The Legacy of Heroes

Under New Moons


The Heaven’s Heart hovered in an open, now-cloudless sky above an ocean new and vast. The water’s shimmering surface was dotted with several small isles, with a larger coast off in the distance. All those on board (save the Spelljammer’s pilot, Travaren) stood together on the ship’s upper deck, arrested by the quiet beauty of it all – even the grass on the lands below seemed stained in the indigo hue that blanketed the sky. The only heavenly bodies that cut through the monochrome skyline were the stars that clustered and flickered above, all of which were dwarfed but the three moons that glowed. One carried with it a faint, similar silver light that those from Oerth seemed familiar with, but the other two were marvelous and unknown. The missionaries whispered amongst themselves, pointing out the constellations they knew and pondering about those they didn’t. Their wonder was infectious to a degree: Moira kept Vetnik’s hand in hers and they scanned the heavens together, with Moira pointing out constellations to him she knew herself while wondering out loud what the others could represent; Grum paced the deck in order to get better sense of where North could be while Trisoll blithely followed, his eyes fixed on the sky. Feelingly mysteriously rejuvenated, Thom quickly pulled out his sketchbook and began to fluidly map out of the three-mooned sky and the islands beneath him on paper. Grunt remained disinterested but noticed from beneath the edge of his hood the occasional glances Aela (the half-Elf missionary) kept sending him.

As Thom glanced frenetically from page to landscape and back, he noticed Lyssa leaning against the edge of the deck. He continued to observe her as he sketched and watched as she succumbed to a peculiar daze. He paused from sketching and watched as her posture became more fluid and relaxed, with even her usually tense countenance relaxing as she leaned her head back up towards the sky. It was almost as if she could hear music that no one else could, a song that seemed to lure her upwards. Thom felt the space around Lyssa rumble with magical vibrations and watched as her body was overcome with an aura of red energy. Without warning, she jetted off into the sky in a streak of crimson light with more speed and power than either she or her companions had seen from her before. As she soared higher, the aura around her began to take on a spherical shape. A mile above the Spelljammer, Thom and the others watched as the aura exploded into an undulating rhythm of radiant red fields that cycled from the mage’s body. Thom was captivated by the unique sight and began to sketch the shapes she saw glowing up him. He watched as the fields began to flicker, faster and faster and faster, until all of a sudden they vibrated so wildly that they released a siren’s pitch so piercing that it cut into the ears of all who could hear below.

Thom was first to be subdued by the sound as the screech drilled its way into his sensitive half-Elven ears. He dropped his journal and crayons onto the deck and fell to his knees, clasping his gloved hands over his ears while cursing the sound. The screeching was unyielding and soon the entire party was covering their ears in a panic, shouting at both Lyssa and each other for an end to it. Moira watched as the acolytes huddled together to protect themselves. On the opposite side, Captain Durbin struggled to inch his way across the deck to aid his crew of Gnomes, all three of whom lay writhing on the deck overcome by the sonic assault. Grum seemed to manage the sound better than most (certainly better than his brother was). With his ears covered, he rushed beside Trisoll.

“DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO MAKE THIS STOP?” Grum shouted, making sure to mouth and enunciate every word pointedly for the partially deafened cleric.

Trisoll frantically nodded his head before bowing it, closing his eyes in an attempt to concentrate. Grum watched as Trisoll muttered a prayer he couldn’t decipher, turning his attention back and forth from him and his suffering brother. Suddenly, the siren stopped. The air was quiet once more. Trisoll and Grum cautiously unclasped their ears in unison and looked to each other.

“It worked!” Trisoll exclaimed. He noticed though, that as his mouth moved, the words failed to escape his throat. Trisoll looked up to the sky and watched as Lyssa continued to float above them, the sphere of violent magical energy now calm around her.

Grum, meanwhile, rushed to his brother’s side and helped him unclasp his ears. He saw in his brother’s eyes the welling of painful tears and bloodshot vessels – but took care not to point it out. He simply patted his brother on the back before he took up his brother’s journal and crayon. Thom watched as Grum flipped the page and quickly scribbled a note down to him: ARE YOU ALL RIGHT? Thom nodded his head before reaching out for his journal.

WHAT HAPPENED? Thom asked in conté.

Grum snapped his fingers and pointed them at Trisoll, who was now helping the others to their feet along with Moira and Vetnik. Thom and Grum confronted the cleric, pointing at Thom’s note. Trisoll pantomimed out the following: he had prayed to Trithereon to silence Lyssa and, in doing so, blanketed her with a field of silence that was now afflicting them as well. The trio of men looked up and watched Lyssa hover above them, oblivious to the torment she had wrought upon them just moments prior. Trisoll placed his fingers in his mouth as if to whistle up to her but before blowing, he remembered the prayer that had been answered, and wiped his spit-tipped fingers off onto his tunic.

They were at an impasse. They could not call out to their companion without breaking the prayer, but doing so would surely release the horrid sound upon them again. Rejoined with Grunt, Moira and Vetnik, the party looked on deck for things that could get the dazed mage’s attention. Grunt even drew Hank and offered up an unerring arrow as an option. It was an option Moira was quick to dismiss, however. Thom guided a crayon between his fingers as he struggled to come up with a way to get the mage’s attention. Then, it hit him; in between his fingers, he snapped the crayon in two. He tucked one half of it away in his pocket and readied to throw the other half. He glared up at his companion, stood back, and launched it into the air. The conté half torpedoed up into the air, shot straight through Lyssa’s radiating sphere and landed against the mage’s brow. The collision jolted Lyssa back into consciousness. Her eyes burst open to reveal an intense, fiery glow as she scanned the area around her. Looking beneath, she saw her companions staring up at her with pained, frustrated expressions. As she began to mouth a reply, she too realized she had been silenced. She caressed her throat and struggled to release a sound, panicked by the loss of her voice.

Thom flipped the page of his journal, retrieved the half of his crayon, and quickly scribed a note in big, blocky lettering. It commanded:


Lyssa took a moment to read the short and terse note. As she did, she could feel the currents of magical energy expanding and contracting around her in ways she couldn’t control. The symptoms of a wild surge, no doubt.

Lyssa drops the fly spell and torpedoes towards the deck of the ship. Vetnik and Grum rush to catch her and both insure a safe landing.

“Does this happen often?” Strom to Moira.
“Often? No. Seldom, perhaps,” she responds.

The party discusses their connection to the magic. Thom reveals he feels a stronger connection but is fine otherwise. Lyssa, on the other hand, continues to display a relaxed blitheness that’s out of character for her. Thom takes note of her relaxed demeanor and attributes this daze of hers to something in the new world. Trithereon fells nothing. Grombor urges every one to strap in below deck.

The land is lush, with blue-tinted fields of tall grass. The air is fresh and sweet, with the sound of birds chirping. Jarbo skitter away as the Spelljammer descends. Vetnik sees a small, bespectacled man run through the grass, looking up at the ship in absolute wonder. In his hand is a glass beaker, which drops to the ground.

Once on the ground, Vetnik notices he looks much like a Gnome, but more refined. Grombor skittishly urges the party off of the ship. Lyssa stumbles toward the cockpit and observes as Travaran struggles with his star maps, unconcerned with outside distractions.

Vetnik and Moira are the first to touch the new land. The mysterious man falls to the ground in marvel. His eyes dart around, glancing at the party’s belts.

“Are you gods? Kings? Is this your queen?”
“Perhaps one day, but—“
“Where did you get all that metal?”
“Sir, please steady yourself.”

“My name is Albar Daxif. I saw you fly in from the tower. You’re not kings, not gods?”
“We might be,” Lyssa muttered under her breath jokingly – a characteristic she was never predisposed to.
“Come, take that off. Hide all those things!”
“You mean my armor?”
“Yes. You don’t understand. I’ve never seen so much metal—you invite great peril if anyone sees that!”

Walking through the overgrown plains towards the tower, a quilled coyote snacks on running jarbo, dragging its squeaking body into the night shadow of the bush.

Heading northeast, they come upon an observatory tower built into the side of a hill. He leads them up to a door that opens up with a series of keys for every lock.

“Welcome to Daxif Tower!”

Lyssa questions the man about elves in Kellagha. She and Vetnik coerce the man to take some of Dablova’s Serenity by way of Grunt. Once calm, he and Vetnik begin to discuss his identity: an alchemist and astrologer.

Jen’mar’kah (sun elves, warriors)
Bri’ja’kah (moon elves, scholars)
Geldans (bird men)

After lengthy discussions, analyzing the vision Dablova imparted onto the group, Albar assists in setting up camp for them. Strom and Wous insist on staying up to keep watch. The male gnome (in an attempt to impress the female gnome). Lyssa overheards Aela fawn over Grunt to the female Gnome (which disgusts Lyssa).

Once Aela realizes Grunt has a shift, she is eager to volunteer to take watch with him.

Before shifts begin, Lyssa and Strom argue over the semantics of their mission and she calls them out for blindly going along with the church’s orders without even realizing a church had already been established in Kellagha already. Moira is tickled by Lyssa’s candor, feeling similarly confrontational towards the church as of late.

Trisoll and Wous take first shift and get chummy. Trisoll assures Wous that Lyssa means he and his crew no particular harm. Wous confides in Trisoll that he wasn’t a respected dwarf and sought out Cortox as a means for a new life. No incident.

Grunt and Aela take next shift. Grunt sits in silence, picking at the dirt with an arrow. Aela scoots beside him. “Well stranger, we have a shift together. How fortuitous.”
“Why are you so angry?”
“I’m not angry, I’m indifferent.”
“Do you not like… women?”
“I don’t like anybody!”
“Release the anger. Give in to love…” Aela leans in to kiss him but before she can press her lips against him, they hear the rustling of a pack of six large wolves with jet black fur. Aela spots them first with her nightvision.

“Something is coming!” Aela cried out, using the disturbance as a means to grab hold of Grunt. Grunt struggled to release himself of her at first, but noticed something about the movement in the bush. It was a disturbance far too large to be a mere flock of jarbo. Grunt pivoted around to wake the others while also positioning Aela in front to use her back as a shield if necessary.

As the others slowly began to rise from their sleep, Grunt noticed the light from the fire reflect on several small sets of eyes that cut through the grass and reflected the light of the fire back at them, disappearing and reappearing several times over. Grunt had seen this same behavior in other animals. They were being scouted, circled, sized-up as a meal. Suddenly, the rustling of the bushes in front of Grunt stopped and the gaze of wandering eyes could be seen no more. Grunt and the others held their breaths, suspended by the unknown and half-alertness. All of a sudden, Aela squeezed her arms tight around Grunt’s neck as she let out a yelp.

“By Cortox, what are they?” Aela shuddered. Grunt turned his head around; he could see the shadows of three beasts slink out of the bush towards the edge of the camp, the torchlight glowing against their glassy amber eyes. Grunt could barely make out the blackened shapes.
“What do you see?” Grunt whispered.
“Black!”Aela relayed back, burying herself deeper into Grunt’s shoulder. “Black like dire wolves, but their fur’s—“

Before she could finish detailing the strange creatures’ to Grunt, a pair of beasts made themselves known to the party by leaping up out of the bush to attack. What emerged was a foreign and horrific sight: indeed, they were as big and black as dire wolves, but lining their fur were rows of long ebony spines that laid against their bodies. As Aela shrieked, Thom quickly drew his longsword from out of his scabbard and slashed away at the pair of leaping things across their bellies. Unarmored, Moira drew Starstrike and quickly rushed to Thom’s aid. In her rush, the first of her swings missed, but the second cut into one of the beasts, keeping it at bay for a moment. Trisoll scoured the campsite only half-awake, frantically chanting for a blessing to blanket the party with as they battled the strange pseudo-wolves. Lyssa shot up out of her sleeping bag and extended her hand outward towards the oncoming beasts. She aimed her hand and concentrated on sending the magic in her body through her fingers to release a series of magic missiles. Her intent proved weaker than her control however as Lyssa felt the rush of energy surge through her entire body and expand outwards uncontrollably. Lyssa put her hand in front and could see an aura surrounding her arm made of waves of translucent, multi-colored energy. Her signature bolts of energy coursed through the shimmering waves. Lyssa was transfixed by the effect and watched as the waves of energy snuffed out and absorbed her crimson signatures. It was an effect she had never seen before, and one that only lasted a moment. She looked out and saw a pause overtake the camp-turned-battleground. Sparkling wisps of red energy briefly fluttered around the mouths and throats of both friend and foe alike before billowing up the noses and mouths of those engaged in battle — unbeknownst to anyone but herself.

Thom momentarily had eyes on his magical companion and watched as the prismatic field surrounding her shimmer and flicker before disappearing. He had little time to ponder the strange effect though, as his observation was interrupted by a sudden and intense compulsion bubbling his throat. The bubbling erupted from his mouth in an endless and exhausting series of hiccups! He did his best to steel himself but could not contain the compulsion. His eyes scanned the campground and he noticed that he was not alone. Not only were his companions overcome with the same affliction, but the attacking pack of beasts were as well, barely able contain themselves from yelping! Everyone, that was, except Lyssa, who stood stoically in observation.

Vetnik, unable to compose himself, quickly scanned the campground just as Thom had done and noticed the same. Still overcome with uncontrollable hiccupping, he scowled back at Lyssa before rushing at the leader of the pack with his blade drawn, drawing blood from two of the beasts. Grunt struggled to maintain his aim with Hank, overcome by not only his magical compulsion, but with the hiccupping half-Elf Aela clinging to him for protection. He fired off two arrows but neither found their targets. The inability to breath from the onslaught of hiccups only seemed to anger the pack of beasts more. After being fired at by Grunt, one of the wolflike creatures lunged at the scout. Just as its front paws touched back down upon the ground, the beast seemed to choke on its own hiccup and stumble to the ground beside Grunt. A second creature leaped over its pack member’s body and charged at Wous, but the SPECIES proved more nimble than expected darting out of the creature’s way in the knick of time. As Thom dodged a third beast, an injured fourth sought revenge against its attacker: Moira! From behind her it attacked, and just as she spun around to defend herself, the beast cinched its jaws into the paladin’s inner elbow. As she bent her arm to squeeze the beast into the headlock, she watched as several smaller, finer black quills burst from its furry muzzle and burrowed through her sleeve into her skin before retreating back into the creature’s skull. Strom took up his axe and attempted to cut the creature down, but before he could land a blow, a second creature leaped up and sunk its fangs into the SPECIES hand. Before allowing it to launch its quills into his arm, Strom quickly kicked the beast back. Both he and the creature shook off the respective attacks before staring each other down. The creature appeared to almost grin at Strom, as if knowing something wicked. Strom dared to take a step closer and as he did, the beast barked before bolting. A second creature darted across the party’s sleeping bags towards Moira (who was still reeling from the bite in her arm). Strom watched as the beast pounced onto Moira’s back and clamped down upon her shoulder with its frothing jaws. Its bite was followed with the emergence of rows of fine, black spines that pierced the flesh of her back. Moira seized up in instant pain, but before she could cry out for aid, her body sunk to the ground. Her glassy-eyed expression was frozen in panic as the pseudo-wolf stood upon her back, triumphantly howling before gnawing at the wound it had left while the second beast circled her paralyzed body. Vetnik rushed to his love, determined that nothing would come between them. He stomped across the campsite, XXXXXXXXXX. As another beast leaped up and attempted to attack, Vetnik grabbed the feral hound by its throat and tossed it across the campsite like a disobedient pup. As Vetnik charged ahead, both Wous and Grum set their sights on the apparent leader of the pack. Fine strands of silver fur shot through its ink-black coat, denoting its age, while its size seemed to dwarf the other five beasts in his pack. Wous vainly swiped at the pack leader but the hiccups that afflicted him also seemed to disrupt his aim. Grum was a much more seasoned shot however, drawing his longbow and firing a pair of arrows into the grizzly beast’s hide! The howl of the pack leader snapped Lyssa out of her momentary daze. She watched the wisps of red magic escape the maw of the pack leader as it cried out in pain, wisps that soon multiplied as they escaped the mouths and noses of those around her and evaporated into the air above.

With the curse apparently lifted, Lyssa shook off the lingering effects of the wild surge and refocused her energies. She immediately thrust her hand forward and from her fingertips exploded two magic missiles. Before Vetnik could fell the beasts tormenting his lover, Lyssa’s magic missiles torpedoed past him and collided into the bodies of the creatures, leaving behind two smoking corpses. Vetnik glared back at Lyssa and huffed (no doubt perturbed by the prevalent wild surges she had been subjecting the party to since arriving in Kellagha). He had more important matters at hand though, and quickly tossed aside the corpses of the slain pseudo-wolves before taking Moira up into his arms. Trisoll, now fully alert, stood to attention with his staff in hand. He did his best to swipe at the beasts but they proved too swift to hit for him. Wous took up his hammer once more and did his best to bring it down upon the head of the pack leader. The beast, in an arrogant display of agility, merely sidestepped out of the way of Wous’ swing and watched as the hammer collided into the dirt beside him. The pack leader fixed its gaze onto Wous and snarled, but before he could snap at the acolyte, he saw the shimmer of silver cut through his field of vision followed by the sting of a cut across the side of its neck. Before the pack leader could turn its head ‘round, he felt a second stinging pressure surge down the side of its body. Its expression was suspended much in the same way Moira’s had been: wide, glassy eyes and mouth agape in shock. The feeling was fleeting, as Thom quickly yanked his silver longsword from out of its belly. Its eyes freely rolled back into its skull as it tipped over onto the ground, a thin trail of oozing viscera stringing from belly to blade. Thom quickly wiped the blood from his sword on the quilled hide of the slain pack leader before dashing back to the campsite with the others.

Upon seeing their leader gored, a trio of pseudo-wolves wised up and began to make their retreat back into the dark bush. Grum, still upset that his rest had been disturbed, drew back two more arrows and fired them off as they fled. Whether or not they hit he could not tell, but he hoped it would send the message that neither he nor his friends were easy prey. Taking a page from his master, Grunt began to draw his own bow and prepared to knock a pair of arrows. Just as he raised Hank to eye level, a shriek of joy came from behind, shattering his concentration:

“You saved me!” It was Aela, tearful and melodramatic with gratitude. She continued, “my brave, hooded hero!”

Before he could dart out of the way, or even sheath his bow, he felt her thin, willowy arms wrap around his chest from behind with unexpected strength.
“Unhand me, girl!” Grunt hissed as he tried to wriggle out of her grasp. Using the tail end of Hank, he managed to pry her arms open enough for him to force himself out of her embrace. Dusting himself off, he glanced at her from under the safety of his hood. She stood there, eyes wide with adoration.
“What?” he asked, careful not to look up at her. She said nothing in response, but he watched as her mouth tightened with a smile.

Vetnik kept his sword on the ground beside him as he tended to Moira’s frozen body. The paralysis that took hold of her was as swift as it was potent. After turning her body over, Vetnik noticed that Moira’s breathing had become exceedingly strained within a matter of minutes. Vetnik feared that the poison had already begun to make its way into her lungs where it would paralyze her lungs, stopping her breathing altogether. Strom quickly rushed over without provocation and dropped to his knees to examine the fallen paladin. Vetnik held tight to her hand as Strom lifted her head gently up off of the ground and placed it in his lap. He gently examined the bites to the arms and shoulder as Vetnik continued to reassuringly massage her hand, muttering to her softly that everything would “be alright, just hang on.”

“Moira!” a familiar voice cried out in shock. Both men lifted their eyes away from Moira to see Lyssa standing at a safe distance from the three bodies huddled together. Before probing any further, Lyssa searched the faces of both Vetnik and Strom for permission. They said nothing in reply, but the look in their eyes was mutual in its expression. Immediately, she could tell her presence was unwanted. Though eager to help her friend, Lyssa knew Vetnik’s temperament far too well. For Moira’s sake, she fired only a frustrated glance back at her companions before retreating back to the others, who were busy doing some examinations of their own. As Lyssa stomped away, Vetnik and Strom resumed caring for Moira. Vetnik kept her hand in his as Strom closed his eyes and lowered his head down towards hers. Softly he began to beseech Cortox to guide His Paladin back to health.

