Sadron Galanodel

Elven Cleric

Description:

Personality: Amused, curious

Physical Description: 5’6" (tall for elves; medium in world), deep blue complexion with dark hair, silver eyes

Languages: Elven, Common, Draconic

Weapon: Medium Longsword

Bio:

Although raised with traditional Elven values, Sadron Galanodel at a young age learned of his god Obad-Hai; associating his gut instinct and natural curiosity as tools used directly by Obad-Hai to direct him toward favorable, sometimes humorous, results – much to his amusement. To this end, Sadron never developed a true respect for authority, and lacked trust in society as a whole, as he has always been certain his god is the supreme deity who has chosen him as a unique follower. Sadron would regularly retreat into the less-populous areas of the woodlands, lulled into security by the winds whispering through the canopy. There in the rustling trees Sadron would warm chilled hands over a small flame as he thought; daydreaming that he could hold the fire without consequence – how sly that would be!

He has rarely been thought of as unkind, however his general neutrality has led many to question if his kindness and light-hearted mentality is often a façade for personal gain or to further his own agenda. This uncertainty stems from an ultimate preference of Sadron for his own company (and that of Obad-Hai with him) mixed with a nearly carefree demeanor that finds him smiling to himself; making others unsure of what may actually be processing in his mind at any given time. Due to his confidence in his own free lifestyle, and self-assuredness as a cleric with Obad-Hai at his back at all times, Sadron makes a point protecting others following a will of their own, even if it may not align with his.

Waiting until exactly his 100th name day, Sadron Galondel deems himself an Elven adult. No longer bound as a child in his woodland culture, he sets off to follow his wanderlust as he so feels compelled by Obad-Hai. Sadron dons his cleric’s vestments, throws over it his armor, and straps on his sword. As he packs his brilliant silver symbol of Obad-Hai, he feels a fireball explode in his stomach. “Obad.” Our hero grins and pulls up his hood, sauntering into the midnight breeze.

Leaving the Fort

I write as we ride north. After this latest ordeal, I’ve decided it’s time I keep a journal of my adventures alongside Obad-Hai.

A week or so ago I happened upon a group of travelers near a mysterious cave mouth in the woods. They seemed capable enough, aside from the Elven bard who continually boasted of becoming a living legend and offers to sing our accolades to the world in the form of limericks that would outlive our gods. As a collective whole, the group seemed to possess intriguing knowledge and were intently on some trail that led us to explore the cave together with a mutual yearning for answers. We encountered an unfriendly force and it became apparent that the weakling straggler had led the travelling group into a supernatural trap. Within the chaotic darkness we found our only sanity in the dwarf’s shield-banging until a bright flash brought the room back to life. I wasn’t going to waste this opportunity – I slayed the creature in one quick motion. The back-stabber was next slain after an evil little girl vanished in wild laughter. I was hooked.

I returned to an inn at Keen Crag with this group, feeling a bond not only from the encounter but also in my gut telling me this team could uncover vast secrets I alone may not. A short time after arriving, the most beautiful woman caught my eye. She was smiling my way. I felt compelled to learn all of her secrets. Conversation seemed to go wonderfully as we toasted to adventure. Just as I wanted to ask her to join our group, or more preferably allow me to join her alone, she quickly set to retire for the evening. I would see her on the morrow to follow up, surely. She was amazing from everything I could tell.

As I returned to the large table of new-found adventurers, I asked for a room for the night. Reaching for my coin purse – it was gone! I must have carelessly tied it and lost from my belt. That…wonderful woman… likely picked it up thinking it was left behind by another. Unfortunately, she was nowhere to be seen by this time and the waitress denied that the woman had a room here. I did not even get her name! How will I find her again? I’m certain our paths will cross once more, and I pray to Obad-Hai he allows me to recognize her when we do. I hope she’s not a werewolf.

It would be difficult to peel myself away from this group to search for her, particularly without dispelling that evil cult of Nhilos which attempted to take us all. The innkeeper here has been friendly and seems trusted by these travelers I’ve joined – may as well play nice, and I sense he’s rather knowledgeable regarding secrets of this world; he may certainly be a werewolf. The man’s name is Stanick Osborn. Stanick told us of a friend named Kirin who may help make sense of the rantings. We set off in search.

