Sol'sora

MORE cannibal cave

there was a lever to the basement, and you helped people, yaaayyyyy!!!!!!

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cannibal cave exploration

You killed lots o’ undead and started to explore the cannibal cave’s blood well and fancy tree near chill waters.

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I Guess You Gotta Cry Sometimes

Kaiva and Betha go looking for the others in the rain, so they all can set up watches and rest. Betha finds Yannic crying in a ruin nearby, and Kaiva lends Andra her spider cloak before giving up on finding Fen. On the way back from their walk in the woods, Ondelin tells Remi not to tell anyone what happened with killing Kean and bringing him back, since Andra’s so upset about it.

Betha, Remi, and Yannic take the first watch. They start their watch with a group chat, which devolves into secret Messaging between Betha and Remi, and then Remi and Yannic. The first pair worry about Yannic and what to do next; during the second private conversation, Remi tries to comfort Yannic and reassure him that he isn’t alone. There is a hug, and more crying.

Kaiva and Yannic take the second watch as the rain becomes lighter. Kaiva takes a moment to make sure she doesn’t need to comfort Yannic, since it’s obvious he’s been crying. She spends the rest of the watch outside, definitely not splashing in a puddle right outside the house. Yannic spends some of this time studying his library spellbooks.

When Kaiva rouses Ondelin for the third watch, he is twitchy, though he insists that everything is fine. Kaiva accuses Ondelin of planning a heist without her, which he denies. After Kaiva goes back to sleep, Ondelin does his watch outside. A while into the watch, Yannic sees smoke, and then two torches carried by two cloaked figures who are headed from the woods towards the teleportation platform. Ondelin sees this too, and they decide to wake Betha and Remi. The four of them observe one of the two figures jumping up and down on the platform, as if they’re trying to activate it.

Eventually, the group decides to investigate who these strangers are, but by then, the pair has noticed everyone peering out the windows and door of the lit house at them. The two take shelter in a dilapidated house close to the teleportation platform. Remi decides we should offer them bread in addition to finding out who they are, so Remi and Betha head down the path towards where the two are hiding.

When Remi introduces himself to the building they’re hiding in, the human quickly pops into view to introduce herself as Dana and her halfling companion as Annie. They question why we’re here in a such a haunted place, and we explain we don’t know better. They say they’re here on the way to maybe Gathering, in search of Banishers who could help them handle a problem they’re having in their hometown, which is eight hours away and doesn’t have a teleportation circle.

After some prompting, Dana explains that the town is located near a cave inhabited by undead cannibals. Usually, Banishers come by once a year after Banfey to clean out the cave, but they didn’t come this year, for some reason. Remi hesitantly breaks the news of the apocalypse to them, and he and Betha offer their help, with the potential of getting more help from their friends in the house up the path. Dana and Annie agree, albeit after some arguing, so Remi and Betha go back to the others and wake everyone except Kean up to explain what’s going on.

Andra immediately wants to go kill some undead cannibals. She refuses to let Yannic stay behind with Kean, so we all gear up, Andra and Yannic leaving notes for Kean in case he wakes while we’re gone. With Dana and Annie leading us, we reach their town by noon. Dallinon is a farming village perched on a ridge in the mountains, and right next to the town, there’s an iron slab set into the rockface, reverberating now and then from muffled banging on the other side.

Andra heads straight for the door, and the rest of us follow her. As we walk through a town of wide-eyed folk, Dana tells us the other Banishers had some kind of key and magic that allowed them to walk straight through the thick metal door. Seeing how close the cave entrance is to the town, we worry about opening the door through any means that might let the undead cannibals into the town. Kaiva takes a minute to warn Dana that we’ll do our best, but it’s possible everything could go wrong, in which case it would be best if the townspeople maybe got out of the immediate vicinity.

Worried, Dana goes to warn the town, while we debate how best to protect the town and get at the undead cannibals. Ondelin says he can either take an hour to cast a spell that would harm but not necessarily stop any enemies crossing a certain area or take 24 hours to cast an impenetrable barrier. Andra, however, is intent on destroying the undead cannibals immediately. Betha casts Detect Thoughts to hear what we might expect beyond the door, and she hears many, many voices screaming with hunger, anger, and the desire to get out.

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Maybe You Should Not Do Those Things
The Hell Heist Goes Badly

Remi wants to ask Andra about the Hell Heist, which Betha allows. She thinks it’s a terrible plan but at this point is resigned to the group’s stupidity.

Andra’s Hell Advice
1) Devils can see through magic darkness
2) 10 VERY good guards
3) Combo of stealth and bluffing is probably our best bet

Remi (armed with this knowledge) goes back to plan with Betha and Fen. Betha realizes Kean has no real reason not to let Yannic go outside of valuing his life more than he values everyone else’s and goes to bring Yannic into their brainstorm sesh.

Yannic proposes that he and Kaiva go alone, with him bluffing his way through and Kaiva acting as a bodyguard. Fen immediately he assumes he’s trying to cut her out and prevent her from yearning that good, good diamond and protests. There’s more discussion amongst themselves and with Kean, but it is eventually decided that Yannic’s plan (but with everyone else acting as invisible backup) is the one they’re gonna go with.

Before they leave Fen decides to throw Kean off the scent by asking him to find them alligators (or baby alligators, if that’s more manageable) and a llama for when they return.
Kean takes everyone through the teleportation circle and they find themselves in a clearing with 3 doors. They go through the stone door into a room with a LOT of stone arches. So many. In the Room of Stone Arches, Kaiva and Remi both hear someone speaking a language they don’t know and everyone decides to put a lil pep in their step and hurry up.

They then arrive in the Hell Bog, which greets them with a cheeky sizzle drizzle of acid rain coming from a grey-green sky. There are bodies everywhere in the water, a la that one scene in LOTR.

Team Hell Heist is immediately confronted with an 80 foot tall crumbling stone wall. Two non-human (hellbunny crossed with a xenomorph crossed with a porcupine) guards notice the ragtag pair immediately and Kaiva and Yannic approach as confidently as they can. Yannic uses his rich boy voice on the exceptionally polite guards, saying that he’s on a mission from Keanvari and needs to retrieve some jewelry so take us the vault.

The guards take them to a house where Yannic impatiently snaps at them for not taking him directly to the vault. One of them wanders off to try his best, comes back and is like “We can’t just let you into the vault but the lady of the house is here?”

With a put-upon sigh and a “Very well” worthy of a middle aged woman agreeing to speak to an employee’s manager about her expired coupon, Yannic agrees.
They’re led to a room with a giant body on the floor and Mercury! Yannic crit fails on deception and Mercury is like “lol whatever you’re here for, no. BUT lemme show you what I’m working on.” It turns out what she’s working on is “unnatural corruption”; the body on the floor was corrupted by outside influences but responded to her… treatment? She wants to perfect it and save Keanvari.

