The Sea's Revenge

Session Forty-Six

Last time: the group travelled towards Kineshi swamp. Nalia and Eagan spoke of the gods and the concept of inherent goodness. Afa and Riaeki spoke about visiting Afa’s family. Bellana complained. They encountered an abandoned town, inhabited by three hags, which the party miraculously avoided. Bellana was chastised for walking directly into danger, then the party proceeded down the road, and was attacked by bandits. Nice. Through some spell use and threats we managed to avoid fighting them, and totally nothing happened involving a spell being cast on Bellana and Bellana being pissed about that. Nothing at all.

We proceed further and further into the swamp, spending the night with Bellana glaring constantly at Riaeki. The party sets out the next morning, starting to finally arrive in the swamp proper, with muddy road and wispy fog through the morning— until we finally come up to the roads end, where the road has been washed away by the swamp. Wide, tall trees rise up in every direction, and one is lying broken in the middle of the road.

We look down into the swamp, and snark at each other about spirits in trees. We all aggressively don’t want to go in first (and bellana is the worst about it). Eventually, at Eagan’s insistance, Afa goes first, and we all follow. Riaeki lashes a makeshift raft she found to her horse. We make our way decently far in- when Nalia notices a set of mushrooms that move, and then open, revealing a huge eye. Rising out the swamp is a gigantic poisonous tentacle frog, which is one of the worst things I’ve had to type.

Combat rundown:
→ Soraya and Eagan open strong, with burst of sacred flame and good arrow.
→ Nalia throws a fireball. It’s not very effective, but we’re still proud of her.
→ The Froghemoth attacks Afa and Bellana, grappling them. Then it swallows Soraya. Fuck.
→ Afa throws some good good eldritch bolts.
→ Nahwea tries to charge, but fails. Riaeki Attac, but also Protec, using a Turn. It doesn’t work, but it could have, which is good.
→ Bellana gets ungrappled, then bravely runs away.
→ Eagan is pissed, and throws scorching rays at the frog. ‘Let her go, you slimy motherfucker!’ Soraya tries to attack from inside. It’s… bad content.
→ Nalia also scorches the rays at the frog. It, again, is not very effective. Love that fire.
→ Nahwea does a cool kick. It’s sweet. Then the froghemoth destroys her and grapples Riaeki. Much less sweet. Then it swallows Riaeki. It… does that. It does that.
→ Afa eldritch blasts it. We love her but it’s not the Most Damage That’s Ever Been Done.
→ Riaeki hits it incredibly very hard and… lets Riaeki and Soraya go. Nice!
→ Eagan does MASSIVE HEALING. Soraya moves away from the frog and shoots an arrow. It hits!
→ Nalia throws a chromatic orb and I’m Love Her. The acid eats through the skin of the creature.
→ The froghemoth fails to attack literally anyone this round, so basically, we’re the best.
→ Afa does the warlock spell, and she does it good.
→ Riaeki slices the creature’s tongue off with a branding smite, following through on the motion to stab the frog through the jaw and the head, releasing a blast of radiant energy to turn it into a frog kebab.

We proceed to take lunch in the middle of the swamp because fuck it.

Riaeki asks Bellana for horse usership permission, and Bellana (very reluntanctly) agrees to let her use Orchid, her hunting horse. Bellana goes back to cleaning daisy when the Mosquitoes appear.

God damn it.

→ Bellana & Riaeki are attacked by Mosquites. It uh, it really gosh dang hurts.
→ Eagan fails to sacred flame. Soraya shoots one of the mosquites on Bellana.
→ Nalia casts gust of wind, blowing the mosquitos back, off of Bellana and Riaeki.
→ Afa plays her garklin so good that the mosquitos explode.

God damn.

Bellana wants out, so we leave. After a half a days journey, we finally arrive at the keep. Bellana lies about knowing Dellahn. Then, we notice the keep is empty. Unmanned. And the gates of the keep are splintered. Inside lies Dellahn and many others- dead, maybe a couple days. Bellana rides through the keep looking for survivors- finding none, but also no bodies. At least 30, maybe 35 people are missing.

Bellana begins moving her bags into her room, while everyone else tries to figure things out. She asks everyone to help her move her bags, then when that’s done, shuts herself in the room. Eagan and Soraya discuss why Bellana would be acting so odd, which makes Nalia thinking face emoji. Finally, Bellana emerges, in a (very slightly) more padded outfit which might stop, I don’t know, a single drop of acid, carrying a sword and shield in a manner that indicates that she doesn’t know how to use them, and goes to the gates. Riaeki stops her, and Bellana activates the shield, causing a ghostly figure to emerge and highlight the tracks all around. She explains that she wants to go after the people in the castle and find them so as to defend her families reputation. Everyone believes that? For some reason? Though then again, she is /awful/. The party decides to head deeper into the swamp to try to locate the survivors.

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Session Forty-Five

Last time on SeaLandFightZone:

The gang is still traveling, and Bellana is still The Worst.mp3. They pass through some villages and whatnot but nothing of particular note happens until later in the afternoon. It has been raining and is generally miserable, so they don’t notice until they’re right at the village that…there are no people around. There is a slight scent of smoke on the air. Bellana notes that there is one home with smoke from the chimney, and insists on seeing if there’s someone there who has provisions for them. As the gang begrudgingly follows her, Nalia notices that the village seems to have been suddenly abandoned. However, the hut with smoke from the chimney is…pristine. Bellana enters and the rest follow. Inside there are three old women, who instruct the party to sit. Bellana starts telling them all kinds of info, smh.

