Recaps

Episode 21: Breakfast Brawl of Champions (Gameplay Recap)

Episode 21: Breakfast Brawl of Champions (Gameplay Recap)
Date of Session: Saturday, 7 July 2019.
In-Game Time: 16 Beltane 500 CE (Day 17 of the campaign), Morning-Noon
Where: Crow Crag Tavern & Whitesnake Lair.
The Weather: Until stated otherwise, it is raining.

TEAM TEALIGHT’s adventures continue with Ana Goldleaf-Hatfield (Half-Elven Bard), Astrid Morninghide (Aasimar Grave Cleric), Fingers Ol Susage (Wood Elf Rogue), Dharilius Ostad (Tiefling Wild Magic Sorcerer), and your Dungeon Master (human scholar).

TL;DR

  • Everyone had vivid dreams: Ana and Astrid had nightmares full of snakes; Fingers and Dharil shared in a dream of a memory.
  • Dharil believes he recognizes Fingers.
  • The tavern clears out and Team Tealight find themselves alone. Not for long, though, as six members of the Cult of the Serpent arrive and attack.
  • Very big breakfast brawl ensues.
  • Ana and Fingers take the most damage; Astrid some; Dharillius none.
  • Take out all the cultists, leaving one alive for questioning and light torture-play gets weird.
  • Learn from the surviving fanatic (Stephan) that the Yuan-ti abomination Shalkashlah wants them dead for disrupting his transformation ritual.
  • Aevar and some other cultists left on a boat yesterday. Zora and Garret are captives in the hideout.
  • The remaining Cultists are attempting to rend the veil between planes and bring about
  • The End of Things and thus prompt The Night Serpent to return.
  • Fingers ends Stephan, which annoys Astrid, as she felt she was making progress reasoning with him.
  • Team Tealight, led by an angry and focused Astrid, return to the Whitesnake lair and zip through the first room (for the third time) and the triple-trapped hallway with no problem.
  • Session ends with Astrid pushing open the door at the end of the hallway.

YR RECAP AWAITS…

Hey, there’s a battle mat floorplan for the Crow Crag Inn with Ye Olde TripAdvisor reviews.

IMG_1796

“But the inside of whose lung? Michael Phelps or a smoker? ‘Cause that would be a very different experience.”

Roll for recap: Matt.

Discuss “What’s Been Going on in Strierbridge” and answer questions. Player knowledge v. character knowledge, etc. etc.

Bad Sleep at the Crow Crag

The Tealights are all in one room for the night. The Crow Crag Inn is a pretty filthy place at best and their shared rooms are truly fetid. The three who sleep do so uncomfortably. Fingers watches everyone sleep for half the night. Not in a creepy way, just in a staring at people while they’re sleeping kind of way. That’s not creepy. And he medibates, as is his wont. The sleepers dream disquieting dreams…

Ana is running through the woods in Goldleaf Hollow. It’s night and she hears snakes slithering and hissing in the trees. Birds alight in a panic. Twigs crack. Ana spins around. Nothing. She has a sense that something malevolent is there. She turns slowly. Talash rises up and the trees and grass wither around her.

Talash is a Yuan-ti (snake person) Nightmare Speaker who presently rules the Cult of the Night Serpent. She has the upper body of a human female and the lower half of a giant snake. Her interests include long slithers on the beach, holding power through fear and terror, and feeding the nightmares of mortals to her god.

Astrid dreams of her early life as an adventurer with her dwarven friend Banmer Greyborn. Astrid watches Banmer fall as he is rounded upon by Gnolls. She sees herself barely able to hold her weapons, frozen in fear. It’s a humbling, humiliating memory for her. Then, she sees herself fall to her knees and call out to Kelemvor, the Lord of Death and Judge of the Damned, to save Banmer in exchange for her own life. Immediately, Astrid no longer was afraid, no longer powerless, no longer without a true purpose. Yet, here in this horrible dream, she cannot move. Astrid awakens with a start from her nightmare in bed in her room at Freebrooke Estate. So luxurious! Astrid rises to bathe and…feels uneasy. Something is unreal about this. Her undead sense is tingling. She looks down and there are snakes in the bath.

And Talash stands behind her through the doorway.

