Episode 122 Recap
The Portal Brings a Metal Doom

Mere seconds after Aven and Zinn went into the portal, Zinn reemerges cradling Aven in her arms. She stumbles back out, and catches her footing. Aven is rigid, locked in place. “Bad, bad, bad, decision!” Zinn describes a world of space, ships, metal creatures. She had entered a big shadowed tunnel, emerging into a silver sky with floating ships and weird metal creatures with the will to control gravity. When she first entered, she saw Aven floating and sped up to grab him. Upon touching him, the ships saw her and a metal spidery claw from above went for her; she barely made it out. Aven is still catatonic.

Bork notices the portal start to shimmer, when suddenly insect-like appendages moves in from around the portal. Bork yells, “WATCH OUT!” Sentinel notices the claw is phasing in and out of reality with a dim green aura filling in the missing material. The portal gets choppy, as a large figure bursts through, head snapping to spot the entire party. The hammer-headed metallic being crackles with electricity and makes a sudden hand movement. Suddenly gravity reverses, as Fraas use his airy step and quickly casts feather fall for Zinn, Laush & Sentinel, though Shah, Gfed and Rand crash into the ceiling.

Insectoid appendages extend unnaturally toward each of the adventurers. One goes into Rand’s mouth; he turns green and vanishes from sight. Fraas and Zinn dodge. Gfed and Shah get their gravity reversed again. Laush slows down upon touching one of the insect arms, but casts airwalk to overcome the effect. Zinn enlarges. Sentinel leaps toward the metal man. Rand reappears at the other end of the room and falls to the ground again. “QAS AM UNAAT!” Rand flames the metal beast. More metal men come running from the tunnel, running toward Sentinel. Bork throws a bandolier of grenades at the metal pirates. As Fraas’ cone of cold dissipates, he recognizes the smaller metal pirates as golem-like and resistant to magical effects. Some of the metal wounds repair themselves. The big one moves toward Bork. The gravity field adjusts again. Shah goes invisible. The spider limbs retract through the portal after the big guy nods. Zinn charges but misses.

With Bork’s bombs about to explode, Sentinel heroically rushes through the enemy horde to grab Zinn and rush away. The metal constructs slice at Zinn and bludgeon Sentinel. Sentinel is blinded by an electric attack from the bigger metal pirate. Rand charges toward the pirates, as his griffon attacks with a flame blast triggering the grenades to explode, obliterating four of the metal pirates. Gfed uses weird words to fell the big one. Zinn and Sentinel strike at one of the remaining; Rand’s griffin attacks the other.
One of the golems unleashes an electric shock, sending the other into a berzerker fit. The electric shock turns Bork into ashes and the berzerker rips Sentinel apart.

Fraas creates a pit, but the golem leaps to safety. Zinn hurls a snowball at the farther one. Rand dimension doors again and falls. One of the golems charges at him, but Rand blocks the strike and instead cleaves it in twain. Fraas tries to dispel rand’s dimension door, but fails. Finally, Zinn’s snowball obliterates the remaining golem.

Rand verifies that Bork is indeed and sadly, dead. Sentinel’s light is still seen through the spyglass but his body is no longer whole or animated.

Aven is still catatonic, so Rand attempts to remove his paralysis. He awakens, “I went into the portal, and it felt like something grabbed my like before.” Examining the metal pirate corpses, “It looks kind of like the creatures from the plane I was at, but clearly not the same designer”. He mentions feeling a sudden blackness. Gfed says, “this portal is obviously more powerful planar magic than we know.” Aven picks the most useful parts of the mechanoids to take. Rand calms the dragon, and tells the frantic creature what just happened. Confused, the dragon indicates that portals cannot change destination and that the other side is different than our prime material plane.

Readying to leave, Rand carries Bork’s body and Sentinel’s head and Zinn carries Sentinel’s body.

Up the stairs and across the water, for the rest of the day and another, they make way to Griffton. Archibald notices a somber adventuring group. Fraas goes straight to the bar and drinks, silently, solemnly. Rand and the rest take the bodies of the fallen to Quinnla’s. Quinnla looks through a book of funeral rites, unsure of what to do about Sentinel. Rand asks Quinnla to keep their bodies in good condition in case the party can find a way to resurrect them. Laush goes to chat with Rose. Everyone else reconvenes at the bar. They disperse excess gear among themselves and discuss plans to head back to Belheim the next day. Zinn and Fraas spend the evening quietly drinking. Rand goes home for the night.

Early the next morning, Beck can be seen patrolling with little Timmy, and some of the rescued guardsmen.

Persevering with a significantly weaker force, the party heads to Belheim. It is much brighter than before, as Lord Garland’s perpetual nighttime spell is fading. They camp outside town for the night, which passes uneventfully. In the morning, they move toward the center of town, tracking, and moving unseen to the edge of the tower’s lake. Fraas sends his arcane eye into the tower, but everything is as they left it.

Moving west out of Belheim, traveling under cover of forest, they reach the edge of forest and spot the guard tower. Atop the tower, Fraas spots a fur-robed orc sitting in a chair. Fraas cloud shapes and approaches. The orc is more still than a person could possibly be, but nothing else seems out of the ordinary. Gfed sends his hawk to try to disturb the figure. The bird takes a circuitous route, lands on the tower, and pecks at orc’s foot. After flying back the hawk reports: “Smelly orc. Nasty. Dead. Moved. Taste bad.” Asked if there was anything else he smelled, the raptor squawks, “Tasty mole. Will eat later.”

The group decides to skirt the tower along the edge of the woods. They travel for the rest of the day into nightfall. The trek has been unnaturally quiet. In the plains approaching the hills, they move into Fraas’ magical room. The night passes uneventfully.

They travel for a few more days. It’s incredibly quiet. They pass a few small encampments, recently abandoned and continue through the foothills toward the mountain. After 3 days travel, they are about halfway there.

After 6 days from Belheim, they see a place where the hills open into a valley and from a few miles away, they can see an enormous frozen waterfall, 1000 ft tall. There is some kind of structure built into the face of the waterfall: a ledge, with buildings inside. Fraas notices about halfway up the waterfall, there is a fortification, holes cut into the falls, arrow slots. Everyone can see a finely carved staircase winding up on the north side of the city. The steps appear bigger than needed for humans. 500 ft up on the side of the falls is an opening. Lights can be seen dotting the valley in the shadow of the waterfall. Among the fires there are at least a dozen frost giants, small ogres, about 50 white-furred animals and some very large mammoths.


Episode 121 Recap
The Frozen Foe

Rand begins to bring Aven up to speed while breaking chains off prisoners: “By the way, we found the white dragon .. He’s perched on top of the Central tower in Belheim… He’s enormous. Much bigger than Draugarlond. We don’t think he’s spotted us, We’ll tell you more later.”

At Rand’s words, the brook trout fisherman (one of the good-aligned captives) speaks up, “Don’t speak of him! Sorry, that is … Lord Garland always told us not to. His lordship said it was dangerous to even think about him .. it .. the frozen foe. And whatever you do .. don’t say his name! Sorry for interrupting, sirs .. and lady.” (He backs away quickly, bowing while limping on his wounded leg.)

Over chatter among the group of a potential of a dragon religious war, Orn shivers at mention of Orborus. The group gathers the prisoners together, putting the 6 obvious guardsmen in charge of corralling the Belheim folk, preparing them for the trek to Griffton. While organizing, the group chats with some of the guards for more information on what happened in Belheim: “They just appeared” “Devastation was total” “We were caught in nets” “We’ve been here for over a week” “Every so often they’d eat one of us” “We’d just hear screams” “Others were taken further west” “Fire signals lit before skirmishes” When asked about the tower on the lake, a guard replied, only holy ones from the council allowed on the center isle in Belheim.

Before leaving, Zinn speaks with the dead cyclops: “How do you get to the mines that the Belheim prisoners were taken to?” “West, 3 days, climb to gate in and deep below.” “Who does the white wyrm take orders from?” “Thoko” (Gfed recognizes the name from old giant legends, a terran title equivalent to emperor.) “Where is the army going now?” “West, back home, to await Thoko’s command”

They burn the remaining giants’ bodies, and begin the march back to Griffton. Along the way, Shah flirts with a female guard.

Back forest, amid more comfortable temperatures, the whole group stops to rest. Aven takes some time before sleep to retell his recent interlude. He lived 10 years in what the rest perceived as only 2 days. Aven taken away from “here”, because of what he was doing; his life was severed. He had been trying to craft items faster than natural laws allowed, when was “untrue” for the beings of Mechanus, a timeless, clockwork plane. His consciousness taken to Mechanus, where he was repaired and then put on trial. The “others” in Mechanus took his crafting device. They also claimed aven strongly resembled the one who first brought gun technology to orcs, to the blood god, Orborus, the giant red wyrm. Aven has a charge to fix this, his life in the balance, literally ticking away.

In the middle of his watch shift, Fraas hears a voice in his head:
“You say friend, but we have never met. Though if we have a common foe, and if you are the one I suspect, what help will we be?”
“We shall secure those civilians we have already saved, and all who I can convince will meet you forthwith.”

Fraas wakes the others, after preparing for cold protection. Bork, Fraas, Zinn and Sentinel teleport to the dragon’s tower. Arriving a bit away, they walk across the icy moat as there is no land bridge, only a destroyed frozen dock. Frozen bodies lie in lake, trapped under ice.


Upon approach, the gargantuan white wyrm drops to the ground to meet them. “Welcome my friends. Thank you for answering my summons, this is my last night before I return. I need your help to root out this great villain. In return, the favor and friendship of dragon is a great gift.” Sentinel clasps his hand on Bork’s mouth.

The white wyrm then begins to provide a bevy of information:

Thoko, a Rune Giant, has two siblings 2 brothers which are chained up by him currently. His is chained in the same room where he resides and does not leave, trapped in the mountain to the west. When pilfering the white wyrm’s baubles, he found a Torc, when placed around his neck he became as powerful as a Demi-god, thus was able to subdue the White Dragon. Thoko has a white-bearded sorcerer (presumably Jackmerius). Thoko also knows about the adventuring group and some of their capabilities, as the white wyrm has been commanded by Thoko to report on the group, up to this point.

The white wyrm is bound to Thoko by a magical collar and must do what he explicitly says. Has been recalled by Thoko to his service back at their mountain home. The white wyrm destroyed Belheim as it is the rightful seat of the dragon ruler of this place. Draugarland is the title of those that rule the mote. The previous Draugarland was the upstart young green dragon and before that the mote was ruled by his parents.

Inside the tower is a portal. Not much is known about the other side of portal as the tower long predates Belheim. Thoko wishes access to the portal, but its protector, the Ghael is a powerful foe. Inside the tower lies the imperial dragon, the only other dragon on mote.

Thoko has been collecting souls of slaves to free himself from the mountain. He magically takes lifeforce from others to gain freedom from his trap. These souls power a pool, the purer the soul, the greater the power and the remaining body becomes a withered husk. His army can also use this pool to envision a location and teleport. Thoko’s army has been mining out Aerum from the Mote in the mountain, about 3 days to the west. There is a direct way in, and a secret way, to the west, along the river through a frozen waterfall.

Bork ends the conversation with the wyrm, and enters the tower. Fraas and Zinn follow, while Sentinel rushes back to campsite to inform the others. Inside, an open archway, dark, steps leading down, twisting about five or six times into a large underground chamber. The room is very bright, with ribbed dark stone arches. In the back of the room wide steps lead up to a 40 ft tall shimmering portal. Next to the steps, coiled up, lies a silver-scaled, wingless dragon, breathing slow, ragged and chained with barbs.