The others took stock of the foreign corpses that now littered their campsite. Despite having never seen them before, Grunt examined the beasts with the same efficacy as he would a regular wolf. His scout’s intuition guided him through the anatomy of the beasts, which was not too dissimilar to the wolves found on Oerth. He did take notice of two startling differences though, as he explored the large wounds left by Thom’s longsword: nuanced musculature that seemed to will the quills into action through reflex alone, and the source of the poison itself. In the throat of the slain pack leader he found rows of small, fleshy sacs threaded together with blackened webs of veins, all of which contained the paralyzing venom. Though most had been mangled by Thom in this beast, Grunt was still able to navigate the circulatory system that carried the venom through the body and up through the quills.

“Nasty beasts!” Grunt huffed as he continued his examination of the pack leader.
“Anything we can use?” Lyssa asked flatly from a few feet away, kneeling beside one of the beasts she had slain. He turned his head to face her, but before he could answer, he watched as Lyssa unsheathed one of her many daggers. Focused, she began to flay the pseudo-wolf’s hide, pulling out quills from its flesh and pocketing them for uses unspoken.
“Well,” Grunt began as he stood and stepped away from the corpse to watch Lyssa butcher hers. “The venom sacs on this one are shot to shit thanks to Thom. But we might be able to salvage from the others.”
“Where are they?”
Grunt kneeled down once more XXXXXXX
Thom and Grum wandered over and watched as Lyssa harvested the body of the creature. If their venom was strong enough to paralyze someone as strong as Moira, then surely they might be able to use the poison to their own advantage. The brothers kneeled down beside the last corpse and together began to pick it clean. With surgical precision, Thom sliced into the body of the beast and began to remove the venom sac while Grum diligently plucked what quills, claws and teeth he could.

It had been almost a half hour since Strom sat down to pray the poison out of Moira. The others had finished taking what they could from the beasts and now sat and watched, waiting for some sign of better health from Moira. The audience of friends and acolytes were tensely suspended in their anticipation. The missionaries sat together holding hands, muttering to themselves a prayer to Cortox while they watched Strom chant his own healing prayer. Behind the missionaries the rest of the party stood and watched with their blades and bows in hand should anything else try to interrupt the sanctity of the campsite. The night was still and quiet again. So still that even the birds and bugs that chirped so freely before were now silent, almost as if silent in hushed anticipation. The missionaries leaned in for news of their clergy members’ fate.

She comes to and stares him in his ice blue eyes.
“You saved me.”
He places an amulet of Protection v. Scrying into her palm.
“Why? Do you think he’ll come for me?”

The Black brothers take their shift and it’s uneventful.

“We cannot explore this new world unarmored. If earlier tonight was any indication of the sort of beasts we can expect to encounter here—“
Vetnik paused and looked to Moira, who began to arch herself forward, pulling her knees closer to her chest as if clamming up into a more secure position. Vetnik pressed his hand gently upon the base of her spine and slowly slid it up and down the length of her back in soothing, comforting strokes.
“What are we going to do?”
“Perhaps Lyssa has a spell,” Moira began to ponder. Before she could finish her sentence, she took notice of Vetnik’s discomfort with the idea and let the thought trail off.
“Lyssa? Bah! I haven’t witnessed her surge in weeks, but the moment we arrive here in Kellagha she seems to lose all control again.”
“You and I both know her powers don’t work the way other magic users do.”
“All the same, her magic put all of us at great risk tonight on more than one occasion. I won’t let that happen again. We will figure something out.”

Moira looked up at the sky and could see that the sky had begun to brighten ever so slightly. Dawn was presumably only an hour away, and with it would hopefully come some semblance of rest for both her and Vetnik.

“I should wake her. It’s almost time for her to take watch.”
“Perhaps it’s better that I stay up.”
“No, come. You need to rest too.”

Moira rose to her feet first before taking Vetnik’s hand into hers. They stood and crept back to their bedding together, but not before nudging Lyssa and Strom up from their sleep to take up the next watch. Making their way back to their sleeping bags, they realized their bodies were quiet. They were no longer a cacophony of rustling metal, and the lack of the familiar sound seemed to chill them similarly. The security of iron was now a liability in Kellagha. As they lay beside each other, Moira curved into the same shape as Vetnik, Moira and Vetnik tightened the embrace between them before shutting their eyes.

Strom and Lyssa make no effort to speak with each other during their watch. They welcome dawn and Strom is quick to wake the others, eager to have less intimidating company. Albar comes down from the tower and brings them hot tea. The party recounts their night and Albar informs them that what they encountered were venomous beasts known as quillwolves. He bids them safe travels on their way to Coren.



The party works together to see if they can put the Spelljammer upright but are unable to dislodge the front leg from the earth as the night gets colder. None of the party knows much about the deserts. As night blankets the desert, the party takes refuge inside of the ship. The acolytes go around and heal the party. Trisoll tells Lyssa that he doesn’t have access to his prayers.

“Praise Cortox!” Aela says to Grunt. “Do you feel better, sir?”
“Your gruffness betrays a kindness.”

Vetnik paces outside with a torch. As granules of sand pass through the torch they create sparks of greenish hue. He looks to the star-covered sky and sees two moons high in the air, but both the moon and the stars do nothing to penetrate the vast blackness of the desert beyond. Vetnik sets off towards the darkness away from the Heaven’s Heart. He is unbothered by the cold but finds walking through the sandy surface difficult to navigate.

Pushing forward, the wind whips up harder and harder. The sands almost begin to pelt Vetnik 40ft away from the ship. He turns around and sloughs back to the ship but before he makes it back, the torch is blown out. The winds subdue him, and as he turns his head sideways, he sees a sidewinder cut through the dust cloud. At the forefront, he sees two wispy openings in the sand.

“SOMETHING’S COMING!” Vetnik calls out. As he cries out, the spiral smashes down to the earth far from Vetnik. As it crashes into the ground, Vortex rushes back towards the ship. He approaches towards the torch-lit crash site and sees Moira in the distance.

“Follow the sound of my voice!”
“I’m close!”
“What is it?”
“I don’t know! Something in the sand!”

Vetnik rushes to Moira and as the pair hurry back to the ship, the winds pick up and begin to beat down upon the crashed ship. Grombor and Strom join the party in facing off against the living sandstorm. Vetnik stares in strange vortex down and in his hesitation, the sand cyclone strikes at the knight with a funnel of spinning sand. The cyclone lifts him into the air. While caught in the cyclone, Vetnik attempts to strike twice but misses.

Strom attempts to conjure a dust devil, and enchants the dust into a 1ft tall cyclone. The mindless, pathetic thing charges at the monstrous cyclone and crashes into it. Grum pulls out his longbow and fires off two arrows; the first arrow penetrates the sand and he watches as it gets spit out, broken. Gromdor charges at the vortex with a double-bladed axe but misses. Trisoll attempts to bless the party but his prayer remains unanswered. Grunt is next and, with Hank used as a regular bow, he fires off a pair of arrows. Moira sees that Strom’s spells have worked, so she whispers a prayer to Cortox before hoisting her sword up and charging. She pierces the whirling surface of the thing. Thom follows her lead and charges with a longsword and short sword. After being struck, the cloud dust flees in retreat. (Dust Quasi-Elemental).

The Cortoxian priests surround the injured Vetnik and together heal him back to health. Together the party takes refuge inside The Heaven’s Heart. The rest of the night is uneventful. The metal and wood create a chilly cabin, so the party huddles together for warmth.

As the sun begins to rise, the desert heats up quickly. Moira and Vetnik quickly remove their armor as the others take off any extraneous uniform. Vetnik climbs on top of the ship as the sun rises and scans the desert horizon. Travaran confronts Lyssa.
“Please help me understand this so we may understand.”
Lyssa explains the ritual the Mages’ Guild performed in the desert, the destruction of the Eye of Null.

After being confronted, Lyssa reveals the details of her conversation to Thom.
“We should scout closer to dusk.” Thom recommends. “And once we get out of here, I’m giving the guild a piece of my mind!”

Vetnik catches a glint in the sand. He calls out below to the gnomes and party members doing their best to dig the front leg out of the earth. “I see something ahead!”

Lyssa and Grunt work to repair the leg. The gnomes bark at Grunt in Gnomish before realizing he doesn’t speak their language. With Grunt’s carpentry skills, they work together repair the broken leg. After repairing the leg, Lyssa helps to develop a pully system to yank the up out of the earth. After completion, they request Vetnik, Wous, Strom, Grombor, Grum, the trio of Gnomes, and Moira’s help to pull the rope.

Together, the party struggles to bring the Spelljammer up out of the earth. The supporting structure built by Grunt takes the brunt of the impact and together the ship is set back upright.

After cheering, the Dwarven captain brings them back to reality.
“Can you ask Cortox to make this thing fly?” Grum jokes to the acolytes.

Lyssa and a pair of the gnomes head out towards the glint. It is a shard of broken, iridescent glass. Lyssa stops and yells out to the others. “You were right!”

Thom summons Spitfire and has him pick up the shard and drop it before the party. Lyssa freaks out and backs away from the others while Grunt handles it. As they discuss what to do, Trisoll emerges from the ship and alerts the others of a band of 9 Thri-Kreen closing in on all sides of the ship. Grum and Grunt duck into the shadow cast by the ship while Vetnik sprinkles a dust of disappearing over himself before sprinkling it over Thom. Vetnik sneaks towards the band of scavengers and watches as they’re intrigued by the insectoid ship, clicking to each other in excitment.

Grunt eyes the leader of the pack from beneath the ship and calls a shot to hit the leader in the face. He lands the arrow into the Thri-Kreen’s face and watches as the arrow burrows through its head and fells the creature. Seeing the victory, Grum leaps from the shadows and stabs at one of the Thri-Kreen, cutting through its exoskeleton. He jams his second dagger into the creature’s skull and destroys it. Thom begins to sound the drums of battle, which only confuses the Thri-Kreen. Vetnik strikes quickly with two hits, felling a third beast.

Trisoll and Lyssa rush up to the deck of the ship. Vetnik slashes at another Thri-Kreen, delivering another crushing blow. Grum picks another target and stabs at a second Thri-Kreen with Lyn. He breaks the creature’s leg, shedding torrents of blackened green blood! Thom continues to drum while Moira admires her man at work, swooning over his barbarian from the safety of the bridge. Grunt fires a pair of arrows into another Thri-Kreen. The remaining Thri-Kreen strike back set their sights first onto Grum. It swings with two of its four arms and hits before sinking its poisonous mandibles into Grum’s shoulder. Thankfully, he resists against the paralyzing effects. A second Thri-Kreen attacks the unarmored Vetnik in the same manner. He is punched three times but is nimble enough to miss its bite. Grunt is attached, punched twice before being bitten. The party watches as he slumps to the ground, overtaken by paralyzation. Thom breaks from drumming and returns to visibility to strike at the Thri-Kreen, felling the injured one.

Thom quickly lunges at a fresh Thri-Kreen with his blades, stabbing at him twice and injuring it. Grum rushes after an untouched Thri-Kreen and fires off two arrows with focused accuracy. From above, Trisoll calls out: “I see dust in the distance!” Moira strains her eyes to see what’s in the distance. Lyssa shoots an arrow from up top into the Thri-Kreen biting into Grunt. Vetnik charges at a Thri-Kreen and cuts into it before hacking off its right leg, slaying it. One of the last the Thri-Kreen lashes out at Grum but Grum dances around the attacker, evading all of its attacks. The other Thri-Kreen stumbles in attacking Vetnik.

Trisoll squints and sees centaurs rushing down towards the fray. Thom takes on his brother’s attacker and cuts it down with two lightning fast strikes. Vetnik takes on the last of the Thri-Kreen and jams his blade into its thorax. Vetnik saunters over to the last Thri-Kreen and steps upon his neck, cracking it.

Just as Vetnik lifts Grunt off the ground over his shoulder, the centaurs ride up and thank them for killing the beasts. One centaur hands Vetnik a vial of liquid (smells like reeking fungal mess) and he pours it into Grunt’s mouth. Grunt begins feels his muscles begin to relax. Vetnik lowers Grunt back to the ground and introduces himself to the head of the pack.
“I am Vetnik Talthraudii.”
“Quill. We thank you again for dealing with these pests!”

Vetnik notices the centaurs look different, with golden olive skin and draped in ornamental sashes. “This is Belam, Coutan, and this is Trisoll.”
“Wait, what?” Trisoll says.
“My name is Trisoll.”
“Holy… my name is Trisoll too!”
“Our names are not the same” the centaur says with disdain. “We are nothing alike.”
“Why were you after them?”
“They’ve been raiding villages throughout the Dry Steppes. You’ve done us a great service. What is this great thing?”
Captain Drubin steps in defensively.

The party shows Quill the shard and explains what brought their ship down.

Thom and Lyssa flank Belam a mile outside of the area of effect until they’re awashed in their magic once more. Belam sits on the ground while Lyssa casts Mind Scan over him and digs through to pull imagery of Kanak. Belam gallops away with their request to fetch the others. They eventually see only the core party cross the horizon and close in. Vetnik and Moira lug their heavy metal armor in packs on their back. Lyssa casts Teleport and the party links arms and are engulfed in a radius of sparkling red energy before emerging before the strange village of Kanak. They take standard formation and head into the village.

They find a merchant who is ownership of indentured servants. Moira uses her feminine wiles to woo the merchant into lowering his prices for 50 hired hands. Disgusted by the merchant and the conditions he keeps his property in, Lyssa attempts to charm him but is kept out of his head by a charmed amulet. The party settles on a price and rent 50 servants before purchasing 8 trunks of wood. Together, they spend 12 days crossing the desert back to the Spelljammer. On the fourth day the party spot a pack of buzzards circling and trailing above them. The sixth day they encounter sand rats but watch as they scurry off. On the 12th day, they come upon the camp of centaurs outside of the ship. They roll up and Lyssa rallies the servants and the gnomes together to push the ship onto the planks of wood. Together they push and pull the ship across the sand. A few minor setbacks open the party up to an attack. Something from the sand touches one of the workers and forces him to fall to the sand asleep. Lyssa urges the servants to keep working while the party fends off the creature. The monster (a human figure made entirely of sand) swipes at another worker but misses. Vetnik’s aura of bravery steels the morale of nearby workers. Vetnik charges ahead with sword drawn and slashes twice. The creature makes no sound or show of pain. Thom drums for bonuses while Lyssa fires off her projectile dagger. The blade sticks but as the creature moves, the blade falls to the ground. Moira slashes at the thing with Starstrike with destructive fury and watches as the blows turns the shape back into loose sand. Vetnik violently shakes the worker back to wake.

After defeating the sandman, they see the ships wings glow a green hue. Travaren begins to hover to the cheers of the crowd. Lyssa donates 1000gp to the crew with the condition they buy their freedom from their masters. They openly revere her, which makes her uncomfortable. They give her Geshtai’s blessing in Baklunish and watch as the crew boards the Heaven’s Heart. They wave and cheer enthusiastically as the Spelljammer jets off back up into the sky.

The crew flies above the Drawmij Ocean, seeing the endless horizon of water. The ship propels faster and faster, per Travaren’s impatience, and the crew goes under deck. The horizon continues for three days, across 600 miles of monotonous seascape. Suddenly, a figure appears in front of the ship with ebon skin, with coils of air writhing around him. He stares into the ship with unblinking eyes burning with white light.
“You are to stop! You are approaching a protected area.”
“Can you help us? We are in search of Kellagha.”
“Who are ye?”
“My name is not important. You’ve intruded on the lands of the Wind Dukes.”

Thom and he make a deal and he reveals his name to him: Vaastri.

They beseech the man to let them pass. He turns to them and says he senses valor in them. He parts the veil and reveals the hidden land on the other side of the world, with three moons hanging in the sky.

Lyssa feels the connection to the magical energies of the realm saturate her in ways they never had back in Greyhawk. Thom feels a similar feeling but with less intensity. The acolytes hold hands and stare out into space, their eyes sparkling with marvel. Even Moira gasps at the sight of the three large moons. Vetnik stands beside her and feels Moira reach down and grip his hand tight with excitement.



Semi Precious – Smoky Quartz (80gp)
Fancy – Aquamarine (flawed, 140gp)
Gem – Black Sapphire (10k gp)
Gem – Star Ruby (flawed, 4000gp)
Gem – Emerald (large, 7000gp)
Jewels – Necklace (Black Sapphire, 6 Black Opals) (11k gp)
Ornamental – Eye Agate (20gp)

4030gp each
1000gp for 2 scales


Vetnik gets word from his mother in his father’s voice. They tell him that they’re thinking of him every day. They urge him to return home when all is accomplished. He also receives the jawbone that was given to his father by Lyks after being taken from Kr’zzt’s corpse. Receives 3 powders: Sleep, Disappearing, Revealing.

Vetnik shows Lyks the jawbone. When Lyks touches the jawbone, he feels the tingling of a dark force shoot through him like thousands of spiders up and down his spine. “I will find you,” Lyks mutters before putting it in a case with his vial of Drow skin.

Vetnik arranges to meet with Vortis while Moira is at service. The pair meet and Vetnik offers him a bottle of Lyks’ wine.

Finishes paying off his home.

Fashions a new suit of blue dragon-lined leather armor.

Shops around for strange and dangerous aquatic creatures to outfit his underground moat.

Hangs out with the Red Nails and establishes a stronger relationship with them. Courts them as new followers.

Begins to gather followers to oversee the building of the Black Fort while he travels to Kellagha.

Lactile approaches Thom during the two weeks and tells him that he “doesn’t have the dexterity he used to have. My history, my knowledge is sharp but I can no longer play. I can no longer be Bardmaster. I want to offer you as a nomination to oversee the tutoring of young students.”
“As long as the education mostly includes swordplay and drumming, sure I can be their teacher.”
“Shape the guild how you will, but I will share my knowledge and history if you do take me up on this offer. Be my hands.”

During the two weeks, the board of Bards shows almost unanimous positivity towards the decision to take over for Lactile. The bards-in-training are excited to receive a fresh, younger take on the craft.

“I hope I’m still around for when you return to take the mantle!”

Thom also spends time working on new weapons uses the pieces of Blue Dragon they harvested.

Ebeviria informs that the guild has reorganized into a council for the sake of democracy. She is a councilwoman. All attempts to put Glarius into suspension fail due to the shrapnel embedded in his skull. The shard of the Eye renders all magic items and potions null. She gains access to deeper magics known to Ebeviria.

She visits Violetta who has bonded with the two girls from Pek. She informs her mother that she will be leaving but will try to keep in touch. She fetches the Eye and leaves but is called murderer as she leaves the house.

Blue quartz (50gp) x 2 (sapphire)
Onyx (80gp) x 3 (onyx)

Spends time with his father. Tells his father that he’s jealous he’s not a twin and doesn’t have a sibling to call his own.

Spends time with Vetnik and shares her enthusiasm with going to find Barth. Spends a little time at the church.

Night before they’re set to depart, Moira visits Vetnik at Pimpleton Manor. She comes armorless. Burbis greets her frantically and allows her in. Moira finally gives it up and guides Vetnik to take her.

Vortis and Violetta show up to Pimpleton to see the party off. No big meal awaits the party due to George’s absence. Vetnik swears to Vortis to keep his daughter safe.

Violetta escorts the party to the church of Cortox to the church’s hangar in Gasgal Park. Inside they see a massive, dragonfly shaped ship. Two men man the crew, a frantic dwarf and slender, tall elf.

“This is The Heaven’s Heart. I am Travaran, I assume you are to be our passengers?”

The party and six acolytes board the Spelljammer and are introduced to the other captain, the frantic dwarf with his crew of 3 gnomes.

Thom sketches from the cabins below deck while Lyssa hangs close by, feeling uneasy about the travel.

During the third hour, those on deck see a bunch of streaking multicolored lights zipping around the ship. They swirl around those on deck, and after awhile, they break away and shoot away from the ship with great speed.

