Planejammer: Ad Astra Per Arcana

Dramatis Personae - Constance
Time Haunted Oracle of Wildspace

Constance Human (Maztican) Female

A slender waif, dark of hair and skin but with brilliant sapphire blue eyes, she can be exceptionally charming when she is of a mind to be.

Found in a box along with a delivery of exotic alcohols in The Edge on the The Rock of Bral Adopted by one of the regular patrons, Artos Starhammer, she spent the next years as cabin “boy” on a variety of ships including hammerships, tradesman, and wasps.

Starhammer was not just a spacehand though, he was a member of The Seekers. When her powers began to surface he gave her a gift – a unique wayfinder – something found in the box with her. He explained that these are only carried by Seekers, and it might provide a clue about her parentage. He tried unsuccessfully to find info about them since finding her, but hoped you might have more luck.

Raised aboard ship she is a natural spelljammer and had seen at least four different spheres by the time she was 12. Even so she made a point of visiting Bral and going to The Edge at lest once a year. The bar staff there are the closest thing to family she knows.

During her travels she met some travelers from Toril who identified her as looking Maztican. Intrigued and enthusiastic she sought out a teacher and learned their language. The only flaw with the theory, as she discovered, is that Mazticans don’t have blue eyes.

At age 14 the mysteries of time began to make themselves known to her, and the hauntings began. While the hauntings were disconcerting to the crew her newfound ability to spelljamm and her vibrant personality kept her secure as long as she did not stay on any one ship too long.

When she was sixteen Starhammer was killed in an engagement with the neogi. She traveled alone for a year after that before she met Waylond Oswald Carruthers. One night on a visit to the Rock of Bral she was jumped by some of The Jugller’s Men after leaving The Edge. She was getting the worst of it when the giff came to the rescue and promptly thrashed them, killing one in the process. Deciding that Bral might be a bit hot for them now they signed on with an outgoing tradesman

Since then they have plied the starlanes of the Arcane Inner Flow, never staying with one crew for long. Neither of them have been back to Bral since then.

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Katya's Journal Part 1 - Fortune's Fool
New begginings and an unknown future...

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I find my foot subconsciously tapping along with the clicking of heels along the blood-red bricks outside my tent as I try my best to focus on the spread of cards before me.

Try as I might, though… the images blur and I swear as I lose my focus and slam my fist into the table… causing my poor raven to stir from his nap on his perch with a ruffle of feathers and a squawk of “Ahh! Quiet!”

I look over to him with chagrin as I sweep the cards back into my hands. “My apologies Omen… I know how you get without your beauty rest. “ The raven squawks and shifts on his perch before tucking his head under his wing.

I sigh and take a slow, deep cleansing breath before letting it out and picking up the cards one more time. “You’ve watched your mother doing this enough times, Katya… you can do this.” I close my eyes and let my fingers flutter over the cards until I feel that tingle of rightness… and then proceed to lay them out in a 3-card spread.

I flip over the card representing the Past and can’t help but shudder at the Nine of Swords. Depression… cruelty… loss and scandal… all that can be overcome through faith and calculated inaction.

“Except you calculated wrong, didn’t you, mother?” I mutter to myself as Omen wakes from his nap and hops onto the end of the table where I do my readings. “That’s what happens when you forget what has the real power in this forsaken city.” I shake my head to clear it of the bad memories that threaten to come flooding in and breathe deeply once again.

Focus on the reading… let your feelings go.

I pass my fingers over the second card and flip it over to reveal the Wheel of Fortune to my surprise. “Hmm… the beginning of a new cycle, eh? What do you think, Omen… could this be a sign that good fortune is finally coming our way?”

The raven shifts as the clicking of heels along the bricks suddenly stops in front of my tent. “Customers!” it squawks in warning as it flies out to see who is outside.

I tap the card representing my future still turned face down on the table with a long black nail in annoyance. “Perhaps that’s a sign in and of itself,” I chuckle as I sweep the cards back into my deck for a fresh reading for whomever comes through the door, the long tendrils of my braids reaching out to light the incense sticks and dim the lanterns to create a mystical atmosphere. While many say they don’t believe in the power of seers… they always come back just in case they can get that edge over their next business dealing or relationship.

“I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the future brings me.”

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Solon's Journal, Part 1

At last! Word has arrived from Klepto – he has found someone who can help me. It has been years since I’ve heard from the halfling, but a more trustworthy spy I’ve not yet met on this “Correlon-forsaken rock of a world,” as Father would say.

