I have decided to record the events of four and one half months of serving CrIsis, for I have lost much time and most importantly, money, while serving them this time. Not that I am complaining, mind you, but Tim is- and you know how Baal-Rogs are….
First, they come in, unannounced, as if by magic- well, it was by magic, come to think of it. They had lost Tyvernos to some dark Lion Headdress, and needed my help to summon him. That story is told by others here and here. I did not even get to keep the headdress- Thoth came and took it!!
At sunrise the next day, the first of them arrived again at my shop- and this is where I got busy. This is also where I began to talk to myself in the third person- CrIsis does crazy things to me! It all started with Tyvernos walking in the door.
“Ah, the first member of CrIsis arrives! Tim, go and put the closed sign up, and lock the door, please. We were just sitting down to a new game of Mace 100- hottest game in the Western Empire I am told. Do you play? Tim, would you mind if we made it a threesome?”
At Tyvernos’ gratitude Greminor smiles, and states “Pleasure before business- your move” A Phoenixi walks in from the back- “I have the winner!” and then leaves into the back room again.
After the game(s) Tyvernos is alone at the table with Greminor- the others are in back. He momentarily stares deeply at the gnome, and then glances toward the back. Suddenly they are on a deserted island, with fruit trees- Tyvernos, Greminor, and Otto. On a table is some fruit. Tyvernos surreptitiously tries to steal a banana, and Greminor states, “That will not due!” He walks over to a banana tree, pulls off some leaves, and places a crown of banana leaves firmly on Tyvernos’ head. “You are allowed to remove it once you return after our lessons are done, and not before! You will wear this during the Festival as well, or nothing for you!” The small group returns, in a blink, to Greminor’s shop and the table in front.
“So, if you truly wish to show your gratitude I am working on a bang-up celebration for the Festival of Thoth- come help us work!” Both go into the back, where space seems to always be relative. The Phoenixi and Tim are working on a 40’ tall statue of Thoth made of something you are not clear on, and Greminor asks Tyvernos to imbue different parts of the statue with Thunder Clap, Levitate, Handful of Lightning, Globe of True Sunlight, and Call Lightning- he asks the gnome to do these enough times to drain him completely of magic energy. Tyvernos slumps, exhausted, until the Phoenixi slaps Greminor on the side of his head- “You didn’t even feed them, did you? Damn alchemists!” The gnome is then fed at the table out front, as well as Otto, and then wake up the next day. Tyvernos is awakened by Gavin coming through the door, accompanied by Morgan Lutteur.
Gavin enters slowly, protecting Morgan as always. As he enters, he sees Tyvernos and Otto, curled up together on the couch. Tyvernos wears a crown of banana leaves, but seems normal- the mind mage even checks his aura to make sure.
Gavin says, “Tyvernos, wake up! You are asleep at Greminor’s.”
“What a taskmaster! He made me work until I passed out…. Oh, hello Tim,” Tyvernos says, and Gavin turns to find a Baal-Rog towering over him.
Gavin says, calmly, “Tyvernos I am also happy that my deductive reasoning was correct on you. I knew that you were not yourself. I am glad to have you back friend.” Gavin gives him a full hearty hug putting his strength into it so that Tyvernos knows that he cares. “You and your strange hats……. You should put on a real hat!” Gavin puts on his trucker hat.
Tyvernos takes the compliment with a certain satisfaction, if not aplomb. “Thank you Gavin, your deductive-reasoning and insightful perception pierced the fog of illusion that silly little headdress concocted. I truly owe you and, of course Greminor, a debt of gratitude…and unquestioned access to my private stock of alien, exotic, and esoteric consorts. Otto is, at the moment, out on loan…we’re attempting an experimental erotic-alchemy turned-animal husbandry using genetic mutations found in a rare strain of triple-helical Baal-Rog RNA.” With a nod to Tim the gnome winks at Gavin and continues in a hushed tone, "Greminor is loathe to admit his complicity but I’m of the mind that Tim is actually Timothea. I’m sure I don’t have to impress upon you the rather “awkward” nature of this discovery and the rather “sensitive” nature of it’s continued secrecy." The Gnome blanches. “Otto really has been a good sport about the whole ordeal and I keep explaining to him that the union has Bennu’s blessing.”
The diminutive warlock eyes Gavin’s trucker hat wistfully. ‘Alas, dear Gavin, I parted ways with my CrIsis Trucker hat long ago when passing through Wolfen territory. As near and dear as the skullcap was to my wee heart it proved to be an excellent gift of passage to the Black-Bitch…ahem Black-Birth…er, what was it? Black Birch Tribe…yes! That’s it!’ The gnome scratches his fuzzy head with an absently addled eye-roll and saunters off.
