Roll for Salsa

Shadows Fall
now we're thinking with portals

The group gets a feel for their new environment: the sheared off slab of Thunderspire floats in a calm dark sea. Both water and air barely move. Grey-pink storm clouds loom in the distance – they seem strangely unnatural. No life besides theirs can be found on the surface of their rocky island.

After a brief exploration, Mialee and Zedra settle on a cavern wherein a temporary base camp is set up. Meanwhile, Kyrrox sets out on Griffy to scout from the air. Even from the maximum altitude Griffy can reach, Kyrrox sees nothing more. Besides the curious pink storm in the distance, there are no other features of land, sea, or air to be observed. She returns and reports.

R4S is all too familiar with being stuck in parallel planes, and the subject of rations became an immediate concern with 4 extra people plus a griffin. They decide to try ringing Herman’s bell; after all, it worked in The Feywild. Sparks and smoke jump from the bell as Mialee rings it. A faint voice is heard from inside the bell, a rattle and jingle of tools, then in a flash of light, Herman appears before them. He is visibly agitated. He hands Kyrrox the gnome’s head mask she commissioned, and gives her a look of disgust.

Mialee asks Herman about food, or food-producing items. He does not have another magic basket, but is willing to sell r4s standard rations at exorbitant markup. Zedra inquires about availability of medicine for the poisoned members of r4s. Kyrrox loudly talks about smashing the bell and trapping Herman there with them, but does not act on it. In the end, R4S buy a week’s worth of medicine for each poisoned member and nothing more. Herman warns them the bell may be permanently broken, and departs.

Loki feels particularly unneeded, and takes a spoonful of threep oil. He sets out on an “exploratory journey” around the perimeter of the island with reluctant Patyen in papoose. Kyrrox, armed with longbow and arrows, heads out atop Griffy to see if she can catch any fish. She expertly skewers two large fish on one arrow and brings them back to camp. Mialee tends to the weak Hidden Hand members. Zedra is able to discern that the pink clouds are magic-based, but cannot tell their source. The group decides to rest for the night and start fresh in the morning.

During the night, Loki experiences a powerful vision: I seemed to be back in the Prime, floating high above Thunderspire as it used to look. I saw the Portal Cube fly out of the cave from where I threw it and watched as it emitted a disc of blue-violet light, bisecting the mountain. The top section then sank into the base and disappeared. Suzette stood nearby, where we’d left her, in shock. She began to speak frantically in Common, not gibberish, as another figure approached from behind. It was Marcus. She asked why he did it, and he seemed distant, strange somehow. As they argued, Mialee approached. She, too, looked… off. As I watched, hovering from above, Mialee made eye contact with me. The three decided to go to Fallcrest. A strange black smoke was seeping from Mialee’s bag.

Loki awakens and joins up with the rest of the group. He relays the vision, though amidst the confusion at its implication, they realized the cube is likely in the Shadowfell with them. After some brainstorming, it is decided Zedra and Kyrrox would fly out on Griffy to try locating the cube in the sea. After four hours of searching, they do locate the cube and bring it back to camp. Zedra gets a good sense of the device after a few minutes of “wizarding” it. The good news is that with some tinkering, Zed thinks he can reconfigure the cube to work across other planes. The bad news: it has exhausted whatever power source it had, and cannot be recharged in the Shadowfell.

The priority of getting out of the Shadowfell persists. Since there doesn’t seem to be anything useful about the slab of Thunderspire they arrived on, the start would be getting off this rock. The only point of interest in any direction is the storm. In order to transport ten people the distance required, Zedra casts an Arcane Gate on the rock wall of their cavern. Kyrrox and Zedra then fly on Griffy a half day, and still see no land. They do spot a ship of some kind. A raft is fashioned out of Kyrrox’s hide armor, resized for a giant and lain in the water. Zedra casts the other Arcane Gate on it. He passes through and sits by the “home” gate in concentration to keep both open across such distance. Loki sticks his head through and looks around like a periscope as Griffy, swimming, pulls the “portal raft” towards the ship. Loki sounds the Summoning Horn and Kyrrox joins him in the gate to send up a signal arrow with a sunrod attached.

Soon a dark flying shape, resembling a huge insect, leaves the ship and heads to the portal raft. Loki waves a sunrod to attract it. Within minutes it reaches Loki sticking out of the portal. A man on a small gyrocopter hovers over Loki in the portal and introduces himself as Georges Manbridge. Georges is familiar with r4s’ plight, having been stuck in the Shaowfell himself for 17 years. Mialee pops her head through the portal as Georges tells them he and his ship are from a town called Gloomwrought. After some chatting, Georges pulls down a funnel on a tube and speaks into it, addressing “the captain.” Georges relays that a group of 10, plus a griffin, are looking for passage to the mainland. As the ship moves towards the portal raft, Georges fills the time by telling them about the pink storm. It is a magic prison, of sorts, housing Orcus’ soul. The Demon Prince was pieced out and separated after The War of the Shadowplague, and his soul is kept here in the Shadowfell. His body lies in the Prime, and his mind – in the Feywild.

The ship is brought about, and some negotiations are made. The Captain agrees to transport R4S/HH to Gloomwrought for 100 gold pieces each. Some of the ship’s crew pull the raft aboard and proceed to stand around in confused awe as the members of R4S and HH step through. Loki recedes into the portal and reappears carrying Zedra. As soon as everyone has come through along with their supplies, Zedra is told he can release the portal. As soon as he does, he collapses to the deck in exhaustion.

The crew consists of 25 men – mostly human with a few elves, dwarves, and Shadar-kai among the ranks. The 4 day journey to Gloomwrought is uneventful. With a magnificent display of self-restraint, Kyrrox does not make a move on any of the crew, nor any member of the Hidden Hand.

The night before arriving to port, Kyrrox has a vision, a continuation of Loki’s: I saw Suzette, Marcus, and Mialee enter Fallcrest, the two Hidden Hand members headed in one direction and Mialee ducked down a deserted alley. After a few turns, she looked around to make sure she was not followed, then morphed into Dwarfie. The pack oozing black smoke was still present. “Dwarfie” then headed over to meet with Selos, who was very unhappy about the recent turn of events. He expressed his anger and frustration that “those Salsa people”, and by extension the mind prism, ended up in the Shadowfell. Doppelganger-Dwarfie looked back at me, like he knew I was hovering above watching. He made eye contact, so I waved. He did not wave back.

