The Podcast Campaign

A sergal, a bear, and a magical puppo stumble into each other at a bar. Therrin Perch is “missing” from her home but has no intentions of going back, wanting a life of adventure and excitement away from her strict family business. Bata Amica comes from a secluded land and seeks to learn more about the world beyond his homeland. Arden Renshaw is a student from the Order on a quest to rediscover lost scriptures regarding the spires that cover the land. They stick together out of ineptitude, necessity and endearment, but such a troublesome friendship is likely to not last, right? Follow the adventures of Therrin, Bata, and Mr. Renshaw on their tabletop role-playing campaign as they discover the Curse of Coeurasa!

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Curse of Coeurasa 2023

Ep 75: Heartbeats of a Better World

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

The party engages World Administrator Jade in conversation, hoping to bring her way of thinking over to their side instead of rushing her with spells and swords. After the party beseeches her with their experiences and Sam turns the administrator’s song into a duet the party breaks through the rigid emotional shell Jade had constructed for herself and connects with her.

Standing at the end of the hall, a final sheet of energy ripples barring off what would likely be Jade's inner sanctum. The party feels a sense of foreboding considering where they are, how far they have come, and the oncoming finality of the quest. "There is no where I'd rather be than here with all of you" - Sam mentions thoughtfully seeing if everyone is ready hesitant to unlock the path without final preparations completed "I wish it was under better circumstances, but I couldn't agree more" - Arden agrees a tad stressed "I love all of you... Meunice you've become tolerable" - Zaus shouts from the back to the group, swords out immediately behind Meunice "Who said that" - Arden asks surprised and bewildered "No, he hasn't" - Sam assures the party practically shaking his head "I can agree with Arden, definitely wouldn't want to be doing this, but since we have to, we've done so much and gotten through so much that I couldn't, I don't think I could do this with anybody else; I think we're going to show this hypocrite what a real bright future looks like" - Therrin putting her thoughts together in the moment "I just hope one of us can get through to her, hopefully with kinder ways of..." - Bata fumbles through their speech considering the probability of the party's affinity for sass breaking down the diplomacy they had intended Applying the spearhead to the sheet of energy sends a ripple through the wall and it parts revealing a chamber carved from crystal with an elevated platform on the far side. The chamber is lit with light from above and below, creating an otherworldly eeriness with scrawling information present throughout the room, much like Olain's control center. Floating above the platform, a hyena sorts through the scrawling text and above them statistics relating to Coeurasa's descent encircling an image of the moon. The walls of the chamber show visions of spires being raided by pirate crews, likely at the behest of Dominique Perch on their path to Atlas. Spires atop the isles protected by the sea did not fare well against coordinated pirate crews with the money to back the operation, and as a result the party bore witness to each spire shutting down, showing more would soon follow. Therrin nods to Arden, waiting for him to make a move and remembering a warning, he looks for her tuning fork, eyeing the weapon leaned against the stairs of the platform. "Excuse me Jade... perhaps you would like a moment to speak" - Arden asks, meeting her gaze and carefully judging her movements "What are you doing here" - the World Administrator questions, confused by the puppo's presence "Well, since you kept putting off our appointments to speak, I had to come to your door" - Arden responds letting some sass slip into their chosen vernacular "Punctual" - Jade compliments, floating down from the platform their long, sword-sized tuning fork zipping into their waiting grasp as they land Therrin paces wanting to get into a good flanking position while also not wanting to sabotage the talks, which also meant restraining herself from giving the yeen a piece of her mind. Bata calmly sits down next to Arden, hoping to provide emotional support and to calm any tempers regarding the display that weren't clearly meant for combat. "Have you come like the champions before you" - Jade questions the group, leaving their intentions muddled at best in the presence of the Meunice/Okuma/Mr. Moonsea chimera Arden assures her that they are there to speak first and foremost, discovering from her additional questioning that were people to reach here before they were always looking for, or perhaps their conversation always devolved into, a fight. There was a feeling of disconnect as Jade spoke however, despite her words being appropriate for the circumstance, they lacked an investment of personhood. It was as if they didn't see the members of the party as people in the same way that they saw themselves as people so their conversation was honest, but ultimately hollow. "What are you trying to do here exactly" - Bata diverts the conversation trying to get somewhere more grounded and maybe give their friends more to use "I'm observing the will of the people" - Jade explains very matter-of-factly as they float back up to their platform, though they had agreed to speak at Arden's request "What displeases you about their will" - Bata presses further "They have chosen this fate for themselves" - Jade offers, pointing their tuning fork at projected images suiting their point Arden makes the point that it would seem that Jade had orchestrated the pirates' plan, but she informs him that she had only given them information already available to them; that the organization and those running it (likely Pirate Lord Perch) intended to strike at the spires on the islands scattered throughout the sea to accumulate enough wealth to prepare an army to retake Roqueport. The strikes themselves are simultaneous signifying the intended coordination and if they progressed as expected, they would be over within thirty minutes or so. "This is what you desire as well" - Bata asks, hearing the distressing news "I'm giving them the freedom to choose their fate" - Jade replies Arden points out that since they are in the Locus, perhaps Sam could give the order to lock down and place all the spires on high alert, prodding Sam to consider the possibility. The suggestion seems to draw Jade's attention, and upon giving the command to lock down the spires in the sea, as though emerging from the fugue state, a spell slips from her lips, alerting Arden. Clutching his ring of countermagic, Arden springs the defense, straining Jade's spell and exhausting its energy on its way to Sam. As best he or Sam can tell, it would have been like Sam's own sound-sculpting magic, though it was cast with such haste most would miss it. The intent was likely to warp the order, however with the counter-spell, the order was received. The spires begin shifting to high-alert, locking down and starting the production of numerous guardian creatures. Clearly bothered by Sam's action Jade both questions the name of the Spear Bearer and threatens to turn him into discardable biomass if he