Open Heart

Deep Ruins and the Return to Open Heart
Scribe's note: Forgive the lack of characterization; lots of time constraints, so these notes are going up relatively unedited from how they were originally recorded.


  • We open in the room with the "tongueless Drow fukboi", who is unwilling to let us pass. Velvet the Barbarian isn't here anymore (and we don't think that's important).
  • We leave the Drow alone for now. We head back to the Wight room to search for alterenative routes that don't involve murdering. Kun Saldo finds a lfoor panel that seems to have an underground river beneath it. Eido "roughs up" the floor. It's not very effecctive.
  • We choose another door to approach. Kun Saldo senses cooking.
  • We choose another door to approach. Kun Saldo senses incense.

    • Lucíen walks in. There is incesnse burning on a brazier. The room is appointed like a bedroom. Nobody is inside. We search the room and turn up a pouch of spell components.
    • Kun Saldo points out that the fire is drugs, and extinguishes it. Not finding any secret exits, we leave the room.
  • We turn a corner in the corridor and come across an elf hiding.

    KS: Ho – what's your business here?
    Elf: Hi, Bye, jus leaving. Some shit's going down. Someone is murdering everyone and a flood is coming, You should go find Kessa.
    Lucíen: Which way is the downstairs?
    Elf: Oh, to the dig? I thought they found the thing, and stopped. Is that what Kessa wants?
    Lucíen: … yes?

  • Lucíen recognizes the elf as "Boris" Yenjin. He had triedbeing an adventurer. He stole the feather and a note, and is leaving. He hands over the feather and a note.
  • Grease suddenly covers the floor beneath us, and we roll for initiative! We turn around and see Kessa2 and a human in chainmail. Kun Saldo turns into a giant snek, and we seriously mess up their day while Boris runs away.
  • Water starts flooding in from the direction that Boris ran from.
  • In an obvious ploy to get to more treasure, Lucíen tries to get the tongueless fukboi to leave. The fukboi stands resilient.
  • We run for the exits. When we get to the courtyard, a paladin battalion is waiting. Lucíen quietly steals the Kluka tube that Eido has been carrying. Some of the paladins are clearing the ground in front of the deep ruins, revealing a mosaic of a tree with several unusual objects hanging in its branches. (From left to right, there is a cup, a coin, a key, a feather, and a horn).

    Captian Raiph: We're hear to take the oath breaker to trial.
    Eido: The other one?
    Raiph: No, you.
    Eido: We're here on a mission from Lady Cressa!
    Raiph: Cressa? Really?
    Eido: Yeah! We're stopping a death bird cult.
    Onari: … or their contractors or something
    Raiph: The bird cult is only one branch of this tree.
    Colibri recognizes the five items in the tree as iconography of five secular houses, nmot religious imagery.
    People and half orcs start exiting from the flooding building. One of the half orcs is dragging Jamhand's body. (Jamhand being a werewolf from episode 1). Another looter is carrying away an urn of anti-magic-bog-much.
    Raiph: These 5 icons relate to the five people who abused magic.
    Eido: I wanna see sir stafford when we get back.
    KS: Let's go back to Open Heart and talk to Cressa.
    Raiph: She's, like, super missing. The staff can't find her, so we came for Eido instead.
    Raiph: Eido, if you will come with Honor, I will escort you back to Open Heart.
    Us: Kay. We need to go there to stop the Apocolypse anyways.
    Raiph: You're defintely worrying about nothing. In order to start the apocalypse, you need:
        - A descendant of the original 5, probably a virgin. (sidenote: Cressa, who is missing, probably is a descendant, and is of questionable unicorn status)
        - A temple w/ 5 sarcophogi that nobody knows the location of
        - 5 artifacts (we have the cup, coin, feather, Hero has the key, Cressa, who is missing, hid the horn)
        - like, a grip of blood
        - A sunken island of Minotaur-Düm (… okay, so maybe this one already happened and isn't a problem for the enemy)
        - A double eclipse probably? Which is in like two days, so, no rush or anything
We head back to Open Heart. Kun Saldo can feel double-eclipse magic wonkiness already starting; the air seems tor crackle with power. On our way into the city we are stopped by a security detail. We overhear the guard telling Raiph that the Open-Heart staff casters believe that Cressa is still somewhere in Open Heart.

Raiph tells Eido that his Trial will be in several days; but the doom-eclipse is in two days, so maybe we'll worry about that later. For now, we go search Cressa's house. Kun Saldo turns into a god-damn saber-tooth tiger and smells that there have been creatures of several species tromping through the house. Smells like two male humans, Lady Cressa, and the drow witch Kessa. KS follows the scent to the catacombs, where he also picks up the smell of Hero.

We descend.

