Chapter 4, Part I: Recruitapalooza

The Platinum Talons picked up a quest off of the AGI board. This quest seemed like a straightforward task of aiding Evard Scribbit, the owner of Inkling's Bookshop, with his shipment of arcane tomes from the docks. Before heading to begin this quest, they headed through the lush Citadel gardens to check in with the Chancellor.

The adventure took a whimsical turn when Drez stumbled upon the looming Wiltspar sapling. This special discovery was the first of the party's, and held the power of swift transport for those harmonized with the Wiltspar tree.

As Bart, the nimble Tabaxi Rogue, ventured through the sapling to the Wiltspar, she strategically set the Orb of Last Location before her swift return via the sapling's embrace.

In the presence of the Chancellor, the Platinum Talons recounted their adventures since the last time they had spoken with him -- from unraveling Wiltspar Village's secrets to their mysterious journey through Holcroft Cavern alongside the curious fairy, Ollie. The Chancellor listened, impressed by their progress so far.

Conversations shifted from daring quests to practical matters as Drez sought advice on recruiting new members to the Wiltspar. Firebrook asked if the Chancellor could spare some members of the Platinum Watch for Wiltspar's protection. The Chancellor explained that the Platinum Watch were made up of Paladins who had pledged an oath to protect him and the Platinum City, and so sending them to the Wiltspar could mean the loss of their powers and abilities. Xerxes inquired if they might be able to change allegiances without losing their abilities, and the Chancellor agreed that it may be possible to have a few members change their path to protecting the Wiltspar, but it would take some time and the members would have to volunteer for it to work.

In the heart of their conversation, Firebrook boldly addressed the Chancellor, questioning the omission surrounding the correlation between the Sianfete Family crest and the Order of Righteous Conflict. With a patient air, the Chancellor responded, admitting the oversight on his part. The intricate ties between the Sianfete family and the Order's symbolism had eluded him until Firebrook's inquiry cast light upon it.

The Chancellor explained that the Order of Righteous Conflict stood as a nemesis for the Keepers of Destiny, and that these agents continued to work against them, undoing all of the work and progress they made to set the world right. As often as they worked to try and learn the identity of the leaders of that organization, they had never been successful. The Chancellor agreed with Firebrook that the Sianfete Family might be the long-sought and long-hidden architects.

The party asked about any events that had happened about 200 years ago, citing the date on the journal entry they had found written by Ollie's grandfather. The Chancellor shared information surrounding "The Great Calling," a trial that summoned valiant souls two centuries past and offered a placement within a "great and powerful organization." He explained that it was the Keepers of Destiny who were using this event to try and find the Warden's Chosen, and those who showed great valor and/or success were given a position at the Wiltspar.

After this discussion, the Platinum Talons presented their newfound magical treasures and asked the Chancellor to help them identify them. He did so, revealing them to be an Efficient Quiver, a Deck of Illusions, and a Wand of Magic Detection.

Getting all of the information that had sought, the Talons then visited with the fairy family, lending a helping hand to Edwina and Ollie so that they could expedite their move to Wiltspar. Xerxes asked Ollie if he had ever heard of the Order of Righteous Conflict under the dome of truth in Platinum City, to which the young boy said that he had not. They asked Edwina the same question, but once they had made it to Wiltspar. She explained that she had heard it in conversations she wasn't meant to hear or seen it on papers her father had forgotten to tuck away.

Once they helped the Twylle family get settled in the village, the party ventured into Inkling's Bookstore, facing a verbose and arrogant owner who stressed the importance of books' return. He informed them that the shipment was scheduled for that evening, and that they should be at the docks in order to unload the crates.

Vance critically identified a high-quality book: a golden-cased tome in a gleaming glass case called "Life and Death and Undead Summons of Elliorr the Eternal Tormentor" by someone named Thanastra.

Amidst their whirlwind journey, Firebrook sought solace at Vortegus temple, enlisting the priests' aid. Vance played a gig at The Oily Nugget for proprietor Frederick Crawzier, who informed him of the death of his sister, Valerie, and that she would love the songs that Vance was playing.

The party reconvened at the docks, meeting Captain Iguana who oriented them to the task of removing the book crates from the ship. Each time they dropped one of the heavy crates, an enchanted book would fly out of it to attack them. They worked hard to wrangle the flying books while quickly unloading the rest of the shipment before the boat left with the many crates on board.

When they return the thousands of books to the stock room of Inkling's Bookshop, a gangly half-elf named Zeb quickly and effortlessly counted the entire haul. They asked him if he would be interested in moving to the Wiltspar for new opportunities to count as many things as he liked. With trepidation, Zeb danced between hopes of safeguarding the Wiltspar and worries for his sister and her rare condition: Shackle Bones.

Using the boost from the Warden's shield, Firebrook's healing touch revitalized Tiphanie, Zeb's sister, where many other healers had been unable to do so. After his spell, Tiphanie was able to walk again for the first time in years. She and Zeb agreed to go to Wiltspar to help build up the village.

Earnings from their bookish exploits swelled their purses as their day drew to a close and a much-needed long rest beckoned. They chatted about the book in the glass case at Inkling's, considering a potential future heist to swipe it.

With the sun's return, Drez led the party to Filly Buccillo's Fillies, Foals, and Fanciful Freights in order to use their AGI Rental ability to procure easier passage toward Boymin. Horses and a carriage became a bargaining chip, courtesy of the centaur Filly Buccillo, and he struck a "once in a lifetime deal" with the party, selling them three new horses and a carriage instead of having them opt for the free rental.

The motley crew rode forth from Platinum City, heading toward Boymin and the adventure shadowed in darkness that lay deep in the Evervale region.

Completed: August 2023