Labyrinth Lord Lives

Goblin traps & underground adventures
Damned Goblin traps

One single sentence :

Freaking Goblin traps everywhere !

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Moving Along
Back to Penhaligon and then onwards

The Nice Company cleaned up loose ends at the Castle of Skull Mountain. The Gnolls were sent on their way, per their surrender agreement. Karamail forged a brand shaped like a broom, and the Goblins and Hobgoblins were branded and then driven off. A cart was found in good shape and Kayoshin’s and Xandros’ horses were hitched to it after it was heaped with the contents of the armory. The humans, including Ilyana and Blackmorn, were manacled and tied to the back of the cart.

Arriving at Stallanford, the Nice Company delivered the cleric, Father Alric, and his staff to the grateful town leadership.

The Nice Company then headed to Penhaligon. Along the way they questioned Ilyana a bit more and discovered that it was likely that Theosius had charmed her into doing what he wanted with the sword.

Once at Penhaligon the Nice Company oddly didn’t ask for much in the way of reward from the Baroness. They turned Ilyana over and then asked for a letter of glowing recommendation to be sent to the Duke in Specularum.

After some rest and restocking, and a bit of training the Nice Company headed off to the North to look for the Book of Truth. Which is apparently a book that will give each person the answer to one question.

On the way to the Book of Truth the Nice Company stopped at the mining town of Tallow.

The party stopped in for a drink and some info at the tavern and heard all about how goblins had invaded the silver mine. So of course, the Nice Company decided to help out the townspeople with their goblin problem.
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Have Fun Storming The Castle (of Skull Mountain), Redux
Being the adventures of May 13 and May 27

Verdant was a silent and invisible assassin of awesomeness. She successfully and quietly hopped up the back keep wall. Then she scouted the stone buildings and found the room with the wizard Tarroyo and the fighter Merkul asleep in bed. She also found a trapdoor in their bedroom and successfully snuck down through it.

Down the trapdoor Verdant explored silently and carefully. She found some cells with the missing Cleric in one of them. A slightly confusing conversation was carried out between invisible Verdant and imprisoned cleric, but the Cleric was freed from the cell and followed Verdant up through the trap door.

Apparently the Magnificent Gentlemen had sold the cleric to Illyana.

At about this time Kayoshin gathered a small group of rats from within and around the keep and sent them into the room that the archers had come out of previously. Once they were in there she ordered the rats to chew on the nocks of the bows, thus disarming the archers.

Verdant quietly and carefully removed most of the weapons from the bedroom with the wizard and fighter. Then she assassinated the wizard and started attacking the fighter as soon as he woke up. She chased the mostly naked and unarmed fighter out into the courtyard of the keep.

At the same time the rest of the party stormed the front gates of the keep. A clever use of Knock by Brandr opened the gates. We left five hired archers outside the gates to keep the gnolls and goblins on the walls occupied, while the party stormed in and headed for the Orc barracks.

Verdant finished assassinating the fighter and retreated back to the bedroom with the trapdoor. There she tossed the bed, but found nothing. So she used a disguise to casually escort the freed cleric out to the walls.

In the Orc barracks Brandr put many Orcs to sleep, and then the party killed them all. Attacking in the middle of the night has a handy advantage of not fighting Orcs in armor. After the Orcs were all massacred, the party went back out to the gates and took over one of the gate towers again. Hobgoblins and Goblins were put to sleep and killed, not necessarily in that order.

Verdant and the rescued cleric successfully made it to the top of the wall and the cleric was lowered down the outside to go join up with the hired archers in relative safety.

The Human archers, armed only with swords, and a whole pile of Goblins, poured out of their respective barracks, just in time to get hit with a Scroll of Fireball from Kayoshin. The ones that didn’t die outright were set on fire.

After that the rest of the keep inhabitants surrendered. Verdant met up with the party. The hired archers (the two who were left) and rescued cleric came into the keep and guarded the prisoners while any remaining living gnolls, hobgoblins, goblins and humans were herded into the stone barracks that the human archers had come out of.

