Far Primus

The Silk Mill

5th – 6th of Cuth, 561 QC_

The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, and Maya Foxtail) returned from the blaze at Lankesh’s to rest and recuperate at their inn. They were there for less than an hour before Devereau came sneaking in, disguised as Finwick, and warning of imminent danger for the party. Shortly thereafter, the real Finwick Shortwick walked in, and chaos ensued. Dottari stormed the Inn looking for the arsonists, Devereau took an arrow to the stomach, and the party escaped out of the window, through the alley, and into a hidden supply cart. Before they knew it, the party was safely tucked away in The Pile, a nearly-abandoned casino boat docked just off of the Dragon’s Hoard.

That evening, the party sat down with Devereau and had a lovely dinner, finally getting the answers to some of the questions that had been bothering them. Apparently, the Cult of the Ebon Hand had made an appearance in Westcrown, and Devereau was worried. So, the party agreed to investigate the one place they thought they may be able to find more cultists, the Apananda Silk Mill.

Before traveling to the mill, the party got some revealing clues by speaking with the embalmed corpse of the real Lankesh. With those clues in mind, they found the mill and infiltrated it. Their sneaky surprise quickly turned into a pitched battle with a Garuda, a Dark Naga and a large number of what the party guessed to be cultists. The battle went back and forth a number of times, with powerful exchanges of magic destroying both people and property. Eventually, the party was able to get the upper hand, but not without both Adanna and Finwick nearly dying in the process.

In the end, they found themselves badly depleted in a burning silk mill. They were alive, but their investigations were burning down around them. Again.

Adanna Fionn

We’re heading to Lankesh’s silk mill. It’s in Rego Cura, a district in Westcrown full of warehouses, slums, and seedy people. When we spoke with Lankesh’s corpse, he was able to eek out that the basement of his mill could provide some of the answers we have been searching for. Supposedly there is a book there, the Magnificent Thought, and a man named Ril Rador, both of which can lead us to the Blind Path and said key needed to open it.

It seems, though, as we get closer to closing one door, another opens. Deveroe came to rescue us today after an assassination attempt on our lives. He was hit by an arrow snared with a lethal fireball pearl as we fled the Inn window to his Casino boat in The Pile. It came not from the Dotari, the city guards storming the Inn, but from a lone assassin from a building above. The fireball came with a threatening note:

“The promise of death awaits you. Do not interfere. This is your only warning.”

Afterward Deveroe disclosed more about his past, as well as the meaning of the curious symbol my friends saw in their dreams. He admitted he spent some time in Radav Oldrenon, an empire on the Eastern edge of the continent. It was explained to me that Radav Oldrenon is outside the confederacy boundaries, 100 miles east of Riz, and ruled by an Empress known as She of Nightmares. It is a Pariah empire, dominated by believers in Veckna. No wonder it is disliked by others, for what righteous nation would condone worshiping the God of evil trickery, magic, and knowledge?

Deveroe admits he recognizes the symbol as belonging to the Cult of Veckna, also known as the Cult of the Ebon Destroyers. They use the symbol as a way of identifying each other, as spies and assassins of She of Nightmares. Deveroe says seeing this symbol usually implies you are close to death. He does not know why they would send this message to him, to us, or both, or why we are still alive after seeing it.

But now I know why he hid the symbol from Borgack in his office – Radav Oldrenon is very active in the slave trade, and Borgack is a former slave who Deveroe rescued and brought back to the Confederacy. So it seems Deveroe is a moral and trustworthy soul…

And yet still there remain mysteries clouding his character. For one, what did that message with the arrow mean? The assassin must have precise aim to hit one so experienced as Deveroe in the abdomen, and to make it a painful but not mortal wound. Which implies the assassin must have meant the message for Deveroe alone, warning him not to help us. And the message seems intimate in a way, like there may be some history between Deveroe and the Cult of Veckna? Deveroe himself admits he “spent time” in Radav Oldrenon, but is vague about why he was there and what he was doing…

And then there is what Horros saw. He claims Deveroe’s face, when struck by that arrow, became decrepit. For only a moment, illuminated by the simultaneous lightning strike, it appeared to Horros that Deveroe “may not be among the living.” Deveroe did not have a good answer for this when asked point blank. Mysterious indeed…

In Westcrown

4th – 5th of Cuth, 561 QC_

The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Grakar Foechuckle, and Maya Foxtail) sat down and spoke with Devereau in his office for a good while. Some of their questions were answered, and some weren’t. Seeker invited them to dinner the next evening so they could continue their discussion. One thing they did learn before they left was that Lankesh, the book dealer they had heard of many times before, was in Westcrown. His silk shop was in Rego Scripa, a district of the city not too far from the Dragon’s Hoard.