The sun slowly began to set as The Heaven’s Heart continued westward towards the vast Dramidj Ocean. Those on deck watched as the sun slowly fell into the horizon from above, a rare sight for most of those on board. The sky had a strange, new coloring unfamiliar to them, only visible to those who occupied the clouds. The wind coursing through their hair, the parties marveled in united silence, absorbing the journey towards what they all once believed was the edge of the world.

Below deck, Lyssa sat quietly beside Thom, whose attention was split between his sketchbook and the view of the mountains view from the window of their cabin. The sunset created dramatic shadows and highlights over the vast mountain range that seemed to push Thom to sketch more and more intently. Lyssa occasionally glanced up from studying from her spell book to enjoy the view below – and even took a moment to watch her companion sketch with renewed excitement. It was a moment of peace that all on board seemed more than willing to surrender to.

“Do you know what mountain range that is?” Lyssa asked Thom. “The one we’re flying above?”
Thom peered over the edge of his sketchbook for a moment before returning to his drawing. “We’re heading west, I believe. My guess is the Crystalmist Mountains.”
Lyssa continued to stare at the crags below. The name of the mountain range sparked something vague in Lyssa, but the memory was far too shapeless to recall. She put it in the back of her mind and continued to enjoy the view as best she could, watching as The Heaven’s Heart passed beyond the seemingly endless mountain range into flatlands and deserts.

Back on the upper deck, Grunt kept to himself towards the stern of the Spelljammer, away from the rest of his party and the awe-struck missionaries. The captivating beauty of the skyscape was inescapable even him, and for a moment, Grunt seemed to be at peace. That peace was fleeting, though, as he heard the sound of footsteps creep up behind him.

“Pardon me,” a gentle woman’s voice squeaked from behind.
Grunt’s nostrils flared as he huffed at the intrusion. He crossed his arms and rested them on the edge, slumping down away from the approaching woman. The woman parked up right beside Grunt, apparently oblivious to the thief’s body language. Her approach was polite but naïve; two qualities Grunt seemed to have no time for.
“It’s beautiful out there, isn’t it?” She was Aela, the half-elf missionary.
Grunt said nothing in return.
“Cortox’s majesty is truly endless!” Aela continued after an awkward pause. Grunt remained silent. His silence only seemed to provoke Aela more. She turned to face him and began again, with even more invasive enthusiasm. “Don’t you agree?”
Grunt slowly began to turn to face her, but before he could bark her away, a disturbance interrupted. Grunt and Aela braced themselves against the edge of the deck as the Spelljammer began to rock suddenly and violently. Those closer to the mainmast also braced themselves and looked to the skies in search of ambushes or disturbances.

Down in the bridge, Travaran struggled to keep the Spelljammer steady. He could feel his magical connection to the rest of the ship begin to flicker in and out of control. The golden helm that surrounded his head with a cool, green glow also flickered. Despite his best efforts, Travaran could feel something keeping his mind from the rest of his vessel. Staring at the horizon, he pushed himself into more intense depths of concentration but the more he pushed, the more he could feel his power being snuffed out. All of a sudden, the turbulence that overcame the ship stopped. Travaran watched from the cockpit as the horizon began to tilt. He threw up the unpowered helm and called out to those above deck: “Brace yourselves!”

Those on deck watched as the glowing green wings of the Heaven’s Heart faded in and out. Captain Durbin knew the signs of a magical outage and raced to gather his crew together.

“Men! Get to the bridge! Everyone else, get below deck!”

Amidst the panic, Lyssa tucked herself away and began to focus on casting a recently acquired spell, one that could surely suspend the airship from crashing to the ground. He closed her eyes and pressed her hands against the hull of the Spelljammer, concentrating on channeling her own magical energies. Despite her best efforts though, she could feel something blocking her from exercising her power. As the Spelljammer continued to fall, Lyssa could feel a pressure overcome her, stifling her ability to release her magical energies.

“Lyssa, if you have anything to help, now is the time to use it!” Thom shouted, doing his best to brace himself.
“I’m trying! I’m trying! Something’s wrong, I can’t—“

The Heaven’s Heart began to torpedo down towards the flat, dry earth. Those on board did their best to prepare themselves and huddled together below deck. It was too late though. The Heaven’s Heart was a heavy vehicle (the size of a galleon) that had suddenly been stripped of the mystical supports that kept it afloat. Travaran watched as the Spelljammer spiraled towards the earth. He jumped up out of his seat and rushed out of the bridge, calling the trio of Gnomish crew members to follow. They abandoned the bridge and rushed towards the cabins as the Heaven’s Heart smashed into the ground. The iron legs of the Spelljammer took the brunt of the impact and scraped through the dry earth. Despite it’s fine metal craftsmanship, the earth and intensity of impact proved too much for one of the legs. The Heaven’s Heart jerked forward and sent those below deck tumbling through their cabins violently. The Spelljammer had landed, its leg twisted, its body angled towards the ground. The passengers and crew took a moment to dust themselves off and get their bearings. Even Vetnik felt the aches and pains of the crash. He and Moira were first to act, helping the missionaries to their feet and out of the Spelljammer. The others straggled out, taking with them whatever weapons of theirs they could find as precaution. Outside, Captain Durbin was quick to rally up his men and together they rushed around, totaling up the damage. Travaran rubbed his head and looked around, astounded by the sudden extinguishing of his magic.

Lyssa looked out into the darkened desert. Above them the stars began to sparkle as the last traces of sunlight began to fall beneath the horizon. As she stared out into the wide-open space of the desert, she too felt something snuff out her connection to the magical currents of the earth. It was an immediate and suffocating feeling that triggered a more distinct trauma.

“No! No! Nonono!” she howled into the dusk. She spun around and rushed towards the Dwarven captain of The Heaven’s Heart. “Do you know what you have done?”
“What? What are ye goin’ on about, girl? Don’t ye go accusin’ me of foul things!”
Lyssa did little to hide her frustration from the others. She kicked the broken, iron leg of the Heaven’s Heart and stomped away from the ship and its captain before stumbling away from the party. The mage was soon wrought was visible panic as she stared out into the desert. Lyssa began to pace with excited breathing, unable to form a coherent response. The disconnection from her powers was jarring and sudden.

“What’s her problem now?” Grunt muttered to the others.

The others simply watched from a distance, unsure of what to make of her tantrum. That is, until Vetnik recalled something: a story Lyssa had shared with the party several weeks prior.

“This must be where it happened?” Vetnik answered back cryptically, staring off into the encroaching darkness of the desert. Grunt and the others looked at him, perplexed.
“Where what happened?” Moira asked as she took her lover’s side.
“The Dry Steppes, beyond the Crystalmist Mountains. This is where the Mages’ Guild tried to destroy the Eye of Null. That has to be why the Spelljammer fell from the sky.” Vetnik looked out beyond Lyssa and scanned the flatlands and the black silhouettes of the mountains faintly cutting through the night sky. “Whatever the mages did here has raped the land of its magic.”

A sharp chill came over the party. The darkness slowly began to give way to the desert cold as well as the dread of the unknown. What terrors would a night in the vast Dry Steppes hold for the party – and without magic, they wondered, how they might ever make it out alive?

Thom put his hand upon the handle of his blade and sighed. “Nine hells.”

Standing on Broken Ground


First to wake are Vetnik, Grunt and Moira. Moira spends her morning to speak with Vetnik in Grynoth. Grunt leaves the hut first to go scout the surrounding woods and freshen up.

“I couldn’t sleep knowing we might be able to save Barth. How my father died thinking it was his fault, I need to see this through to end to vindicate him.”
“I will be right by your side.”

Thom wakes up later and sees Moira leave to go on a short walk through the village. He goes out in search of an appraiser to determine the cost and type of the seven gems found in the Stone Giant cave. He jots down the costs and goes back to their hut to discuss the split between Lyssa. The pair come to an agreement: Lyssa will pay for what gems she needs/can afford and will leave whatever she can’t buy/doesn’t need to be sold. She also offers up her pair of blue dragon scales to Thom and the party as barter – whether they choose to sell or use in armor making is up to them.

Vetnik shakes Trisoll awake and the pair goes out in search of breakfast, leaving an exhausted-looking Grum by his lonesome in the hut. He finally wakes on his own after the others leave. He heads to what appears to be a small bazaar and sees a few witches working as weapon smiths. He is allowed to purchase from them Arrows of Slaying for 250gp an arrow. He has the witches enchant them to be effective in slaying Dragons (x2), Undead (x2), Giants (x2) and Fighters (x2).

Grunt returns to the center of the village and runs into Grum at the weapon smithers. He follows his teacher’s cue and purchases Arrows of Slaying for himself: Dragon (x1), Undead (x1), Giant (x1), Elemental (x1). With new arrows in tow, they spy Vetnik and Trisoll indulging in nourishing yet strange breakfast fare communally with several of the local witches. An attendant of Dablova’s comes to their spot and greets the men before requesting Trisoll personally to meet with her master. Trisoll gathers a bowl with the last of his food and rushes off with the attendant, confused as to why she wants an audience with only him. Vetnik and the others watch as he’s taken away and see the other witches still staring at them curiously. They finish up the rest of their meal and quickly return to their hut to meet with the others.

Later in the morning, a group of attendants come to the party’s hut to escort them to Dablova’s hut. They abide and go with; they return to Dablova’s hut and find her only in the company of Trisoll, Ukuduma, and Moloko. Dablova stands to greet the others and notices Thom enter first in his visible form. She remarks about his deep blue cloak and reveals that, underneath her own vestments, she too wears a similar navy blue robe embroidered with stars – only hers are metal and decorate the outside.

“I know you have been sketching Thom, for yourself. I trust these drawings will stay that way. Your parents were trusted allies, but it is a matter of great discretion that you keep them to yourself.”
Thom does her one better and tears the pages neatly from his sketchbook and hands them to her, an act that makes her beam with gratitude. She leans in and informs him that this act will be rewarded with another spell of his choice, all he has to do is ask.

While addressing Thom, she waves Grum through and asks about their parents. She reveals she’s tried to contact them but has not been able to reach out.
“Father wished to return an item to an old friend, who happened to be on a different plane.” Thom informs.
“Ah, so he left the Prime Material?”
“We assume as much.”
“They’re fine” Grum remarks.

As the party continues to empty into her chambers, Dablova remarks on Vetnik’s strength and valor as a cavalier. She also compliments him on how courteous he’s been since his stay in Grynoth and apologizes for the curiosity of her people but notes that they still have an apprehension towards seeing warriors in Grynoth after being subjected to abuses from decades past at the hands of traveling warriors.

“While your father may be abiding by the cold customs of his people, I know his true heart and how deeply he cares for you and wants you to do well.”

Vetnik bows before her and thanks for her the warm regards. Dablova smiles softly before moving down the line to Grunt. She reveals to him that she senses a sort of sadness to him, some kind of longing. She asks if he would like for her to search his mind for any potential source for this depression (his past, his homeland, etc.) but he scoffs. She doesn’t press further but reminds him that her calmative isn’t available outside of Grynoth.

She moves to Lyssa and hands off a scroll very matter of fact like. Before releasing the scroll to her, she reminds her that the scroll is very powerful and if she wishes to tap into that kind of organic power not found in guilds and universities, she has an invite to study with her coven.

Finally, she comes to Moira. She takes both of the paladin’s hands into her own and leans in. She whispers to her (Thom eavesdropping as clear as day):

“I have but one question. Your father, Drayden, did he ever get that tattoo he promised for me?”
“He did. It’s the symbol of an owl. He told me stories of you, and though you had your differences, he told me that you were there when he needed you most.”

Dablova nods and smiles before thanking the party for coming. She wishes them well and tells them that finding Barth is as important to her as it is to them. She welcomes her attendants and chains their magic to hers. Dablova says one last goodbye and the witches begin to chant and intone a teleportation spell that sends the entire party back to the gates of Greyhawk.

As the party ride into town discussing the best possible way to get to Kellagah. They wonder whether or not it’s best to follow Dablova’s advice on going back to Blackmoor through the Hell Mouth or if there are any other means of getting there, perhaps by crossing the Great Oceans. Vetnik suggests that they try a means of transport that Lyks had told them about: Spelljamming. He urges Moira to reach out to the Church of Cortox, whom are said to have two in their own keep.

“I am not in the best place with the church right now, Vetnik. I don’t know if they’d even entertain such an idea, let along having it come from me.”
“It has to be better than anything called the Hell Mouth,” Grunt grumbles.
“He has a point, we don’t know what lies in the Hollow World.” Thom supports.
“They may ask a boon of me, especially since I’ve been so neglectful in my duties.”
“Everyone has a price,” Vetnik assures cooly. “Besides, I plan on having many adventures in our lives.”
Moira smiles, feeling reassured that Vetnik feels confident in this mission to get her brother back.

The party rides through town and arrives at Pimpleton Manor. Outside, the yards look unattended to. No one answers the door when knocked, so Vetnik and Trisoll enter unannounced. Inside, they find the house unlit with the exception of faint light from his study. Only the smell of Lyks’ burning pipe lingers in the air. They head to the study where Vetnik knocks. Lyks barks at Burbis to open the door for them and he does so. The party finds Burbis to be polite let visibly tired, a stark contrast to Lyks who barely acknowledges the party’s return. Burbis offers to make them some Gnomish lunch (consisting of found vole and boiling veggies.) Grunt and Thom shrug and accept; Burbis leaves the study to prepare a meal while the others fill in Lyks on what they found in Grynoth.

“Uncle Lyks, you need some help here while George is away.”
“I can take care of it myself!” Lyks fires back at Moira with a low, exasperated tone.
“Master Lyks, we’d be more than happy to pay for some servants to come help out around here, or at least to give George a hand when he returns.”
Lyks does his best to cut the pair off and change the subject. “What did you find out—“
“Uncle, this home is too big. Let us help George at least. Alright? Please, you cannot live like this”
Before Lyks can protest further, Trisoll urges his father reconsider. He hugs his father and Lyks relaxs. “I missed you, boy. “

The party sits at Lyks table and begin to recount what happened at the coven.
“What did you find out? How is she?”
“Dablova?” Trisoll begins, “I mean… she’s different than the stories I remember hearing about her when I was younger.”
As Trisoll recounts his interaction with her, Lyks stares at Moira, reading her for any trace of change in emotions.
“She’s very nice. She was really hospitable. A little odd, but…”
“And what else?”
“Well, she said she saw Barth.”
Lyks watches as Moira inhales deeply at the sound of her brother’s name.
“She saw him in some strange land she called Kellagha. Do you know it?”
“She says it’s on the other side of the world.”
“I’ve been from coast to coast, but have never been across the Great Oceans.”
“She said the ‘best’ way to get there was through a place called the Hell Mouth, which we found in Blackmoor. But—“
“Out with it, boy.”
“Well, Vetnik had an interesting idea. You know about those Cortoxian ships—“
“Spelljammers, yes. You want one of those?”
“Yes! I mean, to us, it just seems like a safer option than going through something called the Hell Mouth.”
Lyks ponders on the idea for a moment. “I’m sure it would only take a donation.”
“But the church is growing and thriving. I don’t know how willing they would be to donate one to us. They’d perhaps be willing to drop us off on their own quest, but—“
“Given the circumstances, I’ll go down and talk to them myself!”

Lyks staggers up using his staff to balance. Moira quickly jumps out of her seat to support him. He calls out to Gibbs, his bear mount, to ready himself for a ride. Moira agrees to come along with him. Lyks urges that his son escort them as well, but Trisoll reminds his father that he’s not the best when speaking to diplomatic types. Thom requests a bottle of Lyks’ nicest vintage, and before Lyks can protest, he reveals to the druid that he is in possession of a Philter of Persuasiveness, which he explains he’ll spike the wine with if necessary.

“Only as a last resort,” Thom says with a wink.

The thieves depart on their own while the others head to the Church. Lyssa takes off as well and heads to see Ebeviria at the University to get the latest on Glarius’ condition as well as to tell Ebeviria about the magic she saw in Grynoth. On the way to the church of Cortox, Lyks explains his own experience with piloting a Spelljammer. How, through use of a magical helm, he was able to telepathically pilot the ship through the skies.

At the church, Moira heads the party and leads them inside – all except Trisoll, who waits outside with Gibbs. An acolyte greets her and she replies, “Please tell Jemmen that I am here to see him.”
“My apologies, Lady Steelshaper, but he is presently very busy. I can arrange an appointment for later when he is more free—“
Lyks speaks up from the back of the party and approaches, his wooden staff clanging against the marble floor. “Then tell him Zemilay Lyks would like a word with him.”
“I’m sorry, Druid. But as I said, Jemmen is not free for an audience right now so—“
Moira leans in and begins to intimidate. “What is your name?”
“We are here on a mission of the utmost importance. You know my name and you know what weight it carries here.”
“Yes, yes I do… I’ll go check again.”
“Very good.” Lyks grumbles.

After 7 minutes, Jemmen (older, balder and bearded) steps out to greet the party with varying degrees of warmth.
“Ah, Zemilay Lyks, and Moira Steelshaper, the paladin. I was told you needed to speak with me with the great urgency?”
“Do you have time to sit with us?” Lyks asks.
“My servants seem to this matter is a priority for me. Eh, Moira?”
Moira stares blankly back at Jemmen, silent.
“You have my ear. Come.” Jemme says before leading them to his chambers.

Lyks sits down while the others back him, across from Jemmen. He requests, on behalf of the Champions of the Stars, if they may ascertain one of the church’s Spelljammers. Jemmen sighs.
“You wish to use one of our Spelljammers? For what purpose?”
“There is a great evil lurking on the other side of the planet. In a land called Kellagah. My heroes, they need to go there.”
“And this is the responsibility of the church how? You understand my vehicles are involved in commerce and missionary work.”
“Then spread the good god’s message on the other side of the world!”
“The other side of the world? There is nothing there.”
“No, there is.”
“There is, and if you lend us your Spelljammer we can prove it to you!”
As the two men’s discussion grows more and more heated, Thom interjects. “Do you know what it would be, for you to spearhead the first mission to the other side of the world? And for it to be in Cortox’s name no less!”
“This could be nothing more than a goose chase based on rumor.”
“Then all you will have lost is time.”
“And use of our ship. I fail to see how we are to gain from this. As an added plus, you bring with you our illustrious Paladin who has been all but absent from her duties as a sword of this church.”
“You do not need to bring her into this. Do you forget who her father is?” Lyks fires back with wine-soaked anger. “Do you forget what he did for this church? What I have done for this bloody church? I helped give you your god back, show some gratitude!”
Jemmen, as well as the others, sit back and let Lyks vent and watch with mouths agape.
“Do you forget that I was there?”
“And we are grateful—“
“I don’t think you are. If not for the Steelshaper girl’s fathers, or myself, you would be without a lord and savior! Spare me your excuses! I think this is a small favor to ask and if it’s a question of your precious Spelljammer, I have more than enough funds and resources at my disposal to make sure it returns to you in one solid, shining piece!”
“What good is it for a church that looks to celestial bodies as divine to only explore half of the celestial body it exists on?” Thom reasons with a calmer tone.

Lyks leans across the table and stares Jemmen down with an intense glare. He hisses at the priest: “There is an evil brewing across the Great Oceans, an evil I don’t anticipate will stay hidden for very long until we do something about it. We! As myself, my friends, and my children have done and continue to do for generations. You should be grateful—“
“I should be grateful?!” Jemmen blasts back, offended.
“Yes, grateful. Grateful that we would put our necks on the line to defend this land from something none of us can truly comprehend!”
“You come into my church and speak to me as if you would a child—”
“Because you reason like a child! I am far older and have been doing this since before you knew who Cortox was! I have a name in this town and a duty to uphold.”
“As do I, Grand Druid. To protect the word of Cortox and those that follow it. I would expect a man of your station would have a better understanding of protocol!”