We found Kirin’s home recently torn apart. It looked like quite the struggle. A ranger we came across in the woodlands used his tracking abilities to determine the path on which she was taken. Still alive. The path wasn’t easy but we all made it through and to Fort Gallant, where we heard the bandits we were after may be found. A fort of thieves. We were interrogated to gain entry, and it cost some pretty coin as well. There were no other options at that point.

The Fort is a grim place, and not one for a lone or weary traveler. We posted up in an old ale house and rented the entire cellar of rotting cots as a means of feigned security. Shifty eyes and prying ears were prevalent. Not always practicing the upmost caution, we attempted to learn of our surroundings and rumors to chase. Jericho, King of Thieves, caught our scent and not-so-kindly requested we give him audience. He knew of Kirin.

In exchange for information on Kirin, we had little choice but to accept an errand on behalf of the King. He wanted a gem. We had little opportunity to ask questions and found ourselves through a labyrinth back in the middle of the Fort. This trail took us to a sturdy building with one door. A rogue we met with the night prior stealthily scaled the structure and peered through the thatched roof. The gnome changed his appearance and negotiated entry. As with our adventures to this point, the scenario quickly turned to outright battle for life. With no choice other than continue, we entered a basement throne whereupon sat a smirking fool that could only be our target. He sent rank after rank but it could not stop us from gutting him and finding a giant emerald inside. In searching the area, I found some loot I traded for the ranger’s masterworks artisan’s tools, and also discovered a full plate suit of armor that was my size! Begrudgingly, I spent my remaining gold to have the local armorer custom-fit the piece and proceeded unadorned to return the jewel to Jericho.

Jericho knocked-out and jailed us for murder without a writ! We should have expected a catch to the deal with a self-proclaimed King of Thieves. Upon waking, I cursed the name of said ‘King’ then I prayed; I felt powerless in my cell with none of my belongings. A cell which I shared with the damn bard. Luckily he wasn’t in much of a mood to sing. That evening, the two of us were dragged out of our cells into a gauntlet with instructions to fight.

The loud-mouth that has few words but to beg for my divine, healing touch.

Maybe if he had a god of his own he wouldn’t be so needy.

Maybe if he had any intelligence he wouldn’t always be so wounded.

Maybe he had a chance to beat me if I was blindfolded with my hands tied. Alas, I was not.

I was taking in the environment while the foolish warden yapped about this or that. Was there any way to escape? Even if I successfully could use magic out here I would have no chance along against this number with no armor or weapons. Fireworks went off in my mind as my eyes instinctively flashed closed and a bolt of lightning shot through my jaw.

The bastard sucker punched me!

No more time to think, I focused on the foolish elf and dropped him to his ass. The warden no sooner congratulated me for the show than bludgeoned me in the face with a sap. I awoke again back in my cell with shit-for-brains. He must assuredly have learned his lesson so I was not inclined to watch for retribution. Maybe he’ll think twice before jawing more. I doubt he’ll ever stop getting himself beat.

We remained for a few days, all the while hearing vaguely recognizable screams from within the prison distant. The next fight for the guards’ pleasure was between the dwarf and gnome during which it seems the dwarf unsuccessfully tried to be a hero for all of us. After that, it was the ranger and Kirin. There were shouts of excitement sporadically echoing through the halls from the crowd of guards who must have been watching. Next thing I know the pair return and broke us out after downing their guards outside the cells.

There was one direction to go. We found chests that contained our unprocessed belongings. It looks like we just made it out in time to be able to retrieve. We continue along and suddenly came across the warden with a group of guards and a famished man handing from chains. A heartbeat later and our entire group was encompassed in bloodlust. Half a dozen more heartbeats and the sorcery slowly evaporated to reveal the bodies of all on the ground aside from our unscathed group. As the adrenaline settled, we were able to make out that this famished man was the scallywag rogue and I was able to match his face in my mind to the shouts we had been hearing for days. What did they think he knew?

Kirin picked a safe as I retraced our steps to retrieve Son’s gear. Inside she found a map of the world! How valuable this could be to us. It was so much more detailed than anything I’ve previously made, or seen for that matter!

We couldn’t leave the rogue like this. He was one of us now. After re-fitting the gear on his near-lifeless body, Thrash and Garil carried his dead weight between them. We continued our escape.

Jericho.

