Undosia

BoR Chapter 13 - The Omphalos
Game Summary - November 26, 2017

Intro

When last we left our heroes …

“Barrel of Rapiers had left the elven capital of Sinya Telerosto with your friend Vandros Sarthana and teleported back to the town of South Bend, which you quickly left again in search of a way to cleanse the cursed cloak that Nehiri had recently acquired. Vandros took you to the local Temple of Amaranthinos and you found yourself transported to a much more elaborate temple, one floating high, high above the ground.

“You were welcomed and brought to an inner room to perform the cleansing ritual. The ritual was a success, but came with the complication of you having to fight off a large shadow creature that was the personification of that curse. You defeated it, but at a cost – in its death throes, it collapsed on itself and swallowed Mavoi into a dark void.

“Mavoi returned to you, however, via the help of the golden woman you know as Anya – but it seems it was not without a cost.”

Setup

- Mavoi returned, didn’t feel cold anymore, but skin was cool to the touch, dark tendrils along his veins faded from his face and neck and retreated below collar of his shirt
- Mavoi described what he could remember of being enveloped by the shadow

- Niklaeril inspected Mavoi, offered to try to remove residual curse using cleansing table once more, but the moment Mavoi got on the table he seized in great pain, took damage, and fell unconscious
- pulled him off table, healed him, Niklaeril was very concerned and asked them to find an acolyte to call for Brother Veluz – Nehiri and Tryvsgar set off to do so
- dark bruise on Mavoi’s chest about the size of a coin, above his heart, black tendrils leading out from it

Part I

- Vandros spoke to Hildy, asked what she had gotten herself into, very serious – said the monster had caused a planar rift, should not be possible in the Omphalos
- Omphalos is one second phase shifted ahead of material plane, teleportation and other magics aside from tower transport should be impossible

- Niklaeril pulled Vandros aside for conversation, Hildy eavesdropped, found certain privileges were afforded to Vandros’ family, but he had gone too far in bringing them to the temple and the priestess was chastising him

- Tryvsgar and Nehiri found a human woman named Chayana who was testing daggers of returning – throwing them at a target and then recalling them to her hand – Tryvsgar expressed interest, Chayana enjoyed explaining the enchantment

- Nehiri and Tryvsgar then found a gnome boy named Zeedivoost crying over his work in a scribe room, upset he couldn’t seem to enchant anything right
- Nehiri tried to cheer up by buying a defective bag of holding from him, made him very happy, then scared him by saying she would curse him if he betrayed them
- Tryvsgar paid for the bag with an amber gem from his robe of useful items

- Priestess gave them permission to wander about while they were waiting on Brother Veluz to arrive
- Hildy asked priestess about water spirit possessing her, priestess directed her to Lusha Waesqen, rest of group followed her
- on the way, water spirit Amaryllis begged to be able to look out over balcony, gushed about the view, said it was much better than the dark deep places

- Gwyneira was pulled into an experiment by a pair of tiefling sisters named Virginia and Chastity, got to test a sun blade
- Gwyn and Luzzarai almost collaborated on trying to steal the blade, but eventually thought better of it

- Hildy continued, joined by Mavoi, found Lusha – human woman with dark skin and bloodshot eyes, Amaryllis would not come out to talk to her
- Lusha gave them option of a soul-storing amulet that had possibility of escape if entity inside was strong enough, would also let wearer summon forth the element at will

- all items were too expensive for group to afford

Part II

- Luzzarai suddenly heard dragonborn lullaby coming from down a hallway, went with Gwyn to check it out, entered a restricted area and found the Green March Theater
- very dreamlike, they already had tickets, were ushered into empty theater, front row seats
- show featured a bard and her companions, told story of their battles – Luzzarai got transported on stage to give a rousing speech
- play morphed into an actual battlefield, Luzzarai had to play an inspirational song
- companions defeated, only bard left standing – suddenly Luzzarai back on stage in front of full house full of people she knew, told to finish the story
- Melody’s Ruse was buzzing and seemed angry at her, making dissonant noises in her head
- Luzzarai finished the tale, Anya’s golden seal fell off the flute, flute was cleansed
- recognized play’s narrator as person (nicknamed “Jen”) from lute-playing encounter in Sinya Telerosto
- Gwyn and Luzzarai suddenly back outside restricted area

- group met up again and exchanged stories

Part III

- Brother Veluz, a rotund dwarf cleric, arrived and took them to his office for examination
- examined Mavoi, offered everyone ale, announced Mavoi had a “planar tear” in his chest that will keep getting bigger until it consumes him
- said they might have to go to that plane to find someone to fix it, it’s beyond his knowledge
- mentioned Twisted Ones and the plane they purportedly created

Closing

- Niklaeril arrived, said they owed temple for the services provided so far, but also had proposition
- got list of magic items they wanted – plus, as added by Vandros, permission to use temple as transit hub to get nearer their next destination
- in return, if group takes care of a certain task, not only will payment for services rendered be considered complete, but also payment for the list of magical items

- group agreed, found out task was to kill a behir they had in holding for parts
- Tryvsgar acquired a mundane rapier, has stamp of a bunch of grapes on hilt

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BoR Chapter 12 - Cleansing
Game Summary - October 29, 2017

Introduction

- Gwyneira received the dark kris from Matriarch Umelynn, is magical and does extra radiant damage against foes

