The Legacy of Heroes

Daisy Cutters


“Our numbers only seem to be growing.”
“The arrival of our ‘fine and esteemed’ friends was not as observed as ours. Perhaps we go back to where you’re staying?”

“I have many loyal men. One of them, Forgus, is not too far away and he’s beyond suspicion,” Captain Borgellis suggested.
Moira nodded in confidence. “Then so be it. Show us the way!”
“I can take those of you who’ve been at court without arousing suspicion, but the rest of you,” Captain Borgellis paused as drunks began to wobble down the alleyway. Lowering his voice and leaning in, he continued, “Come in small groups. Tail us, but stick to the shadows, and no more than a pair at a time!”
With that, Captain Borgellis quickly lead the warriors of the party out of the slums and back towards more civilized parts of Garamondia, where they removed their hoods and played the role of tour guide and tourists. En route, Captain Borgellis showed off what his fine sovereign had established in his own name. Finely carved – if not just a bit garishly ornate – shields bearing Garamond’s coat of arms and monogrammed bricks lead up to the center of the city where the Baron’s estate stood, and off beside it, Garamond Gardens, which kept the Baron’s court suspended in a haze of fragrant ignorance to the rotting tenements that made up the outskirts of his barony. As the warriors wandered off towards Borgellis’ rendezvous point, the Black Brothers (and Grunt) followed yards behind, while Lyssa and Trisoll kept a safe vantage point following them.

Borgellis concluded the warriors’ tour at a small but well-maintained complex in a well-lit neighborhood that sat directly in between the gardens and the slums. The complex featured duplexs in block-long chunks, much in the same manner as Greyhawk (though more humble, and with much less in the way of metal finishings.) As the evening had drawn both moons out and higher into the air, only a few apartments kept their lights on. Borgellis blithely led the warriors to a larger apartment on the lower level, where he heartily knocked on the front door while continuing his spiel about the rapidly developing neighborhood they were currently in.

Large bald mustachioed man (presumably Forgus) leads them into a basement-level chamber. He waits upstairs while the others hatch their plot.

Trisoll opens up to Lyssa about his evening with Abigail, much to her discomfort. She writes it off, citing that he had been treated much in the same manner as he has treated women in the past.

Under the floor of Forgus’ home, the party reveals what happened at the garrison with the dragon as well as the details of their relationship as a traveling party.

Captain Borgellis turned his attention to Moira. “I saw it in your face, at dinner. Your expression told me everything. The principles you have for those in pain, for those under foot. Usually when Baron Garamond shows his favor, even the most iron-hearted knights and wary nobles give under the weight of his flattery. Not you though. This city’s pain was your pain at the feast, and though I could tell you and your friends were doing the best to put on a front, I knew. He has bled this city dry, and it’s time for his reign to come to an end. Please, help us!”

Borgellis reveals a map of the Baron’s elaborate estate. He and Vetnik begin to go over the layout of the estate and the roster of guards. He ensures Vetnik and company that he can have at least 13 men inside, but the rest are Garamond loyalists, whether due to selfishness or obligation. Vetnik proposes that one or more of the loyalists be taken out, whether for the night or off duty more permanently, but Borgellis insists that despite their allegiance, they are still under his command and he wouldn’t have them harmed unless necessary. Thom proposes to hire one of them to act as a guard. Borgellis agrees to allow one of them on the inside to shadow but urges that none can leave without arousing suspicion. Vetnik volunteers under the cover of diplomacy, observing foreign defense tactics.

While the men did their best to figure out a way to infiltrate the estate via the city guard, Lyssa spoke up from the shadowy edges of the basement war room. “Garamond, what are his vices?”
“Vices? His virtues number far less. Food, drink, hunting, gaming, you name it he’s dabbled in it!”
“What about women,” Lyssa asked Borgellis, sauntering out of the shadows and slowly pacing around the table.
“We have women, we have food and drink,” Thom offered.
Borgellis paused and looked down with a soured expression, shaking his head. “It repulses me to even say it out loud, but—“
“Speak it,” Lyssa commanded.
“He fancies… younger—“
“How young,” Lyssa continued to interrogate, wasting no time for dramatic pauses.
“I don’t want to hear this,” Vetnik cried out with a look of disgust at both Lyssa and Borgellis.
“I do! How young?”
Borgellis sighed and took a step away from the table. He lifted his hand off the table and brought it to his side. With another sigh he began to lower it down the length of his torso, stopping just below his hip. Lyssa and the others kept their eyes on him while Vetnik shook his head and groaned, made uneasy by the details. “Too young,” Borgellis hissed!
“So he doesn’t like women at all,” Thom noted.

Lyssa stopped just beside Trisoll, who nervously turned back to see Lyssa looming over him. “Trisoll, be a dear?”
Trisoll furrowed his brow, turning his face to meet Lyssa’s. With a slight lump in his throat, he replied, “um, sure.”

Without further warning, Lyssa placed the palm of her hand firmly against Trisoll’s chest. Staring out at the others, her eyes flared briefly with magical energy before that same scarlet energy suddenly began to crackle around her open hand, flickering before disappearing into the unsuspecting cleric’s torso. She stepped forward and released his chest from her grasp, and the party watched as Trisoll began to wince and jerk as the sparks of arcane energy seeped and disappeared into his body. Trisoll cupped his hand across his mouth, muffling a slight cough, but soon the coughing grew more and more intense. Trisoll ripped his hand away from his mouth and the party watched as dense plumes of opaque, crimson smoke poured out from his mouth and nostrils. Trisoll stood frozen and helpless as the smoke quickly swirled around the entirety of his body as the mage stepped forward, glancing at her work in motion. Soon his entire form was engulfed in it. The party watched in astonishment as he vanished from sight, replaced by a pillar of undulating smoke. Just as fast as the smoke had swallowed him, the Trisoll-sized plume shrunk down to a smaller height and thinner width. Lyssa waved her hand and summoned the crimson smoke into the palm of her hand, where it swirled and vanished in a tiny spark of energy. With the smoke cleared, a foreign body stood in place of the priest. It was that of a small girl, fair-featured and trembling with confusion. Her hair was long and chestnut brown and her face faintly smattered with ginger-colored freckles. Jade green eyes bulged from behind lineless lids, searching the room, pleading for clarity.

“Bloody brilliant,” Thom exclaimed, gawking at the adolescent girl standing before him!
“What the fuck are you doing,” Vetnik cried out, bracing himself in case he would need to handle Lyssa.
“You want to get through to a man like the Baron? You get him through what he lusts for most.”

Trisoll stands around, trying his best not to freak out. Letting Lyssa’s plan sink in, Thom polymorphs himself into a similarly aged young girl. This puts Trisoll at ease, and together they hatch a plan.

“Why me, Lyssa?”
“Because, you’re the only one of us with the ability to keep him quiet. When you silence him, Thom will then… silence him for good.”

The party waits until the following morning to begin picking daisies in the royal gardens. Abigail takes watch over the gardens atop a nearby complex, while the
“You do remember how to skip, don’t you,” Thom goads Trisoll, putting flowers in his companion’s wavy brown tresses. It takes mere minutes before the pair is approached by a tall, wiry man, whose oily features glisten in the early afternoon sun. He tells them the Baron wants a word with them, and the pair follows without hesitation (well, almost.)

Lyssa, placed under an invisibility spell by Thom prior to his own transformation, stakes out the Baron’s estate in anticipation for the girls’ arrival. Abigail darts from one rooftop to another with a better view of the Baron’s bedchamber. There, she signals to Grum and Grunt to take posts nearby should they be needed. Moira stays posted in the baron’s court inside the castle, keeping an open ear and watchful eye for any sign of struggle or danger while touring the grounds. Vetnik takes his post as shadow to one of Borgellis’ men, a guard named Threnn. There the pair makes soldier’s small talk, that is, until Peckish returns with two young girls in tow, leading them up to the Baron’s chambers. Vetnik notices that while most of the men turn a blind eye and do their best to hide their displeasure, Threnn is visibly more upset.

“What’s going on here?” Vetnik asked, watching as Peckish led the pair of young girls up the stairs to his floor.
“It’s really none of your business,” Threnn said with a stony tone.
Vetnik leaned in closer, keeping an eye out for other guards. “Come now.”
As another guard passed out of sight, Threnn’s stoic front began to come down. Biting his lip, he began to reveal, “The Baron has tastes that I find quite offensive,”
“If his tastes are what I think they are, then I’m glad you find them disagreeable.”
“Best to keep it to yourself, lad. Other men around here have big ears, bigger mouths and hungry pockets.” Threnn quickly huffed and puffed out his chest again. Just as quickly, the guard raised his wall back up before doing his round of the floor, leaving Vetnik’s side. Another guard silently took post next to Vetnik and the pair watched as the two girls were hurried down the hall to another set of stairs leading up to the bedchamber. Vetnik’s eyes met theirs and two differing glances were returned. “Traesie” smiled at Vetnik, winking an eye before returning her attention to the path before her; dragging behind her companion, “Trissie” looked up at Vetnik and continued to linger, her expression pained and uneasy.

Trissie and Traesie are escorted to the Baron’s estate by a homely servant named Peckish. He trades the “girls” off for payment and leaves them in the grubby clutches of Baron Garamond. Working as fast as he can to beat the finish of his polymorph self spell, Traesie is quick to tease and pursue the Baron, luring him into a state of calm before striking. Whilst Treasie sits upon the Baron’s uncovered knee, Trissie hurriedly casts silence over the bedchamber, not wanting to waste anymore time than needed. Taking the cue, Treasie lashes out at the Baron with his longsword-turned-daisy but stumbles off his lap. Confused, the Baron stands and immediately realizes he’s been silenced when trying to scold the girl.

Stumbling over the fumbled young assassin, Baron leaped up and rushed towards the chamber door mouthing cries for help. Trissie knew action had to be taken. As fast as her spindly little legs could carry her, she dove into the back of the Baron’s legs, sending him crashing to the ground. Like some strange, mimed battle scene, Trissie grappled the Baron and bound him by the legs between her thin, pale arms. The Baron flailed and hollered for help, but sound was absent with every cry and kick against the wooden floor. Trissie did her best but struggled to keep the portly Baron to the floor, but the overall physical repulsiveness did little to help in her efforts. The coarse yet sweaty of his leg bristled against her smooth cheek and tickled her nose. Using his weight against Trissie, the Baron began to roll himself on his back in an attempt to pin the child and escape. Just as Garamond spread himself open, Traesie took up her daisy once more and with an expert flick of her wrist, sent the flower straight through his putrid and pathetic nob. A geyser of the Baron’s blood began to spurt out, splashing across the floor and, more unfortunately, into Trissie’s hair. The Baron cupped himself but it did little to stop the torrent of blood from squirting between the spaces of his grubby digits. He attempted to lift himself off the ground and crawl towards the door, but the slick of blood beneath him only caused him to slip back down against the wooden floor. With haste, Trissie squirmed her way from out under the Baron and stood back, watching as Traesie slowly ripped the daisy from out of his now-mangled cock. Garamond continued to mime howls of excruciating pain, thrashing more wildly than before, as if made even more terrified by the silence. Outside his chamber he could hear the clicking of bootsteps, the changing of the guard. With one hand, he reached up to Treasie, who loomed over him, his fate now in the hands of what appeared to be his fondest indulgence. Even in those last moments, Garamond couldn’t help but do his best to sate his most base desires. As Traesie kneeled over him, aiming the stem of her daisy mere inches away from his face, the Baron, with one hand still clasped to his gored crotch, stretched out his other. He placed his shivering, bloody hand upon Traesie’s undeveloped chest and tugged at her dress, bearing and gritting his stained teeth as he did so. By reflex, Traesie snatched her flower back and plunged the stem of her daisy into his heaving breast. Treasie watched as Garamond’s face relaxed and slid into deathly placidness. The tension of his neck disappeared as the back of his head slumped to the floor, and small streams of blood trickled from the corners of his mouth, down his chins and into the folds of his neck.

