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Journal of the Souls of Legend (completed)


Lizard folk in disguise
Interesting: kind of a yellow musk creeper/shambling mound hybrid, with a fungal twist. I like it! I'm looking forward to the upcoming fight, where the team's one man short (given that it's Beepu, I guess technically one short man short) and one man seriously not at full capacity. It looks like Daneath and Myrai are going to have to do the heavy lifting in the upcoming battle.

This is one of those monsters that don't have a great description, so the fungus on the walls (as described TO me) and a single picture are all I have to work with. But while the yellow musk creeper (a favorite of mine from the original Fiend Folio) does come to mind, but that ISN'T the monster.

It is actually is far worse. Stay tuned!

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Lizard folk in disguise
Garden of the Dead - 8/2/2020

I remember a debate in the Civic Festhall where different religions gave their perspective on life and death. One concept which I remember nodding to was the idea that our deaths help others grow. Our corpses become dirt, enrich plants, plants feed animals, animals eat other ones, animals die…and so forth

Somehow I must have missed the section on plants eating animals.

The four corpses slowly walked towards us unhurriedly, while from the other side, the mass of vegetation creeped on the cavern floor closing the distance. And the three of us stuck in between with no clear path away from either opponent.

“Iesa, stay to my right,” I said as I raised my shield up and faced the corpses, gripping my rod tight, ready to face the onslaught.

Iesa nodded and raised up his rapier, waiting for them to move into striking range. I glanced behind me, as Daneath readied his shield as he too waited for the first move of this mobile mass of vines and shoots.

“Lets strike first,” Iesa said to me. “D’s got our back,” and with that he lunged at the corpse, second from the right. His blade slid quickly and smoothly into the moldering body, and with a twist he pulled the blade out and left a large gash, spilling a liquid mass of slime and ooze. I then pulled on a dark strand and created two skeletal hands to pull on the false life of the bodies, on the right most pair. The one that Iesa struck, fell quickly, and the body broke apart, its limbs separating from the torso, as if string were cut from a puppet. The other one on the far right, swung at Iesa, but its clumsy attack was easy enough for Iesa to dodge.

The two on the left started for me and I could feel that strange oscillation, and struggle. I could feel them strain against it and to attack me, but they could not force themselves to break the strange compulsion of the strand. They stood there, unable to move past me. They inner one swung clumsily at Iesa also missing the agile Knight, while his partners clutched its hands trying to find a way past my strand’s strange effect on them.

From behind me I heard what sounded like a whip cracking and the sound of something striking metal. Glancing behind me, I saw a vine retreating from smacking Daneath’s shield, while another struck the warrior’s legs. He again fended the blow off, by slicing at the fibrous vine with his sword on a riposte. But the plant quickly took advantage of Daneath’s defenses being out of place, and a third vine whipped across Daneath’s sword arm. As the vine slid over his skin, I saw that it was covered in thorns, and they sliced deeply into his flesh.

“Crap, crap, that stings,” he barked. But I was distracted as the corpse on the far right, changed targets and swung at me, unaffected by the strand’s protection. But I swung my shield over in time to soak the blow, and then returned it into position, in case the left two suddenly found the gelbas and will, to attack me. Iesa again thrust into the gut of the right most foe, but the blow was far weaker than the first, as the combat already wore on Iesa’s limited strength as he was already wheezing heavily.

I focused a single strand on the remaining corpse on the right, ignoring the pair on my shield. I knew if I struck them with a strand, then they would be free to engage me, and I wanted to keep that from being the case as long as possible. Meanwhile I heard the sound of metal on thick vines, as Daneath chopped a errand shoot that hit his shield. Two more however snuck by his guard, one striking his thigh, and ripping skin and spraying blood, while the third one snapped at him, pushing Daneath off balance.

I smiled and thought: This wasn’t so bad. We could do this. Then the plant opened a set of flowers and a horrific smell of rot and worse came over all of us.

Iesa and Daneath both choked violently, under the wave of nausea that washed over us. But it was too much for me, and I dropped to my hands and knees, heaving as I vomited out the contents of my stomach uncontrollably.

“Myr? Get up!” and I felt Iesa left hand on me, trying to pull me upright. But the three corpses shifted and attacked him, and Iesa had to abandon me to defend himself. Unfortunately, the attempt left him open, as one of the corpses struck him with the remains of a balled-up fist in his ribs, causing him to cough up blood and gasp for air.

I was on my knees, helplessly retching. My bowels now empty, strained to find something more to empty on the floor. The scent of the flowers, and my own bile was more than I could take, as I knelt there, trying to gasp for air. I glanced in Daneath’s direction to see how his gardening was going.

He had managed to thrust his sword deep into the thicket of fiberous roots and shoots, and his sword was covered the plant’s strange fluids. But after he landed a blow, he was struck again by vines. He severed two in self defense while the third raked his sword arm. Looking at it, I could see it was already swelling up in response to the plant’s secretions on the thorns.

Alright; its bad. We can still do this.

I then collapsed in a fit of dry heaves, trying to expel something. I desperately wanted a moment to drink something, just so something would come back up, rather than the continual pain of empty retching that I was feeling. Finally, the wave of nausea eased, allowing me to breathe. Iesa had downed another corpse and was fending off the pair with difficulty.

--Myr! The plant!

I turned at Gossamers’ call. I was now unsure where he was in the throng of combatants. But pushing that aside I looked at the plant confused, then I saw it. What looked like a huge pod that would have held seeds had emerged from the center of the bulk. I then watched as it split open, and another corpse tumbled out of it, dripping wet in some sort of fluid. Once the corpse’s feet hit the ground it ran, past Daneath’s guard and straight into Iesa’s, almost bowling him over as it pummeled him from the back.

“D watch it—crap!” he exclaimed as he realized there was a fresh corpse on the scene. But the plant wasn’t finished. It slid along the wall and I watched shoots and roots reach out, and grab one of the corpses that Iesa had just recreated, and with horror I saw it stuff the remains, into what looked like another pod.

