New World Order - Jungle Edition

But why Nemo?

Dearest Ava,

It’s been a while since my last letter, though to be honest not much has changed. The town is still gray, still bleak, and we are still stuck.

So we went out on a simple mission to pick some flowers. Note that this isn’t the most exciting activity, but we need them for some magic or some cleric thing so I went along with it, at least it got me out of that armpit that is the town hall.

On our way we went to turn on the clock tower by opening a sluice up to activate the clocktower. Well I went to actuate the lever while the other bickered for a while about something and I swear the thing hissed at me! I went to actuate it again and it appeared to be fine. Something is really up in this Town!

Having braved the hissing lever successfully we continued on our quest for the flowers. Given the nature of this place, this had no hope of going well. Well out of nowhere a will-o’-the-wisp jumped out at us. I had no choice but to fire on it before it came too close. Despite my efforts they are wirery little fools who roam in large packs. Luckily Bree had a trick up her sleeve. She changed a few words and they all turned tail. Likewise rather than sticking around for them to return we also got out of dodge.

During this exchange Atrei lit off a Thunderwave and attracted a whole batallion of Zombies. To escape their clutches we attempted to climb the clocktower. I guess more accurately I attempted to climb the clocktower and was kicked off by Bree for some reason. If it weren’t for Hadrian I would have been drawn into the mechanism that drives the clocktower.

As an aside we had a second reason for being in this field: in particular we were hoping to strike down this griffin vulture thing. It has been wrinkling our sprinkles for quite a while and we were hoping to not have to deal with it anymore, if you catch my meaning.

Recently I have been questioning my role in the family. We seem to have these ideals about ourselves. With Nemo’s recent betrayl are we all so immune? I think I need some time to collect myself before I can contact you again. Maybe I can find some solice in figuring out how to talk to the Water Weird. I have taken to calling her Waskind. I am assuming its a her, but we can correct this later I suppose.

Respectfully yours,

Surviving an ambush
Death was hungry but we soured their meal

The morning of the fifth day. Surrounded by nothing but the unrelenting grey fog, with an entire town overrun with undead, a demon vulture, and demoralized families. We don’t need a prophet to feel the doomsday we are wrapped within.

Our town cleric Bree is continuing her work on crafting a holy symbol and Hadrian is feeling the apathy while we discuss our options. For our escape from this grey fog, Bree can use that holy symbol and the small gems we have gathered… and one daisy for each person to cross through the temple’s teleportation circle. Finding a hundred daisies in a autumn fog-ridden zombie town could be harder than we’d like to admit. Fortunately, the alchemist’s spellbook from our adventures in Strade’s Gallows contains arcane ways to locate plants, and I was able to divine some daisies nearby: only a few hundred yards away north-northwest, which should put them near the river’s edge. However, that is also on the other side of the temple, the source of the town’s maelstrom of misery. Young Jenna is struggling to read that enchanted book that Thamior had found, but her progress stopped abruptly, as if something in the air has changed. Bree’s herbal tea helps some of Hadrian’s apathy and he perks up enough to inspire us with some crafty words. We discuss our next goal and depart before any further maladies inflict us.

We start east to the river and follow it north and northwest, intending on briefly visiting several town buildings including the clocktower before scouting for the daisy field. Quiet. No sign of wandering zombies. The community hall appears empty. Several other buildings are abandoned and ignored. We moved quietly to avoid confrontation, and it was too easy. We approach the clocktower and I catch sight of a shadow in the sky, surely that demonic beast we fought earlier. Right on cue, zombies amble forth from between the buildings, the vulture thing awkwardly shakes through the sky, and a chilling fog oozes from the rooftops. Ambush!

