You’re all lovely and I appreciate you. I’ll be sending this to y’all as well, so this isn’t the only place it exists.
Here’s my plan.
Starting today, y’all can begin this conversation. And we’ll give ourselves until Monday at midnight to have this party talk.
Wizard of Oz crew, we’ll be fast forwarding to your arrival in Meniirthun the evening before this conversation. When you arrive, you see that the entire party/guild is present and Valasca tells you that there’s a guild meeting in the morning to discuss what’s next for all of you. You all bed down, you rest, and when you wake up, you’re all greeted by a pretty lavish breakfast spread made mainly of pastries and quiche as well as ale and water. There’s a massive redwood table now in the center of the common area of the guild hall at the head of which, Valasca is seated. “Come. Sit. Eat. We have much to discuss. Why not begin with what you’ve all learned since seeing me last?”
We’ll assume everyone is up at the same time and sitting together to eat and discuss. Whoever would like to take the lead in the forum.
Jezerin walks downstairs, clad in loose black pants and a blue tunic, belted with a stip of treated leather. Garlic is lounging, stretched out on his shoulders, making little pseudodragon snores. Garlic perks up as he smells the food, and flies off of Jezerin's shoulders and lands on the redwood table in front of Valasca. He sticks his little snout in her cup of ale and takes a few little sips, before knocking the ale over and licking up what suds he can.
"Valasca, goodmorning." Jezerin says as he approaches her at the head of the table. "And you, friend. I am Jezerin Baker of Westruun." He extends his hand to (Scott's character idk what race you are so idk how to describe you) , then sits down on at Valasca's right and begins to wipe up the ale that Garlic spilled. Once the table is clean, he prepares himself a plate.
"Valasca, the raid last night on the Remnant outpost was a success. It seems that the outpost we hit was their only presence in the Dawnmist." Taking a long sip of ale, Jezerin eyes the rest of the room. "It was a recruiting and training outpost. There were some initiates that did not give us any trouble, and Nim and Lynneah were able to disable the leader from stealth, bringing him down before he was able to do anything. We interrogated him under a Zone of Truth, and learned dire news. We also gathered a few documents that none of us could read. I didn't even recognize the language. I think Lynneah has it, and I'll ask her to pass it around once she arrives to eat."
Garlic, now with nothing to lick off of the table, sticks his snout into Jezerins cup and starts slurping up his ale, and taking little bites off of his plate.
"He is not a lizard! He's a pseudodragon. My familiar." Jezerin beams with happiness. "If you'd like to try to teach him tricks, go ahead, but I can take care of his manners. He will be a very polite little man." Jezerin shifts in his chair, a troubled look coming over his face. "We learned a lot about the Remnants, their role in the current chain of events. We knew that the cult of the Whispered One was responsible for the ritual murders in Westruun leading up to Damien's coup. Those murders were part of a larger ritual that took place in Westruun that culminated in the sacrifice of the Margrave and Damien Long becoming an Avatar of the Prince of Deceit, one of the Lords of the Abyss. I believe that the Damien Long that was, your older brother Hao, is gone completely. Even if anything of his mind or soul remains, I think it likely that he is beyond help or redemption." Jezerin pauses, slowly sipping his ale. "The cult of the Whispered One was working with the triumvirate of Damien Long, Lady Vadonna, and Zurrich's uncle, the Ironkeeper. But since then the cult has undergone a schism. I trust most of you remember the black dragonborn we met in Dasha's lair? Goes by the name of Krista. She acts as if she's the second coming of the Whispered One themself. He mentioned her as the 'Masquerade Macabre.' I have no idea what that title pertains to. Her arrogance has caused a split in the cult. Those who follow Krista and that plated tiefling, Chaos, are still working Damien, Vadonna, and the Ironkeeper. Those who do not are attempting to turn D/V/I plans for their own ends."
