A Relic of the Past

Session 21
All Hail the New Iris of Baleton!

Zealday, 1844 Rain 24th

  • D’Jango pays a street urchin to invite Elias to meet Vayol at The Ugly Mastiff. However, D’Jango also disguises himself as an old man and tails the urchin to observe the delivery.
  • The new Iris arrives in Baleton: Sebastian Rosthchild IV. He gives a brief speech assuring the populace that he will seek justice for the former Iris while also investigating a recent break-in. During the investigation, however, the entire Grand Library will be closed to the public.
  • D’Jango overhears Sebastian berating Elias, specifically picking out the phrase “personally responsible” as the new Iris points at him.
  • After the speech, Elias is visibly shaken. The urchin delivers the message. Elias stops at his apartment on the way to The Ugly Mastiff. He emerges ready for a long journey.
  • When Elias reaches The Ugly Mastiff, he explains that he’s the primary suspect in the vault robbery.
    • Elias thought it would be done quietly and with no one noticing until it was too late. Instead, the explosions attracted a lot of attention.
    • The surviving guards explained that the maintenance crew had wiped out the invaders, yet the vault had been cleaned out.
    • And who scheduled the maintenance work? Elias.
  • Elias explains he’s been summoned to testify in a zone of truth, and he’s not sure what to do. He is prepared to leave town, perhaps to join Vayol and his allies.
  • Vayol instructs Elias to tell the truth and gives him the former Iris’s letter, heavily redacted, as proof:

[REDACTED],
If this missive reaches you, waste no time mourning my death. The ranks of the Church have been infiltrated by Roathian heretics. No doubt their goal is to bring about a second Great Burning, setting civilization back millennia. I trusted you with [REDACTED], and your isolation has kept you free from their influence. Now I charge you, by the Axiom, to continue my work of rooting them out and foiling their plans.
However, this must be done from outside the Church. I know not where the loyalties of the other Irises lie, and the High Pupil has been sequestered 20 years now. Exercise wisdom and keep your circle small. Regrettably, in times such as these, Knowledge is most potent in a sea of ignorance. Retrieve the contents of the Library vault before my successor discovers them.
Belief and truth,
Edwin Price, Iris of Baleton
[REDACTED]

  • The group decides to visit Veluar and ask him about the Inscrutable Codex. On the way, they defend a homeless old man from a group of young thugs. Zora has little hesitation escalating to lethal force, chasing after one of the fleeing teens to stab him in the back.
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Session 20
Lore Dump!

Zealday, 1844 Rain 24th

After a successful heist, the party meets at the Ugly Mastiff and takes inventory:

  • Two sets of scale mail, sized small and medium, each emblazoned with the symbol of the Church of the Vigilant Eye.
  • A bag of gems, all worth about 400gp.
  • A bag of currency: 31pp, 18gp, 66sp, 190cp.
  • Slip of paper written in Edwin Price’s hand:
    • 1821 Songs 6th: Received jawbone of Adrian Roathe, also known as the Mouth of Heresy.
    • 1825 Hearths 17th: Silenced its whispers with a precise primordial ward discovered by Azdrid Alestone. Only an entity of pure chaos could unwind it.
  • A page describing something called the Inscrutable Codex.
    • It resists being copied. Attempts come out as gibberish that doesn’t match the original text.
    • It was separated into 6 pieces after the destruction of the Lamprow Grand Library by Adrian Roathe.
    • Each piece resides in a Grand Library vault.
  • Treatise on the Roathian Heresy, a work in progress by Iris Edwin Price. Its contents include a description of the Roathian heresy, its refutation, and what lessons can be taken from the whole ordeal.
    • Roathe’s core claims were:
      • He understood the Inscrutable Codex.
      • Its contents were dangerous and it ought to be destroyed, even if it meant destroying other knowledge.
    • Roathe’s claims were not true Knowledge:
      • “Belief without Truth is delusion.” His claims were unverifiable.
      • “Truth without Belief is doubt.” Even if he was correct, he was unable to convince others by rational means and unwilling to share what he claimed to have understood. When charisma failed, he resorted to violence.
    • What we can learn:
      • Avoid centralizing contents to a single Library.
      • Reverence for the Letter is crucial in the spread of Knowledge. (This section is incomplete.)

And the party levels up.

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Session 19
Uninvited Guests

Zealday, 1844 Rain 24th

Roathian heretics have blasted their way into the Baleton Grand Library’s private collection, where the party is in the process of accessing its vault at the direction of the former Iris.

