Worlds Apart

Session 36 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

From Session Notes (Rough Summary)

- Hydra defeated, woosh overhead going towards the lake, they tend to wounded people and deal with Waldorf’s heart.
- Campbell and Red Raven dodge questions for now. Williams wants to take the heat source to confront the Jarl. Sverri and Odd report back to Earl Ragnar, Boram and company help people on other side of harbour, Loquar accompanies Waldorf home
- Less guards about, Campbell pays them off for entry, using his status as a prominent noble to get an audience with the Jarl. Has clout, no doubt.
- Find the Jarl in his livingroom by the fire. Lance tries a threatning approach while Christian tries to be diplomatic. He likens them to Earl Ragnar and his wife respectively, and opens up.
- He spills the beans on “Nifelheim” a blueskinned flying man who has visited him a few times in the past few weeks. Relates it to a story he was told by his grandfather as a boy about a creature that was seemingly worshipped in the past that helped make the city prosperous, but somehow things didn’t go well and they had to imprison it below ground. It has been released and threatened to punish the city for the sins of their fore-fathers.
- Tequila speaks of the planes, and extra-planar creatures… believes “Nifelheim” to be a Djinn, or Genie.
- The party agrees that they must figure this out if the city will be safe and the Jarl promises to assist them in taking care of it discretely. Earl Ragnar arrives and is intercepted by Campbell Williams. He takes him outside to talk him down.
- The party leaves the “Vernal Orbs” with the Jarl.
- Redden questions Ragnar about the camps. Ragnar informs them that they too were attacked and had to fend off mistborn creatures. Was impressed by Sverri and Odd’s account, and thanks them for their continued efforts.
- Back to Red Raven Inn, Lance regales Agnes and they clean up before Campbell returns.
- Trusting you, Campbell admits that he is the Red Raven and the show at the Jarl’s house was part of his plan to try to get the Jarl to open up about the problems in town, and at the same time make sure that the public saw him and the Raven as separate people. Michael Freeman shows up, and admits to having worn the cowl more than a few times these days to help his friend. Campbell says he worries about backlash from crime bosses for their crime fighting.
- Group splits up to cover more ground. Christian at Rear Admiral to talk to sailors, hears that one of the ships hasn’t returned. Lance goes to Drowning Cat, hears a lot of negative talk about the city, but is proud to hear of adventurers fighting at the harbour. Redden goes to Lusty Goblin and gets the VIP treatment after showing the token given by O’Detta.
- Regroup and discuss hiring Boram to take them into the mist, perhaps with the vernal orbs to find the genie.
Find Loquar at Waldorf’s Worldly Wonders. The mogwai is singing in the corner and the two are chewing the fat. They shoot a look to the group to remind them not to discuss Waldorf’s health struggles. He’s looking tired but okay. The party wants to discuss their reward for returning the mogwai.

Session 35 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

At the docks of Nikeah, multiple angry snake-like heads rose from the sleek, serpentine body of a terrifying gargantuan cryohydra. It’s body was at once solid and seemingly part of the mists which had rolled in quite suddenly. It breathed out icy cold breath that instantly froze a sailor desperately grabbing at the tools and equipment that were his livelihood.
The monster screeched and roared as it tore up the harbour.

The mists had no doubt caught the navy ships off guard and left the navy unable to assist with the attack on the city. The town guard was occupied in battles with misborn, bird-like, creatures and air mephits that were attacking citizens in the areas of the city closest to the water of Lake Yggdrasil.

The party did their best to lower the number of casualties, but witnessed great damage to the docks and moored boats and ships as they fought off the monsters and slowed the advance of the hydra and mists that were closing in on Nikeah. As they fought they sent their lyrakien friend, Tequila, in search of aid. She returned shortly after with their friend Loquar who supported the party with magic and summoned fire elementals to burn away the mists which provided the party with easier targets. Tequila strummed at her lyre and played in inspirational tune which roused bravery in her allies. As the monsters were struck out of the air, they disappeared like dry ice sublimating into clouds of nothingness.

Reddens put his new bow and magic to the test as he fired arrows at the hydra heads, damaging and incapacitating them where possible. The mists proved difficult causing him to miss more than he would have liked and the difficult terrain caused him to fall and snap at his wrist as oars and rope underfoot seemingly conspired against his efforts.

They were later joined by Sverri and Odd, the young reachmen whom the group had saved from Old Tom at Cloverkeep. They insisted on helping the party fight back the monsters at the dock and informed them that Earl Ragnar and his other men rushed to the eastern camp to protect the refuges nearest to the water. They fought alongside Christian and Lance to protect people trapped in their homes and shops and those escaping from the docks.

The great Waldorf himself arrived soon after, having fought his way through countless creatures with a flaming double axe that created small bursts of fire as he struck whatever monster was foolish enough to stand in his way. He reiterated to the group that the creatures were weak to fire and layed out a supply of alchemist’s fire to assist in the fight.

Campbell Williams joined them soon after telling them that the Jarl would be of no help but assistance was on the way. He bellowed the group should hang in there and keep it up. He himself was kept busy fighting off two air mephits with his rapier. A raven flew in and delivered a message to him, which he relayed as help getting even closer.

As the party managed to hold back the monster’s advances and decapitate a few of the hydra’s heads, they seared the creature with fire to prevent regrowth. Christian braved the cold, knowing full well he was especially susceptible to its chilling damage. Tequila rode to the front lines on Waldorf’s back as he charged into battle with surprising swiftness for someone with a peg-leg and a weak heart. Tequila was without fear of the cold due to her angelic nature. She did double duty in inspiring the group through song and curing damage to Christian, Lance and Waldorf to keep them in the fight as they took wild swipes at the heads.

This help promised by Campbell Williams was felt soon after as warm air was approaching and pushing back the rolling mist. As Anatole and the Red Raven arrived with a box held by poles, the body of the cryohydra was exposed to all attacks by the heroes and their friends. The group could only surmise that whatever was contained in the box was the magical source of heat they had encountered while battling gremlins in the sewers the night before.

With the mists rapidly dissipating, they even found assistance from their friend Boram who shouted “Hey, you guys!” as he fired a ballista bolt from his boat, the River Rat. Sam and Steve assisted in reloading the ballista as Boram produced Adrien from behind his back ready to unleash bolts at the creature.

He didn’t have a chance to let fly a single bolt, however, as alchemist’s fire was tossed at the hydra. This combined with the efforts of the heroes (particularly some extremely well placed swings of Lance’s new magical longsword) managed to strike down and “deflate” the cryohydra before anyone else could get hurt or killed.

A brief hush went over the group when the fighting was finally over. They could see Boram and company giving them the thumbs up from their boat. The heroes, though exasperated, had come out on top.