The party then spent some quality time looting everything available. First stop was the keep armory, where with a ranged weapon restocked arrows and crossbow bolts and where Kristek got himself a longbow. The armory also supplied several casks of oil which were dumped around the keep and one was positioned at the top of the trapdoor. Next looting stops included the gnoll, orc, goblin, and hobgoblin barracks where a variety of coins and some gems and jewelry were deposited into the bag of holding. The Mess Hall was also hit up, and Kristek drank a fair bit of beer. The final looting location was the Goblins Direwolf stables, where Kayoshin found and took a Direwolf puppy.

~Freeze Frame~

With a bit of description of what Verdant had seen earlier the party went down the trap door.

The first room remained empty aside from the suspicious and icky blood stain. Of course that meant that we entered the room the stain was coming from. A bit of listening and looking had the party prepared for an encounter with an Owlbear. We rushed in, fighters first, and quickly brought the Owlbear down. Regrettably, we had not seen the Ogre behind the door. Luckily for Brandr, the Ogre was more than a bit thrown of his game and Brandr’s hair was merely ruffled. The party, with reflexes like cats, spun around to bring down the Orge. Brandr, with reflexes like a slightly more skittish cat, ran out of reach of the Ogre. The Ogre was swiftly slaughtered.

After that the party moved out into the hallway, and looked into many of cells. All of them were empty. Several storerooms were also investigated, and Kristek stuck a small barrel of beer into his pack.

Attempts to investigate the room in the center of the cell area resulted in suddenly being face to face with six of the vulture humanoids. They were actually called Kree, were apparently pleased to see humans, and were happy to give the party information. Ilyana had the Talon of Grexis and the vulture people were sworn to follow it and assist it’s holder. However, they weren’t completely sure that Ilyana was the rightful holder. They also shared a variety of troubling details about Theosius’ ability to control and pursuade, and their belief that Ilyana wasn’t in control of the Talon, but it and Theosius were in control of her. The Kree were unable to aid the party against Ilyana, but they did agree not to get in our way.

Next Verdant listened at a door and determined that it was a barracks for a few guards and the guard captain, named Blackmorn, that the Kree had mentioned. A bit of clever planning ended with the Owlbear corpse being dragged down the hallway a few yards past the door to the barracks. Once that was in place the party hid around the corner and readied their ranged weapons. A loud pounding and hooting noise was created to draw out the guards. Three guards popped out of the door and went to investigate the Owlbear, before they were turned into pincushinons.

Half the party went in to investigate the barracks. The other half stayed in the hallway to check out the second doorway down the hallway (past the Owlbear corpse). We all burst into the next room together, expecting to see Blackmorn, whose voice we thought we’d heard sending the guards out to investigate the noise we’d created. Instead we found some poor man tied to a chair in the middle of a sorcerous diagram staring at a spinning cube floating in front of him. We freed the man, but he couldn’t really tell us much, since he’d spent his time either in a cell or drooling and looking at floating cubes.

We directed the newly freed man up and out of the keep, and then did a thorough search of the room he’d been in. A secret passage was found leading out to the hallway around the corner. The party rushed off down the hall in pursuit of Blackmorn.

Regrettably Blackmorn wasn’t completely stupid. In fact after slipping away he’d set a trap. A trap that the party literally fell into as the floor went out from under them. Fortunately only Xandros, Kristek, and Kayoshin fell into the pit. Verdant and Karamail were just close enough to need some fancy footwork so they didn’t fall in, too.

Brandr and Verdant start to help get the rest of the party out of the trap. However Karamail and Gertie hear the sound of a door opening and closing behind them. They turn in time to see a man in very ornate plate armor come out of a secret door and head back down the hall past the Owlbear corpse and towards the exit. So of course Karamail and Gertie take off after the man (who turned out to be Blackmorn), and chase him down.

Karamail was especially nimble and Blackmorn tripped over his feet, so there was a pretty speedy apprehension of Blackmorn. By the time the rest of the party got there Karamail had tackled Blackmorn and Gertie had searched him and removed weapons, armor, money (gems and coins), wolfs’ bane, and the cell keys. The various spiffy items went into our bag of holding, and Blackmorn was locked into a cell. We asked him a few questions about what he was doing with wolfs’ bane. However, he was unamused at our concerns that he was a werewolf.

After that the party investigated the secret door that Blackmorn had come out of. It was his bedroom, in which he was keeping a prisoner. Verdant tossed the bed, but didn’t find anything other than dust bunnies. The prisoner turned out to be a rather dirty and scratched up woman. Her name was Sariah and she was a bit wary of the party. However, she was rather pleased that we had disarmed and locked up Blackmorn. She was also very interested in revenge and wanted to help us attack Ilyana and Theosius.