The two men pause while the others watch with held breath. The air left behind from the tense exchange begins to cool after a few moments. Lyks does his best to cool his temper before beginning again.
“I think you should hear me out, Jemmen. What we are trying to do is stop something terrible from destroying everything you and I hold dear.”
“I should listen to you? You, who brings before me this paladin who seems to have forgotten her own station and duties? You, who keeps the company of murderers and thieves and lauds them as heroes? I know what company you keep, Zemilay Lyks.
Moira steps forward before Lyks can respond. “And what has the church done for me, Jemmen? Every time I step outside of this city I see death and suffering because of religion gone wrong!”
“I’ve known a lot of the leaders before you, Jemmen. You ought to step back and see what you’re doing for this church.”
“I was chosen by Parthis Marren himself! It was upon his passing that I took his mantle. I will be very frank with you, I do not appreciate the way I’ve been spoken to in this church. Especially if you are to ask a favor of me! I do not forget what you have done for Corox, Zemilay Lyks, but I cannot bend to the whims of all of those who have done good by our church. I do not know what the church of Beory allows, but this is behavior the church of Cortox does not permit! This is not how it is done.”

“Do you know how many lives you could save?” Lyks asks.
“You will listen to me now, Lyks. I will offer you the use of one of our Spelljammers under two conditions. The first: you lead a band of missionaries there to spread the good word on the other side.”
“Fair enough. The second?”
“Moira Steelshaper is to stay here in our company. She has much to duties to fulfill to the church and they shall be taken care of.”
Moira jumps up and slams her fist down upon the front of the desk beside Lyks.

“No! I must go, this is for my brother! I cannot stay behind, I will not let you do this!”
“Your brother is not a part of this church. You are a paladin of this church, you must fulfill your duties. The word is final.”

Moira pauses, her nostrils flaring with heat and anger. Before Jemmen can continue to negotiate the terms of usage with Lyks, Moira quickly tears the badge of Cortox from her armor and slams it down on the desk in front of Jemmen. The priest looks up to her and sees her standing there, her chin up and defiant.

“What are you doing?!” Vetnik asks, rushing to Moira’s side. Moira continues to stare down Jemmen.
“No. I will not abandon my brother. Not for this church, not for anyone. I will find my own way there and bring my brother back myself if I have to!”
“You would throw this all away?!” Jemmen says, taken aback by her brazenness. They stare each other down for a few moments longer until Jemmen hangs his head.

“I have been a fool. Moira, I’ll sanction you to be a part of the missionary team. Take back your badge.”

Moira quickly does as she’s told, whispering thanks to her leader. Jemmen reveals that he will have a Spelljammer ready for them in two weeks time. Lyks nods and thanks him for coming to his senses and arranges for a donation to be made to the church (1000gp). The men shake hands and Moira bows before Jemmen in gratitude before the party departs. Lyks hands off a bottle of his wine (free of Thom’s philter) as a peace offering.

“This is how you negotiate like a diplomat, Druid. I understand your passion. I– “
“Enjoy it. Thank you for your time. ”

Back at home, a courier delivers a parcel care of the prestigious House (XXXXX) as payment for helping to capture the fugitive assassin G’aldem M’lek. Inside waiting for them are 2000pp. (285pp per person).

At the Thieves’ Guild, Grum goes to see Thurman, who is eager to speak with Grum regarding his recent adventures as well as informing him about the state of the Red Nails. Thurman proposes to Grum that, should he wish to take on any more charges, that he feels the remaining, loyal Red Nails could use a new leader (Asteria, Orlande, and Marit).

The Beckoned


After slaying the erinyes, the party realizes they’re 2/3 the way to their destination, westward towards Gorsend. Cleaning up the mess, Vetnik goes to the convent noticing that Moira has been away. Moira hears Vetnik approaching and steels herself. When seeing him, she loosens up.

“Look what this has wrought. Why? I don’t understand!”
“You’re asking questions that men have asked for many years. This is war.”
“These women sought nothing but to express their faith and they paid with their lives.”
“Is that not what devotion is?”
“Does it make it worth it?”

“I’m letting my father down!”
“You’re letting neither of your fathers down. These are experiences we grow from. Life isn’t easy.”

The pair hug and Vetnik comforts her before excusing Moira. She asks Vetnik for his shield to break the ground.

She returns to the party to tell the others that all inside are dead. Grunt comments “How many holes do they need?”
“How can you be so insensitive?”

Trisoll and Moira speak in private.

The unseen servants help to drag the bodies out and push the dirt out of the holes. Moira says a prayer to both Cortox and Cuthbert. The party scans the convent for signs of a ritual that might have summoned the erinyes. Grum finds a secret panel via his gem of seeing that opens up to a consecrated altar for the Lolth. Vetnik and Grum have a moment.

“Maybe it’s another clue.”

Vetnik smashes the altar furiously, annoyed that the creature of myth is making a return to their lives.

Trisoll and Moira return in better spirits. Once hearing of Lolth’s altar, Trisoll urges that the convent be burned to the ground. Before burning, Grum finds a pair of fancy gems: 2 crimson garnets. Grum gives them over to Lyssa per their agreement. The party leaves and Lyssa casts Wall of Fire inside the convent, setting it ablaze.

While the church burns, Vetnik notices Moloko circling above and heads northwest. He points it out to Grum and Grum & Grunt lead the pack.

Vetnik asks if Trisoll is ok. “Yeah. I’m not happy about seeing Moira seeing like this. She’s the best one of us.”
“Thank you for talking with her.”

Grum locks onto Moloko and the party rides in its direction. The first hour back on the road, the party sees a trio of men fleeing from a small path off the main road to the main road with shovels, picks, and sacks.

“What d’ya make of that?” Grunt
“We’ll talk to the cavalier about this.” Grum says, waving Vetnik over.

The trio of men pay no mind to the party and try to zip past them.

“What do you want?”
“What’re you running from?” Ve
“None of your business!”
“What’re you up to?” Mo

Both knights spy the equipment of graverobbers. Vetnik rides after them and yanks the leader by the collar.

“If I put you down it’ll be to smash you back into the ground.”

The men drop their gear and empty their pockets.

“We didn’t get anything!”

Vetnik tosses him to the ground while Thom slips away to investigate down the smaller path. He finds at the center of a medium sized glade a freshly built mausoleum. As Thom checks it he sees several desiccated corpses dressed in rags emerge from the mausoleum to tend to the grounds, polishing the stone and trimming the grass. Thom continues to watch as they light the lanterns in front and once done with their duties, all but two return to the crypt while the rest stand guard.

After not hearing from Thom, Grum/Grunt sneak off to find him. As Grum moves, he crunches a branch beneath his feet, which tickles Grunt. Both melt into the shadows and come upon Thom’s vantage point. The brothers call out to each to other in secret. They triangulate and meet up and Thom explains to them what he saw. Thom asks the thieves to stay while he reports to the group.

The party moves into the brush on horseback. The thieves and the dead can hear them, but do nothing. Vetnik spots shield of heraldry and deduces the mausoleum belongs to a minor Lord. Thom uses local history and deduces it to belong to House Bathis and that the tomb belongs to Ogar Bathis. The Bathis family is rumored to have been involved in cult activity but it was never confirmed.

Lyssa attempts to throw a rock at the tomb but fails. Lyssa tries a second time and it hits the door. The dead do not react but the door slides open and two servants come out and scrub the scuff off the door before returning inside.

Thom invisibly heads towards the door. He picks up no further clues about the tomb. Standing inches away from the door. Neither corpse guard takes notice of him. One is a human, the other an elf. Thom pushes the door open with his longbow with little resistance. Both servants turn to the center and say, in dry husky voices, command Thom to stop. Thom tries to climb up the mausoleum and sees the corpses draw their old, rusted weapons. Thom jumps down and climbs up a nearby tree. He sees them return to their original formation, weapons sheathed.

Vetnik and Trisoll confront the guards. Trisoll tries to turn and finds that his turn undead doesn’t work on them. The party decides to leave the mausoleum, leaving the Crypt Servants to tend to their master’s tomb.

Second hour the party comes across two stone giants who have just killed cattle from a nearby farm and are dragging back to their lair. Thom opens up by drumming to hit, buffing the party. The pair of giants rushes the party with cattle corpse in hand. Vetnik rides towards them and slashes each of them with his longsword. Grum sends forth two arrows into one of the giants; first makes it but second doesn’t. Thom moves into striking range while drumming for the party to hit. As he drums, the giants attack. Vetnik is bludgeoned by one of the giants with a cattle’s corpse. The second giant picks up a giant bolder and hurls it at Grum, Grunt and Moira. Grum and Moira are both hit.

“Why are we doing this again?!” Grunt shouts.

Moira dusts herself off and charges at one of the giants, unleashing two blows against it. The first cuts but with the second, Starstrike causes major bleeding via hacking at his right leg. Trisoll runs forward and rushes to heal Grum. From the back of the party, Lyssa casts Phantasmal Killer on the unwounded giant. Grunt fires off two bolts from Hank, first misses but the second lands.

After healing Grum for a bit, Trisoll blesses the entirety of the party. The giants attack a second time. The first giant clubs Vetnik again with his cattle corpse but Moira just barely evades her attacker. Vetnik picks himself up off the ground and rushes to both of the giants again, cutting one of the giant’s injured legs. Moira sees Vetnik’s opponent weakened and charges at it. The first attack misses but slays with a second blow. From the back of the party, Lyssa watches a shadowy figure slash into the second giant and the party watches as the giant shrieks and falls to the ground, dead of fright.

Thom sends his familiar Spitfire to scout ahead in the direction of the giant’s lair. He returns to Thom and clucks the coordinates of the giant’s cave. Before they depart, Lyssa searches the corpses of the slain giants and collects 1000gp and 3 gems (precious aquamarine, fancy jet black gem, precious amber) on the male she’s killed. Finding nothing on the female giant, Lyssa carves out one of her eyes for later use in rituals. Trisoll heals Vetnik twice but is unable to recover all of his Hp.

Thom approached Lyssa as she finished rifling raiding the corpse she had psychically slain. He watched her unseen, for a moment, as she pocketed the trio of precious gems.


The bard’s disembodied voice rattled the eager Lyssa. She darted her eyes around looking for some trace of her companion.

“You know the rules.”
“Yes, but it was my kill! Take the coin, just let me keep the gems.”
“You know we make most of our coin from finding gemstones. You don’t even have enough of your share to cover what these would fetch us.”
“You don’t know what I’ve got saved!”

“Fine, but at least let me have a cut from the jet stone when we return to Greyhawk.”

“I’ve never seen you take it like that before!” Moira remarked to Vetnik.

Moira comes over and shows concern over Vetnik’s condition. Vetnik shrugs it off but thanks Moira anyway for her concern before getting back on his horse. Thom scouts ahead with Grum and Grunt but not before casting strength over he and his brother. Inside the cave they see two infant giants writhing in a nest. Grunt goes takes the lead, pulls out his broadsword, and cuts the throats of the infant giants.

“They would’ve just died a slower death,” Grunt remarks, wiping the blood from his sword.

Thom and Grum find more gold (x3000) and 7 gems (XXXXXX) as well as a shield (Thom identifies it as +3 shield, which he gifts to Vetnik.) Moira carries both Starstrike and Blade’s Bane (her father’s shield).

The third hour of the ride is uneventful. They see Moloko circling above and watch him dive down through a standalone portal. The party finds themselves in an open clearing. They see Moloko dive down and past them and fade away into the horizon. They get close and they can feel something repel them. Suddenly the feeling begins to subside and they see a shimmering. Behind the veil they see on the perimeter several witches and warlocks maintaining a master spell.

They enter the village, which is humble — almost primitive — in nature. They see witches, warlocks and their familiars. In the center is a grander, more oval hut. The people are at first very surprised and backs off from the party. Moloko flies slowly and perches himself in front of the elongated hut. Vetnik walks up the small hill and sees attendants at either side of the hut. They allow the party to pass and inside and see a congress of 12 witches, a central figure with a figure beside her whose stature dwarfs even Vetnik’s.

The party is weirded out as to why they’ve been called to the hidden coven, headed by the eccentric Dablova. She tells them that she is an old friend of their parents’ and has been watching them since childhood. She offers them her special calmative (Serenity) which all but Lyssa enjoy – Grunt believes he’s even slick enough to sneak some into his waterskin – as well as potent healing for all those struck down by the giants on the way to Grynoth. After lounging about and enjoying the bohemian ambience, they continue to question why they were asked here.

Dablova excuses all in the party except Moira (much to rest of the party’s confusion) with whom she shares a vision she had of her twin brother. She tells her that she saw her brother Barth as a man, clad in black ebon armor atop an unfamiliar lizard mount. Around him were armies of Elves with skin of gold, alabaster, and sable wielding weapons of wood and stone. Wherever he was had an aura of evil to it that she could not discern the source of. She doesn’t reveal that she is her birth mother but instead gives Moira a scroll case with a small medallion attached to the end of it. Inside, she reveals, is a powerful Magic Jar scroll (lvl 14) that she must keep safe and use only if necessary: either in trapping Kr’zzt’s essence or trapping Barth’s soul in order to purify it before putting it back into his body. She excuses Moira to join with the rest of the party and together they take in the rest of the village, enjoying a fresh bath and some time to take in the mysterious Grynoth. Moira relays her talk with Dablova to the twins and Vetnik while Trisoll and Lyssa tour the grounds, remarking how intimidated they are by the new and different ways they see magic being applied.

As the party is away, Dablova has a moment with her familiar. She reveals to him that she did not reveal her full identity to Moira as there are more pressing matters on her daughter’s mind that she must to focus on without the distraction of revelation, but when the time is right, she will reveal herself to her. She then communes with the spirits using a vision spell. Dablova sacrifices her only two artifacts from raising the Steelshaper children and asks them two questions: where is Barth and what is the best way to get to him? The spirits take her offerings and return with two answers: a place called Kellagha on the other side of the world that is accessible via the Hellmouth in Blackmoor.

Once the party returns, Dablova shares her revelations with the party (without mentioning what went into getting them.) For their difficult journey, each member of the party is rewarded with special oils and potions:

All: Ointment of Flying (allows user to fly for 24 hours, 1 application)
Thom: Potion of Polymorph Self, free spell from Dablova’s spell book (undecided), 2 seeds for Gourd of Travel
Grum: Potion of Speed
Vetnik: Potion of Heroism (Super-Heroism if he’s above level 10)
Moira: Potion of Stone Giant Strength, Lvl 14 Scroll for Magic Jar + Phylactery (in secret)
Trisoll: Potion of Plant Control
Grunt: Potion of Climbing
Lyssa: Oil of Etherealness, Lvl 14 Scroll of (undecided)

After gifting the party with their potions and spells, Dablova offers a hut to them for the evening or to teleport them directly back to Greyhawk should they wish. The party agrees to stay the night in relative safety and relaxation, enjoying more food and Serenity and taking in the culture.

Happy are the Faithful


Moira sat up in her bed with her face a mess of sweat and panicked tears, her legs curled and pressed to her chest. She looked through the thin, silken drapes of her bedroom window to the sky and watched as it brightened from its deepest blue into fading indigo. The bleeding of dawn washed over and soothed her back into the waking world.

“Daddy,” she whispered to herself.

Once the rising of the sun shocked her back into reality, Moira quickly opened herself and leaped off her bed. She rushed out of her bedroom down the hall towards her father’s room, where even behind the closed door, she could hear him draw nasally snore after snore. She paused at his door and rested both her knuckles and brow gently against it. A flash of early childhood memory flooded her vision: she remembered her and her twin brother rushing in early in the morning as children to wake both of their fathers. Despite his buttoned-up disposition, Moira remembered that Vortis always welcomed her and her brother into their bed with half-hearted reluctance and, eventually, a smile. Moira lifted her head up off the door, took a deep breath, and knocked firmly but calmly upon her father’s bedroom door

Moira could hear her father stirring and grumbling in his bed behind the door. She knocked once more and called out to him. “Father?” Moira asked, knocking a bit harder for a third time.
“M—Moira?” Vortis asked, wiping away the sleep from his face.
“Yes, father. I need to speak with you. Please.” Moira pleaded with a cracking voice.
“Come in,” Vortis replied as he sat up in his bed. Moira tried her best to wipe the last remnants of tears from her cheeks. She opened her father’s door and made sure to keep to the threshold, far away enough from her father as to not incite fatherly panic in him.
“Moira, what’s the matter?”
Despite her best efforts, she couldn’t help from shrinking before him. The sight of his daughter’s shaken state – her puffy, red eyes, flushed cheeks and sweat-drenched hair – shook Vortis out of whatever lethargy remained. “I need to speak with you and my uncles at once!”
“Certainly. I’ll send word to Tic-Toc to meet us at Pimpleton Manor at once, but Moira, what– “
Moira rushed into the unlit bedroom and threw her arms around him. She buried her head next to his and whispered frantic things in his ears. As Vortis listened his expression morphed from sleepy-eyed concern to shock.

Moira reveals that not only was it a memory, but that it also absolves her father Drayden of guilt. Lyks reveals he suspects it has something to do with an old adversary: Kr’zzt.

Later in the morning as the party gather to have their communal breakfast, they are also told of Moira’s recalled memory. A scratching at a nearby window interrupts their discussion and, when Lyks goes to check on it, he sees an old white barn owl. Lyks begins to speak to the owl through birdlike clicks and hoots and after a few moments, the owl flies off. Lyks reveals that the owl is named Moloko and that it belongs to an old friend of his. He continues on to say that this old friend has summoned the party to specific coordinates in Furyondy. With Lyks’ urging, the party agrees to leave in a day’s time.

At the University of Magic, Lyssa goes to see Ebeviria for the first time since the trial. She finds the Mage’s Guild in complete disarray. According to Ebeviria, a fragment of the Eye of Null shattered in the process of attempted destruction and pierced headmaster Glarius Gladstone’s skull. Now, all senior Mages are jockeying for his seat.

Before hitting the road, Lyks sits the party down for a crash course on all things Kr’zzt. He gives them tips on protecting themselves and their homes and also warns them of the kind of power he has (possession, mind control, invulnerability, etc.)

The following day, the party set off towards Furyondy, according to the coordinates. They cross the Nyr Dyv and enter the port town of Willip. They find its citizens a mix from shanghaied seadogs to affluent captains and trade barons. Grum, Grunt and Thom put forth a gentleman’s wager after seeing its dock area overrun by careless, drunken navymen. The trio lurk the taverns looking to see who can steal the most expensive haul. Vetnik and Trisoll follow behind, eager to enjoy a drunk or two, while Moira and Lyssa stay behind with the horses.

For their first heist, the pair of thieves comes across a drunken, belligerent sailor and they manage to steal the bulk of his coin. Thom manages to cut what he assumes to be a hefty coinsack only to find that its contents are lacking. Grum and Grunt head to a second tavern and Grum picks out a startlingly handsome (and richly adorned) sailor:

“Pardon me sir, but did you serve on the Sea Slicer?”
“No, but I wish I had.” Grum replied with a smirk before taking a seat across from the decorated sailor.
The sailor twisted the end of his mustache between his bejeweled fingers and smiled back. “Likewise. I feel like we would have had a great time serving her together.”
“Well, no sense in not enjoying each other’s company now. How about a drink?”
The sailor leaned back in his chair and welcomed Grum to his table. As Grum sat down, the sailor snapped his fingers to summon a nearby barmaid – making sure not to take his eyes away from the thief.

The sailor introduces himself as Cerus Margen and tells Grum about his early life as a farmhand who escaped to the navy after leaving a strict, unaccepting father. Grum begins to feel sympathetic. Cerus likes that Grum is more refined than the rough trade on the seas. Grunt follows Grum inside and sits down in an empty bench near the men’s table. Cerus proposes that they take a change of scenery and Grum agrees to it. Cerus excuses himself for a moment and while he’s gone, Grum and Grunt quickly outline a new plan for robbing the sailor.

At the bathhouse, Cerus took it upon himself to treat he and his new friend “Cerul” to a private bath. Grum coolly indulged in Cerus’ request for intimacy and together they were led past the public baths to the private rooms. The disinterested attendant gathered together fresh towels and ladled the hot coals with a fresh splash of water. The attendant quickly excused himself and left the pair to enjoy in the steaming warmth of the room.

