Elgeran

Session One
The Meeting

Our intrepid would-be adventurers gather together at the Headhunter Inn located within Ashadome, the capital of Elgeran. They meet Lady Alma, a quiet individual who says little about herself or her plans. She carries what appears to be a journal that she often reads from. She tells the group that they must find the Tear of the Heavens. She has seen it said in a dream that all of them must go together to find the Tear to ensure peace for all nations.

After getting some last supplies, the group heads out. On the road, they come across a Badger.

The brave cleric mistakes the Badger for an “evil” badger (like mega evil). The brilliant wizard, telling no one, casts Unseen Servant on the thing the Badger is eating and has it levitate towards the group. This was all the cleric needed to bravely remove himself from battle. The epic battle consisted of a green tiger slashing into the enemy and the mighty halfling cuts the badger down to size. In the end, all that remains are badger chunks. The mysterious snacking object turns out to be a beetle’s leg, which could explain why 4 beetles are barreling down on the group of heroes. On the order or retreat, they all run from the beetles.

The halfling then throws half a badger at the wizard, using the sound reasoning that halflings are known for (he was covered in beetle pheromones, so cover him in badger carcass. The wizard manages to not die.

So ends the epic beginning!

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Session Two
The Boogie Man

After camping for the night, the group comes across a farm house on the forest edge. After finding the front door boarded up, and a broken back window, the soldier of the group enters and finds two young children inside (Sylvia and “Tom”). The children say that their parents were killed by the “boogie man.” Digitalis, through his children charming skills, discovers that the boogie man wears black armor, indicating that perhaps it’s not a boogie man after all.

Along the road, Chiku remains with Lady Alma and the children while the rest explore a side path. Further on, they find the remains of several individuals and their horses, or at least what remains from the five vultures enjoying their feast. After an epic battle of steel, fire, and an arrow or two, the vultures are defeated. The group discovers that one of the fallen was a member of the Merchant’s Guild. They also found no wounds on the bodies (that weren’t caused by vulture snacking) and that the faces are contorted in pain or fear.

By nightfall, the group reaches Fitulgan, a small town north of Ashadome. An old man leaving the town with his family tells our heroes that many have fled the town and the surrounding area and that their are fires to the north. The town guards explain that there are rumors of plague (with the helpful advice that the symptoms include “corpses”). Avers, the Captain of the Guard, tells the group that he will speak with the local lord about gaining them an audience.

In the meanwhile, the group heads to the Grotto Inn where Lady Alma mysteriously says she must leave them alone for awhile. Chiku goes to follow her. Lady Alma tries unsuccessfully to convince Chiku to remain downstairs. Then Chiku suddenly feels compelled to remain behind.

When Lady Alma returns to the group, she tells everyone that she has a confession. She says that the next day everyone will meet her lady, the one who is truly responsible for bringing them together. She tells them that her lady will answer all of their questions tomorrow. After a few probing questions from the cleric, she reveals that her Lady was in Fitulgan before them and left a message via a “magic of sorts.” Digitalis seems content with Lady Alma’s explanations (she did confirm to cover all their drink and board costs), but the rest of the party is beginning to consider that perhaps Lady Alma is not as she seems.

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Session Three
Bring in the Gnolls

In the morning, Lady Alma introduces the party to their true benefactor Hanan. She is Elven, and wears riding clothes including pants. She has short hair and wears a bow on her back. She appears flighty but easy going. She tells the party many things, but in a way that alludes to her knowing more. She says that the Tear of the Heavens can control the anger in people’s hearts: either to quell it or to strengthen it. This is why it is so wonderful for peace but dangerous in the wrong hands.

She says she comes from Soldana, a land far to the west past the Beyond (deserts) and that she does not remember her age. She says that they must journey north into Salbik, a land ruled by someone called the Frozen Empress, in order to find the Tear. She says that many are looking for the Tear, including the Frozen Empress herself.

She says that she has befriended a local druid who knows more about they area. Both Horrace Greystone and Calamira of the Tesdanyali say they will go with her. Beollimadus Fiddelson goes to see the Lord of Fitulgan, Davy Witherford. Lord Davy says that there are troubles in the land. Many refugees from the surrounding farms are staying at the temple of Solt. He says he has heard of troubles at the temple and asks if Bilymendez, a brother of Solt, will assist them.

