Secrets of the Sands

Thirteenth Session
Witch Visit
  • Mazoga doesn’t seem to be uncooperative
  • Wasn’t uncooperative until we stopped her from killing something
  • We have a day to see the witch
  • Cast goodberry 11 times, get 110 goodberries
  • Druidcraft – very sunny with very clear skies
  • Red sky in the evening
  • Replacement waterskin
  • Hands out healing potions
  • Faylen casts Comprehend Languages as a ritual
  • Land as close to mountain as we can
  • Nhobu takes point leading the party
  • Nhobu finds a relatively worn trail, hidden in side of mountain
  • Seen plenty of use, wouldn’t find it unless you were a local (or baller)
  • Kane pushing forward, less cautious than rest of group
  • Saidi and Krom get the sense that someone is watching us, we’re watched at all times
  • Large number or being followed
  • Krom pulls axe out
  • See mountain goats – Nhobu talks to them. They’ve seen Kri people around, but can’t give us much information about them.
  • Steep mountain – at one point an active volcano
  • Faylen removes witch bolt, prepares feather fall
  • Path jacks back and forth
  • Faylen knows path is not a natural one. Cut into side of mountain, but no marks of tools
  • Faylen keeps an eye out for traps
  • Nhobu feels earth shake around them before large wall of stone rises up behind us (magical, blocks path back down)
  • Come to a plateau along the path
  • A Kri person is standing in middle of plateau, wearing the same outfit as the witch’s assassins, male minotaur, bigger than Krom
  • Nhobu greets him, he just glances down
  • His mistress is glad we decided to accept her invitation, but we have to leave weapons behind
  • Traveled 2/3s of the way there (it’s about noon)
  • Saidi puts staff down, and crossbow
  • Kane drops her weapons immediately
  • Faylen reluctantly drops two scimitars, a crossbow, and whip (keeping her dagger)
  • Krom drops axe, handaxes, and javelins
  • Nhobu doesn’t drop anything, keeps it all in their bag of holding.
  • Nhobu hears sound of earth moving, two Kri appear behind groups
  • Nhobu senses no corruption on the island
  • Mazoga drops weapons too
  • Two new Kri stay right behind us as we continue on
  • Kri guy leading us seems like a perfectly regular silent Kri guy
  • Faylen looking for traps, every switchback has some kind of defense. Rocks that could fall, hide-y-holes where archers could hide, etc.
  • Like a fortress cut into side of mountain
  • Faylen looks at architecture, but there isn’t really any. No decoration, blends into mountain. Not similar to previous temples. Seems to be built in the past few hundred years.
  • We believe witch to be apprentice of wizard who’s lab we were in.
  • Last time someone saw her (as the assistant) was a thousand years ago.
  • Age of this structure seems similar to age of walls around first Kri village
  • Faylen has not seen anything from Kri older than a few hundred years (city-wise).
  • Leader Kri has worked here all his life. They train, supposed to learn everything. Refuses to learn the flute. Nhobu calls him dense, he lifts Nhobu up by scruff of neck, says only Fafine’s orders prevent him from killing Nhobu.
  • Nhobu fights with him (verbally), he threatens to throw them off the mountain. Krom puts Nhobu on his shoulder and they move on.
  • Hallways fit six Kri wide, plenty tall. Lit brightly, no ornamentation.
  • Doors close behind us
  • Walk into room, Kane’s senses start going crazy. Senses Nen in the room, remembers feeling of him in her head. The sense is coming from Fafine (the witch).
  • Kane steps forward and demands to know what connection Fafine has with Nen.
  • Room is perfect circle, four ways out, three Kri who have been escorting us and Fafine in the room. Doors are all open, all entryways. Down the hallways look empty. They could probably turn hallways into walls pretty easily, if necessary.
  • As Kane steps forward, Fafine tilts her head at Kane, and walks forward. As she starts talking to Kane, Kane hears two voices, talking together. Her voice and the voice of Nen.
  • Nen is a part of her and has guided her throughout the years.
  • One side of her face doesn’t look completely normal. Looks a little too liquid. Sculpture of liquid, have it stay in that form.
  • Doesn’t look like a thousand year old elf. Looks about Faylen’s age.
  • Krom grabs Kane’s collar, Faylen and Saidi grab her arms. Kane gets all snakey, but doesn’t attack. Mazoga lunges though.
  • Nhobu has not been corrupted as much as Mazoga
  • Voices tell Nhobu that this place and this woman are bad.
  • Her aura is blue, and Saidi sees it shifting like ocean waves
  • Fafine blasts Mazoga and sends her flying across the room
  • She doesn’t emotionally react at all.
  • Faylen asks what this is all about.
  • Fafine looks at Kane, says Kane is the one she wanted brought here. Needs to know Kane’s intentions and if she needs to eliminate Kane.
  • She serves Skailron, Fafine thinks Kane wants to free the darkness in Kri
  • Fafine has felt something recently like someone formed a connection between Skailron and something else. Darkness is leaking out into Skailron
  • “Her patron is being shown the error of his ways for neglecting his duty.”
  • Skailron is supposed to be trying to free his master. Kri was created to contain a great darkness.
  • Matches with decoration in temples Faylen has seen.
  • Saidi asks Fafine about her time with the wizard, she bashfully says they didn’t know what they were doing. Experimenting on elementals, trying to harness their power. Broke balance between various elementals.
  • Her mentor discovered a way to turn an elemental into pure energy. They did it once, to a great elemental in what is now the Burning Sands.
  • It’s a desert now because of what they did.
  • She never left the island, he left the island with the knowledge.
  • Nen didn’t want to be confined, bonded with her. Drove her insane for a few hundred years.
  • After she pledged to help him, they came to an agreement. She is to stay in Kri for rest of her life. Stop people who want to let Coinchenn out.
  • Something recently has caused corruption to start leaking out. There have always been leaks, ever since they killed Sadira (which was the wood elemental of great northern forest). The jungles here have become tainted, drawing up corruption through their roots.
  • Void stone can’t combat corruption.
  • So many elementals on the island, the corruption will eventually get ahold of them, drive them crazy. Black stone can fight them.
  • She felt that the sea gained its elemental again, when we freed Nen. She thought he had died.
  • Faylen mentions Tehlmar, who’s trying to recreate this research. Fafine was afraid something like that would happen.
  • Sun Empire needs power, this was their solution last time. They remember what happened with the Burning Sands, but that’s not the biggest loss. Losing magic would be worse.
  • Faylen tells Fafine that Tehlmar has us bound, who he’s been meeting with, he has a bag of void rocks, books of research.
  • We think Tehlmar could put together rituals to bind elementals and drain their power.
  • By destroying a great elemental, the empire bought time, and power for themselves. Not a renewable source.
  • Sun Empire is running out of magic.
  • Fafine says most wizards would have little to worry about. They tend to draw energy from world around them to create their spells.
  • Sun Empire city takes energy, taking more than their fair share. Capital city blesses population with good health and long life, also powers engines of war and constructs.
  • Once magic runs out, lose way of life. They don’t want to let that happen.
  • Fafine says her research was just one theory to create more energy. Her mentor was horrified about what happened in the burning sands, left the empire with his research, disappeared.
  • Sinking of Kri island was before Burning Sands.
  • Fafine is still enthralled by the idea of power. But she doesn’t want to let the sun elves get this technology.
  • Faylen asks about her cuff. Fafine examines it and makes a disgusted face. He sealed it with blood magic.
  • Only him or someone of his bloodline can open the cuffs. Killing him would result in us being bound forever.
  • Range of cuffs is about a mile. If we get out of range, we pass out.
  • Faylen wants to bury the research.
  • Tehlmar knows that research worked at one point, but no one knows how it was done, and no one has been able to recreate it.
  • Most people involved in experimental research were killed off when city collapsed, leaving Fafine and Andrathath as the only ones who knew how it worked.
  • Andrathath is unlikely to still be alive. Water elementals help with healing and aging.
  • Faylen asks her to cure Nhobu and Mazoga. She’s more concerned about Kane.
  • Fafine says you may think Skailron corrupted now, but there may be a reason he hasn’t freed his master yet
  • Rumor is corrupted creatures have been coming out of the forest to attack town, they’re trying to burn back the jungle – cause of the forest fire.
  • Recently things have gotten worse and she isn’t sure why, past couple years.
  • Nen is a more gradual cleansing, otherwise it gets painful
  • She invites Kane to come with her, Krom lets Kane go, reluctantly
  • Fafine leads Kane + party to top of the fortress, top of the mountain
  • Tells Kane to look around at all the island chains. Kane does. “These are built on Coinchenn’s back”
  • Faylen wants to go home, go back to the desert and never leave
  • According to what Nen told her, the great elementals bound to this place to keep him here.
  • Proto-race are the ones to originally bound Nen. Haven’t’ been around since great elementals walked the earth
  • Probably servants of the first gods
  • Coinchenn is an old abyssal, made of chaos itself
  • His creature is as old as existence
  • Fafine doesn’t know how to stop the leaks. In theory, find another great wood elemental, have it take root
  • The islands are an earth elemental – Kri
  • Extends across all the islands, and the surrounding ocean
  • Fafine afraid Tehlmar let us come to her so he can do something else
  • Lucky is probably scouting nearby Kri village, so Tehlmar can get more black rock
  • Fafine will dispatch some of her warriors to take care of the plant lady
  • They need Kane to tell exactly what she did, so they can destroy it.
  • Kane says she made Skailron more powerful using blood magic, and the gnome’s shirt.
  • Coinchenn is more powerful now, can use Skailron’s power and disciples.
  • She takes Nhobu and Mazoga downstairs to go through an intense cleansing process. Nhbou is passed out and exhausted. Like swimming up white-water rapids.
  • Party talks to Fafine more while Nhobu is unconscious.
  • Ebenezer knows about this stuff too. Was getting amber in Two Rivers, which is a magic rock.
  • Faylen asks for Fafine’s advice when it comes to Coinchenn. Fafine says it might not be super pressing, he’s been bound for a millenia.
  • She’s worried someone might hurt one of the other great elementals protecting Kri.
  • Burning sands used to be a great forest. Destroying the wood elemental created the Burning sands. Elemental spread across a very large region. Lots of trees cause he was there. When he died, the forest died.
  • All the great elementals are brothers and sisters, have a relationship with each other
  • Nen is working on stopping corruption from spreading away from the islands.
  • Skailron’s going to go back to trying to free Coinchenn. Now that Kane has done her blood magic.
  • Kane fed her god to another god.
  • They can try and break the binding. Might just have to kill Skailron. Kane objects.
  • At some point Skailron will come into sea of Nen and we’ll see what happens.
  • If Skailron has many other disciples, they would’ve started to hear things.
  • Fafine says Kane seems remarkably resistant. Not sure Coinchenn can speak to her because she’s been touched by Nen. He left marks on her soul.
  • Need water elemental to cleanse blood, to combat corruption.
  • Nhobu has a weak aptitude to water elementals. Leeches could be commanded to draw out corrupted blood. Clerics could maybe help.
  • Fafine can speed us down the mountain.
  • She thinks Tehlmar has enough info and material to bind a major elemental.
  • Faylen kind of gets impression that Fafine wants the research for herself, might use it in an opposite way, create a new one.
  • She hasn’t’ tried to recreate the experiment. Nen has stopped her. She doesn’t have all the research.
  • She’s somewhat regained her mind.
  • She employs people based on their strength of will, not their personalities.
  • She lightly pushes us off the mountain, we see air elementals surround us. Zip us down the mountain.
  • It is nearing dusk. The sunset is fiery.
  • We head back to the ship. Tehlmar will drop us off in one of the court cities, free us, and we can part ways.
  • Makes sure Nhobu and Mazoga are no longer corrupted. Mazoga no longer wants to kill everyone. The last few days feel like a blur.
  • Kane explains new plan to Lucky, that they’re hunting a new god. Lucky asks a lot of questions about what she means. Skailron’s boss needs to die for Skailron to get stronger.
  • Lucky says they got a bunch of black rock that day.
  • Tehlmar wants Faylen to write up some more research on their way back. He says he has enough sway to make Faylen’s dwarf enemy banished from the burning coast. Faylen wants him killed.
  • Tehlmar seems to be in a good mood, like everything is going his way. He thinks he has all that he needs and this trip was a success.
  • Kane tells no one what Lucky said.
  • Faylen says the dwarf is probably in Rockwallow. Tehlmar says he’ll take us to Rockwallow and go kill the dwarf.
  • We start our week-long journey to Rockwallow. He’ll take the research when we get to Rockwallow.
  • He wants Faylen to finish off the research, create overall report. Tehlmar would invite Faylen to the city.
Twelfth Session
Fighting the forest

