The Aia Chronicles

The Twisted Guardian
A major milestone for our adventurers!

Start Pelor's Moon 10
Duration 1 Day
End  Pelor's Moon 11

The party awakes from their rest and find the room hasn't attacked them. Nim has learned the spell "Chains of Dishonesty" from Petal. They pack and prepare to continue their way down the dungeon. The go down a long stairwell once more, and suddenly a CLICK sounds! The party jumps to action preparing for the impending trap until they hear a maniacal cackling from the amulet. Arakroka says, "Oh gods! You should've seen your faces! That was great!" Xanders spins the amulet, and Arakroka laughs as he clearly get nauseous.

The party reaches another ledge this time in front of a 20 ft chasm. They attempt to find invisible platforms but to no avail. They see on the other side of the gorge a circular door inscribed with strange markings that Xanders recognizes as Draconic inscriptions – Blood, Fire, Death, and Darkness. There are also four pedestals in a square formation in front of the door. Nim's familiar goes to investigate, but she cannot read the inscriptions. She scrawls what she sees through Squibbles' eyes on a piece of paper. Xanders sees the same words that are on the door each inscribed on the pedestals. Grog takes out his ropes from his pack and, after around 10 minutes, manages to get two lassos around two of the pedestals. They seems sturdy, and the party crawls carefully across the gorge with the ropes anchored between the pedestals and Grog. After the party makes their way across safely, Grog makes a leap across the gorge and barely makes it across with an ungraceful landing.

The party casts a FIrebolt at the fire pedestal, and it glows with a red glow. They do the same procedure for the rest of the pedestals except for blood. Nim offers to sacrifice some of her blood – just a few drops – and she is swiftly attacked in her mind by a psychic energy. She deftly dodges it only taking a point of damage. With that, the large door clicks and unlocks. Grog kicks in the door, and CLICK a trap is triggered! Grog and Mizuki brace for an impact, Nydry ducks, Xanders and Nim attempt to look around to see the source, but it's too late! The explosion bursts from the door knocking them across the gorge while the other party members stand against the trap. Arakroka laughs maniacally, and Nim can see that a stairwell has formed leading to the bottom of the gorge. The party follows it and find themselves in a marshy quagmire at the bottom. The gorge leads to a doorway that has collapsed. Arakroka gets very angry saying that he designed this not to happen and that something is wrong. Grog and Xanders taunt him, and he recedes into his amulet. There is a roughly dug tunnel to the left that Nim scouts with Squibbles - she sees no life but many deep scratches in the walls of the cave.  The party makes their way down the tunnel and see some of the grooves in the stone are actually grinning dragon faces. Xanders recognizes the work of a mischievous Copper Dragon – a friendly metallic variety and the party feels a little more at ease. They reach the end of the tunnel and see that it opens to a large chamber. They enter and announce themselves. "You have entered my lair…. You cannot go through! I will kill you!" growls a deep voice above them, and the party looks up. Those with darkvision can see, not a Copper dragon, but a dragon wreathed in darkness and shadows with glowing purple eyes. Those without darkvision can simply see some glowing purple points in the darkness that then rushes towards the party.  Xanders quickly thinks to cast Faerie Fire at the beast outlining it in a purple glow allowing all the party members to attack it more easily – even those without darkvision. 

The party attacks the dragon, but even as the party fights the shadowy beast, the lair itself comes to the aid of its owner forming a deep pool of mud that quickly sucks Grog and Nim into it. They maintain their position restrained by mud as the party deals numerous blows that seem to not effect the ethereal beast very much! The dragon fires a slowing breath as it descends then attacks Grog who, even restrained, is able to fight off the beast. The mud solidifies around Grog and Nim encasing them in solid rock as the dragon fires its necrotic breath weapon hitting Grog and Nim for a lot of damage! The dragon then mauls Nim to unconsciousness before charging Lily who shoots an eldritch blast at the dragon. The hit lands and deals a serious blow! Grog also summons a spirital weapon that also appears to be dealing some noticeable damage to the beast. The dragon summons spiked rocks around the party where the mud once was! Xanders deals a lashing magical attack that forces the dragon to flee its lair, but it decides to wait until after Faerie Fire wears off before re-entering its lair. The team has just 36 seconds to re-group for another attack!

Nim is completely stuck in the stonework. Grog makes his way out but will not move as Nydry shows the party that moving through the spiked terrain deals some nasty damage as the magical spikes try to impede your path. The party trains their sights on the entrance from the tunnel but many of the party are blinded by the darkness and will need to wait for a signal. Grog sees the rushing shadow from the cave and alerts the team! Lily blasts the beast with Eldritch energy, but the shadow flies into the air where it tackles Xanders bringing him crashing to the ground with the great beast on top of him before mauling the bard to unconsciousness. It then hides in the shadows, invisible to all but Grog who sees the shadow in the darkness and attacks with his spiritual weapon but misses. Nydry fires to the space where Xanders was just mauled but shoots wide. Nim and Petal prepare to cast spells should the beast reveal itself. In the darkness a great purple light appears as the dragon opens its maw to fire another necrotic blast at Mizuki and Grog. As the beam fires from its jaws knocking Grog and Mizuki unconscious, Nim and Petal fire their spells! The wailing form of the Banshee's eldritch blast and the purple magical missiles from Nim intertwine and slam into the dragon causing a great explosion of shadow and energy! The dragon falls! The party has just defeated their first dragon! 

In the darkness, those with darkvision can see the shadow peel away from the dragons form, in the torchlight, a shimmer of copper scales shines in the darkness revealing the dragon who used to guard this portal. The team, after reviving their fallen comrades, see this and feel some sadness. For metallic dragons are good beings who try to help others when they can. For one of these beasts to have such a fate is a tragic thing…

Behind the corpse of the Dragon, the party can see a summoning ring… and the portal to Shadowfell.

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Who the Hell Makes Trap Filled Dungeons?
Oh yeah... Narcissistic necromancers. Right.