Session 34 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

Our heroes fought bravely against hordes of gremlins, but not before the tall gremlin started lowering the mogwai down to the boiling water. More and more monsters crawled out of a trashpile and throwing themselves at Christian. Redden continued to lay waste with cold iron arrows. Lance lopped off their heads. Christian held his ground and batted them away with his mace, pulverizing the creatures.

All the while, geisers of hot steam shot up through the grates surrounding the pool in an unpredictable pattern. Strangely enough, the gremlins seemed to show fear of the water and the spouts. Redden’s keen ears picked up a grinding sound from many directions getting closer.

Taking out the tall gremlin at the crank revealed it to a gremlin standing on another’s shoulders hidden by the pirate’s garb they wore. It’s death slump pushed the crank it was operating a quarter turn more, sending the mogwai even closer to the bubbling, steamy water below.

Lance procured a ten foot pole and started to pull the mogwai closer to rescue him while a troop of gremlins poured into the room and steadily moved forward. With some deft footwork, Lance easily hopped over the hot waters and pulled the mogwai closer to safety… but the chain was not long enough to reach the side. They had Tequila loosen the chain with the crank by pulling on it with rope. The slack allowed “Gizmo” to make it over the grate so that Redden could free him. Upon doing so, the creature recovered from its stunned status and began to sing for Redden who instantly felt as though he should protect this wonderful creature with his life. It didn’t change anything as Redden was already set on saving him. He then hit a stunned gremlin before it could wake up.

Between arrows impaling several gremlins and the bashing and slashing by Christian and Lance, the troop of Goblins surrounding them was defeated. The heroes debated and decided on activating a large switch on the floor which closed a large gate in the waters at the very center of the room and sent heat towards the edges.

Tequila confirmed that the waters radiated with a strong magic below the gate, and the group wondered if this magical spring could be the cause of heat in the city. The sewers were well crafted, and this chamber had magical traps on the doors to keep people out. However, it would seem that no one save for the gremlins had been here in some time. The many tracks laid around by the gremlins made it difficult to discern the activity of people.

They found some coin and a red and black dress belonging to the girls back at the Lusty Goblin. The “tall gremlin” dropped a masterwork rapier. They made plans to research this place and headed back that way they came. Once out, they were met by a guard whom they instructed to spread word with his associates about the gremlins’ defeat but to stay on guard in case of any survivors. They moved in through the back entrance, past some servants who gawkingly watched the dirty group of heroes walk past them towards Mistress Odetta’s chamber.

They found her drinking on a throne-like chair. She looked shocked by their appearance but happy to get good news about the infestation. She asked again that they continue to be discrete about this incident. They pried about the “Sunny” character who supposedly gifted the Mogwai to Greta. They used honeyed words and charm to reveal that Sunny was a tall and fair elf who comes and goes at his leisure. He had an affair with Odetta and plenty others much to her disapproval. Indeed, discussing the man made her so upset as to hop out of her seat and grab the magical sword on her mantle. She clumsily knocked over the Crystelle Ice Wine on the top shelf, breaking and spilling its contents all over the shimmering long sword. She swung it around with surprising grace and good form, despite the occasional slip from the drunken state she was in. As she swung, Lance approached smoothly and stopped her from swinging the sword using the Clortho eyes in the way the typically work on ladies. He talked her down and made her lower her weapon. She asked him if they were interested in looking further into it. She said she’d like it if Lance would be her champion and if he’d use her sword to kill Sunny when they met. He used his best bluff to make her happy without outright promising to kill anyone. He wondered if he’d eventually have to? The man was most definitely the father to their good friend Gwyn and to the nimble-bodied Gloria.

With this in mind, they had Odetta take them to speak to her daughter Greta. Greta was not forward like the other girls at the house. She conveyed a certain air of innocence and goodness as she prepared tea for the party. They asked her about her father and though she knew of his promiscuity she did not know of the existence of siblings in other cities. She had always wanted a sister and was now informed that she had two. Greta hoped the party would be kind to her father as she swore she was a good guy. It was indeed he who brought her the Mogwai to cheer her weeks ago. He also previously provided for her the exquisite tea set she was using to prepare the tea, and the magical sword from downstairs. Though excited by all this news, she spoke in calm tones and moved gingerly and with grace preparing tea as part of a ceremony. She explained that it was her gift and she was providing to them a unique boost that was both expensive and a much adored house speciality. It didn’t disappoint as they felt a sensation of dauntless courage stay with them for minutes.

Through sad goodbye Greta bid farewell to the adventurers and the precious mogwai. Elsewhere in the house, the party was promised a reward for helping return some clothes to the girls. They could collect it on their next visit, when they were clean. Odetta promised them a complimentary night at her establishment as further reward.

The party went on to Waldorf’s Worldly Wonders and banged on his door a few times. It seemed like he was asleep and opened the door only as they were about to give up on him. In his night gown and cap he looked frustrated and then ecstatic when presented with the mogwai. The mogwai traded a thankful glance with Redden who had taken him home. Waldorf asked that they please return again tomorrow after getting cleaned up and resting before coming into his shop for special merchandise.

Satisfied, the group headed back to the Red Raven Inn to get cleaned up and rest before the busy morning ahead. They found Garrett waiting for them and looking at them with newfound respect after hearing about their exploits up north from Loquar and Anatole. Garrett presented them with a letter from Campbell Williams, the senior ranking member of the Returners in Nikeah. He requested that the party accompany him to the Jarl’s Longhouse in the morning.

They changed their clothes and had baths before getting some much needed rest. They found new clothes and clean armour outside of their doors in the morning. Heading downstairs they were presented with a complimentary continental breakfast and the company of Master Campbell Williams, he told the party they’d leave in 15 minutes so they best eat up and get some questions out of the way between bites. Loquar was nowhere to be found, having stepped out very early into the morning. Anatole would be looking into the sewer situation that the party had mentioned, seeing about getting a map from city officials or whatever else he could muster up in their assistance. He was more than happy to oblige as he said he hated politics.

He told them their mission was to accompany and protect him as visible members of the Returners. They would be armed, but should not draw any weapons unless there serious threats of violence. He claimed that Earl Ragnar would crush Jarl Albrook one on one, but wouldn’t put it past the Jarl to cheat. Williams hopes the conflict won’t come to killing in his city. He saw problems with the Jarl, but accepts that Earl Ragnar would not be suitable to run an economy. He hopes to make more time for peaceful resolution that will benefit all.

He walked the group down the main roads through the rich Uppsalla district and into the noble district of Walhalla where the Jarl’s Longhouse overlooked the lake. Through some gates and into a immaculately kept garden a crowd was forming. Nobles concerned with the well-being of the city or merely keeping up with the latest gossip were watching close. Guards were stationed everywhere around the house in an obvious attempt at dissuading Earl Rangnar from attacking the Jarl.