  • The explosion and gunfire are loud. The party expects Library guards to show up any time.
  • Vayol is already in the vault. He grabs the treasure from the chest, the papers from the desk, and the small set of armor on the armor stand. When it’s clear the Roathians are headed his way, he closes the vault door almost all the way and hides.
  • D’Jango, Zora, and the other guard try to hold them of. The Library guard is severely injured and falls back, and the two party members regroup.
  • When the Roathians see an open path to the vault, they rush forward and their squad leader emerges. His spiritual weapon spell proves to be a nuisance.
  • The Roathians plant explosive charges around the vault doors and blast it open, creating a cloud of dust and smoke that obscures them. It also gives Vayol an opportunity to exit the vault undetected.
  • As the dust begins to settle, a melee breaks out near the vault entrance. Five more Library guards enter the private collection from the main entrance. Four of them rush forward. One takes his fallen ally to safety.
  • As the guards are rushing forward, the Roathian leader commands one of his bombers to detonate himself. Surprisingly, he obeys. The explosion vaporizes two of the Library guards, destroys an entire section of shelves, and creates another cloud of dust and smoke.
  • Vayol engages the leader and receives an inflict wounds spell for his trouble. He’s hurting badly but persistent about repelling the attack.
  • The other bomber detonates himself, even though doing so will kill one of their archers. The guards near him are hurt but they survive. Zora is seriously injured but survives. Another section of shelves topples over.
  • Zora finishes off the leader, but not before he speaks into a sending stone: “It’s not here—”
  • The surviving guards are very surprised that these nobody electrical workers could be so formidable combatants. D’Jango uses friends and spins a tale about being part of a secret strike force within the Church. He then orders them upstairs to evacuate the building, assuring them his team will secure this area. The guards oblige, but the party is on the clock, as friends doesn’t last long.
  • Zora grabs the other set of armor from the vault, and Vayol quickly picks a few important-looking items off of the leader’s corpse.
  • The party flees through the blasted tunnel, which emerges in a back ally several blocks away.
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Session 18
Inside Job

Truesday, 1844 Rain 23rd

  • The party discusses several options for getting into the vault, including pressing on the engineer who did the electrical work in the private collection. They eventually decide to approach Elias, who seemed to be loyal to the former Iris, and confirm his loyalties.
  • Vayol returns to the Grand Library and tracks down Elias. Elias is reviewing the same books Vayol had looked at earlier.
  • Both clerics are very suspicious of one another. D’Jango and Zora stay where they can watch and intervene if necessary.
  • The two clerics go to lunch in a loud public place where they can be seen but speak privately.
  • Vayol convinces Elias to voluntarily fail the save for a zone of truth spell. He grills Elias about his allegiances. Satisfied, he reveals the former Iris’s letter.
  • D’Jango and Zora witness the waiter seemingly preparing to poison Vayol. Elias sends the drinks back. (He was in on the plot but changed his mind.)
  • Elias is willing to help them enter the vault. He schedules maintenance of the electrical systems in the private collection for early the next morning.

Zealday, 1844 Rain 24th

  • The party disguises themselves as laborers. They smuggle their gear in using large bags usually used for tools. A single Library guard accompanies them.
  • While they’re down in the Library’s private collection, one of the emergency doors is blasted in from the outside. Thugs with swords, bows, and apparently guns and bombs (!?) rush into the private collection.
  • With the help (perhaps an overstatement) of the one Library guard who accompanies them, Zora begins to repel the attackers.
  • D’Jango and Vayol use the dual key system to enter the vault where Vayol retrieves its most prominent feature: an ancient document with inscrutable writing under a glass dome on a pedestal. He hides the page inside of a stray book to keep it intact in his bag. There are a number of other items in the vault but not time to grab them all:
    • Two sets of armor (one small, one medium) on racks.
    • A desk with a handful of documents.
    • An unlocked chest in the corner.
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Session 17
An Audacious Dying Wish

Truesday, 1844 Rain 23rd

Vawaryn Estate, Baleton

  • Vayol and D’Jango stay with Rif and her family in the guest suites at the family estate.
  • A package arrives at the Vawaryn Estate containing a letter to Vayol:

Brother Falorin,
If this missive reaches you, waste no time mourning my death. The ranks of the Church have been infiltrated by Roathian heretics. No doubt their goal is to bring about a second Great Burning, setting civilization back millennia. I trusted you with their talisman, and your isolation has kept you free from their influence. Now I charge you, by the Axiom, to continue my work of rooting them out and foiling their plans.
However, this must be done from outside the Church. I know not where the loyalties of the other Irises lie, and the High Pupil has been sequestered 20 years now. Exercise wisdom and keep your circle small. Regrettably, in times such as these, Knowledge is most potent in a sea of ignorance. Retrieve the contents of the Library vault before my successor discovers them.
Belief and truth,
Edwin Price, Iris of Baleton
P.S. Hand Contract 86177 is declared completed and paid in full. See enclosed.

