From Ashes... Reborn

Into the Dark
(Darkness Falls)

It has been a month since the encounter with Kix Rockgroin and Evil Tavor. Rock was incommunicado for a significant length of this time.
A cloaked man, wearing baggy pants, a vest which had seen better times, and a knife at his side, appeared at some point and has been seen only, albeit rarely, with Eliza. He is quite muscular.

Calthus woke up in a privileged person’s home (the former elder’s house) where he had been staying. He dressed and emerged to hunt for breakfast. He is enthusiastically greeted by an older woman who gives him his breakfast fruit without charge. Apparently the whole party has been elevated to hero status by the town (on account of raising so much money for them and doing so many good deeds) and so pretty much everything is pro bono.
Paelias woke up as well and got himself food as well, taking care to leave a tip with the old lady. The two passed one another in the street and exchanged hellos.
Shamash woke up in the basement of Eliza’s house, where he has been staying for the last month. He, like everyone else, has seen very little of Eliza, but when he has, that mysterious man has been with her. He went out and headed to his usual food joint, and got food from a friendly dwarf. He glimpsed Eliza with the mysterious man, and reminded himself to find them later.

Screams echoed from the infirmary. After a moment of startlement, everyone went back to business. This is not uncommon.

Rock awoke the usual way, with lots of screaming. His bones have been steadily removed and magically regrown by a team of clerics from Brymacia. Physical therapy is going well enough, but as it is he can only take a few steps at any given time. Orderlies rushed to his side.

Later, Calthus was helping an old person extend his shop when he saw Eliza and the man. He was distracted by the sight of Rock’s recovering form trying to walk across the garden, and winced when he stumbled. As he finished, he turned to see Eliza and the man watching him. He greeted them and inquired about the man (who he learned is named Kylar) and about their recent actions requiring they be not around. Apparently Kylar is knowledgeable about black dragons, and they have been investigating the black dragon’s appearance. Eliza leaves the two to awkwardly talk and make “aw yeah, he’s tapping that” faces. Dragons are mentioned, which perks up the not-too distant Shamash. He speaks with Eliza for a moment before heading over to the two. Kylar is interrogated by the two in a not necessarily unfriendly (but hardly glowingly) manner. Kylar says that he is just a traveler who is more knowledgeable of dragons than most men… and dragonborn (oh snap!). Paelias then joins the conversation, and poor Kylar explains his dragonseeking adventuring self again.
Eventually Kylar departs and the three stand around discussing nuances and dragons and whatnot.
They go to visit Rock. He looks looped. He addresses the group by different names, and it becomes fairly apparent that he thinks he’s somewhere/when else. Calthus gives him the sack of things that were left in his room and then they left to give him some time to recover.
As they left the building they saw Kylar running up to them. He greets them and tells them that he has found new information in his notes that may be of interest. They plan to meet that night at Eliza’s.
Later that niiiiight: The party is welcomed by a dressed-down Eliza and a shirtless (and pleased-looking) Kylar. Many collective eyebrows are raised. They sit down and begin to discuss. Kylar tells the group that he has constructed a hypothesis regarding the black dragon. He believes that it emerged… from the Underdark. The party knows that it is a deep, vast, horrible place that should probably never be explored by a surface party, as no one who enters, leaves. It is home to numerous monsters and horrible races and bad things. Very few individuals of deep races emerge and successfully build homes on the surface. When asked, Kylar says that he came to this conclusion because he has some knowledge of the place (this is a strange things to say) and there were signs. The plan? Go down into the Underdark and find a place (which Kylar mysteriously knows) that would let them determine the location of the black dragon. Calthus expresses concern about this plan, and questions why the party would want or need to do such a thing anyway. He is overruled by Bahamut logic and Adventurousness. They depart to their respective places, Kylar heading upstairs with Eliza. So much eyebrows.
The next morning, people awake to the sound of the door slamming open. Going downstairs, the party finds Rock, mostly recovered but still not at full capacity. He unwraps shows them his fancy shield, which has deep significance to him and his history. They tell him of the impending Underdark trip, he shows off his morbid shield, everything’s groovy. Eliza, Kylar, and Shamash enter the building and say hello. The party will be gathering their whatevers and leaving by nighttime. They are advised to bring all the money they have, and the Elfish fellows are warned to remain cloaked for the whole time. The group dissipates and gets the necessary supplies. They return to find Paelias turning his longsword into dust.

The wagon arrives, and Eliza dismounts and ushers the party in. Eliza says a heartfelt goodbye to Kylar and they depart. The trip is a little awkward, but Kylar reveals that he is a dragon blood(?) sorcerer. The rest of the members of the party divulge their respective roles, except maybe Shamash.
Finally they reach their destination, a cliff face with a crevasse in it, just large enough to crawl through. The wagonman gives Kylar a package, which contains a lantern which is implied to be magic. They enter the hole, and crawl for a very, very long time. Eventually they come out the other side into a large cavernous chamber. It is dark with crawly noises. Kylar suggests to the party that they be silent as possible and lights the lantern, which creates a dome of light. They are quiet for a while, until Calthus trips and swears loudly (nat 1!).

Shapes move past the dome, squinting at the party. Some small amount of light can be seen outside the dome, which emanates from crystals. Various sounds echo throughout, and sounds can be heard within the party’s heads. They stop and sit silently for a short while and gaze into the darkness. Only Calthus can see what lurks in the shadows. He is greatly disturbed by what he sees. There is much gesticulation. They continue quietly, and soon the whole party can see the denizens of the underdark. They begin to see a light ahead of them, and then Shamash trips.

The sounds grow louder and more intent, and creatures begin to move in their direction. The party makes much haste and ends up in a Drow city. This is only slightly less disconcerting. Pulling up his collar, Kylar leads them into a cantina. “This is where we’ll be getting the information”.
A duergar comes up to Kylar and speaks to him in a language that no one else recognizes. Kylar turns to the party and asks for money, about fifteen gold each. He returns with some chips. “Let the games begin”. They are led up to a room where there is a drow, who addresses the group. He recognizes the Elven members for what they are, and then sets up a game between himself and Kylar. Shamash is visibly uncomfortable at this development, gambling being against his morals.

The Drow and Kylar begin to play Dice Poker, a filthy Duergar game. Much initial loss occurred. Rock supplied 150gp to the cause, and Calthus paid in 100gp for Shamash to buy in. Many chips changed hands, but in the end, victory was achieved with Rock getting the Drow’s last chips.

DARKNESS FELL.

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Fall of a Feather

Our heroes all woke up with no screaming although Rock was not present. They decided to go to the king believing that we would find either find him before or after the meeting, or meet him there. Unfortunately, Rock was not present and the king decided to give each member an item from his armory. He gave Paelias a Farbond Spellblade. The king gave Calthus a Dynamic Belt and Elven Battle Armor. Next the king asked Tevor to step forward and gave Tevor Rock’s item, a Guardian’s Brand (a warpick), and a Foe Stone. Finally, the king gave S a Backbone belt and Mindiron Vambraces. After the king handed out the items, he wished us luck and guards escorted us out of the palace. Paelias investigated at most of the items and S looked at the items he was given.

