Gyruff (Grand Duchy of Geoff)

I Like Big...Brains?...and I Cannot Lie??!

Hello there to all my Super Mazer fans! I am really digging not being balls-deep crazy any more. All the fun I had been missing out on was highly inexcusable. Come to think of it pardon me a sec…ahem…Ladies, I’ll catch you later because I need to keep all my fans informed, so show yourselves out and I’ll catch you Babes later tonight. Yep, your clothes are over there… Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, what’s up with me!

Flocktime 618.
I was still kick ‘in it in Hochoch as things are starting to look up for ole Mazer here. I met up with some of my good adventuring friends Princess Jagr, D-Track, Dasut & apprentice Yahnny, G-Zo, and Spectre at a local tavern to see what we were going to do next. POP! There was that creepy mirror over in the corner of the tavern that kept following Dasut around so that kind of joined our group too as default party member. Hey Buddy Dasut, not that I want to pick on you but your creepy mirror is right over there, again. See it? Just thought you should know. <wink> I passed him over a strong drink too. Poor Dasut was being constantly “haunted” one could say by that creepy cursed mirror. No matter what he does, it shows up somewhere as he moves about the town, in buildings, rooms, streets, wherever and is showing him unsettling weird stuff. I guess Dasut doesn’t like it too much. Ole Mazer would just give that mirror many “grand performances” with various female lady-friends all the time if it wanted to follow ME around and watch. Huh…wait…mirrors while I…do stuff…reflections I can see of…me…and my chicks…I may be on to something here…but I’ll think more on this later. (Sweet Reflections musical interlude on the Lute…)

While we were discussing the options of helping out Hochoch, a strange soothsayer lady entered the tavern and walked over to us. Marie de Graine was her name and hearing the rumors of the mirror, sought us out to offer advice on the mirror’s use and care. I usually never forget a face…especially female faces and I remember this soothsayer from somewhere. Oh yeah, she provided Mazer here his fortune back when we encountered the night-hunter sacks in Gorna, I think. She rattled off like 13 points of mirror rules to follow…which I lost interest around step 5 or so. Rules!? Who needs them. Hey, look at those attractive women over there! I tuned back in when Marie started to explain a Scrying Ritual with the mirror. Wow, that’s interesting. Will have to try it out and I hope care steps 6 through 13 didn’t deal with scrying. Well, in conversations with Marie de Graine and our group she referred Ole Mazer here as the “The Father” and Princess Jagr as “The Mother”. Hey, Fortune Honey why are you calling me “The Father”. She stated that I am the Father of Many! WHAT THE…!!? Yeah well, you did say my future was golden last time and then I hit balls-deep crazy and ate a bunch of dirt. Quack! I also asked why Princess Jagr is “The Mother”? Fortune Honey said Jagr was with Child! BOOM! Newsflash! I had to clear it for the record to all present that ole Mazer has N O T H I N G to do with Princess Jagr’s apparent situation. No, no way. If I did though…that would be one beautiful kid!

Well after Marie de Graine informed us with that mirror knowledge and some bonus jaw dropping news, she offered to do fortune readings for us with her magic cards. Princess Jagr, Dasut, and I all had a reading. Like before these were those magic cards with cool pictures. I drew the Charlatan, Rogue, Broken One, Myrmidon, and Ghost and got a semi-vague fortune, again. Some of the cards made sense but you can’t really believe any of this stuff, am I right?

Still wondering what to do next, we thought about trying out Dasut’s mirror with scrying. Some of our other adventuring friends mentioned that Judge Jia was recently seen fleeing with Mind Flayers or something and was presently unaccounted for. Well, that is one hot woman who also happened to be Hochoch’s High Judge. Let’s try looking her up to see if she is okay or in need of help. Buddy Dasut was convinced (my strong drink for him kicked in) to try and scry first for her since it’s his creepy mirror. After a few attempts he described a very odd perspective but saw Jia lying on a fancy bed most comfortably and…ahem, naked. The view out her window appeared to be on the second floor, showed a tree, and high stone wall. After ole Mazer here heard of Jia’s present situation, I was extremely motivated to check her out…I mean make sure she was okay. Yes! We decided to go to the Quivering Hills Companionship Hall as that was her place of business and near a walled section of Hochoch. Oh boy, this just keeps getting better! I fumbled to find my exclusive QHCH Gold Membership card…I mean, how did that get in my pocket!? I bet D-Track slipped in there as a joke. Sneaky rogue. Yeah…must be it. <wink> (Giddy-Up musical interlude on the Lute…)

Arriving at Quivering Hills it was decided that our stealthy types of D-Track, Dasut, Yahnny, and Spectre would find the window and sneak in to look for any information that maybe there while Princess Jagr, G-Zo, and I would go in front door style and live it up! Again Princess Jagr managed to manipulate the situation to get ole Mazer here alone, more or less, to herself. We all see it Honey and feel the vibes you have for me! Too bad you married my best friend. When entering it was the same old place with the attractive QH ladies and various visiting patrons. The Hostess with the Mostest greeted me and asked if I wanted my same room. I just shrugged my shoulders and shook my head, what is she talking about guys?! Same room? I don’t know… I just told the Hostess I was here for a couple drinks and to see if I could solo perform most excellently for your guests & staff with permission from High Judge Jia of course. Princess Jagr and G-Zo stumbled around the joint most awkwardly. Geez. I had two drinks poured for me at the bar as the Hostess went upstairs to assumingly notify Jia and draw her out of the bedroom. Normally I want attractive women going INTO the bedroom with me but Mazer is on mission! It wasn’t long before I heard “Mazer!” from the top of the stairs. Whoa mamma. Did she look GOOOOD! She most elegantly made her way over to me and yes, the waiting second drink was most smoothly handed to her expertly and slick-like. Bam! After some initial conversation she invited me upstairs to her room of course for a…oh crap…Noooo…stay on main mission Mazer…stay on main mission… This was a sad day as I had to resist my normal guaran-damn-teed urges to simply just talk, and intellectually-like interact and stuff…NOT FAIR! Errrrr! After a bit of stalling and mentally having to undress her so my stealthy friends had time to search her room she then asked if we could have a private conversation in the basement regarding a potential business opportunity. Sweet! I thought this a bit strange as Jia was not really a dirty basement type of woman, but that got me even more excited! Yeah, yeah…lets discuss this in the basement. I quickly tipped back my drink and slammed the glass on the bar. BAM! Secondary personal mission back on! Ha HA! I followed her in back of QH and Jia opened the door to the basement as she was explaining that she wanted to open other QHCH’s in other cities and wanted to know if Two Lutes for Love would be interesting in partnering. Ole Mazer was all in baby and this sounded like a great idea. As we were walking down the stairs I started unbuttoning my shirt for the official seal-the-deal handshake, in the dirty basement! (Where’s that Damn Mirror When You Need It? musical interlude on the Lute…)

This was it and ole Mazer had waited a long time for some privacy with Jia. I could feel the mutual vibes in the semi-musty basement air as I gently pulled her close to me. Her arms wrapped around me as well. I heard a weird sloshing sound but I had more important things on my mind. She smelled so good and sweet…what?! I noticed Jia looking past me deeper into the basement for some reason. What could be hotter than ME!!? Hey, look at me. I’m right here Babe! Well, maybe there was a mirror after all. Fine, what are you looking at and what the hell is that sloshing sound!!? Well when I turned to look a metaphoric spike felt like it was driven into my skull & brain, followed by an intense splitting headache, and my muscles felt as if they were briefly electrified! Zzzaaappp! Sitting here in the basement was the largest Tentacled Brain-Sack in a pit of Ooze ole Mazer has ever seen! The only one I have ever seen. Yikes! Secondary personal mission back off! This thing almost took out sturdy Mazer here with ONE BIG psychic shot! OUCH!!!! Since I was barely hanging on to consciousness I ran up the stairs swaying, yelling, and grabbing my beautiful head “BIG BRAIN!!! BIG BRAIN!!! Mazer DOWN!!! Jia, let’s go! HELP!!!” (I Like Big…Brains…and I Cannot Lie!? musical interlude on the out-of-tune Lute…)

Well I was in really rough shape and rubbing blood from my nose and ears after barely making it up the stairs. Princess Jagr & G-Zo already showed up in the back to help Ole Mazer as they heard my “BIG BRAIN” screaming. I also heard the others from upstairs hastefully moving footfalls on the way to us. After we all were here together I received some stabilization healing magic from Princess Jagr…she just always has to be touching me. I explained what I had saw and…WAIT! Where is High Judge Jia!!? Is she here!!? Aww crap, she must still be downstairs. We have to rescue her guys! She’s HOT! Well I guess the others were more concerned that she was a High Judge above anything else and we went down the stairs to engage the largest Tentacled Brain-Sack in a pit of Ooze I have ever seen! I took a big whiff of my partially unbuttoned shirt that still contained the good sweet scent of Jia and that was all the motivation I needed! Ahhhhh. This Tentacled Brain-Sack was about to get personally acquainted with MazerBeams™ and MazerBalls™! (Time to Make a Difference! musical interlude on the Lute…)

We engaged the largest Tentacled Brain-Sack in a pit of Ooze. The rogues D-Track & Spectre would pop out of the shadows and fire ranged weapons and then disappear again in the shadows. Before Princess Jagr, Dasut, & apprentice Yahnny could go melee on that thing, G-Zo & I (from the stairs) both dropped a fireball in the area to soften that Brain-Sack up a bit. Take that buddy for mind-screwing ole Mazer here! Suddenly High Judge Jia jumped out from somewhere in the basement and attacked us…wait, WHAT? Come on Babe!! You were this close to your “Mazer Experience” too…$&^#!!! Jia started casting spells at us which started to draw some of the ranged rogue attacks and melee as well. I guess she was a thrall/under control of the Big Brain. BOOM! I dropped another MazerBall™ on that Tentacled Brain-Sack…Ha ha! Take my woman huh!!? POP! Dasut’s creepy mirror showed up in the basement…thanks default party member. Then Zzzaaappp! ANOTHER BIG psychic shot rattled my beautiful brain again and ole Mazer went down. When I came to Dasut and apprentice Yahnny had dragged me upstairs and rendered aid. Thanks Buds! Then ALL the QH ladies and visiting patrons stopped, turned, starred at us all unsettling like, then moved to attack. What the…more thralls!!! Half of the group was engaged upstairs and half in the basement. This is NOT GOOD. Do you know what else is not GOOD!!? G-Zo dropped another fireball on Tentacled Brain-Sack BUT this time the default party member (Creepy Mirror) was in the blast radius of the spell. Oh-No! That’s when a very big really creepy thing happened. Suddenly the mirror made a strange sound and glowed a bit and all caught within its reflection received an exact duplicate opposite gift of themselves which immediately began to attack the real version. Sorry Princess Jagr and it couldn’t happen to a better evil Tentacled Brain-Sack! (Wait!!! Two Princess Jagr’s?! Hmmmm…. musical interlude on the Lute…)

