Sojourner Saga: Manguana Rising

A Death in the Family: Tanith's Log 5

Tanith’s Log: Resting in a guest room, Warren Manor, Brahlin

My time in Brahlin has been a wild ride. While I was initially there to support Pete in his time of need following the death of his father, Pete, his sister Lilian, Piper and I found evidence that Pete’s father might have been murdered and, with the help of Beverly, a colleague of Pete’s father, we set out to explore the old Brahlin insane asylum/prison/college to find the truth.

The old asylum had definitely seen better days; parts of it were crumbling, while others were being flooded by a nearby lake, and still others seemed to be scorched and fire damaged. After finding an entry point, we worked our way through the ruins and eventually descended into the basement levels. In a large central chamber, we were ambushed by a giant skeleton creature, nearly 50 feat tall! It took some impressive climbing and acrobatics by Piper and I, but we managed to take the creature down.

After the battle, the party decided to take a rest next to a fountain; the large rooms only defining feature, (other than a collapsed staircase). I was still trying to catch my breath, when the strange pendant Pete had given me began to glow once more. The world faded to black in front of my eyes, as it had so many times before, and yet this time I did not feel the nausea that normally accompanies my trips in the void, and the void itself seemed different. I could make out dark rolling cloud banks and intermittent flashing lights in the distance.

Before I could examine the void any further, I was whisked away to an unfamiliar forest clearing. I couldn’t see Piper anywhere, so I assumed she hadn’t come with me. While I was trying to get my bearings, a small caravan approached and, after some small talk, the caravan owner offered me a job guarding his convoy to the next city over. I agreed, though I did insist on a meal as part of my payment, (I hadn’t eaten anything since before the funeral the day before). They gave me a stale old sandwich. It was a pretty terrible sandwich and not at all filling.

On our way to the town The caravan was attacked by wolves and a bear simultaneously. It was a tough battle, but I managed to defeat most of them. In the process the bear had a minor case of… exploding… It was pretty messy.

When the caravan finally made it to the town at the end of the road, the town guards promptly locked up the owner for carrying contraband. I guess he was involved with the drug trade and the whole wagon was full of White Adder. The guards let me go with just a warning and I was offered free room and board by a kindly innkeeper who felt sorry I hadn’t been paid for guarding the caravan. But before I could enter the inn and order the large dinner I was craving, the pendant began glowing again, and I was pulled into the void once more, and sent back to the fountain chamber in the Brahlin asylum where my party remained, seemingly not having noticed my absence.

Just as I was about to tell the others about my experiences, as if triggered by my return, Piper’s pendant suddenly began to glow. She keeled over and vanished. Even though Pete, Beverly, Lilian and I had all witnessed Piper’s disappearance this time, the fact that party members blinking in and out of existence had become so common place meant we didn’t think too much of it.

I decided to take a moment to try and clean myself up in the fountain, (The bear explosion had left me pretty dirty). As I was washing up, out of the corner of my eye I saw the silhouette of a man approaching from the direction we had originally come from. I was a little apprehensive at first, but Beverly seemed to recognize him.

The man introduced himself as Adalwolf Dagobert. He said he used to work in the asylum before it had closed down, and was a former colleague of both Beverly and Pete’s father. Having noticed our tracks leading into the building, Adalwolf had decided to follow them, fearing we might be in danger. We told him about our quest to solve Mr. Warren’s murder, and he agreed to join us.

While he did say he used to work in the asylum, I can’t remember exactly what it was Adalwolf did there. I’m not sure why an asylum would have needed a skilled tracker and marksman such as Adalwolf. Perhaps he was a groundskeeper? I do seem to remember him saying he was very proficient at sandwich making. Since I’m very proficient at eating sandwiches, I figured we’d make an excellent team.

The 5 of us ventured north and entered an old cell block, with a single recessed cell in it’s center. Adalwolf spotted a shining piece of metal catching the light down at the bottom of the cell, so the two of us went down to investigate. Turns out it was the blade of a giant axe belonging to a monster inhabiting the cell. He called himself “The Lobster” or something. I’m not sure why, since he didn’t look like one at all; he was more of a 10 foot tall zombie type thing.

Adalwolf and I made short work of him, (with a little help from our friends). Discovering to our dismay that that cell block was a dead end, we started heading back towards the fountain chamber, but not before checking out a guard room just off the hallway. The room was relatively empty with only a few tables and chairs, but we did notice a trapdoor hidden off in the corner of the room. We managed to get the door open and found a small chest full of jewellery. Our best guess was that it was full of contraband that the guards had taken from visitors to the asylum – possibly family heirlooms and the like.

I decided to take the box with me, but before we could leave, we were confronted by a ghostly apparition of a flaming skeleton. I shouted to Adelwolf to run and then grabbed the box and jumped into the recess in the floor, shutting the trapdoor over top of me. I started trying to dig my way out, but before I got very far I could hear Adelwolf talking the skeleton ghost down. I guess they had once been friends, or at least Adelwolf had convinced the ghost they had once been friends by the time they were done talking. The ghost requested we bury his body’s head in the cemetery in town, so we took it with us, (and gave it to Pete to carry).

We returned to the fountain chamber and this time traveled east, down a long corridor flanked by staff rooms on either side. I peaked inside one of the rooms and saw the body of a dead dwarf lying next to a table with 3 or 4 skulls arranged on top of it. I was about to suggest we move on, when the the skulls on the table all began to rattle and shake. I decided this warranted a closer look, so I activated my deanimator, (a device we acquired earlier allowing the user to become spectral). My vision shifted, and I could see the ghost of the dwarf being tormented by several floating spectral skulls circling around him and chattering.

I offered to help him and he said he needed to find the missing piece of his murdered wife’s skull. I have no idea why he was looking in the asylum, since he told me she was buried in the town’s cemetery. I suggested the ghost return to the cemetery and search there, especially since we had cracked a few skulls their the day before, (we had gotten into a bit of a scuffle with the locals while burying Mr. Warren after the funeral). The dwarf seemed enthralled with the idea and immediately flew away towards the graveyard. I’m not sure if he’s still out there or not. Maybe he was eaten by a sandworm.