Setup

- Umelynn offered to let Barrel of Rapiers use the city’s teleportation circle, called Vandros in to have him cast the spell (using a scroll)
- troupe retired for the evening

Part I

- met back up with Lev, he was concerned because Fennian was missing (eaten by the cloak, unknown to him) – another disappearance to add to the recent string
- when arrived back at lodging, body of Advisor Elduin and all traces of battle were gone
- went to sleep, woke and made way to teleportation circle
- just as spell was activating, Advisor Elduin stepped around corner and waved goodbye

Part II

- appeared in town square of South Bend, bumpy landing (Vandros apologized)
- made way to Temple of Amaranthinos, Vandros was very excited to show them
- noticed new growth in the area, repaired stonework – leftovers from Hildy’s earlier curiosity
- Hildy cast alter self into Kipri

- reached temple, tower in the middle of other pillars of flashing energy
- Vandros led them to third level (highest level, but not roof)
- Amaryllis (water spirit) seized control of Hildy out of sheer curiosity of various potions and books and equipment it saw, but Puddles held it back until Hildy regained control
- Vandros used stick to knock on ceiling, received answering knock, pillars of energy activated
- party transported once more

Part III

- arrived in large floating temple made of intersecting minarets, high above clouds
- met by half-orc woman called Priestess Niklaeril
- brought cloak to an inner room to perform cleansing
- successful in cleansing cloak, but not in immediately banishing the shadow that possessed it
- battled with shadow, defeated it, but Mavoi was consumed by its death throes

Closing

- Mavoi found himself in a cold, dark realm
- Anya appeared and offered him a choice: she could send him back (though there might be consequences), or she could bring the others to join them and send them all to strike at the enemy’s heart in this dark place
- Mavoi chose to go back, returned to Barrel of Rapiers, but was cold, heart beat slowly, and had blackened veins standing out

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BoR Chapter 11 - Whispers and Beacons
Game Summary - October 01, 2017

Introduction

When last we left our heroes …

“It has been a weird couple months for the band of performers known as Barrel of Rapiers.

“First, a young noble woman approaches you in the marketplace and, out of nowhere, asks you to rescue her fiancé by infiltrating a high society party in the capital city’s most elegant district.

“That led to most of you skipping town for a couple weeks, waiting for the heat to blow over, during which you lent your aid to the town of Flatwell, defeating a hag that had kidnapped several of the townspeople.

“On your way back, you ran into the Red Aces – a trio of performers whose show you had stolen at that high society party. But you became friends and they invited you to join them in the upcoming Battle of the Bards.

“You did well at the competition – until all hell broke loose when the apparently possessed Royal Rhapsodist unleashed mass confusion by playing a dark flute. You raced together to stop him from doing the same to the whole city, and were successful – with the help of a golden woman who suddenly appeared before you.

“Those of you who were present then received visions – weapons, armor, cloaks – that were out there in the world, strangely calling to you. The exception was Luzzarai, who received the cursed flute itself – but with a temporary golden seal on it, and a plea that she find some way to cleanse it. And the rest of you were warned to beware of the waking Shadows.

“After that, it was research and shenanigans in the Royal Archives and the Temple of Mendo, where Schwartzy helped out. You gained some allies at the Lancers Guild, and some enemies amongst the Circle. Then, it was north to the Elven capital, where you hoped to acquire the cloak in Nehiri’s vision.

“Unfortunately, things did not go as planned, and you ended up in jail and as less-than-willing participants in a ritual of balance that demanded sacrifices of many of you – and revealed you to be something called “snags.” However, by some miracle, you worked out a deal wherein you killed a dragon and retrieved a pendant, and thus, the cloak is to be yours.

“And of course, many other things happened on your journey so far. But for now, here’s where we pick up – just as the sun has set.”

Setup I

“Gwyn. You’re frustrated. Not only did you spend last night in what was basically the stocks – tied to a tree where any random passerby could stop and throw fruit at you, and some did – but you spent most of today in an exhausted haze because of it and missed out on a lot of action. But … you keep your fists at your side, very aware that you’re surrounded by, well, if not enemies, then the elves of this city are at the very least not friends, no matter how friendly they act at the moment.

“Hildy. You’re nervous. You’re walking next to Vandros, who is talking a constant stream of excitement and magical theory that you’re mostly tuning out, a skill you honed to perfection when he was your teacher. But you’re distracted by thoughts of … what was in that bottle? What is this presence, this other that you’ve begun to feel pressing against your own mind?

“And Mavoi. You’re focused. As your friends walk ahead of you, entering a large platform amongst the trees that seems to serve as a city square, maybe even a small park – you feel the Hunter’s Mark that you had cast on that odd passing bat vanish, as if a string had been snapped. At the same time, you hear the distant clang of bells. Next to you, Lev – your elven guard escort – stops, eyes widening, as he hears it, too. At your side, Puddles lets out a high-pitched whine just at the edge of your hearing.”

