Mysteries of Mastoria

Session 29 - Undercity Adventure
"Be Very Very Quiet, We're Hunting Hags!"

We joined our heroes as they managed to peacefully resolve the situation with Charlie Fisher. Satisfied with the groups’ answer that the logs were with someone back in Barrowbeach, he and his posse headed for the Pompous Potter at Vanion‘s suggestion for some drinks. Torvak and Barty headed to the Crestguard University Library to check on Elizar, whom had found his office ransacked in the night! The ritual book had been stolen, but he theorized that with enough magical power they could still complete it, to find Mask’s true name. They considered using Torsten once they later found out he possessed magic, or Sly, or Marbo the Magnificent. They also needed essence of the fiend, which they remembered Vanion possessed, and a soul bag. Elizar informed them that soul bags are horrible evil bags stitched from flesh that hags use to carry souls.

Meanwhile, Levinia paid a visit to the Temple of Lathander, to check on the slaves and Dorificus. Finding the slaves well adjusted and feeling better, he learned that one of the slaves is almost ready to make the journey to his hometown of Brevin to see if he can’t find his family. The acolytes at the temple were thankful to have the extra hands around and thanked Levinia for her donation once more. Dorificus was no longer present at the temple, so she headed back up towards the market district to see the smithy.

Vanion and Torsten spent time at city hall gathering information on the guests who will be attending the gala. From Ellion they found out his older brother Tassarion, as well as the King of Volkarsis should be there. Also the Duke of Greymont, the Mayor of Bluedale, Branic Tarhaven (Leader of the Culinary Council of Crestguard) and the Volkarsian Ambassador, who has an embassy in town. Vanion was surprised to find the embassy was nothing more than a tiny shack with an image of the ambassador which spoke on a delay to him. Vanion inquired about entertainment preferences and the guests.

Everyone coincidentally met back up in the center of town, where they spoke about their need for a soul bag. They decided to go hunting for a hag the next day using Barty’s locating spell. A night of revelry was had at the Dire Bear Retreat. Torsten enjoyed some drink, and Vanion played a set. Karrl the night guard came to hear the set and thoroughly enjoyed himself. Dorificus also stopped by and asked for entertainer tips from Vanion. Vestidio chatted it up with Torvak, and seemed incredibly confused at the presence of Torsten. Levinia spent some time dancing to the music, and Vestidio and other patrons headed out for the night as it got later. Vanion made some good tips, and after unsuccessfully finding Valerie at her home, he slept in the eastern gate’s stables. The rest of the party slept at the inn. Levinia suffered from more night terrors that left her waking up feeling worse than before.

The group had some breakfast as Vanion rejoined, and they found Elizar waiting outside the retreat for them, dressed in his own special version of “adventuring gear”. Barty activated his spell, and it detected a hag about 200 feet underground, and 400 feet to the west, moving slowly west. They went to the alley next to the Dire Bear Retreat and Torsten removed a sewer cover. They climbed down, with both wizards falling on the slippery ladder, and headed down the dark sewer tunnels, lit by Elizar’s dancing lights. Partway through some of the group heard a “ploop” sound from behind them with a flash of light, but they continued onward. Eventually the sewer began to curve off to the left, but there was also a metal door. Torvak was able to pick the lock, and beyond it was a carved earthy staircase, leading down to the left, and up to right.

Sensing the hag still below, they went down the stairs, only to find the stairs split off into left and right. The left path seemed wetter, and they decided to go to the right, which eventually leveled out and the hall went on for 250 feet or so. The carved pathway led into an open cavern, which was lit by some kind of gash in the earth far far above the heroes. There was a seemingly bottomless valley below, covered only by a rickety wooden bridge. Tying a rope to himself and giving the end to the party, Torvak was able to cross safely. Unfortunately, Torvak didn’t notice glowing red light coming from the skull lair’s eyes. Two suits of armor with glowing red eyes leapt down from the skull’s eye sockets with a heavy thud, and withdrew their longswords! To be continued…

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Session 28 - Enter Torsten
"Sometimes Barrowbeach Comes To You"

We joined Vanion as he wrapped up a night of unsuccessfully finding Valerie. Our other heroes awoke in the Dire Bear Retreat to different circumstances. Barty had another strange vision during his sleep that had his brain wrestling itself during breakfast. Levinia felt strangely sick after her dreaded night terrors. While having breakfast, Vanion arrived and joined them. And then, another strange man. Calling himself Torsten, he introduced his story to the party and how he was following them to kill them for stealing his vengeance. On the way, he ended up deciding he should thank the heroes.

