013 - Meeting Gregory and Elgin
As the party awakens after a night of sleeping in the cave, the usual smell of bugbear fills their nose. Wazo, forgetting to scour the cave from the night before, decides to search the bugbear body and finds a chainmail shirt and morningstar. While this happens, Aaron and Tegan pack up the camp. Afterwards, the party heads out of the cave into the fresh air, squinting in the bright morning light.
The group decides to retrace their steps to Elbara's cabin. Along the way they see someone in a yellow pointed hat, and reading a map. He mumbles to himself, "I must have taken a wrong turn. I thought this journey was going to be easy." At this point, he stops speaking at the sound of someone encroaching. He pops his head out from behind the map to see the group. He quickly and kindly introduces himself as Gregory. Gregory - NOT Greg is a portly, well fed, healthy gnome, wearing a yellow pointy hat. Wazo, filled with motherly instincts, asks him if they can help him and he says he is heading to Feldmar for the Faerie's Harvest Festival.
The group breaks the bad news to him that he missed the festival. It was over a week ago. Gregory is sad and confused as how he could get so lost. He expresses that he really wanted to see the world and tell his wife all about it. Tegan then asks him where he is from and he states that he is from a small gnomish village north of Penustad. Through the course of their talking, they learn that there are factions of gnolls that tend to fight in and around Penustad.
The group then decides to help him on his journey to see something interesting in the world and invite him along to meet a real life witch. The party gets to know Gregory- Not Greg on their journey to Elbara's cabin.
The Orcs and the Prisoner
As they travel, the party begins to hear conflict of some kind and Wazo scouts up high ahead.
She sees a band of orcs, 2 big 4 small, dragging a gagged elderly male elf in glowing shackles. The small orcs wear hide armor and 8n the lead and rear are the larger orcs, who wear dented plate armor. Their prisoner is wearing a dark green cloak with gold trim. He has a long gray beard that appears to shimmer on the light. He wears a set of small spectacles that rest atop his pointy nose. After Wazo reports back to the group, Tegan twins Mage Armor on himself and Aaron
- Wazo dives down to attack the group
- The orcs spot her.
- A guard orc runs towards Tegan and Aaron, not seeing Wazo
- The rear orc hits Aaron with a javelin
- Another guard runs forward.
- Wazo rages, and stabs both of the guards near her with her glaive, then she flies up 20 feet or so.
- The lead orc, carrying a greataxe and some javelins, steps forward. From below Wazo, he throws a javelin up at her and hits
- Tegan calls out in elvish, "close your eyes, friend!" and uses Hypnotic Pattern. An area around the prisoner is void of the magic, but the effect catches the rear orc, who is incapacitated.
- Aaron drops Hunger of Hadar on the cluster of orcs below Wazo. Both of the guards are killed by the spell.
- Wazo flies over to a guard who has hung back, and frenzies with reckless attack.
- She stabs him twice, then JAMS the glaive into the top of his head like an obscene popsicle, killing him.
- The lead orc stumbles out of the hunger
- captor guard drags the elf south further
- elf struggles
- rear orc throws a javelin up at Wazo and hits her
- Tegan chases the lead orc with spiritual weapon, slashing at him from out of the darkness from Aaron's spell. Misses him with a chill touch
- Aaron splits his eldritch blast. The first beam lashes out at the lead orc, hitting him in the chest. The second beam tears through the dome of darkness, and the rear orc staggers from the force of it.
- The lead orc runs up to Aaron and tears into him savagely with his greataxe, hurting him badly.
- Wazo divebombs the rear orc, nearly killing him. She swings wide, then screaming, runs him through with her glaive. She flies over to the prisoner.
- The captor guard drags the elf further. Wazo takes an opportunity attack but misses
- Tegan uses chill touch on the lead guard, trying to defend Aaron. He also moves the spiritual weapon closer.
- Aaron tries to use Vampiric Touch but misses
- Wazo hits the captor with one of three attacks. He is badly hurt.
- The lead orc chops away at Aaron again with the axe, hitting him twice. Aaron falls unconscious, badly hurt.
- Captor hits Wazo for a little damage
- Tegan uses Healing Word to revive Aaron, then misses the lead orc with Chill Touch
- Aaron, stands up, then hits the lead orc with one of his eldritch blasts
- Wazo kills the captor, stabbing him in the head from above.
- She flies towards Aaron, then throws two javelins, but both go wide of the orc standing over Aaron.
- Tegan maneuvers the spiritual weapon to the last orc, the lead one, and stabs it in its head. It dies.
As the fighting stops, the elf stops running and waits for the group. Wazo and Tegan gather over Aaron, who lays down to rest and recover from the fight. Tegan uses Prayer of Healing on Aaron, then Wazo and Tegan head towards the elf.
The elderly wise-looking elf introduces himself as Elgin Feyward, the archmage of Penustad. He was captured by this band of orcs on the way to Hillvon. He states that he was trying to warn Hillvon's archmage of the growing threat of the Emerald Enlightenment. They were once defunct but have grown stronger and have begun to worshipa female dragon called Vygho, Lord of the Mountains.
Tegan mentions that the archmage of Hillvon is his mother. He quickly shares that he has some concerns about his mom's loyalty. He describes it as a "weird vibe" and that she has been acting secretive. Wazo tries to quietly shush Tegan Tegan uses Subtle minor illusion to write "this is all common knowledge", forgetting that Wazo can't read. Elgin tells Tegan, "You have a lot to learn about magic" as he glances over his shoulder to see the message written in air. Elgin then tells Tegan that Kynthia has helped his town recently by enlisting a rival faction of gnolls to help the city fight off a rival faction. There shouldn't be any doubts in her loyalty.
Wazo and Aaron talk with Elgin for a bit. They think he is telling the truth.
Lost in the Woods
After some discussion, they decide to head to Elbara's cabin to see if she can help with the magic shackles. They see familiar scenery on the way there, but Aaron notices that the path seems to be repeating!
Aaron uses detect magic and sees that in addition to the magic items he was aware of, Gregory is carrying something magical in his pocket. He empties his pockets and one of the things in them is a golden acorn. Aaron thinks this might be the reason Gregory keeps getting lost. Elgin says that throwing the acorn away might not solve the problem, but it might be possible to evade the curse by finding the source of its magic, or by overpowering the acorn's magic with some other guiding magic.
Wazo digs out the magic compass. Suspicious, Elgin wants to know where she got it. She explains it was on a dead person in the sewer under Hillvon. Elgin inspects the compass showing Wazo that his initials were engraved on the back . He begins to explain that it was stolen from him long ago when he was traveling through Hillvon. He explains that it shows you "where you need to go".
He hands it back to Wazo. For her it points west. For Aaron it points southeast, and for Tegan it points north.
Elgin says he already has all his hearts' desires and they may keep it. For him the compass spins aimlessly. He concentrates for a long moment and the compass aims southwest. "That is where we need to go."
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