Four Fables

Chapter 33: Shrooms and Gloom

3-19-12 session

Timespan: 3rd Rise 21:1209

The group rested at Keegan’s place. Shintaro tells of his meeting with some of the elder water elementals of Resen. They agreed to help their fight against the Queen if they close a new portal that was mysteriously opened to the Underdark recently. They are also told from Delad that his daughter might be in trouble as a dream told him so and Gunnarr mentioned something wrong at the orphanage at the Sundial Temple. Leo goes to check on the orphanage and the whole group goes to caves where the portal has opened. Shintaro begins to close it while the rest of the party goes inside to investigate.

The smell of mushrooms and gloom permeate the air. A familiar voice comes into Delad’s head, “Oh my beloved, you have returned. You know it’s been 100 days today that your next mission would begin? Don’t worry, Irrbryn is safe…with me." In the darkness, multiple figures emerge. One being the evil Talebrina who seems to smirk at the heroes’ presence. Two other drow appear to be holding scourges, ready for a fight. Among the other drow, a fourth is shrouded in some sort of magical darkness. Talebrina continues, “Now that you are here, this makes my life so much easier. “ She turns to the shadowy figure and says, “You can kill the Montebank now, my love. This is the one I told you about, he has disgraced your name my love!” The shadowy figure’s cloak is cast aside and before the group can react he attacks Delad with a clashing of a staff in his hand. Delad can barely grab hold of the staff in time before the deadly force hits him. He recognizes the staff to be the old one he casted aside last time he was in the Underdark only a few days ago. Delad looks up in horror as the face stares back at him. A mirror image of Delad appears to attack him. Delad searches it’s thoughts psionically to determine if it’s some kind of ruse, a doppelganger maybe. But it’s not. Before the party, from head to toe, is a spitting perfect replica of Delad. Delad holds the staff in disbelief, as even the voice sounds the same as his. The rest of the party stumbles backwards as they hear the same voice of Delad, coming from the attacker, as it says (thanks to Bob Grant as a surprise guest star for the day playing Clone Delad), "Friends! At long last, I’ve found you! I’ve been searching far and wide, following your trail, trying to catch up with you before this imposter led you all to destruction! How could you be fooled by this…this Montebank? After he walked away from everything I fought for? After he discarded the shadows I took up in defense of our world? After he laid down my DAUGHTER and abandoned her to strangers? He even showed you his true self – showed you how he came to be – laughed behind your backs as you studied exactly how Zirithian perfected the process by which he was cloned! Did he make you forget all the confusion and amnesia I suffered? Did he satisfy your doubts by making up some cheap, polished story where that snake, Ryosuke, DIDN’T abuse me and a thousand other students?

Did you really think it could be that easy to make the past disappear, Montebank? Did you convince them not to find and ask any other student what had happened, so your lies would never come to light? Well they come to light now. And you will find your reckoning, you liar, you thief! Did you really believe he was ME, friends? After all we’ve been through – does he act like me? Talk like me? Think back, think hard – did he ever once watch the horses? My lover and I have rescued our daughter from the temple you abandoned her to, and we let nothing stand in our way – because that is a parent’s job, Montebank. There is no blood too sacred to be shed in pursuit of that duty, a duty you so callously cast off – and, my friends, you believed I could be so heartless? You believed I’d really leave my poor precious Irrbryn to strangers? In a cold temple surrounded by pirates and thugs on all sides? No. But Thorin, Leo, don’t worry! Talebrina and I will make the Sundial secure! We’ve concocted a plan, a perfect plan – to show the world that Drow are not evil by nature, but innocent victims of circumstance! Our people need a new home, since this Montebank’s cowardice allowed Zirithian to destroy the last one… And our new home shall be Resen! We’ve opened the way already, and soon our brothers and sisters will roll in like smoke and cleanse like fire, wiping away the brigands and building a new drow home in their wake. Our city of drow will rise up around the Sundial like a hedge, and our blades will keep the temple of Pelor safe! And then the world will see us for who we really are.

But as for now- for now, this Montebank must die. For everything he has done, for laughing off the agony I endured as a child as if it never happened, for lying to my friends, for taking my name, and for LAYING A HAND ON MY DAUGHTER. Until he is dead, she won’t be safe! And I WILL see her safe!" He immediately attacks and backs off into the dark magical shadows. The rest of the drow attack the heroes as the small portals in front of them are used by Dark Delad jumping in and out of combat. Every time they saw him though, he seemed unscathed from their attacks. They eventually see that there are more than just one Dark Delad, 4 clones in total. Though they are damaged, the heroes take down Talebrina and her drow once and for all, including the 4 Delad clones. The last one grabs Delad and says, “Take care of Irrbryn,” as he dies. Delad is silent throughout the fight and doesn’t know what to say.

