Sol'sora

Session 0.5 - "Stranger Danger"
The Ten Years Ago Prologue

Setting: The great Gorlorian Empire, ruled by the immortal Gorloris the Magnificent. When the world was younger, he banished the chaotic forces of fiends, fey and celestials to other planes of existence and sort of made the world the way it is now. Today is Ban Fiend, the day everyone celebrates the banishment of the fiends.

A group of kids (age 10-13) have won the worldwide lottery to take part in the traditional Ban Fiend haunted house/dungeon experience in the glorious capital city of Gathering. The group consists of (if I remember correctly) two halflings, Fen and Pruaga; a gnome called Betha; a human called Yannic, and a half-elf called Remi. We were grouped together by arrival time, and waited for our turn to enter through one of many doors carved in a cliff face. And then we waited some more, watching kids be ushered in and come out. Finally an adult comes to us, welcomes us and and lets us in one of the large iron doors.

We’re in a stone 30 by 30 by 30 ft room. Magical lighting, otherwise seems empty. Pretty quickly one of us (was it Fen?) finds a secret pressure-activated door, and is whooshed onto the other side. The others find the door too and go through. I think we were already holding hands at this point.

We come to a stone hall with a stream of water running through it and a door on the far side. Some of us can swim, others can’t. Two go across, one swimmer helping one non-swimmer across. On the other side they find a rope under a hollow fake rock. The others cross over the stream with help from the rope. We take the rope with us and continue on.
Going through the door, we come across a rack of weapons: wooden swords, shields, slings, a couple of amulets that feel nice and warm, and two smallish books, a golden and black one. For some time we debate what each of us should pick up, and then move on.

In the next hall there are beautiful mosaic arcs set into the floor, with a door at the far end. Hand-in-hand we start walking over the first one, and a bunch of goblins appear in the room and hail of arrows shoots at us. Only Pruaga is hit, but we stop anyway.

Fen discovers strange round holes in the walls, and jumps over the next mosaic curve to examine one. Sticking the wooden sword doesn’t seem to do anything. She holds her shield up and steps on another curve, and the arrows come again. This time Betha is hit with an arrow… but as it’s pulled out, the wound feels warm and closes.

We also discover that the goblins that sprung up are fakes. Fen sticks an arrow into one of the round wall slots and the next time we attempt to cross a mosaic curve, the arrows don’t come. Using of shields just in case, we manage to all get across to the other side of the room.

In front of the door is the bloody body of a man. By his clothes and the mask he has, we know he’s supposed to be at the end of the adventure, pretending to be the fiend we’ll eventually banish, but he’s been recently bludgeoned to death. He has a couple of keys, rope anchors, and a little money. We go through the door.

In the next corridor we start hearing the sounds of children screaming. We round a corner and come to a great big pair of doors.

Someone figures out to try giving the amulet Betha took from the armor rack to Pruaga, and her arrow wound closes too.

We crack the door open and peek in, and the lights that were in the room go out. Remi, with darkvision, sees into the hall: unlit braziers, a platform, a great big throne – the usual look for the final room of a Ban Fiend haunted house… Except that there’s a horrible many-headed mass on the floor, and a dead child, as well as a child tied to a wooden table in front of the throne, and a strange man, and a bunch of kids tied up in the corner, screaming.

The horrible writhing mass starts for the door. We go into battle mode. Even though not everyone sees into darkness we manage to dispatch the horrible monstery thing which disappears. The man still remains, and he’s pretty clearly evil. He lights a brazier, and after everyone’s entered the room the rest of the braziers light up too. Betha and Yannic go for the child on the table and those tied up in the corner, while the others attack the man. He goes down, in flames.

The other children seem to be too young for this particular pretend-dungeon. The child who had been on the table has a necklace of a silver head on on a black background: the symbol of Gorloris the Magnificent. His name is Sobrin (sp?) and he tells us the man who we just killed was supposed to be his friend and they were supposed to rule the world, but that once the man killed one of the other children, the boy started feeling the friendship was of questionable quality.

