Sol'sora

53. 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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52. Procrastination

When we return to our own bodies, we’re still on our way to Wheatfield via Floy. Ondelin watches us with much confusion as we discuss what we’ve just experienced. Kaiva is confused that we didn’t ride dinosaurs like she did.

The place from which Fen took the marble dragon figurine might be a big city of many dragonborn, Arphalon, which is known to have blueish stone architecture. The city is in the mountains, to the west of Floy.

We decide that we do still want to deal with Remi’s dad before finding Nemit. Ondelin, upon hearing how personal this is for Remi, tells him he’s not the same Ondelin who is Remi’s friend. He asks if Remi is sure he really wants him there. Remi says we could use his help, but it’s up to Ondelin whether he wants to join us. Ondelin says he’s uncomfortable with going after Nemit, but he can help take out Remi’s dad before going back home. Remi says he understands.

We get to Floy at 11pm, and when we get to the tavern in Wheatfield, everyone’s asleep. We book all four vacant rooms, and Ondelin stays up on the roof, since he doesn’t need to sleep.

We wake at 8am, and we learn from Henry, the innkeeper, that Lana, Remi’s bard friend, is away because she was asked to perform for Banfey celebrations in Gathering. She’ll be back in a couple of days. Henry doesn’t recognize Remi, nor does anyone else in the tavern. Remi asks about the tower on the edge of town, and Henry tells him a wizard lives there, along with his assistant, who’s been there for years. They’re cranky but decent people. It’s best not to bother them, though.

We call a meeting, including Ondelin, to discuss next steps. Ondelin says he saw a brown haired elf walk a robed person to the teleport earlier. We decide if Theminor answers the door, we’ll pretend to be selling cookies on behalf of the Gorloris scouts. If the assistant answers the door, we’ll tell her about Theminor and gauge how much she knows before deciding how to proceed.

We head to the tower, and we meet a skeptical, distrustful old elf named Mia. She says Theminor is away. Remi introduces himself as Theminor’s son, giving his given name, and he explains that Theminor has been killing his children to prolong his life longer than is normal for an elf. Remi and Betha can tell that this is new information to Mia, but her reaction is otherwise difficult to read. She doesn’t seem open to hearing more, and Betha naively suggests Remi leave some of his blood so Mia can test the secret door in Theminor’s bedroom. Remi offers, and Ondelin is horrified and tells him not to. Mia looks more interested, but Remi rescinds the offer. At Ondelin’s urging, we leave. Ondelin tells us to be careful with our blood because someone could track us anywhere and anytime for the rest of lives by drinking our blood.

We walk a ways from the tower and stop in a random street in Wheatfield to discuss next steps, again. The teleportation platform was last used to travel to Nimrine. There are a lot of time aberrations in Wheatfield, and we consider fighting one to jump through to the other plane. Ondelin offers to stay in Wheatfield to watch for Theminor’s return. He can call us using the Sending Stone if he sees anything. Remi leaves him 10 gold pieces to cover food.

Remi uses Sending to tell Andra in Timeline 1 that we’re alive and in another timeline, and that Nemit is intent on causing the apocalypse in our timeline. Andra says she’ll talk to Ondelin and Kean about it. Andra is glad we’re alive and tells Remi to use Sending again soon and to get more information.

Fen remembers seeing a teleportation platform in the village by the Lady of Learning’s temple, so Yannic writes to Kean to ask about the teleportation circle that would get us there. He receives a circle, along with a message that implies something might be wrong with Kean, because he doesn’t sound like himself.

Yannic scrys on Kean 2.0, and he sees a really creepy black building on an island in a lake. Kean appears to be talking to a bunch of people in Infernal. Every so often, he looks down at some papers he’s holding in his hand, and he seems terribly amused by the situation. Then, he stops doing anything at all, before going back to the paper. Yannic stops scrying to tell the party that Keanvari has taken over Kean’s body, probably because of that thing Sandy mentioned, where the gods can’t manifest as themselves in the prime material plane.

Feeling deep mistrust in Keanvari’s suggested teleportation circle, we decide to go to the university to research the circle. We teleport to the university, where Fen goes to hug a tree before rejoining Kaiva in her attempt to sell Gorloris scout cookies. Remi goes to find her mentor, to thank her, but finds she’s teaching a class how to play the flutelute.

Yannic and Betha go to the library, where they learn the circle Keanvari gave them does indeed go to the Lady of Learning’s ascendancy point. In the same reference book, we also see there are 2 temples to the Lady of Learning, and one temple in a lake that Yannic recognizes as the one he saw in his most recent Scry. After a bit of researching, we learn that that temple is the ascendancy point of both Keanvari and Andraki. In doing that research, we find a book on mythology regarding the Hot Topic twins, and we ask about checking out the book. Unfortunately, Yannic doesn’t have his student ID on him, so he goes home to retrieve it and see if his dad’s around. HIs dad isn’t home, so Yannic writes a couple letters before returning to the university.

Meanwhile, Betha goes to find Remi, to see if he has his student ID. Remi does, but he wants to wait to talk to his mentor before joining Betha in the library. Betha goes back to the library to look for more books to check out. After asking his mentor whether she wants help teaching the class, Remi joins her and helps for the last 15 minutes of the session. Afterwards, Remi thanks Maria and asks whether she might have heard of a flutelute-playing bard named Lana who performed in Gathering during Banfey. Maria says no, definitely not. She weirdly appears to be cagey about knowing Lana. Maria dismisses Remi, and Remi goes to the library to meet up with Betha.

At the library, Remi talks over Maria’s weirdness about Lana with Betha. Remi decides to go ask some other professors about whether Lana was in Gathering at all. Betha stays in the library to do more research.

After failing to sell cookies, Kaiva and Fen try their hands at pickpocketing instead. However, on Fen’s first attempt, she’s caught red-handed, and the lady whose wallet she lifted tells her she doesn’t need to resort to pickpocketing – just ask for money. The lady hands her 20 gold pieces and a card in Orcish with her name (Kida Boneeater) and address, in case Fen ever needs more money. Impressed, Kaiva tries this method and persuades someone to buy 10 cookies, after which the duo continue to try pickpocketing, convinced that Kida Boneeater is a criminal mastermind.