We’ve walked into the Lady’s Shadow!

Iesa was now surrounded and weakening further as he tried to stay balanced. As he fought the three bodies, each had a turn of landing blows, keeping him off balance and exposing him to more pummeling from the animated bodies.

“Myr! Help!” Iesa shouted as he swung wildly trying to use the threat of his blade to keep the corpses from attacking. But they continued their clumsy onslaught. Meanwhile Daneath was still trying to sink his blade deeper into the foliage, looking for the main trunk of the thing. Another pod had emerged and expelled a fresh slimy corpse which threw itself into the fray with Iesa making it a four to one challenge.

I stumbled to my feet, wiping some bile from my mouth with my forearm. I was exhausted from my bowel’s defection to the enemy, but I wasn’t ready to give up yet. I stood and stumbled towards Iesa. The corpses shirked away from me as I stumbled forward until I draped my arms over Iesa and clung onto him desperately as he supported me.

“I’m sorry about this,” I panted as I leaned my head on his shoulder looking behind him.

“Sorry about wha--?” He started before I suddenly cut him off.

I screamed.

The piercing shriek echoed within the cave, causing the walls to reverberate with the sound. As I emptied my lungs so was the darkness normally pent up within me was suddenly freed. Without any constraints, the inky strands of darkness tore at everything around me, destroying life and unlife alike. Three of the corpses fell from the onslaught, and the fourth was nearly done.

“Myr what the hell?” I heard Daneath shout.

But I was now focused on Iesa, our roles reversed, his rapier slack in his hand, and his labored breathing now slowed to the barest whisper. Now I was the one clutching him in the vain attempt to keep his unconscious form upright. I let him slide down to the floor of the cavern as gently as I could.

The last corpse leapt at me, the strands no longer shielding me; it pounded me with closed fists against my shield. I gritted my teeth, unable to respond, as I focused on my rod; pulling energy from it and saturating myself with quanta I could use again.

Daneath in the meantime, cleaved vines and roots, trying to prevent the plant from approaching the corpses. The plant seemed to know, and it reacted. It moved with surprising haste to a wall and started to stretch roots and shoots into the cracks and crevasses in the rock wall. In a moment, it was now on the roof of the chamber. And while Daneath could swing and strike at it, he could not prevent its movement above him. It crawled along the roof of the cavern until it was directly above me and Iesa, when it swiftly dropped tendrils onto one of the newly fallen bodies. It then quickly sailed upwards and was absorbed into another pod.

“You have to be kidding me!” Daneath yelled and looked at me desperately.

“Keep hacking at it!” I said, and I quickly pulled on a strand, calling forth another skeletal hand, that dragged down the final pair fighting corpses. Then whispering, “Live,” I threw a coil of white stranded energy around Iesa. He then sharply inhaled and his eyes snapped open, just in time to see the newly dead corpse slam into the ground next to him. He swiftly crawled to the edge of the room, leaving his rapier behind. But he then took out his bow, and then took aim at our foe on the ceiling.

Daneath was swinging as well; while the room was tall, the plants bulk allowed Daneath to still hit it effectively. He shouted and swung with overhead chops, cleaving leaves, flowers, and vines from the plant. He quickly found a rhythm as he tore away at the foliage. As he did so, I saw that the pod that taken up a corpse was now shrinking as it absorbed the contents. Elsewhere on the plant I saw new shoots and vines form, as fast as Daneath could cut them away.

“Keep it up! It’s eating the corpses!” I shouted and I used the same incantation to tear at the monstrous plant with a skeletal hand. I kept focusing and kept the incantation going. And together it was enough; as Daneath trimmed the overgrown topiary, and Iesa peppered it with arrows we finally were doing more damage to it than it could pull corpses up from the floor to recover with.

Finally, with a loud whoop, Daneath made a single thrust, and the entire plant spasmed; its leaves quivered, and its flowers all popped open, losing petals in a burst, and vines quivered spasmodically. Finally, with a crash, the plant slammed into the floor, its bulk collapsing on itself.

We stood in the room, warily turning around waiting for the next attack, which never came. After a few tense moments we relaxed. With the flowers now dead, the air was starting to clear, and feel less humid. I leaned against a wall and relaxed a moment, as my breathing slowed to normal. As I rested, I noticed that Iesa had stopped wheezing, and was instead making normal breaths. After a moment, he walked over to me and looked me straight in the eye.

“Remind me not to give you hug in a fight again,” he said in a huff.

“I said I was sorry,” I responded a little exasperated.

“I know. I guess if I died there, Kelemvor might have to judge me right?” he asked.

“Well; if you died, I’d probably be next, and we’d be skipping to the crystal spire together.”

“Yeah?” said Daneath. “I’m sure that ‘she let me become plant food,’ would look good on your permanent accomplishments to your deity.”

“I guess it eliminates the grave digger as a middleman,” I said sardonically.

“Well, thanks…I think,” Iesa said a bit more sympathetically, coughing again into his hand. “Although not sure what hurt more, that black stuff or that scream. But are you ok?”

I nodded yes, “I’m stretched to the rakers, but I’ll be alright after a breather.”

--Hey Myr?

Yes Gos?

--There’s a hole here, and stuff below.


--Like a campsite.

“What the?” I said aloud and looked for the tressym. At the back of the cave, in the area that was blocked off by the deadly plant, there was a hole that descended into another cavern. I walked over, and the brothers followed me in surprise, until they too saw the hole. We all three stood looking down, and Daneath shined his shield into the depths.

Below we saw it was another cave with a second exit, leading deeper into the caves. But on one side there was a circle of stone, a bedroll, and the remains of cooking gear. Without saying a word, Iesa whipped out a rope and started to knot it for easy climbing. Daneath took out a piton and quickly nailed into place and soon we were looking around the campsite.