Earl Ragnar and some friends (including Sverri and Odd, whom the party rescued days before) were holding up steins of beer. They were armed with axes and had shields on their backs. The Earl taunted the Jarl about his various failures and inability to uphold the values of his people, and being the first of his family to have snow within the walls of the city since its inception.

The air was thick as the Jarl pleaded to Ragnar and the crowd to believe that it was always he and his family that kept the city safe and that any day the mists of Nifelheim would release monsters on the city. He wished that they could all understand his plight. The Earl gave his challenge to the Jarl on this momentous third meeting, as was the way of his people and the Jarl stuttered, unable to respond when from above a gravely voice exclaimed, “Jarl Albrook, you have failed this city!”

At the same time, many a guard cowled up with black hoods and raised their crossbows, pointing them at various targets on both sides of the conflict. “Holy Abadar, god of walls and ditches!” shouted Campbell Williams who was all too quick to point out how the Red Raven once saved his grandfather Aric and that the crowd should hear him out. He was quickly dismissed by the Red Raven who told him to “Can it.” because the rich man hadn’t taken refugees into his home.

The Red Raven pressed on the Jarl to reveal the truth about the city and what was going on. Albrook repeated his fears of the mists and pleading for them to see it his way before retreating into his house. As the Jarl and some guards moved, a few weapons were raised by Ragnar’s men and the cowled “unkindness” bandits started shooting bolts at some people who dropped in sleep rather than in injury. One of them missed and reached behind his back for another crossbow. Campbell sprung to action with a mad dash and swung down with his hand causing the crossbow to fire its bolt into the ground. “No,” he said. Seeing the attention this brought, he lowered his voice to speak to the man. Christian managed to overhear the final words of " – - fucking bolts!"

Christian asked about the sewers to which Campbell shouted to the Red Raven to ask the Jarl about the sewers. He didn’t budge and the party had to inform the Red Raven about the source of heat in the sewers and the southbound trail of gremlin tracks (and their own) from the manhole by the Lusty Goblin. He nodded in gratitude and did an impossible jump from the roof over the wall of the area. The unkindness disbanded, taking advantage of the distracted crowd, disappearing from the garden.

Earl Ragnar laughed at the absurdity of the situation, and upon recognizing the party asked about his son. He took to heart the party’s requests to not fight right now or maybe he had simply heard the screams and shrieks coming from the docks. Tequila was trying to tell the group that she felt it approach… but now, at the gate of the Jarl’s garden, some bird-like mistborn monsters flew out of the fog and start dive bombing and attacking people one even carrying a small child away.

Jarl Albrook could faintly be heard saying, “I told you they were coming!” Taking charge of the situation, Campbell Williams ordered the party to help people at the docks, as he would handle the Jarl and the crowd here, while the Raven followed up on the sewers. Campbell used some of his local sway to get some guards to help people by the water.

The party rushed to the docks and saw that the Fish Market was in an uproar with people running for their lives, trying to get into their homes or away from their homes in a panic. As the party rounded a corner they could see that the fog had moved in considerably, and from the mist’s edge a half-dozen or so serpentine heads from a gargantuan mistborn creature shrieked. A few heads spewed cold mists from their mouths, covering roofs and anywhere else they sprayed with frost. Other heads reached out and chomped down on brave guards and anyone too slow to get away. The monster’s gargantuan body was mostly obscured by the mists and only barely showed its imposing size. It’s chilling screams reverberated through the market streets. The party stood in awe, knowing they would somehow have to do something about this threat before more people could get hurt.

* Notably NPCs *

O’detta Walker - hates “Sunny” for his promiscuity and the bruising of her pride. Has gifted Lance her magical longsword so long as he “promised” to kill Sunny with it.

Greta - most definitely another sister to Gwyn. Has a magical way of making tea that imbues people with courage.

Anatole - looking into the sewers and magical spring situation below town at your request.

Loquar- MIA

Campbell Williams - doing his best to avoid political and economical problems in the city and hired you to help prevent any killing of city officials.

Jarl Johan Albrook - Cowardly, but pleading for people to understand his plight in protecting the city.

Earl Ragnar Lothbrok - Functionally drunk in the morning, ready to kill the Jarl and try his best to remedy the problems of the big city.

Red Raven - gravel voiced, bearded spectacle. He and his “unkindness” held up the meeting between the Earl and Jarl. Able to leap tall walls in a single bound.

Session 33 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

They finished up their meeting with Anatole. He informed them of the happenings around the city and with the Returners to the best of his knowledge. When told by his friends that they intended to investigate the happenings at the Lusty Goblin, he provided them with a letter to help them get in. He asked simply that they not open and read it.

On arrival at the opulent house of infamous ill-repute, the group found their senses tantalized as smells and sound spilled out into the street. They were greeted at the door by a guard who checked their heads carefully and paying particular attention to their ears. He was looking for a trouble-maker, but passing the first inspection took their letter inside then invited them in.

Once inside, they met Odetta Walker, matron of the Lusty Goblin. They ask about the troublemaker and find out about an elf named “Sunny” who gave a girl named Greta the gift of an exotic pet weeks ago. Everything was fine until 3 days ago.

A lot of effort has gone in to repairing the damages caused by the little monsters. She said she’d appreciate your discretion in dealing with the matter so that business wouldn’t suffer. She provided the group with ornate “passes” to explore the house without worry of guards, girls, or patrons giving them a hard time. She smiled the group, Christian in particular, as she left them with Greta.

Greta was almost instantly recognizable as a half-elf with red hair, much like Gwyn and Gloria. This lead to further speculation over their friend’s father. Greta was quite the popular item at the house due to her exotic appearance and skills. She reiterates that she was given a special gift by Sunny weeks ago and enjoyed its company without incident until it fell in the tub and the others popped out. They came back later that same night, only changed. They were ugly and nasty. They hurt her and damaged the house before stealing her pet Gizmo. She hoped that Gizmo would be okay. When asked about the “trouble” caused by the elf named Sunny. She said that she didn’t think Sunny was a bad guy. He had come to talk to her many times over the years and often brought her gifts. Not sure what Ms. Odetta’s problem with him was.

The party left her and explore more rooms in the house. They found themselves in the room of some more exotic women from a distant country, Tequila translated from inside Lance’s bag. They spoke of creatures in the closet, stealing their clothes. Upon inspection they found a closet full of various outfits and uniforms for the most discerning customers. Poking around a creature jumped out at Redden and missed. Lance decimated it with a swipe of the longsword. The girls thanked them and told them they’d be most grateful if the party found their favorite black and red dress.

Next, in what looked like a torture chamber, a janitor pointed to a hole in the wall. Lance investigated with the light of his badge, shining it intently down the hole in the crawlspace. Immediate a creature shrieked, tried to jump out but succeeded only in impaling itself on splinter. Lance knocked it out and the group tied it up on a “device” in the room. They attempted to interrogate it but found it most unhelpful. They sealed the hole shut with a heavy bookshelf.

