Return of the Tyrant

Session 49: Stayin' Alive
It's over. Or is it?

We find our adventurers in the ruined city of the Gallowspire. We’re sat around a campfire enjoying our last night together. We’ve just recruited extra helpers.

Zestia, a priestess of Golgoroth, whom we met in the sewers of Schwarzwald with Vythica and Brother Jalthor.

Bragnar the rat catcher, also from the sewers of Schwarzwald. Bragnar brought two ballista with him.

the four paladins of Haggar waiting outside Renchurch:
Ser Garvis Karst
Ser Miras
Ser Andreve of Casindral
Ser Anca Viorica

Grover Cincinnati, a mage who says he knows Nabila. Nabila says she does not know him.

Our priests reanimated around 50 corpses from the catacombs of Renchurch as skeletons to draw the dragon’s fire. Also we stopped at Hag’s Breath to reanimate the wyvern we fought there.

While we are buffing up, Sindra has a wild surge. A glittery disco ball appears in the air and she and the caster dance for two rounds to “Stayin’ Alive.” We assume it’s a good omen.

Our first battle is with Tar-Baphon’s pet, a dracolich, formerly a red dragon known as Xzazherrazdun.

Xzazherrazdun bites it, courtesy of the undead skeletal wyvern. Everyone survives with the exception of one of the paladins who gets squished on the first round as the dragon landed. It’s a miracle.

THEN WE GET THE LOOT!

As we make our way to the center of town where the Gallowspire stands, a portal opens and out steps a dark clad hooded female. It’s the Oracle. She throws her hood back to reveal — Nabila in her human, not-dead form. She says undead Nabila should use the Hourglass right now and put a dagger through Tar-Baphon’s heart without a battle. She reminds Nabila herself whatever that she’s the only one ruthless enough to do what needs to be done.

Unfortunately what needs to be done is about Deja and preventing the Portal to Carcosa from ever opening up in Vogelbrucke.

So Nabila uses the Hourglass. She disappears for a few moments and then reappears looking exhausted.

What happened:

She helped Grover Cincinnati pull off a diamond heist in Amaranth. She cures disease on Spud, who said that a plaguegiver cured him. She causes a black felt hat to distract Sindra from casting a wild surge that ruins the mage tower. She rescues Oleander and sends him to the mage tower, which she has set up as the Obelisk. She sets him up as the leader of the Shadow Conjunction. Tres becomes a loyal servant. She prevents her past self from going into the plaguesphere and dying in order to get the Unholy Shroud of the First Prophetess. She fixes the Grunburg fungal problem, which adds militia to the Shadow Conjunction’s army.

And most importantly: She sticks a knife in her sister’s back, preventing her from performing in “The King in Yellow.” The portal does not open, and Tar-Baphon stays asleep.

So Oracle Nabila talks to Plaguelich Nabila about the prophecy that “She is coming.” It refers to the arrival of the pureblood plaguegiver. Nabila’s daughter. Oracle Nabila tracked down Oleander and raped him (“raped the holy hell out of him in a dark alley. And then I did it again. Did he like it? Who cares?”)

The daughter: Karishma, the Paradox Child. Oleander is her father. He could barely keep it together when he met Karishma at the trollslayers’ camp.

And also, one more thing. One very bad thing. There’s this creature called a Chronovore that’s making its way there at that moment. It’s one of Dagonor’s creatures. The dread lord of space and time is upset with how we’ve been manipulating time without his blessing. They can’t fight off the Chronovore. So one of the Nabilas has to die because both of them can’t live. Plaguelich Nabila sacrifices herself. The monster attacks her, squeezes her into dust particles, and then disappears.

But we still have the Gallowspire to check out.

And it’s empty. At the very top of the tower, soaked through by the crazy rain storm, is Adivion Adrissant looking pretty darn worse for wear. He drops to his knees and can’t pull himself upright. He says he was waiting for us. We outwitted him, using time as a weapon against him, and he never saw it coming.

Karishma uses her psycho powers and stands next to Adrissant, torturing him to death with her corrosive aura. His body is incinerated.

We hear slow clapping. Palantine shows up. He says we may have stopped Adrissant, but Volkstadt is still going to be carved up by invaders. But we have a problem now — him. He didn’t raise Sindra and Nabila up for nothing. We did his dirty work. He manipulated events — and suddenly he has the Hourglass. He’s going to jump across universes!

And then he taunts.

How did Sindra like playing second fiddle to Nabila? Did Jeb ever get that gift he asked for? A child with Sindra.

How does Karishma like her whore mother?

Who blinded Aegecia?

Aaaaaaand then Nabila tries to cast Godrot on him because NO ONE talks about Aegecia like that and gets away with it. Nyarlathotep is too fast for her, and he rips off the mythril protective shield that holds Tar-Baphon’s essence intact. He throws the Hourglass into the hole and a larger than life explosion occurs.

We end up in a desert on top of a pyramid. It’s hot. A pure ebony-skinned ten foot tall man stands before us. We are a long way from home, but he says he is home. He is the Black Pharaoh and we are to be his first victims in his reign of terror on the planet…Earth, he calls it.

So we fight. We don’t stand much of a chance.

Except Bragnar the dopey rat catcher from Schwarzwald, who had the vorpal sword, CRITS and CHOPS NYARLATHOTEP’S MOTHERFUCKING HEAD OFF. So we win.

Then we hear the crackling of magic, and another teleport opens up. Hands reach out and grab Karishma and pull her inside.

A shimmering image appears and we see Oleander, with Karishma standing behind him. He asks if Nabila is unharmed. He mentions to Nabila that the clergy of Delora are in mourning in preparation for this day — Delora burned up a distant sun to allow him to speak to us and to Gate someone back home. He had to take Karishma because she is the future and the beginning of a new era. Nabila and Oleander get all feely and talk about how they love each other and shit. He promises he will find a way to rescue us. He also asks Sindra to take care of Nabila and look out for her. Karishma says her goodbyes to everyone, and Nabila promises that nothing will keep her from her family.

Walking up the steps of the pyramid is the Weeping Woman. She tells us our magic and powers won’t function the same way as they did on Hyspero. She says we will also live longer, a side effect of traveling sideways through time. She is a normal human being now. She hands Nabila a letter and tells her to keep it close. Father O’Malley needs to break the news to her family — she says she traveled a long, long way from home. Her story is finished. She walks off into the desert.

Here, from the GM’s notes, is what happened to the main characters.