Jezerin stands, and begins to pace up and down the table as he speaks, Garlic fluttering up to lounge once again across Jezerin's shoulders. " Vadonna, Damien, and the Ironkeeper seek to bring the Demon Lords themselves into the Material Plane. They seek to create an environment more suitable for their abyssal masters. The mushrooms come into this as well. The Queen of Rot is behind them. The cultists that are no longer working with Damien's coterie seek to bring their god, Vecna, through the portals meant for the Demon Lords. There are three such sites where the Demon Lords can be brought through into our world. One is in the grotto under the Home Tree, here in Meniirthun. One is among the storm that has been gathering at Gatshadow. And the last is underneath Westruun, in a necropolis that I had no idea existed."
"While these rituals to bring the Demon Lords through are foreign to me, and I have little idea how to thwart them short of killing those involved, we did learn how to deal with the orange and black mushrooms. They are a project of the Queen of Rot. They stem from a natural corruption, synchronized on three planes. They must be dealt with on each. The sites are in the Shadowfell and the Feywild. The Whispered One gave this information to his cultists as leverage, to potentially stop the Demon Lords plans. I have no experience with other planes of existence. I suppose that Lady Delphine would be able to assist us in gaining access to the Feywild, but I know nothing of the Shadowfell but horror stories."
Jezerin sits down, heavily, and clasps his hands over his plate, looking around the table. "There is a string of murders and disappearances in Emon. I think they might be related to the murders in Westruun. I hope to the gods that I am wrong, but we cannot ignore them, especially if they lead to the creation of another demonic avatar."
Nim, hearing people gather for breakfast, dresses in her usual green tunic and brown breeches, and enters the common room sleepily, without a word. After nodding to her compatriots, she sits at the other, purposefully placed, giant chair with a wry grin to Valaska. After loading her plate with a wide variety of food she steadily tucks into her breakfast, finishes it, and washes it down with a tankard of ale (haha). After Jezerin finishes his remarks she speaks. "That was quite the comprehensive report" she admits with appreciation, " I have only a few other points to add, as well as a list of questions. We can discuss those after our initial reports are done." She pulls a small notebook out of her breeches and begins to speak to Valaska. "After we questioned the caster of the Whispered One, it struck me that in addition to the serial killings in Emon being linked to the Westrun ones; there may be a portal in or under the city just like Westrun as well. If any of these things are true, it would behoove us to seek out the corrupted acolytes in Emon and cleanse them. We don't know how many portals are on this continent and it leaves us vulnerable. I would like to seek out cities to the north to see how they have avoided or succumbed to any of the corruption here. So far, however, things have come in threes. Three disciples Fra-" she cuts herself off, with a glance at Jezerin "the Prince of Deception has corrupted, Long, Vadana, and Ironfist. There are three portals on the northern half of the continent. It may stand that there could be a third demon lord involved that has yet to reveal itself." She stops, makes the sing of Melora over her chest, and sits back. "Do you have any questions for me Guild Master?"
I am a teifling, purple skin with a kind looking face, I am excited to meet you, I shake your hand immediately, I introduce myself as Yahala, I am a cleric of emon I serve Penir, the god of writing, and knowledge. I was sent to make a map of gatshadow and the surrounding areas for our library, on my way there I began to chase around a small wolf covered in mushrooms, I wanted to know more. but then a big one attacked me, that was when I acquired the help of the princess, and her crew. it was at this time I also acquired the services of my rouge here, (jean's character).
i gladyly shake your hand and introduce myself, "Hi, freind blessings upon you"
I lean over to my rouge "is this guy cool with us he's got a dragon?"
"Yahala, a pleasure. Garlic is not a dragon. He is a small celestial taking the form of a pseudodragon. Nim you have a good point. We must be on the lookout for further adversaries." Jezerin looks up and down the table, "Kelda, Krayden, what did you all learn in Whitestone? Was the city at peace?"
Sol stands off to the side, but clears his throat.
"I have spent much time learning as much as possible about these portals. There is hope, but it is going to be a long journey.
I have found spells to locate and close portals, as long as the guardians of the portals have been … vanquished. This may be difficult, but it is possible.
