Frail Pages

Dishes, Flowers, and Doors Oh My!

Following their illustrious return to town the guards questioned the crew regarding the body found in the middle of town, who was found with his hands removed and his mouth stuffed with dirt. Xander smoothly diverted the guard by informing the guards they had seen the man the prior day. Yeah. This probably won’t come back to haunt them at all.

The following morning the crew resumed their search for information, and Xander was able to procure the location of a bandit hideout just north of the town. The vine covered house made tried to ensure they became guests permanently, but, thanks to some quick wet work by Mardnab and the strength of Ulgf they were able to escape the living room turned swimming pool.

The upstairs yielded a few corpses, a bloody trail out the window, and a bag with 3 pouches and a pair of hands. Mardnab also found some sketches of the gears that powered the trap. Downstairs, there was another corpse found in a room off the kitchen who seemed trapped in their so called house of refuge. After returning to town, Xander, Naki went to the Tavern, Mardnab went to the general store to tinker away some time, and Ulgf was channeling his inner druid just outside of town. Ulgf had an unwanted visitor who quickly found their way out of town.

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The following morning, Falk informed the crew of some vital information regarding the Cult of Azturnin. He learned that they are led by the veiled speakers, and their group always contains 29 members.

Calnamo approached Ulgf in his camp, to share information received regarding the Cult of Azturnin. They have existed since the beginning of time, they view themselves, like anyone who walks the earth as an aberration. Even the Gods themselves, were just gears of creation. Void of their own ambition and will. They have been attempting to undo the creation of all the races.

While Calnamo was speaking to the group in the woods, a small girl approached them through the woods. Xander, also party leader, spoke to her. With vacant eyes and a small voice, she pointed to Mardnab. “Her people will be undone, they are going to find her city”

She could vaguely remember that she was at the temple. So Xander and Falk escorted her back and met briefly with the high priest. The priest, hopeful for any help described what was happening over the last week or so. It started with small boy speaking gibberish and passing out, remaining unconscious for 3 days. Soon others arrived at the temple seeking help, all showing similar signs, confusion, speaking incoherently, and numerous people collapsing.

Falk, quickly determined that magic was involved somehow, Xander rallied the rest of the team and party leader Naki, and party leader Ulgf the Literate returned to the temple to offer their assistance.

Soon the party found themselves dashing down the alleys and streets of the town. Greek peaks, blue steps, red dishes, and kitchens with doors were their only clues. Finally, they were able to retrace the steps of the chaos to the Thompsons house, an older couple that Falk seemed moderately okay with leaving beneath the debris covered floor boards.

Mrs. Thompson pointed her begrudging rescuers (Mostly team leader Falk) They left the Thompsons behind, but not before Naki, left a few gold to help rebuild their gutted home.

The group, now led by the committee of everyone entered the woods in pursuit of the pool described by Mrs. Thompson. On the way Xander discovered the altar and Naki figured out it was used in some sort of summoning.

They pushed on until another quiet voice called from the darkness. “The small one, we will find her city, and her people will be undone” Naki, decided the best form of punctuation would be an arrow to the chest and quickly applied one. Ulgf covered the distance and quickly grappled the creature, who team leader Falk identified as a construct.

He didn’t struggle, but he continued to speak to Mardnab, “Your people were chosen, because they were small and insignificant”

Mardnab, who appeared to have just about enough of people telling her that her people were doomed, lunged forward, poisoned dagger seeking silence with her blade.
Getting what information they could from the dying construct, Naki turned her attention to the pool itself. Already knowing it was magical thanks to Falk, she filled a small vile for analysis later.

Then without a moments hesitation, she pursued knowledge with her feet and stepped inside the pool leaving her compatriots behind, and bewildered.

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Peace and War then Feast and Famine
(socks the cat who has feet but no socks)

The still smouldering remains of the Drow lay quietly a few feet from the tattered and burned carcasses of innumerable history books and artifacts. All gone. Naki wasn’t sure how much was lost, but she knew the quite rage she felt began to heat the air around them as she stormed back to the surface.

Falk, ever the artist, sketched the ritualistic scene before him. Reagan’s arms bound to the chair, his shirt ripped open exposing the symbol of Lolth carved into his flesh. After a few moments he joined the others, all keeping their distance from the simmering Fire Elf.

Mardnab quickly jumped into the cart to begin working on some improvements while Ulfg and Falk returned to grab Reagan’s body. With his body wrapped and stowed away on the cart, the groups fearless leader Falk lead the party back towards town, from the back, without providing much in the way of direction.

