As the night hours waned and the rising sun bled into the eastern skies, soft reds and oranges blended with fading purples and blues. The ocean breeze was cool, the sound of gulls and seahawks, the early rustlings of life stirred as shipwrights and dock workers yawned to their posts. Lastil-Taswell was slowly awakening, small pillars of chimney smoke rose from bakeries and homes as the sun continued to rise. 

Previous Episode/Team BAJA Episode Guide

Once morning broke across the horizon and sunlight reaching through homes, the smells of breakfasts cooking by the hearths emerged from the many chimney stacks across the districts. The Team woke up and decided to do some reconnaissance, learn more about the world after five years had passed and most importantly they needed to reach the Purple Order and get word to Cho-Mak, the Archmage of Divination. Gilda was still not well after merging with herself again and needed more time to rest, choosing to stay in the safe house for a little while longer. Meanwhile, Aydan and Arcaelus decide to venture to the Academy of the Purple which was located in the nearby Emerald Plaza Square and Brightiron and Rainer decided to explore the town and get a feel of the atmosphere. Jimmy Moon took to eagle for and soared over the city, keeping an eye out on his friends when he could.

The half-elf druid wanted to regain the essence of the city he had once called home years ago. Jimmy had many pressing worries since his return but knew that the more important issue was finding Cho-Mak and what to do with the two gems of Azuroth the group possessed. After a little while, the druid decided to take a break from his eagle form and sat perched on a rooftop overlooking the busy populace. An idea struck the half-elf and he summoned an animal messenger, looking up at the giant tree-city of Lastilven where its large branches and leaves provided shade for parts of the city center, he sent a message to his father. The druid hoped his father would get the message and perhaps offer him aid in this more uncertain hour.

Arcaelus and Aydan visited the Academy, the district itself was covered in trees with a large grassy mall where plenty of citizens resting and the children were playing. The building was rather tall but the two knew that it was only an exterior with a more intricate arcane dimensional magic to provide more space. Arcaelus checked in with one of the secretaries to inform them of his return after a 5-year temporal incursion. The secretary hands the wizard a 5000-page form to sign in order to ease off the accumulated guild fees, the reinstatement fees, the administrative fees, along with any back fees owed with interest. Arcaelus was baffled and took the forms into his bag of holding, he and Aydan made their way to the library within the Academy to do some research on the Gems of Azuroth along with information about the mysterious coins that Arcaelus found. Their research pulled up old and ancient tales about the Azuroth Empire but not too many concrete details. Arcaelus sends word to Illinathar to Blackstaff about his return and that he urgently needed his council on their next course of action. While awaiting a response, Aydan goes and explores more of the academy and found some interesting trinkets and oddities but decided that she would need to return a different time. Before they left, they registered themselves, along with Jimmy Moon and Gilda to their arcane licenses for the city. They soon learned about an upcoming event within a week called the Emerald Qualifiers, where students of magic or skill practitioners were allowed entry into the magic-oriented event where the winners are allowed tutelage with the elven mages of Lastil. Arcaelus and Aydan were deeply intrigued with the idea and grabbed several applications for some of their friends if there were interested.

Brightiron and Rainer went out to find information with the city, the two visited the Gloom Ward to see what sort of jobs were available. Rainer went and visited on the older information brokers from the Nest of Shadows by the name of Jerric Velo. Velo informs Rainer than his return was rather unexpected but not unwelcome, though the old broker was more interested in having jobs done than the halfling’s issues with the guild. Velo conveniently had a job offer available, Rainer was willing to take the job in the hopes of drawing more information from the aged broker. Jerric knew the halfling’s ploy and decided to play along and divulged tidbits of information about the atmosphere of the city, that there was a virtual standstill of activity within the Nest and that the other factions within the city have taken notice and responded in kind. Rainer knew as much since he spent time with Dodger, but hearing it again from a somewhat reliable source from Velo did not strike confidence from the halfling. Brightiron went off to find a smith within the Onyx district who could forge him a maul while incorporating a hammer he received from Doctor Roqet along with some shards of obsidian he carved off a demonic statue from the Vault. Brightiron was busy for several days behind the heat of a forge and hammering away at the metal ingots while working for the blacksmith there.

Rainer went to do the job he received from Velo, an escort mission for a business man new to the area who needed protection and aid navigating the city for the duration of his stay. The halfling met the man, a rather young human with decent clothes on his back, the job was largely uneventful until the final business meeting. In a magically secured room, Rainer met again Cecil, Timeaus Randor’s proxy and business confidant. The woman had not aged much in the 5 years that the halfling went missing, either she also endured some planar travel or she managed to escape the events at Nim Rock. Either way, her presence left the halfling unsettled and nervous. Cecil conducted her business, Rainer asked his business contact to wait by the hallway while he conversed with the blonde haired woman. She smiled though her purple eyes never left the halfling during the entire business negotiations. Cecil informs Rainer that her employer, Timeaus Randor, was quite displeased with him and placed a bounty on him due to the lack of contact. She also informs the halfling that he still had to fulfill his side of the contract, which he had failed to do so. Rainer countered with the fact that he had some trouble coming back to the material plane, which he could not help. Cecil informed the halfling that Timeaus was a sponsor for the upcoming Emerald Qualifiers event and suggested that he attend it. Rainer took the invite grudgingly, taking his leave from the mysterious woman. Rainer finished the job and received relatively decent compensation though Velo informed Rainer that due to his lack of activity it was rather difficult for him to garner the original wages due to accrued fees.

Jimmy explored more of the city before finally taking the time to find a grove and meditate with whatever aspect of nature was able bloom besides the sea. The druid’s thoughts shifted back to the moon and Lystrata, seeking answers or hints of guidance from the lunar goddess. His vision shifts and turns to a secluded mountain range, there he finds an abandoned ruin of perhaps a castle or temple, there was a hole in the floor and the druid descended deeper into the ruins. Planted in the center of a dead tree underneath the ruins, a black blade was propped from the ground. Jimmy approached closer and closer, feeling an urge to pull the blade. His hands gripped around the shadowy hilt, once the blade was freed from its prison, loud phantasmal voices echoed through the ruin: “hail, hail, the Fallen King; glory to his forgotten name.” The words chanted and repeated, until shadows enveloped his vision. The druid awoke in the middle of the grove with sweat beading down his face, unsure of the meaning behind the vision or what was to come ahead.

Author’s Note: We did a special tribute to the lore regarding the Fallen King with an Audio Tale voiced by myself. Click here and check it out. Enjoy!

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