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51. Times and Trials

We find ourselves in a large dark cavern filled mostly by a big dark lake. There are no obvious exits or entrances, and we have no recollection of how we got here. A voice speaks in our minds, inviting us to forget our worries by stepping into the lake. Wary, we question the voice’s identity and intent. The voice introduces itself as Lethe, a large fish living in the lake. Eventually, the fish tires of asking us to join it in the water, and tentacles come out of the darkness to pull us in. A white cat comes running, and we find ourselves elsewhere.

When we come to our senses, we’re in a circular room with two doors, one labeled ‘Times’ and the other ‘Trials’. A white cat with a dark hourglass marking on its chest sits between the doors, watching us realize that we aren’t in our own bodies anymore. Fen, being in Yannic’s body, realizes she has an opportunity to message Kean as Yannic and does so before Yannic in Remi’s body can retrieve the papers.

Fearing ‘Times’ means math, we go through the ‘Trials’ door, and we’re in another circular room with five doors ahead. To the cat’s annoyance, we check behind each door before stepping through the first door, which opens into the bottom of a pit. We climb out of the pit into a grassy field and see a dinosaur running towards us, so we rush towards a door we see in the field. The cat sits next to the door, and when we pass through, we’re back in the first circular room, although in different bodies that are still not our own. To Fen’s delight, she’s in Remi’s body and once again in possession of the texting papers. She writes another message, in Remi’s hand this time, before Yannic wrests the papers away. Yannic hastily writes his own message to Kean to explain what’s going on.

This time, we choose ‘Times’, and we enter a room that has three hallways leading off into the distance. The hallways are labeled ‘Past’, ‘Present’, and ‘Future’. The doors in the Past hallway are markedly different from one another, and some of them are recognizably doors we’ve seen before. The doors in the Present hallway are similar to each other in shape but different in style. The doors in the Future hallway are the same as all the other doors we’ve seen in this strange place so far, except as one walks farther down the hall, the doors get blurrier.

Remi chooses a door he recognizes in the Past hallway – his bedroom door in the Therris estate. We step through into the hallway outside Remi’s bedroom to hear Grandma Therris crying in her bedroom. She hears us discussing what to do, and comes to ask if Remi needs anything. She doesn’t notice that anyone else is present. Fen, in Remi’s body, tells her everything’s fine, she was only looking for a glass of water. Grandma Therris reminds Remi that he can come to her if he needs anything at all, and we all go find the kitchen.

We try to figure out what to do next, and we hear some noises outside the kitchen. Remi remembers that this is the night he was first kidnapped for ransom. We stand at the ready and clobber the would be kidnapper unconscious, tie him up, and leave a fake ransom note in his pocket. During the fight, Betha tries to cast magic while inhabiting Yannic’s body, and finds the entire experience unsettling and unnerving. An outside force/consciousness takes over Yannic’s head and sight briefly to survey the room in curiosity before retreating. With the kidnapper taken care of, we look around to see the cat sitting by the door. We walk through and there we are again, in the circular room with the Times and Trials doors. We’re still not in our own bodies, but different ones now. Yannic says Kean thinks the cat is an avatar of the time god.

Intrigued by the Times door, Betha chooses the third door in the Present hallway. We enter a dining room of a nice, unfamiliar house. Fen pockets a figurine of a dragon. Someone’s humming in the kitchen nearby, and there’s a sound coming from behind a locked door. Of course, we investigate. Fen picks the lock, and we descend into a dark basement. The sound stops, we look around, and we see a large white dragonborn approaching us with suspicion. Failing to convince him that we’re harmless, we turn tail and barricade ourselves in an office. Yannic examines the bookshelves and finds a collection that seems to belong to a racist dragonborn. We escape back into the circular Times and Trials room. This time, Remi is in his own body! The rest of us are not.

Fen asks if we would help her punch her mentor, Vega. We agree, and she finds a door she recognizes as the door of the place they were staying in the forest. We go through and look for Vega, who’s left visible tracks leading into the forest. Fen remembers that Vega used to ambush her as part of her training. Betha fails to spot Vega before the elf gets the drop on Betha-in-Fen’s-body, but she does manage to punch Vega once. We retreat back to the door we came through as Vega shoots Fen a few more times with tomato-tipped arrows. When we return to the Times and Trials room, Betha and Fen are in their own bodies. Remi and Yannic are in each other’s.

We decide to try a Future door this time. We choose the third door on the right, which leads into another dining hall. This home is less well-to-do, and a peek outside reveals a very rainy day in a small farming town. There’s an incessant hum in the air, and shouting in the street. The people outside are running down the street, and in the distance, we can see a column of red light. The column is identical to the ones we’ve seen at exploding banishing towers.

By rifling through the papers in the house, we figure out that the date in this time/place is sometime between Fane 25 and Fane 27 (inclusive). The column of red light is moving erratically but getting closer to the town. The world seems to be stuck at sunset. We follow the cat onto a balcony to get a better view of the column of light. We see demonic creatures emerging from the column in an extremely organized fashion. In the distance, towards the southeast, we can see the outline of Gathering. We estimate the column will arrive at the town in about 20 minutes. We see no hyenapeople or terrifying frogs among the creatures. Fen calls upon Lester to confirm that Andraki’s creatures are not present. Lester says the frogs were told to stay away from towns. Not wanting to stick around for another apocalypse, we head back through the balcony’s door to the Times and Trials room. This time, instead of disappearing, the door stays in the wall behind us. Yannic and Fen are in their own bodies now, and Betha and Remi have swapped.

We investigate the third door on the left in the Future hallway, opposite the last door, and it opens on a library where a charred person rests in an armchair. We close the door and ask the cat for guidance. It leads us to the Present hallway, and to a door we recognize as Ondelin’s house’s door. The cat warns us that this will be observation only. When we step through, we’re in the clearing outside Ondelin’s home, and Ondelin is there, wearing a turquoise scarf. Andra is leading a discussion about a contraption they’re trying to create called MOL. The other two people there we don’t recognize: a blue celestial and a rugged, grizzled elf.