It was stocked for a long stay, small crates of rations, a fishing pole, and a set of clothes. A pile of driftwood was stacked on one end, along with a hatchet. A pair of knives lay out in the open, both with the slight dusting of rust on the blades.

“A camp in a cave. Not even close to the entrance,” Daneath remarked. “This person didn’t want to be found.”

Iesa looked around the campsite a bit, “It hasn’t been used for a bit,” and he stifled a cough. “But they planned to stay a while; a lot of wood and torches.”

“Not exactly an inspiring tale of treasures,” Daneath commented as he nudged the remaining crates with his boot.

I knelt down by the bedroll. Looking carefully towards an end I found what I was looking for. There in the fibers was a grey hair. I picked it up and held it between my fingers. As I watched the hair moved like it was being blown by an intangible breeze.

“It’s Eridan’s,” I said holding the solitary hair up for the pair to see. “He was hiding here. And with hair like this and I bet a grey complexion, we might have a ghost.”

“So where did he go?” Iesa questioned. “This camp has been abandoned for a while now; long enough for steel to start rusting.”

“You don’t think that thing…ate him?” Daneath asked uncomfortably.

“I hope not,” I said. “But there is more to the cave than this. He could have moved somewhere else for all we know.”

“Well, he isn’t here, so perhaps he is…down there” and Iesa gestured towards the passage. It was narrow and bent towards the left.

I shrugged and said. “We have nowhere else to go.”


--Watch your back. Watch your back. I know what to do.

At least one of us does.

Daneath nodded and lead the way with his shield in front. The passage was narrow, so I found myself leading Iesa through the cave, with his hand on my shoulder. With Daneath’s bulk in front of me I couldn’t see much. But this cave was tighter than the others we had stumbled through before. Even the passages above felt more open than where I found myself.

On edge I continued behind Daneath, painfully aware of the close walls, the sound of my own breath, and the occasional cough behind me. It was then when I could detect a fair odor in the air, salt.

“There is an opening somewhere,” I said.

I heard Daneath take a sniff of the air. “Yeah, I smell it too. It’s not strong, but there is another entrance to this cave somewhere.”

“A sea cave maybe,” Iesa quickly said before coughing. “There are some in the north near Waterdeep.”

” The passage opens up ahead, but I can’t see how large the room ahead is,” Daneath commented, as he readied his blade, readying himself for threats unknown.

We stepped into a cavern, in the shape of a bean, with us at one end. The scent of sea air was stronger now, but it wasn’t close yet. As I exited the narrow passageway, I saw that the cave was devoid of stalagmites or stalactites. But the room wasn’t empty either.

Crates and boxes lined the walls. Some where in decent condition, while others were broken shells, their contents long gone. All of them the size that a could be easily moved by two people. Several jutted out from the wall at irregular intervals, while some along the walls were stacked two and three crates high. I then noticed that there was a table halfway between the two passages, and just offset from the wall on my left. On it an oil lamp, a pitcher and some cups scattered across the top, while four stools were scattered on the floor around it.

Frowning, I wondered if this was a smugglers cave. Or was this the so-called treasure, that Hilberts had mentioned in a drunken haze. I then turned to ask a Iesa question, when he put his finger to his lips, and then pointed at the table with his rapier.

I turned to look at the table again, confused. I stared at it, trying to understand what spooked Iesa. Then I groaned inwardly, when I saw from the lamp the wisps of smoke escape the glass bell.

Iesa then moved quietly, I could see his face straining to contain another cough. He crouched down by a crate and I watched him cock his head listening. I stepped to my right raising my shield in front of me, pulling together some strands in preparation.

Daneath stepped forward towards the table; his stance indicated that he too saw the smoke and expected trouble. He was not surprised, when several figures swiftly rose from behind the crates and quarrels flew at Daneath and I. There were perhaps eight or ten of themn. Daneath’s shield rang with the sound of a pair of bolts bouncing off the metal as did a trio off of my own, while others just sailed into the cavern wall behind us.

But once they appeared, I snapped the strands I was working. The sounds of crates, the lamp glass and bone cracking and screams of pain carried throughout the cave. I felt that disturbing wave of excitement and euphoria as the sounds washed over me. One of the figures had manage to duck behind the crate partially avoiding my spell. He drew a dark metal blade and rushed at me.

But he never saw Iesa. In fact I don’t think any of them did, as Iesa quickly stabbed the running figure in the side causing a spray of dark blood to burst forth as it stumbled and rolled into a lifeless heap in front of me. I looked down at the figure and gasped at what I saw.

It fallen foe was a male I surmised on the face, but the features were clearly elven. High cheekbones, small squared chin, and pointed ears marked him as an elf. But the red eyes, the obsidian skin and white hair gave away his heritage.

“Dharrow?” I said the elvish word for the Drow to myself in confusion. I was blankly staring at the fallen elf. Meanwhile Daneath, chopped his blade into two more, felling each, while Iesa killed another one, already badly wounded by the cacophony of my incantation.

And just like that the fight was over. Daneath looked around and sighed.

"You made quite the mess Myr,” he said mockingly. “I’m not sure whose body part belongs who now.”

Iesa now bent down looking at one of the corpses, “Drow. Here? On the Nelanther isles?”

“One or maybe two might be outcasts or something like that one we saw in Yartar,” Daneath started as he looked over the room. “But nine? Nine males? I would guess there is a passage to the Underdark here.”

“Either of you hurt?” I asked as knelt to look at the face of the dead drow. It was handsome as I would have expected any elf. I remembered something Arnara said about them.

We were lounging on the divans at the house, on a moonless night. The stars overhead shone above us in the firmament, and I remembered saying how beautiful they were. Arnara nodded and then said something to me.

“The moonless nights are sometimes seen as bad luck to the elves, for it is nights like this that Drow creep up and take slaves down below. Not here fortunately, but other places they have been known to carry out raids.”

