~ 25 Years before present day
Many years had passed since Digoria’s voyages at sea and through the frigid northern moutains. She carries with her a rapier sheathed on her back. While she has not learned the art of swordplay, the pommel of the rapier is affixed with her Arcane Source, thus leaving one hand free and the the other to wield the Ice Queen’s quarterstaff. Digoria has survived on with and clever tricker, drifting from town to twon and making ends meet via an assortment of cons, deception, and thievery.
Now, Digoria approaches the gate of the small village of Marshlow, nestled in the thick and foresty foothills. The gates are open and it appears to be a quiet town of commerce. Upon entering, there appears to be a large crowd gathered in the town square (which can be seen from the town gates). It appears to be some kind of competition as a Knight is grappling with a pair of Thugs. It appears to be more sporting than villainous, routine knucleheads more than sinister criminals.
Digoria nudges her way up through the cheering and jeering crowd. After being thrown by the Knight, one of the Thugs falls at Digoria’s feet, appearing a little perturbed by being so easily handled. Digoria looks down and says, “It must hert to suck that bad…” Losing his temper, the Thug engages Digoria while the crowd spreads to accommodate the new fight. The Thug gets a good hit, but is easily confused by Mirror Images, eats a Chromatic Orb, then is blasted through the wall of a nearby building. Th eothe rthug abandon’s his fight with The Knight and rushes Dioria from behind, but stops because he’s confused by the remaining Mirror Images; leaving an opportunity for Digoria to attack.
The thug and Digoria trade blows until The Knight aids Digoria by firing a few crossbow bolts at the Thug. Finally, Digoria blasts the thug through the same wall as his partner. The young knight, appearing foolhardy as he is noble and brave, compliments Digoria on her tact, but not without a faint sneer in his voice. Nevertheless, he (Marin Westlake) invites Digoria to stay at the inn where there are apparently a number of other adventurers and warrirors gather. He says that they’re gathered to contest for apprenticeship of a famed wizard who is rumored to be passing through the town tomorrow.
While tensions and anticipation are high, everyone rest deeply and peacefully for the night. At daylight, the town is filled with hustle and bustle. The rumors were true. Arthur Bertreph had come to seek an apprentice. Four adventurers gather: Digoria, Marin (the knight), Vega Inan (an elvish assassin), and Heley Atel (an elvish fire mage). Arthur asks for a trinket from each of the travelers and puts them in his hat. Using his prestidigitation ability he casts a sorting spell that pairs the travels for a “to-be-assigned” task. The paris are Marin / Heley and Vega / Digoria. Marin and Heley set out on their task which was not told to the other pair. Vega and Digoria set out into the jungle-like foothislls after being assinged to leave the town and search for some sort of rare magical feathers.
After much searching, the setting sun casts a strange hue in the sky and the air is dense and hazey. Digoria and Vega encounter a pair of Death Dogs. The dogs spot the dueo and start to close the distance. Vega, an arrogant pretty boy, but fierce veteran) chargest towards them, but not before Digoria casts a witch bolt. Digoria is able to continuously shock one dog continuously while Vega kills the other. A final surge for Digoria finishes off the second.
Vega and Digoria come to a lookout cliff over the sea and Digoria takes a moment to revel inthe strange looking size and “burnt-purple” shade of the clouds in front of the sun and the wet-greenz haze rising from the jungle. She loses herself in comtemplative thought for a moment. Then, a white owl swoops down from behind and lands on a log next to her. Their eyes seem to meet briefly before the owl flutters off again. Amid the rustle of wings, a feather falls at Digoria’s feet. However, Vega’s pride won’t let anyone else bring the feather to Arthur, or get in the way of bolstering his ego. Vega sneak attacks Digoria and she quickly casts Mirror Images to distract Vega while she readies a heavy Chromatic Orb.
Vega lands several blowas with his long sword, but Digoria returns fire iwth several shocking grasps which prove quite effective against Vega’s metal armor. Alas, Digoria’s touch misses and Vega lands what appears to be a near fatal blow (now double attacking with his longsword in one hand and a short sword in the other). But, for the first itme in Digoria’s memory, the Tides of Chaos were invoked in her favor and while just barely conscious she casts a healing spell. Vega’s next crushing stab attack narrowly miss Digoria’s face and she casts an eruptive Thunderwave. The force is strong enough to knock Vega off the cliff, the fall almost certainly killing him as his body crashes into the sea far below.
Digoria rests and returns to Marshlow just after nightfall. She find Marin and Heley talking with Arthur at the Inn. While Digoria and Vega were sent north in search of feathers, heley and Marin were sent south to the marshes to retrieve a shrunken skull. No one asks about Vega’s truancy. Digoria’s still seeping wounds were answer enough. Arthur senses some sort of evil presence and suggests something is awry with one of the would be apprentices or that their motives are suspect.
Marin loses his temper and storms out of the Inn. Heley casually follows him. Arthur notices the shrunken skull and feathers mising and uses a sly Mage Hand to lift and return them from Heley’s pocket without her noticing. Arthur then asks Digoria to follow him outside while he confronts Heley. heley appears to have been a spy for some dark and distant evil, sent to either steal or gain critical information about Arthur and his companion(s). After realizing she has been caught, Heley burns some magical items which create a heavy sulfurous smoke. Marin unknowingly breathes in the smoke and becomes possessed and turns his blade towards Arthur and Digoria.
Digoria readies herself for battle, but Arthur insists she rest because “this is his business.” Marin is in a zombie-like state and his attacks frequently miss. Heley’s fire is minimally effective against Arthur, the far superior spellcaster. A Cone of Cold, Ice Storm, and Magic Missile easily incapacitqate Marin. Another Ice Storm bering Heley to her kneed, but alas, she swear allegiance to her master. Arthur kills her with a single Magic Missile shot. Digoria asksabout Marin and Arthur respons that Marin is noble enough of the heart, but weak in the mind, thus, Digoria is the prodige’ Arthur has come to seek.
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