Dorak - Dealing with the Cursed Mask

Dear Grandpa,

We have achieved a restoration for me and a Continual Flame on Smriti’s crown, so the shopping list is slightly started. That’s a frustration I’ll tell you about more later, but the good news is we met Ignatius, Chrysos has joined the party, and we observed the second sorrow together, while the bad news is a lot of the wealth I had been carrying was in the same haversack as the cursed items.

Well, here’s the upside: we had to face the mask to recover a good chunk of the funds that we were carrying, so it caused a bit of chaos and a bit of a commotion, but it gave Chrysos and Ignatius a chance to work with the existing members and show they are useful. We were successful, despite no Kumori, who was in the lamp, and Iz, Dusky and I having all ran off to take care of other odds and ends.

The downside is that we don’t have the funds, even though we made more than I expected overall, to equip the party as well as we ought to be, based on our skills, and Chrysos advises us to hold onto the funds to appease the gods of Io, both on the voyage there and then on the road to the oracle.

Worse, the arrow of Apollo guarantees us only a spot in line, but it’s the spot at the back and possibly we’ll never be heard. There are statues to the gods that have been made by natives to move ahead in the process and a mountain of challenges.

At present, I see the following happening:

- We have an audience with the king, whose agent has already said that it is not an endorsement or sponsorship for our mission
  Kumori, Dusky, and possibly Chrysos must use every ounce of charm they have to impress upon the pious king that this is not just a mission to save the world, but it is also a missionary trip, to take the word of the tree into the land of Kaidan so there is a choice other than the Wheel that is broken
  The King can not lend the party aid in the form of weapons: weapons with his smithies’ maker’s mark on them are just as bad as if we were carrying the standard of the Free Kingdom

- We charter or find passage with a ship to reach Io
  This may take some time, and certainly will take some gold

- We buy horses and a pony to reach the Oracle
  This is about 600 gold at least, and we must be carrying gems or other precious items for the offering/statuary, and may pay a premium for being outsides (other than Chrysos)

- We ride
  How long? What dangers will we encounter? What delays – either bureaucratic or possibly divine – will be thrown in front of us? How many of us die along the way?

- We reach the temple
  Chrysos, if not too late, makes an offering to Dionysus to ask him to intercede with Hera

- We assume our spot in line
  The Arrow of Apollo has been used at this point

- We get a statue built
  I don’t care if there are statue builders who have shops at the base of the temple mount, we may pay a premium, and even though Ignatius has a second haversack, each can only hold 120 lbs
  If we put nothing but coin in the haversack, that’s 12000 gp or so in both
  I have acquired as much in the way of jewelry and portable wealth that time allowed so we can carry our current funds among us, but there was not much platinum available to convert to lighten the load in raw coin. I hope to find more in Venchenzia.

- OR We offer the gods something else
  My other thought is that Kumori write a play or poem, in the Ionian style, to tell of his land’s plight, projecting that Apollo helps us and that we succeed
  My understanding is that Kaidan is known to the Kushites as the Land of the Rising Sun, so there’s a certain sense in appealing to Apollo to adopt the fate of this land as important
  Apollo also, from my understanding, is the god of the poem, while Dionysus is the god of the play, so if we are to appease the vanity of both, a well performed reading of an epic poem may suffice
  That’s all conjecture, and requires Kumori be able to craft such a poem, and then Chrysos perform to the best of her talents

- We do other things to get through the waiting process
  We need to research this and have Iz tell cards but there’s a virgin goat and other challenges that may appear random and capricious. That is apparently the Ionian Pantheon’s nature.

- Kumori asks his question
  This is the biggest risk. We have one shot, once a month, to ask, and that question must come from Kumori. If the lamp takes him or he asks the wrong question, well, I suspect that the undead from Kaidan will not be confined to the borders and will be unleashed upon us all. The cursed lamp may be the only somewhat safe place left, and I don’t expect us all to be sucked into it.

- We try to decipher the cryptic answer
  I don’t quite understand what Iz said about Lydia and her fate, and that’s an oracle I know doing telling I’ve seen several times and had time to study and try to understand though I have no gift of prophecy myself. The oracle we seek to answer is certain to make Iz’s answers seem extra clear and obvious.

- We try to implement the solution
  Assuming we’ve passed all the obstacles to this point and not died due to lack of equipment or other cause, we still have to make the right choices with incomplete information

- We succeed, Kaidan is returned to a more normal state
- We fail, I expect there to be global consequences for our failure.

Also, ultimately, we can’t use Chrysos’s curse for personal gain or to try to help see Apollo.

Finally, some sad news – the sheriff also passed on and is no more along with other warriors in the town. It seems like Villa Vicosa is not going to be more than a memory, a footnote to many, a home of last resort to a few.

Well, it looks like we are almost ready to be off to meet the king. If there’s no change and Kumori remains in the lamp, I wonder if we’ll all be beheaded for treason or some other charge for insulting his majesty, or just the men.

Kidding (I hope),

Dorak

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Dorak - Dealing with the Cursed Mask

Crimson Skies Grusnik