Summary: After Beralt was taken by a mysterious being known as the Master and his forces, the party searched for him and managed to locate him along with Gringal’s children. Saved them. Also reunited Dredulai with her twin daughters Hastro and Histro.
Dates: 21 May 2023 to 17 June 2023.
Levels: 5 – 9
- Yusung. Level 7 Kor Druid (Calmseeker)
- Galli. Level 6 Gnome Wizard (tiffthatsit)
- Gandeer. Level 7 Gnome Barbarian Druid (Espada) (Temporary character)
- Vivi. Level 8 Sikahla Sorcerer (Konopa)
- Slissezh. Level 6 Yuan-ti Warlock Sorcerer (TheOddity)
- Kirnis. Level 9 Triton warlock Sorcerer (Genthrock)
After hearing from Vivi about Beralt getting taken, I decided to join the party for this quest. Left Port Mirandia in a hurry to save Beralt from the one known as the Master. Galli was in an agitated mood due to the loss of Beralt, which was understandable. Decided not to interact with her too much to avoid increasing her agitation. Gandeer was bolder than me and tried to cajole with Galli more to poor results. Felt a bit bad for the guy. Galli seemed to be wavering between yelling at Beralt and sobbing at him when they next met. Perhaps they are closer than the average pair of adventurers.
Headed towards the Serpent River to search for someone named Gringal, who was a son of the Master.
Scorched footprints were found and tracked to the west by northwest. I was told we should follow them since Gringal has a wolf that leaves such tracks. They were relatively new, only a few hours old.
During my night’s watch, I encountered the following wolf wreathed in flames:
The large burning wolf seemed to be watching us and did not approach. After waking the others, we decided to follow it. It led us through the night to the west. However, travelling at night did take a toll on our stamina, so we decided to rest until morning. Thankfully, the burning wolf sat and waited for us until morning. It was a very accomodating burning wolf.
We continued following the burning wolf until evening, at which point we met an orc that Slissezh explained to me was Gringal, one of the children of the Master. He was opposed to his father’s machinations.
“Dredulai-unai was the one that found me and told me where you were heading. She was trying to be helpful by keeping a lookout from high above.”-Gringal
Gringal lead us to his campsite (which was close to where the portal to the demiplanes related to the Master was. Map link is here). There, we discussed how best to approach saving Beralt. As I was a newcomer to this quest, I mostly tried to listen as the others decided to first meet with Gringal’s twin sisters Hastro and Histro as they were keys to finding Beralt. Somehow.
It seemed that the twin sisters were loyal to their father the Master, unlike Gringal. While discussing what to do, we met with a woman named Dredulai, whom turned out to be the mother of the twins. She was rather beautiful, but I did not know how to bring that up in a polite manner considering the circumstances, so I ended up repressing that thought. Also, she was a mother.
Apparently, the twins did not know that their mother Dredulai was alive. Dredulai and Gringal knew that the twins were in a cave, but Dredulai could not come with us to the cave they were at due to dark, painful memories preventing her. Perhaps they were related to the cave.
“I’ve spent many a year, trapped and unable to move while being conscious for every waking second of it. I can’t.”Dredulai
Gringal said that the entrance to cave was at the river behind an illusion. Before we went, I ended up asking for a lock of Dredulai’s hair to show the twins. Perhaps my own awkwardness at expressing my appreciation of her beauty was involved in that decision… She surprisingly did agree, and I put the lock of hair in my pouch.
Once ready, Gringal lead the party through a passage that was at a part of the river that was illusory. We descended to an archway with skulls. Walls blocked the actual river water from entering. It led to a passage into a cave. The passageway was a tunnel that was connected to a room with beds. After that, we arrived at a chamber where we found Hastro and Histro at last.