They spent the evening in an inn, and set off to seek Lankesh in the morning. They were hoping to finally find some answers, but instead, they found a Rakshasa impersonating Lankesh, who was dead and embalmed in his own bathtub. In the course of the discovery and ensuing battle, the shop was set alight, eventually growing into a building fire that threatened the entire neighborhood. The party managed to escape with a few clues from the shop and Lankesh’s corpse, which they stuffed in their magical bag.

They returned to the inn to ponder their next move.

Horros Moonshadow

In vino veritas. In wine, the truth.

Adanna Fionn

We have found the Seeker. He is now called Deveroe, and he owns the Dragon’s Hoard, a casino in Westcrown. The meeting was a bit chaotic. Deveroe’s orc, Borgack, was quite brutal with Ra Quel at first, in spite of Ra Quel’s unusual self-composure. But all is well, for now.

My companions don’t seem to trust him. It is true that he must be quite a master of disguise and deceit, and skilled at hiding his true intentions from even the most experienced. But I trust in Pelor, and my intuition tells me he is what he seems.

But it’s true, he doesn’t offer much that is useful to our quest. He claims he does not know why Gunnar would send us his way, as he has not seen him in ages. He seems reluctant to discuss any part of his past as a warder. But is this not expected? That he electively chose seclusion in hiding to avoid the past, and does not wish to recall it in detail for strangers? It is disappointing, but understandable.

He is hospitable enough, though, and invited us to dinner tonight, which we are now resting for. Perhaps we shall learn more from him tonight. But I must take a moment to write down the useful piece of information he did provide. He lead us to Lankesh’s shop, in Rego Scripa, a subsection of Rego Spara. Since Lankesh was the vendor of some of the more pertinent books in Zander’s house, we thought we may find other clues from speaking with him.

This we are not currently able to do, however, as he is dead. It seems an evil Rakshasa possessed his body and had been impersonating him for some time. We defeated the Rakshasa, amazingly enough (Pelor PLEASE grant me the wisdom to combat that spell it used to damage Maya and I so). And in the bathtub of Lankesh’s store we found his corpse, lying in a pool of embalming fluid. After resting, we intend to speak with Lankesh, through the power of Pelor.

Across the Sea

10th of Wee Jas, 560 QC – 4th of Cuth, 561 QC

The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Grakar Foechuckle, Finwick Shortwick, and Maya Foxtail) enjoyed three weeks of rest and relaxation as Blackcove started rebuilding itself. They went back to the island of Nal-Kashel a number of times during those weeks to cast divinations through the lenses of the orrery. Though cryptic, these divinations may yet prove to be useful.

At the end of those three weeks, there was a brief celebration for the death of the year and the birth of a new one before the party set off on a two-month journey across the Sea of Deceit. Besides an unfortunate encounter on an uninhabited island in the middle of the sea, the trip was quite uneventful. The party used this time to study up and prepare themselves.

After arriving in Westcrown, the party put some of their the divinations to good use and found themselves at the Dragon’s Hoard casino & tavern. After a couple of hours of schmoozing, the party was asked to leave by a number of casino guards. In particular, Ra Quel was asked very forcefully by Borgakh, a hulking female orc. The resulting brawl was interrupted by the casino owner, who eventually revealed himself to be the very Devereau they were searching for.

Adanna Fionn


The “keys are closer than we think,” and no response when we asked about Tondar’s Prophecy.

These were the answers, and in a way new questions, we received from my divination spells enhanced by the orrery. We have to keep these in mind as we search Westcrown, the capital of Riz, for answers.

We’ve just disembarked Adler Vanderholt’s ship with Illy in toe, helping us navigate this merchant city. The trip here was fairly uneventful, surprisingly, save an island encounter with mermen where we almost lost Maya, again. Pelor must favor her, in that she is still here with us.

We’ve landed on the docks in Rego Spara, the region of Westcrown where most of the middle class merchants reside. Illy assures us this area is safe, much unlike Rego Dispara, the oldest and most ruined city section where the poor underlings reside. No surprise this is where Illy is headed to see his connection, considering he is a smuggler. Illy said he may even pass into Rego Regicona, a separate island where the “rick folk” live such as nobility and traders, but his tone suggested sarcasm.

Most people here do not speak Common, so we hired a translator at the dock to direct us to an Inn. Horros may speak Vudrani, the language everyone here seems to speak. I will have to ask him..

But it is difficult to know anything of Horros at this moment. I worry for him. He has seemed increasingly distraught since Nal Kashel. And it is likely related to a dream we all experienced in different forms before leaving that cursed island. Whereas mine was uplifting, and renewed my purpose ever more, I was distressed to learn my companions were suffering the opposite effect from theirs. I feel it may be important to us in our quest, so I am writing what my companions shared with me:

Ra Quel – “There was some guy who I didn’t know, but he seemed like one of those intense magical people like you, no offense… He kept bringing up my past and throwing it in my face, stuff about my family ya know? He was making threats about my future, saying I couldn’t fight my way out of it. And he kept referring to this big failure of mine. I can’t wait to bash his head in…”

Maya – “It was the voice of someone very close to me, a second mother almost, Seralin Sorrah. Her voice sounded terrible, she was dying. I was 17, and after training I went back to my village on an island in the Sea of Deceit only to find everyone was dead. My grandfather Shermain left me a note, implying the Blind Path would lead me to the one responsible for destroying my village.”

