bhchrist's GWJ Overwatch D&D Campaign

Session 13

Long time no post, readers! Much to catch you up on. So as not to cause you too much anxiety and worry, we will keep things succinct and on point, not a strong suit of yours truly, you may have noticed. Our adventures decided to proceed through the untravelled portal, instructing the rescued commoners to remain behind until summoned. They feel refreshed and rejuvenated, as if after a long rest, as they enter what is obviously Tasha’s Kiss’ bedroom. They find a teacup that they suspect has sentimental value, a wand (which cast’s the spell, Tasha’s Hideous Laughter) and a singing short sword, which Toulin claims. The see finely crafted models of villages and the trade caravan in the room, which Lydia adds to the bag of holding. They also find a circular bed covered in rich, red and black checkerboard silk sheets. In taking the rich sheets for later sale, they discover the bed itself consists of a hundred souls trapped in a force field. Grist smashes the field, freeing the souls, and receives a blessing in return. Minotaurs, a trapped soul’s Best Friend. They also find a magical, but nasty mirror that disables Dole and Shay for a few minutes.

The twins recover in time to help investigate the drawn curtain, revealing a Rust Monster, a Hook Horror, a Choldrith, and a Bulezau in suspended animation along with Gentry Sister, Tabitha. Dole and Shay concoct a plan to use the mirror to sicken the monsters and by time for Tabitha to flee. It partially works. While the monsters were not affected by the mirror, it did act and a barrier that forced an action to break past, allowing a bewildered Tabitha the time needed to escape. A battle ensued, with our heroes victorious in the end. Wayfarer separated the Bulezau from its tail, intent on crafting a barbed whip if they escape from this terrifying pocket dimension. Lydia also successfully harvested some of the Choldrith’s venom.
Bulezau, with tail still attached

Informing the commoners that danger for now has passed, the party passes through the next portal into a grand dining hall, with well dressed nobles eating a marvelous feast and chattering away. They are invited to eat from the bounty of food. Dole resists the strong temptation and notices that the diners are visibly growing fatter before his eyes. Wayfarer clears the table but the nobles start to eat off the floor. A hook and chain drops down from the ceiling, hauling away the plumpest of eaters toward what seems to be the kitchen. Dole is yelling at them to stop eating and asks them who they are. Shay grabs the carved models of the caravan and villages to show the would be nobles and the spell is broken. They were not nobles, but captured people like they have encountered in prior rooms. While the party directs them towards safety with the others, Shay jumps up on a passing hook to ride into the next room.

Session 14

While Shay rides the hook, the others decide to open the door from the ground. What they see are nearly two dozen animal humanoids, making cakes, tarts, pies, and other sweets from a magical machine that the fattened villagers are dropped into. These treats are being fed down a hole. A Rooster-like figure who appears to be in charge asks the party if they are delivering the jarred souls from Deggmir. Wayfarer responds falsely that they are and the Rooster recoils at the sound of his voice, insisting that he not speak again. Some of the twisted cooks approach to take the promised jarred souls (which the party had already freed-keep up, readers!). With no souls to hand over, Wayfarer attempts to stall, but his voice sets the Rooster into hysterics, an a battle begins. Shay decides to drop in, in full Aasimar Angelic radiant form, and declares that they were sent directly from Tasha’s Kiss herself and that punishment would be mete upon the Rooster if they do not back down and heed their authority. This frightening display along with the radiant damage allows for the bluff to succeed. The party smashes the machine and passes through the next portal.

They are in an enormous, circular chamber with 5’ x 5’ tiles on black and red on the floor and white and back on the walls. An old lady is sweeping a never ending series of tins and forks and spoons into piles. More tins fall from above. She carries with her a light, which allows for inspection of her work from above as well as keeping danger away. They notice if they drift to the edge of the light, the tiles seem to animate in a menacing manner. With careful inspection, they find that the white tiles on the wall may be pressed to form a staircase, leading up to Tasha’s Kiss herself.

She is enormous and eating ravenously on a throne that revolves around a series of tables. She looks nothing like the pictures they had seen, but instead like a demonic, twisted version. Wayfarer presents the teacup to the monster and it begins to convulse, spitting up a weak, nearly broken figure, the real Tasha’s Kiss. A fight ensues, with the demon and a summoned golem formed from red tiles attacking the party. Upon defeating the demon, their reality shudders and breaks, tumbling all out on the roadside around the clown’s wagon. After many joyful reunions, and a conversation with the no longer possessed and freed Tasha’s Kiss, the party burns the wagon to the ground. They head back to Drummer’s Point, with the now much larger caravan following.

Session 15

Returning to Drummer’s Point, the party is able to verify and collaborate Jadrick’s story, with Pin and Lady Hurcrele vouching for both him and Mama’s Commune, but alarmed at the tale of hunting Lycanthopes disturbing their peaceful existence. They busy themselves to find space to house the freed villages and travellers and resources to feed and care for them.

The party splits to seek Dinka to perhaps silver some weapons before following the map taken from the Wereboar back to the edge of the Ringwood Forest and the hut that may have been the base of operations. The cost of 100G and time to silver catches the party off-guard. Dinka sympathizes with their plight and offers to quicken the process at the risk of an incomplete, and unreliable weapon and the party decides to pass for now. She suggests they seek out Wingnut’s Apothecary for magic based items, as Dinka works more in the day to day common things, though with the acknowledgement that her pre-Drummer’s Point life was nowhere near so mundane. While the eccentric Gnome has some magical items, the were a bit outside of the party’s price point at this time. He is alway working on creating and acquiring new items, so he tells them to stop back in. He also informs Toulin that Dinka is the best bet to craft a set of Thieves’ Tools for his, so long and she likes you and feels your cause is just.

Meanwhile, Lydia seeks out Papa Dog to clarify how he knew of her father’s map when she had never told a soul. Papa Dog reveals that he suspected she found the map and Lydia’s reaction confirmed it. Papa Dog and her father, Hob, had struck up a friendship and worked together, with Hob’s unique skill set ideally suited to the tasks that Papa Dog had for him. The map was the last agreed mission presented just prior to his passing. Papa Dog lets Lydia know if she and her companions prove worthy, that perhaps she would have the the chance of completing Hob’s final assignment. Papa does not want to send the party on such a dangerous quest without a greater comfort that they are capable.

After a night’s sleep and loading up on supplies, the group sets off to investigate the hut in the woods. They follow the map and arrive at what appears to be a woodcutter’s hut. Upon entering after cautious inspection, as Wayfarer looked under the rug on the floor for traps or a passageway, the carpet came to life and attempted to engulf him, almost like a Rug of Smothering.

