The Summer Heroes
Session 20 Preview
The Summer Heroes posses the first piece of the mythical Miqra’Chen, and seek to find the last two. But they’re not the only ones. Glaysa, one of the Guardians, seeks them, as well as swords of the Dragon Watch. Her purposes are more nefarious.
She also seems to be behind much of the destabilization in Penwith and elsewhere: supporting orcish war bands preparing for invasion, manipulating events in the North to keep the largest standing army occupied, backing murderous pirates and misguided leaders in Brightwater, making deals with dragons to attack the Elvish lands to the South, distracting the Dragon Watch from their sacred duties, and distributing magical statues used not only for eliminating Curators but also causing ever growing corruption in the surrounding areas.
The Summer Heroes are on the run, their numbers diminished yet again. Brightwater, their home and safe haven, is abandoned and awash in conflict amidst a power struggle between the Curators Mellitus and Iro. Additional forces, both foreign and domestic, have their own goals and reasons to fight in the sparkling city, leaving a confusing mess of twisting loyalties, revolution, and death. The heroes are pursued by hostile forces and the ghosts of their own failures, and the haunting predictions of what tragedies will come to pass if they fail, and what horrors might come to pass if they succeed. Seeking answers and sanctuary, they travel to Sweet Water Monastery, one step ahead of the rumors about their escape, and uncertain of their city’s fate.
If that isn’t enough, the Summer Heroes each have their own problems.
Erlindar seeks a means to remove the amulet fused into his chest, uncomfortable with the nature of its powers. He is even more troubled by the growing similarities between himself and the visions of his possible future. His engagement to Corinthia is not helping matters. But he fears he may not be able to remove the amulet, or worse, that he may find himself unwilling to do so.
Thalion is marked as a pariah by his own order, for violating his oaths and sharing his order’s most precious secrets. Now his former allies have sworn to hunt him down, and the rest of the Summer Heroes, for the secrets they both know and carry with them. Already party to intrigue, betrayal, and coups in Brightwater, the Dragon Watch has pulled its advisors and heroes back to seek the traitor and bring him to answer for his perceived crimes. Without their careful eye on the great powers, what disasters will befall the world?
Mina is trying to understand her heritage and what the Dragon Watch sword means, dissatisfied with the answers from her father, freshly freed from the clutches of Glaysa and the Curator Mellitus. Her long lost mother has resurfaced, bearing a second Dragon Watch sword and intent on destroying the Curators. And someone has been masquerading as Mina in Brightwater, employing a ring of spies for as yet unknown purposes. Tired of the family drama, she takes a leave from her newly discovered family to travel with her family of the last few years. Determined to settle her differences with Darion, she is much more understanding and sensitive to the troubles facing the rest of the group.
Pirro struggles with his past failures and his need to protect those around him. Leaving the rest of the Curators and his order to their fate in Brightwater, he is determined to keep Darion safe at all costs. Troubled by a connection he felt in Varcrist that he does not understand, he seeks a promise of greater wisdom, and training, and answers, waiting for him at Sweet Water Monastery.
Talerion is the sole Summer Hero to stay behind in Brightwater to manage the crisis. His family endangered, his city rioting and in flames, he must face decisions about how far he is willing to go to follow his family’s ambitions. And who he is willing to crush to get there. And whether his scheming sister will take their ambitions too far, and what consequences that might bring.
Darion has proof of his impossible prophecies in his hand, but is unable to share that proof with the world without attracting the wrong kind of attention. Fleeing the turmoil in Brightwater that he helped create, however unintentionally, he is determined to resolve the mystery surrounding the Staff of Prophecy and the God Who Knew Too Much. Hoping it will help turn the tide against the growing chaos enveloping the world, he must pray that he will not be too late. The truth surrounding his prophecies and the artifact in his hand may turn out to be too much of a burden. For if even a god must not know all, what will forbidden knowledge cost him?
And Abajeet, separated from Mina and her friends except in brief moments where she can offer them refuge, is struggling to understand her new powers, growing personal army, obligations, and secrets, and just what her role in the growing struggle will be…
“Do you regret lying to them?” Lennith asks.
Jahannam sighs. “No. How could I be completely honest, when I don’t know which side they are on, or if they even know anything? I want to believe in them, but they let it out. Stupidity, misfortune, or malevolence? Mortals are so trying.”
She leans her head on his shoulder. “The rings will lead them, and we will know. It is out of our hands, now.”
Silence reigned again, and after an uncomfortable minute, Darion ventured to speak. “I thought anguish was Mahra’s domain.”
Ataxia-Nivus’ stride barely broke – a fraction of a second, and barely detectible. “Mahra,” he replied, voice dripping with contempt, “is an up-jumped mortal. She is a lunatic goddess who has carved out a space for herself in an area no one wanted. We are not alike, and we do not rule over the same realms. If it seems as if we do, then perhaps we can place the blame on the limitations of mortals’ language; I assure you that, in the gods’ tongue, the distinction is clear.”
“And your last wish?” Mirth asks gleefully, rubbing her hands together.
“I wish that your soul be immediately teleported to the Mindscape.” Abajeet says defiantly. The rest of the Summer Heroes look at her in shock.
“Well, if I am to grant you that wish, I must first invoke my favor.” Mirth considers her fellow gnome. “There must always be a Guardian. You will take my place, and you can never leave, unless you figure out how, which you won’t.”
“If it takes care of you, then fine.”
“Well, I wasn’t expecting this to happen so soon, but I guess it had to begin sooner or later.” She smiles, and her skin collapses to the floor, empty.
“It’s real?” Jeanette gasps, her eyes widening. “But that means…”
Aryeon nodded. “You chose your side. There is no turning back, now. The Unburnt would not accept you as one of them, even if you could, even if you brought them this knowledge.”
“Seek the bard Sanaar. He resides in Sweetwater Monastery, and can tell you much more than I, and answer many more of your questions.”
The statue in the Rotunda upon whose visage no one could agree is clear as day to Darion, now. Only it isn’t. Not quite. It is one of two things, but he cannot figure out which. Either shaped like the demon they released or an angel of Brightwater. If he stares hard enough, he thinks he can figure it out. Yes, it has to be -