Start Pelor's Moon, 10
Duration 0 days
End Pelor's Moon, 10

Pelor's Moon, 10

The party rests at the inn waiting for 11PM to roll around. A new paladin drops by to deliver their supply of holy water. The party leaves the inn around 10:45PM to meet Lily at the graveyard. They exit the city via the northern gates and turn into the graveyard that has been turned into a quagmire by the recent hurricane. As the party sloshes through the marsh, they hear two voices in the distant – Lily and Arakroka are arguing about torturing somebody, but Lily says they need to wait for their friends. The party approaches, and Lily shouts into the night asking who's there. The party reveals themselves, and Lily proudly presents her catch – the leader of the local Black Flame cult leader, an orc named Bronx who bears the brand of Vecna on his chest. He is defiant and confident. Grog and Xanders interrogate the cultist and learn that Kiriag and Neerla were tricked into coming to Gulm, so they could be captured by the cult and sent to Shadowfell to instigate a war. Once the bodies begin falling, the cult will raise their army of the dead and conquer Aia! There is no way to Shadowfell, however, without conducting very dark necromatic rituals that involve 500 sacrifices to be made to power the portal. Lily chimes in informing the group that there is one person who managed to form a permanent connection to Shadowfell… and he's living in a necklace around her neck. Arakroka cackles as the amulet opens delighted that NOW the party needs him.  

He informs the party that he made a portal that eliminated the requirement for blood sacrifices in the archipelago of Essmus – on the other side of the world. Lily interjects saying that they have an acquaintance who might be able to assist in their travel problem, but it requires … some dark magic involving a humanoid hand. She looks over, hungrily, at the captured cultist, and the party, over the objections of Xanders, agrees to let her conduct her ritual. Without hesitation, Lily jumps to the cultist and cleanly swipes the hand of the cultist as he yowls in agony. Grog knocks the cultist out to reduce his suffering. She throws the hand on the ground and carves a summoning circle in the ground and chants a dark incantation. The hand twitches and moves and grips the moist soil pulling something up from the dirt. A large Fey lord then stands before the party, clad in Ironwood armor and eyes glowing a pale green. He greets the party with a haughty Fey greeting, and Lily quickly explains the party's plight. He agrees to teleport Lily at the standard cost… Lily looks back at the party with the same concerned but bloodthirsty look in her eyes. She needs a living human heart. Xanders objects still, but Grog says he will do it until Lily enthusiastically says SHE wants to do it as she pulls out her curved ritual dagger. Before the others can finish their sentence telling her she can do, she body-slams the cultist to the ground, slaps him across the face with a, "Wake up, asshole!", and jams her dagger into his chest – carving excitedly through flesh and bone. The cultist screams in agony as Lily rips his still-beating heart from his chest and throws it to the Fey lord, and the cultist dies. 

The Fey lord takes the heart and prepares to teleport Lily when the party and Lily inform him that they need to ALL be teleported. He chuckles and says if the whole party wants to be teleported, they will need to play a little game – not lethal, just a bit … mischievous.  He pulls a Fey spellbook and tells the party that they just need to read the pages and will be afflicted with a mild Fey curse, and he will include himself in this game to assure the party that nothing evil will befall them. Each party member in turn plays the game and gain the following effects:

  • Grog now has an irresistible thirst for holy water and chugs his flask immediately, gaining the Blessed condition for 24 hours.
  • Nydry forgets what birds are. WHAT ARE THESE FLYING BEASTS?
  • Nim now makes bell noises whenever she burps, sneezes, or coughs.
  • Xanders now breathes obnoxiously loud. 
  • Mizuki now thinks that any explosion, no matter how small, is a nuclear detonation.

The Fey lord laughs as he tells the party to join hands and close their eyes. Grog and Mizuki attempt to peak but are met with the icy stare of the Fey lord. After a few minutes, they hear nothing and one of them opens their eyes to see they have been teleported into a marshy jungle. The sound of the Fey lord's laugh echoes through the woods.  The party cuts their way to the temple entrance, and Arakroka marvels at his old haunt. Laughing maniacally, he informs the party that they are in for a GREAT time in his temple. 

The party descends past the crumbling temple entrance down a decrepit staircase until they reach a ledge on the edge of a 30 ft trench with an open door on the other side. The walls are smooth and featureless here. The party, after some investigation, reveals invisible platforms between the two ledges. The party hops carefully across the chasm to reach the other side.

The party then descends a spiral ramp. When they get around 15 feet down the ramp, a large stone boulder drops from the ceiling at the entrance and begins rolling down the ramp after the party. Everyone runs except for Nim and Xanders (although Grog carries Nim technically), but thanks to Nim's quick thinking, she shrinks the boulder to a smaller size allowing the party to dodge the boulder with ease.

At the bottom of the ramp is another stone door and inside is a hallway filled with 5'x5' platforms. Grog steps onto the first one and the pressure plate sinks causing a swinging axe to transverse the hallway from the wall. The party maps which platform is which axe swing, and Grog makes it to the other side, but as he crosses the door's threshold, the door at the beginning begins to seal. The rest of the group jumps onto the first plate, and, slowly and carefully, make their way across the room safely. 

At the end of this hallway is another spiral corridor but this time lined with stairs. The party carefully makes their way down the stairs watching for traps when the stairs suddenly transform into a ramp – Grog, Nim, and Mizuki lose their footing and slide down the ramp. Grog grabs the two smaller party members, and they slide into a pit at the bottom of the ramp – RIGHT ON TOP OF A GELATINOUS CUBE. Immediately, Mizuki and Nim are sucked into the cube where the acid begins eating at their flesh! Grog saves them from the cube and tosses them out of the pit before he, too, is sucked into the cube! The party looks helplessly from the pit edge until Petal casts Spider Climb on Xanders, so he can pull Grog out of the before he falls unconscious. Grog and Xanders make it out of the pit, and the party, exhausted decides to rest in the next room – a 30 × 30 square room that appears to have no traps…

The party talks to Petal as Grog rests…

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A Beast Stirs Beneath Gulm
Temples, beggars, and Otyughs

Start Pelor's Moon, 10
Duration 0 days
End Pelor's Moon, 10

Pelor's Moon, 10

The party sets off to the Temple of Pelor. They approach the temple and see a high volume of beggars at the temple. The party approach an older beggar to ask if anything is wrong, and he informs them that the City Watch has evacuated the sewers after a series of disappearances and the appearance of mangled corpses. They do not have the manpower to deal with the issue, so they are simply evacuating the area until they can deal with it.  Grog and the beggar engage in a long political discussion on the relationships between Kord, Pelor, and the other gods.