The dragon lets out a loud roar and Bork, Zinn and Fraas flee out the tower entrance in fear, but immediately regain composure and re-enter. Bork approaches more carefully this time, and notices dragon is missing some of its teeth and its tongue and eyes. The barbed chain is black dragonmetal, unbreakable. Fraas attempts to speak telepathically, but denied “for our sake”. When asked about green dragons he thrashes and whips Bork back. Fraas casually vials up some of the dragon’s blood. With a promise to return, the three adventurers head out to white dragon to ask about the dragon metal. Only a few dragons know how to make it. The creators of the metal must die for the bonds to be broken, in the chain on imperial dragon, those creators would be Lord Garland’s parents, who are south on Dragsuar motes.

Finished at the tower, Bork, Zinn and Fraas teleport back to the campsite.

The next day is one of travel until they reach tunnel to Griffton and quickly escort the former prisoners through to Griffton. After a day of rest, the adventurers head back north. The temperature is noticeably warmer than before and they can spot that the white wyrm is no longer perched atop the dark tower. They reach the lake, now thawing, and make their way into the tower. After another fear-inducing roar, Rand acknowledges the imperial dragon, who answers his questions with only silent gestures. Rand attempts to heal the creature, but its wounds cannot be healed by magics. Shaking underneath Rand’s hand, the dragon asks to be freed through death.

Rand asks about the Ghael of the north, it is unknown if she is free or captive. He is tied to the Ghael, his mate on the other side of the portal and bound for the rest of his existence. The dragon indicates that no one goes the other way into the portal; he was free the last time this happened. It was also at this tower that the encounter with the blood god occurred. The storm giants came to this mote first, and had fought with the original green wyrms, Lord Garland’s parents. They had set the slave trade under way. He knows of the giant turtle and considers it a friend. But at mention of Zidane the dragon thrashes violently. It is clear he knows that Zidane had conceived a child with his mate, but is not hostile to Rand for this.

While the group debates what to do, Fraas and Bork examine the portal closely. Almost bumping the two in, Aven strides into the portal. Zinnaerris darts in right behind.

Episode 120 Epilogue

In a matter of seconds, it was over.

The party charged the guard tower, unleashing their most powerful attacks, tackling the orc mage out of the sky and laying waste to every enemy in a single bloody blink of an eye. Even the mythic Great Cyclops did not foresee or have time to react to the slaughter.

The party quickly realized there was a new unknown, a potential ally. The blast sounds coming from a nearby hill to the right reminded the group of Aven’s pepperbox, but were somehow different.

Looking in that direction, a lone figure stood upon the snowy hill of grass. His cloak billowed in the wind and the party glimpsed a flash of light as if his skin was metallic: was this another iron-skinned hero? Perched upon his shoulder was another metal oddity: a small winged thing, turning its head to and fro, resplendent with color. Was it an ironborn parrot?

Quiet settled over the scene, as the captives’ panic turned to a low murmur of concern. For a brief, moment, the only sounds were the wind whipping snow around the mysterious stranger on the hill, and the ragged breaths of injured and exerted warriors.

Then, from the west, from the distant, icy mountains, bellowed the low rumbling sound of a animal horn being blown, then another, then another, and signal fires began to dot the white backdrop.

The stranger approaches with a noticeable increase in speed. This stranger has an eye patch which is quite intimidating against what looks to be a rough chiseled face. What can been seen of the face looks to be part skin and part metal, with the flesh sort of merging together in some sort of desire to keep the humanity intact as best as possible. Only the top part is visible because the bottom part is hidden behind a bandanna. Gears, peeking through the crevices of the flesh like metal plates, create low whirling and ticking sounds as he moves about with precise motion, as fluid as that of a clockwork timepiece. The metal plates seem to have replaced what was maybe once skin in certain areas, now provides the protective covering for the internal mechanisms that allow the creature act and move so precisely. This relationship of the gears to the metal plates is similar to that skin and blood for more fleshy individuals. The high polished sheen of the metal plates gives the stranger quite an alluring look, that and the awe of such a creature… living, makes it almost hard to not take notice of him.

The creature on his shoulder looks to be be a mix of faerie and dragon crafted from metal. Colors have been applied to make the creature more colorful and to match its appearance a bit better. It continues to look back and around without paying much attention to you. The mysterious figure speaks to it, referring to it by the name “Orn”.


MYSTERIOUS STRANGER: “We need to move quickly or we might be encroached upon without readiness and that would not do for any type of tactical advantage.”

He pulls his bandanna below off of his nose and down around his neck. It’s Aven! “I’m back but not without lots to discuss. Hold off on your questions until later. We will catch up then. Now its important to get prepared and survive. He drops several bags with name tags on them. Each of these I have crafted for you with expectation that it will help to the best of my knowledge and efficiency.”

For Sentinel: Amulet of Might Fists +1, Daredevil Boots, Bodywrap of Might Strikes (shock), Bracers of armor +1
For Zinn: Belt of Mighty Con +2,­ Medallion of Mind Sentinel
For Fraas: Rod of Metamagic of Lesser Empower Spell
For Bork: Cloak of Resistance +2, Necklace of Fireballs (II)
For Gfedcba: Eagle Cape
For Rand: Crown of Swords
For Shah: Boots of Striding and Springing, Ring of Feather Fall

Fraas stares agape at his rod with wide eyes for a good 30 seconds, then smirks. “I sure do hope some of the oncoming horde are flammable.”

RAND: “Aven this is amazing! I’m so glad you’re back. When we get the chance you’ve got a lot to tell us. Particularly, what’s happened to you. It looks like we don’t have much time until more of the winter army gets here. Zinn would you ‘Speak with Dead’ with the Cyclops while we break these Belheim captives out of their chains? Fraas do you think you could engineer a cart out of the stuff in the tower? Some of these people might be slow movers and we’ll need to carry them. How about we bring the two Orc sorcerer bodies with us back to Griffton, or at least until we’re safe, and ‘Speak with Dead’ to them too? If we can get this crowd back to the forest, we might be able to cover our tracks if we follow the same path the previous giants made on the way to the portal to Griffton.”

GFEDCBA: “Perhaps we should spread out. That way if they take a few of us, they might think they got us all, and a few could survive.”

SHAH (looking at the prisoners): “Are any of them capable fighters?”

Walking among the prisoners and speaking to those who are not in shock, Shah gets the sense that it is a mix of roughly 80% skilled artisan caste and 20% warrior caste. Some of them are wearing tattered green tabards emblazoned with Lord Garland’s sigil. The chains look easy enough to break off and the shackles easy enough to pick, if desired. They speak of the attack, and it reinforces what has already been heard: a surprise attack “from all directions,” a freezing storm, and many captives caught in nets. (One captive is a brook trout fisherman who seems to take morbid enjoyment in that irony.) The Belheim folk indicate many more captives were taken west, and they had been kept in the guard tower for roughly a week. It looked like the prisoners had been mining a dark rock/metal, perhaps coal.

The group notices a great amount of tracks heading west, over the grassy, snow­covered hills, towards the mountains, as if a great group travelled that way. Sentinel’s perceptive eyes do not see any movement from the signal fires on the distant mountains, which are roughly 50­100 miles away.

Fraas detects magic and looks around the corpses, prisoners and tower site. Nothing magical among the corpses, captives or tower wreckage. However, the two orc mages were wearing valuable looking garments: furs of white winter stoat, over thick, fine wool cloaks, set with red garnets. The appraisers of the group think they are worth perhaps 5000gp in total. Otherwise, the group find provisions to make a thick porridge to feed the captives, and the frozen carcasseses of three enormous, shaggy­furred elk. One haunch has been processed somewhat, partially eaten and its fat rendered and collected in enormous frosted glass jars. The giants and cyclops appear to have been eating captives, which the shaken Belheim inhabitants confirm.

Rand detects evil across the crowd, seeing a couple goods and a couple evils, both in the artisan and the warrior groups. The auras are faint, when present. Laush sets to healing any ailing prisoners.

Sentinel points out that the group should light our signal fire probably to avoid looking suspicious as the only tower without one lit. Other than that sentinel looks to the group, out of earshot of the prisoners, “we need to figure out a way to get these people to safety as well as ourselves to safety ­ if we can’t figure out a way to accomplish both of those tasks we need to find a way to get ourselves to safety. We also need to ask all these people where the mines in this region are. With so many artisans we probably have a good understanding of the general lay of resources in the surrounding area”

RAND (to Sentinel): “Lighting the signal here is a great idea, (aside) but we couldn’t possibly leave these people. Once we speak with dead, and free the prisoners, I think we should have enough time to get them to the tree portal and safely into the tunnels to Griffton. Rand starts breaking chains off people, assuring them and telling them to stay calm and follow us.”

Episode 120 Recap
From the Rubble of Belheim

On the sandbank, strewn among detritus and fleshy bits, the adventurers find the site of Aven’s laboratory, now a collapsed-in sand bar. Behind some kelp, Fraas & Bork recognize the fish that ate Aven’s floating eye. Fraas freezes the water around it and extracts the eye post haste.

The party spends the day digging out the caved in area. After noticing a large amount of stray coinage, a worried Fraas and Bork rush to the ship to check on their loot, worries confirmed, finding most of their cash reserves missing. Fraas casts a spell to secure all the remaining gold and platinum pieces.

Rand and Laush, head to Rose’s, who was busy fashioning iron nails. Laush recognizes that Rose’s holy symbol matches her own deity, Ragash. Rose looks up from her anvil, “you didn’t tell me you brought royalty with you!” After a moment, she emerges carrying an orcish warhammer, with a design of Ragash in the hilt. “This was the axe of my grandfather, Grim Grom Grummer. It is yours now.”

Night falls, and the crew has finally dug through to Aven’s chamber. It’s a watery, unlit, circular room, covered in insane gnomish scribbling. Bits of wood, bits of Aven floating in the ruddy-stained water. Fraas manages to scrounge back a mere 1000 gp from the detritus. Among the workshop, which is now all rubble, Bork discovers a bejeweled scimitar, perfectly cut with small dark gems. In the workshop is a lingering magical aura, Fraas senses it is linked to explosion and very powerful; Gfed discerns it is a planar magic. Fraas casts blood biography, confirming that Aven was indeed dead and was “grabbed & torn apart, this morning.”

Rand checks in with Belheim Zinn and Azaria for details on Belheim’s layout. He asks about Jackmerius & Zidane, but they have no info. The group makes plans to ready for two more days before heading north. They use the scrying pool below the town to look in on Jackmerius, but nothing appears. Fraas scries the white dragon, sees a large sleeping scaly form, atop a stone structure, snowy peaks. It is significantly larger than Lord Garland. Its eye opens and it looks back at the scrying eye. Bork sees its lips start moving as if casting a spell, and quickly alerts Fraas who closes the scry. After a few moments they try to scry Rust, but again, nothing. The rest of the night passes uneventfully.

Gfed’s eagle is sent to Sentinel’s reach. Meanwhile, Rand at practice with his new abilities, shouts “Qas Am”, this time stronger, spewing flame, singeing the grass. Riding the griffon still requires more practive. Rose & Laush chat about home. Zinn heads to her tower to retrieve a silvered mirror along with Rand and Fraas. They use the mirror to scry the eagle at Sentinel’s Reach, but only see it happily eating squirrel, a golden hill and fruit tree farms to the south. Scrying Balin Barduke, Fraas sees Balin chained at the neck to other elves. On bricks of ice, Balin is on his knees. A booming terran voice “Prepare the sacrificial portal!” Fraas recognizes Jackmerius’s voice “Up The Rope” and watches the sacrifice move into Jackmerius’s rope trick. “Back to the mines,” booms the Terran voice. A bit distraught, Rand, Zinn & Fraas head back into town.

The next day, the adventurers meet up with Sylviana, who portents “Dark defender exiled will save his people”. Fraas flits to the crow’s nest. Rand tries “Qas Am Unaat!” this time generating a 200ft forward by 20ft wide column of incinerating fire. Another attempt at scrying, this time for Belheim Zinn’s husband, seeing no child and it is clear he is in the same mining area as Balin. Laush’s armor order is ready at Rose’s. All is ready for the northbound journey.

