Ylan

Episode 14 - Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones

esterday, we see several columns of black smoke. Pelaios tries but fails to conjure a spyglass. We proceed, following the Mystic. It’s windy, scrabbly terrain. Tough going against the wind. Kazimir loses his footing against the wind, sliding down and taking damage.

We notice white, fibrous sticks: bones, covering the surface of the mountain. Human remains, weapons etc. Toran, Pelaios, and Kurgaz succumb to some cursed magic and begin digging through the remains, etc., distracted from the climb. Kaz finds a recently-deceased corpse with maps, notebooks, sketchbooks, royal decree, IDing the corpse as the thaumatic biologist Siggur Reed. Also finds a coin purse, two rings, ebony walking staff.

The wind and steep slope exhaust everyone. Kaz keeps it together long enough to climb out of the bone field. Kaz assists with some Healing Words; Pelaios and Toran make it out of the bone field before collapsing. Kurgaz falls in the bone field, at death’s door. The Mystic saves us with some fractal sphere of protection, telling us we all failed some unknown test.

The Mystic levitates us down the other side of the mountain into a forested vale, with a mighty spire that appears thousands of feet high, as well as a large river. The Mystic removes some of our exhaustion and starts off through the forest. This forest is rich with a diversity of life unfamiliar to us.

The Mystic leads us along a stream to a road, up to some dwarven gates in a mountainside, out of which appear several dwarven guards. One guard, Uris Silverfist, approaches Kaz and greets him as if a returned prodigal son. The guards lead them inside the dwarven fortress.

Uris tells Kaz he is a Fardelver, son of a hold lord, Kieran, and a Silverfist woman, Aoti, from a hold near Glumrender. Uris is Kaz’s uncle, tells him his original name was Vorne Fardelver. Kieran was killed by the Onyxheart clan, who still search for Born/Kaz.

Uris hooks the party up with rooms for the night.

What Toran found in the bone field: jewel-encrusted dagger hilt; 50 gp worth of coins; 2 rings

In the morning, Kaz will show everyone what he found on Siggur’s corpse and also cast detect magic to examine it all.

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Episode 13 - But a Man's Reach Should Exceed His Grasp

Pelaios examines our loot, and finds that the fused bone staffs take something from the user when activated.
We investigate the building, looking for a secure place to camp. We decide to head back to the road leading to the village. We set up camp, starting a fire and cooking some food. We prepare to take a long rest, and talk over the fire.
Kaz and Gaz feel a presence. They hear something behind Pel; Tor feels a subtle probing in his mind; a presence similar to his patron. Kaz casts Light on a pebble and tosses it towards the sound. We see a cowled figure, his face briefly illuminated by the light. An older man smiles at us; he is emaciated. Tor follows the probing in his mind, and the old man reacts. He greets us, and Kaz invites him to join us.
He knows our names. He says that the Mindsea brought us together. He calls himself the Mystic. He tells us that our fight was a test, and that we have shown some ability. He knows of the Emperor, but has no respect for him. He tells us that the Queen of Zee has a strong presence in the Mindsea; and has great plans for our lands.
The Mystic can feel the psionic spying devices in the Mindsea; he agrees to create an artifact to discover them ourselves. But we will each owe him a favor. We ask him what the Mindsea is; he explains that it is a sea of consciousness, where the attuned can perceive things beyond… but it is mostly white noise.
He can feel the Queen’s desires and motivations. She wants to build an empire; she wants to be in control of all things. Her capacity to dominate is something the Mystic has not seen in some time. She is now free of the “roadblocks” against her rise – her siblings.
He tells us that the road to Zee is over Mount Mohidax, in the Impasse range, or that we can sail there. The Queen has changed the geography of Zee.
If we agree to the Mystic’s offer, we will need to venture into the Reach to obtain the necessary materials. One of these would be a psychically gifted creature, a fairly formidable one. He knows of a dwarven door that would make our journey a bit easier.
He tells us of a kind of beholder that might work, one that would pose less of a threat than other suitable creatures.
The hike to the mountain will take a day, a half day to pass the treeeline, and then… it depends. He bids us farewell til the morning, and vanishes. We come to, realizing that he wasn’t really there to begin with.
We discuss – and agree to proceed with the Mystic, to the Reach. Tor remembers that the beholder kin the Mystic spoke of is called a Mindwitness. The illithids capturre a beholder and immerse it into the Elder Brain. They primarily function as hubs to expand the communication range of the colony. They are not as powerful as the beholders. They don’t have as many eye rays as beholders, and may not have a telepathic attack.
We sleep through the night. The Mystic awaits us when we wake. We call the emperor to secure his oath to the Mystic. The Mystic agrees to be counterbound to the emperor. The Emperor agrees to a favor, as long as it does not involve granting a title or power.
The Mystic tells us that the dwarven stronghold that we will be venturing to is relatively new. They have established some trading routes, but keep to themselves. He tells us of the twins, who established the Reach as a means to preserve the Wild. The twins are real, and reside in the Aerie.
He tells us of the boundary between our plane and the Reach. It feeds on greed and failure, and the Mystic believes it exists to keep most intelligence out.
We set out.
We reach the treeline, and climb. The air grows thinner, and the Mystic suggests we set up camp for the night. He tells us to be wary of shankers, humanoid cats, about human sized but lighter.
He suggests that we separate ourselves by at least thirty paces when departing in the morning, and approach him at the ridgeline.
We camp for the evening; the Mystic protects us during the night. But Kurgaz is tormented by nightmares, and wakes up exhausted.
We prepare for our trek. We separate ourselves by about 90 feet. Kaz casts Detect Magic, and we prepare for shankers…

