Day 5 in the Feywild, continued:
We regroup and rest for a few minutes, before heading out. We find ourselves on side of a seemingly bottomless chasm with a long corridor past it. We see Fake Carpathia at the end of the corridor, which is lit by unknown means. She turns and spies us, before stalking off down some stairs accompanied by some eladrin guards.
We move out to a feeling of wrongness, as of things left rotting in the sun, a summer of sloth and drunken, gratuitous gluttony. Pennyworth sends Chardonnay down the corridor to scout the side corridors. She sees long corridors and no signs of life. Max tries to use an arcane gate to skip the chasms and corridors. It looks a bit different to how she expected, but appears to be working. As we step through the gate, beetles scatter in surprise and flee down the stairs.
We move on and peer round the corner. The side corridors appear to turn back to link up with those we already passed, with some doors in the rooms and corridors. We charge down the stairs. Fake Carpathia is there, along with four guards. She turns to face us and accuses us of rudeness and invasion of her bedchambers, and joins her guards in an attack (Encounter 1). When Théorn delivers the final blow to defeat Fake Carpathia, she bursts into a swarm of beetles that scurry into the corners. Pennyworth can sense them distant, not dead. Pieter finds a hidden door to a chamber which contains the body of a dead paladin in repose, and rushes in. It appears to be the body of Mathis Andrellian.
We take a short rest while we manoeuvre the paladin’s corpse into the Bag of Holding. Beetles start to swarm back in, crashing the wall between the bedchamber and hidden room down to chase us. We flee back through the corridors, now filled with minions, chased by the swarms of beetles (Encounter 2). Along the way we rescue the real Lady Carpathia from a side room and race through back to across the “bottomless chasm”.
As we go to exit the corridors, Lady Carpathia stops us and says that the lamia has powers in this place and must be defeated once and for all. We watch the beetles reform into a humanoid figure composed of insects on our side of the bottomless pits and engage it again in a protracted battle (Encounter 3) that we win only very, very narrowly without loss of life.
Lady Carpathia prostrates herself before us in thanks, but asks us to keep quiet about what has happened until she has worked out the status of her house before she rewards us. For the moment, she enhances Pieter’s holy symbol (+3) as thanks for his selflessness in asking about her with his truth boon. She also uses her power to heal us all (extended rest).
We head back to our quarters in House Fallael, through the streets. At first people shy away from us, but eventually Lyril Miheil appears with her whip and hurls insults at Théorn. He responds with some banter and Pieter points out our invitation from Bastil. She grudgingly leaves us alone, but warns of the duel this evening.
Pennyworth arranges a meeting with Elthien to pick up his circlet. Elthien looks exhausted, but is happy with the work on the hide armour fashioned from the displacer beast packlord’s skin, and presents it to us. He also throws the circlet in, disdainfully.
Max goes to the dressmaker’s in her little girl disguise and tells them of Lyril’s embarrassment. They are pleased, and tell her to come back tonight to pick up the dress to wear to the fight tonight. She collects it later on (+2 Diplomacy when wearing).
Théorn spreads the word of the party in House Dejarin some more, and we then get ready for going to court. On the way we spy many shifters, some of types we haven’t seen before.
Théorn tells them of the hopes and dreams of shifters. The shifters are impressed and start chanting “Théorn” and “Kalashnakash”. Napoleon points out the rumours of Kalashnakash’s return in their hour of need and the stories start to spread further. A few pluck up the courage to approach Théorn and fall in step behind him. A Grizzly (Brock) and a Strong-head (Nox) ask if he is the one who will lead them. They are of The Unfettered, lead by Redfang, and can be found by the Hidden Grove.
Inside the palace there is no Castellan, shifters may sit where they want and only simple foods like meat and bread are served. Most of the shifters show no table manners and are indulging in raucous singing and the like. Saldine Dejarin glowers at the entrance, raising his glass pointedly to empty chairs either side of him. Many of these chairs are child-sized. There are a few eladrin here, mostly from House Fallael but a few from House Dejarin and other houses. There is no sign of Kennet Sharma.
Fereal is also here, and looks expectantly at us. Pennyworth talks to him and tells him that the news is mixed but that he must keep the story vague for now. He suggests a meeting after this party, and Fereal grudgingly accepts. He says to find him in the palace of winter, and leaves.