Dharil sleeps and remembers a time when he was just a little devil boy. He was in a crowd with his parents. His mother covered her head with a scarf because it made her look more like an elf than a tiefling. He pulled on his father’s coat sleeve until his dad lifted him up to see. It was a platform with an old man telling a bunch of scary looking people that they were facing death or exile. This was good and evil. This was justice and law.

from Gunpowder (2017) via scenesmedia.com

“This is what keeps people like us safe, son,” Dharil’s father says. “Law and order.”

Dharil looks around to see human, dwarven, halfling, and elven faces glancing toward him with mistrust and fear.

“Yes, to keep the peace. But why do these people have to die? What did they do wrong?”

Fingers medibation intercuts with Dharil’s memory / dream of the execution.

During Fingers’ medibation, he returns to the memory dredged up when he heard mention of the Lords’ High Investigators. He found himself standing on a platform before a crowd in Cambry, as the High Investigator spoke the sentences with a sadistic delight burning in his eyes, froth and spittle on his gaunt lips: Death. Death. Death. Exile. Death. And the eyes of his comrades in arms turning upon him.

Death for them and exile for me?

One, the aging human rogue Jaxon Mitchell, spat at Fingers’ feet. “Traitorous scum,” he said.

“No,” Fingers whispered. “It was my brother. My father and my brother. They hunted us down.”

“Because of you,” Jaxon—a grizzled bastard, hard as he’s ever known—hissed at Fingers (a snake-like sound—this HAS to be what a nightmare is like). Jaxon added, “Never trust a noble; not even his son.”

One of the Hollow Hands, a black-haired half-elf from the gutters of Cambry’s worst neighborhood and the most talented thief Fingers had ever known, looked across at Fingers. Her uncanny grey eyes flashed and her curvy mouth curled in disdain as she kicked one of the guards in the gut, sending him tumbling into the crowd.

She rushed over to Fingers, who felt himself–in his medibation fantasia–slightly turned on, despite the somber circumstances of the memory.

“If yir the only wan ay ays left,” Mila Whyte said, shaking off another guard’s arm with a powerful shrug, and leaned in close, as if to give him a kiss. She whispered something, something inaudible in his ear and then looked him in the eye.

In the half-distance of a crowd, a young tiefling boy tilted his head in curiosity.

“This one,” he pointed at Fingers. “I know him. I know him!”

Dharil’s father chuckled. “I’m sure you do, Dharil. He’s the masnfdansmngmsdfkjh.”

“Wait, what? Father! What did you say? What did you say?”

Fingers remembers nodding his head. Mila gave him a quick peck on the lips before the guard yanked her back upright and pushed her forward.

“Avenge me, will ya?” she yelled.

In his medibation, Fingers turned and looked into the crowd. “Wait, that little boy there… I know him… is that? Is it?”

“It’s a shame really,” a voice beside Fingers announced. The elven rogue looked to his left and saw a satyr. The first satyr, actually, Hyrsam the Fool. Fingers remembered him from stories he’d heard as a child. A mischievous prankster, that’s what he was. But why here? Why now?

Hyrsam nodded, “They were a good group. But maybe your next one will be better. If you ever feel yourself in need or lacking a little something, just call me. I’ll hear you.”

Hyrsam the Satyr held his hands in front of his eyes, palms out. There were eyes on them. They gave Fingers a big wink and Fingers felt the eye tattoo on his hand also winking.

“I’m watching.”

Back in the room at Crow Crag, Fingers studies his palm tattoo. For a second, the eye tattoo is an actual eye, looking at him. Then, it’s back to being the image of an eye with a scar across it. Was the scar part of the tattoo or actual? He couldn’t differentiate.

Ah, though, Mila Whyte. She was something. No hooves. No tail. Not a tiefling, but, ah… Fingers thinks and begins to relax. There are better uses for the palm of his hand than winking. Better to have good thoughts to have than bad ones. Ah… oh, yes.

Dharil awakens suddenly. That wasn’t a dream so much as it was a memory. That fat elf. What his father said. What had his father said? Dharil looks across the room. Fingers has his back to him. He’s bouncing slightly and… where are his hands? Hidden. Hidden Hands? No. No. Not quite that. His clothes? Oh, no…

Fingers successfully medibates, shudders, and then looks over his shoulder, unmistakably making meaningful eye contact with Dharril.

