The Sundering Worlds

Healing Fissures
Both literal and figurative

The adventurers decided to leave Elzalath outside the village to scout and to avoid unpleasant introductions. Corvus and Peke made their way to the city gate where they were greeted with nocked arrows and barked interrogatives. However, Clan Rooster accepted them quickly when they discovered the heroes made it through the forest at night. They were introduced to the leader Shizue, who was keenly interested in how they overcame the wights in the forest.

Peke managed to dodge Shizue’s questions, not intent to give away Elzalath’s presence unless absolutely necessary. Shizue was very straightforward, revealing the tale that led to Endo’s assassination. A Clan Crane Ambassador kidnapped, raped and killed Shizue’s daughter, Shia, heiress and rightful Emperess-in-Waiting of Clan Rooster. The violent and tragic circumstances of her death manifested her spirit as a malevolent Yokai. She haunted the village of Clan Crane, enacting her vengeance by harnessing the power available through the rift. Additionally, the wights of the forest were fueled by her unrest. She killed Endo as vengeance.

Meanwhile, Elzalath explored the surrounding region. She discovered an emergency exit from the city perhaps used to evacuate certain members of Clan Rooster in times of crisis. On her return to the front of the city, she spotted a wight flitting through the trees. Elzalath snuck up on the spirit and harnessed the Edict of Nhalgos to bind it. Through interrogation, Elzalath learned that this phantasm was subject to a greater will than her own intent on bringing destruction.

The team reunited and rested within the confines of Clan Rooster. In the morning, they made their way uneventfully back to Clan Crane. Upon entering the compound, it was immediately apparent something significant had transpired in their absence. The once bustling village was empty and silent. The troupe noticed oddities emanating from the Elder Temple in the center portion of the compound, so they made their way there.

At the entrance, the door was hanging from its hinges, and Elzalath could sense the presence of an intense aether trap. In an attempt to be cautious, Peke summoned a dryad to enter the temple first. The dryad walked in unimpeded. Then Peke attempted to conjure countermeasures to disarm the trap but failed. Corvus asked if his mysterious spikey cypher could be of any use. Peke’s patience had run out, so he took the enigmatic device, yanked on each spike, and tossed it into the temple. A horrific bang shook the temple as all magic embedded in the device was ripped away. The blast knocked Peke back 10 meters. Peke shook off the pain, as Elzalath noticed the dissipation of the force behind the trap she sensed earlier. The group headed into the Elder Temple.

Inside, they found another empty room with a staircase. Peke sent the dryad up the staircase, but as soon as it touched the first step, the shrieking spirit of Shia came barreling down from above toward the dryad. Elzalath shouted at Shia that they could work together. Together, they agreed the best course would be to shut the rift and bring Shia to the Lich Lord to add to the ranks of his army. Unfortunately, Shia was bound to the Temple until they resolved the rift problem.

Upon learning where Shinzo Abe was hiding out, the adventurers headed to confront him. They found a morose Abe sitting at the center of the room in a large cloak. Through questioning, they discovered Abe literally had the rift in a device in his pocket. Unfortunately, he had a score to settle. He shed his cloak, unsheathed his sword, and engaged the trio with the exceeding grace and precision of a lifelong warrior. Corvus sprang to action first, swinging his trusty blades at Abe, but Abe effortlessly dodged his way around the blows. He sliced through the remaining meat on Elzalath’s forearm. But Elzalath savored her opportunity to engage Abe in combat and blasted him with a Withering Curse. She could feel the life force slowly draining from Abe and empowering her. She held her arm out for him to see as her wounds healed themselves.

Peke transformed into a hawk to fly out of range and retrieve the rift. K’ot snarled at Abe to distract him from Peke. Her snarl worked too well, however, as Abe’s blades dug into her flesh. Meanwhile, Corvus snuck over to the cloak, quickly retrieved the rift device, and popped it open to unleash a portal spewing tainted aether.

When Peke saw his dearest friend suffering at the hands of Abe, his fight left him. He dove toward the portal and placed one foot on either side, ready to jump in.

