The Hollow Earth

Into the Dark

The Strangeness of the Oasis

The footprints leaving the camp site lead along a hidden path and suddenly veer into some very deep, wet vegetation. Survival check (DC12) to keep following the footprints.

The PCs come across the bodies of four men in leather armour with the Branch symbol stamped into them. The flesh of the bodies is covered with strange pustules and gashes and it appears as if something inside them wanted out and achieved that goal.

After a long day of walking and slogging through the oasis, losing and following the footprints and signs of travel, you discover the ruins of an old shack splattered with mud on a small island in the centre of a low marsh.

The shack has a massive crack along once of its faces and smoke drifts lazily from the chimney. A clot of thick vines has partially obstructed the main entrance. A simple stone path leads towards the house from the edge of the trees and on either side of the path are brilliantly-coloured flowered shrubs and a blanket of pink flowers absorb the light trickling through the canopy above.

Around the back of the shack is a small, open-door greenhouse and a large fire pit. Inside the greenhouse is a low bench with earthen pottery and a few single pink flowers in each pot.

Wafting through the trees is a delicious smell like fresh stew. A number of footprints lead to the front door of this building.

Inside is one old woman. She is older with and wear simple travellers clothes. She asks if you’re here to have your fortunes told. The cost is free.

  • Furio: “You will find what you seek yet it will be just beyond your grasp. Trust not your allies, their motives are not what they appear to be."
  • Gunnar: “You are not alone. Some of your allies seek justice but seek it with dangerous methods. Be prepared to stop them."
  • Ezren: “The road your path follows has many forks but all carry you home to the worldwound. Your allies are exactly as you perceive them."
  • Merisiel: “Those who guard their chests from their history expose their backs to the future. Your past has revealed itself and it will threaten your tribe. Keep your edge sharp, wanderer."

She will offer the PCs some stew and as it’s getting late, she’ll invite them to stay for the night. The PC with the worst WILL save from earlier finds they’re having the best sleep of their life. They feel like they’re sleeping on clouds. The player with the best WILL save will wake up before the others and notice the “floating” PC is missing. The other PCs will be difficult to wake up and will need a full round action to wake them. Shaking or whispering to them won’t work. They’ll need to be struck or shouted at to get them to wake up.

Through the wall leading outside the shack they can hear someone speaking in a strange language. It sounds like Abyssal. Upon investigation they find the large stew pot burning over the fire pit in the back and the missing PC floating above it, fast asleep. The fortune teller emerges from the garden shed with some of her flowering plants.

She will attack immediately and so will the plants in her arms.

Once she attacks, her effect over the floating PC will cease and the PC will fall into the pot below. A full simple move action will get them out of it easily before they take any damage.

Once the hag perishes, the plants will retreat and shrivel up and die. It’s discovered that the thick ivy and plants on the ground have been obscuring remains of travellers who have strayed too deep into the oasis. It looks like the the plants were exceptionally good at decomposing the corpses. One of the bodies has half-rotted leather armour with the branch logo stamped into it.

The 36 Chambers

Upon entering the cliffside citadel, the PCs are confronted with a number of small hovels that appear to have been homes for the citadel’s inhabitants. Most are collapsed, crushed, or caved in with rocks and debris. A few of them are open, however. To determine what’s inside the open chambers, roll a d10:

  • A larder full of baskets of dried apples, apricots, dates, and other food. They are shrivelled up to the point that they disintegrate when you touch them.
  • Inside this room is a small gray box made of metal with a glass window on one of its faces. It has buttons all over it but none of them seem to do anything when pressed. The box weighs about 50lbs. If moved, one of the sides of the box falls open and the corpse of a small, dead rodent falls out onto the table. Inside the box are thousands of tiny pieces attached to a shiny piece of green glass.
  • A door opens to a brick wall with 1 loose brick. Behind that brick is a small treasure horde of semi-precious stones and minerals of fool’s gold and is valueless. The stones are worth about 400 gold together.
  • Inside this workshop a candle flickers in the breeze. On one side of the room a squat, square table with a gray stovepipe top hat on top of it. On the other side of the room is a workbench with complex diagrams and notes written in a completely alien language. The hat is a magical item called Carp’s Canny Cap of Confusion. Ezren doffed this cap.
  • A school of sorts, small tables and stools stand in 2 neat rows. Against one wall are a number of child-quality paintings of adults that read “mom” and “dad” in Ayfan. On the backs of the images the adults have become horrible monsters will yellow eyes, scales, and jagged green teeth. Other adults are ghosts or have small flames in their eye sockets and appear rather dead. Curiously, above each of their heads is an image of a tree with no branches on one side and a yellow triangle on the other. Also depicted are some building tools.

The Tall Court (Bag E)

A once-beautiful hall stands in ruins. Statues of proud rulers lie toppled to the ground, their faces caved in by unknown assailants (Craft DC14 reveals that small tools were used to smash the faces off the rulers and topple them from their platforms. Craft: Stonework DC12 reveals that small tools were used to do the job and that they were imprecise handmade tools.

Tapestries that hang around the room have become tattered over time and pale compared to how beautiful they once appeared. There are 2 pedestals at either end of the long rectangular room and two rows of seats on either side of the room.

Seated at each of the benches are a number of figures clothed in fancier administrative robes, their mummified faces frozen and their mouths open in horror. Aside from the thin circlets they wear on their brows and the fancy outfits they wear, they are all quite dead. The circles are made of gold and appear to be worth about 10 gold each (APPRAISE DC13 puts them closer to 40 gold each). Once any of the bodies are tampered with or their circlets removed, a large ghost appears in the middle of the room floating before them.

It wears long flowing robes that are tattered like the tapestries high on the walls, bearing round coin sigils depicting various arcane symbols. Is has thin white hair and bluish-white skin that sags slightly and it’s surrounded with a bluish-green aura. Against one of its shoulders it carries an oversized gavel covered with skulls other netherworld totems.

In a booming voice it demands, “I ASK THE COURT AGAINWHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE VESSEL?” If there are any replies other than “It’s construction goes well!” the ghost will fly into a rage and attack. Before the attack, a savvy PC can attempt a Diplomacy skill check against the ghost (DC16). A success will allow them to ask the ghost what the vessel is and more about it. Eventually the ghost will become restless, accuse them of being spies, and attack.

After combat it dropped a magical talisman, picked up by Merisiel called a Skull Sigil Coin.

The Chamber of Truths (Bag D)

“Speak your darkest truth and be judged” is etched into a stone archway over a solid iron door. There is an overside stone throne in the centre of the room that faces the door. There are some braziers on either side of the throne. In front of the door there are scorch marks burned into the flagstone. The door itself looks untouched.

Anyone who sits in the throne is subject to a Cone of Truth-like effect and must speak the truth (DC16 Will save to overcome the effect and be able to lie). The throne asks them in maddening whispers to speak their darkest secret aloud. If they answer truthfully, they see the door before them begin to ripple, allowing them passage. All others see the effect too. Anyone who tries to pass through it but hasn’t spoken the truth to the throne takes 4d6 lightning damage as they pass through it. If a PC has spoken the plain truth about a darkest secret at any point, they may pass unharmed.

We ended the session here, just as we were getting started in the dungeon. :)

Lair of the Crocolich


Time to Leave

Big breakfast spread of food provided by Mu’Frellan.

Mu’Frellan needs the PCs to come outside and come over to Gracie. Gracie is a simple camel that has four humps. She bends down and lets the PCs climb up on her back. Despite the load, she seems to be able to handle it just fine.

The PCs are asked by Mu’Frellan is there’s anything they need to do before they go. Regardless of the reply, Gracie turns around and looks at them all. She brews up an awful ball of snot and goo and spits it on the PCs, causing them to become overwhelmed by the smell. The rest of the world begins to spin out and they’re teleported away. As they go, they can hear Mu’Frellan say quickly, “I’m terribly sorry about the awful mess but it’s the only way to transport you across the desert without my ring and don’t forget to get it back from the university for me at some poinnnntttt…” and then the world goes black.


Sudden Arrival

The PCs land on top of each other, each covered with thick black goo. It takes a few minutes but the world stops spinning and they realize you’re very, very far away from where they were a short time ago.

The PCs are at the mouth of a narrow canyon that towers tall overhead. It is approximately 1 meter wide at most. At the mouth of the canyon is a small, broken crates half buried in the sand. From inside the canyon the sound of chimes gently clinking together and people talking.

Camp Guard

Gorah, an elderly man who knows a lot about combat but hasn’t seen any in a long time. He’s long retired and guarding groups like this is sort of a hobby to him. He is currently under the employ of Balad University to protect this caravan while they do their research. He tells the PCs they’re early, then asks where the rest of the supply caravan is. He’s not sure where Professor Lim is but says they can ask the students – they’ll know for sure.


Dam, a researcher who talks slowly and purposefully. He appears to be dim-witted but has extensive knowledge of desert communities and construction procedures (his specialty).

Jin is a tall, skinny elf with dark, ashen skin, white hair, and a purple tunic. She talks quickly and has an air about her that boasts superiority. She’s a hard worker who’s always eager to go on a dig, and always wants to be the first to uncover relics. She seems to have little patience for what they’re doing now, sifting sand and looking for small fragments while Professor Lim is inside.

Adala, a researcher who knows a lot about digs and the dig site. She can answer any questions the PCs have. She will correct anyone who is wrong, not meaning to be a jerk but almost always coming off that way. She is Professor Lim’s closest research partner and can describe a bit more of the dig site and where the professor might be.