We hardly had time to realize it was the King of Thieves sleeping in the room ahead of us before Kirin was atop the man slicing his throat while his eyes stirred to reality. I can’t say that I would have done any different had she not had a step on me. Probably nothing more than pretty trinkets, Jericho was a king no more, so I relieved him of his crown and rings. There was an apparent double-agent in the tiefling, and he requested the gem for the church. We relinquished our once-again-found emerald reluctantly, for the good of the land. We will find our way to Aleford to follow up on that evolving mystery soon enough. For now, we have to get out of here before we’re caught!

Running through to the edge of town, it was just before dawn and the city was quiet. Kirin was with us and the group agreed to stop on the way past the armorer. To my best fortune thank you, Obad-Hai the light was on in Griffon’s and Riffolk scurried us inside. His armor fit me perfectly, and the kind Halfling refused any more coin than our previously agreed service fee, although I was late for the pickup. Wonderful!

We still have to get out of here. The Fort was awakening as we approached the gate and the dwarf threw a bribe to ensure rapid exit. We ride now to let Fort Gallant come to terms with itself as news of Jericho’s demise spreads. There was a time where I did not expect to taste free air again and I thought my holy relic was lost. There was a time when I thought my story is meaningless to any aside from myself. Now it occurs to me that perhaps there is more to this journey of mine than a stroll through the woods with Obad-Hai, and it falls to me to tell the story he has scripted before me.

To the North

We ride for a long while without looking back. Everyone in the party who’s conscious seems just barely so. As we’re trotting through the woods, my horse rears up before I could react and I tumble to the ground in a loud CLANK. I gather myself to my feet and the dwarf was already coming to me with an extra horse that was intended for the unconscious Son. I mount up and we all proceed as normal once more.

It didn’t take long for all the horses to get spooked again. I guess the silver lining is this time I wasn’t the only one tossed.

Said silver lining vanishes as I realize we are down to one horse for our large party.

I use this time to pray while Thrash makeshifts a stretcher from our available supplies. Once set, we load Son onto the stretcher and four of us carry as we continue toward a rest area Kirin had mentioned.

We arrive in a clearing. Still exhausted and beat-up, we certainly had our survival instincts in a fog. I try to take in the situation. Kirin takes some initiative and sends Garil for wood as she sets an area for the fire.

My wrist hurts. I can’t tell of anything going on – I probably need rest.

We nestle in around the fire and I look over to see a grey wolf confidently approach Thrash with what appear to be fresh kills. The ranger introduces his companion to the group. I think everyone is more content to be eating than nervous about the beast. Suits me fine.

Twigs snap and I swing around the other way to see a figure in tattered clothes fall through the bushes and onto the ground near the fire. I just stare; speechless.

Some chatter picks up and it seems that a few in the group recognize the figure. A moment later I’m being told about Safeir, a respectable cleric the adventurers met prior to crossing my path.

He’s simply delirious. He keeps shouting like a man given in to addiction with no comprehension of the day or, more importantly, his state. Rattled, the group slowly tends to him and gets him a blanket by the fire. He put down some food and it came back up black, but he’s getting the nutrients he’s desperately been needing.

Brotrillisk gave me the decency of helping me take of my armor for rest. Maybe we are becoming friends, not that it makes a particular difference. He has a direction of his own. I respect his reservations.

I felt as though I had just fallen asleep when I was startled awake. In all the commotion I attempted to don my own armor. Safeir was making agonizing sounds as hair was raising from beneath his skin.

He was growing! I couldn’t get my armor on fast enough. Are you kidding me?? This group already KNEW a werewolf??

Thrash somehow cast a large net of one shrubbery over the area, entangling the werewolf and ourselves. Fortunately for us, Safeir appeared just as confused as we were. In attempts to knock him out, the beast seemed unaffected.

I’m still trying to get my armor on and my body moving freely from this bush.

A cloud passes over the moonlight. Safeir collapses in exhaustion as he returns to normal. Kirin made a swift move to blindfold him.

My armor is finally on.

We use our formidable stretcher now to carry Safeir instead of Son. He seems more far-gone than Son ever was. I’m uncertain about the trust and faith this group has put in the confused cler-wolf, however they are set in their ways of helping him.

Back on the path for a while, Thrash’s wolf returns and I can see unease in the ranger’s eyes. He looks around cautiously and warns us to get ready for something big.

Son advises we all take cover in strategic positions. We hardly have time to hide when we feel the earth trembling and a troll comes into view. It knows we’re here.