With the Baron slain, Trissie and Traesie, both adorned in blood-covered dresses, look to each other for what to do next. Treasie motions to Trissie to stay by the body while she scopes out the front. As she cracks the door open, an unseen force pushes her back into the room. The door quickly shuts and the pair of girls look around, wondering what force has entered. Trissie drops silence over the room and whispers “who’s here?” Without warning, they feel something grab their shoulders and they’re immediately swept up in a wave of arcane energy, immediately teleported back to the inn.

After a short time, Borgellis goes to check on the Baron. Upon entering, he sees the ghastly murder scene. He takes up the Baron’s coronet, splashes some blood upon his sword, and returns. He gives a rousing speech to the men in his charge, informing them that he has slain the baron and ended his debauched and cruel reign. He tosses the bloodied coronet down the steps as his men erupt in cries of support, while Garamond’s loyalists remain hushed and reserved. Vetnik sighs relief, the perverse plan successfully realized, and after Borgellis’ speech, meets with the Guard Captain. He thanks Vetnik and tells him that while he can’t offer coin in reward, he will give him the service of his men should Vetnik need them.

he rushes back to meet with Moira and together they hurry back to the inn. Traesie returns to

“Though I did not agree with this approach, I cannot argue with its effectiveness. Who dealt the fatal blow?”
“The people of this city,” Thom replied with a bit of a wink.
“No, but who really put an end to him. It couldn’t have been Trisoll!”
“Well, I was the one who had the stomach enough to get close to him, but Trisoll’s role was integral as well.”
“Let me shake your hand then, Thom.”
“Of course.”
“A man like that is the worse kind of scum. I thank you for putting him under the sword.”
“Oh yes! Well, he was fully aware of his fate. We made it quick but not painless.”

Trisoll pleads with Lyssa at first to dispel the magic keeping him trapped in the body of a small girl. The twins poke fun, championing the possibilities of having a child decoy in their party who can also cast prayers. Trisoll then pleads with his fellow party members to convince Lyssa to drop the polymorph spell. Lyssa is resistant at first, coldly enjoying her handy work. Vetnik steps in and asks Lyssa himself.
“Please, Lyssa. Give Trisoll back his form?”
“Fine, because you asked.”
Lyssa waves her hand and the childlike form of Trissie evaporates into red smoke that coils into Lyssa’s palm, revealing the unbloodied and adult Trisoll. He grabs at his own crotch and after confirming his maleness, sighs a sigh of relief.
“Thank you, Lyssa. Next time though, a little warning.”
“Let this week serve to remind you that girls aren’t playthings.”
“Point taken.”
Turning to Abigail, Lyssa fires a barb. “And speaking of lessons learned, perhaps this week could serve as lesson to you to, eh, Abigail?”
Taken aback by her tone, she turns to Lyssa. “Excuse me?”

The pair spar back and forth, with Lyssa calling out Abigail for possibly treacherous behavior and manipulation of Trisoll, much to the rest of the party’s surprise. After a few more barbs traded, and after Trisoll comes clean about their encounter, Abigail and Lyssa go in for a low blows:

“I can’t help it that no one wants to bed you!”
“At least I have two eyes! Can’t say the same for dear ol’ Maja, can we?”
“BITCH!” Abigail growls before bringing the back of her hand across Lyssa’s face. Lyssa buckles to the ground. Turning to the mage hunter with flaring red eyes, she extends her hand and the party watches as energy gathers in her hand before disappearing in a flashing spark of energy. Lyssa looks surprised, knowing her telekinetic spell has surged. Abigail storms out, leaving the rest of the party to discuss the current situation.

Vetnik clams up, upset by Trisoll’s unwillingness to discuss what happened with him first.

As the party retires for the evening in the rundown inn, Vetnik and Moira discuss what happened. She’s able to work through his icy façade and reasons that he feels slighted that Trisoll didn’t open up to him first. She reasons that Trisoll was probably scared of what he might think and that him not saying anything wasn’t a reflection on him directly, but she does urge Vetnik to open up more and be willing to understand that despite this, the two of them are still friends.

Lyssa visits Thom before retiring for the evening, and stumbles upon him writing a new song for the festivities in the morning. She opens up to him about her reasons for distrusting Abigail. She wonders why the warriors are so trusting of Abigail. She cites her own lineage as reason enough to distrust her, knowing that both of them having questionable moral and mental stability in their blood. Thom reasons that they’re impressed by her deeds of valor and the warrior’s ideology, which she has displayed.
“It isn’t that I particularly like Trisoll. I think he’s a pig, but he’s our pig. When he told me what happened, I felt strangely protective of him, even though he’s a dolt.”
Thom ends their conversation with “it’s not our blood that defines us, it’s our actions.”
“Fair enough. I’m going to get her back though,” Lyssa warns, rubbing her jaw.
“I’ll give you a hand if you need it.”

In the morning, the party wakes up well rested despite their humble arrangements. Before departing for the festivities, Lyssa consults the Eye of Modius. Her first vision is that of Abigail, who has rejoined the party after a short absence. They stand together on a battlefield of black ice. At Abigail’s side is her druid lover, Maja, with both eyes intact.

Borgellis has his color guard meet the party and guides them to the city square. The party sees that the partitions that kept the slums from the city’s more affluent center are already coming down and any trace of Garmond already lays in ruin. The townsfolk, poor and well-to-do alike, gather together to celebrate the rechristening of Garamondia as the new city of Freeland. Thom darts through the crowds, banging his drums and singing his latest song “Trissie and Traesie and The Baron’s Daisy”. Carts carrying casks of wine and ale are broken open while food from the baron’s pantry is freely distributed to all. Inoehie the Gnome acolyte stays behind to help establish Celestian’s worship in Freeland. Vetnik and Moira are both awarded the best wooden splint mail armor they can provide, free of charge. (AC 3). Trisoll watches as Peckish is led, bound and masked, to the gallows where he’s hung before an angry crowd. He winces but a strange sense of satisfaction rumbles just beneath his peace-and-love surface. As an aside, Thom finds out that there are nearby territories that are rumored to be occupied by nothing but werebeasts and roam freely due to the lack of silver in Kellagha. They get three more packhorses and stock up on supplies before heading back onto the road to Vearnen.

Three days into their trip, they enter a marsh at dusk where they encounter 15 Muckdwellers, who ambush them. The horde squirts jets of muddy water at the Black Brothers and Trisoll. Grum is temporarily blinded by the ambush, while Grunt and Abigail are bitten by the small, slimy annoyances. As Lyssa goes to spray a trio of Muckdwellers with her burning hands, a surge of telekinetic energy explodes from her hand before it bursts into jets of flames. She hears Abigail cry out and turns to see the mage hunter ripped from her horse and thrown into the mire below. The Muckdwellers rush to attack as Abigail rushes to her feet. Grunt whips out Hank and zaps two magical arrows into a pair of Muckdwellers, killing them. Moira hacks and slays two more Muckdwellers. Vetnik charges and cuts down one more Muckdwellers. Grum wipes the water from his eyes and fires two arrows into two more Muckdwellers just as his brother engulfs another pair with flames from his burning hands. Trisoll attempts to whack at a Muckdweller with his shillelagh, but misses. Thom draws his longsword but misses. The Muckdweller’s attack Grunt, biting into him with their small, pointed teeth. Vetnik yanks at the reigns of Clevene’ and cuts down two more Muckdwellers. Drawing her glass blade, Abigail attempts to strike but misses. Trisoll tries to hit at his target but the Muckdweller proves more nimble than he. Moira slays two more Muckdwellers, with Grum felling the last one with a pair of arrows. Thom dismounts, searches the grounds and happens upon a nearby lair filled with shiny things (type Q treasure.)

Give and Take


Abigail reveals her last name (Greenray) is an anagram for her real last name, Ygranere. It’s discovered that she is Lyssa’s half sister, and a fellow child of Modius. The party decides not to share this revelation with Abigail.

The party head to Varnyn following the trail of the head of the Circle of Bones, Malia Dane. On the way, the group sets up camp overnight. Abigail seduces Trisoll on their watch, where she (without his permission) finishes him off and takes his seed into her, leaving Trisoll feeling confused.

Back on the road, the party comes upon an outpost being attacked by a red dragon. Using his Arrow of Dragon Slaying, Grum manages to take the dragon down with a single shot. The party is led to the nearby town of Garamondia as guests of honor of the town’s affable patriarch, Baron Garamond. Once in Garamondia, the party is disgusted by the conditions in which most of the populace live — hungry, filthy, and impoverished. A stark contrast to the Baron and his court, who are well-fed and wealthy.

The Baron offered the warriors of the party the finest dinner in his entire barony while the rest of the party, disgusted by the disparity of wealth, seek out an inn to rest at. As Moira leaves the feast, a guard passes her a note, which she tucks between her breasts. The remaining members of the party went through town surveying the destitution (they watched as a man scrubbed off “GARAMOND IS A WHORESON” a wall, his severed hand freshly bandaged and still moist with blood.) They come upon a hole in the wall inn and set up for the night, while the warriors remain as guests of the castle.

“This is repugnant. Deplorable,” Lyssa remarked as she peered out from the window looking down upon the shambling townsfolk. “Remind me why we didn’t just let that dragon raze this squalid hole of a city to the ground?”
“Looks to me like the people had little to do with the way things are done here. Seems like the Baron’s let this place go,” Trisoll replied. “He’s obviously the cause of much of this misery.”
“What’s a better fate: a quick death by dragon fire or a slow agonizing one under the boot of that fat, velvet-covered piece of shit?”
“Unfortunately, Lyssa,” Thom began to interject, “this isn’t the exception, it’s the norm. Most lands aren’t as liberal as Greyhawk.”
“I know,” Lyssa snarled back, backing away from the window and cozying up to a nearby fireplace (or what qualified as one in such a humble setting.) “I’m well versed in the customs of serfdom. Doesn’t make it any easier to stomach.”
“This does seem to be a bit heavy-handed and under balanced. Doesn’t mean we can’t do something nice for these people; maybe even offer a little payback? Perhaps while we’re here we can help set things right?”
Lyssa perked up at Thom’s proposal. She turned to him and saw that familiar mischievous smirk cross his face. Grum casually cleaned his nail beds with the tip of his dagger, nodding in support. Uneasiness crossed Trisoll’s face for a moment, as his eyes bounced from one party member to another, unsure of how this plan might unfold.
“Now, I’m not saying we can do both: find Kr’zzt and rule over a town, making new laws and such. Doesn’t mean we can’t root out some unsavory elements though! What do you have in mind?”
“I’m sure the Baron’s assets aren’t inaccessible. What is he without his money and his people to fund him?”
“Hm. Let’s go for a walk, perhaps we can find some cracks we can slip into.”

Back at the castle, Vetnik laid still in the oversized down-stuffed bed, covering himself in the woven quilts and furs of the barony. Despite his own nobile upbringings, his kingdom and the kingdoms he had visited across the barbarian empires paled in their ornateness. Even Greyhawk’s finest brothels felt considerably less ostentatious. The bedding was a stark contrast to his companions back at the inn, which consisted of little more than straw and feathers bound in soiled cotton on a warped wooden base. There, he waited on his back, almost uncomfortable by the decadence, for his lady to return to their shared chamber. Moira entered, quietly slipping in and quickly pushing and locking the door shut before rushing to their bed. As Vetnik sat up, Moira began to unfurl a small crumbled scrap of paper before him.

