Legends of Moonsong City

S1 E11: Interlude


The dwarven checkpoint on the river feels desolate. Even cleared of the gnoll and troll remains, there is a haunting sadness in the place. The place was clearly built for occupation by living things, and the meager defenders there now just don’t seem to fill the place up. The grey skies and light misting drizzle don’t help.

Caleb is edgy this morning. His eyes dart constantly, and he’s eager to go. When questioned, he tells you that he’s a survivor because he’s learned to trust his instincts. And his instincts are telling him that something is wrong. He’s eager to get you on the road to the more secure pass warding of Guss’s Gate. Once there, he says, the way should be clear of Gnolls and what have you. You’re not convinced he’s lying, but Lyra is also not convinced she’s getting the whole truth. She’s seen a con game enough to know when there’s a piece of information missing.

The remaining dwarven survivors however are just happy to not be on the Gnoll menu. They’ve cleared most of the structure of damage already. They have asked Thifal if they can come with you to report personally to Darin, the commander of Guss’s Gate. They’re a bit ragged, but they’re dwarves and strong enough to make the journey.

A second scout caught up to you at the crossing, and Caleb sent him back with instructions to have the cavern wait at the crossing until he sends word. He explains it’s the safest spot for them right now, as it’s dwarven made (he smiles atThifal) and very defensible.

S1 EP11: Crap Troll!

We had a good time and defeated 2 nasty bosses. In fact we had to assault the Crossing which was an island with 2 bridges, 4 watchtowers manned by archer Gnolls. A large hut (which turned out to have Mr Crap Troll himself). Also had Gilt the scary barbarian of fury that bloodied 3 or 4 group members all by himself.

Oh the island waters was patrolled by a steenking water elemental.

SOooo there was a pen holding dwarf slaves on the island behind the island guarded by 3 hyenas (the ones that knocked us down before).

We scouted the area and decided to return at night. The tactics discussed were argued over for some time. In the end we did not know what the heck we were doing and decided to come back at night instead of being shot at by 4 watchtowers of archers.

Haloisi got us over the river using her control of water. (Trivial she thinks while we sweat… erhm build a raft? Anyone know water walking?) We used Chunnks of Meat™ from Axiomus’ backpack to attract the Hyenas. Then we ahem pounced on the hyenas. It came down to a last blow from Lyra or Nisa to take all the hyenas out before they could give the alarm.

Then Haloisi went stealth and went to release the dwarfs. We found out that the dwarf owned crossing was captured by some kind of bardic fell person who sang them to the point of not fighting.

The gnolls called for the hyenas to reply in their language and we rued not bringing along the potion of language that was available back at the caravans (which had circled the wagons while we scouted). Lyra decided to FAKE hyena instead of FAKING Gnoll which was brilliant.

Unfortunately Lyra’s rolls were not so brilliant and the Gnolls sallied forth to attack us. Running right into Axiomus’ super powerful field sowed with 24 pounds of caltrops. The caltrops did 4 points of damage split amongst 3 berserkers. Power indeed.

Note all of this occured in the dark and we had no idea what was happening.

Lyra then created fake images of dwarfs escaping to the South that led GILT (the barbarian boss) south for a bit while the main group took care of the berserkers.

Axiomus wisely refused to light his flaming sword thereby presenting our group as a massive target for the 4 watchtowers. He was further encouraged in this by people (Haloisi) hissing, “Don’t light the bleeping flaming sword!”

Anyhow we got the idea that the diversion was more or less successful and figured it be a good time to go flame the towers. Axiomus imbibes the potion of stoneskin that we negotiated from the caravan leader. ALSO casts Invisibility on himself and rushes off to go burn stuff.

Remember Axiomus is quite addicted to his Flaming Breath draconic magic spell. It makes him feel alive!!!

Anyhow he almost runs straight into Gilt the boss but a 32 stealth check while invisible saves the day.

Axiomus torches one tower (well starts a fire on) using Flame Breath. He uses the tower as cover so only 1 other tower can shoot at him. He is deciding which other tower to torch when a 4 square big troll comes out from the dark after him.

