Around Acryn posters are put up with the following details: “Help needed in the recovery of an ancient artefact. Interested applicants should contacts Colin Fletcher.” Many rumours circulate about what he is after, afterall he is a well known adventurer and already has substantial collection. Some mention that he had to sell a priceless living crystal rose to fund the mission.Others mention that he already has the oldest known piece of magical apparatus ever discovered, the first implement. A few mention he sold his soul to the foreign god Aetheyta for the secret resting place of the first bow, and that is surely his target. A select few may even have been contacted directly, asked to come on a pilgrimage to honour Aetheyta and find something lost for a very long time.
Having all arranged their own payment deals with Colin Fletcher, the party head towards the estimated location of the first bow. Due to Colin keeping the party to consensus paths and moving quickly along routes connecting Waystones of Aetheyta, the journey is initially very pleasant, stopping only briefly to arrange a new Watchtower at the edge of the Acryn consensus.
Finally heading off the path, the party fight their way through a collosal snake (flux) before finding their way to a tiny village which appears to play host to several even smaller villages which were lost to the flux during the upheaval. The residents are initially extremely hostile, but the parties quick thinking in helping save several villagers mauled by the very same snake wins most of them over. While here, the party learns a bit of what faces them, the villagers believe that atop the mountain “The Watcher” ensures that the world is safe, raining destruction down on those who would attempt harm. How they marry this up with the upheaval is slightly unclear, but appear to consider it a purging of unsavoury aspects in the wider world. The route up the mountain is legendary: an ancient God set tests so that only the true of heart could complete the journey.
While the truth of the legends is still unclear, the party very quickly run into the proof of the villagers belief, facing boulders which seem to home in on them and ball lightning which demands to know their goals and plans. Once atop the mountain the party meet “the Watcher”, a figure apparently shaped by the belief of children, and surrounded by talking animate weapons. After a brief stop for food, Colin and Vanessa find a tiny patch of consensus containing a shrine - a place to give offerings to the Watcher. Here Colin discovers the reason for the blessing Atheyta gave him being so intermittent, the bow is in one of the lost places. With the party gathered, it is a quick matter to step out of the world and into the lost places.
The party find themselves in a long abandoned village, but also find they are not alone. Faced with several suits of armour animated with scribing magic, the party refuse their demand to submit to the authority of Samuel Graves and a fight ensues. In the aftermath the party begin to ascend the mountain again, this one appearing to be massively larger than the first.
Part way up the mountain the party find the Thunderer, an ancient and forgotten god. After some discussion he agrees to let them past, so long as one of them agree to have a duel with him. After an extended fight, the Thunderer eventually agrees that Richtor has proven himself. Allowing them passage and offering to answer three questions. They ask about the Watcher and what they are about to face further up the mountain, which the Thunderer answers. They also ask about how he became a god, which he doesn’t know, but does his best to tell them as much as he does know. During the conversation, four individuals who visited him once are mentioned: a man and three women. One of the women wished a rematch against him, which she won. The other two sisters made little impression on him, bar that one had eyes which were difficult to look at. All four were clearly on their way to becoming gods. He is reminded of their visit by the parties information that they come from Acryn, the city the male had been talking about founding. The party quickly identify these individuals as the Warrior, Leader, Tender, and Traitor, leaving them to wonder where the Builder was.
Further up the mountain the party find themselves in the entrance to a crypt, which is guarded by a number of somewhat jumpy individuals. The party attempt to negotiate their way through, but the defenders are unwilling to back down, despite being clearly terrified of the party. Eventually Vanessa makes use of her talents with her barrier, forming a staircase that the party use to bypass the defenders and come face to face with the Watcher and his wards. Initially hostile, the party slowly manage to convince the Watcher that they do not mean his wards harm, and even that they come from a world which was (less) devastated by the Upheaval, or the end of the world as the Watcher terms it. During their discussion the party uncover a hitherto unsuspected fact, the Upheaval had an epicentre: a village 10 miles south of Margush called Carcosa.
Eventually the Watcher is convinced to give up his bow in exchange for the party safely transporting his wards away from the Lost Places. At this point Colin opens up a portal to a Dragon and goes insane, refusing to let anyone leave the Lost Places despite that being his entire plan. The party eventually have to put him down, before heading into the Dragon. This act appears to have serious consequences for Carl, who clutches his chest and loses consciousness, appearing to ripple the entire time they are within the Dragon. Unfortunately a dragon is a dangerous place, and the loss of two members of the party is very nearly suicide. The party barely manage to hold together, but somehow they do and manage to escape in short order. Arriving within the People’s College quad, much to the surprise of the porters.
