Four Fables

Episode 304
Madam Eva

Doru singled out the Tabaxi Cleric of the Catlord ripping into his throat and drinking from his open wounds. The party tried to stop him and brought him down as best as possible but they were too late, Breath of Wind was dead. The group continues to lay into the vampire with Father Donavich helping with holy water.

In the midst of the calamity, “Wind” has an out-of-body experience where he meets the Raven Queen. She claims his god, the Catlord, is only superstition and even if he did exist, his powers wouldn’t be able to reach in this otherworldly place. However, her powers do and she offers it to the catfolk. He takes her hand and is returned to the land of the living in the midst of battle, changed to a cleric of the Raven Queen and now a revenant: part mortal, part undead.

Ireena kills Doru on the steps as it ran away in fear from the face of Senna who last screamed, “I didn’t know! Forgive me, my lord!”. Donavich weeps at the dusty remains of his “son” and insists they leave at once. Shep looks at Wind in a new way knowing of his transformation.

They meet with the mercantile and tavern but don’t much luck finding information and items to buy there. The Vistani at the tavern insist they see Madam Eva at the Tser Pool. They also meet Ismark “the Lesser”, Ireena’s step brother. He drunkenly greets them and they convince him to come with them as they travel west to protect Ireena. Before leaving they also console Mad Mary who’s daughter, Gertruda, has run away from home. She fears the worst for her and the party says they will do their best finding her.

While traveling through the woods they are attacked by large Dire wolves and are able to kill most of them and drive the other away. Also, a skeletal horse and skeletal rider came out of the woods while they traveled the road; it seemed to be searching for something with an extinguished lantern in it’s hand. Deckard takes the rider down with a crossbow bolt but the skeletal horse gets away. Finally, a lady named Morgantha tries to sell her special pastries to the group along with some information about Strahd and his land. They buy one dream pastry and Senna feels drawn to eat this wonderful mincemeat pie. She does so and finds herself in a drug-like trance of euphoria. She has a wonderful dream of being home with her family until the party wakes her back to reality from her slumber and is that much more depressed.

They continue to the Tser Pool and find an encampment of Vistani who welcome them with wine, dancing and campfire stories. One mentions a story of an old wizard who came to this land over a year ago and tried to kill Strahd along with other Barovian revolters. He and many of the villagers were killed and cast into the Tser Falls.

The party then meets Madam Eva who knows who they are and was expecting them. She describes their only escape (other than the Vistani who have offered pricey potions to get through the deadly mists which Senna bought one) is release Strahd of his curse. She reads their fortune saying 5 important facts, the locations of 3 ancient relics: the Tome of Strahd, the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind, and the Sunsword. Also, a broken wizard will help them and that Strahd can be found on a balcony. With nothing more to say to them, Madam Eva retires to her bed, exhausted.

That night the group is able to sleep among the Vistani without any issues. The next morning Madam Eva’s tent is there but she is gone. The group continues north to explore to no avail the Tser Falls. After some backtracking and taking a different road, they come across a gallows. A woman is hung by a tree and for a moment, Senna sees herself in the face of the woman hung there. When she double takes, it looks like an unknown peasant. She also thinks that she sees multiple corpses hanging not far in the woods.

That early afternoon, they finally arrive at a crossroads to the north after passing over a tall bridge that spans over Tser Falls, one road leading east towards Castle Ravenloft, another heading south where they came from, and a third leading Northwest.

Episode 303
The Village of Barovia

The group decided to leave upon hearing the chanting. But once doing so they disturb the cult’s “god,” Lorghoth, the Decayer," a large, grotesque body made up of dozens of humanoid arms and legs that shambles to life. They are chased through the dungeon and many are almost eaten, but with tactical thinking they are able to defeat the monster. A husk of a baby is inside it as they realize this is Walter, the dead brother of Rose and Thorn. They lay the boy to rest and the remainder of the blob seeps into the floors.

But the house is not done with them yet. As they race to leave the Durst family home, scything blades and poisonous gas comes from all doors and fireplaces inside the home and every window is bricked up. They try and leave the home but are stopped once again by the ghosts who refuse for them to leave. Realizing it’s not the actual ghosts and just the cursed house itself, the group pushes through the ghosts and are able to break down the front door. They tumble to the now clear streets of the village of Barovia. A hand extends out to Shep, the same bard who he thought he saw kill someone, helps him to his feet and proceeds to welcome them all to Barovia with a lute jig.

The party catches their breath and they walk south west through the empty streets of the village and find themselves at what appears to be the burgomaster’s home. They knock and are told to go away by a female voice. They ask for Kolyan Indirovich as they have been tasked to save his daughter but are told that he is dead as the door opens and a beautiful young human woman appears. She introduces herself as Ireena, the daughter of the burgomaster. Senna is surprised and takes a knife to Ireena’s throat as the ranger shows that the two (Senna and Ireena) look exactly the same, asking what kind of witchcraft is this. Ireena is just as surprised and is able to calm the party down. She doesn’t know why but she does know that this land is full of mystery and death. She explains there home has been riddled with attacks from wolves and other horrible creatures of the night for the past few weeks. Her father died due to a heart attack a few days ago because of these attacks and strangely, the creatures immediately stopped attacking. She and her brother, Ismark, wish to bury him in the cemetery in town. The heroes agree to help after a good night’s rest there.

