Candy and Cultists

They were gone such a long time, I should have followed them. Hard to do when your quarry is literally hunting. Just be patient, she tells me, it’s just a hunt, can’t follow them in the wastes, can I? But they all made it back, the whole blasted pack of them.

Shopping again. What IS their fascination with that strange little man and his junk shop? I was in there once, and he has a ring that will literally Kill You if you get knocked out. Ilse thinks it’s a good idea, but No Way, I’m not dying just because I trip and hit my head after a night out drinking in this godsforsaken waste.

The little traitors are really on a shopping roll today, but everyone else is arguing about taking a group name! For Hours! They argued about it All Over Town! Seven Seekers, WOLVERINE, Folly’s Hammer, The Bold and the Beautiful??? The littlest traitor keeps shooting down every idea they have. The tall fancy drow wants something his mother would be proud to hear. Ugh! Jonas seems stuck on WOLVERINE for some reason. It’s definitely capitalized by the way he’s saying it. No one else likes it though, thank the gods. Noble Fragments? Well they certainly have a fragmenting noble with them. That’ll make writing reports easier at least.

Finally back in for the night, wish I could get inside. Oh, the littlest traitor is out to the stables, maybe she’ll have something interesting. No, just some sick little gobbo. Good! She’s getting the metal one, can automatons be traitors? They usually just have programming. Maybe we could fix it. Kid seems better though, off and running, and everyone’s in for the night. Or not. The local boy’s off to his brothers’ for the night, asks them about sick kids – poison. Well, now that’s interesting.

The little traitors are up and out early today, best wait for Jonas. He’s with the drow and the waste girl today. They go to talk to the priests and some healers, asking about the kid, or is it kids? Poison again, visions of horrible tentacle monsters. Well, that’s just creepy. Down to the Creets and now they’re talking to children. Taking candy from strangers? Who Does that? Now they’re talking to an old Hag fortune teller. I can’t really hear her, thick mud walls and all. The rest of the folk arrive and he fills them in – an old gnoll preacher who is here on weekends. Well, I guess that’s why they take it. Local boy wants to go to the guard and heads off, but everyone else just goes back home. Well, except the littlest traitor – she’s down with the Crazy Harpy. Not really a harpy, I think she’s a Draconian survivor, actually.

So boring over the next few days. They stay home and train or read or whatever the hell they do inside there. Until it’s finally the weekend. I almost missed them Saturday. Up so early and heading right back for the Luxon’s Favor. Hiding around the space. The little traitors turning into gobbo folk, the autognome heading in to have his fortune read. Jonas and the Drow wait in a side street while the other locals hide up in the alleys.

Here comes their target – a ragged old gnoll, tattered robed, sundered chain shirt, a drooling mess. “A Vision to Change the World, A Purpose for Everyone” and “Destruction is coming, stand safe with Them” “Through Unification we can live forever” and “Some who wander, Are lost. We can help you find your way.” You can tell this is the extent of his common, clearly memorized sounds not words. Jonas and the Drow approach him and he hands them flyers. The silly sot tries to talk to him, but he has no clue what he’s saying. Seems to understand the preacher at least, if not able to speak his language. Looks like a lot of growling and spittle from here, but he stands it. Jonas just stares uncomprehending. Why am I even following this simpleton? “No, I don’t want to eat the children.” Wait, what? What are they talking about. Oh, he’s trying to figure out how to join this guy’s cult. It doesn’t seem to be going well. The gnoll gives him a bunch of candy, though, and they walk away.

Guards? They were waiting on guards? This guy is poisoning kids and recruiting to some weird cult and they’re talking to guards? Ugh! I’d kill him myself if we were home. Look, see, he’s running now. What did you think was going to happen? Jonas is FLYING? What? How? OH! Ouch! Headfirst into a mud hut. Moron, I tell you. Oh, well, the locals caught him at least, beat him up good, but he looks like he’s still breathing. Shame. They’ll probably kill him anyway, all legal like.

Oh! What’s this? The littlest traitor has a price on her head? 100g? Eh, not really worth it unless she goes wandering down to the Harpy on her own again. Easy money. Damn, the drow noticed, now they’ll probably keep a closer eye on her. Oh well, stay on mission. Watch the traitor and Report.


Poisons and Useless Adults

Hey, guess what we did? Yep, more spell hunting. These guys are relentless, can they even Cast all these ridiculous things they want to find? I’ll go see if I can help, not much else to do around here if they’re all busy. Study, you say? Study what? It’s nearly Fall Break.

They are all convinced the Auditorium must hold more secrets, so we head back. There’s no tub for mana this time, thank goodness! Remy’s been a bit more touchy since the last time. They all scatter about, and I hang out near the stage. Dalish says there’s something else going on around the stage, but Maribeth is too afraid of getting boo-ed to go up there. Dalish goes and finds brooms, but then Klyce and Remy find some cue cards up in the rigging.

