Strange Happenings

The Escape... Almost...
Out of the silence and into the... what's that smell?

As the party members regained consciousness and looked around, they found themselves — well… most of them — in cells in a cold, damp, stone jail. Imprisoned by iron bars, and watched over by a single guard, Rhun, Mictian, and Thein found themselves alone in each of their individual cells. Lily and Melody, however, found themselves in a cell together, and Xi, still disguised as Byl, found himself in a large stone box with no apparent door. As the others looked around, they realized that Xi was missing, but was probably in the large stone chamber near them, which appeared to be some sort of containment cell. They also noticed everything was unusually silent…

Lily, having snuck her lockpicks in with her by concealing them in her long, blonde (with black highlights), braided hair. Noticing the guard was paying little to no attention to them, Lily managed to get her lockpicks out of her hair and free herself, as well as Melody. When the opportunity arose, they two of them snuck out of their cell and went to release the others. Some of the other party members were able to break or squeeze out of their shackles. The party managed to all get out of their cells (with a bit of help from Lily) and ascended the steps to fight the guard above. However, on the way up the steps, the small braziers on pedestals on either side of the steps came to life and attacked them. The two girls made it past the elementals before they began attacking, and continued up to face the guard above. The other party was slowed by the elementals, which they quickly defeated, while the two young women fought the guard up top. After a short confrontation, Melody managed to throw him over the ledge onto the top of the stone cell that Xi was previously held in. The glass illusion (it appeared to be stone from underneath) shattered as he crashed through it to the ground. As he stood up, the party rushed down to close the door and lock him inside.

After a moment, the lights all went out, creating a significant problem for Lily, who couldn’t see at all anymore… and the party went back up to the guard’s watch area to see what they could find. However, shortly after they began searching, they made an unwelcome discovery — the guard who had been trapped in the cell downstairs was standing on the steps behind them, swinging his sword mercilessly at Thein. The party shifted, forcing the guard up the steps into the center of them all. They then proceeded to knock him unconscious, take his keys, weapons, and armor, and search the area. They found a list of their names and a small, round, white stone with the Great Mother’s symbol on it. They discovered several torture chambers (labeled “I can breathe,” “I can walk,” and “Mmmm… Kinky” and a stone door that they could not open, and none of the keys seemed to fit. So they made their way up the other way (after dispatchign two more elementals) and up to the next level of the jail.

They found similar elementals guarding the doors at the level above. Continuing to knock out guards and dispatch elementals as necessary, they discovered three more torture rooms on the next level, labeled “I’m not thirsty,” “Free toast!” and “Naptime!” They managed to dispatch the basilisk that was attempting to hide on the back wall of the “Naptime!” room, with only Lily being petrified in the process. However, they quickly discovered that the stone they had previously found in the desk was able to restore her to life.

They made their way through another floor of guards, doing their best to kill as few of them as possible (simply knocking them out instead) and elementals. The party slowly realized as they progressed through the jail that the guards’ armor made them able to hear in more than just the stairwells, removing their most significant disadvantage in escaping. However, they also encountered a changing of the guard on their way out, during which they surrounded a doorway and knocked out two guards on their way downstairs. The rest of the new shift’s guards fled to find reinforcements.

Knowing they had very little time, the party quickly moved forward through the rest of the jail, and found two hidden stone doors in the room where they had initially been blindfolded and shackled . One of the doors led to a small treasure room, which they managed to clean out (after nearly dying to several traps). The other led down some stone steps into a large cavernous… well… it appeared to be another jail, but looked as though it hadn’t been used in a century or two, and echoed with soft sounds of zombie-like moaning. They quickly made their way through a door to their left, where they discovered the guards’ resting area. They closed the door behind them and decided to rest…

Melody, only needing half as much sleep as the others, chose to sleep the middle 4 hours. During the first two hours of rest, she kept watch over the party to ensure nothing came upon them. Feeling confident that they were safe, she lay down to rest, as well…