After much discussion, it seemed this Torsten would accompany the group on a trial-by-fire to prove himself as trustworthy. Torsten seemed to take a liking to Levinia, and showed a distaste for books, quite the opposite of our dear Barty. The party decided what better trial than tracking down Valerie, so they headed out to City Hall before the Library as it was so close in proximity. Vanion was surprised to find Valerie sitting at her desk, and she told him she had personal business she attended to the previous night. The party also visited Ellion who was in his office working on paperwork. The heroes inquired about the crime-scenes outside, and Levinia gave some good advice for improvement of the Blame Game Initiative.

Before heading out, Valerie warned the party that a strange man in a long coat and weird hat had come into town looking for their group specifically. They head out to visit Jax Jameson in the Market District, where Vanion negotiates to have a new basement door made for Valerie’s home, asking for the bill to be sent to Roglak at the Dire Bear Retreat to give to Vanion. Jax informed him that his wife has decided to stay gone, however he is hopeful about finding love once more with his normal voice. Torvak, who was sitting outside the shop with Levinia and Torsten, noticed the strange hatted man talking to some goblins down the road. He went to investigate dressed as Urxis, and was caught by the man snooping. He left and came back as Torvak now that he recognized him as the Sheriff of Barrowbeach, Charlie Fisher. Charlie interrogated him about the missing dock logs, asking if he’d read them. Torvak was curious now, and Charlie asked him to lead him to Zoshia, as Torvak claimed Zoshia had the logs.

Torvak slipped a secret note to Vanion as he, Charlie and his entourage walked past Jax’s shop. Torvak did not find Zoshia or her mother in the Dire Bear Retreat, and his plan to leave out the window was foiled by some of Charlie’s lackeys waiting in the alley behind the inn. He left the window open and came down explaining that Zoshia had escaped when she heard him coming. Charlie asked further about where she would go, and Torvak mentioned the Marshwood Forest to the east of town. A struggle ensued as Torvak refused to lead them to the forest. One of Charlie’s lackeys grappled Torvak, just as his allies arrived. Barty readied a stick of butter, and Vanion cast Tasha’s Hideous Laughter on Charlie, causing him to erupt in uproarious laughter! To be continued…

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Session 27 - Ferra's Story and an Untrusting Zoshia
Everybody Has A Job Lined Up Apparently

We joined our heroes in the wake of a battle with Banderhobbs in Serenity Square. As the party learned of Ferra’s story, Zoshia decided to withhold her spear from her until she was sure she could be trusted and was telling the truth. The Crestguard Knights emerged from City Hall and inquired about what had happened. They decided this would be a good test case for their new crime scene investigators from the Blame Game Initiative. Particularly to find how one of the citizens was murdered (and subsequently burned). Levinia was asked by Francis Bucknaw of the Knights if she’d ever consider joining come the day they need a new member.

The party decided to head to the Dire Bear Retreat for some drinks and food. Elizar meanwhile headed back to the Library. Vanion paid for meals and lodging for Ferra and Shimmer, as well as the party. Thanks to a tip by Levinia the TMI Bard was arrested and Vanion was able to play, much to Roglak’s delight. Ferra and Zoshia discussed and caught up in the corner while the others had a round of drinks on the house for being the heroes of the day. Vanion discussed with Roglak the possibility of Dorificus becoming House Bard for the Dire Bear Retreat in the future. Vanion made some good tips and when everyone retired for the night, went to seek out Valerie at her home in the River District.