They do so but Deckard is awoken to a couple of hunters outside of Ireena’s home. He tracks what they are looking for and finds a small snow leopard on the edge of the village near the forest who has been hurt by the hunters. He heals the snow leopard and becomes quick friends with her and “Wind” approves, of course (though Wind knows that it’s not a snow leopard but in fact a baby saber-tooth tiger).

The next day they travel together on Ireena’s wagon and horse, “Lo’shad” (pronounced Low Shid). Ismark never came home that night so Ireena is a bit nervous. They pass a home that produces the whimpers of a woman inside and also a tavern that Ireena says her brother is most likely in. But they continue to the church. There they find the priest, Donavich, in prayer inside the church. Screaming can be heard from the cellar below saying, “Father, I’m hungry, please feed me!” The heroes are bewildered but Ireena is fixed on burying her father. Donavich is worried for Ireena more so than the death of her father for some reason. He explains to the group that she is being stalked by the Devil, himself and that her identity needs to be revealed now that her father is dead: He explains that she is adopted; she was found on the edge of the Svalich woods near the Pillarstone of Castle Ravenloft (home of Count Strahd). He agrees to bury her father if she and the party agrees to take her far away from the “eyes of the devil in his castle” as he points to Castle Ravenloft. Through his frustration he explains that his son, now chained downstairs and crying out to him, has been hungry every night for raw meat for the past few months that he has been home. He tells them that he came home only a few months ago after being gone a year as he tried to help a mysterious wizard try to kill Count Strahd in his castle. The wizard and his militia failed and now the spirits of the dead who have tried to take the devil’s life rise each night from his cemetery and march to Castle Ravenloft. He doesn’t know what happens when they get there but he does mention that he remembers seeing a similar beast like Breath of Wind with the spirits that rise and march at midnight.

Ireena agrees to go with the party who also agrees to take her far from here, hopefully to the Abbey of Saint Markovia in Krezk or the fortified town of Vallaki, both villages far to the west of here and much better off than Barovia is. The somber service happens outside in the cemetery for the Burgomaster and the party sees the common religion practiced here, a good god of the sun named the “Morninglord.”

Afterward a loud crunch noise can be heard coming from below the church when they go back inside. Donavich worries something has happened to his beloved son and searches for the key to the trapdoor that is locked. Unable to find it with the party, Ghrakis rips the trapdoor off and they all travel downstairs to find an emaciated human form chained to the wall: Doru, the son of Donavich. He yells at his father for not feeding him and that these new visitors are the plaything of the great Strahd. “He will come for her” as he points to Ireena, “This is his domain. He is the Ancient, he is the Land,” he screams as he bites his own thumbs off, slips his hands through the shackles and proceeds to pounce savagely onto the party.

Episode 302
Death House

The group wakes up after horrible nightmares, but Senna and Ghrakis are still in a deep sleep suffering from night terrors and are unable to be awakened. Confused, the remaining group continues to scour the home for the “monster” hoping their sleeping friends will be ok. They find themselves in the attic where they happen upon two small skeletons on the floor that were inside a boarded up and locked room. It appears to be Rose and Thorn, long since dead amidst their toys and belongings. Their ghosts appear as the heroes explore their room, instilling their fear of the “monster in the basement” on them. They insist the party to stay but once they try to leave, Rose possesses Deckard. Though not harmed, he is now insistent to be in charge of the group and find the secret door that leads to the basement. They are successful and promise the ghosts they will return for them.

A long spiral staircase goes from the attic to the cavern-like basement. They come across the crypts of the Durst family though most are empty, including one labeled for a third child of the Durst family, “Walter.” Other interesting rooms litter the very large and winding “basement” and they are attacked by horrible shadows, swarms of insects, and ghouls. Once attacked in the tight quarters with the ghouls, Sor’rel Stormcloak does his best to protect his friends but the ghouls devour him. Once the monsters are dead the heroes are too late to save their friend as he dies in their hands. A low roll of thunder rumbles above ground.

They take his body back up to the already sleeping heroes on the third floor and take another 8 hours to sleep. During the night though, the heroes suffer more horrible nightmares which barely gives them any rest. Also during the last watch, the gnome’s body twitches every so often even after a proper death prayer is given by Shep on behalf of the Raven Queen. The 3 who are still able to look in the caverns do so with Sor’rel’s body left upstairs as Shep promises to bury him outside when they get out of here.

After more attacks and continued searching deeper in the basement, the heroes find what appears to be a large ritual chamber with a large area of 2 feet of water surrounding a dais. Senna and Ghrakis join them after finally waking up from their horrible nightmares. They ask where Sor’Rel is and explain that they never saw him upstairs nor was there any blood on the table they left him on (which thoroughly freaks the others out). While arguing about whether the gnome is dead or not, Deckard approaches the dais and all of a sudden 13 black robed figures appear above the chambers, their chanting is loud and angry as they say over and over, “One must die! One must die! One must die!”

Episode 301
The Curse of Strahd

Around a damp campfire next to old man Razzle Frazz’s tree home, the children of the village (in the year 1410) listen to one of the scariest stories he has ever told them. He says this story is what gave him the ability to live for so long and how necromancy (a forbidden magic to him) was not involved.