White Dog, Kelev is in a plain dog house positioned near the students who are working sifting dirt and sand. Nearby, between two rocks is a makeshift doghouse made of old crates and boxes. Since it joined their caravan in Hux, the group befriended this female dog who they’ve since named Kelev.

In Whistler’s Throat, Kelev helped them deal with a large black scorpion that attacked their camp at night. The dog is a white greyhound with some small black patches on her shoulders and reacts nicely to anyone who approaches. Kelev is clearly of her own mind and won’t follow anyone she doesn’t want to. She will accept snacks and drinks but seems to prefer running around, chasing insects, scorpions, and snakes, etc. to any real purposeful action.


  • 3x Cure Moderate Wounds (2d8hp)
  • 1x Cure Light Wounds (1d8hp)
  • 1x Potion of Magic Fang (+1 to any unarmed attacks and unarmed dmg rolls for 1minute/10round)
  • 3 days of water/food rations
  • 5 camels
  • 1 horse


The gate is a long, wide room with pillars supporting the roof, all covered in symbols and hieroglyphs painted with earthen colours. Large figures are carved into the walls depicting half-women, half-crocodile figures, pouring water into the Ayfan river and life sprouting from beyond it.

There is also a wall depicting a vast army of soldiers and another massive crocodile figure fighting all of them at once.

At the foot of this mural you find a larger woman with long black hair, large hoop earrings, and a simple, square brown hat on her head. It’s Professor Lim.

She is studying the hieroglyphs and symbols on the walls:

  • The temple is called Sobek’s Glory
  • It’s a tribute to Sobek, a crocodile god worshipped by Ayfans and revered for his triumphs in vitality, fertility, water, and war.
  • There is a set of three strange symbols that make passing reference of a hidden key called “the serpent’s rib”, protected by Sobek’s terrible fury. The three symbols are:
  • A Boat
  • A clutch of reeds
  • A cane and khopesh crossed at the middle
  • There is an obvious door at the end of the room, sealed with a clutch of bones, bindings with hemp, and sealed with wax.


Beyond the gate to Sobek’s temple is a winding canyon that’s fairly well lit from above via a large cracks in the roof. Not large enough to see clear sky, meaning it must be bouncing off more cracks from above.

Professor Lim leads the group and ignores any suggestions that she not head into the fray. As she goes around a corner ahead, you hear her shout and you hear a familiar clattering sound coming from where she is. By the time you arrive she’s been caught by the neck one of the large scorpions and is grasping at the claws to get it to release her. If she’s not released in 1 round of combat, she’ll die with her head popped off.


Beyond the canyon is a small rectangular room that shows Sobek smashing groups of warriors. There is a central door with two diamond-shaped recesses in it. On either side of the room are two secret doors that lead to two rooms that hold the keys for the door in the Maw.


Across a bottomless chasm, is a perfectly round room with a large clay pot in a pedestal in the centre. On the walls are depicted scenes of mortals working alongside the half-crocodile people reaping the benefits of an endless harvest of wheat. In another scene, people are being anointed with water and having their organs removed and put into canopic jars but seem to be celebrating eternal life.

There is a secret door in this room that leads to a worker’s bunk and some refuse. Smaller characters can squeeze inside without a problem. At first glance there isn’t much there (3 gold coins) but hidden under the bunk is a diamond-shaped slab with pair of wheat on it (Investigation check, DC6).

If the players look in the jar before investigating the other room, they’ll release a Tekenu, a floating mass of entrails, and they’ll have to fight.


About 30’ high, this room has a large statue of one of the half-human half-crocodile women holding a large basin up at the sky seemingly in the middle of the room, pointed toward a wall. Pouring from a hole in the celling is a steady, but narrow stream of black water that collects in a central drain (about half a foot in diameter) and then trickles away. The floor tiles feature an interesting system of grooves that subdivide the tiles into four squares.

The PCs have to push the statue along the system of grooves in the floor so that the statue collects the water and prevents it from going straight to the drain. Pushing the statue requires a STR check (DC 16). People can push it together. For each PC that does, the DC is reduced by 1 (up to 3 people can really get a push on the statue at one time). On each pusher’s turn, the statue can be moved 1 square.

Once the statue is moved into position and the basic catches the water, the water overflows into the room itself and anywhere it touches lichen, moss, reeds, and other small plants grow up. Some small dragonflies appear and flit around the room. If anyone catches the falling water and drinks it, it will recover up to 1d12 lost HP and remove any status effects on a PC (stunned, etc.). It can be bottled and retains the same HP gain and status repair.

When this clear water flows into the central drain, a pedestal rises up from it, revealing a stone tablet in the shape of a diamond. Once the pedestal is in place, the water stops flowing and the plants in the room slowly wither and vanish into the ground again. On the tablet is the symbol of a boat.


When the two stone tablets are fitted into the central door in Sobek’s Maw, a low rumble of thunder that can be heard and the ground begins to slightly with some small chunks of stone fall from the celling. In the Warm Canyon room, some rocks fall from the ceiling too, letting in more light, but the avalanche isn’t anything to be worried about. The wall ahead actually falls inward and the rocks stop falling. Once the dust clears, a dark room lies ahead. The previous room illuminates about 15/3 squares of the immediate entrance but beyond that the room is dark. From what you can see, silver and gold coins lie on the floor along either side of the room. If illuminated, piles of coins, jars, bottles, and statues of large crocodile figures painted with gold is revealed. You can again hear a low rumble of thunder drift from the dark room beyond.

On either side of the room are basins that can be lit if the PCs want to do so.

There is a group of 20 plainly-sculpted humanoid figures of various sizes with their hands up, palms facing toward the left side of the room. Whatever they’re pointing at is hidden by a corner in the room and a column. Around the corner is a shallow altar topped with a large statue. The statue is a large gold human with a crocodile’s head. It’s wearing a gold headdress and a shimmering mantle inlaid with gems. Its arms are crossed in front of its chest. Floating in midair before it is a simple wooden rod about a foot and a half long.

Once the PCs cross into the group of them, the statue comes to life, shouting something in an ancient language at them with an awful roar. If Professor Lim is still alive she’ll translate:

“Cower, dregs of the dark crone! You threaten the sanctity of Sobek’s temple by seeking the gate’s key, wisely protected by the external foresight of Sobek. Your queen will not succeed and the key will remain hidden. You will not leave here alive!"

Crocolich Fight!

The creature will begin fighting hand to hand and will attack with tail slashes and touch-based attacks. Once reduced to half HP, it will reach out and grab the rod floating before it and draw a curved scimitar great sword from midair.

When equipped with this sword, the Crocolich has reach and the ability to trip targets. When defeated it is possible to pick up the weapon.


Beyond this room is another canyon illuminated from above. Curiously, scanning overhead the PCs see a long rope coming from one of the cracks onto a column’s plateau to the right of the space. Then another rope comes down from that into an area beyond the stone forest-like set of columns just inside the room.

There were the bodies of three tomb raiders in this part of the dungeon. One of which is dressed like one of the agents (he is dressed similar to Mung) encountered earlier and the other two are a human cleric and a halfling fighter. The cleric is clutching a green pendant.

If picked up, the pendant is an Eye of Elsewhere. It grants its bearer +2 to Perception checks involving the detection of secret doors and passageways.

The agent has a folded up rudimentary map of the desert that points to a cliffside oasis that appears to be a couple of weeks’ journey from here, and another point called “Lady’s Rest” further out in the desert wastes, marked with a large black pyramid.

On the map is written:

“We’re looking for a key, known as one of the Serpent’s Ribs. They’ve almost all the ones they need to unlock the great gate’s secrets. Other agents are scouring the world for remaining keys. You’ll never be able to stop them in time."

If searched, the fighter and cleric have recognizable items on them. The cleric bears a tattoo of Gunnar’s paladin/monk order and the halfling has a beaded braid of hair, a characteristic of someone from Akrotiri. When defeated, it’s revealed that the agent has had one of his ears docked, a trademark of someone from Merisiel’s tribe who betrayed the tribe.


If used, the cleric’s pendant will reveal an illusory passageway between some stones that leads into a natural, bowl-shaped clearing with steep sides that is open to the air. On the wall is one massive sculpture of a large skeletal serpent, dominating the sky.

It’s missing some of its ribs and lines stream from it down the wall to the bowl below. The lines stop at different points but one line continues down the centre of the space to a small rod sticking up out of the ground about 4”.

When pulled from the ground it’s revealed to be a wand exactly like the one Ezren/Furio have been carrying and using the entire time. It functions in exactly the same way as the other does, except that it doesn’t hurt the user (yet).


At this time, Kelev runs in to where the PCs are, barking like crazy. Her muzzle is stained with blood, she has a clean gash on her right flank, and there’s a scrap of purple cloth in her teeth. The PCs follow her outside to find the grisly camp site and to find that the students and Gorah are dead and that Jin is missing.

Professor Lim will demand to stay here (as she’s set to receive supplies the next day) and will keep Kelev with her for protection. The PCs can spend the night there to keep her safe before the caravan appears before heading out themselves. The next day, Kelev has no interest in leaving the camp site with the PCs, instead is chilling out in her doghouse watching Professor Lim carefully and purposefully.

Chapter 2, Book 1 - Welcome to Hux
A Whole New World

Having crossed the water for the past three weeks, from The Falcon Merisiel finally spotted land ahead. During the trip, an awful storm had whipped up and damaged the main sail. Xiff and Navki planned to get it repaired when they arrived in Hux.

Ahead of The Falcon lay a city that ran up the face of a steep hill. Sticking out deep into the water was a maze of floating docks all tethered to either the land’s edge or to a smallish rocky island, upon which lay a smoking lighthouse.

