Sol'sora

Kaiva and Keanvari Enter a Contract

Once upon a 6am, Remi and Yannic and Betha have to figure out what to do with the muzzled little black bird in a cage that is probably Onrubia. This is a problem for many, many reasons, both politically and morally. DEBATE ABOUNDS (after the twins are corralled) as the Wheatfield-residing gang tries to figure out wtf they’re gonna do about this.

Suggestions made:

  • Send it back to the Celestial Plane
  • Send it back to Keanvari
  • Kick it and insult the bird a lot (thanks, Andra)
  • Take it into the Council meeting and put the bird in Onrubia’s seat
  • Take it into the Council meeting and tell the Celestials that KEANVARI DID IT IT WAS HIM IT WAS HIM point point point

It’s also determined that the bird is OBVIOUSLY from Keanvari, and the bird is also DEFINITELY Onrubia. Why did this happen? Questions upon questions. It’s probably supposed to be a present for Remi, though.

BUT, they (read: Kean) have Dallinon’s entire population to teleport, so after Ondelin’s objections to just leaving Bird-rubia in the inn with a blanket over the cage, the gang walks a couple miles to a beautiful little stream with wildflowers that Remi recalls from his childhood, with the intention of dropping bird-rubia off there so she at least has a nice view.

During the trek, Betha is approached by a familiar bright blue super-speedy messenger, who gives her a sparkly package from Sivoreen. Inside is a lovely wooden key and a letter that basically says that the big red column of light is Keanvari doing something dangerous and whatever that bad thing is, it’s most likely going to happen around noon, and the key would take her to a lovely vacation home on the plane of Arborea!!! So go there!!! ASAP!!!

Upon hearing this information, the party is like, “That is a good plan and we will go there!!! ASAP!!!” But it’s also decided that Kaiva should still be consulted. The poor messenger is given a reply and gets to leave, and the party teleports to the Dallinon camp —

except nope, think better of that after realizing teleportation is not an exact science when the wizard hasn’t seen the place, so the party teleports to Dallinon instead and walks for an hour.

Meanwhile, in the camp, Fen is off in the woods doing Fen things and Kaiva is making her way through the camp doing everything she can to cheer folks up and fix what she can. When the party comes into camp, there are even more decisions to make, specifically this one: if the big red light is going to do horrible deadly things, and Wheatfield is closer to that light, should they still teleport Dallinon folks to Wheatfield?

Kaiva takes out her red Keanvari book and starts corresponding with him regarding these concerns (to the horror of many).

Meanwhile, Yannic and Kean have an awkward conversation about how conversations are awkward, and make surprisingly good progress on figuring out how to communicate with no crying or running away! Sure, Kean runs away afterwards, but still! Good job, boys!

Everyone quickly begins looking over Kaiva’s shoulder to see the disaster doodle-ridden conversation which is cut and pasted here because I am lazy and all of you had access to this portion of the conversation:


yo keanvari what is going on with your red light?? Sivoreen is trying to safety dome us not into it. Also: what is going on with the bird onrubia???? why?

betha pointed out you might not know what a safety dome is cause i guess she thinks your dumb i guess. Kean stuck us in a dome of safety and it fucked up a whole bunch of stuff so safety dome = when someone sticks us in an unhelpful place so we can ensure bad shit happens because we dont help.

WHO KNOOOOWWWSSSSSS, dun dun dun

BAD ANSWER TRY AGAIN!!! give me a clue at least??? how bad is this gonna be? are people gonna die?

A clue, hmm.

I will say that the red light is not for you. People will die, certainly, but when do they not? [draws a cage around the previously drawn bird, followed by a smiley face]

Is the red light for the bird onrubia? IS IT ALL CONNECTED? can we play 20 questions or can you just like tell me, idk if you know this, i’m a very good detective so I will be getting involved [bad picture of kaiva with a magnifying glass]

Kaiva, every single thing I have done has been for one singular goal, and that goal is not to just incinerate an obnoxious celestial-bird. [draws a big moustache on kaiva]

can you give me an outline of your goals plz? [drawing of Kaiva and KV talking, in the dialogue box it says MY GOALS]

[under box, writes: – THINGSSTUFFPLANS]

keanvari i swear to god you are going on my STICK LIST I am trying to help here bud!!!

with WHAT?

just generally! making sure everyone is happy and healthy and not dead and doing well!!! that includes you and andraki too even if you are on my stick list!!!

