Find out why the world is not as you thought it was. Assemble the facts, digest the information, consider the implications. THEN go postal. But with precision.
- Terry Pratchett, Thud!
Garrett is a male Rabbitfolk standing 4’10” – not including his ears. His fur is mottled grey-and-brown, but as Garrett carries himself with the standing of a younger man, this may be due to some stress or trauma he has experienced rather than age. Garrett’s ears are pierced and he wears two rings in his right ear and one in his left.
Garrett wears half plate armor held on with thick leather straps, a circlet as most helms are not constructed to accommodate his ears, leather bands at his writs, and pince-nez-style goggles with colored lenses cover his brown eyes.
In Chult, Garrett obtained a tattoo granting him darkvision.
Garrett’s personality was revealed to the Third Family. Intelligent but perhaps a bit unwise, he cares deeply for those who treat the planes and their inhabitants with kindness.
Although Garrett has a sense of duty, honor, and obligation, it is also clear that he suffers from a touch of self-doubt: not in his abilities, but in his own worth to the party and even to his god, Oberon. The extended stay at The Dagda’s lodge and all that happened there has helped him begin to work on himself in this regard.
At first, Garrett tended to not start conversations unless absolutely necessary but was ready to talk about things he considered obvious, trivial, or unimportant. Now he is actively seeking to know more about the party - his found family - and discovered Ash is helping him make inroads with Thea and Reiner and that both he and Ash are a comfort to Rylan.
He is used to his ears drawing attention, and often uses them to help lighten the mood when appropriate.
He is still cautious when it comes to those things he considers secret, personal, or important - such as his family.
Garrett has shown to have difficulty in taking praise or compliments, while at the same time being pleased when those around him are appreciative of his creations. He is gradually coming to realize his own self-worth thanks to the efforts of the Third Family and Oberon.
Before the Story
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Garrett is from the Sildëyuir region of the Feywild. He is the first child of Kare and Hurja and has three siblings in his clutch/litter: Sarto, Asker, and Casus. Garrett grew up loving the land: playing in the roots of the silver-boled trees and running along the stream banks, preferring to actually swim only when in great danger as a means of survival. Getting wet is not something Garrett will do lightly. He would sit for hours watching the animals of the forest illuminated by the plentiful phosphorescent lichens: the deer and squirrels and bears and dragonflies. The owls were both beautiful and deadly to a small rabbitfolk, and even the adults would use caution.
When Garrett was thirteen, the warren/colony found itself caught up in the nilshai’s invasion of Sildëyuir, and they each did what they could to push back the monsters and corruption brought by the aberrations. Exploring a nearby tower abandoned by the star elves, Garret found a desolate workshop, its owners’ tools and plans and journals left behind as if they might return at any moment, except for the thick layer of dust covering everything. Following the notes of the unnamed master, which Garrett called Master Elenath as the notes appeared to be written in more than one hand, Garrett showed a proficiency for tinkering and fiddling, and was soon recognized as a competent artificer. As his craft developed and he began to add his own writings to the elven master’s notes, Garret focused on the aid and healing aspects of construction, becoming a battle smith.
One of his first points of personal pride was building his first steel companion, which he created to look like a cat. The iron-black and metal-gray feline was named Ash, and Garret has taken to making each of his steel companions in the same manner, giving it the same name, and in general treating it as if it is one continuously-living creature.
Garrett reveres Oberon, the Green Lord, feeling a certain kind of affinity with the Archfey who has done so much to protect the forest regions of the Feywild.
Things remained relatively stable for seven years with the warren able to keep the nilshai from making any major incursions. But in the first year of Marjorie Digger leading the town council, the nilshai launched a major offensive, causing the warren to scatter. In the confusion, Garrett stumbled blindly through a set of standing stones, which sent him out of Sildëyuir and into . . . parts unknown.
At first desperate to return home, Garrett realized that every place (and plane?) has its own problems that may require his services, and though he is not a cleric or paladin, he sees his current position as a blessing from Oberon: in protecting all peoples and places and planes, he in turn protects Sildëyuir.
One of Garrett’s prized possessions is relatively insignificant in value: a small glazed tile pained to look like the night sky of Sildëyuir, which when tapped emits a low sound of wind blowing through the forest. Garrett made this to help drown out the noise on rough nights, and now it is a sentimental reminder of the home he involuntarily left behind.
And so, Garrett has found himself a traveler, drawing attention wherever he goes thanks to his appearance. Rabbitfolk are, after all, rather uncommon, and he has not seen another since falling out of Sildëyuir. He does not consider himself a mercenary, for while he does accept payment for his work, he is not a soldier-for-hire. He tries to accept those jobs where people have a great need and chooses assignments based on that, rather than the size of their purse.
Garrett has occasionally tried to find his way back home. One such attempt resulted in Garrett doing battle in a cold, wintry forest with Ash by his side and two traveling companions nearby. They took the fight to a blight witch and had nearly reached her when - by some magical means - he became ensnared and enshrouded in the witch’s thicket. Garrett spent an unknown amount of time imprisoned in the wood, until being freed by the Third Family.
Initially left in the care of Maxi, owner of the Purple Scale in Ruinglast, by the Third Family, Garrett awoke and determined to seek out those who had freed him.
Collecting his effects and directions from Maxi, who also told Garrett he could find Ash outside, Garrett and Ash made their way from Ruinglast to the Underdark city of Menzoberranzan.
There the guards directed him to the House Baenre, where Garrett discovered to his shock that Rylan, leader of the Third Family, had just been crowned emperor.
With the Third Family
Meeting the Third Family
Initially left to wait in the Garden of Stone, Garrett was soon approached by Keres, a member of the Third Family about which he had heard little. After a brief introduction, they waited in silence for the arrival of the rest of the party.
Although it was evident Garrett had intruded upon their morning, Rylan invited Garrett to breakfast to hear more of his tale. Unfortunately, Garrett could not answer any questions about the nature of the blight witch, having stumbled into her literally by accident, but Rylan took a special interest in Garrett’s personal history in Faerun.
Garrett soon found himself invited into a telepathic conversation with the entire party as Rylan discussed their next plans. This was certainly more than Garrett had bargained for, and he found himself quite lost as to the particulars of what was going on. However, when Rylan mentioned several times that they were going to fix not just Faerun but all the planes and pantheons, Garrett decided that this was a cause in which he could put his abilities to the test.
Garrett found himself invited to go with the Third Family as they descended into the Abyss to do battle, and Rylan even included Garrett in his orders for Bella, the First Blade, to outfit the party with Drow bracers.
After some hours to prepare, they met up again. Keres instructed everyone to hold on to her hand (or else bits would be left behind), and Garrett found himself transported along with the Third Family to the Abyss.
The Demogorgon’s Demise
Garrett found himself approaching the the Argent Palace in the city of Zeletar. There, he was introduced to Graz’zt and Tasha (Kam and Keres’ respective parents) and the party, with their help, began to plan their attack on the Demogorgon. Garrett sat listening, stroking Ash’s head, while everyone seemed to talk around him.
Rylan and Kam and Keres floated ideas with Graz’zt and Tasha about how to spin the attack and hopeful destruction of the Demogorgon both politically and in the court of public opinion. There was talk of ripping a spark from the monster? creature? thing, which Garrett still only vaguely understood as necessary for eventually fixing the planes.
He watched with interest as Ruinfea and Thea offered Kam and Keres a blind pull from a bag of treasure they claimed from a Fey dreamscape, and was somewhat surprised when Thea apologized for not offering him the chance, saying it was a rite of passage into the Third Family. Garrett knew he and Ash had wandered into things – as they were wont to do – and held no ill will in the giving of gifts.
It was Kam who finally broached the subject of what, exactly, Garrett brought to the table. He explained that he tinkered about, and generally kept people and things from falling apart – and tried to put them back together when he did. Garrett also implied that he had a few options if things took a more direct approach, for which Kam told him flatly there was no time for vagueness.
Garrett would have preferred to keep his Bolts of Escalating Retort secret until they were needed – they were usually his weapon of last resort, after all – but knowing the trick would be revealed soon enough he explained how he was able to fire ballista bolts from an ordinary crossbow. Kam and Rylan seemed impressed and immediately made them a pivotal point of their plan: use tethers attached to the bolts to ensnare the Demogorgon, bring it to its knees, and then rip out the spark. Garrett was fine with merely being useful.
The talk continued about what each person would do, but Garrett seemed to have one job: allow Keres’ to fly him into the air, then shoot the Demogorgon. There was some half-joking, half-serious laughter about what would happen if Keres dropped him.
Their tactical talk concluded, they made their way via a secret path to the Gaping Maw, home of the Demogorgon. Now separated from all other people, Garrett began to be suspicious of the Third Family. Perhaps they were intrigued by Ash, or wanted his bolts, or had some other hidden agenda. He began to shudder at the thought of anyone holding him.
That came sooner rather than later, as Kam led them down a path to a raging sea beating against a gigantic, monstrous tower a quarter mile from shore. Rylan carried Garret as they flew across the waves. He was kind, though, in giving Garrett a pet bag to keep Ash with him in the air.
Looking at the party carefully, Rylan declared that the Demogorgon already had already infiltrated the minds of the party – all but his own, that is. Garrett, though, felt fine.
They made their way up to the top of the tower and found themselves on a large plain covered in bone and flesh and sinew. The Demogorgon, shrouded in fog and mist, tore flying creatures from the air for the simple desire to kill.
As Kam stepped out to provide a distraction, Keres took Garrett into the air and put him in a good position to fire when the time was right.
The Demogorgon suitably distracted, Garrett saw Kam and Rylan attack the beast before Rylan reached into a human-sized cavity carved by his sword, pull out something glittering, and shove it into Kam’s chest. Garrett was about to take his shot when darkness fell and he could no longer see the battlefield. But Keres had done her job well, and Garrett fired off the shot anyway. Though lost in the dark, the bolt flew true and embedded itself in the creature’s shoulder.
Garrett waited patiently for another signal, but none came before Keres dropped him. She wasn’t hit or frightened or otherwise lost her grip: she just dropped him. For an instant Garrett was glad to be free of her, before realizing he was now falling to the ground. Thankfully, he had feather fall for just such a reason, but didn’t feel comfortable firing into the darkness. He might be suspicious, but the only one who’d acted against him was directly above him, and what goes up must come down.
Things must have been going poorly down below as well, for out of the darkness came Rylan’s voice:
GET IT TOGETHER, NOW
The presence of a god washed over Garrett and the feelings he harbored against the Third Family faded. What had he been thinking?
Keres now swooped down and caught Garrett, saying nothing. By now the darkness lifted and Garrett saw two Glabrezau, apparently recently angry at each other: one of them holding on the rope he’d fired and the other standing over Lacroix in a rather threatening manner. These Blabrezau turned out to be wild-shaped Ruinfea and polymorphed Thea. Garrett fired off one more shot before Kam finished off the Demogorgon and, its master now gone, the tower began to crumble as salt into the sea.
Garrett was flown back across the waves to solid ground, where the party regrouped and then returned to the Argent Palace. Rylan and Kam and Keres and Thea were welcome to stay in the palace, and Garrett and the others made their way to a tavern recommended by Kam, along with certain . . . messages . . . that would guarantee their safety.
After spending the night, Garret returned with the rest to the Underdark and House Baenre. There, he was invited to continue with the party as they attempted to enter Fäerun and continue their mission. Garret expressed doubt that they would be able to do so, having failed to often in the past, but Rylan seemed to imply he had a secret way in.
The party resupplied itself in the markets, which were now being cleared of its slave markets thanks to an edict from Rylan. Garret was able to replace his ballista bolts, though at 1,000 gold apiece, he may have overpaid. Joining up with everyone else in a clothier, he and the rest of the party prepared themselves for the cold that awaited them.
Garret and the rest followed Rylan to a secret harbor, where was anchored a boat with rather magical properties. Loraypiloted the ship into dark waters under starry skies. Soon, the party found itself surrounded by floating balls of light, which stung as they brushed against several of the party, including Garrett.
Attracted to the orbs, Ruinfea reached out and touched one. This was a mistake, as the creatures turned out to be malevolent rather than benevolent, and the party found itself targeted by lightning strikes. Perhaps due to the metal on his person, they seemed to target Garrett, and he would surely have died had Thea and Keres not come to his aid, helping him heal and spiriting him below decks.
A ship appeared, driving off the attackers and rescuing Garret and the Third Family from further harm. As the ship drew near, a voice called out, and the captain identified himself as Jarlaxle Baenre – Rylan’s uncle. The party was healed and rested for the night in a tavern in Waterdeep before heading out into the Ardeep Forest.
Though the party tried to make as little impact as possible, they still attracted the attention of a shambling mound and its offspring. They were able to defeat them both with varied fire attacks, though Jar found himself literally caught in the crossfire. Finally, they found refuge at a lodge in the woods. Entering it, they found themselves granted hospitality by The Dagda – one of the Tuatha de Danaan, brother of Oghma, and who revealed himself to be Rylan’s father in an emotional scene.
That night, Thea regaled a very large crown with the exploits of the Third Family, and Garret was touched to see himself mentioned in the story with them. After the song, which lasted for three hours, ended, the entire party found itself thronged by well-wishers, and Garrett found some strange metal pressed into his had as a gift.
When the crowds departed, the party sat near the fire as each member shared more of their own story. Garret, too, shared his story, and though he felt some discomfort when Kam implied Garret deserted his duty, he felt a little closer to the party. He also appreciated their showing him that even broken things have uses, such as gold repairing broken pottery or in creating a stained-glass window. Their talk then turned to plans, and it was decided that, in the morning, the would make use of Ecne’s library to research their options.
The next day after breakfast, the party minus Kam assembled in the library, where Keres seemingly pulled information out of thin air. She asked Garrett to help mark places on a map, which Ash helped hold down by sitting on it. They had located the probable location of four treasures or relics when Rylan realized that Lacroix, who had gone out on a separate mission for Keres and Rylan, hadn’t checked in. Using various magical means, it was determined he was in trouble, and Rylan was able to get a direction of his location.
Realizing it would be quicker if the party could fly, Rylan took Thea, Garrett, and Banner to his father and asked him a favor: to give us wings, if only temporarily. Making a concoction of each of their hairs (or fur, as in the case of Garrett), the party was able to fly to Lacroix’s location: a cave in the mountains.
Sneaking inside, they were met by an ice-wall barrier, which Rylan got the party around using misty step. Rylan was able to take out a guard, and indicated there were at least four more in a cavern around Lacroix. Peering into the room, it became apparent Rylan had miscounted. The cavern was a living space, and a dozen or so masked individuals surrounded Lacroix, with a few of them paying attention to a golden idol of some deity.
The battle both seemed to stretch on and on and at the same time be over in a minute. Rylan and Keres immediately took out two of the cultists and frightened four others. Ruinfea summoned a steam elemental and burned a few of them, while Garrett used catapult to throw the idol across the room at the fleeing cultists, bludgeoning four of them (outright killing one). Thea reached out and used “heat metal” to melt a cultist’s golden mask to their face, while Fuego struck out with Holy Avenger and scoring a critical hit. The remaining cultists tried to fight back, focusing their attacks on Brioche and shooting her with arrows. Rylan now focused on healing Lacroix, who’s wings were gone as well as a foot. Keres struck out again, Garrett tripped the remaining cultists up by casting web, and Fuego lit them on fire, as did Brioche. Thea once again melted a mask to a face, and Ruinfea finished the job with some well-thrown ice knives. With two cultists left, Rylan used a spell to grapple them with vines, and Keres went in for the interrogation.
Only a few questions in, and there was a voice from the corner. The cultist’s god had been summoned by their blood on her idol, and Waukeen now appeared. Keres had hostile words for Waukeen; understandable, given her background, and it seemed the encounter would come to blows. In fact, Waukeen struck Keres across the face, to which Keres replied “My brother knows of that slap.” Rylan struck out with his sword, dealing more damage to Waukeen than Waukeen dealth to him, but Waukeen held a tight grip on it nonetheless. Seeming to decide that we weren’t worth her time and trouble, Waukeen disappeared.
Turning their attention back to Lacroix, he lamented the state of his home (!) which the party helped clean by tossing the dead cultists outside in a ravine. Several party members, including Keres, Thea, and Garrett, kept a mask or two. Rylan carried Lacroix as the party flew back to the lodge of the Dagda.