- We manage to cross the bridge, though it collapses in the process.
- There is a menacing presence on this side of the river
- Nhobu, as a panther, can hear the creaking of trees but no dangerous animals.
- While Faylen and Saidi are discussing what to do next, Saidi gets pulled into the underbrush
- She was grabbed by a particular tree, a large ent who runs away from us, dragging Saidi along the ground. She sees a green and black aura around it.
- Nhobu sprints after it, gets into the ent’s path to try and slow it. The ent tries to grab Nhobu too, but Nhobu jumps onto its arm and climbs up to its shoulder.
- The ent is corrupted, has open sores on its body.
- Krom throws a hand axe at it, and acid sap sprays from the wound. Saidi manages to avoid it.
- Nhobu shifts back into a gnome, casts flame on their perpetual magic rock, and shoves it into the ent’s mouth.
- Then they turn into a giant constrictor snake and grapple the ent, forcing it to halt. It throws Saidi high into the air, but she slows her descent with feather fall.
- Faylen catches up first, singing her bladesong. She zaps the tree with lightning.
- Kane hits it with eldritch blast
- Krom runs at the bound ent, ramming into it hard and knocking it over.
- Saidi is falling slowly toward a large tree in a clearing.
- The ent digs its roots deep into the ground and stands back up. Nhobu squeezes it harder.
- Faylen channels more lightning
- Kane reaches out to touch the ent’s mind. It speaks druidic. She asks it what it’s doing – “Taking you to mother”
- Kane tells the ent she wants to help, gets directions and walks off toward the ent’s original destination.
- Krom chops at the roots, nimbly dodging the acid that sprays out.
- Saidi lands in the clearing, senses someone behind her. When she looks, she sees a woman, of sorts. Her aura is black and Saidi is terrified. She throws fire at the plant woman, who screams.
- The ent thomps on Nhobu, Nhobu squeezes the ent tighter in kind.
- The plant lady summons vines to restrain Saidi.
- Faylen zaps the ent some more.
- As Kane heads in Saidi’s direction, the trees part for her.
- Krom continues chopping at the ent, takes off one of its arms.
- The plant lady slashes Saidi. Saidi asks who she is, why she’s doing this. The plant lady tells Saidi that she is the ruler of the forest, and that we’ve trespassed.
- The ent finally hits Nhobu hard enough that they fall unconscious, slipping back into gnome form. Then the ent turns them into gnome mush on the ground.
- Faylen circles the ent, heading to help Nhobu without making herself vulnerable to attack.
- Kane enters the clearing. The plant lady had summoned a sapling guard, but Kane talks to it and it lets her pass.
- Kane talks to the plant lady, asks her to let Saidi go. The plant lady says “A life for a life,” we’re killing her ent so we must pay. Kane tells her that the gnome is dead, convinces her to stand down.
- Nhobu stabilizes but is still unconscious.
- Krom finishes off the ent (and retrieves Nhobu’s magic rock).
- Saidi is released, but she’s still terrified.
- Faylen feeds Nhobu their last health potion, they wake up.
- Faylen carries Nhobu and them and Krom head after Kane.
- With creepy mind whispers, Kane orders Nhobu to play dead.
- When we talk to the plant lady, we each hear her in our home language. Nhobu hears badger.
- The plant lady banishes us from her land, and we’re more than happy to go.
- After many hours, we make it out of the jungle (Nhobu has been limp, pretending to be dead, but giving mental directions to Kane – this proves difficult because they can’t see where they’re going)
- We reach the shore, and Nhobu sends a bird with a message to our ship, to bring it here so we can escape the island.
- We make camp on the beach, to get some much needed rest. Bagheera shows up – Mazoga and Lucky draw weapons, but Faylen tells them to stand down. Mazoga is acting really afraid. Bagheera tells Faylen that he felt a disturbance in his kingdom and came to investigate.
- Nhobu is asleep, but having very bad dreams, they’re tossing and turning.
- Faylen hears the creaking of wood when she Messages Mazoga. She mentally prods Krom awake, tells him she thinks Mazoga is corrupted.
- When the plant lady is mentioned, Bagheera gets angry, says the forest is dying because of her. The corruption is spreading through the roots of trees. Killing her will not end the corruption, but that should stop it from spreading further.
- Faylen tells him about the displacer beasts, he comments that the Mad King is falling behind on his duty to keep the corruption from his lands.
- Krom tackles Mazoga to the ground, pinning her and kicking her weapon away. She struggles fiercely, but he is too strong for her.
- Faylen convinces Bagheera not to kill Nhobu, though they are corrupted as well.
- In the morning, Nhobu sees Bagheera watching them from the shadows of the jungle. They understand at this point that they’ve become corrupted again and do not attempt to initiate contact with Bagheera.
- We get back on the ship, and Kane contacts her patron, asking for a vision of where to find the witch. She learns what island the witch is on and convinces Tehlmar to make that our next destination.
- As we sail away from the corrupted island, we see smoke. The jungle is on fire. Nhobu tries to jump into the ocean, with the intention of swimming back and fighting the fire with magical tidal waves, but Krom catches them by their gold collar and won’t let them go. Nhobu hangs by their neck and cries.

