Kast

Chapter 36 - Interlude (Part 1)
Excerpt from Tharn's Journal

Now that Braxtol and his gang were safely away, we set about our task of finding the Grove of the Sun King. Using our tried and true method of looking around (from above), we discovered that in the arc east to north of us, there are three towers, southwest there is a building surrounded by a region with sparser trees, and almost directly south there is a series of hills with caves in the side. With only a vague description of the place to go on, we decided to start by heading to the hills. After that is when things started to get weird.

After a short while, we noticed a group of … things … walking toward us in the opposite direction. They were a bit like fish, and a bit like lizards, but totally unlike either. They walked (or shambled) on two legs, and seemed completely focused on whatever their destination was. Thankfully, this made avoiding them easy. After they had passed, we were surprised by a voice from above saying that we had made the right decision. While this phrase might sometimes refer to a god or other omniscient and omnipotent being guiding us in our lives, in this case the voice belonged to a comparatively normal person.

A man, with the legs and horns of a goat, jumped out of a nearby tree and introduced himself as Dr. Tummibelli. TB, as I will refer to him from now on, said he had decided to come to this forest on vacation. He said a friend had recommended it as a location to find adventure. While I cannot argue with that, it doesn’t seem an ideal vacationing spot. He also said that Christmas (the queen of our fairy allies in Glissana) had recommended our group as one that would be sure to find much excitement. That is also true, as much as I wish it were not so. Anyway, he had a deal for us. If we agreed to help him complete his vacation to-do list, he would point us in the direction we wanted to go.

Knowing that satyrs (like TB) tend to be tricksters, I knew we would be in for a wild ride, but they are generally not mean, so it should be a good deal of fun. After a brief discussion, we agreed to help him as we could.

First up was to find a spring where nymphs were known to frolic. On the way there, we avoided some of the common dangers of the forest, but still had to fight our way past a displacer beast and a tree. As we got close to the spring, I noticed some tell-tale signs of dryads, indicating that TB’s information might be good after all. When we got to the spring itself, we saw an elf with relaxing in the water. Before we could greet him, TB sprinted past us and leaped into the spring, sending water everywhere and terrifying the elf. Before we could apologize, the elf had run off. As he ran past, we noticed tatoos much like Tuiz’s covering his body. Unfortunately, we were unable to calm him and didn’t get a chance to speak. Then, with no obvious threats around, we took the opportunity to rest and relax in the soothing water.

Next on the list was pegasus tipping. Why you would want to do that to a noble beast like a pegasus, I don’t know. I also didn’t know how you might go about “tipping” a creature that sleeps lying down and can fly. On the way, we discussed possible strategies, none of which seemed particularly promising. When we finally found the pegasus, we went with “do anything and everything, and hope something works.”

First, Lucky cast a hypnotic pattern on it, but it seemed unaffected.

Then, Tuiz tried to persuade it to stay, but it didn’t seem convinced.

Then, Lucky cast another hypnotic pattern, I tried to stop him, and the spell went off, sending cloth streamers flying from Lucky’s hands. It was certainly impressive.

The pegasus was completely captivated, giving Tuiz and TB an opportunity to try pushing it over. Unfortunately, they were unable to topple it.

As the pegasus tried to fly away, Tuiz grabbed it and kept it aground.

The second attempt to push the pegasus over was a success, and TB, Tuiz, and the pegasus all fell to the ground in a great heap.

With the task done, TB pulled out a golden apple and offered it to the pegasus. The pegasus now seemed more amused than anything else, and flew off with the apple.

Before we had a chance to move on, we noticed that there were two Luckys. Having seen this before, we happily greeted Indy. Strangely, Indy was behind us, in his normal tiny dragonling form. Before we could become too confused, he introduced the second Lucky as his cousin Marion Vynwood-Levander. We were of course happy to see Indy and his brother, but didn’t know why they had come here of all places. TB’s next task answered that question for us. It was time to steal magical fruit from a grumpy Yeti.

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Yeti Too, Brute?
Tuiz

Alkin the Elf
Southwestern Gray Forest

Hello Alkin,

Thanks again for helping us find the Sun King’s Grove. I hope you’re doing well. Say hi to Miranda from us next time you see her.

You’d asked us what we were doing in the forest, and though we gave you an answer about what brought us to the forest, I think you also ought to know what we were doing at the yetis’ cave. Since you were so helpful and since, well, we might have made that yeti even more ornery than usual.

You probably figured that we were there for the everfrost fruit, which you saw Lucky share with the pair of fruit-loving faerie dragons. But that’s not actually the main reason we went to the yeti cave. We’d met up with a satyr who called himself “Doctor Tummibelli” who’d promised us a reward if we helped him do some weird things he said he wanted to do for fun. It sounds dumb of us to agree to that I guess, but he did seem to know where some things were in the forest, while we were totally lost, so we want along with him partially for lack of better ideas. Anyhow, one thing he wanted to do was “prank” a yeti. He sort of had stealing the everfrost fruit in mind, but wasn’t set on it, and when we pointed out that theft wasn’t much of a prank, he quickly got excited about our example of something prankier: putting a funny hat on the yeti.

So that’s why we were there. To put a funny hat on the yeti. And also steal the fruit, at least for the dragons.

We spent a while planning, but in the end picked a pretty simple plan. Most of us would go up to the yeti in a friendly way and try to talk to it and keep it distracted while Lucky got the fruit and Tharn snuck the funny hat he’d made onto its head. We hoped that the smell of most of us would let Lucky and Tharn go un-smelled. And we were prepared to run if we had to.