We know that demons can be summoned by killing people, and deduct that that’s what happened here with the dead child and weird monstrosity.

We release the other children, and after a couple of halflings sit on the throne, another pressure door opens. We and the other children go through, with Remi carrying the dead child. When we get out the other children’s parents come get them, but no one seems to acknowledge the dead child… until an old woman appears. She thanks us for doing what we could, and tells us if there’s ever anything we need, to call her, she will. Then she takes her grandchild away.

We alert the organizers of the event to what had happened, and guide a bunch of them back through the rooms to see the dead bodies. They’re very concerned. We’re all awarded 100 gold, and eventually we all go back home, most likely horribly traumatized for life.

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1: Finding Bob

To keep the peace in the Gorlorian Empire, it is necessary to continually banish the now extraplanar entities (e.g. fey, demons, celestials, fiends, etc.) that occasionally slip through the cracks/tears between the planes. If things stay in the material world, the cracks get bigger and bigger creatures can get through from the other side(s). Part of banishing creatures involves disposing of the bodies properly.

There has been an influx of extraplanar reports since Prince Arctus (son of Gorloris) disappeared approximately 10 years ago. To respond to all of these reports, everyone available (or vaguely interested in banishing) is being called upon to scout for trouble. Banishing Squad #446 was assembled out of the closest available banishers. Squad #446 consists of some of the newest and lowest-level banishers, but all hands are needed. The squad’s orders are to investigate the claim of extraplanar activity. It sounds as if the “activity” is normal mischief and not extraplanar, but if the squad does find anything extraplanar, orders are to report the activity to the nearest authority immediately.

The individual members of Banishing Squad #446 are given their first mission, and they each teleport into Floy’s travel station all at once, from different places. Remi, Fen, Yannic, and Betha all recognize each other from 10 years ago and discover they are the banishing squad sent to investigate the report of extraplanar activity in Floy.

An unimpressed halfling woman herding cows through the transportation station meets them. Although she is skeptical of their status as banishers, she sends them to Bob, who can be found in the tavern in Upper Floy.

–Meanwhile–

At the tavern, a mysterious woman privately asks Kaiva to retrieve some stolen goods. She can provide very few details about the burglary, but the bottles contain something very green and very dangerous. When the woman says she will pay 100 gp for each returned bottle, Kaiva agrees to retrieve the stolen goods. However, the woman spots the banishing squad approaching the tavern, and she flees. Kaiva returns to the tavern to tell her companion about the task at hand. To avoid the banishing squad, Kaiva and Seru leave the tavern to track down the strange woman for more information about the theft.

When the banishing squad reaches the tavern, they find no Bob and a server at the tavern who is very worried about Bob’s wellbeing. The squad learns that Bob is essentially the mayor of the town, but no one has seen him since the day before. He is the one who called for the banishers’ help.

—-

Kaiva and Seru have been knocking on doors, asking for information about a theft and about a strange woman passing through town. Finding no leads, they head back to the tavern to ask where stolen goods might be fenced. The barkeep tells them to talk to Bob, whose house can be found by following the signs pointing to Bob’s house.

The banishing squad shakes down the barkeep after Kaiva and Seru leave, and he tells them he told the other two to look for Bob. The squad sets out for Bob’s house as well, keeping pace behind the half orc and dwarf. The house is about three hours away from Upper Floy, and the two groups walk there in awkward tandem. Partway into the forest, they hear someone shout for help. Everyone runs to investigate, and they all see an old gnome being carried off by goblins.

During the ensuing skirmish, in which they all try to rescue the old gnome, Bob is carried off by one of the goblins, and the party manages to capture one goblin alive. Under threat of violence, the goblin divulges little, but when he is promised some healing and safe passage, he agrees to guide the party through the woods to the cave where Bob has been taken. When asked what the party might find in the cave, the goblin says there are about 20 more goblins, and a thing. He is very frightened of the thing, whatever it is.