Father… It’s been nearly 15 years since I made my vow while you lay on your deathbed. Is this it? Finally, truly, does my journey begin? To the stars? To the Elven Navy? … To my family?

750 years have passed since “Erevan’s Riddle” was destroyed, and you found yourself here, on Pharagos. Having crossed much of Acclasia, Yavvan and Hoquan, I have encountered only a small part of the fear and ignorance that had driven from you much of the pride you used to carry as a decorated Knight and Captain in the Imperial Navy. How you kept your faith in your absent “god”, I do not know. Perhaps it was that remnant of your former life that gave you the strength to go on, finally to meet Serra, my mother. Perhaps I will understand, in time. That you had the courage to share your deepest secrets and treasured possessions with me does me the highest honor. It is my greatest hope that I can fulfill my vow and return honor to you.

I go now to meet with Klepto and this off-worlder he has found. A trader from a distant star. The wonders of the heavens may now be but a few steps away. I shall miss the friendships that I have forged in my travels, but I shall not miss much else. I go to follow my destiny, and to fully embrace my name: Ruasar.

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Katya's Journal Part 2 - Exit Stage Left
A Tiefling, a Kobold and a Githyanki walk into a bar...

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“Hodey!” I exclaim in delight as a Kobold sporting goggles and a longcoat comes strolling in with a bag over his shoulder full of miscelaneous items for his inventions. “Looking for haunt siphons for one of your productions in Sigil again?”

“Sigil! Sigil!” squawks Omen as he flies in behind the Kobold artificer and lands on his perch next to my table.

Hmmn… perhaps this is my chance to get out of here?

“Just collecting some items for my latest inventions, Katya. I was about done and thought I’d stop by to show you what I made!” he replies with a toothy grin as he sets his sack down and starts rummaging though it.

I quickly scoop up my cards into my sash and grab my backpack from under my table already packed and ready to go. “You know I would love to hear about them, Hodey… but perhaps you could tell me about them as we head back to the portal?”

“Sure thing, Katya!” the Kobold replies in stride as he pulls out a strange looking device with a gun grip in one hand and swings the sack over his shoulder with the other before walking out of the tent. “This one here is a _______________________!”

I shake my head and grin as Omen flies out after him. Well, this is it, mother…there’s no way I’m going to stay here and wait for my fate. If those bastards want to kill me too because you told me what you discovered, they can bloody well try and find me first!

As I step out onto the blood-red street I mutter the words of the Spark cantrip under my breath, and with a snap of my fingers the edges of the tent behind me begin to smoulder and burn.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As I follow Hodekin through the portal into the City of Doors, I can’t help but feel that it didn’t work… because a few feet down the alleyway we entered there happens to be a cleric getting mugged by some of the ugliest Githzerai I’ve seen in quite a while.

“Feels just like home,” I mutter as I pull out a few rose petals from one of the pouches on my belt and mutter the incantation for a sleep spell. I just hope it works… Hodey pulls out one of the strange devices from his sack and after a few twists and turns of knobs a slight shimmer forms around him.

Moments later one of the monks eyes roll up into his head and he falls to the ground unconscious, but the other two… I couldn’t be so lucky. One of them shakes it off after a moment and the other doesn’t seem to be effected at all. Hells! I reach for the sickle on my belt in dread at the thought of having to fight these monks in combat when suddenly there’s a shriek as another monk leaps from his hiding place above and lands on my back, dropping me to one knee.

I grunt in pain and reach up to grasp one of the arms around my neck with a glowing hand and grin as his skin begins to sizzle. Hode pulls another one of his devices from a holster on his belt and launches a blast of energy into the Githzerai, knocking him unconscious and thankfully getting him off my back to free me for my next attack at the two remaining.

I spread my fingers out before me with my thumbs touching towards the monks and with a thought the stars embroidered on my Arcanist Gloves begin to glow, giving extra power to my spell as jets of fire spring forth to incinerate one of the monks.

Hodey whips out another one of his strange machines and with a loud noise a white ball of fluff launches from it and suddenly the alleyway begins to fill with fog. Good thing too as I notice the rather large silhouette of a demon taking up the exit on the other side. Shit… trust this place not to be any different; a demon never could resist a fight! The bricks beneath my feet begin to vibrate as the demon picks up the scent of blood and decides to come join us.