“What is it,” he asked.
“This was given to me by one of the guardsmen,” she replied, sitting beside him. The pair glanced down at the note, signed for by the Guard Captain himself, Pardron Borgellis.

“Garamond is corrupt. He needs to go.
Will you help?
Meet me at midnight in the slum.
Wear disguises.
- Pardron Borgellis”

“The Guard Captain?” Vetnik asked, his tone somewhere between wariness and composed. Moira crumbled up the note and placed it back between her breasts, nodding in confirmation as she did so. “We should fetch Abigail then. It’s almost time.”

As midnight neared, both halves of the party moved about the alleys of Garamondia. The streets and walkways leading up to the palace were a study in cleanliness compared to the dank, muck-crusted alleys that veined through the outer slums. No doubt the Baron had commissioned the paths he had to take to be spotless (or else!) The alleys in the slum were mostly unlit, the only light coming from the swill and whore houses that made up most of the evening business. Even the street lanterns here were spaced further apart, and even fewer had been lit. Hacking coughs and infant cries echoed in the night, while the dark silhouettes of suffering bodies writhed against the shadows, reaching out on occasion to tug at a cloak and beg for food or coin. Lyssa and Thom discussed strategy, with both thieves at the forefront and their cleric trailing closely behind, glancing sympathetically at those who crawled and teemed in the alleys in search of comfort.

“What sorts of poisons do you have,” Thom asked Lyssa.
“Belladonna, but only a couple shots.”
“Hmm. Perhaps I could pose as a performer, get close enough to the Baron and spike his wine?”
“Is he better off dead or under our control? I’ve got a domination spell that could set him right.”
“Sure, but do we want to make him a figure to revere or take him out of the picture? While I’m all for having a pocket baron, any charm spell won’t hold forever unless you plan on staying.”
As Lyssa continued to mull over her options, she noticed a trio of cloaked forms ducking into a nearby alley. While one of the figures was of average build, the other two had a larger presence to them, a broadness that seemed too poised to be wallowing in the slums at midnight. Lyssa kept her eyes on the trio and watched as they moved further into the alley. There was something familiar about the walk of the largest figure. Despite its hulking build, it moved lightly and considerately, looking behind and ahead before letting the other two figures move forward. It turned its head just slightly ‘round to check the alley before continuing deeper into the slum. It was then that Lyssa got confirmation.
“I’d know his big, lumbering form anywhere,” she remarked to herself, watching the figures disappear down another alley. Thom paused and turned to Lyssa. She nodded her head down in the direction of the alley where the figures disappeared. Thom subtly motioned to the others to follow him and together they sneaked off after them.

In mere moments, the Black Brothers were on their companions’ bootheels, with Lyssa and Trisoll sauntering up behind. “The plot thickens, eh?” Thom asked them aloud from behind. The trio whipped around, keeping their heads low until seeing the familiar faces of the rest of the party.
“Indeed,” a woman’s voice replied. Turning her hooded head to Thom, he could see the lips of their newest companion, concealed in the shadow of a large hood. The other two figures turned to greet Thom and the others. The pair quickly checked the alley for any other bodies before getting closer. Together they stayed silent and watched over the alley as Abigail continued.
“Moira received a note from the Guard Captain himself, requesting an audience with her tonight.”
“Do you all need back up,” Thom began to ask, “or are we better as shadows?”
“Better to stay close but not too close,” Moira replied softly. “We don’t know much about this Captain Borgellis yet. We first need to see if his motives are as benevolent as I hope them to be.”

Another figure appeared in the alley, cloaked just as the other warriors were. His face covered in a tightly-groomed beard with a red tattooed pattern decorating his cheek. The marking and grooming were familiar sights to Moira, who was first to approach the cloaked man.

“Yes! Good of you to come, but I was not expecting you to be in such dense company.”
Thom stepped forward, bowing a bit while tugging down at the brim of his hood as if to tip his hat.
“Ho, captain! We are merely wandering merchants and performers, my companions and I. We met these fine warriors on the road to Garamondia. Watched them fell a red dragon we did!”
Borgellis’ turned his head up, inspecting Thom and the others with a narrowed glare. He soon turned that glare to Moira, who glanced back at him before turning to Vetnik.
“They were fine company to have on the road. We can assure you, they are good men, and just,” Vetnik proclaimed while tipping his hood back at Thom.

Captain Borgellis’ gaze relaxed as Thom finished his formal introduction. “Then I’m sure you’ve already seen the depths of poverty my people wallow in.”
“Clearly,” Vetnik chimed in.
“My other men, the ones from the garrison, they confirm that you slayed a dragon with a single arrow. It was a sign from the gods. My people’s desperate cries have been answered. You are their hope! What the Baron has taken from them must be returned to them.”
“Which is?”
“Everything. The food, the production—“
“What do you suggest?”
“Not all the men are loyal to him. Many of their families live in these slums.”
“If we get rid of him, who will ensure that a greater despot doesn’t take his place?”
“In my mother and father’s day, these slums were once places of trade, of proud artisans and makers. Since birth, I have only known these outskirts as they are, and they have only continued to plunge deeper into decay as I’ve grown older, as Garamond continues to gouge the remaining bits of hope from here. If you help us unseat Garamond, I will see to it myself that resources and wealth are redistributed. Evenly, fairly, as my forefathers intended.”

A Circle Broken


After defending themselves against the slow-crawling danger of a grey ooze, the company from Greyhawk continue their journey through the underground passages beneath the abandoned village of Melgas.

They come upon a room locked by yet another stone door barred by one yet another complex lock. It’s a lock so complex that it proves to be too intricate for both of the party’s thieves (Grum and Grunt) to disarm.

“Do you have something like a knock spell memorized,” Grum asked his brother.
Thom sighed and shrugged his shoulder. “Lyssa, how about you?”

Lyssa rifled through her spellbook and thumbed quickly back and forth between the pages, muttering under her breath about the unstable torchlight. As she struggled to find an appropriate spell and the others gathered behind her, Abigail approached the door. A soft metal tick echoed gently through the chamber followed by the creek of the hinges of the stone door moving open.

“Now, is that what you were trying to do,” Abigail asked, looking back at Lyssa smugly.
Lyssa clapped her book shut and fired back, “I reserve my power for less vulgar displays…”
“Hmph. That took no display of power.”
“Thank you!” Vetnik interjected, looking to diffuse the catty banter.
“It’s no trouble. Good to know my talents are appreciated. I find it in my best interest not to play all my cards at once.”
“Smart of you not to,” Vetnik compliments.
“Nevertheless, the obstruction has been removed, do we wish to proceed,” Abigail asks.
“Um, yes. Scouts, take point!” Thom directs, curious as to how their Kellaghaian companion was able to dismantle the lock herself.

Grum and Grunt take their points and enter into through the door that empties into a 15ft. hallway. Along the way, Grum just barely catches sight of a small trigger in the floor. He reaches out his arm and blocks his ward from stepping on it and crouches to the ground to disarm it. It is a trigger for a gas trap that would have filled the hall with some unknown noxious gas.

They continue ahead and reach a fork. They continue onwards 30ft before coming across another fork. The scouts venture back to the main room and meet with the others, reporting back their findings. As Grum reports their findings, Abigail softly closes her eyes and slips into a state of deep concentration. Her breathing controlled, she stays silent for a moment. The others turn and watch, baited by the trance.

“West.” She whispers.
“Which West,” Thom begins to ask, “West North? West South?”
Abigail exhales with a sigh, opening her eyes again and shaking her head unknowingly.

The scouts turn to each other and discuss which direction to take for a moment, before settling on taking the SW path. They continue down it before coming upon another sturdy wooden door, unlocked. After Grum examines the door and finds no traps, Thom places his pointed ear against the door and holds it there for a couple beats. Nothing, at first, but just as he begins to pull his ear away, something catches him off guard. He presses his ear against the door again, this time at a different point closer to the ground. He can hear the sound of something shambling across the stone floor. A slow and labored shuffle. He raises his hand and signals that there is noise behind the door. He gently tugs at the door and realizes its swollen and stuck. He steps away and motions to Vetnik and Moira, pointing at the door. The pair nod and step to the front. Abigail, anticipating a fight, steps up to the front beside the warriors. Moira and Abigail give each other a look of support before each of the women draws their glass blades. Vetnik grips the handle of the door and with a single push, shoulders the door open.

The room beyond is large and rectangular, its floors decorated with alternating black and white painted stones (like that of a chess board.) Vetnik looks up from the floor just in time to see a pair of ragged corpses step out of the shadows into the radius of his torchlight. The ghouls are different from the ones encountered in the past. Their bodies appear preserved, their skin dried and tanned like leather. They look up to reveal thinly stretched skin receding from a horrid grimace. Their emaciated bodies are bound and draped in old linen wraps, each row of them painted with innumerable arcane symbols. Their dry, throaty hissing barely echoes throughout the chamber as they jerk towards the party, reaching out their death-black hands to grab. Jarred, Vetnik quickly stepped back and drew out his glass blade.

“MOVE,” Lyssa cried out to those on the frontlines! The three warriors turned back and saw Lyssa’s outstretched hand and the familiar red glow of magic in her blackened eyes. The party split down the middle, they watched as a small orb of swirling fire materializes in the palm of her hand and zips past them, exploding with an intense radius as it passes the party and enters the room. The mummies recoil at the burst of flame, but when the fire is absorbed back into the space, they remain, standing at the party.

“SSSSSSSAAAAAAA,” the mummies hiss in retaliation, their eyes and mouth burning with a flash of eerie green energy! While the fireball was potent, their undead resolve proves stronger than expected. Suddenly, the party hears the panicked shuffling of boots against the ground, fleeing from the scene. They turn and see Grunt running, Hank in hand, from the battle.

“FUCK THIS!” Grunt howls, turning tail.

Moira returns her attention to the undead before her and calls out to her patron. “In Cortox’s name, I turn thee!” The mummies howl once more, screeching with even more anger. With her prayer unanswered, she goes into direct action, swinging her glass blade twice. The creatures jerk their bodies at the waist away from the paladin’s sword, their loosely wrapped bodies betraying an unnatural agility. Thom continues to lurk in the back of the party, drumming for support. The noise only seems to drive the creatures into more of a frenzied state, as they rush the party head on. One attempts to grab at Grum but quickly steps back, evading its touch. Abigail is less fortunate, however. The second mummy grips her right knee and with all of its supernatural might, crushes in its hand, shattering the bones beneath.

Abigail retches herself from its grip, and falls to the ground gritting her teeth and cradling her leg. She quickly retrieves a wooden dagger from her artillery and places it between her teeth as she skids out of the room, back into the hall. Grum slinks past Abigail and enters into the room, ducking into the side shadows. Drawing his electric daggers, he angles himself behind them and goes in for the backstab with Lyn drawn. He sticks it the blade into the back of the mummy, in and out with quickness. While the others fend off the pair of undead, Trisoll races to the aid of the injured mage hunter.

“Please, let me—“
“Get your fucking head back in the fight,” Abigail barks at the cleric, spitting out her dagger while quickly digging into her pouches. He scrambles back into action, shaken by her tone, and shuts his eyes. He holds his holy symbol with shaky hands up to his chest and mutters a chant, blessing the party.
As Trisoll bestows the blessing, Abigail removes her hand from her wounded knee and finds the skin covered in black, oozing rot inching its way up her thigh. She retrieves a small jar filled with a thick, herb-green paste from her pouch. She tears away the blooded fabric surrounding her knee and scoops a hefty dollop onto the wound, frantically massaging it up and down the blackened area of infection.