After trying to convince Yannic that Keanvari is just corrupted, Mercury gives him an ultimatum: leave now, fight her, or she’ll call Keanvari. Yannic talks about trying to embrace his role and says the ruby is important. Mercury looks, like, 10% swayed which is a huge step from the 0% swayed she looked before that.

Mercury abruptly shuts off when she sees the string on Yannic’s finger and asks him again what he really wants the ruby for. Yannic explains that we went back in time but seems wholly uninterested in diving into the Ruby Incident yet again.

Mercury, unimpressed, calls for the guards and goes to get Keanvari. Fen tries to throw her voice to make it seem like the corpse is talking and the guards begin investigating. Mercury comes back, saying she needs to escort Yannic to the basement. Everyone gets visibled.
The basement seems not like a sweet finished basement with a movie room or whatever but very bad, actually. There’s heavy mysterious ominous breathing and everything. As such Remi makes a morality plea while Kaiva tries to mime to Yannic that he should amulet them out of there. After a few more steps down Yannic does and the gang ends up at Keyberry Ford where they find Kean…. Not there.

Yannic scrys on Kean and sees him talking mad shit to Andra and Ondelin, saying that waiting on the Hell Heist gang is a waste of time and they need to go do other shit. Remi messages Andra who tells them to wait an hour or two and if the NPC Three don’t show up by then, run.
Fen casts a spell of nondetection on Yannic and they all decide to walk into the woods while they wait, just in case. They might even be lucky enough to see another deer die horribly right in front of them.

3 hours pass and Remi gets a sending from Ondelin saying that they’re back in Keyberry Ford. They head back. Remi and Ondelin reunite and it feels so good. Ondelin, after asked by Remi, explains that they killed Kean and he brought him back and it was very awful. Ondelin offers Remi some advice: “when you guys are doing things maybe you should stop and…..y’know, not do those things” which, good luck trying to get these morons to see reason, Ondy. The besotted two head off to go for a walk. Betha (with Fen following) sees Andra down by the river and goes to talk to her. Andra, distant, tells Betha that the gang should stay away from her brother for a bit.

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Placeholder for that time you summoned Sandy in the cave

Important things that happened include y’all meeting with Sandy and making a deal.

(This post is really just here to mark the game’s existence – I’m going through doing Things and counting sessions and stuff, so placeholder post goes here)

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Boulder vs. Frog
We're what now?

While the twins argue, Betha finishes making two vials of Swift Step Draught and seventeen-year old Yannic congratulates Remi on his engagement. A few hours into the argument, Andra shouts for Ondelin, and half an hour later, he comes out looking overwhelmed. He tells us he’s worried about the twins because they are super drunk.

Andra shouts for Kaiva, who wants to know if it’s time to drown Kean. Andra says she punched him and they’re on better terms now. Kean isn’t evil, he’s just super stupid. Andra notices Kaiva’s returned to her normal age. She still means to go with Kaiva, just maybe not tonight. She says she doesn’t want to be around the others for a while. Kaiva says she’s pissed at them too and offers Andra more soup.

After leaving the soup pot in the twins’ room, Kaiva tries to persuade itty bitty Yannic to go to bed. Yannic accepts Remi’s offer of his and Ondelin’s bed. We go to set up watches, but Betha says she’s planning on staying up all night. Everyone else wants to try it too, which Ondelin thinks is a terrible idea. They decide to make it a sleepover, and Ondelin gets playing cards from the twins’ room. Kaiva suggests poker, and upon seeing how naive Ondelin is, sets him up to be played.

Kaiva looks for Fen, to see if she wants in on the action. She finds her sitting by the boulder at the bottom of the hill, but Fen ignores her. She refuses to play with Kaiva because she betrayed their friendship. Kaiva explains that she isn’t mad at Fen; she’s mad at the four Banishers as a group because they let her down with respect to things that are really important to her. Fen argues that there were things important to her too that she sacrificed to survive and save herself and others. Kaiva says she’ll try not to be mad at Fen. When Fen asks if Kaiva’s still leaving, Kaiva invites her and mentions that they aren’t leaving tonight because Andra got drunk with Kean. Fen tries to convince Kaiva to agree to rob Kean, and the plan involves blankets for plausible deniability. They decide to get all of Ondelin’s magical flowers first, plus half of Remi’s money. Together, they head back up the hill, leaving the boulder behind.

Meanwhile, Betha and Ondelin have been on watch, and they’ve seen a few things prowling around the cave, staying about 30 feet away. Ondy elects to stay on watch, so when Kaiva and Fen return, they briefly try to figure out how to incorporate betting in Go Fish. Failing that, they decide to play Pictionary instead.

Ondelin asks Betha why she wants to try staying up all night, and she tells him it’s to disprove Yannic’s theory that time travel gave him the ability to not need sleep. Remi goes to check on Yannic then, and finds him trying to sleep with no success. Frustrated, Yannic blames it on the cave. Remi offers to cast Sleep on him, but Yannic politely declines. When Remi goes back to the others with the news that Yannic can’t seem to sleep, Betha shares Yannic’s theories about why he hasn’t been sleeping, and the group discusses how it might be that Yannic doesn’t seem to be dead from not sleeping. Ondelin argues that some of us should sleep, since he can only stave off the effects of exhaustion for a couple of people. We notice that we’re actually feeling tired, so Ondelin manages to convince some us to get some sleep. Kaiva sleeps on the floor where she was sitting, and Remi decides to sleep as well. Fen eventually falls asleep despite trying to stay awake.

Before Remi goes to sleep, he offers to cast Sleep on Yannic again, and Yannic grumpily agrees. However, when Remi casts the spell, it doesn’t take, even though he knows it really should have, given the strength of his casting. He apologizes to Yannic and rushes back to the group to share what happened. We conjecture whether or not it might have something to do with Keanvari, but we decide not to ask Kean until Yannic’s back to his normal self. Ondelin says some nature spirits can’t sleep, and all celestials don’t need sleep. Knowing now that Yannic can’t sleep, the rest of us decide to sleep, and Ondelin offers to take all the remaining watches. Yannic remains awake for the rest of the night, grumbling to himself.

Before dawn, Kean shakes Remi awake to ask where Yannic is. Kean starts the conversation with Yannic by apologizing for not having been a good friend the previous day. Yannic asks if he’s okay. Kean says he drank too much but he’ll deal. He wants to try to get Yannic back home where things are okay, and he has a theory of how to do that, since Kaiva turned back to herself. Kean asks if he can cast a spell on Yannic, warning that it’ll be weird. Yannic agrees, and Kean takes a minute to do so. It’s the strongest spell that seventeen-year old Yannic has ever seen Kean cast, and when it’s done, he can see a second or two into the future. Kean says it should help get Yannic home when sunrise arrives, and if it doesn’t, they’ll try again and again until it does. Yannic thanks him.

