New Faces – Recaps episodes 60-65

Introductions are made as the party meets two new adventurers who will be joining them. Thai Gur, a Tabaxi like Zechs and Kyver, but a thief and very standoffish. Salix Dendron a Wood Elf who is blessed by the Protector and has ties to the Daughter of the Void. One of the fabled “Daughters of Creation”. The group exchanges notes and information while making their way to see the legendary blacksmith Vulsir up in Nindlelogh. Cereius receives two rings that his goddess has sent him to get and reveals that the rings would help him bring his wife back to the material plane. Sometime later the group makes their way towards Terran Ridge to seek out the Nalakavi tribe of Goliaths that would hopefully give Galahad some answers as to who is killing his people. Eventually, they find themselves in what they believe to be the land of the Nalakavi and the druidic members of the clan are trying to figure out how Galahad can be who he claims to be. Galahad’s claims are so outlandish that the Druids take him to the leader of the Nalakavi, Ilikan. The leader takes the Paladin’s tale as the truth and offers his help to the group. Ilikan gives Galahad troubling information that confirms what he’s been suspecting about his mentor Antonius. They are invited to stay for dinner and to rest there for the evening. A lot of heavy conversation occurs amongst various members of the group. A few are met by Cereius’ goddess Moonbow. Shanks has a heartfelt conversation with Zechs about dealing with the past and reconciling what his new reality is. The archer splits off to speak to Galahad after the moon ritual is complete to ask him about his thoughts on faith and his relationship to Bahamut. Meanwhile, Zechs has a memory resurface that is deeply troubling. He relives his apparent death and resurrection. Later on while the party rests, Thai has a dream with his former employer The Ring Leader who informs him that The Constable will be seeing him soon. The Paladin receives a vision from Bahamut. The Platinum Dragon gives him confirmation that Antonius is a follower of his sister. Antonius was his mentor by design, set on a path of vengeance by Galahad’s father and his war with the Elves of the Forest Bastion. He learns that he is going to be Bahamut’s Champion, but not quite yet. Galahad, and the rest of the party, are pulled from their rest with a deafening roar of a Dragon overhead. There is utter chaos in the village outside. As the party dons their armor, Shanks pokes his head out of the door. There is a commotion as bodies rush by the entrance of their hut in both directions. As he peers out, he can see that people are either running towards the forest or the ritual site. Setting down atop the back arch of monolithic stones is an adult black dragon with lightning crackling off of its wings. Steadying itself and coming to rest as a night clad in black plate, black helm and black great sword; all emblazoned with chromatic motifs, pushes forward Ilikan, who is passively complying. “NALAKAVI”, he screams. “Descendents of Giants! People cut from the mountains! YOU HAVE BEEN JUDGED and have been found wanting. I give you but a single chance, as I did your kin, to save yourself from extermination. WHERE IS THE MURDERER THAT YOU HIDE FROM JUSTICE?! WHERE IS DRAGOMIR?! The coward has evaded me for long enough.” “He is to the north, on the outskirts of Coldbring,” Ilikan says calmly. “He is forbidden to be anywhere else. He is forbidden to take part in any matters that consist of our people. Threatening us will get you nothing. Those were different times. It was a war. We mourn for their souls.” “That’s where you’re wrong,” the knight growls. “You drew the blood of elves to appease your anger, it’s only right I draw your blood to appease mine. If you were truly sorry, you would not wear trophies of their dead! Of my friend! Of my WIFE!” He throws a necklace made with Elf ears at the Goliath. The knight pulls the sword up over his head and with a loud cry, brings it down on Ilikan. A chromatic burst of energy comes from the strike, utterly destroying Ilikan. There is a momentary hush as a collective gasp comes over the rest of the village. From the distance a scream rings out, the dragon lets out a roar and releases a large icy spray onto the crowd, lightning leaping off of the shards of ice. The party races to help the Goliath get to safety as well as get themselves there too. The Paladin, heads toward the knight to confront his mentor Antonius about his vengeful path. Antonius tells him to face him when he is ready, he will only let Galahad go this one time. The slaughtered goliaths have now become zombies that have begun to pursue the party tirelessly. Galahad hesitantly turns to protect his people and a chase ensues. The sleep-deprived party can’t seem to catch a break. Run, rest, fight, and repeat. The party is exhausted and growing desperate. Options are weighed out as they try to plan out their next steps. The party, now rested after escaping the horde with heroics of Cereius, makes plans to head towards Sloane. They decide that they would head around the mountains of Tarren Ridge, avoiding Antonius, to the Constables machine out by Dragonborn Valley. However, the following day starts with Cereius gone, along with all his possessions. Assuring themselves that he was safe and only doing what was needed for him and his goddess, they make their way. Zechs and Galahad discuss their futures, their headspaces, their plans, and what they should do with Kyver’s lingering Orcus problem. As their watch ends they come to find that Kyver has left as well, and while not having anything to do with Orcus the group is still concerned. They push through and hope that he will be safe and return to them. The next night is also filled with lots of tension and unease as the party begins their night watch shifts. Shanks and Arguile have a very heated conversation with Elrin after he shares some bombshell revelations with them about both of their mothers. All the while a small pack of Displacer Beasts stealthily made their way to the occupied or sleeping party. They come out of their conversation to find a displacer beast heading for Salix. After a brief but intense encounter with some displacer beasts, the party rushes after Salix. They find themselves gathering their things and rushing towards a portal to Sloane. Once there, they track them to a shack in a clearing of the woods. While the group investigates what transpired, the tavern appears outside. Feeling a bit relieved, the party heads inside and informs The Journeyman of what happened. Glad comes down to greet the party and inform them of her conversation with her patron Corellon about the Daughters of Creation. She has a noticeable change to her appearance and recounts her visions to the party. Suddenly, a transformed and badly injured Salix appears in the tavern. Insisting that they escaped their captors and the captors who took them had ties with The Constable. The Journeyman offers them rest and time to plan and regroup before heading back out to Sloane. They rest and make a 6-day trek towards the Grand Temple. Shanks and Arguile tell the party what Elrin has informed them of and there is some protest amongst their involvement. As they enter a scrapyard of gargantuan metal Warforged the party is greeted by a powder blue female Tiefling bard, who has been expecting them. Three other figures appear, a female Aasimar Paladin, a male Loxodon Cleric, and The Constable, who informs them that he just wants Thai. Memories of their first introduction to Strahd, the night they lost Irena flashes, and the group refuses to comply. Shanks takes the first shot and triggers a quick and intense volley and before long they are pincered. Put into an impossible situation, Thai gives himself up, and in an instant, they all disappear.

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