When Thein and Lily awoke, they saw Melody sitting along a wall with a beautiful black-haired, light-skinned young woman, who introduced herself as Lilith. Next to the two of them were two rows backpacks with food on top of them. Each row contained a backpack looking exactly like that of each of the other party members. Lily began seething with hatred for this new woman (for reasons unknown to any other party members), and made her distrust incredibly clear, even stabbing Lilith before being forced to back down by Melody. The party members (including this woman, who was apparently their new companion) went through their backpacks and discovered one was some sort of rigid backpack of extradimensional space, and contained objects they had never seen before. The other was their old backpack, containing all of their old equipment, except for Thein‘s spell component pouch and Lily’s rope. Believe that Lilith had stolen it, Lily again made her distrust and accusatory beliefs incredibly clear. In response, Lilith emptied her bag of everything in it, and honestly confessed that she did not have anything belonging to either Thein or Lily. Lilith discovered a little white bunny wrapped in the blanket inside her backpack. After a minute or two of chasing it around the room, they finally managed to catch it and Melody made a little harness out of a spare piece of leather she had found, and a leash out of a small piece of rope. Lilith appreciatively put it on her new pet.

When the party members finally decided that they could get past this and trust each other as much as necessary (and rounded up the little bunny that had apparently been wrapped up inside Lilith‘s backpack), they left the room and went toward the door at the far side, passing several cells of zombies. Seeing that the zombies were secure in their cells, they attempted to open the door. However, the door only opened about a third of the way. At that point, there was a loud click, and most of the cell doors unlocked. The party fended off the zombies with little issue. They then pushed the door further open, until another loud click released the rest of the zombies, which they also dispatched with no problem. Finally, they managed to open the door, and [[:thein | Thein] quickly flew up and into the room, looking for an escape, only to be quickly attacked by two wraiths. Realizing he was severely outmatched, he flew back down out of the room toward the party. He flew back through the door and waited in the main chamber of the jail (where the zombie cells had been) for the wraiths to pursue him. Lilith put forth her open hand and yelled at the wraiths, one of whom stopped where he was and appeared to be in awe of her. The other was quickly dispatched by the other party members. When the first of these abominations was destroyed, Thein stepped into the cell with the other, who appeared to still be in awe, and swung and swung his sword through the wraith to no effect. Shortly after that, the wraith stopped cowering and attacked Thein back. He fled again, barely alive, out the cell door, to stand behind several of his companions. Seeing that the party seemed to have things under control, Lilith summoned a ball of light to orbit her that would explode if thrown at an enemy and kept an eye on the area around them, waiting for any other vile creatures that may attempt to sneak up on them. When the second wraith finally fell, the bunny started frolicking about again. Thein realizing the bunny was causing far more problems than it was worth, attempted to murder Lilith’s little pet by stabbing it. The bunny barely remained conscious, and Lilith turned her small orb on him, knocking the remaining life out of the blackwing…

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Welcome to your new home!

The guards approached the large blue wall, and a section of the wall went down one row at a time starting from the top. The party and the guards continued through the wall, which went back up after they had all passed through. After a very short walk (during which the party was unable to see through the wall of guards), the party arrived, still surrounded by the guards, at a small, single-floor building.

After processing, you were escorted down a hallway into a small stone room, where you were blindfolded again. You were then escorted through a portcullis, down stone steps, and through another portcullis. Things then went eerily silent and you were walked for a little while with a couple turns. The only sound you heard was each portcullis rising and falling. After a short walk, you heard another portcullis raised. You were then walked down another set of steps, where it started to get slightly colder and the ground was almost damp, at that strange point where it’s difficult to tell whether it’s cold or wet. At the end of the steps was another portcullis. After going through that portcullis, the silence took over again (you could hear the expected sounds of clinking armor and keys and such while on the steps), and you felt incredibly uncomfortable — not the cold or the dampness… something you just couldn’t put your finger on. After a short distance walking on this level, you go through another portcullis and begin down another set of steps. As you descend these steps, the air around you feels significantly colder and wetter than before. The guards open yet another portcullis and walk you forward a short distance, after which they stopped. After a moment, something slammed into the back of your skull and you fell forward onto the cold, damp stone of the floor…

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Entrance to the city...