In other rooms, they found a hole under a bed. Christian stabs in hole with spear and actually impaled one. They sealed it by rearranging furniture. They later met with other girls from around the house including a dwarf comedian, a girl with a pixie cut, and an awkward exchange between father and daughter.

Satisfied with what they had found out from the colorful characters within, the party investigated outside and saw that tracks lead from a hole in the foundation of the house into sewer entrance by the back houses. A guard informed that it where the bath water from “Les Maisons Derriere” was dumped to avoid perverts.

They asked that the guard inform everyone who should know not to do that for the next while until they solved the dilemma.

They debated the prudency in attacking them head on down there when they could be overwhelmed by numbers in the dark sewers. They took to visiting Waldorf at his store. He understood the situation and while he would love to go clopping around the sewers with his peg leg, he instead gave them a “Flash bomb” that they could throw and would create an all too brief burst of intensely bright light that could stun the creatures. He asked that should Gizmo be there, they try to take care and bring the little guy back all right as his wife was quite enamoured with it.

Through the dark sewers, Redden took the lead following tracks that were not well hidden. Occasional patches of low-light from sewer grates above partially lit his path… not that he needed it. His stealth and darkvision were unmatched which allowed him to get the drop on a gremlin carrying a bag full of food; smashing it into the sewer floor.

Through some twists and turns they found their way to an opening with dim light and steamy heat. In a chamber beyond a dead and charred gremlin and gate. Through the bars they could perceive that there was a very warm room with a bubbling spring. Above the spring hunt what they assumed was “Gizmo” and a large gremlin (the size of a human!) was dressed like a pirate. The mean faced monster was swatting at the cute little creature with the side of a rapier. To their left, laughing and guffawing could be heard and the smell of cigar smoke was in the air. To the right was the unmistakeable scent of garbage.

Christian kicked open the gate and threw down the flash bomb and instantly several of the creatures of the room were stunned. With the snap the rest of the party sprung into action entering the room and making shots or gaining ground. Tequila, materializing a tiny lyre from nowhere, played an inspiring song of courage called “Easy street” about how easy it is for heroes to carve down these rodents.

Christian and Lance took to the left and found a group of gremlins partaking in some kind of gambling with cards and dice at a table. The dealer appeared to have avoided the flash, but the gamblers appeared slack-jawed standing with their drinks and cigars dropped to the floor next to them. As they approached the table they felt a strange level of discomfort go through them, a strange nagging doubt in their minds.

Redden and Tequila provided support from the top of the room. Redden hit the tallest gremlin in pirate’s garb with a few cold iron arrows, it smacked the stunned mogwai sending it swinging side to side then retreated to cover shouting something out indecipherable to all but Tequila who translated for them as “Get them! Get them!”

=== End of Session ===


Session 32 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

Party woke up in Kattegat in Birdman’s hut. Their friends inform them that they’ve been out for a week. 5 days travel, and 2 days sleeping here in the hut. It was now New Year’s Eve.

“Was it just me, or did you guys just have the wildest dream?” They traded stories of the divine beings they met in their ‘dream,’ and how they related to their past, present, and future. They were all bestowed strange and wonderful gifts and were changed men. Lance felt the freedom to be himself, and gain power from it through gifts from a mysterious new deity, but still felt ties to Desna. Redden had new eyes and was staring into the dark, after meeting up with an appointed forest spirt on behalf of the gods of nature. Loquar met no such deity, and spoke to an echo in darkness that revealed harsh truths to him but unlocked hidden potential in his magic. Christian was most changed of all… he seemed more confident and at ease with himself. He radiated energy and charisma not known before…. His skin was tan and grey streaks adorned his temples. He claimed to have made a pact with Serenrae, becoming a Paladin in the process after an arduous trial.

They found their equipment well cared for by the Reachmen. As they equipped and divided their equipment they spoke to their now weakened blades. They were told as a gesture of good faith, the weapons would reshape themselves as the party desired. Brightflame became Lightbringer, a radiant scimitar for Christian to wield. Darkflame became Ichaival, as it bonded with Redden’s composite longbow. Reshaping and taking on a blue steel finish that somehow kept a perfect tension and flexibility.

Their lyrakien friend informed the party that she had communed with the assistance of Paryl Luckbringer. She claims that she was now charged with accompanying them wherever they need to go. She informs the party that she still lacks most of her personal memories but has regained use of more of her supportive magic and abilities. She asked them to give her a name, and the group settled on “Tequila.”

They sized up the situation and had to choose what to do next… Should they head north to the mountains in search of the oracle? How about south to report in and help deal with the political situation with Ragnar? There were also tuggings to the West, where Loquar claims he must go soon to finish something and achieve some sort of peace. Further south in Janusburg, Bennet and much of Christian’s old squad were reported to operate.

They spent the evening feasting and were invited to sit on the roof to see fireworks from Nikeah. No such fireworks were on display. The reachmen assumed either bad weather, or a cancelation of the festival for some other reason. Could it have something to do with Ragnar? The mist?

They headed south and it took 2 days due to the added weight of taking three prisoners by wagon. They arrived in the late afternoon and saw farmers harvesting crops at a suspiciously fast rate. Snow could be seen on the west side of town, and the air wasn’t as warm as they remembered. The camp to the north looked busier than before. There was word of Ragnar making his way through the camps and recruiting to his cause, he also coordinated a move to warmer camps.

Walking through Upper Midgard they saw people hording food, apparently out of fear that the cold would come.

The prisoners dropped off at the City Guard HQ in the middle of the city. They questioned the captain of the guard about cold, crime, fog… With a mention going back to Red Raven, the guard asked them what they knew about him? The guard heard that he was back and was taking care of justice in the poorer districts, occasionally dropping of tied criminals at their HQ.

There was also mention of the incident at the Lusty Goblin. A badger in a bathtub, or some such thing. After some coaxing, the captain told the group that he heard it started with a girl being gifted an exotic pet, it falling in the tub. Multiplying and later on, must have come back to get her during her second bath of the day. They tore up the place pretty badly. This was three days ago.

At the Red Raven Inn, Returner agents Campbell and Freeman were not to be found. Agnes took a message to foward, Loquar spoke with Garret in private as the party met with Anatole upstairs who has taken office. He informs that the people they rescued have been Returned to their families as best possible. After reporting his side of the situation with Cambell Williams and Morgan Freeman, he requested permission to head research on Clover Keep and Razmir. Wanted to start a new Intelligence division within The Returners using Campbell’s money.

Anatole mentioned that the situation in Nikeah could get ugly. A meeting between the Earl and Jarl was scheduled for the morning.

