After the Summoning Wars

Session 24
The Great Leader
  • See News of the World
  • See The Tale of Plague
  • See Excerpts from the Diary of Gambol
  • See Activities Aboard the Vertragus
  • Thomas cases the Vertragus for some time, trying to determine the security they employ, particularly in the restricted areas.
  • He asks Adriana if he can help them test their security, and she agrees.
  • Thomas hides. After a few minutes, security personnel enter the room in which he’s hiding and search earnestly.
  • As he’s trying to slip out unseen, Thomas is suddenly compelled to announce himself to the guards.
  • They escort him to the brig, and Adriana thanks him for his participation, then releases him.
  • Thomas decides not to try sneaking into any restricted areas, fearing he would be found far too easily.
  • Meanwhile, Bert, Adriana, and the ship’s diplomatic envoy travel to the Dragonrange Mountains to meet with the dwarves per the agreement with Creben Durgard
  • They pay the king a fair gift, but Durgard’s family request a relic called Smine’s Hammer.
  • The hammer was lost by Durgard when he was captured by the Red Fang faction of the Warband
  • It has been taken to Lithicopolis, the headquarters of the Great Leader
  • The party decides to use illusions and mundane disguises to sneak into the city to retrieve it.
  • Bert and Newton dress as hobgoblins, Thomas and Jenny dress as elven alchemical merchants, and Bee dresses as a bodyguard.
  • Once inside, they use locate object around the various camps in hopes of detecting the hammer.
  • When that proves unsuccessful, they gather information on the Great Leader and any interesting items he has.
  • They learn he’s a half-dragon hobgoblin, and that the hammer was given to him as a gift from the Red Fangs.
  • They manage to gain access to the more restricted section of the city carved into the mountainside.
  • Once inside, they try detect magic again. They detect the hammer and try to find it.
  • The spell ends before they can locate the hammer, so they decide to look for the archives in order to learn more about the layout of the palace and the mountain city (and hopefully defenses).
  • As they explore the halls, they encounter a large monstrous creature: a mixture between a giant praying mantis and a hobgoblin.
  • As he passes, the party spots the numbers “028” on the back of his neck, possibly relating his condition to Bee’s
  • The monster turns and calls to Meerkin, who had apparently stopped to stare at the party.
  • He indicates that he sees through their disguises, but he doesn’t seem to specifically recognize them.
  • Thomas asks if he’s in trouble with the Great Leader, and Meerkin actually says the leader is in trouble with him!
  • He identifies the monster as Colonel Grekobik Greenwell, and follows him to meet with the Great Leader.
  • The party eventually finds the Great Leader’s secretary, and she immediately ushers them to a waiting area (much to their surprise, since they don’t seem to have a good reason).
  • In the waiting room, a number of goblinoid children play, and some adults mill about.
  • After some time, the monstrous Greenwell and Meerkin exit. Greenwell leaves, but Meerkin remains.
  • Shortly thereafter, more humanoids exit, followed by the Great Leader.
  • He demands the party remove their illusion. While they’re willing, they’re unable since they didn’t cast it. Meerkin helps by dispelling.
  • The Great Leader dismisses everyone, though a small goblin boy remains.
  • The Leader asks why the party was there incognito, and they confess to seeking the hammer.
  • The goblin boy retrieves it from the other room and gives it to the Leader.
  • He asks what the party intends to trade for it, and they offer their services in finding and securing the ancient magical locations rumored to exist around the city.
  • The Great Leader decides to give them a task: enter the Cursed Forest and remove the protector from power.
  • Thomas realizes he must be referring to Mother Llewellyn, and tries to talk him out of it.
  • The Great Leader says “I may have someone here able to change your mind.”
  • The goblin boy steps forward and introduces himself as Mother Llewellyn.
  • Thomas and the others are flabbergasted, but the goblin convinces Thomas that he at least has all the memories of the beloved matriarch.
  • The Great Leader leaves, giving them the chance to speak in privacy.
  • Llewellyn reveals the uncomfortable truth about why she seems to be in league with the Great Leader:
    • She/he reminds Thomas of the gnome Roonda that came from the Wildlands many years ago and joined the community in Haven.
    • The two of them retreated into isolation for long periods at a time, leaving much of the administration and defense of Haven to her handmaidens Aulara, Fierna and Terra.
    • Unbeknown to the denizens of Haven, Roonda killed Llewellyn five years ago and assumed her position.
    • Unbeknown to Roonda, Llewellyn managed to save her soul and be reborn as this goblin boy. Sadly, she lost much of her power in the process.
    • Now, Roonda is trying to summon the ancient Fey Lords using the natural magic Haven.
    • Meanwhile, Tildekaar (the Great Leader’s real name) is making plans to invade Haven and utilize the powers for himself.
    • Llewellyn seeks to stop Roonda, but the cost is that Haven will be lost, and Tildekaar will gain the power.
    • She has convinced him that the defenses are too powerful to overcome without her help, but he won’t hold off much longer.
    • She intends to defeat Roonda (possibly even kill him), and destroy as much of the magic as she can before Tildekaar can get it.
    • Sadly, Haven will be destroyed in the process. For that reason, and the added danger of the Warband, one of the handmaidens must be convinced to lead the people of Haven away to safety (routes exist and there are friends on the outside).
  • The party asks her about the Great Leader
    • The two of them were friends millenia ago, and he was even present for the founding of Haven
    • They and others built the city, then the forest, then the mountains to protect the natural magic at the center (possibly originating from the Fey Lords)
    • Tildekaar became obsessed with the power, though, and discovered how to extend his life by reincarnating.
    • When he became too dangerous, Llewellyn banished him to another plane.
    • During his exile, he amassed the construct army he controls today
    • Somehow, he returned to the Material Plane, and seeks to regain the power of Haven to build an Empire.
  • Thomas, realizing Llewellyn has much to teach, tells her about Mystique and asks if she has any advice
    • It is a “goliad”, a creature of immense power. It treats the world around itself as highly morphic, and can change the land and even creatures at will.
    • Mystique seems to be unaware of its power, but it’s still potentially very dangerous.
    • Three goliads have entered the Material Plane in the past, and all of them wreaked terrible havoc. Two were banished, and one chose to leave on its own, suggesting they are possibly capable of learning empathy.
    • Whomever is disguised as Thomas and influencing Mystique wields great power. Mystique must be returned.
  • They also ask about Meerkin.
    • He is a zern, a creature with the supernatural ability to change forms, similar to a doppelganger. They are naturally inclined towards transmutation magic.
    • She doesn’t know his motivations, but Tildekaar seems quite interested in him.
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Session 23
The Demonweb Portal and the Fate of Creben Durgard
  • The party filters into the cavern as they feel comfortable.
