, but different. His are gold and purple, and they writhe a bit on his body. Another defender tries to use their
mathematical magic on the bald man, and those new sigils flash and the magic cast at him stops and dissipates harmlessly around him. And using magic just like the siblings saw
Kazerabet use on Barack, the bald man kills his attacker and in the same breath, raises him as an undead minion of his own.