She appeared to not be home, and with the help of a bridge guard known as Carrl, investigated her home. Suspiciously, it didn’t seem like she had been active in her home recently. Carrl broke open the basement door with too much force and was injured, but Vanion helped him back on his feet. They investigated some empty crates in the basement to no avail. They decided never to speak of this again but Vanion told him to visit him at the Dire Bear Retreat the next night if he wanted to hear some more of his music.

In the middle of the night Barty had a strange vision of meeting with Sly on the second floor of City Hall. Barty instructed Sly to hold onto a special book for awhile. Sly told him “anything for you”. The vision promptly ended. Also of note, Levinia suffered from some dreadful visions, and she woke up feeling a bit less healthy.
Vanion headed to City Hall to see if Valerie had been working late. To his dismay, it was vacant. Calling out using an Ellion Starros impression, he awoke Sly who came downstairs confused. After some bargaining he convinced Sly to accompany him to the Pompous Potter across the way to help him look for her.
To be continued…

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Session 26 - Sunset Scuffle in Serenity Square
The Mysterious Woman, and Research Into True Names!

We joined our heroes with Barty and Elizar perusing the Crestguard University Library’s restricted section. Looking for books that might help them find Mask’s true name, Barty discovered a book on the old cult that once brought Mask to this plane, “The Lariat”. Elizar found some additional scripts that speak of a divining spell he may be able to use to find where the name is in the Book of Keeping. However, before they were able to do so, Zoshia and Vanion show up. Vanion had previously purchased a wand of healing, and met Zoshia who was also on her way to the library to find Barty so she could use his magics to find the woman she sought.

Meanwhile Levinia decided to head to the Dire Bear Retreat for some ale/rest, where a bard was setting up to regale the inn with his life story. Torvak went to the Pompous Potter for some drinks himself. The Locate Creature spell used by Barty led the party towards the center of town. Torvak heard shouting coming from outside the pub, and found a woman in a cloak with a spear and cat-like creature being confronted by those two enormous ugly toad-humanoids. Elizar identified these as Banderhobbs, and a fight broke out causing chaos in the square. Citizens ran for their lives, and unfortunately one was killed by a Banderhobb. Some guards showed up eventually, and the party thought it was odd that the elite Crestguard Knights did not arrive to aide them, despite their proximity to city hall. A third Banderhobb arrived, and though the heroes were swallowed, tongued, grappled and bitten, they came out victorious, and defeated the creatures. The woman was unconscious but the party stablized her. As she recovered, she revealed herself before Zoshia to call herself Ferra Levlaia, Zoshia’s birth mother.

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Session 25 - Wishing Well, Rewards, and Safe Travels
"On second thought, let's not go to Barrowbeach. 'Tis a silly place."

Our heroes rested and were excited to be home in the material plane. While Vestidio tried to convince Zoshia that his spell scroll would be helpful, some of the party checked out the last section of this Bleak Peak cave, finding an old dwarven man named Dorificus. Dorificus has been guarding a wishing well here, as all wishes placed in the well he hears within this own head, and he’s sick and tired of this invasion of privacy. It turned out he was cursed by a hag, and always wanted to be a performer. The group helped lead him out of the tunnels, after curing him of his curse, and discussing the ramifications of using this wishing well’s power for good. Vanion got to hear his life story on their way out as to make a bardic story to tell.

They were welcomed back in Stonethrower’s cave. He was happy to hear that the Gricks were eradicated, and informed the party he had taken care of their horses. He gave a Wolf statue to Zoshia, and presented Barty with a likeness of himself. Barty bid adieu to the giant and the Torvak marked outside the cave for bandits to beware! They headed out, and the party decided it best to avoid Barrowbeach, much to the happiness of the freed slaves who remember it being a terrible place. After approximately six days of travel, they arrive at the southern gate of Crestguard once more.

The party’s horses were kept with the stable-hand Mercy, as Levinia took the slaves and Dorificus to the nearby Temple of Lathander to be taken care of. Levinia gave the man there 100 gold pieces to take care of these people, a generous offering. Upon exiting the temple, Levinia was visited by a large golden-flamed stag creature, which brushed against her/him and she/he heard a familiar voice say “You are on the right path…”. And as soon as this creature had appeared, it took off into the sky once more.