We try and fail to communicate with Andra and Ondelin. Remi tries to hold Ondelin’s hand, and other than a twitch, there’s no response or recognition. Fen messes with Andra’s cloak, which Andra feels and sees, but she mostly ignores it, not recognizing it as an attempt at communication. Betha tries writing and drawing on a piece of paper she drops multiple times in front of Andra and Ondelin. Andra catches the paper a few times and immediately forgets that she’s holding it. Yannic checks his email paper and sees that the recent exchanges with Kean are gone, and there are a whole lot of other messages in their place. He sits down to read the messages, and cries. Remi joins him after a while, to provide a supportive shoulder. Yannic writes something on the paper. The cat starts meowing at us to get back through the door.

Suddenly, Kean teleports into the clearing, looking around wildly for Yannic. Fen grabs the cat and hugs it, telling it to shush. Kean tells the others that Yannic is here, and Andra worries that her brother’s gone mad. Kean continues frantically looking for Yannic until he looks at the message paper. Then, he goes still, waiting. Yannic attempts to hug him, and Kean goes on waiting, apparently not feeling anything. Yannic gives up and writes on the message paper. After a while, Kean reads the paper and decries the unfairness of the situation. Fen attempts to steal back her diamond, but finds only an egg and a small emerald containing a person. She switches the two before Yannic tells her to stop bothering Kean. Andra tries to get Kean to rest, and after Yannic tells Kean via the paper that we’re leaving, we head towards Ondelin’s house. Right before we leave, Kean tells Yannic they’re going to bring us back.

The cat leads us to a door in the Past hallway, and as it passes through, it turns into a blur of a guy. We follow, into a bedroom, and he leads us onto a balcony. Outside, we see flying ships, ludicrously tall clear buildings, and private air balloons. The god sits down, and he invites us to ask our questions. He tells us that nothing like what we’ve done has ever happened before. We did indeed create a new plane or timeline out of an Orb of Annihilation, which was a terrible idea.

We ask how to fix it, and he tells us to kill the aspect running around, the one we call Nemit. If we don’t fix it, the planes/timelines will diverge and settle into two different realities. Nemit is another aspect of the time god and has its owns motivations. The aspect we’re interacting with right now is called Sandglass, or Sandy. The way the planes are sealed off from each other prevents whole gods from manifesting as themselves in the Prime Material Plane; they have to use a vessel. The other aspect took a human vessel, which is frowned upon. If we see Sandy around, he’ll be a cat wearing a purple bowtie.

We can jump between the planes/timelines by killing or misdirecting the ether, what we’ve been calling time ghosts. We can switch people between planes/timelines or destroy one version to bring over another. Two of the same person can’t exist in the same reality at once; if they were in the same time/space, things would unravel very quickly. There were other versions of ourselves in the second plane/timeline, but Sandy got rid of them.

When we’ve run out of questions to ask him, the god dismisses us, and we return to ourselves in Timeline 2.

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50. To the Tower Again and Back

We’re still in the Step Back Inn, discussing what to do next. Remi remembers that his dad is still around in Wheatfield in this timeline, and at the very least, he wants to ensure any siblings he might have are safe from Theminor. The rest of us endorse punching the guy too. Arctus is still missing, as are some of Yannic’s memories. We consider visiting the Lady of Learning again or seeking out the god of time, to learn about time travel and all of its attendant problems. Since we’re still in Floy, though, we decide to check on Morthred and Bob’s heart before heading to Wheatfield.

Remi uses Sending to ask Ondelin where he is, saying we could use his help. It takes a couple tries, but Ondelin eventually gives us directions to where the tower’s moved. We trek through the forest yet again, and when we get there, Ondelin seems relieved. After Remi asks him to, Ondelin attempts some kind of healing or restorative spell on Yannic to remove the last of the Modify Memory Keanvari cast, but it doesn’t work. Yannic thanks him for trying.

The party tells Ondelin they’re going to check on Bob’s heart inside the tower, and he asks to come along, because he’s never been inside. We all go in, except Yannic, who stays at the tower door to keep watch, just in case. Up in the top of the tower, Ondelin chooses a lever at random and pulls, opening the portal to the Feywild. Betha rushes over to close it, and Ondelin, feeling awkward, retreats back outside the tower.

Meanwhile, Kaiva and Fen are inspecting Bob’s heart, which seems to be beating slowly. Kaiva seems to want to cut the heart open post haste, so Fen quietly steals all the sharp, pointy things Kaiva’s carrying. Betha suggests that Yannic try scrying on Bob using the dragon’s heart, and he does, making faces the whole time.

When he attempts to scry, Yannic feels as though he’s pushing through jelly, but it works. He sees Bob in his golden dragon form in a strange windswept plain that looks an awful lot like Gathering might, if it didn’t have a hollow blasted into it. Bob is talking to someone – Eric Bridger. There are no overt signs of hostility or anger from Bob, but it’s difficult to tell when he’s in his dragon form.

The party convinces Kaiva not to cut into the heart immediately, and she tells the heart that she’ll be back. The party revisits their prioritized to do list. Betha shares the letter Andraki gave her before the battle royale and expresses worry about her family.

We leave the tower, closing the doors behind us, and we convince Ondelin to take a “vacation” from guarding the forest, just long enough to help us deal with an evil life-stealing wizard in Wheatfield. We reach Floy again around 10pm, but decide to head to Wheatfield for some recon before finding a place to sleep.

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49. We Actually Communicate???
Sometimes Badly, But Still

Fen wakes up from her tile-induced slumber, and we fill her in on what’s happening. We run in Jade’s tracks, hoping to stop her from killing Emit, and we arrive just as a slight time shimmer is fading midair. Betha sticks her hand into it briefly, but hesitates to jump through long enough for the shimmering portal to close. Sobren says he and Jade caught up to Emit, but he stepped into the air and vanished. Jade furiously hacks at a tree, angry that Emit got away. Yannic scrys on Nemit, but doesn’t succeed. It feels like he’s trying to push through a barrier of some kind, but it isn’t quite the same as cross-planar scrying.