Along the way they noticed an odd traveller, whose peace, war, feast, famine incantation left them more bewildered than interested. However, as Mardnab looked up a crooked smile greeted him as she was told that “They will come for your city first” as the party let the horizon take him.

The Bard spared the party from further scrutiny as they entered Reagan’s hometown, in Reagan’s cart, with Reagan’s body in the back. Totally not suspicious. However Xander was able to redirect the lazy stable boy back to his stool and the party carried on to Calnamo’s. The group also let Calnamo know about the stranger they met on the way back home as well as the name of the cult Naki discovered.

After a brief discussion Calnamo agreed to take care of Reagan’s body, and told Naki that while he didn’t have money but would speak to Palazio about providing the group with some new supplies.

The group spent the evening wandering around town, some looking for information, and others for something else entirely. The following morning Naki met again with Calnamo and Palazio who provided the group with access new gear.

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Walking on the ashes of history

After the crew found Calnamo and joined him for some tea, they discovered that Regan was likely off on another unlicensed expedition. The party then returned to the cavern beneath the museum where Mar had reset the trap but did remember to inform the party prior to their reentry.

After gutting the spider and returning the surface the party was able to put together that Regan did in fact leave the village some time ago and headed south east with an empty cart to explore some ruins.

An abandoned cart alluded to Regan’s or at least someones presence near or in the ruins. The party took a quick vote and decided it was best to leave the still inebriated Xander to guard the cart, or leave the cart to guard him. One or the other. After exploring the dilapidated ruins they began to find markings of Lolth leading to an unusual (at least for followers of Lolth) open air altar.

Close to the altar was a iron grate leading down to a cavern after which they attempted some diplomacy with an ornery Grimlock whom the not so much quickly, but eventually dispatched.
Moving on to the next room Mar was able to squeeze through some bars of the portcullis and was eventually able to find the lever to allow the party to join her. Despite being his world’s greatest ranger, Falk was not able to raise the portcullis by himself.

The walls lined with broken Elvish shields surrounded the party while they determined their next move. Ulgf, as if possessed by someone else led the party down the next hallway when things went black. Soon slimy tentacles enveloped Mar, Falk and Xander. Some of them finding it uncomfortable more than others. After Falk spent no small amount of time on his back, the Darkmantles were eventually dispatched, but not before Ulgf nearly deposited his mace into Naki.

Mar was the first one through the door at the end of the hallway. Immediately finding himself nearly knee deep in ashen parchment. After a brief exploration of the room, Mar was able to move past the darkness and spotted a figure sitting quietly in a chair. After the bard rescued the alleged ranger, the party soon discovered the batter, bruised and burned body of Regan strapped to a chair.

Naki became increasingly upset as she realized she was treading upon the ashes of history. Empty scroll tubes and the barren bindings of books destroyed inspired her to storm through the next door where she discovered a frail drow stationed amongst some tables covered in papers.

Through her anger Naki was able to speak to the Drow, demanding the purpose of his atrocity.

“Your history is all wrong and we are going to fix it” was his reply.

He held a vial filled with a bubbling red liquid above his head shortly before bathing himself in fire. Naki, perhaps torn between wanting to save him in order to get more information and watching him burn was still able to save a few pieces of paper while the ever burning Drow placed his hands on the table and as his work consumed him, he consumed it.

The fire faded and his clothes fused to his skin like smouldering tomb as Naki asked him who wanted to change history.

“Everyone” was his smokey reply.

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Swipe the gold off your drow

After eventually dispatching the spider, and debating the contributions of the party to the spiders demise, eventually they set their sights on the next door. After a liberal application of mace Ulgf was able to render the door useless, although one critical fail later, he also rendered his mace useless, so there is that.

Beyond the door the incantation of “Elliya Lolthu” – Elven for “Test me, Lolth”

Despite his innate dark vision Ulgf noticed that he was not able to pierce the darkness that covered the newly discovered the room. As the chanting continued the party did the only thing reasonable. Tied a rope around the wizard and sent in her alone.

Someone, or something cut the rope, and when the friendly neighbourhood orc felt the rope go slack, immediately, and and silently (well, for an orc) entered the room, with a spear provided by the world’s greatest ranger (still in search of which particularly world this would be, god help their souls) and a shield put together by the Gnome.

