Lost Souls

A Fungal Descent
The group descends into a cave at the Maw's edge...

Treesday, 14th of Nerth, Year 3033

As the party stands near the edge of the Maw, Alonwyn leads the group in prayer, entreating Arctura for guiding light as they descend into the dangerous darkness below. Alistair, once again fed up with the hunt for the bleeding tooth, beseeches the rest of the party to give up on the quest and leave the Sporest once and for all. The party reaffirms their wish to retrieve the mushroom, as they are so near, to give up now would be ridiculous.

The party debates climbing down into the Maw, or jumping over its cliffs with a feather fall spell, or sending Lilith down alone to retrieve the mushroom, but are discouraged when they notice that the many birds and flying creatures of the forest seem to purposely avoid flying too near or directly above the gorge itself, giving them cause for concern.

Barkley alerts the party to the opening of a cave network nearby. A large, vaguely circular opening in the rock opens into a sheer drop into darkness, surrounded by many smaller, holes and openings, giving it the appearance of a large, fungal sponge. Streams and rivulets flow over the edges of the cave openings, creating trickling and pouring waterfalls which tumble into the depths below. The main opening’s walls, slick with moisture from the large waterfall that pours through it, seem to be covered with some kind of moldy mycelium or fungi that gives it a squishy texture. The hole seems to slope inward, like a very steep funnel.

Magnus lights a torch and drops it into the darkness. They watch as it plunges many feet down, lighting up the funnel shaped cavern and disappearing past another hole in below. Alistair once again tries to dissuade the party from entering, but they are too distracted by the newfound cavern for his persuasion to be effective.

With no one acting or formulating a plan of action, Korag-Gora grabs a rope and ties it to the stalk of a nearby giant toadstool, testing its sturdiness and finding it agreeable. Magnus climbs down the steep, sloping cavern walls to hammer pitons into the wall, attaching the rope as he climbs, making a safe route for the rest of the party to follow. After some time, Magnus reaches the bottom of the funnel, standing at the bottom of the first cavern opening where a smaller hole in the cavern floor empties water into another waterfall below. Lilith flies down to join him, but as she shouts back to the party above, a flock of fungal bats are disturbed which swarm around her as they fly upward, biting and scratching her.

Alonwyn climbs down the secured rope, joining Magnus and Lilith. Magnus continues to descend with another length of rope and pitons, crawling through the opening in the floor and finding that the cavern is a reverse slope of the above opening, creating a kind of hourglass shape together, and a much more difficult descent as he must hang while hammering pitons and climbing.

Lilith convinces Alistair to climb down. As each party member climbs, the pitons become loose within the moist, moldy rock, making it more and more dangerous to descend. Kvothe transforms into a giant spider, climbing down the hourglass cavern entrance and quickly passing Magnus as he slowly descends the cavern walls, giving him a fright as well. Magnus soon joins Kvothe at the foot of the cavern chamber.

Korag-Gora tosses his shield down into the cavern, which the others manage to dodge as it lands with a heavy thud over the opening in the middle of the hourglass. Korag-Gora uses the rope to quickly descend to Alistair and Alonwyn. Korag-Gora lifts his shield, allowing Alonwyn to descend through the hole.

Alistair begins to descend, but a piton rips from the cave wall, sending Alistair falling fifty feet to the waters below. Kvothe, still a giant spider, shoots a blast of web at Alistair, sticking him to the wall in a glob of sticky webbing. Korag-Gora jumps through the hole, but Lilith uses feather fall to keep him from injuring himself.

Looking around their new surroundings, they stand in a knee-deep pool, waterfalls emptying into it from above. Beneath the murky, green surface, pale, blind quippers drift lazily as translucent crayfish meander the spongy, algae-ridden floor. The air is filled with a thick haze of spores and the oppressive, fetid stench of mold and rot. The pool cascades over overhangs, which converge with smaller waterfalls, streams, and trickles into other pools below.

The walls of the cavern are covered with more spongy fungus, with shelves of strange, coral-like fungus and dense clusters of colorful, bioluminescent toadstools jutting from the moist, moldy walls. Hanging from the ceiling are sticky strings of glowing fungus gnat larva, glowworms which populate the cavern ceiling like thousands of tiny blue stars. They also notice swarms of gnats buzzing around the chamber.

Lilith slices Alistair out of his webby pod, sending him falling about twenty feet into the shallow pool. After collecting themselves, they traverse across the pool, jumping stone to stone and come to a waterfall flowing downwards into an adjacent cavern chamber. One by one, they attempt to climb down the rocky waterfall, but Lilith accidentally falls into the water and begins swimming. They notice that this chamber has a fouler stench, and the water is slimy and choked with what seems to be a mossy seaweed growing underneath and above it.

With everyone but Korag-Gora and Kvothe descended the waterfall, Lilith continues swimming across the pool to a rock island on the other side when she is suddenly pulled below the surface, feeling herself engulfed by some sort of creature. Alistair dives into the water after her, and sees a large bulbous thing moving deeper into the murky depths of the dirty pool. Korag-Gora dives into the pool from above after taking a drag on his giant growth potion. Shortly after jumping, his proportions begin to exaggerate and he begins to tower over the stagnant pool, being forced to bend over due to the small size of the cavern chamber.

Scooping his gargantuan hands through the pool, he manages to scoop up a pale, slimy toad, normal-sized in his giant palm, but quite overgrown to a normal-sized person. Squishing lightly down on its stomach, the toad is forced to regurgitate the not-yet-digested Lilith, sending her into the pool. The giant clenches his colossal fist around the giant toad, reducing it to a ruined jelly. After a short time, Korag-Gora begins to shrink once again.

The party travels down a water-logged tunnel which winds downward, coming to a smaller chamber with a waterfall flowing into its center. Across the room, a long-dead skeleton, overgrown with some sort of fungi, lies against the cavern wall. Korag-Gora quickly rushes to it, plunging his greatsword through its chest, but is shot by some kind of projectile spray from the fungal growths that cover it. Korag-Gora backs up, pulling out his shield to protect himself, and Alonwyn lobs a lit torch at the skeleton from behind the shield. The corpse and growth is too moistened by the environment for the torch to catch the fungus on fire, so Lilith sends a firebolt into it, torching it completely and blackening its bones.

They search the remains, finding a ruined and burnt satchel with some coin, an amulet bearing the sigil of Bahamut, and some pitons, as well as the ruined ashes of some other items. Lilith examines the amulet, finding that it contains a dull magical essence. The party descends further, Alonwyn leading the way with her glaive at hand.

Eventually, the tunnel drops away completely, the subterranean stream they were walking along falling away into a waterfall. Lilith picks up a nearby rock and uses her magic to light it, dropping it down into the waterfall. It quickly disappears into the misty, fungus-choked tunnel. Not wanting to have to climb directly down, they backtrack to look for a different path.

As they travel back, Lilith begins to act very strange, saying she is extremely hungry and feels like she needs to get somewhere safe. Kvothe uses his druidic magic to sense for plants, and locates a strange plant living on Lilith’s upper arm. Kvothe alerts the others, and Lilith tries to escape the party, but they restrain her. Korag-Gora holds her in place, and they lift her sleeve to find an olive-green fungus growing on her, replacing her skin. Magnus uses his dagger to cut the fungus away from her, and Alonwyn heals her. Kvothe identifies the fungus as olive slime, a dangerous, parasitic fungus that attaches itself to animals and controls its mind, eventually replacing all of its organic material and turning it into a zombie.

Soon after, they come to the toad’s pond and climb a nearby waterfall to a new room. The pond here is filled with pale fish which Alistair identifies as quippers, carnivorous fish that can be dangerous in large groups. Lilith uses her sorcery to freeze the surface of the water so that they can cross. She uses her shocking grasp to reach into the water, electrocuting all of the fish which rise to the surface, dead. Unsure what path to take, the party debates whether to explore beneath the pools for tunnels or new areas, but decide against it.

Taking a western path from the entrance chamber, they find a waterfall that flows from the surface after narrowly dodging a green slime clinging to the ceiling. Kvothe notices a tunnel behind the waterfall, finding it choked with thick, white, webbing. Before he can make a judgement on what it is, a filament of this webbing shoots out at him from deeper within, grabbing and reeling him in like a fish on a line, and he disappears into the darkness of the web-covered tunnel.

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A Link Between Worlds
The party reaches Aman Agar, and steps beyond their world...

Moonday, 13th of Nerth, Year 3033

Kvothe, seeking to confuse his charmed allies, uses Foxfire to create an illusion of a forest over the span of the river, encompassing everyone and the weeping willow. Soon the party realizes that the forest is not real, but is unable to see through the illusive terrain.

Korag-Gora, still raging and under the lorelei’s charm, swings at Alonwyn, taking her down and incapacitating her. Lilith manages to break free of the lorelei’s spell. Kvothe taps into Foxfire’s power once again, healing everyone within range.

The lorelei, feeling her control over the group breaking, retreats into the trunk of the weeping willow tree, freeing the rest of the party from her will. Alistair, still lost in the illusive woods, tries burning through the trees with a fireball, but the fireball passes through the spectral illusion and lands harmlessly in the river.

Korag-Gora, no longer under the power of the lorelei and regaining his wits, realizes what has happened and charges for the willow tree after the lorelei. Lilith flies at the willow and uses her sorcery to grow spikes and claws to tear through the tree’s bark and branches. Kvothe lifts the illusion, realizing that his allies are back to themselves again. He conjures an ice knife, sending it flying into the heart of the willow and piercing its bark. Alistair sends a fireball into it, scorching its surface.