The sun is beginning to set, but the barrier in the sky seems to make it darker and more muted. Fen talks to and hugs the tree that was damaged by Jade’s fury, and Remi and Betha use Mending to close its wounds. Fen promises the tree that next time, she’ll stop people from hurting the trees. In that time, the sun sets, and Yannic hears crashing in the distance.

We walk towards the sounds of crashing and shouting, and we find Sobren and Jade arguing. Sobren can’t see and wants to rest, but Jade wants to keep going. Remi convinces Jade that it would be better to rest, and Fen asks Jade to stop hurting trees.

Kean, seeing that Sobren is obviously a cleric, asks him to cast Greater Restoration on Yannic. He does so, and Yannic remembers the conversation he had with Keanvari, except for the end, which cuts off abruptly. The party convinces Kean that we should set up camp before questioning Yannic about this new information, so we head back to the hill over the cave we camped at the previous night.

Sobren immediately conks out, and Jade relaxes into sleep when she sees that the rest of us are actually setting up watches. After the two Banishers fall asleep, the party check in with Yannic, who shares that Keanvari asked him what he would do if had an hour without consequences. Yannic asked if Keanvari could reach into the other timeline to find Kean, which he did. They spoke, and Yannic apologized to that Kean.

Yannic attempts to cast Remove Curse to retrieve the last of his memory, but it doesn’t work. We discuss the plan to find a beholder, and we learn more about Kean’s beholder acquaintance, Jantrophix, or Jan.

At midnight, Fen and Betha take the first watch, which passes uneventfully. Yannic stays up, a little ways away from those on watch.

Kean and Kaiva are on second watch, which Kaiva starts by asking Kean about some correspondence she read in his binder. She tells him that she and other timeline Kean are good friends, it’s just that she never had the chance to ask him about this particular bit of information. Kean says he needed help with travelling, so he did some big magic, which required lots of materials. Kaiva asks how he knew the supplier, and Kean says he knows a lot of people. He elaborates that he chose this supplier because he’d heard about how discreet he was in his business with others.

Kean asks Kaiva what Yannic needed to apologize to the other Kean about. Kaiva demurs, saying she doesn’t like to get into others’ relationship issues. She tells him should talk to Yannic about it, especially since he loves Yannic. Kean is shocked, and leaves to finish his watch elsewhere.

At the end of their watch, Kean finds Yannic and wakes Remi. Remi, seeing that his BFF hasn’t slept, asks what’s wrong. Yannic says he doesn’t want to risk having nightmares. Remi offers to wake him if it looks like he’s having nightmares, and Yannic eventually agrees to try napping.

When the sun rises, there are no green explosions, and the barrier seems to be gone. Fen offers the party a goodberry breakfast, and Sobren and Jade leave, to go home.

Yannic tries scrying on Nemit again. This time, he sees Nemit talking to Ondelin, Kean, and Andra. The silver that had been swirling in his eyes is splintering into his skin now. The other timeline Kean teleports everyone, and Yannic’s vision is teleported along with the group. He sees a very big, fancy room with columns and gold leaf symbols all over the floor. Gadgets line the room. Ondelin continues to talk to Nemit, while the clones go out of Yannic’s sight to do something.

Yannic shares what he learned with the party, and we fret over the other timeline’s Ondelin, Andra, and Kean for a bit. We decide we should probably purchase better armor, and Kean tries and fails to teleport the group to Floy. We walk instead.

While walking, Kaiva approaches Kean to ask him about the murder room in Keyberry Ford. Kean is irritated by her line of questioning and tells her to stop.

Remi messages Kaiva to ask her what’s wrong. Kaiva explains how she was trying to ask Kean about the murder room in Keyberry Ford. Remi tells her maybe this isn’t the best time to ask. Kaiva asks Remi if he’s really okay with being a Banisher. Remi explains why he became a Banisher.

Remi messages Betha to discuss what he learned from Kaiva about the murder room. Betha says it wasn’t Kean who did those things in Keyberry Ford, since Kean was born much more recently. Remi shares this with Kaiva, who is still annoyed at Kean and the Banishers.

Seeing Kean walking by himself, Yannic joins him. Kean tells Yannic that he’s going to leave, but Yannic asks Kean to stay. He does, and explains that he’s upset because Kaiva keeps on poking at the bad things he’s had to do, the worst memories he has. Yannic asks if he can help, and Kean asks about his sister, Andra. Yannic tells him she’s a good person, and assertive and strong. Kean explains he’s trying to think of a way to resurrect her, since she might be dead when he finds her. Yannic says Ondelin would have helped last time, so he might this time if we asked.

When we get to Floy, it seems the teleportation system is working intermittently. The party heads to an armorer, and Kean, with Yannic in tow, goes to ask Kaiva if she really wants to talk. She says yes, so they walk out of town, Betha creeping along behind. Betha takes the opportunity to explain to Yannic why Kaiva’s so upset with Kean. When Kean stops, he looks around and sees Betha, who stares him down. Kean turns back to Kaiva and tells her that if he tells her, she has to agree to never ask him about it again.

Kaiva agrees, and Kean says none of what he did [in the murder room] was his choice, but he did it. Kaiva wants to know if it could happen again. Kean says he’s done everything in his power to prevent that from ever happening again. Kaiva says she’s worried about Andra, and asks if she was ever made to do things against her will. He says no. Kaiva asks how it happened, and he says they held the position before Callum came, in a time of great need, when the town was starving. Kaiva questions why the other Kean would have put the party there if things were so dangerous in Keyberry Ford. He says the Keyberry house is good and safe, but the rest of the town is not.

Conversation over, Kean walks back towards town, and Yannic catches up to him to tell him if he needs anything, let Yannic know. Yannic asks if Kean would rather be alone, and when he nods, Yannic clips off some of his hair for Kean to keep for teleportation. Kean leaves.

Kaiva and Betha rejoin the rest of the party in perusing armor options, while Yannic tries to scry on his mom. He fails, and feels like he was punched in the face by a blue sapphire wall. Everyone else buys some armor. Betha confesses that she knows where Fen’s missing diamond is.