They lock eyes.

Thinking about me, were you? Dharil asks, stretching his shoulders.

“Mollymauk” by patchesotron (Alas, Poor Molly. Too soon?)

I’ll Never Unsee That

“Fingers, could you NOT do that when we have to share a room together?” Astrid says.

“Heeeey, there, look. You all have your little sleepy snoozy time. This is how I unwind. It relaxes me.”

“Well, Kelemvor is watching you medibate,” Astrid says with a yawn. “Just remember that.”

Dharil says, “I’ve read Silverwood’s Treatise on Elven Customs and Traditions and there’s nothing on so-called ‘medibation’ in there.”

“I find it soothing,” Fingers says. Then he snaps, “Look, my father used to criticize me for doing it.”

Astrid: “Ana, you’re like him. What do you make of all this?”

Ana raises her eyebrows and shakes her head. “I’m really not anything like—”

“I mean, you’re an elf. Do you do that?”

Ana: “That? Well, I mean, sometimes. We usually do it together? I mean, with other people. Not him and me. Chicken and biscuits and Oghma forbid! What ARE you thinkin?”

Breakfast at the Crow Crag

Ana and Astrid discuss their dreams and find that they had a similar figure in their dreams: a half-woman, half-snake. Disconcerting, indeed.

Errol Aberlish, the proprietor of the tavern, asks them if a woman is half-snake and half-woman, doesn’t being a reptile mean that she doesn’t have breasts? Every etching he’s ever seen of one has female human breasts. Why? Why would a reptile require mammary glands? Seems unlikely, that. Sexist is what I say it is.

Welcome to “Do Serpent Women Have Boobs?” A Roundtable Discussion at Crow Crag Tavern!

Errol declares that reptilian women with breasts is clearly the work of a patriarchal conspiracy. None should be found in this world.

Dharilius asks Errol if he’s considered that the breasts might be vestigial, that is, the subject was born a human female and then morphed into a serpent through arcane means. Would she not still have breasts, however irrelevant to the purposes of nursing they may be?

Errol acknowledges that this could, indeed, be true.

Ana argues that if a being is born half-human, than it likely has the needs of a human baby, such as breast feeding. Even if it’s born from an egg, there’s no saying that the egg-laying snake half is going to dominate the human torso. Why wouldn’t a snake woman have breasts?

Errol concedes the validity of the point.

A female half-elf with antlers who’s been sitting at the bar with them rises from her seat. She’s been quietly listening to them talk. “Plus, the ho needs tits!” she says as she takes her leave.

Everyone laughs.

Meanwhile, Dharilius’s Mage Hand is sketching the elf he saw in his dream / memory and the elf sitting at the bar with him. The present-era Fingers has a stylish top-knot in his long hair and a short beard, while the one from 30 years ago has shaggy hair and a very suspect mustache. (Let’s be real: it was a very seedy-looking pornstache.) Dharil examines the two sketches and decides that, yes, with a little time, the styles changing as they do, and some grooming, this could be the same person. After all, how many elves are overweight? There was nothing about obese elves in Silverwood’s Treatise either…

There’s a brief discussion wherein Fingers reminds them that his real name is “Percival.”

Astrid laughs, “’PERCIVAL?’ Your name is PERCIVAL?”

Fingers goes, “Fingers. I’m Fingers Ol Susage.”

“Mage Hand, take that down,” Dharil says.

Fight at the Crow Crag

The Tavern has cleared out rather suddenly and the Tealights find they’re alone with their breakfast (or, in Fingers’ case, his second Full-Aberlish Breakfast with toast, goat sausage, and a double side of eels).

Errol quickly steps to the back and is gone.

Fingers says, “This is a trap.” Everyone readies themselves.

And everyone rolls for initiative. (Yay, Team, for catching the detail that everyone was leaving; it spared them a round of surprise attacks.)

Two Cultists stand at each entrance, crossbows at the ready. At the north entrance, a Fanatic stands behind the two cultists. At the south entrance, the Yuan-ti Assassin who stealthed out of the first room of the dungeon stands outside in the rain with their cape somehow billowing behind them.

(What followed was almost four full rounds of combat between 4 characters and 6 NPCS. For the sake of brevity, what follows are highlights of the fight.)