We pressed on and, reaching the end of the hall, we entered another cell block, this one much larger than the last. I poked my head into one of the cells and found myself face to face with an undead skeleton, it’s empty eye sockets staring back at me almost angrily. Startled, I jumped back, quickly slamming the cell door shut and smashing the lock, trapping the skeleton inside. Unfortunately, he wasn’t alone; cell doors all around the block were being flung open and shambling skeletons began staggering towards us.

I hate skeletons. I’ve been a little frightened of them ever since a large group nearly kill me in the crypt of the Everflame and I was worried the same scenario was about to play out again. My fear turned to anger as they began to attack my friends, and I charged at them like a dragon possessed. Perhaps I was tapping into some primal draconic rage, or maybe… I just really hate skeletons. I don’t remember much of the battle, just that we won, and by the end of it I had ground the bones of the skeleton to dust.

While we were taking a moment to catch our breaths, Adelwolf felt compelled to see the last wishes of his friend the guard fulfilled. He took the head of his former colleague and, biding us all farewell, he set out to bury it in the town’s cemetery.

In the far corner of the cell block lay a large room of to one side, and a locked door, blocking progress further into the asylum. The large room contained an odd mishmash of objects: several cages suspended above the ground by chains, walls with chained manacles, an iron maiden, a table turned stretching rack at the center of the room, and a large furnace in the far corner. It was obvious the room had been used to torture patients, (I mean, why else would anyone keep an iron maiden around). I pressed Beverly about this, asking how he could work in this place and not know this had been going on. He seemed dumbfounded.

As we entered the room we could see the grisly remains of a man on the central table. Though the body was badly burned, it was apparent the man’s hands had been severed. Before we could get any closer though, the man’s missing hands climbed out of a nearby basket and began scuttling across the floor towards us! The possessed hands were very resilient, in spite of their size, surviving multiple blows and kicks from the party while trying to latch onto our necks. I caught one with a bite and, without thinking, I swallowed it down. Seeing as how that seemed to be the only effective way of stopping them, I quickly devoured the second hand as well. I felt a little sick afterwards, less because I had just consumed rotting flesh, (dragons can stomach just about anything without issue), but more because I had just eaten human hands. I guess I was hungrier than realized, though like the sandwich, the rotting hands did little to sate my appetite.

Once the dust settled we started searching the room for a means of getting the locked door open. I walked towards the corner of the room, looking to investigate the furnace, but as I passed by the iron maiden, something caught my eye. I turned to see a bound woman struggling inside the iron maiden; her face was the splitting image of Lydia Foxcroft, the woman who had adopted and raised me. The doors of the maiden were closing, so without thinking, I lunged into the iron sarcophagus, but as I arrived within, the woman vanished and the doors slammed shut behind me.

The inside of the maiden appeared bare at first, but suddenly hundreds of spectral spikes began to emerge from the walls all around me. I cried out in agony as the spikes pierced my body, seemingly unhindered by my thick scales. Just as quickly as they appeared, the spikes vanished and the doors reopened, sending me falling out and collapsing to the ground. The spikes may have been gone, but the wounds they had created remained; my body was covered in aching spectral holes and I couldn’t stop shaking.

Lilian managed to calm me down. She seemed to think I had been cursed by the maiden and suggested we examine the objects in the room to see if there was a way to lift the curse. A simple visual inspection of the objects revealed nothing, so I decided to give the deanimator a shot. As a specter, I could see that each of the objects in the room was possessed by some kind of tormented spirit. I attempted to hit one with my wand of cure light wounds, and that caused it to disappear. The act of banishing the spirit reduced the pain of my wounds and caused some of the holes in my body to vanish.

I struck each of the items in the room in turn, sending the ghosts all back to what ever plain they came from. With the room cleared, my body was restored to it’s original state and all was right with the world. Well, almost right, since we still hadn’t found a way to open the locked door. A quick search of the body on the table revealed the key to said door and the warden’s badge. I decided to take both with me, (you never know when a badge might come in handy), and quickly pressed forward, eager to leave the room behind. Next time, I think I’ll make a point of searching the obvious places first, rather than jumping strait into obscure medieval torture devices.

Passing the formerly locked door, we followed a winding corridor and emerged into the largest chamber we had yet encountered. The section nearest us seemed to be a cafeteria, with old tables and benches strewn about everywhere. I quickly identified the kitchen, intent on raiding it’s pantry, but everything had either been burned, rotted or eaten by rodents long ago. I did manage to pick up a case of small 7 though.

As we came to the end of the large chamber; I could see a large portcullis set into the wall, leading to a balcony overlooking a large underground lake. Two ghostly figures stood beyond the bars of the gate on the far edge of the balcony. One was a woman in some kind of restraining jacket, and the other, a man, who we came to realize was none other than Gilroy Warren, Pete’s father. Both ghosts were missing their bottom jaw.

With some difficulty, I managed to squeeze myself between the bars of the gate making it onto the balcony. This turned out to be entirely unnecessary, as there was a door just around the corner which Pete, Lilian and Beverly used to join me.

As we stood there, Gilroy looked at Lilian, and pointed his hand towards her accusingly. I turned to face Lilian just in time to see her go flying into a nearby wall, her body losing the appearance of a healthy young woman and becoming a rotting corps. In her place stood the spectral figure of a man with strange piercing eyes. Apparently he had been using the guise of Lilian to lure us to the asylum with the help of Beverly, and he was looking for something called the rift stones.

I activated my deanimator in the hopes of getting a sneak attack in on the specter, but as I did, his eyes were drawn to me. The specter noticed the pouch were I keep Pete’s pendant and identified it as a rift stone, but it didn’t seem to be what he was looking for, since he referring to it as ‘unrefined and useless’. The specter, named Resnick, called himself a Rift Breaker and seemed intent on collecting stones like Pete’s pendant and destroying them. He seemed to think Gilroy had a stash of these stones somewhere, but wasn’t able to find them. When I refused to give him my stone, the battle began.