  • Thomas hides, The Brothers and Bee find strong forward positions, and Liev Bolt remains behind the door.
  • Commander Caras checks for evil, and is surprised to find that the arrayed drow are not evil.
  • Everyone suspects a ruse, and several characters discover that the praying drow are illusions.
  • The Priestess near the portal begins to cast again, and this time the adventurers respond with force.
  • Bee attempts to disrupt her casting, but she successfully completes a fog cloud. Bert easily dispels it, though.
  • The elf hits several party members with mind fog suggesting they may be facing dominations soon.
  • Bolt attacks the Priestess with black tentacles (capturing the elf and Blue as well) while Villeous and Caras move up the center.
  • Newton, Bert, and the Brothers battle monstrous spiders on the left while Bee and Thomas hold the right.
  • The spiders die easily, and the priestess escapes the grappling tentacles and flees into the webbed portal.
  • The Blue casts freedom of movement which Bert tries to dispel (accidentally dispelling the domination on it instead)
  • The Blue flees down the steps screaming about a green fog, but falls unconscious as he passes over a glyph of warding.
  • Villeous casts consecrate on the portal just as three bebilith and a green fog emerge.
  • Bee enters a bear-rage, Newton calls upon righteous might and Divine Power, and the brothers expand to face the creatures.
  • The elf, seemingly still dominated, inspires the monsters with her bardic music.
  • Liev Bolt strikes the bebilith with an empowered cacophonic burst, bringing parts of the ceiling cave down on them, the Blue (killing it), and the elf.
  • When Bee displays remorse later over the Blue’s death, despite his companions’ insistence that the creature was evil, Villeous introduces the possibility that their plan was programmed Durncart Syndrome
  • The green mist begins dominating party members, but Bert focuses on countering it with his own bardic oration.
  • Two of the bebilith fall fairly easily to the combined might of the melee combatants (and Thomas’s hidden blade).
  • Bolt dismisses the black tentacles in the hope of releasing the possibly innocent elf, while Bert tries to free her from her compulsion.
  • Just as it appears to be coming to an end, three more bebilith arrive, though one is wearing magic gear, suggesting it may be a more formidable foe.
  • The elf flees down the steps safely as the arriving beblilith attempt to attack and rend the armor of the defenders.
  • Bert continues to temporarily counter the green mist’s domination attempts, while Villeous delays the bebilith poison in the veins of the warriors.
  • The elf, now free of her domination, inspires her new allies just as Bert’s inspiration fades.
  • After a hard-fought battle, the invading bebilith are slain, and the green mist flees into the portal while Bee advances upon it.
  • The portal closes, blasting the area with negative energy as it does.
  • The party finds a more permanent solution to their allies’ domination once the area is safe.
  • Villeous and Bert then move to the portal to inspect it (Bolt stays back just in case) while the others secure the area and inspect their fallen foes.
  • Meanwhile, Yasu contacts Caras from the surface stating that the surface location is not yet secure, since some hobgoblins had arrived to do combat.
  • It’s quickly resolved, though.
  • After some study, some help from Haverdy, and a few failed attempts, Bolt joins the other scholars and successfully seals the portal.
  • Thomas questions the elf they rescued:
    • Her name is Bralani
    • She was a member of a diplomatic envoy from the Wildlands sent to contact members an elven grove in the Northern Freelands.
    • They were captured and mostly killed by an illithid (inferred from her description of the creature)
    • She was kept unconscious or in the dark most of the time, but she was eventually given to these drow.
    • Her illithid captor then opened the portal using an orb identical to the one the party possessed for closing the portal.
    • She was dominated and forced to inspire her drow keepers with her music. She was otherwise unharmed.
    • She claims to be an aristocrat/bard by training.
  • The party teleports back to the surface along with Bralani, their single drow prisoner, and one of the abyssal ghoul corpses.
  • Caras speaks with Yasu about how to handle prisoner transport, the nature of each of their battles, and any other strategic decisions.
  • Meanwhile, Jenny finds Thomas and shares most of the magic items and gold she managed to find on the hobgoblins they battled.
  • After some discussion, the party returns to the Vertragus with Bralani and the drow prisoner, making sure to blindfold and imprison them immediately.
  • Bralani is treated well despite being imprisoned, and she seems to understand that it’s necessary until they can determine her intentions.
  • Bee speaks with Captain John and Lady Moreau about what he perceives as an injustice against Creben Durgard.
  • Lady Moreau agrees to speak with Captain Striker about allowing a hearing to discuss the dwarf’s fate, including allowing Durgard to advocate for his own interests.
  • Striker agrees and the hearing is set for the next day.
  • Bert, along with oversight from Adriana, speaks with Durgard prior to the hearing and makes a proposal:
    • Durgard will agree to travel to the Arcane Empire and reveal what he knows.
    • He will be allowed a visitation from his family prior to the journey to the Empire.
    • The Dwarven rulers of the Dragonrange Mountains will be given gifts on his family’s behalf so they may regain the honor he lost.
    • He will be allowed to return to the Dragonrange once he has divulged the information he knows (Durgard doubts he will outlive his usefulness).
  • Durgard seems to accept these terms, and will present them at the hearing.
  • In the meantime, Jenny speaks with Thomas about her life, since she no longer needs to hide her lycnthropy from him (which is a large part of her life):
    • She and her twin brother, Alex, were born in Roche to a merchant’s daughter. Her father and Benjamin were absent at the time.
    • The two were sold to a couple in the Wildlands, since their mother and her family would not accept lycanthropes in the family (“At least she didn’t drown us.”)
    • Their father rescued/kidnapped them from the people in the Wildlands a few months later (according to Ben, since Jenny was too young to remember).
    • The four of them spent the next eight years traveling between The Freelands and the Arcane Empire, with Benjamin and their father getting odd jobs.
    • They had to keep moving, since word of her father’s affliction (and his inability to control it) wouldn’t allow them to stay anywhere for long.
    • Eventually, Benjamin refused to continue to live like this (he’s not afflicted, so he has more options) and he remained in the Arcane Empire for the winter.
    • That winter, Jenny, Alex, and their father were captured by the gnolls of Canistooth.
    • Over the next months, Alex and their father died.
    • Jenny eventually escaped, though into the hostility of the Freelands.
    • Luckily, she was found by an old friend of her mother’s who nursed her back to health.
    • He taught her how to use her arcane ability (particularly necromancy).
    • Eventually, he took her back to Roche and gave her a home there, where she lived until leaving with Thomas and the party.
  • The next day, Creben Durgard’s hearing commences.
    • Adriana claims “status-quo”; namely that Durgard is currently being transported to the Arcane Empire as a prisoner of war, and will be questioned there.
    • Lady Moreau claims grievances on behalf of Peloria, noting the more immediate threat Durgard’s weapons may pose, as well as the efforts (and lives) expended to get him.