Session 31 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

(Rough Notes)

Calm the children and start to consider what to do. Check with Anatole, machines lit up in his room. Asked them what they did. Awkward. Shows paper from Oracle. Machine moves… altar raised, music. Machine Lyre fits in the altar, can be played… two songs, Lance plays them, things move around but little effect.

Kids sent upstairs with Bjorn.

Check piping and such, meet with Bjorn as they head back to room, Lance plays shorter first then longer, seemed to open a valve. Not much else.

Lyrakien questions swords motives. Recognizes them from somewhere. Mention of Lamashtu having blades of ice and fire. Kukris. Awkward. Try to excuse themselves as not being sentient at the time, or having done things they regret.

They mention this place belongs/ed to Razmir. Hesitancy with using the Living Goddess’ Equipment.

Figure out the intentions of machines with help of Swords. Plan to make magic water to water the plants…. Use a “magic smelter” to take magical energy from evil objects, liquid drops into a tank filled with water by Loquar. Carry the water into the other room, empty it on the roots of the tree. Springs to life, and a door opens and tree “breathes” the hole in the trunk with the book pulsing open and closed. Looks like First World?

Attract large Green Dog thing and lead it around the corner… barely able to squeeze through the hallway, but sniffs at the air and jumps through the portal.

Party collects the fish thing and the Red Cap and allow them to go through sweet freedom! As soon as Mr. Durr brushed off his pants upon rising. He was mauled by the dog.

The portal closes after a while. Party decides to remove the book as it’s a source of power and don’t want others to use it. Redden carefully attempts to cut it out of the tree with his hand axe… with the first chip, wood flies and bolts of magical energy fly out and strike Christian, Lance, Redden, and Loquar in the chest knocking them out.

Bjorn took to action starting by grabbing Christian’s muleback cords and carrying out the group. Meanwhile, outside, winds have been building up, and lightning flashes as three monsters arrive at Clover Keep, inexplicably wanting to make the place their territory. A huge river giant, a manticore, and a chimera thought club, tooth and nail until the Manticore roared in victory. Bjorn swung open the door, ready to take on the beast.


Note: Following this session, players participated in solo roleplay to meet with higher powers and gain their first mythic tier through ascension.

Session 30 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

Christian had barely approached the door when he heard loud clangs, as metal hit the floor somewhere beyond. He braced himself and the group knew it was time to go in. He rushed through as the door slid open and got his first glimpse of the twisted arcane engine and the even more twisted woman who was just starting a ritual of sorts.

The room itself was filled with machinery made of stone and vines creeping around and through the walls and floor. It was adorned with cryptic runes much like those in the other room. It was all connected to a rather familiar/unfamiliar tree in the back corner. A strange, untraceable breeze filled the air, and rustled the leaves.

The beautiful, pale, woman whom the bandits and hobgoblins lovingly referred to as “Evil Lynn” stood chanting prayers to Lamashtu (“Naw Vash Neer! Naw Vash Neer! Lamashtu!”) over a group of children with strange ragdoll masks on their heads and daggers in their hands. The children laughed in a sick, desperate way. A pair of bugbears standing sentry turned their noses in Christian’s direction. It is known that Lamashu is the goddess of demons and beasts, also deception and madness. She is an enemy of Desna, and a popular deity amongst the monstrous races of the northern frontier. These monstrous people hold a grudge against the state for the years they were butchered and pushed back to make way for ‘civilization’ as the nation of Gilead slowly took over the continent.

The heroes rushed into the room as quick as they could to put a stop to the madness and save the captive children before it was too late. Having lost their minds, the children were attempting to cut themselves! They stood on a four ringed symbol matching those of the tower that stood here years before, around them were a good seven more blades. The bugbears, armed with falchions moved in on the heroes, while Evil Lynn donned a jackal-like mask with a third orange eye to compliment her own blue and green. Her head tilted unnaturally to the side and a fiendish hyena joined the fight.

The heroes took it upon themselves to summon their own help, as Loquar lobbed the brown elemental gem they found in the burnt laboratory at the dark priestess’ feet. From the stone flooring rose a large, powerful earth elemental that took to swinging and slamming its limbs at the wicked woman and her illusionary doubles. Unfortunately, she still had plenty of tricks up her sleeve as her minions kept most of the party busy and the children slashed at themselves. She cast a spell that sent Lance into a murderous rage, having him attempt to attack Redden whose quick reflexes only narrowly allowed him to dodge the blow. She channeled negative energy which was released in waves of madness, causing confusion in those who couldn’t muster the will to fight it. The heroes will proved to be mostly resilient save for momentary lapses in Lance and Redden. She also managed to cast a spell that Loquar recognized as “Shared Sacrifice” which would allow some of the damage on her to be transferred to another target… but they couldn’t be sure who was hit.

In the chaos of the situation, as blood was shed upon the symbols, the machines seemed to be stirring more and more and the heroes felt the hair on the back of their necks stand up.
They presssed on and the hyena and two bugbears fell swiftly to Christian, Lance, and Redden’s blades. The lyrakien helped out with prayers and later spells of her own. Bjorn rushed in with little thought to his own safety and managed to grapple a child with hopes of stopping them from inflicting harm. As he pleaded with the child, he was later taken by surprise as some chains on the floor animated and wrapped around his legs. In this moment of distraction, the child in his arms managed to connect with a wild stab to Bjorn’s eye, damaging it irreparably. He howled out in pain, and called upon his god, Odin. From his face grew a beard of iron, protecting him from further damage. He called to the party to quickly dispatch of the witch and to help him save the children.

They did try to help. With the earth elemental effectively cornering the woman, and her minions dispatched, Christian saw few options but to take the pommel of his blade and knocked out a child in order to stop them from inflicting further harm. Loquar dragged the unconcious child off of the symbol as Christian moved forward to assist another who had nearly killed themselves. To his surprise, the child looked up at him and begged this soldier of Saranrae for help just as the other child “popped” from damage transferred magically from Evil Lynn as the earth elemental pounded her to death ignorant of what transpired. The machines whirred up again a final time and calmed itself to the quiet breeze as the bloody battle came to an end and the earth elemental melded itself back into the stone floor.

The group took to calming the children as best they could, using Bjorn’s position as “prince” of Kattegat to assure them that they were friends. They tended to everyone’s wounds; Bjorn waving his hand across his gaping face in fervor, stopping the bleeding. Loquar handed over the magical eye patch to him saying it would better serve someone as brave as he. It was then that the children spoke of the waking nightmare in which the mean lady kept them. They said she spoke of spreading chaos across Gilead using whatever was down here. They also said that she would mutter about “showing ‘them’ what a pretty face can do.” Given what they had been through, there wouldn’t be much more sense to be made from what had transpired with the cleric of Lamashtu. Having been pounded into dirt, the dead woman could only add clues to the situation.

