Scene 1: On the Horizon
Their mission completed, most of the crew returns to the Horizon. For the moment, missing are Atherion, Shyvern. Wocani still rests in stasis. The crew continues to grow, now consisting of Sumiko, Mook, Gurek, Syntessa, Minozuki, Drydar, Modron 138, Iestor and Oso, Limona, Ciz, Dulgier, Amut, Gregory, and acting captain Crasher.
The first day upon returning to the ship was spent in a fury of activity—Mook and 138 hurriedly refined all the group’s collective mithril resources into etherium. During this same time Iestor, the ship’s new resident shipwright, begins assessing the damage and undeveloped components of the ship. His new etherium enhanced vision allows him to scan through walls as if viewing x-rays, trace immaterial mana flows, and a myriad of other tasks that would have normally taken him weeks before.
Iestor speaks aloud to himself “for the abilities I have been given, perhaps it was well worth all my trials.” His new mechanical hands have the ability to form almost any tool he needs as a ship wright. Each time he completes a task with them, he again feels grateful for the second chance he has been given and vows to himself to repay the strangers’ kindness tenfold.
Iestor instructs Gurek to remove stowed items from areas of the ship that are actually intended to be mechanically functional—primarily the empty engine room. The more Iestor works, the better his understanding of the Horizon’s situation becomes. The missing components would indicate that the Horizon-seed was taken from the mother tree significantly before being mature. His enhanced vision picks up some unusual spells woven into the ships fabric, not unlike the ones he had been researching on the mainland before being taken by the King Priest.
He tallies the missing, underdeveloped, and undeveloped ship components. Skyshaper drive—missing, Elemental Resistance Attenuation System—missing, Attitude Systems—missing, Universal Translation System—only functioning in response to Sylvan, Coordinate Positioning System—insufficiently functional… his list spans multiple pages. Iestor was told that the mission to locate a shipwright was inspired due to lightning damage. Iestor goes to his war zeppelin, the Defiant, and retrieves the components necessary to construct a Regeneration Relay Pump system. He spends most of the night installing it, before collapsing asleep in him room.
The next morning, Iestor, Gurek, 138, Mook, and Minozuki meet in the engine room with the mass of eterium obtained and refined by the team. Minozuki channels positive energy, and the etherium itself expodes—scattering across the entire room itself and forming a host of magical equipment. One such item being an etherium Skyshaper Drive. Moments after the drive itself forms, everyone on the ship has a downward pull in their stomachs as the Horizon lifts into to the sky.
The first few days on the Horizon are not easy. The ship is not aware, and even if it were: it is not equipped for being airborne. Strong winds buffet the ship threatening to capsize it many times. After the third time of their belongings being thrown at a forty five degree pitch, the crew gives up trying to restore their rooms to any kind of order. With a good amount of luck, the winds blow them back and forth over the Bay of Balifor: far to the north east of Carinthia: the elven state of lycanthropes who hold no compassion for the crew.
Iestor works as if madman. His drive is is dual: being a native of the Kaganesti island of Jades’ Revenge, a land who believes debts are paid in service instead of coin, he feels a great debt to those who restored him from disability. The other part of his drive is that he is on a ship that is a legend to him: Horizon il’Kagan., known to the Kaganesti as ‘The Prodigal’. The trace magics left behind when Horizon was taken were the inspiration of his own defensive weaponization research. He thinks to himself, “I have never prepred this many contingent spells before, the triggering will not be easy” as sweat drips from his brow. He has laid dozens of technomancy and druidic spells, all waiting on the moment for the Horizon to rouse to awareness.
Scene 2: On the Horizon, a week after
Although primarily dormant, Horizon seems to be responding to the new situation. Its wooden surfaces become darker, and smoother. In course of a single week, a new era of vibrancy and health seems to have begun.
Seeing the positive results, acting captain Crasher calls a meeting with all casters on the ship. Early in the afternoon, they all gather in the captain’s quarters. Gold light shines through the cabin’s mica windows. Overwhelming sensations of home and hearth embolden the assembled crew. Minozuki, Syntessa, Iestor, Ciz, Mook, Drydar, and 138 sit at the captian’s table, with Crasher at the head seat.
