Far Primus

Wrong Side of the Border

9th of Cuth – 30th of Morad, 561 QC

The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Finwick Shortwick, Maya Foxtail, and Grakar Foechuckle) was connected with the halfling smuggler, Bala, and set off on their extended journey to Leckumgee on three large elephants, with a determined Borgakh joining them. After over a month of travel eastward through the swamps of Risz, the party made it to the river border with Radav Oldranon. The blind barge owner who helped them cross the river turned out to be a weretiger. He and his sons ambushed the the party that night, nearly eviscerating Horros. However, after that close call, the lycanthropes were easily defeated.

Bala continued to lead the group through the outskirts of Radav Oldranon for a couple more weeks, along a smuggling trail hugging the river. One night, the party was accosted by a group of what turned out to be Jade Army scouts. They were a sneaky bunch, hiding in the pitched darkness of a nearly moonless night. Ra Quel and Borgakh found their minds being overtaken by the scritchy thoughts of a skittering humanoid spider. However, the party once again prevailed, with Maya chasing down the spider and popping its head like a grape with a well-placed spell.

Nearly a month away from Leckumgee, and deep into the Riverwood, the party is getting further and further away from home.

Adanna Fionn

I am still so upset with Horros I could kill him. And I would kill him, had I not sacrificed everything I could to save his life. How can he be so careless to attack that weretiger at night by himself without waking us up first? Does he have no clue how much we care for him? All I can say is thank Pelor I made it out of the rope trick in time to save him from that abominable creature and his blasphemous “sons.” I know it is unforgiving to hold a grudge, and Pelor forgive me, but I was just so scared we might lose him.

Our recent run in with the Jade Army has softened my displeasure with Horros though. He fought well and did not make my heart stop by unnecessarily provoking his own death. This time it was Maya who ran off to save us. Her act proved successful and saved us from defeat. She is quite a little spellcaster, I give her that. To think how much more powerful her spells could be though if she accepted Pelor into her heart. Sigh.

We continue our journey on Bala’s elephants – Bala, Ra Quel, and I together, Finnwick, Maya and Horros together, and Greckar, Poppy, and Borgak together. I am glad Ra Quel and I are on the same elephant, we make a good team. Poor Bala, I believe we frightened him to death when we accused him of being in cahoots with that Weretiger. But he has calmed down, and now is only intimidated by Borgak’s height. Speaking of which, I am glad to see Greckar spending time connecting with her. She seemed distant, sad almost, when Ra Quel out-shined her in battle. But Greckar can charm anything and anyone, and Borgak fell easily into his reassurance. I hope now she feels closer to us, as we do to her.

It is apparent upon reading this entry that I am quite emotional. I shall pray, and will be renewed by morning.

A Dinner Ruined

8th – 9th of Cuth, 561 QC

The party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, Finwick Shortwick, and Maya Foxtail) sat down for a long dinner conversation with Devereau. They discussed their recent discoveries about the cult activities both in Westcrown and possibly in Radav Oldranon. They attempted to learn more about Devereau himself, but their dinner party was rudely interrupted by an ambush. Utkroza and a number of Ebon Destroyer monks had snuck onto The Pile with the intent to assassinate the party. Things looked dire at first, but after Borgakh showed up, and Devereau, hiding on the casino roof, began to pepper the sniping Utkroza with arrows, the ambush was foiled.

After the battle was over, Borgakh had a hard time letting go of her rage, and was throwing dead Destroyers into the water. Adanna managed to settle her down, and Devereau eventually rejoined the group on the ship. He revealed a bit more about his past and the party agreed to travel to Leckumgee. Whatever their plans, it was in the best interests of both the party and Devereau that the cult be stopped.

The next morning, the party met with Devereau’s smuggler friend, Bala, outside of the city walls of Westcrown. He had agreed to take them across the Oldranian border. And after some impassioned pleading, Borgakh convinced the party to let her join them.

Horros Moonshadow

The quieter you become, the more you can hear.

Maya Foxtail

Despite the fact that he’s only helped us, I continue to feel reluctant to completely trust Devereau. He has an air of holding information back when we ask him questions. Given what he’s been through perhaps I shouldn’t judge him so harshly. I know the horror of having everyone you care about killed in the blink of an eye. Of course it’s one thing to see the aftermath, another to be left for dead. I suppose I should be thankful I didn’t witness the massacre that killed my friends and family. And I certainly can’t blame Devereau for covering his decrepit state with an illusion. Assuming that was the result of the attack on their Great Trade wagon as opposed to something else. There I go again. Sheesh. I will try harder. He is financing our trip to Leckumgee and connected us with the smuggler Bala. And he did pledge to pay us 5,000gp each if we could find out what the Cult of Veckna is doing in Westcrown so he can’t be all bad, right?

Meanwhile I have mixed feelings about Borgakh joining the party. She’s a formidable warrior, but also a bit of a loose cannon and we wouldn’t want her to turn her anger towards us. Devereau was pretty clear last night about not wanting Borgakh to go with us, but when we gently tried to talk her out of it she was adamant. I would feel better if we could let Devereau know before leaving, but Adanna has to prepare the spell she needs to communicate with him so it will have to be done on the road. Hopefully he doesn’t feel betrayed by this turn of events. There was no way for us to forcefully make her stay and we certainly didn’t want to anger her. She wiped the floor with Ra Quel the first time we met her, not someone you want on your bad side. Ra Quel is certainly not a fan. The rest of us will definitely make an effort to keep them apart and I’m sure Horros will avoid Borgakh as well. I doubt she’ll ever see his tattoo, but we’re all worried about her tendency to go berserk anytime she sees anything related to the Cult of Veckna and the Ebon Destroyer monks. Both a blessing and a curse. Hopefully more of the former than the latter. Time will tell.

