We managed to make it to the gnome city, and it appeared deserted. The gates were closed, no one responded, and there did not seem to be any sign of life. Rather than break into a city that was until recently under invasion, when several of us are the race who did the invading, we elected to move on. Hopefully, if we are able to restore the trade at the central city, there will be enough resources available to help them rebuild their city and relight their forges.
Jaeger will not be as difficult to bring into elven or human cities as I thought, due to an ability to disguise himself as a dwarf. A magic user might be able to see through it, but given his power is sufficient to impress even Kellyn, it’s possible he will be able to be undetected as long as he doesn’t draw attention to himself.
Cora used her spell to listen to the road again, and mentioned several words which Lan translated as wondering if we would eat the pumpkins. These were a plant Fife knew of and described, and sure enough, we soon entered an area where they grew. Given the magical nature of this place and the Fae connection, it seemed massively unwise to consume any, especially since we were still in the Pumpkin Patch and would be for some time. I tried to discourage the others from collecting or harming the pumpkins, but they elected to disregard me. This felt similar to the ants we encountered on the way to Eeyore, and if we were going to collect them, we should perhaps do so on our way out. Looking around for would likely attack us, I soon saw a figure with a pumpkin as his head, who alerted us that he was the local king. After collecting several objects from us and asking Fife to decorate it, he gave us something to deliver to a local witch, Locasta, though he was unclear as to its purpose or intended effect. He did tell us that the Dragon did not come here due to the flying monkeys, although I am uncertain what a monkey is or how they would deal with a dragon.
Checking with my compass, I learned that giving the package to Locasta would disrupt the balance, but as the others had eaten of the pumpkins, I was loath to cross the Pumpkin King, lest he take vengeance upon us. Lan has made it very clear that we are not to take anything, agree to anything, and not speak to Fae if at all possible, a lesson they appeared to disregard in the patch. I didn’t see a way out of this, and lacking a specific direction to go in, I considered myself stepping back, and accompanying my companions on their way to deliver this package, Ma’at may or may not appreciate the subtlety of my position, but I felt I was following Cora’s guidelines and allowing them to act according to their natures, and to reap whatever they would.
We asked Fife about the brownies, as he was familiar with them, and might have different information from Lan, given there did not seem to be a significant Brownies presence where she came from, and he told us what he knew. Shortly thereafter, we came across a castle with spikes topped by pumpkins, either a sign of hostility or perhaps allegiance to a different faction. Rather than interact, we elected to move past, and were surprised when a giant pumpkin impacted the trees behind us. Osmun, who was at the reins, attempted to speed up the oxen, but was not as successful as we needed, and I quickly took over and managed to get them to accelerate and asked those with a free eye to check for additional projectiles to help me dodge if needed. Kellyn and Fife we able to destroy the next projectile, though it rained down pieces upon us, albeit doing little harm. When I thought we were out of range, I attempted to slow the oxen when a Brownie appeared and told me we would get hit if we continued, and we saw behind us 20 armed men on horseback. I quickly advised the Oxen to speed up again, and Osmun cast a spell which left a trail of pitch behind us, as the Brownie perched himself on the seat. In my excitement, I forgot myself and spoke, which Lan chided me for before taking over the conversation.
Lan translated her conversation with the Brownie, who told us of Locasta and her use of the merpeople for some unknown purpose, and then asked for my Espresso Moonshine. The Brownie tried some, and discovered it was an acquired taste, and I gave it the Cinnamon Moonshine I had been experimenting with, as I thought that to have a more pleasing flavor. In exchange for this, I was given a jeweled cup, and our travels continued. Through the use of the compass, I learned that the merpeople were being used as spell components of some fashion, and that Lan was likely to be taken if Locasta knew of her true nature.