Ser Bolton – Ser Bolton was the first to put some distance between himself and the rest of the Company of the Tattered Cloak. Though he had quested with vile rogues in the name of safeguarding his home world, he still had much to reconcile within himself and contemplate on. He sailed northwest, putting in to port in a land not too dissimilar to Guadalante in terms of climate. There his riches bought him his own parcel of land, and he became a lord and some time later a counsel to the kings of this fledgling nation. An age passed before the call to arms would reach out to the paladin again. He would spearhead a movement instigated by the local churches to strike a blow against heathens and practitioners of witchcraft – a movement which the history books would later identify as… the Spanish Inquisition.

Haglagl – Haglagl wandered the lands aimlessly. Occasionally she would attempt to settle in one place, but her unsightly half-ogrish appearance was considered too frightful and abnormal by the people of this world to be tolerated for very long, not to mention her skills as a witch caused fear and confusion to anyone who witnessed it in action. Wherever Haglagl went, the locals created a name for her: changeling, boggart, hobgoblin, spriggan, cait sith, banshee, medusa… ogre. She would later cause quite a stir in the year 565 when an attempt to summon a familiar resulted in an incident in the land of the Picts… near the River Ness…

Nabila – Nabila stayed near the pyramids for a time. Her name would become a popular one for Egyptian parents to give to their daughters. She never stopped searching for a means to travel back to Hyspero. She was close to a breakthrough at one point until an overzealous pharaoh had his men torch Nabila’s library, including all of her labor intensive researches into dimensional portals. When Nabila discovered who had done this, and that he was a cultist dedicated to raising Nyarlathotep, she became enraged beyond words. Nabila unleashed a plague of blood upon Egypt. Then a plague of frogs. A plague of gnats. A plague of flies. Pestilence… boils… hail… locusts… darkness… and finally the death of all firstborn children. She was misquoted in the texts said to document the event. Her original words went something like: “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn — and I will bring judgment on all the shitheads in Egypt. I am the PLAGUE BITCH!” She would remain in the shadows on Earth for many centuries after that, though she was last spotted loading several crates of plague rats onto sailing ships….

Sindra – Though she tried to stick it out, the blistering sun of the Egyptian desert was no good for Sindra‘s dark elven skin. She traveled north with Jeb, who sought a quieter life in a blossoming land. Though it was not without its enjoyment, Sindra was not content to bide her time as a simple farmer. Her time among humans had bestowed her with acceptance and compassion and an insight into the human condition. Thus, in the guise of a veiled traveling wise woman going from village to village, her ideas were passed along and eventually pieced together by the scholars of this land into a concept they would call: democracy. It should be noted that for the sake of the magic-fearing people of this world, Sindra attempted to keep her spell casting, and thus her potential wild surges, to a minimum. Though there were times… like the day she and Jeb rode into a small Italian village known as Pompeii…

Karishma – Karishma embraced her dark heritage and became Aegecia’s unholy avenger – the first pure plaguegiver in centuries. Her vile powers would come to fruition in no time. It was theorized that but a single maligned breath escaping from her lips could topple entire kingdoms. With her father, Oleander Schoenfeld, the head of the Aegecian clergy, by her side, Karishma would be unstoppable. The pair left the remnants of the Shadow Conjunction and the survivors in Amaranth to fend for themselves – for the dark elves were carving up lands to the north and the Grand Duchy of Verena was on the verge of invading what was once Volkstadt. Karishma and Oleander had other plans. Plans to plunge the surface lands into an era of darkness so work could begin on a new world. A world without sin. Unbeknownst to Karishma were the ever increasing flock of chronomancers quite literally worshiping the ground she walked on. She was still the Paradox Child, the daughter of a time traveler. Everything she touched radiated with faint glimmers of chronon energy. Whether the newly formed Cult of Karishma pleased or angered Dagonor, the dread lord of space and time, is a story for another day…

So the whole time this young bard was telling our story. As he leaves the tavern, he bumps into a man that hands him a platinum piece. The young bard is shocked at the tip. He wonders why the man would pay so much to get him to tell these stories. He also questions how the man intends to get the Company of the Tattered Cloak back home. The man, Orlando Trimeste, says, “It’s simple, lad. In this family, we cheat.”

THE END!

Lewt:

6 violet crystal garnets (200 gp each)
6 transparent rock crystals (50 gp each)
4 turquoise stones (10 gp each)
2 fire opals (1,000 gp each)
1 black sapphire (5,000 gp)
1 diamond (5,000 gp)
A palm-sized steel disk that opens up to reveal a silvered glass mirror of exceptional quality. (140 gp)
A box of dwarvish chocolate. A golden box containing squares of exquisitely good, very fine chocolate, individually wrapped in gold foil. (50 gp)
A fancy silk opera cape. (70 gp)
A bracelet formed of cold elemental lightning. (30,000 gp)
A platinum codpiece with fertility sigils carved into it. (80 gp)
A painting entitled Last kiss of the night -The painting depicts a handsome vampire about to passionately bite the throat of a bare breasted young maiden on a balcony as the first rays of sunlight hit the building beside them. Kind of gaudy. The artist likely has never seen or encountered a real vampire. (110 gp)

Scrolls:
protection from magic
protection from cold
1 mage scroll w/ 1st level: Hornung’s Guess; 3rd level: Lance of Disruption, Secret Page; 4th level: Mordenkainen’s Force Missiles, Ultravision; 6th level: Trollish Fortitude
1 mage scroll w/ 1st level: Alarm, Message
1 mage scroll w/ 5th level: Bigby’s Interposing Hand; 6th level: Otiluke‘s Freezing Sphere; 7th level: Descent into Madness, Neutralize Gas
1 mage scroll w/ 1st level: Change Self

1 priest scroll w/ 1st level: Bless
1 priest scroll w/ 7th level: Divine Inspiration
1 priest scroll w/ 2nd level: Draw Upon Holy Might, Hold Person; 3rd level: Miscast Magic; 5th level: Cure Critical Wounds, Raise Dead

Potions:
Speed
Invulnerability
Fire resistance
Clairvoyance
Clairaudience
Super Heroism
Extra Healing
Elixir of health

Full plate armor + 4
12 arrows + 2
ring of protection + 3
rod of terror, 79 charges
tome of understanding
spade of colossal excavation

6000 cp
4000 sp
14000 gp
4000 pp

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Session 48: "What were you thinking?"
Mmmm, those robes, gurl, what were you thinkin'?

We find our adventurers in the creepy room with the creepy Tar-Baphon statues looming creepily over us. Father Isambard and Nhilonia Everhafin have escaped through a secret door underneath the altar. A priest hole. We have nothing left to do but chase after them before they can use the Hourglass Effigy to do somethin’ bad. As we make our way through the priest’s hole (No, Vincente, not yours.) we arrive in a natural cavern. It’s very cold down there, and our breath comes out as steam. There is a marker on the wall written in an ancient language. Ser Bolton translates for us. We’re on the right path to the Gallowspire and “Have a nice death.”