Part I

- Lev rounded them up, asked if they had anything to do with this
- Lev’s necklace glowed (modified sending stone) – received word that the Hanging Prison had been destroyed and fallen in a massive fireball
- Sentinels began rounding civilians up and sending them home, planned to take party to their lodgings
- the Steward of Death – a dark-skinned teenage girl, sans black blindfold this time – was near and warned that the Sentinels should probably get Barrel of Rapiers away from their people
- three winged figures – like large abnormal bats – descended upon the group

“… the flying creatures hurtle toward you … when they are almost upon you, there’s a puff of shadow, and – slam! slam! slam! – three figures, humanoid, but very tall, their outlines blurred, as if they were made of constantly shifting shadows. The elf woman behind you screams as the creatures advance on you, pinpricks of sharp red light where their eyes should be.”

- Vandros cast magic weapon on Gwyn’s swords
- Hildy heard a childlike voice bubble up in her head saying it could help – the presence tried to overwhelm Hildy’s consciousness, but Hildy held it back, much to the voice’s disappointment
- monsters revealed they were after Luzzarai’s flute, called it a “Beacon
- the lead monster was revealed to be the creepy pale prisoner, now in its true form, that Nehiri and Hildy encountered in the Hanging Prison
- monsters mentioned an “Awoken Master”

- with the help of Lev, the Steward of Death, and Vandros, the Whispers were defeated

Setup II

“Nehiri and Tryvsgar. After your visit to the prison and your conversation with Maldoc, you were escorted to your temporary lodgings by your own elven guard, and have been waiting there for Advisor Elduin to return from verifying that the pendant you brought back did indeed belong to the matriarch’s son, and to fulfill his end of the bargain by delivering his cloak to you.”

Part II

- room was simple and clean, grown out of the treetops, hammocks instead of beds
- Nehiri felt nauseous at the moment of sunset, a strong sense of foreboding
- dour elf guard – Fennian – received message via sending stone, said he needed to leave and for them to stay there
- before he could leave, Advisor Elduin arrived, wearing the cloak, hood up – the cloak seemed to stretch with an unnaturally long shadow behind him
- Elduin was acting strange, seemed to be in no hurry, said pendant was valid and bargain would now be fulfilled
- Elduin closed door behind him, shadows grew about him, and he kept saying how hungry he was

“Advisor Elduin turns his gaze on you, and you can barely make out his face except for his eyes, which flicker with an unnatural red flame, as the shadows of his cloak reach out for you.”

- Nehiri and Tryvsgar battled Elduin with Fennian’s help
- Elduin’s cloak consumed Fennian
- they managed to defeat Elduin, but in its death throes, the cloak consumed Nehiri

- Maldoc, newly escaped, arrived to find Tryvsgar, alone, standing over the body of the dead advisor, bloody rapier in hand
- Maldoc took the rapier and told Tryvsgar to get out of there, then fled himself
- Tryvsgar seized the cloak and ran off to find his troupe

Part III

- Steward of Death eagerly stepped forward and cast speak with dead on one of the fallen Whispers
- dead Whisper revealed it was working for Tykvaris
- dead Whisper said they were seeking the Beacons because the purpose of the items was to drive back darkness

- Tryvsgar arrived with cloak, investigation revealed that hitting it hard enough (while it was being worn by a person) might make it “regurgitate” its most recent victim
- Hildy let down her guard and the water spirit inside her took over, rising like a second figure high over her head and forming a protective shell around her
- water spirit declared it would henceforth be known as Amaryllis
- group had Amaryllis!Hildy wear cloak, took turns attacking – it worked, Nehiri was released from a dark, cold dimension

- Lev decided enough was enough – decided the best course of action was to take them directly to Matriarch Umelynn for an audience

Closing

- arrived at Umelynn Tree Palace, brought to small sitting room, felt enchantments about that would make it difficult to cast spells
- Matriarch served them tea, revealed she had been having visions of them, didn’t know what to make of them
- focused on Gwyn, said she was feeling particularly drawn to giving a certain gift to her – gave her a dark, curved kris blade

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BoR Chapter 10 - Dragons and Shadows
Game Summary - September 17, 2017

Introduction

- have gone north to cave guarded by a green dragon
- goal is to bring back the pendant that belonged to the matriarch’s now-deceased son (killed by this dragon) and trade it for Nehiri’s cloak
- mid-battle, dragon is not looking very good

Setup

- dragon taunted them, then flew toward cave: “if you want the elf princeling’s trinket so much, come and get it!”
- dragon killed mid-air and fell into the pool

Part I

- party hatched many plans to avoid touching the slightly poisonous water, eventually retrieved pendant from dragon’s body
- Hildy cast alter self to give herself gills, went to investigate inside of cave by herself
- Hildy drank a “potion” that turned out to be something else entirely and found a strange consciousness bubbling up inside her; she was, however, able to suppress it

Part II

- the elven druid arrived in eagle form and reopened the tree portal for them to return to Sinya Telerosto
- met by Advisor Elduin, who took pendant and went to verify it before trading for the cloak – also allowed them permission to spend night in city

- dour elf guard took Tryvsgar and Nehiri to Hanging Prison because a prisoner was asking for Tryvsgar
- Tryvsgar had tense conversation with the one-armed half-orc Maldoc, who was revealed to have been Tryvsgar’s former mentor
- Tryvsgar apologized for abandoning Maldoc and slipped him a lockpick
- Maldoc accepted Tryvsgar’s apology and told him to take care of himself

Part II

- elf guard Lev escorted rest of troupe to marketplace
- Hildy found Vandros (who had nearly set a bar on fire) and asked him about the bottle, he said the markings were Underdark in origin and talked about water elementals
- Mavoi discovered that the contract he signed with Bethil Brand makes him spout their praises at inappropriate times
- Mavoi spotted odd bat again, cast hunter’s mark on it

