First Forays

Journal of Arradon part Ten.
Well, that sucked.

Pages missing

Day Meatball
Well, that sucks. Berenger died in the Tower.
We decided to take on the Chiteen Tower and destroy the Lolth Stone. If we do that, it would be easier to clear the temples of Moradin and Corellon. Also, that is half of cleansing Pelor’s Temple. The monks toldus that the stone of Pelor was back in Iridia.
So, now we have to go Iridia and take the stone away from Lord What-was-his-name.
Now I just have to find out what this amulet thingy does.

from "Namina's Travels,"
the traveler's journal of Chianamina Sevenstone

It has been quite some time since I have kept up this journal. When last I wrote, I had completed my pilgrimage to the ancient Temple of Avandra, and discovered its recent history. Encouraged by the Forestwarden monks, I decided to continue my travels by seeking Berenger, the officer of their order who had purified the temple.

It seemed an easy task. The distances shown on the map did not seem long, and I felt confident that I would soon catch up. Setting out into the wilderness of the surface, however, proved difficult. The surface stretches out in all directions, but there is much variance of its terrain, with forests, hills and pitfalls. The techniques I had learned to find my way underground were largely unhelpful. I had significantly underestimated the difficulty of finding my way, and soon found myself lost.

Two boons would soon find me again pointed in the right direction. First, as I wandered lost in the lands north of the great road, I was approached by a glowing white creature, who I soon learned to be a primal rabbit-spirit. The spirit, who called herself Sami,had served a nomadic tribe as guide and guardian, until it had been wiped out by a bloodthirsty cult. I found her plight disturbing, and she took pity on my inept wandering We quickly arrived at a pact: She would teach me how to survive in the surface wilderness along with the rites and offerings that would empower her. I would in turn perform those rites and take her along on my travels until such time as I found a tribe willing to adopt her. We completed our contract of mutual protection with a ritual of shared blood.

This helped me get my bearings, but I was still no closer to finding Berenger. Some days later, however, we found ourselves beset by giant spiders, whose attack overwhelmed Sami and myself. I came to consciousness wrapped in a cocoon, roused by the sound of battle. A party of adventurers were battling the spiders. I burst free and joined the fight. After the battle, I learned that my misfortune had been the Goddess’s boon, for the leader of those who rescued me was in fact Berenger, the one I sought.

I joined the group’s mission to find the old Temple of Pelor and defeat the cult, which they also had encountered. Berenger suspected, based on the interrogation of their captives, that the cult had occupied the old temple and made it into their base of operations, called the Pillar of Night. The Pillar turned out to be a giant tower built of spiderwebbing. Two of the group, Arradon and Galinndann, attempted to infiltrate but were discovered and pursued. With the entire tower mobilizing, our smaller group was forced to flee into a nearby system of caves.

Yet once again, this proved to be fortuitious. After defeating chitine marauders in the caves — apparently the castoffs of the society of spider-creatures existing within the tower — we found an enchanted circlle which imprted in us the knowledge of the true Temple of Pelor. That is where I now write these words. The priests here told us of the Lolthstone, a stone within the Pillar of Night which the Spider Queen uses to control both humans and chitines, and the Sunstone, a relic of Pelor which had long been lost to them.. Berenger has determined to destroy the Lolthstone, which was said to be vulnerable to the light of the sun. By challenging Jaryn, the cult’s warlord and a former paladin of Pelor, we shall by custom receive unhindered entry to the tower. At that point we shall destroy the webbing of the tower’s eastern wall while Berenger keeps Jaryn occupied.

I hope the plan shall succeed.

The Death of Berenger

Though it is not my custom to write again so soon, I have momentous news to report. This morning, Berenger fell in battle. As planned we had entered the Pillar of Night under cover of a challenge. The Lolthstone proved an intimidating and fearsome sight — the manifest power of the Spider Queen herself, and I thought it likely to have a corruptive effect on those present. We wisely kept our distance from the stone as Berenger’s challenge began, and Galinndann’s mission at first proceeded unhindered. To protect this mission, we launched a preemptive strike upon the two chitines stationed in the room. I provided mobile support to both Galinndan’s group and the group of Stonebreaker, who led the charge against the chitines. Jaryn, either suspecting our intentions or frustrated by Berenger’s successful tactic of concealment, joined the melee as well. Though the battle was hard-fought, we defeated warlord and chitines both decisively.