He figures out whether he can hide behind the tower because the troll is too big but figures that the troll has reach (which the troll does).

Basically it was time to retreat to the tune of “CRAPTROLLCRAPTROLLCRAPTROLL.”

Axiomus’ stoneskin basically blocks 20 or so points of archer damage. And a couple of hits from Tik Tik the nasty troll. Tik Tik catches up to Axiomus on the bridge and grapples him. To break grapple Axiomus basically has to roll like 18 or higher. It did not happen. BUT Stoneskin allows Axiomus to shrug off like another 20 points of damage.

Meanwhile the rest of the group abandons the plan to lure Tik Tik to the UBER power FIELD of Caltrops. Tik Tik promises to fight them on the Field of Caltrops (because it is so insignificant to Tik Tik’s mind) AFTER eating Axiomus.

Thankfully the rest of the group moves to engage Tik Tik.

After trying to chew on Axiomus’ stoneskin for 2 rounds, Tik Tik throws Axiomus into the river chain shirt and all. Good thing Axiomus had been practicing his swimming. Library and sword fighting in the morning for practice and YEARS of swimming in the river as a daily routine prepares Axiomus for the swim of his life in the swift river (DC 15). Saving 3 times Axiomus makes it to the land without drowning. Axiomus’ 5 skill ranks in swimming saves the day!
(Anyhow I was lucky)

Then Tik Tik grabs Thifal and chews on the previously bloodied dwarf. The 2 healers decide to not heal Thifal since their heals are TOUCH only and no one really wanted to get anywhere NEAR Tik Tik. Tik Tik throws the Plate wearing dwarf into the river. [Cue ominous music]

Thifal basically walks on the river bottom having held his breath to safety. Dwarfs can’t swim but they sure know how to survive.

Haloisi grows tired of the Troll and does magiicks. Oh yah all this while Lyra, Fletcher and Nisa are hitting Tik Tik for all they have got. Fletcher misses the troll on occasion but thats good because Tik Tik is using Thifal as a shield.

Lyra kinda sets the troll on fire using some magicks. OOOPS actually Lyra casts GREASE and the troll kinda lets Thifal out of his grasp. Thifal CHOOSES to fall into the river. Crazy dwarf that one.
It might have had something to do with the 2 blocks of ice (courtesy of Haloisi) blocking Tik Tik’s retreat that the dwarf HAD to stand on.

Standing on ice. Probably not fantastic so I don’t blame crazy dwarf for jumping into the river. Especially since Thifal could not swim. Nope don’t blame him at all. Also at this point we did not know where the water elemental was. Thankfully it did not appear.

Yah but note again. Jumping into DC 15 raging river WITH water elemental WHILE wearing full plate (+1) AND bloodied. Not crazy at all. Very rational actually.

Oh at this point Fletcher and Axiomus are engaging Tik Tik on the bridge. Axiomus continues to joke that the troll has to pay a toll to cross the bridge. Having used the ironic joke multiple times, the troll is pretty much super enraged. Tik Tik decides to bull rush Axiomus AND Fletcher into the water.

Pretty much Tik Tik fails and it is Tik Tik into the water.

Oh so Haloisi grows tired of this nonsense (how far she has come from the tentative adventrurer). “Stand there and stand there!” (paraphrase) she cries out to Fletcher and Axiomus (“Single Column!!!” cries Maximus…cue music from “The Gladiator”). Then using water magics she HEAVES Tik Tik onto the shore right into the target zone of our prepared attacks.
A whopping 30 or so damage takes the bloodied Troll out. It helps that Axiomus’ sword is flaming at this time because Tik Tik had been happily regenerating (as trolls do).

Anyhow so the chief scout of the caravan, who we suspected was not really who he said he was, turns up, AND wait for it. Is actually a minion of our PATRON.

Our Patron is Mountain Breeze the dragon. The one with the voice that is to turn us insane.

S1 E10: Infernal Promises

Lyra woke.