At noon, after purchases have been made, the party regroups at the Step Back Inn and orders drinks. Kaiva asks Yannic about the Skinner, and encourages him to ask Kean about it. We talk about potentially finding Party Island and Arctus. Some of the Banishers explain to Kaiva why they joined the Banishers, and the party talks about how they feel about Gorloris’ status quo for the extraplanar system. Kaiva offers to punch a tree so Fen can fulfill her Banfey promise of protecting a tree. We begin to discuss the possibility of going back to the original timeline, and whether we’d choose to. (Fen says she would, to take back her diamond from Kean.)

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48. Chasing Emit

When the party regroups after shopping, Remi gifts Yannic with a pair of earrings to replace his missing earring. The group look for Sobren and Nemit and find Sobren and the green dragonborn Banisher directing traffic away from the teleportation hub. When he spots us, Sobren shouts and heads towards us, to ask what we know about Emit, whose full name is apparently Emit Niprawdnem.

Sobren describes how his Banishing Squad followed Emit to a house where he caused a vortex of glass, a tornado, that caused the explosion and killed Jade’s SO. After they dragged him out of the house, Emit hit them over the head and ran off. Sobren wants to find Emit and find out what is wrong with him, what he wants, and how he’s on his team. Remi discerns that Emit’s name is actually “mend warp in time” backwards. We tell Sobren that we don’t really know Emit, but there was a mass attack averted this morning which Emit wants to cause. Remi asks if Yannic can scry on Emit, and he agrees.

Sobren takes us to the administrative building, where a loose tile falls and knocks Fen unconscious. While Yannic scrys on Emit, Betha helps Kaiva tie Fen’s body to Kaiva’s back. By scrying, Yannic sees Emit in a dark cavern, covered in blood from the shoulders down, surveying goblin and wolf corpses. He appears to be making sure everyone is dead, and then he walks out of the cave that we previously rescued Bob from. Yannic also sees that Emit’s eyes are a constantly swirling silver. The two groups join to search for Emit.

Betha leads the expanded party towards the goblins’ cave. On the way there, multiple conversations are had via the Message cantrip. Remi, Kaiva, Yannic, and Betha discuss what Emit might be trying to do, and Remi explains to Kaiva what happened on Banfiend approximately 10 years ago. To Remi, Kaiva describes the lady who’d been looking for soulfire as being extraplanar and fey, maybe. When we’re a bit past Bob’s exploded house, we spot a flying horse in the sky, far off in the distance. It seems to be moving at a normal horse’s pace.

A little while later, we find the cave, and some footprints that lead westward into the forest, towards a river. As we track Emit deeper into the woods, the forest gets prettier and more manicured. We see a small house in a clearing, and Betha gets the sense that something is celestial about this place. After a rush to the house, it becomes clear that neither Ondelin nor Emit are here, though Remi does see that they have started heading north.

We follow their tracks for a while, and at 5:30pm, we notice the blue sky is becoming a darker shade of blue, despite it being Midsummer. The flying horse also seems to be much closer. During this leg of tracking, Remi converses quietly with Yannic via Message, voicing doubts about whether he and Ondelin should be together in this timeline. Yannic does his best to comfort his best friend.

By 6:30pm, the sky has become an even darker blue, and we see that we’re approaching the tower. Behind us, a big black horse seems to have landed and is just following, albeit slowly because of the shrubbery. When we get to the tower’s clearing, we see recently dead hyena people all over and Ondelin guarding the tower door. Emit is nowhere in sight. Sobren and Jade confront Ondelin, and Remi intercedes. Betha lets slip that they know Ondelin’s name.

Remi tells the other Banishers that this is the friendly celestial he told them about, and Sobren looks very relieved. Once we convince him that we’re not trying to prevent him from protecting the tower, Ondelin eventually indicates the general direction that Emit went off in, and Jade stomps off into the woods, Sobren following close behind. He looks as though he wants to wait for us, a bit, but keeping Jade from killing Emit is more pressing. Our party stays a while longer, so Remi can explain how we know him.

Remi explains about the time travel and that he and Ondelin were important to each other in an alternate timeline. Remi begins to tell Ondelin what he knows about him, and when he hums his favorite tune, Ondelin stops him. Remi waits patiently, as Ondelin tries to process this overload of information. The most pressing issue on Ondelin’s mind is whether or not he successfully protects the tower. Betha tells Remi that Ondelin might need some time to process, and that she does know how to find Ondelin’s home again. Remi agrees that they should follow Jade in her hunt for Emit, and Betha hugs Remi.

As soon as they step into the forest, the group finds themselves face to face with an awkward Kean. He’s come to examine Yannic’s new hand. He questions the party about how long Yannic was with Keanvari, and when we say five minutes, he exclaims that Yannic was there for an hour, because of how time dilation works between planes. Kean examines Yannic and discovers his head is covered in the enchantment Modify Memory. Worried about what Keanvari or Yannic might have said during an hour together on Banfey, Kean is intent on finding a beholder to nullify the magic.

We try to explain why we think it’s more important to find Emit first, and we explain about the time ghost ripples, how the clones and Ondelin were bound by the collars in the other timeline, and how Emit seems to know something about time. Looking around, we spot a ripple nearby, but Kean can’t see it. He tells Kaiva to touch it, and she does so by swinging her battleax. When she lands a hit, a large silvery Ondelin-looking figure materializes, finally visible to Kean, who just stares in shock. He stares long enough for Kaiva to hide behind him and for the creature to attack him. The party drags him away, and when we get about 30 feet away, the creature fades back into ripples. Betha heals Kean, and the party sits for a breather. Kean says he believes in time travel now, despite never having heard of it before.

We discuss other ways of getting information about time travel and how the ripples are happening. The Lady of Learning is suggested, as are Remi’s ghosts. We try to formulate some questions for a ghost, and Kean chimes in when we describe the ripples as time ghosts. We explain that they appear to be a weird mix of abjuration, transmutation, and necromancy. He says that’s what planar barriers are made of. He asks how for more information about how we time travelled, and we explain how we used an Orb of Annihilation to power the core and the way it sent out a few bursts of magical effects. Kean is horrified that an Orb of Annihilation was potentially the base for creating a new plane. Usually, special trees, rocks, or water are used.

