Episode 10: The return to Greenest

This transcript is colour coded for ease of use. Please download the PDF.

Tobe as played by Liz

Myx as played by Nina

Mhurren as played by Vinny

Erbak as played by Tom

Narrator/Scraw/GM/Everything else as played by Ray

[Audio Description]

{Tone Guide/Sarcasm etc}

Ray/GM: Hello and welcome to Tails from The Dark Dragons Inn episode ten, “The Return to Greenest”. I hope you enjoyed the catch up episode last week. Recording it was well outside my player’s usual comfort zones, but I hope you’ll agree they did a fantastic job. I’d just like to take a minute to say thanks to FryCurious, another iTunes user who left us a review. I’m glad you’re having as much fun as we are. And now, on with the show.

Usher: “Welcome to the Dark Dragons Inn, can I take your coat? Please, come, take a seat.

(Vistirion and the Doomsinger are arguing in the background)

Usher: Sorry about the fuss. We have a guest performer tonight, you see? Well, technically, Doomsinger didn’t take part in this portion of the tale and well, Vistirion thought it would be less authentic if he was telling it. I hope you enjoy the show!”

GM: The candles and sconces in the venue are put out. THe lights dim and your attention is focused on the stage. All at once, small light sputters into life in the darkness. At first the light is small, but it grows and takes the form of a small illusion in front of you. Behind it, a gnome smiles mischievously as he begins to weave his tale. The illusion clarifies and becomes not one, but many people fleeing for their lives, escorted by none other than the Scales of Justice.

GM: I’d say you’re half a mile away now. What are you guys doing?

Mhurren: I think I would be at the back because the prisoners went ahead first and I was with Doomsinger.

GM: Everyone’s running around in a panic, fleeing.

Mhurren: I did just shout to the prisoners, to try to stick together, but I think maybe I would have stayed at the rear of the group in case-

GM: There are any stragglers or

Mhurren: Do we know how many prisoners there are?

GM: We’ll go with thirty.

Mhurren: Thirty. Okay, cool.

GM: Not all of these people are from the town, obviously because if you remember there were people in various states of disrepair. So you have freed some people who were not from Greenest as well as people who were captured in Greenest.

Mhurren: I would try my best to calm them a bit.

GM: Tobe?

Tobe: I’m basically making sure that people stick together and don’t head into the direction of the canyon of doom where we’re all gonna be completely fucked

GM: Unfortunately, that is sort of the direction you guys headed because only Erbak separated off. So we’ll see how that goes from there, I guess.

Tobe: We’re gonna die.

GM: Myx?

Myx: I guess I would have been trying to keep them in one place. I was thinking.. So I have the cantrip Light. I was thinking that maybe I cast it on my hand just raising my hand to get people to follow it so they at least have some source of direction.

GM: You basically rush up ahead and you’ve got your.. It does have to be on an object but you’ve got something in your hand that you’ve cast Light on and you’re holding it up’Follow me. Come towards the light.’

Myx: I’ll just use my quill I guess.

GM: That’s fine. It can be literally anything, that’s fine. So you have a glowing quill. Follow the glowy feather. Come on. And we already know what Erbak did. Erbak split off from everyone else.

Myx: Sneaky sneaky.

GM: Dragging Leosin along with him, who was following quite willingly as he is delirious. Myx, still leading the way. Is Mhurren still taking up the rear? Where’s Tobe? In onward travel?

Tobe: I’m probably around the middle, then.

GM: Scraw’s hanging in the middle, trying to be a presence of reassurance, as he’s a bugbear and ‘aaah, I’m tough. I’ll defend you all.’ And given his range, he’s literally able to wield the halberd that swings above the majority of their heads at once. He’s hanging in the middle. Is Tobe hanging with Scraw or is he milling around in the crowd?

Tobe: I’m just milling around in the crowd. It gives me a better range in case something happens.

GM: Scraw is doing his best to keep an eye on everyone from the middle. In that case, as Myx is leading the way with her glowing feather. Would you like to roll a survival check for me, please, Myx? Myx, you do actually successfully lead everyone down the path that you used to get to the camp. And you continue to lead them down that path until it disappears, but you’re not really willing to admit it. You’ve got a pretty good idea of where you’re going. You’re sure it’s basically a straight line. It’s probably fine. And you continue leading on, waggling your feather, like ‘come on, everyone, it’s going to be fine!’. And you are very confident in where you are going. In fact, you don’t even feel lost. You know exactly where you are.

Myx: Perfectly thinking that, I know exactly where I am. Everything’s fine. I have a perfect sense of direction. It doesn’t matter.

GM: Exactly. Snap to Erbak. You are making your way down the path you know you followed, as in the path that leads you out of the way by about a mile. Leosin’s a little bit more together than he was. He’s still leaning on you heavily.

Erbak: I’m walking along, following the path as best as I can and I’m going to try talking to Leosin. “You’re very beat up. You definitely don’t look so good. How did you end up there in the first place?”

Leosin: “It’s just..”

GM: He mumbles a response.

Leosin: (mumbling)

GM: He’s muttering over and over again.

Leosin: “I won’t tell you anything. You can’t make me. No, no more.”

Erbak: I was planning on giving him a bit of a check. Can I stop and set him down? I’d like to take the time to give him a check.

GM: It’s still dark out. Do you have a light source on you? Because it is a very dark night at this point. You just take out a torch, snap your fingers and it lights easily. You stake it into the ground and you sit him down on the basis that you are now giving yourself enough light to work by and you’ve actually stopped, you’re no longer travelling and you’re focusing entirely on this man in front of you. What are exactly are you looking for here?

Erbak: A couple of things, but first I just want a quick assessment of what kind of physical state he’s in in terms of deterioration. And I also just want to examine him anatomically just to see what kind of dragon he is. If there’s genetics that look like they might be in play there.

GM: From everything that you can see, this man is definitely just a silver dragonborn as you were originally led to believe. He does have the large scar across his face as was also mentioned. His state of nutrition and stuff like this is fine, he’s only actually been hostage for about a day, so. During the attack was when he was taken. And it’s taken you less than a day really to get there. So malnutrition wise, he’s fine. He’s a little bit on the lean side, but he’s very muscular, so you get that it’s probably intentional and that it allows him to move more swiftly with more finesse and power.

In terms of his overall state, though, he is really not well. He’s delirious with fever. You can see signs of heavy torture, multiple lacerations coarsely stitched together, but not treated, per se. More like, we don’t want this guy bleeding out so we’re just going to stick him back together so we can do more of this later. He’s in a state of shock at the moment. Borderline PTSD situation. He is not aware of where he is. You interact with him, you try and talk to him. You snap your fingers. He doesn’t seem responsive to anything that you do, but he is speaking Common. Raving, but it’s fever ravings. He’s just not with it. He’s not aware of his surroundings.

Erbak: Does he seem to be able to follow my finger?

GM: He doesn’t seem to be really aware of his surroundings. When you were walking with him, he was capable of continuing to walk, but really only with assistance and he doesn’t seem to respond. He’s looking at you with his eyes, but his eyes are not seeing you. They’re seeing something completely different and when you pay attention , his eyes are moving erratically like they’re following things and he’s just totally unaware of his surroundings.

Erbak: I just want to try something a bit daft. I’m gonna stand behind him. I’m going to try and ask him a question. I’m going to try best as I can to mimic the voice of the Firbolg. Specifically the one we met in town. “Leosin. Leosin. It’s me. Leosin, it’s Nasim. Did you tell them? Did you?”

GM: Unfortunately, he’s actually, still just completely unresponsive.

Erbak: Worth a shot.

GM: I definitely see what you were going for, but he’s not aware of his surroundings at all. He’s not really hearing anything you’re saying.

Erbak: Alright, I’m gonna pick him up, haul him over my back.

GM: You don’t need to carry him. He’s capable of walking if you want to put his arm around you, rather.

