TLDR: In a critical attempt to save an old friend, we find ourselves aimlessly doing things and end up losing some of our party.
Dates: March 25- May
- Galli- level 6 invention wizard, rock gnome (tiffthatsit)
- Kirnis- level 9 celestial warlock/wild magic sorcerer, triton (genthrock)
- Vivi- level 8 draconic bloodline sorcerer, sikahla (konopa)
- Beralt- level 6 blood hunter, bugbear (espada) **MISSING**
- Slissezh- level 6 celestial warlock/sorcerer, Yuan-Ti Pureblood (theOddity)
- Alessio- level 9 war cleric/battlemaster/gloomstalker, human (naiiz)
After running into a very drunk Charls, we were able to follow him to his home, where he kept Merula. His home was located north, with an ocean view. Charls seems to have known another possible bugbear named Dodgy (?) who has passed, he mistook Beralt as him. Charls knows Merula as Marrys granddaughter. Merula had seeked him out after Marry had died. (Charls also has a home in Ruined Oak as well)
Merula is unconscious and in the presence of two healers.
They appear to be doing some pretty powerful healing spells on Merula to keep her alive, but she’s still not well. The woman, going by Lizz, lets me inside with them. We have prepared them all to take Merula to the library located inside Destra’s plane. Charls will be driving us with the help of Slissezh and his restoration spell, we might make it there unharmed. Lizz and the masked one put Merulas sickened body into the carriage.
By afternoon we had made it to Small Folk Forrest. As we pull off the road and head into the forest towards our destination, who do we run into but that group of bandits again. Beralt and Kirnis put on an act that Beralt has something like rabies, they end up walking away without a fight.
By night time we have arrived at our location, we set up camp and everyone eats and gets on with their watches. I worked on my lovely bird box and of course watched Beralt strut his stuff.
On third watch, Slissezh’s watch, two unarmed fairie people come out of the woods, hands up.
“Ill tell yah, that Orc and halfling really took out some people, a lot actually. Hence the innocent ones”Bloo
“… We were told that if you were to cross our paths to give you this message. There is a diplomatic envoy from the Summer court at Lileigh as we speak.”Sha
Bloo seemed to really enjoy Vivi as she dove around INSIDE of his shadowy body. They were given our description from Darcy, so that they could ask us not to kill their people. They go off on their time after a brief conversation.
Lizz comes out and informs us that Merula is awake and i’m allowed inside. Once inside, the masked man sits in silence. Merula is weakened and sick, but she speaks. We give greetings to each other before I turn my attention to the masked man. He does not speak because he has no tongue, Lizz informs me that it’s a devotion to his God.
Merula has the message, “Stay safe and keep your eyes open.” for me to pass along, which I do. She gets tired and starts to drift back asleep, I play her some flute for old time sake. Just before she falls asleep she says a half sentence to me.
“Oh and Galli, dont become….”Merula
And that was it, she was back to sleep and I had missed the last of the sentence.
Back outside the carriage Lizz says “forgive me Marry…” it appears that she was a friend of Merulas grandmother. We continue on our way.
As we travel on there are a lot of signs of something very large passing through the area, possibly giants? I tried very hard to think about what Merula had mouthed to me before she fell back asleep…mourn? Although that doesn’t seem right……what could it have been?
Beralt and I decided to break away from the group and warn Destra of our arrival with Merula, along with the healers; as they need permission from her to enter. When we arrive the guard lets us in; inside a carriage pulls up to take us to Desta’s palace. We warned that Merula was in bad shape and that we were worried about what may happen when all of the party enters her realm; she put into action a plan that she and her servants had employed.
As we are chatting, a crack in the plane happens, omitting a blue light. What appears to be a small window appears; within a familiar face. Clair is there yelling and looking distraught, she can’t get in because of the spell that Destra has placed, keeping unwanted people out.
We hurry back to the carriage and inform the party of all that happened, the alchemist must be back as there were lots of dead mutants around Destra’s tree.
We made the decision to bring Merula along right away even though we might have to fight for our lives and keeping her safe at the same time might be difficult. Beralt says something to me in gnomish, which Lizz understood…we discussed that we didn’t trust the masked man healer that was with us. I discover through writing that he goes by Tuk.
Once back to Destra’s tree, there are lots of mutants and no guard outside. Inside there are more mutants dead, somehow had gotten inside. While talking with Destra about her palace’s safety we hear a voice outside. Destra agrees to keep watch over Merulas body while we discover who it is that is speaking.
“Hand over his new vessel. He will get it one way or another!”Illestra
As she begins to count down to the master’s supposed arrival, at one we hear a painful shriek from inside. When we discover that it is Merula that is screaming in pain, Tuk begins to change form into the Alchemist. I knew he was suspicious! The Alchemist ends up breaking Charls neck right there in front of us with a motion of his hand.
Suddenly before us, Destra starts to move before rising, looking a bit different than before. She grows five tendrils which pierce the guards, dooming them to serve the master once again
“Now, you stand before me once more. I will offer again, join me”Destra
After Slissezh successfully cuts off some of her tendrils, she opens a portal releasing the old familiar troll upon us.