  • Also enclosed in the package:
    • Two iron keys bound with a leather strap with a slip of paper encircling them.
      • The paper reads: “Turned in turn, flesh will burn. Jointly spun splits the sun.”
    • A small sack containing 150 platinum pieces.
  • Rif elects to stay with her family for now, given recent events.
  • Vayol plans to head over to the Grand Temple of Baleton to get an idea of where the vault is and what kind of security is in place.
  • D’Jango looks to hire a thief and/or meat shield.

The Bloated Bowel Tavern

  • D’Jango finds exactly what he’s looking for in the mysterious mercenary “Shadow” (Zora). D’Jango offers 25 gp. Zorra counters 30.
  • A half-orc interjects, harassing D’Jango about the job.
  • D’Jango agrees to pay 30 if Zora can deal with the half-orc. She proves herself by easily slaying the half-orc.
    • Seriously, two critical hits in one fight?

Grand Temple Library of Baleton

  • Vayol has been to this library before. He served as a scribe there in his early days and was here recently researching Veluar’s ailment. The ground floor and its upper level are open to the public. The private collection is in the basement. Scribes labor away, and a concierge welcomes Vayol.
  • While he’s there, he does a bit of research on the lesion on his arm, the one he received when he was bit by a gibbering mouther. He learns about a theory of an axiomatic/anarchic dipole running through the planet. The location of the axiomatic pole is known (near Potterstead), and the anarchic pole is believed to be on Pandyssia. The Church of the Vigilant Eye funded two expeditions there, but neither returned.
  • He also lingers a bit too long near the vault and is scrutinized by another cleric Elias.
  • Despite all this, Vayol is able to produce a fairly accurate map of the lower level. He also learns that the security and lighting run off of electricity.

Vawaryn Estate

  • The group decides to try to cut power to the library after dark.
  • Vayol wants to buy supplies.
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Session 16
Thoughts in Chaos

Soberday, 1844 Rain 20th

Vawaryn Estate, Baleton

With the orb in hand, Dr. Suterre explains the ritual to the party. First, he will separate Veluar‘s soul from his body. Normally, that kills someone, but the orb anchors the spirit and keeps it from drifting into the afterlife. Next, he’ll need to repair the damage to the soul. What form that will take he isn’t sure. Usually it’s a twisted projection of some formative moment from the subject’s life, so it’s important to have those familiar with the subject present. Finally, he’ll need to restore the imbalance that caused the damage in the first place.

Vayol had learned that Veluar was experiencing an imbalance of law and chaos. Some source of chaos is needed to draw from. While Rif‘s wild magic is briefly considered, it happens that both Vayol and D’Jango had been bitten by the gibbering mouthers, and each has a roiling, chaotic growth on his body. So one of them could be cured by this ritual as well.

There’s one catch, Dr. Suterre explains. The orb draws spirits indiscriminately. Any loose spirits around the city will also be drawn, and their intermingling with Veluar’s soul could irreversibly change Veluar in an unpredictable way.

The ritual begins. Dr. Suterre, Rif, and Lythie focus their efforts on the ritual while Vayol and D’Jango fend off the spirits. A scene from Veluar’s memory—the birth of his daughter Rif—is projected above the group. It’s broken into 12 pieces, and they are out of order. The three ritual celebrants work to restore the memory. Lythie was, of course, present for the birth, so she is able to provide beginning/middle/end structure to the memory. However, complications during the birth required Veluar to intervene magically, and she’s not as familiar with the sequence of those scenes.

Meanwhile, shades pour through the walls. They float slowly toward the center of the room, and the two halflings have their hands full. Magic seems to work well, as well as D’Jango’s magical rapier. Vayol uses Turn Undead to send a group of the shades away. Rif takes a break from the ritual to blast a few herself, at the expense of forward progress on the restoration. When there is a lull in the influx of shades, the halflings contribute to restoring the scenes from Veluar’s memory to the proper order.