Erbak: I’m going to pick up the torch. I’m going to try and keep the flame as low as possible, then follow the track back to Greenest. Keeping as low a profile as possible. It’s going to be difficult admittedly.

GM: The path you’re following will lead you around to the beginning of the cavern you’re trying to avoid. At which point, it will rejoin the original path.

Erbak: Okay, if possible I’m going to try and.. rather than skirt around, just follow a direct path to Greenest.

GM: So, you guys. How are you progressing forwards at this point?

Tobe: Is there anyway for me to have noticed that

GM: Tobe hasn’t noticed shit. He’s surrounded by people right now. He’s milling in the crowd and he’s probably focused primarily on making sure the people aren’t touching him. He doesn’t want any of them to get lost, but some of them are particularly mangy. He’s just trying to not let them get to close to him, I think.

I mean he’s not being rude about it, but he’s very on focused on how near people are to him. In as much as, it’s distracting him from really being aware of the larger surroundings. He’s hyperfocused on keeping the group together and keeping everyone nearby safe. Mhurren, as you are taking up the rear, you hear in the distance, the sound of a repeated clacking. And it’s fairly rhythmic. (clacking) And it’s behind you. (clacking) It doesn’t appear to get any louder, and it doesn’t appear to get closer, but it does seem like it’s nearby. And you look behind you and you don’t see anything. Myx, how’s it coming along leading that party there?

Myx: I’m feeling just dandy. I mean, I’m on this kind of weird high from the fact that they actually escaped and no one’s gone. Yeah, I feel great. The adrenaline of ‘yeah, we made it! We’re not dead!’

GM: You find that looking around, you are following a path, and you are following a trail, but you get the impression the more you look around that this isn’t the trail you made. There are a lot more footprints than when it was just you, Tobe, Mhurren, and Erbak and Doomsinger. There are a lot more footprints. And they’re both coming and going. And you realize now that the path you’ve been following is probably not the right one, but it seems to be going in the right direction still. And you realize this because less than a quarter of a mile ahead of you, is the canyon which you avoided from the other side. You are close enough that if anyone is there, there is no way that you are not being seen right now when there are thirty of you. Thirty four of you.

Myx: I stop and yells “Stop!” and puts out the light that I’m carrying. And what I’m going to do, because I do have Darkvision is try and find Tobe, relay the message that ‘uhh, I think we’re in trouble.’

GM: At a glance, you can’t see Tobe. You know he’s in there, though. You’ve got people like

Various Voices: “What’s going on? Are we.. Is everything okay? Help! Mommy! I don’t like it, stooop!”

Myx: I relight the quill. I’m going to shout, “Nevermind!”

(all laughing)

Mhurren: Do some morse code with it.

GM: You can’t see Tobe, but you can probably call him over.

Myx: I can feel his brow furrowing.

Tobe: I’m confused what you’ve done and whatever it is that is wrong, there has to have been a better way to do it. Yeah, I start heading towards the front. At the same time, trying to tell the people I’m passing to calm down and just stay where they are.

GM: The moment that Myx relights the feather, people start calming down and they’re looking at you

Voice: “What’s going on? Why have we stopped? Surely we should be hurrying? Is there someone chasing us?”

Tobe: I’m just making my way through the crowd. “Just calm down. Be quiet and stay where you are.”

Scraw: “Come gather round! I will protect you with my strong arms!”

Tobe: “Yeah, what he said.”

GM: And you do see a lot of the younger people start huddling towards Scraw and he’s standing there and trying to look as heroic as he can. Which all of you can see because you have Darkvision. Most of them can’t because there’s just this tiny little feather of light. So Tobe approaches Myx.

Myx: {enthusiastically} “Hi!”

Tobe: I am not impressed with the joy she says that with. I just give her a what have you done look.

Myx: I’m just making the biggest eyes I can. “I think we’ve gone the wrong way.”

Tobe: (groan) “What do you mean? How far have we gone the wrong way?”

Myx: I’m just grinning “I don’t think we’re that far off, but you know that canyon we were trying avoid? It’s right there.” And I point.

GM: And Tobe can see because he also has Darkvision. And it’s not far enough away to avoid it.

Myx: “I think we might have trouble ahead. And that.. yeah, yeah.”

GM: (singing) There may be trouble ahead.

Tobe: so our choices are just basically go in or turn back.

Mhurren: I notice that we’ve stopped.

GM: When you notice that when you stop, and everyone’s stopped. You notice also that the clacking has stopped.

Mhurren: I’ll go over to them. “Um. I think we’re being followed.”

Tobe: “Oh, that’s just great, because you know what?” I’m pointing at the chasm that they’re about to walk into. “We have another problem. Right ahead of us.”

Mhurren: I return to the rear.

GM: (laughing) You just don’t say anything, you just turn around and walk away?

Tobe: I’m just like {deadpan} ‘what?’

Myx: I’m looking at Tobe “Did we offend him?”

GM: So you go back to the back of the group. You believe you’re being followed, to see if you can find… You don’t see anything out there. Just empty plains. Long dark fields. Seems like they haven’t pursued you at all. Whatever Doomsinger did, he’s obviously made a good go of it.

Mhurren: {Challenging} “I know you’re there. Come out.”

GM: And the people behind you start worriedly panicking.

Voices: {Panicked} “Who’s he talking to? Who’s there? Have we been followed? Oh no, we’ve been followed Frank.”

Myx: I am all of a sudden feeling less worried about

GM: Mhurren there is no response to your demands.

Mhurren: Yeah, of course.

Myx: “Tobe?”

Tobe: “Hm?”

Myx: “Is Mhurren okay?”

Tobe: “Well, he said he thinks we’re being followed, so I think he just attempted to call them out. I don’t think that was a good plan, but immediately we need to decide what we’re going to do with these thirty odd panicking people with basically death canyon ahead of us and possibly people following behind us.”

Myx: “I definitely don’t think there’s any way we can pass through the canyon. We have to go back. We have to relay that message to them and they’re all panicked.”

Voice: {Angrily} “Look!”

GM: And at this point, a surly dwarf, a quite tall dwarf, but a surly one nonetheless storms up to both of you and says

Dwarf: {Yelling angrily} “We’ve got to get out of here. There’s who bloody knows what out there and my wife has spent half an hour, half a day in a bloody cage. We were treated like animals. We’re going home. Come on everyone!”

GM: And he charges past you and people follow.

Mhurren: Oh, shit.

Tobe: Well, shit.

Myx: Can I restrain him?

GM: You can try.

Myx: I’m going try and restrain this very burly dwarf. Run up in front of him, “Look, you have to stop! You cannot go forward.” If he doesn’t at that point, I will physically try.

GM: He slows down, but the people behind him don’t but They’re not quite up to where you are, yet. So he slows down.

Dwarf: “Give me one good reason.”

Myx: “You’re a dwarf.”

Dwarf: {Sarcastically yelling with anger} “Well, that’s a great reason!”

GM: And he shoves past you.

Myx: Can I tackle him?

GM: So he barges into you, and just shoulder shoves you out of the way. You can try and grab him. That’s a natural twenty with his shove, so.

Mhurren: (chuckles) He’s really big.

GM: No, He’s just very, very upset. He’s trying to get his wife home and you two are {angry emphasis} dilly dallying. Are you going to grab him?

Erbak: That’s some very serious language there lads.

Myx: I aim my crossbow right in front of him. Not to hurt him, but just to

Tobe: Can I stop her?

GM: You can try. So you see Myx pull out her crossbow, looking frustrated and aiming at this dwarf.

(all laughing)

Tobe: I just run up to her and like puts my hand on the crossbow to aim it at the ground, before she does something stupid.

Myx: {frustrated} “He won’t listen to me.”

Tobe: “I think at this point. The moment has passed. There’s thirty odd people that we have to try and stop.”

GM: More and more of these people are starting to actually walk past you now and you get the occasional glance of someone looking at you. A female dragonborn walks past you. You’re talking to Tobe. You turn to look at her and ‘he won’t listen to me!’ and she huddles her little dragonborn child against her leg and hurries past.