Meanwhile, Hanan, Horrace, and Calamira go to see Reggie the druid. Reggie tells them that fires are burning to the north and that the Kolber pass has been overrun with monsters. Robbers have been spotted on the road to Kline and Brownies live in the woods northeast of Fitulgan. He has not heard anything about Falling Frog pass. Reggie gives Calamira a hawk feather wrapped in a blue cord and says that if she presents this to the druids at Yoggler’s Shrine near Falling Frog Pass, that they will assist her and all she travels with.

Later back at the Grotto Inn, Digitalis talks with a man dressed in leathers wearing a brimmed hat who shows a badge indicating that he is an inquisitor for Solt (Beollimadus knows that inquisitors are permitted to act as judge, jury, and executioner provided their actions are for the best interests of the church).

The group all head up to the temple of Solt where they meet a dwarven priest named Garren. Our heroes learn that something disturbed the graveyard. The fresher bodies are missing. All agree to follow the clear path deeper into the woods, except for their benefactor Hanan who says it’s “not her thing” and will be back at the inn.

Deeper into the woods, Leola (Chiku’s tiger), detects something strange and Chiku yells out “we are under attack.” Surrounding them are peculiar creatures they have never seen. Larger than a man, wearing armor and brandishing weapons, but covered in fur. There are 8 of these creatures (later, the party learns they are Gnolls). Two are partly hidden by the trees and are using arrows. The others carry clubs and charge our daring heroes.

Not to be outdone by their previously glorious battles, Chiku decimates Gnoll after Gnoll with superior halfling fury. As Gnolls drop one after another, a broader one stands up several yards away from the fighting. He is wearing full armor that is covered in mud and blood that have dried into a black paste (the children’s “Boogie man” from earlier).

Running on the pure joy of slaughter, Chiku charges at the newcomer who freezes her in place with a wave of his hand. As the rest of the party come to assist Chiku, Mr. Black Armor Dude picks up the haffling and runs away… which prompts the remaining 2 surviving gnolls to wisely follow suite.

The chase is On!

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Session Four
Chiku the Prisoner

As the apparent leader of the band of gnolls runs off with Chiku the hafling-warrior (who is currently held and cannot move), the rest of our party is in pursuit. The 2 surviving archer gnolls drop their bows and pull out short swords. For the first time the party sees Lady Alma do something interesting: electrocute the shit out of a gnoll by touching him. Beollimadus takes out the other and then battles it out with the heftier leader (who has tucked the hafling under his arm like a halfling-football while his other hand is smashing with a club). After a few crushing blows, Beollimadus tries to grab Chiku, but the leader holds on. As the battle wears on, Beollimadus falls. Digitalis quickly comes to his rescue, carrying him to the Solt temple. Our remaining fighters decide that perhaps 2 wizards and a priest are not the best answer to this brute at the time and understand that discretion is the better part of valor (run away!).

Gerren prays over Beollimadus and asks for his brother, Digitalis (who claims to be a priest of Solt – proper attire included), to pray with him. Digitalis, who doesn’t actually know what to do successfully convinces Gerren that he is too distaught over the death of his friend and can’t do the prayer’s. Gerren says “of course brother.” and then resurrects Beollimadus. Now alive, he realizes he feels somewhat weaker than before (modifier of -1 con) and knows that some priests do not know the ways of Solt as much as those in Ashadome and that a journey there would likely cure him of any remaining ills.

Meanwhile, the party informs Hanan of what has transpired. Hanan agrees that it’s best to get Chiku back and explains that the party ran into creatures called Gnolls, creatures that hail from Salbik. Digitalis then goes in search of a potential new ally. He approaches Folger, an inquisitor for the church of Solt, to see if he will help the party find and rescue Chiku. Folger explains that it is a crime to impersonate a priest of Solt. He then says that he could overlook such a crime if he were pursuing a more serious crime. Folger then directly tells Digitalis that either he helps him in arresting Hanan as a Salbik spy, or he will arrest Digitalis and possibly mete out “justice” without having to bother any of the other authorities.