The party then goes into the temple to see the beautiful, tranquil scene of a Temple of Pelor – beggars and priests tending food plants, clerics treating the wounded and ill, and numerous indigents resting. The party approaches an elderly cleric, Brother Darrion, and asks if they can have some holy water – 10 flasks of it. Darrion tells them they normally just offer small servers to help cure ailments, but if it's to deal with the necromancers, the temple would be happy to provide some high-quality, weapons-grade holy water to the party. It will take them all day, however, and he would like some assistance in return with the city's problem in the sewers. Darrion also offers to provide them with a blessing of Pelor since they are helping the temple. The party agrees, and all but Grog accept the blessing.

The party goes into the sewers, going down and down, until they are up to their waists in water, feces, and filth. They grab some nearby roots and wood to make a raft for Nim since she is too short to wade through the quagmire. They approach the final descent, and Nydry sneaks ahead to scout the hallway at the bottom. She rounds the corner and sees in the hallway a sea of rats feeding on refuse and garbage. She races back up the ramp before the rats take notice and informs the group. They make their way down the ramp and are immediately attacked by swarms of rats – as they fight the rats off, more and more come out of the walls. The party clears the rats out for a moment and make their way hastily down the hallway to a larger room where they spot a large creature submerged in the filth. It roars angrily at them, but in noticing the one in front of them, they fail to notice the one to their right and are ambushed! 

The beasts attack with spiked tentacles and gaping maws of razor sharp teeth – Nydry is lifted from the ground and slammed repeatedly into the ceiling while Grog, Mizuki, and Xanders fight the ambushing creature. Nim stays in the back but becomes swarmed by rats! The group of three take down their target, and Grog rushes to aid Nim while Xanders and Mizuki engage the other tentacled horror. Nydry is nearly unconscious, barely clinging to life, as her friends attack the beast. It grabs Mizuki, but she manages to escape as the beast is brought down by final blow from Grog's sword. He takes the heads of both beasts as trophies. A sea of rats has formed in the hallway, and Xanders casts an enchanting illusion to keep them distracted and allowing them to pass through a sea of rats safely. 

The party makes their way back up to the surface where they present the heads to the head of local Paladinic order, who happened to be at the Temple of Pelor. He thanks them for their service and offers them 500gp for helping the city as well as more weapons grade holy water for their trouble. The party, beaten and battered, make their way to the inn where a note awaits them from the bartender…

Hey friends!

Meet us at 11PM in the graveyard! We think we have what you're looking for, but it'll take us a few hours to get it!

Toodles!

Lily!

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Backstory Series: Nydry, a Rebellious Princess
Welcome to Ironwood!

Start Mortal's Moon, 1
Duration 0 Days
End Mortal's Moon, 1

 

Mortal's Moon, 1

It is the first night of the Moon of Mortals, and the city of Ironwood is in full party mode. In celebration of the power and vitality of the mortal races, the people of Ironwood and all around the world are celebrating life as they know it. 

The elves of Ironwood are drinking, dancing, storytelling, and communing with nature to celebrate their heritage as Nydry, Alar, and Saeriel are carousing down the main drag. Nydry and Saeriel want to skip her lessons with her mentor, Rose Ironwood – her aunt and current Spymistress. Sergent Alar – a Green Knight veteran, family friend, and spiritual guide to Nydry - reminds Nydry of her duties, and they proceed to Fort Ironwood.

Fort Ironwood has been carved from the largest Ironwood in the world and is kept alive by a combination of magic and botany – it is nearly impregnable and has been the family seat of the Ironwoods for thousands of years. As the party approaches the fort, they pass Warden Wormwood and Prince Jade, a scruffy, dirty young elf with piercing green eyes and Nydry's little brother, leaving the fort to go on patrol in the surrounding woods. Her brother is angry and bored with patrols and the learning of the Warden's arts, but Alar reminds him that his duty is very important and even provides him with a deck of playing cards to entertain himself in the woods. 

Nydry's sister, Princess Ivy – a tall, lithe, and cunning elf who just recently celebrated her first century - intercepts the group in the halls and expresses her excitement with the festival down in the city. She flirts a little with Saeriel but is more excited at her arcane studies. She demonstrates for the group her newest Fireball spell although it is not as powerful as she had hoped. 

Nydry's father, Lord Caspian – a short elf with brown hair and eyes, grizzled features, and a gentle smile – checks to make sure that Nydry is on her way to her lessons and not playing hooky again. Alar assures her old friend that Nydry is being watched and guided as assigned. Caspian kisses Nydry on the cheek and bids them farewell.

With no further interuptions, the party makes their way beyond the lower dungeons into the realm of the Spymistress Rose Ironwood. The door is locked (as usual), and Nydry knows some test or challenge waits beyond. Nydry stumbles on the lockpick and breaks part of her set but opens the door on the second try to reveal inky, magical darkness obscuring all their views into the room beyond. Nydry draws her blade but is immediately chastised by Alar – "What are you going to do? Stab your aunt?" She sheathes her blade and enters the darkness with the group. They pass the veil and see not one but four elven figures resembling Rose. Two are held hostage by the other two and all four insist that the other three are imposters. Nydry cunningly determines who the real Rose is, and Rose chuckles as she congratulates her pupil on her roguish guile. 

Rose, on the word of Alar and Saeriel as well as her own observations, now believes that Nydry is ready to take on her first field mission. The Merchant's Guild is currently having an annual conference in the nearby town of Elmdale (where Saeriel is from). Rose has intel that the Merchant's Guild has been manipulating their records to avoid paying taxes to Ironwood, and she would like Nydry to steal their receipts from the offices there to confirm her suspicions. She also says that the process with be substantially easier if Nydry can use her training to construct a false identity that passes the inspection of the guild's undersecretary, Faerun Oak. With this information, she dismisses Nydry and the group with a gentle warning to Alar to keep Nydry in line.

Nydry spends a couple of hours working on her false papers but then convinces Alar that she deserves to go out and celebrate! Alar agrees, and the party goes to the Gilded Skunk – a middle class bar in the city. Nydry attempts to get used to her new disguise by playing it at the bar in an attempt to get laid amongst the common people. Saeriel, however, goes in her full royal attire leaving no one to question who she is. They order drinks and get sufficiently drunk until Saeriel begins to dance on the bar. When Nydry goes to join her, she is unceremoniously pulled from the bar by the gruff bartender, Harden Halfhand. Saeriel scorns the bartender for his treatment of her friend, and he allows the disguised Nydry to dance on the bar away from the major transaction area. As they dance, a few people look at the duo dancing and recognize Nydry! They begin cheering and chanting. The ladies begin to bankroll drinks for the whole bar, and the night is becoming alive!

