Songs of Finbec

Reunions
Year 2, Session 6

The gang makes their way to Quick Ingot, a bar in The Delight, the area of the Sanctum of Solhomme where nobles let their hair down. They meet with Arietta Arden, a childhood friend of Emilia’s, and after a few drinks, Arietta dares them to steal a handkerchief hanging from the belt of a patron in the bar.

They plan to distract her and quietly steal it – and the plan quickly goes awry. Callie and Harsgalt, rather than just distracting her, end up in an argument, enraging her…and Emilia comes over and spills her drink on the mark, snatching the handkerchief in the process.

Impressed, Arietta offers to set up a meet for the gang with Niro Rochol, sometime rival of hers, whom the gang pursues for bounty.

The gang then heads to Harbordale, and sees the train of wagons bringing in the refugees from Langdale. They follow the wagontrain, and in Sanctuary, and Callie and her brother Camden are reunited. They bring him back to the house in Chambers, where he tells the story of the flood that destroyed Langdale

Out, tending to a sick sheep, when the sound of cracking wood burst through the air – so loud, so much of it, it could only be one thing. He tells of the wall of water that rushed towards the town, the brief moments of warning he had hearing the sound the only thing that gave him a moment to get to protection. The wall of water taking out entire houses, flatening walls. Drowned bodies, rubble, bodies killed by collapsing structures, families torn – it’s a long, painful conversation. He leaves out a part of the story Callista herd elsewhere

Leaves out the part where Camden had to be dragged from the town by the guard, when they came in relief the next afternoon, desperate to stay and help he didn’t want to leave. But he’s accepted things, as one must to survive. Sometimes you just have to accept things as they are.

The day ends, food is shared as the sun begins to set.

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New Fights
Year 2, Session 5

As Harsgalt enters the pit at Proving Ground for his fight against Haelmoren Le Bouffo, Emilia and Lilliana move to watch. The crowd is hyped, but it’s a quick fight – Harsgalt easily dispatches the man, and is invited to come back to the Proving Ground in 2 nights by Tivizio Kerautret.

Meanwhile, at the party’s new house in The Chambers, Callista hears a knock at the door – Remy Desmares, the Bishop of Solhomme has arrived, a cloak pulled tight over his face. Remy lets Callista know the good news first – that her brother survived the attempt to flood the town. The bad news, however, is that the flooding wasn’t caused by a jealous lover – the guards found a Scarlet Glove nailed to the door of Callie’s house. The Scarlet Glove appears to be out for revenge, so the Bishop requests Callie & the group keep a high profile, and, should their be any more of them, draw them out.

After his victory, Harsgalt has become quite popular at the bar. Drinking and carousing, her hears a rumor of a lord riding his horse around Harmony, tossing burning books into a half dozen windows in the middle of the night.

One table over, Lilliiana meets a half-elf by the name of Negild – mysterious and beautiful, Negild informs Lilliana that she is not thief herself – but should the party ever know anything about thieves, to look her up. She passes Lilli an address and disappears into the night.

The gang returns home, and is briefly distraught – without leaving a note, Callie had gone out for a drink herself after the Bishop left. They see instead the strange doll and platinum coins Callie had left in the street, and the scarlet glove. Luckily Callie quickly returns, and they share the details of their night and head to bed.

The following morning, Harsgalt stays home to start Odin’s training, as the women visit Emilia’s mother, hoping for a lead on a bounty – Niro Rochol, known for dealing in ancient artifacts.. She informs them that a childhood friend of Emilia’s, Arietta Arden, often deals in antiquities. They return home to fetch Harsgalt.

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Brand New Day
Year 2, Session 4

Characters Present: Callista Kendall, Harsgalt Ironscales, Lilliana Mereaux, Emilia Blackport

After their first full night’s sleep in ages, the party awakes in their new home in The Chambers neighborhood of Solhomme. Callista cooks breakfast as the group decides what to do for the day. Settling on a trip to the jeweler as they each take turns feeding Odin, their dire wolf pup, scraps from the table, they finish breakfast and head out.

Heading into the shop, it’s clear that Cae Trepa is an old and dear family friend of Emilia. They catch up a bit, Cae encouraging to go see her mother, and Cae shares a pot of tea from his native Byssus with the party.