As they approached the land they encountered ships of larger shapes and sizes anchored or scuttling about the waterways and smaller skiffs and barges accepting and moving cargo from larger ships to the docs. Closer to the actual land still were a hundred simple sailboats adorned with yellow and white striped sails bearing fishermen bringing in the day’s catch. And beyond that, the docks floated like an intricate lattice of driftwood caught in a dewy spiderweb.

As the Falcon passed through the larger ships, they noticed that there were no ships the Falcon’s size closer to the docks beyond. A system of break-walls acted as an interim dock intended to keep large ships away from the city to avoid congestion. On the other side of the break-walls were a number of smaller skiffs and barges ferrying people and their goods to the land. The team paid a skiff captain for passage on his boat and after some gold exchanged hands, they were on their way.

Raru, having been seasick during much of the trip offered to stay on board the ship while the others went to the mainland. Mung was feeling sick too and stayed on the ship until he was feeling better and then went to shore to learn what he could about the city.

At dockside were a number of small merchants’ stalls selling mostly food and trinkets to those working or visiting the harbour. For a few copper, any number of figures or religious shapes carved from seashells, stones, bones, and driftwood could be purchased. Gunnar bought two necklaces and a braided bracelet bearing the mark of Iomadae.

For a silver or two the team could purchase snacks typically consisting of fried fish or dried bread served with small jars of honey marked with a beautiful bee motif and a cup of strong coffee. Replacing fish with chicken was possible but each cost 5 silver instead. Larger meals, consisting mostly of all the things above, just on one platter costs about 7 silver. Chicken versions cost a couple pieces more.

The people of Hux dressed in what appeared to be traditional clothes. Simple, light-coloured robes were paired with sandals and box-shaped hats or fezzes for men, while similar robes and sandals and wide-brimmed hats or decorated turbans are worn by women. Both sexes wore make up of some type, whether it was intricate patterns traced on the faces of those who look like they’ve arrived from the desert, small patterns on others’ arms, or covered with gold flakes that accent their eyes, noses, or other features.

Merchants barked their wares to passersby in a variety of languages, looking for something to catch in the buyer’s ears. Native Dwarven, Elven, Common, and Ayfan shouts of “Souvenirs, Favours, Party Tricks!” filled the marketplace as the team passed through them. Almost everyone spoke in a thick accent that could be hard to grasp at first.

The first goal here was to meet their contact in Hux, a man named Hale Bashiir. Bashiir is an informant for Aroes but hides it from no one. Many people they met knew him and after looking at you for your strange method of dress (you don’t dress like anyone in Ayfa), can tell you the two places where he could be: The Canary House or the Common Mews.

The Canary House
Bashiir could be in The Canary House. The Canary House is a large, dome-shaped three storey building decorated in the familiar honey-yellow colour found on ship sails in the harbour. From the outside, the building was unique. It was shaped like a large birdcage, easily 5 stories tall, and painted gold with white bird motifs painted around its top. Around the larger dome ran a sort of donut-shaped building, making the place look more like a hat than a house.

Outside The Canary House stood a startling sight for anyone from Arroes: a orc bouncer (named Grub) surrounded by about 7 half-orc helpers who keep an eye out on the street for trouble. All were neatly-dressed in clean yellow robes hemmed with small white bird patterns. Grub would not allow anyone inside unless their name is on the list or they know Bashiir. If they can pay off some debts he owes Grub (close to 100gp), he’ll let them right in. If not, he’ll suggest they get into line and wait with the others. He can and will neither confirm nor deny that Bashiir is inside. If they pay, he’ll “be reminded” that Bashiir is inside on the floor of the cage.

Inside is a low ceiling area that is filled with long tables and benches that runs around the edge of a larger vaulted ceiling. Separating the two areas is a wooden wall with about 2’ of wooden lattice that splits it horizontally, allowing people to peek through but not enough to get a good view. At each cardinal point of the room is a gate manned by two more half-orcs. This “common” area is not at all a bad place to be, it’s bustling with people ordering drinks and having a great time and the music is delightful. It sounds as if 100 songbirds are singing complex melodies in unison and it’s easy to find yourself taken by the songs.

Each quarter has a bar that splits the fore-ring in half and serves customers on both sides. Humans and elves serve mostly but at one, the closest to the PCs, a handsome halfling does the job.

The bartender is a blonde halfling with a ruffle of hair as wild as that on his feet. He runs around the edge of the bar along a catwalk set one foot beneath the actual bar’s surface, singing and constantly telling poems and asking about people. He speaks very quickly and eloquently. There are plenty of servers wandering the crowd looking for someone interested in buying food or drinks. The bartender will take an instant liking to Bellatrix and offer her a free drink, cast her a warm smile, and wink at her. She notices immediately that he wears a beaded braid, similar to her necklace, that hangs down from his hair. The bartender can confirm that Bashiir is in the cage and has been there all day. He’ll point him out as the human in the purple robe with a wide gray beard.

Beyond the common area and wooden lattices can be spied a circular row of tables and chairs, seated at which appear to be wealthy patrons. They are eating and drinking expensive foods and wines and being served by beautiful men and women wearing gold silks and scarves. They tip very well.

There is only one way to get into the floor of the cage and that’s to pay. Each person must pay a 20gp fee to enter the space, which is collected by the half-orc security team.

Once they meet Hale Bashiir, he’ll very sternly ask them to prove themselves by telling him the name/title of any member of the Arroes/Kvothe government who sent them there. Once they do that, he’ll laugh deeply and point at each of them, order a round of drinks, and slide one of them a leather pouch that contains 100gp. He’ll explain that Grub’s fee outside was his first level of security that ward off potential troublemakers. Grub’s men are very observant and are able to pass information to him quickly about things that might be trying to harm him. The fee to get into the cage is very real though and he will not refund that.

Once the tension begins to ease, the PCs can take in the true beauty of the space and the reason it’s called the Canary House: nearly 50 gilded cages are set against the honey-coloured dome of the ceiling. Inside each cage is a beautiful man or woman wearing yellow and white silk scarves, all singing together beautifully. They sing not a word or a language, but blend a complex melody together so beautifully that if you spend too much time focusing on it, it’s easy to lose an hour in your own thoughts or be overcome by emotion.

The group eats and drinks well at the Canary House but Bashiir will not talk business there. He asks them to meet him in the morning at the Jewelled Bird, a coffee shop in the Common Mews at the end of the market where the city first meets the water.

The Common Mews

Following the docks through the thick of the morning market, the PCs make their way to the Jewelled Bird. Navigating through the throngs of morning good sellers and people shopping for the day. Hux is pretty much the exact opposite of Freehold: bustling with activity with people, goods, and currency moving at breakneck speeds. Making their way through the throngs of people is not an easy task.

Matt should make a perception check (DC14). If he fails, later he discovers their 3 platinum bars are missing from his stash.

Shops are packed with piles of carpets, blankets, and rolls of cloth. Strange smells waft through the air and there are lots of small statues, bits of jewelry, and snacks. People are selling live chickens, open bags of differently coloured grains, and platters of strange spices. Earthenware pottery, wooden flatware, and simple footwear can be found for sale everywhere. The team can completely update their outfits if they want for 2gp each.

Occasionally, the space is simply impassible. Whether it’s due to livestock being moved about or just a glut of shoppers trying to barter down a price on an already discounted item, patience is a virtue.

The Jewelled Bird

The Jewelled Bird is a dingy open-air coffee marketplace. Groups of 4-9 men stand around standing-only tables whose 1’ wide tops are covered with tall tin pots of coffee and white porcelain shot glasses. The space, with its blue cloth canopy, smells like earth, sandalwood, and leather and is bristling with conversation at each of the tables. Some in common, but most in Ayfan. People give the group a good look up and down as they enters and then return to their drinks and discussion. There are a few of the empty tables here and no stools can be seen. With the tabletops set at nearly 5’ high, shorter characters cannot reach whatever’s on the surface. Bashiir is nowhere to be seen.

Soon a boy with a thin moustache approaches the table with a small serving tray. He asks something in Ayfan and holds up his free hand with his fingers outstretched. If he gets no reply, he asks “how many” in common, takes the order, and leaves into the kitchen. When he returns, he comes back with coffee cups, a tall tin decanter, and a small bowl of delicious, creamy macaroons.

Service for the day will total 4gp.

As the shadows of the day grow on, Bashiir arrives looking puzzled. He says:

My friends – through my contacts at the harbour I’ve secured information concerning a familiar shipment of goods from Arroes. Some crates bearing a familiar crest have been located at Giant’s Grotto, a privately-owned storage facility in a shady area where precious and secure imports are held when they arrive in Hux. It’s widely known as a storage facility for questionable goods, but it’s never shut down. Anyway, my informant says a ragged crew of sea dogs unloaded these goods a couple of days ago under cloak and cowl. Now, when you get down there you can approach your target in three ways: fight your way inside, bribe or take a more diplomatic approach to talking to the workers or by sneaking your way inside via a secret, small tunnel behind the harbourmaster’s office down at the wharf. Either way, take a look and find me at The Canary House afterwards to tell me what you discover. When you return, tell Grub “the silver fish has drowned” and he’ll let you inside.

Giant’s Grotto

The harbourmaster’s building is a small, 2-storey brick building that is set back from the main wharf. It butts against some of the rock that makes up Hux’ right shell/face. When the PCs arrive, they find a large party happening at the office tonight to celebrate the harbourmaster’s birthday (she is turning 53). There are people all over the place, some drunk, some eating or smoking, and some dancing. The harbourmaster is slightly intoxicated and surrounded by 5 people, all of whom look like they can handle themselves in a fight. There are also two dogs prowling about the space as well. They will bark and warn others if they spot the PCs.

