The Party opened the session following an apparently worried Khol to Odac's quarters, where they met the enigmatic wizard. Initially unconcerned that the party had led some fey creatures to Crossbones, Odac became much more agitated when Khol clarified that he believed the creatures had infiltrated within the walls of the camp. This prompted him to head directly to the Armory, where a napping and disoriented Luther Highglory greeted him with a stammer.
The Missing Threads
Khol led the Party in moments later, in time to see Odac entering the lower levels of the Armory. After some time, Odac returned—his normally red eyes glowing an icy white, and the temperature in the room began to drop. When it became clear that Odac was preparing a spell, Khol stepped between him and the Party, and a tense moment passed before Odac stormed out of the room.
Khol instructed Luther to retrieve a “mirror” and told him to bring it to Operations, where he led the Party (except for Johann, who elected to go Invisible and remain behind). Upon reaching Operations and clearing the Raid board of all items, Khol turned to face the party and realized one was missing.
Johann attempted to follow Luther downstairs beneath the Armory, but Luther stopped in his tracks before turning around and calling out, confused. He then started back up the stairs, and Johann elected to join the Party in the Ops building, rather than risk getting caught spying. His sudden appearance out of thin air did not seem to concern Khol in the moment.
Khol revealed to the party that Odac’s stockpile of Threads had vanished. This was extremely concerning for obvious reasons, but additionally so because Twig and the goblins must have somehow known the Threads were present, as well as where to find them. It was unclear at this time whether anything else was taken from the Armory.
Luther then entered the room with a sheet of what appeared to be glass. It was somehow simultaneously semi-transparent and also reflective, and was somewhat disorienting to stare into. Khol telepathically communicated with Grihymm, instructing him to hold the “mirror” up between the two of them. He asked Grihymm to access all his memories of Twig and the , and in doing so, images of Grihymm’s memories began to form in the mirror itself. Seeing these, Khol began to sketch some things on sheets of paper, all the while communicating to the room at large:
The Fellgleam is a nexus. It is the vertex of uncountable planes and worlds beyond your knowing. Some of the tallest trees in this forest started as seeds a thousand years ago, and yet taller trees have appeared even more recently than you. You could walk 10 miles from this camp in any direction and manage to touch opposite ends of the multiverse.
With enough magic and luck, you might even manage to find a way back to your homes, if you can even recall them.
Odac had evidently wanted to kill the entire Party back in the Armory, but Khol had intervened. He decided that the Party should be allowed to right their wrong by attempting to retrieving the Threads, understanding that he was in all likelihood sentencing them to their deaths upon exiling them from Crossbones.
Khol, upon posting four strikingly accurate sketches of Twig and his goblin companions on the Raid board alone. Khol then handed the Party a single Crossbones Doubloon and an evidently dated map of ruins around Crossbones. He instructed the Party that the map was as liable to lead them into danger as down dead ends, but that it was better than nothing. He revealed at last that the fey creatures would likely be unable to return to the Feywild before dark, and if they left immediately, they might manage to find them before then.
Khol told the Party that they were now living on borrowed time, and that they were therefore in a unique position to follow the creatures back into the the Feywild. This elicited a small gasp from an apparent eavesdropper outside, and Murmus Bigtoe caught sight of Gillath as she proceeded back to her Smithy. Khol concluded the conversation by saying that the party would only find death in Crossbones when Zauroth arrived later that day. He concluded, therefore, that the Party should leave immediately, not returning without Threads in hand. With that, Khol left toward Odac’s Quarters.
The Party decided to pursue Twig, but not before Murmus stopped at the Smithy on the way. There, Gillath gave him a Tide Stone amulet and told him vaguely that it was a dangerous item, but that Murmus was going to need luck more than she.
Importantly, she begged Murmus not to enter the Fey without a guide, because he probably wouldn’t make it back without one. When pressed, she said the only person she could think of was a gnome that had been spotted by many Raiders at one time or another, but with whom interaction had been nonexistent. All she knew was that this woman seemed to survive the Fellgleam on her own, and that her advice would surely be helpful if it could be found. Finally, she gave Murmus a kiss on the cheek and told him to look up her family in Highscale if he should manage to make it that far.