Message in a bottle
Sharing is caring


[Some of you have been taking home the various messages you've gotten and some of you have left them behind.   I'm putting a few things out on the table, but I can't find one that I wanted to resurface so I'm pasting a version of it here for your reference.   Love, the DM.]

There were magic artifacts at the time of the Crisis of Power [hundreds of years ago] which were meant to be unmade, but no one is sure if they were.  At the time, there was an urgent sense of needing to destroy all capacity for advanced magic including overly powerful magic items, but of course selfish interests would have prevailed and anyone possessing such an item would have sought to hide it somehow for later retrieval once the hysteria subsided.

More from Hero
A friendly amendment

You have found these notes you took for yourself when Hero was reunited with you a few hours ago:  


  1. Hero separated from the party so they could cover more ground and so he could more inconspicuously enter the grounds in search of anything that might help him remember his quest.  
  2. He is sure that he is supposed to be here to collect something to take to his master.
  3. He has heard that a werewolf has been captured and the werewolf’s blood is needed for something important.  
  4. He has also overheard people talking about some great disaster that has disturbed the oceanic tides, which is having some kind of impact on already-laid plans.  
  5. The iconography in the small chapel (room 25) has reminded him that there is a feather here, a sacred item, that must be collected.  It is a very powerful magic item, one of a set of very powerful magic items which are going to be important for something that’s going to happen.   
  6. The mosaic tile floor in the courtyard showed a double eclipse, which is when the most powerful and important events tend to occur.  The double eclipse offers the Otherworldly Powers unusual opportunities to bring gifts to us. 



Deeper and Deeper
the further I go

5th day of the conjuncture cycle 
10 days until the grand alignment

As my previous message indicated, we have reached a lower level of the deathbird's temple by means of a secret tunnel which led us to a hallway guarded by worgs. Taming one and discrediting the other, we are now ready to take on nearby guards. At each end of the hallway are closed doors, only one of which proves to be locked by a very secure lock. It failed to yield to either Lucien or Onari. (I was unaware Onari had such skills and have noted this for the future.)  

Moving on, the unlocked door at the other end of the tunnel reveals a room full of goblin guards and worgs. Lucien and Eido attempt to bluff them into going upstairs to aid Clarity (whom you may recall we previously dispatched), but fail. Combat ensues, and luckily Colibri seems to have learned a devastating fire spell, obliterating half of our opponents in one fell swoop. However, we're left with a pack of worgs and a few goblins who are quite determined to defend their territory. We begin to pick them off one by one, but one of the goblins escapes, and there is a significant price to be paid in blood. Both Onari and Eido are downed before we manage to vanquish the final foe. Sadly, we find our various healing resources to be significantly depleted and cannot do much more than awaken our unconscious party members. 

A search of the room yields a few scattered coins of little consequence, a ring of keys, and pouches of fragrant herbs worn by each of the goblins. I surmise that the herbs are a training tool for the worgs, allowing them to easily discern friend from foe, so each of us dons one of the pouches. 

Given our general condition, we decide that a rest is in order, and we return to the secret tunnel. We dare not take a significant rest, but a moment to regroup and catch our breaths seems prudent. 

During our rest, we have a brief discussion to inventory the artifacts we've acquired that are somehow related to the ritual that must be performed during the grand alignment. (Onari insists on calling it "the double eclipse," and then exclaiming, "What does it mean?" What a strange fellow.)

At this time we possess:

  • many vials of blood of various types
  • the Blood Goblet we acquired from the mirror pocket world
  • the animated painting of Kluka which is perhaps most troubling now that we are aware that she may be one of our foes
  • the magic coin acquired in Minotaurdûm
  • many keys acquired from the Hedgehog Forest's bogs, although…
  • we suspect that the key within our dubious ally, Hero's, chest compartment is actually the primary artifact required for the ritual

…and so we continue our search for the deathbird's feather. 

Emerging from hiding back to the worg-guarded hallway we find that the room of our previous battle is still empty of combatants, and the locked door is still locked. We try all of the keys acquired in our previous battle and discover that none of them open the door. (I tried to explain to Onari earlier that nobody entrusts goblin guards with anything truly important, but he insisted that one of those keys must surely work.) While debating our next course of action, we hear the door lock mechanism unlock itself. Most curious. Before we can take another action, the door opens, seemingly of it's own volition. 

The room beyond is of a strange design. It appears to be a laboratory of some kind with two slab-like work tables in the middle and a viewing gallery around the top approximately ten feet above the main floor. The six goblin cultists armed with swords, and the seven archers placed around the gallery would seem to indicate that a trap has been set for us. This is further confirmed by a loud mechanical sound that appears to unleash two owlbears who waste no time in rushing the door. Moving quickly, we close the door and move halfway down the hallway. After some muffled thumps and scratching at the door, it finally reopens, and at this point things get a bit chaotic. I don't remember all of the particulars now, but as we begin picking off enemy combatants one by one with ranged weapons one of the owlbears closes on our position and the leader of the temple's barbarian allies, Velvet, appears to have switched sides and approaches from behind to lend his aid. (He later informs us that the death cult has betrayed his people and must be stopped.) 

