Fate's Razor

Back before Lahpae's resurrection

Morélirä hooted softly from his perch on the control panel as Mallory took great care in penciling a series of flowing letters onto her blade. “Hush, little one,” she murmured in elvish. The words felt heavy on her tongue, rusty, and she hoped that Aurelia would pick up the smooth lilt of Phaedra’s accent rather than her own harsh, clipped one.

Nosy relatives and neighbors had blamed the influence of the lithuaith when she was younger, but the fault did not lie with the few friends Mallory had beyond Emynwen, and in truth she had never learned much of their language other than a few choice vulgarities.

Primordial was an old tongue, older than the menelwaith and maybe older than the Archfey itself. She liked the idea of that, but true or not, it mattered to her little.

It was the language of storms. Of fire and flood, of shifting earth and lightning. It was the language, she felt, of rage.

Of course it would be rough. Of course. And it had bled all through her other words in other languages, so that even without the affectation of an always-foreign accent, she would never sound quite at home if there was nothing breaking.

She licked her thumb and rubbed away some of the pencil marks, huffing in quiet exasperation before reattempting a few characters.

“Veryëamartánna,” she murmured, examining her handiwork once she had finished. “A proper carving would take too much of your strength, so this will have to do.” She rested the rapier across her lap, now painting the blade with a thin layer of adhesive. Over this, she sprinkled glassteel that had been ground into a fine powder. After it had dried, the sword would be cleaned and the charcoal would wash away, leaving the name outlined in a prismatic glittering. Mallory’s lightning and thunder would galvanize it further, the name becoming starker through use.

Such decoration had never interested her before, but… She could feel her weapons better, since training with Casius. More like extensions of herself, less like a crutch she grudgingly relied on when her magic would not or could not do what she wanted.

She worked in silence, lost to her thoughts, barely noticing when Morélirä landed beside her. His head tilted as he watched the movements of her hands, and she paid no mind to his gentle, reassuring hooting.

Mallory held the sword aloft once she had finished. “I am Macarcalo Hurowilin Ilwellorane of House Celebeth. I name you Veryëamartánna, and I will make you worthy of the name you bear. I swear this.”

The sword made no grand declaration in return, but she was satisfied, all the same. She would show it to Lahpae when she woke, Mallory decided, and did not let herself entertain the “if.”

Veryëamartánna was the title given to something of an elvish folk hero: the first of the taurwaith (an eladrin) to defy the Archfey. Rendered in common as “Defiance” or “Defiant One,” a more literal translation would be “to dare against” or “to challenge fate.” Considering the way the Archfey has set itself up as the guardian and caretaker of all elvish peoples, the euphemism of fate standing in for that entity should be obvious.

Veryëamartállo, a related term often translated the same way, may help convey the lack of nuance in common; while both can be rendered as “Defiance,” Veryëamartánna implies defying fate by fighting it, while Veryëamartállo implies defying fate by fleeing it.

Both types of behavior were considered treasonous in the high forest, and could be punished by death.

-notes from a common translation of various elvish folk stories

I don't know where else to post character fiction
"What is it with you and dragons?"

Graves was shooting Mallory a sidelong glance. “What is it with you and dragons, anyway?” he asked with that strange cadence that put her in mind of something halfway between an investment banker and a charlatan faith healer.

(The youngest daughter of House Celebeth had been frail at age ten, and couldn’t fly for long stretches of time.

“Dragons are strong,” she could say.

Macarcalo was less frail at age fifteen, but had shown no talent for magic.

“Dragons have scales instead of fragile flesh, and sharp teeth and claws.”

Macarcalo became Hurowilin at twenty-five, learning to carry the lightning that had struck her.

“Dragons have words of fire and ice and lightning on their tongues, and answer to no one unless they wish to. Certainly not a creature as fickle as the Archfey.”

Macarcalo Hurowilin became Ilwellorane at sixty, having lost her wings, and leaving home and her best friend wasn’t half as painful as always seeing everyone else like her in the sky, forever out of her reach.

“Dragons are solitary, and they must be happy that way.”)

Mallory sniffed and shrugged. “S’a big fuckoff lizard tha’ flies an’ breathes death on things wot piss it off. Wha’s not t’like?”

