Vita est ludus
The thin line between fantasy and reality...













Tarrastra Adventure 17

Yoshi's notes




17th year of the reign of King Kevin.

First day of "August". Afternoon.

Weather: sunny and muggy.


Carric Dendreu - Male Aasimar Druid 3 (with eagle Tan-kurun)

Caelesti - Female Feytouched Rogue 1/Sorceress 2

Lady Lyonessey "Nessey" Lavena Rowana - Female Aasimar Aristocrat 1/Swashbuckler 1

Yoshi - Male Human Monk 4


We are at the Three Rings Inn.

Nessey says, "We should go after the hydra!"

Yoshi says, "We should solve the mystery of Corum the kidnapper, first. Then go after the hydra!"

After dinner, Carric goes out of the inn to experiment with the bag of tricks. He pulls out a weasel. "Anybody want to pet my weasel?"

Carric comes back in, in time for the entertainment. In the front door comes a woman: tall, pale, icy blue eyes, light blond hair, prominent silver streaks, wearing an ice-blue semi-sheer entertainer's outfit, with cloud patterns; dangly earrings, fancy necklace, fancy sandals. She is carrying a lyre and a set of pan pipes. She walks over and speaks with Doris, the proprietress. She gets her beverage and goes to sit on the little stage at the end of the common room.

She starts out playing a haunting melody on her pan pipes, with a story about a maiden who learns to fly and goes to sleep in the clouds. She then plays on her lyre, singing in elvish and another language we don't understand about a storm giant battle. People applaud. We are all fascinated by her singing.

Carric calls her over and invites her for a drink. "That was fantastic singing! What was the other language you were singing."

"Oh. That was Giant. I lived with them for a bit."

"Wasn't that dangerous? Living with Giants?"

"No. No. Perhaps I'll tell you about it some day. But tell me about yourselves!"

"I am Carric. This is Yoshi." ("Pleased to meet you, ma'm.")

"Hi I'm Caelesti!"

"I'm Nessey."

Sitting with us, we see through her outfit that she is wearing a chainmail bikini.

"Now that we have told you our names, what is yours?"

"I am Talon. Talon Tallera."

"Do you come here often to sing and perform? Do you live in Meadowbrook?"

"No. I was at the Golden Twig last night. I'm from the northern mountain range. Skkye. They're famous for their berries."

"What kind of berries?"

"All kinds. Cherries, blueberries, raspberries.."

"Cherries are not berries. People think they are. But that is a misconception. As a Druid I know these things. In fact, I am quite an authority, especially on cherries. I really LOVE cherries - so rich and ripe and juicy... If you have any cherries you'd like to share - together - sometime...?"

"Interesting. I'll bear that in mind." Talon turns away from Carric and addresses Yohsi, "So, did you run into the bandits on the road?"

Carric, "I'm an authority on animals too." He holds up his weasel to regain her attention. "Would you like to pet my weasel?"

Talon, "Not right now. So... Yoshi..."

Yoshi, "North of here? South of here?"

Talon, "I heard they were west of here."

Caelesti says, "Maybe that's the group on the other side of the river!"

Carric resumes, "What do you know about these bandits? Do they have horses?"

Talon looks at him and says "I haven't heard about that. I've just heard of travelers that were molested by bandits."

She turns to Yoshi and says, "So, you look like you're a pretty strong fighter."

Yoshi looks down a little and says, "Thank you."

Carric says, "Yoshi may be the strongest, but I am the leader."

Yoshi says, "Yes, he is."

"Well, I could use some protection. I'd like to go to Rowansmeade to meet my cousin Siobhan."

"Siobhan! I know Siobhan! I should have known, since you sing so beautifully as well."

"Anyway, I need to make my way to Rowansmeade; I could use some protection from the bandits."

"We have some business here. When were you wanting to leave?"

"Any time in the next day or two. So, what's this business you have here?"

"We just have to investigate a couple things. Nothing to worry about."

"So, when did you last see Siobhan?"