Kean asks if he could do anything for Yannic until then, and Yannic asks for food, maybe toast or something? So Kean goes to cook way too much food while Yannic watches. Andra comes over and sits next to Yannic. She outlines Kean’s theories about why Yannic probably won’t remember this de-aged time: Yannic is from the past or his mind was messed with. Given that Kean thinks Yannic won’t remember, Andra tells Yannic, “I’m going to work on forgiving you guys.” She says it will take a while, and she’s only telling Yannic because he’ll probably forget. Andra says she’s surprised by how nice her brother has been to the party, and we should be grateful he’s being more merciful than she. Yannic asks if we did something wrong, but Andra refuses to tell him, in case he does remember. And in any case, Kean is right. She simply says she’s working on it and she wanted to tell one of the party. When Andra walks away, Yannic tells Kean his sister’s weird.

Seeing all the food prep, Remi offers to bake bread. Kean accepts. Before Kean’s cooking is done, dawn arrives, and he leads Yannic outside the cave. As the sun rises, Yannic’s mind returns to its nineteen-year old state, but he’s still physically 17. Remi is also still physically older. Contrary to Kean’s theories, Yannic does remember everything that’s happened over the past day. He tells Kean he’s mentally back, and Kean says they’ll try again after breakfast by teleporting someplace where dawn’s just arriving.

When Kean finishes making breakfast, we eat. Betha grabs some food for Ondelin, and they chat about what might have been rustling around in the dark last night. Andra scoots over to Kaiva to ask if they’re still on for a trip to Sylyarus’ compound. Kaiva says she doesn’t have to come, but Andra insists because she said she would. Andra asks if they’re still kidnapping Yannic, but Kaiva, thinking that Yannic is still 12, expresses doubt about their collective ability to rear a child. She does suggest bringing Fen, which Andra is reluctant to do.

Andra explains that she recently got news, and she’s just a little peeved with everyone except for Kaiva and Ondelin. Andra explains through an extended metaphor of a boulder squashing a frog that she’s upset with the others, even though she knows it wasn’t their fault and they didn’t mean to. Kaiva says she understands because she wanted to go back to the other plane to help Morthred. Andra asks if Morthred isn’t helped already, and Kaiva says she doesn’t know, what with all the time stuff. Kaiva wonders aloud if they could ask Yannic or Betha about the time stuff, and Andra tells Kaiva to do the asking, since Andra’s mad at them. Andra says the plan is to fix Yannic and to have a discussion, and after that, they can leave. Kaiva asks if the discussion will be about the squashed frog, and Andra says she doesn’t want to talk about it, but she was the frog.

While Andra tries to stack squirrels on Ondelin’s head, Kaiva goes to ask Betha and Yannic about the timelines and planes. They are unhelpful. Betha expresses concern about Yannic’s not sleeping being potentially connected to Keanvari, so Yannic calls over Kean to explain the situation. Kean says it probably isn’t because Yannic has turned immortal, and he asks if Yannic feels particularly devilish or fiendish. He asks if Yannic has prayed to not need sleep or somehow otherwise wished or willed himself to not need sleep. He asks if Yannic has done anything to prevent sleep. Yannic says no and suggests Kean cast Detect Magic.

When he does, Kean is shocked to learn that Yannic has a devil’s hand and traces of Modify Memory in his head. Yannic explains that Andraki shot off his hand and we all went to hell on Banfey so Keanvari could fix his hand, which is when Modify Memory was cast. Kean is horrified, and when someone mentions our plan of a drinking contest with Jan the beholder, he immediately seizes on it as a good idea. Yannic says he was able to recover some of his memory from the Modify Memory, but then it just cuts off.

Kean asks Kaiva about her plans to leave, so Kaiva shares that she plans on leaving to run some errands on her own. Kean asks if she and the rest of us wouldn’t mind coming with him in case he needs to be protected while casting magic. We agree, and off we go. Luckily, in the first place we go, both Remi and Yannic return back to their normal physical ages, and we get to go back the safety cave immediately, startling all the squirrels off of Ondelin in the process. Ondelin becomes obsessed with the idea of celebrating Remi and Yannic’s “birthdays” and Remi finally acquiesces. He and Andra settle down outside for more squirrel stacking while Kean takes us inside the cave to explain a thing.

With resignation and an air of preparing for complete doom, Kean tells us to sit down. He starts by saying Kaiva is not one of the problem people; the problem people are the ones who opened the very first planar gate to the Shadowfell about ten years ago. The very first weakest of demons snuck through because the problem people sacrificed a child, and the gate opened when a group of kids killed a demon and sent it back.

That gate opening was never supposed to happen, not that early. When Keanvari originally decided to create the clones, he placed a contingency on them so they’d only wake when the gates were open. Because the gate was opened early, the clones woke up without being occupied by gods. The clones were supposed to be empty bodies that a soul could take over, not walking, talking bodies that a different consciousness would take over.

While Andra has kept herself hidden very well to avoid being possessed, Kean hasn’t been able to. As such, he’s been possessed multiple times, and in the interest of self-preservation, he and Keanvari have had an agreement for a while: if Kean does what Keanvari wants, he doesn’t have to possess his clone.

Because we killed the person who opened up the extraplanar system, each of us became the nominal representatives of each plane, including the material plane, in a future conference. A mediator will decide what happens with the planes, and that mediator is Kaiva. Kaiva was selected because she’s an independent party who is considered open to change and new ideas.

Remi asks if Kean knows who was chosen by whom, and if so, if we’re allowed to know. He says it’s pretty obvious: Yannic was chosen by the fiends, Betha by the fey, Remi by the undead, the one that died was chosen by the celestials, and Fen was chosen by the primordial version of the material plane. Because Pruaga died, the celestial plane doesn’t have a chance unless all of us are killed, which would reset the representatives.

Kaiva protests that she can’t possibly be the mediator and laments that this is really much more complicated than a boulder crushing a frog. Kean says he doesn’t know all of the plans; the plans he knows have already been achieved. He never expected the Banfey plan to work, but it did, partly because he did what he could to keep us from interfering.

Fen says what’s done is done and we can only move forward. Remi asks what moving forward means and what will happen in the future. Kean says that we’re all likely to become proto deities of interplanar travel, particularly Kaiva, who would be known for her decision, whether she was praised or cursed for it. When Fen expresses excitement about becoming a god, Kean tells us he remembers ascending, and it wasn’t pleasant. He says ascension involves losing oneself, and there’s a reason others have gone around killing people while on the cusp of godhood. Betha asks if Kean knows the timeline for our ascension, and he says no, though he’s been looking for one.

Andraki and Keanvari waver on how they feel about us, but they see our roles as a necessity. Some others want to kill us, to start again with different representatives. Someone asks what would have happened if we had stayed in the other plane, and Kean says he doesn’t know. Betha asks if that’s why he wanted to bring us back, and he says no, it was for other reasons.

Kean describes how when he first met Yannic, he was not what he expected. Kean hadn’t known how young and unaware of everything we were. He didn’t know we were scared, and he’d expected something that wasn’t there.

