Darkness over Oscadius

Homecoming
Session 19 Recap - 5th-17th of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Mourning Tree

Immediately after Aralia, the dryad, steps into the material plane, she runs over to embraces her tree. The party watches as it returns to health and sprouts leaves. After several minutes in communion with the tree she steps away and approaches the party. She thanks them for their aid in helping restore her tree. She gifts Lyra a white oak acorn and imparts knowledge upon her of how to travel the Ways. Drugan has a serious conversation with Oath. Oath remembers reading that the Feywild is a place of perpetual twilight. When questioned about the passing of time in the Feywild Aralia replies that “time passes as time flows”. After a brief discussion, the party decides to attempt travel through the Feywild. With all the party members holding onto each other Lyra speaks the words “Aa’ lasser en lle coia orn n’ omenta gurtha” and the party steps forth into the Feywild

The Southern Greatwoods

The party steps into a shady grove somewhere in the Southern Greatwoods. For everyone besides Lyra the memory of a landscape dominated by oversized vegetation and pastel colors is fading like a dream upon waking. Unlike entering the Feywild, leaving seems to have gone slightly awry as Drugan feels protected, Grom increases in size, Lyra can only yell, Mira felt refreshed and Oath cast Fly on Jasper. A panther like fey creature with a strangely human face shakes himself and announces that his task is complete and that he’s going for a hunt before returning to the Feywild. The party looks on in confusion as he lopes off into the woods. Lyra seems angry at Drugan.

As the magical effects start to wear off the party makes their way south towards the edge of the Southern Greatwoods. Emerging from the woods near dusk, they realize they’re near Farlel. They realize based on the position of the moons that almost two weeks have passed since they entered the Feywild.

Port Trellec

The party pushes on through the night to reach Port Trellec as the sun is rising. As they approach the west gate of Port Trellec they notice carts, tents and groups of refugees outside the city gates. They see city guards trying to coral and help folks. Making their way through the throngs a scruffy looking man with what appears to be the oak leaf of Sylvanus on his shirt approaches Mira. He grabs her by the shoulder and tells her: “When the Sisters are hidden under the Autumnal Cloak, in the Tower of Night, the chains will be loosened and He will summon Her.” As the man pulls away, Mira watches his eyes fade from green to their natural color. She also realizes he smells of sour wine and the symbol on his chest is actually his own vomit. As the man moves towards an alley and proceeds to empty the contents of his stomach, Drugan moves to follow him. Lyra walks by and pushes Drugan into the filth. Oath uses Prestidigitation to clean Drugan.

The Spoke and Cellar

The party heads to the inn where they meet up with Keishara and Thakon. Thakon tells them that one of Nerroth’s contacts has turned up the location of an artifact that could enable her to scry on the area of the forest that is blocked from her view. After breaking their fast they decide to split up and take care of a couple errands before deciding what to do next.

Avora’s Shop

Jasper and Oath head to the cartographer’s to give her the dragon helm. Avora is pleased to see them, even if Oath is laying the flattery on thick. After a brief discussion Oath and Jasper settle on a map of Bremore and a small pouch of uncut rubies as the party’s compensation. As they’re turning to leave, Avora thanks Oath for letting her know about Vox Primus’s fate. She tells him that she went their with some hired muscle and recovered the bodies. She then asks Oath about occupants of the island as the cave was empty when she went there. She presses him a bit further, asking if the party found any treasure or dragon’s hoard. Oath admits they found some treasure, so leaves her with the bag of rubies and a promise to come back later.

Fireforged Smithy

Drugan stops in to pick up his order. While he’s there he sees Odric, who tells him that he has a part time job apprenticing with the dwarven brothers.

Sanctuary of Eldath

Drugan, Grom, Lyra and Mira stop in to talk to Samal. He lets them know that Corvus made it to Port Trellec and delivered the Phagestone chalice. They ask him if he’s heard of the name Nerull. After browsing his collection of books, he finds a reference to a demon lord with that name. He then confirms Mira’s suspicions about the “the Sisters” most likely being the moons Celeste and Luna. He speculates that “the Autumnal Cloak” could be when both moons are hidden on the 2nd of Sypheros.

The Spoke and Cellar

Jasper and Oath head back to the Inn to grab some drinks. Oath pulls out the Tome of Masglowic’s Contemplation and discovers that he’s farther along than he thought. The others eventually join them. Drugan works with Odric on converting Shimmer into a glaive. As the day passes the group discusses what they’ve learned. Drugan, Lyra, Mira and Jasper debate what Mira’s portent could mean, postulating that the “Tower of Night” may be the same tower that Darius mentioned. Meanwhile, Oath discovers that the greenish stone from Raithe is missing. In its place is a wooden box without visible seams. Grom and Oath puzzle over the inscribed phrase in Elvish: “No sooner spoken than broken”. After a bit, they figure out that “silence” is the answer and upon uttering it the wood parts to reveal the Tome of Gratophamn’s Bravery.

