A forest gnome abjuration wizard born on the small island of Mindori among a diverse population of 250 inhabitants of mainly farmers, fishers, and minors, my youth was spent in a veritable paradise.

Working for the dragonborn police chief Alimorn, along with the half-orc barbarian Kamatir, Myrill the elf, Elia the triton sorcerer, and Idlers the tiefling warlock, we helped settle disputes on the island. Major disputes were rare, as the folk lived largely in a happy coexistence.

One day we help Salrug the lead farmer when his cart fell in a ditch and lost a wheel. In order to help Salrug move his goods, my companion created a floating disk for him while Kamatir brought the cart to be fixed. The laid back demands of Mindori allowed me plenty of time to focus on tinkering with magic and gadgets, which is my passion.

Things changed when one day Alimorn asked us to investigate complaints from neighbors of strange noises and lights coming from the house at third windward. When we visited the house a male halfling, Leon, introduced himself, but explained that he had not heard or seen anything unusual. We asked his neighbor, Tanji the dragonborn fisherman, about the complaint he had reported. Tanji showed me a seismograph he created, as well as special lenses he created that detected bizarre lights periodically bursting from the house. I summoned my owl familiar to circle around Leon's house to find anything unusual. Leon spent most of his time sculpting some metal gadgetry. After watching the house for quite a while, Leon suddenly disappeared. At that point we all went over to investigate, and Tanji let me wear the lenses, which allowed me to see with Eldritch Sight. When no one answered the door we entered to make sure everything was okay.

Searching the premises, we found a magic drum and lyre, as well as a secret door leading down to a passage below the house. At the end of a forty foot long corridor, a githyanki appeared and pleaded with us, but I quickly determined that it was an illusion and brushed it away. Beyond was a larger chamber with many benches and sets of cylinders aimed at a stage across the room. I could detect transmutation and abjuration magic coming from the benches, and evocation magic coming from the cylinders. I disabled the triggering mechanisms in the cylinders at which point Leon appeared playing a violin. Leon was audibly disappointed by my disabling of his cylinders, but still managed to summon metal snakes from the benches. A couple of burning hands destroyed most of the snakes while Kamatir and Myrill dispatched the rest.

Meanwhile Leon disappeared through a door on the stage, and we pursued him. In the next room we found two sets of Alimorns shackled to the wall on opposite sides of a door. We determined that both Alimorns were illusions, so we continued our pursuit. Beyond the door was a metal elephant, which we quickly destroyed.

We examined the remains of the metal elephant and found a glowing orb. The orb spoke telepathically to Idlers, Elia, and me. Referring to itself as Morgan, it explained that it was an ancient race, known as Palaoa, and it first arrived on Mindori 500 years ago, which happens to be the exact time when magic first appeared, according to our records. It's native form resembles a large squid, but it can shapeshift into anything the size of a large boat, or as small as a pebble. It can also split up into multiple parts, though it prefers not to split too many times. It split into 3 pieces and allowed us each to use it as an enhanced arcane focus. My piece of Morgan took the form of a ring on my finger.

The passages split and we followed some that led back to Mindori's main mines. We also found a spot where something small had apparently been dug up from the ground.

When we could not find Leon, we left the tunnels we discovered that Tanji's boat had disappeared. We also discovered that Alimorn had been murdered, presumably by Leon.

Searching Leon's residence again for clues we found valuable metals he had been using, which we sold for 3,100 GP. We used 150 GP of this to replace Tanji's missing boat. We also found a magic knife and many mechanical tools. Tanji gave me another pair of lenses that allowed me to see things very close up. I used these to make a tiny copy of my spell book.

Back in town a large crowd had gathered to see strange visitors. They arrived in boats that traveled very fast, and appeared to be magically propelled, as they had no oars or sails. These humans, all of them the same, said they were from an island many days away, called Argos. They explained that they wanted to trade with us and exchange their technology with any magic we might be able to share. Apparently they had no magic of their own. They said they would return in three days.

In Alimorn's absence we all agreed that his tabaxi assistant Amaser should take his place as chief of Mindori.

