Sol'sora

42. The Gathering Core

We head down into the maintenance tunnels, following the stripe for the central control hub. Half an hour in, we feel the floor fall out from under us, by several feet. We pick up our pace, and 10 minutes after the quake, we begin to hear a regular thwomp thwomp sound, and we’re getting closer to it by walking/jogging towards the central control hub.

We start seeing damage to the walls and dead bodies, most of whom seem to have been smushed. The first person we find like this died about 1.5-2 days ago, and they were part of the conjuration clique. We begin to stealth our way down when we notice the bodies and the large footprints in the rubble. The tunnel starts to widen and get taller as the stripe on the wall grows thicker, and the bodies and scorch marks grow more common.

An hour into our jog, we hear footsteps behind us, and Mercury reveals herself sheepishly. She wants the Godkiller Kit. The party questions her motives, given that she sought out Keanvari last night, and she claims that she wants to protect us from the harm that would come to us if people wanted the kit badly enough to kill for it. She says that Keanvari does know we have it. In the end we decide not to give her the kit, and Mercury leaves, unhappy.

We continue on, reaching a hallway that curves around a circular room – the control hub. Peeking in past the stone doors, we see a large dome of a room with huge orbs floating by the ceiling. The largest orb is hovering several feet above what would be the center of the floor, if the floor were not a crevasse with lava at the bottom. (It would seem that feeding the core raw magic did not end all that well.) The orb in the center of the room is providing energy to the orbs on the ceiling. Also there’s a 20 foot tall and 20 foot wide stone golem patrolling the room.

Kaiva sets up a tripwire at stone golem ankle-height using the Friendship Rope. Remi and Kaiva approach the golem while everyone else hides behind a stone door, and Remi manages to convince the golem we are here to help restore power to the core to save Gathering from falling. He allows them to try, but he watches them very closely. Looking around the room, there seems to be a power socket just on the edge of the central orb that could be reached without having a hand chopped off by the rotating circular blades of the core.

After some consultation with the rest of the party, it’s decided that the best course of action is to have the golem lift Remi up to the power socket so he can insert the battery into the power socket on the core. Remi does so, carefully removing the Pokeball protective covers so the magical energy in the Orb of Annihilation can be absorbed into the core.

For a few moments, the core stops, and the whole of Gathering drops by about 15 feet. Then the core starts up again, and Kean says that maybe it would be good to get away from the core now that it’s recalibrating? So we make a run for the door, then Kean, when he says he’s readying a teleportation spell. The golem decides he doesn’t like taking falling or lightning damage in our presence, so he attacks us. The core turns everyone invisible except Andra and Fen (who are outside the room in that moment), which delays Kean’s casting of teleportation until we are all visible again. Just before Kean can finally cast teleport, the core sends out another blast of energy, and everything goes white.

When our senses return, we’re standing in the teleportation center of Floy, and a woman herding cows says, “So you’re the Banishers?”

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41. The Infuriating Realities of a "Long Rest"

Everyone settles in for a long rest, and the circlet-wearing people are asked to rest as well. In the process of asking Kean to get rest, Yannic critfails his intelligence save, and falls limply to the ground, twitching in extreme pain. Some healing helps, but it’s a little while before he’s back on his feet. In the meantime, Fen asks Andra to rest, and learns that Andra is furious and wants Fen to take the circlet off.

During the first watch, there’s a bit of a hubbub from the necromancy school, and Yannic and Remi sneak up at the beginning of second watch to find a bunch of scholarly type people arguing about methods. They return and relay this to the people on second watch before going to sleep. Kean falls asleep a little ways into the second watch. The rest of the night passes fairly uneventfully, interrupted only by Kaiva perusing Kean’s binder of message paper after he falls asleep and by a potential ghost sighting by Fen (not really). Also Fen attempting to draw a mustache on Kean.

Once most people are awake, Kean needs a few more hours of sleep to regain use of his spells, so the party uses the time to identify and divvy up the things we’ve retrieved from the Therris vault. When we’re ready to go, we realize Mercury hasn’t returned from sleeping at her own home, so we check Kean’s message sheet to see if she’s written anything. Fen writes a message and doesn’t see a reply, so Remi uses Sending to contact Mercury, asking politely if she’s going to come with us. Mercury replies, “I’m sorry. I should have believed you,” and Remi can tell that she’s on a different plane of existence.

