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.

014, 015 – Prism Theater – My Office

Zeno’s bad dreams continued. He dreamed he was performing for Apollo, playing beautifully. Slowly his performance twisted, he kept making mistakes and the only way to recover would be to do things that were… outside of his character.

Despite Zeno’s exhaustion, we headed back to the cove to find out if the Kraken Cult was still operating there. After a bit of making fun of my enjoyment of Kraken Tracks cereal (seriously, it turned the milk blue! so cool!) we began to explore the place. A new growth of coral had gathered around the base of the obelisk. I was trying to get a closer look at it, when it rudely tried to club me to death.

Zeno leapt to action, bashing the coral to bits as I zipped out of range of the creature. And good thing I did. That thing hit HARD!

We took the passage behind the obelisk to find the room beyond filled with the corpses of the missing people from The Cross. Across the water, next to the horrible altar stood a man in robes, his skin pale blue and tentacle whiskers down his chin. A shorter human was with him, holding a quarterstaff.

The villains began to monologue, and that is when we took off running to jump across the water. Behind us, seven seaspawn rose from the corpses, reaching for us. The fight was pitched, but I knew we had the upper hand when the catfish man escaped down the path hidden behind the altar. Jade ran after him, zooming through the room beyond and back to us to say that he had taken the teleportation circle.

Zeno took off after him. The rest of us were a little slow in following him due to some seaspawn shenanigans, but we made it eventually. Of course, that is when we discovered that the catfish man had filled the landing circle with darkness and tentacles. It was hard work just to get out of the tentacles and find the catfish standing on a small island over 30 feet away within the watery cavern.

Ever the hero, Zeno leapt to the island to fight the horrible catfish man kraken cultist. Za’lynn misty stepped into place, the two of them battling the horrible thing. Lightning filled the cavern, and horrible magics glowed around the cultist. With a single, horrible, touch, the cultist took Zeno down. His body crumpled and fell from the small island, sinking into the surrounding water.

It was a horrible moment, worrying if we had just lost Zeno forever. But just then, the beautiful and talented Jade jumped into action. With the grace of a furry angel, she moved across the divide to scoop Zeno’s corpse from the water. Gathering him to her on the shore, she carefully poured a healing potion between his lips and brought him back to life!

Even in the midst of combat, this touching and heroic moment brought tears to all of our eyes. With a renewed vigor, we went after the cultist, bringing him down at last.

In the aftermath, we were able to establish that the cavern was somewhere out in the open ocean. We took a robe and an ebon key from the fallen. The robe is interesting and I have claimed it. The key opened a hidden compartment on the altar and held a considerable amount of coin. With that, we were able to fund the work on the theater and commission two sets of full plate for the boys.

We took the robe to Rennan, who pointed was able to identify what should go in the openings along the collar of the robe: 2 star rubies, 2 star sapphires, 2 star emeralds.

With Zeno’s nightmares worsening, we sought out advice. Mad Felicia explained that her grandmother is turning Zeno. She said if we killed her grandmother, then we’d need to provide a replacement in the coven. (re: baby)

The Sage’s advice was to kill all three and free The Cross of their influence. First order of business though, was to help Zeno. After some experimentation with magic and the advice of the sage, we think that consecrated ground would help Zeno to sleep well. Tomorrow, we plan to sail to the meeting place of a local Olympian council. Perhaps the priest of Apollo can be convinced to come here and consecrate the theater. It will give us a staging ground to take down this evil.

I mean, since I guess that’s what we’re doing now. I just hope one of them likes to write down all their secrets. I really hope.

013 – Prism Theater – In My Eventual Office

We headed off to Stormside, in search of the Master of Wyverns. Za’lynn stayed back at the Theater, feeling a bit under the weather. It was my first time setting foot onto Stormside. The island feels small and claustrophobic, squat buildings all clustered together. Everywhere you turn, there are people and smells and you are always turning, winding through alleyways. Not an open view or plaza to be found.

After a few inquiries, we were directed to a lantern shop owned by a man named Funuko. The shop itself was beautiful, packed with various sorts of colored lanterns. Each of us couldn’t help but purchase one before we left. Mine is currently hanging above my desk, casting multicolored lights around the walls of the room. I cannot wait until this is a proper office.

Funuko, The Master of Wyverns, towers over five feet tall, with dark hair and umber skin. His long lived life is obvious with crinkles at the edges of his eyes and streaks of grey threaded through his long pony tail. He fights with a long spear, the quick and striking nature of his attacks modeled after the movements of a wyvern. Not that we got to see him fight. We really just did a lot of talking and debating.

He was not excited about the idea of coming to Mistside to help us train the townspeople. He considers himself retired, only having to deal with the occasional challengers these days. We tried a few different arguments to change his mind. The winning argument turned out to be that if he did not help us empower the people, then they might turn to the Judgement Legion out of fear and desperation.

He really does not like those guys. Jade was so right. She is a very smart woman. So smart. And so pretty. So very pretty and smart.

Funuko came back to Mistside with us. While construction is going on, he has agreed to hold classes for the people on all even numbered days. (We need to make sure Miles has the chance to attend a class or two.)

After getting that settled, we all sat down (minus the sick Za’lynn) and went over the events with the sahuagin again, trying to make sense of things. The spell on the gem must have been attuned to the sahuagin somehow. Clutched in the captain’s hand like that, with a sword through his corpse, it looks like another mutiny at sea. There is also the fact that the ship was broken into three pieces. After we had time to think about it, we realized that given the nature of the wreck and the types of breaks, the ship did not break apart on the ocean floor.

It seems very likely that this is the work of a kraken and those kraken cultists.

We have decided that it is time to return to the cave with the kraken idol and the hidden passage. We know more now than we did the last time we were there. Perhaps we can uncover some new information.

In the midst of all this, there may have been a small upset in the party. I am not entirely sure how it all started, but I think Zeno is now jealous of my beauty. Which is silly because beauty hardly matters. Somehow, however, this led to a fight between him and Jade. Some hurtful things were said (see #17 of Zeno’s code) and I am not sure how to smooth this over. I need them both on point if we’re heading back into the cove. There is no telling what we’ll find there.

Besides, we’re all so very pretty. So pretty.

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. 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.

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