Paths of Gaeda

Session 18
Goblin mischief

December 22, 1901

Shaman younger wants the mad ancestor spirit removed and his daughter to take his place of honor.
Shaman Older Wants the Fake Daughter to be driven off or killed so order can be restored to the tribe.(He has promised to reward the party if they can do this)
Rumors about the half-Elvin spirit woman: She walks with the dead, She has a fearsome Wolf spirit companion, she can steal your soul if you look into her eyes, she has decimated orc hunting parties with thunder and fire. She enslaves young warriors in the valley

After meeting with each shaman, and interviewing tribe members the party is lead to the 3 huge leaning rocks. As they travel they manage to evade several Orc and Bugbear raiding groups who seem intent on sparring with each other.

December 24, 1901

Once there, they play a short game of hide and slay with a gang of Goblins lairing under one of the rocks. While the goblins are dispatched Iolar is drawn to the spark of gold within the valley below. The late afternoon sun angling down between the great rocks illuminates a gold pinnacle atop of a small tower cresting what appears to be an hill or structure carved into the valley 150’ below. Also revealed below is a giant Elf like face carved into the stone wall of the valley.

As they look over the valley a Bugbear patrol is spotted traveling along the ridge path of the valley and an ambush is set. The Bugbears are defeated, one falling over the cliff.
The party decides to rappel down into the valley rather than risk more patrols or disturb the burial grounds that are near the mouth of the valley. While lowering themselves, they discover a series of walkway’s, tunnels, and stairs carved into the undercut and follow them down into the valley toward the Giant stone face. After successfully navigating around several traps the party lower themselves into the now dark valley and step into the cavernous mouth. As they do a gravelly voice commands “Kill them now!”….

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Session 17
The Shamans shame

The night of 21 December.

The Eagle Tribe winter camp is a protected hollow in the hills covered with sturdy stone huts. The huts are roofed with newly hewn pine boughs, with long meadow grass and animal skins inside.
The party waits outside of the Eagle tribes camp for a trade exchange to be completed. The end of trading comes as an over large wolf runs into camp summoned by an unarmed pale fur dressed Half-elf woman. She walks with authority from the camp with her goods and fades into the forest but not before Liath Adhmad spots a green and clawed hand reach out to help carry her goods.

Soon after they are allowed into camp and offered a place to stay. There is an important ceremony to be held this night, the longest night of the year. There will be a Bear Dance which is a Ghost Dance. This means that while the living Indians are dancing they can actually see the ghosts of their ancestors dancing with them. After another dance will be held to celebrate the “new” sun and life. There are 2 Shaman present who with the Chief will lead the ceremonies. The party joins the dance some around the fire and others at outer watch posts. As the dance begins the fire and the entire camp is bathed in blue light and the ancestor ghosts begin to appear in the form of apparitions and skeletal figures including what appears to be a fresh and bloody skeleton of a shaman.
The ancestors begin to whisper to or greet the dancers but when the undead shaman speaks to the chief a disagreement ensues briefly compromising the protective sphere around the camp and chaos ensues. Most of the ancestors flee but some of the skeletal forms turn back to attack the dancers and party. Iolar jumps in to sooth the disagreement and help restore and maintain the drumming but not before Several bugbears charge into the camp. A combat ensues to drive out the invaders. After a somber finish to the night the party rests while the sun begin to rise.
The bravery of Karnack of Jorontown, and Victor are noted well as is the help of Savren and Iolar Tuaysheartah.
During the nights events the party heard several stories about the local history and some eye witness’s to confirm the story about a “golden tower” which acts as a harbinger of certain celebrations and should be visible for the next few days.
The pale half-elf woman claims to be the daughter of the Shaman spirit and comes to collect goods in exchange for some minor healing. the tribe offers her tribute as much out of fear as awe. Her “father” haunts the valley below the golden tower, protecting the ancient burial places within. But this claim is felt to be false by the older camp shaman and many in the camp who are loyal to him. They can not risk an open confrontation without putting the tribe in danger with the greenskins watching and waiting.

2 warriors have agreed to lead the party to the 3 leaning stones to see the tower.

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Session 16
The story within the chest

December 12th, 1901.

