Chapter 2, Part V: Have Orb, Will Travel

As champions of the Tiny Baby Bracket, the Platinum Talons were invited to participate in the Battle Royale with the other two team champions. It was a winner-take-all battle where the team with at least one member standing at the end was the winner. The Platinum Talons battled, not only against the winners of the Average Joe Bracket and the Fynali's Finest Bracket, but a Stone Giant whose goal was to stop any of the teams from taking home the prize. After a well-fought and well-coordinated battle, the party emerged victorious, winning them an Orb of Last Location, naming rights for the brackets at the next Warden's Festival, and a few hundred gold.

Following their triumph, Xerxes initiated a conversation with the Chancellor of Platinum City, inquiring about the King of Terriah's knowledge regarding the Keepers of Destiny. The Chancellor informed Xerxes that such information would have been lost to the annals of time, and would likely be outside of the knowledge of most currently living beings. Xerxes also asked if there was a way for them to keep belongings safely in Platinum City, to which the Chancellor extended an offer to Xerxes and the party, providing a secure vault where they could store any belongings they did not wish to carry.

Xerxes sought the assistance of Firebrook to gather more information about a peculiar individual who consistently wore an ornate mask. The mask was described as white, featuring high cheekbones and black eyeliner that extended both down and up from the eyes.

As the Occultant, Nohki gave himself a future advantage for dealing the final blow during the Battle Royale. He also examined his leaf and observed its thriving state, pointing towards the southwest and noting the similarity of its direction to their next destination: the Wiltspar.

Vance and Firebrook approached Chieftain Ouglana, expressing their need for transportation to Centra and the Wiltspar. Through Vance's persuasive abilities, they managed to convince Chieftain Ouglana to provide them with a ride. In return, they promised to speak favorably about her and her people to the Chancellor and the King of Terriah, recognizing her as a potential valuable ally.

Drez ventured to the Adventurers' Guild and sought information from an adventurer at the connected tavern. At the same time, Firebrook spoke to Chieftain Ouglana's attendant, Graak. Both Drez and Firebrook unearthed similar information; they discovered that Centra was plagued by numerous monsters, making it an exceedingly dangerous place. The Wiltspar, situated in a desert region, appeared to be the only inhabited area on the continent, and was under constant attack by the region's terrors.

Bart took the opportunity to visit the Bowman Ken and purchase various potions for her Porous Dagger, including sleepy time potions, a shrinkening potion, and healing potions, ensuring she was well-equipped for her future endeavors.

Firebrook joined Bart in her visit to the Bowman Ken and there he delved into the task of gathering information about the Masked Man. He engaged the establishment's customers and proprietor in conversation. The consensus among them was that the Masked Man was an elusive and dangerous individual, leaving behind a trail of destruction. However, it appeared that he had not been sighted in quite some time.

Vance engaged in a conversation with the Chancellor, relaying the news of Chief Ouglana's agreement to transport them to Centra. The Chancellor cautioned Vance about Chief Ouglana's pride and sensitivity towards insults against her race and people. Nonetheless, Vance praised her as a potential powerful ally in their upcoming battles.

Xerxes, noticing the Queen of Terriah enjoying the views of the garden from a gazebo, headed in her direction and was unexpectedly tackled by the King of Terriah. King and Queen Hymore seemed pleased to see him as he mentioned his ties to an organization called the Dire Wolves. Xerxes also expressed that, as a loyal servant of Terriah, he would like to offer his services in protecting them from the Archon of Verastin who he had noted earlier was staying in Platinum City. King Hymore told him not to worry, and that although there were tensions, it was not in the best interest of the territory to start another conflict with its neighbor. Well, Queen Hymore reminded the King of this after he contemplated causing some trouble.

Seizing an opportunity, Xerxes requested two favors from the royal couple: information about the Masked Man and assistance in locating the Sienfete Family. The King and Queen confirmed their familiarity with the Sienfete family crest, although the King said that he believed the family to be a group of peculiar cultists rather than a traditional family lineage.

The party regrouped at the Adventurers' Guild, collectively setting the Orb of Last Location to the main hall of the Platinum City Adventurers' Guild.

Settled in their plans for the long trip ahead, the group retired to one of the guest houses on the grounds of the Platinum Citadel, getting in some light reading before turning in for the night.

Up before dawn, and ready at the docks by the time the sun hit the horizon, the party was led by Chieftain Ouglana through the ship.

With Chieftain Ouglana leading the way, you step onto the Green Thunder, a ship filled with fierce Orcs of various sizes and appearances. The sailors are focused on readying the ship for the journey, and pay you no mind as you are led through the bustling and down the stairway to the crews' quarters. "Your beds are here. Do not touch belongings of crew, do not sleep in bed that is not yours. Unless you are invited, of course. And remember that this is shared space and that you are guest here in our home. Food is served three times day in the galley. We will be dropping you off at most accessible point on Centra in five days time. You will be crossing desert, so if you think it wise to prepare, you may barter with the crew for any items you may have forgotten."

Following the chieftain's departure, the party, minus Xerxes, found themselves in a game of "Ogre Jack" with a group of Orcs gambling in the crews' quarters. Instead of money, they played for rations, which would be a valuable commodity as they faced the desert in a few days' time.

Completed: May 2023