“Time to go!” I shout as I spy another alleyway to the right and duck down it. I almost have to dodge out of the way as the cleric picks up Hodekin and takes off down the alley in a burst of speed past me. We manage to find some crates to hide behind in the fog and wait it out until the coast seems to be clear.

“I thank you for your help, strangers,” says the Githyanki cleric as he straightens his robes. “My name is Ly’Khal Al’Tiatak, but those not of my kind may call me Khal.”

“I am Katya, and this is my friend Heinzelmann Hödekin,” I reply. “No thanks necessary… I never did get along with Githzerai; they’re much too…too…” I wave my hands in frustration at not being able to think up a nasty enough word and the cleric nods in understanding.

“Hey, I know a good bar not too far from here!” announces Hodey as he looks out into the street and gets his bearings.

“Oh thank the gods!” I reply. “I could certainly use a drink!”

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Katya's Journal Part 3 - Elevator to Nowhere
Tour the Planes!

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Unfortunately our plans for multiple rounds of drinks had to be put on hold after we picked up on the sounds of many footsteps coming our way from the street ahead.

“Great, more company! Now what?” I groan, as I had used up most of my spells in that last fight.

Hodekin quickly looks around and then smiles, his sharp teeth glinting in the darkness. “I know a way! Come on!” He takes off down another alleyway and we run after him until he stops in front of a tree that had collapsed part of the wall to the right to form an archway of sorts. I’m about to ask him why he stopped when I just make about the shimmer of energy across the archway.

“Is this a portal?” I ask in doubt. “Where does it go to?”

“Doesn’t matter!” Hodey replies as the sound of footfalls is joined with angry grunting and shouts of ‘This way!’

Khal looks down the alley nervously and then steps through the archway and disappears, soon followed by Hodekin. I shrug and follow after them, as I have no desire for any more encounters this night. I really must remember to ask Khal what’s made him so popular, though. We outcasts have to stick together, after all.


“The Astral Plane,” Khal announces in an emotionless voice as I emerge to through the portal to a bright silvery shimmering expanse that goes on for as far as I can see.

In the distance there seems to be a group of colorful balls of light that I remember from my studies to be the Elserryn Cluster. Portals… this could be our way out of here! There’s also the fabled Crosswinds Keep, as well as a Githyanki city around here… but from the look on Khal’s face, I’m sure he knows that already.

“I’m all for finding civilization, myself,” I begin as I watch Khal’s reaction. “What about Crosswinds Keep?”

“We should go to the cluster to find a portal from this place… and quickly,” Khal replies as he scans the area nervously.

Suddenly there is a strange buzzing sound in the air that grows louder and louder… until with a POP an odd-looking boat shaped like a goldfish appears in the distance chased by another larger ship covered in Elvish symbols.

“What in the 9 Hells is that?” I ask as the first ship begins to break up and crashes into the…well… ‘ground’ for lack of a better term in the Astral.

“We’re still heading for the portals, yes?” asks Khal.

“Well yeah, of course…” I reply as we start walking. “Still, though… if they were able to come here in that ship…”

All intentions aside, it looks as though the Fates had their own plan in mind as the survivors of the crashed ship come running in our direction… followed by a handful of creatures that… I swear, look sort of like Khal.

“Are those… Githzerai?” I mutter questioningly as I squint.

Khal turns to look and does his best to hide his fear. “Pirates!” he hisses under his breath. “We must leave. Now.”

The party breaks into a run towards the cluster of portals as Khal waves his arms and the magical fog appears once again to hopefully cover our tracks. He then picks up Hodey under his arm and zooms past me once again. I simply must ask him how he does that!

Eventually we make it to the cluster and manage to agree on a particularly pretty blue one when the survivors of the wrecked ship catch up with us. “Please, wait! Let us come too!” begs a dark-skinned female as she’s joined by an Elven male and a… wow… what is he? He might actually make a few demons give pause before charging down a dark alleyway

The potential for unwanted combat can make strange bedfellows, as the rest of the party nods and I shrug in indifference. After a moment the portal flashes with light and we say good-bye to the Astral Plane as we appear in a strange mist. I’m about to ask Khal where we are, when suddenly I see people falling horizontally through the air in the distance.

“Ah crap… it’s the Plane of Air,” I mutter.

“The Plane of What?” asks the elf nervously.

“Just don’t think about falling,” warns Khal.

