The Lost Alchemist

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Reference text ( Maintained text, used as reference ) :
Notes: (Nilstilar, 2024-07-18)

Note of the Librarian
This is an excerpt of Lylanea Vicciona's Diary. The "Bard of the Four Lands" kindly provided a copy of her notes about the investigations that followed the disparition of a fyros alchemist in the Lakes. The expedition took place on Tria, Floris 21, 2nd AC 2611[1]

For a few days I had been hearing rumors about two Imperial Guards who had mightily botched an order from the Fyros Senate.
As I was strolling through the streets of Pyr, I picked up a conversation between two Homins who said that these guards needed help and asked the Fyros Patriots to meet them in Academy Square at a certain time.

Even though I am not a Fyros Patriot, I figured these two guys needed all the help they could get. I was curious what all this was about and wanted to offer my help as a ranger.
So I arrived at the academy a little more than an hour before the appointed time and, leaning against a wall, waited for the things to come.
After a short time I noticed a Fyra that stood almost motionless in the middle of the hurrying crowd. She was wearing heavy, red armor, but without a helmet. Her unruly mop of red hair with white strands in it turned to me as if she had felt my gaze at her back.
"Do we not know each other?" she addressed me.

I must confess, she had caught me on the wrong foot. Her face was unknown to me at first. But then she told me about a hunt, together with mutual friends, in the goo-infested Zoraï wasteland called "The Void", where she had been a while ago. My memory did not get any better. However, she seemed surprisingly friendly, for a member of the Fyros Legion, who otherwise have little love for us Matis, so we chatted a little.
A short time later a vision appeared before me.
Or at least I thought so for a moment.
A stately Fyros, in heavy armor in the style of the Trykers, stepped onto the square. You know how tight these suits of armor are. He was well built and tanned, but his face was unusually soft and his chin long for a Fyros. Was there Matis blood involved?
His flaxen hair, he had tied upright into a high tail that blew proudly in the wind.
The armor sparkled in the light of the evening sun and I couldn't believe my eyes at first, but it was indeed soft pink. With silver and golden fittings and ornaments.
He addressed us with a melodious voice and we quickly learned that he too had become aware of the rumors.
I had the distinct feeling that I would not have even the slightest chance with this quite attractive man. Even if I had not been involved with a wonderful Fyra myself.
And not because I am of Matis-Blood.

Since both of my conversation partners seemed to be a bit surprised that I had records of earlier events when our conversation came upon these, I introduced myself as a bard and gave a small sample of my skills.
Just as I was finishing the old Fyros song, I noticed the unmistakable green hair of my best friend Muetze in the crowd. He soon spotted me and jogged towards us.
A short round of introductions was interrupted by the arrival of other acquaintances and friends. Some "Bai Nhori Drakani" appeared in the square, led as always by Kyriann. Among them was also my beloved Wixarika. Our welcome was cut short, however, as soon after two red-armored imperial guards stepped out of the academy gates.
One, with dark hair, carried a large rifle loosely in the crook of his arm; the other, blond and somewhat slimmer than his colleague, carried a short sword and shield.

All eyes were on the two guards.
Visibly uncomfortable in their skin, the two stepped forward and addressed our small group.
A tall Zoraï joined us then and some more Fyros.
At first the guards didn't really want to explain why they were asking for help, but when we Matis withdrew a little and let the Fyros take over the conversation, they told us that they had lost their protégé. An alchemist of the Imperial Academy, on a research trip to the region of the Lakeland called "The Fount".
This was not only very embarrassing for them, they were also worried about the well-being of the high scientist. Which I credited them with very much. They could just as well have had only the welfare of their careers in mind.

After a short conversation we agreed to have a look around the area where the man had disappeared. Arriving in the area, those who were following the path of the Kami soon reunited with our group of those who had taken advantage of a pact of the Karavan. The two guards first lead us near the camp of some ... "Honorable Tryker Merchants".
A tribe known for their ability to procure things and goods from anywhere and ship them to anywhere without attracting attention.
On the way there, I noticed some footprints in the sand, but at first I didn't attach any special importance to them. A few meters further on, however, we found a pair of light Fyros boots in the sand. In a style a high official of the Empire would probably wear. A little perplexity spread over why he may have left them behind. While the others were discussing, I inspected the camp of the Smugl ... ,forgive me, "Honorable Merchants".
But there was nothing unusual to be found there, the tribe members greeted me with friendliness and nobody had noticed anything unusual. Some of them had seen the three Fyros, with the alchemist was digging in the sand, looking for something, but not later.