Nalia realizes this is a coven of hags. In fact, one of them says so when Bellana asks if they’re orcs. They also give her some TEA which Bellana drinks. Nalia decides it’s time to go and starts to drag Bellana out, and Riaeki joins in. But in the process of this, Afa (who has been hiding behind Bellana) is exposed, and one of the hags recognizes her as fae marked, and figure out that she is associated with the Unseelie.

The hags want to ask Bellana questions. Bellana at last starts to demur but the hag puts a clawed hand on her shoulder, and won’t let her pull away. Afa says that if the hag hurts Bellana, she’s going to be forced to break her contract—or enforce it. This finally makes the hag release her and the gang get the heck out of there.

The gang hassle Bellana for a while but it mostly doesn’t seem to make an impression, and they set off again.

When evening sets in, they make camp. Eagan talks with Nalia about fire, the gods, and why people go to religion. Nalia is very awkward. Riaeki talks to Afa about going back to Afa’s hometown when this assignment is over. Suraya talks with Belanna who is very Herself.

The next morning as they set out, a few of the party hear what sounds like a scream being muffled. They realize Eagan is missing. Riaeki and Afa go to check it out, while Nalia stays with Bellana. It turns out to be bandits! When they demand money, Riaeki says they don’t have any, they’re guarding a noble with all the money. While some of the bandits go to ambush the others, the bandit leader agrees to hand over Eagan.

A BUNCH of BONKERS stuff starts to happen. Nalia intimidates the bandits by playing along with the idea she’s a demon. Afa casts fear on a bunch of bandits who RUN AWAY! Bellana tries to ride off but gets stopped by Riaeki. The gang collectively freak out/confuse the bandits to get them to just..leave?

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Session Fourty-Four

previously on…………….. survivor
shopping and getting people arrested and sharzad is leaving us (FOREVER) (no) (but it’s still sad)

  • afa comes home to find the green finches have gone off on a tour, though the innkeep says that they will be back eventually. she goes to bed, and dreams lessons with callum. there’s a difference, though— normally they’re in an idyllic meadow, but afa returns this time to the campsite where we met callum. “interesting venue tonight,” says afa. “it’s familiar,” says callum ominously . he’s heard on the grapevine about how AMAZING AND POWERFUL afa allows that we’ve been dealing with gods, to which callum is surprised. afa tells callum a not insignificant amount of information about yleth, although not her name, including that shes’ dead and has been removed from history. callum says that he wouldn’t have thought the queen would care… yet, and says that she should check on her fey friends, and what they’re saying about her. some might be ‘envious of her position’. he teaches her a new etude, and that’s all of that. SUSPICIOUS
  • the group convenes in the morning to talk to nehaska at the bung and barrel, and contractors, in that order. the bung and barrel is in a nicer part of town, with a huge wine rack at the back, very nicely made. also at the back is tenk. sharzad rushes over and nearly offers nehaska a share in the venture, before afa pulls her back. tenk wishes he could help, but was taken from kineshi swamp very young, and waves nehaska over when she comes down. nehaska retrieves breakfast and we sit around the table. riaeki tells her that we’re looking for information on the swamp. nehaska wonders who could be important but also need escort to kineshi, but she lived there and remembers who owned property nearby. she asks what we know about it— it’s big. and. blue. (I KNEW IT)
  • the road will have bandits, she guarantees us. you can’t farm the land, or hunt really, so the people take to banditry to support themselves. the lizard people are likely to attack, less so the yuan ti (‘colonizers’ mentions tenk helpfully), but the yuan ti are zealots, obsessed with poison and into blood sacrifice. (‘i understand that,’ says sharzad.) the yuan ti can’t be bribed— they are looking for glory, a suitable sacrifice, or both in one. if we get captured, we should know that no one is coming, because it’s unlikely they’d ever find us. she also reminds us that lizardfolk consume the dead fallen in battle (tenk takes offense at her description of this, protesting that it’s a cultural difference). sharzad tries to convince her to join the party for this job, but she doesn’t want to return to the swamp. riaeki asks if she has any details about the area, and she goes off to get paper to ‘write us up a guide’.
  • ‘she must like you,’ says tenk, ’that’s the most she’s talked about that place in a long while.’ she definitely likes afa. he says that the two of them are about to go out on a job for caradoc, and sharzad offers up the new formed guild for any future ventures. she also mentions that the starting funds were gathered illegally, and nalia adds that the man who donated the money got eaten by his own demon. luckily, nehaska shows up before this conversation gets more out of hand, and makes some notes. she notes inns to stay at, an abandoned city that’s probably overrun with bandits, and roads that might be helpful. afa thanks her, and we leave them to their breakfast. as we leave, sharzad lets tenk know that she has some forging ideas she might like to work on while she’s in the city, and gives him her address— he knows it, and tells her that it’s nice to have family in the city.
  • we head off to attempt to hire construction people to build our guildhall. none of us know that much about construction, but afa and sharzad have a vague idea of what the price should be. a discussion is had about where to find skilled laborers (the carpenter’s guild), unskilled laborers (the docks) and materials (who knows). laborers are hired, though the guild members can make some coin as our unskilled labor, so we don’t have to search them out. this takes most of the day, and late in the afternoon, we seek out reka.
  • pentek is on the stoop, playing with an adorable cat— he’s grown a bit (pentek, not the cat). it seems like a street cat, but he’s pretty insistent on keeping it. sharzad healing word’s the cat, who curls up on pentek’s lap. as we go in, afa hangs back, and assures pentek that if reka won’t let him keep the cat, he can keep it outside and feed it scraps.
  • as the party enters reka’s study, riaeki notices that he’s reading a lurid romance novel, which is amazing. she tells him that this is good blackmail to convince him to keep the cat. the party asks after the many ruffians they’ve sent reka’s way: xan and lydia are in calafort, and rain appears on her way. lydia has already gotten herself into trouble with cassian, one of the refugees, and xan is refusing to tell anyone his name, but they haven’t caused too much havoc.
  • the party tells him where they are going to put their guild, and mention that it’s going to have a tavern. this sparks a discussion about tavern names, and whether it would be unappetizing to name our guild tavern after the moon rats, or indeed hire the moon rats to be waiters and chefs. this seems like a bad idea, but we put a pin in it until we have a guild. sharzad then asks about the book reka was reading, and is informed as to the ways that books can be about sex. it’s at this point thankfully that pentek walks in with the cat, and the party leaves them to that.
  • when afa, nalia, and riaeki return to their rooms, there’s a notice from belinda greyhawk that the job’s gonna start the next day. riaeki heads to sharzad’s to give her the funds from the handy haversack, and also…….. ask her to kill larr xa and nexxaya, should they escape from prison. sharzad pretty categorically refuses, and riaeki regrets this immediately and they spend a very awkward afternoon trying to forget that conversation happened.
  • the next morning, the party heads to meet belinda greyhawk and their new charge. belinda has a large dog friend with her, who is tragically not coming with us. she takes us to the east gate as sharzad says her farewells: first to nalia, who promises not to set anything important on fire, then to afa, who promises not to sign any contracts and seems VERY convincing about it, then to riaeki, who sharzad hopes will not test the limits of rashul’s power by, um, dying. riaeki kisses her goodbye, and she leaves. belinda greyhawk dramatically has no opinion about this.
  • we’re taken to the east gate, where bellana is waiting for us. she basically looks like kelly clarkson, and that’s in the notes so it’s canon now. nalia introduces herself as ‘afa and riaeki’s friend’, afa says hi, and riaeki asks if bellana really threw someone threw a window (yes). belinda mentions that this was into a piano, and afa takes GREAT offense. it doesn’t seem to matter to bellana— the darkwaters can just buy a new piano— but afa takes great care to mention that if anything happens to her mandolin, bad things will happen to bellana. bellana does not seem very convinced, and is pretty condescending. belinda, weirdly, defends the party— they apprehended a cannibal and magically beat the crap out of a merchant— but bellana doesn’t seem impressed by that either. she’s making a fantastic first impression.
  • riaeki turns to the two guardspeople coming with us. one, eagan, is a cleric of elu and seemingly a full half-elf, the other, suraya, is of indeterminate origin and wielding a bow. it’s like sharzad has been split into two slightly less competent people, and it’s creepy.
  • we set off through the east gate! bellana complaining the entire way, and purposefully trying to separate herself from the party. afa hitches a ride with eagan, as there aren’t any horses her size, and tells him that she could take care of bellana should she try to get away. eagan seems relieved by this.
  • the session ends there, but also swamp cliffs 2k17
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Session Forty-Three