“Don’t think about what?” asks the elf again before he suddenly starts falling through the air.

“Clueless,” Hodey snorts.

“Guess we should go get him,” I mutter before turning to the rest. “For those of you who missed the demonstration Solon gave us… First you think it, then you do it.” Everyone nods, and with a thought we’re all falling through the air towards the tumbling elf.

Time passes for who knows how long in this odd dimension… until I hear the dark-skinned girl named Constance speak up. “Hey, what’s that in the distance? Is that land?”

“If it is, I’ll be glad to get my feet under it,” announces Wayland, the large humanoid with the penchant for guns, before he speeds up and plummets past the rest of us toward the floating island.

Thankfully it doesn’t take much manuvering for the rest of us to also come to a landing on the floating island and regroup. Odd… I noticed some interesting markings on the platform in the middle when we came down. I will have to investigate while the others check out the smaller islands with the headstones on them.

“Hey, it looks like a control device!” Hodey exclaims as he opens up one of the headstones. “I wonder what it does?”

“Don’t touch that just yet, Hodey… I think this whole platform has been charged with ritual magic to perform teleportations!”

“Maybe it can get us out of this insane place!” replies an eager Solon.

I go to investigate one of the other headstones with Khal while Hodey checks out the others, and find the same control device with beautiful stones as foci. “Okay, let’s start it up! If you’re not activating the device, get in the middle!”

Hodey and I each take turns moving from device to device to activate them as the runic circles in the middle island begin to light up and pulse with energy… first blue, then green, and then red.

“I don’t like this…” worries Solon. “Are you sure this is safe?”

I grin wildly as I place the last stone in the control panel. “Not at all!”

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Solon's Journal, Part 2

By the Light, what HAVE I gotten myself into?!

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Solon's Journal, Part 3

A few days have passed in quiet and I have gathered my wits, though I am certain I left several of them behind on one of those planes we passed through. After speaking with my new travelling companions, I am beginning to get an understanding of what transpired.

Curse me for being so awestruck by the trader’s starship that I did not even think to enquire if they knew how to reach the star-faring elves! On the other hand, when one books passage on a vessel to Northport, one should not have to ask if they will instead be encircling the World Sea forevermore. Ah, well, it matters no longer, as the trader’s starship is destroyed, and all but ourselves aboard it now perished.

We are once again on a starship, though where we are or where we are headed, no one knows. Not a star nor constellation is familiar to me. For the moment, however, I am simply grateful for the respite. At least we have returned to a normal place, where you do not forever fall, or are wholly consumed in flame!

Of my companions, I am most trustful, thus far, of the two surviving crewmembers from the trader’s ship. As fortune would have it, Constance (who, though human, must surely have some Elven blood – never before have I seen a human with such beautiful eyes!), has said that she knows of my family. As she is also a starship pilot, she is my best hope for finding them.

Her friend, Waylond, a large, hulking creature with an animal’s head, is likeable enough. He is of a race called “Giff.” He has a dragon pistol as well, though I will be certain to stay at his back as he seems a bit eager to fire these weapons. I have never heard Father mention his kind. (clearly, there was much Father did not mention…)

We encountered the other 3 travelers on the Astral plane. Were it not for their assistance, we surely would have been overtaken by the pirates who destroyed the trader’s starship. Our escape itself, however, was made more perilous than the predicament due to the impetuous, unthinking actions of the kobold!

A kobold… it seems the Unhuman Wars were fought for naught, as vermin such as this will persist like the cockroaches behind the cupboards. Still, this “Hodey” is capable of imbuing spells into mechanical devices. Intriguing… Other than extreme foolhardiness, he does not appear to be a danger, though I will be sleeping with one eye open while he is among us.

There is also a “Githyanki” priest, Kal. While softspoken, he appears to be anxious about something or someone. If he is not forthcoming about this, it would perhaps be best to distance ourselves from him so as to not become entangled in his affairs; his appearance is similar to that of the pirates who attacked us.

Lastly is a fantastic creature, Katya Volkov, a “tiefling,” whom I suspect of being somewhat touched by the Dark. I do not trust her fully, but she has been helpful with her knowledge of the planes we found ourselves on. She appears to be a seer of some kind; perhaps I should ask her if I will find my family.

The others are talking of taking this vessel from the dim-witted dwarves who rescued us from the planar “elevator”. I hope I can convince them to proffer some compensation for it instead. It is improper to reward charity with treachery, and there is no honor in deceiving those who are like children.

