Alara's Meeting Room - 25 Nymm
It never ceased to amaze Telios how Alara's garments effortlessly accentuated her body no matter how she moved. Today was no different. Her usual flowing black dress drew the eye as she entered the meeting room. With a small smile she addressed the minotaur and dragonborn who waited for her.
"Welcome back Telios. Andred. Was your journey to Arcanix fruitful?"
Telios nodded and Andred spoke. "It was. Great histories are recorded within the tomes of the floating city. Of import to your request we found that unless the Clifftop members wish to wait until Fernia is coterminous in two years, their best option is to perform a ritual of planar travel in Onatar."
Alara turned to look out the eastern window of the room. The morning sun streamed on her face. She remained silent for a moment. Andred felt that she was almost trying to see the volcano located within the Mror Holds. Alara turned.
"My experience with the dwarves of the Holds has not been good. They hold old grudges with Karrnath and my service to that nation places me in a difficult diplomatic position. Our guests will have to figure a way into the volcanic city on their own. I hope they aren't expecting a welcoming party." She paused. "And what of the Symbol of Fire you mentioned before? Is it definitely required for the ritual?"
Andred nodded. "It is. However they are not easy to come by. It was a difficult topic to research. In fact my original lead in the Demon Wastes turned out to be false. I found reports of a changeling by the name of Dox who came into possession of that symbol after duping its previous owners of their prize. It is hardly a wonder that he can not be found what with angry rakshasas after him now." Andred smiled at the wonder of it.
He continued. "I had nearly given up hope that Arcanix could help us when I came upon a record of an adventuring party that had passed through Qbarra. A small passage of the text talked of snaketongue cultists in an ancient temple deep in the jungle. This particular cult seemed to have a particular affinity for fire - as did it's Yuan-ti master. They sent in their rogue to infiltrate temple. As the cult did not possess the particular item they were seeking at the time, the party left the cult alone and moved on. However the rogue did mention in his reconnaissance report that a fiery symbol hung within the central chamber of the temple. The description matches that of what we need for our ritual. Perhaps we can persuade the cult to part with the item."
Alara smiled and spoke. "So if the party wishes to obtain the Cloak of Flames which we think lies within Fernia then they must first seek out this symbol of fire which we think is in the possession of a cult of Yuan-ti worshippers somewhere in the bowels of Qbarra's jungles. Then they must somehow convince the dwarves of Onatar that they must perform a ritual of great power within their domain? Do I have that summarized correctly?"
Andred thought a moment. "An accurate interpretation M'lady. There is one other concern of course."
"Of course." Alara concluded. "Do they have the ability to perform the ritual? Nenia has a natural command of the arcane. I am not so sure she possesses the necessary control yet however. That is yet another bridge they have to cross."
She looked up as Andred spoke.
"But I do. I could go along with them if they wished. I can research aboard the airship you retained as well as here. It will also give me a chance to set some conflicting historical records straight as they dirty their hands with their tasks. I can speak with local leaders and sages. If - I mean when - they accomplish their goals I can perform the ritual to send them to Fernia. It is a win-win situation as they say."
Alara thought for a few moments. "If that is your wish. It is their choice however."
She turned to her skeletal servant. "Tibia, fetch our guests. It is time Andred repeats all this information to them."
Telios shifted his weight on his hooves. He was glad Andred hadn't tried to include him in his grand travel plans.