Back in the room, Vetnik takes up arms and swipes his blade at the bodies of the mummies, cutting through their sigil-marked rags and tearing through the thin yet tough flesh of their bellies, shedding murky black sludge. From the hallway, Abigail notices the sound of drumming sounding near her suddenly stops. She looks up and sees a fiery hand begin to materialize above her, beginning with. As the hand releases a jet of flame, the glow from the jet illuminates the rematerialized body of Thom (much to her surprise.) The flame jet completely engulfs one of the mummies and they watch as its body collapses onto the ground. Flames from the burning hand whips at the second mummy, causing it to recoil. As it tries to save itself from the flames, Grum takes Lyn and Slå and sticks the thing in its belly before ending it’s un-life with a blade up through its jaw, severing whatever remains of a spinal cord.

Abigail calls out to Trisoll with a shivering command, “you, cleric!”
Trisoll quickly rushes to her side and begins to look over the salve-coated rot covering her knee. She nods at him, granting him the permission to lay hands on her. He does as he’s asked, and in his intimate way, wrapping his arms around her. His embrace his healing, and almost immediately she can feel the searing infection retreat. “Thank you for thinking of me, boy,” Abigail begins to whisper, “but in the heat of battle, do not take your eyes off of the enemy.”
“Oh, ok. I won’t,” Trisoll promises before releasing her from his healing hug. They look down and inspect the wound together. Both the bleeding and the rot have seemed to stop, but her bones remain broken. “We need to set your leg. Vetnik!”
While the others sack the room, Vetnik (accompanied by Moira) help tend to the wounded magehunter.

Trisoll kneels beside Vetnik and guides him through the geography of the wound. He shows the barbarian prince where and how best to use his strength to realign the bones.
Vetnik looks to Abigail and quips, “you may want that dagger again,” nodding to the wooden dagger beside her.
She quickly takes it up off the ground and grits it between her teeth once more as he places his hands around her leg. Abigail watches as Vetnik quickly jams the bones back into place as best he can. She seethes with tension as he does so, biting down harder into the dagger than she had been. A muffled popping sound signifies his success. Moira quickly hands over what bandages she can and Trisoll quickly wraps the area taught.
“Try to go easy on it from here on out,” Trisoll warmly suggests.
“Do you wish me to carry you?” Vetnik asks.
“No, that won’t be necessary,” Abigail says, rebuffing his offer. “We should continue.”
“Don’t worry about her, I’ve got this.” Trisoll says, helping Abigail back to her feet.

In the corner of the room, Thom spies a sarcophagus, open and large enough for the two bodies to share. Its exterior is carved in deathly images and inlaid with runes matching the ones decorating the dressings of the mummies. A brass plaque is inlaid at the head of the coffin, upon which a relief is carved.

“Do you still feel evil in here,” Thom asks Moira.
Moira nods as they move towards the coffin together.
Grum searches the door of the sarcophagus for traps and finds none. Thom points out that there appears to be a small panel inside against the back. Grum examines it and it takes little time for him to deduce a trigger. Before Grum reaches in closer to disarm, the hurried footsteps of another enter the room. All turn to see Grunt standing in the threshold, his hood covering most of what must be an embarrassed expression across his face, as well as Hank down at his side.

“So pleased you could join us,” Grum says mockingly.
“Let’s never speak of what happened tonight.” Grunt replies.

Grum looks at the trapped panel and back at his ward. “Well, now that you’ve returned, how’s about you give this trap a try?”

Grunt sheaths his bow and complies without a word. He rushes up to the sarcophagus, he lifts his hood just enough to allow for better vision. He moves in and skillfully removes it. Removing a trigger pin, the panel opens to reveal a hidden compartment. He finds first a series of viles, each containing what appear to be thousands upon thousands of dully-colored spores. A diabolical trap that, had it not been so easily disarmed, would’ve released the spores onto any poor soul nearby, spreading its bacterial ruin. Beyond them, he finds tucked away a deck of handmade cards, a small metal flask, and a strange orb inlayed with foreign symbols. Thom looks them over in the torchlight while Lyssa rejoins the party, waving her hand across the objects. She alerts the party that all objects radiate magic.

“I’m not sure what the orb could be,” Thom begins, passing the orb to his brother. Opening the flask, a slight and clean scent escapes. Thom quickly takes a whif and reports, “but this flask appears to be a Philter of Feather Fall. And these cards are not merely playing cards, but a Deck of Chance.” Lyssa’s curiosity is visibly piqued, as she reaches out and grabs at the deck to examine more closely.
“You be careful with those things,” warns the bard. “From what I can recall from the Book of Marvelous Magic, those can do you just as much harm as they can good.”
“Just as long as they can’t do us harm, let her have the bloody things.” Vetnik chimes in.
Lyssa rolls her eyes at the barbarian and saunters over to the mummies’ bodies while Thom bestows the pfilter to Grunt and the mysterious orb to his brother. Lyssa severs and takes a mummy’s hand but finds nothing else on them beyond burned, rune covered rags. She pilfers through them trying to discern a meaning, but the symbols are foreign to her – no doubt some kind of necromantic spell to animate the dead. She tears a strip for later research.

WARNER’S COVENANT KILLED 17 GOBLINS HERE is scrawled across the eastern-most wall. There are four more exits in the room – three doors and an archway. Recalling Abigail’s earlier advisement, they continue through to door heading West. Neither noise nor trap is detected on this door. They find the wooden door just as swollen as the last door opened, if not moreso. Vetnik repeats and pushes his way through. Waiting for them is a short hallway with several archways lining the walls and a dead end, as well as a single door. Vetnik motions for Grum, who leads them down to check the halls.

The brothers examine the door according to protocol and hear nothing, nor are any traps found. The simple wooden door is swollen. Tiring of the warped doors, Vetnik takes the opportunity to take out his aggravation by kicking the door all the way in this time. The door falls to the ground and reveals unlit living quarters. Torchlight reveals furniture and chests smashed to pieces; bed linens and clothing litter the ground, shredded. Desks are opened, emptied, and overturned. Grum notices that the razing of the room appears to be recent, as no film of dust seems to cover the refuse. Bodies (and blood) are visibly absent. Across the room is a door and receded into the wall is another portcullis.

“Do these robes look familiar to you at all, Abigail,” Thom asks, poking at the ruins with the tip of his scabbard.
“Yes. These cloaks belonged to the cultists from the Circle. They’ve been torn to shreds, but I don’t see any blood.”
Grum takes a cue from Abigail and lifts his gem of seeing from out under his own tunic and begins to examine the room. He finds no sign of blood in the room either.

Thom and Vetnik move past portcullis and to the door. Thom barely places his ear against it before hearing the sound of something strange gurgling and grunting behind it. As Thom listens, his brother is quick to find a trap on the door. Grum disarms the trigger (that of another gas trap) and just as quickly unlocks the door. The pair back away and turn to each other and then the party.

“Warriors first, or do we try to get the ambush?” Thom asks.
“Moira and I will take the lead. Abigail, you ought to stay back.”
“I’ll be fine,” Abigail replies, attempting to steady herself against Trisoll. Realizing that her injury may prove a liability, she silently agrees to fall back behind the warriors and thieves, but is adamant about keeping in front of the spellcasters.

Just as Moira and Vetnik burst through the door, they enter to find… silence. As the party enters the room, the robed body of a young woman comes into sight. The torchlight flickers against the pool of blood congealing beneath her, ebbing from an almost-freshly sliced throat. Her eyes stare up towards the ceiling blankly while her arm lies lifeless over her head. A wooden mace lays just inches away from her hand. Abigail pushes past the thieves and warriors and surveys the body. The robe is identical to the shredded ones found on the floor of the living quarters they just arrived from. Beyond illuminated area, the twins notice something in the distance. Grum puts his gem of seeing back to his eye and it reveals a mound of gem chips piled up against the wall. As he passes the gem across the room, he sees three strange hulking forms pressed against the wall. Their bodies seem to camouflage against the stone brick of the room. He notes that these beings appear almost headless, their torsos coming to a slight point and decorated with three eyes surrounding the headless neck. Pressed against the wall, he notices their long, sinewy arms and the talons ending each finger. The strange forms of the creatures rest on three stout legs, thick, not unlike that of an elephant’s. Grum lets out a soft whistle and begins to back away towards the door, causing the others to slowly do the same while peering ignorantly into the dark perimeter.

“2 o’clock, 8 o’clock, and 10 o’clock.” Grum mentions, before backing out of the room.
“What is it?” Abigail asks as she begins to slide her blade from out of its scabbard.
“Against the wall, strange creatures. Headless with three arms and three legs.”
“I’ve heard stories about these creatures. Xorn they’re called. Neither fire nor frost are said to do harm their stonelike bodies.”
“That knocks out two of my elemental contributions” Lyssa moans.
“Wait, what if we smoke them out with fog. Send out blind fighters in to cut whatever these xorn are while they’re still in hiding and—“
Before Thom can finish, Trisoll interjects. “Wait. I’ve got it! When I say strike, I need you all to do so quickly and heavily.”
Thom looked at Trisoll, curious and intrigued by his confidence. The party steps aside and makes way for the cleric.

Trisoll enters the dark chamber, his heart racing. He takes a deep breath, clenching his holy symbol in hand. His eyes flooding with a soft white glow, he shuts them and releases a radius of faint white light that coats the walls of the room and the things that cling to the shadows. “NOW!” Trisoll cries out, and the party rushes in on his command. They enter and watch as the hard stone of the wall and the creatures begins to soften and drip, slowly transforming into dense mud.

Grunt rushes in with Hank drawn and rapidly fires off two energy bolts into the positions outlined previously by Grum. The first bolt strikes, causing one of the xorn to screech and step out of the shadows. The second arrow zips into the left arm of the thing, exploding in a burst of mud-flesh and crackling energy. Trisoll continues to concentrate his power on the walls of the room and begins to harden the mud back to large, jagged rocks of stone. The stone spikes pierce the backs of the remaining pair of xorn, forcing them off against the wall and towards the center of the room. Before they can swarm Trisoll, Vetnik rushes in with blade drawn, hacking at each of the beasts and keeping them at bay. From the doorway, Abigail retrieves a small orb from one of her pouches and tosses it to the far end of the room. Upon colliding with the floor, the orb busts open and unleashes a spray of small, metal shrapnel pieces, which fly and pierce the flesh of the lumbering xorn. Lyssa steps forward, revealing the thin wand of Lightning to unleash a forked lightning bolt from its metal-plated tip. The bolt surges through the body of one of the xorn and she watches as the top of its torso opens up to reveal a gaping maw rimmed with rows of jagged teeth and a large, bulbous tongue whipping wildly back and forth. With a bellowing cry, the strange earthen creature slumps to the ground with a great thud as the smell of charred earth fills the room. A second, thinner bolt surges forth from the wand and connects with a second nearby xorn, though its intensity paled to that of the first bolt. Grum quickly follows up with a pair of arrows from his longbow, firing both into the freshly electrocuted xorn. The first zips across the room and sticks firmly into the torso of the thing. The xorn reaches out with its trio of hands but fails to retch the arrow from out of its body. Before it can get a firm grasp, Grum lets loose a second arrow, pinning its hand to its own torso and slaying the beast. With one xorn standing, Thom leaps in with his longsword drawn and chops at the creature. The xorn manages to grab at Thom’s arm as he strikes and bites into it. Before it can dig its teeth too deep, Thom yanks his arm and sword away and regains his footing.