She gasped, her lungs burning for air. She tried to sit up in the shallow water, but was in too much pain. The wagon gently creaked beside her, covered in gnarly arrows. She heard the commotion of battle around her; the clanking of weapons and armor, the thwack of bowstrings, startled draft horses jostling nervously in their harnesses. The gnolls of the plain laughed wickedly with their hyenas.

A shining armored figure darted between a pair of the hulking dogmen. The larger gnolls were unexpectedly powerful, but Fletcher was giving them a taste of what a half-elf could do. He was certainly a welcome addition to the team.

Lyra’s mind was groggy from unconsciousness. The back of her coat was wet, probably from the small stream she had collapsed in. As she continued to survey the scene, she realized the bank of the stream was several feet away. The searing pain in her side suggested that the “water” she felt was in fact, blood. Her blood.

Propped up on her elbows, Lyra took stock of where she lay and what to do next. Haloisi stood over her, clearly the source of Lyra’s recent recovery. One of the caravan carts was just behind her. Fletcher stood to her right. Odd, the sellsword was only engaging two opponents, yet there were no gnoll corpses nearby. Lyra could have sworn there were three before…

Lyra spied a scroll tube. She must have dropped it when the first blow struck her down. She clamored to her knees and popped the lid off of the tube. The cork had the marking of a smiley face, a private joke for her eyes only. It indicated a Scroll of Vanish, originally intended for less serious mischief but perfect for the present situation.

An axe screamed through the air toward Lyra’s neck. A dull purple glow intercepted the mangy paw-hand that brandished the axe, turning it aside. The mage armor was marginally effective against the vicious blow, but it only managed to spin the axe sideways in the wielder’s grip. The flat of the weapon smashed into Lyra’s nose.

She heard a crunch, then saw only darkness.

“Saab Dolnlok” rumbled a deep voice in the darkness.

Lyra found her own voice and responded, “You again. Who are you?” The disembodied voice spoke frequently in her dreams, but never revealed its identity.

“Umngane wakho” the voice answered. “Umthombo kwamandla akho.”

“I don’t… that doesn’t help.” Lyra said. “I still can’t understand you, same as last time, and the time before that.”

The voice rumbled in tremendous disapproval “do you never learn, child?”

“Now you’re sounding like a friend of mine” Lyra chided, “am I dead, or what?”

“Not yet.” The voice resonated with authority. “But perhaps, soon.”

“Well then why are we talking? How are we talking? Why do you keep calling me something-Dolnlok?” Lyra snapped at the voice. She was finished with being frightened by this thing in her dreams; she wanted answers this time.

“I will show you your own power.” It proclaimed, ignoring her questions. Lyra rolled her eyes. The dreams always hinted at power, but never delivered.

“Well there’s not much to show, here in this nothingness.” Lyra mocked, gesturing to the void around her. “How ’bout you give me a face to talk to?”

The voice was silent for a moment, as if thinking. “Very well” it conceded.

Lyra felt like she was falling. The darkness above her brightened slightly into a dreary canopy of overcast clouds. Evergreen trees seemed to sprout from nowhere, arranged in a wide circle around her. Lyra felt her feet make contact with a solid surface – ice. The stale air of nothingness became the crisp smell of a forest in winter. Terrain began to populate around the ice, forming the contours of a land Lyra recognized.

Her heart sank.

“No, please. Not here. Anywhere else.” She pleaded. The sound of a lone crow seemed to echo in the distance. The final details on the scene were complete when a cabin, her childhood home, sprung up beyond the bank of the frozen pond.

A flash of fire burst out of the ice. There stood an elven man. Tall, gaunt, pale; Lyra recognized him as her father, smiling wickedly.

“Why do you wear his face?” Lyra asked, her heart heavy with a mixture of fear and sorrow at the sight of a face buried by time.

“Poetry.” He – it – replied with a grin. “Your father sealed your power. Now I will loosen that seal.”

Lyra felt a tingle around her left wrist. She pulled her sleeve back, revealing a new tattoo, another dark green ouroboros encircling the limb like a bracelet. The tingle turned into an itch. Then the itch turned into a stinging sensation.

“Bashise.” The elf said in the unfamiliar language, without emotion.