Fearing the worst for Mercury, we decide to leave without her. Kaiva wears Andra’s circlet, instead of Fen. Yannic wears Kean’s, and Remi wears Ondelin’s. We reach the Supreme Magus’ office, Fen pockets a shiny bauble, and we head back down into the maintenance tunnels.

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40. The Therris Vault "Heist"

Fen, who’s just emerged from the tree, uses her tree monster form to clear the teleportation circle in the courtyard. A half orc lady protests, and explains that they’ve been using the rubble to try to keep the green fire (Soulfire) from coming through and killing people. After considering this and also her lack of options for fixing the teleportation circle, Fen permits the folk piling rubble on the circle to continue and instead splits off to find the rest of the party.

When Fen catches up the the rest of the party in the basement, Mercury is holding the circlet that controls Kean. Mercury puts the circlet on, wincing, to ask Kean some questions about potential solutions. She gets visibly frustrated with this method of communicating, and she tries to convince the party the best solution would be to simply call Keanvari to get all this straightened out. The party is hesitant, and they explain that Keanvari is hella scary and definitely evil, with no positive feelings for the group.

Disillusioned, Mercury says maybe Keanvari could be redeemed, perhaps with the use of a special pair of handcuffs she created long ago. This pair of handcuffs is stored in the Therris vault, along with some other items that, together, comprise the Godkiller Kit. The Therris vault has never been robbed, in 3000 years, which is why the kit was placed there. Aside from that kit, there might be useful gems and potions, as well as magical batteries that could potentially help with the efforts under the city. It’s possible to use the maintenance tunnels under the city to reach both other parts of the city and the maintenance and control hubs. The university’s entrance to these tunnels is in the Supreme Magus’ office.

The party splits, leaving a very sad Yannic with all of the collar-wearers and their circlets, while the rest head for the Therris vault via the maintenance tunnels. Using what they learned from the Lady of Learning, the party gains entrance to the tunnels, and they decide to stick together long enough to get a magical battery at the Therris vault before going down to the Control Hub.

They follow the stripe to the ladder leading to the Therris home, where Mercury casts a shielding spell to allow them to travel through the soulfire, if they hurry. Kaiva carries Mercury, and Fen and Betha hang on to Kaiva’s clothes, as they all rush through the deadly green fire. Halfway there, Mercury begins to slip off Kaiva’s back, but they all manage to keep her from her and everyone else falling. They reach the doors leading to the Therris vault, quickly get inside, and shut the doors against the soulfire.

Once inside, Remi leads the group through various security measures designed to trick or trap anyone who can’t interact with the ghosts commanded by the Heir of Therris.

Mercury elects to sleep in her own home, across the courtyard.

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39. Gathering and Mercury and Stuff

While Ulita stands guard, Fen’s mind is transported to another place, where the tree she’s touching still stands, and her old mentor is there too. It turns out Fen needs to prove that she can actually do what she promised the tree she would: protect the trees as the Scion of the Forest. Fen goes at her mentor, the last Scion of the Forest, with her bare fists and then the Friendship Rope, while her mentor grows into a tall tree with a long reach and a hefty wallop. Although she takes being a treant for a test drive, Fen fails the test, however she’s left with a knife on her hand that can take her back to fight her mentor anytime she wants, until she succeeds. She’ll also be allowed to take allies with her in the future.

Meanwhile, in the courtyard of the university, the other party members are fending off people seeking food. Among the many people, Remi spots someone approach Kean and whisper in his ear, before they dart off. Remi tells Yannic, who asks Kean who that was: it turns out she’s Mercury, and she wants to save Kean. Kaiva distracts the crowd with strips of jerky while the rest of the party sneaks into the College of Arcane Magic. (Andra needs to be dragged along and or carried because Fen has her circlet, though she’s not wearing it during her fight.)

Once inside, the party sees a whole lot of people rushing around, trying to solve problems. Also there’s a whole lot of people running toward the necromancy department, which is unusual. Yannic guides everyone down to his old professor’s office in the basement, which is empty of people and most useful books. Once there, Yannic tells Kean to contact Mercury to see if she can help. After some ineffective communication, Mercury arrives. She’s a late-middle-aged elf who’s worried about her teacher.

Remi explains what’s going on with the circlets and collars, and after learning that Kean is not actually Keanvari, who was her teacher many years ago, Mercury expresses doubt that a clone could accomplish what Keanvari could, to take the collars off. Mercury explains what the people in the university are doing to keep the worldwide teleportation system going, and the party shares that Gathering will likely fall by the end of the next day. There’s some discussion about how the party could potentially help with anything, anything at all.