Ray, Ron, Terry & momma all got their stuff together and made up in the cottage. The party Camps outside in the cold (Savren is in the tent with Sarah) and an uneventful night passes.

December 13th, 1901.

In the very cold morning, the sun comes up and food smells emerge from the cottage. As the party approuches there is a great deal of activity in the cottage. They are invited in and space is made for them at breakfast. we need to take a good look at the stuff we’ve procured. raymond digs out the items in question. In fact he’s sitting on the chest at breakfast. He’s wearing some bits of old leather armor which Karnak offers to fix for him. Ray accepts karnacks offer Raymond in a very serious mood bit of a scowl. Somewhat worried. Ramond will be going with the party – he will represent Cyrus’ interest and make good on his own debts. – this is an opportunity to turn himself around.

Ray: “it’s time that I made my way on my own two feet.” Ray begins his story: Mother stewart settles down with her tea and ray tells the story… “i’m not much of a storyteller, and I’m really not much of a talker when Im sober this was a story that was passed down to us from… we’ll im really not sure where some adventureer who was exploring to the west and didnt quite make it back to his home they left their stuff at our Inn and they never came back to claim it. Us being kids, we were all very interested in it. There seemed to be two groups that traveled several years ago headed west the Wains and the Harpers. The Wains were interested in surveying the established trade routes of the Kashwa to the North and West. the Harpers traveled with them, they were more interested in discovering if there were any metals or mineable materials in the west. They traveled together the group consisting of 2 or 3 sons of the nobles families of Wain and Harper, and a retinue of support people the two groups of about 11 or so folks headed west and met up with some kashwa who acted as guides for them. The territory was still pretty saveage then, and the greenskins were very active… ray is referencing a rough map with some scrawled notes on them hes piecing the story together as best he can… the gist is they headed west snuck around and skirted the area where the orcs were active (maybe goblins?)

The interesting bit of the story is that as they approached the hills, the Harpers split up to explore the hills while the Wains went south of the hills to meet the kashwa. On their return trip they found that the Harpers had gotten into some kind of trouble with something the Kashwa called the “Angry spirits of th ancestors” . The surviving members spoke of seeing a golden tower in a valley among the hills they marked the way to find it on the map as a valley below three leaning rocks.

“There in the twisted valley there are many small caves holding ancient stores of weapons and containers of treasure. It is from one of these that we retrieved several sw#### # ##### #### ink stain #### #### ##nes. We spotted the bl#### #### ##### ## ink ##te and were overcome by a storm of wolves.” – J. Harper

The Wains decided that firther exploration would have to wait the Harpers agreed, investing in the hills were not in their original plans. they had taken a beating in their encounters and chose to go back east rather than following the suspect story of the Harpers.

So raymond has a map to show us I’m looking over the map it shows a few features. features scrawled on the map: wooded lands to the south, Kashwa trade path, leaning rocks, a place labeled “ancestor spirits” something marked as a burial mound or mounds and another, marked as a “tin Mine”, and a space showing the path of greeenskin “armies” .

All of these maps and notes are part of an old logbook or notebook and a handful of artefacts that belonged to this group. Among this stuff is a nice sword – maybe masterwork, Raymond is weariing it .

On a closer examination of the logs, Iolar finds a few interesting notes:
  • of the Harpers, of the survivors, many came down with some disease and perished.
  • Their stories were not generally believed. and perhaps they were mad.
  • Lord wain (in the notes) seems to believe and some of the information that they got from the kashwa in the area seem to coincide with the ramblings of the surviving Harpers.
  • The Harpers never relented on the story – it seems that Lord Harper or the Son of Lord Harper were the ones who were promulgating this story of the golden keep, the notes are in both hands.
  • the notes say is that from the leaning rocks, a gold tower could be seen poking up from the greenery in the valley – a heavily wooded area there are hints that the tower was part of a larger settlement mention of stairways and waterfalls?
  • The burial mounds marked on the map – once you cross-reference the notes – those are the burial sites of the Harpers that survived the “attack” but did not make it home.
  • there is some reference to some interviews with the kashwa but they are too sketchy to draw conclusions from. the kashwa seem to have more information about the area and their shaman told stories about the area which the Harpers paid more attention to than the Wains
  • The logs are dated to about 1883 or 10 or 15 years ago
  • Greenskin problems are a recurrent problem in this part of the world or so it seems.