Korag-Gora, flying into another rage at being used by the lorelei to hurt his allies, swings his mighty greatsword and slices through the tree’s base, cutting it from its roots. An unearthly wail emanates through the forest, and the lorelei is no more. The fallen willow begins floating downstream, and the party realizes they should jump on and use it to reach Lake Muscarine.

While floating south, Korag-Gora, feeling remorseful for his actions while under the spell of the lorelei, offers a dagger to the party members he attacked, saying that they should return the favor. All of them forgive them, but Lilith gives him a good slash for good measure, which the hulking barbarian barely feels. Alistair manages to quell his thirst for souls, and feels the dull presence of his sworn enemy in the distance.

The further the party travels south, the more aware they become of a steady pulsing sound and vibration, like a disembodied heartbeat, which resonates in their bodies and ears. As time passes, the pulse becomes more and more powerful, and soon the immense figure of Aman Agar, the colossal mushroom cap growing from Lake Muscarine, can be seen above the tree tops. The gigantic mushroom pulses with a dull, reddish glow, a pulse in sync with the thumping heartbeat felt and heard by the party.

As night begins to fall, Lilith uses her light spell on the floating tree, lighting their way. Korag-Gora prays to Arctura, asking for her to help him find his shield, but is discouraged when the goddess does not directly reply to him. Alonwyn suggests that Arctura typically does not respond for such trivial matters, but says a short prayer herself. As she finishes, the missing boats appear before them upon Lake Muscarine, with Barkley and Korag-Gora’s shield atop them, illuminated by a crimson ray of light from the setting sun.

Above them, the impossibly huge parasol of Aman Agar stretches over the lake, casting an immense shadow over everything. The gentle pulsing glow of the titantic fungus, along with the other luminescent fungi around the lake, gives the lake’s surface a magical quality.

The party rows over to the boats, finding that the “bridge-boat” is sinking with Barkley whimpering, standing on the unsubmerged end. Magnus produces some dried meat from his rations, and is able to coax the mastiff into jumping from the sinking boat to the SS Lorelei. The willow log approaches Sphagnalis’s raft, and Korag-Gora leaps to the raft and grabs his beloved shield.

The lake’s placid waters leaves them floating aimlessly, so the party begins rowing across the span of the lake and towards the towering stalk of Aman Agar, looking for signs of an east-flowing stream to follow. Magnus fashions a fishing pole from his pack, and throws it into the murky waters, but doesn’t manage to catch any fish.

After a while, they near the island from which Aman Agar sprouts, but they find that the island is not earthen, but instead part of Aman Agar itself, made of a spongy, fungal material that stretches below the lake. Kvothe notices what appears to be a glowing, fungal reef growing along the bed of the lake near Aman Agar, and dives in in an attempt to harvest some of the strange fungi. After submerging himself in the lake, Kvothe immediately begins to feel nauseous and ill. He struggles his way to the shore of Aman Agar, dragging himself at the foot of the mushroom god and vomiting violently.

Magnus leaps to Kvothe and fashions an antidote from his poisoner’s kit, lessening the effects of the poisonous lake. The party joins them at the foot of Aman Agar, and begin discussing what move to make, as night is falling. Lilith takes the mushroom spores that Alonwyn had collected within Myconopolis, thinking that they could make Kvothe reconnect with the myconids in the meld, and releases them in his face.

The spores send Kvothe into the meld, and he sees what appears to be a circular doorway at the foot of Aman Agar that was not there before. He enters through the gateway, and to the others not affected by the spores, it looks like he disappears into the mushroom stalk without explanation.

Kvothe emerges from the doorway, and finds himself in front of a pristine lake under a clear night sky dotted with stars. Behind him, a colossal redwood tree towers above him, the doorway at the foot of its trunk. The shores of the lake are covered with dark, dense forest.

The rest of the party, concerned over Kvothe’s disappearance, investigates the point at which he vanished, and finds that an invisible door exists there in the surface of the stalk. They peer through and see Kvothe on the other side, and the alternate reality. Lilith explains that this is likely a planar gateway, and that the Feywild, a mirror of their own world, has criss-crossed over with their dimension, creating the Sporest in the material plane.

Magnus and Lilith pass through the gateway, joining Kvothe in the “normal” forest, which is contained within the Feywild dimension, taking a rope through the door, in case it were to close or be compromised. Alonwyn, Korag-Gora, Alistair, and Barkley remain in the Sporest, and the separated parties set up their camps on each side, respectively, and rest.

Treesday, 14th of Nerth, Year 3033

Early next morning, they awaken, fill their waterskins with fresh water from the newly-discovered, mirrored forest lake, and then regroup in the Sporest once again, bidding farewell to the lost forest once part of their world.

The party boards the meager raft and willow log once again, with Lilith’s wings serving as a sail for the raft and Alonwyn and Alistair rowing with large tree branches. After a while, they reach the eastern shore of Lake Muscarine, and disembark. After traversing the shoreline for some time, Kvothe hears the distant sound of a splashing stream.

They eventually come to the stream, which begins as a small waterfall which flows from the lake over an overhang and cascades down a steep, rocky incline. Standing at the top of the waterfall, the party debates on how to best descend, as there is no easy descent. Korag-Gora throws caution to the wind, and uses his shield as a sled, scraping down the rocky waterfall while barely managing to keep his balance. Lilith jumps down but loses her footing, sliding down on her behind and getting scraped up. Magnus and Kvothe climb down carefully, and manage to make it down without any harm. Alistair tries to climb down, but misty steps when he loses his footing. Alonwyn leaps from the top of the cliff, and Korag-Gora attempts to catch her, which injures them both.

Once at the foot of the waterfall, they realize they left Barkley at the top of the incline. Alonwyn climbs back up the incline, grabbing the large mastiff and jumps from the cliff foolhardily with him in her arms, but Lilith casts a feather fall spell so that they land safely in the stream bed.

The party travels down the stream for hours as its winds through the Sporest’s thick growth. After some time, they reach a ridge overlooking a vast swath of forest below. The stream flows down the ridge and collects in a pool which splits further into rivulets which disappear into sponge-like cavern openings in the terrain. The largest stream flows from the pool over the edge of a gaping, jagged ravine, a jarring sight which stretches before them – the Maw.

The Maw’s cliffs are cracked and broken, festooned with huge, sharp rock formations that seem to have grown out of the cliffs like teeth, and overgrown with foliage and fungi, giving it the appearance of a monstrous venus fly trap or a sickly, snarling mouth. Beyond the opening of the ravine, naught can be seen but darkness, and the dim glow of luminescent fungi.

Kvothe uses his ability to commune with nature to sense for the Bleeding Tooth, and is able to feel its presence emanating from the menacing depths of the Maw.

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Sphagnalis
The party helps a new friend, and fall prey to a new enemy...

Sunday, 12th of Nerth, Year 3033

Reaching the fork in the road again, the party sets out on the “true” path, seeing the black storm clouds looming directly ahead. Alistair guesses that they will be in the worst of the storm within the hour. Kvothe, still in the form of a direwolf, smells the familiar stench of the creatures that ambushed them just moments ago, which causes the rest of the party to be extra cautious.

Korag-Gora confides to Alonwyn that he has seen the light of her goddess, Arctura, and would like to honor her as well. Alonwyn, surprised by this but pleased, gives him her blessing and says that he must begin to walk in the light if he wishes to receive the blessing of Arctura herself.

As the rain picks up, their surroundings change from pure bog to a more forested and solid terrain with less standing water. They begin to hear the familiar growls and hisses of the swamp creatures, and guess that they have been following the party for a time, just out of sight. Magnus decides to climb a nearby tree to get a better vantage point and hide from any would-be attackers.

Kvothe slinks into the woods, using his keen wolf ears to hear the location of the creatures. He comes upon a clearing to find a small, man-like thing being harassed by the horrid little gremlins. The strange being appears to be humanoid, about the size of a halfling, but with yellowish-green skin and a lush, green beard like the leaves of a fern or tree, wearing crudely-fashioned garb of leather and woven plant material. Atop its head sits a flat “cap” of lush moss and grasses, as well as many toadstools and fungi. It holds a lumber axe, swinging it wildly in defense at its attackers, and appears to have been chopping lumber, as the clearing is full of tree stumps and felled trees.

Kvothe howls a howl which shakes the forest, even through the thunderstorm, and the sudden sound scares the creatures away, as well as the short, mossy man, who disappears into the ground with a cry, leaving only his mossy, mushroomy cap above the ground to blend in.

Hearing the howl, the rest of the group run to where Kvothe is, who transforms back into his native form. Kvothe explains that he just discovered a strange new creature who was being assailed by the bog gremlins as well, as he points to the cluster of moss and fungi in front of him. The rest of the party has a hard time believing him, but Kvothe pours water onto the creature’s head, causing it to spring out of the ground with a surprised yelp.

The creature begins speaking in a guttural language, and Korag-Gora is surprised to realize it is speaking “giant”, his people’s tongue. The group is very confused how such a small creature is related to giants, but the creature explains he is of troll-kin, though distantly related. He says his name is Sphagnalis, and his kind is known as moss lurkers, for they can hide and blend into any mossy or grassy terrain with their mossy caps. He explains that the creatures attacking him are called miremals, and that he hates them with a burning passion, for they constantly torment him, and, worst of all, make travelers confuse him with one of their kind.