The date is First Collect 3:1209 (aka 7/3/1209, The beginning of Autumn in Erryes). The countries have reset to their old ways; for instance, Midia and Urartu have divided into separate nations once again. As the Heroes of the Portal finished their quest only 2 months ago in denying access to the gods onto this plane there is a sense of calm and peace throughout the land. The calm is here even though many don’t believe in the tall tales of gods coming down to the world from their lofty heavens. Regardless, what is true, is that many teleportation portals known in the lands have become chaotic or outright inert due to these heroes’ actions. For example, Valin Ironfist and his family suffer as the Mines of Phandelver’s magic has receded. This is just one case of many throughout the world.

Other worldly news of note: The Temple of Hand, Foot, and Mind is now led by the great disciple of Master Ryosuke, Delad, due to the old man’s disappearance within the past year.

For Shep, Breath of Wind, Deckard, Senna Loot’sko, Ghrakis, and Sor’rel Stormcloak, life seems simple and boring for these adventurers as they sit in the “Goral Hostel.” The bar and inn is a small establishment that sits on the crossroads between the two large cities of Loacidian and Tyrus in the reestablished country of Midia; it holds no sway with either city as it’s a midway point between the two. Owned by Miss Liora, a bright and cheerful human lady who welcomes any newcomers in from the road, often giving free room to them.

The adventurers are given a letter from a traveler from an unknown land called Barovia. The letter reads that his Burgomaster of Barovia (Kolyan Indirovich) needs help from the adventurers. The group decides the next day to travel west through the Svalich woods to find Barovia and accept the call but Shep is very hesitant saying that only death awaits them there. Deckard insists as money seems to be no issue to pay for their troubles to help Ireena who is hurt there. The group decides to drop Shep at an orphanage on their way to Barovia. Two ravens follow the group as they begin their travels west; it must be an omen.

But before reaching the orphanage the group travels much farther than they were supposed to in the woods and, even with the guidance of two rangers, they somehow get lost in the foggy woods. Shep knows where they are as the gates of Barovia eventually loom in front of our heroes. Magic pervades from the fog as Deckard experiences that the fog can hurt you tremendously if you stay in it for too long. A raven (different from the original two) meets with Shep at the gates and begins to give him sight once again through the eyes of the raven. The raven begins to give him warlock magic as the Raven Queen has chosen this boy to pay his previous “debt” and return to the lands of his birth (as Shep describes it).

As they travel through the woods towards the village of Barovia they come across a dead body with a similar letter on the corpse. This letter is of a different insignia and handwriting yet comes from Kolyan Indirovich as well warning any travelers that come to the gate to turn back and never enter Barovia as it is cursed by a vampire for the past 400 years and that his adopted daughter, Ireena, has been bitten and suffers by the hands of this monster.

Once arriving in Barovia the mists lead them through the village streets. To two children on the street, Rose and Thorn, meet them and say there is a monster in their house and their parents tried to keep it in the basement but it got loose. The heroes search the creepy house and are attacked by animated armors and brooms that seem to be possessed by the house. Creepy books and letters are found as the owners of the house were a part of some kind of cult. While in the nursery of the third child, Walter, they are almost killed by a female specter. With wounds mounting and spells dried up for the group, they try to find sleep in the master bedroom on the third floor yet nightmares fill their heads for the rest of the night.

Episode 220
Final Curtain Call

The party is able to vanquish the last of the enemies before the large devourer consumes Ashborne. The play finishes as Beauregard’s mother makes her way to the city. She gets close to the king using her wily charms and she poisons him. Beauregard enters the throne room to find what his mother has done. The climactic battle of the play is between Beauregard and his mother. The two have a duel full of treacherous attacks (from his mother) and cunning counters (from Beauregard). In the end, his mother lands a blow that appears deadly. Beauregard uses his exceptional acting skills to pretend to be dying. When his mother comes near, he stabs her. The play ends with Beauregard sitting on the throne, ruling wisely over all the people, who love him dearly.

The play is a success but the party must make sure no one knows of the calamity outside so they offer a grand party in the theater after the show for the whole crowd. They warn the king and keep him safe as the Inheritors go to stop Dr. Important: the true mastermind to this whole fiasco. Captain Mae offers them a ride to his mansion on her airship that’s on the roof of the theater. They quickly get there while being peppered by warforged Sentinel attacks on the ground while Ardhorn and Valin take care of the theater and the king.

Once over top of Dr. Important’s laboratory all of the warforged in the area become a loud speaker (including Standard Bearer) for Dr. Important who says, "Testing, testing, 1…2…3, is this thing on? Ah, there we go, it works! Wonderful! I see you found me out Inheritors, so I will let you in on the secret: Thanks to your help in making me Warden, I have taken control from the Establishment! With your help we have given the warforged of this nation a purpose once again. They will decide who should live or die in this city for their enemies’ bigotry and hate! The wealthy give nothing to the poor and disenfranchised but now, the tables have turned! Standard, don’ you see? I’m helping your people. With your help, the city could be ours. Thanks to me, the warforged are the watchful eyes of the entire city. I applied the EVA magic when replacing those nasty explosives from your siblings. No longer are they living in fear. In fact, they are in power now as I am the everlasting keen eyes through their lenses. I can make sure no one hurts them ever again. So, what do you say? Will you join me in killing the king and the Wardens to start us off?

