I have mentioned before that Vardai is really strong. Although today, I think she is just really tired. I mean… earlier today we fought off that ambush I described earlier. And then we pushed hard on the road to make it into Montsilt. I just think Vardai was really exhausted. She was challenged to an arm wrestling match and lost two straight. Not wanting our party’s pride to be injured, Eowyn jumped in… yes, all 4 foot 8 inches tall of Eowyn… and promptly crushed the challenger at arm wrestling. Eowyn smashed the table too, but I can fix that (mending cantrip!).
I think Eowyn is coming to recognize her dual personality. She realizes she can channel her curse to become very strong and effective in combat. I’m not sure how much she can control it, or if she even remembers what happens, but she is learning to embrace it. I’m not sure if that is good or bad.
Suddenly, we start hearing drums. Two boys in the tavern immediately run outside as we start hearing some howling. I run out the front door to see what is happening. Outside, I see a tabaxi and a ranger facing off against some large dwarf on a dragon and lots of ethereal wolves (at least eight). Crap! I’m out of spells and also exhausted from that earlier ambush. I’m not ready for this.
But then… Lavani appears (or at least a beautiful female matching Lavani’s description). She tells the leader of the invading party, whom I later find out was named “Blain”, “Return to your Domain. You have no power here.” A gnome with black armor suddenly appears (maybe the teleport spell, I don’t know?) and whispers to Blain, “Your Queen will be very upset with you if all of your hounds are destroyed.” At that, Blain teleports away and the ethereal hounds fade into nothingness. Whew, disaster averted!
We finish our meals and retire for the evening. But not before Will and I partake in some Moonshine. Will clearly drinks more than he can handle, and he tells how he once met a great ranger. I believe he said the name was Ardelis, but I might be wrong. He was traveling on a caravan with a blacksmith and a dry goods shopkeeper. Both individuals where down on the luck and whining incessantly the entire journey. They came across some people tied to a tree. Will was freeing them when the great ranger appeared. The story didn’t make a lot of sense, but Will was really drunk
The next morning, two goblins come down for breakfast. Jung comes in. You remember Jung from the night we... well… I guess it wasn’t that important. But what is important is that Jung was on one of the rooftops last night ready to defend against Blain. She starts talking to us; well, at least to Will in particular.
She tells she is part of the group called the Ardelis’ Arrows. Named after Ardelis, a great ranger known for fighting undead. Hmm… I wonder if that’s the same Ardelis from Will’s drunken ramblings? Will is not feeling well, as the aftereffects of last night’s moonshine have him hungover. So, he was in a drab mood all day.
Jung tells how she was commissioned to help escort some goblins who’s leader was disposed. Sounds like the same leader who was replaced with a bugbear that I previously told you about (Session 4, I Might Just Set Him on Fire). She asks if we are interested in helping and suggested we gather supplies and meet for a town meeting at 6th bell tonight. But first, we have to go to the wizards’ tower to deliver the “package”.
We make it to the wizards’ tower just before lunch, and we ask to see Fassad. Antam greets us. I had previously told you about Antam and Fassad back in Etonia (Session 4, I Might Just Set Him on Fire). I also found out that when Antam dies, he was raised out a Church. Good, no necromancy involved…. At least in Antam’s resurrection. But Antam believes there is a foul necromancer behind the goblin uprisings.
It is strange how resurrections work. As a druid, I am sure I will eventually be able to cast Revivify and possibly Reincarnate. Or at least, that’s what Thornwill showed me. Those are expensive spells that require spell components to cast, not unlike the rubies we are delivering for Fassad. For some spells, the components are consumed in the casting… without the components, the spell fizzles. For other spells, the components are minor, and I can use my holly sprigs to focus well enough to cast without the components. You are right! I did talk tell you all about spell components earlier (Session 1, Cross Quarter Day in Treir), but I didn’t talk about the higher end components. So, I need to remember to start collecting diamonds, which is what I will need to cast Revivify. Thornwill also taught me that it takes a true Cleric to cast Resurrection, which is really the only spell that can return someone who has been dead for any time that matters.
