The player controlling Scylien wanted to retire her from the campaign and introduce the new character Saelah. The following e-mail exchange between the GM and player occurred between game sessions 27 and 28, and brought Saelah into the campaign.
The Order of the Jade Leaf trains and rebuilds as you cross the courtyard of the keep. Men wash the soot from blackened stone and drag away burned wood. Gangs of carpenters haul in new timbers to repair the interior buildings. While you were helping the Jade Leaf take down a band of poachers, another battle was fought here in Kith’takharos. No corpses remain, so you cannot guess the nature of the foe.
The craftsmen and laborers display no recognition as you pass, yet you realize that every eye noted your presence. You mentally shrug. So what? You are used to those reactions.
A short flight of stairs leads to Dorian Orsova’s office. He motions you to a seat opposite his own at a spacious desk. Though a large window overlooks the courtyard, his gaze never leaves the papers arranged before him.
Dorian finishes writing a sentence, then wipes the ink from the end of his pen and sets it on a tray. He squeezes his eyes shut and rubs his temples. His eyes are bloodshot and ringed by dark smudges. Without looking, he grabs a mug from the desk and takes a deep swallow. A grimace twists his mouth. “Bah. Old, stale, and bitter. One day that will be my epitaph.”
He rises and extends a hand in greeting. “Forgive me. Our troubles are not yours.” He pauses a moment. “I would offer you refreshment if there was any to be had. Everyone’s cleaning up after the lizard attack.” Greetings complete, Dorian drops back into his chair.
He continues speaking. “I want to thank you again for your assistance in apprehending those poachers. You have shown yourself to be reliable and a man of honor. In light of this, I wish to ask a service of you on behalf of Kith’takharos.” You nod to indicate he should proceed. This village seems to appreciate your talents, which is a better reception by far than you’ve gotten in most places.
Dorian leans forward and places his elbows on the desk. He exhales. “Well, I’m relieved you’re willing to hear me out. Let me get right to it. We recently helped send a team into a dangerous underground complex. They call themselves the Band of the Nine Towers, and are seeking a comrade who was captured by a powerful undead. Let me just say that I have information regarding their progress from a believable source who used to serve in the Cyran military. They need some extra muscle, and they need it now. I won’t kid you, this is very dangerous. But the Band deserves what help we can give them. If I can get you in there, will you go?”
You pull off your hood. “Dorian, I appreciate the vote of confidence and your thanks. As for your candor, it is most refreshing. And in answer to your question, I would be willing to assist this Band of the Nine Towers. Fill me in as to what you know and where I am to head.”
You think for a moment, “Ah, what am I to say to this Band? Well, I don’t want to be attacked when I arrive. And my appearance will have some effect.”
For the first time since you’ve met him, Dorian Orsova smiles. “You will tell them I sent you at the request of Burke. And that Burke said they could use a hand. The Band’s nominal leader is a shifter named Jager. He will know this Burke and understand what it means that Burke would contact me.” Dorian shrugs. “I would give you a seal or similar item, but their foe could easily fake these.
“Just so you know, the Band has six members. The Shifter Jager I already mentioned. He is a powerful fighting man. There is also a Warforged Artificer named Fixit. A Changeling Bard, who often appears as a Drow, named Content Not Found: scylien. A Human Sorcerer named Azereen. A Human Monk and Paladin of the Silver Flame named Mila. The missing member is a Halfling Druid named Jenna. They are a wary bunch, so I urge you to make a strong effort at getting along…as you have here in Kith’takharos.”
Dorian clears his throat and picks up a pen, twirling it in his fingers. “I hope you’re alright with being Teleported. We need to Teleport you twice to get you there.” He puts down the pen and pushes back his chair, rising to his feet. “Any more questions? We need to get going.”
“Ah, Dorian, I don’t know about Teleporting. Never done it before. You seem comfortable with it , so I guess it is ok.” Your hesitation betrays some trepidation. “Does this shifter, ah, Jager, know you well enough to believe me when I tell him and the rest, what you said? Other than that, I am ready to go, got all my stuff right here.” You are a little nervous, because of the unknown situation with the Band, as well as the Teleportation.
Dorian leads you across the courtyard and into a cluttered room that resembles a cross between a library and a laboratory. “In a moment, I will show you exactly how to convince Jager.” A Halfling stands near a writing table, a battered Warforged at his side. “All right, Niki,” Dorian says, “send us over.” He gestures so that you move to stand beside him.
The Halfling Niki reads the scroll aloud in some arcane sounding language you don’t understand. Suddenly, you are…someplace else. A small stone room with stale air and no windows. One doorway with two Jade Leaf militiamen standing outside. Inside, a Dwarf woman and a…Lizardman? You instinctively reach for your blade before Dorian places his hand atop your forearm. “No, this is Zzhastor Brune. He is a friend. His people aren’t the ones who attacked us.”
You want to ask more questions but there is no time. Both Dorian and the Lizardman are in motion. Dorian hustles you to a spot near the doorway while the Lizardman reaches for some mechanism built into the wall. Dorian says, “Tell Jager that Zzhastor Brune sent you. He’ll know what that means.”
The Lizardman twists a knob. Now you are in darkness, upside down and falling. You twist in the air and right yourself before landing. Your eyes quickly adjust to the dim light. You are in a cubic room with walls about twenty feet on a side. One door, shut, with a small window. No interior door handle. With your luck it will be locked. No sign of this so-called Band.
Then you notice the body crumpled in one corner. A woman. You immediately recognize her as Drow.