When led to the cave, the party releases the goblin. The two groups ascertain that they both want to save Bob, whatever their reasons. The entire party stealthily approaches the cave’s mouth together. After some fumbles with magic, the party successfully kills all the goblins standing guard outside the dark cave, and they breathe for a moment before proceeding into the cave.

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2: Goblin Cave

The party heads into the cave, leaving Remi to guard the entrance. Seru leads the party, following a stream that runs through the cave. The sounds of snarling can be heard from the top of some stairs to the right of them as they continue to follow the stream, only three members of the party, Betha, Kaiva, and Seru able to see in the darkness as they make their way farther into the cave.

The three members that are able to see spot a Goblin keeping watch on a bridge high above the steam, Betha firing her crossbow at them, killing them before they are able to alert anyone to their presence.

The group continues on, eventually coming across some movable walls blocking off the stream. There Kaiva finds more Goblins, the party going into battle while Yannic and Fen hang back unable to see. Betha eventually casts light, making the cave light enough for the two to join the fight.

A Goblin manages to run but is presumed dead after it runs in the direction of the angry snarling.

Seru and Kaiva find a chest of cold and a jade frog ornament (statue?) with gold eyes, Betha is able to determine that the chest of gold is enchanted and of Fey origin.

The party heads towards the bridge the first Goblin was on and cross it, heading even deeper into the cave. The farther away from the stream they get the more they are able to make out the sounds of angry/violent shouting in the distance.

They eventually reach another cavern where they find Bob being held by the large Goblin at the top of a cliff, the Goblin yelling at the Gnome to tell them where the key is. Betha sends firebolt at the Goblin, the party once again going into battle. As Seru attacks the Goblin, Bob is thrown off the cliff they were standing on.

Betha tends to Bob as the rest of the group continues to fight, the Goblin making a run for it only to have his escape blocked by Kaiva.

The party are then left to face the monster that is left in the cavern, a large creature with the head of a hyena and the body of a human. Such as creature was created by the Fiends before they were banished.

The monster manages to hit Seru with a spear and she is able to heal herself. The monster is eventually killed by an arrow through its eye.

The creature falls to the ground, dead, and its body slowly starts to disintegrate. Yannic is able to discover that the body is being transported somewhere.

When the body starts disintegrating, Bob starts yelling at them to banish it, no-one is able to calm the gnome. Betha sets the body on fire, burning it to ashes before it can fully disintegrate.

The party heads out of the cave, Betha retrieving the box of enchanted gold on the way out. Bob still upset about the group of banishers he was sent. Before they completely exit the cave, Kaiva, Seru, and Fen kill the wolves tied up in the room with all the snarling to keep them from starving to death, the body of the Goblin that ran also in the room.

As the party plus Bob make their way back to his house Betha asks if there is anything he needs and he starts talking about a key.

They enter his house upon reaching it, the building being quite small and cluttered with various items. Seru and Kaiva take the chance to look for the green bottles that the strange lady from the tavern had had stolen but are unable to find anything.

Bob allows the group to spend the night after rescuing him, the party all settling into their respective sleeping spots.

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3: You should've set watches but didn't so now you gotta fight hyena people

So we backtracked a little bit, picking up with the seven of us (the banishing squad, the cheeky campers (Kaiva and Seru), and Bob) walking back to Bob’s house. Betha recapped the events of last week’s battle for Remi, who was guarding the cave. We also learned that in order to report back to their superiors, the banishing squad would have to teleport back to where they came from.

Once everyone returned to Bob’s house, Kaiva began searching for the green bottle she and Seru were hired to find. Seru attempted to help, but after a few failed attempts gave up and went to stand by the stairs and look stoic.

Betha asked Bob what Key he kept referring to, and all he would say was that it was something that could get the hyena-people into the Tower, which moves from place to place and is in the woods somewhere.