Brandr tries out his white knight routine on Sariah. After Sariah declined heading out and up to safety we armed her with one of the spare long swords from the Bag or Holding. Brandr was all too happy to chat up the rather disheveled former prisoner and attempt to show her how to use the sword.

The party stormed into the throne room with Theosius and Ilyana, and were faced with a number of undead, two guard dogs, and Theosius and Ilyana. Gertie turned a number of the undead, Kayoshin slept the dogs and then webbed Theosius and Ilyana. Karamail, Xandros, and Kristek stabbed at the closest of the undead. Verdant and Brandr used various ranged weapons to lock down Theosius’ spell casting. Sariah, to the surprise of everyone, turned into an actual tiger and did her best to bit and claw Theosius.

The party had been expecting that Ilyana would be charging up to attack, so our ranged attacks had gone to taking out Theosius first. Especially after the warning from the Kree vulture people that Theosius was entirely too charming. This expectation was overturned in the worse way when Ilyana raised her sword and called down some sort of nasty wind upon us. Her second magical attack with the sword ended up blinding Verdant, Xandros, and Kristek in addition to doing nasty feathered wind damage. Fortunately by this time everything was dead except for a few of the turned undead who were still cowering off to the side, and Ilyana herself. We remembered just in time that we were supposed to bring Ilyana back alive for trial.

While mopping up the remains of the combat in the throne room Kayoshin divested Ilyana of the magic sword that had wreaked such havoc upon the party. This turned out to be a bit more chancy than expected, but fortunately Kayoshin resisted the sword’s mind control. Perhaps the sword showing armies of goblins to lead was less effective on someone who wanted to stab all of those goblins. Kayoshin managed to keep control of the sword and used it to remove the blindness from Verdant, Kristek, and Xandros.

The party investigated the living quarters of both Theosius and Ilyana. Ilyana’s room had a bunch of fancy clothes. Some of which Brandr insisted that Sariah needed. Theosius’ room was revealed to have correspondence between himself and Truthkeeper Tangor. Which made us wonder how the Talon of Grexis tied into the Head, Heart, Body theocracy we’d run into with the mind controlled elves at the Temple of Grey Mountain.

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In the Castle of Death Mountain (And Elsewhere)

“So the heathens were camping out in a cave?”, a slender man in a black robe speaks.

The other figure bows. He wears armor burnished so brightly you might think it silver, and stands high at over 6 feet.

“Yes, Theosius.”

“Merkul, you can see the journey to spread truth and light to a land of darkness can be beset with peril. Bring brotherhood and unity among previously warring tribes and they will call you a menace.

Already we have lost two of our Kree brothers to their cruelty, simply as repayment for spreading the Word.

Your duty to guard us will not be easy, but it will be rewarded."

“Sir, I expect they will return, or someone else in their place. Perhaps we should seek counsel with the Lady?”

“Indeed we should, were she not otherwise engaged. She communes with the Blade. I will talk with her this evening.

“As for our antagonists. Indeed I expect to see them again, but they are talented, and those of talent are rarely dim-witted. It is likely that they can be enlightened. We may profit from this yet.”


Elsewhere in the multiverse:

In the blackness of nothingness between the planes, there is absolute silence. No thing has been here for millions of years. Or is it that time itself cannot find this remote pocket? Its very nature is anathema to life, light, and matter.

If any voyaging Dream-Mage or Illithid were sending its consciousness this way as a path bewteen Nirvana and Tartarus, it would scarcely bother to perceive the place, known as it is to be profoundly empty.

But … what is this? A faded, pallid light appraoches. A shape slowly emerges. It’s squarish and flat, and seemingly made of stone. A building! Hulking and lacking entirely in windows, but with a low recessed doorway sealed with a huge stone slab, and sealed with a crest: a black shield with a golden phoenix, and over it a medium yellow crown.

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A tomb.

And on it drifts again. Slowly sliding out of view into the inky blackness.

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Run away!
In which the party expeditiously retreats -- and then proclaims the task is clearly impossible

Having killed unnumbered hobgoblins, goblins and so forth, the party decided it was time to end the foray, and retreated to their cave.