Illegible glowing runes materialized in purple and blue over the green snake tattoo. They hovered a few inches over her skin, spinning around Lyra’s wrist for a moment. Then the runes shot downwards in a sudden jolt and dug themselves into the snake’s scales. It hurt.

It hurt a lot.

Lyra screamed in pain. Her wrist felt like it was on fire or worse. The pain was deep and unrelenting, scorching its way up her entire left arm. She continued to cry out in pain, dropping to her knees and clutching the arm close to her chest in an instinctive response to mitigate an injury. It didn’t help.

Doubled over in pain, Lyra saw through the ice below her. Blackness and orange fire churned deep beneath it, a hellscape stretching far in every direction, as if the pond was a portal to the Pit. She tried to fight off the panic creeping into the corners of her mind. With clenched teeth and hatred in her eyes, she looked up at the creature masquerading as her father. The sky had gone black again.

“Good. Your power has grown.” The man said, ignoring her cries of pain. “I emamaki kumele ukhule nawe.” It said, once again indifferent towards Lyra’s ignorance of the language.

The ice beneath her knees grew a network of cracks in an instant. Lyra’s eyes widened as she realized how the voice expected her to wake. She fell through the ice with a yelp, into the waiting maw of hellfire.

Unseen water filled her nose and mouth, squelching her cries of agony. It was icy cold, knocking the air out of her lungs. Her skin burned as if on fire. Her arm was still immobilized by an even deeper pain. She simultaneously fell, drowned, and burned, kicking furiously in an attempt to resurface. The fire and darkness of the hellish landscape filled her vision as she tried in vain to breathe fresh air.

Lyra sat bolt upright and latched onto the first friendly figure she saw. She coughed and sputtered through a face-full of silver hair, hanging on tightly in an embrace of thanks.

The gnoll corpses, the wagon wheels, the arrows littering the ground, everything, was soaked through. An uncorked scroll lay nearby, ruined. Her clothes were dry, but Lyra still had water in her ears. Haloisi’s silent comfort suggested the immediate danger had passed. Lyra squeezed tighter through her fit. She coughed with a combination of laughter and sobbing, afraid to close her eyes again.

S1 E10: Ambush at the Fords

An untold treasure of ancient lore in a secret library held against the rigors of time with a magical energy field that could not be breached; this was exactly the thing to make Haloisi’s blood flow quickly and strongly. The thought of exploring these secrets drove her near to madness with impatience. She was a fool. She had been told that the books were unreachable, and so she had not tried. Certainly they were trapped, and almost as certainly she would be injured or cursed at best if she attempted to breach the defensive wards.

But it would have been worth it, for just the chance.

Now come the riddles, the labors that all must undergo on their way to great discovery. Like the sudden appearance of the Heroes of Moonsong as a part of their own quest, and their sometime companion silver dragon, what was its name? It was unlike Haloisi to ever forget a name, even momentarily. Her memory for such was nearly perfect, a point of pride. But she was distracted, frustrated and wallowing in self-pity and frustration. At the least their track held true toward the Grim Watch.

They were supposed to be guarding the slow moving caravan, but Haloisi’s attention span for such pedestrian endeavors was nonexistent. She tried to ride upon the wagon and study the ancient Crystal Empire language, but it only served to give her a headache. Haloisi studied the new trident she had commissioned as she walked instead, a masterfully crafted item with a hollow haft. She thought she might use her abilities with it to good effect. Her ancestral memories had given the idea to her, a unique weaponshaft specifically designed for one of her talents. Curiosity burned even stronger. How long must they delay their quest for access to the answers she sought? Haloisi kicked the dirt. Not dirt. Mud.

Haloisi’s gaze turned upwards for the first time that morning. There was something new winding across the plain, a small creek or large stream, about fifteen feet across. Haloisi waded right in.

“Oy! Mind yer boots, Haloisi.” Thifal admonished from behind, clambering onto the second of the three wagons in their small caravan to keep his own boots dry. Haloisi ignored the reprimand. She was no fool. As was her custom, the boots she wore were watertight, made of a specially treated leather that was supple enough to swim capably in them despite their long thigh length. They would be quite dry for the endless, tedious, useless march ahead.