After a day or so of recovery, the party attempt to enact Colin’s ritual to unify the First Bow and First Implement. Reality quakes slightly at the ritual, with transparent figures appearing to disrupt the ritual. After the first attempt fails, the party plan ahead, preparing a space in the flux where Vanessa has prepared a number of defences, but again the figures overwhelm the party. Eventually Colin concludes he will need even greater preparation and more people if he is to succeed in his task.
Elsewhere, Domonic Allonz champion archer of Acryn is shamed when he accidently shoots a young boy in the leg while out hunting, and the entire first year of the College of the Stars fails their basic implement use exam.
A paper watchtower has been created by Colin Fletcher at the last point of consensus along the main route out of Acryn. Patrols have now been permanently stationed here, pushing back the stabilised flux a further mile, and forcing any threats to travellers past the point where the routes to Caul, Liaris, and Margush split.
You are blessed and cursed by the Thunderer.
Once per an encounter you may call a single ranged DOUBLE STRIKEDOWN as lightning leaps from your fingers.
Once per an adventure you will be struck by lightning. At first, this will be a gentle reminder that you have a deal to keep, but will get progressively more inconvenient. For the first 2 adventures you will take a double strikedown at the end of the first encounter that you finish with more than 3 hits remaining. For adventures 3 & 4, you will be struck by a double strikedown the first time you have 2 or less hits remaining. During adventure 5 you will receive a double strikedown EVERY time you have 2 or less hits remaining. During adventures 6 onwards, should you be reduced to zero hits, you will be struck by a lightning bolt which will count as an execute.
Should you keep your bargain, the curse will be nullified immediately and the blessing will be replaced by access to the Thunderer Divine Favour tree at the end of the adventure.
Vanessa now has access to the Traveller of the Lost Places epic tree & the Canvas of Creation epic tree
Richter now has access to the Colossus of Battle Epic Tree
This artefact can be used to convert a standard melee weapon call into a ranged call. This uses up your use of the call as normal. You must have sufficient weapons on your person for each ranged call you make (as you loose your weapon into your opponent). These weapons can be gathered up at the end of the encounter. This artefact is immune to Shatter. It is incredibly difficult to change or destroy this artefact through any means.
The ritual will be assaulted by nearly invisible assailants. Stats assume a reasonably equal mix of archers and mages, and might need increasing slightly if there are fewer archers. Archers: 1xUse of Disappearing/Appearing, Bow or crossbow, Triple Strikedown, 1xShatter. 10 hits. 2xDodge. Mages: 1xUse of Disappearing/Appearing, any single weapon (implement), Doubles, 2 uses of one of the following: Shatter (that item is paper), Zero Disarm (freely repeatable against same weapon), Wound 30, Blind 10. 15hits.
Colin Fletcher can now use a combination of his skills to create sentient Paper Golems. Until I work out where is a sensible place to put it, the rules for creating this type of character are listed below:
Convert body hits to armour hits. You have no body hits. You take THROUGH damage on your armour. Your armour skills represent a strengthened body, you do not need armour to use your armour skills but equally cannot benefit from superior/mastercrafted/artefact armour. Your body is slightly more fragile than most, this is represented by a reduced death count of 45 seconds. Due to your artificial construction, you should take SHATTER as a QUAD when it strikes you (items held in your hands take SHATTER as normal). If a Warrior, determination affects your armour hits. HEAL X calls have no effect upon you. RENEW X calls work as normal. Any RENEW call will halt your death count (including RENEW 0). You may use armour repair skills upon yourself (or others may use them on you) as if you were a medium or heavy suit of armour. Any character may still staunch your wounds as normal, although in your case it represents them preventing the paper which makes up your body from peeling off and blowing away. You will not have any starting money. Instead use the usual purchase rules to work out what paper-items were created alongside you. In the case of alchemy, the purchase will represent a paper charm which functions in the same manner as the alchemical potion. Any money left over is lost. When purchasing Wealth skills, you may choose whether this represents an actual income or a pool of energy within yourself for creating charms, weapons, shields, etc, this decision can be changed each time you purchase another level of Wealth, but is otherwise fixed. Wealth already earned cannot be switched from a pool of energy to coins or vice versa. Charms are not addictive to you, but cannot be used by other characters, even if they are also Paper Golems.
Magic and alchemy may well affect you differently to a human character. Please discuss any issues with the GMs who will adjudicate anything which seems problematic.
Each level includes the earlier level. These effects only last for the adventure the ritual was performed in.