When I returned to the others, they had noticed that an unusually clear and deep trail led away from the boots, deeper into the region.
We followed the footprints through the region, up to the portal to the "BuntyBeaches" and then on to the camp of the scum known as the “Slave-Hunters”.
I took the first looked around here as well, as the tribe is, sadly, on rather friendly terms with the Matis, but I did not find anything suspicious. The two Imperial Guards and some of those present harassed the tribal leader with questions and accusations. He did not like that very much.
Just as the Zoraï "Elke" discovered some more tracks leading out of the camp and I rushed to her, behind me the tribal leader burst his collar and I heard him shouting to his men and women to tear us appart.
I couldn't help myself but let fly some strong curses when the fight broke out in the middle of the camp. I ran back to my friends, begging them not to kill anyone, but it was too late. A Matis in shabby armor jumped at me and I could barely fend off her blow. True to the credo of the Rangers, I didn't want to fight a Homin if it wasn't absolutely necessary to defend myself. I tried hard to fend off the hard blows of her sword, but soon the slave-hunter struck me down.
I first tried to help my friends by using Jena's Grace and sprinting from the portal that leads down to the roots back, as fast as I could. On my desperate run I noticed more footprints heading towards the gate.
Unfortunately a large Torbak jumped me and so I had to use the blessing of the Karavan again to get to my friends. This time I decided to wake up at their shrine.
From there I reached the camp of the bandits again and tried to heal the others, which I only partially succeeded in doing. Once again I was thrown down, this time right over the body of my beloved Wixarika.
Some time later I opened my eyes when a healing spell from Kyriann hit me. Our group managed to escape and after a short rest and consultation we followed the tracks up to the portal into the primordial roots. We made our way through the Kitin that blocked the path and finally entered the eternal twilight of the underworld.
Once there, I scouted the area behind the entrance tunnel, together with a Fyra whose name unfortunately slipped my mind and while she was studying the footprints, I discovered a collection of separated body parts.
Fortunately my first, terrible suspicion was not confirmed. It wasn't corpses lying there, just a bunch of tattered, carelessly thrown away suits of armor. Three of them.
They were quickly identified as armor of the slave hunters. Why they lay there was a mystery at first.
Carefully we made our way through the cool caves, lead by the excellent trackers Eeri and the second Fyra. Soon the trail led us up to the portal in the grove of Umbra.

When we arrived, we at first had some difficulty in picking up the track again, but the attractive Fyros, who had put on a Fyros armor in the meantime, got lucky and discovered it. It led out of the valley to the top of a certain high rise. The worst fears of some of us were confirmed.
The footprints led directly into the camp of the “Black Circle”.
In the middle of the camp, next to the Goo-clump that grows there, was an infected Timari. A beast like the one we had seen a few weeks ago during the attack on the Water Breakers camp.

When we arrived at the camp, we confronted the camp leader, a very smug Tryker.
He claimed that the missing alchemist was his friend and would help him to invent new, wonderful things. He did this while the muffled sounds of a gagged Homin came from the tent behind him. After I talked to him for a few moments, he thought it would be appropriate to show us his "guest". A Fyros, who was tied by hands and feet, was pushed out of the tent. Cloth was stuck in his mouth and the whole thing didn't really look voluntary.
Now a light went off in my head. Someone had carried him all the way. Like a sack over his shoulder. This explained the deep footprints. And they had pretended to be Slavers to pass through their territory unhindered.
But why he had lost his shoes, well that should remain his secret. Maybe he wanted to give any pursuers a hint?
The rough treatment of the poor man now called the Fyros patriots into action, who got quite aggressive against the tribal leader. Which he responded to with a harsh order to his people.
A hard fight broke out in which I had no choice but to kill some of the tribesmen and their leader.
I deeply regret this deed.
Once again someone had to heal my maltreated body after I had tried to get the blond one of the two guards back on its feet. His colleague searched in vain in the camp for his ward, while the fight raged around him. Luckily I had noticed that some of the Homins accompanying us had been clever enough to drag the tied up man out of the danger zone and bring him to safety near the old, empty Kitin burrow. I led the two Guards to him.
During our fight with the Black Circle henchmen, the goo-infected Timari had torn loose from the pole he was tied to and was now ravaging the camp.
The beast indiscriminately attacked everything that moved and we had quite a bit of trouble bringing it down, but we finally succeeded.
After a short, stern conversation with his "protectors" and a short thank you to us, the alchemist actually set out to get something out of the tent in which he had been lying tied up. He did not tell us what it was, but it must have been very important to him.

A little later he ordered the two guards to accompany him by the path of the Kami to Pyr.
Which the two did. I made the dark-haired man promise to buy us one or more beers if we ever ran into each other again.
Then they disappeared and we also returned to Fairhaven where we talked a little bit about what happened and then went to rest.
I would like to know what the alchemist discovered that was so important in the Lake-Lands.

  Lylanea Vicciona, Bard of the Four Lands

  1. [OOC] Sunday, December 6th of 2020, 20:00 UTC [/OOC]