Ninety-Nine Problems

Session 51: Publish & Perish
"What's wrong with her can't be cured by magic"

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Moving through the caverns the Dragon Punchers encountered a pair of cloakers at the main entrance to the complex. With Odallie’s help the group dispatched the creatures and they were able to move forward into the next chamber. There they discovered the remains of one of Professor Poplarlachs’s interns and a journal implying a distressing presence somewhere within.

With this new knowledge, the party decided a bit of reconnaissance was in order before they moved any further. Jinn used his oil of etherealness to scout into the deep caverns, spying upon many of the flora and fauna that had come to take up residence in the abandoned dwarven keep. Upon his return the group moved away from the underground lake and further into the tunnels, using Odallie’s powers to clear out the dangerous fungi in the halls.

Following the sound of whimpers, the Dragon Punchers discovered the missing professor in a room inhabited by a group of fear-eaters. While they managed to rescue Poplarlachs from the creatures, the uneasy sensation of being watched hadn’t dissipated, and small trinkets were still appearing around them. Jinn stalked forward to make sure the way through was clear. He came across a group of creatures with transparent skin fishing in the subterranean river. After some conversation, he learned that the remaining intern was in the stacks among the “Finders” and the “Seer”. Further questioning revealed that the “Seer” had many eyes, leading Jinn to believe that the Dragon Punchers and the professor had inadvertently stumbled upon the lair of a beholder.

The group decided that, if they were to rescue the intern and reclaim the book they needed, they would have to do so at full strength and with a solid plan. They returned to the surface to camp for the night before and to prepare a battle strategy.

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Session 50: Mountains & Manticores
"When life hands you lemons, make limoncello"

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After an extended afternoon of drinking, harassing students, and deep conversation with Sir Bartleby, Jinn woke up to an excruciating hangover in the University guest house. The rest of the party had gone to take care of their own business, whether that was commissioning cold iron weapons, recruiting adventuring companions, or collecting spell and warding components.

Before leaving to find the missing Professor Poplarlachs, Bart decided to look into the goddess Avandra, given Chari’s new set of freckles. The paladin enlisted the help of Professor Ryleigh, a specialist in legend lore, who set about taking blood samples and questioning the young monk at length. They would perhaps get some answers regarding Chari’s destiny, but it would take time.

Jinn, still puzzling out the code on the map he found in the temple to the water elementals, went to meet with Kristoff. The Zephyr revealed Zerin Landri‘s reticence to aid the Dragon Punchers was likely linked to the loss of his wife while adventuring years ago. Kristoff agreed to keep an eye out for the location on Jinn’s map, as it was some ways outside of Kellabine and potentially within his patrol perimeter.

Osdra agreed to take the group as far as Lanternmend, but declined to continue adventuring when informed Odallie would be accompanying the party. After informing the young tabaxi that Professor Paris would not be joining them, the Dragon Punchers made their way northwest towards the Gwybben Mountains. Through Wilf’s superior tracking and wilderness skills the group narrowly avoided encountering a pair of nesting manticores.

Moving deeper into the mountains the Dragon Punchers discovered the entrance to what appeared to be an old dwarven citadel.

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Session 49: Interrogation & Interment
"Imagine if we *actually* figured things out!"

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In the morning the Dragon Punchers finished exploring the ice caves of General Irador‘s stronghold before returning to Iriswood University. There Bart helped Osdra with her share of the spoils while Chari reconnected with Odallie. Wilf seized the opportunity to speak with the professional academics. He was dismayed to learn that several of the texts key to Micah’s ritual were missing, presumably taken by the absent Professor Poplarlocks on her sabbatical.

Jinn kept watch over the Goldfinch until the party was ready to interrogate. Over the course of questioning they learned of her complex relationship with the world-ending cult. Dena, as she was called, served an individual named Velia, based out of Corveth. The agent further revealed that Velia was, in fact, a green dragon and one of the Ushers. Armed with this knowledge, the Dragon Punchers debated what to do with their captive.

Ultimately, the group agreed that it was too dangerous to allow the Goldfinch to live. After much protest from Chari, Jinn executed Dena and stalked off. The young monk took the agent’s corpse into the woods and gave her a proper burial, hoping the woman might find a peace in the afterlife she had not found in this one.



Items Acquired

Potions Magic Items Other Coin
Dread Helm Alchemical silver ingots (x15)
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Session 48: Snow & Spoils
"Was there person in that coffee?"