A cultist at the north entry raises his crossbow and fires a bolt into Fingers.

The fanatic beside the cultist tries to cast Hold Person, but Dharilius counters it. “Oh, no, you don’t,” Dharil says, snapping his fingers (and a little surprised—and pleased–that it worked). The fanatic promptly shields himself in his faith in the Night Serpent.

Ana mocks the fanatic. “Look at you! Standing there all by yourself! You don’t have any friends!”

The cultist gestures to either side of him, “I do. And I brought some with me.” He probably adds something about how the Night Serpent bonds them all, but no one is listening to that fanatical drivel.

Ana hops behind the bar for cover. She reaches back up to grab her cup of tea.

via dndbeyond.com

The assassin makes a dramatic entrance, black cloak flowing behind, two daggers drawn, and hood pulled low. They throw one dagger that lands on the ground in front of Fingers. As he watches it, the dagger vanishes and reappears on the assassin’s belt. The second dagger is a critical—

No, it isn’t. the Grave Cleric says, NO CRITS AGAINST MY PARTY!

—hit. Fingers feels the poison seep into his veins and, despite having the constitution to resist, still takes damage.

He also recognizes the assassin as the one who left the fight at the Whitesnake hideout the day before.

Astrid casts her Spiritual Weapon, a sickle (because GOTH cleric is DETH) and whacks the assassin with it.

Dharil, feeling chuffed that his previous spell didn’t fail, attempts to cast Frostbite… and it fails. He looks exasperated and hops behind the bar to join Ana in half-cover.

Fingers coats 1d4+1 arrows with one of the vials of Wyvern poison, collected after Episode 17 Pt 2, and shoots that poison arrow into the assassin’s har-har-heart (ABC).

Get a taste of your own poison and all that.

Among the three other cultists, two miss and one hits Astrid with a crossbow bolt, which only makes her give him a stern look.

Second, third, and FOURTH rounds of combat unfold. Here are highlights!

Ana mocks a second cultist. Possibly the assassin. “Hey, look at you… that, uh, you, yeah… you’ve got a face!”

The cultist says, “We all have faces?”

Ana cries, “It’s early! I was going to get a second cup of tea!”

As Ana turns around, a dagger streaks through the air and finds purchase between her armor pieces, piercing through the skin near one of her kidneys.

She cries out in pain. “Dammit! You KNOW I do NOT like to get hurt!”

She feels her constitution wane as poison courses through her system. As she reaches back to remove the dagger, it vanishes.

Fingers, also badly wounded, looks to Ana and shouts, “This is racist! They hate elves!”

The assassin finds themselves unable to move at full speed due to something or the other Astrid had cast, leaving them out of cover.

Astrid casts Spirit Guardians before she goes into melee with a cultist and then the assassin. Her Spirit Guardians are little cherubs love bomb their target with lethal arrows. Their first victim is one of the minions before they move to another.

Astrid tries to hit the assassin in the “beanbag.” Her mace swings between her targets legs but finds no purchase.

Astrid goes, “Huh? How’d I miss?”

The assassin looks at the mace and then at Astrid. She gestures towards her crotch, “I’m a WOMAN!”

Astrid notices that the hooded snake lady has d20=15 boobs. “Maybe I should have aimed for those!”

Dharil successfully casts Frostbite and quips, “Chill out!”

Fingers thins the numbers by taking out a couple of the minions with poison arrows.

The Fanatical spell-caster and the Assassin continue to be problematic. Ana must have found more tea behind the bar, as she casts HOLD PERSON on the Fanatic and he is paralyzed.

Female bard by Eva Widermann

As ever, Hold Person changes the tide of a battle. Here, it secures the now-likely outcome.

The DM politely reminds the players that they can choose to do NON-lethal damage on a killing blow should they want to question their assailant.

With Ana concentrating on holding the fanatic, Astrid, Dharil, and Fingers pause for a moment to consider not killing the assassin before they’re like, Nah, brah. He’s gonna die.

Wrong gender, but sure. So, that happens.

They beat down the fanatic until he has one single sliver of life (or “One Hit Point”).