Kean says that’s all the big, important stuff he has to tell us. He created some planar gates for himself to prevent having his body possessed, and he and Andra are going to go close or destroy them after Andra runs the errand with Kaiva. One of us asks if Kean will be safe, and he says he’s never safe and he will never be safe. Kean says all he can do is try to do not evil things, which seems like a good idea. Possession is still a problem, but Keanvari doesn’t have to possess Kean anymore, and Andra’s a lot safer than that because Kean has made sure of it. Yannic silently takes Kean’s hand.

Kaiva asks if the rest of us are supposed to get in charge of our respective planes. Kean says we could, though we aren’t supposed to do anything other than make choices. Fen points out that we aren’t very good at those. She’s incredulous that there have been people watching us for half our lives and they couldn’t pick better people. Kean says it was the trees and nature spirits that were watching Fen. Vega took Fen home with her because of all this; it isn’t something she would normally do.

Remi asks if that’s why Eric Bridger was at every party Remi has ever attended. Kean says probably, and also he is very dangerous. He advises Remi to run in the opposite direction if he ever sees Eric Bridger. He has multiple faces, bodies, and planes of existence. He is everything and nothing, and probably the most dangerous member of the council. Nobody knows what kind of entity he is, though he’s mostly likely a god, possibly a god of the unrecognized and unnoticed.

Fen wonders what Kaiva would be the god of, if she became a god. Kean says he doesn’t know; it’s sort of a personal choice. We wonder if Sandy would know how much time we have until the conference, or until ascension. Kean says one of us will take over the material plane, and Kaiva will decide who. Kean tells us the council will know we know soon because Kean is a clone. Kean confirms that choosing one person does not cause the others to perish. He says there will be envoys and we will be invited to council meetings. We’ll know when the conference is happening, because it’ll just be the five of us.

The point of all of this is to tear down every wall between planes that they can. If Fen is chosen, it’ll just be a world of Fen, the trees, and Kaiva. Choosing Fen means destroying civilization and returning the material plane to nature. Fen says she likes trees, but wonders how she and Kaiva would live a life on the edge in a such a world. She asks if all of us can be chosen. Kean says maybe, if Kaiva can think of a way to do it. He doesn’t know what choosing the others would really look like, because it hasn’t happened yet.

Kean says Andra needs some time to deal with the knowledge that we were the ones who woke her up. Remi says he’s sorry. Kean says he knows we are, and that it wasn’t our fault. He knows we were kids and didn’t know. Unlike Andra, he’s had a few more years to get over it.

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Cage Fight

Standing in the center of Andraki’s cage, Nemit tells us we don’t have to fight him – all we’d have to do is swear we’ll stay in this plane. From the other side of the shimmery steel bars of the cage, Andraki watches impassively. We try to talk to Nemit about what our options are, and he blows us off. Abruptly, Remi physically ages three years to 26, Kaiva ages physically four years to 31, and Yannic de-ages two years to 17, both physically and mentally. As he looks around, the only person he recognizes is Remi, since Yannic has forgotten all the events of the past two years.

Kaiva attempts to seduce Nemit, who flicks a dart at her, sending into the ethereal plane. The rest of the party loses sight of her, but Kaiva can still observe the material plane. Remi tries to protect Yannic while Fen also has a go at seducing Nemit. When that fails, Fen turns her charm on Andraki, who is similarly unimpressed. Andraki reiterates that she just wants the handcuffs.

Outside the cave, Keanvari falls to knees and starts crying. Andraki’s attention is immediately focused on Keanvari. Yannic, who thinks the person outside is Kean, rushes forward, and it takes both Remi and Fen to stop Yannic from reaching through the cage’s bars to comfort Keanvari. Andraki tells us we have six seconds to hand over the manacles before she leaves. Instead of paying any attention to the demon goddess, we climb over each other to keep Yannic safe from himself and Nemit, so Andraki leaves as promised, taking her sobbing brother with her.

Nemit tells us again to swear that we’ll stay in this plane. Remi agrees. We ask if we’d all have to swear, and we ask what will happen to the other plane. Nemit tells us yes to the first, and that the other will not be our concern. He also says Kaiva can still hear and see us, even though we can’t see her on the ethereal plane. As Nemit tells us to think about all the people we’ve killed, all the children we’ve killed, he moves closer to the group, and Yannic is thrown into the ethereal plane with Kaiva.

To Kaiva’s eyes, Yannic has de-aged to be a literal child who knows next to nothing, so she tries to explain to Yannic what’s going on with the apocalypse and whatever Nemit’s talking about with the planes. Nemit’s words about being responsible for the death of so many children ringing in her ears, Kaiva gives in and swears she’ll stay in this plane. Kaiva reappears in the material plane, leaving Yannic in the ethereal plane by himself.

Remi persuades Yannic to swear as well, even though he doesn’t really understand what he’s swearing, and Fen swears just as Yannic returns to the material plane. Ondelin confusedly swears as well, but Nemit tells him he doesn’t need to. Betha swears, finally, and Nemit tells us not to do any more world shifting. We tell him we didn’t mean or want to just as Nemit steps through the air and disappears.

We turn back to the cage bars, trying to figure out how to get out. Remi attempts Knock, to no avail. Betha makes sure Andraki or Keanvari aren’t nearby before Remi uses Sending to contact Andra. When Remi tells her briefly what’s happened, Andra laughs and comes to the party cave to laugh some more.

Remi Shatters the cave floor near the entrance, turning it into rubble we can move to go under the cage’s perimeter. Andra merrily leads us back to the safety cave, laughing in anticipation of Kean’s reaction to Yannic being de-aged. Upon seeing Yannic, Kean freezes and then proceeds to avoid Yannic as much as possible. Kaiva is upset with the Banishers, so she stays outside the cave.

While Kean makes soup for dinner, Andra sidles up to Yannic to ask how he and Kean first met. She says Kean’s told her, but she doesn’t believe his version of it, given his personality and social history. Yannic says Kean was nice. When prompted by Andra, Yannic agrees that Kean “just showed up” and gave him magic. Betha recalls what Sivoreen told her just before Banfey on this plane – different people and factions took interest in each of the kids who fought off the demon on Banfiend nearly ten years ago. Hearing this, Andra gets a strange look on her face, gets up, and goes to her room.

While the rest of us discuss what extraplanar factions might have taken an interest in whom, Kaiva goes to Andra’s room to ask who is in charge of the area the Monsterary is in. Andra says it’s either the celestials or the fey, but she isn’t sure because she mostly pays attention to the fiends. After dancing around naming the place, Kaiva asks if Andra’s heard of the Monsterary. Andra says she has, slightly. Trying another tack, Kaiva asks if Andra knows about Kean’s suppliers for his magical teleportation stuff. Andra says no, but she’s interested in sitting in when Kaiva says she’ll ask Kean himself.