Digitalis agrees, and then runs to Hanan and tells her everything. For now, they will accept Folger’s help and then turn on him if needed once Chiku is safe.

During this time, Horrace uses his bookbinding and forgery skills to turn a travel book into what appears to be a more official document about the region (having removed any actual relevant information). Hanan explained that gnolls like “information,” so Horrace creates the book to trade for Chiku.

In the morning, everyone except Lady Alma who remains at the Inn, goes out in search of Chiku. Folger easily follows the tracks left by the gnolls. They lead eventually to Leola, Chiku’s tiger, who is in a tree. Leola leads them to Chiku… or at least to a cave. Beollimadus knows that the Bendalla Caverns are natural caves and that parts of it were going to be used for mining, but the rock was too hard.

What will our brave heroes do? Will they successfully rescue Chiku while Folger gets eaten by gnolls? Will Chiku get eaten by gnolls while Folger uses Digitilas for target practice? Will the gnolls perform a dance number called “Forever Love my Gnoll?”

Stay tuned!

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Session Five and Six
Cavern Crawling

The party begins to enter into the caverns and discovers that there is a permeating darkness that torchlight cannot penetrate. Calamira casts light, but that cannot overcome the spell in the caverns. Digitalis attempts to climb the walls in darkness but after some progress, everyone hears a blaring alarm, and shortly a few gnolls have appeared. Outside, Horrace reads from a magic scroll and casts a stronger version of light on the end of his staff. This does cut through the darkness and now the party has a beacon it can follow.

Shortly in, Hanan disappears and shortly Folger is also no where to be seen.

Digitalis agrees to go with the gnolls provided that one remains behind with the rest of the party. Calamira is her charming Lunatan self and befriends Garg the guard. She convinces him to guide them through the caverns to Sitgar, whom Garg claims is their leader.

Meanwhile, Digitalis is brought to a room that contains rotting naked bodies in a pile. Other piles are in the room containing clothing and other items. There are no weapons or armor. After a bit, Digitalis says he needs to use the facilities and the gnoll takes him to a different room that has another gnoll. Here, body parts are piled in different parts and another pile contains innards. He is directed to the pile. Digitalis does his business and takes a handful of… well you get the idea.

Back at the first room, he successfully distracts the guard and stabs him in the back. He takes some gold off of the bodies, holy symbols and clergy robes for Lunata and Holgard.

The party continues through the caverns, led by Garg. Eventually they come to their old friend… the flind in the black armor along with four of his gnoll friends. Calamira attempts to befriend him and explains that there is no need to fight. This doesns’t seem to sit well with the gnolls so they attack.

Garg looks confused and is still, but the wizard stabs him anyway and then runs away as a brave wizard should.

Chiku’s tiger takes a beating going against the flind in black armor while the rest of the party wails on the remaining gnolls (except the wizard which is trying not to get killed by Garg). Calamira eventually calms Garg down, and Beollimadus takes down the main guy.

The rest of the gnolls surrender and Calaria tells Garg that he is free, so he runs away. The party tells them that it’s over because they killed their leader, at which point they learn that the guy in armor isn’t the leader; he isn’t Sitgar.

The party continues down the hall, with their captive gnolls, and come to a massive room (looks like it was at one point an underground lake before it dried up). There are ten archers in a semi-circle pointed at them and on the far side of the room, they see Chiku.

The party wisely makes the surrender gesture of going to their knees. Everyone except the priest who demands to be taken to Sitgar. He is led past a large fighting pit and can clearly see Chiku in the distance along with cages made of bone containing prisoners. Sitgar is a flind and is wearing armor that is obviously well cared for, which is in contrast to the rest of his kin.

Sitgar asks if he killed Gulrak, if he “is fighter.” When the priest says it was him, Sitgar replied, “good, we need fighter.”

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Session Seven
Dark Deals

Sitgar talks to the priest for a bit, but then he calls to Ku-lo. She is a flind and is wearing animal skin and a necklace made of bones from various creatures.

Ku-low talks to the priest about how they are looking for a fighter. She offers him a “gift” to become like a brother to the gnolls. In says that as a brother, he must bring them the “Eelynn”. She describes the Ei-linn as a demon and a traitor. She says that the Ei-linn is “like him” while pointing to his Elven ears and saying that he travels with the Ei-linn.

