Off the Map

Zyn takes command of the Nia and exits on the dark side of the planet. Setting the smalljammer to darken ship, the Last Born slip away for the next sphere. The skies over Hyetal are quiet, as though the elven imperium has yet to be alerted to the Last Born’s activities.

With time taken underway, Hanos begins training Azura to build her own arcane lock, although the completed task may take up to two months. Xax continues to work with both Zyn and his new apprentice Aiden. When not training, Aiden spends his time learning the ropes of being aboard ship with the blades (who spend more time playing cards and goofing around than actually working.)

Sophie periodically speaks with her father, Corelleon, continuing to listen to him explain himself to her, how he believed he had Zyn’s best interest in mind not to have her enslaved in his own house. With a week behind them and about to enter the next sphere, Zyn sends Sophie to Corelleon to ask about the next sphere. Corelleon knows nothing additional to what was already known.

With another two weeks to their destination at the center of the sphere, Xax introduces Aiden to the teachings of Sanguine while Zyn spends time talking to Aiden about living on Hyetal. While Aiden is being trained as a seer by Xax, he is also taught about Hyetal’s suppressed pantheon as well so that he may make a choice.

No encounters bar the ship from reaching the new planet in the center of the sphere, a red rock of a world with three moons ringed in the same orbit. In Xax’s room, six meet for the consulting of the geode to determine the validity of the planet below: Xax, Mal, Hanos, Celia, Zyn, and Sophie. While Raylen is at the ship’s helm, Mal has a vision seemingly prompted by his pick of a lightning flash and storm clouds with the ship caught within. When nothing else comes from the meeting over the geode, the group seals Xax’s room and gathers in observation with Raylen. Xax suggests a flyby, first of the planet itself and then of the moons.

As the ship passes between the planet and the first moon, an arc of energy catches the ship in its path. The flash of power immediately causes Raylen harm, killing him through the helm. Xax’s mystical pick dissolves as does Hanos’s bonding ring before the ship suddenly ceases to respond. Xax is unable to revive Raylen’s corpse any more than Zyn can command the ship to respond, with or without the crown of stars. Already caught in the planet’s gravity well, Nia begins to fall out of the sky.

Unable to hail the ship, Zyn solicits the crew for any way to stop the ship’s decent. The group exhausts all possibilities, leaving only the unthinkable option: abandonment. With the geode still in Xax’s possession (which he discovers may have stopped working), the crew works out assignments to bestow fly and levitation spells to keep everyone aloft once they exit the ship. With no room for Raylen’s body, Xax hastily performs last rites. Last off the ship, Xax and Zyn take as many food and water supplies as they can carry off with them. The ship disappears into the clouds below just before a dark shadow of a dragon passes by, a massive silver creatures visible for a moment heading in the same direction as the falling craft.

The fly spells have a far limited duration than the levitation spells, so all the fliers are sent promptly to the ground as the rest float down safely afterward. Finding a painted desert devoid of vegetation but populated with pack creatures darting around at a distance, the crew set out in the direction of where the ship was falling with Mal and Celia leading the way. Xax theorizes that the silver dragon they saw briefly might have caught and taken the ship intact but can offer little reason as to why. After taking a quick inventory of the remaining mystical items the crew has between them, Hanos reveals to the crew that he still has the crystal orb, the one Hanos said he got rid of when Xax told him he thought it might be evil.

When the animals in the distance start darting in the direction of the crew, Hanos attempts to talk to the creatures while the crew prepares attacks and spells. The creatures are hungry and have decided to have at the crew, but a few well-placed spells of fire and lightning either destroy the creatures or convince them to look elsewhere; three survive of ten by the time it ends. Ahead in the dust, a multi-headed creature seems to be dining on the fallen critters. It notices the crew but seems intent on its feast, allowing the group to circle around the “hydra” (according to Corelleon) without incident.

Traveling for hours further, the sun seems about to set when a new one begins to rise on the opposite horizon. The suggestion is made to make camp, but Celia recommends a defense against a stone outcropping to use as a wall and prevent flanking by a ground force. Zyn sets the watch for an uneventful “night,” then picks up again after the rest period.

Another half a day’s travel is rewarded by the discovery of a damaged battle dolphin half buried in the desert floor. Suggestions for searching are made, but Zyn suggests Xax do it alone in wraith form to avoid any more sudden or surprise deaths. There is evidence of stripping and nesting spiders but no current occupants or clues to who they might have been.

Around twenty-four hours after the ship’s fall, Mal notices the pick of Larnagish vibrating again, providing a vision of a subterranean layer full of dragons. Moments later, a migraine strikes Zyn, revealing that the ship is close and reaching out to her, trapped somewhere and afraid. Deciding to make camp a little early, Xax consults his brothers inside and catches them up on the recent event, but with so much life teeming on the world, it will not suit Sanguine to remake it.

As watch shifts are stationed again, Celia detects that they crew is being observed. She relays the information to Xax who investigates. He discovers a skeletal being with green eyes dressed in a black wig and swashbuckler clothing. Taking the initiative, Xax introduces himself to a positive response as the green-eyes skeleton calls itself Caine. Caine agrees to return to the encampment where Azura recognizes Caine as one of her own cursed people, then ensures that they are also seekers and not judges or destroyers. As one of twenty-five survivors of the sunken dolphin ship found earlier, the seekers had been planet side for a few years and have a fortified position close by. Azura gives her blessing, and the Last Born travel to the seeker’s camp.


Session XP: 2500 per player

About Kevin A. Ranson

Content Creator, Horror Writer, Film Critic. Heeding a macabre calling listening to "Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes" in kindergarten, Kevin started writing in grade school and filled countless notebooks with story ideas while touring the Mediterranean in the US Navy. He is the author of The Spooky Chronicles and the vampire thriller series The Matriarch, creator/critic for and "ghost writer" for horror host Grim D. Reaper. WEB • FACEBOOK • TWITTER
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