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Damn this accursed coin! ...

Damn this accursed coin! Ever since I found it, I have been plagued by horrid visions of death and destruction caused by some winged beast. No matter what I try, I can’t seem to stop these damned visions. It’s been months since I had a good night's sleep.

I returned the coin to where I found it. After that didn't work, I tried burying it. Hell! I even tried to melt the damn thing using the blacksmith's smelter. In hindsight, that wasn't the best idea I’ve ever had - I hear that she still hasn’t rebuilt it. Guess I won’t be getting that new skinning knife I ordered anytime soon ...

I finally took the coin to the village sage and was told that the visions I’d been having had nothing to do with the coin I found. But were of possible future events that may come to pass. After hearing this I decided two things: first, I needed to do anything I could to keep the horrid things I'd seen from coming to pass; second, I needed to apologize to the blacksmith, but only after her temper cooled down first. I hear she could hit a man's genitals with a forge hammer from over 3 miles away.

I set out not knowing where to go, but knew that if luck was on my side, it would all work out. After travelling for what felt like ages (but was actually only a few months), I came across the city of Berdusk. While there, I heard stories of an army and a dragon attacking the town of Greenest. I also heard tales of someone beating the dragon with one shot from a bow - must not have been that strong of a dragon or the luckiest shot in history. I decided that this must be what my visions were about!

After wandering around town for a few days, I heard there was a group at a local inn that may have came from Greenest. I sought them out, hoping to find a way to defeat this blight on the land and end these blasted visions. I found the inn where the group was staying and, as I approached their table, saw a frazzled-looking elf drinking heavily from a mug of wine; two forest gnomes; a rock gnome; and a half-elf, the latter two drinking themselves stupid and doing a mighty fine job of it. I noticed two more members of the group sitting in the back, both looking a little shady. One was a tiefling and the other a half-elf with the most hideously conspicuous cloak I'd ever ever seen. I tried asking about what happened in Greenest.

Impudent gnomes! All I asked was information on the dragon; it’s not like I asked for their firstborn child! I asked if anyone else had any information about the dragon. The two drunkards pointed to the elf Kethryvalis. As I approached her, I could see she was distraught and had seemed to have a large chunk of hair missing. I inquired again about the dragon, and she started to visibly shake when she answered. When I mentioned her missing hair, I received an odd look, and then she took a deep draw from her mug of wine, returning to her thoughts.

I was invited to drink by the half-elf known as Drit and the rock gnome named Leofire. As I spoke with them, I was introduced to the rest of the group. As for the two gnomes, there was the group’s leader, Mistmi, and next to her, Zuke. I learned that there was also a member who was not present, a gnome by the name of Roshim who was away on business.

I learned that they were leaving for the city of Elturel in a few days and that I may find people with similar goals to defeat this blight on the land. I decided to accompany them and, in the meantime, made myself useful to the local meat market. I earned some much-needed coin and also found some water lilies while out gathering meat.

The day finally came when we left for Elturel. Along the road, we came across a group of Harpies. Having never faced a Harpy before, I waited to see what the rest of the party would do. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground. This happened several times. Seriously, I wondered what the hell was going on? I couldn’t remember why I kept eating dirt. The only thing I do remember was hearing this sweet, intoxicating song. By the time I finally managed to get to my feet and stand up for more than a few seconds to join the fight, the battle had just about been taken care of. Those gnomes and elves are strong; well, at least all but their cleric and Drit. They took cover in a pit away from the fighting! Drit did crawl out of the pit towards the end of the battle, mentioning something about he and Roshim opening a bed and breakfast in the pit called The Harpy's Pit. There’s something just not right with those two.

We finally made it to Elturel. After Roshim got through the gate, we made our way to the Black Antlers Inn where we met a gentleman by the name of Leosin who was putting together a fighting force against the blight (which I later learned was the Dragon Cult). As we entered the inn, we were greeted with many contests of drink, arm wrestling, archery, and cards. It didn't come as a surprise that Leofire and Drit took to the drinking contest like fish to water, although I didn’t expect Roshim to join in. Of course, I usually don’t partake in drinking contests; but, I figured, what the hell. To sum it up:

Damn eyes dint shink thts yd dringk tha skunks undthers ables ... hic ... ooh, arrmm wresling ... hic ... Heressssssss my money after uch stuggle eyes eat my firdt halenger tiss hard but ... Hic! Ook ike the ext erson sat down big fella much armour, hard battle it was I lost but I did try my best ...

