SKT - Follow The Cleric

Open Oceans

9 Flamerule 1487

Aidelwiess comes over to Oak in the afternoon. “I would like to give you a present. I’ve been thinking I missed a lot of holidays and birthdays, and what I could give you… I might be able to make you a present. In Tabaxi fashion. It’ll… take some patience on your part, is that alright?”

Oak agrees, and the pair go for a walk on the beach, Oak asking questions as to the nature of the present. Aidelwiess speaks of how their magic comes to the coast, how they have a special connection here. He will show her. He finds a large stick and carves patterns in the sand, then starts a ritualistic dance, watching the sky. It begins to darken overhead; a massive thunderhead develops over the next twenty minutes or so. Once it is established, he begins walking down the beach. Oak follows. They repeat the process several more times, and then Aidel asks Oak to bring up earth elementals and quartz.

Aidel dances, while elementals bring him quartz. He calls to the thunderhead, which moves toward him. As it moves, it begins to discharge lightning. It is a beautiful lightshow as the lightning strikes the crystals and flashes and dissipates into the beach. Aidel is still dancing: he has been creating a latticework of cloud cover that catch the sunset light and send it streaming down onto the beach. It is a beautiful natural painting, just for her. Oak is crying. They sit in silence for the rest of the evening, enjoying the sunset.

Later that week, Oak pesters Pyrrhus with further divinations. She gets very emo answers; “Leave me be.” “You wouldn’t understand.”

Oak says “I don’t need to understand, I just need to know where you are!”

“I am wandering alone, without a path, without a purpose.”

One night after working, Korotir is awakened by a kid’s voice in his ear. “And that’s how the spell works! And then you just say your message—what?”

There is no one there. Korotir is unamused by magic. He tells the voice to come to Neverwinter; it’s been arranged.”

In the morning, he hears the voice again. “Idiot, what do you want? I guess I’ll hear from you tomorrow.”

It has been long enough that Gart has Korotir’s trident ready. Gart did want to see the shield, so Korotir asks about it. Gart sets up a demonstration with a piece of ogre plate mail and asks Korotir to try to score it. Korotir obliges and mostly just dulls his blade.

Gart returns with a trident made from strange metal alloys, white and black. With the tiniest amount of pressure, the trident sinks through the ogre plate like butter. Gart assures Korotir he is not supernaturally strong, it’s just that the voidsteel is really, really rare and for good reason. Which is why the trident is going to cost him 10k gold.

The price could be lowered by allowing Gart to investigate and take a sample of his shield (down to 8k). Between the gold the party has and some magic items they haven’t sold yet, maybe they can cover it. Gart asks for the history of the shield and Korotir obliges while Gart takes samples.

Korotir offers to kill Gart’s enemies for a further discount. Gart doesn’t have any? But he will buy any monster pieces from Korotir. Or items used in the slaying of magical creatures.

Once the transaction is complete, Gart tells Korotir about the voidsteel. It’s very fragile but also incredibly sharp, hence the alloying. If it fractures, pick up the pieces with metal tongs and keep them, and Gard will reforge it no cost.

19th Flamerule

By the end of the week, everyone’s errands are complete and preparations have been made. It is time to get on… the Ship.

There is gossip on the way to the docks about the formerly-missing Egg of the Golden Dragon God (which Oak klepto-stole during the Red Wedding) and how the magic shop in Yartar is now under investigation for connection with the Fallen Oak Society (aka the Left Hand). Oak is chagrined.

They have been told to look for the captain who is a blue dragonborn and thus hard to miss. The ship is a longer two-master, a large sailing ship.

Tranled notices a large male tiefling wearing a cape as part of the crew. They grim-off.

Atarah hails the captain, staying down on the docks until the Captain approaches. (Captain Yarrenest Hilde of the Seafir). They greet each other and exchange small talk; the Captain has a black housecat following her who speaks: “The dark one stands between her and her father.”

“Oh, Odissour likes you.”

Atarah is ?? and asks which dark one? but the cat ignores her. Oak is suspicious. The Captain gives out ground rules: no damage whatsoever, no flaming objects or magic. They go to her quarters for business talk.

Captain wants to know who and where and why for the journey. Envar is suspicious, but with the benefit of her Amulet of Truthseeking, Atarah is happy to tell their tale. Captain is satisfied.

Atarah asks, “What is your cat?” The cat explains: he is a Glorious Red Mage in Time-Out and is Not to be Trifled With. Huh. The Captain explains he is skilled in petty revenge so really, don’t piss him off.

The deal is made. Quick and Kill will show the party their quarters. Four bunks per room, below decks. QujMeh will sleep on deck. The ship will leave in the morning on the tide; they have one more day to finish anything else.

Korotir and Tranled find a pub. They toast: “To the furthering of the Ulgin.”

Korotir asks Tranled if he’s going to get a tattoo around his eye like Korotir’s. Since it helps you keep an eye on those you need to. Tranled says he would rather have it on his fighting arm. They stumble out to find a tattoo parlor (Korotir is not drunk).

“All these names around my eye; they are my brothers and sisters. I am going to get you guys added to it,” Korotir says.

Korotir neglects to tip the sailor that tells them where to find the Inkwell. Tranled pays him with a haiku; the sailor is never helping anyone again.

Korotir wants to know if the tattoo shop will add each other’s blood to the ink used for tattooing. Inkwell will do that? But you guys are weird. Tranled gets names around his arm, and Korotir gets the party’s names as more rays to the sun-ish pattern around his eye.

When they’re done being stuck, Korotir drags Tranled off to get into a fight. They ask the long-suffering sailor again where to find a fighting arena and pay him in another poem.

Alfdan Purpleplume arrives to arrange the fight, popping up out of nowhere at the prospect of profit. Korotir doesn’t know why his hair is purple.

(Meanwhile on the ship, Atarah has gotten tired of being good the entire week and pesters Envar into sparring with her. This is frustrating because he is too fast and Atarah can’t ever get to him to hit him until he takes pity on her and settles down for a proper bout).

Tranled and Korotir do a tag-team cage match with the Bulwark—the big red tiefling from the Seafir— and a few others. Tranled wins the first match and Bulwark tags in a lizardman to go against him. The lizardman gets him good with piston-blows to the face; Tranled instinctively flares his aasimar ghost-wings and gets the upper hand — the organizers call a halt to the match because magic. Korotir tackles him back down to the ground and tells him they need to leave. Tranled experiments with the wings a bit until he notices the bouncers with the crossbows pointed at him. The boys headbutt each other to get bloody and go back to the ship.

20th Flamerule

They leave port; Tranled notices one of the crew is the purple haired halfling to which he owes two favors for arranging the fight. Oh, god.

The crew is gossiping about Tran’s scary wings. Atarah leans over and says, “He’s not the only one of us who can do that.” She smiles and winks and moves on.

Oak finds the cat to have a discussion about what he said about Atarah’s father. The Cat says the way this works is that she gives him something and he’ll give her something. Oak offers Salt. And Herbs. And a gem. The cat is unamused: “Not those kinds of things.”

He wants to know if she’s heard of a temple with powerful stored magics. She might have. Why does he want to know?

Because he seeks to know everything. If she seeks his knowledge she must give him knowledge in return. Oak wants to know more about him first. The Cat says he will be happy to ignore her for a full day until she sees reason. Oak says Ok Bye!

Later, Oak and Tranled are nearby when the Captain introduces Oak to someone who may have something in common with her. The Lizardman from the cage fight climbs up onto the deck.

The Captain explains Kublick here is a member of the Emerald Enclave; his job is to look out for underwater threats so he’s usually under the ship. She leaves them to talk.

Tranled asks the captain if he may borrow some of her books? So long as they are not returned damaged. She also assures him that lizardfolk do not hold grudges and he is safe on the ship; which book were you interested in?

Tranled wants to know if she has any favored or hidden books? The Captain does not have any hidden ones; it’s a small ship, but she does have a particular fiction favorite.

22 Flamerule

They start to go off course, not that any of the passengers notice. The crew does not seem concerned. There is a serpentine shaped angry cloud out on the horizon—the incorporeal leviathan.

Oak goes back to talk to the Cat. She mentions the Air Temple of Elemental Evil where there’s magic. He is interested; where is it?

She’ll tell him when he tells her of the dark one.

The Cat sighs. Talks about how he is a master of divination magics but they come in symbolic forms. He saw Atarah and he saw a shadow humanoid figure standing between her and the figure of light. And the shadow split away from the light so that it was half shadow and half light. The darkness was silent but solid, and there was a voice in the light.

Oak comes to sit next to Atarah at the stern of the ship. They speak of everything Oak has learned and scried and put together about Summerheart — that Summerheart has been torn apart; that Tranled maybe is embodying the Shadow side of Summerheart. Atarah doesn’t know what to think about this. But they have time to figure out how to put a god back together.

Atarah thanks Oak and gives her a hug; and ties off the line she was fishing with. She climbs the ratlines and sits in the crowsnest, in the full sun, and withdraws her father’s holy symbol of Lathander. She prays — not so much a request as desperation, :How:

After an hour and a half, she feels calmer.

Just in time for something to attack the ship.

Kublick-the-lizardman-druid rises out of the water as a sea serpent and asks Oak and Envar if they’d like to join him below. Envar with the cloak of the Manta Ray, waits . Atarah and Tranled hurry into their armor.

Korotir was tying himself to the stone golem as an anchor point when a harpoon arcs out of the water and embeds itself into his arm and try to drag him backwards into the water. A second one hooks him in the chest and drags him overboard. Merrows attack him with scratching and biting.

A harpoon hits another crewmember; Envar’s acquaintance from months ago. He goes overboard.

Atarah grabs the rope that Korotir had tied around him and calls to KujMeh to PULL — both of them start pulling but don’t have a good enough grip to pull Korotir back on board. A harpoon clangs off her armor but she doesn’t manage to grab it before it slides off the edge again.

Tranled activates his Giant Rune cloak to negate further harpoon attacks, then Compels one of the monsters onto the deck. It’s a merrow, and it focuses entirely on Tranled.

Oak jumps into the water and casts Freedom of Movement on Korotir, then shapeshifts into a Giant Giant Octopus.

Korotir spits at them to Hunter’s Mark one, and attacks with his shiny new trident. When he gets done with them they are bloodied and looking hurt; one breaks and attempts to swim off. The other bites into his neck and claws at his face.

Envar dives in and attacks the merrow who took his friend and takes off its tail in one hit, killing it instantly. He helps his friend to the surface and then dives back down after more merrow. The ladder rung on the ship itself moves to pull his elven friend up. (this is a cool ship).

<…missed…>

The compelled Merrow slashes at Tranled but some of the crew has surrounded it and are attacking. The orc crewmembers do a good amount of damage.

There’s a few going after Envar as well and get a few hits in; none sufficient to break his concentration.

KujMeh drops the rope and pounces on the compelled Merrow, biting the flopping tail and dragging it backwards to neatly set up Atarah to bisect it. One more down.

Tranled compels another onto the deck and swings at it but misses each time. But at least it’s on the deck.

Oak grapples one, winding tentacles around the thing. It struggles but cannot escape.

Korotir dispatches his last opponent, bisecting it upwards and then heads back to the ship, leaving Envar and Oak to handle the very last one in the water. Envar stabs it in the face.

On the ship, the last merrow is compelled versus Tranled. He Rebukes it in a welter of fire damage, and Atarah finishes it off with a stab through the chest. Tranled thunder-smites it off the deck.

The crew starts cheering after the all-clear signal is given.

<…missed…>

Envar sees sea elves in the distance, under the water. One of them waves at him; he waves back and they approach and make hand gestures. He doesn’t understand them so they go up to the surface to speak; they smelled the conflict and asks if there’s anyone in need of medical assistance. They don’t want to alarm anyone. Envar will check.

There are scratches and cuts but no one in need of serious medical assistance. The Captain says now is not great but they’ll be happy to speak in about an hour after they have dealt with their injured and repairs to the ship.

The sea elves offer to escort the ship; there’s an elemental rift nearby and there have been sauhaugin troubles. They saw a Storm Giant go by about a week and a half ago; a heavily armored female with a trident, but the elves try not to trouble the giants.

Envar asks if the giant was acting unusually? No, not really. They talk about the Maelstrom and other landmarks in the area, none of which Envar knows.

the Captain tells Atarah the Seafir says not to worry about it, he understands. Atarah ???. The Captain asks if she wants the story? She wants the story but is now really a good time?

The ship used to have a different name but it took a lot of damage. They beached and repaired it, but only after they put back out to sea did they realized they’d accidentally cut down an awakened tree or an ent or something and built him into the boat. Originally he was quite disgruntled about it but has learned to love being on the ocean, has grown and is slowly taking over the rest of the ship.

