Dreamscape

Session 49: Chapel of Love (And Death (And Fireballs))
"So the wedding's over. Nothing bad happened?" --Soveliss

We begin immediately with Torinn going to retrieve his misplaced downpayment on the Portable Hole. He is not, however, able to secure the return of all of his funds, as Loch, the half-orc proprietor of Loch and Lodestone institutes an impromptu “Holding Fee” for the canceled transaction. In exchange for fair dealings, Torinn pays him more. Loch in return vows a solemn oath to continue to sell Torinn goods at any hour that the store is open.

At the royal meeting hall, a crowd has gathered. Salazar arrives and is met first by an over-eager Sulfin. Finally satisfied to make the acquaintance of the wizard in whose possession he knows the Axe to be. Salazar, having no time for that, walks past him and into the hall. A brief conversation with Kahma confirms that they are ready to begin, and Salazar takes his place at the front for their large, but brief, ceremony.

Torinn arrives, after being detained and shopping, moments before the bell is rung. Detective Gittes, in the time since Torinn’s departure, has begun to pull old files under G for Grimjaw. And finds many such files are missing. Files are lost all the time. It happens. But it seems to have happened more, here. He has shared this revelation with a few trusted colleagues, who have similarly been working. They don’t have much to go on yet, but they now, at Torinn’s remarkably convincing, believe a conspiracy to be afoot. And believe that Valdi is part of it. He has suspiciously been involved in suspected illicit activity before, but never arrested, or even brought in for question on such activities. Gittes requests that Torinn keep a close eye on Valdi for the duration of the ceremony. After having been question, he may try to make contact with someone, or even slink away early. The detective, however, would be unable to enter the hall without an invitation, or stealth.

The ceremony begins proper, and words are said. It is a warm ceremony, kind words are said by Horgrim. There is a hand-fasting, but the nature of the wedding produces very few tears. It is just Fine™. Until the very end. The bell is chimed to signify the official beginning of their union. When kablam. The doors are burst, and streaming in, over the bodies of shredded guards outside, or plagued dwarves. The aberrant remains of countless dwarves from the Dregs, and even above.

Salazar is quick to dispatch large groups with his newly learned fireballs. Many in the hall join the fight. Horgrim ceremoniously brought his axe and hammer, and makes short work of a stream of plague dwarves as they stream single-file through one door. Soveliss maintains concentration on a Spike Growth that shreds unknowing Plague Dwarves. Torinn conjures a giant snake that begins assembly-line-style constricting dwarf after dwarf.

Another wave, they continue the fight. The plaguers push in, slaughtering the hapless attendees. Another fireball once an area has been made clear. Soon, though… something else follows. Something bigger. Something terrifying. Something threatening. Something quite high CR’d especially for a fight already swarming with minor threats. Something so scary that its very moan sends nearly the entire hall into fits of incomprehensible horr- It’s a sloth.

However, at the arrival of this Future-Sloth, Salazar experiences an assault. Something seems to crush the life out of him, nearly sending him to his fe-knees. This first attack he attributes to the arrival of this strange creature. But after Torinn polymorphs it into everyone’s favorite token image of a sloth, the attack continues. He anxiously scans the hall looking for signs of someone focusing their efforts on him. Maybe this assault is some kind of spell. As a last resort, he sheds his ceremonial robe to reveal the robe of eyes underneath. The sight of the robe becomes his own, and he can see his assailant. An invisible something-or-other. And two more coming in through the door, over the now-polymorphed-but-still-scary manta-sloth.

The invisible whats-a-whosit continues its attack, and Salazar is forced to use Conservatard. The dagger extends his life, but the ferocious elemental is undeterred. Salazar flees, and the stalker follows. Momentarily knocking Salazar unconscious, and intent on finishing the job. Only through healing by Torinn does Salazar survive, and not take what were going to be a death failure for each attack. Though, to his credit, Torinn did briefly attempt subversive murder by suggesting a Medicine stabilization over magical healing. He was convinced by the voice of imagination-figment-Salazar in his head to use true healing.

Soveliss follows the gaze of Kahma, Salazar, and eventually Jeremy to place magical arrows at a high velocity into the form of this completely unseen attacker. The arrows definitely interact with something, as seemingly in mid air their trajectory changes, their speed slows, and they fall to the ground.

