005 - Festival, day two
The sun streams through the window as the party wakes up slowly from their late night of partying. It is the second day of the festival. Groggy and otherwise overly tired, they make their way out of their room. Nipos, the energetic black cat, greets the adventurers at their door and is very interested in Aaron's shoulder where Flit usually sits. Aaron and Tegan shoo the cat away down the hall.
As they are about to head downstairs, they notice the black cat transform into a human with black hair, black goatee dressed in long flowing robes. Nipos was a mage! He apologizes to the group saying that his cat form gets the best of him and sometimes he gets carried away. Nipos is the husband of the innkeeper, Odessa Mermilo.
Downstairs breakfast awaits the adventures on a large table off to the side. There is fruit galore, coffee, some baked goods. Tegan, being adventurous, wants to try an exotic fruit and is handed a blue peach-looking fuzzy fruit. It tastes like a blueberry-peach hybrid.
After breakfast, the party runs into Leofyr and the Rogues of Shore. Being glad that they ran into them, Leofyr excitedly invites Tegan and the group to their performance in the afternoon on the main stage in Feldmar's square.
The party decides to kill sometime by doing some local shopping at The Pirouetting Faerie, an odds and ends shop. There they meet with a hippie looking gnome named Zilbis Froynert. He has long brown hair with flowers entwined in the braids. He is smoking a pipe with half-glazed over eyes. He is a laid back proprietor. The party peruses the various merchandise including scrolls, gems, novelty festival candles, faerie statues, books, and other various tools and utility stuff like shovels and a mason kit.
Tegan decides to look at the books that Zilbis places on the counter. The books are:
- The Art of Gnome Gardening
- The Joy of Gnome Cooking
- 101 Mushrooms for your Harvest Feast
Tegan decides to buy the Joy of Gnome Cooking for the price of 1sp. Zilbis, excited to make a sale, takes a hit of his pipe. He decides that Aaron looks like the magical type. He reaches underneath the counter and pulls out a disco-like ball with blue panes of glass covering its surface. He tells the party that it's a Driftglobe, which can shed light into the darkest caverns. All one has to do is say the "action word" and it lights up.
Zilbis demonstrates, and the whole store lights up with magical daylight. The globe also floats off the table and follows the user.
Wazo, uninterested in material things, decides to ask Zilbis if he can translate her ancient dwarven text. Zilbis takes a puff from his pipe and proceeds to examine it. He says, "This is about magical doplhins, they fly across the galaxy and the universe, spreading pink dust everywhere". Wazo, seeing that the shopkeeper is under the influence, snatches the scroll back and attempts to clumsily scratch him. She misses.
Seeing that he offended Wazo with his translation, Zilbia decides to show Waso a shiny yellow gem. He calls it a yellow sapphire and prices it at 1000gp. She quickly declines.
Then Tegan sees a magical scroll. Zilbis takes it down from the dusty shelf and shows him. It is a scroll of animal friendship for 120gp. Tegan decides to save his money.
The party makes their way from the store to the main square. After some more perusing and lunch, they decide to get a good spot to see the Rogues' performance.
A gnome woman announces them on stage and there's a lack luster welcoming applause except from Wazo, Tegan and Aaron.
Leofyr and the others perform a song, The Queen of Might and Grace:
The crowd erupts and Leofyr takes a bow. Coless and Aywin hug each other. From the crowd, a few female gnomes swoon over Leofyr and his performance and throw bouquets of vibrant flowers at his feet. Leofyr beams and enjoys the limelight.
The party approaches the stage and expresses their approval of the song. They decide to celebrate with The Rogues and go to the tavern for some fruit wine and to kill some time before the festival's main event.
Leofyr is surrounded by many females but he makes a connection with a gnome gentleman from across the room and decides to leave the group to talk to his admirer. The rest of them chat and drink into the evening.