Basement level: our Rogues eventually dropped poor Hot Jia and pressed their sneaky attacks on the real Tentacled Brain-Sack. The double-downed Brain-Sack’s attacked each other. The double-downed Princess Jagr’s attacked each other. First Floor: Dasut, apprentice Yahnny, and I were finishing off the attacking QH ladies and visiting patrons. Geez. This is really messed up! We finished off our baddies and headed to the basement to help. When fast moving Dasut passed in front of the mirror on the way to the Tentacled Brain-Sacks, he disappeared! Okay, what else can go wrong? Stay away from the default party member guys…it’s really mad! Eventually one of the Princess Jagr’s shattered like glass as the real Jagr was victorious! YES! Soon after the real largest Tentacled Brain-Sack in a pit of Ooze fell over on the basement floor dead. We all then shot at, attacked, spelled the other one and it eventually shattered like glass! Boom! Okay, now where the hell did Dasut go!!? Oh, there he is right now standing in front of his creepy mirror. Hey Dasut, you okay? He kind of seemed confused and disoriented a bit but reassured us he was fine. We quickly had to get out of the QHCH as that many fireballs will do some damage to the structure AND the good memories ole Mazer has had at this establishment started to go up in flames. (A Sad Goodbye to the QHCH…it must have been Xilvyre Again! musical interlude on the Lute…)

The Hochoch Town Guard and Fire Brigade showed up to assist as we tended to our wounds outside. Dasut abruptly started walking away and I told apprentice Yahnny to keep an eye on him, let me know what’s going on, and follow him down the street. So did now-calmed down default party member creepy mirror. POP! The Hochoch Fire Brigade eventually got the fire out and the building was still standing but will need a lot of work to repair it. I wonder if my Best Friend Prince Rhys would let ole Mazer have it to open a Two Lutes for Love Tavern here in Hochoch? Will have to discuss this with him.

Apprentice Yahnny came back to me later that day very concerned about Dasut. Okay, take me to see him Yahnny. I had a conversation with Dasut to ask what’s up! At first he seemed very strange and not knowing his name, where his is, but after a while… Hey it’s all good Man! Dasut is himself again and there is nothing to be concerned about. Just was a bit shook up from the battle. That’s all I have to say about that! He also must have removed the curse of the Creepy Mirror later that day too because now it’s a partner with Princess Jagr and following her around.

Well, to inspire and give Hochoch a big community event Prince Rhys is hosting the Battle of the Bands competition and the prize is the burnt out old QHCH building. Dandelion & I are all over that and were the first to sign up but I heard the list of interested bands is growing. Stay tuned for the BEST Two Lutes for Love concert ever! What could go wrong at a fun joyful festival of many Hochoch citizens and some of the best bands around all gathered close together to enjoy themselves with music, drink, and laughter? YEAH……..Later! Mazer

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To Live or Die In the Temple of Black Earth
A.K.A. Sometimes a Gleep of faith is Wurp your while

A.K.A. Sticks and turning to stone may break my bones…
A.K.A. You are a lot bigger than you look…

Dandelion the Bard; CY 618Drustan ap Mordelin

Just to be clear, this is not where I wanted to be, and not what I wanted to do.
I’m a lover, not a fighter. Heck, I’m a singer and songwriter, a negotiator, an actor, a showman, and several other wonderful things before I am a fighter.

But here we were in northern Gyruff taking a look at the Temple of Black Earth.

A previous raid had found that the former arch-mage of Gyruff, Gleep Wurp, had been living here and helping Duergar (dark Dwarves) plan nasty, evil things. So we were back for round two, to see if we could stop both the powerful mage and the evil of the temple.

See, Gleep was blind and had a Medusa as a consort – of course because she couldn’t turn him to stone since he couldn’t see her. In the recent past he’d turned one of our other friends to stone (though that particular friend has lots of issues…and bad luck). When his evil had been presented to the court in Gorna, he’d summoned some horrible monstrous elemental that had about cleaned house in the court.

Great, and we were going to try to take out his little stronghold.

Morrick (Dwarf cleric and my personal physician) and Xylvire (a wonderfully talented sorceress and not bad on the eyes) were with me as well as a tough Dwarven warrior named Bothan.

We climbed a nearby hill to take a look at the place and I used a spell to check out the interior of the courtyard. Same as last time, a patrol of well-armed and armored Duergar went out in the morning. There were eyes on the front and one side of the keep but the other side and back seemed clear, and the forest came right up to the building allowing us plenty of cover.

As we were just moving out we noticed another group of people moving and not trying to hide. It was Caswallon’s daughter (current leader of Path of Purity) mounted on her jet-black stag along with some followers passing through the area and in our general direction. Knowing that was somewhere we didn’t want to be we made our way toward the Temple/keep, staying hidden in the forest as much as possible.

There were several locations where we saw dug up holes that we suspected were from either Bulette or Angkhegs so steered clear of those.

On our way we encountered an odd fellow with a pet Falcon. After some discussion he seemed to have the same goal as we did and we decided to join forces. This was Raylinn, a blind Warlock who could only see through the eyes of his Falcon (or Hawk?) familiar.

We eventually came upon the keep and tried to figure a way in the side. Though the building was much repaired, the roof was still old and rotting. So we quietly pulled off a few roof tiles and some of the wood below to make an entrance (thanks to some handy levitation from yours truly).

The attic was thankfully empty and we quietly climbed down into the room below (also empty) before moving down the steps. A forge was in action to our right with several Duergar and two humans. I used my hat to disguise myself similar to one of them then charmed them and called them over. We made quick work of the two men but not quietly enough because the Duergar suddenly grew very big and charged at us!

The fight did not go poorly thanks to Morrick and Bothan holding the line and our new friend Raylinn seemed to get into the swing of things quickly with his Eldritch Blasts.

Our big failing was not keeping them all close – one managed to get to the barracks and rouse the rest of the Duergar. Suddenly the area was full of very big, nasty, Duergar who wanted us dead.

We executed a rather well-coordinated retreat to the stairs which acted as a perfect choke point. I dropped some fog in the area just to make their vision harder and prevent ranged attacks. Plus, Morrick had his Spirit Guardians floating around slowly damaging all of the Duergar. Seriously, most clerics have warriors or weapons of some sort as spirits protecting them; Morrick literally has “spirits”, as in bottles of booze floating around bashing into any enemies in the area. Gotta give it to him, he does have style!

By this point we’d been throwing spells and using our resources at a pretty intense pace. Still, we had a good position and could likely hold here and fight off the Duergar. But as usual, as soon as things seem to be under control, they spin out of control.

I ran to the top of the stairs to be out of the way and promptly ran into the Medusa and her bodyguard. It went from bad to worse when the Medusa started firing poisoned arrows at me and the bodyguard got up in my face with clearly malicious intent.

At this point I figured I was probably done for; a brute next to me and the Medusa not far behind getting another arrow ready for me. But fate, at least at this point, had other ideas.

Bothan did his best to come to my rescue (rude, brutish fighters certainly have their place, and protecting talented bards is definitely an important task for them). He rushed up and slashed the Medusa, also distracting the bodyguard.

Raylinn’s falcon familiar promptly turned to stone and fell to the ground, shattering and then disappearing, blinding the warlock. Raylinn wasn’t done; if he couldn’t see, then he’d level the playing field. He slammed the end of his staff on the ground and suddenly everything was pitch dark.

So now no one can see anything, and best of all the Medusa can’t turn anyone to stone.

Still, things were a bit chaotic.

I managed to sneak away from the bodyguard using skills I had picked up during my misspent youth (stuff like that does come in handy sometimes).

Within a few moments the bodyguard was dead and the Medusa fleeing down the hallway, while Morrick was mopping up the last of the Duergar.

We had mere moments because we knew where the Medusa was fleeing to; she was going to get Gleep Wurp who would gleefully blow us all up with his spells.

During these few moments we managed to heal up a little bit (who knew Raylinn had some potent healing spells as well?) but we were still very short of spells and resources.

Just as we were planning our escape along came Medusa and Gleep Wurp down the hallway. We each took a parting shot and ran for the trapdoor that we’d come down. We got the ladder in place but I didn’t bother with that; a few notes on the lute and I was flying (Xylvire on my back) up and out.

Unfortunately Gleep Wurp put some kind of magical compulsion onto Bothan and forced him to run down the stairs, back into the basement!

All this while Bothan had been taunting the lot of them; the now-dead bodyguard, then the Medusa, and now Gleep. And clearly Gleep was taking it personally. As the others bolted up into the attic the Medusa followed, while Gleep went after Bothan. We probably could have run at this point but we couldn’t leave Bothan behind to that fate. Plus the Medusa quickly climbed the ladder. I flew back toward the hole in the roof and provided fire support but the Medusa got a good hold on Morrick and even his Dwarven constitution couldn’t fight off that much poison from the snakes in her hair.

Still, she was hurt and we had her outnumbered. She must have been enraged because she fought on and we quickly overwhelmed her and revived Morrick.

We all knew we couldn’t leave the Medusa there or someone would heal or raise her, but it was Raylinn’s anger over his familiar that resulted in his finishing her off.

We still had a choice at this point; try to save Bothan and likely have to face and angry and powerful Gleep Wurp, or make a break for it.

Against our better judgement we went back down – we weren’t about to abandon someone to that nasty fate!

As it turns out, Bothan had cleverly hidden in the barracks and Gleep had not yet found him. Still flying I found Gleep and we tried to set up an ambush. It didn’t go as planned but at least the fireball he hit the door with didn’t blow the thing off of the hinges and roast me!

During the course of the fight Morrick tried to silence the mage but was blasted for his trouble and lay bleeding on the ground. Xylvire was desperately throwing every last spell she had at Gleep, slowly wearing him down. Bothan popped out of his hiding place but couldn’t land a clean blow on Gleep and ended up caught in a mass of writhing tentacles and then a cloud of poisonous gas (which to a Dwarf is like a perfume…).