However, the true savior of the day is Colibri who appears to have puzzled out, at least partially, how the magic coin works. He asks Onari to retrieve a vial of owlbear blood which he then drops the magic coin into. He holds the concoction aloft and yells, "Owlbears! Hear me!" As the owlbears turn rapturous attention upon him he orders them to turn on their goblin allies. The ensuing fight finds both owlbears slain by the goblins and the few remaining goblins dispatched by a minor effort on our part . 

It turns out that the thing upon the slab was likely human at one time, but the poor fellow had been the subject of rather gruesome necromantic experiments. Finding nothing pertinent to our current mission, we put him out of his misery. 

Noting that our party's resources are even more depleted than before and being incapable of healing most of the damage we received in this combat, we begin discussing the virtues of a more thorough rest. Luckily, this room can be easily locked from the hallway where we entered, but there is another door in this room, so we will likely have to figure out what's beyond that before seriously considering any sort of rest. Having taken a moment to write this while the party bickers about what to do next, I shall sign off for now. 

Until next time,
Yours in faith and Keeper of the Balance,


A Lack of Clarity

As if threat of punishment from the Order wasn’t enough, one look from mother could slice through any falsehood. I was never good with lying. I don’t know what I’m going to say to the party about the new powers awakening in me.

Just when we thought this day was a bust, Hiro appeared out of nowhere to brighten our day! He shared with us lore he learned while exploring the ruins on his own. Mosaics in the temple suggest that a double eclipse is believed to be in the near future. Hiro has been on a quest from his master to find a (real or not real) magical feather in preparation for some important event. Could the eclipse be this event?

Ever curious for truth, Colibri brain-probed the mind of an acolyte we had captured. That honestly sounds pretty invasive. Is that ethical???…Anyway he learns that the acolyte’s god, the Death Bird, is prophesied to enter this world during the double eclipse. The Death Bird oversees the passage from life into death…and sometimes death back into life. That doesn’t sound THAT evil, I mean are we SURE the undead aren’t capable of agency and altruism? Should the acolyte’s mission be successful, he thinks he’ll be rewarded with eternal rest and an exit from the cycle. The feather is a metaphor. (what the heck is this feather everyone is talking about). Someone named Ke$ha is their leader? We pressed onward.

I will not discuss the rooms. Saldo and Inari, how their taunting stung.

A few magic-free moments later, and we disturbed the peace of the paladin dedicated to the Death Bird religion…the paladin my Order warned me about…This paladin, Clarity, was suspicious of our presence, and yet Saldo is able to conjure balderdash right from the ether and convince Clarity that we’re miners turned around…”clarity”my ass. He directs us to the guards…whom we had recently slain.

Not wanting to cause unnecessary conflict, we left until we could come up with a better plan. We continued exploring door to door, with Lucien and Saldo entering the orc commander’s chamber. I heard a faint “snikt” and a “splort” (kinda like dropping a watermelon), and they emerged from the chamber. We quickly left, but shortly after heard a loud cheer in the distance. Realizing that we would soon have to face violence, we made a beeline straight for Clarity. By the time we turned the corner, he was already leaving his room expecting a fight, with the rest of the orcan guard at his side. By combining forces, we overwhelmed Clarity and negotiated the end of the fight. Classic mercenaries, they were happy to raid Clarity’s room and leave the ruins.

The mercenaries were not thorough, as Lucian found an unidentified wand and an old note:

“At the time of the double eclipse & assuming the island has been successfully submerged, the rising tides shall activate the water-machine to to open the sarcophagi. The Items of Power MUST be brought to the crypt or all will be lost – to our great horror and death”  ~Kluka

Well that created more questions than answers. The note was nearly ONE THOUSAND years old. Have we been carrying around the Big Bad this whole time? Was the wizard working for her, or did Kluka murder him? Are we delivering the ingredients to this ritual right to her doorstep? So much to debate, but no time to do so.

We continue onward again, finding ourselves in the kitchen with a few more mercenaries. We quickly engaged in battle, with the mercenaries transforming into monstrous boar forms. The fight does not last long, and we found ourselves with yet another vial of wereblood. Might as well take it, I guess? Onward again, and Lucian led the way to two chained up wargs blocking our entry. Saldo used the full extent of his dog-whispering to pacify the one warg, but was unable to quiet the second. He comes up with a pretty smart plan to bother the wolf enough until the guards stop responding to him. Sure enough, we eventually re entered the room to find the second warg content with a piece of meat.