All my life I have longed for the stars, eagerly swallowing up Father’s tales of glory. I now find myself among them, and beyond. While fraught with perils, it is indeed, glorious.

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Episode 2: Seeking Refuge
  • Hailed a crew of gully dwarves from the “planar elevator” and managed to get lift out of Redeyes. Flying a groundling caravel with a minor helm that they had inherited when the “officers never came back.”
  • Encounter a mithril caged gem in the Flow, remnants of Juna artifice. Kenari manages to discharge it’s remaining flickr of magic and then Hodein chisels away at it until he removes a copy of an obscure volume of cult lore.
  • After crossing the flow to Darnannon tehy are held up by elves and not allowed into the sphere’s wildspace. Solon is qustioned about his fathers ship and mission and given geased papers to check in with the EIN.
    *After a run in with a pair of Flow Bleeders they finally mae it to the Arcane Sphere known as Refuge.

Kill Sheet

2 Bleeders

Absent
Kal (PC was spacesick)

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Katya's Journal Part 4 - Opportunities

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A blinding flash fills the sky and I hiss as my braids reach up to block the light as I blink to get my sight back. My breath catches as I look up to see that above me is now filled with wonderous pricks of light that dot the night sky like jewels. Is this the Prime Material? I had heard stories… My reverie is soon interrupted by screams and cries for help, however, as the girl Constance and Khal lost their grip on the island and fell over the edge.

“Do you think we can get my rope to them?” asks Wayland.

“Let’s see what we can do,” I reply as I pull my crossbow from my belt and attach the rope to one of my bolts. “Should I hope I get it near him?” I mutter to myself as I take aim with the crossbow. “Nah… can’t risk it.”

The shot rings out with a twang and launches towards the hapless duo as the rope unfurls through Wayland’s hands. I cup my ear and listen intently for the tell-tale scream from the Githyanki as my bolt pierces his leg. “Got him! I think you can start pulling them up now, Wayland.”

“A bit extreme, don’t you think?” asks Solon as Hodey looks over the edge and grins.

“We only had one shot, didn’t we? Besides, I always thought clerics knew how to heal themselves,” I reply with a shrug as Wayland pulls the irritated Khal and grateful Constance back onto the island.

Hodey manipulates the controls on the device a few more times, until his choice of the Plane of Fire leaves much to be desired.

I swat at the devious Kobold with my braid. “Just because you and I are resistant doesn’t mean we need to singe the rest,” I mutter as the Kobold laughs and quickly shift us to Bitopia, the afterlife of the Gnomes. It was the first peaceful and utterly boring plane I could think of from my discussions with Omen.

“Oh thank the Light,” groans Solon as he sits down tiredly. “Do you think we could make camp for a bit before we do that again?”

Hodey promptly sits down and starts pulling devices and tools from his backpack as the others pull out bedrolls and make camp for the next few hours. I entertain myself by investigating more of the runes on the main platform, and discover that it’s some very old magic… done by dragons, perhaps? My palms begin to itch at the thought of such magic and technology combined together… and what I could do with such devices if I ever returned to Ribcage.

I walk back to the camp and grin as I replay the image of teleporting my enemies into the Plane of Ooze in my mind, only to walk in on a conversation.

“So where do we go now?” Constance asks. “I’m looking for my people, Solon is looking for his family, Wayland here is-”

“Looking for a good time!”

“-yes. So where do we go from here, do you think?”

“There’s always Sigil,” I suggest. “If we can find a plane with the proper entrance, we can get to anywhere from there.”

“Maybe I can get back to my troop!” exclaims Hodey as he flops onto his bedroll with a new odd device in hand.

“Assuming the odds are against us and we can’t find this place?” asks Constance.

“Well… there’s always the Prime Material, considering where you and the elf look like you’re from,” I reply. “You know… that place with the pretty sky and dangerous edges,” I chuckle.

“And how are we supposed to get down from there safely?” she asks.

“I made something just for that!” Hodey speaks up cheerfully. “It’s my Calamus Abatement Injector and it will help you land safely!”

“That’s all right, pipsqueak,” answers Wayland, who I’ve since found out is called a Giff. “I’ll take my chances with waiving down a ship.”

“A ship?” I ask. “I don’t know if we’re going to be anywhere near a sea.”