Torinn maintains concentration on the Snake and considers moonbeam before instead deciding on just sending out chill vibes.

Jeremy follows one elemental as it enters the room, and smites it brandingly, allowing other nearby dwarves to assist in the assault. Thosk assails the third with searing beams as it passes him and Beelines toward Salazar.

Salazar is attacked several more times, healed again by Kahma, and by the graces of good fortune, a clever idea to unbind the magic on one such creature, and the faces of the dwarven gods through Magic missiles, the three invisible whatevers are finally released.

The congregation stands amid the smokey, bloody, burning wreckage and carnage of a once Adequate™ wedding ceremony. And no one even got any cake yet.

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Session 48: A Natural 20 can fix anything.
"This is a contested 'smug' roll." -- DM

The Heist

Torinn meets Enkala down below at 6th bell. (There have definitely been time-keeping bells this whole time). They have the approval of some minor lord named Ank Allardson to retrieve the chest, which conveniently happens to be adjacent to the chest they need to steal the headdress from.

Torinn silently curses himself for forgetting to put the rest of his payments down on that portable hole. He spends a great deal of time deliberating on the correct course of action. finally he decides on what to do. He turns Enkala into an Octo- Wait, no. He summons a gargoyle and just knocks the chest over and takes the crown and runs. Unfortunately the alarms weren’t a bluff, so like a dozen guards swarm Torinn and Enkala. He decides actions speak louder than words, and attacks. As the melee begins, a siren sounds elsewhere, and indiscernible figures fly off at another point in the stock with some chest. Torinn tries to get away. He is forced out of form by the bolts of their dwarven crossbows. Twelve dwarves in a row tackle him and still he almost gets away. Ultimately, however, he is subdued. Later he is interrogated by Gittes. They’re desperate to know about his reasons being there. There comes at one point a very rapid, annoying knock at the door and a smug, irritating dwarf opens the door. Torinn doesn’t know him, but it’s Valdi. He very sweetly insists the detectives do their due diligence in weeding out any seditious motivations, and to truly do their best in establishing Torinns attempted theft to Salazar. The annoying dwarf leaves and the dwarves continue their intense interrogation.

It turns out that they’re not really going to bother charging Torinn with theft. They’re not clear why, they just say the second chest wasn’t off limits. They do have to ask why Torinn did it in the first place and there has to be some punishment for his assault on the guardsmen. With a nat 20, however, Torinn is able to convince Detective Gittes that Valdi is the true mastermind. He lets Torinns actions slide pending future cooperation in this investigation into the corruption of Dwarven politicians. As he’s leaving, he sees more detectives grilling Enkala, and the annoying dwarf bursts through a dwarf elsewhere in the office, shouting about absurdities. His questioning has begun, apparently.

He remembers the wedding is later, and goes to get an appropriate gift.

The Tentacles

Soveliss heads to Loch and Lodestones for a magical gift, finds a pretty powerful scroll and things, but finds Loch’s selection limited. Loch does offer greater gifts if Soveliss retrieves a certain necklace/charm from his rival, Eyngvhar.

Soveliss goes to Eyngvhar’s shop, Archmage. Inside he finds a panicked dwarf. Eyngvhar has misplaced the sloth-tentacle monster. Or rather, it inexplicably escaped its planar prison. Soveliss is soon after attacked by an errant tentacle out of nowhere, a veil pulled back from reality itself.

They are quick to bring this news to Salazar. He’s able to finally locate a tentacle and forces its form into this realm into the form of a sloth for Eyngvhar to dispose of immediately.

Valdi comes by in the middle of these preceding to gloat that a companion of theirs has been arrested for an attempted theft.

His smug gloating is interrupted by guards demanding his return to the Barracks. At his departure, a contested smug roll occurs between Soveliss and Valdi. Though he doe snot admit defeat, Valdi clearly loses the Smug Duel.

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Session 47: It's Just Called Two Brothers
"Underground Pound Town" -- David/Sean

The Wedding Planner

Kahma and Salazar approach a pissed off, drunk, beaten Horgrim. He learns Thosk knew of Valdi’s potential betrayal (that valdi may have the orrery piece). Horgrim wants to fly off the handle, but Salazar calms him down, and instead Horgrim decides that a public event whereby Salazar can guarantee a mind reading on every possible member of the city would be best.