After Lilli buys a diamond to use as a reagent and Emilia drops off some gems to be made into jewelry, there is some exchanging of the party’s sizable gold and platinum stocks for more portable gemstones, and they take off to The Harmony, trying to find an alchemist to silver their weapons.

After looking around a bit, they stop into a tavern called Astrologist’s Curse, and ask around. Ruda, an off-duty guardswoman, hears them talking, and wonders if they are looking for silvered weapons for some reason to to with the owl infestation at the Cloister of Gardens, a monastery of Ara. The party doesn’t know about the infestation, and Ruda knows no more about it herself, but she is able to point them to the alchemist.

After they finish their drinks, the gang heads off to see the alchemist – Sidwell Le Corre. Sidwell takes weapons from Emilia and Harsgalt, offering to silver them for 100gp a piece, and instructs them to return in two days time.

They decide to head off next to The Celeste, to see if they can take in any of the tournament fighting. But as they cross through Harbordale, they see a man about to be executed. Walking through the crowd gathered for this, a rare sight in Solhomme, Callista hears something that freezes her in her tracks.

The man being executed flooded an entire town by destroying a dam. The town Callista grew up in.

Seeing the man hanged, she looks around frantically, and finally finds a familiar face in the crowd, Yana Hascoet, an older woman from the town informed her that Elouen Soizic, a boy just a few years older than Callie, was jilted by a woman he desired, and destroyed the dam in revenge – he had hoped to flood her home, but the damage to the dam spread, taking out half the town in the middle of the night. Around half the town was killed, but nobody knows exactly who – the refugees will be arriving at the capitol the next day, and then Callie will be able to find the fate of her family.

At the same time, the others noticed three bounties posted:

Callie is unable to learn anything more about the survivors, so heads home to be alone and take in this news. The rest of the gang heads off, hoping to catch some of the Arena combat.

First they pass The Celeste, but find that the theatre is closed for the night, preparing for the return of Vigoth Sammes, Arena Combat champion of Solhomme. They carry on into Dawn Part, and head towards Proving Grounds.

Outside the famed tavern, a lost little boy looks for his father. The gang brings him into the bar, and find the father. Annoyed to have his drinking interrupted, he begins to argue with Harsgalt, challenging him to the Proving Grounds fighting pit. Tivizio Kerautret, Master of Fights, shows up as if out of nowhere and asks Harsgalt if he accepts.

The Angry Father and the Dragonborn fighter then climb the ladders down into the pit, ready to fight……

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Champions of Emyfelin
Year 2, Session 3

Characters Present: Callista Kendall, Harsgalt Ironscales, Lilliana Mereaux, Morel, Emilia Blackport

First they fight a polar bear & some wolves, then they fight a dragon, it almost kills them, Em sings a song, Callie finds a dire wolf puppy, the gang goes through a portal, saves the Queen, she gives them stuff.

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A Treacherous Climb
Year 2, Session 2

Characters Present: Callista Kendall, Harsgalt Ironscales, Lilliana Mereaux, Morel, Emilia Blackport

The party wakes up the next day, and begins to ascend. The dimensions of the spire seem even less constrained on the higher floors than the lower – though the sky, at some level, is clearly artificial and part of the ceiling, it seems it could be hundreds of feet up. By this point in the height of the spire, it should only be a couple dozen feet in width, yet the party finds themselves traversing miles of undulating foothills, slowly rising as they approach mountains in the distance.

As they walk through the morning light, a calm has come across Lilli. Something has visited her in the night, and the fear she lost at losing her patron seems now replaced by a tranquility and ease she had not known before.

Eventually, they come to a river, running down through the hills. They follow the riverbank a bit, towards it’s source in the mountains, and after a spell come to a spot where the trail turns, to cross the very wide river. The brige, about 80 feet from bank to bank, is held up by stone and wood fixtures, with very sturdy beams rising to about 10 feet along the full length of the bridge. The river rushes below…it’s clearly too fastmoving to cross, the bridge is the only way to cross over to the stairs up to the next level.

Harsgalt looks across it, and notices some spots of stone where it looks as if blood has been scrubbed away, though a few traces of it remain in the corners where the stone of the sidewalls rises from the stone of the path across – always so damned hard to scrub in the corners! The party debates what to do, sure that the bridge is trapped. Harsgalt tosses a small fireball out, but it does nothing when scorching into the stone.