One spirit does make it through and destroys one of the scenes utterly. By luck, the lost scene was not key to the memory’s continuity.

At the end, the restored memory plays out, showing how Rif acquired her sorcerous powers. Attempting a sort of magical cesarean section using planar magic, Veluar failed and lost his daughter. She spent nearly two years drifting through the Far Realms in a stasis bubble before Veluar was able to track her down and bring her back.

At this point, Vayol insists that D’Jango be healed of the bite from the skirmish at Potter’s Cove. Dr. Suterre is able to draw the chaos out, restore balance to Veluar’s soul, and put it back in his body. The glow of the orb fades, and Veluar’s eyes flutter open.

Dr. Suterre quietly takes his leave as the family celebrates. Lythie comes to an understanding with Rif about her power and how she practices it. Veluar gives his eternal gratitude to Vayol and D’Jango.

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Session 15
Research and Development

Soberday, 1844 Rain 20th

The Dreamer’s Wake arrives in Baleton. The talk of the town is the recent and mysterious death of the Iris of Baleton. D’Jango’s payday will have to wait.

The Vawaryns’ servants begin unloading the ship while the family gathers in the parlor. Veluar, unable to speak, is reclining on a couch. Lythie summons his personal physician. The physician can’t help him. Vayol suspected as much when the ailment started reaching more advanced stages. However, a local necromancer owes Lythie a favor. She calls it in.

D’Jango and Rif stay with the family to wait for this necromancer while Vayol visits the Grand Library Temple. The Grand Librarian Iris is indeed dead. One of the Pilgrim Irises is set to come in and act as interim until the High Pupil appoints a replacement. He’s expected to arrive in a few days and lead the investigation into the other Iris’s death.

While he’s there, Vayol performs research at the Grand Library. His two main questions are about what ails Veluar and details about the relic. The Library’s vast resources and supurb organization make this quick work.

Regarding Veluar: He learns that Veluar’s ailment is “axiomatic” in nature. The usual balance of law and chaos has been disrupted, and he is tipping increasingly toward law. An influx of chaos administered correctly could restore the balance.

Regarding the Relic: He finds vague references to ancient talismans, some more than 1000 years old. He hits a dead end though when he finds references to works that aren’t present in the Library.

When Vayol returns to the Vawaryn estate, the necromancer Erit Suterre is explaining that Veluar’s ailment is indeed spiritual in nature. He needs a magical item from his lab to proceed with diagnosis and treatment. Unfortunately, an experiment gone wrong has barred him from the lab. The party agrees to investigate, and he leads them to his lab at the Collegia Magicka campus.

The windows are boarded up and covered with thick curtains. Erit explains that sunlight disrupts his experiments. There is also an inky mist filling the laboratory. Erit’s experiment was tied to his own life essence, and he created a negative energy field that can draw his life essence from his body. The orb in the center of the lab is the source of the field. “It only affects me,” he explains. “All you have to do is go in and deactivate the orb. The process is magical, and you’ll understand how the orb works when you touch it. I can’t enter the lab until the field is disrupted.”

The party slowly enters the lab, which is made up of several rooms connected by wide hallways. They feel no effects from the field. As they make their way toward the orb, they note the stalled dissections of cadavers in several of the rooms.

Rif reaches the orb and touches it. Immediately, she understands that this orb is like a Pearl of Power, a magical item that can store magical energy. At that moment, the cadavers in the lab start to move.

Vayol and D’Jango fend off the zombies while Rif pours spell slots into the orb. Each time she does, the orb’s color becomes lighter, and the negative energy field field shrinks. She takes a break to shoot a fire bolt at the zombies when it’s clear that D’Jango is overwhelmed. From outside the room, hearing the battle, Erit shrieks, “Don’t hurt them!” It’s not clear if he’s talking to the party or the zombies.

After loading the orb with several spell slots, Rif manages to dispel the negative energy field entirely, and the zombies crumble to dust. The party gives the orb to Erit, who accompanies them back to the Vawaryn estate.

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Session 14
Enter the Dragon

Almsday, 1844 Rain 14th

Midday, Potter’s Cove beach

Having done something with Vayol‘s relic, the gibbering mouther begins to retreat. Vayol and D’Jango close in on it, pressing their attack. The mouther grabs at Falco and starts to phase away. He seems surprised by this development. They cut it down, saving Falco from whatever fate the creature had in mind.