I summoned a celestial dog and threw fireballs from a distance just as fast as I could. He didn’t like the fire. The melee fighters got in close while my celestial dog flanked. Thrash and Son were attacking from the treetops. Fortunately, the troll had an arrow in one eye and was blinded by Glim in the other. After a minute of chaos, the troll was twitching on the ground. I throw one last fireball at it then collect some loots.

It’s about time to pray, and rest. I heal those I can with the divine power left coursing through me before I pray.

We set off again at a strong pace and covered a sizable chunk of ground. Another warning.

A two-headed creature was having a self-conversation until it stumbled upon us. Garil went in first for a headlock and was immediately struggling for air as the creature countered and began crushing him into the ground. I don’t know what’s happening. What is this thing?!

I throw fireballs. Another sudden eruption of battle as Safeir is attempting to speak his language to the creature. The creature seems unphased, so I throw more fire. I’m not about to get killed here.

After finishing off the two-headed being, I begin to wonder whether we could benefit more from avoiding – or even trying to understand – the creatures that cross our path. The thought quickly passes as I reflect on my own mortality. Really, I just want to know what it was talking to itself about. Intriguing…

Reaching Aelford

The rest was much needed, that I’m sure of. I’m less certain anyone actually reflected on our most recent encounters. Oh well; I’m happy for some good meat to fill my belly for what I hope will be the last leg to Aelford .

Reaching near the edge of the woods, I can see something far in the distance near the shoreline. Gagging. I don’t want to look in that direction or get any closer. Obad bless me! I feel like a choir boy. Fortunately, the group collectively forgoes the opportunity for a new accolade of shitting our pants, and we forge our path a long way around that B.

Aelford towers YUGE on the horizon! Bigly.

The dwarf had been exposed to nature for far too long and doesn’t hesitate to bribe the first guard he sees to allow passage through the gates. Raising his eyebrows, the guard accepts without a word. The rest of the party nods curtly we stroll passed without providing a charity ‘toll’ for entry.

Kirin is obviously familiar with this place, but she’s not not much help when I inquire for services. There’s a festival of some sort and giant parade. Kirin, in her special silent way, urges us to follow or get lost, and we all manage to keep up to enter The Hearth and The Harlot.

I saunter through the establishment with an ear open for rumor. “…feud will be amazing…” “…good odds on new contenders…” "…Lady Grey‘s probably usual thing…" There’s a big boar being finalized for tonight’s feast.

Back at the table, I ask Claire about the gentlemen discussing bets. They are legit, however they’re possibly desperate. She adds that they like their perry.

As some party members are attempting to flaunt their drinking aptitude, I see half the bar ignoring the ruckus caused by this; instead peering at a man enter and walk to a table in the corner. A waitress is providing service before he’s finished seating himself.

I motion for Lynn, an exclusive barmaid. “Who is he?” “Alder. The Stone.” I overhear from the game that a man named Ivar is a local master-works armorer. I’ll have to acquaint myself. Continuing with Lynn, “Alder is eight-time champion of the feud.” “How might one match with him?” “Nobody can influence matchups.” “How does one enter the feud?” Newcomers lacking notoriety in the event require a writ from Deacon Orrin.

My attention is drawn to Mezla taking the stage with a performance. He didn’t hold it for long. I ask Lynn about Lady Grey. She is anticipated to be at her estate, Nightingale Flat, 30 minutes after the show.

Music ceases, and there is a brief hesitation before a burst of applause from the crowd. I see Alder leading this charge with a standing ovation. He must be dull. Once Mezla finds his way back to the table, I tell the foolish danger-seeker of the information I gleaned off Lynn, as well as Alder’s appreciate for the bard’s finer arts. As Mezla decides to approach the big oaf, I take the halfling and ranger into my company on a mission seeking Lady Grey.

Lady Grey was endearing, and very generous once she saw my holy symbol for Obad Hai. As a devout follower herself, she was happy to offer up her flat complete with 8 private rooms and servant named Jeeves. We pay 100gp on the spot for the duration of our stay – seven days following the feud; 10 in total. Feud starts in 3 days. As part of our price, we will receive timely meals from Jeeves, the faithful estate servant of 15 years.

Useful amenities are that the Nightingale Flat resides in the Foreign Quarter, which leads to the Merchant District. The temple district can provide specialized goods and services.