“What are they…like?” I asked curiously.

“A beautiful and twisted dark mirror of Tel’Quessir,” she said with a note of disdain on her lips. “Banished from the sun, and marked as creatures of darkness., their beauty marred for all eternity by their cruelty. The women, the matriarchs’ rule, and everyone else is a slave, a tool, or a sacrifice. Including the men. Especially the men.”

“We’re fine Myr, but these Drow are odd,” Daneath said.

“What do you mean?” I said unable to tear my eyes away as I looked at the dead drow with a morbid curiosity as I slowly felt the euphoria of the fight wearing off.

“They are dressed…much like Hiberts,” Daneath pointed out. “I always heard that drow had special weapons and armor. These are wearing homespun tunics and rough leather, and the swords aren’t great quality.”

“Anything in the crates?” I asked, looking at iesa who was rummaging already in the stacks.

“Not really,” he said poking inside several with his rapier. “Some hard tack and some water. Anything valuable isn’t here.”

“Well, let’s keep going,” Daneath said his voice on edge. “We were lucky. They saw us coming, they have better vision than Iesa and I in the dark.”

“Did you want me to lead?” I asked. Daneath looked conflicted for a moment before shaking his head.

“No, the light would still give us away, and I’m ready for a melee. I mean, I know you can take care of yourself,” he stammered a bit awkwardly.

I smiled, “Look I’d rather heal you than myself. But I’m staying close anyway.”

Daneath nodded, and hefted his shield in front of him again, and we started down the passage. It was wider than the prior one, and it kept turning towards the right. Very soon, we found ourselves in a large grotto. The passage had deposited us on a broad ledge, overlooking a broad flat floor. The cave walls and ceiling were worn smooth. The smell of the sea was stronger here, and now we could finally hear the sea itself crashing upon rock, echoing in the passage. But more exciting, was dim ray of sunlight coming from a passage on the floor. From where we stood there was a ramp of natural stone that descended to the floor of the grotto.

We tread carefully down the smooth stone and discovered there was more to the grotto as there was a passage leading below the ledge and descending into the rock. But we also found pressed against the base of the ledge, bedrolls, fire rings and benches and stools. The were all clustered around the passage that descended deeper. Once on the floor of the cavern, and in full view of the camp I started counting beds.

“There must be more around somewhere,” Daneath said. “I count fifteen bedrolls.”

“Sixteen,” I corrected. “And there are probably more down in that passage.”

“Why do you think that?” Daneath asked looking at me puzzled.

“They are clustered close to that opening,” and I leveled my rod towards the lower passage. If they were worried about something coming up, they would be arranged differently. So, for them it’s safe.”

“I’ll take a look and see if we are alone then,” Iesa said and before we could stop him, he crept into the camp. As I watched him place his back to the ledge’s base, I fished out some copper wire from my pouch and focused on using a stand to talk with him.

Isea! Be careful. You can’t see down there.

==I’ll be fine Myr. I don’t have the light with me, and they’ll never hear me.

Iesa then started to move cautiously towards the passage. He looked around at the various elements of the camp, nudging them with a boot occasionally. Finally, he reached the passage, and then he leaned his head to look down it as we watched. Then he crossed in front of it, heading to the other half of the camp.


The sound of the crossbow was barely audible. Iesa gripped his side, and started to rush to the otherside, when he stumbled and fell. From where I stood, I could see him twitching and spasming on the floor.

“Son of a—” Daneath readied his blade and looked ready to charge into the cave.

“Hold it,” I whispered and put a hand on his shoulder. “He’s been poisoned; and they probably have more ready for you.”

Daneath looked at me in surprise, “What you propose leaving him?”

“No,” I chided. “They just can’t shoot what they can’t see. Stay here.” I took about four steps forward, pulling a piece of coal out and whispering some words. To my eyes nothing changed, but I knew that I summoned a shroud of inky blackness around me. I then strode confidently towards the fallen rogue.

Iesa was still twitching on the ground when I approached. I knew that the shroud covered the entire entrance as well as Iesa. I knelt next to him, and found the crossbow bolt and pulled it free, while pressing down on the wound with Iesa’s shirt. Turning to look down the passage, I saw that it opened into another chamber. But in front of it was a barricade, and I could see four more figures crouched behind them, men with white hair. They were armed with more crossbows cocked and ready. I watched them look each other in confusion.

Feeling bold I called out to them in elvish, “I can see all four of you, and I know you can’t see me. Do you normally shoot first and introduce yourselves afterwards?”

I could see the figures react in surprise, and some hurried whispers, before one of them called out.

“Most aren’t foolish enough into enter here, female,” the last word spoken with a tone of contempt. But he also didn’t use the word for female elf I noticed.

“So, you keep up appearances of ghosts to scare the locals?” I asked.

“Superstitious sailors tales have little to do with it. Reefers know to stay away from the caves. Any cave. We heard you slaughtering our brothers, we have rights to kill you all.”

“That’s not going to happen,” I said trying to sound important. “You shot first and paid the price. Shoot again, and the price will be double. I will slaughter you in the darkness you so covet, and you will never see your doom coming.” I was nervous, hoping my voice didn’t waver. “But I’ll tell you what; I’ll ignore you shooting my friend, if you answer a question. Then we will depart and forget what happened here.”

“What question?” the drow spat.

“Have you seen a ghost of a man, grey hair waving in the breeze?”

“We know of him; you might ask in town at the casino,” came the answer. “Now leave. You aren’t wanted here.”

I started to shake Iesa, trying to rouse him from his stupor. Surprisingly, he responded and shook his head in confusion. I could hear the distressed sounds of Mo in his pack, disturbed by the darkness, and fall.

“Wha…I can’t see.”

“Shhhh,” I hushed him. I then whispered. “I’m covering us, so they can’t shoot us. Let us get out of here.” Then I called out the Drow.