Myx: I facepalm. I realize the hole that I’m digging.

Tobe: “The moment has passed. Yes, we’re heading into danger, but there’s also possibly danger behind us. We’re just going to have to try and make the best of it and get as many of these people out the other side of that canyon alive. Okay?”

Myx: “Do you know what can be found in canyons?!

Tobe: “Yes! And ther are people lining the edge of this one with big rocks! Can we go? Before these people die with no one to protect them?”

Myx: I cross my arms and start walking after the dwarf. Not to catch up with him, not to say anything. Just okay, let’s follow the people.

GM: Scraw is wandering hurriedly trying to keep up with some of the people who are now storming ahead.

Scraw: “Everyone stay together! Stay together!”

GM: And he walks past.

Scraw: “What the hell is going on?”

Myx: “Ask the dwarf.”

Tobe: “Bad people skills.”

GM: Oh, from Tobe! Let’s get you a bucket of ice. Mhurren, you look behind you as you see the crowd rushing ahead of you. And you look around frustrated as nobody has come forth. No one has responded to your demands. You turn back to the crowd of people who are rushing ahead and you hear (clacking) and you turn again and you hear (clacking). And you look down at your bag and you take it off and you hear (clacking) and you put your bag down and you open it and you see that your hammer and crowbar have been clanging together the entire way.

Mhurren: (groan)

GM: You see the crowd of people rush ahead. You see Scraw hurrying after them and trying to get.. Do you let all of these people past you? Or Tobe and Myx, are you guys still trying to keep a general lead?

Tobe: Yeah, I’m trying to get to the front because hopefully if anyone sees anything coming, it will be them and they can try and do something about it. Trying to look out for any potential dangers.

Myx: I’m still at the front of them, between the dwarf and the group of people following. So still quite in front. But I have my arms crossed and am mumbling to myself.

GM: Tobe, you’re rushing ahead and you think briefly of Oz. God, he doesn’t have night vision. And then, you look around and realize.. it suddenly occurs to you, he’s not on your shoulder or your horns. He’s not with you right now.

Tobe: Well, I’ll just have to unpack that later. And there’s no way for me to actually locate him. Can I feel him?

GM: You can, but it’s stretched and you have no idea where he is.

Tobe: I just dismiss him.

GM: Nothing happens.

Tobe: But I can still feel him?

GM: Mhm.

Tobe: That’s very concerning.

GM: It is this momentary realization that since before the chaos in the mess hall, because presumably you didn’t take Oz in with you as that might have raised suspicions. You have not seen nor heard from your talkative charming bird.

You rush ahead of the majority of the people and you catch up with the dwarf, who has thus far just about reached the entrance of this valley and is still storming. He’s petering out a little bit because, you can only burn on anger and frustration and fear for so long. This chasm looks a little bit ominous. Perhaps questioning the validity of his decision making.

Erbak, you’re fairly confident that you’re making the quickest pace that you’re able to, to get back to Greenest within a reasonable time frame. You are hurrying along, probably with the knowledge that if you’re not able to get Leosin to somewhere where he can get medical attention either from another doctor or from yourself, but with your equipment and your appropriate tooling and medicines that Leosin’s probably going to suffer pretty badly. So, you’re hurrying more than you perhaps should and your stealth is certainly failing.

You can’t do a huge amount of it, because obviously you’ve got this borderline comatose person dragging his feet along slowing you down. And your attempts to hurry him are only causing the two of you to make more noise. However, your journey does seem to be progressing reasonably well. Made at least a mile and a half out of the bandit camp.

So, Tobe, you are leading the way. You’ve made your way up to this dwarf. Do you say anything to him or are you just following along?

Tobe: It doesn’t really feel like there’s anything I can say, cause I’m not good at peopling either. We’re Indiana Jones-ing this shit.

GM: You are wandering along now in the beginnings of this chasm. Side by side with this dwarf and you’re watching the edges as you go by. To remind you, this is only a chasm that’s ten, fifteen foot high. So it’s not exactly the grand canyon. These are not falling from a great height. And in fact, in the distance, the top of the chasm. You can see the area where there are very large boulders lining the edges. However, that’s all you can actually see.

Tobe: I can’t see any people at all?

GM: You don’t notice any movement. You don’t spot anyone. You see large boulders lining the tops of the crevasse.

Tobe: I pat the dwarf on the shoulder to make him aware of the boulders on the edges as well.

GM: You tap on the shoulder, he goes

Dwarf: {angrily} “Eh? What? I’m not stopping. We’re going ‘ome!”

Tobe: I point at the boulders.

Dwarf: “What, you a rock collector? Do it in your own time. There’s people need saving.”

Tobe: “Will you calm down and be quieter?”

Dwarf: {angrily yelling}”You calm down. I’m tired of being told what to do. Who are you anyway?”

Tobe: “It doesn’t matter who I am.”

Dwarf: “I’m glad we agree.”

Tobe: ” I’m trying to save your life. And their lives, and there are massive rocks on the edge of a cliff face.”

Dwarf: “Well, they look quite large. They’re not likely to fall on their own.”

Tobe: “That’s my point.”

GM: He looks at you like what’s your point? And walks off.

Tobe: You know what? Maybe I should have let Myx shoot him. I’m good but there’s no accounting for my lack of patience.

GM: You guys keep moving your way through this crevasse. Are you doing anything?

Mhurren: I wanted to climb up the walls if I could.

GM: Scraw sees you do this. He actually drops back to the back of the crowd and as he’s going, he’s just ushering people forward. “Keep going, Keep going” And then he sees you climbing still. You scale it easily, and Scraw sees you. You make eye contact and he nods and he actually scales the other side.

Mhurren: I lay low, move forward. I wanna stealth if I can.

GM: So you stealth and Scraw does the same on the other side. You see him drop down into a crouching pose. And he starts progressing forwards towards the area in the distance. And you do the same.

Mhurren: I’m looking for the big rocks and trying to see if there are anyone near them.

GM: And you’re stealthing towards them at this moment in time.

You see the boulders in the distance fairly easily and you don’t see any people around. The boulders are still in the distance. They aren’t close, they aren’t particularly far either way. Seems like there’s just a lot of boulders lining this crevasse and you turn and you see Scraw and he’s sneaking along. And as he gets to within a similar range as you, he looks across the chasm at you and he looks sort of quizzically and points ahead. And then he looks back at the rocks and he looks at you and shrugs questioningly. And he stands up, starts walking towards the rocks.

Mhurren: “No, no, no. Wait a little bit.”

GM: He sees you and he stops and goes back into a crouch. Shrugs with his hand.

Mhurren: I just put a finger to my mouth. “Shh.”

GM: He continues to palms up.

Scraw: “What..? I don’t?”

GM: But he resigns, stops and crouches and waits to see what you do.

Mhurren: Can I make my way towards the nearest boulder? Close enough that I can see if it’s being held by any contraptions or anything. About twenty, thirty feet?

GM: You get within twenty, thirty feet range. By the time you’re that close, you can see quite clearly there’s no one here. So by the time you’re that close, Scraw’s like ‘well, fuck this’ and he gets up and starts walking towards the boulders as well.

In terms of contraptions, there’s a big stick that’s leverage underneath the edge of the rock and it’s sitting on top of another rock. But it doesn’t appear to be tied to anything or attached to anything. It’s just a big plank.

Mhurren: Is there a way for me to disarm it safely?

GM: I mean it’s a plank of wood.

Mhurren: I’m sorry, I apologize in advance.

(laughter)

GM: Okay so you ‘disarm’ the stick. You pull it away from the rock. Nothing happens. Good job. You now have a large wooden plank that’s about your height.

Mhurren: Yay. It’s all I ever wanted.

Erbak: To be fair, That could have gone wrong.

GM: Oh no absolutely, if he rolled a one, he was going to fucking.. he’s like hmm, lever! Boulder crash! You take the plank out and you realize that oh, this is literally just there to make it easier people to lever the rocks down because the rocks are quite large and couldn’t reasonably be moved by just shoving.

