Dreamscape

Session 60:

Find spiders. Kill spiders. Kill more spiders. Kill more spiders.

Talk to spiders. Betray orcs. Kill orcs. Talk to party. Start fight with queen spider.

Split party.

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Session 59: TBD
TBD

Stuff happened, chuul walls, meeting a naked man. Etc.

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Session 58: Have boat, will Chuul.
"But he can teach Pelor to the other chuul?" --Justice

Assassins guys have eye(s). Got headstart back to Lere, might be there already.

We want to take the fastest route by boat to get to Lere. That conveniently happens to be a pass that we didn’t know existed until just now. BUT IT’S DANGEROUS.

Whatever.

Anyway, we go.

Oh, also chuul.

That’s… that’s basically it. That’s everything.

Travel. Chuul, name chuul, teach chuul pelor. Skip the waystation because the cleric can make enough food and water. Chuul.

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Session 57: Morning of Mourning
"AYOOOOOO" --Steve

All kinds of stuff happens. Then there’s a boat.

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Session 56: Grimjaw
"Wait... that was only 8d8. Two more." --Asshole

The party heads first for the orphanage. They note that the floor is covered in just a few inches of water rushing from mini-waterfalls or rivulets on the walls, apparently a seasonal runoff from the Barrier Sea’s intrusion underground near Barumila. It flows rather swiftly toward small gutters carved into the walkways at which small children (mostly dwarven) are currently playing. A wagon is unloading fine childrens art supplies far fancier than what might make sense given the wealth of the area, but this is given no notice.

Salazar heads inward to find one of the couple Gittes told them about who run the place. He finds her and attempts subtlety at first, with a little mind-reading. She’s unwilling to cooperate, but it’s clear she knows something.

Soveliss attempts stealth, while the man who had been dealing with the caravan returns to the central structure where Salazar quizzes the dwarven woman.

At the patron’s arrival, Salazar launches his questions again with less subtlety, and the man relents.

They are paid to look the other way while children are taken, or used as messengers, or while messages pass through the orphanage.

In fact, the art wagon which just left, left with a child. The supplies (and a sizable sum of gold) were traded.

The party immediately sets off to track down the wagoneers. Using pass without trace and Locate Person, they follow well out of sight, and are led to that place where Sulfin first lost Soveliss in the tunnels.

Though the wagoneers did not see them, it quickly becomes clear they were not unnoticed, as a party of two bruisers, a warlock, and a skilled drow swordsmen poof into the space and a melee ensues. The supposed minions of Grimjaw do not prove too much, and the party succeeds.

There’s silence for a bit. And soon another figure appears. A tiger-like backward hand pipe smoking demonic being.

This, surely, is Grimjaw.

Well, actually, no. He introduces himself as an acquaintance of Grimjaw. And he has, as a favor during their mysterious negotiations, offered to rid him of the party.

However, the demon was fooled, and was sent to his demise by Grimjaw who already estimated that the Paladin, at minimum would provide the necessary end to his partner. Or at least the GM and Grimjaw said so.

Repurposing the wagon to a barricade and setting up guard, the party rests for the night, keeping their living prisoners bound and watched.

The following morning, unmolested over the night, they retrieve Archmage’s patron, Eynghvar. He brings his unusually large scroll case and they find their way back. Now it’s Enghvar’s turn to transport them over to the other side.

But he can’t.

Why can’t he? Just use some of the scrolls, and then cast it yourself.

He can’t use magic. He only uses scrolls.

The party realizes he has never not used a scroll.

Son of a bitch.

The party corners him and forces him to reveal himself. Well, turns out he’s sort of a rogue patsy for Locke the clever business man, who knew the elite would accept a dwarven mage before they’d accept an Orc. So he set Eynghvar up as a puppet, but that puppet got bold and went solo, and there wasn’t much Locke could do to touch him, lest his secret get out. So Eynghvar had been casting spells with an amulet that protects from magical mishaps.

The party has him hand it over, and uses the scrolls themselves.

Well, no surprise, Grimjaw was prepared.

A otyugh as a garbage disposal, a couple of aberrant creations, a front line of plague dwarves, and a Spectator at his side. Oh, and that ulitharid Vorceredolus in the background stood guard by two wraiths, the one who had been dominating the sahaugin under the water temple.

Grimjaw welcomes them to his lair, finally happy to meet face to face.

“I apologize for the rude welcome you received before.”