As Levinia dealt with those who stared, Vanion visited City Hall as he was worried about what had happened to Valerie. To his surprise she was working at her desk, but he didn’t seem convinced there wasn’t something odd going on as she didn’t recall being knocked out or kidnapped or anything. He decided he would return later.

Barty head to the Crestguard University Library where he met with Elizar the Sage. Elizar took him to his office, and they discussed this “Book of Fiends”. Elizar suggested Barty aide him in searching the restricted section to hopefully find some history on this being in particular to help narrow down the names.

Jorvyn took himself to the center of town where he knew the job board was, to see if he could find any new postings about Gragg’s restaurant. He discovered it hasn’t opened yet, but the posting listed it would be in the Market District, so he tracked it down to a vacant lot near Alista Lockhaven’s Bubbling Cauldron. A goblin was being bullied and kicked by two thugs. Jorvyn had re-disguised himself as Torvak, and talked the goons off of bullying him, and they went on their way. Jorvyn helped the goblin up and found out these goblins are getting help from Corbesont (the apprentice map-maker) in drawing up restaurant specs. Gragg is gone on clan business but will be returning in the next few days. They’ve been facing a lot of discrimination, especially from a “Culinary Council.”

Meanwhile, Zoshia took Mezer out of the city and returned to where her wolf pack once lived in the Marshwood Forest. There she calmly left the wolf statue. She found the six-legged cats footprints and tracked them leading back into the Western Crestguard gate. She headed to the center of town, by city hall as the sun was finishing setting.

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Session 24 - Final Exploration and the Journey to the Material Plane!
A Farewell to Urxis' Tomb

We joined Vanion, Jorvyn, Levinia and Barty as they spent time in the gnomish bar. Vanion took the available alcohol after he had some more Djinni Firewater, and Barty tried the painful Fermented Ooze. Back in the room of Twenty questions, Zoshia began to piece together that this was a game.

Jorvyn and Barty arrived to help play while the floor beneath them crumbled away. Eventually they found it was a Mimic that was the answer, and meanwhile Vanion and Levinia were on the other side of the crumbled floor. The stone golem’s mouth on the wall opened greatly to reveal a wooden door. Jorvyn went to open the door only for the door to reveal itself as a Mimic which attacked! They dispatched the Mimic and entered the Artifact room, where Urxis’ stored his most prized findings.

Within the heroes found Flamebearer’s Gauntlets, the Belt of the Fallen, a potion which was actually a very very small gelatinous ooze, a stone golem statuette and a Scroll of Teleportation. They then tracked down the door that Torvak remembered was locked and they found the Lore Room, where they collected some books, papers about the Plane of Earth, and blueprints for the temple.

Now with a map, they went back to the nice mahogany door they saw near the beginning of this trek, and found a room with a wall that was just an enormous mirror. Zoshia discovered some oddly invisible boots and gave them to Torvak who studied them to reveal them as Boots of Vampirism. They eventually discovered a hidden panel on the wall in the bar under a painting of a glass of merlot, which unlocked the door to the final room they hadn’t explored. Within was an empty opened chest, but a 10 ft by 10 ft mirror standing across the room from it. In the mirror the party saw this old man appear from out of the mirror frame and pull gold pieces from the treasure and then leave. The heroes closed the chest, which had the old man sit on it in frustration. They then opened it again and the man fell through the chest into the room with them. He seemed panicked, but resigned to answer one question for them. It was decided that they would ask “What is Mask’s true name?” He replied that as he only knows what Urxis knew, he did not know this Fiend’s true name, but he knew the knowledge they could use to find it is in the Crestguard Library’s restricted section. After answering the question, he disappeared in a poof of smoke!

