Adventure Luna 4 ~Rebirth~

The beginning of something truly excellent
New friends, Sage Arrit, the crashed ruins, and a new ally

Our crystal-marked heroes, guided by visions, advice, or fate, converged on the abode of the great sage Manaba Arrit, former companion to the holy knight Seth who overthrew Emperor Garm I a century ago. Known for providing guidance to those marked by the crystals, she invited them into her home and charged them with a task: investigate the ruins of the Ancients that had fallen from the sky mere days earlier.

Once there, they found a new ally: an arbos, decayed from years of disuse. Using a crystal shard given by Sage Arrit, our heroes reactivated the arbos, which introduced itself as being friendly. From there, the ruins still needed a thorough sweep, and there was still the manticore out there that the sage warned about…

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Battle in the Ruins!
Assaulted by clockwork soldiers!

Introductions to their new friend were cut short when our heroes were assaulted by the guardian of the ruins: clockwork automatons, neglected over the millennia, but still deadly! Despite being outnumbered, the party emerged victorious and moved deeper into the ruins. They soon found a door that only opened for their new Arbos companion, and inside were some curious treasures that had survived preserved in there for thousands of years, and may still be useful to them.

They didn’t come out unscathed, however, and may need time to recover. This will also give them time to examine and test out their newfound items, perhaps name their Arbos ally, and get to know each other a little better.

There’s still the matter of that manticore that Sage Arrit warned about, though. It was too large to enter the ruins, but it could still be lurking outside, waiting for an opportunity…

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Manticore Ambush!
A surprisingly easy battle

Our heroes spent some time in the ruins deciphering what they could find in the various rooms and with what little information they could gather from the damaged and malfunctioning Ancient devices. It took time, but they managed to discern that this set of formerly-flying ruins were designed to both monitor and control the weather in the area — and if the weather at Isla Sola is no longer being controlled, will that mean more storms are on the way?

Regardless, the heroes gathered their loot and departed the ruins. However, they were met at the exit by a new companion, who helpfully alerted them to an ambush — the manticore was right above them! The creature attacked and attempted to scatter the group, but thanks to their tactics and skill, the monster was slain in seconds.

Our heroes got to know their new ally, also a crystalmarked individual guided here, and began the hour-long walk back to Sage Arrit’s home.

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Journey to the Fire Crystal
Attacked by dragon cultists!

With the ruins explored thoroughly and two new companions recruited, our heroes spoke with Sage Arrit once more. She recommended they make pilgrimage to one of the four crystals, and because of its proximity and location, our heroes decided that the Fire Crystal would be the most convenient destination. They bid the Sage farewell and traveled east to the port city of Fanfoss, where they negotiated passage on a merchant ship traveling to Medon.

It was a wise move to agree to protect the ship for a reduced fare, because shortly after setting off, the ship was sabotaged and attacked by dragon-worshiping cultists, with a significant number of the ship’s crew being dragged into the ocean and abducted! After fighting off the cultists, their champion revealed that they were to be sacrifices to the spawn of Klatyr, a dragon that menaced Arinoa, hated humes, and produced a great many drakes, but was ultimately killed over 300 years ago by Arinoan dragonslayers.

With the ship’s steam engine repairs underway, the captain agreed to reward the heroes for the safe return of the rest of their crew. The ship was then steered toward the nearby archipelago that these cultists call home, toward the well-defended cave where the champion said the rest of them live.

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Fighting the Cult of Klatyr
Fierce island battle!

With the captured champion’s guidance, the merchant found the seaside cave on the small island the cultists were using for their hideout. They met resistance almost immediately, but managed to intimidate another cultist warrior into surrendering. He revealed himself to be a not-particularly-enthusiastic sellsword who got wrapped up in the cult, but who wanted out. He surrendered and warned the party that the cult’s dragon shaman was nearby and planned to sacrifice the captured crew, and that the party should hurry if they wanted to save them.

Our heroes soon found the altar room, where the dragon shaman was performing a ritual with his two strongest warriors and a few other cultists. The fighting was fierce right from the start, and was made only more fierce when the Klatyr drake itself appeared! It was a vicious and pitched battle, but our heroes emerged victorious (if slightly burned), and now it’s just a matter of rescuing the captured crew.

From there, it will be only two more weeks before our heroes finally make it to the Fire Temple.

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The Fire Temple
The end of a long journey, but the beginning of an even longer one!

Having finally rescued the captured crew from the caves in which the Cult of Klatyr were using as a base, our heroes plundered the cult’s treasures and returned to the ship, once again setting off to the isles of Medon and Apalala’s Domain.

They arrived at the Fire Temple Island and the grateful crew of the merchant ship bid them farewell. After some brief shopping and stocking up on supplies, they set off north, crossing the island in a few days before reaching the Fire Temple.

After passing through the small settlement at the base of the mountain, they entered the Fire Temple proper, a complex built into the side of an active volcano. Inside, the temple bore a resemblance to various ruins built by the Ancients, remarkably well-preserved despite millennia of existence. They were greeted by the sage Kri Va Ti, an elderly esper and Crystalist white mage. He welcomed them to the temple and offered both free (if barebones) lodging at the temple as well as access to their archives.

Aisling and Su Nen sought information about their eye-related abilities, and were given the names of three historical figures who were also notable for their eye powers: the hume black mage Mirionne of Valonne, the esper assassin Fyo Ra of Medon, and the beastkin Sage Tallcloud from southern Canto, Tallcloud being the oldest of them all, having lived a thousand years ago. It wasn’t much to go on, but it was a good place to start.