I found out the “fella” I was arm wrestling was a heavily armoured battle maiden who tossed me a copper after the match. She then took off her helm and stood there like I should know her. I offered to buy the lady a drink, but I guess the din of the inn was too much because she didn’t respond.

I made my way towards the archery contest while trying to sober up. As I watched Mistmi win the pot, my respect for her grew by leaps and bounds, even if she does have a bit of a sharp tongue. I also saw Drit about kill everyone in the bar with his archery. If it wasn't for someone bumping into him, I don’t think he would have hit anything.

We were called in to a back room to meet with Leosin. As Drit wandered past me toward the meeting room, I noticed he was missing a large chunk of hair, similar to that elf. Odd. We were introduced to Leosin and a Ontharr Frume of the Order of the Gauntlets. They both made a big speech, asking for help to defeat the Dragon Cult. We were asked to join a convoy at Baldur's Gate and accompany it onwards towards Waterdeep to collect intel. After they were done explaining the mission, we accepted and signed a contract.

Afterwards, there was a private meeting with Leosin which included a few others from the group. Surprisingly, this included Drit. I’m not sure if he really intended to be there, or if he just thought we would get more liquor. Either way, his flippant attitude worries me. I will make it a point to keep an eye on him and, if need be, ensure his silence with regards to this secret meeting.

I have yet to see if it was a good idea to join this group. At the end of the day, though, I just want these horrid visions out of my head by any means.
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Epic × 2!
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The Tomb of Dreams
Episode 5: Worship
The Circle wandered the ruins of Denandsor, thankful to be free of the humid, inclement conditions of the dreams, thankful for the dry, still, quiet air of the Empty City. They found themselves unwilling to leave just yet. They had come to the Empty City in a hurry, to fulfill the dreams compelling them, so they used this opportunity to explore a bit. Taiphen located a damaged Solar Manse, existing now only as a Demesne. The Circle spent the night there. Before they slept, Northern Light placed a bottle filled with clear water and white flowers within a chamber of brilliant light and no shadows. Suma was reluctant to leave, saying that the air outside the bright chamber was cold. But leave they did.

They traveled northward, Suma recalling a river than ran there, east and then south, to the mouth Yanaze River, which they could then traverse upstream to reach Great Forks. They found the river, and a small village downstream that had boats. They requested use of the boats from their owner, but found they had little in the way of funds. Syn offered the blessing of a river goddess, which the boatman was initially skeptical of, but was convinced to round up a group of villagers to participate in a ritual.

The Circle made preparations for the ritual. Northern Light edited her prayer from the temple within the dream to better fit Suma’s divinity and also led an effort to capture an enormous fish for a sacrifice to her. Syn orchestrated a percussive rhythm to match Northern Light’s chant, which he taught to the villagers once they arrived. Taiphen sneaked around the village, locating a shiny silver knife to use in the ritual. Bright Shadow helped persuade the villagers that they did not need to fear discipline from the Immaculate Order for perpetuating the Hundred Gods Heresy—the gods fulfilled an arduous role in the upkeep of Creation and deserved some praise for their efforts.

Finally, the boatman returned with a dozen of his fellow villagers, and Syn and Northern Light initiated the ritual. At the climax of the chanting and the foot-stomping, the river churned, and Suma surged upward from it. Her robes were of bright river-water, her harpoon now made of the fang of a river dragon. In a voice effortlessly loud as a waterfall, she proclaimed her divinity and asked what the villagers had brought as sacrifice. The boatman stammered, but Northern Light helped him present the fish, which he gutted and fed to the river. Suma then asked what was desired in return. The boatman stammered again, and Taiphen helped him request a blessing for the river. Suma nodded at this and proclaimed that a tithe of one fish, caught beneath the full moon, would make the river run clear and bright for one month. The boatman, on behalf of the village, accepted the terms. With that, Suma sank back into the river.

