Ep 43: "Aw, Hex"

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The party spent the morning getting various things handled before their mission. Primeheart made a wreath of daisies for Pesk. Oisin spent the morning resting at Pinból’s to prepare for the energy they would have to exert later. Cyl spoke with the Maestro about meeting with Lark to decide if the Maestro wanted to interview him. GB cast a Find Familiar spell and created Purrl, a cat familiar. Rosie looked for buildings with good foot traffic for a personal project. Lark created posters that read “Free Bear Rides” and waited with Foster in the park for any takers. Cyl also spent a good portion of her morning talking with Whatever in the park. She asked him what he did with himself all day, but did not get an answer. 
Primeheart and Oisin met outside the Tea Garden and were soon joined by everyone else. They decided to go to the Beer Forge down the road and waited for Zreet there. She arrived and explained their mission for that day.
Zreet told them about Hester Blackwood, a pirate who went by Captain Hex and was known for using magic, in addition to regular methods. This had made her a very successful pirate. Her attacks were preceded by symbols appearing on houses, warning people to flee and leave their things. She had not previously been to Cinderhaven and her ship, the Runed Lantern, was anchored down the cliff.
Zreet told them they were to meet with Captain Hex and negotiate for the Ring of the North. Zreet warned the group to be polite no matter what happened. She told them Blackwood would laugh, realize they were serious, and then name a ridiculously high cost for the ring. She cautioned them to to be flippant, but not rude. They were attempt negotiating with the second price. If Captain Hex asked a favor, then they were to accept. If the captain wanted to exchange for another item, then they were to contact Zreet first. The party was told to meet a man name Howler, whose real name was Reed, down in Bilgeport. Passage had been arranged and he would take them to the boat. Zreet gave the party Sending Stones and a Sending scroll to contact her if needed.
The party went to the safehouse, where they stored their things,  to collect what they might need for the mission. They found a man in the building, prying boards off the windows. He explained that he had bought the place and was working on repairs. Everyone offered to help with repairs for an hour in order to cover for taking their things out of the house. They gave him fake names, and he eventually went upstairs to work. Everything that the party had was quickly shoved into Primeheart’s Bag of Holding and most of the party left. Cyl chose to hang back for a minute to help a little since she had agreed to help.
The party went down to Bilgeport and realized that none of them knew how to find Howler. They had forgotten to ask Zreet what he looked like or where, exactly, he would was waiting for them. Looking over the port yielded no results.
Lark, wanting to find the man quickly,  stopped a bystander and gave her a gold to tell where to find Howler. She pointed out a man, asleep outside of a bar, and said that it was Howler. Lark eventually had to throw a bucket of water on Howler for him to wake up.
The now drenched man spluttered and asked what they wanted, so the group explained that he was needed to take them to the Runed Lantern. He argued at first, then asked if he was dreaming when he noticed GB talking. Oisin got him to cooperate when he pointed out to Howler that Captain Hex was waiting for him on her ship. They were rowed out to the ship, Foster walking on water next to the boat thanks to a Water Walking spell cast by Primeheart.
As they approached  the Runed Lantern, the party observed that it was both the largest and most menacing ship in the area. It was also covered in runes. They were helped aboard by a well dressed elf who, after being informed that the group was there to meet with Captain Hex, led them to the Captain’s quarters.
The room they were taken to contained all sorts of branches, candles, books, animal pelts in the corner, and a mortar with a pestle. It clearly looked as though they were magical components for her to use. GB recognized them as being the type of items used specifically for enchantment and necromantic magics.
The party explained that they wanted the ring and she laughed as Zreet had told them she would. She told them she would trade the ring for “Aldion’s greatest puppet” in return, who she identified as “the Arasys child”. Everyone said that a person wasn’t theirs to give, which she didn’t accept as a no.
Oisin, in an attempt to dissuade her from being interested in Seldanna and get a lower price, insisted that Seldanna didn’t have any special abilities. After learning Seldanna’s name, Captain Hex mixed a liquid and used it to write Seldanna’s name in a book. Oisin continued to insist that this was proof that the Captain didn’t know anything about Seldanna, if she hadn’t even figured out her name, and didn’t realize how little she really would be getting with her. Finally, Captain Hex named a new price. She wanted either Blightshale, the eirshale rot, or Nightmare, the tainted Daydream.
Captain Hex wanted 50-60 lbs of Blightshale or 6 gallons of Nightmare. She was also willing to accept a combination of the two. In exchange, she offered to loan the ring, rather than give it to them for good. She left the room, allowing the party to discuss the prices she had offered and which one to accept. They contacted Zreet, who told them to take the deal for the Blightshale or Nightmare. Cyl was very hesitant to give Captain Hex either one, but conceded that they would have to do it. Giving Seldanna to the Captain, in any capacity, was not acceptable.
Captain Hex came back in from where she had been telling her crew a story. Rosie, ever curious, asked about the story and was ignored. They prepared to leave as they informed the Captain that they would get her the Blightshale and Nightmare combination. She told Cyl that she wanted to show her the inside of the ship upon the group’s return, but told Cyl to keep her shoes on. She also wanted them to have the goods to her within the next day, as she was set to leave the area then.
After leaving, the party contacted Zreet to ask where they could find the Blightshale or Nightmare that they needed. She had no idea, so they decided to ask Pinból. Asking Afra or First was also mentioned, but they decided to wait on either of those options.