Still, Bothan stood in there and kept fighting.

Raylinn fell to Gleep’s spells and I had to use a moment to cure him to keep him alive.

My hovering flight seemed to make me invisible to Gleep (him being blind, so he must have been using some other sense to detect people) so I kept throwing spells until I had just my Eldritch Blast left to keep firing.

Finally Bothan got up close to Gleep and put his dwarven axe to work. Two solid blows and the mage fell, bleeding his life out onto the stone floor.

For a moment everyone just kind of stared at each other in disbelief and then we quickly stripped the bodies of equipment and burned then in the forge (raise dead on that!).

I will never fully understand how we got out of there alive!

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Excerpts Bothan Rodric the dwarf's Journal #11
Temple of Black Earth Part 2

Day 388
The regent had me retell my tale in front of the royal court to impress upon the nobles some of the present dangers posed by Gleep Wurp and the temple of earth. I reported that the temple was home of Duergar and part of the chained gods cult. Linked in some fashion with Kendra and her fellow cultists. I got to the point in the story where Gleep Wurp had free run of the place and was obviously in league when Gleep Wurp decided to silence me with the finger of Death. My thanks to the illustrious wizard Namor who countered it. Evidently the evil arch mage decided that all who knew his treachery must die. As he created a portal to the plane of elemental earth and summoned the earth elemental Ogremoch. The cowardly wizard and his medusa, spawn of a wife, Margareet ran away through the portal. I worked hard in trying to get those innocents of the royal court away from the raging Ogremoch. Meranwhile the more powerful heroes worked at taking on the Ogremoch directly. The Ogremoch was defeated but many were slain. The regent and several others of the court now lay comatose. I pen this while recuperating from my injuries. I vow by Ehlonna to bring Gleep Wurp and his consort down.

Necromancers following the cult of the whispered ones, Obsidian blades contract on Rhys. Rumors of alliance forming with cult of whispered one, magnus Evard the black and the mage of the Vale.

Day 397
Sad news from HochHoch. My compatriot Benton has died. LONG LIVE HIS MEMORY!!! He died while defeating necromancers who follow the whispered one. Rumors have spread that the necromancers are interested in forming alliances with other evil groups such as Gleep Wurp, Evard and the mage of the vale. Can we stop these alliances from bearing fruit?

Day 401
News has reached me of the battle at Aberglain. I knew the orcs, goblins and other monstrous humanoids should not be trusted. My dealings with them as they came out of the Pomarj showed their need for death and destruction. But those given their own cantrev in Gyruff appeared to have become peaceable. I should have known better. Their true nature must eventually tell. They were simply biding their time and letting their rapid reproduction fill their ranks. They need to be exterminated to eliminate their threat. I fear the same treachery will occur in the future with the giants of Tjaff. However their reproduction is so much slower. It could be decades or even centuries before they decide to turn traitor. At least I hope so. If their were not so many dangers to Gyruff at present I would petition for a crusade against the giants to prevent them from rising again. Perhaps when current evil foes are defeated eyes can turn to the giants.
Anyhow the mounstrous humanoids have mulitple allies. Gleep Wurp, the cult of Hextor joined the battle with the orcs and goblins. This news bodes ill. Evil groups that would usually fight among themselves have allied against Gyruff. The alliance must be tenuous. Their natural hatred for one another should be stoked. It shouldn’t be too hard for some fast talkers to drive some wedges in these alliance. Maybe even get them fighting among themselves instead of with Gyruff. I need to broach the subject with Dandelion. So the following evil groups are actively working in Gyruff. A counte intelligence apparatus to disrupt them and turn them against one another needs to be implemented. Hear is a list of know evil groups, known alliances, possible alliances.Breaking up alliance seem to be the first order of business. Pitting unknown aligned evil groups should be the second order of business. I can come up with at least 8 evil groups that actively threaten Gyruff and five that have great potential for bringing mayhem.

Current and Present Dangerous groups
Gleep Wurp – Dueragar, Kendra’s cult and the chained god
Necromancers -Whispered one seek alliances with Gleep Wurp, Evard, mage of the vale.
Gareth – Hextorites allied with former Ullich’s monstrous humanoid army.
Evard – prior illegal activities in HochHoch, known associates former Judge Jia Buckman of HochHoch.
Mage of the vale – ??? need info.
Daughter of Caswallon – Running the patch of purity after killing her father. Associations?
Goblins/orcs – Who will become their new leader? Will the siege in Rhad Derwyth continue? Or are they broken and can be moved to the potential dangers list?

Potential dangers
Dagda – Currently unaligned? Kendra wishes alliance with him and her chained god. Gyruff also courting his favor.
Giants – How long before they turn to the tyv?
Unseelie Fey – Some of their machinations against Gyruff have been foiled. But black mailing the queen? I bet she’s planning more mayhem for us.
Raven Queen – ? She destroyed the former god of death. I have no memory of him but only know this though some of my compatriots. It appears they helped her willingly as other gods that my compatriots follow wished to remove the former death god. In helping her they had to be killed and the spend millennium on the death gods plane serving the Raven queen. She succeeded in the death gods obliteration but failed to obtain all of his former powers because the other gods intervention. Dandelion now worships the raven queen and is clearly under her spell. So while he protests that queens actions will not be harmful to Gyruff I can not trust he is manipulated as well as besotted. But other compatriots proclaim her good or at least neutral intentions. And they appear more reasoned in their claims. Perhaps I should withhold judgment of her. But I can’t shake my suspicions.
Factions in Keoland – ?
Politics their and the different factions provide dangers to Gyruff. However those dangers appear of lesser perhaps insignificant importance. They involve political control as opposed to evil oppressive control. Still if the Gyruff people wish to continue their sovereignty from Keoland that is their right.

I wonder if I is should head to Aberglain to see if there are any clues as to where Gleep Wurp ran away to after the battle.

Day 410
I decided to forgo a trip to Aberglain it seems unlikely that many clues about Gleep Wurp will be gleaned from the battle field. Instead I decidef to gather some of my compatriot’s to return to the temple of Black Earth. Dandelion, Xilvyre and my good buddy Morrick are making the trip with me. We need to defeat the Duergar in the temple. They are in the chained guards cult. They are apparently a separate but allied faction to Kenda’s followers of the chained god. Perhaps we can also gain some clues as to the whereabouts of Gleep Wurp.

Day 411
We made it back to above the temple of Black Earth early in the morning. Dandelion used his clairvoyance to see in the courtyard. Things looked pretty much the same from the last time I was here. The patrol went out heading to the southwest. We decide to tray and bypass the main entrance and move as quickly to the stairs leading underground. As we approached we saw a strange woman on a dark stag in the distance. It turned out to be the daughter of Caswallon. Xilvyre recognized her and seemed quite fearful. We tried to stay out of her view. Morrick mentioned that someone was following us. Once we crossed the river I dismounted and concealed myself. Morrick and Xilvyre also hid. Dandelion stood their confused. He didn’t know where we went. That is when the stranger following us stepped up to him and pointed out our locations to him. We had just added a new compatriot to our party. He is a half-elf warlock named Raylin. He seems an odd and mysterious character. He said he was told he needed to be here. He was cryptic in who told him. He said He was from the Duchy of Ulek and had got hear in his fathers? Trade caravan. That seemed strange as we are kind of far north and off the beaten path for a trade caravan. It seems he had been casing out the temple and had seen Bulletes and a large insect creature (ankheg?) moving around outside the grounds. The Duergar seem to have added to their security. We avoided the earth mound and approached the back corner of the temple.
Dandelion levitated up two the second floor and was able to pry the weathered and deteriorating wood from the attic. Dropping the pieces below where we could catch them and set them down quietly. We were able to get into the attic without raising alarm. Morrick cast a silence so we could go through the attic’s trap door and not be heard. The room below had some stone masks and robes of the monkes. Morrick and I put them on and Dandelion used an illusion spell. We then headed straight down the stairs into the underground. This time their was a racket in the glowing room off the obsidian obelisk chamber. There were about 8 Duergar and two humans smithing weapons in the room. Dandelion got the two humans to come out of the room to have a discussion. We dispatched the 2 humans but the Dueargar noticed. The Duergar noticed and change to large size and moved in on us while one went for help. There was no way I could stop the one running for help and the rest of the party are not the melee type to cut him off. We had taken down the Duergar that engaged us and I had couped two of them when about 15 Duergar reinforcements arrived. I suggested we should face them on the stairs where they would need to reduce their size and we could face them one on one. They were working on surrounding us but with Xilvyre’s and Morrick’s magic we were able to make it back to the stairs. Upstair Dandelion ran into the Medusa Margareet and her bodyguard. On learning this I ran up the stairs leaving Morrick to continue to hold the stairs from the three remaining Duergar below. I was able to hurt the Medusa before darkness descended thanks to Raylinn. The Medusa was injured further before she turned to flee in the darkness. I followed her out of the darknesss but she was faster then me and I could not close. So I returned to my party to help them with the bodyguard and Duergar. Morrick needed no help in dispatching the remaining Duergar below. In the dark I had blocked the exit to the room and yelled to my fellows that I had dispatched the Medusa. This worked as I hoped and the bodyguard broke off his attack and tried to exit the room only to run into me who he could not pass. After attacking him I stepped back into the light so that he would swing at a now empty space. Which he did Before moving forward.
We dispatched the body guard just as the Medusa returned. Only she was bringing Gleep Wurp with her. The arch mage is way to powerful for us especially when we were all in a confined space. I ordered our retreat out of the temple the same way we had entered. After my fellow party members reached the room with the trap door to the attic I then closed and held the door. My plan was to give my compatriots time to exit the temple and escape. I would make a desparate attempt to follow but at my speed my situation looked poor. But at least I would die saving my friends. Fortunately it turned out things didn’t work out as I planned. The Medusa ripped the door out of my hands as Gleep Wurp came into view. We were done for. One fireball from him would take out at least three of us in one fell swoop. I desperation I speak up to Gleep Wurp I ask him if he recognized his “old” friend who exposed him at Gorna. He then did recognize me. And miracle of miracles my ruse worked. Instead of a fireball he focused on me who he obviously hated for exposing him. His spell made me run away down the stairs and away from the party. As I run I fear that my compatriots will be destroyed before I can return. But after some scuffling all goes quiet. I am praying that means that they have made it to the attic and are making good their escape. If not then I am hoping that the survive and imprisoned. So instead of trying to return to them facing certain defeat I decide to find a place below to hide. Unfortunately before I can get out of range Gleep Wurp comes into view and we exchange words. I then bar one of the barracks doors and knowing I can’t outrun the blind mage I find a chest my sized to hide in. Things get confusing to me at this point. I hear Gleep Wurp outside the barred barracks door rattling the door and taunting me. I stay silent hoping he can not pinpoint me. This seemed to be working as it got quiet. But then I hear a large boom toward the other exit of the barracks. Is the mage shooting spells randomly trying to get me to expose my hiding place? I stay where I am. I then here movement and yelling but can’t make out who it is. A female voice? The medusa? Xilvyre? I can not tell. I pray that my friends have left the temple. If they came to help me then they will surely be killed or captured. I decide the best thing for me to do is to stay hidden. If I remain undiscovered and my compatriots are captured I may be able to find them and free then later. I hear the bar come off the door and then silence and a muffled boom. Is Gleep Wurp moving away? Then near meI hear him cast a magic missiles spell. A spell that targets a person. So My compatriots must still be hear and still fighting. So I stealthily open the chest and stand up. I can see Morrick and Raylinn lying unconscious or dead. Of Xilvyre and Dandelion I see no sign. Should I attack him. I am undecided. It seems unlikely I will take him out. If all my friends are down attacking him will accomplish nothing but my own death or capture. I do nothing. He then moves away from me and I can’t resist so I attack him and miss. He continues to move away then turns back and shoots me with magic missiles. I can close with Gleep Wurp or stabilize Morrick who is bleeding out before my eyes. I choose to stabilize him. Then I hear around the corner Xilvyre casting chromatic Orb. It is then I notice that Gleep Wurp is well bloodied. Perhaps there is a chance. I move placing myself between Gleep Wurp and Xilvyre who has moved away further down the hall. Alas, GleepWurp casts Evard’s tentacles which injure and restrain me. I can not break free. Then Gleep Wurp makes a fatal error. He moves away and decides to finish me off with cloud kill. Poison on a dwarf not too bright for an arch mage. It does less damage than Evard’s tentacles would have done and causes him to drop the Evard’s tentacles freeing me. Wobbling on my last stamina and half unconscious I reach Gleep Wurp attack and kill him. I learn later that the Medusa followed my compatriot’s to the attic where they killed her while Gleep Wurp went after me. So ends the story of Gleep Wurp and Margareet.
My fine company must leave the temple of Black Earth recover from our injuries and try again another day. But we are victorious today a great evil working against Gyruff, (Gleep Wurp and Margareet) are dead and 20 some Duergar monks and two humans worshipping the chained god no longer infest Oerth.

