016, 017, 018, 019 – Prism Theater – In a nook

Thanks to Jade’s connections, we had an easy time finding a ship that would take us to the island on which the local Olympian Council resided. The edges of the island held various ruins. In the center, a large Parthenon was built just in the past few years. On our way to the structure we encountered a dark haired woman. Akaya, a priestess of Artemis, let us know where we could find the priest of Apollo.

The priest is an older gentleman, tall with silver hair and a matching beard, named Adrestas. Zeno quickly set about trying to prove his mettle to the priest. It went… well it went. There was discussion of sacrifices needed, but in the end we were able to come to an agreement that the priest would consecrate the Theater using the Gem of Brightness as a focus, and the blood of few animals for proper sacrifice.

At some point things began to bore me, so I wandered off to talk to Akaya about hags business. She was able to give me a bit more insight (though requests for gathering information of a different nature were rebuffed).

We returned home and snuggled in to sleep in our temporary upstairs beds. Of course, someone just had to come in and ruin that. The sound of the front doors being bashed open woke us all. Unarmored and half dressed (literally, Zeno was wearing only a shirt), and in some cases entirely undressed (we get it Za’lynn, you’re a naturalist), we wandered out to investigate the commotion.

Bugs, bullywugs, troglodytes, and one rather angry Sea Hag had invaded our theater and meant to kill us all. Given our disheveled state, it was a hard fight. I thank Athena that Funuku was there. I do not know that we would have made it without him. A single look from that wretched Sea Hag laid me low for a time. Zeno was bitten and smashed to bits by bugs and trogs. But we emerged victorious, and had quite a stinky mess to clean up.

The priests arrived finally and we were able to consecrate the Theater. We stood guard, just in case, but everything went off without a hitch. We’re very proud of our new community center/theater/PR firm/job creation site.

After that was settled, Casta finally got back to us with the list of sites we had negotiated earlier.

  1. A ruined castle
  2. Military outpost with a new bridge
  3. A beached shipwreck

We set off first for the beached shipwreck. It turned out to be filled with undead, they were gnolls, I think. I hypnotized the zombies in place while Tayanna sent them screaming in fear. Zeno got swarmed and there was a moment that we were worried we might lose him, but we managed to pull through.

For our troubles, we hauled off a good deal of money and various trade goods. There was some lovely golden cloth that we offered to Rennan. He, in turn, had another proposition for us. Veisa, his enchanting sister, was in need of a job. We were happy to help. Fresh from the conservatory, she is a talented scribe and I cannot wait to have someone to discuss my book with.

In addition to her mundane skills, if we bring her the heart of something, she can create a scroll of protection for that thing. I am so excited to have her here! I’m going to set her up in my office and make sure she has all the ink and lighting she needs and oh she’s just so enthralling!

Well, that settled we headed out to explore the castle. While scouting, Jade and I discovered a pair of sailors guarding the front door of the castle, but acting strangely. I held them in place with a hypnotic pattern and aggressive cittern playing while Jade ran back to gather the others. We took them down only to find a strange plant growing from their ears. Jade and I did some further reconnaissance and found a back door of sorts, but the armored among us voted against stealth and we went bursting into the front door.

It was on pretty quickly. The lady of the ruined castle spoke of the whispers beneath the waves and we knew what we had to do to that spore queen. It was a nasty fight, with mindless sailors swinging at us and horrible goo puppetry trying to eat Za’lynn’s memories. Finally, our glorious hero, Jade took the abomination down. She’s so dashing.

Again, there was a good deal of coin and pretty items to profit from. I scooped up a very pretty marble orb. I think Veisa might like to use it as a paper weight. I hope she likes it!

Zeno’s Code (updated)

  1. Never take the first deal
  2. No one knows they’re hunting ghosts until they’re hunting ghosts. Be prepared.
  3. Punch up, no down.
  4. Open mind not closed fist.
  5. There is a very thin line between evil and dick.
  6. tbd
  7. Justice doesn’t have the stealth skill
  8. tbd
  9. Talking doesn’t get stuff done. Doing gets stuff done.
  10. tbd
  11. In any conflict the high ground is important, even if only the moral high ground.
  12. tbd
  13. tbd
  14. tbd
  15. tbd
  16. tbd
  17. When someone hurts you, hit them back ten fold. TEN FOLD!
  18. tbd
  19. tbd
  20. tbd
  21. tbd
  22. tbd
  23. tbd
  24. tbd
  25. tbd
  26. tbd
  27. tbd
  28. tbd
  29. Backdoor friends are best and don’t steal babies.