The party settles in for the night, planning on speaking with the the Council in the morning.

The Council

After waiting for several hours it is finally their turn to address The Council. Grom, speaking for the party, asks what they could do to aid with the refugees and the gnoll problem to the west. They receive many conflicting requests ranging from helping distribute supplies and handle logistics to head west to patrol for and hunt down gnolls. After the debating dies down, Samal suggests that perhaps they simply keep following the Nerull and Phagestone threads as no one else is looking into that.

Port Trellec

Leaving the The Council the party decides to recover the scrying artifact to gain more information about the tower before seeking it out. Mira uses Sending to request that the librarian at the College of Lore in Dalasia look into Nerull and Phagestone. They collect Keishara and Thakon before heading towards Seabottom, in the southern part of the city, to seek out a ship to carry them to Bremore. Asking around, they find Captain “Kelby”. He is excited to see them and lets them know that he has acquired a second vessel, partly due to their “generosity” last time. Within and hour or two they are all aboard the Orcadia as it slips its moorings.

Inner Sea

Sailing into the afternoon sun, the party heads towards Borja a small port town in Bremore. The Orcadia glides through the night and as the sun is rising the party sees the Bremore coastline…

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The Mourning Tree
Session 18 Recap - 5th of Aryth in the 2147th year

Dalasia

That night Lyra has a dream about the battle from the Night of Tears, where a group of dwarves, elves, gnomes and humans attacked a host of orcs and ogres camped around what used to be known as Celeste’s Refuge. In the morning Grom heads out to pick up his modified crossbow. Drugan tags along to pick up a breastplate. A familiar with a message finds Lyra, Mira and Oath at the inn. He relays Fenhani’s thanks and presents the party with a magical token that can be redeemed at the College of Wizardry in Dalasia. Lyra convinces the party to go with her to investigate the Mourning Tree.

The Road to the Mourning Tree

As the party travels west out of Dalasia they notice that the land to the south of the Dal River is cultivated and much more civilized. They pass several hamlets and farming villages as they travel west. Along the way Drugan informs the part of the “standard” dwarven block measurement after seeing a sign indicating distance to the Mourning Tree. Outside the last hamlet before the woods, the party sees hawkers with wagons full of cheap wares. Jasper looks for a wooden statue or figure. On past the next hill the party encounters one final wagon tended by two middle aged gnomes. Upon inspection these items seem to be of higher quality. Drugan and Lyra purchase six black candles, six bottles of holy water and two emblems of Eldath, Sylvanus and Talos each. Drugan handle out a candle, bottle of holy water and emblem to each party member.

The Mourning Tree

Upon entering the woods the party lights their newly acquired candles. They smell of sage and other herbs as they burn and give off a weird greenish flame. As the party moves into the wood, the sunlight fades rapidly and a weird gloom permeates the environment. Moving along the trail a couple hundred feet the party sees a stone tablet with remains of burned out candles and other offerings. As they progress deeper they notice small white stones that crumble easily, small scraps of metal, that the ground is soft and spongey and thick vegetation is all around them. Lyra tells that that a battle happened at this location hundreds of years ago. A coalition of dwarves, elves, gnomes and humans battle a horde of orcs. Drugan notices that the stones appear to be unnatural, almost as if they were grown instead of carved. Lyra thinks that druidic elders probably have that ability. They’re pretty faded but Lyra does notice some druidic symbols on the stones they pass.

Finally the party makes it to the center of the woods were they see the Mourning Tree. Think vines wrap around it as well as questing out towards the soil around the stone slab. As the party enters they area they encounter a few weird patches of ground that compress, then launch them through the air. The vines start to quiver and a large yellow musk creeper starts to stir. Corpses start to rise out of the ground, clawing their way to the surface near Grom. Drugan, Lyra and Oath race towards the creeper. Jasper attempts to, but is thrown through the air again. Mira helps Grom with the reanimated corpses. Drugan, Jasper and Lyra with her Flame Blade engage the creeper. The creeper expels a seed pod that lands near Mira, who promptly smashes it with her Spiritual Weapon. Oath holds off some more reanimated corpses at the ramp to the stone platform. Grom uses his modified crossbow to fire and attach the grappling to a branch on the tree. He then runs and uses one of the launcher to catapult himself at the creeper crashing down on it in a mass of metal and muscle. The creeper releases a cloud of spores charming Drugan for a short time. More seed pods are released as the creeper is damaged. Corpses continue to dig their way out of the ground. Mira and Oath make a stand with Smoke destroying corpses and seedlings that have emerged. Jasper and Lyra continue to hack at the creeper. Grom throws oil on the creeper. Drugan attacks first Grom then after escaping his grapple attempt lunges at Lyra. Lyra ignites the oil on the creeper with her Flame Blade. The creeper seems to fall limp and stop moving. Jasper and Oath engage the seedlings. Grom smashes through several corpses that have made their way up to the platform. Drugan shaking off the charm effects realizes what he was doing, quickly apologizes and moves to aid the others. With the plant on fire, Lyra tries to pull it away from the tree while the others finish off the few remaining seedlings. After investigating they discover a partly fire-damaged root, which they hack through.

