meekus dies, lia murders some trees, tanum wilds out

tanum: i wanted to be an adventurer like you, havi!
tanum: so i sold everything from the shop!! and here i am!!!
havi: you WHAT

the group (minus jojo) finds themselves in windfast. prior to now, windfast had been through a huge debacle, the reckoning of windfast, the rising of chaos, etc; where deformed townspeople were risen to fight and invade their own city. that time has long passed.

the group starts out at a tavern, as most d&d campaigns tend to. the first person to approach us is a man named aaron, who asks them to help out his “friend” who has a deformity. (minutes later we find out it’s actually aaron himself; he has mouths forming on his palms.) unknown to the group, joaquin and havi had woken up the previous day with weird body mods of their own. (havi had a hand pressing out from within his stomach, and joaquin’s ears were fucked up. the two make an effort to keep this hidden.) they accept aaron’s request and set out to retrace his steps, seeing if there was anything strange that could have caused this.

they basically get nothing done.

havi gets run out of the market and caranthir buys some boar jerky near the docks.

they also make a trip to the estate that aaron works at. (he’s a cook for one of the nobles in town.) joaquin and havi attempt to enter through the front; joaquin posing as an artist and offering to paint the noble’s portrait for a very fair price, with havi carrying the supplies and examples of his other work. the noble lets us in while dahlia sneaks in through the back door, leading into the kitchen.

dahlia sneaks so well (nat 20) that she sneaks into the soup one of the cooks is preparing. then idk something happens and i think she gets caught. guards call for help, the noble upstairs goes to access the situation, giving havi and joaquin a chance to venture further into the house. i forgot why we were even here. this seems really stupid in hindsight

korrus is a really powerful healer i think she was at the noble’s healing someone important

at some point they learn about the “stonehenge” in the middle of town. the group decides to camp behind some trees and watch the area overnight. night falls, and figures in robes carrying bodies start to group around the stones. clearly they’re doing some fucked up ritual shit, and the gang springs into action. we kill all but two of the cultists before the authorities arrive. we come to an agreement that they can have one cult member, if we can have the other. they agree. a quick look-around tells us that the cult is somehow cursing townspeople with deformities, then using them for a specific ritual. one of the bodies nailed to a stone is aaron. good thing he paid us in advance am i right folks

back at the inn, we tie the cultist to a chair and begin to interrogate him. we don’t get much from the guy, and eventually joaquin snaps and punches him in the head, just to rough him up a bit. but the cultist purposefully leans into the punch and his neck gets snapped. so we’re like fuck ok and hide the body in the closet of our inn room.

night two of keeping watch over stonehenge; the cultists are back, with more bodies this time. we fight them again, but not fast enough; they complete their ritual, and summon a dark knight. during the boss battle, korrus appears to help us, but becomes severely injured. in an attempt to shield her, dahlia runs in front of korrus and tries to fire her bow at the demon, but (nat 1) trips and impales korrus with her bow. way 2 go

we rush back to the town’s temple and pray to korrus’ god, begging for her to help. she transports us to probably a different plane to speak with us, and we try and charm her. (a goddess.) it doesn’t work and she looks mad, so caranthir offers her his boar jerky. (nat 20.) the goddess is quiet for a moment before we’re all suddenly transported back to our plane; korrus is alive, and caranthir’s boar jerky is gone.

korrus is very thankful and heals us of our “issues,” before handing us an ankh. she says it is unsafe there at the temple, and feels these adventurers will be better hands. they are told to go to the mage’s college in new chasm and seek out meekus marcus.

as they’re going back to the inn, they notice people bringing out a dead body and wanted posters being hung up. turns out the cultist joaquin killed? the governor’s son. the group is now wanted in windfast so they skedaddle.

at the docks, they are contacted by a dwarf named deeri, who offers them safe passage to new chasm via a boat. they follow him

they’re supposed to meet with meekus at new chasm, but he happens to be on the ship they’re on; how lucky! they don’t really get the chance to talk, aside some friendly at-the-table chatting (meekus is very into magic, and very into people), and meekus winking at joaquin and slipping him a piece of paper (containing a doodle of him winking), but that’s no big deal; there are plenty of days to talk to the guy. it takes a week to sail to new chasm, anyway.

that night, the ship is attacked by a leviathan and some mermen. the group defeats them, but quickly after, beard (the captain) brings them into the captain’s quarters and we find none other than meekus lying dead on the floor. he hadn’t even been fighting in the battle. so there goes our ankh information. beard tells us we have to find out who killed him by the time we reach land (6 days) or else.

the next morning we head to breakfast, and figure we might as well start the questioning now. havi sits next to philip (meekus’ apprentice) and asks him how he’s doing, treading lightly.