Eleventh Session
Panthers and Corruption

- Arrive back at Kri. Our idiots are on the largest island. A different clan runs it. We can’t use the good will we have with the first clan to help with our interactions with this one, partially because we don’t want to taint that good will by associating ourselves with the idiots, and partially because the clans are rather competitive. Game of one-upsmanship between the groups.
- Our idiots are somewhere in the jungle. Tehlmar can use the bracelets to give us a way to roughly locate them, and when we get closer, a way to communicate with them (like a boosted version of Message).
- We decide to try to sneak them out without engaging the locals. After some discussion, we sail to the least dangerous-looking part of the island and have Tehlmar conjure a dingy. With the guidance of Nhobu, in the form of a reef shark, we manage to navigate the reefs near shore without incident.
- Saidi casts a spell that will help her locate our idiots, with amplification help from our bracelets. Armed with our new heading, Nhobu leads the way into the jungle, expertly navigating the thick forest with their memory of a map of the island, and their generally incredible survival skills. It takes us a day to travel from one section of jungle to the next, but Nhobu keeps everyone from getting lost, is able to find food and water without trouble, and locates ruins that can provide suitable shelter for the night.
- Nhobu senses that there is something wrong with the jungle. There is usually a sense of harmony in forests, but here there is a jarring dissonance. As we travel, it becomes apparent that the bad feeling permeates the entire island; it is not limited to a single area. The other island felt nothing like this.
- We assume, because this island is the most populous, that the witch (who is somewhat of a recluse) does not dwell here, and therefore is probably not the source of the disturbance. However, during this train of thought, we realize we don’t really know where she is. We do assume that some of the locals could point us in the general direction though, should we need to know later.
- After hearing from Nhobu that the jungle feels wrong, Faylen tries to detect magical traces around the ruins where we stopped for the night. The ruins have lingering amounts of magic in them. They were at one time used by a group for magical purposes, but have been abandoned for a long time. Faylen does not find this unusual, for many tombs she has explored in the past have shown similar signs of civilizations having come and gone. Nothing she detects matches what Nhobu is describing.
- During the night, as she meditates, Faylen notices Kane tossing and turning in her sleep, and muttering out loud. Kane feels something whispering and touching the edges of her mind.
- We also determine that this wrongness in the forest is unrelated to the black stone, which would be felt as more of an absence. Being surrounded by the black stone would feel like being cut off from all life energy around you.

- Nhobu notices a distinct lack of animal life in the jungle (much to their disappointment). Once we bed down for the night, while everyone is sleeping/meditating, Nhobu slips off to find an animal they can talk to about what’s wrong with the forest (after taking some time to cast a spell to let them speak with animals). They decide to track down one of the “kings of the jungle.” As they wander deeper and deeper into the woods, they start hearing creatures moving around them, out of sight but keeping pace. With their keen senses, Nhobu can tell that there are two of them about forty feet back, their behavior reminiscent of a hunter stalking their prey. However, they do not advance or attack; instead, it seems as if they are escorting Nhobu. They do not reveal themselves to Nhobu, but their movements suggest that they are some kind of large cats. Nhobu decides to continue in the direction indicated by the spell they cast to locate this jungle king without engaging their followers.
- After a while, Nhobu arrives in a large clearing, lit by the full moon. Into that light steps a huge panther, black as night and huge enough that Krom could ride him if he deigned to be ridden. He pads forward and begins circling Nhobu, sniffing at this unfamiliar creature but giving them a wide berth. Still, he is large enough that his body makes a complete circle around Nhobu as he paces.
- “What are you,” he asks. Nhobu greets him politely and explains that they are a druid. Though the great panther does not recognize the word, he understands the Nhobu is a speaker of animals and he is always happy to meet one who knows “the True People’s tongue.”
- Nhobu explains that they sought him out because something feels off about the jungle. The panther nods. “Not many of your kind detects these things, but yes, there is a corruption here.” Nhobu presses for more details and the panther continues. “It…takes things. It takes friends and creatures and warps them to its will.” This sounds suspiciously familiar to the corruption the party faced under the sea.
- “How do the creatures of the jungle feel about this?” Nhobu asks. The panther laughs. “If you were corrupted, I would have to kill you on sight.”
- Nhobu thinks back to what they faced in the underwater caverns. The monster there was not the source of the corruption, merely a disciple of it. We haven’t yet identified the true source, but it is something akin to Kane’s patreon (though not Skailron itself). It does seem that the corruption on land and in sea have the same origin.
- Nhobu asks the panther, who identifies himself as Baghera, how long the corruption has been present on the island. He says that the corruption has existed since before he was king, that it has existed through more generations of kings than he knows.
- “Has anyone ever tried to do anything about it?” Nhobu asks. “We do, we kill the corruption whenever it spawns.” “Good…” Nhobu says, then mutters, “Dump water out of the dingy, but don’t patch the hole, that’s fine.”
- “Is there any place on the island that seems to be affected more strongly? Where is the corruption?” The panther digs a pawful of dirt out of the ground and flings it at Nhobu. Nhobu takes this to mean that the corruption is in the earth, that it can be found anywhere on the island. Nhobu asks if there are any particularly intense spots, and Baghera replies that there are none in his kingdom.
- His kingdom does not encompass the nearby town. Baghera calls them “the Kri gifted.” They have a good relationship. He doesn’t eat their young when they wander into his territory, and they stay out of his territory for the most part. The jungle between his territory and the town belongs to another king of the jungle.
- Nhobu thanks him for his help, and offers their services in return. Baghera tells them that his hunters detected that Nhobu’s party is heading into an area that is more corrupt than others. He asks that if we find corruption, we kill it. Nhobu readily agrees.
- Nhobu mentions that they are traveling with four others. “The laughably loud ones?” Nhobu confirms this, and assures Baghera that they will not harm the forest, and hopes that in return they can pass through unscathed.
- Baghera nods. “I will tell my hunters not to feast upon them.” Nhobu very much appreciates this.
- Nhobu tells him that they are heading west and asks if he can tell them anything about whomever reigns over that land. “It is another panther, but he has gone mad. He is not corrupted, but he is likely very close to being corrupted.” But Baghera has not had to put down too many of the Mad King’s followers who have strayed into his territory.
- Nhobu asks if Baghera knows of any who could reverse the corruption process before it has been completed. He says yes, but they are not of “The People.” It is a task for someone with greater mastery of magic than a panther.
- Nhobu thanks him again, and promises to lend their assistance, should he ever need it. Baghera says he will keep this in mind, and takes Nhobu back to their encampment.
- Faylen is meditating when Nhobu returns with a gigantic panther, and she is understandably startled. She’d been on edge all night, what with Nhobu having disappeared, and the constant vague sensation of being watched. Things have been moving in the shadows around their camp, finally coming to a head when this ten-foot-long, 300+ pound panther emerges from the jungle alongside Nhobu and sits down next to the campfire.
- Krom is sleeping sitting up, which his axe in his lap.
- Nhobu performs some introductions and Faylen waves hesitantly. Baghera sniffs in Kane’s direction and Nhobu hastily reassure him that she is not corrupted, she has her own thing going on and Nhobu has it under control (not strictly true).
- He agrees that Kane is not corrupted, but informs Nhobu that the corruption seeks her out. Nhobu, very diplomatically (those manners lessons seem to be having some effect), assures him that that is something they are aware of and are taking steps to prevent.
- Baghera seems to understand Faylen’s Common, but can’t speak it himself.
- When asked, Baghera tells them that he knows nothing of black rocks.
- After dropping Nhobu off, Baghera pads back into the forest. Nhobu is psyched about the whole interaction and high-fives Faylen. After Baghera is out of sight, we hear a very loud yowl as Baghera tells his hunters not to attack us.
- Kane wakes up and asks what the hell is going on. Nhobu mentions something about a forest deity and Kane instantly says they have to go find it, to deface its alter. Nhobu quickly backpedals, saying that he was more of a great cat ruler than a god. Kane settles down again, disappointed, and Nhobu makes note not to throw words like that around so easily.
- Now that her meditation has been thoroughly disrupted, Faylen decides to investigate the temple where they are spending the night. She can tell that these ruins are not of Kri make or design, and that it is very old. There are motifs that she recognizes from the temple she explored during her trial. Faylen takes down many notes, but isn’t able to draw any specific conclusions except that this place, and the people that created it, easily predate the Kri (and orcs).