A handsome young elf approaches the duo and begins to flirt with them. They spend a few minutes chatting, and he invites them up to his room. They follow him up, Saeriel seeming a bit reluctant. As they enter the room, the elf is taking off his shirt and moves to remove Nydry's clothing when the cold edge of a knife presses against her neck. A familiar voice whispers in her ear, "And now you're dead, my niece."  "GODDAMIT, AUNT ROSE!!"

Rose scorns her pupil for being so reckless – the weight of the Ironwood line lies on her shoulders. She cannot cavort recklessly like this because there are many people who would want to destroy their family. She also scorns Alar for his complacency in the events and then leaves, jumping from the window into the street below but not before warning them, "I'll be watching."

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Every Lily has its... Petals?
A favor given is a favor earned...

Start Pelor's Moon 7
Duration 3 days
End Pelor's Moon 10

Pelor's Moon, 7

The team just makes it over the bridge with the militia at the bridge and leave the horde on the other side of the gorge.  They arrive at the checkpoint to find Sgt. Strong banging on the checkpoint door before she storms across the bridge to the main encampment.  Grog pulls the cleric aside and asks him about the cursed blade he's currently wielding. The cleric says that the blades normally disintegrate once released for longer than a few seconds. Grog drops the blade and watches the blade turn to dust leaving just a hilt – he sacred flames it to no avail. 

The team slowly works their way across the shorter bridge to the other side of the gorge after the cleric to a large permanent watch tower. Inside, there are four tired looking young men and women trying to figure out what exactly is happening. There is loud yelling and the sound of fists pounding a wooden desks on the floor above, and the recruits look nervous yet slightly enamored. One of young men approaches the group and asks if they're the group who saved the vanguard and slightly fangirls over the party. Grog convinces him that he must get stronger by stripping to his skivies and standing against the storm to which he enthusiastically runs through the door… and is immediately thrown back inside the tower as a large hurricane gust knocks him off his feet. Sgt. Strong comes down from the office and beckons the group to the top floor. 

Inside the office, they see a large human male sporting a serious looking injury to his sides but attempting to look dignified in spite of the pain. He thanks the party for their assistance and offers to expedite their security clearance – should take around a week with some expedience. But Grandma Nim sees through his bulls**t and pushes to be let through the security checkpoint in a more expedient manner. Commander Garrison pushes back until Sgt. Strong intervenes declaring that if he will not grant them passage, she will invoke the Rite of Proxy since they saved her life. The commander seems flustered and angry at the prospect of losing his vanguard commander, but he accepts. The team asks what this ritual means – he informs them that it means that they are marked as guests and connected to Sgt. Strong. Should they commit a crime, she will be equally culpable in it as they. After a short ritual, they all receive a blue arcane mark on their hands matched by a red one on Sgt. Strong's. 

The team sets up their shelter on the edge of camp and invite Strong to sleep with the group, so they can talk and get to know each other.

Pelor's Moon, 9

On the way to Gulm, the party talks with Sgt. Strong and learn that she normally runs a bakery in Gulm called the Strong Spice Bakery, but that she has performed meritoriously in the militia resulting in frequent calls to the front. But the pay from the city and prestige of her position gives her kids and husband a comfortable life in Gulm, so she accepts tours of duty when they arise. She is excited to see her children much earlier than expected. Grog grows suspicious that she's a member of the necromantic cult who has infiltrated the milita forces, but the rest of the group seems to trust her. 

The group arrives at Gulm under the Proxy protection of Strong and witness a public hanging in the central square. After the hanging, a number of small fights break out as people voice their political disagreements between Urmag and Gamli's philosophies. In between fights, the party sees a small girl sprinting among the crowd chased by four thuggish brutes. Mizuki goes to try and distract one of the thugs with a FWAP of her staff, but she is summarily ignored, and she gives chase. Xanders casts a fly spell and catches up with the girl and asks if she wants to fly out of the situation. She agrees clearly seeing the desperation of her situation. Nim and Grog take a leisurely stroll through Gulm as Nim's familiar keeps track of Xander's movements. Mizuki rejoins them once she sees Xanders has the girl safely above the crowd. 

Xanders lands in the boughs of a high tree away from the chase and learns that the girl is a very friendly human named Lily. But quickly, it becomes obvious there's something more to this girl. After some pressing, LIly seems to trust Xanders for saving her life, so she reveals that she is actually possessed by a banshee who shares her mind with her. This is very unusual as banshees normally kill those whom they possess, and it gets weirder still when Lily reveals she's around 400 years old. Lily and Xanders have an acrobatics race down to the bottom, and although Xanders seems to perform much better, he intentionally trips at the end allowing Lily to win at which point she gloats as you would expect a 6-year-old to do. 

The party introduce themselves, and Lily explains her situation. The party and Lily make their way to the tavern, The Flying Helmsorc. Lily asks the party to buy her a beer since, despite her age, she can never get a good beer because of her appearance as a small child. Grog agrees heartily. Xanders talks to the local innkeep to get free lodging for him and his party. The innkeep agrees but only if he can prove who he is. Xanders offers to beat someone in the ring WHILE outperforming the tavern bards. A brutish man comes from the crowd and challenges Xanders. He begins to play a tune to outperform the two bards and rallies the crowd to his side. The brute swings many times – missing mostly but breaking Xander's concentration a couple of times. Finally, Xanders grows tired of this fight and casts levitate on the brute and defeats him with vicious mockery until the man breaks down in tears and leaves the tavern. 

Meanwhile, Lily has been getting into this fight cheering when suddenly her amulet yells before she can panickedly grasp it to keep it quiet. She looks to the group, and they make their way to a room where they can get more privacy. Lily informs the party that in this amulet is a powerful necromancer who used to be her and Petal's master until he attempted to turn on them but was defeated. Her and Petal's mission has been to track down and kill the shards of his soul around the world. Until then, she and Petal must maintain concentration on this amulet, so that he can never break out. At this point, Lily is very tired, and she warns the group that Petal isn't very nice and won't like them, but she needs to sleep. The group agrees, and Xanders plays a nice lullaby for the minute that Lily seems to be asleep. 

