Silanya

Expedition 68 -- Final Preparations
But Uthgar ain't home, so pffffff.

Saturday December 9th

[Posted on time — +0.1 HP]

Characters
Amara Invictus (Wizard (Necromancer) 5)
Saoirse Brannoch of House Ferrus (Rogue 2)
Raevori, daughter of Leshanna (Wizard (Raevori) 6) (log-writer)

Experience
577 XP per participant.

Gold
-913 GP to Raevori, +Assassin’s Fast Javelin of Contingency, donated to LMF.
+287 GP to Saoirse, donated to LMF.
+383 GP to Amara, -1 unused Improver (killed).

+193 GP to LMFfAG.

Valuables
Assassin’s Fast Javelin of Contingency. 1200 GP. +5 feet movement speed, +proficiency bonus to damage on attacks of opportunity, +3 wizard spells prepared.

Map update: excellent mPOI Weretiger resting grove in 8.15.

Day 1:

Amara, Saoirse and I set out from the Wall, a relatively stealthy duo making up for Amara’s incorrigible clumsiness. We are seeking to recruit a Weretiger Champion to join our assault on the Felltower.

A little ways from the Wall, Amara pulls out the bag that contains the slurping, squelching, horrifying Improver, still alive and unused because she’d been feeding it blood to give her time to think. She turns to me, and says, “I’ve been having a staring contest with this monstrous little thing all week. I almost lost my good judgment several times, but ultimately, I came to a conclusion.”

I waited with bated breath.

“They are too evil to be used.” She rips the bag open and tosses it away. There is an explosion of darkness, a thin localized wailing, and then…nothing. Sunlight cleanses this particular evil, it seems. Amara looks pensive. “Please don’t tell Sovan about this. I don’t want to make this a thing.” (If Sovan’s reading the official log, that’s TOTALLY not my fault and I’m DEFINITELY not rubbing certain incorrect remarks in his face. Nope. This is purely official, dry third person stuff).

After a moment to ponder morality and the shades of grey of the world (Saoirse distributing high-fives), we sauntered forth onto the Eastern Plains, the crappy grey winter landscape stretching out depressingly for miles.

As we pass the waystation in 5.12, we hear snarling and fighting noises, but avoid it like the actually competent professionals that we are.

In the Necrozone, a group of Spectres start floating towards us, but are dispatched by a pair of fireballs. 9 perish and one flits away. We let it.

Amara doesn’t succeed in finding us anywhere special to camp for the night, so we bunk down in the open in 7.13 and cross our fingers.

Nothing bugs us.

Day 2:

As we walk south of the Blazing Banner headquarters, we see a group of disoriented lurkers wandering around fruitlessly hunting. We avoid them.

Stepping into the jungle in 8.15, the winter chill instantly vanishes, and we gratefully remove our winter outerwear. Based on recent knowledge gleaned from one extradimensional gnome, Amara and I concur that the origin of this phenomenon is space-folding. Saoirse marvels, never having come this far from the Wall. Amara and I both politely pretend not to notice.

Some ways into the jungle, we find ourselves being only somewhat subtly flanked by a young, unscarred gnome in breastplate and shield and a tiger.

We hail the gnome and tell him we are heading to speak with his people of a matter of great import. He is embarrassed that we spotted him, but shakes it off quickly, and steps forward, asking if any of us dare to face him in glorious single combat.

Amara points to her bandaged hand and says “Sorry dude, I could barely face myself with a scalpel in glorious combat.”

I cast Blur and say “Bring it, chuckles.”

After failing to penetrate my Blurred defense, the youngster cleverly hits upon a technique to make me more vulnerable to his attacks, dashing away and back to try to knock me to the ground. He succeeds, but I Shield.

After I miss with a firebolt for the second time (he’s showing some promise, despite his youth), he tries to grapple me but fails.

I tag him with a firebolt, he misses twice, I miss again (his defensive footwork is solid), he pounces on me again, I stagger but don’t fall, miss again with a firebolt, he pounces unsuccessfully (I’ve been clobbering him unarmed, but my non-magical fists do nothing to him, even though a non-were combatant would be chutney by this point), then I miss again.

His fourth pounce works, and he crits me with a bite for 20 points of damage. “Use your spells, you dingus!” Amara shouts. “Yeah, I’m done playing,” I reply, and start casting Fireball.

He knocks me over again and bites for 5 damage but I don’t lose the fireball. He eats 34 damage (or less with a save, hard to tell), then I move 35 feet away. Time to start using some fancy footwork of my own.

Amara considered casting a fireball to coincide with mine, but a warning growl from the tiger dissuaded her. As I expected, the youngling has an older mentor watching him.

The youngster charges at me, but ends up 5’ short and settles for throwing his spear, which misses, flying fearsomely true through my blurred image instead of me.

I start casting fireball again and move 35 feet.

He picks up the spear and charges me again, yelling “Stand and fight!”

“I would if you didn’t keep jumping around like a cheater.” My second fireball does 27 damage. I start casting a third, and move again. “Side note – hey uncle tiger, hey uncle tiger, at some point soon you might what to make scruffie call ‘you!’ There are only so many punches I can pull here before his fur gets mussed."

Amara hears a slithering sound behind her. “"If possible, tell your prancing little friend to stop when I tell her. I’d rather this be a useful lesson not the start of a eulogy."

He, amazingly, manages to tag me with his spear for 11 damage. My third fireball goes off for 33 damage, then I invisible and wait for the ref call.

The older tiger laughs wetly behind Amara. “She’s not quite last legs kid, but that was a hell of a shot.” Amara turns around to see a gnome with one eye sealed shut as part of a horrific scar over his face. “If you’re willing to call this a draw, I am. Kid’s got promise but no fucking sense – HEYASSHOLE!”

The younger were looks around, eyes bloodshot.
“You ever think about running right next to her friends, put her off for a second while you figured out some way past the magic shit?”
“Come on, calm down, you don’t stop now that nice girl’s gonna gut you alive.”
“She doesn’t seem like a ‘half measures’ kinda fighter to me.”
The younger were reaches down on the ground with singed, raw hands for his spear.
“But – if I beat her – I could-”
The older were sits on his haunces. “…moron. Think. She couldda opened up with the running around setting you on fire schtick.”
He calls out. “Ain’t that right? Seems you just wanted to try punchin’ for a bit first.”

I flicker back into vision with the older were blocking the path to the dipshit.
“Yeah, thought I’d have myself a nice sporting fist fight for a bit. Your boy was a little too good at that. And then he started pouncing to break the deadlock, so I reciprocated.”

“I did like him accusing you of cheating for being fast on yer damn feet. See that, boy? THAT is footwork. Name’s Gen. My trial and tribulation over there is Scyld.
He thinks he’s ready to squire for a ‘real Champion, not some dumb old boxer’. I figured he could come out, learn a thing.”

“Nice to meet you, Gen. Could we bother you to walk with us a ways? We have a pitch for the Champions and there’s conversation in numbers.”

“Please. Here -”
He gives me a salve.
“We’re not much for medical stuff, but I took this off a Warden that decided to give me a speech about…” He grins. “Well, he didn’t get too far in, if I can be honest.”
“Maybe it’ll help patch up the hash junior made of your neck.”
He looks up at the sky, squints towards the sun.
“Either way, best keep goin’. It’s gettin’ on, and you might want to rest a spell somewhere more private-like. Oh, and if you want to get us for a job, best check with the Ebon Bank” – he pauses and spits – “’cause we’re apparently supposed to clear shit with those a-holes first.”

“We keep a little hideaway nearby. Talk there.”
He leads us to a very secure hideaway in 8.15 (mPOI), we Short Rest, then Gen and Scyld go on to the Weretiger Village to let them know we’re coming while we go check in on the Ebon Bank.

They basically say that of the three Champions, only Uthgar (Pierre’s probably-non-platonic dwarf-crush) would be down for helping us assault the Felltower, and he’s out on a mission right now so please don’t go get him because he WOULD drop everything to help us. Sighing at our misfortune, we proceed to the Weretiger Village to double-check with the other two champions.

On the way we find a magic javelin just lying in the jungle, super weird. I guess some group was running away from something and dropped it. On getting back to town, we ID this as an Assassin’s Fast Javelin of Contingency aka MINE MINE MINE MINE MINE so much MINE. +5 feet movement speed, +prof damage on AoOs, +3 wizard spell slots prepared. 1200 gp. Ahem. A nice little pick-up.

On the way to the weretiger village, we hide from a trio of flying Red Wing modron quaddrones. Two of those death machines killed Syathir, Finnigan, Marc* and Samuel.

At the weretiger village, Smythe is frosty to us, and Kerrik is distant. I try talking to Kerrik in the rafters of the feasting hall anyways (by Misty Stepping up). Fun lil’ fact, overheard Scyld bragging about sparing some outlander. I let it slide, but when he sees me he blanches and changes the subject.

Before I say anything to Kerrik, he holds up a hand. “You.”

“And her.”

“You brought him home.”

“ You did not have to do that.” (Context: Kerrik is alluding to the mind-broken weretiger we found in the Improver base on Expedition 64, which we went out of our way to bring back to the Weretiger Village).

He looked me over appraisingly, nods and turns back to surveying the hall.

I take a long, steady breath. “There is what is easy, and there is what is decent. They aren’t always the same, but there’s only really one option.”

He nods again. “The first half. Many versions. ‘Honorable’. ‘Glorious’. ‘Kind’.”

“I do what my people need me to do.”

“Others want battle. Advantage. I want nothing. I need what my brothers need.”

“Be strong. They will survive. That is your thanks.”

When I’m confident he’s done talking (with pauses like this it’s hard to say), I continue: “Our guild is about to confront a threat to the whole land. A power we must confront, even if we aren’t ready, even if we aren’t strong enough. But we are going to fight it, because we are the only ones who can. We have a chance to win, but even with the allies we’ve gathered the path will be difficult. If we fail, the shadow will spread, inexorably.”

“You have no voice here. Maybe the Weak Brother. Pierre. But he is not here.”

“His Blooding was a farce. Uthgar all but handed him his victory. Arrogant. The Trial was debased.”

“Admitting him was a favour. I respect your care for the dead. We will smash anything that attacks this place.”

“I will not seek another war while the Wardens finish their Change.” (Meaning unclear – improvement project of Wardens more concerning than we thought?)

Me again: “That is your prerogative. We are not warring. We are engaging in a single day, a single bold gamble. One could come, if one desired, but as you say, this place would be safe for the shadows for some time indeed.”

“I have talked enough. I do not enjoy talking. Eat. Drink. Our hall is yours.”

Aaaand it’s a bust, folks. Sweet sweet javelin of sweetness aside, of course.

We spend the night, then leave via the plains.

Day 3:

Montage of Blazing Banner folks getting their shit together. We arrive home fine.

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Expedition 67 -- Over the Aberrant Rainbow
in which yucky things are gross

30 November 2017
[Posted on time – Gain 0.1 HP]

Characters

Aythe von Dusthafen
Lucens Princeps
Silverleaf Moonshadow
Valerian Primrose
a CPC – Saoirse Brannoch of House Ferrus

Experience

548XP with update bonus

Gold

183 gp if donating to LMF
220 gp if not donating

113.5 gp to the LMF

Valuables

  • Teleportation Gland from the Treejumper (100gp)
  • Bag of silver from the ogres (140gp) — Aythe at least 1 silver from this bag as a part of her pay
  • Warden Ringmail of Pass Without Trace (900gp)
  • Hobgoblin Locket (15gp) — claimed by Aythe

Character Changes

Saoirse hit level 2 I think.

Log

1.
It was a bright, cold day in Uktar but autumn’s rot was already giving to bitter cold. Deadly winter fell upon us. The sort where your eyes can’t un-bat after blink. Fine hairs on your skin carry tiny ringing icicles. We broke camp and headed back to town before crossing the wall. No one among us would survive out there. Back at town we asked Jean-Pierre du Veyrir de la Grand Contumace Saint-Emilion to Send a message to the druids in advance of our arrival. They replied with curt agreement and we were, again, off, wrapped in the heaviest possible winter wear.

Traveling towards the grey hills, we met a narrow but deep river. A minor danger, but failure threatened hypothermia. The athletes among us leaped across. Sil crossed with more flare; she became a black bear and swam across.

As we traveled towards a previously used meeting point, an encounter. A pack of wolves, five beasts and one dire, paced around us menacingly.

We erupted into action: my allies, warriors and gentlefolk alike, fell upon the dire wolf and dropped it swiftly. Three of the remaining wolves fell upon the black bear, and two ran. Val and Forcans ran after the fliers, we did not want to be haunted as we crossed the icy expanse. However, Sil noticed that the howls seemed more intelligent and controlled than those of wild animals. Sil polymorphed back into elven form, spoke with the wolves, and realized they were emissaries from our goblinoid druids. We healed the wolves who were still alive, tried to make friends by distributing jerkied meat. Then, we made camp while waiting for the druids to arrive. When they did, they were quite unhappy with us. Nonetheless, two wolves are to find us tomorrow and bring us to a menacing quarry: an abomination that stalks the ice to the north. We made camp.

2.

The pair of wolves came early in the morning and lead us northbound. We happened upon a peculiar area with scant trees. The peculiarity is difficult to describe; doubly so for me, for I did not really feel it at all. My more attuned allies assured me that the atmosphere just feels… off. Wrong, like flagging energy in the midday. A pair of sluggish black bears meandered by, their interest in prey zapped away. We pushed ahead, our wolves leading us. We did not want to dawdle there.

As we approached the northern edge of the lake, we happened upon a monstrosity. This was no figure of well-known myth—no gorgon, dragon, or beholder. This creature was drawn from darker and more furtive ink. A biped standing on squat leg, it had striped fur, large paws, and misshapen upper limbs. It did not snarl, wince, or glare for it was faceless. Instead of a head as I conceive it, its neck ended in a flat dull disk, ringed with sharp blades. We asked our wolves if this was our quarry. It was not, though they wished it dead too. We were happy to oblige. We sneaked upon the creature and released a furious volley. It whipped into action, scrambling up a bare fruit tree with apish ease. Atop the tree, it magically traded places with Valerian. Before they could react, they were hanging atop a tree and about to plummet. As we tried to shoot the beast, our projectiles merely warped around it’s unnerving body. With determination, however, we slaughtered it, a disgruntled Forcans delivering the killing blow.

We took a rest, but as soon as we started a coterie of ogres ambushed us. They swiftly knocked Saoirse unconscious (temp injury), but we dispatched them with ease. We took a much deserved rest.

The wolves, however, grew impatient and pushed forward. Perhaps they were still annoyed that we killed their dire leader. They lead us to a ridge. Below that ridge in an expansive field of ice and snow was six amorphous abominations: legless, pulsing tubes of flesh adorned with barbed spikes and turgid, barbed appendages. The wolves told us the creatures had a habit of shooting these spikes towards prey. This was our quarry.

We attacked the creatures from a distance while Sil commanded a pack of eight wolves. The wolves wrestled the aberations, but the struggle always appeared somewhat… displaced. We would watch the wolves surround one and bite deep into its flesh, but then—if you squinted—it looked as if the wolves were attacking the air, some feet away from where you saw the monster. For their part, the vicious blobs tore the wolves apart ruthlessly, and we helplessly struggled to divine the nature of this strange distortive field. Through sheer determination, we eliminated the creatures one by one. Eventually, we determined that Forcans could see their true position. We used Forcans to position our final volley and slay the last beast.

For our reward, the wolves brought us to a nearby Hobgoblin camp. The chief Hobgoblin was adorned with magical armour. Exhausted and weary, we nonetheless dispatched the creatures and took our prize. I pilfered a small trinket—a locket—from them, hoping I might glean something of their lives later. We found a nearby place to camp. My party, so considerate, found a protective hovel for me and Saoirse to hide within.

3.

In the late night, or early morning, another horror visited us. An invisible force smacked Sil and she fell to the ground. We could see no quarry, but we felt its hateful presence. I cast Faerie Fire to try and put a shape to the creature. A ring of light gave the foe shape: an amorphous blight, a living confusion whose material rejected reality—a cystic mass, pustules and lumps unevenly fastened to a hateful sphere. Uneven misshapen wings and a trunk, like that of a tapir, dangling down lazily. With mindless precision, the creature plunged its putrid proboscis into Sil and drank so much blood she fell unconscious (temp injury). Through its invisible body, we saw our ally’s blood swirl through twisted organs. Lucens let of a spectacular show of fire and fury, and the creature exploded in a rain of boiling ichor and freshly stolen blood. We were scalded, but we survived.

With Sil stabilized, we went to sleep.

We made our way back to town with no additional incursions.

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Expedition 66 -- Demons, Grey Modrons, Black Modrons

Sunday, November 26, 2017

[Posted on time, participants get 0.1 HP]

CHARACTERS

CHARACTER CHANGES

  • Parsley Cormorant has died.
  • Martin Van Horne developed an autoimmune disorder from the chasme’s attack [-2 WIS, -3 DEX]
  • Basil Cormorant levelled to 2.
  • Pierre Lee levelled to 5 and got a modron eye. [One round of truesight per long rest. Object action to activate. Disadvantage on visual checks for 4 rounds after using it. Disadvantage on checks to interact with illusions when the eye is not activated (due to overconfidence). Disadvantage on endurance-related CON saves (e.g., long distance running, holding his breath). Lost proficiency in WIS saves. +2 corruption]

MAP UPDATES

  • mPOI: silver mine in 9.15, due south of the Eastern pumping station

XP/GP

  • Basil: 409 xp, 567 gp (includes inheritance from Parsley)
  • Martin: 720 xp, 449 gp
  • McDonald: 311 xp, 191 gp
  • Melora: 720 xp, 349 gp, roc talon
  • Parsley: 409 xp, 258 gp (given to Basil)
  • Pierre: 311 xp, -59 gp, modron statuette
  • Silverleaf: 720 xp, -826 gp, blazing openhand leather armour, magic boots

LOOT

  • LUA breastplates, lances, and longbows (x 2 each), 260 gp
  • Skeletons (x 4), bought by Amara for 100 gp
  • Elaborate set of padded armour, 5 gp
  • Modron Statuette, bought by Pierre for 50 gp
  • Roc talon, bought by Melora for 100 gp

MAGIC LOOT

  • Magic Boots, bought by Silverleaf for 500 gp and given to JP
  • Blazing Openhanded Leather Armour, bought by Regis for 800 gp
  • Cursed Idol, decursed and sold to trustworthy people

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Parsley Cormorant is dead. He fought well and died bravely.

The grey pentadrone contacted us. Not aggressive now, but it warned us not to upset the balance between the modron wings or breach the portal. It said the other pentadrones would ask us for help assimilating each other. The portal used to go to Mechanus but it’s broken. The grey pentadrone says it’s maintaining balance between the wings until Mechanus returns for them.

The cloud giants are trying to kill us. They have a moving cloud that shoots lightning.