The party recovers the dropped candles and other items, then gathers themselves on the stone platform. Lyra investigates the tree, which looks like the creeper has been draining of life. They notice random bits of pastels colors and vibrant colors that are popping in and out of existence around them and the tree. This continues for several minutes before the colors intensify and a dryad steps out of thin air…

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A Recovered Shipment
Session 17 Recap - 4th-5th of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Orc Camp

The party splits into three groups to ambush the orcs. Drugan and Mira sneak around the north side under the cover of the Silence spell to deal with the guard and free the prisoners. Jasper, Lyra as a rhino and Oath sneak around to the south to deal with the guard there. Grom enters directly from the road to create a distraction. Jasper puts on the monk moves as he leaps up the back of the sentry to land on his shoulders and stabs the surprised orc while Oath shoots him with his crossbow. Lyra waits for Groms distraction to make her move. On the other side of the camp Drugan charges and kills, the orc guarding the prisoners while Mira engages the sentry. Meanwhile, Grom enters the camp using Thaumaturgy to draw the attention of all the other orcs. As he does this Lyra charges in rhino form towards the closest orc. Unfortunately, her target steps forward towards Grom at the same moment. Jasper and Oath see several orc riders on boars racing towards the camp. Close behind them a hill giant steps out of the treeline along the riverbank. After Jasper finishes off the sentry, Oath uses his Scroll of Animate Zombie to create a distraction. Jasper joins Lyra in the melee with the orcs. The party hears a loud crunching sound followed by a sickly splat. Lyra still learning her new form, charges at a second orc, impaling him and throwing him into the cart. Two orcs charge Grom while the remaining ones engage with Jasper and Lyra. Drugan joins Mira against the remaining sentry. Grom strikes back at the orcs attacking him. Three orc riders appear from the south. Two orcs step out of the large tent and survey the scene unfolding. The female one ducks back inside. While the battle rages on near the front of the camp Drugan finishes off the sentry then frees the prisoners and urges them to flee to the north. Mira heals Jasper with Healing Word. The orc from the tent engages Drugan. A boulder comes arcing through the air clipping Drugan and the orc, narrowly missing the prisoners. The female orc rushes out with two bundles, handing one to a rider and hoping up behind a second rider herself. Oath Lightning Bolts all three boars and riders. Jasper finishes off one orc, while Grom throws a net over the other one which had yielded. Which Jasper decides to finish off anyway. Another boulder comes arcing into the camp slamming into the boar with two riders. The female orc with the bundle manages to jump off. Lyra charges the orc, slamming him into the tent, which partially collapses on him. Drugan manhandles a boulder throwing it onto the orc struggling in the tent. One of the boars, who lost a rider, charges at Oath knocking him to the ground. Grom, on Smoke, attempts to ride down the fleeing orcs. The hill giant appears over the crest of the hill. He looks on at the scene in confusion. The final rider, turns around to grab the female orc with the bundle. Oath casts Dissonant Whispers on the boar that attacked him. As Drugan races to intercept the fleeing orcs, Mira uses Animal Friendship to stop the final boar and cause it to roll over crushing the remaining rider. Grom finishes off the remaining orcs.

Grom enhances his voice with Thaumaturgy impressing the hill giant. After a brief discussion, the party learns that the hill giant just wanted the orcs out of his territory. Meanwhile, the other party members discover that the bundles were swaddled orc babies. One is mostly unharmed, but the other didn’t make it. The freed captives make their way back to the party and introduce themselves as Reilly, Yasala and Zolmec. Faced with a moral conundrum, Yasala offers to take and raise the orc baby. Drugan immediately felt immense relief. Searching the camp the party finds some vials of brightly colored powder, a moth-eaten dress, several unfinished wooden axe handles, three bottles of dwarven brandy and a bag of Endergreen Reserve tobacco. The party gets several of the ponys attached to the cart. They make there way towards Dalasia. Yasala and Zolmec take the fork north towards Tol Bravos.

Dalasia

Once the party gets back to town, they return the ponies and cart. They ask Reilly to make sure to tell Fenhani the Mage that they recovered the shipment. Afterwards the party splits up to take care of various tasks. Drugan and Grom work on constructing a lance from the raw materials purchased. Oath studies his tome. Jasper heads to the College of Lore to research dragons.

