Episode 16

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The Well of Many Worlds

August 11, 2019

As the Naga gloated over Tharius, outlining its plans for him and the party, the rest of the group slowly woke up one by one from their magical sleep to discover that, while they were out, the Naga had implanted little Water Weirdlings inside their heads which could constrict around their brains at a single command from their master. In simple terms, Nyarthep the Naga had them over a barrel.

Nyarthep went on to explain how the luminous pools in the cave, which it refers to as the Well of Many Worlds, are actually portals to the Elemental Plane of Water through which other portals to other places may be accessed. The one benefit of playing host to a Water Weirdling is the ability to breathe underwater, a necessity for surviving the plane. The party, more specifically the Good-aligned heroes Scheff, Ranger and Tharius, would be able to go places only Good people may go and plant more portals for their Evil Naga master.

In order to gauge the party’s capabilities, Nyarthep had Scheff recite the whole history of their fellowship, and once Zabrina’s treasure map of the three relics came up, the Naga demanded she and the party bring each of them to the Well of Many Worlds. The three relics together confer the rite of rulership over all of Hyracanum to the bearer, and for her trouble Nyarthep promised to make Zabrina Queen of the world.

First, however, the Naga wanted to test them as well as equip them to be agents of its will. In the Skylands far above Hyracanum there is a Floating Monastery of Ultimate Order where seven treasures are watched over by an order of monks who sometimes loan them out to those they deem worthy. The party is sent there by Nyarthep to steal all seven treasures and deliver them to the Well of Many Worlds. Some items will be left to them after the Naga has had its pick and then they will face their first real assignment.

Guided by Nyarthep’s water elemental through the Aquaportal, the adventurers swam to an exit point in a floating rock island somewhere in the boundless blue of the Skylands with a view of the entire discworld below. There they were to wait for a flying boat which would take them to the Floating Monastery of Ultimate Order. Around mid-morning the flying boat came along, piloted by Brother Jakim sent to collect water for the monastery.

Art by Roger Dean

The Naga had coached the party on what lie to tell the monks in order to gain their confidence: that Nyarthep the Exile was planning to usurp control of Gazeera and then dominate the lands from there to the sea and the heroes needed weapons to fight the Naga’s army. Scheff convinced Brother Jakim to take the party in his boat to the monastery. There they presented their story to Master Waitani who remained unconvinced and dismissed them, ordering Jakim to take them back to the rock pool.

As they were brought back to the Aquaportal, Zabrina charmed Brother Jakim to learn how to pilot the boat and then convince him to stay behind while the adventurers took the craft and sailed back to the Monastery to carry out their first mission for Nyarthep the Exile and steal the seven treasures.

Episode 17: Kung-Fu Fighting