The Paladin decides to step onto the bridge first. As Callie steps onto the bridge, she hears the beams creak with life as suddenly, from spaces between the beams, massive scythes on poles swing out, slicing through the air of the bridges. The first blade glances across Callista’s armor, not hurting her, as the blades swing back and forth rhythmically through the space. Callie steps back into safety.

After a bit more debate, Lilli calls upon whatever new source gives her power, and casts a spell on Callista, imbuing her with the power of Flight. Callista Kendall tries to lift herself upward, above the bridge and then forward over the blades. Emilia investigates the base of the bridge, but finds nothing. As she flies further over it, Callie sees lightning begin to crackle in the middle section of the trapped bridge, after the gauntlet of blades. Behind that, she sees some runes.

At the blades, Emilia finds she can play a tune to the rhythm of the blades. Using her song to guide the motion of her compatriots, Harsgalt and Morel begin to move into the blades – and they do quite well, until suddenly Morel has an idea.

“I just remembered something, get back” they ask. Harsgalt follows their request. “I can make us walk on water!”

Morel casts their spell, and soon, with Callie watching from above, the four walk across the river. Effortlessly reaching the stairs to the next level of the Spire, they ascend, and find themselves in a steep mountainous climb, a narrow path winding it’s way up craggy rock, magma bubbling out from cracks in the stone. Perched in several spot, Pteradons, massive massive birds with leathery skin where feathers ought be – the birds take to the sky as the heroes climb.

As the party climbs, the birds crow louder, and suddenly a boulder comes to life, becoming a stone man. Just as the Stone Man awakes, the birds begin to attack. The party barely notices the Stone Man magically summon 2 other boulders to life as the birds swoop and attack, and two Magma Mephits rising from the bubling ooze

They fight back, Callie slashing at a bird as Harsgalt shoots a blast of magical ice at one of the Magma Memphits, instantly freezing him into an obsidian statue. And then, the Stone Men bend over, grabbing their feet, and roll down the mountainside at the party with a terrible thunder.

Harsgalt takes a brusing but stays on his feet, and the second slams into Lilli, knocking her to the ground – and breaking her concentration on her spell which had given Callista flight. Callie falls to the ground, her time in the sky over, next to the spot the third Stone Man has come to a rest.

The group continues to fight, Morel transforming themself into a Giant Goat and ramming a Stone Man as the Bard spins her songs. The remaining Magma Memphit and Pterandons fight, nipping at the party as Stone Men assault Harry, Lilli, and Callie – until finally Callista is able to bring her sword down with a fearsome force, after her earlier strikes and the head of the Giant Goat weakened it, she smashes the original Stone Man to rubble – as he disintegrates into a pile of rocks, his spell dies as well, and the other two stone men revert to boulders.

Emilia climbs the boulder, and taking a magical Ice Dagger found earlier in her journeys, plunges it into the heart of the second Magma Memphit, rendering him stone as well. Seeing the other creatures fall, the remaining Pteradons fly off, leaving the group free to resume their climb.

Reaching the stairs they ascend for a final time, and find themselves in the mountains, in the snow. Looking around, they realize – unlike the rest of their climb through the Spire of Emyfelin, this is no illusion – they are outside now, the sun low in the sky, maybe an hour until dusk.

They can see the Ziggurat of Emyfelin stretched out below them, then the rest of the elven city itself. In the clearing they stand in, they see amongst the plants one patch of snow-covered bush their eyes have never seen before, but they instantly recognize from drawings – Bristlethorne.

They step forward, each collecting it, stuffing some into their clothes, bags, armor. The ingredient which can save the Queen in hand, they have one thing left to do – wait.

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Inner Turmoil
Year 2, Session 1

Characters Present: Callista Kendall, Harsgalt Ironscales, Lilliana Mereaux, Morel, Emilia Blackport

Resting after the Tiger Attack, the party caught a short rest, and spoke with Tolhesten about his time in the garden and his goal of reaching the Maintenance layer of the garden.