That is when the trouble started. The falllen body of Jaryn began emitting an eerie smoke, and from it a monstrous beast emerged! Jaryn had given himself entirely to Lolth, becoming one of her Chosen, a dread creature spoken of in the most epic legends. We were out of our depth, and the monster ravaged through our ranks… until the Lolthstone dissolved into mist and it lost its empowering force. But even then, its dying strike slew Berenger, with nothing any of us could do to prevent it.

He asked not to be raised, and his corpse carried back to the Forestwardens for his last rites. May the gods well keep his soul.

Fire in the Pillar of Night

After consulting with the Pelorian monks, the party’s plan was: Berenger challenges Jaryn to a duel; while the duel is going on, Galinndan burns a hole in the east wall; everyone else protects Galinndan, or Berenger if Galinndan is not in danger. The plan worked perfectly, aside from one tiny little detail.

The party marched to the Pillar, and when intercepted b a death squad, Berenger announced his challenge. The cultists were shocked but escorted the party to the tower, where we climbed up the inner stair to the throne room. The room was about 125ft wide, with the Lolthstone in the center and Jaryn’s throne a few yards west of it. In an area around the stone, there was an aura; ending your turn in the aura meant you had to Save vs Domination by Lolth. In addition to Jaryn, there was a choldrith (chitine priest species) and a Webspinner (high ranking chitine), and no other bystanders.

Berenger maneuvered to evade, as Galinndan and Audrie started burning a hole in the wall (Adurie apologized for splashing some flaming oil on Galinndan). Arradon and Hunger took out the Webspinner. Jaryn couldn’t manage to hit Berenger and after a few turns of frustration, took a swing at Stoney. That made it Open Season on Jaryn. As Galinndan kept working on the wall, everyone else got a few shots in on fallen paladin; Talias, Arradon and Stonebreaker received a few hits in return. Mina and Stoney circled back to put down the choldrith who was threatening Galinndan. Arradon, Talias and Hunger landed a series of strikes which put Jaryn down. Hurrah! Fight’s over, we win. No one seriously damaged.; half the party hadn’t taken any damage at all, including Berenger, who was the enemy’s prime target.

And then Jaryn started to change. Dark raidance streamed from the Lolthstone to Jaryn’s body, and black smoke poured forth from him, filling a column fifteen feet across. Everyone stood back; Berenger said “Stoney, you might go help Galinndan break through the wall. Do that right now. Now would be good.” As Galinndan’s fiery sword and Stoney’s heavy axe hewed at the webbing wall, a giant form appeared from the black smoke. Jaryn had willingly accepted Lolth; thus when he died in the presence of teh Lolthstone, he became a (level 25!) Aspect of Lolth.

Galinndan cried “A demon!” and charged. The huge demon swung, and one hit put Arradon down, another blow nearly finished Talias. Stoney hacked desperately at the flaming wall and broke through, letting Pelor’s sunlight fall on the Lolthstone. Minda bandaged Arradon; Talias took his Second Wind but bravely stood between the demon and Berenger. Berenger strode forward and struck the demon with his staff (“struck” meaning “tapped lightly, doing no damage, as would be expected when your wizard does a +8 melee attack vs a demon with a 38AC”), which allowed him to heal everyone within 50ft . The demon seized Berenger, picked him up and nearly killed him with one bite.

And then Pelor’s sunlight broke the Lolthstone. The stone exploded. The demon exploded, killing Berenger and knocking everyone else back. All the talisman-wearing death squad warriors dropped dead in their tracks. The chitines screamed and fled in panic. The tower blazed; Talias scooped up his employer’s body and everyone raced down the stairs, barely making it out before the tower collapsed. The entire fortress, and some of the surrounding woods, burned.

And we all hit Level 6.