Fighting Waukeen, and Aftermath
Back at the lodge, it was decided to take to fight directly to Waukeen herself. Keres and Rylan came up with a plan for drawing her out of her palace and into the goblin market, which was located on a different plane than where the party currently was.
The plan to disguise the party as followers of Waukeen ran into a snag when LaCroix pointed out that none of the masks would fit Garrett. Rylan offered him and Ash a spot in his bag of animal holding along with Brioche (which Brioche also consented to), leading Keres and Kam to joke about pulling a rabbit out of a hat and letting the cat out of the bag.
Garret, Ash, and Brioche rode in the bag to the market, where the party – with the help of a goblin alliance negotiated by Rylan – successfully drew Waukeen into a tent and away from a majority of her retinue. Kam sprung the trap, and Garret listened for his moment, shouting “Tada, bitch!” and sending two bolts through one of Waukeen’s knees in two rounds of combat.
Surprisingly, one of Waukeen’s followers proved harder to defeat than Waukeen herself, but eventually Waukeen yielded. Her divine spark was ripped out and given to Keres, who proceeded to make Waukeen choke on her own coin while Kam took her head.
However, Waukeen had one last trick up her sleeve, and through some trick of magic, several divine ranks were transferred from Keres to Fuego, where they settled.
As the party left, Keres treated the defeated Waukeen’s followers with dignity, encouraging them to live their own lives. She seemed to bear no ill will towards Fuego, but Kam . . .
As they stepped back into the Lodge via a doorway, Fuego began to show signs of distress beyond the skills of the party to heal.
Thea and Garrett went off to find a cleric, finding instead The Traveler, who introduced them to Scáthach. While she could not help the party, one of her clerics, known as Ari, could.
The cleric attended to Fuego while the party waited outside his room – most in the hall, though Rylan prayed in the library while Kam and Keres practiced outside. Ash kept Thea company as she was apart from Keres, and she expressed an interest in learning how to care for Ash at some point in the future.
Rylan returned from prayer and informed the party that while Fuego’s symptoms might be cured momentarily, he would need a more permanent solution.
Keres and Kam returned and the party discussed the possibility of going after the cauldron artifact first, as it supposedly possessed healing qualities, leading to a disagreement between Rylan and Kam, and an almost-argument between Thea and Kam.
But these differences were put aside and the party made its way buy foot back to Waterdeep (the shambling mounds giving Kam a wide berth), and from there Rylan’s uncle Jar offered the party passage to Whitefish Bay.
It was during this voyage that Rylan approached Garrett with a question: would he make Brioche armor? Garret would have accepted the commission at no cost, considering it just a small favor against the massive debt he owed the rest of the party, but Rylan insisted, giving Garrett a shardcaster rifle, which Garrett needed to modify as it was designed for someone much larger than himself.
As he sketched Brioche and jotted down some thoughts for the armor (the details of which would have to wait until another time), the party all contributed to Garrett the various leathers and armors they had collected over the course of their travels. Kam even gave Garrett the Greatsword of Wounding he took off the (previous) First Blade, so that a weapon used to harm Rylan would now help protect him.
Leaving the ship, Ruinfea (with Keres’ help) guided the party into the Drowned Forest. Garret soon found himself carrying Ash, and was quickly struggling himself in the more-than-swampy wood.
The Cauldron Catastrophe
Leaving the ship, Ruinfea (with Keres’ help) guided the party into the Drowned Forest. Garret soon found himself carrying Ash, and was quickly struggling himself in the more-than-swampy wood. However, the going came easier as the party approached a desecrated cairn. Rylan used located object to detect the cauldron, and the party made their way inside. Rylan guarded the door while the rest of the party searched, with Keres finding the cauldron as a bauble on the corpse in the tomb.
A low hum had filled the air, and now hoofbeats started to approach. Rylan recognized it as something he would refer to only as The Nope Horse.
The party discussed ways of leaving, and ended up talking too long. Keres tried to planar shift the party, but that didn’t work. The area was in some kind of magical lock. At that moment, the Root of War tore the roof off the cairn. Ruinfeawild-shaped into a fish in an attempt find a way out; Keres took to the air, and Kam and Rylan tried to attack. The Root of War merely shrugged off the attacks as if they were nothing and proceeded to knock Kam to the ground.
Garrett, casting “fly” on himself, joined Keres in the air while the others tried to make their way out of the cairn. Kam wasn’t moving and Rylan stumbled, leaving Thea to begin hauling Kam – still unmoving – out of danger.
It was at this moment a large doorway opened in the fabric of reality, with Tasha (bleeding from her nose) holding it open and Graz’zt stepping through. Graz’zt was able to distract the Root of War long enough for the party to make its way through the door (whether by flight or dash or misty step) before coming through himself.
The party thus found itself in the part of Hades where Tasha resided, as Kam opened his eyes. Graz’zt and Tasha explained they had felt Kam die, and heard a call from Keres, and came to their rescue.
Tasha demanded the party tell her what happened, furious that somehow Kam and Rylan had taken such a beating while the rest of the party remained (in her mind) relatively uninjured (though in fact many of them were at about half health). Tasha’s tone was biting, which while understandable, was also jarring to many of the party members.
When things had settled down, Rylan and Kam and Keres and Thea went to their rooms in the royal apartments, while Fuego and Ruinfea and Garrett and Ash were escorted to a guest suite. They all had trouble falling asleep, but once Garrett was asleep he was dead to the world – which is why Ash kept a watch for him.
Training Day(s) in The Grey Waste
Garret was awakened by Ash the next morning, alerted to a knock on the door. Ruinfea and Fuego were already up – but not by much. Over a breakfast of finger foods, Thea explained that Keres and Rylan and Kam would need time to rest and recover and come to terms with what had happened. This needed to be a time for family. “So what will we be doing, then?” Garrett asked, to which Thea replied “family things,” blinking wide as if the answer were obvious.
The group was interrupted by another knock on the door. It was Tasha, who led a group of four individuals into the chamber, said “they’re all yours,” and disappeared with panache.
They introduced themselves to the group and the group to them: Kiara: a paladin/monk with her mount Big Z currently in human form; Reiner: a warlock with his companion ambush drake Ryder; and Nesryn: a fighter. Tasha had asked them here in part to help the group train up for the tasks ahead of them. The new group of folks seemed just as delighted with Ash as everyone else.
As they each discussed their strengths (and the party included their weaknesses, too), Nesryn made a huge impact on Garrett by saying “I like you, cuddly bunny man,” causing Garrett to blush under his fur. Noticing this, Thea laughed and said “can I call you bunny, too?”
“You can call me bunny if you want to,” Garrett replied.
They broke up into groups for training: Kiara with Ruinfea, Reiner and Big Z with Fuego and Thea, and Nesryn and Ryder with Garrett and Ash. Garrett was pleased to have a teacher that wasn’t a book, and while the other groups did their thing, Nesryn helped Garrett clear the cobwebs from his mind. They sparred, and while it was obvious Nesryn wasn’t unleashing her full potential, it was also clear that Garrett earned every hit he made.
Despite some rocky fits and starts, things clicked when Garrett used Ash to impose disadvantage on one of Nesryn’s attacks. When it failed, he moved in to strike with a short sword he previously enhanced with brandishing smite. When the blow landed, Nesryn looked at Garrett with a look of approval and said “Good job,” calling an end to their practice session.
Meeting up with the others, Garrett learned Ruinfea had received a vision involving Kiara and Nesryn and Reiner, and – as no word had come from Rylan, Kam, or Keres that their situation had changed – it was decided they would travel together to retrieve their “spoils of war” as the man in the vision had called the things in his possession.
As they planned their next moves, the merged parties also began telling stories.
As Thea played her lyre, it was decided that Thea, Ruinfea, and Garrett would help Nesryn, Reiner, and Kiara retrieve their things from Soren. After a rest, the party made it’s way – led by Reiner – through the Gray Waste to a seemingly abandoned tower. Ruinfea spotted a cat; and the cat spotted the party. Certain they had now lost the element of surprise, they cautiously made their way inside.
There they saw a large block with several weapons embedded in it. As they discussed what to do, Fuego looked up and noticed Soren standing on a balcony. Making use of the skills they’d learned or been reminded of the previous day, they all fought against Soren, who seemingly wove in and out of the shadows. Eventually Soren was worn down, and Garrett shot the killing blow up through Soren’s torso, surprising Soren (obviously) but also Reiner and Kiara, who had been unaware of Garrett’s special talent.
However, Soren had a surprise as well: he wasn’t actually dead, and he wasn’t actually an enemy. He was a celestial ally (of sorts) with Kiara, and had helped set up a training exercise for Garrett, Ruinfea, and Thea - - which they passed. Introducing everyone properly, Kiara declared the trio now on the path to becoming Hero Deities in their own right, she offered them their choice of the weapons, which had previously belonged to her own party. Ruinfea chose a sickle, Thea a short sword, Fuego a ???, and Kiara gave Garrett a crossbow – certain he could pull off his “ballista trick” with it.
The group now larger by one celestial and one cat, who got along well with Ash, they made their way back to Tasha’s. On the way, Garrett talked to Kiara and Z, who in turns told him about Beausiphus and their party’s fight against the great dragon-god Tiamat – as well as their own internal struggles. The pair offered Garrett much-needed insight in both practical and personal matters, and Garrett in return offered Kiara to hold Ash.
Back in their suite at Tasha’s, Feugo pulled Garrett aside and the two talked. Fuego was interested in how Garrett did what he did, and Garrett wanted to find out how he could best help Fuego. Seemingly small things Fuego said had a great impact on Garrett, and the talk between the two ended in them confirming their friendship.
Afterwards, Garrett and Ash spent some time working on the armor Rylan had requested for Brioche.
Garrett took the sketches he had made and, as he began to work, prayed to Oberon:
Oberon, I know you are not usually a god of armorers, but I pray you guide my mind and hands, so this thing of metal and leather will protect my friend of flesh and blood who will in turn defend the green places of the worlds and their inhabitants. May my hammer blows be as a song of praise to you.
And as he worked and meditated on his god and his new family, he found that the task became easy, and the end result something beyond his own capabilities:
- The entire thing was half plate armor, with the metal pieces reflecting light with the colors of an autumn fire, the leather pieces tooled to resemble dragon scales, and the metal joinery resembling cats’ paws and rabbits’ feet.
- The bone given him by Rylan was prominent up top, while a system of metal and leather protected the skeletal structure of the wings (with a similar system wrapping the tail).
- the sword given by Kam made gave the entire armor a +3 bonus, as well as being formed into a blade-tail covering for Brioche. Whether or not it kept its magical qualities remained to be seen.
- The armor bore the arcane propulsion infusion, without using one of Garrett’s infusion slots, and he got the idea this armor would outlast him. It also meant Brioche would have increased speed, a set of returning melee gauntlets, and the armor would magically replace any missing limb or similar appendage. Furthermore, it could not be removed against Brioche’s will.
- The armor provided resistance to piercing and necrotic damage.
- In gratitude, Garrett fashioned a set of golden antlers from his some of his mask of Waukeen as homage to Oberon, placing them in an inconspicuous place,
Ash woke Garrett up the next morning by batting him in the head; the others were already up. Ruinfea went to fetch Rylan, and upon their return he was introduced to Nesryn and Reiner. Fuego filled him in on the particulars, and as they all discussed their next moves involving Tiamat, Garrett used the opportunity to show Brioche and Rylan (and everyone else) the armor he and Ash (and Oberon) created. Pleased, Brioche strutted about and Rylan knelt down to give Garrett a hug, which he accepted. Garrett also passed on information given him by Kiara and Z, namely that he should ask his god to pact or bond he and Brioche, so that if the worst were to happen and Brioche die, she could be recalled as Rylan’s mount.
At this point they were interrupted by Tasha, who had prepared the cauldron for Fuego’s healing. Essentially, the Fae members of the party had to drown Fuego in the cauldron, but instead of death, it’s waters brought healing - complete and total healing. Not only was Fuego healed and the divine tanks return to Keres, but Fuego regained his memory and found himself free of his patron. No longer the warlock Fuego, he was the druid Barinn Orish, though he insisted the party called him whatever was easier.
They returned to their suite and, a few minutes later with their planning complete, Rylan and Garrett spend some time together. As Rylan made his poisons, Garrett constructed a butterfly homunculus to accompany them in battle, and the two talked about how to cast spells in a way that wouldn’t hurt certain members of the party. Recalling Rylan’s reactions in the recent catastrophe regarding the Root of War, Garrett asked if it would be okay for him to touch Rylan if absolutely necessary. Rylan gave his permission, and told Garrett that they would have a long talk back at the Dagda’s lodge about just why that meant so much to him.
Now prepared, they all went through a portal into the realm and lair of Tiamat. The dragon sensed their presence immediately, but as she took some time to emerge from her cave, they had some time to prepare. Staying toward the center of the group, Garrett cast Branding Smite on his crossbow and positioned Ash and the butterfly closer to the front to be of the best use.
Rylan and Nesryn were able to attack Tiamat as she emerged from her cave, and between the two of them managed to sever Tiamat’s fire head, with Rylan pocketing the stone left behind as it disappeared. The party continued the fight, with Tiamat fighting back with jaws and wings and lair, dealing comparatively minor damage to several members of the party – her attacks mitigated significantly thanks to Rylan’s poisons.
Garret was able to shoot Tiamat with one of his ballista arrows, and even Ash was able to strike blow against her after being knocked to the ground by Tiamat. When Tiamat went after Rylan a second time, Thea lashed out with Hellish Rebuke, destroying the acid head and subsequently picking up its stone – a gift intended for Tasha.
Garrett was able to resist most of Tiamat’s attacks, until her lightning breath caught him and nearly killed him – it was only through the quick-thinking of Rylan that he survived. The butterfly and Ash were not so lucky, each of them being destroyed with one of Tiamat’s wing attacks. This seemed to anger the party, even though Garrett thought they knew he could bring them back.
Tiamat summoned a Grey Dragon, which was almost immediately ganged up on by Z and Brioche, and then obliterated by Nesryn’sarrows. Ruinfeatook off one of Tiamat’s heads using a thunder attack, which from Garrett’s perspective looked like chiropracty gone wrong. He didn’t see who took the fourth head, but he definitely saw Thea force her sword into Tiamat’s fifth and final head, bringing the dragon down.
The party gathered a few trophies such as scales and teeth and claws. Thea carefully gathered up what was left of Ash and gave the pieces to Garrett, who thanked her and told her now would be a good time if she wanted to see how Garrett took care of him. Garrett also made sure to gather his ballista bolts and examine the cave before leaving with some scales, teeth, and claws for use in his crafting.
A Talk and A Tower (or Two)
Arriving back at the Tasha’s, Garret spent some time focusing on Oberon, such as he could on this plane of existence. Eventually, Thea knocked on his door; she’d come to watch how he took care of Ash. Garrett explained how artificers created their companions, how he specifically kept making Ash from his previous forms, and how he talked to Ash through the process. Then, reminding Ash of all they had been through together, Garrett remade.
Ash woke up and almost immediately jumped into Thea’s arms. Smiling, Garrett gave Thea some cloths and showed her how to grease and oil Ash to keep them in good working order. As they continued to talk, Thea asked Garrett to fashion a weapon for her that would incorporate both her viol and her short sword. In return, Garrett only asked that Thea show him Rylan’s room so he could deliver a note of thanks – which he did.
Garret did not intend to disturb Rylan, but Rylan must have heard him in the hall and came out. The two had a heart-to-heart conversation that left Garret with the feeling that he was exactly where he needed to be, and that Rylan was both his friend and a leader worth following.
Garrett then spent some time studying his artificer’s spells, making a list of materials, and working on Thea’s musical weapon before drifting off to sleep.
The next day, the party (Garret & Ash, Ruinfea, Fuego, Nesryn, and Rylan & Brioche) met back up, and Rylan expressed concern that something had happened to his father, the Dagda. When he proposed traveling back to the lodge to check in on things; Garrett expressed concern that he would be leaving without properly expressing his gratitude to Tasha. Assuring him they would be returning shortly, Garrett joined the party in using Rylan’s ring – a gift from his father – to return to the lodge.
The lodge was in a state of minor chaos, serving as a retreat from those that had gone out to battle the Root of War. Hearing their side of things, the battle had not gone well. The Root of War had overrun the front lines and the Dagda feared dead when suddenly he withdrew from battle – to go and smash us in the Drowned Forest.
