The last remnants of the hags death throes eventually fade, except for the blasted rain that’s soaking me to the bone and making my fur feel like a wet blanket. Combine that with the ill effects I’m still suffering from that fraking mist, and I feel like I want to crawl into a ball and die just to stop the coughing and pounding in my head.
Thankfully Ef Utan seems to be on top of things, as he quickly and efficiently guts the remains of the hag to get the amulet that represented her tongue back and pulls the Black Nib out of her scraggly hair.
“Hang on, Kenari… we’ll get you feeling better in a moment,” Lenata kindly whispers as she bends over me with her glowing hands. After a few moments it feels like the illness seeps out of me into the ground, and suddenly I am feeling much better. I sit up to thank her and end up grabbing my temples in pain. Oww… still have the remnants of a headache, though.
Lenata smiles in sympathy and pulls a small flask from her belt. “Here, drink this hangover remedy we picked up back on Sigil… it should take care of that headache.”
“May your god bless you, Lenata… you’re a life saver more than a dozen times over!” I mutter gratefully as I take the flask and down it in one gulp. Yes…. thank Bast and Celestian, I think that will do it.
Lenata moves over to help Melchior as I regain my feet and go to see what Ef Utan has found while searching the corpse. I peek over his shoulder and can’t help but notice that he’s found another one of those silver scroll cases like the one we found in the Wax Works.
“Ooo… can I see? Bet I can open it! Hey, did you get that pen, too? I found some parchment on the desk… can I see if I can write something magical? Pretty please?”
Ef Utan rolls his eyes as he’s used to my game by now… but thankfully he hands the items over anyway. I tuck the Black Nib behind my ear and focus on finding the notes enscribed on the scroll case so that I may sing it open like the other.
After a few moments I find it and the scroll tube pops open to reveal not a scroll of summoning or planar creation, but a song. Well damn.
“What is it?” Vedis asks eagerly.
“Looks like one of those bard epics about Lord Mayor Zagyg of Grehawk,” I say with undisguised disappointment as I bend over the scroll to keep it out of the rain. “There’s a few interesting bits about a ‘god trap’ of some kind, but other than that it doesn’t seem that special to me.”
“Well dang it,” Vedis mutters.
“It’s not every day you can find a scroll to create your own Demiplane,” Ef Utan admonishes. “Now come on, I’m getting sick and tired of getting rained on.”
Now that Lenata has managed to remove the spell taking away Melchiors sight, we’re thankfully able to gather everyone together and head back through the columns to where we last saw the Unicorn. Neither it or the goblin are here anymore… so I’m guessing that they were scared off by the thunder and lightning and sounds of battle.
The rain, thank Bast, has decided to stay in the clearing with the columns, so Vedis and Melchior take the time to start a much needed fire so that we may camp and dry ourselves out. As she’s picking up branches she notices a half-eaten pear lying in the ground and picks it up.
“Well that’s odd…” she mutters.
“What is?” Lenata asks curiously.
“You remember those pears the unicorn and goblin were fighting over?” Lenata nods. “Well this one says ‘Fear Not’ on it in tiny lettering. Do you suppose it was magical?”
“Entirely possible,” Lenata replies as she lays out her bedroll by the fire. “The clerics of our temple have been known to make restoratives in the forms of food… it helps them go down quicker.”
The night passes uneventfully for the most part… until my turn at watch, of course. I’m sitting atop one of the ruins and cleaning my gun when suddenly I hear the noises of stomping feet and breaking plants as something comes towards us out of the brambles.
I quickly slip a bullet into the chamber and cock the trigger as Brambelson comes charging out of the brambles and screaming in a blind panic. With a step of his large hind legs he’s leaping over our campsite and into the darkness.
“I wonder what’s got him in such a fright?” I mutter as I uncock my gun and holster it. I jump down and wake the others, as it’s almost daylight anyway.
“What was all that noise about?” Melchior mutters as he grabs for his hat to block the light of the wooden sun ratcheting into place in the sky.
“Something has the rabbit scared out of his mind,” I inform them. “It might be a good idea to pack up camp while I check it out.”
“I think she’s just trying to get out of packing her bedroll,” Vedis mutters.
You know… never thought about that. I’ll have to remember that for next time!
I carefully make my way through the brambles until I notice something red in the distance. What is that… a piece of fabric, maybe? I make my way closer and scan the clearing. It doesn’t look like there’s anyone left here, whatever it was that scared Brambelson. I crawl over to the fabric and see that it is indeed a piece of scarlet and black fabric, torn and hanging from one of the brambles. I gingerly separate it from the thorns and pocket it in my sash, along with an interesting beaded mask laying on the ground. It’s got beads and feathers on it like it’s from a festival… but it doesn’t appear to be magical. Ah well… perhaps I can use it in one of my performances!
Not seeing any remnants of danger, I make my way back to the others and inform them of what I found. Soon after we return and Melchior scans the edges of the clearing in hopes of finding some kind of tracks belonging to whomever left that fabric.
“Dang it… there’s tracks all right, but they’re all like several weeks old!” he exclaims in frustration as he hits his thigh with his hat. “Do you suppose time goes differently in the brambles than in other places?”
“Hey guys, there’s something I need to tell you,” Vedis says with chagrin. Ef Utan turns to look at her with a raised eyebrow and gestures for her to get on with it. “Well…you see… when that hag died, I had a vision of sorts.”
“Of sorts? Do tell,” I chuckle.
“I heard the hag mutter in my mind something about the ‘Red Skinned One’ and how she was the only one powerful enough to rewrite the story. That, and I saw an image of her… she has dark red skin, glowing eyes, and these curved horns by her temples.”
“Sounds like a Tiefling bard to me,” Ef Utan mutters. “Well, she’s obviously not here , so lets follow those tracks and see if they lead us anywhere interesting.”
Melchior takes the lead this time, as I’m still trying to pick up on all the things he mumbles about when he tracks, from what it means when moss is one one side or the other to which direction a twig is broken in. We make our way through the brambles for a bit, until he raises his hand up to halt us and bends down to peer at the grass.
“What did you find? Something interesting?” I ask as I look over his shoulder.
“Sssh…” he admonishes as he holds up a finger to his lips. “There’s what looks like a diamond over there in the grass,” he points ahead of him and I can just see a sparkle through the foliage, “but I think it’s moving.”
Sure enough it seems to have heard us, as it’s now moving at an odd gait out of the grass towards us.
“What is that,” Lenata mutters as she peers at it. “Are those legs made out of ectoplasm?”
“It’s a Psicrystal!” Vedis explains in joy as she kneels down and beckons to it. “Come here, little guy… where’s your master?” The psicrystal then skitters through the grass towards Vedis’ and jumps into her outstretched hand.
Vedis closes her eyes and concentrates for a moment. Perhaps she’s speaking to it with her mind? Hard to tell with psions.
“It says its name is Jane, and it wants to find its master,” she replies as the psicrystal crawls out of her hand and up into her hair to look like a piece of jewelry.
“Hmmn… if it is sentient, perhaps I could try something. I promise I won’t hurt you, Jane,” Lenata reassures the psicrystal before closing her eyes and muttering a prayer to her god. “From what you told us of your vision, Vedis, I think Jane’s master is the same Tiefling bard that we need to find. I could see a clear image of her in its mind, and it fits your description exactly.”
“Well that just made things a bit easier,” says Ef Utan. He then turns around and continues the trek through the brambles… but I swear I could hear him mutter something about ‘blasted pets.’
The sound of thunder in the distance puts speed in our step as we make our way through the brambles yet again, hoping it will lead us to our next location… and the next token.