- When everyone is awake the next morning, Nhobu recounts their adventure and the things Baghera told them. Krom is skeptical, but Faylen confirms that the giant panther part, at least, is true. Nhobu says that the panther’s hunters will not bother us, and in return we will be really good to the forest. They stare down each person individually; Faylen is offended.
- Nhobu notes that the corruption is on this island, not just in the sea, and that we’re supposed to kill any corrupted creature we come across.
- We continue heading toward where we believe our idiots to be, Nhobu again guiding the party expertly through the wilderness without incident. As we near our destination, Nhobu senses the feeling of corruption begin to grow stronger. Everyone is on edge, Nhobu is twitching.
- We start hearing voices through our bracelets/collar, along with an overwhelming sense of exhaustion. Nhobu can pick out signs that the idiots had sprinted through this part of the jungle, without regard for stealth. They also notices paw prints, like that of a panther, but there are too many legs. They are decidedly unsettled.
- Nhobu tracks the idiots to the entrance of another temple. The unnerving paw prints go in and come out, but the tracks of our idiots only go in.

- We find that it’s difficult to go into the temple because we are filled with an overwhelming sense of dread and fear.
- Faylen takes a moment to talk to the idiots using the Message-amplifying powers of our bracelets. She can hear them bickering: Mug is saying he can only hold them off for so long. He’s exhausted and his magic is wearing out; if he doesn’t get some sleep/rest, he isn’t going to be much help. Lucky is panicking, screaming into the mind-link that we’re all going to die. Mazoga is telling them both to stop being idiots, that if they let down their guard, they’ll rush in and overwhelm them.
- Krom tries to get Faylen to say hi to Mazoga for him, but Faylen ignores him.
- Faylen alerts them to our presence and promptly receives a migraine for her trouble, as all three of them start yelling into her brain. We feel two heads get slapped, then Mazoga tells Faylen that they ran into the temple to escape some creatures, but they followed them inside. The creatures do not seem afraid of fire or magic; they are being hunted. When Faylen asks, Mazoga tells her that they look like giant six-legged panthers with tentacles coming off their backs.
- Mug says that this place is filled with dread. Something happened here a long time ago and since then it has been eating at the world around it.
Mug’s magic is more elemental-based, whereas Nhobu’s is more nature-based. He is a shaman.
- We tell them that we’re on our way to help them and head inside. Nhobu can see that there were traps here at one point, but they have all been triggered a long time ago.
The room straight ahead looks like a den of some sort. It seems there are sleeping arrangements for about a half dozen creatures, but none are in there now.
We turn down the right corridor. Faylen sees statues like the ones she saw in the other temple, but they are toppled over and broken.

- As we turn the corner, we hear skittering on the ceiling, coming toward us. Two creatures appear, fitting Mazoga’s description. Nhobu tries to speak with them, but they do not respond. They yowl out a challenge as they run straight toward us. As we look at them, they’re hard to see, like they’re incredibly hard to focus on.
- Before anyone attacks, Nhobu yells out to wait until they’ve cast a spell. Faylen, Kane, and Saidi all ready their attacks. Nhobu calls out their spell, and one of the creatures is suddenly glowing with violet light, making it easier to focus on.
- Faylen sends out a rope of electricity, that latches onto the glowing beast, but she is unable to pull it from the ceiling.
- Kane shoots two eldritch blasts at the other beast. The first one goes wide, but the second connects.
- Saidi looses a bolt of fire, which chars the glowing creature.
- One of the beasts scurries over to perch above Krom’s head. It sends its tentacles at Saidi and Kane, and while Kane is able to duck out of the way, Saidi is badly buffeted.
- The glowing beast turns on Faylen, hitting her hard with both of its tentacles.
- Krom, finding himself unable to fully focus on their assailants, grows furious. He grabs the tentacles hanging above his head and yanks with all his might, but instead of pulling the creature down, he finds himself dangling in the air.
- Suddenly, we hear screaming from our idiots, and Nhobu hears pounding footsteps, coming in our general direction.
- Faylen attempts to slash at the tentacles before her, but is finding is difficult to pin down the beast’s exact location and misses. Frustrated, she begins to sing, and darts away from the beast.
- Kane fires two more blasts, but both fail to find their mark. She seems to be too interested in the creature to bother trying to hit it.
- Saidi throws a firebolt, which barely singes her target.
- Nhobu also tries to use fire, and while their aim is true, it isn’t very effective.
- The beast that has hold of Krom, slams him into one of the walls. He smacks Saidi with his other tentacle.
- The other beast whaps Faylen and Nhobu.
- Krom hacks at the tentacle he’s attached to and severs it from the beast. He falls to the ground, holding the flailing tentacle. He drapes it around his neck like a scarf, extremely proud of himself.
- Our idiots appear at the far end of the hallway, yelling at us to move because more beasts are coming. Krom attempts to show off his new scarf to Mazoga.
- Mug is throwing back down the hallway. Mazoga tells us that a half dozen more are back there.
- Emboldened by the appearance of our allies, Faylen swings at the beast before her, landing a solid hit. Then she darts away.
- Kane sends out more eldritch blasts, but they do not connect.
- Saidi chugs a potion, then throws a firebolt that also misses.
- Three more displacer beasts appear in the midst of our idiots.
- After contemplating sending a rhino down the hallway for a moment, Nhobu instead decides to conjure two giant spiders (despite Kane’s earlier words of “I don’t like giant spiders.”). After situating them on the ceiling near the two beast, Nhobu turns into a lizard and crawls into a crack in the wall.
- One of the spider takes a bite out of the displacer beast beside it.
- The displacer beast above Krom whips him with its remaining tentacle.
- The other displacer beast attacks the spider, which disappears as it is murdered.
- The remaining spider shoots webbing at beast that killed its partner, pinning it to the ceiling.
- Lucky hits the beast he is fighting for before running down the hallway toward us. He takes a deep wound as he tries to escape.
- Mug shoots some fire at the same beast, and gets hit hard in return.
- Krom swings his axe above his head, does a fair bit of damage.
- Mazoga also lands a solid hit on her target.
- Faylen swings at the displacer beast nearest to her, but misses. She then chugs a potion.
- Kane summons a sphere of deep cold water, which no light can enter. It engulf the remaining spider and seals off our exit.
- Able to see the beast more clearly because of Krom’s earlier hit, Saidi brings it to a fiery end.
- The beasts fighting our companions hit Mazoga and knock Mug unconscious. We notice that as he falls, he drops a heavy-looking sack.
- Nhobu crawls back out of their hole and resumes their gnome form. They mercifully dismiss their spider companion so it will not suffer a horrible crushing death. Then they yell out to Mug, rousing him back into consciousness again.
- The beast restrained about Nhobu’s head attempts to swing at them but fails.
- Lucky fires a hand crossbow, which finds its mark.
- Mug heals himself a little more, then crawls across the floor, away from the monsters.
- Krom runs toward the idiots, taking a few hits from tentacles as he goes. He heaves two javelins, one in each hand, and they slam into the beast at the end of the corridor.
- Mazoga hurries over, getting behind Krom, and says, “Thank god you’re here because I didn’t think we were going to survive another day holed up in the back.”
- Faylen darts over to the restrained beast, slashes at it, and backflips away.
- Nhobu yells to Kane that they’re sorry and the spider is gone. Kane reluctantly dismisses the watery void. She tries to do something to the restrained beast, but nothing happens.
- Saidi sends out some magic missiles, but they do very little damage.
- Krom gets hit by more tentacles. Mug goes unconscious again.
- Nhobu shouts Mug into consciousness again. Then they summon a beam of radiant moonlight to shine down on two of the beasts. However, they are able to withstand its light.
-The beast hanging above Nhobu tries once again to hit its small target, but Nhobu just watches its feeble attempts and sticks out their tongue.
- Lucky shoots an excellently placed bolt into the restrained beast.
- Mug continues crawling along the floor toward the exit.
- Krom gets whapped again, and decides it’s time to chug a potion. He slashes at the beast that dared hit him.
- Mazoga drinks a potion too (generic brand, not as good as homebrewed Nhobu originals), then attacks the same beast as Krom, landing a solid hit.
- Faylen sprints down the hallway, avoiding all danger, and grabs the bag. It’s much heavier than she expected (as it is filled with stone), and she teeters, but manages to get it onto her shoulder. She looks down the hallway that leads further into the temple; it is filled with smoke, but she doesn’t see any more beasts.
- Kane hurls more blasts at the restrained beast, injuring it further.
- Saidi shoots some magic missiles at the beast attacking Mazoga.
- After being exposed to the moonlight for longer, one of the beasts in Nhobu’s beam is starting to feel the burn. It lashes out at Krom.
- The other beast in the moonlight is also slightly singed. It whaps Faylen.
- Nhobu moves their beam of moonlight so it singes the other beast in the hallway. Then they speak a healing word to Lucky.
- Then Nhobu is finally hit by the flailing beast above their head, and the moonbeam disappears as they lose concentration.
-Lucky misses his shot.
-Mug finally stands up and throws a guiding bolt at one of the beasts, killing it. He looks over his shoulder and grins at Krom.
- Mazoga gets hit hard, and is on her last legs.
- Krom slashes wildly at the beast who attacked Mazoga, bringing it to its last legs as well.
- Mazoga finishes it off, and then attacks the beast in front of Krom, almost killing it too.
- Faylen lugs the bag over to the injured beast and stabs it to death. She hands the bag to Krom, but he refuses to leave without finishing off the final beast.
- Kane mutters something and we all see shapes start coming out of the ground around the remaining beast. We see fins of stone circling the entire area.
- Saidi slams the beast with more magic missiles.
-A maw opens up in the ground and attempts to chop on the beast, but it is too quick and manages to avoid it. Then it lashes out at Faylen.
- Nhobu skips nimbly up to Mazoga and takes her hand, giving her back some health. Then they yell to Faylen, empowering her as well.
- Lucky grabs onto Nhobu, saying “We have to go, we have to go before he comes back! The big one!”
- Krom tosses the bag to Mazoga, then runs over to slash at the beast. Mazoga starts booking it toward the entrance.
- Faylen slashes at the beast as well, then follows Mazoga toward the entrance, scooping Nhobu up in passing.
- Saidi has foreseen hitting the beast with a firebolt, so she looses a powerful blast, which consumes the beast in a wall of fire.
- Everyone starts running toward the entrance. With the immediate danger passed, the effects of our injuries start taking hold. Everyone is able to shrug them off except for Nhobu. They feel a certain draw to the temple, a compulsion to protect it. As Saidi raises her arms to shatter the entrance, Nhobu yells out and Saidi’s spell fizzles.
- Lucky has run off into the jungle and we can no longer see him.
We hear a loud yowl out in the jungle.
- As Saidi prepares to collapse the temple entrance again, Faylen covers Nhobu’s mouth and holds their arms, preventing them from disrupting the spell a second time.
- With a loud crash, the temple entrance is destroyed.
- Faylen finds herself holding a large brown bear, which is roaring angrily. Nhobu is still feeling the urge to go back into the temple, to explore it. But before they can do so, Krom heaves the bear into his arms and we all start running away. The brown bear is biting and clawing at Krom’s head and body, but he doesn’t seem to care.