Rylan caught his father up on our exploits, as well as relaying a bit of Legend Lore given by Reiner upon our return to Tasha’s:
"A Tower of Luskan once planted on solid rock now drifts East, fleeing from the Obsidian Born Lord.
Among the rocks of the City of Shadows you will find the Stone, which holds fast the doors of the Broken Weave, and he that Sundered it."
Conferring with the Dagda, Thea and Rylan concluded that our next move should be to visit her Aunt living in the far North. Fuego sent messages by his familiar back to Tasha and those still with her; Garrett included a note of appreciation in hopes he would not be perceived a rude houseguest.
Using Planar Shfit, Ruinfeamoved the party to their destination: a tower of Lusk in the far north of Faerun, where Thea’s aunt Ana was First Evocator. The wind was bitter cold and the snow deep (compared to Garrett) and though hopping helped keep his blood circulating, he still found it tough going. Brioche offered space in the Bag of Animal Holding and Fuego offered to carry him; Garrett hopped into the bag with Brioche and Ash (who had gotten in for the initial shift).
The party was welcomed and led inside by Ruinfea’s gbrother Lindor, who Garrett had only heard about in Thea’s song. The party allowed the two a moment to reconnect, and then Garrett asked to be let out of the bag. Seeing Brioche and Garrett and Ash emerge, Lindor was intrigued by the Bag of Animal Holding, having only known of regular Bags of Holding to this point.
The group was then led into the First Evocator’s office/laboratory/workshop, where Thea made the appropriate introductions. Lindor and Ana told the party how, just a short while before, 150 other wizard and/or sorcerers had – in the middle of the night – entered the other tower of Lusk as if in a deep sleep and cast some kind of magic that caused the tower to rise and float away. Though some had tried to find the tower and those that had gone with it, none had returned.
Thea shared the Legend Lore, and Ana and Lindor agreed that the tower may be in a town far to the east: Skund. Ruinfeaasked many questions about the nature of the weave, which Garrett found interesting and helpful. Using her gifts of prophecy, Ana realized the Legend Lore had changed slightly from “he that sundered it” to “she that sundered it” – meaning Shar was behind whatever we were facing, not Cyric.
However, the cards also indicated that now may be the best time to act, so Anna opened a way through the mist for the party to cover the continent of Faerunin a matter of minutes. Standing before the city, the party was confused. The city of Skundwas supposed to be destroyed; instead, it stood tall and proud before them. Rylan found a smuggler’s entrance into the city, and while some of the party chose to hide and sneak, others did not. Rylan and Brioche and Garret and Ash walked right in, and Ruinfeaaccompanied “Team Fae” in the shape of a fox.
Team Fae met a supremely energetic and enthusiastic innkeeper who was just thrilled to meet them. Introducing themselves as Ryan Goodfellow, Pumpkin (Brioche), Gourd (Garrett), and Poppy (Ruinfea), the were able to determine that this young woman firmly believed in what she was saying/doing. The others came out of hiding, introducing themselves as Leaf (Nesryn), Warren (Fuego), and Liza Minelli (Thea). It took some time to extract themselves from the exuberance, but they gained three names to look into, as well as learning that the tower (which looked suspiciously like the missing tower from Lusk) had supposedly been abandoned long ago.
Fuego thought the town might be enchanted; sending a message to Rylan, Ruinfeasuggested kidnapping someone and seeing what “dispel magic” would do to them – Nesryn objected and Garrett said the innkeeper would probably let them just do it if they asked nicely.
Talking it over, it seemed to the party that the town was the cork holding back the chaos caused by the sundering of the weave.
“What now?” they asked each other.
The Cheerful Town
The party found that while there had been a city council, the council itself had been disbanded some years prior (no one knew exactly how long). The running of the city was now in the hands of three individuals: Mr. Brand, mining operations; Mama Hornbone, religion; The Magistrate, politics and secular public affairs.
The longer they stayed in Skund, the more they all realized they stood out. Rylan seemed to pull money out of thin air; in reality Reiner had been walking with the party under a kind of shroud of invisibility, and he helped Rylan make sure their money would be accepted – it had something to do with the age of the money. Rylan then bought them all Skund-appropriate garb, and they talked about where to go next.
Garrett seemed to think it was Nesryn who pointed out the mine was relatively open and was likely to cause the least disturbance. They found the mine just as the workers came out for their midday break/meal. Rylan cast “pass without trace” on the party, and they stealthily and sneakily slipped inside.
There, the mine appeared to me mostly muddy rock with nothing of value and no veins of any kind. A singe track led further into the mine. Following it around a bend, they were faced with a choice: the track bore right, while on their left was an elevator. Reiner pointed out that whatever they were hiding or whatever they were after would likely be further in, so the party took the elevator.
As they descended, Garrett noticed that the air was getting hotter, which normally didn’t happen except under certain circumstances, like with pockets of natural gas or perhaps magma nearby. When they stopped, Thea and Reiner expressed concern: by their observation, they’d passed the water table long ago – or at least, where the water table should be.
Reiner dropped his invisibility, and Garret watched as he transformed into his hybrid-bat form to use echolocation to get a better sense of what the party was facing down in the mine. He soon told the party that the track continued a short way before opening into a large, water-filled cavern. He also sensed something scaly in the water. Hearing this, Rylan used his Divine Sense and concluded whatever was there was neutral in nature.
The party cautiously advanced, entering the cavern and bearing right along a somewhat narrow rocky path that curved around the water. Reiner commented that he still couldn’t sense the bottom of the pool. Looking around, Garrett and the others finally noticed veins of rock or mineral with fairly obvious tool marks along them. Rylan turned to Garrett expectantly, and Garrett was relieved when he was able to identify the material as labrodite– a quite pretty mineral that also held certain magical qualities, among them protection from negative energy, focusing psychic abilities, and strengthening intuition. He considered himself lucky to find a good-sized chunk that had been left behind and promptly pocketed it (or rather, placed it in his bag).
Renier was still determined to get to the bottom of things – literally – and dove into the water. Garrett and the others watched in surprise as he soon resurfaced – not by swimming but riding what appeared to be a giant turtle shell. Soon the creature itself surfaced, and some of the party recognized it as a turtle dragon. “It’s a baby!” Nesryn exclaimed somewhat excitedly, and proceeded to try to fill the party in on what they were looking at.
Rylan and Feugo tried to talk to it in draconic, and Ruinfea (still as a fox) tried nuzzling it, but Brioche (as a dragon herself) seemed to have the most influence in keeping the hatchling calm. And indeed, it couldn’t have been more than a few months old.
Reiner pointed out that there was no other way in or out of the cavern, so the baby must have been magicked there in some way. Nesryn commented that the climate was all wrong for a dragon of this type, and Rylan noticed there were no other living things down here. The poor thing would soon be hungry. Almost as one, they all decided to save the turtle dragon. But how?
It was Rylan who came up with the solution. Conferring with Brioche and Garrett, he pointed out that the Bag of Pet Holding would still hold the dragon, but it also meant that – due to its size – no other creature could be carried or hidden in it until it was empty again. Ash took up their place by Garrett, and Garret and Brioche agreed to the plan. Using some psychic ability to communicate, Rylan asked the baby dragon if she wanted to go home and convinced her to wiggle into the bag. It was quite the sight, watching such a large creature climb into the bag, but in the end, it was accomplished and soon careful listeners could hear happy sounds of splashing and eating as the dragon found some semblance of comfort.
About twenty-five minutes or so had passed since the party first entered the mine, and they felt it was time to get going. Who knew when the miners would return from their break? They made their way back outside without incident, and noticed the workers were still relaxing with no sign of returning to work any time soon. It appeared whoever was running things here really did want to give the semblance of happiness.
They considered going to see Mr. Brand, but instead chose to visit Mama Hornbone and the temple. As Thea pointed out, visiting the temple in other cities had given them extremely valuable insight. As they walked, they talked about the temple to Lliira. Even 800 years ago, when Skundwas supposed to have disappeared, the goddess had been rather obsolete. So what was she doing here? Things became even more confusing when they reached the temple complex and Reiner found the ground consecrated; the prayers of the people were going somewhere, and this was holy ground.
Rylan and Thea, though, had a plan which they’d been working on for Kam and would now try out on Reiner – if he agreed. They would cast “protection from good/evil” to keep him from the effects of the consecrated ground (in his case, a massive amount of acid damage). If both of them failed to keep concentration, they could whisk Reiner to safety with misty step or dimension door or something similar. Satisfied with the thought put into their plan, Reiner agreed, and they entered the temple.
Inside the worshippers and minor priestesses seemed happy, just like everything else in the city. Bouquets of flowers were strategically placed: clusters of pale pink roses, baby’s breath, and white lilies. Music filled the air, and Reiner cocked his head as if listening for something in the melody. Rylan had taken point, and he led the party straight to the woman in charge – and stopped short as a look of recognition crossed his face.
In a moment, Garrett heard Rylan in his head (and assumed Rylan was in everyone’s head at this point) telling him that this was the celestial that had attacked the party on their journey from the Plane of Knowledge to Eilistraee– and got away. The other had been killed and their sword given to Kam. This was one of the individuals on Rylan’s list. Concerningly, Rylan also realized she had made some powerful friends since they last met.
“Mama Hornbone” turned to the party and looked them each over. Then she smiled. “We had not expected you so soon. Please, won’t you join me for a moment?”
Oghmas's Final Chapter (?)
From his position in the mid-back of the group, Garrett noticed Thea lightly trace some music notes on Rylan’s back.
The party seemed to be in agreement, and combat was initiated. Rylan and Reiner and Nesryn all dearth significant blows to this unnamed enemy celestial. Ruinfea shifted from her fox form to a circle of stars, and Barrin/Fuego felt the return of his own Druid powers. Garret even scored a successful hit or two from his crossbow.
However, just when they were starting to get a feel for their enemy, she smiled. As she did so, time turned back and they found themselves as they were moments before, with sell slots and items exactly where they were before. "Now, are you ready to have a conversation or are we going to have to do this again?"
"Again, bitch." Thea told her sharply,a no once more battle was engaged. Although the celestial appears to grow slightly in both stature Abend power - as if she'd learned from the first round - the party was better prepared as well.
Once more they stabbed and shot and cast spells, and with more success than before. Garrett startled even himself when he scored a critical hit with a ballista bolt enhanced with both branding smite and arcane jolt. Rylan looked pleased.
Brioche joined in as well, making good use of her armor and bladed tail, and Garrett allowed himself a smile. Ruinfea called a dragon with cold breath attack, and between the two of them the dead started to look rather worn down indeed.
She seemed resigned to her fate and, instead of turning back time, fought to the end. It was Thea that took her down with a mind spike spell that, after a brief moment of looking like it had failed, caused the celestial to bleed profusely from her nose and fall to the ground, dead.
Inside the worshippers now turned toward the party with smiles still on their graces but murder in their eyes. Reiner summed skeletons to protect the party, and The played her lyre to poi them to sleep. They quickly looted the body and the temple and left in haste, with Rylan locking the door behind them.
Outside, things ha changed. The streets were deserted and people were streaming into the "forbidden" tower. Between Rylan and Brioche, Oghma;s presence was detected in the town, and it was decided to go after him.
It was then Thea and Garett remembered their plan to work in unison to turn a long rest into a catnap. Garrett would be down a spell slot or two, but it would be woth it to have the rest of the party get their health and spell slots back.
Ten minutes later Anderso they were ready to go again. Several options were discussed, but in the end they decided to do what had been done in the goblin market: draw out Oghma with a pretend prisoner: in this case, Reiner.
As the pastry began to disguise themselves, it was decided that Garrett should lead the party as he was one of the only ones Oghma had not yet met. Ryl;an handed him a holy symbol and scroll of Oghma's - itimes left to him by Bryn.
The various paladins and warlocks talked to their gods and patrons; Barron/Fuego looking noticibly relieved he did not hear anything. Garrett was neither of those, but offered a prayer to Oberon nonetheless. He was greatly surprised to feel a reassuring hand on his shooting arm, and he could swear he smelled the Feywild. Not just the Feywild - he sensed home. His ears wiggled and his nose wrinkled at the emotion.
He thought he had failed Oberon by being ill-prepared. Rylan noticed the conflicting emotion and asked gently "would you like something more to shoot?" Garrett said yes, and Rylan drew one of his special arrows from his skin and handed it over. "It's not one of your ballista bolts, but it'll still mess someone up." Garrett nodded in appreciation.
They followed Rylan's magic tracking to the council chamber. Entering it, they found it seemingly empty, though heavy with he smell of books and parchment and the sound of a pan flute filled the air. When Reinor tried to use echolocation to get a sense of things, Garrett admonished him in the style of a captor, saying "I told you to quit doing that."
Garrett found himself suddenly emboldened with inspiration and heroism from Thea, and just in time. A voice called to them from the corner, and Garrett found himself speaking to a older looking man with somewhat worn clothes and an eyepatch over one eye.
"And who might you be?"
"Oh, I'm a rabbitfolk."
"Not what, who."
"Oh, you want a name, or . . . ?"
"The artificer is fey, you see . . ." (Rylan)
"I am called Gourd."
"And who are you?" (Nesryn)
"You can call me Adam. You're not from here are you?"
"Well, I'm from near here. Just north, I think."
"I mean from the city. Tell me, why aren't you at the tower like everyone else?"
"Why should I be at the tower?"
"Asnwering a question with a question is rude, isn't it?"
"Wasn't that a question?" (Reiner)
"I didn't mean to offend, but I can't answer why I'm not doing something unless I know why they're doing it. It's like when I was growing up my mother would say 'If everyone jumped in the river would you do it too?' And I'd say no because I can't swim."
"Large ears prone to infection?"
"And large feet. And one too many pies."
"Hmm. I can't help but notice you have not answered the question. Every citizen would have felt a call to go to the tower; a call that cannot be ignored. So I know you do not exactly belong here. So; why are you here?"
"We were told this was where the magistrate was, and so we thought this was the place to come if we had a problem."
The man looked at Reiner. "And what is your problem with this . . . Undead?""
Garrett swallowed hard and kept down the bile he felt building up with what he had to say.
"Isn't that itself the problem?" While internally he thought please don't kill me please don't kill me please don't kill me (thinking of Reiner).
Adam laughed to himself. "Don't worry yourself, Gourd. I won't kill you just yet."
Garrett's eyes grew wide. He hadn't said that out loud, nor had he thought that in relation to Adam.
"Oh, I know."
Rylan must have sensed something was off, because Garrett felt a defensive wall go up around his mind.
"Now," continued Adam, "what is your purpose with brining this prisoner here? Is it a gift . . . Or an offering?"
"Does it matter?" Asked Nesryn.
"Bring the prisoner forward."
Garrett took a step forward, and then Reinrer resided. Garrett used the opportunity to turn around and - using his eyes - ask Rylan for help.
Adam touched Reiner, and Reiner used it to his advantage, casting a contaigion on Adam.
"You don't know what you've done," Adam said as a fog surrounded him and he grew to fifteen feet tall.
"Oh yes we do," replied Rylan as he misty-stepped up to Adam/Oghma and ripped out his spark of divinity. Rylan turned to Thea, who had bared her upper body to her sternum to just above her bra of holding, and shoved the divine spark into her chest.
Then Rylan and Reiner and Nesryn attacked Oghma, and battle proper began.
Oghma's Final (?) Chapter
Thea tried to lay hands on Oghma, but something distracted her. Ever the bard, she was able to somewhere persuade him that, despite all evidence to the contrary, that she was on his side.
Oghma cast "weird" and for a moment Garret thought he saw [redacted], but then Thea's heroism kicked in and he shrugged it off, casting Elemental Bane (fire) at Oghma - but Oghma simply shrugged it off as if it was nothing.
Something had happened to Ruinfea, and she seemed to be out for the duration.
Brioche took up a defensive stance between Nesryn and Oghma, and Oberon cast fireball on the party. Thea replied with Hellish Rebuke, which Oghma countered with a legendary save.
Reiner cast a spell that caused psyich damage not only to Oghma but also to the party. Rylan tried to poison him: failing to break a vial under Oghma's nose, he nonetheless succeeded on forcing some kind of liquid down his throat. It appeared that some of Oghma's resistances were weakening.
Fuego cast fireball in Oghma's chest and Thea cast Weight of 1,000 Years, which Oghma's negated with another legendary save.