We emerge into the mountains just in time to see Father D-bag and Mother C-bag entering a portal made with the Hourglass Effigy. So we follow them into the portal. We go back in the past 120 years. Sindra recognizes the place as the Underdark, just a few miles outside of the capital city Khazid-Hirn.

Naturally, both Nhilonia and Father Isambard talk smack, and we end up fighting. Here are highlights from the fight:

So Fr. D-bag can walk now. Vincente uses the staff of wither on Fr. D-bag and WITHERS HIS RIGHT LEG! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (From Wheels to Crutch. hahahahaha man, I crack myself up.)

But, Nhilonia is not cool with seeing her partner in crime and whatever else they do together go down in such a way, so she casts Slay Living on Vincente. He snuffs it.

Young Karishma, saddened by the loss of her Uncle Vinny, crit-snipes both Nhilonia and Father Isambard (in the back of the head) with her retard strength arrows.

But they have pretty cool loot, so yeah.

Since our healers are gone, we spend quite a lot of time resting up, being healed by Medic Bolton, and learning spells with the Lens of Speed Reading. We have a time machine so we’re not too worried about waiting too late.

While we’re resting up, a few drow children walk up to the party. One little girl asks Sindra why her hair is green. Eventually the party tells Sindra to smile at the children to send them away so we can be on our way to Essen to rescue Nabila. Sindra smiles, causing the children to run away in fright. The petulant little girl runs hard into a wall and hits her head, thus a wild mage is born. (Really, that’s all I get? A knock on the head?)

So then we travel to the future-past to Nabila’s birthplace village of Essen. We spot Father Isambard in his wheelchair with Nhilonia. They look very surprised to see us, which means that if they see us it means their other selves were defeated and….BLADE BARRIER.

Nabila is returned to us, and she fights alongside her sister Deja.

Karishma has her death cherry popped and snuffs it in battle when Nhilonia casts Slay Living on her.

Nhilonia also tries to cast Slay Living on her own son, Dipton, and this incenses Sindra greatly. So Sindra decides to overkill her mother by casting Time Stop. Then in the little time bubble, Sindra slices her mother’s throat from ear to ear. Done and done.

Nabila and Deja have an almost tender moment when Nabila (in her drow body) tells Deja that she loves her as Deja is fading away.

A group of missionaries arrive. Missionaries of Jhannis. The town is so quiet that the caravan decides to skip it so they don’t unnecessarily get the plague. But a lone guard says he hears noises, so he breaks away from the caravan and finds a hovel where two young girls are, half starved, half dead. He carries both the girls on his shoulders back to the caravan, and immediately he falls over. He has the plague. Quickly some healers work to cure him, scolding him for running into the house without the proper protection. He says he can’t feel his legs. They tell him, that he, Mr. Isambard, will recover and be back on his feet in no time. And that is how Father Isambard got the plague.

After a few attempts, both Vincente and Karishma are returned to us. Then we use the hourglass to recruit some extra help so we can fight Adivion Adrissant at the Gallowspire, where we are off to next.

We arrive in a crumbling city of ruin. The streets are paved with skull cobblestones. There are impaling gardens instead of flower gardens. Large noxious pits filled with brimstone mark the ground like pox. And in the middle of the town is a tower, the Gallowspire itself. The top half of the Gallowspire looks like it’s made from a gigantic skeleton. But the skeleton is moving. It has wings.

It’s a dragon.

Loot:

hourglass effigy
amulet of magic resistance 25%
cloak of disease warding
quarterstaff +3
ring of protection +3
luckstone
drow piwafwi cloak
sling of seeking +2
robe of arachnida
rod of rulership, 41 charges

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Session 47: All in the Name of Greed
Who is the Master and when can we kill him and grind his bones?

We find our adventurers still exploring the catacombs of Renchurch.

In one room we discover a metal box with a strange green glow emanating from it. In ancient runic language, a name is inscribed on the front of the box — Berezna. The box is possibly a lich phylactery containing the soul of Berezna, a powerful lady sorceress who was either a rival or a contemporary of Tar-Baphon’s. We take Berezna’s box with us because why not?

We dig through a series of catacombs, one swirling line after another of Haggar’s faithful who died in battle against the Tyrant. Ser Bolton is sufficiently humbled and spooked. Along the twisted path of tombs we find a room with a marble tomb beneath an iron grate. It’s an effigy of a foot soldier with a giant sword, rusted and notched hanging over the tomb. There’s an unconscious drow elf on the floor. Sindra recognizes it as Dipton and runs over to him to rouse him. He’s half starved and suffering from hypothermia. Dipton says their mother left him in the room to starve and die, that it’s fitting for his worthless ass to die in the tomb of a pitiful human. He says she’s been ranting and raving about bringing back Mayraena and Vlonisstra, their sisters. Mother Nhilonia wants to use the Hourglass Effigy to change the past. Dipton agrees to help us because Sindra has been so kind to him. Sindra frees him, and Jeb helps his “brother in law” get to his feet. Dipton is shocked that Sindra has gotten married, least of all to a human, least of all a human as hairy and rough as Jeb Trowbridge. Dipton reports to the party that Nhilonia and Father D-bag hope to deal with “The Master.” He has no more information other than that. We still have the Gray Friar to deal with as well.

The Master (may not be accurate representation)
The Master

In a series of creepy events, Vincente and “Young Karishma” have a chat. Spud is quite taken with her. Women in Guadalante prefer men with scars — the uglier they are the more virile they happen to be. But he knows nothing about the pleasures of the flesh (his Amulet of Truth goes off) but he thinks Karishma and Spud should get together since she’s now on her way to becoming Aegecian and Spud was hearty enough to survive the plague. They should have children! Because the children of their union could be strong and powerful. He tells Karishma to think about it, but she’s too creeped at Uncle Vinny to say much.

We return to a room that’s full of sealed urns. Haglagl is determined to see what’s inside of one. So she does. The urn is trapped with yellow mold that nearly kills her. Inside is a goopy substance like honey, which gnomes used to preserve cadavers. It’s a lost funeral rite, and the honey happens to act like potions of extra healing. Shazam!

The other urns are empty with the exception of one that has three large garnets in it worth 400gp each. Unfortunately Vincente thinks they’re worthless and tosses them in the nasty murky water pooled in the room. Sindra levitates them out, all in the name of greed. We probably won’t survive to see the cash out anyway, but SO WHAT?