Gavin looks up at the big guy standing over them and sticks out his hand for a handshake. “So Tim, you know I have to ask. How did you get here? Are you a real Bal’Rog how did you become so different from others of your kind? I am glad that evil does not rule your heart!” Gavin asks at various down times to ride on Tim’s back around the shop, and surprisingly, Tim agrees.
Everyone works on the statue until the 18th of Thoth, when, again at sunrise, Ferrel comes in- this time all of the group are working in back already, except for Greminor, who is up front writing something.
Tim drops a piece of wood on a table in back, which knocks off a number of items. Greminor rushes in, and asks everyone to come up front.
Ferrel says to Greminor- “Great Greminor, greatest alchemist on Palladium, I wish to learn the spells Mute, Heavy Breathing, and Circle of Protection:Greater.”
Greminor chuckles. "That is truly why you are all successful- no secrets from each other. I cannot teach a non-summoner or diabolist circle magic. I can teach you mute and heavy breathing, with the CrIsis discount that is …. "he looks over at the Baal-Rog.
“118,000, you daft elf,” the Baal-Rog responds. The others snicker.
Greminor states, “You of course must help us in our project now, though.” He ushers Ferrel into the back room, where the others all begin chanting, concentrating, and hammering on a huge statue of Thoth, 40’ tall.
“Let’s see- " Greminor places his hands on you, and he grins. ‘’You brought your lyre- good. Sing and imbue your songs as instructed.’’
He points at different places and asks for the song spells Inspire, Heal, Calm, and Move Object.
“Do this over and over, in that order, until your power is done. We have only until sunrise on the 21st!!”
“Work everyone, Work! " he yells, and works himself.
On the 21st, at sunrise, Greminor announces that the work is done, and he will meet all of CrIsis at the palace. “You are not allowed to tell anyone about this- not even the King!! I have told him only I have a surprise, and need an hour at night during the celebration” He tells Tyvernos that he will be needing him from tomorrow at sunrise through the 3rd of Pegasus. He tells Ferrel that he must arrive on the 4th of Pegasus, and stay through the 25th. He then tells Gavin and Morgan to come back on the 26th of Pegasus, and he will need them until close to the time that you all need to leave. “Go now, and I will see you at the designated time! You have done well- You will see the fruits of your labor tonight!”
On the 21st, before you all leave, you hear Ferrel ask, “What is my help worth so far? I hope that I have acquired a greater discount.”Greminor replies, ‘’All funds will work out, I am sure- after all, you are the famous CrIsis, are you not? Rod Rambler himself writes your stories, the cad!’’
Following is an excerpt from a bard’s tale of the Festival of Thoth in Avramstown that year:
The Festival of Thoth held in Avramstown on the 21st of Thoth, in the 68th year of the Wolfen Empire, will be talked about in legends for centuries. King Avramson welcomed all at noon to the celebration, and introduced his honored guests, CrIsis, Oric Bellode and family- who had guided CrIsis to their city for the first time, a Phoenixi- representing Thoth and the Church of Light and Dark, and the greatest alchemist in Palladium, Greminor Lector.
The proceedings were a wondrous site, held in the giant coliseum, with gladiatorial contests, bardic tales, minstrels, jugglers, and even a jester. The highlight, however, and what will be told as long as time, was the animated Thoth statue. Greminor and some heavily robed assistants, with help from Gavin, Tyvernos, Morgan, and Ferrel, brought out a statue some 40’ tall. The statue was then left in the center of the coliseum, as nightfall had arrived… but Greminor, in a voice that was said to be both powerful and right next to each attendee, said clearly, “Behold!”
The statue of Thoth then came alive! Golden daylight spread about it, and lightning erupted from its eyes, hands, and feet. A calming music came out of its mouth, and it is said that all that attended were healed of cuts, bruises, and even broken bones. Then it inspired all to rise, as it lifted up off the floor of the coliseum!! It summoned a great sword, that of Eledor! In a voice that shook the stadium it bellowed, “Believe in the Light, and you shall be rewarded.” All who saw it will verify that I have spoken truthfully, with no embellishments!
Terramore Gleba, Bard
Greminor now picks up his own story, again.
Tyvernos, with Otto of course, arrives on the 22nd, hung over from the festival- and it seems that everyone else is as well. The Phoenixi, Tim the Baal-Rog, and Greminor are all at the table, holding their heads and drinking- well, each races version of a bloody mary.
“If you say anything loud you will be turned into a newt,” Greminor mumbles.
Tyvernos goes into the back, whipping up his own hair of the dog for both himself and Otto, and slumps at the table with the rest. After about an hour, Greminor starts humming a tune, quietly at first, and everyone recognizes it from the night before. All start laughing, and then start humming and dancing. Re-energized, Greminor tells Tim & the Phoenixi- "We will be on the island from now until the 2nd of Pegasus. Have a good 6 weeks off! Set the wards, and enjoy the vacation. With that Tyvernos, Otto, and Greminor are back on the island.