Ulgf was able to keep the wizard safe, but felt a sharp pain across the back of his legs as something was able to dart behind him and slice him open. Between Ulgf and his borrowed spear and the burning hands of Naki, they were able to dispatch the female drow.

However, the darkness did not die with the drow, which led to the Naki, Falk, and the Gnome scrambling in the shade in search of a coin purse, which I suspect was because they were each so motivated to be the one who shares it equally amongst the party.

The death of the drow also produced 160 gold and a ruby amulet, which was promptly given to the orc as it matched the color in his eyes. The gnome valued the amulet at 50 gp, while a belligerent bard put the value closer to 50 cp. Although his immediate offer of 32 gold to pry it from the orcs fingers, was equally suspicious and rebuffed.

Falk, with the keenest eyes of his homeland, spotted the etchings around the perimeter of the wall. Lolth’s named was etched deeply and uniformly around the walls, until it began to become increasingly erratic. Then it changed from Lolth to Regan, and from Regan to Calnamo.

The party spent a few minutes discussing which approach to take for their upcoming conversation with Calnamo, if they wanted to go with the classic toss the drow’s body through the window approach, or an actual diplomatic approach relying on words rather than…..other tactics.

After the party exited the dungeon, Ulgf, Falk, and the Gnome decided to forgo the snobbery of the inn and set up camp outside the village. While Naki and Xander booked a stay at the Chipped Chalice, although both were rebuffed by Bas who would have all of their boozer but none of their questions.

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So an Orc, a Gnome, a Human and a couple of Elves walk into a museum...
No, seriously.

It was as if Time itself hiccuped, needing a few seconds to catch her breathe before returning to her normal rhythm. In these moments, when time held her breath everyone froze. Well almost everyone. Except for the completely logical grouping of an Orc, Gnome, a couple of Elves and a Human.

Perfect.

They cobbled together that something happened, and the Fire Elf knew that something about it felt, different. It was definitely magic, but different.

Psionic’s. Just great.

Well, if this town has an expert on Psionic’s it is clearly the drunken Dwarf who sits a top a keg for a chair.

Xander and Falk ply the Dwarf with 3 rounds of Ale to jog his memory and discover that the soggy dwarf has a distaste for Regan, the owner of the yet to be opened museum. Bas also pointed out that Regan has not been noticed in about six kegs.

With this newly liberated information and under the cover of the bright afternoon sky the party made their way across the street to the museum. Well, some of the party. The Fire Elf found a quiet spot to meditate, Ulfg hid in plain sight, and the Gnome found a shady spot to piece together an altar.

Meanwhile, Falk and Xander attempted to take the museum from behind, but where thwarted by the cheaply made locks. Fortunately, the Gnome was able to encourage the lock to retreat and sure enough they advanced inside.

They party crept as quiet as a drunken Ocrish bar fight through the museum only to discover that the only thing to be seen in this area was dust. 10 years, and not a single thing lay on any of the shelves. In the back, a simple bedroll and living area, along with stairs descending into the basement.

In a party of that consisted of two elves, a gnome and a human, clearly the lightfooted orc was best to lead the party to parts unknown. After a few dozen precarious steps, the part found themselves in a small basement. Filled with junk and discarded furniture. A keen eye from the Fire Elf noticed something suspicious about the furniture piled against the wall. A small rope was attached to the furniture, which the Gnome promptly severed in a well intentioned disarm trap attempt, barely escaping from the ensuing down pour of broken jagged pieces of desks, tables and chairs, oh my!

After delving below the surface the party explored a few rooms and while they were discussing their strategy to a locked door, Xander, informed the party that “they be bitches” , which the orc misheard and thought he said “Please pass the door to my face.” Naturally the orc obliged.

Eventually the Fire Elf walked into the room and was ensnared in webbing that coated the floor. Gross.

The Orc attempted to save her but was unable to pull her free. He did however, attract the giant spiders attention long enough to receive a small nibble on the neck. Several burning hands later and some mysteriously broken limbs the spider came crashing to the floor in front of them.

The Bard’s songs echoed down the halls (one of which was a rather memorable tune) and despite the countless innuendo’s the party seemed to like him after his melodies. The gnome was building furniture and managed to piece together a hook from 3 parts door (Thanks Ulfg!) and two parts thin air.

The party thought it best to rest for awhile, perhaps to be regaled by the bards melodic tunes, while the gnome builds small homestead out of the scraps of door left behind by the orc.

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