011 – On The Deck – Prepping for Adventure

We returned to the theater, ready to fight and capture the banshee. I began the confrontation with a barrage of insults, though they did not seem to matter to the screaming meemie. In fact, she did not surface until we stepped onto the stage proper, only then did she and her actor companion appear. The fight was difficult, and a bit terrifying when Zeno went down during the opening salvo. Jade however, was quick to step in and absolutely eviscerate the spectral intestines of the creature.

As the banshee discorporated, I spoke the binding phrase and its angry little spirit bound itself inside the provided bottle. We wasted no time in heading again for Mad Felicia’s. On our voyage there, Zeno entertained us with his explanation of Personality Island. Evidently, this is an island on which all ‘good personality’ elves are kept until they become proper elves, or until they die. I suppose that does make sense as to why most elves that you meet have somewhat less than gracious personalities. What a strange culture!

Mad Felicia was glad to see us return with the bottle, and told us that the theater, and the wraith, were now free of their darkness. Felicia read into our exuberance at the news and pressed us to find out if we had plans for the theater. We gave her the general outline, that we plan to fix the place up and create a place of art and community… and a minor propaganda machine. It was hard to read her reaction at first, but then she asked to have a free pass to attend. It was easy to agree to, and I love the idea of having a box reserved just for her. Something for patrons to glance at and wonder if tonight is the night that Mad Felicia will show up.

She dropped into a meaningful conversation with Za’lynn, referring to him as Child of Sorrow. There was one other bit of work she had, a debt to be collected. This would be when I found out that the more outraged Zeno gets, the higher his voice gets. Seems the debt that Felicia is owed, is a baby.

There was lots of back and forth over the morality of repossessing babies, and I really am shocked at Zeno’s entire lack of appreciation for a binding contract. So, once there was an opening, Za’lynn and I slipped away to investigate this request. Turns out that the deal was made by the father of the child, though he made it when he was nine and mourning the loss of his father. So… I suppose that’s not an entirely binding contract. Fine, we did not relocate the baby. In fact, I gave the father some gold. Gold always helps things.And he’s going to need help if he plans on keeping that child.

We decided to all crash at the theater, which is good because we were so exhausted from all the work we’ve started on the place. Late that night, there was a knock at the door. An older woman, kerchiefed and hunched, stood in the dark. She offered Zeno a small fingurine of a bird, thanking us for the kindness we had done. I tried to get Zeno to see what she was with that whole paladin thing he does, but he wouldn’t do it until she was leaving. Then he was all , ‘Oh, she’s a fiend!’ and raced after her and I just think that was rude.

He tried to explain himself when he caught up her, but luckily, she stopped him from completing his thought before she tottered off into the night.

The next day, we sought out Casta to ask about donations for the theater. (We also made a deal with Rennyn of Cloak & Curtain to do the costuming for the theater.) Instead, she offered us a job that could help. So now we’re on the deck of a ship, heading off the coast of the island to try to retrieve some lost cargo. Coins to Apple Tarts, we’re going to find a whole lot of kraken cult nonsense down there. This should be illuminating.

Zeno’s Code (updated)

  1. Never take the first deal
  2. No one knows they’re hunting ghosts until they’re hunting ghosts. Be prepared.
  3. Punch up, no down.
  4. Open mind not closed fist.
  5. There is a very thin line between evil and dick.
  6. tbd
  7. Justice doesn’t have the stealth skill
  8. tbd
  9. Talking doesn’t get stuff done. Doing gets stuff done.
  10. tbd
  11. tbd
  12. tbd
  13. tbd
  14. tbd
  15. tbd
  16. tbd
  17. tbd
  18. tbd
  19. tbd
  20. tbd
  21. tbd
  22. tbd
  23. tbd
  24. tbd
  25. tbd
  26. tbd
  27. tbd
  28. tbd
  29. Backdoor friends are best and don’t steal babies.