Temple of Pelor
Report from Berenger
We defeated the cultist squad sent in pursuit of our scouts, but behind them was a chitine mob, so we withdrew along the road, in some haste as we were unable to break contact. Arradon, leading the way, discovered a cave mouth, which we entered; I recogned a crude totem beside the opening as a chitine symbol signifying “danger, do not enter”, although how it came to be there, I cannot say. In any event, the cavern proved to be sanctuary, of a sort; the pursuers did not come in, although they lay in wait outside. In the cave was a pit, and in the pit Arradon discovered a fissure which, followed a few yards, widened into a passage that showed signed of dwarf stonecraft. This debouched into a small complex of perhaps a dozen rooms. One chamber was consecrated to Pelor, and held a portal circle; another seems to have been occupied for a time by our brother in the Order, Auberion, and I collected such notes and small artifacts as I could. The roof of the complex (except the consecrated room) was covered with webbing, and we were attacked by chitine marauders twice, once during our initial exploration and again an hour later, although they dared not enter the holy circle itself. Stonebreaker, who had borne the brunt of earlier combat, was aggressive to the point of recklessness, but otherwise I was quite pleased with my company’s performance. In particular, the half elf Audrie has grown more adept in her use of the arcane arts. Mina Sevenstone showed commendable courage by moving into the front ranks, and Talias showed acute judgement in shifting from one flank to the other at the right moment; in my estimation, Stonebreaker would have fallen had either the dwarf or the human not come to his aid. Each of us who entered the circle gained a vision of a pathway out, and on following it, we discovered a tower with the sigils of Pelor. The monks of Pelor who inhabit the tower had been, they say, inside and unable to leave for five hundred years, when Lolth made an agreement with the abbot to hold the tower and its occupants harmless so long as the Stone of Pelor was moved away. That stone was taken to Iridia, and is the source of the rainbow lights which are that city’s fame. The monks have been hospitable, allowing us access to their library, including a book of rituals which our bard was eager to study. They have told us that, to stem the power of Lolth, we must:

*destroy the Pillar of Night, so that the dawn light may shine uninterrupted on the Temple of Pelor
*take the Pelor stone from Iridia—although the city fathers may be less than eager to cooperate
*transport said stone, weighing many hundredweight, from Iridia to the Tower of Pelor—there is a permanent portal circle in Iridia, and another in the consecrated chamber in the dwarven ruins we have just quitted, which may be of aid. Audrie has appended a drawing showing the runes of the circle of Pelor.
*clear the temple of Melora
*clear the temple of Corellon
*do all the above by the summer solstice.
Exactly what must be done at the temples of Melora and Corellon is not clear; the sacristan who conveyed the information either does not know or has forgotten how to give a clear and concise report.
Other facts which may be useful, although perhaps not vital to the mission:

  • the abbot who made the pact with Lolth is named Ping; he is bound to the stone of Pelor, and will be near it at all times. He is also apparently a lackwit, else he would have realized that an accord with the Queen of Deceit would not work out well. Human, of course. Even dwarves would know better.
    *just as Pelor has a stone, so does Lolth; it is a binding point for her influence in this world, and destroying it will diminish her power. It can be destroyed by exposure to sunlight. We believe it to be in the Pillar of Night.
    *chitine structures are succeptible to fires laid on the interior surface
    *the paladin (presumably “former paladin”) Jarun simply strode into the Pillar of Night and issued a challenge to the general of the death squads, and by vanquishing his foe became the new general.
    *Jarun then fell under the control of the chitine; we believe this to be due to a Lolthstone amulet such as the death squad members have worn. If true, removing the amulet may release him from Lolth’s power (which would be ideal) or kill him (which would be regrettable but acceptable).
    *It seems that according to the chitine protocols, a leader must challenge a leader—I was amused to note that of our band of cutthroats and dubious characters, none even suggested that any but I could be taken as our leader. It is not clear whether the duel must be one-on-one or whether the challnger has any right to select any of the conditons of the duel (such as, “must be during daylight hours” or “choice of weapons”).

My plan, then, is to challenge Jarun and hold the duel in the tower near the Lolthstone. I will endeavor to hold Jarun off long enough for my compatriots to set such fires as will open the tower walls and expose the stone to the light.

Dark Deeds and Glory
report from Berenger

Following the ambush, the rest of the party took the two captured death squad cultists away from the road to question them, while Arradon and I removed signs of the skirmish and watched the road in case another patrol happened by. Assuming the answers were correct: this chitine bastion is the Pillar of Night; the paladin Jarun entered it unchallenged, slew the chitine general, and then became the new general in service to the chitine queen; there is a large number of chitines inside; there is no hidden entrance, just the obvious east and west gates. At this point we summoned the Leomund’s Chest we had previously attuned, which proved to hold dwarven armor and a holy symbol—an odd selection for the Order mage to make, given that we had no cleric with us when he met us, but perhaps he was blessed with foreknowledge. We sent back copies of Talias’ maps and my reports.

