A shooting star blazes across the sky.
Professor Twine of the People's College is seeking a group of skilled individuals to help him seek out this falling star and secure it for the College.
The party, (consisting of Samuel of the Warrior, Marissa Terrec and Jimmy Hoskins) we're hired by Professor Twine of the People's College to escort him to a fallen star, and secure it. As they set off the party defeated a thuggish group, stopped a riot at a bridge and met with a powerful river spirit, angered by the damage the meteor had done further upstream. While the others bowed meekly before the entity, Samuel refused, and engaged it in combat. Unfortunately, the river spirit had the upper hand, and defeated and cursed him, removing all the water in his body, leaving him withered but still alive. The party eventually made it to the site, claiming the fallen star shortly before a group lead by Lisa Terrec arrived, who strived to negotiate for access to the star and offered to assist in the research. By this point it was late, and camp was made. During the night Dr Tomes (A rival scholar to Twine) was caught attempting to sneak past the guard, while Twine himself escaped in the dark. For (as would be found shortly), the purpose of this trip was not truly of academic research, but actually for a chance to flee. The Professor had racked up rather large debts, to organisations both legitimate and otherwise, and was using the fallen star as a legitimate excuse to get out of Acryn, where he was being watched, before fleeing to friends in Margush. As the sun dawned however, he was brought back to the camp by a group from the True Council, there to collect his debt either from him or the fallen star itself. At this point a third group of militaristic individuals also appeared, and made to slay all present without any explanation. So a many way fight ensued between these groups and the party aided by the Terrec group. Part way through, the unannounced group caused the area to become destabilised, and the star began to burn with a blue and green inferno, which formed a doorway, while burning spectral figures formed and attacked. Having been kidnapped and stabbed several times during the battle, the professor made to escape through the doorway, accompanied by he party. Inside they found a large green gemstone, which upon touching seemingly transported them to a great chamber, the walls adorned with many symbols, some recognisable as being of the lands across the eastern ocean. The party defeated a creature seemingly composed of fused humans burning in brilliant flame, and then fled as the room began to burn, emerging back out of the star with the gemstone, before finishing the fight.
Afterwards the party were alarmed to see the Professor attempting to make a quick escape. Jimmy and then Samuel intercepted, the former securing a deed to the fallen star, while the latter confronted him on his sudden attempt to escape. Wishing nothing other than to get away, the Professor gave the party the gem and made for Margush. The party negotiated with Lisa Terrec, who would have the gem and star be investigated and pay them, and additionally secured funds from the College of the Stars for forwarding the information to them. On speaking with individuals from each of the two groups their identities became apparent. The True Council member was forced to tell all, and was blackmailed by Jimmy to ensure there were no reprisals for the party thwarting them here. The other individual only managed to speak of their allegiance to the Serradic Empire before dying as the party's wayfinder felt a great power. Hoskins briefly took to Margush, using his contacts to find out what happened to the Professor, and while he could not find him in person, he managed to find the name of the merchant who took him in.
The fallen star was taken back to Acryn as the party returned, and while awaiting news of it the True Council member's head was found outside Hoskins' home, with a message stating their respect for his methods. He replied announcing his services as a criminal lawyer.
A few days later the party are called in by Lisa Terrec, and they enter a large warehouse containing the star and gem. About are a collection of scholars and mages, all eagerly rushing around with complex looking tools. After a variety of rituals and experiments, it is found that the gem is seemingly inert now, though clearly contained something of great power, but that power is not magical or alchemical in nature. Working with the descriptions of the events, the best theory is that whatever entity or entities resided in it became the burning figures and were destroyed in the fight, after the area being destabilised caused them somehow to emerge. It is speculated that this was some kind of prison or trap for these aggressive creatures who once freed ran amok. The eastern symbols are a matter of curiosity however, and the materials used seem greatly durable, far greater than mundane. The gem is returned for now.
In the coming days, the dreams of each of the party members are disturbed. They can hear an eerie, unpleasant, hard to make out whispering. This voice asks “Would you us to our rightful place, or would you damn us to this suffering?”. It will not elaborate, but in their dreams the party can see flashes of those brilliant emerald gemstones, hundreds of them, each the size of the one they encountered, all interconnected in a spiralling web. Should the person respond “No” then the voice becomes silent and will be heard no more. Should the person respond “Yes” they will be reminded that “A word, once given, cannot be ungiven”, but should they persist the voice will again fall silent for now.
Those who decided to aid the mysterious voice gain the following benefit for now: Twice per adventure may point at someone and call DOUBLE REND, as ghostly figures wreathed in flame appear momentarily and attack the target.
Having fought a massively superior foe, Samuel now has access to the Colossus of Battle epic tree.
Samuel has been cursed and no longer has any water in his body. Investigation will show that when injured instead of bleeding blood, a dusty crimson substance emerges which has seemingly taken its place. Any effect which relies on the target having blood will simply fail.
Additionally though he thirsts for water, it now burns away at him. Light rain or mist is unpleasant while heavy rain will be actively painful, but generally speaking you will be able to dress in such a manner as to not be in genuine risk of bodily harm.
When drinking liquid (including potions), he suffers a (through) SINGLE as the liquid burns him from the inside. This is taken after any immediate effect of that potion (for example a HEAL 0 potion would heal 0, stopping a death count, and then a single would be taken, restarting the death count from the beginning).
Should he be even partially immersed in water he takes a (through) SINGLE every second as it burns away at him.