I stood toe to toe with Resnick trading blows, while Pete and Beverly began to duke it out. I managed to get a few good hit’s in on Resnick but he was agile enough to dodge most of them. The damage from my teeth and claws hardly seemed to phase him and he was starting to wear me down with repeated painful blows. I tried to use the Scale of Kassen, attempting to appeal to the spirit of Kassen for aid against the specter. I guess Kassen didn’t hear me, since the scale crumbled to dust and I was forced to retreat. If I ever see Kassen again I’m going to give him an earful about how he gave us a scale from his armor and told us it would help us in our hour of need, only for it to fall apart.

After falling back and drinking a potion to mitigate some of the damage I had taken, I could see Pete was still struggling with Beverly so I rushed over to him. Pete managed to strike Beverly though the chest with his short sword, ending him as a serious threat. Resnick was fast approaching us, so I threw my potion of enlarge person at Pete. It made contact with him, shattering and coating him with the red viscus liquid. Before he realized what had happened, Pete grew to a height of 12 feet almost instantly, and, towering over Resnick, he began to turn the tide of battle in our favor. I was pretty envious of Pete’s new size, but I knew the potion was only rated for use on humanoids. I hope I get to be that large someday.

In my mad dash towards Pete, I ended up next to the corpse of Lilian and something on her body caught my eye. She was wearing a silvery metal necklace inlayed with multiple stones. They looked almost like the my pendant, and I could feel it reacting to the necklace even though it was in my pouch. Feeling I had nothing to lose, I took the necklace and put it around my neck.

Turning my attention back to Resnick,I decided the best way to attack him was from behind, while he was distracted by Giant Pete. I went to move, but before I could put one claw in front of the other, the rift stone necklace glowed and I was seemingly pulled through the void, instantly finding myself in striking distance of Resnick, directly behind him. I lunged at him, catching his shoulder with my jaws, but failing to connect with my claws. Or so it appeared at first, since after missing each strike, the necklace activated and in an instant my limbs found themselves in more favorable positions, allowing me to strike Resnick with impunity. After another round of trading blows with Resnick, between Pete’s powerful blows and my inability to miss, Resnick was completely obliterated.

With Resnick dealt with and the battle over an eerie silence fell over the asylum. Pete slumped next to the body of Lilian, struggling to cope with the realization he was now the last member surviving member of his family. I wanted to offer some kind of consolation to Pete, but in circumstances like these there is usually little that can be said.

Gilroy moved next to Pete, placing a spectral hand on his shoulder. Pete and his father locked eyes, and for a moment they shared a look of understating. Once the moment had passed, Gilroy turned and walked towards me repeating the gesture and placing his hand on my head. In an instant my mind was filled with images, images I came to realize were Gilroy’s own memories. Memories of his work at the asylum, his devotion to the god of graves, his interest in the occult and his quest for answers to the mysteries of the rift stones. Gilory had experimented with the rift stones for years, but was not ever able to get them to work.

Just as Gilroy removed his hand from my head, I felt the familiar sensation of the rift stone pendant – my rift stone – activating, and the world around me faded away, being replaced with the dark swirling mass of clouds and lights I had seen earlier that day. This time, however, I was not drawn down the corridor of clouds; I was instead held motionless as a dark shadowy shape with dim slitted eyes appeared before me and gave me a scrutinizing look.

I was then pulled back to reality and, leaving the void behind, I found myself in the parlor of the Warren manor. Pete was there and he seemed pretty surprised to see me. I guess a few weeks had past in the instant I was floating in the void. Pete, now the only remaining heir to the Warren fortune, decided to stay in Brahlin and try to rebuild his life there. He gave me the remaining shares in Manguana Pete’s and the recipe for Manguanas. I felt sad he wasn’t returning with me, but it’s probably for the best. Everyone who travels with me seems to end up dead or missing.

And so, alone again, I am now left to plot my next move. I should see if I can find the owners of these heirlooms in the jewellery box I recovered. I also want to return to Sandpoint ASAP to check on the restaurant, however, I’m currently not feeling that well. I can feel a nervous energy radiating outwards from the core of my body all the way to my extremities, as well as a great hunger in my belly, (well… greater than it normally is anyway). These symptoms seem consistent with those experienced by dragons undergoing their Dracomorphoses growth-spurts, (at least in so far as they had been recorded by human scholars in the few accounts I had read in my hometown).

At the same time, though, I also feel exhausted, as if I had my energy drained. While it’s been observed that dragons appear more lethargic during their growth spurts, I wonder if this might be a side effect of travel through the void, or my use of the rift stone necklace. Could my skipping forward in time be connected as well?

Regardless, Pete has offered to let me stay at Warren manor until I’m feeling well enough to travel back to Sandpoint. Assuming no more trouble with the rift stones, my Dracomorphosis should only last 4 or 5 days, a week at most. I can’t wait to finally be bigger than a half-ling! In the mean time, I intend to spend the next week resting up and visiting as many of Brahlin’s restaurants and bakeries as I can and thoroughly sampling their menus.

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Haters Gon' Hate
No Love In Sandpoint

Piper Robbins

Hi me, it’s me. It’s been a real long day. I was a bit sore from a marathon session at the brothel but happy with the payout. The mistress gave me some time off so I went outside and ran into Tanith. We decided to go to Pillbugs Pantry and get him to investigate the amulets and buy some mind altering drugs (this time not for me!). The owner, Advair or something, tried to rip us off on the drugs and Tanith had a rare moment of being like me and told me to put the guy to sleep. Unfortunately there were witnesses and I took the initiative and put them to sleep too (Tanith wouldn’t let me rob them tho, boo). Armed with the drug, we head to the mayor’s house because we need the mayor to witness the downfall of Ricci. I just want to get a cool suit from Jives. Jives answers the door and he and the mayor’s daughter are there and she has some kind of breakdown (still not sure what that was about). I feign needing the washroom and try to draw Jeeves in but he won’t bite so I put him to sleep after Tanith and Fiara leave ( oh yeah we met up with her). I strip Jiles, disrobe myself and get into his clothes. My new suit is kind of big.