Both men carried an attraction to each other that was hard to contain but it seemed both men were experts at not showing their hands too early. However, as both men disrobed and set their things aside, their eagerness was more than apparent. Grum lead Cerus to the tepid pool before bunching up both he and Cerus’ things in a pile on a bench near the door. Grum was careful to place the jewels he could on the very top of the pile before placing his own cloak over it as to keep from being completely obvious. Grum slinked over to the pool behind Cerus. The sailor reclined against Grum as he slowly but firmly began to press his hands across his shoulders. Cerus wriggled in delight, surprised and delighted by Grum’s skillful fingers.

“Mmmm! This was much needed, dear Cerul!”

While Grum continued to work Cerus’ shoulders, he looked over to the door and saw a shadow appear underneath it. Grum kept his eyes fixed on the door watched as it creaked open. Fearing the sound of the old wooden door might alert Cerus, Grum quickly and intensely leaned down and pressed his mouth against the sailor’s ear. Grunt continued to slowly open the door an inch or two more, just enough to slip inside the steamy room. Grum fired a side-eyed glance at his charge as he lapped up his sailor’s ear and neck – an unspoken signal to hurry and leave the men to their enjoyment. Grunt scooped quickly surveyed the room and noticed a pile of clothes topped with Grum’s jet-black cloak. He leaned down and noticed beneath it a smaller pile gathered underneath it. Grum furrowed his brow at Grunt; Grunt quickly scooped up his master’s cloak and the contents bundled within. With the haul in hand, Grunt quickly slipped out of the room and closed the door as quietly as possible as Grum’s hands continued down past Cerus’ work-hardened torso into the warm water of the pool.

With the boys off gallivanting from tavern to tavern, Moira and Lyssa continued to wait with the groups’ goods and horses in relative silence. Lyssa was deep in arcane study, impervious it seemed to the boisterous distractions of the docks. Moira shared her time between watching both her companion and the drunks mingle and chase after one another. As the hour neared its end, Moira watched as navymen and catfish alike slipped into taverns and alleyways to revel away from prying eyes. With the streets before them nearly empty, Moira took the quiet time as an opportunity to speak with Lyssa as she had promised. She moved towards the bench Lyssa was quietly sitting at and sat beside her. Lyssa did nothing to acknowledge her and continued to murmur passages to herself. Without provocation, Moira began simply and softly:

“Why did you do it?”

Lyssa’s mouth froze in mid-recital. Her jaw tensed as she struggled to process the forwardness of Moira’s question. Without looking up from her spell book, she replied pointedly. “You know exactly why I did what I did. I kept it from you because it had nothing to do with you. With any of you.”
“We could have helped you,” Moira urged, inching closer to Lyssa. “We could have found justice for you and Violetta"
“I…” Lyssa began before stopping herself. She sighed as she both struggled to find the right response as well keep her temper at bay. After a moment, Lyssa began again with a less pointed tone, “I did not mean to do… what I did. I thought if I could see him, I might be able to understand why… how someone like him could live the life he lived while we worked tirelessly for his gain. Things just…”
“I understand,” Moira said as she placed a comforting hand on Lyssa’s shoulder. “I believe you when you say it wasn’t your intent. What you took was vengeance and vengeance is not the way. Had we been able to address the issue within the law we may have been able to embarrass the Cerzan family. Nothing is more important to those types than their damn social status. The younger Cerzan seemed sensitive to your plight as well. Perhaps an opportunity lost—“
“It doesn’t matter now,” Lyssa said, cutting Moira off and slamming her book shut. “I made him a martyr and reminded my mother of what she feared in me.”
“Your mother has grown into a more devoted acolyte than even myself I fear. Her newfound faith has given her the infinite capacity to love, and to forgive. She no longer fears you Lyssa. You are her only true tether to this world.”
“She may be able to forgive, but she won’t ever forget. No one in Greyhawk will. Not her, nor you, nor Lyks. No one. What good a tether am I if she constantly fears I’ll snap?” Lyssa sat up off the bench and stormed towards her horse. Moira remained seated, watching as Lyssa struggled to put her spell book back into her saddlebag.

“That may indeed be true. The knowledge of your heritage becoming public is more than troublesome but nothing proves true intent more than action.” Moira stayed seated on the bench and did her best to maintain a calm and compassionate tone. She continued to urge, “show the people of Greyhawk that you are not your grandfather’s daughter. That you are your own woman and yes, you can make mistakes but you can also make amends.”
Lyssa stopped rifling through her sack and twisted herself back around to face Moira in frustration. “What if I can’t?”
“For the death of one man, a man who made his way on the backs of others? I’d say the debt is not beyond your reach. I don’t condone what you did, but I understand. We are allies now and always Lyssa. I choose not to judge you as it is not my place to do so.”
“The worst part of this is… it was all me.” Lyssa replied in a low, desperate voice.
“Your anger doesn’t make you a monster. We are all capable of failing to act in the appropriate way. Sometimes you just get it wrong—“ Moira retorted, holding back a similar desperation.
Lyssa looked at Moira curiously. She could tell something intense was bubbling just beneath the surface. “What do you mean?”
“I… I saw my brother drifting away and I didn’t speak up, I should have seen what was to come! I have also failed Lyssa… and yet I choose to stand against that failure and if given the chance to do the right thing, I will always endeavor to do so.”
Lyssa was captivated by this leaking vulnerability, despite Moira’s best efforts to keep up appearances. She could hear the trembling in Moira’s voice as she spoke briefly of her brother. Before Lyssa could pry deeper, she heard the rustling of armor and familiar jovial laughter approach them. Almost instantly, Moira stiffened up, straightened her shoulders a bit and put back up her veneer of confidence to welcome Vetnik and Trisoll back from their bar hopping. Lyssa let Moira have a moment with the boys and watched her greet Vetnik with a soft kiss on his cheek and oblige Trisoll’s ramblings with an almost believable enthusiasm.

Thom soon returns with a brilliant blue cloak inlayed with a pattern of four metal stars. Lyssa offers to cast detect magic over it and uncovers that the cloak itself is unremarkable, but the stars its embroidered with radiate powerful magic. Several minutes later, Grunt sneaks back to join the group with jewelry and without Grum. He shows off his haul but Thom wonders where his brother is. Grunt tells the party that Grum is at the baths and may be a while. While waiting on Grum, Thom memorizes and casts identify over the stolen garment and finds out that it’s a cloak of the stars!

After finishing an intense session, Grum and Cerus prepare to check out from the bathhouse but not before Cerus finds out his items have been taken. Grum gives him false consolation that seems to woo Cerus. They part ways and before meeting back with the rest of the party, Grunt stops at the bazaar where he buys and sends Cerus flowers and a new fire opal ring.

After leaving Willip, the party travel along a tributary deeper into Furyondy…

As the party continued down the quiet woodland road, the clusters of trees began to thin as they neared the tributary that cut through it. Near one particular clearing, they could hear the rustling of stumbling steps against fallen leaves and grass. Suddenly, Grum spied a shape unsteadily moving through the forest. He pulled his horse to a halt – a signal to the others to do the same – and watched as the figure emerged. In the distance he saw it: a young woman of tall and slender frame drabbed completely in white robes embroidered with the symbol of the cudgel. A more disturbing detail troubled Grum though. The robes, as well as the hands and face, of the mysterious woman were covered in what appeared to be fresh blood.

She appeared to be without weapons of her own. The party watched from the safety of the main road as she stumbled down towards the riverbank as if in a daze. From what Grum could tell the woman bore no wounds of her own either but he could not be certain from the road. He waved to Grunt and the pair slid down from their horses to get a closer look while the others waited and watched. The pair of thieves took opposite sides as they sneaked down towards the riverbank, both careful in each step as not to alert her. Grum was first to reach her and once behind her he lingered there in the shade of nearby trees. As he waited, he could hear the woman mutter something over and over to herself as she scrubbed her hands clean in the silty water.

“Such a waste. Such a waste.”

Neither her voice nor her washing could be described as panicked though. Rather, there was a languid quality to both. He motioned to Grunt to move back up to the main road. Grunt obliged and sneaked off ahead of his master. Grum stood and watched her for a few moments more before following Grunt. Watched and waited for some kind of change in demeanor from the woman. Whatever daze this woman was in seemed to disturb Grum even more now that he’d seen it up close.

Back on the road, Grum reported his findings to the others.

“Is this woman in any kind of danger? Does she need assistance?” M
“She doesn’t seem to be in her right mind.” Grum
“She could need our help. Vetnik?” M
“It’s possible but—“ Grum
“Moira and I will go check it out, the rest of you stay in reserve.” Vet
“Well what if she’s the one who did something bad?” Gr
“Well, she could be just another one of those… seers. Like the one we met outside of Blackmoor.” Ve
“Oh, you mean like that insane haruspex who assaulted me? Have fun.” Lys

Vetnik and Moira ride down to the tributary and as they near the woman, the sound of their horses and clanging metal armor alerts the woman to their presence. She stops washing her hands in the river and turns to greet the knights.

“You seem quite distraught,” Vetnik commented.
“I am. A madness came over my poor sisters!” The woman replied as she stood to reveal the magnitude of the filth that soiled her once crisp, white robes.
“Your sisters?” Vetnik continued.
“Yes, yes. We are all acolytes, humble billets in His service. We have a convent just down this path.”
“Who do you serve?”
Saint Cuthbert of the Cudgel.”
“Is this the blood of your sisters?”
“It is,” the woman revealed before hanging her head in mourning. After taking a moment to compose herself, she looked up to Moira and extended her hand to her. “Paladin, will you come and help me consecrate them, my sisters?”
“Yes, of course.” Moira replied without hesitation, taking the woman’s still-damp hand into hers. The woman’s face collapsed in an expression of desperate relief. She turned to Vetnik once more.
“And you cavalier? You are strong! Will you help me lay my sisters to rest, help me to bury them?”
“Yes,” Vetnik answered back, briefly glancing at Moira. “Absolutely, but you must tell us about this madness that overcame your sisters.”
The woman’s mouth tightened as she nodded her head obligingly. She let go of Moira’s hand and began to lead the party down the beaten path that ran along the river and deeper into the woods. The forest had an eerie calm to it, accented by sparse sound of leaves crushed beneath the party’s feet and the droning chirp of insects.
“We have worshipped together for years in peace but not too long ago their passion for Saint Cuthbert seemed to wane out of nowhere. They no longer did their duties with the same amount of devotion and vigor they once had. They seemed to care more about their own vain desires. Then—“ the woman cut herself off from speaking further as they continued deeper down the trail.
“Then what?” Vetnik asked. The woman said nothing at first as if trying to concentrate on the path ahead. With the main road further enough behind them and no longer visible, she continued.
“They began to say things. Things about me! Vicious, wicked lies!”
Vetnik noticed the woman’s temperament turn increasingly more erratic as she continued on about the events leading up to the death of her sisters. He softly jerked his reigns and steered his horse ahead of Moira’s at the very front of the pack.
“Sounds cruel to me.”
“It was! They were! The most awful things were said too.”
“How much further is the convent?”
“Just right up the road. Anyway, their true intentions soon began to show and I knew they were conspiring against me!”
“How did they die?”

Just as Vetnik asked his question, the woman stopped at what appeared to be the end of the path. There the party could see the open yard in front of a humble convent surrounded by trees. In the yard there lay a single wooden totem, a carving of a man’s arm holding the cudgel of St. Cuthbert upright. Now it lay in a patch of untamed grass. The air was crisp and as the breeze blew through, it carried with it the scent of recent death.
“They were murdered,” the woman flatly said with her back turned to the party.
“How do you know they were murdered?” Vetnik asked as he slyly slid his hand down towards the guard of his longsword. Moira watched Vetnik and knew something was afoot. She motioned to those in the party behind her to ready themselves before she carefully began to slide down off her mount. The woman’s throat began to hum with a low buzzing sound like a chorus of locusts. She spoke once more, her voice now cold and accented by the strange cacophonous sounds. “Because…” Vetnik and Moira took sudden notice of the woman’s back. Her torso began to jerk and torque while her limbs and head remained perfectly still. “Because I fucking killed them myself!”

The woman whipped her head around and the party watched as her long brown hair coiled together and quickly hardened into a crown of twisting, pointed horns. Massive wings covered in deep crimson feathers exploded from her back and tore away her blood-and-mud soaked robes to reveal a statuesque nude body covered in rows of ever-emerging spines, spikes, and wiry feathers. Despite these changes, the creature’s face still carried the beauty and allure of a comely human. Moira’s studies in the church had taught her legends of such disturbing and lascivious creatures. Rumored to be fallen angels themselves, what stood before them was a lesser demon of a most ancient order.

Erinyes!” Moira snarled as she prepared to charge the demon.

Before she drew her blade, Trisoll pushed his ways towards the front line behind Moira and Vetnik.

“In Trithereon’s name, I cast you back into the Abyss,” Trisoll commanded with the holy triskelion of his patron raised high into the air for all to see!

Despite this bravado, Trisoll felt no blessing surge from the medallion down through his body. The erinyes cackled at the priest’s empty commands but Moira was quick to silence her. Moira drew Starstrike and swiftly dragged the blade across the erinyes’ belly. The winged beast fluttered back just enough to avoid the blade’s deepest cut and she looked to Moira, her fanged jaw clinched together as her lips twisted from demented smile to offended grimace. In return, the erinyes flapped her mighty crimson wings and released a gust of wind that blew throughout the yard and past the party. The gust kicked up loose dirt and leaves but more sinister than that was the spell the gust carried. Vetnik and Moira turned to see Trisoll’s expression descend into absolute fright. He quickly tucked his holy symbol back under his tunic and clawed his way past the knights and away from the convent. As they watched Trisoll flee, the party also watched as Lyssa spurred her horse into action to retreat away from the clearing. Vetnik’s hair began to stand on end and he shuttered as he felt a sudden presence press against his mind. He drew his sword and spun back around to see the erinyes’ gaze focused squarely on him. He furrowed his brow and watched as the erinyes began to furrow hers in concentration. Vetnik’s barbarian mind proved to be not such a simple place. Moments later, the erinyes felt herself expelled from inside of his head. The erinyes screeched in disgust, offended that a mere mortal could resist her charm. Vetnik stared the fiend down with a smirk that only seemed to anger the fiend more. Before the erinyes could strike out at the knight, a duo of thin, silver rays of light zipped across the yard towards them. The erinyes flapped its winged and swatted away the rays that, once hit, fell to the ground as two long silver arrows. The erinyes looked back to see Grunt sitting atop his horse with his mysterious longbow drawn. He began to pull his arm back and she watched as thin wisps of glowing silver mercury came together to form not only the string but also the arrows themselves!

Vetnik rushed the seemingly distracted demon on horseback but found that the erinyes was not only more alert than he anticipated, but that she was also most nimble. Despite his strength and speed Vetnik struggled to get a beat on her as she almost mockingly leaped out of range. Vetnik jumped down off of his horse and just as she stepped into range, Grum jumped into action bearing both Lyn and Slå: the lightning strike daggers! Grum slashed at the erinyes with Lyn and watched with amazement as she bended back and ducked beneath his swing effortlessly. Little did the demon realize that Grum had stunning reflexes of his own! Before rising back upright, Grum lifted Slå into the air and drove the electrically-charged blade deep into her left thigh. The erinyes shot straight back up and met face-to-mask with the thief, whose blade sizzled as it sent jolts of electric energy through the stab wound. Grum quickly withdrew his blade and tumbled backwards to escape her and watched as ink-black blood slowly ebbed from the wound down her leg. With the erinyes wounded and distracted, Moira took a chance and brought Starstrike down upon the very same leg Grum had pierced. Her blade collided with the erinyes’ scaly thigh upon the very wound Grum had left. Moira struggled to tear the blade out of the erinyes’ leg and watched as the fiend wailed while tearing its own leg from the sword. Before the erinyes could attack Moira, another round of Grunt’s radiant arrows zipped through the air in rapid succession. The first of the arrows completely missed but the second found a home and lodged itself in the bulky tendon of her wing. Thom leaped in once more with his silver-edged katana and slashed furiously at her, but the erinyes shrugged off the bard’s attacks with a flap of her wounded wing. Just as Thom prepared himself for a second attack, he watched as the erinyes spread her wings wide open to face Moira, woman to woman. Even Thom marveled at the sight, but only briefly, when the look he saw in the demon’s eyes shook him. The erinyes’ fiery eyes were suddenly flooded with a blackness that Thom himself recalled.

“Moira, look away!” Thom cried out.

Moira turned to Vetnik and gone were her pristine amber eyes, replaced by orbs of black void. As the paladin drew her blade, ready to charge her barbarian companion, the erinyes’ body quickly dissolved from sight. Thom knew this trick all to well as he often played it himself. With a single, confident wave of his hand, an arc of shimmering golden particles appeared in the air above those battling in front of him. He clenched his fist and watched as the golden arc shattered into millions of tiny specks of glitterdust. The sparkling particles rained down upon Moira and Vetnik, and outlined the invisible fiend. The party watched as Moira staggered back, wildly rubbing her face with one hand while doing her best to balance Starstrike with the other. Before Vetnik could reach out for Moira, he saw the shape of the erinyes covered in glitterdust. He watched as she flapped her wings in a vain attempt to blow the golden dust off of her body and away from the battlefield. Vetnik quickly maneuvered around the blinded Moira and, with his longsword drawn, he swiped at the gold-speckled shape. With the first swing he could feel the blade drag and cut against the erinyes’ flesh but it was with the second where he felt his blade sink deep into the unseen thickness of the demon’s body. Vetnik watched the glittering silhouette of the erinyes struggle to pull her body from off of the end of his blade. He quickly glanced at Moira and saw her continue to struggle to regain her sight while swinging Starstrike flimsily and frantically like some cornered beast. With one mighty thrust, Vetnik ripped his sword up through the torso of the wounded demon. As his blade tore through the erinyes’ shoulder, her bifurcated body instantly returned to the visible plane with a geyser of thick, black demon’s blood. Her corpse dropped to the ground, motionless and still covered in golden glitter.

Lyssa and Trisoll stopped in their respective tracks and felt sudden relief from the fear that plagued them. Both of their minds were calm once again. They turned around and looked at each other before looking down the path to the yard of the convent where the others remained. The demon’s fear spell had left them both in quite a state, so much so that the pair realized they were almost back to the main road! Lyssa grumbled and motioned for Trisoll to ride back together to join the others on her horse. Vetnik shook what blood he could off of his sword and spit in disgust at the erinyes’ wretched body. He looked around and saw the Black brothers and Grunt putting away their weapons as well. He then sheathed his blade before rushing to Moira’s side. As he placed his hand upon her shoulder, she snatched her arm away and continued to wipe her face more frantically than before. Vetnik stood back and watched Moira stumble towards the convent’s front doors. It was clear she was overwhelmed and as her companion, knew when he needed to back away. She had not only failed to slay the erinyes, but became its servant in attempting to do so. Though enslaved only briefly, the erinyes’ charm had slithered and burrowed its way through every private avenue in her mind and left behind an unholy, stagnant black trail that Moira found difficult to shake. Moira drug her sword against the beaten dirt path leading up to the doors of the convent. Her back remained turned to the others as she moved closer to the convent, her eyes red with irritation from the glitterdust. The others gathered themselves together and watched Moira stumble ahead. Though the erinyes had been slain, the aura of evil it left behind clung to the the convent grounds that felt like tiny pins shooting up Moira’s nervous system. Moira pushed the chantry door open without prior warning; in her heart, she already knew what was waiting for her behind the doors of the hallowed building. Death waited in all of its grizzly and uncompromising detail. Scattered on the floor and in between the pews were the bodies of nine of Cuthbert’s faithful daughters. Trails of blood from each body made chaotic and unreasonable designs from the floorboards, up the walls, all the way up to the ceiling of the chantry. Moira stood in the doorway and began to buckle under the weight of not only the horrid sights before her, but also the events leading up to her journey to Furyondy. To contain herself, she quickly clasped her gauntleted hand over her mouth as tears began to flood her quivering cheeks. She did her best to steady her panicked breathing but could no longer contain herself as she’d been trained to do. Her body was limp and made no effort to move aside as a pair of unseen servants summoned by Thom pushed past her to tend to the dead.