Off-guard but now on the offensive. They made a mistake and we rush forward to make them regret it. With few words, we drive into the fog and maneuver around the buildings to the far side while Bree gains the rooftop. Zombies from several directions converging on us. The vulture hurls a Fireball into us, scattering us like kindling. I woke with a headache and a smell of sulfur, as Hadrian, Bree and Thamior stood over me providing curatives. Thamior fires at the vulture as it lazily flies to longer range. Before I think too deeply, I run across the street and Mage Hand the clocktower door open while Thamior furiously rushes towards the doorway, stopping to fill the room with arrows as more zombies come forth. Bree hops down on Mara just as the vulture crumples onto the roof, and my Firebolts have no effect upon it. A scream from the clocktower’s gnome as he falls from the tower, impaled with a glowing dagger from the dark halfling summoner. We collapse upon the tower. Bree and I Thunderwave and Bree casts a Magic Circle to keep the hordes of undead out as we enter the tower and climb to fight the halfling horror. No sign of the halfling, but the vulture hurls poisoned spores towards us and the shadow creature comes through the walls and swipes at us. Mara and Hadrian fall and we struggle to heal them and keep our team together. Thamior fights the shadow and I spend my energies using Suggestion to convince the shadow to return home and finally it has good effect.

While we heal a bit, I was able to study and understand the clocktower mechanisms. Installing the cog that Thamior got from the gnome two days ago, the tower briefly starts up and then halts due to lack of water from the waterway. Maybe we can unblock the waterway so it can attract the zombies, but not now. We find the key to lock the clocktower door and carefully take an uneasy rest.

We were favored this day. Our enemies set an ambush and caught us in the open. We should be dead. Someone is playing this gruesome game with live pieces, and they see must see some value in our survival. I would love to learn more about them and their motives, but today is not that day. We are alive, and for now that must be enough.

A letter to Ava
Pepplefen Day 2

Dearest Ava,

My adventures with these wonderful humans has been going /swimmingly/. A few days ago we were blessed with the good fortune of being trapped in what I can only describe as a graveyard that just won’t stay still. There are zombies everywhere, and you know how much I /love/ the undead.

In addition to the hordes of zombies there is this wizard guy who seems to be keeping us here and if that wasn’t bad enough there is also an entire town’s worth of people in here with us. They are too scared to go outside the town hall and they all smell like they haven’t bathed in weeks. There was also this thing about the town hall being blessed so no zombies can get in, but that hasn’t stopped me and my companions from venturing out, so I’m not sure what is up with them.

Atrei, you know our utilitarian high elf wizard friend has been acting very strangely since this morning. We all went out to collect supplies from the inn and he lit the entire place on fire! In addition to the fire there were spiders literally crawling in that inn. I bravely slew many of them myself and managed to save several children in the process. Granted they were fleeing a burning building, I played a pivotal role in lifting their spirits with many a present, just like uncle Haewin used to do.

After this bout of bravery by yours truly you’d think we’d have had enough, but no we fought and slew a giant spider and saved a catatonic woman from its grasp. Truly this was a harrowing day that is meant for the ages.

This excursion has not been without losses though. Recently we lost our dearest friend Nemo. We lost him on our way out of creepy child town, I mean Strade’s Gallows. He was drinking with some halfling and we haven’t seen him since. This just leaves me with the other three humans. It gets very lonely out here.

Respectfully yours,

P.S. Have you gotten any more books for me? I have been looking forward to studying about water weirds. I’ll let you know more about this in my next letter.

Against an ocean of unnatural
Can grey fog be worse than a flood of undead?


But after the maelstrom of recent events, the next four weeks were calm and unassuming… and just felt wrong to us. Nothing unusual. We helped the town begin their rebuilding efforts, and with evidence that their curse was finally past, we were able to help them recover some of their morale as well.

The townsfolk were starting to become comfortable with my nature as a conjurer, which meant that it was almost time for me to leave them. I found creative ways to contribute with my talents: my Mending spell for repairing tools and materials, of course, as well as Tenser’s Floating Disk to haul heavy building materials and Mage Hand to lift tools and ropes to workmen on the walls. They shared some of their tales about ghostly fish swimming through the swamp’s thick air, rumors of warfare among the northern peoples, talk of recurring disease among the eastern cultures, and the recent conquests of the pirate Rat-Tail and his rodent-guarded treasure stash.