Oak is ecstatic. She wants to make Best Friends with Seafir and they realize its possible to maybe treestride to the ship and anywhere else.

The elves escort them for four days. (26 Flamerule)

On the 10th of Elesias they sight the Purple Rocks on the horizon.

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Duets

27 Kythorn 1487
Evening

Tranled and Korotir spar; Tranled insults Korotir’s chieftainship and Korotir pounds him into the dirt. Just before he passes out, Tranled reaffirms his orcish fealty to Korotir. Atarah and Korotir drag him off to one side and lay him out with a blanket, his shield, and a mug of ale.

Oak and her father retreat to the top of the makeshift treehouse and talk for a while.

Lady Auraest and Kastris inquire as to what Atarah’s been up to since they last saw each other (“uh… well I’m level 12 now…”) Atarah vacillates between excited to show off her new stuff (flaming sword! sabertooth cat mount!) and chagrined child (am I in trouble).

They ask if they’re camping here—yes? Kastris rolls his eyes at their treehouse and casts Magnificient Mansion and invites everyone in for dinner. Lady Auraest gives Atarah a box with a present (holy symbol of Lathander, magic item): Amulet of the Truthseeker. Used to be Pyrrhus’. “You can only speak the truth, if not directly, while wearing this.” (needs to be attuned)

The mansion is in Elven architecture, high class, lots of decor. The octopus gets to play in the fountain and splashes Kastris.

Eventually, Lady Auraest asks “Where is Tranled?”

Atarah shrinks into her chair. “Uhhh… that’s complicated.” She explains in broken sentences, helped by Oak and Ferrindale.

Lady Aurast nods as though this explains things. “Ah, we have a family member in distress. It explains why some of the kids have been having more nightmares than usual. We’ll see what we can do to help.”

Lady Auraest would like to come with them to Neverwinter, though not on the boat to the giant. The mansion is available for all who would like them.

Atarah dreaming: a vision of Pyrrhus in an infinite black plain. He is crouched, begging for help. There is a tattered hole through the middle of his chest. He is reaching for someone, asking, “Help me—”
A bolt of magic comes in from the side and lances across, hits Pyrrhus in his already injured side. He drops, and Atarah wakes.

28th Kythorn

Ferrindale wakes up early and wakes everyone else up with a spirited rendition of “Flight of the Bumblebee” because it’s their birthday and they’re not going to let anyone forget it. Atarah gets the ephemeral servants to make them a cake.

until the 30th they spend the time riding along a road. Lady Auraest hangs out with Atarah and talks and sometimes does the “getting to know you” bit with the rest of the group. Eventually they need to split off the road and cut through the Neverwinter Wood.

Lady Auraest does the mom thing and admonishes her not to lose her resurrection supplies. “Do you have your diamonds? Your scrolls?” “My what?” Kastris gives Ferrindale a scroll of Revivify.

And they leave.

Later that day, Envar spots a wood elf territory marker and thus is the first to notice a group of wood elves. He calls a halt to wait for them to approach. Atarah moves up beside him, so do Korotir and Tranled. Oak watches the other directions.

The lead elf (female, red hair) approaches. Artatiel offers to escort the group through the Neverwinter woods to skirt their actual territory. Envar speaks for the group and takes their offer.

They spend the next four days (4th Flamerule) following the elves through the woods.

During the trip, Oak comes up to Tranled to talk. “Do you remember anything after you passed but before you came back?”

Tran “I can tell you what it felt like.” (moodily flipping through book of poetry) “glint of diamonds what am I supposed to feel what am I supposed to be my veins are a raging torrent my heart is as hard as stone” (poetry did not catch all of it)

Oak “I hope we can help you… but that doesn’t really answer my question’

Tran: ‘Lorcan was there. Goading me. Belittling me. Essentially telling the truth of what I am.”

“I don’t think Lorcan’s ever told the truth. Of everyone to listen to he’s not one of them.’

“It felt like the truth at the time. but none of that compares to Pyrrhus’ disappointment. He wasn’t disappointed me but in his failed choice”

“Is that what he said”

“No but I could see the lament in his eyes. Feel it in the tone of his voice. And my skin and the hairs of me bristled with his disappointment. For I am not a failure once but twice, thrice over.”

“What happened…?”

“Lorcan—always the opportunist—jumped at the chance to use this to my disadvantage. His goading and truth-saying pushed me away, pushed me through. I could find no other exit, release… but I saw one through Pyrrhus. I thought if I retreated through him, I would find reprieve. But I just found the shadow of life.”

“So what are you going to do now? Besides travel with us. Do you want…?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know what my destiny is. What I want. … When I fought with Korotir—we will keep this between us, right?”

“If that’s what you want.”

“I was goading him to kill me. Because I am not strong enough to do it myself. To kill myself. And that is how low I have come.”

“Well… if you’re going to try dyinig though fighting, might I suggest doing it for a purpose?”

“Thank you for your advice.”

“You have given me things to think about. I look forward to killing Lorcan with you.”
“I’m glad we had this chat.”

“Mint?” Tranled accepts it from Oak.

Atarah has the same nightmare over and over again, with a second more time each time it repeats. Finally, after going to the edge of everything she knows how to do, she calls on Ilwar as she falls asleep. Ilwar can help, but is weird. He moves the dream, lets her see more.

A clawed hand pulls Pyrrhus by the neck. “You are a fool to come here, so far from your home.” He wraps a chain around Pyrrhus’ wrist and chest and drops him to the ground. Sigils appear on the ground, on the demon’s hand, and they appear to sap Pyrrhus’ light. The demon clutches at his own chest.

There is blackness. Ilwar offers to help burn the sigils and the demon’s face into her mind so she can remember them. Atarah, stupidly, agrees.

5 Flamerule

Atarah doesn’t wake that morning. Oak concludes she’s dying, casts Greater Restoration. Doesn’t work. Ferrindale has Dream, the spell, and offers to go investigate on the scene.

Ferrindale shows up to only a black void, can’t see Atarah though can see Ilwar. Ilwar is talking to both of them. Ilwar disinvites Ferrindale but they stay.

….dream battle.

They try and fail to charm each other, Ferrindale is ejected. Ilwar instructs Atarah to get something of Ferrindale’s for him. Atarah, immune to charm thanks Paladin, says “Uh, get it yourself? I’m not in charge of them?”

Atarah wakes up screaming about the demon. Everyone is startled. “You’re not dying!” She explains what she did “Remind me not to ask Ilwar for help.” “If you need Dream help you can ask me.” says Oak.

Atarah explains the dreams and what she saw. She writes out the runes and Oak and Tranled recognize it as Infernal, as a containment spell of some kind.

Tranled speaks an emo poem for Ferrindale’s birthday. (Tran has also redone his hair to look like Korotir’s).

Oak takes this opportunity to scry on Pyrrhus; Atarah gives her a token of her dad’s from her hair. The spell connects but all Oak sees is the party’s own campfire. The spell flickers and fades. Oak is very, very confused and looks at the space over the campfire.

Envar gives Ferrindale a flute and an apology. There is talk of how mutually dumb they’d been and promises to be better.

6th Flamerule

Oak casts Divination to speak with Pyrrhus. “How can we help you?”

The response is, “Just leave me alone, I’m in the Dark right now.”

9th Flamerule

Arrival in Neverwinter!

Envar wants to contact the Emerald Enclave and source a Cloak of the Manta Ray. He finds one for 700gp.

Tranled looks for the local Harpers place to get any information on King Hekaton. The Harpers believe he’s dead as he’s been missing for over a year. They don’t have any more information relative to the giants. Tran asks about Lady Natalia Cuvelier—she’s doing great, got a promotion, becoming active in Waterdeep politicking, a real up and comer (living her best life)!

Korotir goes to the captain of the city guard about getting a place for his people in Neverwinter in exchange for helping rebuild the city. There is some back and forth about tribal discipline vs young cadet discipline and how that’s going to cause problems. Until they can resolve that they can’t move forward about living in the city. A good first step would be camping outside and helping rebuild the walls. “Why don’t you come back tomorrow?”

Ferrindale wants to go somewhere familiar and hang out at a tavern. Something about tattoos and getting drunk.

Atarah has a long list. First: Find potions—-nope Oak can do that. Second, find a Quiver of Returning for her lightning javelin. She finds and artificer shop run by a dwarf, Gart Deepden. He can make her a Chain of Returning in cobalt for 3k gold. She balks at the price but Envar just drops the cash.

Korotir negotiates for a cool trident in return for looking at his shield.

Atarah goes looking for Gauntlet members to help her hire a ship. The Gauntlet leader recognizes her and can help. “Captain Hild” kind of an unofficial member, has a big ship. She’s a blue dragonborn. Can help. But they’ll need supplies; let’s get money from the Lords Alliance together.

The Lord’s Alliance person is guilt-tripped and annoyed at the zone of truth amulet sufficiently to give them 2kgp to get out of their hair. Atarah counts it a win.

Envar and Ferrindale walking together hear someone playing a song Ferrindale wrote. They chase after it, but it fades away. The next song that starts up is a song that Envar knows because it was the first one he was taught. The song comes from a toy shop named “Mischief Unlimited”.

The shop is overflowing with stuff. Some of it, worthless knick knacks and wood toys. There is an elderly elven woman behind the counter—very, very old as even to show signs of age is rare for an elf.

Ferrindale asks who was playing music and how they know the song?
She heard it. They ask to play it together? It is very nice.

The elderly elf offers Envar a seat while Ferrindale shops and there is the sound of a whoopie cushion. The elven woman bursts into laughter, claims the enchantment was worth every gold piece.

Ferrindale is once again delighted to find their reputation precedes them. And procedes to fill their bag of holding with random obnoxious toys.

Envar asks her name but she is very evasive. “Your mother always said nice things about you! It’s nice to finally get to talk to you.”

Ferrin finds something for them in the shop, supposedly from their parents? It has signatures of famous musicians and a message from them. Ferrindale is freaked out and needs to leave. Once they pay and get out, they look behind and the shop is gone.

Atarah goes to the Temple to Lathander to ask them to say prayers for her Dad, but the Priest hands her a scroll instead, basically a goodbye letter from her Dad. She closes it up without finishing it and passes it to Korotir, who reads the last bit “There is a ritual the Lathander priests can do, to let you draw on Lathander’s power, to be a Paladin of him.” Atarah insists He’s Not Dead and storms out of the Temple. Korotir crumples the letter up and tosses it into the gutter.

Atarah finds a carpentry yard and drops 300gp to have them work in the slums, preparing as many houses as possible for winter. Korotir helps. She will start in the morning, for a week at least. The Foreman is Mike, he’s impressed at her pragmatism.

Korotir suggests a soup kitchen, too. Atarah says they’ll find one, or something like, and help it.

Atarah drags Tranled into working with her for the week but he flees to the pub immediately at the end of the day.

Ferrindale finds him amidst a pile of crumpled up attempts at letters to Natalia. “This the one that got away?”
“This one never wanted. I feel no one’s love”

DUET! with harmonica even “running out of similes”

fin

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Fathers Lost and Found

25 Kythorn 1487

In the city of Yartar, after Ferrindale’s expulsion from the Inn where they were staying and Lord Dryland’s death-by-curse. Eventually they, in a hangover daze, found a place to finish sleeping off the hangover.

They dream of being humansized, draped over pillows, being fed delicacies by adoring attractive fans with bardic charm. An old school enemy comes in and lays down a putdown, but a snap of your fingers snaps their head. The room goes silent before everyone erupts into laughter. Ferrindale wakes in a panic, blood running from their nose, pulling straw from their hair. They are in a horse stable, but at least the hangover seems to be gone.

Ferrin cleans themselves up and tries to find where they are, and where the rest of the group is. They take the ferry to the opposite shore and starts heading down river, expecting to find the party. About an hour later, they find themselves in a chair, in the shade, with a stick of street meat. What were they doing, again?

Meanwhile, the rest of the party travels in frosty, sullen, tense silence back to Yartar under the shade of the forest. Oak attempts to get the Octopus to tell her its name. It insists she has to guess. Timmy is not the correct name. It’s something far more grandiose and important, pronounceable with those lip and teeth things, maybe something involving Destroyer of Worlds.

Atarah takes the lead after an hour or so, somewhat pointedly. A note on Tranled’s summoned horse: It is a firemane—completely black with a firey red mane and tail. Oak studies the papers she stole from Lord Dryland’s office; they seem to outline his political ambitions and gentlemans’ agreements, plans to expand his influence. Some of them speak of the Kraken Society, but there is no mention of King Hekaton or giants.