I’m concerned for where this mystery is going, and for what we are yet going to find. Are we stopping some great pending cataclysm, or are we hastening it’s arrival? What will actually happen during the double eclipse? A sarcophagi (hehe I still remember throwing one out the window) probably means powerful undead to fight. What of the voice inside though? Is it related to what we’ve been finding? It’s call is growing stronger, and the party is quite suspicious of me. I’m afraid for what my order might think and do if they find out. I’m not even sure I can defend my righteousness when I have taken quite a few number of lives.

Swamp in a Sand Castle? I never.

Ah… so we head to the desert. Hiro, the mechanical man… the man-like machine… whatever, directed us to the deep ruins. I have my reservations about him, however. He is the first of his kind that I have laid eyes upon, and if my companions are to be believed, I am not the only one receiving messages about even greater hands at work to hasten our undoing. Hiro may seem docile and helpful now, but who is to say what end he means to serve? In any case, with the time growing shorter for the world's fate, any lead, even if it may be a trap, is better than none. If anything, we may get closer to learning who is behind these machinations. Hiro, hmm? We shall see.

Eido has been stranger and stranger as of late. And, if I am not mistaken, has been dabbling in the arcane. While I am not up to speed on all the different faiths out there, I am pretty certain that no god grants servants to carry keys… If this is not a divine gift then, as much as it pains me, I will have to report this. No chances can be taken with the arcane and the untrained. But that is neither here nor there. And where are we? The desert.

The locals have informed us that there have been an unusual amount of sandstorms as of late. At the mention of this, Lucien broke out into an unfamiliar tune. He did this as we were being told of the storms. Taking offense, the locals started to refer to him as "Da Rude." Indeed. Despite this, we learned that it was our misfortune that many of these storms had affected the area where the supposed deep ruins were located. Not only was there a danger that the roadways would be blocked, but even if we were to get there, the ruins could be covered in sand.

Luckily the road was not as difficult as anticipated and our travel, thankfully, was uneventful. Soon we came upon, what looked to be, parapets jutting out of the dunes. Saldo took a quick survey of our surroundings and quietly announced, "Someone or something has taken occupancy here recently." In response, Lucien sent out his owl to inspect further. After a few minutes the owl returns and Lucien reports, "There is smoke coming from a building in the distance. There are also some guards on the lookout. We can't see them from here because they are taking refuge in the shade."

Saldo, in his fashion, took the form of a giant cat and furtively headed towards the structure. Taking his cue, Lucien and Onari, give me and Eido a quick nod and instruct us to create a distraction when we get the signal. Before I can ask what that means they are gone without a sound. Eido stared at me for clarity. I shrugged.

What seemed like hours passing is interrupted by Lucien's owl. Ah, the signal! Eido and I shake off our restlessness and head towards the gate of the half buried fort. A distraction? Well, of course! While a simple trick, I focus my mind on the image of a horn blaring out the arrival of royalty. The sound of fanfare erupts from our direction and the guards, formerly oblivious, were now at attention and headed towards the part of the parapet above what would have been the entrance.

"Who goes there?"

Eido answers before I can respond, "We are here on official business and you must let us in!"

"Oh, are you here to help with the mining?" Ah, this is curious, I thought.

"Uhh… yes, I mean, no!" Eido was sounding less convincing. "We are here to investigate some magical disturbances. You are hereby ordered to grant us entry!"

"Oh, is that so?" And that is when the first arrow flew passed my face. A horn is sounded and more guards appear. I will have to remember to enlighten Eido about subtlety and obfuscation at another time. For now, run!

Eido is less inclined to retreat and works his way up to the guards. Luckily, they are quickly being dispatched by our companions. Some silently, others, rended apart by giant feline claws. We try to reason with the last of them, but he refused and jumped off a ledge, using a spell to slow his descent. Unfortunately for him, giant cats are no stranger to dropping from great heights, and his slow descent meant a lifetime of terror as he haplessly awaited his doom at the fangs of Saldo patiently waiting below.

Behind the fortification we find more buildings, particularly, the one which had been described as emitting smoke. There was a chimney and Lucien was quick to suggest plugging it to smoke out its inhabitants. After a good amount of time, no one emerged. We unplugged the chimney and headed reluctantly into the building.

Inside we find what seems to be an empty building, a clever ruse, except that no abandoned building would have traps like this one did. These contraptions were no match for Saldo and Lucien's cunning, however, and we soon found ourselves in a hallway lined with urns. These were placed methodically along the walls every ten feet. And they stunk. The smell was familiar, and one that I would soon not forget. It was "water" from the swamp, and whatever strange effects this water had to exaggerate incendiary effects was not relegated to location. It seemed as though the effect was a property of the "water" itself and I found myself, again, quite useless. My magic hampered and unpredictable. Curses.