- When we look in the sack, we see that it is full of black rock. The idiots had gone into the large town to the north. Lucky had snuck through some of the buildings in the far back. There was a large pile of black rock, it seemed like the Kri were crafting things out of it. He grabbed a sack, filled it with as much as he could carry, and snuck out.
- The villagers chased them into the jungle, but pulled back when they got a certain distance in, when other things started to hunt the party instead.
- We decide to head back toward Baghera’s kingdom, then realize that he kills all corrupted creatures and Nhobu is now corrupted.
- We figure that our best bet for curing Nhobu would be in the nearby town.
- The Mad King panther is not corrupted, but the ones we killed were his corrupted followers. He kills everything that could become corrupted, so there is not very much living in this part of the jungle. He won’t let anyone corrupt him or his pack.
- We worry about our idiots being corrupted too, but they aren’t behaving like Nhobu is.
- Nhobu’s compulsion to return to the temple wears off after five or ten minutes of running, however it is likely that the corruption could poison their dreams.
- Krom probably hasn’t dealt with many druids, but orc druids are very strange. They wander into clans, demand strange things, and wander off again.

Tenth Session
Short Warlocks

- Dwarf is looking for Faylen, there’s a bounty on her head
- He’s based out of Chandler District, small island outside the city
- We decide to try and take him out.
- Nhobu turns into a panther, sneaks through the warehouses. Saidi and Faylen follow, invisible. Kane hides in the shadows, Krom stays away.
- One area of the docks is still in use after hours.
- There are guards, Nhobu sneaks past them (barely), makes it onto the roof.
- We hear an angry Scottish accent.
- Invisible folks go look in the window.
- Bongren is yelling at a Krom-sized man. “I’m paying you good money, I know the elf is in the city.” Barbers is the group searching for Faylen. “If you can’t find her tonight, get [Lysander]”
- Four guards outside, six inside (cut-throats/dock workers)
- Krom sidles up, throws a hand axe.
- Faylen tries to backstab a guy, he bends over and she misses.
- Nhobu leaps off the roof, pounces on a guard, and claws his face off.
- Kane drops a tentacle sphere on the dwarf, inside the warehouse.
- Krom cleaves a guard in two.
- Said prepares a firebolt.
- The dwarf (a warlock) dispels the tentacle magic, tells Kane to sit down and shut up.
- Guard stabs Faylen.
- Krom moves straight into a guard’s attack
- Faylen sets guard on fire and kills him
- Panther Nhobu attacks a guard.
- Kane casts Hunger of Hadar again and everyone runs.
- Krom clotheslines a guard in half
- Saidi kills another one with a firebolt.
- Dwarf dispels the tentacles again, summons man-like creature with lightning scimitar.
- Panther Nhobu claws a guy
- The genie slashes Kane for a ton of damage.
- Krom fights the giant man
- Saidi hits the genie with a firebolt
- Nhobu turns back into a gnome, conjures two lions.
- Kane is hit again, drops to the ground unconscious
- The lions maul one of the guys, the other runs off
- Krom kills the big guy
- Saidi magic missiles the genie
- Nhobu turns into a warhorse, rushes over to Kane, who has revived herself through sheer willpower
- Krom gets turned into a sheep by the dwarf.
- The lions maul the sheep, killing it and turning it back into Krom.
- Krom attacks the dwarf
- Saidi chugs a potion, sends more magic missiles at the genie.
- The dwarf doesn’t like his odds, poofs away through a dimension door. The genie dissipates.
- In the warehouse, we find contacts, gold and gems. Dwarf is going after Faylen’s family, trying to take them hostage.
- He knows the family’s city, not specifically where they are. They’re in Rockwallow, a day or two away by boat.
- Nhobu helps Faylen investigate and persuade contacts.
- Nhobu transports Faylen’s whole library with the bag of holding.
- Lysander goes off to move Faylen’s family.
- Back at the ship, Ebeneezer has left.
- We have the info from Faylen’s library and the dwarf’s research.
- We’re woken up in the middle of the night by Tehlmar. The B team is in trouble, hiding in the jungle. Mug and Lucky did a raid, got a sackful of black stone. Mazoga didn’t join them.
- We start sailing back to Kri.
- Nhobu continues to struggle with the art of persuasion, unsuccessfully. Brews a replacement potion for Saidi.
- Kane works with her crystal. It’s a focus for the spirit of fire, associated with intelligence and emotions.
- Krom starts crabsmithing, working on making a new axe.
- Saidi works with her elemental.
- Faylen researches, fueled by Nhobu-brand caffeine.
- Our options are: confront the witch, meet back up with the town we befriended, save our idiots. We decide to save our idiots.