Kaiva approaches Kean as he makes soup as far away from everyone as possible, and she tells him they need to talk about his suppliers, specifically Sylyarus. Kaiva wants to know what Kean knows about him. When Kean says he doesn’t know much besides that he’s in the “acquisitions business”, Kaiva admonishes him for being a fool who buys from someone he doesn’t know. Kean says he hasn’t talked to Sylyarus since he finished the magic thing he was doing. He offers to draw a teleportation circle for Kaiva, one that will take her directly to Sylyarus’ compound. Kean says he isn’t sure if he’s there or dead or anything, but he does draw the circle on Kaiva’s clipboard. Kaiva tells him she’s sure he’s still alive.

Seeing that Kaiva’s done, Andra asks Kean if he was making planar gates. Andra takes Kean’s silence as confirmation, and she walks away. Kaiva tells Kean to make soup and stay away from people like Sylyarus, and then she returns to her spot outside the cave.

A little while after, Andra walks through the cave to its entrance carrying a packed bag. Kaiva stops her and asks what’s up. Andra says she ran away from her brother for ten years because she thought he was evil, and now it appears he’s been doing evil things. Kaiva asks where she’s going and offers Sylyarus’ compound, since Kaiva plans on going there. Andra tears up and makes sure Kaiva wasn’t part of the group of kids on Banfiend ten years ago before agreeing.

Andra offers to teleport the two of them, though she does warn Kaiva her teleportation doesn’t always work well. Andra suggests they get Yannic away too, so they plan to take a watch together later and take Yannic. Plan made, Andra and Kaiva settle in for Pictionary.

Later in the afternoon, Fen passes by to find the boulder at the bottom of the hill. Andra and Kaiva decline to help. It takes until dusk, but Fen manages to push the boulder up the hill by herself. Andra and Kaiva try to persuade Fen to leave the cave’s entrance open. Kaiva tells Fen that Andra is upset with Kean, so they want to play a prank on him, like taking all of his stuff. Andra gets super into the idea of drowning Kean. Between their dubious explanations and the packed bag sitting next to Andra, Fen figures something is up and calls Betha over.

Betha asks what’s going on, and Andra explains that she’s angry with Kean and needs to leave for a while. Kaiva says she has some important errands to run. Fen tells Kaiva how hurt she is that Kaiva is leaving her. Andra and Kaiva don’t mention that they want to take Yannic with them, but they provide an explanation for why they want the cave entrance left open. Betha says she’ll join them during their watch since she plans on staying up all night to test Yannic’s theory about sleep anyway. Fen rolls the boulder back down the hill and sits by it, upset by Kaiva’s betrayal of their friendship. Betha offers to make a couple of Swift Step Draughts for Andra and Kaiva, and they agree to wait at least that long before leaving.

Meanwhile, Kean has finished making his soup, and he tells everyone dinner is ready. Andra looks as though she wants some, but she’s reluctant to enter the cave. When Kaiva gets some soup for herself and Andra, Kean tells her he’s made candy as well, but Andra will have to come and get it herself. Despite trying her hardest, Kaiva is unable to wrest any candy from Kean, so she goes back to Andra and tells her they should drown Kean and take his candy. Andra laughs and says she really misses her brother. She’s not sure if the Kean in the cave is her brother or not, but that was pretty funny. Kaiva tells Andra she could stay with her brother if she wants, but Andra says she’ll go with Kaiva to do some thinking. After she gets some of that candy.

When Andra enters the cave, Kean pulls out the candy and holds it in his hand, waiting. After a bit, Andra gives in and goes to their room, and Kean follows. From behind the closed door, we hear shouting for the next few hours.

At sunset, Kaiva returns to her normal age, but Remi and Yannic remain 26 and 17, respectively.

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Safety Cave, Party Cave

Fen and Yannic settle in for a watch, and a few sounds catch Fen’s notice: a slight vibration in the cave and Remi making a lot of noise in Ondelin’s room. Fen considers whether or not Remi is dying and whether or not she might be a dolphin or bat. Yannic hears nothing, and after their watch, he retreats to a recess in the cave to copy a spell instead of sleeping. Kaiva and Betha’s watch also passes uneventfully, save for the end, when Betha discovers that Yannic is studying, not sleeping. He asks her not to tell Remi, and he unconvincingly promises that he’ll sleep before he dies from exhaustion.

When Betha goes to wake Andra, she asks Betha if she was attached to Sivoreen. It turns out that Sivoreen thinks that Betha is dead, so if Betha wants to avoid being caught up in the fey royal court, she’ll have to hide for the foreseeable future. Kean might be able to help with that, once he gets his magic back.

When Betha has gone to sleep, Yannic approaches Andra and delivers the letter Kean 2.0 entrusted to him. While she reads the letter, Yannic continues to study his spellbook. When she’s read it twice, Andra tells him to burn the letter. She asks Yannic if there’s any chance he’ll go back to the other timeline/plane. He says he doesn’t know, though Kaiva is set on it. Andra has Yannic swear that if he goes back, he’ll find the Andra in that plane, using the directions she’ll give him if he swears. Additionally, he’ll need to swear not to scry, find, message or try to contact Kean in any way. Yannic asks what’s going on.

After a moment, Andra says Kean 2.0 is probably locked in a scary tower under constant guard that he will never escape. The only person who might be able to get him out is Andra. Yannic thanks her, and Andra tells him he’s confusing. Andra questions Yannic about his intentions, particularly his intentions towards Kean. After some frustrating circles, Yannic stammers that he would be okay with either banging or marrying Kean. Andra tells him to have a backbone but also not be confrontational.

Near the end of their watch, there’s a loud bang in Kean’s room and he flies out, rushing over to Yannic immediately. They hug and reassure each other that they’re okay before Kean says he’s going back to bed. When Kean leaves, Yannic asks Andra if he should follow, and Betha yells at him to please follow Kean.

Yannic knocks on Kean’s door, and when he lets him in, they talk for a while about how amazing and excellent a friend the other is. Kean apologizes for not being able to do any magic, and he apologizes for unintentionally trapping everyone in the cave, even as he admits he doesn’t know why everyone was so mad at him for the whole safety dome incident. Kean talks about how he made different choices than the other Kean, and how he was once evil but he feels bad about it now. After getting that off his chest, Kean goes to the other side of the bedroom to be awkward.

Yannic asks if Kean remembers anything from when we were in the core and if Kean talking was of his own volition or because of Yannic. Kean says he doesn’t remember anything. Yannic says Kean was holding Yannic’s hand and it was nice. Kean says although he cannot confirm whether or not that was him doing that, holding hands with Yannic would be nice. Yannic asks if he can hug Kean, and there is a long hug before Kean’s knees give out. Yannic guides him over to the bed, where they avoid looking at each other and hold hands for a long, long while.