Myself still in awe for the immediate and great hospitality shown by Lady Grey, she recommends that this is a time for giving and charity. Although she is not fond of the games herself, she does understand and respect the tradition they carry in town.

Returning to the Hearth and Harlot, we share our news of good fortune to the remainder of the party. As it turns out, Alder defeated Hextor’s Chosen to initially take his crown. He has faced up to three warriors in one day, however none have been worthy to take his seat.

We decide to head back to the estate to drop our things and settle in. Jeeves answers my knock. We are notified that all doors have a lock, and Jeeves provided an estate key which Glim rapidly snatched for himself. Standard eating times are 8am for breakfast and 6pm for dinner, with options for lunch.

I perused the library and some books on Obad-Hai. No immediate enlightenment.

In the safety of this estate, I deem it safe to sleep without my armor on. In the morning I don it as best as I can manage, head to breakfast, and have Glim hop on a step-stool to snug the straps. We have two days until the feud. Nine days left in our stay at the estate.

We head to the Temple of Pelor. A thick, barred door is well-guarded. We request audience with the Deacon, wait, and are escorted inside to catch the Deacon with his few free minutes.

Garil doesn’t waste a breath before asking about Nhilos. I like this gut-instinct approach, and I feel compelled to side with the dwarf when he acts with such bold assertiveness. I stifle a laugh at the thought of the Deacon being nonplussed by this bombardment. Good thing too, as the conversation immediately takes a grave tone.

Reviewing the notes in our possession, the Deacon gets a distant look. This is serious business. He tells us that Nhilos was a man in search of omnipotence. These scribblings…they appear as though his soul has lingered and now found a vessel. Lol. He thinks he’s Obad.

The Deacon calls in Rynn and Kirin. They were in cahoots this whole time. The eye was the missing Eye of Pelor, which left a gaping hole for 20 years in the giant gold statue. There is a prophecy which speaks of eight to dismember the soul of the Dark One (Nhilos). Unfortunately, the Deacon only sees seven of us and he loses the optimistic glint in his eyes. We grab Son from outside.

Softness returning to his emotions, the Deacon asks us to meet at midnight to perform a test. This can grant us the writ to fight, which we have also sought after.

“Society”

Before our departure from the Deacon‘s office, he notices that Safeir’s tattoo has faded. The Deacon tells us the cycle may not be tied to the moon, and the star will point to the victim who’s heart MUST be devoured; a faded tattoo means we may be able to remove it before the next turning. Whatever works. We leave the hardly-coherent elf in someone else’s hands; ridding ourselves of the problem.

An acolyte walks us out through the cathedral, where we see an immense, gilded statue of Pelor with large gems for eyes. I recall my knowledge of this religion – Pelor’s warriors carry the mace, and this god is known for good, healing, strength, and the Order of the Sun.

Outside the temple, I’m ready to head for Merchant’s Row and Craftsman District to check out local crafts when a new stranger stumbles into our path shouting familiarity toward our little Glim. It seems we’ve already lost the untoward dragon man again. This new weasly-looking fella has an air of secrecy although he’s particularly adamant in regards to his past with the gnome.

The Deacon makes haste passed us to meet the stranger, greeting him as “Leo’nel”.

It seems we are on related business. Leo’nel has the same midnight appointment, and has just shown up to the city himself, so he decides to kill the day acquainting with the crew. Awesome. Another one.

I found Ivar at the Dragon’s Arse(nal) – a place filled with elf-wrought wooden shelves and floating moats of prismatic light. Ivan trains everyone that is working in the place, however he doesn’t really work during the festival. The worst items in the place seem to still be masterworks. I haven’t decided on a new weapon just yet, however he asked me to return after the festival regarding a potential apprenticeship to learn the ways on my own.

With my errand to meet Ivan complete, I decide to stick with Leo’nel and head back to the Temple District for my daily prayer while he meets with the Deacon.

After my prayer, I hopped over to the Temple of Baccob to inquire about this bracelet which is still strangling my left wrist. The thing is cursed! Seriously. It’s a constriction bracelet that can be removed for 10gp. I throw him 15. Ohhhhhhh my! The smell is worse than look of that ring it left! Fortunately, I’m given a salve to heal the festering skin. It’ll certainly leave a mark.