We found out from Mitch, the centaur head of the minors and oldest living Mindori, that both Leon and Alimorn were both from the island of Brill, which is said to have been abandoned because it was sinking into the ocean. Mitch remembered that Alimorn, now dead at 83, was part of the third and last wave of evacuees from Brill, which was 50 years ago. He told us that Brill is more than a full day’s boat ride away. Incidentally, Kamatir's parents were from Brill.

Using Morgan as a boat, we arrived on Brill in 20 hours. There wasn't much left but a very small island, no more than thirty feet across, with a lone tree in its center. Next to the tree was a pond, and in its center was a dragonborn lying face down in the water. The pond seemed to be drowning the tree as well. Examining the body, it seemed to have been lying there for a long time. I noticed that the skin along its neck was very loose. I detected no magic on the island.

We brought the body back to Mindori, which only carried a back back with a rope and 15 copper pieces. When we arrived back in Mindori we took the body to Nelf the dwarven cleric so he could speak with the dead. We asked his soul our questions:

"What were the circumstances of your death?" we asked. "I drowned myself."
"Who were all the people you know that left Brill for other islands?" we asked. "My wife and child [who we deduced was Alimorn], Phomec, Rossiny, Horila, Bidva, Girzal, Homny, Hanuki, Petruzzi, Garinchu, Kabellna, Inaki, Lepu, Chubasi, Didido, Rovern, Augloth, Opasco, Invori, Nabeesee, Rosio, Disiri, Imunsu, Benvies, Uniu, Dinka, Therlus, Abaknu, Velra, Dukmo, Duellro, Dolofro, and Baknirth.

"What do you know about any shapeshifters?" we asked. "There was a shapeshifter on the island names Sabazeos and he would do it casually as a hobby."

"What caused the demise of Brill?" we asked. "It sunk into the ground because of shifting tides."

"Was the shapeshifter you knew a violinist?" we asked. "Yes."

In the next two days Amaser prepared the rituals for Alimorn's funeral, while we prepared from the return of the humans. I asked Amaser to arrange tiki torches surrounding the landing and everyone outfitted with Molotov cocktails in case the humans were hostile.

Morgan told us that it had to protect Mindori once, not from humans, 460 years ago. There had been reports of drums, thunderstorms, and clouds for days and days. It was the biggest rain ever recorded. Morgan had created a barrier of rain that held off the invasion. We asked Morgan what he knew from his time with Sabazeos and he told us that the shapeshifter had been working hard to try to militarize Mindori for its own good, and that Sabazeos’s plans included marching in with the metal elephant and snakes, which caused Morgan to consider Sabazeos evil and it shocked Sabazeos, who was going to hurt Mindori in order to protect it.

Through Nelf we spoke with Alimorn's spirit. We asked our questions:

1. "What do you know about Sabazeos the shapeshifter?" we asked. "Sabazeos the shapeshifter was a from Brill. I knew him since I was very young. He came with us to Mindori and he set himself up here, and I hadn’t spoken to him in a long time except for recently, of course."

2. "Why did Sabazeos kill you?" we asked. "I was in his way. I don’t really know why else."

3. "How were you captured?" we asked. "He came to the center of town disguised as me, and he brought me back through the fishermen tunnel. We fought, but he got the best of me."

4. "What else do you want us to know?" we asked. "Well, there isn’t much I can think of that I want you to know that I can tell you. One thing that I want to know that you should find out is what could’ve driven Sabazeos to act the way he did."

5. "What do you know about Sabazeos’s plans?" we asked. "He seemed to be trying to militarize Mindori in every sense of the word."

On the morning of the third days since the humans visited, a giant ship arrived, about 150 feet long. As they approached, many of us gathered along the shore around the now lit tiki torches. Meanwhile Elia swam out to the ship to hear what the crew were saying. Two of their boats came from the main ship and landed on our shore. The lead human had a pointy hat with three corners.

As they walked up the shore they seems particular awed at the sight of Dolofro the bugbear, whom we all love.

Elia told us she heard two of the crew speaking. "Someone’s not a fan of the curry," they said. Another said, “Man, if they have real magic, then all bets are off.” She found that the ship was propelled by a giant blade under the hull and found ways that it could possibly be sabotaged.