We make our way to find Pete. I try to get closer to Fiara during our walk there but she is openly hostile to all my advances. What did I do?! She should be working with me, diary. We could make all the money.

Anyway, we find Pete and the first thing he does is ask for drugs. Honestly, this is why drug addicts are just the worst. He agrees to Tanith’s terms of a 75/25 split on the store and we head to Pete’s store to execute Operation Crazy Eyes (my name). We stealthily sneak into the back of the store (except Fiara because she is a klutz and managed to knock herself out). Tanith adds the drug to Ricci’s drink and we lie in wait. It takes effect and Ricci is ordered by Tanith to strip and run around outside acting all crazy like which she does to everyone’s amusement. This draws the Health committee to the store where Tanith convinced the chairlady to turn over the store to him. I’m not going in on this, I have my own enterprise ( it’s prostitution).

That business done, we go pick up Fiara from the hospital (poor, dim Fiara. She needs me but doesn’t know it). We decide to continue the investigation into the Puff and head to a gentlemans club where the lawyers hang out. Fiara and Tanith refuse to be seen with me here and banish me from their table. Jokes on them tho as I found a way to make a few gold in the meantime (I’m a prostitute). The local dancer is being showered with platinum and I want some so I send Willow to fetch me a couple but that monster of a dancer hurts Willow with her stilettos! I’m now down two pets ( dumb bird ran itself into a window earlier). Anyway, looks like the others got some info so we head to get lunch at a fancy place.

Turns out that “fancy place” is just Olives Garden. I’m told by an extremely rude waitress that my animals aren’t allowed. I try and accommodate and go to leave them outside but a damn snake attacks Mr. Feathers and I have no choice but to jump in the lake and kill it to retrieve my bird. No sense in wasting a snake so I pocket it. I think I can incorporate it into my work. Anyway I’m now a wet, bloody mess and the staff are super mean. We notice a group nearby chatting and the guys send me to investigate. I think they were just trying to get rid of me again tho. I glean from these guys that they are talking about the now dead Shauna and skipping town. Sadly, that’s all I learned because I drew their attention but use my charm and good looks to diffuse the situation.

Unfortunately, this commotion draws the ire of the management and they kick me out even tho I’m just a victim. We decided to take our food and follow the riders.

A spontaneous picnic breaks out in front of the dragon riders guild. Since my meal was less than lovingly prepared I forego the food and try to gain entrance into the guild. My tried and true method of playing dead doesn’t work and, when the picnic is done we sneak around back (Fiara doesn’t ruin it this time!).

This, diary, is where things get weird. Tanith talks with the dragons and suddenly they’re out and assaulting the guild. After the attack they produce a list of strange demands (could Tanith just be a bad translator?). One of them is personalized blankets and I wanted in on that so got them to throw me in one. From here we part ways for the night.

So I’m back at the brothel and Madam Loren tells me almost immediately after that I have a client. Awesome! Money is good. With a now healed Willow and Mr. Feathers in tow I get to 3B and it’s Garth from the guild with my blanket. As I hold it up for inspection I get stabbed! And not in the good way! I fight him off, wrap myself in the blanket and head off to the hospital at the mistress’s insistence. For some reason Tanith and Fiara are out too. Guess I better ask why. Still bleeding tho…should probably fix this problem first….

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Baking Bad (Apples) Act II: “Tanith's Log 4”
The road to Hell is paved with Jen and Barry's

Tanith‘s Log: Sleeping off an ice cream binge in the back of the mayor’s stagecoach.

It’s been a rough night… day… couple of days? I’m dead tired, sore all over, especially my stomach, and I can’t remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep. I think I had a quick nap in front of the door to Kassan’s tomb, but the damp stone floor of the crypt was hardly conducive to a restful sleep. Since then I’ve been transported back and forth so many times I don’t even know what day it is!

During the festival at Kassan, my pendant started glowing again, and I found myself in front of the Stars and Garters, next to Kakos. I don’t think any time had passed, but before I could talk to him about it a there was a commotion and we were separated. I was picked up by the mayor’s aid; apparently the mayor wanted to see me, (how convenient!), but when I met her she seemed pretty angry. Apparently Kakos and I had been seen removing the glass on top of the courthouse and she was going to fine us 4000gp for trespassing and damages, unless I agreed to chaperon her daughter to a costume party. She didn’t seem particularly interested that Pete had tried to murder us. I guess trespassing is a more serious offense then attempted murder in Sandpoint.

I took the Mayor’s daughter Olivia, (a very nice kid), to the costume party and had a great time! Well, at least until one of the guests turned up dead. I had to do some detective work, but I was able to identify and tie up the guilty party. Work completed, I returned Olivia back safe and sound to the mayor. Mayor Deverin was very grateful and not only waved the fine but also gave me a magic ring and a tub of ice cream as thanks.

By the time I had gotten back to the Stars and Garters, (and eaten the tub of ice cream), it was getting close to midnight. Kakos was nowhere to be found, but the bouncer Gordo told me that Kakos had been detained by the guards. I figured the Mayor would be working to sort that out, so I pressed on into the former theater.

The entrance hall was pretty elaborate with a fancy reception desk and a gift shop of sorts. I can’t say I was all that comfortable asking for services there, (I was kind of hoping Kakos would be taking the lead, being human and all), but when the lady at the desk made a recommendation for me, I figured I’d just go with it. She said these employees were new, but maybe they’d know something about Quicksilver or Sophine.

The new employees I was sent to see were none other than Piper and Fiera. While I was obviously surprised, I was happy to see them both. I"m not sure why Piper insisted on wearing that prostitute outfit though. We were, however, no closer to finding out anything about Quicksilver. After failing to set up a private meeting with Sophine, I managed to get an old promotional pamphlet for the Stars and Garters at the small gift shop. I also bought the biggest bottle of lubricant I could find, mostly to alleviate suspicion, though I also had a feeling it might come in handy.