Korotir is somehow, always between Tranled and Atarah, preventing him from getting too close.

The group pulls up to the city gates and runs into Ferrindale. “Hey everyone. Where’d this guy spawn out of?”

Silence. Tranled says hello. “It’s me.”

Ferrindale offers him a skewer of street meat and asks for an explanation. Oak provides. Ferrindale says, “This is fine. Everything’s going to be fine! It’s just an opportunity to get to know you all over again!”

“Did you get back to the inn?”

“Oh. yeah. So, I might be a wanted criminal. There was a lot of blood!”

Entire party: “What.”

Ferrindale gives an abbreviated account of the last night but is clearly still feeling the effects of their night. Atarah reaches out instinctively to call on her father’s power and cast lesser restoration—it fails, and her chest aches. The rest of the party notices—what happened? She doesn’t know, but it hurts. Korotir declares No Magic.

Oak immediately casts Greater Restoration on Ferrindale. Tranled and Envar notice a rune tattooed behind Ferrindale’s ear flash and disappear into dust. They feel much better now and are able to give a fuller account of Dryland’s confession.

There is discussion about how to find the ship Morkoth and the Trackless Sea. Time to find a map.

There is some bickering between the group, Tranled snipes at Korotir and vice versa. Oak offers Korotir mint but it is turned down, Oak is sad, she doesn’t offer mint to just anyone. She offers some to Tranled, who takes it. The octopus takes Korotir’s mint and disagrees with it vehemently.

The group inspects this side of the river; it’s mostly industrial. Tran tries to hail a ferry, and yells. (Ferrindale: “Oh thank god, at least he’s still stupid.”)

Atarah sends Rivka away to get into town and cross the river; Tran follows her example and sends off his horse. They find a cartographer and examine the map. Seems best to go overland to Neverwinter and hire a ship out to the Isles.

Tranled is fixated on avenging his own death. The party fights over it, Atarah declares she has no Oath of Vengeance to fulfill and if he wants to kill the woman doing her job, that’s his problem.

Atarah has something to do, it will take her a few hours. Oak and Korotir decide to go with her, Envar will keep an eye on Tranled (and Ferrindale by association). (“I think Matt’s character should be 4 levels higher. So when we kill him, it’ll be more of a fight.” Korotir’s player to Tranled’s player)

Atarah finds a low-to-middle-ish class general store type place and asks for who is the neediest, person who frequents their shop. The proprietor will give it to her, for a price. Atarah rolls her eyes and asks to see who does his books, on to who keeps accounts for the neediest. Korotir tries to follow her into the back room but she assures him she can probably handle a general store owner. She’ll scream if she needs him—she’s very loud.

The bookkeeper is a tall dwarven woman, Kameen. Atarah gets information of a family —single mom, 3 kids, father was in the guard but their pension is not coming through— who sell charcoal and buy a little from the store. Atarah drops 50 gold and says, “anything they want. It comes out of this money, until it’s gone.” “Who shall I say it’s from?” “Summerheart.”

She finds a guard and asks for where woman lives (nat 20 persuasion) — the guard leads them there. Atarah (and Korotir and Oak, but Atarah is driving it) spends the rest of the day doing their manual labor, making their meals, fixing their house—basically do a week or more of their labor in a day. Atarah also (badly) hides another fifty gold in their house while she works. It’s her penance, her charity, her “what would dad do?”

Oak pulls her aside, out of Korotir’s earshot, at one point, and tells her how the resurrection ritual failed, but Tran is still here. Atarah puts the pieces together—pain from Dad, the fallen divine heritage, the lack of divine magic—and realizes, whatever happened, Tran came back against Dad’s will. It wasn’t supposed to happen. He’s not supposed to be here. We’ll take it a day at a time and figure it out.

Meanwhile, Tran is trawling the dockside bars, trying to find some sort of normalcy and information on the snake lady so he can kill her. Envar is shadowing him, and Ferrindale is trying to understand why. “Do you still do music?” “I don’t know.” (cue epic song from Ferrindale’s player on a ukelele) (and Tran replies with a goth-er song)

Tran, much later, after lots of drinks, confesses to Ferrin that everything’s been different since the first time he died, and he should have died then. Ferrin says that they like him around. His presence is not a burden. Tran looks over at Envar (20ft away, watching from another table) and asks then why does he see suspicion in Envar’s eyes; he knows the look of someone who is going to kill him.

Ferrindale says “It takes time for people to adjust to something new. People change. They can keep changing, it’s ok.”

Tran “I can’t take any more abandonment. My birth parents, my adoptive parents, all abandoned me. I feel like this new family will abandon me too, because i have become some monster.”

Drunk Tran and Ferrindale decide to go on a boat. To Waterdeep. Because they had a good time the last time they were there. And yell for more mead, and to bring some to Envar. Tran pulls out a deck of Gwent cards and calls for Envar to come play with him. Envar agrees because he’ll win because they’re both smashed. He’s playing against both of them. Somehow Tranled still wins. Twice. Envar is still happy because they’re all still in the tavern and not lighting anything on fire, so.

Tran tries to wager his giant rune cloak against the Moonblade. Envar says “Do not insult my honor.” Tran claims it was a joke. Let’s find the boat!

They have a trip-off on the road, Envar would have won and tripped Tran except for Portent. Because that was a thing to use it on.

Tran is still fixated, drunk, on the boat. Envar decides to beat them to the boat, but, oh yeah it’s gone because they have a sunset to sunrise schedule not upset by the death of Lord Dryland.

Ferrindale decides to polymorph into a Giant Eagle, so they can fly to the boat. Envar asks “What are you doing?”

“Going to the boat! Whoo!”

“And what are you going to do when you get to the boat?”

“Boat, wheee! I’m…. going to be… the Captain!”

Envar tries to slip a rope around Ferrindale’s leg; it works and he ties the other end to a piling or something. Ferrindale notices the rope. The bird brain’s gears spool into motion but not fast enough to not get yanked to a stop in mid air. Tran manages to stay on, and cuts the rope. The eagle lands in the water, unharmed but waterlogged. Ferrindale panics, terrified of water, and drops back to their normal self, clutching onto Tran. Tran unstraps his armor and tries to stay focused. Envar dives in after them.

Tranled gets ahold of Ferrindale but they’re both still sinking, flailing towards shore. Envar arrives and gets ahold of them and they end up swimming better towards shore. Tranled detects thoughts on Ferrin to try and calm them, and only gets images of being shoved and drowning over and over again. Tranled’s new ghost wings stretch wide and he expends their healing energy keeping them alive until they hit shore.

On shore, they are wet. Cold. And very, very sober. Tranled casts Calm Emotions on everyone. Tran asks Envar What the Fuck was that.

Envar says “They would have killed you if you’d gotten on that boat.”

There is an argument. Tranled summons his steed and leaves. Ferrindale thanks Envar for saving them and apologizes for the dumb idea. They spend a few hours on the beach and calm down and dry off by a campfire, and go back to town by first light. Envar stays awake.

26th Kythorn

Atarah has nightmares. One in particular replays; A dark void, with one bright spot in the middle. Summerheart is down on one knee, with ribbons of light coming from his back, as though he were made of paper and a hole was shredded through him. There is feverish distress.

Oak has always had her druid training from dreams and visions, a shapeless presence helping her along. Her mentor has always remained enigmatic; whenever Oak has tried to prod for more information, they have evaded or Oak has woken up. Oak always got the sense it was protective, of itself or of her. She suspected it might be a diety, but deities don’t usually act that way. Oak has been fine leaving it that way for very long, but recent events have been… disturbing.

Before sleep, Oak meditated, reaching out for her mentor, asking “I need to talk. Please, will you come to me tonight?”

In her dreams, she finds herself at Shadowtop Cathedral—rows of trees bent over into natural archways; a sacred site of the Emerald Enclave. Oak feels more lucid, alive and powerful here in this dream. A purple amorphous wisp floats down to her, saying, “You called?”

“Something happened. I attempted to bring a friend back using Reincarnate. The spell failed, but he still came back. But not as he should be. His presence here is against the natural order of life and death, and I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to fix it. He’s a friend, I don’t want to kill him, but… I don’t know what to do.”

“Do you… sense that the person who came back is still serving the goals of the one who died?”

“No.”

“They may not be the same person.” A pause. “Magic is often… convoluted in its effects. It all has limits. Death is the greatest…” The purple mist flickers and almost goes out, then flickers again. “The greatest limiter. What do you think you should do?”

“I would hope there is a way to bring him back to who he was. But his presence is not aligned with Nature. …Were you aware? Of what happened?”

“Aah. Only a little. I do not know any more than you do in this case. It is not really in the domain of nature…. I sense magic in this one that feels like the Unliving. But different, somehow.” The purple fades and comes in again. “There is something else we need to discuss. Do you feel the training you have recieved has benefited you?”

“Oh yes.”

“Has it led to a happier and more fulfilling life?”

“It has allowed me to see and do so much. I have been able to help so many, and see so many amazing things.”

“There were hard times too.”

“That’s life.”

“Are you willing to take the good along with the bad? To take more of this life?”

“Absolutely.”

“You know. When a druid reaches harmony with nature, they cease aging. If you continue down this path, you may live forever. It requires a level of peace with the pain and claws and the death and the eating and the growing—babies, watching them grow old and die—it’s not all the good things. It’s all of life, in its intensity.”

“I will happily continue on, help others, maintain the natural order of things, the good and the bad, as long as there is good.”

“Hmm. I am not sure I agree… It is a story I should have told you a long time ago. I feel like the longer I have gone without telling you, the harder it is to speak of it. …It’s not something we should speak of in the Dream.”

They speak of travelling, Neverwinter, and coasts, and sea journeys and islands.

“Wait, are you here? Can we meet in person? I would love to meet you—”

“When we are children, the whole world seems magical and full of joy. But part of growing up is finding out the things we thought were perfect are not so. I think this one of those things. You may be disappointed.”

“Why would I be disappointed? You have changed my life. I want to meet you in person!”

“We’ll see. …I’ll find you on the road. Look for a moose.”

Oak wakes up, very happy.

The party meets up. There is an interlude discussion of what happened over night; all Envar says is that Tranled gear is in the river, and needs to be recovered, and that’s all he says. He asks Oak to retrieve it.

Tranled returns and meets up with the group on the road. Blood is seeping through his gambeson in stripes across his back. Envar dumps his gear out for him. Atarah asks if he wants to keep those (the stripes): “They remind me.” Envar says no need to thank him and the Moonblade snipes.

No moose sightings the first day.

27th Kythorn

A moose is found in a very beautiful wooded area. Oak runs after it; it’s limping. Envar runs after them, and so does Korotir. The moose is scared and the Healing Word Envar casts doesn’t seem to affect it.

Atarah stares after her friends and shakes her head, then starts to make a tree-house camp.

Envar and Korotir back off (Korotir: “Oh it’s magic. I’m leaving.”) and Oak gets closer. It is an elderly moose, and it sits. Moose are not made for sitting. “Are you my mentor?”

The moose sighs and changes into an elderly male tabaxi (gray lynx). Oak bursts into tears and so does the Tabaxi. The lynx starts apologizing over and over again, Oak hugs him, and he cries harder. “I’m sorry for leaving you.”

“But, this is the first time we’ve seen each other.”

“No. You were very young. But it’s not the first time. I didn’t get to see your mother before she passed.”

Oak takes a step back.

“I understand if you’re disappointed. I didn’t… I didn’t know how to tell you.”

Oak splutters. “I’m… going to need a minute.”

The lynx says, “It was easier to be a spirit guide than a real flesh-and-blood person. That wanderlust you have… you didn’t get that from your mother. You got it from me. I’m sorry.”

“…I wish I had told you a long time ago.”

“I tried, so many times. And. The longer I waited the harder it got. But you seem to be doing well on your own.”

They speak of Druid things, of the “Slow Death” of remaining for too long in animal form, where things are simpler. Of how old druids shift one day and never come back. How Oak is his greatest accomplishment. Oak says he needs to meet her friends.

They return to camp. “Hi, Oak’s dad.” “Oh, you can call me Eytelis.” The party prepares a meal to share, nothing too spicy (Titan has the Spice, Tran has all the salt lol).

Oak and her dad speak of family things. Relatives, family, boringness. Outliving them, or not. Envar is older than Oak’s dad. Atarah feels really really young.

Tranled shares some poetry. The party is really?

Envar breaks out the port if we’re all getting philosophical.

Korotir, “Can we kill things now?” Atarah offers to fight him. Tranled wants to join in. Tranled casts compel duel—

Just as a thin, redheaded man and a dark-haired woman step out of the forest. “It’s rather rude to toast without us,” says the man, materializing a bottle of fine wine.