“Elzalath, enough! We have to go! This fight is beneath you. All that remains for us on this plane is suffering and death.”

Elzalath stood firm. “What about Shia? This wasn’t the plan.”

Peke replied, “This isn’t what we hoped it would be. It’s too late. We need to go.”

Will Elzalath forsake her quest for power in exchange for survival? Will Peke abandon one of his closest friends? Do fucking major and minor effects apply on goddamn defense rolls? Tune in next time to find out!

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Stuck in the Middle

The trio decided to exercise an increased measure of caution as they set out to explore this new realm. Peke dug his fingers into the loose soil at his feet to question the living world. He could feel the damage the tainted aether was causing. He also found no concerns about the warrior on the hill, so he walked to the man while his companions set up camp.

The man on the hill introduced himself as Shinzo Abe of Clan Crane. After formalities, Peke felt Abe could be trusted. The adventuring party accompanied Abe back to Clan Crane to meet their leader, Endo. Endo proved cagey at the party’s desire to close the rift and move on. He viewed the arrival of these planeswalkers as an opportunity to solve the clan’s problems with their rival, Clan Rooster. In the midst of their discussions, an arrow flew through the crowded room and killed Endo. Elzalath attempted to gain more insight by talking to Enzo but Abe forbade communication with the dead. Peke and Corvus attempted to identify the culprit, but none could be found.

The crew agreed to talk to Clan Rooster to try to figure this out while truly intending to find the rift on their own. They had enough of getting involved in the affairs of the ungrateful planes they needed to save. So they headed off to Clan Rooster to see if they could gain more information about the rift.

In the woods, malevolent specters began flitting in and out of view. When one spirit seemed hostile enough to attack, the team attempted to get rid of her. Unfortunately, their attacks only empowered the poltergeist further. When all other options were exhausted, Elazalath called on the Lich Lord for assistance. He delivered them to the edge of the forest in sight of Clan Rooster’s compound.

What new intrigues will our heroes find at Clan Rooster? What malevolent force can harness and manipulate our heroes’ power? Where is this dang rift anyway? Tune in next time to find out!

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Closing the Rift
1 down, 6 to go

Our heroes found themselves facing the Head of the Dispossessed, Aysha, and her right-hand man, Lothar. The Weaver continued to mentally commune with Elzalath as it hid in the shadows. Elzalath was the first to move. She reanimated the vemon-riddled corpses of their former allies. Upon revivification, the zombies started moving toward Aysha. Meanwhile, Corvus felt the weight of indecision and slunk into the shadows of the cavern. Pekeporo still felt torn over the desire to give the disenfranchised access to equality, but a vision of Myrna being torn apart by tainted aether moved his hands into the dirt to summon a dryad familiar in anticipation of impending combat.

Corvus nocked an arrow as Peke’s dryad familiar charged Lothar alongside K’ot. Unfortunately, years of helping facilitate rebellion made him quite a skilled foe. He effortlessly dodged both attacks and crushed the back of K’ot’s head with his gauntlet. Peke’s fury at this blow quickly manifested into a beam of piercing light that lanced directly into Lothar’s exposed side. Meanwhile, as her arm still crackled from the tainted aether well, Elzalath unleashed her fury against Aysha. Her zombies closed the gap and voraciously attempted to sate their appetites on Aysha’s flesh as decay erupted from Elzalath’s good arm and struck Aysha. Upon seeing his companions embroiled in combat, Corvus released his arrow into Lothar’s shoulder.

“ENOUGH!” shouted Aysha. “We are your allies! We can explore this rift together. There is no need for this.”

Peke sensed Elzalath’s resolve. He envied her clarity as he waded through the murk of moral ambiguity. Peke knew that he could not accompany Elzalath to the completion of her journey, but for now, they were on the path together. He unleashed another destructive blast on Lothar as his dryad and K’ot continued to demonstrate gross incompetence. Elzalath’s zombies were upon Aysha now, drooling necrotic venom all over her. Corvus considered his options and went all in with his companions by tossing an explosive cypher into the fray.