Lyra passed by on the first wagon. The child was terrified. Haloisi tsked. How could one be afraid of water? As well be afraid of nourishing food, or good air. Haloisi had touched on the matter in conversations with the child and decided it best to let it be. All had weaknesses, though Haloisi did not fly hers as a battle standard for potential enemies to see, if she had any flaws at all. Haloisi could not come up with any that a reasonable person of intellect could call a true weakness.

Haloisi was tempted to doff her equipment and swim for the first time in what seemed to be an Age of Elves, but the water was a meager three feet deep at best. She sighed regretfully. Just contacting the natural flowing waters, the life’s blood of the world, was a respite. Oh, to be immersed in the sea, hunting tiger fish with just her wits and her fuinsir lahta’cu. Haloisi swirled her trident in the water, making a small whirlpool, then sang softly as she made several more all spinning at once. She made them circle one another. She was so distracted, she almost did not heed the screaming.

Haloisi abruptly ceased singing and reflexively entered a combat stance in the water. They were strung out, fording the small creek with no apparent name. From the hillocks and scattered, isolated groves came the baying of wild dogs, but Haloisi knew better. Gnolls. As quickly as the realization came, so came the arrows, dozens of them. Haloisi quickly drew her crossbow to return fire. Lyra, the fool child, was clambering across the back of the first wagon, a prime target.

Another type of bark, this one deper, more masculine. The vanguard of berserkers moved at frightening speed. Baying sounded behind her. More canines, but these were the four footed kind, attacking the last wagon. One of them was already hurt. Haloisi loosed and killed the beast.

From nowhere, the eerily skilled half-elf that named himself as Fletcher Callahan was in melee right in front of her. Arrows continued to rain down. Haoisi realized with shock that Lyra was face down in a pool of blood. She raced to the wildling mage with a heavy doubt in her heart. She brushed back the half-blood’s dark hair and seized her face, trusting Fletcher’s incredible talents to keep the gnolls away. She reached deeply into the arcane and cast a demanding healing spell. Lyra sputtered blood and mumbled. She would be fine, at least until she realized how close she was now to the water.

Haloisi stepped back and surveyed the battlefield. The gnolls closed from the northeast and southeast, as well as the few gnollish hounds behind. Arrows continued to make sharp popping noises as they stuck in the mud banks. Fortune favored them with unintelligent creatures of poor aim. Nisa was showing the beasts the proper use of a bow, but she could only kill one at a time, and the animals were closing on the elf, Thifal, and the lone remaining guard.

If only there were more water. In the water, these unintelligent vermin would be no match for her. But there were so many, and only so much water.

A berserker climbed the wagon and struck Lyra as she tried to cast a spell. Lyra fell again, for good this time, Haloisi feared.

She dug deep into her soul, and magically imbued her voice to boom the darkest, most dismaying dirge she could recall, an old dwarven lament that carried the ferocity that only the dwarves could muster to honor their triumphant dead. As she sang, she waterdanced, causing the small rivulet to cascade and fountain in a line following the middle of the waterway to both sides for many dozens of feet.

Water sprayed as Haloisi’s voice caused the battle to momentarily stop in mid swing. The closest gnolls scraped their paws back a few involuntary steps. Their leader shouted at them to continue to battle, overcoming Haloisi’s display. It was not enough to break them on its own.

Axiomus stepped forward and with a flourish breathed fire, lighting several of the gnolls on fire. Nisa took a step and fired her bow to great effect. Fletcher’s blade was a blur that trailer canine fur like a scythe ripping through a haystack.

But it was Thifal that truly broke them. The cleric found new vigor in the Dwarven lamentations and struck at the dog-men as if they had been the bane of his forebears. Archers turned toward the sound, loosing. With a growl Thifal took a threatening step toward them. Arrows rained down around him, but none found a mark. He took another step. Arrows deflected off his bright full plate armor.