Session 16

Be our guest! Be our guest! Put our service to the test is what a dancing candelabra would have been singing if there had been one in the small hut in the woods. Instead, a rug and broom attacked Wayfarer, a table came to life and charged Grist, and two swords and a menacing suit of armor tried to break free of a strategically placed entanglement spell cast by Shay. This kept a very dangerous suit of living armor, a Helmed Horror if you will, trapped and unable to move. The table crashed into Grist, but was unable to build up sufficient momentum to cause damage. The same could not be said for a broom that sprung to life behind Wayfarer and began pummeling him in the ribs and back of the head, doing considerable damage. Meanwhile, Lydia, having lagged behind the party in entering the hut, investigates a well and finds...water. She runs to the open door when she hears the commotion. She casts a Chaos Bolt at the table and hits if flush. It turns out that poison and psychic damage do not seem to bother a wooden table. Who knew? A swirl of wild magic surrounded the halfling, encasing Lydia in a translucent layer of protective, chiffon armor. Grist, Toulin and Dole assail the table. Dole’s sword, Shatterspike does additional siege damage to the table nearly hewing it in half before Grist finishes the job.

One sword is able to break free from the Warlock’s spell and attacks Wayfarer, putting him in mortal danger. The rug attempted to finish the job but was unable to wrap a tassel around the slippery Cleric. With the rug taking fire damage from Lydia’s fire bolts and torn at the seams by Shay’s barbed Eldritch Blast, it was literally held together by a thread before they were able to finish it off. Dole rushed to Wayfarer’s aid shouting for all to look away. The Tiefling Paladin, laying his hands upon the Cleric, instructs him “Look away, cough, and think of England.” However odd the methods, Wayfarer regains vigor and the color returns to his cheeks. That, or he was blushing.

Grist moves into range of the Helmed Horror, rages, enlarges, and soaks up damage while dishing a lot back. With the fall of the table and rug, the party is able to focus their fire on the swords, broom, and armor, defeating them and breaking the animating magic’s connection with the objects, but not before a sword and the broom get additional licks in on Wayfarer.

While the party Finds gold, potions, and a dozen cut diamonds in the hut’s main room, Lydia peeks behind the curtain at the back of the room. She finds a chest, a table with a gold goblet, bunk beds, and the mutilated corpse of a female elf. It was the same wererat who escaped from the party and had cornered Jadrick Swiftblink. The found this bloodied note on the elf’s body.
Wayfarer suspects the Red Tails are the criminal group Jadrick escaped from. Before getting too much time to decipher the meaning of the note further, the curiosity of first Lydia and then Shay kicks in. Lydia searches for more loot in an unlocked chest, opening the lid and staring straight into the mouth of a Mimic. The party reacts swiftly before too much harm is done but they may never have been so swift as they were when Shay reached for the golden goblet. As her finger touched the cup, a poof of magical smoke, a whiff of sulfur, and intense heat and flames from a fireball fill the area, as the goblet was trapped with a Glyph of Warding. The smell of sulfur provided just enough warning that all five party members within range (Toulin has learned to keep his distance) were able to throw themselves towards cover and avoid the full impact of the blast. The cabin aflame, the party singed and wounded, they make their way back to Drummer’s Point with more questions than answers.

Session 17

Our party, the Chaos Corps as they have named themselves, travel back to Drummer’s Point to recuperate and plot their next course of action. Toulin, getting a closer look at the recovered note pauses, and states that the description of the green-eyed cat matches the mask the figure who murdered his mentor and best friend in front of him in search of a relic of some sort. There are thoughts to arrange passage to Aquila, Capital of Halcyon and home to the continental peacekeeping Church of Eldath. They may have more information on the “True Church” though the phrase Dark Lord makes Wayfarer think it is a reference to the God Bane.

On return to Drummer’s Point, Wayfarer and Toulin check in with the Halfling Leatherworker, Nedda Hilltopple. Wayfarer is interested in the progress of his whip and Toulin would like to procure some enchanted armor. Nedda informs the Cleric that he can have his whip now, however, there is a risk of it breaking without proper time to cure. He decides to let Nedda finish an not to rush her. Toulin puts a downpayment of 400G for a new set of leather armor that Nedda will fashion and work with Wingnut magically enchant. The total cost is 1,200G and it will be ready in a month, give or take.

Returning to the Tipsy Donkey, Jadrick approaches Toulin. He had heard that Toulin was looking for a set of Thieve’s Tools in town earlier. As thanks for rescuing him, he gives Toulin his old set from Jadrick’s days with the Red Tail, saying he has no use for them any longer. The Chaos Corps questions Jadrick about the connection of the Red Tail and the “True Church” but that is an organization he is unfamiliar with, other than the Red Tail often hired out their unique services to other groups. Meanwhile, Papamoni Dogracer pulls Grist aside and asks if he is Nethyrian. Grist confirms with a nod and the Halfling Bard mentions dark tidings and rumors of Minotaur raiding groups along the border of Nethyria and Groene Bel as well as the lack of recent reports. Grist said that his tribe would never do that and Papa Dog shrugs and said he was relaying what he has heard from his sources. He said he could perhaps lend aid to Grist and the rest of the Corps if then prove themselves worthy and capable.

The party heads to bed for the night after a meal. Shay’s dreams become almost trance-like, and she is visited for the first time by her angelic guide, an immensely powerful woman in presence and stature, with broad golden wings and wearing a full set of battle armor. She explains that Shay is an Aasimar, a human whose soul carries the light of the heavens from the touch of a celestial. Her guide comments that she has not taken her present form in centuries if not longer and is more curious than surprised. She said that normally she is unable to appear to Shay in this manner, but that there are pockets of weakness in the barriers separating the planes. She tells Shay that Shay’s mother made a deal with her to ensure the safety of her unborn twins many years ago. She said that while she knows the twins’ mother is still alive, she has lost connection and suggests Shay attempts to locate her. Before Shay is able to gain further information, her guide glances over her shoulder and is shocked to see that Dole has been observing the entire conversation, and she vanishes.

Dole heard bits and pieces of the conversation and picked up on the discussion of their mother, June. Dole also perceived Shay’s Guide much differently than his sister did. Rather than seeing an angel, he saw a devil with curved horns, sharp teeth, and wings of fire.

In the morning, the twins relate their stories to each other and try to make sense of it all. They decide to seek out the one person they know that may be able to provide insight, the Cleric Wayfarer. They decide they may need to ply him with drink and provide him with a recently purchased potion for his troubles. Wayfarer agrees. On hearing the respective dreams and thinking on his studies from Aquila, he feels the most reasonable explanation was that the twins’ mother made a bargain with Zariel, the Archduchess of Avernus, the first layer of the Nine Hells and the front line in the Blood War, the battle between the devils of Hell and demons of the Abyss. Once a mighty angel charged with watching the tides of the Blood War, she succumbed to the plane’s corrupting influence and fell from grace. She proved her value to Asmodeus, ruler of the Hells, and displaced Bel as the leader of Avernus. Wayfarer believes that would explain how an Aasimar and Tiefling could be born as twins. When the twins indicate they may be pondering a literal journey to Hell, Wayfarer becomes very nervous and swallows the unknown tonic. More on this shortly.

After being informed by Pin that the Corps could likely bargain passage to Aquila with Captain Charlene of the trading ship the Silver Slipper, Lydia seeks out Papa Dog for further information on her father. Dogracer shares what he can, that her father was part of a thieves guild of some sort who left for some reason or other and that the two of them struck up a friendship and partnership upon their arrival in Drummer’s Point. Hob would use his skills and Papa Dog would pay him handsomely. While there were suspicions that Nob’s retirement may have been more one-sided, akin to Jadrick’s, Papa never learned any more details than that.