A time to depart. The worst of the damage was now gone, and the town returned to its daily routines of farm and fowl. We didn’t belong here. Lacking a specific goal, we aimed to walk back toward Port Garnsby to look for new opportunities. The grateful master of a river barge offered to carry us and a crate for our equipment – for a small fee, of course – but our time on the small craft still seemed out of place for us. Mara told me of the group’s brief foray through the town of Pepplefen before we met: no people, odd sounds, hints of the unseen, and finally a wall covered with bloody lettering pleading “Help us!”.

As the barge approached Pepplefen on its way toward Port Garnsby, the boatmen complained about the unnatural fog. They’ve never seen round-the-clock fog for 10 weeks straight, and this fog seemed to hide the tiny riverside town. We were eager to get active again, so we disembarked and walked into the mists along a roadway to the town. A young woman ran towards us, crying for our help. She kept repeating that “he” had her mother and the town was in danger. Even after she mentioned how “he” had asked for us, we weren’t dissuaded. Sure, it was a trap. She led us across the bridge over the river into Pepplefen and she disappeared within a strange shadow. We glanced at each other in a knowing way, and each of us smiled as we entered the danger zone.

We were disoriented for a moment. One step through a shadowy portal and we were within the town, but everything was smothered with a damp grey fog. The air smelled like a musty cellar, and the few sounds were muffled and dim. It was almost like being within a blurry painting with all colors drained away. The girl, Kendal, frantically led us between some buildings and we heard the faint sounds of chaos. Fighting in the street. the subdued sounds were hard to make out, and it wasn’t until we got close that we realized that very few of the sounds were coming from men. Undead. The street was filled with animated corpses, a few foolish men trying to escape the doom, and several buildings catching on fire. A halfling woman pleaded to save her man Aiden.

We had no need to debate our next move. Hadrian roused our spirits and we ran into the fight as two remaining survivors tried to flee. An undead ogre approached from behind the zombie horde, and a halfling lingered there and shouted to us, “Greetings! Welcome to town!”. He was accompanied by an evil demonic vulture-thing and a frightened human woman that he shoved to the ground in spiteful laughter. My Firebolt made little effect upon the horde, and our attempts could not possibly succeed against an ocean of unnatural. We managed to extricate only one of the men and were barely able to flee before being surrounded. Hadrian’s words did not impress the horde, my Thunderwaves drove a patch of them to the ground while Mara sliced and Thamior’s arrows cleared a path. A group of men and women shouted for us to follow them to safety within a town hall building. The dead advanced but mysteriously halted outside the door.

What had we walked into? The halfling woman was a cleric named Bree that explained their plight. About a hundred people were trapped within the town, due to the haughty halfling’s summoning ritual of a demon in their temple. She had managed to bless the town hall as holy ground which kept the evil at bay for the moment, and she was able to provide minimal food and water and not much else for the despondent people. Kendal was miserable that her mother Annabel has not returned – she was the woman that the halfling shoved to the ground. The villain purposely told Kendal to leave town through the portal to attract us here. Bree said she believed there was a portal in the temple, a way of escape for all of us, but she needed components from several other buildings to activate the portal to safety. A church bell rang a mournful melody in the distance while the doomed sat in silence among the cramped quarters, whimpering their losses and wondering if their absent loved ones were still alive. Why were we invited here? Why can’t anyone leave? Could this villain be related to the Watch’s halfling Edgar that gave us so much trouble last month, and what were his motives? How will we protect a hundred broken farmers through streets of undead to a temple controlled by a creature of the Abyss? We had good reason for disappointment, but I was thinking too deeply about all of this, driving myself into despair despite everyone’s support. I did not want to frighten the others, so I kept most of this to myself. I sat in a corner holding my white staff, talking under my breath to the mage within the staff, Gerald, and he could offer no comfort for our troubles and no relief for my despair. We would die here. The fog would claim us. We would all die here.

We wanted a new adventure, and one had rolled over us in colorless cold grey.

Is That Carnival Music?