Part III

- Luzzarai had strange encounter, including a lute duet, with an androgynous elf person playing a dragonborn lullaby on one of the large “public park” platforms of the city
- the person revealed that they knew Luzzarai was carrying a dark instrument and encouraged her to either find an expert to fix it or to try and drown out a bad song with a good one
- the person intimated they had met Luzzarai’s mother, suggested Luzzarai visit the city of Laokea
- the person was very mysterious, said they would like friends, told Luzzarai to seek out the Green March Theater before they slipped away

Closing

- Nehiri and Tryvsgar escorted by dour elf guard to their rooms for the night
- at the moment of sunset, Mavoi felt hunter’s mark abruptly cut off
- alarm in the distance – Lev revealed it was the one from the Hanging Prison

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BoR Chapter 09 - Snags and Deals
Game Summary - August 28, 2017

Introduction

- sun is now fully above the treetops, bright in everyone’s eyes
- Luzzarai has unattuned from Melody’s Ruse and feels extra exhausted
- elven guards in a line at the party’s back
- resurrected elves still unconscious, have been taken down from the platform via a wide spiral staircase encircling one of the supporting trees

Setup

- Nehiri noticed the cloak Advisor Elduin was wearing is the one from her vision
- Mavoi spotted some bats out and about much later than normal bats should be

Part I

- Advisor Elduin argued for the party, said their debt was paid according to the laws of balance and fate, as decreed by Sowarda and Marlaeth via the sacrifices and successful rituals
- party is still banished from elven territory, of course
- red-blindfolded Steward of Fate explained the party’s fate lines are all snagged, tangles in the web of fate
- black-blindfolded Steward of Death, a teenage girl, expressed interest in seeing what would become of letting such a large group of snags roam free together
- Elduin exercised his authority and declared Barrel of Rapiers would be set free so they could begin their banishment from the elven domain

- Nehiri caught up with Advisor Elduin and asked him about his cloak, said she had seen it in a vision and needed
- surprisingly, Advisor Elduin heard her out – said someone had come trying to steal the cloak just the day before, so it was odd she would ask about it now, especially given the new information revealed about them all being “snags”
- Elduin asked if they knew anything about the recent slew of disappearances, which was the reason for the city’s heightened security measures
- since the cloak was a gift from Matriarch Umelynn, Elduin had to go seek advice before answering Nehiri’s request

- Barrel of Rapiers taken to retrieve their equipment and armor, traded with (bribed?) a guard named Lev for extra items from the “lost and found”

Part II

- Advisor Elduin returned and revealed there were suspicions that drow were threatening the city, possibly responsible for the recent disappearances – elves have been unable to destroy the forest cave where they are known to emerge because a great and terrible creature is guarding it
- the terrible creature has killed many elves, including an expedition led by Matriarch Umelynn’s own son
- if Barrel of Rapiers were to retrieve the pendant owned by the matriarch’s son, it would be considered sufficient trade for the cloak

- escorted to marketplace, bustling from Bountiful Days festivities
- Mavoi obtained a magical quiver by signing a special contract with a merchant called Bethil Brand to be their sponsor
- Hildy ran into her old tutor, Vandros Sarthana, who was very happy to see her and kept calling her Amaryllis
- Vandros got them some deals on potions
- Vandros also mentioned to Hildy that a halfling man with scars on his face – he assumed it was her brother – had contacted him recently, looking for her

Part III

- Barrel of Rapiers were escorted to ground level and reunited with Puddles
- an old elven druid opened up a portal in a tree for them to step through to the region of the forest where the terrible creature resides
- tracked through swampy woodlands and found cave with pool
- green dragon revealed itself, taunted them with the pendant of the “elf princeling”

Closing

- Barrel of Rapiers engaged the dragon in battle

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BoR Chapter 08 - Consequences and Sacrifice
Game Summary - July 28, 2017

Introduction

When last we left our “heroes” …

“You had left Vorenia, the capital, heading north to The Wandering Forest, elven territory, in search of a magic cloak that your dwarven wizard Nehiri saw in a vision. All you know is that you saw a number of fine treehouses and the current bearer of the cloak speaking with a woman wearing a silver necklace with two white stones and two black stones. Through further research, you determined that the woman was very likely Renestrae Umelynn, current matriarch of the ruling elvish family.

“So, you parted ways with the caravan you’d traveled with at the trading town of South Bend, where – for reasons unknown to you – your halfling sorceress opted to hide herself in the guise of a male halfling called Kipri. Not wasting any time, you immediately headed to the northern outskirts of town where the road crossed into the woods at the official border between territories.

“There, you encountered a roadblock: due to heightened security concerns from recent incidents – the nature of which you weren’t able to discover at the time – no one would be allowed to pass without official documentation from House Umelynn or a resident of the elven capital to vouch for them – at least, you were told, not until the festival was over.

“And it is here that everything went to shit. After successfully charming some guards but not others, you decided to force your way through the Sentinels, leading to an all out battle in which you defeated one of the forest guardians. In the fray, you also killed four elven guards, while two others managed to escape – shouting that an attack was coming.