Soon after Rock stumbled up to the rest of our heroes and looked disheveled. He did not remember where he came from or what happened. Paelias got Tevor to give Rock the war pick and he told Rock what it did. Our heroes traveled towards the Kobold’s keep. They stopped for a night and S woke up from a nightmare nearly yelling saying “You have no chance”. Next our heroes dropped by Giant’s Toe to see how it was doing. It had new walls surrounding it and when stopping into the town, there were new faces around us and a few people greeted us. We started traveling through the Ryx mountains to try and get to the Kobold’s keep but night fell and we set up camp on the mountain path. Before entering the path to the Kobold’s Keep each of our heroes except for Tevor makes a prayer to their gods. Tevor gave Calthus his campsite kit.

We traveled through the dungeon, retracing our place through the keep. Rock put symbols of primal spirits throughout the path. Throughout the dungeon the kobolds we killed were not there except for the bone priest at the end of the dungeon. The wyrm priest was still on its throne and was still burnt. The wyrm priest had a new looking skull mask on it. Calthus shot an arrow at it to check if it was dead. The tapestry that was burnt was still on the wall seemingly unburnt and when our heroes got closer to look at it the effect of the paint melting into a silver dragon happened before our eyes. Soon after the tapestry fell down and the wall started rising and left a path before us. We started walking down the path down stairs. As we got closer to the light ahead the light from behind us got cut off.

Our heroes entered into a room with a hag, some trolls, a basilisk, and shambling mounds. Paelias summoned a wall of fire to try and separate the battlefield. The basilisk actually retreated to the other side of the battlefield through the wall of fire. One of the shambling mounds ate Rock without struggle at one point but was killed by Calthus soon after. The troll caught initially in the fire went through the fire to attack Paelias. He got two good hits on the wizard but was pushed back into the fire by the efforts of Paelias and Rock. It got bloodied but retreated through the fire to try and recover. Paelias dissipated his wall of fire and attacked the troll that retreated with his magic missile but it got back up. The other shambling mound consumed Rock after two trolls missed him. Next the basilisk unleashed a green burst of poison upon the rest of our heroes. S was consumed by another shambling mound and a few of our heroes started teaming up on it. The shambling mound also managed to eat Calthus at the same time. Calthus managed to get out but S stayed in the mound but managed to attack it from the inside. Eventually the mound was taken down and Tevor teleported over to the basilisk to try and attack it. Rock managed to kill the weakened troll and Calthus killed the stronger troll when it tried to attack Rock. Tevor managed to pierce the basilisk’s head and slammed it into the ground to finish it off.

Our heroes took a short rest and traverse into the rest of the dungeon. They open a door to find themselves in extreme darkness. The door closed behind us and S called out that “your guests have arrived!”. The other form of Tevor cried out welcome, turned on the lights, and took off his hood to reveal a tiger’s face. The other form of Tevor revealed that S’s name is Shamash and revealed his clan name to be Rockgroin. He also revealed that the man with the huge sword is Kix Rockgroin. He then invited more for the fight to be a “party” and summoned minions. The other form of Tevor said he wanted Tevor for himself and they both got lifted into the air to fight each other.

Rock and Calthus got into the fight to try and attack minions. Rock got into the fight, turned into a form made of sand and popped vines around him. Despite the sand and vines, Rock took two fairly big hits from Kix. Paelias took out two minions and put Kix into the air with his pinioning vortex but more minions came down and surrounded everyone. Paelias backed up and cast an ice storm on a grou of minions but more came to take their place and three surrounded Paelias in a corner. Tevor fought his other self in the air and the Raven Queen and Orcus fought above them. Tevor managed to bloody his other self first. Rock took out a few minions with wellspring strike and managed to hit Kix as well. Kix retaliated and put a massive hit on Rock to bloody him. Calthus used his flaming scimitar to place a blow on Kix and bloody him. He beserked in retaliation and placed another massive hit on Rock to make him unconscious. S inspired Rock to get back up but he was smacked unconscious once again with the flat of Kix’s blade. Paelias used his magic dice on Kix, but nothing happened at his use of it. The dice landed on one of the fist sides. When Calthus attacked Kix, the fist that was on the dice seemed to materialize and hit Kix as well. Rock managed to wake up but Kix raged again and went after Rock and knocked him out once again with a fiery blow. Paelias used his last potion and tried to take out some minions but more came back and Paelias took a few hits. Paelias took out a good bit of minions but took a lot of hits and was barely standing. They all came back and knocked Paelias out with many a blow.

Finally Tevor took out his double and they fell together and the god’s fighting stopped. The minions instantly died and Kix’s armor melted away to reveal his actual armor to be of hide. Calthus attacked him with his fire scimitar and then S’s furious smashed him in the same way as the tattoo on his body. He said “this means nothing” but a voice boomed out “But this is” and a platinum claw crashed down on Kix and he fell down and the sword went out of his hand. Kix said he was sorry and S dropped to his knees and forgave him. Suddenly everyone, including the unconscious were teleported to a grave site but the unconscious got knocked out again after seeing a raven feather fall on the grave. S opened his locket at the grave to discover a golden key and a picture of his family. Calthus used a potion on both Rock and Paelias, but Rock woke up in the greatest pain a humanoid can have. He laughed maniacally and had no mental control or understanding of what was going on at all. S went into the dungeon with the key to where Kix body’s was. Calthus pointed out a key hole in the ground and he used the key on it to find a standard. Everyone fell asleep eventually and were greeted with a dream together where the evil Tevor talked with all of our heroes. He said that everyone must pay for their actions and that he was the one to make people pay. He came back to say that “she” was awakening and everyone woke up to a roar of a black dragon as it flew away. S put the sword that Kix wielded in the bag of holding and told nobody to touch the sword. Paelias managed to teleport rock onto a stretcher before we tried to sleep.