Two black-uniformed Wardens were following us. They followed us to Roguetown where at least one was killed by modrons. We should tell A’sshel’t’kov. Makes us look bad to hide it. The next group to go should tell him.

[This info is going here because Martin and Melora know and they are CPCs, but all members of this expedition agreed to keep quiet about it, so this is meta knowledge that none of your characters know, and especially especially no one is telling Linna: the black pentadrone at Roguetown wants us to plant a device (one of those sentient weapons, named Sequence and currently smuggled into Sila and hanging around with Pierre) inside Oubliette. It will let them see and interfere with Warden security/the Fang. They also want us to retrieve the ‘central pivot’ which is something that looks sort of like a gear but isn’t.]

LOG

First day was grey and drizzling. Three fela Chosen hid in the trees and watched us. They skulked off when I saw them. Nothing else happened in the Felar Wood.

We travelled through the southern plains to avoid the LUA/Banded. A mistake.

The first attack was two shadow-creatures that lunged out of the tall grass suddenly. They were looming and gaunt. About 11 ft tall. Made of shadows gathered around bird skulls. Their eye sockets glowed with green light. Parsley Cormorant shot several arrows into it – they can be hurt physically. Their attacks leave no wounds but cause intense pain and emotion [15 psychic damage for one attack]. They taunted us telepathically. [“Hello, meat.”]

They targeted Martin Van Horne and Melora Blackfingers first because they look holy. One snuck back into the grasses on seeing a moonbeam. When the moonbeam took effect, the remaining demon shrieked and tried to fly away. Melora Blackfingers smote it. The radiance gouged chunks out of it. It hovered, screaming. She threw her chained javelin at it to hold it in the moonbeam. Black and red flames poured from its eyes. Its claws glowed red. It swelled. It flung itself down at her as the moonbeam flayed it. Its shadow body was ripped away until only a silvery bird skull was left. It disintegrated into ash just before it reached her. It left no trace [damage: very approx 42 radiant (counted as more if vulnerable?) and 29 physical. AC not more than 14, fly speed ~30 ft, CR 4]. The other escaped. They hide quickly, like rogues [hide as BA?].

The second attack was a roc. It came from the south. We ran into the forest but couldn’t hide. It followed us in [casually knocking over a fully grown tree to do so]. It pecked at Clarity [Mel’s paladin steed] and discorporialized her. It grabbed me. Melora Blackfingers sliced a talon off [critted on her called shot and used a smite, so 48 damage….the talon is about the size of her arm. Badass trophy right there]. It dropped me. Martin Van Horne used the terror mace. It fled. We hid. It circled us then flew towards the Broken Jungle.

The last attack was a chasme. We heard its buzzing first. Its drone can knock you out. We all resisted it [CON save, DC 13-ish?]. We tried to run. Martin Van Horne tried to Command it, didn’t work. The others attacked. I summoned two tigers and ran for cover in the forest. The halflings mounted one tiger and it ran while Melora Blackfingers distracted the chasme. Martin Van Horne made it run with the terror mace [“That’s the last I hope to see of you, sir!”]. He mounted the other tiger and it ran. Neither tiger hid well. Even when Basil Cormorant hid very well, it still saw him. The chasme shook off the terror and followed. It ignored Melora Blackfingers’ Command and jammed its proboscis through Martin Van Horne’s torso [17 damage], then sucked the life out of him [34 damage, which also reduces max HP by that much until a long rest. Permanent injury: -2 wis, -3 dex]. It laughed and said “Four.” Melora Blackfingers javelinned it and I cast moonbeam. It attacked the halflings. They each dodged around it and struck it. She threw her chained javelin into it and prepared to yank it away from them. It turned on them before she could and killed Parsley Cormorant [14 stabbing, 28 necrotic – brought his max HP to zero, so instant death]. “Three.” She dragged it towards her. “If you want me that badly…let us dance, you and I.” Martin Van Horne Guiding Bolted it. [C: “I killed you!” M: “You made a very solid start!”] Basil Cormorant charged it and attacked. It dropped him. “Probably three. Keep throwing me the little ones, they’re delicious…any further tricks, little girl?” We finally killed it. We should have just fought it. It heals steadily. It’s too fast to outrun. Too wily to hide from. Next time.

We returned home. On the way we dug up some treasure. An onyx statue of a drow in priestess robes and headdress. Necromancy energy on it. It was cursed. Three conjured animals who touched it felt gross, stupid, and ugly. Melora Blackfingers carried it back. She was more vulnerable to external damage but it wore off after eight hours.

We left Basil Cormorant to his grief. Pierre Lee and McDonald joined. We departed again. This time we went by the eastern plains.

Four LUA were fighting four ogres near the Blazing Banner headquarters. The LUA wielded pikes and fought in a defensive unit. They can attack in response to an ally being attacked. We killed them, then killed the ogres, then looted their armour and weapons.

We reached the jungle. We waited several hours for poison rain to stop.

Two quadrones approached. They were immaculate and plain. The grey wing, who hold the portal. They were dismissive but not violent. The grey pentadrone spoke through them. It claims to be the only surviving uncorrupted pentadrone of the 91st decatone of the Plane of Mechanus. It guards the portal. The portal used to lead to Mechanus but it’s broken now. “They perform their silly little dances. When Mechanus comes for us, they will see that we alone held the line.”

“You, primes – who are you?”
Explorers from the west.
“You come to throw your hat in the ring…what is your purpose, your grander purpose?”
None, yet. We are exploring. We don’t know the Jungle well enough to have any purpose there.
“The others are lost, you are lost. You act out of petty prejudice and half-hearted decision-making. You can barely maintain consistent principles week-to-week. What kind of allies could you be, you chimeras? My drones will observe you. Do not attempt to breach the portal and we will have no quarrel. Do not attempt to disrupt the balance between the three wings and we will have no quarrel.”

There are things that would allow one wing to assimilate parts of the others. The grey warned us that the other pentadrones will ask our help to do that. We should stay out of it.

It said it wouldn’t help us and didn’t think we could help it unless we can repair broken portals. We said there are many problems here with rifts and distortions. We are trying to fix it but don’t know how yet.

“The message has been delivered. You should consider yourself deeply honoured to have been visited by a manifestation.” They left. We headed south.

We noticed a cloud following us. Didn’t see it moving, just kept noticing it. We were in a pretty open area. Light flashed across the bottom. Then lightning shot at us. It hit all of us [DEX save for half – DC is higher than 14, first attack wasn’t full power and did 9 damage, second did 21]. Energy crackled and gathered towards the centre again. We ran to thicker cover and hid [20 stealth! In a party that includes Martin, Mel, and Pierre!]. They fired blind several times, missed. They dropped a rock with a note in Giant tied to it and left.

“We appreciate your efforts to preserve your lives, but you must understand that you have threatened the cleanliness and sanctity of the Cloud. We would like you to come at your earliest convenience so that we might cleanse you in person, and help you to understand that this is necessary for the hygiene and safety of [etc etc etc.] – The Sons of the Silver Tongue

We checked in at A’sshel’t’kov’s outpost.

We went to Roguetown. Near the bridge we saw two snake-people. Using chameleon skin to camouflage themselves. Pacing us from 300 ft, wearing black jumpsuits and holding long, black rifles. Didn’t recognize the uniforms. Maybe a special branch of the Wardens. They faded further back when they saw us notice them.

We reached the farmland ¼ mile from Roguetown. [Cue monodrones in matching overalls, intoning: “A song that makes us feel connected to the land. A song that makes us feel connected to the land. Our cheerful solidarity is a balm in a farmer’s life of toil. A song that makes us feel connected to the land.”]

A quadrone disguised as a bush leapt from hiding and killed one of the snake-people, still following us. [“Statement: It is an interloper. Get off my fields, you pest.”] The other ran. It chased. The dead Warden is <name>. Don’t know if the other one got away. The next group to go the jungle should tell
A’sshel’t’kov. It was accidental. It will look worse if we don’t.

The monodrones took the gun, ammunition, and token from the dead Warden. [They also used the corpse to make a scarecrow. Cut off the head and hands, used them on the scarecrow, pulled it into a grinning rictus, all very grisly and then – “Embarrassed query: in your opinion, does this present a formidable sight to scare away avian pests?”] McDonald told them that we’d led the Wardens to them intentionally. [“Thank you, brave warriors. We are astonished that you noticed our protector. He is usually indistinguishable from a bush. That is why we call him Commander Bush. He is in deep cover. Maybe too deep. He is losing sight of where quadrone ends and bush begins.”] Pierre Lee helped them farm for several hours. McDonald gave them advice on planting. They gave us a chit.

We gave a letter to one of them from Tabitha Loress. It pretended not to be disappointed that she wasn’t there. [Pretended very badly. The handwriting on the letter was “Like a delicate swan has walked across the page…and then sat down and fallen asleep…because it is tired after walking because it is a weak organic lifeform.”]

We went to the church. They offered surgery. Pierre Lee accepted a modron eye. The surgery was rough. They filled one eye socket with a reflective surface with red lights moving across it. He has some truesight and some vision problems. [One round of truesight per long rest. Object action to turn it on. Disadvantage on visual checks for 4 rounds after using it. Disadvantage on checks to interact with illusions when the eye is not activated, since he has become overconfident in his vision. Permanent injury: Disadvantage on endurance-related con saves (long distance running, holding his breath), and lost proficiency in WIS saves. +2 corruption.]

We made donations. Last time, donations sometimes earned chits. Seemed to be based on prime numbers. This time we tried:

  • McDonald: a silver and two coppers. Then, 3 coppers.
  • Pierre Lee: 7 gp
  • Martin Van Horne: 6 gp. Received a chit.
  • Silverleaf Moonshadow: 1 gp

We traded the chits for:

  • Padded armour. Well-made but useless.
  • A personal grooming session. It looked uncomfortable. Martin Van Horne submitted well. [Several modrons did Martin’s hair. Each a different section (one dyed blue and spiky, one loose and flowing, one with complicated braids…) and they made friendly and awkward conversation with him for the duration. Temp: -4 charisma because he looks like an idiot now].

Pierre Lee signed up to race. He asked if we were allowed to buff him. They said yes and it meant that he would play the rogueish villain who would win at any cost. They would work that into the story. The race is a pageant, not an actual race.

[Pierre and McDonald bet on Pierre, Sil bets on Veteran.

The competitors:
Pierre, the Killah from Sila, wered out and ready to go.
Man-on-Horse, whose mount is two monodrones in a horse costume named Horse.
Common Ethnic Stereotype, riding three monodrones in a shark costume.
Veteran, a grizzled mentor type, covered in neatly labelled “wounds,” wielding a crossbow, and riding a two-modron ‘griffin.’ He fought in The War. That’s right. The War.

Pierre casts Blindness on Veteran, who passes. “I’ll take more than that to blind me! They already tried to take an eye!”
Veteran misses a called shot on Pierre’s knees. “I’ll take more than that to blind these knees!”

Pierre drops a flaming sphere behind him which slows down the other competitors and pulls into the lead. A monodrone in a sailor cap holding a lollipop watches and declares that he will grow up to lead a life of crime, since clearly that is the way to get ahead in this unjust world.

Common Ethnic Stereotype falls behind. “Statement: I have calculated that were I an organic lifeform, I would have pulled something. Aaaah. Aaaaah.” The shark begins to gnaw on it. “Even the beasts of the field have turned on me.” He interprets McDonald’s cheers of encouragement as mocking (which, tbf…) and collapses, telling his shark to avenge him. It starts double-moving: “Blood. Blood. Blood. Avenge. Avenge. Avenge.” It catches up to Pierre and fails a grapple, so it just holds onto his leg and phases him not at all.

Veteran throws a grenade “For Honour!”. Pierre takes 15 damage and two of the three modrons making up the shark are pulverized. The middle section careers around, blinded by the costume now flopping all over it.

Horse and Man-on-Horse win in the end – sailing right past Pierre and Veteran, who wasted so much time trying to fuck with each other. Pierre comes in third. We’re all very proud.]

Pierre Lee lost but played the part so they gave him a chit. The point is pageantry and fellowship. People who don’t support fellowship are nailed to the outside walls of Roguetown.

They offered one of three sets of armour for the chit. He chose one for monks. [Leather armour that a monk can wear to stack with unarmoured defence, lets you add 2d6 fire damage to an attack 1/expedition, worth 800 gp].

We went home. There is a small silver mine in 9.15 – north west of the bridge, due south of the pumping station. There is a Warden camp on the border of 8.15 and 9.15 between the swamp and the seed pod moat.

[This is not mentioned at all in the official log, because the members of this expedition all decided to keep it a secret. Melora and Martin know it, though, so it’s going here for general player knowledge: We go to the tent in Rougetown that is labelled “Not In Any Way A Thieves’ Guild.” There are two modrons in front of it. “Thieves cant, thieves cant. Hello, fellow honest citizen.” McDonald says “Thieves cant password.” They let us in. (Pierre rolls a one on his disguise check to add a disguise mustache on top of his normal mustache, so it ends up just clenched between his teeth and he has to drop it to talk.)

We glimpse an immense map, covered in lines and glowing lights and a marker reading Oubliette Bank Vault, before they cover it up with a tarp.

Black Pentadrone, wearing a tophat on each head: “We are here to partake in snuff. Are you also?”
Pierre drops his mustache disguise. “Yes.”
BP: “Gasp. A disguise. He is with us, boys. Reveal!”
They all take off their hats and don rogueish capes.
BP: “You have done it now. You are in the den of thieves. Welcome to heist HQ. Are you here to help with a job?”
Pierre: “Yes, I am a master thief.” (20 deception).
BP: “Well, clearly you would not say so if it were not true. That’s the sort of thing that would get someone’s hands cut off in an alley. Luckily that won’t happen here because you will make good on your boast…We have sent many monodrones who all die. We have an unending supply. But we cannot penetrate past the first barrier, the beasts. We need a man of your talents.”
Pierre tells them that he’s actually been inside Oubliette, but only the top bit which they are not interested in except for an estimation of how many Wardens there were. Pierre: “Oh, there were at least 84 wardens up there.”

Pierre tells the pentadrone that he can assemble a team to complete the heist.

We were told:
There is a guy, F’tal’m’tal, who gave them intel and might have more. He ran away to the south-east Dark Forest.

They have a device that will let them tap into Warden security, if we get it into Oubliette, and interface with the central security of the Fang (Linna might know more about this. There was a fang symbol on the viewing station of the eastern base) so they can see what the Wardens see, and also change it. They also want us to retrieve for them the ‘central pivot’ – which isn’t a gear but looks like one. They gave us complicated schematics for it.

The device they give us turns into one of those sentient weapons. (“I got a job to do. We’re not friends. Wrap me up nice and don’t jostle me. Don’t bother me.” Pierre: 15 persuasion to be friends. “Yeah, I guess you’re okay, Stripey…but the less you talk, the longer your novelty holds up.” Pierre asks its name. It gives him a string of numbers. Pierre: “I’ll call you Michael.” “Yeah, right. You can call me Sequence. It’s cleverer than you deserve.” Pierre asks it to turn into a shovel. “Okay, you turn into a shovel first, then I’ll return the favour. I figure that must be one of your talents, the amount of bullshit you move around.”)

We smuggled Sequence into Sila as a ‘modron statuette’. He’s chilling with Pierre at the moment. The party isn’t settled on how exactly to proceed, but they all agreed to keep Sequence and the whole heist deal under wraps for now.]

View
Expedition 65 -- Silver Lancers of the Singing Rainforest
All the interesting stuff happened on the way home

Sunday November 19th

[Posted on time – Gain 0.1 HP]

CHARACTER TRACKING UPDATES:
-1 charge +150 gp to Tabby on Chime of Opening
SOLD two barrels of demon ichor (owned by Sovan / Tabby)? Who had the last one that we’re hypothetically stockpiling.

MAP UPDATES:
(V. important) Heavy rainforest region south of Antorem labeled the Singing Rainforest.
Blazing Banner building fort by the waystation in 4.13.
LUA Encampment in 10.12
Banded Fortress in 9.12
Fortress of giant dudes in 11.11
Hexes 10.12 and 11.11 have been visited
4 mPOI, 2 POI in Felltower Wood, see Exp. 65 FB thread
Where is the Tree-friend?

Characters
Jean-Pierre du Veyrir de la Grand Contumace Saint-Emilion (Cleric (Forge) 5)
Lee-Jean “Prada” Challenges-Debicourt de Ia Terre des Romances aux Rivalieux-Quandamouzieres Sur Vantera-aux Alpes Maritimes (Paladin (Devotion) 4)
Camille (Barbarian (Totem Warrior) 3)
Martin Van Horne (Cleric (Life) 2
Morgan Wheeler (Wizard 1)
Samantha Cartwright (Fighter 2) (log-writer)

Experience
2021 XP per participant with on time map update

Gold
292 gp if donating to LMF (Sam, LJ, JP, Martin)
340 gp if not donating (Camille, Morgan)

197 gp to the LMF

Valuables
A Silver Horn that summons the Hawkmen of the Singing Rainforest (value unknown), donated to LMF
18 books (will be filled in by James E)
Ornate quill pen 50gp
40 pounds of Landshark Metal Plating, 80gp, crafting component
Mangled organ that digests magic, 75gp, crafting component

Character Changes
Camille eats a poison fruit, loses 15 max hp, gains the ability to dodge as a bonus action.
Martin levels twice! He’s now level 4.
Camille levels! She’s now level 4.
Samantha levels! She’s now level 3.
Morgan levels twice! They’re now level 3.

Log – Introduction

Day 0

We collect the standard 3 potions per person on loan from the LMF (seems like a good idea), as well as the reuseable healing gourd from Exp. 64 (to be carried by Camille), and the 6 policeataur badges from Exp. 32. We also pick up two barrels of demon ichor that the guild was stockpiling to give to the Blazing Banner. Since this is a long expedition, we’re each carrying 10 rations. Fellow greenhorn Martin Van Horne is entrusted with the mighty Mace of Terror. We also borrow the Chime of Opening from Tabitha Errsule.

Day 1

We exit the wall into 4.13, it’s drizzling lightly. Lee-Jean says “No, no. No. I’m not travelling with this. Hang out.” She proceeds to pass out scarves and make small, meaningful adjustments to our ensembles, which, surprisingly, have a significant impact on some people’s confidence. [Inspiring Leader: +5 temporary HP]

We see a group of Blazing Banner building a small fort by the way-house.

Heading E we see a group of hobgoblins with a wolf hunting, and we both avoid each-other.

Hex 5.13 has a lot of very tall grass (neck high on a person), which has persisted into winter. We travel a ways across, and come to the Blazing Banner refugee camp on the edge of the tall grass in 5.13. There are a couple of hobgoblins with them in the camp, helping them construct more siege equipment.

We continue on and reach the road in the undead hills. We see a trio of LUA here, on top of one of the hills, they are moving to evade us since we each spotted them at around the same time. They are 400-500 feet away. Lee-Jean proposes pursuit, but Jean-Pierre is too slow, Morgan won’t leave Jean-Pierre, I won’t leave Morgan, and Camille offers to follow but is dubious. We wisely choose to let it go.