The pamphlet contained a map we used to navigate some secret passages leading to the central stage, where Sophine was. From the shadows we could see here talking to the man we assumed was Quicksilver, so I charged them both. I must have been pretty intimidating because Quicksilver got so scared he vanished into thin air!

We questioned Sophine about her client, but she wasn’t really helpful, only making a few vague references to some place outside of Sandpoint. I think she was holding out on us, but I couldn’t get anything else out of her. I don’t think Piper liked her much, since as soon as Sophine lead us out of the building, Piper put her to sleep and stole her earrings. I propped her up against a dumpster out back and we surrounded her with beer bottles. From the sound of Gordo yelling as we left the Stars and Garters, I think she got what was coming to her.

We were at a bit of a loss for what to do next, so we decided to tell the mayor what little we’d discovered about Quicksilver. She was a little cranky, (it was well after midnight when we arrived), but she warmed up when we told her what we knew. I think she was able to match the details Sophine gave us with some abandoned mill a ways out of town. She was so happy to finally have a lead she gave us each a bowl of Jen and Barry’s ice cream. I didn’t know they made Manguana flavored ice cream, but it was really good. So good in fact that, while the mayor was out making preparations, I raided her fridge and ate the rest of it. And most of all the other flavors she had in there too. The mayor didn’t seem to notice anything was amiss when she came back and sent us off to find Quicksilver.

I don’t really remember much about the trip over, since I was experiencing a bit of a sugar crash, but we secured our own carriage and were going to try and sneak in with Fiera posing as a food delivery driver. That plan came apart when Piper fell out of the carriage as we were approaching. Fiera turned the cart around and got the hell out of there, and the guard decided to give chase instead of questioning Piper. Lucky break I guess.

Sadly, our luck didn’t hold. The door into the mill was locked, so I tried climbing along the wall and squeezing into a small window, so I could open the door from the other side. Unfortunately, while the mayor may not have noticed I’d eaten 5 and a half tubs of ice cream, the window certainly did, and I became hopelessly stuck. I think Piper decided the best way to get to Quicksilver was to scream and play dead, but the guards just carried her away into the mills basement.

Things were looking pretty grim, but while I was hanging there, (contemplating whether or not I’d eat all that ice cream given the same choice again… to which I reached the conclusion that I totally would), I was struck from behind with enough force to dislodge me from the window and send me tumbling into the mill. I guess Piper’s bird, Mr. Feathers, decided to help me for some reason. Not that I was complaining! That bird is great, as long as you overlook it’s human flesh eating habits.

I found a bunch of papers in the room that appeared to be some kind of ledgers or invoices, but before I could explore any further, the guard from before returned. Our battle must have been pretty noisy, because 4 other guys showed up to back him up. Outnumbered, I formulated one of the craziest plans I’ve had yet and put it into action. Jumping back, I reached into my bag and withdrew the bottle of lubricant and the water elemental gem Kassan had given me in the Crypt of the Everflame. I threw the bottle with one hand, trying to coat as much of the room with lubricant as possible, and crushed the crystal with my other hand. The 4 approaching guards slipped on the lubricant and fell prone, sliding towards a hulking humanoid form emerging from the pool; I had just summoned history’s first Water/Lubricant Elemental.

The elemental and I made short work of the remaining guards and started tearing up the place, bashing guards and knocking down doors until the Elemental was expended. Before I could do much else, Piper emerged from the basement, and we went up to confront Quicksilver.

Quicksilver’s room was decorated with a bunch of hanging bodies, some of which were still alive. I guess they were Sandpoints other drug dealers. Before we could do much form them Quicksilver attacked. We fought him to a stalemate, and he tried to teleport out of there again, but was attacked by Mr. Feathers. Both Piper and I tackled him, but we couldn’t stop him from taking a cyanide pill.

When the battle was over, the mayor arrived with the Mounties and took the guards and drug dealers into custody. I was a little down about not finding out anything about the dragon doping scandal, or about Pete’s drug transactions or his money, but the mayor seemed to think the answers were somewhere in the documents we found. Anyhow, I really need a rest.

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Crypt of the Everflame, Act III: "Tanith's Log 3"
Through the looking glass, darkly

Tanith’s Log, Stardate: …Somewhere in Kassan during the Everflame Festival

After a blinding flash and a wave of nausea, I found myself back in the Crypt of the Everflame, next to Piper, who looked like she had just had a similar experience. We were both standing before the door to Kassan’s final resting place along with Fiera, Regan and Nolan, none of whom seemed to have noticed the flash or that we had been gone at all. Piper must have had an interesting time in Sandpoint, since she now has a pet falcon or something. I’ll have to ask her more about that later, but we seem to both be onside with getting a cut of Pete’s business.

We entered the final chamber. We could see the Eveflame burning above Kassan’s crypt, and a woman, presumably Dimira, Roldare’s sister, lying next to it. As we approached her, A giant Skeleton with armor and a mean looking sword came out of nowhere. Fiera drew her bow, but before she could do anything, the skeleton fired some kind of glowing energy beam from his sword and decapitated her.

I don’t remember much of the battle. I was so angry at the death of Fiera I attacked the lead skeleton as a flaming ball of teeth and claws until he went down. I guess I can’t take all the credit though: Piper cleared out several skeletal minions, and I think Regan got a couple of good hits in on the big guy, and Nolan… Nolan distracted on of the skeletal minions by perpetually dodging it’s attacks and failing to hit it himself.

When the battle was over, I smashed the skeletons’ remains and ground them to dust. I then decided we needed to destroy all the other crypts and skeletons, so they could never be raised again, and we’d take anything we found as compensation for the loss of Fiera. Piper seemed on board with the plan, so I smashed open the nearest sarcophagus and took a silver circlet off of a skeleton, but as I removed it, I immediately felt an ominous cloud hanging over me. This made me even more angry; Kassan had to be trying to stop us from cleansing the tomb and was going to deny us compensation! I shouted furiously at the ceiling of the tomb, but no one answered.

