“Lord Hector Terrec would like to hire a team of investigators to settle an outstanding matter of inheritance. The magically adept and those with wayfinding potential are especially encouraged to apply. Must be willing to travel. Payment of 40 Acra expenses plus a percentage of secured wealth”
With the adendum, in a different hand:
“As lord Terrec's solicitor, I hereby vouch that to the best of my understanding, hist lordship's intentions and desires are entirely legal”
After their briefing the party are approached by Hector's brother Wallace who present them with an alternative proposal. Before he can finish his pitch however, a group of ne'erdowells emerge from the shadows and attempt to kidnap him. Duke Blackthorne's silver tongue works it magic and the crooks are soon persuaded to deliver their employer to Wallace instead.
After a harsh trek over the Bluepeaks they surrender to a group of golems that are apparently hunting a thief that pillaged their temple. At the gates of Caul it becomes clear that these sentinels are a little unreliable, seeking a high priestess who has been dead for over a year. Fortunately another priest takes the golems in tow and they are able to go about their business hunting for their contact.
The old butler is now working as a waiter in a tavern, and is happy to reveal his meeting with a wayfinder named Saren who apparently encountered Lady Elise at her estate out in the flux. Arcus encounters a boorish Caulish magnate, Vasilly Chenovich, who speaks frankly about his desire to buy some of Acryn's councillors in order to gain power over the mining guild.
The party find Saren cornered by a group of toughs and a golem and it becomes apparent that the wayfinder was the one who robbed the temple. The party negotiate that in exchange for the preservation of his kneecaps he will see the relics restored to the temple and then lead them on to the estate.
Colin, influenced by bad prior experiences with the temples of the Lord of the Rock, attempts to kill the pious rogues as the group journey through the flux, however with Arcus and Rowan refusing to help the situation returns to an uneasy truce. Saren's attempts to escape during the scuffle are thwarted by Rowan and earn him a severe beating.
Eventually the nervous wayfinder leads the group through a 'crack' in the flux, taking them into a strange liminal realm that seems a composite of other landscapes. Colin is able to observe considerable wierdness with his flux sensitivities and moots the possibility of a deal with the Wayfinder's Guild. After handily defeating the creatures within the strange landscapes, the group is able to reach Blackstone Temple, a place previously thought lost to the upheaval.
As Colin predicted the golem guardians of the temple are not friendly, but Duke Blackthorne's strange authority defuses the situation and the priest of the Hard Lads sets about restoring the temple whilst the party continues on their journey.
Leading them on through the 'lost spaces within the cracks', Sarin speaks of how he has made a considerable amount from leveraging his unique ability to loot pockets of consensus that are otherwise impossible to discover. He leads the group through a rainforest, where they battle past man-eating foliage and to the edge of the liminal space where they can see the estate.
Unfortunately the passage out this time is far harder than before, and when the group attempts to cross the boundary, flux copies of themselves emerge and attempt to deter them. What follows approaches farce as Arcus becomes enamoured of himself, Colin blows up everybody else and Rowan indiscriminately heals the wounded, stretching out the battle until he is forcibly incapacitated and the copies destroyed.
Finally passing into the estate the group are confronted by flux guards who don't believe that anything but flux monsters can emerge from the wilderness outside the grounds. The party keep things civil and Arcus schmoozes his way inside to offer Lady Elise a way back home. Unfortunately the flux duplicate of Hector overhears the fate of those left without 'real' person to sustain them and the guards try to detain the group as they leave. The adventurers battle their way free and escape back through the lost spaces towards home…
Still some things to fill in
The PCs return to Caul, with Lady Elise in tow. There, they head back to the bar to find Carlos, and her ladyship quickly buys out his contract such that he can return to her employ. Meanwhile, Arcus arranges a back-room deal with Seren to enter his employ, and teach on the ability to enter the Lost Places to a select few wayfinders under his auspices. With a hefty bribe, he manages to buy his loyalty, for now, and dispatches Seren along with another wayfinder to retrieve the two surviving people in Blackstone temple, and to allow them to ensure the temple is in proper order, winning him appreciation within the Lord of the Rock’s priesthood.
Continuing back to Acryn, the PCs re-unite Elise with her two nephews, who are surprised but pleased to see her alive. Lord Wallace sticks to his deal with the PCs - they’ve ensured that the family’s money is once again under good management, and instructs them to contact his favourite armourer at their convenience to receive their reward (OOC: Each PC may choose a single master-crafted weapon or suit of armour as their pay). Lord Blackthorne also advances a business proposal to Wallace - a joint venture on a new mine along with the investor from Caul that they met in the bar. A deal is hashed out - Arcus will invest half the capital (reduced as normal by his discounts) and take what works out to 70Ac of the income per adventure, with the Terrecs taking the mana and the investor the rest of the cash.
Colin reports on what he saw to the parts of the guild not under Arcus’s sway, and makes sure that people are aware that this apparently new ability is being monopolised by Arcus. He also indulges in a long planned magical experiment - separating [metaphysic goes here]. Finally, in the wake of fusing with some sort of copy of himself, Colin has been feeling somewhat strange. Gaining access to the Harbinger of Consensus wayfinder insight along with an attitude change towards the importance of consensus.
Rowan Darrish, second of his name, returns to the college and attempts to explain what happened to him to the department of esoteric arcana. They ask him to go away and ask Rowan to explain. It doesn’t help much.