Action Items

  • Continue to research the kraken cult
  • Continue to fix up the temple
  • Continue to fix up the theater
  • Write a play
  • Find out Mad Felicia’s story about the theater

009, 110 – At the Table – Eating Dinner and Contemplating Style

The Beggar’s Feast was a success. I did what I could to properly pair Zeno’s slaw with a good cider, so I was able to help him from embarrassing himself. I’m a helpful person like that. However, in speaking with the priest at the Feast, it became clear that the Judgement Legion is somewhat problematic.

They are followers of Arkyn, which means that they are super lawful. Like, street judge, crucifying people sort of lawful. It is really disappointing to find this out. I will still need to deal with them in the future but, I’m afraid a relationship of anything more than an academic nature is out of the question. It’s good that they have not developed a foot hold in our little community.

Jade was right. She is so very wise. She knew from the start that these guys were bad, and though I’m not one for the whole good/evil dichotomy and think the world is generally more nuanced than that, Jade was entirely right about these guys. Jade, so wise. So talented. So dangerous. We are lucky to know her.

Other bits of knowledge that I picked up from the Feast are that this part of the city used to be the Royal Quarter, full of money and Tieflings. The Prism Theatre here, was destroyed on opening night, the night that the island was shattered. The director of opera “Crossroad of Yesterday” was Galduin and the writer was Genlynn.

We ran into Casta toward the end of the Feast. Jade spoke with her, letting her know that they might want to get a new bouncer at the Blossom. (Note: If looking for martial support, seek out Master of Wyverns on Stormside. Older human. Fist fighter.)

The next morning we headed back to the Prism Theater and tried to talk to the thing in the basement, but it was no good. A fight ensued and Zeno was hurt very badly. In the end we won out, finding a strange ring beneath the pile of bones. I could discern that it was a ring of psychic protection, but there was a strange necromantic aura clinging to it as well. A sylvan inscription read, “To My Dearest Love.”

We took the ring, and Zeno, to the temple but didn’t find help for either. However, Elumorn the Sage identified the Maker’s Mark on the ring, that of Glazzik Mountainhand. His shop had been in this area, prior to the Shattering, but he might still have some associates left at the Bronze Pixie.

We poked around the merchant consortium for a bit, speaking first with a large human named Gurzy. He sold magic bits, and directed our inquiries to Fox. A grumbling old dwarf, he started cussing as soon as he saw the ring. Not a good sign. It appears the ring was made by his friend for Mad Felicia. This alone is enough to lead Fox to think that nothing good would ever come of its making. He also keyed us in on the fact that Mad Felicia was here before the shattering and has not appeared to age a day, despite seeming to be human.

Zeno wanted to do something with his bit of baby dragon belly, so we stopped in at the Cloak & Curtain. After much fussing and much instruction over what is and isn’t Zeno’s color, an agreement was struck for them to make something out of the dragonscales for the price of 400 gold. “Dragons are giant lizards with delusions of grandeur,” was my favorite bit of wisdom gleaned from the experience.

Well that, and the reaffirmation that copper is decidedly my color.

After gathering some appropriate gifts (wine and cheeses) for showing up on the door of what is undoubtedly a powerful witch, we headed to Waveside to see Mad Felica and ask about the ring. The land there is muddy, even the cobblestones sinking into squishy, decaying earth. We walked to the cliff, a monument at the bottom near a path that led up to the cemetery. It was there we found Mad Felicia’s ramshackle house.

Carefully, we knocked on the door and waited, but I was not prepared for what we saw. Just over six and a half feet of long legged woman, fiery red hair, her body wrapped in an emerald green robe. After we stated our purpose, rather than invite us in, she had her furniture walk out to receive us. The table and chair did more than just walk out, they followed orders in a way that made me wary of becoming her enemy.

As we recounted our tale from the Prism Theater, a look of triumph came over her face when we mentioned the banshee. There was some bargaining back and forth. At least, I think there was. It was terribly hard to think while staring at her radiant face. Now I know how people must feel around me! Poor things! In the end, she agreed to ask her grandmother to remove the binding from the ring and release the darkness in the basement, after we brought the banshee to her.