[circles the ‘happy and healthy and not dead and doing well’ part and then the ‘andraki’ part and puts an arrow between them] Would you swear?


AT WHICH POINT KAIVA STEPPED AWAY FROM THE PARTY, Y’KNOW. JUST BECAUSE.

Eventually, a deal is offered: if the party will go destroy the Heart of the Abyss (which was already requested previously – supposedly, it’ll turn Andraki sane again), he’ll stop his evil plan to summon a giant super bad dragon and have it kill people.

Kaiva takes the deal, and signs a contract IN BLOOD, which reads as follows:

I swear that if you destroy the Heart of the Abyss, I will stop any and all plans on how to summon and ascend Uther, as well as destroy any information that could lead others to do so as well. [signed ‘Keanvari’]

Then I promise I, Kaiva, maybe with the help of the others or maybe not, will destroy the heart of the Abyss or die trying [signed ‘Kaiva’]

After the imp messenger (Bizzle) poofs away with the contract, the red pillar of light winks out almost immediately.

SO.

THAT SHOULD BE INTERESTING.

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Kaiva Beans Kean
The Party Splits

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Event Planning
Is Not Our Strong Suit

Placeholder; summary will go here

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Andra and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Afternoon

While Fen hugs trees in a yard in Dallinon, Kaiva approaches Andra to discuss the whole remember-the-Callamo situation in town. After some roundabout discussion, Andra promises not to hurt or kill anyone in town, and Kaiva informs her of the Situation, and also of the statue/shrine to Callum in town!

When Andra heads over to the statue/shrine to beat the shit out of it, Kaiva readily hands over her battleaxe, and most of the party supports this initiative of Andra’s by blocking the angry villagers who are watching Andra beat the shit out of their beloved statue! The crowd will not disperse, and Andra becomes more and more agitated. So, she stabs herself in the neck. Kaiva rushes to help, but (with a natural 1) ends up actually making the knife thing even worse. The party rushes to assist, but when Ondelin arrives, he tries to get everyone away from Andra because this neck-stabbing was done to summon Andraki!

And summoned Andraki is, arriving in her usual big black blob way. She revives Andra, and Andra tells her to kill everyone. Finding this absolutely hilarious, Andraki says no, winks at Fen, and leaves. Andra just kinda stares up at the sky for a while, frustrated and pouting a bit. Eventually, she just gets up and starts to leave, and the party follows her out of town (after Fen draws a dick on the statue, by the shin).

As the walk continues, y’all finally show her the Keanvari letter, and she gives you the advice to just do what Keanvari says and follow HIS plan. When midnight arrives, Andra shakily teleports everyone back to Keyberry Ford and also tells you all to not tell Kean about the little Dallinon sojourn.

Everyone goes to bed(ish) in the little house (Kean’s already asleep in the bottom bunk bed), watches are done, and around 4am, there’s a red flash on the teleportation platform. When notified of this, Andra takes the red string from Yannic, and then rouses Kean just enough so they can nope out via teleporting (Undercommon discussion is very sharp on Andra’s part, Kean doesn’t even get out of bed).

As dawn and the ruby drop approaches, Betha decides to try calling Sivoreen, but nothing happens. They notice there’s a slight shimmer that more or less encompasses all of Keyberry Ford, some kinda AoE thing Keanvari set up.

DAWN ARRIVES. At the teleportation platform, there is a flash of white (not red!) light, and two cloaked figures step away from the platform after placing a small wooden box in the center. Inside is The Ruby, as well as a small golden charm shaped like a tree, which, upon some checking, is discovered to be a very old symbol of the Feywild royalty. One of the two cloaked figures is Sivoreen! She declines any attempts at communication. Both figures do, and leave relatively quickly.