The guards approached the large blue wall, and a section of the wall went down one row at a time starting from the top. The party and the guards continued through the wall, which went back up after they had all passed through. The mounted guards dismounted and several young men (apparently human) approached to tend to the horses. After a very short walk (during which the party was unable to see through the wall of guards), the party arrived, still surrounded by the guards, at a small, single-floor building.

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A New Beginning

A quick recap of the events that I missed previously…

Mictian, Thein, Lily, Xi (ξ), and Rhun awoke in a dead-end cave, finding a set of jailbars barring the entrance. They found out that they were being held for the murder of Arlyna, the daughter of the town’s mayor. Soon an extremely attractive drow, Melody, came to the entrance of the jail and made a deal with the guard to have the others released, although they were not allowed to leave the town, as long as they helped solve the murder that they claimed they had not committed.

With the permission of Byl, the captain of the town guard, the newly united party members began their search for Arlyna’s murderer. Upon inspection of her body, no clues were discovered as to her murderer.

They continued to explore the town, and discovered a letter hidden in the town hall that (after an extended period of time) Lily opened, and only she read before the text disappeared from the paper.

The investigation eventually led to the mayor’s house, where the party discovered some disturbing things. The party went to Arlyna‘s room to conduct an extended search. However, they quickly discovered that they were unable to exit the room due to magical barriers. So, stuck in the room, Lily eventually discovered a button on Arlyna’s floor-to-ceiling mirror that opened it to a descending stone staircase (with a screaming alarm going off…).

After descending the long stone staircase, the party discovered a row of cells, one of which contained a small, scared girl who looked identical to the dead Arlyna out front of the house (except very much alive). Confused but intrigued, Lily picked the lock to free the young girl and comfort her. After a couple minutes, the party continued down the hallway with the young girl, who also called herself Arlyna. At the end, they found a door that opened into a room that looked like a bedroom, with several suits of armor in it. Shortly after, while the party was exploring the room, Byl arrived. After a short confrontation with several guards (in which one was killed) and a discussion with Byl, the party agreed to return through the hallway to the mayor’s house, rather than through the door in this room. They discovered that Byl just wanted to protect Arlyna, and knew that the Arlyna on the front lawn was some kind of imposter. He informed the party that he and Arlyna needed to leave, but asked Lily if she would take care of Arlyna in the near future.

The party departed Byl‘s room through the tunnel, into the mayor’s house, and made their way out of the mayor’s house (Arlyna’s door was no longer blocked by the magical barrier). Xi, having transformed to appear as Byl, descended the steps ahead of the others and flew out front onto the front lawn. However, as he stepped down the mayor’s front steps, he realized that the town he saw from on the steps was an illusion. He stepped down the steps into the hands of nearly 2 dozen armored guards, already holding Mictian in custody. They quickly took him into custody, as well. As Rhun and Thein descended the steps, seeing no one outside, they figured the others would be somewhere nearby. Stepping down off the steps, they realized the illusion and saw Mictian and Xi in the custody of the guards and quickly joined them under arrest. Finally, after swinging the mirror closed, Lily and Melody descnded the steps and exited the house, falling prey to the same illusion and being arrested by the guards.

As the party looked around to question the guards’ motives, they noticed a tall man on a white horse. He wore full plate mail armor with a maroon shading to it, trimmed in gold, with the symbol of an open palm in the center of his chest.

As the party looked around, they noticed the same symbol and color scheme on all the other guards (most of whom were half-orcs and humans), but with silver trim rather than gold. They carried several varying weapons, including halberds (for those on horses carrying banners), swords, and battleaxes, and some carried shields displaying the same color scheme and symbol.

