We find our adventurers exhausted after an epic battle. Our friends are dead. We’ve just seen hordes of spiders rip apart a would-be ally. Nabila possesses a new body of a bandit. She pulls out her wand of reincarnation and fires it at Kelvin, Orlando, and Logan.
Kelvin forms first, into a human, though shorter, leaner, with long dark hair and a goatee. He’s a druid, his hide armor hanging off his body. He sits indian style, acting all Zen, while Nabila brews him some (magic mushroom) tea. He says for us to call him K from now on.
Logan is the next to change. His body is shorter and thicker. He’s a mountain dwarf with serious bloodlust. He’s middle aged looking with a dark beard and dark hair. He’s also naked. And flaccid.
Orlando’s body glows and shrinks. HIs skin turns pale. His hair is silvery, and a beard and mustache form on his face. He has a strange purple tattoo on the side of his face. He comes to and is chatty. Very chatty. He’s talking 90 to nothing and then realizes what happened to himself and passes out from shock. We have to get him inside before his skin roasts in the sun. We all adjourn to the cantina.
Once inside, Vincente approaches Nabila to talk. She asks where Tuco’s body went since it wasn’t among the banditos. Vincente says that Tuco had a ring of regeneration and must have crawled away. He tells us we should go to the bandit camp because there’s stuff there, like a spellbook that belonged to Tonja the mage (whose head now rests in Nabila’s big bag). Vincente offers to heal us, although sometimes the gods don’t hear his prayers. He was excommunicated from his church over discrepancies in the accounts (“The money was just resting there.”) and rumors of inappropriate behavior with an altar boy, though Vincente maintains his innocence. Vincente tells us more about the treasure of Salamanca. A former parishioner of the Padre’s discovered a torn treasure map from a grave he was robbing and confessed it to the Padre. The man was arrested five years ago and sentenced to life at the Guadalante Territorial Prison. It’s about three days worth of riding to the east to get to the prison.
Jeb mentions he doesn’t like the new Kelvin. K. Something about him rubs Jeb the wrong way. Kelvin used to be a harmless idiot before, and now he’s not.
Sindra senses a magical tingling in the air. Suddenly a portal of shimmering blue energy opens up. Multiple boots hit the floor. Orlando the deep gnome wrestles with a masked rogue carrying blades. Half a dozen other guys are with the rogue, all dressed similarly. A woman signals to them and they carry off Orlando towards the portal. Sindra shoots magic missles at the rogue and kills it, but the female scoops Orlando up. They disappear while Orlando shouts, “Page 59! Page 59!”. Orlando’s stuff is still on top of the bar where Jeb deposited him. Nabila goes for Orlando’s locket and it burns her hand. Sindra identifies it as an Amulet of Sending. A bug.
Nabila takes Orlando’s copy of “The King in Yellow” and flips to page 59. A folded piece of paper falls out. It’s a letter to Nabila where Orlando confesses that he’s been working for a mysterious employer, reporting our every move back to them — with the amulet — but that he refuses to say who it is. If he should die, we will hear from said employer. Also he asks Nabila not to resurrect him, not to chop his head off for her collection, and not to let Granick anywhere near his corpse.
Nabila sends a message back to the employers — if they have questions about her group, then they should contact her directly. Asshat. K in his spaced out way says that Orlando was very arrogant, and his arrogance was his undoing. This sends Nabila into a fury and she threatens K. She decides to do some prophesying. Shelly’s voice tells her to find a scrying pool and wait. Valencia has a well, and that’s as good as she’s going to get, so she goes over to it and waits. And waits.
A bright flash of light flares and then a shimmering image appears. It’s Oleander! Sindra walks out to see what’s happening. The image speaks. The first thing Oleander remarks on is Nabila’s new face. He says he doesn’t like it. He arranged for Orlando to be extracted. The situation is complicated. Adrissant has made his next move as Tar-Baphon. He’s spent the last seven and a half years making an undead army. They are declaring open war on Turin. Amaranth has been attacked since we left. The elven city of Thorn in the Moonwood is under siege. No word from Enkelhofen. And there’s no telling what’s going on in Isembard. Schwarzwald has been the target of a few attacks. Adrissant sent troops to Baraz-Gathul, but no one has heard from the dwarves.
Nabila wants to know why he took Orlando. Oleander explained that Orlando needs to be debriefed and placed on suicide watch since Nabila reincarnated him. He says that he is Orlando’s paymaster. Nabila threatens him for taking away her only family. Oleander quickly puts her in her place and tells her she is no longer the mistress. Orlando was deranged. He traveled around looking for Deja and nearly found her in Vogelbrucke. He found Deja’s body. She’d fought against Adrissant’s sway as the portal to Carcosa opened. Deja found Nabila’s broken body and mourned over it. Member’s of the King’s Players stabbed her in the back and killed her. Orlando went around doing revenge killing but he was no assassin. His kills were messy and he left lots of evidence. Oleander cleaned up the trail in exchange for Orlando’s service. There was one condition — part of Orlando’s memory was erased. Professor Scarman in Schwarzwald performed the magic needed to wipe Orlando’s memories of finding Deja. Now that Orlando’s soul has been changed, he may remember those wiped memories and that’s why Oleander took him away.