details about the old sword: its of a very old make. prior to the fall of adastrica, a detect magic reveals it’s magical! a +1 sword. probably worth about 2000 GP . Iolar tells Ray that he should be thinking more about what it can do to protect his hide rather than pad his wallet. For now. If he’s coming with us. Ray: absolutely – he agrees heartily. Ray says the sword is on loan – it officially belongs to the little boy – Mother Stewarts’ grandson.

there was a dress, and the little girl hold it up and says its going to be her wedding dress and there’s a glint of something magic in it – there’s some kind of pendent or something which is magical and attached to the dress , The dress was apparently commissioned by one of the Wains, a former lover of Mother Stewart, but she never got a chance to wear it. The pendant – has a geometric symbol on it and appears to have some form of Very weak enchantment charm. Probably a single use item.

The place where we’re going is more or less due west and head for the hills, then find our way into the mountains. There is a road that heads in that direction that goes back to Hearnsward, which gets us close to the hills, then we look for the right mountain The workable landmarks are the mounds, the tin mine, and the kashwa trade path and three leaning rocks. Ray is coming with his ratty armor and old (but magical) sword . They have two mules that will come with us and some supplies for the road. Victor takes meticulous stock of the supplies ray is putting together. there may be snow on the way.

In recent trading with the Kashwa, there seemed to be some interest in Luxury items blankets, tapestries, etc the notes do not make reference to which Kashwa tribe they dealt with

The 4 day trip to Hearnsward is without incident. No Snow yet.

December 17th, 1901.

look up Otto Goodbarley in Hearnsward and Check on progress of trade with Kashwa Trade is proceeding apace. Goods have been sent o Lyssandria. Otto is taking his cut. He’s happy!

As we’re taking supper in Goodbarley’s in, there’s a small group of kashwa warriors, They are from the bear tribe They want to know if we have any elven goods that they can buy specifically if Iolar or Liath have anything they can buy . You make an agreement that they will take you west along the trade trail to the eagle clan for a bottle of elven wine (10 GP)?

Sarah left in Hearnsward (until we can have a conversation with Alex and maybe retcon her)

The three bear clan warriors lead us west towards the hills along what they assure is an ancient Kashwa trade route. The terrain becomes more rugged, although still forested. about 4 days out to the eagle tribe encampment.

December 21st, 1901.

On the morning before their arrival the party surprises a group of Red Fang tribe Orcs and an unfortunate ogre setting a trap on the trade path. While Liath, Victor and 2 of the Kashwa warriors sneak up on and dipatch the Orcs, an Ogre hearing the battle charges down the hill toward Iolar, Karnack, Raymond, and the mules. Iolar turns invisible and is bruised but unwounded after he trips the 600 pound Ogre as it barrels down the hill. This allows Karnack and even Raymond to attack it as it tumbles down the hill. In shame, fear and in pain the Ogre flees. Victor shows up and crits the ogre from medium range with his short bow, killing him. Raymond is ecstatic that he didnt get killed by an ogre. The party hides the bodies and continue on to the camp of the local Eagle tribe.

It is snowing lightly

XP! 800 for the ogre, 135 each for the 6 orcs XP from the previous session for helping the Stewart family: 800 2410 total, 482 each

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Session 15
Mother Stewart's

The Party meets with Lord Enfield in Adricsdorf to pass on the tale of their adventures in Prophares to Lysandria.

Savron finds his relationship with Sarah Jane has become more complex when she informs him she is with child.

Zarunal takes temperary leave of the Company to pay he hopes, His bond Debt to Gaelen the Alchemist. He introduces “Victor” to the party whom he has hired to pull his weight and make a claim on the treasure the party is pursuing.

The group heads North to Mannadan to locate Cyrus Stewart’s cousin Jeremy Steward. The Village is celebrating the later part of “Lord Wains day of the Giant Boars” with pork pies and strong drink.
The party chases down Cousin Jeremy Steward and finds that getting the “treasure map” is a little complicated. It seems that cousin stewards property has been seized by Jeremy’s mad widowed mother after an accidental still fire destroyed her business and badly scarred her lover. The party manages to overcome the wedge between the addled woman and her drunkard son in a spectacular show of personal bravery and truthfulness inspired by the party when Jeremy jumps between the old woman and the party. The family retreats to heal and Jeremy promises to make good on his Cousins and the parties requests no matter what the personal cost.