As the party settles down for the night, each member in their own way senses themselves becoming more aware, more open to new ideas. They’ve learned a lot about Oscadius. It’s hard to believe how ignorant they were, but now they have so much more to learn. They resolve to continue pushing themselves…

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In Pursuit of a Shipment
Session 16 Recap - 4th of Aryth in the 2147th year

Dalasia

In the morning, the party gathers their things and head off in pursuit of the missing shipment for Fenhani the Mage. On the way out of town, they rent four ponies and a cart.

The Road to Tol Bravos

As the party heads north out of Dalasia they notice that the grasslands immediately north of the Dal River has been recently burned down. Farther out the grass is tall and limits visibility around the road. The occasion stand of trees and scrub dots the landscape. Oath serenades the party with some tunes as they travel. As they travel, Grom notices the occasional game trails that cross the road.

The party comes across a mother rhinoceros with her young that is agitated by their presence. Mira casts animal friendship on it to calm it down and Lyra studies it for ten minutes or so to learn how to Wild Shape into a rhino.

They continue on their journey north and as they crest a hill they get a good view of the surrounding area. Off to the west, they see a line of trees that seem to be growing along a stream or small river. The wind carries the sounds of distant shouts. Lyra summons a flock of ravens with Conjure Animals which she then commands to scout out ahead of them. Drugan prepares Speak with Animals to talk to the ravens when they return. The ravens report back that a group of humanoids is moving south along a muddy riverbed. The party finds the next game trail that heads towards the trees. They hobble the ponies and set out through the grass. As they get closer they start to hear coarse laughter mixed with the yells.

The Dried Stream

Upon approaching the tree line, they see that the water is just a shallow stream in a mostly muddy riverbed. They spot the source of the voices. A human male with his hands bound behind his back is stumbling towards them being pursued by a group of five orcs. One of the orcs takes aim and lodges an arrow in the man’s shoulder, causing him to stumble. Drugan leaps into action interposing himself between the man and the orcs. Mira casts Spiked Growth on the area where the orcs stand. Jasper runs up to the man and uses the Dust of Disappearance to make them both invisible. One of the orcs casts Bless on his allies but is immediately disrupted when Lyra commands her ravens to peck at him. Lyra then follows up with Call Lightning, while Grom hits them with Moonbeam. Hopelessly outmatched the orcs rapidly fall to blows from Drugan, Jasper and Mira’s Spiritual Weapon in the form of a giant oak leaf. After dispatching the final foe, the party locates the invisible human by having him ram his shoulder into Drugan. They free him from his bonds and question him. They find out that he is indeed Durnik one of the missing traders. He draws a map in the mud of his best guess of their current location and where the orc camp he escaped from is. He mentions that there were three other prisoners in the camp as well. Oath uses Cure Wounds to heal the worst of the man’s injuries. Lyra notices that on the opposite riverbank to orcs riding giant boars pop out of the scrub, but then immediately turn around and flee at the sight of the party. Grom drags them to the sides and performs a small funeral service for the deceased orcs. The party give Durnik on of the ponies and sends him towards Dalasia promising to rescue his partner and recover their goods.

Map

The Orc Camp

Following the directions of Durnik the party makes their way towards the orc camp. Approaching it they use the ravens one last time to scout for them before making their final preparations for the coming battle…

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Arrival in Dalasia
Session 15 Recap - 3rd of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Pilgrim Sands

Zymer and the party set up camp with Zymer preparing a spell to teleport the party to the city of Dalasia. Oath trades some scrolls for Tome of Masglowic’s Contemplation. Zymer thanks the party by giving Sastheru’s Molt a scroll of Impressive Display to the party. The party decides that Mira should take the belt, while Grom should take the scroll.

In the morning, Zymer draws the teleportation circle and the party steps through to…

Dalasia

Upon arrival, the party is surrounded by a contingency of 20 dwarven guards and approached by Rasfan who is surprised by their unscheduled use of the teleportation circle. After explaining their situation, the gnome explains that the city is pretty orderly and that no fighting, drugs, etc. are allowed, then lets the party go.

Dalasia itself is divided by many canals and bridges with soaring dwarven architecture and arches. Its streets are clean, and a general sense of low magic permeates the very streets. Harnessing the power of the river, the city’s street lights and elevators (providing a means of transporting cargo between the river and the Inner Sea) are mechanical wonders.

Grom tries to disguise his orcish nature via Thaumaturgy but he still stands out as being much taller than most of the population. As evidenced by the architecture, which was not created with the taller races in mind.

Oath uses his compass to find a nearby inn where the party gathers information about where they might find a means of travel, various supplies, and other information.