We take a set of stairs downward that takes us into the deepest part of Renchurch. Karishma hears squishy noises, and when we open the door to find out what the noises are, it’s MAGGOTS. MAGGOTS. MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF MAGGOTS. Rising out of the maggots is a humanoid figure in colorful robes that Sindra recognizes. He recognizes her and immediately blames her, wild mage, for his current state of maggotry. Hello Siegfried Frey. Sorry about the Mage Tower. Sorry your dumb ass tried to double cross us and you got stuck in a Shadow Door. Assclown. MAGGOTS EVERYWHERE. But he dies just like all the others.

In the next room we find a huge ceremonial chamber with flickering black flames. Three giant statues of Tar-Baphon loom over pews and an altar. There’s a dark pit boiling with foul necrotic energy that Nabila would have loved if she’d been there. Three people stand before the altar. Well, one of them’s sitting. We meet the Gray Friar. We meet Sindra’s MILF-y mother. And there’s ole “Wheels” Isambard. They’re all threatening stuff, taunting, because that’s what evil people do. Nhilonia Everhafin teases Sindra the “slave girl,” and Sindra can come up with nothing to retort back that isn’t a playground insult.

Father Isambard pulls out the hourglass and threatens to use it. He rises from his wheelchair and says sacrificing the Cup of Santiago was soooo worth it. He picks on Deja Brandt as the “inferior sibling.” After they get bored of us, they disappear down a secret passage underneath the altar and leave the Gray Friar for us to deal with. So we do. Among the stuff on the altar we find a Lens of Speed Reading, which will probably come in useful if our spellcasters can share it.

Loot:

six potions of extra healing
three garnets, 400gp each
Lens of Speed Reading

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Session 45 and 46: The Horrible Soap Opera
It's OUR horrible soap opera, goddammit!

Our adventurers are now in the room with the black crystal. The crystal pulsates with necrotic energy, and it’s called a Lazarite focus, primarily used to allow the living to enter undeath. It would produce ghouls or wraiths, but nothing in the higher sphere of undead like liches. It has the ability to heal Nabila, buuuuuut it’s not portable.

Cleves goes up to check the door to the next room and falls right through it. The room is full of dozens of moldering relics (head pieces, wands, golden shackles, torture instruments) that used to belong to Tar-Baphon. They’re gold and jewel encrusted. We take them. The next room has some powdered mummy skin and a tea set. We reincarnate an acolyte to see what the stuff does. He turns into a male, moon elf, paladin of Zargos. We feed him the mummy skin, he says he feels stronger and then says something about Plaguegivers that Nabila finds offensive, so she death stares him. Thus wasting yet another charge of the wand, another body to take hits, another body to produce hits, I don’t want to talk about it anymore.

We find some stairs heading to the basement of Renchurch, so we decide to go down. Cleves is in the lead because he’s our thief and does that hear noise, trap finding stuff. Karishma also hears noise and says it sounds like a door opening or closing. So what, right? SO WHAT? Cleves runs into a room full of ghoulish looking skeletal things in priest robes, and when it’s his turn to GTFO, what does Cleves do?

He pulls out the vorpal sword and FUCKING BOTCHES the first roll, instantly decapitating himself. It’s dark, right. Since Sindra is the only other person in the group with infravision, she sees Cleves’ head go flying from his body in slo-mo. Good fun. Warned him. So we fight those things and give the ole Wand of Reincarnation another chance. Cleves comes back to us as a female, half-ogress, lawful evil mage. Her name is Haglagl.

While all this stuff is going down, Ser Bolton asks Nabila if she feels all right. According to Ser B of O, Nabila’s disappearing like a ghost. Karishma chimes in and says she saw Vincente’s eyes turn red. Both the Aegecians disagree and argue for a while.

In another room we find this icky nasty black fluid that can be used to create a flesh golem. Haglagl takes a vial of it because why not? SO WHAT? The next chamber is a room full of fetid water with sealed urns lining the perimeter. Nabila screams and says she feels really cold. Cold in her chest. Even colder than her cold heart. Vincente doesn’t feel it. Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.

And in another room we find about a dozen acolytes sitting around getting high. So we ambush them. Haglagl dies. Nabila resurrects her via the recreational drug, silverweed.

Session 46 begins now.

While we’re resting up in the room where the druggies were, Karishma approaches Nabila with questions about becoming Aegecian. Karishma’s real father was a plaguegiver, and she thinks her father would be pleased with her if she became a plaguegiver, too. So Nabila pulls out the tracts, the magic mushroom tea, and they have a nice talk about Aegecia’s will. Then Sindra asks for some tea and bumbles to Jeb that she “more than likes” him and wanted to tell him before it was too late.

We also looted some stuff off the acolytes and found a coffer full of weapons and armor that Sindra recognized belonging to her baby brother Dipton. So now Sindra is worried about him, either he’s been turned undead or he’s still alive being tortured by their mother Nhilonia and Father D-bag.

Then we do more exploring, do more killing. We find a room full of very familiar looking (to Nabila and Sindra at least) undead who are out for revenge: Gibbs from Ravenhill, Septimus Ashcroft from Schwarzwald, Nina Tancreedi of Vogelbrucke, Burgomeister of Sudendorf, Ambrose Wickworth from Strawbourg, and Lord Lashvale of Verena.

After the battle, Nabila has another moment of chest pain and falls down screaming. She goes invisible, and this time Haglagl sees it. A little while later Nabila’s left hand flickers, and everyone sees it. Worried about what’s happening to her, Nabila decides to say a little prayer to Aegecia to find out what’s going on. Instead of getting the answer she wanted, Nabila explodes in a brilliant shimmering blue light.

Like this: Quantum leap

What appears in Nabila’s place is a woman that looks like the old Nabila before Nabs went all plaguelich-y. It’s Nabila’s sister, Deja. Deja and Sindra have a lot of words, mostly for the benefit of the party members who have no clue what’s going on. Deja is supposed to be dead, killed by the King’s Players after the portal to Carcosa opened in Vogelbrucke. But somehow Deja is not dead, but she thinks Nabila’s dead, and Nabila’s UNdead, which presents a problem, and EVERYONE’S BRAIN HURTS.

So it looks like Deja’s adventuring party, consisting of Rasetsu the Ninja from Ninjaland who was Ohda’s mortal enemy; Jumbo Burger (I shit you not) the dwarf, Roland and Theo, a halfling with two eyes named Isabelle, and Deja’s husband Orlando mark 1.

Karishma and Vincente disappear a little. What we deduce is that the deadly alliance of the Mother and Father are using the Weeping Woman’s Hourglass Effigy to alter time and stop Nabila from existing. Because Father D-bag really, really hates Nabila and Aegecia. And Nabila really, really hates Father Isambard and Flayne. So it all works out. We’ve gotta get this hourglass bad.

The DM mentions that Sindra feels a little crampy and might be a few days late. Sindra says nothing to anyone. Hah.