So ends the day on December 12th, 1901.

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Session 14
Dangerous Politics

Among the refugees rescued from the Bloody Hand Gang is a merchant named Cyrus Stewart and his wife. Cyrus, in gratitude to the party is negotiating a business proposition with Iolar: he supposedly knows the location of a lost treasure, and wishes to share it if the party will cut him in for a percentage of the spoils. Cyrus also has a friend – a cattleman who lives west of Exenor. He will arrange for the Party to lodge at his friend’s house with the Blackwall tribute while he goes into town and tries to get a message to Lord Alban.

Iolar thinks this wise, and the party settles down on the farm to rest from their trials. Lord Alban shows up two days later, although with a new face that Iolar has not seen before. He opens the sealed tribute chest and discovers that it contains worthless lead weights – there is some kind of plot afoot. He agrees to investigate this and make inquiries with Lord Prophares and Lord Anthec, but he fears that whatever he does will merely delay an inevitable war. He expects that Anthec’s will lead the Prophares army north in the Spring. Taking the prisoners from the Bloody Hand Gang and Pitor Rentsch with him, he warns Iolar not to remain on the farm much longer.

The party opts to stay just one more night – but it it one night too many. Soldiers from the army arrive, hunting them. The party is forced to defend themselves, and eventually Anthec himself shows up. The party fends off the attack, but Anthec escapes to gather reinforcements. The heroes gather what supplies they can, appropriate some mounts from the farmer, and escape into the night.

They spend the next three weeks making their way north once more into Lyssandria, taking care to avoid the Prophares army, or any other attention for that matter. When we next see them, it will be December 7th, 1901.

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Session 13
What Now!?!

In control of the Bandit’s camp, the party find themselves sitting on a political hot potato: what is to be done with the sealed chest which supposedly contains Blackwall’s tribute to Lord Prophares? The party are extremely reluctant to give it to Anthec, as it would remove his rationale for war – most likely he would quietly dispose of them and lose the tribute again.

Iolar and Karnack question Karnack’s half-brother Eric at great length. He claims to have recruited young Pitor Rentsch to his cause, which was to stir up strife and get hostilities started in the region. He tacitly admits that he’s under the orders from a third party, but he refuses to speak openly about that person’s identity, although Iolar has a pretty good idea that it might be someone from Aquilonia.

While this is going on, Zarunal and Liath sneak back into Blackwall Station in the wee hours of the morning to retrieve Zarunal’s wagon. They manage to sneak into Pitor’s rooms, where they find his journal and spellbook, along with evidence of a familiar. They manage to get away without attracting too much notice, although they see Anthec’s soldiers searching around town for Horace Blackwall. They make haste to rejoin the others.

Before they can return, Pitor stages an escape attempt. He sows a bit of confusion, but is unsuccessful in his attempt.

Once everyone is reunited, it is decided to go south and attempt to leave the tribute in the care of Lord Alban of Exenor, who seems like an even-handed if somewhat aloof personage. The party, with prisoners and refugees in tow, heads for the road. Before they arrive, though, Liath spots and ambush and the party is forced to detour through more wild forest land. A large wild Troll attacks the group, and there is a fierce battle. Eric uses the confusion as a cover to slip his bonds and escape. Pitor attempts to follow his lead, but cannot get away. Eventually the troll is dispatched and the party moves one.

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Session 12
It's all Relative

The night of October 31st is the harvest festival, and there is as much merriment as Blackwall Station can muster given the military occupation. The party keeps an eye on Horace Blackwall, waiting for him to make his move. Sure enough, halfway through the celebrations he sneaks away and tries to escape on his horse. Iolar and Zarunal manage to catch up with him before he makes his escape, and they try hard to gain his trust, but he refuses to take them into his confidence.