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Nobody was quite sure what to do about Chari. Bart and Osdra determined she was under the effect of divine magic, but not a curse. Eventually her form reverted back and she was able to explain that she had been having strange dreams ever since her extended stay in the Feywild. They would investigate further upon returning to the university.

The matter at hand—what to do with the Goldfinch—was up for debate. The group settled upon a plan to keep her drugged and restrained in Osdra’s mansion while they explored the rest of the lair.

After a long day of collapsing tunnels and recovering treasure, there was still an entire portion of the complex they’d yet to explore. Exhausted from facing the creatures and traps left in General Irador’s base, the Dragon Punchers resolved to spend one more night in the ice caves.



Items Acquired

Potions Magic Items Other Coin
Potion of Polymorph (x3) Scroll of Rary’s Telepathy Hemlock box (230g) 70p
Healing wellspring water (x6) 100g
Assorted gems (200g)
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Session 47: Search & Seizure
"I think this is going to work out pretty well"

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While Jinn finished his disguise, Wilf went to the Zephyrs with his intentions to seal the portal to the Feywild within campus grounds. The halfling he spoke with seemed rather nonplussed about the whole affair. Bart and Jinn discussed how best to support Chari, who seemed to have developed a rather concerning outlook on her life following the conversation with Old Nan.

With all the preparations made, Jinn focused on the way crystal and found himself transported to an icy fortress inhabited by ice mephits in service to General Irador. The rest of the party joined the rogue and played their parts well enough to maintain the deception. Keeping a cool head, the elf sent the mephits to search for the woman they had allowed admittance into the stronghold.

As the Dragon Punchers and Wilf made their way through the halls, they encountered many of Irador’s defenses still in place. To their surprise, the Goldfinch had also found her way to Irador’s lair and was attempting to abscond with several treasures and documents. Her confusion at Jinn’s disguise gave the party just the opening they needed. They captured the woman and brought her back, bound and gagged, to Osdra’s magic mansion. There the group could rest, recuperate, and decide what to do with their captive before venturing back into the labyrinth of ice and stone.

In the morning Jinn was rudely awoken by a goat standing on his bed. It was, based on the note in its mouth, presumably Chari. An alarming and unexpected turn of events to say the least.



Items Acquired

Potions Magic Items Other Coin
Potion of Vampiric Touch Gold kist (50g)
Copper Jeweled Armband (250g)
Silver and emerald hairpins (11,340g)
Opal and silver diadem (1430g)
Bone dragon carving
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Session 46: Tears & Teleportation
"No one has accessed me!"

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The strange man in Chari’s bedroom was Wilf, Micah’s “younger” brother. A bargain with the fey left him trapped in the Feywild for twenty years; Calla brought him to Jarrow to finally reunite him with his sibling. Wilf was brought up to speed. Bart still did not trust the fey though she claimed she meant neither Chari, nor the rest of the Dragon Punchers, any harm. Tense words were exchanged between the paladin and the huldra before she departed.

Zerin teleported the group to Goldendale and returned to Iriswood, promising to meet them back at the Crystal Keep Inn within a fortnight. From Goldendale the party made their way to a small hut just outside Fitche. There Old Nan challenged Chari to think about what she had learned in her travels, and left the young monk with cryptic advice in exchange for two crone tear phials—one for Micah’s ritual and one for Chari.

Sir Bartleby briefly rode to Fitche to catch up with Henrietta before reuniting with the group on the way back to Goldendale. The group showed Mani and Wilf the temple in the well they’d found on their last visit, now with a better understanding of the dragon carvings held within. Jinn and Kitwick took the opportunity to get reacquainted before Zerin brought them back to Iriswood University.

Back in Galiesia the group split to take care of business. Chari took the opportunity to catch up with Odallie. Bart spoke with the dean to secure Zerin a well-earned sabbatical. Wilf went to meet with Professor Danwrick about the ritual for Micah. Soon it was time to send Mani back to Mas’Uld. After saying their goodbyes, Sir Bartleby and Mani agreed to play their fledgling relationship by ear, and the princess left the Knight of Cups with a favor as a token of her affection. Jinn spent the next week constructing a disguise to impersonate General Irador.

With Dean Adva’s blessing, the party recruited Professor Osdra Dai to assist them in infiltrating whatever lay at the other end of the way crystal.

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Interlude 1: Special Delivery
"It's not my best thought, but it was my first one"

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A cleric of the Raven Queen, a bard down on their luck, two members of the Steel Fist, and Sir Bartleby’s newest acolytes had been traveling together towards Calicia. Unfortunate circumstances found them awakening in dungeon cells, confused and without their gear.