Upon reaching the end of the northern tunnel, Fraas sends his arcane eye to spy ahead. It looks quiet, so they use the lyre to head out. Laush covers tracks as they go, following giant tracks northward. They rest up Fraas’ rope trick to rest and take watches, though it is clearly not as nice as Jack’s.

After another day of travel, it seems like they are reaching the edge of Belheim. A stone wall, vined, with a tree gate. Through the opening, they espy piles of stones and it feels unnaturally, hauntingly cold. Fraas cloud shapes to check out the city, but finds it is completely lifeless and still. Frozen bodies in various states of destruction, large giant, wolf and giant giant tracks all over, columns knocked over from blunt force, blast patterns of frost on remaining columns. Westward there are 100ft wide swaths of tracks leading to a huge opening in the city wall; far to the west Fraas can make out small fires. There are dozens of different giant tracks, large humanoid shaped tracks, armored prints, and tracks for what are presumably former Belheim inhabitants become prisoners. It is too cold to explore the town right away, so they spend the night in Fraas’ rope trick.

Next morning, Fraas casts a communal endure elements and the group walks into town. For about an hour, they pass through more rings of wall, seeing a lot of toppled columns. 1000ft ahead they see a frozen lake, within a single island housing a dark tower with a white wyrm atop. They quickly hide behind a rubble wall and instead move west, see lights about 100ft out at a guard tower. Near the tower they see giant shapes milling about, a rough wooden palisade, human figures. Fraas cloudshapes, while the rest of the group moves closer over felled trees & rubble. When Fraas is high enough he sees a wooden apparatus inside the stone tower, the back half totally knocked away, chained-together humanoids and larger giant shapes inside. Meanwhile, Bork puts poison on Shah’s blade, Zinn’s sword & Laush’s hammer and bolsters the speed of Gfed, Laush & Zinn. Zinn bull strengths herself.


Bork teleports in invisibly, seeing a horned cyclopic giant & two fur adorned orcs, weaponless. Bork bombs fire, but without effect on the cyclops. Fraas drops out of cloudshape, feather falls & lightning bolts a hill giant, orc & the cyclops, again not damaging the cyclops. The cyclops moves at Fraas and hurls a boulder; Fraas windy escapes and only takes part of the hit. Bork bombs one of the orcs on the ground, the other flies up. Zinn swings at a giant with dragonsbane and shocking grasp. Laush and Shah charge in. Sentinel leaps into the air hauls Gfed, dropping him off on a nearby rampart. Sentinel grapples the levitating orc, tackling him to the ground. Gfed casts distressing tone, whereby figure appear beside him signing dischordantly. The badly injured orc lashes out with a blast of cold energy at Bork who resists most of it. The hill giant fighting Zinn swings its club twice, but Rand charges it with a power attack and two vital strikes; the giant is now very badly hurt. The hill giant that was zapped by Fraas heals its wounds. A third hill giant circles around to Sentinel with it club, trying to attack the grappling ironborn. Fraas goes invisible and scurries away. Bork bombs one of the orcs to death and attempts to climb the cyclops. Laush charges a hill giant with her warhammer. Shah lights up his rapier and while invisible, slays one of the giants. Gfed casts hideous laughter at the hill giant. Sentinel punches the orc he was grappling. Fraas ice spears the cyclops & fireballs the orc who ungrapples from Sentinel & flies up. The cyclops knocks Rand unconscious with its big club, but Rand defiantly regains consciousness and uses his holy great axe to end the cyclops. Gfed weird words the orc mage, Bork ice bombs the mage to death and staggers the giggling hill giant. Sentinel walks over and crushes the hill giant in a coup de grace.

Episode 119 Recap
The King of Nightmares

The next morning, after descending into turtle’s cavern, the group makes their way back to the Library. Sentinel and Rand force open the mechanically hidden door, which opens into a 20ft wide stone room, steps going up, a desk to the left, with papers, files, all disintegrated. Bork finds a scrap of paper that looks like some kind of record of work hours. While Aven checks for traps on the stairs, Bork strides on up. A hall leading left passes some stairs going up, and terminates at a fork; to the left, submersed stairs down, presumably into the flooded room; to the right a path on the same level, leading into a large dining area with alcoves fitted with spartan bunks. In this room they find a single skeleton, falling apart, with no legs below its knees. The room looks like it was evacuated in a hurry. Backing out, they move toward the upward stairs into a cylindrical room, with ladder leading up to a trap door. The door gives a bit, but seems to have been covered up from above. Rand and Bork knock the door off the hinges and as dirt piles in, Bork teleports them both to safe cover. The path up simply leads back into the forest above.

The gang head back to the library door with the grease trap. The door opens into a dark tunnel, unnaturally cold. The stone steps inside are irregular. Suspecting a trap door, Rand presses them and they give a bit. The group fashions Bork with a rope line and after walking in about 10 feet, the trap is sprung and the floor converts to a steep grade ramp. Surfing down, Bork eventually reaches the end of the rope and hollers up briefly before cutting the rope and freely sliding further. Moments later, Bork teleports back behind the rest. He reports that 300 more feet or so down the hole, he caught onto the lip of a pit. 100 feet down into the pit he saw a black ooze with a legion of eyes and mouths. Whatever it was had seen him and was making its way up. Across the pit, in a far chamber he saw a bigger aboleth, floating in a room working on a apparent ritual with magical lights and circular formations joined by a small group of skum. He was barely able to make out a high pitched voice, presumably the aboleth’s, sounding out in pain or anger.

Resolving that descent into the pit is not the safest way to approach the aboleth, the adventurers tread back past the turtle’s chamber to find another route: past the recently sanctified room of sacrifice and into a swampy, fetid-smelling room, the stream terminating into a pool. Under the water’s surface lie four large spherical objects, across the way a large archway. Upon further inspection, the objects appear to be eggs, with evil auras; presumably baby aboleths. Bork dives in with a bomb, narrowly escaping an attack on his will, and obliterates the ova. As they explode, maniacal abolethean screams echo from the direction of the archway, “IMPOTENT UPSTART MORTALS! MY POOR BABIES! CANNOT SUMMON THE OLD ONES, THEIR HERALDS MUST DO. PREPARE THE SACRIFICE!”

They all charge through the archway and descend a long staircase. Shah turns invisible and hustles forward. The sound of a large chain crank can be heard; Aven charges ahead, “They’re turning a big wheel, and someone else is down here!” A refrain of screaming voices. Fraas gives himself and Zinn protection from evil and they follow down. In the chamber, noneuclidian runes are dimly glowing on the walls behind a large hovering aboleth in stony carapace armor. Shah approaches a female half-orc cowering in the corner, wearing only tattered rags, who is making an apparent escape toward the stairs. Aven unleashes his pepperbox, Rand charges in smiting the beast, Sentinel runs toward. Rand is almost compelled by the aboleth’s enchantment, but shakes it off. An invisible Shah runs over to the crank wheel, just as it locks into place. A cacophonous crescendo of evil voices rings out, as the black oozing Shoggoth emerges from the pit next door and moves toward the room.


Rand rushes to the crank, charging a skum on the way. The echoing voices confuse Fraas as he unleashes a devastating fireball upon Aven, Zinn and the escaping half-orc. Taking it in stride, a smoldering Zinn charges at the Aboleth while shooting her bow. Sentinel dragon punches the aboleth. The aboleth begins babbling. Rand can hear the unseen Shah’s voice nearby, babbling as well. Confused, Bork bombs Gfed to the edge of consciousness. Rand pushes the crank. It doesn’t budge, so he tries again, and it moves ever so much, clicking once. The runes start to fade, but the black oozing creature is still moving forward. Fraas regains a bit of composure and fireballs the aboleth. Zinn notices Rand’s efforts and helps the crank back another click. Gfed scorching rays the aboleth. Sentinel moves to help with the crank; it locks into place and the runes fade, but the large black creature is still coming.

The aboleth creeps toward Zinn and smacks her with a tentacle. Rand takes a defensive attack and slices through the aboleth with his holy great axe. Its stony carapace turns clear and dissolves into slime. Bork bombs the remaining skum, accidentally hitting the still invisible Shah. The two skum still standing try to push the crank against Sentinel’s strength and one stabs at him. Rand simply cleaves them dead. The Shoggoth drives forward, but strikes an invisible barrier at the threshold of the room, withdraws, and the screaming voices quiet. Fraas and Bork collapse.

Aven supplies Zinn with a water sphere to put the fire on her still burning garments out. Suddenly, the skin on her arms start to dissolve and the air burns her, so she stays in the water sphere, although she can’t hold her breathe for long. Sentinel carries her up to the pond where the aboleth’s eggs were, as she appears to be stable as long as she’s submerged. Rand, carrying the unconscious Fraas and Bork, heads up the stairs and approaches the mysterious half-orc, who introduces herself as Laush. After some convincing that the group are not a threat, she offers to heal everyone in the area. Rand, Gfed and Aven look for Shah, who after about six minutes reappears near the crank, unconscious. Gfed throws a pebble toward the Shoggoth pit, which flies right through the mystical barrier in the doorway.

Rand graciously offers Laush some of his extra equipment and he tells her about their goal of ridding the mote of evil. Laush says she was walking in a mine on her mote, then suddenly she was in the woods, fell through a hole and ended up here. She is from “Laush Gurak” which Gfed recalls is an orc stronghold mote. Laush is not evil and she mainly wants to return home, where evil humans have been enslaving her people. Upon reaching the pond with the dead eggs, Rand lays hands on Zinn. In doing so, Rand reveals himself as a paladin, Laush backs away, “Paladins are enemies, treacherous!” She mentions her grandfather, Gaël Corentin, is an evil paladin oppressor. Aven and Gfed exchange knowing glances, secretly recognizing the name as a great human hero of Ayn, slayer of orcs, who is still active today, and on a mote of the other side of this world. They all make their way up the ropes back to the forest floor. During watches, Laush approaches Zinn and asks if Zinn could help her get her storybook back. Zinn is a bit shocked and shares her storybook with Laush, and convinces Laush to ask the rest of the group to go back down tomorrow to look for it.

In the morning, Bork has regained a bit of consciousness and drinks a healing tonic. Shah and Fraas also both stir to consciousness, however something is very wrong. They both wake up screaming once they see their friends “WHO ARE YOU! WHERE AM I!?” Shah unsheathes his dagger, which immediately starts speaking to him, and he drops it, startled and aghast. Fraas and Shah share panicked glances, “RUN!!” Gfed invokes a calming spell, but they are both still very much confused as to who they are, where they are, and why this strange group has brought them here. Eventually, the calming spell wears off and the two run off in different directions. Sentinel chases down Shah and Rand tackles Fraas. The two are bound with rope, but still causing quite a ruckus. Rand suspects this amnesia is some kind of after effect from the Shoggoth. “Fraas, your name is Fraas; we’re your friends!” “Frogs? My name is Frogs? I guess that sounds right.” “And you are Shah.” “Shaaaaaah what? Shaaaaa?”. The binding, perhaps obviously, does nothing to still their panic. Fraas begins shouting “Help! Help!” and works his way free from the bindings. He doesn’t make it far before Rand tackles him again. “Help! Help!” Bork warns him to be quiet, but it doesn’t work, so Bork proceeds to work Fraas unconscious with his club. After several hours of attempts, Gfed finally is able to cast the group’s scroll of miracle and thus repairs Shah and Fraas’ memories. Fraas, having wetted himself during the incident gets Aven’s help in washing his garments, after which he quietly air dries them, only moderately embarrassed.

Seemingly back to normal, the party descends to inspect runes in large room. The inscriptions are disrupted by ritual designs, but Fraas is able to comprehend them, as it is in the same language as the other arches in this area: “tread ye not into the chamber of the king of nightmares”. In search of Laush’s book, they make way to the only unexplored room in the aquarium, from where the spiked net was shot at Shah. Past the ballista, is a small living quarters for a group of skum. After quickly dispatching them, the group finds tool-making and metal-melting equipment, and a book that appeared was intended as fuel for the smelting fire. Gfed grabs a crumpled, torn-out page near the furnace and hands it to Laush. After detecting magic, it has the same aura as Zinn’s book, but the torn out page is no longer magical, even after Gfed uses a mending spell to reinsert it.