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Homecoming

Calthus and S awaken and immediately begin to vomit green slime. Shortly Tavor, Paelias, and Rock walk into the room. Paelias and Rock immediately zonk. Tavor tells them that it is day time, but is, as usual, short with words. In a mildly infuriating manner, he reveals the events of the previous day: That a tribe of snake-worshipping people were on the other ship, which had been crashed into. S and Calthus go topside and see the big-ass ship alongside them. They are introduced to the captain of the other ship, captain Riker. They discuss the situation r.e. the green goo and the snake-god worshippers. What does a group of snake-people have to gain from attacking Brymacians?
They follow Riker up on to the big ship and head into the captain’s cabin, where they see Eliza, Warren, and the King. They exchange warm greetings, and the king’s company described their escape from Sotal.When asked what the plan was for the future, the king says that once they get to Brymacia, they will assess the situation, and may have to level it if the warforged problem is too great. Riker leaves after a short while and passes Rock on the way out. Rock is filled in on the bombardment plan, and the present party discuss possible alternatives and citizen-saving measures. After a while, S mentions that he has something he would like to ask the king in private. The king responds that they have plenty of free time until they reach land. They are given dinner (fish and ale) Tavor and Calthus, still seasick, pick at it halfheartedly. After a bit, the king excuses himself. Paelias is led up as the group begins to disperse to various bits of the ship.
S returns from talking with the King in good spirits. He speaks shortly with Paelias and tries to buck up Calthus, who is being handed a bucket after vomiting from the highest part of the ship (presumably on/near crewmembers).
The day passes relatively uneventfully. As the sun is setting, a guard appears to each member of the party bearing invitations to dine with Capt. Riker. When they arrive at the captain’s quarters, they find the room spruced up and set for a nice dinner. Eliza and warren are already present, and shortly after the party arrives, Capt. Riker comes in, walks to the head of the table, and salutes as the king walks in. They discuss the next morning’s plans for disembarkation and express hopes that Brymacia will be saveable. Dinner passes without incident, and they are led back to their wee ship. They do their own little pre-bed things before heading to sleep.
They wake up in a cold sweat, screaming, after all having experienced a nightmare. Everyone notices that it was different, being about a cackling man in a pale robe and a slavering brute with a golden sword. S questions everyone about the dreams and says that the brutish man was the “abomination” he had spoken of from his past. Tavor revealed that the pale man was the one he was pursuing, and that he was probably the cause of the dreams. S admits that he knew we would run across this, or at least the brute guy, eventually, and expresses regret that he had “dragged” the party into this. Rock and Calthus soundly refuted that any sort of dragging occurred and that danger was normal for all of them. “We’re all in this together” Paelias
The party spread throughout the ship. Tavor and Paelias hear a lot of yelling from down below, which sound like S. Rock speaks to Tavor and then Paelias regarding what to do in the case of his death. S then emerges from belowdecks. Paelias approaches him and broaches an offer: to use a ritual to scry the history of S’s amulet. S, after some questions and qualms, resignedly leaves the amulet to Paelias and walks away. “It seems you all will know much more about me sooner or later anyway.” -S, paraphrase
Rock follows S and asks him to find Drift in the case of his death. S says that he wouldn’t know where to look, but that he’d try. As Rock is about to walk away, S stops him and says that, although things are going to get rough, he doesn’t intend anyone to die. Rock says that if anyone of us is going to die, he intends it to be him. They do that “y’know, I didn’t like you at first, but you’re a swell enough guy” thing. Rock then heads to Calthus and asks him to go North to put his name into Dirge Company’s death ledger. Calthus agrees.
S goes to the room where Paelias was performing the ritual to find him in the throes of some sort of seizure. S shakes him to wake him up
and then things happen that not everyone can hear.
S comes up top, once again quite chipper, followed by Paelias. A number of armored guards arrive to lead people to captain’s breakfast, and the party heads with them, minus Tavor and S. S and Tavor talk shortly about the pale man, and Tavor offers to tell S more if S will tell him his true name.
Riker, Eliza, Warren, and the King are at breakfast already, and the three who went sit down to eat. They have a pleasant enough b-fast. Tavor eventually joins them and says that S went back to his room. The present party is told that they would land shortly after noon.
After breakfast, Rock brings down food to S, who wants to talk to Tavor. Tavor has climbed to the crow’s nest of the small craft. Paelias follows the King and asks him… something. Calthus continues to heave over the side.
An armored individual walks up to Calthus and tells him that Eliza would like to speak with him. The same shortly happens to the rest of the party, being told that it’s of the utmost importance. She is furious, having found out what happened in the party’s dreams. The “abomination” from the dream has gotten her very aggravated, as she apparently knows him and is horrified that he could be waiting for us. She continues to say that the party had apparently come very close to finding something that she had been searching for: the silver dragon regalia. Apparently it had been in, or at least very near, the grand hall where the party had battled the leader of the kobolds who had been raiding Giant’s Toe.
Paelias chided Rock and Calthus for not letting Eliza and the King in on what had gone on during the dreams. The two frustratedly say that they don’t know anything anyway.
Suddenly they notice that Paelias’ hands are white-webbed like Jack’s face was. When asked, Paelias revealed that he had gone to the king and tried to scry the history of the white crystal. He had learned very little besides seeing a white dragon holding it. S scolded him, saying that unlocking dragon magic is very difficult and cryptic and that he should have consulted him before trying. Heated discussion ensues between Paelias and S. Esoterica is discussed, confuddling Rock and Calthus.
S calls out Tavor on knowing about the pale man, asking him to tell the party all he knows. Tavor reveals that the decrepit old man… is HIM. Speculation ensues. S shuts everyone up and urges Tavor to continue. “Seven hundred years ago, my soul was split in two by the evil god Orcus. Since then, every evil thing he has done resonates through my soul. THAT IS WHY I MUST DESTROY IT. And when I end it, I will end as well.” –Tavor, paraphrase. The other Tavor is far more powerful, all that Tavor hates and cannot be, but knows that when our Tavor finds him, he will end.
Rock asks bizarre and inappropriate questions about alternate-Tavor’s fighting style. And S’s nemesis’ fighting style too. Sliiiightly less inappropriate questions regarding power and threateningness are asked. There is much discussion.
In the midst of heated discussion, the cry of “LAND HO!” is heard on deck. The party looks up to see Brymacia, whole, intact, and not on fire. The general consensus is to be suspicious, that it looks too good to be true. Calthus is just happy that land is going to happen. The captain agrees with the former, and says that scout boats will be sent before landing. Rock continues to bizarrely discuss strategy on how to position the team with regards to the two legend-dudes. The rest of the party more or less ignores it.
The scout ships are readied, and Rock expresses that he does not like others throwing themselves into danger while the party sits back. The king, however, strongly urges that the party remain on the ship. The party stays on the ship, with varying levels of actually wanting to, and Rock goes with the scouting party, against the wishes of the king and the party.
The scouting party lands and makes its way up to the city gates, encountering nothing. A couple of men wearing Brymacian gear emerge from a guard house and say “halt?” There is much confusion, but the soldiers and Rock are allowed in. The gates open to a surprising sight. The city looks as if it is being rebuilt. The guards say that the warforged apparently just up and marched away and they began rebuilding shortly afterward. Search parties are still being sent for the missing king. There is no apparent reason why scouts would not be returning from there. Rock and the scout captain use their sending stones to report back to the ship.
The captain tells the party that they will not be entering the city by the front gate, but rather by a secret alcove. The party, Eliza, and the King get on a small landing craft with a few soldiers. The king appears obviously relieved to see the city intact. Calthus says that it must be nice to return to a city that isn’t destroyed.
The boat makes dock in the alcove, and the party disembarks and is shuffled into a door. They walk through a number of cellar-like areas and eventually make it to a large, nicely-furnished room, apparently one of the King’s residences. The scouts, and Rock, enter through another door. The group ruminates on how nice things seem to be, and wonder what to do next. Calthus has a sudden thought: that the two legendary bads are waiting for us, and that the same dream contained the clue which revealed to us where the silver dragon regalia lies. If things are ok in Brymacia (thank goodness) then it is very likely that they are waiting, or will be waiting, for the party in the cave/ruins where the dragon tapestry was.
The king heads out to the castle, giving the party leave to stay in the nice house, and urges them to come by the castle before they head to the destined location.
Rock and Tavor cooperate and indicate that the one, at least, could be in the general direction of Giant’s Toe. Rock asks some guards if Giant’s Toe is one of the places that hasn’t checked in, but it was apparently one of the first.
As the party settles in for bed, Calthus asks Tavor if he will re-incarnate, as his people do upon death, If he dies killing his other half. Tavor says he will choose not to, as his soul will be consumed by the other self.
The party, comfortable for the first time in a while, settles in for the night.

