So…everyone, by now, should know that I try to tell these stories objectively; that is, I try to tell the story as it happened and no more. I really can’t do that today…it was too funny and just too bizzare. If my objectivity breaks, well, I apologize…also, I don’t have too many pictures for this one, so my apologies for the mostly text.
When we last left our heroes, they were leaving to find a young woman to be willing to serve Baba Yaga for a period of 2 years (in absolutely grueling work) in exchange for treasure and magic items.
Upon leaving the hut, they found a youngish woman lounging in a chair with sunglasses. Introducing themselves, the woman introduced herself as Tasha…
After some decidedly witty banter, in which Tasha found out that they have the Nether Scrolls, that she refers to Baba Yaga as her “mother,” and that Tasha wanted the Nether Scrolls, the party parted ways, feeling more than a little uneasy.
With that, the party headed to Waterdeep.
They decided that an orphan who wished to “change their stars” would be their best bet, and visited their own adopted orphans (whom they immediately discounted) to get a lead. Finding out that there was an orphanage in town, the party left for that location, led by Squiddly, one of their own former orphans.
Finding that Alanna was the oldest orphan and having not been adopted due to her older age (17), they immediately decided she was the one. After doing the adoption paperwork and paying the city fee, the party took her out for food and clothes shopping while explaining to her that she would be staying with a “friend” and that, in exchange for two years of work, she would be rewarded with near unimaginable treasures. She agreed.
On the way back to the hut, the party was accosted by 5 mind flayers surrounding them in a glade. The leader, whichever it was, demanded the scrolls as “Iouloum and Uosbinoss wants them.” Recognizing these names as the names of two of the arcanists of Netheril that were named in the cache inscriptions, the party denied their request, and the mind flayers proceeded to all mind blast the party. A pitched battle ensued, but after all was done, the party stood victorious and Alanna surviving (barely). After healing Alanna, the party continued.
Arriving at the hut, the party looked for Tasha, and not finding her knocked on the hot door. Getting no answer, the party headed inside, quickly realizing that they were going to have to locate Baba Yaga themselves.They went through the ways they had already known until they came to the room they affectionately called the tea room (the laboratory). One of the party noticed something on the back of the door, a symbol of fear. Everyone but one of the party failed their save and they ran across the room and down a set of spiral stairs. The one person who made their save quickly followed suit.After a good minute of running, the party found themselves in some sort of mechanical works. In the mechanical works, the party dodged and ducked and dove out of the way of pistons and bursts of scalding steam littering the room at uneven intervals. The bloodhunter/rogue, however, found a bronze door inset into the floor.unable to get to it, the party looked around the room and found two additional rooms, which appeared, upon inspection, to contain buttons and dials for controlling the pistons and the steam vents.
After much trial and error, the artificer figured out how to turn off all of the events and the pistons.The party carefully approached the bronze door and knocked a pattern on it which opened it into a room full of cabinets, where the gravity was reversed in the room so that they were coming up through the floor although they were going down through the floor in the room they were currently in.Inside the room, they found a cabinet after cabinet with, apparently, stuffed animals put inside of dioramas of their natural habitats.Seeing a hallway bisect to the room, the party looked and saw to their left, a gold door, into the right, a bronze door.
Deciding to try the bronze door, as well as the pattern that they have had success with regarding bronze doors, the party opened it. What the party saw confused them: a 20 ft by 20 ft room with a door on each wall centered. Each door was bronze. Party members tried to go in one at a time, and seen by the party members remaining outside. Each party member seemed unable to bump into another but each one seemed to be seeing a different thing and unaware of one another or those still outside the room. After a lot of trial and error, the party members managed to get a door to appear for each of them.
The party members each walked through their door, with some members being reunited, while others were separated. The sorceress, Alanna, The gnome wizard, and the dwarven spicy cleric all found themselves back inside the room with the cabinets and dioramas. The paladin found himself inside what appeared to be a strange armory. The rogue/blood hunter and artificer found themselves in a strange room with cabinets.
The artificer, deciding that enough was enough, decided to make a mess of the contents of the cabinets in order to summon Baba Yaga. He and the bloodhunter/rogue were unfortunate in getting her attention, being transported to her prison after cleaning up the mess the artificer made.
The paladin, seeing nothing else to do and refusing to steal from Baba Yaga, crossed the room and walked up the stairs which somehow led back to the laboratory!After an attempt to open one cabinet ended in an encounter with a rat infected with vampirism, the ladies of the party called out again for “Grandmother” with her answering this time. Some serious negotiations ensued, with Alanna realizing her plight. She turned to Gram-Gram and said, face deadpan, “I will never forget you,” and agreeing to be Baba Yaga’s servant for two years.
Gram-Gram asked for the location of another cache, and was granted it: it is located in the area formerly known as “The Hollow,” a former Netherese city that was a precursor of the ancient floating Netherese cities.Securing the release of their companions, the party departed the hut, not knowing when or where they would see Baba Yaga again, but knowing that, in two years, Alana would be again delivered to that spot.
What will the party do now? Will they go after Connor on the Plane of Fire? Will they go after the next cache? Will they find out why mind-flayers are now involved?
Join us next time to find out, dear readers!
Author’s Note: due to my health issues and at the insistence of my players, as well as due to the holiday coming up in the United States (Thanksgiving), there will be no update for this coming Sunday’s or Tuesday’s games. Instead, I will have another article for you, whether that be a miniature painting update, a DM story, or something of the like.