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Episode 12 - Denizens of Chaos

After dispatching the cultists and seeing this 10-foot-tall creature stalk out of the mansion, the company readied themselves for another battle. The creature seemed to enjoy the pain the party dealt to it, getting a little upset as torn flipped it some birds and hexed it. They come to find out the creature is a babau, a denizen of the plane of Chaos.

After a short battle of wills, and a little bit of a flying dragonborn, the creature was felled by a magic missile cast by Pelaios. The babau was able to summon a smaller babau before it was brought down to try to bring down the party. This other babau stood no chance against the might of Brother Kazimir, Knight of St. Bane, and Kurgaz the Valiant.

There was a calm on the battlefield for a few short moments after both babau had vanished in purple smoke, returning to their plane of existence. After a few moments of silence Pelaios noticed someone approaching the party, semi-transparent at first but slowing becoming more solid. It was a figure with a red cloak that carried a large sword on it’s side. After some discussion and shushing of Toran, before he got eviscerated again, they came to find out the beings name: Pelaios Haas.

Pelaios was part a war council and was tricked into making a deal with the Devils of Chaos, thinking they were allying with another nation across the ocean. The deal that was made was to give the first-born of each generation to be betrothed to a devil, thus creating the race of Tiefling. Pelaios Zhermenos comes to learn that Haas is his progenitor, him being the kin of Haas. Haas tells them the reason of his appearance was to kill the beings of Chaos, as he swore an Oath of Vengeance after death to rid the world of the devils he helped unleash upon the world.

After garnering some more information about the Lords of Chaos from Haas, he bid his farewells and disappeared. The party decided to search the cultists and found the worship a Lord named Baator, the Lord of Destruction, brother to Adaxis Lord of Deceit, Malaket Lord of Madness, and Azmogath Lord of Tyranny. The party decides to keep the Amulets of Baator they found on the cultists in their Bag of Holding so that no bystander happens upon them, while Pelaios and Toran take their Staff of Holding that is made of fused bone.

All that is left for the discovering the cultists is to enter the mansion and see what awaits them inside these walls of Chaos…

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Episode 11 - Beginning to Reach

The candidate company was teleported to a gray field during an overcast day. To the North of them is the edge of a deep forest, while to the North West is the village that was spotted with smoke rising, more to the west is farmland. They followed a “road” toward the village they notice that something is not quite right. There aren’t people tending the fields, it’s unnaturally quiet, the animals are where they are supposed to be, but there doesn’t seem to be human activity.