The dogs panicked and fled. Haloisi immediately stopped dancing. The water fell around her as she sloshed inelegantly through the rebounding waters to once more heal her friend, who was now soaked. Haloisi quickly used watersong to dry the child’s clothing. It would not do for the child to become war-shocked by something as silly as water.

S1 E9 : Aftermath

The sweat is thick on your brow. Even without directly engaging the magma elementals, the heat that they pushed into the room is impressive. Flickers of fire still wash around the opening in the wall where the elementals had attacked from.

The battle had been fierce and fairly evenly matched. The magma elementals were stronger than the construct pound for pound, but the numbers favored the constructs. From the front lines, the soldiers willingly waded into melee combat, burning up as they engaged the elementals. From the back, blue electrical energy blasted into the elementals. Within a few minutes, the battle had been decided. The elementals fizzled in fury as they were driven back into the breach, or pulled apart; their arcane bonds weakening and then failing completely.

Without so much as a pause to cheer their victory, the survivors formed ranks on the far side of the room from you. Their posture is defensive, but it’s clear that they don’t expect to let you explore any deeper into the temple’s antechambers.

One of the spirits silently floats to the front of the line. With a deep sigh of resignation, he looks up with lifeless eyes and asks; “What do you want? What brings you to our hallowed temple?”

S1 E9 : Fustration

Haloisi knew frustration; so much knowledge, locked away mere inches from her seeking hands. Once again, she risked the descent into the ancient city and once more her thirst for knowledge was akin to a fish trying to breathe air. She almost struck the barrier in frustration. At least she had gained a copy of a history of the War of the Cleartear River, seemingly written in the Old City language. She was going to have to study it and unravel the ancient language.

Among the shelves, many of the texts were known to exist, but even so the progeny of the originals may contain errors proven by comparison the earlier copies. Of the many shelves, only the first she checked contained books of true rarity, volumes that Haloisi had never heard of or, even better, were known to have long ago perished. The library was mundane for its age or so it seemed, but as preserved as it had been by the now vile, loathsome barrier the tomes might as well be on the moon.

She rushed among the stacks reading the spines. It was only a matter of time before…

“Halt where you are, Lyra!” Haloisi ordered instinctually. The child had walked onto the only carpet the party had seen in the entirety of the Old City, laid out in front of a sizable altar. Sand and salt! That child was a constant trial, if oddly endearing.

“Everybody here! I ain’t movin’. Can I back up?” Lyra said, caution occurring to her a bit late. Haloisi shook her head and inspected the rug.

“Is the carpet magically imbued?” Thifal asked at a run.

“I like the carpet.” Axiomus drolled. The weave was a ratty mess.

“It is a pretty nifty carpet?” Lyra tried to cover her distress.

“The Skeleton exudes magic.” Haloisi extended her own magical aura and tested for vibrations. “Unholy.”

“Oh, goody.” Thifal grumbled.

“Anyone who is not lawful had best not go near the altar.” Haloisi concluded.

“Not sure how much he would like me. Or any of us, really.” Thifal said upon inspecting the runes.

He must have guessed the deity. Haloisi studied the runes herself. Erathis, a god of Justice. Haloisi knew her own alignment as the gods would reckon it was for the most part good. Not because she tried to be good, particularly, just that it was rarely necessary to do evil. But she had done evil, once. Maybe it was enough. She took a step back.

“Pleeease let me back up.” Lyra begged nervously.

“We should be fine as long as we follow the rules and laws of a Temple of Erathis.” Haloisi said, somewhat uncertainly.

“Didn’t we kinda break a rule by entering here?” Thifal said bluntly.

“That was the Queen’s law.” Haloisi shrugged.“Whoever that is.”

“You don’t belong here.” A voice spoke suddenly. The sound was decidedly ethereal in nature.

“Praise Erathis!” Nisa said. It was startling when Nisa spoke. She so often conversed only with the snap of her bowstring, when she wasn’t coddling that miniature, noisy human back at the Plump Pig.

“Praise Erathis!” The spirit replied, somewhat rotely. “What business do you have in the Temple of Erathis? Why have you disobeyed the Queen’s order?”