To this end, she gave us a crescent moon shaped perfume bottle. All we have to do is weaken the banshee then speak, “Desire is never ending,” to the bottle.

I cannot wait to see what happens!

Zeno’s Code (updated)

  1. Never take the first deal
  2. No one knows they’re hunting ghosts until they’re hunting ghosts. Be prepared.
  3. Punch up, no down.
  4. Open mind not closed fist.
  5. There is a very thin line between evil and dick.
  6. tbd
  7. Justice doesn’t have the stealth skill

003, 004, 005 – Basement of the Mistside temple – Finally catching my breath

We arrived at the pirate cove, entering the cave via rowboat. Halfway into the cave, we spotted a dark blue circle beneath the waters. Twenty feet across, the shaft descended into darkness. Avoiding this strange feature, we took to the solid shore within the cave.

More disturbing than a mystery shaft, here we found the image of a kraken carefully carved into stone. The stone had been brought here, and the cave carved out to hold it. The kraken seemed to be a cultish symbol of worship and veneration. It is an old water, primordial force. Around this point when we realized that much of what we took to be sand around the base of the stone to actually be pulverized bone. Obvious evidence of sacrifice.

A secret door, leading into a narrow passageway was found. Zeno moved in first, soon followed by a flash of light as an alarm spell was triggered. As we entered the room at the end of the passageway, 6 seaspawn and a single cultist were gathered around a kraken statue. They were all dripping wet, and the seaspawn pooled into a sickening puddle of chum.

During the scuffle, the cultist called on the kraken to protect him. Out of the ditch of seawater that separated his perch from the rest of the room, he summoned a wall of dark tentacles. I could hear the sound of grinding stone from behind the wall, though I could see nothing through the mass of writhing darkness.

The remaining seaspawn surged forward, attacking quickly with their claws. Zeno went down, but just for a moment. As we dropped the last seaspawn, the wall of tentacles fell revealing the absence of the cultist. We searched the area, finding the ditch was actually a swim path, one end leading back into the grotto and the other out to sea. At the bottom, we also found a chest containing a luck stone.

We searched the kraken statue closely, finding yet another hidden passage. This short passage led to a small room holding only a teleportation circle that stood on desecrated ground. I studied the sigils of the circle, able to ascertain that the destination was somewhere within a 50 mile radius.

We covered our tracks that led to the teleportation circle, attempting to make it look as if we had simple found the luck stone and then left.

Returning to the city, we decided to let the cultist situation lie for a moment and instead turned to pursue speaking with Casta about taking care of Requiem’s warlock problem. At The Blossom we met Kyra, the middle-aged, dark haired bartender. She directed us to the second floor.

In addition to Casta there was a half-elf male – Ashran – reading a book about druidic orders. Casta explained to us that House Cargalane owned a manor house that is now occupied by a member of The Burning Oblivion (a mostly secretive organization, infernalists, heavy handed and controlling). The warlock has an unknown number of allies, including an invisible something that moves alongside him.

After some debate, we decided to take the job. We were offered 500gp for the job, with 250gp on completion, or no money, but we could claim up to 5 items from the manse. (Please refer to Zeno’s first rule) We settled on 5 healing potions in advance, and we would pick 5 items, with Requiem having a single veto on the items.

We traveled to the manor house, deciding to scout it out as much as possible first. Jade and I stealthed in. In front of the house stood 4 braziers of conjuration magic. The house itself was in disrepair and didn’t seem terribly secure. A garden and gazebo stood out back. There was also a backdoor and a bulkhead that lead to some sort of basement.

Jade and I reported back to the group, and we decided to move in as a group. Jade unlatched a window and we climbed inside, deeming it best to avoid the braziers out front. There were some less than steathly moments, and we soon attracted the attention of a tiefling and his imp. It was a tough fight, with Jade proving to be so effective that much of the violence from the infernal pair was focused on her.

After Zeno hit the imp with his silver mace, it turned invisible and tried to escape. I used my best cantrip to staple the imp’s corpse to the door. The imp’s master soon went down as well.