Underground Pound Town

Soveliss finds Jeremy being escorted around the city by Sulfin. They exchange more words, and Sulfin leaves. Soveliss takes Jeremy to the axe place, but as it happens they notice the store next to it. Underground Pound Town. A store with a Hammer facade. Soveliss takes Jeremy into Seismic Hacktivity, and inquires about the neighboring store. However, the patron of S.H. seems immediately angered. He does not respond to any questions of the nature of the other store. Only getting inches from Soveliss’s face and whispering angrily, “Axes…” Soveliss leaves Jeremy to explore S.H., and leaves to stealthily explore the Underground Pound Town.

Inside is Emsee, the store own. Every possible configuration of a hammer is on display, and not a single edged weapon in side. Engaging Emsee to demonstrate his wares, he eventually brings out a bulky, unwieldly monstrosity of plate armor. It seems completely absurd, until with the press of a button, some magical motor spins to life, and large hammers which adorned the piece begin whirling around, making several full rotations a second. Another press and the hammers are loosed from their chains and propel outward, nearly brainsplatting Soveliss, and one breaks through the wall between this and the axe shop.

The store owners turn out to be brothers with a long-standing and know-one-remembers-who-started-it feud. Try as Soveliss might, he is unable to mend the broken bond between these brilliant brothers, and is ejected from their stores for the attempt. What will become of the dwarven inventors?

The Dragonborn

Torinn is in his quarters when there’s an insistent knock on the door. Opening, the hall is completely dark. The dwarven stewards are slumped over, breathing but unconscious. And cloaked figures enter his room. Dropping their polymorphed forms, they reveal to be Dragonborn. The one speaking, Enkala, is a red dragonborn. Torinng is naturally very suspicious, but they are absolutely insistent. that they need his help. Torinn agrees to hear them out, believing their words.

They alter his form to that of a dwarf also, so that none would know or suspect where he has gone, and lead him to the dregs. Below he’s able to catch the names of a couple of others. Balshimma, and Amazel. They in turn inform him that with the help someone named Grimjaw, they’ve been able to locate and half-form a plan to recover a relic of their people handed over in good-will when their ancestral refugees first arrived in Barumila. As the city has deteriorated, they have sought to leave, but have been unable to procure the artifact through legitimate means, and so have turned desperate. They don’t have the will/courage/cleverness to pull it off, but one of their own people (all they trust) who happened to have been tutored by a real dragon, might be the key to getting them home. Torinn is very reluctant, but eventually agrees.

The plan involves entering the Dwarven Stockpiles under false pretenses, stealing the artifact from a chest neighboring that which they would be entering for, and leaving without being discovered.

Torinn finds the magic shop Loch and Lodestones, and puts a downpayment on a portable hole. He sleeps that night, preparing to rob the Dwarven Stockades in the morning.

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Session 46: Shopping, Cont'd.
"Is like the whole front of the shop an axe?" --Soveliss

Thosk

Salazar heads to Thosk to inquire about what he knows. There is an exchanging of earthy tea, and conversation begins. Using sleight of hand, Salazar is able to activate the Illithid staff without Thosk’s notice, and he is able to read Thosk’s mind. He curses himself mentally for “trusting an Iothel”. While he is unable to verbally confirm any ill feelings toward Valdi, he does note that he has become suspicious of the dwarf’s activity. And through mind reading Salazar learns he has already begun the search for the missing orrery piece himself, and that another mage Veigga serves at the behest of Valdi these days.

Thosk suddenly seems eager to rush Salazar out the door at the end of their meeting, though Salazar is not quick enough to able to determine why before the door is nearly slammed in his face.

Poison Scarabs

Torinn attempts to decipher his scarab, but nearly poisons himself. His natural dragonborn resilience seems to be the only thing that preserves his life as the poison courses through him. Then he goes to sleep.