Galindann and Arradon cloaked themselves—we have seen no eladrin or elves among the cultists’ ranks, and they seem to take no prisoners, so we believe that merely donning the cultists’ robe would be insufficient disguise, and it was needful for them to conceal their superior race—and snuck into the courtyard. There is a patrol of sort but no gate guards, no system of challenges and passwords. Barracks lie along the outer walls; the ground floor of the tower itself is apparently a cesspit, with no access to the heights. They were confronted by a bugbear cultist—not a sentry, merely an inquisitive or irritable soldier; they were unable to talk their way out of the situation, and fled to the place where the rest of the party hid and watched. Unfortunately the cultists had mages and shadowhounds who were able to follow our spies back to us.

Thus we found ourselves attacked by two mages mounted on shadowhounds, two giant spiders, three or four dragonborn, and eight or nine bugbears. Stonebreaker rushed to attack them, with Arradon close behind; unfortunately, being out infront of the rest of us, their flanks were not protected and the cultists rushed to surround them. The warforged protected his elvin friend, but was himself attacked by half a dozen of the enemy; he was overwhelmed, and so he fell. Hunger and I rushed forward on the left, driving them back and dazing them with arcane might, while Talias and Galindann pressed them on the right, but too late to rescue Stonebreaker.

But we mortals were not the only ones there, for behold, the hand of Melora raised up him who bears Her mark upon his brow; and with the fury of the storm, Stonebreaker went forth to slay. In moments, half a dozen of the foe fell under his axe. The battle was yet hard fought, but the tide was turned, and we emerged bloody and spent, but victorious. The chitines pursue us, but nonetheless, with Melora’s favor walking among us, our hearts are lifted up.

Status report
To Master

Current location:
Chitine’s seven towers

Pelor engaged the central tower

Employment found. Physical prowess and fighting capability has grown significantly since departure. Still lacking discipline, still hasty. There are indications of personal fighting style and comfort in combat.

Will soon attempt to ease tensions.

Further instructions.

Chitine Towers
report by Berenger

While proceeding parallel to the road, we observed an average of one group of cultists about every two hours, although they appeared to be merely travelling rather than patrolling. Our own travels were interrupted as we passed through a mirky forest, as a pack of shadow hounds attacked us. They have an aura of shadow which makes them difficult or impossible to see except in bright light; fortunately the sword of Talias is strongly radiant, and we dispatched the beasts with little trouble. Each of the creatures had a brand of Lolth on the shoulder. but we don’t know whether they were sent specifically to find us, or merely stumbled across our trail. We finished our day’s march and made a cold camp away from the trail.

The next morning, as the sun rose, we saw seven dark towers near the site of the old Temple; as the sunlight struck the central tower, it seemed to char and smoke, although it did not ignite, and creatures crawling atop it were able to repair it. We interpreted this as a struggle between Pelor and the Spider, and as we prayed, I heard the words “Remember the Fire”, although it was not clear what this message meant.

The crawling creatures, as we observed when we got closer to the towers, were chitines. These are monstrous creatures made by the drow to be slaves; they rebelled and and now war against the drow, although they still serve Lolth. They are similar to four foot tall halflings, but eachwith four long spindly arms, and spider’s fangs; they are agile and dextrous, and use poisons. They build with webbing, which we suspect is vulnerable to fire. There were perhaps two hundred of these creatures visible, plus a few dozen of the raiders—bugbears, dragonborn, orcs men, and that ilk.

We pulled back from the tower a short distance and ambushed a raider squad, to take their robes for disguise and also interrogate them.

Gate of the Dark March
report from Berenger

We searched the bodies of the changelings and the ruins, but found no clues as to Jarun’s fate or anything else of note.

We followed the trail farther north and higher into the mountains. The land is growing colder, the trees stunted or mere scrub, the grasses withered, the soil rocky. Hunting for food takes more time, and trancing is difficult—for me, at least, although Arradon doesn’t seem to have a problem and Galindann’s spirit was unsettled to begin with. The openness of the land bothers me; we can be seen, and watched, from the heights.