Artisan Row

Jasper finds a herbalist shop and peruses for brewing ingredients. Drugan and Grom find a smithy called Thaldus and Sons. Drugan buys a pike haft and other materials to try to convert Shimmer into a more familiar style of weapon. While purchasing he unknowingly hands Thaldus, the owner, one of the red marbled gold coins. Thaldus pulls back and makes a comment about him not taking any of that accursed red gold. After the incident, he seems a bit more suspicious of Drugan and bids him farewell. Grom inquires about a lance. Not having anything of his size, he instead purchases unworked materials to craft his own. Grom then finds a tinkerer and asks about making a grappling hook crossbow. The tinkerer shows him a much smaller version that would be suitable for a gnome or halfling. He explains that the problem is the weight of the grappling hook, even with a heavy crossbow.

Meanwhile, Oath finds a fancy-looking store and proceeds to ask the owner if they know who made his crossbow and is directed to the southern islet. Slightly disappointed he heads off towards the College of Lore.

Drugan, Grom and Jasper return to the Inn and begin discussing a cart that could carry a forge and brewing equipment.

College of Lore

Meanwhile Lyra and Mira head towards the College of Lore. Lyra investigates The Ways as a possible means of traveling great distances quickly. Mira researches Vordai of Dalasia, who legend holds wielded Conviction and Faith. Oath joins them after leaving the artisans row.

College of Wizardry

Lyra, Mira and Oath head to the College of Wizardry to ask using the teleportation circle to return to Port Trellec. They talk to Fenhani the Mage who tells them the standard cost is 300 gp per person. If that’s too expensive, she offers the party an alternative. Two traders carrying some magical components are a day late and she would like someone to check on them. If the party does that, she’s willing to remove most of the cost of transporting the party.

Dalasia

Drugan tells Grom that the party is low on funds and will probably need to take the job to pay their way home.

Mira uses Message to communicate with Odric discovering that he is alright and requesting that he meet the party in Port Trellec in four days time.

Lower Dal

The party heads to the lower section of town to explore sea travel and find shady characters. The party finds a suitably questionable tavern that is filled with sailors and laborers. Drugan immediately spots a group of folks dicing and sits down to join them. Oath watches him from the sidelines while using Minor Illusion to affect the outcome. Meanwhile, Lyra sits down at a table on the edge of the tavern while keeping her eyes peeled for someone who might know more about The Ways. Mira talks with Captain Eryn about passage to Port Trellec. Captain Eryn gives them a quote of 180 gp per person and says that the journey would take about a week depending on the weather.

After finding that passage would likely take a week the party retires to the first inn they visited to rest and plan their path back to Odric and all.

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A Dark Ritual
Session 14 Recap - 2nd of Aryth in the 2147th year

The Scales of Life

The party finishes up their rest in the relative safety of this magnificent temple. Another exit to across the room with more text upon it remains closed. Zymer inspects the inscription on the other door to the room and finds in yuan-ti “life hangs in the balance”. After taking a look at the large scale on a dais in the middle of the room with its heavier end containing an opalescent scaled feather and its raised end seemingly full of the same foul water the party trudged through on the way to the temple, Zymer then uses Living Waters to flush out the foul water and fill it with clean water. Afterward, the door to the exit unlatches but appears stuck. Drugan and Grom have a little competition to see who can open it further. Grom tries to take the feather, but it seems to be magically attached to the scale.

Defiled Sanctum

Once Grom forces the door open the party makes their way into the next room. After some investigation, it appears that the room was once a sanctum for Celeste, but now some other group has defiled it for their own purposes. Oath notices that there is writing on the walls and on the back of the doors. Zymer is able to puzzle out part of the meaning. Specifically, he notices a name – Ru’Hotep – mentioned multiple times. The party sees a natural tunnel leading out of the room.

The Tunnels

Upon entering it they hear chanting in Yuan-Ti, but the source is hard to pinpoint. As the proceed down the tunnel the chanting starting to increase in tempo. They reach an intersection of five tunnels. After a quick investigation, the party chooses a branch to head down which has shown signs of travel. They encounter a pit that is about 15 feet across. Zymer uses his Slippers of Spider Climbing to cross to the other side taking the rope with him. He attempts to attach it to a plank on the far side. Grom attempts to pull it across but the rope comes loose. Zymer instructs him how to activate the rope to have it attach to the board. After successfully getting the first one placed, a second plank is slid across to provide a bit more stable of a platform to cross on. The party then encounters a section of tunnel that at first glance appears to be undulating. Some quick thinking and experimentation show it to be an illusion that affects sight. By closing their eyes they are able to progress without issue.

