The Sea's Revenge

Session Eighty-One

The gang are almost on their way! They make some last preparations including sending a message to Rehka about the fact they’re alive now still, setting up their cart and mules (Daffodil and Tornado).

On the road, Lillith drives the cart while everyone else piles in. She and Thorn have a light conversation about the members of the party, where they’re from, etc. Sharzad uses her special eyes to look around at the flora and fauna.

Just then, there’s a crash and rocks fall behind us, blocking off the trail. Seconds later more rocks fall, blocking off the way forward too. As the dust settles, some lizard-like creatures appear…

Battle time!! The gang (minus Oruxim, still in the wagon because Vampire) do their best against the basilisks. But no sooner are they defeated than some FREAKIN GIANTS roll out! Oruxim emerges to help with the effort. In the fray, Lillith gets petrified and “absorbed” into one of the giants! Ksenja takes down the other giant. The session ends with the other giant falling at the gang looking at the aftermath, wondering what to do about Lillith…

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Session Eighty

Last time on glee: jewel fraud and lawful transfer with hell for valuables!

Now we are coming to the surface: we see a stone staircase and a glimmer of light. The air is fresher here; the gate is large; the gate is unguarded and the gang goes through. The sun is setting and coming to night. It is high summer. There is snow on the ground. Emotions run the gamut: Riaeki is VERY HAPPY and Ksenja HAS NEVER SEEN THE SKY BEFORE.

I have forgotten to take notes for half an hour bc my head hurts and Soren put a james bond hotel in the chat I’m sorry

We make our way to a tourist trap elf hotelf and Riaeki elfs it up and gets us three rooms for the six of us – Riaeki/Sharzad, Oruxim/Nalia, Lilith/Ksenja (though Oruxim heavily angles for Riaeki to share the room, for “blood”, probably, SURE).

Lilith and Ksenja chat about networking in Gephyyra, with Lilith promising to introduce Ksenja to the House of Ink (Cousin Devon is smarter than he seems, she promises). Sharzad knocks and wants to talk about crops and resource allocation, fearing starvation, wanting noble backing. UNFORTUNATELY WHILE SHARZAD IS OVER HERE, ORUXIM PAYS A VISIT TO RIAEKI, FOR CONSENSUAL BLEEDING. They get overexcited and she punches him in the face. She says she has a real job and can’t be chasing him around to not do murder all the time up top. They promise to have better control.

The Gang wakes up and LEARN THAT THE SUN WAS A MISTAKE. Riaeki goes to the butcher and buys some blood. Sharzad tries to buy a mule from a small and horrible high-elf man, which is complicated by the fact that Sharzad doesn’t know what a mule is. She receives the merchant’s worst possible mules. Lilith buys Ksenja sunglasses! We go down to hotel breakfast (dim sum!). There’s a tabaxi here. The players take fifteen minutes to debate the most fuckable biome. The tabaxi introduces himself as Thorns on the Vine, of the Bright Cliff clan, and says he’s going to Gephyyra: he got “caught in an avalanche” and lost his purse and his partner but not his goods (SURE, JAN). The gang decides, in what is surely a grand decision, to let him hitchhike, and lo, we endeth the sesh!

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Session Seventy-Nine

Last time on Shardside:
We put together a plan to get through customs, bribing Jorun to get us through customs, which we manage to get through… barely. Jorun demands more items for trade, but we manage to convince them we’ve handed over our valuables with some gems and drugs. Sharzad & Riaeki head to do some trade while Orishim & Ksenia disguise themselves.

Amazingly, Ksenia is the one of us that knows most about where the city of Ealdcyth is located in the world- it’s in the human nation of Eredal, next to the origin of the river leading into Gephyyra and the grand lake created by the high elves, with a canal leading to the Kineshi swamp.

Ksenia informs the others of this, letting them know that there’s a waystation above ground, and trying to convince the others that Dwarves Suck So Much. She points to an archway: “What kind of culture is that?” She continues to try to convince the others not to stay in the city a long time.

