- Till. 1 Cleric 6 Sorcerer
- Quil. Ranger 5
- Ou-Kan, Sorcerer 6
- Zoren, 1 Fighter 7 Cleric
- Glen, Sorcerer 6
- Daffodil, Wizard 5
The general plan was to head south from the portal to the see the Lapendi mother and ask about Sal. Then we would spend the night near the portal and travel toward the square unless the Lapendi have a request for us that would be traded for information.
We used the portal to travel by placing the proper portal stones on the tablet. It was my 3rd time entering one, but it was still jarring. I am not sure what the abbreviations mean for the portal stones, and at this point I’m too afraid to ask. Someone mentioned an unsettling theory about how we were cloned as we entered the portal, and the original bodies were scarified as our souls were transferred into the new clones after passing through the other side of the portal. I think it was Glen who mentioned that. Along with Daffodil who asked if any one of us would be willing to donate our bodies to research should we meet an untimely demise, it seemed that Lathander, god of birth and renewal, had sent me on quite the bizarre adventure after a long period of downtime.
There was a slimy trail near the portal. As the party was trying to figure out what it was, I noticed there were tentacles rising from a hole near the party. Before I could make any further observations, we engaged in battle with a terrifying creature that swallowed Ou-Kan and dived deeper into the ziggurat where the portal was located.
I had an innate assumption that the temple would be safe from dangers, but as I ran after Ou-Kan whom was in the stomach of the monster, I realised my belief was naive. I managed to arrive on the lower floor when a blast of acid washed over me, Daffodil, and Till.
Our combined efforts were required to take the creature down. Quil fired arrows, Daffodil shot scorching rays, Glen fired rays of frost, and Till attacked with a spiritual weapon. By a stroke of luck, a fire bolt managed to stun it, and I fired a fireball with the power of Lathander before it could recover, bringing it down.
Alas, we were too late, as Ou-Kan had been killed by the acidic gastric juices of the monster… I slammed my fist to the ground along with my spiritual weapon. I later prayed to Lathander for mercy, for once again, I was too slow and careless and could not save another of my allies… I must develop my Warding Flare further from this experience and improve its capabilities.
We returned to Port Mirandia, where we contributed to paying for the Raise Dead ceremony for Ou-Kan, as stated in his will that he carried in his backpack for some reason. He looked pale and seemed to have been worse for wear, and from the conversations with the others, it seems this was not first time he had met his demise on the island…
After asking around town and inspecting the burnt head of the monster, Daffodil learned that the name of the creature was a Neothelid. When a tadpole is lost, it can grow into an aberration of massive size. It is likely that powerful, chaotic magic was involved in its development.
We used the portal to return and later travelled south to the barbarian tribe known as the Lapendi. As we approached the campsite, we saw yuan-ti guards with snake heads. They were called malisons. There were 2 yuan-ti in particular that looked formidable in particular that were next to the Lapendi mother. One was a female with an intelligent face resembling a cobra. Her name was Essya. The other was a male that was almost fully snake.
The Lapendi mother, whom had a weathered yet wise visage, was named Ailynn. We had a deal to slay corrupted creatures that came from the north. Essya had come here for her own business unrelated to our own business.
We handed over the head of the Neothilid as a bounty. Ailynn said we could wait here for someone to come with our bounty, for other adventurers had made a deal to hunt bounties of monsters to the north in return for gold.
Till and the others were willing to wait for the negotation between Essya and Ailynn to finish, for Ailynn was not comfortable discussing more private matters when two different parties were present to discuss business with her. Despite her aged appearance, her mind was sharp. Her guards were very loyal to her.
A barbarian arrived with gold, including a golden bird cage.
Ailynn pointed to the sky with 1 finger and said a few cryptic words. She then pointed 2 fingers into the horizon and said another few cryptic words. It seemed like she was trying to give us a message of sort, but it was a bizarre sight.
Daffodil noticed that Ailynn emphasised certain letters in her words as she spoke and gestured to the sky and horizon.
A for one finger horizontal.
B for one finger horizontal crossed with one finger vertical.
E two fingers to the sky.
F two fingers to the sky crossed with one finger in different direction.Was this a code?
She was calm and collected for the most part except when talking about creatures she found fascinating, where she expressed genuine excitement and curiosity. It seemed that to these barbarians, they didn’t have as much interest in gold as the creatures that they wanted to be slain.
We got the gold as well as a golden birdcage. The cage’s edges with patterns that were unusual. There were spokes set along the cage. A fine wire was wrapped around the spokes. When unraveled, the wires formed a pattern of some sort that Daffodil inspected. The patterns could have been a code of some sort, but she was unable to make sense of it.
Meanwhile, Quil located a colony of meerkats and spoke to them… for some reason. I later realised that there was a bigger plan to all of this as Quil asked the meerkat to go under the tent using its colony’s tunnels to spy on the yuan-ti leaders conversing with Ailynn. Till gave Quil the tongues spell so that Quil would understand whatever language the meerkat heard, for she could listen using the meerkat’s ears. It’s hard to explain.
As Ou-Kan scribbled the code down, he managed to figure out that Ailynn was giving us the code to the bird cage.
Based on what Quil heard from the meerkat’s senses, there was conflict between lizardfolk and yuan-ti. The yuan-ti believed the lizardfolk were growing too populous.
I nibbled on a stray blade of grass and noticed a yuan-ti scout spying on our campsite. He retreated when I saw him. Almost instinctively, I cast Death Ward on Ou-Kan as I feared he might perish once more…
Ou-Kan deciphered the birdcage’s message as “TYRANTS DURESS.”
Ailynn and Essya approached us later with guards. Ailynn said that Essya wanted to make another deal at us. Essya extended an offer of invitation to host us and for us to meet the “head maiden,” or the “Sal.” She requested us to bring gifts for the empire of the yuan-ti such as a maiden.
She told us to head west towards the river, follow it to the mouth of the river, and to bring great numbers, as not all would be allowed inside the fortress of the head maiden. There was a surge of undead in that area, and we could negotiate for a bounty for removing undead for the yuan-ti empire.
It is recommended that future adventurers wear the White Moon Cove (WMC) armband when heading to the yuan-ti empire.
Ailynn told us that the “Sal” was young relatively, but she trusted them. Her tribe traded food for wooden goods with the empire. Glen and Till tried to discern more from her, for they suspected that there was tensions hidden beneath the surface with the empire. Till used his minor illusion spell to show what the Sal looked like to Ailynn. However, she did not say anything of note, and Till stopped Glen before Glen could go too much further, for Till feared that the yuan-ti could overhear them using wild snakes. Till’s caution was likely wise since it was possible the yuan-ti could conduct such magic.
Through the coded birdcage message, it seems the Lapendi barbarians are possibly being oppressed indirectly through the yuan-ti empire. Ailynn herself just nodded when asked about this but did not provide much details on it. Could it be that one of their maidens was taken hostage? Till and Glen tried to write a code on the ground, but it’s uncertain if that worked.
Night fell upon us, but we pushed on along the plains back to the portal temple to return to Port Mirandia.
After eating my goodberry for dinner, I asked Till the sorcerer to cast minor illusion to portray certain scenes from our adventure.