The cypher blew everything to hell. But Aysha felt the worst effects as the blast fused the venoumous zombies to her flesh. In a desperate attempt to continue, she dove into the aether rift. Unfortunately, the blast also reached the Weaver.

Elz’s mental connection to the Weaver immediately snapped as it descended in a fury to devour the fools who would allow the blast to touch her. However, the heroes were emboldened by their recent martial success and quickly made the Weaver regret crossing them. They also received a bit of assistance from spearmen in the shadows, but it’s unlikely they really needed help.

Upon destroying the Weaver together, the cavern started shaking and rocks began falling from the canopy. The soldiers thanked the heroes for their assistance with the aether and stepped through a portal back to the safety of their castle. Elzalath made a psychic inquiry of the aether buzzing around her arm and discovered that Peke was the key to closing the rift. So Elzalath, Corvus and Peke jumped into the rift in order to seal it off forever.

As they were travelling through all the planes, each adventurer had a vision. Peke learned from the Jade Emperor that his body is the key to closing these portals, and there are seven of them. Elzalath received confirmation from the Arch-Lich that she could find a way to harness the aether for god-like power. Corvus had a terrifying encounter with Asmodeus, who bragged about his ability to find Corvus in any plane when it was time to collect his due.

The planar jump tossed the group into a field where they quickly assessed their surroundings. Corvus found the charred remains of Aysha. Clearly the jump had not been so kind to her. In the distance, they could see a city and in the opposite direction, a man practicing martial arts on top of a hill. Peke communed with the grass surrounding them to learn that the man is not an adversary. The crew decided Elzalath and Corvus would set up camp out in the plains while Peke sets off to talk to the man on the hill.

What exciting adventures will our heroes find on this new plane? Is this the fateful time in which Peke will lose his eye? How much time does Corvus have? Will Corvus and Peke’s controllers make time to actually level up their characters? Tune in next time to find out!

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Filling in the Gaps
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Lo, this unworthy scribe must beseech the dear reader for forgiveness for allowing nearly two fortnights to pass before continuing his tale. Thus, the details of our heroes’ journey to the cavernous depths in search of the tainted aether rift are largely lost to the ravages of time and a foggy memory. Yea, a reader might even question the qualifications of a bard who, through his own malfeasance is unable to fulfill his primary duty as a weaver of tales. While sound in its reasoning, this criticism falls fatally to the dearth of bards in the present age. When taken to its logical conclusion, this line of reasoning concludes in stating that you, beloved reader, can fuck right off, because I’m the only game in town.

So the odd trio of adventurers decided to go investigate the tainted aether. They ran into some weird underground society who needed help getting rid of a giant spider-demon with nasty venom spits. They sent some of their own along with the team to destroy the Weaver, but Elzalath made a mental connection with the Weaver by leveraging its connection to that one death-god we all know and Elz loves. Then we found the aether rift, Elz stuck her arm in it to gain a shitload of power, and the rebellion lady and her helper came to try to figure shit out with the heroes. The crew simultaneously suspects the cavern is rotten with the city guard folk as well.

Will our heroes get out of this jam? Will they empower the disenfranchised or save Faerun? Will I write the next play session in a timely enough manner to actually include details? Tune in next time to find out!

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In the Land of Aether
Session 13

After arriving in a strange new world, the PCs retired to a nearby inn in the hopes of recuperating their senses. Before long, however, an explosion rocked the city square and overturned the city of Areydan. In the chaos, a hooded figure confronted the PCs. He said his name was Mythar and that he was an autarch participating in the dispossessed rebellion against the Fhrey. Deciding to trust Mythar, the PCs followed him to the hideout of the dispossessed where they met with Aysha, the leader of the dispossessed, who spun a tale of oppression and deceit. The Fhrey, she claimed, rule Areydan with an iron fist. They are aether wielders who oversee all of life in Areydan, which has led to a society split in two. The Fhrey rule the dispossessed and the dispossessed are the slaves of the Fhrey. It is Aysha’s hope that the PCs will help the dispossessed ignite a war against the Fhrey, so that Areydanian society will reset itself. Aysha then told the PCs of a great rift outside of the city wherein the aether of the Fhrey is seeping out. The people of the city now have free and fair access to the magic that has so longed oppressed them. The rift, Aysha tells the PCs, must not be closed. It must, if anything, be permanently opened so that the Fhrey will be held accountable.