The small tunnel is in fact just that. Behind some barrels in a little holding area behind the house is what looks like a rocky overhang.

The tunnel requires all inside it to crawl on their hands and knees to make their way through. The tunnel dips down into a still, black pool of water.

To continue, all must go completely under water. Under the water there are two paths to take and each player should roll to continue unless they’re holding each other’s hands or otherwise bound together:

Anyone who progresses forward finds themselves in Giant’s Grotto, in an area behind some crates in the main storage area. There is 1 large space in the centre of the room with only 1 way in. All of the guards in the room double as workers are are currently moving crates and working in the space. The first attack by an PC on any worker is a surprise attack.

There were 2 types of bad dude in here:

  • 1 bard (CR1)
  • 6 brigands (CR1/2)

When they checked, the crates contained the following:

  • One contained clay pots marked with bees. The pots were all sealed with beeswax. They all contained honey.
  • One chest appeared completely empty. Inside, the trunk was empty but when they put their hands inside, they discovered what appeared to be an invisible wedding dress. It had the symbol of The Branch woven into its intricate beadwork.
  • Another chest contained shelves stacked with rolled up carpets and bolts of brilliantly-coloured cloth.

In the centre of space between some crates were a few small chests bearing The Branch logo. They were constructed of ebony wood, held together with copper bolts. When one was opened, an air elemental burst forth and shouted: “Ahhh, I’ve been waiting for you mortals. My masters will be pleased when I crush your bones and scatter their dust on the tradewinds!"

Regardless of where the PCs would end up, one thing was for sure: The Branch knows they’re coming for them.

Chapter 1, Part 8 - Xiff's house
A real fixer upper!

The team met up in the middle of town but not before Navki and Raru decided to help Fish with the warehouse. After a while, Navki returned to the Falcon to relax and tend to the boat.

While that happened, the rest of the went to the mayor and gave him Bert and Ernie’s sword and pendant so he could tell their families what happened.

Ezren got his bow restrung by a netter in town and the group made their way to a local eccentric’s hut to buy spell components and a 4-pack of healing potions that are guaranteed to put hair on your back and a spring in your step.

From there, the team decided to spend the night at Fish’s and headed up to Xiff’s house first thing in the morning.

After Ezren secured the perimeter, Merisiel and Mung took to picking the locks on the front door of the house. It was a complex series of locks and needed both of them working together to open it up.

The lobby (at the base of its main tower structure) of the house looked like it had been abandoned for a long time. In the middle of the room was a large, faded crystal covered in a thick sheen of dust. It’s connected to a series of pipes that run along the floor through the doors to the east and north. In one corner of the room was a large stuffed Wendigo overlooking the crystal. Worried it was connected to it in some way, the game rotated it out of view of the crystal after Ezren checked its line of sight for a possible security connection.

Merisiel found small, light footprints in the dust in the lobby and figured out that kobolds had been in the house recently.

There was a waist-high book shelf that ran around the room. On the shelves were wooden cups and plates and serving trays. There were also a series of thin books (about 30 pages each) that contained short stories about supernatural monsters and myths that didn’t really seem to be tied to anything real.

Some of them had “summoning symbols” but they’re drawn as if the author was a sort of armchair occultist. The symbols said you can summon things like The Fourth Whale, Guntarra, Wexelblue, The Hogba, and The Great Bobbin. Neither Ezren nor Furio had absolutely no idea what those were.

In addition to the “occult” books, there were others that were satires about corrupt government officials, church officials, highway bandits, and multiple references to “sinking all of them in The Talegarsh.”

Ezren examined them and realized that they were all written in familiar handwriting. When he spent time with it and picked up another book, the inside cover said, “To Ez, Trust only yourself.” All of the books were by the same author, and Ezren realized that it was his father.

In total, there were about 60 of these 30 page pocket-journals and adventure guides. Some were full of content, some half full. Some had artwork only in them, some were biology studies of impossible creatures, and some had summoning symbols.

The team wasn’t sure what all was real and what wasn’t in the books, but Ezren did know what the Talegarsh was.

The next room had a few more masks on the walls as well as a large slab that had been toppled. There was a shiny silver serving tray (worth about 50gp) on the floor in the room half buried under rubble. One side of the tray had been polished and was very reflective.

Next up was a room akin to a study or office. Covered with papers, notes, maps, charts, graphs, and more, they found rough sketches of the shadow monsters on pages. Spending a bit more time with the papers all over the floor netted the following information:

  • a schematic describing a series of tubes that appears to be planning how to channel mystical energy. The image has a “NO!” scribbled in a bottom corner.
  • a document that described different types of energy occurring in nature (gravity, lightning, etc.). Lightning seemed to have notes in the margin with lots of calculations. The numbers 1.21 and 55 were in a different colour and were circled.
  • the team noticed small footprints that had been left in the room and identified them as kobold tracks
  • there was a small diagram of a rotating platform designed to turn heavy objects with ease

Storage room – this room had a small window on the east and west walls. Both looked like they’d been roughly hewed from the stone of the walls. The window to the east bore scorch marks around its edges. The floor of the room was packed with twisted scrap metal. In the back corner is a closed closet door which contained a grandfather clock, a candelabra, and some dinnerware on a small cart. All were covered with dust and looked like they hadn’t seen service in a long time.

This room also contained kobolds rummaging around. After some positioning to avoid the metal barriers around the room, they were easily dispatched.

The Lab was next, split in half by a heavy leather curtain (one uninterrupted piece of 10′×10′ leather) covered with scorch marks. To the south of the room was a large machine pointing on a curious angle towards the northwest to the curtain.

The machine looked like it had been worked over by physical attacks. The floor around the machine looked charred as through it had been burned repeatedly by intense blasts of something.

The team took down the curtain revealing a bugbear ranger and 4 kobold teammates. The battle was fierce and rather than turning on the machine to blast the monsters with what they later found out was lightning, they took to blade and bow to try to fell them. Equipped with elfbane arrows, the ranger almost flatlined both rogues during the battle until Furio put him to sleep. When he woke up, his first target was Ezren who got a face full of masterwork composite longbow and was knocked unconscious. More fighting continued until they heroes were victorious!

When the red lever was pulled on the machine, the sound of whirring and gears could be heard and finally a silver tube appeared from the top of the machine. Then it discharged a burst of red lightning across the room and posed a puzzle. The team rotated the pillars and reflected the beam through the house to the white crystal in the lobby, opening a portal to another place. All but Mung were sucked in and whisked away!

They came to in a very strange place. It was an almost exact copy of Xiff’s house except it was very dark and mysterious. The books in the lobby that had contained text were now empty.

Suddenly a figure emerged from the darkness and crossed to the centre of the room, as if searching for something. When he couldn’t find it, he hit the ground, causing the floorboards to split apart momentarily and display the inky space beyond. He then stopped as if hearing a sound and ran into the shadows of the room and vanished. The group heard “Help meee” whisper through the air and they were again alone.

The team made their way to a room with masks hanging on the wall, Ezren removed one and it revealed the space beyond. Tossing a crossbow bolt out into the void, it returned a few seconds later, looking tarnished. While that was happening the removal of the mask opened a hidden room filled with coins bearing strange symbols from the lobby of Xiff’s house and markings from the nation of Arroes. Gunnar took a handful of them in his pockets, revealing space beyond. Ezen also took a coin.

While the others were checking out the coins, Furio opened the front door and revealed a vast expanse of space filled with purple nebulae, dotted with stars.

In the next room was a simple looking hallway and Bellatrix took the first step down it. As she walked, the hallway grew longer and longer yet stayed eerily the same size. At the end of the hallway, she and the rest of the team found another platform, positioned about 10’ from the current one. On one side of the platform was a small stone bench where Xiff sat silently. On the other side was a large white tangled mass of flesh and goo.

First into the fray was Merisiel who leapt flawlessly onto the platform and crossed to Xiff. Xiff looked up at her with great excitement in his eyes and then suddenly great fear. The white mass evolved into a horrible creature like a lion with tentacles for a mane and appeared right behind Merisiel. She tossed a dagger at it, which dropped out of the air before her informing the others that ranged attacks didn’t work while they were on the platform. Additionally, they couldn’t hear any sound coming from the platform which told the magic users that their spells might be rendered useless.

It was then that Merisiel was knocked out by the monster and Bellatrix attempted to leap across the gap to help. She just missed her roll and tumbled into the void, appearing back at the end of the hallway with the others.

Gunnar was next and leapt across the gap and took on the monster headfirst.

Fearing for Merisiel’s life, Xiff rolled up his sleeves and reached off his platform to grab her. As his small arms pierced the invisible barrier surrounding his bench, he was covered in scars, scrapes, and burns. He managed to grab her unconscious body and pull her close to him on the platform to keep her safe.

With the others pinning down the monster with magic and arrows (and eagles!) from the end of the hallway, Gunnar discovered what was up when Xiff noiselessly told him to smash the bench. After two powerful strikes, the bench smashed into hundreds of pieces and Xiff exclaimed “FINALLY! NOW FINISH IT SO WE CAN GET OUT OF HERE!”

With one last arrow, Bellatrix pierced its side and felled the beast and the team made their way to the lobby of Xiff’s house. There a portal had reopened and transported them all back to the material plane where Mung was waiting (semi) anxiously.

After being thanked by the town, the crew got geared up and made their way dockside. While they loaded the ship Furio saw a figure on the dock, a short gnome with bandages on his arms. Xiff looked up and said, “Permission to come aboard, captain!” and Furio welcomed him.