If the traps and the urns had not been enough indication that this was not an abandoned building then the sudden ambush from behind certainly confirmed it. Lucien uttered a spell and a wall appeared between us and our attackers. He put his finger to his lips, "Illusion." I rolled my eyes at him, "I know." A short sortie later and we are left with one ambusher left, an acolyte of sorts. Eido and Lucien try to interrogate him, but to no avail. We do, however, are able to get out of him that this "place of power" had been used for many divine purposes and there's was only the latest.

We continued to explore and Seldo finds and opens a hidden door. Within is a holy symbol consisting of a hammer and chisel, a "maker" god as Eido put it. Hiro is nowhere to be found.

Once More, Into the Drink!, Breach!

Brown Bear Mating Season, 4th Day of the Waxing Moon

In search of “the bog people” and answers to the myriad mysteries we have collected, our party descends into the bog using this strange device that the locals call a “bathosphere.” It’s a large sphere made of metal with circular glass windows that can be lowered into the water while maintaining a pocket of air within. It strikes me as being similar to using a reed to breathe underwater, but the bathosphere allows us to enter the depths of the bog together as a party and travel to a depth much greater than the length of a reed.

Descending to the mucky bottom, we see a half humanoid woman whose lower half is composed of swirling waters, and she has taken an interest in the bathosphere. As usual, we debate our course of action endlessly. We also discover that Arcane magic is suppressed by the waters of the bog. Colibri feels impaired and rather vulnerable without his spells, but he graciously consents to allow me use of the Water Breathing scroll he’s been carrying as it seems that divine powers are not affected by the waters even in the slightest.

Granted the ability to breathe underwater, the party departs the bathosphere, leaving Colibri and Klukaa behind to guard our retreat. As I exit, I assume a form more appropriate to the environment, a giant octopus. Shortly after our exit, the water woman, who Klukaa informs us is some sort of genie, decides to beat on the bathosphere. We attempt to dissuade her, but she seems determined. Eventually, in frustration, we attack her, and after a thorough beating she is driven off. We send the bathosphere to the surface, assuming that the explorers of the party will be able to make our way to the surface on our own.

On the mucky bottom we find many keys, 118 to be exact. Most of these are nondescript metal keys, but we also find five wooden and lacquer, three ivory, and one of intricate bone. Our group makes two other discoveries simultaneously. Eido, Onari, and myself discover a large half dome of glass containing subjugated kobolds. Lucien finds a half-buried statue of curious and diminutive size.

Eido and Onari converse with the kobolds, learning that these kobolds have been hiding at the bottom of the bog, awaiting the start of their rebellion. Meanwhile, Lucien seeks my aid in unearthing the statue, and I am shocked to discover that the “statue” is actually a seemingly deactivated Warforged of roughly Halfling size. At least, I assume that’s what it is as it matches the descriptions I’ve heard in campfire stories. Lucien sends a mental message via his owl, Victor, and asks Colibri to bring the bathosphere back down. Upon loading the warforged into the sphere, Colibri excitedly regales us all with the history of Warforged as a race, considered to be property by many but also recognized as possessing agency of their own and freed by some cities and countries.

Feeling that we have explored the depths enough for the moment, we decide to surface. At the time this seemed the right choice, but in retrospect I see that we uncovered yet more mysteries rather than any of the answers we sought. Unfortunately, as we surface, two events occur in rapid succession leaving no time to carefully consider our next action.

The Warforged awakens the moment we are no longer submerged. Luckily we thought to bind its limbs before surfacing. We learn that its name is Hero, and through subsequent questioning determine that it has been submerged in the arcane-suppressing bog for almost 500 years. It recognizes the names of some of the elven opponents we have faced, but knew them as lowly apprentices just getting their start in the world. Hero seems eager to continue on the last mission set by its master 499 years ago, but also unwilling to share the details of that mission with us. I inform Hero that we cannot release it until we know if its mission is related to our current quest or if it poses any danger to those people and places we hold dear.

As we disembark from the bathosphere but before we are finished negotiating with Hero, we see the town’s mayor running toward us, chased by Kobolds. At first, we think that the Kobold revolution has begun, but then we see that the Kobolds are, in turn, being chased by Lizardfolk. The major rushes past us, leaps into the bathosphere, and takes it into the depths. I shout a request to parlay with the Lizardfolk but am met with aggression. So be it. I entangle most them with mystic vines, and combat ensues.

We vanquish the Lizardfolk rather handily, and much to the surprise of everyone, Colibri manages to intimidate them into talking despite his short stature. We quickly ascertain that the Lizardfolk are only trying to reclaim their land and we secure an agreement to leave the bogs unmolested provided that we do so immediately.