As for the gardens – well, you’re in the spire. The pedestrian fun, that was all in the outer gardens. The inner spire is entirely separate from the outer gardens. Many Geslo ago, long before what the Mesians call ‘the first’ Geslo, our ancestors were worried about the destruction of the flora and fauna, and built the gardens, and protected them with a great strong magic – hundreds of our greatest ancient mages sacrificed themselves to the construction of the magical barriers that protect this place.
As we constructed it, we knew what a marvel we had created, and wanted to share it with all the people of our capitol, as a memorial to the sacrifice of the mages – but all the plants and animals in the world meant many too dangerous for the public were collected as well. And that’s where the spire comes in.
The spire stands, totally independent, and contains the true dangers – the things we could never risk exposing to the public. But then, three hundred years ago, when the Great Plague began, we shared access to the spire with the royal mages of the great kingdoms of this continent, as well as Pretor and Igerron to the south.
The plague was horrible – for 200 years, it broke us in a way that the Geslo and it’s milennial rains of stone never could. We, elves, of course, suffered greater than most. Once we heard news from Galo Serin that every left one of us in the capitol fell, a few of us decided to hide here, and raise magical barriers preventing any elves from entering.
I’m one of the last of our kind older than the plague – I’m glad to see our lines have survived, somehow.
But….my time is near an end. I strive now just to make it to the control floor…to lower the barriers, and allow outsiders into the Outer Gardens again.
I don’t want this place to be lost to the ages, if we’re going to return from the plague, we should have our beauty available to us.

He warned the party, however, first they would have to cross through the next floor of the spire, a swamp guarded by a young black dragon, filled with clouds of acid.

But before ascending, the party found some scrolls, Tales of Kisde, bearing the same logo (an array of alchemical symbols) as the notes found in the Cave long ago which contained reference to the Sunslayer legend. They gathered the scrolls, and headed up the stairs, into the swamp.

Across a river of knee-deep much, they saw the dragon – and it saw them. Lilli immediately cursed the dragon, and struck it with her eldritch blasts, and the dragon took flight.

Roaring into the air, it approached, spewing a line of it’s acid breath through the space between Callista and Lilliana, striking both – Callista is badly hurt, and Lilli knocked out.

Morel rushes to Lilliana’s side, and cures her wounds a bit, bringing the warlock back to her feet. Seeing Morel tend to Lilli, Emilia chants a song of healing for Callista, and changing her tune, takes cover behind
the Dragonborn while inspiring him with her voice to move with Haste.

The Dragonborn bursts running at great speed through the swamp, then lays into the Dragon with three rapid blows of greatsword, each striking true. With a menacing roar on the final strike, Harsgalt drives fear into the dragon’s heart, and the dragon retreats across the swamp.

Tolhesten bolts forward, making his way towards the steps as Lilliana casts hex and lashes two Eldritch Blasts into the retreating dragon. The blasts shaking him back into focus, the dragon roars back at Harsgalt, disgusted another with the dragon’s blood would strike him. Cursing in draconic, the dragon breathes a rain of acid at Harry, knocking the Dragonborn out as acid pours in through his arm.

Morel rushes to Harsgalt’s side, reviving him quickly, as Emilia sings a dissonant tune in the dragon’s direction. He shrieks, fleeing further, beating it’s wings and hiding in the far corner of the swamp as Callie heals herself and Tolhesten makes his way towards the stairs.

Lilli blasts the dragon again with the force of her dark gift, driving the dragon into a rage. It flies at Harsgalt, and bites him viciously, then after one swipe with a claw is dodged by the dragonborn, the other claw strikes critically, and Harsgalt is downed again.

Emilia rushes forward to revive Harsgalt, and Callista uses a misty step into the ether to advance quickly on the dragon. Harsgalt, reluctant to slay his own kind but seeing Lilli’s most recent attack has left him quite wounded, begins to argue in Draconic, hoping to intimidate him – the Dragon stands, roaring back, ready to attack.

Tolhesten hangs is head, sad to see a mighty creature fall, but relieved to be safe. Emilia finds a book on dragon physiology in the swamp, and the gang continues on their way, up the stairs.

They find themselves in a large warehouse space, where little brass spider automatons wander amongst fully form trees, rock piles, even snow – the maintenance layer of the garden.