Graves snorted.

“Plus, they tend t’be rich.”

“…You do have a point, there,” he conceded.

Mallory grinned toothily. “Aye. Now le’s go make one less rich, an’ us more so.”

“I like the way you think, Mallory.”

Mallory inclined her head. “Ah’m a simple creature.” It was a small lie, and one of the few she had ever told him.

There's Something About Owlbear...

After taking the elevator down to the lower level and saving Mallory, Galen didn’t have long to puzzle out the purpose of the massive and strange room he found himself in. As the rest of the party up above suddenly felt the waters begin to churn and rise, Mallory and Galen begin to feel a rain of ochre jelly from somewhere high above. Wasting no time they rejoined the rest of the party on the middle level of the River Engine.

After some brief deliberation it was decided that construction a diving bell out of ship steel would allow the whole party to investigate the top level of the engine. This was quickly accomplished and the party was able to successfully navigate to the submerged elevator using essentially an heavy submerged metal canoe.

Exiting the elevator, the part found themselves the in the reeking den of some foal creature, cold wind and snow blowing in from outside the structure of what once was a building of some kind. A feeling of alien hunger seemed to seep into their minds, but within moments they were assaulted by a vicious owlbear and were unable to contemplate this strange occurrence. Though it nearly took the life of their sorcerer, the party was able to dispatch the beast.

However as the creature dropped, and terrifying sound came tearing through their ears and directly into their minds as it’s mate appeared!


After a pitched fight the abomination was eventually slain and the party was able to leave the fetid lair.

Finding themselves on the snow capped peak of the River Engine and looking on the familiar lands far below, the party made their way to the remains of the structure that stood at the center of the ancient magitech ruin. There they discovered what appeared to be a sprawling laboratory situated around a central dais containing a ruined magitech portal. After some investigation they discovered that the central control panel had been damaged by a mysterious and magic sword. Removing the sword the portal came to life and began showing them hazing vistas as it randomly displayed various locations.

However the portal was not benign as it summoned a frustrated ettin which attacked the party. After defeating the giant the party tried to shut the portal off, which only caused it to become more dangerous by opening portals to it’s random locations directly.

No amount of damage to the controls seemed to stop it, and as the party settled in for the night they realized that not only was this a fabled unfixed magitech portal, but that it was now out of anyone’s control.

Gerblins at the River Engine
First Session

As the winter storms have finally began to lessen, the small town of Whoreschurch is beginning to come back to life. A disparate group of adventurers find themselves free to travel once more, but now in debt to the local innkeeper.

One evening they are approached by the only other permanent resident of the inn, an old man who had introduced himself as Mr. Winston when they met him a month ago. He had been sizing them up for a job and finally proposed it seeing as the time for travel was right once more.

His proposition was to have the party travel to a nearby ruin once called the River Engine and see if there was anything there of value. The party quickly agreed to do the job for a sum of 1000 gold pieces to be split among the seven of them. They provisioned themselves and set out into the snow.

Traveling north with only a crude map drawn by Mr. Winston, they eventually found themselves following an old track up an oddly uniform rise. They soon discovered that they were in fact traveling up the River Engine itself, now partially grown over. As they made their way up, toward the location indicated on their map, they discovered a place referred to by locals as The Teeth. Here the southern arm of the ruin, now nearly one hundred feet high, had separated over time from the main body and created a short gap.

It was here that they were ambushed by a goblin raiding party and engaged in the long distance battle in the trees and across the non man’s land the goblins had created in front of their fortified position. Once defeated they were able to use that same position to defend themselves from another group of goblins who tried to sneak up on them from the north. After clearing the area they were able to freely make their way to the entrance to the ruins.

Upon reaching the ruins and defeating the traps near the entrance, the party made their way into the old mining town and discovered a still functional power loader. Using the power loader to swiftly travel across the stripped lower levels they eventually made their way down to a flooded section.

While resting they were attacked by an ochre jelly but quickly dispatched it.

After taking a barge out into the water, the party discovered a functioning elevator on the sunken floor of the room. The elevator worked even while flooded and below they discovered another section of the ruin filled with massive machinery and pitch darkness.

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