Horros – “Very strange it was. On top of a pillar 60 feet high.. Codek, I was, being stabbed by Afeara. Attentive I was not, but distracted, by her Sari… Trying to train me she was…” (This is why I am worried particularly for Horros, as he is even more vague and distant than usual).

But the dream ended in the same way for all of them, with the a symbol, the meaning of which none of us knows.

Thank you Pelor, for saving me the terror of a similar dream. I pray for your guidance to help my friends with the terror of theirs.

Kill the Beast

8th – 10th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Maya Foxtail, Finwick Shortwick) awoke from troubled dreams to find themselves in tunnels rapidly filling with seawater. They were joined by Grakar Foechuckle and his new Blackcove cohort, Poppy Weatherbee, before quickly heading further into the tunnels beneath the inverted pyramid. They ran into a group of ten skum desperately trying to break through the tunnel walls to the pounding surf beyond. The encounter with the skum looked to be resolved quickly before spiraling well out of control. First, the sorceror Gerlach surprised the adventurers and peppered them with bolts of lightning, nearly killing Maya. Then, when Gerlach appeared to be under control, the great secret of the island, the aboleth Mohl’omog, burst from his hiding place. After a few nervous moments, the adventurers were able to regroup. Thankfully, with the defensive powers of Pelor protecting them, they prevailed, killing Mohl’omog with an ancient Azlanti spear.

With the aberration destroyed, Nal-Kashel quickly fell quiet. The party spent the rest of the day exploring the island, uncovering Gerlach’s secrets and making sure that all was well. An additional two days were spent under the care of the villagers of Blackcove. The party enjoyed some well-deserved rest and recovery from their frightening week with the blighted halflings.

And finally, with their promised tasks complete, the adventurers began to talk with Illi and Adler about starting their two-month journey to Westcrown, across the Sea of Deceit.

Adanna Fionn

Pelor’s favor must have saved me before, but now I too am affected by the curse. I awoke from Finnwick’s rope trick to find my hair failing out, and my eyes shifting outward. Though I miss staring at him longingly, I am glad Wilhelm is not here to see me like this. Vanity aside, my eye transformation has enhanced my perception, which in this underground passage should come in handy.

But my recent transformation and even the incessant creatures we have faced and will have to face again today cannot dampen my spirits; for Pelor came to me last night in a dream. She was beautiful, and radiant, and I have never felt so close to her before in my life. She warned that the beast we are to face is evil, and will try to possess our minds. She renewed my spirits and encouraged faith in our ability to stop this evil. Bless Pelor, she is good.

I immediately prepared from memory every protection from evil spell I could. I will NOT let the beast perverse my mind or my friends’. Could you imagine what would happen if the beast dominated Ra Quel, leading her to attack one of us? Dear Pelor, what a catastrophe! I pray my spells work against this beast, and I pray I live to continue this entry…

We’ve done it! We’ve killed the beast! Praise Pelor, SHE IS GOOD. And we’ve solved the mysteries concerning Gerlac and the curse. It seems Gerlac was down there trying to find a way to stop his own metamorphosis into Aslante Scum. But before he could finish he succumbed to the domination effects of the evil beast, who we now know to be Malomog. His elixirs of true form brought us back to our original selves, curing us of the transformation curse. We may even have rid Nal Kashel of the evil curse entirely, since all was serene when we left.

Now we’re back in Blackcove, celebrating with the Halflings and preparing for our journey across the Sea of Deceit to West Crown, the capital of Riz. Before we leave we intend to use the Orrery’s power to our advantage, in regards to our questions concerning the Blind Path, the secret of Tondar’s Prophecy, and the mysterious “key” which should lead us in some way to both afore mentioned mysteries. I also intend to spend my time during these three weeks at Blackcove, and our 2 month journey at sea, divining and sending to find out information that I hope will help us on our greater quest. For now, I will bask in fulfillment of bringing peace and happiness to this small coastal village. Amen.

The Beast Down Below


6th – 8th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

Before descending into the portal, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Maya Foxtail, and Finwick Shortwick) decided to rest up and use the orrery to perform a powerful divination. Adanna was able to invoke a near-perfect connection between herself and Pelor, and learned of the dangers posed by the beast below. They made their way down into the flooded and seemingly alive tunnels beneath the inverted pyramid. Nearly every step of the way, they were aggressively harassed. They were attacked by all manner of foul underground denizen, as well as being subjected to numerous traps and illusions. After an encounter with two chuuls in which Horros was nearly torn into lifeless pieces, the party decided to retreat into Finwick’s rope trick to rest and recover.