The group searched through her equipment and found some magical items, some masterwork kukris, a broken lute, and of course that chain. Loquar identified it as a Chain of Perdition; a magical and evil chain that allowed a caster to share the effects of certain spells between those connected to it. Its links seemed to be made to attach to Evelyn’s metamagic rod and that together allowed her group to move around invisibly past the hobs, fey and other creatures along their way here. Loquar looked at it with particular uneasiness. He rubbed at his back as he stared in quiet contemplation.

In her bag, they also found a book written out in an indecipherable script but containing a sketch drawing of two dryad trees with an image of a dryad hopping between the them.

The tree in the room itself seemed to be cradling a tome inside its trunk. The best anyone could make out was that someone was attempting to manipulate divine, natural magic for their own purposes.

Intrigued with the room, Redden asked Brightflame if the priestess of Lamashtu was using the ritual to power up the machines and if it had anything to do with the arcane that they spoke of earlier.

Brightflame spoke to their collective minds. “Indeed, the arcane does not oppose power from any source… it requires only the proper medium or conduit, and the knowledge to use it. This, naturally, conflicts with divine magic which unconditionally comes from differing and separate sources with seldom any intermingling.”

The blade that Christian had taken to calling ‘Darkflame’ added, " Whatever barbaric ritual that woman was conducting with those children, having them lose control and cut themselves, was most certainly a show of power from a mad god."

“Horrible bitch goddess,” the lyrakien interjected.

“Err.. yes. At any rate. The arcane engines within this room were certainly responding to magic,” Darkflame said.

Brightflame continued, “Had the priestess finished her ritual, she would have most certainly activated this device at the cost of the lives of these children -”

Darkflame finished, “and you, if she had her way. The chaos of combat seemed to only fuel her ritual further.”

They decided they needed to check in with Anatole in the other room. Redden and the Lyrakien smoothly passed by the large fey dog with gentle cooing and kind words in Sylvan. They made their way, unhindered, to Anatole who, despite fighting off severe mercury poisoning looked very, very excited and happy.

=-=-=END OF SESSION 30=-=-=


Evelyn “Evil Lyn” – Changeling Cleric of Lamashtu, deceased.

Mac – Popped like a balloon.

Windy, Victoria, and Horace – Surviving children, very grateful.

Session 29 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

Pushing forward, the group went through door at the end of hall; magical lights flickered and dimmed as they entered. The light from Christian’s badge shone across glass and metal baubles scattered around the room. The ceiling was dome-shaped with geometric stone work and shiny metal that both sparkled and glimmered under the beams of their lights. They investigated further. Redden spotted from footprints in single-file with two bigger clumsier creatures masking a number of smaller footprints.

Anatole, studied the shattering pattern of the ancient glass that looked as though it dropped a long time ago. He examined one of the more intact spheres and spoke of theories on divination, farseeing, and prognostication he’s read about. They could be used in auguries by priests and shamans, much like the bird man of Kattegat did with bones and various other less elegant tools.

As he rambled and lectured, nobody noticed that Anatole’s typically stellar luck failed him as a silvery ichor fell from the ceiling and enveloped him completely. Much to his terror as it choked him forced itself into his mouth and nostrils. He coughed out the words “Mercury ooze… poison!” His body struggled to escape, but couldn’t manage. His companions did their best to free him of the thick, silvery slime that was forcing its poison, nay itself into his body. Redden smashed with his war hammer, Christian swung true with his scimitar and shield, Bjorn came down with his battle axe, and Loquar fired his eldritch bolt. In the end, It was Lance’s longsword that finally splattered the creature in Christian’s direction, his raised shield protecting his face from intrusion.

Once free, Anatole was very much shaken and unwell. His skin was pale and veins darkened with mercury. The lyrakien cast cure light wounds and Loquar cast delay poison from the scroll they had found earlier to buy Anatole some time to deal with his affliction. Redden and Christian shared potions of lesser restoration and managed to only slightly remove the damage to the investigator’s constitution and agility. He staggered behind them as they pushed forward, keeping to the relative safety of the group.

They finally got to the western door only to see that it was “broken” in that it didn’t glow nor did it slide open with a proximity or touch. Examination showed scratches above and below the door as if it had previously been moved with brute strength. Bjorn pushed it open with some assistance from Redden and Loquar. The young Reachman noted that light resumed further down the hall, with a strong emanation coming from around a southbound intersection. The group pressed forward to find a door lit up more strongly than those previously encountered. Also of note, were patterns of 5 lines with intersecting bars and circles placed in repeating sequences. It looked like sheet music and Lance instantly recognized the notes of “Let my Love Open the Door” He played the song and the door flashed and dimmed. It opened like any other door after this.

Ancient machinery took up most of the room, its various cogs, gears, tanks, and canisters nearly covering the room entire and making it a labyrinth unto itself. Tubes and pipes stretch like tendrils into holes in the badly weathered walls. The center of the room’s ceiling has sunken inconsiderably, and reaches a height of barely fifteen feet in the center of the room and webbing adorned its surface. The group consulted with the glowing blades they carried with them. As expected, they were vague, and even a bit rude in the case of “Darkflame” as Christian had taken to naming the cool blue curved blade that he in his heart of hearts wished could only be a scimitar. The swords warned them to stand ready for they sensed danger. Skittering sounds could be heard from somewhere above. Lance tried to speak to whatever it was and in return heard a loud shrill shriek of gibberish they couldn’t make out. The angel on Lance’s shoulder paraphrased what she said was “Aklo” and something along the lines of feasting on their flesh and doing something unmentionable to their souls.

The group scattered trying to track the creature. Eventually one of the large containers came flying down at Redden, which he artfully dodged. The clang was loud and echoed through the room. He looked up and saw a large spider creature with the face of a woman with pointed ears. He took shots at it, angering her further. The rest of the group tried again to position themselves both in such a way to attack but also to protect the weakened Anatole. The spider creature lowered itself with webbing and attempted to bite Redden’s head off. It caught his shoulder instead, and sank poison fangs into him and weakening him, but was unable to grab hold of the ranger due to its own uncontrollable spasms. Anatole spoke of magical creatures known as phase spiders, but something felt off about this one as it moved spastically rather than effortlessly between material and “ethereal” planes as was written of them in tomes at the university. He warned of poison, but this didn’t help Redden much.

The group moved closer and sliced as best they could. Christian struck true with “Darkflame” and shield, and Loquar managed to enfeeble the creature greatly with a ray spell. Arrows and blades did their work and the weakened spider could not fend off their attacks. It repositioned itself with a short ethereal jaunt and showed signs of great discomfort in doing so. It attempted to bite down on Lance, narrowly missing him. Christian struck again in kind with a devastating blow with the magical blue sword that split the creature in twain. He asked the sword if it might at some point take on the shape of a scimitar, and telepathically it smiled at him with a grin in the shape of a scimitar’s curve. Perhaps there would be hope for them yet.