elected to give another order. The threat draws Therrin close to her friends, her paw displayed over her sword, and Bata grabs Zaus's tail pulling him in and away from his path to Jade. Arden makes the point that if the people knew that they were bringing on themselves then they would stop, but that information hasn't been shared, and they were collectively a stand in for the will of the people that Jade had already seemed happy to discard to start over again. "What's another few years to let us try to convince more people" - Bata asks of Jade with the party citing their own growth as they came to know more of the world and its people "Yeah, if I can change then anyone can change" - Therrin says aiming to bolster the reasoning behind Bata's request As spirited as they are, Jade points out that the pirates are and by extension the people of The Cross... momentary joy and they as the world administrator were happy to let them have it as it would bring on a new cycle. Arden strikes back in his own way, pointing out that she had fed into the choices these groups had made, offering them nothing beyond their situations. Her points about these groups being born undesirable, that they lack moral fiber from inception, and could not grow past the circumstances of their world shaped by the choices of those that came before them in this cycle. "As I said before I am respecting their free will" - Jade offers with an emotional shrug "That's not free will if you're manipulating them" - Arden responds, bewildered at the cognitive dissonance "It's real to them" - Jades offers, an answer barely sufficient for the wright of the question "Did you ever ask why these pirates... are pirates" - Sam asks, preparing to make a point "They're pirates because life is hard, and they need a source of food" - Jade answers plainly "So wouldn't you just give them a source of food" - Sam questions as bewildered as Arden "How would they learn if I just gave them whatever it is they needed" - Jade responds, implying that she could solve that problem if she set herself to the task Sam and Arden surmise that based on the circumstances of persons and societies, rising or falling, that they are going to concern themselves with the needs of today before thinking of long-term plans. With the resources here to educate the population, the choice was in Jade's hands to set them up for failure instead of the failing of those groups alone. That Jade has been so hands off unless she was hurrying The Cross into the jaws of its own hunger, allowing a self-fulfilling prophecy to take hold matching that of her own opinion of the people of The Cross shows she is caught in their own cognitive dissonance. Bata asks why she doesn't allow the people to know of the process they are in, only to be batted back for her caution, concerned that the people would attempt to seize what they see as power over the world, that they would destroy themselves in pursuit of their avarice. Therrin drives home the fact that, by all accounts, it would seem that Jade gave up on people like her, that people aren't just a teeming mass of greedy evil doers, and that that with guidance, if they are willing, can change. None of these people who break away from Jade's expectations are simply anomalies, they are people, first and foremost, who are impacted by their circumstances and experiences, and these nudges in the right direction prove the World Administrator wrong in Therrin's view. Arden backs Therrin when Jade points to the images of pirates around them amid their pillaging, pointing out the fact that Jade had chosen to take a hand in creating them, nudging them along and cultivating the circumstances they found themselves in. The gravity around Jade intensifies with her mood, hearing the party out, and miraculously her body folds in on itself in open space, popping in and out of sight from her platform to immediately in front of Sam. The gravity hits the party, sending Arden to the ground on all fours and Bata, already seated, finds themselves unable to get up. Therrin stands with the ability to control her form while Meunice is comfortably out of range of the field. Zaus squats in defiance, and Sam rests on their spear barely managing to stay upright. The sudden reappearance surprises Sam as much as her paws clasping onto his cheeks and the closeness of her gaze looming over him. "If I believe what you say, if I accept your perspective I might break" - Jade speaks while examining Sam closely "I lived my life, started from nothing and thought I would end in nothing, but I'm here now" - Sam responds between hushed grunts to stay upright "Everybody needs to break to be rebuilt" - Arden sounds, using all their strength to get the words out reaching for her across the floor "How dare you, I was so close..." - Jade says, slouching into Sam's hug while whispering the tune of the Administrator's Song "We're sorry, we didn't know what we were doing because nobody told us it was wrong, we didn't know we were hurting you" - Arden says while trying to pull themselves up by her dress Hearing Jade's tune Sam has his own lyrics to add to the ancient song of sorrow sounding through her core; she was surprised there was someone else who could understand the lyrics... adding a new perspective: "My world drifts to a quiet sleep" - J "Under the chastising gaze of the cosmos" - S "Tears of ash fall like rain" - J "The very stars weeping of their sorrows" - S "Your silhouettes blending as one" - J "But shadows scattering in the dark" - S "I look to the moon beaming down" - J "The surface carved with past violent marks" - S "Dreams teaming like the stars above" - J "Endlessly tumbling through the voids" - S "Guiding lights, I see you there" - J "Flying and falling to ground as meteoroids" - S "I feel you all so far away and yet so near" - J "A veil over my heart as deep as the sea" - S "I drift through the space, longing, seeking, lost on my way" - J "The path ahead visible to all but me" - S "I will set to task a cradle of life" - J "To rekindle love and sadness in full" - S "A future born from these ashes" - J "Slate Cleaned for all the vaults of soul" - S "I will see you again" - J "In this world set free from my sin" - S In turning the song from a solo act into a duet, Sam maneuvered through her disassociating mind fleeing from the new perspective that had been the foundation of her operations for hundreds of years. "Like Arden said, your suffering doesn't have to be yours by yourself" - Sam says, holding onto the yeen as she breaks into tears, heavily wetting the monkey's shoulder "Everyone in here came together from circumstance, but we all decided we wanted to make a better world... can you help us finally make the world better" - Sam's requests to Jade "If they choose it for themselves" - Jade responds, catching her breath, emotionally exhausted "We are choosing here to live... Not just be alive" - Sam assures her "You're choosing to live..." - She echos back, picking herself up and moves to the platform inviting the party over to share with them information for the next steps Glad that she took the time to hear them out, Arden thanked her on his way up to the platform, raised up by the much larger yeen offering him a lift and a mutual appreciation of the conversation as the rest assembled. "We are now at a starting line, let's begin" - Jade says to the group with the world's data gathering before them enabling their planning for a better future

