The Argent Compact

A new friend and the smudge

Dear Mother, Orianna chose to join the rest of the clerics in trying to discover the threat to Selune. We wish her success in her endeavors.

We headed back down toward the cypher gate today to test out a theory on the smudge. Could it be similar to the streak of light we had observed in Logos? Could it be a tear or other type of influence on reality? I called up an ice elemental to ask it’s help in investigating the smudge. I figured the intense cold the others had experienced would have little effect on the ice elemental. As it approached the smudge it seemed to communicate a question of possibly feeling cold and then a pulling sensation. It shattered as it got close to the smudge. Could the pulling sensation have been similar to gravity?

While we were watching the elemental, a strange dwarf approached our group. When I say strange mother, I mean it on several levels. First the obvious meaning, we didn’t recognize him. Second, and more important, he had a goblin head on his belt. As I looked him over, my first thought was magic-user. The head could have been a trophy of a warrior, but he really didn’t have the overbearing warrior nature you see in most dwarves. Then he asked me about my spell and I knew he had arcane knowledge. A warrior would not bother with such information. He seems nice enough. His name is Uli.

Sahir is convinced that he can fly close enough to the smudge to shoot an arrow at it to see if it goes through it or disappears. He thinks Lord Torch might have a rug he could use. Lord Torch wanted only a favor for the use of the flying rug. He asked Sahir to seek information about the efreet Mort (this is the same Mort we met back in that strange bazaar). We told Lord Torch that we had come across Mort and described what had happened. He asked Sahir to try and find the position of the shop Mort had in the desert and free the trapped soul of Sahir’s sister (Lord Torch’s love).

When we got back to the gate, Sahir flew close enough to shoot several arrows in the direction of the smudge. We met up with Uli there again. He was intrigued by the flying rug and had followed us. One of Sahir’s arrows seemed to get close and then accelerate into the smudge where it sort of spun there on it’s own. Sahir almost flew too close but made it back to us safely. He was very cold when he got back and I had an idea. I asked him to touch the goblin head while his fingers were icy cold. Sure enough, it complained! But in goblin I would guess because I didn’t understand what it said. After Uli conversed with it and then talked with us, it was obvious that the goblin was versed in magic use. It had some interesting thoughts, when it chose to share them with us through Uli. It thought the smudge like a portal and seemed like a lens being focused. Sahir took Uli, and his head, up near the smudge and they saw that it cast a shadow in the harbor between the gate and the docks. When Uli and Sahir returned we all got on the rug and flew out near the shadow area. I shifted shape into a dolphin to see if I could find anything under water below the shadow. I could see a depression in the harbor bottom but no obvious magic signs or debris. There was a large school of fish that seemed stuck within the depression but they appeared otherwise healthy. When I got back up to the surface and up onto the rug, Sahir said that he felt a resistance when he tried to fly away from the area. We had been caught along the edge of whatever had caught the fish below. We managed to propel the rug out of the influence and make our way back to shore.

Uli and Morgan went back to speak to the cypher mages about what we had found. Sahir and Anya went to visit some dwarf gas miners about possibly making masks to use underwater. I went back to the Argent Tower to send messages back to the academy with what we had discovered and to ask their advice about the smudge.

Sahir and Anya helped test the masks to see if they filtered the water just as they filtered the vile gas the miners worked in. They arranged for us to borrow enough for each of us and Uli helped adjust one to fit Whisper. It took a lot of calming words and trust on Whisper’s part to follow me in the water. Uli negotiated the rental of a boat for us to use instead of the rug for this next exploration.

When we got near the shadowed area, Sahir, Whisper, and I went into the water with ropes attached. We almost immediately felt the pull of the vortex. Whisper managed to immediately get back, but I wasn’t strong enough. Uli and Morgan kept Whisper and me from being pulled too far down, but Sahir swam with the pull to see where it lead him. Anya had a tough time keeping a hold of his rope. I called a squid to help pull us out of the difficult area and we all got back to the boat. Sahir wanted to explore the bottom of the harbor in the depression so he went back into the water after changing his mask filter. The rest of us stayed on the boat to help as needed with his rope. When Sahir got to the bottom, he tried digging but kicked up a lot of silt and it was affecting his mask filter. He found a box with alchemy reagents in it and set it in the center of the depression to try and blow the dirt and silt clear. He dropped a rock as we pulled him up to set off the explosion. When he released the rock, he untied himself from the rope to stay and watch to see what happened. The explosion exposed bare rock along the floor but there was no obvious markings or signs that would be causing the vortex effect. Unfortunately, Sahir was pulled back down to the bottom by the force along with the rest of the dirt and silt. I dove in with an extra rope and cast water breathing on myself and Sahir. When he tied the rope to himself, Uli had the boat set sail to pull him out of the silt which was up to his waste by now. It nearly tore him in two. We both managed to make it back to the boat. Sahir will be feeling the effects of that trip for a while.

Well, Mother, we are tired and frustrated about making such slow headway on this puzzle. I will write again soon.

Love, Amber

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Jastra

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