The morning heralded their arrival to Gloomwrought: a dark and dreary town, with steep-roofed grey buildings looming over narrow winding streets. A high wall surrounds the city limits completely, extending into the sea several hundred feet. A government official meets the ship at port and asks who might be staying in the city and where they are from. R4S, being new visitors, are required to sigh duty visas to gain entry to Gloomwrought. The “Duty” part of the visa enrolls them into a city-wide lottery (drawn every three days) to help power a massive electrical fence along the city wall. The fence and wall are all that stand between Gloomwrought and a near-constant siege of ravenous undead.

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Thunderspire - Ho!
Griffy has joined your party

After the feast is done, Lord Alefist presents the heros of Hammerfast with 100 Platinum pieces and heartily thanks them again. r4s return to Dr. Wellbrew’s inn for one last night’s rest before exiting the city.

In the morning, the group packs their bags and stops downstairs to bid farewell to the Doc. He hands over two messages waiting for them. One contains [insert threatening text here] and is unsigned. The other reads as complete nonsense. Patyen is able to decode – Suzette asks that they meet her at Fiveleague House right away. With a fond wave, r4s part ways with Dr. Wellbrew and head out of Hammerfast. Loki decides to drop the still tied up succubus off the bridge as they cross. Hopefully she will not cause them any more trouble.

After a short and uneventful journey, r4s are greeted just outside Fiveleague by Huge and an alert and healthy Griffy. Kyrrox runs to the companion she’s missed so much, while Mialee makes flirty small talk with Huge and helps him with his work. The party blows through their credit with Mad Hamish, as well as a bit of their platinum, buying new gear and supplies. Kyrrox asks Hamish if there is something that can be done with the gnome head she still has tied to her belt. He asserts he “has a guy” and Kyrrox commissions a mask made from the head.

Inside, a quick “Hello” to Barton, then the group pays a visit to Suzette in her room. With Patyen translating her gibbering, she confides that Marcus and the rest of The Hidden Hand members went to Thunderspire Mountain on the trail of the Vecna Cultists. The Cult has the obsidian crown of Ro’Thax and are attempting to re-awaken the dracolich. The problem, she continues, is that the Hidden Hand left over a week ago, and she fears something has gone terribly wrong. r4s agree to investigate. Suzette accompanies them.

Though the road to Thunderspire is not long, haste is desired. Kyrrox, with her new warlord training summons another horse in addition to their magic-bridled mount while she herself proudly rides atop her dear Griffin. Mialee and Zedra ride one horse, Gord takes the other. Loki and the two halflings share Marcus’ horse. The journey is quick and soon they behold the jagged, towering shard of black stone piercing the clouds rolling in above their heads. Kyrrox takes Griffy up to scout the mountain’s foreboding surface for any signs of life. Some ogres inhabit the caves above the cloud line, but she sees no hints of the Hidden Hand, or the Cult.

Kyrrox lands with Griffy and reports to the group. Mialee’s keen eyes spot two sets of human-sized footprints nearby: one set leading up the mountain pass, and the other heading around the mountain and into the brush. Cautiously, the party decides to follow the second set of tracks, not one among them eager to ascend the steep black peak. Mialee points out that the brush looks as though it was purposefully planted, not naturally growing. Futher investigation yields a tunnel entrance obscured by the vegetation. Suzette stays outside with the horses while r4s enter the darkness. After the mines of Hammerfast, dark caves are not quite as daunting as they once were. Kyrrox tucks Riza into the hawkpocket on Griffy’s saddle before leading her pets into the cave.

After a few meters the sun can no longer penetrate the inky dark, and Zedra casts light. Mialee silently ventures ahead. The cave opens into a larger cavern to her right, and the narrow tunnel continues past. Around a rocky outcropping, she can make out the forms of several robe-clad figures chanting by a single torch’s flicker. She moves like a shadow across the gap and continues down the tunnel. Snoring alerts her sharp senses and she deftly kills a cultist sleeping on the floor. She dons his robes and steps gently past. Mialee soon feels the walls open up into a room and pauses. It is black as pitch, but she can hear faint moans and the clinking of metal on metal. With a deep breath, as if to fill her resolve, she cracks a sunrod.

The light blinds her for a terrifying moment, but as her violet eyes adjust, she focuses on the inhabitants of the room. Three dark-haired men and a bald dwarf woman hang chained by their ankles along the far wall. They plead weakly to be let go, disoriented from the sudden brightness. Mialee steps forward and pushes back the hood of the robe. She speaks in a low but reassuring voice, identifying herself to Dakyr, Rhyder, Barry, and Krystryd. The four have been stripped of their armor and weapons, they look half starved. Dak hangs closest to Mialee and she works to free his bonds while explaining that she has come with the rest r4s and the cult will be stopped. Once Dakyr is unchained and stretches his sore limbs, he helps Mialee pick the other locks. The Hidden Hand members inquire if Mialee has seen any sign of Marcus. She is sorry to say she hasn’t. Chants echo louder from the tunnel, and thunder rumbles angrily. Mialee instructs the newly freed prisoners to wait in the room and rest, r4s will deal with the cultists.

Quiet as the darkness itself, Mialee rejoins the rest of her party. She relays who she found, and what awaits them in the cavern. Loki wastes no time and sprints into the middle of the cultists, taking them by surprise and several fall under his sword. Kyrrox, too, charges into the fray and mows down all unlucky enough to meet her arrows. The cult leader standing at an altar along the far side of the cavern screams in rage. Gord, Mialee, and Zedra move up into striking distance and each attack the dark priest. He takes a step towards the intruders and raises five of his minions to attack r4s once again. The obsidian crown of Ro’Thax can be seen, shimmering upon the altar. More thunder echos deafeningly all around them.

The reanimated cultists are re-killed easily enough, but the priest proves more difficult. He casts a hex on r4s, but eladrin are more resistant to such things – Zedra is unaffected and takes the opportunity to hit the priest with an acid arrow. The cult leader hits Loki with his staff and transforms him into a squirrel. Kyrrox knocks the crown off the altar. Its emissive glow fades as it no longer rests in the shaft of light streaming in from an opening leading outside. Kyrrox grabs the cult leader, tackling him to the ground. While the rest of the group continues to battle with the priest, Squirreloki sees a strange faint glow and scampers off to investigate. He rustles around in a pile of sackcloth in the corner of the cavern and uncovers a strange glowing cube with rotating faces. The growing thunder seems to be emanating from the curious device.

