- the bodies of the star mask attackers seem to liquify once they were defeated
- Minoru knows the tower she’s thinking of is on the way to Candelfen – perhaps there she can share what they’ve found with The Archmage
- the heroes decide to take at least a fragment of the meteor to the tower to show the archmage
- arrive at the tower on the outskirts of Candelfen – signs of civilization start to emerge
- looks abandoned, but meets with Minoru‘s recollections
- Minoru, Gallydyn and Rainier go into the tower, from which Candelfen is now visible in the far-off distance
- With all the books she’s been reading, Minoru is immediately comfortable preparing the ritual to send a message to The Archmage
- She sends a message off and the reply is
- “Investigate further.”
- as part of the message, Minoru is given a:
- Wand of Power
- +1 to wizard spell attacks & dmg
- 1/day: when you crit with a spell, roll a save and on a 16+, the spell is not expended
- quirk: maniacal laughter and urge to say things like, “I’ll show them all!”
- Wand of Power
- heroes leave and continue to Candelfen and she pays us for all 21 floss drakes safely arrived, the last safe town before the wilds of the northern Dragonwood
- Joe (Brath): In the tavern named Dratnos One-Eye, mercenary by trade, prides himself on being a dragon hunter, boastful, loud, obnoxious and loves attention. Big, burly, one-eye with a patch, long braided hair, hails from the north, classic Viking.
- Max (Gallydyn): We ask Dratnos if he’s seen any recent displays in the sky (The Archmage’s Comet) and he begins to describe in detail all the rocks that fell in and around Candelfen, his loud, drunken boasts continue.
- Max (Gallydyn): Off in the corner in the tavern, there’s someone who appears to be cloaked, an insignia of The Archmage burned into the top of his hand, and he looks very serious.
- Dave (Ereveron): little girl that sells flowers in the marketplace
- Eric (Minoru): Tending bar is a very young barmaid (maybe too young?) Melina – cascading long black locks – good looking but overworked. Rolls her eyes when Dratnos starts another story – turns out she’s his daughter – he IS full of shit telling tall tales that maybe never even happened – always a bit embarrassed
- Roberto (Magnus): While ordering a drink, Magnus looks at Melina and says, “Are the stories usually true, or is he just making friendly conversation?” Magnus can’t help the professional curiosity as a hunter himself. She responds, “They’re only genuine until he feels like he needs to look better to his audience, but he is a real dragon hunter.”
- Roberto (Magnus): A local guard the heroes met coming into the town could be seen enjoying a drink – certainly finished his shift at this point, and part of the local militia acting on behalf of the emperor – Captain Ringo.
- Fab (Rainier): Knowing the captain is part of the military, Rainier buys him a drink and introduces himself, suggesting he’s tired of the bar and asks him to chat and share stories of their military backgrounds. Go outside and asks if he saw the fireworks in the sky, “A little bit but nothing major in the city” – asks where the local garrison is and tries to get the layout of the city.
- Fab (Rainier): a local vendor comes by with his food cart “You guys want something to eat” Rainier asks his name and find out what he’s been doing, his name is “Zohan” He tells him to wait why he tells the people in the tavern to come out.
- Joe (Brath): Brath, familiar with Lebanese food runs out, and while he’s serving everyone else, Brath greedily grabs up a falafel, and while he finishes, Zohan is aghast at Brath‘s manners – much like the animals he turns. “You know my friend if you are interested in something to wash that down with, I have a special vintage I make available to special customers…” Brath mumbles something incomprehension through a mouthful of food, and from a small compartment in his cart, Zohan takes out a beautiful velvet bag and a flask “This is the very finest of Brandys… 5 gold” – Brath agrees heartily and goes back into the bar to finish.
- A guy named John Duno walks in (Doug Judy) says hello and welcome to Candelfen, naturally, your stay here will be free, as well as your drink. I hope your stay here is pleasant and you feel welcome
- Minoru: Thank you for your generosity, well it’s… unexpected… I guess.
- B: finished his falafel, hearing the offer, without raising his head, raises his mug in the air to indicate it needs to be filled
- JD: So, you’ll be staying here a while, right?
- Minoru: Yeah, if that’s all right…
- Magnus: There’s work here, right?
- JD: There have been some weird things happening here lately
- Rainier: Like what?
- JD: Lik you said, strange meteors, the marsh… odd creatures they say.
- Gallydyn: Has anyone gone out to see these creatures?
- JD: Nothing like what we’ve seen before…
- Mag: Have they approached the city or have they stayed in the wilderness…
- JD: Thank goodness, nothing in this town. But we’ve had reports of some abductions in the outskirts… even into the city itself and abducted hunters. I’m hoping you stay here for a while and it deters them from coming back here. Aren’t you the ones who came with Kitty? She told me about what you’ve done… she’s seen what you can do
- G: I think it’s worth seeing if these creatures are the same as what we saw earlier…
- Minoru: Are you worried they’re going to attack the city again?
- JD: I think so – they came last night and I’m worried for the people here
Accepting John Duro (the village elder)’s offer
- Rainier offers some suggestions of how to fortify the town against unwanted intruders in the night.
- Magnus sets up some nets for the creatures that float
- Minoru tries to set up some decoys for the cultists who might be in the town
- Gallydyn talks to the villagers and tells them all to stay indoors and don’t go out at night
- Brath offers to fly around and keep an eye out for people coming into the city…
- Gallydyn suggests he stays with Brath, worried he’ll fall asleep
Just as suspected, assailants appear…
Just as the last body drops, the heroes, now attentive to their surroundings again… hear screams in the distance from another part of the town.
Investigating, John Duro is there… another small force made off with more villagers… one of them the little flower girl, one was Zohan… and Melina the bartender.
Closely examining the masked strangers… and examining the creatures… it looks like the parasites physically attach themselves to their hosts. Any accounts the heroes can get from the traumatized villagers indicate they were taken north of the village.
Without even flinching – Minoru inspects one of the victims, and announces she thinks found quickly enough, the parasites might be able to be separated from their hosts without killing the host.