After frustrating Ku-lo with his garrulousness, she finally says with exasperation that he can have his friend (Chiku) and any prisoners that are capable of walking without assistance provided that he agrees to become their brother. Beollimadus agrees and is led to what appears to be a table for sacrifice. As he makes his way, Chiku from across the room tries to warn him to stop (during her captivity, she was given the offer to become a sister but she refused).

Ku-lo directs the priest to sit on the table. She then pulls out a ritual dagger and cuts open his hand, then blows on it some sort of powder that immediately disappears. Chiku is released and all prisoners that can walk are permitted to go. Their belongings are tossed on the floor and the survivors sort through it taking what is theirs.

The party then helps everyone out of the caverns and make their way to the Temple of Solt where they receive medical treatment and can rest. Calamira heals as many as she can, and befriends one of the freed prisoners named Yenamros. He says that he would be interested in joining the party, so she introduces him to everyone.

Exausted, the party gets some well deserved rest. For Beollimadus, nothing seems to be different… at least not yet.

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Session Eight
Off to Kline

After a good night’s rest, the party finds Lady Alma. She tells them that Hanan was on her way to Kline, but she was going to try to “deal” with Folger along the way.

Yenamros, a ranger, tells the party that the best path to Kline is down south to the Tiana shrine and then to the east. The party agreed and bypassed the areas that were rumored to contain brownies or bandits. Beollimadus has peculiar visions at the Tiana shrine, but does not share much at this time.

They camp along the way. Beollimadus casts wyvern watch and Yenamros sets up snares to further secure the area while the party sleeps.

In the morning, they get to Kline, a city of thieves and assassins. The guards here have no issues with the party carrying weapons or of Chiku’s tiger (who is free to wander). Once inside, Digitalis and Calamira go to sell the armor that the party took off from Gulrak’s body while the rest of the party goes to the inn to look for Hanan. Digitalis has some difficulty selling the armor for what is a proper price, but eventually they reach an agreement. Meanwhile, the rest of the party doesn’t find Hanan but they hear something about a festival.

Beollimadus goes to put his horse Andy in the stables. He stopped along the way by a man in an official guard uniform with a sash. He explains to Beollimadus that if he isn’t intending to sell the animal, then he must get a permit from the customs officer to ensure that he’s able to leave town with it. Simply protocol, and leads him to a plush office. The man behind the desk mentions some absurd price, at which point Beollimadus shows him a particular piece of parchment, at which point the man immediately explains that he will fill out all the paper work free of charge and instructs the man with the sash to show him the location of the stables.

Beollimadus returns to the rest of the party along with Digitalis and Calamira. They travel across town passing various shops and festive people who talk about a “party” while clanking mugs of ale.

The next inn appears to be well secured, and they are let in after a bit of difficulty.

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Session Nine
Under the Eye of Sabanti

After entering the inn, our heroes come across Hanan who is as chipper as ever. She greets everyone, including Yenamros. She then hands everyone a sack of 100 gold. She says she has another present, and gives everyone save Lady Alma a scroll of parchment with a blue ribbon and a wax seal. It is an invitation to the home of the Nameless Elf, leader of the assassin’s guild. It’s for the festival to Sabanti and the lunar eclipse is to occur that night. The party will be proceeded over by the Head Priestess Leah.

The invitation states that weapons are forbidden. As are backbacks, sacks, coats, cloaks, and anything with excessive pockets.

After Calamira discreetly casts Detect Evil and determines that there is only faint traces of evil in the Inn, and none when traveling with Hanan away from the Inn. The party goes out shopping, and Digitalis and Calamira help convince a pushy sales lady at a book store to ease up on the price of a dusty volume supposedly from Salbik called “the legend of the tower.” Of course, it was after Digitalis succeeded in reading the odd text (the strange abilities of “winky priests”) that he insisted they needed to purchase it.

The party then went to the temple of Sabanti to the east of town. Throngs of merry worshipers were making their way as well. Many were carrying baskets containing offerings of food or flowers. The temple itself contained no true ceiling. The floors were made of mosaics of dark hues and murals along the walls of the night sky with stars. It clearly has been repainted many times. They talk to a priestess who tells them that most will be attending service at the temple during the lunar eclipse but that a few individuals get to celebrate with the Head Priestess at Renald’s party (a name commonly used for the Nameless Elf).