Lily slowly gets out of bed, her eyes now glowing with a deep black fire, and she looks at the members of the party in turn. She laments the naivete of Lily and tries to leave before the party can stop her. But Grog offers a deal, and she seems to have some interest as she needs holy water to conduct her ritual but cannot enter any holy temples. The party reveals their mission and ask for help in locating Kiriag or Neerla. 

The amulet goes ballistic, and Petal informs the party that Arkroka, the entity in the amulet has some input. The party agrees to listen.  A deep gravelly voice comes from the amulet saying that he can scry to find their quarry for free. He just wants to witness some carnage and destruction. The party thinks this sounds like a bad idea and that they'd rather help Petal. Petal agrees to try and find their quarry. She jumps from the window and leaves the party alone in the room.

Pelor's Moon, 10

The team prepares to go to the Temple of Pelor to fetch the holy water for Lily and Petal.

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Showdown at Grimoire's Gorge
Caught between a canyon and an undead army

Start Melora's Moon, 22
Duration 11 days
End Pelor's Moon, 5

Melora's Moon, 22

The team drinks merrily after their meeting with Lt. Eros and listens to the heroic melodies and songs played by a local bard in the corner. The team approaches the bard to ask for a song, and they begin talking of their adventures to learn that this bard, Anders Milton, is actually a champion in the Tortuga fighting pits.  Having conquered the pit, he sought adventure, and, as though hearing his desire for adventure, Urmag the Pirate Lord approached him offering him a quest – find his son. The party agrees to join forces as they are now on the same quest, and Anders reveals a letter that he found during his investigation – a love letter from an unknown person to Kiriag.  The team needs to get to Gulm ASAP.

Melora's Moon, 23

The Adventure Friends ensure the safety of their ship with the local dockmaster and gathers their necessary supplies while leaving their ship under the protection of their ship cat.  They also approach an old gnome to ask for the quickest way to Gulm – he points them to the main road out of Seaside that will head towards Gulm. The trip will take 12 days through the wilderness. 

Melora's Moon, 28

On the fifth day of travel, the team's peaceful trip is interupted as Nydry points to the movement of the hillside and rock faces they are passing. Ander's music stops suddenly as the ground shakes and the hillside rises from the earth to reveal the face of a colossal earth elemental appears – an Aspect of Earth, a servant of Melora. Anders immediately plays a joyful tune as Mizuki attempts to calm the earth elemental clearly grouchy at being woken up. Upon learning this, Anders plays a lullaby, and Mizuki masterfully makes peace with the being who allows them to pass unharassed. 

A storm seems to be brewing…

Pelor's Moon, 5

After ten days of travel, the storm seems to be getting substantially worse. Luckily, the team rounded a corner in the jungle and sees the fires of a campsite and the vague image of a canyon. The Adventure Friends make it to Grimoire Gorge to find the local militia led by Sgt. Strong guarding the bridge and preventing any outsiders from entering without either the correct papers or direct CO approval. They offer their campsite and fire for the party to use until morning when the CO can see them. He's currently resting from his encounter with a local coven of necromancers. The team settles in for the night, eating and talking with the militiamen. The storm worsens and the militia and party go into their respective abodes.  Grog, however, sees the will of Kord.

Grog removes his amor and stands against the storm shouting at the storm. He inspires another militiaman to follow suit, and now there are two nearly-nude brawny characters shouting at the storm in defiance. As they continue this strange ritual, the jungle line illuminates with an orange glow and a fireball flies from the jungle striking the two people! A figure clad in darkness appears on the jungle line and from the darkness, more figures begin to appear! 

The militia calls to arms as well as the party. The necromancers cast a barrage of spells causing members of the militia and Mizuki to flee the field temporarily. Grog calls upon the power of the storm and rains lightning upon the necromancers. Nim calls forth a flaming sphere and attacks the necromancers with it, but the rain douses the effect of the spell. Nydry bolts awake and slaughters the cultists near her and Anders, and Anders provides support for Nydry and the party with his music. As the battle rages on, a horde of shambling undead is revealed in the treeline, and the militia calls a retreat! They need to cross the bridge and get reinforcements before they can deal with this horde. 

Grog and a militiamen slay the lead necromancers causing him to fall and drop his magical dagger. As Grog reaches for the artifact, he shutters and feels necromantic energy begin to rot the flesh of the arm holding this dagger. Additionally, as Grog runs to the group, the necromancer he had just slain rose from the dead – his eyes glowing with a deep, blood red and a toothy skeletal grin as the flesh drops from his bones. As he flees the field towards the militia shield-wall, he is frozen in place by a spell, but Nydry dashes in to break the casters concentration. 

The militia's druid single-handedly holds off three cultists as she transforms into a large grizzly bear – she yells for the militia and party to flee as she holds off the horde. But Grog will have none of this, and he calls lightning to clear the druid's space, so she can rejoin the militia shield wall. The rest of the party flees over the bridge, but Grog and Sgt. Strong see that the remaining necromancers are summoning a magical weapon – Grog attempts to interupt the ritual with a lightning bold, but two of the casters maintain their concentration and summon a greatsword wreathed in darkness and blood. The weapon moves towards the bridge. Strong and Grog realize with horror what their plan is. Anders casts Fly on Grog as he runs across the bridge, and the militia follow soon after. Grog positions himself by the bridge in preparation of the incoming blade. With a magical whirr, the blade cuts one of the ropes causing the bridge to careen and almost knocking Nim and Anders from the bridge. Grog holds the bridge up as best he can, but as the blade cuts another rope, the bridge falls completely out from under the group and Anders falls precipitously to the ground. The druid also loses her footing, but she transforms into a bird in response. Anders casts levitate on himself thus saving himself from a terrible fate at the bottom of the canyon. Grog, with his great strength from the goddess, Kord, holds the bridge as best he can allowing it to slowly descent and form a rope ladder for those remaining on it. 

The team and the militia all make it safely to the mid-canyon check point against all odds. Sgt. Strong storms to the checkpoint tower, anger and frustration painted on her face…

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Closed Eyes, Closed Heart, Not Good
What we have here is a failure to communicate

Start Melora's Moon, 21
Duration 1 day
End Melora's Moon, 22

Melora's Moon, 21

As the emblem of the Rising Dawn and Erathis grows in the distance, the Adventure Friends make preparations for their encounter with… the Law! Nydry cooks the books to make it appear as though the ship has no illegal booty (obtained by the previous captain) while Grog and the rest of the crew work on moving the valuable goods (everything other than fish and shark meat) into the smuggling compartments of the FriendShip. After Nydry cooks the books, she palms a dagger… just in case.