    • Durgard argues for his freedom to return to Dwarven lands based on religious rights.
    • Diplomacy commences, with Newton arguing that the proper religious respect can be found in Peloria, and Bert arguing that the Arcane Empire can better utilize his information, stating that religious problems can be solved anywhere (“It’s simple planar metaphysics!”).
    • Lady Moreau silences Newton and cedes the right to the Arcane Empire to take and hold Durgard, contingent upon some sort of official alliance and/or sharing of information agreement.
    • Durgard then presented the plan Bert had discussed with him.
  • Captain Striker demands that Durgard provide a high-level description of the weapons he developed for the Iron Kingdom before agreeing to any terms. They are as follows:
    • Alchemically powered airships (he helped develop the chases and propulsion devices, but knows little about the alchemical substance)
    • Advanced cannons and alchemical charges (he helped develop the cannons and knows a little more about the alchemical substance)
    • Human-piloted “constructs” (he helped develop the body and mechanisms)
    • Some details on how the Iron Kingdom managed to keep these developments secret.
    • No indication of extraplanar beings or magic, though possibly some divine magic
  • At this point, the Captain accepts the terms and the Adriana begins planning for interacting with the Dragonrange dwarves per Durgard’s terms.
  • After the hearing, Captain John asks Lady Moreau how things went.
  • When he learns that she has ceced Durgard to the Arcane Empire, he becomes furious, claiming that the men he lost have died in vain. It also becomes apparent that he sees the Empire as the “Ancient Enemy”.
  • When Newton tries to convince him that what’s happening is best for Peloria, he responds with “Oh I’ll see to what’s best for Peloria”.
  • The session ends with Newton concerned about Captain John’s mental state.
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Session 22
Ghouls, Drow, and ... Huh?
  • The fight continues as Bee drops another lesser ghoul with well-placed arrows.
  • The Brothers defeat two of the remaining lesser ghouls with the help of Commander Caras.
  • The advanced abyssal ghoul moves to cover the entrance of the cavern and attacks Bee once again while its remaining lesser version pins the summoned bear that grappled it.
  • Newton and Bert finish off the remaining lesser ghoul, allowing the others to focus on the advanced specimen.
  • Villeous gets the first strike with dispel evil, but the ghoul resists the banishment effect.
  • Thomas and his summoned bear strike the behemoth from below as Liev Bolt attempts to overcome its spell resistance.
  • The Brothers find a position out from under the creature and enlarge themselves while Caras attacks it with her short bow.
  • As Bee moves out of range, the advanced ghoul turns its ire to Villeous, though he avoids its dreaded grapple.
  • The attacks continue as each character whittles down the monster’s hit points, and the creature ineffectually attempts to grapple the halfling, until it’s finally felled.
  • The group explores the cavern for some time, discovering that the door on the other side has been covered using stone shape or something similar.
  • Bee’s old prison is occupied by the corpses of his former screecher fungi guards.
  • The double-doors thus far unexplored reveal only rubble behind them.
  • The cavern itself holds the corpses of a number of drow, which the party loot with glee.
  • The advanced abyssal ghoul also carries a large amount of magic items in its bowels, Bert and Bolt are exposed to the creature’s demon fever.
  • They explore down the spiral staircase to find a deep pool of water below the cavern. Bee spots a kapoacinth in the depths and the party retreats up the steps.
  • The decision is made to break through the shaped stone into the cavern beyond.
  • The Halsmith brothers spend some time hacking away at the wall, but the group ultimately allows Bolt to use passwall to get through.
  • Bolt launches fireballs into the cavern while Newton moves in and uncovers his daylight shield, blinding any drow.
  • After a few rounds of uncovering hidden drow, the opponents fall rather easily.
  • Bert and Caras manage to capture one of the wizards and interrogate him.
    • The priestess the party killed was the head cleric, and one of her acolytes is now in control.
    • The blue has taken control of their new leader, though.
    • The drow has no idea what the blue’s motives are, but they seem to be aligned at the moment (avoid the ghouls and keep the portal protected).
    • The portal they seek is behind some nearby double-doors (and the forbiddance effect is absent directly around it).
    • There are “fewer” drow in the next area, but they will fight to the death to keep the portal open.
    • The portal is ancient and was abandoned long ago, but it was opened recently, and the drow returned.
  • Bee knocks out the wizard, and the party prepares to storm the portal room.
  • Thomas unlocks the door, and bolt fires a fireball as the doors open, but there’s a surprise wall just behind the doors, causing the fireball to explode prematurely.
  • The brothers begin to break this wall down as well.
  • Once a small hole opens up, Bolt fires a few fireballs into the room.
  • The party notices some harp music in the room that’s interrupted by one of the fireballs.
  • A female voice speaks out sadly in elven “Why would you do that?”
  • The brothers finish breaking the wall, and Newton storms in with daylight to blind any drow.
  • Inside, the party finds two lines of drow standing unmoving and silent, facing the portal at the other end of the cavern (away from the door).
  • At the top of some stairs is a massive column of slowly flowing webbing reaching from ceiling to the floor.
  • In front of the portal stands a drow priestess flanked by the blue to her right and a female high elf to her left. The elf carries a small harp and is likely the one who spoke before.
  • Villeous tries to cast true seeing, but the priestess dispels it.
  • The session ends as the party members filter into the room and try to understand this strange development.
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Session 21
Abyssal Ghouls!
  • As the discussions come to an end on the bridge of the Vertragus, Adriana informs Captain Striker that they will be taking off in about three hours.
  • Villeous and Liev Bolt request the Gateway Key so that they and Dr. Haverdy may study it before they set out to close the portal.
  • Thomas and Bert agree, but Bert insists on joining them. Thomas watches the door from outside, in case Bert comes into danger.
  • Newton offers to Captain John Thorn to scry on the missing rangers.
  • He agrees, and they head off the ship to avoid being watched. Kelly Palmer insists on checking her husband, Doug.
  • Jenny finds Bee and they go to watch if anything comes up.
  • They see that Doug is still alive, as are Marcus Terennis and several of the other rangers and freemen.
  • They are bound with gold cord and have been dressed in white robes.
  • As they watch, some white-robed men with white hoods gag Doug and drag him away, as Marcus screams in protest.
  • They move him to a basin, and bathe him in a clear liquid as another priest comes into view, marked with a Crimson Fist.
  • The priest speaks a long benediction, during which it becomes apparent that Doug will soon die.
  • At the end of the benediction, he and Doug are both engulfed in flames, though as they subside the priest is untouched while Doug is a smoldering corpse.
  • He carries Doug’s skull back to the remaining men, allowing the scrying sensor to reveal them.
  • Other acolytes are bathing the other men in liquid, and they drop a torch on them, setting them all aflame.