Sharzad praises Riaeki for her haggling skills, though she advises toning it down a bit; Riaeki asks Sharzad not to break the ‘don’t talk more than you need to’ rule. They proceed back to the others, considering the risks and rewards of continuing to trade.

They come back to the others discussing the benefits of a nice bath and a fine meal. Sharzad and Riaeki discover they’ve been considering travelling to Gephyyra to stay with Lillith’s merchant family, which Riaeki reacts… badly to. Riaeki is nervous and fearful of this, especially at Lillith’s proposal that her family could help her take back her birthright, sitting down on the cave floor until Sharzad suggests that she and the others discuss this later… maybe after getting out of the underground.

We begin sneaking out, with Pass Without A Trace helping us stay unnoticed (though Nalia still sticks out like a sore thumb), passing through a market to a huge upwards ramp, heading up, and up, and up, as the crowd thins out. We continue on, finding a new way upward, passing through a military district before coming out into a merchant district. We come out into a merchant district and begin looking about for trade goods. Sharzad is good at seeing things but very bad at noticing what’s important. Lillith finds a fine jewelry shop, and Riaeki and Sharzad find a magical item shop. Ksenia hangs around the Jewelry shop, seeing how amazing & varied the gems are. Nalia heads to the Jewelry shop to look for spell components. Lillith & Ksenia head into the gem shop, meeting with a store employee. Lillith finds an amazing piece made with Tanzanite, and continues on looking around. She speaks with the store owner about Sapphires and Tanzanites, and the store owner turns to disguised!Ksenia, who asks about finding gems in bulk to trade for resale. She states that they do have gems for resale, and Ksenia asks about signing a contract to bring gems to the surface… a contract she /probably/ won’t honor.

Sharzad and Riaeki meet a Tiefling at the magic shop, a friendly individual. Riaeki greets him, and he leads them up into the magical item shop. We come up into the shop, where a summoning circle is set up. He asks us what we want, and Riaeki says that as a mercenary company, we’re looking for items that can help us subdue people, defeat undead, etc. He says he’s contacting his manager, sets up in front of the summoning circle, then asks if we’re familiar with extraplanar entities, explaining that they summon their items from a place where things that are lost tend to end up. He tears open a hope in the fabric of reality (scaring the hell out of Riaeki and Sharzad) and they hear a voice, loud, booming, “What do you need?” The shopkeeper says, “We have people who need help with their mercenary company” and the entity says, “I’ll go look in the back.” Riaeki asks about how this came to be, and the shopkeep explains he went on a murdering spree, started hearing voices, and signed a contract to expand their influence on the material plane… by building a store. Amazing. Riaeki asks him to contact her in Calafort if he ever wants to expand onto the surface, giving the name Tiatha Willowherb. The Entity comes back with a series of items, and Riaeki picks out a shimmering cape and some fine plate armor, which the Tiefling explains enhance abilities and provide additional protection, respectively. Riaeki decides to offer things for trade, offering her sapphire, which turns out to be an enchanted stone of summoning water elemental, which the shopkeeper says he’ll give both for. They make the trade and get the hell out of dodge.

Meanwhile, Ksenia earns a Deceptive Contract, and Lillith takes a look at some fine hair pieces, mostly suited to her aesthetic. She buys a series of fine silver & gem pieces to weave into her hair for formal events. The shopkeeper returns with a massive amount of gems for Ksenia to transport, and says it’s for Tiatha Altaris- Riaeki’s sister. She describes Riaeki’s sister as talented and smart (but having gone through a lot, her sister & father having died in a terrible accident). Ksenia smiles, accepts the package, and they leave.

We all meet up in the market, and discuss what we’ve gone through. We buy approximately 600g worth of jewelry, for about 375g, and head out, having utterly failed to be either official looking or to haggle.