Upstairs, we found another set of braziers. We inadvertently set these off, releasing mud mephits. They restrained people, making fighting them difficult, but not impossible to fight. After we took them out, we explored the rest of the upstairs, finding a bedroom and a lab. There was a silver dust circle in the lab, as well as a table with all sorts of vials.

In the basement, we found an alchemy lab. There was some horrible things growing down there, but would be useful in making potions to make one resistant to poison. Casta seemed pleased with our finds. As payment, we each took something expensive from the manse, though Za’lynn took a dagger we found on the tiefling. It turned out to be a pact blade, which it seems Za wants to pursue making use of it.

Well, I’m going to get back to using my vast and impressive intellect to study and understand the intricacies of magic. Which I understand is a path only available to a certain few of us.

Zeno’s Code

  1. Never take the first deal
  2. tbd
  3. Punch up, not down
  4. Open mind not closed fist

Action Items:

  • research wand of everlasting tacos

002 – At Mistside Cross – Settling in at Da-Rin

The ship docked at the Mistside Cross, the former Thessalian section of Da-Rin, and I went in search of answers. Za’lynn accompanied me to assist with both his knowledge and imposing visage. I was lucky enough to find a priest of Athena at the universal temple who offered us use of the library there. Sadly, the place is mostly in disarray. Lydros, the Priest of Athena, after hearing what I was looking for, suggested that I might want to speak with Ellenmore the Old, the owner of a nearby sage shop. 

After making what we could of the information in the ruined library, I was able to ascertain that nothing of what we had encountered so far was in the pre-Arkyn texts. Though there was nothing directly on the conch, I did find a few entries that begin to make me wonder if the elemental nature of the conch is somehow linked with the Titans. This will take further investigation.

As Za’lynn and I searched through documents, Jade, Tyanna, and Zeno went in search of a drink. Arestes, the bartender at The Voiceless Fish, was full of information about the horrible things we’d seen on the ship. The deep ones, it seems, are a new problem in the last 10 years. It is assumed that they are some byproduct of the island explosion. 

The creatures do not seem to get along with sahaugin or lizard folk. They are often seen with sea spawn, the creatures that appear as drowned men with the sea beginning to claim their form. They maraud and raid, never straying far from the water as drying out seems to cause them to wither and desecate. Their tactics are not complex, simple shock and awe.  

Arestes also offered more general understanding of the area. The Old Fashioned Blossom is a higher class tavern, and if you plan to do anything illicit there one should either keep it secret or be very upfront about it. It is the haunt of The Requiem of Nobles, a very intense gang. They focus on obtaining wealth from the ruins of the nobility. 

That night, we attended the Beggar’s Feast at the church. It’s held once a week, everyone bringing what they can so all can share. It was a lovely time, with everyone eating and socializing. An old timer there told us that the sea creatures mostly appear at night, mostly. When they do, a song echoes from the ocean. It’s been a couple of weeks since their last appearance.

After the feast broke up, Jade walked over to meet the severe looking dwarven woman who stood at the edge of things. Casta turned out to be a member of The Requiem of Nobles. She wore her copper hair in a loose braid, fine vest over her leather armor, boots polished with jewelry worn in plain sight. She offered some professional courtesies and a job. 

A warlock lives in a manor house in some disputed territory in the NNW section. We can be paid for our time and turn over the loot rights, or we can arrange for a share of what is found.

The next morning, with plans to head out toward the pirate cove, we stopped by the Sage’s place to get a read on the conch. He promised to look further into things (both sea creatures and conch) and let us know if he found anything. Currently, he could only offer that it would surely open only a small portal, like a window, and was therefore likely designed for a specific location and/or reason. 

Da-Rin regions: 

  • The Stormside section of the city holds a church of Poseidon. 
  • Whitespire is the tower in the very center of the city. The clergy of Arkyn resides there. I will need to visit there eventually to see what they know about both these new creatures, and what happened here 25 years ago. 
  • Waveside is the home of a large cemetery. Make sure to stop by Mad Felicia’s and pay respects when visiting that section. She considers herself a caretaker of the dead and exploring her domain without her blessing is not advised. 

Action Items: 

  • Assist in recovering the church’s library
  • Is the conch linked to a Titan
  • Mending cantrip that adds fashion
  • Dehydration spell
  • Visit Whitespire
  • Recon with Sage