On the way back they were chased by a group of goblins on dire wolves — snuffling as they went — and two strange vulture-men weilding cruel dual scimitars.

The attack was ultimately repulsed, but the cave hideout seemed all but discovered, and the party ran off to town to ensure their items were identified, and that recouping of health points was possible.

In the process, they repeatedly proclaimed that defeating the forces was definitely beyond their capability to many listening parties….

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A foray to Skull Mountain

After identifying several potions, and journeying to Penhaligon, the party decided for reasons of Pride to take on a bastard half-sister pretender to the Barony Seat, Ilyana Penhaligon. After all, Baroness Arteris Penhaligon did ask nicely, and the Magnificent Gentlemen had failed to take on the task.

Kayoshin and Brandr had other errands to attend to, perhaps some kind of Arcane Professional Development seminar was happening in Stallanford, so they stayed there to rest. Unexpectedly, the town burger, Sir Gajov, found out about the Nice Company’s current enterprise, and suggested they should borrow Father Alric’s miraculous staff of healing from the town church. The town priest being absent and perhaps killed, no one would be around to use it until the position was filled, and that is likely to take months. So long as a person of the cloth uses it with a good purpose, it should work. However, Sir Gajov sternly warns them that its return will be expected.

Meanwhile, Gertie, Verdant, Karamail and Xandros struck out into the foothills, trying to find a reported rebuilt castle, possibly at Skull Mountain. On the way they encountered a lone hobgoblin and questioned him, learning fairly little. It seemed that he was one of the force being hunted, and was part of a group comprising more than one tribe. At some point he became more fearful of his clan leaders than the party and stopped giving answers. He was left manacled to a tree.

Finding a probable castle fitting the description, with various nonhumans guarding the parapets, the party decided to use one of the identified potions: polymorph. Xandros, now a goblin in essentially every way — though still possessed of his own gallant personality, blended in with the patrolling the guard and canvassed the joint. Inside were located goblins, orcs, gnolls, and humans, all in more numbers than the Nice Company seemed prepared to deal with. In the end, Xandros decided to light several buildings on fire and flee. Many orcs, goblins, and humans, formed some kind of bucket brigade, and managed to put out the fires.

However in the morning in their cave on the hill overlooking the castle, there was an unexpected sight. Two orcish corpses hung spiked to the towers above the castle gate….

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An /old/ friend

Returning to Specularum, unsure what to do next, traveling on
Marilenev Way within the city, a voice rings out.

“Cooo-eee!”. Magdeleine the Distracted seems to have recognized
Xandros. “Oh, you fine young man. I’m glad to see you! Oh and look
at all your lovely friends!” She smiles in an uncomfortably sweet
way, while absently staring at a point a bit above your heads.

Magdeleine, between clumsy compliments, seems to be asking for a
favor.

“Oh, I just positively must get an answer for an important question
that I’ve been researching for ages. I’ve exhausted all the
information sources I can find find here and on trading routes from
here, so I would like to ask someone to do me a teensy favor and go
look up the answer in the old Ket monastery.

“It’s said there’s a magical Book of Truth there that can answer any
one question put to it per asker. I’m not sure what would best
suffice as payment. Perhaps a full week of my services on any topic?
I can do aura discernment, creation of minor magical aura artifices,
and of course perform research in my areas of specialty such as
dweomercraft, signs and semiotics, and my favorite: the outer planes!”

“As for the question, it’s a little academic matter. According to our
best measures, the total substance of the world is slightly decreasing
over time. My theory is that this is occurring through an open
connection to another plane. I’d like to ask the book where and how
this is occurring and if it is connecting to another plane which one.

“And just think, you can ask it your own questions while you’re there.
It’s almost like I’m doing you a favor by giving you the map.

“You look a little doubtful dears. What if I add in tea and crumpets
whenever you’d like to stop by?”

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Story Time around the bonfire

And so it was that the party rushed to Marilenev to the burning chapel of the Order of Petra.

The scene was one of frantic activity. Men and women of all stripes were lined up in a bucket-brigade attempting to put out the fire before it spread to the rest of the town. Smoke billowed in the air. There were tracks of a large company of men everywhere, coming from inside the compound and heading out to the west.