Seismic Hacktivity

Soveliss continues shopping. His next stop is “Seismic Hacktivity.” Inside is an older dwarf. Cataract and scar, white beard and hair. Built like a bear. He’s laughing in the back as concerned patrons hurry out the front door when Salazar arrives. Immediately Soveliss is struck by the singularly focused purpose of the store. Axes. The storefront was an axe, sure. But that wasn’t enough indication how what was inside. Which is… axes. Swords with axe heads. Fractal Axe-heads. Crossbows shaped like axes that fire spinning axe-heads. Soveliss engages the man, and unintentionally inspires a demonstration of one such crossbow, to be nearly decapitated by a ricocheting axe, which the dwarf catches mid-air. He slaps Soveliss on the back a bit too hard, and laughs a bit too loud, but is otherwise a good dwarf, with a unique creative talent. Soveliss leaves the shop, vowing to bring Jeremy back.

My Dinner with Valdi

Salazar is returning when he meets Bifund, whom he invites to a dinner to talk about his plans for the city. However, as luck would have it they are heading to dinner at the same time as Valdi, who insists they merge dinner parties. Salazar agrees, though many cutting remarks are made as politely as possible.

Salazar makes efforts despite Valdi to engage with Bifund that seem moderately successful. They’re able to speak of the tournaments, and Bifund’s smithies.

Soveliss, in inquiring as to the whereabouts of Jeremy, finds out about Salazar’s dinner and rushes to join, not wanting to miss the opportunity. Once there he proceeds to engage Valdi directly in some kind of smug-off, which actually affords Salazar a better chance at speaking with Bifund. And even in their brief engagement, Bifund seems to warm to Salazar.

Kahma arrives, having sought Salazar to respond to his earlier proposal. She responds in the affirmative. This may be the best thing for her city and people. Her backing helps him, and she believes he is the most focused on the good of the city. And that he actually has a chance in the first place while he bears the axe. They announce their plans then, and depart thereafter together, to find Horgrim and speak of ceremonial plans.

Soveliss departs to bed. And we end there.

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Session 45: Threats and Proposals
"I stole this book from a dragon!" --Torinn

Beginning with an investigation into Salazar’s encounter, the party decides that someone should stay with Salazar in case the thing returns.

In the morning, Torinn seeks out Dr. Malimfra, a dwarf with medical expertise, to help decode some of the symbols and formulae in the book of Sylvenim’s. Almost refusing to lend aid after recognizing it as dragon made (And at Torinn’s compulsion to tell almost the whole truth (“I took it from my master, a dragon”)), she finally gives in, her curiosity getting the better of her. She is able to read the formula, he is able to read the draconic, and they set about attempting to decide the books. After much back and forth, almost a whole day, she is able to make note of one particular thing. Retrieving a personal book of alchemical symbols, she sees that one symbol is being used in the place of a large reservoir or storage flask. And the symbol turns out to be a scarab. Malimfra must, however, return to the processing of so many plague refugees.

Soveliss goes to retrieve his clothing, preparing to pay a too hefty sum for the alterations. However, in the interim period Adoneira, the shopkeer, has heard of the half-elf’s part in the curing of the plague, and is willing to part with her work for free. Given that Soveliss the Hero is willing to proclaim Sub-Urban Outfitters his favorite shop in the fortress. For the wonderful new garments he considers this fair. She uses some custom flashpowder and a crafty enchantment to create an impression of Soveliss on a piece of parchment, and gets his signature.

Leaving the shop, Soveliss again encounters Sulfin about in the city. He has heard of Salazar’s intentions with the axe, and does not seem pleased. He makes additional thinly veiled threats which are returned in kind, before departing once again on feigned friendly terms.

Soveliss continues to Loch and Lodestones, looking for a potion that might help fight off intoxication. Knowing a dwarven soiree is imminent, he would like to be able to blend in, partake, but keep his wits about him.

Salazar leaves to speak with Kahma, to speak about his proposal. She seems very, very hesitantly receptive to the idea, though it is unknown if she would actually agree. Salazar also asks about various things mentioned in the dossier. The pass, the battle, etc.

Finally, he takes his leave, stopping by the plague ward to retrieve a small pouch of the ashes, and returns to his room, whereupon he receives a note. The horrendous spelling seems too out of the ordinary and there seems to be almost a weird pattern and intent behind the errors. Writing them down he decodes a secret message.

orrery sabotaged horgrim framed ask thosk

Right as Salazar decodes the message, and is about to head to speak with Eyngvhar. However, he is interrupted by the arrival of Bosi, who has news. Valdi has been visiting the greater houses personally, and getting their support in the wake of Horgrim’s fall from grace.