They began their two and half day journey back to the portal right away, and were happy to see some footprints in the earth near the portal when they arrived. They emerged back in the material plane to see Vestidio sitting by a fire with this odd purple centipede creature having been cooked. He seemed to finishing some kind of prayer or something and was throwing the meat into the fire when he realized our heroes had returned. The slaves that had been rescued had all made it back and were sleeping on makeshift cots near a wall. The slave from Brevin talked to Barty briefly about how anxious he was to see how it’s changed after forty years gone. Despite Vestidio’s protests, Zoshia tried some of the meat and vomited blood. Vestidio told them that these creatures eat vision crystals, meanwhile Torvak remembered one of these creatures attacking him and his master at some point in the past. Our heroes rested up and studied their magical items!

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Session 23 - Talking to Rocks
Tomb of Urxis, Magic Book and Key

Our heroes were last locked in combat with the colossal Stone Golem!
Having grabbed the robe, Zoshia called for a retreat from the looming and seemingly undamaged golem. The party made it’s way out (some members slower than others) into the nearby halls. They formulated a plan for sneaking back in to get the book from the pedestal. Jorvyn used his disguise kit to disguise himself to look like Urxis, or at least the statuette whom he believed was of Urxis. He went back into the chamber and convinced the golem (that spoke Gnomish) that he had come back to life, and his job of guarding Urxis’ tomb had come to an end. He gave the golem a new mission to return with colorful gems. With that, the golem destroyed the back wall of the temple and exited into the elemental wasteland.

The party quickly acquired the book, as well as some weaponry. The key from the Xorn did not seem to open the magically locked book. Some of the party delved down the stairs the golem was previously guarding (while some stood guard), finding Urxis’ actual tomb. A boulder in the corner sprung to life just like the one with the sword in it’s back that Barty and Vanion encountered before. It spoke Terran and it was revealed that he is also guarding Urxis’ tomb, and wished for nothing to be disturbed. Jorvyn with help from Zoshia was able to convince the Galeb Duhr that Urxis was back to life and needed his staff to stop an evil necromancer who was trying to raise him for evil. The Galeb Duhr handed the staff over to Jorvyn, and then since his guard job was finished, Jorvyn also gave him a quest to collect colorful gems. The party who were standing guard watched as this creature came up the stairs and then out the same enormous hole in the wall of the temple.

Discussions were had and the heroes went off to potentially find the magical key that would open this book, as Vanion noticed it looked similar to the Book of Keeping they had seen in Shadowfel. Going back to the room with the elephant, they found it caught in a net. Zoshia freed the elephant and calmed it, directing it to stand on one of the large pressure plates by the door. That combined with Barty using gaseous form the move over all of the pressure plates and stand on the other one, seemed to open the doors about 3/4 of the way. With the help of Mezer, the doors were open, and the party found a room filled with thousands of keys. Eventually through Arcana a particular magic key was found, which opened the book. Inside it was filled with endless lists of names written in infernal.

Further discussion was had about whether to now leave the temple or to find what Zoshia’s key went to. Barty also felt a strong magical presence elsewhere in the temple. The heroes found a stone room with a stone golem (or at least the head and shoulders of one) embedded into the far wall. It kept repeating the word “TWENTY” but the group couldn’t determine what it needed. Some of the group parted off to see if there was a room behind the golem’s wall, but only found a room further down the hall, that turned out to be a small bar. Jorvyn took up barkeep and inspected the alcohols behind the bar, pouring Vanion some Djinni Firewater. Paintings of booze lined the walls, and meanwhile Zoshia was pondering the issue of “Twenty”. To be continued…

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Session 22 - Cursed Gems and Colossal Golems
"Can we address the elephant in the room?"

We joined our heroes in the Food Storage room with a Xorn who had just eaten the key on the table. Zoshia was able to negotiate with the creature to exchange five of her onyx gems for the key. A trade was made, and the creature burrowed away. The party checked out the statue (that Levinia recognized as a miniature version of the one that smashed the man in her vision, and that the party deduced is resembling a famous wizard) but ultimately decided to leave it be.