The party pursues him down the south road, finding what Liath has determined to be the most likely site of the bandit ambush which originally claimed the Prophares tribute. They pick up Horace’s trail, and after some time they catch up to him, just as he is about to be attacked by the Bloody Hand Gang who have an Owlbear in tow. Karnack battles the owlbear while the rest of the arty works to defeat the bandits. The beast is killed, and the bandit leader and his remaining men flee, but one captive is taken.

The captive leads them to the bandit camp, which is in some kind of abandoned cave temple. There the party fights more bandits, their leader, and a mysterious hooded wizard which they had been hearing rumors of back in Blackwall. The battle is fierce, and the wizard unfortunately kills Horace with a flaming sphere. However, the bandits are defeated in the end and captured, but there are revelations to be made:

The leader of the Bandits turns out to be Karnack’s older half-brother Eric of Jorunton, who he hasn’t seen in years. The mysterious wizard colluding with him is none other than Pitor Rentsch, bent on revenge against the Blackwall family for taking over the town that his grandfather founded. Also, there are several captives being held prisoner in the cave – a merchant and his wife, a widow, and a young woman with a familiar face: it is the farmer’s daughter that Savren was accused of dallying with back in the tiny thorpe south of Guildport. She had run away from home to find her true love (actually, it was determined that she had been seduced by the Doppleganger POSING as Savren) and was captured when she joined a southbound caravan. Now she professes that she will stay by him forever and hold him to “his” promise to show her the world.

The cave contains an old temple to The Starbinder, and within Savren finds a prophecy carved on the wall and a magic shield hidden away. Both items appear to portend dire events for the future.

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Session 11
Awkward Social Situations

The party spends a new day shopping, working, and exploring around Exenor. Zarunal spends the day making potions. Liath continues working on his new bow.

Iolar trades rumors with a local merchant and buys some interesting books in the market.
None of the citizens in town appears to be upset with their rulers, and there is a definite pitying attitude towards the poor folks up in Lyssandria who can’t seem to maintain law and order.

Savren investigates the local spiritual centers and finds an old Adastrican temple to The Starbinder, a shrine to an agricultural god, and mysterious courtyard shrine that was gated and locked up.

At the end of the day, Zarunal receives a summons from Lord Alban, and he is instructed to “bring the artifact” with him, by which he understands that he must bring the mysterious gem which was taken off of the Doppelganger. He goes to Alban’s tower accompanied by Iolar where Alban examines the gem, and it appears to disturb him greatly. He instructs Zarunal and his companions to remove the gem from his town immediately. In compensation for the inconvenience, he gives Zarunal an alchemical cookbook.

The party is hustled out of the town gates that night and makes camp at the far edge of the Cozahrs camp, intending to proceed north back towards Blackwall Station the next day. A barbarian woman takes a liking to Karnack’s shield and challenges him to combat, but he puts up a good fight and manages to defeat her, earning a nice short sword for his trouble.

After a couple of more days of travel north, the party arrives in Blackwall, which is now a heavily armed and fortified camp. As in Adricsdorf, there is a lot of new construction going on. The party is examined by an army captain, and the presence of the Elves causes them to be brought before Lord Anthec. Anthec invites Iolar and Liath to dinner that night, but spares little attention for the others. At the Coaching Inn and Trading post, the party meets Tanya Rentsch, daughter-in-law of Wilhelm Rentsch, the town founder. Her teen-aged children Sophie and Pitor are also helping out, but both seem preoccupied and disturbed by something.

At dinner, Iolar and Liath meet Lord Blackwall and his son Horace. It is apparent that Anthec has taken over the province and that Blackwall is little more than a prisoner in his own keep, though that is never spoken of directly. Anthec reveals over dinner that the theft of Blackwall’s Prophares tribute, along with the subsequent spate of banditry along the north road, is what instigated the occupation of the town. Anthec is determined to march into Lyssandria and establish a series of outposts to make the north road safe, incidentally carving out a small fifedom for himself, of course.

Horace shows up at the Inn later on, and it is apparent that Sophie and he have feelings for each other. It is also apparent that Pitor resents this. There is some talk of the harvest festival happening on the 31st of October. Horace is overheard making plans to slip away from the festival so that he can search out the bandits and recover the stolen tribute.

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Session 10
Catching up, moving on.