Later that night, however, the PCs were approached by a man named Fingol. He is a Fhrey and a lieutenant of the Archon, Elise. He told the PCs a vastly different version of events wherein Aysha is a usurper looking only for power and prestige. In order to maintain the world balance, Fingol asked the PCs, on behalf of Elise, to travel to the great rift and close the aether slippage.

In order to test their own theories, the PCs then traveled Areydan and asked the dispossessed if their lives were worth living. The PCs, unfortunately, received mixed feedback, and so, they realized, the choice was theirs: side with the dispossessed to overthrow the Archon or travel to the rift and seek to close that which is destroying the planar realms?

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The Sundering Worlds Vol. II
The Story So Far

“Sit, sit,” she said. "Gather ‘round the fire. That’s right. That’s right. Now, quiet down. Yes. Just so. Just so.” The fired danced around the story teller’s face. Her gray hair glistening in the moon light. “Are you ready?”
The crowd nodded in anticipation.
“Long ago,” she began, “there was a nameless one, called by the gods, who ventured forth from his enclave. He was a traveler, of sorts, who, along with another, decided to accompany the plentiful goods of Neverwinter to a southern village named Phandalin. Once there, however, these two, Pekeporo and Corvus, found a city in disarray. A band of evil men, orcs, and half-elves had taken ownership of Phandalin. But this was nothing to our heroes, for they soon dispatched the invaders deep within their hideout and came to befriend a drow elf, a paladin named, Elzalath.”
“Is that Elzalath the forsaken?” a man shouted just beyond the storyteller’s vision.
“Just the one,” she nodded. “But do not outpace the very story I am weaving.” The storyteller paused to let her audience adjust. “Yes, it was Elzalath—that troubled soul. She had been taken prisoner by the Red Guard, but not for long. Pekeporo and Corvus rescued her and—”
“And saved Phandalin?” a child near the storyteller asked.
She shook her head. “No. No, that is not the story I have to tell. In fact, the city fell to a drow army. It was overran soon after a rogue general sided with the drow against Neverwinter. But that is another tale, for another time. The reason our adventurers—the three you know so well—were not present was because Corvus’ adopted parents had been taken prisoner in a village just outside of Thundertree.”
“And K’otquchoq saved them? Isn’t that right?”
The storyteller stared at a young woman whose face was aglow. “Is that what you heard?”
“Yes,” she said, abashed. “I did.”
“No,” the storyteller shook her head. “The wolf is a friend of Pekeporo, that is the truth, but a tortured animal. A beast of mixed passions. He was there, to be sure, but he was not alone. The three adventures, and their beast companion, saved Corvus’ family and unlocked the secret of Mandibar’s Mirror, but not before the God of Choas, Asmodeus, touched Corvus.”
“His brand, you mean?” another shouted.
“Aye, that. He was a haunted man, after. But that comes in later. Saving his parents did him well, but it did nothing to alleviate the dreams that Pekeporo was having, given to him by the God the Verdant Temple.”
“Is that why he lost his arm?”
“Hush, child!” the storyteller said. “You know not of what you speak. Pekeporo is a great druid, perhaps the greatest throughout the Great Wheel. He slayed the aboleth and traveled across worlds. Be respectful, if nothing else.” She paused again and waited for the attention of those gathered around her. “But, yes, they quickly traveled south to assuage Pekeporo’s dreams. With the help of a well-known sea captain, Pekeporo, Elzalath, and Corvus traveled into the bloodmists and the Moon Isles. Once there, they were told the most important thing that they would ever hear: the aether between the worlds was slipping. The realms of the Great Wheel were sundering.”
A silence fell over the crowd. Not a whisper could be heard over the crackling fire. “And so,” the storyteller continued, “they met with the Emerald Emperor and traveled to another world. And, though they did not yet know it, their mission was simple, to seal the cracks of the planar realms, to heal the wounds of the cosmos.”
“But Elzalath?” one said. “She was transformed.”
“Aye, that is true. And even then,” the storyteller said, “no one knew which way she would turn.”