Atarah sits back down and looks immediately as though she wasn’t going to get into a fist fight with her bros. “Oh. Uh. Hi Kastris. Hi, Mama.”

“These are friends, not intruders?”

“That’s my mom, and that’s Kastris, who was with my Dad, when… and they he watched over us, after, and. Yeah. That’s Kastris.”

“Huh.”

end

View
It's Too Late for Wisdom Now
scenario 16

24 Kythorn 1487

(small flashback to Korotir dressed up, tries to get hired on as security to the boat, fails. Oak casts invisibility on him as well, they both sneak on)

Minderhild is an older woman who seems to take pity on Atarah’s shitty playing (since she’s really there to get gossip) and tries to teach her, as well as asking about her family, who’s with her, notices the calluses on her hands and remarks about how much exercise Atarah gets (Atarah flexes). Envar, somewhat shell-shocked at the environments, is standing back and watching.

Atarah has purposefully picked a table underneath where Tranled disappeared to (the office) so she can cut her way upward if necessary.

Ferrindale has met up with Mara Derry, the entertainer, and brings them up to play with the band tonight. They pick lively songs (easy to beat people up to since everyone is sort of background expecting trouble) for the set. People start trickling up to dance in the very small space.

Korotir (invisible) is focusing on Tran’s blood, to be able to focus on him if there is trouble. He’s blocked from the office by the dance crowd.

Oak, under the table, is really trying to figure out how to slide the box into her bag of holding, but it’s not going to work.

Tranled is rambling about how he got the name Summerheart. Oak is lifting every small object off the shelves with very high sleight of hand rolls.

<missed>

Oak tries to charm Dryland but fails, dropping her invisibility. (Korotir is still invisibile)

Lord Dryland grabs Tranled’s arm, twists slightly, and says “Why don’t you tell me the real reason you’re here?”

Tranled casts Silence. Twenty foot radius sphere. It reaches Atarah, below, and part of the band. Atarah rubs the bridge of her nose — oh, no. (Initiative!)

Ferrindale, confused as to why it is suddenly quiet When They Are Performing, jumps onto the crowd and surfs to get out of the range of Silence, casting dispel magic to pop the Silence and drop the bass.

Tranled curses the air blue and punches Lord Dryland with a really overkill divine smite cast on his ring.

Korotir smells human blood and starts shoving through the crowd to get to Tranled. There are two guards standing in front of the door, who have put ears to teh door and gone, “Boss? Boss?” After no response, one motions to the other to get the door. Korotir says “Magic is too complicated,” and kicks in the door.

The invisibility drops. The door rebounds off Tranled, though Oak dodges.

Envar starts in the direction Tranled went.

Po Ming, on the gambling floor, notices the door crashing, and goes diving out the window. Her guards look surprised. The her dress disappears going up, out the window. A snake, blue and jeweled looking, appears on the deck beside Korotir, threateningly.

Atarah starts casually heading towards the other staircase and attempting to talk her way past the guard there to let her up.

Oak turns into a spider and hides in the lock to the chest. She sees mostly a lot of money inside the chest.

Tranled turns to the smart guard and Suggests “The Boss has been attacked through the window by an assassin; I’m medically trained and can help. You should go look for the assassin outside.” They fail their wisdom save and believe Tranled, going out through the window to follow Tranled’s Suggestion.

Korotir notices Po Ming flying outside the hall window, tossing another snake inside the window. He attempts to deflect it with his shield, one deflected to the window, the other disappears when he hits it.

Envar walks in and casts Spare the Dying, stabilizing Lord Dryland. Tranled “Uhh… I found him like this?” “…What happened here?”

Tranled: “He was asking some very invasive questions and it made me feel uncomfortable, so I thought through my options and tried to do it quietly but that was the first time I’ve used that spell?”

Envar “Why is this guy bleeding on the floor?”

Tranled, with a bloody hand. ‘I… don’t know? Things got out of hand!”

Envar: “Just… sit there and don’t talk any more.”

Korotir hears Po Ming say “This isn’t necessary. Just go for a swim.” and thinks this is a great idea, and dives out the window. There’s still a snake attached to his shield. He’s sinking but can hold his breath for a good long while.

Atarah persuades the guard to let her upstairs, he needs to check on something anyways so he comes up behind her. She heads to the splintered in doorway and notes the situation and says “Wow, I’m so Glad there is a Cleric here to Help!” referring to Envar crouching next to Lord Dryland.

Oak spider-jumps past Atarah and out the window, dropping form and casting Water Breathing on sinking Korotir.

Atarah wonders what happened, loudly, allowing Tranled to repeat the story about the assassins, and successfully convinces the guard who followed her, emphatically stating “How lucky we were you were here to help! and that we have a Cleric here to Heal him!”

Po Ming is pissed, orders everyone out, and when Tranled whines and over-acts, tries to Suggest him into swimming as well. But since as Atarah is here, it fails in the face of her aura.

Tranled attempts to speak to her but she interrupts and flings ice at him. He dodges.

Po Ming orders all hostile combatants out of the room unless they can help Dryland, Envar casts healing word and Atarah lays on hands. She also casts Zone of Truth along with Tranled’s Calm Emotions.

We have a very circumspect conversation about why we’re all here. Dryland orders us all off the boat because he believes we’re all together. Atarah and Envar object on the grounds of “We’ve just healed you.”

Oak turns into a shark and picks up Korotir to go swimming to catch up to the ship. Oak drops Korotir off at the shore and goes for the ship, underwater.

Envar starts putting his adventuring gear on “If you’re going to kick me off into the wilderness, I’m going to be ready for it.”

Atarah rolls her eyes and goes back downstairs as if to continue gambling. But is disallowed. They are escorted off the boat.

Tranled shakes Lord Dryland’s hand in leaving, and Suggests he meet us back at the Eel Tavern.

On the ground, Atarah rounds on Tranled and punches him. “We were under Zone of Truth and you said you punched him first!”

“I thought he was going to kill me!”

“What is your Oath?!”

“…oh, right.”

Atarah punches him again. They all head for town, except Oak who gets back on the boat, invisible, to listen.

Tranled attempts to get back to the boat by jumping off the Stone Bridge (that both Envar and Korotir have flashbacks to). Ferrindale convinces the boat pilot to go under the bridge to see the moon.

The rest of the crew decides to go back to town. Tranled lingers on the bridge then decides maybe going by himself is a bad idea….. sees Ferrindale wave at him…. and then jumps. (fails an intelligence check on the timing of casting Featherfall) (smacks into the water with 77 damage) Po Ming is very pissed and definitely saw him.

Oak sneaks into the office and starts sweeping papers into her bag of holding, noticing some of them deal with the Kraken society but cannot read them.

Po Ming casts Cone of Cold which reduces Tranled to a frozen corpsicle and goes back to the boat. Ferrindale, horrified, goes back inside.

Oak, still looting, notes the aquarium on the desk and casts speak with animals and animal friendship on the octopus.

“Well. I suppose you probably have a reason for being here,” says the Octopus.
“Hi I’m Oak!”
“Oh, hello! I’m very starved for decent communication…”

The octopus is here to keep an eye on the idiot (Dryland) who works for his master. He cannot speak the master’s name (also his creator) or the world will end. Oak is very complimentary. The Octopus is vain. He wants to touch her amulet, and flips it over in its tentacles. The master is very powerful, he has two more tentacles than the octopus. Giants are people who reach the doorframe.

Oak asks the octopus about King Hekaton, circumspectly. It doesn’t work. She gives him the elven statue but he’s not as interested since it’s not magical. He takes the Ioun Stone from her inventory and fiddles with it. He offers a trade; the stone for the name of his Master. Because it’s clearly worth more than the world.

His Master is the Great Kraken Slar’krethel.

Oak leaves and the Octopus comes with her.

Atarah tries to drag Tranled’s iceberg back with the group to town but it breaks into pieces. Oak spots them on her flight back. She can work a ritual to restore him though in a new body, possibly not the same body. But not until tomorrow.

They build Tranled a tomb, though Oak keeps one of his arms for the ritual. Atarah uses the Arbiter blade to thaw the corpse and she and Envar take his gear for the hope of a successful ritual. Atarah stands vigil through the whole night, unarmored, with nothing but the sword, glowing softly. She meditates on Oaths, and family. “I’m sorry I punched you.”

Back in Yartar, Ferrindale (who last they saw, saw Tranled die) is about to collapse into sleep when Dryland shows up. Dryland wants out, thinks their group can get him out of whatever he’s in. He offers whatever information they want in return for getting out from the Master’s thumb. Tentacles. Ferrindale is very drunk.

“Some guy. kidnapped, gone. He. Him. Very tall.”
“How tall?”
“Like WOW.”
“….you mean King Hekaton.”

Dryland definitely got Hekaton kidnapped. He gives them the information to find Hekaton. “Not now. none of it will stick. Wait. Friends.”

“The ship you’re looking for is called the Morkoth, it’s travelling the northern isles of the trackless seass—-” he starts coughing up blood and dies in front of Ferrindale, who bursts into tears.

Two hours later Ferrindale is woken by the proprietor screaming in her doorway, “Get out! Never come back, criminal!” Ferrindale jumps out the window — hungover, very headache-y, into a very bright morning.

—-
Tranled. You have been in the Elysium fields before. You have been in the Ethereal plane before. This is not either of those places. There is black gravel underfoot. Wisps of flame dance in the distance, hidden and revealed by black smoke.

Tranled calls out “Show yourself. I know your name, which I spit upon.”

The smoke parts to reveal the somber face of Summerheart. “I noticed.”

Tranled falls to his knees.

Summerheart speaks. “Tranled. You have broken your Oath. You took an oath of redemption, to see the best in people, to seek peace. When you were confronted with Lord Dryland, you saw the worst, and acted on it.”

“I have nothing to say in my defense. I am unredeemable.”

“If that is what you believe, you did not understand the oath in the first place.” Summerheart speaks of universal redemption, of bringing peace to the world. Second chances. Defeat is not about slaying evil, it is about turning enemies into friends. Into turning someone from bringing pain, to bringing peace.

Tranled is afraid of Lorcan behind every bush. Summerheart speaks of love, of friendship being greater than all these things. He does not want to carry arms any more.

“You have those tools to defend the helpless. But you count yourself among them. You are not helpless. You are strong. Your surrogate family raised you to be vulnerable so they could control you. But you can stand up to it. You can hold up to it. You can take more.” He pauses. “I think I hear your family calling. Will you answer?”

“Mother and father are here?”

“No, Tranled. Your current family.”

“I think Atarah is the only one who would shed tears for me.”

“Let’s go and see.”


25 Kythorn 1487

Back into the wilderness, morning. First thing in the morning, Oak wakes and casts a powerful Dispel Magic on the octopus. There is a psychic scream and an image of a Kraken shatters. The octopus’ mind is blown.

Oak starts preparing the ritual space. Atarah is still standing guard. Flowers and ivy and seedlings start growing.

Atarah cuts off one of her braids, with all her beads and trinkets, and drops it in the circle, then cuts her palm and drips her heartsblood on the image, while praying. “Dad. You speak of found families and second chances. If anyone deserves another one, it is Tranled. Please send my brother back.”

“The wolf is the pack, and the pack is the wolf. Pick up your shield, Tranled.” Korotir scratches off the orcish on Tranled’s shield and translates it, then puts it down. And offers the necklace Atarah gave him as well.

Envar offers his flute, and pulls Tranled’s journal out and reads quietly one of Tranled’s poems. “Tread carefully, for you tread on my dreams…”

The party waits, quietly. Expectantly. (Tran must roll and beat a 7 to come back. He rolls a 4).

On the other side of the veil, Lorcan arrives to taunt Tranled. “You really going to go out like a punk?”

Tranled speaks a poem, which ends with “Time to die,” takes off his ring, and throws it at Summerheart’s feet.

The demigod turns translucent, and the world can be seen through him. Trying to get away from Lorcan, Tranled dives through him, back to the material plane. Light burns him, rips over his skin and burns off his horns.

Tranled appears in smoke, as a Fallen Aasimar Oathbreaker. “We have a snake mage to kill.”

Atarah feels the detonation of Light and goes to one knee in great pain. “…Are you with me, Tranled?”

“As long as we are after the same things.”

“…Are you still my brother?”

“I don’t know. Many things have changed.”

Tranled dons his gear, minus the Summerheart pauldron, summons a jet black horse, and goes with the group back to Yartar.

fin
whatthehelltimefordrinks

View
Wild Goose Chase
Scenario 14

Flashback to 21 Kythorn: Envar

Envar has gone into the mines to free the slaves and keep them from being killed during the changeover of authority. He has determined mostly that killing the slave masters will be sufficient for the moment.