Crossing the Undead Hills, we see a pile of bodies (Corrupt Plains varieties), and we avoid it. We later see a group of killer birds eating a group of flailing zombies.

We then exit the Necrozone and approach the Blazing Banner headquarters. We ‘gift’ them the two barrels of demon ichor, and are thanked and asked to wait here (‘please’). They are visibly nervous around us (specifically JP). A shaman comes down and asks us if we are here to fight the Tower, because things are pretty bad out here. We say we aren’t doing it today. “When the time is right and the gods reveal the way, which will be soon, after we have assembled many brave warriors, we will fight.” The shaman says that they are waiting for us, and rebuilding siege equipment to help us for the fight.

JP goes to heal about two dozen injured Blazing Banner (5-6 of them have infected wounds that are turning black). Some of it looks like it’s almost melty (not normal sepsis). Lee-Jean uses lay on hands to perfectly cure 4 of them. Martin takes notes to do research on this later. The wounds look like rot, but not mummy rot. The people who were affected this way were people who almost died or had severe impacts in combat. We decide to sleep here to be able to let Lee-Jean cure the other 2 in the morning.

Side note: their siege weapons are a shambles. Jean-Pierre avoids a gaffe mainly due to their density, not his own suaveness.

They have a gift for Jean-Pierre in particular, since they consider him the leader (since he beat the champion last time). They give him a faintly transmutation bracelet. While here, Camille eats a poison fruit from Expedition ??, and spends the night throwing up as it permanently saps her vitality significantly, despite endowing her with a strange agility (permanent character change: -15 MAX HP, +ability to dodge as a bonus action).

Day 2

As we travel into 8.13, the flock of killer birds is leaving the Necrozone and flying towards us. Martin Van Horne scatters them with the Mace of Terror.

The bridge in 9.13 is no longer guarded, probably because the Blazing Banner have been losing ground to the Banded of the Felltower Wood. We continue northeast into 9.12. We see more killer birds circling in the distance, and avoid them.

Near the boundary of 10.12, we find an old Silanya constructed fortress, with something on the walls (too far away for us to see). Professor Wheeler sends their owl to scout the fortress. The owl saw a grosteque birdlike thing with silver bands on the walls of the fortress. We mark this as a minor point of interest and move on.

We enter 10.12 from the SW corner (new hex – 175 GP) and begin crossing towards the NE corner. A fifth of the way across the hex, we see a small permanent encampment of LUA (minor point of interest – clearly permanent, even if not always occupied). This is a forward scouting detachment type place. Jean-Pierre assesses that there are 8-13 of them, 300-400 feet away. We start withdrawing (double move retreating), and see two squads of three chasing after us, along with one climbing a tree to get a sniper post position. Camille grumbles about this, saying “I want to kill something soon.” Lee-Jean replies “Look, I know you’re too stupid to understand the concept of time, but there are more interesting things to do in Antorem.” The LUA eventually lose interest and turn around (before anyone had to make a Con check).

We do a loop to avoid the camp by a mile and continue heading northwards. Note that this region is a dense thick temperate rainforest (the rainforest up near Antorem is less dense 3 parts of movement per hex, here it’s 4 parts of movement per hex). It’s heavy going, and we have to camp only two miles from that LUA encampment. I manage to find a very secure encampment, in a ring of trees.

Despite our defensible position, we are still disturbed in the night. It turns out the LUA were following us, as we discover when a black-feathered arrow hits Camille in the chest (21 damage), followed by a bola wrapping around her legs (5 points of damage), and knocking her over. Now she’s lying on the cold hard ground. Meanwhile, I’m surrounded by two people with shortswords.

Side note: JP is sleeping in his armor, because he usually doesn’t get exhaustion, and lesser restorations when it’s necessary. Morgan is hidden under a pile of blankets at the center of the camp in a tent with JP.

Martin is tripped and tangled by another slaver. There are 5 LUA in total (black feather, two slavers, two standard scouts). I pull out my second hand crossbow, shoot at the torch carried by the person near me, miss, shoot with my other crossbow, hit, knocking it out of his hand (we’re plunged into darkness, so they’re fighting at disadvantage). I then action surge, hitting the only other torch, but that LUA manages to hold on.

Martin uses the healing power of his word “BETTERMENT!” to heal Camille for 9 HP, then channels the power of the Mace of Terror. “I would PREFER it IF you LEAVE!”, making one of the scouts near me flee. A slaver slams a weighted net on Camille, making it harder for her to escape.

Lee-Jean wakes up. The Black-feather LUA runs up and stabs the prone Martin for 16 points of damage. Camille, buried under a weighted neat, drinks from the healing gourd and begins to rage.

The slaver carrying the torch throws it at the tent that JP and Morgan are in, and then lights another one. The torch catches the tent on fire and it begins to burn. Morgan runs out of the tent, magic missiles the blackfeather, and takes cover behind another tent.

Side note: Lee-Jean wakes people up occasionally in the middle of the night to tell them that they’re a disaster and tousle their bedhead into something more fabulous.

The other scout by me charges past me to slash at Professor Wheeler, felling them with a single mighty blow (17 points of damage, exceeding Wheeler’s 11 HP + 5 temp HP). They take a traumatic temporary injury to their legs, taking 5 points of strength damage (reducing their strength score to 2, meaning other people will have to carry everything for them except their spellbook and clothing).

Martin Van Horne channels the Mace of Terror again, saying “But really we’d appreciate it if you left!” which makes the blackfeather and one slaver flee. Camille attempts to throw the net off her and fails, yelling a string of dwarven curses. Jean-Pierre finally gets to act and Creates Water to extinguish the tent, “TREE!” to heal Professor Wheeler, and then positions himself to defend people. Professor Wheeler plays possum. The slaver and scout run, and we mange to kill the scout as it disengages.

Camille says: “Hey guys! Good news. I stole a NET. Relatedly, can you get this net off me?” We manage to haul the net off her, but decide it’s too heavy to take with us. We have to move the encampment because the LUA know where we are and might come back with more people. It’s pitch black, so Camille tries to find an encampment in the pitch black. She finds a terrible position, we short rest, and then hunker down for the rest of night to try to get JP his scant bit of rest that he needs to renew his connection to the Tree. Lee-Jean stays up, pushing the edge of her endurance (fails a Con save, will be exhausted tomorrow).

In this new, open, position, we hear a strange eerie humming. LJ, Morgan, and I try peel off and try to hide as a trio. I realize that the humming is always in three parts. We were terrible at hiding, but the eerie humning approaches the cleric + cleric + barbarian trio anyways. The humming reveals itself to be a trio of small humanoids with long golden hair and brownish-green skin with long wicked curved knives. They start circling Martin, Jean-Pierre, and Camille. (We were 100 feet away, we could hear this but couldn’t see it, but Morgan can see them through their owl’s eyes). Jean-Pierre starts talking to them. “Oh hello, I sort of like fey, and I’m dating someone who is also dating fey, and…” then two of them hum and JP is silenced. “That’s not so bad. Except for all your magic,” Camille says. The only one sings and nothing happens.

I start stealthily approaching them. Camille charges the, raging, and one of them uses a readied action to sing Dissonant Whispers at her, taking 10 points of psychic damage and running away 30 feet, before running back 30 feet and ending where she started. JP starts dodging. Martin Van Horne uses the last charge on the Mace of Terror for today to sing “We don’t want to have to fight you, fight you but we will if we have to, have to,” but they all made their saves.

Feeling that violence might not work especially well, I try playing my flute. It is truly terrible. The trio dash 50 feet towards me, standing 20 feet away, and one sings a virulently, maliciously hilarious melody. I fall to the ground laughing. Camille tries to charge them, but failing another Wis save and takes 11 points of psychic damage and fails to make any forward progress. JP chases after them and manages to escape the silence effect. Martin feeds Camille a potion. Lee-Jean calls on the power of Shirana to Bless JP, Camille, and myself.

Morgan sings to them in Elven, which is fey-like. “Leave us be, let us through. We’re nice people and we’d like to talk to you.” Advantage for rhyming, 18. They briefly notice them, then return their attention me (probably for my heinous flute playing). The other two sing to Lee-Jean but she shakes it off (the singers gonna hate hate hate hate me and Camille’s gonna play play play play play but she’s just gonna shake shake shake, a shake it off, shake it off). Camille finally connects with a 14 axe damage. JP finally has access to his mojo and Guiding Bolt and Spiritual Weapons.

One of them gets massively injured by a flurry of attacks from us and stops singing. When it stops singing, the melody of the other two falter as the third part of their harmony that they were expecting isn’t there. This weakens the magical hold on me and lets me stop laughing. When we kill it, the other two restart their melody as a two part harmony and run.

Side note: to recharge the Mace, you have to have nightmares while sleeping while tied to it. We tell Martin Van Horne scary stories before he sleeps to help with that. We evidently didn’t tell him scary enough stories though, because it was only one charge that restored.

Day 3

As we enter 11.11, we see a shitty fortress on a hill in 11.11 east of the 3 hex meeting point between 11.11, 10.11, and 10.12. We mark it as an MPOI and avoid it. We are foraging as we go, and are successful enough to feed the party nice fresh forest fruit and a handful of small animals for the day.

Midway through the day we get ambushed by a pair of phase spiders that chomp on Camille. We kill them before they escape. I mangle extracting these weird ‘phase sacs’ that people were excitedly telling me about, and we don’t get them (if they exist).

Midway through the day we hear more of the singing, in at least four parts. The party decides to call this area The Singing Rainforest, and we attempt to avoid it. In the process of avoiding the singing, we hear the ground rumbling (like something large is moving under the ground moving directly towards us).

We put Morgan Wheeler and Martin Van Horne on the tree stump, Camille is by the tree stump, Sam is pacing around near the tree stump going ‘if there’s tremorsense, you should attack me,’ and JP and LJ are out front.

A massive armored creature with metal plates on its back and an enormous maw emerges from the ground in front of JP and leaps into the air in a fearsome charge…but is slowed by the Spirit Guardians (all ) and ends up short.

Lee-Jean gets a truly awe-inspiring smite on it, dealing 41 damage. That drives it off, and it doesn’t come back. We short rest and move on into 11.10.

There was a squawk from the owl, indicating that something’s around, and two minutes later the owl returns an gives us the impression of a high singing noise (third time this expedition). We keep going. Fortunately, whatever it was missed us.

Just as we’re settling in to the very secure encampment that I found for us, we hear hooligans heading towards us. Lee-Jean says “Morgan, you’re worthless, go hide in the corner.” I add “Professor Wheeler, in this circumstance we’ll handle things. When we get to the university the rest of us will be worthless.” Morgan hides under a pile of tent stuff in a corner of the ring of trees that we’d been making into a campsite. I climb a tree to set up a sniper post.

Morgan messages one by magically whispering “Halt, thief!” That one gets distracted and people had advantage to hit them. There are ten hooligans in total (some with bludgeons), all mixed up with the four non-hiding melee people. Camille gets to show off her new dodging skills. We all reflect on how little AoE damage we have now that we’re out of Spirit Guardians. I’m doing consistent damage. Morgan is driving one insane with “STOP THIEF!” policeataur message taunting, and it’s so distracted that it’s provoking attacks of opportunity. Lee-Jean is a blur of flame. Jean-Pierre’s Tree Spirit Hammer and normal hammer are doing good work.

The one Morgan was messaging dies and they switch to another one. “Hey you! Are you interested in joining the policeataurs?” This is a massive brawl. The clerics manage to use healing magic to keep people standing through it all, and we slowly turn the tide. Heavy armor, Camille’s dodging, and Lee-Jean’s agility mean we’re trading damage very efficiently, even though these chumps attack twice a turn. Morgan says “Your application has been rejected!” which triggers an attack of opportunity by Martin Van Horne, who kills it with the Mace of Terror (just acting as a normal fancy mace in this case).

Day 4

Nothing happened in the night, so we made it to Antorem without incident. When we got there, we see that there is a small flotilla in the harbor (4+ ships, each of which would need a minimum crew of 30, each of which are in good condition). The owl empathically says they are kind of fishy. We decide to try to talk to them tomorrow when JP has tongues prepared. Lee-Jean initially refuses to help adjust Camille’s scarf, but later changes her mind (upon deciding that paladins shouldn’t be petty).

We head towards the university district. As we’re travelling through the city, we encounter a trio of grizzly bears. One of the bears tries to wander into the building, and a pair of policeataurs come around the corner and go “HALT THIEF!” and charge. We leave.

After an hour and a half of walking through the city we reach the university district. First things first, we try to find a secure location to have as a fallback location (moderately secure) on the south end of the university district. We spend an hour fortifying it (it’s the second storey of a building and we’ve set up a staircase with some barricades).

We then head into the district, heading for the main university campus. We’re trying to find the library first. When we get there there are two buildings with surviving, non-hooligan smashed signs, labeling the Arts Center and a tavern called the Banshee’s Wail. We go to check out the largest building first. We send Morgan’s owl to check out the largest building and it never comes back, so the two clerics guard Professor Wheeler outside while Camille, Lee-Jean, and I stealth in to check it out.

We enter the building through the main entrance. The building is quite large, 100’ by 200’, with two floors. It isn’t a library. The main entrance opened into an admission chamber, which has a bunch of smashed chairs. As we cross this room, the air shimmers and feels hot for a second. The next room has a room full of equipment. There are a fair number of arcane implements here (we could search here later, but we pocket three of them for now). We go down a long hallway which has a bunch of magical practice rooms on the sides of it (20’ by 20’). The air here feels leaden and heavy. Some of the rooms have a dummy in the corner, some of them have a brazier, etc. These are clearly rooms where a single magic user would go to practice magic.

We also find what Professor Wheeler would later identify as a lecture hall. Inside this room is one of the enormous blobby things that have coloured patches that cast magic. This one has at least two. We close the down to the lecture hall, quietly, and move on. The owl couldn’t have gotten in there, which means something else in the building killed the owl. Past there there are some professors offices, and we come back.

As we’re coming back we see the blob leaving the lecture hall (it can open doors – maybe it did kill the owl). We hide in an office as it passes. Coming back and going another way, we find a stage / theatre / dueling room. The blob is heading for the admission hall near the rest of the party, so we use Professor Wheeler’s message spell to set up an ambush.

Our co-ordination is perfect. Lee-Jean smites it, Camille barbarian rages and charges it, I shoot it, Jean-Pierre traps it in a Spirit Guardians, Professor Wheeler firebolts it, and Martin Guiding Bolts it. It takes a second smite from Lee-Jean and more damage from Spirit Guardians, then finally gets to go. It blobs towards Camille, smashing Camille for 3 damage (after rage reduction), and slams her into a wall for 4 damage (after rage reduction). It then misses JP with its other tentacle, bites Camille for 6 damage, and a patch on its body glows and dissolves, healing itself slightly. There are 4 other patches on it. But we kill it before it gets to use any other patches.

On the second floor, we break our way into the head professor’s office, which was magically warded so the magic eating blobs probably didn’t make it in here. We find 5 books, 90gp of random stuff, and then do a ritual detect magic. There’s low grade abjuration magic in the area. The abjuration magic in the building was reducing our magic damage slightly in the fight with the blob. Having confirmed

We loot the building for valuables, and move on.

The tavern has a blob thing on the first floor, and we check out the top floor and decide it’s not worth fighting the blob to be able to exhaustively search the building.

The library has 2-3 blob things and a few books left on the shelves (most have been devoured). We climb in the top of the library and see one of the two blobs in the library heading for a trio of books. Lee-Jean dashes up to the books, swipes them, and all three of us (LJ, Camille, and I) jump out the window. Professor Wheeler casts Feather Fall so we take no damage.

The two on the top floor come swarming out the window (temporarily slowed by Camille’s mushroom gem entangle), and two on the ground floor come swarming out of front. Lee-Jean loops around the back of the library to try to swipe more books while they’re distracted. Lee-Jean scoops up 6 books on a quick pass of the library (first two rounds).

The other 5 blob things are charging the party (the five except Lee-Jean…so me, Professor Wheeler, Camille, Martin, and Jean-Pierre). Jean-Pierre turns on Spirit Guardians as we run, and times his retreat so the blobs are hitting it as we retreat. The first round, three take damage from spirit guardians. The next round, one casts dispel magic, breaking the Spirit Guardians.

This is bad.

We make it back to one of the training rooms with seconds to spare. JP stands in the doorway, 5 are in the corridor outside and we have ourself a good ol’fashioned slugfest. Meanwhile, Lee-Jean has seen the danger we’re in and is running around yelling “STOP THIEF! I NEED BACKUP” to try to get policeataur help. (James M’s idea, I think?)

We use the first charge of the Mace of Terror to temporarily drive two of them off. They try to force their way into the room and barely are held by Camille and Jean-Pierre. The second round they are also just held off. Fortunately, the room is tight enough that it’s hard for all of these things to attack us all at once, so it’s only one attacking at a time until the first one forces its way into the room. One dies. Four left. We are saving the two Mace of Terror charges for when one forces its way into the room.

It greases the floor and tries to shove in, but Camille and JP hold on, somehow. Two are now dead. Meanwhile, (on round 6!) Lee-Jean finds a pair of policeataurs and says “Quick! Come! Thieves!” They say “THIEVES!” and follow her.

Camille manages to save on Dissonant Whispers to avoid running (another magic patch on the blob). Camille is saving the party with her repeated Str checks and saves and Blesses (Barbarian rage advantage on Str saves and checks is super relevant). The third blob casts Burning Hands on the two frontliners, burning away the Grease spell.

On round 8, it finally forces its way into the room, and number 4 comes charging in behind it. Martin tries to Terror them back out with the fearsome words “Elyra would like you to please leave!” #3 (in the room) and #5 (at the back) try to run away, but then I manage to kill #3. Camille is felled, finally, taking a temporary injury. She’s revived by Martin and gets back to axing.

Lee-Jean arrives as blob #5 races past her (running from the Mace of Terror), and managed to re-Bless JP and Camille.

In round 12, the policeataurs arrive and charge one of the blobs (on the prompting of Lee-Jean). Both miss.

In round 13, with some help from the policeataurs, we finish them all off. We then lead the policeataurs to the blob in the tavern, and with us ranged volleying it finish it off. I whiff the dissection trying to extract these ‘magic-digesting organs’.

We then go back to our moderately secured fortified place and try to rest for the night. Nothing attacks us.

Day 5

Having pushed our luck to the limit on the previous day, we decide not to investigate the fleet. Morgan takes an hour to summon what’s-her-name again (their familiar). We begin to head home. We are slowed slightly by my stymied movement speed, but I’m carried by Camille until the second landshark fight when it wears off.
In hex 11.10 (back in the Singing Rainforest), we hear a rumbling and are attacked by a landshark. It does a leaping attack at me, knocking me down and dealing 14 points of damage. Camille tries to grapple it for some reason. It then bites Lee-Jean for 20 damage and bites Jean-Pierre for 30 damage. Camille then successfully grapples the landshark! This prevents it from fleeing for the critical turn that lets us kill it.