(Afa goes to talk to Larr Xa and tell him that the Queen rejected his contract)

On the sixth day, the boat approaches Calafort. We tie up the boat and we are greeted by Reka’s assistant Brynda. She is rather shocked at our cargo of prisoners (again) and heads of to send a message to Belinda Greyhawk.

Afa and Sharzad debate being liked vs. being feared.

Belinda arrives and takes the prisoners. She is Very Disapproving of Larr Xa’s missing extremities and tells us to reconsider our methods.
Belinda tells us that she may have a job for us. Riaeki doesn’t understand the legal system and is confused that they are not going to be charged immediately. Belinda explains and Riaeki is worried that the time a trial will take will give them time to escape. Belinda continues to explain the justice system to a confused Riaeki.

Belinda goes on to tell us that she wants to hire us to escort a friend of the family’s daughter to the Kineshi Swamp. This family we will be working for is the Darkwaters.
We all roll absolutely amazing on our history (3 nat20s and one 18 WHAT) so we get a nice infodump on the Darkwaters.
-they are an incredibly wealthy family that deals in money management. Banking, insurance, etc.
-they have more high-elf blood than some other noble families and as a result got kinda a shitty plot of land when they were enobled.
-they have the Kineshi swamp, which is very dangerous in large part due to the lizardfolk and the yuan-ti that preform horrible sacrifices in the heart of the swamp.
-The heads of the household are Lasalle and Jubal Scolt.
-most of their children are accomplished and well-behaved, except for one, Bellana.
-A local bard wrote a song about her throwing someone through a tavern window.
-The Darkwaters tend to use their swamp castle for punishment rather than retreat.

We continue to discuss the job. Belinda says that Bellana might not be happy about having to go and hasn’t been informed of her journey.

Sharzad says that she needs to stay behind in Calafort to work on building the mercenary company.

We arrive at the jail. It is an extremely solid building built into the hill. The door are covered in abjuration magic. They put Larr Xa and Nexxaya into the cells, and the locking of the doors includes cells. Belinda assures us that magic inside the cells is limited and it is all very secure.

She tells us we will be in contact with us when it is time to leave for our next job. She gives us the writ to redeem for the bounty, which we go to immediately collect. We get the money from a very nice tiefling with a broken horn and then head out.