Throughout the discussion with Mercury, Yannic has been putting the circlet on and taking it off, with varying levels of pain/consciousness.

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38. Teleportation Maintenance

Finally, we arrive at the promised time: Betha calls Sivoreen. Sivoreen, probably still nursing a few bruises from her last visit, appears on the edge of town, and agrees to talk with Kean about what potions might be needed. Yannic, meanwhile, asks Kean what sort of good things he wants Yannic to make him do. “I don’t know,” says Kean. “That’s the whole point.”

An incredibly long and circuitous potions talk ensues, the upshot of which is that we need 3 potions of level 8 or higher, which Sivoreen will help us obtain. The conversation ends with Sivoreen in possession of the Potion of Lots of Stuff and in pursuit of the other two, with us holding a Potion of Invulnerability that we’re not allowed to use. Ulita is distraught at how bad everyone is at negotiation, but they were hiding and couldn’t speak up for fear of being removed from the whole scene.

Kean says that he usually gets ahold of gems by going to rich people’s houses and being scary at them and then asking for them. Ulita immediately volunteers to rob some rich people, and somehow it shakes out that Ulita, Remi, Fen, and Kaiva will rob the Therris house for some shinies. Only the teleportation circle is down for scheduled maintenance.

Remi and Betha forage for food, coming across a deer that dies in front of them and sparks an incredible discussion about how to preserve what we can’t immediately eat.

Kean suddenly gets up and goes to sit by Yannic, taking his hand and telling him that everything’s going to be okay, and starts putting the Cuddle Moves on our warlock boy. We’ve figured out how long it takes for Yannic to start subconsciously mind-controlling him, y’all, and it’s creepy as fuck.

Andra’s gripping her circlet hard enough to draw blood, and Ulita puts it on to see if she needs to have hers worn to keep her okay. Only, Ulita goes blank instead, going into Puppet Mode. Betha rips the circlet off their head and Ulita faints, head smoking, muscles twitching like they’ve just been struck by lightning.

Later on, another huge-ass column of red light flashes up. “But all the Towers have already been destroyed!” you say. Yup. So Betha, Ulita, and Kaiva hop through a teleportation circle drawn by Kean to a shithole city Ulita knows near where the column was, Gehenna. (Yes, that Gehenna.)

Gehenna is a shitty mining town, producing fellstone (used to make the Shadowfell, back in the Before Times). The three snoop through the town, which is in a big hole in the ground on the third level of the Hollow, and peek their heads over the top to see a biiiiiiiiiig fuck-off army of demons and various nasties. There are chainghouls and zombies, and really really pale people with bat wings, and all sorts of other shit.

Having gathered information, the Investigators Three snoop back to wait for the teleportation circle in Keyberry Ford to stop repairing itself. Ulita finds a couple of books in the abandonded house they hole up in, and around 6:30pm Remi sends a message saying that the circle’s back on.

The Investigators Three snoop back towards the circle, except Betha trips, triggering an epic footrace against a chainghoul and a particularly threatening-looking pale person in a hood. Ulita manages to impress said person by casting Silence on them and interrupting their spell, and then pisses them off by doing it again next round. Eventually, though, the three make it to the teleportation circle and zap to Wheatfield, and then to Floy, and then back to Keyberry Ford, in hopes of shaking off any pursuers. And that’s where we ended!

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37. Draw a Dick on a Tree

We tentatively lift up the edge of the curtain, eyes half-closed, to see that nope, we’re still in that hella sad moment, Remi and Yannic cuddling while Yannic’s face leaks all over the place. While this is going on, Fen re-summons Lester and stores him in a pocket dimension for safe-keeping, and Betha retcons her own history to clarify that Kean doesn’t need a particular potion, just a very strong one. Fen draws facial hair on Ulita while they sleep. Eventually, Yannic falls asleep, and Remi puts Ondy’s circlet onto his golden head.

Betha dithers for a million years on whether or not to call Sivoreen for help; Kean says Keanvari would technically be a stronger potioneer to call, but, no. Also, Kean knows wayyyyyy too much about Ulita for his own comfort, but no, they’re not a danger.

What is a danger is the fact that Andra’s been asleep for coming up on 24 straight hours, and her pulse is verrrrrry slow, and it takes a lot of shaking for Betha to wake her up. Turns out the circlet is a Sometimes Food, and too much of it results in Badness. (Ondy, who can’t physically sleep, just gets more puppet-like the longer he has his own on.)

