- Be not placated by the giggles and magical wonders. Even the faerie world has its shadows.
“Tarts and Balls”Edit
Clair tries to have a conversation with Rath-atan, but Rath-atan has clearly spent too much time in the Fae world, his thoughts being somewhat erratic. Sapphire (Gem’s new name) tries to get him to tell her how he made himself shapeshift, with mixed results. Clair strikes up a more… personal discussion, but Sapphire derails it before it gets too far. He identifies Bunny as “the maid” (EL: I’m… going to point out here for those that don’t speak DM-Twisting-English that maid has two entirely different connotations, and that Rath-atan may have been using either.) , Cloud is identified as ‘the squire’, and Clair and Sapphire are collectively referred to as ‘the princesses...well, yes and no’. Quicksand is identified (in dwarven) as ‘the dwarf’.
Quicksand is rather upset about not being a princess, which prompts Sapphire to pull out the cymbals that she got from the invisible band, pronouncing that they now convey the title of Princess, and gives them to Quicksand. Clair is dubious about it being possible to transfer a title in such a manner.
Sapphire asks for more explanation about who they are. Rath-atan wants to know what he gets in exchange; he accepts Bunny’s offer of house-cleaning in exchange for the information, and points to a log which apparently is his house. As she crawls into the log, Bunny finds a ladder leading down into the ground, and descends.
Quicksand proclaims that his name shall now be Whiskers, much to Sapphire’s joy. The two follow Bunny down.
Rath-atan comments that Clair and Cloud are an odd pair, and when Cloud confirms that she is a squire, Rath-atan comments that she certainly WAS, though not anymore? He can’t really remember who the Knight was in charge of Cloud’s training. As for Clair, “the love of a good man” saved “her grace”, who sent men to get her to safety. Why there are four of them though, he can’t be sure of. He mentions in passing that the ‘good man’ also had a ‘fiendish rogue’ helping him. (EL: this statement was overlooked by the group.) Part of the noble’s plan for saving them involved erasing the group’s memories. The Elf-King also had a part to play, sending the group away.
Meanwhile, down in the house-hole, Whiskers immediately starts foraging for food. Bunny doesn’t much like Whiskers stealing Rath-atan’s food, but this gets mis-translated intentionally by Sapphire. Whiskers goes back to eating pretty much anything he finds.
Cloud questions how it is Rath-atan knows so much about them. He mentions that he’s kept tabs on people using his magic crystal balls, especially relating to the king and his curse. That the fate of the king is tied to that of his daugters (daughter’s?). He seems unwilling to commit to saying that the King is Clair’s father. They decide to go check on him using the crystal balls.
Down in the hole, Whiskers is scarfing down whatever food he comes across, from bee-carrying honeycakes and fruit tarts to an entire basket of blueberry muffins, with Bunny attempting to hide food away from him, becoming quite full. Rath-atan seems to have a lot of very fresh food...
Rath-atan moves over to a lounger, opening a large chest behind it to reveal 5 balls - green, blue, purple, pink, and yellow. Bunny seems very keen to polish the balls, and Rath-atan suggests she get a rag from the kitchen. When she’s out of earshot, he whispers to the others not to let Bunny cook anything, as she is horrible at it. He identifies that the green ball allows him to read the emotional state of people in the vicinity of his reading. He deflects questions about Clair being the King’s daughter. “The fate of your lord father is related to that of his daughters. You may die in his place. Or a sister of yours too.” (EL: …. why am i getting an odd religious vibe?) Sapphire overdramatically reacts and proclaims herself to be Clair’s sister with a hug. When Clair asks him if that is true, he muses for a moment about the passage of time in the fae world, and how ‘in 6 months time...’ the statement may be true. As for how they came to be in this world? The nobleman.
He picks up the blue ball, which is apparently the clairvoyant one, allowing him to see into other worlds. As he sets the ball down and begins his reading, the others notice walls and ceiling shaking. Shortly thereafter, the wall caves in, and 6 dwarves with oily eyes pour in through the hole.
Combat - Storming The Hole. Even with Cloud the swordswoman, battleaxe wielding dwarves are no joke. Desperation does prevail in the end, but not without cost, as both Bunny and Rath-atan are dealt mortal injuries, and perish in the conflict. Whiskers is rendered unconscious.
“Stirrings in the Deep”Edit
Sapphire cradles Bunny’s body, sobbing unrelentingly. Eventually she manages to bring herself to bind Whiskers’ wounds. The group then have a discussion about what to do with the deceased. Cloud suggests a burial. Sapphire considers a cleansing fire. Then Sapphire goes over to investigate the crystal balls. She finds the green one destroyed in the fighting, but takes the blue one and attempts to use it. Cloud begins looting the house. She finds Rath-atan’s bedroom, and loots from the room a large, locked book, 6 potions of unknown type, and 50 gold coins in a pouch. Cloud skims through the other books, noting that she can read in the process. Underneath a rug, she finds a trapdoor.
She flings it open, revealing a ladder descending into darkness. Speaking of, there’s no lights in the room she’s in, but is illuminated anyway. Returning to Sapphire to describe what she found, the magically attuned one imbues a pillow with Light for Cloud. Cloud goes back and drops the pillow down. It drops down, landing 30 feet below and revealing a tunnel access. Cloud descends into the tunnel. She follows it a ways until it opens into a large cavern. She sees a pool of water within, though she cannot see how far. She explores a bit, testing the water. When she disturbs the water with her foot, something stirs within, starting to rise out of the center of the pool. A dome-shaped figure rising, followed by tentacles, which is enough for Cloud to bail out.
Cloud explains what she saw, which gives Sapphire something to go browsing through Rath-atan’s books for. Finding no mention of any such creature, her frustrations are blunted by a growing shaking feeling coming from below. The last time this house, shook, its owner died, and so the group decide now would be a good time to depart.
They throw the crystal balls in a bag, steal Rath-atan’s book (again), Sapphire grabs a dwarven battle-axe, and leave the wizard’s body to its eternal rest, taking Bunny and Whiskers with them as they scramble out of the hole, weighed down by bodies.
Emerging into the grassy forest once again, the party finds Glib Glob sleeping. Sapphire gently wakes him, but they can’t actually communicate while Whiskers is unconscious, and so a series of hand gestures follow. They make for the path they came in on, but… it doesn’t appear before them as it did before. Sapphire and Clair have a bonding moment on the way out.
“Not At All Like a Writing Desk”Edit
Cloud points out east, and Sapphire agrees, to the party heads east. (EL: And by east, we mean due north.) Sapphire plays the flute and sings to Whiskers. Meanwhile, Bunny’s body is buried, with Sapphire looting her body for anything useful. Glib inherits the gnome sized clothing and shovel. Sapphire fashions a litter for Whiskers, to increase their movement pace.
A few hours of travel later, the group comes across a raven perched on a tree branch, cawing at the party. It breaks into parrot-like common speech, seeking food. Cloud bargains with the raven; information for food. It informs them that East is to the right (confirming that the party had been headed North). He states that the party are fugitives from King Rainier, and that he learned to talk by being a messenger for the Elf King. He asks “Who’s engaged?” but doesn’t know who. He can direct the group to the Elf King. Riders are coming for the engaged one, and suggests the group hide with the Elf King. With their source of bargained food spent, the raven starts heading northwest to lead the group towards the Elf King.
After a couple of hours following a hopping raven, the party makes camp. Whiskers awakens the next morning, describing his dreams which may or may not have been influenced by Sapphire’s singing.
- Recap from EtoileLion on reddit. Editorial notes are theirs.