We discuss where to buy the land for the guild hall and then split up. Sharzad goes to sell Nexxaya’s garments to a tailor and get things made for herself. The woman tries to convince Sharzad that it would be cheaper to have Nexxaya’s garments tailored to her, but Sharzad says she would rather sell the garments and have new stuff made from scratch. When she places her order for a dress and wants it soon, she gets a stern lecture on how long dresses take to make from scratch. Sharzad orders a dress and some professional clothes.

Riaeki goes to try to find Nekhasa. She starts by going to Caradoc’s and is told that he is in a meeting. An older elf who looks similar to Caradoc storms out and then Riaeki is let in. Caradoc says he’s fine, but Caradoc is not fine. Riaeki asks about Nekhasa and he tells her where she’s staying. Riaeki turns to go and then says that is Caradoc needs to talk he can talk to her. He says that things have been extra tough between him and his father since the whole nebulous Angharad deal. Riaeki says she still feels responsible for that. They talk about that and also some emotional stuff that i forgot to take notes while it happened, but Riaeki spent 5-lay-on-hands points while touching his face.

Afa grabs some food and goes to hang out at Bredan’s fish stall and they trade stories of their adventures.

Nalia goes to give a present to Akaar. When she arrives he’s in the middle of making his weekly stew. Nalia helps even though she is not very good at chopping vegetables. Nalia updates Akaar on all that has happened and tells him about the Yleth orb. She gives the brooch to Akaar and he is very touched even wiping away a tear! And he says that he always enjoys his conversations with her and then they chop some more vegetables.

The gang reconvenes and looks at the listings for properties in Oldmarket. Most of them are managed by the Sailors Guild and we need to talk to someone named Dolph. We go and talk to Dolph and it is awful and when Afa gets the impression that they wouldn’t then be allowed to go to the feywild, she decides its time to leave.
Next we see that the temple of Rashul owns land and we go to talk to them. We secure a plot of land and now we have land to build the guild!

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Session Forty-Two

BACK AT IT AGAIN IN MISTFALL!!!

BUT ACTUALLY we are extremely leaving the city on account of all the pirates and mafia we just aggressed. Sharzad and Riaeki find a ship to take them back to Calafort, captained by one “Torgild Ventura”. They pick up Afa and Nalia where they’re waiting in the bay with Larr Xa and Nexaya. The latter two are confined to the Very Small Room. Afa casts Magic Mouth on the door as an alarm. Riaeki helps Torgild with manning the ship, Afa takes a nap, and Nalia studies some of the books they took from Larr Xa. Sharzad asks Riaeki about Boat Things but they both get kinda confused about it because they are cute nerds.

The route back to Calafort takes about six days.

-identify sharzad’s items
Sharzad asks Nalia to identify her new items. The breastplate is imbued with the power of Yleth and the gloves are for climbing. Sharzad keeps the breastplate and gives the gloves to Afa, who is very happy with them. Next, Nalia identifies the orb. It has divination magic as expected, but something about it is different— it seems to be connected the items and is maybe able to find the missing ones.

Nalia then uses legend lore on the amulet. It glows softly with a blue light, and then Nalia hears the following: “Many years ago this land was mine. I was the ruler, the sovereign, and I earned my place. But my siblings were jealous. And they sent someone to cast me down from my throne. But I got my revenge. I broke the key into several parts, and I hid them where they would never be found. So I am dead, but my siblings, well…They have a death of another kind. Confinement. And no one even remembers.”

Nalia tells the gang what she heard, and they decide to rest before trying to use the orb to find the final items. During this time, Riaeki goes to listen to Larr Xa and Nexaya. They discuss the possibility of Nexaya surviving the execution. It becomes clear that Riaeki is listening and she joins the conversation. She asks Larr Xa to confess, which Nexaya thinks is ludicrous. They discuss Nexaya’s patronage to a god of undeath and Larr Xa’s unpayable debt.

The next morning Afa and Sharzad do some stunts and have a good time.

Afa asks her patron about the stuff going on with the gods, and if she should be concerned about it or not. The fey queen is in fact impressed to know about this and thanks Afa for the information. Afa is understandably pumped about this and breaks out her mandolin and plays a dang tune.

The gang stop at a FARMER’S MARKET and buy some fish. They have a conversation about theatre and mercenaries and prostitution with the fishmonger lady. Riaeki and Sharzad discover the joys of salmon. Meanwhile, Nalia goes to buy a brooch for Akar.

Afa has a conversation with Larr Xa. In the course of conversation, he says he would do anything—make any promise—to let Nexaya go free. Afa consults with the queen of air and darkness about this. The queen says she will get back to Afa about it….cliffhanger music

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Session Forty-One

Last Week: We get into mortal combat with Larr Xa and Nexxaya. Well, not mortal exactly. Dire? Anyways. Through clever use of hold person, grappling, handcuffs, and Gun, we apprehend them, and begin to quiz them about our old friend Ylethaen, discovering an awful conspiracy of thousands. We decide that we need to search the Edge of the World for more information; Afa, Nalia, and Sharzad go to the Edge of the World to do a heist, while Riaeki stays behind to watch after Larr Xa and ends up doing some torture. Awesome. Wow. We visit Ratha to talk to her about her future in the city and the level of difficulty of the heist (difficulty: very hard. our fucks? zero.) We proceed to the bay, sneak very badly through the docks, and jump off of the cliff, just like, a lot.