As they arrived at the village they happened upon a grisly sight. Coming up to the palisade they can see a person that was flayed bound to a cross in the center of the town. A man was kneeling in front of the corpse crying and wailing. After talking to the villagers they found that something had moved into the old mansion a the edge of The Reach. They also learn that the Mystic had come out from the woods to talk the Jeb, the crying man. After removing the body Jeb told Toran that once the villages problem was dealt with that the Mystic would reveal himself once we enter the woods.

We followed Cole, after garnering more information, out towards the mansion. He brought us to the area of trees that they gather and pointed out the mansion. We thanked him and started to plan our next move. We decided to scout out the mansion and see what we could find. Kurgaz noticed a small tripwire at what used to be a gate and we all agreed to trip it to get rid of it. Toran offered to use mage hand and minor illusion to help trick whatever was in the mansion.

After the trap was tripped nothing happened, so we pressed forward onto the mansion grounds. Not long after Kurgaz was left behind, seemingly frozen in place. After a few minutes of Kazimir catching movement out of the corner of his eye we were attacked by figures in cloaks holding spheres and scythes. They were quickly dispatched, but not before saying “He has come”. After the last foe fell the bright light that was on the mansion, disappeared and out from the mansion came a large devil looking foe.

Andrew – “Create minor illusion of Gnome or small child being maimed by the tripwire trap.”

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Episode 10: Warnings

It opens in a hallway outside a guild hall, where the party has recovered false teeth from Malkir.

In a vision, the Queen is standing by a chair just like Enida’s chair, where she is watching the party save Brother Ebon. She turns away from the vision; “That will be enough, I have underestimated these candidates, never again.” She is saying this to an androgynous character with a shaved head, a flowing cloak that reminds the characters of blood, and a silver collar.

He bows to his queen and says “I will release the Illriggers.”

Kurgaz and Kazimar harrangue a young apprentice after Ebon is taken away (he will survive). Toran tries to calm him but ends up rattling him further. The party eventually teleports to R and yells at the teleport operator until Kazimar persuades him to help.

Again teleported to a large, grand room, 30×60, with a large dias. Finally taken to the Senechal. After explaining everything to the Senechal, they are taken to the Pentarch and finally with the Emperor, an elven Archmage.

Pelaios spots psionic bugs and Kazimir explains everything the party knows to the Emperor. The Emperor evacuates the party into the streets of Preceptor and clears everyone out of the way. The discussion continues and the Emperor is briefed about the Queen of Zee. He says that he will send ships to recon and to look for a wandering mystic.

Finally, to send us on our way, the Emperor gives us gifts and points us towards Fickle Fingers to continue our shopping. Kazimir makes a bad deal for his plate armor that infuriates Toran who tries to interfere with the sale, getting very “mage-handsy”.