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The Ship continued...

The Ship continued…

A feeling of discomfort

Calthus drops to his knees, unresponsive to our concerns. The majority of the crew has been bit, and feeling unwell. Rock gives the cook a potion, as he looks very haggard and bloody. Tavor, is still not feeling well due to seasickness, and heads up to the deck, perhaps to continue puking over the side of the ship.

Rock inquires about the origins of the crate of snakes,and him and Paleas then go and start checking a few crates for any additional snakes. Paleas thinks about the presence of the flame snake, which is magical in nature, and requires a powerful wizard to summon.

Rock and Paleas head topside, and Rock asks a sailor for a knife to skin the snakes. He tries to gut them but the knife isn’t that sharp, so he goes and fetches a javelin and turns it into a makeshift dagger. Tavor is still heaving over the side of the ship. Rock then bumbles around the ship searching for a way to prepare the fresh snake meat, and finally just asks S to heat up his shield to cook the meat.

After a short while, Rock walks around offering cooked snake to people. Paleas takes a bite and rather enjoys it, while Tavor takes one look at it and continues puking off the side.For the rest of the day, the sailors go about their duties, and eventually night falls. Paleas and Rock are down among the crew that are merrily eating in the warm mess hall. A crew member then begins pestering Paleas for a story. Tavor is helped down to the mess hall by the captain, and S follows silently, and sits in the corner, brooding. Tavor heads to bed, and Rock and Paleas have an interesting conversation. Eventually, everyone turns in for the night.

A Wrecked Dreamscape

Tavor, Rock, and Paleas awaken, screaming. Tavor snaps out of it, and the others look worried. They ask about Tavor’s dream, but are interrupted with a sudden shake of the entire ship. The 3 run topdeck to assess the situation, and find that their ship has crashed into another Brymacian ship. Rock rushes around trying to find and lower the anchor. Paleas goes to check on the crew and finds that they are asleep. He franticly tries to wake them, but nothing seems to be able to work. Tavor takes a look across at the other ship, which seems to be just sitting there anchored in the water, unmoving.

After some quick planning, Rock grapples and climbs onto the other ship, while Tavor takes watch on the deck. Paleas goes about, looking for any unwanted guests on our ship. Rock finds that the crew on the other ship is also asleep, and is unable to wake them. The other ship is large, a full war ship, and it seems that whatever made them sleep had hit them fast, as a man was asleep on the stairs. Rock attempts to raise the sails of the ship, and after much struggle for a long while, he finally raises the sails.

Rock then heads below decks of the other ship, and finds a dark room full of crates. He creeps around the ship, trying to get into other doors around the ship. Paleas sends an orb of light to give Rock vision, as he tries to discern if the doors could be picked. After a bit Rock asks how long the light lasts, Paleas replies 5 minutes, to which the light responds by going out. Rock lights the end of a rope so he can find a lantern, and Tavor and Paleas clambor aboard the warship.

Rock hears noises as he reaches the lantern, and starts hearing something speak in a slithering voice. Rock calls out to them after informing the others, and they start to speak in whispering basic, and sound rather confused. Tavor and Paleas run to where Rock is, Paleas shouting to find Rock. The voices hear the shouts, and simply reply “Theressss moooore”.

A Struggle in the Dark

Rock, standing near the lantern, is surprised by a poisonous dagger cut. Tavor charges in and sees a few standing back, whirling around and blasting a greatsword wielding human with a vengeful bolt. Upon seeing this, Paleas also rushes in and fires off a key at him. The other humans come forth from the dark and strike at us.

Rock and Tavor take a few swings at them, and miss. Paleas sends out a shock wave of lightning, killing two of them, and gracefully spins and sends out an icy patch below Rock as he pulls Rock out of the midst of them, killing several more in the process.

Tavor swears an oath and begins a furious assault against the greatsword wielder, an aura of energy radiating from Tavor as he strikes the man. Paleas forms a spectral ram, and bashes the dagger wielder to the ground. Rock calls forth a growth of plants amidst the crates, concealing his allies.

More enemies approach, and everyone continues to hack away at them. Rock gets a brutal beating and is brought to the ground. Tavor rushes in and attempts to protect Rock, sending out waves of energy, killing one of the enemies, while Paleas throws out a few spells.

The skin of the dagger assassin peels away, and his flesh forms into a giant yellow snake. Tavor lands a blow, and conceals himself within a silvery shadow, while Paleas grabs the snake within his icy grasp. Tavor’s eyes go ablaze, and he strikes at the snake, and simultaneously Paleas crushes the snake within his grasp.

Rock is bleeding out on the ground, and Tavor spins away from his opponent, crouches, and places his holy symbol on Rock’s chest, whispering “Stay with us” as he heals Rock. Paleas continues to grapple with the remaining enemy, and in turn it breaks free and runs off into the darkness.

Reunion

After the battle, Tavor and Paleas struggle greatly as they carry Rock to the topdeck, and walk all the way up to the highest deck of the ship, as it looks the safest. They fall asleep, and after a long time, a bald man in an overcoat approaches and questions Paleas on his presence on this ship.

The man sends for guards, and walks off. After a time the guards come and escort us to a large meeting room, where we see the King and the others, and presumably, the captain of the ship.

After a bit of chatting, the party heads back their own ship, leaving the King and others to talk business with the captain. It turns out that when everyone awoke, they coughed up some kind of green stuff, which no one recognizes.

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We're on a Boat.

Voyage: The First Day

Tavor Ec’Shaval, Rock, and S awake under the deck to find Paelias Alagyrion and Calthus Wealdrunner screaming in their sleep. Rock wakes them up with some water, and Paelias and Calthas reveal that Rock and S’s dreams seemed to have seeped into their own. After pondering that revelation, and the ups and downs it could mean for the group, each individual goes about their morning routine – rituals, eating, and whatnot. However, Calthas and Tavor, having woken up seasick, try to take it easy on the deck. The sailors approach Calthas to help raise the mast, but seeing him throwing up over the side, the ask the rest of the group to help. S comes top-side as they are raising the mast and helps out. The mast gets raised; Calthas and Tavor throw up.

The captain goes below deck, and the group hears her scream. They run down and see a crate opened and releasing snakes, one of which is trying to constrict her.