Grimjaw continues on, explaining that he has had plans for some time for Barumila, but only recently has been accelerating them with help from his Illithid ally, and a recent incredible discovery.

He also apologizes for the plague. A total accident. He arrived with intent to take overHe was merely developing ways to create a biological agent to turn dwarves into aberrant slaves, but one of the test subjects had a common flu at the time. He had intended to use the weapon to strike into Barumila, but with its efficacy as a plague, he was content to wait until a boiling point, which had recently been reached. A point where an assault could guarantee success.

Then they came along. Salazar, with his plans.

He had wanted someone maliable. Someone corruptible, someone he could influence and control, possibly even without realizing it (to limit exposure of himself). And in that way, he found the perfect candidate in Valdi. Confident and sure of himself, but utterly corruptible and manipulable.

Grimjaw was prepared to keep talking, but Salazar had other plans, and interrupted with a fireball that completely obliterated the viral dwarves, and gave an opening for the rest of the party to attack.

Jeremy charged, taking out the spectator first, though taking damage.

Torinn attempted to charge around to the left of the beholder, though being restrained eventually by grasping tentacles grown from the wall.

Soveliss found that his bow mysteriously continued to operate even within the gaze of the Beholder.

Salazar dove to cover behind an experimenting table.

Vorceredolus did not move, prompting shouts of “traitor” and “betrayer” from Grimjaw.

The battle was swift, and brutal. Arrow after arrow from Soveliss, spells flung from Salazar. Powerful divine smites from Jeremy. The battle looked good, Grimjaw was taking heavy, heavy damage the first few rounds.

Then things changed.

Jeremy was lifted and held midair in front of Vorceredolus, indifferent to the battle, but never above devouring a mind. 5 separate attacks on Jeremy while he was held mid-air. 5. Five. Five. 5 attacks. Every single one, Jeremy, suspended in air, limbs flailing, still managed to dodge, deflect, and parry. He looked like he would survive.

However… The very next round, Grimjaw hit Jeremy with a sleep ray. He failed his save. Incapacitated, and in the arms of a voracious mind flayer, Jeremy did not survive.

The next wave of attacks, Grimjaw is faltering. Still, he fires one more shot at Salazar. A disintegration ray. The ray strikes Salazar, but he does not yell. In fact, he almost looks ready for it. Salazar is struck. The skin from the point of impact cracks, and glows red from beneath the surface. In milliseconds, the cracks and red glow grow to the rest of his body. A flare of energy from the origin, and Salazar is turned to fine, grey dust. His equipment falls into the pile of ash that was once our wizard and future dwarven king.

A violent counter-attack. Soveliss fire a retributive arrow. It is the killing blow, striking directly through the center eye.

The two survivors turn to face Vorceredolus. Bitterly angry at the death of Jeremy, but weary and anxious to fight another plainly powerful foe.

Vorceredolus drips with the detritus of Jeremy’s skull. Slithering, slimy tentacles quiver and there’s a sucking sound that could only be the illithid equivalent of him licking his lips after a fine meal. However, a raspy voice enters their mind.

“I am not your enemy.”

Still bitter, but still exhausted and unsure of their chances, Soveliss replies, “Be gone, then.” Or something like that.

The ulitharid produces from his robes what can only be the missing piece of the orrery. A small, golden astrolabe. Vorceredolus’ eyes glow green, and the astrolabe begins to move and spin with the same energy. Then something unique.

A feeling like a thousand invisible doors opening all around them. A feeling like falling, like remembering being on a wild rollercoaster (mah immersion!). The strong smell of ozone.

Suddenly, a wavering unstable portal rips open behind Vorceredolus. The feeling of nausea and reality warping confusion intensify. He steps through the portal, his wraith guardians wisp into nothingness and disappear. Then the portal closes, all the while he never breaks eye contact. The world returns to normal.

The otyugh has broken free and has begun chewing Jeremy’s corpse.

A green ring of energy opens under Jeremy’s lifeless body, and a green, translucent image of Jeremy (sleeping, head intact) rises into the air as if pulled by strings tied to his chest. The green light pulses, flowers and grass growing at its edged. Then the soul of Jeremy is pulled under.

A thick vine emerges from the center and crawls over Jeremy’s ankle, up his leg… torso, into the mouth of the otyugh and out the backend. The otyugh gives a squeal like a stuck pig before siezing and then falling, deflated. The vine continues to “snake” it’s way to Soveliss. Surrounding him. His bow thrums with energy, shakes violent, and bursts into tiny flecks of light.