The group then heads to Renald’s estate (after dropping off their belongings at the inn with Lady Alma). The first row of security consists of silent figures in plain black attire that check each invitation. They pat down Digitalis (who changed into clean Lunatan clergy robes that he “acquired” from the Bendalla Caverns). They then let him pass, and after harassing Chiku’s tiger and seeing the tiger react calmly they let her pass as well.

At the second check line are silent figures dressed in plain black that peal open the invitation (the parchment was too thin to know that it was two pieces) and a mark is in each one. Once inside, the party notices how sparsely decorated everything is. Some people are milling about in fine clothing and others in everyday clothes. After sometime, the party notices that the floors are made out of inlaid pieces of petrified wood in intricate patterns. It’s difficult to steal floors.

The party then makes their way to the central courtyard that is open to the night sky. To the far side are two thrones made of white interlaced vines. On the larger one sits a human woman with jet black hair, green eyes, midnight clergy robes, and a silver necklace with the symbol of Sabanti. She is the Head Priestess Leah, and she greets Hanan as the party approaches. At her feet are bowls of offerings, similar as at the Sabanti temple. She greets everyone. Later, Hanan drags Renald about and introduces him to everyone. Chiku is the most suspicious because “he kills people.” Renald offers her a yellow stone. She lets it drop, eventually takes it and gives it to Digitalis.

As the sun begins to drop below the horizon, the party truly begins. Harp music gives way to flutes which in time is replaced by drumming. When the lunar eclipse begins, everyone falls quiet and the Head Priestess Leah gives a moving sermon of the freedom that Sabanti grants everyone. She turns upward, and everyone turns to face her gaze as the moon is eclipsed by a red ring and the bonfires at the edges of the courtyard go out. When the moon starts to emerge again, the fires are lit.

A scream pierces through the night air. It was Leah who screamed as she stands above Renald’s motionless body lying on the ground in a pool of blood. She calls to the goddess to bring back her great follower, but nothing happens. She tries the ritual again calling out to Sabanti on her most holy of nights… but Renald does not stir.

Leah then calls for his body to be burned and the killers found.

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Session Ten
Who Killed the Killer?

After the height of the ceremony to Sabanti, and after Leah unsuccessfully attempted to restore Roland to the living, the Head Priestess Leah orders his body burnt and the killers found.

Guards, previously unseen, come rushing into the courtyard. Anyone who speaks or tries to walk about is taken away (this includes Digitalis and Horrace). The guards attempt to question everyone with the ineffective approach of “who are you and why are you in Kline?” After Beollimadus shows a guard (yes, this would be Mr. Fucster) a document, the party is gathered together and brought to Leah on the second floor of the estate. The guard leaves them alone with her, and it appears as if only the Head Priestess and the party is present in the room.

She explains to them that her own guards are useless in finding Roland’s killer. Although she has others searching as well under her own authority, she thinks that the party may be able to help given that they represent a “different” authority (she specifically refers to Beollimadus). She says that she suspects who is responsible, but will not provide specifics.

The investigation begins!

Facts and Folks

Head Priestess Leah – was present when Roland, her lover, was killed (she was conducting a ceremony to Sabanti which drew everyone’s attention upward). A note was found in Roland’s secret study showing that an official from the Solt clergy in the capital was insisting that she not only stop ruling Kline, but to also step down as Head Priestess. Clergy from Solt have been arriving in Kline and are currently staying at the Sabanti temple.

Clyde Oxblood – currently tasked with assisting the party in their investigation, he was been ordered by Leah to not directly investigate himself. He clearly resents this. The party could travel freely about with him and speak to anyone (except the two who directly handled Roland’s body and put it on the makeshift pyre). The fletcher in town told the party that Clyde was the Arbiter for Kline and is in love with Leah. He said that Clyde used to be a General at one of the passes before becoming Arbiter. He referred to him as the “murder expert” and was clearly afraid of him. Horrace directly asked Clyde if he was in love with Leah, to which he replied that was once the case but no longer.