Three days pass on the way back to town. Archibald reports that Yannik came and went. Fraas plays chess with Sentinel on the airship deck. Rand visits his family, his mom still sad about his father’s departure. Bork convenes with Archibald about borrowing the use of his eye. Sieffre’s daughter, Sylviana and Gfed play music in the airship’s galley. Shah washes his clothes and floppy hats and goes to find the magistrate who implores, “will you stay longer this time?” Bork brings Archibald’s eye to Zinn and Laush, who look at their books, with no effect on Laush’s repaired page. Bork gives Laush a potion to comprehend the runic writing; the same runic language found in the library during their recent dungeon experience. Rand checks on the progress of the town’s aerial defense prototypes. Beck has things under control. The refugees seem happy to have tasks. Azariah is now working with Archibald, putting her knowledge of spices to good use.

Fraas makes his way up to the crow’s nest, where he finds Belheim Zinn sleeping under tattered covers with piece of moldy cheese and stale bread. She said Zinn told her to meet her here seven days ago to help find her family. Fraas takes her down to the ship’s galley to get a proper meal and rallies the rest of the group. Belheim Zinn looks skittish, and meekly asks for help finding her husband and child. Rand tells her that it’s our current objective and we’re working on a plan. Laush sits down next to her, and shares an instant bond with the young half-orc as she voraciously finishes off her meal. Aven, possibly inebriated, can be heard across the room talking a poor sailor’s ear off about some new idea.

Rand takes Belheim Zinn to go speak with Azariah at Archibalds. When he gets there the two are rapt in jubilant conversation. Archibald provides some refreshments, while Azariah and Rand discuss the details he needs to make way back into Belheim. She agrees to gather intel from the other refugees and produce a parchment with all the information she can get. Belheim Zinn gulps down her first taste of ale, and in response her face is equal parts intrigue, disgust and euphoria. As he takes his leave, Rand notes how strange it is that Azariah and Archibald are always giddy around each other and they both went upstairs together. He thinks it must be some kind of coincidence.

At daybreak, when the group gathers, Aven is nowhere to be seen. One of the sailors reports that he went off saying he had some brilliant idea, “powerful beyond your wildest dreams.” He may have been drunk. From the ship they hear a large BOOM! SPLASH! Flotsam near one of the beaches. Fraas adopts cloud shape and heads toward the source; the rest follow along the shoreline. Weird little gears, red, bloodstained fragments of wood, fleshy bits, Aven’s hat floating next to the dock, with bits of scalp and an ear still attached. A fish surfaces to gulp down a floating eyeball.

Episode 118 Recap
The One Where A Griffin Calls Rand Fat



There are lingering acrid acid smells in the cavern. Aven reports there are six underwater tunnels leading from the chamber. Fraas begins sawing off Galdûr’s claw and presents it to Rand who glows with satisfaction.

Zinn begins to stir as Bork rushes to gag her with an old sock. Not knowing what else to do, Fraas begins whacking her unconscious with the flat side of his dagger, Bork soon thereafter intervenes.

The party searches the cave and finds traces of griffin feathers, as if the baby had been drug into the water. Bork mentions his people’s previous encounters with aboleths, that they hail from great chaos, are arrogant and eternal unless killed. They consider the potential that this beast had been influencing Galdûr and the manticores. Bork hastily fashions a potion of protection from evil and tries it on Zinn. It doesn’t seem to work, so they all take watches.

On third watch, the aboleth reappears and begins a negotiation with Bork, the only Undercommon linguist in the crew. “I will trade you the Griffin for my new thrall.” Bork attacks, revealing and dissipating the creature’s false image illusion. Aven puts his ear to water to listen, but hears nothing but a low omnidirectional hum. With a new day of spells, Fraas is able to dispel Zinn’s enchantment. Zinn pouts for a moment away from group, before explaining how she had heard Babdan’s voice convincing her to attack her fellows.

Fraas uses his arcane eye to see if there is a path through one of the tunnels. After nearly losing track, he finally finds a way through the watery tangles of roots and branches into a larger rectangular room. The room is flooded except for a big mound of dirt, upon which is a fresh trail of blood and feathers that looks like it was drug onto the pile, then off into another direction. Fraas casts water breathing on the group, uses his wand of animal aspect to give everyone otter features, aside from Aven (who swims with ease) and Bork (who drinks a potion of touch of sea). Bork also gives Sentinel, Zinn, Fraas and to himself, a potion of protection from evil. They all hastily descend into the water and toward the rectangular room.

As they enter the room, they hear a loud grinding sound. The tunnel collapses, injuring Fraas and Bork in a flurry of debris, and Gfed is buried under rock near the tunnel exit. Immediately, two large eels and one colossal crawling form move toward the gang. Sentinel quickly flurry of blows one moray eel, who snaps back with two sets of teeth. Bork swims toward Gfed and starts digging him out with whatever implements he can find. Fraas tries to fireball the crawling creature, but it just fizzles into steam. Zinn misses her first strike at an eel, but allows Shah to turn invisible and sneak attack the eel in its eye with his dagger. The crawling creature is close enough in the murk to make out that it is a shipwrecker crab. The crab and an eel fight over an advancing Rand, and the crab easily wins, grasping Rand in its gnarled claw.

Aven joins Bork in digging out Gfed with his crowbar. Rand attacks his grappler. Sentinel charges an eel. Bork bombs the crab and narrowly misses. Fraas shoots a lightning bolt at the crab and in doing so, sizzles a nearby eel to death. Shah surfaces, but the rest only see his feet leave the water and can hear his muted screams. The crab grinds Rand in its claw and then grabs onto Zinn. Aven finally clears Gfed, who is unconscious but still breathing, and swims up to the surface. He sees a barbed net pulling Shah up the nearest wall, which seems to be an illusion. He shoots the net, freeing Shah who tumbles back into the water. Bork bombs the fuck out of the crab, Fraas fireballs it, Zinn strikes with an electric attack. The crab scuttles away toward the dirt pile with Zinn and Rand in tow.

Aven swims over to check on Shah who seems to be poisoned. Sentinel and Bork race underwater toward the crab; Fraas swims slowly behind. Babdan (the sword) heals Zinn, who strikes and blasts the crab with energy. As it makes a desperate last attempt to consume its catch, Rand impales it through its open mouth. They finish off the last eel, while Bork cures Shah of poisoning. Rand give the crab a coup de grâce, and heals everyone. Aven lights up the room with illuminated pebbles. Everyone else surfaces and can smell a stronger, acrid smell. Galdûr’s imprint is on the dirt pile as if this was his bed. There are bloodied drag marks leading off. Aven throws a pebble into the illusory wall, behind which they can now see a ballista with rope launcher. There is also another passage (where the bloody tracks lead) and a mechanical door. Before they move on they spend some time searching the lair finding several gems, some platinum and gold, a pile of mundane weaponry (rusted), a magical leather war saddle that sword Babdan recognizes and is labelled with his name, and leather boots of teleportation with a mithral inlay.

They group up and don their animal aspects once again, making their way along the griffin tracks. Sixty feet down the tunnel under an overhang they can make out dim lights. Aven spots one alarm line, but in notifying the rest of the group, he mistakenly triggers another. Thus, they charge in.


They emerge into an old library, half-submerged, with stone bookshelves and many many skum awaiting their charge. Aven starts the battle by shooting off the heads of couple. The rest of the adventurers take their turn in kind easily picking off much of the skum horde. Fraas is the only one who sustains an injury, a flung trident striking his hip. They hear a chanting, and an aboleth, this one wearing an armored skin, emerges in the room, floating above the stacks. It quickly enchants Fraas who impulsively feels that all the knowledge he seeks is here in this room and there are merely seven who stand in his way. Rand and Sentinel catch sight of Fraas’s intent and quickly incapacitate him into unconsciousness. Sentinel jumps up to the aboleth. Bork firebombs and frostbombs. Zinn lightning bolts it. More skums attack with javelins and tridents. Bork suddenly hears a dwarf’s voice compelling him to attack his friends. Rand wastes no time and rushes forward smiting the aboleth with his javelin, running it through. Its carapace turns to ooze. The rest of skum are in quick succession dealt blows of death.

Bork seems back to normal, and Rand awakes Fraas and heals him. The room is adorned with a large runic inscription, “Here lie the records of dreams and nightmares.” In the few not entirely molded through books are names assigned to strings of words; Fraas transcribes all he can find into his notebook. There a two plain-to-see doors in the room, one of which is where the bloodied griffin tracks lead. There are also two hidden doors, one mechanically hidden, the other with a faint conjuration aura of grease.


They continue on the path toward the griffin tracks down another 60 foot path that curves to the left. It is ribbed with wooden arches, there is a slight cool breeze and sounds of “drip drip”. The low hum that Aven heard earlier gets much louder as they proceed. After a hundred or so more feet, it opens into a large oval room. In the center is a lake, with mossy island, and daylight shining down. There is a boat with oars, and wedged into the mossy mound is a two-handed axe. Fearless of the premonition in Zinn’s storybook, Bork dunks his head into the water and sees that the island is merely the top of a gargantuan turtle, fast asleep, with symbols carved into its shell. Aven tries to recall any historical mention of magical turtles, but can only remember a turtle he once saw in the circus that could perform mathematical tricks. Bork dons the boots of teleportation. Aven swims to the mossy edge of the island. Rand, Bork and Zinn row forward and step onto the island. The axe is good and magical, and of dwarven craft. Those still on shore, shift to the side of the chamber along the walkable sandy strip, to be opposite the turtle’s head in case it wakes up angry. As they move further in, Sentinel hears a faint musical song, quiet, discordant, from the bridged area across the stream of water exiting the room.

Zinn lifts the axe and the humming stops. The top of the turtle’s head crests the water. Gfed casts speak with animals, “we are all friends”. The turtle begins to respond, but speaks extreeeeemely slow. He manages to finish “are you all friends?” right before Gfed’s spell wears off. He gazes at them with a peaceful resting look as his head lowers. The humming doesn’t resume, and it becomes clear that the sound was one of nagging pain. Sword-bound Babdan says, “that’s MY axe” and confusedly “I’ve never been in this place before.” Zinn hands the +2 holy great axe to Rand, who is not privy to Babdan’s further complaints about the exchange.


The party gathers on shore and continues across the bridge into another small chamber where everything looks newer than the other spaces in this cavern network. Inside is a large ruin, strange non-euclidian geometric structures, and a shrine upon a dais. The shimmering carvings in the wall beyond the shrine hurt to looks at. It sounds like the cacophonous flute music is coming from the wall; the room emanates evil.

Scattered across the dais where the lines of the room converge, lie corpses of an ankheg, an enormous owl, a darkmantle, a basilisk, and a baby griffin; all deceased. Throughout the designs are some animal shapes, which Fraas posits mark a ritual sequences, the missing creatures being a hydra, a frost worm, a manticore, and phase spider, all magical beasts. It is clear the ritual was very close to being completed.

They clear the room of carcasses and burn all but the griffin. Rand carves a holy symbol and anoints it with a drop of his blood. The music ceases.


They move back into the turtle’s chamber. Bork teleports up the hole in the ceiling and drops a rope for the rest to climb up, back into the forest. They take the baby griffin’s body to the waiting mama griffin. She cries, swoops in, not saying anything. She gently nudges Rand, who strokes her lovingly. It flies off with its child in its mouth.

That night, the first watch proceeds uneventfully. On second watch, Rand, Sentinel and Fraas smell a rush of sulfur and hear fire crackling in the distance. They wake others, while Fraas turns into a cloud shape to spot if there is an incoming blaze, but sees nothing. Those awake notice a form coalescing in the middle of the campfire; everyone readies for a fight.