Adanna Fionn

While debating whether to drop down through the iris, we noticed halflings newly awakened from their dream wandering past the pyramid steps. Finnwick and I conversed with one of them, and learned they were heading for the beach on which we originally landed. They confirmed they no longer felt dominated, but still felt the physical effects of metamorphosing into old Aslante, maybe even Scum, creatures. They were heading to the Wedding Rock, as it is the only place on the island they feel safe, but had no way of knowing if this would break the transformation curse. Because my companions all were transforming before my eyes, we decided to travel with the Halflings, taking a chance the beach would provide relief.

We rested, regaining our strength and health, but my companions’ alien physical traits remained. Grackar “volunteered” to help transport the Halflings back to Blackcove. Via my sending spell, I was able to correspond with him regarding whether or not escaping the island had relieved him of the transformation curse. After many hours off the island, he was no worse, but no better. We decided to use the Orrery to enhance my divination spell, to help find the way to remove the curse. I have written down the answer to our question to better study its meaning:

The cure you seek lies near the beast, but beware your minds are in danger; heed the willow wisps.

I’m not sure what to make of the warning, but one thing is for sure: destroying the “beast down below” the willow wisps alluded to earlier is imperative to ridding my companions of this ghastly metamorphosis. So back to the inverted pyramid we go, and down the iris we fall. Luckily those 6 magical potions were potions of levitation, which we hoped would have made it easier to fall the ninety foot drop to the bottom of the iris. But the iris was in fact a trap, and most of us were caught and injured from passing through it. Of course Ra Quel went first. Patience is not her virtue.

In the water we had to battle some fierce creatures. But it was worth it, because afterward we found a magical bonespear of Malomog in the water beneath us. None of us know who or what Malomog is, but we do know this to be a blessed piece of equipment which deals enhanced damage against aberration creatures. Thank Pelor for this, because without it, Horros may have lost his life to the multiple Chulls we faced further into the underground passage. I am in awe of Horros’ faith in his God and willingness to sacrifice himself. But I admit I was angered by it, as I cannot imagine losing him. Pelor forgive me for such selfishness, but I am grateful for her blessing me with the ability to love and cherish my friends, who are now my family.

Again with the Island Hopping

5th – 6th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

After resting in a Rope Trick, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Grakar Foechuckle, and Finwick Shortwick) awoke to find themselves surrounded by more glowing will-o-wisps. They sang a mysterious song that only Adanna and Finwick could understand, which prompted them to finally explore the regenerating tower. There, they dodged falling shell debris, destroyed a giant lizard, and were nearly eaten alive by phase spiders. Fortunately, the party was able to uncover a couple of things of import. First, they found a room full of replacement parts for the orrery, which they quickly scavenged through. Second, they found the Armillary Amulet they had been searching for.

After resting for another evening, and with the amulet in hand, Finwick was able to finally unlock the secrets of the orrery. He discovered a few of its powers, and determined that it had been purposely sabotaged, locking in the amplified domination that had been taming the blackcove halflings. After another trip to a floating tower for a spare lens, the party fixed the orrery and shut down the domination. They then went on to explore the inverted pyramid in the center of the island, obliterating a number of Skum and discovering a secret porthole to the depths below.

Adanna Fionn

I am truly blessed and grateful to be alive. Never before have I come so close to death. I saw the light of Pelor, and with her strength and my companions’ valiant efforts I was brought back to life. These villains are more dangerous than I expected, particularly those phase spiders. We will have to tread more carefully in the future, particularly I, as it is my power and faith in Pelor that keeps the group going when we are smote by evil.

And the creatures we continue to cross on this island must be evil; or at least driven by evil. Except those glowing orbs that continue to direct our path in cryptic ways. They cannot be evil, as they led us to finding not only a magical Horn of fog to increase our stealth, but one of the armillary amulets that we so desperately needed. Wearing the amulet enabled Finnwick to investigate the Orrery without harm, allowing him to discover the following information in regards to the Orrery’s current and potential use:

  • Once weekly, the Orrery may be used to either control the weather, give a significant enhancement to divination spells, or amplify a spell or spell’s effect to a much greater level
  • There is currently a mental domination spell active and being amplified by the Orrery, explaining the captive halflings’ hypnotized state.
  • A part of the Orrery has been broken, apparently on purpose, so that the dominating effect cannot be undone.
  • The two broken pieces are the lens mount, and the lens itself.

By the grace of Pelor, we had already obtained a lens mount from the regenerating tower where we obtained the two magical items from the giant magical lizard and the bed of flakes from whence it came. The task of obtaining the lens itself led us to the Armillary Tower. It was not prudent for me to risk my life again by going into the orbiting piece of the tower. So the task was bravely taken on by some of my companions. Thank Pelor they were successful, and we were able to repair the Orrery and stop the domination spell.