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Demise of Gleep Wurp and Margareet
Truth is fungible

I Bothan Brodric have great news to announce. The traitors and former archmage of Gyruff, Gleep Wurp and his depraved snake-haired concubine are dead. With the help of my bold heroic compatriots we journeyed to the Temple of Black Earth. I Broke down the front gate <bends> and we decimated all the Duergar, servants of the chained god who had foully desecrated the former temple. We were finishing the last of the Duergar when Gleep Wurp and his tart arrived. I quickly sprang into action against Gleep Wurp as other compatriots disposed of his medusa. Woe is me though, Before my final swing from “ Bothan’s Beastly Battleaxe” <displays><reading> Angus the Barbarian of Gorna, Glist Gobberwocky that noble gnome illusionist previously employed by G&G Skytraders, Legolas the renown hunter of shadows from New Midwood, Desmond swashuckler of HochHoch, Sam Gamgee halfling locksmith of Aberglain and the beautiful <chuckle> I have avenged Gleep Wurp’s loosing of the Ogremoch on Gorna. Gleep Wurp and Margareet will trouble Gyruff no more.

OOC: <and>

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Journal of Xilvyre

My name is Xilvyre Urthadar. I am the oldest daughter of wood elf Rolen Urthadar and Flan woman Nesta merch Gethin. I recently left my family’s traveling entertainment “business” to make it on my own.

I found myself in Pymtheg Cerrig when the Brehyr’s second-born child died after a long illness. I was in the local tavern when the guards posted a reward poster for the return of the child’s body. Some others and I decided to find and return the child to his parents. We questioned the chamberlain and the delivery people and quickly and quietly returned the body.

Part 2

I was back in Pymtheg Cerrig about 5 weeks later to catch the Lady Goldencrown back to Aberglain. Lord Alvestar and several other passengers were on board. Enroute, we were attacked by a young green dragon and his father, Sssarung the Ambitious. We saw the young dragon approaching and talked with him, but we did not see Sssarung until he attacked the gnomish crew on top of the skyship. I attempted to persuade SSSarung to allow us to land to no avail. He wanted revenge on Lord Alvestar and would not be reasoned with. Sssarung brought the Lady Goldencrown down over the Javan River and then flew off.

As compensation for our aborted flight, Lord Alvestar offered the passengers an all-expense paid trip to Gorna. He was going to get confirmed by the Brenin. We traveled with a caravan over the Stark Mounds to Gorna. They were quite friendly to those who helped with the camp chores. The trek was long and arduous. We stumbled across a hut with two old women in a creepy wood. They invited us to come for supper and trade, which several of our group did, but I was leery. We also stumbled across a terrible stink which was scaring the horses. It was a nest of baby bullettes and their dead father, which the group quickly dispatched. The steep part of the trail caused some problem, as two of our group would not dismount and lead their horses, causing the loss of the horses. Maybe if Ishmay would dress more sensibly, she could walk on her own without falling or causing injury to others.

We were relieved to finally reach Gorna and quickly accompanied Lord Alvestar to the castle. We were not allowed to see the Brenin, only the Chancellor Bran ap Aeron. He was very rude and dismissed Lord Alvestar’s claim out of hand. As we were about to leave, Ishmay cast a spell on the Chancellor and was promptly arrested by the Griffon Guard. I went to the local taverns to try to get information about the Brennin, but no one would speak with me. Maybe I should have changed first. The next morning, I heard that one of the ranger in our group had gotten Lord Alvestar confirmed by the Brennin and had gotten Ishmay released from prison. I would have liked to have been there to see that.

Part 3
I was still in Gorna for Brewfest, when the castle announced a ball to celebrate a trade agreement that Lady Alandra Morrick, Foreign Secretary, has recently signed with Ambassador Dior Rhola of the Kingdom of Keoland. Also four nobles (Lord Alvestar of Blodyn Cain, Lord Emyr of Daden Bryd, Lord Janos of Rhad Derwyth and Ullich ap Llen of Melgorn) have had their claims to cantrevs recognized by the Brenin. I was able to attend the ball as part of Lord Alvestar’s entourage and wear my fancy new green ball gown which brings out the green in my hazel eyes.

The cooks had prepared an abundance of savory autumn foods, but I had little interest in the food. Unfortunately, the music was mainly Keoish until Arglwyth Andras Dryadson
arrived with Minister of Culture Brohan and changed the music to Flan. I found the Keoish music much too stuffy and dull, with no heart to it. Flan music has much more spirit and grabs your soul and makes you feel. Princess Caitlyn danced many dances with Arglwyth Andras Dryadson, although both did their social duty and danced with other partners as well.

About 200 people attended the ball, including many from the merchant houses. Seldarn de Frame of The Blessed Heart was noticeable absent. The nobility and merchants began presenting the Brenin’s family with gifts. Many of the gifts for Princess Caitlyn were Baklunish, as she likes Baklunish wares. As the Princess opened a jeweled bronze decanter, a mist appeared and a beholder and a dozen or two spectators began to appear. I was standing by the bar near Kosef and Dopa listening to the music and sipping a seider. I managed to shoot a spectator with a magic missile before it paralyzed me and then damaged me badly enough that I fell unconscious.

When I regained consciousness, the fight was over and most people had fled the ballroom. Kosef, Thia, Osiris, Aurora, Alicia (or some such who speaks like Ishmay and has similar eyes) and myself found ourselves near Princess Caitlyn. Osiris and Thia are brother and sister and often seem to be in the company of Kosef. Princess Caitlyn and Arglwyth Andras Dryadson whispered together for a while. Then she asked the ladies to accompany her to a withdrawing room, which we of course did. Once we were in the withdrawing room and her Griffon Guard were outside, she asked us to help her escape her Griffon Guard to meet her father in a secure location because she did not feel safe. Alicia helped her disguise herself and Princess Caitlyn changed into more common clothes she had available. Then she slipped past the Griffon Guard in our midst as she had told them she wanted to stay in the withdrawing room and not be disturbed. She walked out the front door of the castle and whistled. A griffon landed in the courtyard and she took off.

Several Keoish hippogriffs were in the courtyard, being held by servants for their masters. We did not feel sure of Princess Caitlyn’s safety, so we each mounted a hippogriff and gave chase. We could not keep up with her griffon, but we kept her in sight all the way to the Flan village of Alvein. Alvein was having a Brewfest celebration also with a barn dance. Arglwyth Andras Dryadson was already there and had met Princess Caitlyn. Shortly after we arrived the couple were walking outside when they were accosted by two men, one with a glaive and one with a greataxe. The assasins soon had their targets on the ground, but we attacked fiercely and soon had them down as well. Osiris had also been felled by the assassins. Aurora and Alicia healed Princess Caitlyn and Arglwyth Dryadson, while I stabilized Osiris One assasin was killed, but the other survived for questioning. Alicia and Aurora questioned the surviving assassin for a short time while some of the rest of us watched over the Princess and the Arglwyth. Soon the Griffon Guard arrived on their Griffons and arrested the six of us for the kidnapping of Princess Caitlyn. She protested that she had left on her own and that we protected her, but the Griffon Guard insisted on taking us back to the castle.

On our return, we were thrown in the dungeon to await trial. High Chancellor Bran ap Aeron refused to allow Arglwyth Andras Dryadson into the castle, imagine an Arglw yth refused admittance. We only had a short wait until we were escorted to the throne room. High Chancellor Bran ap Aeron scowled fiercely at us as we came in and was prepared to sentence us over Princess Caitlyn’s protests when the Brenin came in, much to everyone’s surprise. He thanked us for saving his daughter and gave us a pardon as long as we returned the hippogriffs. He also promised us a favor in the future in his gratitude. Osiris and Thia did not quite wait for him to finish speaking before asking for favors. Osiris asked for and was granted a cloak of elven kind. Thia asked for a longbow. She received a magical Gyri longbow. I am saving my favor for a time of need.