Kyrrox finally just intimidates the priest into surrender and puts the crown on like a tiara. With a flurry of squirrely chatter, Loki chews on the cube but learns nothing. His activity catches Zedra’s eye and the wizard hurries over to check out the object. He discerns the cube is ticking away some sort of count down. Loki’s temporary squirrel-state dissipates and he suddenly finds himself standing completely naked gnawing on the cube. He rushes to the small opening in the cave wall near the altar and hurls the cube outside.

Within seconds, a boom of thunder rattles the very mountain and everything goes black. The floor seems to turn and the cave’s occupants tumble blindly amidst the rocks.

Kyrrox wakes first, after an indeterminate amount of time. She shakes off disorientation and sees what was once the floor of the cavern is now the wall, as if the mountain were tipped on its side somehow. Ignited oil from the torch floats on the surface of a pool of water nearby. The altar has crashed into rubble. She locates the Summoning Horn Mialee purchased from Hamish and sounds it. The rest of r4s awaken. The cult leader lay dead.

Water rushes in through the tunnel from which r4s entered, now at the ceiling. The Hidden Hand members cling to the rocks protruding from the deluge. The oil fire stands in the way of the Hidden Hand reaching r4s. Zedra stands and casts a Mass Resistance spell, granting everyone safety from the flames. The Hidden Hand wade through the burning pool unscathed to join r4s. The only exit now seems to be the shallow tunnel once illuminating the altar, above them.

Humanoids will find no difficulty climbing up though the 15 feet of tunnel, but Griffy’s size and weight make him a logistical problem. Zedra moves directly under the opening while Griffy flies up close to the exit. With a crack of his knuckles, Zed casts Twist of Space and teleports the griffin outside the wall. Kyrrox fastens rope to an arrow and shoots it up and out of the cavern, instructing Griffy to “catch”. The party members each climb up and out into the night. A night full of unfamiliar stars. The section of mountain itself seems to have been sliced from the earth and toppled into a dark calm sea. Zedra immediately recognizes what the others come to comprehend after a second or two: The Shadowfell.

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Calastryx Cometh
and so does Tatiana

Zedra is roused from meditation by gentle knocking on the door, which he answers to find Dr. Wellbrew. The doc says the town is out for their blood – blame has been placed on r4s for the murder of Peacebringer and it is believed they are in league with this Selos person named on the note. (According to rumor, Selos is at the city entrance on the other side of the bridges.) After some confused discussion and preparation, the group decides to discreetly head out towards the underground temple of Calastryx mentioned in the letter they’d uncovered at Thark’s office. A tremor rattles the city, filling r4s with unease at the task ahead.

With easy strides, Loki jumps rooftops with Patyen in papoose while Mialee uses her light-footed and catlike grace to navigate the alleys and exploit the architecture to her needs. Kyrrox equally utilizes her strength and agility, parkour-style. Gord is unimpressed with these shows of athleticism and turns himself into mercury, flowing with the water runoff undetected. The least physically-adept of the group, Zedra casts prestidigitation to disguise himself as a human and walks down the street to their destination. Along the way r4s notices a complete lack of orcs on the streets.

Once safely in the cave system, Zedra releases his illusory disguise, pleased to be able to look himself again. Gord solidifies back into a tiefling. Mialee silently scouts ahead and hears some low noises, but the language is unfamiliar. She takes a peek and spies two orcs close by. A few others are ahead down the tunnel, arranging what appear to be relics of the orc god of chaos, Grumsh. She ducks back to rejoin the party and the group decides to talk to the orcs. The others they’d spoken with at the temple of Grumsh were pleasant and courteous, no reason to believe these two will be different.

The orcs, Toby and Jerry, are indeed polite fellows. They inform r4s that Mr. Thark is creating a new temple of Grumsh here in the cavern, and the ceremony will begin shortly. Zedra voices his concern, citing the ancient pact of the gods Grumsh and Moradin that a temple to each must always be present in the city of Hammerfast. Toby and Jerry shrug and insist that Thark has taken care of everything, and there is nothing to worry about. After brief attempts at convincing Toby and Jerry that Thark has ulterior motives, and getting nowhere, r4s asks if they might attend the ceremony and observe. Toby agrees and leads the group further into the cave. They hear the echos of rousing speech, and cheers erupt from a crowd of orcs.

The rough-hewn tunnel opens into a tri-level observation area, with a huge statue of a dragon in the center. Thark, dressed in layers of ceremonial robes, stands at the feet of the dragon, giving a spirited welcome to the orcs in attendance. More quakes rumble through the halls, but no one seems to show concern. Patyen jabbers frantically about celery and other such nonsense, gesturing at the statue of the dragon, and at Thark.

Loki stays on the top level while Mialee, Kyrrox, and Gord descend the first set of stairs. They are now almost directly above Thark. More earthquakes. Zedra fey steps through the floor to stand on the second level between Mialee and Kyrrox. He and Kyrrox scheme to drip threep oil onto Thark, hoping to disrupt whatever foul ritual he is preparing, and to cause him to lose credibility with the orcs. Loki causes a diversion by falling down the uppermost set of stairs and laying on his back screaming.

Holding a cup of the oil in a mage hand, Zedra extends it over Thark. The first attempt only hits Thark’s robes, but the second attempt lands some of the hallucinogen onto Thark’s head. He begins speaking incoherently. As if his gibberish was a plea to the earth, a series of quakes shudder through the cavern and threaten to topple the very mountain. The dragon statue begins to creak, and its limbs shift slightly with a gritty rumble. Despite the threep oil, Thark has begun calling forth the dragon Calastryx.

r4s take this as their cue and begin to attack Thark. The nearby orcs do not take kindly to this and began moving in to stop r4s. The only female orc present makes some brazen attacks on r4s. Loki, since getting up and assuring all around him that he is fine after his fall down the stairs, realizes this female orc is the Succubus. She uses her demonic feminine wiles on him and he accepts her advances by grabbing her and using her as a shield against attacking orcs.

The dragon’s movement increases, and Kyrrox takes a daring jump over to it, but misses her landing and falls to the ground floor. She recovers and climbs onto the back of the dragon, and slings a rope around its neck to steady herself. Loki, meanwhile, has taken to explicit making out with the Succubus while fighting orcs. Zedra decides to use the Mind Prism on the dragon, while it is still mostly immobile. After some more fighting, Thark is killed, and the succubus is incapacitated by post-coital bliss. The earthquakes worsen and the dragon itself tires of dealing with r4s, sinks back into the rock wall and travels upward within the stone. r4s and the remaining orcs flee the cave amidst falling rock. Loki ties up the succubus and carries her along, for later.