The group arrived at the tower to find Mo and Pinból arguing about the dishes, then Mo ran up the stairs. Oisin helped Pinból clean the dishes and Pinból explained that he had no idea what happened with Mo. Lark followed Mo upstairs and talked with him about why he was upset. Mo explained he got upset when Pinból asked why the dishes weren’t cleaned. He said that Pinból offered to do them, but it upset him, and that’s when everyone arrived. He told Lark  that he didn’t know why he was upset, and that chocolate might help.
With the dishes washed, the group reconvened to ask Pinból about the Nightmare. Pinból explained that  he didn’t have anywhere near the amount they needed. He also admitted that he would be surprised if there was a gallon in the entire city. He didn’t believe there was even six gallons of Daydream, the less dangerous version, within the city. Pinból suggested the group talk to Afra, as she would have access to the Blightshale.
Oisin asked what the Ring of the North was able to do. They suggested that the group could look for something similar if they couldn’t get enough of what they needed to trade for it. Pinból didn’t know what magic it held, but thought there may be something in a book he had. The group left the tower for the Divine Foundry to talk to Afra.
Once they arrived at the Foundry, the group asked Afra about the Blightshale. Afra explained that there was less now, since it was being washed daily. She also said that the Blightshale they had stored was stolen. The Blightshale was just locked away with a padlock, since it was a useless by product to them. That was why it had been easily stolen and she had no idea who had taken it. Lark asked how long it would take for that much build up again and she calculated that it would take a few weeks. That was also only if they stopped washing it, which she was unwilling to do.
The party left the office and decided they would have to speak with First. Rosie used Sending to contact First, but Al responded and told them to meet him at the Tea Garden in an hour. When the group arrived, they found Al sitting at a table, with the rest of the tables marked as reserved.
GB began to negotiate for the Nightmare. Al said that they were willing and able to give the party what wanted, but they only wanted one thing from Cyl and the others. The new Goa wanted to know how to create more of themselves. Having no good options left, the group reluctantly agreed to give them the information they lacked on how to create new Goa.
GB explained that specific healing spells seemed to trigger the transformation. He admitted that the group wasn’t entirely sure why, but he believed removing the poison of the Daydream and leaving the eirshale is what created them. Al said they liked the theory, but wanted to make sure it worked before they handed over the Nightmare.
GB asked if the party could be there, since Cyl had never been present for any of the “rebirths”, and Al agreed. The party left the Tea Garden and Lark, not wanting to be a part of this after recent events, left for the Divine Foundry to speak with Pesk while the others met with the New Goa.
At the new Goa hideout in the Temple District, they arrived to find a woman in the final stages of a Nightmare overdose. Wit tried to use two Lesser Restoration scrolls, both of which failed. She asked if any of the party could cast the spell and Primeheart hesitantly agreed. Primeheart used the scroll to cast the spell, and the woman turned. Wit, First, and Al rubbed the eirshale hair off of the body and carefully collected it. When she was fully turned, First said “Be born, Steeple. Share the word.” As she got up, Primeheart touched her neck and beseeched her to do good. She did the same and said she would follow the will of nature.Might lead the group to the store of the tainted eirshale and Nightmare, and they took six gallons of Nightmare. The group met back up with Lark and headed for the Runed Lantern.
The emotionally exhausted and guilt ridden party returned to the ship and gave the Nightmare to the captain. She asked if they had been unable to get a mix, which the group insisted they hadn’t been able to do. Captain Hex gave the party the ring as promised. It was a large silver ring with two missing gemstones, and one large blue gemstone in the center. She said that she wanted it back when she returned to town. She also gave Rosie a book of stories which she said she wanted returned with the ring.
She then invited Cyl and the group below deck. They discovered that the hull of the ship was wood with veins of eirshale through it. She explained that she took the boat from a previous captain who hadn’t known her true power. She also told Cyl that the boat spoke to her, and the boat had told Captain Hex what her name was.
The party left the ship and met with Zreet to give her the ring. Wanting to comfort her friends after the day’s events, Rosie invited the group back to the Brell Estate for a sleepover. All of the group thought this was a good idea. They decided to stop by Mo’s tower first to drop off the Bag of Holding, then planned to head to the Brell Estate.
However, when the group arrived, they heard a lot of crashing inside. They entered the tower and discovered Mo using a mop to cover the walls and floors with black paint. Mo dropped the broom and took off up the stairs with Lark following behind him, but Mo had flown out the window before Lark could talk to him. Most of the party left for the Brell Estate, but Oisin stayed to tell Pinból what happened.
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(not recorded in the Tome)
Pinból’s Tower
Oisin told Pinból what Mo had been doing downstairs and they discussed their concern over the recent changes in Mo’s behavior. Pinból was concerned that Mo might destroy the tower or the portal connecting the tower to the skyloft. He asked Oisin if things were serious between them and if he could trust them. Oisin replied that they felt things were serious and that they could be trusted with anything.
Pinból lead Oisin to the balcony and jumped over the side, appearing to stand on air, and asked Oisin to follow him. The two walked for about 50 feet, and then the illusion disappeared. There were walls and a floor where there had appeared to be only the Cinderhaven skyscape. They were approaching the wall and a door became visible. Pinból pulled out a magical stone and used it to open the door.
It revealed the street outside of the tower. Pinból explained that he hadn’t thought anyone would actually believe the house was floating, and gave Oisin the stone so he could enter the house through this door if something happened to the portal. He reminded Oisin not to tell anyone and not to write it in the books, which they agreed to do.
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