Following the fight, Anatole studied the creature and the room some more stating that he would appreciate more time to look over the place and perhaps better understand it. The group was just about ready to oblige for the sake of their own curiosity. Bjorn piped in that time was of the essence and every moment spent in investigation was a moment children could be harmed. Anatole insisted that the others go ahead without him, stating that the magical door should keep him safe for now and that perhaps he could be of better service to the group in figuring out these contraptions while they rescued any lost children. Knowing full well that he could be trapped once the doors shut again, he simply asked that they leave the machine lyre with him and that should they somehow not make it back for him he could try his luck out on the door. Doors, he thought, he could handle. Lance caught on that the man was attempting to save face for the fact that he was very scared and uncomfortable. He was best suited for investigating situations after they had occurred and perhaps wasn’t mentally prepared for the monsters they found themselves facing, those made of mercury and forced themselves into his head in particular. They respected his wishes and he bid them good luck as the door shut between them and began to glow a strong blue which signaled a lock.

It was a tough choice but they pressed on back to the floating hall surrounding the center. The fishy fey continued to evade them as they tried a new direction and found that the ‘floatiness’ continued on the other side and lead past rubble and soot into a room congested with black ash and soot. Examination revealed pieces of what looked like remnants of lab equipment, and luckily one intact magically gem that Loquar identified as an elemental gem of conjuration. Shattering it, he said, could summon forth a large creature from the planes of earth. Just the kind of thing he could work with, he added hopefully.

The next door that they tried lead to another strongly glowing blue door with the same musical notes featured on its face. Lance once again performed admirably and opened the door for the group leading to a branching hall, much like those before heading east then south and finally opening up into a circular room with a most bizarre black-barked tree growing downward from an unseen ceiling as if defying gravity. The room and the tree seemed unworldly, as not even Redden could identify the species of tree before them. Its kinked and writhing branches reached close to the floor and clung to a scrap of red fabric torn from some unknown, recent passer-by. Their footprints in the thin layer of soil on the ground skirted close to the wall and headed to the western door.

From above a creature stirred within the tree as Christian attempted to sneak past. A large, green dog-like creature dropped down and let out a loud bark at the group, shaking them all briefly and transported both Redden and Loquar back nearly ten feet back in a way that defied conventional rules of physics. With this flex of magical might and the group did their best to communicate with the creature and perhaps talk it down. Was it fey? Redden used his calming wild empathy, while their lyrakien friend did her best to sweet talk it in what sounded like Sylvan. It didn’t speak back, but rather watched them with quiet, intelligent eyes. It sniffed at them as they moved past. The group kept their arms and weapons low and slowly made their way towards the door. Redden and the angel kept it at bay and were the last to go through the door and enter the next hall. They turned a corner and faced another door… just what or who would they find behind it?


Session 28 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

In shock of speaking swords whose voices communicated directly with their brains, everyone froze. They heard their own version of what they felt was a strong, wise voice and could differentiate between the two through thoughts of both respective colors and temperatures. This was what books described as telepathy.

When they found the courage to speak back, they discovered that even in their weakened state the blades could listen to and read thoughts of their wielders. They boasted of growing stronger through feeding on what they called “arcane energy.” This place was radiating with magic and allowed them to feed on enough to speak at full volume. They said they had fed previously aboard Boram’s boat during an influx of magic.

The swords proved enigmatic, and spoke in riddles of magic and this place. They claimed that ages ago many could use magic and were punished for meddling with powers they couldn’t fully comprehend. As magical swords, they considered themselves tools of destiny, much like the wielders who had used them over the years. They went on to say they could perhaps reveal more to them should the group prove their worth along the journey… But for now, wasn’t there the pressing matter of children and a mad woman searching for something powerful in the depths of this dungeon?

They headed south and found the bodies of a few hobgoblins on the floor, seemingly dragged into the room. The room featured mechanical waterwheels that may have once powered some kind of engine. The ancients must’ve been advanced as only just recently had the dwarves really harnessed the power of steam engines. The room also featured an overgrowth of plants wchich Redden instantly recognized as yellow musk creeper, as seen in the fey woods near Kattegat. The plants animated the corpses of the hobgoblins, using them like macabre marionettes to attack the party. The creeper plant itself threw pollen at Redden’s face, entrancing him with hopes of making an even bigger meal. The group made quick work of the plants, slicing the vines and clearing the brush before much damage could be done. They found some magical supplies in an old chest and moved on.

The group doubled back and found themselves in an old store room. All the shelves, furniture, and supplies were crumbling away with age except for a single large chest. It featured two inlayed garnets, and untarnished mithril bindings. From within, muffled cries could be heard. Redden took to searching it for traps and as he tried to open the lock, the box itself sprung to life as if to protect its contents. Caught by the box’s disturbing adhesive coating, Redden was promptly chewed on by the chest as his friends did his best to free him and smash the biting box. It took a casting of “grease” from Loquar’s wand and some well placed strikes to eventually free Redden from its maw and smash the creature. Upon its destruction, it exploded, sending wood, glass and other contents flying everywhere and raining upon all in the room. A flash of rainbow light screamed “Yeeeeooouch!” as it slammed into the far wall.

The rainbow light was a winged creature, much like a fairy but not a fey. She was identified as a Glistenwing by Loquar, though he couldn’t recall where he learned the word. Anatole, hearing the name knew of Glistenwing as the gnomish and halfling word for Lyriakiens. Lyrakiens are tiny azata angels that serve Desna. They are known for journeying with adventurers and taking them to strange, far away places. Loquar and Redden treated her wounds as the others searched through the rubble for anything of value. They found the garnets and some mithril, as well as a mechanical lyre in the piles of debris.

The azata, once stabilized, did not prove to be of much assistance as she was visibly drunk and quite the hot mess. When questioned about it, she claimed that after being trapped in that box for days or weeks without hope of escape, she took to trying out the bottles of strange wines found within. She had lost some of her memories in the process. She couldn’t recall how she got there, or even who she was. At the mention of Desna, she perked up and begged the group to take her to a church. She didn’t know of the children or any of the happenings of this place… she just recalls appearing here and very quickly being swallowed hole by the box. She only wanted out of this place, and hoped they would oblige. Lance offered to let her recover on his shoulder, atop his pack.