I know there is a portal that was guarded by a blight dragon in the forest. I suggest that we can test out my new spells by journeying there and seeing if it is possible for me to close it. Since it is not far away, we should be able to do this relatively quickly. We can also try under the home-tree, if Kelda and her family permit it."
Kradyn awakens with an itch on his left arm. As he moves to scratch it, he realizes how that is physically impossible; so he lets it go. He dresses quickly and rushes to meet the party with excitement.
Today is Kradyn’s victory day. He will finally steal his 69th apple from inside Yahala’s bag. Kradyn figures, “if he hasn’t gotten it by now, he just isn’t getting it.” As if possessed by his gloves of thievery, he easily reaches into the unsuspecting Tiefling’s bag and pulls out a delicious, shiny Macintosh apple.
Inwardly overflowing with self-confidence, the gunslinger sits on the table to start his day like any repressed alcoholic would, by drinking some robust ale. In his lack of regard for his environment, Kradyn fails to see a lizard climb on the table and push over a cup of ale. Instantly, he reaches for his pistol, as lizards are a common nuisance in his neighborhood in Emon. After noticing that Jezerin cared for the creature, his interest in shooting it lowered slightly and, eventually, he lost interest.
Kradyn seemed distracted like usual until he is suddenly shaken as Jezerin stands on the table and proceeds to pace up and down on it. After this, he realizes that the whole time Jezerin had been speaking he had actually been giving a well-summarized report on recent findings.
After being caught up through Tanh’rahk’s niceness, Kradyn hears Jezerin’s question regarding Whitestone. “The city is indeed at peace Jezerin, the credit goes to Vox Machina. The princess and I were tested by the heroes and learned much about ourselves, perhaps a little too much.” A very small red flash appears right before Kradyn rubs one of his eyes. “Lady Vex’ahlia charged us with the mission of clearing out a corrupted fey wolf forest guardian south of Whitestone, another guardian has replaced him and their name is Balgas.”
Kradyn turns to Valasca and speaks to her with a serious tone not heard until now. “Valasca, I am not sure if you are aware of this, but Basra has been taken”.
Kradyn points to Valasca’s brand from the Slayer’s Take, “Our guild master, without whom we may not have cemented these friendships. We must find her. There has to be a way to rid us of these atrocities.”
Kradyn returns to Jezerin with urgency, “You seem to have the most current understanding of what is going on, what move do you propose we make?”
As the adventurers set down to breakfast, Kelda breezes in. Having already eaten, washed, dressed, and gone out for a ride, she greets everyone in the room warmly, especially those whom she hasn't seen for a while. She pauses before the large Firbolg sitting at the foot of the table and greets her. The large blue woman scrambles to stand and bow but Kelda smiles and convinces the large warrior to continue her breakfast. As Tahn'Rak enters the room she takes the time to introduce him to Valaska as well as the other members of the returning Kraghammer party. As the reports begin, Kelda remains quiet, uncharacteristically going pale while Jezerin speaks, and waits until Kradyn finishes his report.
"Kradyn", she says, laying a hand on his arm. "Lets wait for everyone to share what they know and then we can start to formulate a plan." She turns her attention to Sol, "Its interesting you mention guardians of portals. I have recently discovered that through my own powers, as well as help from above, I have the capacity to cleanse or communicate with the forest guardians on the continent. I believe the more corrupted guardians I can cleanse, the looser of a grip the Demon Lords will have on this plane." She grimaces and rubs her face. "It pains me to learn that our journey to cleanse Home Tree will take much longer than planned."
"Jezerin" she says, turning her attention to the knight. "You confirmed what we (Kelda gestures the Whitestone group) feared when we arrived near Gatshadow yesterday. A large black orb is covering the peak surrounded by hundreds of gargoyles. We could not get near enough to the peak to see what lay inside the cave at the top but now we know. What confused us is that when we surveield Gatshadow, we witnessed dozens of air battles occurring between gloomstalkers coming from westrun, and gargoyles by the mountain. I fear there is much we have yet to learn."