Liath awakes in a sewer in Guildport. He is heavily wounded an apparently had been left there to die. Eventually he is rescued by the town guards, and taken to a cell somewhere. He is attended by a Gnomish healer, and hears him mutter the phrase " Kadeth bat kad, Fireth bat fir, Urreth mekt urr, khal holash " during his ministrations, but he does not press the gnome for an explanation.

Eventually Liath determines that on the night of the card game, he was seen drinking with a man named Hans Garkin. Garkin’s body was found about the same time as Liath, but it appeared that he had been dead several days, with similar wounds as Liath had endured. Liath also leanrs that his friends have already left town in the company of someone pretending to be him.

Liath tracks the party for a couple of days, and eventually catches up with them the day after their battle against the doppleganger and the dark creepers. There is some suspicion and a lot of confusion at first, but eventually they sort out the sequence of events. Liath has never before seen the mysterious rosewood box recovered from the doppleganger.

The party is poisoned and wounded, and so elect to spend another night in the woods, but once again the dark creepers attack, and in greater numbers – however, the party reunited proves more than a match for them. In the morning, the company presses south with all speed rather than risk another night in the woods. By that evening they are well into Prophares territory, and spend the night at a farmhouse. The farmer is unfamiliar with elves, and mistakes Iolar for Anthec, the Lord Martial of Prophares and commander of its armies, apparently also an elf of some kind. By this the party learns that Anthec has something of a fearsome reputation.

The next day the party presses on and finds the north-south road, but decides to turn south towards the town of Exenor before going North to Blackwall Station. In Exenor, they meet innkeeper Roan McIdees who impresses them with his ability to serve beer cold. They make plans to do some trading in town and get some much needed rest.

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Session 09
Deceit and Treachery

Mid October. The party leaves Guildport heading south, with the intention of heading overland into the Prophares Protectorate before approaching Blackwall Station from within Prohares in order to ally any suspicion that they’ve come from Lyssandria. To the south Guildport is a great marsh, and the border is heavily wooded and studded with hills, but Liath declares that he can find a path for Zarunal’s wagon through the hills if the party gives him a day or so to scout ahead. They make camp and await his return.

A day later, he arrives and informs them that there is a small Thorpe to the west, and a rough trail that he thinks will serves them south of there. The party enters the tiny village – no more than a collection of farms, really. Upon leaving the next day, Savren is accused of dallying with one of the farmers’ daughters. This confuses him mightily, as he merely spoke a few words to the girl the previous night. The travelers brush aside the Farmers’ concerns and continue on.

Halfway through the forest, Liath calls a halt and indicates that he’s found some mysterious tracks that he wishes to investigate. Karnack stays with the cart while the others follwo the tracks to a small cave. Liath convinces Zarunal to slip inside to investigate briefly (the hole is too bulky for Savren’s armor, and Iolar decides to remain with the cleric), however, once inside, Liath traps Zarunal in a blind alley by means of a rockfall.

Emerging from the cave, Liath tells the others to wait while he fetches Karnack, but instead he catches Karnack unawares and incapacitates him with a blow to the back of the head. While Liath is doing this, Iolar slips into the cave and tries unsuccessfully to free Zarunal. Liath then returns to the cave and begins taking potshots at Savren from the cover of a tree.

Iolar returns and he and Savren battle Liath for some time, while Zarunal manages to use his magic to eventually free himself. Savren is knocked unconscious and nearly killed, but Liath is defeated as Ioalr and Zarunal realize that he has been replaced by some kind of shape-shifting entity. With two comrades unconscious and wounded and one missing, the remaining two drag Savren back to the wagon and try to rest for the evening.

That night, however, they are attacked by dark creepers – hideous little things that are supposedly the stuff of legend and story. Karnack is roused by the battle, though very disoriented from his wound, and the attack is repulsed. Apparently the little things were searching for Liath’s effects, and among them the party finds a small rosewood box containing some parchment inscribed in an unknown language, a pair of Goggles of Minute Seeing, and a fist-sized red gem of some kind. Zarunal tries using the goggles to look into the gem, but the experience is frightening and unpleasant and he learns nothing by it.

The party once again attempts to get some rest.

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