Decem Reliquias

Fool Me Once

Broga’s watch ends at dawn, the remainder of the night having been blissfully uneventful. They soon discover that Tyree is still missing, but are unable to track him. Corryn puts on the former blood mage’s black cloak, trying to discover if that might assist in leading them to Tyree. He concentrates with all his might  on the big Avar, but nothing happens. Leaving Armon to guard the prisoners, women and stolen goods, Broga and Corryn leave in the direction of the Templar’s camp, ostensibly to see if he had seen Tyree, but also half-hoping to witness his humiliation if the prisoners escaped during the night. Along the way, Corryn experiments further with the cloak, hoping to unlock it’s hidden potential. No amount of concentration, squinting, or nose-scrunching produces invisibility, flight, or telepathy. His attempt to levitate Broga coincides with his uncharacteristic declaration that he feels they are going the right way. A few moments later, Dog bursts out of the brush, startling the dwarf. He sits, wagging his tail and panting, acting generally pleased to see them. He gives a quick bark, and bounds back into the forest, veering north, glancing behind him to make sure the two-legged creatures are following.

Dog approaches a figure lying on the ground and begins to lick the smudges of blood and dirt from the tan face. Tyree continues to sleep, despite the slobber, peacefully snoring. Broga is eventually able to wake Tyree, who reluctantly shares the tale of his encounter with the rash and arrogant Templar. Corryn knows of similar enchantments used by mages, known as glyphs, but not one that could produce such an abrupt sleep. Then Tyree notices that his maul is gone. Livid that Emeric had the audacity to disarm him in his sleep, his first instinct is to track down the Templar, who’s camp is already packed and gone, to retrieve it. Remembering his promise to see the women safely back to town, Tyree decides that it’s not worth it. His best course of action being to get out of Verchiel, Orlais, and back to the wilderness where there aren’t so many damn people to deal with.

Armon and the women rejoin the rest of the group and start the long trek back to civilization, easily following the tracks left by forty men and a pair of arrogant silverite greaves. The dwarf makes friendly conversation with some of the women, trying to discern why they were so devoted to the renegade elf, but is unsatisfied with the answers he receives. They say that the elven blood mage inspired them, human Orlesian citizens, to abandon their homes and community, to attempt to build a new life in the wilderness, where they wouldn’t be oppressed by the aristocracy. To a Duster dwarf, that sounded perfectly believable, but he couldn’t fathom why they would have needed or missed a blood mage. A strange tingling sensation causes Broga to pause, and the woman he’s talking to suddenly stops mid-sentence  falling ungracefully to the ground. Corryn diagnoses the woman as affected by magical sleep, noting that Tyree and two of the other women have fallen prey to the same Templar trap. No matter how much Armon pokes him with a stick, Tyree does not wake. Corryn stares at him, using his perceived mental powers to attempt to wake him. Tyree simply smiles and rolls over. Since they had been walking for a while anyway, they decide it’s a good time to stop for lunch.

On their break, Broga shares his concerns with Corryn that the people they had rescued from the clutches of a maleficar don’t seem nearly grateful enough. With some further experimentation, they discern that the cloak seems to have the unusual ability to uplift the spirits of whoever he concentrates on. Tyree and the women eventually wake, with no help from Armon’s persistence. Upon hearing the news of the cloak’s power, Tyree feels a bit vindicated, knowing that the humans were indeed influenced by the elf and weren’t acting entirely of their own free will. Packing up again, they return to Verchiel via an alternate route, so as to avoid any further surprises.

At The Paper Dragon, Marius and Felayne wait somewhat impatiently for the company to return. Finally, late in the afternoon, the bedraggled Armon, Tyree, Broga and Corryn arrive with several scared looking women, a few dirty male prisoners, and a heap of average quality armor and weapons. They waste no time getting to business, hoping to escape the city without any further encounters with Emeric. Upon return of most of her stolen property, Veta bestows the promised reward, exactly to the silver piece. The women are returned to their homes and given the silver Tyree recovered from the compound, to Broga’s dismay. The prisoners are released into the custody of local law enforcement with no sign of the Templar or his prisoners. 

That evening, back at the inn, Corryn and Marius discuss the fate of the cloak and magical staff. The mages quickly decide not to take them to the local mageware shop, where a Tranquil Mage could easily identify the objects, worrying that they might be confiscated. Wishing to do some research in the local library, Corryn suggests that they stay in Verchiel one more day. Felayne grudgingly accepts the delay, but promises to leave on the morrow, with or without her valiant rescuers.

The local library, though inferior  to the White Spire‘s, yields some promising leads on what the cloak might be. Although no references to this exact cloak are mentioned, items with similar properties are termed relics. They are created by tearing a hole in the veil, enticing a spirit through, and binding it to an object. The ritual has been banned by the Circle for at least two-hundred years, due to it’s tendency to produce abominations rather than the desired relic. Destroying the object would force the spirit out, but, without a tear nearby, it would have to possess something else. Corryn struggles with the notion that a spirit should suffer so, but decides not to attempt to destroy the cloak, the risk of possession being too great with no way for the spirit to return safely to the fade. Having concluded his research, Corryn rejoins everyone back at The Paper Dragon for one last warm meal and comfortable night’s sleep. He offers the cloak to Marius for the use of it’s defensive abilities, having sufficient protection of his own and no interest in inspiring people. Marius gladly accepts.

Near dawn, Corryn fulfills his promise to Felayne, and the puppy filled wagon continues it’s long journey down the Imperial Highway, bidding farewell to Verchiel, Orlais, and civilized society. The ghosts of the Dales give them no trouble, and three days later they arrive to the western frontier of the uncouth nation of Ferelden.



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