Afraid that The Watch was going to release some terrible creature from under the town, we decided to venture down and try to stop them. We decided to go to the underground ship to see what was on the other side. Thamior and Walker went into the boat and through a tunnel. At the end they found a metal grate and a lever. After pulling the lever, the water drained out and we were able to walk to the metal grate. The grate was opened and there was a 10 foot drop off to more water that was surrounded by land. Some of the fish people were milling about down there. When Thamior went to the opening and proclaimed himself as the mighty Floopdoodle, the fish people hissed and threw spears at him. This resulted in a battle with the fish people, who we determined were in an opposing tribe. We found some of Thamior’s fish people in cages and an altar to the Toopfloogdo down below. We also happened to find a water elemental at the altar! There were two tunnels that connect from this main room. One with light and one that Jack heard screaming from. We went down the path with the screaming and much to our surprise we found a carnival. Turns out Baxter, the guy that was running the brothel, became a Toopfloogdo (similar to the Floopdoodle) and decides to create an underground carnival. He had four special booths for our best friends, The Watch. A Fool, A strongman, a lion tamer, and a magician. After an unfortunate spin on the wheel of chance we had to fight the magician. Thankfully we were able to incapacitate him pretty easily. We still don’t know what’s behind the freakshow doors. Probably some evil beast that’s been eating the children.

A half-pint of unwholesome
We didn't like how the Watch asked visitors to leave their town

With the man-fish safely rescued, we paused to discuss our next actions. Screams and shouts interrupted our debate, and we ran towards them. In our absence, the villagers had unfortunately discovered the mushroom men and were fighting for their lives. We sallied forth to break up the combat. Remembering the historic story of Hawthorn and The Dragon, I shouted in my best military voice, “RETREAT!” hoping the villagers would obey the order, and fortunately they did. Hadrian did a fine job talking to both sides to determine a path to peace while we tended to the wounded. The mushroom men were upset by clueless men stomping around harming their little ones, while the men were determined to rid the threat of the “mushroom demons” from beneath their family’s homes. Our group discussed alternatives and we lit upon an engaging possibility: we asked the mushroom men to talk to the villagers and scare them a bit, so they won’t want to return here. The mushrooms released more of their spores so they could communicate with the men.

The mushroom men were all too successful at terrifying everyone.

Horror! Only Jack, Betha and I were able to resist the overwhelming urge to flee in panic, despite being prepared for the mental mushroom message. Shouts and mayhem! Flee! But the main entrance doorway was not opening? Claw the door open! Tear it down! I was able to float a small mirror through a crack in the wall with my mage-hand and saw large timber beams deliberately propped against the door! The panic was overwhelming, and Mara had had enough – with the strength of ten men, she shouldered the door aside like so much kindling, and the flood of men poured toward the aboveground to freedom!

We needed a rest well away from underground. Mara and Hadrian helped me try to procure a small diamond for an untested spell of mine, but the cost was astronomical and our funds were meager. I did learn that Mara has some expertise in jewel-cutting, a sharp contrast with her door-breaking demeanor.

Crowds were proceeding towards the end of town. A hanging! The poor widow Tandy was to be hanged for her crimes, and of course it was made into a social event of high order. She was accused of murdering her three (!) husbands. Our band found no interest in watching the spectacle, and we decided to locate the former home of Tashtiba in the hopes of finding more clues (and avoiding the fearful underground for a while!). Jack stayed behind and promised to catch up to us later.

We circumvented the locked town gate and ventured into the jungle along a southern trail. With Thamior scouting efficiently, I decided to spend time studying my new-found treasure from the armory. (reminder: spend some time alone tonight to practice that new spell – I’ve almost got it figured out, but I don’t want to shock everyone at my transformation) The quarterstaff was clean and white, covered with evergreen curls, and smelled as a pine forest. The voice of Gerald was still within, and we discovered how to talk to each other without me voicing out loud (after not a few reminders to “quiet down!” from my most helpful companions). The staff seemed useful as an enchanted weapon, especially against any fey we might encounter. I found that Gerald was eager to share his past. He was a mage who romanced his Alice but dared not stray from his pursuits of the arcane, and the slighted woman took vengeance by presenting him a gift of this wonderful staff which pulled him inside. (He and I are both confident that its entrapment would only work once, to my relief!) His description of Alice seemed quite similar to the being we know as Tashtiba before she fully succumbed to evil. Based upon his descriptions, the two of us estimated that he has been within this staff for around a hundred years.