Tholtiss – the only person who openly speaks against Roland and is pleased that he’s dead. Tholtiss is currently poised to take over the assassin’s guild (as is Hilda). He is clearly confident of his own abilities and believes he is the best leader for the guild. He also complained about how Roland had stopped accepting contracts because Leah told him so and the assassin’s guild hadn’t really been doing any assassinations of late – a situation he intends to rectify. Tholtiss referred to Clyde as Leah’s “pet.” Chiku told Leah that she thinks Tholtiss is involved, to which Leah told her that Tholtiss is an idiot.

Hilda – she was Roland’s favorite, according to Clyde, and would have been named successor if Roland ever got around to naming one. She openly calls Tholtiss the killer but says that she lacks proof of his involvement. She intends to take over the assassin’s guild. Hilda tells the party that Roland was a skilled magic user (and that he gave little yellow stones to different people with different effects). He always had magical forms of protection. She says that other than Leah, she knew him best and that they traveled together. She believes a member of the assassin’s guild could be the only person to kill Roland because only they knew of all the security for the evening.

Girl with Pin – Digitalis noticed a girl who stood out and openly wore a pin similar to the Sabanti pin everyone wore, although this one had a strange symbol. She told a guard that she was the fletcher’s niece and had just arrived to town. When the party questioned the fletcher (at around 4am) he said that he didn’t have a niece. His home seemed to reflect that.

Wealthy Older Couple – Digitalis also noticed a finely dressed couple speaking in a secret sign language. Hilda said that it’s a language used by sailors. When he spoke to the couple, they said that they had been to many places and found no trouble on the roads.

Other Points

-Calamira noticed a wound on Roland’s chest but can’t identify what caused it. It’s something thin in diameter (less than 1/2 inch wide). No one questioned seemed to know what it was.

-Leah had Roland stop the assassin’s guild from doing assassinations in order to appease the High Priest of Solt.

-All clergy to Sabanti were permitted to carry ritual daggers during the party.

-A poem written in a Salbik tongue, located in Roland’s study, was translated by Horrace and spoke something about the dead rising, end of days, and a holy child that cries. With Horrace’s expertise as a printing apprentice, he noticed that the poem was written with fresh ink on new parchment (only a few days old). The wording is reminiscent of the god Ballin.

-A list of names was also found in Roland’s study; Tholtiss was the only name that the party recognized. Clyde said that he knew most of the names and some were assassins and others were not.

-Digitalis demonstrated to the party what happens if you touch stuff in Roland’s study (although he doesn’t seem to remember).

-There is a chest in Roland’s room and in the secret study. They both appear to be empty.

-Chiku’s tiger smelled only Leah and Roland in his “actual” bedchamber.

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Session Eleven
Gifts Given

The investigation continues and the party finds themselves at the Minstrel Inn on the western side of town. Digitalis recognizes one of the patrons as the woman of the wealthy older couple. The party makes a few awkward attempts to speak with her. Chiku, with the assistance of her tiger, intimidates the woman and she runs frightened out of the inn and toward the authorities.

Calamira intercepts from outside and speaks gently, calming the woman down. They chat for awhile and the woman explains that her name is Colleen. She came with her husband, Arbor, to Kline in look for work but her husband has been missing since that morning. The last she heard, he was going to meet someone at the Sabanti temple and then never returned.

Meanwhile back inside the inn, Digitalis and Horrace gain information from the bartender that a young girl matching the description they gave of the girl with the pendant had rented a room for a few days but he hadn’t seen her recently. With a bit of coin, the bartender gives them the key to the room she last stayed in and said that her name was Selena. In the room, the party finds a hidden scroll of “desecrated ground.”

It is around this time that Hanan says that all of this doesn’t concern her and she’ll be waiting for when they are ready to continue the journey up north.

The party returns to Head Priestess Leah with the scroll and information that Ballin might be involved. The Head Priestess takes the scroll from them. She then says that they found more than she suspected they would. Given that they have demonstrated they weren’t completely worthless, she decided to help them with a few gifts (obviously the party liked the gifts, if not the attitude). Several items were granted to the party included the “Eye of Sabanti,” a dark red gemstone that when cupped in one’s hand allows the wielder to know whether another they can see is a true follower of Sabanti or not.

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