Nolan suggested we might be able to summon Kassan by retrieving the Everflame, So I lowered the magic lantern into the the fire above Kassan’s tomb. Just as the lantern was lit, the ghostly image of Kassan appeared, and he was pretty pissed we were destroying his tomb, but I shot right back because he didn’t help us against the mercenary leader, or stop him from raising the dead as zombies or killing all the villagers. He made up a bunch of pathetic excuses like: “Oh, but I’m dead,” and “I don’t care about other people’s crypts.” His tomb was all full of undead and countless villagers and our party members we being slaughtered and he doesn’t do anything, but as soon as I take one circlet, he tried to curse me!

Kassan eventually seemed to acquiesce a bit and offered to reward us for defeating the big skeleton guy if we stopped destroying the sarcophagi, so I reluctantly put the circlet back where I found it. He gave us a key to a treasure vault. I can’t say I had much faith in his ability to keep the remaining skeletons in the crypt at rest after his complete and utter failure to prevent the last batch from rising, and I couldn’t be sure he wasn’t going to kill us or lock us in the vault, but fortunately he was true to his word. There was a lot of valuable items in there, including a Horn of Fog, a Bag of Holding and Bracers of Armor! I had been hoping to get a hold of a set of bracers; I’ll have to get them fitted the next time I’m in Sandpoint.

The treasure took the edge off my anger, but I was still pretty upset about Fiera’s death. I guess Kassan couldn’t raise her from the dead, but Piper reminded us that there might still be a version of Fiera in another reality. Then things started to get really strange. I’m not really sure what happened next, but my best guess is that Kassan created some kind of quantum fissure: a fixed point in the space-time continuum intersecting multiple quantum realities. One of these was the reality in which Piper, Fiera, Regan and Nolan, never having met me, had continued venturing through the crypt until they had reached the doors to Kassan’s final resting place. This is all purely conjecture, as I don’t think Kassan even knew what the hell he was doing.

Anyhow, Piper and I arrived there and tried to convince Fiera to come with us. She was understandably confused, so we ended up just grabbing her and pulling her back though the fissure. Unfortunately, the alternate version of Regan’s hand also came through the fissure… without the rest of him… but at least our Regan was in one piece. As for Fiera, I think she reacted pretty well for someone who had just been pulled through a tear in space time and brought face to face with their own headless corpse, (or face to severed head?). While Fiera didn’t remember me, I was still happy to see here again and all was right with the world.

…Or it would have been if the quantum fissure hadn’t started to destabilize, threatening to break down the barriers between quantum realities and destroy the universe. In order to save the Everflame, and incidentally, the rest of the universe, Kassan captured the source of the Everflame in a crystal and began to collapse the crypt. We grabbed the crystal and the six of us hightailed it out of there, just as the crypt sank into the valley behind us, the entrance forever blocked by immovable boulders.

As we were congratulating ourselves for completing the Everflame quest without any casualties, we suddenly felt like we were missing something. Dimira realized her brother was still inside when the crypt collapsed, and before we could do anything, she threw herself off a cliff into the pit.

It was a somber trip back to Kassan.

When we arrived back in Kassan, Mayor Uptal was thrilled we had returned with the Everflame, though he reacted in abject horror when we presented him with the Everflame source and told him we had destroyed Kassan’s Crypt. I guess it was a national heritage site or something. The mayor then immediately began drinking at the open bar Trevlar had set up.

Everyone in the town was celebrating, despite the fact that scores of villagers had been killed, so we decided to join in! I ordered some apple crisp and an apple strudel and some sorbet from the desert menu of the Seven Silver’s tavern. That put me in a much better mood. The mayor stumbled into the tavern piss drunk and started mumbling about something or other. I convinced him to take the Horn of Fog and play a song for the festival. Uptal took it, climbed up on top of the gallows in the central square and started playing ‘Pop Goes the Weasel.’ Within a mater of minuets the whole town was filled with smog and everyone was running for cover. I had a good laugh about that, Unfortunately before I could order seconds, the amulet started glowing again…

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Baking Bad (Apples), Act I: "Tanith's Log 2"
Grapples & grapples

Tanith’s Log: Stardate… A week after the Swallow Tail festival?

Piper and I were standing in front of the door to Kassan’s crypt, when I started to feel sick and everything went dark. Next thing I knew I was standing back in Sandpoint next to Kakos. It seemed those magic pendants brought us there, just like they took us to the the Fang Wood. I deduced Pete was trying to murder us after Piper destroyed his hybrid experiments by giving us those cursed amulets and I wasn’t about to let that stand! I was going to take these allegations strait to the mayor of Sandpoint!

There was a huge crowed at the Sandpoint courthouse. A kind old lady told us that there was a trail in progress. Some kind of dragon race had been going on, and one of the racers was accused of taking performance enhancing drugs. Apparently the Swallow Tail festival, (that was going on when we were last in town), was canceled as a result and the townsfolk were up in arms. I’m not sure what kind of dragons the lady was taking about though. She described them as small speechless wyvern type creatures with large hind legs and rears. They obviously aren’t true dragons, but may be some kind of crossbreed; dragons are quite virile, (and those cursed chromatics will mate with anything). Then again, Sandpoint does seem to be home to a large variety of unusual lizards, so they could be a local species.

Regardless, The mayor was in the courthouse, so we had to find a way in! Kakos and I couldn’t find an unguarded door, but a chimney on the side of the building was unguarded, so we climbed up onto the roof. Kakos removed all the glass panes from the courthouse’s skylights and we could see the trial in progress, and the mayor too, but we couldn’t seem to get to her alone. As much as I wanted to jump down there and tell her about Pete, without some kind of relevant information about the current case, we probably would have been locked up for interrupting. The only way we were getting to the mayor was with evidence about the dragon doping case, and the only place we’d get that was from someone who knew drugs. It looked like I’d have to confront Pete without the mayor’s help.