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Ep 74: Emotionally Distant, Empathically Numb

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

The party takes time to find answers on their way to speak with World Administrator Jade, discovering what could be their state of mind, and the impact of their influence upon the world. Fortunately, they did also find the Dragon’s Tear repair center operational and put a stop to the additional threats conjured up by Jade for the time being, enough time to have a look around, and mull over what they find.

Heading back the way they came Sam inquires with Meunice if a whisper-stone grown back into a full tear would have its capabilities, which the mage agrees is possible though without a sizeable quantity of minds it would be unable to operate. The realization bothers Sam, they tell the mage they would like to do this without sacrificing lives, and they are commended for the ideal... not that the compliment is comforting. Back in the entry way chamber the party considers their remaining options or center or right... Meunice offers the right path as the path leading to a facility for "constructing exceptional umbra" while they don't know where the center path leads. Judging what to do between the unknown and the chance that a dangerous enemy was being made to fight them on the right they decided to head off that danger and potentially enhance Therrin if the opportunity came up. Sam taps the spear on the field opening the way and Therrin pokes their head in first excited for something tactile to engage with and the chance of enhancements down the hall. "There's just murals of pirates in here guys.... they are not as cool as me though" - Therrin voicing her observations of the right path taking special notice of the hyena above the pirates with lines of thread stuck into each pirate like puppets on well... strings of influence Zaus spots another interesting display that Arden makes sense of for them, a great arcane tower with family trees sprouting around it, and each tree ends with a skull adorned with a crown. Arden sees this as a record of the archmagi through the age with an angry yappy puppo carved lightly into the bottom of the mural, as gratifying to Arden as seeing that Okuma's skull possessed no crown... no undead servitude. Therrin spots high above, a carving depicting what could be Jade reaching out to Coeurasa though it appears to be added long after the original carvings around it, perhaps two or three hundred years ago as best the party can guess. As they continue Arden wonders if the carving of themself on the wall was in fact a precursor to taking on the role of archmagi with how Okuma guided them... made no less ominous by Sam asking if they hadn't had their accident and been reassigned to the archive (then discovering the records were fractured)... would they be where they are now? Arriving at the umbra crafting chamber the party sees an abundance of fungus providing light to the room and spores large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Sam immediately downs their final anti-fungal potion and Arden stepping into the chamber eyeing the creatures inside states that the three primal dragons are a sign of desperation on Jade's part: one writhing in an enormous vat, and two breathing heavy on either side of the entrance braced against each respective wall as if they had been tossed aside to fend for themselves. "I suppose you could use the spear to tell it to cancel the project" - Meunice suggests to Sam which they begrudgingly choose to act upon the suggestion canceling the creation of the umbra in their own way The chamber answeres Sam's command to cancel all orders from Jade, causing the umbra to splatter and melt into puddles of biomass across the floor rippling and moving around gradually jiggling towards Therrin. A sense of Olain radiates from the newly freed biomass through Therrin's empathic link and then it leaps at her and a smaller portion onto Zaus... though that goes unnoticed by the party. Therrin feels heavier though they have gained no increase to their stature, the biomass of the dragons seems to have layered itself inside her by Olain's direction. The two frwshely enhanced umbral buddies Therrin and Zaus had gained a taste for fungus it would seem, they condider the options, and find themselves wanting but not possessed as if by necessity. "We have cake waiting for us back at Roqueport" - Bata states to deter Zaus and Therrin who now feel a compulsion to eat the luminescent mushrooms lighting the chamber Bata kindly harvests some of the glowing mushrooms for their friends and cover themself in enough spores to light the way as bright as a lantern themselves. Snacks harvested, they head to the center path hoping to encounter Jade and get to the bottom of this, instead Bata boops into the remaining barrier