Together they set out again and checked out the western room, the last of the three they had past previously. Within they found two gremlins mucking about in a room full of wooden “men” attached to machinery along the walls One gremlin was jumping around from head to head, smashing and breaking pieces while the other clapped and danced in the middle of the room. They were ugly, evil little fey and the group took full advantage of their distracted state, taking position in the room. Christian sent the dancing one flying clear across the room and by the time the other had taken noticed of the situation, Lance made short work of it. It screamed out and gyrated as it was pinned to the wall and then fell in a slump. Lance checked that his “passenger” was okay behind him, and as her little hand reached around for a thumbs up, he wooden man in front of him sprung to life and slammed him with large limbs of lumber. The group likened the creature to the wooden protector they fought in the Phantom Forest only this one seemed manufactured; ancient, rickety, and most certainly built by someone. The group took points around it and were caught off guard as it fired off a barrage of razor sharp splinters, causing heavy damage as it continued to slam and push forward. With tenacity, the group took it down by combined effort and one final swing of Bjorn’s battle axe.

Satisfied with knowing that this side was clear of threats and that the children must be somewhere else, the group moved back to the “floaty room” and this time headed north into another curved hallway, with two dead-ends and only a single north-bound door. They headed through and checked along another corridor for secret doors before coming to another door. They braced themselves for it to open.

[End of Session]

Notable NPCS

Lyrakien Azata (name unknown) – NOT a fey, also transported here somehow. May be claustrophobic and an alcoholic.

Talking Swords – Quietly judging you. Great.

Session 27 - Summary
Previously on Worlds Apart...

The party tied up loose ends in the keep:

Anatole gave Needles a strip search and proper lock up, finding cleverly concealed weapons on his person. He did his best to ensure the slipper, sneaky scoundrel had no chance of escape.

Redden, with some help, discovered that that animal heads on the statues in the main room could be equal parts political statement and desecration. The room was used for prayer, but the statues were of kings associated with the colonization of Gilead.

Lance questioned prisoners further, got more information from the hobgoblin sergeant:
He spilled the beans about Fethi (likely left with both Tom AND your money), the coming and goings of the keep (nobody left today, last time Evelyn “recruited” was 3 days ago when she brought in a few more bugbears) and probably most importantly the fact that earlier today, while rummaging for food in the storage closet, he could’ve sworn he had heard something behind him. He felt the presence of people but saw no one. He hid in the closet as he heard the door to the mess open and shut behind him.

Loquar got a hair cut by a wall scythe trap triggered upon touching the full plate in the armory. He had detected magic in them; turned out to be a ring of climbing. Anatole won it in a game of chance.

With the others busy, Christian sought out some personal information from Tom.

Bjorn had the freed slaves equipped and brought them together to assist with the burning the misshapen, ugly animal heads that adorned the central room.

Lance tried to play the song “Let my Love Open the Door” by the looked door of the mess. His performance was met with a closed door and sarcastic comments from Needles. However, this was followed shortly by applause from behind the door, a rattling of the handle and then quick, heavy footsteps heading away from the door.

Bjorn returned to the keep with conviction. Something stirred inside him… There was a look in his eyes, much like his father’s. He insisted that the group no longer hesitate as the children could be in grave danger below. The wicked do not rest, so nor should they. With our without the group’s assistance he would be going downstairs. They agreed to help him.

They left the freed slaves in charge of the keep and gave them signal horns in case of danger. Needles made a final attempt to bargain, saying if the group didn’t come back from downstairs by morning he would lead them back to Nikeah if they would release him.

Anatole took his time and opened the lock to the mess. The door creaked open to a quiet, nearly empty room. An excavated hole leading to stairs beckoned them. The group headed down with Christian at the lead, but at the first sign of traps and dead bandits and hobgoblins, Anatole took the front. As they got more than 40 feet down, they heared a rhythmic chant “juh-guh juh-guh juh-guh-guh”

As Anatole reached the bottom he saw what he identifies as a particularly dangerous fey, a red cap! The creature looked like a disheveled old man with a blood red cap, and large metal boots. It was swinging around a sharp looking scythe. He sang and danced, dipping his head in the blood of some hobgoblins.

“Going home, late last night. Suddenly I got a fright. I looked oh I looked, and was surprised what I saw… fairy boots are dancing with the hobssss… all right now!”

He cut up party pretty bad; the magic of his cap keeping him in the fight despite the numbers. However, cold iron prevailed and the little old man dropped. The group bound the red cap, took away his magical cap while forcing him to endure the Holy Symbol of Saranrae. They found out he, Mr. Dur, came to “this world” through a shining doorway and that he wasn’t alone. He didn’t know what exactly else was in this place. He stated that he didn’t like going further than the mirror room as the "floaty room beyond it made him feel nauseous

This was a magical place, Loquar was overwhelmed as he tried to detect and understand it. It was unlike anything he’d experienced. This is kind of place he should be investigating, though his detection of magic is a lot more difficult to focus. Anatole had come across very little on the subject of such places in his studies. It was a curiosity. Christian and Redden felt their magical blades grow warmer/colder, as they pulsated with light. Redden tested the nature of the metal against the resilient skin of the red cap (It’s not cold iron.) Anatole and Bjorn were finally informed of the existence of these magical weapons their friends claimed glowed, grew in size, and had on previous occasions had spoken to them.

They passed through a strange magical door that simply slid open at the sensing of their presence and closed behind them. In the next room, as promised they saw hundreds of mirrors of various sizes and shapes. As they stared into the mirrors they saw the image of a beautiful woman, an elf, with shimmering robes and glowing green pendulum swinging at her side. After watching her move gracefully around the reflected room, the image distorted and her now demonic face seemed to shriek at those still watching, startling them. They smashed the mirrors to feel a little better about it.

The next door slid open much the same and they headed into the “floaty room,” which in reality was a round hallway circling around the rooms they exited. They first experimented by throwing out objects, and later Christian with a rope attached to him. They bounce around a bit and figure out that the room had a subjective gravity. Anatole associated it with astral plane and gave the theoretical “science” behind it. They moved forward using the idea that “down” was the direction they want it to be and they floated accordingly.

They saw a rather large fish-like creature “swimming” in the hallway. Redden and Christian readied their weapons, and it spoke what sounded like a garbled sylvan and swam away in a hurry. Mr Dur said not to worry about it; it’s delicious!

They headed through a door to the west, out to the next “ring” of hallway and as they stepped through, felt no further floatiness. More doors faced outward and onward. The floors lit up under their feet in ripples of faint light and color, as if stepping in puddles of magic.

They looked for secret doors to the north and when they found none headed in a counter-clockwise direction, choosing to ignore outward facing doors and stay on the same ring. As they reached what they assumed was the southern point, they discussed where to go next, but were interrupted by the voices of speaking swords. They sounded louder and stronger than before.

“Good day, or is it good evening?” “It hardly matters.” “Oh, they’ve brought us here? Interesting.” “Yes, interesting.” “It’s been a while.” “Yes, a long while.”

They all heard the voices, in their heads, and exchanged surprised looks.



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