“Hello my fellows, and welcome.” Crasher says to those seated before him. “I want to congratulate on a job well done, but it is not fully completed.” Crasher continues, “we owe a lot to Shyvern and need to bring him back to fully restore the ship.” Crasher makes a motion with his hand, and a large pile of scrolls appear on the table." He speaks up again “I have no idea what the spook did, and we are relying on you to use these scrolls he left behind to get him back.”
The casters spend most of the day deciphering the scrolls. Drydar speaks up, while rubbing his temples “what is wrong with Shyvern’s brain, anyone know why this has to be so complicated?” His question hangs in the air. Syntessa responds “stop complaining, this is master level spellcraft, you would be wise to learn from it.” Mook speaks up, “both of you stop. We have a lot to do and not much time.”
Mook points to a scroll that has an astrological drawing of the three moons. “This isn’t a single spell, it is a system of them.” Mook says, then continues, “apparently it must be done when at least one of the moons is full.” 138, sitting on Mook’s shoulder hops down to the table conjures an illusion of an orrery of Krynn and its moons. 138 points, and with his heavy mechanus accented common says “so this must happen in three days or we miss the chance for another twenty five.”
Ciz chimes in, “well mates, do we have the system understood?”
Minozkui responds, “not fully, but at least we have the divisions assigned to the right people.” Syntessa takes out a hip flask, takes a sip then hands it to Drydar. Afterword she says, “Okay. Nuitari is full in three days. Dark magic will be apex, so I will take point on the arcane component of the system. Drydar, you need to be my backup.” Ciz chimes in next, “I’ll do the setup, conjure the seal, and form the link. I will keep it as stable as possible.”
Iestor waves his etherium hand and and transmogrifies 138’s illusion into that of the ship. Red flashing marks pulse in numerous points of the ship. Iestor’s many oculus each seem to focus on different points of the image. After a moment of thought, he speaks, saying “I’m going to need help. Horizon’s maturation process and, Wocani, and Shyvern’s link is quite complex. Each of the loci need to trigger in exactly the right order. Mook, 138 can you help me focus the cascade?” The two mechanical beings both nod in response. “I guess that leaves me” Minozuki says. He places his hand to the holy symbols on his chest. “Mishakal and Shinare willing, I will fulfill my part.”
Scene 2: On the Horizon, three days later near midnight
The crew has prepared for the completion of this arc of their story. Above deck Syntessa, Drydar, Ciz, and Minozkui stand at the cardinal points of a magic circle. The non-casters of the crew: Crasher, Dulgier, Amut, Limona, Sumiko, and Oso sit at the table in the captain’s quarters.
Nuitari, the black moon shines its unlight down from the heavens. The dark moon, only visible to Syntessa and Drydar, seems to peer down as if watching.
Below deck, Iestor, Mook, and 138 stand before a complicated etherium control panel in the engine room. It sits dark and dormant; however, all hope that it will not do so long.
Ciz speaks, “Okay lads, on the count of three.” He then goes to his knees and places his hands on the glowing lines of the circle. The other casters nod, and prepare their hand signs. They speak in unison, “One, Two, Three…”
At the same time, the four begin their verbal components. Minozuki chants: “You who crosses between sky and earth, gently flowing water, holy wind which blows across the land, gather in my hand and give me power.”
Ciz, focusing his soul into his words says “Darkness beyond blackest pitch, deeper than the deepest night! Dantalion, Star Emperor, who shines like gold upon the Sea of Chaos. I call upon thee and swear myself to thee. Let let the way be torn asunder by the power you and I posses!”
Syntessa, while making a rapid set of hand signs chants: “Source of all souls, which dwells in the eternal and infinite! Everlasting flame of blue and black! Let the power hidden in my soul be called forth here and now from the infinite!”
Drydar, speaking in the sing-song voice of a bard chants: “Stars which pass through heaven’s night, heed the ancient covenant with the earth. I pledge my life so that he may be called forth!”
