The return to Greywall and another meeting with the Lord Regent results in competition and Fey drama, the Dwarves are still hunky and the battles fierce, thanks for the session Adam.
Kharduum Steepmine (Hill Dwarf Cleric)
Lizzy "The Dragon Slayer" (Light foot Halfling Bard)
Roza (Tiefling Sorcerer)
Growbeck Boniface (Mountain Dwarf Fighter)
Kronos (Human Rogue)
Amber (Mountain Dwarf Fighter) Representative of the Pointertown Detective Agency
Barnaby (Warhorse, Amber's steed)
Following our misadventures in the Feywilds, and our discovery of the 'Dragonstones', Lazlo, the Oni blacksmith from Greywall has insisted he travels back to his City to inform the Lord Regent, a mind-flayer called Pro'Bass.
As we travel across the barren towards Greywall, Roza and I notice that much has changed since we last visited, life has begun returning to the land, we feel the familiar catch in the back of our minds, we are now in range of the Lord Regents telepathy. Exiting the fog that surrounds and obscures the city, we set eyes upon its perfect Obsidian coloured walls, Amber and Growbeck as equally as impressed by the fine craftsmanship as I was.
Lazlo says we should head straight for the Lord Regents tower, as we follow him we notice that they are preparing for a Festival, Kronos recognises it as a tribute to "The Mockery" an Evil God belonging to the Dark Six, the God of Warriors and Assassins. We head up the Tower and get to the chamber where we met Pro'Bass last, two Gnolls guard the entrance way. I recognise Harkus, a Gnoll who previously accompanied Stripe, their leader. We exchange a friendly nod.
As we enter the chamber, The Lord Regent is already there, he and Lazlo exchange a look before he leaves to be debriefed. Pro'Bass welcomes us and asks us why we came, he's in our minds, so definitely knows, but still it's nice of him to ask.
Roza tells him about the mind altered Dragon, and the Dragonstones, while I mention the seeds, we offer him a sample of both. He thanks us for coming to him with the info, that it is proof of the value of our alliance, he says that by harnessing this power it will only strengthen both Droam and the Outpost, we're more worried though about the potential that this power has to cause another calamitous event like the Abjuration, he agrees and says it's the last thing they want too.
As a token of trust he presents us with a ring each, he says that when we wear these, his psychic abilities won't work on us, and sure enough, as soon as they're in place on our fingers, we can't hear him at all, he waves his hand and words appear in the air, the conversation continues in subtitles. He says that they will carry out research on the stones and seeds and we can share the information we find between us.
We're also invited to partake in the festivities to celebrate the Mockery, he also says that there is a competition, "The Ordeal", it's very prestigious and that we'd be welcome to compete, the winner will be granted a favour from him. Growbeck is keen to immediately accept, but Kronos is a little more cautious, he wants to know about the competitors. Pro'Bass says that there are three other teams, a Warlord and his men, a group of accomplished champions from the city's fighting pits, and an outsider, a thief that he knows little about. He won't tell us more than that, but tells us where to be at dawn if we accept, we will also have lodging at the Obsidian Tower Inn.
As we leave I approach the Gnoll guard, Harkus, I congratulate him on the promotion and ask him about the tournament, he's pretty excited about us and is happy to tell us what he knows about the teams and the tournament he says Stripe led him and the Gnolls to Victory some years ago, that's how they came to their positions in the city, The Warlord is a Hobgoblin called Lodak, he commands a horde of Goblins, the pit champs are two Minotaurs, Raspin and Rastmus, they fight alongside a Chimera, they're his favourites to win, he tells us where the hang out, another local tavern.
Unfortunately he doesn't know anything about the Outsider, but happily accepts a bet from Growbeck on us to win, 30 gold.
As we leave Kronos and Growbeck are keen to go and check out the competitors, so we head to their drinking spot. Kronos disappears to scout, and do who knows what, while we approach the Tavern, an enormous Chimera is chained up outside, Amber approaches, but its hackles raise, Lizzy starts to calm it with a tune. Growbeck enters the tavern, it smells of fresh meat and stale beer, two enormous Minotaurs sit in the corner, he rushes over and buys them a drink, sitting down besides them, they aren't too happy with the intrusion and mock him and his puny (to them) muscles, he responds by viciously headbutting one, shock and sudden quiet takes over the room, but then he laughs and slaps him on the back and Growbeck is quickly ingratiated.
More drinks arrive at the table, but Kronos quickly pulls Growbeck aside and says we should leave, he's definitely tampered with them somehow. As we leave, Lizzy is still trying to free the chimera, she convinces Kronos to pick the lock, but the chimera can't be lured away, Kronos leaves a lesser lock pick at the scene to make it seem like an amateurish attempt, as he's doing so, he notices a figure, dressed in black, watching us, as soon as they're noticed, they turn and vanish into the night.
It's getting late, so we leave for our lodgings at the Obsidian Tower Inn and lay down our heads, we awake before dawn, and make our way to the competitions starting location in the middle of the city, Growbeck enjoys a tasty troll burger on the way, medium rare, yum!
We arrive in the square and are shepherded onto a wooden platform and given a token, we see the other teams, on identical platforms around the square, Growbeck and Raspin share a friendly nod at a distance, the goblins sit atop their platform, it's creaking beneath the sheer weight of them, and the last occupied by a single shadowy figure.