Topside, with an earthquake dragon ripping at the central support column, the entire population is abandoning Hammerfast and crowding at the bridges. r4s, as Hammerfast’s only hope, grudgingly move towards the dragon. Kyrrox takes a potion of levitation while the rest of the party tries to draw the dragon’s aggression, hoping to get the beast to come down from the support column. Calastryx finally does become annoyed with Roll for Salsa’s distractions and crashes down upon a nearby building to deal with them.

R4s proceed to valiantly wail on the dragon with everything they’ve got. Mialee suggests Zedra try to convince the dwarven ghosts to assist them in subduing Calastryx, and he succeeds in doing so. With the ghosts doing their best in restraining the dragon, r4s manages to kill it and save Hammerfast from destruction. The natives of the city return, hesitantly at first.

With all his opponents dead, Lord Alefist is reinstated as President. He thanks r4s profusely, promising that Hammerfast will always welcome them as heroes. Alefist throws a banquet in their honor. Roll for Salsa attend, though they are less than impressed with Hammerfast; No member of r4s hails from the city, or is even a dwarf, yet they were basically forced to solve the city’s political and administrative woes, and stop a dragon from destroying the entire mountain, before they could leave. Their trials were not entirely for naught, however. Pale Iron was acquired, they did manage to fend off dying-by-poison thanks to Doc Wellbrew, and the Mind Prism is in their possession.

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Dwarven Politics
martial law strands R4S

The next morning, R4s awakens to shouts and commotion both outside the inn and in its lower level. The group convenes down in the tavern with Dr. Wellbrew, who fills them in: Hammerfast has erupted into general chaos after the temple of Moradin falls. A woman hastily tries to leave the inn, Mialee grabs her. Zedra recognizes his “barslut.” Alefist identifies her as “the one who took it all.” With no real reason to detain her, Mialee releases the woman and she disappears into the bustling crowd outside. The city has resorted to martial law, and the bridges leading out of the city are closed.

Unsettled by the woman and how insistent she was to leave the shelter of the inn, r4s and Wellbrew go up to inspect her room. They find a dwarf gentleman laying barely clothed on the bed. As the group draws near, they see it is Grand Peacebringer and his throat has been slit, he is dead. Panic sets in at being blamed for the murder of such a well-liked and high-profile figure. A murder note is forged with Mialee’s thievery skill and Zedra’s ability to translate into dwarven. They name Selos and make it appear he wanted to make an example of Peacebringer. Zedra fey steps with the body into an empty alley behind the inn, leaving it slumped against the wall. he quickly meets the rest of r4s in front of the inn and together they bring the body to the attention of a guard.

r4s puts some distance between themselves and the murder, and decide to inspect the newly ruined temple of Moradin. Curiously, it was destroyed in a very similar manner to the blast points that toppled the temple of Grumsh. Now on a quest of information-gathering, the group pays a visit to Delvehart Mining to speak with Thark, but find he is away. After some snooping in his office, a note is found, along with a map. There is mention of a temple to Calastryx, and summoning a beast. it is clear Thark is up to no good.

The party takes the map to Stonebender, hoping to gain some knowledge as to where it might be illustrating. Miri, secretary turned operation’s manager, says she will cross reference it to the maps they have, but it will take some time, and she cannot guarantee anything. r4s thank her for any information she might be able to find, and say they will return in a few hours.

As the chaos rages on in the streets, r4s notice the palace is becoming a popular place for angry mobs to congregate, and go check it out for themselves. The main gates are locked and chained against the throngs of desperate outraged citizens. In the distance near the palace, the group can see Peacebringer’s trusted next-in-command, sister Hornthrowner frantically giving orders to some guards. r4s moves around the perimeter until they are out of sight, and climb the wall. quickly and quietly, they make their way to the palace and are able to gain entrance to an empty second floor room. Guards patrol the building, and Hornthrower enters to direct operations. r4s decides against engaging any of them and make their way back out of the building. they travel along the wall to the gate and Mialee picks the lock, letting the mob pour into the palace grounds. r4s leave the area amidst the hysteria.

A robed female dwarf is noticed also fleeing the palace grounds. Kyrrox summons the magic bridled horse and easily catches the woman. the rest of r4s join, and they take the woman into an empty store. The captive is tied up, she does not give any useful information, claims to be a mercenary. A note is found on her, outing her as a succubus and tying her to Peacebringer’s murder. Kyrrox slits her throat.

r4s returns to the inn, and they along with Wellbrew are able to convince Alefist to sober up enough to get himself tidied and return to the palace. Loki and Patyen stay to assist Wellbrew in readying Alefist, while the rest of r4s head back to Stonebender Mining.

Miri was able to locate the specific location of Thark’s map on a larger cave system survey map. she gives the directions and location to r4s.

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Pale Iron, Dark Elf
Gord gets an entourage

After r4s swims thru the underwater tunnel and emerges on the other side, Mialee stealthily makes her way down the tunnel a bit to scout things out. there are a few creatures making low noises she cannot understand. a dam with a slow trickle is built into the wall nearby. She sneaks up further, and Zedra quietly makes his way up to the spot Mialee previously stood. He hears the talking, but it is nothing he understands, including dwarven. As the rest of the party not-so-quietly joins Zed, Gord reveals that he can understand the speech – 4 “sugar” dwarves speaking Infernal?! Apparently they all work for a “High One” who has several pets, of which they seem fearful.

Mialee sneak attacks the closest dwarf. Two others are working some kind of mechanism and the dam seems to give a little. Kyrrox and Loki move up into fightin’ range. Kyrrox summons the magic-bridled horse, but it does not trample any dwarves, it just looks confused. Zedra expeditiously slips past everyone to the opposite side of the small alcove. He uses Twist of Space to teleport one of the dwarves working the dam release, as well as the horse, to the other side of the room. Loki gets into the thick of it while Mialee and Gord make ranged attacks. When the fight begins to turn bad for the dwarves, one makes a break for the door and opens himself to 3 opportunity attacks. As the dwarf passes, Zed makes his first successful melee opportunity attack, but is wholly unaccustomed to actually hitting anyone with his blade. Kyrrox experiences horrible pain in her gut, and is now sure they have been poisoned by Selos. (She will be henceforth taking the antidote Dr. Wellbrew concocted.)