Rif’s Reduce Person potion wears off, and the party knows the dragon will arrive at any moment. Everyone hides. Falco makes a dash for the crevice, and everyone else runs into the forest.

The green dragon lands on the beach. With its wings folded, it is about the size of a horse. A line of spines start at its forehead and continue down its back to the tip of its tail. The spines are shortest at each end, but the longer spines form a tall crest on its head and neck. Translucent skin stretches between the spines, forming a sort of dorsal sail. Similar skin stretches between all of the dragons digits, most prominently in its wings but also as webbing on its hands and feet. This dragon is at home in the air or underwater.

The dragon investigates the bodies of the mouthers and also finds the remnants of Jerrosh’s equipment. It closely investigates the footprints in the sand, deducing the number of combatants and their whereabouts. It shouts into the forest, bidding the visitors to show themselves, promising no harm will come to them.

Vayol and D’Jango emerge and speak with the dragon. Rif remembers stories of green dragons having a particular fascination with elves and stays hidden.

The dragon introduces himself as Undazudrir, “the ruler of this cove and future emperor of Gristol.” He is derisive of Jerrosh, calling him a fool, but demands to know how he died. Undazudrir engages the party in conversation for several minutes. He basks in their compliments, however insincere they may be. Since D’Jango presents himself as the leader, Undazudrir prods the bard to demonstrate his storytelling skills by recounting Jerrosh’s death with creative embellishments. D’Jango, perhaps intimidated, fails to impress. “How then will you spread the rumors of my terrible reign?” Undazudrir asks rhetorically.

Suddenly, the dragon catches a whiff of something. He calls out into the woods again, sensing the presence of an elf. “Even high elves have the scent of the Wilds on them. How wild are you, little one?”

Rif emerges. The dragon asks what has brought them to the shores. Rif, for her part, is completely honest. She tells Undazudrir that her parents are sick and that Jerrosh had damaged their ship, delaying their voyage to Baleton. Vayol and D’Jango say they are escorting the family, mentioning nothing about the relic. (The relic, for its part, whispers to Vayol to command the dragon.)

Undazudrir shows mocking concern and takes the opportunity bully Rif, asking, “How would you live with yourself if something were to happen to them?”

At that, Vayol scolds the dragon harshly, saying that no decent ruler treats its subjects or its visitors in such a way. The dragon becomes furious and seems ready to unleash its poison breath on him, but Vayol continues undeterred, telling a story of an ancient dragon whose life was ended when its abused followers rebelled and slew it. Undazudrir is so shocked by this boldness, he chuckles and remarks that Vayol should be the leader, not D’Jango.

The dragon demands that D’Jango swear fealty to him and kiss his ring (a bronze bracelet with a large red gemstone). When D’Jango’s lips touch the gem, Undazudrir grabs him and hisses, “Jerrosh, despite his many failures, brought in 500 gold per month for my hoard. His duty now passes to you.” D’Jango makes a smart remark, and the dragon just squeezes him until he agrees. (Meanwhile, the relic is practically screaming in Vayol’s mind that he has the authority to command this dragon. He chooses not to though.)

The dragon announces he is bored now, repeats the charge with the threat that he’ll track them down if they fail to deliver, and flies off.

With a sigh of relief, the party discusses whether they’ll take their longboat or Falco’s clipper back to the Dreamer’s Wake. After deciding to go with Falco, they find he’s not in the cave. He must’ve sneaked away during the encounter with the dragon. They find him attempting repairs to his ship, and he agrees to take them to theirs. Falco is pretty disturbed by all this occult stuff. When Vayol decides to keep the sending stone for study, Falco decides to go a separate way to try to lie low.

Loneday, 1844 Rain 15th

Rainy. Smooth sailing.

During the journey to Baleton, Vayol studies Falco’s Sending Stone. He recognizes two unique properties about it. First, its endpoint is outside of this plane, which is unusual for a Sending Stone. In fact, the endpoint goes outside of any known plane, into the Far Realms or beyond. Second, whoever initiates a conversation with this stone reveals their exact location to whoever is on the other side. (Later, he discovers that it’s called a Void Stone.)

Truesday, 1844 Rain 16th

Rainy. Smooth sailing.

Zealday, 1844 Rain 17th

Rainy. Smooth sailing.

Peaceday, 1844 Rain 18th

Foggy in the morning. Overcast. Smooth sailing.

Fastday, 1844 Rain 19th

Overcast.

Soberday, 1844 Rain 20th

Overcast. The Dreamer’s Wake arrives in Baleton.