I introduced myself with as much politeness as I could muster:
“Hello to you both. My name is Yusung Duskenstar, a druid that follows Selûne, goddess of the moon. My party and I have come to speak with you on urgent matters regarding a comrade named Beralt that has been taken. We are searching for him and have reason to believe an individual known as the master may be involved, and I have heard from my comrades that you may possess information that may be relevant to our quest.”-Myself
After a few tense minutes of discussion, I discerned that though they knew about Beralt, they indeed were loyal to their father, and they did not reveal the location of Beralt. Slissezh mentioned Merula, whom he believed was their half-sister and was now deceased due to the Master. However, Hastro and Histro denied that Merula was their half-sister, so it seems that may not be the case. I only knew Merula for a few days, but it was still a sorrowful loss. I prayed for her soul in the name of Selûne.
Vivi mentioned another sister named Destra. Although I could not see Vivi’s mouth, Vivi was more verbose than I expected, and I listened intently:
“It was the only thing Denny ask me to do. It was my task to find someone worthy of protecting her (Destra). That’s why I was at your cabin. To see if you were the one I was meant to find. At that time, you were not. Your path headed elsewhere. When I met, Dredulai-unai, I had hoped that maybe that was who I was supposed to find, but her path leads only here, so she couldn’t help me either. I had such hope after hearing about you from your brother. I learned that he was unable to bear the burden given that he had taken on another role in life.”Vivi explaining what happened to Destra and Merula
“After leaving you, I went back to her. To see her and tell her about you and about Captain and Dredulai-unai, and the paths you were following and the adventures ahead. We also took a friend, Merula, to see Denny, as she had been experimented on by your father, and Denny had said they might be able to help. Once we got to her, your father’s lackys had assaulted her realm, and he used us. Merula was a weapon that he used to take your sister (Destra), Gringal. I was too late. I failed Denny. I wasted so much time and I couldn’t find her protector. The Master has forced his soul upon her and now is trying to take your sister away forever Gringal.”
“I admit, something has awakened inside me. My borrowed soul cannot withstand the hatred and rage that burns there now. I am trying to be patient. I am trying to help my friends. Yet, I am prepared to use my own soul as fuel for the fire that I will unleash upon that man for what he has done to her.”
We eventually revealed that their mother Dredulai was still alive. Before I could take out the locket of hair though, Vivi managed to impressively steal my thunder and persuaded them. I also later realised that the locket of hair could do more harm than good, considering the twins’ fragile emotional states, so it worked out. Slissezh explained to me just how many children the Master had exactly:
“We know of 2 ssonss, Gringal and Sslavier, 3 daughterss, Destra, and tesse ssissterss, Hasstro and Hisstro.”Slissezh on how many children the Master has.
Although Hastro and Histro initially denied our claims, they eventually relented and went to the campsite to see their mother Dredulai.
After searching the rest of the cave, we returned to the campsite, where Dredulai and her daughters had reunited and reconciled. They slept in the same carriage that night as a family. We decided to wait until tomorrow to converse more.
After much consternation, I returned the lock of hair to Dredulai awkwardly. Galli detected divination magic from the hair yesterday, so Dredulai explained:
“It’s an innate ability of mine. Leaving a hair somewhere allows me to mentally project to it and observe for a few moments. The lock i gave you contained many that would allow me to occasionally look in on my girls if they were to reject and throw the hair away”Dredulai
We were warned about a reaper guarding Beralt. Also, for each day passed here, a month would pass by within the demiplane where Beralt was, meaning that he had been imprisoned for months… We swallowed our uneasiness and followed the twins. They took us to a stone that served as a key that led to portals to various demiplanes. The toll to reveal these portals required us to pay in blood and stamina by putting our hands on the hole in the stone. We each had to do this, but the twins mentioned that the more people paid the toll, the lower it would be for each person. After I paid my portion of the toll, I was exhausted but otherwise fine. The stone glowed and revealed the portals.
After Hastro and Histro revealed which portal to take to find Beralt, we entered the portal into a passageway. After walking for a few minutes, we passed by a windmill and heard a loud disturbance. Approaching stealthily, I saw a dwarf and a golem construct that hummed with lightning.
Galli was discovered by the dwarf. She decided to follow him in the hopes of finding Beralt. The others followed. The dwarf led us into what turned out to be a trap as we were led to a chamber with a sarcophagus. The sarcophagus opened to reveal a reaper that we were warned about. A hooded lady and a bloody four-armed skeleton arrived, and a fight broke out.