before Sam could disable the force field earning a disappointed look. The central hall contains its own murals depicting the rise of civilizations as well as their fall, the constant throughout being that as time progresses spires become inactive and Coeurasa draws nearer causing disruptions in the sea the closer it becomes. When these civilizations break down and are wiped clean, there Jade appears to start the process again with gradually decreasing enthusiasm as the cycle repeats at nauseum. The process to bring back her people gradually shifted from starting the society from scratch to desiring to bring back those that make up the failsafe, that the people of The Cross were unable to outweigh their faults, and that they can be no better than they were born to be. So, what harm would it do to help them along what they would do anyway if their societies couldn't raise them to be better. Therrin spots a depiction of who appears to be her mother with a hyena pulling their eyes wide open to gaze upon mountains of wealth implying Jade had given Dominque a push before Therrin's birth. Looking around for additional persons of interest Therrin spots a mural of rain falling to the earth and sprouting people from the ground like flowers in a rolling field. At the end of the hall Arden spots a carving in the floor and upon examination with Sam's assistance it appears to be a memorial to a lost love containing the administrator song swirling through the imagery. To the side there is a wavering apology scratched into the stone, an apology to her first and enduring love for how things had turned out at the time she had made the carving. Sam takes a moment to write down the song as best they can understand it and explains the memorial to Arden who is presently perplexed by the carving's meaning. "So, she regrets what she has done" - Arden questions as Sam describes the memorial "It sounds like she regrets what has happened, not what she is doing" - Sam clarifies morosely "This is a valuable sign... that isn't a tool to use against her it's a means to connect with her" - Arden muses on the Jade possessing some meaningful connection to The Cross and their hopeful assessment receiving vigorous head nods from Sam "I feel like she has connected with anyone in a long time" - Zaus adds in surmising the hundreds of years emotionally distant from the outside world hadn't helped her make meaningful connections with people "That's a strong possibility, but we'll find out whenever she decides to make an appearance" - Arden voices thinking along same lines as Zaus "Sammmm... Sammmm" - Bata requests pulling them away from Arden's queries to translate the notes by the Bisemutum carvings the bear and sergal located "It says that your people are a wonderful people" - Sam summarizes from jade's affectionate notes Bisemutum would seem to as a people strive for long term planning, they prioritize information that would help their health, and have kept destructive influences from overtaking their society. "So, wait, Jade... I'm assuming this is all written by Jade.. She had some sort of appreciation for anybody from Bisemutum" - Therrin questions inquisitively "It's not anybody in particular, it's like how their whole culture works is better than everybody else's" - Sam explains getting the sense that Jade looks at people as parts of greater collectives and not as individuals and as time went on the metrics necessary to draw her differentiate people and collectives continued to rise Continuing their inspection Sam notes a fresh added text to the aged Bisemutum carving stating that: [They will be rewarded in that they will survive through the spires and their whisper-stones] causing the monkey's brow to furrow at the obvious implication that Bata's people would perish but be drawn into their stones as a "reward". Giving that hypothesis an additional layer of purpose, the rest of the world would having shut down their spires ensuring their souls would not be added to this enduring collective and as their bodies would be wiped clean so also would The Cross be wiped clean of their influence, thoughts, and history. "Well, your guys' beliefs were good" - Sam says relaying in their inflection the finality cloaked in the compliment Jade had for his people "Can't help the feeling that we failed somehow still" - Bata says taking in the news direct and implied discouraged but still finding drive within themselves "It doesn't sound like there is any criteria for success, only failure" - Sam assesses having been reading through so many of these records, notes, and observations "Let's go ask her, this whole hallway... this is ridiculous" - Therrin sounds off ready to have a word Passing by the left side of the raining mural Arden ponders if that rain might have been biomass released from the heavens, by Coeurasa at the start of a new cycle.