Lily and Xi looked up to him and questioned the reason for their arrest. He removed his helmet, revealing a strangely attractive half-orc with bright red-orange hair slicked/pulled back into a braid about shoulder length. He then informed them that they were being arrested for multiple counts of murder — Arlyna and the guard in the mayor’s house — and would be escorted to the capital city for sentencing.

The party was then immediately arranged throughout a block of guards, blindfolded, and escorted to the capital city, a 2.5-day journey on foot. They stopped twice along the way, but the guard was vigilant in their watch, and none of the prisoners escaped.

After the journey, the party members’ blindfolds were removed and they saw a strange blue wall rise up before them, nearly 100 feet into the air, and spreading nearly as far to either side as they could see. It seems safe to presume that the blue wall is constructed by magic.

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uh...oh...

When the party awoke, they realized they had been in a dream…

They stood in the room with the red carpet, with an unconscious Nope lying on the floor of the room half under the door he had just ripped off its hinges. V attempted to pick up the door and place it back in the doorway. Shortly after that, while the party was discussing what to do, Tellahna came to the doorway…

Here’s a quick summary of what followed

  • Barrick attacked Vish.
  • Vish, with V’s help, killed Barrick.
  • Fred, seeing Vish curb stomp Barrick, shot V.
  • Fred and Vish made up (but not out) because Tellahna forced them to or she wouldn’t let them leave (wtf?).
  • Tellahna told them they could leave as long as they didn’t touch anything and unlocked the door behind them.
  • They went out into the main chamber
  • Fred trolled the group and slapped a sarcophagus
  • Much stone rumbled
  • Vish panicked and ripped open the air-locked door behind them (N20 STR check).
  • The sudden sever change in air pressure caused items to be sucked into the room, passing over the glyph in the next room and resulting in an explosion with a chain reaction following, resulting in…

>>YOU ARE UNCONSCIOUS<<

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The Basement: Round 2

The party, having just been thrown into the basement, made their way toward the monster they had chosen to slay, rather than face the orcs above. They found a few strange differences in the layout of the rooms and hallways in the basement. They also discovered that all the traps in the basement were reset and all of the doors relocked. Several rooms into the basement, they discovered Winker.

After discovering Winker, the party made their way back through the crypt, eventually arriving at the room where the creature waited. When Nope attempted to open the door, he ripped it off the hinges and everything faded to black, then to bright white, then back to normal. Nope, holding the door in front of him like a shield, slowly made his way into the room. The rest of the party entered the room (except Vish, who waited just outside) and spread out, facing the creature before them. She who had previously introduced herself as Tellahna looked at them, watching intently in her green and black armor, as they entered the room and spread out. When the party appeared ready, Barrick put a fire trap on the door held by Nope, and Nope attempted to throw it at her (but completely missed). Tellahna spoke a few words and Nope found himself unable to move, standing held in position, as though by magic, as she fought the other party members. After a minute or two, Tellahna yelled “STOP!” The party yielded, unsure of what was happening in the chaos of combat. Tellahna offered to them that if they leave her armor (which Nope was wearing) and scythe (which Barrick was wielding), she’d allow them to leave. They merely needed to return to the same room as previously and drink the potion there. Unconfident in their ability to defeat her, as V was nearly out spells, they chose to listen and left the room and each drank a potion…

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Outside?!?
..How'd we get here???