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Salted Vestments
Session 12

With the prompt dispatching of their martial foe, Corvus, Elzalath and Pekeporo set out for Leilon. Upon reaching the bustling borough, they made their way to the docks to seek passage south. After some guidance, they found Wick, Captain of the Lost Mermaid. He agreed to provide passage to Waterdeep despite his hesitation with boarding a drow.

The first days of the voyage passed without incident. The adventurers passed the time in their cabin until Captain Wick paid them a visit. As a merchant, he hoped to enlist their help through the dangerous voyage past the Mere of Dead Men. They agreed to provide assistance on the voyage as a basis for developing an ally on the seas.

On the third day, Pekeporo was sitting in the crow’s nest in the middle of the night. On the deck below, K’ot’s ears suddenly perked toward the stern, so Peke looked carefully at a rising wave. Almost too late, he realized a terror from the deep was upon them. As he sounded the alarm, Peke thrust an entanglement spell, but the beast was too elusive to be bound. Captain Wick, his first mate, Elzalath and Corvus emerged from their quarters as massive tentacles emerged from the depths, surrounding the vessel.

From learning an ancient legend of a master crippling his wayward pupil by gaining the higher ground, Corvus bounded up into the crow’s nest. Elzalath recognized the potency of their foe and quickly tagged it with her Hunter’s Mark before slicing into one of its tentacles with her Divine Smite-enflamed rapier. The beast retaliated by spraying the entire boat in a disgusting ooze. Corvus and Peke shook it off, but something evil in the vile sludge penetrated Elzalath’s psyche. Then the beast brought its tentacles down on the ship, blasting Elzalath against the deck.

Corvus and Elzalath unleashed flurries of arrows at the writhing tentacles as K’ot did her best to rend flesh from them. Peke despaired at the seemingly impossible task of felling such a creature through mere damage to extremities. He steeled his nerves, having grown up in a land-locked woods after all, and leapt from the crow’s nest toward the water. As he plummeted, he transformed into a giant squid, plunged into the icy depths and propelled himself at the bulk of his foe. After pummeling the beast with his freshly sprouted tentacles, he wrapped it up in a giant squid hug. As the boat glided off into the night, Peke took comfort in knowing his companions were safe for the time being.

Simultaneous to this relief was the dreadful realization that he was now single-handedly combatting an aboleth. Thanks to his uncle’s tales, Peke knew the potential for this beast to destroy not only his body, but his mind as well.

“Perhaps if I speed to shore, the aboleth will chase me in an attempt to gain vengeance for removing it from its quarry. Then I can make my way south on land to rejoin my companions.”

As Peke swam for shore, his best laid plans were immediately undermined by the aboleth’s determined and renewed pursuit of the Lost Mermaid. The aboleth swam with such speed and fury just below the surface, that a wave rose in front of him. Fortunately, the heroes on the boat did not view their reprieve from battle as an excuse for complacency. Elzalath spotted the approach from a distance and pulled her holy talisman from her cloak. As she bellowed her divine utterances, the token shone brilliantly and blasted the unholy creature in its pursuit. Suddenly, the wave died. The aboleth continued pursuit, but its pace was greatly reduced.

Peke built all the squid speed he could muster to catch up to the aboleth. He leapt from the water, transformed back into his natural form and blasted a wave of thunder from his fingertips as he skimmed across the surface of the water. The aboleth maneuvered around much of the wave, but the spell still took its toll. As he lost momentum, Peke transformed back into a giant squid and slid under the surface.

Corvus jumped on the opportunity to shoot the aboleth in the face with some arrows. His shots flew true and buried deep in the meat of the beast. The creature retaliated by slamming the ship again, this time destroying the crow’s nest. Fortunately, Corvus anticipated the blast and majestically dove at and clung to a hand-hold high above the ship. Once again, Peke pounded the aboleth with his tentacles and restrained it from further movement. Elzalath spotted its eye amidst the writhing tentacles and released the death blow. As sickening lifeblood poured into the sea from its eye, the aboleth’s corpse sunk down to the murky depths.