  • The priest looks directly at the sensor and invites all those seeking salvation to bring the dwarf with a “017” on his neck (Bee) to him. They will all be freed.
  • The scrying is then dispelled.
  • Kelly is striken with horror and grief at this point, and calls Captain John a coward and a fool.
  • Bee tries to calm her, but makes her even more furious.
  • Captain John reveals that he’s been stripped of his officer title (so he’s really just “John”) because he disobeyed orders and deserted troops when raiding the orc camp in Session 3
  • Strongheart gave him the option of doing reconnaissance in the Freelands as opposed to jail time, and he accepted.
  • Doug, Marcus, and the others followed him out of loyalty, and now they’re all dead.
  • He makes it his mission to get Creben Durgard back to Peloria and not the Arcane Empire, as that’s his only hope now of redemption.
  • More details about the above interactions can be found at The Fate of Doug Palmer
  • Newton and Jenny join Kelly and council and talk with her, hoping to give her some peace.
  • Bee tries to talk John into helping him break Durgard out (with the hopes that Durgard would simply be let free, though he keeps that part to himself)
  • John seems somewhat willing, though he also seems able to see through Bee’s attempts at duplicity.
  • Meanwhile, P-Pot finds Thomas outside Dr. Haverdy’s door and convinces him to join her to “see something cool”
  • She gets him to unlock one of the off-limit doors while she places a crystal on the door to disable any alarm.
  • They go inside to find two large cylinders reaching from floor to ceiling. They are broken into parts that slowly rotate and counter-rotate around a faint light in the center.
  • Thomas grows uncomfortable, but P-Pot is enamored by the objects and convinces him to stay.
  • As the ship takes off, the cylinders rotate faster, and squares begin opening up in the floor.
  • Before Tomas can get P-Pot out, she steps on one, revealing that it’s solid.
    He tries to drag her out, but she resists and forces him to lay on one. Eventually the entire floor vanishes beneath them.
  • They watch for a short time as the world below them becomes smaller.
  • P-Pot flirts with and teases Thomas for a short while, but he eventually convinces her to leave with him.
  • He re-locks the door and P-Pot takes the crystal back.
  • Chef finds the party members and gives each of them a tablet that’s intended to combat altitude sickness, as they are not yet acclimated to the high altitude.
  • P-Pot trys to convince Thomas not to take it, but he’s at this point realized she’s a bit of a whimsical liar.
  • Bertrum, meanwhile, spends the next several hours learning about the ritual necessary to use the gateway key to close portals, He realizes it’s more of an art than a science.
  • Bee, sets out in the night upon Yasu’s dire bat to find a bat to act as a scout in the caverns the next day.
  • Yasu encourages him to handle the bat himself, though she assists when it becomes apparent he’s not particularly adept.
  • She also tries to teach him spells, though she learns that he lacks the wisdom to cast them.
  • He uses the animal whistle that he got from Magical Trevor, and it’s effective. Yasu tells him that it possesses magical abilities to charm animals.
  • They return to the ship with their new companion, to find Commander Caras laying in Yasu’s “nest”.
  • She seems surprised to see Bee and asks him to leave, and Yasu asks that Bee give them about an hour.
  • Bee listens for a short while outside the door, and infers that Caras is used to having some intimate time with Yasu, which he may disrupt, as he’s temporarily living in her natural zone.
  • Bert and the other researchers eventually call it a night, and Dr. Haverdy convinces him to let him keep it for the rest of the night so he may research it further.
  • Bert agrees, though Thomas insists on remaining outside his door.
  • During the night, Thomas is awoken by a clockwork golem cleaning the hallway. He listens to the door, and determines that Haverdy is still working and undisturbed.
  • The next morning, Newton and Jenny pray. For the first time, she remains for the entire hour.
  • Bert, Villeous, and Liev Bolt meet with Dr. Haverdy and discuss anything else he learned that night. He casts telepathic link on them and himself so he may provide further guidance later should they need it.
  • After some preparations, the raiding party set out, atop many flying steeds. Bee is again forced to leave Bessie behind, though he now has his bat.
  • Jenny remains with the group keeping watch at the surface, while Commander Caras, Villeous, Liev Bolt, and Dean and Carlos Halsmith join them below in the drow caverns.
  • Inside, they find several lesser abyssal ghouls trying to hide from them.
  • Newton buffs his turning ability, and destroys one of them with a greater turning.
  • The remaining four rush the group, and the Halsmith brothers jump into action, blocking them and dealing significant damage.
  • Bee transforms into a bear, Bolt attacks with magic missile, Thomas employs holy water, Bert provides oration bonus and attacks with his spear, Caras smites evil, and Villeous remains available for healing.
  • One of the ghouls provides flanking on one of the brothers, and despite their high AC, he’s badly injured by a single sneak attack.
  • The party defeats the remaining ghouls shortly thereafter, but they learn they have to be more careful tactically.
  • When they try to find the secondary portal in this cave, they see it’s vanished.
  • The small crevice they used previously has been widened significantly, suggesting the advanced ghoul is somewhere beyond.
  • The party inspects it, and Caras’s detect evil finds more evil creatures below, which they assume to be more abyssal ghouls.
  • They cast hide from undead and climb down. Once half the party reaches the bottom, the ghouls strike, though the party is more prepared for them this time.
  • The creatures attack, but the party keeps them at bay, while the members still in the crevice above provide covering fire.
  • Just as it starts seeming they have the upper hand, though, the advanced abyssal ghoul appears above Bee and attacks him, having apparently crawled across the ceiling or wall of the cavern.
  • Villeous blocks it with stone shape, but this will only slow it for a moment.
  • The struggle on the ground suddenly becomes more dire, as the remaining ghouls vie for tactical advantage, badly injuring Caras.
  • The session ends as the party begins to spread out within the cavern.
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Session 20
Negotiations Aboard the Vertragus
  • See Session 19 and the EAS Vertragus for details on the end of Session 19 as well as activity between sessions.
  • First Officer Adriana Prieto gives the party (sans Bee) a tour of the Vertragus.
  • Much of the ship is off limits. The party doesn’t press the issue.
  • Bert notes that the cannons must have been retrofit, since the ship is older than cannon technology.
  • Adriana acknowledges that, though alchemical research is often looked down on by the arcane community, it has its uses.
  • Thomas has heard of lifting devices similar to those on the ship, but they were much smaller and used levitation as the mechanism.
  • Adriana confirms that they once existed, but are not as efficient and suffer from degradation much faster.
  • They also notice that one of the crew quarters is labeled “Major Trevor: Magical Items Acquisitions and Distributions”
  • There’s a ruckus down at the stern of the ship, so Adriana excuses herself to check it out.
  • The party returns to the stables to get Bee, but he’s gone missing.