We rest midway through 11.11, and I find a very secure place in the Singing Rainforest to spend the night. Midway through the night we hear some singing heading towards us. A pair of Singers head right at us. This is the fourth time in one session that we’ve run into singing in this bloody forest. Camille wasn’t having it, and disrupted their beat with her drum.

Day 6

Come morning we continue moving through the Singing Rainforest. We’re still in 11.11 when the forest goes deathly quiet. We try to hide, but fail at it, and see a trio of humanoids with hawks heads. They are mounted on horseback and carrying silver spears. We say hello in a few languages.

Morgan says hello in polite deferential Elven. It says, in clipped, but perfect Elven “Do you have a gift for me?” Morgan replies, “Yes, we do. Jean-Pierre, the bracelet?” We give them the bracelet (that the Blazing Banner gave us), and it swallows it whole. Its eyes flash, and it says, “Your gift is well taken.” It mounts its horse and moves on. After a while, the sound returns.

We carry on southward into 10.12. We come across a flight of things coming out of the Felltower Wood towards us. We actually manage to hide successfully as a whole party for the first time on this expedition. The Banded fly overhead and ignore us. (We dimly hear them fighting a group of LUA near that encampment we’d seen before on the

We camp out in 10.12. This close to the Felltower Wood, I was having trouble finding a good campsite, and we camp basically in the open. Midway through the night, everything goes quiet, and we wake everyone. Then, a massive din erupts, and a massive horde of creatures burst out of everywhere and stay running through the forest. Birds, squirrels, bears, snakes, rats, everything. They’re all running southwest into the Felltower Wood. We decide to run with them. Camille boosts Morgan, and we manage to avoid being trampled. We eventually see what’s chasing the animals: the trio of hawk-headed dudes we saw before. They are herding the animals towards the fortress in 9.12 that we found earlier on this expedition, and exhorting them to attack it. We realize that like us, they hate the Banded.

Jean-Pierre casts tongues on Lee-Jean, allowing her speak with them. She uses her flame-speed (from Expedition 37) to run and catch up with them. She calls to them “Hey! We hate the Banded too!”

One turns to the other two and gestures. “Go. Destroy that fortress. I will treat with them.” The other two keep guiding the stampede towards the fortress. It then steps down off its horse, hovering about a foot off the ground. It’s speaking in Sylvan.

“You are also foes of that place?”
“Yes, we are seeking to destroy it. We have gathered many allies to defeat it.”
“The Tower’s Wards are strong.”
“We have taken down wards before, to our…regret, but THIS time, it’ll be worth it.”
“I see. If you could destroy the tower…”
“We’re not sure if we can. We’re sending our mightiest warriors, and gathering many allies, but even then it might not be enough.”
“The Tower must fall.”
“Yes. What do you know of it?”
“Breaching the wards will be difficult. Our magic cannot do it. The Being that lives inside, the Puppeteer…is dangerous, potentially beyond your comprehension. We can help you with it, if you can get us in.”
“We can almost definitely get you in.”
“We will help you.” It takes a silver horn, beautiful beyond measure, out of its pocket, and says “Here. Blow this, and we will come. Blow it only once. Can I abet you before then?”
“If you could tell us about the layout of the Felltower Wood?”
It waves its hand, and Lee-Jean spontaneously has a massive amount of knowledge about the Felltower Wood, including the locations of many new Banded encampments.
“I can give you one more boon before I leave.”
“We’ll save it for the assault. Good hunting!”
It leaves, and Lee-Jean turns to the rest of us, a stupefied expression on her normally impeccably ‘cool’ face. After a long moment where no-one dared say anything, she broke the silence. “GUYS!” she yelled, her expression joyful and manic, “WE MIGHT SURVIVE ATTACKING THE FELL TOWER AFTER ALL!”

Now, it’s the middle of the night, and we’re in the middle of the Felltower Wood. The tents are hours away (it was a space warping effect). So, we walk to Toba and sleep in the tower there during all of Day 7.

Day 8

Having rested in Toba, we try to push across the plains. We dodge the usual assortment of zombies, Blazing Banner, and Crested Skull, until we are standing on the road in 4.13, and we see a small gnome at the crossroads. It’s Sil, the strange gnome from Expedition 12 (the ancient past, it seems sometimes). He popped a pill when we walked up and is able to communicate with us clearly.

“I’m afraid I have some bad news.”
“This place is a disaster. It’s falling apart, and it’s going to take a lot of other things with it.”
“You must have noticed that the fabric of reality is falling apart here.”
“The people that I represent think that it’s unsalvageable.”
“When you fold spacetime like has happened here, it messes with the things around it, but what folded up spacetime here did us a huge favor by hiding all the rifts portals and other stuff. That folding operation cut us off from the rest of the multiverse, somehow.”
“We think it’s unsalvageable, and we’ll have to destroy the world. It’ll take us about 10 years to destroy it.”
JP → “What would it take for us to make that not necessary?”
“If you could get rid bubbled spacetime not exist (which we totally don’t know how to do)
“Something made this, I don’t know what. It’s not like anything I’ve ever seen before.”
“Whatever did this is in multiple places at once. Whatever folded this did so in multiple locations at once. I know where two of them are. The first is an island in the NE of this continent, ringed with mountains. One of the locuses is there. Another is nearby [in the Grey Hills, this location is known and embargoed]. The third is far to the north, but I can’t tell you how to get there. The things that are near these locuses are different. They are distorted in a different way than being Fallen (his word for corrupt).”
LJ → “How long has our plane been messed up?”
“A few hundred years.”
LJ→”Has it been getting worse?”
“We got here after whatever thing made the bubble
JP→”And who are you exactly? Who are you scouting for?”
“I represent one of the Upper and Outer. We have a base in Arborea, not the Arborea you know. One further out.”
MW→”We’ve seen people come out of the deeper hidden bubble.”
“Yes. I haven’t been able to do that. I think you need to be influenced by this place to make it there, but I don’t think anything that’s important is there.” He waves a measuring device in the air. “A change is coming, soon. It’ll maybe happen in a month and a half from there.”
“I wish I could give you more help, but I’m just a scout. I mostly came to tell you out of courtesy.”
“I’m stuck here. I can get the occasional message in from outside, but I don’t know how to get out.”
JP→”Want to move to Sila?”
“I’ll stop by and have a hot bath.”

We get him to come back behind the Wall with us. (Plot unlock, +1500 xp).

After 8 days and a lot of fighting, we made it home. I used 55 of the 100 crossbow quarrels I brought with me.

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Expedition 64 -- Unethical Research
Sovan actually talks Raevori out of risky behavior

Sunday November 12th

[Posted on time – Gain 0.1 HP]

Characters
Amara Invictus (Wizard (Necromancer) 5)
Brier Demanscus (Paladin 2 / Sorcerer (Demonic) 2)
Raevori, daughter of Leshanna (Wizard (Raevori) 6)
Tabitha Errsule (Sorcerer (Phoenix) 5) aka Tabby
Sovan Dareshin (Bard (Lore) 6)
Robert Cinis of County Ignis (Sorcerer (Draconic) 3) aka Bobert aka Fuckboi

Experience
1760 XP per participant.

Gold
1417 GP to Raevori, donated to LMF.
-583 GP to Bobert, donated to LMF, applied an Improver externally.
-583 GP to Brier, donated to LMF, ingested an Improver.
-347 GP to Amara, ??? an Improver.
1417 GP to Tabby, donated to LMF.
1317 GP to Sovan, donated to LMF, apostate malison head (worth 100 GP we guess based on Roguetown modron chit bounty).

247 GP 2 SP 5 CP to the LMF, plus healing gourd, two warden uniforms and five Fala climbing harnesses.

Valuables
3 Improvers slugs, each magical enhancing items valued at 2000 GP each (1 each claimed by Brier, Bobert, and Amara).
Two warden uniforms (80 GP each) claimed by LMF.
Notes on Broodguard formulas 10 GP
Notes on Prism Fruit 10 GP
Notes on Improvers 10 GP
Prism Fruit Rolling Apparatus 10 GP
Prism Fruit 150 GP
Prism Fruit Juice 50 GP
Squashed Prism Fruit 50 GP
Gorgeous shoes 30 GP
Two cannisters of kinetic gas 150 GP each
Pair of regenerating eyeless blue tribbles 50 GP
5 Standard Fala Climbing Harnesses 80 GP each, claimed by LMF
Two magical corgettes that are rations that grant 1d4 Temp HP when eaten until next LR 10 GP each
One magical 3lb gourd that you can drink from 1/day to heal 4d4+4 HP: 625 GP, claimed by LMF

Character Changes
Bobert has been enhanced by an Improver (external application):
-Reflexes enhanced, focus on non-fire (booo) shot to hell: +2 Dex, -4 Int
-Reaction to halve any incoming source of flame damage by having it be partially devoured by gross lamprey maws in his palms, and store 1d6 / SL of that damage up to 3 charges (CHA mod +1); these ‘charges’ of 1d6 can be spent as part of casting any fire damage spell to add 1d6 to that same fire damage spell (single ray of Scorching Ray). Unused charges disappear after a Long Rest.
-DC 12 Wisdom save to not expose self to apparent source of fire damage if reservoirs not full; on a pass Rob’s immune for 1 hr, on a fail he must attempt to fill his reservoirs until flame damage has been taken, when Robert can save again.
+3 Corruption.

Brier has been bonded with an Improver (internal application)
Marilith Mode – Level*1 Rounds/Day (round down) = 4 @ 4th, 1 HD to maintain per round beyond that.
-Lose 9 HP (2d6) in bonding symbiote as it tears itself a space in your innards.
Activate as Bonus Action: Cloud of black shadow flies out from mouth, eyes, coalesces into shadowy wavering particulate aura around body
-Maximizes your demonic inheritance; your face becomes drawn and pale, while glowing spots of light flicker into your empty eye sockets. They default to green; when your Paladin is showing and you act to defend or uphold your principles, they shade blue; when acting out of rage or for selfish/inherently violent aims, they glow progressively more red

-Forms solidified shadow spear in one hand for duration (counts as magical); if you ‘drop’ it the spear merges back into the general aura, while if you attack with it it forms again as if ‘drawn’. It can be thrown, in which case it returns to your hand at end of turn.
-Two sinuous, shadowy insubstantial arms form from your shoulderblades with their own shadow shortswords

While Form is up:
-All Smite damage becomes necrotic
-Get 2 extra Reactions (1 per shadow-arm) that can only be used for AoOs – Currently Reach 5’ melee, 3 (Str 12 + Brier’s Prof.) to hit at 1d61 necrotic
-Shadow arms can deliver Smite
-Alternatively can use 2 arms’ extra reactions on one AoO for DC 10+1*Arms used grapple.
-This is akin to a monster’s grapple – a DC that they can try to beat, not an opposed check.
-This is a taxing process – save Con 15 when summoning – If fail, you will be further damaged but the symbiote will grow stronger, as it swells beyond your ability to control it.

Amara has yet to use the Improver they bought.

Log – Introduction

Day 1

It was a shitty day, and the rain hissed off the slightly heated skin of our pair of flame sorcerers (fenix and phoekboi varieties, respectively).

As we proceeded into 5.12, we see a Blazing Banner caravan with trebuchets. Bobert and I scout it invisibly, looking for magic items, but all it has is a useless pile of lances, medium armor, and other bulky hard-to-carry valuables. Since our group is slightly strength impaired, we leave without taking anything. In the meantime, Tabby was wasting time trying to high-five a singularly un-cooperative Blazing Banner outrider.

After a short rest to allow Sovan Dareshin to restore the inspires that he so nobly used to empower Bobert and myself (futilely), we proceed along the road into the Necrozone. Being slowed by the snow, we stop in the secure campsite in 6.13 in the middle of the Necrozone.

That night, nothing eventful happened. Tabby pulled out her rose and camping wineglasses (cups with an iron spike on the bottom to stick into the ground) and shared them with myself and Amara, who made some whiny remark about poverty, despite owning a powerful magic item. Sovan proceeded to make a big deal out of it.

Day 2

Walking around in the snow on the plains is borrrrrring. We decide to sleep in the burnt out fortress that is the former home of the Severed Hand. There were a handful of Blazing Banner scouts there. Tabby and Sovan try to make a “Hail” and well met joke, but find out that the Blazing Banner refer to hail at “bad rain”, which was amusing. We also find a skeleton in the dungeons for Amara. Interestingly, it starts blurring under the effects of Amara’s magic. Tabby does a very satisfying high five of the blurred skeleton, which is then equipped with a shortsword and shield.

That evening, on second watch (when Tabby and Brier were on watch, ie, typically, the only 4 hours that I have to trance), 5 LUA try to attack Brier, ping with one crossbow bolt, and are melted by Tabby’s double fireball (an impressive sorcerous feat). Amara turns three of them into more skeletons. I don’t bother to stop trancing. Later, they hear someone outside going “Hey!” The LUA had 4 tied up Blazing Banner prisoners, so Amara wakes me up and Tabby and I go check it out invisibly. We untie them and let them go.

Day 3

The jungle is wet, warm, gross, and unsurprisingly uneventful. A full day of slogging the way towards the Hanging Gardens was dull, and nothing happened at night. We cross 9.14 into 9.15, cross the bridge, and cut back into 8.16 and camp near the Hanging Gardens.

Day 4

We FINALLY stand outside the Garden of the Heart (which was, amazingly, not named by Sovan Dareshin but by the Ebon Bank), and I can see the abjuration dome over the top that I saw last time. There are also illusion defenses, and with some searching I find a dimple in the abjuration magic, like the mouth of a bag with a drawstring holding it closed.

A skeleton gets stuck on the abjuration magic (it can’t move forward, but there’s nothing there). As we feel along, we get the same effect. It isn’t like there’s a physical barrier, but more like a mental block to moving forward. The area with the dimple is slightly spongy and has a bit of give. We try to push in there with a skeleton, and it takes some damage (5) from an abjuration backlash. Maybe force damage? We then try pushing a normal stick through, and it gets stuck and starts taking force damage. Sovan tries to feel around inside and doesn’t find a way to open it.

I decide to Misty Step through, and I manage to force my way through, taking 7 force damage in the process, then I hide. A nearby snail seems to soit me, but is driven off (sloooooowly) by Sovan’s Dissonant Whispers (which works through the dome). Amara attempts to have her owl familiar Buttons join me, but Buttons takes a similar amount of damage and discorporates in a puff of feathers. Then Sovan creates a minor illusion of leaves hiding me. The snail says “Whyyy hurrrrrt?” Sovan says “I’m so sorry! I didn’t realize you were conscious!” “Hurrrrt baddd. Hurrrt people.” Other snails vaguely take note. Sovan tries to cast Healing Word on the snail, but it’s out of range. “Can I get a healing word?” I ask sarcastically. (I do).

“Man, if those snails weren’t so cute we’d totally skin them and take their valuable shells,” Robert comments. “Wait, why is that stopping us?” Amara asked. “You’re asking an important question, but right now we still need to get all y’all inside,” I reply. After some searching of the inside of the dome, I find a piece of raised magic, and I press it. A magical effect says: “Presence confirmed: Noon tide arbors. Presence confirmed: Dusk middens. Presence confirmed: Midnight apothecary. Access, granted.” Then the magic opens. When the rest of the party enters, the magic says “New presence confirmed: noon tide arbor.” This registered for every party member and the skeletons.

Sovan chases down the injured snail and heals it, then apologizes profusely. This yields some useful results:
“What do you do here?” “Wweeeeee tennnnd.”
“How do you tend?” “We eattt baddd, donnnn’t eaaaat gooood.”
“How do you do that?” “Keeeeeeppper maaakeees usss beeeeeetter.”
“Who’s the Keeper?” “Keeeeeper is keeeeeeeeeper.”
“Is the Keeper here now?” “Keeeeeeeeper in grove.”
“Where is the grove?” (The snail indicates another part of the garden).

This quarter of the Garden of the Heart has a variety of foodstuffs (melon, fruits, etc), but many of them are oozing a strange green fluid. We decide to start harvesting agricultural samples (seeds, etc) to bring back with us. We find two interesting things: a selection of really thick chewy corgette (eggplant / zucchini type shapes), which are faintly magical, and a very magical gourd type thing. These both have healing evocation type effects in them.

The magic effects in this place are FASCINATING! There are faint magical lines everywhere, some of them enhancing plant growth, some impeding, some doing things that make NO sense. The combination is intriguing, and surprisingly beautiful.

Robert and Amara start lobbying to kill the snails for their shells, which Tabby opposes. I point out that the proper order is 1) lab 2) Keeper 3) snails, if applicable.

As we try to enter the Central Core from the Noon Arbors, the system lets us through because the system had logged my prior presence in the Central Core (where the lab is), the Noontide Arbors (the growing place with the snails), the Midnight Apothecary (the room with the boxes), and the Dusk Middens (the garbage pile with access from the Sneeple base from Exp 62). This was why the door opened for me, meaning that Expedition 62 was singularly useful to this present endeavor. The only quarter of the building that I haven’t been in is the Dawn Grove (where the Keeper is, apparently).

We get a little ways in and are challenged by a disembodied female Warden voice. “Ok, that’s enough. Back up. What are you doing here?” We realize that she can only see one skeleton, so we march the other three skeletons forward so we pretend to be a full skeleton party. Tabby and Sovan are indignant (while pretending to be skeletons). “Ok, magical skeleton-people, leave, or I crush you!” “We prefer to be called skelepeople!” Skeleton 3 just stands there and waits to be crushed. [if other people remember more of the conversation they can add it] No crushing happens. “Y’now what, I’m thinking now it’s not even worth my time to crush you.” “Last chance to give us your name so we speak to A’sshel’t’kov.” “No, for all I know you magical skeletons could hex me with your name.”

We leave and decide to try to approach the Central Core via the Dusk Middens, which is the huge room with skeletons tending a massive pile of manure and rich loamy soil growing mushrooms, with a dozen magical statues guarding the walls. This way last time (two weeks ago) had a warning flashing symbol on the wall. We decide to sneak across the room. This is unsurprisingly not terribly successful because Brier and Amara are very loud. One of the statues wakes up, has its wings unfurl, and fly up to interpose between us and the center of the room. Amara sends skeleton number three to check out the middle of the room, it explodes because of a mine (apparently there are mines in the manure, and the tending skeletons walk very specific paths to avoid them). I manage to somehow drag people’s attention back to the THING WE CAME HERE TO DO and we proceed to the lab.

Entering the Central Core from the Dusk Middens, we see the same sign that was flashing last time: “Full lock down in progress. Initiate decontamination Y/N?” I press no. The sign then says “Confirmed.” It now says ‘granting provisional access,’ and we hear a loud click. After a long while, the skeletons very slowly pull the door open. Tabby high fives all three skeletons. Amara refuses to high five Tabby. The star metal door is 6” thick, and blocks blindsight and magesight. If we could hack this door off and carry it home, it would be incredibly valuable, but it would weigh more than two thousand pounds (if it was pure star metal). Star metal is 4x denser than water, so if the door was 1.8m x 1.2m x0.15m (6” thick), it would be 2850 pounds.