After resting up, we explore more rooms of the basement. For some reason Ser Bolton decides to go apeshit and runs off into this room full of bones and a lot of icky nasty gross other things. He runs right into a giant demon called Balor. Tar-Baphon apparently summoned it a long time ago, and it’s been hanging around Renchurch waiting for stuff to eat, people to kill. Vincente nearly shits himself from fright. We have to rescue Ser Bolton, so we do our best to hurt the demon, but nothing seems to be doing any damage.

Then Sindra pulls out a magic scroll and casts Limited Wish. She tells Balor to become her ally, and then she banishes him to his home plane to never return. After Balor disappears, she falls to her knees, noticing some blood around her lower midsection. The spell aged her nine years, and she miscarried her and Jeb’s baby that she didn’t even know she was lugging around everywhere. She tells Jeb, and he gives Ser Bolton “the crazy man” the what for for spawning that hell demon.

Ser Bolton denies everything, denies going crazy and needing a head for his ship. But Ser Bolton realizes that something is wrong with him finally and he has to atone for his badness. So Jeb makes Ser B perform a wedding ceremony for him and Sindra right there in the midst of all that filth and demon detritus. So it’s all good, right? Renegade drow wild mage marries a human mountain man with a big beard, and her mother is somewhere in this dungeon to meet her daughter and son-in-law. VINCENTE CRIES! He loves weddings. He pulls Karishma under his wing and lectures her on proper Aegecian rites and rituals.

We run into an iron golem, some explody skeletons, more undead thingies, and that’s it.

Loot:

Tar-Baphon’s personal effects — four ceremonial headpieces with gems, four gold and gem encrusted wands, golden shackles, gold and gem encrusted torture instruments
four doses of powdered mummy skin
bone beads
Dipton Everhafin’s stuff — suit of drow chainmail +1
drow piwafwi cloak
drow longsword +3
fire tooth dagger +3 (1d2 fire damage)
platinum necklace
spirit board silver planchette
ring of warmth

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Session 44: The Grave Robbing Half-Elf
You better stop, hey, what's that sound? Everybody look what's going down.

After our adventurers battle the ghouls, we interrogate the survivor. Nabila is convinced he has ghoul cooties, and she tries her best to set him on fire. His name is Cleves and he’s a tomb raider. He likes raiding tombs because 1.) it’s lucrative and 2.) the people are dead and aren’t going to try to reclaim their stuff. But Rebuttal A) he’s never adventured with our party before because the dead seem to come back to life around us.

Cleves tells us that he saw a man in a wheelchair and a drow female talking about a powerful artifact they acquired. They lost interest in Cleves and sent him away to become seasoned ghoul kibble, while their acolytes willingly used a strange black crystal to turn themselves into undead creatures.

We do a little bit of exploring around the cathedral but not too much. A hallway lined with skulls tries to suck the air out of us. Nabila wanders down the hall with her bag o’heads, and those skulls begin to try to crush her, even though she can’t breathe in the first place, so we have to take her precious bag away from her and put it outside.

We find a number of skulls with their jaws missing, a sign that the Whispering Way has been at work. At some point we discuss how Vincente and Nabila’s eyes have flashed red whilst in the abbey, but they deny it. Paranoia strikes deep/into your life it will creep/it starts when you’re always afraid/step outta line, the man comes and takes you away.

While exploring one furnished room, we find a lantern radiating magic. Karishma checks out the lamp and a severely dressed noble appears. He calls himself the Chamberlain, and he works for the Gray Friar. The Gray Friar doesn’t like trespassers or much of anything. The Chamberlain tries to convince Karishma she needs to become an undead servant and a fight ensues.

In one room Cleves finds some acolytes sitting around the black crystal in these torture-looking chairs, taking in the rays of negative energy. He quickly shuts the door, which happens to squeak like a mofo, alerting the acolytes to our presence. At Cleves frantic gesturing, we run back to the room with the magic lantern and fight a bunch of acolytes and mummies.

Loot:

2,000gp
lantern with Continual Light spell
powdered mummy skin (mummy blow/narcotic)
five vials of wasp venom
potion of extra healing
ring of protection +1
dagger with jeweled hilt — a ruby, worth 50-75 gp

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Session 43: The Weeping Woman
A lover's tale and a dragon's tail

We find our adventurers traveling farther into the mountains to get to Renchurch. As we travel, we find a cave that has another one of those magic archways in front of it. The cave reeks, but Nabila is determined to go inside because the Oracle told her to. After much debating, we enter the cave. Inside the cave is a motherfucking black dragon that wants to eat us but doesn’t. The dragon is badly injured with festering wounds all over it. Sindra asks the dragon who injured it so badly, and the dragon responds Xzazherrazdun (Draconic language check FTW!), a legendary red dragon. Our dragon is called Hagsmouth. The swamp where the Aegecian shrine is located was named after her husband, who is dead thanks to an insane beholder.

Hagsmouth throws a bag at Nabila and tells her to brew a magical tea that will take us to a far away place. The party gets stoned out of their minds and then awakens later in a strange place that is definitely not on the prime material plane. We see a statue of a woman holding her face in her hands — we recognize the statue as the Weeping Woman. Then we talk to her. She used to be one of the main gods in the pantheon until Dagonor took her veil and tried to erase her from time because he wants control of time himself. Now she’s merely a myth and has to hide her face. But we don’t know if it’s, like, because she’s ugly or whatever, but we didn’t see her face.

The Weeping Woman tells us she has tried to contact us for a long time, through Oleander’s dreams. Her words are “your lover Oleander” and Nabila is like LOLWTFBBQ? because she doesn’t love him. SHE SAYS SHE DOESN’T LOVE HIM, but he sure loves her. HOW SWEET!

We learn that Adivion Adrissant is a demon, called “He Who Shall Not Be Named.” Tar-Baphon is an aspect of the Demon. After the demon was destroyed by the Gods of Light, he fell through time and the fall split him in two. Part of him collided with the start of history, which is Tar-Baphon, and the other part landed several hundred years later as Adivion Adrissant. (Which is why Adrissant’s tomb in Ravenhill was empty because DUDE HAD NO FAMILY BECAUSE HE IS A DEMON!) In order for Tar-Baphon to be reunited with his other half, he allowed himself to lose the battle against Haggar’s holy crusaders. If Adrissant and Tar-Baphon become one, they will cause really unspeakable and horrible things to happen and destroy the universe. And unfortunately for us, they have already joined up. Hence, mutated animals, wild weather, Dark Young trees, stuff that’s so bad that gods who would normally not have anything to do with each other are having shouting matches in the Great Hall about what to do. The laws of the universe are changing, and Mara (the goddess) is on the brink of destruction.