Several days later, we encountered another boar, this time a green one. Having seen Fife kill one before, I expected it to be a quick battle, but somehow it was smart enough to fight tactically, and I rushed into the fight along with Tobias and Cora. Recognizing its size. I used the bronze spear which worked wonderfully against it, and it was soon slain. The mace I gave Tobias appeared to have some magical properties after all, as it caused a spot of silence after the impact, and I don’t think he was capable of causing a deafening just from his own strength. I contemplated butchering it for meat, but elected to listen to Amit when he indicated that this was a bad idea, although I did skin it, as the leather might make for excellent armor, and Tobias’ box, let along the cart means that taking it along was not an immediate issue. Before we left, I checked its stomach and discovered a partially digested brownies with jewelry which suggested a clan insignia. Rather than desecrate their dead, we burned the body as a sign of respect and began to leave, though not before several brownies appeared and began stabbing the boar corpse. We left them to their revenge and whatever story then elected to tell.
Several days later, we came to the tower, and saw a woman cast a net into the water, retrieving a merperson and taking them inside, and Lan entered the lake, though not shapechanging lest Locasta was watching, and came out a time later, telling us we needed to destroy the net. My first thought was to use my sword on it to disenchant it, but Fife wished to finish the delivery first. He knocked in the door, handed over the box, and then ate something, and then jumped into the lake. Lan went after him, and we waited for her return, hoping he would somehow survive his immersion.
We then felt an explosion of energy from the tower, and papers flew everywhere. I waited until they landed and slowly began to collect them, hoping my broach would protect from any foul effects they might cause. None occurred, and soon we had a large collection of papers which were given to Kellyn to study. Jaeger attempted some magic, but the only effect I noticed was a wall of mud which slowly sank into the ground. The papers that Kellyn examined appeared to relate to creating a potion of immortality and concerned the cup and table, one of the next quests we need to complete, for Kellyn’s sake, if not Tobias’, if not Jaeger’s, if not for the people in the area plagued by orcs.
Lan then came back and told us that Fife was now a merperson, and that we needed to find a way to reverse the transformation. Locasta then came out and cast the net again, and managed to catch Fife. Tobias was about o launch into an attack, when I asked him to take me over as well, as otherwise it would be two against whatever she was. I had been told of Tobais’ speed, but never experienced it for myself. He grabbed me by my neck and in less than a second we were in motion as a speed which almost blinded me with the power of the wind.
Fife stabbed her in the neck, just before I decapitated her, just before Tobias struck her severed head with a mace, sending it back toward our companions who had a woman with them, who picked up one of Fife’s knives, and ignored the sizzling sound it made when she grasped it. She spoke to Kellyn who cast a spell and a black hole in the ground appeared. Brownies walked over with the body of Locasta which was tossed into the hole, just before the head was dropped in. The woman then removed Fife from the net, said he would make a terrible frog, and then Kellyn used the wand to restore him to his human form. It did not work precisely, and he appeared more muscled and less proportioned than before, but other than that, I didn’t see a significant change. The woman looked at us all and then stepped into the hole. The Brownies thanked us for freeing them, advised use that if we were to let them know, the Gilken people would receive us with happiness, though they suggested we not mention the Pumpkin King. We could go to Yarp Castle and let them know we removed their Queen, though I don’t know if we have the time or need to do this.
Lan entered the lake to tell the Merpeople they would now be safe, and I made a mental note to ask her if there was anything useful in the lake, as the equipment of adventurers past might be of use to us. We made camp outside the tower, and are preparing to enter the tower to loot it. This seemed like an opportune time to try to create some Law, and I passed Cora a written down method of treasure distribution, so that we all received a fair share, remembering Tobias’ loss of his trident, his bemoaning the loss of a spear, and the way he had not seemed to receive any major treasure lately. She appeared dubious, as the idea was laudable, but she was uncertain at the execution and whether it would cause peace.
With any luck, we will find things in tower which will be of use to us, either as equipment or knowledge; Kellyn appears to be happy as she contemplates a potion of immortality and the resurrection of something called a Unicorn, which was a component of this spell.