Garett fired Rylan's gifted arrow, poisoning Oghma further, but filed to hit him a second time. In reply, Oghma cast Sphere of Darkness, causing the terrain to become difficult and casting some of the party into a blinding darkness.
Renier cast Eveneration; Oghma used his last legendary save. It was at this point that Reiner's "Nine Bastard Skellies" showed up and joined the fight. Some scored hits while one in particular tripped and lost a femur.
Rylan cast Faerie Fire on Oghma before wailing into him again, and since he could see Oghma, Garrett was able to fire off a ballista bolt.
Swing that Rylan had been hitting him every time he cast a spell, Oghma changed tactics and started stabbing at Reiner.
"Why don't you just give up?" He asked mockingly, and to all appearances he appeared unhurt.
"Never!" Rylan and Thea replied.
But Reiner cast Feeble Mind and then things stared going rather poorly for Oghma. The fight continued for another round, and Oghma's glamour dropped - revealing a aged and sickened man.
Nesryn stabbed him several times with her shortsword, and Thea laid him low with her abyssal dagger. As the life ebbed from him the party looked at Oghma, refusing to say anything.
Thea - with tears in her eyes and a look of sorrow on her face - plunged the dagger into Oghma's neck, causing blood to rush forth. A mirror of Oghma's would appeared on Thea, but she appeared not to notice. She gave a nod, and Reiner took his head.
The battle over, Ash finally came into the chamber. Garret smiled somewhat ruefully as he said "that's the last time I leave you outside."
The party knew they were depleted and needed rest. GArret wondered if it was safe, to which Rylan pointed out that Oghma's divine spark was still present in Thea and they were unlikely to be disturbed.
There was some talk of what this might mean for Thea. When it was pointed out that she was the new Oghma, she said "No, I'm just Thea."
Garrett used his downtime to finish Thea's viol, which he named Bard's Blade. He could think of no better time to present it to her than now, at the time of her ascendency.
The rest over, he gave it to her and she and the party looked at it with admiration. And then it was time to decide what to do. In the end, they decided to check out the Tower and perhaps find Mr Brand.
Brioche stretched to leave, and continued stretching. The golden dragon was now the size of a large horse and now capable of being ridden. She struggled through the door, and Rylan promised to help her work on shifting into a mug man form. Her armor had grown with her, and Rylan was able to find footholds and handholds to mount Brioche. Garret and Rylan agreed that a few minor alterations were in order to allow easier mounting and dismounting.
Scouting ahead, Rylan and Brioche saws something . . . Prismatic . . . At the top of the tower, and the townsfolk mining a strange rock. Reporting back to the party, Garrett recognized the stone as being from the Feywild, but Reiner determined that the stone was merely channeling whatever energy was at the top of the tower.
As the entire party came within sight, a man - appearing to be in charge and therefore Mr Brand - waved to them; Thea and Garrett returned the wave.
Someone- garrett wsn't sure who - whispered Lokkju as he called out "Hello, Adventurers! Come and claim your prize!"
"What prize?" asked Fuego while Thea said "I wasn't aware this was a competition."
"Your pride for winning, of course."
"The game. Or making it this far. But may I ask who you are?"
"Oh, no need to be so formal, Thea" he said with a laugh.
"And how is it you know my name?"
"Loki deals in names."
So, we were dealing with the trickster god. Thea and Loki talked for some time about the nature of Skund and the prize they had "earned" - the Hard of Ragnarok. With the understanding that the Root of war had upset Loki's destiny by killing Heimal prematurely, and that therefore whoever blew the horn would signal the end of the world, causing Loki to kill the blower and the blower to kill Loki, Thea claimed the prize and shoved it into her bra of holding.
Loki pushed at the sight, and then roared when Thea said "There's other treasures in there that I won't show you."
Garrett was uncertain what Thea decided to do about Skund. If she ended Oghma's creation, it would return to a ruin and everyone and everything return to the places and times they belonged. But they were all here to act as a ply keeping something in. What Garrett did see was the Tower heading back to its proper place, and then Rylan said "Well, it looks like we've got a walk ahead of us," and the party headed out once more.
Tempest & Tower
As the tower floated back to where it belonged, Garrett spent time thinking about his friends and the things he needed to do once he was able to rest: namely, praying properly to Oberon, fixing Rylan's armor, researching the materials he'd gathered, and caring for the crossbow.
Fuego interrupted his thoughts briefly, and the two spent a few minutes discussing a possible weapon for Fuego.
Rylan, too, mentioned the possibility of working more with Garrett, but remained cause on details and left the rabbit to his thoughts.
As the tower floated on, it appeared to be nearing a magically-created storm, but it's own natural defenses as a caster's tower rebuffed the elements. Drawing closer to the town of Lusk, the party realized the town was under attack. Groups of summoners and their summoned creatures were arrayed before the tower commanded by Thea's aunt- seemingly led by a sorcerer floating or flying in the air.
Eventually the party could make out their features, and Rylan and Thea simultaneously spat out "Glynn" in recognition.
To his own surprise, Garrett recognized him as well - as one Glynnmarrow Kent, with whom Garrett had traveled for some two years before splitting up. In fact, it was the party Garrett had joined with after leaving Glynn (or vice-versa) that had found him the victim of the blight witch . . .
"Wait, that's the Glynn who attacked you? I think I know him . . ."
Rylan and Thea looked at Garrett, shocked, while Nesryn and Reiner seemed rather indifferent - Glynn was before their joining the party, it seemed.
"What did he do to you?" Rylan demanded.
"Nothing. We traveled together for some two years. He didn't speak much, but he wasn't like this."
There wasn't time for much more as they only had minutes to prepare. Rylan and Thea would ride Brioche; Ruinfea wild shaped into an albatross and offered to carry Garrett, and - seeing Ruinfea - Fueogo changed into an albatross as well. Nesryn and Reiner and Ash would stay in the tower as it floated on.
And so, they rode/flew into battle, with Thea giving them all bardic inspiration along the way.
Glynn seemed singularly focused and did not see them approaching until Nesryn came into range and let loose with her arrows, initiating combat - which was both exciting and short.
Garrett only got one action - a firebolt that hit Glynn but failed to do much damage. It also resulted in Glynn recognizing Garrett and - staring at him darkly - set his jaw in determination (of something).
Some highlights from Garrett's point of view was the breath attack from Brioche, as well as a breath attack from Fuego. Garrett wondered if anyone had ever seen an albatross breathe fire before . . . Ruinfea and Rylan teamed up, with Ruinfea calling sixteen giant bats, which while half of them managed to bite at Glynn, also provided Rylan the cover he needed to set up a sneak attack on Glynn.
Using his own wings, Rylan successfully shot and stabbed Glynn, ending with a cold-clocking unarmed strike that took him out of commission. When Glynn began to fall, Rylan caught him and carried him back to the tower.
(Note: the battle was longer than this, and everyone participated, but Garret didn't see all that went on due to his position).
With Glynn out of commission, the storm began breaking up, which also seemed to signal to those below that their leader was gone. The tried to flee eastward, but were met by Keres, who proceeded to pick up and drop many of them, letting gravity do its work.
Overjoyed at seeing her girlfriend, Thea opened a dimensional door to her and the two flew back together. By this point, Rylan had his foot on the unconscious Glynn's neck.
Staring at his former traveling companion, Garrett only half-heard Kere's explanation of what had brought her back to the party, but his ears perked up when his brain processed that Nesryn had received a letter and was needed elsewhere.
She said her goodbyes in her own way, giving each member of the party a wooden tab she called "Token of the Outlaws" and assured them it would give them aid and passage if they ever found themselves in her part of the world (which, Rylan indicated, was near the Dagda's hut).
The tower now settled itself back into position, and it seemed to be repairing itself. The party was met by Ruinfea's brother Linder, who explained that Thea's aunt was otherwise preoccupied.
The party tried to give him answers as to what had happened, but the explanation came out rather disjointed.
In regards to Glynn, Rylan remembered he had some type of potiion that would ensure he told them the truth. However, Glynn seemed unresponsive to Rylan's attempts to get him to inhale the elixir. It appeared Glynn was under some kind of magic.
Linder explained that Glynn had come to challenge Thea's aunt for control of the tower - and therefore control of the magic in Fäden, specifically the Weave. He had claimed to be allied with he Root of War, specifically calling him his "master", and Garrett wondered if perhaps there was some kind of bond between the Root of War and Glynn such as patron/warlock.
It was Reiner who found a way to muddle Glynn's mind enough to break through, though it was also likely to kill Glynn in the process. Both he and Thea determined they could use Spare the Dying to get what information they needed.
Rylan's potion worked, and Glynn began laughing as he looked at the group, stating that he wished it had been anyone but them.
"Even me?" Garret had asked, but it was lost in the hubbub as everyone had scathing remarks for the man who had caused so much trouble.
Glynn continued his cutting remarks until Garrett said:
"You've certainly changed since I last saw you. What's it been, three four years?"
Garrett was baiting Glynn for information - he wasn't certain how long he'd been held captive in the thicket. He got more than he bargained for.
Glynn continued to laugh as he replied "Oh, Garrett - four years? It's more like twenty-five. And just what has led you so far off the path it throw in with this lot?"
Garrett didn't reply to Glynn, both because he wouldn't deign to answer such a question but also because he was taken aback. Twenty-five years? Even he hadn't thought it had been that long . . .
"What's your end game?" Asked Fuego, picking up the line of questioning.
"Why, the throne of course. To control the magic and the weave. The weave is the key . . ." And then he went on pontificating about the Root of War's plans, how great and terrible a master he was, and how they should all either ally or surrender to him while they still had the chance.
"If he's so great and powerful, why does he need all these allies?" Keres wanted to know.
"Because it's war. It's not just about winning. It about the conquering, the joy of destroying one's enemies, of turning brother against brother and father against son, of causing strife and division and all the glorious things that come with it."
"And who are these allies?"
He began rattling off names at more-than-top speed. Garrett gathered that these were the more impoartant ones, and hoped either Keres or Rylan would be able to remember or write it all down.
"Where does your master reside?" Garrett was unsure who asked - he thought it may have been Rylan or Thea but honestly couldn't say.
"Right now? In eastern Faerun. He had claimed Narfell and the Endless Wastes. Soon, he will spread over all Faerun, over all the planes."
Something about the way he said this pricked Garrett's mind.
"And has he spread into my home?" Garrett asked.
"And where is that again? it's been so long . . ."
"It's . . . It's in between Faerun and the Feywild"
Glynn smiled. "Not as of yet, but rest assured it is only a matter of time. Your family would do well to submit when they have the chance."
Rylan or Lindor cut him off from going on this again.
"How many forces does he have?"
"Here in Faerun? Some three hundred thousand. I do not know of the other planes."
The party looked at each other, their questions at an end. Glynn continued to sing the Root of War's praises for another fifteen seconds or so until the spell wore off and they all let him die.
Well, almost. Keres did steal his soul away, but looked rather unhappy with the result. It seemed such a shitty person created a rather crappy gem.
"What was his name again?" She asked.
"I knew him as Glynmarriow Kent. I traveled with him for two years while trying to get back home. In fact, his was the last party I was with before joining the one I got trapped with. He was slightly odd, but nothing like this."
"So, he went crazy after you knew him. At least he didn't hurt you, or things would've gone much worse for him." Rylan said, and Garrett again wondered how he'd found such a friend in the space of a week.
Keres then said she needed a moment to check out the weave.
While she did so, Rylan tied up questions Lindor still had regarding their own story, then Lindor excused himself. There was something Thea's aunt wished to give her.
The party discussed their next moves. Rylan said they needed proper rest, and Garrett spoke up that, while it sounded silly to the others, he really needed to pray properly. Fuego and Ruinfea and Thea also mentioned things they needed to do. All of them needed supplied.
"Wait, are you all planning?" Keres asked incredulously.
"It seems some of their training has stuck," Reiner replied.
Lindor returned with a bag of goodies for Thea, and Keres rifled through Glynn's robes but came up empty handed.
Saying their goodbyes, including a only slightly awkward hug between Ruinfea and Lindor, Rylan opened a gateway to the Dagda's lodge using a ring.
The Dagda was there waiting for them, and he welcomed them - including Reiner - to stay as long as they needed. In fact, he insisted they stay for several days - - to observe Rylan's birthday.
Respite at the Dagda’s Lodge
The days passed somewhat quickly from Garrett’s perspective, perhaps because he had much to do. But first – after a somewhat awkward greeting – he talked with The Dagda, who gave Garrett permission to use the library and the forge as he needed. He also shared a pipe with Garrett, and Garrett found himself becoming more at ease (but not overly familiar) with Rylan’s dad. In regards to Oberon, the Dagda suggested Garrett wait just a little longer – an opportunity would present itself shortly, he said, but he would divulge no more at that time.
Garrett and Ash rested, ate, and then headed to the library, where they unexpectedly found Rylan. Rylan seemed busy, but declared a distraction was just the thing he needed, and made time to talk to Garrett. Or rather, listen to Garrett. After asking Garrett if he could make him a new brace, Garrett realized maybe Rylan didn’t need to talk, but could still use the presence of a friend. And so, there in the library, Garrett told Rylan his life’s story in more detail than he’d shared previously, even letting Rylan see and listen to his tile with the sounds from home. (Note: this RP is ongoing and may have more details to add).
Their conversation ended, Garrett stayed in the library to research his materials and methods, and when he felt somewhat confident in his findings, made his way to the forge The Dagda had told him about. There, Garrett met Goibniu– who had been expecting him. He had even prepared tools and equipment appropriate for Garrett’s height so he would not be unduly inconvenienced.
Ash found a spot to rest while Garrett worked, and Garrett was pleased when Goibniu asked if he could stay and work as Garrett did what Garrett did. They passed the time telling stories, with Goibniu singing a song a Gaelic and Garrett telling the story of how he became an artificer. Garrett said he wished he could have understood what Goibniu had said as the song had sounded . . . well, beautiful wasn’t quite the right word, but it was the closest he could do at the time. Goibniu laughed as said that perhaps Garrett would live it soon enough. He then patted Ash, and Garrett watched in amazement as something subtly shifted in Ash’s form and Garrett felt his friend gain a permanent increase to their hit points.
Garrett worked on Rylan’s request for a new brace, which Garrett made and improved with loops for vials and a few straps and pockets for smaller items Rylan might need to carry. Using some of the leftover material from what Rylan had given him, Garrett crafted a birthday present for Rylan: a metal-and-leather pendant reminiscent of Brioche in dragon form.
He also worked on Fuego’s request, [redacted until the request is revealed to the party] and was surprised how well it worked. In fact, Garrett was shocked to find that work that should have taken him hours of work had been accomplished in a fraction of the time.
Garrett was at the forge putting the finishing touches on his projects and (literally) wrapping them up when Thea arrived and announced that it was Rylan’s birthday, and she had made a pancake charcuterie board for everyone to enjoy. She kindly helped Garrett carry his finished items, and it was then Garrett realized Keres was also with her. He felt bad he had ignored her, but when he said hello, Keres was very kind and hadn’t seemed to take offense.
Thea played Rylan a birthday song, and as she played it was mentioned that today would be The Hunt held in celebration of Samhain and – by happy circumstance/coincidence – Rylan’s birthday. At the mention of a hunt, Garrett knew Rylan would need his brace, and so handed him two packages.
“You didn’t have to do this,” Rylan protested, but Garrett reminded him that one was something he specifically requested and the other was just a little something from him. The pendant made Rylan’s eyes light up with joy, and it immediately went around his neck, hanging just above his holy symbol. When he unwrapped the brace, Garrett was nervous. “You said you needed storage but I wasn’t sure what kind, so there’s a few loops for some vials, a pocket or two, some extra straps . . .”
Rylan cut him off with a smile. “It’s exactly perfect, Garrett,” he said, immediately beginning to fill the slots and strapping it on his leg.
As they talked of the coming Hunt, various people kept mentioning that, because there were guests here (meaning the Third Family) that most participants were likely to be clothed. Thea rather shamelessly yet with a grin and a laugh declared she had no dignity left anyway, while Garrett pointed out that he was covered in fur anyway. Nonetheless, all the clothes stayed on by choice.
They party finished eating, and just then (as if they were waiting for just that thing), a herd of horses (some mounted by various Fae and some not, some with “English-style” saddles and some unencumbered) cantered up to the courtyard. At their head, a rather tall and elegant looking figure of a Fey drew everyone’s attention – not just because of his beauty, but also due to his rather intricate silver right arm.
