Adventure Luna 4 ~Rebirth~

Arrival in Canto
The Wind Crystal, and Missing Princesses!

Leaving behind the now-conquered oasis city of Sakahi, our heroes flew south on their new airship, stopping briefly at the capital of Canto to stock up on supplies before continuing southeast to the Great Plateau and the Wind Temple.

They arrived with no trouble, and promptly met with Sage Ro Ta Kaam, the surprisingly young sage of the Wind Temple, and filled him in on the situation. He was willing to let the party take the crystal, but warned that Canto was in no state to defend itself: The two most militarily mighty kingdoms of the Federation were on the verge of war with each other, each accusing the other of abducting their princess.

Neither kingdom had made any demands, which begs the question: where DID the two princesses go? Our heroes were given letters of introduction for both kingdoms as well as a map of that region of Canto, and left to resolve this mystery.

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Destination: Canto
Sakahi falls to the Kalshan Empire!

Our heroes stood up against the initial assault by Kalshan forces long enough to escape before reinforcements arrived, and even scored a fresh suit of magitek armour for their troubles. However, once they took to the sky, they could see at least fifty more magitek armours on their way to Sakahi, accompanying the main body of the invasion force. On top of that, it wasn’t just Sakahi’s west gate that was attacked, but also the north and south gates. They fled east on the airship with Watts, Junius, and Thaos having rejoined them.

They discussed what to do next, and decided to fly south to the Federated Kingdoms of Canto, home of the Wind Crystal. Their destination is the Wind Temple, located on a vast forested plateau. Once there, they need to convince the sages to allow them to take the crystal for safekeeping, to prevent it from falling into Kalsh’s hands.

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Kalsh Invades!
The Dhorme chimera slain, crystal shards acquired, and a war begun

Our heroes handily and easily defeated the chimera of Dhorme Plateau, and even rescued a wounded beastkin hunter named Resh in the process, who was thought dead after his party was attacked and scattered by the chimera. Having fulfilled their end of the deal and more, our heroes returned to the rift.

There, they shared the ritual for creating crystal shards and using them to enchant weapons and armour, and were given access to the crystals in the rift. From the clusters there, they were able to acquire five more shards, bringing them up to six total. However, when they emerged from the rift, they saw a disturbing sight: a continuous stream of points of light streaking across the sky and coming down toward the southwest, an indication that a Luna Gate nearby was being used, and in huge numbers!

This could only mean that the Kalsh Empire had begun its invasion of Arald and would be moving to capture the four crystals. With the help of a trio of rift beastkin hunters on loan from the elder, our heroes crossed the desert swiftly and without issue. However, the same day they arrived, Sakahi came under attack by a huge force of Kalsh soldiers!

During the battle, an airship flew in low, dropping off Thaos and Junius — the latter now piloting a repaired and enhanced suit of magitek armour — and joined the battle, helping turn the tides of battle!

However, the main body of the force was on its way, and retreat on the airship seems inevitable for our heroes…

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Rift discovered!
A meeting and a deal with a beastkin elder

After nearly a week of trudging through the desert, our heroes finally found what they were looking for: A rift! Specifically, one of the aether-rich rifts known for their crystal growths. A tribe of rift beastkin, known for their strange magical powers, built their village here, and our heroes met with their elder.

The elder struck a deal with the party: In exchange for slaying the chimera that has been terrorizing the village and killing travelers, and sharing the ritual to create crystal shards, our heroes would be given access to the deep rift where the crystal clusters grow and would be allowed a share of treasure from the chimera’s hoard.

The chimera has claimed a beastkin temple built on sacred ground to the northeast of the village, in a place called Dhorme Plateau. Our heroes had best prepare for a tough battle, as chimeras are known for their ferocity.

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Into the Desert
In the arid desert of southern Gou

In their quest to gather more power and resources to prepare for open war with the Kalsh Empire, our heroes set their sights on the arid desert of the southern region of the Gou Empire, said to hold many rifts containing crystallized aether. By using a ritual found in the formula for crafting magical arms and armour, our heroes plan to focus the aether of a cluster of crystals into a single shard, which can then be used to further increase the potency of their weapons and armour.

They bought passage on an airship across the Central Ocean and found themselves in the river town of Sakahi, where they stocked up on water and supplies before setting out across the desert. The trip was dreary, hot, and uneventful, but they did meet a pair of esper archaeologists and their guards, who wanted to trade for water.

They had managed to avoid danger so far, but they’re not out of the desert just yet.

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Plans for the next adventure
Interrupted by a monster hunt!

Our heroes decided that their next best course of action would be to gather more crystal shards to further strengthen their arsenal. To do so, they’d have to find one of the many rift canyons scattered around Arald, most of which seem to be clustered in the southern reaches of the Gou Empire, in an arid region. As our heroes planned out their next trip, a panicking villager came to them for help!