Sphagnalis gets an idea, and asks if the party would be able to help him get rid of the pack of miremals once and for all. The party asks if he could show them to the river, and he offers to take them there, as he lives there, and even let them take his boat if they would be willing to help him kill off the miremal menace. They agree, after some debate.

The moss lurker explains that the miremals can survive almost any injury by turning into water and regenerating, but can be killed if they are smashed so badly that they don’t have time to transform. He lays out his plan, saying that he has spent many years rolling a huge boulder up a large hill (citing his giant strength as how he can do this), but says that he needs someone even stronger to dislodge it from the side of the hill and over a cliff quickly enough to hit the miremals. He also needs someone to act as bait to lure them into the exact position to be crushed. Alonwyn and Korag-Gora are put on boulder duty while Lilith and Magnus act as bait, and Kvothe and Alistair agree to be ready as damage control should something go wrong.

Lilith disguises herself as a female halfling, posing as Magnus’s wife, and they wander back into the woods to try to draw the miremals after them, looking as vulnerable as they can. As they walk, they invent a scenario of visiting Lilith’s fake grandmother, bickering about getting lost…

Magnus: Why does your grandmother live in this swamp?

Lilith: She doesn’t! You know nothing about my family!

Magnus: You said we were going to visit your grandmother, and we ended up here.

Lilith: Well, maybe if you would have asked for directions!

Just as their bickering reaches a climax, the miremals spring from their watery hiding places, tearing after the “couple” on all fours. Lilith and Magnus run as fast as they can back to the trap zone, but Magnus trips over a tree root, slowing them down slightly. They notice the miremals have turned back into water, their watery forms splashing like shark fins through the shallow swamp after them.

Soon, those waiting on the hill see the two frantically escaping the miremals, and begin to push the incredible boulder over the cliffside to the earth below. Kvothe uses a spell of guidance on Alonwyn, Korag-Gora, Sphagnalis, and Alistair, allowing them to push the massive rock more easily.

The boulder dislodges, breaking away a huge chunk of loose earth from the top of the hill in the process. The crumbling hill causes everyone to start sliding off of the hill with the boulder. Korag-Gora quickly grabs Alonwyn, who grabs onto Kvothe and Alistair, who all dangle over the edge. Sphagnalis begins tumbling, but Alistair sends a thorny whip shooting from the hillside to safely grab him.

Below, Lilith and Magnus draw the miremals near, and run at the last moment, leaving the pack of vile creatures to be smashed into oblivion by the hulking boulder. With a huge slam and a quaking tremor, the miremals are no more.

Alonwyn heals Sphagnalis, who was banged up pretty badly from his fall. As they gather together again, the storm hits in full force, no longer a mere drizzle. The torrential downpour soaks them completely, and the lightning bolts seem almost imbued with magic, as the colors and hues are unnatural, vibrant, and change randomly. Lilith recalls reading about magical storms like this in a book about the Feywild.

As the thunder shakes the swamp, Sphagnalis beckons them to follow him through the storm to his humble abode near the river.

Moonday, 13th of Nerth, Year 3033

Shortly after midnight, the party arrives, exhausted and soaked with rain and mud, at Sphagnalis’s hut, finding it very humble indeed. The hut tiny, and is built of nothing more than crudely woven-together branches, like a wicker basket, and covered with living plants and moss for additional protection from the elements. The moss lurker offers for them to stay, but it is obvious it will be quite cramped. The party accepts, too tired to sort out anywhere else to sleep, and everyone rests in a pile as the storm rages on outside the hut.

In the morning, the party awakens to find the storm passed. Sphagnalis offers them a breakfast of fungus and moss, but they stick to their rations. After “breakfast”, he leads them to the river nearby, showing them to a bridge he helps take care of. The bridge is not carved of wood, but rather fashioned from the living roots and branches of swamp trees and brambles, creating a twisted, rope-like bridge wide enough even for carts and carriages. Beneath the bridge, Sphagnalis produces his boat, which he realizes is not big enough to fit the entire party.

The group begins wondering how they can all get down the river, and begins formulating plans to build another boat or fashion some kind of raft, when Sphagnalis pulls out his lumber axe and begins hacking the sides of his bridge, tearing into the rough wood and roots holding it in place. After a few minutes, the bridge falls away into the water, floating like a strange, gnarled raft. Sphagnalis, looking very pleased with his ingenuity, but not thinking of how he will replace the bridge, offers them this bridge-boat as a solution.

The party sets off in the makeshift boat, with Korag-Gora atop Sphagnalis’s boat. The current of the river takes them at a steady speed, drifting south through the Sporest much quicker than if they were on foot. The bridge-boat, not quite designed for water, needs frequently emptied as it takes on more water that seeps through the twisted, gnarled branches and roots, but manages to stay afloat.

After some time, they notice a large weeping willow tree growing from a small island in the middle of the river, parting it down the center. From behind its curtain-like boughs, the silhouette of a beautiful, unearthly woman can be seen bathing in the river, standing as if atop the surface of the water.

Struck by some kind of charm spell and overcome with a fey lust, Magnus and Alistair dive headlong into the river straight for the mysterious, womanly figure. Korag-Gora and Kvothe, finally unable to avoid the sight of the beautiful woman, succumb to its deathly allure and also enter the river, heading towards it with fervor.

Alonwyn and Lilith attempt to stop them from swimming towards the willow tree, but the entranced men struggle away, the charm too powerful. The four begin to fight over the figure, swimming in the water, struggling with each other over who will get to approach her. Magnus finally swims under the veil of the weeping willow’s leaves, and is struck dumb by the unearthly beauty of a fey woman, naked save for a golden necklace, finding her to be the most beautiful thing he has ever seen, and he falls utterly prey to the woman’s will.

Kvothe suddenly snaps out of the creature’s charm, and is able to avoid approaching any further, but Alistair joins Magnus under the willow tree, similarly falling under its will. Korag-Gora, angered by the other men approaching the woman, flies into a rage and succumbs completely to the creature’s spell as well. Korag-Gora’s newfound holy zeal in the name of Arctura begins to burn his allies around him, unable to control the intense passion burning within him.

Lilith, resistant to the womanly creature’s spell, fires magic missiles at it, but is unable to see whether they connect through the willow’s branches. The woman draws Magnus and Kvothe near, but instead of embracing them, reveals a large, golden dagger, plunging it into their torsos with a sinister, alien gaze upon her face. Unphased by this, Kvothe and Magnus begin to fight over her love, and Magnus stabs Kvothe with his dagger, causing him to flee through the river to the nearby bank.

Alistair fires an eldritch blast at Korag-Gora, feeling the radiant energy burning his undead flesh. Korag-Gora swings his sword at Lilith, who flies above the river, knocking her out of the air and into the river. Alonwyn, struggling with her heavy armor in the rushing river, grabs onto the dangling and waving branches of the weeping willow. Lilith, now weakened by Korag-Gora’s attack, falls prey to the magical will of the womanly creature.

Kvothe, now free of the woman’s spell, realizes that the woman is not a real woman at all, but a fey creature called a lorelei, a sprite that uses its unearthly beauty and magic to bend mortals to its will. He calls out a warning to the others, but Korag-Gora, Magnus, and Lilith are still under the duress of the lorelei. Magnus and Korag-Gora notice Kvothe on the river bank, and are compelled to swim over and begin attacking him.

Alonwyn drags herself out of the water up the branches of the willow, and is able to jump from the tree to the river bank, but the lorelei emerges from the river and pierces her with its strange, golden dagger. Magnus and Korag-Gora continue battling Kvothe and Alistair, but Kvothe uses a thunder wave to blast the lorelei and her charmed servants. Alistair tries to fire a witch bolt at the lorelei, but it backfires as he is knocked around by the nearby fighting, blasting himself with the dark energy.

Alonwyn, brandishing her glaive, charges the lorelei and summons a divine smite from Arctura’s light, slashing through the fey’s flesh.

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Two Roads Diverged In a Filthy Bog
The party deals with a deadly ambush...

Sunday, 12th of Nerth, Year 3033

Seeing the swarm of many stirge gaining on them, the party begins running at full speed to try and outrun them. With nowhere to hide, they realize that the stirge will catch them shortly, and decide they must stand and try to run them off like the wasps before. Kvothe conjures a sphere of flame, sending the fiery ball into the swarm and charring them to ashy bits, solving the stirge problem. As they travel further, the rain begins to fall harder as the thunderstorm grows more intense.

Eventually, the party comes to a fork in the road, which confuses them, as they were sure that the main road would continue on without any divergent roads or forks. Unsure of which path to take, they inspect both roads and find that the path to the right seems man-made, or at least formed recently, as if mud, dirt, and rocks were thrown together hastily and messily with tiny hands to create the appearance of the main road.

Korag-Gora uses his ability to speak with animals to chat with a nearby frog, asking where to find the river. The frog says that it is further east, and that the fork in the road wasn’t there a short bit ago. The group takes the “real” path, but are frustrated to find another fork in the road a few hundred feet further, and this time, each path is indiscernible from the other.

The party debates on which direction to take. Alonwyn uses her sense undead ability, and can feel the presence of undead lying beneath the surface of the fen’s waters. Lilith flies up in the air to see if she can spot any clues, but only sees the looming thunderstorm approaching, huge flashes of lightning illuminating the sky before her.

