I have finally finishing my two weeks of study with the members of Morgûl Rana, I have deepened my knowledge of Nethermancy considerably. I feel that I am nearly ready to try my first real summoning. While I have indeed spoken with many an astral denizens before, I have never called a specific spirit by my command before. Indeed, I am nearly giddy with anticipation at the prospect of the summoning. Unfortunately it will have to wait, as the rest of the Unchained have been patiently waiting for me to finish my training. Word via Skram is that we will be embarking on a quick journey to Haven to drop off a group of warriors who call themselves the Order of the Hand. They claim they will be journeying into Parlainth once we arrive. I wish them luck, as I have heard many a rumors about adepts getting lost and dead in the maze that was once Parlainth.
After we arrived in Bartertown, Hannah and Dremnin came to me together and proclaimed that Hannah was sure in her path to become a Nethermancer. Since I started my own training two weeks ago, I have not had time to start Hannah’s training in earnest. So on the night before we shipped out, I went and found Stilicho in his quarters. I requested a room that Hannah and I would not be disturbed in while I started her teachings.
And so the next day the Dashing Stag left Bartertown at the crack of dawn. After a light breakfast and some water, Hannah and I sat down below deck and began her studies. It was fun to see the excitement in her eyes. Unfortunately, her studies only will include basic reading and writing at this time. I guess the perks of being born and raised in a slave mine is the lack of teaching facilities. Still, I made sure her first day was enjoyable. I will say this for Hannah, she was very focused and astute they entire day. Never once did she waiver from paying attention. She was like a sponge, absorbing everything we covered. It may have only been her first day, but I have a feeling that Hannah will make an excellent pupil and adept.
That evening we broke bread with the rest of the crew up on deck. It was nice to have fresh air and relax with the rest of the Unchained. Suulin was kind enough to entertain everyone with a tale of two star crossed lovers and how Astendar intervened so that they might be together forever. Hearing this tale reminded me of Sariella and how I need to keep my promise and free her from those Theran bastards. My biggest issue with going to Thera is the proximity of Xandarlathalas. His horde of spirit minions could very well find me and that would be the end of the rescue. I need to draw him away from Thera while I attempt a “rescue”. I’ll need to think further on such matters first.
Day two of our journey to Haven was spent with more studies. Again, Hannah was absorbing it all very quickly. It was sometime after lunch, while reviewing the Throalic alphabet and numbers, that the airship suddenly lurched to port. Hannah and I were violently thrown against the opposite wall. As we were picking ourselves up we heard the call for man overboard and lots of shouting from above deck. Hannah made for the door, but I held her still, as the last thing that the crew would have wanted was more bodies up on deck, and the potential for more men overboard.
After a few minutes, I poked my head up on deck. Apparently, a bizarre wind shear had struck the airship and knocked Stilicho, Suulin and another crew member overboard. Dremnin, who had been steering, was able to use his quickness to save both of our Unchained comrades. Unfortunately, the third crew member fell to her death. Urgral had chained himself to the main mast and was unaffected by the winds. He was heard mumbling something about, "Stilicho! This “goat’s milk” tastes funny!!!"
Turning the airship around, her body was found and buried on the spot. I believe I heard her name mentioned… Veranda. May your next journey on The Wheel be a better one lass.
The crew was very silent for the rest of the evening as we continued on to Haven. And so it was that evening that I taught Hannah her first Nethermancer lesson: Death and Life are one. Two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other and vice verse. That we are all just spirits, be it in mortal shells, or spirits, free to roam the nether worlds, seeking life. It’s all one big Wheel, going around and around.
Day three brought us to Haven around midday. The warriors for the Order of the Hand departed immediately. Urgral mentioned to us, as we were all standing on deck, that he had been asked by another Horror Stalker to investigate some grizzly murders in town. His local contact in Haven was the Mayor-apparent Torgak.
After we located Torgak, he mentioned that there had been numerous murders in the past few weeks. All of them were of a grizzly nature and were starting to cause panic among the citizens (most likely this was cutting into Torgak’s profits if I had to guess). After spending the rest of the day gathering info and seeing the site, we returned to the Dashing Stag for the night.
Early morning came and so did a young lad baring grim news. Another murder had taken place. We quickly gathered our things and headed out to investigate. Upon arriving at the scene, it was indeed a hideous and gruesome sight to behold. Urgral moved to take a closer look. We apparently both had the same idea as we were looking Astrally, we both noticed at the same time a “thread” of something was withdrawing from the corpse. As it moved away, the “astral appendage” attached itself to a woman in the crowd. For a moment, her aura showed panicked, but was quickly replaced by a wicked smile. She then moved away from the scene, we followed not too far behind… and into Parlainth she lead us.