The journey to Waterdeep continued without further disruption. Upon arrival, Captain Wick offered the adventurers any favors they needed, recognizing the lifedebt he owed these three. He agreed to transport them to the Moon Isles, but he needed two days to repair the damage the aboleth had dealt the Lost Mermaid. The trio headed into Waterdeep to kill some time and ready themselves for the next stage in their adventure.

What dangers lie ahead at the Moon Isles for our heroes? What adventures will emerge in Waterdeep? What is the Jade Emperor doing while he waits for them to arrive? Sniffing buttholes? He’s probably sniffing buttholes. Tune in next time to find out!

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Catch-Up
Session 9-11

Our trio made their way to Waterdeep or Neverwinter or something for some reason. While there, they did some research on the Jade Emperor and the Verdant Temple. They stole a book from a lady to get this librarian lady to help them out. Meanwhile, the drow lady kept following them around, because she still wanted Elzalath to come with her. When the team left the library, some general wanted them. They tried to run away, but the librarian lady turned out to be a High Sorcerer of the city or some such title, and she prevented them from running. They met with the dude and agreed to help the battle against the bad drow army and joined some order of the city that will hook them up from now on.

Then they went to the sewers to follow some guidance they got from somewhere. They found a powerful-seeming drow dude in a room with floating shit. They became pals and agreed to all go together to infiltrate the drow army or something. On their way south, Pekeporo had his most urgent vision yet, and attempted to abandon everyone to go to the Moon Isles with K’ot. But his pals heard him leaving and decided to go along. But then the army leader fought them for some reason. They whipped his ass and he said something about a Sorcerer or something that showed he’s bad and things are corrupt.

Will our heroes make it to the Moon Isles? Are they walking into a trap? Will Ryan write these in a more timely fashion so they aren’t insanely vague and brief? Tune in next time to find out!

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Hell to Pay
Session 8

Corvus emerged from the abandoned home of his childhood mentor. Pekeporo met his eye and immediately understood Corvus’ despair. Elzalath slunk into the town’s periphery, recognizing her outsider status as a drow in this village. Time was of the essence and the group had no leads.

orc-gruumsh01-1Corvus and Peke headed to the village blacksmith to see if he had any information. The kidnapping and arson happened so fast, there were only rumors and hunches to be had. Yet among this hearsay, Corvus discovered a roving band of orcs calling themselves The Blackbird Red were responsible for this nightmare. He couldn’t say for certain, but the blacksmith thought they were probably posted at the Ruins in the surrounding forest. Corvus thanked the man for the information.

Meanwhile, Elzalath wandered the surrounding forest looking for clues. She sensed a presence and whirled to spot a fellow drow in the clearing.

“Elzalath, my name is Jaelryn, and I come on behalf of my master, Elendar. He sent me with this letter.” Elzalath knew enough of the ways of the drow to find this encounter quite unremarkable. “Elendar seeks what you seek and desires your tutelage. He can provide what you desire.”

Elzalath accepted the letter and Jaelryn disappeared into the brush. Skeptical, Elzalath tracked Jaelryn’s movement far enough to identify her movement west toward Neverwinter. This was certainly an intriguing proposition, but Elendar could wait. Elzalath had developed a strange and unexpected affinity for her journeying partners and wanted to help Corvus see this through.

The party reunited in the village and decided to confront the Blackbird Red head-on in the morning. After an uneventful rest, they journeyed to the forest ruins. They decided to rest before their confrontation, and Peke meditated fitfully. At the end of his meditation, he received the most powerful vision he had yet encountered. This time, the voice was understandable, admonishing Peke to seek The Green Emperor in the Verdant Temple. While still cryptic, Peke began to understand that his namequest would take him beyond every reality he had ever experienced.