After much discussion, they decide to take the left path. After some traveling, they see a distant, cloaked figure standing in the road amongst the gloom, flashes of lightning outlining its silhouette. Alistair uses his mind-reading potion to try and read the figure’s thoughts, but finds that it has none.

Thinking it an undead, Korag-Gora rushes the figure, smashing through it and shattering it to pieces. Finding it only a dummy crudely formed of mud and plant matter with a cloak thrown over the top, the party is confused as they stand at a dead end surrounded by bog.

Suddenly, a pack of small, goblin-esque creatures burst out of the water, surrounding the party and closing in. The creatures are hideous, with pale green, slimy skin overgrown with moss and fungi. Bloody tears continually flow down their face from their hate-filled eyes. Sharp, needle-like fangs glisten in their evil smiles, and gnarled, black claws hang from their twisted hands.

One of the ambushers rushes at Alistair, but Magnus is quick, and fires an arrow into it. The wounded creature opens its mouth and vomits a noxious stream of bog filth at Alistair, then rushes at his legs on all fours, sinking its claws into his flesh. Kvothe is also shot with the vomit attack of the bog gremlin, blinding him as he is shredded by razor-like claws. Three of the creatures set onto Korag-Gora, who uses his shield to deflect their attacks. Alonwyn is bitten on the wrist by one of them, and Lilith is also blinded by a bog filth stream.

Magnus lands another arrow in one of the creatures. Lilith tries grabbing one as it brushes past her, but it seems to turn to water in her grasp and escapes. Blinded, she spreads her wings and flies into the air. Korag-Gora, now empowered with rage, begins tearing into the three creatures that were attacking him, but they continue to claw at him. One of the creatures takes a chunk out of Alistair’s leg, chomping on the undead flesh with its vicious fangs.

Alonwyn swings her torch around her, trying to ward the assailants, and is able to burn one of them. Alistair, misfiring an eldritch blast, misty steps into a nearby swamp tree, hiding amongst the branches and leaves. Kvothe unleashes a thunder wave, blasting three of the monsters with a powerful electric shock. Magnus tips one of his arrows with the paralyzing venom of the giant wasps he collected, and manages to paralyze a creature after embedding it in its spine. Lilith uses her thaumaturgy to amplify her voice, slinging angry, infernal, devilish insults and threats at the creatures.

Korag-Gora swings his massive sword, slicing a creature, turning it into a splash of greenish-black water which flows into the bog. Kvothe transforms into a dire wolf, and the creatures jump atop his back and begin clawing him in a frenzy. Alistair summons a thorn whip at the creature that bit into his leg which wraps around its body, piercing into it and dragging it to slam into the base of the tree he is hiding in. Lilith, still blinded and overwhelmed by the frenzy, flies around, grabbing onto the tree Magnus is hiding in. Unsure what else to do, she lights the branches up using her magic and lets out a guttural roar of frustration.

The rest of the party continues fighting and attempting to slay the creatures, each of which burst into a watery substance and flow away after suffering enough trauma. Eventually, the last of the attackers is dispatched, and the group is left standing bloodied in the rain. Without anywhere else to go, they turn back from the dead end, heading back to the fork to take the other path.

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Swamped
The party battles the vile denizens of Mitrula Fen...

Sunday, 12th of Nerth, Year 3033

After having bile and undead leeches spewed on them, Kvothe and Alistair snap out of the spell cast on them by the will-o’-wisp. Now realizing they are standing waist-deep in fetid swamp water, covered in leeches and putrid bile, with a haunted corpse shambling towards them, they realize they are in a bad position. The wisps seem to disappear, fading into the darkness of the fen.

Magnus draws his bow and fires an arrow down the throat of the undead, the shaft of the arrow jutting grotesquely from its gaping jaw. The zombie bites down and snaps the arrow in half, lunging at Alistair and slamming its head into him, knocking him silly and causing him to collapse below the water. Kvothe transforms into a bear, shedding some of the leeches, and begins slashing his huge claws into the jellied flesh of the putrid haunt.

Lilith dives below the surface of the water, searching for the submerged Alistair, and tries to drag his lifeless body, but is unable to rescue him from the marshy waters. Alonwyn uses a healing potion to heal herself. Lilith flies up into the air, but feels another powerful shock from one of the will-o’-wisps. A wisp appears in front of Korag-Gora, who promptly drops his hulking shield onto it, causing it to disappear. Magnus tries to stab the wisp with an arrow from between Korag-Gora’s goliath legs, but, confused by the wisp’s strange way of fading in and out of visibility, accidentally embeds the sharp tip into the goliath’s calf muscle.

Kvothe attacks the haunt, rending at it with claws and sending one of its arms flying into a nearby tree trunk and into the dark, muddy waters. Alistair awakens and wades back to the main road, emerging from the marsh waters while plucking leeches off of his undead flesh. Lilith shoots a ray of frost at a nearby will-o’-wisp. Another wisp attacks her with its lightning, knocking her unconscious and causing her to fall from a great height into the swamp. Magnus tries to use his rope tied to a piton as a makeshift grappling hook, but the mechanism fails as he tries to climb a nearby tree and he topples into the swamp water as well.

Alonwyn enters the waters with her shield raised, protecting herself from the mindless barrage of the putrid haunt’s slams. Alistair plunges himself back into the water to help Lilith, who he saw fall from the sky, just as a will-o’-wisp is closing in on her and attempting to consume her remaining life. Using his ability to spare the dying tiefling, he stabilizes her condition. Alonwyn steps in between them and the wisp with her shield. Lilith regains consciousness, coughing up putrid bog water, and notices the wisp, causing her to angrily fire magic missiles into its glowing form and destroying it.

Magnus pulls himself out of the water and climbs the tree, hiding himself amongst the fungus growing on its bark. Alonwyn is charged by the putrid haunt and slashes its head off with a swift swing of her glaive. The undead persists, swinging wildly, but Kvothe tears it to pieces in his monstrous bear jaws. He then transforms back into his native form and heals Lilith.

Now covered in bog filth and the stench of putrid bile, the party picks the remaining leeches off their skin and continue east along the road in poor spirits. The sky continues to darken and rain begins to spit in a fine, sparse dribble. As they travel, Magnus suddenly feels a sharp pain in his neck, and can feel blood being drained from him. He slaps the offending thing from his neck, knocking a grotesque, pink, flesh-and-bony creature to the ground. Alonwyn notices it is a stirge, a vile vermin akin to a bat and a mosquito with a long, sharp proboscis used to pierce through flesh like a needle and feed on blood.

Alonwyn magically heals Magnus’s pierced neck, but they can tell that there are more stirge swarming the area. More begin to swoop in, trying to latch onto their skin with their hook-like claws, but the party swats at them and knocks a few out of the air. Moving faster now and wanting to escape the stirge-ridden swamp, they notice a large cloud of the vermin gaining on them from behind.

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I Don't Speak Gnomish
Avoiding gnomes, killing wasps, and saving owlbears...

Starsday, 11th of Nerth, Year 3033

Early that morning, the party gathers their things and sets out eastward towards the location of the Bleeding Tooth. The Heirophant lays out the quickest route through the Sporest – follow the main road through Mitrula Fen, take the river south to Lake Muscarine, then follow the stream eastward to the cliffs of the Maw. After traveling through the tunnels of the myconid colony, they part ways with the Heirophant and emerge on the surface of the Sporest floor.

As they travel northward through the dense, fungal forest, Kvothe spots a pool of water that they could use to refresh their waterskins. After Alonwyn blesses the water, they drink their fill and refill their skins for the journey ahead.

Barkley, who has been following the party loyally, begins making a commotion and sniffing around something nearby. Alistair finds that it’s a deer carcass, stripped to the bone of almost all of its meat. Kvothe investigates the corpse and finds that it was like killed by a massive predator, likely a bear, but the bite marks show signs of a massive, raptor-like beak. This leads him to believe it’s a different beast altogether – an owlbear, a hulking monstrosity with a bear-like body and the head of an owl. He explains that it is unknown how owlbears originated, whether by the experimentation of some mad wizard or the curse of a god, but that they are fierce beasts and not to be trifled with.

Leaving the scene of the mutilated deer, the party keeps moving northeast through the woods, eventually coming to the main road a little after noon. Taking the road east, the party soon grows travel-weary and discuss whether they should attempt to reach Mitrula Fen or stop and rest before. As they talk, they begin to hear the approaching sounds of cartwheels on the stony and weathered road, causing them to abandon the road and hide in the dense trees and brush nearby.

A caravan of Mushburrow gnomes atop carts pulled by giant badgers come into view, likely heading east to the faraway cities that buy their mushrooms. Lilith thinks they can hitch a ride with them, but the party tries to stop her, saying that they would obviously recognize them as the group that “attacked” Mushburrow and turn against them. Lilith changes her appearance using her sorcery, turning herself into a gnome of similar stature and garb, and steps out into the road to get their attention.

She begins talking to them and asking if she and her companions can have a ride, and the gnomes look extremely confused and speak to her in gnomish, which she cannot speak. She tries to interact with them, but they begin to become more and more confused and irritated. Alistair disguises himself as Raff and intervenes, trying to get the gnomes to turn around by saying that they are in danger of being attacked by the evil intruders from before. His lies do not work, and the gnomes, extremely flustered and sensing something is off, speed off down the road, disappearing.

