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.
Garrett’s personality is slowly being revealed to the Third Family. He seems intelligent, but perhaps a bit unwise. He cares deeply, but about what specifically has yet to be revealed.
Although it is clear that he has a sense of duty, honor, and obligation, it is also evident that he is currently holding things very close to the chest at the present moment.
Though he tends to not start conversations unless absolutely necessary, Garrett is ready to talk about things that he considers obvious, trivial, or unimportant – so long as he is answering a question. He is used to his ears drawing attention, and he finds that talking in very general terms tends to satisfy the curious.
He is much more cautious when it comes to those things he considers secret, personal, or important.
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.
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’sbrother 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 – Nesrynobjected 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 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).
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.
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.
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, with promises of a longer one in a more suitable environment. Garrett looks forward to this talk with great anticipation.
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.
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.
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.
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.