4G Episode 1: Session Zero, the Grotto, and the Mudfish's Maw Report
Gathering at the Grotto
On the night of Heaven folk from around the Zone gather at Grig's Grotto in Tower Town to drink and dance and maybe find their destiny. Tonight three first-timers arrive at the doors of the Grotto together.
An off-brand Soulforged created by a mad magitechnician outside of the normal Soul Forge process. He awoke in his maker's lab in the wild Neutral Zone between the East and Southeast Cantons. His maker abandoned him in an incomplete state. Bug is missing his heart.
This fairy is a city girl through and through, born and raised in Garrison City, she knows the ins and outs of life in the Zone. Newly ordained into the Church of Sun & Moon, she is a cleric of Thaya and really really good at peaceful conflict resolution. (She is! I promise!)
This mysterious dark elf has been floating through life through the past few decades. He woke up with few memories of his past and immediately fell in with Entulesse Elves returning from the Feywild. He fell heedlessly into the returnee lifestyle. Only recently has he decided to confront his dreams of death in the darkness and lost love.
The Fainting Halfling
The group meets outside the unassuming warehouse that houses the Grotto and agree to enter as a group. Rhytmic music blares out of the doors and the sweaty air embraces them. They feel like they've come home.
They meet Karzon Ironfoot, the dwarven proprietor and owner, who collects 1 sp for each of them as their entry fee. The tiefling Daffyd Shaaakas takes their picture. Fran Dohylae the dance leader teaches them the Grotto's signature dance, the Twiddlefitch.
They participate in the group and partner dances. They see the various groupings around the floor. They discover that Bug can't dance, Irma can, and that Vashe is an excellent dancer. With teamwork, they manage to successfully negotiate the line dances. They get Drinks That Are On Fire from the Mixomancer Mellie . She teaches them the prayer to prevent Tito Corben from haunting them.
Suddenly a shout goes up from the dance floor. A pretty blonde halfling girl has fallen asleep in the middle of a dance. She lies on the floor with folks crowding around her. As the party arrives to investigate, she wakes up. "Oh have I fallen asleep again?"
She explains to the party that she was cursed by spirits in the Anomalous Forest when she peed i a magical pond. Now the only way to help her is to go into the pond and retrieve a magical gem. She's willing to pay 250 Bilog if they complete this quest.
The Mudfish's Maw
The party immediately sets out for the Anomalous Forest on the night train, taking the Inner Ring Line from Tower Town to Menelost Telperion. As they travel, dawn breaks and its the day of Shatter. The party holds their breath as colors flash in the Pit, finally settling on pearlescent white, and the Feywild manifests. A mountain covered in forests rises into the sky. The familiar music of Faerie, the smell of pine forests, the touch of wild magic spreads out over the Zone. Their Ident-a-hedrons announce the all clear and a Day of Trade and Rest.
The party arrives in Menelost Telperion and take the forest paths along the Kirinal River. When they reach the Lake of Thaya's Tears, they follow the marshy shore until they arrive at the Mudfish's Maw, just where Amethyst said it would be.
As they approached, they were ambushed by two bullywugs and a giant toad. The party were almost wiped out by the amphibious fury of these moist marauders. They exhausted their magic, Bug was downed, They escaped by the skin of their teeth and the giant toad swam away to lick it's wounds.
They cautiously approached the open stone maw of a gigantic catfish full of standing water with a whirlpool and a throne in it. As they got closer to the Lily Dome they noticed a toad in a pirate's hat and a raccoon playing a magical guitar. The raccoon tormented them with threatening music, while the pirate toad told them that the gem was in fact there within the Maw.
The party disagreed on how to proceed and as they were in discussion, Bug jumped into the whirlpool. Vashe followed and, when she heard screaming coming from Bug, Irma followed her new friends. They went through a funhouse of odd spirits, heart chambers, and axolotls. At one point, Vashe's mind was opened to the language of animals. They emerged with some minor magic items and the Frog Eye Gem that they sought.
The End of the Beginning
They returned to Amethyst with the gem that she sought. She paid them and then promptly fell asleep. The gem turned into a cloud that caught her as she fell and enveloped her in magic to protect her from harm.
Vashe and Irma squared off. Both disagreeing with each others methods and outlooks on life. Would they be ever be able to agree?
Retrieve the fish eye gem to help Amethyst Cloudfall, the Fainting Halfling.