Adivion Adrissant waits for us and seeks an audience with us for his final play. Great. More plays.

The Weeping Woman has a means for us to stop the Tyrant. A deadly alliance of Mother and Father (Sindra’s mother and Father Isambard?) have ransacked the Weeping Woman’s shrine and taken an artifact from her called the Hourglass Effigy. The effigy allows the wielder to bend the laws of time. The Alliance wants to barter with the Tyrant Tar-Baphon/Adrissant/He Who Must Not Be Named by using his hourglass. It is our job to stop them.

Nabila has been tasked to use the Hourglass Effigy because she is the only person ruthless enough to do what needs to be done. Nabila will know when to use it and then to destroy it, as it is too powerful to remain in anyone’s hands.

After being tasked with our duties, the scene changes and we’re back hanging out with the black dragon who lets us gather some puss and dragon scales. Briefly we entertain the idea of asking her to come along with us so we can kill that red dragon together, but Hagsmouth is too injured to be of much assistance. The red dragon is still around, so we must be careful. Hagsmouth tells us about the Witch Gates, which are the magical archways we’ve encountered along the mountain path. They are teleportation devices that the Whispering Way used to get around. They are also perception filters that use powerful illusion magic (similar to the spell used to make Marrathion look like a ruin and not a tower that’s been rebuilt) to make the area around them look different. (Think of perception filters like cell phone towers that broadcast illusions over an entire area.)

We use a Witch Gate, which takes us to the ruined remains of an old monastery. Running the perimeter of the monastery walls are hundreds, possibly thousands, of sharp bloodstained blades, and some are even attached to the roof of the cathedral. This bothers Ser Bolton a lot. Have we found Renchurch?

Nightmare f cano

We explore the area, finding a stable full of Nightmare horses that kick our arses. Then we find some mutilated elf remains in a wagon, and we dig through the remains to find a nifty magic crossbow and some bolts. Sindra has a wild surge and becomes “extremely drunk.” We enter the cathedral. We find bloodstains along the floor, a bunch of ghouls eating bodies, and a half elf we rescue for some reason. Ser Bolton snuffs it, but we resurrect him with a scroll. The end.

Loot:

a compendium of antiquated and anachronistic medical treatments (worth 200gp to the right buyer)
crossbow, undead bane +1 to ATK and DMG to undead
20 silver crossbow bolts

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Session 42: Lord Fancypants and His Fight to Inevitable Death
You must whip it. Whip it good.

As our adventurers make their way to the abandoned trollslayers camp, the weather takes strange turns. One day it’s a winter storm, the next it’s thunder and lightning. Finally we arrive at the camp. From a watchtower, several drow aim crossbows at us. Though most of the drow soldiers hanging around are VERY happy to see Nabila. There are a few humans in the camp, and some dwarves, but most of the population is made up of drow.

A familiar voice greets them — it’s Spud! He’s so totally alive, though he hasn’t aged well cos he’s lost a lot of hair and he’s kinda pudgy. Nabila makes sure not to mention her homemade, from scratch biscuits (with plague) around him. Sindra hugs Spud but his eyes fall on the alluring Karishma, and he follows her around everywhere.

Sindra wants to go to the drow headquarters to see her brother. The guard, named Alethas Everhafin, will not let her him. He calls Sindra a whore and a renegade and smarts off that on the surface they are equals and he won’t take any lip from her. She gets angry and leaves.

At this point the party splits up. Karishma is off with Spud (unwillingly) learning about the potato trick that gave him his name. Ser Bolton goes to the watering hole and a commoner asks him questions and asks for help in sentencing crimes. Ser Bolton the justicar loves this and happily assists. Sindra and Nabila go to the main command center to find Oleander and Uhlsolg Everhafin.

On the way to the tent, a plaguegiver in front of a blackboard is teaching children about Aegecia. Nabila is happier’n a pig in slop at this scene. Then THE DM! makes Sindra smile at the children and they all run off in fear.

In the command tent we see Oleander wearing his wight armor and a bad ass looking cloak. He’s grown a beard. Instead of Nabila running up to him and kissing him, she’s hostile to him. He reprimands her about the gangbang with 50 drow soldiers. Vincente stands up for her, and Nabila, in turn, stands up for Vincente.

During the heated conversation, Uhlsolg butts in and asks about the Dark Fate. We gladly hand it over. Oleander tells Nabila that he killed King Turin by “pulling a Nabila” by cutting off the King’s head. (At this point there are so many homages to Nabila that Oleander’s practically telling her he’s in looooooove with her. And yes, it is a female who writes these adventure logs, so get over it.) He says he gave part of Volkstadt and the entire Moonwood to Rualoth Everhafin where she will rule as queen. Nabila is not keen on this and she berates Oleander. Oleander places his face in his hands, and Uhlsolg gets out of there before the lovers’ quarrel can escalate further.

Sindra takes over the conversation and asks Oleander a lot of questions. 1.) About the Obelisk — it’s the mage tower in the north. Clerical magic has found a way to work, despite the antimagic zone Sindra surged. He says Brother Jalthor? is up there growing purple lotus and doing all sorts of hedonistic things. 2.) As for the Oracle, Oleander is hesitant to tell Nabila about her. A spirit of Aegecia has taken over the body of a female. She rarely speaks but Oleander takes great counsel from her. 3.) Oleander found Spud in Schwarzwald — said he’s a good fighter but he’s dumb as a box of rocks. 4.) The Shadow Conjunction was Professor Elias’ idea, somehow he knew what Adrissant was going to do and tried to prepare for it before he was murdered at Harrowstone Prison. 5.) His son, Corben Elias, is at the camp, and Tres is following him around everywhere. Sindra is NOT pleased with this. Oleander had to use charm magic on Tres to get her to leave him alone.

We tell Oleander about Renchurch. He says we are going in opposite directions. They are headed to Amaranth to fight a death knight known as Ser Nero, who used to be in Daven Sulluven’s goody-goody adventure party. Before we leave the tent, Oleander reminds Nabila that they have a date. They’re going to kill Valdis, who is hiding in a pocket plane right under the gods’ nose between Tartarus and Pandemonium.

Next we go to see the Oracle. She says she was expecting us, she’s got her crystal balls and tarot cards, telephone, fake Caribbean accent, and probably some newt eyes stored around somewhere. She is dressed in robes and has her face covered. She gives us gifts. She says servants of Dagonor have stalked us through the shadows. The Hounds of Tindalos target us for actions we have yet to commit.

Karishma (who left Spud at the watering hole) joins us and asks about her father. His name is Gunthur Nerium. He was a plaguegiver. We’re all one big happy plaguegiving family here! Before we leave, the Oracle grabs Nabila by the arm and whispers something to her.