Also in the warehouse, four glowing control orbs, which contain the spirits of the elders that protect the garden. Tolhesten has come to destroy them, and allow the garden to be open to the outside once more.

Emilia and Callista agree with Tolhesten, but Lilliana objects. She says the orbs should be left to remain. As Tolhesten wraps at one of the orbs with his cane, examining, it, Lilli grows angry.

They argue briefly, and Tolhesten smashes the first orb. Lilli gasps, shoving the old man. Harsgalt approaches another orb as Emilia helps Tolhesten to his feet. The argument intensifies, and the party begins to notice that Lilli does not seem quite herself, arguing that the orbs mark a place of power.

She tries to stop, to say no more. But her traveling partners know her too well. They can sense she lies to them. Tolhesten approaches the second orb to smash it, but Callista stops him – she wants to settle this dispute first. Emilia siezes Lilli. Tolhesten sighs, resigned. Callista looks into the orb, and she sees the glowing chromatic swirl inside. “It wants this place,” Lilliana murmurs, her voice quavering. “Really, really badly.”

Callie brings her shield down, smashing the orb. Instantly, Lilli cries out in a deep pain. Callista can detect a great evil force emanating from her friend as she steps to one orb, Harsgalt to another.

As they approach the orbs, Lilliana feels a great rush of strength, and throws Emilia off, then somehow manages to grapple Callie, pulling her to the ground. As battle breaks out amongst the friends, Emilia fires two bolts at the third orb, missing it with the first, and shattering it with her second shot. Lilli lets out another wail of pain and stumbles back from Callie, clutching at her head as she doubles over and falls to her knees. She shudders violently before her head rises, eyes gone cold and blank as she gazes around the room. And then she mutters a few words in a strange language, hands moving rapidly as two images emerge from her, perfectly duplicated and moving the same as she does, as a vague black aura emerges from the original form, chilling the air around her.

Harsgalt manages to keep his eye on the real Lilli and charges, tackling her. Callista brings her sword down on the 4th orb, smashing it as Lilli, still tackled by Harsgalt, stretches two fingers out towards her, a blast of eldritch power rippling though the air, missing Callista – though her face looks as hurt as if it had not.

Tolhesten swings his staff at one of the duplicate Lilli’s, the illustion rippling and fading into nothing. Emilia shouts out, “A fifth device must be here! Destry it” as her song begins to curl in the air, and she turns it into a Shatter spell. It misses Harsgalt, as she had hoped, and wracks Lilli, and her spear flies through the air, to the Lilli duplicate in the dark cold who strikes Harsgalt with it. Callista jumps into the ruckus in the cold, Lilli freeing herself, Harsgalt smashing at a duplicate, Tolhesten attacking Lilli’s in the cold.

In the midst of the confusion, Emilia casts “Detect Magic”, and senses a power in the desk in the room. She calls out to Harsgalt, “The Desk!”, as he leaps out of the tangled fight and brings his greatsword onto the desk, smashing it open. A fifth orb rolls out of the desk onto the floor, as Lilli bursts forth from the pile, suddenly born into the sky, flying ten feet above her friends as an alien voice, loud and strange, hisses forth from her, “BREAK THE ORB AT YOUR OWN PERIL”

“Begone creature and release our friend! We are not your puppets!” Em retorts.

“THIS ONE HAS BEEN USEFUL TO ME. IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO DESTROY IT. BUT I WILL BREAK THIS TOY IF THE ORB IS BROKEN. QUID PRO QUO.”, the voice shrieks from within Lilliana.

Tolhesten rushes to the orb, and attempts to smash it, but Callista grabs for him, knocking him to the ground before he can leave the tangled fray. He bleeds badly, as the voice of Lilli’s patron laughs from within her.

Emilia seizes the orb, looking into it. Lilli’s voice, her own and not her patron’s, cries out, “I Won’t!” as Tolhesten, bloodied, crawls across the floor towards Em and the orb. “You would really let a magic that could possess someone like that remain? I don’t care if it destroys your friend, we can’t let this persist,” he says flatly. Emilia looks at him, hugging the orb tight, conflicted. Callista speaks.

“I will not let you kill her,” she says, looking deep into Lilliana. She turns back towards the bard. “Break the orb, Em.”