Trisoll opens his eyes and stumbles back, unable to keep the transmute spell. The melting hide of the xorn returns to its original, hardened form. Grunt takes aim at the last xorn standing and fires another pair of arrows. The creature howls as the first arrows collides into its belly with a show of sparks, while the second fizzles against the wall behind it. Moira dives in, cutting at the beast twice before it can seize her weapon. Abigail limps further into the room, raising her glass blade. She brings the blade down into its mouth and jams it deep into its throat. The xorn attempts to shut its mouth, but chokes on the blade before it can do so.


The party searches the body of the cultist under the supervision of Abigail, but find nothing on her. Lyssa examines the dead xorn and salvages a dead eye from one of the corpses. After collecting the horde of gem chips, they continue west until they come upon another fork with two archways. The scouts lead the party up the second, heading NE.

“Watch your step!” Grunt says sternly back to the others. He notices on the ground a fine wire stretched just inches above the floor, reaching from one wall to the other at the end of the hall. He follows the string up to the roof, where peaking out from the slits in the stone ceiling, he sees the faint glint of large metal blades meant to cleave any unfortunate soul who happens upon this hall into pieces. Grunt continues down the hall to find… nothing, a dead end. He motions tags his mentor and the pair return to join the party.

The scouts lead the party down the southern archway, which twists north and forks into a door and a second passageway. They approach the door first, checking for traps and noise. Neither is found, and the lock appears unused. Opening the door, the faint smell of extinguished flames waft from a nearby fireplace across the room at the east wall beside another door. The walls are smooth stone, undecorated except for the few torches fixed to the wall – one of the few chambers that the party has found to be illuminated. The floor is a spiral of black, polished marble tiles and in the center of the vortex. Grum enters and heads east to inspect the fireplace. Upon inspection, his senses are arrested by the foul stench of scorched meat. He takes a closer look, poking at a large blackened lump with his dagger. Turning the lump over, the sight and smell jar him.

“I found something.”

The rest of the party enters the silent room and sees Grum hunched around the fireplace, poking at it and visibily disgusted by something within.

“What is it?” Vetnik asks as he approaches.
“Looks to be a heart. Human sized,” he answers, reluctantly continuing to poke at the burned refuse. After knocking it away, he sees a mound of ash piled up deeper inside. He clears the mound of ash and reveals a medium sized chest set into the floor of the fireplace. Grum clears the lock of ashen remains and examines it for any possible traps. Finding none, he successfully picks the chest open. Inside it, he finds the following gems loose inside:

3 Aquarmarines
1 Black pearl
1 Chrysophase
2 Citrine
1 Coral
2 Deep blue spinels
1 Deep green spinel
1 Hematite
1 Golden yellow topaz
1 Jet
1 Malachite
1 Obsidian
1 Pink pearl
1 Rich purple corundum
1 Sordinyx
1 Star rose quartz
1 White pearl
1 Tourmaline

While Grum scoops the contents into his bag of holding, Thom presses ahead with Grunt, and the pair examines the door nearest to the fireplace. After hearing no sound and finding neither trap nor lock barring them from entering, Grunt opens the door to reveal a most macabre chamber. On the eastern wall is a gargantuan stone relief of a human skull; on the opposite side of the room, the wall is inlayed with a series of runes like those seen decorating the dressings of the mummies. They cast an eerie glow that tints the chamber blood red. In the southern corner are strange mounds of what appear at first glance to be freshly melted wax, the shine of which reflects in the crimson glow of the chamber. Opposite the blobs stands a tree, its roots reaching out over the tiled ground but not embedded into the floor. It’s bark is pristine save for a series of small yet numerous gashes across the trunk and limbs. High in the trunk of the tree, the scouts are able to make out what appears to be a hole, bored deep past the bark and leaking a dark fluid. Grum places his gloved fingertips to the liquid and inspects it in the red light. It’s dark and thinner than any sap he’s seen. Putting it to his nose, he takes one whiff and recognizes it.

“It’s blood,” he exclaims, “this tree is… bleeding!”

As he reaches for his gem of seeing to inspect the tree, Abigail cries out, frantically limping past the others towards the tree. “Maja?” she cries out, collapsing against the trunk. She begins to slap and swat at the bark, calling out the name of her missing lover. “Maja? Maja, I’m here! You’re safe now! Maja!”

The party watches as the branches and the leaves begin to shiver. The leaves flutter off the branches and as they descend, swirl around the tree. The bark quickly begins to peel itself back away from the body of the tree and absorb into itself, reveal at first the lithe arms of a woman. The unwrapping bark descends down to the roots, revealing more and more features of the woman. Her fair skin is seen marred by dirt, bruises and small, bloodied cuts; the leaves flutter down and change from green to red, crowning the woman with a head of fiery auburn hair. The wounded bark tears away to reveal a face, and where the wound is revealed as the woman’s eye socket. The bark and roots disappear and the woman collapses into Abigail’s waiting arms.
“What have they done to you,” Abigail asks the woman resting against her chest. She takes off her cloak and quickly drapes it over the woman’s body.

Abigail pleads with the healers of the party, the first show of vulnerability from the otherwise stern magehunter. “Trisoll, please! Please, help her!”
Trisoll and Moira both rush to the wounded druid, each pressing themselves against her shivering, cloaked body while chanting in the names of their patrons. As the pair prays for healing, Maja pleads with her lover. “Do not look upon me,” she whimpers, reaching to cover her still bleeding eye socket.
“I would love you if they had taken half of your face, now tell me who did this so I may exact my vengeance.”
“Her name is Malia, she was the leader of the Circle. She had taken my eye as punishment after a follower remarked a resemblance her and I, then took out of the eye of the follower and used both in some kind of ritual. She… she kept me here, bled with me knives and leeches, using my blood for whatever rites the Circle were carrying out.”
“What else happened here? We found one of the cultists with her throat cut open.”
“Malia, she—“ Maja continues, choking up as she recalls the memory, “she went on a rampage through the lair. After communing with a man, a night elf with an accent I’ve never heard before, Malia went mad and released the monsters they had been keeping down here to experiment upon. She unleashed them upon her followers. Those that weren’t slain by them she cut them down herself! ”
“So the creatures down here weren’t natives. They were prisoners?” Vetnik asks.
“Yes, just as I was. After Malia slew the first of her followers here she fled and in her absence I quickly changed myself into a tree in hopes that I could heal myself somehow and avoid any wandering monsters.”
Vetnik’s ears perk at the beginning of her description of the aforementioned night elf. Moira opens her eyes and lets Trisoll take over the healing. The pair of warriors look to each other, a sinking feeling of dread begins to weigh heavily down in their gut.
“Please, continue,” Moira beseeches the druid, taking Vetnik’s hand into hers.
“He was not here physically, but a projection of him. In it, he wore a suit of armor crafted from metal, black and decorated in strange runes. He was like no other night elf I’ve seen before. His eyes burned with a hatred when he spoke to Malia, but not hatred for her, but for something else. I’m not certain, I could not make out what they were discussing.”
Moira speaks up, asking Maja to confirm details of the night elf’s face. She begins to describe a face in particular: the slope of its brow, the part of its long, white hair, the hook of his nose and his devious grin. “Yes, yes that was him,” Maja confirms.
“You know this night elf,” Abigail asks, turning to Moira. Vetnik moves forward and whispers a name into her ear. “I do not know this name.”
“If it’s who I think Vetnik thinks it is, then we’re dealing with a very unpleasant character,” Thom chimes in.
“Explain,” Abigail barks, pressing Maja closer to herself.
“Where we come from, this night elf is called a Drow. He’s also known to be quite an arse.”
“He’s also very powerful.” Vetnik interjects.
“Well if he is aligned with Malia, he will die too.”
“They’ll all die, this I can assure you,” Vetnik says grimly.
“He was an agent for some nefarious deities long ago. We thought he no longer posed a threat until recently, but it appears he’s back up to his old tricks again.”
“Deities,” Abigail asks, shocked that Malia could be able to commune with an avatar.
“Who does the Circle worship?”
“Death. The Circle of Bones worships only that which destroys. They’re magi, necromancers who believe that through death they can gain power over the realm. I do not know who this Kr’zzt is or what his connection would be to them, but if he is in congress with Malia and the Circle, death may only be the beginning of what they have planned.”
“If it’s death he wants, it’s death he’ll get.” Vetnik snarls.
“Well, before that, perhaps we should inspect the rest of the lair, see if there aren’t any other clues or something as to what Kr’zzt may be up to.” Thom reasons.
“Is it not obvious? He’s trying to get back into Lolth’s favor!” Vetnik says aloud, announcing a name that foreign to Abigail and Maja .
“Sure, but she cast him out in a big way. Not to mention, I’m sure there are other death gods here,” Thom counters.
“Maybe he’s trying to get in higher graces with one of them? Who knows, maybe he’s looking to supplant Lolth by making allies of the dark forces here in Kellagha,” says Moira. “He is certainly brazen enough to try!”
“Hm. No doubt, the dark forces on our side of the Flanaess are wary to cross Lolth, maybe he thinks he can find allies here.” Thom continues to reason.
“Flanaess? Lolth? What in blazes are you going on about,” Abigail cries out.
“Oh, Flanaess? It’s regional, just what we call the planet.” Thom informs.

Vetnik wanders away from the group, frustrated by the seeming lack of urgency the party has, and attempts to cool his temper by searching through the remnants in the room. He comes across the strange, waxy blobs littering the floor. He jabs at one of them with the tip of his blade and as it he cuts through it, the blob oozes out a semi-clear viscous fluid. He kneels down for a closer look and finds that the strange slime is laced with pieces of hair. Using his sword, he cuts deeper into the mound and releases more of the ooze, thicker and murkier than that which ebbed before. A deathly scent shots up from the hole made, and before Vetnik cuts any deeper, he watches as small teeth lace the stream of slime, followed by a human eye. He realizes that these mounds are not mere wax, but jellied human remains. He chokes slightly on the scent and returns to the others.
“These… these things were once men? What kind of magic reduces a man to a mound?”
“Malia did this with a spell she received from this Drow you speak of.”
“It’s good craftsmanship, this spell,” Lyssa remarks coldly, kneeling down over the oozing mound, scooping up a portion of it into an empty flask. “Perhaps when we get somewhere more civilized, I can break down what kind of magic was able to do this.”
The party collectively shivers at the morbid sight before continuing to question Maja.

“Do you know where this Malia’s chambers are?”

Maja outstretches out her arm and points to the relief of the skull carved into the wall. “There.”
The scouts move to the skull and enter its mouth where they find a door. Though Grum fails, it is Grunt who manages to unlock the door. The door is odd in its make: with a lock at the base securing it to the floor, Grunt and Grum work together to slide the door up into the roof of the skull’s mouth. Behind it lays a 40ft hallway leading to a second, more traditional wooden door. The scouts call upon Vetnik to shoulder the door down, who obliges. They enter into what appears to be a magician’s laboratory. Every visible piece of equipment smashed and shattered on the ground. Tomes of magical texts shredded, burned, and doused with water. A pair of cultists lay dead on the ground covered in debris, their tunics marked by stab wounds and covered in blood. Thom finds a pile of scraps from a scroll, the runes of a foreign language still semi-visible, and pockets them for later inspection. They exit the room and return back to the main chamber.

“Out of duty, I will remain down here with you all as you wish, but I must get Maja out of here,” Abigail implores.
“Well, we can either clear out one of these rooms and set up a safe camp, or—“
Thom stops and begins to watch as Abigail retrieves a pair of identical stones from her belted pouches. Putting one to her ear and the other to her lips, she begins to speak. “We are beneath Melgas,” she begins, apparently holding a one-sided conversation. “We found Maja… yes, the Circle of Bones. All except Malia are slain. I need you to take her to safety. Meet us here, and make haste!”