He spoke, introducing himself as Nuada, Rylan’s brother, and that The Hunt (called the Wild Hunt by some, but not by him, since that name also evoked a certain group of people) would be beginning shorty. For the benefit of those who may not know, he explained The Hunt was purely voluntary, but that those who participated would find either a blessing or a curse for the coming year. All participants would remain in the wood until they had found . . . something. What that something might be depended on the individual. At this point a group of . . . men? . . . rode up. Maybe they were men, but Garrett couldn’t tell because they didn’t have heads. Nuada named them the Dullahan, explaining that to be caught by them would not bring death as some believed, but a year of misfortune.
He asked those who planned to participate to step forward and claim a mount and, if they would like, to choose a hunting partner. For himself, he chose Rylan. Keres and Thea also decided to participate, and when Brioche (who was in her human form) looked at Garrett, the two shared a look of understanding and decided they would also pair up. Fuego had several offers from various Fae to join them, but he chose to go alone. Reiner said he would be best off researching in the library, and Ruinfea and Lorayhad gone off somewhere.
Of them all, Garrett was the only one to choose to go on foot; however, this soon proved to be futile. With a shout and a cheer, the hunt was on and Brioche rapidly galloped away on her horse faster than Garrett could keep up (even if he had used his spells). Circling back around, she deftly picked Garrett up and placed him behind her. The ride was rough but Garrett held on gamely. Maybe it was the shock, maybe it was the fear, and maybe it was just the fact that his life since being freed was just one form or another of “run!” – but he and Brioche rode as one, as if they knew what they were doing.
“Oh crap oh crap oh woah” Brioche said soon enough.
“what is it?” Garrett asked.
“Well, if we’re supposed to be hunting, wouldn’t going full tilt like this make noise and scare things off?”
“I suppose that depends on what we find.”
“Well, what do you want to find, Garrett?”
“Half of me wants to find something interesting that we can go back with a cool story. The other half of me wants to find something easy so we can get back home and not have a year of misfortune.”
“Oh,” said Brioche, “for me, I want the story!”
The rode on a short way and came to a stream, where a family of beavers were busily building a dam.
“Ohh! Look, Garrett! How about that?” Brioche asked excitedly.
Garrett looked at the beavers peacefully working away. He was reminded of his own home and how the peace was so brutally shattered.
“I don’t know, Brioche. I mean, they haven’t done anything to us. How would we like it if we were just minding our own business and someone just came up and attacked us?”
“People do do that to us, Garrett! And then we turn around and kill them!!”
“Exactly. And what if they kill us? You’d be fine, Rylan can get you back. But me? I’d be out here with a sign that says “Here Lies Garret. Killed by Beavers.”
“Oooh. That’d be a cool epitaph. We should use it even if it’s not true. And not now, but in the future after you’ve lived a long and happy life. ‘Here lies Garrett – Artificer to Heroes. Killed by Beavers’. Oh wait, no, we can’t.” Brioche said excitedly and then somewhat dejectedly.
“I don’t want to break any illusions you may have about me.”
Garrett did not know what to think, but they agreed to leave the beavers alone and ride on.
A short while later, Brioche’s ears twitched.
“I thought only mine did that,” Garrett remarked.
“Your ears, they twitched.”
“Did they? Must be an elvish thing.”
“Must be,” Garrett agreed as Brioche dismounted and flattened herself on the ground – much like a dragon does when it hunts.
“Do you feel that?” she asked.
“No,” Garrett replied, but no sooner had he done so than a wild boar came crashing out of a thicket. It seemed to not notice Brioche (her being flattened against the ground and all) and charged right at Garrett. Using some butter he’d grabbed from Rylan’s birthday pancakes, Garrett cast “grease”, covering the boar and the ground around it (but avoiding Brioche) with a layer of slick oil. The boar fell down, and as it got back up, so did Brioche. Now that she was visible to the boar, Garrett was concerned she would be a target and so cast fire bolt at the beast. Perhaps his concern put some extra oomph behind the spell, because both boar and grease ignited and the boar fell over, twitched, and sizzled slightly as an aroma of bacon filled the air.
“Wow! That was something!!” exclaimed Brioche. “Now what?”
“Well, I think were supposed to take something back, but this looks a bit big and heavy for just the two of us to manage.”
“We could field dress it.”
“You’re right; let’s do that. But I’m throwing the liver away. Liver is disgusting.”
“Oooh. Can I have it instead?”
“Sure, just don’t make me eat it.”
“Why would I do that? Everyone knows you don’t like liver.”
And so, pulling some rope from her pack, the pair managed to haul the carcass up into the air to work on it. While they worked, Garrett heard a rustling behind him. Fearing another boar – or worse, the Dullahan, Garrett turned around. Instead of a pig or a headless horseman, Garrett watched as a man – tall, not pale but not quite tanned, horned with antlers and dressed in green robes - stepped out.
“Greetings. Might you spare some bones for a weary traveler? I’ve been walking for . . . for some time, and could use refreshment.”
Garrett looked at the newcomer. Normally he would have simply said yes, but the nature of the Hunt made him more cautious. He couldn’t pick up on anything nefarious, and a glance at Brioche said she agreed with him.
“Sure! What would you prefer? Knuckles? Ribs? Jawbone?”
“I think you know what I would prefer, Garrett.”
Garrett’s ears twitched. “You know my name?”
“As well as you know my own.”
And then Garrett understood: this was Oberon. And with that understanding, he turned and cut some vertebrae for his god. Oberon smiled as Garrett offered them, and taking the bones in his hands, he broke them. From the broken bones sprang forth wildflowers, and Oberon sat down among them, brining him down to Garrett’s height.
“I believe you wanted to see me?” Oberon asked kindly.
“Yes. Well, I did. I mean I still do, it’s just that . . . You see, I had all sorts of questions at first, but then they were either answered or I saw that they’d be irrelevant. And I wanted to know why you were helping me, but I can see that’s not important either. So I suppose it comes down to this: I’ve been helping other people, but is there anything I can do for you? Anything you want or need?”
“You are correct, Mister Sieger, your initial questions weren’t that important. And while the one you’ve settled on is much closer to being right, it’s still off by a little. The question is not what I want, Garrett, but what you want.”
This was one question Garrett could answer without hesitation. It’s what Nesryn and Kiara and Z and Reiner and Rylan and Thea had all helped him see. His job, his duty, his purpose was to protect. And while he might not be the best swordsman or archer or caster, he could create the armor that would keep his friends from death, forge the weapons that would – in their hands – defeat their enemies, and invent the devices that would give them all an advantage.
“I want to support my friends.” He said. “To protect them. Truly.”
Oberon stood and smiled at Garrett. “Some ribs, please, if you would.”
While Garrett turned to oblige, Oberon continued.
“As for the why, I suppose it is because I find myself restless. My wife sleeps. Winter does not agree with me. Mab and I . . .” his voice trailed off. “And so I went wandering, and heard you call my name, and I answered.”
Garrett turned around with the ribs to see Oberon still smiling and handed him the ribs.
“You wish to protect your friends, Garrett? Then the next thing you make, incorporate these bones. There are eight of them, and they are blessed. It does not have to be armor or a weapon . . . just something. Use them.”
“Might I know what they do?”
“No. You must believe and have faith.”
Garrett nodded, fully accepting Oberon’s answer.
“All right then, I will.”
“I am sure you will,” and Oberon turned to leave.
“Are you sure you wouldn’t like some bones for the road?”
Oberon turned back. “The bones were not for me.”
“Some meat then?”
Another smile. “Yes, meat will do nicely.”
Garrett carefully cut a choice piece of meat for Oberon, who accepted it gratefully and then disappeared into the forest. At the same time, the way home opened up for Garrett and Brioche. Packing up their trophy, Brioche said excitedly
“Garrett! Do you know who that was?!”
“Yes, I know who that was,” Garrett replied kindly.
“But . . . but that was Oberon!”
“I know. He’s the one who blessed . . . all this” he said, motioning to Brioche’s armor.
“I know! I’m just thinking how cool that was. And you talked to him!”
“Well, Brioche, you wanted a story and you sure got one, I think.”
Safe at Samhain
Brioche and Garrett followed the path back to The Dagda’s lodge, arriving back at the same time as everyone else. But while he and Brioche had a relatively easy path, not everyone was so lucky.
Thea was riding wildly down the middle of a stream with two Dullahan behind her - one on either side of the tuning water. Keres was ahead of her and made it on to the property safely, but Thea’s horse must have been just a bit slower.
As Garrett watched, Thea seemed to throw something at the headless riders. One of them easily avoided whatever had been done, but the other was struck in the chest and a flash a faerie fire burst across its body, driving its horse into the woods. Unfortunately, the remaining rider was on the side of the water Thea needed to get to in order to reach safety.
then, something happened Garrett did not expect: a wall of water rose between Thea and her pursuer, and while it did not stop him, it slowed him down just enough to give Thea a fighting chance.
[Garrett found out later that Ruinfea had been walking the ground with Loray when she heard horses approached. Scrying, she saw Brioche and Garrett, and then took to the skies as a falcon to check on the rest of party. Checking in first with Rylan and then Feugo, she discovered Thea’s predicament just in time and connected with her telepathically to help her out.]
That space allowed Thea to do two things nearly simultaneously: First, she misty stepped onto the property, bringing with her a braying basset hound. Turning as she stepped onto safe ground, she cast dimension door in front of her horse and closed it immediately after. The horse, coming through at full gallop, nearly took out some feasting tables, but was otherwise unharmed.
The Dullahan stopped just short of Loray; the boundary line lay between them. Thea strode up and addressed the Dullahan directly.
“Thank you for the hunt. It has been some time since my heart beat that fast.” And she bowed respectfully.
Loray simply stared a moment longer before he said “I hope there’s some extra clothes in the lodge. Brown would do nicely . . .”
And then it was everyone falling over each other and Ruinfea changing back into human form as everyone checked in with each other.
“You’re doing it all wrong,” The Dagda said, coming up to the group. “That’s not how you tell the stories . . .” He began before Rylan stopped him.
“No, Da. That’s just how we check in with each other to make sure our guts are where they should be. The proper stores will come later.”
“Ah, well then,” The Dagda said with a chuckle. “That’s all right. There’s a few hours left before the festivities of the evening. You’ll have time to change or not as you see fit, and if you would give me something from your adventures, Goibniu will fashion a token for you.”
Garrett pulled Brioche aside.
“Do you want to give our meat to the feast? I know we wont’ eat it all, and I’ll keep the hide and tusks for crafting purposes.”
“Oh, that sounds neat! Can I have the tail?”
”It’s yours. What will you do with it?”
”Oh, I’m going to braid a good luck charm. I’d considered a lucky rabbit’s foot, but there’s a rabbit in the party, so . . .” Brioche said mischievously.
“Indeed there is. Me.” Garret said laughing.
While this was going on, Thea - through Rylan and Loray- talked with the basset hound, who while upset he did not get to attack the bear Thea and Keres had faced, was nonetheless grateful for her aid with the Dullahan. Thea was determined that the dog should join the party, and he agreed - excited to go on adventures. And that is how Sir Butters the Valiant of the Wild Hunt joined the party.
When Garrett asked if Butters would need armor, Butters revealed that he was a Fey Hound with magical armor made of glamour. “Well, if you ever change your mind, . . .” Garrett said.
Brioche said something - Garrett wasn’t sure what - and then became embarrassed. “Do not perceive me,” she said. Of course, Thea couldn’t resist activating her “aunt mode” and staring at Brioche.
“You can hide behind me,” Garrett whispered up to his friend, and Brioche tried to crouch down and meld behind Garrett, but Thea followed.
“Um . . . I’m going to change back into my armor,” she said.
As she walked away, Garrett called out “Mind your tail, it’s sharp!” And then to Rylan he said, “She is the perfect hunting companion.”
“That makes my heart sing,” Rylan replied.
And then the feasted and told their stories. Rylan and Nuada had faced and defeated (temporarily) the god of cruel, unfair death. Fuego had battled a fiery hound. The and Keres had faced a bear (which Keres had subsequently brought back to life) before being chased by the Dullahan. And, of course, Garrett and Brioche had seen the beavers, killed the boar, and met Oberon.
Note: It was revealed by the DM that the characters were engaged in shadow work during the Hunt. For Garrett, that meant coming to the realization that he was worthy of Oberon’s attention.
As the turnips were lit for Samhain, The Dagda explained that it would not be wise to stray during the night, and in fact it might be best to stay indoors. However, if anyone sought to speak to a spirit of one who passed on, it might be possible.
Garrett pondered this offering. Anyone he might talk to had been alive the last time he’d seen them, and he did not feel it wise to attract the attention of just any passing spirit.
As they went their ways for the night, four Dullahan appeared on the far horizon. They practically danced a graceful dance as their horses circled each other and blue faery fire shot up into the air. Though the same men who had recently chased Thea, this was an entirely different countenance and atmosphere.
Garrett spent some of the evening fulfilling Oberon’s request. He fashioned bracelets for the party: hinge cuffs, each made half with the claws Garrett took from Tiamat and half with the bones from Oberon. He inscribed with a symbol or rune for family repeated three times in representation of the Third Family, and made sure that any fittings were made of brass.
Preparation and Planning
The next morning, the party regrouped for breakfast and to plan what they would do now that their rest was over. There were at least two treasures left to find: the Spear of Lugh and the Lia Fáil (also known as the Stone of Destiny.
Rylan reminded the party of the properties of these artifacts. The Spear was a flaming war spear, a great weapon usually borne by a Druid or a Barbarian, and that once drawn it must be quenched in blood before allowing itself to be put away. The Stone conveyed authority on a high king, judging a person’s soul, and acting as a rallying symbol for those who followed the one who possessed it. The Stone did not judge morality, it was important to note.
Rylan expressed that he though Fuego should carry the Spear, which made sense, but when he said Garrett should claim the Stone, Garrett was a bit apprehensive.
They nearly all agreed that the Stone would perhaps pose the bigger “threat” at present if it fell into the wrong hands, it being an object that could sway the minds of many, and so would go to find it in the Jungles of Chult to the south.
It seemed as if there were readying to go when Garrett spoke up again. ”I know we’ve rested and readied spells and the like, but what about provisions and supplies? I don’t mean to put a damper on our enthusiasm, but Nesryn and Kiara and Z taught me the importance of having all the tools for the job.”
”Oh not at all, Garrett. You’re absolutely right. I could use some bolts, myself.” Rylan said, giving the Harengon an encouraging smile.
The Dagda came in at the end of the conversation and heard Rylan’s request. “You need bolts? How would a hundred do you? Do you need any specialty bolts?”
”That would do very well, Da. As for specialty bolts, Garrett and I are working on some surprises.” And Rylan grinned at Garrett.
“Um. Would you happen to have any ballista bolts?” Garret asked hesitantly.
“We do, but what use would you have for those?”
”It’s his crossbow, Da. He shoots them.”
The Dagda looked at Garrett curiously. “But the bow is so diminutive . . .”
“Well, I don’t know how it works myself, only that I can do it,” Garrett explained. “But I can shrink them down and they stay that size until I fire them.”
“It’s a sight to see,” Thea assured The Dagda.
“Well then, that’s a different matter. How many do you require?”
”Well, I think six will do,” Garret replied. “That’s how many I can make in a day,”
“Then they are yours.”
“Oh, this is very very very very much appreciated.”
“No appreciation necessary. These were headed to the front lines, and as far as I am concerned, anything given to you or the rest of your party is serving the same purpose.”
“Be that as it may, it is still how I feel,” Garrett replied, and he positively bounced in excitement.
Thea discussed her need for a tattoo that would allow her to speak with animals, and Garrett mention he was looking for one to grant him darkvision. They knew no tattooist was currently available, but vowed to keep a look out for each other.
Garrett then brought out his gifts. First, the bracelets, which everyone eagerly put on and admired. Garrett wondered what they would do for them.
And then the swords for Fuego.
“Yesterday was Rylan’s birthday, and I didn’t want to take anything away from him, but I finished Fuego’s swords. He gave me three of them, and then Ecne helped me in the library and Goibniu helped me in the forge, and well, this is what I . . . I mean we - made.”
He unveiled two swords as he spoke.
