Before the Storm (tbn) 4e

6. Many Things...

The party gathered themselves from the previous adventure, and decided to move on from Brightmoon, now that they were fugitives from the law.  Bahamus, the dragonborn they'd rescued, gave Oonagh a scale she could use to send him a message by magic, and that she could also go to Winterhaven's Inn if needed, to leave one for him; he then departed.

 Their griffon hitched to the wagon, and Thursday astride her horse, the party moved along the hill country.  In one field they found a small collection of wagons arranged in a circle, with sounds of music coming forth from it.  They went down and discovered a small circus: Baba Vistara's Menagerie, a fortune teller with a collection of magical animals in cages.

Baba Vistara was an old woman with long fingernails, which she used to hold many thin silver chains.  The chains led to the necks of various creatures in the cages, including a Gnome (rawr!), and an Owlbear that could sing and play fine music.  While Xtapa drew her attention away, Thursday scouted out her wagon and discovered many cages and animal skulls, dried herbs and balls made of glass and crystal, as well as fortune-telling paraphenalia.  Certainly theatrical, but they looked authentic.

  The old woman convinced the party to have their futures drawn, using a magical object known as the Deck of Many Things. One by one the party drew their cards, and with each eldritch card came a chance at great reward or horrific doom.

The rewards were more plentiful, with Raziel receiving wishes, several of the party getting magical items or other boons, and access to the wisdom of Marlanus the Sage (a powerful mage out of the ancient times who vanished eons ago).

The dooms, however, were present with Xtapa and Raziel being cursed with metal legs, and Oonagh's soul being sucked into the Void and taken by a powerful "outsider".  While a wish reversed the ruined legs, Oonagh remained trapped; while her body could function, she had no emotion or will.  The party would have to quest for her spirit immediately.

 Before going, Lanu pointed out the Owlbear's musical talent.  It turned out the creature was once a man, a musician of great skill who had wagered his destiny against the wit of a wizard, for the sake of winning a trophy for his lover.  He failed to win thewizard's magical rose and was transformed into an Owlbear, then sold to Baba Vistara at the Fey Market below the Thunderspire Mountain in Blackthorn Forest.

The party set out to the Fey Market, arriving shortly at Blackthorn forest. A forest guardian in the form of a tiny man made of sticks accosted them, demanding Copper or Tin for Widdershins, or else tricks would be played.  Thursday gave him a copper coin, and the guardian's expression brightened, and a pathway into the forest was opened.

Blackthorn Forest, being halfway between the mortal world and the Fey Other World, was dark and mysterious, and only the path ahead of them was any help.  The forest got its name from the massive brambles that make it up; for the trees are of black wood and the spaces between them are an ocean of black-thorned bramble bushes.  Strange sounds and lights came from either side, but the party continued forward to Thunderspire without distraction.

A party of elves stopped them briefly, noting how strange it was to have mortals in their woods.  Oonagh's condition, and Raziel's wits, convinced them to guide them to Thunderspire's market.  The elven leader advized them that strange times had come upon the world.  The change of seasons had been delayed too long, as the Brelani of Autumn had vanished before the scepter of Seasons could be passed to the Winter Court.  This was the cause of the bad harvest and cursed weather upon the mortal lands, and if it wasn't remedied soon, the whole natural world would suffer.

 The party arrived at Thunderspire Labyrinth, a massive mountain with stairs going down below to the Fey Market.  The party found itself surrounded by all manner of strange creatures, and many vendors selling strange wares, such as the memory of a summer's day or "real tears".  

Almost immediately they were set upon by a gang of ruffian bugbears.  Thursday and Kali had both drawn cards that stated their destinies would be strengthened if they fought the next foe by themselves, so they fought the creatures as best they could.  Xtapa, Raziel and what was left of Oonagh fought the others and made sure their friends weren't interfered with.  The fight was close, but both Kali and Thursday survived.

Two parties came to them after the fight: a Trull, a race of goblin-like artificers, with an offer to speak to them about the mechanical man they had with them; and a representative of the Ghaele of Winter, who was at Thunderspire waiting to accept the Scepter of Seasons from the Autumn Court, granting them an audience.



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