Trumpets blare to announce the arrival of Lyril Miheil, with friends in tow and weapons on display. Max sits with Gern Sironson. A shifter talks to Théorn in a primal tongue, and is disappointed when he doesn’t seem to understand.
The Lady of the Seasons stalks into the room. Lights flicker slowly at her entrance and nearby shifters scuttle away from her. This time her face is of the blowing wind, puffing off to the side. On one side of this is a summer face, on the other side a face like a waterfall flowing down. She approaches Théorn and asks “Are you prepared, animal?” and if the party is to his liking.
After some talk, she calls for silence. An eladrin next to her announces that the Lady of the Seasons has declared that tonight is a night of tooth and claw, of blood-red entertainments. She says Lyril has named her four companions for the event and assigned their tasks, and asks Théorn who his companions are to be. He names the rest of the party for the following positions
- Game of Tactics: Pennyworth
- Game of Strength: Napoleon
- Game of Dance: Maxima
- Game of Will: Pieter
We are gestured to various places. Tables with two chairs by tables for Games of Tactics and Strength. The Games of Dance and Will are directed to simple circles. Lyril Miheil and Théorn are lead to a square arena in the middle of all of these (Encounter 4).
Théorn wins, but shows mercy. He lets rip the Howl of the Alpha Wolf and all around the shifters bang noisily and shout his name. The Lady of the Seasons claps slowly, then stalks out of the building. The head of House Dejarin looks unhappy, so Théorn sets aside his sword and approaches him to show he wishes him no ill will. Saldine says in a whispery voice that he isn’t pacified, and even seems insulted at the suggestion. He seems pained and angered, and asks that this mockery of a party be ended.
Théorn monologues to the shifters for a while. They hail “Théorn ni-Kalashnakash” and file out, touching Théorn reverently as they pass.
We exit the palace and head to the palace of House Winter. Fereal is surprised to see us so early. Pennyworth asks for the room to be empty for a few moments and in privacy we take the body of Mathis out and put it in appropriately respectful repose. Fereal returns and sees the body. He is sorrowful and asks why it was kept from him. Pennyworth explains that he fell to treachery, but that we can not reveal all of the details yet. He says it has now been resolved and Mathis can rest in peace, his mission completed for him. Fereal thanks us for bringing it to him, and says that while it was not the end he would have hoped for he at least has an end to it. He takes Mathis’ longsword to place on his grave, but as thanks he bequeaths the armour and cord of divine favour that Mathis is wearing to be used in the pursuit of righteousness.
Pennyworth says we are on quest of our own and asks for the story of Kalashnakash. Fereal says he has told nobody but Mathis this story before. Kalashnakash was invited into city by an unknown hand. After the ravaging of the city and destruction of House Dejarin, and after the treaty with The Lady of the Seasons, he left the city. The seasonal houses felt that the insults could not go avenged though, and sent forward champions to fight him. The champions of Summer, Autumn and Spring attacked and were cut down in turn with ease.
Fereal wept and decried how unfair it was that a slaughterer of children was allowed such power. Kalashnakash was overcome with shock at being told of the murder of the children and asked if it was truly what had happened. Fereal said yes and Kalashnakash looked at the sword and bemoaned the blind rage that it had prompted in him and the actions it had caused. He struck the sword into a mighty oak tree that turned to ironwood, burying the sword to the hilt.
At this point a creature with dark skin and blades erupting from his skin appeared and charged Kalashnakash with a blade dripping poison. Kalashnakash opened his arms and took the blade in his heart, dying. The bladeling disappeared in a puff of blackness. Fereal buried the body of Kalashnakash beneath the oak tree. He left the sword, scared to touch it, and the tree closed on it, hiding the blade. Fereal says he can guide us to the grove, but needs this night to grieve for his friend.
Character status at end of session:
|Character||Hit Points||Healing Surges||Daily Powers used||Experience Points|
|Hollan||83||10 remaining||None||25,999 (10)|
|Max||?||? remaining||?||27,264 (11)|
|Napoleon||73||7 remaining||None||28,575 (11)|
|Pennyworth||?||? remaining||?||28,320 (11)|
|Pieter||?||? remaining||?||27,749 (11)|
|Théorn||90||6 remaining||Rage Strike, Oak Hammer Rage, Frost Wolf Rage, Combat Surge, Stone of Earth||28,456 (11)|