Kaiva is eventually successful and finds a green bottle swirling with something mysterious. She and Seru decide to hide it outside by a distinctive tree, to reduce the risk of its getting jostled and exploding. Betha notices Kaiva being shifty and asks her what she’s up to; Kaiva lies like a pro and convinces her it’s nothing.

Seru goes over to Betha and asks her to do an arcana check on the jade frong they found in the cave; they determine that it’s nonmagical, but it is a symbol of the demon goddess Andracki, along with… dun dun dun… a hyena. Seru holds onto it.

They bed down for the night, in their exhaustion forgetting to put someone on watch. They get in a long rest, but at 3am, they are interrupted by 2 hyena-people busting in to Bob’s house. (Over the course of the ensuing battle, the total grows to 6 hyena-people.)

There are a few close calls, but after a lengthy battle, the hyena-people are defeated. Yannic slept through the entire battle. Fen slept through the beginning of it, but eventually woke up and joined in the fray. Bob, protected by Seru’s Shield of Faith, ignores the fighting almost entirely and begins frantically rummaging through various piles on the main and upper floors, cursing and tossing objects aside. After the battle is done, Fen picks up one of the things he had thrown aside, a ring, and decides to hold onto it herself.

The banishing squad team up with Kaiva to haul the bodies of the hyena-people outside and set them on fire. While this is happening, Seru goes upstairs to check on Bob. She finds him still searching, and eventually figures out that he’s looking for the green bottle she and Kaiva took earlier. He manages to convince her that the bottle is Bad News, and that maybe it would be safer to leave it with him, rather than try and track down the mysterious lady who hired them. She confesses that they took it and hid it outside, and the two of them go outside with Kaiva.

At this point, Betha, having successfully set all the bodies on fire, goes to investigate a stick that Bob pulled out and threw away during the battle. It’s clearly magical in nature, and is indeed a 3 foot long Unbreakable Stick. She takes it outside to ask Bob if she can have it.

Outside, Kaiva reveals to Bob that she is the one who took the bottle from his stash, and Bob attacks her, ignoring Seru trying to keep the peace.
After the battle, Remi goes upstairs to wake Yannic and tell him about the battle. He’s visibly shaken by the news, and Remi gets the sense that his sleep may not have been entirely natural.

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4: You take all of Bob's stuff and plan to split the party!

Curtain went up on Bob making a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to attack Kaiva; Seru managed to yank him away long enough for them to explain the situation. Bob is Displeased but tells them that the bottle contains Soul Fire, which is very dangerous, fey in nature, and can destroy basically anything. He quizzes Kaiva on the woman who hired her, and they determine that the woman was probably a fey, given her green eyes. Also, the bottle Kaiva and Seru took may or may not have been the one the woman “lost,” which makes Bob very nervous. (Everyone is outside by this point, listening in.)

Bob further reveals that his home is safe while the sun is down because he’s more powerful then, and less safe when the sun is up, at which point he’s just a 500-year-old gnome.

After a bit of frantic searching, Seru finds the bottle where Kaiva hid it in the woods, and Bob takes it. He tells Kaiva to hold out her arms, which she does after a bit of persuading, and he attaches Floyrian’s Bracers of Social Responsibility to her arms. It’s made out of gold material that is scaly and organic, and tells her it’s permanent until she doesn’t need it anymore.

They decide to split the party in the morning, with Bob, Remi (although Lyric, you can object to this next week if you like, since you weren’t there), and Kaiva going into town, to see if they can’t find the fey-woman, and the rest of the group going into the woods to try and find the Banishing Tower, which Bob suspects is the source of the trouble. He only knows where it is at dawn, and it moves every six hours.

Betha asks for permission to take the Unbreakable Stick, and Bob agrees and enchants it for her. Fen refrains from bringing up the ring she took, but eventually they talk about it and Bob’s okay with her having it. Kaiva gives back the nightcap she stole, which Bob gives to Yannic. Seru gets a mysterious rusty sword hilt after apologizing for all the trouble.

Bob gives the Key to the Tower to Yannic, who determines that it is made of dragonscales.