But what to do next? How could we be sure we stopped the evil and saved the Halflings of Blackcove? And why were we not morphing back to our original selves? It seemed logical that if the Halflings were no longer dominated, and returned to their original physical appearance, then we had succeeded. The inverted pyramid was on our way to the beach where we last saw the dominated halflings, so we decided to stop and check it out. It seemed odd to us to have searched the whole island and not the most central part of it, our instincts telling us to investigate.

After tackling some more scum creatures, we split up to search the inverted pyramid. We found a magical banded mail, and 6 magical potions. No time to discover the effects of these potions now, will have to remember to study them later. The most interesting discovery was that of an iris diaphragm, covered by illusionary magic. It seems this leads to an underground chamber of some sorts. But as my companions continue to feel the effects of this strange transmutation spell, we need to get off this island. Now.

More Island Hopping

4th – 5th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

Finwick Shortwick flew to the island of Nal-Kashel, searching for the beginning to his own path. He ran into the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Grakar Foechuckle, and Maya Foxtail) in the middle of a Skum ambush. After a brief battle, the Skum were defeated, and the party welcomed the aid of the arcanist Finwick. Together, they returned to the silver pools to learn what they could from the ancient professors there. Shortly after their lectures were completed, a quicksilver ooze attacked Finwick and Maya, nearly dissolving them completely. With a combination of Horros’ quick thinking, Adanna’s healing prowess, and Ra Quel’s animal ferocity, the ooze was defeated, and the two newcomers were saved. They quickly moved on to the inverted pyramid, with hopes of finding the sorceror Gerlach. On their way, they were misled and attacked by a veiled Chuul. The beast grabbed and paralyzed Finwick and Horros before the party was able to take it out.

After a long day on the island, the party was finally forced to stop and rest. They emerged from Finwick’s rope trick the next morning, fully rejuvenated and ready to complete their exploration of the island.

Horros Moonshadow

In protecting oneself, others are protected; In protecting others, oneself is protected.

Adanna Fionn

Word of the evil taking over Nal-Kashel seems to have spread fast – first Maya comes to find us, and now a wizard Halfling named Finnwick Shortwick has joined us at the behest of his master Shackleton (a famous wizard of Arcane magic, the only human allowed to practice at the Elveshome School of magic). Both newcomers came dangerously close to death’s door today, but we couldn’t let that happen. Horros and I, all of us really, did everything we could to keep them conscious. That they didn’t die proves they belong with us.

I am grateful to have them, as they may help solve the mysteries we have come across on the island. After defeating more scum creatures, these glowing orbs powered by illusion magic hovered over their corpses, humming “close your eyes, drift in dream” in cannon rounds. Finnwick and I were able to hear it, as my comprehend language spell was already prepared and he memorized his in preparation for the lectures at the silver pools. Had he known a blob would arise from the silver pool to consume him, he may not have agreed to help study. Horros heroically saved him from the Pudding, and Horros and Ra Quel recovered Maya after it swallowed her.

Through it all we were still able to listen to the 3 remaining Aslante lecturers via the summoning pools, the information from which may or may not be useful to us:

  • Aaron Thander – Grand Provost of Sygil and Glyphs – “Vigils and Wards” – Most of the information heard was far too complex for me to piece together, but at the very end he mentioned two ways to fix the orrery if it breaks: 1) If a lens breaks, one can go to the Armillary Tower (which used to be attached to the Crystal Dome but is now orbiting the island), to get extra lenses. 2) If any mechanical aspect breaks, replacement parts are constantly regenerated in the Tower of Regeneration.
  • Ossoryal – Grand Master of Lens and Optics – “Celestial Alignments” – Most of the information went over Finnwick’s head as well, but what he learned combined with my knowledge of the orrery will us to use it, if necessary.
  • Allucus – Highest Counselor – “Solar Calculations” – More information on how to use the orrery.

Even with this new knowledge, it seems the sanest way to enter the Crystal Dome through the orrery is with the Armillary Amulet in our possession. Gerlac most likely has it, and chances are he is in the inverted pyramid.

The more we encounter the traps Gerlac is capable of setting, the greater I fear going up against him. Maya recognized the illusion cast on that Chuul to be the Veil spell, associated with an 11th level spellcaster. That is intimidating. We will need our rest for what we are about to face. Thank Pelor for Finnwick’s Rope Trick so we don’t have to watch our back while we rest. I think that little guy’s gonna be a marvelous addition to the group.

Maya Foxtail

This island seems to have an unlimited supply of monsters who want to kill us. Not long after exiting the orrery we were attacked by a group of eight Skum. We were aided half way through the fight by a flying Halfling wizard named Finwick. We managed a victory without too much damage excluding the rat monster Adanna summoned to help us. That little guy took a beating, but he did some serious damage before giving up the ghost. Go team.