Exploring further, they discovered a reading room of sorts. Vanion took the carpet on the floor and draped it over an uncomfortable chair made of stone, while the party investigated the heavy metal door on one end of the room, and the paintings on another wall. Torvak discovered the paintings weren’t real, and Barty, Levinia and Torvak pushed through the wall into a hidden library, followed by the rest of the party. They found a few choice books (though no Book of Keeping or books on this plane), and after Vanion was satisfied with no hidden passages, they left (including leaving another statue on a side table in the hidden library). They explored through the metal door to an odd room with what turned out to be strawberry jam on the floor. There was also a decent sized dent in the floor. The far door did not open. The party decided to maybe come back later, when Torvak closed the door with everyone else outside, telling Levinia to open the door in 30 seconds. The ceiling began to move downward onto Torvak, but he hid in the dent in the floor, and the ceiling eventually raised back up. The door across from the party unlocked, so Torvak went out, looked around, and followed one of the hallways back to the party who were relieved to see him alive.

Heading around the bending hallways above, the party found their way to some wooden doors. Entering, they found five pedestals, each with a gem on it (Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst and Diamond). Torvak was the first to touch one, and soon enough each party member except Zoshia had a curse upon them, and Torvak had two! There was a magical shimmering physical barrier keeping them from progressing. Eventually, Vanion’s curse was guessed by Zoshia, and the doorway’s barrier changed to the color of his gem. He was able to pass through, the gem turned to coal, and his curse was lifted. The party helped each other overcome their curses (All words of less than 6 letters, shouting over others only, no pronouns, only being able to speak 3 words without pausing, and cringing upon hearing the letter F), and they were all able to progress through the barrier.

The heroes split up after this room, with Zoshia followed by Levinia discovering the enormous room from Levinia’s vision that housed the Stone Golem, Book and Robe. Vanion and Barty ventured into a nearby room that had a boulder surround by smaller rocks. The boulder had a sword jutting out. Vanion attempted to pull it out like the legends he’d once heard of, but upon doing so the boulder awakened to reveal itself as a Galeb Duhr, with the sword emerging out it’s back. Realizing the creature was defending itself, Vanion and Barty went to aid Zoshia and Levinia as their battle began. Torvak explored his own room, where he was hit by an elephant that dropped from the ceiling. Deciding this room was dangerous, he also went to join the fray. Zoshia was able to get past the golem and grab the robe. Our heroes remain locked in combat, who will win?

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Session 21 - U R X I S
"What's in a name?"

In the midst of deadly combat with a Dao and his summoned earth elemental, the heroes focused on trying to break the Dao’s concentration on his conjured ally. Through relentless attacks the party was able to destroy the Dao, though it was a tough fight. The Earth Elemental chose to retreat after the Dao had fallen, and Torvak set about freeing the slaves.

They found out the slaves were all from other places, including a man who was an adventurer from Barty’s town of Brevin who had left for an adventure 40 years ago and never returned. The two earlier freed slaves had made a run for it, their fates uncertain, but Levinia drew a map for the five remaining slaves to find their way to the portal. They were given instructions to wait there, Zoshia gave her water-skin to them and her rations as she could forage for food. Zoshia collected the crystalline dust, the large robes, and the maul the Dao had left behind. One of the slaves tipped them off that more Dao could come, so the party bid the slaves a temporary farewell, and pressed onward.

After about another half a day’s journey, the party arrived at their destination, all too familiar to Levinia. The tower they sought entrance to was 30 feet up a rocky cliff face. Barty ascended the distance as a gaseous form, while Levinia climbed up and attached rope. The rest of the party climbed up, and they decided to leave the rope there in case of a quick escape. Zoshia noticed gargoyle statues carved into the tower, overlooking the main doors. She called out to them in Terran, and they attacked defending the tower, but we’re quickly dispatched with only some minor scrapes and cuts to Barty and Levinia. Reading the letters U R X I S above the door, the party thought it might be a name of some kind, though Zoshia didn’t recognize it as a name of a famous elemental.