As the spells weave and begin to resolve the control panels before Mook, Iestor and 138 come to life. The hands of the three race across the controls, triggering the contingent spells; as they do so, the wood of the ship begins to groan and creak. Elsewhere on the ship, explosions of growth begin to restructure the Horizon.
In the magic circle, directly before the casters, a ripple in reality begins. With a flash of red light a ten foot tall humanoid in crimson and gold robes appears. His head is a massive conglomeration of dozens of human faces: male and female, young and old. A gold crown as big around as a barrel rests on the brow of his enormous cranium. Dantalion carries a great tome under one arm and begins to speak with the voices of his many faces. “We have come,” the giant says.
At the spirit’s appearance tracers of magical light, and pyreflies radiate from the circle. The wood surfaces of the ship begin to glow. Those in the captain’s quarters hear noise in the seed pod in which Wocani has rested.
One of the faces that compose Dantalion’s head begins to emerge from the phalanx. As it leaves the mass, its ectoplamic form asserts a humanoid shape, gaining a transparent body. The casters present recognize Shyvern, as he drops to the deck. Dantalion opens the great book, revealing pages of shining stars and fades away into nothingness.
Shyvern rises to his feat, and Wocani emerges from his static state. Iestor hits the final touchstone on the controls to trigger his last spell: at which the Horizon lights up the sky as it radiates golden light. Horizon transmutes into the form is should have always had, a true air-ship. Four new decks form, wings erupt from its sides, masts and sails designed for airborn travel appear. A chorus of tree spirits appear all along the railings of the deck.
Everyone on the ship feels a powerful psychic intrusion. Communicating more with emotion and intent instead of words, the Horizon speaks for the first time. In its own way, it says to all “Thank you…”
The next few months pass in a quiet calm… The crew, save Atherion, reunited, enjoy the company of their family of choice. Everyone adapts to the new challenges of being airborn, and enjoy the new wonders of the mature Horizon.
Scene 3: Dinner time in the galley of the Horizon
Shyvern finishes a large swig of his ale, and begins a conversation he would rather not start. “All, I am glad you have enjoyed some downtime; however, the world waits for no one” he says. He takes another swig of his ale, and speaks again. “While I was gone I was merged with the cursed souls of my ancestors. We drifted in a dark place with other spirits.” He shutters for a moment at the maddening memory of existing nowhere, and internally vows to complete his quest to lift his family’s curse.
“While there, we encountered the remains of a most ancient and powerful spirit. She lived before the world was fully formed, before the gods handed down divine and arcane magics.” He pauses, then starts again “before modern magic existed, she laid down an unimaginably pure and powerful system. It harnesses the life and power of the universe itself. if mastered it could truly be a power capable of challenging the gods themselves.”
“We refer to stored mystic energy as mana. The ‘mana’ we use is a diminutive of her system, which uses a power she called. Mana” he states, as the non-casters give him a quizzical look. “Her Mana is the stored and cached power of all information of the universe itself” he states, again confusing the non-casters.
“Her spirit was fully insane, but ecstatic with joy. For the first time in a millennium, a mortal had tapped into her power. I saw a vision of a man bringing down ruin on the world. In the center of a great cataclysm: I saw the King Priest of Istar wielding Mana’s power, bringing damnation and doom to all on Krynn.” Shyvern says.
“I for one enjoy having a world to live on, and believe we have to stop him.” Shyvern pauses, takes a breath and then says “to do so, I will need my body back.” Shyvern looks at Sumiko and says “I abandoned my body long ago after the King Priest’s minions placed control spells upon it. Sumiko, I would like for you to lead an assassination mission to kill my geasholder…”
Shyvern conjures and illusion of a tower: a dual tower existing both in the material plane, and the plane of shadow. He tells the team of the Seropaedean guard, the King Priest’s elite force of magic users and witch hunters. He tells them that getting to the tower will not be easy, either using the material or shadow entrances.
The team’s next mission is set: infiltrate the ‘Tower of Woe’ and assassinate first lieutenant Cronius Malter, Master of Control Magics…