“We… we avenged you sisters,” Moira began to pray, sobbing through her rites. “May… may… Cortox… may He guide you safely from this plane and may Cuthbert welcome you to his kingdom with open and loving arms.”



Lyssa petitions to keep the gems found in their raids in exchange for a reduced share of the loot.

Dagger (3) – Lyssa
Wooden scale armor (human/half elf) – Trisoll
Hammer (
2) – sell
Sword (1 longsword) – Grunt
Extremely lightweight platemail (
2 Elven plate mail) – Grum
Sword (4 longsword) – Vetnik
Full plate armor (
1) – Moira

As Thom relearns his identify spells, Kling-taa returns in Halfling form and informs them that he claims the coin as his own and that everything else is there’s to keep. Moira recalls that copper dragons are notoriously greedy dragons.

Lyssa raids the corpse of the blue dragon. She sees the heart has been torn out and is resting several yards away, dissolving in a bubbling pool of cooling acid. Lyssa searches for the blue dragon’s lightning gullet but it’s been destroyed by Kling-taa. She collects a couple scales, a piece of tongue, wing leather, and dragon’s blood. She asks Moira to help hack away the great horn on the dragon’s skull. As Moira saws off the horn, she looks at Lyssa and requests: “When things are calm, let us talk.”

Kling-taa transforms into a stone giant and scoops up all the coin he can. As he leaves the cave, he calls back and tells them “Know that you have a friend in Kling-taa.” Grunt hacks away at the corpse of a wyrmling to use its hide in the making of a helmet and blue dragon leather armor. Thom culls teeth and claws for use in making arrows and edge weapons.

Back in Casaille, Lyks and Burbis find themselves at the Cerzan compound. Lyks commands Burbis to scout ahead, much to his surprise. Burbis obliges, casting invisibility over himself and leaves. Burbis breaks into the compound and scopes out the first level of the house and moves upstairs on the second level. Downstairs, Lyks sees the reflection of shimmering lights. Lyks takes bird form and sees its Burbis casting a dancing lights spell to distract a group of guards. Lyks sees servants here and there coming and going about the compound. He hangs out hovering and after a few moments he sees Violetta leaving the compound with a basket of laundry. Burbis whispers to Lyks to come down.
“Violetta is here with the other servant girls, and four guards with three members of the Cerzan family (1 female 2 males).

Lyks returns to human, visible form and knocks on the front door. A servant girl answers.
“How may I help you?”
“May I speak with your masters, Lord Cerzan?”
“Who shall I announce you as?”
“Zemilay Lyks.”

The servant welcomes him inside after a few moments. He sees Violetta moving through the house among other servant girls. She is lost in her duties and completely ignores Zemilay. Lyks is led upstairs to Lord Corben’s quarters. The office is an example in luxury.

“Welcome to my home, Zemilay Lyks.”
“Good to meet you.”
“Likewise, such an accomplished man. I know very little of what’s transpired here.”
“I am here to inquire about procuring one of your servants.”
“I see. The one involved with the passing of my father?”
“As I understand, she has remanded herself into our family’s keep under her own will. Is that correct? You understand, I’ve lost a father here but I have also gained great wealth. So… appeal to me in some other way. Why should I grant this woman her freedom?”
“Name your price.”
“Do you offer a boon?”
“A boon paid by me is a most substantial thing. So, how can I help you?”
“I believe there is a way you can help me, if we can make the extraction of said servant in secret.”

Violetta is brought in. She is shocked to see Zemilay here.

“My show of good faith. Now, Mr. Baggleton, shall we discuss of this intrigue?”

“Why did you come for me? “
“Don’t worry, you’re safe. Trust me.”
“I can’t leave without the other girls. They’re my converts.”
“What makes you think we’re leaving without the other girls.”

Burbis finishes outlining his illusion for torturing Violetta for public spectacle. He finds the act distasteful but will do it because Lyks asks.

Violetta pleas for the release of the other girls. As they speak, Burbis puts Corben under a charm spell. Lyks motions to her to rush and get the other women. Burbis has tricked Corben into believing he’s been given a tremendous amount of money for all of the women. After a minute, Lyssa’s mother returns to the office with the other servant girls.

“You have to trust me and we have to move fast. Come, quickly!”

They shuffle out of the house. Lyks leaves his sack of pp and commands Burbis to cloak them in invisibility. Burbis throws down a bag of lead and casts fool’s gold over it. “We were never here!” Burbis whispers mischievously to Lord Corben before the pair leave to meet with the other women outside of the compound.

Lyks unfurls the magic rug much to the servant girls’ horror. “You have 10 seconds to decide. Come!”

The women cloister onto the magic rug with Violetta reassuring the women that they’ll be all right. Lyks throws sleep dust over them, knocking them out as he and Burbis lead the carpet into the air.

Back in the cave, they decide how to get out of Dagger Rock. Thom casts Spider Climb over Trisoll, who loves the effect, and skitters up the walls with Thom.
“Stop fooling around and get up there!” Vetnik yells up to Tris. Lyssa meets the boys at the surface using a dimension door. She hands off one of the scales to Thom who uses it as part of a pully system. After about 40 minutes, they’re at the mouth of the cave together. Outside, Thom and Lyssa’s familiars wait with their horses.

Lyks returns to Greyhawk and drops the former servants and Violetta off at the church. Violetta thanks him and promises them sanctuary. “Cortox’s blessing to you, Zemilay Lyks.”
Back at home, Lyks finds George on the floor drunk, his eyes red with tears.
“Did Mellisandre finally break up with you?”
“No… she’s dead!”
“Tell me what happened.” Lyks asks, picking him off the ground.
“Someone killed her. Where was she found?”
“Her house.”
“I… I never forget…her blood! Without her, no more potions for me. I’ll wither and die.”
“We’re going to get you to bed.”
“I want to die!”
Burbis looks crestfallen and puts his hat to his heart and watched Lyks cart George to his bedroom.

Burbis and Lyks visit Mellisandre’s home and find the words scrawled in blood: I NEVER FORGET. Burbis scraps a bit of blood onto a piece of cloth and places it into his satchel.
“Go see Xanti. Ask her to scry. I will be in touch with her, but I must visit the church of Beory.”

Lyks goes to the church of Beory to commune with the spirits in Greyhawk with 6 other priests of the church. Their prayers are strong but they feel powerful attempts to block them from divinating. Through a crack in the psychic block, Lyks gleans a familiar and wicked energy but he can’t quite place its origin. Zemilay rushes back to Pimpleton, where Xanti does as she’s asked and consults her crystal ball. “I felt something blocking—“
“You have to leave,” he says to her coldly.
“No… Nonono, I cannot! Not again!” Xanti protests, sobbing into her husband’s chest.
“You must!” Zemilay replies, trying to keep his stoic front.
“What about our boy?”
“He is a man now and makes his own decisions and can protect himself. But you… I have to protect.”
Xanti throws her arms around Lyks and sobs her love for him. Tearfully, Lyks puts his hand on her head and channels the image he scried. Xanti gets goosebumps as the dark sensations course from his brain to hers.
“You must go. Leave your crystal ball here.”
Xanti looks up and Zemilay wipes away the tears from her cheek. She leaves her scrying room to begin packing up her things. Once alone, Lyks looks upon her crystal ball and with his might staff, smashes the orb.

Lyks returns to his study where Burbis sneakily follows. Lyks sits at his desk and after riling through one of the locked drawers, he retrieves a small vial with a piece of burned, black flesh. Burbis covers his mouth in horror, knowing the frightful source of the skin.

Back in the Bright Lands, the party saddles up and sets out back to the Celadon Forest and Thorn’s Circle. Their journey through the desert is uneventful as they enter into the Gnatmarsh and deeper into the sylvan wood of the Celadon Forest. In the wood, Grum spies at least six Owlbears trudging their way.

Grunt slips off his horse and tucks into the shadows. He aims Hank for one of the Owlbears and sticks a bolt into its backside. Thom unleashes burning hands upon another of the owlbears, setting its feathery hide ablaze. It also sets nearby brush on fire and retreats from the pack. Grum shoots into the owlbear that Grunt attacked and in turn it tries to escape. Vetnik rushes into the pack and cuts into one of the owlbears. Trisoll blesses the party (all except for Grunt and Lyssa, who lie just outside the range of the blessing.) The owlbears take the offense and rush the party. One of the owlbears slash into Grum, hacking into his left leg. Another lunges at Grunt and claws into him. Two of the owlbears rush Vetnik; Vetnik dodges the first completely but the falls into the second’s slashing claws. Moira rushes to Grum’s aid and quickly lays hands upon his gored leg. Unable to get a clear view of any of the owlbears, Lyssa struggles to direct a row of magic missiles and as such releases two of them with weakened intensity.

Two of the owlbears leaves immediately. A second lashes out at Grum, who continues to bleed out. Moira struggles to protect and heal Grum and fend off the owlbear. Grunt’s owlbear continues to slash into him. The pair of owlbears on Vetnik continue to slash into him. Moira slashes into Grum’s attacker and sticks it just enough to slay it. Grunt aims his blade for the owlbear’s soft belly but misses. With his attacker slayed, Grum quickly binds his wounded leg to stop the bleeding. Vetnik swings and cuts into both his attackers. Lyssa attempts to cast telekinesis but instead is flooded by a wild surge. Suddenly, she sees nothing in front of her. Behind her see hears the sounds of battle. She turns around to see her companions fending off the owlbears (she was turned 180degrees). Thom drums while Trisoll rushes in to heal Grum futher.
Grum supports Vetnik by firing a pair of arrows into the owlbear engaged in battle with him. Both attempts miss. Trusting the Vetnik can handle himself, Moira bolts towards Grunt’s attacker and stabs it in the back with Starstrike. Despite the blow, the owlbear gets one last strike, causing Grunt to black out from the attack.
“I need aid!” Moira cries out.
Before Vetnik can react, his attacker swipes at him again. Thom rushes up to Grum and the pair fire off arrows back to back. Trisoll runs around to Grunt and blesses him with a heal prayer, bringing him back from the brink. Full of frustration, Lyssa casts telekinesis successfully on the owlbear attacking Vetnik and flings it 300 ft away from the cavalier. Vetnik nods thank you and rushes across the field and stabs into the last owlbear and fells it. Its corpse slumps down beside Grunt, Trisoll and Moira. Trisoll staggers back to his feet and gives a second healing blessing to Grum. Thom pats Grum on the back and reups his armor spell.

They forgo camp to ride straight to Thorn’s Circle. Melinore greets them after 2 days where she asks Beory’s blessing to heal Grum and Grunt (and Vetnik, though he’s reluctant.) “Thank you, m’lady.” He says with a stiff upper lip.
Melinore shows them back to the Ways of the World, where Trisoll opens up the portal with his ring. Vetnik steps in first followed by Grunt. Grum and Thom follow. Trisoll follows. Before stepping through, Moira places her hand on Lyssa’s shoulder and guides her through. Moira is the last to enter and together they are back in Greyhawk inside the Church of Beory.

“We should go back to the manor and check on Lyks.” Moira suggests.

After a 20 minute walk, they’re greeted by a tearful Xanti. She looks at Trisoll. “Mother, what’s wrong?”
She grabs him and holds him. Vetnik steps through and heads to see Lyks in the study. Moira follows then the Black bros, Lyssa and Grunt.

Lyks sits everyone down, his disposition even more abrasive than usual. He and Xanti enter the study, both emotional.

“Where is George?” Moira.
“George has taken a leave of absence.” Zemilay. “George’s lover, Mellisandre has passed.”
“That’s awful. Poor George.”
“It was no accident. It was murder.”
“Who?” Thom. “Was this a guild attack? How was she killed?”
“Her throat was slit and a message was left in her blood.”
“She was an accomplished mage. How could—“
“A long time ago she helped us. I promised her safety, but it was a promise I apparently could not keep.”
Moira draws a sharp breath. Vetnik grabs her hand and squeezes it.
“Kr’zzt is coming for us.”
“What was the message that was left in her home?” Lyssa
“I never forget.” Lyks

“Is that why mother has to leave?” Tri
“Yes. I’d send you away too but you’re too stubborn.” Zem
“Well, father. We’ll end this. Once and for all. No more living in fear, for any of us!” Trisoll says with false bravado.

“Lyks, my father still has his jaw. It’s how I know of his story.”
“Contact your father. We must keep the last remains of him safe.”
“Do we have a plan?” Th
“I’ve been slowly ruminating plans for years and years—“
“Kr’zzt killed my grandfather.” Moira says tearfully. “I know the stories. We have to stop him! We have to find my brother and redeem him! We have to find Barth.”
“Trust nothing and no one.”
“I have to go see my father!”

The party parts ways. Vetnik stays with Trisoll at the manor. As the party begins to part ways, Lyssa pulls Zemilay aside and asks about Violetta. He tells her that Violetta is safe at the church.
“What may I do for you at this hour?”
“Violetta, is she here?”
“Sister Violetta is resting. “

The attendant welcomes her inside and Violetta comes. “Your friends are wonderful. Not just me but my new sisters as well. I’m so happy you’re not imprisoned. I know … I understand why you did what you did and you’ll find forgiveness in the next life. I have certainly already forgiven you. It is not my place to judge.”
“But do you think what I did was wrong.”
“Yes. But as my daughter, I love you unconditionally.”
Lyssa awkwardly says goodbye to her mother and leaves her at the church.

Later that night, Moira has an all too vivid night terror, a dream of the five original children stumbling upon a small silver disc. The disc is the source of a luminescent rip in the fabric of space. Moria’s brother Barth lets curiosity get the better of him and bravely steps forward, disappearing in a flash of light. Young Moira charges after her brother, calling out his name, followed by the rest of the children. There on a twisted plateau she sees a wizard. A furious battle is underway between the mage and a shadowed foe. The movement of the children distracts the thaumaturge and he turns away from his opponent to shout a warning. The warning is cut short however as a mammoth fireball immolates the wizard. The children, consumed by terror, dash towards the portal they entered. Barth hurries the Black twins, Trisoll and his sister through the shimmering tear in the air before finally making his way through. He pauses as he exits and looks back, his gaze meeting that of the unknown nemesis. Barth’s eyes grow wide as he cannonballs through the rift and hits the ground in a barrel roll before righting himself. The other children are a small distance away and the young Steelshaper takes this unseen opportunity to snatch up the silver disc from the meadow and secret it away in a small pouch.

Moira slowly realizes her dream is actually a recalled memory. She starts to think back to the times Barth seemed distant after that, distracted even. The bond of siblings never the same going forward. The pieces begin to fall into place as Moira feels an unspeakable thought take purchase in her body’s center, her muscles beginning to spasm in horrific realization. Her brother’s imaginary friend “Zee zee” could only be their parents’ most formidable foe, the one who had vowed their utter destruction. Kr’zzt, the dread drow wizard was the one guiding him into the darkness.

Bolt from the Blue


It had been a week since the city of Greyhawk was abuzz with the trial of Lyssa of Bayerton and the murder of one of the city’s patriarchs: Lord Seron of House Cerzan. Despite this though, life went on in the city. Lyssa had heeded the advice of her friends and mentors and kept to herself. She withdrew herself from Greyhawk by day, only occasionally venturing out under the cover of night for lonesome walks through the city, careful to avoid the judgmental glare of fellow townsfolk. Elswhere, her mother, Violetta, was well on her way to Casaille to serve her sentence as indentured servant to the Cerzans at their lumber trading post a week’s time away from Greyhawk. Despite her growing power, Lyssa heeded the initial advice of her companions to wait and let cooler heads prevail. Any reckless action taken upon the affluent house to retrieve her mother would certainly be scrutinized and bring even more pressure down upon not only Lyssa but her friends and their dealings as well. So, she waited, occasionally gazing into her hand-me-down crystal ball, unable to focus enough to dissect the murky visions of things that were, are, and have yet to be.

The party had not been together in total since the trial. A certain hesitation seemed to hover over them as a whole, and so, they divided their time among their own pursuits. Most of the party had sanctuaries and secret lairs to build and kept themselves distracted accordingly. Moira had noticed a certain lack of morale among her own workers since Violetta’s departure, something she too seemed affected by. Trisoll spent the week building his own sanctuary in the woods among his animal helpers, and while he appreciated their help and companionship, it did make him pine for the camaraderie of his humanoid friends. Despite having a more intimate companion in Melina, Thom felt the itch of adventure nag at him once more. That itch was only irritated further by the rumors that seemed cross he and Melina’s paths over the week. One in particular piqued his interest: it told of a treasure trove in a land recently visited, the Bright Lands. There, in a carved out cave called Dagger Rock, there was said to be old Blue Dragon that guarded a modest yet potent hoard of treasures!

After a week’s time the party rendezvoused at Pimpleton Manor to partake in a family style meal as they’d done many a time in the months they’d spent together. Those in the party who lived elsewhere poured into the house one by one, greeted by Vetnik and Burbis. Moira entered, greeting the ice barbarian with a soft and quick kiss upon the cheek. Grunt and Grum entered both reeking of a hard day’s work, having both spent the day toiling in the marsh land digging out the last of the earth for Grum’s bunker. Once almost entirely assembled, the party caught up with each other over tea and light-hearted conversation. The last to enter was Lyssa, who’d made good use of her ability to teleport as to avoid facing the people of Greyhawk. The reception to greet the introverted mage was much the same as it had always been, and for the first time in a week, Lyssa felt the warmth of something familiar. In the kitchen, George baked and boiled the night away on yet another one of his infamously elaborate dinners.

Xanti and Burbis (to a much lesser extent) set the table while Zemilay hobbled from out of his study to greet his younger charges. As the party gathered in the dining room, Grum pulled Lyssa aside.

“I just wanted to let you know I got word about your mother.”
Lyssa looked to him, silently furrowing her brow in tense anticipation.
“I sent Marit and a couple of scouts to follow her caravan to Casaille. It looks like she’s safe. She’s being treated well, well fed. She’s even converted most of the servant girls to Cortox if you can believe it.”
“I can,” she replied, her eyes darting back and forth between him and the others. “What else?”
“She… she is working though. The Cerzans have not spared her that.”
Lyssa’s sighed as she wiped the hair away from her face. She held onto Grum’s arm for a moment, a show of unspoken thanks before lumbering to her seat at the dining table.

Lyssa and Grum entered the dining room as Thom held court with the others about a couple of salacious rumors circulating through the seedier currents of town. “The town’s apparently overrun by orcs! More intriguing than that though is what I heard lurks back in the Bright Lands.”
“Weren’t we just there?”
“Correct, brother! However, deeper in the desert there’s a small cave called Dagger Rock.

“I have to go to Casaille,” Lyssa interjected. “I’m not asking any of you to come with me. This is just something I have to do.”

She asks the others not to come, but Grum insists.

Zemilay reveals that he is willing to purchase her back.

“What if what they want is?”
“Everyone has a price.”

A week after the trial, the party gather themselves together for another adventure. They organize a partnership with Raven’s Claw contacts to check on the town overrun by orcs while they prepare to head back to the Bright Lands to find Dagger Rock.

“Vetnik, send word to whomever you can from Raven’s Claw and tell them of the orc infestation in (VILLAGE NAME). The rest of us will ride to the Bright Lands. Lyssa, come with us. I can guarantee there’s no better vent of frustration than the chance to slay a dragon.”

Lyks and Burbis travel to Casaille to pay for Violetta’s freedom, taking to the air via Snowflake with platinum and a magic rug. 800pp.

The rest of the party sets off to visit the Bright Lands. Trisoll finds a Way of the World in the Celadon Forest, north of the desert lands. They take the Way from the Church of Beory to Thorn Circle, 5 days ride from the desert.

The emerge and are met by a gorgeous Elven attendant whose taken aback by the lack of a druid. She stands guard as Trisoll and the others emerge, but she relaxes seeing his dopey posture and gait.

