Summer 1221, Arethusa
Everyone is brought to the boat on the river for initiation. The boat is a fairly shallow-bottomed river raft with a light draft. Zeuxis says to Zotikos who looks panicked – “You have a challenge ahead.” Zotikos nods.
They get on the boat and start up river. As they go, one shore gets lost in the mist and the water broadens to become an ocean, which is, of course, super odd. Everyone sees a small city on the shoreline nearby, where they hear screams.
Zotikos casts a spell (without fatigue) to see if they have gone through a regio. It affirms they went through a regio in the fog. He uses his Faerie Lore to determine where they might be – at first he thinks they’re near Constantinople (because of his history with the city), but then realizes he’s with other people, so whatever it is, it’s because the fae are messing with the party, not with him specifically.
Zotikos (who rolled best) realizes the people near the shoreline are dressed in very old-style clothing. Fog rolls over the boat again. Zotikos thinks they are going through another level of regio. He tells his covenant-mates.
The fog peels away, and the boat is being pulled up to a boardwalk at water level. There are people running around in panic. A couple of the people come up to the boat – definitely in antiquated clothing. Zeuxis confronts them, and they exclaim, “We need the boat! They’re attacking the temple! We need to save all the relics!”
Every person in the boat recognizes the guy as their brother that they grew up with (even if they really never had one). They have a desire to help him. (Chris rolled two ones and a nine to hit everyone with an effect.)
The “brother” leads everyone to a temple nearby which is on fire. As they approach, people are running around it, some being subdued or restrained by others. Zotikos halts in fear. The rest realize he had stopped, and Alexis runs back to get him. Zeuxis uses something impressively, suitably violent looking out of his grimoire to keep people away.
Alexis asks Zotikos why he stoped. “It’s coming for us, the battle, so many people dead,” says Zotikos. Alexis tries to talk him to going forward. “We’re gonna die,” he whispers. Asiza runs back and fireman-carries Zotikos back to the group.
The group still “feels” like the people being attacked are “their family.”
“I have to save them, I have to save them all,” from Zotikos. A woman comes out of the building, wounded and burnt, with stuff in her hands – miscellaneous things like books, scrolls, clothing, and hands it off to the man. He runs the stuff down to the boat, which no longer looks like their boat, but a medium sized barge, and it already has stuff in it.
Alexis starts to head into the building. Zotikos goes to the nearest people needing help and tries to help them run away and hide. The wounded woman gathers the party still outside the building (including Zotikos) and brings them inside, where there is a statue of Artemis. Asiza puts up a wall of thorns in the door behind them.
The woman motions over to an altar at the statue, to get a part of the altar and lift it together. As a group they head to another side door, and to the barge, a soldier comes charging up. She struggles with him, and he slices her arm off. Zeuxis blasts him. Others attend to the woman and tell the group to “Go!”
Some more of the “family members” are coming towards the barge, and the temple collapses. Asiza recognizes the stone altar – it’s in the template ruins near the covenant. Some men come carrying the injured woman, and the statue. Once they are all on the barge, the fog comes rolling in again.
“I wanted to punish more people!” says Zeuxis. “Better that we can get away,” replies Zotikos.
The injured woman says to Zotikos, who is trying to huddle and hide next to the giant statue, “It doesn’t end here.” She becomes mist, the other people disappear. The fog becomes a wall around them, and the injured woman appears in front of them.
She explains, “We survived. We found a new place to call home. Its meaning is more than geography. And now you understand its importance. You have chosen to live here. But that is not enough. My question to you, is will you make it home.” The players answer in the affirmative (those that can respond, which would not include mentally battered Zotikos!).
The fog dissipates, and they see the ruined temple within eyesight of the boat. Nyssa, Klyses and Cyril are there, waiting for the boat. Nyssa asks, “Are you home?”
“Yes,” several respond.
“Then let us arrange things so you can call it home.”
Zeuxis (to Zotikos): “I would have killed a thousand people to protect you!”
Zotikos: “I’m not sure that’s any better.”