Meanwhile, Fen has woken up curled around Kaiva’s head. The two head to the common area while Betha crawls into their bed for more sleep. Fen and Kaiva discuss the possibility that Fen might be a dolphin bat, and when Remi joins them, Fen and Kaiva rejoice that he wasn’t murdered by Ondelin in the night.

Everyone in the common area of the cave discuss the plan to capture and use Nemit for time travel. Kaiva reiterates that she wants to go back to the other plane to complete some unfinished business; Fen says she wants to go back because there are rich people there, as well as the cannibal lady. Fen remembers that this Kean still has her diamond, so she kicks down his door to ask for it. Kean jumps up from the bed and throws the diamond at Fen, who leaves the door open.

Kaiva shouts through the doorway that we need to talk about the plan to cage Nemit. Yannic tells her it’s a bad idea. When Betha joins, she echoes this sentiment. Kean asks why we can’t just stay in this cave. Andra smacks him and says Nemit will be at the next Extraplanar Council meeting. We discuss reasons why we do or don’t want to go back to the other plane. Andra argues we should stay in this plane. We discuss alternative ways to subdue Nemit, including poison and seduction. Andra is delighted by the idea of seducing Nemit.

Somehow, the topic of pregnancy comes up, in the context of Fen telling Remi she doesn’t think he can get pregnant. Ondelin is surprised by this information, and he tells Remi they’ll talk later about it.

Andra thinks if we crash the meetings, they’ll probably just let us in. The meetings are usually in fey territory, since every meeting is basically a party. Each banishing tower is the capitol of a territory. Kean apologizes for not being able to do magic, but he says we could maybe barely make it in time for the next council meeting if we start walking continuously immediately. Kaiva suggests racing there.

Andra tells us the council generally thinks we died heroically in trying to save Gathering. She thinks Onrubia would be disappointed to learn that we lived, since she believes we died heroically. Andra isn’t sure what Eric Bridger would think. Sivoreen thinks that Andraki killed Betha in some personal way.

We remember that we read some stories about the HTT, and we ask if the story about Morthred and Andraki is true. Andra refuses to say.

In the absence of Kean’s magic, Kaiva pushes the boulder out of the cave’s entrance, and since it’s close to noon already, we get ready to leave. However, just as we head out, we spot something on the distant horizon – a whole lot of dragons headed towards the location of the council meeting.

We retreat and formulate a plan to offer an alternative meeting place for the council. Ondelin volunteers to look for another meeting site, and he soon finds a cave five miles away. Kean and Andra hang out at the safe cave and at a midway point between the two caves, respectively, while everyone else prepares the new cave for a party.

Betha seeks out Andra’s advice on whether or not she should let Sivoreen know she’s alive. Andra thinks the most practical option is to let Sivoreen know, so she can continue protecting Betha from anyone who might try to assassinate her. Betha lends Andra the book on the time gods, hoping it will help in her attempts at seduction, and returns to the party cave.

Remi notices that Yannic isn’t looking well and asks him about his sleep. Kaiva proposes that Yannic doesn’t need sleep because he’s a vampire or a Dan Pierre (dhampir). Remi and Yannic both reject that hypothesis, and Yannic pretends to sleep on the floor of the cave. Kaiva and Remi discuss the plan to seduce Nemit before Remi realizes Yannic is not actually sleeping. Remi quizzes Yannic via Message, and Yannic tells Remi he’s already spoken to Betha about it and he has Yannic’s permission to have Kaiva knock him out if it comes down to it.

Yannic shares with Remi that he and Kean held hands earlier in the day and hugged, and Remi is so happy for him. Remi encourages Yannic to tell Kean he loves him, and Yannic sincerely thanks him for the advice.

Remi heads towards Ondelin, but he stops to tell Betha he knows that Yannic isn’t sleeping. Betha takes the opportunity to grill Yannic about why he isn’t sleeping. Yannic shares his theories with Betha, and she decides she’ll try not sleeping, to test his theories.

Meanwhile, Remi asks Ondelin if everything is okay, and while hesitant at first, Ondelin eventually tells him that he can have kids. The process of gaining the capability would take a few months, but he can do it. Remi suggests maybe waiting until things are not quite so dire, but they can talk about how many kids later. Ondelin also asks if he can cast a spell on Remi and pulls out a platinum ring, which Remi takes to be a proposal. When he asks if Ondelin is proposing to him, Ondy says, “I guess?” and Remi tackle hugs him in delight. They decide to talk about wedding logistics later, when things are more settled.

After some futile attempts to cling to the stalactites on the cave’s ceiling, Fen gives up and calls on Lester. She tells the frog there are dragons headed to the council’s meeting, so if they want to come to the party cave, they have the option of doing so. The frog silently checks out the cave, winks at Fen, and poofs. Remi and Yannic get the impression that the frog was Andraki, not Lester.

Remi spots something in the trees, so Betha casts Detect Thoughts, to see if she can sense anyone out there. She finds Andraki’s thoughts, telling her to scratch her head if she can hear Andraki. Betha ignores this and goes to tell the others instead. Remi spots both the HTT in the trees with very amused expressions on their faces.

Kaiva welcomes the twins to this alternative meeting space, and after the twins conference with each other, Andraki asks what we plan to do. Kaiva or Fen says we’re trying to seduce Nemit, the silver-eyed destruction man. Andraki figures out we just need him here. Someone asks if she could bring him in a cage, but Andraki says that’s our job. Someone concedes that we do have manacles. Andraki is immediately interested and asks for the handcuffs in exchange for Nemit in a cage. Kaiva says sure, and as everyone protests, she hands over the pair of fluffy handcuffs from the sex shop in Floy. Andraki tosses them over her shoulder into the forest and says she’ll be back.

Kaiva uses the reprieve to label the discarded handcuffs as Andraki’s, and five minutes later, as everyone mills in or near the cave’s entrance, a cage materializes around the entirety of the cave, even including Yannic, who has been sitting above the cave’s entrance. Andraki stands on the outside, demanding the handcuffs. Yannic attempts to Dimension Door his way out, but the spell lands him directly next to Nemit, who is standing in the center of the cave, bewildered but ready to fight.

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Back to the Future

The party retraces Kaiva’s steps back to the professor’s office where she and Remi parted ways, and Fen kicks the door in. Remi apologizes for his friends’ behavior and takes his leave. In the library, we check out our six books. Betha asks Remi about the penalty for not returning books, and he says he can’t remember ever hearing of anyone not returning books on time.

We discuss for a while the logistics of getting through to the first plane/timeline. Betha goes to send some mail. After gathering his thoughts, Remi uses Sending to communicate with Andra, letting her know: “We’re trying to come over soon. Silver eye’s a time god. One apocalypse’s happening here in two days. Council might cause another. We miss you.” Andra replies, “Focus return on Stepback Inn’s Fireplace, if possible. Multiplanar link in progress. Message me before attempt so we can help process. Ondelin loves you.”

