“Have you ever seen a map of the world?”
Beneath a high domed ceiling, the translucent globe hummed, as it rotated, suspended in mid air, above the summoning circle. Arching, crackling energy connected points on the map. Kazimir recognized the globe as representing Golarion. He was able to pinpoint the portal in Taldor, but there were many more. He said it would take additional study to determine how to disable the portal. Shanka offered to assist him.
Holt stabilized the dying Radosek. Searching him, they found a wand shaped like an icicle; potions, a scroll, an amulet, a ring, and a cloak. Kazimir could not identify all of the items, but said he would try again tomorrow.
Adjacent to the main chamber, two smaller rooms were furnished with beds. In one, a fine painting of a winter scene. In a chest, they found a chest containing rolled up canvases: paintings depicting spring, summer, and fall. They took these, nothing else of value. The other bedroom was unremarkable.
Tacey searched the alcove where Radosek had stood with the cauldron. She found a complete alchemical lab, along with enough useful items to open a small shop: tanglefoot bags, smokesticks, flash fire, acid flasks, liquid ice, thunderstones, etc. The cauldron was a powerful item, enhancing summoning spells.
The teleporter where Radosek had attempted his escape was in a larger bedroom. A curtain concealed a door of solid ice. Njaldur and Tacey went to work opening the lock. Inside, a storage room contained crates, urns, decanters. Success! The statue of a woman with an stern, icy countenance warned them they should have never come here, to leave before she returned. Nazhena Vasilliovna hexed Njaldur, draining him of constitution. Shanka said it was beyond her healing to help him. He shrugged it off, grinning as he measured the bars of silver, dipped his hands in a bottomless bag of coins, and eyed other valuable items: a ring of regeneration, wand of color spray.
“Totally worth it,” Tacey said, clapping his back, which set reeling in a round of coughing.
Next, they decided to question Radosek Pavril. First they bound and blindfolded him. Njaldur attempted to charm him with magic, but he scoffed, wondering why he was alive. He asked about Volstoy, if his goat was okay. Njaldur lied and said it was resting. He answered questions: when will Nazhena Vasilliovna return? Don’t know. Where does the portal go? To any other portal, just say the word. How to disable the portal? Don’t know, but Nazhena Vasilliovna left notes. When they openly discussed killing him with Nadya, he begged for his life. He explained that he has been taken from Taldur as a boy, when his father, a noble crossed Nazhena Vasilliovna’s mother. The boy was spared when the young Nazhena Vasilliovna begged her mother to spare him. She saw the potential in him, training him as her apprentice.
The party made plans. First they decided to spare Radosek. The group encouraged Nadya to start a new life in Taldur with her boys and Hatch. Someone would need to take Radosek as a prisoner. He might provide valuable information. There was an argument about whether they should all return to Waldsby with Nadya, Hatch and her boys. They thought the villagers should be given the option of traveling to Taldor as well. Holt and Tacey volunteered to go with them. Njaldur wanted to do some reading about Irisen. Shanka and Kazimir worked on disabling the portal. Urtusk smashed mirrors.
In Waldsby, most villagers were willing to listen to Nadya to take the opportunity to leave Irrisen especially with fear of reprisal by Nazhena Vasilliovna. She advocated for leaving to have a better life away from the heel of the witches. The half-orcs scowled. “If you stay here you will surely die.”
Kashka, Svens, and Jarals and their families were willing to go. Arbagazor Frimbocket wanted to be reunited with his twin brother. “Any world that I’m welcome to.” Garthur Kalinin did not want to give up his monopoly and spoke loudly that those loyal to the queen will be rewarded. More work for those that stay.
Katrina Goltiaeva loudly claimed that Nadya had brought doom on them all. Either stay there and face the witch’s wrath or die out in the wilderness. Emil was quiet, eyeing the party fearfully. Birgit Holorova tried to go back to the storehouse, but Holt made her stay. Rusilka Sighjalmsdottir was hesitant to give up her business but worried she won’t have any customers. She was convinced when told of the male dwarf barber in Heldren.
Verana Stolya was happy at the chance of a good life away from the evil land and told her daughter Milivsa that they’re going and to start packing up the shop. She told Gyrtak if he’s willing to go, he can make a new start. He was. Iziamir Polovar was one of the last to decide. He said it doesn’t seem right. We’ve all been here our whole lives. But Tula his wife asked about Taldor.
Rolf Halzberg, the cleric, said he will pray on it but he will go if most are leaving as he is there for the villagers and it would be nice to go somewhere clerics were not held in disdain. About 2/3 of the villagers wanted to go.
It took late into the night for people to get themselves packed up, even with the PCs help. “Such a long way to go.” In the morning, Nadya demanded a month’s worth of food for everyone leaving. Birgit refused, but was convinced by Holt.
Using the bars of silver they confiscated from the Tower, Holt and Tacey purchased magic studded leather armor (for Njaldur) and a belt of constitution (for Urtusk.) In addition, breast plates were purchased for Holt and Urtusk, better than scale mail.
Meanwhile at the Pale Tower, Kazimir and Shanka studied the portal’s mechanism along with Nazhena Vasilliovna’s notes determined how to shut it down. Turning it back on was another matter. Njaldur spent his time in the library, while Urtusk rummaged in the kitchen. Before he turned in, Kazimir fiddled with the mirrors he had taken from the Tower guards, as he magically attuned himself to their frequencies.