Later that day, The Falcon set sail for Ayfa, looking for the City of Hux – Golden Gateway to the Swirling Sands.

Chapter 1, Part 7 - The Land of the Free
Tunnels and Trolls (well, Kobolds)

After leaving Kvothe, the team noticed that they were short on provisions to make the fully voyage to Hux in Ayfa. Based on Navki and Raru’s knowledge of the region, they decided to stop at a town in an ungoverned expanse called the Freeport. Along the coast there is a town called Freehold that Navki believed could help them out.

After succesfully parking (and mooring!) The Falcon, the team met a group of fisherfolk who offered to watch their ship while they went hunting provisions. They were told to head up to Fish’s, a large warehouse-like building that doubled as both a restaurant and the town’s only inn. Before they left the dock, the team also tried to befriend a lazy white dog relaxing in a dog house at the end of the dock. They offered it water and rations but it wasn’t really interested.

At Fish’s The Argent Defenders found an old man with a straw hat and working shirt sitting outside on the porch. As he sipped he drink, the told them all about the town and its history. Very quickly though, the conversation turned sour. He told them about the town’s 7pm curfew.

The curfew was in place “on accounta the death”. When Bellatrix asked about it, the told them the town’s story.

A long time ago they dealt with Kobolds who raided the town and stole things from people. They also killed and stole livestock as well and became a real nuisance. The town sent two men, Bert and Charles to a nearby cave that they’d tracked the kobold’s footprints to. The men entered and didn’t return.

Soon thereafter a gnome arrived in town named Xiff. He was an inventor who offered to help the town with their kobold problem. He moved into a large house on one of the nearby hills and set to work. People in town would hear explosions and see bright flashes of light for a few days. Finally, Xiff returned to town and told everyone he’d solved their kobold problems.

Sure enough, he had.

He explained that he’d managed to summon some creatures to prowl the town’s streets and take care of the midnight raiders. Every night around 7pm the townsfolk would hear a loud bang and see a flash of light up in the house and the air would grow still. The tall grass on the hill leading up to the house would sway and creatures – the townsfolk called them “the shadows” – would emerge and scour the streets for any living thing.

They quickly took care of the kobolds. Every morning when folks would wake up they’d find skeletons picked clean of skin, muscles, and tissue. The skeletons looked like they’d been boiled and prepared by professional taxidermists.

After a while when it appeared that the kobolds had been dealt with the town had a celebration. While everyone was in the streets having a good time the townsfolk hear a bang and looked up at Xiff’s house. They quickly realized that was happening and ushered everyone inside.

Sadly, some children were left in the street and didn’t make it inside. They were utterly devoured by the night prowlers. Xiff, seeing what his creation had become, returned to his home in the morning to shut off the machine and set things right.

That was over a month ago and Xiff hasn’t been seen nor heard from since.

After the story, the PCs offered to help Freehold deal with their problems in exchange for supplies for their voyage. The old man in front of Fish’s said it sounded like a good idea and the team asked if they could meet the town mayor. The old man explained that he in fact was the mayor. The mayor needed to hear some of their tales, to know if they were adventurers or not so Navki whipped up a short song to regale them of their exploits:

We saved Copper from strife
Furio found his dead wife.
On a boat named Falcon,
we took a ride;
to come to this place
and fight by your side.

They went into Fish’s place and while being served by a staffer behind the bar, they could hear swearing coming from the connected warehouse. Going back there, they met Fish, who was dealing with wooden crates that had been smashed and robbed in the middle of the night. A quick search revealed kobold footprints on the floor nearby. Behind some crates was a depression that looked like a collapsed cave. The team asked Fish and his assistant, Drum some questions and then decided to head out to the kobold lair next to Lover’s Peak.

After rummaging around in some bushes they found the entrance to the lair. There were older human footprints there (at least a month or two old) and kobold ones too. Large rocks had been placed in front of the cave’s opening to prevent others from entering.

After the sorcerer had cast levitate to move the rocks out of the way and the bard casting a spell to shed light in the dark tunnel ahead, the group followed the passage around until they came to a small lair that was dark and smelled like death.

The room was split up into “rooms” by hastily-constructed walls and had a fire pit in the centre of the room that hadn’t been used in a long time. Checking the small rooms, ranger discovered that inside those rooms were piles of slain kobolds. Doing a survival check, he realized they bore gashes and cuts by large weapons (larger than kobolds anyway).

Next, the fighter did a dungeoneering check and found a hidden passageway to the north that was covered with a piece of leather that had been stretched over a drying rack. She, the bard, and one of the rogues followed the passageway to a round room illuminated faintly by natural light high above. The floor of the room was filled with ivy and amongst the roots they saw two shiny objects. The bard went to check out one of the objects which turned out to be a small pendant that said, “Bert”. The rogue stooped to check out the other thing which turned out to be a sword but it was really wrapped up in the roots of the ivy. As he twisted and pulled on it, the ivy came to life as an assassin vine. Time to fight!

After some slashing, the vine grabbed the rogue and started squeezing him. With another vine it attacked the bard and fighter in turn. As they called for help and the other team members filed into the narrow, 5-foot corridor the wizard cast grease on the constricted rogue who managed to slip out of its grasp. During the fight, some of the grease ended up on the bard’s hands, causing her to drop her mace – which promptly got lost amongst the coiling roots of the monsters.

With their other teammates taking shots at the creature from the hallway they eventually managed to kill it but not before Mung was reduced to 9hp. They took the necklace and sword with them as the mayor of Freehold had suggested that if they found the men they’d sent to finish the kobolds, they should send them home.

At the far end of the room was a large carving in a wall. It depicted a skeletal dragon’s head and written around it in draconic was, “It feats on the wet gore of the living”. Mung brought one of the dead kobolds in the main room and rubbed it on the door with no luck. Ezren and Raru realized that it had to be wet gore so they got Mung to lean against the door as he was still bloody from the fight with the vine.

The wall became animated and took a bite out of him for good measure. Saturated with blood (and having bled itself), the wall began to rotate revealing a chamber beyond.

At the far end of the room was a large mural depicting a large gold-coloured, serpent-like skeleton coiled through the roots of a tree. The image showed figures breaking its ribs and crafting them into wondrous items. Ezren and Furio gleaned more information with a Knowledge Arcana check to discover:

  • the ribs have been turned into staves and wands
  • they’re depicted as being used to fight undead and then turning into small versions of the serpent to bite their user

In the middle of the room was another altar sealed with magics that looked to Raru like very old blood had been smeared on it long ago. Spilling Mung’s blood (again) on the altar caused its lid to slide away revealing a small wooden dish with 3 platinum pieces on it and a rustic-looking necklace covered with colourful feathers. The necklace was a talisman that bestows upon its user (a 1-time use) the Alter Self (Small creature, details:

A successful dungeoneering check revealed another narrow passageway leading deeper into the lair.

With Gunnar the paladin in the lead, the gang made their way down the narrow path until they found themselves on a small platform on one end of a large expanse with a 50’ drop. Across the expanse were kobolds sitting at fires eating and chattering with one another. Each platform was at least 10’ apart meaning that The Argent Defenders needed to leap between them in order to progress.

Eventually four of the players fell into the pit instead of making their jumps. Raru the ranger, Bellatrix the fighter, Gunnar the paladin, and Furio the sorcerer got to explore the bottom of the pit while the Merisiel and Mung, the team’s rogues, easily leapt across the platforms, lead by Navki the bard. Ezren the wizard hung back and shot frosty rays at kobolds from the safety of the original platform.

Eventually most of the kobolds were killed (but not before Furio took a shot at a kobold from below with a fire bolt, missed it, and caused a stalactite to fall on Gunnar’s head) and the team climbed back to the platforms to press on, to chase the one kobold who managed to scramble away down another passageway.

That passage ended in a large domed room with crates and barrels piled in the middle of it. Using the sorcer’s ability to open objects to try to avoid any traps, they discovered that the contents matched what had been stolen from the surface.

Off this room were three more chambers with ladders that led upwards. In one of them they could hear heavy breathing and Merisiel followed them up the ladder. She found a kobold trying to escape – the same one that had fled from the canyon earlier. Killing it, the team split into three groups and climbed the ladders to see where they lead.

In fact, each led to a completely different place. The first team found themselves going through tunnels and climbing up ladders until they emerged from the well in the middle of Freehold. Another group found themselves at a wall of loose sand that was moved out of the way by the shovels of Fish and Drums from the warehouse.

The third group found a twisted mass of steel and metal that was impassable. It looked like the hole had become sort of a garbage chute for whatever was above it. They returned and climbed up through the opening leading to the well.

When they regrouped at the surface it was about 4:30pm and they decided to tackle Xiff’s house – to get inside before the 7pm curfew and before the monsters came to pick their bones clean.

Chapter 1, Part 6 - Bureaucracy and Boats
Back to Kvothe, on to the world!

After their battle in the cathedral, the team met a group of sages in blue robes covered with chevrons who asked them to come back with them to Kvothe to meet with Arroes’ government. They wanted to know more about what they’d encountered on their adventures.

There they were put up in a nice room and met Bran, the scribe they’d first met in Whitechapel. He told them he would be their sponsor in court that day, as he’d met and trusted them. On their way to court he told them about how court operated and introduced each member of the council.

The council listened to their stories of adventure and asked them for help. In exchange for the deed to a property in Flint, they explained that strange beasts have been terrorizing the populace and that shipments of copper had been leaving ports in Arroes, being smuggled out by someone named Joga Rake and heading south to the continent of Uluru. At the same time that all these beasts were showing up, Lord Ancaster of Clearwater’s 17th Ward had been prowling Arroes, inviting all who would listen to Clearwater to a great beast hunt. The team was given the name of a contact in the city of Hux in Ayfa, a country in Uluru. The name’s name is Hale Bashiir, a merchant specializing in information.