“So, that is where we begin. The sun is sliding past mid-afternoon, with the leafy canopy of trees casting shade onto the wide packed dirt road on which you stand. Gwyn stands near the entrance to the path, just inside the treeline, bloodied and breathing hard, her sword and scimitar still in her hands, the bodies of three elven Sentinels at her feet. A little further along the path, there lies another elven body – an archer, the one that fell from the trees when Hildy’s spell hit it, a crumpled pile of green and brown cloak barely visible amongst the brush where it fell. And, most magnificently, the collapsed, still burning corpse of the treant guardian, a smoldering bonfire in the middle of the road, flames still crackling as the wood hisses and pops. You catch your breath in the aftermath of battle, as a light breeze rustles the leaves around you, and smoke rises steadily into the trees.”

Setup

- Hildy’s alter self dissipated
- heard horns in the distance, approaching
- most of group hid while Tryvsgar and Mavoi attempted to pull off a deception, with Tryvsgar donning a Sentinel uniform and loosely tying Mavoi up
- Sentinel Captain arrived with a handful of other guards from a checkpoint a little ways down the road
- deception failed, fight broke out
- party was on verge of surrendering and/or running, but main reinforcements arrived and captured them all (nearly killing Gwyneira in the process)

Part I

- the party were brought to Sinya Telerosto, forced to leave Puddles on the ground, ushered up a naturally-formed staircase to arrive in the city built amongst the enormous trees
- briefly met by Matriarch Umelynn (come from interrupted festivities, wearing a flowing vine cloak and leaf crown)
- she instructed guards to send for a representative of the Twins, ritual to be performed at first light

Part II

- party brought to Hanging Prison – a cramped, multi-level building suspended like a birdcage far above the forest floor with several anti-magic fields around it
- Nehiri and Hildy were put on the lowest level – the cell across from theirs contained a strange, pale humanoid who spoke to them in hissed whispers and seemed aware of the special items their group was pursuing

- Tryvsgar, Luzzarai, and Gwyneira were put in the middle level, but Gwyneira was shortly removed by guards who were angry that she had killed three of their comrades – Gwyn was brought to something called the Spitting Tree (similar to a public stockade) for the night
- an elf man called Advisor Elduin visited Tryvsgar and Luzzarai to learn the circumstances of their actions and to explain what the upcoming ritual would entail – he urged them that volunteering for the ritual would make it easier on them

- Mavoi spent the night in a cell across from a half-orc ranger named Maldoc, whose right arm was missing due to the same ritual the party was meant to undertake in the morning – unfortunately, Maldoc’s ritual failed and “the druid stayed dead,” so in addition to “sacrificing” his arm, he was also serving a prison sentence

Part III

- the party was brought to a high treetop platform exposed to the rays of the rising sun
- four clerics of Sowarda and Marlaeth were present, each with different colored blindfolds: red, silver, white, black
- the cleric with the red blindfold – a human woman – led the ritual and clarified that since four elven lives were in the balance, four of the party would need to make a sacrifice
- “Fate is tied to time – past, present and future all intertwined. To attempt to see the future of one’s thread, one must first understand it from beginning to end. We will find the first place your thread shone bright and proceed from there.”

- Mavoi volunteered and experienced the memory of leaving his hometown, including the slap across his face from his mother before he stormed out
- he felt energy drain out of him [meta: lost one level]; the ritual was a success and one of the slain elves was resurrected

- Luzzarai volunteered and was shown the memory of sitting with her mother as a young hatching, watching her play the lute and singing
- she felt energy drain from her [meta: lost one level]; the ritual was a success

- Hildy volunteered and was brought to the moment when she, as a teenager, accidentally badly burned a halfling boy who was close to her
- she felt life itself drain from her [meta: reduced max hit points by 15 hp]; the ritual was a success

- Tryvsgar volunteered and remembered himself as a child crying and wandering the streets of a burning town before being swept up on horseback and born away
- he felt knowledge and skills being erased [meta: can no longer cast whatever highest level spell slot is]; the ritual was a success

- each time the ritual was performed, the red-blindfolded cleric remarked with concern that their thread was “snagged”, growing more and more worried and agitated as it happened again and again

Closing

- with the rituals a success and all the elves resurrected, and the price (sacrifices) of the ritual paid by members of Barrel of Rapiers, Advisor Elduin appeared stepped forward to say they were free to go
- the red-blindfolded cleric interrupted to say she had never seen so many snags in one place, and it would surely be much wiser and safer to put them all to death here and now

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BoR Chapter 07 - Roadblock
Game Summary - June 11, 2017

Introduction

“After defeating the possessed Royal Rhapsodist, receiving strange visions from a golden woman, and bribing the Royal Guard to look the other way, you returned to the theater known as the Sprites Assembly where you’d taken up residence with the three members of the Red Aces troupe. However, the next morning, you woke to find your dragonborn friend gone – along with the enchanted flute that had caused so much trouble. Many things happened after that, but before we talk about them …”

Setup

“Luzzarai. You left in the early morning to go run your “errand,” and it’s now late afternoon, approaching early evening. It’s an overcast day with a slight drizzle, and you are making your way back from the Merchant Quarter to the Western Run, to the theater where you left your friends. As promised, you kept the flute with you and didn’t let anything happen to it. And in the time that you’ve become attuned to it, you learned a little more about it.”