When we arrived at restaurant was closed and under renovations, but we managed to force the lock. Inside, I confronted Pete and accused him of attempted murder, and a string of other heath code and occupational heath and safety violations. Oddly enough his new manager, his niece Ricci who was also present, didn’t seem particularly surprised by any of the allegations we made against her uncle. We were ushered into a back room where Pete explained his brother-in-law had bailed him out and put his daughter in charge. Then I guess he spent all his money on drugs. We came to an agreement that if we got his money back from the drug dealers we’d get a share of his business. I figured if we could discover truth about the whole dragon doping scandal at the same time, we could use it to get some pull with the mayor to get Pete’s brother out of the picture and take a majority share in the restaurant. We also got to try some of the new apple things Ricci was trying to sell there now. Kind of tasted like grapples.

Pete set us away looking for some drug dealer named Quicksilver at a brothel, but before we could do anything, a prostitute stepped on my tail! And I guess she stole all of Kakos’ money too. I tackled & grappled her, stole her wallet and bit her leg until she gave back the money and told us where Quicksilver was hanging out: the Stars and Guarders. Kakos wanted to just leave her there bleeding out, but I healed her with my wand of cure light wounds and gave her some of her money back, (I had to keep some as an ‘you inconvenienced us!’ tax).

Finally, we made it to the Stars and Guarders and convinced the bouncers to let us in, but before we could get much further in I felt a familiar tingling from the pendant…

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Baking Bad (Apples), Act I: "Drugs Drugs Drugs"
Some Are Good, Some Are Great

Piper Robbins

Hi journal, I’m back again and things have gotten weird. I was in the Everflame with Tanith and suddenly things went dark and before I knew it I was back in Sandpoint but something was off. Turns out that I have somehow ended up in a future version of the place. I gleaned this from a reporter who was at the scene of a big scrum of townsfolk near the courthouse. What was coming from his mouth escapes me mostly because I am fascinated by his falcon. I distracted him with my ventriloquism and put the bird to sleep. I failed to see that the bird would fall over and it landed on the ground. This, unfortunately, got the reporter’s attention and he wanted to take his bird to a vet. I convinced him that I was well versed in falcon care and he left the bird with me. So smart! I have a new pet bird now! I am curious about this drug called Puff (heard about it from the reporter) and decide I need to talk to this Shauna that’s at the centre of the hubbub. Turns out that she is in court and I can’t see her. I even played up that I was a lawyer to get in but no dice.
Now I head towards the festival street and pass by this old lady fixing up her window. I ask her about her situation and she tells me that she wants to sue Shauna for everything. Opportunity knocks! I promise her that I’m a lawyer and will take her case on for a small fee. She is hesitant but eventually caves to my coaxing and gives me 65gp and change. Then you know what? I think I hear the voice of the gods telling me to be nicer. Nicer me hands her some copper and I move along.
I make my way to that pretentious goblin store and talk with Tabitha. She, like the old lady, thinks my falcon is dead. Why? Clearly it is just sleeping. Anyway, she tells me to find a drug dealer if I want drugs and she seems incredulous when I ask if she knows any. My only option is Pete so I head there.
I get to Petes and it is completely different from before. Not only clean but they’re also selling apples with flavour injections. The woman with him is the worst. So rude. I beg Pete for some more adder. He tells me of a dealer named Quiksilver and his plot to regain his money and a supply of adder. And then, and then I send Willow over to the counter and this, this woman nails her full on with a broom, knocking her into the wall! Willow was badly hurt. This woman is going to pay. Pete and I bonded today. We’re comrades in feeling good. Now, I head out to the brothel behind the Analog World to find Quiksilver.

Now I am REDACTED REDACTED

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Trouble in Sandpoint & Crypt of the Everflame, Act II: "Tanith's Log 1"
Equitable Trades & Mango Lizards

Tanith’s Log, Stardate: Today… point two.

After dealing with Black Fang and being paid by the Mayor, Kakos, Piper and I arrived back in Sandpoint. We pawned most of the things we found in the black dragon’s lair at Analog World, though the proprietor didn’t seem particularly interested in the goblin crown I had so carefully negotiated/intimidated Fatmouth into giving up for the dragon toy. I had the sinking feeling that the toy had probably been worth more than the crown, but I wasn’t about to take a loss on it.

When we left Analog World, Kakos disappeared into the crowd. Piper and I decided to see what kind of shops Sandpoint had to offer. Getting directions proved more difficult than I had anticipated. I thought we’d be treated like hero’s for saving the town, but the towns folks didn’t seem particularly impressed with us chasing Black Fang away. I guess they wanted the dragon’s head on a pike or something. Bunch of dragon haters.

We eventually found our way to Pillbug’s Pantry, run by a guy named Alvin or something. I think Alvin was trying to scam Piper when she asked for potion ingredients, but she got a much better price by giving him a giant spider leg. I was hoping to get some Big 8 Cola, but Alvin said he only had Small 7 Cola. I bought a case, but later found out he was holding out on me, (all the stores in the area sell Big 8).

Next we visited the Curious Goblin, a store with a pompous owner who was so full of himself he wouldn’t even deal with us directly. I wasn’t about to let that insult stand, so I presented his staff the worthless goblin crown and convinced them it was some ancient relic of a lost goblin dynasty, worth thousands of gold pieces. The owner seemed to think he was some big-shot collector of goblin merchandise because of the name of his store. He got a worthless piece of junk and I left with a gift-wrapped wand of cure light wounds.

I was getting pretty hungry, so I asked around about the mango flavored lizards that seemed native to the area. I guess it’s a local delicacy called Manguanas. We were directed to a giant Iguana-shaped building with a mailbox for a tail! I couldn’t help but examine the box more closely and noticed a foreclosure notice inside. I figured I could use the notice as leverage to get a bunch of free food, so I took it with me.

When I presented the notice to the owner, Pete Manguana, he seemed pretty eager to let me sample one of everything on the menu if I’d put in a good word with the city. I might have actually put in a good word too, if Piper hadn’t discovered a bizarre newt/iguana breeding program going on in the back of the store while I was talking with Pete. Piper bought our silence on the multiple health violations going on at the store in exchange for a couple of magic necklaces. Violations or no, those manguanas were delicious and any encounter I walk away from with a full belly is a win in my books.