Envar heads for the ore depository first, the easiest way into the mines. A salamander stands guard over three shield dwarf slaves. He strikes the salamander with the moonblade, is wrapped up, and then promptly dispatches the thing with another flurry of blows.

Envar moves further into the mines and encounters more guards (fire newts). One goes down in one attack, the other takes off running. Envars shoots him in the back before he gets to the Ogre waiting down the hall. The ogre, who understands what arrows are, squishes two slaves and then moves to block the entrance further into the mines while Envar pounds arrows into him. Envar draws the moonblade and goes for the Ogre, dispatching him with a final, single blow.

There are three remaining prisoners in this room, two humans and a dwarf. The two the ogre squished are a dwarf and an elf; Envar attempts to cast Spare the Dying on them but they are very very dead. He asks the other prisoners to hide the bodies so no one catches on before he finishes dispatching all remaining guards. There is another fire salamander down the hall, 200-some feet away and slightly down some stairs.

Envar retrieves his bow and moves down the hall, firing arrows as he goes to soften up the creature. It attempts to throw a spear at him and yells for his hobgoblin companion. The hobgoblin is terrible at shooting and misses. Envar is transfixed by the salamander’s spear again as it closes range and begins constricting.

Once again, Envar uses the grapple as an opportunity to just kill it better, then turns and takes the hobgoblin out. Slaves come out of the woodwork (mineshafts) to see what has happened. One of them is a rock goome with broken glasses (Envar casts mending, the rock gnome is !!!). They converse about who sent Envar and he repeats his requests to move the bodies and hide them so he can continue dispatching the guards.

The rock gnome (old Weery) tells him about the three other work groups on this level and offers to guide Envar around. She also offers a mechanical mouse as a distraction if necessary.

Further down the right tunnels is a female hobgoblin wielding a whip over another work group. Envar readies his shield and charges at her with the moonblade ready. He does damage, but the whip wraps around Envar’s neck. Another hobgoblin steps out with a longsword and attacks; when Envar doesn’t go down, the female drops the whip and dives into the group of slaves. She takes a hostage but Envar casts magic missile and takes her down before she can even monologue. The second hobgoblin goes wide eyed and attempts to take Envar down, but is unsuccessful and cut down in turn.

Eventually, after finishing off the last of the guards, Envar comes back up to the chaos of what the rest of the party left behind when they absconded with Fulmerous. He decides to go back down into the mines for a rest before attempting to sort that out.

Eventually Sarissa sends down Promise the tiefling down to Envar. She fills him in what happened, as far as she knows, and where is his party he asks? Promise has not seen them. Envar goes to speak to Sarissa.

She can teleport or scry him wherever but it will be a few days until things have settled down. Envar is happy to wait since he wishes to make sure the slaves are freed and taken care of anyway.

23 Kythorn 1487
Oak, Ferrindale, Korotir, Atarah
(Korotir’s Player is absent this scenario)

Yartar: the Eel tavern. The night was spent in reconnaissance, fight club, and finding information on the Kraken Society. A League of Suckers. Etc etc. Atarah was last left off with a dead man. She drops him and demands to know what Ferrin did, “Normally people don’t die in my arms unless I’ve hit them with my sword.”

Atarah props the guy up against the nearest wall and Oak helpfully puts an empty skull-and-crossbones bottle next to him.

A couple mangy feral dogs slink out of the shadows and threaten the group, Atarah growls back and draws her sword, “I do not have time for this. Get!” (18 Intimidation) and they slink back off. Everyone is tired and starting hallucinating Ilwar whispering.

Oak hunts down a relatively nice place, with carousing nobles, for the group to stay in. (The Golden Timbers Inn). It was a long night. (The party is distracted talking ooc about the “Seemingly Harmless Inn” and rogue turn-down services).

Oak starts interrogating Ferrin about the Kraken Society in yes or no answers to avoid being blood-from-eyes-syndrome. Atarah joins in. Atarah’s too dumb to put it together (involving magic circles). Ferrin says we need to go to the Golden Goose for the next step anyways. Oak is much smarter, and figures it out, but it’s not helpful at the moment.

Nap time!

Switch over to Tranled, sleeping after following Fulmerous’ burrowing through the ground in a fuming lavatube.

Dreamscape: A stone-walled cottage, redolent with the the aroma of freshbaked bread. Tranled pokes his head out and calls a suspicious Atarah (who thought it was a nightmare or Ilwar messing with her) inside and they have a conversation about how Tranled thinks he’s made a mistake and hasn’t fully embraced his oath. Atarah sympathizes, she too didn’t know what her Oath meant until recently. He has a friend who can help him get back, Atarah ribs him a bit but leaves off when Tran is less than usually ok with it. She does it because she missed having a brother around. They talk, Tranled will come and meet them as soon as he can.

After letting go of speaking with Atarah, Summerheart draws him gently into another dream, a hilltop with an oak tree, mountains and thunderstorms in the distance. “Welcome back, Tranled.”

Tranled admits he’s made mistakes, spoke in anger, made decisions in anger.

Summerheart speaks of forgiveness, of always offering forgiveness. Theirs is not a contract; but a relationship, he pulled Tran away from his previous master not to lock him in but to give him a choice. Tran can always walk away. Oaths are hard, they are a struggle. But that is the point of them.

Tran wants to go back to Atarah, he feels he makes better decisions with her around. Summerheart insists that he has strength within himself, but he will arrange for Tran to get there, pick up Envar too. Go to Mirabar, discreetly ask for the stable hand Jasper discreetly and say Summerheart sends him to Yartar. “Do it discreetly, but don’t be timid. You can manage both.”

When Tran wakes up, he is still in the lava tube. Fulmerous is still asleep. Tran dimension-doors back to the surface and starts getting the party back together.

24 Kythorn 1487
Envar and Tranled in Mirabar.

Tranled finds Jaspar and hits it off telling adventurer stories (in poem form). Jaspar offers to make them temporary Harper deputies to get them through the magical teleporter network, since they have an interest in seeing the giant problems solved. Tran wants a badge, is given one (silver harp on a blue field).

Jaspar also fills them in on the other giant problems—stone and frost giants, fleets and tearing down stone structures.

Tran attempts to redeem his loyalty points from the Zhentarim and transfer them to Harper points. Jaspar doesn’t understand his terminology. Envar asks about stabling the vultures, or possibly sending the vultures back to the Grove via teleportation.

It only took a year and a half, but Tranled finally convinces Envar to play a round of Gwent while they wait for Jaspar and the vultures.

And now everyone is in the same town again.

Tranled immediately goes for ice cream and drags Envar with him, orders two pistachio ice cream.

Oak is looking for a specific magic item, in the shop next to the Silverymoon Consulate, the shopkeeper is an elven woman with brown hair, gray eyes, and a scar. Oak wants something for anti-scrying or divination. (nat 20). She finds an Amulet of Protection, brings it back to the counter along with a a lot of other things she didn’t remember picking up. The Amulet is 450g. Oak does not have coin but she has a Gold Orb from the Altar of Mystra in Waterdeep.

The woman’s eyes light up. Gives Oak 80g in addition to every single item she put on the counter in trade. (The other party members oOC: what the heck was that Orb?!)

The pile of things Oak ends up with includes:
Potion of Superior Healing with a fancy top and a handle
*Wand of Magic Missiles
Enchanted Armband of Shielding (+1 AC)
Pipes of the Sewers (control and summon rats and giant rats)
Ring of Resistance (resistance to necrotic damage)
Ring of Animal Influence (3 charges regen-able, Animal Friendship, Fear or Speak with Animals)

After this, the crew head to their appointment at the Grand Dame. Tran is dressed up in high-rollers outfit. Oak is invisible, everyone else is dressed relatively nicely and arms and armor are hidden away in bags of holding. (Korotir can flashback to wherever he likes)

Thirty other rich patrons are heading inside, being greeted by Captain Storn. An exotic woman is next to him, Pao Ming, also greeting patrons.

The Captain recognizes Ferrin, greets them enthusiastically. Asks if they are going to be performing tonight? Ferrin could be. Storm asks Pao to see to the entertainment schedule if there is possibly a space.

Everyone except Tranled passes their deception checks (gogo Gadget Racism, poor tiefling brother).

Oak sneaks on board easily and starts checking entrances, exits, etc. She heads upstairs to snoop and listen. There is a dimly lit stage where musicians are setting up, but otherwise there is nothing but hired hands setting up. There are several exits, one of which is blocked by a red curtain. Oak waits for someone to go through it before following behind. It leads to a hallway with several rooms branching off and another red curtain at the far end, leading to the bridge.

The bridge has a spiral staircase leading down to the casino floor, where Captain Storn has just come up. The Captain is giving orders to unmoor and get underway. This room is fairly bare, only some maps tacked up on the wall. Oak backtracks, searching for an office. Two of the other rooms along the hallway are full of hammocks, the other is an office. Ta-da!

The office door is locked but there is fine carpeting on the other side. Oak listens but hears nothing from beyond. She camps out and waits.

Ferrindale is mingling, looking for anyone they knew from a year ago. There’s one person left among the crew; Mara. White-haired, amber-eyed, round faced, dressed in performer’s fake luxury. Mara was inspired by Ferrin and is a musician now, shows Ferrin her setup and dishes the gossip.

“Lord Dryland likes to be friends with certain people, but he’s set aside a private dance hall and that’s where I [Mara] play. It’ll be a little while before he starts inviting people up.” They do performer talk and invites Ferrin to play with them.

Tranled does some high-stakes carousing, aiming to lose a thousand gold as quickly as possible. He’s got a strategy to get to the highest stakes table. And then requests and gets 2k from the group fund to gamble that one more properly. He is eventually introduced to Lord Dryland (kind of a pirate looking guy in a nice outfit).

“I make it a point to know all the wealthy and influential people in Yartar and I’ve not met you yet.”

Tranled makes up a story about being a tobacco merchant from Goldenfields on holiday, looking for More Risks. Lord Dryland invites him to his table, they go upstairs past the dance hall to the office where Oak is waiting. She ducks inside as soon as there is space and finds a place to hide. There’s a fish tank with coral and an octopus. The office is a testament to bad taste in clashing violet colors.

Tranled distracts himself from drinking the offered wine by asking about the “trained” octopus. Tranled asks about “You asked me here on business? Who else shall we play with? Surely not the octopus?”

“Hmm. Well. You said Summerheart, did you? Tell me, what do you know of giants?”

Fin

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Tangled Tentacle
Scenario 14

The night of 21 Kythorn > 22 Kythorn 1487

(missing Tranled and Envar and Oak’s players ;_;)

The lava dragon settles, the rest of us take wary watch. Korotir is finding weak spots in case we have to kill it and making terrible small talk with Ferrindale. Tranled has been drugged into snoring sleep.

Ferrindale and Korotir discuss how one kills things. Ferrindale doesn’t use a shield. Korotir is nonplussed. Ferrindale insists they need all their hands for their instruments, and bad jokes. “How many bad jokes does it take to kill an ancient blue dragon?”

Atarah catches Korotir up on what happened in Waterdeep (including Zone of Truth shenanigans).

Oak talks about how the giants use us as tools and aren’t we doing the same to the dragon? Yes, but what other choice do we have?

Discussing how to get the dragon to Imyrith because he can’t fly, won’t be polymorphed, and doesn’t fit through the tree-stride portals. Nor can we conch-teleport to the Maelstrom with him, since all the fuss we went through to steal him from the Giants in the first place. We’ll have to walk him all the way to wherever Imyrith .

Oak asks about what else Sarissa asked us to do; find her father. The only lead is this wood coin with a gold duck on it. Ferrindale recognizes it as from a casino they used to work at and tips out a whole bag of them.

“Where did you get those from?” It is explained. The casino is in Yartar.
Atarah remembers her dad had a contact in Yartar—old Kolbaz. Now the party is split onto what to do— go to Yartar? Sneak the dragon there? Or just go to Imyrith?

Oak pipes up—it will take her a few days to even heal Fulmeris, and a while to fix the skeleton deformities. She’ll find other druids on the way to help, and start walking towards Imyrith. That will give us time to investigate in the casino to find King Hekaton. Atarah frets about how to get there; the vultures are back in the Grove and Envar has the conch (we have the cat mounts, but still—walking is not as fast or straight as flying).

Korotir takes the first watch. The dragon digs itself deeper into its lava pit. Tranled wakes up and starts calling for Korotir and Atarah. Korotir gives him water and tells him to shut up, people are sleeping. Tranled decides to go on a walk; needs to think, but is feeling slightly calmer.