"Well, I haven't seen Siobhan in quite a while, perhaps a month or two. But we agreed to meet together to play a duet this month in Rowansmeade for an aristocratic family."

"Wow! I wouldn't want to miss that duet! So, do you stay with Siobhan when you're in Rowansmeade?"

"I don't think she has a place; but, yes, we'll stay together."

"Well, we'd certainly like to travel with you. Traveling in a group is safer."

"Well, I guess I'll retire for the evening. It was nice to meet you all."

"Well, maybe you want to sing an encore?! It was so beautiful."

"No, I'll retire now. I'll sing again tomorrow."

"Good night!" Caelesti says.

Carric says, "Oh, and if I didn't mention it, that dress is just beautiful! Will we see you for breakfast."

"Oh, I'm sure. Good night!"

We all say good night.

Carric says, "You know. I think the bandits she's talking about - or more precisely the town is talking about - are us. Or, more specifically, you guys."

Yoshi says, "Oh."

Caelesti says, "We're not bandits! ... Well, I guess we don't have to worry about traveling then!"

It is bedtime. Yoshi retires. Carric goes with him. They have a talk in their room.

"So, Yoshi, about this golden hair. I wanted to talk with you about it before we talked about it with the women. I wasn't sure if it was from Nessey or not. I'm not sure how many Aasimars are around. If it's Nessey, how could she have gotten into the basement. But then I thought of Old Nell, how she went back on her own."

"So I did a little experiment, which was to draw forth an animal from the bag of tricks. So I pulled out a weasel from the bag who has scent. So then I had the weasel smell it, and try to track Nessey, but it didn't, so I don't think it was from Nessey."

"But we can't tell how long the hair has been there."

"I cannot believe it was Nessey. Why would they capture her, then release her; then why would she not say anything, even if she had gone off on her own."

"Of course, if she were captured and a double were in her place..."

"Nessey was never alone! Besides, that double may well have been the prisoner. She may be a victim as well."

"Was Nessey never alone? I thought Caelesti said she left her for a few minutes?"

"Hmm. Maybe we should talk with Caelesti again. But wouldn't we know?"

"She seems like the same Nessey to me. I'm sure we would know."

"So, what should I say about this hair to the ladies? Should I bring it up to them tomorrow morning?"


"Yes. Maybe they'll have some ideas."

We go to sleep.

[August 2nd] Yoshi has slept a deep dreamless sleep. Carric has slept fitfully.

During the next morning, Talon comes from the Golden Twig for breakfast; she joins our table. Carric buys her the Deluxe Breakfast.

"What a lovely day it is!"

Carric says, "It's a beautiful day!"

Yoshi says, "Good morning, Talon."

Caelesti says, "Good morning! We're going to go investigate someone!"

"Who are you investigating? How curious!"

Carric says, "Do you know somebody named Corum Trimble?"


After breakfast, we decide we will investigate Corum, by talking with his neighbors.

On our way, Carric tells the women about the hair he found.

"Maybe the kidnappers are targetting Aasimars!" Caelesti says.

Carric says, "This is a stretch. Maybe this is Nessey's double's hair!"

"That was to the south," Nessey says. "We should investigate there."

"We will soon."

We approach a neighbor. Caelesti knocks on the door. A maid opens the door.

Carric says, "Hi! We were going to visit Corum, and he's not home. Do you know any of the history of that house? The old mage?"

"That was before my time."

"Do you know anybody who's been here long enough to know the old mage?"

"My master's been here for decades."

Caelesti says, "You ought to know Corrum a little. His butler, at least."

"Butler? Corum has no servants so far as I know. By the way, who are you?"

We introduce ourselves.

"You know, I have work to do here..."

Carric pulls out a gold piece.

"I could take a break!"

"So, who is your master."

"He's a merchant. Finian. He's out of town."

"You know. We saw someone come out of Corum's house. A tall guy with a floppy hat."

"Maybe it was Corum?"