Given little choice in the matter, we hastily depart the bog. Hero informs us that his next destination is “The Deep Ruins,” should we set him free. Luckily, Lady Cressa’s latest missive, delivered by a rather uncivilized and bloodthirsty messenger, also asks our party to investigate The Deep Ruins. Apparently a group of “questionable paladins and clerics are digging where things are best left buried.” Thus, we agree to take on Lady Cressa’s latest assignment and part ways with her messenger so that she may deliver our response. Rather than deal with lugging along a bound Warforged and recognizing that our goals are, at least for the moment, aligned, we also release Hero’s bonds. Thus, we set out for The Deep Ruins.

During our travels we discuss the mysteries we’ve uncovered and what we’ve learned thus far:

  • Many arcane spell casters have been killed in pursuit of one or more goals.
  • There is at least one person (or faction) who has either traveled forward in time or recently awakened from some sort of deep and slow-aging hibernation.
  • There’s a Dooms Day cult who may be responsible for the sinking of Minotaurdûm.
  • We have encountered several wild or anti-magic areas in the course of our travels.
  • Magic items have been hidden (or suppressed in some cases) since being outlawed, but they have started resurfacing lately. Our latest encounter with the Dwarves recovering magic items from the bogs (and laundering them through Minotaurdûm is only the latest example.

This concludes my report for now. Please send word if your wisdom or distance grants you insight into patterns that I am unable to see up close.

Yours in faith and Keeper of the Balance,

A Vast Improvement

Human paladin, open your heart to me and place your faith in me. You seek out light, but do you also seek out truth?

At last, he listens and responds to my call. Eido Tenebris, call upon my powers and I will reveal to you both light and truth.

The curious mortals continue traveling through their onion of mysteries. Thirsty for danger, they flee a sinking island and make a beeline to a dangerous hedgehog forest.

With a squick, squick, squick, the mortals trudge through a marsh, finding themselves at a boardwalk of Dwarven construction (You can tell by the precision of their right angles). The party finds two stout guards who share with the shirtless one their woes. Several younglings have gone missing, a distraction that appeals to most of the mortals. They swiftly set off across the boardwalk, in search of clues.

I can smell that the Weave is not balanced here. There is a certain…twist in the air. And a stench. The mortals would be wise not to…oh, the short one is now glowing.

Shirtless one discovers small tracks. They follow a mysterious light and voice. Classic trap.

As predicted, the less friendly inhabitants of the marsh reveal themselves. A party of malignant prunes and a mote ambush the party. The quiet and shirtless ones swan dive into harm’s way. In a flurry of sand, explosions, frogs, and enchantments, the party clashes with the hags. Eido at last calls upon my powers and…oh dear. I may have overestimated him.

The mortals danced on the edge of life and death, taking several claws and flames to the face. The quiet one speaks his last word, and falls to the ground. The party pools together their healing potions and wake the monk from death. Haha jk that would n…by the stars that actually worked.

Oh no he now speaks all the words.

Shirtless one tracks the hag-scent to a pool of quicksand. After educating the simpler members of the party on the dangers of quicksand, shirtless one morphs his body into something more octadextrous, and fishes out the bodies of the missing children. Seven are reclaimed, all at varying degrees of decay. The mortals return to the village and inform Darles of their children’s fate.

While resting after the haggard ordeal, the party learns of the brief history of this village. It had existed for a mere 18 months, serving as a base of operations for artifact salvaging. Perhaps the persistent scent of magic suggests something is still buried under the bog? This village has done business with the minotaurs, so their connection to the mystery so far is all but guaranteed.

Before the party gives in to their nocturnal obligations, they are warned to fasten their…”sleepbelt”…My vast cosmic mind cannot fathom what this means…until the shirtless and not-so-quiet ones are rustled awake by a collision… The huts themselves stand up and wander…and sometimes even fight each other. These huts, however, did not lust for blood…no, they had the traditional lust.

The following morning, the dwarves treat the party to a feast. A diminutive yappy servant sidles up to Eido and whispers into his ear, “Psst hey, the revolution is coming! Help free us!” Nothing can seduce him faster than the opportunity to liberate the oppressed. The fate of the party is all but sealed. The kobold, Lola, regales them with the story of her improved people, their democracy, and their enslavement to the dwarves. The kobolds have served this village since since it’s beginning, risking tail and scale for submerged artifacts. They dive into the dangerous depths with a massive metal chamber called a “bathysphere”…oh no. They’re already seeking out the mayor in pursuit of this bathysphere…How much deeper will they fall into peril??

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Minotaurdûm? More like Minotaurs: #doomed
An Excerpt from Lucien's journal

We had barely begun to parlay when Eido, incensed by some nonsense morality, decided that what we desperately needed then was to fight a necromancer. Bah.