Mhurren: Just take out the sticks as I

GM: Do you want to go from boulder to boulder taking the planks away? Roll a strength check for me. I just want to see how many planks you can carry before you start thinking about why you’re carrying planks.

Get to the second boulder and you pull out the second plank easily enough, it’s fine. And then you go to pick up the first plank and you realize it’s actually quite hefty solid wood, cause it’s meant to be the kind of wood that’s not really going to bend when you try to use it as a lever to roll a giant boulder made of stone.

You try to carry both of them.

Ah, shit, um. You do this sort of Charlie Chaplin style scene where you pick up one and ‘oh, this is heavy’ and you pick up the second one, and you’re like ‘oh, christ this is too heavy. hang on I’ll put down the first one to pick up the second one.’ And you pick up the second one, you’re like ‘that’s better’ and pick up the first one, ‘oh, no, the first one’s too heavy.’

Mhurren: I just leave the planks.

GM:You can just leave the planks, yeah. As you do so, you’re looking up; you know what? You put it down and you look up and you see Scraw and he’s holding three and looking at you like ‘what?’

(laughing)

GM: He calls across.

Scraw: “Shall I carry yours?”

GM: Myx and Tobe, you hear.. across this crowd of people, you hear that echo. You have no idea of the context at all.

Tobe: I decide I don’t want to know the context of that. I just keep going.

GM: Do you continue moving forwards, Mhurren?

Mhurren: Mhm.

GM: Scraw sees you dropping the planks. Oh, I guess we’re leaving these and he puts them back. You see Scraw dramatically swoop down into a low crouch on the ground and he gives you a big dramatic nod. And then continues onwards. As do you.

So you guys all carry on. Tobe and Myx, you get the impression that Scraw, at least, is on the edge of the chasm above you. So you get the sense you have an overwatch. And you follow the townsfolk/rescued prisoners to the end of the chasm rather uneventfully. At which point

Mhurren: I would offer to take the lead. I relay that the pursuer had fled.

(laughter)

GM: Mhurren is very confident.

Tobe: Oh god.

Mhurren: Outnumbered.

Scraw: “Yes, that must be it. We are an intimidating bunch.”

Mhurren: “Well, you are at least.”

Scraw: “Ha ha ha! Worry not everyone, we’re halfway there.”

GM: And everyone is starting to gather round and go ‘oh, that’s good. Halfway there! Mom, I’m hungry!”

Scraw: “Who wants rations?”

GM: And then people are like ‘what?’

————————————————–29:12——————————–

Scraw: “They’re these!”

GM: And he brings out dried bits of meat. And some of the kids are like grabby hands and some of the people who are very badly malnourished are readily accepting anything that they’re being given. And Scraw gives away all of his food.

Erbak: Hurray! No cannibalism.

GM: Yes, in that whole four hour journey, there was no cannibalism, hurrah.

Myx: I’m just going to stick to Tobe.

Scraw: “I’ll stay at the back and protect you all. Now follow my friend here, Mhurren the Undying.”

GM: And everyone’s like ‘ooh, that’s a fancy title. He sounds brave.’

Mhurren: I just start walking.

Scraw: “Now, remember everyone! You were saved by the Scales of Justice!”

Voice 1: “Scales of Justice? Who’s that?”

Voice 2: {Hushed whisper} “I’m not sure. Think it might be them.”

GM: Mhurren. It doesn’t take you long until you find the original path that you all took when leaving Greenest and before you diverted away around this chasm. You do see in the distance, just on the edges of your vision, two humanoid figures in the distance appearing to walk in the same direction that you are headed. And you do see freshly trodden tracks in the path that you originally took to the camp. And they’re walking away from you. And the two figures you see in the distance appear to also be walking towards Greenest away from you, but following more or less the same path. Erbak, you have a low torch and you are making your way through the open plains. You hear, in the distance, rabid growls.

Erbak: Is it ahead or behind me?

GM: It’s to one side, but it seems to be at a fair distance and you estimate that actually if you continue on your way so long as you manage to stay quiet, it’s not likely to affect you. You continue on your way making your best effort to maintain your direction towards Greenest and try to avoid the attention of these growling beasts in the distance and as you move along, being as quiet as possible after a few minutes, the growling stops. And a few minutes later, even further in the distance, you hear (howling). It’s heading away from you. Yes, you manage to avoid any attention. Mhurren, you hear howling in the distance. It does not appear to be near to you per se, but all of the people that you’re with also hear it. And they have no sense of how far away that is in the dark. Somebody in the group of people shrieks and people start to panic and start hurrying.

Mhurren: I turn back around to the other guys. “We’ve got company!”

GM: It makes people panic more and people start rushing in any which way they can. What do you all do? Myx, Tobe, you guys are in the best position for this as you’re in the middle.

Tobe: I’m going to collar as many people as I can. “No, don’t run off. Stay where you are, stay where you are.”

Myx: I will help with that and basically try and talk to them and say, “Look, if you guys just stay together, we will take care of you. We will protect you. Please, just stay together.”

Tobe: Yeah, I do decide to use thaumaturgy to tell the entire group of people to stay where they are. I cast thaumaturgy. “I know you’re all scared, but I need every single one of you to stay where you are. If you all start running away in different directions, we can’t protect you.” Fucking hell! (laughing)

GM: Wow. Fair play. They fucking listen. They all freeze in their tracks as this giant booming voice, “I know you’re all scared, but..” Okay, maybe we should listen. Damn, Tobe with the rolls.

Tobe: Making up for that one that Myx got.

GM: But they all stop suddenly and freeze.

Scraw: “Yes, now stay together! Come closer to me or to the lady with the light. Everything’s going to be fine!”

Tobe: I think it’s best that we try to move on, but where everyone’s presumably crowding towards Myx and Scraw, I’m going to try and make sure that I’m on the outside of the crowd. So that if they get attacked by anything, I’m closer to be able to handle it without having to push my way through loads of people. Trying to hurry them along, so they’re not just standing there when whatever is out there has presumably heard him and wonder what that loud fucking noise was.

GM: Mhurren, you start hurrying forwards. Erbak, you would have heard the voice of Tobe at this point. Even at that distance, you would have heard Tobe shouting ‘everyone stay together. I know you’re all afraid.’ because the two people in the distance are you and Leosin.

Erbak: Well, that clearly means that something may be going after them or it could possibly mean that. If I look around, can I spot them?

GM: Yeah, you turn around when you hear this in the distance and you see that about a hundred feet or so behind you, there is a large group of people and that appears to be where the source of Tobe’s voice came from.

Erbak: hmmmmm, well I’m quite aware that there’s a strong possibility that wolves tend to pick off stragglers from the pack, so I’m going to make my way towards the party.

GM: So, Mhurren, you are leading the group forwards to the best of your ability and you see that the two figures that you were following now, after Tobe’s shouts, appear to be coming towards you. You see the outline a lizardman. You can’t clearly see the outline of the other figure, but he has his arm over the lizardman and they are walking back towards you. And the lizardman, you can’t see much in the way of detail, but they don’t appear to be moving in a way that is hostile. You continue leading people towards these figures and in the direction of Greenest and before long, you encounter Erbak, who is with Leosin.

Mhurren: “Doctor. It’s good to see you.”

Erbak: “I had been wondering where you’d gone to. There are wolves approaching, from what it sounds like, so we should probably stick together.”

Mhurren: “We should. Let’s keep moving!”

GM: And the people are following you along. And the dwarf is shortly behind.

Dwarf: “You know these people?”

Mhurren: “Yes, they’re friends.”

Dwarf: “That one’s looking rough. Did you do it?”

GM: He’s saying that to you, Erbak. Pointing at you. Pointing at Leosin and asking if you did it.

Mhurren: I look at the dwarf.

Erbak: “If I did it, I wouldn’t be carrying him around. He’s very heavy.”

