Session 8

-Investigating market. Everything is for sale here, including magics I never knew existed, but prices are utterly absurd. Everyone wants golems, though. Lord Gomstock bought five. Investigate him further for why? Merchant selling them claims they grow from seeds. Clearly putting us on, golems are works of great skill and artifice, but we should investigate anyway to be sure. Nath is investigating mage academy, better answers should be there.

Part the Twelfth: The City of the Carrion Flower
-[arbitrary date+11], evening, the city of the flower
I have some free time now, so I am going to update this before anything happens. I beleive we have begun to peel back the city's gleaming surface to reveal the corruption underneath. The city of the flower has a library of necromancy, which while not a good sign, is not my main concern. They're only texts, and fighting necromancy requires knowledge of it as much as practicing it does. Our concerns about the instability of the magic supporting this city almost certainly fall short of the reality. The princess has, well, the queen to be, really. Fuchs spoke to his guard compatriot before meeting us and Nathurra at the wizard's school, and according to him the king is dead, and the princess will be crowned queen by the end of the week. Her perfidy in not even waiting for-
Never mind. Upon further consideration, I do not know why I was surprised by this at all. The king was probably dead before the palace ever announced that he had fallen ill. Perhaps one of our priestly companions or arcanists can commune with his spirit, and get some further answers about how this started. But back to the task at hand. The princess of Aliester has come into the possession of an arcane shard that's fueling the magic of this city, and is going to great lengths to imprison any arcanist that knows about the existence of the artifact. Granted, she appears to be going after any spellcaster she suspects of disloyalty to her, but she's paying special attention to those who were directly involved in finding or creating it. Which one it is, I'm not sure. I hope they made it, despite the magical puissance that implies, because if they found it I worry it's an relic of the demon invasions.
However, two names have popped up related to the work on it, which gives us leads to investigate further. Alec, who has since been imprisoned, and Zeruna, who has since fled for the hills. The shard is, according to what Nathurra has uncovered from Alec's familiar, highly unstable, and their objections to it's use are presumably what sparked the arrests of any wizards involved. All the less than loyal ones got swept up presumably because they could see the fabric of reality start to tear, and object publicly. I have to admit my earlier condemnation of Zeruna's probable intentions were hasty. If he was unable to address the potential for the shard to spew raging magical vortices everywhere, I wouldn't want to be here either. One cursed swamp is enough. Evidently the princess disagrees, because there are plans afoot to spread the advanced magic across the entire kingdom of aliester, which can only mean there may soon be two cursed swamps. Or maybe not a swamp. Aliester isn't wet enough. Perhaps arid, undead-infested hills, cursed forevermore.
The wizard Alec does claim to know more about the shard and political situation, or so his familiar claims. (Which is a dragon, an actual *dragon*! Nathurra claims it's tiny and unimpressive, but I've always hoped to lay eyes on one of the great beasts, even if it's a younger example of it's kind. Alec must be a truly powerful arcanist if he can command the services of such a creature. And Nathurra is drow, looking impressed by anything is strictly forbidden by their culture, if I understand it properly.) The obvious next step is to either slip Alec out of prison, or slip in to speak with him, and get another peice of the puzzle. But we'll need to work quickly. The coronation is mere days away, and I'm sure the princess will have something impressive planned for the ceremony.

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