We swim towards the boat. It’s a fucking comedy of failures. Afa hits barnacles then runs away. Sharzad climbs the boat while invisible and forgot to wrap her guns right. Nalia, as always, is the fucking MVP, looking like a mermaid witch doing a cthulhu chant, it’s great.

Sharzad finds fine clothes, lingerie a pair of magical gloves (?), and a stash of coins and jewels. Nalia finds books on various magic, Larr Xa’s journal, and a small, slim volume that’s not in Larr Xa’s handwriting. It’s a weird Elvish- maybe Nexxaya’s language. Afa sees a slight glow behind a glow in the wall. She opens it- it’s a shimmering glass orb, a crystal orb, sitting on a dark metal stand. It’s fairly small, small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hand. She takes it. Nalia literally factually says “Mamma Mia.” Finally, Sharzad finds the breastplate of Nexxaya, and puts it in her bag.

Once we’ve looted the room, we discuss what to do next. Sharzad says not to look in the brig- which immediately reminds Afa to look in the brig. Afa points out prisoners who wouldn’t be able to escape the fire might be there, so Sharzad says she’ll go by herself. She sneaks over- the room is full of symbols of Rashul. Lightning bolts, scratched into the walls, with anything available- even fingernails. Sharzad, rattled, checks the room as quickly as she can, and hurries back. Sharzad tells everyone it was nothing- but Afa realizes it was a lie.

Nalia takes the logs and Nexxaya’s book. Sharzad looks over the maps and find the most valuable- a map to their home base, a map marking spots along the coast of marin and artakshad, a map of the river to Mistfall, and a sketchy map of the river delta of Kineshi Swamp. Sharzad puts those and two more miscellaneous maps. Afa gets four books- two arcane, two historical. Sharzad puts four more miscellaneous maps among them. We build a pyre in the center the room, then move to the window to prepare to escape.

We fly away- behind us, the ship explodes, the gunfire being set off by the fire. We fly to the university, and return home. Everyone realizes what happened to Larr Xa- Sharzad is horrified. We discuss an escape route- when someone knocks on the door to find Larr Xa. It’s Raine. Riaeki grabs her and brings her inside- she’s surprised, but registers the… dire nature of her situation. Riaeki explains- we’re mercenaries, we have a contract on him. She says she understands, and Riaeki requests she not tell anybody what we’ve done. She asks, ‘Do you still serve him?’ ‘Yeah.’ We invite her to join us in calafort, and ask larr xa if he would betray her. He says he won’t, and we believe him. We invite her to join- she’s proud, and doesn’t want to take our money without having done work, but she’s interested in joining us. We let her leave, then prepare our escape.

Riaeki and Sharzad go to find a boat together, leaving Nalia and Afa to figure out how to the get them to the boat. Nice. Afa/Aileen is very smart. Afa and Nalia decide on plan- flying laterally and estimating the distance. Stormlord above. They pull themselves up to the window. Afa: ‘Are you ready?’ Nalia… thinks she is. Afa is sure it’ll be fine. They jump… Nalia’s fine. But Afa can’t properly keep ahold of Nexxaya. She has to let go- but she pulls a sick stunt to come back around and pick up the body.

Riaeki and Sharzad discuss the room on the boat, the nature of revenge, what happens to Larr Xa, and more. They have a lot in common on that front.

