A series of slow tales ravels out in a fashion, as the heroes answer a few question, while generating new ones:
*Tiskus disappears! While shadow stepping, the mage’s connection to Old World Magic sends him on a 10-year hiatus/adventure through the Planes. The group eventually brings him back using a summoning scroll they find during their adventure against some bandits who’ve been working out of Grantham. Which leads to:
*Csonka is finally rescued! They find him in the bandit outpost, located in the hills NW of Grantham, where they take on 22 bad guys in a frontal assault, at night, because sneaking only gets so far ( as Shadow can attest). The mage is found, handless (literally), but alive. Seems a couple of parties want his knowledge of Mud Sorcery and such (to include the location of a tomb). Party finds a bunch of supplies, including munitions, which appear to be bound for Summer Thorne. The surmise the bombs would be used in an attack on Felston. Rather than bring them back, they leave them in a secret chamber in a dungeon they recently explored. Speaking of that dungeon…
*People die! A member of the Chain, who seeks out those who misuse magic, or otherwise do things the Circle of Mageswell deems dangerous, joins the group. Galenfier is his name. Or rather was. In the lethal dungeon below the bandit outpost, he steps into a dark portal and drops into a bottomless pit (because the GM has little use for him, evidently). But ot before members of the party get crushed by falling rocks, and he frees them with his “my sword cuts through anything” ability, and they are revived by Vicic. Party eventually finds a treasure room, but botches the riddle to get all the chests, instead ending up with one container possessing a few items and the aforementioned summoning scroll.
*When they use the scroll to bring Tiskus back, he is older, and on a mission to destroy the staff of Kyume. This dominates the group actions, much to the chagrin of Telvas who…
*…has met with Swiftsteel, who reveals that the Elven people are somehow linked with the Shafrat and the Shakal. On the way to check about the staf, the Shifter does a mind-meldy ting with Telvas, revealing the horrible cataclysm that destroyed many of his people. The wars were the outcome of the Elders ability to manipulate matter, which, obviously, went WAAAY awry. Telvas learns his people have the same capabilities latent within them. Swiftsteel asks him to join “The Pool,” but the swordmaster demures to think about it. Meanwhile, his eyes have turned silver, and he begins to develop the ability to detect Changelings.
*Speaking of, Vicic: The Cleric receives a visitor in Felston named Walter, who chastises him for not fulfilling his duties (though one wonders where Enumoch actually cares bout duty, being the God of “Meh, whatever…” The somewhat devoted Fist Priest learns True Sight, and can now see through all guises, which leads to…
*…the detection of one of the Changelings in his true guise in Mageswell. The grey, alien looking creature has been masquerading as Exarch Murdoch, a Circle member. Party finds out the Chnagelings want to destroy the staff, too, because activating it will open a rift to the plane of absolute law, thus bringing the world to the planar beings’ notice, thus removing all semblance of free will, making life meaningless.
*So…very long story short, the party negotiates with Murdoch, agreeing to work with him, sorta….Meanwhile, Telvas believes the Changelings should be SLAIN (and may be right, who knows?). The long day’s journey into mid-afternoon leaves off with the group in Mageswell, surrounded by 7 mostly hostile Changelings who may or may not be allies.
*Enumoch appears in many incarnations, but all of them look like Jeff Bridges in various roles.
*Telvas has Silver Eyes. Tiskus had Gold Eyes. Vicic still only has one ear. Shadow has bloodshot eyes…often…
*While back in Felston, Shadow was confronted by a tough named Mick Jagger, who carried a scroll with Shadow’s father’s signature on it. This is all he read after Jagger dropped it, then came back and snatched back. They fought, Shadow broke it off, because Jagger threatened to kill him. Good move, Shadow. As for following up on his father’s apparent involvement with Jagger, our thief appears to care less, probably because of the pipeweed.
*Vicic discovers that the disease in the poor quarter isn’t really spreading like a typical disease. This discovery does little to pique his interest, though, as the journey to Mageswell seems to present greater importance, because Tiskus Doomsayer has told them all existence is in the balance!
*Telvas’ hostility toward Tiskus has advanced from simmering to boiling. The Elf may be at the breaking point when it comes to following the mage’s advice. Plus, he has a really big sword. Still. And silver eyes (did we mention that?).
*Fortifications are being built in Felston. Dwarves have appeared, engineers being paid in heavy, Kamenvoss coinage.
*Grantham is hemorraging population fast. Rumors of the void being filled by son of Haggis, or the Elves of the Hodei, or maybe something else (what will M’nenieth do when the city stops paying him off?).