“What about you,” Maja whimpers as Abigail lowers the stones from her face.
“You need not worry over me. I owe these people an incredible debt of gratitude. They helped me find you. If not for them, I— the woman who did this to you who must pay.”
“It was not just I, my love. Mandrake, he—“ Maja struggles to explain before breaking down into tears once more. “He too came here to rescue me, but… but Malia, he—“
“He taught me everything I know,” Abigail says, mourning the loss of her mentor. Snapping back to the present, she urges, “you must go with Perdal and Roiman. They will be here soon! They will keep you safe.”

Abigail lifts Maja up and adjusts the cloak draping her injured lover, making sure to secure her decency. While doing so, the sight of Maja’s injuries once again puts Abigail in an angered state. “Now, you all tell me everything you know about this Kr’zzt!”
“We will in due time. For now, we should look and see if there are any other clues to his whereabouts. I promise you’ll get your vengeance on the Circle. “
“You keep your word then, and I promise I will do whatever in my power to help you take down this Kr’zzt. Vengeance is my only recourse here, he and Malia’s blood will be shed.”
“Fair enough,” Thom begins, “but our quest is more than just mere vengeance.”


Abigail offers Lyssa the use of her communication stones in exchange for her debt to her being paid. Lyssa laughs the offer off, citing her own telepathic magic abilities. Angered, she gives them to Thom instead.

Thom reveals to Abigail the truth about their quest: that they come from Greyhawk and are on the hunt for Kr’zzt, with whom they have a history. Vetnik is displeased by this, and feeling slighted, backs out of the discussion. Lyssa continues to goad Abigail, telling her that while her vengeance may feel justified, it pales in comparison to the importance of their own quest for justice against Kr’zzt. Fed up, Trisoll silences the party. Lyssa teleports the party out of the chamber and returns them to the surface, where Abigail’s compatriots are waiting to take Maja. Abigail gives Maja her magic dampening amulet and releases her into the care of her friends. As the two lovers say their goodbyes, the party address the power struggles within the group. Vetnik lets the party know that if he wants them to be led by them, they ought to abide by his leadership. Thom agrees but argues that most of the party is made up of people who have issues with authority or aren’t disciplined in hierarchical structures the same way Vetnik is. They calm themselves down and Thom and Lyssa return to the lair to investigate more, but find little else beyond smashed equipment.

Under Melgas


The company arrives to the ruins of the small village of Melgas, where little of the former structures remain. Those that do are in disrepair, teaming with wild grass and mounds of ivy and moss. The forest has taken everything back. The only building that remains somewhat intact is a temple deeper into town.

Abigail says the Circle of Bones is a cabal of evil Magi and they are known to heavily trap their lairs, and she’s been tracking them since her lover’s disappearance.

“I have no interest or claim to anything you find in Melgas, my treasure is Maja and Maja alone.” Abi
“How sentimental.” Lys

The acolytes once again stay behind with the horses and supplies outside of the temple ruins, setting up camp in a nearby abandoned home.

Abigail finds a trap door among the rubble in the ruined foyer of the temple. The Brothers Black DOP. Grum successfully disarms the trap door, removing a small latch which seems to be a trigger for a flammable trap. While arranging marching order, Abigail begins to march ahead, but Grum reasons with her that he’s a seasoned scout and he and his ward (Grunt) will lead the party down into the depths of the church. They empty into a narrow hall several feet below the floor of the temple. All the humans light their churches, save for the apparently human Abigail.

Further into the hall around a corner, Grum finds a stone door sealed with a particularly sturdy and intricate-looking lock, and sends Grunt for Thom. The three convene on the door ahead of the party, where Thom casts invisibility over himself out of sight from the others. The twins DOP and find neither noise nor trap. Grum fails to unlock, but Grunt is successful. After opening, he retrieves the others.

The door empties into a large room filled with an acrid stench. The room is barren, save for two portculuses, a wooden door and stone door, and the only thing that decorates the wall are cryptic words : JORN LIES HERE, SLAIN BY A BASILISK. Suddenly, two giant salamanders drop from the ceiling, surprising Abigail and Vetnik. It strikes but misses Vetnik, but the other connects a bite into Abigail. Thom begins to drum as battle ensues. Moira slashes twice at the salamander attacking her companion, cutting it once. The monster continues to snap at Vetnik, grazing his arm with his teeth. The other bites into Abigail a second time. Vetnik retaliates and grievously wounds his attacker. Trisoll rushes to defend Abigail and smashes the salamander with his shelalegh. Lyssa opens her hand and releases three magic missiles and slays the salamander attacking Vetnik. Grum leaps from the shadows and backstabs with Lyn and Slå, felling the second salamander. The smell of suddenly charred flesh piques Abigai’s curiosity, but Grum is quick to conceal his daggers.

Grum and Grunt split up and both peak into one of the raised portculus and find nothing 30 ft in. The thieves then move onto the stone door and finds no traps. Before opening, Thom puts his ear to the crack of the door, and after hearing no noise, they move onto the wooden door. They find neither traps nor lock, but do find it swollen and stuck shut. Thom listens and hears no noise. Vetnik offers to help pry the door open and succeeds. Behind it, they find another dark, short hallway leading to a fork.

The scouts go back to the stone door and enter into a narrow, long room. As they enter, the door knocks against a pile of empty bottles, which clang together and echo throughout the room. Two more salamanders slither down from the ceiling and attack Grunt, biting into his leg. Thom sounds the drums of battle, alerting and buffing his companions. Grum charges at the amphibian with Lyn and Slå again. Grunt fires with Hank, landing an energy arrow. Both Grum and Grunt are bitten before the others rush in. As Vetnik rushes in and slashes, he misses and fumbles his glass sword from out of his hand and falls to the ground. Jarred, Moira misses with the first swipe but deftly lands with the second swipe of her blade. Trisoll whacks at one with his shillelagh and fells the beast attacking Grum. Grum and Trisoll share respectful glances before Grum leaps and jams his blades into the remaining salamander, slaying it. Vetnik stands, dusting himself, avoiding eye contact with the others (embarrassed by his fumble.) Moira discretely comforts him while the others sack the room. All that appears to remain are a series of deteriorating tapestries. While sifting through the glass bottles, Trisoll finds a stone ring. Lyssa attempts to snatch it away from Trisoll but he proves too quick. He smugly saunters away from the others and quietly calls out to Thom. Thom, still unseen, tugs at Trisoll’s tunic, notifiying him of his presence. Trisoll opens his hand and shows off the ring, asking for identification. Thom casts identify and reveals that it’s a ring of Wind Warding.

The party moves through the southern door. Twins DOP and find it safe, unlocked but stuck. Vetnik pushes the door clean open, revealing a short hall. They head north to another door, which is unlocked and untrapped. It’s a wooden door of strange make; it appears to slide up into the frame. The party regroups before opening. As they enter into the room, a low rattling noise can be heard echoing in the room. Like stone slowly scraping together, without rhythm or reason. Vetnik enters first and looks up to the ceiling and in the glow of the torch light, he sees a pair of gargoyles turn their heads around and dive down towards the party. Vetnik rushes in, torch in one hand and sword in the other. As Vetnik rushes in, the thieves enter clinging to the shadows while the others follow behind the barbarian. The gargoyles fly and evade Vetnik, rushing the others. Abigail and Moira attack the same gargoyle. Abigail barely gets a hit in with glass sword, but Moira gets a solid hit in, cutting through the stony skin of the gargoyle to sever its right arm, covering her blade in moss-colored blood. Even without an arm, the gargoyle is still determined. Trisoll bangs it with his shillelagh but the gargoyle continues to be unfazed. Vetnik attacks the able-bodied gargoyle, bashing it with his torch before cutting into with his sword. Despite missing a limb, the gargoyle lashes out and carves into her with his talons before slashing and biting at Trisoll. Grum retaliates with Lyn and Slå and jams his dagger into the left leg of the creature, breaking it at the knee. The aftershock of the electrical blade surges through the gargoyle and fells it. Lyssa fires a metal-tipped arrow at the last gargoyle standing. The beast dodges it and the sound of metal against the stone wall tings and echoes. Grunt backs her up with Hank and fires off a pair of energy arrows, both of which land and explode against the stone skin of the gargoyle, felling it.

As the brothers investigate the treasure mound of gem chips, Lyssa goes to retrieve her arrow.

“A peculiar sound from that arrow of yours. What’s its make?” Abi
Lyssa glares, but before she can respond, Grum chimes in. “Fire treated glass.”
“Do you mind if I inspect them? They seem weighted differently.”
“I do, actually.” Lys
“You have something to hide?”
“Only as much as you.”
“I’m an open book.”
“Speaking of books,” Lyssa says before crouching back down to investigate a pile of old and ruined tomes.

Abigail purses her lips and brushes the cold mage off. Trisoll intervenes, attempting to slyly cozy up to the magehunter. “I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, but pay Lyssa no mind. She means no harm, usually. If you want to vent though, or anything, let me know, I’d—“
“Get away from me. Now, cleric. “
Trisoll backs away, hands up and proverbial tale between his legs.


Lyssa finds the books all completely unsalvageable, destroyed intentionally by fire and water.

Thom scouts one of the small archways while his brother investigates the other, western archway, while Grunt collects chips. The party reconvene after finding two hallways, and decide to follow into Thom’s archway. They head down the hall until coming upon another stone door bound by a complex lock. Grum successfully dismantles it and opens into a giant room. A foul odor hits their collective noses and the scouts notice the room’s floor littered with broken arrows. Thom glances around the room and he spots something move on the stone wall. What appears to be wet stone is revealed to be a slowly moving grey ooze creeping towards the party. Grum quickly fires off a pair of arrows into the translucent body of the ooze, but still it continues to slither further. Moira runs and slashes into the ooze with her glass blade. Vetnik follows suit and with a second blow, the ooze suddenly begins to separate, dissolving down the wall and onto the ground into a motionless puddle. Thom pushes past the others and begins to rifle through a mound of treasure.


In Pursuit


Immediately after tossing the room, Thom breaks his invisibility in the room tossed and catches up with Abigail. He calls out to Banshee and asks her to tail Jerendin while he catches up with Abigail and the rest of the party. Lyssa via her familiar obliges and send the owl after.

Thom informs Abigail that Jerendin lied, much to Abigail’s dismay.

“Melgas? I know where the ruins are, but why would he say Piraqua? I need to contact… Yes, I have allies I can send to Piraqua, but will you accompany me to Melgas?”
“Yes, of course.”
“I can’t believe I let him live. Elven filth! I’m going to ride back to see if I can trail any leftover magicks, catch his trail.”

She rides back to the tossed room in the Sludge while Thom races back to the Inn.

Thom petitions Lyssa via Banshee to trail Jerendin and she obliges out of respect for him. When he shows up, they discuss.

“I’m not asking you to become her ally, but we need as many contacts in this realm as possible.”
“We don’t know much about this world. The things we think we know don’t seem quite right. I agree with Thom. I know you find her abrasive but she’s our only other contact here.”
“If you assist me with this, I’m willing to exact revenge on Abigail you think you deserve for her disrespect” Thom whispers to Lyssa. Lyssa gives a slight smirk, but only briefly before she escapes into Banshee’s mind.
“Hahaha, you two angry peas in an angry pod!” Trisoll jokes.
“Ugh, away from me with your tired idioms!”