“We’re leaving. I suggest not following us.” I ordered, and I then led Iesa away from the entrance. When were ten paces away, I dropped it and we quickly rejoined Daneath.

“I heard, more below I take it,” Daneath said.

I nodded affirmatively, “Yes. I’m guessing outcasts; they didn’t care for me being a woman.”

“Makes sense,” he nodded and then knitted his brow, “And what was that about a casino?”

“Eridan might be found there, or at least knowledge of him.” I answered. “In the meantime, let’s get out of here.”


We retraced our steps and exited through the upper cave. The sun was getting lower in the sky, but the heat seemed even greater. We trudged down the path back to the dune and surf. It seemed that we had little choice but to enter the pirate enclave. I wasn’t looking forward to doing this, and I was unsure on how we might approach it. But I didn’t get much time to consider it, when from above I heard a sound.

“Beeepooo, beeepooo, beeepooo” Foggle said as it swooped down and circled us.

“What is wrong with him, “Daneath asked. Looking at the mechanical bird.

Iesa looked around casually, and then did so with more urgency. “Hey, Hiberts and Beepu.” He turned to look at me with concern.

“They’re gone!”

Session notes:

The encounter was hard being “short a short man” did make it a strain, with no one really at full capacity.

Also, the particular game was very very magic poor. Including potions. So, other source of firepower or recovery was lacking.
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I screamed.

The piercing shriek echoed within the cave, causing the walls to reverberate with the sound. As I emptied my lungs so was the darkness normally pent up within me suddenly freed. Without any constraints, the inky strands of darkness tore at everything around me, destroying life and unlife alike. Three of the corpses fell from the onslaught, and the fourth was nearly done.

“Myr what the hell?” I heard Daneath shout.

Can I ask what this was? I know you traditionally "translate" the spells Myrai casts as manipulations of black and white strands without actually mentioning the name of the spell involved (which I enjoy - it gives the Story Hour a different feel), but this seems almost like it's beyond simple spellcasting. Is it some hitherto-unused warlock ability? (I'm unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the warlock class.) Or just a more powerful spell than those Myrai usually casts due to the potential for friendly fire or something? I have to confess my burning curiosity.

If it's a secret you'd rather reveal in your own time over the course of the story, that's fine too - I just thought I'd ask.



Lizard folk in disguise
Can I ask what this was? I know you traditionally "translate" the spells Myrai casts as manipulations of black and white strands without actually mentioning the name of the spell involved (which I enjoy - it gives the Story Hour a different feel), but this seems almost like it's beyond simple spellcasting. Is it some hitherto-unused warlock ability? (I'm unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the warlock class.) Or just a more powerful spell than those Myrai usually casts due to the potential for friendly fire or something? I have to confess my burning curiosity.

If it's a secret you'd rather reveal in your own time over the course of the story, that's fine too - I just thought I'd ask.


First, thank you; I am glad you enjoy the style. For others reading, yes I do intentionally avoid the spell names. I like describing the mechanics instead, as it feels more like a story vs a campaign journal. But there is a second reason for this; while Myrai has learned arcane theory through lectures at the Civic Festhall, and to a lesser extent through Beepu (though the dialog there would probably drive Myrai to start taking shots), she still is trying to learn what she can do, blindly. The Apocrypha discusses invocations, but not the spells, so a spell's proper name is fuzzy.

It also isn't limited to spells; I don't discuss that (spoiler) Daneath is a Battle Master, or that Iesa is an Assassin. As for Beepu; there is exactly one clue on what kind of Wizard he is, but it is obscure; I'll let others guess that one. I also haven't really explained their levels or even their character sheets. In fact, I can only show Myrai's sheet (and I might at some point) as I do not have the others to refer to. As for Myrai, she is multiclassed, but I'll let others guess the subclass.

All of the above is to make it a story that is interesting to read. So again, thank you.

But to the question at hand; the spell used was Arms of Hadar: a Point Blank, area of effect spell with Verbal and somatic components that damages all creatures in a ten foot radius with dark inky tendrils Hence the 'I'm sorry' to Iesa; he was only slightly sturdier than a corpse at that moment. it is a tricky spell to use without hurting your friends. From a practical perspective, it was used because the saving throw was a STR one, and not a CON one like Shatter. That was important because the DM had the nastiest luck on saves, so avoiding half damage saves was my goal. even though the dice were smaller (d6 vs d8s). The gamble paid off. She HAS cast it before in Flint Rock, but Shatter is more of her go to AoE spell by comparison.


Lizard folk in disguise
Their Town - 8/15/2020

Fear is a driver. It drives you to do things you wouldn’t or couldn’t normally. It guides you on things to avoid, fate, pain, death.

Fear can be a strong ally though, if you know how to leverage it.

(Sorry this is late...I blame covid)​

We looked around confused, as Foggle sailed around us in a storm of wings. The fire circle was cold. Around it, were discarded bottles from Hiberts’ drinking. Nothing looked out of place except the missing pirate and our gnome.

“Myr, D! Over here!” Iesa called out from the low dune where Beepu had once been sitting. I trotted over the sand to where he stood, and saw he had in his hand the end of a broken bottle. He held it up for inspection, and I saw on the jagged glass fresh blood.

“There’s a bit more blood there,” he gestured to a stain of red on the white sand, turning it a dark pink. “But there’s more. The sand here is a mess. I think that there was a couple of people that grabbed Beepu.”

“Hiberts’ crewmates?” I guessed.

“Guess the magic didn’t hold,” Iesa commented.

“No,” I disagreed. “More likely his friends came up and woke him. And then took Beepu with the bottle.

“Wouldn’t have Foggle noticed a pirate sneaking up on him?” Daneath asked incredulously. “I mean, Beepu always said we should trust Foggle to watch.”

“And we never did,” Iesa said. “Was Beepu that out of it?”