Past the door, there is a small metal staircase heading down. Brier goes first, confirming that the room is safe. In here, the doors are normal metal and ajar. Behind one door, there’s a set of clothes and personal effects (an office / reception desk), there’s a door to the south with some long tubular objects. To the west, there’s a little square rectangular room. To the north the door is shut (and more star metal). The outside walls are stone. A bit behind the stone, Brier can sense something, but he’s not sure what it is, bits of metal or something.

We loot some wardens weapons + uniform from the southern guard point, and Sovan reads the diary of some Sneeple receptionist in the eastern section, finds out that the logs out here ended a couple of years ago. While there, we find a pair of fantabulous 30gp shoes.

The western area is a glass viewing point looking out into a huge chamber of silvery gas with weird orange stalagtites. Something HUGE far off in the chamber moves in the mist, briefly, then is gone. This chamber is large enough to demonstrate that it’s an underground hex in 8.16 (new hex gold!).

At the north door, which is another star metal door, we are challenged by the same female Warden voice. She threatens to back up the research and then destroy the base. Enough was enough. I manifested Aelthrunn on the far side of the door, then used my ability to see through his eyes to Misty Step through the door. The female voice says “Well, nice knowing you.” An alarm starts to sound. I pull a lever to open the door, the party has a brief debate on what to do, and we then decide to proceed deeper into the structure. Brier’s blindsight notices an acid trap which he seals using Mending. We then use a queer mine-cart type structure to descend deeper into the structure. After several tense minutes travelling around a corkscrew path further and further underground, a door grinds open and we are confronted with an octet of broodguard.

Seven of them fall to our opening trio of fireballs (from Tabby, Amara, and Sovan), and we chase down the remainder, with Tabby’s scorching ray finishing him.

We then run into the door that the last broodguard was running into, and we see a half-blood yuan-ti (malison) messing with some delicate pipes. She is destroyed in a single volley by Tabby + Robert double scorching rays + my firebolt.

After a tense moment where we have to decide between rapid looting and shutting off the self-destruct, we decide to try to do rapid looting. Amara and I decide to divide and conquer. I start scouring the place for magical items + physical body enhancers, while Amara goes to manipulate…whatever the malison was manipulating.

Amara sits down at the strange pipes and…performs possibly the most impressive feat of mental acuity in the history of our presence on the continent in deciphering it. (46!!!!!!!!!!!! (nat 20 + nat 10 on Sovan’s inspire + 6 + 10 for expedition paragon of Int bonus) She completely owns their system, which, it transpires, is a massive, multi-room contraption of gears and pressure lines and steam and kinetic gas that Amara and I have tentatively decided to label a difference engine. This difference engine was being used to control the base…entirely non-magically! In any case, Amara manages to master the system in a matter of minutes. The system says “Full decontamination charge-up in process…80% complete. 45% back up in progress.” She then manages to shut down the self-destruct, but the back-up was 45% transmitted somewhere. Amara works out that the base is making distillations of magic and “the old formulas” to create Improvers (These Are That Which We Use To Ascend To The Next Coil Of Our Evolution). These are extremely photosensitive, and can be applied externally for reinforcement, or internally to form a strong bond.

I search for magical stuff and locate the Improvers. These are horrifying 2-3 feet long black creatures covered with tiny little humanoid hands and a weird mouth thing on one end. We collect up all three of them, in different bags (moist sacs that we baste with a bit of the extra gunk that they were stewing in).

The method for making Improvers is truly horrifying. Each one is a distillation of the blood, sweat, pain, and suffering of unknown numbers of laboratory specimens…each of the three Improvers that we found was under its own test subject (a strong LUA and pair of unusually hardy full-blood Wardens), with tubes channeling ichor and … raw emotion off of the subject into an enclosed space beneath a testing rack. Overhead, three dozen more test subjects hang from meat-hooks, alive and waiting to be tested (retested?).

In addition to the Improvers, we find what we were actually expecting to find, which is a pressing device for modifying the Prism Fruit of the Garden of the Heart to make the safer for Sneeple to ingest. We get a detailed schematic of the pressing device, along with an intact Prism Fruit, a partially squashed Fruit, and some juice. We also get the difference engine to disgorge from its interior two samples of regular Broodguard Serum (200 gp each value, which we destroy once we’re behind the Wall rather than sell to some cult on the mainland), plus a sample of “Broodguard Serum Plus”, an experimental variety A’rren’t’lessk was working on. We also find out that the malison who was running the base was named Shees’fell, who was starting to think that it was odd that A’rrenn’t’lessk hadn’t been back recently.

As we go to leave, we hear a whoosh, and at the entrance of the chamber (teleported in) stands an immense beautiful white and grey and golden stag. There’s a bunch of magic, including a skein of illusion magic. The Garden of the Heart is apparently also the Garden of the Hart.

“Children. What is happening down here?” (It’s voice is strange and echo-y) Sovan get a 29 playing a fey song to placate the mighty being.

“Those that were here, they lie in ruins about you. I heard of a calamity that was threatening this holy place, and came down to alleviate it, but I see you have prevented me from needing to do so." [The Keeper sensed the lab’s self-destruct sequence, and came down to prevent it from destroying the Garden of the H(e?)art…this means that we can’t blow the popsicle stand which the way we wanted to]

“I am the Keeper of the Garden of the Heart. I welcome you, from back across the sea. Welcome, welcome, all my little boys and girls.”

“Oh, but you are injured. I can make you better.” The Keeper is addressing Sovan, who
Sovan heals himself. “I cannot lead you to the light, you must find light amidst yourself.” Sovan angrily denies being injured and insists that his new leg is better than his old one.

“Child of heaven, you must know of that which I speak.” @Tabby

Sovan sees through the illusion and sees that it is a stag with a stream of black and green that flows down from above (the garden?) into its mouth. It is emaciated, and somewhat rotten and poisoned. A sickly miasma hovers around its horns. Evidently, even celestials can be corrupted.

Tabby talks to it in Celestial. “Oh! The purity, and clarity. Come, come.” It approaches Tabby.
Tabby goes “Nope.” “Why would you not embrace me, sister?”

Thinking ahead I say “Ok, so can you prevent any of the naughty snakey boys from returning here?"
“If any of them come in here I will kill them and spit them onto the outer wall. They were becoming tiresome and were hoarding my gifts, my fruit, and failing to advance them as I had hoped they would.”

Sovan asks it what’s up with the illusion magic.
“You see me as I am. I am the only incorruptible being in this land.”

The Keeper has granted us access to the Dawn Grove to visit us as well, then leaves. There was also a strange voice that spoke to the Keeper.

Tabby is actually kinda sad and by kinda sad she means a lot sad. About the corrupted celestial.

It called Robert Lovelight. It called Tabby Divine Child. It called Tabby Divine Child.

We make our final preparations to leave, have Amara delete all the information off the difference engine (her knowledge of its system makes us confident she managed it), euthanize the LUA + full blood Warden prisoners (as several of them requested when they saw us), and find a single mind-broken weretiger. We sleep, fitfully, in that awful place.

Day 5

We travel at night to protect the Improvers from the sun’s rays. We fireball a copper mine in 8.16 that was being worked by an Apostate Malison and a quartet of Purebloods, leave 200GP worth of copper ore there for lack of carry capacity, and take the head to be traded in at Roguetown for a later bounty.

We bring the catatonic weretiger back to the weretiger grove. We are challenged at the outskirts of the village by the massive dwarf-sized gnome weretiger Kerrik. We tell him that the Wardens were torturing the weretiger. He takes the catatonic weretiger, and leaves, singing a mourning song quietly under his breath.

We stop at the Ebon Bank and deposit the warden guns + ammunition for the standard rate (50 gp / gun, or the same rate the Wardens give us for retrieving them…they can trade them to the apostates, some of whom can still use the guns), and trade the enhanced broodguard serum and a copy of the associated notes for 1500 gp (the improved serum is likely researching how to overcome the were’s resistance to the serum, so they will use it to bolster their natural immunity rather than use it for nefarious purposes). Hyram warns us that the Improvers will be nasty, short-term combat oriented pieces of work, likely.

Day 6+7

Travelling home through the Dark Forest was uneventful (even down to Fireballing the heck out of a small K’sshan caravan and stopping by Webtown to pick up some Fala climbing harnesses that we ordered).

Back behind the Wall.

Safely back in Civilization, we had a decision to make. The Improvers were unlikely to live indefinitely, so the time had come to make a decision. Sovan and Tabby wanted to destroy them, as the methods for their creation were unspeakably evil. Robert and Amara didn’t seem to care, whereas Brier and I landed more in the “But we already have them, it would be stupid not to use them” camp. After six hours of unspeakably tedious conversation, we decide to let chance decide who gets them.

Chance decided that Bobert, Amara, and myself would each receive one. Brimming with enthusiasm, Bobert jammed his Improver’s gross mouth onto his spine without any further discussion, with barely enough time for Sovan and Tabby to shout words of inspiration and blessing to minimize its damage to him. The Improver started chewing its way into his spine, fusing with the skin as it went.

Roughly an hour after his initial bonding, Robert seized as the long gripping sliding mass of the Improver fused more closely with his spine, ramming corded tissue in and along his own nervous system. Great corded subcutaneous growths, over a very painful several hours, drove down his limbs, wrapping with and vastly enhancing his twitch muscle reflexes until Robert moved – pardon the expression – like a snake. (+2 Dex). On his hands, grotesque toothy maws — like that of the Improver before it bit into his brainstem and fused with him — opened up and then closed, effectively invisible until they were needed.
It quickly became apparent that these mouths were capable of absorbing the flames that were central to Robert’s heritage, storing them, and later releasing them. (If Robert is conscious and aware of incoming fire damage, he can use his reaction to open the maws and absorb half of that damage into his hands – becoming Resistant to that attack – and store up to 1 ‘charge’ of flame per Spell Level thus absorbed, up to his 1 + his Charisma modifier (minimum 1). This does not prevent him rolling a Saving Throw. Normal flame is worth 1 charge; magical flame such as fire breath is deemed to have a ‘Spell Level’ of the monster’s CR/2. As part of casting any spell that deals fire damage, he can use any number of such stored charges to add 1d6 of fire damage per charge to that attack. Unused charges disappear on Long Rest.)
His interest and pride in fire has, however, become an almost dangerous obsession that constantly preoccupies him and damages his capacity to focus. (-4 Int). He craves his reservoir being full and – given an opportunity to expose himself to damage in order to absorb flame, especially magical flame, he must make a DC 12 Wisdom throw to not actively court said damage – rushing to engage enemies or obstacles that present his hungry parasite with an opportunity to feast on fire. If he succeeds, he is immune for 1 hour; if he fails, he can only attempt to save again when he has taken fire damage. The DC of this save increases by 2 for every full day in which Robert has not absorbed any flames.
Close observation of Robert’s Improver indicates that it may not be entirely done with him as he gets stronger…

After this grim scene, Sovan and I have a…I’m not really sure how long…screaming match about whether or not I should risk my sanity using one of these horrific things. It ends with him (definitely just him) sobbing, and us hugging, and me agreeing to not use my Improver. I sell it to Brier instead, who is the second person to apply it, by swallowing it whole—- more accurately, by letting it climb down his throat, wriggling and writhing.

[results on Brier forthcoming….]

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Expedition 62 - Harrowing Uthgar

Thursday November 2

Guild Members

Aa’li’naa Aurae (Rogue (Arcane Trickster) 4) Now 5
Ayden Meyers (Sorceror (Wild) 1) Now 2
Martin van Horne (Cleric (Life Domain) 1) Now 2
Sovan Dareshin (Bard (Lore) 6)
Tabitha Loress (Wizard (Abjurer) 4)

Gold

778 xp with Upddate

475 GP to everyone. All donating to LMF. 480 to LMF.

Items and Findings

Chime of Opening
Cloth (Old, Embroidered re Gatekeepers)
Bone Plate – Claimed by Martin
POI – Snakes Temple
Underground 08.15
Clockwork Parts (could make Restraints) – Half given to bank

Log

There exists a log about epic fights for life, Aa’li’naa contemplating her loss of hundreds of years of life, Martin cooking food, Sovan walking headfirst into tentacle traps, Ayden Summoning a modron and the life and death and life and death and life of Nea 2-4.

This is a super condensed, useful info only version of that log.

Day 1

We head towards the Poison Jungle looking for a quest from the Ebon Bank. In the North West Section of the Necrozone (6.13), we find the cave the guys got dragged into on expedition 59.

Day 2

We are attacked by panther sized creatures and drive them off without injury. In the Poison Jungle, we run into an Ebon Bank member waiting for us on a log. The mission is to investigate a large dome that recently became accessible. We negotiate a 50/50 split on anything we find + two weeks of double interest on Krul’s account. The Bank member also describes the cloud giants. They are obsessed with cleanliness and think of everything on the ground as pathogens. There are two main locations. Cloud Home and the Overlook (This is the place we visited). The Ebon Bank made attempts to communicate with the cloud guys but it didn’t go well.

On our way to the large dome, we run into some snake people west of the weretiger grove. They look pretty epic but are definitely not malisons (I have no idea what a malison is or how to spell their title). After summoning an illusion of harrowing Uthgar and having Aa’li’naa stealth in, we manage to steal a breastplate of bone armor.

At the large dome, we are ambushed my metal tentacle machines. They are defeated with a bit of stress.

Day 3

The dome has a door with a divination spike sticking out. We have Aa’li’naa bleed into it for a long while (25 damage). The blood draws sinuous curves which reveal themselves to be depictions of snakes. This depiction evolves into a godlike snake/rat/barely human figure with great outstretched arms. A hand holding a chalice is entirely made out of snakes. A red diamond made of glass fills with blood and the door opens.

Inside is a spiral staircase going down. At the bottom the air is warm and 2 immense naga statues, green light flickering between them, at the end of a large room. An invisible barrier of death splits the room so we can’t reach the statues. Two doors are accessible and 2 are behind the barrier. On the floor, bone letters read “He who swallows all has tasted the blessed path”. A bit intimidated, we pack up and head home without incident.

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Expedition 61 -- A Strange Lab Located
Thinking With Portals

[Posted JUST on time – Gain 0.1 HP]
October 29th, 2017

Characters
Aa’li’naa Aurae (Formerly Linna)
Robert Cinis of County Ignis
Raevori, daughter of Leshanna, log writer
Brier Demanscus
Sovan Dareshin
Ayden Meyers

Experience
771 XP per participant.

Gold
369 GP per participant.
373 GP to the LMF.

Acquisitions
Two barrels of demon ichor (200 gp), claimed by Sovan Dareshin
Draining gauntlet of blade ward (1/exp can deal 2d6 damage as a touch attack to heal 2d6 hp, has non-renewing charges of the spell blade ward, which can be cast as a reaction), claimed by Amara

Permanent Character Changes
Robert levels to 3!
Aa’li’naa loses her history proficiency.

Day 1
We set off, as so many of these expeditions do, in fine spirits, buttressed by the magical gifts of Jean-Pierre, into a day of fine weather and non-descript surroundings (to wit, the southern plains). As we past through 3.15, Ayden Meyers (the brother of the late Oscar Meyers, who I never had the pleasure to adventure with…the Guild is growing by leaps and bounds, and the Bloody Fortnight has shown that the bonds that hold us together are looser than mayhap we thought they should be) spotted a plume of smoke rising up in the distance past (what else) a tuft of grass.

We decide to investigate, and find a campsite with some tracks leading away from it. Since it’s a long journey to the Jungle and we have an intriguing mission planned….oh right, some context. Some time ago (Expedition 51, whose log at time of writing has yet to be posted due to some bizarre bureaucratic snafu involving a feud between Tobias the Scholar and Madison Levonar), I became a wererat in an effort to ameliorate the injury I suffered on Expedition 48. This involved joining the Ebon Bank, a fascinating organization of wererats who collect information and magic items. They gave me an inside scoop on several other places to potentially finish healing myself, the best of which was the lab of A’rren’t’lev, son of A’sshel’t’kov (NOTE TO JP: someone who cares more about Sneeple spelling should correct those names, I could only barely care less). This would mean returning to the site of expedition 48, to find the secret lab of a dead Warden (snake-person, or Sneeple) alchemist prodigy that we missed when searching that pyramid the first time. Since we expected this to be time consuming, we decided not to add to our burdens by following these tracks. Perhaps some god frowned on our decision. We will never know, and frankly, I don’t care.

As we enter 4.16, we spot a large creature trying to sneak up on us. Stealth failing it, it attacks, and we enter combat. This creature is a physically impressive specimen, frog-like in general appearance, but over 10 feet long, and possessing numerous vents that exude greenish black smoke, marking its nature at definitely abyssal, not surprising, given how many smaller demons haunt the southern plains (mostly held in check by our allies the Abyssal Guard).

It proves to be far more formidable than others of its kind, taking us an extended combat to defeat (physically about as imposing as a hydra or megamonitor, despite its smaller size, since it had the ability to leap long distances and it was resistant to lightning, fire, and frost, as well non-magical weapons) [3 attacks per round, ~13 damage each, still can’t hit Raevori easily but wasn’t really trying]. In this combat, Aa’li’naa suffered a concussion that caused her to permanently lose what little grasp she had remaining on her old life [loss of history proficiency]. Of note, if you fight it in close proximity, you might choke on its fumes and become impaired [con save or be poisoned].

Rather than kill it, we decide to make an effort to incapacitate it so the Abyssal Guard can permanently destroy it using their special rituals (a slain demon will reform and return otherwise). We acheive this by putting it to sleep, then crippling its legs and having the rest of the party follow it around while I use my own Expeditious Retreat spell + a Fly spell from the inestimable Sovan Dareshin (one of three heroes in the Guild) reach the nearby Western Abyssal Guard fort in a matter of minutes and guide them back to this formidable-frog-demon, using a phrase in their archaic dialect that Sovan had me memorize.

The Abyssal Guard are quite impressed, and promise us a share of the demonic ichor that they will harvest from it when we return this way in a few days. As a gesture of their gratitude, they escort us to the edge of the Southern Plains, where we make camp.

Day 2
We skirt the Broken Forest without incident and make camp in the jungle without incident, despite a lack of wilderness expertise in the party [no-one was trained in survival]. [Actually, I know a little about surviving in the wilderness, it’s just that I’m a better bard than a naturalist to the point where it made more sense for me to inspire someone with no experience at all than try to do it myself. But let it not be said that I have no wilderness expertise. I know all kinds of stuff. – Sovan]

Day 3

We begin to head to the Eastern Warden Outpost in hex 09.15. While we are still in hex 8.16, the poison rain begins to fall. We rush to set up a single tent, and the five of us pile into it while Aa’li’naa (immune to poison, since her transformation into a Sneeple, which seems to have gone well) sets the rest up and we disperse while Linna stands watch.