Arl carefully broke themself and the others out of their bonds. However, a large, multi-headed creature appeared to be guarding one end of the hallway. The group began searching for their belongings in the other direction, preferring to be well-prepared to face whatever it might be. They were interrupted by a large, unnatural rumbling and quaking, providing further impetus to locate the equipment quickly. Making their way through the halls and chambers uncovered their gear and a disturbing find—a seemingly complete human skin. This was compounded by the unsettling and ominous contents of a prophecy egg.

Bart’s journal, however, was not amongst the group’s effects. Quoyora and Tulai insisted on searching for it deeper within the complex, claiming it was the sole copy of a novel on which they’d been working. Preparation to fight the multi-headed beast proved to be unnecessary, as it was simply an illusion meant to deter prisoners from escaping. The passage opened into a large amphitheater with a deep, inky crack in its center. The area had an ill aura about it, and the lowest level was covered with a slimy, filamentous material. Zaphyr and Diego determined a summoning gone wrong had likely caused these effects, and noted with some concern the absence of their captors.

Further exploration solved the mysterious fate of the complex’s inhabitants. The war room held three horrifying amalgamations of flesh, which the group could only assume were once their captors, mangled and transformed as their summoning ritual backfired. Castinus, frustrated with the monsters’ inability or unwillingness to laugh at their jokes, dealt a vicious final flurry to end the battle. In the aftermath the group searched the area. Not only did they recover the missing journal, but also found documents outlining a safehouse in Mas’Uld and dossiers on several members of the Mara’hid royal family: Faris, Captain of the Royal Guard; Chandra, the Royal Administrator; and Mani, Guardian of the Mara’hid line.

Unfortunately, whatever entity had been summoned by the dragon cultists followed the party and was waiting to ambush them in the corridor. Some quick thinking on Arl’s part allowed them to sneak by without directly facing the abomination. The group carefully crept up the stairs and managed to escape out into the desert once more. After some debate, they concluded it would be best to leave the task of extermination to the capable hands of the Order of the Chalice. With this horror behind them, they set off through the desert to complete their journey.

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Session 45: Business & Breakfast
"You're a criminal disguised as a prince"

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The party, shaken by the encounter, went their separate ways after securing Micah below Alderth Hold.

Chari sought out Wilwood at the temple of Sarenrae. She hoped that the cleric could provide guidance, ease her mind, or otherwise help make sense of the awful things that had befallen her and her friends. Not finding concrete answers, she roamed outside the city walls. There the young monk spoke her piece to the gods before resolving to find her own way—without their help. Emotionally spent, Chari arrived at Isabella Driftlace’s office asking to stay with her for the night. Reading the heartache in the request, the teifling obliged.

Jinn quickly took Marley to the Wilmont-Burke estate to inform their friends of what had passed. They were rightfully concerned and offered what help they were able, along with their condolences. Next, the prince went to find Esper Sherman to speak of plans of succession in Jarrow. His second request, that she take some time off to recover and process from the ordeal in Eabhan Keep, was less well received.

Bart took solace in his cups. Jinn found the paladin on his second bottle of spirits in an alley somewhere in the Low Markets. The two slowly made their way back to the estate where Bart deposited him in a front room for Mani to handle. When he awoke later in the evening, with a spectacular hangover, the two spoke at length on the nature of the divine and the difficulties of being touched by the gods.

With Bart taken care of, Jinn went to track down his sister Zaahir. By challenging her to (and cheating at) a drinking competition, he was able to secure the help of the Queen of the Wave Runners in safeguarding access to Tilesía until the Dragon Punchers were able to arrive.

The next day the party met at Irador‘s corpse to collect their tower and discuss their next course of action. Bart sent messages to Messeneth and met with the merchant princes in town. The Knight of Cups was pleased to make inroads towards peace talks between Galiesia and Rialdon. Chari went to the Tower at Fallen Hill. She and Soma, a recruit the group had met during their last stay in Jarrow, searched Irador’s office for clues to the whereabouts of his hoard. Instead, she found a way crystal in a hidden desk compartment. Meanwhile, JInn and Aered searched the library for information on who—or what—-Aethelynd was.

The next day at their breakfast meeting the Dragon Punchers resolved to visit Fitche to fulfill the first part of their quest to destroy Cordyceps. From there they would follow the way crystal presumably northward. However, as Chari returned to her room to prepare a familiar face greeted her: Calla, accompanied by a strange man.



Items Acquired

Potions Magic Items Other Coin
Way Crystal
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Session 44: Mercy & Massacre
"Between you, me, and the wall? That sucked."