Wayland and Constance chuckle to themselves. “No… a ship that flies through the sky… like the one we had on the Astral Plane,” she replies.

“Oh… you mean the one that crashed?” I ask wryly. “Allright then, when we’re done with camp we’ll go back to the Prime and see what we can find.”

Once we make it back to that beautiful sky, Constance fills me in on the existence of ships that fly through the air currents like waves in the ocean called… what was it… Jammers, I believe. I can’t help but be envious of that kind of freedom, and quickly find myself wanting to be off this rock and up there instead. I mutter a quick incantation and with a flick of my thumb and forefinger a flare is sent up into the air in the hopes of attracting a passing ship.

Minutes pass like hours, until finally Solon points out into the distance at a moving speck of light. “There, I see a ship heading this way!”

I can hear Khal muttering at the news behind me. He’s probably worried about more of those Gith Pirates, or the monks, or… whoever else is chasing him that he hasn’t told us about. I figure whoever it is they’ve got to be better than here… because really, what’s the point of seeing the Universe if you can only do it from one spot?

“Are you guys sure we should leave this platform for just anybody to use?” Constance asks worriedly.

“You could always take the keys with you,” I shrug.

“Yes! Let’s take some of the stones for safe-keeping and give them to…” she looks around at the group of motley magic users doubtfully and finally sets her sights on the large Giff, “…Waylond! He can carry them!”

“No problem at all,” answers Waylond with a tip of his cowboy hat as Hodekin runs off to grab the stones from the control panels.

In the meantime, the ship has drawn close enough to begin pulling alongside the platform to reveal to everyone’s amusement (though I’m not sure about Solon.. you know… Elves and all…) that the deck is full of Gully Dwarves.

“Morons!” squawks Omen as he lands on my shoulder. Okay… maybe amusement was too strong a word.

“Hey, people!” yells one of the dwarves as a group of them stumbles over each other to lower the gang plank.

Constance sighs and then puts on a smile as she walks up to them to barter for transportation. I can’t quite make out what she said, but I assume it had something to do with alcohol when the dwarf shouts in glee, “They’ve got booze!”