Abigail returns in foul spirits. She laments to Vetnik, “I was too late, Jerendin made good on his escape.” Vetnik makes 30 sp (eq) for serving as bouncer and remains downstairs as the rest of the team discusses what to do about Jerenden.

Though Banshee’s eyes, Lyssa sees Jerendin polymorph into a deer and gallop off into the woods. Suddenly, as Banshee exceeds the range of contact, Lyssa begins to feel a dull, droning pain. Lyssa watches as Jerendin returns to form by the river. He takes out a small box, intones a spell over it and transforms it into a small boat. He sets sail NW down the river.

Abigail joins the others upstairs, and tells Trisoll to shut up after his greeting.

Lyssa knocks Abigail’s door and she sees Abigail’s hand on her sword. “What do you want, witch?”
“From you? Not much. But I have something you want.”
“The whereabouts of your friend, the spurgist.”
“Where? Tell me! What do you want?”
“What do you have to offer?”
“I have already offered your friends my cache of weapons.“
”What do you have to offer me more specifically?”
“I have… many connections throughout the realm, many resources.”
“How vague.”
“Out with it!”
Lyssa begins to eye Abigail’s amulet. Abigail tucks the trinket away and grips her sword.
“Because I’m in the company of such good people, I will give you what you seek. Before I give you this information, you will promise me a favor.”
“An oath. Swear it on that which is most sacred to you.”
“I swear it on Maja’s life. I will do what you ask, just tell me!”
“The spurgist you hunt changed into a deer and back, and is already at a river. He has conjured a craft and has set sail NW. “
“Thank you. You have not given me your name.”
Lyssa glares before spinning ‘round and staggering back to the common room. Abigail huffs but brushes it off before gathering her things.

Trisoll commands Strom to “pay up” when Lyssa returns to the room. Moira and Lyssa connect discreetly, healing the mage from both the cut dealt by Abigail and the damage endured pushing herself too far in Banshee’s mind. Abigail immediately gets to work on contacting her allies and getting a trail back on Jerendin.

Night falls and most of the party (save for Vetnik) retires for the evening. Abigail returns after a few hours and begins to speak with Vetnik.

“Why are you still up?’
“I need to earn coin, er, chips somehow?”
“We can take some contracts along the way?”
“Let’s discuss this more when neither of us are dead tired.”
“Fair enough.”

Abigail meets the others in the morning, more subdued this time. Thom drops strength on he and his brother.

Moira moans to Vetnik. “You never came to bed last night.”
“I had to stay up last night.”
“You’re so selfless.”
“You can rest while I ride today. I’ll lash Clevene to me.”

Abigail nods to Lyssa, which Lyssa responds with a cool reception. She asks if the party has gotten acquainted with the weapons she has gifted them.
“How do you think I stayed awake last night?” Vetnik replies, twirling a glass sword.

Vetnik, Moira, Grum receive glass swords. Thom gets bone swords. Lyssa and Trisoll get wooden daggers.

“Try not to poke your eye out.” Lys to Tri

Thom also proposes to make Lyssa throwing daggers out of dead/fossilized wood found along the way.

The party sets off, with Abigail riding point and Spitfire 300ft up and ½ mile ahead while Banshee does the same at the rear. Strom stays behind and lets Wous take control of the Acolytes traveling.

9 hours into the ride, they see a camp of a boy and a man at the side of the road tending to a fire. As they ride past, Lyssa does them an act of proposed kindness by casting Alter Normal Flames, increasing the campfire.

“What kind of spurgist casts for no chip?” The father asks suspiciously, shielding the boy.
“No spurgist friend, we ask no fee of you!” Thom reassures.
“What do you want? We seek safe passage through the wood, and I’m not well armed. We’re all alone out here.”
“Of course, sir.“ Moira says. She looks back to the others and mouths “the boy”.
“As much as my companion is quick to say yes, is there a reason you cannot pass?” Vetnik asks.

Lyssa sees via Banshee 6 men riding with wooden weapons on horseback. She begins to Mind Scan the boy and initially gets his fear but is shut out of his mind the second round.

“Who are these men? Why do you fear they’ll take you?”
“He’s just a boy! Leave him alone!”
“You have one more minute to talk before they catch up.”

Thom asks Abigail if she’ll dampen his magic, and she informs that she wills the dampening effect of her amulet. He thinks of creating Leomund’s Tiny Hut over Lyssa, Moira, Abigail and the travelers while the rest of them deal with the riders.

Men ride up. “Have you seen a man and a boy?”
“No sir, we’ve been all alone on this road so far.” Thom lies.
“The boy is wanted for murder!”
“How can a boy commit murder?”
“There’s evil in him. Born evil, gonna die evil. Tell us if you’ve seen him!”
“They’ve continued down the road, just passed us.” Thom
The officers are skeptical but pass.

Lyssa tries to coax the boy into talking but fails. Abigail steps forward and growls for him to answer. The boy weeps “I didn’t mean to!”
“What’s he talking about?”
“My boy… he, he killed two of his little playmates. It was an accident, but I don’t think it was!”
“Don’t cry, daddy.” The boy says. Lyssa notices the boy makes weeping sounds but no tears wet his cheeks.

After the riders disappear, Vetnik enters and sees the father weeping with his son trying to console him.

Moira confirms to Lyssa that she sensed no other entity in him and that the evil inside was human in nature. Lyssa returns to the hut as the rest of the party gets back on their horses. Thom sneaks off and follows her. She confides with the boy that she too was grateful for a supportive parent but that her evils were committed under duress from outside forces, and that what he did was ultimately brutish. She sighs and casts Fireflow on the campfire, sicking the living flame on the boy. The father leaps in front and the pair is engulfed in fire. Lyssa is stunned when Thom enters from behind and slits the throats of the boy and father.

“Why did you do that?”
“I no god to offend. The boy had no chance of a life of light without his father, and losing the boy would’ve only driven the father to dark. The world needs balance. It’s over now. Let’s go.”

Vetnik argues that Thom should’ve taken the boy on as his ward and shown him the error of his ways. “Work him until the evil is purged or let him die.”
“There must be balance. There can be no light without dark.”

Several hours later, Spitfire sees Orc like humanoids the size of Ogres. Abigail informs them that they are Orogs.

Vetnik, Moira, Abigail and the Twins vote to slay the beasts and stay on the road.
Wous + Acolytes & Trisoll want to flee.
Lyssa casts the deciding vote to circle around them to avoid the Orogs and head off the road into the woods.
Trisoll casts Pass Without Trace and Hallucinatory Forest to help ensure their travel is safe. The party is wholly impressed with his ability to think on the fly, showing growth. The curve around the camp of Orogs and realize it’s a nest of at least 60 that they could’ve have walked into.

The second hour through the forest, the twins sense a number of creatures high in the trees. They begin to dive down and the party sees them: a dozen egg shaped creatures covered in black fur and razor sharp wings, a rat tail with a spur, and a bulging eye making up most of its body. They are a flock of Eyewings (11).

Inochi is first to act, casting bless over the party. Grunt takes out Hank and fires a pair of arrows, both of which strike at flying targets. As a Eyewing explodes, the viscous blue fluid splashes Lyssa and causes -2. Lyssa feels the burn and quickly wipes away the goo. Grum fires off two arrows with the longbow and drops one. Moira howls at the creatures and cuts through one of the Eyewings, cutting it in half. Aela casts protection from evil on Vetnik. Abigail pulls out her glass sword and is extremely well trained with it, cutting into the air with fluidity. She strikes and cuts one down and avoids and avoids any splash back. Lyssa raises her hand and incinerates a pair of Eyewings with a jet of burning hands. The remaining Eyewings zip down and the first strikes at Inochi with the ocular goo. She dodges the squirt. Gish is the second to be targeted and is shot by the eye poison though, and succumbs to the poison. He shrieks and Aela cries out for her brother. A third Eyewing strikes at Gish and covers him in more poison. Aela watches helplessly as Gish cries out in pain, but he continues to hang on. Grunt is next to be attacked but his hood provides coverage. Moira is the last to be hit by the poison but shrugs off the pain, avoiding the poisonous effect. Gish casts cure light wounds on himself, bringing him away from the brink. Vetnik slashes into the air. Thom fires off a wooden arrow and slays another Eyewing. Trisoll casts Light on the eye of one of the Eyewing and watches as it spirals to the ground.

Vetnik thrusts his sword into the air and stabs at one of the Eyewing, and with his second action, bring his sword to the ground and stabs through the blinded Eyewing. While swinging, he gets more accustom to the ease of the glass sword. Wous rides over to the last Eyewing, flapping around on the ground, and crushes it beneath the hoof of his steed.

“Do you find these often in the wood, Abigail?” Moira
“Yes, they frequent the forests at night.”
“What else do we have to fear out here?” Vetnik
“Let’s pray we don’t encounter a demon bear. I suggest we get out of the forest and make camp.”

Abigail leads them out of the wood and back towards the road. Aela scolds her brother about being more careful while casting cure light wounds.

During Aela and Gish’s watch, Aela wake the party frantically after Gish disappears. Grunt spots tracks, 8 legged ones.
“What has 8 legs?” Thom
“Spiders.” Lyssa
“Do you have spiders large enough to take a man?” Vetnik to Abigail
“Yes. Let’s hope he was taken by one with paralyzing venom and not one that kills.”

Wous goes to comfort Aela, but she pushes him away. Aela goes to Grunt for consolation. He protests at first but warms to her after seeing her pleading look, but only briefly before cutting her off.

Thom cuts a pair of bodies down from webs suspended in the trees. Vetnik rides up and catches in perfect time. The clamor of his hooves awakens a giant spider. It is a different breed of spiders though than the ones they’ve encountered before, with bony plates and sharp ridges on its legs. (Sword Spiders). Grunt hits it with energy arrows and while it doesn’t do any visible damage, it doesn’t shake the creature. Trisoll casts ‘speak with animal’ and communes with it:

“Spiders! Give us the man and we will leave you without further harm.”
“You take from us. Our food. Ours!”
“We leave you the deer, this one is ours! We mean you no harm.”

While Trisoll pleads with the spiders, Aela begins to cut her brother free. Wous asks Vetnik what to do and he advises him to wait.

Abigail doesn’t wait though and rushes towards the spider, cutting into it.
“So much for diplomacy” Lyssa quips.

Vetnik sighs and rides behind, charging with his own glass sword. The first swing connects and shakes him, but the second swing is unsteady, tripping up but not falling. Wous strikes out with his shillelagh.

Aela shrieks in fury and conjures a flaming sword, and rushes forward but misses in her fury. Grum sneak attacks admist the chaos and sneak attacks with a glass sword through the lower abdomen, spilling its innards.

“Make haste, before more arrive!” Grum cries out and together they race off before any more spiders can arrive. Gish pleads with Aela to forgive him.

“No one goes anywhere without another!” Thom commands.

The last shift is taken by Trisoll. He sees a group of squirrels rummaging through their things, but instead of shooing them off, he communes with them. They warn him to stay safe in the camp.

In the morning, they set off with two new squirrel companions (Fodo and Bogo). After 8 hours of travel, Wous spies something in the grass. He calls out to Abigail.

“It’s a head.” Abigail
“Of?” Thom
“Hard to tell. Humanoid.” Abi

Thom parks up by Abigail and inspects the head. He takes a stick and turns it over and as it rolls over, it has a featureless face, flesh pulled over shapes. Suddenly its flesh shrinks around the skull beneath and it takes on Thom’s face. Strange, milky wings grow out of the side of its head and it flaps away.