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Episode 9: Love thy Elder

We rise from a short rest. Kazimir confirms that the children are dead; he tends to their corpses. The party approaches the girl in the throne. She appears human, and around 12 years old. A religion check reveals nothing; an arcana check reveals that the shining objects on her appear to be mechanical spiders, which appear unnerved by our presence. These seem to be akin to golems, enchanted by the gnomes to mimic life. The throne itself appears to be imbued with some kind of magic. The girl is wearing a headband of the same design as the throne, but appears unenchanted. It seems that the throne is meant to keep its occupant in stasis.
Pelaios pokes the throne with his staff. The spiders react defensively. Toran tries to approach with Mage Hand, and the same happens. The child is unaffected. Kaz suggests we take a longer rest and explore the building. As he does, we hear noises from where the dead children lay.
A figure garbed much as the Elder was approaches. It appears distraught; we watch, and his gravelly voice calls out to us, telling us he means us no harm. He identifies himself as the Younger. He expresses grief at the Elder’s death, and says that he told the Elder not to listen to “her.” He presents us with a chest, supposedly containing the rewards that the Elder would have given us for colluding with him. His emotion and intent seem genuine. He says he told the Elder “Elida was not worth what the Queen would bring to us.” His face is pale and elven. He says we killed his love. He says the hag is not in the shadowfell, but in the material plane, near where we came in from, where the roads cross.
E and Y were collectors. The Queen asked them to place things instead. Y did not want to, but E agreed. Elida is the girl in the chair, and the Queen’s gift to the Elder. Elida’s twin is with the Queen. Elida has been in the chair for two years. E and Y have been in the shadowfell for hundreds. The things they placed in the world were small things, things that Elida and the twin could use to view things in the places they were placed. There is one in the Emperor’s council chambers. Y agrees to show us at least some of the items that were placed. He asks Elida. The spiders do not attack. She shows us E’s favorite painting – it is in a place where the Guild’s sigil hangs and the Emperor sits. The painting is of one of the Emperor’s victories in battle. The voice of the Emperor and the Pentarch come through; they are discussing the dissolution of the Guild into divine and arcane halves. The Emperor seems to be in favor of this. Y causes Elida to make the voices fade away. Y says the items are like the small spiders surrounding Elida – each contains a piece of Elida and her twin.
Y speaks further. There are spider bugs in the major Guild halls, near members of the Pentarch council, the Battlemaster and Martial guilds, homes of the Nobility. Y thinks there are bugs in all of the important places. The bugs are not magic – they have a psychic link to the twins. He says Zee is on the other side of the impasse range. He does not know what route to take. He says we can go to and fro from the prime material plane and here by the route we came, but that the passage appears and disappears according to the moon’s cycles. Elida shows us the hag with the children – we hear screaming and cackles. The children are being tormented. In the scene, the door blows in, and something attacks the hag’s minions. Two guards who look like the Queen’s monk-soldiers march in. They kill the hag and take the children. Y says he has never heard of the Queen sending her own people here.
He gives us the treasure chest and walks off. Toran stops him. He and his clan were cursed to primitive shapes; some of their number were able to transition to a more elf-like form. Darklings. Toran tries to convince him to help them, but he is not very successful. Y starts to walk off again, but Kazimir offers to tend to E’s corpse as well. Y agrees to that and walks off.
He does tell us that only one mystic in the reach can locate the spider bugs; the mystic is a wandering hermit.
Kaz goes to the Elder’s body. Toran and Pelaios talk, in an aside, about how to speak with Kazimir about being looser with Guild rules, and adapting to situations that don’t fit neatly within his dogmas. Kaz treats the Elder’s body, Toran and Pelaios clean the room, and Kurgaz looks for a trophy. He finds a masterwork sword and a bronze artwork (wait for Jeff to choose). Kurgaz and Kaz take the cart, laden with the treasure chest and the bodies, and we depart. We lay the bodies to rest near the log bridge. We rest by the new graves. Kaz is “forgiven” by Bane, presumably.
In the morning, we cross the bridge. We see a caravan that approaches; an outrider comes to us. We identify ourselves as candidates of the Guild. We agree to come over to the campsite; it is an established location and seems to be well used. Kaz goes with the outrider mercenary to a merchant, whose child needs healing. Kaz sees a halfling boy with a damaged foot. Kaz heals him. The merchant is of the clan Ficklefingers; he offers his services as a reward to the party. He also gives Kaz 20 gold pieces, and a medallion with a hand on one side and the Ficklefinger VIP status on the other. His clan will know of Brother Kazimir, and will assist as they can, with rare goods, news, and information. The caravan is headed towards Hyrada. We set up camp for the night; we are given food and drink. We sleep without incident. The caravan departs in the morning, and we reach Hyrada.
We head for the Guild hall. It is almost twilight. We ask for Master Ebon. We are taken to his office. M. Ebon is tending to his chemistry experiments. Kaz, Toran, and Pelaios turn over their shares of the treasure chest the Younger gave. Kaz tells him all that has happened; Ebon is stunned, and we leave for higher authorities. Ebon takes us to the doors of the teleport chamber; Kurgaz realizes there is danger and draws his weapons. We head into the teleportation room, and into danger…
We encounter 2 Mal-Kir. Master Ebon is blasted out of the room. After a short but intense battle that leaves most of the party unscathed, we emerge victorious. M. Ebon has grievous injuries. Kaz tends to him, but he may be paralyzed. Guild healers arrive and tend to him.
We search the bodies of the two Mal-Kir. They have false teeth with an unknown chemical, and they have the Queen’s tattoo on them. We remove the teeth safely. We await news of M. Ebon’s condition.