Meanwhile, Yannic is writing to Kean or Keanvari using his messaging paper. Kean writes back, saying he’s fine for now, but he’d like to meet up. He draws a teleportation circle for Yannic to use, which he assumes goes to Hell. Eventually, we figure out it doesn’t actually go to Hell, so Yannic asks Kean where it goes. Remi pays 5,000gp for someone to cast a teleportation circle spell, and just as we step through, Fen casts Disguise Self to alter her appearance to resemble someone who might be Betha’s cousin.

We arrive in a cold, snow-covered place that seems to be in the middle of nowhere. There isn’t a teleportation circle beneath our feet. Ahead of us is a curtain of smoke, through which we can’t sense anything, but there are faint outlines of footprints leading into the haze. Remi guesses we’re somewhere to the north. Kaiva exclaims over Fen’s disappearance and the sudden appearance of someone else. To Betha’s frustration, Fen introduces herself as Olga, Betha’s cousin. After some arguing, we all go through the curtain of smoke.

Inside, there is a clearing clear of snow. A small house with a porch and a garden sits there. Above, the sky is the same snowy grey as outside the barrier. When Yannic knocks on the door, a wary Kean opens it. He eyes Fen, but Kean lets us into the house.

Yannic asks Kean if he’s going to be okay. Kean says probably. Yannic tells him we’re leaving for the first plane/timeline, and he asks Kean if there’s anything he can do to make it easier. Kean says no. Yannic asks for some privacy and space from the rest of the party, which is huddled in the doorway trying to figure out what the heck happened to Fen and who the heck Olga is.

Behind a closed door, Yannic asks if Kean thinks Keanvari will let Kean go. Kean tells him he was never supposed to wake up; the fact that Kean’s awake changes things. He tells Yannic again that there’s nothing Yannic can do. When Kean goes to leave the bedroom, Yannic asks him to wait. He explains that he wrote Kean a letter, but he felt that wasn’t enough. Kean means so much to him, and he wants him to know.

Kean says, “That’s good, thanks.” He tells Yannic it’s good he’s leaving, since it sounds like things might work out better in the first timeline. He’s known that this was coming for a while. He awkwardly tells Yannic it’s time to go, but realizes he has no paper to write on. Kean leaves the room long enough to draw a teleportation circle on a sheet of paper. (It’s the same as the one he last sent Yannic.) Kean tells Yannic that he runs away a lot, and this is where he goes.

Kean explains that there’s a schedule, and he has 15 hours until Keanvari uses his body as a vessel for approximately 40 minutes, probably. He trails off, then rallies, taking comfort in the knowledge that this doesn’t sound like a concern in the other timeline. He pats Yannic’s shoulder, and Yannic starts to cry.

The rest of the party gangs up on Kean, asking him what he did to Yannic. He protests that he was trying to help. “Olga” tackles Kean into Yannic before Kean takes himself back into a corner of the bedroom to look sad and confused. Yannic shuts the door on the rest of the party and tells Kean, “I wish I could have done more, but I have friends and I’m going to go where they go.” Kean tells him he has a request, and Yannic immediately says, “Yes, anything.”

Kean asks Yannic to deliver a letter to Andra. Yannic agrees, so Kean goes to find some paper again. With the two of them back where the others are, Remi Messages Yannic to ask if he’s okay. Yannic replies no, but he’ll just listen to Fen spinning a tale about Olga for now.

As Kean writes his letter, Kaiva and Fen admonish Betha for being a bad cousin. Obviously, Olga is here as a dead gnome-tree ghost because she had unfinished business with Betha. Betha grits her teeth and hugs Fen, hoping to keep her there until she has turn back into her halfling self. Fen wriggles out of her arms and through the front door, drops Disguise Self, and returns as Fen. She explains to Kaiva that she had to come through the teleportation circle later, after the rest of the party did. Betha goes outside the smoke barrier to pack a snowball and lies in wait for Fen. When Kaiva and Fen leave the house, Betha lobs her snowball at Fen’s head. Kaiva and Fen decide to have a snowball fight and build a snow Olga.

Inside, Kean hands a letter to Yannic, who asks if he can make a teleportation circle for us to get to the Stepback Inn in Floy. Kean realizes he forgot that we can’t teleport. He says yes, but he’ll have to be outside the barrier to do it, and it will take him a minute to cast. There isn’t any way to make the casting time faster. Kean leaves the house, and Yannic reluctantly follows. Remi goes through the smoke wall, and it’s just Betha, Yannic, and Kean left inside.

Yannic begins, “If I don’t see you again-” Kean interrupts, “But you are!!” Yannic says, “But not you.” Kean says that’s okay and good. Betha eyes Kean, glances at Yannic, and walks through the wall of smoke. Yannic tells Kean he loves him, to which Kean says, “THANKS!” and shoves Yannic through the barrier. Yannic is visibly crying, so Betha goes back through the smoke to ask Kean what happened. Kean takes a moment, and then he’s coming through to cast teleportation circle. Two-thirds of the way in, we see something dark high in the sky directly above and getting closer. Fen readies a bow and arrow, Kaiva readies a sword, and Yannic squeezes Kean’s shoulder as we all get ready to jump. When Kean finishes casting the spell, we all jump in. At the last moment, seeing that a bird is headed straight for Kean, Kaiva decides against joining Kean and instead throws her sparkly shield at him.

We’re back in Floy. We head to the Step Back Inn, where the bartender is on the clock and a couple people are finishing up their dinner. There are plenty of time ghosts here, but Remi sees that the entire fireplace is shimmering faintly. We briefly consider flexing our authority as Banishers, but Remi magically sends the inn’s other occupants to sleep instead. Kaiva gently, carefully deposits their sleeping bodies behind the bar to keep them out of harm’s way.

Fen punches the fireplace just as Remi casts Sending. He tells Andra: “Fen’s punching the fireplace to open the time portal so we can come through, but we gotta fight something first. Hopefully we’ll see you soon.” Andra replies, “Follow the white string through to us. It’ll be up for 1 hour maximum. Be SILENT when you arrive. See you soon, Ondelin loves you.”

Immediately after Fen punches the fireplace, a glowing blue mummy hand emerges, and Betha quickly Banishes it with a faint pop. Remi tells the others what Andra told him, and Kaiva pulls out the silken Friendship Rope so we can all hang on to something. Remi goes first, then Fen, Betha, Yannic, and Kaiva. It’s hot and humid on the other side, and there’s silver everywhere. If we look back, the fireplace is still there, but the rest of town is not. On this side, we can see a white thread wrapped around and around the fireplace. Around us, we don’t see a Gathering Hollow; we just see what Yannic saw when he scryed on Bob – a plain that never had a hollow blasted into it.

Grabbing onto the thread, we walk forward a bit, before we look back to see we haven’t moved at all. Fen holds on to the thread, lets go of the rope, and walks back towards the fireplace. When she pushes her hand against it, her hand starts to pass through a jello feeling, so she returns to her place in the line. Remi tries letting go of the thread instead, and immediately falls and falls and falls, his life flashing before his eyes. Fen manages to stop Remi from falling all the way, and Remi climbs out of nothingness.