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Session Forty

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

  • our initiative rolls suck. luckily theirs mostly also suck. we all suck. this is a suckfest.
  • sharzad shoots a guiding bolt, which streaks past nexxaya. riaeki casts aura of vitality on herself. nalia casts a firebolt at larr xa: it hits him in the shoulder, and he shouts into the deafening wards of the room eerily. then sharzad rushes nexxaya, and grapples her— then pulls out a gun on larr xa, and… misfires.
  • now it’s nexxaya’s go, and she inflicts wounds on sharzad. riaeki heals sharzad, and tries to knock larr xa prone, but his strength far outclasses hers. afa casts hold person, and BOTH OF THEM FREEZE IN PLACE. nalia sends scorching rays at larr xa’s head. he breaks the hold person, and grabs his greatsword. “well… hello.”
  • sharzad binds nexxaya’s arms, gags her, and leaps over the bed. larr xa strikes out at her, but between sharzad’s ring of jumping and riaeki’s shield in the way, misses dramatically. sharzad uses the distance to fix her gun. nexxaya struggles against her bonds— she resists the magical hold, but can’t break free of the manacles. riaeki turns on nexxaya and hits her twice, once with divine power. afa casts phantasmal force on larr xa— he sees nexxaya turn on him, suddenly, and attack him. nalia runs right into the fray and whaps nexxaya with her staff, tasering her while she’s down.
  • larr xa tries to figure out what the hell’s going on with nexxaya, but remains befuddled. sharzad pumps larr xa full of lead. nexxaya, full up with rage, spits out her gag. and heals larr xa. riaeki ties her to the bed, re-gagging her. afa’s illusion of nexxaya attacks larr xa, and she blasts him twice. nalia sends a scorching ray at him and literally smokes him. larr xa gathers himself a bit, swinging at riaeki. sharzad shoots him, and he spits blood, keeling over, unconscious. nexxaya wails through her gag as sharzad spares him from dying. the party ties him up, and riaeki brings him back to consciousness as she casts zone of truth.
  • with detect thoughts up, riaeki interrogates the two: larr xa insists that the mutiny had nothing to do with yleth, and that he found nexxaya on the next ship after the mutiny occured. in his thoughts, riaeki sees a deep admiration for her as she strides toward him, dressed in strange clothes. nexxaya doesn’t know who tiatha is, but insists that her cause is righteous— they’re trying to raise a dead goddess, killed unjustly. and it’s taken a while— nexxaya remembers dying and being brought back, multiple times. in her mind, riaeki senses what death was like for her: a grey nothing. riaeki asks why larr xa didn’t tell her about the mutiny— that she would have agreed that it was necessary, if he had.
  • afa asks why nexxaya is interested in the yleth-y artifacts, and riaeki sees more in nexxaya’s mind: a book, bound in metal, a crystal globe, and a sliver of the dark metal suspended over a pit. nexxaya seems particularly interested in the latter, and there’s a strong sense of objective, much the same as in larr xa’s mind. riaeki asks about other members of the cult— she’s thrown out of nexxaya’s mind before she can get any faces, but nexxaya mentions meeting someone who used to be trapped in a tree.
  • god i’m forgetting stuff lemme know if i forgot important things and i’ll edit it. at some point riaeki cuts off larr xa’s hand to knock him out. sharzad tries to beat nexxaya into submission, but realizing it would take a long time to do so (and be extremely violent and awful), just shoots her in the shoulder and magically spares her.
  • a long debate is had about what to do with the two of them. at first, the party considers just jumping out the window and trying to get to a boat from there, but the fact that none of us would be able to crew it is a pretty big dissuader. sharzad convinces riaeki that it would be better to take the two of them back to calafort and have them tried and executed than simply kill them here, and riaeki acquiesces. hiring a ship or a caravan seems like the best option, but the party doesn’t want to leave without any information that might be on the edge of the world. a plan is hatched involving flying in in the dead of night and burning the ship down. riaeki mentions that she’d probably be recognized on the edge of the world, and hangs back, first telling the gang the basic layout of the ship (and that they probably shouldn’t go down to the brig). afa, nalia, and sharzad go first to inform ratha that the group is leaving mistfall, and that the party’s parting gift against the family is going to be burning down a ship in their incredibly well protected and guarded bay. this is seeming like a better and better idea by the minute.
  • after the other three leave, riaeki wakes up larr xa. he looks down at his wrist— “that’s for midor’rian,” riaeki tells him. “who do you think the other three are for?” larr xa tells her he believes in her creativity. he asks if she believes in what rashul’s doing— that he’s waging war against death itself, that all beings have an immortal soul, and now that soul goes nowhere when the body ceases existence. the grey nothing that riaeki sensed in nexxaya’s mind. riaeki doesn’t have much to say to that— it’s not for her to question the mission she’s been given. she tries a lighter topic— she found out her name, and xa can stop calling her ‘stormdaughter’. she refuses to tell it to him. he asks if she found any family, and she responds that those people would be blood relations— family was what she had before he killed all of them. he says that she seems to have found a new family. if he so much as touches any of them, she says, she will find much more creative ways not to kill him. larr xa wonders if her cruelty was innate or taught to her by the pirates. when riaeki points out the irony of him being the one to say this, he says defensively that he included himself.
  • i am sure i’ll remember the rest of this conversation at some point when i’m less full of adrenaline but it ends with riaeki cutting off his foot. she wakes him back up, heals him, and declares “that one was for tai”.
  • nalia, sharzad and afa make an insane plan to get onto the edge of the world— they’re going to jump off the cliff above it and cast featherfall to splash down gently. they manage, barely, to outmaneuver the guard over the bay, and jump off the 1000 foot cliff into the nothing below. sharzad barely catches hold of afa’s hand as they fall into nothing, shaking her just in time for afa to cast the spell. they splash into the water, seemingly not alerting anyone on the ship.
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Session Thirty-Nine

That evening, there is an awkward drunk conversation between Sharzad and RIaeki. Riaeki does her nightly meditation next to Sharzad’s bed and it is very cute!!!

Nalia and Afa wake to a knock on the door. There is a messenger from the family, say that this day is “all hands on deck.” Nalia goes to wake the others. They are super hungover. The messenger girl tells us the work is going to be at the bottom of the canyon. They groggily get ready and stuff food and coffee into their faces. They group discusses the kindness of potatoes.

When they reach the edge of the canyon they decide to take one of the industrial lifts down. Afa holds onto a rope in the corner to get a good view. Everyone else sits in the center of the platform like people with reasonable opinions of height. There is a glorious view of the canyon and the island with the university as we descend. When we reach the bottom we find we are taking a rowboat down canyon to one of the docks. Riaeki is very good at the boats.

Our destination is a magically constructed bay in a side eddy. In the bay there is a ship. It is the Edge of the World!!!!!
Sharzad draws a gun on Shelley (the messenger girl) and she becomes very afraid. We discuss our options and find out that Nexxaya came with the crew again this time. The crew looks very comfortable and safe here. We decide to send in Afa for the info while the rest of the group stays back and keeps watch. Afa saunters forward and gets the needed info out of Fenelessin with a wonderful lie. They are probably staying at a place called the Raven’s Wing We send Shelley home and plan our next move. Sharzad suggests getting rooms at the Raven’s Wing and scoping out the place.

The gang now needs to find a way back up to the surface. We make our way back upstream to where we took the crane down and grab another platform going up.

Sharzad goes to tell Lydia to head to Calafort now as shit is about to go down. Lydia assumes that we’re all gonna die but she goes along with it ’cause hey, seven gold.