Gord bluffs the last remaining dwarf into believing he is the real “high one”. Zed disguises Mialee, Kyrrox, and Loki to match his own clothing, giving the illusion of uniforms. All act as entourage to Gord. The group rests up a bit before they enter next room.

Gord convinces the cavern full of dwarves that he is the real “high one” and the imposter must be killed, while Zed works on summoning his Leomund’s chest. Gord asks for 20 lbs of pale iron be brought to him, for his “approval of its quality.” This is stashed in the chest and Zed sends it back.

The one commanding the dwarves makes himself known – a Drow warlock. He starts to turn the loyalty of the dwarves back to him. There is talk among r4s about hightailing it out of the mine now that they’ve secured the pale iron they needed. Mialee and Zedra share a brief but powerful glance, both finding solidarity in the other’s hate for drow. Zedra attacks with taunting phantoms, causing nearby dwarves to melee the warlock, and him to hit himself. (onlooking dwarves become more confused as to who is the real ‘high one’.) Mialee flings her magic dagger at the drow and bloodies him. The warlock unleashes some of his ‘pet’ brain huggers. Most of the dwarves run away or just watch in fear, but do not help either side.

The drow blinks out of existence and reappears on a nearby pile of pale iron. He manages to dominate Kyrrox and Loki. Mialee and Zedra each hit him again, but when he should have died, the pale iron he still sat atop seemed to keep him in some kind of stasis.

Zedra notices the mind prism glows and pulses with heat and light unlike he has ever seen from it. He holds it away from himself with a mage hand. Loki vaults down into the excavated area and leaps to grab the drow. He and Zedra strip the warlock for anything of use or value. Zedra cuts off the drow’s left ear and affixes it to the chain around his neck with a sneer. (Loki may or may not hate-fuck the drow at this point.) Mialee approaches and slits the drow’s throat, centuries of cumulative elven anger in her eyes.

Just then, as ominous skittering can be heard from deep in the mine, the mind prism does some psychic damage to Loki and Zedra. Then a radiant white-hot beam of energy erupts forth, incinerating whatever was coming up from the depths. Afterwards, it appears to have exhausted most of its power. r4s leave the mine.

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Taking what's Mine
Dwarfie's had better days...

The next morning, r4s is greeted by Wellbrew, who now believes he’s identified the poison. He warns that it could manifest ill effects of random types soon, it is impossible to predict as r4s is such a diverse group of races and sizes. The Doc has concocted a potion to combat the symptoms, and instructs that it must be taken once per day at the cost of 2 healing surges per day. Mialee, Gord, Patyen, and Loki take the medicine, Kyrrox refuses until she sees proof that they’ve actually been poisoned.

Back at the inn, R4S decide to check in with Dwarfie, to see if he knows anything about pale iron. As they approach his room, they hear screams and thrashing, breaking furniture and clanging of metal on metal. After a few unanswered calls offering aid, Loki and the rest of the group bust in to Dwarfie’s room. They interrupt him and a lady dwarf, who runs out of the room at the sudden intrusion. Zedra, seeing an opportunity for another data point, “seduces” Dwarfie using diplomacy. Even after Dwarfie’s big talk about how dwarven sex is a competition, Zedra “wins.” The rest of r4s go to see how Hamish’s permits are coming along… They find out a permit is even needed for bribes, and its a long one.

After Zedra rejoins the rest of the group, he calls the Leomund’s Chest to find the lock broken and most of the contents gone – including the mind prism and their gold. They send Patyen back with the chest, telling him to investigate, and to be back in 6 hours so they can recall him. After the 6 hours, the chest is called back with Patyen, who recounts his observations: Huge had the prism, saying some blond human man tried to sell it to the shop. The room back at Fiveleague House looks ransacked, Barton neither saw nor heard anything suspicious. Huge included a tankard that made the prism glow when placed next to it. Neither he nor the group can discern anything unique about the tankard, other than it seems to be made of a strange metal. Ale is poured in and Kyrrox drinks, with no effect. Dwarfie is asked to take a drink from it, and he instantly turns raving mad and coughs up a large crystal spike of sugar. After seeing this, Wellbrew believes the tankard is made of pale iron. He is able to alleviate Dwarfie’s illness from it. r4s gives it to Huge, but he tells them it is not nearly enough pale iron for Griffy’s ritual. Zedra and Huge fashion a strong magic lock for the chest.

(Later, r4s manages to trick Alefist into coming to “Kyrrox’s house” for treasure and booze. They take him to the palace, but he’s not too happy about it.)

With fresh enthusiasm, R4S goes in search of pale iron. A closed mineshaft seen on Stonebender maps seems as good a place as any to continue the search. They head in with no guide. Rust monsters are an unwelcome foe for most of the party, Zedra and Gord shrug them off. Through the narrow twisting tunnels, the group fights some dwarves hideously maddened and twisted by the presence of pale iron. Loki finds a huge pile of poo with a few gold pieces in it. Gord turns to mercury and seeps through tiny cracks in the stone. After defeating some particularly feisty “sugar” dwarves, r4s locates an underwater passage leading deeper into the mine.

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Elements and Gods
Ancient answers and current quandaries

R4S enter a large chamber after descending the stone stairs. A towering statue looms in the center, Mialee determines it has some kind of mechanical workings. 4 key holes with 4 corresponding element markings are present on the base of the statue. hallways lead out from the central room, and r4s find each a themed puzzle.

the first room the group enters is Air: 4 levers actuate to open a section of wall with narrow stairs leading up. “4 up or 4 down” is the clue the group finds. Mialee reaches in two of four openings in the newly revealed surface, and feels 2 switches, both “up”. fearing for her limbs, she ends up having kyrrox stand behind her, and reach the two higher openings. kyrrox feels one switch up and one down, she flips the down to up, and a small key falls directly in front of her.

the next room is “Water”. several boards lean along a far wall, a large and deep pool occupies the majority of the space, bordering the walls of the far corner. Kyrrox ties a string to her statue of Bahamut and lowers it into the water, only to discover the liquid is actually acid. so much for Zedra’s water walking spell… a small round and smooth platform protrudes from the pool, just out of reach of one board’s length. r4s uses a few boards to create a cross-corner support, and another as counterbalance with Loki/Patyen, Gord, Zed, and Kyrrox standing on its end while Mialee walks, nay prances, across another board lain across to the platform. a tiny hole in the ceiling is her only clue, and she manages to shoot a crossbow bolt straight into it, triggering the release of their second key. Mialee easily walks back across the boards, and Kyrrox kicks them into the acid.