At dawn, Bob tells everyone to stay put and goes outside. Fen follows him, at which point she discovers that Bob is a huge gold dragon in disguise as a gnome. Bob comes back inside and marks a place on a map where the Banishing Tower is. They’re to try and shove everything that they can back inside and pull the lever to close the gate inside the Tower, or destroy an object in the middle of the room if that doesn’t work. Curtain closes on the two parties setting out.

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5: The First True Frog Party

Kaiva and Remi, accompanying Bob, arrive at the bar. After some idle chit-chat, the maid (from way back when, who Seru and Kaiva had encountered while trying to relocate their spooky-eyed, green-bottle-wanting mysterious patron) appears. Kaiva fobs her off onto Bob, who seems to trust and respect this mysterious woman, and openly tells her what’s been happening. She tries unsuccessfully to get any useful information from Kaiva, and leaves in a judgmental huff.

Another brief chit-chat interlude, and then some rando tries to kidnap Remi, citing Remi’s family’s wealth as the reason. Kaiva saves Remi and they are subjected to some extremely unsubtle threats: this dude’s business ain’t done, and he’ll be back for Remi in the future. It’s all very ominous.

As they settle back down, now kind of buddies, a dude with green eyes appears and approaches their table. Kaiva, uh, delicately hints to him that Remi is from a dang banishing squad. Kaiva and New Rando take their conversation outside. He wants those green flasks, but more immediately, he wants Betha (NOT SERU, WHICH I DEFINITELY KNEW THE WHOLE TIME). He puts a spell on her that makes her really, really want to get Betha to the bar before midnight.

Remi (who seems charmed by Kaiva’s sudden insistence) indulgently agrees to go to Bob’s to try to catch up with the others.

The whole rest of the group is at Bob’s. They all meet up and pretty quickly figure out Kaiva is under some sort of spell. Curious about the entire circumstances surrounding who and why would do this, they all make a plan to return to the bar. Fen scouts on ahead, hoping to get Bob as backup before they encounter New Rando.

While trekking through the woods, the main party encounters a frog. Yannic, Betha, and Fen seem to have some sort of history with this frog. She also is a demon queen who has a hyena army, which isn’t ideal. She tries to engage the group, speaking of her weapon—something called Needle, which she thinks those ragtag 3 know something about.

As she turns to leave, Betha hits her with a crossbow, and a fight begins! Betha burns the frog, it disappears, but not in any sort of satisfactory manner. The rest of the group fights the hyenas. A highlight: Remi, in an odd but inspired move, uses sleep!

Soon, a whack, gross, icky goop monster shows up. Some of the crew recognizes it from childhood. Seems like some stuff might be connected?? Hmmm. Fighting it proves ineffective at best, deadly at worst, as it is able to make certain party members attack others (in this case: Betha to Kaiva). The frog reappears and is a real jerk about the whole situation.

Seru and Kaiva, frustrated with being talked around during this whole encounter, try to bargain with the dang frog. Yannic finally decides to plead with her—he sincerely doesn’t know where the Needle is and is willing to prove it however she asks. She (now a striking and speckled humanoid woman) wants to “search” Yannic. This means grabbing his hand and performing a very painful (but ultimately effective) ritual. She now believes he’s telling her the truth about not knowing where her weapon is. She departs but not before imparting some SICK BURNS on Yannic, essentially saying: no tea, no shade, no pink lemonade, but you should definitely ditch this dude to the rest of the group.

Meanwhile, Fen has made it to the bar. She asks him to help, he demands an explanation. Fen explains that Betha, Yannic, and she had made a deal with the sassy frog when they visited the Tower. Bob is irate and very Over the whole situation. Fen accepts that the rest of the team is definitely dead, and she and Bob decide to just, like, hangout. They discuss the nature of the frog, and Bob’s whole daytime situation.

