The adventurers head back to Olkedo and check Toshi's mother's reading spot outside of town. They find her journal. She seems to be looking for something but is vague on the details. In town they learn that the Guilds haven't recieved shipments from Bismuth for a month, which is where they get the gems to make drajules. Farmer Ott has been dreaming of black tendrils under the earth. They the guildmaster their plan then start their long journey to the Scar to try to find Nieve's brother. On the way they cross a river on a ferry. The ferryman tells them that there is trouble in Wrustrun, Rayne passed through here trying to follow someone on a large flying majimonster, and some people from Green Valley passed through here not long ago.
Next they find a cave with the Ryoko family tree drawn on the wall. They learn that the Ryokos are descended from the Oshiros. There are journals in the cave keeping track of the Ryoko women. Later on the road they encounter a fortune teller who gives them a bounty poster and later still they encounter the travelers from Green Valley. They travel the rest of the way to Green Valley with them. They learn that Green Valley has been suffering a drought much like Croatoan. One of the townsfolk thinks the soil may be cursed.
When they get to Green Valley, the whole town is covered in black dust and all the townsfolk are missing. They investigate and eventually find the townsfolk in a basement being held by black tendrils. They defeat the man imprisoning them and free the townsfolk, who decide to pull up stakes and move to Olkedo.
On the way back from the ruined keep, Brick
, Jebedaiah Bateman
, Nieve Powell
, and Toshi Ryoko
are stopped by some Binder
s on the rickety bridge they passed earlier. Mikal Squallheart
, the seeming leader of the group, asks for a toll of 50 suls per person to cross the bridge. When Mikal realizes they are binders he decides to make a wager instead. They will have a MajiMonster duel, the winner gets 400 suls from the loser. Each participant in the dual may use 2 monsters. They fight and defeat the toll collectors. After defeating them Jebedaiah goes to shake Mikal’s hand, secretly pickpocketing the 400 suls of winnings from him. When Mikal goes to hand over the wager he is confused thinking the suls must have fallen off the bridge in the battle. Then Jebedaiah tells him he’s just joshin’ and shows the suls he pickpocketed. Mikal tells them maybe they will meet again one day.
The party heads back to Faversham
to rest for the night. They resupply and ask about rumors at the Faversham Binders Guild
. They learn from Fernando Laguna
that they haven’t gotten any shipments from Bismuth
for a month. They also inform the Guildmaster of the toll collectors. In the morning, they head to the south of Olkedo
to try and find Haruki Ryoko
’s reading spot that Noboru Ryoko
mentioned. They find a large tree with a hollow in it. Jebedaiah reaches into the hollow and pulls out a book and a necklace and conceals the necklace from the rest of the party, but presents the book. The book seems to be a journal written by Haruki. She seems like a woman obsessed, and keeps talking about ‘anchors’ and ‘threads’ and how they must be used to undo what has been done. She speculates on how to find them and mentions that Captain Stancliff Preston
may have hidden some. She mentions taking The Tales of Captain Preston
for clues about the location of the anchors and threads. In the last entry she says, “Why and I doing this? What is it for? Why can’t I stop?” Jebedaiah tries to comfort Toshi about his mother and Toshi, feeling suspicious, checks his pocket and finds the necklace. Toshi asks what it is and Jebedaiah lies and says it is an heirloom from his mother. It is a copper necklace in the shape of an ankh with jade stones set in it with healing properties.
They decide to stock up in Olkedo in preparation for the long journey to the Scar. They decide to buy a wagon. Toshi tells Brick what Fernando told him about the belt and that Iscyra Oxblood
lost it in a MajiMonster battle. They decide to return the belt to Iscyra and she gives each of them 1 lesser archdrajule. They tell Iscyra that Fernando mentioned not getting any shipments from Bismuth in a while and Iscyra mentions that that is where they get the gems to make drajules. They also tell Iscyra their intention to go to the Scar looking for Nieve’s brother, Rayne Powell
. She says the way is pretty easy. There is a ferry south of town that will take them across the Aegan river. She says they will probably pass through a town called Green Valley
located on the Gilead river on the way to the Scar. Then they visit Farmer Ott
and ask if he’s had any visions. He tells them he’s been dreaming of black tendrils spreading through the ground with evil intent.