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Journal of Gelwen Nerilee
616

My name is Gelwen Nerilee. I am the only child of wood elves Cararic and Jelenneth Nerilee. I was raised in the Oytwood by my ranger parents, learning respect for nature and the forest. When the giants came 25 years ago, my parents sent me to Paelias Meliamne to be tutored as a cleric of Ehlonna. This left them free to fight the giants and protect the Oytwood. We stayed in a safer part of the forest in hiding and he taught me all the flora and fauna of the forest.

I now feel called to travel among the common folk of Gyruff and spread the teachings of Ehlonna. I also want to spread the witch hazel plant and knowledge of its great use in lessening inflamation, drawing tissue together and slowing bleeding. I will give seeds to those who have a permanent residence and teach them how to make an astringent by seeping the bark in boiling water.

Brewfest Ball

I was in Gorna for the great ball, so I snuck in with Lord Janos Garren and his entourage. My pale green robes were fine for the ball. I had never seen so many people in one place. About 200 people attended the ball. I prefer the song of the finch or the meadowlark, but I suppose the music was adequate. People were not dancing much until Arglwyth Andras Dryadson arrived and had it changed to a more lively beat. Lord Janos and his friend Lord Alvestar left quickly as soon and Arglwyth Dryadson and his entourage arrived. Garbonzo, a tall albino wizard, tried to talk to one of Dryadson’s entourage, but he would not talk. After some dancing, people presented various gifts to the royal family. Lord Eldan Gergaine presented the princess with a jeweled bronze decanter. When she opened it, a mist appeared and a beholder and a dozen or two spectators began to appear. I was shot with a wounding ray that damaged me badly enough that I fell unconscious. Alena apparently did a mass healing, so I regained consciousness. Jagr managed to capture Lord Eldan and we were allowed to be present when Lady Eldoran questioned him. She was satisfied that he just bought the decanter from the Baklunish women in the market, so she released him. Dasut (human monk), Jagr (female wood elf), Dentrak (dragonborn) and Garbonzo (old, eccentric albino) and I were still together as we returned to the ballroom.

When we reach the ballroom, the servants were frantically searching for Prince Shaun. I remembered seeing a small arm reaching out from beneath the dessert table for pastries. We were asked to go out to the courtyard to look for the Prince. We noticed a commotion by the hippogriffs, so we headed that way. The servants holding the hippogriffs told us a small boy had taken one of the hippogriffs. We borrowed other hippogriffs and started out after the single hippogriff in the sky. He landed in the halfling quarter and Dasut, who had trouble with a hippogriff, joined us on foot. Prince Shaun had tied his hippogriff to a tree outside the temple of Ehlonna, so we did the same. We followed Prince Shaun and found him going into a halfing bakery for pastries. Dasut convinced him to return to the castle with us. On the way back to the hippogriffs, we were attacked by two ruffins who attempted to kill the Prince. We managed to capture one and started again to return to the hippogriffs. When we got to the hippogriffs we were attacked by a halfing and a woman. They killed our prisoner and shot the Prince. I healed him and Dasut got him on a hippogriff and took to the air. They killed two hippogriffs attempting to evade us, but Dasut and Dentrak chased down the woman and Jagr, Garbonzo and I captured the halfling. The woman had a Baklunish outfit in her pack. We brought the Prince and the two villians back to the castle. The Brenin personally thanked us for retuning his son.

Lady Eldoran again allowed us to be present for the questioning of the prisoners. They admitted to being part of the Obsidian Blades and said they had a contract to capture if possible or kill the royal family. They did not know who had put out the contract. The woman also admitted to posing as a Baklunish woman and selling items to be presented as gifts to the Princess. She had originally sold the decanter to Seldan de Frame, but had to kill him when he found out about the scheme. She then sold the decanter to Lord Eldan Gergaine, who presented it to the Princess as planned. I do hope the royal family is careful until the one who ordered the hit is found.

Since we had been so helpful, we were asked to patrol need Thorndyke. On our way there, we ran into a large group of hill giants marching toward Gorna. We saw more than a dozen and could not see the end of the line. We returned to Gorna, warning all we met on the way back. Now we prepare for giants.

Giant Attack
We were allowed in the council chambers as various plans for dealing with the giants was discussed. Griffon knights or scouts had been sent out and discovered that there were over 100 hill giants, 80 some frost giants, 80 some stone giants and 60 or 70 fire giants. Of the plans presented, I decided to follow Prince Rhys on his attack on the fire giants. Benton Da’Heed, Evendur, Tornada, Aoth, Thai, Osiris and Kosef also decided on this plan. We had heard that Dandelion the bard and some others had negotiated with the hill giants and gotten them to hold their attack. Lady Morrick had gone with some other heroes and negotiated with the stone giants. Aoth the druid knew Prince Rhys from the ball, so he convinced him that we should try to negotiate with the fire giants first. We went on ahead to speak with the giants and Prince Rhys and his Griffon Guard and his friends waited back a little in ambush should we fail. Aoth spoke giantish, so he greeted the fire giants and asked to speak. The fire giant leader, Princess Raseri, agreed to this and they switched to common. She has received visions from their god, Annam the All-Father, that now was the time for them to seek leadership of the giants and to seek to have their land of Tjalf recognized as a cantrev of Gyruff by the Brenin. Princess Raseri agreed to approach this peacefully. When we came with the fire giants up to the gates of Gorna, the frost giants were raiding the outer village. The four giant leaders, Princess Raseri of the fire giants, Chief Horace of the hill giants, Chieftess Thornshelda of the stone giants and Jarl Starumpe of the frost giants got together and were discussing who should be leader. The hill giant chief, Horace loudly proclaimed that he had a writ from the Brenin proclaiming him leader of all the giants. Chieftess Thornshelda started a long speech about power from the workers and all getting along when Jarl Starumpe lost patience and attacked her. Chief Horace joined in and attacked her also. She retaliated against Jarl Starumpe. Princess Raseri advocated a non-violent approach and attacked Starumpe. After a second attack by Starumpe and Horace, Thornshelda yielded. Starumpe and Horace then turned on Raseri and quickly caused her to yield also. Ben, Aoth and I healed Raseri, but her part of the fight was over. Starumpe quickly turned to Horace and defeated him. As a finishing touch, he decapitated the hill giant, sealing his leadership among the giants. We so wanted to step in and join the fight against Starumpe, but doing so I feared would break the unspoken rules of the challenge for leadership and start a free-for-all fight between all the giants and us small folk. Starumpe gave us one hour to get the approval of the Brenin or prepare for a siege. None of the other giants would oppose him, but Princess Raseri promised to stall as much as possible on the siege preparations.

Since we did not know where to find the Brenin, not even Prince Rhys, we needed another plan. Some one had the idea to get a bigger giant to control the frost giants. Lady Eldoran told us to search out an old sage at Burk N Bits, the wizard tower in the professional district who was a giant expert. We found him, but had trouble getting us to concentrate on a conversation. He finally gave us a map to Grimwald Mountain to find a storm giant. He advised us to bring beer as a gift to the giant. Ben arranged for a brewing merchant to give us some kegs of beer as “samples”. Ben also convinced Prince Rhys that he and his Griffon Guard should give us rides on their griffons. Prince Rhys would be a hero for saving Gorna. Prince Rhys agreed and we set off toward the mountain. Towards dark we were suddenly attacked by a fireball from the ground. The Prince lost consciousness, but Ben revived him. We landed near two Flan men, who were very apologetic when they learned they had almost killed the Prince. They told us that they had received an eagle with a note from the Chancellor ordering them to stop any Griffon riders at any cost. They had also received two fireball arrows. Osiris took the second fireball arrow. To further apologize, they healed the riders of the four griffons who had gotten hit and allowed us to stay at their hovel for the night.

The next night we decided to camp at Storm Mountain. We found a giant cottage, but when Thia investigated, she found it empty. She did find seven magic beans, which she showed us on her return. Aoth decided we should plant one and see what happened. The bean sprouted, but did nothing else until Aoth used druid magic on it. Then it shot into the sky. Aoth turned into a tiger and grapped on. The rest of us mounted the griffons and flew up the bean stalk. We found a cloud castle with Flan guards. The guards asked for permission from the cloud giants to allow us admittance, which they received. Aoth and Ben asked the cloud giants to help us with the giants at Gorna. They said they would in return for the Brenin’s help in recovering pieces of the statue of Annam. They showed us the right hand of the statue that they had recovered. The pieces were monoliths and standing stones from the druid circles for the Old Faith. Prince Rhys agreed on his father’s behalf and the cloud giants agreed to accompany us to Gorna. Aoth, Ben and I are very upset about the arrangement, as the standing stones are very important to the Old Faith, but the deal has been made. We also asked about the Flan. The giants told us the are cultists who worship the cloud giants. They have an arrangement which sounds very similar to what we have with the fey. The surface dwellers do small chores for the giants and the giants feed them. Gleep Worp and his wife Margaret were among the cultists. Gleep has been missing since before the giant wars. He is a mage helping reassemble the statue. Margaret was very shy and wore a cloak which shadowed her face during the brief time we saw them for meals.

We returned to Gorna and a cloud giant came down with us to restore order. He was soon joined by an eldrictch giant, a storm giant and a cloud giantess. We found out the eldritch giant is Sjatt, the remaining eldritch giant from the giant wars and the recruiter. The storm giant is a reincarnated Gruka. He was reincarnated by the cloud giantess Aurora, who is his daughter and is half fey.

We debated confronting the High Chancellor, but Prince Rhys told us that the Griffon Guard report to High Chancellor Bran and not to him, so we could not count on them against Bran. When we flew in to Gorna on the griffons, we had noticed a lot of griffon guard around a tavern, so we went there in an effort to find the Brenin. He was very drunk, but we showed him the order from Bran to attack the griffon riders. It was hard to get him to focus, but we got him to sign a proclamation, recognizing Tjalf as a cantrev. Janice had the scroll ready for him to sign. We left the orders from Bran with Janice and took the proclamation to Lady Morrick. Once the giants decide amongst themselves who is boss, then she can present them with the proclamation. So hopefully peace is maintained.

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Xilvare’s Journal Part 4 – Giant Attack
Ready’reat 616

Some scouts had returned to Gorna with reports of giants approaching. As heroes of Gyruff, we were allowed in the council chambers as various plans for dealing with the giants were discussed. Scouts had been sent out and discovered that there were over 100 hill giants, 80 some frost giants, 80 some stone giants and 60 or 70 fire giants approching. They also discovered that the village of Thorndyke had been attacked by giants.