After a drink or two, Mayor Seebo announces the festivities are beginning and everyone should find their way to the faerie fruit tree. The group follows the crowd, which winds down a narrow forest path. The path opens to a clearing in the woods. They enter a cove, and the party catches sight of a giant 50ft tree with large dark green leaves and a dark shiny, shimmering bark. On every branch are nestled tiny white flowers. There is a fragrance that the adventures have never smelled before. On the opposite of the cove there is a cave opening facing the tree.
Everyone lights their candles and sings a simple tune. The party waits eagerly with the crowd.
The sun sets. An hour passes, and still there are no faeries. The crowd is murmuring, puzzled and concerned. Wazo sees a flower fall off the tree.
Aaron notices Mayor Seebo is quietly panicking nearby. "This has never happened! They always come out the same time every year!" Sizing up the group, he asks, "Can you help me?"
The mayor says he will try to find Soliana to help.
Without waiting, the group heads into the cave, which is dimly lit by red mushrooms.
Flit scouts ahead and sees pine needles to the right. The group goes that way, into area 11.
Initiative! As they head to the right, three needle blights form out of the pile of pine needles, catching them by surprise.
- The blights attack, firing razor sharp pine needles, and Wazo and Aaron are hit
- Wazo rages, then chops at them with her glaive, missing
- Aaron casts Magic Stone and gives one to Tegan.
- The blights claw at Wazo. One of them connects and deals piercing damage.
- Tegan casts Bless on the party.
- Wazo chops down hard, and one of the blights falls into a harmless pile.
- Aaron hits a blight with eldritch blast, damaging it and shoving it away from Wazo.
- The blight shoots needles at Aaron, hitting him hard. The other one swings at Wazo, but it misses.
- Tegan twins Chill Touch, hitting both blights and killing one.
- Wazo swings at a blight and misses.
- Aaron hits the last blight with a blast of energy and scatters it.
The party heads east until they find a dead end (area 12), then backtracks and goes north (area 4). The passage narrows.
Wazo tries picking a mushroom, but it burns her fingers. "Hey, don't touch these things."
They get to a fork and head east (into area 8). Wazo tries to burn a pile of twigs, but as she approaches, four twig blights rise out of the pile.
- Wazo rages for the second time. She swings at one of the blights and cuts it in half, destroying it.
- Aaron hits one with EB which shoves it against the wall.
- Two twig blights swipe at Tegan, who casts Shield to deflect their attacks.
- Tegan disengages from the blights and moves away from them.
- Wazo swings a second time, and chops some limbs off of a blight.
- Aaron blasts a blight into bits.
- One of the blights gets a critical hit on Wazo, the other one critically misses.
- Tegan kills a blight with Chill Touch.
- Wazo crits, demolishing the last blight.
Through the room with the twigs, the group sees a room to the south with a workbench (area 9). At the end of the room is a box. They approach it carefully, very concerned that it may be a trap. They feel a little silly when it opens with no fuss. The box has a healing potion in it!
Tegan tucks it into his tunic and makes a point of explaining that it's for in case he, their healer, ever becomes unconscious.
The group head north and see piles of rocks (area 3). There is a persistent, magical-seeming hum in that room. Everyone is very worried about the piles also being monsters.
Aaron tries to blast them, but when his blasts don't connect they decide they are probably just rocks. Tegan walks in and notices that the magical hum is coming from one of the piles. He can't seem to localize it. Aaron has Flit listen, and they find a stone shimmering and humming on top of one of the piles of rocks.
After some hesitation, Aaron picks it up. As he touches it he feels lucky! He tucks it in his bag.
The group backtracks (to area 2). This is a large room with a low ceiling. The cave gives way to some underground ruins, and in the far end there are two statues. They are elven kings, wearing crowns and holding scepters. They face into the room from either side of the corridor.
Tegan remembers that elven kings were connected somehow to the feywild. He steps between them and into the ruins, which are covered in vines. The group follows close behind (to area 10). They see the vines come to life, and as they knot and twist, they realize are facing a vine blight.
- Wazo uses a blowgun (somehow!) but misses the vine blight.
- Aaron misses with an eldritch blast.
- The blight tries to constrict Wazo with vines but misses.