After that incense-filled ordeal ends, we go to the watering hole. A blond haired man in fancy silks want to join up with the Tattered Cloaks. He hands Nabila a patch full of purple lotus leaves, which might have been a symbol of Golgoroth buuuuut no one paid attention to it. His name is Lord Easton Lashvale of Verena. Nabila asks him what he can do, so he pulls out a whip, slaps some random bar patron up the head, and totally kills the guy. Nabila says he’s in. He says he will be bringing his manservant Porter with him. Good, two new party members!

Meanwhile, Sindra has been telling everyone that it’s her birthday. She expects to have a small party later. Jeb gives her a gift of beautifully crafted wooden tarot cards. So they have a conversation and drinking contest. Lord Lashvale (a servant of Golgoroth, hello!) joins them. Jeb botches his CON check and falls over unconscious after drinking drow wine. Sindra and Lashvale tie. Then Sindra fails her CON check. Lashvale wins. Nabila tells him to dance on the table since Sindra is passed out. Lashville tells Nabila he won’t take such talk from her, and then he leaves, with Porter behind him.

This is really not a good thing. Ser Bolton is determined to see justice done for the poor commoner who got whipped and killed. Nabila and Ser Bolton go outside to fight Lord Lashvale and Porter. Naturally our team is victorious, but as at cost: we must GTFO of the trollslayer camp before we have a drow army on our hands. Sindra didn’t get to have her party, we didn’t get to go shopping for magic items, and Nabila leaves Oleander a note at HQ saying “Sorry.” No new party members join us, other than Spud.

As we run for our lives, we head toward Renchurch. We encounter a gem-encrusted obsidian arch. Underneath the arch, the ground is scorched, and the trees nearest the arch are gnarly. Ravens sit atop the arch. It’s radiating magic and somehow used for teleportation, though none of us are willing to try it out. So we sidestep and keep going.

Thick fog. A fire. Four people sitting around the fire. They are the knight protectors of Haggar at Renchurch. They have no idea what year it is, they don’t trust us, Sindra tries to get a gypsy to fortune tell with her tarot cards - CHILD OF THE PARADOX!- and stuff happens. Eventually they let us pass.

For some reason, Sindra wild surges between leaving the Knights and going deeper into the mountains. Her skin turns to steel for 1d6 rounds.

We see a village on the horizon. As we approach we see that the buildings have been burned. Large barrows have been excavated or have collapsed. Smoke rises from charred remnants of a wagon. Karishma sees gypsies and runs to help them. They are illusions. Four ogres, three giants, and one ugly hag covered in boils and warts. They attack, and we are victorious.

Yaay.

Loots:

scroll of restoration
scroll of resurrection
wyvern whip +2, save vs. poison or take additional 5 pts. damage
shortsword +2
cloak of protection +2
ring of regeneration, 1 HP per round
boots of avoidance, +5 AC vs. missiles
Clan Lashvale chainmail armor +2, 25% resistance to magical damage, 100% resistance to charm magic (must be used by a member of the Lashvale family ONLY)
30pp 60gp
6 orange carnelions — 50gp each
2 light pink rhodocrosite — 10gp each

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Session 41: "How do you know she's a witch?"
"She turned me into a newt! ...I got better."

We find our adventurers in the abbey’s la-bore-a-tor-y facing more mercenaries and Ms. Hetna Dublisse herself, who, for some reason, is not a vampire but a witch. A free witch, baby, with a stereotypical witches’ broom and probably a hairy wart or two. Nabila takes her head, and then we loot.

In the laboratory we find a cauldron full of bubbling dark reddish liquid: half completed Blood Brew Elixir. We can’t find a recipe. Then we head into a library where we are attacked with invisible stalkers and we find some magic books. First is the Blood Magic Libram and the second is the Dublisse Sisters’ Grimoire, which includes a recipe for BBE, a recipe for Elixir of Youth, and some scrolls of PoE. After much debating about whether or not we should learn the formula for BBE, we hear some nasty growling which tells us we probably shouldn’t cross a 3,000 year old vampire.

Upon returning to Schloss Ustlav, we meet Luvick for a nice chat and exchange. He has his BBE recipe, and we now have the Dark Fate. Luvick tells us where to go to find the Gallowspire and Adivion Adrissant (hopefully): Renchurch in the western Iron Reaches.

The Dark Fate is a rod that acts like a Rod of Lordly Might. It’s an intelligent weapon, neutral evil, and makes dark and lightblindness not a problem, which is great for vampires and drow, hence why the drow wanted it. It also makes any sort of elf who gets smacked by the +2 mace make a saving throw vs. death. Yeah, that’s why the drow REALLY wanted it.

Some gypsies ask us about Ramsey and Ruxandra. Nabila dryly tells them that R&R were two young people in love and escaped during the night. Good thinking, Nabs. Beats the truth and getting our butts kicked by some angry gyppos.

Before we leave the gypsy camp, Nabila decides to do some scrying. Something frightening happens instead — Hounds of Tindalos appear. The hounds are after both Nabila and Karishma. Karishma does the wise thing and rope tricks into her own little plane to GTFO. Sindra has a wild surge and accidentally turns Ser Bolton’s fancy shield into a flower basket.

After we all manage to survive the hound attack, Sindra and Nabila get into a girl fight, with Sindra eventually winning and slaps a stoneskin off Nabila. Then she casually walks away.

Loot:

dagger +1
723gp
two potions of extra healing
ring of protection +3
belt of incredible DEX +3
witching gown
wand of hold undead 5 charges
broom of flying
five longswords +1
39 crossbow bolts +1
coral, 100gp
Blood Magic Libram (allows reader free Occultism proficiency)
Dublisse Sisters’ Grimoire
recipe for Elixir of Youth
four scrolls of protection from evil

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Session 40: For Whom the Bell Splats
ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL!

Our adventurers continue poking around the Abbey of Sante Wotsername. Dining hall. Kitchen. Pantry. Store room with large casks of wine. A carriage house. Important things happen.

Nabila digs through horse poop looking for diseases. And finds none.

Sindra and Jeb fuck in a carriage in front of everyone. (Apparently it was just a glorified wagon and not a carriage with doors.)

Ser Bolton freaks out at how undisciplined we are and wonders how we ever made it as far as we have.

Karishma and Ruxandra attempt to cut the rope on the bell in the belltower so no one can ring the bell and alert the baddies we’re in the abbey. Except the bell was a trap. Poor Ruxandra is killed. Ramsey is sad because Ruxandra would do ANYTHING in bed.

Nabila reincarnates Ruxandra into a male halfling lawful good cleric of Haggar. We call him Ruxpin.