Adanna Fionn

I do not want to imagine what that would be like. To lose your entire party to a force so powerful and out of your means to stop. By a dragon you had been seeking, no less. And to be left so disfigured, forever scarred physically and mentally with the memories of your friends’ terrible deaths. I don’t know what is worse for Deveroe – to face death, or life after losing everyone dear to you.

Pelor provides wisdom in the form of experience. We need to remember and learn from what Deveroe has shared. And his companions were the former Warders of Echeron, our ancestors. So though I am exhausted from fending off yet another attack from that wicked cult last night at Deveroe’s, I feel compelled to note the details of his tale. Pelor protect us from such sorrow, but if we are headed in the same direction, let us go forth enlightened.

He states they were headed North to the Great Trades, a biannual occurrence from the borderlands up to Nor Malengar, home of the smithing Dwarves. Specifically, they were traveling with the Stoneforge Clan, and carrying something very important to their quest. Deveroe states they did not know what the item was or why it was important, but Raelick did. The dragon ambushed and annihilated them all, save Deveroe. He does not know if he was kept alive intentionally or by accident, but his deformity was certainly purposeful.

And now he encourages us to proceed to La-Kum-Gee. He cannot keep us safe here, a lesson we are continuously forced to learn. He does not trust She of Nightmares (as if any moral being would), nor does he know the reason why the cult has become so active since we arrived. Arrangements were made with Ballah, who is to accompany us over the Pegasi Bridge and into La-Kum-Gee. Deveroe made it clear Borgack was not to join us. But if nothing else, she knows her own mind. She is now in our party, and Deveroe has chosen to accept that. Ra Quel will accept it as well, eventually.

And finally I must divulge Horros’ secret. I have been avoiding this knowledge, hesitating even now to write it down. But the symbol we continue to encounter, the mark of Veckna, is in fact tattooed on the inside of Horros’ lip. Leading to the assumption that in his previous life he was part of this wretched cult. Pelor save him from his dark past. I will do all in my power through you to do the same.

Trouble At Mill

6th – 8th of Cuth, 561 QC


The mill was burning down around them, but the party (Ra Quel, Horros Moonshadow, Adanna Fionn, and Maya Foxtail) soldiered on. They quickly regained their composure and started to search the premises. They had only a brief window, and the fire was threatening to consume them. Horros and FInwick flew down to the basement to collect whatever books they could, while the rest of the party retreated to the back garden to escape the smoke.

Meanwhile, outside the mill, Grakar Foechuckle was watching over a newly arrived squad of Dottari, who almost immediately began trying to break into the barred oaken doors in the front of the building. It didn’t take them long. When they poured into the burning mill, the battle began again. The squad of “city guards” clearly meant to do harm. The party had to fight them off, while battling the heat and smoke of the fire and trying to collect what clues they could before they were lost forever. They were largely successful, managing to save a large trove of books and papers before escaping across the roof of the mill. However, in the confusion of the struggle, the garuda, Utkroza, managed to escape.

The party retreated to The Pile and spent the next two days recuperating, restocking, and researching. They made a few trades with Warty Vassic, Illi’s Rego Cader contact, and found out a number of interesting facts from their trove of papers. Apparently, something very interesting was going on in Leckumgee, a small village on the wrong side of the border with Radav Oldranon.

Adanna Fionn

Pelor, you must have some greater purpose for me here, as you continue to spare my life. Again I came ever so near to living in your eternal light. Between the evil Naga, its ninja-like protectors, and the devious minions working the mill, Maya, Finnwick, and myself almost perished. And this in spite of our being more prepared than usual, thanks to Horros’ surveillance and my spell preparation efforts. I don’t remember who brought me back to consciousness, but praise Pelor for them. And for Ra Quel for coming in to handle the foes we could not, as usual.

The Dotari city guards rushed into the mill, only moments after we arrived (raising suspicion the Dotari are influenced to say the least by the Cult of Veckna), led by someone we presume was working for She of Nightmares. We believe this because he spoke familiarly to the assassin Horros and Ra Quel nearly destroyed in the attic of the mill, the same assassin from earlier at the Inn. And the assassin, whose name we believe to be “Oot Crosa,” ordered the leader to kill us. We also know that the Naga’s name was likely Sarpede, in that the leader asked Oot Crosa when he entered “what happened to Sarpede.” But notice I use past tense when referring to this unPelorly leader, as we sent him to damnation, along with his gaggle of Dotari.

By Pelor’s guidance Horros, Finnwick, and Greckar (who snuck into the mill hidden among the Dotari with Poppy) surveyed the attic and basement to collect whatever books and valuables they could before the building went up in flames. Now, days after studying these clues while on Deveroe’s Casino ship in The Pile, we have the following leads:

The Naga, Sarpede, was referring to La-Kum-Gee when we overheard her ordering her ninja-protectors to “return there to tell the masters, that the masters will be displeased, but they must know.” La-Kum-Gee is a small village on the wrong side of the border with Radolv Oldrenon, roughly one thousand miles from where we are now. It seems they were searching for Ril Rador’s Magnificent Thought, found it, and sent it to a temple in La-Kum-Gee. They were also looking for the “Unseen Key” and the “Eye of Vekna,” but have been unsuccessful thus far.

Our plan is to ask Deveroe his take on the matter, to see if he can make more of what we found in the silk mill. I don’t know why this makes me apprehensive…

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.


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