Of the plans presented, I decided to follow Princess Caitlynn’s plan to ambush the hill giants. Dandelion, Alica (or Ismay or whoever she is), Dasut, Garbonzo and Dentrak decided thay liked this plan also. But Dandelion decided to talk with the giants first. The hill giants, lead by Chief Horace, said he would only speak with the Brenin. Dandelion “got” the Brenin and negoiated with Horace. Horace said they had received visions from their god Annam and they wanted their area of Tjalf to be recognized as a cantrev by the Brenin and representation on the council. Chief Horace also wanted to be recognized as leader. When asked, he said that they had not attacked Thorndyke. “The Brenin” advised them to take five giants to negotiate at the gate. We left the caravan guards and some other volunteers to watch the remaining hill giants and escorted Horace and four sub-chiefs to the gate to speak with the High Chancellor. He refused to negotiate with monsters and said he would fire on anyone who stayed by the gate.

We retreated from the gate and Dandelion said he would get the Brenin to negotiate again. We could not find the Brenin, so we found Lord Janos and convinced him to do a sending for us. He thought Alicia/Ishmay was his daughter, but she convinced him that she was not. Our sending asked the Brenin to come negotiate with the giants, but he said to talk to Bran. Since that failed, Dandelion, Ishmay and Dwrn Gwydd got some paper and came up with a document “from the Brenin” proclaiming Chief Horace the leader of all the giants. Chief Horace was so happy with his paper. Soon the frost giants, the stone giants and the fire giants arrived. Lady Morrick and spoken with the stone giants, so they were peaceful. Some other heroes, Aoth and others I believe, had spoken with the fire giants, so they were also peaceful. No one had talked to the frost giants. The four giant leaders briefly debated who should lead the giants. None of the other giants believed Horace’s paper “from the Brenin’. The discussion soon desolved into a fight which left Horace dead and the frost giant Jarl in command of the giants. He wanted to meet with the Brenin or he would attack Gorna.

We decided to get a cloud giant to control the lesser giants. Dwrn Gwydd suggested we talk to the sage at Burk N Bits, about giants, so we went there. After much difficulty, we got him to tell us about a cloud giantess at Cloud Catcher Mountain and advised us to bring a gift of pastries to talk with her. Alicia also conned him out of his notes on giants. I talked with Brehyr Ifan ap Devydd and got two teamsters and a wagon full of pastries.

On our way out of town, Dandelion decided to try to talk to the frost giant. He did not want to talk to anyone but the Brenin, but agreed to give us two to three weeks so the Brenin and his council could be ready to receive him. We set off for Cloud Catcher Mountain with our wagon of pastries. As we were going through a narrow pass, Dasut noticed two Flan men on the ledge above us. We stopped the wagon and he went to investigate. Alicia got impatient and convinced the teamsters to move the wagon again. Two fire serpents appeared and attacked the horses, as did the archer on the ledge. Alicia saved the horses and we managed to capture on of the men, who was a Flan druid. He said that the High Chancellor had ordered that we be stopped. We tied him up and brought him along. We did not have time to return him to Gorna as that would delay our mission too much.

We came into Thorndyke at nightfall. The town was very damaged. We saw about dead townfolk,but most of the 300 or so townfolk had disappeared. We also found 2 worgs and a couple dozen goblins in town. Many boulders of 5 foot diameter were scattered around town. Dandelion spoke with the goblins. They said they came upon the town this way and claimed it. About 2 days ago, a cloud giant castle ad passed overhead and dropped rocks. 4 cloud giants took the obsidian monolith from the center of town. The next day the goblins moved in. We saw the empty crater in the center of town where the monolith had been. The crater was surrounded by huge cloud-giant sized boot prints, but no prints led to or from the crater.

We spent the next evening at Hornwood. Alicia arranged for us to stay at the manor. The next evening our accommodations were a cave. Unfortunately we were attacked by duegar and the Flan druid and the teamsters were killed before we defeated them. They snuck in invisibly and Dentrak, who was on guard duty, did not see them. He did manage to wake us before they killed anyone else. We could not find the secret door they and come up to the surface through, so we could not attack the clan.

We arrived at Cloud Catcher Mountain with no further incident. Once we presented Aurora with the pastries, Dandelion convinced her to return with us. On our return, we found another cloud giant and Aurora’s father, a storm giant, already there. They were soon joined by a eldritch giant and the struggle for control began again. Hopefully it ends well.

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A message from Gleek the Mighty

Citizens of Hochoch! Lend me thy ears!

I, Gleek the Mighty, will be coming to your city to excite, enthrall, and energize each of you! While on my country-wide tour, I will leave no rock unturned, no child un-marveled as I share my wares with all!

Gleek the Mighty provides the very best in tall tales, gadgets and other delicious marvels! No where else will you find such delight! Prepare yourself for an event of your lifetime!

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Last Thoughts of Benton Da'Heed

I will not let anyone else die for my failing . . .

Dasut came to the Prince with a plan to flush out a group of necromancers that have been operating in Hochoch. Crown Prince Rhys, The Returned, had gathered us together to infiltrate the group, gather evidence and bring them down. We gathered and went to an apothecary shop that Dasut had a lead on. As we arrived, Lord Eldoran seemed to get rather self-conscious and tried to duck out of the shop unnoticed. Well, I noticed. After unsuccessfully trying to gain access to the back room, Dasut arranged for an invite for us to join a meeting “To learn the ‘dark arts’” in order for us to gather evidence of their practice of necromancy. Leaving the shop, I noticed that there was a group that had either the shop or us under surveillance, a reassuring thought indeed.

We regrouped and went back to the castle to plan for the evening. Dasut told us that to gain entry to the meeting, we needed to tell them that we were there to gain knowledge of the dark arts and are willing to learn. The first to be questioned when we arrived (I never did get his name) told our guide that we were looking for evidence of necromancy and will arrest any that we find to be practicing, gotta love a paladin with an oath to be truthful. Eventually we were guided below the shop, some of us bearing a mark that was supposed to protect us from wards. We met up with five others wearing masks and robes. That was when our “instructors” tried to dominate us through magic! A chargeable offence in itself, but Dasut insisted that we continue to play along for more evidence (I was beginning to question his intent with bringing us down here). We were then offered as “the price of admission” and brought to what looked like a slaughterhouse. We were locked in, and then the zombies were released.

A few bursts of flame later, only 2 undead remained and were destroyed in short order. Despite my speed, the one who locked us in with the zombies got away down a secret pathway that led to the shore. By the time I returned, the others were in dire straits, getting hammered by fireballs thrown by flaming skulls (What is it with fireballs? Always fireballs!). We were able to destroy the skulls and return to the castle, battered and bruised, to recover and begin the hunt for this cult of The Whispered One.

We were just settling in for some much-needed rest when I heard some arcane chanting from the hallway. One of the guards was casting a spell! I grabbed my shield and ran out of the room into a cloud of gas and tried to subdue the assassin, but Beory must have taken exception to my presence with the Vecnites, because my spells have been ineffective all night. The fight had (involuntarily) moved down the stairwell. The assassin began to cast again, trying to kill Rhys and throw the region into chaos. It was all I could do to gather myself up and leap at the caster to try to disrupt him. There was a flash of blue and cold. . . I can only hope I made my father proud. . .

So passes Father Benton Da’Heed, Cleric of Beory.

“A moment of silence for the fallen, please…
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We are gathered here in remembrance of a friend, a colleague and a Hero of Hochoch.

He was born in a small village near the Keoish border after the giant wars. Keoland had been ravaged by famine and plague, so many sought refuge in Gyruff. When the Keoish tried to “civilize” the native Flan and convert them to the worship of Pholtus, his father refused to renounce the Old Faith and was tortured and burned to death as an example to the “primitive” Flan. His pregnant mother gathered him up with his brothers Gawain and Celyn and fled to Aberglain under the protection of Arglwyth Awesten ap Cadwaler. While she died in childbirth, the story of his father’s conviction and defiance combined with the bravery and self-sacrifice of his mother getting him and his siblings to safety inspired his valiant efforts to help others.

He gave his life valiantly in defense of the Crown Prince. Already seriously wounded from his battle with a cult of necromancers and their undead flaming skulls earlier in the evening, he valiantly rose from his slumber with little more than a shield and his mace against an approaching danger.

While others struggled in the poison gas to save themselves, he rushed the assailant, heedless of the personal cost, in an effort to save his Crown Prince, the Princess, his valiant companions and the guardsmen. It was his heroism and bravery that inspired Shauna de Cherry to charge the assailant and throw him down the stairs, ending his magical attack and giving the Crown Prince, Princess and friends time to finish him off.

Who would have suspected that Gregory the Paver, one of the Crown Prince’s own castle evening guard, was one of the Cult of the Whispered One?

Under interrogation, Gregory admitted sharing the castle routine with would be assassins for money. The Obsidian Blades have a contract out on the Crown Prince and pay for information and assistance, but now the Crown Prince has provoked the ire of the Teeth, Fingers, Blood and even Spawn of Vecna. After that Gregory bit down hard, foaming at the mouth as he ranted: ‘YES, I say his name, not because I don’t fear him, but he will know that I die in his service. Long live Vecna! Long live the Lord of Secrets! Long live the Whispered One!’ With that, Gregory died without revealing the names of the other six masked necromancers.

We are looking at hard times. A secret cult of necromancers was discovered operating out of the apothecary shop. Although, or perhaps because, their secret meeting place was burned to the ground by the Crown Prince, the cult has now dedicated themselves towards the death of the Crown Prince, the Princess, the Heroes of Hochoch and possibly all the living citizens of Hochoch.

Perhaps the Crown Prince and Princess should leave town for the next few weeks until more guards can be hired. Besides, there is a report that Arglwyth Emyr Cadwaler’s city of Aberglain in the cantrev of Daden Bryd is under attack from a green horde of orcs and goblins from occupied Rhad Derwyth. Arglwyth Emyr has called for immediate aid from all his allies. Perhaps the Crown Prince and Princess will lead Arweth troops and give Gwendolyn time to recruit more men to double the castle guard and double it again for good measure. It will be expensive, but how can one value the life of the Crown Prince and Princess of Gyruff?!