Nabila rages that Oleander is a blasphemer and is using Aegecia’s power for his own ends. Oleander counters her anger by saying if he was a blasphemer, then why would he still have his powers? Nabila is now Aegecia’s number one killer, and her job is to kill Valdis, the god of murder, with the Godrot and Oleander at her side. The Company of the Tattered Cloak has to draw Valdis out of hiding. Back in the day a long time ago, Aegecia used to be not evil, and he was kin to Meelkor. The Beast killed Meelkor and Valdis claimed responsibility for it. Aegecia was incensed that his kin had been destroyed and was out for revenge. The Beast fought Aegecia and blinded him, turning him into the plague god Nabila and Oleander worship today. It’s Nabila’s job to end Valdis’ existence so Aegecia can take up that sphere of influence and gain more power. Oleander mentions that Corben Elias helped do research for them. Corben is okay!
Oleander is building up an army of plague-bringing assassins and letting Adrissant destroy the elves because, well, nobody likes the elves. If Adrissant takes care of the them, the shadow army can rise up and blindside Adrissant. They will get directly involved unlike the Esoteric Order of the Palantine Eye.
Oleander turns to Sindra and informs her that her brother Uhlsolg has been in contact with them. An alliance with the drow is crucial to fighting this war. But there is a civil war going on in the Underdark, and House Everhafin is at the forefront. Rualoth, Dirthspar’s high priestess, and their mother are trying to take control of Khazid-Hirn. Uhlsolg represented Rualoth and says that she seeks an audience with Sindra. She needs Sindra to eliminate their mother and make Rualoth the matron of the house. Sindra will be granted amnesty if she cooperates. Again, it’s complicated.
Nabila asks what happened to Oleander’s insanity. He says he was healed by one of the faithful at “the obelisk.” He can’t say much more about it, but he needs Nabila to trust him. He has assured other people that the Company of the Tattered Cloak would be on his side. Oleander then starts awkwardly talking about what might have been between them and even though it didn’t work out, at least Nabila still has Aegecia, right? She asks if his faith comforts him and Oleander says that it does. Nabila angrily tells Oleander that she’s glad it comforts one of them and storms off. Sindra remains to talk to him. She asks whether her sister Mayraena was working with Adrissant to outfit an army with the blight water weapons. He tells her no, that Mayraena was in cahoots with some demon lord to take over the Underdark. Sindra has done Rualoth a great favor by eliminating the competition with their sister. She tells him that next time he should be more forward with Nabila about their relationship because she has regretted not making that plague baby ever since. Oleander says that things have a way of working themselves out. Sindra admonishes Oleander to take care of Orlando, and he promises to do it.
The next day we make our way to the bandit camp. One tent is left standing after all the others have been dismantled or destroyed. Sindra walks right on over to it, gets a huge shock because it was trapped. La la la. But she gets her hands on Tonja’s spellbook and a few alchemical recipes, and it’s all worth it.
On our way to the prison we have a random encounter with three desert trolls. On their loincloths, they have an emblem of a black sun surrounded by an iron circle. Vincente says he’s heard of this group, called the Iron Ring. They’re slavers operating in the Serobi Wastes. The next day we spot riders on the horizon. There are nine riders in light armor with swords and crossbows. Their livery is white on blue, the Guadalante flag colors. They spot us and ride to us.
What are we doing? Treasure hunting? Who are we? We lie. Except for Big Betty who tells the truth. The captain, known as Van Cleef, has a necklace of truth around his neck. The one time we try diplomacy to avoid a fight by lying through our teeth, and the guy has a truth detector! Well, we fight because Nabila wants that magic necklace.
Granick gets critted by horse hooves, K does no damage, Logan is a beast with his new fire giant strength, Nabila flies and chases down a rogue horseman so he can’t squeal about us to his other cop bretheren, and we recruit henchhorse number 2 to our ranks. Granick tries to skullfuck Captain Van Cleef’s head, but Big Betty is not having it, and they have a lover’s tiff. We make our way to the prison and find out we can’t get in.
Orlando’s stuff + Amulet of Sending
Tonja’s spellbook (Sindra)
potion of climbing
girdle of fire giant strength (22 STR, +4 ATK, +10 DMG) (Logan)
bracers of defense (AC2) (Sindra)
amulet of truth (lawful alignment only) (Vincente)
Sword of Navarez +4 defender (Granick)