We wait the rain out for a few hours while Linna stands watch. Somehow, I was trapped in a tent with Robert Cinis, the irrepressible young sorcerer who is apparently in True Love with Aa’li’naa since he broke the petrification curse that was on her with a kiss. He won’t stop talking about her. It oscillates back and forth between endearing and nauseating with a 20% duty cycle (former:latter) and a varying period of between 3 minutes and 1 hour.

While this is happening, a trio of low-ranking Wardens on patrol come by. Aa’li’naa greets them and pulls rank to get them to not harass us at all, but when they ask “Are you here to see your father?” (meaning her adoptive Snek-dad, A’sshel’t’kov), she says “Yes,” since she wanted to get his permission to go sniffing around the Eastern Warden Outpost but the party did not because we thought he’d say no / we didn’t want him to find out that we were going to go look because the lab has some other horrific stuff in it (improved formulas for forcibly turning captive humanoids into mindless battle-drones for the Sneeple) that we want to destroy.

Since we are in fact past the base that Snek-dad commands (the Warden Outpost (Arbiters) in 8.15), the Wardens wait with us for the rain to stop (during small-talk we ascertain that red wing quadrones and gorgons have been coming by recently and they Sneeple killed a bunch of LUA but a few got around north past the killbot wall) and then escort us back that way after we shot off by prestidigitating the tents dry (our open display of magic makes them a trifle uncomfortable).

We arrive at the base, meaningless status update on a fellow called Gor’noss that some members of the guild like keeping tabs on: (Gornoss is harried, his uniform is missing some insignia), then we have a conversation with A’sshel’t’kov:
He opens “i would have thought you knew your way to the base better by now”
My response: “We were chasing a rare bird”
A: “Riiiight. There are lots of rare birds in the jungle. You not least among them”
We introduce Robert to him
A: “This, THIS is Robert?” He’s disappointed.
They shake hands, Robert uses a true love inspiration to prevent A’sshel from crushing his hand so it’s just kind of a stalemate, he holds it an uncomfortably long period of time, he doesn’t blink the entire time.

A’sshel’t’kov proceeds to grill Robert on his economic prospects etc and Robert uses the Power of True Love to be less disappointing. Truly, it is the greatest force in the universe. rolls eyes

I was bored, so I threw a paper airplane at Gor’noss and missed. A’sshel then made him come closer which took the fun out of it, and I hit him with another paper airplane anyways.

A’sshel then finally got down to business and asked us why we were heading to the Eastern Outpost. We claim we left a fragment of the sceptre (that I used to explode Eadgil…technically true) and we want to retrieve it, but A’sshel is paranoid about base security and doesn’t want to let us back in again. After several back and forths where it’s clear that we aren’t getting anywhere, Brier quite cleverly “admits” that the fragment is extremely dangerous and might explode and we wanted to retrieve it and remove the risk to our ally’s base without admitting that we’d made a mistake by leaving it there (this is a total fabrication, but plays to A’sshel’s sense of paranoia).

A’sshel was interested, but countered that he has his own mages and could just send one of them. Sovan then steps in to explain how truly bizarre the sceptre explosive rig was in the first place, and that I’m the only one who can understand my own particular brand of genius and thus am the only one qualified to safely remove the sceptre fragment from the base. After a cross-examination by one of A’sshel’s mages where I demonstrate that a feedback loop of this kind could occur and could be very delicate and prone to hair trigger detonation, A’sshel turns to Aa’li’naa.

He says: "Aa’li’naa, you’re going to go with them, and you’re going to go straight to these fragments, and you’re going to retrieve them and then you’re going to leave immediately, and you’re going to watch them to make sure they don’t do anything else, and you’re going to tell me exactly what they did.”
And Aa’li’naa agrees.

With his permission, and a pass giving us 1 hour of access to the facility, we head out.

On the way to the base, we stumble across a trail of markings carved into a tree and decide to follow the arrows since some of them are guild signs. At the end of the trail, we find a bundle hanging in a tree containing the log of Expedition 58 (go read that for details) and some of the items obtained on that expedition. That expedition was lost with all hands two weeks before this one, including my friend Finnigan Hillbyrne. We spent those two weeks not knowing what happened to them, and now we do: Modrons. Logic-infested-pestilent-stupid automatons. The party was attacked by a group of their fliers with crossbows in a relatively open area of jungle and after they kept healing the party in response to the flurry of crossbow bolts, the modrons started confirming their kills. This behavior must be kept in mind on future expeditions. Samuel Fehler, Syathir Kendaeshi, and Finnigan Hillbyrne all died, and Marc Co-operson is presumed dead. Marc evidently get away from the modrons, wrote the last bit of the log we found, and stashed the whole thing before attempting to return to town, and he never made it.

We will make those insufferable gear-piles pay for this, but for now all we can do is mourn, as insufficient as that may be.

We reach the environs of the Warden Eastern Outpost and camp for the night.

Day 4

Intending to sneak extra people into the base invisibly to allow us more time to explore if an hour proves insufficient, Robert Cinis and I swap clothing (since the pass specifically described me and Aa’li’naa but not our number of companions) and disguise ourselves as eachother (two pairs of socks for Robert and a single sock for me were an important ancillary part of the disguise), and Sovan and I turn invisible using my magic.

Thus prepared, we approach the base. Aa’li’naa opens the door with the key A’sshel gave her, but is stopped on the threshold for a scan (we knew the main city had magical scanners, but thought that a small base wouldn’t). Realizing that invisibility won’t bypass it, Sovan and I fall back into the underbrush, dismiss the invisibility spell, and jog to catch up. We climb down the ladder one at a time. Of course, for those of you keeping score at home, I, “Robert” climb down, claiming to be Robert, and “Raevori” climbs down, claiming to be me, but manages to say my name with a different pronunciation each time…

We all then step into the next chamber, the door seals, we wait a minute, then a full scan commenced, which manifested as a line of reddish orange light scanning down, from the ceiling. The light made a little sparking noise whenever it hit something magic. They used this to get us to part from our assorted magic items (although not potions, interestingly). We have to leave everything in the bins except for my inseparable Left Chain of the Chain Lord (which the Sneeple now know is the property of “Robert Cinis of County Ignis”) and Sovan’s magic leg Veillantif.

We then take the moving platform down into the massive underground chamber that we visited before. It is mostly as we left it, except the dust of the bodies killed by mummies have been cleaned up, and the flow of poison from the massive snake statue onto the top of the ziggurat at the center of the room is stronger now.

As we walk across the chamber, painted monodrones (modron-allies of the Sneeple, there are multiple factions) raise small parasols and hold them over everyone except Aa’li’naa (who is immune to poison). Our escorting half-blood (the base’s interim commander) presses something to divert the flow of poison around the door into the base of the ziggurat, and walk in.

We tell him: “We’re going to start at this level, we’re going to need to search the adjoining levels and we’ll need some privacy for magic casting”
Response: “You’re not going to let them breach operational security?”
Aa’li’naa: “Why would I? That’s a ridiculous quesiont!”
Response: “Right, sorry, go ahead.”

We go to the camera room, access the cameras and look around.
There’s a blind spot in one of the malison (half-blood) rooms with the abyssal stuff written on the wall, and there are a few other patches in the coverage. Notably, using deduction we realize that the visiblity outside the ziggurat is good enough that the lab has to be accessible from INSIDE the ziggurat, and that A’ren’s quarters also had cameras in them. Wtih this in mind, we decide to focus on searching the top level of the ziggurat, since that was where the boxes of illicit mummies were found on expedition 48 and where there is NO camera coverage at all.

Upon investigating the top level, we find that on a column, tucked in and around the corner, there’s a small circular hole that spirals up, about palm size. We realize that this means that the lab was accessed via the Sneeple’s ability to turn into much smaller snakes. I enlist Robert’s assistance in turning into a rat (currently I can only do this in response to dodging magical attacks of certain kinds), and he obliges by casting Burning Hands. I take no damage thanks to my special rat-powered evasion, and then I start climbing the hole in my rat-form.

The path spirals up and up and up until it emerges on the top of the snake statue on top of the pyramid (in the open air in the cavern), when a flow of poison from above pours into a pool that then feeds into the snake’s head. A cursory examination with my magesight determines that the water falling from above is normal Poison Jungle river water (poisonous but not excessively so for very short durations for a seasoned adventurer) whereas there’s some sort of magic built into the statue head that amplifies the poison pouring over the period to the extreme potency noted on Expedition 48.

After a full minute of careful deliberation and considering my options, I dive into the pool. I take 13 damage, reverting to my true form, and I see a light 20’ down. I drink a healing potion and swim downwards. The light was illuminating a mirror. When I touched the mirror, it shimmered and my hand sunk into it, so I push into it. When I reach the other side, I’m standing in a vertical shaft that goes up a substantial distance on the other side.

I’ve just passed through a dimensional tie-in, something like a teleportation circle but more…malleable (through are all sorts of interesting implications to a true interface between two locations rather than an activateable teleportation circle see [many pages of notes]). To climb the shaft, I cast Shatter on myself, fail to turn into a rat, drink a bunch more healing potions, then do it again and turn into a rat. I climb the tunnel in rat-form, emerging in a small domed structure with an opening on one side, part of a much larger open space, a dome set into a swamp expanse, walls reaching up 10’, distant doors 150’ away, in centre of room massive pile of manure and effluence, and a set of magical statues standing around.

There’s a skeleton with a gardeners smock scraping along lingering roots and pulling them into a pile, it seemed to see me but ignored me.

Outside the dome is sand and trees, and the dome is abjuration magic. After some careful thought and concern that the statues will attack me, I turn back into an elf and open the south door of the area I’m in, revealing a large space of hanging gardens with the same abjuration ceiling as before. I then closed that door, carefully walked around the edge of the room to the east door and opened it, showing that it opened up into a large room, well lit, from which jungle can be seen outside through the abjuration dome. In this room, there’s a covered gazebo and a row of metal boxes with sturdy looking padlock locks.

At this point, I had enough information to confirm that this area is some part of the Garden of the Heart in Hex 8.16 (the Hanging Gardens), based on the work of the expedition that Camille got the poison fruit on. Going back to the starting room, I opened the third and final door, which led down a short corridor to a second door with a flashing sign in from of it. I can’t read the flashing sign (it’s in Draconic), so I carefully copy it down. Having determined that the lab is almost certainly behind that door, and that the lab is in the Garden of the Heart and easier to access from there, I decided to return to the party and not press my luck any further.

Staying in elf form, I climb back down, push through the mirror, take 8 poison damage, become poisoned, reach the surface of the snake-head, cast invisibility on myself and Aelthrun, retrieve Aelthrun from the pocket dimension where he’s been safely stored this whole time, use my body to shelter him from the torrent of poison on the top of the snake head sculpture so he can fly out into the main cavern, have him fly to the room the party is in (so I have vision of it), then jump off the side of the ziggurat. I cast Misty step in mid-air, landing with dramatic, but not ostentatious, impact in the center of the party.

“Hey guys. The lab’s in the Garden of the Heart. Let’s blow this poisonsicle stand.”

After some much-appreciated healing from Sovan, we break a beaker to have a glass shard (we had brought breakers to take more samples of concentrated poison, but A’sshel forbade us from doing so and we’re pretending to obey him), and walk out into the main area with ‘Raevori’ holding it very very gingerly, like it might explode. After some impressive gestures from Robert (‘Raevori’), he flings it away, and Sovan casts Major Image to simulate a massive explosion (my original plan to use double Fireball from myself and Sovan being over-ruled). Fortunately, the Major Image is Harrowing so the locals are suitably impressed with the danger we averted. We then nonchalantly hand the glass shard to them. “Oh here it’s defused now.”
They’re super freaked out, and the commander makes their subordinate take it out of the base.

We return to A’sshel, who’s content that we managed to solve the problem. While he has us there, he decides to ask us about Roguetown (the enclave of endearingly-malfunctioning modrons who pretend to be people and who kill Sneeple on sight). We answer some questions, telling him there is a pentadrone on site, a few things about the layout and defences, while trying to emphasize how difficult it would be to wipe out (we inflate the numbers of the defenders by a factor of two, point out that there are likely hidden observation / defense points we didn’t observe. He gives us a small reward for the roguetown information of 50 gp.

Aa’li’naa and A’sshel then have a talk inside and then Aa’li’naa comes back out to sleep, A’sshel threatens Robert about something and insists that Aa’li’naa sleeps in my tent (since we’re the same gender, I guess? Strange). Aa’li’naa asks for more ammo but doesn’t get it, Sovan tries to talk up Aa’li’naa regarding the fight with the powerful-frog-demon, and Robert takes over telling the story and manages to impress A’sshel.

We sleep at the Warden (Sneeple) base.

Day 5

We head homeward, but as we’re leaving 8.16, it gets cold and dark and we get attacked by B-grade tentacles. Sovan fireballs the caster (a Sneeple apostate) and they lose their concentration. We start beating the pair of them (both caster malison Apostates), they start running, we try to trap them in a plant growth,but they turn into tiny snakes and slither away.

We get out of the jungle, get to 6.16, see a bunch of Eastern AG having a throwdown with a giant mosquito demon.
One is standing in the middle of a spirit guardians (!) dodging, we come close, Sovan calls out “hey you want some help?”
“Yeah, kill it! Kill it!”
We kill it but the Eastern AG are still stand-offish and hostile. Unlikely to have positive relations with them in a meaningful way.

We find some perytons going over the corpses of some Western AG, we fireball them, fail to collect the peryton horns correctly, then we tell the AG about their fallen comrades, we sleep for the night at the fort (the Qua are doing well, and the WAG agree that the EAG are hard to work with, but powerful).

Day 6
We make it home.

View
Expedition 60 - The King of the Dead
In which we overcome Blood Magic and Flame Tattoos.

[Posted JUST on time – Gain 0.1 HP]

Characters
Aa’li’naa Aurae (Formerly Linna)
Jean-Pierre du Veyrir de la Grand Contumace Saint-Emilion
Raevori, daughter of Leshanna
Sarene of the South Shores
Sovan Dareshin

Experience
1929 XP per participant.

Gold
590 GP per participant.
Raevori gets 420 GP after keeping Blood Magic book.
595 GP to the LMF.

Valuables

  • Book of Necromancy (150 GP) – Claimed by Amara
  • Book of Blood Magic (170 GP) – Claimed by Raevori
  • Mace of Terror (3000 GP) – Claimed by the LMF, using GP donated by Tabitha (Tabby) Errsule. (See PHB for details).

Character Changes
Sarene levels from 3 to 4! (+*Magic Initiate (Cleric)* as JP teaches her the basics – she can now cast Guidance and Resistance cantrips, and a 1st-level Bless once per Long Rest.)

Log – Introduction

Hello! Bonjour to all, and the Munificent Blessings of the Ever-Flowering Tree upon all its Children! (That means You! Do you not worship the Tree? The Tree loves you anyway! How marvel!)

Wonderful tidings to all and sundry – two great threats to the security of our persons from dangerous objects to being thrust into our soft bits have been either eliminated or helped very much far along the way!

Along for the expedition was myself, Linna (I cannot be pronouncing her Warden name very well and she is saying that ‘…Linna’s fine’ so I am take her at her words), Raevori Leshannasdottir, Sarene the Last Gatekeeper, and my darling Sovan.

I am writing now the history of these brave events. Please to bear with what Sovan is calling my “Enthusiastic assault upon the Common Tongue” which he is then very often make rude joking about, which I do not mind, but I know that some who read this might be offensive, so to them I offer apologies and a Sanctified Flan of your choosing upon your request.

Day 1

To begin with, I don my new armor. It is a great joyful to me – Beausoleil I call it, after Beauregarde, our lost sister who helped greatly with its smithing and whose Axe I was to offer her an enchantment upon as next my project. Brave Parmentier may still feel the touch of my guiding craftsmanship – a hero’s weapon is deserving a heroic fate.

(Raevori informs me that “Less is more” when talking for several hours about my armour; broadly, it is very strong (+1, sometimes +2), eats and ejects lightning, slows one aggressor per day, enhances all my Clerical abilities, and lets me speak to an Earth Elemental whose heart fuels its dwemers. If you wish to be speaking more about it, I have regular scheduled display hours at my forge between 11 in the morning to sundown; suggested donation is 1 SP, although as the donations go to buy food and clothing for our deceased friend Samuel’s Church of the Sunfish Mission you may wish to ask yourselves whether more…is not LESS! Regarding charity!)

[Guild Scribe’s Note: Many paragraphs regarding the virtue of giving (most slowly making their way back to the topic of this…enchanted Plate Mail…?…have been excised as irrelevant and wordy.]

Now, as regards the voyage – we are setting out upon a sunny day, dragging a cart with 3 barrels of Demon Ichor from les braves of the Abyssal Guard for the Blazing Banner. Some discussion was had about arming the Banner with this material – it made one of their champions capable of injuring me while facing the Purifying Flames of the Tree, which is rather impressing! – but we are on the whole decide that to strengthen the temporary ally – versus the Bandeds, or eventually LUAs – is best and we can still overcome them should they turn upon us. We are keeping our last Ichor barrel because it seems useful.

Our goal are, in short, to deliver Ichor to the Blazing Banner, to hunt the Wraith for the Crested Skull, and if we can to make overture to the Severed Hand or explore the Crumbly Hills.

After some uneventful walking, as we are entering Hex 05.12, we are seeing a new road of very poor quality branch off from the existing path into Hex 06.13 – this fork is travelling down towards 05.13. Later we are find that this is the path to a new Tactical Outposting by the Blazing Banner (MPOI).

(NB: While not a maker of roads, I must reiterate that this work was absolument slapdash; it seemed very far from plumb, the drainage is the embarrassment in its lack of attention, and the aesthetic quality is not bearing any mention.)

Continuing unaccosted through the Barrow Hills (or ‘Necrozone’) we entered Hex 07.13 to be encircled by a Blazing Banner cavalries outside of their Headquarter. They thumped at their chests and made silly noises like tiny schoolchildren but seemed disinclined to fight, which is very kind of them, relatively to speak, so I am showing them the token given for soundly defeating their Champion on our last visit and they are get quiet and mutter un petit peu and then ride ahead.

When we enter the Blazing Banner Headquarter, a great gong is marking our arrival. Sovan is remind them we were coming to trade Ichor, and they come to take their ‘gift’ – when we say “No sirrahs! Not a gift – this is to make you stronger, you weaklings!” (Sovan is very exciting when he is pretend to be a Mean Person!), they are spit on the grounds and say “PAH – YOU WANT TO TRAAAADE” – just like that, with the emphasized – to indicate disdainment.

They are leave, then coming back with the ‘Trade Goods’: it is the pile of garbage mixed with small valuables, perhaps worth 250-450 GP for 300 GP worth of Ichor (3 Barrels), based on Raevori (with Guidance) investigating the quality of their trinkets. We say that is worth 2 of 3 barrels of Ichor and they are the Grumpy Gusses once again.