The party travels further east along the road, eventually entering an open glade where the dense forest and giant mushrooms have grown more sparse, allowing thick grass, large flowers, and other plants to thrive. They notice the heavy thrumming of huge insects buzzing around. Upon further inspection, they find that the insects are giant wasps. Worried by their presence, the party decides to push forward, but Kvothe insists that the wasps will be harmless if they are not threatened, harmed, or intruded upon.

With evening approaching, they decide to set up camp instead of pushing on and possibly getting stuck somewhere even more dangerous. As they set up camp, they notice distant orange glows that they have seen throughout their time in the Sporest – the fire beetles that roam the forest at night.

As the party spends their evening eating and resting, they hear the bellowing roar of what can only be an owlbear echoing through the glade. They realize that it isn’t as far as they would hope. The group also notice that the previously dormant and scattered wasps seem to be flying from the north side of the glade to the south, gathering together. Soon the party notice two large animal figures moving towards them in the moonlight from across the glade, and realize that the two figures are owlbears, a mother and cub, followed by an angry swarm of giant wasps.

Lilith flies into the air and unleashes a ray of frost at the swarm of wasps, freezing about half of their numbers dead, causing a frosty insect hail. Magnus opens his eversmoking bottle, releasing the magical smoke into the glade and enveloping the party. Kvothe summons a gust of wind, blowing the smoke into the wasp swarm and causing them to scatter, and Alistair uses fire to pick off a few of them. Using another frost ray, Lilith takes out another swath of the frenzied wasps, but is stung twice in the process. Alonwyn raises her shield to protect from the wasps. Kvothe summons a flaming spear, sending it through some of them and turning them to ash.

During the chaos, Alistair notices the owlbears being attacked and stung badly by the remaining swarm, wasp honey covering their faces, the mother trying to protect and cover its cub while swinging its huge claws and roaring, but clearly losing the battle and succumbing to the venomous stings. Alistair attacks the assailing wasps and attempts to calm the owlbears, managing to soothe them and keep them from attacking him.

Lilith, now badly hurt by being repeatedly stung while flying in the midst of the swarm, falls to the ground and crawls under her blanket to hide. Kvothe, seeing the damage dealt to his friends as well as the owlbears, uses Foxfire to cast a mass healing spell to cure the wounds of the party and the injured creatures. Kvothe then attempts to charm the owlbears, which begins to work, but wears off as quickly as it began.

The party decides that they should escape, as the wasps are still in a frenzy and stinging them badly. As they step out of the cloud of smoke created by the eversmoking bottle, they are all swarmed and stung repeatedly, and the paralyzing venom of the wasps begins to set in and affect everyone but Kvothe, Korag-Gora and Alistair.

As the wasps begin to close in and swarm worse than ever, the healed owlbears return and slash through the wasp swarms, sending the surviving wasps scattering into the night. The owlbear matron and cub hesitate for a moment, and perhaps send a look of gratitude towards the party before disappearing into the night.

Sunday, 12th of Nerth, Year 3033

After about an hour, the paralyzing effects of the wasp venom wears off and the party cleans up their camp and make their beds, exhausted.

Early the next morning, the party awakens and notice the wasp carnage that surrounds their camp. Magnus harvests a vial of venom from one of the stingers of a fallen wasp. Over breakfast, they discuss whether they should attempt to gather some of the honey from the giant wasp hive, a delicacy worth a lot of money and highly valued for its incredible properties. They decide it best not to tamper with the wasps again and pack up for the day’s journey.

After many hours of traveling the road under a dull, grey, overcast sky, the forest begins to change as the ground becomes wetter and muddier, giving way to pools of stagnant water and bog, the only safe path being the main road. The air begins to befoul with a putrid stench of rot and decay, of stagnation and standing water. Soon they find themselves in the swampy confines of Mitrula Fen with a thunderstorm on the horizon.

As the journey goes on, they begin to notice strange, pulsing orbs of light dancing above the black, murky surface of the fen’s waters. As they walk, they notice the orbs bouncing nearer, their hypnotic movements almost drawing the travelers into the swamp. One of the orbs draws close to Alonwyn and Lilith, who feel it begin to “pull” at them in a strange, sinister way. Magnus tries to stab at the wisp, but the blade passes through it. Alonwyn swings her glaive through it, but the orb is unphased, sending a powerful arc of energy at them and shocking them both.

Alonwyn attempts to catch the wisp in a bottle, but it phases right through the glass, floating over their heads and into the faces of Kvothe and Alistair. Pulsing with gentle, hypnotic light, the orb beckons them both to follow it into the black waters of the fen, compelling them to leave the road. The wisp succeeds, and they both submerge themselves into the putrid water, unaware of their own actions and under the spell of the sinister dancing light.

Horrified, the rest of the party watch as the pair wade further into the water after the wisp, shouting at them to turn around and get out of the water. Lilith flies over to them, trying to grab and pull them backwards and snap them out of the wisp’s charming spell.

Suddenly, the surface of the swamp is broken as a hideous, rotten and overgrown corpse rises from its depths, hidden beneath moss and plants, a putrid stench and hissing sound bursting from its gaping jaw. Before they can react, a torrent of undead leeches, putrid bile, and mud explodes from its mouth as it vomits, dousing Kvothe and Alistair and covering them with leeches.

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Big Trouble In Little Mushburrow
The party escapes Mushburrow after all hell breaks loose...

Starsday, 11th of Nerth, Year 3033

Hearing the commotion from the village gnomes, Lilith and Alonwyn awake in the tavern and head downstairs to meet the rest of the party. As they are explaining what happened within the mushroom processing factory, Willow bursts into the room and frantically tells the group that the slime molds are loose all over the village, and she explains that Gazrik will definitely see the release of the molds as an act of terrorism on behalf of the myconids, and will incite full-fledged war. She commands them to rescue Magnus from the dungeons and escape the village before they are sought out.

Alistair uses his infernal magic to disguise himself as Raff, thinking it will help deflect any gnomes from attacking him. Kvothe, fearing that they will be leaving the village and the bleeding tooth right under their noses, uses his druidic powers to search for the fungus, but is unable to detect it nearby.

Meanwhile, Magnus begins sneaking out of the dungeons, as he hears the distant rumbles of battle above, and fears the worst for his companions.

As the party sneaks out of the tavern towards the barracks, the gnome guards are all busy battling the assailing slime molds which are hungry for fresh meat. A few gnome guards stand watch in front of the barracks, battling back any slime molds that attempt to get inside. Alistair, disguised as Raff, manages to persuade the gnomes to abandon their post, and the party is able to enter the barracks, where they find Magnus.

The group sneak out of the barracks and bolt directly into the woods, avoiding any conflict with the gnomes. Now safe from danger, Kvothe attemps to meld remotely using spores trapped in Alonwyn’s bottle, and is able to meld and communicate with the Sovereign, warning the myconids of the coming danger.

After marching for hours, tired and hungry, the party arrives back at the entrance to the myconid city as dawn breaks. Upon arriving in the depths of Myconopolis, the myconids are active and mobilizing, as opposed to their usual state of physical inactivity, living within the meld.

The party speaks with the Sovereign and explain what happened at Mushburrow, and how they incited the gnomes to want to go to war. The Sovereign says that they completed their end of the agreement, even though they failed to avoid conflict. The Sovereign releases meld spores, but Korag-Gora covers his face and Alistair is unaffected. The rest of the party enters the meld, and are transported astrally through the Sporest, seeing the path to the location of the Bleeding Tooth – a deep, dangerous crevice inhabited by evil creatures known only as the Maw.

The group decides to rest and regain their health before making the arduous journey east through the Sporest to the Maw. Each party member tests their potions that they discovered in the Mushburrow factory, finding each one to have a different effect: Korag-Gora’s a potion that turns one into smoke form; Alonwyn’s a potion of swiftness; Alistair’s a potion that allows one to read thoughts; Lilith’s a potion of invisibility; Kvothe’s a potion of levitation; and Magnus’s a potion of growth.

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Factory Investigation
The mushroom factory is explored...

Firesday, 10th of Nerth, Year 3033

Now shortly after midnight, the celebration at the Turgid Truffle continues as Alistair walks between the colossal roots of the huge, petrified and hollow trunk, descending an earthen ramp into the darkness below. Finding no gnome workers or archivists to be found in the dark, twilit night, Alistair decides to head deeper into the wide, heavily-trodden entrance tunnel. He notices that Barkley has followed him and wishes to accompany him below.

The tunnel, lit by glowing mushrooms which resemble lantern lights, descends and makes a sharp turn, coming suddenly to large wooden desk with a sleeping gnome resting his head atop it. Below his head, all manner of scattered parchment and record books can be seen, as well as a large, empty bottle of liquor or wine. Behind him, a wall seemingly carved out of a petrified root stands with a large wooden door with a barred window set within it. Above the door, a small bell hangs, attached to a mechanism that connects to the door’s hinges.

Meanwhile, having noticed Alistair and Barkley slip away to the factory, Korag-Gora sits silently in the night. Two guards emerge from the manse of Gazrik Capwink, and begin walking towards the factory not far behind. He decides to head that way as well.

Alistair stealthily investigates what is on the desk, but doesn’t find anything of interest. Noticing the sound of heavy footfalls and hushed whispers approaching, Alistair looks around at his surroundings for somewhere to hide. Peering under the desk, he is surprised to see the snarling face of a giant badger crawling out from a hidden burrow in the wall. Using his animal handling skills as a former farmer, he is able to calm the beast and quickly slides into the badger’s burrow with Barkley, creating a very snug and somewhat cramped hiding place.