There is a rush of air that swirls all around us, eventually forming the vast figure of a man, its voice booms out to us and the crowd, it introduces the competitors, including the lone figure, Shadows Sigh, from the Feywilds.
Each team has a token of the Mockery's favour, we are to collect all four by any means necessary and deliver them to the Lord Regent tower before midnight to win and gain his favour.
The image bursts into the dust that formed it and fills the arena, we start to discuss our strategy, but Growbeck is already running in the direction of the Goblins, however as the dust settles we see that they've already gone, only the Minotaurs and their Chimera remain. They laugh, saying they're glad that someone actually stayed for a fair fight.
Roza passes me the token then launches a massive fireball in their direction, scoring a direct hit on one as the flame engulfs them all. Rastmus lowers his head and charges, crashing into the corner column supporting our platform, it starts to fall and we all try to keep our footing, but most of us crash heavily to the floor, and we're trying to get to our feet, the chimera appears, flame bursting from its dragon head, I take the brunt of it, and my beard is badly burnt for the second time in a few weeks. This will take hours to grow back, maybe even a day.
Lizzy casts sleep and targets the chimera, but can't bring it down. I charge up with the divine power of Moradin and get ready to restore vitality to my companions. Kronos flies out of the shadows and tears into Rastmus, killing him. Amber charges into the fray atop her warhorse, Barnaby, her warhammer smashing and crashing away. Growbeck shouts out, asking for them to surrender, but Raspin laughs and spits a refusal. Roza hits the chimera with a magic missile, but it rapidly turns and unleashes a fire on the centre of the arena, inflicting a lot of pain on Growbeck, and bringing Amber and Barnaby down.
Growbeck tries once more to speak to Raspin, but he wants to go down fighting and Growbeck obliges. He then turns his attention to the landed Chimera, but it catches his axe and disarms him temporarily. I start healing as best as I can, divine light flooding the arena, Amber is brought back to the light and goes on the offensive, the Chimera is hurt but breaks free of the melee, its masters dead, it flies away but not before raining down one more burst of flame, severely hurting a few party members. I start mass healing the team and get everyone back into fighting shape, but something has happened, the token has gone missing, it must have been Shadows Sigh taking it during the carnage. Fortunately we have the one from the minotaurs.
We decide to head to Tower and see if we can head off the others. Lizzy and Roza make themselves, Kronos and myself invisible, while Amber and Growbeck go on horseback heading towards the tower, goblins start appearing on the rooftops, Amber spurs Barnaby on as the Goblins start loosing arrows, we end up pushed towards the tower, but it's barred, Lodak appears on the rooftop, shouting down to them "I have you surrounded, return the token you stole and the ones you earned, Growbeck shouts a challenge up to Lodak for single combat, he laughs and say he isn't that stupid, Growbeck and Amber say that ours were stolen too and maybe we can find the culprit together, but Lodak just smiles and say that if that's the case, we're of no use, he walks away as his archers loose a volley down, Barnaby goes down, but Amber and Growbeck survive with minor injuries. We heal up, and I notice something strange, finding an unfamiliar parchment in my pocket, we need to find somewhere safe to open it, rest up and form a plan. I suggest the secret room we discovered during our last visit to the city.
We make our way there checking for tails and traps as we go, when we arrive, Kronos can't find any traps and Lizzy doesn't detect any Fey. So we make our way inside, I pull out the note, it's in Elvish, so Roza reads it. "I have 3 tokens, you have 1, we don't need to fight, let's make a deal" on the back is a map, with a location in the slums highlighted. Kronos suggests forging the map to mislead the goblins, I advise that the docks are the furthest point from where we're going, we take some time to rest and make the forgery. We make our way towards the slums, "losing" the map along the way during a very convincing fake argument between Kronos and Growbeck. We arrive at the alley, with a shadowy figure standing towards the end, it seems suspicious, so I hurl a pebble down the alley, it passes through the figure, revealing it to be an illusion. Shadows Sigh seemingly appears out of nowhere besides us "hmm, that usually works" we're taken by surprise and most of the party try to grab him, with Roza and I trying to abate the situation, he shrinks in size to evade them and stands at a distance asking them to stop so we can talk, we convince them to listen, he says that he appeared in this realm from the Feywilds in a flash of light and just wants to go home. It's similar to what happened to us recently, we promise to help. He shrinks to the size of a tiny insect and flies into a crack in the wall, returning and then popping back to size, holding the tokens.
We head back towards the tower, it's slow going, and we're spotted by Goblins on the roof, they run towards the direction of the dock, it looks like our plan may have worked. As we reach the tower, we tell Shadows Sigh not to worry, that we'll find a way to get him home, we head inside, Kronos spots a mock trap, it springs trumpets and confetti, to celebrate the win. Pro'Bass appears, saying that he thought it would be us to return victorious. We explain the situation to him, and ask if there is a way to get Shadows Sigh home, I say that we had a very similar incident happen to us, and that we might not be the only one, that there may be others trapped in the two realms, far from their homes, and suggest that we re-establish a portal stone, so that people can pass between the realms more freely. He seems apprehensive at first, but Roza argues the point well. He laughs, "an alliance between 'civilised' people, 'monsters' and the Feywilds, how interesting , we'll see what we can do".