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Session Seventy-Eight

LAST TIME, ON DND: we put the lime in the coconut and vampired our bag

  • lilith returns as a bat. she met some smugglers who we might be able to talk to about sneaking ksenja through. ksenja can read dwarvish so we’re good.
  • sidebar about how we can’t remember one of their names so they’re both named gunvald
  • oruxim still thinks they might need to be invited, which lilith may need to use her fancy words to get. nalia worries that oruxim might not be able to leave the bag because they don’t have permission.
  • we have a long discussion about who needs to give them permission and whether we can circumvent it with semantics. it seems like no. riaeki makes a joke about orxuim needing blood and sharzad notices that they seem more jaunty and vivacious since the underdark.
  • the group talks to ksenja and oruxim about their preferences for getting snooked through the city. we decide that ksenja and lilith will find one of the smugglers to smuggle us into the city, where ksenja will then disguise her self, and hopefully orxuim will get permission to come out of the bag.
  • ksenja and lilith cast invisibility and go to look for smugglers. they find a large dwarven woman who is flipping a knife gay-ily. her nametag says jorun redstone.
  • they talk to her invisibly from an alley. like criminals. lilith mentions she’s talked to zirshell (the woman in the prison). she doesn’t seem like she’s going to immediately kill them. she demands to know the party size, which is uh. debatable. ksenja materializes and says it’s ‘5 and a body’ which seems to go over fine. she says she’ll get the four of us the paperwork and sneak ksenja and oruxim through for ‘coin or equivalent’
  • they settle on 2000g and some drugs basically. wait for the flashing blue light and bring just those of us who are not underdarkians.
  • lilith and ksenja return and we discuss how we’re going to pay to be smorgled.
  • lilith and riaeki spend the waiting time training sharzad in other fighitng forms. lilith trains sharzad in akido style martial arts. sharzad doesn’t take to it particularly well. nalia learns some new spells.
  • jorun gives us papers saying that we went on a scientific expedition to the underdark and would now like to leave it please. we all have generic names like sven rockbeard and merry ezajel ditchwater. and mike truk
  • time to go through customs and enter ealdcyth!
  • we declare the bare minimum of stuff and hope no one checks the handy haversack. so far no. now its time to lie to customs. lilith tries to be diplomatic. riaeki is very blunt. nalia is kind of meandering. sharzad nearly gets arrested (because she says horses live underground) but the dwarf tells her to shush.
  • now its time for security! we get patdowns and they’re very perturbed by the number of weapons we have. lilith explains that the haversack is empty because we ate all the food rations. riaeki makes sure she can bring the ‘empty’ bag and everything in it through. we’re checked one last time and then sent through into the city!
  • we emerge in a seedy tourist street where they try to rip you off. jorun is there and leads us into an alleyway. riaeki and the group and jorun all chastise sharzad for the horse thing. ksenja asks what the quickest way to the surface is. jorun says to follow the customs people until we get to the higher levels and then there will be less security. it still won’t be safe for ksenja or orxuim to walk around.
  • jorun demands further payment after ksenja gives her drugs and we realize we’re surrounded by shady people. sharzad gives her more gems reluctantly. orxuim comes out of the bag and hides themselves in their hood. sharzad decides to find items for trade. riaeki goes with her to be better at talking.
  • sharzad and riaeki find that there aren’t too many gem sellers, but there are merchants selling goods that they don’t have on the surface. riaeki pretends to be a dumb tourist and then intimidates one of the sellers into giving her a discount so she won’t tell surface dwarves that they rip off tourists. she buys a bunch of seeds.
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Session Seventy-Seven

First: establishing some business that happened when we were all in the underdark.
Sharzad goes gem-hunting. She’s good at spotting shiny things, she’s good at determining what things are valuable, but she’s not good at obtaining them without injury and damages. In the end, she ends up with a tidy pile of shinies.

We have Nalia identify all the items we took from the library.
Record of Cyrus Tarran: (small, looks like music box). Has a spell, a modified version of magic mouth. It contains a message that will play when you open it.
A heretical account of the ascension: scroll from the archives from the archives of Mirithel: not inherently magical, a historical scroll
Emilan’s mind: the flask with the stuff inside. A sense of divination and abjuration magic. It almost gives a false positive for the spell “feeblemind.” If you drink from it, you access whatever it contains.