She held high some kind of glowing talisman (amulet? other form of magical bullshit?), and our friendship with the accompanying beast men suddenly seemed… tenuous. They started growling at us. Very rude. Calibri, for his part, responded to this provocation with jokes, locking some of the Minotaurs in hideous laughter.

Kun Saldo and Onari begin attacking the sorceress, but found themselves slapping air as illusory mind tricks vanished under their blows. With her illusions dispelled, I made to attack the talisman (some kind of enchanted jar?), and succeeded in knocking it away. What I thought was an obvious pass to my companions turned into a bit of show; Eido tried to break it, then Calibri used still more bullshit to hoist the jar high above reasonable places to keep a fragile artifact of unknown power, and dropped it.

The thing shattered; I hope it wasn't important? It seemed too flashy and fragile, anyways. And then, the Minotaurs simply fell down. Ridiculous.

The sorceress lulled Eido and Kun Saldo into a magical slumber and turned invisible (which is a stupid amount of magical bullshit all at once) and tried to escape. Fortunately, we had her reasonably surrounded, and with quite some effort manage to strike her until she becomes visible again. Then she turned into a god-damn bird. Before the thing could fly away though, Calibri returned her favor and placed her under a sleeping spell. Sometimes I suppose it's nice for the bullshit to be on our side.

While she was unconscious, we tied her up, and roused Iannikus (but not the Eastern Minotaurs). We woke her and began our interrigation anew. She didn't say terribly much of particular use; we learned that she is working on behalf of some mysterious "masters" who have other agents. One interesting note: she mentioned that there was a "playbook", which was disbound and had its pages scattered.

We weren't interrogating her for long before the land quaked beneath us. As the eastern Minotaurs awoke it became clear that the entire minotaur island was sinking. Fast. We implored the sorceress to use her bullshit to stop this; she said she was willing to try. The eastern Minotaurs wanted to take her, but we weren't about to part with her yet when she is so obviously connected to these absurd happenings.

We headed southwest towards Smuggler's Cove. Along the way we found the bodies of Davhorn (né Boris) and Cruward. In some kind of strange death ritual, Onari tied the body of Davhorn to the wolf body of Kun Saldo.

While discussing our options, the sorceress did mention one more interesting tidibit here; she said "Everything interesting on the island leaves with us". I wonder what she finds interesting, but our follow-ups lead nowhere.

WHen Smuggler's cove came into view, we saw the Silent Market in chaos. Though the city hadn't yet fully sunk, parts of it were already submerged. Other bits were aflame, and amidst it all was bedlam and looting. Still in the harbor was the ship we originally sailed in on – we started into town with that as our destination. 

When we got close, we realized that a moat had formed around the town that we would need to cross. We managed to do so, but before crossing Kun Saldo left Davhorn's body behind. I didn't really understand why we were bringing it in the first plce, so… meh?

After some tricky maneuvering we crossed the river safely. In town we happened across the boy-werewolf ("Gaev"), in the midst of looting a chest from a building. I find myself liking the boy more and more; he has an enterprising soul. We pull him (and the chest) across another water trap in the city, and find that he's delivered to us a chest with a dozen healing potions inside! We liberate these from the boy and take him into our party for the journey back to the mainland.

After some deliberation, the remainder of the party decides that in order to minimize the cost of passage aboard the boat most of them would step into Kluka's other-worldly painted realm. I bear the painting along with my normal gear and negotiate passage abord the S.S. Minnowtaur (eventually costing four healing potions, ugh). Kun Saldo morphed into a vermin and crawled aboard as well, providing a nice backup, without additional outrageous expense.

Captain Moonray expertly navigated us safely back to the mainland, where I unfurled Kluka's painting and released the remainder of the party.

We find that we've received some correspondence while we were away at Minotaurdûm; Högni has sent me word of strange goings-on in Hedgehog Forest, and an old map showing an old path to the hidden bog. Kun Saldo has received a missive from the Lady Cressa asking us to return and deal with the catacombs full of living dead bullshit.

With minimal deliberation, we choose to follow my (obviously correct) information and head towards the hedgehogs. We make a stop to drop off Phaella (as we have learned that the sorceress is called), and the the eastern minotaurs with Colibri's circle of wizards.

While heading to the forests, I spent some time recalling Victor; it's surprising how much more comfortable I am knowing that he's there.