Our fallen colleague, Hero of Hochoch… nay, Hero of Gyruff shall be remembered. His name shall be cherished and we shall commission a statue in his honor. I have already sent a recommendation that he be knighted posthumously, but we can’t wait to bury him with full state honors. I shall commune with this Hero of Gyruff’s spirit to see if he is willing to return and continue to serve, but it is possible that his spirit will refuse to return, instead to enjoy the rewards of a life well spent. The Raven Queen has already gathered our friend, but we can continue the fight he felt so strongly about. Even though we never told him how much we loved him, we can show him with our actions how he has influenced our lives. – In Beory’s name, rest well." – Arveene Mostana, Priestess of Ehlonna, as a lone tear rolls down her cheek and past her large nose.

As the eulogy concludes, tendrils from the deceased cloak magically embed further into his skin and vines extending from his corpse blossom into small red roses. The choir of Lydia begin singing Old Faith songs in his honor, accompanied by Gwendolyn merch Ursula, captain of the castle guard. Then a long procession of royalty, nobility, heroes, clergy, administrators, town/castle guards and people of Hochoch pass by to pay their final respects, each placing a handful of dirt upon the body that is growing into a large rose bush.

Arveene Mostana, priestess of Ehlonna, who officiated the ceremony leans down to give his face a kiss and the vines almost seem to briefly embrace her. Unaware of the scratches on her skin and a drop of blood forming on her cheek where the tear had been, she clips one of the roses and places it against her heart as she steps away.

Gawain and Celyn Johnson, his brothers, stand mute on either side of his body.

The honor guard protect the royals, body and congregation:
Odar ap Alistar, first lieutenant of the castle guard, is in full painted face attempts to speak to a number of the nobles and royals as they wait in line.
Eugina merch Cordelia, day-shift castle guard, is superbly dressed and stands wonderfully at attention.
Generys the Lilly, a tough tattooed and body pierced half-orc woman with red-dyed hair today, stands at stiff attention.
Arlen de Road, an overweight strong and charming day guard at the castle, seems to be scanning the crowd and carefully watches anyone approaching the body.
Cainneach de Croft’s wavy long sandy-blond hair blows in the breeze as he attempts to flirt with the attractive young single women… and some of the married women… and some of the less attractive women…
The lithe and scrawny Enrhydreg de Lea, evening shift lieutenant of the castle guard, blushes when spoken to, but responds to conversation and issues orders to her guards.
The scrawny and ugly half-orc Shauna de Cherry, evening shift castle guard who threw the assailant down the stairs, places a patch of dried mud upon the body.
Griffi de Brooke, evening castle guard and gardener, presents the body with an iris from the castle rooftop garden as he recites a bit of an Oeridian blessing for the dead.
Grainne the Rose, an attractive thin red-haired evening castle guard, presents the body with one of her “thorns” (knives). Her exquisite perfume fills the air, mostly covering the smell of alcohol on her breath.
Scrawny Osmer the Feeble, well dressed castle night shift lieutenant, briefly tips his hat as he stands at attention and cries a silent tear for his fallen team.
Beefcake Fionnlagh ap ona, night guard at the castle, repeatedly flexes for a reflective surface.
Agharat de Travis, night guard at the castle, glistens in the light as she smells of scented oils.
Methahel de Myer, night guard at the castle, stands at attention. She has her spear, but lost her shield arm in the war.
Liam the Quick, night guard at the castle, bores women as he tries to stay off his left ankle. The occasional bump and thud almost scares him out of his skin.

Then the procession begins:
The Crown Prince and Princess…

Arglwyth Ullich ap Llen of Melgorn apologizes to his friend for not being strong enough to stop what is about to happen and about how he’ll miss sparing with this human with spunk. He ends with a punch in the arm and leaves the temple.

Arglwyth Emyr Cadwaler tells him how much he’s learned about the Old Faith, Old Ways and will strive to be as noble, honorable and worthy of this sacrifice as he can. He presents a medal, posthumously inducting him into his Teulu (tr. Nobel Companions). He apologizes for not being able to stay longer, but his lands are under attack and “our” people need him. He knows that Benton will understand the need to protect others. He then clips a small rose to wear in his label.

Father Kethoth Lao of Pelor, with his sun-shaped tattoos, approaches, stands silent for a minute or two, then pledges to finish what he started. The temple will be completed!

Lind Moristen, Priest of Norebo, places a willow switch on the body. “For your use in the afterlife, my friend.” He glances at the person behind him in line. “It helps, I guess.”

Kerilin Horc, Priestess of Lydia, sings a few lines of a song before getting choked up, then places a magical written sheet music that glows in the dark upon the body. “To provide you with music and a means to find your way in the life hereafter.”

The rest of the clergy, acolytes and followers of the Old Faith from the new temple and the other temples in town proceed past to pay their respects.

[Other Heroes of Hochoch]

[Other people of Hochoch]
Advocate Spencer Darrow, down-to-earth defense attorney for Xilvyre and Mazer. He places an old book with the body.
Judge Fearghus de Banks nods his bald head as he passes. Although known for his impersonations, this isn’t the time.
High de Foord, prosecutor and advocate for the state with his face painted with make-up.
Bailiff Gwladys the Sweetlove, her bulking and imposing body casts a shadow over the body.
Crown Prince Rhys’ Seneschal, Swain the Hoar, quietly and efficiently passes by, much as she runs the bureaucracy of Hochoch and Arweth for the Crown Prince.
Manaseur de Graves, Reeve of the people of Hochoch, flashes his charismatic smile as he trips on the vines.
Alexina de Field, hard half-elf captain of the town guard and former captain in the provincial Grand March army, braces in salute before she continues on.
Hamon de Radcliff, tattooed lieutenant of the first shift of town guard for the last twenty years, looks suspiciously around himself and seems to be evaluating everyone in attendance.
Lisa de Holmes, lieutenant of the second shift of town guard and remnant from the Marcher occupation, is wearing her fine black civilian clothes instead of official uniform she’s usually seen in.
Brynmor ap Annabell looks soft for lieutenant of the third shift of town guard and lieutenant from the provincial Gran March army and laughs at how the vines are growing into the corpse’s nose.

A long string of citizens of Hochoch, from the wealthy, comfortable and modest tradespeople, through the common folk pass through. Several disheveled beedy-eyed servants and commoners linger by the doors, keeping their distance, but seemingly watch people nervously.

Gruffydd de Littlewood, evening guard at the castle, shows up at the last moment, shirt untucked as he rushes in, a pair of dice falling from his pocket.

The ceremony for Glenna merch Constance, Conlae the Cotter, Oscar the Coney, Laighneach and Jacqueli the Honeydew who died in the assassins attack gets scheduled for the next day.
Someone looking like bombshell High Judge Jia Buckman, but dressed in black and veiled, is rumored to have attended the funeral and slipped out early.

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(OOC knowledge)
Six of the mourners at the funeral wander away to meet in secret after getting the signal from their watchers that they were not followed. They don cowled robes and porcelain masks before convening the secret necromancer council to plan their next moves. They’ve found a new place to meet, but they can’t gather as a group very often without attracting more attention to themselves. Gregory took out one of the Crown Prince’s friends, but it cost them one of their own, a price they cannot afford to pay. There are too many friends and their own lives are too precious to themselves. Blame is placed upon Vonda for being so foolish as trusting Dasut, one of the Crown Prince’s supporters. Vonda suggests that Dasut himself was betrayed by the Crown Prince and others, but the masked necromancer who was with the group in the laboratory/abattoir saw what Dasut did. Besides, Dasut is a monk, not a necromancer, and should not have been able to do the things he can do. Further magical investigation discovers and helps them remove the magics cast upon Vonda. The six then vote among themselves. With Vonda’s identity and position compromised, she must leave town by morning. The meeting is adjourned, though they leave at different times, either through secret tunnels or through the front door if their agents indicate the coast is clear. It is more important than ever to maintain secrecy now that the covert war has begun.

Soon, only two of the masked necromancers remain. They pull back their hoods to reveal their faces. Gregory was the Memory of Vecna and was the one in contact with the Elder Elemental Cult. The maps to the hidden temples was burned with the Apothecary shop along with the passphrases and names of cultist leaders. Vonda has worked with Vanifer of the Temple of Eternal Flame in the Hells Furnaces (volcanoes) to the far South, by the Hold of the Sea Princes and Duchy of Berghof, but his agents always came to her to sell obsidian gems. Although the two cults are not officially allied, the Elder Elementalists needs money and the Cult of Vecna needs obsidian and information.

Vecna is the lord of secrets, magic, hidden knowledge and intrigue. Even the other non-cult necromancers or most of their spy network don’t really know the real reason why they are in a covert war with the Crown Prince. For them, the cover story that the Crown Prince is merely cracking down on necromancers and the dark arts is enough. They don’t need to know the real truth.

Vonda is concerned about how much the Crown Prince and his friends know. Obviously, they know that we are necromancers, worship Vecna and where we were operating. When Gregory foolishly decided to spring the virus zombies on them, he exposed the connection to Incabulous and the hags. With the Flan God of the Dead now dead himself, the knight vampires defeated, the hags banished from Gyruff proper, the cult of Incabulous in Hochoch on the run and the shop burned, our list of allies and contacts grows thin. Count Gareth’s training and conversion to the Cult of Hextor is going well and the training camp has many solid warriors ready for battle, but they aren’t enough. The Ebon Triad needs more allies, more information, the relics and a replacement Memory of Vecna.

Since their agent in Emyr’s staff has been unsuccessful, Vonda should seek the demi-lich Acererak, former lich general of Vecna and master of Ur-Flan magic to aid them. Acererak has a dim view of the world, though. He and his Ur-Flan followers want to free mankind of the gods’ domination. They believe the gods enslave mortals for their worship to draw power from them and harvest their souls after death. To free mankind, Acererak’s obvious solution is to kill all mortals and animate their soulless bodies, so there are no more mortals to power the gods. That might make him less friendly to Vonda, a living mortal. At the very least, she should try to acquire his three legendary items.

The other cult leader, the Thought of Vecna, will try to surreptitiously contact and recruit other powerful allies like Magnus Gleep Wurp the High Mage of Gyruff, Magnus Evard the Black – though he’s still on the run in the Dim Forest, The Black One – Mage of the Vale – perhaps through his First Protector, or Old Ellen who may be living in Groesffordd. The Thought of Vecna must also find a candidate to replace the Memory of Vecna here in town. We need someone to manage things, so we can move on to Aberglain and find the artifacts. Perhaps the Heart of Vecna could be of some assistance, but there is no need to share the plan of the Ebon Triad. When the Triumvirate tried to elevate the Lord of Secrets twenty-five years ago, they were close, but had only partial success. This time, we won’t make the same mistakes. This time, we will make our lord powerful enough to complete his goal.