We move forward, being careful to hold onto both the thread and the rope, but especially the thread. We walk for a while, and at some point, we get the sense that we’re walking to the left, even though we’re facing the same direction as before and the thread is still straight. Ahead, we can see the fireplace of the Step Back Inn, and we pass through its jello-like consistency.

Ondelin grabs onto Remi’s hand and pulls him through, and everyone else falls through. We see Ondelin’s been gagged. Ondelin and Remi hug, and everyone else sees there’s a teleportation circle ready to go. Andra pulls everyone over to the circle, and Kean staggers over from where he had his hands on the fireplace to activate the teleportation circle.

Kean passes out as soon as we arrive in some kind of very dimly lit cave. Yannic and Betha rush over to check on him, but Andra says aloud that he’s fine. Hearing Andra speak, Remi removes Ondelin’s gag, and the two of the cry over each other and hug a lot. Andra tugs Yannic and Betha away from Kean, and she explains that this room and area is safe. Everything else is not. We ask what’s going on. Andra says things are colliding, but the three of them have been focused on getting us through to this timeline.

Andra asks who among us other than Fen wore her circlet. Kaiva says she did, and Andra goes over to gently slap Kaiva’s face, then properly slaps Fen’s face. We ask how they got out of the collars. Andra says they woke up in a falling city, and Kean teleported them out. The city dropped a bit then stopped, but they don’t know why.

Andra drags Kean to another part of the cave to rest. She says Nemit was at at least one council meeting. The council is meeting every two days, in a space outside. Andra and Kean can get in, since they look like Andraki and Keanvari, but it would be difficult to get anyone else in. Fen suggests Betha should go as a member of fey royal family, and Betha says no.

Around 11pm, we set up watches, exempting Kean for obvious reasons and Remi and Ondelin because they’re cuddling a whole lot.

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Locations, Hours, and Book Drops

While Yannic goes home to find his student ID, Betha hangs on to the book of mythology on Keanvari and Andraki and does some more research. She maps some teleportation circles she thinks might be useful and finds a book of mythology on the time god(s).

The book on time gods suggests Nemit is in the first of three stages of being a time god, since he is overwhelmingly concerned with chronology. Sandy, on the other hand, seems to be in the beginning of the second, where he understands time as a stream of progress. (A time god in the third stage understands time in way that is incomprehensible to mortals.)

Betha also goes looking for information on the fey and offspring of the fey, but the library somehow contains less knowledge about the fey than she already possesses. She does find a couple books on alchemy, however. When Yannic returns with his student ID, Betha shares the books she’s found before settling in to read. Around then, Fen finds Yannic, since Remi and Kaiva have gone off to investigate Lana’s whereabouts.

Fen shows Yannic Kida’s card, which he can’t read because it’s in Orcish. Yannic has heard of a raider named Kida Boneeater, who was given an award a while back, but not much else. Fen conjectures about whether Kida is a cannibal. Yannic decides to go see if his Abjuration professor is in her office, so he leaves Fen in the library, hoping that she won’t set fire to the books or something. Classes are in session, so the professor isn’t her office. Yannic leaves a note and a letter under her door, and he heads back to the library.

Meanwhile, Fen has attempted to talk to two studious individuals – a green dragonborn who calls the library on Fen, and a harried gnome who takes their books and leaves. Fen tries to follow the gnome, but she knocks over a cart of books, alerting Betha. Betha redirects Fen to search for books on cannibals. Betha and Fen are shown to the biographies section, where they find a biographical book on the Hot Topic twins. Fen collects all the books she can find which bear the name Vega, to see if she can find anything about her mentor.

Fen also looks for information about the term “scion of the forest” – she finds accounts of how, when people started cutting down trees, there was communication between trees and people. That’s around the time the term was first used. She searches for information about Party Island, but there isn’t much, since it isn’t a popular destination, what with the island eating people.

Betha, seeing a poem about the Hot Topic twins written by Haela, looks up the poet’s biography and literary analyses of their works. Haela (Hope) traveled with the Gorlorian rebellion since its early days. They were probably a bard.

When Yannic returns to the library, he tells Betha and Fen he’s looking for spellbooks, so they follow him, Fen throwing biographies over her shoulder one after another when she finds out they aren’t about the Vega she knows. Betha tries to keep the books from too much harm. Yannic finds a list of arcane rituals around 5pm, and he finds some of the spellbooks he’s looking for.

Kaiva bursts into the library looking for the party, since Remi requested a private conversation with one of the professors. She and Fen are of the opinion that Remi is cheating on Ondelin. Kaiva heads for the True Crimes section, looking for tales of her crime family. There’s nothing familiar, although Kaiva does find some interesting reads.

Yannic looks for information about Hillman, which turns out to be close to Keyberry Ford. He finds information about the destruction of the wizard tower of Hillman. Renatta the Brilliant destroyed the tower and got her arm chopped off in the process. Supposedly, only one person survived this incident. The wizard tower was a research university where multiple people worked. There is no record of the research they were doing there. Renatta was an anti-magic knight or paladin. Five years after the destruction of the tower, the Gorlorian army destroyed Renatta for being an extraplanar being.

Bored, Kaiva starts stacking the books that everyone has collected throughout the afternoon. Eventually, it tumbles down all over Betha, to the librarians’ annoyance. Once the librarians have neatened up some of the books, Fen tells Kaiva about the Keanvari and Andraki mythology book, specifically the story about Andraki and a fairy prince named Mayrid, who might be Morthred? The story goes that Andraki and a fairy prince encountered each other in the woods and were delighted by each other’s company for a month before the prince’s mother, Morgaine, called him back home. He left Andraki without telling her, to return to his fey wife and kids, and Andraki was reportedly devastated. The biographical book on the twins calls into question some elements of this story.

Fascinated, Kaiva begins to tear a page from the HTT mythology book, which sets off a loud siren in the library. Librarians descend, and the book is taken away for repairs. Kaiva is escorted out of the library, and Fen goes to find a children’s fairytale version of Andraki and the Fairy Prince, which she proceeds to read aloud to Kaiva in the doorway of the library. (Fen turns down Kaiva’s offer to help correct the illustrations of Andraki and Morthred.)

Kaiva and Fen argue about whether to go cut Morthred out of Bob’s heart. Kaiva tells Fen she’ll stay in Timeline 2 until the party breaks Morthred out. Fen says they’ll have to leave Kaiva behind then, because they need to find Nemit first, to ask him about Bob. Fen eventually convinces Kaiva to come with the rest of the party to Timeline 1 instead. Kaiva pouts outside while Fen returns to the kids’ section of the library.

Yannic finishes reading one of his spellbooks around 7pm, and the party decides it’s time to go find Remi, who has been on his own for a while.

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