Sovan is Save The Day! He is sneer a bit and say “Man if this is the best you can do, we feel SORRY for you – take the last barrel as our gift to you.” From Grumpy Gus, they are turn to Cheerful Charlie! They bring much nicer 200 GP collection of fine artworks. The moral of the story, mes copains, is Give Them Gifts. They are take it as sign of respect and honour and you are profit thereby.

Once they are mollify by Sovan and his cunning diplomatics, we talk about the Plains. Banded still accost the Banner, but they are use horses to evade them and with an organized system of the outriders racing to alert the settlement, they are not get caught so much as before.

As noted above, they claim some such outriders inhabit the new (and very bad) road in Hex 05.12.

They are say they are having no idea where the Severed Hand are – they believe that most have died, but said ‘maybe there will be more soon’, which is confusing and suches but then is part of the METAPHYSICAL PROBLEM we are encounter later (be patient, Dear Reader(s), it comes!)

To be exact – it comes now! We are go back to 06.13 on our way to the Crested Skull Fortress, when Linna is feeling dizzy and the migraine is overtake her. She is so disorient she is not see the same thing as we. Preparing to offer assistance (Medicine 34) I am totally, utterly, confidence that she is medically fine, if scaly and far too tall. Similarly, Raevori is not see anything with her Magic Eyes of Snoopiness! We have a MYSTERY upon our hands, we see!

The doubled vision and pain is worsened for Linna as we head North – on the northern border between the Barrows / Necrozone and the Plains, Linna is woozily see half a mile away (Perception 12) les gens, dark-cloaked, fighting the Giant Beetle Monsters of these Plains. One has a banner of – DRAMATIC REVEAL – the Severed Hand! None of the rest of us are seeing them at all. Nor does Linna’s Owl – until…suddenly…we do?

Yes, it is no less strange in recollection than at the times. There was nothing – then something – then they are walking, perfect in visibility, over the hill – later we derive that they come out of some Spatial Distortion in 06.13 (MPOI). They are holding glaives (which as an Ordained Smith-Priest I am bound by professional obligation to tell you are stupid weapons that should instead be polearms or swords, PICK ONE) and stern expression. Four of them are carry a wounded fifth along.

Sovan is having the Off Day and cannot understand them (Charisma 10) and instead of Tongues from myself is casting Comprehend Languages and speak to them.

They are not know who we are, and they are anxious when we are beginning to help them, but they are relaxed by Sovan Curing Wounds and myself casting the Mass Healing Word on the group, patching them nicely. They are introduce themself as Ergal (the leader), and the brothers Iudar, Nodar, and Eodar. The fifth, wounded veteran is stay quiet in the back.

These individual are not seem to know that they should have been missing for many weeks. As afar as their awareness, the last sacking of their main settlement was by the Blazing Banner, many moons ago. As we realize they seem – shall we to say – curious in their uninformedness? – we are find they do not know what the Banded are, what the Guild is, or that the Ifreeti Princes have come. They recognize the LUA – whom they are calling the Civilized – but say they are ‘many, many days away’. They have travelled to their present locale to enlist the Crested Skull to fight the Blazing Banner – whom they are seeing as the dominance of powers in the region.

This raises the issue, which we pursue in speaking to them, that these creatures do not seem to recognize the land around them, and have a curiously perspective. As we walk – they having agree to come with us to meet the Crested Skull – they are continually see features of landscape that should be there, and yet are not in our company. They are, for examples, see rivers in the distance, then in the next second we are far past said rivers and on to other landmark – only some of which we of the Guild can see. We are suspect that perhaps they are experience the ‘unfolded’ original map of Silanya and are walk with us across the portion remaining but see vast areas, trapped down in the ‘fold’, over which we are walk unheeding in an instance. Linna sees some of this, the Hand see all of it. The Hand could not see us until we could see them; they suddenly felt ‘lost’ at around this time and have to some extent since. At this point, whether their switch to our reality was revocable was not cleared.

Also while we walk, they will not reveal their tribal Martial Art – like the Blazing Banner’s cavalry chargings, or the Crested Skull’s facility with the bows – as they do not trust us. Perhaps it is to do with their stupid, badly balanced glaives? Linna says they can trust us, and then seems surprised when they do not agree – what a trusting, open soul she is having!

Also ALSO during the trip, we are mention perhaps we hire them – they say ‘maybe against the Blazing Banner, they are strong of late’. They, again, do not recognize any of the direr perils that surround us – the Banded perhaps most of all – but are happy to be mercenary in future.

Also also ALSO along the way, as part of our plan – after hunting the Wraith – to follow through and track the Necromancer that rules it, we are find a zombie, then we are cut off its head, then I am…with GREAT RELUCTANCE…cast Animate Dead upon it. The Tree was…skeptical? In the non-verbal fashions?…but granted me the Boon.

I am put the Head in a container to keep it safe and hand it to Raevori. My Religious Studies confirmed that she could, with a ritual, use an existing small Undead to duplicate enough of the Necromancer’s link with the Wraith in our little Undead Head that we could track that fiend (NB: not a literal Fiend) and bring him to Justice.

When we get to the Crested Skull Fortress, I am shout very loudly “‘ALLO!” at the fort. They are shout back “OH YOU PEOPLECOME IN!” I am shout back “THERE ARE TRAPS, YES, AND YOU WILL SHOOT THE ARROWS – DO WE AVOID THE ARROWS OR GO TO THEM?” (Everyone is wincing a little at this point so I am thinking perhaps I was VERY loud, but they are so far! What am I to be doing?) “WE TOLD YOU THIS LAST TIME!” “CLEARLY WE FORGOT, THAT IS WHY WE ARE ASKING!” “WELL, AVOID THE ARROWS, OBVIOUSLY!” “THANK YOU, THAT WAS ALL YOU NEEDED TO SAY!”

At this point the team is convince me to stop shouting and we are walking towards the fort, but NOT where the arrows are landing. Arriving at the gate, the Crested Skull sends down a man – he tried very many times to shoot me and did not, last trip! It is like a tour of People I Defeated In Martial Contests! He seemed sulking; Such Are The Wages Of Sin! (He did not take a pamphlet of the Tree, but I think I am slowly wear him down.)

The Crested Skull were happy enough to see the Severed Hand, but do not seem to have the same experience of ‘folded space’ as the Hand do; Raevori is immediately ask if we can study this instead of hunt the Wraith as this is far more interesting space for arcane inquiry, but we are remind her of the Necromancer Blood Mage Books to be had and she is grumble a bit but acceding. (Lo but the Tree hath say “Bribery Is Not Ideal But If It Works It Really Reflects More Badly On Their Being Bribable Than Your Doing The Bribing, Assuming Your Motives Are Pure.”

We sleep in the Fortress while the Severed Hands and Crested Skulls discuss a ceasefire based on whatever they know about the current Geopolitical Milieu (you see, I have the Fancy Pants Vocabulary aussi). Right before bed, I have Raevori cast the Lightning Bolt into my armor to store a charge for tomorrow. (It does in fact do that now!)

Day 2

As the second day dawns, Sarene leads us out in search of the Wraith. As a Gatekeeper of Yamaa, her capacity to find the Undead is frankly unparalleled. Her readings lead us to the same tomb where once we fought the Wraith and – we suspect – its hidden Necromantic Master. Where Mr. Naveed died, so that Sarene might live. A certain tension that has kept her, an astute readers might be noticed, quiet to this point, it is now growing yet more grim.

Before we enter through the great and rent asunder door, we are make Plans. I will stand in front as a bulwark. Sarene and Linna – who has a very curious weapon from the Wardens that she does not know the science of but seems not to be magical – HOWEVER, I have my theories about its construction -

[Guild Scribe’s Note: Extensive section on Warden weapon technology excised. You’d thank us if you saw it.]

- unless, of course, it is COMPRESSED.

In any event, I stand in front, Sarene and Linna will stand behind me – Sarene to keep the creature trapped and corporeal with her Spiritual Noose of Yamaa, Linna to shoot it repeatedly in the head and face area until it stops moving. Sovan will cover us with Calm Emotions, to prevent Domination; Raevori will provide support, and crucially will perform the ritual of ‘patching’ the Wraith/Necromancer link over to our little Undead Head friend which she is having in her pouch. It is a good plan with relatively few flaws, and we are feeling much confidence in our ability, so down we go.

Our first foe comes into view as we emerge out into the central pit, criss-cross with the bridging, us on the first of 3 or 4 descending: two skeleton bearing great tower shield and a Spectre – which for those who do not go to church enough (No names!) is like the little baby Wraith – behind them looking very much spooky.

Linna takes her initiative, very adroitly, and rushes forward to the skeleton wall to await a partner for the Sneaky Attacking. This is not go so well when one of the Skeleton lands a devastating critical hit upon Our Friend The Snake Person and hurt her very much badly; the Spectre is run away through the floor before we are have a chance to smite it, and we fall upon the skeleton and mash them into little bits in the name of the Light! Of the Good! Of the Tree! Of Yamaa! etc..

Using my magics to heal Linna, we walk through many lairs, passing the spot where we and Amara are set the Grease trap on fire…to…I think we thought it would somehow help? …then we are walk through the room where the undead summoned by the Grease fire are ambush us. Leaving that room onto the second walkway down, looking down into the dark pit, we see far fewer zombie and skeleton stored at the bottom than before – a troublished prospect to be certain for us all!

From the bridge below, there are two mighty SWOOSH and the one Bull Man Skeleton is land very impressively on the bridge we are at from below. The other…it is fling itself into the bridge and crush much of its body, then fall back to a lower bridge and crush the rest. …sometimes I suppose even the Undead Abomination has One Of Those Days, n’est-ce pas?

In the Cunning Ambush, two more Spectres are advance from through things. Both are surge and swing for Sarene, but her careful shieldwork is turning the blows. The Bull is attack me, but it is not hit. (Obviously!) Meanwhile, riposte! Linna launches a blast from her truly wondrous weapon implement for much damage, while my Special Man Friend is Mocking at the Spectres. “Hiss!” goes one, crossly.

At this point, a ghoul is leap up from below, while another misses the jump and flails about below us, hopping ineffectual like the small child playing ‘monkeys are the middle’. Sarene drives Sacred Flame through the forehead of one Spectre, while Raevori is perform her Chain Magic Monk Wizard Dancing Explosion Strike (a name I am make up and am perhaps willing to admitting needs the workshop) and the bull that did not kill itself is knocked down to the next bridge.

Sarene continues to be attacked, the horde clearly hating one of their Sworn Foes, the Gatekeepers, still lived – she is swiped mightily by a Spectre that sits above her and her vitality drained from her living frame – as does Linna, by the ghoul, but she is simply look irritated and dodge all of the hit, while disengaging and destroying the entire head of the Spectre that just attack Sarene with a mighty <bzzaaaaom> noise. I am send Sacred Flames at the other Spectre and they are not enjoy that one bit, I tell you!

The Bull is jump back up and <clang> on the armor of Sovan, who is look slightly smug before Healing is placed by Sovan on Sarene – restoring her mightily before she is attempt to Toll Her Bells at the bull skeleton, sadly for once having no effect, before Rae’s second attempt at the CMMWDES is not knock the bull skeleton off again.

Now is where thing are to get tricky – the Wraith, 5 Spectre and 2 Ghoul are suddenly joining the fray – the spectre whip up from below the bridge we are upon, joined by the ghoul who are running out, while the sneaky Wraith is appear beneath us and make the gesture for Spirit Guardians, which would be terrifying except that Rae is ask her mother to take care of it and Leshanna is make that very scary face that is arguably just the way she looks and is go “Ah, no.” and the spell is go POOF and the Wraith is looking Silly as a Billy. Rae is begin the ritual to track the Wraith, looking a very Cool Customer.

The Wraith is also, however, attack Sovan and miss, and is throw a Spiritual Weapon at me which is miss, and then all the other new fellows are attack me and miss, and I am feeling very Prideful, which – you might have guessed it – is going before the Fall. Some might wonder at my turning to metaphor here; helas, I am not. One of the Spectre is the Clever Clogs and is use its Poltergeist power to fling me from the bridge and I am lucky enough to only fall the 40 feet away, 2 bridges down. and take 44 damage which is of course very serious but less so for me than for anyone else. I am not even losing Spirit Guardians! …but I am 40’ away and so are my Guardians and the Wraith is looking very please with itself I AM SURE.

Then Sovan is knock off by the bull skeleton – WHAM – and is an adorable little piggy by the time he is landing one bridge down. 20 feet from me and from the party. Things could be going better.

And so they do! Exciting turnabout! Linna is firing a great blast of energy into the Wraith, and suddenly it convulse – I see the shards of what I know now is a Warding Bond break – this Necromancer Scoundrel was sharing health and reducing damage on this Nasty Beast! And that was the source of the spell casting through it! It had, I estimated, at most 1 more spell left to cast before the link was dead completely…but I could do nothing about it!…

WAS WHAT I THOUGHT UNTIL <whoooosh> the little piggy’s leg is glowing right where Sovan’s does with Veillantif, and then CRASH the piggy is slam into the bridge and become a Sovan, and then <zzooooooweeeeeeeee> I am suddenly able to Fly, and then I am rocket up over the bridge with the wraith, 40 feet in second, and my Spiritual Weapon is still there, so BAM guardians BAM guiding bolt BAM hammer and the sphere of the Guardians is flaring out 30’ everywhere -

- and then Sarene is jump beside me and use the Guidance of the Bolt to YANK the Spectre’s head back with her noose and it is HISS and she is simply SNEER at its outrage and as she finish that spell she is pivot, spin, raise her hand – and THIS is where I am tell you my Secret, which is that I am lending Sarene that day my Fireball Gem – and <fffffst-whoosh> ALL of the Spectre and ALL of the ghoul (save one on Linna) are piles of ashes and ectoplasm (sadly the Gem is no more) -

- and then to compound the ridiculous wave of neat combat moves, Rae is look at the 12’ tall bull skeleton remaining, is doing some calculation on how much tough it remains, and is punch it do death with her fist through its face. Imagine what she could do if she were NOT on illicit drugs? (HINT HINT RAEVORI WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU)
Angered and out of fancy spells, the Wraith is hit Sarene for the DEVASTATING blow, she needs to dig deep (Session Inspire) and use some residual Inspiration from our dearest Sovan to not be cripplingly injured by its life-draining touch, and then a Ghoul is rush her, and OH NO, but Linna is stab it as it pass her and the Spirit Guardians have soften it up enough that <plop> it is dead.

The Wraith remains though. And I do not have many strong spells left. Now if only I was wearing MAGICAL ARMOUR THAT SHOOTS LIGHTNING BOLTS, WHICH I AM, KERZAAAAAAAAM and the Wraith shrieks and falls into nothingness. “Got it!” shouts Rae as she does some fiddly magic work and slams a magic focus into our little undead head beacon, and the Necromancer is on the hook!

I must confess I have had worse days.

Rae is tracking our Necromantic Adversary, and suddenly he is pop many feet up, and then is fly away very quick. These, we the Clerics know, are not spells we are blessed with by the Gods – a mystery, it seems! I use my own flight to ferry Sovan back up to our level, and then the party to the top bridge, with a rope I can bring up with me, and then we are in pursuit of…well…

…this next bit, even I am a little bit embarrass. The Necromancer stops, and his signal is steady, and we are all think “Ah-ha! He has the secondary lair and is at bay!”

When we are get there…it is a normal cave. He is lying catatonic. Rae is look him over and let us know that he is use SO MUCH BLOOD MAGIC to fuel casting the Dimension Door and the 4th-Circle Wizard Spells…that he is knock himself catatonic with a permanent injury. [NB: He gave himself a permanent Charisma injury last time we fought the wraith…then another in the same place this day…and was knocked unconscious by sending his own dumb ass to 0 CHA.]

I am ask very strongly that we perhaps try to interrogate him with the hog tying, the blindfolding, the taking of holy symbol – Rae is confirm again that Blood Magic means even a tiny nick that draw blood can let him cast without any sign or preparation. Hearing this confirmation, and our inability to guarantee his being safe to imprison, Sarene is kill him with the solemn look of satisfaction. I cannot say I approve, but I cannot say I do not understand; she has been scarred by this wretch far more than any.

On his ‘death’, however, an explosion of sickly green light from his corpse is turn into the new Spectre-like figure which is rasp about “I AM PART OF THIS PLACE I AM THE UNDYING KING YOU CANNOT KILL ME I WILL RETURN” and the usual sorts of jibber-jabber that the arrogant conscious undead are tend to say.

It is turn out that for once he is not Mr. Hyperbole – he is linked to the Necrozone, and (37 Religion on my part) can only be destroyed utterly when Sarene, at a next Tier of power, is able to Ring him through the Gates of Death that she is Keeping, and kill him in Death’s Domain. Happily, it will be a year before he is reconstitute, so much time for her to pray and work on her cardio in preparation for that day. (They are the two pillars, in my experience, to Clerical success under field conditions!)

He is wearing relatively…tolerable quality half-plate (that we are sell I can do much better) and has a magic mace that makes people terrified and run away (we are give that one to Melora as if she needs to be more scary to Evil!). We are also locate a book of Necromancy (that Amara is take) and a book of Blood Magic (that Raevori is take and is already start to read while she is walking and taking notes, without crashing into the obstacle, which is the trick she is clearly learn from her dearly missed mother.)

After this revelation and this Divinely Sanctioned Looting (we can do good with the treasures to make up for his evil use of them all!), we are collect our things and, without further a do, we are get to the Crested Skull and their Fortress of Cheering! They are so overjoy – no more Wraith!!!

The Severed Hand seem interested by the flood of congratulation from our Crested Skull Minder; on hearing of our exploit, the Skull are ready to following with any battle planning we can think of, at least for now.

They are allow us to sleep in their fortifying city for free, where we eat hot food and have a lovely set of chats, many not about the multiple uses of my armor, and absolutely none about Linna and her suddenly looking much like the snake.

Day 3

Off we are trot, Severed Hand in tow, to their fortress as we knew it. Again, we are VERY lucky that I am remember to ask Raevori to shoot me with the Lightning before I am sleeping. YOU WILL SEE WHY AT THE DRAMATICALLY APPROPRIATE TIME.

Walking through the plains, we are see – <sound> – LUA HUNTER. 8 of them: 2 Tattoo’ed by those dastardly Princes of Flame, One Leader type, 2 Pikepersons, a Shaman Hunter (anti-magic specialist), an Assassin type and a Slaver type.

We are think “Should we fight?” Then we are decide “We are strong, let us alleviate this peril lest some tender younglings be kidnapped and we be forced to trudge back to Xan and this time they will likely expect a rescue attempt and things will be tricky!”