Standard gives a stern, “No,” and leaves it at that. The gnome sighs and says, “At least I get to try my new toy on you guys: THE ROCKET-FORGED!” Suddenly a large warforged comes rocketing out of the mansion and flies towards the group. Captain Mae keeps the warforged Sentinels busy with her spell turret as the party attacks the giant warforged now magnetically stuck to the floor of their ship. The party also realizes the gnome wizard is inside the construct, shooting spells from within.

The party begins to drop like flies: Cade drops unconscious and Rhydian’s fey animals are destroyed. Captain Mae comes to Ashborne’s side for comfort but he can’t muster any to her. She asks, “Won’t your pen’s prophecy help us in this? ‘The only child of Neznarr would seek vengeance for his death?’” Ashborne looks confused as she slips a cutlass into his side. Her accent is gone as she continues with a cold look in her eyes, "You think you have what it takes to be like MY father? That is why I tested you, to see if you’re strong enough: the quill in the Sahuagin cave planted by the “mysterious” scarred man, or the mindflayer waiting for you in the barn, or the yochlol in the theater where you “rescued” me, or even the devourer tonight at the theater. All of these creatures have one thing in common: they come from my Father’s land. Blendis couldn’t even keep his calm when I told him how to infiltrate your group. He cared more about killing your mother. But I am different, the Maevia Inclemens spider lies in wait before pouncing upon her prey at the most opportune time. That time is now; I honor my father by finishing his business 40 years later. I will take away all that your whore of a mother loves: You." She continues her attack on Ashborne but with his magic he sends her flying across the deck. Vhalak tries to find a way to get the airship out of there but finds that Mae has locked the wheel into a permanent hold.

They continue to attack the warforged on the roof and the airship begins to burn up from the warforged Arcane Arquebus cannons. The assault continues when suddenly Mae pulls a spell scroll out and says, “I’ve been saving this disintegrate spell just for you. Watch, Felicia, as I take your son with me.” Once completing the spell she embraces the half-drow and his final words before falling to ashes is, “It would have been more poetic if this had happened in the play.” The two fall to a heap of ashes as Felicia screams in anger. To try and find an outlet for her rage, she pours arrows into the gnome wizard inside the rocket-forged. He gets out to try and run but before doing so he hits a button on the construct. The construct then fires up its pistons and rocket punches Vhalak off of the side of the airship hundreds of feet down onto the city. A fire elemental is summoned by Finethir to help but he loses control of it and the ember soul begins to ignite the gnome. The revolutionist dies clutching the orb that controls the warforged. The fire elemental is killed and the battle is won, but at a high cost: 2 Inheritors are dead, Ashborne and Vhalak. The orb is destroyed by Standard and the Warforged Sentinels stop their attack immediately.

2 weeks have passed; the Sentinels have cleaned up the mess. Warforged were taken into custody and their monitors removed (and Standard’s) thanks to the help of the Inheritors. King Celeborn continues his reign of Frostopolis and thanks the Inheritors by endorsing their theater to the whole nation of Lykovia. Many acts will come and go and the business will continue to do well for those that choose to stay. However, Ryosuke went crazy not long after all of that. The Inheritors kept trying to calm him down to do his work as a cook but he kept saying, “No, the story, it should be over now! The story is done! Quick, ask the old man to tell you about Strahd! Strahd! He knows!” The Inheritors (but not the children listening to Razzle Frazz’s story) are confused and decide to let him go officially.

When things have settled down it almost goes unnoticed that Razzle Frazz had died only a week after Ashborne’s show. Every Inheritor attends the small funeral with Hans there too. The service is not only for the old man, but also Vhalak and Ashborne. A short service made by a priest of Bahamut is performed.

Once over, Hans talks to them all, “I am sorry for the loss of your friends. Before Razzle Frazz passed, he had one last clause to add to the Will that I’m sure you will all approve of.” He reads from a legal parchment, “A gift is given to each of you: Valin Ironfist: Your debt has been cleared. The mines of Phandelver are yours to do what you will. I would suggest to sell it off immediately. Finethir Shinebright: While you were not an official Inheritor, I saw much dedication from you. Thank you. For that I have restored your tower to its rightful place in the North Ward. Also, your wand of polymorph has been fixed by me as well. Standard Bearer: You have grown to be your own person in this world so you have been given full citizenship here in Frostopolis. You have the freedom to leave as you have been pardoned of any warforged wrongdoings as well. Ardhorn: If you look at your leaf, your time has been bumped to a lot sooner to finally see and talk to Larue (from 37 years to 37 hours). You will have the option if you want to stay with her and her accomplice, Wendy, to work in the feywild. I was able to work my connections for that. Rhydian: Your house has been restored in Lykovia within your old village. Your name is no longer at risk of attacks from your enemies, they have been “paid” off in some way. You can return if you want. Sir Cade Derebont: Your time with the Gray Guard, I have a feeling, may be coming to a close. I know you wish to follow Favric in his footsteps as either head of the Royal Guard since Favric quit or to learn about the lycanthrope way from him. Both are dangerous jobs but I know you can handle them. Tell Hans which you prefer and he will make it so." Cade answers quickly that he will join Favric in Cush immediately and learn of the ways of the werebear. Felicia Stro’Upe: You have lost much in this world; all I can offer you is my apology for what happened to Ashborne and that Neznarr and his whole house has been fully eradicated from this world. If you return to the Underdark, you will find that to be true.