Back at the tavern, Kvothe realizes that Alistair and Korag-Gora have disappeared. He asks Alonwyn and Lilith if they have seen where they went, as he wants a real drinking buddy, but they are too intoxicated to give a straight answer, and decide to head off to bed. He then decides to sneak into the barracks to check on Magnus, thinking that Alistair and Korag-Gora themselves might have done the same thing. In order to pass by the sleeping militia, he transforms himself into a mouse to remain hidden and quiet. Once in the dungeon, Magnus awakens, and when asked by Kvothe whether he’s seen either of them, he says he hasn’t, so Kvothe heads back out of the barracks again, leaving Magnus to sleep more, recovering from his injury and exhaustion.

Korag-Gora, having tailed the guards through the tunnel of the factory, comes up right behind them as they reach the table of the passed-out gnome. The guards are taken for a shock when they notice the hulking goliath standing behind them, and nearly have a panic attack. Korag-Gora asks them what they are doing, and they state sheepishly that they are investigating an intrusion, and that technically Korag-Gora is an intruder as well and that he should leave. Unphased, Korag-Gora offers to help them search for the intruder. They are too afraid of him to say no, so he begins searching the tunnel for signs of Alistair.

Immediately, he notices the badger burrow, and peering in, sees a badger, Barkley, and Alistair looking out at him, Alistair making silent, frantic gestures to not rat him out to the guards. Standing up and turning to the guards, he says there’s no sign of the intruder, and that he must’ve already left. The guards, eager to get back to sleep, say thanks and head back to the surface.

Alistair pulls himself out of the burrow once the guards have disappeared, and Alistair thanks Korag-Gora for covering for him. He says that he thinks the gnomes are hiding something, possibly the location of or information about the bleeding tooth.

Examining the door and its apparatus, Korag-Gora pulls the clapper out of the small bell to keep from alerting anyone. Testing the door, they find that the door opens without needing to be unlocked. The sleeping gnome waykeeper remains undisturbed. They pass deeper into the factory, into the tunnel beyond.

Back at the surface, Kvothe bumps into the two guards and asks them if they have seen their friend Alistair. They explain that they are busy searching for an intruder. Finding the description of the intruder eerily similar to Alistair, he makes his way to the factory and comes to the checkpoint. Finding the giant badger, Kvothe uses his druidic magic to speak with the badger, asking if it has seen any sign of his friends. The badger, in its simplistic badger tongue, crudely explains that Alistair and Korag-Gora passed deeper into the factory. Barkley emerges from the burrow and, after a bittersweet goodbye with the giant badger, follows Kvothe through the checkpoint.

Many feet ahead, Kvothe and Barkley meet up with Korag-Gora and Alistair in a hallway with many doors along each wall. The ceiling has rows of metal pipes running along the ceiling of the tunnel. The floor is no longer a hard-packed dirt and instead a cobblestone patchwork.

Finding the first door locked, Korag-Gora kicks it in, sending the solid wooden door flying inwards. Much to their horror, a loud, horrible shriek begins piercing their ears, emanating from the darkness of the room. Peering inside with their ears covered, the room appears to be a modest office, with a large desk and some shelves covered in books.

To the left of the door, a strange, tall, purple mushroom stalk with many open, quivering pores can be seen vibrating, creating the horrible shriek. Korag-Gora drops the door he kicked in onto the fungus, smashing it to a pancake and smothering the sound. They investigate the room, but all of the writings and books are written in Gnomish. They find a box, and inside find some gold and six potions, each in small bottles containing strange-hued liquids. They take the potions but leave the gold.

They find the next door in the hallway locked as well. Instead of kicking the door in, Korag-Gora goes back to the checkpoint and finds the drunken gnome still slumbering. Searching his person,he finds a key hanging from his belt. Using they key, they unlock the room and are greeted with the same ear-shattering, piercing shriek. Smashing the mushroom, they find a similar office.

Alistair searches the desk and finds a mushroom farming almanac written in Common, complete with many varieties and types of fungus. In the margins, notes in Gnomish are scribbled. He manages to find an entry on the bleeding tooth, and reads some new information – the bleeding tooth usually lies at low elevations, but rarely entirely beneath ground, as it needs small amounts of light. It is also commonly found at the foot of trees, which do not grow beneath the earth. Taking the almanac, they return to the hall.

They notice that the pipes in the hall are leaking water in some places, and buckets and ladders have been haphazardly placed to make ramshackle repairs to the leaks. They eventually come to a T-intersection in the hall, with the path to the left ascending and the path to the right descending. They elect to head to the right. After descending a ways along the dimly lit hall, they come to a wider tunnel which is no longer furnished or floored. The tunnel has many struts and supports along the walls and ceiling, similarly to a mine.

Korag-Gora is worried about the air quality, wondering if it could possibly be poisonous. Alistair sends a ball of flame down the hall, testing the air and illuminating the tunnel with red light. No explosions ensue, so Korag-Gora lights a torch to guide the way. They pass many branching tunnels, each labeled with signs written in Gnomish, but eventually come to a large, barred and locked door similar to the one at the checkpoint. The sign above the door is written in thick, bold, red script.

Unlocking the door, they peer down the tunnel into the darkness. Korag-Gora shouts into the dark, hearing nothing but his own voice echoing, to test the structural integrity of the tunnel. They encourage Alistair to fire another flame down the hall. Much to his horror, the fire roars into a blaze, engulfing the room ahead.

Rushing towards the light of the flame, they find the chamber to be composed mostly of old wooden struts and structures, now on fire, creating a walkway or catwalk suspended above a large pit. Below, they see squirming and moving creatures appearing to be made of fungus, slime, or mold. The platform is held up by large wooden pillars and supports which had been coated in a strange oily substance, but the oil is flammable and had burned up. In the center of the platform, there is a lift apparatus next to a crate of rotting meat.

Burning debris and chunks of wood begin falling down into the pit of slime molds, agitating them and causing the horde of hundreds to begin to climb their way out, no longer impeded by the oil that blocked their path and caused them to slide downward. Now reaching the wooden platform and moving towards the party, Kvothe throws the pile of rotten meat onto the floor, causing them to swarm it in an attempt to absorb the food, but it is quickly decomposed by the many creatures.

The party runs back through the tunnel from the stampede of slime. Kvothe uses an earthen tremor to collapse the tunnel and trap the slime molds in the chamber. It blocks their path, but they are able to climb over the choppy, rocky terrain. Alistair commands Barkley to leave the factory and escape. Korag-Gora runs back to the offices to retrieve the door he kicked from the hinges, bringing it back and slamming it into the place of the windowed door. Kvothe casts an entanglement spell on it, binding it into place with creeping and grasping vines which grip it with great force.

Sighing with relief, but fearing the worst from Gazrik and the Mushburrow forces, the three quickly head towards the exit of the factory to head back to the tavern.

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Fungus & Flagons
The party plays a tavern game...

Thundersday, 9th of Nerth, Year 3033

As pandemonium begins to break out between the party and Willow, Korag-Gora, carrying Alonwyn, rushes away from the altercation. Magnus shouts in pain as an arrow pierces the flesh of his thigh

Willow, without missing a beat, pulls a small pouch from her belt, revealing a strange, white powder. Tossing it into the air and sending a cloud of foul-smelling dust into the nostrils of the party, Lilith and Kvothe find their magics rendered useless, transforming Kvothe back to his normal state from a giant badger. Willow explains that the dust is the spores of the “spell-jammer”, a fungus known to dispel magic and quell magical abilities. Lilith, now panicking without her abilities, flies directly up into the air, above the crowd of agitated gnomish workers and soldiers. Alistair remains hidden from the crowd, hiding in the shadows of the barracks.

Meanwhile, hundreds of feet away, Korag-Gora unties Alonwyn, who says they should have stayed with their friends. She asks him to come with as she heads back down the road, but Korag-Gora refuses to head back to Mushburrow.

Back in the village, Magnus, dropping his daggers, gritting in pain, holds his hands up and pleads with Willow, asking her to hold on and not attack anymore. Willow slowly lowers her bow, eyeing the halfling with suspicion. As this happens, a shrill cry rings out from beyond the crowd of gnomes.

An old, hunched gnome, flanked by Raff, an exceptionally large giant badger, and Barkley, emerges from a large toadstool mansion on the other side of the plaza. The gnome is withered and hunched over, leaning on a walking stick adorned with the shape of a large toadstool on the end, with a long, thin, white beard. As he cries out, he begins coughing and hacking a wet and unpleasant cough.

The gnome orders his men to stand down as Willow attempts to explain the strangers’ crimes. The old gnome waives away their crimes, saying that they are of utmost importance to them and that he wishes to speak with them on the morrow about the “rotheads”. He then orders Magnus to be imprisoned in the dungeons as collateral, so that the party does not leave or do anything stupid in the meantime. He then invites the rest of the group to stay at the local tavern, the Turgid Truffle, and to enjoy their time in Mushburrow. As Magnus is restrained by gnomish guards, the boss turns and disappears into his mansion once again.

Raff goes up to Magnus as he is being restrained, and begs him for forgiveness saying he couldn’t speak up or the Boss would know that he had made a deal with them. He promises to get Magnus out of the dungeon, but to go along with it for now. The guards lift Magnus above their shoulders and carry him through the barracks down below Mushburrow to the dungeons. Barkley reunites with the party, who apologize to the pooch for losing track of him.