“I accept the responsiblity for whatever happens,” Emilia says as she throws the orb to the ground. As the orb smashes, Lilliana’s body contorts as she cries out in agony – and then she falls to the ground from the air, twenty feet to the floor.

Emilia looks away, instead tending to Tolhesten’s wounds, crying slightly, as Callista rushes to Lilliana, pouring a healing potion into her mouth. One of the automatons approaches the clearly wounded Harsgalt, and begins scrapping blood from his armor, flexing it back into shape properly. Lilli wakes up a moment after the healing potion is applied, coughing as she rises up from her prone position to sit instead. “What happened?” she asks, looking up at Callie. Then she bolts up suddenly. “Wait, my… I don’t feel… Wh…”

The others go about cleaning up the blood, the mess of fight. Em walks over to Lilli, as the party notices, for the first time in their climb of the Emyfelin Spire, a small window looking out into the world.

Emilia Blackport: “Are you…. yourself my dear?” she asks voice shakey
Callista Kendall: “You don’t feel what…?”
Lilliana Mereaux: “It. I don’t feel… IT anymore.”
Callista Kendall: “It … okay….”

Through the small window, the familiar constellations shining, the stars twinkling in the sky – it is night, late. Everyone is tired.

Lilliana Mereaux: Lilli looks down at her spear. She holds her hand above it, with a look of concentration, and… Nothing. “Oh…”

Her friends console her, as Lilli sits, shaken. Tolhesten drags himself to the window, looking out at the sky for the first time in hundreds of years, since he was a young elf. He closes his eyes, his breathing growing shallow. Morel moves to join him, he takes their hand as the other sit with Lilliana.

“This is a safe place, this room…but they will need the help of the wild beyond it. These people helped our kind, you should help them in return. And leave these walls! Just as the outsiders must come in, the insiders must go out,” he says.

“I don’t remember much… I just remember putting you all in danger. I’m sorry,” Lilli says to her friends.
“We’re all alive,” Callista Kendall shrugs halfheartedly. Emilia Blackport nods before she looks toward the two elves in the corner
“Most of us dear…” she says sadly
Lilli looks towards the elves. “Aye… Most of us.”

Tolhesten looks to them, and closes his eyes once more, a final time, with a sigh. “Rest, all of you. And let me to my rest.”

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Some Things I Missed
Year 1 Wrap-Up

I’ll fill this out as I have time / need to back-fill links to story as it comes back up.

With the assault on the ship, Arlo, Ghesh, Andromeda, Desmond, and Lilliana sink the ship, and destroy the threat posed by the rogue member of house Calvet. As they flee the scene back to the church, they run into a dark evil on the streets.

The unnatural force fights them to a draw, more and more spectral assistance appearing to assist it. The guard begins to close in on the fight, and in a burst of light, Ghesh sacrifices himself to the light of Beroan – the light blinds the guard and vanquishes the spectral evil, allowing his friends to escape to the safeguard of Remy Desmares at the Solhomme Cathedral.

Emotionally devastated at the loss of her traveling companion, Andromeda decides to leave the city. Needing a few weeks to cool things down with the guards, Bishop Desmares offers the others safe passage out of town – the Church has a wagon train headed to Clelonde. They agree to go, Lilliana eager as it is her hometown, which she has not been to in some time.

In Clelonde, the party is asked by the Church to help investigate the murder of a Wu Jen on the outskirts of town. As the investigation progresses, Arlo and Desmond leave the group, but Callista Kendall, then later Emilia Blackport and Harsgalt Ironscales join.

The party searches a Hedge Maze, and finds clues indicated the Scarlet Glove may be involved in the murder – the same cult Marlee Ilgenar had been a member of. At a Masquerade, the gang identifies two masked nobles they believe involved. It is at this party they also learn of the Sunslayer.

Looking to find the identity of the nobles, they meet with a friend of Lilli, Guisarn. He sets out to find out what he can, as he works, the gang takes a job clearing some hags and a chuul from a small island a merchant in town has just purchased.

The gang returns to Clelonde to find Guisarn at a tavern, where they are ambushed by a great number of bandits loking for him. As they fight, Lilli is possessed by her patron, who teleports her and her friends to the Baelow Road, where they fight aberrations and find the Notes from the Cavern. Just as quickly as they were sent, they are returned to the tavern – where all the aggressors have been killed.