Remi asks if there is anyone at the college doing research on time travel. Kean says that there is someone who is not at the college, but we don’t want to meet her. She’s known as the Skinner, and her appearance changes. She’s similar to Ondelin in that she’s on the cusp of godhood. She’s supposed to be dead, but it turns out that she can rise again. Kean also says there’s someone in Hell that might be doing that research. Bizzle is Keanvari’s resident researcher.

The party decides to continue in Jade’s path to hopefully confront Emit and prevent any potential worldwide explosions before dealing with Yannic’s head.

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47. Time Bites Back

While Fen sleeps amongst the leaves near Bob’s house, the rest of the party discusses visiting Hell so that Yannic can get his right hand back. They wait several hours, and at midnight, a bat-winged creature delivers a box containing a gatestone. The party all touch the gatestone and are transported to a freezing cold building, where Keanvari is waiting for them resignedly.

Keanvari asks Yannic what he’d like his hand to look like, but Yannic forgoes a cool pirate hand and asks for a mirror of his left hand. Keanvari says he can return us to where we were, but only one at a time. Betha goes first, taking a 20 foot fall from where the Rod of Security had created the paradisiacal bubble. Kaiva follows, as does Remi. A few minutes later, Yannic falls out of the air into a blanket, after apparently conversing politely with Keanvari.

Remi casts Sending to ask Fen, “Are you alive? Where are you?” Fen, in the midst of a dream about lots of gold, replies, “Go away, I’m busy!” An hour later, Fen hears a loud clatter and crash, but she goes back to sleep.

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It takes the party a couple hours after contacting Fen to find Bob’s house – or the remains of it. Bob’s house has exploded, and there are strange ripples throughout the clearing. Kaiva punches one, and it materializes into a pair of strange dark eyeless creatures with crystals around their waists and staves in hand. Betha, casting True Strike, senses that they are some kind of zombie creature, and having to do with time? Yannic uses Detect Magic, and discovers they read as being a strange mix of abjuration, transmutation, and necromancy.

The time ghost Kaiva punched into existence attempts to attack her, and when one of the attacks hits, they both disappear for 30 seconds. When they come back, they circle each other for a bit, freeze for 30 seconds, and then the ghost vanishes. The other time ghost moves through the same motions that the one fighting Kaiva did. The party backs out of the clearing, and look for Fen. Fen tries to cross the clearing, but she bumps into a beetle-spider time ghost that tears into her shoulder. She escapes the clearing, but not before bumping into another time ghost.

Remi attempts to speak with Bob using Sending, and he gets back a garbled and confused reply: I don’t know where I am. Fen asks the tree she’d been sleeping against for information about the explosion, and the tree lets her know Speak with Plants would be helpful, because it has a lot to say. Remi casts the spell, and learns that the some of the other banishing team were here earlier. After Bob ran into his house, the diviner had rushed into the house, and two of the banishing squad went in to drag the diviner out, at which point the house exploded and the time ghosts appeared. Remi remembers vaguely that the diviner, although he introduced himself as Emit (pronounced Emmett), was not named Emit while they were in school together.

Betha explains why she doesn’t want to ask Sivoreen if they can stay in the Feywild. Since it’s now past 2 in the morning, the party decides that the best way to avoid Soulfire is to walk away from Floy and the tower, southward, stopping halfway between Floy and Broadwater. Betha finds the hill over the cave where the goblins had taken Bob in the previous timeline, and the party hunkers down to wait for dawn. Slowly, slowly, the sun comes up over the horizon, and there are no green flashes of Soulfire in the sky in any direction. The party stays, watching, until 6am, at which point they decide that investing in some rope would probably be a good idea.

On the way back to Floy, they stop at Bob’s house, to see if it’s approachable. It is decidedly not, since there are many more time ghosts around now, including a large winged figure who appears to be carrying a flaming longsword.

The party skirts around Bob’s house and head into Floy, where they do a bit of shopping. Yannic buys a few vials and a pair of scissors. Remi locates a jeweler’s, where he purchases a locket to hold his scrap of Ondelin’s clothing. He also exchanges some of the gems from the Therris vault for gold, which Remi and Betha use to buy infinite rope at a general store. Fen and Kaiva have also gone looking for something to use as a Friendship Rope, so they ask around for ‘fancy rope.’ They’re directed to a sex shop, where a friendly salesperson walks them through much of the store’s inventory. They eventually leave after purchasing some lengths of silk rope and a pair of solidly-made manacles.

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46. Bitchslapped by a God

There are a whole lot of Andraki’s folk outside: hyenas, hyenapeople, and a large white once-a-hyena creature that has a scorpion tail and dripping pointy teeth. The hyenapeople batter at the door of the tower, to no avail. The party tries to convince Fen to get into the tower after testing to see whether living creatures can pass through the arrowslit windows. Fen argues that they’ll have to bring her in by force. As the party talks through the plan with Fen, Remi notices that there’s a flock of birds fast approaching.

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Then, the scorpion-hyena rushes towards the tower, and Remi and Fen spot the tiny green frog riding the creature. Remi quickly polymorphs Fen into a hummingbird as the scorpion-hyena starts scaling the tower. Betha tries some offensive magic on the creature, but it makes it close enough to the first window for the Andraki-frog to hop onto the windowsill, at which point Remi uses the Rod of Security to transport everyone inside the tower (except Andraki) to a paradisiacal version of the Therris estate.

Outside in the forest, Fen hides from the approaching birds. Andraki shouts as the birds swarm. One of the birds, a crow, finds and screams at Fen. In response, Fen flies onto its head to groom it. The bird suffers this indignity, and then all the birds stop flying and land wherever is closest.

In paradise, a crack appears several feet from Remi, and Andraki pushes through, in her divine form. Her skin is spotted, and she sports a pair of curled horns and a tail. After Betha fails to banish the demon goddess, Andraki draws her bow on Yannic, who asks, “What can we do for you?” Andraki has no reply and no humor in her expression, for once. Kaiva pulls out the glass sword, which is humming, and hesitantly steps toward Andraki.

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Betha casts Detect Thoughts on Andraki, and overhears a telepathic conversation between the twins. Andraki wants to kill everyone, and Keanvari would rather Yannic didn’t die. The goddess shoots Yannic’s right hand off with a bolt of painless black crackling energy, leaving a cauterized stump. The black staff he’d been holding falls to the ground, and Yannic screams.