Dwarf: “You make a fair point. Let’s keep going.”

GM: Erbak is still shouldering Leosin. However, he has been making his way. Erbak, you and Mhurren are now working together to lead the horde of people back to Greenest. At this point, you guys have traversed about two miles worth of ground. Doesn’t seem like it’s been that much. It feels like you’ve traveled way, way more. But with the pace that you’re at with these people, it’s much slower going than traveling as a small band of adventurers who know what they’re doing. However, despite this, with the teamwork between Mhurren and Erbak, you guys make your way back to the town of Greenest in a relatively quick pace. It takes you no more than two more hours before you make it back. However, that makes it about one o’clock in the morning when you get to the edge of town. People are so thankful to be there, they immediately disperse to their homes. There are still a smaller group of people that are with you as they are not from Greenest and these are mostly the ill, the injured, the malnourished. Not all of them are terribly well off, but they are looking to you.

Voice: “We don’t live here, but is there anywhere we can stay?”

GM: A younger looking tiefling is in the crowd and he’s just looking at you. He looks half-starved.

Tiefling: “I know you guys have already done so much for us, but if we could.. if you can find anywhere for us to be that’s just not a cage, I’m sure it would be better than whatever we’ve been through. Hell, the streets would be better at this point.”

Tobe: “The keep might be a viable place to take them.”

Mhurren: “I think it’s the only place right now.”

Erbak: “I’m on my way there anyway. I’m going to take this fellow here to the medical bay there. Seriously needs some help.”

Tiefling: “That sounds great. Will they have beds? I’m sure that we can work something out. Maybe we can work for a place to stay or I don’t know, but.”

Tobe: “They were housing half the town during the attack from the cultists; I’m sure they’ll have somewhere suitable for you to sleep, hopefully feed and clothe and take care of you. So, just follow us, we know where we’re going.”

Tiefling: “Okay. Come on, guys. We’ve been through worse, let’s go.”

GM: You guys all make your way through the town to the gates of the keep. You guys get back to the keep.

Erbak: Whilst I’m doing that, can I keep an eye open for Nasim? With the intent of trying to not be seen by him?

GM: And it’s one in the morning, so you guys are grilled very briefly up until someone actually raises a torch and sees who are. Realizes why you’re there with a group of people and ushers you into the keep. Once you’re inside..

Erbak: I’m taking Leosin to the medical bay.

Mhurren: I’m just making sure the prisoners get to the keep.

Tobe: Trying to find someone who can tend to the rescuees that we have. And if there’s not, then Tobe will unceremoniously wake someone.

GM: There’s a handful of guards around and they’re more than happy to find somewhere for the people to stay. Under guard, just because it’s one in the morning and they don’t know who these people are, but not in chains. They’ve been given comfortable beds and free roaming access. In the same way Doomsinger was under general suspicion. If they want to leave, they can go. If they want to say, they’ll have a guard with them until someone official talks to them and sorts out the details. But otherwise, yeah, they’re given whatever comforts they need. You make it to the medical area with Leosin.

Myx: I will go with, she wants to know…

GM: So Myx and Erbak head over to the medical wing.

Mhurren: I’ll find the governor and or wake him up to let him know.

GM: You want to specifically seek him out?

Mhurren: Yes.

GM: Erbak, you get to the medical wing with Myx in tow and Leosin still stumbling along on your shoulder and you find that there’s a lone Tabaxi there on general watch. She is sitting back in chair with a scroll. You recognize this as the Tabaxi who addressed your issues with your finger, initially. She is the head of the department as it were.

Tabaxi: “Ah, Doctor. What can I help you with? It’s very late.”

Erbak: “You can help me with this.” And I’m just going to lie him down onto a bed.

GM: You take his arm off your shoulder and he unresponsively stands there. And you guide him into a bed.

Tabaxi: “Yes, he does not look well. What did you do to him?”

Erbak: “Seems to be some kind of Post-traumatic stress disorder. Possibly beatings and injury and sustained physical exhaustion. Possibly not too much.”

Tabaxi: “Yes, he does certainly show signs of this. Worry not, though, our specific treatment methods are very good for the mind as well as the internal healing process. We should have him moderately well within a few days.”

Erbak: “How do you think it will take him to recover his senses? At least some of his mental faculties?”

Tabaxi: “I believe in a case this severe? Probably a few days. But if you wish to check on him, that is fine. So long as you do not get in my way, it’s not a problem.”

Erbak: “Very well.” And then I’m just going to sit down.

Tabaxi: She looks at you. “I”m afraid you cannot stay here for three days.”

Erbak: “Not three days. I was merely intending to spend the next few hours with him.”

Tabaxi: “As you wish.”

GM: She begins gentle ministrations on him. Myx, you see the Tabaxi start to work on the patient who is obviously severely overwhelmed at this point in time. But he looks like he’s in good hands. You see Erbak sit himself down.

Myx: I’m pretty tired at this point so confident that he’s with the Tabaxi now, that he’ll be safe, turns to Erbak and says, “Just let us know when he’s awake and feeling a bit better so we can actually talk to him.”

GM: The Tabaxi looks up and says

Tabaxi: “We can arrange this if you wish.”

Myx: “Yes, that would be very helpful, thank you.”

Tabaxi: “I will have one of my associates come and see you as soon as he is ready to talk.”

Myx: “Yeah, thank you.” I leave them to it.

Tabaxi: “You are most welcome.”

GM: Mhurren, how are you going about finding the governor.

Mhurren: “I’m going to find a guard and ask him where I can find the governor.”

GM: You find your way over to the nearest guard and he is actually a Tabaxi.

Guard: “Yes, can I help you?”

Mhurren: “Yes, I need to speak with the governor.”

Guard: “It’s very late, is it urgent?”

Mhurren: “Yes.”

Guard: “May I ask why?”

Mhurren: “Well, we have just returned with prisoners and..”

Guard: “Will they still be here in the morning?”

Mhurren: “Well, yes.”

Guard: “Then I am not sure why you need to see the governor. Is there something that he needs to do right this moment?”

Mhurren: “Well, if you feel this can wait until the morning, then..”

Guard: “Well, I do not know. Can it wait until the morning?”

Mhurren: “I guess we’ll have to find out.” I walk away.

GM: Tabaxi are just like ‘people need sleep. what’s your problem? Wait until morning. Is anybody on fire? Nah, it’s probably fine.’ Do you just want to make your way back to the quarters you were given previously or?

Tobe: I do, but now that I don’t have the rest of rescuees to worry about, I’m getting increasingly concerned that I cannot dismiss my familiar. I’m trying over and over again.

GM: This is fucking weird. Ever since you’ve had the ability to interact with the entity that is Oz, this has never happened. And you know that Oz is directly connected to your connection with the Raven Queen. When you made your pact with the Raven Queen, Oz came into your life. It can’t mean good things. Whatever it means. Something is different.

Tobe: I’m going to seek out Myx, cause I’m approaching

GM: I’m freaking out man!

Tobe: Anxious to sleep.

GM: So you head towards the medical wing. Myx, when you left Erbak, what are you doing?

Myx: Just to find someplace quiet and to recover.

GM: In that regard, then I imagine you guys just encounter one another in the hall. Tobe approaches you in a flustered panic.

Myx: “Tobe, what’s wrong?”

Tobe: {flustered} “Do you remember the last time that Oz was in your sight or with me anywhere?”

Myx: “It was before we infiltrated the camp, wasn’t it?”

Tobe: “I don’t know where he is, and I can’t dismiss him.”

Myx: “What does that mean?”

Tobe: {frustrated} “I don’t know, it’s never happened. I should be able to dismiss him and resummon him at will, essentially. He is directly connected to my connection with the Raven Queen, my patron, and I can’t dismiss him, and I don’t know where he is.”

Myx: “So, could anyone be stopping the connection between you two? Is that a thing?”

Tobe: {worried} “I don’t know! It’s literally never happened before. I mean, I guess, maybe? Unless it’s another god that’s doing it.. cause you know, Raven Queen, kind of a big deal, god of death basically.”