Several fish-men emerged from the jungle and swarmed around Thamior, pawing and honoring and revering him as a deity. We still cannot get used to this behavior, and Thamior’s cursed transformation into a crocodile-man has been wearing heavily upon him. We picked up our pace a bit, hoping to find some answers at the hag’s former home.

Crocodiles! We fought two of them as they leapt onto the trail after us. We won the day quickly with no harm to us. (reminder: tell everyone that smelling like fish is not the best way to avoid animal attack) The ranger quickly hung the corpses from a tree to keep them from animals until our return.

We finally arrived at our destination. Mud earthen hut within a hillside. Flowers and butterflies all around. Natural waterway in a horseshoe around it. Even the air’s fresh flavor screamed fey to us. We prepared for surprises, and I mage-handed the door open, while we heard someone speaking a spell behind us, but it was too late. What? Where was… Ooh, butterflies! Confusion reigned within us. Hadrian was able to fight it off and cast a fit of laughter upon the offending halfling, then Hadrian and Thamior charged and wrestled the attacker to ground and tied him up. While they ever so politely discussed the finer points of decent behavior with the little man, I proceeded into the hut. Cooking fire, books, rustic furnishings… no signs of an evil fey hag and unfortunately no clues.

The attacker is a member of the town’s elite Watch named Edgar, sent to persuade us to leave town. He claims that he meant no ill will toward us, just that the Watch wanted the nuisance of strangers out of their village while they strived to protect them and solve the mystery of the gravedigger’s curse. We asked questions and he slithered out some all-too-convenient answers. I brought forth one of Tenser’s Floating Disks and we trussed up our halfling turkey for a nice ride back to town on the enchanted conveyance.

Not a merchant, this one. We weren’t buying what he was selling.

A woman was on the trail. We were on-guard but only words were necessary this time. We were surprised to learn that her name is Shay, one of the daughters of Gus Sands that had died seven years ago in the Tashtiba catastrophe. She had been half-turned into a hag and could not bear to live in the village, and her father agreed to let her depart to live as she could manage in the jungle apart from all she knew. She has been living in the mud hut. After offering our aid, she also shared with us that her father had some kind of dark dealings with Tashtiba all those years ago and ended up breaking the deal in some way, and we endeavored to learn more about it from him. A delightful girl. We offered to consult Master Sato about removing the curse from her if he was able, and she felt some hope for the first time in many years. I pray that we can bring her peace.

We found Jack. He was sitting in the middle of the trail in a foul mood, and when he saw our tiny passenger he flew into a rage and threatened death and doom upon him. Again, Hadrian’s words were a calming influence as he convinced Jack to tell his tale and sheath his sword. Jack had stayed behind to witness the town’s hanging, and right at the climax, he was confronted by none other than our half-sized harbinger and blinded by some enchantment. He recovered and could not see the foe, so he ran out of town to rejoin us and discovered a woman lying on the trail moaning. Offering her some aid, he was rewarded with a rapier in the gut from the disguised halfling and being hung upside down from a tree to bleed away. Fortunately his skills proved the day as he freed and bandaged himself.

Jack was demanding vengeance, listing off many ways to fillet and skewer the half-pint of unwholesome. We were not on one mind on this. We refused to let him depart, as he would certainly bring the rest of the Watch down upon us in ambush. Several of us resisted murdering the chap. We struggled to find a third option. Chanting? The fish-men appeared again. An inspiration! Thamior convinced the man-fish to guard the halfling in their home until we returned. Without eating him! (we needed to emphasize that several times, as apparently they were already discussing the best ways to eat a raw halfling) We were invited to their community to see to the task (and let their people poke at Thamior a bit) and then return to the town. We updated Master Sato on our findings, especially the shocking news about Shay (and not mentioning our encounters with the half-rat). He prepared his fellow clerics for a trip to visit her, and we reflected on the disturbing turn of events.

Beast? Jack, what did you do?
speaking stick, baneful beast, running rogue

It is a joy to put pen to parchment once again.