The party swung open a large door quietly and scouted out a small room with four pillars, two doors on opposite walls and large plaque. The plaque read “It is a place of hidden riches, it is a wall against all foes, it is a grave for the greedy.” While the party pondered on a potential riddle, they found out the doors led to… one another! A fireball sent through one door collided with Levinia out the other, much to Barty’s dismay. Vanion flipped coins through it with markings to confirm. While Zoshia looked for fake walls or hidden passages, Mezer drew her attention to a trap door on the floor that had her falling through the ceiling! Luckily Barty cast feather fall to ensure a safe journey back down. Through some cunning thought, the party secured a rope in order to climb through the door in the ceiling, which took them out to a new hallway.

Exploring each way, Barty found a beautiful mahogany door, while Zoshia discovered a beaten down oak door. The party decided to head to the oak door (single file as the hallways were a bit cramped) and check out what was inside. They found sacks of dried foods, and at the end of the room a table with a small key and a stone statuette on it. Levinia recognized the statuette as looking like the hulking stone golem that smashed the man in her vision. As Zoshia and the party began to enter, a hulking Xorn emerged from the floor and ate the key right off the table! To be continued….

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Session 20 : Enter The Elemental Plane of Earth!
"They're miners, not minors!" "...You lost me."

Our heroes began by studying the umber hulk that had walked into the room. Barty warned the party that those that survived encounters with this beast are fabled to have not remembered a thing. With a sneak attack by Torvak combat had begun, and the hulk used its mesmerizing eyes to try and have everyone do its bidding. The heroes dispatched of the creature with Zoshia dealing the final blow with her magical short sword.
The party took a short rest, and Zoshia studied her short sword revealing it as Corellon’s Short Sword of Blessed Water. Barty spent time copying the spell “Locate Object” to his spell book, erasing the scroll. Scouting ahead after the rest, Torvak and Vanion discover Vestidio awaiting them in the portal room. A lot of discussion goes back and forth about how he arrived there, why he is there, and why he won’t come with them to the Elemental Plane of Earth. Vestidio claims it’s something they must do on their own, and asks them to bring back a robe, promising it is for the greater good. He promises to guard the portal best he can, and bring something back for Zoshia to use to help her track someone down. The party takes a long rest, with Levinia ensuring Vestidio is true to his word, and they all wake up safely. A cruel prank by Vestidio on Vanion involving a fake keyhole aside, Vanion puts the key into the portal opening, turning it and opening a swirling light brown magical portal.

Heading through, Vanion leaves a mage hand behind to flip off Vestidio. The party discovers themselves in a smaller cave in a plane of darkness, stone, and faintly glowing gemstones. Concerned about finding their way back to the portal after they’ve left, Torvak allows Barty to study one of his playing cards (a Joker) to become familiar with it so he could later cast Find Object if need be. Levinia recalls the map from her vision best she can, with Zoshia feeling confident in her geographic recollection skills to return them, and they set off on two-day journey to the fated temple where Levinia saw a man be crushed. The party feels a more intense gravity but resists the effects, and several earthquakes of varying sizes shake the world beneath them. They see an entire mountain get up and walk away. Thanks to Zoshia’s favored terrain and traveling luck the party did not meet any opposition on their first days worth of travels. They came to a large fissure and took a short rest. Levinia and Torvak began feeling sluggish from the gravity, but Barty used his transmuter stone and a spell to have them feeling themselves again. They continued their journey on the second day by going around the fissure (that seemed to drop into nothingness) and passed by an elemental mining gems on a mountainside.

This elemental had a torso, but below was swirling sands. It had an enormous maul, could burrow through rock without it moving, and fly. Zoshia wanted to talk to the elemental despite the party’s pleas to move on, but upon getting closer Zoshia found there were slaves mining that were chained together. She talked the party into trying to free them, or at least finding out what’s going on since none of the heroes are familiar with how anything works in this plane. Getting his attention, he calls out to them “Ah good! More slaves!” and flies towards the party. Combat ensued with some swipes of his maul and fist, and he has conjured an earth elemental. The party got some damage in via shatter and Torvak has freed one slave so far. To be continued…

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