As the bright white light faded away, the party found themselves stripped of all of their gear, trapped in individual cages in the slave pen outside the manor. Standing in the afternoon sun, the party slowly regained their vision. They saw three other humanoids trapped in similar cages. The two dwarves appeared beaten and worked nearly to death, but the third, a human man, seemed in a bit better shape. The party all appeared to be in whatever they were wearing underneath their armor (in Nope’s case… nothing…), except Barrick, who was in dark grey robes with purple…ish… trim, similar to those of the priestess in the Temple of Era. Barrick called to the head of the orc guards, who ignored him and walked away toward the front of the manor. Ignored by the leader, Barrick called to another one of the orc guards and persuaded him to release him from his cage. However, when another orc noticed, he killed the first. This then resulted in a continuous stream of orcs trying to release him and being killed by their cohorts, until only one remained. Unconvinced by Barrick , and terrified by the ensuing chaos, he fled to the nearby worg pen and released the worgs to have their way with the prisoners. Eventually, the party members escaped their cages – some by the skills of Fred and others by the worgs ripping apart their cages in search of lunch. Seeing a potential opportunity for escape, the strange man in the nearby cage also broke his cage open through sheer force. However, they realized as they escaped their cages that Nope had turned to stone…

The party fought hard, but fighting without Nope, and surrounded by a pack of worgs, assisted by a displacer beast — also released by the last remaining orc — they were doomed to fail. Suddenly, everyone was blinded, and heard the sound of blazing fire. They recovered their vision just in time to see a column of fire disappearing. The displacer beast stood unmoving, and everything else had been vaporized. The party looked around and found Tellahna standing before them in her robes. She walked over to Barrick , demanding he tell her what he had done. Extremely confused, Barrick relayed her the events of the last day (as he remembered them). Tellahna informed them that the woman who was in the basement was an impersonator who was to be avoided. And any further association with her would be accepted by Tellahna as betrayal. She gave Barrick a decision – retract his commitment to the woman in the basement and she’d revert what had been done, or she would no longer accept him as her follower and would eventually hunt him down.

Although unsure of what exactly was going on, he chose to continue to follower her. Tellahna instructed Vish to punch him if he moved while she was casting, and sure enough, as she began to cast a spell on him, he changed his mind. As he stood up, Vish punched him, knocking him unconscious. Tellahna healed him back to consciousness and asked him for a final decision. He chose her again and this time, after she began casting, he didn’t move. She healed him and the rest of the party fully, as well as the mysterious stranger who stood watching the entire affair. Tellahna told the party that they’d find their equipment inside in the rooms they had slept in when they were last inside the manor. Then, she muttered a few words and tapped Greg on the shoulder before walking away toward the fog. Greg then saw a concealed door in the side wall of the manor.

The party followed Greg through the door into the manor, which entered near the gnolls’ quarters, where they had previously slept. The party members spread out and retrieved their gear from the rooms they had slept in, and prepared for their upcoming day. After donning their armor and exercising (…Nope…), during which Barrick and V attempted to identify their magical items, the party resumed venturing throughout the manor. Figuring that a potential safe room for resting would be a good thing to find, they went to the room with the sign on it that said “No Entry by order of Zargath.” Fred unlocked the door, and the party ventured through finding two large birds who had a nearly cadaverous look to them. The birds stood over a nest containing three eggs, stepping defensively between the door and the nest when Nope entered the room. Deciding this room looked like a good resting room, with the exception of the birds, Nope decided the birds should be exterminated. He stepped forward to attack…

A couple minutes later, the birds had been dispatched of, with one minor problem… The birds apparently had a special attribute. Anyone who they attacked could potentially be petrified. So, yet again, Nope became a Nope Statue. Unable to do anything about it, and aware of the time of day, the party decided to lean the Nope Statue against the door to secure it shut.

End 5 Feb Session


When the party awoke, they found everything just as they left it – an empty nest (they had taken the eggs after the fight), 2 dead birds, and a Nope Statue against the door. They prepared for the day, and V walked over and to everyone’s amazement, tossed Nope’s statue gently into the corner. They proceeded to the library, the room they had previously entered, and went into the library to purge it of orcs. During the fight, four of the six human slaves escaped, V was deafened, and the orcs were finally dispatched……… after an orc blew up the alchemy table in the corner, burning the entire corner where V had previously stood. After the last few orcs were dead, the party looked again to the south end of the room (where V had been standing), which was entirely engulfed in flames surrounding a humanoid-shaped creature that appeared to be made of the fire itself. After several minutes of the creature standing, staring expressionless and great confusion among the party, the fire instantly subsided and V stood where the creature had been, dazed.

