erica – T’rissriia (drow warlord) james – Xul’gos (drow paladin) maggie – Sanivlize (dryad sorcerer) mordicai – Bogey (goblin wizard) edbury – Saleos & Morax (longtooth shifter beastmaster & griffon whelp) emily – Rondanina (gorgon swordmage)
While the fickle party was bickering about what their next step should be, a number of figures approached on the horizon. There was a large demoniacal creature and several smaller ones riding human hosts that the larger one identified as “Fetchmen”. They offered some sort of social ritual involving the tasting of salt, and treated about the acquisition of a certain animal horn Bogey had pilfered from the skeleton of Ugarto on a previous occasion—Xul’gos had the other horn, but they appeared to be uninterested in it. They seemed intent to have the party retrieve some other object for them, although the party could not marshal a single authoritative voice to agree or disagree or to perform much of any meaningful communication. A few questions were raised by party members, but immediately glossed over when others made immediate demands without waiting for answers, or simply lied, almost pathologically, to the creatures, frustrating any meaningful parley. Sleeplessness was complained about, that much was certain, and the creatures thought the players might have been πανδὸν, or “punishers”, whatever those are. The drow said at first that they were, others that they weren’t. Some claimed to be pandas. The demons were confused and just wanted their horn.
Partly out of a desire to indebt the characters to themselves, and partly to shut them up, the large demon creature agreed to “modify” the party. Touching each one in turn, the creature put all the characters into a deep, blissful sleep. Before he was half done, however, he attempted to “modify” Bogey, the goblin who is still unable to communicate with the native inhabitants of this world, and Bogey reacted violently, attempting to summon a dretch. With an unpleasant and painful sucking shockwave, Bogey vanished, as the remaining three awake party members, Xul’gos, T’rissriia and Sanivlize, prepared to do battle with the host of demons on their own, Saleos and Rondanina snoring peacefully.
Bogey regained his senses in what appeared to be some kind of telephone switchroom full of glass spheres in notched cylindrical enclosures. The lone masked operator addressed Bogey in an unknown language, while spheres of a rusty blob-like material trembled in their containers. The operator tripped an alarm and the large room was filled with klaxons while two glass spheres rolled across the floor at Bogey, cracking at his feet. He touched both blobs of the rusty fecund matter and both immediately became dretch before his very eyes, demanding to be named. He named the first “Suzy”, and immediately reappeared on the battlefield among his friends, with the same painful implosion, “Suzy” in tow.
Even with the dretch, the fight went badly for the group, and with Xul’gos and Bogey dying on the ground T’rissriia implored mercy, for the creatures to just take what they came for and leave. They agreed, and put her to sleep with their modification and took their leave. Meanwhile, the party’s only healer (T’rissriia) sound asleep, Sanivlize the sorcerer assassin with no particular distinction as a healer was left to try to save the lives of her dying companions. It went down to the last death saving throw for both of them, but she saved both lives, although was not herself “modified”, and remained incapable of rest.
In Bogey’s slumber, he dreamed back to a time in which he and his companions Irkalla and the demon cat Pooker had been apprehended and interrogated by marauders regarding an artifact Bogey had pilfered from a tomb. Bogey refused to give it up, and the marauders cut off his ears.
When Bogey awoke, it was with a certainty of the location of this object he had been dreaming about, and he and the party set off across the wasteland to retrieve it, scrounging like animals for sustenance and shelter, and leading them further from the tower that had been their ultimate goal previously. After eight days trudging through ash and charred brush, in and out of craters, they came to a cave populated with some kind of post-apocalyptic insects, which they defeated handily and were left staring down at a lava-filled crevasse which Bogey determined contained the object he had come for.