The government gave the team (now named The Argent Defenders) the option of going south to Uluru or north to Clearwater. They chose to go south.

They needed a boat and on a tip from Brin the scribe, headed down to the docs to meet Neum, a noble who had lost his way. Neum had a ship they might be able to get if they could find him.

They did. After playing a few games of chance with him, it was discovered that he’d been cheating and a bar brawl broke out. After helping him, he told them his ship was down at the water and they were welcome to it if they could beat Conchobar and his pet Turtle who were currently guarding it.

The battle on the ship was tough as it turned out Turtle was an ogre and not an animal. Before they could slay him, Conchobar dove into the water followed by Turtle and the ship, The Falcon, was theirs.

The team set off south, looking for Uluru.

Chapter 1, Part 5 - The Wagon Race
There and boom again

This past weekend I ran a brand new encounter that I’ve never run before: a wagon race. In it, the PCs had to make their way across half a city to an old church. I’m going to break down how each challenge went, how I tied each together, and how it was resolved.

1. The Lead Up

In the previous session, I’d revealed that there were some evil jerks who were heading to the church to meet up with another NPC who was looking for something. The players got a sense of urgency during that reveal and while they fought his underlings (a distraction), the head of the evil jerks took off for the church. The session ended with the fight concluding and the players knowing they had to return to the church.

2. The Guard Tower


The area of the city the PCs had been in when they countered the meanies was off limits and heavily guarded to keep people out. When they made their way back, they discovered that the gate was open and there were no guards anymore. The nearby guard tower had a blood trail leading to it and inside was a pack of goblins who had killed the guards. The players made their way to the top floor of the tower and took in the sights. Being the first night of Deepwater Day (a celebration in the city named after the game Lords of Waterdeep), they saw that there were people everywhere and fireworks going off.

As they got their bearings and began to see familiar landmarks, they saw the church on the horizon and as they watched, there was a massive explosion that blew the back half off the church. One of the players used the spyglass she had in her backpack (hooray for using all of your items!) and got a closer look. It was far away but I wanted her to see that the head jerk was there.

The PCs were inspired to get to the church as fast as they could.

3. The Performers

A group of performers were playing music nearby. This group, a family of gypsies, had been helped earlier by the PCs during a group skill/talent check. As the PCs approached they noticed that the family had a second wagon with some horses and asked to borrow it. After a bit of back and forth they family let them take it and they were off.

4. The Crowds

Being the first night of Deepwater Day, they soon realized that the square was full of people and they had to use their skills (diplomacy, some spells, etc.) to clear the square so they could get underway. While the others were doing that, I had them decide who was driving the wagon and made them make Ride checks (or Handle Animal, whichever was highest) to make sure they started the ride ok. A quick roll and they were off!

5. The Wagon

When I was designing this moving dungeon, I realized I had a huge problem. I had an 4” by 8” tile (dwarven forge) and two simple minecraft-style horses leading it. It took me a few minutes to figure out how I was going to move the wagon across the battlemat: I wasn’t going to.

When I was a kid going on long car rides, I used to imagine that we weren’t actually going anywhere, but that the horizon and all the things on it were coming to us. I applied this to the encounter and told the players that everything that was going to happen was going to come to them. Unless we all said so, the wagon was always moving forward. Its speed wasn’t important, just that it was moving.

I had the team position themselves as they wanted to on the wagon. Three of them took the front bench as shotgun and two drivers. The rest stood up near the benches in the back.

6. Slow Moving People

I wanted to impress upon them the number of people nearby so I tossed in a challenge where the driver needed to steer the wagon around a pack of partygoers so they don’t hit them. The roll was made fine, but I had the others who were standing in the back made strength checks to see if they remained standing. Most did but two failed, sliding one square in the direction of the swerve and one PC flew right out (nat 1, FTL). I allowed the PC who got a nat 20 on their strength check try a dexterity check to grab him as he went by but he missed and the sorcerer tumbled out. The team stopped the wagon, he climbed back on board and they took off.

7. Creating Urgency

I wanted to punctuate their travel with reminders of urgency to both keep them moving and also distract them from what they could do and what powers they had. Basically, to just create a dangerous scenario where quick-thinking could win the day.

During this next phase, I had it so that a rain of sniper arrows rained down onto the wagon as they raced along. There was no time to stop (and it was more safe to keep going, really) to deal with it. I would roll a d20 and pick someone to get hit with an arrow. For every one that hit, 6 missed. This was scripted, not rolled. I wanted them to be fearful of unknown attacks.

The Paladin put up his shield to protect the driver and deflected a few more arrows and we moved onto the next part.

8. Racing Raiders

From the crowd nearby came 3 goblin dogs being ridden on by one or two goblins. One dog came in from behind the PCs’ wagon and the other two came in from the sides. One of the goblins who came in from the side made a successful jump and leapt onto the wagon which caused the players to panic a bit. As they dispatched him, I created urgency by asking some of the players to move the dog tiles (containing the goblins) closer and farther away from the wagon so they’d feel like there was lots of action going on.

After the hijacker was dispatched by the rogue, the team took potshots are the dogs. After they missed, another goblin leapt onto the wagon but grabbed the wagon wheel and got crushed by it.

The jolt of the wagon going over the goblin took us back to #6 Slow Moving People and I had the players make strength checks to avoid being jostled by the sudden bump. The Paladin failed and flew off the wagon. Another goblin leapt onboard with a bomb, lobbed it under the front seat and dove back off the wagon, only to die as he didn’t land back on the dog.

The dogs all backed off and ran away while the wizard (who was out of spells after the previous session) knocked the bomb off the wagon with a golf-like shot. It exploded nearby, leaving a goblin face with its tongue sticking out in the air like fireworks do. This explosion caused the Ranger to fall off the wagon and land on the Paladin. Both took damage and the team stopped the wagon to get them back on board.

9. More Urgency and Mindgames

We were at another low point in terms of speed when wagon stopped and I wanted to pick it back up so I tossed in some more rooftop snipers. All of the missed (on purpose) as the group avoided people in the crowds.

They came to a fork in the road and had to make a decision which way to go. I explained that to the right was a market with lots of stalls and people and that to the left was more people and it looked like a better path. They went left. I laughed and said, “Perfect. Exactly where I wanted you to go.” The PCs freaked out a bit but had nothing to worry about – it didn’t matter to me what happened, the story would continue as normal. The intention here was to build and maintain that sense of danger and speed.

10. Masters of Disguise


During the previous sessions, the team had been made deputies of the city guard and they all wore gold medallions around their necks to signify that. They came in handy as I had members of the city guard who were in the streets keeping people safe start pulling people out of the way and holding the crowds back so they could go faster. After going into detail about this, they rounded a corner and found a group of city guards people waving at them and pointing to a side street with no one in it.

The PCs turned down it to keep the speed up. But as quickly as they entered the street, it ended in an alley. It was a trap and the city guards people took off their cloaks to reveal that they were affiliated with the big jerkbag from the start of the game.

Combat ensued as archers on the tops of nearby buildings shot them with arrows and bruisers on street level began to rumble. While they dealt with that, an evil cleric appeared and fought the paladin one on one. With a few boons the paladin almost felled him on the spot. The cleric channeled some evil energy, did some damage and fell the next round.

In the middle of the fight, one of the bruisers stabbed one of the horses making the team suddenly panic that they wouldn’t be able to arrive at the church as fast as before.

When they finished off the jerks in that alley ambush, the encounter ended. The intent was to create a sustained sense of urgency as they raced to the church and it seemed to work.

The Cathedral
The team couldn’t open the front door to the cathedral but after a team strength check, managed to push it open. As they did, an arm flopped out dressed in monk’s clothing and dripping blood.

Inside the church was a grisly sight: piles and piles of freshly dead bodies were strewn everywhere and at the end of the room was Agent Locke and Shae, altho she was horribly twisted up.

Mung attacked Locke who appeared to only be an illusion and Shae, now resembling a frog, summoned a massive flesh worm to attack the team. In the ensuing combat, Raru was reduced to 1hp and Mung was swallowed whole by the beast and would have certainly perished if not for the help of Gunnar the Paladin who reached inside the creature to use Lay On Hands on the rogue inside.

Having shaken the paralysis granted them by the worm, Bellatrix, Merisiel, and Navki set to work felling the beast. In the end, the team came together to slay the creature and put an end to the desecration.

Outside as they left they found a very somber-looking group of people hoping for good news from inside. Not finding any, the crowd backed away slowly revealing a group of red-clad older men. One of them raised a finger, pointed it at each and called the PCs by name – then said, “PLAYER X, Y, Z(…), we need to talk. You are requested in Kvothe at once. Let us be off.”

The next game begins in Kvothe!

Chapter 1, Part 4 - The Mining Guild HQ in Old Copper

Met at the cathedral in Flint, and Bellatrix told everyone what she had dealt with. The others filled her in on what they had done at Farnsworth’s.

From there, they were invited by Commander Claudot’s house for dinner. Mung decided to wait outside while the others went inside. The house was made of tall rooms decorated with pieces of art all the way up the walls. The images there are of the city of Flint over time. It would be possible to put all the art in an order and visually see the history of the city.

After being presented by Arthur, the commander’s butler, the team ate a great dinner after having moved some of his pictures looking for safes behind them. In one corner of the room stood a tall glass jar with an old military uniform inside. Navki was able to identify it as one of the original uniforms worn by the city guard back in the day.