The Aftermath

CORPSE SEARCH reveals random amounts of gold and a Potion of Healing on the corpses. The real discovery is that the assassin was using a BELT OF RETURNING. This clever item is how the assassin’s daggers returned to her after throwing them. Thus, daggers are a viable ranged weapon. Somewhat disappointing was that she only used three common daggers and the poison was not a feature of any of them.

As Fingers is trying on his shiny new (also blood-spattered and one size too small) belt, Astrid begins to pilfer bottles of booze from the bar and meat from the kitchen, careful to avoid the mind-control poisoned whiskey. So, she gathers a dozen bottles of not-whiskey from the bar.

Fingers: “Oh, sure. It’s THIEVERY when I do it, but it’s survival tactics when a Cleric loots the bar.”

Astrid: “It’s not like we’re going to get invited back here again.”

Fingers goes rummaging through the bar supplies and bottles, examining them.

“Maybe we’ll buy the place, fix it up, and run it,” Astrid muses. “Might be more fun than a castle.”

Fingers acquires a bottle of gin from the bar and gives it to Dharil, who mentioned he was a tiefling of refinement and taste. The gin isn’t a good one. In fact, it’s quite a bottom shelf beverage called, Fingers says, “Troll’s Toll.” Fingers quotes something about it being Always Sunny in Philadwoodelphia:

Dharil looks at Ana for confirmation and she shakes her head, “No, it rains a lot there.”

They both shrug and Dharil takes the bottle of gin. “Thank you, Fingers.”

Interrogation Scene: They Saved Stephan the Perverse, Not Backstory Assassin

The only cultist left alive is Stephan, who—as mentioned previously–is a fanatic. Oh, Gentle Reader, he is not the sort who does anything halfway. He has two passions that govern his being: trying to have sex with (preferably hot) dudes and bringing on the apocalypse in order to hasten the return of the Night Serpent. As such, he will get weirdly turned on during the interrogation.

Astrid sits on his chest—and she’s a substantial cleric in heavy armor.

“Something’s been bugging me and I have to ask: Are you THE Astrid Morninghide?” Stephan says. Astrid nods that she is. “I read your translation of dwaven folktales.”

Dharilius brightens up and exclaims, “I did, too! They’re so well crafted! Especially for one who never lived among the dwarves.”

Stephan coughs some blood. “She”—he looks to Astrid—”you really seem to have understood the idiomatic expressions unique to dwarven and managed to make common convey those notions. Unparalleled, really.”

“Splendid work, I concur,” Dharil says.

Astrid looks back at Dharil, “What do you mean? You read my book?”

Dharil says, “That’s the first thing I said when we met! I complimented you!”

“I thought you were being sarcastic!” Astrid exclaims.

“And very, very, very precise with my sarcasm?” Dharil says with a wry grin, fangs glinting in the half-light.

Astrid furrows her brow and then says, “Well, I lived with a dwarf for a long time. That’s how I know a thing or two about—hey, we’re supposed to be interrogating this guy for answers!”

Dharil brings up Frostbite in one hand and Firebolt in another and runs them along Stephan’s body. If the desired effect was anything other than titillation, it did not achieve it.

Stephan says that Dharil must be really good in bed.

Dharil appears uncomfortable.

Stephan asks Fingers if it was true that elves have two dicks.

“It all depends on how you take it,” Fingers replies coolly.

“Oh, I can take it,” Stephan answers.

“Why are you people attacking us?” Astrid demands to know.

“Don’t you know? You stopped SHALKASHLAH’s transformation into an ANATHEMA when you stole one of the relics of Dendar from us!”

“The relics of—oh, you mean Bowly MacBowlface? Yeah, we gave that to the Arcane College (here).”

Stephan goes “HSSSSSSSSS!”

“You’re not really a snake, are you?”

Stephan looks away.

“How many of there are you in your hideout?” Astrid demands to know.

“I mean, like exactly? I don’t know!”

“You don’t know how many people you work with?”

“It changes a lot! Damn! And you sitting on my chest is painful! Plus, the DM reserves the right to fudge the number of enemies you may be fighting.”

“Huh? The D-what?”

“Mage Hand?” Dharil says, “Did you get that?”

“Ignore that last bit. Shalkashlah has demanded that you be executed for interfering with his great plan. And you attacked our hideout!”