Finishing her conversation with the bard, Lydia looks over to see the twins leaving the table with Wayfarer while Cleric finished the tonic. When their eyes meet, a feeling of love and devotion for Lydia overtakes Wayfarer and he proceeds to do anything he can to please her and make her happy, to the point of going upstairs and taking a bath, scrubbing his skin raw in the process. Eventually, they are able to get the story of the twins’ visions out of Wayfarer and the effects of the potion wear off, but not before being dunked in the well outside by Grist eight times.This draws quite a crowd, with Papa Dog making up and playing a dunking song on the spot.

The Corps do book passage on the Silver Slipper to Aquila at the cost of 2G per passenger. Toulin partakes in a game of Pearl of the Deep with one Sheldon, one half of a pair of twin Tortles that are part of Captain Charlene’s crew. The Tortle offers a double or nothing bet on his final bounce of of a gold coin into a soup bowl of rum. He makes it, forcing a tiebreaker in the form of a swearing contest. Sheldon just bests Toulin, drinking all the rum and pocketing the coins, much to the entertainment and delight of the rest of the crew.

Shay and Dole remain in their quarters for most of the trip, emerging only to vomit over the side of the ship. Strange occurrences start happening over the evening and following day, rapidly growing algae on deck, a missing crew member found in a trance, and an attack by multiple groups of seabirds, fended off by the party. The Corps believe that on board cargo, a strange and ugly statue destined for Azacca, is responsible.

Session 18

With some assistance from a concoction mixed up by Wayfarer, Dole and Shay are able to keep what is inside their stomachs inside, and rejoin the party top deck. They try to figure out what to do with the statue. They are convinced that it is impacting the mood and behavior of those on the ship. Everyone, except their own party’s tempers have grown shorter. After another day, Captain Charlene stays in her cabin below deck other than to occasionally bark commands at the crew. This is odd behavior, according to her first mate. They decide to question the captain, and convince her to either dump the statue overboard or at least keep it further away from the crew. She refuses, but the party does learn that it was picked up from a trusted third party that they have worked with in the past when the client prefers to remain unknown.

With the Captain confined in her quarters, Shay conspires with Dole to use her newly discovered skill of Disguise Self to impersonate the Captain and gain access to the statue for closer examination. While the image of the disguise and the voice matched perfectly, the crew saw through their canard for three simple reasons:
Shay’s gait and body language was off. Having spend most of her time below deck or vomiting into the river, she did not have much direct observation of Captain Charlene.

Shay’s choice of words, were off relative to the saltier tongue of a woman who lived most of her life on a ship.

Now, the first two reasons may have easily been overlooked by the crew, given their altered mood and the perfection of the image and voice. However, when taken with the third reason…

Shay’s brother Dole, in the role of a Hype Man, emerged from below deck along with his disguised sister telling the crew to listen up to what Captain Shay was spitting, a Tiefling James Madison to the Aasimar’s Thomas Jefferson. Of course, it was Captain Charlene, not Captain Shay. The crew saw through the sham and told the two they could right piss off and to leave the statue alone.

Grist, Lydia, and Wayfarer decide a more forceful and persuasive approach is in order with the real Captain. Unable to persuade the captain to unlock her cabin door, they break in, Grist restraining Charlene. With crew members running top deck to report the manhandling of the Captain, Wayfarer places a hand on her head and casts Remove Curse. This seems to work, and Charlene tries to shake off the effects of whatever trance she was under as the crew, armed for a battle, appear at her door. She orders them to stand down and agrees to allow them to inspect the statue and pedestal, so long as they do not damage it. The pedestal is open and hollow on the bottom and there does not appear to be anything inside of the statue itself. Grist, overconfident in his grip on the statue lets it slip, and it clanked against the deck of the ship, unbroken. Wayfarer casts remove curse on it and this seems to have freed the crew from their stupor as well.

Prior to falling asleep, the Chaos Corps hears shouts of fear from the crew top deck. When they head to investigate, they find a fog had enveloped the ship and a black ship along side of the Silver Slipper with a boarding plank. The pirates have already boarded and look to be filled with blood lust and an obsession to take back the statue. Led by an imposing woman and her ash covered first mate, the pirate crew were preparing to lay swords into all aboard the Silver Slipper. A fierce battle followed, with Grist, Toulin, and Dole getting the jump on the pirates and taking out the first mate. The Pirate Captain, whilst being a strong magic wielder, was eventually overcome by the combined and coordinated forces of the Chaos Corps were too much, and the Evil Captain fell. As she did, the fog dissipates and the Black Ship slowly began sinking into the river.

The battle concluded, all agree that it is best to get the statue off the ship and sink it at the bottom of the river. With a flare for the dramatic, Lydia asks Grist if he would like to carry the statue and drop it from on high atop the Black Ship. Confused, Grist looks at her as she casts the spell Fly on him. Delighted, Grist grabs the statue and soars in the the starry night sky, and sends the cursed idol crashing into the Black Ship as it plunges below the surface of the water. Rather than returning to the Silver Slipper, Grist explores his newfound means of travel, flying high above the water. In a panic, Lydia remembers that she failed to inform Grist as to how long the Fly spell lasts. She is unable to attract the Minotaur’s attention, and watches in horror as the form of Grist plummets from the sky. Uncertain and angry why he is no longer able to fly, Grist becomes enraged, doubling in size as he splashes into the water on the starboard side of the Slipper. Knowing that look in the Barbarian’s eyes, Lydia hastily casts Fly on herself to avoid, if temporarily, the wrath of a wet and embiggened Grist. Like a Squirrel that has the measure of the range of a chained dog, Lydia hovers at a safe, but tantalizing close distance from Grist for as long as she is able.

Session 19

The Silver Slipper
Did I mention the Circlet of Human Perfection the party removed from the head of the Pirate Captain, who turned out to be a nasty piece of undead work called a Fext? I didn’t? Well, I have now. After much discussion, the Corps conclude that it is best used by Grist, and are able to convince the reluctant Minotaur that this would be in all of their best interests to avoid “misunderstandings” among the populous of Aquila. Upon attuning to the circlet, Grist transforms into a ruggedly handsome, 6’1” human male in his late 40s with red hair, a full beard, and chest full of a crimson curls.
He is also naked. Turns out, the nap carpeting on a human does not conceal nearly as much as the shag carpeting on a Minotaur does. A pair of billowy sailor’s pants are quickly found for Grist, but not before the Silver Slipper Captain’s eyes drink long and deep at the new sight of Grist. The Chaos Corps part ways with Captain Charlene and her crew on the docks of Aquila. She reaffirms her promise for free transport the next time it is required and lets them know how to contact her. Dole separates from the group, mumbling something about following his instincts in looking for the whereabouts of his mother.