After patrolling around the grounds and eating outside, Mung joined the others.

They talked about the history of the city and the commander told them that the symbol of the Branch was actually one that once represented the city of Copper (the old name for Flint) and its mining guild.

Armed with this knowledge, the PCs made their way to old Copper, an area of the city that was blocked off after Deepwater Day. After making their way to the gate, guards from a nearby tower stopped them but after seeing the medals each was wearing that deputized them for city service, they allowed them passage through the gate.

When the PCs arrived at the mining guild hall it began to rain lightly. The team was able to make out fresh tracks in the grass that lead into the main doors.

As they approached the abandoned building, the weather began to grow more troublesome and some pigeons flew out from under some rafters in the front.

The front lobby is fairly well lit from the sunshine outside but as the clouds quickly gather above, the room grows dark. In the time when the PCs can see with natural light you notice that the floor here has been decorated with a now chipping away mosaic of small white stones and in the middle of that oval, small black stones make up the symbol you know to represent The Branch. Amongst some of the mailboxes that lined the back of an area behind a long counter was some gold and the team smelled chicken crap.

They opted to make their way through an old museum dedicated to the mining prowess of the guild. Old pickaxes with crumbling handles lined the wall with little placards reading things like "First copper strike names city” and “We grow together in all kinds of weather”. The room was intended to show people how great the guild was.

The PCs opened the next room which was completely black. After arguing about who would go in first, an arrow shot out the door and hit Ezren. The team heard some snickering in the dark beyond and charged in. They discovered that the centre of the room had fallen away and they had to deal with goblin archers.

One group consisting of Navki, Bellatrix, and Raru decided to head back into the foyer and go down the hallway they had missed earlier. Opening the door, they smelled more chicken crap, could hear chickens clucking slightly, and saw a figure sitting on the floor at the far end of the room. The figure wouldn’t answer them. On one wall were three large holes cut into the wall. Raru poked his head up to see what was in the holes. The first one had nothing but the second one housed a cockatrice (as did the 3rd one). The bird jumped out and bit him on the nose dealing Dexterity damage to him and causing him to have a stiff nose from that point on. #noseBoner

After killing the cockatrices, they found that the figure in the hall had been turned to stone. Beyond there was a door. Opening that, they found a large, ruined office with some old maps of mines on the walls, one of which read: “Addermire: Inoperative copper mine. Caved-in due to the misuse of explosives.”

Back in the pit room, one of the goblins plummeted into a pit after another goblin hit him with a stray arrow and screamed “HONEYDEEEWWWW!” as he watched his friend fall. The team quickly finished the rest of that fight and moved to the next room.

The next room had a goblin sitting in front of a fire eating what looked like a chicken leg. On closer inspection, the goblin had been turned to stone and was eating a cockatrice leg instead. The walls of this room were decorated with strange marks, painted by hand in strange oil that had spilled onto the floor in some places. Gunnar recognized the symbols immediately as those from left behind in his monestery.

After a quick scan, the group discovered a secret passageway that lead into the basement. Down there was a simple table with a teapot on it and four empty tea cups. As soon as Ezren and Merisiel sat down, a figured materialized and poured himself some tea. The other cups filled up with tea as well. As he drank, so did Ezren. When he did, the figure recounted what seemed like field notes from a failed expedition near Jarek involving a brave guide named “Kapora”. After the encounter, Ezren took and kept the teapot.

The team returned and made their way into a large hall, presumably where the miners met and discussed news and information pertinent to the guild. The room was dark except for the far end where there was a large slab table covered in strange runes and a large red blanked that hid shapes beneath it on the altar. The blanket had the strange symbol from the goblin’s room on it as well. At the head of the table were 4 glass jars. Three of them contained frogs and copper coins and the 3rd was empty.

The PCs pulled the blankets back to see what was under them. They saw:

  • The largest of the bodies was an expertly butchered ogre whose arms and legs have been removed. Its face skin was shrunken and twisted, covered with blisters and boils.
  • The second body is a smaller man who was completely intact. Like the ogre, his skin was shrunken but he beared no obvious blemishes aside from a few bruises.
  • The third body was what looks like a man dressed in tattered monk’s robes. He was missing his jawbone and one of his arms had been removed. His eyes were missing and the sockets are filled with squirming bugs.
  • The fourth body was a woman who appeared to be the best preserved of all of the experiments. The body had evidence of about three or four weeks of decay. At first glance she looked fine but a more careful inspection revealed black stains on her funerary wrap. Removing the wrap revealed that her heart had been removed. She had matted and long, wavy brown hair and pale skin that looked like it would bruise very easily if touched. The skin around her eyes looked to be matted with black tears that appeared to have run down the sides of her head, past her ears, and onto the altar. Without a doubt this woman was Shae, Furio’s wife.

Furio lost his shit and set the table on fire, starting with the blanket and the bodies. As the room began to burn around the team, he noticed that time had stopped (it didn’t change for any other of the players – all of this happened in what seemed like normal time for them). Gunnar did notice that his Detect Evil power was suddenly registering an 11/10.

From behind him, he saw a large humanoid step out of the flames.

This fellow had a strong jawline dotted with small black horns and callouses. Because he had no lips, behind rows of jagged teeth he appeared to always be smiling. His skin was bright red/orange and he had a shock of black dreadlocks running down his back. Looking more closely, the hair appeared to be tendrils and they swayed and moved slightly of their own accord. His eyes glowed intensely and rarely blinked. His exact form was hard to make out due to all of the black and deep purple pieces of fabric that hung off of his shoulders to the floor.

His voice was like gravel. He turns to Shae’s burned body:

“The world as of late is an interesting place, eh Furio?
Seeds of chaos are being sown by monsters born of ancient nightmares.
We all feel it.
Innocents are being corrupted by awful magic and terrible relics dug from deep vaults.
My servants hear her whispers in their ragged ears and gnash their teeth against their brothers.
Nations become guarded, rush to war, and conspire to conquer.
Few will be able to stand once her black tide washes over everything.
And as you know: if you hide and watch, things will only get worse.
More ancient nightmares will crawl from their holes and fill the skies to carry out her will.
Your allies will grow terrible and your sweet Myrcella will be lost forever.
I sense you’re seething with anger and confusion about this disgusting warping of your beloved.
To help, I’m giving you a small gift – something to help expunge her minions and get revenge on those who did this to Shae.
Even if decide not to help me, the wonders you’ll be able to do with my gift will serve me greatly.
Now, rejoin your friends and stop Chelyx’s minions from sowing ruin in Flint.
We’ll be in touch, Furio.
Oh, and don’t worry – my gift allows my servants to find you wherever you go."

The room began to heat up exponentially and the figure explodes with a blinding light and concussive force. The blast is enough to knock Furio back 4 spaces and knock him prone. He is unconscious as time catches up with him. The rest of the team helps him up but have no idea what was said or anything else about what happened.

When he regained consciousness, Furio discovered that both of his arms, from elbow to fingertip, are charred black. Even though they don’t deteriorate, a tiny amount of ash can flake off of them if they’re rubbed together but it immediately dissipates. The scorching is not removable via magic or physical means. It is a permanent side-effect from the traveller’s gift. When Furio is using any fire-based ability, his hands glow bright red as though they are hot coals while the pentagram remains black. When he stops using fire attacks or effects, his hands return to their charred state. His hands must be exposed to use fire abilities or they burn through any gloves he is wearing. They decided to leave the hall.

When they returned back outside a low fog had whipped up and hung in the air but through it, they could make out a group of people standing around near the main gates. As they approached, whispers could be heard and a voice called out as one of figures approached the group. They saw an elf, dressed in the same armour as Warren’s character. The difference between this elf and Mung and Merisiel is that his eyes are solid black with no whites.

As Mung recognized him, he said: “Brother Khee! It is me – Brother Locke! Funny that we should meet again under these questionable circumstances. I was just returning to check on our lady’s experiments – what a small, sad world. I guess I don’t need to go in there anymore as I’m sure you’ve defiled the altar and upset the dark magics. Not to worry, the frogs have been woken up and are carrying out our lady’s work now. You’ll excuse me if I can’t stay – I really should get back to the cathedral so we can complete this first step of her great awakening. In my stead, I leave you to deal with my friends. We’ll meet again, Brother.”

He gripped a talisman around his neck and vanished into the fog. From the fog stepped a number of short men dressed in black. As the party sized them up, a roar his heard behind them and from around the side of the broken room of the guild hall came a massive ogre with two normal arms and one human arm. In its chest is a glass window chained in place. Inside the window is a heart floating in black blood.

After a bit of a struggle (during which Furio had burned Bellatrix by accident) they managed to defeat the monsters and smashed the heart in the ogre’s chest, which they believed to be the one removed from Shae. The ogre fell over backwards and pinned Mung who had been flanking it.

The end of the session left the group wondering a bunch of things:

  • Who was the traveller that Furio had encountered? What did he want with him?
  • Who was Brother Locke and how did he know Brother Khee? And what was their brotherhood all about?
  • What was the mysterious symbol on the walls of the guild and what did it have to do with Chelyx?
  • What’s happening back at the cathedral? Who – or what – is the Shae clone back there?

Being the first night of Deepwater Day, the chance for chaos is great. Based on the great evil they had just encountered and struggled with, the PCs have a strong feeling of dread and worry about the safety of the monks and people back at the church. Without a chance to relax or recover from the struggles around the guild hall, the team took off towards the main gate, out of Old Copper and back to Flint…

Chapter 1, Part 3 - Bellatrix's crypt adventure in Flint
Shae, frogs, and mysterious figures

This session occured at the same time that the other players went to Farnsworth’s barns to investigate the issue with the cattle.