From Twig to Marin
From here, the Party made a direct path toward the Tree where they had met Twig previously that same day. They marched at a quick pace to the dulcet tones of Murmus and Johann calling out for Crook. Although they received no response from the loquacious goblin, they found the area where they remembered Twig’s tree. After some climbing, tree-hopping, and a near-death experience for Fae (as Algernon rescued her with a Feather Fall spell), the party proceeded to the edge of the clearing and found their destination.
The doll-size treehouse was intact and as expected, but there was no sign of the quickling or his companions. Some small commotion was heard coming from behind the Party, but they chose not to investigate it further before it trailed off to the west.
While Fae remained among the trees, Johann, Grihymm and Murmus made their way to the treehouse at the clearing’s center, and a knock from Johann on the door triggered a shockwave that sent most of the Party reeling. Once they regained their footing, nothing more seemed to follow after the blast.
Once it seemed certain that their quarry would not reveal themselves here (and while noting that dusk was approaching), the Party elected to leave the tree behind and head for the ruin where they found Marin days before. However, Johann was inspired to set the treehouse alight as he departed. This provoked the wrath of some dryads who had been peacefully resting in the trees nearby. The Party managed to slay three of the four creatures, but the fourth was able to escape.
Upon reaching Marin's homestead, the Party found the elder grung how they left him: despondent, alone, and resigned to his fate and to the will of the Party. He explained to them, when prompted, that the Fellgleam was dangerous at night because this was when the veils between simple forest and infinite multiverse were thinnest. Things defying description and explanation passed among the forest, unwittingly or otherwise, and many of them were extremely dangerous. Some remained in the forest, others vanished forever. In any case, he seemed to agree that being out in the forest at night was to be avoided at all cost. In fact, the dangers imposed by night, combined with the deaths of his companions (at the hands of the Party) were sufficient to keep him trapped in this place. It seems he could not make it sufficient distance in a single day on his own and securing a safety overnight was impossible without assistance.
He explained further that his present space was not often encroached upon, and when it was, the trap that he set in the stairway was usually enough to eliminate intruders… or at least to dissuade them from delving deeper. He also revealed that the gnome Murmus had heard about was named Lilli, and he claimed to be able to lead the party to her. In exchange for his guidance, The Party offered to let him keep his Threads and also said they would lead him to another grung “outpost” if they could. All agreed, therefore, that the plan was to seek Lilli in the morning.
The Party safely spent the night in Marin’s cave, ignoring the sound of a woman crying outside the door overnight. At about 8AM the next day, they set out with Marin to find Lilli—a journey that Marin said would claim most of the day.
From Marin to Lilli
Just as they reached what Marin claimed was the vicinity of Lilli’s home, the Party noticed some growling and yelps off their path a short way. Fae decided to stealthily investigate after Johann cast Minor Illusion to create a sound off to the north.
She happened upon two tiny white dragons in a clearing among the trees. These two dragons were beset upon by four displacer beasts—one of whom seemed to be drunkenly meandering about in the direction of Johann’s illusion. Deciding quickly to rescue the creatures, the Party engaged the beasts. Johann leapt into action by going invisible and darting in directly to grab the creatures, who became invisible by extension once he picked them up. This seemed to confuse the predators, and they would turn their attentions to the Party as they were attacked.
The beasts would prove dangerous foes, but midway through the fight, a sphere of darkness appeared on the battlefield and claimed two of the beasts. Some booming thunder was heard from within that darkness, and only when it began to move were the corpses of two displacer beasts revealed.
The darkness proceeded toward the party as the third beast was slain. The fourth beast seemed to wander off alone into the forest, never having engaged in the fight. Just before the darkness would have consumed some of the Party, it vanished, revealing a gnome with a beautiful sword. When Johann revealed himself, two dragons safely in hand, Lilli regarded the group before her.
The Party explained roughly their situation, and Lilli decided to lead them to her home, as night was about to fall upon the forest.