Reading the heretical account of the ascension: it was written by a priest of Mirithel. This person is writing events as they happen to them, but was afraid to be found out while writing. It is an account of Yleth overthrowing the other gods: raising an army from the dead until she was powerful enough to attack. This scroll has other information: before this happened, the gods lived on earth in their temples! When Yleth moved against them, they were cast out of this realm into a prison, fraying the connection between this priest and Mirithel. At the time of writing this, there was no contact from the gods (suggesting that the gods have found ways to wiggle through the cracks a bit). The account ends while describing the beginning of Yleth’s rule.
Riaeki thinks that the author may have been the high priest.

We decide to let Nalia listen to the record of Cyrus Tarran, but keep everyone else at a distance so we can help in case something goes wrong.
Ir is someone (Cyrus I guess) making a vocal record of research in his lab. He’s talking about the sliver. He can’t get a full read on all its powers and properties. It is suspended above a pit, doesn’t react bad to people approaching it. It is powerful, but does not belong to any particular school of magic (it is “creative magic”). He thinks that it wants to be whole, and if there were the other pieces it would combine. He has not found a bottom to the pit.
Listening to the accent, Nalia thinks that the original language was either dialects of common from tribes in Artakshad or else, old common from Valeq.
To try to learn more, about perhaps the location of this sliver, Nalia casts legend lore on the sliver. She hears YLETH: “you seek the heart of my trap. The place i put the knife in their backs. The place where someone strong enough might pull it out again. This is all that you seek, but when you find it, the choices you make might destroy you. And everyone. So choose wisely. Do you /really/ want the gods to walk the world again?”
A couple days later, she casts the spell again, this time on Cyrus Tarran. She sees a vast expanse of golden sand with a city: bustling, vibrant, and clearly Orcish. She sees a room in this city, richly decorated and full of books. In the room is a tall human man, young but with an air of authority, debating with some orcs that are dressed for labwork. And then, the man walking down a hallway, ducking behind a tapestry to a secret passageway leading to a private room where there is an orcish woman in colors of red and gold. They pull out scrolls and discuss. Then: zoom out and see armies of red and gold. And then, a throne room with a monarch and his throat is cut: its the Orcish woman and Cyrus is with her.
Then, back in his lab there are plans to harness the magic an artifact gives off. They city prospers and grows. And becomes Artakshad.

The gang discusses the implication of the Empire of Artakshad running on the energy of a god prison, and Sharzad is generally unhappy.’

Lilith and Sharzad remember their history. The orcish woman Nalia saw was the founder of the Empire herself: Ameretat, Bronze-Bound, Victor of the Ten Trials, Eagle-Eyed, Queen of Ravad, the Immortal, Empress of Artakhshad and Goresh.

Sharzad then tells us some news from Dahrki Angyr that she’s not shared with us. It turns out, Shabaz is actually Roshanak, the princess of the whole empire, and she is working with the rebellion. Sharzad’s sister Bahi trusts her, but Sharzad does not. We decide to send a message to Bahi telling her some of the information we have.
Nalia gets in contact with Bahi, and says we need to know why Roshanak has decided to join the rebellion as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Bahi is annoyed that Sharzad shared this confidential information. After verifying that it is Sharzad behind the messages, Bahi explains. There is a man Kian, who is a rising star in the empire and Roshanak’s betrothed. She suspects that her father wants to give Kian the crown, and to stop this she wants to destabilize the empire, even to the point of freeing the city.

NOW back to the present… we are at Dwarven Customs.
Lilith scouts out the area and follows a guard and sees some of the security measures, and flies into one of them. She becomes entangled in a net. A dwarf reaches up and folds the net around her, and deposits her into a room. This is where all the creatures that try to get through get placed, so there are spiders and rats, and a duergar. The duergar had been trying to get past disguised as a bird. She gives Lilith some names of corrupt guards, eindride, gunvald and gunvald that might be bribeable, but there’s not much more either of them can do and soon goes back to sleep.

Meanwhile, the gang discusses what to do. Ksenja examines the architecture and manages to pick out some routes that are perhaps more dangerous, but less guarded. They discuss the respective merits of being caught in a rockfall vs. having to be in dwarven company.