In the morning, the adventurers finished their journey to the Ruins. Peke took advantage of the opportunity to show off the new spell he had been studying and cast the entire party into a veil of invisibility. Easily undetected, they found two watch-orcs high in a treenest. With incredibly precision, they unleashed a trio of arrows at one of the orcs, all three of which sunk deep into the orc to send him toppling out of his perch. Without hesitation, all three heroes immediately released another volley of arrows at the other orc. The first orc hit the ground in a burst of gore and viscera. The second orc managed to bone-crunchingly land on his feet, just conscious enough to taunt the trio with a warning of one-eyed Agar waiting for them. Then he breathed his last.

The crew made their way to the clearing leading to the Ruins to find a terrifying scene. Four orcs awaited them, two of which held Corvus’ father and mentor at knife-point. Between them stood a giant of an orc with a patch over one eye. Corvus’ mother was restrained behind his enormous arm with a knife to her throat. This orc had to be Agar, and he was waiting for them.

Corvus, Peke and K’ot remained shrouded and slowly snuck up behind the orcs around the backside of the ruins. Meanwhile, Elzalath emerged from Peke’s spell to attempt negotiation with the orcs.

“Who are you?” growled Agar.

“I’m a drow, and we share a common purpose. Perhaps if we work together, we can successfully enact vengeance upon the scoundrel Corvus Cade.” Elzalath was so convincing, Peke began to worry that Elzalath had been stringing them along this whole time. He certainly didn’t know anything about Elzalath’s life before they met.

Agar chuckled deridingly. “This isn’t about revenge.”

“Then what is it about?”

“Service. I simply follow the will of Asmodeus. He desires Corvus’ destruction, and I am happy to oblige.”

“In that case, we remain allies as I serve Elendar.”

At this, Agar grew quite agitated. He pointed his dagger at Elzalath. “You are no acolyte of Elendar. Now out with the truth.”

Corvus sensed the exchange was headed south, and took advantage of the opportunity to attack Agar while his blade was away from Corvus’ mother’s throat. He drew his swords and unleashed his fury on Agar. The trap was sprung.

Elzalath took the cue and cast a Blessing on her companions for battle while eviscerating the orc holding Corvus’ father. Peke used the advantage of surprise to Wild Shape into a brown bear. In a flurry of teeth and claws, he flayed Agar’s back as K’ot put all her strength into knocking Agar over.

From the prone position, Agar had no hope of turning the tide of battle. Even worse for him, as he struggled to right himself onto one leg, he saw his faithful followers scatter into the forest. “Goddamn cowards.”

Sensing that Corvus had the situation well in hand with his blades at Agar’s throat, Elzalath, Peke and K’ot leapt into the woods after the fleeing orcs. Elzalath and Peke subdued their quarries while K’ot demonstrated no such restraint. She sensed Corvus’ hatred of orcs in general and took this opportunity to decimate her prey.

Meanwhile, Corvus interrogated Agar to no avail. He held his sword and a potion of healing in front of Agar’s working eye. “We can do this the easy way or you can die.”

“Fuc…” Before Agar could finish his response, he choked on a geyser of blood that erupted as Corvus buried his blade in Agar’s throat. Corvus vaguely sensed the return of his companions but could only muster the strength to gratefully hug his family and mentor. In the group hug, he smiled as he noticed K’ot trot up and drop an orc dick at his feet.

Peke attempted to interrogate his captive to no avail. He paid attention as Elzalath demonstrated how interrogations work in Faerun. She enchanted her sword with a white burning heat. She held her blade over her captives head as she stuck her face inches from the orc’s.

“We need information, and let me assure you, you will not die quickly if you refuse to cooperate. You will not be so fortunate as your master. I have all day and endless creative ways to make you suffer. So measure your response carefully. Where is Asmodeus?”

As the stench of waste emanated from his trousers, the orc was clearly terrified. “I…I am a lowly minion. Agar didn’t trust me with any information. B…But he could read and write. He kept a journal. It has to be around here somewhere. I’ll help you find it.”

Elzalath lowered her sword while maintaining eye contact. The blade slid down further until it severed the bonds at the orc’s feet. “Good answer.” She helped the orc to his feet as Peke looted the ruins for treasure and Corvus held his family.

Will our heroes have what it takes to confront the threat of Asmodeus head-on? What secrets are our adventurers keeping from one another? Why is the Dungeon Mistress trying to give away all of Peke’s secrets? Tune in next time to find out!