Inside the compound, there were bodies. Some had been cut down, some run through. But it seemed many had survived, by running for their lives or hiding. The attackers had not been determined killers. Questioning people who had seen them described a motley crew of various stripes — many of them looking like typical highway brigands though perhaps with a bit more boot-polish and a better equipment. Hungry like thieves though, like maybe they hadn’t eaten well in some time.

Aside from the brigands there was one in well-made clothes, and with a piercing gaze. He was shouting the commands, and they were to find something specific. It seems they did, and then the command was to depart. And there was something else.. something shimmering and difficult to make out. It kept close to the man in the finery.

Lady Kalina wasn’t too hard to find. Her voice boomed out to various people directing some to aid in the fire, others to check on the villagers, and others to see to the livestock who had been scattered. Upon seeing the Nice Company, she seemed to sag a bit, finally able to let go of some of the burden. “I have a task for you all. I need you to come with me into the vaults. We need to check to see if the Glass of Recurrance is still here and if so to see what they did. Normally I’d go by myself, but at this point, I don’t know what’s been let loose.”

Down winding stone steps deep deep into the earth, with vaulted galleries wending off in different directions, Kalina turned off into a narrow passage, into a storage room. Once all inside, the entrance door was opened a gain, this time from the left, and a into a small round room with geegaws and sharp objects and in the middle, a round piece of glass on a stand.

“It shows you what’s already happened, nearby, you see. About 3 hours past. Not very practical. You can’t make any money on bets with the past, and by the time a trial comes around it’s already far too late to present as evidence. But it DOES come in handy for security. I bet you’ve never imagined something quite like it.”

And the scene played out. One of the brothers making the rounds, a heavy mace at his belt. A vain fellow perhaps, he had a hand mirror and a comb, and stopped to check his hair standing in front of a large cauldron.

And froze, looking into the mirror.. In obvious fear, he slowly turned around, to look behind him at the cauldron. Looked over it, under it, in confusion, and meanwhile it emerged. A flowing silvery beast reflecting an image of the scene back in bizarre and misshapen fashion. It poured out of the hand mirror left on the ground and into a solid form, and lept upon the brother from behind. He was dead nearly instantly.

The beast loped off through the halls, seeming to know the way to go. It retraced the path of the guard, and went to where something was stored on the wall, covered with a several layers of heavy fabric with runes enscribed. Quickly the beast ripped the cloth to shreds, and what surely must be the mirror from the Mushroom cave was uncovered. The surface swirled, and ten men came through.

One returned through the mirror most likely to fetch his fellows, and then the tide began in earnest. One after another they came, so many as to lose count. The chambers swelled to fill the chamber. And then a man with fine garments and keen eyes came out, and clearly treated the silvered beast as his pet. The mirror was taken off the wall, and placed in a sack seemingly smaller than the mirror itself. And they struck off.

From here the rest was simple, and unpleasant to watch. But Kalina was intent to see what they might take, and was surprised. A short search resulted in a small metal clasp, in the shape of a stag, being taken from a case smashed open by the silvered beast.

And from there they were off. Foodstuffs were raided, fires were set and some innocents killed, and they travelled off to the west.

“You won’t be able to track them, you know. A troop of fighting men that can leave a single pair of tracks? To add to it, they’ll have no trouble acquiring a fast horse from the nobleman hunting lodges to the west. Petra’s eyes! you won’t even know which one of them you’re looking for.

“If you want to find out what’s happened here, I’m afraid you’ll have to seek some other information source. I don’t believe I have anything to help. Not anything anywhere safe to use, in any event.”

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In which the adventurers play Matlock

The intrepid crew of the Nice Company found themselves embroiled in city-style skulduggery and blackguardsmanship!

Regarding the murder of Lucia Fortunato, our heroes did the good deed of burying her.

The captain of the guard, Mikkel Vorloi, pulled in our heroes for questioning. While he did not truly believe they had committed the murder, he did believe they knew something about it, and that they could likely be pressured into assisting in the investigation. As for whether they were upstanding in general remained to be seen.

Brandr proved his character by casting Charm Person on Mikkel. Somehow this worked, and got the party mostly out of trouble. Charm Person does wear off eventually, so the pressure remained to make good on promises to “oh of course we will help find the murderer, don’t you worry about us”.