Aquila and Headwater
The sight of Aquila and, in particular Headwater is breathtaking. It soars to dizzying heights, with waterfalls cascading from the walls of the central tower. Headwater, and most of Aquila for that matter appear to have been constructed in unison and in deference to nature, with many groves, trees, streams, and grottos found throughout the city. The city is situated on the south central shore of Perle Lake, the largest lake on Zythos, with a grouping on natural islands in the center and the awe inspiring Halcyon Falls to the far north end of the lake. The party fell quiet taking in the sight of it all.

Wayfarer fills the party in on the basics of Aquila. The central city of Halcyon is the home of Clerical Order of Eldath, commonly referred to as Headwater, and the educational institution for the training of Peacekeepers, Headwater Academy. The region of Halcyon is politically independent on Zythos. It serves as the home to the diplomatic mediators of Zythos, with a Peacekeeper assigned to each of the other five regions. They serve to engender peaceful resolutions in disputes and avoid war and bloodshed at all costs. This system has been largely successful for hundreds of years. Given its central location on the continent, the large city of Aquila has sprung up around Headwater, which is located on a small island off from the main city. Aquila is centered primarily around merchant guides. The merchants have agreed to a strict, regulated code of trade and dispute resolution. Those found in violation are evicted from the city. Violence is rare, and, if found unjustified, can result in banishment, forfeiture of holdings, and loss of trading privileges.

Sultry Subject
Wayfarer believes it is best to obtain petition bands before seeking audience with the Master Peacekeeper and that he is in need of some fresh clothing. Lydia also decides that she needs a new dress and Grist a shirt, shoes, and perhaps some less poofy pants. The first clothing shop they discover (yes dear reader, I said first, as there are two more to follow. Be patient!) is bright and vibrant Sultry Subject, that seems aimed at a more youthful clientele, and an ideal place for Lydia, if not Wayfarer, to find some new clothes. The owner of the shop, Jolly Torre, a younger woman with her strawberry colored hair tied up in a bun, is excited to help out Lydia, selecting a vibrant citrine colored summer dress. The dress is made for the smaller races and the fit is good, but for the hem being an inch or so too long. Jolly is happy to make the alterations, for a total cost of 18 gold pieces. Wayfarer argued that the price was too high. The older man’s argument was not very persuasive, as Jolly questioned what he know about fashion anyway while assessing his stained, frumpy clothing.

Shay decides to get involved with the negotiations. Her first, low ball counter proposal was offensive and Shay responded with a petulant outburst along with a minor illusion to make it appear the dress had a hole in it and frayed hems. Jolly is momentarily aghast, but, upon inspecting the dress with both her eyes and hands, finds the garment to be fully intact and of sound stitching. Faced with Shay who accused her of shoddy dressmaking and exculpatory prices, she asks them to leave the shop. Shay removes her mask, and in a radiant, menacing intimidation, purchases the dress for 10GP, but the party is told to never set foot into Sultry Subject again. Lydia no longer wants the dress and they head in search of another shop.

The Humble Thread
Wayfarer takes then to an area closer to Headwater that he is familiar with. The go into The Humble Thread, definitely not a store aimed at the younger generation unless they were extremely frugal or just entering the Highwater Seminary. This suits Wayfarer’s needs just fine but does not measure up to Lydia’s standards, and Grist agrees. They ask the proprietor Pizarro where they might find such a dress. As he begins to suggest Sultry Subject, they cut him off and say anyplace other than Jolly’s shop. He suggests The Distinguished Peacock. Giving Wayfarer directions, the Cleric recognizes the location, as it is across the street from Rolling Waters, the favored tavern of the the Highwater set. Wayfarer decides he will grab a drink in the bar whilst waiting for Lydia and Grist to purchase clothing. Toulin secrets himself just off the street with sightlines of both establishments and keeps an eye out for anything unusual. Shay steps away and casts disguise self to make herself appear as Jolly Torre, and takes a table behind Wayfarer in the Rolling Waters.

Rolling Waters
Wayfarer looks for Ogilvie, the old bartender and owner who presided over Rolling Waters during his days in Highwater Seminary. Not seeing anyone he recognizes, he hails the younger dwarf with the braided beard working behind the bar. Vuckovich introduces himself to the Cleric and explains that he purchased the bar a year and a half ago from Ogilvie, who retired to a small farm, with the promise that Vuckovich would maintain the tavern in the same venerable manner. Wayfarer orders a porter and the two talk, with Vuck catching Wayfarer up on the higher level of tension he has sensed recently from the Highwater folks. Wayfarer asks about his old mentor, Berrec Steelbrew, only to learn that it has been a few months since Berrec had stepped foot into the old RW. Vuckovich says that is not unusual if he has Peacekeeper business back in Groene Bel.

The Distinguished Peacock
Meanwhile, Lydia and Grist are waited on by Mantilla, a flamboyant and charismatic half orc with black, oiled hair parted in the middle and tusks that nearly shine in the light from the street. The quickly select a fabric for the dress that suits Lydia as well as selecting a purple coat and pants for Grist, along with a pair of shoes to cover his now soft and fleshy feet. A price agreed upon, Grist and Lydia head over to Rolling Waters until their clothing is ready.

Rolling Waters
While eavesdropping on Wayfarer, Shay orders a shot of alcohol and slams it down, not really sure what to expect. It burns her throat and belly with a fire not that different to the radiant light that appears when her wings appear. She goes into a coughing fit that attracts the attention of the bar. She orders two more drinks, downing them in rapid succession. The first settled into her belly with no fanfare. The second, however, triggered an urge to vomit, with the disguised Shay using the Citrine dress to catch the vomit and wipe her mouth. She makes quite the scene in the tavern, loudly providing the name of her store as she exits, passing Lydia and Grist as they enter, confused at seeing a not so jolly Jolly.

Lydia orders a lamb stew and Grist gets a rich, Onion Soup. Wayfarer relays the scene of Jolly and Lydia suggests that Wayfarer take a bath before appearing for petition, as he is quite ripe, despite his new clothing.

The Alley
Toulin, in an hour of secluded observation, the only thing out of the ordinary that Toulin sees is a bearded man dressed in a uniform start to enter Rolling Waters, pause as he is halfway in the door, and continue down the street towards the bridge that leads to Headwater. He is not certain if it meant anything and he decides to join the rest of the party in the tavern when he sees Lydia and Grist go in as the first shopkeeper is running out.

Rolling Waters
The gang eats, exchanging stories while Wayfarer finishes his bath, and is joined by Shay, who wants no part of any drink offered. Lydia and Grist step out to pick up and change into their new clothes and head back over to Rolling Waters as a clean Wayfarer is back in the main hall. The bearded man enters the tavern accompanied by a dozen guards. The man is Murff Adcock, the Captain of the Headwater Guards, and long time antagonist of Wayfarer. Wayfarer demands that Murff take him to the Master Peacekeeper and Murff retorts with “who do you think sent me.” Two guards restrain Wayfarer and the rest escort the Chaos Corps.