After Vonda leaves, the Thought of Vecna sends the signal. With her identity exposed, Vonda is a liability. The Fingers of Vecna will follow Vonda and with the help of the Teeth of Vecna make sure she does not return from the Tomb alive.

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Excerpts Bothan Rodric the dwarf's Journal #10
Thorn - Obad Hai Druid and back to Fairyland

Day 358
Reached Gorna and warned the Regent of the apparent links between Gyruff’s archmage and the chained god as well as the Duegar as well as the teleportation gate at the Duergar”s monastery.

Day 379
Have been trying to round up heroes to go back into the monastery but haven’t had any success yet. Heard that druid Aoth as well as some others are expected to return from the ways of the world a couple days north of the monastery. A place called the crying circle, weeping woods, sewing circle I can’t remember but anyhow Aurora and I head up their.

Day 381
We are in luck we reach the place and Llewellyn, Aoth and party arrive at nearly the same time. Llewellyn shape changes so he is large enough to carry the Dagda’s staff back to him. He is gone before I can even tell him about the chained gods followers and their thoughts on trying to sway the Dagda to help them.
Before I can broach the subject of the monastery a raven flies down and starts speaking “Thorn, Thorn, seek thorn”. Aoth speaks with animals with the bird but it seems evasive, however he does learn its mistress is the goddess the raven queen. We follow the direction the raven goes and discover the druid protecting these parts. The druid follows Obad Hai and was one of those involved with the rebellion. But he also works on eliminating the shadows in the Dim so he can’t be all bad. We have a peaceful conversation in which we learn that Thorn is the fey Queen of Bright Summer right hand creature. I ask why it is we would want to do the Raven Queen’s bidding to earn Queen Aisling’s enmity. Getting caught between to powerful beings like that makes us pawns who they can deal with in whatever capricious manner they decide. Now Dandelion blows his top and suggests that I don’t have to go on the mission to Fey. Well of course I was willing to go. Not happy to go back to Fey lands but willing. I also knew that Dandelion was going to try and trade some magic items to get rid of the plagues sent by Queen Aisling to Oerth. That is a noble endeavor even if the Thorn part turned out negatively. I suggested that we use my nettles to get Queen Aisling’s land instead of the nearby fairy ring. Of course Dandelion took the opposite view. He asked the Obad Hai druid how to use the fairy ring. As I continue to insist we should use the nettles because I know exactly where we will appear a relatively safe area a short distance below Queen Aisling’s court. The druid says if used at the right time the fairy ring will take us to the bloody wood. That is farther away and most likely more dangerous path if the druid is trutstworthy. Then Dandelion goes railing on about me not trusting the druid. Why would why? I never met him before. He was also part of the rebellion against Gyruff. Why take the chance when I have a perfectly good method that I have actually used before? With Aoth’s help the party is convinced to use the nettles. Dandelion enjoyed the part that I had to do 1 point of damage for every creature that came with us to Fey. I think that was the deciding factor in his mind.
Before we head to Fey I suggest to everyone in the party that they should have at least two presents for the queen. One for being in fey and talking to her and another for leaving Fey. I turned some copper pieces into small statues. One resembling myself and the other my mount Rammy.
So in Feyland we reach the entrance to Queen Aisling’s court without incident. The wooden guardian at the gate will not let us in. Even when I tell him about the presents for the queen. Eventually Thorn comes down. He immediately states that the Queen is not seeing anyone. When we mention Thorn by name and tell him we were told to seek him he gets all coy and appeared worried should Queen Aisling find out. It seems like Thorn might be secretly following the Raven Queen behind Queen Aisling’s back. Thorn eventually changes his mind and takes us to the queen. Dandelion has Thorn introduce us with him being the noble human and the rest of us his minions. The queen is looking bored and perturbed at being bothered. I quickly decide to keep quiet and still. I’m ready with my gifts when called for but decide not to draw her attention until needed. Dandelion provides a gift and does his suck up spiel. He offers the portable hole and cursed treasue in return he asks that the plagues she sent to Oerth be curable by those that follow gods of the old faith. I felt somewhat betrayed by this. That’s not any better then Caswallon requiring everyone in the country to follow Obad Hai and be Flan. He should have asked it to be lifted from all of Oerth. Despite this I bite my tongue and hold my peace as the queen agrees. I wonder what nasty uses Queen Aisling will use on the mummy rotted cursed treasure? The queen dismisses us telling us to leave. But Dandelion defies her edict. Most of the party seems ready to blend into the walls. With some further compliments he then offers a gift to have Evendur’s curse lifted. She counters asking for about a dozen impossible to get gifts and then has us leave.
At the start of the audience Thorn passes a not to Dandelion. It is somewhat cryptic. But it basically says that Queen Aisling will not willingly help us. Instead we should seek the three sisters to learn the Queen’s weakness.
A Scarecrow directed us to find the three sisters in the swamp. We can get to the swamp by either going through the poppy fields, The nettles or the thorns. We decide to cut our way through the thorns which rapidly but not too much so regrow. Evendur accidently pricks himself with a thorn and falls asleep but Morrick casts a spell that suppresses the poison so he can continued. We reach the swamp and find a pool with lily pads and an island with a cottage and a giant lamb laying outside the cottage. The lamb hops from one lily pad to another in a circuitous route. Upon reaching us it sheds its lamb clothing. It is a werewolf in sheep’s clothing. It is easily dispatched but a half a dozen more show up. Dandelion is attacked multiple times and appears to be close to panicking. I knock one of the two werewolves away from Dandelion but fail to move the second. I also yell out that Thorn has sent us and to please call your dogs off of us. Aurora tries a spell but misses. Meanwhile Dandelion is heckling both of us. Dandelion should save his vicious mockery for our enemies. A short while later a little girl comes out of the cottage and calls off the werewolves. We carefully cross to the cottage and talk to the three sisters. I start off by complimenting them on their home and offering the copper statue of Rammy as a gift. They don’t overtly give a gift in return but I imagine that their answering our questions was their gift to us. They tell us that the queens flowing fiery heart (her weakness) is beneath the woodcutters house and if we said little hut little hut show us the door we would be able to enter. The little girl (sister) told us we would die in the house.
After taking our leave the Air Genassi takes the lamb clothing. I wonder if he realizes that the Fey and Fey objects are essentially one and the same. If the lambs clothing is Fey then a Fey took part of itself to make it. I wonder if the lamb clothing is Fey and whether the Fey will take offense. A scarecrow directs us towards the woodcutters shack. We come to a crossroads that has a sign. One of the directions is to the woodcutters shack. The sign however is loose and can be turned. One of the party spins the sign. Two of the posts point the same way. One points a different way and the fourth changed its name to frogs. I spun it again and this time one road had no post pointing at it and one angling into the woods read gingerbread house.
We followed the sign directing us to the gingerbread house. We came across a childs skeleton. In its hand was a colorful frog which looked like the same type of poisonous frog we face in the temple of Wastri. A small hollow golden ball was lying next to the skeleton as if it had rolled from her hand. After Dandelion cast prestidigitation on it to clean any poison he pocketed the ball using a glove. I wonder if the Fey will will be insulted for him taking the ball. Probably not, as it was obviously a trap. And since he foiled the trap it probably will not cause him problems. Still it would have been a good idea to leave a gift in return.
After saying little hut little hut show us the door the gingerbread house stood up on its chicken legs turned its door towards us and then sat(?) back down. As we went to the front bone fence door we were asked why we were hear. Dandelion told it we were hear to get the queen’s heart. The fence gate allowed us entry and warned us not to steal anything. In the house was a small room with two children Hansel and Gretl tending a fireplace. The fireplace seemed the likeliest place for a flowing fiery heart so we convinced Hansel and Gretl that when the witch returned she would be happy to have had the dirty hearth cleaned. In cleaning it we did not find the queen’s heart. We did however find a secret trap door in the fireplaces floor. The downstairs was a maze of endless rooms. In talking to a fire giant also trapped in Baba Yaga’s hut we learned that the maze was a tesseract. He would not overtly help us with the heart but he asked us to get him if we found the way out and Dandelion agreed. In searching the rooms we also came across a large drunken white mouse. It turned out he once was a human who came here to find his charge a little boy. He had been here a long time and he had some information that proved useful. He remembered their being an attic with a carpet which he though important to get out with the heart. The drunk couldn’t remember why it was important only that it was. With his vague memory he helped us get to the attic. First we had to cross the stable with opens stalls containing nightmares. After having no plan as to how to get past the nightmares unobserved I offered to go firs trying to be stealthy. I was not stealthy at all but the nightmares were not interested. It is amazing what acting like you belong can do. We came to an octagon room which the mouse said should have a door on the opposite side. Dandelion found the secret door their and we let us into the witches personal chambers. Two identical witches one a simulcrum were in the room as well as a unfinished stone golem. Dandelion tried to assuage their outrage in being tresspassed on with a song. It was the worst song I ever heard. I stepped up between the witch and simulcrum hoping the rest of the party would spread out so that we all wouldn’t get affected by any area affect spell the witch might use. I then told them to surrender and live. They chose to fight. I was able to distract the witch. Unfortunately the simulcrum cast a high level fireball. All but two of the party had moved up after me and were all caught in the blast. Morrick and the air Genassi went down. But Aurora healed Morrick who then did a mass heal. The battle didn’t last long before we took them out. After searching her rooms we found that her bed would provide a full days rest in one minute and most of us made use of it. We discovered a secret door in the ceiling. I was boosted up and found a small room with a carpet and a mirror. The mirror showed the chamber of Rhys and Jagr. Jagr was changing, getting ready for bed. When I told the others that the mirror was showing Jagr changing Dandelion immediately wanted to climb up. I told him that he had missed it and Jagr was now fully clothed.
With the carpet we were able get the heart and leave the house taking the mouse and the Fire giant with us. We returned to queen Aisling. Dandelion was using it to blackmail her into releasing Evendur from his geas and to outright eliminate the curses/plagues from all who follow the old faith. I could no longer hold my tongue and demanded the plagues be removed from Oerth altogether. Dandelion also required her to return us to Oerth with no more then 10 minutes on Oerth having passed since we left.

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