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Episode 8: Negotiations and a Perilous Fight
or: DAMNED DISADVANTAGE!

We begin with the party finishing a short rest, catching our breath next to the scene of the carriage attack. We have two horses and the carriage and intend to set out west after the attackers. While resting we peruse papers in the carriage, including diaries indicating some passengers were headed to Hyrada. The carriage had diverted off the main road to Forks, instead heading west. Passengers were merchant class. We also found some coin and jewels in the false bottom of a chest. Nothing magical.

We jerry-rig bridles and blankets for the horses and head west through the forest, two to a horse. We come to a makeshift bridge across a chasm, abandon the horses, and cross; the fat dwarf nearly tumbles to his death but Kurgaz pulls him up. We’ve been traveling for ~30 min when the forest suddenly falls quiet, and turns a strange green monochromatic tint. Pelaios recalls that this is a feature of the Shadowfell. We proceed.

All sounds and colors fade; the forest itself seems to fade away as an obscuring mist rises around us. We seem to have transitioned into another plane. Ahead we see a clearing with a building, something like a small abbey with a tower, another smaller building to the left. We see a dark doorway in the main long building.

As we proceed, lights come on in the tower and the building; the door appears to open. We hear beautiful music by a famous composer, which somehow seems to lift our spirits above the depression of this plane.

We approach the building. It is a magnificent great hall, with high stained glass windows. On the walls are hundreds of masterwork paintings piled on top of one another. Inside we see two beautifully carved chairs, more like thrones, in front of a stage. On the stage is a beautifully rendered scene of an orchestra playing, in full vivid color, in stark contrast to the depressed monochromatic scene of the rest of this plane.

As we discuss how to proceed, the music stops and the orchestra scene disappears, leaving only an empty dais. A figure stands up from one of the chairs: tall, slender, long black hair, robes, dark skin. Calls himself the Elder. We enter. He knows all our names already. Calls himself a collector of beautiful things, in service of the Queen, here to negotiate on her behalf.

The deal: they will release the five children they kidnapped today (their “guests”). The Queen will take an oath not to kidnap (“recruit”) any more Guild initiates, and pay us each 1200 gp, + 600 gp / year. In return, we must take an oath not to pursue this matter further. The Elder also offers up hags as scapegoats to blame for the children’s disappearances. We must agree to lie to the Guild and the other authorities, blaming the hags and telling no one about the Queen, the Elder, and their plans for the other children.

We discuss, Toran and Pelaios wanting to deal, Kazimir rejecting any deal, Kurgaz not trusting the Elder. Kurgaz also demands the Elder produce the Tinker. Toran starts to negotiate with the Elder (publicly and privately). Eight glowing eyes begin to appear behind the Elder: Quicklings.

When questioned about the other children who were kidnapped, he conjures a scene of a realm deeper in the Shadowfell, showing numerous children relaxing in luxury in a city named Zee. He also brings forth a cart here with three of the five children, sleeping peacefully. We counter-offer: release the three kids, direct us to the other two kids, and we will let him walk away. He refuses: we must agree to lie to the Guild and the authorities about what really happened to the children. On this point he will not negotiate.

The party continues to argue. Toran wants to make a deal to save the kids. Kazimir will not deal with slave traders nor agree to lie. Toran: “How is lying dishonorable? Lying is a tool!”

The scene on the stage changes, now showing two teens imprisoned and tormented by a hag and her minions.

The negotiations degenerate. Kurgaz gives the Elder one chance to walk away. “Do your worst,” he says.

A brutal battle ensues. A Quickling immediately slays all three children. Four Quicklings rush the party, swarming the wizards. The Elder casts Darkness and stabs out of it with swirling short swords, retreating after each attack. We eventually bring down all Quicklings. Toran falls twice and stays down; Pelaios falls but is healed; Kazimir falls twice and stays down; Kurgaz manages to stay on his feat, hasted and berserk. He hacks blindly through the Darkness but his axe eventually finds purchase, and he manages to eviscerate the Elder.

Kurgaz administers the last healing potion to Kazimir, and the party limps into a corner to catch their breath. Toran regains consciousness and the party patches their wounds as best they can.