Yuan-Ti Cultist Lair

The party sneaks up to the opening preparing to stop whatever ritual has been building. The party sees two large snakes slowly undulating near the entrance. The party rushes into the room trying to get a grasp of what is going on. Lyra and Drugan both go to attack one of the snakes but encounter some gooey resistance before hitting the snake. The party watches the gelatinous cube dissolve the flesh of the snake skeleton leaving the bone nagas encountered before. Once inside the party notices three Yuan-Ti that chanting and the source of the ritual off to the side. Grom, Jasper and Zymer take on the three Yuan-Ti while Drugan, Lyra, Mira and Oath handle the bone nagas and gelatinous cubes. Jasper takes out one of the Yuan-Ti, but the others ignore him. Zymer uses a Watery Sphere to restrain another for Grom to finish off. The final one finishes its ritual and transforms into a bodak. Meanwhile, Drugan and Lyra are fending off the gelatinous cubes while Oath Lightning Bolts them. Mira focuses on the awakening bone nagas. Zymer slams the Watery Sphere into the bodak restraining it which causes the bodak to focus its gaze on Zymer. He shakes off the effects while Jasper delivers the killing blow. Between the combined efforts of the rest of the party, the gelatinous cubes are now gelatinous puddles and the bone nagas are in pieces. After a brief search of the room, the party heads towards the exit which leads towards the entrance area of Sastheru’s Tomb.

The Pilgrim Sands

After exiting the tomb, the party is embraced by the sweltering heat and blowing sands of The Pilgrim Sands. Zymer offers the party several options for how he would recommend they make their way back towards Asturakar

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A Step Too Far
Session 13 Recap - 2nd of Aryth in the 2147th year

Dreham

After waking up, Grom heads to Will’s smithy to pick up his newly repaired armor. On his walk back, everything slows down. The rest of the party notices this as well. As the party hears an otherworldly wind and the tinkling of discordant chimes, time snaps back into place and the world goes black.

Sastheru’s Tomb

One by one the party comes to, many of them wretching after whatever transpired, to find themselves in immediate danger in a small tomb with the ceiling collapsing one room over and an old man (Zymer) out of breath but oddly more interested in the tomb and a cracked wall with faintly glowing text on it.

Zymer’s inspection determines that the tomb is Sastheru’s, an entity associated with the Waters of Life.

A few blows from Grom’s hammer and some bear pushes from Lyra reveal a passage into a natural cavern with a well at one end. The natural cavern halts the rock fall.

Sastheru’s Grotto

After an uncomfortable conversation with the party, Zymer reveals that they are nowhere near Dreham and are in the south-western deserts of Oscadius.

Zymer translates the writing on the door as ancient Yuan-ti that reads “the Lady of the Waters aids those that ask” and realizes that in his muttering to Hiss, he said “This is bad, need to get my bearings…”. Some interpretation of the words appears to have summoned the party to the middle of The Pilgrim Sands as Mira confirms with detect magic showing the faint remains of conjuration magic on the door.

After noticing a gleam within the now broken-open tomb, Zymer braves the collapsing ceiling with protection from his arcane ward and retrieves Sastheru’s Molt, a magical belt that can turn into an animated rope upon command.

In the mean time, Grom determines the water is desecrated, Oath detects a great evil presence to the south using his compass, and Hiss scouts the mostly-submerged tunnel into a larger chamber.

The party descends into the waters with Oath and Grom locating valuables beneath their feet. It looks as if this may have once been a well for travelers to refill their stores on long journeys, with many of them leaving an offering to the Lady of the Waters.

Outside the Crescent Temple

Through a small channel, the party emerges into a larger basin of foul water and is set upon by the very water itself. Two large entities and several small assail the party, trying to drown several of them, disappearing into the waters after both large entities were defeated.

During the battle, many of the party discovered new abilities. Jasper teleported with the dagger Flicker to find that it pulled at his soul. The pull seems to lessen with each successful use. Drugan discovered that he could put the mimic’s adhesive ability to good use, gaining advantage on a foe grappled by the graft.

Through a combination of Lyra‘s spider form and Zymer’s new belt, everyone ascends to a golden door with more Yuan-ti inscribed on it and a trickle of filthy water running out from the bottom of the door.

Zymer determines that the door reads “Those who serve the Lady of the Waters are welcome”. Mira determines that the Lady of the Waters is likely Celeste, goddess of the moon and tides, though perhaps not as she is unaware of the gods and goddesses worshiped in this part of the world. Zymer recalls that the wording of Yuan-ti magic seems to be very literal. After much deliberation, Drugan, who had been looking at the stonework, asked what was wrong and if Mira was waiting for someone to open the door for her as Zymer and Mira were in a heated debate after Zymer determined Mira was the Lady of the Waters and pushed her into the door. Zymer’s interpretation was half-correct as Mira was a lady of the water, though Drugan’s attempt to open the door must have been interpreted as service while shoving her forcefully into the door was not…

The Scales of Life

Upon opening the door, the group is assailed with a sense of dread. Two gigantic human-headed skeletal snakes arise across the room encircling something dark and awful. Those who rush into the room feel their very life-force attacked. The skeletal serpents repel the early attacks and attempt to cast curses back upon the party. Quick thinking by Zymer and Oath fizzle the incoming spells and the party unloads with an array of melee prowess and a dazzling display of spells of their own. As one snake falls, a dark form emerges radiating malevolence so strong that most avert their eyes or feel that they want to.