Greminor is a stern, but animated and fun, taskmaster. Very different than the all-business elf he had Tyvernos study with the last time CrIsis came to Avramstown. Each day the gnome is exhausted, but each morning he is excited to learn more. Greminor teaches the Chain Lightning spell, and irons out Tyvernos’ silence spell. He says that Tyvernos must never teach either spell to anyone else. The gnome solemnly swears he won’t on Bennu. He crafts rings for the gnome’s tiny hand- turns out he is quite the metalworker as well, shrinking existing rings without sign of lines. Tyvernos now has a Ring of Negate Magic and a Ring of Armor of Ithan. He then discusses the trident with the little mage.
“I could enhance your trident one of 3 ways. It could fire a lightning bolt at 1 person 4 times/day, doing 10D6 damage, 300’. It could fire energy bolts 150’ that do 4D6 damage, but could be cast 6 times/day. Lastly I could make each tine shoot a bolt at a different person within a 15’ radius, so 3 people in 1 shot, 2 times/day, for 7D6 damage each strike. Which one would you like?”
Tyvernos replied that he would like the trident molded to look like bird wings and thunder clouds. Maybe with little whirlwinds and lightning bolts swirling. It fires a lightning bolt at 1 person 4 times/day, doing 10D6 damage, 300’. ‘You must call it the Fulmination of Greminor!’ After spending time crafting this weapon, with Tyvernos’ help, he brings the gnome and Otto back to the shop, telling him to sleep on the couch for a few hours, until sunrise. Tyvernos learns that 6 weeks have passed, and it is past midnight.
As Tyvernos and Otto leave, exhausted, at sunrise, Ferrel waves at them as he goes into the shop. It is the 4th of Pegasus as Ferrel arrives at sunrise at Greminor’s shop. An obviously exhausted Tyvernos passes by, with a heavily panting Otto. “Good luck! It is a lot of work.” He waves as he stumbles down the street. Catching the door before it closes, Ferrel notices that the closed sign is still up.
“Welcome Ferrel, welcome!” Greminor cheerily greets from behind the counter. “He won’t be needing this,” he says to a crown of banana leaves, which he carefully hangs on a nail just above the CrIsis plaque. “So, we need to work out some trade, yes?” Ferrel nods his head in agreement. “Well, lets see- mind?” Greminor reaches for the younger elf’s head, and a moment later says, “Well, I know all your regular spells, and I am not into the song magic thing. Tim?”
A Baal-Rog peeks his head out the curtain leading to the back. “Yes, your – oh, hello Ferrel.”
“Tim, can you get over to the palace wizard and see if that bard is still leaving?”
The Baal-Rog appears at the table mere moments later, where he moves a piece on the Mace 100 game board. “Yes, and Yes, to your next question- there was to be auditions today, but now they are cancelled. Ferrel is playing all of Set and until between the 15th and 20th of Od.”
“I told you that you had no worries” Greminor laughs. “Come, we must get to work.” Ferrel and Greminor are suddenly on an island, in the middle of nowhere, with fruit and palm trees, a ramshackle sack, and beautiful weather.
Over the next 3 weeks he teaches the song mage Mute and Heavy Breathing. Greminor is a stern, but animated and fun, taskmaster. The time passes quickly.
Upon arriving back at the shop, Tim looks at Ferrel- “100,000 due, and a note for 18,000 to be paid by no later than Od 30 this year.”
It is the 26th of Pegasus as Gavin and Morgan both arrive again at Greminor’s shop. As soon as they reach the shop, Ferrel passes by and waves.
“Ah, yes, Gavin and the lovely Morgan! Welcome, Welcome,” Greminor says, seated at a table with Tim the Baal-Rog and the Phoenixi, playing, again, Mace 100.
So you get the idea, don’t you? I worked with them all, demanding always more of my goods and services! I made Gavin & Morgan unique armor, allowed Drauka to take advantage of my generosity and made him a See Invisible Ring, Healing Potions, and one of my greatest works, Lector’s Revenge. Then Karma came in, asking for rune readings, rings, and well, he wanted to be turned into a newt!! He asked for it!! Karma then arrived- and she worked me to the bone!! 5 rings, improvements to her shield- if I did not have a soft spot for centaurs…. I must make a play next time she comes around- she owes me a good mounting!!
It is now the 29th of Od, and I am tired. Been working nonstop since they arrived. Might have to take on an apprentice- these bones cannot handle this much…. oh no- I still have yet to see Overkill!!
“Tim- lock the door- I am not here any longer!!”
Written by Greminor Lector, Greatest Alchemist in all of Palladium! on the 29th of Od, in the waning days of the 68th year of the Wolfen Empire.
Picture from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.