The Moradin's Hammer sails next to the Friendship 2. A friendly half-elf hails from the steering wheel and introduces himself as Captain John Seafare. After exchanging pleasantries, he informs the Friendship 2 that they have entered the Harpoon Isles and need to pay any necessary taxes to the Rising Dawn.  He goes below deck and retrieves LIeutenant Hardrir Eros, a dwarven paladin of Erathis. He boards the Friendship 2 with some other sailors, and they go through the captains log and ship's inventory. Nothing seems off, and Lt. Eros offers to host the party in the captains quarters for a dinner of something other than summoned food and shark meat. 

Eros and the party made small talk over the meal, but Eros quickly turned serious after the final course. He pulled their Bucaneer Bay banner from a nearby chest as he grimly states, "I'm sorry for the deception, but we know that you are pirates." Grog corrects him by informing him that they are simply mercenaries who have been hired by Davy Jones. Eros responds, "Well, in that case, how would you feel about being hired to pose as pirates?" The party, confused, asks why he would hire them to do that.

He explains the situation in the Harpoon Isles.  The Rising Dawn is attempting to establish a base of operations to hit a chromatic dragon uprising in Xibalba, but Urmag and the Pirate Cove do no appreciate the incursion on their territory especially as the Rising Dawn begins to force Gulm and the country residents to provide food and resources to supply this venture. The situation has since been escalated by the kidnapping of Commader Gamli's daughter, Neerla. They strongly suspect that Urmag is behind the abduction based on their investigations. He would like the party to infiltrate Tortuga and find Neerla if they can. They agree, but Grog is hesitant to accept money from Eros. Eros cuts a deal to pay them a little bit and take the "taxes" from the "fee." The group agrees, and the party returns to the deck of the Moradin's Hammer. 

A storm erupts rapidly as the group says its goodbyes with Eros, and from the sky drops a hulking half-orcish figure into the deck of the ship. A half-orcish figures stands from the crater wielding a greataxe glowing with red and black energy followed shortly by two copper dragons. "EROS! You backstabbing traitor!" Urmag and Eros exchange sharp words, and it becomes clear that Urmag and Eros knew each other in the past and that that relationship has soured substantially on the opposite sides of the battle lines. Urmag growls at Eros, "For the friendship we once had, I will let you live. But only if you deliver a message to Gamli. I'm coming for him. My entire navy and army is going to crush the Rising Dawn, and I want a good fight." Eros agrees and turns to instruct Captain Seafare (who has been tensely watching from the wheel). 

Urmag and his dragons embark the Friendship 2 followed by the party as the Moradin's Hammer departs. Urmag roars at the open ocean in anger. The younger dragon, Crazhyx, talks to Mizuki – "Hey… Hey, so uh… Was I scary? It's my first mission with Urmag." MIzuki and Nydry both assure Crazhyx that he was very scary to which he seems very proud. Grog enhances his charisma and approaches the powerful barbarian and asks him what's wrong. Urmag turns to face the party, blood and fury in his eyes, "They have my son! That son of a bitch Gamli stole my Kiriag! I'll kill them all and rip their corpses to pieces if anything happened to him!" The party, confused as hell at this point, informs him of their mission from Eros. Urmag adamantly insists that Eros is either lying or Gamli has deceived him because he has never nor would he ever kidnap a dwarven girl for political expediency. The party convinces him to investigate his underlings and city in Tortuga in exchange for no advance payment on his mission to find Kiriag. After some convincing, he agrees but makes no promises – it doesn't seem like he's too interested in pursuing a ridiculous claim such as this. Urmag prepares to leave as the sun rises, and Nydry asks if she can hug Crazhyx. Urmag chuckles and allows it – Crazhyx purrs loudly as his skin crackles with acid. He seems happy. Urmag leaves the Friendship 2. 

Melora's Moon, 22

The party determines that they need to reach Eros and discuss what the hell is going on here. They use Grandma Nim's familiar, Squibble to deliver a message to the Moradin's Hammer asking Eros what the hell is going on and informing him of what Urmag told them. They receive a letter from Eros saying that he knows nothing of a kidnapping by the Rising Dawn and suggests another meeting. The party sends another message to meet at the nearby fishing town of Horacha and sends Squibble off. 

The party then comes to the realization that they must part ways from the Drow crew or break their word, for they have reached the Harpoon Isles. Grog talks to Tarn and informs him that they have control of the ship and will be parting ways. Tarn seems sad as he has grown attached to Grog's boisterous nature but makes preparations to make port in Tortuga. Grog asks Tarn if he can investigate the disappearance of Neerla in Tortuga. Tarn agrees, but he will not pursue it very far as he is anxious to return to his boyfriend in Micarmeth – he has been at sea for many months now. 

The party parts ways with the Drow but not before a young Drow returns to Nim with a solved Sudoku puzzle. The party tries to convince him to join their crew as a cabinboy and fellow adventurer, but he declines choosing instead to stay with his friends and crew aboard the ship. The party boards the Friendship 2 with all the gold and loot and makes their way to Horacha. They arrive and head to the local tavern.

Grog immediately goes the bar and asks for a good, strong drink. The bartender, a rambuncious halfling, suggests the Island Special as she runs to the back. She returns with a coconut that she chops a whole into, fills with rum and fruit juice, and tops off with a bamboo straw with a small grass umbrella. Mizuki orders a Kahlua and the bartender seems confused – "You mean coffee?" Mizuki hesitantly agrees, and the bartender runs to the back, brings out another coconut, chops off the top, and fills it with a dark alcohol. The rest of the party orders their respective drinks and look around the bar for Eros. They see a poorly disguised, cloaked figure in the corner, and approach him. "OH, Good day, Tom! Why, yes, I would love to exchange the latest fishing stories!" exclaims the dwarf (definitely Eros) loudly so those nearby can hear. Grog attempts to tell a metaphorical story about a mercernary fisherman who was asked to track down two fishes that were supposedly stolen by two different people and is now very confused. They quit speaking in lies and stories but in hushed tones. Eros is clearly extremely surprised by the news that Urmag's son has gone missing. The party suggests that this could be a lovers' escape, and Eros agrees that that is possible, but he has never seen the two together. At this point, the party and Eros are concerned that if this is not resolved soon, there will be much bloodshed as Urmag and Eros stand ready to slaughter the other over both territory and personal disputes. The party informs that Urmag is at the very least aware there is some conflicting information, but Gamli needs to be kept in check as best as possible. Eros agrees to try, but he's not a high-ranking soldier thus does not have much sway. The party parts ways with Eros and resume an evening of heavy drinking to celebrate THEIR FIRST DAY IN THE HARPOON ISLES!