In the meantime, since there’s oodles of time til party planning, Fen goes foraging and encounters yet another heart attack deer. Curious about this phenomenon, Fen and Kaiva go exploring to figure out what’s going on with these animals. Turns out they’re being poisoned by eating poisonous berries, gasp! Fen picks some, and Kaiva makes her promise to not poison herself or others.

And then, it was party planning time, dun dun dunnnn…..

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MORE Cannibal Cave

We begin outside the Cannibal Cave, with Andra recently rescued from the blood well. Remi is exhausted due to Immortal’s End (the godkiller kit sword) wanting to draw some blood and him not providing that service!

A magical black hole portal appears out of a plothole to deliver a letter to Betha!

to_betha_postHH.jpg

The letter is passed around. It is discussed. Generally, it is considered to be Not Good.

Upon re-entering the cave, discussions are had about what to do to nullify the threat the blood well poses. Feeblemind-ing the well seems like a good idea, but none of you have that spell, soooooo… ¯\(ツ)

The rope you dropped down to pull Andra back out has 15 feet of blood on it. It’s a 30 foot deep well.

As an experiment, you decided to drop one of the corpses around the Good Dreams Tree into the well. The tree is NOT happy about this idea, and is extremely protective of the bodies!! But, it is placated. The body is harnessed up via Friendship Rope, and dropped into the blood well.

There’s 50 feet of severed rope off the Friendship Rope when the rope was tugged taut (sideways) during depth experiments.

Back in the lava room, Kaiva uses her spider cloak to spider chilmb through the lava cave and finds her way to a convenient little lever on a landing, with a very obvious moving wall! She flips the lever, and the wall opens into the nice secret room (which is now a sauna thanks to the Good Vibes Water being dropped into the now-lit braziers in the room). As the wall opens, so too does the floor, which rotates, and stairs down are revealed! They are beautiful stairs, brightly lit, and leads into a very big room.

Since nobody else can get past the lava, the party has to access it via the waterfall entrance. Yannic can’t swim, so Betha leads him through the water.

Ondelin is cautious, remains cautious, and warns everyone else to be cautious.

Inside the big brightly-lit room, there are ~20 old glass tubes, 12 of which have people in them, floating in blood in the tubes. Most of it is very old, but some parts are refurbished. There’s a few tables, and three chests as well – one full of tools, and two full of basic armor and weapons and other Starting Adventurer’s Gear. There’s also a tubey contraption that takes up much of the room, and the tubes with people in them are connected to it. The contraption channels all the blood through a variety of Things and eventually it focuses on a single little dropper above one of the tables.

It is quickly and obviously determined that this is some Evil Shit. There’s a whooole lot of necrotic magic around.

Andra starts swinging a weapon at the glass, and Kaiva offers to help, which is appreciated! They break the glass apart, and the blood goes into a drain in the floor while the body flops out of the tube, alive. The person is under the effects of what seems like an augmented Gentle Repose spell.

As the contraption churns its way through the tube blood, about half an hour later, it’s all dropped through the little dropper. This contraption-processed blood is shiny, pretty, ruby-like, and that whoooole body-containing tube of blood is distilled into half a vial of sparkly blood. It’s HIGHLY concentrated necrotic magic, with a bit of diamond dust picked up somewhere in the tubes.

(In other words: it’s pretty much a person in a bottle.)

When you give the sparkly vial to the person whose tube it was processed from, they come back to life! You do this to a few of them, and they all say that yes they are Banishers, definitely definitely Banishers, just like you!!! 100% Banishers, all the way. Totally. They also all have very vibrantly colored eyes, hmmmmm……….

The mummy one takes a lot longer to resuscitate, but it does still work. Ondelin helps the healing as well. Eventually there is an elf instead of a mummy!

Remi explains the situation to the “Banishers” and the resurrected mummies (and there’s a happy reunion with each other and the Good Dreams Tree). They were dead for a whiiiile, as in the mummy-elves are pre-Banishing War. The resurrected “banishers” are also surprised to hear the year.

