May 10 - Session 2
The party confronts Tyrik, asking whether the situation they’d gone through had actually been necessary. He gathers the party into the stands around the arena, and directs the Sanctum to pull up an illusory replay of the combat. He narrates the battle from his perspective, describing how – during the initial phases of combat – the heroes scattered themselves around the battlefield. Coratana transported himself away from any possible aid; nobody could even see where he went. Sulyex found himself surrounded by three foes at one point. Gribble willingly disarmed himself and walked head-long into danger. Very easily, very quickly, the encounter could have turned dire. But then a shift occurred. With Sulyex’s aid, Coratana returned to the group. Audir and Gribble began to function as a team to flank their foes, soon joined by Quaesitor. Dorrin, Sulyex, and Ryloc began to flank their own enemies, and Halbard provided ranged assistance from above. As the heroes began to work together, the tide of the combat shifted to their favor, and they emerged victorious.
Coratana continued to question Tyrik on the necessity of the illusion, and why the deception and manipulation had been necessary. Tyrik explained that, while there are many fighters in the world, and many of them are more skilled than the party currently is, the Sanctum requires more than that. The Sanctum searches out those who have a strong moral compass, whose hearts and alignment more closely match its own. Tyrik reveals that the very fact that they questioned their circumstances – that they felt guilt over killing the goblins – is indicative of a good fit with the Sanctum.
Tyrik then explains that the Sanctum is a living entity, one of a species where each individual is unique. He said to think of these entities like great trees whose branches and roots reach across the planes and into different dimensions. By partnering with the Sanctum, individuals can travel through the Sanctum to reach these places. Tyrik also reveals that each of the party members is from a different one of these diverse planes; they are each from a world the Sanctum touches. He then leads the party to the communal dining area and shows them a message board, where different requests for aid received by the Sanctum (or its keepers in different realms) are posted. Each request – each mission – is ranked by the Sanctum according to expected difficulty.
The party spends some time getting to know each other a little bit – largely instigated by Gribble – before splitting off to explore the Sanctum on their own and retiring for the night. The next morning, they review the mission board and decide that the first mission they will probably take as a group will be to help an herbalist collect venom from a number of snakes that have been plaguing her village, and diminish the serpent population. In order to prepare, they return to the arena and engage in a simulated combat against illusory serpents. Thus prepared, they split for the day to otherwise prepare in their own ways, agreeing to meet again the following morning to leave for the mission.