- Luzzarai coming back from a date with another white dragonborn, a ranger from the Lancers named Roshen
- became aware she was being followed by a red dragonborn and a human man (Thelar Carontok‘s two thugs from the Circle, unbeknownst to her)
- they surrounded her, offered a thousand gold for the flute – when she hesitated, they attacked
- Barrel of Rapiers were inside Sprites Assembly, resting up after excursion to the Sovereign’s Circle – heard commotion outside and came to help
- defeated thugs, sent them running

Part I

- preparations to leave and head north

- Upaaq asked if they would be back in time for the rescheduled Battle of the Bards in one month’s time, shared a moment of encouragement with Nehiri

- Mavoi gifted Senara with a book about woodcarving (based on the numerous times he had seen her at the hobby) – she accepted and asked for his assurance that he would be back

- Keird pulled Gwyn aside to talk about the upcoming journey, gave her information about joining a caravan led by someone named Cormac who would let them travel with them for cheap if they helped provide defense
- Keird asked if Gwyn would bring something (a detailed foreign silver coin on a leather thong) to his father in Strawford if they went that way anytime during their travels – his dad will know what it means

- Luzzarai left a note for Roshen: “thanks for the good times, I’ll see you next time I’m in town, no dating other dragonborns”

Part II

“The time comes, you all gather up your supplies and make your way to the northeast gate of the city. On foot, you follow a winding path down the hill toward Lake Ilruun, which is laid out before you and glinting in the sunlight. When you glance behind, you can see the towers of the royal palace looking out over the valley, growing smaller as you descend.

“The caravan you meet up with is led by a human man named Cormac Hayward, a rotund, jovial fellow who – if you let him – greets all of you with a bear hug. There are about a dozen wagons and carts in this merchant caravan, and after skirting around the lakeside estates of the nobility of Vorenia that border this side of the lake, you finally get to the road that leads northward across the plains known as Sidro’s Expanse.

You travel along this road for about five days, stopping at small villages and roadside inns as needed as you go. As you near the forest where elven territory begins, the land takes on a different shape – like highlands, with more exposed stone and rocky crags. Cormac warns that this is the place where he’s glad to have adventurers with the caravan, as the hills and outcrops provide great places for bandits to lay ambushes."

- Barrel of Rapiers successfully helped defend the caravan from a bandit attack

“Finally, you come to the end of the highlands, and as you crest over the last hill, you can see an expanse of towering trees stretching out northward and both east and west almost as far as you can see. This is known as the Wandering Forest. You can see the ribbon of a river flowing south through it before it bends away westward. There is a town at this juncture called South Bend, and that is where the caravan is heading and where you will part ways with it.”

- Hildy suddenly realized this is the town where she studied magic with an elven tutor and accidentally caused mass property destruction, so she cast alter self and disguised herself as Kipri (male halfling)

Part III

- party made their way directly to the Sentinels guarding the road leading north into the forest, only to find the way was blocked due to security concerns – only those with official papers from House Umelynn would be admitted
- the party tried several deception and charm attempts, which ultimately failed and led to a battle
- the party killed four Sentinels and a treant guardian, while two other Sentinels escaped and retreated northward

Closing

- the party was left in the middle of the road, with dead elves around them and the smouldering remains of a treant

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BoR Chapter 06 - To The Library!
Game Summary - May 7, 2017

Introduction

- everyone recovering from crazy night before
- Luzzarai gone, left note: “couldn’t sleep, went to run an errand – don’t worry, I’ll keep it secret – be back later”

Setup

- Hildy returns, met Senara at front door of Sprites Assembly and was led into theater to join group
- Battle of the Bards awards to be rescheduled
- Keird made big batch of oatmeal, Upaaq helping him – gave group a chance to catch Hildy up on events

Part I

- group decided to go do some research about their visions at the temples and libraries in the city
- Upaaq spoke to Nehiri about her being so affected by the illusion the night before, shared that his sister had been killed by goblins when he was young, sparked him to set off on the road and pursue life of an entertainer
- Keird spoke to Gwyn, said he was sorry to hear her grandma had died, surprised to see her because he thought she’d be out searching for her parents like she always talked about as a kid

- as leaving theater, interrupted by Thelar Carontok barging in with two goons
- Tryvsgar recognized him as leader in the Vorenian Circle
- “Car” revealed he had been told about the flute, offered a thousand gp on behalf of his clients
- became threatening when party refused, Upaaq stepped in and got him to leave, but not without snide comments and more veiled threats
- Senara revealed she used to be part of the Circle, seemed upset, but Upaaq assured everyone they could handle a few bullies

Part II

- set off for Royal Archives, guided by a young elf man called Archivist Pearce when they arrived
- used floating disks to browse and search for information, though Gwyneira preferred to take a nap instead

- found drawings of the Northwest Bulwark – jagged, black rock islands that look like what Tryvsgar saw in his vision
- also a family crest that looked like the one on the fortress in his vision – crest of the Sarthana Bloodline

- Nehiri learned that the treehouse palaces in her vision are common architecture in the elvish capital of Sinya Telerosto
- the current matriarch of that city is Renestrae Umelynn
- an old journal mentioned the matriarch’s necklace has one black and three white stones (representing her dead and living children, respectively), which is very similar to the two-black-and-two-white stone necklace Nehiri saw in her vision