“Maybe we should ask Foggle,” I said watching the owl circle us.

“What?” Daneath said. “He only talks to Beep—Wait! You can talk to Mo!”

“That’s right, we can ask him,” Iesa smiled.

I shook my head, “Despite the appearance, Foggle and Gossamer aren’t really animals. They’re spirits bound into an animal like form, and so you can’t use the magic that way.” I said as I walked back to the fire circle.

“But it doesn’t mean he can’t communicate. Foggle! Come here!”

I sat down on the sand, as the brass owl, landed on the flat area next to me, its head swiveling back and forth, before looking straight at me.

“Foggle, Beepu was taken by Hiberts’ friends?”

The owl looked at me and blinked, before tilting his body in a motion mimicking a ‘yes.’

Iesa and Daneath looked at each other. “Well, I guess that will work. Is it that smart?”

“No. It gets more from Beepu guiding it,” I said looking at the pair. “But it still remembers…as long as the question is relatively simple.”

I turned to look at Foggle and thought. “Did they walk over to Beepu and hit him?”

Foggle blinked and shook its head negatively.

“What?” Daneath exclaimed. “He hit himself?”

Foggle was already twisting his head as I chided Daneath. “No, that’s not it.” I said thinking. Squinting at Foggle I was formulating my next question, when Foggle moved over to a bottle. He pushed it so the neck of the bottle was in the sand and he pushed it deeper. As we watched, he then tilted the bottle upright again, before grasping the neck with its talons. He then flew upwards into the air as we watched confused. He hovered above us and then suddenly let the bottle go.

It fell straight down, not more than a foot away from Iesa with a heavy thud.

“They dropped a bottle on his head?” Daneath said in disbelief.

“One full of sand would have been enough,” Iesa said looking up with new respect. “So, one was a wizard?”

“No,” I frowned. “Probably just a well-trained bird.”

Foggle landed and tilted its body affirming the story.

“So, Foggle didn’t warn him?” Daneath asked confused.

Foggle twisted its head again.

I was confused too. Why would Foggle not warn Beepu of an incoming bottle? I sat there pondering for a moment, when it suddenly dawned on me.

“They distracted you, didn’t they?” I asked sympathetically.

The owl tilted its body again slowly, as if it were ashamed.

“So Foggle isn’t infallible,” Daneath smirked.

“No,” I responded with a deep sigh. “They must have had some experience with familiars. Killing it would have alarmed Beepu. So, they did something to get Foggle’s attention.

“Smart pirates. Great,” Iesa said disgustedly.

“No. Experienced in their trade at being sneaks and dirty fighting,” Daneath responded. “Which means we don’t have a choice. We have to go to town.”

“We don’t exactly look like the natives,” Iesa pointed out gesturing at his northern clothes. “I mean Myr kinda stripped down, and she still will look out of place.

“We can’t conceal Daneath’s armor, but we can dirty it up a bit.” I pointed out. “We’ll play the part of mercenaries, and hope it gets us by”

“Then what?” Daneath asked.

“Foggle will know when we are close,” I said. We’ll just have to poke around the town and any ships if needed.

“Not what I meant. What about you?” Daneath asked pointedly. “Last I heard women are good for only one thing. Knowing you I don’t think you want to play that part.”

I swallowed and breathed deeply. “No. But a skilled swordswoman and her two trusted guards might do.”

“You think that would work?” Daneath responded in surprise.

I stood up and adjusted my rapier on my hip. “Sure it will. Half the secret is just acting like you belong. It worked in Yartar dancing with nobles. It’ll work here. Won’t it boys?” I said with a smirk.

“It totally will…ma’am.” Iesa said with a smile and gave me a mock bow.

“Keep mocking me, and I’ll wear your gelbas as a trophy!” I said sneering yet smiling. “Let’s go to town.”

We stayed inland, keeping the beach to our right as we walked, looking for Blackwater Reef. On the way, we found a stand of those trees with the ribbed leaves, and we stopped to take a breather. Iesa took a moment, to apply some quick dye to my hair, which turned it a dull copper, instead of brilliant gold.

“Yep, I knew it,” Iesa said shaking the dye from his hands.

“Knew what?” I said guardedly.

“You are a natural redhead. Could tell by how much of a troublemaker you are.”

I punched him in the arm, “Hah hah,” I said.

“And a fiery temper; you’ll be believable as a woman in charge,” Iesa smiled, while Daneath just shook his head.

“So, should I start cussing you out and flesh out this role?” I asked archly.

“Honestly, no. I’d listen to everything around you first. Listen to what and how things are said. Unless you want to be marked as an outsider right at the start.” Iesa pointed out. As he spoke, I saw that he lured out Mo from his hiding spot in his pack.

Mo looked around sleepily, and his eyes grew wide once he saw the trees, and immediately scampered up one. Iesa watched and smiled.

“About time. He hasn’t been himself since we left the Misty Forest.”

I nodded. “Caves don’t agree with him.”

“Caves don’t agree with me!”

“Can’t say the last one was any fun,” Daneath jumped in.

“Agree with that,” I said wholeheartedly. “Also, your cough seems to have cleared up Iesa.”

“That it has. You think that weird plant was the cause?” Iesa asked.

I nodded looking at him. “Very sure. The world is better without it.”

At that moment, Gossamer landed and sat on his haunches, looking up at me. Everyone crowded around as if they were going to hear him give a pronouncement of some wisdom. It was strange; I never had to use Gossamer as a scout because Foggle’s vision was better. But now, as none of us could talk to Foggle, it was now up to the tressym to relay his findings. I was nervous sending him out on his own, as he wasn’t as fast or as an agile as the owl. Meanwhile Foggle, sat on a rock nearby, watching silently.

--The port is up a head, although port is a stretch. Nothing like Waterdeep, or even a river port like Daggerford, although covers about the same area. Shanty town is more like it.

