Session 7: Problems and Solutions

Day 19; Kip's 18th birthday; Early Summer; September 14, 2023

Leonard of Facula turns out to be a less than stellar host. Though he is doing his best, he clearly doesn't want to take in the crew of the Dawn's Light. His wife Felicia helps out, but neither is particularly receptive to Oliver's attempts to sell Ella's flowers. Johnny puts Leonard to sleep with one of Zitona's cookies, while Marto tries to put Felicia to sleep by talking to her about math. As it turns out, she is well-versed in math, though she doesn't seem to want this to be public knowledge, in much the same way as Leonard tries to disguise his true profession by talking about the window manufacturing business. They all then head off to sleep, planning to make their way into the town hall again under cover of night.

Just in case Leonard or Felicia stop by the room in the middle of the night, they set up Laverne in disguise as one of them under a blanket, in the shape of a ball. Laverne eventually gets the idea, and Johnny opens up the window, resulting in a very loud squeak. No one seems to be pursuing them, however, so they make their way back to the town hall mountain. A group of four orcs stands guard at the main entrance, but the crew sidesteps them and climbs up to the top, where they can see a few lights far below, along the catwalk. Ren flies down to the catwalk with Frito. The catwalk runs along the edge of the island (and the world), continuing to the north and the south. Ren follows for a short while, finding another telescope pointed at the manufactured sky across the gap. She also finds a door leading back into the mountain, but then returns to the rest of the group.

The crew then decides to split up again. Ren, Frito, and Oliver (transformed into a tarantula) fly down to go in the back way, while Johnny and Marto will try to go in the front doors. Johnny also sends Li'l Johnny with Ren so that he can communicate with her if necessary. Ren opens up the back door and is immediately confronted by two orcs who were standing guard. They jump up, ready to fight. Ren feigns ignorance, and the guards demand that she leave, which she does, having never made it all the way through the door. Oliver, however, jumps off of her shoulder into the room, where he is noticed by one of the guards. The other follows Ren to make sure that she leaves, but when she jumps off the railing, the commotion summons them both, allowing Oliver to hide in the room while Ren escapes. The guards return to their post, chatting about what just happened and wondering if they ought to tell "dad", but they then spot the tarantula again, and Oliver scampers through the door and out of their sight.

Meanwhile, Johnny and Marto approach the main entrance and try to talk their way in. Marto claims to be a Termite Folk coming on official business. The orc guards are not easily convinced, noticing that Marto is not a halfling, and hadn't sent any message ahead anyway. They leave, ostensibly to go and speak with Chief Tama, but instead cast Sleep to knock out the guards. This is successfully after a couple casts, and Johnny takes their spears, their 28 pearls, and their keys. They're rejoined by Ren just as they're crossing into the council hall.

From the council hall there are many doors leading to the offices of some of the council members - Thales, Aries, Theano, Kep, and Scylax. There is also an unmarked door, which they choose to enter, seeing as it most likely leads to somewhere new and allows them to reunite with Oliver. Instead, they find the barracks, with four orcs sitting around waiting and guarding. Before the orcs attack, Ren tells them that they're here to help, on orders of Chief Tama. These folks are more willing to listen, and introduce themselves:

Foma and Johnny spend some time trying out herbs that "let you see colors" - in this case, that summon an orb of color out of thin air. Marto talkes to Lily, who claims that music is based on mathematics, though he doesn't believe her. She proves it by transmuting light into matter - a lead ball and a small chunk of gold, which she gives to Ren. Lily furthe explains the orcs' situation: the Order of Empty Sky has long been their employer, but the recent arrival of the Order of Water and Platinum means that the ownership of the island may soon change, and they'll have to either fight off their new owners or work with them somehow. Different orcs have different opinions, but this particular group has chosen to remain loyal to Empty Sky. She also explains that Empty Sky has been trying to expand the size of the universe, but so far has not been able to do so successfully.

Oliver has been investigating the laboratory room, where there are two large machines - one older, with just a single lever, and one newer, with many dials and knobs that can be fiddled with, as well as a cup of coffee behind a glass window pane. He also finds several scientists working on papers, including one titled "A Solution: Resolving Instabilities in Universal Expansion through the use of a Matter Bomb". This seems somewhat ominous, and he crawls through the door to rejoin the party.

The crew then goes back to investigate Scylax's room. Johnny finds a trapped drawer containing a hand mirror with no glass, which interacts with a map on the wall, allowing the wielder to draw items in from other locations throughout the world. They grab a copy of the Fold - in fact, the original, a cannonball from the Day's End, and a book titled "Constructs of the Grand Metropolis of Sunsheen", attached to which is a small bronze golem which jumps down and begins to attack. The golem is very powerful, immune to most kinds of mundane and magical attack, and capable of breathing poisonous gas. It brings down Johnny a couple times, and calls out an alarm which attracts the guards and the halflings from the lab. Lily and the other orcs arrive, defeating the golem, but they're not able to help the party escape the wrath of the halflings, and they decide to leave the island rather than continuing to arouse suspicion. Johnny grabs a strange dodecahedron from the map, and Ren grabs the entire map. Returning to the boat, Oliver also grabs a pewter halberd from one of the dots, and they push off for safer waters.