We decided to use the Skum corpses to activate the silver pools. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Adanna & Finwick did learn some interesting information, but Finwick’s pool decided it was a pudding monster (PM). The silver goo oozed over the edge of its basin and surrounded Finwick. Horros managed to get him away from it. Unfortunately that left me as the next available target for the PM. It enveloped me and tried to dissolve me. I did get in a few good shots before it knocked me out. Fortunately for me Horros dove in and dragged my unconscious body out of there with an assist from Ra Quel. At least that’s what I was told. I don’t remember nor do I care to. I wish I could erase what I do remember of that incident. The label pudding monster doesn’t sound very threatening, but that thing almost killed me & Finwick. By dissolving us. You’ve been warned.

Adanna healed everyone and we made our way towards the pyramid in search of Gerlach. On the way we ran into a Chuul monster disguising itself as a Halfling. If you’ve never seen a Chuul, just image an eight foot tall lobster like creature with a mouth full of writhing tentacles that can paralyze you with just a touch. Good times. At first only Adanna, Finwick & Grakar could see through its glamour. Horros & I were not far behind. Unfortunately it took Ra Quel a while to realize what was going on. She was sure we were testing her after we had told her not to attack the Halfling so she refused to join the assault at first. Luckily she caught on and helped finish it off. You don’t want your best fighter sidelined when fighting a giant, seemingly un-killable foe.

After that it was decided that we should rest & recharge. Finwick pulled out some kind of magic rope which allowed us to rest hidden from anything else that might want to kill us. Everyone was quite relieved to hear he had this wondrous item. We can’t seem to go five minutes without something attacking us. I don’t recommend visiting Nal-Kashel. Nasty place.

Island Hopping

Phase Spider

4th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, and Adanna Fionn) was joined by Grakar Foechuckle and a new adventurer, Maya Foxtail. She had heard of the party’s exploits in Lan’Gess, and had travelled far to join them. Shortly after Maya and Grakar flew in, a harried halfling villager burst out of some nearby ruins with three flying seaweed cloakers in close pursuit. After a pitched battle, the cloakers were defeated, and the villager was saved. It turns out that she was Sara, the captain’s wife that they had been searching for. When Maya flew her back to Blackcove, she was able to speak to her with Gervus acting as translator. Sara had quite a bit of valuable information that pointed the party towards the large crystal dome on the northern end of the island. After resting for the afternoon, the party visited the dome. It turned out to be a fiendishly complicated astrological device manifesting strange magical powers. Before they could discover more, they were set upon by three ethereal spiders. A number of party members were felled in the ensuing battle, but the beasts were eventually slain. Afterwards, the adventurers, using the collected arcano-mechanical knowledge of the group, quieted the mechanism long enough to examine it. They discovered a bit more about the form and function of the massive orrery, but only managed to deepen the mystery of the island itself.

Horros Moonshadow

Everything you see has its roots in the unseen world.

Ra Quel

A self-portrait:

A self-portrait.

Maya Foxtail

After a long and arduous journey I finally found the renowned party from Lan’Gess on the island of Nal-Kashel. My introduction was cut short by three ginormous flying seaweed monsters. How hard was it to kill monsters made of seaweed? Much harder than you would think. I’m not exaggerating when I say they were ginormous. And they could fly. And they expelled some kind of fear/terror spell. Enough said. After that I was welcomed into the fold without much fuss. Fighting for your life is a bonding experience. Those of you who have survived such a battle know what I’m talking about.

On a side note, it’s rather disconcerting to find yourself conversing with someone whose eyes are constantly bleeding black goo. Hopefully a cure will be found for Ra Quel quickly. You heard me right, bleeding black goo from her eyeballs. Don’t believe me? Check out her self-portrait.

The Halfling we saved from a grim seaweed death turned out to be Sara, the woman the party had come to the island to rescue. Her grasp of Common was slight and none of us spoke Halfling. To say we did not get much information out of her is putting it mildly. It was agreed that the party would rest on the island while I ferried Sara back to Blackcove with what remained of my flying potion.

The Halflings we’re effusively grateful for her return. With Gervus acting as a translator I found out that the prisoners on the island are being forced to excavate a section of it. They are either resigned to doing this or mentally coerced. On top of that the prisoners are somehow being transformed physically. Halflings are unusual looking to start off with, but the whole gills-coming-out-of-the-neck thing is disturbing. Sara was a bit fuzzy on the details of how she escaped. She did mention that she saw the sorcerer Gurlock freely going about the island. He didn’t appear to be a prisoner like the others. The Skum & seaweed monsters left him alone. Each time he visited the crystal dome, the island was beset by one of those terrible storms. It didn’t take a genius to figure out who was behind the nefarious goings-on in Blackcove & Nal-Kashel. I needed to get back to the island and give my report to the rest of the party.

Upon my return, Horros was all for leaving the island. Rescuing Sara had completed the job we were hired for, but there was no way I was leaving that island until all of the prisoners were free. Adanna & Ra Quel were eager to stay as well so Horros & Grakar grudgingly agreed. We rested long enough for everyone to recharge before exploring the crystal dome.

