From the writings of Moe'uhane, T'skrang Illusionist, 7th Circle, Messenger Rank 6
Rose sought me out once again, looking for companions for a new task for his Weaponsmith Master, Dvarim Bolg. It seems Dvarim had learned of a town in the plains, Trayckid, that had invested in a fire dome to survive the scourge. As a glowing beacon had not been reported upon the plains, it was safe to assume the town had fallen to horrors. We gathered Norg, and Reyis to join us, and as we were trying to determine whom else we could recruit we were approached by a young ork girl. She advised us she knew we were heading for adventure and she wanted it, she was a journeyman swordmaster . . or would be if we allowed her to accompany us. I admired the spirit and nobody could find reason to deny her, so we were made the introduction of Vralino Hammer-Shield, the spear wielding swordmaster.
Most of the journey was pretty straight forward, head to Juniper Crossing and then head into the plains. The journey is lively enough. We pass a number of other travellers, even a few caravans. Life is crawling through Barsaive again, soon it will thrive with the continued help and dedication of adepts such as ourselves. As we approached Trayckid we detected the smoke plume in the distance. We went to investigate and came across another caravan, this one seemed to be about twenty people preparing a camp. We approached and greeted them. An ork by the name Ergom Gutch greeted us, and appeared to speak for the group. Apparently they were expeditionaries, they had come to Trayckid in the hopes of reclaiming part of the city and promoting a resettlement. They agreed to allow us to camp with them and exchanged more information on the town. They had come across some difficulties in exploring the city, wherever they went the way forward seemed to shift against them. They seemed to travel the same roads multiple times until they chose to leave the ruins. The dwarven woman named Srayf Aldor, who appeared to be in an authoritarian position, was rather hesitant of the group returning to the ruins, or suggesting anyone else enter. The group seemed well practiced and suitably equipped for the task at hand, so the severity of that warning did not go unnoticed. Even from where we say we could see the odd shape and angles of the outter walls that made little or no sense.
The younger of the group seemed particularly taken with our group, having heard stories of our various tasks, though some very embelished. Claiming Rose had no head at all, and I had stolen the shadow of a dragon. It's good to be known I guess. We felt that we still needed to attempt to reclaim this town, and our particular arrangement of adepts may be suitable for the task. So in the morning we assessed the area an made a plan. Rose probed the astral space in the area and found the area immediately within the walls to be tainted. As he did that my attention was drawn to the walls, they had all shifted during the night. Crenellations where none existed before, morphing of shapes and openings that had been in the walls previously. I studied closely and this was no illusion, something caused the wall to shift. Rose advised us that the effect sounded like the ability of a spirt, a confuse power, and Rose definitely detected a spirit. He said it seemed to be everywhere in front of him, encompassing the entire town. We began into the town, following the directions of Dvarim and attempted to find our way to Crafters Row to reclaim the most functional forge. We wound through the city, while walking in a straight line, often repeating where we had been. The city was very much against us. Eventually we made it to the town square. There were a series of what appeared to be taxidermized Namegivers stitched together performing the normal actions of a market place. We began to look around, the sculptures were studded with green stones. As we were investigating the area the sculptures came to life surprising us.
They quickly fell upon poor Vralino knocking her to the ground and causing the magics wrapping her to explode. She fell unconscious to the warping of magic in this corrupted area. They turned on Rose next, knocking her down as well. Next they began to beat on Norg, with large clubbing overhand smashes, it staggered him, but he still managed to knock one down. They continued to beat on Norg, overwhelming him and knocking him to the ground. The one who downed Vralino joined in and caused magics wrapping Norg to warp and explode. Luckily it was not as violent as it had been on Vralino. Rose fumbled trying to regain her composure and grab the threads of magic, I nodded knowingly and unleashed a powerful blast of illusory flames upon the four surrounding Norg. They all fell to the ground twitching as if their flesh bubbled, one of them twitched his last twitch. Reyis took advantage and loosed the spirits of sharks upon one, finishing him off. Norg, still on the ground, rolled over and smashed into the chest of another, collapsing it into the ground. We quickly finished the last and attended to Vralino. We rested and performed a heroes feast. When we stood to proceed again we were back where we began at the front gates.
This corrupted city spirit still seemed to be guiding people to the right location, but only if it felt they belonged there. I surmised that if we had reason to attend crafters row, the city would guide us there. We returned to the caravan outside the city and had Ergom provide a letter of intent to be delivered to Crafters Row, and we borrowed a small amount of trade supplies. We then headed into the city again, burdened as traders and messengers, not as adventurers or looters. We progressed further into the city, sounds and sights drawing our attention, looking to distract us from our goal. These were not illusions, but they were poorly borrowed from the books of illusion. I guided our teams direction like a large boat following the flow of the river to the sea. We avoided the swirls and eddies and made it to where we needed. Most difficult was the location that appeared to be a rundown and twisted orphanage, the cries morphed the more we ignored it. It took a grim determination to walk past the sounds of children in need, but there was no truth in that call, only death.
We arrived in Crafters Lane and found one forge that was in a far less random state then all the surrounding buildings. We continued to act as traders, ringing the bell before entering the establishment. I know not a great deal about spirits, just that Rose had been unable to commune with this great city spirit, and we were going to be less likely to be able to quell it in battle if we got on it's bad side. Inside the forge though, we had better luck. Rose detected a second spirit in the forge. He managed to commune with this benevolent spirit quite fine. We learned that this hearth spirit was turning back the 'nonsense' of the city spirit, but it was slowly loosing the battle, as nobody was around to feed the spirit energy through purpose. We learned that the forge use to be Awfak's Forge. Rose worked on a new sign and started the forge up to help craft tools and materials to clean and repair the building. We again communed with the spirit and it advised us that it could now hold out longer, but would need greater purpose. We told it we would have Namegivers return to use it's bastion as a means to freeing this city. We would seek out more to come and purify the spirit of the city and help reclaim the glory this Hearth Spirit remembered.
We stopped at the caravan on the way out of town, knowing that they would be safe at the forge, and that they needed to provide the spirit purpose while we returned to Throal for more assistance. I spoke to Srayf, as I knew she would be the one I would need to convince. We sat and discussed the full scope of our adventure to Trayckid, and the general status of our task giver. I brokered terms to give them exclusive founders rights to the remainder of the city as it began to be cleared. Understanding that if they agreed to work the forge, that they would develop a monopoly on the comings and goings of anyone else entering the city. I may not be a devotee of Choralis, but he must smile at the idea of trading the illusion of power to deny something they would already hold to better suit your needs. We helped them reach the forge, and advised them what we knew of the city spirit and helped them get settled in the forge. Finally we returned to Throal, Rose advised Dvarim of the state of Trayckid, and I provided Ergom's letter of intent and advised him of the new stakeholders in the re-founding of Trayckid. He seemed amenable to the idea, likely because we left real people down real work. He then advised Rose that she should work that forge and provide the beating heart the city would need to restore itself. If Rose could prove herself up to the task and achieve Journeyman Smith status, Dvarim would gift the forge to her. I suspect Rose will need more assistance in the future, and I look forward to the adventure.