Shae was in the cathedral at the moment, sitting quietly watching people come and go.

She took Bellatrix on a tour of the cathedral grounds to show her what she’d been up to and how she passes the time.

The grounds are about the size of three soccer fields side by side. In one area there was a beautiful garden with benches. Many people go there to pray and eat lunch. They listen to the songbirds and watch the clouds pass by harmlessly overhead.

Another area was the cemetery. When Old Copper fell all of the city’s services had to move to somewhere less dangerous. It was decided that the newly buried dead would rest here or that those who requested cremation would have the ceremony done here. Because of the nature of the cosmopolitan city of Flint, the cathedral was built for many different religious groups to worship. The first person buried here was a boy named Gull who drowned in the central reservoir, the first to do that. His death became the catalyst for the creation of Deepwater Day, to honour those who died instead of be angry and sad about them. Some say that the festival that takes place now is an affront to the lives that were given up in pursuit of fortune but most people ignore those calls and it’s become what it was today. Beneath the ground was a great crypt where the remains of the dead are buried. Shea sometimes walks down there alone sometimes to gather her thoughts and try to remember what happened to her.

The other area contains the cabins where the monks stay. After a recent accident there are a few empty bunkhouses on the property. When Shae showed up they offered her one of the cabins. Shae doesn’t know anything about the accident that happened. Asking other monks about the accident will reveal what’s going on.

Shae got a headache and asked to sit find a place to sit down. She asked for water and began to drink it slowly. She then asked for Bellatrix’s story.

As Bellatrix finished telling her story she noticed Shae had lost interest and was sort of daydreaming and seemed to be having a conversation with herself. When stirred from that state she smiled and reached into some nearby grass and pulled something out with cupped hands. Inside was a small frog with reflective yellow eyes and brown skin. She stared at it intently, bringing it right up to her face. She whispered to it. The frog blinked and chirped at her and then hops away.

Shae said that her daughter used to catch frogs at their old homestead in the ponds out back. Whenever she sees the tiny frogs in the garden she’s reminded of her daughter.

After a few minutes, she said she was weary and asked to be helped back to her bunk to rest.

After she went inside, Bellatrix found that the rooms on either side of Shae’s were empty and hadn’t been touched in a long time.

Her room was very Spartan. There was only a simple bed and a desk with a journal on it with a pen. There was a small nightstand as well with some neatly folded clothes inside. A screen hid restroom facilities. she goes there to wash her hands after handling the frog (“touching frogs can make you sick, you know.").

Looking in the journal are well done sketches of random objects like frogs and some of the graves out back. Curiously absent were any references to Furio or her memories since being found. There were also lots of images of statues of people standing around in ruins and overgrown grass. Every few pages was another drawing of frogs and keys with notes that read, “Myrcella”.

After a few more questions, Shae retired due to a headache and Bellatrix headed outside where she heard a haggard cough. She noticed that she was being watched by a bulky figure across the square dressed in dark clothes watching her from amidst the graves. As she approached, the figure got up and walked away. She picked up speed to catchup and the figure fled, ducking into the graveyard. She was able to follow him based on his cough. She found footprints leading into one of the crypts nearby. Inside the crypt was a heavy door that looks like it was recently opened. She hears a hushed cough inside.

Inside was a fight with one large street thug. During combat, and in horrible common, he asked Bellatrix what she wanted with the “frog lady” and told her to mind her own business. He said he loves squashing little bugs like her, coughs, and attacks. On her final blow to him, she sliced him open and black goo dumped out.

After the fight, if she searched the bodies and found 12 silver and a handkerchief. The cloth was mottled with dried and fresh darkly coloured blood. Embroidered into the corner was the symbol of The Branch. He also had a strange necklace with what look like a weasel or ferret’s foot tied to it. She took that necklace and put it on.

When she left the scene of the fight, on the threshold of the crypt was a small, brown-skinned frog with yellow eyes that chirped at her and then hops away into the grass.

She caught up with the others as they returned from Farnsworth’s.

Chapter 1, Part 2 - Beneath Whitechapel
Exploring the buried temple

With Furio and Bellatrix following up on a lead about Furio’s daughter and wife’s whereabouts, the rest of the party, with the addition of Merisiel the Rogue, delved into the newly-discovered temple complex beneath Whitechapel.

In there, they encountered a whistling warrior who refused to lay a hand on Mung Kee and who summoned giant rats to help him in his fight. When he perished, he left behind the Beast Bane shortsword. This sword is capable of making short work of non-magical animals and was taken up by Mung and used effectively later on a nest of giant spiders.

The chapel where they fought the warrior featured a large copper tree as its main focus of worship. The back of the room was ringed with old bookshelves and old crumbling tomes. Many of the tomes were filled with chants and incantations to a queen, most reading:

  • As many we are strong (a picture of hundreds of copper leaves)
  • Together are vigilant (dark figures standing in front of a full moon cresting over a hill)
  • We reach for the heavens (a grove of trees that are growing up straight and tall)
  • To awaken the great one (the moon’s face is a woman’s face with her eyes closed, looking down at the world)

The group also found a weird hip flask containing a Potion of Invisibility, which was pocketed by Ezren the Wizard.

Past this room was a hallway with realistically-carved stone trees and vines decorating it, all of which found a focal point at the next door that lead forward. After some trial and error, the group discovered that when Ezren set fire to the incredibly lifelike stone carvings, that they all retreated and revealed the pathway beyond.

The room beyond was a chamber where clerics lived and rested. A decisive battle followed with the Gunnar the Paladin leaping off one of the dining tables into the head of a skeleton, crushing it into the ground. Each of the skeletons in this room wore cleric’s robes decorated with trees and branches.

In the next two bedrooms were a Wand of Cure Light Wounds in one and a small locked chest in the other. Mung picked the lock, busted it open, and discovered a cache of silk scarves with wavy patterns on solid colour backgrounds. While he looked at the scarves, a series of flashbacks occurred, unlocking a fragment of a past event he participated in.

Another room had a crumbled crane in one corner and a pair of large mahogany crates held together with copper nails and emblazoned with the Branch symbol. Inside the crates were rough chunks of copper ore. While investigating those, three giant spiders spun down from above and a fight broke out. Eventually, the fight was won (not before Mung was bitten by one of the spiders and took Strength poison damage) and Merisiel found 30 silver pieces on the body of the crane operator.

Next up was a room piled high with crates containing copper ore and piles of items made of copper (like urns, pots, sword, buckles, coins, rings, etc). There were indications that the copper was being dragged to, and dumped down a large metal grate into a void below. After Gunnar detected whisps of evil beyond the grate, Ezren kicked a pile of the copper into the chute below making a loud noise and coaxing two giant centipedes from the walls of the room. After both Ezren and Gunnar were bitten and poisoned by the monsters, the beasts were dispatched. Merisiel discovered a hidden alcove where the centipedes came from and Rauru went inside to find a Potion of Cure. The group decided that Mung should consume it to recover from being poisoned and return his Strength bonus to him.

At the end of this room was a large door that led down into the darkness.

The stairs emptied into a massive room that had Meloki chanting before a gigantic geode egg in the centre of the room. On another platform was a skeleton with a bow and near the entry door was another warrior skeleton, both of which were wearing the tree robes found on the skeletons earlier.

Combat was particularly nasty in this room. The team focused their efforts on Meloki who used the copper around the room to crack open the geode revealing a giant mantis within. The mantis was dripping copper ooze around the room as it walked and attacked.

By this time, Gunnar, Merisiel, and Mung had crossed the room and were dealing with Meloki and the skeletons he could raise from the dead. After grabbing Gunnar, Meloki looked into his eyes and said, “She is coming!”, laughed maniacally, and channelled some unknown energy dealing damage to him. Before Gunnar could find out more, the mantis grabbed the nearly-dead cleric and bit his head off.

The mantis missed with two hits in a row and then surprised the group by leaping in the air into the middle of Rauru, Ezren, and Navki who had been staying back using ranged attacks and powers.

Threatening to kill them all, and with all other monsters defeated, the group converged on the mantis and killed it which caused it to go into death spasms. A massive claw came down on Navki, leaving her at 1hp and with the other pounding Gunnar (with its reach/throe attack) almost killing his as well.

When the dust settled, the team looked in the room for loot, finding a Scroll of Detect Undead, gold coins, and an amazing magical trident known as The Defender (which the group decided should be carried by Rauru).

With one door still to go through, the team pulled some levers revealing a super-dark chamber that Gunnar, Navki, and Mung entered. Inside the team found thousands of geode eggs, some of which began to hatch being in close proximity to all of the copper pieces that Gunnar (the team’s banker) was carrying. Before all the eggs got a chance to hatch, they escaped and sealed the door up with some nearby pillars and braced it with some long candleabras and broken spears.

Back on the surface, they met Brin the Whitechapel Scribe as well as Furio and Bellatrix and shared what they had discovered beneath the town. Brin’s face went white as he began to piece together the story he was told and expressed worry for the townsfolk. As the team looked around, they saw many people carrying the geode eggs they’d bought from Tomek.

Both Brin and Furio and Bellatrix suggested the team’s next stop should be the town of Copper to the south to follow up on information on Furio’s daughter and wife, as well as to get to the bottom of the Branch and a group of mysterious tax collectors who’d arrived in Whitechapel recently to collect money.

Before bedding down for the night, Ezren persuaded Tomek to recover all of the eggs he’d sold to the townsfolk and return their money to them.


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