“Aw fuck, my good bow!”

The light forms several spinning halos around his wrist, all at slightly different angles. They spin and spin before closing in on Soveliss’ arm. There is then a powerful, booming voice in Soveliss’ mind that he recognizes to be the voice of Bahamut. “Return to Lere, with haste!”

The lights fade, the vine retracts, and the green circle closes in on itself and disappears, leaving behind the ring of grass and flowers.

There is a realization in Soveliss now that his bow is wicked sick. He will spend days turning it off and on.

Torinn moves to retrieve Salazar’s belongings and inspect his dust. The bird which had previously been lying motionless erupts into life, red eyes aglow. It seems to spaghettify and whip into place at Torinn’s shoulder. Instantly the image of an orb headed figure above a blue and green cloudy world appears to Torinn.

“You must continue the path…”

They gather what they can, retrieving the axe, and scooping Salazar’s ashes into a nearby unused urn. They note the location of the lair before returning to the upper city (knowing they’ve left non-magical Eyngvhar outside with criminals. Bound criminals, but still. Soveliss brings the eye with him, for good measure.

They march immediately to Horgrim. Horgrim is dealing with the grim news that just in the past hour, the infected of the Dregs have become wild, and an outpost setup by the hospital to administer the cure has been overrun by the viralkin, and everyone killed.

Soveliss delivers the news. He delivers the urn to Kahma. It might not be said that theirs was a union out of love. But they had a powerful respect for one another, and Kahma is very deeply stricken by the news.

He next delivers the axe to Horgrim, know it’s what Salazar would have wanted.

“I can’t say that I have earned this with my actions so far. But I will strive every day from here on to do what I can.”

With the axe in his hands, and Valdi seriously discredited by the news, though our players will not be around for the next moot, Horgrim is all but guaranteed victory in that regard.

They next hand over the prisoners, who are immediately escorted to the dungeons for questioning.

Finally, Soveliss presents the eye, and explains in detail what happened and where they must now go to get more answers.

However, on their way there is a rush of guards heading in the direction of the dungeons, and lots of shouting. Horgrim and party descend to find the cause of this ruckus.

By time they arrive, dwarves are carrying out two covered corpses, the floor is covered in blood, and a serene, bloodied Gittes is sitting stoic in the rear of a cell.

“These then,” Torinn inquires, “were the men responsible for what happened to your family?”

A silent, sullen nod from Gittes.

Torinn turns, crestfallen, and explains to a furious Horgrim what has happened.

Horgrim, known for his temper, calms down. He understands.

“I cannot say that this man will ever be allowed to wear the badge of a detective again. He murdered two unarmed prisoners. But…” Horgrim looks to Gittes, “I can say that I will not see him punished far beyond what he has already endured. For now, he stays, though.”

Torinn tells Gittes that they won. It’s over, Grimjaw is dead.

Gittes is relieved, and says maybe when he gets out he’ll travel. Soveliss offers Bilgundum, and Gittes seems to like the idea.

“Yeah, Bilgundum. I might just do that.”

They say their farewells, share a solid moment or two about everything that has happened, and leave. Most of the guards there already know Gittes, know how many people he has delivered to them. They don’t seem pleased to have him in a cell, but when the players return later to give their final goodbyes, they’ll see that he is well taken care of. He has decided for sure that he will be leaving Barumila. Maybe one day he will return, but not for a while.

They return to Grimjaw’s lair, and begin digging out the rooms. There is a vault where Grimjaw kept valuable magical treasures. Possessions he himself had little to no personal interest in, but which were valuable as means of bribery, reward, payment, etc.

There is what amounted to a bedroom and office space, where volume after volume of bragging, dictated journals sat on a desk with a lone chair. Fortunately, but not surprisingly, Grimjaw documented everything he had done, to be able later to fully detail the depth of his greatness. Much might be unreliable, but it is certainly a start.

Finally, in the rear is a much more expansive testing area, many more tables, tubes, etc. But the most alarming is the enormous floor to ceiling tank with the gargantuan, tentacled monstrosity suspended and apparently inanimate in the back. It resembles the slimy tentacled creature that has been hounding the party, though larger, meaner, and more… “finished”. The party leaves that one alone.