“I’m not sure what that is, but that’s not good.”
Grunt attempts to fire, but misses. Grum fires it but when he hits the arrow bounces off harmlessly. Lyssa tries to hit with two metal tipped arrows before attempting to cast Hold Monster. All attempt fail. Frustrated, Thom casts Ice Storm on the fleeing head but the head continues to zip through. Grunt rushes in to take two more shots with Hank and fells it. The head falls, faceless and wingless.

Thom asks Moira and Trisoll to be mindful of nearby undead. Lyssa Mind Scans the thing and finds it devoid of sentience and once Grunt says he wants nothing to do with it, Lyssa puts it in a sack for later exploration.

An hour later, they come upon the ruins of Melgas.

Corrin Errant


Group figures out how to conceal metals. They bag the armor and coins into two sacks and Vetnik applies two dusts of disappearance. They agree that once they reach the edge of Corrin that they’ll place the sacks with the demihuman acolytes into Leomund’s Tiny Hut (c/o Thom).

4 hours into their travel, they take a break from their ride to enjoy some lunch. In that hour, they finish setting up camp and as they wrap, Gish spots something in the distance. A building of some kind, overrun with the ivy of ruin, complete with a dilapidated tower. Lyssa sends her owl, Banshee, out to scout ahead and it sees clearly that they are the ruins of a short guard tower. A portion of the roof has caved in and inside is a skeleton amidst the rubble. Lyssa commands it to check the corpse and Banshee pries a strange wand from its hand. Banshee delivers the wand to her mistress and Lyssa casts detect magic and it tests positive. She petitions Thom to identify and he reveals that it is a wand of lightning. Lyssa pockets it, despite worries from the rest of the group as to where it was found.

Wand of Lightning has 89 charges.

Thom reveals and Lyssa thanks both him and Banshee (moreso the latter, she seems to be more affectionate towards her animal companion.) Suddenly, Lyssa notices a hovering orb of light levitating from the tower and begins to quickly float down towards the party.

Inohie casts bless over the party immediately. Trisoll ponders on what the light could be while Moira retrieves Starstrike out of the invisible bag. As the light nears, Lyssa notes that the shape begins to take on a humanoid shape. Lyssa attempts to cast hold monster over it, but it resists. Lyssa commands Trisoll to banish the being as it forms a hand creeping out towards her. Trisoll beseeches Trithereon and they watch as the shape returns to its original orb shape and retreats back to the keep.

They get back on the road. Hour 6 the party sees a row of shadows pass over their head. They look up and see a trio of Geldans (bird men) flying through the sky. The bird men clearly see them but have no interest. They zip over their heads and jet off into the distance.

The rest of the journey is uneventful. On the cusp of the forest, they see a hill beyond. At points in the clearing, they see 12 ft high walls closing the gaps. Gates in the center of each clearing and towers that peak above the walls. Thom sets up Leomund’s Tiny Hut and places 5 of the 6 acolytes and their metal goods. Vetnik and Moira venture into the city of Corrin unarmed – save for Vetnik’s sword, which he places in his bag of holding. Thom offers to take Moira’s sword and conceals it. Moira is hesitant, not wanting to leave behind her father’s shield. Vetnik talks her down and she concedes. Lyssa and Trisoll pocket their rings and brooches. Grunt agrees to stay behind to watch over the loot (despite having to babysit the acolytes.)

They near the gates and notice the gates themselves crafted from wood and stone. Thom and Vetnik lead the party pass the city gates. They see a church to Beory housed in a large tree. Lyssa suggests that they check the church out first to see if there’s a Way of the World inside (as precaution just in case things pop off.) The group agrees to split up: Lyssa and Trisoll go to the church while the others split off in search of a market or exchange.

Twins head SW, the couple heads SE, Grunt heads west, Strom heads east, Trisoll and Lyssa head to the Church.

The twins pass Thethe’s Philters, a potion shop. To the right is the constable’s office and jail. They’re heading directly to an inn called The Sage’s Cellar. Thom notices everything is written in slightly altered common. Thom tunes his ears to try and detect certain dialects and notices it is slightly altered. He hears a man’s voice most loudly, advertising Simon’s Strolling Salamundi (a meat cart.) They also notice a church to Mystra. They decide to go to Trueshaft’s Bowery. They are greeted by a beautiful brunette and introduces herself as Idaya Trueshaft.

“What do I owe myself the visit of such handsome gentlemen?” She says flirting (a male voice exhales from the back in protest)
“You are Trueshaft?” Thom asks.

They notice that all the weapons are crafted out of wood and glass-tipped arrows, “hardened in the traditional manner” she informs with a wink.

Thom asks if she’d like to buy his longbow. She studies every inch of it. He informs her that it came from the far, far East. She offers 15 glass eyes and 2 emerald chips for them, and reveals 15 small, round polished marble like gems and two smooth chips of raw emerald.

A good-looking, one-eyed blonde man steps out of the back and it’s revealed that he is the chief weaponsmith. Idaya shows the twins to a small case underneath the counter and reveals the contents, an arrow with a metal arrowhead.

“How much do you value that as?”
“50 ruby chips it cost me!”

After selling his bow, Idaya offers the twins a chance for a little shoot off which both oblige to. Another member of staff, Bettina, rushes out into the back lot and sets up bolts and targets. Thom fires first and makes target (barely). Grum takes a shot and shows his brother up.

“I see who the true bowman is in the family.” Idaya jokes before showing them both up and firing a bolt straight into the bullseye with near perfect form.

At the church of Beory, Trisoll and Lyssa find it decorated in a similar fashion as the one in Greyhawk. They are greeted by an acolyte. Lyssa is quiet and allows Trisoll to speak on their behalf.

“This is a church of Beory, right?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Well, my dad, Zemilay Lyks, you may’ve heard of him—“
“No. I’m not familiar.”
“Oh. Strange. Do you have a Ways of the World here?”
“I… Pardon me? Are you well sir?”
“Oh, uh”

Lyssa tugs his tunic and motions to the door.

“Where do we go now?”

South they see Thethe’s Philters. To the west they see constables. To the east they see a residential area of visible affluence. They head into the potion shop and meet Thethe, an unusual looking being who appears to be Drow. The sight of a dark skinned elf shakes Trisoll. Thethe looks up from the beaker he’s tinkering with and welcomes them warmly.

“Ummm… hi. I’m Trisoll and this is…” Trisoll turns to Lyssa to confirm identity.
“You don’t look like you’re from around here.”
“I’m from Bertall, yes, but I’ve been here for many years”

He reveals himself as Bath’da’krah (Night Elf). He’s crafting an oil of disenchantment. He asks what Lyssa knows of potions and magic, and after some back and forth, he questions whether or not she is a “spurgist”. Wanting to blend in, she confirms while not truly understanding the term. He reveals that a spurgist is a sellspell, one who casts their magicks for a cost.

Lyssa and Thethe arrange to barter: Lyssa offers up foreign potion ingredients for customized potions, oils, and poisons and in exchange, he retains a portion of them for his own archives.

Vetnik and Moira head SE and pass Thethe’s Philter and Trueshaft Bowery followed by a strange religious institution. Written in common it says: TEMPLE OF PALADINE. The pair look to each other, both confused. Beyond that they see The Badger’s Inn.

On their way back to the front gate, Vetnik and Moira run into Trisoll and Lyssa outside of the Philtery.

Lyssa notices a man attempting to cast a spell with concealed hands. He is trailed by a woman with silver hair. He disappears and she curses, slamming a hard glass sword from hilt to tip down onto the ground. Vetnik and Trisoll trail the woman while Lyssa and Moira follow slowly behind.

Inside the pub, Vetnik and Trisoll introduce themselves to the silver haired warrior who reveals herself rather tersely as Abigail Greenray. As Vetnik and Abigail continue to discuss why Abigail was trailing the magic user, Trisoll fetches the pair of women from outside.

Once inside, Vetnik notices Abigail tense up at the sight of the cloaked Lyssa. She confronts her, sensing magical energy radiating from her.

“And who is this?”
“She is our companion.”
“She reeks of magic.”
Lyssa approaches, ready to defend her honor.

“What are you? Magi or Spurgist?”
In an attempt to blend in, Lyssa recalled the Spurgist being mentioned by Thethe and replies as such. Abigail quickly draws her blade and, despite protesting from Vetnik and the others, pushes through to strike at Lyssa. Lyssa attempts to subdue her with a quick levitation spell, and while it appears to work at first (lifting her inches off of the ground), the party watches as the amulet around her neck glows and seems to absorb the magic cast upon her. Dropping back to her feet, Abigail swings her glass sword at Lyssa after revealing herself as a magehunter. In a fit of retaliation, she whips out her Blackmoor mechanical dagger and fires. She realizes her mistake too late and fires it, missing the target. Vetnik rushes in and blows sleep dust into the face of the magehunter. Lyssa watches as a swarm of men try to retrieve her metal blade from off the ground, and thinking fast, she casts Alternate Reality and takes the party back in time just before she revealed the metal dagger. She stops herself but in doing so, she is slashed by Abigail’s glass sword.

-12hp for Lyssa
- Fireball is lost temporarily

Lyssa urges Vetnik to hit her with the dust, he does so (confused that he was already planning on doing so) and she succumbs to the sleep. Vetnik quickly carries her off and the others follow behind, much to a confused audience of bar patrons.

The twins come upon Fallon’s Stable and Woodshop. Adjacent to it is 8 stables, several of which are occupied. Inside, wooden armor and weapons are being crafted. Grum has a bone dagger crafted and the pair set off to find the others. After leaving the woodshop, they come upon the rest of the party gathered together around an unconscious Abigail. Lyssa panics, feeling one of her spells literally ripped from her mind. She casts Strength upon herself in an attempt to wrest the sword from Abigail to break it, but Vetnik proves stronger still and keeps her at bay. The commotion causes Abigail to come to, who wakes with equal anger. Both women appear to have a similar stubbornness about them. Despite this, cooler heads prevail. They agree to help Abigail track down the mage, now known as Jerinden Korvach, and she assures Lyssa that her magic will return to her once rested (though if she could, she’d cut the magic straight out of her if she had the chance.) Abigail reveals that the man she was pursuing had a hand in the disappearance of her lover, Maja, and that he is involved with a nefarious organization known as the Circle of Bones.

The party + Abigail return to the Badger’s Inn for a night of rest. All enjoy a dinner and drinks, and Trisoll probes Abigail for more information on the ways of the new world (the breakdown of currency especially). Thom and Lyssa discuss ways to make money and Thom advises that if she wants to sell any of her metal arrowheads, she needs to do so smartly as to not draw suspicion to her and the group. Abigail offers to loan the party a small cache of weapons if they help to find Jerendin, a Moon elf. She alerts them to the dense part of town, the Rockston neighborhood (aka The Sludge). Grum agrees to go with Abigail ISO the Moon elf. The pair set off, while Lyssa sends Banshee to trail them. Unbeknownst to Abigail, Thom also trails the party under the spell of invisibility.

After a couple hours, Grum finds the spurgist due to his vanity (his refusal to remove his magical rings, of which he wears many.) They corner him into his safe house after dispelling the magical ward guarding him from them. Abigail subdues him and threatens to mate with him before turning him over to the Sun elves if he refuses to cooperate. Pleading, Jerendin gives up the land that the Circle is: Piraqua. She releases him with the promise that, if found to be lying, she will unleash all manner of violent revenge against him.

“He has violated the terms of his contract by revealing the Circle’s location. There is no way he would go back to them. It would mean death. So, fuck him!”

After Abigail and Grum leave, Thom tosses the rest of the shack and finds a communication from the Circle citing a different city as their base of operations: Melgas. He also finds 12 gp (eq) 12 sp (eq) 13 cp (eq).

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).