While they are resting, the party notices that reclining in one of the thrones is a strange girl in some kind of ethereal dream state. We see some form of energy crawling, spider-like, across her skin when the party moves around her…

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Episode 7: The Long March

PROLOGUE:

The scene opens in a marble room with a shimmering portal. As we gaze through the portal we see a pitched battle and teenage girls weeping. A gnome appears, grabs a teenage boy, and with strength that belies his small stature throws him through the portal, back into the marble room.

The view pulls back and the marble room is guarded by several soldiers who look unlike any soldiers seen before. Shaven head, dark leather armor, quarterstaves, and an air of sorcery. They surround a group of teenagers. The new boy is picked up ruthlessly by a guard and the rest of the prisoners are led from the room.

Suddenly a woman enters the room dressed in a shimmering gown and heavily jeweled. The gnome drops to a knee and addresses her as “Queen”, while she calls him “Tinker”. The Tinker is obviously awed and stumbles on his words. The Queen tells the Tinker he has failed her and he responds saying that he has brought many “breeders” for her but that the Guild has interfered, spoiling his plans. The Queen reiterates the price for failure is death, but that in light of his usefulness she will instead send him to the Mines to repair the Machinery.

The view pulls back out of the room showing a tall tower in a gigantic city filled with even more towers interconnected by raised aquaducts. These aquaducts are large enough to handle barge traffic and other ships. This city is built above a sprawling everglades type of environment, and as the view pulls back further, more huge cities are seen, all of them in the area east of the Impasse Mountains.

ADVENTURE:

Gazing around from atop the plateau where they were recovering after their last fight, Kurgaz spots two groups of enemies moving over the bridges away from the party and heading south towards Bilmar. The group warily moves to investigate the smoking wreckage of the carriage, finding a tripwire strung underneath the dead body of the driver. Toran attempts to disarm the trap remotely using his Mage Hand, but a huge fireball detonates, obliterating the wreckage. The group is safely removed from the range of the explosion.

Moving off after the retreating groups of enemies, the party moves south in pursuit at a quick trot. The group enters wide grasslands and sees four horsemen gallop off on a road, again heading south. Wary because of the tall grasses, the group reaches the road and follows on foot, aware that enemies remain. Somewhere.

Entering into a forest growing up on both sides of the road, a check of the tracks shows that the horsemen have entered the forest to the west. As they rest and discuss a plan, a rising dust cloud is seen on the road over a mile distant. Predicting that this could be another carriage of apprentices, the party rushes off again down the road to attempt to warn them of an impending ambush.

Fighting exhaustion, they continue to run south along the road until obvious movement in the grasses to the side of the road brings them up short. Several of the Quickling assassins they have fought earlier race into the midst of the party, knives flashing. Toran, surprised, is eviscerated and brought to the ground, out of the fight and struggling to survive. Kurgaz ducks behind his shield and then kills his attacker with his axe in a battle rage while Pelaois explodes another in a heartbeat with deadly magic. The third attacker disappears in a flash, vanishing into the tall grasses.

Kurgaz leaps to the pursuit while a revived Toran (thanks to Kasimir’s quick healing) rushes after him, nearly matching the barbarian in rage. Kasimir yells at the party to stay together, but the two run off heedlessly into the grasses, where the assassin leaps at them once more. Kurgaz, off balance, cannot bring his weapons to bear while an enraged, naked, and bloodied Toran destroys the assassin with his Eldritch blasts.

Racing forward to the carriage, the exhausted and bloodied party realize that while they may have won the fight, the distraction it caused made the ambush of the carriage possible. The driver is found riddled with crossbow bolts, and the passengers are gone, the attackers fleeing.

The party now has a difficult decision to make; try to chase after the abductors while already fatigued, or rest to recover their energy. The carriage and the horses remain ready to potentially use in the pursuit as well.

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Episode 6: The Carriage on Fire
Note to self: avoid quicklings

Kurgaz, a Dragonborn Barbarian, that has been put on a security detail for the peace keeping emissary between them and the Dwarves stays at an inn in Hyrada. While he is there he overhears some Guild Initiates talking about things called Darklings and how one of the Initiates was almost killed by a Gnome. Thinking it unfathomable that three people could be stopped by a Gnome.