The other group looks for the Raven’s Wing. It is on a bridge near the Skyward. Afa goes in but is not as successful at the lying this time and doesn’t get information. Then Nalia goes in to ask for a room, acting the distracted scholar. The lady at the desk is very rude, saying that “normally they don’t have rooms for tieflings.” Nalia says she’ll pay more and the lady palms most of the coin. She then invites Nalia to not use the dining facilities. The room is very nice with an alcove window hanging out over the canyon. Nalia casts Mordenkainen’s Private Sanctum.

Sharzad catches up with the group and goes in after Nalia and manages to get past the mean desk person. Afa and Riaeki stake out the hotel and see Larr Xa and Nexxaya approaching! Sharzad overhears the conversation between those two and the mean desk lady. Afa and Riaeki follow, pretending to be Larr Xa’s crew and discover where is room is. The gang reconvenes and comes up with a plan. Nalia casts private sanctum around their room so they can’t hear us coming and the mean desk lady can’t hear the scuffle. We pick the lock and burst in, getting a surprise round. Afa tries to cast hold person but they BOTH save. Fuck them.

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Session Thirty-Eight

Well lads, we sure are fighting some ghosts. Clara, the little girl ghost, pulls some real spooky shit. Some of us get hexed with some dark energy and it’s bad news. Nalia basically gets scared stock still and AGES A MILLION YEARS FROM FEAR. Clara seems to have something against Afa in particular. She hexes Afa and returns Afa to a memory of being home a long time ago. A snotty blonde girl spits on Afa, who has been pushed to the ground, and says that she can’t believe her parents can’t see her (Afa) for what she is. Afa feels hatred. Another memory begins, where people are looking down and away from Afa as she walks through town back toward home. At once she sees the blonde girl’s parents talking with her own— both are crying, but the girl’s mother is yelling and saying Afa’s parents need to do something about “that thing” or that they will— she accuses Afa of killing her daughter. That night, Afa packs up her few things and goes to a place in the forest that she knows is a portal to the fae. She sees a familiar face.

Back in the current timeline, Sharzad and Riaeki try to comfort Afa, who is paralyzed while she experiences the vision. Suddenly, Afa expels the possession Clara had put on her. She casts Phantasmal Force, trying to use her memory of Ivy against Clara. When Clara laughs at her for this, Afa compares Clare to Ivy, saying they both hurt people. Nalia finally overcomes the hex and after asking Afa if she needs help, shoots fire bolt.

In the aftermath, everyone is pretty shocked. Riaeki hugs Afa. Sharzad realizes Nalia has aged and tells her. Though shocked, Nalia decides she’ll have to find a way to remove it.

Meanwhile, Afa confronts Robin. She says she never killed Ivy and he made her parents cry, and now they have no one. Robin counters that Afa killed her twin. Afa says she never met her twin and Robin says she killed her in the cradle. He clearly believes she is a changeling. We all really hate this guy. As Afa talks more about how horrible Ivy was to her, and how miserable her parents must be now (which Robin confirms), Robin begins to see that he and the village may have been terribly wrong. Though he apologizes tbh we still don’t like him much and he doesn’t seem 100% convinced even so.

The gang does a search through the rest of the rooms and finds a big pile of skeletons that were clearly from children. It’s a bad vibe….

Riaeki asks Nalia if she knows what’s going on with her whole thing. Afa mentions that she knows it would take a powerful cleric to reverse a lingering effect of a curse. Riaeki asks Robin if there is a temple of healing in the city. He does, and Riaeki says he should come with them as well, as insurance.

At the temple of Elu, they seek help and pay 200 gold for a greater restoration to be performed on Nalia. She feels great!

Afterwards, Riaeki goes to the temple of Rashul to get some answers, which nonetheless remain elusive. Sharzad talks with Robin who is similarly intractable. Afa and Nalia hug and then go look for some special potatoes. Afa says she’d like to visit her parents when they’re done here.

The gang discuss what to do next and the possible dangers about continuing with the Family. Then they decide (naturally) to go see another show. After Sharzad spends some time talking confusingly with a man advertising a racy dancehall show, the gang decides to go see a morality play that Afa is familiar with. Sharzad and Riaeki get into a big conversation about the show. Nalia notices Sharzad is wearing Riaeki’s ring and tells Afa. After whispering about it for a while, Afa hops down and tries to sleight of hands Riaeki and Sharzad’s hands.

The group eventually agrees to go back to the cabaret place even though Sharzad says it doesn’t make sense because there isn’t a “story”. Afa has a good time watching all her friends be very uncomfortable. After a lot of embarrassment, they head over to ”the vegetable play.” Sharzad and Riaeki get in a dancing contest. They have a conversation about how they feel and why Riaeki gave Sharzad the ring. THEN THEY KISS!!!!!!!

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Session Thirty-Seven

Last time: We hold a contest to see who wins the ring of jumping, Riaeki does some Stunts, we get dolled up to go out to the club, go to the club, Sharzad accidentally seduces someone who works for the family, gets offered a job, Sharzad attempts to do some mobwork, gets interrupted by a kiss (rude), apprehends the drug addict friend, covers their debt to get a job, offers the drug addict friend a job, Afa and Nalia ABANDON US, and Sharzad and Riaeki have a very non-standard Declaration, resulting in Riaeki kissing Sharzad, and Riaeki running out the door.

We pick up with Nalia and Afa, with Nalia eavesdropping. They gossip- Afa’s noticed that Sharzad’s ‘sparkly-eyed’, but is surprised that Riaeki kissed first. Afa composes a strange, farcical love song story of the events that is Very Much For Everyone Here. After that… bawwdy tale, Afa tells the story of her first kiss with her girlfriend, which involved jumping out of a tree to overcome height differences.