SNAKES ON A BOAT

A quick survey of the scene reveals that there are 8 Deathrattle Vipers, 1 Flamesnake, and 1 Crushgrip Constrictor, the one constricting Captain Leif. The Flamesnake strikes first and tries to set Paelias on fire, but misses. S rushes forward shouting “The Captain is the priority”, and slashes at the nearest snake. Rock runs through several snakes to try to pin down the constrictor, but failed. As the party members get closer to the vipers, each begins to feel slightly afraid of the slithering reptiles. Leif gets grabbed and bitten by the constrictor, taking a lot of damage. Calthas steps forward and slashes at the vipers as well. The vipers swarm towards the party, biting at almost everyone they can. The sailors, seeing the commotion, leave their breakfast tables and join the fray. Tavor cuts a viper, but his seasickness prevents him from doing effective damage. Seeing the Captain in distress, Paelias teleports her out of danger, and follows that up with a sleep spell, which not only effects some of the vipers, but Rock as well.

The Flamesnake strikes out at Paelias again, and set him on fire successfully. Leif, having been rescued from the confines of the constrictor strikes out at the nearest viper. S, seeing a clump of vipers in front of him, uses his Lightning Dragon Breath, and hits the two nearest snakes. Rock falls asleep, something that the constrictor takes note of and immediately takes advantage of, and gets bitten, waking him back up – short nap. The mass of vipers strikes again. Calthas lands a double-hit, and Tavor slashes on the viper that the two of them are beating up on. Paelias pushes the viper attacking him back with his attack.

Continuing on in this fashion, the battle concluded after all of the snakes were killed. Some important highlights:
  • Team defense buff via S Bastion of Defense
  • Rock in distress, dazed and confused, constricted on the ground
  • Tavor teleports across the map to aid Rock
  • Paelias uses his dice to make the constrictor fall prone
  • Rock crits on the constrictor, draining some of its life-power and enables him to get back up
  • Calthas whirlwind strikes three, throwing two of them across the room, attacking the remaining one
  • Calthas is the first of the party to kill a snake
  • Paelias tosses the Flamesnake into the air
  • Calthas killed snake #4
  • S heals Rock, who returns the favor; both of them regain almost full health
  • Paelias thunderwaves three different snakes surrounding S, killing the Constrictor, and pushing the other two back
  • S cleaves the Flamesnake in twane, and finishes the encounter with the killing blow of the last viper.
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Road to Brymacia

Mouth of the Pass

Rock and Tavor awoke at the base of the mountain, where they had camped the night prior, everything is quiet so Rock starts his ritual singing a march. S follows suit and then Calthus and Paelias erupt into screams, and S wakes both of them with a push. Calthus calls S Gaius and then explains that Gaius Dewfoot was his mentor. He also expresses interest in finding Gaius and S talk to them again. S then goes to fiddle with his locket. The group then quickly sets out.

The Pass and Leben

While traveling through the pass they see many people passing through of various and normal appearances, and emerge near the walled-town of Leben. Upon reaching the town gate they were greeted by two guards and S explains, who they are and inquires about the King and Eliza. The guards let the party know that they had also arrived and went on to Brymacia a day or two ahead after mustering a small force.

Venturing into the town they head to the Wary Sailor Inn, a rather pleasant and welcoming inn run by a halfling, and get their rooms for 5 silver. Calthus, S, and Tavor take one while Rock and Paelias take the other. The group quickly scatters Calthus and S to the town hall, Tavor heads to the ships, and Paelias and Rock to Trade Street.

Paelias and Rock find an arcana shoppe which for once has people other than the purveyor, apprentice, and Paelias in it. Paelias only finds reagents for one use of one of his rituals, and Rock finds enough ingredient to make two new potions.

Meanwhile elsewhere in the town of Leben, Calthus and S find the town hall for Calthus to find a map and S to see the Elder. Calthus is directed to see another man, and S is granted his meeting. The man is able to help Calthus and produces a map of the Brymacian Empire from before the last Brymacian War as well as where Falmark is on said map. When S meets the Elder, a comparatively young man with shaved head, he finds out little is needed by the town though the party is hired to flesh out and guard a skirmisher aiming to catch up the King. S is also told to check the quest boards for further work before his meeting with the Elder ends.

Tavor hits a candy shoppe. He gets a bit and then heads back to the inn after a call from S.

Calthus, Rock, S, and Tavor head to the inn to regroup before checking out the skirmisher and work boards. At the same time Paelias is led to a ritual room where he enchants Rocks old pick. The group finds out that they are to depart at dusk. They then head to a work board and see one job of interest: a local farm is attacked nightly by something that kills the livestock and even attacked the man himself. Heading out to meet with the petitioner, they meet up with Paelias who has Rock’s pick with him, and all head to see the farmer. Upon said meeting they learn a bit more of the job, and quickly set to work.

Paelias quickly found tracks and Rock was about to identify them as a digigrade lupin or canid of around his size. They decide to work on this for only an hour or so before heading back to the ship. Tavor finds a den of sorts and they head in. The cave seems to be the right place as there are carcasses everywhere. In the end of the rather deep cave the party finds a large number of naked humanoids, whom Calthus awakens, and they quickly shift. The party retreats out of the cave and decide to split into two groups one to head to the Elder the other to the farm. Before parting though Rock suggests the that there is a way to handle the entire pack with minimal death: a “hall burning.” The idea is quickly shot down by S and Calthus and a minor verbal fight between Calthus and Rock ensues and does not truly come to its conclusion.

Upon returning to the town hall, S is allowed in and is allowed a quick meeting with the Elder. S and Calthus give their warnings and then head off to the ship. The farm group in the mean time returns and informs the farmer of the werewolf pack. He tells them that he was bitten, and after Rock and Paelias examine the man Rock determines that the farmer has Moonfrenzy. Tavor convinces the man that he should be tied up though the man feels uncomfortable, but is vetoed by Rock and Paelias. So with the farmer under their watch they take him to the temple of Pelor for treatment, and handed him over to the temple for healing.

Paelias, Rock and Tavor board the skirmisher and it sets sail. Each of the party members does their own thing: Calthus climbs things, Paelias watches the skies, Rock sits with his back to the mast relaxing, S fiddles with his locket, and Tavor is eating. While it is calm Captain Leif does her rounds introducing herself to the party. Calthus pulls out his sword and gems and is seen by Paelias and Rock. When the group finally turns in, Rock started to sing and was told by Calthus to not sing that song again. And before they got tucked in S came down the rubbing his chest and being evasive. The others shrug it off and they all turn in.

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Escape from Darkness

The Escape

A thunderous clamor of marching is heard off in the distance, and with it, a name echoing through the forest, “Tavor”.

The party begins to clear out enough of the camp to pack it up. They inquire about the nature of the approaching forces, to which Tavor replies “They are the enemies of everyone”.

After a bit of running, the party stops for a short rest to check the map. S queries Tavor about the master of the enemy forces, to which Tavor replies “Arrakchalllhhhhkskskk”. The group tries to percieve the size of the impending force, with various amounts of success, and come to a consensus that they shouldn’t fight in their current state.