Finally, it is up to you now who will remain with the theater and if any of you want to sell or give your share to the others. Standard, Rhydian, Valin, and Finethir (who has been given Felicia’s share of the theater now) decide to stay and continue the business of the theater. Rhydian says he has to for at least a year to help Larue (but who knows how long he might stay). Ardhorn decides to take this opportunity to say his goodbyes to the party as he will help Larue in the Feywild; he’s always wanted to see (and talk) to Larue himself and he figures Rhydian will take care of the theater for him. Cade finds Favric and travels with him to continue their hunt for the Whispering Wind in the city of Kartan in the country of Cush. Felicia claims, in anger and utter depression, that there is nothing for her here and gives her share of the theater to Finethir, not even wanting the money that she might be entitled to. She leaves Frostopolis forever.

The Inheritors leave the graveyard with their future plans ahead of them as the snow begins to fall again. A large shingle falls from the top of a building not far from the graveyard but gracefully comes down as if affected by a feather fall spell, a ramification of the month of Entropy here as random large items are affected by this slight levitation magic. The rock falls and a man in a white cloak catches it as day descends into night. The figure strides up to the grave and opens the coffin of Vhalak and the mystery guest says, “Well, brother, I guess you came through and helped me one last time. I don’t know how Ryo did it, but he got your charred body for me from that lava-filled crypt of the theater. It was good to have your body already charred as they think anyone who dies with this sword is burned up in the process. He even knew to leave your body on the ground near the fountain for me where we fell as if he knew where to be at the right time. Huh. Thanks to Entropy, I didn’t die that night. But it’s best everyone thinks that. I need to be unknown in this city if I want to make a difference. With the Whispering Wind gone, more and more thieves’ guilds will try and rise up. I also don’t trust the king at all, where is his father anyway, the true king? But your death won’t be meaningless, Ashborne, I promise you that. This city is my cause. This city is my penance. This city…will know that Blue Hilt is no fairy tale.”

With that, he looks at Razzle Frazz’s coffin and begins to doubt. He opens it and a slight chuckle comes from the white cloaked swordsman as the snow falls on to an empty coffin with an illusion of a body of Razzle Frazz in it.

Back in the home of Razzle Frazz, the children are listening to him finish his story. He writes in a book with a familiar tendril quill and says, “And that, kids, is how I died!”

The children, a bit bewildered say, “But your alive.”

“Oh right, well…huh, I guess so.” Well, after seeing my son die by necromantic demons I swore I would never use it. Necromancy is an evil school of magic.

One girl says, “Then how did you survive if you’re not undead? That happened 200 years ago and half-elves don’t live that long!”

“Right, well, I’m trying to remember that story. Which one was it?”

“One child quietly says, “…Strahd.”

“Yes! That’s it! The Curse of Strahd!" He picks up a book already written, bound in black and red leather. We should start that one next. The reason I’m still alive today is what happened then so many years ago. But I warn you know, children, once I begin reading this one, you can never talk about the stories we have been discussing. Ok?” He looks for verbal confirmation from them all. “Ok then. Let us begin the Curse of Strahd.”


Episode 219
The Show Must Go On!

The heroes continue to attack the Whispering Wind. The rest of the Inheritors come to help but bring a fallen flock of Kenku with them as they continue the battle. Finally, the battle is won and Cannonball is killed by Favric. Vhalak saves the boy chained to the ground but he gets up and turns into a were-bear too and attacks the rogue out of instinct. Favric calms the boy down as he explains he is his protégé. Favric asks to burn all the lycanthrope bodies before the rest of the Sentinels come on the scene. The royal guard explains that no one knows of his lycanthrope existence, only Larue, his patron. He was there trying to convince the Whispering Wind to leave the city peacefully. He almost had it until the Inheritors showed up, but he was glad they came. Favric says his real job is to serve Larue first, then the king of Frostopolis. He helps the party by giving them a special magic dust which reveals who are lycanthrope when they are in humanoid form. He escapes before Sir Reginald gets there and the party is able to cover his tracks. The Sentinels are glad most of the Whispering Wind has either been killed or escaped and asks for help to get rid of the rest hidden within their organization. The party says they will help in a couple days if they can get all the Sentinels together so they can serve them a tankard of ale in honor of getting rid of all the were-beasts in their city. Valin will be able to concoct a great dwarven ale and add the dust to the whole brew. Reginald thanks them and they leave for home. On their way the pesky assassin sniper hits Vhalak with a poison tipped dart. He falls unconscious and she explains before they fight that he will die at midnight tonight from the poison unless they give her the rest of her payment that Cannonball owed her. Valin detects the poison and that what the gith says is true. The party is only given a short window to decide or else her other buddy attacks too. The party, hurt from the hard battle earlier, agrees to pay the 700 gold. She leaves with the money and leaves directions for where the antidote is, saying she will never be in this town again. They find it and Vhalak takes it and is cured.

