004 - What has 16 eyes and zero hit points

Morning, in a hidden cave

Sr. Bridie wakes up in the cave. Goosifer, who was asleep with his head on her lap, wakes up.
After regarding the goose for a beat, she tells him: "I was 6 when they came to my village. They burned everything.
I ran. Not fast enough.
They didn't care about us, they just wanted the land for themselves. They had all the land around the lake, and they wanted our island, too.
When mother superior found me, I was half starved. I don't think I had bathed in months.
I had not been held since my mother dropped meโ€”and didn't get back up.
I felt safe there, in that convent. What they taught me wasn't about revenge, it was about making the world a better place. A brighter place.
Those goblins were hurting them, and they wouldn't stop, and wouldn't listen.
The fire just came out.
I don't know who I am any more, Goosifer. Or who I want to be."
Goosifer honks reassuringly.
"All this to go to a stupid circus."

Morning, in an underground temple

Elysia and Rafael wake up in the familiar ruins. They quickly remove the barricade and make their way out of the abandoned temple.
As they get their bearings, a familiar voice says in a sing-song, "Pinkleton knoooows. Pinkleton knows your liiiiiies."
Rafael asks him, "What do you think would happen when a liar who kills people gets exposed by someone he recognizes?"
Pinkleton scoffs, "You're not that kind of person, Pinkleton thinks."
Elysia asks, a little annoyed, "What do you want?"
"Pinkleton wants something from you. Wants shiny. Loves shiny!"
Elysia asks, "How about a ring?"
She digs out Sludge's ring from her pack and holds it out for the satyr to see.
Dancing with excitement, he says, "Pinkleton neeeeeeds!"
Rafael says, "This is for you, IF you don't tell our secretโ€”our lie."
"Pinkleton agrees."
Rafael thinks he is being truthful.
Elysia studies him for a moment, then offers him the ring.
Grabbing it, Pinkleton sings out, "PINKLETON LOVES SHINY!" and prances gleefully away, disappearing into the woods.


Rafael and Elysia retrace the way to the cave. They fill in Sr. Bridie and Goosifer with the details of what happened while they were apart.
Sr. Bridie is still processing things and seems a little unmoored. She gets the mask out of her bag and puts it on.
Everyone reacts as it is happening:
Rafael - "What are you doing??"
Elysia - "Nooooo!"
Goosifer - "HONK!"
Under the mask, Sr. Bridie's face gets warm. Hot. Searing hot!
She yanks the mask off, her face red from the burning heat. She glumly casts, "cure wounds," and tucks the mask back into the bag. There is a moment of, "Should we let her keep that??" but Sr. Bridie notices and says, "I won't put it on again. But I can keep it safe." She adds sardonically, "I'm lucky. Ha."
The group decides to head to Hollowrest.

Going to Hollowrest

Goosifer scouts, flying up and in a circle. He spots a path east.
The group finds the trail and before long they see a vine-covered sign pointing east to Hollowrest.
The air along the trail is full of the scent of pine, and it carries the tranquil sounds of birdsong and wind-blown leaves.
After a while the ground becomes tricky, with gnarled roots making the footing uneven. The light dims and the trees seem to block out more light. Tatters of giant spider webs hang from a few trees and bushes.
Sr. Bridie feels certain there is danger ahead. She gathers everyone and they make a plan. Sr. Bridie casts light on a pebble so she can throw it ahead or conceal it quickly if needed. (The pebble thing is Rafael's suggestion. They think it's kind of dumb but they humor him.)
The marching order is: Rafael in front, Goosifer circling overhead, Sr. Bridie in the middle with the light, and Elysia in the rear.
They move ahead cautiously.

Step into my web

A large, intricate silver web is visible, draped across the path about 60 ft away.
Rafael notices a body wrapped in the center of the web, maybe the size of a halfling. He can't tell if it is moving.
The group talks about whether to avoid the whole web, or see if its victim is still alive. While they discuss this, a huge spider descends silently from the tree canopy.
Rafael notices it. Initiative!
  • The spider bites Rafael, piercing his shoulder. He takes poison damage and is pretty hurt.
  • Goosifer tries to frighten the spider, but it is unfazed. He flaps back a short distance.
  • Sr. Bridie channels Radiance of the Dawn, blasting the spider with radiant light. It stands its ground.
  • Elysia slashes at the spider with her longsword, but it evades her. She swings again with extra exertion and lops off a leg.
  • Rafael circles around the spider and slashes twice, cutting off another leg. It shrieks and calls another spider.
  • The spider bites Rafael again, downing him.
  • The second spider shoots a web at Elysia, immobilizing her.
  • Goosifer cuts her free.
  • Sr. Bridie casts Cure Wounds on Rafael.
  • Elysia cuts off the last few legs on the first spider, and it dies with a shriek. She circles around the second spider, putting herself between it and Rafael.
  • Rafael pulls back, and dropping his swords he shoots the spider with his longbow.
  • The last spider bites at Elysia but misses. It retreats up into the trees. As it moves away Elysia slashes it with her sword.
  • Goosifer runs and hides.
  • Sr. Bridie looks around to see if anyone needs healing, then reluctantly uses Sacred Flame against the last spider, missing.
  • Elysia switches to her crossbow, but her bolt misses.
  • Rafael shoots it with another arrow.
  • The spider restrains Elysia with another web. It climbs back down and looms over her.
  • Goosifer runs out of hiding and tears away the webbing effortlessly. He runs up to the spider and helpfully distracts it.
  • Sr. Bridie misses with another sacred flame.
  • Elysia misses with her sword.
  • Rafael kills the spider with an arrow through the head. He collects his swords and a few of the arrows.

Elysia decides to save some of the spiders' venom. She dexterously salvages a whole fang and stashes it in her pack.
Sr. Bridie investigates the web victim. She cuts open the silk and sees a cold, suffocated halfling. She searches the body for identification but only finds a bag and a healing potion. The bag is impossibly large inside. It is a bag of holding! She re-wraps the halfling's body in spider silk, then stashes it in the bag.

The pool of lost souls

Rafael lights a torch and burns away the webs, clearing the path ahead. The group continues along the path until they the forest begins to become less oppressively dark. But although the light is brighter, the sounds of animals is eerily absent. The group enters a clearing. Ancient, gnarled trees surround a bright, clear sparkling pool. The air is heavy with magic.

Sr. Bridie is first to point out that the animals have fallen silent. Rafael looks at the trees but doesn't see any evidence of animal life in them.
Sr. Bridie peers into the waters. She feels an unnatural attraction to the pool as she sees jumbled visions of people and places in the reflections. Remembering her religious history, she realizes that this is a pool of lost souls. A repository of memories and spirits. Not harmful as far as she knows. She runs her hand through the water.

An ancient tabaxi spirit rises from the pool, clad in a garment of dazzling starlight.
Looks at Elysia he says, "My child, you are one of us, but from the other side. Where are you from?"
"I'm from _____, where I grew up. My name is Elysia. Who are you?"
"It's a pleasure to meet you. I am the Tabaxi ancestors who have gone before. I have all names, and no name. This place has its dangers but also its peace. Our ancestors set up these pools to bestow blessings to our kin to aid in your journey. Please step nearer."
He puts his hand on her head and says, "I bestow on you an ancient blessing."
Her whole body is infused with the blessing, and she feels her claws become stronger and sharper. (Her claws now deal +2 damage)

The party talks over their next step, and decides that the clearing is a safe place to set up camp.
(They are now LEVEL 3)

Category: ๐Ÿ“ Adventure Logs