- discovered that the symbol on the gauntlets Gwyneira saw is that of Rhyfel

- looked for information on a gorge or canyon emitting colors and lights like Mavoi saw in his vision, found writings about recent expeditions to Malcom’s Clough

Part III

- suddenly, the group encountered the Royal Archivist, who recognized them from their infiltration of his mansion
- shenanigans ensued, including the knocking out of two guards and general humiliation of the Royal Archivist
- Barrel of Rapiers is no longer welcome in the Royal Archives

- went across street to Temple of Mendo, answered riddle from Seeker Pellow to enter
- met up with Schwartzy! lots of finger guns
- Schwartzy led them to the Augury in the center of the temple, group had to solve more riddles before they received answers

- they learned the large pale form in Gwyneira’s vision is likely some kind of creature from the Underdark

- discovered Westall family has sent many expeditions to study Malcom’s Clough – some come back, others don’t – most recent returner is Lord Matthias Ramsey, Royal Financier – expedition was to the court in the highlands, to see if anything profitable could come from clough

- detoured briefly to the Lancers Hall to return the locket they’d picked up in Flatwell
- spoke with tiefling woman called Questgiver Qan’ef, obtained reward in the form of a few nights’ free lodging at any Lancers Hall they come across
- Qan’ef summoned the grieving brother of the locket owner to them and it was akward

Closing

- Decided that going north to the Elven capital was next course of action – seeking out the cloak that was in Nehiri’s vision

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BoR Chapter 05 - Golden Visions
Game Summary - April 22, 2017

Setup

When last we left our heroes …

Having saved a number of people from an evil hag, you enjoyed a night of revelry at the Gentleman Goblin Inn in the town of Flatwell. The next morning you began your return to the capital city, Vorenia, and along the way met a trio of performers who called themselves the Red Aces. Awkwardly, it was this group whom you usurped when you snuck into the Royal Archivist’s mansion and helped his son elope. But the Red Aces didn’t seem to hold a grudge – in fact, it appears that Barrel of Rapiers has gained a little notoriety amongst the theater people of the capital for the brazenness of your actions. The Red Aces invited you to join them at their home theater, the Sprites Assembly, and to represent the Western Theater District in the annual Battle of the Bards.

You agreed, got yourselves some new outfits at a shop called Fancy Francine’s, and – with the Red Aces – came up with an act that took you all the way to the finals of the East vs. West bardic competition. However, something was not quite right. A special guest was brought out to announce the winner – the Royal Rhapsodist, an older elven man – but instead of naming the winner, he told the audience they should all be ashamed, and that he would show them a real performance. Then he took out a flute and began playing.

Pandemonium broke out, as all who heard the flute in the crowded amphitheater suddenly found themselves surrounded by murderous orcs – but it was an illusion. The Rhapsodist and his two bodyguards made their way out of the theater, heading toward the road that would lead them up the hill, toward the Sovereign’s Circle. Most of you eventually snapped out of the illusion, coming to your senses in time to remember that, earlier that morning, the Queen had made an announcement through a specialized, magical, city-wide system, which all the residents of the city were able to hear clearly. You realized that the Rhapsodist was headed toward that system, and you set off in pursuit to stop him.

Part I

- Nehiri still confused, but approached by tall “orc” that turned out to be Schwartzy, who healed her and sent her off to catch up
- Luzzarai running (very) late to performance, got distracted grabbing a drink before the show, showed up just in time for chaos
- Luzzarai heard flute in distance, it sounded almost … familiar

- Barrel of Rapiers make their way up Royal Hill, fighting off the Rhapsodist’s bodyguards’ attacks as they go

- reached Clarion and battled what was now a clearly possessed Rhapsodist
- destroyed sigils on Clarion stones, made the system non-functional
- Rhapsodist nearly defeated, then archfey appeared: “smoke/steam/dust/shadow spews from him and from flute, a shadowy more-than-elvish figure appears, eyes and mouth glow with bioluminescence, skin is bark-like but slick with rot, wears a cape of leaves that rot and crumble and blow away”

- multiple party members unconscious, but archfey defeated
- but in last gasp, archfey lashed out at entire group

Part II

- suddenly, a golden woman appeared and banished the archfey, though it seemed to take a lot of energy out of her
- she looked at group and expressed dismay, saying that if they were here then she had failed, and the seals were breaking
- she placed a golden band on the Rhapsodist’s flute and gave it to Luzzarai, bidding her find a way to cleanse it
- she warned the group to be wary of Whispers that would be coming
– said they could call her “”/characters/anya" class=“wiki-content-link”>Anya"
- said couldn’t tell them too much or it might damage them, but revealed some visions to them

- Tryvsgar
o “vision bursts forth from you, find yourself over a cold gray sea, choppy with whitecaps – cold wind surges you forward, and you see jagged rocks in the distance – another surge, and you are there, amongst the sharp stones jutting out of the restless ocean, and in the midst of them, an island, sharp and jagged like the rest – you are pushed to the island and you glimpse a fortress made of black rock before you are inside it, in a dark hall before a dark throne – a cloaked figure sits on that throne, face and body hidden, but for one thin white hand that rests on a dagger at its side … the hand runs its thumb over the hilt, the fingernail long and yellowed … there are obsidian stones in the handle, but its blade is even darker, as if made of shadow itself … and you feel it call to you”