As V recovered from his dazed state (and had no idea what had happened), the party collected the two remaining human slaves and brought them along to the main hallway. Fred decided to go find out what was in the room next to the library before they ventured through the doors at the end of the main hall. Fred unlocked the simple door to the room across the hall from the library, and found two orcs inside, which the party quickly dispatched. They they took anything that looked potentially valuable (or useful) from the orc’s armory.

Finally, they went to the door at the end of the hall. Behind the door hung a curtain, behind which was nothing but darkness. Nope was the first to step through the solid black illusory wall, and found himself in a large room, surrounded by orcs. The rest of the party followed. Looking around, the party saw several familiar faces, including the female orc from Candlebrook, the large orc with the huge double axe from outside, and Gurn, the gnome who owned the tiny magic shop in the Initial Town. The orc holding the double axe looked at them, and offered a proposition. Nope‘s hammer was pulled from behind the throne and offered to him if he won a duel with the familiar female orc. The orcs made a ring around the center of the room for them to fight in, and Nope defeated her with relative ease. Suddenly, Gurn made a break for the door, and asked to leave, saying he hadn’t had a chance to escape until now, and that they needed to let him out. V didn’t believe him, but Gurn tackled Fred out the door. V stepped out of the room and roasted the gnome with a ray of scorching fire from his hand. He stepped back into the room in time to hear the large orc say that if anything happened to Gurn, they would pay. The orcs then offered one more proposition — the adventurers may have their lives if they dispatch the creature in the basement of the orc stronghold. The orcs informed them that they would be escorted to the sarcophagus that the orcs believed was the entrance, but they were unsure of how to open it. As Vish stepped out of the room first, she saw Gurn‘s roasted body in the hallway and quickly scooped it up, carrying it to the arena in the center of the building and stuffing it in the chest behind the chair. Meanwhile, V, still deaf, attempted to buy time with the orcs, asking lots of questions (only half of which made sense, since he can’t read lips very well…), desperately hoping that Vish was doing something with Gurn’s corpse.

After buying as much time as he could, V went cooperatively with the orcs to the Trophy Room, where they had previously killed several orcs and a wight — and an orc wight — and were told to figure out how to open it. Having previously opened it, Nope reached in and pressed the button to open the sarcophagus floor. The orcs remained there, armed, until all the party members had jumped down the sarcophagus (again), back into the darkness…

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The rest of the crypt...

After a short rest, the party resumed their venture in the crypt beneath the manor. Crossing the hall, the rogue unlocked the door and the party quickly entered the room, finding it identical to the last room they had cleared out. Upon defeating two mummies that rose out of the two sarcophagi in this room, they examined the treasures contained in this room – more magical items. They distributed these items as appropriate, leaving a set of full plate mail behind, and left the room to explore the contents of the last door. After several tries, Fred the Ugly finally managed to unlock the door, but when he attempted to open it, the room went dark for a moment. Light returned and the party scattered: Nope stayed at the door, the crazy cleric hid in the room where the mummies had been, and the others spread out in the large central chamber in which they stood. The room went black again, and when the lights came up, they realized that Fred the Ugly had vanished.

Nope led the party into a small, wide room with a red carpet in the center of the floor running nearly the length of the room from their left to their right. As he stepped into the room, a high-pitched screaming, similar to that of a banshee, rang throughout the chamber, nearly deafening the adventurers. When they regained their composure, the party saw three doors in the room, each with a torch on either side. in addition to the one through which they had entered – one in the center of each wall. The door to their left led to a simple storage room with nothing of great value. The door to their right led to an empty but strangely clean room. The third door, however, the one opposite the door they had come into the room through, opened into a large room situated like a sitting or living room. It contained a sofa, a smaller sofa (similar to a love seat), several chairs, and a few small tables. The party also noticed a coffin in the room, approximately the size of an elf. As they came through the door, a familiar elf stood before them, as only Barrick had seen her before, in a corset and leather skirt. This time, however, they were a dark green colour.