It is the sixteenth year of the reign of Anthor, during the summer of the late rose. But there are certainly no roses here underground. For the reader, I am Atrei FaintWalker, adding my conjurations and arcane knowledge to our noble band of adventurers. Forgive my lengthy words, but I gain joy as I write and this dank underground stirs all but joy within me.

We’ve just completed our intriguing conversement with those mushroom creatures. I must remember to return again, to delve further into their knowledge of the arcane. However, all of us must have breathed too many mushroom spores and we did have a mission, after all (to put an end to the “gravedigger’s curse” and the disappearing children), so the thoughts of return to the surface were voiced. Poor Jack hollered about his earlier snake-bite poisoning, and our lengthy discussions were too much for his active nature. We returned to the light of day to bring Jack to Master Soto’s healing hands.

No offense to Master Soto, but I think Jack’s true healing was when he suddenly remembered the silver tea service we had discovered and how much coin he might gain from its sale.

We reentered the underground, but Thamior decided to stay in town for some unspoken reason. We traveled past the mushroom men and discovered a large ruined common room and a nearby locked armory. The lock was little challenge for Jack, the arms inside reasonably preserved, but an odd box garnered my interest: wood box long and thin, covered with runes. When we discussed what might be inside, and I mentioned it was sized to hold a large snake(!), Jack immediately left and ventured ahead.
(reminder: ask Betha to aid me in making pennance for my remark)
The box told in Silvan about Tashtiba’s vengeful entrapment of a “Gerald” for past romance, and my conjurings were sufficient to discover arcane runes underneath about an “Alice” thanking Gerald for his kindred spirit.

Jack found a beast.

It was sleeping in a ruined kitchen. Our first clue was our intrepid rogue running right past us and a deep growl from ahead. Large humanoid wolf-man. Not hostile but curious. My arcane skills could understand him but not speak back to him, he said very little, and we struggled with making an understanding. Hadrian went back and asked the mushrooms who said it was another Tashtiba-created creature, a “quaggoth”. It departed peacefully and we hindered it not.

Now that I think about it, that might be the most I’ve ever heard our bard Hadrian speak. Most bards can’t keep their mouth closed to save their soul, but this chap is reserved and disciplined. Unusual.

Mara decided to open one of the doors in the common room and ended up bringing down the roof and walls for half of the common room. She claims it was a triggered trap, but Jack laughed otherwise about our impossibly loud warrior while we quickly pulled rocks off of her before she suffocated. Fortunately Mara did not hear his comments or Jack might have received a bitter battleaxe to the brain.

I was able to open the rune box with my mage hand (no traps) and lift the ornate white-with-green-swirls quarterstaff within (no reaction) and then touched it. The voice of Gerald started talking in my mind! He was confused, kept asking about where he was and how Fort Strade was (maybe the name of our current locale from long ago?). Everyone was only hearing my words and I had to repeat everything Gerald said for their sake. Hadrian touched the staff and recoiled in pain and anguish. I could detect enchantment and transmutation qualities to this staff, worthy of future study.

After an hour or two of this research, Jack returned. Apparently our intrepid rogue had traveled back to Master Sato to gain some arcane tongues to talk with the beast, and he ran the whole long way (!). But the beast was nowhere to be found and he advanced forward. Jack hears screaming and tells us about it, we run forward. Angry hungry beast. Screaming little girl in a cage. Cooking fire. Heroes leap forward. Chaos and clatter. To my chagrin, I couldn’t get a good line of fire and we strived to avoid hurting the girl, but Betha stepped forward and shouted a blessing and and flash of light and all but crippled the beast. Huzzah! We quickly released the girl from captivity, and with a morsel from Mara she was eager to return to her home while she asked where her friends were.

Betha has been so quiet lately. She seems distant, and she has muttered something about her work here almost being finished, as if she feels a call to travel on without us. I hope she is not seeing some kind of death vision. Perhaps her deity has other plans for her.

Most of our band returned to the town with the girl (and bags full of armory goods to sell), but Jack and I were eager to continue onward. I am most impressed with his energy and initiative in our endeavor. We find several passageways and a large room with a large cargo door (emblazoned with the words “TOOPLOOGDO banished zone” in Common) and a half-buried sailing ship! Her name is the Sailor’s Mistress, and we cannot fathom (sorry for the pun) how this ship got in here. We are underground and well beneath the river level, mind you.