Shortly thereafter, Alonwyn arrives in the village center again to find the party missing Magnus. Lilith and Kvothe explain what happened while she and Korag-Gora had abandoned the group.

Willow approaches the party and apologizes for attacking them, but explains that she has to uphold her duty to protect the village. She also expresses her hatred of Magnus.

She explains to them that the boss of Mushburrow is named Gazrik Capwink, and that he is consumed with hatred for the myconids, who he sees as enemies of the gnomes because of the death of his son, Gimble, due to their poison spores. She says that Gazrik wants to wipe out the myconids completely, and that he wants to interrogate the party for information to help in this endeavor, or possibly enlist their aid.

She begs the group to not give Gazrik any information, as she is against the xenocide of the myconids, and wants to find a peaceful resolution. She suggests they lay low and leave Mushburrow in the middle of the night.

After hearing this troubling information, the group decide to reunited with Korag-Gora and try to coerce him into joining up again. They find Korag-Gora waiting statue-like at the gate to Mushburrow, and are able to persuade him to follow them back with the promise that they will leave the village soon.

Meanwhile, in the dungeons below Mushburrow, Magnus is locked in a cell. Magnus persuades Raff to make the guards allow him to keep his belongings, but Raff tells the halfling rogue to behave himself and disappears to go attend to the Boss once more.

Once the guards clear out of the room, a solitary gnome guard is left sitting at a table. Magnus, still bleeding from his leg wound, yells out to the guard that he requires magical healing from his companions. The guard does his best to ignore him, but Magnus continues to harass the gnome, who reveals his name is Stimmy. Finally, he gives in, and disappears to find the party for Magnus.

Alistair, interested in the towering, hollowed tree stumps billowing clouds of water vapor, decides to approach the complex and see if he can get any information from the workers. As he approaches, passing groups of gnomes and roving badgers pulling carts of supplies, he comes to the entrance of the left structure. Stopping a passing gnome worker, Alistair inquires if he can learn about some of the mushrooms they farm here, as he is searching for a specific one. The gnome, looking somewhat irked to have his work interrupted, says that if he comes back later that evening, the archivist would speak with him about it.

Stimmy emerges from the barracks and nervously asks Alonwyn to heal Magnus. They go down through the tunnels to the dungeon and Alonwyn uses her divine healing to mend the halfling’s arrow wound. Raff shows up and is surprised to see the entire party in the cell with Magnus. In an effort to make it up to the party for letting them down, he offers drinks at the Turgid Truffle, wanting to have a good time and blow off some steam. Magnus, now freed from the cell, decides to stay in the cell to avoid causing even more trouble for the party. Also, he says he wants to keep Stimmy the Dungeon Keeper company, much to the gnome’s distress.

Finally, the group gives in and follows Raff back to the tavern as the sun begins to set. Outside the tavern, Raff hypes the group up for a round of “fungus & flagons”, a drinking game of chance with some stomach-turning consequences. The party does not seem enthused, but after some convincing, they agree to come inside. Korag-Gora refuses to enter, as his shield won’t fit through the door, and instead elects to sit on the ground. Disappointed, Raff challenges Korag-Gora in an effort to spark his competitive edge, but the goliath cannot be swayed.

Inside, the Turgid Truffle is abustle with activity. One of the only buildings in Mushburrow accommodating for larger humanoids, a few human mercenaries can be seen drinking alongside the many gnomes. A gnomish bard plays a lute alongside a drummer. A large truffle hog is splayed out on the floor in front of the bar, its body heaving as it sleeps happily despite the din of the barroom.

Raff calls to the barkeep for a game of fungus & flagons, much to the cheers and applause of the room. A table is prepared with a spinning, circular apparatus upon which six metal flagons are placed and filled with ale. The barkeep produces a small box, and upon opening it, a hideously foul stench greets the nostrils of the party. Using tongs, he pulls a glob of what appears to be a putrid, fungal growth from the box and, before anyone can protest, drops it into one of the flagons and gives the spinning surface a good whirl.

Now in the dark as to which flagon contains the disgusting fungus, the six players (in this case, Alistair, Kvothe, Lilith, Alonwyn, Raff, and a gnome named Trilby) take turns selecting flagons and gulping down the entirety of the liquid therein at once. The rules are simple – everyone puts in a gold piece; when someone loses the contents of their stomach, they are out of the game; the last one standing wins the pile of gold, unless the person who gets the fungus manages to keep it down!

Kvothe, taking a bold strategy, decides to use his druidic magic to detect poison within the flagons to identify the one containing the toxic cocktail. Grabbing the one containing the fungus, sure that his stomach will not fail him, he tosses it back, and is met with the foulest flavor ever to grace his tongue. Choking the noxious mixture down, he feels his stomach turn, and promptly vomits. Next, Trilby the unfortunate gnome accidentally chooses the fungus as well, and is eliminated when he eliminates his dinner. Soon after, Raff selects the fungus and runs outside to puke, Korag-Gora watching the pathetic display. Finally, Alistair ends up with the fungus, but is unphased by the horrible taste. The warlock acts his best to be disgusted and hold back his vomit, putting on a convincing enough display to convince the crowd of onlookers, and wins the game thanks to his undead stomach. As everyone prepares the next game, Alistair slips out of the tavern and heads back to the mushroom “factory” in search of the archivist.

Back in the dungeon, Magnus torments Stimmy with a game of “five-finger-filet”, winning some easy gold with his dexterous skills as the poor gnome self-inflicts a hand wound in the challenge.

As Alistair walks through the dark, quiet hub of the village, he looks over to the manse of Gazrik, and sees a silhouette peering from the dimly-lit window. Undeterred, he slips into the shadows and continues his way to the factory entrance he visited earlier.

Back at the tavern, a new game of fungus & flagons is beginning. Unexpectedly, Korag-Gora enters the building and approaches the table. Grabbing all six flagons at once, he pours the ale down his throat, jaw wide, ale pouring down his huge chest. The crowd watches him in silence and awe, and the barkeep sheepishly mentions that they hadn’t even put the fungus in yet. Korag-Gora silently leaves the tavern.

They start a new round, this time only Kvothe and Alonwyn along with four other gnomes named Fuddydud, Boddynok, Stabnik, and Fwoozel. After much gnomish vomit being spewed, Alonwyn finds the fungus, and through a critical moment of intestinal fortitude, is able to stomach the heinous fungus and win the game. Now having ingested quite a lot of alcohol, Lilith and Alonwyn start dancing and making merry with the gnomes as the bards play their gnomish jigs.

Now only Kvothe left with a thirst for fungus, a final game is started, this time with the same gnomes and a new challenger named Ankle. The game is long and arduous, with many gnomes projectile vomiting on each other in a disgusting and pathetic display, but Kvothe is able to pick up the win and secure the gold as the other gnomes drop like flies.

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Losing It
The group finds themselves slipping into chaos...

Windsday, 8th of Nerth, Year 3033

As the dust from the battle settles, the halfling ranger calls out to her company as the gnomes begin to collect scattered supplies and gather their dead. The scarred half-orc, still scorched by Alistair’s eldritch blast, picks himself up, grunting and growling in anger, looking around for a sign of what hit him.

Magnus approaches the halfling, attempting to “impress” her with his dagger skills and bragging about his skills in battle, but she only looks at him with disdain and hatred. The half-orc tells Magnus to leave her alone, and that she isn’t going to warm up to him. He introduces himself as Raff “One-Eye”, and explains that the halfling is named Willow, the captain of the gnome militia. Raff explains that he is a hired mercenary for the gnome company. He also explains that their trade caravan was stopped by their wagon being destroyed by the mechanical harvester.

The gnomes notice Alistair comforting the injured badgers, and gain enough trust to approach and speak with him. Kvothe, using Foxfire, heals Magnus, Lilith, Raff, Willow, and some of the injured gnomes. They thank him, and the act of kindness makes them feel more comfortable in the midst of such bizarre and seemingly powerful strangers.

Magnus, attemping to be serious and patch things up, tries to extend peace on behalf of his party and the Bobs, but he is met with mostly indifference by Willow and the gnomes. Raff, feeling bad for him and recognizing him and his friends as “outcasts and undesirables”, just like him, says that he can help them out by letting them speak to the boss of the gnomes. Knowing that Willow would protest, he says that they need to keep it a secret and not follow too closely behind. Once they reach the village, he could sneak them in – but for a price. Magnus attempts to challenge Raff to a game of dice, proposing that if he can beat Raff, that Raff will have to sneak them in for free. Unfortunately, Raff has no dice, so Magnus is unable to use his weighted dice to cheat the half-orc. Magnus and Raff agree to play later, and they pay him half of what he asked for up-front.

Kvothe produces his Elven lute, playing an ancient Elven ballad for the fallen gnomes as they bury their dead. Alonwyn comforts a gnome in mourning over the loss of his wife who was killed in the fray, and prays with him for her soul, which helps him find solace. Alistair helps the gnomes dig more graves for the fallen gnomes.

As night falls, Willow barks a command to move out and set up camp further north along the road. Raff says that he will sneak them into the village, but that they have to remember to stay far behind the gnome caravan so as not to draw attention or be spotted. The group agrees to hang back, and soon enough, the band of gnomes disappear into the darkness, the fire of their torches fading into the dense trees. Alonwyn begins to panic as the darkness sets in around them, but Lilith quickly makes her a light, staving off her panic attack.