Stick to what you saw.

--It is not big at all; maybe three ships could dock here. A lot of scattered shacks. But there are a fair number of real buildings, and warehouses, most of are near the wharf. It also looks like it was designed by a drunk. No real streets, more like a tangle of alleyways.

Any sign of our gnome?

--Couldn’t get close; seems there are a number of trained birds. I didn’t want to tussle with any of them. So, all I could get is a general layout.

I nodded, “Its bigger than Portstown it sounds, but with the birds there, he couldn’t find our gnome.”

“I guess we’ll walk in behind your swaying hips then Myr,” Iesa said smiling.

I bit my lip, “Look I’m doing what I have to, please don’t push it.”

Daneath looked at me intently before speaking. “You’re afraid?”

I nodded, “Very. The tales about this place are grim. And our plan requires me to be up front and in people’s faces. That’s not me. Not really.

Daneath nodded. “Look you’ve watched our back for months. Least we can do is watch yours.”

“Besides Myr,” Iesa said looking at me with concern. “People do listen and respond to what you say. No one said you had to be ‘large and in charge.’ Just order us when you need to. We’ll handle the rest.”

I exhaled and replaced the white strip across my eyes, hoping it would conceal the silvery mirrors, “Let’s do this. And oh, Iesa? Can you dye Foggle’s metal, so he doesn’t shine so much?”

“I can use the weapon black on him, just like I did on D’s armor. That is if he will let me,” and Iesa looked at the owl critically.

“Foggle, just let it happen, and I’ll clean you later,” I said looking at the owl.

Foggle’s head swivel looking at Iesa and I. Finally, it pitched forward and made a solitary mournful ‘Beeppppuuuu’ sound, and Iesa began to anoint it with the dark sticky substance.

It was late in the day when I strode into the shanty town, chin up, trying to feel brave and certain of myself, with the brothers in tow. The wide black hat shading me and my arms, shoulders, and upper chest open to the air. I carried my rod under my arm like a baton with my right hand holding it tightly. The strip of cloth across my eyes did help on the glare of the sun, although it made my vision a little hazy. I hoped it wouldn’t impair me finding our wayward gnome.

Staying close to the rooftops were Gossamer and Foggle. Gossamer really does look like a normal cat when his wings are folded and pulled in close, so the sight of him scampering and jumping from roof to roof was unlikely to attract attention. Foggle at least was following some guidance and flitted and stayed low.

Mo on the other hand was turned loose; he bounded ahead on the flimsy structures that passed for dwellings, bounding ahead of us. I cursed myself for not talking to him earlier using my magic, but it was too late to consider it now. But he was a grown monkey and could take care of himself.

As we tread through what acted as the main thoroughfare, I had this vague sense of history repeating itself. The feeling of pretending to be brave, finding confidence where there was none, all to save some…one.

It then struck me; I felt the same way six years ago, as a daughter of a celestiall descended into an infamous bar the catered to fiends interested in suffering. A bar that held my lover Markel, in a prison of his own creation. A prison I was trying to free him from before he was killed.

The revelation set me on edge, so I focused on what I could control. I made my face a mask, as I would when I ran dice games in Sigil. No smiles, no frowns, just an upturned nose of superiority. Or so I hoped.

Behind me, Iesa and Daneath talked more, sneering and laughing at the sights, trying to convey themselves as loyal brutes. I didn’t turn to look, but what I heard gave me confidence. They were behind me both literally and figuratively.

It seemed to work, the poor commoners would look at me in surprise, and they just as quickly scampered out of my way…our way. As we navigated the twisted alleys through the shanties, merchant carts started to appear. Each offering the necessities from cheapest to most pricey, fish, fruits and bread.

Finally, we hit a point where the sand and dirt now became cobblestone, and shanties gave way to buildings built on true foundations. Windows had glass, and the construction was almost respectable. Signs on the doors, had no letters but were colorfully painted; beds, barrels, fishing gear and the like. The clothes improved from rags, to threadbare, to leathers. Sleeves were in short supply, and pants rarely dropped past the knee.

To my surprise I did see some women, all older and with faces that told a story of hard labor and harsher conditions. They kept to themselves in small groups of three or four as they carried out their business. The one thing I didn’t see were jinxskirts. Considering what I saw had about ten men to every older woman, I was surprised that the oldest profession wasn’t trying to clean up on the lopsided ratio.

--Myr! I found him!

What? Where?

--Near the wharf by a large stone building

Don’t lose him! We’re on our way.

--Ah yes. Trust me, he isn’t going anywhere.

I frowned; Gossamer was playing coy, just like a cat. I turned and looked at the brothers. They stopped their conversation and looked at me as I tilted my head towards where the pier would be. They nodded, and turning we quickened our pace.

It wasn’t crowded and we walked briskly now. What little crowd there was parted for us, not wanting to make trouble. Clearly the folks here in the shanty town just were trying to survive and weren’t pirates themselves. Or at least active ones anymore. That there were merchants and trades told me that pirates were interested in wealth and commodities they could sell for a high price; anything else wasn’t worth the effort.

As we approached the pier, now we saw actually pirate crew members. They stood out clearly, as all of them seemed festooned with weapons and ink on their skin. They hung close to each other in clumps of men numbering four to seven. They laughed and cajoled and cursed among themselves. But any ‘commoner’ gave them wide berth and the look on their eyes was one of fear. But they also gave each other the same distance, as if close contact might explode into an orgy of violence.

The pirates however did notice us. Whispers and nods in our direction from various groups as we passed. I didn’t want to spark a fight here and decided to play it safe and not risk engaging with a gang. So I made towards a side of the roadway, with Iesa and Daneath in tow.

I was walking under an awning, when from an alley, a man in a sleeveless crimson tunic stepped in front of me. He swept off a hat, revealing short dark hair that looked like a ragged mop. His face had a jagged gash that led from his nose and down across his lips, and he gave me a crooked smile as he looked me over.