They then proceeded to the Fire Crystal and communed with it, Iruc finally gaining his crystal mark. They were each given a vision from the Crystal: A wavering, flickering light descending from the sky and into a circle of standing rune-covered stones, being chased by a darkness that traveled from the outermost moon, across the others, and to this one.

Sage Kri Va Ti recommended they write down as many details as they could from the vision, as the crystal might be foretelling the future, and gave them full access to the Fire Temple’s archives.

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The Fire Temple Archives
Research, Research, and More Research

With access to the Fire Temple’s archives, our heroes made rapid progress in their research. They discovered that the runes written on the standing stones that were shown in the vision are magical in nature, but their true purpose has yet to be discovered. They also uncovered the locations of three stone circles: One in the far north of Arinoa, another in the southern deserts of the Gou Empire, and a third very nearby, on the southernmost tip of Medon’s southern island. It was the last circle that matched the set of runes that were sketched out from the vision the Fire Crystal showed them.

Our heroes also made other discoveries, these ones pertaining to the magical eye powers of Su Nen Zai and Aisling. The black mage Mirionne, of Valonne, was a prominent inventor of several force-manipulation spells, and supposedly acquired her eye powers — which allowed her to read any written language — after becoming lost in the deepest reaches of the Dream Realm. In addition, they learned that the assassin Fyo Ra of Medon of had an onyx eye very similar to Aisling’s that supposedly gave him the ability to create illusions out of shadows.

With some trepidation over the true nature of their vision, our heroes resolved to set out to the stone circle south of Medon.

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Travelers from the Third Moon
A new ally and a new threat!

Our heroes finished up at the Fire Temple and, for a hefty price, booked passage on an airship leading from the Fire Temple to the port city of Gilbridge, on the southeast edge of Medon. There, they gossiped with the locals and discovered that the stone circle they seek was theorized to be astronomy related, since the stones apparently line up with the movements of the sun, Emla, the moons, and other celestial bodies and constellations. On their chocobos, the heroes then set out.

After two days of travel, they arrived in the early evening around sunset, and discovered the magical standing stones on a hilltop overlooking the ocean. After some poking around and stargazing, they noticed that Anfini — the third moon — was rather bright for this time of night and at this distance. It soon became clear that it wasn’t Anfini, but a great light that seemed to be flying from Anfini toward Arald! The light showed itself to be a cluster of lights that converged above the stone circle, and then descended in a series of flashes, revealing a group of twenty or so people.

The people were primarily humes, but among them were strange hume-like creatures, some tall and elegant with pointed ears, others short and stout, called elezen and dwarves, respectively. The leader among them, an elezen in mage robes, introduced himself as Diodore. He bore a crystal mark just like the heroes, and claimed he had led these people from a village called Tomra.

He told a tale of his world, Anfini, coming under attack from an invading army from the fourth moon, Albel. This army, called the Kalsh Empire, was seeking the crystals of Anfini, and would no doubt come to Arald to search for theirs, likely using the same method the refugees used to travel here: The Luna Gates.

The heroes agreed to guide them to Gilbridge, which on foot would be about three days away. The promise of invaders looms in the future. What does the Kalsh Empire want with the crystals, and why are they so ruthless in their search?

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First Encounter with the Kalsh Empire
Ambush!

With the refugees safe and sound in the nearby port city of Gilbridge, our heroes spoke with Diodore about the crystals, noting that humes and their language are common to both their worlds, and that Arald, Anfini, and Albel each have their own set of four crystals. However, their discussion was cut short — lights in the sky from Anfini signaled the arrival of Kalsh Empire forces, likely a scouting party!

At Diodore’s urging, they set an ambush and managed to take the Imperials by surprise. Even with the element of surprise, however, the battle was hard-fought — the presence of a suit of Magitek Armour, a walking siege engine powered by magic, made the battle even harder.

However, our heroes triumphed and managed to capture both an enemy mage and the magitek armour’s pilot — and they kept the magitek armour in working order. Now it was just a matter of getting their prisoners back to town for interrogation.

And what are they going to do with that magitek armour? Nobody in the party knows how to pilot it, and Diodore hasn’t been trained in its operation, either.

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New Allies, Separate Ways
The Kalsh Empire looms!

The interrogation of their two prisoners was informative and enlightening. The black mage and magitek pilot our heroes captured were fairly forthcoming: The Kalsh Empire is indeed seeking out the crystals of every moon of Emla, but do not know — or will not tell — the true reason. They also revealed that Albel, the moon that the Kalsh Empire comes from, is inhabited by humes, genasi, and tieflings. Genasi are humes changed by the power of the four crystals and bearing elemental powers related to the crystal they were changed by, while tieflings are humes changed by the void — and they make up the upper class of the Kalsh Empire, voluntarily undergoing the change in order to gain magical powers.

The pilot, a young hume named Junius, revealed his willingness to help the party in exchange for his life, his loyalty to the Kalsh Empire having been broken by the destruction of his hometown for sheltering a Resistance cell. His former comrade attempted to kill both himself and Junius with a spell before he could betray the Empire, but thanks to quick casting by Su Nen, the fireball was neutralized and the black mage was subdued.

Our heroes then decided their next course of action was to inform the Crystalists at the Fire Temple of their discoveries and of the impending danger of the Kalsh Empire’s invasion of Arald. First, however, they retrieved the still-functional scout-model magitek armour Junius piloted, bringing it back to Gilbridge so the dwarf Watts — an acquaintance of Diodore — could have a look at it and repair it. Diodore announced his intentions to return to Anfini to seek out the missing Water Crystal, and parted with the heroes.

And so, our heroes set out to return to the Fire Temple. What new dangers await them?

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