Remi tries to start a heart-to-heart with Kaiva, and then tries to restart the flowcharting, but now that they have a bunch of answers from Kean, the ghosts really aren’t necessary, so they hold off. Remi switches his attention to Fen, complimenting her artwork on the sleeping Ulita, and eventually the two of them go outside to ask Remi’s tree friend if Fen can draw a dick on it. The tree acquiesces, and also reveals that while they were all gone, there was a SWARM of hyena people all over town, rebuilding the house and looking for something, most likely.

During dinner, the sleepers are woken up and Ulita grows more and more confused as they learn more and more about their new friends, starting with Remi’s revelation that everyone there (save Ulita and Yannic) has died at least once. Ulita just starts taking notes on their arms and hands, and also has a very illuminating side conversation with Fen, who is very annoyed that no more shinies will be forthcoming from Kean, it seems.

Watches! Ulita and Betha take the first watch. The night is still unsettlingly calm (as the days have been), and Ulita takes advantage of it to go through Fen’s belongings, find the big-ass diamond Kean gave her, and slip it back into Kean’s pocket for later. During the second watch, Remi and Fen bond talking about bears. It’s fucking adorable is what it is.

In the morning we resume Question the NPC Time. Kean says he could restore Ondelin and Andra but not himself, and Andra could finish restoring him but not start the process. Also, this whole soul-life split thing means that Kean does, in fact, have a soul, a fact that he is emosh about, and so are all the rest of us.

Due to Ulita’s redistribution of wealth, Kean has two diamonds on him that it is safe to use, and one that is less so (there’s a person in it). He knows where to get more. Ulita goes sleuthing all over town and finds a lovely pearl necklace but no gems; Fen sends Lester hop hop hopping away to find some more shinies. We end at 6:30am, on the day Betha reluctantly agreed to call Sivoreen and ask for help.

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36. Questionably Effective Flowcharting

We pick up at sundown (roughly 8:30pm) at the teleportation circle, exactly where we were when Andraki snatched us. Seru bolts immediately, disappearing into the woods; ten minutes later, Tiny appears with letters in his mouth, addressed to each member of the party. Seru has decided to leave the group.

As the sun goes down, the traumatized party troops back to the castle to wait out the night. Betha and Remi herd Andra and Ondelin along; they will not walk on their own, but will catch themselves before falling, so there’s a lot of sharp tugging involved, but they all make it eventually. Yannic puts Kean’s circlet on and tells Kean to come to him; Kean is so far away that the connection is faint, and he can’t be more specific than that until Kean comes closer.

They set up watches for the night, but only Remi and Fen manage to sleep, and there is a god-induced unnatural calm in the area besides. They decide to ask Remi’s ghost friends about the whole mind-control situation, and also discover that the diamond on the collar around Ondelin’s neck more or less is Ondelin, minus a bit – that missing bit is in the diamond dust on the circlet, and is heavily enchanted (some sort of Raise Dead spell).

They put Andra’s circlet onto Andra’s head, to see if that completes the circuit. It sort of works; she starts moving, nodding twice and then responding to yes or no questions put to her in the same manner (she can’t speak, but she knows what’s happening; she can walk or run if necessary; she’s not acting of her own volition; she’s not undead).

Remi and Kaiva decide to act as emissaries, sending a Sending to Lone Wolf to ask for help. She is Displeased With Them, but agrees to help in exchange for, you guessed it, a Planar Blade. Kaiva, Remi, and Ondelin (and maybe Fen? Idk if we ever explicitly said one way or the other) head to Wheatfield to talk to her. Wheatfield is mostly still standing, a little worse for wear.

Lone Wolf agrees to examine Ondelin and put off claiming the Planar Blade until she manages to help the three puppet people, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like she can. They were probably killed and split during their resurrection into the two diamond pieces (the life is the collar diamond, the soul is the circlet dust). Only a few people she knows of could manage to either cast this sort of magic or undo it, not counting gods. One of those people is dead, and one of them (she implies) is Keanvari.

The party reunites in Keyberry Ford. Andra is slightly more animated than she was, but doesn’t report feeling any differently when asked. Kaiva decides to Be Brave and Repress Her Feelings by fully investigating the rooms in the castle they didn’t explore before. In the tiny room off the kitchen that isn’t the meat locker, she finds a few beds, a pair of mostly-shattered glasses, some cloth, and the lock on the kitchen-side of the door. Also, the knife setup in the kitchen exactly matches the knife setup in the little Keyberry house. Dun dun dun.