Korotir trades with Tran for the next watch and beds down with QujMeh. Atarah was going to take second watch.

Ferrindale wakes first in the morning (they are totally an elf and don’t need sleep. totally) and spots a letter folded on Tran’s sleeping bag. It’s addressed to Atarah but Ferrindale reads it.

“Atarah, I have some things I need to take care of on my own. Don’t try to follow me. I’ll be back once my heart knows peace. With all my heart, Tranled”

Ferrindale wakes up Atarah (who comes up with sword in hand) with a yell. Atarah notes he has left his sleeping back (but did take food supplies)

Atarah asks QujMeh to track him, because dude needs his sleeping bag in this cold. The trail goes up to the lava pool where Fulmeris slept, and then out again to a lava tube in the middle of the woods. The tube dead ends fairly quickly.

Atarah gets suspicious and starts trying to sense for fiends and infernals. Finds nothing.

Ferrindale looks too, finds a message in cooled lava (nat 20): Tiefling, I can give you the vengeance you seek.

Atarah is annoyed. Korotir is resigned. But at least it isn’t Lorcan. Oak says she’ll go with the rest of them to Yartar and can open a tree portal. Atarah spends some time praying to Dad Summerheart first, asks him to watch over Tran (because done a stupid and potentially breaking his oath). Gets some worry but mostly bemusement, will definitely watch over him. This is what parenting is.

Ferrindale gives Oak a description of Yartar to be able to scry for a large enough tree to stride through. Park with a dessert shop (instant desire for ice cream), lots of hanging baskets with pansies—

We dive through the tree portal.

It is warmer here, and so there’s a lot more smells. Fish, old fish, horse dung, sourdough. The ice cream store is still there. It’s pricey but totally worth it, run by a mage college dropout with ray of frost. Five silver a cup, we splurge. Peanut butter flavor apparently is popular with half-orcs? Atarah buys mint for Oak and gets neapolitan for herself. Korotir gets a lavender flavored slushie.

Marko doesn’t work for the ice cream shop any more, he got a better offer. Sad. Atarah tries to wheedle the info out of the shopkeeper as to where he is, Korotir claims he’ll fight the entire town and whoever defeats him can get 10k gold, or if their name is Marko they can have 20k.

The shopkeeper tells Atarah maybe she’ll do better without the war getup. “Look, just because I have a fuck-off big sword—”

Korotir claims he’ll find him. Ferrindale says he’s a halfling and probably doesn’t want to fight a hulking half-orc in full plate. Atarah accuses Korotir of just wanting to fight, which he admits. “We can do an exhibition match if you want to hit something, bro.” This sounds like a great idea to Korotir.

The ice cream vendor (Mrs. Robbins) tells Ferrindale that Marko took a job on the docks and that was the last she saw of him. So the party heads that way.

Atarah pulls a guard aside on the way and asks for directions—the casino we’re looking for is a ship, called the Grand Dame and has a duck flag. There is insulting banter.

Ferrindale gives the grand tour of the dry docks while looking for Marko, tells about tavern experiences at the “Dry Magpie” and “Duckfeathers,” asks about Marko on the way.

Some random dock worker catcalls Oak, because Tabaxi are rare, and Atarah scruffs them and threatens a broken nose the next time that worker catcalls anyone.

Eventually, someone grabs Ferrin and offers to tell about Marko, for a price. Atarah, who noticed Ferrin get taken, looms: “Oh really, how much?”
Dude will not work with Atarah — the beacon— tells Ferrin if they want to do business to come back with 500g and without the beacon. “16 Charisma huh?” “It’s not SNEAKY charisma! I am not meant for sneaky!”

Korotir did not notice the dodge, gets accosted by another half-orc who says I heard you want to fight? Talks about the Eel Tavern, they have fights there, but the rules are no armor, no weapons because we’re not fighting your purse.

The group reluctantly agrees maybe Korotir and Atarah should take off their armor. We go grab beds at the Eel tavern hostel, Korotir rents a chest for his gear with a confused tavernkeeper who doesn’t understand being tipped.

The half-orc who talked to Korotir is named Mog. Fights are till knockout. The tavernkeeper recognizes Ferrin, invites them to play during the fights because business is always better. “Mr. Orbrider”

Atarah dumps her armor in her bag of holding and attempts to dye her hair again. So since Korotir apparently has an appointment, and Ferrin’s gonna play, Atarah will sit and drink and try to gather some gossip about whoever was hired to kidnap a giant. Atarah makes sure to sit close enough to the ring Korotir can benefit from her paladin aura.

Ferrin’s playing brings in a huge crowd and eventually pulls in 20g worth of small tips. The fights begin, they are ranked.

Orbrider gets Korotir’s name wrong (“Lockbreaker” not “Giantbane”) but the fight begins, first up: The Demolisher. Korotir wins without much effort.

Next: “The Terror of the North” — human, older. Not as strong as Korotir, does have some fighter levels but not as many. He takes the first round but then Korotir pounds him into the dirt.

Next: “The undefeated Mog!” Evenly matched, Korotir takes a good hit but badly injures Mog’s leg, and Korotir takes advantage. He goes down once, but Mog is a halforc and comes back up. Korotir outlasts him.

Atarah is spending silver like water, buying the defeated fighters and anyone around her drinks and encouraging them to talk about previous fights and unusual contracts in the last x months (when Hekaton was kidnapped). After the fight she kicks on Aura of Vitality and heals all the fighters.

(the older fighter is named Yurgen Kaneko, Atarah discovers, which makes her player choke because that’s the Bull of the North in Exalted) Yurgen is from Fireshear, is thinking of heading back to deal with the frost giants there to keep his family safe.

There was a big throwdown with Frost Giants four months ago but they were chased off.

There was talk that the Lords Alliance were the ones who took out a Storm Giant who visited Waterdeep, assassinated her. Not what Atarah is looking for. Atarah invites him to join the crew mustering at Grove Keep for taking out the Frost Giant Jarl.

Yurgen finally recognizes Korotir, talks about the Ulgin. Asks if he’s considered conquering other Orc tribes? Korotir has considered it but wants to know why? Seems to Yurgen they’re weak, could use Korotir’s leadership.

Yurgen wants to take out the Frost Giant plague; Atarah says they have a solution but they need more information. Yurgen will help any way he can; they explain the kidnapping and the coin.

The Grand Dame is a ritzy place. Yurgen doesn’t go there.

Atarah smacks herself in the head. They’re going at this backward. She knows who hired the people, so she should be looking for who Imyrith hired, not contracts on giants. Yurgen doesn’t recognize the name and is sorry he can’t be more helpful.

Atarah takes another tack: has anyone come unexpectedly into a lot of money recently? YES. (nat 20) Yurgen tells about a ship that comes in recently with no cargo but flush with cash, who hired a bunch of locals hush hush. That crew took off and hasn’t been heard from but the old crew is still here spending cash like water.

Ferrindale notices the hat man from earlier loitering. They go over to talk, and promises to tell Korotir if pummeling needs to occur. Ferrindale makes the deal with him for the info and calls Atarah over for cash. Atarah drops a handful of platinum as a down payment, says the rest on delivery. He tells them to leave first because he doesn’t want to be seen with them and go to the door from earlier.

Atarah gets the location of the where the old crew hangs out from Yurgen, and physical descriptions. They leave the Eel Tavern. Korotir gets his armor and QujMeh (who has acquired a frisbee new toy stolen from scared college students).

The door from earlier—the hat guy is concerned that our Siege Engine (Korotir) will break down the building. It is threatened that if they mess with our friend, yes, that will happen.

There’s a magic circle inside for privacy. They step inside, along with Ferrin, activate it, and tell Ferrin everything about Marko. The ship Marko went on was owned by the Kraken Society — tentacle obsession. The only other times this has been mentioned; just saying the name guys shoot blood out of their eyes and ears and die horrifically. The Kraken Society is a cult to a dark god. Marko is wrapped up with them. They show up, hire a bunch of dockhands, tell them they’ll be “guards” and ship them out. They went downstream, their boat is equipped for ocean travel.

Word is, members of the Kraken Society are trying to worm their way into the authorities of Yartar, and Mr Dryland (Casino Owner) is helping them; and rumor is he or his creepy mage have mind control powers using to corrupt the aristocracy and take over Yartar.

Guy asks: What are you going to tell your friends? You can’t tell them the truth. Avoid proper nouns.

Also he wants his payment. Korotir wants the hat. But he’s kidding. It takes a moment for that to be realized.

Ferrindale: “So I’ve been told that your heads are going to explode if I tell you anything I was just told, but I’m pretty sure there’s a way around that so as soon as I figure that out I’ll tell you.”

Korotir: “Wait, our heads are going to explode?”

Ferrindale: “Oh I probably shouldn’t have told you that.”

Atarha ignores this, “…Let’s move on and find drunk crew to beat information out of, ok. Ok.”

Ferrindale helps find the old crew with a nat 19, has an octopus tattoo. Atarah and Korotir start smelling something on fire. The drunk sees Korotir in armor and starts trying to flee. Atarah goes to grab him (19 vs 2) and pulls him in.

He slurs No no no… very drunk.

Atarah casts Lesser Restoration, the guy snaps sober and says “You shouldn’t have done that,” and starts bleeding from the eyes and nose. Dies in seconds.

Korotir tries to knock on doors and find a place we can talk to this guy, gets no answers.

Atarah tries “Remove Curse” and then “Revivify” — it doesn’t help, he dies again in blood and agony.

End Scenario

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Epilogue - Into the Jaws of Fire

The enormous red dragon sat surrounded by his accumulated treasures surveying a semi circle of Crystal balls. “Fulmerous you fool, you deserve every ounce of suffering you receive but you are an unworthy custodian of such ancient power. It has been millennia since the last time I saw one wield the Fire of Earth.” He peered through the orb and saw a possessed mouse being carried through a tunnel carved in a tree. He shook his head “You are such an embarrassment” the ancient wyrm rolled lazily onto his side and fished out a carpenter’s roll made of woven mithral. His claw slid delicately over each sample until it settled on a small red scale labeled ‘Fulmerous’. He flicked the scale across a second crystal ball, tsking to himself all the while. “Those Yak devils finally figured out the recipe. Shame they don’t have the strength to defend it.” He watched the other dragon settle down into his lava bath and then with the effortless patience that comes from millennia of observation waited for nightfall when the stars were visible.

Satisfied with the answer, he began giving commands, expecting them to be followed unquestioningly. “Pack the circus tent into the airship. I want it folded into one quarter and run a drawstring around the edge.” The dragon smiled to himself, he had picked up the tent because it matched his color scheme: red with orange stripes. Color coordination was important to a dragon. Circuses had stopped using that color scheme since he picked out the first one. Something about dragon raids being bad for business. Moments perhaps hours later he spread his magnificent wings outside his estate and dove down the mountainside into his valley to build up speed. He did a circle to let his clumsy caddy catch up to him. “Your magnificence!” shouted the captain, his voice cracking while leaning out the side of the airship. “Where are we headed?!” He couldn’t hold back a toothy smile. “Ironslag! Ice Spire Mountains” he barked then filled the sky with fire over his town. That should get them in the right mindset.


The Yakfolk were waiting and wary when the balloon supported airship finally puffed down to their cliffside. As the dragon cultists disembarked Yikari, the new Yakfolk chief, continued the charade he’d seen played out so many times before. “Greetings weary travelers. Have you come to save us from the horrible Fire Giants? We can offer you great bounty in return.”

“Oh we already have all the bounty we could want” Captain Hue strode confidently into the middle of the village. “Come on out! I have a message for all of you, not just your chief!” The yakfolk warriors warily drew their weapons. The cultists drew swords and circled up as their captain continued. Though the yakfolk had already taken losses from invaders they still clearly outnumbered, and outmassed the cultists who were completely surrounded. A few more heads poked out of tents, then went to retrieve weapons and join the circle.

Facing down an entire village of goliath Yak demons, Captain Hue was completely unflappable. “You may now serve a new master. You will be taken to a new home where you will be safe. This is your last chance to come peaceably.” Yikari scoffed and began to respond but was cut off by a wave of hushed epithets from everyone facing the cliffside. Unable to fight the urge, he craned his head around to see where the shadow was coming from. Completely incongruous without sound was a massive red dragon claw clinging to the edge of the cliff face. A colossal slitted eye with a scar cutting through the red scales was focused with piercing intensity on his congregation and in that moment of descending shadow Yikari realized that his whole village was packed into a small circle. The last thing he saw was Captain Hue running past him towards the dragon and diving under the tent as the shadow enfolded his village.