Myx: “Yeah, of course.” I don’t know why Oz wouldn’t be there, but I really desperately want to try comfort Tobe somehow.

Tobe: My tail is doing that thing that cat’s tails do when they’re agitated. Back and forth really fast.

Myx: I put my hand on Tobe’s shoulder. “Whatever’s happening, we will find him.”

Tobe: “I hope so because..(groaning).”

Myx: “I know you’re anxious and I know that it’s not the best thing to hear right now, but maybe just for now, get some rest. Oz will be okay and we can put on full search party mode for him tomorrow morning.”

Tobe: “A whole search party’s not going to work for a bird.”

Myx: “We’ll think of something. There’s enough heads between us and we’ll figure it out.” I’m very convinced we can figure it out.

Tobe: I take a deep breath, because I trust Myx’s judgement. “Okay.”

Myx: “Oz can communicate with you, so..”

Tobe: “Within a certain distance! I haven’t seen him, and I haven’t heard him. I haven’t heard him, Myx. I mean, I know that you don’t know, but this bird is very chatty and sarcastic.”

Myx: “One way or the other. We will do everything we can to find him. He knows that you’re here. He knows that you two have a bond, and that you’re no doubt worrying about him. We will find him.”

Tobe: “Okay, okay.”

Myx: And I extend an offer for them to find somewhere to sleep near each other so that if Tobe wakes up in the middle of the night and is upset, then I can try and comfort him and be there for him.

Tobe: I accept that offer.

GM: You guys go back to the general area where you’re quarters were you find a spare room that has some single beds and you scooch them nearer to each other as this room does not appear to be occupied or recently used and you settle down for the night. A few minutes later you hear

Voice: {muffled} “Tobe! Myx!”

GM: Scraw is in the corridor looking for you guys.

(knocking)

Scraw: “Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you. Have you seen my (mumbling)?”

Myx: “What?”

(knocking)

Tobe: I get out of bed and opens the door

GM: As you do so, he’s standing there ready to knock.

Scraw: “Tobe! I thought we’d lost you.”

Tobe: “No, I’m right here.”

Scraw: “That’s good. Oh. Time to bed down, then?”

GM: And he walks over to the nearest bed that neither of you are occupying and collapses face first.

Tobe: Okay, then.

GM: Moments later. (loud snoring) It doesn’t last. He turns over seconds later. (sleep noises)

Myx: I make sure my head is underneath my pillow, so I can just muffle out some of the sound.

GM: Mhurren, you found your way back to the quarters. Did you have anything you wanted to do or were you just going to head to sleep?

Mhurren: I wanted to go find Erbak. I’ll just stand outside the room and wait until he gets back in.

GM: So, Erbak?

Erbak: I’m going to basically take to my spellbook. It looks like a set of notes anyway. Take it out and take some notes down on what Leosin’s state of mind seems to be like, because he’s awake. I’m assuming he’s awake. And seeing how he reacts to things. How the PTSD type thing is affecting him.

GM: So you just take notes on how he’s responding to things, what treatments appears to be affecting him, how he’s acting and what sort of stimuli he’s responsive to, if any.

Erbak: I’m going to travel on back to the quarters, then.

GM: You’re waiting outside, Mhurren as Erbak arrives.

Mhurren: “Doctor, good to see you.”

Erbak: “Hail, monk. Is that how you say it? Hail monk? Sorry, I’ve been practicing.”

Mhurren: “Priest is fine.”

Erbak: “Priest, of course, sorry. It’s the robes, they throw me.”

Mhurren: “Quite alright. How is our friend Leosin doing?”

Erbak: “He seems to be under an accelerated state of shock. Seems incapable of responding to much stimuli in the conventional sense. Not to mention, the numerous injuries he’s taken. The doctor said clearly he won’t be in any kind of state for speaking, talking, or responding for approximately three days.”

Mhurren: “So you’ve not been able to gather any information from him?”

Erbak: “He barely responds to any kind of conversational stimuli. He seems to just mutter to himself occasionally. It seems to be Common, what he speaks in. But that is all I’ve been able to discern.”

Mhurren: “Okay, we’ll give it a few days.”

Erbak: “Mhurren, I’m still curious of the nature this letter you supposedly have from your master. You mentioned that he was supposed to be an orc?”

Mhurren: “Yes.”

Erbak: “Yes, and..” I’m going to pull him to one side, here. “One of the things I heard him mutter over and over was something akin to not telling them or not telling anyone. As though he had been, perhaps tortured or perhaps someone had tried to pry information out of him?”

Mhurren: “This, you heard from Leosin?”

Erbak: “From what I could gather in his muttering, yes. Seemed very suspicious, so as opposed to the claims of a bunch of rabid cultists would just take him to torture him for no good reason, it seems like someone wanted information from him. I feel like there could be something deeper here. And I am very curious and somewhat apprehensive now about the situation that you may have gotten yourself involved in and in relation to myself.”

Mhurren: “Well, I’m still trying to get over this discrepancy of whether he’s supposed to be an orcish man or indeed a dragonborn, as we see plain as day as he is here.”

Erbak: “What was it that strange Firbolg fellow told you to give to him?”

Mhurren: “Nasim?”

Erbak: “Yeah. A kind of symbol, perhaps? Something that would belong to him?” Still vedry curious about the state of Leosin and I’m becoming obsessed, cause this is what I do as a weird; weird ass doctor. Studying him, taking notes on his situation, that kind of thing?

GM: So you spend lots of time going in and out of the medical wing and the Tabaxi is getting increasingly frustrated with your presence but doesn’t say anything about it. And I imagine Erbak probably doesn’t even notice.

Erbak: Oblivious. Just focus on my spell I’m preparing in relation to this.

GM: You spend the next few days looking at the notes and translating your thoughts and experiences and experimenting with various magics. Mhurren wants to see Tarbaw. Is there anyone who wants to go along with that?

Tobe: I also want to pass along some information that I did glean in the mercenary tent. I also want to try and contact my patron about what the fuck is going on with my bird.

Erbak: I’ll go with the party when they do go to Tarbaw.

GM: You all wake up the next morning, having rested reasonably and you awake and you are greeted by some guards who recognize you and had heard you come back in the night. You variously are congratulated for returning some of the people and people have heard that various townsfolk have returned home, the news travelling quickly that they were saved by the Scales of Justice. Edric in fact is

Edric: (stuttering) “It’s good to see you. Where’s the Doomsinger? He’s not with you? He must be asleep.”

GM: And he tries to go past you into the quarters.

Mhurren: “Edric.”

Tobe: And all of a sudden realizes he’s not there.

GM: Yeah, so you stop him.

Edric: “um, Yes?”

Mhurren: “He’s not here.”

GM: And that is probably the first time all of you have actually acknowledged this.

Erbak: I am literally going to be only realising this just now.

Mhurren: “Back at the camp; He bought us some time to get the prisoners out.”

Myx: “I assumed he was right behind us.”

Tobe: “I did think it was awfully quiet.”

Erbak: “Quite ironically, he may end up now tied to those stakes that he was so worried he would get tied up against.”

Myx: “That’s not a good thing.”

Erbak: “I didn’t say it was good. I merely said it was ironic.”

GM: Edric looks a little bit devastated.

Edric: “Stakes? That sounds awful.”

Erbak: “Oh, don’t worry, no one was impaled to them. I very much doubt he’d be impaled.”

Tobe: “I don’t think you’re making it any better.”

Edric: “He was kind of a prick, but you shouldn’t.. you left him behind.”

Mhurren: I pat him on the shoulder.

Myx: “We didn’t intend to leave him behind. We had a group of very agitated people we were trying to keep an eye out for.”

Mhurren: “The important thing is he bought us time to get the prisoners out.”

Erbak: “Besides, he may still be alive. They tend to torture people for quite a long time, there, I’d imagine.”

Myx: I go over to Erbak and try to keep his mouth shut.