- Nehiri
o “eyes clear and surrounded by green – leaves, treetops – move forward, break in the foliage and you see a treehouse – but not a treehouse, more like a tree palace – gigantic, towering tree, trained in decades, maybe centuries of growth to cradle this huge structure – your vision blurs and then you right beside it, on a balcony formed out of the branches themselves, overlooking the forest – a woman stands there, tall, in a flowing robe, a silver chain with two black stones and two white stones around her neck, but you cannot make out any further details – she turns, and a cloaked figure shimmers into sight beside her, appearing seemingly out of thin air – they begin speaking, but the conversation eludes you as you find your gaze focused on the cloak … the light shimmers off it, occasionally sending a rainbow sliding across its surface, and its aura of power raises the hairs on the back of your neck … it calls to you”

- Gwyneira
o “darkness … darkness so deep you don’t know if your eyes are open or closed … darkness that stretches on into untold depths … and yet you feel yourself moving … you sense vast spaces around you … you sense the immense weight of mountains above you … you sense unseen eyes following you … then, light – a glint, drawing you closer and closer … you see gold … you see silver … you see weapons and armor and untold treasures piled against a stone wall … but your eyes cast over all of these and come to rest on the source of the light – a pristine pair of gauntlets, and you can feel them thrum with power … they call to you … and just as you think that, they shift, they move, and you realize that what you thought was a wall, was not a wall, and what you thought were stones, were not stones, but scales … the entire treasure pile shift, coins clinking down to echo in the dark cavern, and you are aware of a massive, entirely white eye opening, its lid blinking slowly, and then a second, film-like eyelid blinking horizontally after it”

- Mavoi
o “you blink, and when you open your eyes, you are standing on a cliff looking out over a wide gorge – so wide you can barely see the other side through the mist that creeps out from the surrounding forest, flowing past your feet and into the crevasse like a slow-moving waterfall … below you, you catch glimpses of light, flashes of strange color, and the distant calls of unnatural creatures … your vision is drawn to the side, and there is someone there – tall, much taller than you, and dark, with a black cloth covering its face, and still, so still for a moment you think it must be a statue … but then, in a flash of movement so quick you almost can’t follow it, it turns, draws a bow made of black wood, and releases an arrow – a trail of violet energy follows the arrow’s path and you see it bury itself in the side of a beast that you didn’t even know had been sneaking up behind you … sharp teeth, six eyes, sinewy muscles under gray fur – it snarls and moves to run away, but the tall figure raises a fist, and the trail of violet light solidifies, and as the figure pulls in, the beast is dragged through the dirt toward him … as for you, the arrow may as well have hit you, for you also feel yourself drawn to the dark bow … it calls to you”

Part III

- woman faded away with last echo urging Barrel of Rapiers to “find them, before it’s too late”

- Royal Guard arrived, questioned group
- Vice Captain Rolf Jamal didn’t fall for their deceptions, wanted the magic flute they spoke of
- party bribed the Vice Captain, who let them go after that

Closing

- returned to Gold Dragon Amphitheater to help with cleanup
- found Schwartzy helping out, along with many other clerics
- saw procession of gray-robed clerics carrying out a fallen teenage half-elf while his elven mother and human father followed, surmised they were off to try and resurrect the boy

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BoR Chapter 04 - The Red Aces
Game Summary - March 19, 2017

Introduction

- Luzzarai and Hildy headed back to the capital early

Setup

- as leaving Flatwell, spotted three figures approaching, possibly those who were asking about them in next town over, possibly sent by Royal Archivist to catch them

Part I

- trio introduces themselves as Red Aces, the troupe Barrel of Rapiers “stole” the Royal Archivist performance from
- turns out Barrel of Rapiers is admired amongst performers in the capital for pulling one over on the nobles
- gnome leader Upaaq asks them to join the Red Aces to represent the Sprites Assembly theater on behalf of the Western Theater District for the upcoming Battle of the Bards in one week
- Nehiri and Gwyneira recognize Keird MacQuartag as being from their hometown
- Barrel of Rapiers agrees

Part II

- returned to Vorenia, moved into Sprites Assembly, developed show for competition with Red Aces
- morning of competition, an announcement over the Clarion came from the queen:

“Good morning, citizens of Vorenia. It is my pleasure to address you on this day, the birthday of my mother, the much beloved Queen Camilla. In the years since her passing I have been ever grateful to you, the people, for your support in these trying times and in my ascension to the throne. Our mutual love for the late queen has bonded us, and I only hope to honor my mother’s legacy in a way that is deserving of that love. So with that, it is my pleasure to officially declare today’s festival in honor of Queen Camilla, who was ever a supporter of the arts of this city and this kingdom. Let the celebrations commence!”

- prepared for competition, went to Gold Dragon Amphitheater
- made it to semi-finals, competed directly against Madame Carmine’s Theatrical Revue
- Royal Rhapsodist was surprise guest to announce the winner, but something wasn’t right
- Rhapsodist produced cursed flute and began playing

Part III

- suddenly, everyone saw themselves surrounded by attacking orcs
- panic ensued, rioting, fighting everywhere
- some members of Barrel of Rapiers and the Red Aces managed to shake off the enchantment just in time to see the Rhapsodist and his two guards flee the ampitheater and make their way toward the Royal Hill

Closing

- came to the realization that Rhapsodist planned to do the same thing to the entire city viat the Clarion

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