A couple days go by and they perform the act of sniffing out the rest of the Whispering Wind within the Sentinels. They only find one left and he is taken into custody. He is interrogated and the group finds that he would be happy if he ended up in Kartan Prison in Cush as it seems that is where the rest of the Whispering Wind remains. The information is given to Reginald who will get it to the city officials of Kartan. Favric also finds out from the Inheritors that the Whispering Wind is centrally located in Kartan and says that he will be leaving his position as the head of the Royal guard in the next few weeks to find the rest of the thieves guild there.

With that, the heroes vanquish a thieves’ guild and prepare for the upcoming play for the king. 3 weeks go by and Ardhorn and Rhydian are teleported by Wendy to her office in the Feywild. She explains that they must protect the theater for one year now as that is the only access in all of Frostopolis where Melora’s Tears could be mined. If that is preserved without anyone knowing for a full year, the primal spirits will return to Frostopolis. They agree to help.

The first day of Entropy comes. The only thing that seems to have changed for the weather is that the snow stops for the first time in Frostopolis in over a year. The heroes prepare for the play and things are going smoothly as many nobles, rich people, wizards, Razzle Frazz himself, Captain Mae (of course) and the king enter the great theater for Ashborne’s epic play. The king warns Ashborne that the play must go well and without fail or else he will shutdown the theater for good.

Ashborne takes the stage for the lead in his play called, “The Heart Breaking Ballad of Beauregard, the Dispossessed Prince.” The play is about a young man named Beauregard. He is kept imprisoned by his overbearing and evil mother. He is portrayed as a bright, creative young man, but his mother’s coddling makes him a bit weak and sniveling. Through the early scenes, we see Beauregard want to go out to see the world, creating vivid tales of the outside, but always being told by his mother he must stay inside. During each of these scenes, Beauregard also asks who his father is, but his mother always yells at him and tells him she is the only parent he needs.

Finally after all the pestering, his frustrated mother tells Beauregard that his father is a crazy old hermit who lives out in the woods. Beauregard sneaks out that very night and finds the hermit. When In the final scene of Act 1, Beauregard speaks to the hermit, it is obvious the hermit is quite stupid. Through their conversation, it comes out that the hermit knew Beauregard’s mother once, but he is not the boy’s father.

Beauregard, using his cunning, spends Act 2, trying to get his mother to leave the house. He sets up various tricks and traps, but each fails in an amusing way. In one scene, Beauregard trains a squirrel to steal his mother’s necklace and run off with it, but the squirrel is only a few steps out when he is distracted by a female squirrel and Beauregard’s mother, after comically chasing the squirrels in a circle, retrieves her necklace. In the end, a traveling merchant comes through town. The merchant has a stash of a drug Beauregard’s mother was once addicted to. She buys the drug and passes out. The scene ends with Beauregard reading his mother’s diary and finding out his true father is a great and powerful king.

After the second act the group is together with Ashborne as he is resting before the final act. While there, an awkward exchange of forgiveness given is by Felicia to her son but he doesn’t respond or react. Suddenly the EVA in their backstage room (the only one working right now in the whole theater) comes on with Dewey in front of what appears to be the city of Frostopolis with burning buildings who says, “Mayhem and chaos erupts in the city tonight as Warforged Sentinels begin to lock down various noble houses, warden’s homes, and even King Celeborn’s own castle. Resources say they have called for total control of the city on behalf of their fallen brothers and sisters who have been ridiculed within the city. Non-waforged Sentinels have tried fighting back but have failed as the warforged seem to know their enemies every move. The watchful eye of these constructs goes unfettered. Who will save our city from their clutches? The king is nowhere to be found and each Warden, as you can see by our operators, has been threatened if anyone takes action against those horrible explodies!" With that a picture is shown on the display of all the Warden’s being taken hostage by the warforged. However, some the Inheritors notice that Dr. Important doesn’t seem too phased by all of this and is holding some kind of orb behind his back.

The Inheritors, being the only ones who saw this news report try and get Reginald to help (even though it’s his night off) but he doesn’t believe them. While some go to protect the king, the others find that warforged Sentinels are trying to break into the backstage of the theater during the final act.

Meanwhile, the final act opens 6 months later. Beauregard has run away and is living a happy life with his father, the King of All the Lands. The King is a wise and just man who is loved by the people of his kingdom. The two have bonded and the king is teaching Beauregard how to be a mighty ruler. In one scene, the King tells Beauregard how the queen only bore him daughters. When she finally gave birth to a boy, both the queen and the child died during labor. Beauregard’s mother was a concubine of the King and she must have run off when she became pregnant with him.

As the play draws closer to a close, Beauregard’s mother makes her way to the city. She gets close to the king using her wily charms and she poisons him. Beauregard enters the throne room to find what his mother has done. The climactic battle of the play is between Beauregard and his mother. The two have a duel full of treacherous attacks (from his mother) and cunning counters (from Beauregard).

Most of the heroes go on stage at this point of the play to stop the warforged from interfering with the play yet still make it seem like it’s part of the story. Every humanoid that enters the stage is dramatically changed via illusion wizards hired by the King who are making all of the costumes and special effects offstage thanks to their spells. So far, the play seems to be unaffected but soon, after most of the warforged are knocked out, a large Devourer is summoned onstage (no one sees who summons it). He rattles Ashborne unconscious and is swept into the rib cage of the fiend. Things look bad as the heroes fight the evil creature who claims it’s master says, “It’s feeding time!”

Episode 218
"Who do you trust, Ardhorn?"