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Session 13
Cut Short

Almsday, 1844 Rain 14th

Midday, Potter’s Cove beach

The dragon is still a way’s off, but Vayol is bleeding out on the beach, and the mouther is zealously seeking this relic.

Vayol fails a death save (1/3). D’Jango makes a bee-line for Jerrosh‘s gear. Rif starts firing arrows into the remaining gibbering mouther. Falco just watches. Vayol’s Sanctuary spell repels the mouther for one round.

Vayol succeeds at a death save (1/3). D’Jango grabs some potions and a ring from the pile of equipment Jerrosh left behind. Rif continues firing arrows. Still, Falco just watches. The mouther takes Vayol’s pack and starts removing items, looking for the relic.

Vayol succeeds at a death save (2/3). D’Jango rushes back toward Vayol with potions in hand. Rif continues firing. Falco bides his time. The mouther empties Vayol’s pack onto the sand, still looking for the relic.

Vayol fails at a death save (2/3). D’Jango moves closer to Vayol and hits the mouther with Dissonant Whispers, hoping to drive it away. Falco smirks. “Discord is home for these things.” It’s barely affected. Rif grabs a healing potion from D’Jango and administers it to Vayol. Falco moves a little closer to the action but stays out of the way. The mouther finds the relic.

Vayol is on his feet and draws his weapon. D’Jango moves to surround the creature, trudging through the warping ground. Rif keeps her distance and throws a Firebolt at the mouther, but it misses its mark. The runes on the jawbone’s surface glow a bright red, as do the eyes of the mouther. It rushes toward Falco, provoking opportunity attacks from both Vayol and D’Jango.

It was at this point we were interrupted and had to stop the game. :(

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Session 12
No Escape

Almsday, 1844 Rain 14th

Midday, Potter’s Cove beach

One of the gibbering mouthers finishes absorbing Jerrosh’s body. His good eye and his mouth join the chorus as his flesh melds with the quivering mass. His equipment lies in a heap on the sand.

D’Jango casts Tasha’s Hideous Laughter on Falco, hoping to slow him down so the party can escape. The spell takes hold, and D’Jango withdraws from the closest mouther, which has already been injured. It chases after him, and while it is not close enough to attack, its reality-warping aura extends to the ground beneath D’Jango. His feet sink into the sand up to his ankles. He can’t pull himself free. He draws his rapier and prepares to defend himself from the mouther. Rif tries casting sleep, but it fails to affect either of the mouthers.

The injured mouther lunges at D’Jango. He slashes at it but is struck down under a wave of razor teeth. Falco, now free of the spell, screams “No!” and charges toward the mouther, sword drawn. It moves onto D’Jango’s unconscious body. Rif hits it with an icy chromatic orb, but it is undeterred.

Vayol pulls out the relic. It gets the mouthers’ attention. They stop attacking but enviously guard the dying D’Jango. They gibber at each other and motion at Falco. Falco steps forward. Rif and Vayol understand that the mouthers are having Falco speak for them.

“D’Jango is their leverage. They want to read whatever is written on that jawbone. They’ll kill him if you don’t give them what they want. Neither of us wants that. Just let them touch it. You can keep it and go on to Baleton.”

Vayol weighs the life of D’Jango against whatever vile acts these beings will perform with the forbidden knowledge on the relic. He refuses, rushing toward D’Jango and feeding him his last healing potion. D’Jango’s eyes open suddenly and Vayol pulls him to his feet. Falco slashes the injured mouther, hoping to distract it enough to let D’Jango escape. It works; the mouther bites back at him but he dodges away. Rif tags the mouther with an arrow from a safe distance.

Falco shoves D’Jango away. Vayol administers a Potion of Enlarge Person to D’Jango, which makes it more likely he’ll escape the reality-warping effects. Then Vayol retreats toward the water, as the mouthers move to surround him. He stows the relic in his pack.

D’Jango grabs Falco and retreats. D’Jango draws his sword to defend Vayol, but Falco stops him. “You’re crazy to close to melee again.” D’Jango hesitates, fighting the urge to exact vengeance on the creature that nearly killed him.

Rif hits the injured mouther with another chromatic orb, finally killing it. The other mouther, which is still at peak health, closes in on Vayol. D’Jango and Rif watch helplessly as it bites Vayol and he collapses onto the beach.

In the distance, everyone hears a dragon roar and the heavy flapping of its leathery wings…

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