The village erupted into question and excitement. They had never seen such power before, and the promise of a blessed river invigorated them. The boatman held his end of their bargain, and the group set off down the river.

When the village was nearly out of sight, Suma splashed herself onto the boat, giddy with the success of the ritual. Then Syn saw something large and bursting with Essence charging upriver. It sprang up from the water, knocking the boat into the air. The Circle leaped to the shore or negotiated the turning boat to land safe and dry.

The torso of a giant man, with a liquid body and river-weed hair, glared down at them. He demanded to know who had the gall to instigate worship to another river deity within his domain. The Lawgivers showed their badges of office, but this only increased his irritation.

“Then I wish to issues a formal complaint.” said the river god.

“And what would that be?” asked Northern Light with a frown.

“As a god, I am entitled to worship and the fruits of prayer. If I am being replaced, I have a right to be informed through the proper protocols.”

“That can be arranged.” threatened Northern Light.

The god persisted, “Furthermore, I have tended this river dutifully for hundreds of years and without spectacle. By the Mandate of Heaven, I have performed my duties adequately. What grounds have you for my dismissal?”

Syn then offered, “Have you tried interacted with your worshipers personally? Perhaps they would be less likely to change whom they worship if they knew your power firsthand.”

Suma then explained, “Gods should not operate openly.” Syn perked an eyebrow, “What we did, we did out of desperation.” she defended.

Syn turned back to the river god, “In any case, look what it has done for you.” he indicated the villagers who had come to investigate the disturbance. Beholding the mighty river god, seeing how he had frightened the goddess to the point of not taking her divine form, the villagers were overcome with awe and fell down to worship him. “And, what’s more, I will say a prayer to you, personally, every day in thanks for a safe travel along your river. Is this pleasing to you?”

The river god nodded, and the Circle resumed their journey.

Storyteller Notes
The material of Suma’s harpoon was changed into something a little more appropriate for her purview. Walruses don’t hang out near rivers very often.

The terms of the divine deal were changed. These are river-people; they depend on the river for sustenance. Although, that might be a moot point now.

Some of the dialogue was paraphrased. If I got something wrong, please let me know.
Session: Episode 5 - Friday, Jun 23 2017 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM
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The Wounded World
Is it too powerful?
I found this spell today in my wanderings on the web. I like it a lot, but my concern is that it is too powerful. What do you think? My concern specifically is the 1 minute/level duration...

Armor Of Hidden Force

School evocation; Level mesmerist 4, psychic 4, sorcerer/wizard 4, summoner 3, witch 4
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (a diamond shard worth 200 gp)
Range personal
Target you
Duration 1 minute/level

You are surrounded by a magical field of invisible force which conceals you and helps defend you from attacks. You gain a +6 armor bonus to AC, and because this armor is made from force, it applies to incorporeal attacks. This armor also renders you invisible, as the spell invisibility, except that if you end the invisibility (such as because you take a hostile action), it recharges after 1d6 rounds, rendering you invisible again until such a time as you end the invisibility again. Because the field of force surrounding you is large and causes minor distortions in the world around you, you gain only half the normal Stealth bonuses for being invisible (+10 when moving, or +20 while stationary).

What do you think?
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The shackles seem heavier with each passing hour as Xaehyd arrives in Nethjet. Agents of Thay saw through Xeahyds forged visitor documents who dutifully captured him. They force marched him to Nethjet and further on to Tarsekh. Xaehyd was processed into the Thayan slavery system, an unceremonious tatoo placed upon his neck to forever mark him as property of Thay.

Thayan slavers query Xaehyd and the other "recruits" to gather information about their backgrounds and skills. Xaehyd's extensive farming knowledge and youthful strength makes him a prime commodity in Thay, sure to command a high price. The accommodations were surprisingly fair considering their slave status.

Soon Xaehyd is sold to a farm owner where he finds himself placed in charge of the workers, directing some of the operations kn the farm. He is surprised by how well he and the other slaves are treated and their seemingly high morale despite their forced servitude. Xaehyd settles into his daily routine, patiently gatherkng information about the farm and the area that might aid in his inevitable escape, eventually.
Session: Prologue - Of Mice and Men - Sunday, May 21 2017 from 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM
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The Untamed Wilds
What does it look like.
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