The silver lining is that we also can see. This evening as we marched north following a small escarpment, we saw a bonfire burning; and creeping closer, we discerned a cultist raiding party of two dozen bugbears and a few spiders camped there, planning to roast a captive dwarf. We quickly made plans and engaged, whereupon our plans were discarded even more quickly than we had made them. I am reminded of the battle in which my wife was slain; in that battle we ignored our orders and did whatever struck our fancy at the moment, and in consequence the foe went around our flank and wrought havoc, and many of us fell. This time, though, the tiefling and I managed to guard our left, forcing many of the enemy back into the fire; and on the right, the bandits didn’t press hard, and Arradon and Talias managed to deal with the ones who leaked around the edge. It was a hard fought skirmish, but we won. And we rescued the dwarf, who turned out to be a cleric of Avandra.

The camp guarded a break in the cliffs where the trail turned west and started climbing again, We have camped on top of the cliff. Another warband has debouched from the trail and found their slain compatriots, but they did not find us—although I fear they have sent runners back to warn their commander. Tomorrow we shall march west, but parallel to the road rather than on it, and hope we shall be unseen.

I asked those with me about their next of kin. I have appended those to be notified, in case any of us fall. In my case, bury my blade in the gravemound of my wife; nothing else remains.

North into the Wastes
Report from Berenger

We followed the trail of burned villages and bodies north until we reached a hamlet of a dozen houses and a barn or two, with no signs of raiders—a fact that we found suspicious, given that the raiders had clearly passed through the area. It being evening, we went to the village headman, who was not forthcoming with information but did, reluctantly, offer to be our host overnight. He did not mention that the village served as a storehouse for weapons, brought by raiders from the East, and collected by other cultists to be taken North. However, the truth came out when we detected a handful of cultists arriving in the village. (We quickly dispatched them, but found nothing of interest on the bodies except that each had a talisman bearing a demon stone with a minor enchantment; the stones evaporated shortly after the bearers were slain). It appears that the villagers had come to an arrangement with the cultists—safety in exchange for warehousing the cultists’ loot. Fortunately, one of the villagers was able to provide a map of their route north toward the Pillar
The gnome decided to stay near the village and singlehandedly ambush raiders coming from the East. I am unclear of its reason for doing this; perhaps it was not as attached to Talias as I surmised, or perhaps it has some other motive. I would applaud its bravery, except I suspect the creature simply doesn’t realize how difficult it is for one to fight many, even when the one is a wizard.
Leaving behind the village, we proceeded north along the trail. We came to a ruined temple, in which our scouts spied changelings—including one whose form matched the description of Jarun the paladin. We slew three; unfortunately one escaped. I am updating this report as the others search the ruins for signs of Jarun’s fate.