The ancient dragon hummed to himself as he cinched up the tent and flipped it over into a giant carrying bag with two dozen Yakfolk inside. When he flipped the bag, their cries of surprise and pain brought a warm feeling to his heart, so he gave the bag a good one-two shake. He sized up the bag then size up the puny airship balloon. “I suppose I’ll have to carry this all the way back, won’t I?” he said with mock sincerity. Captain Hue made a flourishing bow “None can compare with your strength, oh ancient one!”

“Yes, yes, well I suppose I’ll need to get you something bigger now. That wasn’t too incompetent.” He heard a small ripping sound from the tent and without another word burst into the air. The dragon held up the bag and shouted “We’re a thousand feet above the forest floor. You can certainly cut your way out of the tent. You may even be brave enough to fall to your death. But are you brave enough to make that decision for everyone?” The cutting sound stopped. There was a chain net back in his lair of course. But he liked it best when people were prisoners by choice.

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Into the Jaws of Fire
Scenario 13 Season 2

June 30 2018 -Scenario 13

20 Kythorn 1487

Summer Solstice, at the Grove base. The party and the storm giants were having a celebration.

Tranled has been super upset about Gaul being taken by Iymrith at the Eye of the All Father, and Atarah has dragged him into the newly built temple in their base to calm down and talk with Dad.

Oak helpfully brings downer-spiked tea to help calm Tran, and the party spends the remainder of the night attempting to plan how to take down Imyrith while keeping Tran in check.

Atarah reminds him of the contents of his oath, Tran claims it was washed away in blood. “That’s Vengeance, and that’s a different Order. If our Oaths only applied while it was convienent, we wouldn’t be much of a paladin. Hard times prove our devotion.”

Pyrrhus arrives on the first rays of dawn, greeting Oak as a long lost friend, exchanging hugs and tea. A warrior’s grip with Korotir, a handshake and greetings with Ferrendale, a hug for Atarah (who goes quiet and fangirly, just so happy to be in her father’s presence)…

For Tranled, he puts his hands on Tran’s shoulders, radiating the earth-deep calm and zen peace. “Do not let your emotions control you. Have them, embrace them, acknowledge them, but be their master. Keep your calm, and then you will be an example for others.”

He leads Tran into meditation, and listens to Oak tell stories of the intervening years, tells her about how he ascended.

Korotir, never quite comfortable in Summerheart’s radiating calm, leaves. Sarissa talks to him about exchanging a feast. They set up a giant-sized table with a small-folk sized table set up on it at one end. Pyrrhus shifts to his full Solar-deva size in order to pay Sarissa his respects.

Ferrindale serenades us on their ukelele, Tranled gives a lyrical poem (to which Charlotte the awakened chili plant takes a shine). Feeling inspired, Tranled afterwards reaches for his black book of love-poetry to Natalia, only to discover it missing (since Oak pickpocketed it the night before and slipped it into Envar’s gear).

Sarissa, once everyone has eaten and drunk their fill and settled down, gives a speech about the waning glory days of the giants and proposed an alliance between all of the small folk and giants, mutually beneficial relationships.

Sarissa’s only constraint is that giant casualties must be curtailed. There are too few of them left.

Sarissa has new intelligence on Duke Xalto. He has captured and enslaved a red dragon to make enough heat to melt adamant for his purposes. Rumors that many of Xalto’s followers are looking to replace him because they do not like what he’s doing with dragons.

They’ll follow the Duchess though.

Pyrrhus approves of this plan, and wishes the dragons would make a similar alliance because the loss of any thinking being is a tragedy. The giants grumble about this.

Atarah spends the rest of the day with her dad. Korotir goes hunting. Tran practices peace. Ferrindale entertains. Before they leave, Atarah asks the Snail to look into the coin. (4 persuasion)

The Snail says their balances are done and we’d have to scratch his back. Atarah asks if he wants anything from Ironslag. He wants the blueprints of the Rods Vonindod and as many as we can get.

Atarah heckles him over the price, that’s a lot for no guarantee of information. Snail claims, it’s a King’s Ransom, and hangs up on her. Atarah grumbles.

The next day (21 Kythorn) the party teleports north via the Maelstrom to set up a base camp 2 hours south of Ironslag. Moog and her hill giants have been armed and armored as an escort and fall-back plan. It is a show of force but they do not want to start an actual fight with the Fire Giants.

The plan is to humiliate and de-throne Xalto by having Korotir (warding bonded with Envar) fight him. Envar can heal himself, and so can Atarah and Oak.

The party ends up in the forest east of Ironslag, at the base of the Ice Spires. Korotir leads us around a manticore’s nest and to Ironslag.

There is an iron door set into the base of the mountain, even bigger than a giant. There are the sounds of an angry, gurgling upset dragon on the other side.

The party discusses strategy. Cinderhilde (Duke Xalto’s daughter) and Sarissa agree that her mom (Brimscarda) would negotiate with them, and be a better ruler with fire giants under storm giants.

Tran and Cinderhild have a pissy argument over the door, Oak gets bored and casts Pass Wall in order to go inside, completely bypassing the door.

Atarah is confused as to why we aren’t just hucking a rock at the door to knock. Cinderhild uses the passphrase, “By Surtur’s Flame I command these doors to open.”

Fire giants and a dragon are shouting on the other side. Sarissa waits on the Wyrmskull throne, maximum impressiveness.

Xalto comes pounding around the corner. The party can see the dragon from their place in front of the doors; it has an iron muzzle and is weeping magma from sores on its body, chained down and resting in a pool of molten iron. It is pissed and anguished.

Cinderhild screams for her mom.

Korotir tells Tran to tell Xalto (via thaumaturgy) that Korotir wants to fight him for ownership of the dragon. Sarissa asks Ferrindale if she’d rather take this on. Insult Xalto and piss him off so he’ll fight Korotir. Ferrindale: “Oh I thought you wanted me to be charismatic! I can be insulting!”

(Dissonant Whispers, natural 20)

“You must be delusional, or have a death wish. You want to fight me?” growls Xalto.

Korotir coaching Ferrindale: “You ever heard of Morridan’s Bridge? How many Fire Giants have died on it lately?”

“Everyone’s heard of the bridge. My cousin died there. Which of you killed Thordick?”

“I did.” Korotir says.

“You want to fight?”

“No, I want to see you die.”

Sarissa speaks up. “Not so fast. I am here on behalf of Hekaton’s court. You all owe your fealty to us. Duke Xalto has gone rogue. I propose honorable combat. Kneel to us, and—”

“You’ll remove this monstrosity?” says another fire giant, referring to the dragon.

“We will.”

“Then I accept!”

“You can’t,” Xalto. “It is my dream, my vision, I will raise the colossus!”

And without much more preamble the fight begins. The group quickly wishes Korotir good luck with various non-obvious spells — haste, shield of faith, heroism, warding bond, several bardic inspirations— all of it.

The fight begins; Korotir goes first. Xalto tries to step on Korotir, but Korotir hits him with the gavel and hunters’ marks him. Korotir breaks his foot and Xalto ends up down on one knee, frightened. Korotir climbs the giant, inflicting more damage as he goes.

Quj’Me is trying to get to Korotir, to help fight the giant, but Atarah is hanging on with an arm in the cat’s harness and refusing to be moved with the Orb of the Stein Rune. This cat is very confused and angry.

Xalto nat20s but NO portent: rolls a 2.

Xalto hits Korotir’s GiantBreaker shield, setting off its thunder effect right next to his own head. Xalto bleeds molten blood, burning
Korotir slightly (halved on warding bond)

Korotir gets all the nat 20s. new campaign record for 111 dmg in one hit. Korotir is bashing Xalto’s face in with his shield, through the skin, exposing the bone.

Xalto falls on his back, flailing, trying to grab Korotir and rip him off, but Korotir is too quick while hasted (second portent used) and stays in place.

Korotir breaks into Xalto’s skull and starts breaking things. Xalto is done. Fourteen seconds all told.

Ferrindale attempts to calm down Korotir’s victorious blood rage.

Atarah gets Tran to thaumaturgy her so she can shout, says “This is why you make friends with the small folk, not enemies!”
Brimscarda says “We will all be happy to have this dragon monstrosity removed from our midst.”

Sarissa glides the Wyrmskull throne closer. “Duke Xalto’s death was brought on by his own madness. These brave adventurers and many more have already sworn their fealty to me. We are building a newer, stronger empire. You can either join us, or face not just one but an entire army of people like Korotir. Show them some respect.”

There are fifteen Fire Giants here, who now take a knee and bow to the party.

“I will now accept your oaths of fealty,” Sarissa says. Brimscarda is not emoting at all, but calls to Cinder.

Tran tries detect thoughts on Brimscarda and ends up taking psychic damage; it has not been a good couple months for her.
Envar speaks to Sarissa and then goes off to rescue the Fire Giant’s slaves. (he took a whole 2 pts of damage for the entire fight)

During this fight, Oak has snuck in to go speak with the chained dragon.

“Hello, what’s your name?”

“Free me, quickly!”

“How long have you been here?”

“Lost track of time. Free me!”

“I will be happy to free you, where do you want to go?”

“I don’t… to the skies! are the skies still blue?”

“They are.” The dragon has been injured greatly. Whatever color it once was, it is now black. Its wings are broken and lay flat. “I will free you but I think it will cause more pain. I can get you out. Do you remember your name?”

Iymrith betrayed them, wants to kill Iymrith. Will they help the party? No they only want to kill Iymrith. It starts flailing about, throwing drops of molten iron. Oak will get someone to break open the chain.

Oak uses the mom voice but the dragon doesn’t calm.

Oak comes back and explains the dragon’s situation to the party. Atarah and Korotir immediately grab Tranled before he can go rushing off to do something stupid.

Korotir gets a fire giant to get him the blueprints and rods of vonindod, as well as other loot. There’s hellhounds. What should we do with them. Also there’s this armor thing with a ruby in its eyes.

Tran and Ferrindale fight over forging the blueprints.

Oak and Atarah go back to talk with the dragon and possibly polymorph it.

Korotir and Imperator Uthor speak about killing the dragon instead of releasing it; more pragmatic. Korotir doesn’t believe the rest of the party will go for it but will kill it if it threatens his party.

Atarah inspects all the chaining around the dragon, seeing how its held down. She speaks with him, offering common cause against Iymrith, working with the party, or death at the hands of the giants. He wants to be free. His accord is given. “Tell the small cat my name is Fulmeris.”

Between Atarah and Oak, they get him healed a bit and out of his chains. He stands up and spews lava, Atarah and Oak scramble for cover.

The other giants, not expecting him to stand up, pull weapons. Atarah yells for them to not touch him or they’ll end up like Xalto, they all ignore her. She pops wings and keeps yelling. Oak polymorphs the dragon into a mouse and ditches for the door.

Even after the dragon is gone, the crazy giants keep going for the place where it was, swinging weapons. Atarah pops her wings and ditches the melee.

Tranled, thanks to Pyrrhus and also being a bard, now has access to Calm Emotions and casts it at the melee. “Storm Giants! Fire Giants! Calm yourselves before your Queen!”

Sarissa is in the background watching but says and does nothing. The giants think the dragon is invisible, Sarissa calls for the doors to be closed and not to let the dragon escape.

Oak ditches out through the Pass Wall. Atarah follows.

Tran tries to “help” by telling them to look for footprints, a Fire Giant thinks he is mocking them and says the Dragon has been driven mad by Yak Folk dark alchemy and is dangerous. He is flung away from the giant.

Korotir and Tranled follow slower, going through the Pass Wall after them. The mouse starts trying to chew off its own limbs to break the polymorph; Atarah keeps it in shape by pouring a hitpoint at a time into it. Oak casts Travel through Plants and they flee to the lands beneath the Eye of the All-Father.

The mouse explodes into a dragon, frothing at the mouth with lava, about to turn on them, but Oak casts Charm Monster and calms Felmuris enough to reason with him. He agrees, settles into a pool of lava he’s horked up, and settles in. Atarah and Korotir look at each other—“Hunting? Hunting.”

Tranled and Oak will stand watch and make camp.

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Battles and Barbarians
Scenario 20 & 21

The duel between Atarah and Wormblood is over far quicker than either anticipated, and it is Atarah who is left unconscious and bleeding. Tranled only sees the Utgarde drag her limp armored body out into the snow of the causeway and manages to send Natalia a Message: “I think they’ve killed Atarah—” before he is interrupted and the casting ends.

Back with the Ulgen, Natalia asks Nic to distract Korotir for a moment and asks Envar into the woods with her. She tells him of the sending, and the two need a plan. It’s been a little under a day since Atarah and Tranled went on ahead.