“Fuego, you gave me three swords, and with others’ help, I was able to make them into two. The first is for you and you alone. You gave me three blades, and have lived three lives. I can think of no better name for this that Trinity’s Edge.”
Trinity’s Edge is a spiraled blade with three distinct edges ending in a single point. The hilt resembles branches, with the branches styled in such a way that the guard evokes antlers. The branches of the grip also twist around, holding a piece of mica and a piece of labrodite in place, before ending with the pommel containing a scale from Tiamat.
”Now, I think I separated the magic the way I wanted to, but only testing it will tell. The other blade, though similar in style, may be different in power. I call it Twisted Fate.
Twisted Fate is of the same style as Trinity’s Edge but does not contain any artifacts.
“Garrett, you are a master artisan . . .” Fuego said in awe.
“You creations are perfect,” Rylan agreed as he adjusted his bracelet. “Everything you do is a work of superior craftsmanship.”
Garrett’s ears burned a little. “I’m just so happy when the people I make things for like them,” he said.
“They’re even more meaningful because they were made by you, Garrett.” Fuego said. “If I may ask, and with no disrespect, might I give you a hug in appreciation?”
”Of course,” Garrett replied happily, and the dragoborn picked him up in his arms giving him a mighty squeeze in friendship.
“You didn’t say anything about picking me up,” Garett said laughing.
Thus supplied, the party left the Dagda’s lodge - Loray and Butters with them as well - and made their way to the coast, boarding Loray’s ship the Elg’hasek and sailing south to Port Nyranzaru in the Bay of Chult.
The voyage took several days, with nothing major of note happening other than a dense swarm of whisps near Candlekeep. Garrett spent most of the time practicing loading his crossbow, determine to master the tricks Kiara and Nesryn had showed him, which he had also seen diagrams of in Ecne’s library.
Loray docked the ship and went to talk to the harbormaster. As they looked over the rail, the party immediately noticed Chult’s distinctive property: domesticated dinosaurs. Ruinfea in particular seemed to be taking in every creature she could, no doubt storing them away mentally for future wild shapes.
Music reached their ears: sintirs and non-reed clarinets and drums and tambourines. A passing dinosaur bore a placard for The Triceratops Society. People of diverse races and colors walked the streets of the massive port city.
Disembarking, they made their way into the city. An archway welcomed them with a statue on either side. On one side was a woman with long, beautiful hair and bearing symbols like those borne by Kiara. The other statue had recently been destroyed.
Next to each statue was a chapel or church. One had recently been abandoned, but as they looked they noticed workers actively taking down a symbol they all recognized: Waukeen. The other was deducted to the same goddess served by Kiara: Sune.
The temple of Sune seemed larger on the inside, with gardens and fountains and courtyards filing the space. A man stood in the center, seeming to help those who came to him. The blonde-red man seemed to smile, and bore a large warhammer on his back.
Introducing himself as Thalice, Rylan introduced himself and explained they were looking for a guide into the interior of Chult, and Ruinfea chimed in that Kiara was a personal mentor of hers. Thalice smiled, and agreed that anyone mentored buy the hero deity Kiara was welcome in the temple of Sune. Thalice went on to describe the ideals of Sune: life, love, beauty, and art - but above all else, love.
Seeing (and likely smelling) their sea-weariness, Thalia’s directed them to a series of baths. Whether they bathed together or separate is irrelevant. But the baths and lotions and scented oils refreshed and rejuvenated the party beyond that of ordinary baths. Should they require clothes, the temple would provide. Or, as Thalice said, “The temple will know.”
A small gift of Sune.
Thus bathed, the Third Family regrouped in a common area where a very dapper and bespectacled half-orc stood reading a book. Hearing the party approach, he looked up and smiled.
Thalice spoke: “Allow me to introduce you to Boruq of Baldur’s Gate.”
“You can call me Bo,” he said, as he shook hands with the party - even reaching down to shake Garrett’s hand in a way that showed supreme respect and not a hint of condescension or patronization. Garrett notice Bo was nearsighted and his hands bore ink-stained calluses.
“I don’t have any titles,” Garrett said after Rylan had introduced himself,
”Would you like some,?” Thea asked in all seriousness.
“Oh, Master Sieger, I think you will find you have at least one title,” Bo said. “You are Master Garrett Sieger, Artificer to Gods and Heroes”
Garrett’s ears turned full-on red. “Yes, well.” And in that moment something clicked. This was not the first time someone had mentioned such a phrase to him, but he felt he wasn’t worthy of the title. But now he realized they were not necessarily commenting on his skill, but on the fact that in making weapons and armor for the Third Family, he was in actual fact an Artificer to Gods and Heroes.
While this thought and realization occurred, Rylan and Bo had been talking about where the Stone might be located.
“I recently heard a group of Aarakocra concerned about The Valley of Lost Honor. Do you know it?”
”Sounds like the place honor is lost,” Ruinfea said.
“I agree, the name kinds gives it away.” Garrett said.
Bo smiled. “Indeed. And in this valley is a place known as the Wyrmheart Mines. Tell me, do you think you could take on a red dragon?”
”I took the red head of Tiamat myself,” Rylan said as he lifted his hand. “And now, thanks to Garrett’s skill, I wear her bones.”
“I see. Well, what might you do with an undead dwarf leader and the zombie dinosaur known as the dimetrodon?”
”Zombie dinosaur?” Ruinfea asked incredulously. “Fuego, we’re going to have so much fun!”
Bo looked at the group. “I see we will have much to discuss before we set out.”
Welcome to the Jungle
In preparation for their expedition, the group met up with Reiner outside the temple decided to go out into the market. Rylan and Reiner and Keres went to the market proper while Ruinfea and Thea and Fuego went to find the dinosaur tracks. Garrett had begun to feel the beginnings of a connection to Reiner after Ash had accompanied him to the library while Garrett was out on The Hunt, and since the two of them both appreciated knowledge, he thought this might be a learning experience. As they parted ways, Garrett could only thing of all the new forms Ruinfea would be able to take after this.
Rylan was looking for substances to replenish his stores, and Riner was searching for shards of some type. Garrett found himself torn in choosing who to follow, and while he tried to make up his mind, He noticed a tent advertising Lucky’s Magical Tattoos. He wondered briefly if they were the real deal, when Rylan came up beside him and said,
“Oh, hey! The artist who did my other tattoos is here! You wanted one, didn’t you? Oh, and so did Thea. I better tell her.” Garrett assumed Rylan send a telepathic message to Thea.
Entering the tent, Garrett was somewhat surprised to see none other than Tasha, though not as he had seen her before. Now, she wore a wig and a drawn-on French mustache. It was, in his opinion, not a very good disguise, but glancing around it seemed that everyone was in on the ruse so he went along with it.
He didn’t catch the tattoo Rylan went for, but Fuego got a Spellwrought Tattoo; Keres, a Blood Fury; Thea, an upgraded Speak with Animals; and Garrett himself purchased a Shadowfell Brand allowing him darkvision. His tattoo looked like a set of spectacles made up up gears and cogs and screws, nuts, and bolts.
Their shopping done, the party reunited with Bo and set out from the city. Bo said they would likely arrive at the mines around sundown, barring any unforeseen circumstances. To prevent any such misfortune, Fuego set out his familiar, Hannibal, ahead to scout.
The last building the passed as they entered the jungles of Chult was a stable bearing a sign “Dino Rentals Available”. Ruinfea was upset and even expressed an interest in freeing them, but Reiner pointed out that theft was punishable by losing a hand - or more. Bo drew her attention to the animals themselves, which were fat and happy and content - very well cared for.
“I myself sued the rentals when I first started exploring the jungle. They help give an advantage on unfamiliar terrain.”
So satisfied, the party continued on for some time, with Bo going on about he history of Chult, including notable flora and fauna. He was interrupted in his lecture by a rumbling and shaking underfoot. Looking around, they spied a deep puddle with standing water in it. Or rather, the water had been standing: now, it was rippling.
Then, in front of the party, a large foot pressed down, followed soon by a single horn. The smell of mildew filled the air. To varying degrees of success, the party tried to hide. Well, almost all of them. Fuego simply stood around looking confused, while Ruinfea looked around excitedly.
“Come one, Come on. Come on. Where are you?” She said out loud to herself excitedly.
Soon, the beast revealed itself: It was twenty feet long from its VW bus-sized head to its proportionally-short tail. It was covered in feathers, and was clearly in a molting stage, hence the stench. It lowered its head and issued a low grumbling growl like two rocks tumbling together.
The shaking was caused by this creature, which Garrett recognized as one of the things Bo had been talking about: an ancient beast considered by some to be the lord of the jungle. It had clearly been on its way somewhere else to do something else when it literally stumbled into the party and saw Fuego.
It had to turn its head to see him, and as he did so, the pupil dilated and its nostrils breathed in deeply.
Using his new tattoo, Fuego cast Shatter, but the spell seemingly did nothing as the dinosaur disappeared in a cloud of mist and reappeared directly behind Fuego, breathing heavily down his neck.
Acting quickly, Rylan misty stepped to Fuego, grabbed him without resistance, and misty stepped back out of the way.
Thinking back to the last time he was unexpectedly charged by something out of nowhere, Garrett cast Grease. The King’s footing faltered and he went down with a crash, his large jaw closing with force. For a moment it looked like he would be knocked prone, but he slowly staggered back up to his feet.
Keres tried to earth-bind him, but though the spell went off, it had no effect. Perhaps he really was lord of the jungle . . .
Reiner tried to use a force cage like he had used in the training sessions back in the Gray Wastes, but the King used a legendary reaction to teleport out of it, reappearing behind Reiner and using a bite action to grappled Reiner in his mouth. In a twist of bad luck, one of its teeth found Reiner’s heart and , for lack of a better description, Reiner “powered off” - not dead, but not able to react.
Looking at the rest of the party that had by this point revealed themselves, the King summoned a swarm of very large wasps.
Forgetting what he had learned during The Hunt, Fuego cast Ice Storm, which not only hit the King, but dealt a rather significant amount of damage to Reiner as well.
Pulling a page from Ruinfea’s playbook, thea tried Animal Friendship, but likely many adventurers had tried this on the King over the years, because he simply Ignored it.
Bo cast Otto’s Irresistable Dance, and though the King’s feet moved just a bit, he calmed himself and did nothing.
Loray mistet-stepped on to the King’s back and successfully lassoed him.
Ruinfea tried summoning some Mirthful Fae to charm him, but though her allies appeared, they were unsuccessful in their charms. In response, Ruinfea herself transformed into some type of primordial beast she’d seen back in the city.
Brioche cast weakening breath.
The wasps tried attacking Garrett, Loray, and Fuego but did not break through their armor.
Rylan misty-stepped up to where Loray was, and taking out some liquids from his brace, poured them all over the molting area in an attempt at aggravating the King. The King roared and dropped Reiner.
Garrett looked at the wasp that had tried attacking him, and in response drew out his Shardcaster Rifle that he’d modified to his own size, He fired twice, obliterating the creature.
Keres used her abyssal whip to attack the wasp near Fuego. The whip curled around the beast, and when Keres yanked it back to herself, it pulled the stinger - and its innards - right out. Then, she covered Reiner with her wings in protection from any of the King’s further attacks.
Reiner attacks the King with a necrotic attack that also helped Reiner regain some health.
By this point, the King was becoming frightened and perhaps felt cornered. And so, he misty-stepped away along with the last remaining wasp. Unfortunately, Loray and Rylan were still on his back. Fortunately, both Loray and Rylan possessed Misty Step as well, and just as quickly as they were gone, they were back again.
“Well,” Bo said matter-of-factly, “I suppose that’s a sign I should set up camp.”
“I think that’s for the best,” Rylan said.
Camp was set up relatively easily, and Bo built a fire – warning the group it must be tended during the night and was probably best if it didn’t go out at all. Darkness set in – true darkness that enveloped everything around it. The night was filled with sounds, and Garrett heard a scuffling in the canopy above him, but he could not make out any change in the darkness.
Bo started to tell of some nearby ruins, and had just finished stating that it would be best not to explore them in the dark, when Reiner and Keres seemed to be pulled irresistibly into the jungle. It wasn’t magic, just the desire to see what was out there. Ruinfea almost immediately jumped up to join them, followed almost as quickly by Loray, while Thea seemed torn between staying by the fire with Rylan and following Keres into the jungle – though after a moment’s thought she, too, got up. Fuego and Rylan looked at each other and sighed as they both stood up, refusing to let the party split itself. They all looked back at Garrett, who told Bo
“I’d say we aren’t usually like this, but that’d be a lie.”
Bo sighed as he lit a torch and followed the rest into the dark. Rylan and Reiner took point, and they carefully led the group through the jungle to a ruin long-abandoned by both man and beast. A courtyard was all that remained, and though there had evidently been a lower chamber at some point, it had caved in many years ago and even Reiner and Rylan could see no way down. Animals had nested there at one point, but the nests were old and dry and covered with vines. Ruinfea found a nocturnal iguana, and together Thea and Bo found a crumbling statue among the vegetation. Clearing the brush away, he told the other the statue was dedicated to Eshowdow the Shadow Giant, Ravager of the Tabaxi. Looking around, the group realized the ruined temple would give them some cover in the night, and spent some time moving camp.
The next day, Bo led them in a wide arc, circling the Valley of Lost Honor. He said the people of the valley, the Quezacotl, were a people who had suffered much, and as a result were very wary of outsiders. The journey would avoid their lands, not out of fear, but out of respect: they simply wanted to be left alone, and Bo was determined to give that to them. The party all agreed.
Toward the end of the day they reached the southern foot of the Kobold Mountains with the entrance to Wyrmheart Mine a few hundred yards in front of them. The outer defenses seemed long abandoned, and the group sat down to discuss their next steps.
Reiner asked Bo about his recent travels to the mine, and Bo pulled out some hastily-sketched maps he’d made just a few weeks prior. They showed three levels of the mine: a track spiraled down to the left and a pathway did the same to the right before opening into a larger room on the third level down. Beyond that, Bo said, he did not explore. Hearing voices, he left quickly.
Garrett asked about the history of the place, and Bo described the old dwarven leader Kyer Wyrmheart and his dimetrodons. Garrett listened carefully to the descriptions of the reptiles, and concluded that he was likely a tasty meal-sized target should they come within smelling distance of any of them. Rylan offered to whip up a potion that would mask his scent, which Garrett accepted.
Rylan made up a potion of couatl feathers and blueberries. Rubbing it all over himself, Garrett had to laugh – his fur had taken on a purplish tinge!
“Oh I am so sorry . . .” Rylan began before Garrett cut him off.
“Oh no . . . don’t be sorry. I feel fabulous!” And indeed his fur was soft and luxurious – even if a tad purple – and Garrett would find himself dandruff-free for the next week.
The question then became of what to do about Butters. Rylan pointed out that Brioche could now walk on two legs, and was in fact getting a bit large for the pet bag of holding, so if Butters wanted to and it was okay with Thea, he’d give the bag of pet holding over to her. She accepted gratefully, and after a short glance into the pet bag of holding and the wonders it contained, Butters went in gladly.
Reiner also asked Garrett if he had any special bolts, just in case they met a dragon inside, and he and Garrett came up with a plan to use chromatic spells on his bolts if it came to it.
Inside the mine, the party initially took the stairs to the right, but then took the short way down using rope and wings and rings of feather fall to transport the party in a more direct line downwards, jumping from track to track. Garrett was initially carried by Thea for the first descent, but when the second one proved difficult for Fuego as well, he and Ash joined Butters in the bag of holding.
After the first descent, Garrett also gave Bo his Goggles of Night to help him see.
Landing at the bottom of the track, Reiner and Rylan went out to scout, and reported back to Thea telepathically that they’d found a pen with three dimetrodons asleep inside. A door stood near the pen leading further into the mine, but more examination would be needed to open it.
Garrett stayed inside the bag as the party tried to sneak their way past the slumbering creatures, and though they nearly made it past in perfect silence, at the last moment a small rock caught Fuego’s boot in just the right wrong way and went skittering across the floor. Opening their eyes, they stared directly at Fuego.
Reiner immediately cast force cage and managed to stop one of them in its tracks, while the other two began coming at Fuego with a bit more speed.
Keres summed a balrog to distract them, and while she concentrated on controlling the demon, the rest of the party examined the door.
Reiner used Ghost Gaze and saw a mechanism inside, with various parts marked in runes. Describing them to Bo, it was translated as the word “waterfall”.