The rest of the party shows up. Kaiva is released from the spell she was put under. They all just kind of awkwardly hang around for a bit. Betha feels something poking and prodding her, and eventually gives in to what very well could be a ghost’s cry for attention (it’s not). She goes outside to confront whatever is harassing her and is promptly sucked into an interdimensional space by New Rando, who as it turns out, might not be a rando at all.

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6 - The Last Bit Before Boom-Boom Day

So last week picked up just after Betha decided to go off to a mysterious undisclosed location with an unknown (to anyone else) fey. Kaiva, having witnessed this, runs inside the tavern to inform everyone (sans Seru, who is outside with Tana) of Betha’s recent life choices.

Remi and Fen (who had been doing her best to keep up with Bob in the drinking department) investigate the scene of her disappearance, finding lots of magical traces in the area, but not much else. Kaiva goes outside to tell Seru what had happened, and Seru goes to talk to Bob. Bob, very drunk by this point, nonetheless agrees to do what he can to help after the sun goes down. Seru takes her turn as Bob’s drinking buddy, and he tells her to trust the rusty hilt she took from his home, and also that she’s glowing.

While everyone is waiting for the sun to go down and taking their turns drinking with Bob, Betha returns! She is insight-checked by various members of the party, and they determine that it is really her. She’s cagey about the fey she left with, saying only that she met them when she was 13. Also, apparently Andraki has a brother, and we should all keep an eye out for a celestial being as well.

The group discusses what their plan should be, eventually deciding that Bob should fly to Gathering to enlist the help of an actual banishing squad who will know what they’re doing. The group returns to guard his home while he’s off doing that, finding an old friend of Yannic’s, Kean, waiting outside.

They set up watches outside Bob’s house. Seru and Kean take the first watch, and she grills him on the interplanar travel he appears to have been doing and why he keeps giving Tana the side-eye. Nothing exciting happens during their watch, and they go to sleep (Seru outside, Kean in the basement).

Kaiva and Betha take the second watch, and find themselves in a reenactment of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, before the murder parts. Birds begin to hang out near Bob’s clearing, and they determine that they are watch-birds, sent from different people – some are familiars and some are regular birds, and some of them seem to be guarding the group from danger.

Fen and Remi come out for their watch, having been informed of the bird situation by the other two (who go to sleep inside). The two of them try and fail to perform some beautiful music during their watch. Remi notices that there now seem to be people in the woods as well as birds, possibly setting up some sort of trap 30 ft into the treeline, with the birds as border police.

The final watch was meant to be Yannic’s, but he rashly makes a promise that he won’t run away. This infuriates Kean, because if you make a promise or commitment on Banfey, you have to keep it. Kean locks Yannic in the basement and takes the last watch himself.

And that’s what you missed on Glee!

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7. Those Certainly Are Some Life Choices We Keep Making

As Banfey dawns, the group prepares by ransacking Bob’s house for healing potions, arrows, and other stuff that may be useful. As dawn hits (the sky ominously green), the Bracers of Social Responsibility clamp down on Kaiva’s wrists in an even more permanent manner, and Bob starts talking to her telepathically.

Bob reveals that there was a vial of Soul Fire on the teleportation circle when he got there and it went off, along with many many others throughout the Empire. Bob is dead, as are tons and tons of other people, and Gathering is literally falling from the sky. Everyone’s top priority is now to stay alive, and to get to the Tower if at all possible (Kaiva knows where this is now, due to her Bob connection).

As this conversation is happening, Remi (in the basement with Yannic) goes into a seizure. Yannic manages to stabilize him. Kean, still outside, drops to his knees and reports a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. He goes inside to break the news to Yannic that his parents were among the dead, and then puts a magical barrier around Bob’s house (password: “I promise not to kill Yannic”). Also apparently some of the birds are his familiars.

The group eventually decides not to risk the Tower just yet, and over the horizon strolls a perky Andracki, walking straight up to the edge of the barrier and declaring her intentions of killing everyone. (Kean gets the hell out of Dodge.)