After gathering Jeremy’s body and belongings, he is cremated and ashes sent back to his family. His funds, along with a matching lifelong contribution from Barumila, will be sent back to his family as well, and a statue of him and Salazar promised.

With most of the business concluded, they rest. The tournament that was planned to honor Salazar as potential king, is now reformatted to honor the saviors of Barumila, especially Salazar and Jeremy.

Soveliss joins the archery competition, and almost certainly would have won, were it not for the participation of the Axe and Hammer brothers. They do not seem to have resolved their differences. But at the award ceremony (1st place hammer, 2nd place axe, 3rd place Soveliss), they do share a handshake and mostly amiable nod.

Enter Toro. Soveliss and Torinn from their royal perch are able to watch the wrestling competition, wherein a goddamn giant outclasses almost every single competitor save for one, Thum. He’s the one single person to give the Goliath a fight. Burly, hairy, probably drunk. A stone-dense mass of muscle barely contained by dwarven skin and hair. Even so, at the end the Goliath heaves him into the air and… sets him down gently outside the ring. This earns a hearty laugh and slap before Thum leaves to get another drink.

And that’s pretty much what happened.

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Session 55: Mirror, Mirror, What the fuck.
"How many costumes do you have?"

Thosk reveals about Warrens. Uknowable power, weave, scarred face, etc.

Soveliss reveals the Sliver, note detailing Grimjaw’s bribery, and coin

Torinn reveals note from Gittes.

Group rests, Thosk gives Salazar his notes on Vosk, shows him illustration exactly matching bird.

They had to The Fire Beetle where they are meant to meet Gittes, and begin ordering food. Gittes shows himself briefly dressed as the waitress, gives another note for a second meetup. The party eats, pays, and leaves. Where Gittes ambushes them as a beggar whom they pretend to help back to their rooms.

In the rooms, he explains his observations. He has been living in The Dregs, intercepting notes, watching, disguised. His primary observation is that there is a convoluted and intricate network of messengers, with no central hub or common point. But there is a place he seems the most come in and out of, and that’s Little Lamplight Scree. The Dregs orphanage. Gittes also explains the note Soveliss found in his hidden desk compartment.

It came from a Grimjaw messenger returning from a trip to the Poison Weald, apparently after entreating with the wicked matron of that dark place. It suggests some sort of deal struck between Grimjaw and the lady/thing of the wood.

The party plans on the new morn of heading first to the orphanage to ask around, and then to the Weald, to meet with this figure and inquire as to the nature of her deal with Grimjaw. If she does not give up answers willing, perhaps she could be persuaded by force.

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Session 54: The Art of Conversation
VALDI FORNICATES WITH OWLS - READ ALL ABOUT IT

Torinn – Poison Pain/Nirvana
Kahama – Detective Gittes is relieved of Duty
Soveliss – Let’s just go to Gittes’ house.
Salazar – Talk to Thosk, reveal Valdi, drink “beer”, head off to see the Valdi
Torinn – Investigate Scarab
Soveliss – Sneaks into Gittes’ house. Finds it wrecks, smashed. Left hallway has study and bedroom. Whoops. Right hallway has the- We didn’t investigate that hallway.
Salazar – Thosk gets silent angry at valdi probably because the GM didn’t want a straight NPC-NPC conversation, but who knows. Salazar reveals information, gives chase to valdi
Soveliss – Sees them after leaving, finds them
Torinn – Heads to Kahmas for emergency ashes so he can plunge a poison artifact into his chest, sees team instead. Heads to say hi, gets bumped into by a disguised Gittes, gets handed paper.
Team – Meet up with Thosk. Everyone laying cards on the tables. Thosk pulls out a small hand mirror and lays it on the table. Holy shit, Thosk-

Tune in next week.

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Session 52: Downtime's Getting me Down
"We both said 'Tada!'" -- Salazar

Salazar – Eyngvhar – Magmaberration – 5 chalks and a +2 foci

Torinn – Valdi, Corpses, “Victory” Alley Gittes Badger

Soveliss – Search for Sulfin, don’t find him, Loch, Scrying, Need something of Sulfin, fiera, argument, wizard spellbook in chest,

salazar – bifund, tournament

corpse flying

salazar above dwarven head sea,

badger smells the corpse, poison and o-zone

Soveliss and salazar argue over petting a badger, pet the badger, " Ring falls, Closed eye in pyramid “Man, fuck this badger.”/