Ninth Session
Change of Scenery

- When we wake up, our ship is at the edge of the storm and we’re heading away from Kri
- Vance & Harley tell us that Tehlmar received a message and we’re going to meet up with someone. Possibly to “report progress?”
- Mazoga, Mug, and Lucky are back on Kri (on a different island), trying to do what we couldn’t.
- Tehlmar isn’t pleased with our results.
- Faylen is summoned to Tehlmar’s cabin. He tells her that we’re leaving because he needs to discuss stuff with someone, and didn’t think we were going to succeed.
- Faylen argues that we were earning the trust of the locals
- Tehlmar says we can continue to try when we return to Kri

- We’re heading toward Tortalin. Tehlmar’s contact is another member of the Empire.
- Tehlmar hasn’t been back here for several decades. He says time is short, he’s under pressure for time.
- Our priority is to get information/materials so others can recreate the experiment from the lab on a larger scale.
- The fate of Tehlmar’s position in the Empire depends on this.
- Once Andrathath’s notes are fully deciphered, we’ll send them to the University, and mages will try to put the knowledge to use.
- Sun Empire maintains a tight border
- It’s not our job to capture elementals, we just need to get knowledge and raw materials.
- If we get this stuff, Tehlmar will let us go.
- Faylen tells him about the witch and the assassins. He visibly pales, says he will try to do something about that.
- The witch was head research assistant to Andrathath.
- On Tortalin, we’re supposed to decipher the book, get supplies, maybe recruit more people.
- Krom wants to figure out how to make his skin hard. He works to commune with his elemental and is able to begin to sense metal around him.
- Kane summons a tiny imp under her bed. When she asks it where Nen is, it laughs. She can’t fight the entire ocean. He tells her that Tehlmar is well-known in the Elven community, a high arch mage. He also says that most people thought the witch was dead. Beings are looking for her and we could help them. She has a debt with a creature that is unpaid. Kane asks about Skailron and the imp says he’s been very quiet recently.
- Kane also spends time focusing on her crystal, and is starting to be able to control emotions
- Saidi does a lot of research, messes with the runes. Starts working on crafting a focus.
- Nhobu starts learning the art of persuasion from Faylen
- Faylen does more research, learns that the witch was the genius behind setting up the containment of Nen

- We arrive in Tortalin, and are given a list of supplies
- See an eerie ship pull up beside us. The crew is gone except for one man. He comes aboard and Saidi senses gross stuff surrounding him. His aura radiates coldness. There is an invisible metal presence.
- Tehlmar greets him professionally. Apparently an expedition to the north failed.
- His name is Ebeneezer, and he is a human. Introduces himself to Faylen and Saidi, but not the rest of us.
- They lost the ability to mine amber.

- We go into town (after a lengthy debate about whether or not to listen in on Tehlmar and Ebeneezer’s conversation).
- Krom babysits Kane and Nhobu
- Faylen and Saidi go off to meet Lysander (Saidi keeps Faylen invisible).
- Nhobu notices someone is following them. They duck into an alley: Kane disappears into the shadows, Krom climbs a building, Nhobu turns into a cat.
- Three guys appear, they were trying to get us. They mention that their boss is a dwarf named Bongren.

Bushwhacking (Part 3&4)
Session Seven and Eight

My dearest Silas,

As miserable as these last few months have been, I can’t help but be grateful that every detour and misstep has brought me to this singular moment: Today, I flew.

Alright, perhaps “flew” is an overstatement, but only a small one. The islands of Kri are dense with ancient ruins, and the native people sent me (and the rest of my haphazard crew) out into them as a sort of initiation ritual. The site of my “test” was magnificent – a temple that was remarkably intact, with a series of self-resetting traps that guard the space in perpetuity. I was able to circumvent all but one (which I didn’t even notice until I triggered it, I was so absorbed in examining the ancient glyphs and carvings on the walls), but the construction of the building was absolutely ingenious. Most of the traps were mechanical in nature, not unlike those we’ve seen in ruins dating back to the height of the Sun Empire, but one – one! – was made entirely of bound air elementals, simple creatures tasked with dashing to and fro, buffeting and repelling any attempt to approach or cross a wide chasm, with only one carefully timed way across. But once I’d figured out the timing, the wind lifted me up and I soared across the ravine, utterly unharmed.

In the final chamber, I managed to avoid the trap entirely, but my guide indulged me by telling me how it worked – a different elemental linked to each of the stone steps designed, again, the rebuff an incautious approach. And the whole temple was filled with fascinating statuary, depicting what I believe to be a proto-race. In all our travels, I’ve never seen their like; they certainly predate any ruin we’ve ever encountered, and are older than the Sun Empire itself by an age. I suspect the original population of the island may have been a common ancestor between humans and elves, and who knows what other species. The inscriptions were beyond my ability to read, but I made rubbings of as many as I could. I have half a mind to ask the tribal elders permission to re-enter the temple to examine it further, along with any other ruins on the islands. I don’t know yet what trials my companions have undergone, but I’m infinitely curious to know. My only hesitation is that I fear they might think me rude or over-inquisitive, if not outright disrespectful of their customs. I can’t say I blame them; they’ve certainly had poor experiences with curious-minded elves in the past, but I think perhaps if I make it clear that my inquiries are purely historical rather than magical, they may allow it.

Tehlmar, of course, is another issue entirely. Already he grows impatient with our progress, and I worry that any interference on his part will only cause the tenuous relationship we’ve built with the local population to crumble. He is a Sword of Damocles in an uncomfortably literal sense. But if it were not for this damned wrist cuff, I would be glad to stay in this place and learn its secrets.

I will not let this sour my mood. Today I rode, weightless, on playful currents of air put in place by a people ancient beyond fathoming. Whatever else may be, I could not ask for more than that.

With all my love,


Addendum: My hope for an extended stay on Kri has already crumbled. A massive typhoon is striking the island, and given that the moment we ventured out into it we were set upon by assassins, we’ve made the prudent decision to set sail tonight and attempt to outpace the storm rather than continue to overstay our welcome. Tehlmar is in a foul mood and madly impatient; I can’t imagine what would motivate him to sail away from the source of his precious black rocks, or where we’ll next be making port, but evidently our time here has come to an end. I leave this letter in the care of the Kri elders, to be posted when the storm has passed, but I know not where I’ll be when it finds its way to your hands. Stay safe, love. With any luck, this is just a roundabout way home.

Eighth Session
Storm Fight

- We completed the trials!
- Krom is offered half of the rock crab materials
- Rain starts
- Kri didn’t build the temple that Faylen explored. It was there when they arrived, abandoned.
- Faylen wants to know all about the temple.
- Hasn’t seen the statues/architecture before, but has heard of it
- Do the traps reset themselves? The door and the steps do, the trap in the middle (a rolling boulder) does not
- Failing the step puzzle provokes an elemental response telling you you’re wrong.
- Wind puzzle: wind elementals are bound and play there
- Similar temples outside Rockwallow
- Earned people’s respect
- Krom is invited to learn crabsmithing (Kri peoples are curious what an orc thinks of it)
- Kane works on breathing exercises. She can affect others with her emotions. Make people feel paranoia/bravery/fear/passion.
- Saidi asks Kiri about the “absense” in the black rock. Kiri asked her what she saw during the trial. Everyone senses auras different, sight, smell, etc. Kiri asks Saidi to paint someone’s aura.
- Kiri says not to look at the rock’s aura. If you open yourself to it, you could lose part of yourself in it. It absorbs elements and is naturally occurring. Can use against rogue elementals. Shouldn’t be experimented with.
- Nhobu’s rock is not fully made of stone, there are embedded pieces of crystal. Can channel energy through it? Nhobu’s air crystal is curious.
- Rock retains spells cast on it.

