My notes continue, but I find my mind clouded heavily. It is almost as if the attempts to restore my recollections as I detailed in my last entry have somehow made things even worse. In any case, the journey from the docks where we met Devotion were uneventful as we traveled up the coast to Ecru, our present location.
We note Smich and Tyvarius approaching us from the southern entry to the settlement and ask them where they have been. Smich tells us that he has been waiting on the boat until the illness that besieged him finally loosened its grip to the point where he could travel.
Tyvarius is another matter altogether. He tells us the most amazing tale of our collective fighting troglodytes and an Umber Hulk in the Digs. In the midst of a great battle he was separated from us and fought like the true barbarian he is to return to the surface, destroying an unending number of troglodytes in the process. The tale is highly unusual as none of us remember any of it.
More curious bits exist that seem to confirm the tale. Jax has a pincher from an Umber Hulk strapped to his back with his other belongings. And somehow, Melody is with us here in town despite not being on the boat for the journey over. In addition, there is a small gnome named Shady hanging out with us for some unknown reason.
I dive into my journals and soon discover notes that seem to confirm Tyvarius’s tale despite none of remembering any of it. I also discover that not only did Melody join us with the help of Alnae, but we also learned a dark secret. All the members of the collective are missing our souls – stolen by the Necrodancer’s minions at the Hall of Ivy.
Finally, I discover a brief note in my journal that says, “IT’S THE MOSS! GET OUT!” Perhaps this is what is causing the problems with our recollection of events? We decide we must leave, but the Penumbra of Veil guards at the edge of the settlement tell us they cannot allow us to leave as they fear whatever is affecting the minds of the inhabitants may spread beyond the town’s borders. I am starting to sense the Penumbra of Veil is as distasteful as the Pasiphae Scions.
As we continue to piece together the events that lead us here, Shady informs us that there is a druid in the town who may be able to help us resolve the mystery.
We find this individual who is at a small hut. Close by is a Firbolg who we learn is named Ilfaderin Wildscribe, the Green Knight (a holy fighter somewhat like Smich). The druid informs us that he has been working with Wildscribe to solve the mystery. They have determined it is something natural, but they are not sure what. Despite application of numerous spells to detect the true source, the knowledge has eluded them.
We decide to try to burn some of the moss that we believe is the source of the problem, although Shady decides he wants to test the water in the creek behind the hut. Upon reaching the bank, he collapses into the water. Melody is able to retrieve him.
After I try to detect magic on the creek – none present – Melody applies fire to the moss, which seems to react to that. In fact, it reacts so strongly that Melody is struck down. Smich tries to revive her unsuccessfully.
Jax proceeds to call upon his goddess Diezewona for a blessing. She grants the request and restores his memory. He informs us that all that Tyvarius and my own notes indicated concerning the events of the past day were true and accurate. Although this new knowledge does not seem to help us in resolving how to stop the curse of the moss upon this town.
Jax tries to pour water from the creek on the moss to no effect. Raylin then casts one of his spells to try to move some of the moss with a Mage Hand with no luck.
Running out of apparent options, we decide to try to Scrybones of Divinity to see if they may reveal the nature of the problem and solution we face. This triggers a rather violent action as four moss creatures that mirror our appearance – including one that purports to look like me – pop up from the ground and advance upon us.
In the battle I cast a Ray of Frost on the one in my shape, inflicting damage (18 pts) and changing the appearance of the moss. I conclude the cold is effective against the moss, which also seems to be impacted by fire – so any temperature extreme. Alas, some magic overtakes the battlefield and my vision fades out as I sense myself falling to the ground.
As I come to – feeling like I have died – I find the party has prevailed against the moss creatures. We decide that we need to teleport out of the town and go back to Serpent Bloom.
Back at our estate, we hear a small knocking sound. Jax and I investigate. I cast my Theorem Tether spell and determine there is a create hidden under a bed upstairs. With my direction, Jax is able to catch a gnome. The gnome tells us his name is Marmin and he snuck through the teleport point to follow us from Ecru back here to Serpent Bloom. He claims he wants to be an adventurer and is brave beyond belief, though we struggle to take this seriously. Nevertheless, we grant his request – over my objection – to let him accompany us.
We also determine the moss creatures are beings known as Obliviax:
To defeat their memory consumption and restore memories, the solution is to eat some of the moss.
We use the Epitaph to travel back to the druid’s shack in Ecru and eat some moss ourselves. We then inform the Penumbra guards of our findings and the solution so that they can take care of the rest of the town’s inhabitants. While that is being done, we return to Wildscribe, the Green Knight, to see if he has any information concerning the Necrodancer. After denying any knowledge at first, he does share with us that the Necrodancer wants what is left of us, our raw arcane virility. This seems rather odd if he already has our souls which one would presume is the source of our arcane power.
Wildscribe also lets us know that the Runes are a curse that are repelling our souls, keeping them from returning to us. Apparently the Necrodancer plans to fill us with something other than our souls.
Wildscribe tells us we should seek out the Phytoflorae Combine in Disentia Township. They may have information that would prove useful to us. So, we head north.
While traveling we come upon a bard with a couple companions. Around a campfire, he tells a tale of love being lost by a time traveler who seeks to restore the love of his life Chrysanthemum. The tale is a good one – worth the single gold piece I pay – but not worth the numerous gold pieces other members of the collective pay to this bard.
At that moment, we realize the man leaning against the tree nearby, dressed in a purple robe, is watching us. Sensing danger, Jax charges the man and is shot up into the air beyond our vision. We then realize the bard is in fact the Necrodancer.
Smich wants to attack him, but Melody and I prevail against him as it is clear that now is not the time to engage in battle with the Necrodancer. We engage in a discussion with the Necrodancer about his reasons for taking our souls. He refuses to answer, although he verified we still have our “party” favors for the ultimate celebration that he says will take place at “The Davenport”. He also tells Tyvarius that he is the only pure one in the group.
The Necrodancer that demands that we turn over the Deck of Many Things. Raylin eventually agrees to get it, telling the Necrodancer it will take a few minutes to retrieve it from Serpent Bloom. Impatient, the Necrodancer opens a rift to Serpent Bloom and proceeds through with his party, taking Tyvarius with him.
We use the Epitaph to return ourselves, but find the estate has been tossed and the Deck missing. Englebrecht tells us the Necrodancer left a final message for us:
Cherish these last moments.
Though your miserable life has come to nothing, I will give it a magnificent end.