At this point, Lyra, in giant spider form, discovers that the abilities of her staff have begun to meld with her beast form. Her spinnerette glows with druidic symbols as she unleashes a web at the remaining Naga.

The last snake goes down to Drugan’s sword, Shimmer, and as he turns to face the mummified humanoid, their eyes meet and Drugan falls to the ground unconscious. Jasper blindly leaps into the air and delivers the killing blow as Flicker lodges in the impossibly elongated mouth. The sense of dread disperses and the body crumbles to black sand.

Grom rushes to Drugan’s aid and returns him to consciousness. The small decanter that had been trickling forth sludge now began pouring forth fresh water. Could this be the Waters of Life that Zymer was seeking?

The party bars the door they entered and rests in the relative safety of this magnificent temple. Another exit to across the room with more text upon it remains closed and a large scale on a dais in the middle of the room remains unexplored with its heavier end containing an opalescent scaled feather and its raised end seemingly full of the same foul water the party trudged through on the way to the temple.

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A Moral Execution and a Bittersweet Reuninion
Session 12 Recap - 30th of Barrakas-1st of Aryth in the 2147th year

Helgar’s Ford

The party stabilizes Darius for questioning. Mira leads the party and townsfolk in resurrecting the villager that was killed by the cultist. The party rests up and helps start the cleanup of town. Drugan acquires mounts for everyone. After a debate, it is decided that Darius should be executed because he is too dangerous to be left alive. Grom performs the executions with Darius’s own sword, Shimmer.

Dreham

The party heads towards Dreham. Oath disguises himself, but upon entering the city no one seems to be looking for him. The party realizes that the northern quarter is a mercantile district and appears to be a bit nicer than where they were before. While crossing the market a slim figure bumps into Oath during the bustle. Oath realizes that his purse is missing. He sees the hooded figure leave the market and head to a side street. Oath pursues but has to abandon his horse due to the crowd. Lyra and Jasper follow a bit behind Oath. After chasing the hooded figure for several streets, Lyra throws a tanglepatch at the figure, entangling them. Oath tackles the figure to the ground, then throws them against the wall of the alley. The figure removes their hood revealing Oath’s younger sister Keishara. While Oath is surprised she gets in a punch knocking him back. Lyra watches amused while Jasper grabs the others. Reunited, the party follows Keishara to The Crimson Griffon, a local inn.

The Crimson Griffon

The party gets settled in and arranges accommodations with Nissa for the night. Keishara introduces the party to Vindi and Will. Will creates a gold filigree bird from some gold coins. Keishara pays for drinks with Oath’s money. Oath and Keishara catch up a bit. Drugan wants to annoy Oath by talking to his sister. The party hears rumors about gnoll packs roaming into Asturakar from Calan, but they seems to be mostly to the south. There are also rumors that Calan and Odral are amassing forces over some unknown conflict. Keishara takes Oath to meet Raithe, a friend of their father. Drugan, Grom and Mira head with Will to his smithy. Thakon and Vindi remain at the Crimson Griffon.

Raithe’s House

Oath meets the eccentric and grumpy Raithe. After quick introductions, Raithe gives Oath a letter and package from his father. Meanwhile, Will takes on repairing the plate that Grom took. He also purchases several of the Torpin Brigade shields from the party. On the way back to the inn, Oath and Keishara discuss their situation and what’s next. Keishara wants to come with her older brother. Oath is less certain. Keishara gives him back his purse and the gold filigree bird.

The Crimson Griffon

Back at the inn everyone takes the evening meal and starts drinking. Drugan is excited that Keishara wants to join them if only to bother Oath. Oath goes for a walk. Drugan decides to show off to Keishara and causes a mess by flipping a table. Onevea tries to grab Drugan to throw him out, but in his rage, he grabs her and starts bench pressing her. Money is paid to compensate the other patrons for lost food and Oneva for her dignity. Oath returns during this chaos. More drinks are had. Oath plays for the patrons, getting better as he gets drunker until he passes out in the common room. Drugan falls asleep in a barrel in the kitchen. Mira has spent enough time infusing energy into her earring that the spirit inside awakens. It doesn’t really remember much from before, but informs Mira that it is different after the djinni infused the earrings. It thinks it is stronger than before. Tomorrow the party sets out for Port Trellec

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A Knight's Valor
Session 11 Recap - 30th of Barrakas in the 2147th year

Helgar’s Ford

As the party approaches the town they see several men in black robes loading goods onto two wagons. Some of the figures notice the approaching party and hail them. The party can see several villagers held hostage.