Kirnis used Darkness and boldly charged to the front lines to fight the hooded lady. I could not see him sadly and could not heal him. Gandeer transformed into a brown bear and fought the golem. What I realised later was that the golem was connected to the dwarf’s life, and when the dwarf was killed, the golem stopped moving. The bloody skeleton cut me many times though and almost killed me. Vivi managed to save me, and i decided to trust the stars and used my trump card to polymorph into a giant ape! My memories from when I was an ape are hazy, but I remember that I did not get a chance to destroy the skeleton. I wanted to initially turn Gandeer into a giant ape but did not get a chance to do that either. I also remember punching the golem and throwing a rock at the dwarf’s corpse. After that, I wore a gold bracelet we found.
Vivi wanted to see if we could find a way to control the golem for Galli, but we failed to do so. After taking a short rest, we continued our search, which lead us to a number of prison cells. There, we encountered three half-orcs that were children of Gringal.
Learned that the hooded lady was the jailer. After freeing them, we finally located Beralt strapped to a torture device. Galli embraced him tearfully. Slissezh used his Tenser’s Floating Disk to transport Beralt since Beralt was so exhausted he could not move. I carried the loot and got help from the Tulen and Thrum (Thrum did not talk much) to carry the body of the hooded lady since Vivi mentioned it could be useful later with opening passages related to the Master. Unfortunately, I had burned all the bodies to prevent them from getting resurrected later. I hope I don’t regret that…
After exiting the portal, only minutes had passed. I felt this had a chance to get misused by others more powerful. For example, I learned that Gringal had lost his children about a year ago, but his children had been imprisoned for 25 years, causing them to age so much that their father Gringal did not recognise them at first. When he did, there was another tearful reunion between father and children. Slissezh didn’t seem that invested in it. Compared to myself, at least.
When we arrived back at Gringal’s campsite, Dredulai was gone along with her twin daughters. Vivi seemed worried by that. Due to Beralt’s condition, we decided to head back to town. We put Beralt in a carriage for transport purposes. I thanked Selûne that he was still alive.
At this point, I was pretty confused about the family tree of the Master, so I made this diagram for other adventurers to reference as well as myself.
Travelled back to Port Mirandia with Gringal and his children. On the way there, Vivi had a discussion with Slissezh and Tulen about Dredulai going missing. I managed to overhear that Tulen had magical shackles that prevented her from casting spells. It seems the Master has much magical prowess. Also, Gringal might have thought Vivi was flirting with his daughter and gave the guy a warning. I couldn’t blame Gringal that much since the age gap between him and his daughter had reduced by decades, which probably raised his paternal instincts. Not sure how a sikahla could procreate with a half-orc considering sikahlas are mostly… a blob of shadow. That’s about as much as I pondered while I was smoking my pipe and scouting the area while also ensuring we did not lose the road. That has happened before with other parties, apparently.
When we got near to Port Mirandia, Gringal and his children bid us farewell. I said goodbye to them. Gringal gave us three cylindrical objects made of silver and gold with ivory dials upon upon which are various sets of letters. Slissezh called them cryptexes. While Vivi and Slissezh were discussing what to do about the cryptexes, I was tired and returned to town for a well-deserved sleep, having completed the quest to save Beralt. Hopefully, such a quest does not have to be undertaken again.
Slissezh managed to open all 3 of them up by using the words “Hastro,” “Histro” and “Gringal.” They all contained notes with the same following writing:
“Hello sweeties. Thanks to what Cleric has shared with me you should just have retrieved your friend. Good on you. The master is pissed that you killed his engeneer, not to mention breaking out some of his prisoners. All in all he needs a year total to completely take control of the new body. With the dwarf dead there is noone to maintain the time flux. Within the next few days the time on the inside will run parallel to the time outside. Best part is, they will have no idea. He thinks im going to be maintaining the time flux. What do i know about tinkering with magical clockwork. All my love.”
According to Slissezh, Stream was the wife of that enigmatic figure known as Cleric.
Vivi did not want Destra to remain in the clutches of the Master, so it seems another quest will begin again soon.