The elf introduced herself as Tellahna, and Barrick nearly cried out in joy at seeing his “Mistress,” as he constantly called her. However, unlike in past times that they had encountered her, she seemed very ambiguous with her wording, almost as though she had never met them but was trying to hide it without outright lying. After several minutes of conversing, she informed the party that she could get them out, but only under the condition that one of them stayed with her. Both Greg (as the crazy cleric was now calling himself) and Barrick volunteered, but the other party members – Vish, Nope, and Vervaxamas Veneficirex Garvei, refused to leave both of their healers behind. So Greg joined the others and they left Barrick alone with Tellahna. They followed Tellahna’s directions, returning to the clean, empty room. The door closed behind them and they felt as though thy were in an elevator traveling very quickly upwards. After all of them had fallen, the room went black and then fully white, so much that they could no longer see…

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Yet Another Catchup Post... Sorry!
..Oops.

Okay, so I’m going to try to be better with keeping this updated.

Summary version of what’s happened since my last post:

After saving the town they were staying in (note: they STILL don’t know the name of it…), they traveled back to Candlebrook and from there headed north.

A lot of chaos happened, including:
– A mimic killing two party members (due to a mistake by Nope…)
– The discovery of a tied up pony (which was left in Candlebrook in the temple when they returned to rest and heal)
– The fountain in the center of Candlebrook vanished when the crazy cleric paddled around it in a circle (in a barrel), revealing a cavern where they eventually found a glowing sword with imagery of Isis

Eventually they found a large fort surrounded my a monstrous chasm, 50 feet wide and continuing further down than any of them could see. They eventually figured out a way to enter the town, with the assistance of the guards patrolling the walls. The town, laid out over a large lake and containing bridges between different areas of the town, contained two temples – one to Era and one to the Great Mother. Certain characters favored Era’s temple, while others called it a whorehouse (which is not entirely inaccurate…) and preferred the Temple of the Great Mother. Barrick and the crazy cleric managed to see the priestess of the temple of Era, who would only see a single person at any time, and when Barrick left, he seemed… rather different. He was completely infatuated with the priestess of the temple (and has been ever since).

Eventually the party left the town and headed into the woods in search of some food. However, this ended badly when a bear mauled Vish to death – with a little help from a Confusion spell cast by the party’s favorite cleric, forcing the party to return to town. They chose to leave Vish with the priestess of Era, rather than the High Priest of the Great Mother in the other temple. They were informed that the ceremony could take some time, and that they would be informed when it was complete via a messenger of the temple.

So the party set off without Vish, heading back to the south where they were told previously the orc stronghold could be found. As they traveled, the road became harder and harder to follow, and they began to depend on Aierethel’s tracking abilities. She successfully navigated them through the overgrown brush and through a forest, where they camped. However, while they were setting up camp, Aier read the inscription upon her sword to herself, but just barely out loud. When she uttered the final word, a small cottage appeared in front of them, offering them protection from their harsh surroundings while they rested. When they awoke, they re-equipped themselves for the harsh brush of the forest surrounding them. After everyone else left, Aier left and closed the door behind her. As she closed it, the cottage instantly vanished before her eyes. After a short time, she was able to pick up the tracks she was following and resume following them. Suddenly, the forest vanished and before them hovered a wall of thick fog, ten feet high, and so thick that Aier couldn’t see her hand in front of her face, much less the tracks she had followed thus far. This brought the party to a halt, while they discussed what to do from here.