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Ep 73: Tears of the Dragon, Tears of the World

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Navigating the Locus mines the party hours in discover a chamber rich with crystals they do their best to tip toe through and further below their portal into the Locus. Inside they discover the method to restore Dragon’s Tears and through experimenting Bata discovers their whisper stone could be restored to a full tear… as could the rest in Bisemutum.

Bata gently grabs the mosquito hanging out on Sam's shoulder intent on using it as a guide through the mines, Bata was hoping the bug would know hiding spaces that appear strange compared to the rest of the mines. Fortunately, it seems quite knowledgeable about hiding places and begs Bata not to eat them. Providing direction with its proboscis (stinger) in exchange for its life and food, also warning Bata of the locus living in the mines that enter the bodies of their victims controlling them while they consume them from the inside out. They warn the party of a second danger, a creature made of rocks that squishes the swarms of locus when they trespass in its cave. Communicating what the inspect tells them bata acts as a guide through the mines and the rock creature eases the party's worry hypothesizing it may be a spire golem. Bata leads the way through the mines with the assistance of their mosquito "friend" until they reach an expansive cavern stretching many hundreds of feet containing numerous crystal formations and bioluminescent fungus spread over the stoney ceiling. Shadows cast themselves around the crystals constantly shifting bending with the dim light of the fungus above, there would assuredly be a writhing mass of locust on the party if they were detected. Below their vantage point they could make out a staircase leading further down guarded presumably by a crystal golem responsible for the heaps of dead bugs around the stairway. With advice from Meunice Arden schemes an illusion to trick the bugs by masking the party in the appearance of large rocks complete with an overlay of ground over their feet. The trick seems to work until they get past the halfway point and the locust draw closer, the party makes a run for it, and Therrin enlarges her head plowing through the piles of locust presenting the rest of the party a diminished obstacle. Therrin, Bata, and Zaus have an easier time of slipping through while Meunice casually adds a distraction by summoning a creature distracting the locusts just long enough for the remainder to scamper down. Exploring the structure below the winding staircase finding shattered stone, murals, and a spire golem standing guard dark as night in possession of grating sass. Sam convinces the golem to allow them entry citing their need to repair a Dragon's Tear discovering that their appointment with Jade had been moved out four hundred years which is difficult wot a mortal lifespan. Incidentally bonus points to Zaus for finding a damaged rosy Dragon's Tear in the rubble.... the golem warps its body forming a portal forward into the Locus proper. "Welcome thee who walks on light" - Spire Golem Portal Stepping through the party is greeted by a showing of a history from long ago though they did not know it at the time, a past of burning stars, melting stone buildings, and a world wreathed in flame. Looking up to the burning heavens there is no Coeurasa but looking to the stars they seem to be somewhere neat Atlas; Arden internalizes the vision as a warning of what will happen if they fail today. After the vision the party finds themselves in a brilliant transparent chamber pulling at their spectral self, their souls, and siphons at each member distorting them as they pass through. Therrin had the worst of it splattering herself all over that room and Meunice grew a neck a whole body longer until the two emerged on the other side and reconstituted themselves. Looking around the entry way chamber there are fields of energy barring their way and a message held in time to repeat encouraging Jade to watch over The Cross and guide the return of its people... as well as what would happen if the "operation" would fail. Her love who left her so long ago was waiting for her on the moon, Coeurasa itself with their own team acting as a last-ditch failsafe should her mission be in jeopardy. Leading the way Sam is guided by Meunice to the energy field they dispel tapping it with their spear and n walking the halls the party spots a multitude of murals and displays of times long gone by adorn the walls from floor to ceiling until they arrive at a room with four pedestals. Notably the chamber is both small and possesses a crystal barrier between itself and a larger submerged cavern full of unique gemstones. Placing a Dragon's Tear upon a pedestal sends the crystal floating just above the surface, then a vein of crystal emerges below the tear, and grows upward gradually encasing the damaged stone until fully wrapped in a protective layer. Observing the process, the gems would appear to start repairs once they are encased though the process is slow, and a curious Bata places their whisper-stone discovering the process also begins for it and the encasement is far larger than the stone placed. The party theorizes that the Locus could repair a whole Dragon's Tear from a single shard given time meaning that the capability to restore the spires had been here all along and that there are enough shards in the word they could even eventually prepare back-ups. The theory surprises Meunice, the party seems to believe that the Dragon's Tears Power the spires, but in fact they are the brain. Meunice explains that without the brain the spires cannot function, without souls the tears cannot think, and it is in fact the spires that draw energy from The Dragon... from the world.