While he is at the inn he comes down from his room and in barges Borak Darkblood and demands to talk to Kurgaz. Borak informs Kurgaz that they will not be paid for the trip to Hyrada, since they did not do any work. He suggests that he stay in Hyrada and try to make a name for himself to earn some coin.

Brother Kazimir approaches Kurgaz to attempt to get him to join the Candidate Company, knowing full how that the Dragonborn will want to be paid. Pelaios buys the party breakfast so that the company can discuss his terms on joining the party. Kurgaz is willing to join the hunt of The Tinker so long as he get his pay cut, before the guild takes their share.

Kurgaz meets with Master Iban and agrees to join the party with a ¼ cut before the rest of the Candidate company pays theirs. After that agreement, the party takes the newly brewed potions from Iban along with a questionnaire about the potion. Toran reads the book that was found in The Tinkers’ hut that contained an unknown language and some runes. The book was talking about marshes that are on the morning side of the Great Deep.

The company learns that Baron Gregor has control of Forks, he is also allied with the Duke and Yvarnon. Iban informs them that Bramble is the guild caretake in Forks. The Candidate company then teleported to outside of Forks in the middle of a plateau. They see two farmers in the distance, Brother Kazimir then ran up to them and talks to them about where Forks is.

The Company is just West of Forks, they decide to proceed at a normal pace. After they start walking Kurgaz smells something that makes him think of wood and pine tar. The Company rushes forward to the fire after Toran magically creates somewhat functional telescope to see a box looking thing.

After the battle that ensued on the plateau the two humans were both to be found to have a tattoo of the Rune that was in the portal circle. Nothing else was found after the battle.

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Episode 5: A Tinker's Damn
Ah, the many uses of a Mage Hand...

One minion got away with Wes (one of the three captives), as did the Tinker. The portal closed…

As the dust settles, two other girls are revealed. She is distraught. P looks around, but the rooms have been destroyed. P takes notes. Z tends to the girls.
One girl asks after Wes. She is Annalinn, one of the missing initiates. She shows us the south door, stating that the little man went through there.

We meet other captives in cages; Z tries to speak with them. They are not forthcoming. Z opens the cage doors; one boy runs. T uses intimidation to get him to come back. Z tries to convince the girls to stay as the party rests, but to no avail. Same with T’s attempt to deceive them into believing they’re safer with us. We all agree to go up to the barn instead. We do so, but Z’s big feet trigger a magical alarm. We reach the surface unharmed. There are five here now, besides P T Z.

Z tells the freed captives that we’ll try to find Wes. We talk while resting. The captives have no real memories other than talking with the Tinker, who was complimentary and presented each with a gift – a necklace with a leather pouch. The next thing each remembers is returning the necklace after they had been imprisoned. Wes was captured well before these five. The Tinker called them talented young ones, and said he would take them to a place of opulence, a fantastical place a long ways away, where they would serve the Queen and help to produce more talented people like them. T determines that “talent” is allomantic talent, but T knows of nothing other than crackpot theories about pure bloodlines and breeding such talents.

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Annalinn and the other girl were the final captives. Z asks about the grotto. The boy who smells of urine says Wes had said that creatures came out of darkness and killed Maris and took Wes. Z speculates that the Queen might be related to the Fey. P asks why they killed Maris. Z responds that that may be because Maris was ungifted. Z asks about the little man; Annalinn and the other girl were the only to observe him. They say he spoke briefly to the Tinker and then escaped, right before Z and T fell through the well.

The party rests. Afterwards, Z tells the five captives to stay while we investigate. They don’t want to. We make our way closer to the guard we encountered watching over the Tinker’s property. We tell the guard to take the five to the Guild and hand them over to Master Ebon. He agrees and they depart.