What emerges, however, is the shape of a Griffin, Boko’s Griffin. It steps out of the fire and walks to Rand. It burns to touch it, and looks like it was made of ash. Gfed translates the squawks: “I know you, you kind. You all friends of Griffin. You danger life, help Griffon. I do you as did brother. Must go soon. You all know — names has power. My names. Small power, big power, many big power.”

“Qas, Am, Unaat.”

Rand says the words and the heat from the creature no longer hurts. “You try more. Practice. Your name has power too. You try. Must go.” The griffin dissipates into Rand’s lungs in a fading cloud of fire and ash. Fraas mumbles to himself, “must be Rand’s other name? Hmmm.”

Rand says Qas Am Unaat again, feeling warmer. Fraas nudges him, “louder!”. “QAS!!” The griffin reappears. Rand places Boko’s magical war saddle on its back and hops on. It trundles along unsteadily for a bit. It turns its head toward Rand, “You heavy. This take practice.”

Episode 117 Recap
652 Years Since The Founding


After escaping the mythic hill giants and winter wolves, and stumbling into the relative safety of the tunnels, two of the frazzled survivors approach the group: a middle-aged elven woman in tattered clothes, and a teenaged woman with a mix of both human and orcish features donned in leather smock with a belt of woodworking tools. The elven woman is the one who was leading the procession through the starlit forest and initially spoke to the party. The second, the party have not met, but she looks oddly familiar. The rest — men, women and children, but not an obvious warrior among them — stumble along and seem to be listening.

The elf says, “Thank you, whoever you people are. Those things have been picking us off since we fled Belheim. They kill some and take others prisoner… I think everyone here has lost someone: husbands, mothers, children, caught in great nets. (She trails off, and the perceptive amongst you notice that she seemed to be speaking of this loss very personally.) Sorry, I have not introduced myself. My name is Azariah, a spice merchant by trade. This is Zinn, a woodcarver, and she has proven herself exceptionally helpful along the way.”

Rand encourages Bork to the front of the group, since his sight in the dimly lit tunnels are most efficient. Rand whispers to Shah to “detect good” on everyone, while he “detects evil”, beginning with Azariah and the newly met Zinn. A few very faint evil auras among random people in the group; the same distribution expected from any random sampling of persons. Some glow good as well, but nothing extraordinary. Belheim Zinn is one of the good ones.

As Sentinel moves into the tunnel, a group of refugees notice him immediately, as he is still disguised in the image of Draugarland. They kneel as his feet, begging for salvation. Sentinel quickly shifts his appearance to that of Varyan’s, and apologizes profusely. The devout rise from their knees glare at him suspiciously, moving back into the crowd.

Aven in a low tone to Sentinel, “Is this maybe a sister of Zinnaeris, or the some Zinn from a different time?” Her appearance is not much like Zinn, though familiar somehow. Different skin tones, hair colors and features, but they do have orcish blood. Out loud Aven asks, “What day and year is this?” Azariah answers, “652 since the Founding.” For the adventurers this doesn’t make sense, since their calendar is based on the Ainic Reckoning (currently 425 A.R.), the calendar used by most of the civilized world.

Sentinel looks at his fellow party members and says, “maybe we should go over the history of the world and the motes with these people. It seems like a weird task but I don’t understand what is happening.” Azariah asks, “what is a mote?” Aven asks her, “have you heard of the Ainic Reckoning?” Azariah shakes her head in obvious confusion. Rand tells her, "Azariah, a Mote is like an island or a continent, except instead of being surrounded by water, a mote floats upon a void of space. We’re on one now. This land we’re on we’ve always called “Scimitar Rock.” Do you have a name for this land? Also, what happened 652 years ago? What was founded? by whom? Why is the night sky unchanging? How long has it been that way?" Azariah, looking almost panicked replies, “I .. am not sure of anything of which you speak. Why would the sky be any different? How far away is this refuge? Why do you call it Scimitar Rock? Is it anything like the Builder’s Rock? That is the only island, in the center of Belheim. Why don’t you know anything?”

Oblivious to his impropriety, Shah starts chatting up the women in the refugee group, telling them about his great deeds of derring-do and asking them about their astrological signs, place of birth and whether their husbands have survived the war. He tells them about his many travels around the motes, telling mostly true stories. The women (and men) in the refugee group seem grateful to be distracted, and are put at ease by his charm, but still regard the rogue with some suspicion. They laugh after each tale, regardless of its truth, as you would at one of Grandfather’s tall tales. They seem confused at the question of husbands surviving the war: “What do you mean? Our spouses were not of the warriors’ order.” (They look at Shah as if he asked whether or not their water was, in fact, dry.) He asks, “Did your husbands not fight then? What did the white dragon do with them?” The response is a curt and sad, “of course not.” They are unsure of the fate of their husbands beyond imprisonment or death.

It becomes apparent that these folks know little about the world beyond their trade and local environment. Their caste system spans from the slaves, through the trade-workers and craftsmen, which make up this group of refugees, up through the Council, the priests and finally to their Lord Wyrm.

Gfedcba moves off towards the side of the group, begins to strum his instrument. The music begins to calm the crowd. He begins chatting up the young half-orc. “Zinn, what a lovely name. You know, Zinn, I love stories. I am a collector of them, actually. And did you know that every name has a story. I was wondering, could you tell me the story behind your name? Were you named after anyone? Shall I play you some background music whilst you speak?”

Belheim Zinn responds, “Your music is weird but I like it. My name? It is a new story, but a happy one. My Papa named me ‘Zinnaerris’ when he purchased my contract, only a month ago, but he calls me ‘Zinn’ because it is easier to say. He said he did not know what it meant, but that to him it meant courage, and that I should be proud to be called that. I like it. I’m glad to have a name. You all are Outlanders, too? You seem nice. Most are wicked, like my Mama was, so we are slaves until .. until we aren’t. Until we make our heavenly father proud, I guess. I was born in the slave pens, but my Papa is an Outlander, so he was a slave, too, but he’s not anymore, obviously. You all don’t seem like slaves. Who bought your contracts?” She smiles at Gfedcba.

In the midst of playing his calming, hypnotic music, Gfedcba replies, “Where we come from, there are no contracts. There are no slaves. Every man, woman and child is free. As a matter of fact, this party is partly responsible for that. It was not long ago that we had to pay a tribute to a dragon from Belheim. A green wyrm who shall remain nameless. He used to be the ruler of Belheim and Scimitar Rock. But no more. He is dead. So is his bride. Now we are free. I am also a bit curious about your papa, his name wouldn’t happen to be Jackmerius, would it?”

She giggles, “Not Jackmerius. Everyone knows him. My father was called Stringfellow.” When asked what he looked like, she says he has dark brown skin and that he was a very strong fighter in the slave pens. On closer inspection she is apparently wearing the same necklace they had previously seen Jack packing up to give to “his daughter”, and her eyes are also remarkably like his. Zinn tells Gfedbca that she is worried the fate of her husband, Ozar. They have a small child whose whereabouts are also unknown. She also mentions that she is pregnant with their next-born. When asked more about where the Outlanders come from she remarks, “Holy men bring them in from other places. I have no idea from where. I think they come through the tower?” Through further chat it is discerned that the Outlanders are imported slaves confined to slave pens and forced to fight each other and monsters in gladiatorial battle.

When Azariah asks who is Griffton’s ruler, Rand responds, “Beck.” A small group a refugees speak in chorus, “Aaaah. The Beck.”


The refugees are brought into town through the tavern portal. Archibald is wide-eyed staring at these new masses. Rand gathers the wounded and takes them to Quinnla. The group delegate the fate of these Belheimians to Durri, who brings them to Beck, who has been growing a beard of kingly proportions. A small group of the refugees kneel in his presence, “Aaaaah. The Beck.”

It is night now, so all but Sentinel and Fraas take their leave to go rest. Fraas takes cloud shape and patrols above the town, Sentinel wanders the town. Fraas enwraps Sentinel in his cloud and begins snickering, making Sentinel panic and start swinging until Fraas takes corporeal form and they both erupt in laughter.

Just before dawn, Sentinel and Fraas spot three elven humanoids outside walls who’ve made an encampment and fire. The female is clearly elf, while the other two men are half elves. They are adorned in natural garb and are with a woven wooden wagon, made from dried vines. Sentinel rushes off to get Shah’s pennon of parlay and calls out to them. The woman pulls back the blanket with bodies in the cart (Fraas smells something pleasant, almost enticing). She shouts out that she wishes to speak with Arvelen. Fraas casts detect magic and sees only auras of barkskin, a typical druidic spell. Sentinel responds that there is a new magistrate and goes to fetch Beck who rallies the group together outside the town wall. Fraas flits down the wall. As she approaches, Zinn whispers that it smells rotten; Fraas, quietly to Zinnaeris, notes it smells more like delicious barbecue. She seems a bit creeped out and suggest he not tell anyone else this, ever. Rand whispers a warning to watch out for the largest male druid. In the cart are humanoid bodies; Zinn notices one missing head and part of a leg that has healed over…Tahgen.

Jasna, the female elf begins, “this is hard to explain.” She tells of the druid way, how they can take the form of beasts. When the fog came, they lost control and were unable to change back. They were compelled to slaughter all that crossed their path. The dead men in the cart are rangers and woodsmen, and were killed only in the last week. “Some days ago we came back to our senses.” Bork asks about hauling the cart, and Jasna points to the large male, introduces him as Vaselka, her son who can turn into a bear. She introduces her other son, Radmillo who can take boar shape. Jasna swiftly take elk-form; she boasts “if you think that’s impressive, we can also take dire form.”


When asked where the rest of the druids are, Jasna reponds, “we are all that is left.” Their numbers have been diminishing due to something dangerous in the forest that has been changing along with the mote and making the dead come back to life. Aven asks if it was an invisible create; Rand mentions of his loss of hand. The druids, now aware that the party has previously encountered the creature, go on to tell that Lord Garland had asked them to tend to this creature. It is called Galdûr, an abomination that Draugarland treated like a wayward child. It uses many voices at once in a rudimentary form of elven, which would explain the chorus of shrieks during the group’s previous encounter with it.

The group takes a moment to assess the most immediate issues. In order to fortify the town, Rand commissions some of the new Belheim tradespeople in construction of some prototypes: chain whirlers with silvered spikes, net ballista, holy water steamstacks, ramparts rollers and moats. The fate of the stone gnome and child are mentioned. When the druids overhear a discussion on methods for reversing flesh to stone spells, they helpfully instruct Aven and Fraas on the construction of a magical stone salve which they set to work on immediately. After further discussion, the druids are invited into the community to act as sentries in the surrounding woods.

On the way back to the ship they discuss the inconsistencies in the time of Vaselka’s mauling of Tahgen, and decide to eventually confront the druid with Durri and Beck’s help. Zinnaeris makes a trip to check on her tower, but the next day passes otherwise uneventfully.

The next day, the group spends time among the ship’s personnel. Gfed shares drinks with Ezatz, the gnomish cleric who has been working in Quinnla’s temple. Rand investigates two of the evil-radiating folks aboard. The first a human with an evil twinge, he finds is infamous as always the first into a fight. The second, a dwarf who, using his high alcohol tolerance, tricks fellow crewmen into gambling away their coin. Rand confronts this dwarf and lets him know that this behavior will not be tolerated by the new leadership. They take some time to get a sense of the ships crew, rations (managed by the ship’s chef) and arms. Rand wiles away the day bonding with a dwarven smith above deck.

That night, the gang chats with Sylviana, the small human musician girl, and Niowen, her blindfolded elven female friend. Rand inquires if Neowyn is an oracle to which she nods. She says she sees brief flashes, once a new moon and that every time it happens, she ages. Her most recent vision was a foreboding message, “Death will come from a realm of iron.” Sylviana whispers to Gfed, “How old do you think she is?” Gfed shrugs. She replies, “she just turned six.”

Gfed invites Sylviana to play together for the crew, long into the night.