Wayfarer is lead to the office of Angela Downbrooke, the Loxodon Master Peacekeeper and head of the Order of Eldath for over 300 years. Her Seneschal, the High Elf Darfin Jokas has been with her nearly the whole time, and is the first to great Wayfarer outside of MP Downbrooke’s office. He is not convince that the Cleric is who he claims to be and murmurs that all will be sorted out shortly. Ushered into the office and stripped of his weapons, Wayfarer feels the wash of the anti magic spell separate his connection to Eldath. The room was as spartan and modest as he remembered it, at least so far as furniture goes. A simple chair and desk, a table with a wash basin in the corner. But the plants! The office was filled with greenery, vines, and orchids, an small potted trees in the vaulted high ceilings.

Office of the Master Peacekeeper
His attention turned to the only other figure in room, as Angela Downbrooke, the venerable Master Peacekeeper, rose from her chair. Standing well over 7’ tall, white robes with green trim that looked almost like the vines that share the room with her. Her three fingers and thumb wrapped around a simple, unhewn wooden staff, that serves as her focus as well as her walking stick. Her broad head exhibit deep grooves and wrinkles in her cheeks and brow, her broad ears twitching and trunk swaying in an alert but suspicions manner. The slightly cloudy eyes of the Master Peacekeeper contain both warmth and sharpness in their gaze, which are now fully directed at Wayfarer. Her questions begin.

Who was your roommate during Seminary? What class were you required to repeat? Why were you disciplined your third year and what was the punishment? How did Mother Molitor lose her eyebrows? Wayfarer answered all truthfully and without hesitation. Bulgar, the young man he fears he was a poor influence on. Sylvan. Which one of the five incidents? The Rolling Waters drinking contest that he snuck out for (and, for the record, won) and he was prohibited from drinking beer for two months. She lost them in the explosion that went further that Wayfarer expected it to.

Satisfied with his responses, the tension drained from Angela and she pulls Wayfarer into a joyful embrace. He is the only survivor of what was the start of a series of attacks on peacekeepers. She agrees to hear the news that Wayfarer and his travelling companions bring, and directs Darfin to bring the others up for an audience.

Session 20

An audience is granted! The remaining Chaos Corps, reunited with Dole, have been summoned to the chamber of the Master Peacekeeper, who had been catching up and debriefing Wayfarer. Upon setting aside their weapons, and in Toulin’s case, ammunition, as he finds it impossible to set aside his hand crossbow, they enter the modest office of the towering Loxodon. They feel the wash of the anti-magic field and Lydia feels as is something has been lost. MP Downbrooke assures her that it will return when she leaves. Grist’s human form also drops, and he stands in his true Minotaur form.

Introductions are made and the members of the Corps tell their stories. Well, mostly. Shay and Dole decide to be deceptive as to their mother and her connection to Zariel. They quickly learn that pulling the wool over the eyes of a 400 some year old creature who has headed Eldath’s Peacekeepers for over 300 years and brokered deals between leaders looking for any advantage is not so easy. Wayfarer attempts to cover for the twins and questions turn to Grist. He confirms that he is indeed from Nytheria and asks the Peacekeeper what she knows. The MP’s account is similar to Papa Dog’s: raiding bands of Minotaurs have been venturing into the easter edge of Groene Bel. Grist claims that is not part of their way and Angela acknowledged that it is highly unusual behavior from their long, but limited observations and largely unsuccessful attempts to establish communications. She said that all information cut off months ago and Grist shares that a dark influence that claimed to be something other than it was may be a part of it.

Taking in this information in a thoughtful nod, the Eldath Head hears the story of the Red Tails and the True Church. She shares that the Red Tails, while a disruptive and nasty lot, do not trouble themselves which much that does not pertain to their direct and local business, nasty as it is in its own right. The True Church, however, supports what the Peacekeepers have seen, direct and indirect attacks on Eldath’s followers and attempts to destabilize peace across Zythos. Toulin, edgy and barely in control of himself, asks about the green-eyed cat and tells the story of the slaying of his master and instructor in bounty hunting along with his brother in arms in Nordgaard. Downbrooke confirms that this description that has been shared by the few that have survived other attacks and that they seem to describe a higher up in the Church of Bane. Nearly ravenous for information, Toulin demands the location of the Green Eyed Cat and is apoplectic when the Master Peacekeeper can’t, or won’t, share direct information with an individual she just met 10 minutes ago.

A timely interruption from Wayfarer keeps Toulin from speaking, or perhaps acting, in a manner that could proof ill tidings for himself and the party. Wayfarer asks if there is anything they could do to prove their value and earn her trust. She volunteers that there has been a rare and troubling string of murders in Aquila that Captain of the Guards Murff Adcock had been unable to make progress on solving. She offers 1,000GP for getting to the bottom of it and putting a stop to the killings. She requests Seneschal Darfin fill the party in on the details and provide them with the light blue armbands that signal that they represent the Peacekeepers and should be cooperated with.

Darfin lets them know that there have been six victims, with no connections between them, other than they have been stabbed to death, their internal organs, eyes, and bones turned into crystal, and their hearts removed. High Alchemist Pafko the Green, an expert in such sort of transformations, has not been helpful at all. He lets them know that the bodies are available for them to inspect and Captain Adcock for questioning, Wayfarer perking up at the sound of that.

Making the most of an opportunity to embarrass and humiliate his antagonist, Wayfarer and the party find out what the frustrated Captain has found: they were found in alleys with a chalk symbol scrawled on a wall nearby. After inspecting the bodies and seeing the clean cuts removing the heart (and the rough stab wounds caused by a shorter individuals) they inspect one of the murder site before losing light. Dole is able to interpret the symbol, which is written in Infernal. It says, “Cage the Soul.” They return to Highwater where rooms have been provided. They go to the commissary for dinner and Wayfarer spies Docent Zorkit Flutterwheel, who they hope might provide additional information. Zorkit took an instant liking to Lydia and seemed to share in some good fun at the expense of Adcock, if not fully following the conversation. Not much of meaning was gleaned, but they got a good meal and rested for the night.

The next morning, they question the High Alchemist. The reluctance to share information stems from a slight that Pafko felt when Darfin did not come to him for a recent Highgarden potion order. The party agrees to argue his case to the Head Peacekeeper and Pafko shares that the crystal is a highly pure substance known as Kyanite. It is prized for its purity and ability to hold energy. He suggests speaking with Argus, the head of the Jewelers and Gemcutters Guild. Argus conveys skillful a craftsperson must be to work with it, given how easily it chips and shatters. He suggests visiting either Anni, the half-elf from the Emerald Dove or Kendrin, a Gnome who owns Kendrin’s Fine Works, as they are the most skilled. They decide to start with Kendrin, given his short stature and the size of the suspected murderer. As they head to the shop, they hear screaming from a side alley. Lydia casts fly on Grist to investigate. Grist sees three robed figures surrounding a fourth. As he draws close, the figures turn towards him, barbed, snake-like beards and murderous grins, including the supposed victim in the middle.