  • They look around and find that he’s the source of the ruckus.
  • Lady Tanya Moreau is there, and she says that she has accidentally given Bee the impression that he’s dead and this is the afterlife.
  • Bee has bothered Chef by trying to eat the hog whole, but several of the crew members managed to restrain him.
  • Bert convinces Bee that he’s not dead, and Bee apologizes.
  • The party speaks with Lady Moreau and find that she had her own adventures while trying to avoid captors, that’s why she didn’t meet them in Swellburg.
  • She offhandedly hints that she had some dungeon crawling adventures of her own, but she brushes them off when asked for more details, other than she acquired a dagger for one of her accomplices in exchange for his assistance.
  • Lady Moreau and Jenkins took care of Bessie for Bee, and she returns to Bee at this point.
  • The party gets Villeous to cast sending to Captain John Thorn.
    • He is safe and coming to the ship with Captain Sven Striker
    • Also safe and returning are Creben Durgard, Kelly Palmer, and Corporal Steven Lorne.
    • All others of his party are either dead or missing.
    • Villeous says he must report this conversation to Adriana, since the information pertains to Captain Striker’s activities.
  • The party cleans up and joins the Kordan celebration that Chef put on.
  • Bee wrestles Dean and Carlos Halsmith simultaneously, which ends in a draw.
  • They drink and be merry.
  • Thomas meets another xeph on the crew: P-Pot works in the stables with Milkman. She immediately sees through Thomas’s disguise, but doesn’t mention it to anyone else.
  • Bee gets drunk and passes out outside, while the others go in to rest.
  • The next morning, the party sets about clearing up a few things.
  • First, Newton casts detect evil on Jenny, and determines that she’s not evil.
  • Next, they ask Adriana if anybody on the ship can teach them about extraplanar creatures. She introduces them to Dr. Haverdy
    • Haverdy is quite strange and forces them to do seemingly arbitrary things, including knocking on the door in an intricate pattern.
    • He tells them the creature is an abyssal ghoul, and it will feed very quickly on the few drow they witnessed.
    • They ask about extraplanar creatures following them from the Astral Plane.
    • After getting more information, Haverdy kicks them out without any answers.
    • Bert convinces him to explain, but Haverdy swears him to secrecy, and makes the others leave.
    • Newton leaves without performing the intricate knocking ritual Havedy requested, but Thomas and Jenny make an attempt.
    • Bert learns what Haverdy knows about the strange occurrences following Thomas and Newton.
    • When the others ask Bert about it, he says it’s a temporary affliction caused by excess bleeding from another plane. It will wear off over time, as long as they avoid other planes.
    • The others don’t believe him, but they don’t ask further.
  • The party visits the armorer and sells their masterwork and some magic items.
  • At this point, Trevor’s shop is open and they visit him. They sell their remaining excess magic items and buy some upgrades, mostly to armor.
  • Bee tries to help Goat, the blacksmith/armor-smith, make barding for Bessie, but the smith kicks him out after a short time.
  • Thomas, Newton, Bee, and Jenny go for a walk and discuss some things while Bert visits Haverdy again.
  • Newton asks Jenny about her lycanthropy:
    • She was born with it
    • She wishes to have it removed, but even the most powerful magic may not work
    • She can control when she changes, but her behavior becomes very different when she does
    • Benjamin is not a lycanthrope
    • Their father became afflicted after Ben was born, but her mother is not
  • Next, they broach the subject of her undead aura. Bee and Thomas say they will defend her, no matter what, so she needn’t fear Newton’s response.
  • Instead, she opts to speak with Newton alone. The others comply, and she speaks with him for a short time.
  • When they return, Newton seems perturbed, but they both look fine, and Jenny even seems a bit happy.
  • Newton explains that the problem will be resolved in time, and Jenny may now leave his presence without problems.
  • Bert has returned to the party at this point and they all watch a group of about ten flying mounts return to the vessel.
  • They hustle to the stables to see who has arrived.
    • Captain Striker and his team have returned. They have with them everybody from Captain John’s group that they could save.
    • Bee goes to talk to the woman, Yasu Yukimura, riding a dire bat and asks if she’s a druid.
    • She confirms she is, and Bee asks to learn from her. She invites him to ride with her, and they fly to a higher deck.
    • Jenny asks Captain John what happened to Benjamin, and he tells her that Ben left the group well before the ambush happened.
    • The rest of the group was captured or killed by some Kordans from an unknown house.
    • They remained on the defensive until Captain Striker and his crew rescued them.
  • After a short time for cleaning up and internal debriefing, Captain Striker calls the party and John to the bridge and they discuss business
    • The party describes their recent escapades in the Freelands (excluding any details about Haven).
    • They also describe their problems with the drow and the abyssal ghoul.
    • Striker says he knows about Thomas and Newton’s involvement with the Illithid Portal in the Luminous Mountains
    • He reminds them that they have one of two Gateway Keys, the other having been stolen from Professor Farnsworth a few weeks ago.
    • At Striker’s request, Thomas shows that they still possess their key.
    • Striker asks to have it, but they refuse.
    • He explains that he has been tasked by Lord Bluemont and the Arcane Empire hierarchy to retrieve it, and close portals that have begun to open since the Minor Illithid Invasion occurred.
    • The party offers to help, and The Captain agrees to let them assist with the portals they discovered in the drow caverns.
    • They also discuss the Warband and Great Leader, including the strange constructs.
    • It becomes clear that Striker knows a fair amount about the hobgoblin movements, but not much more than the party.
    • Finally, they mention the man with two huge constructs piling dead bodies in one of the Northern cities.
    • One of Striker’s advisers suggests it may be the Corpsecrafter.
  • Next he speaks with Captain John.
    • He claims that Durgard will be transported to the Arcane Empire.
    • Captain John argues, but to no avail.
    • It also becomes clear that Striker has no intention to mount any rescue for the remaining members that went missing near Swellburg
  • Meanwhile, Bee speaks with Yasu for a short time in the “nest” she built in the ship’s greenhouse.
  • She is willing to teach him what she can, and also offers to let him stay with her until he can make his own natural surroundings on the vessel.
  • Next, Bee finds Durgard being guarded by some of the guards on the Vertragus. They refuse to let him speak to him in person, so Bee shouts through the door.
    • Durgard thanks him for switching places with the Warband hobgoblins.
    • He also says he just wants to be with his family in the Dragonrange Mountains.
  • The party offers to help Captain John scry on any missing comrades, and he accepts their offer.
  • The session ends as Newton prepares the crystal ball.
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Session 19
Narrow Escape and Discoveries
  • Thomas throws the ring bearing the silence effect at the drow wizard, hoping to stem his ability to cast.
  • Bert casts grease on Bee, allowing him to escape the black tentacles with ease.