He gave me a short bow, and swiftly returned the hat to his head and spoke, “Now here’s a sight we don see much of. A young girl, runnin free and unfettered in da port. Ye must be very…very lost.”

“I know my way,” I said coldly and stepped closer towards him, and swept with my eyes around to see if he had friends. I saw two different groups of men watching, staring with hands on their blades, but this one seemed alone as none seemed eager to rush to his aid, but were instead were content to watch. His eyes were locked on to me and seemed ignorant of the two men behind me.

“Reeealy?” he sneered. I was close enough to him that I could smell the liquor on this breath. “I wanna see those eyes behind that cloth. Then I want to see your---OOF!”

I swung my rod swiftly up between his legs, impacting his gelbas hard, and causing him to bend over. At the sound, Iesa and Daneath each grabbed an arm and slammed him against the wall. I casually regarded my nails, for a moment, as I heard each man land a punch in the drunk pirate’s belly. I then handed my rod to Iesa and drew my greensteel blade and leaned in close holding it at his throat.

The man gulped for air nervously, as I forced his head upwards as I gently pushed the blade’s edge against his neck.

“What you want right now…is to make a donation I think,” I said smiling. “What do you need least? An ear? A nose?” I drew the blade’s edge down his chest and dragged it slowly towards his beltline. “Or perhaps something else, small and unimportant?”

I could see sweat start to drip from his temples and his mouth quiver in fear, as he only could stammer, “Pl—pl---pl—pl—ee—”

“I didn’t say you could speak!” I nodded and Daneath quickly slammed a mailed fist into the man’s ribs with a resounding crack. “I think you know what I want,” I reached down and grasped the waistline of this breeches, which were supported by a rope. With my dagger I swiftly cut the rope, and let his breeches fall to the ground around his ankles.

I then draped the rope around my neck and twirled an end with my left hand as I sheathed my blade and reclaimed my rod from Iesa.

“You’re cute,” I drawled, and I glanced down to his belt line. “But a bit underwhelming. Maybe if you…grow up a bit, you can earn a proper scar from me. But bother me again, and you’ll wear your manhood as a symbol to your dedication to me around your neck. Take care,” and I leaned in and kissed the now crying man on the cheek. Nodding with my head, Iesa and Daneath released the pirate. He immediately bent over and grabbed his fallen pants and started to trip and run down the thoroughfare where we had come from originally.

For a moment, the crowd was hushed. Then suddenly, the various pirate clusters burst out in loud and raucous laughter and cheers. They were nodding in approval, several of them holding up mugs in toast and quickly drinking.

“Let’s go,” I whispered and turned. I quickly fastened the rope around me, so it sat loosely on my hips. From behind me I heard, “Damn Myr. I thought you were going to gut him.”

It was then I realized that my heart was pounding. Not in fear, but in excitement. I would have happily spilled that man’s innards on the street. No; It was more than that. I wanted to!

What in Baator is wrong with me?

“Tempting,” as I turned to look at the brothers. “But a real fight in the streets seemed a bad Idea. Right, Dan, and Ice?” I said and winked.

“Wha…oh. Whatever you want Lady Myr,” as Iesa caught what I meant, followed by a quick smile by Daneath.

“Ouch stop that!” I heard Beepu’s voice in the distance. I was about to point it out when I heard his repeat himself:

“Ouch stop that!”

“That’s him!” Iesa said excitedly.

“What’s with the echo?” Daneath questioned.

“I don’t know, let’s find him first,” I said, and we continued down the now widening roadway.

“That’s not funny!” the gnome yelled again, which was followed by an equally loud, “That’s not funny!” and now I heard laughter.

We started moving faster, partially in excitement in finding our lost companion, and partially in fear and concern. Something was wrong.

We were passing larger buildings now, warehouses full of goods. Stolen? Traded? Who knew? But the sizes indicated that a large amount of traffic made its way through the port. Soon the docks were in sight, and I could hear the gnomes voice from around the last warehouse in the row.

--You’re almost there.

Dammit, Goss this isn’t funny, what’s going on?

--You’ll need to see it to believe it.

“Stop imitating m---Ouch!”

“Stop imitating m—Ouch!” followed by the load laughter of a crowd. Finally, we rounded the warehouse and finally saw the crowd and the source of its amusement.

There on the edge of the water, was a stone building. It was two stories in height and was of the size it might have been a small storehouse at one time in the past. But unlike the other buildings, it was clad in grey marble, and sported elegant, yet mismatched columns around its edifice. Looking it over, I sought the sign that would identify it, and quickly realized it was in bas relief over the door. It was a carving of a nude woman clutching her bosom suggestively while her marble lips were painted a garish red in contrast to the grey base.

A brothel.

Then I heard Beepu again, “Stop it you bird brained idiot. No wonder your people can’t fl---AUGH!”

And then I saw him; Beepu was stripped down to his smallclothes and was lying in a cage hanging ten feet above the ground. The cage was suspended by a hoist attached to the brothel. His face was caked in dirt and dried blood. His prison was so small, that he couldn’t even stand, and was curled up on his side, in an attempt to find a measure of comfort. His teeth were clenched, and he covered his ribs with his hands, as blood dripped down out of the cage.

“Stop it you bird brained idiot.” Spoke a figure below the cage, as the crowd roared. It was tall and lanky and it had the head of a crow or a raven, complete with black feathers. In its black skinned hand was an iron spear, the tip already coated in blood. It tilted its head and watched the gnome again, expecting another outburst. The crowd was a mixture of common folks and some drunken pirates, all pointing and laughing at the helpless gnome.

“That wasn’t what I expected. How are we going to get him out of there?” Daneath asked.

“I have no idea,” I said.

Session Notes:

So, this is what happens when you miss a session. And the price of freedom was high for an absence. It does make a decent story to be retold.

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