Sep 27, 2022 7:16 PM

The beautiful woodlands stretch off into the distance in all directions, a small muddy cart-track meandering off towards the rest of civilisation.

A selection of... mostly-human individuals are sitting or crouching by a sparkling stream, flanked with a profusion of bluebells, panning the water for something.

All of them have some slightly non-human features - prominent green veins, or patches of bark, or vines and flowers growing amongst the hair, or thorns jutting awkwardly through the skin. All of them have at least one prominent tattoo, a variation on the theme of a twining thorned branch; some have many more.

A few children running here and there, not tattooed, fetching and carrying and dancing and playing. Some are a little green-veined, some with scabs of bark from inevitable childhood accidents.

Some wooden structures cling to the forest's edge above the brook, haphazard shelters built with love and energy and not very much in the way of skill and patience.

Into this - suddenly, two visitors, amongst the bluebells on the river bank.

Several people notice their arrival and are reacting surprisingly calmly; some simply look up, some are moving to hold back children, one teenage girl took off running immediately, back up to the cluster of buildings, yelling "Visitors! Through a portal!"

A couple of people stop what they're doing immediately and turn to approach them, one man who is taking some kind of leather tool roll off his belt and looking at them carefully like they might be some kind of wounded wild animal, and one woman who is smiling widely and generally trying to put them at ease.

"Welcome to Foundhome, did you come through the Gate? Is there trouble coming?" asks the woman.

"And are you hurt at all?" adds the man.

There are also distinctly a few people who have picked up spears from the undergrowth in a stealthy fashion and are trying to look unthreatening but ready for that to change if necessary.

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They were instructed by Rendon Salian, the head priest of the Conradian church, to Plane Shift to the Silver Garden, the Abyssal realm of Conrad and Damian. They were to help with the process of setting up a scheme to permit mortals to visit and trade, similar to what Nocticula did with the Midnight Isles several decades ago. 

None of the fifth-circle clerics prepared Plane Shift, though, and she, being a third-circle caster, didn't have the ability to prepare Plane Shift. She could totally use a scroll, though. She read the scroll...

and ended up in a place that is not the Silver Garden. Wow. This was a really bad scroll mishap. Fortunately, she still had all her belongings.


Damn it to Hell, Felicia! Where have you taken us? he does not say, because there are people around. He feels his stomach and face. No injuries, and his plate armor and his helm are still intact.

Elias and her recently got weapons with the shrinking enchantment placed on them. It has special significance in the church, since Conrad had a shrinking greatsword when He was a mortal. The enchanter wizards of the church often place it on equipment meant for the armory. His greatsword is currently in a sheath attached to his belt, having shrunk to the size and weight of a dagger. Felicia's shrunken spiked chain hangs from her belt as well.


Gate!? No, she can't cast Gate, that's a ninth-circle spell. Where would you even get a scroll of that? Okay. Okay. They're in a different plane. Magic works differently in some planes. Maybe this is one where you can just cast ninth-circle spells like that. That image is...absolutely horrifying, but she'll ignore it for now. She has a tuning fork tuned to the Material plane, where she came from, and one to the Silver Garden, which she wanted to go to. But without the spell, the forks are useless.

She stands up and brushes off the dirt from her leather armor.

"No, madam, we are not hurt. Thank you for your concern. We seem to have had a...magic accident, which inadvertently transported us to this place. Could you tell us where Foundhome is? I am sorry if I have disturbed you." She would really not want to fight the...fey? Leshy-people? Plant-people?


He'll let Felicia do all the talking. He's no good at that, especially now that he's angry. He sighs. He normally takes off his helm when they do negotiation, but he won't do that. Instead, he keeps one hand near where his 'dagger' is. With a command word, it will expand to its full size.


"No worries, I hear portals are like that sometimes. You're in a small Steading in Oakways, Miaren, that's in Navarr in the Empire - I guess that's not much help if you've come very far, the Casinean Empire?"

The man with the tools seems almost disappointed they aren't injured, but starts to put them away again. Several people settle back to whatever they were doing before, although there are still a lot of curious looks in their direction, and the people who were on alert to maybe fight have not quite stopped that yet.


She had initially thought that they hadn't gone very far, given that they seem to be speaking Taldane (though with very strange phonetics), but she does not recognize those names at all. Is she in Tian Xia? Arcadia? Or some other super far away plane that's so far away it's actually closer, as little sense as that makes?

"My sincere apologies, ma'am. I do not recognize any of those names at all." She makes a half bow.