So we dove into the yeti’s cave from the pool of water that you later saw us come out of. It’s a long cold swim on one breath, but eventually it gets so cold that a thin layer of ice stops the water, which you can punch through. This will put you — and put us — in a cave filled with cave rock formations, and no obvious signs of yetis living there. I don’t know if they use that entrance actually, because the only way we saw to go was through a narrow little squeeze that I don’t think a yeti could make it through.

Once through that squeeze, then you get to where they live. This is a bigger cave, with no rock formations, a shallow pool of water for washing or scrying or something, and the everfrost fruit. Also we could tell yetis lived there because there was a big yeti sleeping there, in front of the fruit. Lucky went through first, invisible and with darkvision, but he couldn’t really do much before the rest of us arrived.

As soon as we were all in there, the yeti woke up, and Tummibelli the satyr betrayed us. It seems he was actually from the Bitterroot Court, a fae court that we’d crossed several weeks beforehand. It wasn’t that impressive as betrayals go — he threw out some coins, which turned out to be cursed, seemed to make the way we’d come through disappear with an illusion, and disappeared himself, probably back out through the illusion. I discovered the illusion and discovered the coins were cursed right away, so they weren’t much trouble. But we were in a small space with an angry yeti, and that is a pretty good trap.

Lucky tried to let us avoid the fight by hypnotizing the yeti with magic. But Lucky’s spells don’t always go right. This one dropped a statue of some large river beast on the yeti. (If you want a statue and don’t mind it being in bad shape, you know where to find it now.) There was no avoiding the fight after that. Those yetis are vicious, with an icy stare that can paralyze you and frost breath that’ll chill you to the bone. If you have some way to protect yourself against the cold you should use it, if you ever have to fight one. And if you know the Crimson Rite of the Flame, I recommend it — it was a big help in wearing the yeti down.

While most of us were fighting, Lucky was still intent on getting that fruit. Oh, but I forgot to tell you about the mug. Tummibelli had a magic novelty mug that would punch you when it got close to your face. As another part of the “prank” he wanted us to leave it in the yeti’s cave. I guess Lucky forgot he was holding it, because when he went for the fruit he accidentally brought the mug near him and it knocked him on his ass. It would have been funnier if we weren’t fighting for our lives.

Anyhow, eventually we had the yeti on the ropes, and it saw it was in trouble and climbed away through a tunnel we hadn’t noticed in the ceiling. They can climb quick. I took a paw off it as it left, so if it’s real ornery now that might be why.

I’d told everyone that the coins were cursed, but I guess the curse can attract people to the coins even from a distance, because once the yeti was gone Daevon, Tharn, and Lucky all started fighting over the coins. Fortunately the faerie dragons have some sleep magic, and after being knocked out my friends got over the curse.

Once that was cleared up, we headed quick out of the yeti’s cave, which is when we ran into you. You must remember that well — everyone remembers where they were when they heard the Necromancer King was defeated. Thanks again for staying with us as we rested, and for leading us south to the grove of the Sun King.

We were quite taken aback by that grove, by the way. All those animals hanging around peacefully — we were a bit nervous about the owlbears. You could have told us more than “temper your expectations.”
Anyhow, now you know what we were up to in the yeti’s cave. Sorry for causing trouble. If you ever need a contact with the Order, just let me know.

Sincerely,
Tuiz Burden-bearer

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The Sun King Also Rises

Clearing, quite large, filled with many forest creatures and sylvan races

idyllic

“We Seek the Sun King (Brewery)” -Tuiz

Northern river investigation fruitless but working fine

Big tree turns out to be a woman and the sun king, reference Mr Kaplan

each spring I am dressed in my colorful best
in warm summer air more layers I wear
the colder it grows I fling off my clothes
If winter is here naked I appear
what am i?

A deciduous tree, reference puss in boots riddle episode

The sun king concentrates power grows a flowery garment and then attacks

the Sun King attacks

Sun King continues to grow and grow as the fight continues

miraculously at one point Kimya is able to bring them down to the ground

Tuiz ends the first season of spring, ‘seasoned combatant joke’

Evening gown, animating other tree

bloodied but un-boughed

huge boulder crushing tharn

Sun King gets lit up and the party lays into her, the animated tree is burnt to the ground by lucky and finished off with a radiant bolt

Daevon caused the Sun King to Fall, but in falling they rose, growing leafy wings and taking to the skies, reference carver kings

Telsin teleporting up and superhero landing

gets blinded by radiant beam

Telsin rips off the wings and drives the sun king to the ground

The skies are completely dark, there is no light,

The Sun King is only a withered naked form, everybody lays into the withered form

Withering frost attacks, including a ring of frost around them

Caleb withers away with the sun kings withering

winter storm takes over the area

Then lucky

Then Tuiz

Telsin runs in and goes unconscious, Daevon drags him out

Tharn goes down

Kimya runs in and goes down

Daevon drives forward dropping shield, swinging with the warhammer two handed and fells the final form of the sun king

It was a test, all Daevon’s allies are restored

Fang seeking a long imprisoned Deus, Clariel of Chaos and Bloodshed

Elders of the hidden village are protecting the imprisoned Deus, stained by his shadow the elves defend it

Elves have a secret cache, training ground, hidden temple

Should the fang succeed, the land will be torn by war

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