Three days pass in this manner, Fen controlling Andra to make her keep watch (and Andra manages to sleep during this time, which neither Ondelin nor – we are soon to discover – Kean have done). Yannic and Remi have some Bro Talks and Cuddles, and then Kean is close enough for Yannic to tell him to teleport.

Kean immediately teleports to Keyberry Ford, walking up to Yannic, inadvertently knocking the figure clinging to his back onto the ground. The figure identifies themself as Ulita, and says they’ve been traveling with Kean the past few days, because they found him a catatonic hot nerd just standing, and then he started walking? And that was weird, so they went along. They ask a ton of questions (accidentally provoking Yannic’s ire as they go), eat, and then immediately fall asleep, because the only rest they’ve had over the past four days is what they could snatch while koalaed onto Kean’s back.

The newcomer asleep, it’s time for a Team Meeting! Kean gets to wear his circlet and can answer questions. He’s capable of fixing what’s been done to them, but he lacks the materials – specifically, he needs himself. Yannic gets him some paper and he draws a flask, a jar, and a gem, and then tells Yannic to put the circlet on.

Now mind-to-mnd, Kean has more communication ability, and tells Yannic that they need an extremely powerful potion (possibly specifically the potions from the royale? that was a bit unclear to your faithful chronicler), to distill it down (hence the jar), and a gem to replace the diamond in the collar.

Yannic, slightly overwhelmed, just keeps apologizing and takes the circlet off. As it goes, he hears Kean’s voice in his head, clear and fully Kean, say, “It’s okay.” We end on Yannic having a good cry in his best friend’s arms.

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35. Y'all. I just. Y'all.

Here we go.

We can tell we’re not in our usual plane by the sky. It looks like an oil spill, random colors across black, and the light comes from a bunch of temporary exploding suns. The walls are 50ft tall, and there are towers and an enclosed triangle in the center. The potions in the walls are constantly changing colors. Kaiva is asleep in the corner, taking a little longer than the rest of us to come to.

The hyena man starts in on the closest – Fen – and while he’s whaling on her, Betha and then Seru get a look into that triangle. Kean, Andra, and Ondelin are standing inside, lifeless, collars like Arctus’ around their necks. There are circlets hanging on the wall by each. The Needle is resting on a table in the center.

The hyena man, Mr. Flint, is dispatched after a couple of rounds of Betha’s lightning. Fen casts Rope Trick and disappears, disqualifying herself from the competition. At this point, Kaiva stirs and wakes up, and promptly attacks Betha because those are the rules, after all.

Remi summons a spirit from his ring, and learns that taking the collars off will likely kill the wearers. There may be a way (not necessarily a spell) to undo things, but it’s beyond us right now.

Each circlet has a cheery “Wear me!” sign next to it. Seru puts on Andra’s circlet, and finds a blank husk, a bare shred of personality awaiting orders. Seru tells the rest of the party that it’s mind control, and Betha, accepting the inevitable, walks into Seru’s Moonbeam. Between that, Seru’s warhammer, and Kaiva, she’s gone quickly enough, although not quickly enough for her preferences.

By now Yannic has put on Kean’s circlet. Kaiva, getting into the spirit of things, grabs the Needle and stabs Seru with it, dying instantly. Before Seru can react, though, Yannic orders Kean to attack her; he Fireballs her, killing and disintegrating her immediately. He tells Kean to kill Remi gently, and Remi dies with a vision of Ondelin coming in for a hug.

Andraki, a bit bored by this whole affair, gives Yannic the slow clap and asks what he wants as a prize. He asks for everything we were promised at the beginning, and for Kean, Andra, and Ondelin to be put back where they were, alive and fine. Andraki complies, and we all wake up back in Keyberry Ford, sans hyena men – well. Not Kean, he wasn’t there when we were taken. But everyone else is. Alive, and physically fine, collars still around Andra’s and Ondelin’s necks, their circlets clasped in their hands, Kean’s still on Yannic’s head. Their faces are blank.

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34. Daddy (Clothing) Issues

As the party gathers to consider who they just killed and what the hell to do now, Remi and Ondelin begin an intense, serious-looking conversation, that gets cut off by the Therris ring spitting out cobwebs and covering Remi in them, rendering him immobile and nonresponsive.

