Episode 31: Death is a Heavy Trip
The party continued their deliberations, debating ways to release Magnus from his servitude to the El Astrum Public Library in general and the necromancer Banu in particular, without surrendering the residium.
Ara called on the power of his ancestral guardian, Aleh Xa Akiir, to send messages to anyone the party thought might have advice or aid. First he tried Anthol Antholson, but was rebuffed. Next he contacted Masym, Holy Mother of the Whitebridge Temple of Freya, who responded; unfortunately her only advice was that the terms of a geas willingly entered into can only be broken according to the terms of the agreement itself, or through divine intervention. Ara called on his patron god Rillifane, but received no response.
Meanwhile, Magnus learned from Skaggit, the last remaining member of the Black Tack Goblin Tribe’s druidic Triumverate, that harvesting and processing residium is a gruelling process, and the only way the goblins were able to do it was using alchemical equipment, several phials of reagents and mythril tools, all of which were stolen from Drow somewhere deeper in the Underdark. Magnus began trying to chip away chunks of solid crystal using a a solid mythril pickaxe, to no avail.
It was then that four goblins materialized in the ceremonial chamber in front of the party, dragging with them an elf, paralyzed and wrapped in his own travelling cloak. The goblins were quickly dispatched, but not before Ara recognized the largest one as one that had ambushed each of the party so many months ago, injecting them with residium serum and triggering all the events that followed.
Yuna cured the prisoner of his paralysis. He named himself as Elstuviar am Vakarilithien (“my friends call me Stu”), alchemist and Hearld of the Whisper King. This meant nothing to the party, though Ara did recall one resident of Whitebridge mentioning the Whisper King in passing.
Stu had little to say about the Whisper King, except that it was an entity of great power that sent him on quests to keep the world safe from dangers like residium. And indeed, Stu seemed to know a great deal about residium, and immediately began inspecting the huge crystalline deposit. With application of a combination of alchemical reagents pulled from somewhere under his cloak he desolved a small portion of the crystal into a thick, viscous goop, which he stoppered in a small vial and tucked away.
Magnus attacked Stu in an attempt to secure the vial, but was paralyzed by fumes from a shattered vial thrown at him by the alchemist. Stu explained that he had the means to safely dispose of the residium, and demonstrated by mixing the viscous goop with a second reagent which caused it to sublimate into gas and disperse, leaving nothing behind. Stu announced he would remain here to dispose of the entire residium deposit, but that it would take perhaps a year to complete.
Levani, having been betrayed by mysterious strangers offering help in the past, declared she didn’t trust the elf, and openly wondered whether the strange man was simply insane, arcane knowledge notwithstanding.
In the end, they realized that even if Stu could safely rid them of the residium, it would do nothing to help free Magnus from his servitude to Banu. Reluctantly, and with Yuna’s warning that resurrection was not without dangerous consequences fresh in his mind, Magnus agreed to die.
Keen drew his blade across Magnus’s throat, and as soon as life had left him, Yuna cast the Revivify spell, resurrecting him. But the totality of the experience and its effect on Magnus remains to be seen.
Alchemists ex Machina: Woah, Brah
Goblin Luck Score: Worst
Death Trip Rating: Heavy
RP Rating: Awesome!