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Skirmish on the Ositar Expanse
The Merrow & Sahuagin Conflict

Start Melora's Moon, 15
Duration 6 days
End Melora's Moon, 21

CRASH! The large Sahuagin barrels into the back of the Friendship 2.0, and the Sahuagin raiders attack both the Merrow traders and the Adventure Friends! As the attackers board the vessel, the large Sahuagin disappears from view and goes under the ship. The Merrow are an easy match for the Sahuagin one-on-one, and the Sahuagin take casualties quickly. As the battle sways in the team's favor, a beautiful song echoes from below the water's surface. A Merrow frantically informs Nydry that sharks are being summoned and to grab any harpoons on board! A large dorsal fin appears in the distance – a Megaladon has been called by an unknown enemy and is charging the ship! The Merrow slay many of the Sahuagin in the water while the party repels the boarders on the ship. A blue light fills the ocean, and the fresh wounds inflicted by the defenders against these Sahuagin attackers mend and heal, and they re-enter the fray! The Merrow notice the shark approaching and get out of the water as fast as possible to draw their harpoons against this new enemy. As the party again brings down the freshly healed invaders, the water glows once more, and their wounds are healed once more! A Merrow bodyguard dives below the ship to attempt to disrupt the source of healing. 

As the Merrow jumps off the ship, the Megaladon rams into the ship's side causing the vessel to careen violenty and knocking most of the fighers on-board prone. As the ship continues to rock violently, the large Sahuagin leaps from the water to take advantage of the freshly downed defenders and unleashes a flurry of attacks against Mizuki with his claws and magical trident.  Grog commands Tarn and his best men to drop sails to try and get away from this place and battle! 

Grandma Nim springs into action seeing two large foes prepared to tear both the ship and her friends to pieces, and she blinds both of them with her arcane magic! The large Sahuagin commander flails at the nearest enemy, and despite his lack of sight, brings Grog to his limits with a brutal flurry of attacks. But Grog, empowered by Kord, rebukes this attack and with the blood of his ancestors withstands the assault to remain standing. The shark continues to attack the ship tearing chunks out of the hull leaving the undermanned crew in the cargo hold to keep the ship afloat as best they can. 

Nim, seeing that the shark does not seem to be effected by her blindness spell, shrinks the shark to a smaller size to reduce the damage it can do to the ship. Nydry and Xarfas continue to pick off Sahuagin to allow Mizuki and Grog to focus on the commander. The Merrow frantically try to fire at the beast attacking the vessel but realize they have taken each other's weapons and are missing with each shot! Finally, Mizuki lands the killing blow against the commander as she shouts, "REST IN PEACE!" The commander falls.  The Merrow, who dived below the ship to grab the unknown assailant, surfaces while pulling a struggling, feminine Sahuagin! She breaks from the Merrow and attempts to flee from the crew, but a well-placed arrow from Nydry and Magic Missiles from Nim take the being down.  The shark now attempts to flee from the battlefield, but the ships cannons can fire multiple shots easily from the ship's deck to hit the beast leaving it belly up on the water's surface. 

The Merrow gather their dead and apologize for the trouble they have caused. They offer the rest of their fish, some of the Empress's delicacy, and all the gold they need to fix the ship (+530gp for the party!). Grog runs below deck to help his crew patch the hull to allow them to reach port within the week. Nim, upon looting the body of the Sahuagin priestess finds a Pearl of Power in her necklace! In addition, the weapon wielded by the commander is a magical trident! 

The Merrow offer to guide the group out of the deep ocean to the friendly shoals of the Harpoon Isles. The team is almost at their destination!

Melora's Moon, 21

The day is bright, the wind is warm, and the sky is clear! Grog inhales the familiar tropical air of the Harpoon Isles. The Friendships glide over coral reefs and sandbars that make the water shimmer with shades of aqua and turquoise. The fishing is lucrative, and some of the crew have even tried to make some improvised fishing poles to catch some fresh fish from the water. 

As the ship approaches within a day of reaching Tortuga, a cannon ball splashes the water near the ship, and over the horizon, the emblem of the Rising Dawn appears emblazoned on an approaching warship sail.

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Sailing the Deep Ocean
Mythological and supernatural events

 

Start Kord's Moon, 2
Duration 41 Days
End Melora's Moon, 15

After solving the murder mystery in Moldred, the Adventure Friends reunite aboard the Friendship II and discuss their next steps. Kord recalls that today is the beginning of Kord's moon cycle and wants to go to the Kordic Temple of Moldred to pray and receive his god's blessing. Others accompany him to also try and gain Kord's blessing with Nydry and Mizuki being successful. 

The Friends then decide that in order to avoid the Drow patrols along the Micarmeth shoreline, the will brave the deep ocean and the monsters and supernatural phenomenon that occur there.

Kord's Moon, 14

The Friends encounter a group of Merfolk traders who have potions and general goods for sale. The team buys 2 Health Potions, and Grog buys Coral Caltrops to turn into sand for Melora's Lily (-101 gp total).

Kord's Moon, 26

The Friends see the Moon and Sun coming together in the sky, and although none of them understand the religious significance of this event, Nydry recognizes that strange things occur during the meeting of Pelor and Sehanine. They stand ready as the Moon obscures the light of the Sun, and off the ships sides the light and darkness plays off the water, and two Eclipse Elementals appear writhing and pulsating with darkness and light! The team engages in them in combat and are forced to reckon with the powers of the Sun and Moon merged into one being. They burst with Moonlight and Sunlight blinding and burning the party, but the Adventure Friends come out victorious as the eclipse ends leaving the day as it was before this bizarre encounter.