  • Jenny becomes visible again, revealing she has also been captured by the tentacles.
  • Thomas reaches the wall below the crevace, and Newton casts wall of stone, protecting the party members below.
  • Bee climbs the wall and crawls behind the party, only to discover that the priestess and three of her defenders have appeared behind them.
  • Bert greases Jenny to allow her escape, and Thomas climbs the wall to join the rest.
  • Bert and Newton hear the priestess behind them casting, and Bert realizes that she has formed an abjuration to prevent any teleportation.
  • Bee attempts to fight her as her henchmen fire crossbows at him and the Blue, the later of which is left unconscious from their poison.
  • Newton, Bee and Thomas exit the crawlspace as Jenny reaches the party, and they face the priestess in combat.
  • At this point, the portal they used to flank the party is visible as a semi-ethereal tunnel walled with gently undulating webbing.
  • The sounds of a horrible creature issue from its depths…
  • The fight rages, as Bert and Jenny are unable (or unwilling) to climb out of the crawl space, and the rest of the party struggles to kill the priestess in order to end the abjuration
  • Just before being felled, the priestess shapes the stone at the opening of the crawl space, separating the party.
  • Jenny and Bert fend off some drow that finally scaled the wall Newton formed, while Bee, Newton, and Thomas face a more sinister foe.
  • A large, ghoul-like creature emerges from the webbed portal and attack one of the remaining drow.
  • Bee tries to break the wall separating the party, while Newton and Thomas ineffectually fire several bolts of dismissal at the creature.
  • The creature pins and kills the drow and advances on the party.
  • Meanwhile, Jenny becomes overwhelmed by the attacking drow, and transforms into her wererat haybrid form for the first time.
  • She ferociously attacks and kills one of the drow.
  • Bert does what he can to wake the Blue, but fails and instead moves toward the wall where Bee is breaking through to unite the party.
  • Just as Bee breaks a hole in the wall, the monster grabs and begins to pin him.
  • Bert tries to get the party together so they can make a chain and dimension door out of trouble.
  • Jenny casts vampiric touch, marking the first time she uses necromancy since Newton forbade her in the Cursed Forest.
  • Just as the party forms a chain for dimension door, the creature drains Bee of all his wisdom, leaving him unconscious.
  • Bert casts the spell, and the party emerges on the surface, where the horses had been hidden, only to find the horses gone and the position secured by the hobgoblins.
  • The construct demands their surrender, and the party is unable to resist in their weakened state.
  • It orders Thomas to tie up the conscious members, which he does to the best of his ability. Jenny vanishes before he gets to her, upsetting the construct
  • The construct grapples Thomas and deals nonlethal damage to him until Jenny emerges from invisibility and attacks.
  • Fearing that the construct will kill her, Thomas joins the fight.
  • Just when it seems that this is a no-win scenario, the hobgoblins stationed on the hill above are blasted with several fireballs
  • Newton and Bert immediately break their binds, while Jenny and Thomas assault the construct.
  • They focus their energies on the construct, as the hobgoblins are mostly distracted by the hippogriff-riding assailants that had launched the fireballs.
  • Thomas is badly injured and falls back, only to be dropped by a stray arrow.
  • The construct is finally brought down, and the hobgoblins are routed by the flying cavalry.
  • Bert feeds a curing potion to Thomas, bringing him back to consciousness.
  • Bert flees to the trees, while Newton drags Bee to safety.
  • Jenny, though, grapples Thomas, much to his surprise, and kisses him. Her mouth is freezing cold, so much to as to injure Thomas slightly.
  • She releases him and wanders to the corpses of the fallen hobgoblins.
  • Thomas follows her after a short while to get her to regroup with the others, only to find her feasting on the corpse of one of the fallen goblinoids.
  • He gives her some time and leads her back to the others. She seems to be ina bit of a daze.
  • Bert convinces her to return to human form, as she would likely be in danger if others found her this way.
  • The party heals up their wounds until the mounted cavalry land and address them.
  • The leader of the three intruduces herself as Commander Tala Caras.
  • She claims their military unit was performing drills in the area when they were ordered to seek out the party.
  • She asks the party to join her at their nearby base and speak with her commanding officer, Captain Sven Striker.
  • They learn that the military unit is actually a privately operated force under Lord Bluemont of the Arcane Empire.
  • The party follows Caras and her men to her base. They reach a ridge over a valley and discover that the “base” is actually a large airship. The party is truly stunned.
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Session 18
Finding Bee
  • Newton tries to trick the ettercaps into going down into the stirge lair. He pulls items out of the magician’s hat, but is unable to find a good use for them.
  • Bertrum and Thomas devise a way to fill the cavern with smoke to disperse and scare the stirges.
  • Once that is done, the party enters the stirge lair and kills off some of the remaining creatures.
  • They move down to a deeper lair only to discover an even greater number of stirges.
  • Bert uses the guts of the Tomb Spider to scare them away (they fear the scent), and the others pick them off from a distance.
  • They once again use a smoke screen to clear away an area around a hole to move deeper.
  • Thomas drops down an is immediately attacked by a Roper.
  • He attempts to escape, but is grabbed and parylized quickly, followed by Bert who manages to provide a smoke screen before losing his strength.
  • Newton and the Blue drop down quickly, assisted by Jenny’s feather fall spell
  • The party attempts to disable the creature, but it proves to be far too resistant to spells to be easily brought down.
  • Newton restores Thomas’s strength, but it’s quickly sapped away again.
  • The blue switches Jenny and Thomas’s place just before the Roper can get the chance to coup-de-grace him.
  • Newton uses divine power to grow large and bash at the creature, while Jenny escapes its grasp and moves to flank it.
  • The Blue hides.
  • Newton manages to distract the Roper long enough to destroy it before it can cill Thomas or Bert.
  • Newton once again restores Thomas’s strength, and Jenny gives Bert a potion that gives him just enough strength to walk around.
  • The party discovers a crevice filled with spider webs.
  • Thomas investigates and overhears drow speaking. He repeats a few words back to Bert later who translates out “priestess”, “webbing”, “summon”, and “creature”
  • The Blue gives them a quick description of what he knows about the place where Bee is hidden.
  • When Thomas investigates again, he discovers that they are close to where Bee is being held.
  • The party formulates a plan:
    • Thomas and Jenny will climb down and infiltrate using invisibility and silence.
    • Once they’ve got him, Newton and Bert will create a distraction, including covering their retreat with a wall of stone.
    • The Blue will remain in contact with Thomas via mind link this whole time and the party will coordinate that way.
    • Once outside of the abjuration, Bert will dimension door the party to safety, and the Blue will dimension door himself out alone. Bert gives him the rendevous coordinates neart the horses.
  • The preparations are made and Thomas and Jenny move toward the door where Bee is being held.