Journal of Arradon Part Nine
It's been a while

I don’t know if I care what it day it is anymore, but probably twenty or so.
Ever since we met that Eladrin, we have been going at an insane rate, and I forgot my journal was in my bag.
Okay, so we traveled with MacDuff for about a day when we met Abinur. Abinur was a member of a group of forest wardens in the area outside the Vale, and we were passing through his patrol. He agreed to escort us along, and MacDuff welcomed him. We had not made it very far when we were ambushed by a bunch of bandits.
As we were hired to do, we rushed to take out the bandits. The leader, John, was harassed by Abinur, who wanted to know why the bandits were in his area. John ran away, but he was only one of two bandits to escape. The other one to escape was the female driver that MacDuff had hired. She disappeared in a cloud of smoke with MacDuff.
Unfortunately, it seems that we have lost MacDuff.
We continued onto Hammerfast because there was no sign how she had taken MacDuff.
The whole crew geared up and we continued on the trail.
When we camped the night, we were again attacked. This time, our attackers were birdlike dark creatures who tried to take us away. They attacked from the cliffs of the mountains.
After dispatching those creatures, we rested the night.
The next morning, we met another Eladrin who relieved Abinur and introduced himself as Berenger. He said that he had been given a mission to help us cleanse the Temples of Corellon, Pelor, Evandra, and Moradin. He said that the quest was ours because we had already cleared out a temple of Melora. We agreed that we would help with the cleansing the temple from the spider infestation. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on this Lolth person and slaughter them.
When we got to Hammerfast, we found that the dwarves of the city were in the middle of a tumultuous internal power struggle. The city gates were closed right after we arrived.
Berenger and Stonebreaker spent some time with the caravan’s Dwarf, getting information I guess. I was helping stow up the carriages and horses at the local stable for the caravan.
When I met up with Stoney again, he informed that there was a scroll that was sent by Lord Bethlehem to the Tower we had just cleared. He insisted that he had been right and that we should have killed him and freed the town when we were there. I told him that he was right, and we got the opportunity, I would kill him most excruciatingly.
That evening, Berenger convinced Keyleth and Rhogar that the coming mission might be too dangerous for them. Pinecone was already missing, and Keyleth could not tell us what had happened, so I agreed with the idea. If this is truly the dangerous mission that he was describing, then the young Dragonborn would be a liability with his inexperience and Keyleth tended to get more hurt than anyone else. She would be dead before we knew what to do.
However, Berenger did not intend that we would be a trio. At the tavern, while Stoney and I were enjoying the local sport, he recruited a human, Talias, and a Tiefling, Hunger. I kind of like these guys.
That night, we broke out of the city through one of the city wall’s towers. That was an interesting time. We found a trail that we followed for a while. The trail led us to a bridge protected by more of the Iron Circle guys. We jumped into battle where Talias and Hunger proved that they were quite skilled. We dispatched the Iron Circle guys, and questioned one of them. He was merely a foot soldier and knew very little about the organization. Then we killed him.
Berenger really likes getting information, but he really needs to learn that we are NOT his slaves.
And we continued on, the next day we found a camp. We were at a good distance, so we tried to figure out what to do. There was a road that led to the camp. We could see some soldiers using the road. We decided to ambush one of the groups and then sneak into the camp.
Berenger ordered Talias to be the bait while the rest of us hid in the trees waiting for the soldiers to get into the ambush area.
When the ambush started, it was not the best work we did. But it was unseen by the guards at the camp. Even after two new fighters joined the fracas. That was Galindann, another Eladrin, and Audrie, a half-elf, but we didn’t learn that until much later.
I know that the guards heard that. I saw them react.
The commander of the small unit we ambushed decided to run. Smart move on his part. But Stoney decided to give pursuit. I don’t know how smart that was.
We decided to cover the big guy so we tried to take the commander down.
Then we saw the running. The camp’s gates were flooded by people running out of the camp. It was easy to see that they were not coming as back up. They were fleeing something.
There must have been hundreds of them, maybe thousands.
We bolted.
As we ran, spiders caught up with us. I fought a couple before I fell and then I couldn’t move.
When I woke up, I was in an underground chamber, and I could see a couple of warforged and that foul creature Lord Bethlehem.
I could see that there were statues lining all along the walls. As I continued looking, I realized that some of them looked familiar. I was horrified, we had been turned to statues. But we weren’t anymore. I decided that I was going to try and sneak my way out of the room to look for something to stop this whole thing. However, one of the others got free and they got the Warforged’s attention. Well, looks like it wears off naturally.
And we did.
We were joined by a new lady, a gnome named Shiru. I can’t say that I like her, but that may be just first impressions.
Berenger sealed a giant portal, cleansing the temple, which turned out to be Evandra’s.
We made our way back to Cravensfeld.
In the stuff we were able to loot, we found several really cool items and a lot of gold. We found Bethlehem’s journal which described a dark tower that sounded like it was in the place of Pelor’s Temple.
Looks like we have our next step.
Berenger suggested stopping by his order’s base camp for supplies and information.
It took a few days, but the place was well equipped and we were able to get resupplied and we started heading northwest through the Nentir Vale.
We passed through several towns each with the same information. A cult was coming from the west and causing trouble. They would attack villages, kill everyone who refused to convert, and they seemed generally evil. Since they are not nice, we decided that dispatching them would be an excellent idea.
In a town that gave refuge to refugees, we witnessed and stopped an ambush attack. We found out that the cult was sending men who recently converted to kill anyone who escaped them. It was pointless to interrogate them because they literally knew nothing.
We continued for several days to the northwest and found a village that had not yet been attacked. We met a man who seemed to not be all over honest, but he offered us a hearth for a bit of time, so we went to his home.
Then I found the diary, and made note of what has happened since.
Talias seems okay. Hunger is hit and miss. Sometimes it seems like he isn’t even here. Galindann is a little weird, and very private. Audrie is an interesting person, but she is also the quietest bard I have ever met. Or maybe Pinecone was overly talkative. I find Shiru disconcerting, but I am not sure why. Ah, maybe the gnome will grow on me, who knows (the pixie did). Berenger, seriously, can be a major ass, but he certainly knows what he is doing. He’s also a lot better than Gort used to be, so I can deal.


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