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Everyone was overjoyed to see Micah when he awoke. They cautioned him to take things easy, but were glad that their friend had made it through the ritual with no ill effects. Their fears alleviated, the rest of the group set about taking care of business.

Sir Bartleby went to check up on their allies, to both thank them for their service as well as keep them abreast of the latest developments. Kamin was glad to hear that the Dragon Punchers had made it through relatively unscathed. The Kordites, too, had passed through the battle with minimal losses. However, while they would not withdraw their support, Kamin expressed concern that working with the party was dangerous for her people.

Chari met with Esper Sherman to discuss the terms which the monk had extended the cultists during the battle. The leader of the guard made it clear she was not particularly pleased to be granting amnesty to anyone, and ensured Chari understood her responsibility for their actions while under her rehabilitation plan.

In the market square, in the center of the Harvest Festival, Irador’s head lay on display for all to see. Many of the Dragon Punchers allies were gathered amongst the common people to view the event about to unfold. Jinn, however, was nowhere to be seen. Unfortunately, Chari and Bart were unable to move the crowd with their speeches. Things appeared to be going south until Esper Sherman stepped in. She assured the agitated masses that the heroes in front of them spoke the truth. A few cultists stepped forward to seek amnesty—including a cleverly disguised Jinn. Chari escorted them to Alderth Hold to begin the rehabilitation process. As the crowd dispersed Bart met up with Mani and the two enjoyed some time together at the festival.

The next day Micah was anxious to leave Jarrow for the next leg of adventure. Sir Bartleby, however, explained that the Dragon Punchers still had quite a bit of business to take care of before they could leave. Satisfied his friend would listen to reason, Bart went to check up on Zerin Landri. The wizard was spending a quiet afternoon reading in an inn. Bart inquired about his well-being after having died in the fight. Zerin assured the Knight of Cups that he’d had his fill of adventuring and did not need recognition. He did, however, agree to help the party a bit more in their efforts to cross continents.

Unwilling to listen to Bart’s advice to take it easy, Micah went to the Eastern Cross to recruit members of the local chapter of the Steel Fist. The situation escalated quickly. Bart received a missive at the Wilmont-Burke estate summoning him to Alderth Hold. There Esper explained that Micah had killed six people down at the docks and was currently being held in the cells below. Shocked and confused, the paladin made his way down to join Chari and Jinn (still disguised as a cultist in the cell). As the party tried to understand Micah’s actions it became apparent that something was wrong with their friend. Or, more accurately, it seemed they weren’t speaking with Micah at all.

The horrifying truth revealed, the Dragon Punchers realized that they needed to move their friend to a more secure location for the safety of all. Cordyceps was vicious. Its accusations dug deep as party struggled to subdue and shackle their friend’s body. Quietly, painfully, they emerged from the solitary cells of Alderth Hold without him.

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Session 43: Resurrection & Revelation
"I'm memorable!"

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Chari sped off towards Jarrow to ensure the security of Esper Sherman and her men. Upon arriving at Alderth Hold she found a portion of the garrison at odds with a group of cultists holed up in one of the outbuildings. Smashing through the roof and killing one of their members, Chari convinced the group to surrender before dashing off to the tower. She found the head of guard dispatch battling two more cultists. The warrior and the young monk made quick work of them and, in the brief moments following, Chari brought her up to speed on the situation.

Meanwhile, Sir Bartleby and Jinn brought Micah’s body to the Temple of Sarenrae. Jinn demanded a few of the recovering Kordites in the temple find Kamin and put her in touch with them. Baffled and somewhat taken aback, they agreed. Chari returned as Wilwood prepared the ritual, finally allowing an opportunity to properly meet the woman who had saved their lives. Her name was Mani. And she was Jinn’s sister.

With the sigils complete, the remaining Dragon Punchers surrounded their fallen friend. Each, in turn, offered something up to bring back the soul of their companion. Tense moments passed. Finally, Micah gasped for air and color returned to his cheeks, though he still did not wake. Bart summoned Marley and the group returned to the Wilmont-Burke estate to recover.

That evening, the adventurers requested Lady Anjah Wilmont-Burke and her wife Tabitha Burke join them at the estate. The party was joined by another unexpected guest—-Zaahir Mara’hid. The Dragon Punchers were terribly excited to see not only their friends but to meet another member of Jinn’s newly-revealed royal family. The festivities continued well into the night until, one-by-one, the heroes retired to a well-earned night’s sleep.

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