- Time reveals all things - but do we really want to know the truth so carefully hidden? In the fae-wood, do you even believe what you are seeing?
Cloud, having followed Kol-theris’ somewhat prophetic directions to rejoin the party, emerges from the mists that are quickly receding. She has been equipped with some supplies, including a elven longsword, and fine elven chainmail. She approaches the group, getting a warm greeting from Gem. Waterdance doesn’t recognize Cloud, obviously, but decides his name is Quicksand instead. Cloud notices Grumples’ body, and questions why they killed him. They briefly discuss the fact that one of them’s a princess; Quicksand decides that he’s the princess. Obviously.
Gem points the conversation back to the point - that they’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of elves. Cloud deflects all questions about what she and Kol-theris got up to. Quicksand translates back to Glib about wanting to get going. Glib seems… not-confident about his sense of direction, pointing the group north-northeast instead of east.
They set off, once again a full party. Glib is moving through the forest in a not-at-all sneaky pace, snapping twigs and branches as they go. Cloud seems a bit salty about having returned to find no pressing trouble. Eventually Glib stops, falling silent. The noises of a faint music drift through the wood, immediately inspiring Gem and Quicksand to dance.
Bunny refuses to dance, causing Cloud to question the changes in her behavior. Bunny seems to have decided she did not serve anyone in the party.
Meanwhile, Gem (through Quicksand) questions if Glib knows where the noises are coming from. He doesn’t seem to know, being a dweller of Gunderfunk and not the surface world. The group decide to go and investigate the music.
Stepping into a clearing in the woods, the party finds the instruments playing away. No players, just the instruments playing themselves. A large raven is sitting on a log nearby. Attempting to communicate with the raven proves futile. Glib seems unwilling to hang around here - he mentioned that the elf-woods are enchanted, strange things all over. He says the forest is close to the faerie world.
Quicksand thinks that Glib is lying about using a magical stone to interact with the fae world, but he can’t be sure why. He asks Victoria to flirt with the gnome to get him to open up. Quicksand identifies Victoria as a princess, which promptly gets a much more reverent response from Glib, and then implies that she finds Glib attractive. He reveals that the stone in question was about the size of his head (keeping in mind this is a gnome describing it), mostly clear with some occlusions. Probably quartz. It sounds… a lot like the one wrapped in Gem’s cloak. When Glib flat out refuses to let Gem into the conversation, she kisses him on the cheek and says they can be friends. It seems to catch Glib off-guard.
Glib relates that he found the gem in a chamber underground, sitting in a fancy box next to a pillar. He remembers taking the gem out of the box and placing it on the pillar, and then having a nightmare until the party awoke him. (EL: I don’t seem to recall a box being described in the pyramid….) He doesn’t know what power the gem has, he was trying to figure it out when the nightmare took him.
“Of Horses and Men”Edit
The sounds of hoofbeats approaching cause the party to scramble for hiding, except for Glib, who is just sort of standing there. Quicksand tries to get Glib to hide again, but before he can drag him off, a group of centaurs burst forth from the wood and enter the clearing. The two women of the group are carrying hooked spears. The male of the trio demands to know what the dwarf and the gnome are doing there. When they don’t immediately answer, he tells one of the females, Rach, to put the two interlopers down. This causes Gem to cry out, bursting from the bush and calling for her allies.
Combat - Centaurs and Spears. Glib takes a spear right off the bat; Gem manages to sprout greenish coppery scales from Quicksand’s skin, deflecting the other spear that was aimed for him. [EL: Until told otherwise, I label this as a casting of the Armor spell]. Bunny manages to jump on the back of one of the females and crack them over the head with her club, rolling away as the woman collapses. [EL: Gen reveals a Tumbling proficiency.] Cloud makes a running full body swing of her new longsword, felling the male centaur in a smooth motion. Bunny repeats her attack on the second female centaur, getting stabbed in the process, but taking the other centaur down as well.
As they recover from the tussle, they decide what to do with the centaurs - the male is very much dead, one of the women has her wounds staunched and treated as much as possible. The other, unconscious female has her feet bound to prevent escape. While this happens, the large raven returns to the log, cawing a bit before a swirl of purplish magic turns it into a small, foot-and-a-half tall brownie woman.
“Follow the Windsong”Edit
The brownie hops around a bit, before reciting a little rhyme to itself -
[EL: I have -tried- to reproduce this as I have heard it, but I do not have Neal’s notes, and some of the wordings seem… wrong. So I've misheard/can’t understand some things, indicated by (?).]
