Serenity, Indeed

Some Light Gardening

Our heroes try their hands at 'agriculture'...

A few days after the unlikely events that brought them together, Thorial, Raven Mourner, Zephyr and Poly had again separated during their time in Rinn:

Though the rainy-season hadn’t begun yet, the festival was well under way; and Thorial was partaking of the sights, sounds, merchants and events therein.

Raven Mourner began the day at the Wand & Scepter Tavern, along with Zephyr. While Raven Mourner was enjoying a morning drink, Zephyr was flaunting his shiny new set of armor to the locals, having purchased it with the spoils won from the kobold kidnappers.

Poly had returned to her home in Baravar’s Hollow after the events with the kobolds, and had earned some bragging rights with the residents there. At the present, however, she was in Rinn to partake of the festival. As she was browsing the merchants (some being fellow gnomes), Poly spotted a small black-and-white bird in front of one of the merchant stands, looking expectantly back at her. Upon closer inspection, she found a small scroll tied to the bird’s leg. The scroll read:

Everia, I trust you have arrived well. I know that you are preparing for the festival, but I need Yellow Petany, and quickly. I can give you another pair of enchanted baubles as payment if you can bring me eight ounces of the herb within the week. Do not cut them from the root; I need the specimens to be whole. Heremon

As the bird flew away, Poly decided that she needed help in tracking down Everia, and began to round up her unlikely companions. Once together, the group asked around and scoured the town, apparently always a few steps behind their missing halfling. Realizing the prompt need of the letter’s writer, the party decided to leave a note for Everia, and acquire the letter’s request themselves.

After asking around, the party learned that “Yellow Petany” is a medicinal herb that can only be found growing underground and exposed to indirect sunlight. The party also learned that Heremon, the letter’s writer, is an herbalist in the city of Serenity, to the South. Armed with that knowledge, the party set out for the Giant’s Tableland, where Poly believed they could find the appropriate growing conditions for the plant.

On their way out of town, the party was accosted by a small group of local thugs. Apparently, Zephyr’s prior bragging was noticed, as the thugs wanted to thrash the party and steal their items. Emboldened by his hard-earned armor, Zephyr managed to scare off the group with some effective intimidation.

Soon the party approached the Scarred Lands, and they recognized the area as the place where they rescued Everia from the kobolds. Thorial performed a quick search for fresh tracks, but found nothing of note.

After crossing the Scars, the group came across a large sinkhole out on the Tableland. Surrounding the sinkhole were abundant small shrubs and undergrowth, due to the nearby water source. Thinking that the sinkhole would lead to an ideal location to find Yellow Petany, the party decided to explore. As group approached the edge of the sinkhole through the undergrowth, one of the small shrubs lashed out and clawed Zephyr. Though the party was surprised by the plant-creatures, they dispatched the violent vegetation with little difficulty.

Made confident by his success with the plants, Raven Mourner chose to be the first to climb down into the sinkhole. At the bottom, Raven barely had time to get his bearings before being attacked by a flotsam ooze. As he fought, Raven was slowly joined by Zephyr and Thorial at the bottom of the sinkhole. The trio of combatants tried to damage the creature without getting their weapons stuck, while Poly fired crossbow bolts from the above. After taking enough damage, the ooze eventually lost its internal stability, and dissolved into the shallow water at the bottom of the sinkhole.

Exploring the shallow caves, the group was intrigued by a conspicuous large stone in a dead end. After Zephyr, Raven, and Thorial all tried to move the stone, it was Poly who finally succeeded. Unfortunately there was nothing of note beneath the stone. At the opposite end of the shallow cave, the party found a larger chamber, which sloped underwater at the far end. Faded charcoal writing adorned the natural walls, and a small pile of discarded items was near the center of one wall. As Raven Mourner found some tidbits of treasure and a dented mug in the pile, Zephyr began reading the few legible words on the walls. At the first word, “krobu,” the mug filled with water; the second word, “fatoth,” caused the mug to fill with poor-quality ale; and the third word, “wabarey,” caused the mug to fill with a weak wine.

But, as the party was toying with their new everful mug, a large skeleton (the unsettled remains of the previous inhabitant) crawled out of the water and tried to crush them with its club. Thorial, Zephyr and Raven surrounded the skeleton, as Poly peppered it with crossbow bolts. As the skeleton made a lunge towards the gnome, the trio of melee combatants struck it down for the last time. Before leaving the giant’s grotto, the party sent Poly under the water to look for hidden chambers. Disappointingly, the submerged chamber only went deeper underground and further underwater.

After leaving the shallow caves, the party ventured further into the Giant’s Tableland, and farther towards Serenity. In the wilderness, they were attacked by a gang of raiders. After dispatching the thugs with little difficulty, the party spotted another sinkhole nearby. Everyone in the party cautiously approached the vegetation around the sinkhole, and preemptively destroyed a few of the shrubs. This time, the vegetation did not fight back.

At the base of this sinkhole was another shallow, waterlogged cave system. Once the party was down in the hole, Zephyr spotted something glinting in the water down one of the tunnels. After finding a gem in the water, he managed to agitate another flotsam ooze. Knowing what to expect this time, the party dispatched it without incident.

Down the other tunnel, the party disturbed a pair of shrieking mushrooms, which then brought a pair of fungal blobs towards them. Zephyr quickly dispatched one of the blobs… which promptly exploded in a burst of acid. Meanwhile, the other blob managed to engulf Thorial within its mass. Fortunately, the rest of the party managed to damage the blob without hitting Thorial. Unfortunately, the creature sprayed the party with acid as it was dealt the final blow. In the messy remains, the party found a small pair of brass boots. After Poly donned them, she felt the urge to stomp her feet in anger… and promptly sent out a shockwave which knocked Thorial to the ground.

At the end of one branch of the cave tunnels was another pool of water, but this one had light shining through from the other side. After the group passed to the other side, they found themselves in an isolated large cave, with dappled natural light coming through cracks in the ceiling, and illuminating the thicket of Yellow Petany plants at the center of the chamber.

As the party approached the plants, a rapid clicking sound heralded a single shocker lizard that was hiding in the plants. The clicking was further echoed from the far corners of the chamber, where other shocker lizards came out of hiding to team up against the party. As the party avoided electric shocks from the reptiles, Poly managed to enchant two of them to sleep. Thorial and Zephyr managed to eliminate some of the creatures, but Raven Mourner accidentally awakened one of the sleeping ones when trying to deal a killing blow. After that minor incident, the group defeated the last of the shocker lizards, found their stash of shiny treasure, and dug up a Yellow Petany plant.

The party then left the sinkhole and made it to Serenity without incident, met Heremon the herbalist, and claimed their magical reward.

[Note for players: updates have been made to the Giant’s Tableland.]

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