They set off to the nearby mountains, hoping to find safety within them. Yet as they attempt to travel closer and closer, they seem to get more and more off track.

Eventually they find a small hollow to hide themselves in. Calthus and Paelias try to camouflage the hollow while Rock goes off to scout. Tavor states that the enemy tends to live in these types of places, but it might be the best idea to stay and rest a little. S and Calthus talk a little, and eventually Rock comes back. Soon after the enemy force marches over the small hollow, S tries to encourage the group, yet some of the ceiling collapses onto him.

Then, Tavor hear’s their voices in his head, telling him to come out of hiding. He thinks for a bit, sending a retort back to them, but tells everyone to get ready to fight. They step out, and see horrible creatures before them known as Foulspawn, who proceed to communicate with Tavor in deep speech. They banter back and forth a bit, a slurry of disgusting sounds flying between them. Then, the Foulspawn attack.

The Battle

A beserker with a Great Sword charges at Tavor and strikes him. Calthus spins around the greatsword wielder and strikes at him, but fails to get through his armor. As the party gets close to the greatsword enemy, they find that they cannot tell friend from foe. The Foulspawn leader hits Tavor with a ranged magical attack, while Paelias attempts to use pinioning vortex against the greatsword wielder, but fails. Rock creates a field of vines and plants around the group, attempting to protect and cover his friends, and he also knocks over the greatsword wielder. The other Foulspawn launch a flurry of psychic attacks against the group, damaging both Tavor and Rock. An agile foulspawn flits about stabbing at Tavor with various daggers he pulls out of his cloak. S helps Tavor and swings at the dagger wielder, missing him, and with fury strikes at him again, hands bleeding, heavily striking the dagger wielder. The beserker strikes out at Rock from the ground, surprising him with his attack. Calthus continues to swing away at the beserker, yet doesn’t manage to strike him. The Leader throws out a wave of distortion over the group, heavily damaging Tavor and Rock. Rock flails about, trying to strike the beserker, but recuperates some of his strength. The other foulspawn attempt an attack on Tavor’s mind, and succeed, nearly bringing Tavor to his knees. Tavor furiously swears an oath against the beserker and his eyes begin to glow, and he swipes at the beserker, missing him, but continues to spin and cuts deeply into the beserker with a second strike. The beserker rises, and is struck by both Rock’s spell and Tavor’s attack. In response the beserker goes into a fit of rage lashing out at those around him. The leader fires spells at Tavor, continually striking him. Paleas creates a patch of ice under the leader and one of the others, but it fails to affect them and the leader teleports to safety. Rock attempts to strike the beserker, but once again fails. A foulspawn finally breaks through Tavor’s mental defenses. S, with a mighty heave, slashes into the beserker, a phantom silver claw rending through the distortion, stiking down the beserker. The leader strikes at Tavor again with a spell. Paleas, seizing the moment, sends out a golden magic key that strikes one of the Foulspawn, and retreats within a cloud of lotus petals. Rock sends a wave of earth towards a foulspawn, narrowly missing. The other foulspawn sends out another mental attack against Tavor, causing him great mental anguish, blood leaking from his ears. The dagger wielder sends out two daggers, hitting Tavor and S. Tavor, barely conscious, staggers towards S. S shields Tavor attempting to fend off their opponents. Calthus swings away at the leader, but before the blades connect the leader teleports away. Paleas sends out more magical keys against the foulspawn, continually striking it in the head. Rock, with a deft swing of his hammer, bashes in the side of the foulspawn. The dagger wielder flings out more daggers, striking Tavor and S. Tavor continues to stagger about, clearing away his muddied thoughts. Rock hurries over to Tavor and tries to give him a potion, but it pours out uselessly all over the place. One of foulspawn lashes out at Tavor’s mind, severely hurting him. The dagger wielder stabs Tavor, and Tavor slumps down to the ground, laughing as he falls. The others trade blows with the foulspawn, and Rock stabilizes Tavor. After a few more blows are traded between both groups, the foulspawn escape.

The Aftermath

The party, completely exhausted, goes back into the hollow to rest. When they wake, they feel stronger than before. S heads into the woods to meditate, and Calthus wakes up and curses loudly.

Calthus explains that he was entranced by a succubus, and gave Sotal the information about the king and the party. S inquires about Calthus’s relative ease about being around fire, to which he replies he is not quite bothered as much about fire.

The group then queries Tavor about the nature of his enemies and who they serve. Tavor attempts to explain the nature of their master and how he has attained his powers. After several questions the group set up camp once they reached the foot of the mountains.

The party is around the campfire, and S tells a story about past adventures. After that story, Calthus tells them about the previous encounter with a succubus. The group banters about their age, and Tavor thinks introspectively about how many lives that he has lived that he can remember. Then Calthus inquires about S’s final blow to the beserker, and S explains that it was the influence of Bahamut. Then S explains about the tatoo he has, where it shows him striking down his mortal enemy. Rock reminisces about the Icarran military.

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Escape from Sotal

Our heroes were awakened by a crash and heard the innkeeper yell about a thief. Everybody in the conscious room noticed that the door was open and ran down to figure out what was going on. Calthus noticed that the bag of holding was missing. Unfortunately, Calthus ran down to try and fight the thief without any of his armor or weapons and completely naked as well. Paelias had his cloth armor and longsword but none of his other magic items. The other heroes had all of their armor and weapons but took longer to enter the battle.

A spriggan, two rust monsters, and a dwemer (spelling?) were downstairs and tossed the bag of holding onto the ground, spilling a lot of its contents. The dwemer dissolved Rock’s magic war pick in the course of the battle. S’s armor and Tavor’s armor both dissolved slightly from the dwemer. One of the rust monsters was eating the bag of holding’s contents for most of the battle and left. The spriggan also managed to get away from the battle. The dwemer managed to be taken down by our heroes. The spriggan left the battle and Paelias chased after it in his rage but was unable to find it while the rest of our heroes finished off the remaining rust monster. After the battle, Rock gave the innkeeper a potion to recover from a wound he suffered in battle and everybody went back to their rooms. S locked himself in his room to do something while everyone else discussed their next move.

After the battle, the party rested and took account of what had been lost during the battle. Calthus and Paelias checked what was lost from the bag of holding. After finding out that around sixty percent of the gold in the bag was lost but everything else remained. Paelias next talked to Rock and mentioned that he might be able to remake the magic war pick that he lost with the residium that remained from the body of the dwemer. After the rest, Rock and Paelias got the rest of the party besides S to agree to killing Rock if he attacks his sister. Paelias led the rest the party to the last location where they met Drift and Arn. Paelias called out for Arn and Rock sang a signal song in primordial. Arn sang back and they started talking to each other. Rock admitted to Arn and the rest of the party that he was afraid that he would kill all his friends and family because of the nightmares that he has been having. Arn criticized Rock for changing by pretending that he was dead to his own sister. He revealed that Drift left to go back north because of the way that Rock acted and Arn agreed with her reasons. Arn said that he was going to be staying at Sotal and refused to join up with our heroes for the same reason that Drift left. Rock went on to talk about Wulf and a little bit of his history with him. S gave an inspirational speech encouraging Rock to not give in to his fears and make his own future and it worked wonderfully for the whole group. Paelias ruined the group bonding moment by using presdigitation to summon the image of a phoenix. Rock revealed that the other time he lost control was when he made the person who sold out Wulf’s teaching to their captors. Rock also revealed his lineage, son of Tor son of Frost son of Thorn.