As we started to get close to the area depicted on the old map, we encountered a group of Kobolds. After a skirmish ended with several dead kobolds, a survivor tried to warn us off of going to hedgehog forest. He claims that there are rodents of unusual size; "Dire Hedgehogs". I don't think they exist. He further claimed that they were a group of "improved" Kobolds, who work for the dwarves that live in the bog. This all seems highly suspect to me…

Minotaurus Interruptus

Party PCs: Saldo, Eido, Onari | Lucien, Calibri (in absentia)
Party NPCs: Davhorn/Boris, Cruward, Gaev, Iannikus, Eastern Minotaurs
…and techically Kluka (rolled up in her canvas)

Persimmon Season, 2nd Day of the Waning Moon


We find ourselves battered but not beaten after dropping the Drow wizard. We have said wizard unconscious and wrapped in spidersilk, a shepherd boy cum werewolf, an extra gnome, a minotaur, and our core party. Before we can get too deeply into our usual lengthy discussion about next steps, an arrow strikes Cruward, the extra gnome. Quickly assessing our situation, we see three minotaurs dressed strangely, perhaps more crudely, than those we’ve seen before. Iannikus, our minotaur, informs us, “Those are Eastern Minotaurs. They should not be here. This is very bad.” He seems genuinely troubled, so we take this as permission to fight our attackers without pulling our punches. 

Much fighting ensues. We do our usual excellent job, by which I mean we barely scrape through, and there were many inappropriate minotaur jokes. (It’s interesting how our party tends to manage stressful situations with humor.) We dispatched the attacking group’s leader, sending her on to the next world. We were left with two unconscious minotaurs, one wounded and close to death and the other Calibri put to sleep at the beginning of our battle. This left us with someone to interrogate.


We learn a great deal from the Eastern Minotaurs.

  • Iannikus, our minotaur, has been banished from Minoturdûm and is, therefore, a fugitive within his own lands. This explains why he left our party to bluff our way off the ship we arrived on.
  • Minoturdûm is sinking, the entire island, and it's sinking faster on the Eastern side. There was some inconclusive discussion on whether or not this was the inevitable result of the island being split from the mainland or whether there might be some nefarious plot behind it. 
  • The Eastern Minotaurs are seeking "The Herald," whom they believe will tell them what to do. They seem to view this Herald as some sort of savior. Prophecy says that the Herald will pass through this village, but we all seem to have missed him or her. 
  • There is much discussion on whether or not the wizard we're seeking might be the Herald. No definitive conclusion is reached, though it seems probable unless there's yet another faction that we've yet to encounter. 
  • The Eastern Minotaurs confirm that the bog people are real and "somewhere on the mainland." This at least gives us a vague idea of where our fugitive wizard might be going next. 

During the course of our questioning we also ascertain that the Drow we've captured is not the Herald. However, Davhorn and Cruward confirm that this is the Drow who had taken possession of the Willford Estate and imprisoned each of them in different forms. Hoping to put an end to this chapter of our adventure and dissuade Davhorn and Cruward from continuing to follow our party, I asked them what sort of justice they were seeking, and after a short discussion I executed the Drow. Thus, we were able to convince 

We also realized that during the fight the young shepherd boy ran off. Lucien sent Victor to find him, but as of writing this report Victor has not yet returned. 

Given that our quarry has shown necromantic skills and no reservation in raising the dead to do her bidding, Eido also felt it prudent to dismember the corpses we were leaving behind. Onari performed some sort of last rites upon the bodies before Eido began his grizly work. I agree that it was a wise precaution, but I was also happy to leave the task to Eido.  

Given that our goals are at least momentarily aligned, we form a 24-hour truce with the remaining two Eastern Minotaurs who accompany us as we make our way back to the tower for a more thorough exploration. 


We find the tower empty but discover a well-concealed trap door on its lowest floor. This door reveals a ladder into a tiny room with another door. The stench of death is strong in this space, so of course Eido flings open the door. Zombies attack!

Upon defeating the zombies, Iannikus informs us that these were the last of his guard squad, so we hope there will be no more mintaur zombie gaurds in our immediate future. Given that we haven't had opportunity for a decent rest and the party is rather hurt we decide to retreat to the relative safety of the tower for a short rest. In hindsight, perhaps we should have pressed on, but I cannot argue that the rest was much needed. 

Continuing our exploration of the subterranean chambers we find a thoroughly ransacked storage room, clearly once stocked with supplies for withstanding a seige. More importantly we find an open tunnel which slopes upward, and this eventually leads us outdoors.

Now I must put away my pen, ink, and parchment, for we have bigger issues to deal with. At the end of the tunnel we were confronted by our fugitive wizard. Actually, there were several of her merging and moving together in a rather disorienting way, clearly some sort of defensive spell. She attempts to parlay, but Eido fervently felt that the very first question she must answer is, "Did you create all of the zombies we just fought?" I can think of many more important and informative questions. Sadly, when she responds, "yes, I supposed I did," Eido attacks. 


Yours in faith and Keeper of the Balance,


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