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Ep 72: The Porcello Reverie as Requested by Therrin Perch

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Arden puts into motion their plan to restrict Jade as the Global Administrator with a moderate degree of success and after preparations are finished the party heads by magic to the Locus Mines to gain access to the Locus. Meanwhile Olain joins the other Spire Administrators minus Meunice in the Porcello Reverie to decide as administrators what will be done without the guidance of the Global Administrator or the Locus.

Olain wakes up the party with cake and water having taken the opportunity to tag along with Meunice earlier that morning while the party slept; Olain got an oven and Meunice acquired the fanciest clothing they could find. Arden struck with a moment of well rested clarity, asks Olain to help them to speak to the world, surprising and amusing the party. Arden with Sam and Olain's assistance aims to use both the tear of the Roqueport spire and the Dragon's Tear to broadcast a message backed by the authority of Sam's Spear and the Administrator song to override Jade's authority and strip her of power and then revoke any of Jade's standing orders to any deployed in the world then ordering them to Roqueport to assist Olain. While it is a tall order, at the very least the effort might stir Jade's attention if not delay her plans for The Cross; Arden can take some satisfaction in getting a rise out of the ancient creature. Arden then with the support of the party and allies Arden requests the assistance of the Roqueport Spire Tear, upon contact they are mentally pulled into the vastness of the Dragon's Tear where they find an elderly ferret by the name of Harris waiting for them as they had in their last visit. "The current world administrator named Jade is attempting to slowly shut down the spires and send Coeurasa crashing down into The Cross" - Arden summarizing the situation and requesting the aide of the Dragon's Tear of Roqueport The tear agrees to assist with heavy hearts knowing that if Jade succeeds then all life on the surface of the Cross will be wiped out and they hope that Arden reminds Jade of her intended purpose. Without elaborating Harris send Arden back to their body ejecting them from the tear so they can commence their plan and Arden goes directly to the other tear to ask if for aide only to be reminded that Meunice is the acting administrator and is going to help. With everyone in position Arden speaks through the Spire taking a moment to prod Jade through his tablet hoping to get her attention and is instead provided a view of Dominque on a pirate ship headed towards Atlas; Arden is unpleased and confused but commences non the less. "I, Arden Renshaw am here to make a global announcement on behalf of the mortal population of this world. After learning Project Starfall and the dereliction of duties of World Administrator Jade I hereby remove all access and privileges granted by the position and strip of all authority. All active umbras and field operatives are to herby cancel and reject all present and future orders from Jade and to report to the Roqueport Spire for immediate reassignment from Olain in assisting the population of Roqueport. Locus is to operate at its default function of protecting The Cross from Coeurasa and to maintain and restore all existing spires past and present to stop the calamity from happening. All authority will be restored when a proper investigation into World Administrator Jade's purpose, methods, and activities has been fully completed and assessed by acting World Administrator Arden Renshaw" - Once spoken Arden immediately shifts to location masking magics and safeguards Interacting with the tablet registers a broken connection and a notification that the Locus is inaccessible though whether Arden's plan worked has yet to be seen until... Olain receives an invitation to the Porcello Reverie set to contain the administrators of the spires as requested by Therrin Perch. "In absence of the Global Administrator giving us orders from the Locus we have to figure this out on our own" - Olain explaining the triggering activity of the Porcello Reverie "So, I did cut the Locus off from the rest of you" - Arden questions surprised at the news "It looks like the Locus was cut off by Jade... but you are likely the reason they felt like they needed to do that" - Olain answering Arden with their assessment as information becomes available through the network "So your speech thing half worked" - Sam muses hopeful "We should get going then" - Arden assessing the potential danger headed their way Opting to get out of Roqueport before the oncoming umbra arrived the party assembles to best avoid temporal mishaps and bodily harm ready to be sent to the mines north of Atlas. Upon touching done the party finds themselves in a sandstorm billowing around them in a desert dustbowl prompting the party to find their way out of the storm. Thinking fast Sam drops to the ground and casts a spell to allow the party to whisper into each other's ears despite the shrill howl of the desert storm allowing a degree of coordination. With some luck and hints from the tablet the entrance to the Locus Mines is found and with a spinning kick yeeting the entrance "door" deep into the mine. A refuge from the storm the party marches in escaping the howl of the storm and trading it for the wing beats of thousands of giant insects echoing through the dark cavernous structure of the mines. Sam is surprised by a giant mosquito desperate for food landing on his shoulder taking aim at his neck and unceremoniously Sam hums a tune laced with magic hypnotizing the mind of the insect adverting the first danger of the mines.