Calthus wanted to try and find Eliza and the king of Brymacia. Rock wanted to get some more northern meat and drink and Paelias thought that that area would be a good place to start because we found them at the festival last time. S entered the wrestling competition and Rock entered an eating competition. Paelias followed S to his competition to watch him while looking for the king and Eliza. Tavor went off back to the inn. Calthus went off on his on to do something (edit if found out). S lost one fight but ended up winning the whole tournament. He won 400 gold. Rock unfortunately got sick in the eating competition and got kicked out near the beginning by throwing up his food despite having “good” food to eat (boar).

Calthus came back to the inn to find that there were two letters on his bed, one from Drift and the other one written in draconic. The one from Drift was in a primordial and common mix that showed that she was headed up North. The one in Draconic was from Eliza and informed S that Sotal was catching on to our group and that we needed to leave Sotal immediately and head to Brymacia. It also said the king and Eliza they had already left for Brymacia. Our heroes packed up, paid the innkeeper, and left through one of the gates of Sotal with no major problems. A storm immediately started as we left and we retreated to the forest to set up camp and prepare our next move. As Paelias was about to enter a tent and reset the map, an Eladrin from Sotal entered camp and said that they were under arrest under charges of aiding the king of Brymacia. Our heroes fought against a fey knight, three tieflings (one caster, most likely a warlock, and two melee people), and a bunch of minions. Calthus was not bothered by the fire cast on him during the battle was accused of having sex with somebody. Calthus also used another sword that lit on fire when hitting an enemy. After the battle our heroes heard chanting of “Tavor” and he said “not good”.

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Sotal Adventures Continued

Our heroes awoke once more in the Sleepy Goblin Inn in the city of Sotal. Calthus awoke first and discovered three gems, two jades and a fire opal, and a letter at the foot of his bed. On one side of the letter there was written “for you”, on the other was “for the one with the jade hair and the fire in his heart”. Calthus looked around the room and donned pants before checking the hallway, seeing no signs of any strange presence. He asked Paelias if he had seen anyone come in during the night, but he had not. The two headed downstairs and got breakfast, and confirmed that the innkeeper had seen no one strange come in either. Very mysterious!

Meanwhile, Tavor awoke in the room with Warren (always awake) and saw that S was not in his bed, which was unmade. He geared up and headed downstairs and walked out into the street for a stroll, passing Paelias and Calthus. He expressed an interest in seeing more of the festival, and got a some spending money from Paelias before heading out on the town.

Paelias and Calthus started up the stairs and were met with the sound of screaming from their room. They found Rock tossing and screaming and decided to try to slap him awake. Paelias, osen for his girlier swings, slapped him awake and was met with a return smack from Rock. Rock asked if Paelias’ leg still hurt from “when he was fleeing”. Paelias, startled angrily asked if Rock had “been there and not helped him”. He urged that they needed to find Drift and asked if they knew about “death rites”. Paelias confirmed that he did and Rock said that all the dead slaves from the day before deserved a sending off. Calthus asked who Drift was, but was met with an evasive "not important. but when you give her the letter, act as if I am dead.

Paelias headed to the other room and discovered S’s empty disordered bed and Warren, petting his kitty. S’s stone was left in the corner of the room. They contacted Tavor and told him of their plans to head to the site of the previous night’s battle. He said he would meet them at the inn.
Meanwhile Paelias made Rock explain his knowledge of his past, and Rock explained his previous night’s dream, Paelias fleeing, being injured, and helped by Drift. The three gravely pondered the strange nature and cause of the nightmares.

Tavor returned to the inn with a candied apple (it was rather good), and they headed out through the busy streets. Two Sotal city guards were poking around the building and surveying the damage. One emerged carrying a scorched body, and as he walked past, Rock began to hum a somber tune. The guards (and the party now saw that there were more of them working within the area) barred entry, citing a pending investigation. They decided to look for magical supplies for Paelias and asked a guard for directions. Rock finished his song and agreed to do so. As they left, they saw a cart of charred bodies being wheeled away.

Calthus spotted a fletcher on the way and asked for the cash to buy arrows. The magic arrows in the shop garnered some interest from Paelias, but the fire arrows turned Calthus off of the idea completely, and The cost turned off Paelias. They left the store.

They continued in the direction the guard had indicated and before long had to squeeze through tightly-packed crowds of people. They eventually made it to the main circle and found the arcane ingredient shop, outside which the shopkeeper had set up a cart to draw in more potential buyers. Paelias purchased the materials for “comphrehend language” at the cart, and those for “silence” indoors. Calthus inquired about the method of getting so many newt’s eyes (farmed or free-range) but was shushed.

They decided to nab some grub and made a stop at a northern animal meat tent at Rock’s bequest. The boar was sadly still cooking, but some rabbit was available. They then stopped at a candied apple stand and then a booze tent. Rock was very enthusiastic about the barley wine served there. They had kicked back and were chatting about things when they heard Eliza and the King calling to them. The party learned that the two never returned to the inn from the festival the night before and did not know where S was. Eliza and the King were surprised to hear of the previous day’s slave-ring-destroying antics, but were glad to know they were ok. The two told the party that they all would be chilling a couple days during the festival and that there were contests going on if they could find them.

The three went to the magic contest, but were too late to sign Paelias up. Rock went to grab some boar while Calthus tried to think of clever and not necessarily disruptive plans to get Paelias into the contest. It was difficult for him to think of ones that fit in the latter category. The magic displays were of varying coolness and skill levels. Finally they made a plan to slip Paelias into the line while Calthus and Rock were distracting the line-watcher. Hilarity ensued. Stones and weather control and magic-eating featured heavily. The two distractors harassed the poor apprentice magician about what magical things he could do until he was distracted enough to allow Paelias into the line.

Paelias started off casting icy grip, but accidentally grabbed the host. Working with that, he acted as if it were on purpose. He high-fived it with mage hand, then failed at pinioning himself. Ignoring that, he tested the icy hand’s might with a force-push, and then high-fived it again. Then, he made a ghost sound of an owlbear behind a curtain and sent his icy hand to grab it out of sight while making the owlbear sound like it was getting squeezed. He finished up by magic missile-ing the hand (critting it!) and causing a powerful blast and then using his rose petal thing to teleport a short distance and present himself to the audience. The response was lukewarm until the finale, and he ended up getting second place to another eladrin wizard. He won three potions and a pair of turquoise gems!