  • Bert creates a subtle distraction to draw attention away from the doow and Thomas and Jenny try to open the lock and disable the traps.
  • Jenny fails to disable the trap, though, and it’s sprung, alerting everyone in the room to the problem.
  • They quickly call reinforcements and begin searching for the cause.
  • Thomas and Jenny move past shrieker fungi (they make no sound in the silence effect) and open the next door (the traps are successfully disabled this time).
  • They find Bee inside, badly beaten but still alive. They remove his shackles and make him invisible. He recognizes them by their scent.
  • In the meantime, the priestess has arrived, and she has instructed the drow to wait for her command to attack.
  • Thomas tries to wait them out, but it becomes apparent that they’re waiting for the invisible intruders to make the first move.
  • As soon as they open the door, the priestess cast dispel magic and they all become visible. She then leaves.
  • Jenny quickly becomes invisible again and Thomas moves while hiding.
  • Bee rages and runs headlong toward his escape (Bert is providing light and instructions)
  • Bee is captured by black tentacles, as well as possibly Jenny.
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Session 17
A Blue and the Drow
  • After Newton obliterates the bulk of the tomb spiders and mummies, the party moves forward to fight the mother
  • The fight is short, with the remaining swarms and the large spider falling easily.
  • Newton’s flame strike causes a minor cave-in, but it proves to be more helpful than harmful.
  • The party explores the area, trying to find a sereptitious route upward
  • As they search, Jenny hears something in an area Thomas had just searched.
  • Thomas discovers a Blue hiding in the rubble and Bertrum questions it.
  • They discover that Bee and several of the hobgoblin group (including the blue) had been kidnapped by drow.
  • He also claims to know the layout somewhat, saying that there’s some abjuration in most of the caverns preventing any teleportaion.
  • The blue offers to help recue him, claiming that he owed his life to Bee.
  • In the meantime, Thomas notices that the hobgoblins from upstairs are just around the corner, necessitating a quick decision
  • The party uses dimension door to get lower to where the blue thinks they’ll be safe
  • They are immediately attacked by a small colony of stirges that manage to suck some blood from Thomas and Jenny before being destroyed
  • The small room has a single door exiting it, a mine shaft reaching to the room above (and possibly higher), and a cave-in revealing a cavern.
  • The party decides to try the door.
  • Thomas tries to disable the trap, but fails. Thankfully, Jenny uses mage hand to open the door, so nobody is hurt when the lightning bolt discharges
  • Inside, they discover magical darkness, which Newton supresses with a daylight spell.
  • The party enters the room without molestation, not seeing anything hostile.
  • They are suddenly ambushed, though, by drow hiding behind various pieces of rubble.
  • Even when attacking, some of the drow are so capable at hiding that the the party has trouble pinpointing numbers and locations.
  • Newton is badly injured, but the party manages to push back against thair assailants.
  • Jenny takes the time to stabalize some of the fallen drow, but the blue attempts to kill those that are unconscious.
  • After defeating all the drow, Bert interrogates one of the surviving males
  • He discovers that Bee is being saved for some special sacrafice, and that the priestess would never give him up
  • It seems like he’ll say more, but one of the doors nearby opens and a wizard blasts the injured drow and Bert with a fireball before anyone can react.
  • Thomas and Newton try to kill the wizard, but he escapes before they can stop him.
  • The party arrays themselves around the door, and Thomas tries disabling the traps he knows are on it, but fails.
  • Again, Jenny opens the door with mage hand, and the rest of the group prepare to attack anything within with and AoE spell.
  • They see nothing, and instead opt to close the door and re-evaluate their position.
  • They find another exit in the room, Jenny successfully disables the traps, and they enter, only to find that it leads up a level to a secret door.
  • Thomas wants to keep fighting the drow, but Newton, Bert and the blue want to find another way.
  • The party returns to the previous room and try to find out if the cavern they found will lead to the drow.
  • They enter, and Newton loses some blood to stirge attacks. The party discovers that the stirges are easy to attack at a distance, though, and pick them off.
  • They crawl through a small passage, and emerge to find webbing.
  • They burn the webbing and discover a large cavern filled with ettercaps.
  • The ettercaps leave them alone at first, but they seem on edge.
  • Thomas finds a hole in the floor of the cavern which seems to lead to a stirge nest.
  • The party once again discusses the wisdom of fighting more stirges rather than the drow.
  • Session ends.
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Session 16
Beginning Bee's Rescue
  • The party and Captain John’s group return to the destroyed city to rest for the night
  • Captain John plans to leave for Kordia in the morning
  • Bert, Thomas, and Newton speak with the Kordian Colonel
    • He’s planning to fortify the city and wait a few weeks for further force buildup
    • He expects to be able to sweep across the Freelands and finish off this Great Leader’s forces in the late spring.
    • He is curious about the constructs when Bert mentions them
    • He also asks about the force numbers and concentration
    • The party notices he discusses killing other-kin rather casually
  • That night, the party checks on Bee using the crystal ball. He’s still with the goblins, and the construct is standing vigilant over him as he sleeps.
  • The next day, the party once again argues with Benjamin about Jenny’s right to remain with the party. He finally gives up.
  • Captain John says he plans to get Creben Durgard to Major Moreau’s contact to get him to Peloria. Once he’s figured out Major Moreau’s fate (and hopefully rescued her), he’ll contact the party and meet up with them in the Freelands.
  • The party sells some of their magic items to the Kordians, trade their horses for faster horses, and set off North to rescue Bee.
  • They check on him periodically via the crystal ball, seeing that he’s remaining docile and always under the construct’s watch.
  • Despite their fast horses, they realize that the hobgoblins are moving faster than them
  • One attempt to scry on Bee fails for unknown reasons, but they successfully see the Blue
  • At another instance, they catch Bee speaking with the Blue in a friendly manner. For the first time, the construct and hobgoblins are out of sight.
    • He confesses his real name and that Captain John’s group kept Durgard
    • He gives it the name of the party members and some of Captain John’s people
    • He claims to be “very important”, due to the assassins out to kill him and his ability to transform when angry
    • He offers to help the Blue escape the hobgoblins, and shows him the anklets of translocation.
    • The Blue seems to be very understanding and encourages Bee to wait for the right time.
  • The Blue leaves as the construct returns, and the party scrys on it, revealing that it immediately gave all this information to the hobgoblin lieutenant.
  • The Lieutentant announces the plan to go to Greyshire where they can interrogate Bee further.
  • The party arrives in Greyshire about 2 days after the hobgoblins
  • Thomas and Bert enter the town pretending to be merchants. They learn a few things from their converstaions
    • The hobgoblins are holed up in the abandoned dwarf mine up on the mountain
    • The mines are home to stirges that appear and wreak havoc on local livestock a couple times a month
    • There are multiple entrances, including one that the hobgoblins don’t seem to know about.