The man in the pointy hat introduced himself as Nathaniel Stevens, captain of 37 of the Argos fleet. He brought us wine as a gift and explained that they have no magic and would be happy to share their history and technology.

We asked them why they thought we had magic and they explained that to them we looked like magical creatures. We asked about their ship and learned it carried 87 people aboard, all humans. We asked about Argos and learned that it was part of an island shelf inclduing Rochdale, Sunderland, Bulwork, Doncaster, Shrewsbury, and Gillingham. The explained that Argos used to be the mother nation of all these islands, but Gillingham and Shrewsbury especially have been cruel to their people. Argos apparently has the best navy by far, while the other islands don’t require much of a navy because of the shelf, where the water level is very low, and you can almost walk from one island to the other. He showed us a map of the shelf and explained that Mindori is about the size of the smallest island off Bulwork. Meanwhile Argos has a population of ~100,000, and Bulwork is a little bit more than that.

“We may have had more if they did not inflict violence in their war” Captain Steven explained. He was very passionate and really seemed to believe what he was talking about. He seems to live for Argos and its position.
He told us about their Seven Years’ War between Bulwork and Argos. He explained that Argis is a representative democracy with a parliament and holds elections every 6 years, while the other nations on the shelf plutocracies or worse. "Rockdale and Sunderland have completely fallen to barbarism. Doncaster seems to have no government."

Asked about their Industry, he explained that they are completely self-sufficient. They eat escorgel, which is the only animal on the entire shelf, and fish. However, their vegetation was similar to that of ours and they grow large amounts of grass. They also mine copper, zinc, and bronze.

Then he told us that the explorers who had come here seven days ago told of great magic here. When we asked them more, and they explained what they saw, it was evident that they had seen Salrug using the Tenser’s Floating Disk he had been given to replace his broken cart.

Covering, I explained that what they had seen was just an illusion, which is something that only I could do, and that it really isn't that significant. Its something I was born being able to do, and I can't teach it to anyone.

They showed us their staff weapons, which could be manipulated to propel a small piece of metal out of the end. The result was quite destructive, but an amazing technological feat. Examining one, it seemed to be fueled by some kind of dung, which they confirmed was from the escorgel.

They asked if I would come to Argos with them and see if there was any way I could help them in the battle with the other island nations. They promised that they would be very generous with Mindori if I did.

I was terrified at the prospect of leaving with them, and yet fascinated to learn about these homogeneous humans and their technology. I also had no desire to help them in their battle, and was not at all convinced that they were on the right side of that battle. On the other hand, I was afraid of the consequences of turning them down. Their numbers alone were quite intimidating.

Ultimately I told them I would need some time to think about it, and we agreed that they would return in one week.

They agree, but instead of returning home, they returned their ship and waited there.

5/18/19 update

We met with Amaser and discussed what we should do. I laid out our options:

Option A: I could go with the humans to Argos alone.
Option B: All five of us could go with the humans to Argos.
Option C: We could tell them we have more magic then we originally revealed.
Option D: We could refuse to go with them.

We eventually agreed that we would go with option B. Amaser outfitted us with a bag of holding, dust of disappearance, gloves of swimming and climbing, a cloak of protection, and four potions of healing.

I did some reconnaissance by taking a fishing boat out with a family and getting close enough that my owl could look around and listen.

Meanwhile, Elia spied on the ship from below, and overheard some fighting. They were running training drills. She also heard, “What do you think about the CDP’s announcement? I said it before and I’ll say it again, the difference between the two is decreasing every day.” Then, “At least we know what to expect from them.”

We arranged to have Idlers row out to the ship and let them know that I had made a decision. We heard the CDP guy say to Stevens, “Good luck, man. You got this.”

They returned to the island and we explained that I was happy to go with them and visit Argos and learn about their technology. I added that my friends and advisers would be coming with me. They were pleased to say the least.

On board "37" we met Sir Ronin Perry and Sir Ivan Owens, and were eventually led to our quarters.

We learned that this was the 37th ship in their fleet. The first was made 187 years ago. All but the fourth wave had been destroyed, and each had 12 per fleet. All were armed with cannons, which were like giant versions of the staff weapons.