"I don't think so. By the way, can you describe Corum? We haven't met him yet. And his sister."

She describes the Corum we know. She acknowledges that there is a woman who stays there on occasion.

"So, did you see the tall man the other day?"

"I work in side."

"So, have you heard stories about the old mage?"

"Oh, yes. A creepy guy. I don't know much else about him."

"So, who's the neighbor on the other side?"

"Another merchant. You may notice this is where the successful merchants live."

"Well, and they only hire the best!"

"Well, thank you."

"So, you said you've been here for five years. Do you remember when Corum moved in?"

"Yes, about three years ago, I suppose. It wasn't very notable."

"So, are you a merchant?"

"No. We're travelers. We might have wanted to buy from them."

"I suggest you go to the market. You'll find merchants there."

"I see. So, Nessey, Caelest, Yoshi. Any further questions?"

Caelesti says, "Yes, I was curious. Do you ever see anybody walking down the street?"

"Yes, sure. People walk down the street all the time."

"So, anything else you'd like to know? I really must be getting back to my duties."

"No, thank you."

"Well, good-bye!" She closes the door.

On the way to the other house, Caeelsti says, "I find it odd that she thought there was no butler there."

"Yes, that's interesting. He seems to have just disappeared. You went in, he answered the door, and you never saw him again. It seemed a little strange. Gareth goes in, the butler comes back; the butler goes away; Corum comes. Everybody just abruptly leaves. And the sort-of wife-sister seems a little strange."

Caelesti says, "There was once strange thing. When I asked Corum about being with someone who looked like Nessey, he brought down his sister who doesn't look at all like Nessey."

The discussion continues a bit, about how odd it is that people come and seem to abruptly go.

Carric says, "So, I do have a question for you and Nessey. Did you hear anything from the basement?"

"No, it was quiet."

Nessey says, "So, should we go talk to the neighbor?"


We go to the other neighbor. Caelesti knocks. A late middle-aged man answers the door. "Hello? Oh. Hello, hello! Are you here to see the master? Of course you're here to see the master. Who should I say is calling?"

"I am Caelesti. This is Yoshi, and Carric, and Nessey. We'd actually like to talk to you."

"Me? Well, I have some time. I'd be happy to talk!" He steps out, closing the door and ogles Caelesti.

"Well, we're from Rowansmeade, and we're investigating a crime."

Carric says, "By the way, what's your name?"


Caelesti continues. "Have seen anyone who looks like Nessey here? In this town at all?"


"Are you familiar with the other occupants in Corum's house? Like his butler?"

"I don't think I've ever met his butler. Is he new? What's his name? Maybe I've met him in town."

"Have you been here long?"


"From when the mage was here?"

"Oh yes. Herminicus. He was very strange. He kept to himself. He'd lived here a long time. Always kept to himself. Didn't mingle. Always wore tattered gray robes. Spent a lot of time looking at tomb stones. Lots of creepy stuff. Kept to himself. Then he just left town about 10 years ago. Then Corum moves in about three years ago. Much more normal neighbor, I must say; fits in better."

Yoshi says, "Have heard any rumors of strange goings-on since Corum's been here?"

"Oh no. The strange goings-on happened when the mage was here. Corum's been perfectly normal."

"Have you met any of Corum's houseguests? His sister? The tall man? Gareth?"

He describes the sister, who looks like the sister the women met two days ago. He does not recognize the tall man, but does recognize Gareth. "He's a friendly guy. He travels from what I hear."

Caelesti says, "Have you seen people carrying packages from Corum's house."

"I don't really snoop; you can't really see his house from here."

"So, should we speak with the master," Carric asks the group. We ask about the master.

"Master's here. He'll be going down to the market later.

So, young lady, tonight's my night off. Will I see you later? At the Golden Twig?"

Caelesti says, "We might be there. More likely at the Three Rings."

"I can meet you there. Is that it?"

Carric says, "If you don't mind, we'd like to have word with your master."

"May I ask your business?"