A large shipment of salted fish was bound north for another town when it was attacked by a malboro. Everyone made it away safely, and the malboro took all the fish, but the real danger was a malboro this close to civilization. Malboros are normally reclusive creatures that stick to their swamps, but this one had come as far as the boreal forest near Gilbridge and was brazen enough to attack humans for food. It had to be put down!

With the promise of a reward from the Monster Hunters’ Guild, our heroes set out and tracked it to the nearby woods, where they followed its sproutlings to a clearing where the malboro had stashed the stolen salted fish. There, they fought a pitched battle against the foul creature, but came out victorious. They were rewarded a handsome sum for defeating such a dangerous monster, which would help fund their long trip to southern Gou.

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Return to Gilbridge
Reunion with old friends

Having successfully mapped out and left the ruins on the south coast of Bolla’s Domain, our heroes booked passage on an airship back to Gilbridge to see if Watts could do anything with that adamantine the party found. Watts agreed to craft weapons for them, and said there was enough adamantine for a greatsword for Danava and a longsword for Iruc, with enough left over for a dagger for anyone to use. Thaos wanted help from Watts and Junius to fix up the mining tool he retrieved from the large mining automaton, but in the meantime, asked for Su Nen’s help in performing a ritual to enchant a light crossbow for Aisling.

The purpose of the trip was to accumulate wealth and power in order to ready themselves for the inevitable war when the Kalsh Empire finally invades Arald and comes after its crystals. Do our heroes feel ready? The Empire might come knocking even if they aren’t, and Gilbridge is mere days away on foot from the southern Luna Gate.

The other two gates are in even less hospitable places: The far north of Arinoa, and the middle of the desert in southern Gou. Are they worth investigating, or should the heroes travel through the Luna Gate by Gilbridge and take a look around themselves? What of the elezen sage Diodore, who said he was going to try and find Anfini’s missing water crystal?

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South Coast Ruins part 3
Discovering the mines

Our heroes opened the third and final sealed door in the ruins. This hallway led deeper into the mountain and led to what appeared to be a mine, full of possibly-inactive clockwork automatons designed for mining. Bypassing them without a fight, our heroes then discovered a slick and slimy alcove that might be home to some kind of burrowing monster. Fortunately, the monster was nowhere to be found.

Moving on, they reached a dead end with a huge clockwork miner and what appeared to be a vein of adamantine. On approaching, the clockwork miner reactivated and attacked, but it was handily defeated with some teamwork and luck. In addition to 12 pounds of adamantine, a thunder-blasting device used to break rock was also taken from the clockwork miner — it would take time and work to fix it and make it man-usable, but it could be useful.

With the ruins completely mapped out, our heroes have only one task left: Leave the ruins.

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South Coast Ruins part 2
A clockwork automaton factory!

Exploring deeper into the ruins, our heroes traveled to two rooms marked on Steim Donnegal’s map. The first contained a spherical device that Steim’s team was unable to identify, but Thaos correctly identified it as a barrier generator of some sort, and one significantly more advanced than the ones the Kalsh Empire uses. Iruc suggested that this barrier must have been an aversion barrier, which creates a field that plants a mental suggestion to stay away, rather than generating a physical barrier.

They moved on to a room marked on Steim’s map as being for controlling local weather and the flow of aether in the region, but the devices had since failed and were non-functional. Moving on to the next sealed door, our heroes were immediately attacked by a horde of clockwork automatons! Partway through the battle, a gigantic clockwork colossus appeared, complicating the fight!

Fortunately, with clever tactics and the exploiting of weaknesses, our heroes triumphed. The room appeared to be a factory of some sort, specifically for the construction of clockwork automatons. They found a non-functional device in the corner for moving raw material from one place to another, suggesting the presence of a mine as part of the ruins.

Only one sealed door remains!

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South Coast Ruins
At the southern edge of Bolla's Domain, adventure!

With a brief stop at a port city, our heroes — with the Sage Kri Va Ti paying their fare — made their way to the southern coast of Bolla’s Domain, where they traveled into the mountains, following the trail left by the explorer Steim Donnegal. With his directions, they found the entrance to the ruins easily enough, but were immediately attacked by giant scorpions once inside!

After a fierce and drawn-out battle, our heroes emerged victorious (but not unscathed) and resumed exploring. They found what was no doubt living quarters for the Ancients, full of non-functional devices and decayed, dormant, or dead clockwork automatons. One clockwork servant was still active, but feeble and in extraordinarily poor repair thanks to nearly three thousand years of wear and tear.

They found some interesting and powerful magical artifacts inside one of the sealed rooms, but there was still a lot more of the ruins to explore. With the ruins having been opened to the outside for so long, there was bound to be more wildlife present. The remaining functional clockwork servant also said something about manufacturing and mining — what was it the ruins were designed to manufacture?

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