- Rain starts coming down hard.
- Go to warn the ship, but Nhobu turns around and everyone is gone! Finds Faylen and Saidi fairly quickly, but Krom and Kane have disappeared.
- Saidi searches for objects she knows they have. Nhobu summons two dire wolves to keep Faylen and Saidi from getting lost.
- A perfect circle hole appears where Kane is and she falls. Six feet deep.
- Krom catches Kane, digs ax into the ground, leverages Kane out.
- Krom hears movement, and an arrow hits his shoulder. Two more whistle past.
- A youngish Kri male charges Krom, but doesn’t manage to knock Krom into the hole.
- Kane blasts him with eldritch magic.
- Nhobu, Faylen, and Saidi get closer, and arrows start coming at them too.
- Faylen casts lightning lure and pulls herself into the tree with the sniper.
- Kane is feeling tired from getting hit by an arrow.
- Nhobu’s wolves attack. Nhobu tries to attack too, with their staff, but fails.
- Minotaur picks Nhobu up and hits the wolf WITH Nhobu. Nhobu loses concentration and the wolves disappear.
- Nhobu turns into a giant snake, finally manages to get out of the minotaur’s grasp.
- Kane insults a minotaur, causing him pain.
- Krom headbutts one of the assassins into unconsciousness.
- Nhobu summon a beam of moonlight, roasts one of the minotaurs. Barely keeps themself from murdering the unconscious one.
- We find a black stone dagger.
- Drag the remaining unconscious minotaur back to town.
- People in the great hall take a visible step back from him.
- Doesn’t have clan markings, his markings indicate that he is working for the Elven witch.
- The black rocks are a gift from Kri, not from the witch (Fafine).
- Kri people can’t protect us from her.
- The assassin was picked from elite fighters.
- Krom asks if stabbing the assassin with the black dagger will end his magic, everyone is horrified at the thought.
- We run back to the ship, start being overcome by a sudden weariness.
- Barely make it on board before blacking out.

Seventh Session
Elemental Trials

Details about part of Kri that sank
- Elves went to the island to set up a colony
- Kri didn’t mind
- The elves were originally nice, set up a small city
- One elf came to learn the secrets – Andrathath
- Sensed great power in elementals, learned difference between elemental and arcane magic
- Andrathath was leader of the city
- Kri people (?) felt Nen get angry – crashed side of island into the ocean
- The black rocks are “gifts”??

- Nhobu goes to the children’s class. They’re practicing creating lights – light inside small clear crystal
- A young girl is having an argument with someone Nhobu can’t see. Flame appears in her hand, goes into the crystal.
- Nhobu introduces themself, “I’m an Om.” The girl has never seen one before, Nhobu has never seen a child (minotaur child) before.
- Invisible friend is “Freefree” and she found him while wandering the island.
- Nhobu asks to be friends with Freefree too, child is affronted.
- Nhobu thanks child for chatting, gives her a reed pipe, teaches her the basics of how to play it. Child is in awe / very grateful.

- One by one, we meet with an old woman
- She stares at us and asks us questions about ourselves.
- Pokes Krom’s arm muscles.
- Piece of metal is dropped into Krom’s hands. She senses the iron and steel in his blood.
- She cackles at Kane, gives her a hot, red crystal (ruby red, but not a ruby). Advises Kane to watch her explosive temper. There is power in her emotions though. Kane holds the crystal in taloned fingers.
- Asks Saidi – What do you SEE??
- Saidi sees herself on fire, freaks out a bit, knocks over the table and the tea
- The old woman is glowing with multiple colors, a halo effect, blue, green, red…
- Old woman taps Saidi on the forehead, her third eye closes and she’s no longer on fire and can’t see the colors anyway. She’s disappointed.
- Saidi is handed a fire crystal like Kane. Old woman advises her to be careful with her third eye around the island. The spirits are ever-present and it might be hard to get “out” (?)
- Nhobu is offered tea, they ask the old woman her name (Kiri)
- “How did you get here?”
- “Boat. Well ship. They call the big ones ‘ship’ right?”
- “Where were you before the ship?”
- “Prison”
- “Why were you in prison”
- “Arson”
- Nhobu wants freedom above all else.
- Is given a green-ish crystal, with energy inside. Nhobu wants to let the energy out, doesn’t want it to be captive.
- Old woman says that when the time is right, wrap their hands around the crystal and think freedom thoughts.
- Crystal pulses to some degree, feels like energy, not thoughts/emotions
- Faylen is asked “Why are you the leader of the group?” Says she’s not. Old woman thinks that’s a waste of her potential.
- Woman is looking at Faylen like she has a second head.
- In general, the elves are not strong with the elements. Arcane magics deaden the connection to the elements.
- Faylen has no formal education in magic.
- You take power from the world around to do magic. You can take power from those you have bonded with or can take by force without realizing (arcane magic).
- Kri kids attract elementals, and form bonds with them.
- Faylen is given a red crystal and a green crystal. It is harder to form bonds with multiple elementals.
- Elementals can do a lot, not just magic of the same type. Could possibly use elementals to replace arcane magics.
- Faylen has more potential, with multiple elementals, but may be initially weaker.
- Moana has mastered all six elements, but she “lost” one and doesn’t want to search for another. (Language implies a connection with a singular elemental being, as opposed to the element as a whole)
- Elementals imbue you with personality, each elemental has its own personality.
- Even if a person’s personality changes as they grow older, generally their elemental alignment will not change.

- Moana greets us, and tells us that we talked to her mother
- Nhobu asks if it’s rude to ask about another person’s elements, Moana says no, most Kri people are pretty obvious about it.
- Moana and her mother can commune with all of the elements.
- Some of us join a story circle. Faylen tells about her family, slaying sea monsters. Nhobu tells about Oona and laying to rest the bear that gave its bone to be their flute. Saidi tells about Greyport, and the lights they have there.
- Saidi can pick out individual colors in people’s auras if she focuses on one at a time. When she tries to open her third eye to the black rock, she feels like she’s falling into blackness.

- Next morning, a young minotaur girl comes looking for Krom. She doesn’t even come up to his shoulder. She says he needs to get equipped for his trial, and he’s taken to the armory.
- Gets a medium-sized shield and spear (light, all one piece of metal), and is led off.
- A teen Kri boy (named Ty) fetches Nhobu, he’s also an air guy
- Moana fetches Kane herself, leads her behind the throne, and opens a doorway that heads down. Follows behind Kane, summoning a light.
- Faylen and Saidi are gathered by the same guy, someone they recognize from the story circle. He was one of the leaders, and adult, but not old.
- They being taken to the same temple, headed to the mountain in the center of the island.
- Nhobu is being brought to a jungle maze. Sees snakes, frogs, and sloths along the way. Particularly interested in the sloth, but Ty is a jerk and says they’re useless. Nhobu says they’re useful cause they like looking at them.

- Krom is hunting rock crabs, a species of crab that inhabit the shore and eat rocks as they gather food. They have really hard shells and massive pincers. Their shells are used to create things like the shield Krom has.
- Specifically, they’re dire crabs – 8ft and dark grey
- The girl is there to help Krom hunt. Krom asks if there’s a known strategy. She says the crabs have a soft underbelly. Their feet stab into the ground though, have to get out of the way after stabbing it. She and her brothers hunt them in their spare time.
- She’ll distract them while Krom goes for the stab. She’s weaker and smaller than Krom, but has been doing this ever since she could pick up a spear and shield.
- Her brother got stepped on once, foot got caught in a pit, transformed skin into metal and that’s what saved him (?)
- They’re starting with smaller crabs.
- Krom sneaks up to the crab, girl bangs her sword and shield together. The crab turns her way

- Nhobu is brought to the jungle maze, the walls are made of vines and trees
- A Kri boy is there, young and small (late elementary / early middle school age), named Nanta
- They’re going to play a game. Nanta is given an object, Nhobu needs to find him, get the object, and get out of the maze before him.
- Object is a green stone orb, fist-sized.
- He’ll get a one minute head-start, maze is 15 min long, if you know where you’re going

- Kane gets to the bottom of the stairwell, it’s a spherical chamber with a flat floor
- Moana uses it as a meditation chamber, a place to focus her thoughts
- Kane will try to connect with her patron again, then she can leave
- Moana frees the creature in Kane’s crystal and three rings of fire surround Kane
- Tells Kane to take her feelings, control them, put them back in the crystal
- It gets very hot, Kane starts hearing the voices of teenage children – “Hurry up, your day is here!”