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Session 44: The Continuing Adventures of King Salazar
"You don't see the power of this thing? Quick, find the girls' locker room." --Salazar

Open with the Orrery. Soveliss and crew are deciding how to deal with it. Thosk wants it preserved entirely and studied. Valdi wants it utterly destroyed. Horgrim shut it off, but they leave the destruction until Salazar gets back as Torinn discovers it’s radiating bands of Divination magic.

Salazar spends a paltry amount of time investigating it as only a Wizard could, before realizing it doesn’t create portals at all, contrary to Horgrim’s interpretation. It is the ultimate spying tool. Capable of opening a window to any spot of any plane, provided you can work the machine. Though there is some asymmetry in the design that clashes with the otherwise well-thought out architecture of the device. Like something is hidden or missing in its function.

They play with the Orrery for a while before Thosk brings up that there are currently other issues to address. So the entire group decides “Yeah, let’s deal with this plague thing first.”

Leaving the discover that in the previous battle, some of the wounded soldiers have quickly developed fever-like symptoms.

Shit.

Anyway, to test the cure on the sickest, we head to the Medical Ward (AKA: Plague Ward), and find the guy that’s a couple hours from being shipped off and beheaded for his own good.

Salazar applies directoy to the forehead, at which point some of his hair actually comes off.

And yet, almost immediately the man’s condition improves. Torinn inspects him to be sure, but within minutes, while they watch, he stops vomiting, his skin color improves, his pupils dilate normally, etc. etc. He’s getting better. The cure worked. It was like magic.

Anyway, the doctors said they were going to keep people there overnight in observation, so the party departed.

Torinn tracks down the Regent, Horgrim, to ask him about getting magical assistance for a “Family issue”.

Salazar follows Kahma home. Puts a couple of moves on her, and learns from her that the dossier he was provided was either deliberately wrong, or tempered with. In either case, it was critically wrong in specific ways that wouldn’t have attracted attention, but would have made Salazar a much less appealing candidate to those he subtly insulted or embarrassed himself in front of. Kahma made the corrections and Salazar went back to his room.

Soveliss left for the Dregs. His first visit was to the Scales and Tails. A sort of unassuming, shabby establishment with a basic bar and clientele as run down as the building. He left, and visited Effluence. There he met a quite ecstatic gnome behind the counter selling Gamblegrog. A homemade brew that was 2 parts heady brew, and 1 part leftover experimental concoctions from an upstairs alchemy shop. This week’s brew made its people talk backwards. He gets a tankard of Feywine instead, and heads for the next place, the Fire Beetle. Here is a busier and slightly better kept place. They even serve decent food, coated in their signature beer. Soveliss gets a bit drunk and heads home, seeing nothing of significance.

Later on, Salazar’s room is invaded by an angelic figure with no face. Where its eyes would be, two golden circles open, and the blinding cones of light they emit scan every atom of Salazar, who relives every portent he’s ever had. He is nearly burned away from the experience, and is dropped to the floor, 4 inches from death, and the angelic creature already gone.

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Session 43: Political Intrigue and Tentacles
"What did you do, Horgrim? WHAT DID YOU DO?!" --Everyone

Salazar leaves to meet with these mysterious benefactors. Their names being Jori, Zuri, Veigga and Domin. Along with the initial Sicfri, Frith and Bosi.

The seven dwarves (not intentional) listen intently while Salazar explains his intentions and designs for Barumila, giving a reasonably rousing speech effecting their approval of his claim. They believe that his rule is radical enough to shake up the support needed to unwedge their current stagnant political atmosphere. If we haven’t chosen a better dwarf in 20 years. Maybe it’s time to listen to a human. After all, they expand faster than we do anyway, eh? After a time Salazar asks them who should take over if he were to pass or give up the throne. That devolved into arguing, and it basically ended there. Salzar was given a dossier one 4 of Horgrims major house supporters. Turning at least 2 would give Salazar the momentum he’d need to get the others in line and win. This was not a sure thing. It’s a bold move that will need planning. But it could work.

