Episode 30: F Magnus Magnusson Pashtum
Driven by the loss of the Dragonhead, Keen and Levani pursued the fleeing tiefling thief, and Ara went with them. They picked up the trail of the strange woman further back in the ruins of the buried Dwarven city through which they had been travelling, but the trail ended in a cramped basement in which the woman had inscribed, and used, a teleportation circle. Levani investigated the circle, noting its odd construction, and a sigil in the centre that did not seem to fit the rest of the incantation; Keen recognized the sigil as the seal of House Mjorndottir, one of the seven merchant families that rule the city of Uman, though he chose not to share this revelation.
Meanwhile, Yuna entered the ancient building to prevent Magnus killing the last remaining goblin who could give them answers about how and why the party was brought together. Magnus subdued Skaggit, and touched the giant residium crystal. In a flash, more than 400 years of lost memories came flooding back to Magnus, and he briefly lost consciousness.
When he came to, Magnus revealed to Yuna what he now remembered of residium: that it is the material manifestation of magic, created by concentrated, repeated spellcasting over a very long period of time in a single place; he guessed this deposit was the result of millenia of repeated spellcasting. He also said that it was fantastically dangerous, even in small quantities, and if the secrets of its application were discovered every magic user in Telisar would persue it relentlessly. It has the power to damage the very structure of the planes, twisting reality to the will of the user and making them more powerful than gods. It was this realization that led him to destroy the only record of research that documented residium’s true nature more than 400 years ago, violating the terms of his El Astrum Public Library Members Card and relegating Felurius Magnus Magnusson Pashtum, highborn young wizard of Uman to the eternity in the Library’s Guard Cohort.
Levani, Keen and Ara returned, their chase having ended in failure, and the party began to discuss what to do about the residium. Clearly they could not surrender it to Banu, the old necromancer that sent Magnus to retrieve it, but neither could they deny Banu without Magnus suffering a painful death by resisting the geas. His memory restored, Magnus could now recall with perfect clarity the wording of the Members Card, which stated that the compulsion to obey Banu, a former Arcanus Practicus Adeptus of the Library, could only be broken by death, or by a member of the Arcanum releasing him. The party began to consider whether killing Magnus and resurrecting him might be the best course of action, but Yuna cautioned the party that resurrections of all kinds always have consequences, and that Magnus might be changed by the experience.
While they deliberated, the goblin Skaggit began to stir. Yuna healed the goblin so they could interrogate him. From Skaggit they learned that a mystical Voice had guided the goblin tribe to this spot, and instructed one of them, Skaarsgaard, in using residium to prepare the serum that was injected into each member of the party. In fact, the Voice named four of them – the Seeker, the Flame, the Dragon, and the Man Who Did Not Die – and instructed the goblins to find them, inject them with the serum, and sell them to the kobolds in Greencrack Copper Mine. The Voice said they were “Birds of a feather,” and had to be brought together, but Skaggit was reluctant to say which party member was which, nor did he seem to know why the Voice wanted the party brought together.
Skaggit also explained that Skaarsgaard had continued experimenting with the residium after the Voice’s demands had been met, and had learned how to raise a race of stronger, smarter, more powerful goblins: the blue-skinned hobgoblins that had eventually attacked Whitebridge. The hobgoblins had rebelled from the tribe and left, stating they wished to live on the surface.
Yuna placed the Hat of True Frog on Skaggit and secured the small frog in her pack. The party debated their next move long into the night, eventually resolving to kill Magnus and resurrect him, but Yuna needed a rest before she would be able to cast her resurrection magic. They settled in for a troubled night’s sleep. Upon the morning, and ready to proceed, the party found their will lacking; the unknown cost to Magnus of killing and resurrecting him seemed too big a risk to take.
No decision forthcoming, the party stood before the looming residium, its great crystalline form reaching many feet high into the air, and wondered what to do.
Strong Hints Not Taken: 1
Thieves Captured: 0
Memories Restored: 1
RP Rating: Awesome!