The guards begin to rise again, ready to attack! The last time we fought her guards we lost a man, this fight will be a hard one.
They take out Slissezh, our most powerful healer right away. THe masked one has the ability to shift to an ethereal plane which makes fighting him very difficult.
One of the guards manages to hit Beralt to the ground, i then misty step to him and pour a healing potion into him to get him back up; it’s a fierce fight. As the guards are killed they thank us before turning to dust. Lizz is very distraught over the sudden and brutal death of Charls, but she is able to heal a few of us when we need it most! We have come to realize that Destra is fighting back against the Master’s control inside her. We have to figure out how to save her from this. Lizz’s spell to eliminate Destra from the throne room temporarily, runs out and Destra is back, beaten up a little but still very strong under the Master’s control. We prepare ourselves for the fight of a lifetime…something we were very much not as prepared for as we thought we were.
Beralt ends up tackling Destra, at first she appears to be very angry but then turns to absolute sadness;
“Please, get away” she pleads, her eyes tearing up. We should have listened…we should have made a lot of different choices…but let’s continue.
We gather Destra and take her to the library, upon arrival, the messy desk of the libraries receptionist appears
We prepared library carts to travel to the librarian, as we go along, Destra manages to escape Beralts grip, with abnormal strength. She starts to head into a maze of bookshelves, eluding Beralt the whole time; Kirnis manages to keep up somewhat enough to see where Beralt and Destra are heading. She does head to a small study that contains a dias which has an interesting looking mirror in it.
**Giving the mirror a quick look over Kirnis finds some familiarity in them. Maybe from something read in tomes past.
He vaguely remembers enchanted mirrors as these to be used for short distance travel. He would also remember that the correct phrase would be required for the correct exit.
Desta managed to escape Beralts view but he finds tracks up the wall leading to the second story balcony, he follows.
**Kirnis checking out the mirror, sees some text etched into it in Celestial and translates:
“To the champions that protect this realm. You are gifted these eluvien, may traveling your halls be swift and may your students learn much. I pray that the vessel managing your library will serve you well. I pray that your kinship lasts till the end of time and your love be never ending. I pray that you find great joy in life, eventually a successor and a wondrous retirement. I pray that your food is bountiful and ever filling. I pray that your throne remains strong against the strongest of enemies. I pray that your swords are ever sharp, that those who wield them remain ever strong. I pray that you magi remain wise and humble in the extent of their power. I pray that your students remain ever curious in their pursuit of knowledge. I pray that when times are difficult that the lady herself shall guide you. I pray that this gift will forever be useful. When the time comes I will take my place amongst the halls of knowledge, I will protect every scrap of paper and ink. For when they find themselves at the end of their lives, I will descend from the heavens and take their place.”
Kirnis ends up figuring out how to open the portal in the mirror and walks through, Alessio sees him and follows him inside, they are unable to return from where the mirror took them.
Back at the chase of Destra, I try to call out to Beralt to wait up but he cannot hear me. Vivi with no direction decides to stay by the mirror so that he doesn’t end up lost. Slisseh, not being the best at climbing, decides to head through the portal in the mirror; but the portal is slammed shut, he’s locked out. So he decides to go for broke and follow Beralt and me. Shortly after Alessio and Kirnis come back out through the portal as well.
As i get to the top of the balcony, i hear something sharp penetrating flesh as well as
“You won’t be needing these.”
And metal hitting the floor, “in you go,” coming next…it’s Destra and she has stripped Beralt of his armor and weapons and tossed him into a lit up mirror portal. As Destra jumps in, her face turns to sorrow and then the mirror…shatters. It’s gone…Beralt is gone. There’s no way for us to get him back, the mirror is broken.
We go through some more portal mirrors finding our way back to a room containing a well and healthy Merula
At first I wanted to blame her but as she says, she had no control. As far as any info on Beralts where abouts, she claims the twins are the key to getting him back and that he is being kept in a dungeon, the same dungeon I once found myself imprisoned in.
Slissezh makes his way to the other room to find Danny, the librarian. There’s a table with a covered humanoid figure on it.
Back with Merula, she tells me
“When again you meet Cleric, he will show you the way. Trust in Clair.”
As it turns out, Merulas body was under the sheet and Danny had granted her to come back to answer a few questions and to say goodbye, but only briefly.
Back in the throne room, we find Lizz with Charls body and we make our way out of Destras tree, one less in party. We travel to the carriage we arrived in and decide it’s best to rest for a bit.
Lizz decides to cast a spell to bring Charls back to ask him anything he may have heard or know that could help us. Slissezh asks what the masters plans where and his answer was:
“I know all that I heard them discuss while trapped under their spells. He wishes to take the weapon and destroy the twelve before taking rule over all”
As far as where the Master might have Beralt, Charls informs us that it would be the place that Merula got inscribed with the gold and silver, I know just the place.
Lizz gives us a payment and rides back with us the rest of the way home.
We make plans to head out as soon as we can!