"We're doing a little investigating and just want to be thorough."

He seats us in the parlor, and comes back with the master

"I am Guy. How may I help you?"

Carric introduces himself. "We don't want to take much of your time. An attempted crime happened in Rowansmeade, and Corum's name was mentioned. We were wondering if you might know something about him, if he has acted strangely lately."

"No, Corum is quite normal."

Caelesti says, "Do you have any dealings with Corum as far as trading? Do you know if he's into trading rare rugs?"

"Oh yeah. I've sold him rugs on occasion. Or vice-versa. He's been here three years. A savvy trader."

Carric says, "Have you heard of any kidnappings around here?"

"Kidnappings? That's a big-city crime. No kidnappings."

"What about a woman who looks just like Nessey here? Or someone with golden hair like that?"

"Sure, I've seen someone like that in Rowansmeade. Years ago."

"Well, thank you very much for your time."

The merchant and butler show us out. The butlter says to Caelesti, "See you tonight! At the Three Rings!" and goes about his business, whistling happily.

We go off to the market, where we gather information. At noon, Carric goes to pray.

As far as the merchants in the marketplace are concerned, Corum is just a fine upstanding merchant.

We talk about going after the Hydra. We decide to invite Talon.

Carric goes to recruit her. She volunteers to purchase a couple alchemist fire. We contribute another two.

We go off to find the hydra. We go along the west road. Talon keeps her eyes out for bandits. Carric sends Tan -kurun off to "seek". We find what must be the north end of the great marsh.

We arrive mid-afternoon (3 o'clock). We go down, and we see a hill with a mound with a door set in the side. Next to it is a tall hill with an array of standing stones on the top. The hill is guarded by the hydra.

As we approach, Nessey says, "Stop! I hear something big glooping through the marsh up ahead!" We all hear something glooping towards us.

Yoshi: 25, Caelesti: 9; Carric: 5; Tan-kurun: 18; Nessey: 23; Talon: 7. Hydra: 14.

Round 1: Yoshi moves forwards 40' drawing his cold-iron Kama. Nessey moves forwards 30'. Tan-kurun observes. The Hydra moves forwards to be within reach of Yoshi. Caelesti casts sleep to no effect. Talon moves forward and starts to sing. Carric moves up as well.

Round 2: Yoshi takes a 5' step, taking a flurry of blows, and attempting a sunder attack. The hydra fails its attack of opportunity. Yoshi's first strike misses. The second strike hits for 5 points of damage. Nessey moves forth to flank, and attacks for 8 points of damage. Tan-kurun observes. The Hydra misses Yoshi twice, and Nessey thrice. Caelesti draws a flask of alchemist fire, and moves forwards to be 10' behind Yoshi. Talon's song kicks in: we are +1 to hit and damage. Carric also moves to be 10' behind Yoshi.

Round 3: Yoshi strikes again, missing once; it misses its attack of opportunity, but Yoshi's other attack does not sunder. Nessey attacks, hitting for 10 points; the head falls to the ground. The hydra misses Yoshi thrice, and Nessey once. Caelesti hits with her alchemical fire for 1 point of fire damage. Talon continues to sing. Carric casts flaming sphere, which the hydra dodges.

Round 4: Yoshi misses twice; the creature hits for 4 points. Nessey attacks, but the creature avoids. The hydra attacks Yoshi, missing once and hitting once for 9 points. It hits Nessey for 8 points and misses. The first alchemist fire cauterizes the head. Caelesti readies an alchemist fire for the next sunder. Carric attacks again with his flaming sphere, but the creature dodges. He also cures Yoshi for 4 points.

Round 5: Yoshi misses twice; the creature hits for 7 points. Nessey attacks, getting through for 10 points, sundering it. Caelesti throws the flask, missing, but splashing Nessey for 1 point. The hydra misses Nessey and Yoshi then Nessey again. Talon continues to sing. Carric tries to burn the head again, and fails.