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Ep 71: Quiet Before the Storm

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

The party gets up to date with Olain and gets the chimera soul of Meunice, Okuma, and Mr. Moonsea into a new body in the way Therrin is an umbra creature. Therrin has a heart to heart with their sibling Olain and everyone considers the future if they succeed in putting The Cross on a better path.

Sam shares the power of the Overriding Spear hyping up the umbral administrator and confirms that with an administrator and the Spear they should be able to go anywhere they would need. Olain does mention that without the spear attempting to teleport to the entrance of the Locus would default the party into bloodmist, they seem to have spent a great deal of time focused on learning how the network of the spires, translating the spire manual, and the politics of the city in pursuit of the public good. Olain adds an additional setting to Arden's tablet allowing them to look up information as they need and with Sam hunching over Arden becomes keenly aware of their newfound ability to read the dead languages preventing Olain from completing a full translation of the manual. Sam comments that the understanding came to them the longer they held onto the spear, that the song that allowed them to influence spire functions is in fact a rather somber song of loss though they haven't come to understand it fully yet. As Olain begins the process to create a new body for Meunice manipulating the stone splinters Bata and Therrin had been hauling around they share their musings. Olain theorizes that the ability to create new bodies, especially how easy it is to do once they know they can, and at some point, perhaps that was the purpose of what they are made from. Therrin appreciates Olain giving the people a chance and that they might be able to bring the umbra chasing the party new lives in need of purpose. Arden and Bata spend some time together studying the book of wisdom and Meunice joins Olain in creating the new body providing input. Therrin overlooks the city from the floor window waiting for Olain sending out vibes of I would like to talk to you when you are freed up through their empathic connection. Sam sets up their bedroll and continues to work on noodling through the Administrator Song making progress little by little. "You took a chance on us, and I appreciate that" - Therrin to Olain while they reminisce the past months appreciating what they have added to each other's lives and musing on their futures "Do you feel like we did the right thing: - Arden asks Bata to be reassured by the caring bear solidifying both their resolve in the face of Jade's machinations for change Sam wearily lays down to rest and as if they had completed a summoning ritual Zaus slides by with enough energy for the both of them. The rat gets Sam up to date on the goings-ons of the rest of the party plus the cackling of Meunice warping their new body as they wish it to be. Zaus has a heart to heart with Sam about what they want to do after the adventure is over and the monkey agrees to be their courier teacher for honest work... the party wanted to deter him from becoming a full-time adventurer who make a living pillaging corpses. Meunice emerged from the formation chamber with the main body of a kitsune, the wingspan of a dove, and the hips of a jackal here to assure the party they were indeed there to assist. After a brief exchange, Therrin places her cursing glasses on the vulpine chimera and formally welcomes them to the party for the time being. "I really hope form the bottom of our heart... that you succeed, I don't want to back to the world I remember, but I will if I have to" - Meunice Chimera earnestly tells Arden

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Ep 70: Paradise Isn’t Made in a Day I Guess

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

The party meets up with Elder Percus to recant their recent tales and gather what aid the Elder can provide them before spiriting away to the Roqueport Spire. They did leave behind their bugalüs Suzie and Marcus with their new young back in Bisemutum saving them from the coming dangers.