Calthus and Tavor headed to the swordsmanship competition and met Eliza there with plenty of time for Calthus to sign up for a spot. After a few other contestants, Calthus started off with the three-target competition and handily took out the first two and gracefully finessed the third one with fancy style (crit!). Shortly afterwards, Eliza also dealt with her targets swiftly and professionally.

Rock and Paelias realized that the marksmanship and boxing contests will be starting at some point soon, and headed off in those directions. Rock got to the boxing area quite early and signed up. Paelias headed to the marksmanship competition to see if Arn (the minotaur) would be there.

Calthus’s next session was a multi-target setup, spread far apart. Calthus managed to take out four, and Eliza took out six (to Calthus’ chagrin). Eliza ended up winning, with Calthus in second, he was consoled by winning 1,000gp and a black pearl. Eliza received more cash, and a trophy sword, which she handed off to Calthus.

Calthus and Tavor headed to the boxing match (“I hope someone dies.” -Tavor). The competition was, as expected, pretty brutal. Rock’s first match was against a half-orc. He was first-round K.O’d in a mighty roundhouse to the jaw (crit fail!). His second round loser’s bracket match was against a scrappy-looking tiefling and managed to win the match. His third round was against another longtooth shifter, whom he beat handily. Unfortunately he was beaten in the fourth round by a hugely built dwarf. After shaking hands with the dwarf, he was awarded two potions and a couple of golden bracelets.

Meanwhile, Paelias had found who he thought to be Arn, the minotaur (going under the name Traven), cleaning up at the marksmanship competition. He also spotted what he thought to be the woman Drift up on a nearby roof, but it was hard to tell. Rock, using the speaking-stones, thought it sounded like them and headed back to the inn with Tavor, telling Paelias to mention “Dirge” if Arn seemed recalcitrant. Calthus headed to the marksmanship competition and joined Paelias.

Rock and Tavor returned to the inn to find that S had been asleep in one of the back rooms, to the innkeeper’s annoyance. They walked up to the rooms to find him snoring in bed. Tavor made his way up to the roof to watch the festivities and meditate on the celebration of life. It probably looked really cool with him perched up there, stark and shadowy against the bright lights of the festival. Just think about that image a second. Yessss.

The minotaur suspected to be Arn won the competition handily and Paelias and Calthus tried to weave their way up to him. They saw him begin to walk off with a cloaked individual. The two picked up their pace and followed their quarries down an alleyway. Paelias got a crossbow put in his face and the two fey talked them down, saying that they had a letter for Drift from Rock. Drift seemed confused that he wouldn’t give it to her in person. Paelias first told her that Rock was dead, confusing her (who was under the impression that Arn had seen him yesterday), and then Calthus fessed up that Rock was actually alive and had merely told them to act as if he were dead for some reason. She took the letter Paelias gave her and, somewhat hurt and confused, told them to bid Rock not be such a mysterious stranger. Paelias asked Drift why she had helped him so long ago, and she responded in a manner (Fill this, I was zoning a bit and didn’t catch it)

Rock got angry at them for telling Drift that he was alive, and Calthus rankled at that, saying that they had only been told to act as if he were dead, not straight-up lie about it. Rock became very stern/morose and said that he didn’t deserve to be re-accepted by her after 14 years of running. Calthus got angry at his defeatist attitude and went into a tirade about paths and destinies, pasts and futures. When Rock went on to say that choice of destiny is something “people” have and that he was no longer a person, Calthus concluded, loudly and furiously, that he was glad Drift wouldn’t be seeing him, because as long as Rock thought of himself as a pile of shit, he would be nothing but a pile of shit. Calthus then angrily pocketed the stone and headed back towards the inn. Paelias heard a shout and looked up to see Drift and Arn looking down at him from the nearest roof. A coronet (or something like) was tossed down to him (the winnings of the competition. Arn wouldn’t need such a thing).

Paelias and Calthus returned to find Rock singing loudly at the bar. Paelias went to sit next to him, Calthus pointedly went straight upstairs. Paelias used a more consoling tone and insisted that Rock was indeed a man, no matter what had happened to him, and that he would always have control of his destiny. Rock told the story of how he was freed, but only Paelias heard it.

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The Story So Far... 3

Suddenly, deathsplosion! Paelias’s back was ravaged by a harsh that thing. He was knocked out. S, Calthus and Eliza went out to survey things and encountered a skeletal dude with hellhounds (maybe a couple other skeletons). Combat happened! Halfway through, noises came from the crypt and Rock and Nyx emerged to fight alongside. When the fight was finished, they came in to see Paelias tied up and with back scars from the aforementioned deathsplosion (Nyx had tied him up out of fear that he had become a zombie). The elder was also passed out. Rock was spectacularly ungrateful to the elder r.e. his resurrection and the elder got quite miffed at him.
The party decided to head out to find Tomas, whom they had been told might know something about the mysterious stone. They wandered through the city to find Tomas, led by Nyx (who knew where he had lived). They ran into skeletons, of numerous sorts (flaming, standard, blade-handed) it got hairy, with a Rock-summoned plantsplosion accidentally catching fire and being very disruptive. They managed to prevail, but for some reason Rock ran back in to get a perfectly normal sword, purchasable at any weapons store. Further wandering ensued.
Suddenly, a man ostensibly being pursued by wights appeard. The party leapt into action, striking out against the undead foes in defense of this man. Alas, he attacked us too (with were-ratness) and Rock died… again. Turns out he was Tomas, and the wights were with him, and it was all a HI-LARIOUS misunderstanding. The party returned to the crypt with Tomas (and also Rock’s mangled form). Paelias was finally awake, but rocking sick scars. Calthus, unfortunately, had been poisoned by Tomas during their foolish altercation and the group (or bits thereof) had to venture into the forest to find a cure. They discovered that Tomas knew nothing about the mysterious stone.
There was an intense altercationas because the elder was unwilling to use his final resurrection scroll on the once-again dead Rock. After the party gave up ALL of their money to the elder, he finally, grudgingly, agreed to comply. Naptimes occurred.
By the next morning, Rock had once again returned to the land of the living. The party once again headed out into the town to cleanse it of eeeeevil. The elder, with the stone, left to figure out what it was. In the central fountain plaza, an epic struggle broke out between the party and a goblin leading a horde of skeletons and zombies. So much badassery occurred (and only bad guys died!).
Suddenly, the elder ran into the plaza with the stone in hand, shouting “I’ve figured it out!”. Alas, he was cut short in his explanation when out of a building burst an enormous undead thing, which swatted Eliza through a building and broke his back like Bane did to Batman.
Even suddenlier, out of the sky swooped a young white dragon, breathing ice upon the party. They were frozen solid to the ground in ice up to their necks. Nix thought it would be a good idea to poof out of the ice, but he was swiftly returned to that state.
The dragon belittled the party and demanded that they give it the stone. The party was close-mouthed about it, and S harangued it back, ticking it off more and more. Calthus finally blurted that the stone was on the ground by the elder, and the dragon, triumphant, called off the attack and flew away.
The Party, shellshocked, dispersed to see to various things and help rebuild the town.

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