Through some quick talking from the half-Orc, Kaiva convinces Andracki that what Andracki really really wants is to see Kaiva murder Betha in front of her. Seru then convinces her that what she really wants is to see Seru battle one of her lackeys, and then further proposes a three-on-one battle (Betha, Kaiva, and Seru versus one of Andracki’s lackeys), which the frog lady accepts. Fen gets a bottle from Bob’s stores and proceeds to get sloshed with the frog lady, in lieu of popcorn.

The lackey Andracki chooses turns out to be a chaotic evil demonic angel. The three manage to kill it. Andracki offers them one question answered honestly, which Seru flubs, and offers a favor to Fen, her new favorite drinking buddy. Fen asks for an antidote for something poisonous she consumed, and one of Andracki’s lackeys heals her. Andracki leaves, her (abandoned) lackeys scatter, and Kaiva gets to keep the angel’s longsword, being the only fighter tall enough to use it.

We ended the session there, at about 9am on Banfey.

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8. Our Intrepid Adventurers Take The Damned Day Off

Everyone gathers upstairs, where Remi is still seizing/whatever mystical thing is happening to him (hint: it’s necromancy) is still going on. Eventually it wears off, and he wakes up, achy but otherwise intact.

Fen and Kaiva go in search of breakfast, and proceed to spend the whole day eating and drinking.

The other four go outside to burn the body of the dead angel (it smells weirdly sweet). Despite Seru rolling the first of a few natural 1s of the day, they convince a bird to go find Kean, since he seems the most likely to know what’s going on.

Eventually Kean shows up and examines Remi. Apparently there are a ton of souls hanging around him, waiting for him to absorb them, which is something Kean’s never seen happen to a mortal before. Having delivered this pronouncement, Kean once again Gets The Hell Out of Dodge, off to do things/stuff.

The group decides to spend the day safe in Kean’s ward, picking through Bob’s house and mentally recovering from the past few days. They stay fairly quiet until sunset, when a massive flash of energy lights up the sky with a huge crack.

The fey who had previously taken Betha away (a sister, of sorts, according to Betha) comes by to offer to take Betha with her, since all the barricades between the planes are either down or in the process of coming down. It should all be finished by Banfiend, she says.

Betha decides to stay with the party, who decide (minus Fen and Kaiva, still partaking of Bob’s edible stores) to try for the Tower in the morning, and to go to Floy if that doesn’t work out. Fin

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9. The Day After The Night Before

Picking up at sunset on Banfey, the group sets about stripping Bob’s house for all they can find (but not the Soul Fire). Betha finds another Mysterious HiltTM, Remi searches for spell components, and Fen finds another ring and an Ice Arrow. Yannic sets up shop and Identifies the hilts as Planar Blades; Betha found the Mist Blade, which she gives to Kaiva, and Seru has the Star Blade.

When dawn comes, Kaiva talks to Bob about previous diplomatic missions to the other planes. “Didn’t work, don’t try it,” Bob says, reporting that he tried to deal with Morgaine, the Fey Queen, and it ended poorly. The Tower is currently about 45 mins/1 hour north of Bob’s house. After locking up behind them, the group leaves Bob’s house for the Tower.

They make it without incident, but as they get closer to the Tower, all the trees start looking like they’ve been blasted to hell and back (which is interesting, because the Tower moves). The Tower itself has a massive heat haze-type thing going on at the top, and a cloaked figure lurking mysteriously outside.

The cloaked figure turns out to be a person not unknown to Seru and Kaiva, a gold-skinned Celestial named Ondelin. After determining that the huge mass of energy upstairs is a fluctuating ball of celestial and fiend, and some heroic efforts to get a look inside, the group eventually throws their hands up and opens the front door.

They push their way up through a looooot of heat (holding hands!), until they hear screaming from the top, at which point Ondelin books it and they all follow like some sort of gravity-defying traumatized Slinky. Once they reach the top, they see that all the doors are open, something new is pulsing and flailing in the middle of the room where Bob’s heart was, and everything is covered in blood.

And that’s what you missed on Sol’sora!

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