The drama at the meet is not over, however. It turns out the tavern keep was kidnapped, and replaced by a doppelganger. They detect this and slay the doppelganger, finally able to get the information they need fro m Guisarn – the nobles are from Criquecher .

The gang heads out on the long road to Criquecher. Passing through to Navan, they clear the town of a Hobgoblin takeover. In the Glasskiln Mountains they fight a wyvern, sleep at an abandoned castle, and face a trapped shack in the slopes. As the sail for Criquecher, they face pirates and a hydra.

Making it to Criquecher, they face Lord Face, leader of the Scarlet Glove. His accomplice, Lady Purple, escapes, still searching for the Hul Ulheim blade, Twilight, of the Sunslayer legend. They follow her through the portal she escaped through.

The party finds themselves in the Shogunate, and fighting a Hill Giant and a Yuan-Ti as they see Lady Purple head off into the distance. After they defeat their foes, they find a Shogun named Takahiro en route to the Narrow Valley Temple with his young charge who has been waylayed by Lady Purple.

Together, they all ride to the Temple, facing an attack by Yuan-Ti along the way. They arrive at the Temple, and in the waterfalls, fight against several more Yuan-Ti, and Matsuota, a shogun working with Lady Purple hoping to ignite war with Royaum.

The party defeats Matsuota, but not before Lady Purple can teleport away again – but before the encounter is complete, Emilia learns that Lady Purple is looking for a bangle worn by the Queen, which she believes is the key to the Legend of the Sunslayer.

Lilli’s patron teleports the party to the Below Road, where they can quickly follow Lady Purple to arrive at Vieupont. There they face several more Yuan-Ti as they chase Lady Purple through the ruins. They are able to defeat Lady Purple, but not before she poisons the Queen.

On the road back to Solhomme, the Queen’s physicians identify the poison – and inform the party that the only cure is at the Gardens of Emyfelin. One of the Queen’s mages provides a portal to get there, letting the party know they have 2 days to reach the top of the tower with the cure.

The party arrives below the Spire at the center of the Gardens. They immediately face several Sahuagin in an air bubble below the water, then a clutch of Harpies on the beach as they swim up.

They continue in their climb, finding themselves in a desert, where Harsgalt is mistaken in answering a riddle and summons a dragon. He sacrifices himself to the dragon’s fire, and is reborn with his breath changed from Fire to Necrosis, and having learned the abilities of magic. They are then attacked by gnolls.

Defeating the gnolls, they ascend into a forest, where they meet Morel. Morel leads them through a forest maze of needle blights, and into a grassland – across the grassland they seen an elderly elf, Tolhesten, who is about to be assaulted by tigers. The gang defeats the tigers, and saves Tolhesten.

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Reunited And It Feels So Good
Session 16

PCs: Arlo, Ghesh, Andromeda, Desmond, Lilliana

On their way back to Solhomme Cathedral, Arlo, Ghesh, Andro, and Desmond run into Lilliana Mereaux – who is in Solhomme, unsure of exactly where she’s been since the last they’ve seen her. After a brief catch-up, they meet up with a monk outside the Cathedral, and are brought in to meet the Bishop of Solhomme, Remy Desmares.

Remy reviews the codebook, and thanks the party for their assistance. He informs them that the believes there may be a plot against the crown, though he’s unable to say exactly what it is, for fear of wrongly accusing anyone. However, they do know a bit of the plot: A ship with powder which is part of a new and powerful weapon called a “canon” has arrived in port. Remy believes they intended to use this destructive powder as part of the plot, but doesn’t want to tip the church’s hand – so he requests the party investigate.

They find The Falling Star at port, with only a few guards. Ghesh attempts to bribe the quartermaster for information, but a man of integrity, he can’t be bought. But Lilli bats her eyes, brushes her hair back, and the old man is smitten – warning her that they’d be smart not to mess with House Calvet.

Boarding the boat, Desmond convinces the crew that the party has come to relieve them. The three guards atop the ship tricked, they go below decks – where three cloaked spies await. Not so easily deceived, a fight breaks out.