Edric: (stuttering) “I guess I should take you to Tarbaw. I’m sorry guys, that’s really awful. I guess you won’t be needing me to keep you guys in line. Follow me. I’ll wake the governor.”

Mhurren: “I’m sure you could keep Scraw in line.”

Edric: “He doesn’t need me, he’s fine. Everybody trusts Bugbears.”

GM: He leads you basically across the corridor to the quarters of Tarbaw Nighthill. He knocks on the door..

Edric: “um; Governor Nighthill?”

GM: The governor shortly answers the door.

Nighthill: “Yes? What can I do for you, Edric? Ah. How good to see you all. Come in, please.”

GM: He ushers you all into his room and offers you seats.

Nighthill: “I see that you are all unharmed. Did it go well?”

Myx: “As well as it could have gone.”

Tobe: “All things considered, it could have ended much worse.”

Nighthill: “Yes, I imagine so. You all made it back here remarkably uninjured.”

Mhurren: “We have returned the prisoners. Some of them not from Greenest, as it seems. Not all of us made it, we left one behind.”

Nighthill: “That’s unfortunate. I’m very sorry to hear that and I am sure that we can in no way replace him but I will be willing to..”

Mhurren: “Wait, he’s not dead.”

Nighthill: “Impart his reward to the rest of you. I’m sure he’s not! Of course, my mistake, I apologize. I misunderstood. Clearly. I thought you meant you lost one.”

Erbak: “The Doomsinger will probably prove incredibly difficult to kill. Extremely agile and cunning.”

Nighthill: “Then let us hope. And what have you learned?”

Tobe: “I managed to learn that it seems that they don’t plan to move on to anywhere else immediately. It seems they’re quite happy with the hoard that they’ve got from Greenest and the people I managed to talk to, they think they might be there for a fair while. A couple of weeks?”

Nighthill: “Doesn’t bode well for nearby settlements. What of their plans?”

Mhurren: “They plan to move into Greenest and take it over completely.”

Nighthill: “You heard this from them?”

Mhurren: “I think that’s what they wanted to do.”

Nighthill: “Well then, We must arm and protect the city. We must rally the forces and guard our borders. Plan on taking over the city. We stand no chance. We can barely defend the keep. Do you have any details about how they plan to do this?”

Erbak: “They seem to consist of multiple factions. Some sort of groups of possibly hired mercenaries? It seems that have some recruited people from somewhere as opposed to being one large cult.”

Nighthill: “They’ve recruited mercenaries to take over the city. I see. Then why would they abandon it? It doesn’t make sense to me.”

Tobe: I’m a little confused. I don’t remember them saying at any point that they plan to take over Greenest.

Mhurren: Sorry! Yeah, I might have been remembering from someone else’s conversation.”

Tobe: Wow.

GM: And now Tarbaw does not trust your intel.

Tobe: Yeah, I’m very wait when did this happen? I’m just kind of looking at Mhurren Cause what I heard was at least for now they weren’t really going anywhere because they had plenty of food, they had plenty of riches, conflicting with the limited information that I got hold of.

Nighthill: “This is troubling. If there’s even a small possibility that this is the case, we must be prepared. Perhaps we will need more information yet.”

Erbak: “I do recall that the mercenary companies seem to have a particular type of uniform for each one. Yellow, black and red sashes?”

Nighthill: “That could be any number of things. Do you remember any particular symbols?”

Mhurren: “Didn’t they fly three banners?”

Tobe: “There was a black one where they had a claw as an insignia on their flag. The yellow one was an arm inside a coat, if I remember correctly. The yellow one was very literal for as far as coat of arms goes.”

Nighthill: “Indeed. Did any of you interact with these yellow coats? Did you see a kobold with a large wizard hat?”

Erbak: “I don’t recall seeing such a thing.”

Myx: “I don’t remember anything like that.”

Mhurren: “I saw a number of kobolds.”

Nighthill: “Specifically related to the yellow banner.”

Mhurren: “Well, they were certainly within the camp. Oh, he was at the entrance! I suddenly remember!”

Nighthill: “Curses. Wolfgang the Magnificent. He is a fierce and powerful leader of his.. he drives his mercenary troop with an iron fist. He is a kobold of no small talent or imagination. He’s the cruelest of the lot. The black claw sounds like the Blackclaws. This red flag I’m not familiar with, though it could be The Reavers, or possibly the Strawmen. I’m not sure. Nevertheless, if they’re recruiting mercenary companies they must have already amassed a great hoard of wealth. This does not bode well. Not at all.”

Tobe: “What they took from Greenest will only bolster their coffers.”

Erbak: “Wait a minute! All the ones we initially met would boast frequently about how they were amassing gold for their god. I knew it. They were amassing it for these mercenary companies. That’s why they looked at us strangely when we tried to sneak in with the cultist cloak on. Of course.”

Tobe: “They could be amassing it for both purposes. Dragons covet gold like no other.”

Erbak: “Why did no one in the camp wear the masks of the cult or the robes of the cult?”

Tobe: “Probably because they were inside their own camp. Don’t need to be able to identify each other easily. They would just assume that anyone who is wandering around is supposed to be there.”

Erbak: “Does a priest walk around his church without his collar?”

Tobe: “Not really the same thing.”

Erbak: {frustrated noises} “This is all…” {frustrated noises}

Tobe: “Think about it this way. They’re members of a cult who were, until recently, attacking a settlement. They need to be able to recognize each other quickly in that kind of situation, but when you’re at home, you would take off your formal wear because you are at home. In that settlement, they are basically at home. They don’t need to be able recognize each other on sight because they assume that everyone there is meant to be there.”

Nighthill: “That sounds like a reasonable assumption, but perhaps time will tell. Is there anything else you can tell me? Is there anything you need?”

Mhurren: “Leosin?”

Nighthill: “The gentleman you were looking for.”

Erbak: “Were you aware of a monk, perchance, from this organization called Talons of Justice.”

Nighthill: “I met the firbolg, Nasim. He mentioned that his master was here on the night of the attack when Mhurren told me that he was looking for someone, and then I spread the word around amongst my men. And I met the firbolg who found out that I was looking for someone who was of that name, and I directed him towards Mhurren. But otherwise, I am afraid I have very little awareness of these people. I’ve been very busy. You understand I can’t possibly expect to know every person in my city.”

Erbak: “I just wondered if you perhaps knew the organization itself.”

Nighthill: “Talons of Justice. I’m afraid I’ve not heard of them myself.”

Erbak: I’m just going to scurry off to the sickbay now because he’s a little bit worried about something.

Mhurren: Yeah, can I follow him?

GM: So you both get up in a hurry.

Nighthill: “Let me know if there’s anything you need or any developments.”

Mhurren: “Thank you, governor.”

Tobe: “Well, I guess that’s it.” I’m not worried about it. I don’t know why they suddenly got up and rushed out.

Myx: Me either, so.

GM: Erbak, Mhurren, you guys rush over to the medical wing. When you arrive there, the Tabaxi doctors are administrating. There’s two or three of them working at the moment and they are ministrating Leosin who still appears to be relatively out of it. And you do see that he has a visitor, who is the previously quite badly injured firbolg, who was very bandaged up. And now looks much better, as he’s obviously spent the last 24 hours getting fairly increased levels of treatment, rather than the triage treatment that he would have received. And he looks up, and you both recognize this to be Nasim. He gives you a big, broad smile.

Nasim: “Hello, so good to see you.”

Mhurren: “Nasim. Greetings.”

GM: He nods his head.

Mhurren: I was just following Erbak because I wanted to talk to him about Leosin but now that we’re here, I’m just standing back and observing. “Well met.”

Erbak: “I seen you found your companion then? Or well, we found him.”

Nasim: “Yes, I asked the guards to let me know if he was brought back. And he was. So, here I am. And I have you to thank for this?”

Erbak: “Yes, we freed him.”

Nasim: “That is good. I am grateful. You are unharmed, I hope?”