“Someone drop trou and pee on the door,” Keres said over her shoulder.
“I’m not coming out of the bag for this,” Garrett commented.
Rylan recalled seeing a waterfall on the other side of the cavern, and using misty step to return to it, he saw a bucket on a dial set horizontally so it could be turned. The bucket was marked by another rune, which Bo translated as “open”. Rylan turned the wheel until the party by the door heard a click. Rylan returned and they opened the door, passing quickly through it and shutting it behind them.
With Keres no longer able to maintain concentration on the balrog, it was left to its own devices against the dimetrodons, and things seemed to go poorly for it judging from the sounds.
Looking into the mine, they noticed this area was being heavily worked by a group of dwarves who had not yet noticed them.
Rider, Reiner’s familiar, had to this point spent his time in the shadows. Now he was somewhat nervous, and Thea offered him the last spot in the pet bag of holding. Garrett stuck out his hands and waved a welcome as if to say “come on in, the bag’s fine.”
Rider didn’t need much convincing, and the bag now at full occupancy, Garrett decided they would pass the time playing cards, such as they could. It was quite the sight to see Rider holding the cards in his hands, and then attempting to cheat with his tail. Garrett did not care.
Talking with Ruinfea later on, she filled Garrett in on what happened. They saw a group of dwarves unloading carts of gold. Keres looked at it with her special eye and realized with some surprise it was all real gold. Reiner and Rylan surmised that they were excavating a dragon hoard, and Thea found she was the only one able to speak Dwarven.
She determined to unionize the dwarves and get them to march off the job to keep them safe, and Rylan joined her in the quest. Approaching the dwarves, they were able to complain about their aches and pains, and the dwarves revealed that Kyer Wyrmheart was back from the dead, sitting on the throne with a black dragon on a leash. Despite some initial hesitancy at refusing to work any longer, a few were persuaded by Thea’s words, and she and Rylan soon found themselves being asked to go and share their views with other dwarves the group thought would be sympathetic.
Unionizing against the Undead
They all found themselves following the dwarves down tunnels and ladders to a common area: a mining camp that looked to fit over 200 workers spread out in a cavern. Nearby sounds of excavation indicated the work in the mine never stopped. Again, there seemed to be a lot of gold but not a lot of other mine product.
The young dwarf that most hung on to Thea’s words - one Drawlin by name - introduced her to a group of assembled dwarves (men and women but no children), and Thea once more made the case for unionization based on wages and safety, for clerics and resources, freedom, and time.
“We need to make a list to take to King Wyrmheart” they told her. “You can do that while we go spread the word.”
Left alone, if only briefly, Thea and Rylan were able to find the rest of the group, who had followed along stealthily. They helped Thea come up with a list of requests/demands:
- Fair pay
- Clerics on hand
- Minimum of 10 hours between shifts
- Humane living conditions
- A living king
- Vacation time
- Medical leave and health benefits
- Life Insurance (to be paid out to family in the event of demise)
- Will writing and other financial services
- College credit program
- Apprenticeship program
- Free theatre tickets
- Clothing allowance
- Equipment allowance
- Travel Stipend
- Shift differentials
- On Site Day Care/school
- Craft services
- Retirement plans (pentions or 401K's)
Garrett used this time to come out of the bag; his reasoning was that if things went very wrong very quickly (as was likely), he didn’t want to waste valuable time climbing out the bag.
Ruinfea also used this time to wild-shape into a mostly—green colored flumph. She wouldn’t seem out of place and may help avoid detection.
Drawlin returned and discussed the list with Thea, and then they were off, marching on a corkscrew path downwards. Every so often they passed openings with bells, and while some of the dwarves they passed wanted nothing to do with them, no one hindred them either. The army grew, and so did the energy. Garrett thought they now numbered about a hundred.
They passed a mill used for generating power to the electric lights above, something Garrett had not noticed to this point due to his accommodation.
The mine went deeper, the air grew colder, and atmosphere grew darker. Sandstone became obsidian, and Rylan commented quietly that it reminded him of the Underdark.
Reaching a set of doors, they entered a cavern deep in the mountain itself, leaving behind the traces of the dwarves and kobold miners that had formed the tunnels. This was a hoard-room, and looked to be about the size for the hoard of either an ancient dragon or a smaller dragon with ambition.
Crossing the room they found themselves in a smaller, yet still cavernous room entirely different than anything else they had seen here: it was an ossuary made of humanoid bone. Torches and braziers sparked red flames and led into yet another cavern, this one with a hole blown into the roof. Though Garrett knew they were far below a mine which itself was far below a very tall mountain, he could almost swear he could see a tiny dot of daylight far and high above him. Even if it was, which he could not be sure, escape would not be found in that direction.
At the far end of the room, a figure sat upon a throne of stone; appearing old and decrepit and wearing a tarnished dwarven crown of platinum. To his right, a large pillar looked out of place. Looking like it belonged rooted in the ground, it now stood upright.
Between the group and the party stretched the large, corpse-like structure of the remains of an ancient dragon. It stretched between the door and the king and circled in on itself. It reminded Garrett of a cat when it slept or rested.
Garrett realized that if they weren’t careful the party would be split. The dwarves hadn’t seen through Rylan and Thea’s disguises yet (though the effects might soon wear off). Ruinfea looked like a flumph, Reiner was practically invisible, and the others had high stealth checks. Motioning to Keres, he climbed back in the bag and began to plan what he could do when things inevitable came to a fight.
From the king figure came a feeling of a malevolent absence of life, cold and dangerous, unmovable as the stone and inhuman as the empty vessel of the dragon’s skeletal remains around them. He seemed piqued at the group as it entered his throne room.
He did not speak immediately but regarded the group as a whole before a deep, vibrating bass filled the room:
“Why are you here? Shouldn’t you be working? What is the meaning of your audience today?”
Thea, Rylan, and Drawlin stepped forward, and Thea listed their requests in an epic speech showing Thea’s worth as the God of Storytellers.
“I am permitting you to leave when the job is complete. What more do you want?”
”A living king,” Rylan demanded in Common while also casting Crusader’s Mantle, emboldening those around him and giving their weapons additional radiant damage should things come to blows.
Thea repeated her demands with vicious mockery.
King Wyrmheart looked like he’d been slapped in the face. “That was not wise. And i can always find more men.”
“It is not wise to whip the horse that works for you,” Thea spat back.
Wyrmheart glared at Thea and he began to hover above the ground as his eyes glazed over in a pale green light. Thea shivered. Those who saw her described it like a rake across her soul. She described it as the feeling of a curse.
The room, though smaller than many of the others they’d passed through, was still large; they were good 120 feet from the undead king. It seemed like things had now officially come to blows.
Ruinfea continued to flumph about, while Keres and Garrett held their actions to see what would happen.
Rylan took the initiative, and though his crossbows did not hit, his swords did. In so doing, he dropped all pretense that he was a dwarf.
Thea put her hand on Drawlin, casting Heroism on him and effectively blessing him. Truly, she was the god(dess) Oghma should have been.
Wyrmheart swung at Rylan for a physical attack with a heavy, two-handed claymore. (Garrett was told later it was quite the site to see the undead dwarf wielding it).
Keres got off two spikes of Eldritch Blast, and Garrett cast Aura of Purity from inside the bag, keeping those near him from being frightened and giving them advantage on most mental conditions.
Fuego cast Greater Restoration on Thea before hitting Wyrmheart with Scorching Ray. “Let’s fuck him up!”
Ruinfea conjured eight giant fire beetles, which emerged from the rock as her flumph tentacles conducted a chorus.
Brioche went into her now-adolescent dragon form and attacked with he claws and jaws and tail.
Reiner ended his invisibility behind him, and in response Wyrmheart retreated thirty feet backwards and diagonally.
Ruinfea-the-flumph inked and floated away in response, and though she dealt no acid damage, Wyrmheart would stink for an hour until he had a change to really, really wash himself.
Wyrmheart’s retreat was a feint to put distance between himself and the party, and he uttered words that caused the ground to tremble and the walls shake as the words rebounded and echoed around the chamber, the sound merging with the rattling of bones as the dragon began to move, awakened from its slumber.
“I want your bones for clothes, sir” Keres said (heard at least by Thea and Garrett).
The dragon turned its head toward those that had attacked Wyrmheart and opened its mouth for a breath weapon, dealing some amount of psychic damage to those around Wyrmheart and knocking Ruinfea back into her half-elf form.
They had expected a dragon, but as it now came into better view they realized it was not black as they’d been told, but purple. The dragon wailed, but Garret was able to maintain his concentration on the spell.
Bo cast Magic Missile at Wyrmheart, and though it was a clean, square hit, they seemed to do little damage. Perhaps Bo had been slightly out of focus due to the dragon.
the fire beetles tried to bite Wyrmheart, but to no avail, and Ruinfea dismissed then in favor of taking her Starry Form and casting Healing Spirit over Loray, who had taken a great deal of damage from the dragon’s attack.
Keres attacked with Edritch Blast, hitting Wyrmheart once, and Garrett determined that now was a good time to come out of the bag. He saw Reiner, and he could almost swear he saw him collapse before getting right back up.
Rylan cast Aura of Vitality, and checking on the party, healed Ruinfea before turning so that Reiner was behind him and casting Turnt the Faithless on Wyrmheart.
Wyrmheart fled from Rylan in cowardly retreat - straight toward Thea and the dwarven army with at her side waiting for a command.
The dragon swung it’s tail, and though Ash dodged out of the way, Garrett took some damage but still maintained concentration.
Wyrmheart continued to flee and, standing before him, Thea cast Shatter that seemed to reverberate in his skull.
Still Wyrmheart moved forward.
Fuego cast another Scorching Ray.
Wyrmheart’s clothes caught fire but he paid it no mind as he sought to get away from Rylan. Even when his skin began to crackle and bubble he moved forward, and as the flesh fell from his bones and he fell to the ground his muscles still tried to pull him forward pitifully as he died with a whimper.
The dragon, though raised by Wyrmheart, did not die with him. Instead, it now seemed to lose focus as it began raging about the cavern in an unpredictable motion.
The battle against the dragon took only a minute or two, yet seemed to last ages.
Brioche’s weakening breath attack did nothing while Loray stood up from being knocked down.
Reiner tried to use Feeble Mind against it, but it merely shrugged the spell off with a legendary save and then used a paralyzing breath attack on Loray, Reiner, Brioche, Ruinfea, and Rylan. Garrett saw Reiner go down and stay down, while Ruinfea appeared motionless.
Ruinfea’s beetles, though annoying to the dragon, failed to pierce his natural armor with their jaws.
Something happened with Ruinfea herself. She began to shake and then suddenly burst out of her paralysis and took the shape of a carnotaurus.
Keres used the dragon’s inattention to the ground at its back to sneak attack with her whip and Wails from the Grave.
Garrett and Reiner had had a plan, but now that he was both down and 120 feet away from Garrett, something else would need to be done. Garrett also knew that none of his spells could help Reiner at this point, and so he fired with his crossbow. The first bolt went wild and buried itself in the wall over the dragon’s head, but the second buried itself in the thing’s neck and shoulder. With the hit, an arcane jolt of healing power sparked out to Rylan, healing him just a little.
Rylan struck out with his crossbow, but it did nothing. However, his swords landed a critical hit, lighting up its chest as the bones began to crack with a radiant energy.
Thea, at the back of the dragon, said “I want to touch the butt,” rather angrily and then proceeded to slap its posterior, her hand covered in what looked to be shimmering golden ice. It traveled up the dragon’s leg before shattering; it looked to Garrett like it’s armor and dexterity would have suffered from the slap.
Thea stepped back and tried to put on her best “it wasn’t me” face as the dragon now turned it’s attention to the other side of the room and cast both a psychic breath attack that caught Garrett full force and a Circle of Death spell that he miraculously missed. Ash was quick on his feet and danced away from them both.
In a pincer move, Rylan tried a Mage Slayer attack on its rear while Thea attempted a hellish rebuke, but only Rylan’s attack landed.
Bo cast Ice Knife and did quite a bit of damage, followed by Fuego who used Mass Cure Wounds to keep Garrett and Thea and Keres in the fight. He also summoned a fiery avatar of himself that did fire damage against the dragon along with the healing spell.
Brioche used a radiant fire breath attack and Loray hit it with his scimitars, but still the dragon focused in on Thea, attempting to bite and claw her. Ash was able to distract one of its attacks, but the claws hit Thea and pinned her to the ground, injuring her as it healed itself and negating another of her reactions.
The dwarves - those that hadn’t fled or been killed in the previous attacks, rushed forward with their mining tools: “For Brawlin!” Garrett thought he heard them shout as he watched Bo give Keres “true strike”
Ruinfea (still wild shaped as a carnotaurus) dismissed her beetles and cast Moonbeam at a high level. Again, the dragon shrugged it off with a legendary save, but the moonbeam stayed. Ruinfea then appeared to try to misty step onto its back, but perhaps she forgot she was dinosaur-shaped, because without adequate arms she could not hold on a fell thirty feet onto the stone floor.
Keres, mustering more than her usual strength and focus, used Ghost Step to free Thea from the grapple while simultaneously stabbing the dragon with her abyssal blade and hitting it with a magic stone just to rub it in.
Garrett, remembering both the boar and the King of Feathers, cast Grease - but although the pool appeared, the dragon remained upright.
From across the room, Rylan cast a healing spell on Keres and then shot and stabbed the dragon - and this time both weapons hit.
Thea also put a healing spell on Keres and cast a bardic inspiration to Fuego.
The dragon turned again, pivoting through Runifea’s moonbeam and taking radiant damage. Now extremely pissed off, the dragon let out a roar that resurrected the fallen dwarves (but not the dwarf king, so far as Garrett could tell) and let out a wailing psychic attack. This was the party’s clue that the dragon itself had access to some kind of necromancy.
Brioche attacked with her claws and jaws and tail, forcing the dragon to use another legendary save. It then roared at Brioche, and the brave young dragon disappeared in a wisp of smoke and ash.
“Oh fuck you!” Rylan roared and the dragon turned to claw and bite him, but Rylan stood firm: “I stand by fuck you.” He said as the dragon’s attack had no effect.
Bo cast a vitriolic sphere on the dragon, while Ruinfea dropped her moonbeam and summoned 24 velociraptors in what looked like a conga line, and then proceeded to use Fury of Blows to repeatedly hit the dragon with her carnosaurus head.
Garrett watched in amazement as Ruinfea’s attack caused cracks to fly up the dragon’s leg and then spread across its body. They cracked and splintered and as the dragon fell apart, also into ash and smoke, a whisper floated on the air: “This isn’t over”
Its bones disappeared and flittered away just like Brioche had done, but just as they seemed to disappear from view a last blast of shadow and psychic energy grabbed at Bo. Wrapping around his legs, the tendrils whisked him away into nothing.
The battle was over, but at a great cost: Reiner was down, and both Brioche and Bo had been sent or taken who knew where.
Rylan, before the smoke had cleared and the ash had settled, cast revivify on Reiner, who - brought back from what state of death Garrett knew not - flooded himself with negative energy. Ruinfea offered himself some of her dino blood, but Reiner refused.
Shifting back into her elf-form, the party realized how hurt Ruinfea was, and together Fuego and Garrett healed her up to a more adequate level.
Reiner strode over to the body of Wyrmheart and summed a runed bone sword which he promptly drove and twisted into Wyrmheart’s chest. This is how Reiner cast Speak with the Dead.
Reiner coerced Wyrmheart to give up information. He had desecrated the temple here under the earth, and that desecration had brought ancient knowledge. Wrymheart himself claimed to be a Lich of Corvo, who he said was the dragon the party had just defeated (if only temporarily).
This bit of information was given quite reluctantly, and Reiner promised to return Wyrmheart to his phylactory. Though Wyrmehart wanted the agreement in writing, Reiner refused and asked where the stone was.
Wyrmheart was mocking, saying it was right here but was unsurprised they’d overlooked the simple obsidian stone nearby.
Reiner had enough of Wyrmheart’s snark, and said “Looks like Keres gets a new stone” and immediately pulled out the sword before any reply could be given.
In the meantime, Rylan had been concentration on a spell, Find Steed. The spell took effect just after Reiner pulled the sword, and in another swirl of ash and shadow and a flicker of fey magic Brioche reappeared. She was now in her elf-form and appeared to be running from something. She kept running into Rylan’s embrace, which after a moment of confusion and stress, seemed to bring her out of her state of terror.