Salazar notices badger name, berates Soveliss. Stabs badger into a dragonborn

Madame Runes

Salazar encounters Sulfin

Soveliss – Scales and Tales, Lutzog, mentions Grimjaw, starts a fight

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Session 51: The Ever Better Ideas of Horgrim
Surströmming

Soveliss follows Sulfin through the dregs. For almost an hour he wanders those tunnels. Well past civilzation. Through long-abandoned mining tunnels. Abandoned carts and tools. Emergent life as mushrooms. These mining tunnels are returning to a natural state as caves. Sulfin seems to be following the ever growing glow of some stone or charm. He cannot get a clear glimpes of its markings, but it’s emitting a dark purple light. Soveliss finally speaks up when the glow seems brightest and Sulfin is finally satisfied, apparently having arrived at their destination. Sulfin stutters and avoids an explanation. And when Soveliss asks to see the stone, Sulfin uses “Dimension Door” to remove himself, revealing himself for sure (though we suspected) as a skilled wizard. Soveliss returns to the city.

Salazar is awoken by the banging of Soveliss at his door. Soveliss delivers the news, but raucous commotion outside draws their attention. Horgrim, it seems, is organizing a full assault into the Dregs following the attack on Barumila. He is convinced now an intelligence of some manner is guiding these cursed beings, and will not allowed further assaults.

The party must hurredly gather Malimfra to test her curing device on fully transformed dwarves, so with Horgrims reluctant blessing, the party and Malimfra with her leafblower-ash backpack head into the mines. Soveliss follows tracks that grow and grow in number until the find themselves, deep into the dregs in a dug out pit. An enormous cavern that is filled with literally thousands of Viralkin, the plagued dwarves. Testing the cure in the form of the vial of Salazars remaining ashes, they find the cure to work, and swiftly and silently make their way back up. They encounter twenty more plagued dwarves who were headed in this direction, and Malimfra is able to ash the lot of them. The cure returns them to dwarven health. But the limbs take longer to wither and finally slough off.

Horgrim’s mind is changed, and the assault is canceled. Instead effort willbe put into mass producing the devices of Malimfra’s design to distribute the cure.

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Session 50: Fight for your Right to Party
"I pull out my flute." --Soveliss

We move to the new Hall.

Torinn

summons a bunch of owls to fly around the dwarven feast and shit everywhere. No one really get its, but he’s a Dragonborn so, I mean, they’re weird. Eventually he leaves to spy on Malimfra. She rejects his support, but he goes anyway. Later, outside the Hospital he’s approached by Enkala from the shadows, apologizing for everything that went wrong. Torinn forces her to tell him what she knows about Grimjaw. Not much, unfortunately. He approached them with the chance for aid, if they would play their part in getting Torinn caught. Later, Detective Gittes finds Torinn. Says he has some information on Valdi, but they’re going to have to meet at a later date. Just, keep eye out. Valdi is in to some shit.

Soveliss

after the wedding, parks himself at a bench. He hasn’t had time to practice his flute, and this seems like a good enough time. His performance isn’t top notch, but that’s to be expected. He is similarly eyed with confusion, but left alone. He will later sit with Eyngvhar and Fiera, however. Fiera is an elf, who turns out to be captain of the royal guard. Soveliss is incredibly interested, but she is quite terse. He prods, and learns she has some significant event in her history. But he cannot get it out of her just yet. Unfortunately he must pull himself away from their stunning conversation when he notices Valdi clearly trying to sneak out of the feast. He follows Valdi, a master a of stealth, and follows him down. He sneaks into Scales and Tails through a rear entrance, careful not to be seen by anyone, before Soveliss is unable to follow further. He returns to the party and just hangs out. Later, hours later but before the reception/wake finishes, Soveliss retires. On his way to his room, he finds Sulfin also sneaking down to the Dregs. Jeez. Repetition. anyway, Soveliss follows.

Salazar

Samples wines, beers, ales, rums, stouts, alcohols, etc. He boozes and smoozes. Bifund vows to hold a tournament in Salazar’s honor, and for the dead. Hragne says probably about 5 words, but also seems to approve of Salazar’s behavior last battle. Gwoenverv brings his own gilded casks. The most interesting alcohols of the bunch are almost certainly Zuri’s. The amber syrupy drink that almost behaves like poison and results in a think yellow smokey burp. At the end, Salazar and Kahma hesitate on where to retire, but decide on opposite bedrooms.

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