Session 21

Grist, flying 20 feet in the air to respond to the cries of terror from the alley is taken aback by reveal that he has been led into a trap by four Bearded Devils. One of the devils, getting the jump on the party, rushes to attack Lydia, a timely shield spell preventing a nasty, open wound, that unfortunately befell Wayfarer seconds later. She did take damage from a beard attack (beard attack? YES, beard attack!). The party caught on their back foot, responds with aplomb and start dishing out damage to the devils and rush to the defense of the imperilled Halfling Sorcerer. With friendly protection, Lydia unleashes a fire attack on the devils, only to see them shrug it off with a sneering laughter. Non-fire attacks then seem to be the order of the fight. With some healing spells and some good old fashion weapon attacks, they are successful if dispatching the Bearded Devils, each flashing out of the material plane and back to the Nine Hells.

Wayfarer informs the party that just before entering the alley, he spotted a short figure going into Kendrin’s Fine Works. The party heads there directly, with Toulin easily picking the lock and opens the door. Offering Grist the opportunity to enter first (hoping he would is more like it), Grist directs Toulin to be the vanguard with a single gesture. They see a shop full of display spaces with nothing to be shown. They also see a dried blood trail leading to the back of the shop. Following the trail, the flush out, not Kendrin, as they expected, but a young female Gnome by the name of Jelfi who states she was promised skill and would not be taken. The Corps questions her. She is looking to be allowed to go free in exchange but the party will have no part of that. She tries to bribe them by tossing two large and finely hewn gems as payment. Lydia picks up one and inspects it, but feels a spell attempt to influence her mind but she resists. Dole, on the other hand, does not, and walks out of the shop in search of a meal. The two gems Jelfi tossed transform into Crystalline Devils.
In a brutal fight that drained most of the remaining spells and left many of the party wounded, the Chaos Corps came out victorious, aided by Dole who returned to the shop chomping on a raw onion purchased from a street vendor who was passing by the shop. Dole’s definition of a meal may be different than others!

They find a finely bound gemcutter’s guide book on the unconscious Jelfi and decide what to do next. They follow the blood trail and see that it goes down a stairway to the lower level. Cautious about heading down in such a precarious position, the dicker about what they should do next. Shay, while peeking down the stairway, is overcome with an arcane desire to walk down the stairs with her eyes closed. Toulin, seeing this, informs the rest of the party, who are close behind. When they turn the corner, they smell a whiff of ozone, and they see the long-dead body of whom they assume to be Kendrin, a Gilded Devil munching on an emerald, six Kyanite hearts removed from the victims
and, oh yeah, an adult blue dragon.

Session 22

In their heads, the party “hears” the Devil apologize for the smell and invite them down for a conversation and encourages them not to flee, lest the dragon leaves is reposed position behind him. The party acquiesced and approaches the Gilded Devil, who introduces himself as Romero, not his true name, mind you. Grist hears the dragon ask in Draconic if this lot is to be its dinner and Romero tells him that is yet to be determined.

Romero is relaxed, leaning back in his chair with his feet propped up on the desk in front of him, chomping on a sapphire. It must be nice, it must be nice, to have a Blue Dragon on your side! He expresses his disappointment in Jelfi, who was sloppy in her duty, leaving a trail that could be followed. He also apologizes for the attack of the bearded devils earlier. He is very impressed with their powers in defeating both the Bearded Devils as well as the Crystalline Devils upstairs.

Romero says he quite likes his situation here on the Material Plane, out from under the constant thumb of Mammon. He proposes a deal to the party, as a group or individuals. He can grant them powers or help them locate someone or something they are looking for, in exchange for their soul and the murder of Jelfi. Shay, looking for her mother and wishing vengeance on her father, heads up the stairs to bring the bound body of the gnome apprentice. He also offers a bag of precious gems that must be worth at least 5,000 GP. The party asks for a moment to confer and the request is granted, much to the chagrin of the dragon, whose eyes remain locked with those of Grist, the dragon attempting to goad the Minotaur Barbarian into a confrontation. Toulin tells Shay in no uncertain terms that they are not murdering Jelfi and they are not dealing away their soul. They decide their best course of action is to allow Romero and the mighty Blue to leave with the hearts and the gems without resistance, and hope the devil is unable to discern the Chaos Corps’ weakened state, nearly out of spells. In exchange, Romero promises to leave Aquila and not return. The dragon continues to sneer and taunt Grist, but Grist resists the urge to attack, perhaps to the surprise of Grist himself. Given his experience with a deceitful Green Dragon who may have enslaved his kin and clan in Nethyria. An agreement reached, Romero gathers up the hearts and gems, and with a wave of his hand and the muttering of a phrase, teleports out of the basement, leaving the party behind.

What of the Dragon, you say? Well, as Romero’s Teleportation Spell took effect, the Blue Dragon’s form flickered and disappeared, but an illusion that served its purpose quite well. Shay is now able to recall why the muttering she heard when she first went down the stairs was familiar, as it was the cadence of spellcasting. Toulin as well had thought to himself how a beast of this size was located in the basement of a jeweller’s shop. While blue dragons love gems, this was an odd location indeed. Frustrated at having the scales pulled over their eyes, the weary Corps makes their way back to Headwater, with a stop in Rolling Waters for fortification. Drinks are poured, with Lydia, prior to stepping away to clean the devil blood from her person, ordering the ironically named White Dragon, a drink consisting of whiskey and warm goat milk. The order brings a smile to the face of the Dwarven Barkeep, Vuckovich, who adds his own flourish to the drink with a stick of cinnamon. Wayfarer asks if there has been any reports from Berrec.

Before Vuckovich can respond, a plump, ruddy-eyed, tiny drake appears on the bar, taking a long draw from Lydia’s White Dragon. He pipes up that he might have listened in to Berrec prior to his departure a while back. He says no more but takes a longing look at the empty vessel in his hands. Grist, seeing a tiny dragon, is ready to attack, but Wayfarer stays Grist’s axe by telling the party that this is Picciolo, the Ale Drake, an old friend and someone who may be as good a source of information around, so long as they keep him in drink. Wayfarer goes to place an order with Vuckovich, but the dwarf is already bringing two more White Dragons over, one for the drake, the other for Lydia. Picciolo said that he heard Berrec in conversation with Darfin about investigating the peculiar behavior of the Minotaurs and re-establishing their information network. He was expecting that he may not be able to communicate for a while. There were also reports that a dragon may be present. The drunken drake left and settled in to his nook in the rafters to sleep of his drinks.

Picciolo the Ale Drake

The party, with Jelfi in tow, make their way to Headwater and deliver Jelfi to the guards. Adcock chastises Wayfarer for letting the Gilded Devil escape, prompting Shay to casts Phantasmal Force on Captain Adcock, make Wayfarer appear like a mashed up image of the bearded devils and the gilded devil. Adcock attacks Wayfarer, but the other guards restrain him, escorting both he and Jelfi away. The Corps are led to the MP Downbrooke’s office, leaving weapons outside as before. Joining her is Asad Velli, the serene and calm Peacekeeper assigned to Avangaard. Asad worked alongside Toulin's Master many years when they hired his outfit. He expressed his condolences to Toulin and pledged his dedication to finding justice and locating the Green Eyed Cat. The party tells the tale of their investigation and Shay and Dole (honestly this time) share their story of Zariel and the deal their mother made. Angela cannot provide guidance as to why their mother might have done such a thing but is fascinated that Zariel appeared in her angelic form to Shay rather than her current demonic one. She then fills the party briefly on the Nine Hells and the Blood War between the lawful evil devils and chaotic evil demons, with Avernus, the Arch Devil Zariel’s domain, being the front line. She suspects but is not certain, that the Church of Bane may be behind the weakening of the boundaries and it could be an attempt to spill the Blood War onto the Material Plane.