- Saidi and Faylen get to the mountain. They’ll have to commune with spirits, test themselves, discover their strengths and weaknesses.
- They’ll be led to a path and have to get to the exit.
- Faylen is brought to the entrance of a temple, not of the sun empire, not exactly of the Kri (?)
- Saidi is handed six stones, each with a different color. The entrance is covered in leaves and vines and shrubbery

- Krom gets under the crab and stabs it with his spear

- In the maze, the sky is visible in parts. It’s like a British hedge maze with jungle trees, the size of tall oaks.
- Nhobu shifts into a panther, and through smell and footstep tracking, manages to catch up with Nanta

- Kane sees a hallway, was forced to walk it when about to be fed to a giant spider
- She’s in the body of her younger self
- It is a great day, she will become one with the goddess, is lucky to be chosen
- The people escorting her have a good hold of her shoulders
- When they go to chain her to the alter, she freaks out.
- Summons tentacles, channeling fear into fury, and attacks the escorts. She breaks the alter with her tentacles and awakens. One of the rings of fire is gone, and her crystal has regained a little light

- Faylen examines the architecture of the temple closely. The alcoves used to hold books but are now empty.
- She steps on a panel and the door in front of her starts to close. She casts Longstrider and gets through before it shuts. The door closes behind her
- In the next room, there are statues of different races (?). Traps are on the floor, but Faylen spots them and avoids them. At the end of the room are new statues with feathery wings. Beyond them is a chasm. Wind is blowing.

- Saidi tries to get through the vines with fire and air, but they grow back too quickly.

- Krom gets hit by the crab

- Nhobu turns back into a gnome, casts Minor Illusion to create the sound of Moana’s voice, calling Nanta back. Nanta pauses, not quite trusting what he hears.
- Nhobu conjures two giant spiders. One sneaks around the next turn in the maze and weaves a web across the path. The other shoots webbing at Nanta.
- He avoids the webbing shot at him, but in doing so gets stuck in the web across the path.

- Kane hears voices, she’s in a tavern with the members of the guild she put together. She greets them, tries to convince them to take down the cult. Most are on board, and she convinces the rest by telling them they would have money and power if they could defeat the cult.
- Burning sensation, second ring is defeated

- The wind keeps Faylen from jumping across the chasm, even after casting Jump on herself. After some trial and error, she manages to sling-shot herself across.

- Saidi keeps trying to break through the barrier of plants, finally manages to do it with metal. Metal bars hold the plants open long enough for her to slip through.
- A large stone creature is in the next room. “None shall pass”
- It has a distinctly earthy aura

- The crab turns on the girl. Krom has enough of doing things her way, uses his strength to lift the crab and stab it to death

- As Nhobu approaches where Nanta should be stuck, there is an absence where the kid should be. When Nhobu tries to reach for the kid, gets blown back.
- Orders a spider to wrap the kid up and in does so, proving that the kid is definitely there.
- Nhobu casts Freedom Of Movement, gets around to the other side of the web, can see the kid from that side.
- Frees Nanta’s mouth, Nanta is screaming. Tries to reassure the kid by having one of the spiders do a backflip (to show how much control they have!). It doesn’t work.
- Takes the orb from Nanta’s belt, puts Nanta on the back of one of the spiders and Nanta gives directions so they can get out of the maze. Nhobu plays a jaunty tune on their flute.
- Ty is a little horrified to see the giant spiders and Nanta all wrapped up. Nhobu makes sure to exit the maze before Nanta, then frees Nanta, who goes screaming off into the jungle. Nhobu apologizes, but still isn’t quite sure what they did wrong.

- Kane is presented with her guild, right when they’re going to betray her. Wrecks them with tentacle powers (?) and defeats the third ring of fire. Moana is a bit disappointed.

- Faylen gets into a room with six statues and tiers of steps, with pressure plates on each stone. She steps on the stones corresponding to the statues and makes her way to the top without incident. Takes rubbings of whatever’s written on the statues and makes her way out.

- Saidi uses air to defeat the stone creature (it’s lifted up and disintegrates). Knows to use air by opening her third eye and seeing what element is repelled by the creature. Then is faced with a waterfall. Fire is repelled, so she uses it and it sucks the heat from the water, turning it to ice. She skates across and finishes the trial.

- We all succeed!!

Bushwhacking (Part 2)
Sixth Session


I confess, it’s a bit strange to be writing a letter without constantly looking over my shoulder. I have no illusions that this note won’t be read, but at the very least, I’m going to have to reacquaint myself with the notion that putting pen to paper isn’t, in and of itself, a clandestine endeavor. I’m probably at least a few sheets of parchment away from letting my shoulders relax and posing the usual questions – or even pretending to hope that I’ll get a response. For now, consider the niceties exchanged; I can only hope that you really are well.

It was a tad unsettling, going deeper into the markets of Kri and wandering the many stalls without… well, not without purpose, but with a different one, at least – without goods in hand and a merchant in mind. It’s far more vast than it appears from the outskirts. The patient and carefully veiled disdain of the locals made me feel a bit like a lost child wandering between tents and tables. We didn’t find what we were looking for – it seems the black rock we’re seeking is something of a dirty secret among the Kri, a type of magical contraband, perhaps? There was no sign of it on display, and the merchants we asked carefully skirted the conversation, so it seems unlikely that this leg of our mission will be a simple one.

At the insistence of my small friend, Nhobu, we sought an audience with the island’s tribal elders. Without the presence of a druid in our ranks, I suspect we would have been turned away (at best), but Nhobu’s abilities (and their fathomless inquisitiveness) earned us a relatively warm welcome. The tribal elder, Moana, senses something amiss with Kane – though clearly she means it in a more literal sense than simply Kane’s unnerving presence – and may be able to help her?

But before we’re to be told anything of substance or aided in any real way, we’re to be put to a test, the nature of which is as mysterious as everything else on this island. Something about elemental alignments, and discovering what resonates with us. I’m both wary and excited. The magic here is more akin to Nhobu’s, and in fact the people seem to turn their noses on more arcane studies, but I’m eager to learn what they have to teach, even if the people here have no interest in my own brand of magic. I just hope that whatever test I’m presented with is a genuine one, and not simply a polite way of executing us. I suppose if this is my last letter, you’ll know. Otherwise, perhaps I’ll return home breathing fire and whipping the wind, or somesuch. Who knows?

With all my love,


The Elements of Kri

Six elemental forces make up the natural world. Metal, Earth, Fire, Air, Water and Wood. Today, they mainly exist in the background of the world. Only those with a deep connection to the natural world seem to understand that they exist and what effects they can have.

Most people see this elemental power represented physically in elementals. Minor elementals are mindless things with no more intelligence than a wild animal. While they can be found all over the world, they are usually only observed in areas that highly reflect their elemental nature. Volcanos are likely teeming with elementals, but a forest may only have wood elementals in the ancient and strongest trees.

Legends say that the elementals were the first beings created on the planet. They were ideas and power that manifested into physical beings. Though it is rumored that their power was so great and their battles with each other so damaging that they had to be bound. Now they have limited influence upon the world, with greater elementals being bound to places of power and lesser elementals having only their own fractions of power to draw upon.


The element of metal is one of resilience. It may not be the strongest element, but it outlasts the rest of them. With proper conditioning, metal seems to last forever. Bathed in fire, metal only grows harder. A blade left to rust can be resharpened to a killing edge. Those who take on the element usually are strong of will, obstinate in their choices and juggernauts in battle.


Earth is the element of strength. This can be shown in no greater measure than mountains forming from two great earth elementals pushing on each other. Earth does not move quickly, but it builds up power like an avalanche. It is also part of our base desires, as they slowly grow in us to be all consuming. Those with earth running in their blood will look to use their strength over others, will be driven by their most base desires and may start slow… before becoming an unstoppable force.


Air is everywhere. It never looks to stay still, but is constantly on the move from one place to another. It may travel unseen, but it can make itself known with the power of a hurricane. You will find that the element of Air speaks to those who wish to move with it. Rarely does it seek to knock down barriers, but instead bypasses them.


The spark of intelligence best describes fire. While Earth may imbue our primal desires, fire imbues our thinking desires. While it can be uncontrollable and unpredictable, it also creates the brightest lights that we look towards. Fire rarely chooses one without ambition, as they seek out ever greater knowledge to shape the world to their desires.


Water seeks the path of least resistance. It offers balance instead of domination. While that may seem weak to others, few caught in waters surging grasp would ever make that claim. As such, water must look inwards and inspect itself and others. It must learn their ebbs and flows in order to bring about its desired results. Those who hear the call of water value its shifting tides and manipulate them to their full advantage.


In many ways, the element of wood is life. Wood grows, adapts and eventually dies. Of the elements, wood is the most patient. It actions take time to bring to fruition and require great effort to suddenly pull forth. While its power may be slower than the other elements, it has ways of healing and rebuilding itself that others do not.


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