Kaiva tries to convince one of the “Banishers” that it’s okay to be honest, Kaiva’s not a narc, and it doesn’t quite work. It’s clear that they’re all extraplanar. All of them leave ASAP, and Kaiva watches them leave. They all leave the second they’re equipped and healthy enough to vacate the premises.

Meanwhile, back in the lab, the party destroys all the glass! The tubes, the contraption, all the things!!! The blood well is now completely empty as well, and Yannic dispels the enchantment on it.

Kaiva finds some shrines in town (Dallinon, if you forgot the name). It’s a 300-400 year old town, maybe?

Dana, one of the folks who brought the party here, confirms she doesn’t know anything about the cannibal cave, and nobody else in town does either.

The resurrected mummy elves are very grateful but have no idea what to do next, other than get their tree healthy again and restore the cave to the place of tranquility it once was, and no, they’re not clerics. The tree and cave were once a stop on a pilgrimage of sorts, a journey from place to place to find solace and comfort (and good dreams). There are other places like this one out in the world. There was definitely no lava or blood well in the cave when they were here last time! And the basement was more of a temple to local nature spirits, not a cannibal distillation room.

Speaking of: there were over 20 zombies, all of which were created as a byproduct of the cannibal juice thing. Once their sparkly blood was consumed, the body turned into a zombie. Gasp.

Anyway, the elves are gonna stick around to try and fix/heal up the cave. But if you guys say it’s unsalvageable, they’ll move on. You don’t say that, though, so they stay in the ex-Cannibal Cave to help their tree!

AND THEN, having now seen a bit more of the town, the party visits Old Herb, the town’s leader! He gives the same answers as Dana about how the town had no clue what was going on in the cave. But he knows the TRUE STORY of the cave!!!!!!!!!

Dallinon is all that remains of the proud great noble kingdom of Dallinon, ruled by King Callum, who was the Best King Ever, For Real. He was destroyed in the Banishing War! Cowards ran into the cave in Callum’s greatest hour of need, ABANDONING HIM >:( and wtf of course they weren’t cannibals when they went in, that happened IN the cave. ANYWAY, BACK TO HOW GREAT CALLUM WAS. He came and saaaved the land during one terrible winter, came with FOOD, and saved us all!! The people became strong, powerful, and prosperous, and Callum’s great reign lasted for 100 years!!! He was on the edge of godhood, and they continue to worship him at the little shrine! After he was killed by GORLORIS HIMSELF in Keyberry Ford, the land lost his blessing. Alas. BUT DALLINON REMEMBERS!!!!!

Gorloris gave the world stability, but they lost a lot more in the process. So, opinion of Banishers is kinda :/

The game closes on y’all trying to decide how to tell Andra about this shit, if to tell her at all.

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Cannibal Cave

The game opens with the party standing in front of entrance to cannibal cave, which is a huge iron slab in the cliff face, 2 feet thick. It also has abjuration wards on it. After debating how to get in, Remi remembers his planar blade, wakes it up, and manages to start cutting into the iron. Fen tries kicking the door, which doesn’t help. Ondelin casts his protection spell, which will take 20 minutes.

When a hole is cut in the “door” a zombie face is there in the window. The party debates their next move until Andra starts attacking. Turns out the zombie is a large decomposing ogre with a morningstar! Attacks are made, it is subdued/destroyed, and a fireball is launched into the room beyond since there are more zombie things. Most things in view appear to be dead. Remi cuts the rest of the door, and Andra barges in. Ondelin stays outside to guard the town.

(In notes: “Huh. That was easy. How many Banishers usually come?”)

Fen casts a non-detection spell on Yannic, since going through the abjuration wards hurts him and y’all remember that whole “devil hand” thing is a Problem.

Head down tunnel off the big cave, which Andra already ran down. Andra is standing in the middle of the room, still, shaking and terrified. At the same point, Kaiva is fine! Nothing to worry about. Except that well with blood in it. It has a predominately necrotic magical signature.