Clues at the site of the murder were discovered, a rare wine, pine pitch, a length of rope, a bloody dagger. What did it all mean?

But time was a-wasting. The poorly-communicated work from both the Veiled Society and the Theosius a wood sculptor was drawing nigh. Theosius needed someone guarded. The Veiled Society needed someone killed. Unfortunately it was the same someone.

In the end half the party participated in an ambush of the other half. Sleep spell prevailed and provided a great alibi, and the escort of Senator Eipistlo was successful to Minster Yarol of defense. This enabled the Grand Duke’s court to gain accurate information regarding a challenge to Arteris Penhagalion’s rule — critical to the political stability of the realm… but more about that later.

Meanwhile the more femenine party members (engaged with the criminal under-element, of course) Gertie, Kayoshin and Verdant agreed with an unseen agent of the Veiled Society that they would seek to apprehend “those miscreant adventureres” who had spoiled the plan of information warfare.

And thus the scheme of half the party turning in the other half was born.

HOWEVER! On the following day, it was decided to chase up the clues that had been discovered. Looking into the fancy wine led to an importer shop, and a short list of buyers. One Ariskos the Shipwright, sounded fishily like it could be the guilty party. He was tracked down to his favourite drinking establishement the Blue Water Mead hall.

Ariskos showed his guilt readily, along with his dagger wound matching the weapon found at the scene of the crime, and with some mild intimidation revealed that the Veiled Society meeting space was below the very same establishment.

Our party turned Ariskos in to the slammer, then returned, and entered into the underground tunnels below the tavern. There, they found a disturbing meeting of many members who were in the process of killing the other perpetrator of the murder. After some high powered spells and many manacles, the crowd was subdued.

However, in a back room bad shit was going down. A long-brewing power struggle was resulting in a cultist of Morithal screaming at a man who turned out to be Anton Radu, leader of both the family clan and the Veiled Society. Egged on by Anton’s brother Cartha, the cultist calle him an enemy of Morithal, and stabbed him to death in the name of his Maggoty overlord.

After a brief fracas, the cultist was dead, Anton’s brother Cartha and son Zweiss were subdued. The family will never be the same.

A member of the Duke’s elite force the Elvenguard was found in chains as well, with his testamony strongly implicating the Veiled Society plotting to undermine the Duke’s security or perhaps make an attempt on his life.

A meeting with Minister Yarol, Mikkel Vorloi, and Grand Duke Stefan Karameikos III ensued. Between this new threat now learned of in Penhagalion, stirrings of conflict from the west, and the new political strain of being saddled with the necessity of putting down the Radu, the Duke seemed weary.

His Highness, Stefan, rewarded the party with money and titles (Knighthoods of the realm), but asked for help with the Penhagalion situation. Though the Nice Company seemed to be more excited about prospects of the underground and goblins, some noises of maybe perhaps we could investigate were made.

The real reward of course is in reputation. The Tornescu family will probably look upon the party with some degree of favor, due to the two favors of solving the murder of one of their own, and putting down their longstanding rivals. Mikkel Vorloi, and the guard have a mixed perception but overall have to credit the work accomplished. The leader of the realm now knows their names, looks upon them favorably, and might turn to them for help in the future.

But not all is perfect, for as they left the palace triumphant, they realized, the Church of Petra in Marilenev was burning…

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Quick summary

Bringing us up to date!

  • The party retired to specularum, a major city where many things to could be investigated
    • Soul finders were constructed for Gertie & Xandros
    • Some information was dug up regarding the Hand/Head/Heart
    • Verdant was secretly contacted, and asked to investigate the veilied society
    • Kirstek, now speaking, talked of the goal of his original party, to recover some sort of mirror of power
  • The party returned to New Kuln, and the mushroom caves beneath
    • The mushroom was destroyed, with all his evil
    • Some goblins were neither entirely befriended nor killed
    • A Treant was rescued, who though significantly insane is probably now a lifelong ally
    • The mirror of unspeakable who-knows-what was recovered
  • The party returned to Specularum where they
    • Found the Radu seem to be trying to screw with the Torenescu, at least as far as messing up their parade
    • Handed over the mirror to the Order of Petra, who are not evil at all
    • Found inn space limited
    • split the party
    • Helped bury a body
    • Became suspects
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