Magnus, suddenly compelled by gibbering whispers in his mind, pulls out his eldritch trinket and begins to lose his mind, seeing horrifying creatures that phase in and out of reality and the fourth dimension. Soon, everything surrounding him flashes between reality and a terrifying, indescribably evil subterranean dimension where he is surrounded by twisted monstrosities. The party attempts to calm him, but he only sees them as evil figures, and runs from them screaming.

Kvothe drinks from his waterskin of pyschoactive water, hoping to capture a bit of the magic of the meld that he experienced before.

Korag-Gora, trying to snap Magnus out of it, slaps the halfling hard across the face, but Magnus just starts screaming a blood-curdling howl, thinking that he is being attacked by a tentacle-faced horror. The goliath tries to muffle the halfling’s creams, but Magus bites his hand, fighting for his life.

Soon, the party notices many strange, fiery orange lights far away in the distance of the Sporest, and notices that, oddly, they are moving slowly. Lilith attempts to recall some knowledge about the strange lights, but can’t recall the information, and the mental strain sparks a surge of wild magic that bursts forth from her mind.

Suddenly, a strange, small clockwork creature appears in a burst of extra-planar smoke – a modron. The small construct turns around, searching his surroundings with a single mechanical eye. Making no sound other than an eerie whirring, the creature begins to panic as he is no longer in his clockwork dimension, pushing a gear or whatever it is a modron does. Lilith attemps to pick it up, but it produces a tiny bronze knife, lifting it into the air in retaliation. Just before it stabs, the modron disappears in another puff of smoke, leaving the party bewildered and speechless.

Suddenly, they realize that Barkley is missing. Looking for signs of the hound, Kvothe finds Barkley’s paw tracks leading along the path with the gnomes, which puts them somewhat at ease.

Alistair proposes that the group just spend the night in the glade to rest, eat, and sleep. The group argues over whether to stay in the glade or attempt to follow the path. Eventually, the group decides to call it a night and sleep within the glade.

Thundersday, 9th of Nerth, Year 3033

At dawn, the group awakens. Kvothe uses his druidic magic to search the vicinity for the bleeding tooth, but is unable to locate it.

Realizing that they are out of water and very thirsty, Kvothe then decides to search for running water to drink. Curiously, he finds a strange, very large umbrella-like mushroom with a constant flow of water pouring from atop its cap in a never-ending sheet of water all around its circumference. Guessing some kind of magical source, the group fills their waterskins and use the enchanted fountain as a shower to bathe, having become extremely dirty and travel-weary from their journey.

While bathing, a few of the party members feel a tiny slap on their behinds, but when they turn, there is nothing and no one there. Confused, they go back to bathing. Shortly after, Lilith hears a disembodied giggle, and then is transformed into a tiny white rabbit in a poof of magic. Alistair, feeling magic come over him, is stood frozen in confusion.

Magnus, similarly feels a magic cast over him, but begins running full speed into the woods, with no control over himself. Magnus, running through the woods, is suddenly tripped and grasped by rapidly growing and twisting weeds, but he is able to break free of the grasping plants. As he tries to escape again, he hears a disembodied, childish voice that says “Not so fast!” with a giggle, and he suddenly feels himself drifting to sleep.

Kvothe, Alonwyn, and Korag-Gora find the rabbit, and are able to detect magic emanating from it. They realize the rabbit is Lilith. Korag-Gora senses that he can knock Lilith back to her normal form by punching her, but this sends rabbit-form Lilith into a frightened panic, and she tries to escape. Biting and clawing at Alonwyn, who is holding her, she finally leaps from her hands, and Korag-Gora sends a goliath fist in the furry haunches of the tiny beast. In a puff of smoke and dust, Lilith is returned to his normal form.

Alistair follows Magnus’s tracks and finds him lying on the forest floor, asleep. After waking him up, Magnus realizes he is missing his entire money pouch, as well as his ever-smoking bottle.

Kvothe, detects something magical perched on the mushroom’s cap, and casts faerie fire on the invisible form, but the mysterious creature dispels his spell, keeping itself hidden. They hear a tiny giggle.

Korag-Gora, fed up with the tricks, produces a throwing axe, flinging it blade over haft at a frightening speed. With a sickening splatter, the tiny creature is sliced in half, its invisibility instantly dispelled, revealing a small, female pixie, now only few pieces of gore and torn fairy wings. Magnus’s money purse explodes from the impact, sending a shower of gold and silver pieces raining down. The ever smoking bottle, somehow unharmed, soars through the air. Kvothe dives for the bottle and catches it without breaking the glass bottle. As the pixie dies, the magical fairy fountain ceases to flow from the mushroom cap.

Magnus, crawling around the forest floor, searches for as much of his money as he can gather, but only manages to recover a small amount of it. Korag-Gora gathers the pieces of the pixie and buries it below the stalk of the toadstool.

Alistair, clearly fed up by the madness of the past day and night, tries to persuade the group to abandon the forest forever and never come back, saying that the benefit of staying and finding the bleeding tooth, or helping the myconids, or following the gnomes, is not worth it. The group is stalwart, and ignores his pleading, saying that they have to stick to their quest.

After navigating the path taken by the gnome caravan, by late morning, they finally reach a fairly minimal wooden gate attached to fencing that stretches into the forest on either side. Not finding any sign of Raff or Barkley, the party begins to worry they have been abandoned. Magnus decides he wants to sneak into the village and see if he can spot Raff. Without much to disguise himself, he attempts to put together the look of one of the forest gnomes, but only manages to make himself look like a dirty, disheveled halfling.

Lilith alters her appearance using sorcery to look uncannily like a gnome. Alistair uses his eldritch magic to change himself to look like a human, trying to pass as a mercenary similar to Raff. Kvothe turns into a giant badger. Soon, the plan to infiltrate the village becomes a full-fledged, full-party affair, and the group comes up with the plan to make it look like Korag-Gora has turned on the party, and is delivering Alonwyn as a prisoner, and is being escorted by a new mercenary, two gnomes, and a giant badger. They tie Alonwyn up to look like a prisoner, and Korag-Gora carries her over a shoulder.

Magnus picks the lock of the gate and swings it open. They sneak in, and find a sleeping gnome guard resting on a giant badger, also asleep. The badger, sensing the party’s movement, awakens, looking confused. Alistair, using his animal handling skills, comforts the badger back to sleep. Magnus decides to knock out the sleeping guard cold and steal his clothes to improve his disguise.

Kvothe, leading ahead as a badger, falls into a concealed pit trap in the pathway. Mostly unharmed, he is able to pull himself out of the deep pit using his badger claws.

The party walks along the path, passing many fungal gardens and some gnomes working in them. Giant badgers pulling carts and digging in fields can be seen. Eventually, the group comes to the main hub of the village, nestled along the side of a river and surrounded by dense woodland.

Impossible to miss, at the far side of the village are two immense tree trunks, now hollowed stumps, as colossal as fortresses or castle towers. From the tops of the hollowed stumps, steam pours in billowing spouts – a sign of industry. Gnome workers can be seen moving along spiraling pathways carved in the wood, scaffolding and walkways suspended between, with windows and openings, outcroppings and platforms jutting from the sides, some built of wood, others naturally occurring fungal shelves and mushroom growths. Pulley systems lift and descend, pulling elevators loaded with crates and supplies from the foot of the complex to the tops. Brass pipes seem to pump water from the river into the complex, and pump some kind of waste further down back into the river.

Large toadstools and mushroom stalks sprout from around and at the foot of the huge complex, functioning as watchtowers and living quarters. An especially large toadstool situated between the stumps seems to serve as some kind of mansion or home, as it is lavishly decorated.

Surrounding the main complex, the windows of burrows glow with warm light from between the roots of trees, the sides of tree trunks, and from within toadstools. Sprawling gardens of fungus blanket the shady, moist forest floor. Ornate buildings carved from wood, some made from augmenting a particularly large toadstool or tree stump serve as workplaces and storage facilities for the gnomes.

As the party walks further into the village, their confidence rises as they notice the gnomes buying into their disguises. They hear some of the workers whisper that Alistair, disguised as a large, burly human, must be a newly-hired muscle. Suddenly, their plan is shattered as Willow emerges from a nearby building. Alistair, noticing Magnus preparing a speech, shoves the poorly-disguised rogue into a large growth of fungus and foliage, just in time for Willow to notice them.

The halfling approaches Lilith and Alistair, both disguised, and remarks that she has never seen them before and asks what they are doing with the goliath and half-elf. Alistair begins to explain that he is a new mercenary and friend of Raff, and that Korag-Gora has betrayed the group in order to turn over Alonwyn to them. Willow, seeing through the deception and very confused by the presence of Korag-Gora and Alonwyn, asks Alistair how he knows Raff, but Alistair freezes up, causing Willow to go on the offensive. She notches an arrow and sends it flying at Alistair, but the warlock uses misty step to disapparate away from harm in a wisp of mist.

Magnus emerges from the foliage and approaches Willow, trying to explain the situation and diffuse the tension by telling her their plan and how they tried to disguise themselves to get into the village, even going so far as to admit that he knocked out and stole the clothes of the guard gnome.

This sends Willow into a rage, as she quickly sends an arrow flying into Magnus’s thigh. Drawing another arrow upon her bowstring, she shouts for bows and spears at the ready to apprehend the intruders as Korag-Gora, carrying Alonwyn, begins dashing away.

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