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The Plot Thickens
Session 13, 14, 15

PCs: Arlo, Ghesh, Andromeda, Theoris, Desmond

The group (Arlo, Ghesh, Andromeda, Theoris) heads to the Lower Hollow to find the tax collector, Herman Ryal. In addition to Herman, they find two thugs, Inard and Folke, who had been harassing him. After a fight, they manage to obtain the tax collectors ledger, and set out on the road for Solhomme.

A few days into their journey, a young boy comes to the wagon, seeking help. His brother has been lost in a cave. The gang ventures into the cave, only to find an Ankheg guarding the interior.

Arlo strikes at the Ankheg with Shatter, Ghesh with magic missles, Theoris with his bolts. The creature nearly seizes Ghesh in his claws, but the dragonborn breaks free. The party continues to fire at the creature, striking it down, when they hear a cry from deeper within the cave.

They chase it, past the corpse of the ankheg, and come face to face with 4 huge Wolf Spiders and an Ettercap. As they prepare for battle, an even larger Giant Spider joins in, attacking the Wolf Spiders. Theoris flees in terror, never to be heard from again.

With his fearsome Shatter spell, Arlo instantly destroys two of the wolf spiders. The Giant Spider spins a web and captures the ettercap, but the ettercap managers to break free, and attacks the Giant Spider. The two remaining wolf spiders attack the party, but do little damage. Ghesh lets loose his lightening, severely wounding them. Andromeda’s mighty blade cleaves a spider in half. The party dispatches the last remaining spider, and turns on the Ettercap.

As the battle rages, the bard once again lets loose Shatter, and the Ettercap is destroyed – at which point the Giant Spider turns into a human – the druid, Desmond.

The party returns the boys to their home, where they live in peace with their grandfather, and continue on to Solhomme.

Upon reaching the city. they run into an old friend – Bertez! Bertez relieves them of the tax delivery, encourages the paladin Ghesh to visit the temple of Beroan, and leaves after some catching up.

The party stops at a tavern, the Foolish Trickster, before continuing on to the Temple of Beroan. After mass and a brief theological discussion, the priest at the temple tells them of a new group, causing instability in the kingdom. He encourages them to go see the clown, Remy Desmares.

The group finds the clown, who slips them a note with an address during his performance, and mentions 2 men leaving a tavern called the Broken Candle in the slums.

The party arrived on the street where the Candle was just in time to find the men, and followed them into a hideout. Desmond transformed into a Dire Wolf and the halfling Arlo snuck in above, and the party ambushed the men, as they review what appears to be a code book of some form.

Ghesh lights the building on fire. As they fight inside, Andro kills one of the men. While most of the code book is destroyed, they recover a bit of it from the ashes. The other tries to run, but is struck in the leg with a crossbow bolt. As the crowd across the street begins to clamor for the townsguard to put out the fire, Andro slices the remaining one open to leave no witnesses.

As they escape, a little street urchin boy slides out of the shadows, and informs the group he’s been directed to tell them to get to Solhomme Cathedral right away. He slips back into the shadows as the party escapes the scene of the fire.

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Funeral for a Friend
Session 12

PCs: Ghesh, Andromeda, Theoris, Arlo

As the party awoke after their encounter with Inmummar and his bandits, they scoured for treasure while Andromeda spoke to animals and found a few horses. Arlo and Theoris hobbled together a cart, and they began the voyage back to Rossale, with bodies to bury.

Along the way they met a Pegasus, Apomeon, who had been Inmummar’s steed. Seeking vengeance, the creature attacked, but Andromeda was able to convince it to take Inmummar’s body and let them be.

Arriving in Rossale, they brought Kathon to the Mesian Temple, and funeral rites were performed, and ashes given to Ghesh to scatter. They then hit up the Deacon Hill market for some buying and selling.

While at the market, the party was summoned to the office of Mayor Lise Gaudreaux, where they were hired to perform another task – fetch the tax lodger from a drunken tax collector, and carry the town’s collection to the capitol city, Solhomme.

The party agreed to take the four and a half day’s ride to Solhomme, and in exchange would keep the horses and carriage. Lise then asked to see their wooden “ruby” from Earline Wildryt, and pressed the ruby into the cone of a small silver candle snuffer before handing it back to them, and bidding them well.

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