Mr. Fix, an information merchant and go-between, called together some of his best freelance treasure hunters for a new job. These Hunters were:
- Hexfinder Yorgen [Mindy], a Droghan Nullcrafter on a crusade to find and destroy magic wherever he finds it. He is strong in combat and against magic, values hard work and teamwork.
- Rezilio [Todd], a Sky-Carver philosopher and Godless who wants to understand everything about the universe (and magic in particular), seeking out relics to study and dissect them.
- Thalia [Anna], a Crossblood Promethean/Outlander acrobat, performance artist, and Epicurean who fell into Relic-chasing for the adrenalin rush.
- Akina [Molly], a Grate-Scratcher amateur academic who knows almost everything and wants to learn more. She is the half-sister of Lopov [Jeremy].
- Lopov [Jeremy], a Grate-Scratcher thief and forger specializing in stealing relics and replacing them with perfect replicas. He is the half-brother of Akina [Molly], and “acquired” most of the books she’s used to advance her education.
Mr. Fix explained to them that a consortium of merchants wanted to hire these five (and one more who was currently busy) as their main relic-hunting crew, after… something happened to their old crew. He handed out a Journeyman—a relic capable of Realmshifting them to the Realm of their choosing—and several Flares—boxes that could be filled and sent back to Mr. Fix from anywhere—to each of them, and laid out their first mission. A City colony had been started in the far-off Realm of Taluna, and the colony had recently stopped communicating with the City. Since they had just reported discovering ruins of a previously unknown civilization, the Consortium suspected relic activity. The hunters were to go to Taluna, find what happened to the colony, and if it was relic-related, to find and retrieve said relic.
The team set off, landing in a beautiful wood outside a small settlement. Thalia climbed to the top of a tree and looked around, seeing a strange, large depression a mile or so to the northeast. The others approached a guard standing at the bridge, who was standing there practically in a daze. They discovered that he was ridiculously happy and relaxed, unaffected by anything—and though he couldn’t tell them why he felt so good or when it started, he guessed it had started around the time “Philius came back from that place.”
Directed to Philius, who was hanging out in the graveyard, lazily sitting on a grave, the team headed over there. Rezilio decided to fly, but as he reached the graveyard, a sudden gust of wind threw him off balance and smashed him into the ground. Recovering, he was helped to his feet by Yorgen and Philius. Speaking to Philius, the hunters gradually determined that he was a Sky-Carver and explorer by trade, who had come to Taluna a few months ago to explore the surroundings and make sure it was safe. His cousin Francisco had come with him, but was now dead. Philius seemed remarkably unconcerned by this event, showing no sorrow at all as he pointed out Francisco’s fresh grave.
Abruptly, smoke began wafting out of Francisco’s grave, and Thalia Forceshifted the dirt out of the hole. They saw a burning corpse, and Akina and Thalia working together put the fire out. Rezilio tried to examine the corpse, and came to the tentative conclusion that he had died of strangulation, and had several broken bones. Philius responded that Francisco had been killed by “the tentacle-plant thing, you know, in that place, you know the one.” Trying to convince him that they did not know what he was talking about, the hunters gradually got a little more out of Philius: that he and his cousin had examined some ruins northeast of town, Francisco had been killed, and that was when everyone became so happy.
After some debate as to who started the fire (Rezilio determined that there was no chemical accelerant on the body, implying a magical source), or if it was spontaneous human combustion, the hunters had no conclusive evidence (though Lopov seemed convinced Philius had done it), and they decided to investigate the ruins. First, however, they brought Philius with them, hoping that removing him from the town would cure his “blissed-out” state.
Unfortunately, as they headed out of town, Philius became even more “blissed-out,” to the point where he didn’t mind when his pants mysteriously set alight, burning him badly. The hunters found a flint-and-steel on the ground near Philius, but saw that, oddly enough, it had not been used recently. Yorgen applied his medical knowledge and saw to Philius’s burns, then they left him sitting in the water, hoping he would be coherent enough not to drown.
To the northeast, they found ruins of an old civilization, mostly-buried by age or some kind of natural disaster. Akina and Thalia examined the art that decorated the walls, determining that the civilization who had built them was:
- intensely interested in art and making things beautiful
- the ox was an important symbol in their art
- as was the scorpion
- and all of the people in the art seemed intensely happy.
Armed with these conclusions, the hunters lit themselves some torches and headed down into a submerged part of the ruins. Moving slowly down a darkened corridor, they discovered a mysterious door and, further down the corridor, some kind of swinging axe (presumably a trap). Lopov carefully opened the door, to discover a hideous mutant monstrosity, a mixture between a man, an ox, and a scorpion, standing vacantly in the room. Akina informed him that it was a Toxinox, a Bloodshifted creation that was strong, tough, poisonous… but vulnerable to its own poison.
Meanwhile, Thalia, Akina, and Rezilio examined the axe trap. Thalia jumped through its swing, misjudging slightly and causing herself minor injury. Rezilio examined it but didn’t find a way to stop it before he decided to fly through, shielding himself with armor of wind. He was struck by the axe’s chain, but his armor protected him. At this point, having had enough of this nonsense, Thalia used her Forceshifting to stop the axe in its tracks, making it safe for the others to come through…
I put the assets online to speed download
Have someone not me or Mindy host Skype
Possibly turn Max Mem 1024, Min Mem 512, Stack Size 10