"We must have gone a very long way. We are from" our church headquarters in Sarkoris Scar "a place called Sarkoris, in the continent of Avistan, in the planet Golarion. Are those names you recognize?" She's not going to mention that they were trying to go to the Abyss.

Hm. It's probably best if they found someone here who can cast Plane Shift again so they can return. They have money with them, but it might not be enough.

"Do you have anyone here who has skill in conjuration magic? Magic that can do portals or open the way to other planes. We would like to be able to return to where we came."


The other people seemed to have stood down, so he'll do that too. He takes his hand off his belt and lets them rest to the side, straightening his back. The least he can do is act imperious for Felicia's sake. He takes care not to stand too close either to her or the woman. Otherwise, his antipaladin aura might affect them. Inducing fear in someone shouldn't be done if you want to have a friendly negotiation.


"I'm afraid I don't recognise any of those!

Allegra will be down here in a minute, Hyly has gone to fetch her. Several of us can technically operate portals, but she's the only one who actually has, as far as I know."

The people with spears are still wary but reciprocate by getting back to their previous work, mostly various portable fibre crafts, with a wary eye on the visitors and in grabbing range of their weapons.


Oh dear. That's not good. She...might not actually be able to receive spells anymore, if they're too far away. Many gods are restricted in range, and Damian isn't an ancient god like Sarenrae or Asmodeus. She hasn't lost her spells, so she didn't lose her clerichood, but whether she can get new ones is another story. She takes a look at the orisons she has prepared. Those ones she can cast without limit. She anticipated going into friendly territory.

0: Create Water, Purify Food and Drink, Prestidigitation, Light

Okay. So. In the...absolutely horrifying event that they can't get back, she can just go be a laundry cleric. Ha. Amazing. She did not anticipate being so thankful that Damian grants that as an orison. 

Allegra, hm. She sounds like a caster of some sort. Or even if not, she sounds like the sort that would be able to point her in the direction of one. I mean, a village like this does not really look like the sort to have a fifth-circle cleric or seventh-circle wizard.

She doesn't want to reveal that she's a cleric, at least not right away, since that will lead to a discussion about which god she worships, and people don't tend to like demon lord worshippers. Two of her spells are also wizard spells, though. She's wearing armor, but both Prestidigitation and Light are castable by magi, and magi can wear what she's wearing.

"In the case that we might have to stay here for some time, or if we must ask something onerous of you, I should say that I am capable of casting various minor spells. I can cast Prestidigitation and Light." She should probably explain what those are, shouldn't she.

"That is to say, I'm capable of magically cleaning items, or causing an object to glow brightly for a little less than an hour. If you have things that are difficult to clean, or must have a source of light in the night, I may be able to help." Wow. That sounds so pathetic, honestly. It is hurting her pride.


"Oh, excellent! Allegra will be very interested in new spells, we haven't invented a new one in years and that was just a combination of a couple of others. You cast these off personal mana, right?

We have plenty of lightstones, but cleaning sounds much more useful to a village than our basic spells are. Not that I mind having someone with Purify around, that helps a lot."


...what is personal mana. Actually, what is mana, without the qualifier of personal? She pauses for several seconds.

"I can cast many of my spells only a certain number of times a day." That's not a lie.

Purify? Does she mean Purify Food and Drink?

It slowly dawns on her that it's possible that she was transported so far that the way magic works is this plane is entirely different to her own.

"I'm available, if someone needs me to cast those spells." She would normally say she'd be happy to help, but that'd be a lie. She's appreciating the seminary classes about lying without uttering false statements, now. Good thing her god was a former Asmodean.


This realization also dawns on Elias. Wow. They're kind of fucked right now, aren't they? Hopefully this Allegra will be able to point them in the right direction. He can still feel the Abyssal energy protecting and infusing him, though, so they can't be too far away. He tries to Detect Good. Are any of them both strong and Good enough to ping?


Nobody in range, but the range doesn't reach to the person now heading down the path from the buildings towards them.

She looks a lot more baseline human, albeit with a large facial tattoo down one cheek and a burn scar that looks deliberately inflicted on the other.

Her equipment looks significant - a leather headband with a green gem, a thick leather belt with engravings on the prominent boss, green and gold leather bracers with matching gems, and a silver staff which seems to be actively growing autumnal leaves from silver veins.

This looks a lot like a retired adventurer...

"I don't think we're in desperate need or anything, but Allegra will sort it out if you're staying - oh good, she's on her way now."


She bows. Elias follows, but not as deeply.

"Hello, Madam Allegra. We are...lost travelers, who have arrived here because of a magical accident. Is there any way you might be able to help us?"