Astrid says, “And where is this “hideout” of yours?”

Stephan laughs, or tries to, coughing up more blood. “You were just attacking it yesterday! You killed like seven people!”

“Oh,” Astrid says, looking serious. “That hideout. Right, of course. What else can you tell me?”

Aasimar from Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Since he’s resigned to his fate, Stephan tells them OTHER IMPORTANT PLOT POINTS:

“Aevar is gone; he joined many of us in escaping the lair. That ship has sailed!”

Dharil says, “Mage Hand, get that name: I-V-A-R. I don’t know who this ‘Aevar’ is.”

“We need to go to the docks,” Fingers says. “And find Aevar.”

“I just said ‘THAT SHIP HAS SAILED.’ LITERALLY. It sailed yesterday,” Stephan says. “How are we losing to you people?”

“Oh, you meant literally sailed. What else?”

“Zora? The archer?”

Ana spins around and stares at Stephan. “Zora is… ?”

“Oh, yes,” Stephan says. “But you’ll never get to her in time! And Garret? That traitorous halfing scum. They’re in the lair. You’ll never save them!”

The DM coughs deliberately and pointedly repeats, “You’ll NEVER save them!” and waggles his eyebrows. (As in, ‘go save them.’)

“What? Oh, right. We should go save them. But not go to the docks?”

“Correct,” a disembodied voice says. “Go to the lair, not the docks.”

Stephan continues, “Like you, they will be sacrificed when we open a portal to the underworld and enact THE END OF ALL THINGS. We will end this world and hasten the return of DENDAR the Night Serpent.”

The End of Things? Looks Legit.

Stephan tries to cackle, but just coughs up a little blood.

“See?” Ana says. “This is why you can’t talk to these fanatical types. They always just want to end the world. They don’t care about anything else.”

Astrid says, “Other than the apocalypse, what else do you like to do?”

“Me?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, uh, I liked long walks on beaches and fucking hot dudes,” Stephan says, his eyes darting between Dharil and Fingers.

Astrid seems startled by his forthright answer. “Oh, um, okay.”

“‘Oh, okay,’ yeah well, they didn’t even need to be hot,” Stephan sighs. “Just, you know, I really like di–”

“But ending this world will stop you from doing that! Everyone will die!” Astrid exclaims. “Why not open a brothel INSTEAD of ending the world! That way, you can fuck hot dudes all the time!”

“A brothel, huh? Hmmm, tempting, but you Unbelievers never understand,” Stephan says. “It’s AFTER the apocalypse that I’ll get to have all the hot dudes I want!”

Ana shakes her head. “I’m telling you, if you could reason with cult fanatics, then they wouldn’t be cult fanatics. Are we going to some lair now or what?”

“So,” Fingers says, “Garret and Zora are alive and Aevar is gone, eh?”

“Yep. You’re going to kill me anyway. What does it matter? You’ll never save them! Any of them!”

Astrid says, “And you’re trying to open a portal to a dimension to bring back your snek god thing?”

Stephan groans. “‘Snek god thing?’ Okay, fine, sure, yes.”

Astrid says, “You know that it’s just a lie, right? That you’ll be alive after the apocalypse? You won’t be. You’ll be with my god, Kelemvor, if you’re lucky. In the meantime, just live. Go open that brothel. Sex up some dudes. Live!”

Stephan is about to respond when Fingers drives his Bonerblade through his mouth.

“DAMMIT, FINGERS!” Astrid yells. “I was making progress with him!”

Fingers shrugs. “We learned all we needed. Or, wait, should I not have done that? I’m a little confused right now.”

Astrid gives a small huff and returns to standing. “Whatever,” she says. “Is everyone ready to go?”

OUTSIDE

After their short rest, Team Tealight heads out into the dreich, dismal weather of Strierbridge in Springtime. It’s non-stop rain, damp and chilly, but the trees provide some cover, although the ground is muddy and slippery. The trees sway wildly in the wind.

But it isn’t a wind. It’s a rhythmic gust of pressure that shakes the ground.