Rylan gently questioned her about what she had seen, and based on her description, Reiner thought she’d been sent to the Shadowfell, and that was likely where Bo had been taken, too.
Rylan looked to Fuego and nodded at him. Returning the nod, he walked toward the stone, which began to hum as he approached. Symbols began to glow on it, unreadable to the party. He touched the side and the stone seemed to speak:
“Find that which would rule” and an obelisk-shaped amulet appeared around his neck. To Garrett it looked like a large needle on a thick cord.
Drawlin, the dwarf Thea had blessed, had survived the fight and now offered what they dwarves could to help the party rest and recover before the next stage of their journey.
The dragon hoard was now unguarded, and the party determined to examine it together. Garrett, though, found nothing of use to him beyond some gold.
Note: the player did not update this wikia for several weeks, and as such, the next few entries may be a bit lighter on details and conversations than previous sections.
Shadow and Dread
Having rested and able to gather their thoughts, the party turned it’s attention to rescuing Bo. Ruinfea asked for more information about where it was, exactly, that Reiner and Rylan thought Bo had been taken, and Reiner explained that it was the Shadowfell: a place where light didn’t work the same way as other places, where illumination - including some magics - was reduced by half or more, making navigation difficult. There were also places of negative energy that would kill some of the party members if they happened to cross into them.
Keres asked about looking for certain landmarks, while Brioche recalled bone ash blowing in a cold desert. They wondered if, perhaps, the Root of War was looking for recruits there as well.
Between the more knowledgeable party members, a tower was selected as a point of focus and, with Reiner detaching his skeletal arm to help complete the circle, they all held hands through a planar shift. They arrived a a fallen tower that looked like it had been pushed over on its side and cracked.
The wide, sweeping plane spread out before them, and the winds pricked them all. It was a barren landscape, yet both alive and aware of their presence. A giant crack split the sky with a faint, glowing Mist. Garrett could hear the capital letter forming in his mind that this was no ordinary mist, but no sooner had this thought formed than his attention was drawn to Thea, whose hands appeared to go intangible just for a split second before coming back to reality.
Rylan and Reiner and Keres talked of a Dread Lord and a possible exodus for Borovia, wherever that was. Thea used “locate object” in an attempt to find Bo, which pointed to the south and east. In that direction, explained Reiner, lay Thar Amphala, the place where his father, Vecna, had been stopped from ascending into godhood himself. (Vecan, it was explained, was a once-human Litch wig a messy relationship to godhood. He was known for making a lot of “stuff” that tended to find and corrupt adventuring parties.)
They traveled through the Shadowfell, where time proved to be more wobbly-wobbly than previous, only to find the city of Thultanthar missing. 900 feet away, another crack branched down; through the crack they could see a graveyard, and Thea’s spell lead straight into it.
As they stepped through, a wet chillness stuck to their bones, and a fine mist kicked up on the cobblestones lit by nearby gas lamps. All of Thea seemed to blink out of existence just for a moment - the way her hands had done what was either a few minutes or hours ago - but Reiner told her not to worry.
Cold iron gates seemingly barred the graveyard. From an alleyway, the fog gave off a faint glow. Rylan speculated they’d found their way into the Dread Realm known as Peridon and said that, if that were indeed the case, they’d need to find a way to fit in both in terms of their clothing and in the actions they would take.
Rounding a corner, they literally ran into Bo, who looked startled but did not attack them. Thea gave him a hug and they turned to go back they way they came, only to find the crack gone and a tall stone brick wall in its place. Reiner and Rylan said they’d need to talk to the lord of Peridon - one Flickerflame (though his name was not said out loud but rather spelled in the fog).
As they talked, Rylan spotted a face in the graveyard: Bo. Subtly, he brought the party’s attention to the other Bo, and Thea used a sending spell to contact Bo; the one in the graveyard responded “that’s not me”.
Keres and others put it together that the Bo with them was a doppelgänger, and Keres attacked Doppel!Bo with a sneak attack from her daggers.
Doppel!Bo, in turn, grabbed hold of Keres with grinning yet lightless eyes.
Rylan attempted an assassinate move, but Doppel!Bo flicked at Kere’s magic eye, seeming to turn it off, before turning to ineffectively throw flying daggers at Rylan.
Reiner now cast contagion on Doppel!Bo, resulting in seizures overtaking its body, its legs going out from under it, and a dagger opening its side in a wide gash.
“My blood for Bloody Jack” it said as the life ebbed out.
Rylan went and gathered the real Bo from the cemetery, who explained how he’d only been here moments before the party showed up and was waylaid as he tried to make his way to them.
They walked through town as Rylan explained once more that they needed to change their clothes. Not many people appeared on the street, and the private homes were locked, though oil lamps glowed prominently in the windows and by each door. One door had no lamp, and a long red streak marred the door. Rylan assured the rest that it wasn’t blood. They finally found a well-lit square with a brothel on one side an a modiste selling outfits and a little bit of everything on the other.
They entered the shop, where the shopkeep appeared to be either a human variant or half elf. Two others occupied the shop: one browsing and one working. It was pleasant to be off the streets, and the creeping sense of dread seemed to lift.
“Customers! And at night! So good to see you!” She exclaimed.
Rylan explained that we were in need of services, and then one by one the shopkeep seemed to read each party member for filth as they were outfitted: corsets for Thea and Ruinfea; jacket, vest, top hat, and mortician’s banner for Rylan; strait cut jacket for Fuego, a vest and coat and boots for Garrett (alive with sage and color), and fashionable clothes for Keres and Reiner (who she dressed in black and red).
Rylan paid for the party, and then the assistant offered a place to stay off the street and in the light. his name was Khalid, and he had rooms across the street in the brothel. “Jack’s men are coming” he explained.
In his rooms, he told them he himself came from a place called Baldur’s Gate and had become separated from his party. His rooms were warded, and so he shared that Flickerflame was the lord of the realm, but was not easy to negotiate with. Bloody Jack was a serial killer who reappeared every thirteen years and killed one person each night for six nights, murdering in gruesome ways. He carried a sword, possibly the same one usually held by Flickerflame, and left a person empty - soulless and with a scattered body. It appeared his goal was to kill his victims while also imparting as much grief to their family as possible.
There are some theories about the whole affair, most notable that somehow Bloody Jack gave Flickerlame his seeming immortality. His weapon, called Fang of the Nosferatu, claimed both body and soul. He was able to change form as fast as the wind.
At this time of year the Domain of the Timor also rose to repopulate the sewers of Maraketh, though how they might be connected was anyone’s guess.
They were now on the second night of six, and spent the hour resting, talking of weapons and history and the like. Khalid himself was concerned for his friend Arsinoë, who had a room adjoining his but who had not been seen recently. The candle in her room had even snuffed out as well.
The time passed, and soon enough people outside walked around as if it were midday, though the sun itself never shown through the gloom, giving wide berth to the brothel. Following Khalid, they walked to the city center where to large buildings - “King’s Quarters” and “Parliament” - stood. A series of statues, perhaps of stone royals, surrounded what perhaps may have been a temple. A board and soapbox stood next to a dry fountain; many folks lingered around the board, waiting for an announcement to be posted.
Soon enough it came; it was not Arsinoë. An unidentified woman had been killed by Bloody Jack outside Blackchapel Church. The Anglican-risqué church itself had been abandoned some time ago. Nearby “The Celebrants of Humanity” had opened a soup kitchen; a line of people now stretched around the building and down an alley.
Cops huddled around a body, which Keres sent Locket in centipede form to investigate. Ruinfea tried to detect thoughts, and got “wait for Sir Edmund Bloodsworth” for her troubles. The body was not shaped quite right, even under the sheet. It seemed rather to be in three separate sections.
Soon enough came the sound of a cane clacking down the alleyway, carried by a human male in his 40s: a mustache and sideburns made him every inch a proper inspector.
The Third Family
Fuego Nevermere: Garrett has been told being accidentally lit on fire by Fuego is a rite or passage for all members of the Third Family. As of yet, this has not happened.
Fuego and Garrett talked about magic and their relationship after returning from Soren’s tower. The two solidified their friendship, and Garrett promised Fuego to help him regain his memory (which has since happened) and defeat his enemies (which decidedly has not happened).
Garrett made two twisted blades for Fuego from three swords and several artifacts Fuego gave him for that purpose. Though the two have talked several times, Garrett only came to realize how much the Dragonborn thought of him when embraced in a bear hug.
Kam: Garrett respects Kam, but fears their acquaintanceship has gotten off to a rocky start, with Kam implying Garrett deserted his duty in Sildeyuir.
Keres: Garret appreciates Keres’ non-hostile treatment of his joining the group, and was particularly pleased when she asked for his and Ash’s help in marking a map of Faerun with possible relic locations.
Garrett is pleased that Keres has rejoined the party and looks forward to making more of her acquaintance as he as with the rest of the party during her absence.
Ruinfea: Though the two have had little interaction, Garrett has given Ruinfea some of his fur “just in case,” telling her to use it wisely.
Garrett has also told Ruinfea not to get too attached to any of his creations or constructs apart from Ash. This advice has gone unheeded.
Garrett was particularly pleased that Ruinfea would allow him to ride her back in albatross form into battle.
More than once Garrett has thought that Ruinfea wanted to talk to him or ask him something, but she became distracted before anything could be said or done. Garrett will not push the issue.
Garrett has come to see that Ruinfea is completely and utterly her own person, and he will support her wholeheartedly - though he will still warn her not to pet unfamiliar animals in case of a repeat of what happened with the wisps.
Rylan Baenre: Garrett and Rylan seem to have a connection in their motives, but the two have not talked extensively about this. Rylan has given Garrett looks of interest as they have each discussed their past with the party. Rylan has shown kindness to Garrett when he voiced his opinion on replacing broken things, reminding Garrett that gold makes a broken pot a work of art, and that stained-glass windows bring light and joy into the world.
Garrett was deeply moved when Rylan hugged him for making armor for Brioche, and the two have had small yet powerfully meaningful conversations, and a longer one at The Dagda’s lodge.
Their discussion in the corridor at Tasha's has, in Garrett's mind, solidified their friendship. Rylan has since had small, quick conversations with Garrett that indicate the two may be closer than Garrett realizes.
It was in the library at The Dagda’s lodge that Garrett came to realize that Rylan literally trusts Garrett with his life, asking him to fashion a tactical cargo brace to replace the one worn while he and Kam were together. Garrett is also pleased to see the jewelry he has made Rylan take prominence on his person.
If asked, Garrett would say that Rylan is more than a friend - he is a brother.
Theodosia Chandler: Garrett appreciates Thea’s help and honesty. It was mainly through Thea’s actions that he survived the trip into Faerun, and her explanation of how the Third Family lets new members pull a treasure from the bag of holding out him at ease that, while he wasn’t a full-fledged member yet, the possibility was there - which came to fruition after the party’s adventure to free LaCroix.
Thea has reminded Garrett that he is now family and a genuine part of the Third Family.
The two solidified their friendship when Garrett invited Thea to come watch him remake Ash, which up until then was something he’d done in private.
Garrett was pleased to present Thea with the sword known as Bard's Blade after her ascension to God of Bards, and the two are often seen together at The Dagda’s lodge - when Keres is otherwise indisposed, that is.
Garrett is most appreciative of Thea’s aggressive respect, often speaking up for Garrett even when he himself is slow to do so.
Reiner:- Garrett has spoken very little to Reiner at this point, but it is clear the two share a common interest in knowledge. After returning from The Hunt, Garrett found that Ash and Reiner had spent the time in each other’s company in the library, and based on Reiner’s words and Ash’s actions, he gathered they each enjoyed the time spent together immensely. In Garrett’s mind, this bodes well for their future interactions.
Brioche - Garrett has shared space with Brioche in her bag and considers the dragon to be a friend. He feels the two of them have become closer after Garrett made armor for her; this feeling has been confirmed as the two have interacted since.
The two shared a rather special day as they partnered up for The Hunt (sometimes called the Wild Hunt) and, choosing to ignore a family of beavers, successfully took down a charging boar. While dressing their kill, they were visited by Oberon.
If Thea is Brioche’s “aunt”, Garrett is coming to see himself as an uncle of sorts, and he seeks to give the growing dragon space to be herself without judgment.
Nesryn - Nesryn may be helping the struggling members of the Third Family as a favor to Tasha, but Garrett appreciates her nonetheless. She put him at ease when he was fearful he offended the group when being introduced, and her comment of “I like you, cuddly bunny man,” caused Garret to blush. She made it clear she was Garrett’s superior in their sparring match, yet gave him enough opportunity to test his abilities. She also looked pleased and excited when Garrett revealed the armor he’d made for Brioche.
These actions, combined with Nesryn’s seeming fondness for Ash, have contributed to Garrett’s respect for Nesryn, and he was sad when it was time for her to leave the party.
Kiara and Z
Kiara and Z shared with Garrett the story of Beausiphus, Kiara’s party member who carried the crossbow before Garrett. Their talk of party and family and practicality has begun a change in Garrett that he hopes he can one day express.
Garrett has come to see the Dagda as an ally, and is grateful the god helped him commune with Oberon. He also gets the idea that The Dagda would like to have a longer conversation with Garrett , were it not for the whole “end of the world/planes” thing that is going on.
Ash is Garrett’s steel companion. Despite being recreated many times, Garrett insists on Ash maintaining the same appearance and treats Ash as one continuous living creature. Though steel companions obey commands given them, Ash’s prime command is to “be a cat”.
Ash has become a support animal of sorts among the members of the Third Family and has spent time in the company (and laps) of almost every party member.
Bolts of Escalating Retort
These bolts are a special creation of Garrett’s - but even he doesn’t know exactly how or why it works. What he does know is that casting “reduce” on a ballista bolt shrinks it to the size of a regular crossbow bolt, which then keeps its small size until fired from a crossbow. The bolts can be fired by anyone from any crossbow. The spell does not work like this for any other time, even other types of bolts or arrows.
Blessed by the Lord of Beasts
This armor was made for Brioche the gold dragon at Rylan’s request, though the entire design belongs to Garrett. The making of this armor was Garrett’s first inclination that Oberon was taking a special interest in him.
The half-plate armor was made with armor and weapons and equipment donated by members of The Third Family and has all the benefits of a set of Arcane Propulsion armor plus a bladed tail piece made from a Great Sword of Wounding - all without Garrett using an artificer’s infusion slot. In recognition of Oberon’s blessing, Garrett not only named the armor in his honor, but included a set of gold antlers as adornment.
The metal plates reflect the color of an autumn fire, while the leather parts are tooled to look like dragon scales. A system of metal and leather also protects the bone structure of Brioche’s wings. The rivets connecting metal and leather look like cat paws and rabbit feet.
This combination sword and instrument was crafted for Thea Chandler and was presented to Thea on her ascension as the God of Bards, taking Oghma’s place after he was killed by The Third Family.
It combines a viol already in Thea’s possession and the short sword she was given during training in The Grey Wastes.
This is a non-magical trinket made for Rylan on the occasion of his 111th birthday and resembles Brioche in her dragon form. Rylan has taken to wearing the amulet around his neck along with his holy symbol.
This brace was made for Rylan after returning to The Dagda’s lodge after saving Lusk from Glynn (who in turn was acting on behalf of the Root of War). This leg brace has pockets and pouches and straps for Rylan’s paraphernalia.
This sword was made for Fuego/Barrin using the swords Holy Avenger, a Longsword of Life Stealing, and a Longsword of Wounding - as well as a few other items Fuego wanted incorporated.
Trinity’s Edge is a spiraled blade with three distinct edges ending in a single point. The hilt resembles branches, with the branches styled in such a way that the guard evokes antlers. The branches of the grip also twist around, holding a piece of mica and a piece of labrodite in place, before ending with the pommel containing a scale from the dragon Tiamat.
It is unknown if Garrett’s intended magical effects worked or not.
This is a second sword made from the same three blades as Trinity’s Edge. It has the same look but does not contain any relics or artifacts.
It is unknown if Garrett’s intended magical effects worked or not.
These bracelets were made by Garrett at The Dagda’s lodge in accordance with Oberon’s instruction to use the blessed boar bones on the next thing he made to help protect the party. In addition to the boar bones, Garrett also used the dragon claws he scavenged from the dragon Tiamat.
It is unknown what effect these bracelets will have on those who wear them.