The session opened with the group on approach to Dali from Tida. The ride went smoothly until approximately a mile out, when the group noticed the complete lack of a crystal shield covering the city. Bad juju.
A brief visit closer to the city revealed most of the population to be dead or dying as the crystal was shattered, fleeing in vain hope to Lindblum or Narshe. Those who could fit were compacted into what free space remained in crystal shields provided by travelling caravans.
Electing to avoid the town, the group traveled straight on to Lindblum, moving fast. A passing shipping caravan gave them the story: a group of Chocobo riders stormed in and assaulted another group that was here, protecting the crystal. They shattered it before being driven off and/or mostly killed.
Upon their arrival in Lindblum, the group headed straight to Lindblum Castle. Some minor confusion involving an alleged letter from the Narshe City Council preceded a meeting with Strago and a young blue mage that the group learned was Matthew Smith. Upon hearing their tale, and sensing the strong magical presence in Arr’ik’s bag, Strago took them to see the Regent.
The Regent took them in and debriefed them. After some initial hiding of the whole truth, the group finally explained the entire story to the Regent, who listened carefully. He decided to keep them in the castle for the time being and asked them to bring the book down to the magical studies center.
While this was happening, Jess was exploring the castle and attempting to find the princess. Her efforts were stymied by a particularly steadfast castle guard.
Arr’ik decided to stay with the book and escort it to the magic researchers. There, she got into conversation with young, eager Matthew, who took the journal up to the library for a woman named Annalise to translate. The two became fast friends.
Meanwhile, Jess and Corrin wandered into the theater district where they decided to pass the time by going to see the musical How To Succeed At Being Royalty Without Really Caring. After the musical, Corrin was called to by a rather rough looking man – only he called him Jack. Dead Hand Jack, specifically. The man was wondering where “Jack” had gone months ago. Jack said a job went south. The man asked if he planned on coming but and said that Eric was looking for him, take care of some loose ends.
Somewhat regrettably, Jess and Corrin went with and discovered the hideout of the Dead Hand crime syndicate. The current showrunner Eric greeted Corrin warmly and said that he could have it all back, if he wanted.
Corrin, not wanting to face most of his past with the criminal syndicate, said that he didn’t want it, but agreed to take care of some closing business and was lead to the back office. He was given a small sum of money, a nice severance cut, and then escorted to the back warehouse to approve a “shipment”. The shipment proved to be a collection of people.
Eric had a bullet in his brain a second later.
Meanwhile, Jess was catching guilty looks from some of the other ruffians inside the base. A small physical kerfuffle and some threatening looks later, she divined that they had seen someone who looked and dressed like her. He’d been sold for 30,000 gil and sent to Cocoon, as she later figured out by checking shipping manifests.
The thugs rushed into the warehouse to find Eric’s dead body – and Corrin appearing soon after. They all drew weapons, and it looked back for a second before they asked Corrin what they were doing next.
Corrin, snapping into control fairly quickly, cleaned up the place and told them all to take a day off.
The three thugs who’d kidnapped and helped sell Torr seemed to be working with Eric, hiding the activity from the other thugs. A series of inequalities in the ledgers meant that Eric was not only trading beings, he was embezzling most of those funds. Where to, Corrin didn’t know.
After the shenanigans, Corrin and Jess returned to the palace, where Edgar gathered the group together and asked them a favor: take themselves and proceed to Midgar and Treno, warning them of the crystal shattering Chocobo Knights. Another group had already been dispatched some time ago to Cocoon to see what the hell was up with that.
The group packed up and left, with Matthew adventuring along with them this time. They journeyed for a day and a little bit before running into a group sporting the Narshe banner coming from the other way. A small tense stand-off exploded into a full-on battle, and the group made short work of the Narshe soldiers. Leaving them for dead, save one, the group continued on, cresting a hill.
Below them sat the gathered might of the Narshe Military. The implications were clear.
Panicked, the group high-tailed it back to Lindblum, arriving in the early hours of the morning. They rushed into the castle, leaving the captured soldier outside the gate in the hands of castle guards, and headed up to the royal suites. Edgar, thought to have come to bed, wasn’t there.
Unable to quell the sense of dread, the group ascended to the throne room, where they were greeted with Edgar on this throne, dead. A Dragon Knight’s spear pierced his heart. Specifically, Arr’ik’s old one.
Flying into panic, the group quickly split up. Jess headed down and grabbed the book as the others roused the Regent’s most trusted advisor, Strago, telling him what they saw. Strago, thinking fast, told them to get the hell out of
Dodge Lindblum and head to Cocoon to find a friend of his named Alderune, using the secret tunnels underneath the palace. Giving a parting hug and some brief words of encouragement to Matthew, he sent them away and attended to the Regent.
The group descended to the very bottom floor of the Palace, enterring the secret tunnel that would lead them onto the Gizamaluke Plains and from there, to the Timeless Caverns.
Mailman: Deliver a letter to Miss Alexis Tannenbaum in Lindblum.
- Mailman: Deliver a letter to Mr Thomas Paine in Narshe.
Monty Haul: Appraise and sell off the gathered loot and trinkets from Tida.
Echoes of the Past: Deliver the book to the Royal Academy in Lindblum
- Echoes of the Past: Escape the city of Lindblum and go to Cocoon using the Timeless Caverns
- Old Friends: Rendezvous with Alderune, the Desert Merchant, in Cocoon.
- Friends in Low Places: Rendezvous with some of the Dead Hand contacts.
The Home Front: A reply from Arr’ik’s mother in Narshe is expected.
- The Home Front: Arr’ik sent a letter to her mother, telling her to get out of the city.
Culture Shock: Decipher the first page of the Tida Journal.
- Culture Shock: The page is being deciphered, but was seemingly forgotten in the rush to leave Lindblum.
- MIA: Torr was sold and shipped to Cocoon, according to the shipping manifests.