The heroes switch up their roster to let others who were hurt get some rest. The rest continue further into the complex. They come across small fey creatures called Quicklings who are making the true myth out of the Melora’s Tears. They fear for their families and their lives as they are chained to their work. The heroes promise them help and they continue south finding some treasure and the cells where the quicklings are kept. Many other humanoids are kept in cells too; no one knows if they are alive or not.

They try to continue south but come across a cold iron door that can’t be broken. They search for the key by back tracking and, unfortunately, come across some werewolves, weretigers, and an old familiar pair of succubi (from the bank heist). They stop them all and even destroy the monster who broke Ardhorn’s rod. The rod, once retrieved from the werewolf, proceeds to sprout into many leaves and flowers, becoming a small cape for the halfling to wear. A magic mouth spell goes off and Wendy’s voice says, “19050, I’m glad you found your rod again, hopefully it’s new powers from Larue will help you in your quest!”

Once getting the key the group goes back to the quicklings but their good intentions are not fast enough for the quicklings. They go on a rampage and start attacking the crew with their knives, chains, and tools. The group knocks them out and ties them up in the room.

After another short rest, the heroes use the key on the large door to the south and come into a large throne room made for Cannonball. Shelves of liquor and True Myth litter the room along with an unconscious quickling and a chained up human boy knocked out on the ground. The pierced monstrosity that is Canonball sits on his pearl throne and talks to Favric in Sylvan, brokering a deal. Favric is stunned to see the heroes here and Cannonball shouts in Common while raising his large flail, “It seems you have been followed by the pesky Inheritors. No matter, my son’s death will be avenged by my hand.” The others come to his aid as battle ensues.

The heroes are hesitant to hurt Favric so they focus fire on the other known enemies. Finally, Favric morphs into a great werebear and walks next to Adhorn and says, once again, “Who do you trust, Ardhorn?” He then slashes his large claws into Canonball as the heroes join forces with the werebear.

Episode 217
Melora's Tears = True Myth

The heroes return to the theater, Cade is cured of his lycanthrope once again and the group sees Dr. Important. They give him the encoded books and ask for his help in decoding them. He agrees but says it will take several weeks.

One week passes and the Inheritors go to see King Celeborn in his castle as per requested of Favric. The arrogant king is somewhat interested in meeting them so he can gloat of his exploits for building such a large city. The group asks why the druids have left the city and why many animals do not live within the city. He’s absent minded about that but does explain that the city has made a name for itself because of the ore, Melora’s Tears, in the mines not far from the city that power the spells of the wizard’s guilds in order to build the city; he thinks maybe they left because of these crystals. The heroes are able to see that these arcane crystals are also used to create the highly addicting drug, “True Myth.” The heroes ask for him to shut down the mine and he is happy to do so as long as the popular Ashborne creates a play to be performed in his honor during the month of Entropy (only weeks away now). The group agrees though when Ardhorn brings up the fact that the Whispering Wind are the ones who are somehow getting a hold of the crystals in order to make the drugs, King Celeborn is not happy and has him forcibly removed from his court. Favric meets him and Ardhorn starts claiming he and everyone in this castle is in on the drug racket. Favric rolls his eyes and before leaving he says, “Who do you trust, Ardhorn? I am afraid your list seems awfully short.”

After handling some dealers and beggars on the streets (and Ashborne magically stealing people’s shadows in order to disguise himself as his prey) they find that True Myth is hard to find these past few weeks. It turns out that the mines are all dried up of Melora’s Tears. Now the thieves guild will have to find other ways to make it. Razzle Frazz imparts some knowledge to them and they go home where they wait for Dr. Important’s notes.

Another two weeks pass (Cade is tasked by his Grayguard group to take care of the borders of the city from orc invasions during this time) and the heroes get the information from the gnome mage. They find out that the guild will start finding other places to make True Myth (one of them being Valin’s own mines in Phandalin) though they plan on staying here in Frostopolis to provide their clientele. They find out the Whispering Wind’s leader,
Cannonball, will be there at their main headquarters (a small clothing shop basement) tomorrow during the patrol route of the rogues who are posing as Sentinels that the Inheritors plan on following.

The group gears up that night with potions and scrolls at a local magic shop and the next day they follow the patrol: the same 3 guys who roughed up half of the Inheritors. The rogues go through the secret entrance (an outhouse) behind a clothing shop. A minute later, a few of the party members follow while the rest wait outside so as not to surprise the enemy all at the same time.

The party follows their tracks through some dark corridors in this large factory basement. They come across a large room full of bones and a locked door with a switch next to it. Ardhorn, not thinking, pulls the switch and while nothing happens to the door, 3 bone nagas rise from the fallen humanoid bones and a battle ensues. The party finishes off the monsters but the door remains shut.

Episode 216
Finmiss' Laundromat

The group explores the remains of Blue Hilt’s headquarters. After some research of journals and news clippings from the past few hundreds of years that Frosthaven/Frostopolis has been around, Cade finds that Blue Hilt was never just one person. In fact, after the hundreds of years that it goes back it was too many to count. One would come across Blue Hilt’s lair and take the shawl to protect the lands of Lykovia. However, many died due to their enemies (99%); they more often would hurt the ones they loved first before killing Blue Hilt. When one dies, their body was found consumed by fire unrecognizable by the authorities and the Blue Hilt items would disappear and reappear here in the caves. It’s obvious to see that the cowl of Blue Hilt is a dangerous mantle to put on. The most notable Blue Hilt Cade found in the journals was one who took the persona and went to the country of Cush to aid with some bandits in stealing for an evil rich merchant in a small town called Elderwood (Refer to Chapter 39: Elderwood).