Feeling quite haughty, the entire group enters the third room, Earth, without so much as a look around. The door thunders closed behind them, and the floor tips their direction sending a huge ball of rock speeding towards the party. Kyrrox spearheads the strategic path to bring the boulder to its resting place. After some carefully coordinated group movement to tip the floor and roll the boulder into walls and pillars, the huge ball rolls into the divot in the floor and the Earth key drops. R4S begins to notice the keys’ teeth line up in a curious design: letterforms…

The final room, Fire. a large grid floor lays before the group. clues suggest they must trigger a specific number of the tiles aflame. pressure seems to activate them, and a second press ignites. Zedra uses his fire shield to resist the damage. Loki uses his bracers after taking initial fire damage. Gord, being an tiefling, doesn’t mind the heat one bit. Some fiddling, a mage hand, and light footed help from Kyrrox/Patyen/Mialee, ignites the required number of tiles and the final key is released. All 4 keys laid together form the word “Surprise.”

r4s returns to the main room and uses each key to unlock each section of the statue base. New magical items and money are gladly received. The apparently inert Mind Prism is among their loot, much to everyone’s delight. One trial remains: the statue itself activates and defends its sanctum. Some light fighting and frantic shouting, Zedra figures out the puzzle and yells “surprise” in Dwarven. The statue ceases movement and the exit opens to them. Zedra calls forth his Leomund’s Chest and they stash most of their gold, the mind prism, and the newly acquired Orb of Truth inside and send it back.

r4s notice unrest among the spirits and as they emerge topside, see riots among the local orcs and dwarves. Meanwhile, in Hammerfast proper: The temple of Grumsh has been destroyed, causing the upheaval between the two races of Hammerfast. Dwarven cleric of Moradin and leader of the new super-church in Hammerfast, Grand Peacebringer, speaks out in the street against the orcs. The riots mean martial law has been enacted, and the bridges out of the city are closed.

r4s takes care of business: returning the borrowed journal to the abandoned temple of Moradin, and paying a visit to the permit office in hopes of getting a merchant license for Hamish. (turns out, the permit office is hopelessly bogged down in a bureaucratic mire of paperwork and lack thereof. r4s threatens and distracts the few employees to get information, and “borrows” a completed merchant application. No one can apply for permits because the office is out the necessary forms, including requisition forms for printing more forms.

Back at Dr. Wellbrew’s, r4s attempts to talk to the strange always-present drunkard the Doc refers to as “milord.” Milord may very well be a political figure swindled out of his home and fortune by a hooker.

r4s decides to do some information digging, and heads down to the palace-turned-superchurch for Peacebringer’s tent revival. The service itself yields little useful information. The group heads into the palace and find a store room with a portrait of “milord” – former president Alefist. Not wanting to arouse suspicion, r4s departs.

They check out the ruined temple of Grumsh. closer inspection reveals it had been destroyed by precise blast points (too accurate for Sandpeople) while empty.

[*A Brief History of Orcs in Hammerfast: About 300 years ago, Orcs tried to take Hammerfast from Dwarf control and lost miserably. the Gods involve themselves and a compact is established guaranteeing both presences. Orcs only recently gained equality in the vote, and as yet do not have it in wages.]

r4s swings by the local print shop to inquire about permit office contract work. they present a blank merchant application form to the shop and ask for 100 copies. (Zedra’s prestidigitation temporarily cleaned the ink from the completed form) Once done, the group asked the printer to fill out an application for himself to be delivered to the permit office. Once forms were available, the permit office was glad to be back in business and have a printer to work with. r4s passes along an application to Hamish.

Back to the business of finding pale iron, r4s decides to head into one of the primary mines. The dwarves are not at all interested in even uttering the words “pale iron” and become hostile until r4s wins back their favor with beer and funyuns. (Just plain yellow onions, but the miners love them for snacks.) A crazed looking old dwarf seems to know something, but between his ramblings and the threats from the other miners, r4s back off. Zedra refuses to sleep in the mine, so the group heads back for the night.

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Hammerfast, at Long Last
Rockslide season has passed.

After R4S is released from prison, they rejoin Zedra in the Harken forest and all head back to Fiveleague House. The group checks in with Hamish to buy some supplies, and see what information he might have regarding the poison, and the mind prism. Hamish directs them to Hammerfast, since it is home to the alchemist from whom he buys potions. Hammerfast would also be a good place to investigate the prism, since ore and minerals are a specialty there.

Almost immediately after entering Fiveleague House proper, Patyen is told Suzette wants to see him in her room. He goes and Loki follows, like a creeper. Mialee stays downstairs and enjoys a drink. Gord, Kyrrox, and Zedra chat with Barton for a few moments before heading up to bed for the night. Just as Patyen and Loki enter Suzette’s room, they are forcefully grabbed – their heads covered with sacks, their wrists bound. Barry, also present in Suzette’s room, calls for Kyrrox, who immediately comes up to the room and is grabbed.

Gord and Zedra are grabbed on their way to their room to turn in for the night. Zed promptly feysteps out of the grab and appears back downstairs at the bar next to Mialee. Marcus interrogates his captives in his usual “caustic” demeanor. Meanwhile, Dakyr shows up at the bar, puts an arm around Mialee and Zed, asking them to come up to Marcus’ room. When all are present, Krystryd and Valthrun enter from the room across the hall, bearing gruesome injuries only beginning to heal.

Marcus accuses r4s of being directly responsible for their injury and the deaths of many monks at Gardmore Abbey. r4s explain they had no knowledge of the attack on Gardmore until much later, and that they’d left to find out who wanted the crown in the first place. Marcus is still angry, but other attending members of The Hidden Hand start to agree with r4s: that they did not “set up” Krysrtyd and Valthrun. Marcus eases up a bit. Valthrun imparts some useful information to r4s about the mind prism, and that more info might be available in Hammerfast, at an ancient underground temple. With renewed fervor, r4s heads to Hammerfast.

After their uneventful travel, r4s realize they must get across the chasm that separates the entrance district from the actual city. Passes are the only way visitors can enter Hammerfast, but are extremely difficult to get. Loki learns from 2 whores that the guards along the bridges can be bribed. Meanwhile, Mialee makes a hat decorated with horse hair and uses the bell to summon Herman, asking him to give the hat to Huge “from a secret admirer”. The group runs into the real, corporeal Dwarfie at a bar, amazingly drunk. They take him back to an inn, and hope to be able to get his help in crossing to Hammerfast.