Ooh. That is some serious equipment she has. The silver staff looks beautiful. She would totally cast Detect Magic, except she didn't prepare it today. She doesn't get why an adventurer (at least, what she's assuming to be one), would decide to retire here. Maybe it's her hometown? 


Allegra is here. Would he and Felicia be able to take her? Unsure. He wouldn't bet on it. He recasts Detect Good. Fortunately, he can do so without needing to chant or move.


This sure is a Good aura! She takes a while to get down the path so he gets the next step, it's just her and it's only faint.

She smiles in a slightly embarrassed fashion. "Just Allegra, please, or Brand if you must.

I'll look for a portal right now if you don't mind, if you've just come through time might be short to get you back."


Good to know. Well, in this case, her being Good is actually good, since it means she'll help them.


"I see. Thank you very much for helping us. I hope that the portal is still open." She...thinks that it wouldn't be, since Plane Shift is not Teleportation Circle, but clearly this world's magic is different from Golarion's, so she says nothing.

"Do you happen to be a wizard, Allegra? Are you a conjuration specialist? Hm. Actually, how we organize our magic might be different from yours. My world has eight schools of magic, and all spells save a few belong to one of them: abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, and transmutation. Is it the same with you? Respectively, those are protection magic, summoning magic, magic used to obtain information, magics that manipulate the mind, elemental and forceful magic, magic that creates figments or manipulates shadows, magic used to manipulate undead and negative energy, and shapechanging or enhancement magic"


"Little bit of everything, mostly wizard, we do seasonal and time of day names for the realms. This is a basic spell, I'm going to call on a couple of constellations. Going to need to get close to you, don't have to touch - this is the location you arrived at, yes?"

She seems a bit distracted and not really fully listening to the whole list, all business as she raises a hand and steps closer; as she clips the edge of the antipaladin aura, her hand goes instinctively to her satchel bag and pulls out a small potion bottle, but she pauses a moment before downing it... 


"Yes, we have not moved from this spot since we landed here."

Constellations? What do the stars have to do with it? Okay, no, no. Stop questioning the otherworldly magic. If Allegra can get them home, then it doesn't matter.


He feels...uncomfortable, with her standing at that range, but he understands that many spells have short ranges. He's actually a little surprised it's not a touch range spell. He stands motionlessly, his posture like a suit of armor rigged up for display.


Allegra decides she can deal with the uneasy feeling, drops the vial back in her bag, and starts incanting.

"I am the Spider, I watch from afar. I am the Key, things are revealed. I do not pass through this portal, I merely reveal it. I am the Spider, I watch from afar..."

This goes on for precisely thirty seconds, after which she makes a frustrated noise (and steps back out of the mild fear aura, it's not the worst she's been in but it's not exactly pleasant). 

"I'm sorry, there was something here but the trace is incredibly faint, it's not going to open for me and much less for passengers.

I suspect I should get you oriented and we should head to Anvil about it, if you are looking to get home. If we're lucky, the Sentinel Gate will have a conjunction for you.

Uh. Do you know if that fear aura is on you, or is it on the area now and I need to get a consecrator in?"


Huh. The verbal component of her spell is in Taldane. And a spell having a chant that long is rare. That's ten rounds of chanting.

She expected as much, as much as it pains her to admit it.

"I see. Thank you very much for helping us, regardless."


Oh god. The Good caster is totally going to expose them all and smite them. No, you're an antipaladin, Elias, you're not the one who's supposed to be afraid. How to explain this?

"Yes, the aura is mine. I am sorry. I am" an antipaladin "a divine warrior. My god grants me an aura of menace. Very useful for intimidating foes, but unfortunately, it cannot be suppressed." He can suppress it in the sense of deliberately thinking of her as an ally, but he does not have the Wisdom to be able to contort his mind into such a shape. She is most certainly not an ally, not in the way Felicia is. He tries to remember the social and etiquette training he received as a squire. Yes, he should try to deflect.

"Is Anvil the name of a city? Would they have the magic to help us?"


"Okay. That is going to be... Super awkward to get past anyone at Anvil.

It's kind of the capital city, but also it has only a couple of permanent structures by law, it's where everyone converges four times a year to get stuff done.

Unless you particularly like standing around in a clump of bluebells, we should probably head back up to my house - it sounds like this is going to be one of those long explanations?"

She doesn't sound exactly thrilled with the situation, but it doesn't seem to have dented her determination to help them. Mostly she would just like to stop living in interesting times, thank you very much, she came here to get away from all this.

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