Riaeki discovers that her connection to Rashul is a little stronger closer to the surface. Oruxim sits down next to her and they discuss what the surface is like, including trying to describe lightning. Oruxim reveals that they cannot enter the guarded city without being invited and we brainstorm solutions. Riaeki offers the suggestion that we knock them out and drag them past the checkpoint. Then we discuss the possibility of putting them in the handy haversack while we cross the border. Oruxim manages to fluidly climb into the haversack and it is very strange to watch. Unfortunately, Ksenja needs to breathe to this solution will not work for smuggling her past. Then Oruxim suggests casting water breathing and putting water over Ksenja’s head. Unfortunately, there’s not enough room for the two of them in the bag.

Lilith finally gets free (though she’s put in the SAME NET as BIG SPIDERS) and makes it back in time to see Riaeki pulling Oruxim out of the handy haversack.

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Session Seventy-Six

oh worm…still on that underdark grind. we remember to send sending as we set out again. Nalia finds out from Rehka that the gang has actually been gone for two months, not two weeks, and had been assumed dead. This throws everyone for a bit of a loop. Ksenja notes that time doesn’t pass differently in the Underdark as a rule, so she’s not sure what that’s about.

The next morning, the gang leaves with Oruxim. So long, Orb!

The following events happen over the next two weeks.
♫shrek and donkey travel montage music♫

~ Ksenja, sensing that Lilith is the only one with any sense (fair) decides to try to get to know her better. They have a conversation by the fireside one night about their reasons for traveling with this group of dummies and their lives and interests. Lilith reflects on her past life in court. Ksenja is keen to learn about the ins and out of intrigue on the surface. Sharzad overhears and decides later to throw a little surprise dinner party for Lilith to help her feel a little less homesick. Nalia does thaumaturgy thunderclaps and Ksenja provides conjured bioluminescent confetti. Lilith is touched and teaches everyone to dance.

~ Lilith takes Oruxim aside and checks in with them about how the group is treating them re: the vampire stuff. She also tells them a bit about how vampires are perceived on the surface. Ksenja asks later if it was polite to do this (out of genuine curiosity about social norms) and they have a thoughtful conversation about it.

~ Riaeki has a convo with Oruxim one night when neither of them are sleeping (on account of neither of them sleep much at night…) She asks about Yleth and their service to her. Oruzim talks a bit about their past and the teachings etc they encountered as an acolyte and devotee. Riaeki discovers that Nexxaya found/believed that when Yleth exiled the other gods she imprisoned them— the key to that prison was fractured into gifts given to her followers. So Nexxaya wanted the keys to prevent Yleth’s enemies from releasing the other gods and preventing the return of Yleth herself. This is somewhat different than what Riaeki has heard so far, but Oruxim suggests the gods may be bound from speaking of it. They talk a bit about Riaeki’s past, and Oruxim’s too. Later, Oruxim asks Lilith about Riaeki’s past, and what resources she’d have if she reclaimed her family name and legacy. They learn that Riaeki had a fiance (a distant relation of Lilith’s!) in a former life who had been sent away to study magic.

~ Nalia asks Sharzad if it’s OK if she tries teaching magic some more when they get back. Sharzad is very enthusiastic about this and asks if she can learn a bit too. Riaeki joins in for some of these sessions. Nalia was inspired to try teaching again basically by reading a hs manga (a semi-illustrated light novel of some kind Thava gave her). Riaeki asks if Nalia will help train Celeste too, and Nalia agrees.

~ Riaeki has a bad fall and breaks her arm pretty badly. This causes some difficulty for Oruxim— there is a lot of blood. They ask if Riaeki can take the watch by herself and she agrees. That night, Oruxim appears and confirms with Riaeki that she wants to donate some blood and Riaeki agrees. Nalia overhears this exchange and checks in the next morning to see if Riaeki is ok. They agree in the unlikely even it happens again Nalia will keep an eye out in case Oruxim can’t stop.

~ Cave-in! Sharzad and Ksenja are trapped together while the two groups of the party try to dig out. They extremely argue with each other but manage to dig out their side without killing each other or anyone else. Later, Oruxim and Ksenja have a discussion about, basically, Oruxim and how they perceives themselves. Ksenja says they do not do harm but Oruxim disagrees. Oruxim says they trust Ksenja to stake them if need be and Ksenja says Sure! and they both shake on it.