The well (or something inside the well?) also talks to people psychically, asking for help. The voice seems extremely confused, and just wants help. Please? :(

MEANWHILE, deeper into the cave, there’s a room lit with green fey light that has one really big dead tree in the center, with four bloodless corpses around the base of it. There’s also a waterfall in the same room! The tree was once beautiful, and upon attempted communication, it’s discovered that there’s still a little bit of awareness in the tree. It can be brought back to life.

Down the other passage (2 of 2) from the room with the blood well, there’s stairs that descend into lava! All the zombies had burned feet. Perhaps the zombies originated from here!

Things known about blood: blood channels personality, thoughts, and conscience (whereas diamonds are existence). Dark evil magic uses [containers?] of blood for proto-clones, kinda like horcruxes.

Remi licks a waterfall. It’s magic water, and super refreshing! Things might turn out okay, I will make it through this, life isn’t all that bad! Thanks, waterfall!

Yannic pokes his staff into the surface of the blood well. There’s a gasp, and then it goes quiet.

No visible holes in the bodies, all mouths are open. Bodies have no blood in them. No sign of struggle. Age probably 25-35, fell asleep at the tree.

Green lamp (fey lamp mentioned above) is very old, probably over 1000 years old. It should be magical, but isn’t.

There’s a lot of lava down the lava passage! It appears to be mostly cooling, and there’s no sound from it. Very quiet lava passage!

Fen drops a pebble into the blood. Nothing seems to happen.

Put some refreshing waterfall water on the dead tree. There’s a bit of a press on your mind, and a sense of subdued warmth. More water leads to more awareness from the tree – relief, gratitude, hope, desperation!!!! It’s healing the tracks in the tree, and looks more like a tree in winter rather than a dead tree.

There’s tree-talking during which the tree expresses it’s very old and very upset about the bodies around it. It then provides a vision of four people being led to the tree, to sleep around it, and then the person holds out a hand and collects the four tree-sleepers’s blood in his hand, and then walks away. Tree feels deep sadness about this, and is furious towards this person in massive furry bulky robes with short dark hair!! Tree has a PURPOSE, for fuck’s sake, which you get as something like “peaceful, good dreams giving tree”

Re: the fey lamp, you get the story of how the sapling was moved here permanently by a person with very long ears who spoke Tree and told it to give people peace and then put the light there.

(“More water?” “Yes!! :D”)

Andra informs you that bulky furry robes is high-ranking cannibal garb, since their sizes changed drastically, depending on…factors.

Ondelin tries talking to the waterfall, is unsuccessful, and drinks some of the water.

Remi pours some of the water into the well, and there’s a shudder, but he’s still going to be okay and gosh darn it life’s going to work out, he just knows it!

There’s a passage underwater! It is under the waterfall and leads to a completely different place! Gasp! It’s very nice, and manmade, unlike the rough cave everywhere else. There are four unlit braziers equidistant in the room, with beautiful floors and walls, with a star-spiral design. Walls have geometrical designs, and you can tell it’s designed to move. The floor rotates and part of the left wall moves. Betha, Fen, and Kaiva know of the secret room!

Kaiva stays in the room instead of going out to talk about the discovery (because she’s still emotionally hurt and seething from the Hell Heist heistmaster demotion situation).

Everyone meets up to discuss the room, and discuss if there’s a way to traverse the magma room to get to where there’s almost definitely a secret entrance to the equally secret room! Plans, ideas, conversations!

You hear a splash from the well. Upon investigation, it is discovered that Andra is gone! Those who can hear the well’s voice in their heads can now hear that it is Andra’s voice in their head, asking all the same “help me!” questions as the previous one.

The party rushes to save Andra, communicating this to her and throwing the now-weighted friendship rope into the well. It is a very deep well. After pulling and pulling, her head surfaces, and Andra is pulled away from the well. When it is discovered that the well has taken a good part of her personality/memories/etc, she is rushed out of the cave and the enchantment is dispelled magically with a thirty from Yannic and Betha.

The well has a compulsion on it which got Andra to jump in.

“I didn’t know anything.” Andra informs the party that, “I was so confused […] except voices.” Then her name, and rope.

AND THAT WAS 1/26!!!

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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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