Meanwhile, Fen continues to groom Keanvari’s crow self, and she hears him say, “I can be patient.” The birds fly off, and Fen attempts to get Keanvari to follow her to Bob’s house. He doesn’t.

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Yannic yells at Andraki, “You could have asked!!!” and Kaiva rushes towards Andraki, landing a blow on the goddess using Lord (Loch) Kasdall’s Blade. Betha overhears the twins agreeing to back off at the same time before Detect Thoughts ends. Andraki puts away her bow, slaps Kaiva, and leaves the way she came, leaving the crack hanging in midair.

Fen sees the bird on whose head she’d been sitting fly towards the tower, and she follows. The tower has a massive singe mark on the wall, and there’s a black crackling crack in the air, out of which a frog hops. The frog and bird begin to argue for some long minutes, and Fen eavesdrops.

From inside paradise, Betha watches the twins gesticulate angrily, and then there’s a flash of silver. The tower and its clearing have moved, and the twins along with it. The hyenapeople went with the tower’s clearing, and Fen, convinced everyone else is dead, tries to head for Bob’s house.

Those in paradise decide that it’s best to stay in the space created by the Rod of Security for at least the length of a long rest, so they set up watches. Remi and Yannic sit on watch together, and Yannic scrawls a note to Kean.

After being lost for a good hour, Fen reverts to her halfling form. She confers with a tree about the tower and her location, and then heads towards town by way of Bob’s house, to see if she can intercept Bob on his way home.

During the second watch, a pebble flies through the crack in paradise, hitting both Kaiva and Betha in the face. Betha pokes her head through the crack and sees a crow who offers her an envelope addressed to Yannic. She tells the crow she’s not going to wake Yannic up for him, but she takes the envelope. The crow leaves, slowly. Kaiva unsuccessfully tries to convince Betha they should open the letter before handing it to Yannic.

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In the forest, Fen has encountered Bob, and she explains the situation. The two walk back towards Bob’s home, drinking heavily from the bottles of alcohol Bob’s carrying in a large sack.

Upon waking, Remi goes in search of an oven, and he bakes up some beautiful bread. Betha hands Yannic the letter, and he reads it after breakfast. The letter is a formal apology from Keanvari for Yannic’s loss of a hand. He is offering to transport Yannic to Hell at midnight, so he can replace Yannic’s hand.

When Bob and Fen approach Bob’s house just before sundown, Bob stops just before entering the clearing. Andraki’s creatures are all over, so Fen and Bob hide among the trees for a while, drinking and waiting for sundown. Finally, Fen helps Bob sneak through part of the clearing so he can get to his house to hide the Last Laugh. Fen settles down for a nap in the leaves, hiding in plain sight.

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45. Froggy Fears Confirmed

When we arrive yet again in Floy, we see a group of four fancily dressed Banishers using the water-powered elevator to get to Upper Floy. One of the four spots us and makes grabby hand motions towards us before the apparent leader hauls him back onto the platform. Remi recognizes the one who saw us as a divination wizard from the university.

We wait for the elevator to come back down, and by the time we reach Upper Floy, the other banishers are nowhere to be seen. After some waffling about the best way to figure out where the tower is, we drop in the Step Back Inn, where Bob is busy drinking. We update him a bit, and ask him where the tower is. Bob says he didn’t bother finding out this morning, but we could wait until sunset.

We figure the other banishers are also headed to the tower, so we poke our heads out of the inn and hear everyone talking about the fancy looking people. We follow the trail into the forest, and Fen surreptitiously pops Lester out of his pocket dimension. As we catch up to the other banishers, we can see that every so often, they’re stopping and correcting their course, so it seems that they’re using the divination wizard’s magic to guide their way.

The leader of the other banishing squad is a 16 or 17 year old with a surly disposition, The diviner seems dumbstruck. The other two seem pleasant enough? The diviner stares and stares and stares at whoever in our group tries to speak to him. Their leader is impatient to get back to banishing whatever extraplanar beings are in this forest, but the diviner is fixated, seeing gods know what when he stares at us. He says that everything’s wrong, and that everything/one is doomed. He warns us that time will fight back.

Eventually, the diviner seems to give up and walks off through the forest, with the rest of his team trooping after him. We part ways with the other group, having decided that our goals are not exactly aligned – the majority of us don’t want to meet Andraki, and they seem to be tracking her (and a couple celestials) down. Before they leave, however, Remi manages to convince their leader that they should really be looking for fiends instead of the celestials. As they leave, we learn their leader’s name, which jogs our collective memory. The grumpy kid is Sobren, one of the children Yannic, Remi, Fen, and Betha saved approximately 10 years ago on Banfiend.

Fen and Kaiva turn to the trees for directions to the tower. It takes an hour or so, but we do find the clearing in which the tower is located for the next half hour. We enter the tower, closing the doors behind us, just in case Andraki’s out there somewhere. Once upstairs, we close all the portal doors. In Undercommon, Fen asks whether Morthred is in Bob’s heart, and she hears a faint murmur from within. Kaiva wants to free Morthred, but Remi and Betha argue that doing so could kill Bob. Remi offers a compromise: if the world goes to shit again, we can come back to free Morthred ‘cause it won’t matter anymore.

When the party gets back downstairs by the tower’s doors, they realize that there’s no way to unlock the doors from the inside. It takes 3 hours for Betha to use her strength and lockpicks to open the doors, only to find Andraki sitting right outside, in frog form.

Betha pulls everyone out of the tower, and she and Kaiva try to close the doors before Andraki can get in. Andraki casts Hold Person, paralyzing the two. Fen introduces herself and tells Andraki they know each other in a different future, hence Lester. Andraki is curious. It’s when Fen mentions Andraki’s needle, the Last Laugh, that Andraki really is intrigued. She marches us back into the forest to retrieve the needle from Bob’s house, but Fen lets drop that Callum might be around, courtesy of Kean and Andra perhaps. Andraki rushes off to see about that, exacting a promise from Fen that they will meet outside Bob’s house an hour before sunset so Andraki can be reunited with her needle.