The next morning on the ship, Aven is putting the finishing touches on the stone salve. After a surprisingly short discussion on which stone figure to turn, they turn the gnome to flesh. He quickly raises a wand and blasts a hole in the ship wall. “WAT? Where am I?” Bork takes him into a side room to explain. When the two return the gnome makes known his wishes to continue his work on stopping the mote from sinking.

That night in the tavern, Radmillo entertains a group of refugee kids in his animal form, Timothy can be seen ordering around some Belheim folk, and Sentinel patrols the ramparts. On first watch, Sentinel hears an animal shriek coming from the north. He rushes off, spotted by a lofty cloud-shaped Fraas who lags behind. They reach a squawking Griffin atop Zinn’s tower who flits off to the Northwest when Sentinel tries to talk to it. Somewhat confused, Sentinel and Fraas head back to town.

Before the next morning, Fraas dozes off for a short moment. He has a dream where Zinn invites him to a fancy dinner. She cuts off her hand, which Fraas graciously devours. He wakes up in a colder than normal sweat. Suspecting the curse from the black gate is taking hold, he immediately casts a Remove Curse on himself. After detecting himself for magical auras, he notices that the magic on his ring of sustenance has changed, which he posits must have had its hidden curse removed. He’s still unsure about his black gate curse, though.

Fraas goes back to the ship where he runs into Bork on deck. Bork asks to borrow Fraas’ flower sample. Fraas obliges. Bork scurries away and returns shortly to return the dried plant. Since there is some apparent time to kill, Fraas decides to start experimenting with the spyglass. The gang watches on, as the very instant he aligns runes on the scope to one of the patterns on the Heart, the lens enlarges and a rope of fire bursts through the lens almost searing off Fraas’s hand. The fire shoots out into the bay and turns left once it passes the boundary of the mote. Fraas sends uses his arcane eye to peer through but sees only a blinding bright light. Trying all different Heartrune combinations (this time more safely with a mage hand) the results are all similar, but the fire’s path leads off in slightly different directions with each combination. The spyglass has two impossibly strong, artifact level, magical auras of conjuration and evocation. Fraas heads up into town to try again on the Southmost rampart, with the same result: a rope of fire shooting out through the bay.

In town, the Belheim folk are integrating well. Although in Archibald’s tavern, Azariah seems a bit down. Rand connects her in conversation of exotic spices with Archibald and that appears to cheer her up.

The group decides to bring men off ship as volunteers to bolster the militia while the ship is in port. The crewmen look to Zinn (who is now attuning herself to the airship’s key) for permission to disembark.

That night, Shah goes off with Arvelen, Zinn spends her time drinking in the tavern and interviewing first mates, and Rand keeps first watch along the town ramparts (only to be pranked by a cloud-shaped Fraas and a flash-fast Sentinel).

Again late in the night, squawking is heard from the direction of Zinn’s tower. This time, Sentinel rushes to grab Gfed and carries him along to the tower, with Cloud-Fraas lagging behind. When they reach the tower they find the distressed griffin atop the tower. Gfed begins playing a calming tune, the Griffin alights nearby, beginning to calm. Speaking to Gfed it squawks, “Looking. Finding. You help? Son griffin. Baby. Child. Gone. No see. Smell. Burn smell. Step hurt.” It raises a charred paw. Licks it and says, “No eat. Bad taste. In woods. Find help.” The trio lead the griffin back to Griffton determined to rally a search party.

At dawn, with Beck’s help, they round up Jasna and Radmillo, but Vaselka can’t be found. Rand takes the opportunity to confront Jasna about Vaselka’s apparent murder of Tahgen and she believes that he did so in cold blood. “He has a predator streak to him.” She seems really sad. Rand states that Vaselka is to be excommunicated from Griffton for the safety of the villagers. We ask Jasna and Radmillo if they will join us in search of the Griffin baby and Galdûr, but instead, stating their numbers are already too few, they gift their amulets of natural armor +1 and wish the adventurers luck.


It is the second day of the month of peace. The griffon has been leading the group northwest for about three days until they finally find the tracks and acrid smell they are looking for. Moving forward, Zinn and Rand suddenly disappear through unbroken earth. The rest see the ground they fell through as if there was no hole, only from above they can hear spikes entering bodies.

Inside, the bottom is laden with spikes chewed sharp. At the end of their fall two spikes narrowly miss Zinn, but one pierces Rand with mind-poisoning effects. The pit opens up to a chamber with rocky outcroppings within a shallow pool. Atop a nearby pile of bone, a manticore who was happily chewing on a femur, stops and stares directly at Rand. Rand shouts out to those above and readies himself. Sentinel drops and rushes the beast, who drops its bone and accepts a brutal punch. In counterattack, it tries to grapple with Sentinel. Aven secures and lets down a rope. Bork shimmies. Shah shimmies. Fraas featherfalls, gets nicked by a spike, but recovers and sends a Lightning Bolt at the manticore.

From deeper in the cave, another manticore crawls from the shallows and perches on a rock formation. It shoots a spike cloud striking Zinn and Fraas who get pinned to the ground. One spike drives through Sentinel and into the grappling manticore, which heaves a final breath. Rand heals the group and moves the spike trap aside. Fraas turns at the waist and looses a mythic fireball, obliterating the other manticore.


From even deeper in the cavern, they hear a low croaking and seven familiar shrieks. By now, everyone has made it down into the pit. Fraas casts a communal acid protection spell. In bound several dark elves leaping from rock to rock. Aven shoots one of the elves who falls dead into the water morphing into frog form. The shrieking turns to roaring and the sound moves closer; the invisible creature seen only as splashing steps. Zinn wrests free from the spikes at her feet. Fraas uses a golden glitterdust to reveal a seven-headed hydra, presumably the abomination, Galdûr. The dust also effectively blinds the creature. The beast and dark elves advance. Aven shoots at the hydra. Zinn uses her dragonsbane and shocking grasp to pierce Galdûr’s chest. Rand sudden attacks, drops his shield and sword and strikes with his maul. Fraas delivers another mythic fireball Galdûr sinks lifelessly into the water.

Bork bombs a frogdrow, Sentinel clocks one and Shah stabs another. The last one’s heart seizes from fear and it drops dead. Before they have a moment to relish in the spoils of battle, a row of vertical red eyes slink out of the water. Partly emerging from the shallows, a tentacled Aboleth swims its way into the fight. Aven takes multiple shots, meanwhile, Zinn feels a sweltering enamourment with the creature and receives a compelling command to destroy her friends. She swings at Aven, but whiffs. Her sword leaps from her hand.


Rand casts daylight, Fraas fireballs, Sentinel charges the beast with a flurry of blows. Bork bombs it with critical skill and then bombs it again. Shah shoots his crossbow at it and it begins to withdraw. It sinks deep and escape with bare threads of life remaining.

Aven climbs up the rope out of Zinn’s range, so instead Zinn swings her great axe at Fraas and narrowly misses thanks to Rand’s intervention. Rand strikes to subdue Zinn, Fraas dissipates into a pitch black cloud and enshrouds Zinnaeris’s head. Gfed hits her with a sleeping spell and without delay Sentinel grabs her behind and binds her tightly with rope.

Aven comes back down into the pit and swims around looking for treasure finding none. The group collects the usual parts from the monsters. Gfed’s water elemental reports back that the underwater area in the back of the cavern leads off into six tunnels.

Fraas, recognizes the Aboleth’s enchantment on Zinn as a Domination spell, and recalls that its effects are measured in days.

Episode 116 Recap
A Northern Trek

Bork’s bomb explodes on contact with Saharin’s throat. Shah sneaks forward, clanks his daggers together and turns invisible. Gfed flings a scorching ray, Zinn makes a fleet charge with a critical spell strike and Fraas unloads a giant fireball. Aven shoots the beast with his pepperbox and sends blade drones to attack. Rand, maul in hand, swiftly crushes the dragoness’ skull.

There is a moment of stunned silence.

The surrounding townsfolk erupt with vigorous cheers. Archibald shouts “drinks on me!” (He promptly puts everything on Lord Garland’s tab).

The adventurers search the dragon’s body finding her scales delicately polished and she only possesses fresh wounds implying a life of ease. She has a mithral ring on her claws with a large green stone and Draugarland sigil. The ring has 3 auras: moderate transmutation, faint aura of abjuration and faint transmutation. The group is unsure of the rituals of ring exchange in dragon life, but finds the ring enhances diplomacy with elves, and allows the wearer to alter self. Sentinel tries on the ring and suddenly is able to take the form of Lord Garland.

Using her sword, Zinn speaks with the dead wyrm. What is your relationship to Draugarland? I am his widow. How did he die? My brothers challenged and slew him. Why did they challenge him? He refused to grant me the heir to which I was entitled.

The group task the town’s skilled workers to begin processing the dragon’s body, collecting acid sacs, skin, skeleton, skull, scales and gut, perhaps for some new bardic instruments. They talk to Arvelen about remaining magistrate, to which she replies “I’ll think about it.”

The group begins to make preparations to head North now that it appears Draugarland’s mandate cannot be enforced. Rand says goodbye to his mother and the group spend their evening partying and taking watch. During the revelry, Archibald sadly grumbles to himself about Lord Garland’s tab. On third watch, Sentinel notices the magistrate whispering to Shah and they leave together.

As dawn arrives, Fraas begins switching to swigs of water. Shah rejoins everyone at the tavern and tells that Arvelen has suggested him as new magistrate in her stead. Shah doesn’t like this idea, so the group gathers the town together to ask for a volunteer. Durri shoves Beck out for the sole nomination. All the town votes Yea for the appointment, with one exception: Beck’s curmudgeonly uncle, who is immediately chastised by Rand.

With Griffton’s leadership settled, the group heads down into the pit, and into the tomb of the protectors. Fraas makes a failed attempt to scry Elin after which they head to the Northern passage. The hewn stone path continues until the bricks dwindle and eventually they are in a dirt tunnel. Chirps of katydids, and pleasant, floral smells bloom in. It is unnaturally lit up ahead and the path opens up between trunks of trees.

Outside it is night sky with an abundance of stars. It seems clearer and brighter than a usual night. They emerge into the forest, making sure to shoot an arrow as marker for a return. Fraas peers through the spyglass, and the glowing portals have adjusted logically as if they are now far North on the mote.

Sentinel begins tracking what are presumably Zidane’s tracks. They move for a while until they hear a horde of beings, moving, walking. Shah and Fraas go invisible. Aven goes up to check while everyone else hides. Bork notices a female elf wearing torn up clothing. A group of about 200 humanoids follow, looking ragged as if they’ve been in the forest for a while. Bork approaches. “There is not much left of Belheim.” Saharin had just arrived and said Lord Garland was dead. Immediately after she left, the White Wyrm and his forces had rushed the town. The Belheim army bought the people time to flee. The White Wyrm only wanted “to kill all in town.” Jackmerius had stayed behind with Belheim’s council. Fraas hurriedly escorts the refugees into the tunnel Southward. The White Wyrm’s forces are not far behind.


Into the clearing, they see five bright white winter wolves, bounding forward, breathing cold. They are joined by large, barnacled rock men, that upon inspection appear to by earth-attuned hill giants. Bork bombs one of the bigger wolves twice. The giants lumber up. Sentinel rushes forward, sparking the ground, hitting a giant who deftly absorbs most of the hit. Sentinel misses with a second swipe, but his third is a critical blow.

Zinn slays a smaller wolf with a fleet strike and makes her way to hit one of the larger. Fraas sends a fireball to three wolves, now aflame. Shah sends out burning hands and goes invisible. One of the Winter wolves shoots a cold blast at Rand and Bork, while Shah fully evades the icy breath. The wolves continue to sizzle afire.

Bork bombs with fire, Gfed uses scorching ray, finishing off one of the larger wolves. Rand smites a giant who returns attack by swings at the tree Rand was using a cover. The tree bows into Rand, knocking him prone. Another giant moves in, between Sentinel & Rand, and pounds the ground. Sentinel evades, but Rand is trampolined and further hurt. He casts lay hands on himself, barely hanging on.

