Session 13: Arrival at Solara
After a few weeks of travel, the party of Grumm, Medran, and Elrohir finally arrived at their destination, the capital city of Solara. They made their way across the magnificent bridge spanning the Lake of the Sun to the island capital: Solara, the Alabaster Isle. Although having to deal with some minor racism towards hulking half-orc barbarians, the group made their way in one piece within the outer walls of the hulking city. They said goodbye to their compatriots Horros and Nick and found their way to a tavern for a brief respite before continuing forward in their mission to stop a potential assassination plot against the Sun King himself. The group found themselves stumbling into the Yawning Portal, an inn of great renown in the upper-middle district of the city. Built on the ruins of an ancient wizard tower, the tavern was sprawling with patrons from all across Solara and beyond, seemingly even from the farthest reaches of Tel'marún. In one corner a trio of tritons dueled in an ancient game utilizing small bits of bone from various beasts of the sea, by the fire a half-orc and gnome traded tales of adventure while an elemental genasi danced along to the melody of a harp. Little did the party know that future compatriots were present amongst this raucous gathering. In a (failed) attempt at earning food and room, the group decided to retell their harrowing adventure through the Valleys of Murrin through story, song, and interpretive dance. Elrohir wowed the audience of the tragic tale of "Nick Halfling," while Medran set the mood with pyrotechnics and Grumm drummed out a tribal beat. Their act caught the attention of Morgran, a dwarf cleric sitting at the bar, awaiting a meeting with a bounty hunter contact, as well as the contact himself -- Gregory Blakhuv -- watching patiently from the shadows of his booth in the back of the common room. The two looked on in a mix of awe and utter confusion. Just as the group stumbled to a finish, the door slammed open. In bounced a boisterous halfling in a blue robe holding a large bottle. In a loud voice, the figure proclaimed, "Who's ready to paaaarty!?" before aggressively uncorking the bottle. With a loud BANG the bottle erupted, a puff of multicolored smoke pouring out of its open neck. And then, nothing. The blue-robed halfling trudged to the bar and ordered a drink. Life in the taproom of the Yawning Portal returned to normal. At least for a moment. Suddenly, the inn's door burst open once again, this time entering a glistening humanoid in slacks and a dress shirt unbuttoned down to his navel. He claimed his name was Flavio, master of parties, summoned by the magic of the halfling's "Party in a Bottle." With a flick of his wrist, in flew enchanted instruments, performing a rhythmic ditty in mid-air. "DANCE!" commanded Flavio, the patrons of the taproom gladly obliging. The party was on, and even those not known for joining in found themselves compelled to partake in the festivities. It didn't take long for the adventurers to sniff out that something wasn't quite right with Flavio. Those, such as Medran, who questioned the Master of Parties about his intentions found themselves joining in the dance instead. It was Grumm who finally grabbed a hold of Flavio. Lifting him into the air, he walked him over to the edge of the pit from which the Yawning Portal gets its name. Gregory joined in the assault on the Party Master, casting an enchantment on the fiend. It was then that Flavio revealed his true form, transforming into a demonic beast with wings and a long tail -- an incubus. Grumm, unperturbed, jumped off the edge of the pit, disappearing with the incubus grasped between his large arms into the darkness below. Those remaining above battled with the enchanted instruments, quickly demolishing the musician-less troubadours. In a final attempt to disrupt his demise, Flavio used his telepathic enchantment to the party's dismay. Medran, entranced by the incubus, danced his way calmly to the lip's edge. His teammates stopped him at the precipice, momentarily halting the danger above. At the bottom of the pit, Grumm easily dispatched the now crushed Flavio, dragging his fiendish form up the inn's lift and back to the group. After some brief introductions, an argument with the innkeep, and a questioning of a frightened halfling cleric of Lliira, the group set out on a shopping extravaganza. The party spread out across the Grand Solarium, the sprawling marketplace of the Upper District. One group found their way to Pane in the Glass, a curio shop run by one Jowrick Periwinkle, gnomish purveyor of all things odd and (potentially) magical. The other group met up with Morgran's cousin Ulrik Irondagger to discuss the possibility of buying custom armor. Both groups eventually met up at the Solaran Museum, where Grumm sold incubus parts to the League of Adventuring Gnomes. Following a tip from Jowrick, Gregory led the group to the Melting Gnome, an alchemy shop in the Dark Quarter beneath the city. Jowrick claimed its owner, Iven Nedz, had connections to the Eye, a criminal organization with a grip on the underbelly of the capital. Gregory hoped Iven might have information about the elven man he sought. The shop, however, was closed. Transforming into a swarm of insects, Gregory scouted the shop out. The lights were extinguished, but there was movement inside. Something was off, but the bug-form druid was unable to discern exactly what. He unlocked the door and returned to the group. When the subtle method doesn't work, sometimes you have to call in the big guns -- at least, that's the way Grumm saw things. Bursting into the alchemy shop with little regard for safety or stealth, Grumm sprinted towards the backroom of the shop. It was as he arrived at the back door that the first attack happened. A cockle of Cockatrice, small birdlike creatures, poured out of the shadows, each striking out at the nearest party member. The pests were taken care of quickly, but not before one's venom took hold of Elrohir, magically petrifying him into a stone statue. The group checked out the rest of the shop. In the back storeroom they found the shopkeeper in a similar stony state, as well as a large eye drawn across the back wall. Written beneath it read, "The Eye sees all." Unsure what to do with their friend or only lead, the group hunkered down in the shop, hoping answers might come with the breaking of the dawn…
Pot that pours out water, Strange Tome written in Primordial, A pack of 4 "Dr. Dilly's"