Chapter Four: Land of the Fallen Star

The Land of the Fallen Star was singed-brown. Scrawling sounds filled the air and the land was flat and barren. This desert solarium, hot and empty seemed to go on forever. Basted and blazed by the sun the Seekers’ tongues were swollen from the lack of water and the food had a spiritless taste to it. Nevertheless the four  trudged on, coming upon a village built higher than wide, feathered creatures traversing between buildings. Two humanoid bird creatures called Aarakocrans greeted them. Orlo and Jecht explained that this small enclave was a refuge for those banished from the main city called Galeem. They met many adventurers from the “surface” world but were eager to learn more about them. This is where the Seekers learned of the Legend of the Ilrabu and Akadia, the goddess of the Aarakocrans.

The Aarakocrans were the original inhabitants of this layer, connected to The Void after the Cataclysm which affected them as well. Legend had it that one day the Goddess Akadia would descend upon them, inhabiting the chosen Aarakocran called the Ilrabu. They would then be liberated from this world and brought to a paradise, living in peace for all time. 

The Capital city called Galeem housed the Arakocrans who were of pure blood. Those who were mixed species were deemed “Fowl Feathered” and banned from entering the city limits. Fowl Feathers banded together and created small refugee camps in order to survive, eating scraps and rations found throughout the boiling desert. Needing a guide to the next Seekers Guild in Galeem the four heroes traveled with Makar, a black crow Aarakokcran Fowl Feather with leather bound wings who had special permissions to sell his wares in the city. 

During this adventure, the Seekers and Makar faced many perils. Scarlet was approached by a dark figure which lulled her closer into a state of etherealness. Reaching into her mind it called her to go deeper into The Void stating her truth was at the bottom where she truly belonged. Luckily King was able to snap her back to reality, not noticing the dark figure that quickly disappeared. 

After days of travel the party arrived in the grand holy city of Galeem. Its large walls stretched up to the sun, escaping into the clouds. Galeem was ruled by the Holy Pontifex. A pure blooded Eagle Aarakocra of royal lineage. According to Legend, his blood line would sire the Ilrabu with though they have been unable to for generations. Unrest was silently boiling as the people eagerly awaiting the arrival of their savior.

Entering with Makar and under close watch the Seekers continue into the city proper. An attack came upon the city in the form of a masked figure and several elementals. Stopping the creatures and minimizing damage, the Seekers were invited by the Pontifex to enter the “upper roast”, the noble district for a proper reward. Not wanting to be rude the heroes obliged the Pontifex, meeting a scruffy and scarred eagle Arakockan named Sylmythe. Once a noble, his title was lost after he defended himself from a superior. This act of insubordination caused him to be labeled as a Fowl Feather and he was banished. Now years later he sought to find his family and receive closure after his abandonment. Feeling pity upon their new friend the Seekers joined forces with Syl and continued to the Seekers Guild which was located here in the upper roast. Upon arrival they met this layer’s leader, the fast talking sassy hawk Arakocra  Natasha. 

At the guild Horatio revealed that his parents, Frank and Susan Kane, were seekers and of the highest order. He was searching for his mother after his father went on a mission to find her. The more he read about his family, the more questions he found but everything seemed to lead to the Pontifex. Apparently there was a connection between him, the Pontifex’s wife and the Kanes. Eagerly awaiting his audience with the Pontifex Horatio began to ponder more and more about the secrets his father and mother kept from him. 

After a few days the Seekers were called to visit the leader of Galeem. Flying to his palace in the sky they entered the golden gates of the castle. Here they spoke with Zorden, the Pontifex who was garbed in white robes and metallic casings around his wings and feathers. The Pontifex revealed that the attack from days earlier was caused by the Tanawue, a terrorist group that sought to overthrow the Galeem government and cause anarchy. The Pontifex tasked the Seekers with a quest, to find the Tanawue base and bring them to justice, giving them items to assist in their journey. Accepting the quest, the heroes went off into the desert, searching for the Tanawue base. Stumbling, they managed to locate their hidden fortress and realized an unsettling truth. The Tanawue were freedom fighters seeking to liberate Galeem from the Pontifex. His top advisor and wife were secretly working with the freedom fighters and were seeking to end his tyrannical rule. Unfortunately the Pontifex secretly tracked the Seekers and launched a full scale attack on the Tanawue base, capturing everyone except for Do’ran and Makar.  

Do’ran and Makar took on the task to find the Ilrabu, rumored to have already been born. With little time to waste they searched for the sacred temple of Akadia where they believed they could find a clue. Here Makar was revealed to possess the blood of Akadia and through a great sacrifice, shattered his soul so that the spirit of Akadia could live within him. Now a divine being Ilrabu Makar teleported themselves and Do’ran to the center of Galeem where the Pontifex began a public execution of the captured Tanawue and the Seekers. Freeing themselves with the power of the Ilrabu the 5 heroes fought against the Pontifex, killing the tyrant once and for all. 

With the city liberated and the Ilrabu reborn the heroes were given a blessing from the deity as well told cryptic prophecies of events soon to unfurl. King was to be “the King to be crowned” his destiny further in the void and Horatio was warned that his parents were trapped in the Void and it would be his choice who would live and who would die. Scarlet once again was visited by a spectral child this time pulling her deeper into the Void but King saved her from this unknown fate. Memories flooded Scarlet’s mind, dark thoughts of crossing waters with a large army and her bathing in a sea of blood and destruction. Fearing this vision she humbled herself to King, wishing to be his Knight and became a Paladin of Mielikki. 

During the aftermath of the battle the Tanawue gave the heroes an ancient book found within The Void that could not be deciphered. Horatio however, was able to resonate with the tome and became possessed by the spirit of a being called Halastar. Halastar was revealed to be involved with the creation of The Void. Halastar was an old human wizard who sought the power to destroy the gods of the Astral planes, tricking a goddess by the name of Persephone to do so. The dark energy leaving his body, Horatio realized that somehow his parents were involved and that he needed to go deeper and stop this Halastar and whatever plot he was concocting. With that the heroes found the entrance to the next part of The Void looking back one last time at the city they helped Liberate and with that they donned the name The Liberators.