We had eight days until we would reach Argos, and we spent that time learning as much as we could from all parts of the crew, including soldiers, cooks, and engineers.

Their 528 day calendar consisted of 32 months each year, and each month had the same number of days as was its sequence in the year.

Everyone on the ship is a part of the National Reformation Party, or NRP. The CDP was the Central Democratic Party, which was the current majority party in their parliament. The consensus was that the NRP was more realistic, while the CDP was unrealistic, being all talk, but with no plans. NRP invests in exploration and has a detailed budget even though they haven’t been in power for many years.

Captain Stevens was obviously an NRP man, but did not want to talk about it.

Ronin Perry said that if the NRP doesn’t win the next election, it would mean the end of Argos. He confirmed that Rochdale and Sunderland were dictatorships, Doncaster was completely backwards, Shrewsbury does not have any government, Gillingham was a feudal system and all Argelles agree that the enemy is Bulwork.

All nations were united in the “Conglomerate of Nations” and all seven islands became a part of Argos with legitimate trade, borders, transportation, and industry.

Then there was the war, and Bulwork pushed them back to their island and proposed the Bulwork Conglomerate.

Kamatir trained with their soldiers and determined that they were strong, but no match for him individually. Most soldiers do not fill up their weapons because their fuel is not the limiting factor, with six stacks per staff weapon.

After seven days we arrived at the port city and ship hub of Cotesly, with a population of about 500. It seemed the NRP works with the navy. The other cities on Argos were Riestal, the official capital, with a population of 600 who were politically mixed, and the trade hub of Fallsmond, with a population of a little less than 1,000. The other 97,900 lived around in the country.

We met the opposition leader Frederick Williams, and learned that the prime minister of Argos is Nicholson Clarke.

We were invited to attend a speech given by opposition leader Frederick Williams"

"My fellow Argell countrymen and women! It is, I think, something very extraordinary when a man, after 30 years, can stand before his old followers, and when in doing so, he has not had to make any revisions to his program during these years.

"Today's gathering, however, reminds us most of all of the evening which we were able to celebrate in this port 10 years ago, when we turned back the Bulwork from our land. It reminds us of this because at that time too we were in the midst of a very hard fight. Our fight to take back power in Argos, just as decisive for our fate as the fight which we are waging today. It was only during the past year that this became known to us in all its meaning, and if victory had not been achieved a decade ago, then Argos would have remained what it was then, that is, a powerless nation with an Army of 1,000 men, which would necessarily have had to submit to destruction.

"At the same time 10 years ago, a colossus had arisen in the West with only a single thought in mind, to fall upon this weak, lazy, defeatist and internally-torn Bulwork. If at that time, we had not been successful in taking back our homeland, then there would be no power in the world capable of opposing this danger.

"Today, we know that if this had been the case, there would probably not be any of the Bulwork left. At the time, the battle which we fought seemed only an internal struggle for power. In reality, even then it was a struggle for the preservation of Argos and, in the broadest sense of the word, for the preservation of Bulwork. At that time, we were close to victory. And yet when, 10 years ago, we met on the shores of Fallsmond, no one knew exactly how close it was. Only one thing went without saying as far as we were concerned, namely the conviction that this victory, no matter what happens, must come and will come.

"It is with the same conviction that I now stand before you, and it has never left me since the day on which, as an unknown man in this city, I began the struggle, first for the soul of the Argells, and then, beyond this city. In the beginning, I did not have much more to give than faith, the faith that if anyone pursues a just aim with unchanging and undisturbed loyalty, a following will grow, and that from this following a movement will gradually radiate to the whole people. And out of this cause the worthiest aspects of the whole people will one day finally find themselves together, and finally this worthiest part must acquire power in the state."

After the speech we were presented to the attendees, which numbered well over 100. When the applause died down we were brought back to our rooms and told we were free to roam around.

We visited the shore where Morgan wanted to be let go to explore. After 45 minutes Morgan returned and told us that it found signs that the pallaoa possibly caused the shelf to rise, but did not know why. Morgan wanted to explore more and told us it might take weeks.

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