They spend a lot of time playing with those. Apparently if you write something on one, and an actor asks for his line, it appears on his hand. But no spell appears when they do this, so it has to be something else. They go around and around for awhile. Eventually writing the line “How do we find illusory script?” The voice in the audience answers that one, though. “Not like that.” They try writing “And then he discovered the magic spell.” This one works, and they get a spell, but I can’t see it. Besides, I’m too busy trying to find the voice in the audience, so I can sit in its seat.

Then Gerhardt finds magic on the balcony rail. This leads to some rather crazy behavior. Whispering on stage does nothing, but shouting and screaming from the balcony casts the silent spell. Only, it doesn’t appear anywhere for them. Remy breaks the railing and brings part of it down to see if it silences the voice, which it does, but still no spell. Then someone looks inside the railing tube, and notices it is written on the inside. The boys with pets send them inside so they can see the writing, but only two of the guys can do that. Klyce transforms his hands into claws and cuts open the tube so everyone else can get the spell.

We all check around the building some more, and just as we’re about to leave, Dalish remembers the brooms. He and Remy have a sword fight with them, and Dalish pretends to die. He gets Feign Death floating above his head. It takes Remy a couple tries to make the death look real. Klyce isn’t a good actor. Gerhardt tells a death joke about Socrates, and he gets both spells at once! Maribeth tries it with a ray of sickness, a cup and everything. I think she deserves the spell, but the stupid magic doesn’t.

When it’s time to head to Nat’s house, the school provides carriages and we ride out with no adult supervision. We ride all day until it gets dark and the horses get tired. So, we pull off and make a small camp. Some people sleeping on the ground, and the rest of us in the carriages. We argue about setting watches, after all we’ve been through, and eventually agree on who will watch.

Partway through the night, there’s a bunch of shouting. Brigands have come to rob us! Oh goodness! It’s terrible! Klyce tries to get them to leave, because we have magic and they don’t. But they already stabbed Dalish and shot a couple of people. I toss one in the air to try to help convince them to go, but they just don’t. When they’re all down, we start hearing hoofbeats. Lots of hoofbeats, so we get the horses to run! A bunch of natives come out of the woods and start chasing us and shooting at us, but we just keep running.

Nat got poisoned by an arrow, so we just keep pushing the horses until we get to town and head up to the family estate. The servants meet us at the gate and help carry Nat inside. Nat’s parents come down, and almost spill the secret before shuffling us off to bed. We’ve told them everything, surly the’ll take care of it.

But the dreams come again. Showing me a huge lake, with hills and fields. And it’s all pulsing, beating. To the north, I feel a weak, fast heartbeat, seperate from the ground. The voice comes again. “She approaches. Burning as the sun. She approaches. Long wither is broken. Fire and destruction. Death and rebirth. World without end.” The heartbeat vanishes. I know it’s Nat when I wake with a start. Nat’s in danger!

I run down and find Nat’s room. Kendrick and Mahalla and a doctor stand over the bed. Nat is really sick and will die, they tell me. Will die unless more of the poison can be gotten. I implore, but none of them seem willing to go risk their lives for Nat. I storm out, yelling at them that we’ll go do it, just keep Nat alive. It’s the middle of the night, though, we can’t go now. I go back to bed until morning.

Rousing at my usual time, I go down to meet everyone at breakfast, but most of them don’t show up. I fill Remy and Gerhardt in and we go find everyone else. It takes a lot to convince Maribeth to get out of bed, she did not fare well with our fight and flight to get here. Remy goes to pack everything we will need to travel. The rest of us talk to Mahalla about the natives in the area. They are called Cree and they are very ruthless and angry. Great… just great.

We head out, going back to our campsite and setting up watch for the night. Half-hoping that they’ll show up again, but they don’t. In the morning, Maribeth follows their tracks back into the forest, past warning signs of blood and bone, and out to a hilly plain, with a lake in the distance. I confirm this is where we are supposed to be. Maribeth knows a bit about these people, so she makes a little nature doll of the Green Witch to show our peaceful intent.

We start to head towards the village at the edge of the lake. The people come out and surround their homes, a drumbeat starts. I don’t like this, at all. Maribeth steps forward and a woman from the village matches her. Remy follows at a slight distance, and two men step out to match from the village. I step out to match their numbers, but two more step out, so I step back, and so do they. Maribeth meets the woman and they speak quietly for a bit. When she comes back, she tells us that the poison was not proper, and they are going to speak to the one who shot Nat.

We wait a long time before the woman reappears, and when she does, it is with an offer for single combat for the poison. We ask for details of what is allowed and are told anything for weapons, including magic. We have a bit of a fight over who will stand, mostly Remy fights, though no one is arguing with him. We decide on Remy and head forward. T’he’chak the wolf introduces himself and the fight begins. He’s a lot bigger and stronger than Remy, and eventually, even Remy’s magic cannot hold out. Klyce manages to shame T’he’chak into not killing Remy and we walk away.

The woman, however, stops us and takes Maribeth into the village to meet their witchwoman. When she returns, she has the poison we need, so we hurry back to Nat as fast as we can.