I chuckle to myself at the sick humor of the gods and reach up to snap Omen’s beak shut with my fingers before he retorts again. “Enough from the peanut gallery,” I whisper. “Be nice for now.”

~~~~~~~~

It doesn’t take long before we’re all onboard and Waylond has the dwarven crew singing bawdy tunes in a drunken warble. I find a seat on a crate and do my best to tune it out by occupying myself with my cards. The Wheel of Fortune has held true so far… I wonder what else could be in store?

“By the Light, this is all so unbelievable!” exclaims Solon as he peers out one of the windows into the depths of space. “I knew my quest to find my home might lead to this someday, but I never imagined…”

Constance smiles at Solon’s words as she joins the group. “Now that we’re back in space again, what would you like to do Waylond?”

The large Giff leans back on a pile of passed out Gully Dwarves and stretches out his long legs and large feet. “It’s been a dream of mine for a while to find the perfect pair of boots.”

Constance grins and turns to Hodekin to ask him next, but quickly blushes when he replies with crude humping gestures. I hide my chuckle with a cough and pretend to shuffle my cards.

“Okay… we all know what Hodekin is looking for then,” continues Constance before turning to me. “Katya… what about you?”

“Oh, I got what I wanted out of this already,” I answer wryly. “I left home in one piece and managed to get as far away as possible. What do you plan to do?”

“I’m almost afraid to say just in case of the ghosts,” she replies nervously.

“Do tell, oh haunted one.”

“Well… I’ve been plagued by the spirits always doing things around me. Nothing outright evil or anything… just annoying. I have to wonder if it might have something to do with my heritage, so I’ve been wanting to find my family to ask them. And… that’s where you come in.”

“Me? I’m just a poor old fortune teller.”

“But you do read the cards, right? I was hoping maybe you could read them for me… maybe provide a little guidance, you know? Or maybe you could tell us more about the different planes. You said you talk to spirits about them, right?”

“Yeeessss…” I draw out, “but I can only talk to them through Omen, there.” I gesture to the crow perched on a pile of crates who ruffles his feathers proudly.

“Looks like a snack to me!” cackles Hodekin. I’m about to let him know just what he can do with that idea when Omen swoops into the air with a loud “CAW!” and dive bombs towards the offending Kobold… leaving a white streak of leftovers from his breakfast down the back of his head.

Waylond’s eyes get big for a moment before he lets out a loud bellowing laugh. “Now you look like a Kobold!”

“Leave Hodey alone,” I chuckle as Omen swoops back up to his perch on the pile of crates. “Besides… he knows that if he ever ate you, I’d string him up with my braids and get you back myself.” I look over to the kobold who has managed to clean himself off with one of his devices and give him my best evil stare.

“So anyway… yes… a reading. I will do my best, Constance… but I can’t guarantee anything clear cut, you understand.” I hand her the cards to shuffle, and after a few moments begin to lay out the cards on the crate in a cross formation. Just as I thought… so unclear. There’s just too much going on right now… but the poor girl needs to hear something.

“Have you ever thought about trying to talk to the spirits?” I suggest. “Perhaps they’re just trying to get your attention, and would like to help you if you gave them what they desired. When I’ve dealt with spirits and summonings in the past, that usually ends up being the case.” Constance looks at me with a hopeful, yet doubtful expression. “I mean, they haven’t actually caused you any physical or mental pain, right? Maybe they are like children, and just want to be recognized.”

“Well… okay… I never really thought about it that way,” Constance replies before walking away. “Thank you for reading, Katya.”

“Ooo…. evil spirits!” mutters one of the Gully Dwarves worriedly… and a plan begins to hatch that might just get me that ship sooner than expected.

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Solon's Journal, Part 4

Not being a sea-farer, I had not any idea how quickly one can become so accustomed to some things when confined to a small ship, as well as so despise others as to want to run oneself through with an antique rapier! I am thoroughly convinced that Giff are simply not capable of hearing the full range of sounds (I should say: noises!) that the rest of us hear. All right, so I have met only one Giff, but Waylond is setting for me such a terrible first impression of the “musical” abilities of his race!

First, there was that odd warbling he did, disrupting every thought while we were trying to figure out a way off the “elevator”. Then, for the Light knows how long, Waylond relentlessly attempted to coax some sort of self-important chorus out of the likes of the stupid, drunken dwarves! There was not a corner of the ship that bore solace from the cacophony of groans we were subject to every … night? (I suppose it is always night out here…) What I would’ve given for a Silence spell!

I was so overjoyed when Waylond finally acknowledged success that I actually threw coins in thanks for quiet relief. Until, that is, that bizarre, little gecko, Hodey, tinkered up another magic device that somehow reproduces the noise made by the bellowing dwarves, and gifted it to Waylond! Thank the Light, though, for his restraint – he only uses it sparingly, and seems satisfied enough that he has not undertaken to teach the dwarves any more … “songs.”

As I have learned on Pharagos, I will do well to keep such thoughts close. Despite my sensitive ears, I truly like Waylond. He has also already proven himself to be a courageous fighter, ready to defend me from the blood beasts that attacked us while I was piloting the ship.

Unbelievable, is it not? A few short months into my journey, and already Constance has taught me how to pilot a starship! It is quite draining, but more exhilarating than anything I have felt before. To cause such a huge vessel to move under my command! Still, I have much to learn. I nearly killed Constance and Hodey when I tried to fling the blood beasts off the ship! Fortunately, Katya was able to catch them both with her strange medusa-like hair, and return them safely to the deck. (I am sure she is Dark-touched now!)

We have also made our way back to “known space”, and have found the Elven Imperial Navy. Which was not hard at all, actually, considering they surrounded and boarded our ship shortly after we entered the “Darnannon Sphere.” An Elf by the name of Silmar allowed me to fulfill one part of my vow, as I presented Father’s sword, pistol and war medals and told his tale of courage and survival despite the sabotage of “Erevan’s Riddle.” He then had me sign papers that I am to present to EIN patrols as we enter each new sphere.

This “Contract of Napthas” seems a double-edged sword. On one hand, I am forced to comply with the conditions set upon me, or else be magically wounded. (I must say, I resent the implication that my word is insufficient. I as well begin to feel some of the same disdaining gaze from the Elven officers as I experienced on my homeworld.) On the other hand, it may grant us less hindered passage than we might otherwise be allowed were it not for my ancestry.

We are heading for Refuge, a world that Constance and Waylond seem familiar with. After many months of close-quartered travel, I am looking forward to solid ground beneath my feet. I should think Khal would agree, if he could only lift his head from his chamber pot long enough!

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