    • The halflings and goblins currently living in the town moved in after the mostly human population was driven away.
  • The party chose to enter the mine via a secret tunnel that one of the halfling children used occasioanlly.
  • Inside, they accidentally disturb a hive of spiders that attack quickly. Bert identifies them as tomb spiders, which spawn via negative energy and undead hosts
  • They find that their passage is blocked by a cave-in, but they dimension door past it.
  • While exploring the mines, they are beset by more tomb spiders, as well as tomb mummies, which explode into more swarms when destroyed (mostly by Newton’s turnings).
  • They find even more cave-ins, some seem passable while others seem impenetrable
  • They catch some glimpses of stirges in the halls, but they don’t seem to be a threat.
  • The party discovers that the hobgoblins are one level above them, so they try to explore quietly.
  • They discover a large staircase up a level, as well as a secret ladder up. They opt not to move up.
  • They also find a long-abandoned blacksmith’s forge.
  • Down one corridor, they find a large section of the mines cleared out, and a large tomb spider using the area as its nest.
  • The party retreats as more mummies and swarms chase them down a hallway, and Newton expertly dispatches a great number of them with a blade barrier.
  • With the spawn destroyed, the party contemplates destroying the mother spider.
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Session 15
Escape from Canistooth, and Handing Bee Over
  • Thomas, Bert, Bee, and Durgard dimension door away from the facility to the outskirts of the town. Bee returns to dwarven form.
  • They heal some of Durgard’s wounds, but he has a leg injury that make their movements slow.
  • Meanwhile, Newton, Captain John, and all the rest attempt to escape Canistooth now that the distraction was a success.
  • They turn down a major through-way and plow past some gnolls as they mobilize.
  • The group moves quickly and fights efficiently against some dire wolf-mounted gnolls before their pursuers can catch up.
  • They beat them back just in time to make it through a blockade that was rapidly being built.
  • They encounter further blockades, but Newton animates parts and directs them to attack.
  • Despite the resistance exiting the city, the group manages to escape without casualties.
  • They find the other party members with Durgard and assist them in getting him to the damaged watchtower outside of town. They wait for the remaining ranger/freemen to rendevouz.
  • Bert and the others speak with Durgard. He wants to go to the Elbis Mines, but Captain John refuses, so Bert convinces him to join them to Kordia.
  • They learn that he became tired of developing for the Iron Kingdom, so he fled to the Freelands to start a new life.
  • He was captured by the Great Leader’s force, but his escort was killed by these rogue gnolls and he was held prisoner in Canistooth.
  • He doesn’t argue with the plan to let Bee be captured in his place.
  • Most of the rangers and freemen arrive shortly after the main force, but two are still missing.
  • Thomas produces the crystal ball they’ve been carrying for some time, and Kelly attempts to scry on one of them.
  • The crystal ball reveals that the two are together, and one is carrying a badly injured human child.
  • They are desperately trying to escape pursuers, and it’s clear they’re still deep in the city.
  • After some deliberation, and with heavy hearts, the group decides to leave them to their fate, as the resistance in Canistooth has become too great, and they can’t afford to stay any longer.
  • Thomas sends a feather token with the message that they’re leaving, but will try to wait at the crossroads.
  • They scry once again, only to see the two (and the child) become captured and beaten by the gnolls.
  • The group travels into the evening, to the crossroads, where a small group moves ahead to meet with the person the hobgoblins said could disguise them.
  • They party arrives to discover that it’s Meerkin.
  • He doesn’t seem to recognize them at first, but slowly realizes who they are.
  • As Thomas continues to hide, Meerkin intimates that he’s glad they managed to dump Thomas, since he was only trouble.
  • He also claims that Thomas came to get Mystique the other day to take him to Myria.
  • The party questioned him about exactly what happened, as obviously Thomas didn’t do that, but Meerkin didn’t seem to care much, and as such didn’t learn much more information.
  • The whole group makes camp for the night, and they take the chance to chat.
    • Despite Benjamin’s bad blood with Jenny, he refuses to divulge further information about her to Newton, instead being more hostile.
    • Captain John speaks quietly with Newton and Bert about the fact that Thomas is not human, revealing that he’s been treating him with suspicion since he confessed to being elf-kin.
    • Meerkin mocks Bert for being a bard, but Bert embarrasses him with a masterful tale about a kobold transmuter losing his powers due to his hubris.
    • Jenny listens to Thomas’ stories of his childhood, but doesn’t reciprocate.
  • The group sets out on the long journey to the Kordian border.
  • They encounter a patrol, but Meerkin’s veil, and Bert’s bluffing convince them to leave.
  • Next, they pass a town that’s recently been destroyed. Thomas notes some huge constructs and a humanoid of unkown race piling corpses in the center of town.
  • They don’t intervene, but they dislike the implications.
  • The next day, they encounter a large force off hobgoblins and others. While they mostly avoid it, they are confronted by a belligerent officer.
  • They realize that the officer dislikes them for apparently being of the “Greenwell clan” (Meerkin provided that along with the illusion).
  • The officer leaves, but first asks about any activity in the city they passed. When Bert mentions the constructs and the stacked corpses, the officer seems upset, saying “not that again!”
  • The group continues to travel, noticing all the way that they’re being screened by horsemen and flying scouts.
  • They arrive at their destination and discuss the handoff. Meerkin leaves after providing one more casting of veil.
  • The party takes Bee, disguised as Durgard, to the heart of the city while the rest move South to prepare for their escape. Bert plans to dimension door the party to them if necessary.
  • The party enters the seemingly deserted city, though they catch glimpses of hobgoblins watching them from some of the damaged buildings.
  • At the center of town, they encounter a goblin blue. It hands a vest to Bee to wear.
  • Bert refuses to put it on him until the watching hobgoblins leave. The blue obliges and they exit the buildings and walk away.
  • They put the vest on Bee, and Bee follows the Blue before they can figure out what’s going on.
  • Surprised by this exchange, the party walks to the rest of the group, who are surrounded by hobgoblins.
  • Fully expecting a fight, they being running toward Kordia. The hobgoblins fall back, though.
  • Not long later, they discover why: a force of 400+ Kordians is marching to the ruined city.
  • Bert manages to dispel Meerkin’s veil effect, and Captain John greets the Kordians. The group is safe.
  • Captain John speaks with the party about how to save Bee if he’s unable to escape (they forgot to give him the bag of alchemical items he needed for his escape).
  • The party decides to travel back North with the Kordians. They’ll watch Bee via scrying.
  • Despite Benjamin’s initial protests, Jenny remains with the party, claiming his plan to return her to Roche would be bad if the Iron Kingdom invaded it. It’s unclear what she meant by that.
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