Torinn meanwhile explores the Stockpiles below the main city of Barumila. It’s an endless warehouse that’s used for raw material storage, as well as rented by store fronts to store their goods. Protected by both magical means and guards. The DM actually came up with a whole system of runic registration, because feels that the dwarves are exactly the type who’d prefer the methodical approach. Maybe gnomes, certainly some humans. But definitely dwarves.

Soveliss visits a tailor and learns a lesson about regional economies. He walked in with a mix of magical and moderately priced apparel. He walked out in basic cloth tunics and trousers.

Salazar makes his way to Kahma, wanting her support in the upcoming political ugliness. She showed a shaky resolution to supporting her brother. At least that they should see what he had planned for Barumila. (DM Note: I wonder what she thinks of him now…)

Horgrim gathers his major supporters and the newcomers, his guests, to a small revealing of his plans. For the past two years he has been working at mining out the 7th floor of the fortress. I projected begun and abandoned over a dozen times since the founding of Barumila. As it turns out, the most recent kings “efforts” were actually a mask to hide the his true purpose. The construction of his magical advisor’s Orrery. A gateway between worlds. Unknown calamities, however, plagued that project as well. And at what seemed to be the projects completion, an horror was unleashed onto Barumila. The king and his entire court were devoured, and the plague was unleashed onto Barumila. The fortress has been falling into decline since.

BUT THAT’S ALL ABOUT TO CHANGE! Because Horgrim found the Orrery. Tested it a couple of weeks ago, seemed to work fine. And bam, now he has a plan to get rid of the plague forever.

Oh shit, that went badly. And no one knew it would. Instead of the world-changing demonstration of his discovery, there was a door shattering monstrosity bursting in to give hugs. It hugs the two guards by the door right away. Following that there’s some minor sinkholes, out of which some Dwarf Monsters pop out and start fighting the guards. Which isn’t a major problem except for the dwarven aberration plague communicable only by touch.

Everyone prepares, like, a major combat. Salazar instead polymorphs the thing into a sloth. They get the dwarven wizard Eyngvhar to demiplane it, informing him that it’s actually a huge monster and he should open it over the next volcano he encounters.

We return to the Orrery where our heroes Soveliss and Torinn are deciding how to handle its destruction, when suddenly time freezes for a week.

End session.

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Session 42: I came, I saw, I derailed.
"I am your king." --Salazar

Kahma leads us to Barumila. Find awesome bridge with mural of dwarven history. Not that it matters who created the dwarves, Sean.

Jarrett gets text message and conversation with mysterious “V” insues. Party determines V is crazy after a short period and we proceed into Barumila. Lethargic guards barely stand up to greet the visitors.

Met Horgrim and learned Kahma is royalty with a rough familial relationship with the current Regent. Delivered the urn. Delivered the a-. Delivered the ax-… Delivered the… Delivered the OH GOD COME ON.

Soveliss sleeps. Torinn tours the plague ward. Salazar receives a mysterious note from coup instigating benefactors.

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Session 41: The DM talks a lot.

We spend time figuring out how this magical barrier works. Torinn finds that the spell is a combination of abjuration and something not belonging to one of the primary schools.

We break in, find the long dead dwarves. Read a letter. Learn that Bhoro is an asshole, and some dwarf chick found a book that had the instructions to recreate this barrier. Eternal something. Also found the Urn of Not Andraste. And an axe. Nothing special. Also some kind of fire bottle, I guess. No big.

They begin to leave the fortress through a side entrance that turns out to be related to the dead end we were futzing about with earlier. Oh shit, tearing down that barrier let the demons escape. We ran. Oh shit, weren’t there levers we could pull to seal off the place?

Whatevs.

We head back to town, and split up with the promise of heading to Barumila at first light. And now we spend some time in the Library. Investigation begins, and the DM talks too much about the barrier and what it means.

We also look up poisons. We look up Slaads, we look up mountain titans. Players deduce that the barrier spell is meant to undo a Godly decree.

We leave the library and are assaulted by previously disguised guards under Mayford’s command.

End session.

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Session 40: The Fire Below

Chasme, dead-end/trap, evil hellscape, running through dungeon, minor combat, nalfeshnee, Balor rising, Jeremy briefly dies, end at Spell Riddle.

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