They head south and come to the Aegan and see Markus Zade
, the ferryman. The ferry fee is 5 suls a person. Markus asks where they are headed. Jebedaiah tells him they are headed to visit family in Wrustrun
. Markus says he’s heard there has been trouble there lately. He says that there is a conflict between Wrustrun and Lowsprings
. He doesn’t know exactly what the nature of the conflict is but he heard that the sheriff, Slade Jones
, was killed. They ask if Markus has picked up any other rumors and he says that there is a town called Green Valley that’s been suffering a drought. He says some binders from there just passed through. They came up north for supplies to keep the town going and are now on their way back. Markus says they may meet them on the road. Markus then tells Nieve she looks familiar. They start trying to pin down why and eventually it comes out that Rayne has passed through here, and Markus remarks on the family resemblance. He says he passed through 4 or 5 years ago, heading south. Markus remembers that day because he and Rayne saw a large flying lizard monster with someone riding it. He says that usually there are 2 lizard monsters that travel together, but it looks like someone managed to bind one. He says Rayne headed south to try to find that binder and talk to him.
After crossing the Aegan River and traveling a bit further, the group notices that it looks like it might rain soon. They find a small cave to take shelter in. The cave is small and one side is flat and covered in moss. Jebedaiah thinks the moss is an illusion like the ice in Sunfall cave. He runs into it but it is solid and 8 Shiftspore come out of the moss and attack. They are able to defeat them with Jebedaiah catching one.
Brick notices some burlap under the moss in the gaps left by the Shiftspore. They tear down the mossy burlap and find a depiction of the Ryoko family tree drawn on the wall of the cave, going back 10 generations. Kyoko Ryoko
’s name is crossed out along with many other women’s names. Haruki’s name is circled. Usagi Ryoko
and Oki Ryoko
’s names have question marks beside them. At the top of the tree the names change from Ryoko to Oshiro. There is a space carved into the wall with some books in it. There are many volumes with dates going back 200 years. They contain detailed notes of the goings on of the Ryoko family, particularly the women. The handwriting in all the volumes is the same. The handwriting does not match the handwriting in Haruki’s jounal. The most recent entry mentions not being able to tell if Oki or Usagi are afflicted. Toshi copies the family tree in his own journal. When trying to come up with an explanation of how the handwriting could be the same for 200 years they recall a settlement up north called Muscaria
. Muscaria has many alchemists, and rumor has it that they can live longer than a normal human lifespan. When examining the dates of the journals they notice that there are long stretches of time with no entries. It seems whoever is making these journals only writes while the Ryoko women are in town, but after they leave they write nothing. The most recent entry is 5 years ago. They rest in the cave for the night.
The next morning it has stopped raining. They look for a path to the cave but find nothing to determine which way someone came from to access it. They continue south. Further on they encounter another traveling binder on the road. Her name is Isidora Blackwood
. She hands them A Flier from Fygmal
telling about a reward for a monster that can teleport. Isidora offers to tell fortunes to help them decide where to go. They also ask for a fortune told about the journals they found in the family tree cave. (Isidora's Tarot Reading
). Isidora tells them that Bihrrage, Mysticac, Warlakra, and Gravecloak are monsters she knows of that can teleport. They continue the rest of the day without incident, and then rest for the night.