♫end of shrek and donkey montage music♫

Being in the Underdark for so long has affected some members of the party in a weird way! Nalia has white streaks in her hair, Riaeki has bioluminescent blood…and Lilith becomes more ethereal and taller, her fingers and neck more slender etc (SCREAM!!!)

And at last, the gang has reached the top of the Underdark— dwarven customs!

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Session 75

IT WON’T LET ME WRITE OUT THE NUMBERS


Last time in Che’el D’anonen: Ksenja and Nalia went shopping and met a teen, Lilith and Riaeki went to yell at a god (any god), Sharzad went a-sadforgin’ and recruited a bored deep janeen for the side of good (sure!).

Sharzad returns to the hostel last, sees Lilith (who is meditating) and goes over to hover awkwardly. She asks for Lilith’s help negotiating, says she wants to talk to someone she believes will be sympathetic to their cause and, in the process of explaining this, tells Lilith and Riaeki about Amaetris, the deep janeen. Riaeki is… unconvinced. Sharzad thinks if she can offer nonviolent firearms to the svirfneblin council she can bring them around. Lilith and Riaeki ask why Sharzad chose guns, if she’s so interested in not killing; she says it’s all she’s good at. Lilith explains monasticism to Sharzad. It takes a long time and does nothing for Sharzad’s insecurities.

They go off to find Jaravi, the councilwoman fire genasi. Lilith thinks it might be too late to meet; Sharzad proceeds to ignore Lilith’s first piece of advice, after bringing her for her advice. It’s fine, the council is still in assembly. Lilith nobles over to them and tells them Sharzad wants to make nonlethal guns. After some light philosophical debate club, Javasti admits to having killed in her life and isn’t philosophically opposed but wants Sharzad to weigh her actions and ask herself why she does the things that she does. Regarding guns, she recommends Sharzad talk to a mage.

Nalia and Riaeki go to the liiiiiiibrary! It’s a lovely, pleasant cottage façade, infuriating Ksenja. Nalia explains books to Riaki, who gets it. The gang gets a survey of underdark races; they focus on the drow, who came from caves beyond the mountains and were converted to the worship of Yleth, believing she will rise and rule again. Oruxim confesses they were resurrected as a devotee of Yleth. Riaeki wants their tips on ghosting a god. She doesn’t believe it is possible that the gods forsake control over their resurrected, but they offer a living proof. They gave up human blood and left her service with no repercussions. She tells them that Yleth has returned, in Nexxaya’s body: “You are fucked,” says Oruxim. They not only know Ylethaen worship, they knew Nexxaya in person. And they believe what Riaeki says: in the last week, they wondered what their son’s blood would taste like. They haven’t wondered a thought like that in centuries.

Riaeki recruits Oruxim! They are willing to leave and travel to the surface with them: they don’t trust themself around their family. Riaeki returns to the hostel and tells the party that she’s bringing them along—oh, and that the first thing the party should keep in mind is that she will be feeding him, thank you very much. The party, shockingly, has a low opinion of this. Sharzad wants to take Riaeki’s place. Lilith would like to know why Riaeki thinks the party should (or will) protect the vampire’s well-being over Riaeki’s. Ksenja would like to point out that there are lots of edible live things in the Underdark and “hey vampire, murder me for food” is a pretty bad lead, when Riaeki is generally useful to the party.

We end there. Riaeki has persuaded exactly no one that her being murdered by a vampire is a good idea.

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Interlude: Lightheart Company 2

Last time: The Mercenaries of the Lightheart company find themselves in a bandit camp! They break free but have to flee into the forest on horseback, pursued by the bandits. They make camp for the night with limited supplies, but in their sleep are given a vision of a bounty of gold. This is clearly a trap, but some of the mercenaries fall for it; they head out to go find this gold and the others come along to stop themselves from dying.