As the party huddles to discuss what to do, Thakon and Bovas head off around one side, while Jasper sneaks around the other and Lyra turns into a giant eagle to scout. While the party debates on how to bait the guards around the wagons Thakon closes with and kills one archer in a single blow starting the battle.

Combat

battle map

Battle commences with strong opening moves. Oath casts Lightning Bolt which electrocutes four of the guards and cultists. One of the cult leaders starts casting spells killing a villager and hitting Lyra. Drugan and Grom move into position. Mira creates a Wall of Wind around the crossbowmen. The last remaining guardsman rushes Oath and kills his horse, trapping him underneath.

Darius, a knight armored in black lacquered plate and three additional fighters join the fray. He uses Flicker (magical dagger) to launch himself into the air, falling down on Drugan and knocking him off his horse. As Lyra swoops to kill the cult leader, she is knocked out of her animal form by Darius. Grom and Smoke attempt something awesome, but are not quite as acrobatic as they were hoping. Grom still manages to restrain four enemies. Jasper finishes three of the four restrained enemies. Mira rides forward a casts hold person on Darius, but it’s short lived as he calls out to Nerull for her blessing. His armor is wreathed in purple and blackish flame. Lyra goes bear and attempts to maul the new fighters. Thakon grabs one and tosses him in the well, eventually drowning him. Oath eventually escapes from under the horse. Grom uses Misty Step to launch himself into the air and try the same maneuver he saw Darius use. Darius sees a worthy competitor in Grom and starts alternately attacking him, Drugan and Mira.

Mira calls on her Spirit Guardians. Oath uses Tasha’s Hideous Laughter to disable Darius. Jasper, Smoke and Grom finish off the veterans. Oath lightning bolts Darius. Darius form darkens and fire pours from him which makes Lyra and Oath afraid of him. Thakon gets a critical hit on Darius. Grom goes down, is healed by Jasper, then goes down again. Drugan staggers up to Darius and runs his spear through his shoulder forcing him to his knees and knocking him unconscious. Grom is healed, Mira uses prayer of healing on everyone. Mira attempts to revive the fallen villager. The party strips Darius of his gear and searches the other bodies.

Spoils

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Leaving Tormund's Hold
Session 10 Recap - 29th-30th of Barrakas in the 2147th year

Tormund’s Hold

While around the fire, Grom and Mira notice the strong presence of nature magic in the enclave, but it feels a bit different than their divine magic. Grom sends Smoke on a circuit around the perimeter of the enclave. Cadwyr takes Lyra to meet Bhalbrek, the lore-keeper. Inamys meets them and offers to transport them to any of several groves in the Southern Greatwoods. Meanwhile, Oath finished up his story.

Lyra is given the following:

Thakon asks if they found any of the black dragon’s treasure. Mira communes with a raven. The party decides to grab their horses to have some time to regroup and share information. Nerroth pulls Oath aside and asks for the party’s aid with the ills of the land: the corruption to the west, a bronze dragon and the general lawlessness in the land. After Oath relays this, the party decides to question her using Zone of Truth. She reluctantly agrees. They find out some about her and Thakon’s history.

After much beating around the bush she reveals a bit about the silver torcs – that they prevent actions, specifically leaving and harming others. They don’t force the wearer to take any action.

The party tries to reach an agreement to free the collared individuals in exchange for their aid. Nerroth says she’ll consider it. The party asks if anyone would travel with them, Nerroth suggests Thakon.

The party prepares to rest for the night. Drugan studies the notes from Gurzan the Mad. Grom practices projecting his will to protect his allies. Jasper works on a small wooden carving. Mira spends some time attuning to her earrings. Oath practices some new magics he’s been studying.

In the morning the party has breakfast. The approach Thakon about traveling with them, to which he readily agrees. Then the check in with Nerroth about their proposal. She agrees to let one person go. Far away from the enclave itself. Inamys then uses Travel via Plants to open a doorway to a grove just north of Dreham.

Helgar’s Ford

Drugan leads the party back to the main road, before turning south towards civilization. They pass the first village just as folks are starting to work the fields. In the second village, where Howar and Kathlyn’s farm is, they notice something a bit off. Families seem to be huddled together in the central square. A couple of wagons stand nearby. As they approach, stepping out of a building are several black-robed figures carrying what look to be sacks of goods. Upon seeing the party, one cries out and several armed men level crossbows at the party…

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