The next day they come to a valley with high but gently sloping hills on either side. They decide to go up the hill instead of through the valley. It starts raining and they don’t see any shelter in sight, so they keep going. Eventually, they see another group of travelers in the valley. They notice a potential mudslide about to form ahead of them so they attempt to get their attention to warn them. The other travelers stop and wait for them to catch up. A mudslide does happen ahead of them, missing them. The other travelers thank them for the warning and introduce themselves as Anita Atkins
, Jennie Fields
, George Mays
, and Keith Whitley
. Turns out these are the binders from Green Valley that Markus mentioned. They explain the drought situation and say one of the binders in town, Gareth Michaels
, thinks the soil is cursed, and has been doing experiments to try and figure it out. They tell players about a cave at the end of the valley where they could all take shelter from the rain. They mention one of them, Keith, caught a Raindeer to try and help water the crops. Players ask about the Scar and the travelers say they don’t really go in there much. It’s an unsettling place and back and boring. They don’t know what happened to cause it. They mention the stable master Kara Kirk
has been trying to persuade everyone to leave, but they are reluctant to leave their home. The next day they travel the rest of the way to Green Valley with the others. They cross a bridge over the Gilead river into town.
The other binders are shocked to find their town covered in some kind of black dust and no one in sight, the town completely silent. One of them exclaims Gareth was right about the soil being cursed. Jebedaiah touches the dust which feels like soot. The houses aren’t damaged or burned. Inside on of the houses they find food set out on the table, untouched. Nothing is over-turned. The black stuff is around the windows and doors but nowhere else. Nieve tastes the black dust. It tastes fungal not like soot at all. Toshi digs 2 feet into the soil. The surface is black like everything else, the soil just underneath looks normal but it starts to get blacker the further he digs. They check Kara’s house and find a letter she was starting to write. It’s addressed to Marlon Cooper
, mayor of Olkedo. It mentions needing aid, starts to describe the drought and then cuts off abruptly. It ends with a sentence, but the letter seems incomplete and unsigned. The chair is pushed away from the desk. They get a whiff of something dead coming from outside Kara’s house, apparently coming from the stables. In the stables they find many neglected, starving animals. There is a pile of hay in the corner with a dark splotch on the bottom of it. At first glance the splotch looks like some black mushrooms growing at the bottom of the pile but on closer inspection the mushrooms are growing out of a dark substance. The dark stain is dry and when digging through the hay they find Josh Burnett
, Gareth’s assistant, stabbed to death.
They peek in the general store which is fully stocked so it seems no one packed up and left. They decide to take some empty jars from the store and collect some soil and some mushrooms. In the blacksmith, they find several broken shovels as if someone has been doing a lot of digging lately. There are no holes found in the fields around town, and it is not immediately obvious where all this digging took place. They check Gareth’s house which is surrounded by potted plants. There is a lot of dirt leading inside and everywhere in the house. There is a heavier trail of dirt that leads to a trap door in the floor. Toshi takes Gareth’s notes about the soil, and they go inside. The basement appears normal but there is a tunnel dug into the side. They follow the tunnel and find at the end of it the townsfolk, looking emaciated, with black tendrils holding them to the walls. George shouts, “Carlo!” and starts trying to get the tendrils off a little boy. From behind them they hear, “You like what I’ve done with the place?” George glances behind him and says, “Gareth, what’s happened to you? What’s wrong with your eyes?” Gareth’s eyes are completely black and black lines curl on his skin. There is a bloody gash where his ear used to be. Players demand he let the townsfolk go, and he says the master needs them. He summons a Sludgaphant and a Hamsteer at the same time and attacks! The party defeats Gareth and tendrils come from the walls and pull Gareth into the dirt. George has managed to free his son Carlo Mays
at this point. It seems he is using Charilla to pull on the tendrils and free the other townsfolk. Brick tries to hack at the tendrils with a knife but it does nothing. Players bring out their MajiMonsters to help free the townsfolk. The remaining tendrils retreat back into the dirt. The whole party makes donations of rations, feed, and suls to help the devastated townsfolk leave town and head to Olkedo. But everyone stays one more night here, before moving on.
- The Curse of Green Valley
Character(s) interacted with
Captain Stancliff Preston
Isidora's Tarot Reading
Episode End Song: Black Dirt by Sea Wolf