Sovan is make a Harrowing Major Image of a…deeply disturbing empty patch of Grass. And we are all hide inside it. There we are plan, and are come up with a great one when we see that – noticing something ‘off’ about the illusioning – the LUA leader figure tells his troops to form a long LINE. 30’ between each of the 8. Maybe you see the plan now?
…they approach. The Leader is almost upon us. Rae is casting Fly upon me. …NOW you must see the plan.

The Leader is stumble into us – and then I am FLY out and <zap> with the Lightning Bolt stored in my Armor, and then Rae is DASH out and <zap> with the Lightning Bolt back through them – and into ME, and I use my Ring of Dexterity and my Armor Resistance to take almost no damages, and then am RECHARGED with more Lightning Bolt -

- and then Sovan is cast Plant Growth on all of them and we are lay into them, Guiding Bolts, Linna’s Weapon, my Spirit Guardians is up, Sovan’s Fireball kill the Pikers (2 down), the Leader refuses to fall -

- and then, nasty surprise, one Flame tattoo launches its own Fireball at Sovan, Sarene, and Linna. Aid manages to barely keep Sovan and Linna awake (5 and 3 HP) but Sarene is drop and temporarily scarred with a dazed look of “What is just happen?”

I am fire my second Lightning Bolt and the Assassin and one of the Flame Tattoo are both down (4 to go), while the Shaman Hunter is magnificent in dodging, taking no damages. I am fly over with the Spirit Guardians active, am sink him deep in its range and – not to be rude – am ask him politely to “Dodge this.”

Sovan is take the opportunity to use Veillantif to race forward and Cure Sarene, who rapidly regain her bearings, launches Sacred Flame at the Leader – which hits just as Rae blunders through Plant Growth to Fire Bolt him and Linna shoots him from hiding. Together, the three bring down this titanically tough foeperson! Three left.

The last Tattoo Civilized/LUA is turn on the Aura of Flame and clears the 30’ area of Growth and is run to the Slaver, who is burned but also freed from the plants. That Slaver is turn and fire two longbow shots at Sovan, and is clang off armour, because he is my darling and is listen carefully about proper cinching of breastplates!

Sovan continues to Heal Sarene with his magnificent Word, while his eerie Whisper is damage the psyche of the remaining Slaver. I am fire over a Guiding Bolt at the remaining Flame Tattoo, while my Dwarven Ancestor Guardians and my Spiritual Hammer are unfortunately for him smash the Shaman Hunter to little bits. (Turns out he could not dodge it! My telling him to was ironical!)

Sarene is turn her mighty Guiding Bolt onto the Flame Tattoo, which is guide Rae to hit with the Firebolt…but sadly it is utterly immuned to the flames. (Good to be knowing!) Linna is Sneak Attack the scoundrel Tattoo, but is – sadly – close enough to it that her blast, on drawing blood, is trigger a rush of flame all about her that drops her not conscious from a Hellish Rebuke. She is vulnerable to flame damages for the remainding of the Expedition.

Sovan is Viciously Mocking the Flame Tattoo, who is yet to die, as the Slaver looks on, paralyzed, inactive, most of its elite team in ruins about it. I am fly over and fire another Guiding Bolt of the high level, which provides tracer lights upon which Rae is capitalize in her inimitable fashion: reasoning that if Flame is bad to use, Frost is good, she is use the Misty Step to <bamf> reappear next to the surviving Flame Tattoo, and with a critically devastating blow to the vulnerable creature, as guided by my Bolt, her Ray of Frost is reduce the creature to the frozen Civilicicle. (Sovan is tell me to be trying more of the Jokes Humour, so here I am going!)

At this point the surviving Slaver is done with the fighting and is happily surrender, his confidence and morale broken beyond repair.

This Civilized/LUA prisoner tells us of four teams of LUA hunters, down to 2 remaining for us to destroy. Only one such team has an Ifreeti Tattoo Wielder – one that wields a whip of scorching flame. We are not get much else to the use of him – so we (with minor dissenting from Sarene) agree to take him to Abyssal Guard Jailkeeping, right after we are help with the Severed Hand(suddenly FAR more impress after spectating the above Ruthless Efficiency).

I must point out that Sarene was very much in favour of kill this prisoner immediately, and then if he was to be imprisoned of…forcing him to stand, in chains…as some kind of humiliation? I am gently attempt to remind her that Yamaa is the Neutral Good God but she is look fierce and I am not ready to contradict how she feel quite yet so we simply outvote her, put the prisoner in the cart as comfortably as we can while bound, and proceed.

When, some time later, we arrive at what we are believing to be their Fortress, these Hand warriors do not, however recognize it – they be suspect that it is the properties of their friends who are peel off to make outpost 5-10 year ago and never came back.They suspect, as seems usual, that the Blazing Banner are behind this misfortune of theirs. They cannot “tell where in the <expletive>” they are meant to be, and accuse us of getting them lost.

Finally to be identifying the shared land mark, that is right over there, that is called Toba, we are head there when suddenly another SUSPICIOUS HEADACHE is overcome Linna – not as badly a pain as beforehands, but not good. The Severed hand begin to see ‘familiar’ thing and rush into a spot where they are vanishing for us – but not for Linna. She is try to get their attention but the voices, they are faint, and the ropes, they do not reach.

Eventually we are admit defeat. The Severed Hand should be counting out of the fighting of the Felltower. We are parting now for the Abyssal Guard, to leave the Civilized/LUA to their Betterment through Good Acts.

On the way to pass the custodian of the Civilized/LUA with the Abyssal Guard, our chained prisoner shares a cart with the Demon Ichor. I walk beside him, telling him of the Tree and th emany benefits it might offer to one such as himself if he would only Believe! He seems to be silently listening with his eyes closed for most of the voyage – I suppose, all the better to concentrate. “If You Let The Tree Walk With You, Your Walk Would Never Be Free Of Inspiring Advice, But Trees Cannot Walk So You Should Really Just Pray Instead”, as says that most gorgeous of Dwarven Spiritual!

We pass the Blazing Banner Fortress, then a Blazing Banner convoy that we work out is on its way to the new Blazing Banner outposting in 05.13.

Eventually we are sleep without the incidenced.

Day 4

Rising and shining, we are walk on, through the Felar Wood, to the Abyssal Guard’s Western Redoubt.

Dropping out our prisoner with his new captor, I make sure to loudly reminisce about the last prisoner to attack the guards and be eaten by a Demon. I am describing the STAINS, and the SMELL, and eventually I think he is not have Clever Idea. I feel not wonderful, and will pray for forgiveness for the Being Mean later, but I am serious in try to help our new charge avoid his own demising. Here he will find restorative good work and not be dead as the dooring-nail.

Elsewhere, the Abyssal Guard are confirm as follow:

  • They are out of spare Ichor – most of their extra was give to us for BB, they only get it laborious from kill the Demon, and need it for their anti-Demon weapons.
  • The Glabrezu that Sovan and Expedition 56 are seeing in the Magic Circle was put there by the Eastern Abyssal Guard, who alone know of such spells.
  • They are sorry about those Eastern Guard to attack us – “Those guys are nuts” they say, which Sovan is helpfully inform me mean “They are crazy”, as I am not good at the idiom in common as translate by Corrupt Hairy Warrior Gentlemen.

Leaving them two Holy Water, we are take our leave, and by the Grace of the Tree (Blessed be her leaves of regulation and appropriate size!) we are get to home. On the way, I am see that Sarene is thinking hard about her actions and her attempted cruelties; I am not tell her what to do, but am able to teach her enough to channel her Divine Spellcast into a few basic spells that only help, and never hurt. (Magic Initiate @ Level 4: Gains Guidance, Resistance, 1/day 1st-level Bless.)

And we are done! Please forward all questions about Blood Magic to Raevori – it is not my ‘bag’. Otherwise, we have a year to prepare to cleanse more of the Necrozone! Huzzahs! Many a huzzahs!

FIN

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Expedition 59 - Loose Ends
In which we participate in adventuring tropes.

Characters
Camille
Melora
Pierre Lee
Régis
Silverleaf
Beth (log writer)

Experience
919 XP per participant.

Gold
678 GP per participant
450 GP to the LMF.

Valuables

  • Prism Fruit (2*250 GP) (Claimed by Camille)
  • Focus Longsword of Heroism (4 charges) (Action – roll d20, if 12+, +1 weapon 1 min., Conc.)
  • Jewelled scabbard and an acid-eaten rosewood box (150 GP, mostly scabbard)
  • 3 sasquatch pelts (300 GP); 2 sasquatch trachea (120 GP) (I find this practice deplorable) (Claimed by Silverleaf)
  • one mutilated sasquatch trachea (10gp) (Claimed by Silverleaf)
  • Increased Javelin (200 gp) (Claimed by Melora)
  • Giant Crocodile hide (350gp) (Claimed by Silverleaf)
  • Giant Crocodile Teeth (25 GP) (Claimed by Silverleaf)
  • Rogue Town’s legal charter (0 gp) (Claimed by Beth)
  • 6 certified legal permits to set up tents within Rogue Town (10 GP) (Claimed by Beth)
  • Book: Assault on the Mangonel (10gp)
  • Book: Collected Works of Naersallitax: Famous Plays by a great dragonborn playwright. These contemporaneous annotated editions issue joint credit to his wife. (70gp)
  • Book: Gol’tir’ya’fel’s Engine: Technical book with instruction for a device which would take 40-50 research points. It could change or alter potions and other chemicals. (80gp)
  • Book: Quirking book: Warlock Spells of 1st Level (75gp)
  • Bloody warden coin (10 GP)
  • Tender Modron Hug Compensation (125 GP)
  • Ring of Mind Shielding (1200gp)
  • Lua gear (207.5 GP)
  • Dragonborn Tapestry depicting noble lineages – some families show up where we don’t remember, others don’t where we’ve been told by their descendants we should. (200gp)

Character Changes
Tabitha levels from 3 to 4.
Camille gets modron surgery, +3AC, -3 Wisdom, -2 initiative

Summary
Day 1. We walked to the jungle. We passed the necrozone, which looked rather uninviting. Approaching a ridge, we heard shouting and clicking noises— two strange, large insectoids were eviscerating members of the Burning Banner, horses included. The creatures are hideous, but for all I know this is their property. We pass through a forest, and find a burning banner fort currently locked into some sort of combat. I commend their defense, but we ignore it.

Day 2. We walk through the dark forest, and Sil enhances my vision so we may be stealthy. Early into the day, we notice a little chest, wrapped in cloth. The chest is rosewood and covered in glyphs. It is obviously magically trapped, but Camille ignores direct orders and opens the chest. It explodes with acid and Neato, my only companion [her bat familiar], is immediately murdered.

I hate Camille.

Soon after, we are assaulted by two sasquatch. They quickly drop me (temporary injury). When I awake, all but one is dropped and the final quickly follows.

The chest had a pretty sword and some fancy fruits in it. We rest to recover from our wounds, and some strange plant creatures amble passed us. We watch their ambulatory procession, effervescent and enchanting.

We reach the jungle, and a sasquatch is attacking several wardens. We try to save a warden, which had been snatched up by the sasquatch. We make short work of the beast, but do not save the warden. A warden, Sore Wreck, approaches us and thanks us for the help. He fails to understand our well-practiced humour.

We head to she-who increases, and we get a 50gp, reticulated, climbing javelin. We head south, check in with Ashelta’kov, set up camp. He asks us to tell him what we find in rogue town, as the inhabitants of rogue town seem to murder his patrols on sight. Trespassers can expect little else, and I doubt the wardens knock. Ash requests that Linna come visit soon.

That night, Pierre turns into a monstrous tiger and attempts to murder Camille. Camille is nearly dropped and I consider letting the tiger finish the job. Sil’s cool head prevails, and she casts a brilliant moon beam down on Pierre. The moon beam reverts him to his normal self. We decide we will tie him down on subsequent nights.

Day 3. We travel southwest, hoping to reach roguetown. About an hour southwest of the camp, we find a spot where the clouds seem fixed. There’s a 50-foot clearing in which everything floats up, and another in which things fall down. I send Nea-two up, and he tells us that there is a magical sky castle up there, tended by three blue, horned humanoids of great stature. Not one for trespassing, I write a note and send it up the gravity-reversal cylinder. A note comes down in reply, inviting us up. Sil and I share some reservations, afraid that we are wandering into a trap; the others see this as a necessary exploration for the guild. We head up and the three clouddwellers ask us if we are alone. We explain that we work with a well connected guild, but they reply that there’s “no loose ends” if they kill us all immediately.

The visit, in other words, was ill-advised.

Sil creates two eagles to fly away on, but the clouddwellers quickly take out our mounts. Melora rushes ahead to protect the rest of us but she is quickly dropped. Things were looking bad until Régis rescued us; first he created a solid wall of cloud to aid our escape. As the clouddwellers ascended, we each made our escapes: I used misty step to fall out of eyeshot and then went invisible, Sil summoned new eagles and healed Melora, and Régis created a slide to send Melora’s unconscious body into the featherfall zone. The clouddwellers did not pursue.

We took a much needed rest.

We reached the river and Camille ferried us across. A massive alligator attacked the boat as Melora and Camille crossed. Camille out-smarted the crocodile, but it proceeded to rush the shore and swallow Regis whole (minor temporary injury). Pierre becomes a weretiger and tears the alligator apart. We save some of its hide.

We then head towards rogue town. We pass a large poisonous hotspring, in which many giant alligators are basking. In the centre of the hotspring, there seems to be a well of magical energy—perhaps transmutation? We continue to Rogue Town.

One cannot describe rogue town with any accuracy. The fortified village is surrounded by orderly farms, throughout which modrons seem to make-believe that they are farmers, squawking orders at one another like any proper farmhand. Outside the rogue-town walls, there is a massive list of people not allowed within the town—including anyone evil and wardens. We approach the gate, where one (scarred) modron acts as a pauper who worked his way up to a respected guard, and another modron acts as an effete noble who was handed his position. I made good rapport with the scarred modron, and we convinced the modrons to give us a tour of the town. I was given a copy of Rogue Town’s legal code, which I plan to read back at Sila.

Our tour guides took us to a race track to gamble; a bar, where we drank with the locals; a wanted board, where we received a quarry and reward if we fulfill the quarry; a church, which performs religious rituals to enhance individuals; and streets. I do not want to take away from future experiences of the town, so I will leave its wonders to your eyes. I successfully procured 6 permits to set up tents within the town’s walls, which are free for parties to take.

Within Rogue Town, modron chits are a legal tender. However, their value is not 1:1 and, generally, you cannot ‘choose’ what you purchase. Instead, when you pay a modron a chit, they consult an inscrutable table and then give you your purchase. At the bar, there is a modron dressed as a wizard who gives books in exchange for chits. Trading him the three chits we had, he gave us the following books:

  • Assault on the Menganel (10gp)
  • Famous plays by a great dragonborn playwright. Annotated editions with joint credit to his wife. (70gp)
  • A technical book (80gp) instruction for a device which would take 40-50 research points. It could change or alter the potions.
  • Quirking book (75gp): first level (warlock)

The bar also had a list of wanted quarries, and we accepted one: we will be rewarded if we can bring proof that we’ve slayed a malison apostate.

The church lets you trade chits for holy rites that seem to be invasive surgeries. Camille decides to get surgery, in order to enhance her defensiveness and it goes well, though she seems even more deplorably insensitive than before (+3AC permanent; -3 wisdom permanent; -2 initiative permanent).

Another institution trades chits for treasures. We receive a bloody warden coin, a bag of 125gp worth of silver pieces, and a ring of mind shielding in exchange for our remaining chits.

As Pierre’s were-madness begins overtaking him, we get him locked in the prison for the night. However, in his animalistic furry he destroys a copy of their legal code. This gets him a three day extension to his voluntary imprisonment.

Days 4-6

Pierre is in prison. The rest of us spend the time getting to know the modrons, their expectations, building rapport with very elements of their society, and I read their legal code. I make quite good friends with the scarred modron, who implies that we should wed. As I understand it, at any moment he may ascend and become a higher level modron. In case he retains any memories during this process, I gave him an important keepsake of mine. Its desire for marriage is certainly a part of its role play, but its open sincerity is endearing.

We wander home. En route, we notice a lua tailing us. We make short work of it, and recover its gear, which includes a tapestry highlighting dragonborn lineages.

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Expedition 58
RIP in Pieces

All members MIA or lost.

Recovered Notes:
Ex 58 – Name TBD

Significant shit that happened

Day-by-Day

Day 1:
Finnigan and his merry band of blandness and crazy set out to the east on an otherwise unremarkable day. After crossing the bridge in 4.13, we intercepted a pair of LUA scouts. Upon our mutual notice, they began to flee, rather unsuccessfully. We also noticed a group of Ghouls eating some Blazing Bastards in the ruined fort of 7.13, and let them be. Night was unevenful for all but a Prarie Dog.

Day 2:
8.15 – Setting out into the Jungle, we stumbled across a tree with a hiddened compartment. After some artful diarming by our protagonist, the contents (A Prism Fruit, and a small YaunTi statue) were retrieved.

Continuing in our travels, we noticed a Snikky-Snak carrying a large object into the forbidden lake house. Sneaking up, we overheard a conversation between the Nope Rope and an elderly Wererat woman. The offer was to provide a weapon “to help against those mercenaries”, and was offered a nice looking longsword. Snek vanquished in surprise, we acquire said sword and a head, and move to hide from an oncoming rainstorm. Some masterful manipulation of ice by Gills minimized the amount of harmful toxins injested.

After a short rest, we continued down the road, whereupon a group of Poison Elementals erupted in anger after Twitchy stepped on one of their faces. With Twitchy weakened by a blow, a mighty shatter and a few key hits later disanimated our elemental fishes (Poissions). During our rest afterwards, a friendly rodent approached and did the meld-y thing,

Gills asked the associate regarding the location of one of his Fishy Relics, who imformed us that there was a location in the mountains of 9.16 that contained what her seeked. He also offered to provide additional assistance, if we returned a missing individual from the unexplored swamp in 8.15. He then left, and we rested for the night.

Also, apparently Rae needs to make the the calls for alarm in the future. Good job, kid?

Day 3:
Our handsome andventurer and his entourage moved to the edge of the swamp to assess the task of the Mice. Gills talked to the grass or somesuch, and was told than something (possibly metallic) crushed them (its grass, it gets stepped on, duh. stupid plants). Deciding that wading into a toxic bog might be poor for our health, we elected to return on a future date.

Approaching the bridge of terrible things, the gang noticed tracks of a large humaniod dragging something down to the river. Inevestigating found a Warden slepping with the metphorical fishes (not real ones, Gills). Not wanting to make a stink, we didn’t disturb the scaly’s slumber.

Being the law-abiding citizens that we are, we attempted to inform the authorities of our discovery when two large modrons flew in to our surprise. A few volleys felled Gills and Twichy, leaving blando and our hero to defeat the machines. A long battle of attrition did not go in our favour, dropping the party. The automatons showed no mercy, leaving no survivors.

Marc here. Brother (my aberrant symbiote) revived me. Too injured to make it home alone. Going to the Southern Warden outpost to await another party.

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