Timeline: 25 AQB, Day 3-4
An apparition arose from the dead body. He told us that he was not, in fact, Ziggy, but another man who claimed to be his right hand man. He called himself the Jacketless Man. He had actually sent us the letter, intending to meet us as Ziggy before revealing the truth if we were trustworthy. The letter was not a trap, but it must have been intercepted by these mercenaries.
Ziggy had disappeared shortly after an argument with a man known as Johnny Langua while in Rennin. Apparently, Ziggy had been obsessed with a specific book that he had borrowed from the Guardians and had intended to go fight Morael.
Perhaps this was an earlier iteration of the book we possessed now? If this Johnny Langua had obtained the book and returned it to the Guardians, that would still match up with our current timeline. We offered the Jacketless Man a chance to return to life, but he declined, preferring to move on. Once we collected the belongings of the fallen, we went to rest before heading to Rennin on the lightning train.
As I stepped off the train, my first thought was that not much had changed in 25 years. The smell was the same, some buildings had shifted but otherwise the same. The only thing that seemed odd was the rats. They’d always been rather friendly, following you around in groups, but they seemed unusually…organized. Studying their exposed brains and behavior, I quickly put together that they were a hive mind that became more intelligent in close proximity to each other. This explained why there were so many rats in one place compared to when I lived here. I put together that these must be spies for Johnny Langua, especially once a nearby bard told us not to mess with the rats. So I performed a song to let Johnny know we were here to meet with him. I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t very good since I didn’t have much time to prepare. Regardless, it got us an opening act for Johnny’s concert that night.
Dan insisted on a rider as part of our performance. I’d never done a rider before because I wasn’t particularly well-known before I went to the north. My performances had always been covers for my criminal activities anyway, so it had never really occurred to me. So I simply asked for 30 inflatable fish in the green room. I didn’t really want that, but I didn’t have time to think of it. I was too busy coming up with a song for that night.
As the lights fell, we took to the stage. My nerves filled me with a restless energy, as I’d never performed on this stage and never for this many people. The potential for a good performance is more daunting than any dragon or slaad, I can tell you that. As I strummed out the melody, the crowd grew quiet. I began to sing, as explosions of light came from behind me. I couldn’t see what my party was doing, but the audience was loving it. As I finished my song, I felt my heart soar. The audience loved us. This would surely be one of my greatest performances.
We went to the green room afterwards to meet with Johnny Langua. Apparently he was a djinni, along with his fellow band members, who were genies of different planes. He claimed that he was very interested in meeting us and that he had a vested interest in eliminating Moldark and Morael, though he was very dodgy about the book or Ziggy’s whereabouts. Using a truth-ensuring spell, we traded information on our enemies’ weaknesses and whereabouts, including that Lyanna was doomed by prophecy to meet her end at the hands of a Rakshasa, the Elder. With this, there could be no doubt that we had caused the Elder to be able to travel through time somehow. Sounds like he is the puppeteer that is controlling Moldark and Morael from the shadows.
Further, we learned the location of Morael’s phylactery to the exact location. We also learned that Louis Arizona, the same drow we had stolen a drill-car from, had something to do with Moldark’s sudden burst in power. Going back in time to stop it from ever happening could cause a paradox, but perhaps we could convince Louis to reveal how to reverse the process.
Not sure if we could trust Johnny at his word, we asked him what his weakness was. He claimed that it was a whiskey flask that could trap him, hidden somewhere in Rennin. Interested, I looked around the room and my eyes felt drawn to a specific bottle. As I touched it, the frog-like marid cursed as he was sucked into it. Johnny laughed and said that the marid was now obligated to grant me one wish, though the marid would likely “be a cock about it.” I’d have to be very careful in how I word my wish to prevent any unintended consequences.
We retired to our rooms. In the morning, I learned that the efreet, Fiery Watts, had come to inform us of Ziggy’s whereabouts. His spies had supposedly placed Ziggy at the volcano in Doomwake Cinders’ territory. Fiery Watts mentioned that Johnny Langua would not be happy that he revealed this information, but Johnny had claimed under the zone of truth that his band-mates could not be trusted.
So what would we do now? Would we go find Ziggy even though we had our information? Would we go find Louis Arizona to learn how to weaken Moldark and then go take out Moldark? Or would we foolishly try to take on an ancient undead blue dragon? And what would I do with the power of a genie’s wish?