As soon as Andraki leaves, we jog for the tower, to close the doors. As we approach, we find Andraki’s hyenapeople all over the tower. Fen sits this fight out, not wanting to cross Andraki. We sneak up, dispatch a bunch of them with some excellent spellcasting from Remi and Yannic, and manage to secure the tower. However, in the process of doing so, we shut Fen outside of the tower and lock ourselves in again.

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44. Breakfast at Gorloris'

A brief spot of retconning: there are many people about, beginning to party in anticipation of Banfey.

We approach the guards by the entrance to Gorloris’ residence to ask for an audience with Gorloris. Remi explains that it’s a matter of great importance, and that we have a token from Floyrian the dragon that says he believes us. We convince the guard that they should ask Gorloris whether he should see us, and they carry away Bob’s scale.

We join the other supplicants in waiting around this early, early morning. Kaiva goes to sleep, and Yannic heads towards his home to visit his parents. However, on the way there, he checks his text-paper, and sees he’s received a reply from Kean saying he wants to meet up outside Gathering. Yannic asks for a time and location, and receives the teleportation sigil he vaguely recognizes but doesn’t quite remember. He goes, and arrives in Gehenna, where Kean pulls him into a house to question him.

Yannic tries to explain what happened with the time travel and the future past. Kean believes that Yannic believes what he’s saying, but he’s convinced that time travel isn’t possible. Kean says that Yannic’s mom has gone missing; Yannic shows him the sapphire that his dead mom is in. Yannic mentions that Andra was present in the future past, and Kean wants the deets, stat. Yannic tells him what the Lady of Learning told Kean about where and when to find Andra, but also says that she was dead when Kean found her.

Despite his disbelief, Kean says he’s here to help. He doesn’t think that Gorloris will be able to help (neither does Yannic). Kean warns Yannic to be careful and not to trust people, especially not people who look like him unless Yannic verifies that they are actually Kean and not Keanvari. Yannic asks if he can hug Kean. It is awkward. (and so so sad)

Yannic returns to the party, and shortly after his return, he feels someone attempting, with great difficulty, to scry on him. It feels like Kean? So he asks Kean on the text-paper if it was him, and Kean says it wasn’t. Hardly anyone feels like sleeping after that, so a bunch of us take a point of exhaustion.

A couple hours before dawn, we’re told that Gorloris will see us, at dawn. As dawn breaks, we’re ushered into Gorloris’ home to the protest of everyone who’s been waiting to see him. We’re brought to a room where Gorloris is eating breakfast, and he greets us politely and asks us what we know.

As our spokesperson, Remi explains that we’re from the future – a future in which an extraplanar council was able to set off destructive soulfire explosions using the teleportation system on Banfey. We name the members of the council, and we also mention that we saw Arctus once, at the party celebrating the success of the extraplanar council. Gorloris immediately wants as much information about his son as possible, and he asks Remi to drink a super truth serum so that he can verify the truth of our information. Remi acquiesces. Once we’ve given as much information as possible about Arctus, Gorloris offers us breakfast and some of the super truth serum. Yannic asks if Gorloris could see about helping restore Yannic’s mom back to life, and Gorloris takes the sapphire containing Yannic’s mom. Gorloris leaves to prepare a response to the extraplanar council’s plans, though we get the impression that what he most wants to do is to find (and save) his son.

We eat, and upon leaving Gorloris’ home, we split into three groups: Remi and Betha to the Therris home, Kaiva and Fen to the post office, and Yannic to his home. We agree to regroup in an hour.

Yannic finds his home the same as when he left, less than 24 hours ago (in this timeline). His father plies him with food, and complains that Yannic’s friend stopped by and didn’t want to eat. He also asks if Yannic has seen his mom? Yannic says she’s unwell but safe with Gorloris at the moment. He then tries to convince his dad that as a banisher, he’s been gifted with prophetic dreams that say Yannic’s parents should leave Gathering City for a vacation for Banfey. Yannic’s dad refuses to leave without his mom. Yannic eats some more, then heads to the rendezvous point.

In the Therris household, Betha naps in Remi’s room while Remi goes to explain things to a considerably less sleepy Grandma Therris. All over the Therris house, there are queues of people looking busy and holding papers, some reciting speeches. Remi finds his grandmother in her office, and he explains that he really did travel from a future because of the core under Gathering City. She says that the core can do that, and seems to be more believing this time. Remi also shows her the letter that Andraki brought him from a dead Grandma Therris, and she’s glad to know that she’s happy in the afterlife. Remi also tells her that there’s someone special to him that he’d like her to meet, and she’s excited to meet him. Remi and Grandma Therris hug a bunch, then Remi collects Betha, and they too head to the teleportation circle nearest the Therris home.

Meanwhile, Kaiva and Fen have found the post office and a long line of people waiting to send mail. Fen, being her stealthy self, sneaks to the front of the line and presents her letter to the clerk, who tells her that, for 2 silver pieces, the mail may or may not be delivered to Vega “in the forest”. Having gotten turned around while looking for the post office, Kaiva and Fen aren’t sure where to meet up with the rest of the party. They look around for a bit, and decide to get a drink. Kaiva attempts to pay for a whole bar’s patrons’ worth of drinks with 1 platinum piece, gets a dirty look, and the two of them scamper. With fifteen minutes to go until the party is due to leave, Kaiva uses the Sending Stone to ask Betha where to meet up. Finding their bearings, they head over to the designated teleportation circle.

For a brief moment, in separate parts of the city, Yannic and Fen each see shimmering in front of them. Fen punches the shimmering thing, which goes, “Ah” or “Ow”. Passing her hands through the thing again and again, its consistency fades from jam back into empty air. Kaiva believes she might have gained magical powers.

Yannic quickly casts Detect Magic on his shimmery thing, and he learns that the shimmering is an old magic and a strange combination of abjuration and transmutation magic. It seems as though something was trying to change a barrier. It could be someone trying to get through planes and barriers, which is difficult in this pre-Boom Boom Day state of things, or it could be something old that’s stuck.

Kaiva and Fen finally find the others, and after Kaiva briefly tests her magical powers, we all teleport back to Floy, in hopes of finding the tower before it moves.

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