Patyen, Zedra, and Mialee manage to convince a local mining company representative that they are businesspeople interested in a contract with the operation, and successfully talk the rep into taking the three of them, plus their “bodyguards” across to the city on the supply train. They claim they represent a business venture interested in pale iron. Once in Hammerfast, they must wait out the night and meet with the head of Delvehart Mining company in the morning. R4S make their way to an inn and meet innkeeper/bartender Dr. Wellbrew, who also happens to be the alchemist with business ties to Mad Hamish. The group asks the Doc about their poison situation, and he collects various bodily fluids from all affected.

Following a pep-talk from Loki, Zedra manages to take a dwarven “barslut” to bed with him (employing a rather witty pun involving big dick-tionaries). First data point acquired. Meanwhile, Patyen and Loki go investigate the now abandoned temple of Moradin, and find a journal there. They borrow it in order to have Zedra translate.

Later, Patyen, Zedra, and Mialee meet with the head of Delvehart Mining, a well-dressed gentleman of a dragonborn named Thark. He is not opposed to their retrieving of pale iron, but is not willing to allot any manpower from his exploratory teams. Kyrrox tries to use a “love potion” on Thark, and fails – she’d been duped by an unscrupulous lovemonger. Patyen seems to have a hard time properly pronouncing Thark’s name.

Later, The group heads down to the underground crypt of Sir Godsblade (as mentioned in the translated journal.) Godsblade, as it turns out, looks just like Dwarfie and it is assumed the ‘ghost’ of Dwarfie Patyen has been seeing is actually a manifestation of Sir Godsblade. The group enters and is presented with a riddle, which after some amount of fiddling, they finally solve. a door opens, revealing a stairwell leading further down into the cavern.

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the Drug Lord and the Doppelganger
Will the real Zedra please stand up?

After allowing the fires to adequately burn the threep weed fields, r4s return to the Turnblatt farmhouse. Archers make themselves known within the house by hitting Zedra and Patyen with arrows, Loki rushes in and takes a few of them out. The rest don’t last long. Gord finally decides to join everyone else in the farmhouse, after relaxing in the embers of some threep weed for the entire fight so far. The group finds a stove in the corner that looks suspect, and under it find secret door downstairs. Loki leads and gets hit by a fire alchemist. Lots o’ fire rages in the room. Loki takes out a bunch of minions. Zedra grows a pair and deflects another attack from the fire alchemist. The alchemist retreats to another room after r4s kill all his buddies.

Loki shoves the door open to reveal an altar to Vecna, the drug processing area, some priests, and some others. Zed enters the room and gets teleported by a priestess. Mialee does some serious damage to the priestess, and Gord kills her. Turnblatt, a priest himself, proves difficult. Zedra busts out of nearby crate of threep leaves, where he’d been teleported, and is rather intoxicated. Patyen sobers him up a bit. Kyrrox topples a statue of vecna, squashing a minion. Zed then teleports Turnblatt into a crate and an archer into the ground outside the basement wall. Turnblatt busts out of the crate, which was full of bacon grease. Kyrrox lights greasy Turnblatt with incendiary arrow. After Turnblatt finally dies, the last remaining enemy is interrogated, doesn’t know anything, and is killed.

Mialee and Gord stuff threep leaves in their pockets for “personal use.” Kyrrox takes a couple gallon jugs of threep oil. The group finds a note on Turnblatt’s body – outing The Children of Selos as part of the Crown of Ro’thax undead raid on Fallcrest, claiming someone was bribed into assisting them, (either a member of r4s or someone r4s trusted at Gardmore Abbey), as well as mentioning future plans to take over the Vale after they drug everyone with the threep contaminated food. The note also mentions an ally in Hammerfast… A further search of the basement area yields a bunch of platinum pieces, some components Zedra can use for rituals, but nothing else of interest. The entire place gets torched as r4s leave for Harken.

Back at Harken, a huge celebratory feast is happening – hosted by Selos. Kyrrox practically bullys Selos into eating an apple she’d heavily dosed with threep oil. He eats some and nothing seems to happen. R4s notice the town elders drinking suspicious wine. Kyrrox and Loki find the wine crates and Loki breaks them all “on accident”. The elders are very upset about this. Zedra takes Loki out of the area claiming he’s drunk and needs rest. Patyen comes with them, in papoose.

Dwarfie (previously serving wine) also starts putting something on the food. Kyrrox asks about it, Dwarfie claims he was told to use this “seasoning” and doesn’t know what the substance is. She takes the vial and chugs it to show him the ill effects. Dwarfie turns on r4s yelling that they’re poisoning the food. Guards find drugs on Kyrrox, Mialee, and Gord. Suddenly a crossbow bolt hits Selos in the shoulder, the source seems to be Zedra, who takes off. The drug-holding members of r4s are arrested. A mob goes out to find Loki, Zed, and Patyen. (They had gone to Bo-peep’s sheep whorehouse.) They tip Bo a platinum piece for “extra discretion” and hide out in one of the rooms with 2 sheep. Hear the mobs looking for them. The three stay the night, work on disguising themselves. Shave Patyen to look like a baby, fashion a fatsuit and beard for Loki, Zed uses prestidigitation to look like a redhead lady. Next day they leave, fairly confident Bo won’t go rat them out. He does tell them the mob burned the temple of Lady Varis to the ground looking for them. They head towards jail, overhear people talk about the “Zedra” crossbow incident.

Rhyder finds Loki, Zedra, and Patyen. He convinces them he has friends around, so they follow him down an alley and up a ladder to a window. Rhyder goes in and Marcus appears, smiles, and cuts the rope so they fall. (Doppelganger’d) Almost instantly, they are blocked in the alley by 6 of Selos’ guards. Loki and Zedra try to fight, but soon see they will fail. Loki and Action-Patyen surrender and are arrested. Zed feysteps into another alley and hurriedly changes his appearance again. He makes his way out of town limits.