“Hello stranger, who are you to come through the great Thorn Circle?”
“Humble students of Grandmaster Zemilay Lyks.”
“Druid of Greyhawk?”
“He’s my dad!”
She smiles and nods at him. “You must be a wonderful man. I am Melinore Silverleaf. The Council of the Thorn is not in congress at this time, but please feel free to use the grounds to your need. The lands are bountiful.”
Thom tries to woo Melinore but she seems unimpressed and is more taken with Trisoll.

She calls her horse, a unicorn named Selern to accompany the party safely to the edge of the forest. Thom continues to flirt, which she is more taken with. After racing to the edge of the forest, a woman’s shriek cuts through the calm of the forest. Vetnik rides ahead with the others following after.

“Sir knight! My child was taken by a goblin. He was taken into the cave, but I dare not enter.”

The company takes marching order into the cave with the knights at the front. The cave is moist, humid and damp. Moss and fungus run rampant. As they wave their torches, they see the glistening of green slime dangling from the ceiling across from them. Thom approaches and casts Burning Hands over it. Melinore sets her staff ablaze while Grum searches for traps and finds/dismantles a crude spear trap. Thom and Melinore work to burn it from the cave wall.

Moira takes the lead and rushes further into the cave. She spies a decline, and asks Grum and Grunt to scout ahead. Clinging inside, they travel deeper and encounter a nest of giant centipedes. Melinore casts Repel Insects. Further past the corridor, they hear the sound of a crying boy followed by metal scraping against metal and the mawing of a goblin. Grum moves forward but he kicks a rock, taking the attention of the knife-wielding goblin. Grum steps out of the shadows and leaps to attack, but misses just barely. Before the goblin can retaliate, Vetnik steps in and cuts him down with his longsword. Melinore gives Vetnik the child and together they leave the cave.

After handing off the child, Melinore leads the team to the edge of the woods. As the lush green fade to dusty, arid lands, Thom calls out to nature in search of a Familiar of his own. In the desert, he finds a buzzard, and names it Spitfire. A half a days travel in the desert, they hear a struggle between a group of beings. Grum and Grunt scout ahead silently. Over the hill they see a brilliant copper metallic Dragon being bound by orcs and bugbears trying to subdue it. Grum leaps in with Lyn and sticks a bugbear. While he dies, Grunt jams his short sword into a nearby bugbear – while not killing it, severly wounds it.

Vetnik charges in on horseback and finishes Grunt’s attack and follows up with a shield bash to a nearby orc. With one bugbear remaining, the orcs take action. The dragon urges freedom! Moira slays the last bugbear and calls out to the orcs: “Your masters are dead! You will follow if you stay!” Grum attempts to take an orc down but falls to the cracked earth. Despite this fumble, the orcs flee the battlefield.

Copper dragon Kling-taa shrinks down into the form of a handsome Halfling with copper eyes.

Down in the cave, the scouts and Kling-taa navigate through the carved out tunnels. They stumble upon an Otyugh digging through dragon shit. Grum quickly draws his longbow and while his first arrow misses, the second destroys its right leg. Thom leaps down with his Wakashazi and kitana in hand but both miss. Lyssa swings behind the Otyugh and immolates it with a burst of Burning Hands. As the beasts cries out in pain, Trisoll casts Spikestone and turns the earth beneath the beast into jagged spears of stone. Kling-ta turns the ceiling above into mud and rains wet earth on top of it.

Before moving on, Trisoll prays for Protection from Lightning and bestows the blessing on Vetnik. Lyssa casts Chaos Shield on herself. Thom enchants his katana blade and casts strength over himself and his brother. He casts invisibility on Grunt and together the party moves on to the chamber of the blue dragon.

Grum peeks inside the blue dragon’s chamber. A voice calls out to warn them but they see nothing.

Suddenly, those with exposed hair in the party could feel it begin to stand on end. The air in the chamber sizzled with electric energy, causing the flesh of the party to tingle. Vetnik quickly unsheathed his shield and together they stood, back-to-back, ready for the creature lurking in the darkness. Trisoll gripped his holy symbol tight to his chest and began to pray to Trithereon. As Trisoll uttered the final word in his incantation, his body was swathed in an invisible cloak of bravery. It was at that very same moment when those in the party could hear the buzzing of electricity echo through the chamber. Vetnik turned and could see a faint blue glow at the end of the chamber, but before he could react, the blue glow bolted straight towards them with a terrifying screech. The party braved themselves as a fearsome sight emerged out of the darkness and into their torchlight.

The beast was long and covered in rows and rows of shimmering blue scales. Crowned with a horn that resembled a small mountaintop charged with a bolt of lightning, its head and neck were covered in spiked, scaly ridges that crackled with static energy. This was a blue dragon of legend, and judging by its size and brilliant scaly decorations, this beast in particular was quite aged. The party rallied behind Vetnik as the blue dragon reared its scaly face. As it opened its mouth to reveal jaws laced with massive fangs, Vetnik could see the same crackling blue glow fill the blue dragon’s throat.
“Get behind me!” Vetnik called out to his friends out as the blue dragon arched its neck back. From behind the safety of his shield, Vetnik watched as the skin beneath the scales of the blue dragon’s throat burned blue as it flooded with electrical energy. The blue dragon released its terrifying breath of pure lightning with a great and horrifying roar! The once-dark chamber lit up with the blue glow of his breath. The party gathered behind Vetnik as best as they could, but the overwhelming power of the dragon’s lightning breath splintered off his shield and rained down around them, burning and striking them wherever possible. Grum quickly drew his daggers, Lyn and Slå, and raised them carefully into the air in hopes of attracting some of the dragon’s electrical breath. His gambit paid off as veins of lightning coursed into the blades, charging them up beyond capacity.
“Aghhhhh!” Grum howled as the daggers burned with electricity, heating the metal almost to the point of injury.
Vetnik gritted his teeth as his shield absorbed the brunt of the blast. He and Trisoll thanked Trithereon silently and separately for having blessed him with a well-timed protection against lightning.

Kling-taa steps forward and shifts back into his dragon form and physically begins to tear into the dragon. Vetnik gets his bearings and cuts into it with his longsword but misses. As Kling-taa moves the blue dragon out of the way, he reveals a blue dragon brood that begins to rush the party. Trisoll is the first to get shocked by the hatchling but he saves. Grum is the second target but he is less fortunate. Vetnik is the third attacked but takes little damage. Grunt stumbles back to his feet, breaks his invisibility and tries to fire from Hank; first misses and the second barely lands. Lyssa watched as her companions fought off the wyrmlings while Kling-taa continued to struggle in claw-to-tooth combat against the roaring blue dragon. Lyssa began to gesture with her hands and focused on the ribbons of mystical energies floating throughout the cave. With a wave of her hand, Lyssa summoned into being a writhing aura of magical energy that snaked from her hands towards the blue dragon. She watched as the ribbon of energy coiled around the massive dragon’s body and flickered, changing the very field of possibility around the beast. Despite its movements, the blue dragon couldn’t seem to shake the ribbon of energy. Lyssa had successfully hexed her first dragon! Trisoll casts Pyrotechnics over the torches in the party and blinds two of the hatchlings. Thom rushes in to take on the blue dragon and stabs him with his katana for 9. Moira finishes off the round by swiping at a hatchling but misses.

Lyssa continued to focus her magicks on the giant blue dragon. She honed in on the ribbon of unlucky energy coiling around the dragon and with a sudden flick of her wrists, she watched as the ribbon tightened itself around the body of the blue dragon and washed over him, engulfing him in an aura of paralyzation. Kling-taa was quite familiar with the effects of a hold monster spell and took the opportunity to sink his jaws into the throat of his held opponent. The blue dragon was barely able to wince as Kling-taa tore into his neck, shredding through lapis-colored scales and drawing blood that seemed to have a faint, electrical glow coursing through it.

Trisoll casts a blessing over the party, followed by a couple more bolts from Grunt. He attacks and his first arrow lands. His second attack misses and he stumbles. While the other two wyrmlings writhe blindly, the third lunges at Grunt and breathes its lightning breathe on him, almost killing him. A second wyrmling bites into Vetnik while the third claws at Trisoll, tearing into his torso. Thom continues to hack into the paralyzed blue dragon. Grum saves Grunt from a wyrmling, firing four arrows into it and slaying it. Seeing the paralyzed blue dragon, Vetnik rushes in to aid Thom. Moira continues to fight off the wyrmling and fends off Trisoll’s attacker, the first swing misses but the second cuts through its torso, disemboweling it.

Thom continues to hack into the blue dragon. Moira looks to Vetnik for direction, and he points her to the blue dragon. She charges at it but misses at first. The second strike pierces it. Lyssa fires a Lance of Disruption at both the hatchling and big blue. The wyrmling saves but the dragon cannot. Grunt slays the final wyrmling. Thom continues to slash at the dragon and is joined by both Grum and Vetnik. Grum is the first of the party to slay the dragon with a final arrow.

No longer held by Lyssa’s spell, the blue dragon’s battle-ravaged body buckled lifelessly to the ground, kicking up dirt and shaking the earth beneath the party’s feet. Kling-taa stood over the blue dragon’s body and let out a deep, throaty howl that echoed through every one of the caverns inside Dagger Rock. The party looked on as Kling-taa leaned his head down and began to lap up the still-warm blood of the fallen dragon with his long, coppery tongue.

“Everything,” Thom began cutting through the solemn silence, “every scale, every tooth, anything!” With their blades drawn, he and Lyssa moved towards the corpse of the blue dragon. Kling-taa lifted his head up and huffed as they sauntered forward.
“What are you doing?” the copper dragon asked, wiping the blood from his mouth. Thom paused and looked up at Kling-taa while Lyssa continued to move forward. “Show our fallen opponent some respect!” Lyssa straddled the gored throat of the blue dragon but paused as Thom and the copper dragon continued to speak.
“My apologies, Kling-taa. We mean no disrespect. If anything, we’d hate to let any piece of him go to waste!”
“Your attitude towards scavenging this pitiful corpse is quite unnerving.”
“We’re no different from the hyena or the vulture,” Thom began to reason. “His body’s no use to him now, we may as well put it to more… noble applications.”
Grum stepped forward, his weapons sheathed, and interjected in support of his brother. “Well to be honest Kling-taa, his body’s worth quite a lot to us. But, if you wish us to give you a moment, it’s the least we can do. We would never wish to disrespect either of you!”
Kling-taa scratched his scaly chin and pondered for a moment. “Very well. Allow me to commit his body to the grave. Then, after I have beseeched Cronepsis’ parting judgement, will it be yours to do with as you like.”
“Of course. Do what you need to do, my companions and I will search the rest of the cave while you pay your respects.” Thom and Grum concede to Kling-taa’s wishes and together they and Lyssa leave the body of the blue dragon to sack the chamber.

Meanwhile, Moira looked over her party and saw one of them not present at the body of the blue dragon. Moira looked back and was startled when she saw her companion Grunt slumped against the side of the chamber. Moira broke away from the rest of the party and kneeled beside him.
“By Cortox, you’re hurt!”
“You’re perceptive,” Grunt joked back with a strained, scratchy voice.
Moira looked his body over and noticed the burns covering his skin and garb. Most atrocious of these burns is the one covering his face and neck, dealt to him by a wyrmlings’ vicious lightning breath. She slowly lifted his singed hood up over his head to reveal the patchwork of red and white blisters decorating his swollen face. Moira removed her gauntlets and placed her soft, milky hands upon the weeping wounds of his face and neck. She closed her eyes and softly began to pray for Cortox’s healing blessing. Even in the bowels of Dagger Rock, her pleas were answered. Grunt could slowly feel the fiery nerves of his face begin to calm as they regenerated underneath his flesh. The smoky aftertaste of dragon’s breath left his throat and lungs as the tight blistering flesh of his face and neck began to shrink and heal. Moira lifted her hands and, while burns and blisters still remained, Cortox had bestowed onto him a month’s worth of mending in only a minute’s time.

Trial and Errors


Upon returning to Greyhawk with the fallen assassin G’aldem M’lek in custody, the gate masters wave the party inside and heartily greet them. In the city square, they’re greeted with a different reception: a group of sixteen City Guard, four of whom are armed with strange metal rods with polished, clear orbs atop them. A familiar face steps to the front, the Captain of the Guard Garyn Waller:

“Lyssa of Bayerton. You are commanded to come with us. You are wanted for your connection in the murder of Lord Soren of House Cerzan.”

The party quickly surveys each other with shocked expressions.

“What did you do, Lyssa?!” Moira asks with wide and worried eyes. Lyssa looks back at her with concern.

Vetnik urges Captain Waller to reveal what grounds they have to charge his companion with such a heinous act. Captain Waller gives him a copy of the subpoena, signed off by both the Magistrate of Greyhawk, Certrian Gorven, as well as a priest from the church of St. Cuthbert, Garvin Bortheus, who also conducted an official scrying at the behest of both the city and House Cerzan. His divinations revealed details about her presence in his home at the time of his death.

As the guards approach to detain Lyssa, Thom began to protest on her behalf. He also used this time to get close enough to Lyssa, and with his Gourd of Travel in one hand he took hold of her arm with his other. Instead of the pair instantly teleporting away, the party as well as the guards, watched as one of the orbs of the staves flickered with a brilliant cyan light. Thom shook his gourd and noticed that all the seeds inside were accounted for. Before either could react, the guards rushed the party and tore Lyssa down from off of her horse and began to quickly bind her hands with rope. As she struggled and spat at the guards, Thom slipped through them and jumped to her side. Lyssa looked back to her companions (namely Moira) and silently pleaded for aid. Moira’s face was a study in disappointment, but despite her expression, calls down to her friends. “I will tell of your good deeds!”

For his interference, Thom is also apprehended. As a guard attempts to bind his hands, Thom uses a technique taught to him by his parents to twist his arms in such a subtle way that it prevents knots from being tied as tight as they ought to be. The party watches as the guards begin to drag Lyssa and Thom off. Captain Waller leaves Vetnik with a copy of the warrant and follows the rest of his company to the jails. On the way, Lyssa intentionally stumbles and falls to the ground. On the ground, she tries to tap into a spell but before she can release the magical energy, a second stave flares. The guards quickly swarm her, yank her up, and rush her to the jails. In the chaos, Thom uses the opportunity to pilfer a key from a nearby guard’s belt (unsure of what it unlocks).

“Until further notice, I am her counsel,” Thom informs Captain Waller.
“And you want to stay in a cell?”
“Well, until I get better counsel than myself.”

As Thom speaks to the Captain, Lyssa is quickly ushered off into a solitary cell made especially for those with magical abilities.

They free Thom, and he agrees to go counsel her alone.
“Do you have royal blood?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, I know your father is a little harder to pin down, but does your mother come from any noble stock?”
“I mean… she. We are Ygranere.”
“I’ll press for trial by combat. Until then, disavow any wrongdoing. If that fails, we’ll improvise.” Thom discreetly palms Lyssa the key he lifted from the guard and takes his leave.

Outside, Grunt slips away from the rest of the party to inspect the jail in search of possible entrances and exits unknown to others. While he searches, Xoston probes the party from Greyhawk for their thoughts.
“Is your companion some kind of murderer?” Xoston asks.
“Honestly, I’m not sure.” Vetnik.
“Hm. Better she didn’t accept the badge of Raven’s Claw if she is. I am sorry to leave you in this terrible state but Boromis and I must be off with G’aldem to fulfill our contract. We can have shares delivered to a place of your choosing.” Xoston gives Vetnik a hearty and (hopefully) comforting handshake. He turns to bid the rest of the party goodbye and sees them in a less than hospitable state. He simply nods at them, giving them silent thanks. “Your names will be mentioned to the nobles of the region. Do we mention your companions name in light of this delicate matter?”
“Withhold it for now,” Grum commands.
“Is she going to get her share?” Vetnik asks, to which Xoston nods his head.
“Then withhold her name.”

Outside, Moira is sad. Vetnik urges them to go talk to Zemilay and Xanti Lyks, “maybe she can scry herself?”
“I’m going to consult a higher power. We will meet in the morning, to attend Lyssa’s arraignment.” Moira kisses him goodbye and with a heavy heart parts ways. Thom waits at the jail overnight to keep tabs on Lyssa’s detainment

At the Manor, Vetnik and Trisoll discuss the issue at hand.
“I hope it’s not what they said it was.”
“Me too.”
“My mom should be able to help us out if my dad can’t.”
“Nice new armor btw.”

They come home to find only Lyks, Xanti is out. Burbis greets them buzzing in his own annoying way. Trisoll calms him down.
“Remember when we used to practice listening, Burbis?” Tri
Trisoll occupies Burbis while Vetnik pushes ahead to see Zemilay in his study. Inside, he’s enjoying a drink with George. George stands and formally greets.
“It’s ok. Burbis let us in.”
“Bless you for taking his attention away from us!”
“Not to be rude, George, I am here on serious matter.”
“Well, then I will excuse myself.”
“No need, I appreciate your candor, George.” Ze “What’s going on? It’s rare of you to come to me like this.”
Vetnik explains the abridged version of the charges brought against Lyssa.
“She shouldn’t be too long, Master Talthraudii.” Geo
“Who was murdered?” Ze
“Lord Seron of House Cerzan. It all matches up with a timeline.”
Zemilay and Vetnik wait for Xanti for an hour and sees the look on the men’s faces. “What troubles you, my love?”
Vetnik and Zem informs her. “What can I do to help?”
“See what you can scry.”
Xanti goes off to her private scrying chamber in the nude and gleans quite a level of detail: time frame, place of murder, the murder itself. She struggles getting the time frame but sees the murder in vivid detail. She relays the detail to Zemilay and Vetnik. The pair of men go to the jail in the wee hours of the morning.

Grum waits with Thom and imagines what it’s like to cut loose like Lyssa. Thom, Grum, Grunt do both surveillance and protection.

Lyssa sits in solitary, mulling over her actions.

Zemilay is allowed audience. Vetnik + 3 guards. Lyssa hears the tap of Zem’s staff and Vetnik. Lyssa is quiet, only telling Lyks “I thought I was doing good.”

As the pair of men leave, Lyssa skids her stolen key across the floor. Vetnik picks it up and the pair head to Vortis’. First attempt to knock, no answer. Second attempt is answered by an agitated Vortis. “Oh, Vetnik! Why am I being awakened?” Vetnik hands him a cask of wine.
“Last year’s vintage was better, but thank you.”
“I’ll take that into consideration.”
“What does this key do?”
“How did you get this key? Did Lyssa manage to get this off a city guard? They need better training. It’s a door key, not a cuff key. There are several—why am I telling you this?”
Vortis asks Vetnik to leave the key, no questions asked. Vetnik denies his requests and says he’s going to give it to Moira. Vetnik bows and leaves for the church of Cortox. He leaves to have a drink at the Friendly Strangers. Though the cabaret is done, the bar is still open with Tic Toc working the room. He tells stories of the Heroes of Greyhawk, including Isygrad. He’s sullen, hearing tales of their heroism contrasted with the flaws of his own groups.

In the morning, the party meets at the court to see Lyssa’s arraignment. All of the party attend. Moira seeks out Vetnik for his strength and together they sit towards the front. Grunt sits on his own, unnoticed, while Trisoll sits in the back. The twins sit together. All spot throughout the crowd Cerzan family members, aristocrats. Violetta is in attendance as well, opposite the aisle from Moira. Zemilay stands in the back with Trisoll.

The magistrate enters and announces the case. The Cerzans puff up at the mention of themselves. Eldon testifies and recounts his encounter with Lyssa and Blackrazor. A priest of St. Cuthbert (Garven Bortheis) testifies against Lyssa after scrying.

Thom takes the stand as Lyssa’s counsel. “Is that all you have?” He pleads that her magic is Wild in nature, her intention might not have been to kill him! The crowd is not still swayed completely – though such a compelling and unique argument goes documented nonetheless!