Lydia sees something crawling out of the coffin- a long-limbed green skinned thing, so fast it looks like an insect. It jumps onto Lydia’s shoulders and laughs at her, saying “She’s gonna be maaaa~aaad”, before stabbing into Lydia twice and fleeing.

  • A long spindly creature with darkness for eyes, like a distorted, thorny human-shaped tree emerges from the ground.
  • Caspian attempts to fire at the speedy creature, but misses; he rushes towards towards the dryad in order to get in her face. He slashes again, and cuts into her, carving a huge gash in its side.
  • The dryad holds her own blood up to Caspian and says, “Why would you do that to mean?” A power washes over him, and suddenly he believes the Dryad is his friend. She says to him, “PROTECT THE GROVE”. He nods.
  • Golnar panics, and throws a sphere of flame towards the dryad, ramming it into her. Around the sphere the grass begins to combust. It doesn’t seem too effective, but it works.
  • Anara summons her energy around her, and makes a force to pull the speed creature towards her- but it resist the pull towards her.
  • A shrub-like creature rises right next to Celeste, and attacks her, tearing into her and ripping at her flesh, as well as holding her in place.
  • Celeste points a finger at Lydia, telling her “You’re not allowed to die!” and covers her in holy light, healing her. She turns back to the shrub and says, “But you are.” She places a hand on it and it instantly begins to decompose, growing slimy and sloughing off skin.
  • The speedling attacks Golnar, tearing into her wildly and nearly bringing her down.
  • Caspian tries to protect the grove, but throwing his armor on the fire doesn’t really help stop it. The dryad admonishes him- “No, you idiot, kill them!”
  • The dryad flees the fire, and covers itself in a shroud of thickened bark.
  • Golnar throws the firesphere after the Dryad, but it manages to dodge, only taking minimal burns. She throws a firebolt after the speedling but misses, and it laughs at her
  • Anara rushes to Lydia and resurrects her, before taunting Caspian. “Snap out of it!”
  • Celeste stabs the Shrub to death, then rushes towards the quickling to draw it’s attention from Golnar.
  • The Quickling takes the bait, jumping on Celeste and stabbing her until she falls.
  • Caspian tries to convince Lydia to flee, but he’s not very convincing. He suggests to the Dryad that “Maybe we shouldn’t kill them” and she replies, “They’re burning my home!”
  • Lydia gets up and rushes to the quickling, attempting to stab it with her rapier- but it dodges out of the way at incredible speed. Lydia stands over Celeste’s body and says, “If you stab her I stab you.”
  • The dryad steps into the tree behind her, fading into the bark, then emerges from a tree behind the quickling. She looks at Caspian, and says “You are USELESS”, shifting her attention to Golnar- but Golnar resists her gaze, and Caspian is suddenly offended at being dumped.
  • Golnar looks at the two of them, and screams, unleashing a wave of sonic energy- cracking the bark of the Dryad until it falls apart, and the Quickling bursts, in a puff of blood.

Golnar dismisses the orb, and the the fire quickly dies away on the cool wet grass. Anara heals Celeste, who slowly recovers. Lydia begins shoving gold into her bag, until Golnar protests, “I killed everything and all you did was die! I should get the gold!”

Anara goes to investigate the gold, but only is able to tell that this gold seems to come from a lot of different countries. Celeste goes to heal Golnar- right after she does, though, she realizes most of the party is hurt, actually, and casts prayer of healing, returning everyone to full. Lydia pockets 15 gold, and Capsian pockets 6g, while the the rest is taken by the party- 1213g, 203s, and 94c. Lydia also find a magic dagger, a gem, and a drug-flower.

We travel back to the city (poorly). Lydia eats the flower, gets high, and asks Golnar to tell her everything about everything. Celeste talks to Lydia and proposes that they use the extra gold to try to scry for the founders of the guild. Caspian counters that they could have the extra gold for themselves. They don’t really agree.

They return to Calafort the next day, and realize that it’s snowing. Celeste tries to say that this is an extra good reason to scry for the founders, with which the others counter, “What, can they control the weather?” They head to the guild hall, now finishes- Long tall and thin, like a longhouse, with large double doors and purple theme of banners and cushioned chairs.