“We seek information.” Thifal said. This was not the first spirit they had encountered since entering the portal to the library nor, Haloisi suspected, would it be the last. This tact had not worked so far.

“Do you praise Erathis?” The spirit challenged.

“Yes! Praise Erathis!” Lyra stammered.

“We are caretakers of knowledge, in, uh, Erathis’ mighty name!” Haloisi’s mouth twisted. Perhaps she could commune with Ioun, but to be a dogmatic follower of such a frivolous social construct as ‘Justice,’ she would never.

Axiomus tried the Unliving language again. Haloisi had abandoned the language as completely unuseful. Its native speakers had not yet had anything intellectually nourishing to say. Haloisi refused to commit the cerebral resources to such a knowledge-poor language.

“You do not belong here. The queen has forbidden it.” The spirit decreed. Haloisi sighed. Here we go again. Both Lyra and Axiomus tried to argue in the wraith’s own useless language, but as Haloisi suspected it was far too weak minded to be appealed to with polite discourse and the conversation devolved naturally into death threats.

While her party continued to reason with a creature who lacked the capacity for anything other than dogma and scripted behavior, Haloisi tried for the fourth time to extract the name of this ‘Queen.’ As usual, they ignored her request but responded to all other queries. Haloisi stopped short of offering to play Fourteen Questions to eliminate possibilities.

Lyra tried a different tact, and feigned loyalty to the Queen Who Apparently Must Not Be Named. Haloisi readied her crossbow.

“The Queen will re-awaken!” The spirit vowed. Well, that was new.

“Does this queen have a name?” Haloisi asked again.

“Praise Erathis!” The spirit regurgitated. Thifal murmured something about Gleam and Glimmer that Haloisi did not catch. “The Green besmirched us. She is dead and should stay dead. The Queen will arise! Come spirits! Defend our temple!”

The party frustratingly continued to attempt parlay. The spirits had no further knowledge, that was clear. It was almost as if they had been robbed of whatever little wit one who would follow a god of ‘Justice’ was born with. The spirits professed a hatred of the dragon, Glimmer. No great revelation there.

Battle raged once more. The spirits launched bars of energy as cold as the grave in straight lines. The party scattered. Their latest companion, this Fletcher Callahan, flitted among the ghosts as if he were a ghost himself. He was well worth his share of any take they might haul away from the ancient temple. Except the books. No one was worth parting with those.

“What does your god say about the Queen?” Thifal attempted reason once more.

“The Queen tells us what the God says. He only speaks through her.” The spirit intoned. Well, bollocks.

“Your Queen is not talking to Erathis.” Thifal said earnestly.

“You lie! She commands, we obey!” The spirit summed up his usefulness in that one sentence, in Haloisi’s mind.

“That is standard stuff for taking power from the people.” Thifal said. “Happens all the time.”

“Your Queen is a liar.” Haloisi said, disgusted. “You have bound yourselves to a liar in the name of your god.”

“It is not our place to question! Only obey!” The spirit circled back again. “We do not need to understand, we need to obey.”

They fought on, until the creature healed itself. The magic was holy, to Haloisi’s great relief. She was concerned that the former followers of Erathis were fully consumed by the dark aura around them. The others among the party exchanged similar feelings plain on their faces.

“Weird, that burst of light did not hurt.” Lyra said.

“My wounds have closed.” Axiomus observed.

“It is healing, Child. You simply must study!” Haloisi accused. “It is Divine magic, so you would not have felt else but its effects.”

“You are disobedient. How are you healed?” The spirit struggled against the hold this ‘Queen’ had upon it.

“It follows a holy god, but has been tricked.” Thifal pronounced the obvious.

“You have been fooled, Spirit.” Haloisi said.

“The Queen commands! You are most foul!” The spirit railed. “You besmirch the temple!”

“Your magic has proven we are not most foul!” Lyra protested.

“Commune with your god. His will supersedes your Queen.” Haloisi said. The spirit contorted, twisted. “Fight it, Spirit! I know you are just!”

The spirit struggled, then finally its unholy aura faded to the barest shadow of its former power. They tried to speak further, but the spirit fled back to its Queen. A queen who will surely kill it, Haloisi thought, frustrated at the exercise. They could have easily done the same without all the effort.