The Cerzans take the stand next. Corbin, the new head of the family is too busy. The 2nd son, Stanak, gives a aristocratic yet charismatic speech about the loss of his father. “When I have wretched the estate from my brother’s control, I will do all in my power to ruin your house, witch!” Brianna takes one look at Lyssa and spits at her feet. Grigor steps up and addresses Stanak and argues his ability to better handle the estate. Catrin takes the stand and she looks at Lyssa and says “My father was everything to me! I hate you, I hate you for what you have done!” Lucien comes to Lyssa, dejected and sighing. “Why did you have to kill my father? I would have worked to change it had you only come to me.” Eldon cannot attend tending to Bayerton. He sends a letter detailing her aggression but also gives her props for retrieving wave. “Though she is possessed by a temper most dangerous, she did come through on her promise.” The youngest daughter, Loraleen, carrying a small toddler, unable to look at Lyssa. “My father… every feast day he would bring me treats from Jelee Rolls. We would spend every Sunday together… I don’t know how I’m going to get through.”
“Why did you kill my granddaddy?!” the toddler whines.

“Objection!” Thom cries out. “This isn’t a court case, this is a sentencing! Nothing has been prove yet!”

“Who is here to speak on the behalf of the accused?” magistrate asks. Moira and Grum stand up at the same time. Trisoll steps forward from the back wall. Grum slides down, seeing the crowd’s reaction to Moira.

“I have known Lyssa of Bayerton for many months. I have seen a woman possessed of an anger and a leaning towards evil. It disturbed me but I reached out to her. I have seen her turn from that path.”

Moira’s charisma shifts the morale only slightly, neutralizing the crowd.

Violetta steps up. “I will speak on Lyssa of Bayerton’s behalf, for I am her mother.” She speaks of her neglected childhood and dour economic conditions. “A person of purity and goodness could never come from that. She has shown true growth. Cortox knows she has a great destiny ahead of you,” she says sobbing. She turns to Lyssa, emotionally shattered and begins to move towards her before being ushered away. “I beg you to forgive me!” she pleads. “I beg you!”

Trisoll moves forward but thinks better of it, then sits down. As he does, Vetnik rises. “I am Vetnik Talthraudii, Grand Knight and Earl of Granrud. I am here to speak on behalf of Lyssa of Bayerton. I was personally very suspicious of her when I first met her. As a nobleman, I request a certain amount of respect from those in my company. I stand for honor and nobility, and the company I keep must carry out these qualities as well, and despite whatever setbacks we may have had in the beginning, she has shown herself worthy to fight alongside. I hope you take what I’ve said into consideration.”

Grum stands and introduces himself as an “adventurer and traveler.” He narrates the times she’s put herself in peril for good.

Zemilay urges Trisoll to speak up and as a result, he gives an incensed speech on her behalf. “You guys, she’s my friend! She’s good, you’ll see.”

Old man Zemilay approaches the stand and delivers a speech on his charge. He pleads that she was a victim of “circumstances beyond her control.” He calls upon Lucien to also reconsider the wages and fairness their family deal out. “I have done much for this city.” The crowd reacts positively, knowing his deeds and the deeds of his company.

The magistrate takes recess to consider the testimony provided. Violetta comes to Lyssa to comfort her. “Everything will be alright, I swear!”

“Lyssa of Bayerton. I find you guilty. However, based upon the words of your companions and the words of Zemilay Lyks. I am willing to take your sentence down to life imprisonment.” The court erupts in a series of boos, cheers, and gasps.

Violetta offers herself up as token slave. Lyssa protests but Violetta willingly gives herself to the Cerzan family. Lyssa watches helplessly as the Cerzans cart her mother away, now a slave, while Moira urges Lyssa to come back to the Manor with them.

“Next time, there’s a spell called “Non-detect”. Try using that.” Thom whispers to Lyssa
“Next time, I won’t be so sloppy.” Lyssa replies through gritted teeth as she watches the Cerzan carts roll away back to Greyhawk Heights.

Lyks transforms into a small bird and trails the Cerzan caravan. He finds out she is being sent to work at the lumber operation in Dafflewood in the Velver Dyver River. Lyks flies back to Greyhawk and broadcasts Violetta’s whereabouts to Lyssa.

To vent steam, Grum suggests the party go find the man who defiled his mother’s street sign. Moira rejects the notion of revenge, which angers Grum. Vetnik convinces her to come along and safeguard from any serious harm, relying more on a prank than true vengeance. Grunt continues to joke about removing the bounty hunter’s hands.

Thom polymorphs and sneaks up to Carrin the Stalker’s home as a snake. He leads the party, scouting ahead. He is in the process of making ransom notes and together, the twins hatch a plan: Thom will slither in while Grum casts ventriloquism, giving the serpent a menacing voice. “I know what you did” he hisses. Carrin freaks out as Thom slithers through his legs then transforms into a Naga. Carrin bolts to the door, but Vetnik presses his weight against the door to keep it barred. “The sign!”
“What… what sign?!”
“The sign in Newhope. Clean it!”
“Ok, ok!”
Thom shapeshifts into a fly and buzzes out a nearby window. Grum chuckles watching the old bounty hunter whimpering. The twins chuckle as the bounty hunter scrambles to get cleaning supplies. Humiliated, the party saunter back to Pimpleton Manor.

Back at the manor, Lyssa meets Zemilay to discuss the whereabouts of Violetta. George escorts her to the study. Lyssa enters to find maps laying out on the table. He goes right into it and gives her coordinates how far away her mother will be after tonight. Zemilay tells Lyssa she’s set to leave in the morning. In a huff, Lyssa tries to leave to go get her mother, but Zemilay pleads with her to stop and think rationally. She turns to him with burning red eyes and Zemilay quickly uses Mind Read on her and finds she only vengeance on the brain. In an effort to cap it, Zemilay casts Emotion over her. She’s overcome by his spell and she calms down, feeling strangle optimistic all of a sudden.

Moira is impressed with the way Grum cooled himself.
“Well, a lot of it is just pomp. I’d never do it.” Grum reveals.
“Well, you scared the mess out of him and that was good enough.” Vetnik congratulates.

Moira asks Zemilay about how they plan to save Violetta from slavery. Thom expresses concern that the Cerzans will know it was they that freed her. Moira suggests they use Lucien as an ally. Thom and Grum are adamant about freeing Violetta then breaking the family apart. Trisoll asks Grum to make arrangements for smuggling Violetta goods. He in turn contacts Marit to help with the smuggling, and she delegates it to her scouts.

Thom hears a rumor about Dagger Rock, a small mountain in the Bright Lands which serves as a lair for a Blue Dragon. Two weeks travel. He also gets wind of a town overrun by an orc army.



Detouring from the main road back to Greyhawk, the party takes the pair of surviving women back to their home villiage, a small hamlet called Pek. They find out the women are named Aulis Grainkeeper (skinny, missing leg) and Geria Plowshare (stout) but are not forthcoming about much else. Upon arriving in Pek, they see a village made up of impoverished farm folk living among the 10 or so huts. The villagers greet the party and are in awe of the mounted warriors. They quietly mourn the loss of a third woman and even more subtly rejoice over the return of the other girls. The village elder,Ligren Foxtrapper, thanks the party for bringing the girls back but as they are a poor people, they cannot offer more than the servitude of the former captives — as is the way of their people.

“We didn’t do this to gain slaves!” Lyssa disputes.

Foxtrapper tries to express to the party that giving them the women is their way of paying back whatever debt, despite the consequences. Aulis is obedient to the will of the elder, while Geria voices that she doesn’t want to leave. In turn, the villagers immediately begin to shun Geria. Fearing no other option, she agrees to go with the party. Moira and Thom hatch a plan to turn the Pekian’s customs and Moira urges the village to keep the girls as slaves, serving in their name to better Pek. The elder, however, doesn’t fall for their ruse and asks them to take the women back with them. While Lyssa isn’t shy about telling the elder of Pek off about his backwards, piggish token of gratitude, Thom and Moira agree to sponsor the women when they return to Greyhawk. Thom even assures to Lyssa that their positions in Greyhawk will be duly compensated, though it does little to cool Lyssa’s heated disposition. Before leaving, Vetnik wrangles a horse for the women to share and together, they leave Pek for the road back to Greyhawk.

Near the city limits, Moira reveals her doubts about the church to Vetnik, but that she remains loyal to Cortox. She also reveals a fear of excommunication and being stripped of her paladinship. On the way back, they see another group of 30 rats that scurry off the road when they pass on horseback. At the city gates, the party checks in and prepares to escort Thom to see Bardmaster Lactile Furlo. Thom gets word that bardschool is being held at the Salty Sea Dog Inn. The party follows Thom, all except for Lyssa, who dips off to go to her apartment (still visibly withdrawn and frustrated by the encounter in Pek.)

At the Salty Sea Dog, the clientele is as grizzled as the inn itself: dark, dingy, belligerent dock workers and barflies mingle with “catfish” (unattractive, dock whores). One brazen patron is even brave/foolish enough to pick a fight with Grunt, who in turn responds with a head butt, knocking the unsuspecting patron out in a single blow. Thom heads to the backroom to see a class of 10. The soloist’s song is described as “perfectly adequate” by Bardmaster Furlo.

Lactile greets the trio of bards (Thom, Chan, and Pelar) and is told that Thom is the victor of his quest. Inspecting the Gourd of Travel, Lactile congratulates Thom openly, calling him “My. Master. Student”. While most of the other students react with disdain and disappointment, a few are brave enough to openly congratulate Thom. Over a glass of wine in the house, Thom recounts the details of their expedition to Lactile, who uses whatever opportunity he can during the discussion to dismiss the other students’ talents.

Back at her apartment, Lyssa consults the Eye of Modius in a heated state. The Eye opens up to reveal details about the Cerzan patriarch, Lord Soren. She gets exceeding details of his current health and opulently decorated manor in Greyhawk Heights. In a fit of impulse, she teleports instantly into his bedroom (a first manifestation of this particular spell power!) There, she quietly looks over his finery, waiting and brewing.

Back at the Salty Sea Dog, Lactile continues to praise Thom, berating his students to be just as good. Having all the wine and praise he can take, Thom leads the others out of the Salty Sea Dog Inn. As they pass Elsa’s House of Comfort, Vetnik hears a familiar voice call out to him: “Well, well, barbarian! What’s this? No wonder I haven’t seen you.” It is the scantily armored warrioress, Aris, and she approaches the party, laying into Vetnik and his choice of virtuous companion.
“I am warriorborn, woman!” Moira says, stepping to the bawdy warrior.
“You’re both going to calm yourselves, you’re both embarrassing me,” Vetnik barks at the feuding women (much to the amusement of the others in the party.) Moira concedes and stands down, and though Aris is still heated, she too backs off. After Aris stomps away, the party agrees to meet later at Pimpleton Manor. Moira takes the Pek women to the Church of Cortox to see what help she can get them, despite having avoided her duties for quite some time. Grunt heads back to his apartment while Trisoll and the Black brothers follow Vetnik back to the Manor.

Later in the evening, Soren Cerzan returns to his bedroom to find Lyssa lightly pilfering through the surface objects adorning his dresser. Before he can call down for help, Lyssa charms him and commands him to sit and listen to her. She reveals she is one of many families from Bayerton who were workers on his lands and confronts him about the lavish lifestyle he and his family lead while the villagers of Bayerton toil for little pay and live in squalor.
“They have earned their right to exist,” the remorseless lord tells Lyssa. Driven by blinding rage, Lyssa blankets the room in a powerful cloudkill spell, instantly killing the lord. In a panic, she teleports back to her home to sleeplessly mull over her reckless actions.

On the way to his home, a gnome stops Grunt and begs him for coin. Grunt says “no”, to which the gnome offers a bag of beans. Grunt is unwavering and yells at the gnome to get lost! The gnome flees to bother another villager, who falls for his con.

At the Manor, Vetnik receives a notice that his new suit of armor will be ready at dawn. Thom gets a letter from Cirilli Finla, the young girl who helped in freeing Orlane from the stranglehold of the Naga, Explictica Defilus. She writes to say hello and thank him again for freeing her. She also tells Thom the peculiar way she’s been revered in her hometown. Orlanians have taken to asking her to touch them to bless and heal them, even going so far as to ask for locks of her hair (which Cirlli has seemingly obliged, but jokes that “I’m beginning to look like a boy”.) Later in the evening, Trisoll struggles to wake himself from an intensely horrific nightmare! Vetnik rushes in hearing his friend’s panicked cries and wakes him. Vetnik gets Trisoll water while he collects himself. He later explains to Vetnik the vision he saw: a child and a wizard, followed by the death of the wizard and a murderous creature chasing after the child. Then he realizes there were other children, and wonders if he should consult his mother.

In the morning, Vetnik returns to Pimpleton Manor in a finely crafted suit of grey iron armor. Grum chortles and fawns over him mockingly. “Oh, lookit you!” Moira genuinely compliments him and asks why he acquired it. “Why grey?”
“I’ll tell you later,” he says with a wink .“It’s a tradition actually. Now that I am no longer a knight bachelor, I no longer need to wear black. As a knight, I am now able to don the grey armor of my people. I hope some day to be able to don the white armor though.”
Moira smiles, though she has a feeling that the white armor would mean Vetnik returning to icy Granrud.

During breakfast, Moira tells the party that the church has charged her to find the secret Cortoxian priest from the Games, but tells them she refused the task. She also tells the Black brothers that someone has defaced their mother’s street sign with the word TRAITOR. “They’ll wipe it clean with their bloody stumps!” Grum swears. Later, a visitor arrives for them: Xoston Wilcryn and his dwarven associate from Blackmoor, Boromis Runforge. The gnome reveals that his associate is looking for an assassin from Horndurn named G’aldem M’lek, who slew their friend and fellow Raven’s Claw, Galather Eldrin. The Black brothers and Grunt head to the Thieves’ Guild to find info on the assassin while Vetnik and Moira agree to put their ears to the ground at local Inns, beginning with the Wretched Eye. Trisoll forgoes doing recon and chooses to spend some time with his mother for reasons known only to him and Vetnik.

Still holed up in her apartment, Lyssa consults her Eye and sees a vision of the City Guard coming at night to confront her at her home. Unsure of what to do, she continues researching through the different texts in her home in hopes of finding magic to safeguard herself.

Moira and Vetnik stand out like sore thumbs at the Inn of the Wretched Eye. Moira asks of the patrons “Which one of you scums are willing to give up some information for some money?” The patrons look the naïve paladin up and down, but before they can “escort” her out, Vetnik cools the scene by buying a table of men some drinks. Moira quickly strong-arms them into revealing their knowledge of the Horndurnian asssassin. They reveal they’ve only briefly seen M’lek and have heard rumors of him heading to the port town of Dyvers. The pair of knights pay the men with coin and drink, which raises a few of the patrons’ eyebrows. In return, the men quietly ask the knights to escort them to the front door.
“We’ll walk you home if you like?” Moira says without a hint of sarcasm.
“Hahaha… no!” One of the men responds. The knights do as asked and watch as the small group of men break off from each other and flee.

As Lyssa quietly researches, a note slips under her door. It is notice from Ebeviria, letting her know that Glarius has left with the Eye of Null and is said to be traveling to the Dry Steppes beyond the Crystalmist Mountains. She references the various maps in her apartment and finds out just how far he’s planning on going.

Grum gets word of who vandalized his mother’s street post. It appears to be a former business owner, a bounty hunter named Carrin Stalker, who once operated out of what was once known as Blood Alley, but was bounced out due to his mother’s gentrification of the area. The others gather their information together and get ready to head to Dyvers. The company votes to head there on horseback for four days travel, with Xoston and Boromis accompanying them. Trisoll goes to pick up Lyssa and finds her more eager to travel than usual, but is commanded by her not to pry.

The ride is uneventful for the first half of travel, but on the 3rd day they come across a procession of 11 shambling figures in red robes, silent and shoeless with cracked and bloodied feet. Trisoll refuses to speak with them this time as they been rather intimidating the last time he attempted to strike up conversation with them. The party continues onwards, and the next day they arrive at Dyvers, which could best be described as a city-sized Salty Sea Dog Inn. Once finished with registration, Boromis departs and searches for info alone, agreeing to meet at the Dragon’s Eye Tavern in four hours’ time. They stake another tavern out to listen in on villagers. Thom casts comprehend languages upon himself to listen in on foreigners. The rest of the party go to a local inn called Jorton’s Mist to set up. Moira and Vetnik hang back while the others bar hop. Alone, Moira expresses deeper concern for the former priests of Celestian who have such violent reactions towards the new reign of Cortox. She also opens up about her brother for the first time to Vetnik and her growing desire to find him. Vetnik suggests that an alternative way of finding him using an object of his. Moira seems eager to pursue that idea, but is timid to ask Lyssa to help (“I fear she’s cross with me.”) Vetnik says he understands that Lyssa thinks he’s taking Moira away from her, but Moira wishes that she would try to understand their new relationship and be open for discussion about it.

At the Green Door Tavern, the party stakes out for info. Humans, half orcs, and dwarves drink together. Thom and Grum hear whispers but Grunt can’t make them out. Thom hears nothing of value but Grum hears word of a foreigner in strange robes getting supplies. With the info, they head to another bar called The Wyvern, which is a little more refined than the last bar. Only Thom can discern more info. He hears that the character has been hanging out in Hook Rows.

The party meets back at Dragon’s Eye as planned and Boromis tells the party that the assassin is said to be lurking in a specific block in the Hook Rows area. Xoston suggests to make the knights of the party invisible. Vetnik agrees to hold Moira’s hand while Trisoll figures out how to silence their metal footsteps. Xoston hangs back with Trisoll and Lyssa while Thom goes invisible as well. Grum and Grunt scout ahead, hiding in shadows, while Boromis uses a grappling hook (a Blackmoorian invention) to scale the rooftops.

On the 4th hour of patrol, the party hears a small explosion on the rooftops. Boromis yells down that he’s fired a shot at him. Thom uses his Ring of Flying to take to the air, calling down the assassin’s coordinates, and the party chases after him. Lyssa dimension doors and cuts G’aldem off. Thom attempts to cast a charm on him but it fails. As G’aldem begins to scale the wall of a nearby building up to the roof, Lyssa attempts to suspend him with a levitate spell but he proves too quick and evades it. Thom watches and continues to call out coordinates as G’aldem bolts from rooftop to rooftop with catlike agility. Grum jumps up to climb walls but can’t get his footing. Grunt tries to scale the walls too but he slides down. The thieves take notice of the sappy, cheap wooden siding on the building and together they scurry to find a better way up. Trisoll reaches out to the local birds and contacts a sparrow to pursue the assassin. Now out of the veil of invisibility and hovering in the air, Thom draws his bow to fire a pair of arrows. The first of the arrows miss by a mile, but the second pierces the escaping assassin through his right leg, exploding through his knee and felling him to the ground of the roof. Lyssa dimension doors up to his body and disarms G’aldem. He says nothing as she finds and takes a curved blade and 3 smoke pellets, which she gives to Thom — who in turn gives them to Grum.
“Should’ve just gave in to my charm,” Thom jokes.
Lyssa attempts to place him under a suggestion spell but he is resistant to it. Xoston summons a horde of Shadow Monsters to menace him into talking but even those do little to faze him. Boromis holds the assassin’s own blade at his throat and threatens to open his neck up with it if he doesn’t speak. Moira steps in toe calm the frustrated dwarf while Vetnik tears G’aldem’s cowl off and reveals a mouth sewn shut. Vetnik cuts G’aldem’s mouth open with his longsword. As Moira lays hands on the assassin to heal him, Vetnik opens his mouth to reveal neither teeth nor tongue. Vetnik blows a bag of dust and puts G’aldem to sleep.

The party restrains the sleeping assassin and Vetnik puts him on the back of his horse to take with them back to Greyhawk. The first couple days back are uneventful. Vetnik keeps the silent assassin comatose with daily doses of dust on their journey back home. On the third day back to Greyhawk, a huge shadow covers the ground. They look up and see an enormous bird fly over: the legendary giant Roc. Though in awe, they keep the ride moving as to not get the bird’s attention. Thom sketches it in his journal of beastly encounters. The 4th day, the party passes a trade caravan as they pass through the city gates.