Puppet Show Clue; New Comrade; Ambush in the Night
We made it to the town of Magden after burying Havok. We stopped into a few shops and sold off some of our gear. I bought a couple of handy items (eyes of the eagle and greatreach bracers). The charmed fighter that Azol had brought along was starting to become a nuisance, so we gave him the slip. I hope we stay well rid of him.

In the marketplace, we watched a puppet show that seemed to build upon some local lore. A hand puppet crafted to represent a great bronze giant told his story, swearing to guard the temple by the lake. In one fell swoop, we gained several pieces of valuable intelligence.

We searched parts of the town, becoming acquainted with its streets and its customs. An interesting stop on our little tour was a shrine dedicated to some personage who lived about four hundred years ago. Images on the wall depict highlights of his apparently eventful life. We took notes of what we saw, in case the information proved to be needy in the near future. In our travels about the community, we recruited an intimidating looking Orc Paragon named Thurm. Upon hearing our group's humble moniker, Greatest Party Ever, he joined our cause without hesitation.

That evening, a procession came through the town. A priest was searching the suddenly huge crowds, looking for "miracles." We knew better than to draw attention to ourselves in a hostile land, so we kept a low profile and simply watched. A nearby spectator commented that this sort of thing happens regularly.

We turned in for the night, but kept watches. Our cramped second-floor room was barely large enough to hold us all. During Idon's turn on guard, he heard footsteps in the hallway outside. He went to the doorway, ready to block passage to any intruders. The lock was turned (an ominous item all on its own) and the door creaked open. Idon came face to face with a band of Gnolls!

He called out, awakening us. But just as we shot to our feet, one of the humanoids tossed some black powder into the center of our tiny room. The entire chamber went dark. While Thurm readied his weapons and Azol started casting a spell, I went to the window to open the shutters. Azol activated his dimension door spell, grabbed me, and transported us both downstairs. Meanwhile, Thurm decided not to fight within the impenetrable dark and bashed his way into the adjacent room. Unfortunately, that left Idon at the mercy of the Gnolls; they pulled him out of the room and pounced on him.

Azol and I ran back up the stairs. On the way, we saw the innkeeper tiptoeing down the steps. Knowing that the lock hadn't been forced, it seemed obvious that this man was in league with the intruders. I ripped the man almost in two on my way upstairs, not even pausing to watch his corpse hit the floor.

Azol launched a lightning bolt down the hall. It was a great choice of spell and should have wiped the Gnolls out, but it did not. One beast fell, but the electrical burst only singed a couple of the others and didn't seem to harm two more at all. One of the Gnolls threw another handful of black powder and darkened the hallway between them and us. We would have to run through the blackness to reach them. In the meantime, they ripped Idon to shreds. Thurm came out from the neighboring room and chopped two of the Gnolls to bloody slivers in an instant. Meanwhile, I cut another down while Azol continued to launch spells. Finally, only one Gnoll was left, and he retreated into our room (now light again; the unnatural darkness had faded). The Gnoll had turned invisible, enabling him to sneak up on me and deliver a mighty attack. I still stood, however, and the three of us made short work of the monster.

The next morning, we teleported back to the capital. Once there, we sold all of the Gnolls' gear (a princely sum) and used the money to pay the Prelate to cast true resurrection on Idon. Once he was all right, Azol cast teleport again to get us back to Magden.
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Chathold, Capital of The Prelacy of Almor

Nestled on the banks of the Harp River and Relmor Bay, Chathold is the greatest city of Almor. It is the seat of power for the Prelacy, reknown as a pleasant place to visit. The council of Almor works hard to present an uplifting and clean city, at least on the surface. Fountains are common, streets are kept clean and the arts--as approved by the Council--are practiced and displayed. Built across several hills, all of the roads lead to the Basilica of the Council of Almor. Originally built over ancient Lathu Ur-Flan holy grounds as a citadel of light for Pelor, the sprawling complex has become both a governmental seat as well as a multi-denominational shrine.