Korotir speaks to his general; asks him to wait a bit. Goerubar advises not sending in the best of them until they have seen the terrain and can judge. The party flies ahead on the vultures while Goerubar and the rest of the Horde follow on the direwolves.

Circling over the causeway leading to the Temple, they spot something left in the snow, shining from reflected sunlight. They can tell it is Atarah as they land; a golden haze that had been standing over her dissipates as the group approaches. Natalia finds a pulse – she is still alive! Envar casts magic on her gambeson to start warming her up; she has lain in the snow so long her armor is frozen solid. It is probably the only thing that has kept her alive. Natalia starts healing her.

Someone was watching from the Temple; Wormblood emerges and starts boasting about how he snapped Atarah’s spine – just in time for a newly healed Atarah to hear and struggle to her feet, armor groaning, spitting mad. Wormblood is taken aback, as are the warriors accompanying him. She was dead! They flee back inside. Envar cautions her from moving too much and Atarah reluctantly agrees, very tired.

They fly away, heading back to the Horde and Atarah explains everything she saw and heard while with the Utgarde, telling them Tranled is still there. Natalia spots the barbarians’ noncombatants on their trail, and the group lands where they will meet the road.

Atarah finds Grimhilde and introduces her to the group, explaining what happened. Korotir threatens but Atarah informs him they are under her protection and he gives them a piece of his fur mantle with writing on it for passage past the rest of the Ulgen. Atarah asks Grimhild what her vision was? The shaman saw the Temple crumbling, her loved ones crushed beneath it.

The Utgarde go on their way, and the party settles in for a strategy discussion. Korotir will lead the Ulgen in the shieldwall with Atarah (who is missing her sword and borrows an axe and shield from the orcs). They’ll protect Envar, Natalia, and the archers who will pick off the Utgarde manning the Giant-sized bow. A small strike force of a druid and nine warriors will find and enter the Spider caves, coming in through the back to cause chaos, if they can, and keep the Utgarde from escaping.

They plan to attack in the middle of the night, after a short rest.

Approaching the temple, the party and the Horde finds the outer doors open. They are suspicious, but not so much as to stop the plan. As some of the army enters, huge stone blocks begin dropping, blocking the entrance. The party and a little over a score of warriors make it inside, but Harshnag and the greater force is left outside.

Korotir and Atarah start chivvying the warriors into a shield wall – just in time, as archers on the ledges begin to bombard them. The turtle formation keeps most unharmed, and what few are injured in the exchange are patched up quickly by Natalia. Nic has gone ahead, faster than everyone, and practically dances through the rain of arrows, untouched.

Atarah screams at Wormblood that she’s not dead yet! My god is still better! And causes a stir throughout the enemy. Nic gets a launch up onto the ledge by Korotir and Atarah’s combined shield-boost. Envar is killing the bow-crew right and left, every arrow finding its mark. Titan uncaps the bottle of darkness and tosses it into the middle of the room, effectively obscuring both armies, while hollering about “Not going to be outdone by that damned monk!”

The Horde, undercover, begins climbing the right ledge to attack the Utgarde. Korotir gains the top while Atarah remains below, boosting orcs and keeping an eye on Natalia. Envar remains below with a few archers and a personal shield wall, raining death.

And then the blue wyrmlings enter the fight. They breathe lightning over the Horde, lighting the darkness briefly, but any who fall stand again by the power of Eldath radiating from Natalia. Envar drops one of the wyrmlings, the others vanish into the cloud and the rafters. Nik spots Tranled – bound and gagged but otherwise unharmed – gesturing to the back hallway. Nik and Titan find their way into chambers on either side of the downed gate with levers to raise the blocks and start to work on them.

Atarah gains the ledge and spots Wormblood wielding her sword (“That doesn’t belong to you! Give it back!”), orders the Ulgen in to a wedge formation to force the Utgarde off the ledge. Korotir has turned invisible and gone around a pillar into a back hallway, intending to kill Wormblood from behind. Between him and Atarah they succeed. Korotir holds up the late chieftain’s severed head and roars, intimidating the remaining Utgarde.

The barbarians from the other ledge have made their way around to the Ulgen and force them back, down off the ledge and back into the turtle shield wall. Atarah clears a space with her reclaimed sword, protecting Natalia, and the bottle of darkness is reclaimed and tossed into the bag of holding to dissipate the darkness – it is no longer helping. The Ulgen are forced back against the gate by the remaining massed barbarians -

Until Nik and Titan finally succeed in lifting the gate. The greater force of Ulgen and Harshnag stream in, and the remnants of the Utgarde are decisively crushed. There are no fatalities, despite many close calls and lightning attacks by the wyrmlings, thanks to Eldath God of War! Natalia is facepalming. The Utgarde do not surrender and are wiped to a man.

Hammer 16 1487
Atarah regains the ledge and frees Tranled. The last few wyrmlings vanish into the snow outside, but Envar has downed one and plans to craft from its hide. Natalia’s vanguard are making a show of the healed-over arrows and wounds stuck in from the battlefield healing and won’t let her remove them.

Amongst the debris of battle, Korotir finds a white elven longsword – a Moonblade. He wants to try it out. It’s a lost piece of Elvish history, and Envar wants to restore it (“It belongs in a museum!” (not really)). The two nearly get into a fight over it, but Korotir relents and gives it to the elven fighter.

The group takes a short rest while the Ulgen investigate the temple. They manage to trigger a trap, a rolling boulder down one hallway and an animated construct with the sisyphean task of resetting it. No one is killed but several orcs are injured. Envar finds the trigger with Detect Magic and Natalia dispels it, rendering the hall safe again.

The biggest room contains six statues for each type of Giant and one massive one in the center of the Allfather. A glowing portal on the East wall is framed by giant runes. No one feels up to attempting to cross it today.

They find a cold storage room with the nearly intact carcass of an immense whale – Imraith’s provisions to the Utgarde. While Natalia rests, the rest of the party investigate the other side of the Spider Caves to retrieve their missing strike force. A fight with the Broodmother ensues, but it is an anti-climax of a fight after the battle they have just had. The broodmother is defeated and their strikeforce, and an Utgarde female, are rescued from being dinner.

Everyone settles in for a well-deserved celebration!

Atarah Aftermath

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Missions and Mercy
19.5 an Atarah & Tranled adventure

Hammer 6, 1487
They were all crammed into one of the yurts, the whole group sharing too little space, but at least it was warm. Atarah was not the only one awake. Tranled noticed, and asks what has upset her. Atarah explains it was just a nightmare; she’s had them since she was a kid. But her new brother pushes and she confesses this one felt different, and shares what she saw. She has to make the attempt to go and speak with the Utgarde, to either get them to leave or… something.

Tranled will go with her. They’re Ohana, now. There is some discussion on whether or not they should share with the others, and Atarah is concerned they’ll make a big deal out of it. They can go on by themselves, they’re only going to talk, right? (This can’t possibly go wrong). So how to get away… It will take almost two weeks to get to the temple from the Ulgen’s camp. While they are still a week out, a day or two after Atarah’s confession, Tranled goes to speak with Harshnag to ask about the temple.

The Temple of the All-Father is the last site remaining unspoiled from the time of the Ostoreans; an ancient empire of Giants. It only remains so because of the cold and the remote location, still a secret to all but certain giants. Tranled asks about the barbarians Harshnag saw. Were there families with them?
Harshnag didn’t exactly stick around while being filled full of arrows to find out, but it wouldn’t be unusual for them. The Utgarde tribes don’t really differentiate between civilian or combatant – there’s only warriors and those too old or too young to fight.

Tranled acquires directions and a map to the Temple (copied into his book) after assuring the frost giant he will not be selling the information. He returns to Atarah and they discuss when the best time to leave would be. A day’s headstart ought to be enough, since Atarah’s sabertooth mount is faster than the Horde (but not the Giant Vultures).

Hammer 14, 1487
When the Horde reaches the fork in the trail as Harshnag said, they settle down to camp. In the morning, Korotir gathers the warriors on their direwolf mounts to go on the attack. Atarah pleads for a little time and it is grudgingly given (next scenario: “Wait we let the two impulsive ones go off by themselves?”); she and Tranled ride off ahead on Rivka.

The approach to the Temple of the All Father was a bridge with deep chasms on either side, ending in a domed half-circle of pillars, nearly twice as tall as Harshnag. Tranled calls out and after a few minutes a small group of humans exit the Temple: a man wearing a ram’s skull helmet, an older woman bedecked with amulets, and three flanking warriors.

“I am Wormblood of the Utgarde! Be you spirits or mortals?”

Atarah gives her introduction – she is Paladin, daughter of Summerheart.

“Are you a threat or do you come to trade?”

“Neither. We are no threat to you unless you threaten us. We come to give you warning of danger to your families. An army approaches intent on your destruction.” Atarah has cast Light on her holy symbol and makes with the glowy.

“You may enter our stronghold to discuss this further.”

The lame lookout, who fetched Wormblood to begin with, blocks their way in and tries to say something but is too quiet. Atarah tried to get him to speak up, to no avail, and shoulders past to follow Chieftain Wormblood and his attendants inside. Tranled lags to try again with the lookout, but only succeeds in getting small talk from him.

The foyer of the Temple has an encampment on twenty foot high ledges to either side of a main hallway. Rope ladders and bridges cross the gap and drape down. A giant-sized red door blocks the far entrance, deeper into the Temple. Once they enter, a small blue dragonling wings down to drape across Wormblood’s shoulders.

Once they are settled for discussion, Atarah explains her purpose. Wormblood recognizes the name of the Ulgen and is derisive of their battle prowess. He leaves, calling for the front doors to be shut and the shaman to make sure his “guests” cannot use magic (but Tranled checks and still can). Atarah tries to be more forceful but Wormblood continues to be dismissive and disparaging. He enters the rest of the temple through the red door, leaving them alone.

The shaman woman, Grimhilde, addresses them in Common. She speaks it far better than Wormblood did, and thanks them for coming. She knows the Ulgen’s leader would not like it (she’s not wrong).

Atarah asks Grimhilde if she puts any stock in visions. The shaman looks surprised, and invites them up onto the ledge and the Women’s Fire to speak of visions. Settled there, Atarah tells her the dream, the vision she had and asks them please to leave – don’t see your families slaughtered as I saw mine. Grimhilde has had a similar vision but she does not give them details.

Grimhilde tells them it cannot be done – they can’t leave. Their patron and mistress, the great blue dragon Imraith whose children even now reside with them, brought them to this place an bade them stay. She even brings them food to survive the winter in such a place. A fight is inevitable, all agree. She does tell them of a second entrance to the Temple, through tunnels too small for giants but claimed by frost spiders.

Tranled asks Grimhilde to cast an augury for him, and he’ll cast one for her. It is agreed.

Tranled casts first: Is it better for the noncombatants to stay or to go with Atarah through the spider caves and away? He pulls the runes Algiz (guardian), Othala (Survival), Fehu (Luck), Wunjo (Catharsis) – the Augury is for the noncombatants to go with Atarah.

Grimhilde casts next: How will it go for Tranled if he stays with the Utgarde and Wormblood…? She is about to draw when Wormblood returns and begins barking battle orders, interrupting her.

The Utgarde get out giant-sized bows and arrows and arrange them on the ledges, pointing them at the front entrance. The rope bridges and ladders are dismantled and made ready to put away, the encampment begun to be packed up and shoved back from the ledges.

Atarah and Tranled ask Grimhilde once more to at least get the noncombatants to leave. She nods, and goes to speak with Wormblood. She informs him she has had a message from their ancestors; that Holmstane (Wormblood’s great-great-grandfather) has told her having the children, nursing mothers, and elderly underfoot will only hinder them in the coming battle. She asks that he give them a few warriors and let them go through the spider caves until the battle is over. Wormblood is skeptical but Tranled helps persuade him.

Wormblood agrees, and tries to send Tranled with the women as well – since Atarah in her armor and sword is clearly a warrior. Tranled attempts to persuade him he is more useful with the fighters, using magic to impress him. Wormblood is dismissive magic – it’s cheating, not worthy.

“Atarah, make with the glowy!”

Atarah, not loathe to show off divine power, casts Shield of Faith on herself with the glowy. Wormblood scoffs and spits at her. Neither of them are worthy warriors. Atarah maybe gets pissed off and challenges him to a fight for insulting her and her Dad.

Grimhilde is resigned to both Atarah and Tranled staying, takes a few warriors and a message from Tranled for the Ulgen if they should encounter them, and departs with the noncombatants. She leaves her apprentice with Wormblood.

Wormblood has Tranled bound to keep him from working magic, and prepares to duel Atarah to see whose Gods are stronger. Atarah is perfectly happy to oblige him and kick his ass.

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