As Far As You Can Tell – Episode 28
Violet was hit by a catapult. There are two soldiers near it, and we hear marching, and soon notice a column of soldiers marching towards the party. The catapults are firing rocks at the party. They soon realize the soldiers have stopped, and as they look around they notice his mother at the door. She tells the group that her son liked the prince best, and that he had an overactive imagination. He had no name for the future – he just called it ‘prince’. The party isn’t sure what to think. They theorize that many this could be supernatural (if the child is a ghost), or maybe planar in nature, stuck on the Gloom or the Vibrant. Raziel asks Valor, who only responds with acknowledgment and confusion. When the party looks back they see a boy’s face in the glass which then disappears.
Sarah is now playing with a snow fort and having snow fights with other children. The snowballs that come near her are moved just a tiny bit – she argues with another kid, and a tower of snow inexplicably falls on the boy she was arguing with. Sarah’s castle is now larger, and has six towers on it. Violet puts the prince on it and hears whispers. She bumps into someone behind her, an amari male with dark blue hair cut at an angle, who introduces himself as Aelric Teias. He’s in his late hundreds. He bows to Violet, and explains that he lives here. He was traveling, but his true took root here, and until it gets large enough he is staying here. He likes the snow of Isild, and has no family in the immediate area. He is Starcalled, and his sigil is that of Hezin – the fire sigil. He doesn’t seem to care much about the missing kids. He envelopes Violet in a bubble of warmth (presumably a sigil ability), and the snow around her feet is melted, but the castle if intact. She hears a grunt from the castle and snow is thrown in her face. Sarah White’s side of the battle wins the snowball fight.
Sarah gives the party general directions to home, and they accompany her there. As they approach the house they hear the sounds of two adults coming through the door. A gruff male voice argues with Danielle over something, but the subject is unclear. An older gentleman looks at Sarah and walks through the castle, destroying it. He picks up Sarah and walks back in. After slamming the door it is quiet- it seems that the argument is over. The toy is inside the house looking out the window.
When the party returns to the inn Shadow is there. They head up to sleep for the night, and Veil wakes up later on hearing rocks against her window. When checking everything out she sees a lotus flower on a barrel, and recognizing it as a religious omen of sorts, she heads outside and follows a trail of petals south beyond the south gate while the rest of the party sleeps. The path eventually veers to the east, but to the right there is a small trail that leads to the woods. As she proceeds down the path she finds a ruined temple surrounding a stone basin, and half of it is cracked. The basin could hold just a handful or so of water. Veil arrives at the basin, and notes that it is free of snow – the water is jet black and reflecting the night sky. Sitting on the side of the basin is a whole black lotus. Veil reaches down and touches the flow, and she hears a familiar voice behind her say, “it’s been a very long time”. She spins around and sees Rowan, her (presumed dead) boyfriend, on a ruined stone wall. He looks real, and says there’s no reason to pinch herself, he’s actually here. He lands in a small fluff of snow.
He explains that he’s been living in Shardfalls since Dragonheart was compromised. He was out scouting when the cultists came to their hideout to kill everyone. He doesn’t believe that they realize he’s alive. He found Veil by noticing when she came into town with the alchemist, Ana, a contact from Dragonheart. Together, they walk back to town. He and the dog seem to know one another – the dog is excited to see him. He stays on the fifth floor, having residence in a permanent apartment here.
Strange things are afoot…
The following morning, the party (minus Veil) heads down for breakfast. Veil goes to the fifth floor to see Rowan standing there. She goes back downstairs to explain to the party what happened the night before. Violet notices a toy soldier, the Prince, underneath the table. In the general area of the soldier a man’s entire plate of food inexplicably smashes into his face. Hove, who is spooked, tries to go to ‘sleep’ to lure the ghost to mess with him. Raziel eats his food as normal, but suddenly feels really full.
The party goes upstairs to meet Rowan. His door is ajar, and he ushers them in. He has bookshelves full of things, and he’s eating here upstairs. Raziel, feeling like he’s going to be sick, ends up throwing up disgusting bloody meat, which makes no sense, as he ate bacon and eggs.
Meanwhile, Hove slept for about thirty minutes. He feels sore, and tense, as if he was recently in a fight. He has humanoid bite marks on his skin covering his arms and legs that disappear when he takes another look. He heads upstairs, where Rowan explains that he carried the prince around for a while, but he disappeared one day. The amari that Violet met works for him as a scout. The mirror in front of Violet is slightly out of sync – about a half second off from reality. This is important, because mirrors are thought to be in/reflect the plane of mirrors (but planeswalking there is impossible). Her mirror double is trying to mimic, then looks down. It looks like the toy pulled the plug and water was backing up, but when Violet looks again the mirror is fine and then the doll is in water. Violet tells Hove about the mirror, and he looks, seeing bite marks on him. He sees blood on his own hands – but the party doesn’t see this. Ana checks him out. Her uncle’s wedding ring is in her hand – it is something she hasn’t seen in a long time. When Veil looks into the mirror, perplexed by everyone’s actions, she sees herself kill everyone, and her reflection jumps back and winks at her. Ana goes to the mirror, only to find her hands empty.
Hove goes back to his room. His cup is knocked over, and the shape of the spilled water is that of a dwarf body. After touching his bed, his fingers come back red. The mirror is shattered, and it sounds like something is chasing him back up the stairs.
Veil goes to her room, where the flowers are still on her window. Then she goes to the other girls room. The only odd thing Raziel notices is that the cup in their room is flipped upside down, and it still contains water. He puts Valor in front of a mirror – and Valor is blood red, and behind, a drained Hove lies on the bed. Raziel feels the emotion of an amused Valor. Afterwards, the boys head down to the girl’s room, and the chair and curtain within their room moves. The party hears the soft giggling of a little girl, and then footsteps coming up the stairs, and Danielle White runs up to them. She is panicking – Sarah went missing near the bridge on the south side of town.
The party runs to the bridge with the dog following. He leads the group to the south gate, and runs past it, traveling over muddle cobblestones. The party finds a small pink boot. When picking up the boot blood begins pouring out – more blood than could even be in a six year old. They decide to follow the trail that Veil took, but they find a side trail. After a half hour or so the party comes across a clearing. There is a small circle of stones, and within the center is a warmed area with grass and flowers. Shadow runs to the circle of stones. The party realizes that they’re looking at a natural portal into the Vibrant, and that Sarah must have gone into the portal.
Coming closer to the stones, the air is shimmery. The fae on the other side build stone rings – most have been inactive up until the recent return of Synethil. They enjoy playing tricks on individuals, like getting travelers lost. Space itself doesn’t work the same in the Vibrant. The entire plane is under the control of Radiant Regents. The party debates on entering the portal.