Anara talks to Eagan, who’s tending the fire (god of the hearth and all), to talk about the weather. He lets her know that usually it doesn’t snow in Calafort… at all. Golnar goes to let Minu know about how the job went; she’s disturbed, but amazed we managed to make 1000g. She asks us to hand over the gold, and we all do, except Lydia, who’s reluctant. Lydia is eventually convinced to give the rest of her share over. Mahsa comes over and lectures us. Yay. Lydia hands over the magical dagger to find out if it’s cursed. Everyone’s on edge about the current weather, a sign of Yleth, and Minu counts the money to hand out the commissions.

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Interlude: Lightheart Company 1

The Group has been away for TWO MONTHS!!! Big yike
They looked for us but who knows
Mhasa is here! She is keeping everyone in line
Lydia has stolen money from the guildhall funds. Caspian helped
We wake up super hungover and tied to poles in the middle of a FANTASY RAVE (more like a festival)
We took a job to go to apprehend bandits that were causing trouble on a trade road. We got to the bandits camp and there were like a brillion of them. We went in anyway. It ended bad probably
Lydia tries to escape and manages to bite off the rope on her feet, but the bandits notice and come over and manacle them. They are not impressed with Lydia.
The bandit camp is fairly large, with walls that are basically spikes and a bonfire.
Celeste Mulan’s her way up and over the pole, and sneakily undoes Caspian’s bonds. She thinks we need to go confront the bandits when we’re all free, which seems like a bad idea.
Caspian rolls away.
The rest of the gang tries to come up with a plan. Golnar suggests retreat, which is a tactic. Anara wants to go. Lydia thinks they could wait for the ransom, and then take the ransom, and then leave. Celeste points out that that’s the company’s money. Lydia wasn’t going to steal from them!!! (she is lying)
Caspian contemplates loot. He thinks the best loot is probably kept by the captain’s tent.
He comes back with our weapons and we cut ourselves free while discussing the best plan of action. We decide to try to run for it and not steal the horses.
Caspian, celeste, and lydia make it over the fence. Golnar and anara do not. Golar tries to lift anara and she still fails, so s he decides to levitate. Lydia does not spook the horses and unlocks the horse door. Golnar hulks out and climbs over the spikes.
We each take a horse and debate the merits of stealing the other horses. This probably will slow us down. We decide to just ride our horses. Celeste tries to convince the other horses to run, but she doesn’t speak horse.
We gallop out. This makes noise. We are chased. Arrows are fired at us. It’s bad because we have no hit points. Golnar casts mage armor on herself. Lydia yells ‘we’re on your side’ in thieves’ cant. It does not work. Anara casts ray of frost. Celeste cures wounds on Golnar. Caspian shoots his hand crossbow.
We enter a spooky forest. It’s way too cold for may, because of YLETH but we don’t know that. We discuss whether we want to keep going or set up camp for the night. Lydia instantly goes to sleep. Anara can’t figure out which plants are comfy. Lydia finds magic mushrooms. Caspian, Lydia and Celeste take them. Lydia and Celeste are SUPER fucked up and lydia thinks she’s a fractal. Golnar finds some carrots and berries and gives them to Anara. Everyone goes to sleep.
Anara takes first watch. The bandits look for us but never get quite close enough to find us. She wakes Golnar for the second shift. The forest is spoopy. Golnar falls asleep for a second and SEES SOMETHING BEHIND HER EYES! But she resists it. It’s an image of a forest clearing with a big stone something, like a sarcophagus. In it she sees THE GLEAM OF GOLD.
Golnar thinks she would have felt compelled to seek out this gold.
The rest of us…… are compelled to seek out this gold.
Don’t do drugs kids
There’s an argument about the value of gold even if it’s in a very obvious trap. Caspian, still under compulsion, can feel where the gold is, and we follow him to the clearing. Golnar crisps up a bunny for breakfast.
Eventually we come upon a clearing that looks exactly like the vision. Definitely not trapped. Lydia and caspian go right for it.
The gold is real! Some of them… have blood on them.
THE FOREST COMES ALIVE!

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