We weren’t touching that door.

We explored the ship’s upper deck, and Jack went into the hold and found it was clear of rubble, so we went underdeck to the other side of the ship and then topside. The ship back end is hanging twenty feet over a pool of water, filled with eerie fish. The ship has a dinghy but one look at those odd fish was enough to prompt us to return happily to the surface. We’ll wait on this until the group returns together.

Jack and I made it to the entrance to the underground just as the rest of our band arrived with dozens of townsfolk, eager to search for the other missing children. Hadrian led us to the water cavern we had passed earlier. Fungal growths concealed a child-sized corpse, and we led the villagers away from it lest they despair. Flooded hallways. Floating cargo boxes and decayed mattresses. Mold. Dry side passage with half-caved-in door (scrawled with “Don’t let the children in!” in Common). Several prison cells. Dead fish-people. I found a loose brick with daggers and tools and a note about “the damn hag that sunk the fort”. Jack found a spiral staircase up to a trapdoor, which was a wine cellar in some villager’s house (which he could hear some of them talking, the parents of a boy the band had met earlier).

We found one barely-alive fish-person in a cell. My arcane skills could understand it but it didn’t say anything. On a whim, I spoke “TOOPLOOGDO” and it recoiled – it did not like that word at all. We had nothing else to say so we gestured for it to leave in freedom and it quickly stumbled out of the cell and up the staircase, and we heard fearful shouts of the creature running past the village family.

Leave it to Jack – I swear he could find wine in a hurricane.
(reminder: place some wine in a safe place so if we ever get lost or in trouble, we can have Jack guide us through travail to freedom)

The Fog Thickens
As does the plots, all twelve of them

Mara going to dress shop and purchases a dress in preparation for the gala later that evening.

Jack, Hadrian, and Thamior walk to the bushes to chat with the Brawler Boys, a gang of dozen or so 6-12-year-old males, about the gravedigger curse. Most of the boys present had experienced the curse, but they couldn’t remember anything from their time under it. Pod Cinderbloom, a 12 y/o half-elf, thinks he remembered hearing singing, but was unable to give any other details when questioned. The boys passed on a rumor that several loggers from the Littles family had recently been attacked by some type of crazed animal. The adventurers decided that they should follow up on the attack report and try to determine if it was related to the gravedigger curse.

As the three adventurers walked through the town to where the Littles lived, they came across a statue commemorating the towns victory over the hag Tashtiba which had occurred 7 years ago. The statue was of the 3 daughters of Gus Sand that Tashtiba had kidnapped and had a plaque with the names of the people who had perished in the fight.
The adventurers visit the Littles family. Several of them are injured. They talk to Barnes Little who believed that they were attacked by a mama bear. They didn’t report any evidence of magical control, rabies, a baby bear, or any other possible causes of the attack. The adventurers heal them and leave.

After talking to the Littles, the adventurer’s drop by the Widow Tandy’s house and search it. Widow Tandy is currently in jail, accused of killing her 3 husbands over a period of 6 months, and is scheduled to be hanged in a few days. She claims to be innocent, but has no evidence to prove this. The search is remarkable in how unhelpful it is – the only possible clue is a snake fang that had punctured the boot. Jack pricked his finger on it and had no reaction so it is not clear if the fang was ever poisoned and/or had any relationship with the deaths.

The adventurers walk to the site of the abandoned theater/brothel, known as the smiling jester. There is a guard standing out front. Thamior informs him of the upcoming battle between the Brawler Boys and the Magic Matrons. Inside the theater, there are signs that pictures/wall hangings were recently removed from the lack of dust in places on the wall. They walk out to hear the Brawler Boys and the Magic Matrons arriving for their brawl, but they are chased off by the guards.