The trick, the treat
the maiden of deceit
off with her head
or join her instead?
With flora, with fauna
oh poor lost Leana.
Sell sell,man from a shell
and bound for hell
so new and young
bound to find his destiny
as the chosen one
Choices to make,
choices to take,
the man with the diamond,
has a side he must decide on.
Clair the Fair,
Maiden of chocolate hair
With legs in the air
and bound to the heir
joined the house
scared of the mouse
without a spouse
her torn blouse
As dual(?) and sky
bound together without knowing why
but soon to die
it’s one or the other,
but it’s due to your lover,
honor or smother,
but lost with a buther(????)
A sad day they say
but who knows what may
come of being gay?
And then the brownie disappears in a puff of smoke. They begin speculating on what they remember and what it means. Gem, intrigued by the playing instruments (which are still playing), goes over and pokes the flute. All of the instruments immediately collapse to the ground, lifeless. Gem is rather saddened by this, but collects the instruments anyway. (EL: Gem collects a flute, a drum, 2 drum sticks, and a pair of cymbals.) Gem, while everyone else is busy remembering things, goes and tries touching the quartz crystal to the centaur in various lengths and positions, with no reaction. Then, she pulls out the flute and tries to play it. She’s not really very good.
After a brief disagreement with Glib, the group continues on north-ish for a few days. [EL: 2 HP regained.] The group eventually comes to a bridge in an older part of the forest, along the way Quicksand uses some large leaves to construct makeshift clothing, which prompts Gem to re-dress also. Bunny attempts to fashion a sling, but she doesn’t really seem to know how to put one together.
The bridge in question appears to be a 10 foot wide, 30 foot long...block of gold? Glib licks it, sniffs it, knocks on it a few times, but thinks it to be a magical construct, rather than natural metal. He suspects it to be a creation of Rath-atan, as they are entering his territory. Bunny gives the bridge a check, but finds nothing trap-like about it from looks. Poking it with a stick however reveals the middle 6’ section of the bridge is in fact an illusion. Upon further inspection, they notice a lot of multicolor rocks in the creek. The creek bed is illusionary-ly deep also, at least 6’ deep towards the middle. Gem collects 7 on the green stones with gold flecks, Cloud and Quicksand both collecting one. The group crosses the bridge, Bunny leading the way poking with her stick.
Glib leads the way, a path suddenly forming underneath their feet as they walk. Bunny, not trusting it, continues poking the ground as they walk, and asks Gem to detect evil within the path. It’s not inherently evil. The path winds and twists, going over rocks (which suddenly and spontaneously forms handholds and steps for the party to climb over it). It takes several hours to follow. Gem asks Glib if he’s been along this path before. He seems… confused. He can’t remember why he knows this is the way, but he knows that it is. Quicksand suspects a poison clouding Glib’s mind, but can find no overt sign of such.
Eventually the path opens up into a large dirt area, a clump of grass parting way to reveal a fire ring with kindling and logs already prepared. The group beds down for the night there. In the morning, Glib awakens with a start, recognizing no one around him, or what he’s doing here, or what his name is. He starts to back off from the group. Several people attempt to calm him, with Bunny finally being able to convince him to stay for a while, tagging along behind her closely.
The path continues on for a while. Bunny attempts to mark their path as they walk, feeling as though they’re making circles sometimes, but she never sees her markings again.
“Pulling Back the Curtain”Edit
Gem and Victoria spot a cat-like creature with bright blue eyes. It seems to have white fur with black spots, but its fur seems to be shifting and changing. It is laying on the path in front of them, just watching. Victoria attempts to sit and talk to the creature. It just sort of purrs in response. It seems to growl at Gem, who backs off. Victoria cautiously pets the thing, which is staring her in the eyes. It eventually rolls over on its side. She continues to pet it. The rest of the group, rather jealous, try to communicate with the beast in the various languages they know. The fur patterns begin to swirl again, and then recedes, leaving the cat behind and instead revealing a man in a long red robe lying on the ground. He identifies Victoria as Clair, before quickly getting back to his feet, adjusting his robes. He identifies himself as Rath-atan, but laughs when Gem attempts to assert that Clair is royalty. And then flatly denies knowing anything about a Clair, though clearly lying. He mentions that magic works differently ‘here in the fae world’.
He addresses Gem as Blue (EL: Probably… a wizard ‘color’?), suggesting that she was not a powerful wizard, but that her necklace certainly contained magic, and acknowledges that he does indeed know Clair - and likely the others as well.
- Recap from EtoileLion on reddit. Editorial notes are theirs.