The group quickly reached a consensus that their best bet was to trudge through the fog and hope for the best. As they approached the fog, with Aier still in the lead, she drew her glowing sword. Holding the sword before her as she walked into the fog, she noticed it split the fog every so slightly, just enough to grant her confidence that if something appeared in front of her, she wouldn’t be caught entirely by surprise. As she walked slowly through the fog, she tripped over something large, but quickly caught her balance. She quickly pointed the sword down at the object to see what it was.

A gentle blow to her side pulled Vish from her dream of frolicking through fields with a bear, and as she opened her eyes she barely saw a glowing sword pointed directly at her chest through thick fog. Calling out to the wielder of the sword, she and Aier were reunited and trudged the rest of the way through the fog with the rest of the party behind them.

When they reached the other side, Vish was reunited with the rest of the party, and they saw before them a massive field, in the center of which was a mansion being reconstructed… by orcs. The party walked around the massive field, staying on the edge of the fog the whole way to conceal themselves. One side contained vast housing in the form of huts and cottages, with orcs walking about. They eventually managed to kidnap an orc, enthrall him (via the crazy cleric’ spell), and gain some information to assist them in entering the manor unnoticed. Using the information they gained from the orc, they managed to get inside through the rubble in the southwest corner of the manor. Aier decided to walk in the back to watch the rear. As they ventured through the manor, killing orcs they encountered along the way, Vish eventually noticed that Aier had vanished. She told the party, but they all agreed that splitting up would be a bad idea. The cleared about 3/4 of the floor when they found a secret door in a sarcophagus leading to a basement.

They climbed down into the basement into a small dark room. They made their way through the small dark room into another small room. The cleric decided to sleep here for a while, saying he’d catch up eventually. The others left the room and encountered a series of trapped chambers. Eventually, they managed to get through them, using a secret door to circumvent a glyph, and found themselves in a dwarven burial chamber. They killed the wight in the chamber and made their way back into the main chamber of the crypt, where there were six doors: one leading to the room containing the glyph, one on the opposite wall, and two on each of the other walls. This room also contained several sarcophagi lining the walls. They went into two of the other side doors, one of which contained one sarcophagus, a small amount of money, and a shadow, and the other containined two sarcophagi and a chest, probably holding the valuables of whomever was buried there. They quickly and excitedly tried to open the chest. Upon attempting to open it, however, they were attacked by two dark wispy creatures (allips), which proceeded in greatly unwisening the monk and druid before being destroyed. The party, exhausted after all the traps and undead encounters, chose to rest in one of the burial chambers, as it was the safest place they had access to.

Note: The door on this side of the glyph – they had learned the hard way – would set off a huge explosion in the room containing the glyph, and the secret door they had used to get past it would not open from this side – they tried..

Aaaaand we’re caught up again!

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Quick Summary - Minimal Details
Attack on... the town they're in!

So the party awoke in the temple, had some breakfast goop from Ahntew Raj, the bartender, and left the temple. With some help from some past guard members who were in the temple, they unbarricaded the front door and defeated the otyugh that the orcs seemed to have left there to guard the door. They then left the guards, who rebarricaded the door, and made their way back to the previous town. When they finally made it back, they talked around town for the rest of the day and went to the tavern for the night.

In the middle of the night, the party was aroused by the guards to help defend the town. Fred was also released from prison under the condition that he would help fight. Their weapons were returned to them to help, and upon defeating the orcs who had climbed the outer walls, they were permitted to keep their weapons inside the town and Fred was granted his freedom from incarceration.

After slaying around a dozen orcs at one gate with the help of a couple guards, while several guards handled the other gate, the party was permitted to return to the tavern to sleep, but would be awakened if another assault came in. However, the night passed without issue.

The next morning, the party awoke, had breakfast goop, and talked to the ranger (he had also helped the fight last night), and learned of an orc stronghold to the northeast of the town. This reinforced the rumor they had heard from the priest in the temple, who simply mentioned an orc encampment.

Armed with this new knowledge, the party prepared to venture out in search of the orc stronghold.

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