Time skip – forward to the evening. Hadrian and Mara go to the gala. They wander around and don’t accomplish much. They were both attacked repeatedly by a ghostly hand, probably a spell, in such way as too embarrass them. All attempts to identify the spellcaster failed. During dinner, Mara gets talking with the Tall family and they decide to spike the punch to liven up the party, much to Hadrian dismay. Mara leaves the party to buy some liquor, but outside she decides that the nearest tavern is too far away. However, as she re-enters the party, she finds a bottle of liquor in a pocket in her dress. She finds nothing suspicious about this and proceeds to give the alcohol to Mr. Tall. Mrs. Tall causes a distraction, allowing Mr. Tall to spike the punch. Mr. Tall returns the alcohol to Mara, who sticks it in her pocket. She then attempts to leave the party while walking by two guards Constable Fortin Harra (half-Orc) and Lank (goblin), is caught with alcohol in her pocket and thrown in jail for the night.

While the Gala is happening, Jack goes to a tavern, attempts to get information from Edgar Windhowler (Halfling), doesn’t achieve much, and then gets drunk. Thamior goes out in the swamp, tracks some Kuo-Toa (fish people), and then goes murderhobo on a few as some type of test of his transformation into a FloopDoodle. He wakes up the next day with his transformation considerably advanced. It is not clear what he learned, if anything, from this.

The 2nd Adventure Begins
A Floopdoodle is born

Intrepid adventures take a few days/week off after returning from the sewers and lost city of the Ibex (lizard folk.)
Sitting around the table at the local pub – the “Rabid Goat” the party hears a commotion outside – a gnome and elf come in
yelling at each other about a undelivered package. The Elf – Kamalla Streams – (Pirate Elf cause of his peg leg) wanted
Tipper the Gnome to deliver a crate of Rose Whistle to Strade’s Gallows but the Gnome refused because the trip was dangerous,
through the swamp and all that. Kamalla offers 500 gold to anyone willing to deliver the package, the party eventually takes
him up on his offer after some research into the situation in Strade’s Gallows. The sickness there is called
“grave diggers fever” and it seems to be currently only affecting children, packages to be delivered to Master Soto, follower of Lara.

The party leaves Port Garmsby for Pepplefin, a small farming community down the road and were the road to Strade’s Gallows is,
upon reaching Pepplefin the group discovers the town to be abandoned, but after further investigation it appears that the fog
hides some strange magical goings ons, the group learns they can communicate with something by writing on the walls, though whom
ever writes back writes in blood…

The next day the party continues down the road to strades gallows, the way isn’t nearly as bad as Tipper made it out to be and
the group makes good time. The second day the road takes a turn for the worse and begins to become difficult, a strange
alligator/lobster monster attacks the group after chasing a fish person across the road. The party kills the monster and
Thamior starts having strange ability to understand the fish people, though their speech isn’t much more articulate then a child
– “Floopdoodle” seems to be popular phrase for some reason… At the end of that day the group arrives at Strade’s Gallows.

Upon entering the town, the party is asked to stop for inspection of their gear, all magical items and abilities are questioned,
though some items are not disclosed. Dart Slipfoot (Half-elf w/panther pet) of the “Watch,” – the elite guard of the town takes
the crate intended for Master Soto and starts to walk off, a war of words begins, Jack gets punched but before he can continue
the fight – a local lady, Rita Gary (Wife of Mart Gary, chairman of the Casters, the guild that runs the town) interrupts this
and returns the package to the party. The party is meet by Fortin Harra (Half Orc leader of the “Watch”) and lead to the town’s
Temple and Master Soto. Fortin gives the party a brief tour of the town along the way.

Master Soto leads the party into a small dinning room below the temple where he gives the party their reward for bringing the
crate, but asks if he might beg their help again, this time for 2000 gold. He wants the party to dig up the real problem with
Strade’s Gallows. He offers the following information – he has two tickets to the Correlio’s Gala (Correlios’ are the riches
family in town), The Watch aren’t to be troubled with, but one of their members does drink down at the local pub, Cypress Creek
Pub every night, he may have some information if you can get it from him. Finally the Magic Matrons and Brawler Boys might have
heard something and would probably be willing to share if you play into their games.

To the Sewers we go
A bit stinky, but the pay is good!

The group is asked by Sgt. Drizzel to explore the sewers a bit and clear out some ‘folks’ who turn out to be rogues or assassins. Fighting and secret doors oh my!


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