Round 6: Yoshi misses and hits for 8 points; it misses its attack of opportunity. Caelesti throws another vial, hitting for 6 points, cauterizing the second head. Nessey hits but fails to sunder. The hydra hits Nessey for 7 points. It misses otherwise. Talon sings. Carric steps forwards, curing Yoshi for 8 points.

Round 7: Yoshi fails to sunder with his first attack, but succeeds with the second for 6, dropping the head.; it hits for 11 points. Caelesti throws her last flask, hitting for 6 points. Nessey attacks, hitting handily for 10 points, lopping off a head. Carric conjures his produce flame spell, hitting for 5 points, cauterizing the head.

Round 8: Yoshi sunders its last head for 6 points, missing with his second attack; it misses. Caelesti cheers. Nessey misses. It misses Nessey. Talon cheers. Carric cures Yoshi for 4 points.

Round 9: Yoshi misses twice; it misses. Caelesti cheers. Nessey misses. Hydra misses Yoshi. Carric moves around to cure Nessey for 7 points.

Round 10: Yoshi misses twice; it hits for 7 points. Caelesti cheers. Nessey hits for 9 points, removing its last head. Carric attacks with another produce flame for 7, enough to cauterize.

Carric heals Nessey for 6 points and for 7 points. He also cures Yoshi for 3, 9, and 8 points.

We search the mound, especially examining the standing stones. At the base of the hill, we see a torn-apart skeleton with coins and arms and armor. A suit of banded mail; a heavy steel shield; a nice-looking longsword; gold and silver pieces.

We go forth to the door in the mound. Yoshi listens at the door, hearing nothing. He attempts to open it; it's stuck. Yoshi fails to open it after two tries, succeeding on the third. A reek comes out.

We light a torch and peer in. Yoshi notices the wights.. They lumber forth.

Yoshi: 14; Caelesti: 20; Nessey: 19; Carric: 5; Tan-kurun: 9; Talon: 19; Wight 1: 4; Wight 2: 19.

Round 1: Caelesti draws her shortsword. Nessey draws her rapier. Talon starts to sing. Wight 2 slams its fist into the wall next to Yoshi. Yoshi hits for 5 points. Carric takes a 5' step and starts conjuring. Wight 1 steps forward and misses Yoshi.

Round 2: Caelesti delays. Nessey delays. "Move, Yoshi!" Talon's song comes into effect. Wight 2 misses Yoshi. Yoshi hits for 13 points, then steps back 5', to let them out. Carric conjures a wolf into the barrow, which attacks for 7 points, and fails to trip the wight. Carric then starts conjuring again. Wight 1 comes out, and attacks Yoshi, missing. Caelesti makes a 5' step and attacks, missing. Nessey takes a 5' step to flank, hitting for 4 points.

Round 3: Talon continues to sing. Wight 2 attacks the wolf, missing. Yoshi attacks, missing twice. Carric's wolf misses. Carric conjures another wolf, which attacks, hitting and destroying it, then moves into position to flank with Caelesti. Carric delays. Wight 1 attacks Yoshi and misses. Caelesti misses. Nessey hits for 6 points of damage.

Round 4: Talon sings. Yoshi hits twice for 14 points. Wolf 1 delays. Wolf 2 misses. Carric delays. Wight 1 attacks Yoshi, hitting for 5 points plus a negative level. Caelesti and Nessey destroy it.

One of the wights had a set of bracers (school is whatever is bracers of armor; +1). We also find some moldering formerly beautiful clothing; some splinters of wood; corroded iron mugs; broken glass; a pouch containing three pearls: white, black, and lustrous gold; and a box with 8 ivory sticks marked with arcane symbols.

Talon asks to examine the pearls, and thinks they may be worth 100 gp each. Talon thinks the sticks are suitable for legend lore or something like that.


Caelesti: +830 -> 3,830 Carric: +830 -> 3,830 Nessey: +700 Talon: +760 -> 6,760 Yoshi: +760 -> 6,760

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