After searching everywhere the group decides to try and use the water basin with Razzle Frazz’s name on it. Upon drinking the water in the basin their body is frozen and destroyed where their remains are taken up in a snowstorm and their bodies are magically reformed outside the alleyway of their theater (painful but effective).

The group goes to bed that night after hearing from Standard Bearer (who was fixing their sentries at Dr. Important’s lab) that the Sentries have been repaired. Just in time too, as they theater is slightly under attack by a few more kenku hired by the Whispering Wind. Stan also mentions that Dr. Important will be starting a new initiative to help the sentinels and gain respect for the warforged race by placing their metal friends on all of the Sentinels’ patrols. In the next few weeks, everyone will see their achievements.

The next day the group goes to Finmiss’ Laundromat, a gnomish steam powered contraption that cleans clothes for the business. But before getting there the group saves a child and woman from a burning building. Turns out the woman’s husband was a wizard who messed up a conjuring spell and summoned powerful fire elementals who proceeded to kill the wizard and burn their home down. Thankfully, using the new found haste powers of Blue Hilt’s sword, Vhalak and the crew rescue the toddler and vanquish the elementals. Vhalak is a bit choked up in all of this.

After some reconnaissance at the laundromat, Vhalak finds in one of the buildings a false bottom chest that descends further below. But before they can do anything about it, several wereboars track the changling’s scent and proceed to fight the group claiming they are snooping around where they shouldn’t be. The group easily kills them all and begins to find any info they can. They grab a couple encoded books from the secret room but before they interrogate their prisoner a familiar crossbow wielding gith assassin shows up and throws an incendiary bomb to permanently silence the prisoner and runs away from the group.

As for the rest of the inheritors, they try to outrun the sentinels but, realizing they will never leave anyone behind, they go back for drunk Ryosuke. The Sentinels are able to catch up to them and demand an explanation. Cade tries to persuade them but their true colors shows as they morph into werewolves to try and stop the party. The party kills one and the other runs away.

Episode 215
Blue Hilt's Domain

The heroes go to the testing of Sir Cade. Favric meets them in his barracks within the castle walls of the North Ward. The first test is to open a sentient magical chest; he is able to reason with it (after a couple of hits and apologies to the box) and open it’s contents. The 2nd test is to take on a nimble royal guard by the name of Silwinda. With proper strategy and well placed spells, he is able to make her yield in the fighting pit. The final test is to protect a guard posing as the king and escape with her. Men surround Cade and the “king” but he is able to strike most of them down and makes his way towards the exit. Favric steps up in the combat as well and is upset to see that Cade just left his charge by herself and puts his magic glaive to her neck saying, “The test is over, you failed.” Cade is discouraged and says he should have stayed with the person he was supposed to protect. Favric is happy that he learned something in this and encourages the young Grayguard to try out for the royal guard in a few months time.

During these tests Ash begins to figure out (through magical means) who this Favric is to everyone and thinks that this man once took advantage of his mother. Felicia mistakes him for an ex bandit of the Redbrands and calls him out. Favric is confused but thinks they know him for being a member of the cult of the dragon god, Tiamat. (refer to Episode 106) He explains he did his time in jail for his crimes and that King Celeborn gave him another chance at military life and he rose to the rank he is now commanding in the royal guard. He understands their frustration and agrees to give them a chance to talk to the King in 1 week’s time. Favric also gives Cade his magical glaive in hopes that he can return it to Favric in a few months as an official royal guard.

The group, satisfied, begin to follow Ryo to where Blue Hilt is. While traveling, though, they are ambushed by two snipers from house windows, laying Felicia and Vhalak out. They attempt to chase the two gith but they escape through the city streets. Rhydian realizes the poisoned bolts are from mercenary assassins for the Whispering Wind. Once they rest for a bit the group continues to the sewers.

They arrive at a secret entrance to Blue Hilt’s headquarters and after a few challenging traps, lessons learned from quotes of the famous Blue Hilt, and an attack from a couple of beholders from the Underdark (called “Death Kiss’”) they arrive at the main hall of the greatest hero Lykovia has ever known. They begin to search the great headquarters and find strange water basins labeled with names and places. They also come across Blue Hilt’s fabled armor, cloak, gloves, and rapier. Some try to grab the items but are thrown back by force magic. Ardhorn thinks maybe Ryo is Bluehilt so that he can grab the items but the old man denies it and points to Vhalak’s ring, exclaiming, “But you have his ring, it must be you!” Vhalak, hesitantly grabs the sword and is immediately attuned to it. He considers putting on the non-magical armor and clothes but remembers that the sight of Blue Hilt might paint a bulls eye on his back to all criminal organizations within Frostopolis. So he stows it away for now. They also find the supposed coffin of Blue Hilt hidden in the water behind the items they got. After a magic trap of ice hurts Felicia for opening the coffin her findings show no body or bones within. The group continues to explore the establishment of the “dead” Blue Hilt while taking a breather.


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