We got kicked out of Analog World when Piper tried to steal the giant ruby she had just pawned to the store owner. (Still pretty jealous about the ruby!) Anyhow we put on the magic necklaces Pete gave us and wound up back in the crypt of the everflame. Everything was a little crazy after that, and I wasn’t even the one taking drugs. Fiera suggested there was some kind of merging of parallel realities going on. I’m just going with it since, really, I’m not even sure how I got to Sandpoint from the crypt in the first place!

Speaking of merging, it seems that it may have not been the best idea to build an inukshuk out of the remains of enchanted skeletons, since we inadvertently created a giant skeleton inukshuk golem. Never imagined we’d have to destroy our own creation like that. We encountered a few more monsters, but non of them were edible, so they weren’t really worth mentioning. Anyhow, I’m getting hungry and I’ve still got some manguanas left, so that’s it for now.

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Trouble in Sandpoint & Crypt of the Everflame, Act I: "The Fibs and Ribs Festival"
All about unnecessary lies and unidentifiable meats

Sandpoint:
It’s been a long while since I set foot in this poor excuse of a town. Some things remain the same but there were many new things that caught my eye.

Curious Goblin:
Traded my half-plate armor for a mace and some potions. Had to haggle with the owner for a bit but came to an understanding in the end. I don’t completely trust him but I’ve seen worse.

Manguanna Pete’s:
sigh How do I end up in places like this? The hunger in my belly had me following my nose to an “eatery” (and I use the term lightly) that was both quaint (as it was shaped like a giant lizard) and disgusting (as it seemed to only serve fattening unhealthy yet oddly delicious flavored “lizard”). And I use the term “lizard” lightly as well since it advertises Mango Flavored Iguana yet upon an internal investigation it was discovered that the “Iguana” was actually “newt”. Disgusting. Well.. actually it was delicious but my guts paid for it for an entire half day following it’s consumption.

Failing food safety audits:
Besides having multiple unsanitary infractions of his own doing, the poor proprietor of this establishment was quite upset about his impending foreclosure which he blames on both a lack of his main ingredient (these rare mango flavored iguanas) and some sort of shake-down by some odd characters whose description sounds oddly familiar. I promised the proprietor that I would try to find him some sort of source for his meat and made a mental note to enquire upon some old friends what their intentions were in picking on this poor sole. I am sure that they had a good reason. No. Let me rephrase. I am sure Tanith had a good reason. I don’t know why I end up cleaning up her messes everywhere I go but as random as Piper’s actions seem to be she has an odd sort of charm to her that keeps me from poking her in the ribs with my dagger.

Speaking of ribs!
Pete then rewarded me for my efforts by offering me an enchanted medallion which he claims he found inside one if his iguanas. It is possible that a lizard could have swallowed it, but he also claims that he gave one to both Tanith and Piper as well. Three medallions found in three lizards? Unlikely. Something is afoot. I set off to find someone to determine its magical properties when a thought occurred to me. Piper probably just threw it over her head without considering the consequences. So I followed suit and ended up being teleported to a small town called Kassen. Kassen had a festival underway in which there were some delicious ribs for sale. (hence the tie-in to this paragraph).

Fake danger?
I joined a couple of adventurers in a quest which tuned out to be somewhat of a farce (hence the Fibs tie-in) but compensation was offered none-the-less so I will proceed. I must keep my wits about me as all is not what it seems. Not far into the quest I got slightly lost, was almost killed by fake orcs, got slightly lost a second time, and was almost killed by real wolves.

Who knows what’s next?

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Trouble in Sandpoint & Crypt of the Everflame, Act II: "Adventures in Sandpoint and Beyond"
Beware the White Adder

Piper Robbins
Hello there future Piper! Here’s another entry for posterity. I will start how I always do…by writing about me of course! I was still feeling a little miffed about getting lowballed by some old hag on my beautiful gem that I worked so hard for so right away my mood was dark. I attempted to flag down a passerby to see about buying potion supplies by sending Willow to him and the fool ran away! From a rabbit! Either way, we did flag someone down who led us to some old toads rundown shop but before he left us he called me ‘sir’ and had the gall to ask for a reward afterwards! If I knew how I would have turned him into a newt right there! Anyway, this old man tried to gouge us on supply prices but I convinced him that this gross spider leg I had was worth more and traded. Hah!

Next we went to a store called the Laughing Goblin or something and Tanith convinced this total windbag that his junk crown was some kind of Goblin artifact! I had to turn my face to hide my giggles.

By this point Tanith was getting hungry so we went to get some of the local delicacy: Mango Iguanas. This place was packed! Outside Tanith opened the owner’s mail and found a foreclosure notice. He got in line and I talked the owner into letting me find Willow in his back room. If there were health codes, this place violated all of them. It was nasty. He even had a hooker in his bed passed out on drugs. As Tanith got the owner"s attention I scavenged around. The hooker had only a few coppers on her but there were these syringes that had some liquid in them. Of course I broke one open and sampled. Mango! Delicious! I found an upstairs area (after getting beaned by the ladder) and found so many newts. At the end I put down a giant iguana and a newt. This man was breeding them! Tanith and I confronted the owner and he gave up his treasures to keep us silent. I asked for a hit of the drug he had: White Adder.

Pocketing our new wares we head out to Analog World where the proprietor, Mateus, took some of our wares including my ruby for a less than satisfactory price. I tried to rob him to make up the difference but he caught on and kicked us out. I’m not done with him. He is a fraud who changes his accent constantly and I will fleece him someday. Anyway, Tanith suggests we try these magic necklaces we got and I pop my hit of Adder at the same time and baby what a head rush! I mean I did have some freaky nightmares but it. Was. Ecstasy. We end up in some freaky time warp where our adventuring mates from before only know either Tanith or only know myself. We fight our way through baddies which included a skeleton inukshuk and a bunch of bats (DO NOT EAT!). I managed to pilfer some coin from Feara and the priest guy (his voice makes him unlikable). Now here we are resting before we enter the next room so I write this memo. I am going to grind up the zombie hand I grabbed and snort it and see what happens….wish me luck…
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