The Rod of Seven Parts…
For many, it was only a thing of legend; a whisper in the night never to be fully realized in the waking world of reality. An artifact of such intense power that it could not remain in one piece for long, destined to be eternally broken and remade time and time again. Many who sought the Rod and its power embarked upon a fruitless quest, the waste of a lifetime. Yet, there were also those who built their entire life around it, believed them destined to find it.
Taka Ironfeather was one such creature. Born in the shadow of the Star Mounts as a child of the Last Aerie, she was raised on stories of the Rod and fed the light and word of the old Goddess, Syranita. As she grew up, her entire life’s work was dedicated to the study of the Rod, mapping out where even the barest whisper of rumor cared to mention it. She also studied the Arcane so that, someday soon, she might make her way out into the world of the Ground-dwellers and seek out the Rod. Never once in her wildest dreams would she have ever thought that opportunity would come looking for her instead.
Summoned by the Goddess, Sune, Taka was taken to Her celestial demi-plane where the Goddess herself requested for her aid. The party that Taka arrived with prostrated themselves before the beauty of this foreign goddess, but the aarakocra remained unmoved. Her heart and soul belonged to but one goddess; she would bend knee to no other. What interested Taka most, however, was the goddess’s promise that she would be the recipient of a piece of the Rod of Seven Parts. The woman’s request seemed simple enough: rid her of her enemy, the evil goddess, Talos.
There are some who might have said it a fool’s errand. What chance to mortal men and women have against the power and might of two deities at war? The same chance of an ant against a boot, some might say. Yet, aarakocra are bred of sterner stuff. Any chance to find a piece of the Rod was worth fighting for; it was even a chance worth dying for. Taka’s loyalty to the search for the Rod and the might of her people was no exception as she agreed to the woman’s terms.
Across dangerous planes and the paths of equally dangerous foes, Taka and her party fought. Down into the heart of a mysterious labyrinth of puzzles, curiosities, and creatures most foul did they win their way. It was here, through the grace of Sune, on the cusp of the final battle with Talos, that the very item that was Taka’s lifeblood now rested in her hands.
A twelve-inch piece of the Rod of Seven Parts.
The lusterless black substance of the rod was not metal, wood, or stone. It felt neither light nor heavy. Each end of the foot-long piece was an intricate puzzle of geometric facets of both protrusions and depressions. She clutched it to her chest, closing her eyes and praying to Syranita that this wasn’t some kind of twisted illusion. Part of her looked around at the party she was with, calling to mind the Teleportation spell that could easily carry her back home. She had what she came for. What care did she have for ground-dwellers and their ground-dwelling problems?
Despite her loyalty to her people and to the search for the Rod, however, she was an aarakocra of her word. She would follow through with her end of the bargain, as she promised, and conduct herself with honor.
Part of her paused. Since when do I care about honor and keeping my word?
None of it mattered, however. What mattered was keeping this part of the Rod and then, perhaps, finding the next. First, though, they had an evil goddess to slay.
“Let’s not waste time, groundlings,” she said to the party as they gathered themselves in the Room of Mirrors. “I’m sure you want to go back home as much as I do. Let us finish this.”