We start with the Tinker’s house. We investigate; we find nothing magical. P finds a small, odd book. It looks a bit like Z’s prayer book. One of the symbols resembles something on the runes P saw. None of us can read it. P takes the book. In the bedroom, we find a loose floorboard. Under it we find a chest with treasure. In it along with coinage, we find a small pouch resembling the one Caleb had. Using Mage Hand, T opens the pouch to reveal 10 gems. T reseals the pouch with Mage Hand and return it to the chest. Z’s Detect Magic reveals magic in the floor of the bedroom closet. T uses Mage Hand to prod the floor. An illusion is dispelled, and a trapdoor is revealed. Opening it uncovers a gnome-sized hole, with a descending ladder. There is a small escape hatch to the side, 10 feet down or so. At the bottom, 30 feet down, is a knapsack. T uses Mage Hand to reach for it; as the knapsack ascends in Mage Hand’s grasp, Z notices that it is glowing magically. T brings the knapsack all the way up. It is gnome-sized. Something inside the knapsack appears to be causing the magical glow. Mage Hand opens the sack and removes a jingling coin purse, and a velvet pouch that is the source of the glow. In the side pockets are two glowing magical potions. In the coin purse is a good amount of coinage. There are other supplies within. In the velvet pouch are three small metal balls. They glow brightly; looking close, they appear to be agglomerations packed into perfect spheres. P notes their resemblance to gnomish machinery. T’s Mage Hand tosses everything back in the knapsack. We leave the house and go back to the barn.

Z renews his Detect Magic ritual. No magic is detected. We return to the subterranean dungeon. The party notes that, unlike most of the objects in the Tinker’s home, the table in the center of the room is human sized. P finds symbols on the portal dais resembling those in the little book. He notes those symbols for future study.

We investigate the doors in the main subterranean chamber. We find the other end of the trap door ladder tunnel. We find a room with bunks and empty chests. Under one of the bunks are some damp leaves. It appears that people have slept here recently. Another door reveals a pantry. T takes the seasonings and spices that are present.

P finds a small carved box behind the shelves that has the same type of runes as in the little book and the dais. T uses Mage Hand to grab and open it. There are herbs inside that look like saffron. After an Arcana check, they remind us of a poem about a merchant’s daughter from a land across the range. P samples some in his mouth. No harm appears to come to him. We take the box.
We return to the main chamber and search the body of one of the dead minions. We search his body and take what we find.

The party does a final check of the surroundings and finds nothing. T asks P to place the little book on the dais. During this, the aftereffects of the Haste potion that P and Z took during battle kick in, and both experience explosive diarrhea. P manages to place the book on the dais; T uses Mage Hand to place the cursed platinum piece, gems, and spheres near the book while in the presence of Detect Magic. There is no reaction. P and Z wipe and wash and the party returns to the surface.

We return to the surface. We search for tracks of the little man who escaped, to no avail. We go to the barn. We find a store of metals and masterwork smith’s tools inside the Tinker’s carriage, which is, surprisingly, human-sized. We find a human-sized compartment, fitted with air holes and a pad at the bottom. We agree to take the carriage back to town. We harness the horses and return to the Guild hall.

We arrive in the afternoon. As T rises from his seat, the seat shifts, revealing a scrap of paper. T reaches surrepticously for the scrap, and takes it in his hand, hiding his actions from P and Z. There are names and dates written on it – Lorem, 4 days ago; Hyrada, today; Forks, 2 days from today. T shows it to the others; the party decides to ask Master Ebon about it.

We encounter Ebon in the lobby; he is surrounded by a number of people. He is flustered and shouting orders. We make out something about peeople on a list. P and Z gripe about their mudbutts. Z ask about Annalinn and the other 4 captives. Ebon says they arrived safely. We ask about Lorem. Ebon tells us that there was to be a pickup there; no students showed up. We tell him of the Tinker’s story of the Queen. We show him the little book and the carved box. He denies that he can read the book, but says that it is a fairy tale about a land across the range, a people called the Hideem (?), ripe with dark almantic arts. He calls the book a rare artifact.

We ask him about Forks. It is a good day and a half’s travel from here, and the Guild does not have a teleport circle in Forks. He refuses to use other magic to get the party to Forks. Z and T use Persuasion to get Ebon to change his mind. He agrees to get us to Forks, via magic, at dawn. We hand over our takings – except that T still has the cursed platinum piece in his component pouch. Master Ebon departs. We leave off with the intention of returning to our inn…

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