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Provenance's Due
Session 7

After Peke checked in with Myrna and Corvus and Elzalath went to patch things up with Phandalin’s inn-keeper, the crew decided it was time to confront Porcius’ irritating bounty head-on. After devising a slap-dash and largely unnecessary plan to confront Porcius, the ventured out toward Corvus’ hometown.

On the first morning of the journey after a night’s rest, the adventurers discovered an ominous dark object. Elzalath immediately recognized its demonic origin and was hesitant to bring it along. But where Elzalath saw danger, Peke saw power, and he convinced her to bring it along. The party stayed away from cities to avoid suspicious glances. Upon awakening the second morning of their journey, they found themselves back at their camp of the previous night. Ignorant of whether they had been transported through time or space, Corvus and Peke were sufficiently convinced to heed Elzalath’s caution and leave the damned object behind.

After repeating their journey of the previous day, they once again made camp outside Corvus’ town. The following morning, when no ineffable teleportation took place, they headed into town, straight to Porcius’ dwelling. Their ruse worked flawlessly as Porcius welcomed them in, believing Corvus to be captured. When he had his goons start escorting Corvus away, the trap was sprung. Corvus filled the room with fog as he grabbed his swords. Peke cemented their advantage by casting Faerie Fire on their opponents. Elzalath and Corvus made shockingly short work of Porcius’ goons, basically pulling an organs-on-the-outside-of-your-body-now situation. Meanwhile, Porcius grabbed a small object out of his desk and tried to escape. His voluminous body made escape a slow and laborious process, and Peke had plenty of time to slip into a form a bit more serpentine and put the squeeze on Porcius.

As the fog cleared, Porcius accepted defeat and demonstrated his true impetus for seeking Corvus.

“This is much bigger than you can imagine. I was only doing what Asmodeus made me do. Please let me go. It won’t end with me. You’re screwed and so is your family.”

In Porcius’ hand was a small glass bird containing a swirling black cloud. Elzalath bristled at the evil it contained. She recognized the dark machinations of a object of Asmodeus. Even the thought of that name filled her with righteous rage. K’ot also sensed the evil in Porcius’ hand. She instinctively attempted to separate Porcius from the glass bird by biting off his hand. But in doing so, her teeth came down on the bird, shattering its fragile body in her mouth. An ominous cloud burst from her mouth, filling Porcius’ cavities and melting his entire head into a gooey blob. Simultaneously, a burst of energy erupted from K’ot, turning her greay coat deep crimson and seemingly sucking the life from her.

Pekeporo blanched. He ran to her side as the cloud dissipated in the room. K’ot was barely breathing, but Peke dug deep in her psyche and found a remnant of her former, virtuous self buried beneath the fog of evil. He recognized what she had become…a Changer. He remembered sleepless moonlit nights in the Wood of Sharp Teeth, keeping watch with T’Allius for the Changers who would mindlessly eradicate life throughout the Wood.

“What happened to her?”

Elzalath’s seemingly benign question snapped Peke back to reality. But he had known Elzalath long enough to know the real question she was asking, and K’ot’s life was far more important than some holy agenda to eradicate evil.

“She’s hurt is all. That cloud sucked the life out of her.”

“You sure?”

“Positive. She’ll be fine.”

Peke healed his lifelong companion and they walked outside together. When Corvus and Elzalath rejoined them, the group decided to make haste for Corvus’ home. After their recent ordeal, Porcius’ threat seemed far from empty.

They ran to Porcius’ home to find it ablaze. The townsfolk had no helpful information regarding the fire or Corvus’ family. Peke and Elzalath helped the residents put out the fire while Corvus ran to his mentor’s home, hoping to find his family. Instead, he found an empty house with another glass bird sitting on the doorstep. He picked it up and swore vengeance upon Asmodeus.

Have our heroes stumbled into their greatest foe yet? What will happen when Elzalath learns of Pekeporo’s deceit? What’s the deal with all these glass birds? Where’s the Faerun Seinfeld when you need him? Tune in next time to find out!

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