Erbak: “I, myself, am.”

Mhurren: Just wanted to observe the markings on Leosin. His features, his scar. Double checking.

GM: You wander over. He appears to be a silver dragonborn. There is a large scar across his face. He is covered in various injuries that are now much better attended to than they were yesterday. You do notice on looking closely that one of the new injuries he appears to have is a heavy pressure mark around his neck where, for example, if one were wearing something like a choker and it was snapped off forcibly, it might leave some kind of abrasion. And other than that, nothing particularly stands out.

Mhurren: But at the moment he seems out of it?

GM: Oh, he’s totally out of it. At this point he’s no longer babbling, but he’s glassy stare into space. So while you guys are there interrogating, what do Myx and Tobe want to be doing?

Tobe: I want to find a quiet place where I can try and I guess meditate to contact my patron to find out what is going on. Cause it’s the only thing I can think of, really.

Myx: I’ll go with Tobe, mostly to make sure that he remains undisturbed, so that if anyone comes up and has news, then I can usher them away.

GM: You quite easily find an area. In fact, you just go back to your quarters. You find that this has been the most isolated place that you can be. No one’s going to disturb you here. You sit down in your.. you get yourself comfortable and you begin to slowly meditate. Myx, you take up a position guarding the door and it is not long at all before (knocking).

Myx: I jump up and go to the door quietly. “Shh, Tobe’s concentrating.”

GM: You open the door and you’re immediately like “Shh, Tobe’s concentrating.” but there’s no one there. You hear a quiet whisper in your ear.

Voice: “Come to me. I need you.”

GM: It’s a voice that you are familiar with.

Myx: I check in on Tobe to make sure he looks okay and gently close the door behind me and follow the voice.

GM: You make your way out of the tower where you last stayed was. And it’s not so much you’re following the voice, so much as you feel a pulling direction and you are at the gate to the keep. The tug is pulling you away. What do you do?

Myx: Feel very confused, but go along with the tugging.

GM: Myx, the voice that you hear is the voice of Titania. She is calling you away from wherever you are right now. Do you wish to follow?

Myx: Yes.

GM: You follow the sensation that you are being drawn away and you follow it for the best part of a half hour to an hour. You find yourself on the edge of the city. And the sensation continues to pull.

Myx: {confused} “My lady?” I’m very unsure why I’m being pulled away so far from where she was.

GM: In the distance, not in the direction that you went towards the camp, but in the opposite direction. You see, a few miles out of town, there are some woods. And the sensation of pulling appears to be pulling you in that direction. Knowing your patron as you do, she is a fey, she is of the wild, she is of the woods, she does not deal with the lands of men commonly. She has no interest in cities and towns.

Myx: I just continue to follow the pulling feeling.

GM: Back to Erbak, Mhurren.

Erbak: “Mhurren, I’d like to learn more about the organization that you and this gentlemen work for. Could you both perhaps fill me in? I’m very curious.”

Nasim: {Jokingly} “Oh, you are of the Talons of Justice, are you?”

Erbak: “Yes, yes, we are.”

Nasim: “That is very strange.”

GM: And he looks at you cock-eyed.

Nasim: “Hmm I believe you are playing a joke. It is very funny. Ha. Ha. Ha.”

GM: Tobe, you are in meditation for an hour, two, three. Nothing seems to be happening particularly. You feel very relaxed up until you start feeling less relaxed as you get the increasing sense that the Raven Queen calls, she doesn’t tend to listen.

Tobe: Yeah, I think after three hours of nothing, I would give up. I do give up. After three hours, I realize that I’m not getting anywhere, if I was, I would expect to hear something by now. I snap out of it.

GM: It’s the first time that Tobe’s ever really tried to communicate with the Raven Queen, really. Since the pact, he hasn’t really had much interaction with her, right?

Tobe: For reasons, I keep all that stuff at a distance. This is the first time I’ve really needed to.

GM: And he suddenly learns that this isn’t how that shit works, son. But the nonetheless, you do still feel Oz and when you meditate, you do feel your connection with hima little bit more keenly. You can still sense that he’s out there. But there doesn’t seem to be any response to your desire to have him return. What does Tobe do when he comes out of his meditation?

Tobe: Try not to panic. But also I look around and realize that Myx isn’t there.

GM: Yeah, Myx is not in the room.

Tobe: Which doesn’t help. Why am I by myself? Where’s Myx?

GM: Nope, there is no note.

Tobe: I’m going to go and try to find her or ask someone if they’ve seen her.

GM: You spend the best part of forty minutes wandering around, trying to find a guard who may or may not have seen Myx. There doesn’t seem to have been any guards that were on rotation in the area that you guys were sleeping, and so no one there has seen her. You go to the barracks, no one’s seen her there. You swing by the medical wing and see Mhurren and Erbak in deep discussion with the firbolg. Shrug that off in an effort to look for Myx, but no one you’re finding has seen her really.

Tobe: This is not helping!

GM: You stop by the gate and when you get there, you find that the guards who were there have only just started their shift, and they haven’t really seen anyone except for you. You’re the first person they’ve seen all day.

Tobe: (groans) I don’t really have any reason to believe that she would leave the keep without me. My bird has disappeared into thin air. My best friend has disappeared into thin air. What the fuck is going on? I’m lost. For the first time, in probably a very long time, I’m actually lost. I’ve lost my compass! I’d normally use Myx to look for Oz or Oz to look for Myx!

I have no reason to believe, no reason to think that she would leave the keep. So I’m still wandering around the keep. Where is she? Where has she gone? I don’t know what to do. I could go out into the town, but I’m also.. why would she go out into the town and not say anything or leave a note. So I’m back and forthing with myself.

GM: How long do you think that goes on?

Tobe: For a fair while before I just have to sit down.

GM: So you wander around for hours and when you finally find yourself sitting down, you are shortly joined by Scraw.

Scraw: “Tobe! It’s good to see you. I’ve been looking for you everywhere. Everybody seems too busy to spend time with me.”

Tobe: “You haven’t seen Myx, have you?”

Scraw: “I’m afraid I haven’t, but I seen you. Would you like to spend some.. we should get a drink. I think we should get some drinks. I think we’ve earned it, don’t you?”

Tobe: “Yeah, yeah. I need a stiff one.”

Scraw: “Very well! To the tavern!”

GM: And he gets up, opens the door, turns to you, looks back and smiles.

Tobe: “No fights this time.”

Scraw: “Scout’s honor.”

Tobe: “What’s a scout?”

Scraw: “I’m not sure, but I heard somebody say it at a pub once. I think it means we get drunk.”

Tobe: “Uhhh I’m not quite that enthused with alcohol, but sure.”

Scraw: “Sure, me either. Me either. I just.. one stiff drink, yep. Just the drink. Just one drink. Yep.”

Tobe: Insight check?

GM: Go ahead. Yeah, he seems like he just wants one drink. He seems very focused on that.

Tobe: Wow. I am really bad at insight.

GM: Tobe is very distracted right now. He’s got no sense direction. Scraw just said do you want go to the pub and he’s like yeah, okay. Someone tell me what to do. Pub, okay, great.

Tobe: I used to be so good at being focused on shit and now I don’t know what I’m doing.

GM: Things will come together, right?

It is now the seventh day of the fifth week of spring. We will come back to Erbak and Mhurren talking will Nasim, Tobe and Scraw are going out to get rickety-wrecked sonnn. I mean, to get a drink. We will discover, perhaps, what is happening with Myx.

Myx: Dun dun dun.

GM: If Tobe hasn’t completely fallen apart by then.

Myx: Poor Tobe!

Ray/GM: And that’s all we have time for this week. Poor Tobe, indeed. Join us next week for episode eleven, “Whilst the Dust Settles.” The song you heard at the beginning of this episode was Extravaganza by TRG Banks. The song you are now hearing is While You Are Here by Ending Satellites. Until next time, travel safe. And remember, the Scales of Justice are here for you. Always.

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