The dome was filled with all manner of orbs & books circling around the room above our heads. Ra Quel is a fierce warrior and an asset to our group, but her “shoot first, ask questions later” outlook on life is problematic. When we walked in Ra Quel immediately shot at one of the orbs. It let out some type of gaseous defense mechanism, we left in a hurry.

The entire dome was one big booby trap. Grakar, Horros & I sneaked back in to defuse the trap, but out of nowhere we were beset upon by giant poisonous plane-hopping spiders. No, we don’t need your run of the mill monsters. We only want colossal, hard to kill, teleporting monsters. And why not make them poisonous, just for fun? In case it wasn’t apparent, those last few sentences were laced with sarcasm. Did I say laced? I meant doused, thrown in a river & submerged beneath mountainous falls.

I almost died in the ensuing battle. Luckily Adanna was able to bring me back from the brink of death. We are fortunate to have such a capable healer in our group. We all took a pretty hard beating. Some in the party started transforming physically & Ra Quel was no longer alone in emanating black goo from various orifices. It was a rough day for everyone.

After barely defeating the spiders we managed to briefly disable the trap device. We took the three most interesting books & got out. According to them you need a special amulet to control the orrery. Of course you do. Pausing to catch our breath, we began discussing what our next step should be.

I’m glad I was able to join up with the party, but two difficult battles in one day? If this is any indication of what it’s like to be allies with this group, I’m not sure how long I’ll survive. My will is strong, but I’m not quite as hardy as some. I’m sure the group got suspicious when I vanished from sight the minute the seaweed monsters appeared, but my attacks work best in stealth mode. I may need to adapt Grakar’s strategy of hiding behind Ra Quel whenever danger is near…

Adanna Fionn

Ra quell will live, for now. Her transformation is only cosmetic in nature, so does not seem to need immediate attention (information she responded to rather well, actually…). Oh Ra quel, she can tackle a sea-weed creature like nobody’s business, but magic just isn’t her thing. Or reading.

But who am I to talk? I am still recovering from the shock of being completely incapacitated by that Cloaker. Thank Pelor for my brave companions – a group that now includes a stealthy little woman named Maya Foxtail. We do not know her well yet, but she seems earnest to help, and Pelor tells me to trust. I am grateful my friends kept their wits about them and saved our lives, and the life of Sara.

Adler’s wife was the Halfling we saw running from the cloakers. Though communication with her directly was not great, Maya was able to gather more information through Gervis’ translation when she flew Sara to Blackcove. Apparently there is a dominating force over the captive Halflings, the effects of which make them more Aslante. For some reason that Sara cannot explain, she was able to resist this force; most others were not. Furthermore, she has seen Gerlac, unaffected by the dominating spell, going into the Crystal Dome with purpose on numerous occasions.

Some of the party wished to leave the island immediately, without finding Gerlac or rescuing the captive townspeople. But it would go against my faith in Pelor and all that is good to abandon these Halflings; and I will not leave until Gerlac, if he is responsible, is brought to judgment. Sara alluded to the Crystal Dome as somehow being responsible for Ra quel’s bleeding eyes – that convinced everyone in the party to investigate the Crystal Dome and continue our mission here.

The crystal dome is an Orrery, with crystal spheres and copper books orbiting the room, open to a clear night sky. It is beautiful, but it is a trap. According to the astrology textbook we found earlier in the library, Sigil and Glyph, the orrery is an astronomical artifact with many different properties, including weather control. To be able to use the Orrery, you need a very high spell craft level, and something called an “Armillary Amulet” would be very useful (implying Gerlac has either or both).

If you fail to use the Orrery properly, you may suffer ill side effects, as Ra Quel discovered when she recklessly shot at an orbiting sphere and became extra-planar-like. Luckily, the effect was temporary and she was able to help us fend off the phase spiders that attacked while we tried to disable the device. These creatures were extra-planar and deadly – all my companions were in need of healing and lesser restoration spells after the attack.

The device could be disabled only for a short while before it would reactivate, giving us time for just a quick search – which yielded three informational books: 1) A warning that reminds students not to use the orrery without their amulets, 2) Very precise instructions of how to operate the orrery, 3) Instruction on how to identify malfunctioning parts and if found, to consult your professor.

After reading these, I could potentially be able to operate the Orrery. But that would take a significant amount of time – time we don’t have in a booby trapped room. My comprehend language spell enabled me to read these books, and it will enable me to discern those lectures. My instincts tell me to go back to the silver pools…

Shore to Sea

3rd – 4th of Wee Jas, 560 QC

After dealing with the mysterious tentacle attack, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, and Adanna Fionn) finally got the truth from the halflings of Blackcove. It turns out that the source of the disturbances was the nearby island of Nal-Kashel, a centerpiece of Blackcove folklore. After some prodding, the party agreed to investigate the island to find the root cause of the disturbances and to save the halflings who had been taken. The next morning, after a difficult trip to the island, they found themselves embedded in a strange world of magical ruins, full of sheer cliffs, regenerating buildings, and floating towers. Horros Moonshadow gave Ra Quel his potion of flying, which she used to great effect, exploring the island from above. They were eventually able to find and free an enslaved Blackcove halfling, only to find that he had been magically dominated. Before they could figure out how to undue the enchantment, they were ambushed by a group of skum, which they quickly dispatched.