The Loxadon presented an offer of working with the Chaos Corps on another issue, with Wayfarer assigned as their Eldath attache. She turns it over to PK Velli for the details. Apparently, there is an old dwarven citadel set into the active volcano of Mount Gambrinus that was taken over by fire giants, enslaving the dwarves. They are producing and selling weapons that are both standard and magical in nature, to a band of Orcs that are potential threats to the citizens of Avangaard. They are also likely working with the Church of Bane. The citadel had retracted from larger society centuries ago and no one would have been the wiser but for the escape of one of the dwarves, who can be made available for the party to speak with. Payment would be 1,000 GP each, with 50% up front. They would also be allowed to keep recovered treasure and be provided with the Royal Blue bands that show them to be Agents of the Realm as well and have transportation via the Druid of the Headwater grove to within 2-3 day journey to the citadel.

After thinking on the offer overnight, they agree to the arrangement, with the stipulation that they will have information shared regarding the troubles in Nethyria with the manipulative Green Dragon, Mooradeen, the party collects their advance and make preparations for their next adventure.

Session 23

Simple Summary:
1. Escaped Dwarf
• Interrogated the escaped Dwarf Prisoner (Hisle)
• Learned general layout of Lava Citadel
• 3 Fire Giants, Giantess leader, with Azer to control prisoners
• Sulfurous smoke and noise will aid in passage
• Group of Dwarves work for Giants
• Group of prisoners nearing rebellion (tattoo of scales on their leg/ankle are signs of conspirators)
2. Potion Shopping
• Negotiations ensued with Pafko the Green
• Purchased healing potions + resistance
• Got a discount from their assistance in re-establishing the Headwater contract
• Shay asked for anything they could bring back for trade/sale from Mount Gambrinus
• Milking a Fire for the venom
• Giggles and Double Entendres ensued (Dole principally. Look, milking a snake is a real thing!)
3. Scroll Shopping
• Bartered for Scrolls with Slaton, the proprietor
• Shay discovered an interest in Erotica/Romance books (don’t ask how)
• Shay promised to bring some ribald stories to Slaton for a volume discount price now
• Final piece of negotiations was Shay agreeing that she and Dole would read out a portion of the story
4. Equipment Shopping
• Toulin purchased magical bolts from a Fletcher and Bowyer Shop, The Storm’s Arrow run by Shimada, a Half-Elf (yep, went there)
5. Headwater Grove
• Leave for Mount Gambrinus via Lucan
• Burdette, a Firbolg Druid, maintains the Grove (beautiful oasis dominated by a tree)
• Burdette is a chill, hippy, southern/creole - Alright alright alright
• Wayfarer attempts to trade the Druid Book obtained in the Sunless Citadel to Burdette, but Burdette interprets it as a gift and thanks him kindly (Wayfarer lets it go)
• The Dragonleaf Tree stands 75 foot tall, the bark having a scaled pattern, roots appearing as claws, and the leaves a silvery color, but upon closer inspection, are more platinum in color.
• Burdette speaks to the tree and asks permission for the Chaos Corps to pass to face an evil
• Transport via Plants is allowed and the party passes through
6. Lucan
• Asad Velli told the party to meet with McClure at the Shady Fey Tavern in Lucan for the best course to Mount Gabrinus
• In the tavern, a panicked woman (Conley) seeks aid for the toppled Obelisk covered in ruins and downed wedding party and an unnatural windstorm
• Chaos Corps investigates, see cloaked harper at the top of a hill, are ambushed by a wind weasel and shockwing moths
• The party defeats them but Wayfarer fell to the weasel after Lydia cast a fireball where he was surrounded by enemies (and is them brought back up).
• They head towards the hill but meet a resistance of wind and 10 storm spirits and defeat them with many mishaps, errant swings of swords, directed spells, and bolts shot, and damage taken by the party.
• The bride and groom hover in the air with the officiant appearing to bob in front of them with the rest of the guests on the ground.

Session 24: Owlbears, Bulette's, and Editing


Master class stuff right there. Bravo, good fellows, bravo.

Session 25: Mail Trouble and an Aasimar with a Plan

Nothing to see here, just Shay sneaking around

Sessions ? - ?
For now, let us go with 1 P.S. (Post Shay)

It has been a spell, readers! You may ask, where have I been? I have been right here! You must have journeyed to the Feywild and lost all track of time. I will get you caught up, best I can. To my best recall, there are additional letters from Wayfarer to Master Peacekeeper Downbrooke (with the assistance of Shay) detailing the Chaos Corps adventures in the Gabrinus Citadel. These must have been lost in transit or at least delayed, hopefully to reappear at some time in the future. The long and the short of it is that they survived and successfully completed their mission, making new allies along to way and saying goodbye to an old one (who is still relatively new if we are being perfectly honest here!).

Oh, you want more details? So be it! They made their way down the mines and tunnels, locating the Dwarven Vault of the family Blazenstrike. They survived spiders whose blood makes you drunk (Wayfarer can vouch for this), a Xorn who attempted unsuccessfully to take protection money from them, angry Azers and an Arcane Ooze, and a series of traps that resulted in Grist going on a diet the hard way; smashed between two trap walls. The payoff was worth it, as they temporarily (this word is important. We will get to it shortly) received more gold that they would likely be able to spend in a lifetime along with the magically shield and Battleaxe, Spahn’s Shameslayer.

The weapon wielded against the Red Dragon, Tirit the Shamebringer, by the Dwarf Spahn Blazenstrike in defense of the Gambrinus Citadel. Burned and bleeding, Spahn was the last of the defenders left standing. Facing the full fury of Tirit's fire breath and knowing his time was at an end, Spahn call upon Haela Brightaxe's blessing and hurled his battleaxe at the monstrous red as the flames engulfed him. The axe accelerated through the air and sank deep into the neck of the drake, a radiate orange trail extending from Spahn, to the axe, and into the dragon. Arcs of light sprayed from the wound like sparks from the anvil. The dragon fell. Spahn fell as well, but the Clan was saved. The battleaxe, infused with the blessing of Haela Brightaxe, the spirit of Spahn, and the blood of the Shamebringer, became something more than a simple weapon.

The axe has some wondrous properties, both good and not so good, as we will discover. But back to the gold thingy. It all went into Lydia’s Bag of Holding. This is a very helpful thing, as it would be very tricky to clear out a dwarven vault if you had to carry all that gold, platinum, silver, and copper back up without magical means. The trick is, Lydia has some pretty unpredictable things happen when she casts spells.