Haloisi continued to study the altar from afar as Thifal communed with the altar of Erathis. He began to glow, and seemed to be having a conversation with Erathis himself. Now, that was interesting. Haloisi tried to eavesdrop, but heard nothing.

“Pray as you like, Cleric. We are after all in the Holiest of places.” Haloisi nodded in satisfaction. “A library.”

“Erathis is a holy god. He does not mind us being here, in fact seems grateful.” Thifal said finally. Well, that was good to know.

Haloisi returned to perusing the books. She wanted all of them. Every one. But… Well, dammit. As welcome as the barrier was for protecting the texts, it did its job far too well. It was time to move on.

Season One, Mid-season Interlude V

Way out to the east of Moonsong City, the men and women of the wood walkers were gathering. The intrusions of goblinkin into the human settlements on the far eastern end of the Menogyn Plains was beginning to become more than just an annoyance. Something was driving those creatures to be more aggressive, take more risks in their raids, and be more brazen than they had in many, many years.

Whispers of the gruesome goblinkin champions that had begun to lead more of the raids spread among the wood walkers. They were the ones who kept guard against the wilds of the woods of the east. They were the ones who made the rest safe. Many would claim to be a descendent of one of the old Golden Heroes from long ago. And for many, it would be a true statement. The human warrior Guss had had many children and even more grandchildren. For years the statues of the old warrior had scared off the goblinkin; kept them at bay. But now, more and more of the statues were found broken and tipped over. The goblins of the east wood had discovered their courage and were coming.

Season One, Mid-season Interlude IV

The inn had been overly busy for days and it was starting to annoy Maya. She’d always been a little ornery and now she’d just about had enough of the increased workload. Clyde snickered a little quietly. She’d never really been grateful enough to Abbie for Clyde’s taste, and her fairly easy job hadn’t been as easy these last couple of days. Good for the young woman to work hard for a change.

This wasn’t to say that Clyde was any happier about the increase patronage either. There was a member of those thugs who had roughed up the place sitting at the bar. Clyde’s smirk turned into a scowl as he reflected that if he could pick out that one, there were probably a couple more that were more discreet. The obvious one would be to keep his attention centered there. He really wished Abbie would listen to him and have a little more security. She was too good to him to let him pretend that he could still handle this place, but his days of being able to break up a street brawl were likely well in his past.

He’d have to hope that the heroes who frequented here could handle it. He’d try to pull that young man Axiomus out of his beer, or maybe the Dwarf and warn them of what he was noticing. They might need to find better dwellings if they didn’t want to expose Abbie and that nice farm family to trouble that he might not be able to handle.

Season One, Mid-season Interlude III

Jill watched her parents work around the inn. Mostly people didn’t seem to notice her, but every time she stole a look for Abbie, somehow Abbie would know and be there with a welcoming smile.

Abbie would occasionally give her things to do, little tasks around the inn and Jill was happy to have them. When she had stumbled into Nisa outside the city, she couldn’t have believed that people could be this nice. The incident with the guards had been traumatic. The jobs gave her a chance to meet some other people in the inn. Abbie said it was as full as it had ever been. Jill would hear people talking about hoping to catch a glimpse of the “heroes”. It made Jill smile because she already knew them… and even better they knew her!

Things seemed safer now. Her parents missed the farm, and Jill was a little put off by the closeness and the volume of people, but it was certainly better having some protection. She remained quite awestruck by Nisa. When Nisa was gone with the others, Jill will keep the elf statue they had given her close. She hoped that by paying careful attention and saying some prayers she had heard Thifal say, she would at least help the gods watch over Nisa and her friends.

Season One, Mid-season Interlude II

Deep in the Black Lady Mountains, far to the east of Moonsong City, in the ancient dwarven outpost called The Grim Watcher, deep within the vaults of it’s most hallowed halls, a warm light began to fill a trophy chamber. The dwarves who had the honor of guarding these most precious artifacts stood stunned.

Oathbound, silent for nearly 500 years, was coming awake.


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