I bump back into Leo’nel and we go meet the group in a large square in the foreign quarter. This might be simply termed “The Square”. As we discuss our next move, we hear a shout and peer over to see a naked woman hanging from the second floor of a nearby building. I’m watching curiously as Glim enters an immediate panic demanding we help the damsel. Suddenly Leo’nel is stepping toward the building as his entire figure grows at scale.

The woman drops down. Leo’nel is clumsy and basically throws her onto me. Tittays…on ma face!… As I’m wrapping my mind around these supple breasts, Lady Grey rolls up in a carriage – horror-stricken – and plays through. She pissed, and I’m about to black out I’m so rattled.

Thrash gives the naked woman a cloak to wrap up in while Lady Grey goes on some tirade about decency. Awkward situation short, Glim grudgingly returns the estate key so that the stubborn Lady Grey does not have to admit association with our improprieties. Homeless again. I bet Jeeves knows some interesting ish

The fine (no longer) naked woman offers to answer all of our questions over a drink and a meal at the Fat Minstrel, as thanks.

Some chatter around the bar swirled rumors toward our table. Arlor, the owner of the Fat Minstrel, stops by and I order up some warm deer. Son tells us about a daily job board in The Squarem and I warned the party to be wary of wearing accessories without knowing their potential effects first.

Dion, the now-dressed woman, sits with us and provides her name. Her half-orc suitor apparently doesn’t know when to quit with her mm.. titties and she had to flee out the window until he calmed. Now seemingly calmed, a half-orc approaches Dion with a kiss; whispering in her ear. The man’s name is Tusk.

Grateful, Tusk pulls out a deck of cards – calling it a Deck of Many Things, which he discovered in an apothecary shop. He says the owner can say the number they wish to take, and the deck will abide; providing cards one at a time to be returned prior to the next being taken. All are to be taken within an hour. The owner only receives one opportunity to draw, per deck.

Tusk claims he has already drawn from the deck and taken a new direction in his life. He used to be a terrible man, and is now a gentle, potentially over-intimate, musician.

Still uncertain as to what exactly this deck claims to provide, I see Mezla dart out his hand to the deck and shout that he wants five. Right then and there. FIVE!

1) Sun – a book appears. Manual of Gainful Exercise. The bard seems beefy and confident.
2) Visier – divine answer to any query
3) Strength – will saves +4
4) Ruin – everything on the bard vanishes, with exception to a few magical instruments. Naked as the day he was born. Wtf is happening.
5) Visier, again.

Mezla hastily covers himself with Glim’s bear cloak, begs for a handful of coin, and sprints off toward Merchant Row.

With all of the commotion, we set off for the Crimson Pipe as we watch Mezla disappear into the distance, still drawing looks. Just then we notice the job board. Being near day’s end, only remnants of parchment remain.

The Crimson Pipe has four rooms; a nominal increase from the two luxurious rooms available at the Fat Minstrel, at a cost in quality. I went back to the Fat Minstrel to book my 2gp/night stay, where things felt more homely to me.

The rest of the crew reconvene downstairs in time for Tusk’s performance. The event sold out, however he asked us personally to attend. It was a short, somewhat strange show put on by the talented half-orc. The music… it resonated with me.

As the show ends I’m in a stupor. Mind calmed and spirit at ease, I didn’t even think to detect magic in his words.

We put back a few more rounds to kill time until our midnight rendezvous. Mild impairment shouldn’t stop us from passing this ‘test’.

An acolyte lets us in the Temple of Pelor as the clock strikes twleve.

Trial of the Century

We are brought to wait in the Cathedral for Deacon Orrin. Is this the test? It’s so quiet…

A glowing in the distance, and two sets of feet, approach. It’s an acolyte at the side of Safeir. The cure attempt cannot be administered until another turning occurs.

The Deacon shows up in what must be his most grandiose vestments. Where did he come from? He describes the power of Nhilos as being drawn from souls; the first of which was his own.

I notice a hand motion and quiet utterance from the holy figure right before a stairway suddenly appeared at the base of Pelor’s statue. We enter.

The staircase is deep. It’s getting rather balmy as we continue along. I can feel magical sources pinging all around us.

We enter a giant circular space off the final step. The place seems huge, with a faint glow appearing to come from far above the rising steam. A pedestal sits surrounded by nine seats.

A bright red, folded cloth is brought in encompassing a small pipe. An acolyte opens a black leather pouch. With a puzzled look, the Deacon turns to Leo’nel and asks him about Griffon Feather.