Some poking at the silvery stuff reveals that they are the souls in the ring, and they’re nonhostile and trying to communicate. Ondelin plants himself down next to Remi and cuddles him through the cobwebs.

Seru tries to have a Feels Talk with Kaiva, which goes about as well as Feels Talks ever do with Kaiva. Instead, they go treasure hunting, looking for diamonds in the castle and then in the still-smoldering remains of the Keyberry home. No diamonds turn up, but the teleport circle is sparking again.

The party hides in the castle, Seru on watch with a Sending stone to call the others, Yannic and Fen hidden in an alternate dimension. Out of the teleport circle comes a swarm of hyena people, set on one purpose – to rebuild the family home. They don’t seem to be getting along well with each other, but matters are progressing when Andra teleports in at roughly 8:30am, steaming mad. Apparently Yannic responded badly to one of Kean’s texts.

A few of the hyena people break off and go after her. She hides, and Fen summons her familiar, now named Lester, to distract them. He does so by trying to seduce them. RIP Lester, until Fen summons you again.

Andra makes it to the castle and starts laying into Yannic for taking Kean for granted, but the hyena people have been Made Aware of Our Presence, and that discussion needs to be tabled for a later date. There’s a hole in the wall in the second basement that the party slips out of, and then it’s Footrace Time to the teleport circle.

A good number of the party make it, but Ondelin, insisting on carrying Remi instead of letting Tana do it, is incredibly slow, and eventually just throws Remi’s still-unconscious body 30 feet towards the teleportation circle. (He was roughly 100 feet from the circle at the time.)

All the while, a familiar-looking black ooze has been forming by the hyena people, and after Remi has been tossed, Andraki steps out of the ooze and throws a handful of dark energy at us. The world goes black, and we open our eyes to chanting, and an arena. There’s a cart going around a circular track, a very large hyena man, and something we can’t see in the center.

The rules are thus: The last person standing gets a prize. If the last person standing is one of our party, we’re all restored to life, no harm done. If the last person is the hyena man, we’re all peppered for this world. If there is no one left standing, we’re all perma-dead. There are three unidentified sparkling potions, one in each of three walls, and there will be environmental actions as well.

Let the games begin!

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33. The Five Stages of Grief

Lone Dragon figures out that Seru has figured out that she’s not a pale excitable elf woman, but in fact an actual, literal dragon. She throws up a Wind Wall and runs out of the house. Seru teleports out after her.

LD throws up a Zone of Truth around the house, affecting everyone but Seru (out of the house) and Yannic (who shrugs it off). She asks if the party was responsible for the death of Floyrian. Remi gives the party’s honest answer, which is “eh? We’re not really sure, to be honest.”

Shockingly, this is insufficient, and LD then asks if the party sent Floyrian to his doom, revealing that she’s tracked them long and far. The more persuasive folks try to convince her that he went willingly, but despite the Zone of Truth, she doesn’t believe them. Betha detects her thoughts, and gets a shit-ton of grief and rage.

Fen finally frees her frog familiar from its pocket dimension and sends it to tell Andraki that Fen might be about to die. Yannic texts Kean that he’s looking forward to their date on Thursday and also we’re all under attack from a dragon?

Seru runs around the side of the house and sees a big ol’ gold dragon, roughly 20ft long, who grabs her, flies her up, and drops her like last week’s chain mail. LD then flames on the house, knocking Betha and Remi unconscious. Remi pops up to 1 hit point due to Ondy’s forethought, and Ondy wakes Betha up. Oh, and Yannic sees a blob appear under the table in the house, and it’s growing!!!!

At this point the wind wall is gone, and the whole party moves outside, officially Frightened by LD and watching the roof cave in. Despite the fear, they’re throwing what they have at LD and doing some visible damage. Andraki (the blob) finishes materializing, turns her Planar Blade into a chair, and settles in to watch the show.

Remi pops out his own Planar Blade dragon, who attacks LD, bringing her down far enough that Seru can finish her off with a shot from her Planar Blade Crossbow. Hooray!

Only, closer inspection reveals the family resemblance – this was Bob’s daughter, roughly 700 years old. Seru takes two scales and wanders off to call her deity to head off a crisis of confidence. It doesn’t go super well, although he’s not mad. (About the dragon. He’s still very mad about the Keanvari thing.)

The only place we deem safe enough to rest and heal is the room in the castle containing the remnants of Callum’s statue, and we hole up there to lick our wounds. fin

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