Sometimes she summons an Imp.
Multiple times.
The same Imp.
Against incredible odds.
Four times.
His name is Fred.
Fred the Imp

Sometimes (once, at least), she turns all the gold in her possession into silver. This is a 90% drop in purchasing power. This remained a secret until their defeat of the Fire Giants and was a swift kick to their collective Ioun Stones, let me tell you.

In making their way out of the vault and through the mines, they stumble on a group of dwarves who stuck away from their Azer overseers but were trapped and cornered by fire snakes. All dwarves were saved, save one and one snake milked, with others attempted. It was a bit of two snakes, one cup, with Shay selecting a very small, emptied ink jar as the receptacle. The slain dwarf Copeland turned out to be the head of the Cabal of the Scale and the liaison to the clan of Kobolds who have helped feed the dwarves in exchange for helping to free their dragon and defeat the giants. Wayfarer pulls out a diamond and casts revivify to bring Copeland back to life. He agrees to take the Corps to the Kobolds to meet with their leader Beasley and plan an attack.

What would have been a harrowing journey through traps and ambushes becomes easy with their new allies. They meet with the Kobold Beasley who introduces the party to they young Copper Dragon, Pryzbilla, a pent up but trickster good natured juvenile who longs to be free from the confinement and drab company of the Kobolds, who worship her to no end and have no good stories. The Kobolds did hatch her from an abandoned egg, so she owes them that much, however, they raised her in a cavern that became impassable as she rapidly grew in size. Grist wants to kill the dragon on sight but is convinced not to for her aid in the fight against the fire giants.

Using a potion of diminution, they shrink Pryzbilla, leave the caverns, and make their way back to the mineshaft to ascend and start their assault. The Kobolds and Dwarves rally those fit to fight and the battle begins. In a series of back and forth blows, the Corps and their allies defeat the Azers and two giants on the lower level and pursue the head Giantess Ferrisnika and the turncoat dwarf Gurdis on the second floor. Shay, acting as bait with mirror image cast on her, finds herself surrounded by the giant and two Hell Hounds, along with Gurdis. Surviving against all odds, her ploy works and the party, along with the young copper Pryzbilla, defeat Ferrusnika and Gurdis, with Grist decapitating the dwarf and flipping her helmeted head to Shay. In the aftermath of the battle, a fleeing figure catches Pryzbilla’s attention and she flies out the open doors in pursuit. Lydia and Grist are close behind and they see a fancy clad figure in fine robe on the run. Casting fly on Grist, Lydia grabs onto the Minotaur’s weapons belt, barely managing to hold on as the labyrinthine denizen pursues not the fancy lad but instead Pryzbilla, tossing the dragonslaying axe of returning twice, narrowly missing with each attempt. With a roar, the copper takes to the skies in a hasty retreat.

Frustrated by his missed chance, the enraged Grist sets upon the running figure, spilling Lydia in the process. Following a shakedown of the short and stout figure that may or may not have included bodily harm (it definitely did), they discover that he is Belgrim Sundersong, a Dwarven Bard who had come to barter and perhaps commission metalwork from the Gambrinus Citadel, unaware of the presence of the Fire Giants. Upon removing his hat, they also discover he is much dirtier and grubbier than he first appeared. He claims that his only saving grace was his ability to play a martial battle hymn on the bagpipes that Ferrusnika was smitten with. He was kept locked in the cage the party had seen and dragged from room to room as she felt fit, forced to play the same piece over and over again.

Reconvening up top, Belgrim puts evidence to the words, and plays the accursed instrument that saved his life. All needed a drink following the performance, with only Shay tapping her feet to the bleats and moans of the bag. Whilst the party drank and rested, they peppered Belgrim for information, as he made mention that he saw a figure in a cat mask along with another who only spoke Draconic, meet with Ferrusnika and Gurdis. He even overhead a bit of the conversation about a hamlet called Scourmont, a key, and the Lament. Toulin is familiar with Scourmont, as it is south of where he lived and grew up. The green eyed cat appeared to be instructing the other individual. Laying in a course of pursuit, the party noticed that Dole had not returned from his walkabout during their short rest.

Now, Dole venturing off is a fairly common occurrence. Uncommon was that he did not return. Shay found a note from her brother written on the back of a spell scroll. It read as follows:


The party attempted to make up time, their new dwarven companion in tow, by using a secret path show to them by the thankful, liberated dwarves, and a multi-day dash through the woods. Unfortunately, a number of obstacles slowed them down and they came upon a large, fortified group of orcs along with the hooded figure, who turned out to be a fiendish Black Abishai. Through the use of a clever bit of magic from Shay that made they plants in the entire area grow and drastically impede the movement of friend and foe alike, the Corps was able to whittle down and defeat the Orcs and Abishai. Searching a cave that seemed to be the base of operations for the foes, they find no Green Eyed Cat no enchanted key, and no clear indication what they were after.

They follow the only lead they have, the Lament of Scourmont, a very old, square iron building that has been sealed and abandoned. The heavy, two foot thick silver door is slightly ajar and they see, depicted on the walls, a scene of sorcerers fighting and defeating a devil. A block trap had been triggered ahead by the individual or group that entered prior to them. They detect and dispell a disintegration trap on the interior door frame and enter a long hall of silver striped pillars and statues of silver faces and silver bladed fingers flanking the doorway, one with dried blood on its face. They also find an empty dais with a magnetic indentation at the end of the hall and an alcove to the right.

In the alcove, a couple things attract their attention. For Belgrim, it is the vibration and humming noise coming from the east wall, where he discovers a cleverly disguised panel. For the rest, it is the robed body of a half elf, bloody and the floor in front of an iron door. Her robes bore the mark of Bane and she was missing a hand. Well, not missing per se, as the party found it fast enough, still holding the handle of the iron door, with a set of lockpicks still in the lock. There was also a heavy, thick disc of a green stone, the same as they have seen in the mural and floor of the entry. They find the same odd key that Belgrim described seeing, silvered crossbow bolts, and some potions. Toulin also spies a faint outline in the ceiling above the door that looks similar to the silver block trap at the entrance.

Lydia, Wayfarer, and Belgrim head down the hidden crawlspace on their bellies, their passage made more difficult by the sharp, silver blades that line the walls. The tunnel branches to the north, and Lydia goes that way, finding a small room of levers and gears. Figuring this may be controlling the loud noise and vibrations from the east end of the passage, she casts magic to destroy the controls. The vibrations stop and it becomes quieter. Making their way through the blades, the open the panel at the east end, barely avoiding tumbling 20 feet down onto the teeth of a 10 foot long, unmoving silver saw blade. The see 8 such blades that they guess were spinning and moving back and forth along groves in the floor. The also see a dais with a stone disc place in it at the north end of the room, a hallway to the south, and an iron door on the north end of the western wall.

Shouting their discover to the party back in the alcove, Shay decides to pick up the stone disc, with the intention of placing it in the dais of the adjacent room. As she touches it, they hear and feel a grinding and spinning noise along with heavy, heavy footfalls, coming their way!

Oh, did I forget to mention that Grist the Minotaur is well on his way to turning into a Dwarf? I did? Well, ok then.