Leo’nel confidently notes that the herb is instead Sphinx Feather, with it’s pristine white coloring. It is said to provide mental clarity, although it may carry negative consequences. Maybe to those weak of mind It’s to be smoked for effects, and the Deacon expects all of us to partake on this spiritual journey.

I hardly know what’s happening, but that’s nothing new. This… herb… is clearly not prevalent. I start thinking of sphinxes. I don’t know what sphinx feather is, this is an herb. Sphinxes are wise and enigmatic creatures, so that must be how this herb derived such a name. I may never meet another being who has even seen, let alone experienced, this stuff…

The group is asked to disrobe and sit. The stone chair is warm. This whole place has seemed to be warming up. What magic and works are at play here? How many have known of the existence of this place? Of this ritual? What a wondrous secret this must be!

The smoke is concentrated and hot as it flows through my system. Garil blow smoke rings off his exhale from the pipe. Ha! No conceit there… As the pipe is handed to Safeir, the acolyte at his side is visibly uncomfortable with the idea. Protesting was cut off by an immediate backhand from the Deacon. It’s getting so hot…

My heart rate is increasing. I listen more intently. I hear breathing. Dripping.

Dripping… what is that??? What is this feeling I’m trying to embrace?…

Breathing. Around me. Where around me? It envelopes me.

I know what this is – it’s Obad-Hai. I knew he was with me

Obad tells me that trust can only be received from those to whom it has been given. He made me feel more secure that these adventurers I am with are greater than normal beings; whether divine in their own right or additional tools of Obad. They warrant my trust. Obad wishes for me to be such a tool, a proposition with which I am overly willing to cooperate. I must stay inquisitive and trust in my ultimate divine purpose.

A burning in my chest. It feels like hot, then cold, iron pressing through from the inside. I can see a scar forming in that place on my skin.

Coming out of my daze, Garil is weeping at my side. Weeping?! I tilt my attention passed him toward Mezla‘s feeble figure announcing that the muses told him he’s the man. Of course they did. A spiritual journey into his ego. What else could he have experienced?

Looking to create a trust bond with the group, I told them that I have the ability to assist with sealed doorways that may cross our path.

Thrash helps me cinch up my armor straps while the others are making final adjustments to their gear. I ask the Deacon what he knows of the experiences we just had – he knows not what we are to do, but he is quick to confirm the divinity surrounding this event. Trial success

Providing me a writ to enter the feud, with a few of the others, the Deacon informed us that strong magical barriers are generated for the feud arena, and unsuccessful bouts will not result in any participants perishing.

In the fight against Nhilos, the Deacon will provide any support he is able from his position in the Temple of Pelor. Messages will be sent via Citadel Sendings; we will hear his voice to know the message is from him personally.

Leaving the Temple of Pelor, we swing by the Temple of Baccob to find that elders will be available after the festival when events aren’t so busy. I went back to Ivar’s and purchased a beautiful masterworks longsword from his collection; trading in my old iron.

After a prayer, I returned with the group to the job board. A posting about nightmares and demons stuck out to us, so we went to inquire at The Crimson Pipe. Next I know, Thrash has struck a deal with a witch and took a bag of coin. Tossing me some coin, he explained that we are going to kill a vampire queen after the festival and receive more coin upon completion. Okay.

Glim learned of ‘the brothers’ at the wharf who take feud bets. We do have this wonderful new coin, after all.

At the docks, I overheard a mention of brothers so I ask if they may be the same we are searching for. The guy takes us to a shop with a very ornate sign, and enters. We stand outside but I’m sure this is the place. I feel right about it. Glim entered.

It feels like the next moment and we were at the docks once more to pick up cargo from a quarantined ship to gain the brothers’ trust. I guess that was them I gaze about as the ranger goes throwing dice with a guard. Sounds like they’re having quite the time.

A few minutes later, I’m being pulled down a dock and the guard is walking the other direction. I didn’t bother looking for any prying eyes; simply gathered up a keg and walked in the straightest line back to the brothers’ shop. Naturally, a couple others struggled doing the same.

At this point the brothers are willing to take any action from us. I use 110GP to place a 100GP 1:1 bet on Garil to win the first round, then decide to retire for the evening.

Sadron Galanodel

The Awakening FraaJad