Spartak 645

Meeting Cassandra, and the Merchant of Evil

Adventure Log 12/18/16

On the way back to Burrowby we decided to camp for the night.

Lights streaked across the sky overhead, and we noticed there was a meteor shower. Suddenly there was a bright flash of light, and we found ourselves slowly stirring and waking up from some sort of strange sleep. We checked on each other quickly and found that Raven remained to be unconscious, and his Eidolin Kellin had vanished.

From the shadows a thin, wispy woman approached, carrying a basket of berries and fruit and offering it to us peacefully. Once she was close we could see that she was wearing a heart shaped pendant with an inscription of the name, “Cassandra.” She spoke no words, and only motioned to us as her main means of communication. After a few minutes of this challenging discourse we learned that she was seeking work, and that there was much sadness and death back wherever she was from. Her family had apparently been attacked by some unknown non-human creatures, and she appeared to still be fearful when sharing this information. It seemed she was a cleric, as she offered to tend to the wounds that Raven had incurred in the last battle. She was able to visibly heal his wounds, but Raven remained unconscious.

In the morning we decided to continue the trek to Burrowby, and Cassandra came along with us. We found out that she was not affiliated with the quaternity, and had learned magic from her mother.

Before long we encountered a giant and an ogre, but were able to dispatch them after a swift yet bloody battle. Afterwards, Raven stirred and began to wake up, with only a nursery rhyme in his mind, and no recollection of the past few days.

That night, as we were setting up camp under a night sky full of meteors once again, suddenly another flash of light occurred, and we awoke in a camp that appeared just like the one from the night before. As we debated whether this was a vision or time travel, our group was attacked by a mysterious creature from the shadows. Something terrifying was using the art of magic to slow and paralyze its prey. Out of self-defense our group killed the creature with a master combination of Raven’s grease spell, and a lucky strike from Bru’s greatsword.

Cassandra approached us then, and we heard a voice in our heads, saying: “I’m looking for Helicon.” Confused and cautious, our group hesitated to reveal any connection to Helicon, and before much more time passed at all, the voice in our heads said, “Forget. Slumber.”

We then awoke back at our campground. Cassandra was there, appearing frustrated. It seemed as if she said, “This isn’t working. I’m looking for Helicon and you aren’t helping.” Before we could gather a response, she flew away. Kellin took to the sky to see which way she went, but she was already gone.

Once we had returned to Burrowby, Helicon pulled us aside to confide that after spending some time with Lucky, he didn’t think that Lucky was his brother after all, just a very suggestable guy. He also confessed: “I’m not of this time. I’m from six months in the future and I came back to change my transformation into elven form from occurring.” After a few more minutes we learned that he had stolen one of Math’s spell books, allowing him to time travel.

Feeling that our time at Burrowby had come to its conclusion, the group bid farewell to Lucky, chipping in to give him 5 gold pieces to open his own farm as a free citizen.

Together with Helicon we decided to head out to the Tower of Knowledge, where we could likely find a magic user to help us locate Cassandra. The ride was four days away, and on the first day, we came upon a small human village that was immediately strange for the fact that it appeared to be completely empty. Soon we discovered two small children hiding, who told us they were named Bindi and Ralph. They explained how a man had come to town selling jewelry right before all the adults in town “turned mean” and fought each other or went away.

Deciding to help the children, we looked around for the surviving adults and the mysterious merchant that had brought destruction this town. We soon discovered several of the villagers casting spells in a clearing, seemingly under no control of their own. Soon a scuffle ensued, and we found out that if the villagers were killed, the necklaces they wore would disappear; but if a necklace was removed from a villager while alive, they would regain their senses and could be saved. We made the mistake of killing two villagers in this learning curve, noticing that when they died, an audible laugh could be heard. The two surviving villagers were dazed but otherwise unhurt once we had ripped the necklaces from their necks, and seemed to recall nothing of the time they had spent wearing the jewelry.

We went over to examine what the people had doing in the clearing before we stumbled upon them, and found that they had been digging. We continued to dig where they hadn and soon found a backpack with two more of the exotic necklaces, an expensive looking red stone on a chain, and a Belt of Plague Rat.

The necklaces seemed to all fit together, and two more would complete a set. Zefir’s knowledge of the Planes triggered her recollection of a legend about an outer-planes creature who harvested life force by tricking people into dying while wearing its jewelry. It seemed that if a living being was to die while wearing one of these necklaces, their life force would be transferred to a demon.

Soon our heroes discovered a caravan off in the distance, and we were able to easily catch up to it. Expecting this to be the nefarious merchant, Raven attempted diplomacy and masqueraded as an interested buyer. The wagon was manned by an otherwise unremarkable human woman who offered to show us her jewelry, and a comical exchange between Raven and the women occurred in which they both continued to offer to try the necklaces on each other, each one evading the request but turning it upon the other in a witty play of words, each one out doing the last.

Sensing this could go on for a while, Bru used the time tested warrior’s method of brute intimidation to bring an end to this clash of wits.

The merchant then transformed and shifted into a large clawed, blue skinned creature, which we recognized as the form of a Slaad. Our heroes were shocked by this turn of events, but lost no time gaining initiative in a tough battle which soon left the Slaad dead, and our heroes in possession of two more necklaces and a stash of goods equaling around 600 gold pieces.

Vowing to bring a quick end to this evil plot, we assembled the necklaces, which fit together neatly and opened a shimmering gate upon being combined. Linking hands, we stepped into the gate and found ourselves on rocky outcroppings that seemingly floated above an endless expanse. It was a dimension that pushed the boundaries of human sense and psychology, and our heroes were tested simply to focus and notice a sapphire orb on another rocky island floating off a way in the distance. It could be possible to climb over to it, but first it seemed the heroes would have to avoid two more Slaad’s and a Beholder, among other shadowed and tentacle beasts that hovered right at the edges of our perception.

Finally we found and crossed a rope bridge that led to where the sapphire orb was, with Mat having the fortuitous skill of disabling several traps that would have surely ended our quest, even this close to its completion.

Standing around the glowing orb, Helicon had a stroke of insight that we should each put on the necklaces to somehow trigger the sapphire, and sure enough right at that instant, the orb flashed and transported us back to the familiar countryside we had been traveling across. A quick roll call established that we had all survived and lived to escape the treacherous plane.

After some rest we agreed that we all felt our recent experiences had made us stronger and wiser in some undefinable way. Together we continued our trek to the Tower of Knowledge, each step more sure than the last.



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