philip: pretty good ... have you seen meekus around?
havi: i need to leave

and havi nopes the fuck out of there because there’s no way he’s going to tell the kid his mentor just died. nifty’s eating a bowl of fucking fruit and ollie’s in the back cooking. ollie’s this sort of eccentric old guy; him and caranthir get along really well.

we spend the day getting to know the crew and everyone on the ship to try and figure out who could have killed meekus.

the next night, the ship is attacked again, this time by like 6 leviathans.  jojo (a half-orc, previously not in the party) wakes up in a box in the hold of the ship, and breaks out. the first person he meets is nifty, who is downstairs not helping.

we go and fight the monsters and people question jojo because they are in the middle of the sea how do new people show up??? also with a murder??? but we all go to bed, and over the course of the next few days, beard tells jojo that he raided a merman cove to get that treasure, jojo ends up telling nifty all of this, who eagerly writes it all down. we continue questioning people.

at one point we throw a party? jojo, joaquin, and xavia almost have a threesome it just ends up being jojo and xavia. also jojo tries to kiss xavia but rolls a nat 1 and kisses joaquin instead. nifty beats ireth and joaquin with his special cane. havi tries to make a disco ball out of fire but falls over and catches a table on fire. towards the end of all this, philip loses it.

philip: meekus is DEAD & you’re just running around having fun!!!!!

he runs to his room. (it’s very sad)

at some point we steal all of nifty’s shit and force him to help us – (the mess hall interrogation?) it’s perfect, jojo like holds him down

it’s coming to be the last day on the ship, and we have no idea who did it. nothing we’ve really done has helped us, honestly. we’ve pinned it on beard, because so far he seems the most secretive. havi casts zone of truth on the ship, but people know they’re under a truth spell and can avoid answering things so long as they don’t lie – here’s where we fucking talk to deeri, the guy that lead us onto the ship. he doesn’t fucking say anything. literally. he stares us down. he doesn’t say shit.  joaquin tries to interrogate philip but yells at him and makes him cry.

basically we can narrow it down to beard or deeri. beard eventually threatens us to find someone to put the blame on, or else he’ll turn us into the authorities, so we sort of panic but can’t really figure anything out. we sneak into deeri’s room and steal this weird book he has, and it’s written in some code so we can’t read it. we set a watch, who falls asleep right away. in the morning, we’re pulling into the port. we wake up realizing that our watch failed miserably, and we find that the ankh and deeri’s book are gone, and when we go to figure shit out, the second in command comes and our group gets put into the hold.

jojo had been sleeping in another room though – the ship was full, he got to bunk with philip since meekus’ bed wasn’t taken. we break down the door for the hold, we force nifty into helping us, he riles some soldiers on the ship to help in exchange for his things back. we also run and get philip, tell him we know who killed meekus (beard or deeri) and get him to help too. we basically rally all we can on the ship to help because we need to figure it out before we hit port.

as we’re trying to get all this done, we hear someone jump ship.

it’s fucking deeri. he jumped and is swimming away, but. havi knows water walk, so he literally jumped and ran after him, yanked him out of the water, and brought him back to the ship. (somehow). deeri admits to having killed meekus, saying that we didn’t know what we were doing and that the ankh in his hands was way better off.

we fight him (huge boss battle), get this cult ring and staff off him, and get the hell off the ship.

we take meekus’ body (jojo carries it) & philip and we head to the mage’s college. nifty is thankful to get the hell away from us. so is beard, honestly.

we see wanted posters of this like. really dangerous person who had murdered like 12 people recently named lindsay

we’re headed to the mage’s college when we’re stopped by a figure in the road. the person appears to be holding two guns. it’s lindsay!

lindsay is basically ireth’s cousin (??) from their village, ireth thought everyone was killed (village was attacked by orcs) so this is a shocker. lindsay has crazy tats that give her crazy magic strength that turns her into a murder-machine. we fight her a bit, but then convince her to come with us  (sort of). lindsay fought with two really nice pistols that were basically all she had left to remind her of a person who was very important to her, but one was lost in the battle (joaquin took it)

we all arrive at the mage’s college, which also happens to be where xavia works (her dad is the head librarian) so she walks with us. we talk to a few of the mages about meekus – they are saddened about his death, and when we ask if there is anything we can do to bring him back, one mage points us to a small village near the town. there’s rumored to be a shaman who lives in the village, who specializes in … unusual favors. we figured the shaman can help with the dead meekus problem, and removing lindsay’s tattoos, so why not. we leave meekus’ body in the care of the mages, and the college is nice enough to give us our own personal escort to the village.