Eowyn and Antam talked a decent amount longer. On the way out, Antam gives us a sack on some Mycondid herbs that supposedly acts as a universal spell component. Bonus! Afterwards, we went to a general store to try to buy a herbal remedy to help Will with his hangover. A lady named Hannah offers to help us with a hangover remedy for only 40 gold pieces. When Will hears the price, he declines. Vardai detoured and didn’t go to the general store with us. She went to the blacksmith to get her axe sharpened and polished.
As evening approaches, we head to the town center to attend the meeting Jung asked us to attend. Lavani is there. Lavani clearly has some elvish features. Her ears are distinctively elvish, and she has green hair—a color not uncommon in elves. But she is also rumored to be fey, possible a dryad. Fey are mystical creatures who have a strong connection with nature, but also have ties to the Feywild. Thornwill described the Feywild as a plane similar to ours, but where things are not quite right. Most fey are harmless, but some—such as hags—can be downright evil. Because of fey creatures and the Feywild’s strong connection with nature, Thornwill insisted that I learn to speak Sylvan.
I notice another Tiefling. Young female about my age. She reminds me of someone I met when I was first learning to be a courtier, maybe at age 14 or 15. I remember trying to learn protocol and place settings. Mrs. Argrove was teaching me, and I hadn’t quite figured out where the forks should go, let alone why we needed so many forks. Hey, it’s not my fault my mom hadn’t taught me left from right at that point in my life! Soon, some dignitaries approached with the young tiefling in tow. I overheard they were going to send the tiefling, named “Anxious” to the wizard tower to apprentice. I was able to have a quick conversation with Anxious. She told me she was afraid of going to the tower. She believed they were going to mistreat her rather than teach her. As some people assume the worst in Tieflings, I wanted to encourage her as she departed, “We’re not evil, you know.”
Back to the present, I study the tiefling’s face. I am sure she is the same woman. I approach and introduce myself. She also recognizes me, but introduces herself as “Anise”. I confirm that she is the same person, but she took on the new name. Tieflings are often named after emotions or character traits. I was so named because I had the audacity to thrive in a cruel environment. “Anxious” was a particularly cruel name, not only insulting Anise herself but using her cultural background to amplify the insult.
Anyway, Anise tells how the tower did mistreat her. Please keep in mind, this tower was in Augustin Citadel, not here in Montsilt. They experimented on her and studied her like an object. She was able to escape the tower and later she gained magical power through a pact, as she is now a warlock. She did not have time to tell me much more before Lavani begins to speak.
Looking back on Anise, I am so happy that she escaped the tower. I was actually jealous of her at the time. As my mother could cast a few cantrip spells, I always assumed that I was destined to be a great wizard. It is funny how things turned out, or at least are turning out. Both Anise and myself escaped our former lives by learning magic, but neither of us learned magic the way that we thought we would. I hope I can stay connected to Anise.
Lavani speaks. She tells the assembled crowd of the goblin uprising and a sword. Whomever claims the sword will become the number one goblin. Lavani also says that she thinks a necromancer is behind the goblin uprising, and the bugbear that usurped the number one goblin might be a demon.
Necromancers! Evil spellcasters. They distort the laws of all that is good and corrupt nature with death. Yuck! Most Druids, Wizards, and Clerics can cast some necromancy spells, but necromancers live to bring about death and create undeath. We must stop this necromancer!
So, Eowyn arranges for us to join the expedition to find the sword, stop the necromancer, and restore order to the goblins. We hit the road again escorted by a small party of soldiers. Lieutenant Stoke is leading the soldiers. Jung and the two goblins travel with us. We make it into Treir to rest.
There is also a half-orc soldier traveling with us who Vardai engages in several conversations. He tells a story of how a demon cursed the half-orc lands. In order to break the curse, all of the villagers had to carry their children so that they did not touch the ground for three straight years. Although the half-orc was unsure if it actually worked, as he said, “Some curses never go away.”