Dharil’s like, “I know a few creatures that could–”

Ana and Fingers look at one another in wild surmise before the terrible roar shatters gloom and they all instinctively duck and look up as a gleaming, glistening brass dragon passes overhead. Much to their amazement, it barrel rolls in mid-air, turns back, and hovers just above the treeline. The pounding of its wings sends the rain and mist into swirling clouds that momentarily blinds their vision. Its long neck extends and the mighty, terrifying head pans across them, with something like a grin crossing its toothy maw.

Brass Dragon by Ben Wooten via Pathfinder Wiki

And then, swiftly as it came, with a single flap of its wings—strong enough to make trees bend and the group stagger—it is far above them, turning to fly north (more or less in the direction of Honorbow Keep, incidentally, where the Tealights spent about a week in a dungeon).

“A dragon!” Dharil exclaims. “By the size of it, I’d say a very, very old one! Mage Hand! Get this down! An ancient… brass, brass I’d say, dragon. Gargantuan in size, maybe… I don’t know! The front claw looked as tall as the tallest of us! Over eight hundred years old if it’s a day!”

Astrid exhales quietly, “Ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff—uck.”

“Oh, was that Beozzuh, um…whatsitsname?” Fingers says, stifling a yawn.

“That was the one when we fought them devils back at the Beltane Festival!” Ana exclaims.

Dharil and Astrid, neither of whom was with Team Tealight when the dragon saved them, are astonished. “When you WHAT?”

Fingers laughs, “Yeah, when we were getting our asses kicked, that thing landed. Fuckin’ smoke mephit muthafuckahs. eh?”

“The two of you have… seen a dragon before? THIS dragon?”

The elves nod nonchalantly.

“Mage Hand, are you getting all this?” Dharil whispers. His Mage Hand is, indeed, writing quite rapidly.

“That’s it, then? That’s the dragon? THE dragon? The statue in Honorbow Keep? Róisín and all that? All those plot threads we left dangling?”

“Oh, ha ha ha, right, we were supposed to figure out who or what it is in its mortal form or something?”

The Tealights stand there, hearts still pounding, think on the conundrum of what form a dragon might take.

Breaking the silence, Dharil announces, “I think it’s Magic Hopper, the Recreational Alchemist.”

“No,” Fingers says. “It’s definitely the Blacksmith’s Dog. Hopper would be all like, ‘That’s a really aggressive form’ or something.”

Third Time’s the (Snake) Charm(er)

Proceed to the Whitesnake Lair without further interruption. In the distance, in the direction of the docks, the Tealights hear a series of explosions that shake the ground and echo.

“What the hell was that?”

The now-familiar entry to the Whitesnake hideout has a banner hanging over it. Crudely drawn in common it reads, “Team Tealight! Go here!” with an arrow pointing at the doors, left open.

“Who’s Team Tealight?” Dharil asks. “Mage Hand, take this down.”

“We’re Team Tealight,” Astrid answers.

cropped-team-tealight-icon.png

“Why are we Team Tealight’?” Dharil asks.

Astrid: “Well, when Fingers, uh, medibates? He sometimes uses candlewax. It makes these little wax…”

Dharil says, “I think I understand.”

Astrid and he exchange a look. Both shudder a little.

The first room has been cleared out. The interior room has an alchemy station with the residue of various controlled substances.

No traps are found. (But neither is the secret doorway-)

Fingers fails at unlocking the only other door available to them to go forward. He fails. Hands his thieves tools to Ana. She fails. Hands the tools to Astrid.

Astrid unlocks the door onto a darkened hallway that definitely doesn’t have traps in it.

Although everyone has dark vision, Ana illuminates the darkened hallway by handing everyone a dick from the Bag of Holy Light Dicks (which she acquired at the end of the previous episode).

“Ye jus’ shake ‘em a little bit t’ get ‘em goin’,” she explains.

You have found one (1) Holy Light Dick.

“How long do these things last?” Astrid asks.

Ana sighs, “Not nearly long enough.”

Hallway of Certain Death!

The Tealights are in a hallway that most certainly isn’t trapped. Okay, it is and they notice, so they avoid whatever deadly mechanics the DM totally didn’t spend most of a weekend designing or anything. At the end of the hallway, all the players and DM realize that it’s late and this is probably a good place to stop, but not before a not-even-trying-to-be-stealthy Astrid unlocks (she’s 2 for 2!) the door.

She pushes it open to find…

AND THAT’S WHERE WE ENDED THE SESSION

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