Meanwhile, in jail: All personal effects are confiscated, but Mialee is able to sneak her lockpicking tools and the Herman summoning bell into jail. As soon as the coast is clear she summons Herman. He’s not inclined to help them. Loki and Patyen are brought in to jail. Herman hides under Mailee’s bunk as Selos comes in, bandaged from the crossbow attack. Once the guards leave Selos becomes a very different man, threatening them all to tell where Zedra is. He shoots each of them with a crossbow of his own as they refuse to talk. Minimal damage. Everyone plays dumb, no one talks. Selos reveals they’ve all been poisoned, with 14 days to live. He has the antidote. Selos is very angry and sure Zedra has the mind prism from Fastormel. He knows r4s was somehow there because of the huge amount of perfect historical items they’d recently sold. r4s is told they have 2 weeks to give Selos the prism. Selos then exits and tells the town and guards everything was a misunderstanding and r4s is free to go. Herman heard all this, says he’ll look into a cure for the poison, and leaves. r4s exit town.

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Hark! enwold
Famous Dave set up us the cheese

In the morning, r4s prepares to leave Fiveleague House to investigate Harkenwold’s cheese industry, and specifically, Famous Dave’s operation. As a gesture of gratitude for helping subdue the cheese, Barton puts two rooms on permanent reserve for r4s. While the party makes arrangements for transportation, Loki purchases a papoose and carries Patyen around in it. A local stablehand informs the group that Marcus left his wagon and horse, and asks r4s if they will be using it, or paying to keep it at Fiveleague. Barton knows not where Marcus has gone, so r4s take Marcus’ horse and wagon and head out on the path southward towards the cheesemonging lands of Harkenwold.

After the first day of travel, r4s makes camp and Mialee keeps watch while the party sleeps (or in Zedra’s case, meditates.) Her sharp elf rogue ears pick up a faint wail, the sound of someone in pain. She pulls Zedra out of meditation and tells him what she hears, and that she wants to go investigate. He agrees and decides to follow her. They find Loki is awake, and tell him to keep watch while they go down the road to check out strange noises. Mialee with superior stealth moves on ahead, while Zed keeps a fair distance back.

Mialee finds an overturned produce wagon with an injured man inside, wailing and moaning. She approaches, slowly, and the man attempts to attack her. He groans and mutters about staying away from his food as he savagely devours produce. Two other uninjured men were eating some of the food inside the cart and now see Mialee, they too come after her. Zedra hears the barbaric screams and quickens his pace to Mialee’s aid. The three crazed men, wielding clubs, prove too much for Mialee and Zedra to fend off. At about a half mile away, Loki cannot hear their cries for help. Zedra casts Ghost Sound as far towards the camp as he can reach, emulating Barry’s voice yelling for Kyrrox. Sure enough, in short order Kyrrox is riding the magic horse to their location with Loki, Payten, and Gord trailing behind.

With Kyrrox, angered at the lack of Barry, the three men are quickly taken care of. A mysterious bola slung from somewhere in the woods helps in subduing the men. Mialee investigates and returns dragging a young elf male by the ear. Her long lost brother, Rhyder, has been following and observing them on order from Marcus. He is defiant, but eventually confesses that Marcus does not trust them, and wants to know what they are up to. Marcus believes at least one member of r4s is responsible for Krystryd’s death.

Meanwhile, Riza seems very interested in the food, to the point where she attacks Kyrrox when disturbed. Kyrrox’s knowledge of nature allows her to discern that this produce has been coated in a narcotic made from threep weed. She collects a sample. Riza is now so full of food and drugs, she can be picked up and Kyrrox slips the bird into her secondary hawkpocket. (her primary hawkpocket is still full of cheese from Fiveleague.) The party plus Rhyder returns to camp for the night.

The rest of their journey to Harkenwold is uneventful. Within Harkenwold, they are made aware of a large food drive for the benefit of Fallcrest. It appears The Children of Selos are spearheading the operation.

They also find Famous Dave’s cheese shop, the vendor of the evil doom-cheese Barton had used for nacho night. Dave is quite displeased at the sight of r4s entering his shop. They ask, beg, and threaten information out of Dave, but he does not have any information to provide on the topic of living evil cheese. He cannot even say from where he receives his milk and supplies, as he uses several local farms. Mialee sneaks into the back room while the rest of the party distracts Dave.

At first nothing seems unusual. Dave keeps horrific records, and she gleans no information from any books or notes. A lone worker stirs a pot of still-curdling milk, and adds something suspicious to the mix. She goes up and introduces herself as a new employee, and the man, Keith, does not buy her story. Dave is called in. r4s and Dave all enter the back room and both Dave and Keith are interrogated. Zedra finds the pot of cooking cheese suspiciously arcana-rich. After Loki grabs and shakes Keith, a pouch falls from his pocket. Zedra identifies its contents as ritual components capable of creating monster-dairy. Keith is accused of being a Cheese Wiz-ard, to which he indignantly replies he is a Nachomancer.

R4s fights the barrel of cheese and Keith, and successfully subdues Keith and kills the cheese. They find an amulet of Vecna on Keith. Loki kills him. They also find a crude map with a circled location in the nearby woods, marked “Turnblatt.” R4s bids a fond farewell to Dave. Rhyder, who was left to tend the horse, has made his daring escape and is nowhere to be found.

Loki and Zedra discuss Zedra’s complete lack of sexual experience. Zedra realizes he, a scholar and man of science, has been completely and willfully denying himself knowledge of a broad and basic subject familiar to most everyone else: Sexuality. Zed decides he must collect a data set of reasonable size and variety to analyze before he can make any conclusions. Loki decides Zedra needs “professional” help.

In front of the Temple of Lady Varis, r4s find none other than Dwarfie, in the flesh, helping to organize donations of food. They ask about the strange substance found on the food of a cart encountered on their journey, Dwarfie is concerned but knows nothing. r4s inspects the storehouse, and eventually comes to the back where a new shipment is being received. sure enough the produce is coated in the same substance. They find out the donation comes from Turnblatt Farms.

Just past mid-day and r4s sets out to find this Turnblatt farm and uncover what ties they may have to the evil cheese and the drugged produce. r4s comes across a massive clearing full of threep weed crops, in the area approximated in the map they’d found. A few guards patrol the fields around a small house. Mialee expertly backstabs three guards, but becomes more and more disoriented as she crawls thru the hallucinogenic and narcotic plants. Gord and Zedra start fires in the fields and Kyrrox lights the house on fire with an incendiary arrow. Mialee manages to take out another guard before she heads back to the rest of the group, taking two arrow hits as she passes the house. A dire boar is brought out, ridden by an archer, but soon the fire and smoke overtake the few remaining guards. r4s retreat back into the woods and find a suitable place to wait out the fires. Mialee, after some healing from Patyen, comes down off her trip and says she’d found slips of paper with the symbol of Vecna on each guard she’d killed.

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