Melora's Moon, 8

A humanoid draped over a piece of driftwood is spotted off the ship's bow. The Adventure Friends and Drow crew pull the person on the ship and find an unconscious High Elf. Grog casts Healing Word to revive the person. He asks for food and water. As he eats, the crew ask him how he came to be shipwrecked to which he informs them they were attacked by the Shauguin and that they are likely in the territory of conflict between the Merrow Naga and the Shauguin. 

Grog wants to cast Zone of Truth to ask more questions and informs the Elf that he will kill him if he tries to resist. The prisoner resists the spell, and Grog slices his throat, but as his blade meets the soft flesh of the neck, he finds it clad in scales. The High Elf shape transforms into the Huge form of a Bronze Dragon! He is very displeased that the group would execute an unarmed shipwrecked sailor for refusing to succumb to their will. Grog, Nydry, and Nim all draw their weapons and prepare for a fight as the Bronze Dragon grows angry at their behavior. First mate Tarn and Xarfas both jump between the Dragon and the crew members to de-escalate the situation. The Dragon demands 500gp as punishment for their "crime" in "his waters," and the Adventure Friends begrudgingly agree at the advisement of Tarn and Xarfas but not without some cutting words.

Melora's Moon, 15

Some friendly Naga traders approach the ship offering goods and fresh sea food. The crew and adventurer's both enthusiastically buy the sea food as a break from the normal diet they have been sustaining. As the Naga are loading the sea food onto their ship, the watch in the Crow's Nest spots movement rapidly approaching from the rear of the ship and yells down to the crew. Grog goes to the back to investigate but cannot quite make out the shapes of Shauguin until they attack the ship and bellow threats to the Naga traders!

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The Village of Moldrid
A Smalltown Murder Mystery

Start Corellon's Moon, 3
Duration 27 Days
End Kord's Moon, 2

The press-ganged crew of the Friendship 2 set to work after Grog had made sure that they were not planning to mutiny.  Grandma Nim's cooking and magic quickly endeared her to the crew as she makes the bland food Grog summons from Kord taste like their favorite foods. A young Drow sailor named Beltrin approaches Nim and asks if she can teach him how to do Prestidigitation more masterfully to which she offers him a Sudoku puzzle for him to solve. Once he finishes, he shall return for more training.

Corellon's Moon, 6

A pod of killer whales is sighted off the bow of the Friendship 2. The Adventure Friends climb up to the crow's nest with Tarn, the First Mate to get a better view of the rare sight. Tarn informed the party that it is rare to see them this far north this late in the year, so this is quite a treat. Probably a good omen.

Kord's Moon, 2

The Friendships make landing near the small fishing town of Moldrid, Micarmeth and head into town at dawn on the Friendship 1. Grog and Mizuki go back to the Friendship 2 to monitor the Drow crew and make sure there are no shenanigans. 

Nydry uses her Thieves' Cant to locate the local poison dealer and purchases a Truth Serum, Serpent's Venom, and Crawler Mucus poisons for 475gp after threatening the dealer with Xarfas as her enforcer. Nim purchases supplies to copy her spell scroll of Darkness into her spell book.

The party then checks out the local message board and sees, among a number of other bounties, there's a 500gp reward for assistance in solving a series of brutal murders in Moldrid. They report to the Sheriff's office where a stressed halfling named Tepos is berating a deputy about, "…ANOTHER MURDER IN THE CITY! FIND. OUR. KILLER." They talk to Tepos and learn that there have been three murders, one at a tavern and two others in the residential district. The most recent one is in the residential district, and he sends them on their way. 

They reach the house and inform the city watch guarding the scene that they are adventurer's looking to help. The city watchman asks for the PCs names for the records, so they know who has entered the murder scene and when.  Xarfas attempts to pass as a secret crowned prince of Draconia but fails; Nim gives her true name; Nydry provides her alternate identity. The party enters the home, and Nim immediately investigates the scene.

The tables are broken, cuts line the walls, blood is splattered everywhere, and the house is is disarray. She determines that even though Tepos and the City Watch are searching for a murderer, there were at least 4 combatants in the foyer tussle. The blood trail leads up the stairs as it's clear that a body was dragged up the stairs bleeding. The trail leads to the bedroom door on the left that is left ajar; the party slowly swings open the door and see the horrible scene. A half-elf body stripped to his undergarments and hung on the wall from his limbs with iron spikes. HIs limbs have all been lacerated, and the wall is soaked with blood. Nim notices a small circle on the floor that is not soaked with blood… these murders were harvesting blood from their victims! She also investigates the bloody arcane script around the corpse and learns that this is a dark blood magic ritual that binds the soul of the deceased to their blood. This looks like the work of necromancers. Nim also finds a scrap of paper underneath a dresser with a rudimentary map and a note, "… need 2 more …. the ritual …. three days." They finally stop by the blooded kitchen in the back of the house and find that the owner of the house likely tried to defend himself and got at least one of his assailants with a kitchen knife. 

The party heads to the location on the map, and Nydry scouts ahead. She finds three thugs guarding what appears to be a shadowy demon chanting over a bloody mass on a ritual fire. The team sneaks in as close as they dare with three thugs keeping watch and patrolling, but Xarfas manages to jump a thug, and the party surprises the group of enemies with a barrage of arrows and spells. The large bloody being above the fire is awakened by the demon and charges Grandma Nim wielding in his bloody hands a large morningstar, and the demon moves in to attack the invaders. Nim casts Mirror Image to avoid dying at the hands of the large abomination, and it swings wildly missing Nim at every turn. Nydry brings down a thug and peppers the abomination with arrows – with each arrow, a human form bursts from the shape and screams a terrible wail before being drawn back inside. Xarfas kills the thug and avoids the demons attacks, but the demon recedes into the twilight with insidious laughter. He moves in to attack the other thug, almost killing him, but the thug responds with an attack of his own and Xarfas is knocked unconscious. The demon ambushes Nim but hits one of her mirror images before receding back into the twilight. Nydry runs to Xarfas and revives him with his health potion. The demon's voice echoes through the dying woods, "Very well, mortals… You have won this time. But I will be baaaaack…"

The party is victorious and interrogates the thug who informs them, under influence of Truth Serum, that the local librarian, Malakath showed them how to summon the demon to learn Blood Magic. The party goes to the sheriff to report their findings, and the librarian is arrested after his house is found to be a trove of necromatic spells and rituals.

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