Sentinel rushes forward, not making any damage with his blows. Aven’s pepperbox fells the other large wolf. Zinn rushes in, swiftly bolstering Rand with her sword’s magic, and strikes with her sword and shocking grasp. Fraas fireballs, rendering the final wolf to ashes and hitting two of the hill giants. Shah invisibly approaches a giant preparing a sneak attack. Bork bombs the giant next to Zinn. Rand again lays hands on himself, tossing his javelin at the nearest giant, which plinks right off. Gfed scorches one, the creatures who are still on fire sizzle on. A giant knocks the ground between Zinn and Rand. They get hit, but keep their feet. The giant in front of sentinel strikes the ground. Sentinel evades, but Rand is knocked to the ground and unconscious. Sentinel lets loose a flurry of blows, Aven shoots the giant looming over Zinn to its death. Zinn cures Rand back to consciousness…again…and charges between the two remaining giants, slaying one and cleaving the other with a solid hit. From near the tunnel entrance, Fraas sends a lightning bolt and electrocutes the final giant, who spasms to death.

Rand gathers injured to heal, while Sentinel rushes to notify the refugees.

The haul of loot is impressive. 2200 gold-pieces worth of gems and coins, a Masterwork heavy steel shield adorned with green dragon crest, +1 halfplate, +1 light mace. The items are all stained with blood. There are oils of magic vestiment and remove curse, potions of eagle’s splendor and good hope, wands of animal aspect, bane, scorching ray, true strike, and lesser confusion, and scrolls of resist energy, ray of enfeeblement, heat metal, feeble mind, prismatic spray, anti magic field, clashing rocks and miracle.

Meanwhile, Zinn queries the lead dire wolf corpse with her sword. What were the plans for belheim? We retook the town from our ancient enemy. What are your plans for the rest of the mote? We take what we want; everything belongs to us. What are your plans for griffton? Who is griffton?

The adventurers use the lyre to clean up their tracks and obfuscate the entry to the tunnel leaving a small opening for Fraas to send through an arcane eye to scout upon their return. The begin conversing with the refugees on the way back to town.

Episode 115 Recap
Those pesky trolls never knew what hit them...

On their way to the scrying pool, the adventurers chatter about the mysterious dragon from the otherworldly tower. The imperial dragons, grand noble creatures, where once guardians of the portals. Rand supposes the dragon they saw is a captive in the North. They approach the pit and spot in front of a large pile of dirt, Officer Durri and a lone 12 year old holding a spear, presumably all that is left of the town guard.

Down the pit they reach the scrying pool and focuses their search on a “good” version of Tahgen. The pool fades but they see nothing. Rand takes them to where he had left Quinnla, but no tracks remain. They head back to the Griffon lodge, but discouraged and confused they find no new traces of Tahgen. Outside they find the most recent tracks are from armored boots within the week. They all head back into town through the tunnels. At this point, Beck parts ways with the rest, citing a need for new muscle in the town guard. Durri is caught up, and he let’s the young boy, Timothy, know that he is no longer second in command, and Durri appears pleased to have the help.

The rest of the group walk across town. Rand remembers he still had the money from the smashed tithe box and they decide to make reparations at the temple. An acolyte answers the door, but in the back is Quinnla, seemingly normal, and quietly mopping up in back!! They question her fervently about Tahgen’s whereabouts but she remembers nothing. Just nightmares, nothing specific. She only remembers Tahgen running further North. After welcoming her back into the township, Quinnla successfully regenerates Rand’s hand using the scroll from the Northmen. The group decides the next orders of business are questioning the desiccated gnome, meeting Sieffre, and then moving North to search for Tahgen. Sentinel makes good use of his new speed and darts out to procure some horses, while the rest make their way to the suite for the gnome.

When they arrive, Zinnaerris’ sword channels their questions to Zorian’s lifeless body. What is the heart? “A powerful thing that needed fixing.” How was it broken? “It just needed fixing.” How did you learn about the heart? “It was all I could hear.” The group decides to take her to Quinnla for interring in the proper gnomish tradition. Sentinel returns having wrangled several horses that had wandered into town during the last week’s fracas.

They walk down to the bar area and run into Archibald behind the bar. They ask about Sieffre, and inform him about Elin. They also decide to bring him and Durri to Sieffre, figuring it be good to have some familiar faces when breaking the sensitive news of Elin’s possible fate. On the way to the docks, Fraas begins feeling a bit more bolstered than usual, a sign that his ring of sustenance has just finished attuning.

At the docks they approach a ship, a modest sloop-of-war with figure head. The ship has been christened, Elin. Zinn remembers this ship. Aboard there are warm pleasant aromas, lanterns shining from below. Upon entering, it is clearly bigger on the inside, through some mystical force. In the mess hall, Sieffre is seen sitting next to an armored knight whom Zinn vaguely remembers. The crowd is enjoying music coming from a teenage girl playing the lute. They spy a female elf blindfolded with her hand on the musician girl’s shoulder. Another elf of note is wearing a strange holy symbol. When detecting evil on the crowd, nothing triggers any alerts.

Zinn gets Sieffre’s attention, who seems to remember her, but not her name. Although he seems to know everyone else’s names. He leads them down a tangled passage into a private meeting room. The man he’s with is introduced as Sir Gaston Mercier. The room has a large table, and magical window to a beautiful sandy beach. Rand tells him about restoring the Heart and about the other realm. When he is handed the book binding with the inscription to Elin he begins shaking and tearing up. The solemnly takes off his necklaces, looks at the group and enters his private chamber. Archibald tells Gaston about Elin. Fraas picks up the necklace and feels a gusty wind blowing. It is a piece of aerum with a strong levitation effect. The knight infers from Sieffre’s gesture that the group has just been given the keys to the ship. Everyone takes they turn wearing the necklace, although only Fraas seems attuned to the gusty powers of the crystal. It is left with Sir Gaston for safekeeping, who Sentinel notices seems sad about the news of Elin. They ask him about the pirates, and he tells that the pirates were evaded when the ship reached the mote-borne fog banks. The ship was the Summerstar, Blackhail’s ship. Before they leave, Sir Gaston notes, “the crew expect to be paid.” The party agrees and will make arrangements soon.

Upon closer inspection, the ship looks magically crafted, as if it was build around an extra-dimensional portal that houses the ship’s interior and the ship is used to move the portal around. Aboard there is a forge, crossbowmen, and much dwarf craftsmanship. At this time, they take an hour or so to move their belongings to the ship. Upon checkout of their suite, it is apparent that Archibald is mischievously running up the tab for to Lord Garland.

It is now mid afternoon. The gang make their way back to the Griffon’s Lodge and proceed until nightfall in the direction Beck had previously tracked bootprints. They take watches, now with the sustained Fraas taking all watches along with Sentinel. Zinn is snoring loudly. The forest is alive.

Several yards away, a branch snaps. Sentinel calls out “Who goes there?” which is followed by rushing, growling noises. Three large stooped figures with rough green hides and tusks emerge. trolls! The mama troll charges, Zinn quickly immolates. Bork passes out acid and bombs and Aven throws acid on one of the smaller trolls. Sentinel pummels an elemental fist at one, Fraas broil the two smaller beasts, one of which runs away. Gfed confuses the remaining small troll and Zinn runs past it, striking on the way to killing the mother troll. Bork acids the remaining troll and it begins clawing it’s face off while burning to death. The troll running away can be heard screaming “NO MAMA NO!”

They check the stomach contents of the trolls, worried they would find signs of Tahgen, they only find a couple owl skeletons in the mother. The remainder of the night passes uneventfully. In the morning they take a short side trip to find the trolls’ cave. When they reach it, a chain shirt is flung out and in a frantic giant tongue, “s-sscared, t-take t-treasure.” Zinn’s response is quick, “CHARGE!” She sends a touch of combustion. The troll is cowering fear as its fingers are lopped off. Rand attacks, smashing in its skull. Bork sets it on fire. They proceed to loot the cave finding a masterwork chain shirt, some potions, scrolls and wands, a wooden shield and some gold and jewels. Bork finds a magical club and Rand obtains a scroll of spear of purity. There is also a drawing of mama troll and her kids, painted in blood; they are pictured eating villagers together.

They set back upon Tahgen’s trail for another half day when they stumble upon one of his resting spots. They continue on until near nightfall when they find some tracks leading into a set of bushes. There are broken branches and signs of a struggle. Stuck in the roots is a piece of processed wood that is perhaps Tahgen’s peg leg. There are large dire bear tracks leaving the fray. They follow the tracks, which suddenly end without trace. Is this the work of druids? Fraas casts blood biography on the splatters of blood near the bush: “Tahgen, human hero of Griffton, torn to pieces by Dire Bear, 5 days ago.” They follow the bear prints that originally led to the bushes and they too end without trace. There is a vague lingering evil in the direction of the bear tracks.

The group make a hasty trek back to lodge. On the way they catch glimpse of a large dragon-shape flying past the moon. Could Lord Garland have returned, just as Tahgen was slain? At the lodge, they raid the spell books, and take the chess set and bear rug with them back to the ship. Sentinel also brings the statue of the child from Archibald’s storeroom along. They find that Sieffre is no longer aboard, and they all head back to the tavern.

Rand goes to wake Durri, and Archibald joins leaving the new barmaid in charge, and everyone congresses his Archibald’s private storeroom. Rand begins telling Durri and Archibald everything; about Tahgen, Thellan’s scroll and that it looks like Lord Garland has return. With dwindling options, they all decide to find Triwathien, the magistrate’s mother.

When they arrive at her home, Arvellan opens the door. They detect magic in case there are spying devices. Creaking is heard upstairs. There are two feminine voices, elven. Bork drinks a comprehend languages potion and hears the arrogant sneer, “we shall see about that, tomorrow.” The upstairs window opens. Outside Sentinel catches glimpse of moonlight off greenscale.

The party scans the home with detection spells; Arvellan glows a little good, while Triwathien glows neither. Rand’s diplomacy and Bork’s lack of charisma begin working their magic. They are eventually able to persuade Triwathien to discuss her midnight visitor, a beautiful elven woman who suddenly arrived and demanded to see who was in charge. The elf’s name was Saharin, which in draconic roughly translates as, verdant bloom. The group tells her about Tahgen’s fate and Lord Garland’s contract. When they ask about Lord Garland, it’s clear she doesn’t know that she is related. Rand breaks this news as easy as possible, and she admits she had her suspicions. They ask if she knew of any sons that went missing in the North, but she tears up a little, and tells them she had one, a stillborn. But he was buried, and there had been a funeral. The group at first suspects that the stone statue that is Tahgen’s son was from out of wedlock, but soon realize and discuss that the half-elf boy is likely to be that stillborn child Triwathen remembers. And that it was Garland that mislead them about the life of the child.

They all head back to the tavern to make an encampment for the evening. Archibald clears the main bar room and watches are taken. At the break of dawn, they are stirred by loud, approaching wing beats. Fraas takes a quick pull of whiskybae. Out front a Green Wyrm who is clearly smaller and more effeminate than Lord Garland alights, landing with a BOOM! IN a terrifying and beautiful voice, “WHO SPEAKS FOR THIS TOWN!?” Bork and Rand approach, while the rest of the party take up tactical positions in and outside the tavern — the dashing Shah’s entrance being the most dramatic and impressive, of course.


Episode 114 Extended Scene

[Scene: The next morning after a night’s rest, Rand at his Barduk family home everyone else at various places. Rand finds the others and asks everyone to gather in their private room at the Inn so all can converse together. ]

RAND: I’m still worried about Quinnla and Tahgen, I know where I left them, but I don’t know what’s become of them since the Heart was restored. This is the one urgent thing I’d like to do – go find them.

SENTINEL: That sounds wise but also like something that should be done during the day.