- Tegan uses Chill Touch and crits, hurting it.
- Wazo chops into the blight and cuts material out of its shoulder.
- Aaron uses Mind Spike, and the blight reels.
- It tries to constrict Wazo again, and this one connects, doing damage and grappling her.
- Tegan hits the blight with a weak Chill Touch, but it's still alive.
- Wazo lashes out at the vines with her talons, and struggles free from its grasp as it dies.
In the sudden silence, the party hears faint faerie voices crying out, "Help us!" They hear chains moving and evil sounding laughter.
In the passage north, (approaching area 6) there are faerie themed carvings in the wall. There are empty cages against the far wall.
To the east is another room (area 1). Against the back wall, faeries are in cages, and the group sees a female druid putting more faeries in cages. Soliana!
The female elf, Soliana with long braided red hair turns, surprised, and asks, "What are you doing here?". She readies herself for battle.
- Aaron tries to hit her with an eldritch blast but misses.
- Tegan hits her with a Chill Touch.
- Wazo flies over to the druid and swings her glaive. She hits HARD.
- Soliana uses Sheillelagh. She hits Wazo with a crit, but it doesn't connect as hard as it could have.
- Aaron slams the druid with a Mind Spike, and she reels from it.
- Tegan runs closer and throws his dagger, hitting the druid.
- Wazo rages and frenzies. She hits the druid twice with her glaive, nearly killing her.
- Soliana steps around Wazo and uses Thunderwave. It radiates away from her and shoves Tegan away, hurting him badly.
- Aaron hits Soliana with another eldritch blast, shoving her back past Wazo.
- Wazo cuts Soliana across the neck and she falls down, very dead.
The group quickly sets the faeries free. They fly around, grateful to be rescued. Tegan asks them if it's too late to fertilize the tree. They squeak, "We can try!" The faeries rush to the cave entrance, towards the tree. Tegan runs with them.
Aaron examines the dead druid, and finds some very fine bracers, possibly magical, as well as a handwritten note. The note reads:
After scanning the note Aaron looks to the south, where it seems like the cave becomes indistinct and magical-feeling. He feels that this is the connection to the feywild, and leaves the area alone. He and Wazo make their way towards the cave entrance.
Tegan sprints through the cave, surrounded by the tiny faeries. As they come bursting out, they see the beautiful white flower petals all over the ground. There is a single flower bud left! The faeries buzz around searching the tree. One faerie touches finds it and pollinates it. The flower folds in on itself and becomes a butterfly-looking fruit, glowing with a peach-like aura. Mayor Seebo reaches up and plucks it from the branch. He holds on to it for a moment. He addresses the remaining festival hopefuls, and gives a little speech explaining that since the harvest was so limited, he is going to give the single fruit to the people who rescued the faeries, in true Feldmar fashion.
During his words, Aaron and Wazo make it out of the cave and they witness the last part.
Mayor Seebo graciously gives the fruit to the party, handing it to Tegan. The crowd disperses, disappointed.
Tegan offers the fruit to the others, saying that he's not sure if Sophinia is really dead. Aaron says he would like to see a family member who passed, but it's not pressing. Wazo says she wants Tegan to have it.
Tegan sits there in the clearing, surrounded by the fallen petals, and bites into the fruit. As the magic takes effect his eyes have a silver glow. The world fades out and he sees Sophinia.
She looks at him sadly with her long flowing hair and locket around her neck. He understands that she is dead. She says that she has been watching him, and she's proud. Tegan holds her hand.
After a moment she asks, "You aren't going to ask how I died?"
Tegan: "Do you want vengeance?"
"You know me, I'm feisty. I do."
"Point me in the right direction."
She explains that the Dawn's March kidnapped her and delivered her to a secret society's temple. Here, they made her carve statues to some god but she refused, so they killed her as a sacrifice. Tegan promised to make it right. The vision fades as they say goodbye.
Wazo and Aaron can hear Tegan's half of the conversation, and they understand what he has learned. Wazo holds him in her arms and wings to comfort him.