During a battle with mercenaries and conjured shadow thingies, Ruxpin steals the bag of holding from Nabila, whips out the vorpal sword, and wobbily tries to kill Nabila with it. Nabila gives him the death stare, and he snuffs it. Nabila crams his head in her bag, and Ser Bolton takes the thief’s hands. (His halfling peen is the size of a Vienna Sausage.)

We meet Radvir Giovanni while we are trying to rest in the carriage house. He drinks the Bloodbrew Elixir, like vampire heroin and fights us. Vincente falls victim to Radvir’s charm and attacks Ramsey with the Godrot. Ramsey melts into a puddle of goo. Radvir mists himself away and we give chase.

At this point Nabila is beyond pissed that her potential butler died, so when we find Radvir’s coffin, she stakes his ass with the butt end of a torch covered in holy water. We pull out his heart as proof that the deed has been done, and Nabila takes his head. Then she and Sindra have a vampire anatomy lesson by dissecting Radvir’s corpse to see what it looks like inside. At some point Vincente goes upstairs to examine Ramsey’s remains and does creepy, perverted things with it. In the morning there is no goo left.

More exploring. We come across a large chamber decorated with candles and a large pentagram in the floor. A woman sits on a throne. She radiates evil. She also has fangs. She is Aisa Dublesse. She talks a load of crap, and we dispose of her. LOOT LOOT LOOT.

Whilst identifying Aisa’s loot, Sindra wild surges. Everyone in the party is suddenly dressed in Starfleet Officer uniforms. Sindra wears the captain’s yellow and gains a +1 to her CHA.

Sindra – Kirk
Nabila – Nurse Chappel
Ser Bolton – Chekhov
Karishma – Uhura
Jeb – Scotty
Ally – Sulu
Vincente – Evil Spock

Death Counter:
Ramsey: 1
Ruxandra/Ruxpin: 2

Loot:
2 longswords +1
2 light crossbows
18 crossbow bolts +1
one black vampire heart
208gp
9 wooden stakes
1 potion of ESP
1 potion of human control
7 doses of bloodbrew elixir
ring of protection +4
quarterstaff +3
wand of dispel magic, 3 charges
1 dose of powder of the black veil
715gp

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Session 39: Tying Up Loose Ends
Things happen.

Nabila scrys. Ends up catatonic. She refuses to say anything to anyone after the shock wears off, even her BFF Sindra. All Nabila says is that we must go to Schloss Ustlav and find Ohda. Of course he’s not dead. Why would anyone we’ve killed stay dead?

We travel to Schloss Ustlav. The weather was snowy at one point but it has since changed to rain and thunderstorms. We come to a stone bridge. An armored figure riding atop a dark, impossibly black horse that snorts fire and has fiery hooves. The figure dismounts from the horse and we find out it’s a woman who looks strangely like Daven Sulluven’s sister. She unsheathes a black sword with glowing red runes that speaks. We shall not pass, the sword tells us.

Well, horse and rider and sword are in the way, so we get rid of them. During the fight a familiar figure approaches and joins in. Why, it’s Ser Bolton of Oxburgh and his trusty steed Norris! Ser Bolton explains to us that he’s been after Father D-bag for quite some time. The Church of Flayne has been corrupted and its followers brainwashed. Suddenly the Church has a whole lot of money and magical artifacts. A drow matron and a slave ring seem to be involved. Ser Bolton tried to warn the Church in Oxburgh, but the corrupted Flayne-ites arrived first and subsequently told fibs and got Ser B kicked out. Vincente examines Ser B’s shield and the emblem is for an obscure aspect of Haggar known as the Flame of Justice, who is a more militant version of Haggar. Ser Bolton joins us.

Upon looting Davinia’s corpse, Armando makes grabby hands at a Girdle of Cloud Giant Strength. But a botched Bardic Lore roll means it’s actually a Girdle of Masculinity/Femininity, and Armando puts it on and becomes Alejandra. This arouses the Mountain Man and makes Sindra jealous because now she has competition for Jeb’s affections.

We continue to Schloss Ustlav. The castle has been ruined. We discover a gypsy camp on the castle grounds. The castle is “safe from the dead who walk the night.” Some women shrink away from the party and cross themselves. A man in dark wrappings of a ninja warrior throws a dagger to the ground. Oh, boy. It’s Ohda. He withdraws a ninjato and threatens us. A caravan door opens and a deathly pale child appears: it’s Eliza from Grunberg. She made Ohda her pet, a ghoul with his tongue cut out because he talked too much. Eliza says they have the Dark Fate, but they — the vampires — need it, too. She tells us that we can speak to the elder in the castle, Luvick Siervage. Luvick helped defeat Tar-Baphon and his army 600 years ago. He could prove to be a valuable ally.

During the night, Ramsey decides to spend all the gold that Nabila gifted him on booze and whores. The next morning he has a young girl hanging all over him. She says he will be a wonderful husband. He doesn’t remember getting married, he doesn’t remember her name even, but to keep the peace with the gypsies, Nabila welcomes her into the family. Her name is Ruxandra, and she has thiefly skills.

In the basement of Schloss Ustlav, we visit Luvick Siervage. He is a handsome gentleman in his late 40s. He tells us the Dark Fate would allow the vampires to daywalk. He explains that the Kindred (all the vampires) are in trouble. Adivion Adrissant is slaying all the vampires and using up living beings to fuel his necroforge and expand his undead army. Adrissant is basically destroying the vampires’ food supply. Two witches known as Aisa and Hetna Dublesse are working for Adrissant by creating what’s known as the Bloodbrew Elixir, a toxic, dangerous blood-based drug that controls vampires and removes their free will. Adrissant lured a vampire called Radvir Giovanni into working for him as a vampire assassin. Radvir was formerly a friend of Luvick’s. If we destroy Radvir, Aisa and Hetna, and destroy the Bloodbrew Elixir, then Luvick will give us the Dark Fate and show us the way to Adrissant’s HQ, the Gallowspire. He also adds that once the Elixir is gone, he will bless any of us with vampirism. Vincente’s eyes bug out.

Our next step is to go to the Abbey of Sante Lymirin where the baddies are holed up. Lymirin used to be a divine servant of Delora. The clergy just up and abandoned the abbey, and later it was purchased and converted into a winery and warehouse. We poke our way around outside, discover a grape vineyard that has been recently harvested, and make our way inside to hunt some vampires.

Loot:
Gideon the talking sword
2 potions extra healing
Girdle of M/F
platemail +2
nymph-hair crossbow +1
cloak of protection +1
large shield +1, +4 vs. missiles, 20% chance to negate magic missiles
ring of feather falling
ring of free action
122gp 55sp
28 +1 crossbow bolts
3 longswords +1
70gp 34sp 90cp

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