After a full morning on the island, they had uncovered more questions than answers.

Horros Moonshadow

Sometimes, simply by sitting, the soul collects wisdom.

Adanna Fionn

I fear Ra Quel is turning into a Scum creature, and I don’t know how to help her. I feel powerless, even as I pray to Pelor for the power to cure her. Her black tears appearing similar to the scum creatures’ blood are a form of transmutation magic, but that is all I know.

Perhaps the magic was transferred from one of the copper books we found in the library? In particular the textbook Sigil and Glyph about astrology that broke apart into pieces and orbited her head after she opened it… Or perhaps one of those roach/scorpion-like creatures we faced there infected her? It could be from that scum creature Estian, who caused Ra Quel and I to fall out of the boat into a swarm of jellyfish on the way over here – luckily Horros subdued him, and we survived.

Or maybe it has something to do with her flying over Nal-Kashel… Horros parted with his Potion of Fly so Ra Quel could survey the island and transport us to the top of the cliff (that would have been impossible for me to climb) from the shore where we landed. Her reconnaissance gave us a basic lay out of the island, which I copied down. It includes the following areas: the library, a Falling Tower of Regeneration (possibly enchanted?), a well kept dome (the doorway of which is blocked by “flowing mud”), an inverted pyramid (old observatory?), a beach area (where captive and probably entranced Halflings are digging a cave leading into said pyramid), a crystal dome with a tower (the top of which is orbiting the crystal dome), and an area with seven silver pools.

After investigating the humming, resistance-magic enchanted old Aslante rock on the shore (which caused vertigo, nausea, and a flooding of foreign memories when approached), we flew to the silver pools. Each pool had a stone before it, and Halfling corpses all around. Only three of the stones were intact, so that only these three were able to be used for the summoning ritual of recalling its related ancient Aslante lecture.

The summoning ritual is powered by life energy, so it was fortunate we dispatched a few scum creatures to sacrifice. But when we performed the ritual on one of the silver pools, we were unable to understand the language spoken by the Halfling hologram. I am intrigued to hear what the other lectures say. Looks like I will be memorizing my comprehend language spell.

Swamp to Shore


5th of Eryth – 3rd of Wee Jas, 560 QC

Eager to finally be away from Lan’Gess, the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, and Adanna Fionn) traveled east with a gnomish smuggler, heading towards Risz. They spent over a month traveling through the wide, lonely plains of the southern Confederacy. After a few isolated encounters with tiny hamlets and a giant bandit, the party found themselves overlooking the fishing village of Blackcove, where they were hoping to find a captain to take them on the two-month trek across the Sea of Deceit. They instead found the village to be nearly abandoned. After some exploration, they discovered that the locals (a strange breed of halfling) had been besieged for the past few weeks by some unknown evil. They found the remaining villagers holed up in the lighthouse. Before they could figure out exactly what was happening, the sea raged around them, and tentacles writhed out from the deep, pulling a handful of halflings to their watery graves. After a few tense moments, the party was able to fight off the unknown invader, but the mystery remained.

Horros Moonshadow

A heavy snowfall disappears into the sea. What silence!

Adanna Fionn

I am in awe of the favor bestowed upon me by my Lord Pelor. I have faith it saved our lives today. Shortly after arriving in Blackcove we were engulfed in a siege from the Sea. With it came a sea-creature with the claws of a large cat and the hooks of a giant squid. We and the townspeople suffered attacks from the cephalopod while the lighthouse we were trapped in flooded. We would have drowned were it not for the power of Pelor – he allowed me to calm the townspeople from panic and summon a shark to fight off the monster. The creature returned to sea, and the water subsided.

Afterward we spoke with Gervis, a town-leader of some sort. He informed us that this was not the first attack – that recently, the sea and its creatures had been attacking the town, dragging Halflings out to sea. In fact, Sara, the wife of our captain, Adler Vanderholt, was one of its many victims. Gervis believes these attacks are the consequence of a careless action by Gerlac, one of the Blackcove Halflings. Supposedly Gerlac trespassed Nal-Kashel, a nearby island with dangerous creatures only to be visited for using the Wedding Stone, an ancient Aslante tradition. No one has seen him since he left for the island.

Investigating the island to help save Blackcove from future onslaught from the sea is a worthy mission. And the choice for us to pursue this mission is made easier by the fact that Adler’s boat is docked near the island. And anyway, it would be inhumane to ask him to cross the sea with his wife missing.


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