Sharzad, stunned, waits a few moments to go after Riaeki- but decides better halfways across the square and heads back into the tavern, playing knives to get out some emotion. And Riaeki is running.

The city around Riaeki, as she runs, is Calm, Completely Still, and Quiet. She runs and runs, through the entertainment district, past the huge elevators, until finally reaching a strange, high-arched bridge heading into the sky-ward. Finally, she ascends to the Statue, and she gets in it. She looks up at the statue and asks, “Is this allowed? Am I allowed this?” There’s no response. “I didn’t expect an answer, but you seem to have an opinion on everything I do, so I thought you’d have rules. But. If you won’t come down and talk to me about it, then I’ll do what I want.” Suddenly, she notices someone. A young woman, in her late teens, perhaps a half-elf, perhaps an aasimar? Her skin is silver, her skin a warm brown. She’s perching crosslegged on the fountain, and says, “Hi!”

They discuss the stormfather- her Uncle asked her to check in on Riaeki, but didn’t give lots of details- and after veering into plot-relevant material, they turn back to the issue at hand: whether or not Riaeki is allowed to have her own problems. She mentions that she loved someone once- the High Elf depicted in the statue. She says that Riaeki is allowed to liver her own life, and reassures Riaeki that she’s not going to be turned to dust when her job is done. They discuss being undead vs. Alive Again, the angel clarifies that Riaeki is the latter. Riaeki asks a personal question: “If Iroth had come for him, and you couldn’t do anything about it, how could you keep going?” She responds, “It’s hard to remember how limited you feel. It was a long time ago- I’m not sure. I think I would’ve become worse than I was if that had happened.”
“That’s what I was afraid of.”
“He became worse than he was after I left.”
“That’s the other thing that I was afraid of.”
“He always had that in him.”
Riaeki says that she doesn’t know how the find grace, and she doesn’t know what it is to look for it in herself. But she finds it the person who fights next to her- in the thing that happens when they’re together. The angel clarifies that divinity is inside all of us, and that’s how the gods were made. The angel lives, and Riaeki realizes it’s dawn (and Riaeki misty steps in response), and heads back to the tavern, arriving just as the dawn ccomes to full swing.

Sharzad had stayed up the whole night playing knives, and was asleep draped over a chain. Riaeki slips the ring of jumping on her finger. Sharzad wakes up though, seeing Riaeki for a second before she dissappears through misty step. Sharzad puts away the knives, and goes to sleep, stopping for a second upon realizing that Riaeki was inside.

The next morning, Afa, Nalia, and Riaeki get breakfast, while Selene and Sharzad take food, discuss northern dating traditions, and mercenary terms. They return and decided on how to deal with the mob, and choose mob names.

They head to the mob, are asked to give over their items. Afa keeps her rod, Riaeki keeps her sword, and Nalia’s staff. They enter. Sharzad messes up Afa’s name, calling her Nelly Hamara, and nalia on the spot chooses the name chaos, and leads the group to meet the Board. Inside, we see a halfling with blonde hair- who Afa recognizes. Afa introduces herself, the halfling doesn’t react much, and the man Sharzad met last night introduces himself as Khataar. They lay down the ground rules: cross them, we die, if we join up permanent-like, we get more cash. He offers 100 gold each for the job of clearing out this haunted house. We discuss terms, and head out. And as we leave, Robin the halfling follows us. Riaeki confronts Robin, and they talk- he knows who Afa is. He explains that Afa is Fae-folk, and that means she has no soul. We… disagree. Riaeki proposes we kill him, bu Afa disagrees.

Robin leads us to the Haunted House (taking a route over some very precarious bridges (rude)).It’s a single long building, two stories high. It’s… rough down here. People are on edge of death all around us. We approach a woman sitting on the stoop: “So you want to clear this place out again?” Robin: “Yep.” Sharzad goes to fix the ball for some kids. The woman asks why Sharzad did what she did, and she lies, badly, before Afa makes her tell the truth. Rila (the woman) explains that Things tend to move in when buildings get abandoned. The Things like kids. Riaeki asks about how the monsters hunt, and when the kids get Taken. We ask some questions about the beast together, deciding to consecrate any Remains we find, and Afa asks Riaeki to sense what’s within the building. Robin takes a moment to insult Afa one last time before entering, and Sharzad protests. Robin explains: he hates Afa because he believes she’s a child killer, and Riaeki lies about also killing children. Sharzad notices that Riaeki is lying, and Robin is not. We head inside, Robin leading. We head up to the second floor- and nearby, on the wall, is a small dark handprint. Bad.

We discuss tactics- perhaps Afa could scream like a child, amplified by prestidigitation? Riaeki wants not to fight in the hallway- she opens up a door, and we hear the sound of a laughing child. We Worry, but also some discussion of spirits, we enter the room. Nalia sees a face in the wall. We discuss consecrations. Sharzad hears a voice in the hall, and Riaeki sees a door open in the hall, with a childlike figure peeking out of it, before ducking back away. We discuss, and Sharzad tries to feel the Spirits within the place.
The spirit appears, and demands we entertain her. Riaeki attempts to Turn her with Divinity, but it doesn’t work. Afa sings, and Nalia makes dancing lights. Sharzad continues to meditate, while Riaeki reads the creatures’ mind. It’s old, and playful, and very dead. She dives deeper- it’s so old, it’s forgotten so many thing. Sharzad consecrates her weapon, and fires upon the creature.

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