The Morning After


Characters: Pierre[4], Remo[5], Ginger[4], Ailon[5], Simon[4], Vicar Horace[4], Tol[4], Jortan[4], Candara[4]

As the townspeople join in celebration and the surviving warriors begin hauling the metal men down into the mine where they can be sealed up for all time, the party steals away to discuss the latest threat against the town. They decide that the only options are to evacuate Jasper or to take the hammer and anvil somewhere else and draw the comet there. Fearing the panic that might ensue if the town learned of the new danger and feeling that the best options is to bring the comet down somewhere it will cause little harm, they pick the second option. At Darmek's suggestion, they decide to travel to the ocean and bring the comet down far from any inhabited place.

Even before the celebrations finish, the party gathers their supplies and heads east through Caliban toward the sea. They travel up into the mountains toward the castle of K'tala and Pierre decides to investigate the remains. After searching through the fortress (which is deserted), they find that an enchanted door now guards the entrance to K'tala's workshop.

Luna make short work of the door with her hammer but the splintering door inflicts minor damage to all those present. Inside, Pierre finds the possessions of the magic users who had worked with him at the castle. In all, he finds 200 spell books which he and Candara pour over looking for new spells. Pierre plans to return and take all the books back to Jaster to create a magic library. He hopes that mages will pay for access to the books and the income can help to repair the damage done to the town by K'tala.

Simon discovers an old diary in K'tala's bookcase that seems to be from about 40 years ago. It appears to be K'tala's journal and about 3/4 of the way through the book Simon finds the last entry:
09/15/1961

Found evidence of a large room in the ruins today. It looks like parts of the roof of the chamber fell in but I think that I will be able to clear enough rubble to gain access to the room tomorrow. Amidst the rubble, I think I saw the glint of more metal reflecting my torch light and maybe some bones over in the far end of the room. If so, they will be the first bones I've found so I am quite excited to examine them.

After dinner I boxed up 2 more crates of artifacts to ship back to Dr J'lar to examine. Maybe he can make some sense of those strange devices. I'm still not sure why there were so many identical suits of armor unless this was a major fortress before the time of the Great Desolation. But that does not jive with he lack of bones found so far. Maybe the fortress was abandoned by the time it was destroyed.

Anyway, tomorrow should shed more light on all these questions. I'm going to turn in early to get a early start tomorrow.

The diary forces the party to consider that maybe K'tala was possessed by some evil that existed long before him. That would help explain how the person K'tala only came to power about 40 years ago but the events of the "great evil" span back over a thousand years. This fact also makes the party wonder if maybe the "great evil" was really killed in the battle or just delayed in its plan. Only time will tell.

After leaving the castle, the party travels across Caliban till they reach the port city of Sorgen. In Sorgen, they find a ship captain that agrees to take the party far from land to a dangerous reef that is a danger to shipping. They feel they might be able to take care of two problems at the same time.

The ship journey takes about a month till they reach the dangerous waters. From there, a small boat rows Luna and a few guards to a small atoll barely clearing the surface. Luna beats on the anvil for about 2 days till Candara almost has a nervous breakdown at how close the comet is getting. Feeling they have done their job, the ship leaves for Sorgen at top speed.

With good winds and a bit of luck, the ship reaches the harbor of Sorgen in just under 4 weeks. The captain decides to anchor instead of tying up, feeling it will be safer if there is a large wave. Already the comet is over the horizon so they know that the impact will happen any day now.

The next morning, as the party eats breakfast on the patio of their hillside inn, Ailon announces that she sees something heading for port. They all turn to see a wave speeding toward land. When the wave hits the harbor, the anchored ships are tossed around a bit but survive. Some of the smaller boats that are tied to the wharf are crushed against the quay. There is also some minor damage to some oceanfront buildings but nobody is killed.

As they sit and finish their coffee, Remo and Ailon think back to all the trouble that K'tala (or whatever he was) caused them: the war, the dragon, the invasion, the metal men, the comet. Pierre, Ginger, Simon, Vicar Horace, Tol, Jortan, and Candara also think back to the troubles in Jasper and wonder just how much was K'tala's fault and what their lives will be like without him.

As for Luna, all she thinks about is the hammer and anvil. As long as they exist, the great evil might be able to try again to take over the world. At the same time, she knows that she could not give up either of them. They have become a part of her now and she knows that she is bound up in their future. In the back of her mind, Luna feels that things are not over for her yet, but she hopes that she is wrong.

 

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