SENTINEL (Looking at other party members who are not Rand): How many arrows of light out of the heart were not focused on our group? I believe I remember two pieces not entering any of our party…

BECK: There were three beams of light that spread off to who and where we don’t know.

AVEN: I am curious about the 3 streams of light as well, whom do they belong? Whether it is friend or foe, we need to know specifically since the changes that have become us are quite life altering. I am also curious about about Rand’s vampire experience and desires based on what he can remember. Also, along those lines should we be concerned with Thelon? I believe that we should consider our next step with same concerns as before the health of the mote was restored. Especially in regards of he who shall not be named. Until such time as we know something from the north he is still anywhere and everywhere. Then there is the white male dragon that was the mate to the female that we slew. Not knowing the relationship of dragons other than from current experience we don’t know if he will be hunting us or could care less.

[When Aven says the changes are quite life altering Sentinel looks at everyone with surprise.]

SENTINEL (to everyone): After the light struck you did you feel more powerful as well? I feel so much quicker on my feet, I wonder how fast I can move now.

[Sentinel dashes 400 feet in mere seconds. It’s like a stereotypical scene of graceful speed, dust and gravel.]

FRAAS (to Rand): Do you remember why you were so opposed to us messing with the heart?

SENTINEL: Really what do you remember from your time undead in general? When we were in the heart’s void the orcish priest said that you were on their side and didn’t actually cast a dominate spell onto you, do you know who and what you were serving at that point?

BECK: I think there was a lot about that little island we were ported to that was special. The stars there were different from here, I was looking at it closely last night. The magic on those totems was really powerful, but the totems themselves were rather primitive. The Orcs there seemed surprised at Aven’s gun, even though Orcs around here are known to use them. Why would this evil Blood God be neighbors with this burning all powerful heart? The water and ground seemed new, like it was freshly made, volcanic. It really seems to me like we went back in time. But if you figure that it was Sieffre’s wife those Orcs had there, we really did go back in time and the time over there is moving really slow. What else did all of you notice? Any one make anything else of it?

BECK (to Rand): If we wanted to check on Quinnla and Tahgen we could use that scying pool down in the tunnels in the Chamber of the Protectors under the town.

RAND: Fraas to answer your question I have to back up a bit. As I spent more and more time as my new self, thinking about why I came back to life,, I guess I mean “un-life,” I became more and more convinced that the power emanating from the Heart was what had brought me back, and being brought back by it, I wanted to protect it. Really, I came to see it as the source of me, and the way I saw myself as I was then – was powerful. I, in no way, was going to risk that changing. When you approached the Heart in spite of my insistence not to, I was furious. I have to tell you something else now first, before I go on. I was thinking last night, that I knew you guys would have a lot of questions. And you might have a little trouble trusting me… You might not, I know, but,, if you did I would understand. It’s my pledge to you All to tell you the whole truth of the experience, even if it’s difficult to say now.

RAND (to Fraas): So, to continue, Fraas I wasn’t planning on ‘telling’ you again. I was going to stop you, even if that meant kill you right then and there. Up to that point I was happy to be a part of the group again, and i KNEW it was right for me to lead you all (Rand looks down remorsefully). And it was perfectly right for me exact justice upon you for not adhering to my authority.

RAND (looking at Sentinel): After we were teleported to the Blood God’s realm – I realize you all might remember it differently but that’s what that place was for me – I still expected your, and planned on, cooperating with the rest of you. I don’t really know how that shaman Orc knew I was ‘with them’ but it was true. After I relished ripping that Orc’s head off and was intoxicated with the thrill of my own power I suddenly knew I had to bring you all to the Blood God. It was as though he called to me, it felt like holy inspiration. I WAS going to bring you all, I knew I would have to force you to go and I was willing to use any means to do it. I was planning on beating all of you within an inch of your lives and subserviently taking you to be used however the Blood God saw fit.. there was not the faintest thought within me as to reason ‘why?’. Well, all of you except Bork (Rand looks apologetically at Bork), with all those bombs you kept hitting me with, I didn’t want to bring you anywhere, I was going to pulverize you. Thankfully, all of you are so quick, powerful and deadly, I didn’t have a chance. In that state I actually underestimated all of you.

RAND (to everyone): After I was defeated and turned to mist, I knew I could find recovery at that tower. I knew I’d eventually come back and we’d battle again. After some time floating towards the tower I spotted a few things. I saw the lone surviving Orc running down the land bridge away from its fight with all of you, I then noticed a band of Orcs traveling far far down the land bridge with what looked like a prisoner being carried to the Blood God. And just before my memory of that mist flight ended I saw something much more epic. At the dark tower I saw what looked like a winged angel and a wingless pearlescent white dragon breathing lightning, both graceful and beautiful swoop in and battling a creature at the top of the tower. It was an enormous, amorphous flying mass of blackness, with tentacle-like limbs battling back the attackers. Their attack while elegant and powerful was not going well, they were being beaten back slowly, then my memory stopped. The next I knew I was with you all in this room last night, you brought me back. I thought death was supposed to be peaceful…

[Rand pauses in thought, then continues]

RAND: When I first ‘woke up’ more or less, in Quinnla’s temple I was completely bewildered. There was no icy cave, no white dragon looming over me, but there was a little halfling with a pulse. I wanted to devour her. I rack my mind now trying to remember if I even hesitated to consider if I should or not, but that’s just me being biased now. I didn’t hesitate at all. It was only after, that I was horrified and devastated at what I had done to our friend Quinnla. But you know the rest of the story from the time when we spoke in my lair,, I mean, (Rand winces) what was and should hopefully be again Thellan’s Cairn.

For the most part I spent my time plotting what to do on behalf of the mote and how much my leadership would improve things, how to destroy the green wyrm, if he should return, and how to grow my influence, and who my allies should be. I obviously considered making the Belheim priests my allies, and almost convinced myself that the Green Wyrm could be a friend… but I guess some small part of the old me remained. I have to tell you my mind worked so much clearer then. It’s like I was on a high, I felt lifted, and well,,, better. I’m finding it difficult now to even keep a train of thought. I can hardly believe this is how I lived my life before, and I didn’t even mind, I didn’t even notice (said with a slight hint of disgust).

Anyway, I left Quinnla in the tunnels, and asked Tahgen to prowl the woods near the Griffon Lodge, but they were to expect me back before dawn. I commanded Quinnla to wait, but I held no sway over Tahgen, for Quinnla sired him. That’s probably why he attacked the priest against my orders. Even before I departed the Lodge, he had fled into the woods, in wolf form. I think he preferred it to being a limbless old man.

There is one more thing, in keeping with the full truth to you all, something happened last night (said with a thoughtful serious scowl). I don’t know what this means but all of us better know about it. I woke from a disturbed sleep after hearing a voice in a dream. My room was still and quiet and dark. As I sat up in bed trying to calm my nerves, a hint of movement by my window alerted my now laboriously dim senses. When I focused in on it, I saw a crow just as it flew away. The voice from my dream was ‘my voice’ but it wasn’t. It was my voice, but very sinister. It’s like it was the voice of the Blackguard I had become speaking to me in my mind. He said “I’ll be back for my hammer.”

AVEN: So is it possible that some schism happened with your consciousness and your “sinister” side created some type of physical manifestation? Maybe something to do with that other plane of time that we stumbled on to? What about Thellan?

RAND: That’s my take on it too, I think the Blood God could have made this possible in some way. Also, I was there as evil when we were dealing with the Heart. I think the evil me is very likely to have been imbued with the mythic power too. Thellan was left in his cairn, as Beck suggested, I think we should scry him too. What do you think of the crow? Fraas, Aven, Gfed, do you think it could have been a messenger or a familiar?

AVEN: An Omen to foreshadow a threat, and one that we shall not take lightly. With this information did we have an idea what direction we were considering to be our next course. I almost feel like we are all in consensus to check on Quinnla and Tahgen.

SHAH: Yes, I want to see if Quinnla and Tahgen are alive and if they bear evidence of having been hit by mystical rays.

FRAAS (aside to Rand): It’d be great to know if you can still pop off orcs heads with his bare hands. Evil you or not, I would really have liked to have seen that.

FRAAS (aloud, but directed to Aven): The idea that the dark-evil Rand is still in existence, and potentially bolstered/ascended, I’m a little more than nervous. We should soak the hammer in garlic.

FRAAS (to everyone): Dark/evil Rand or no, our most immediate concern is Thellan and Quinnla, Taghen & any others they managed to turn before we returned. Even a few unruly vampires can easily grow their numbers exponentially if left unchecked. If we’re lucky, albeit sad, they will have just turned into lifeless corpses like Rand had. If Tahgen is indeed really dead, what of the green wyrm’s deal with Griffton?

I think your idea to scry them in the pool [looking at Beck] is the quickest option, that is if the scrying pool has renewed its facilities since our last attempt. Also, we should try to scry Rand to see if we can detect a schism that way? If we find Quinnla and Taghen’s bodies and Rand’s alter-evil is still around, should we expect alter-evil Quinnla/Taghen as well?

But first we should touch base with Sieffre. He is apparently arrived in port and has come far at our request. We’ll want to assess whether the pirates he faced are a potential problem. Plus, I imagine he’ll most want to make strategies for the rescue of Elin, which for certain merits some discussion.

This leads to issues of the world of the black tower… Were the dragon and angel (presumably Mrs. Rand aka Ghaele of the North) keepers of black tower? Are they potential allies? Is this the dragon from our mote? Without the green wyrm around has this white dragon taken over the deal with the angel? Has the angel been serving the blood god all along (I remember something about this angel bringing children to Belheim through a portal. Was she rescuing them?)? What on earth was the black amorphous cloud they were fighting? Is this Orburos, the same diety of the Erinyes we battled? Who in the hell is the Blood God and what do they want, besides blood, obviously?

I think it’s time we make way to Belheim. If that truly is the portal to the black tower, it may be our only avenue of approach with the heart repaired. On a related note, when should we start experimenting with the spyglass again?

RAND (to Fraas): Well, frankly I feel like a shell of what I was when I was a vampire, now I might be able to rip the head off a mouse, or at least a very strong rat (smiles).

RAND (to group): About those questions regarding the Angel and Dragon, to be clear, they were not the keepers of the the Black Tower, they were attacking it. As for allies, I’ve assumed the same thing, the Angel could be my mother, but with her known behaviors from the circumstances of my siring and the allowances of people to Belheim as slaves, it’s hard to tell what end is motivating her means. Who knows if she could be an ally or not… She certainly hasn’t been much of a mother.

The dragon was definitely not a “White Dragon” – the vile savage kind that loves the cold. While this dragon was of a white kind of color it was unlike any I’ve ever heard tale of, much less have seen. I had a good up close look of a White Dragon, you remember, and this was different. It was beautiful, and I’m certain, was of good spirit. So, in my mind this eliminates the possibility of this exotic pearlescent dragon taking over the Green Wyrm’s and Ghaele’s agreement.

Regarding the Blood God and the black evil cloud, I don’t think either are Orburos. While Orburos was the god of that Erinyes it is also the primary of the two dragonic gods from Belheim. I assume it would function in the form of a Red Dragon, like the temples of Belheim suggest.

So, it’s agreed, lets head to the scying pool and see if it works to see Tahgen, Quinnla and evil Rand, in that order. I agree with you Fraas, unruly vampires on the loose would need to be nipped quickly. After the scrying and before any necessary action related to what we find, lets go make our introduction to Sieffre. The reason I think we should meet Sieffre after the scrying is because the conversation might be sensitive and take some time, while what we find from the scry might necessitate quick action.

Regarding traveling to Belheim, the Green Wyrm’s ominous commitment on Griffton and experimenting with the spyglass, lets deal with with above priorities first.

[The group, alert and battle ready, leave the inn, venturing to the pit in the center of town. They descend and make way to the Chamber of the Protectors and the scrying pool to scry for Tahgen, Quinnla and the vampiric Rand.]


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