our escort just so happens to be tanum, havi’s very good friend; who was supposed to be back at their home, watching over their very valuable magic item collection. havi greets him happily, but … is also confused, and asks why he’s here.

tanum: i wanted to be an adventurer like you, havi!
tanum: so i sold everything from the shop!! & here i am!!!
havi: you WHAT

we do some shopping around the college: caranthir buys a magic ring that changes the color of your hair every time you put it on, joaquin sells one of lindsay’s guns (secretly), and havi gets his glasses engraved by an old guy. he isn’t told what the markings do, however; just that they’ll “come in handy.”

we leave for the village, and on the way we come across a forest was cut down and we are greeted by two wolves

caranthir talks to the wolves, which are like yo some orcs cut down these trees, so caranthir runs off bc he’s very protective over his trees

we fight the orcs and then interrogate one of them who reveals that they were hired by someone named rodrik in the town over, so we went to that town. jojo is suspicious because he used to have an old buddy named rodrik, but assumes he was killed many years ago. we go to the inn and find rodrik, but it’s not jojo’s rodrik – just a dude named rodrik. but we DID see he was wearing a cult of sorrows ring.

lia shows up??? here??????

tanum escorts us to the shaman, but as soon as we arrive the shaman points directly to jojo and says something like, “you are not welcome here,” as if he recognizes him, and that’s when jojo realizes this was the same village that him and his old gang (jojo, lia, rodrik, and collette) totally fucked up years back. (they burned it down and killed a lot of people on accident + all of jojo’s teammates supposedly died.

tanum jumps in and is really defensive for some reason, spouting some stuff about how we can all work this out and everyone should just calm down. the shaman is having none of it, and jojo decides no yeah i really don’t want to be here right now… and tries to leave, but tanum steps in front of him

tanum: no. you aren’t leaving ... this is going to work out
tanum: it’ll be fine!!!!!
tanum: hey!! i said no one’s leaving

and then he just sort of … starts casting some magic?

at that point we notice there are definitely a lot of graves surrounding us; graves for everyone who had died during jojo’s group’s attack way back when. and that’s when people start crawling out of those graves (tanum was doing necromancy)

shit sucks because two of the corpses fighting us? look a little familiar to jojo. collette and rodrik, his old teammates, were being brought back from the dead to fight against their old friend. u don’t get more fucked up then that

during all this havi is shouting at tanum to stop

tanum: don’t worry havi - this is just a different kind of magic!!!!!
havi: there's a better solution here!! this isn't going to work!!!
tanum: you left two years ago to try & fix me, you aren’t one to talk about getting things done.
havi: ...

that’s when havi realizes something different; a faint glow coming from tanum’s chest. (that’s when havi realizes the enchanted glasses make wounds glow, something pretty helpful for a cleric. but that meant tanum was fucked up in the heart area. and that was really fucking upsetting)

we basically fuck up the zombies, beat tanum up, jojo sits on him. havi’s like yo dude what the FUCK to the shaman, who retrieves a jar. the jar contains a heart covered in runes, and the shaman explains that sometime in the past year, tanum had made a deal with the shaman to fix his magic. he had been asked to choose between his life or his magic, so tanum of course said magic, and the shaman removed his heart as tanum requested, because we assumed that was where the curse was concentrated. the shaman hands havi the heart. (later we find out the real reason tanum asked him to remove his heart, spoilers: the cult tanum had joined required his heart to be removed momentarily so runes could be carved onto it. these runes insured that, if at any time, the person decided to betray or run from the cult, they could easily be killed from any distance. tanum no longer wished to affiliate with the cult, so he went as far as to just remove the heart entirely)

havi doesn’t know quite what to do because this isn’t standard healing but after a lot of shouting back and forth within the group, he approaches unconscious tanum and goes to put the heart back in the convenient hole in his chest. tanum suddenly wakes up, eyes wide and body thrashing around

tanum: no stop, i’ll die, havi i’m scared, havi i’ll DIE if you put it back

after more fretting and holding him down havi puts the heart back, making sure to immediately heal him as soon as it’s placed. (i’ll die = he was technically undead without his heart, so unable to die, but replacing the heart would have brought him back to life and he would have taken all of the damage he took during battle)

tanum had basically been using necromancy on himself to keep himself alive without his heart. idiot

after that, jojo is still a little shaken up by having to literally re-kill his old friends. but havi goes over to jojo and asks if he wants to have a last word with them, because he can bring their souls back to their bodies for a little while. jojo agrees, and havi contacts collette first. collette explains that jojo did all he could in the battle and it wasn’t his fault that they died. havi then contacts rodrik, who asks jojo to tell this one girl that he regrets never asking her out. shad cries