The Island and the Town Report
The CaveHaving discovered how dangerous the cave system is, and better understanding why the death rate is up in the area, the group proceeded cautiously, using Sif's familiar to scout ahead. This paid off as it almost immediately discovered an ambush predator moving into position. Forewarned, the quartet was all able to see the danger, and they made quick work of the creature, though not without damage. The creature was a type of slime, making two different types found in the caves.
Before proceeding farther, they sent word to Sharlot, telling her of their findings. She replied, telling them that she had to make an appointment in the morning, and would continue to investigate the town. By the time the familiar had made its way to the town and back, the group had rested enough to continue on.
Though they again proceeded cautiously, the constricted space and the near perfect concealment of the gelatinous cube meant that they did not have much warning, and not much room to escape. Battle was joined, and soon Mal was engulfed inside the cube. As the rest jockeyed for position, they saw a new set of oozing creatures, what appeared to be a larval form. While they never encountered what they may have come from, this proved to be a challenge in their own right.
As Mal was able to free himself, Sif targeted the cube for heavy damage. Durdeg was caught in a narrow space between the spawn and Carta - his first thought on seeing this strange ooze in front of him was to capture it, but he stumbled while making the attempt and the surprisingly nimble balls evaded him. He switched to attacking them, and did some damage. The rest focused on the cube, and were starting to hurt it when it moved down the narrow branch, engulfing both Carta and Durdeg.
Knowing he had to end this quickly, Carta called on the power of Adalci to smite the cube. The familiar bolt of power struck the ooze, destroying it and freeing the man and hobgoblin within. The group was able to destroy the last of the ooze spawn, although they were all wounded. They pressed on regardless, using some healing magic to shore themselves up.
They finally found the source of the compulsion they had each intermittently felt - the spores of some enormous fungus were like a siren call. They make quick work of it, although it does some serious damage when it contacts Tigger.
The quartet proceed, stumbling across a large chamber with bear traps scattered across the floor. The group notices piles of leaves spread around, and wisely questions why there would be leaves this deep in a cave, and determines that these are much better hidden pit traps. Thinking they have foiled the trap makers, Sif enters the room, not noticing the virtually undetectable seams. She sets off the truly well hidden trap, and takes an arrow to her shoulder. They back off, and the familiar reveals that across a cavern, there is what appears to be a small kobold village. The group decides that now is not the time to disturb the village, and head back out to the hunt.
With all of the meat they have collected from their various kills, they feel prepared to trap lobstrosities. They go to the beach, just before dusk, setting some other traps along the way. As they are finishing with setting up the traps, luck finds them - both good and bad. They notice that six of the beasts are taking advantage of the twilight and coming up the beach. They quickly finish their traps, and try to get out of the creatures way.
Sif, the member of the party most firmly aligned with civilization over nature, leapt on top of her trap, preparing to fight the largest of the creatures, while the rest of the group quickly moved away from the beach. By the time any of them realized it, they were split. Sif resorted to every magical trick she had escaping from the beast, but she did, putting the beasts to sleep in the process. Keeping the biggest ones alive, they group dined on the smallest, finding the claws to be every bit as rich and succulent as they had been led to believe, even without the aid of exotic spices and butter.
The group slept, and the rest of the time on the island went smoothly. They did have to pay an additional price to get back home, but made it back to the town the next morning. They took the opportunity to sell the remains of the ruster to the blacksmith, ending up with a fine bow and some tools in trade. Carta left the rest waiting at the dock while he went to look for Sharlot at the inn, then onwards to check on the Carnival.
While the rest of the group left to explore the hunting grounds, Sharlot remained behind, seeking information that could aid the group. She went back to Wollstone, the book binder, to request anything that might give a clue to the stolen book. With that done, she decided it was time to figure out what the thief had been up to.
Feeling out the town, she found that the Church of Bonae was responsible for the justice system, and she went to see why the man was locked up. She discovered his name, Gylas Erer, and that he had been arrested on a warrant from the Koleran League. This was good news - as a bard, she knew Kolero well, and she knew that the Father was Sif's patron deity. She decided to use those connections to get a private chat with the man.
Sharlot went to the college and spoke with Dean Euthos Ades, the head of the small college in Geton Towne. There, she cut a deal - in exchange for a modest fee, he would have the prisoner moved to a room in the college, and she could question him at will. She agreed, and the Dean offered the schools services in softening up the prisoner before their chat, to which she also agreed. She visited the prisoner and gave him food and water, telling him she would see him in the morning.
She spent the rest of the evening watching and listening to the people of the city while playing for tips, or working on a new song. She made progress on the tale of the Death Mark, but it wasn't ready yet. She went to bed in the common room of the inn.
The next morning, she went straight to the college, where the Dean met her and escorted her to the room they were holding him in. She asked if any knew a truth spell, the priest waved her off, assuring her that he was prepared, and he was. Sharlot entered, to find him beaten and bloody. She used her healing magic to help him out, although not completely. She asked about the book, and he admitted to taking it, saying he had been hired from the beginning to acquire a book in that ruin. Telling her that the book had left with his partner, who had gotten out of town days before. He even told her where his partner would be going to deliver the book. Then he said he was done, and the torture had ensured that he would be acquitted at trial. Sharlot attempted to heal him again, against his wishes, to hide the damage. WIth her questions answered, she sought the group, eventually finding them at the docks.
Willem's Wondrous World
Carta was the first to experience the Wondrous World, looking to make a deal for their captured creatures. As he approached, he learned quickly that opportunities to spend money were plentiful, and if he agreed to everything being offered he would quickly go broke. He headed directly to the center, where he found a reasonably helpful meat pie hawker who got him to the owner, who further directed him to the cook and the beast master.
He struck a tentative deal, and went to find the rest of the party at the docks. He returned to find that Sharlot had rejoined the group, and they all pitched in to get a wagon and load the lobstrosities. The reunited group headed to the carnival, and set about unloading their wares. They ended up selling each one for 20 gold, and a pass to enter one of the special quadrants.
They purchased a program, and read about the various attractions. The natural curiosity of the group was overwhelmed by the possibilities of Willem's own quadrant, and set off. On the way, Carta was taunted by a hulking brute, offering odds of 2 to 1 that the brute could crush him in a test of strength. He overcame the odds, earning himself an extra gold to spend. The group made it to the entrance to the Wondrous World, and prepared to experience a slice of Wonder.
WWW Carnival Brochure
Character(s) interacted with