The group gets Irrbryn back as she is safe and Delad takes her to Nephelim to take care of her from now on. Nephelim promises to do so and says, “Sometimes change is for the better!” and flicks a double headed coin to Delad as he is teleported out of the door. While Delad is gone, the rest of the group talks to each other saying, “How do we know if this is the real Delad that we have now?”

Thorin remembers how not long ago when love for one’s own family can make you do the strangest things. (Flashback) He remembers when Oskoor was taking his final rites into paladinhood at the Sundial Temple (only a day after their fight in the Temple of Erathis), that Oskoor was a bit nervous. Though he didn’t say much, Thorin was able to give him a peptalk. The service started and in the midst of it, Delad (played by Bob) was confronted by an old Bullywug rival of his from his temple named Michigan. Michigan challenged Delad to a proper challenge since he ran away from the temple without taking his final test. He accepts and chases after Michigan up the temple. The monk representatives with Michigan follow the two monks as observers only. The group is also surprised as a half-orc and his band raid the temple in hopes to kill Oskoor. The half-orc, Grudge, is the same one from the time the group was attacked during the joust. Grudge claims that his wife, Lug-Lug was killed by Oskoor along with his unborn daughter. They wrestle towards the edge of the high platform stairs and Oskoor is hanging on to a dying Grudge. Grudge tells him to let him go and Hulda comes up (without the others watching) and proceeds to kill Grudge even more so casting a spell on him. Oskoor, looking for Morodin’s guidance, pulls Grudge up and revives him with Morodin’s blessing. They get up and the fight seems to be over, yet Hulda screams out a lie, “He’s gonna kill him!” and tries to push Grudge off the platform, but Oskoor interrupts her action. She claims that an orc shouldn’t be in Pelor’s temple and begins to leave while Thorin sits there, confused by her actions. The orcs either retreat or give up. Grudge finds forgiveness in Oskoor and vice versa. He makes a promise to never harm again along with which ever orcs and half-orcs want to follow him. They are invited by Oskoor to be a part of the service and Grudge gives the dwarf his sword (which was taken from dwarven enemies of his family). They serve their community service and some stay in Resen after that. (flashback over)

The portal is destroyed thanks to the group and by late morning they arrive at the ship the late Oracle promised them. Thorin finds that the Navy of Cush is in port today for their routine checks around Resen in search of pirates and unloading/loading supplies. Thorin tries to gain audience with the commander, who it turns out to be his old friend Nord. Though they had a falling out and now Nord doesn’t want anything to do with Thorin. He won’t listen and doesn’t believe that he is the Oracle now. Thorin leaves in a huff hoping he might hear him but to no avail.

In the mean time, Delad finds that someone has planted a arcane charge in the hull of the ship and with Balasar’s help, they get rid of it before it damages the ship. They set out in hopes to find the Queen’s secret base. Farnquaa leads them there and there is much resistance. Though, with the help of the water spirits and Jayden’s rituals on the ship, they are able to fight well against the Queen and her armada of ships. They reach the Queen and she agrees to talk to the party since they made it in with such finesse into her base (though battle could happen at any moment again).

Shintaro and Jayden calm the Queen down while Balasar gains favor from the enemy pirates. They realize that the Queen is bothered by something above her and with the proper arcana checks, they notice that the hat on her head is cursed. Jayden tells Delad to throw a dagger at the hat to knock it off, he does so and they find that the spirit of Princess Wei was inside her this whole time. Princess Wei could only speak of what she knew hundreds of years ago before she passed away.

The Queen knew her jig was up and would be going to jail (she didn’t seem to mind actually). The party asked about the artifact and she couldn’t remember anything like it except for one person who stole from her without her realizing it. She recieved a letter a from a man who claimed to have stolen from her two years ago and she knew it was real because the armor she had found was gone (this was the artifact) and her calling card was given back to her (a red feather). Thorin recongized this to be the mysterious doing of Vince two years ago.

After finding some awesome pirate treasure, the group heads back to port. They see that Nord’s ships are passing by and take care of rounding up the remaining pirate prisoners (though Nord is no where to be seen). Thorin brings the group to a large shop on a hill called, “Vince’s Magic Item Emporium.” A woman by the name of Victoria Valencia recognizes Thorin and asks if he’s here to see Vince. Thorin says yes and they proceed to the back fields where they see a headstone labeled, “Vince Valencia 1149-1207.”

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