Bata awakens to find Marcus and Suzie awash with their young and after congratulating the two they decide to leave them to care for their young. In the form of a Lunar Moth bata leaves the many bugalüs taking the stone shards with them thinking fondly of Arden. When they arrive at the Crescent Forge Bata lets the party know of the bugalüs they have left to run rampant on the countryside on the edges of A'Paz... should be fine. Sam had not slept, they had sung through the night, and as the hammer was finished the sight of Bata entering the inner forge in awe at the efforts of the forge master crew. The hammer had been improved upon by the Forgemasters granting the weapon quickened strikes, heavier impacts, and the ability to strike ghosts. "Go to your quest to take care of the tear, we've done our part, mention us in the tales" - The Thirty Forgemasters request of the party "Sam, you will remember this" - Bata asks Sam to ensure the request was included by their storyteller "Yesss.... water please" - Sam answers and requests with a raspy voice clearly induced through dogged exhaustion Before leaving Sam is gifted a pendant in honor of their performance throughout the night boosting the resonance of Sam's voice when it recovers after some rest and Therrin is gifted the cursing glasses by her friends. On their way to the community center to meet up with Elder Percus Zaus is gifted the moon-woven armor and the returning electric emblazoned sword from Meunice's stash. Sam is gifted the boots of not sliding around on ice and the lantern that burns eternally as well as revealing minor illusions for what they are. Arriving at the Community center the party doesn't wait long to witness Elder Percus emerge from the great tree there; Therrin may have had a few disagreements with the elderly there. Arden takes the time to explain what had occurred in recent days to Elder Percus who is aghast at the news offering the mage and their friends a bag of potions. Unfortunately, the Elder is unaware of information on Jade or the "World Administrator" alarming and frustrating Arden. Now equipped with additional potions and oils they prepare to leave for Roqueport but not before Therrin gives Elder Percus a heads up: "Oh hey, ummm... also our bugalüs had like a ton of babies in the forest behind the church forge thing... just so you know" - Therrin warns just before quickly leaving "As long as they don't eat to much then it should be fine" - Elder Percus unaware of the danger to the local ecosystem Checking the tracking tablet to cover all their bases Arden sees there is a swarm of umbra on their way to Bisemutum and based on the formation they might be trying to encircle the party. Arden makes haste with their spell casting and transmits the party as raw matter to the Museum in the Roqueport spire and in their haste, they had not considered defensive measures that might prevent such an intrusion. The materializing did come with a stutter, a moment of spell-work to slip in past the defenses, and greeted by a spire golem they register as "friendly" to Therrin and Bata's mutual relief. The museum had been converted into the retelling of the "The Not so Great History of Roqueport" all constructed of spire stone and is invited into the inner control chamber where Olain is thrilled to see their friends. Arden sees that Olain hastens in their tasks though they are able to bring the party up to speed with the houses of the city attempting to seize control of the city pushing out lesser houses. Griff seems to have kept up their agreement to leave the spire alone and the population has taken to sheltering neaby the spire due to the nature of the truce keeping the houses occupied elsewhere. "Paradise isn't made in a day I guess" - Therrin taking in the progress of Roqueport Olain offers the party a chance to stay the night and agrees to help in Arden's plan to provide Meunice a new body much the same way that Arden and Zaus were helped.

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Ep 69: A’Paz on the Crescent Forge

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

The party makes a scene arriving in A’Paz surprising the local community and discover Suzie and Marcus might be pregnant from the locals showing the large bugalüs much love. Bata and Therrin provide their weapons for repairs and enhancement respectively and Sam tells the tale of their adventure to the smiths of the Crescent Forge.

Materializing in A'Paz the party alarms a vendor not in fact having materialized in town being just a wee bit off target. Upon request, Sam makes an attempt to assure the people present that the party was indeed "normal" producing laughs and alleviating the sense of unease allowing the party to pass without further incident. Arriving at the entrance to the Crescent Forge, a large permanent structure of stone where the moon-weaving technique can be facilitated, the party is stopped, and requested to provide the approval of an elder for entry. Arden instead revealed the Dragon's Tear stating they had important business to repair the tear that would require the repair of Bata's hammer getting the party entry and taken to a Forgemaster to decide what to do with them. "If Elder Percus is guiding you I am sure you will accomplish your goals" - Forgemaster hearing the party out and offering to halt all other projects to prioritize their quest "Why is this guy helping us" - Therrin says confused before being quickly shushed by Bata Working out the details of what will be needed, the party breaks off into parts and is offered the comfort of the lobby benches for rest. The process of repairing Bata's hammer will take the night whilst the forge is powered by Coeurasa's light and magnified by the glass of the temple ceiling and walls; Therrin joins to observe the proves and Sam is invited to tell the tale of how they got to this stage of their quest. Bata and Arden leave in search of Meunice's stash of magical goods hidden beneath the A'Paz Library, Arden and Meunice planning a way to get in without setting off the deadly wards with what magic Arden had prepared. Bata takes notice of the people around them staring and interjects to make the conversation between Arden and Meunice by way of the Dragon's Tear. Bata leads fining the exact spot Meunice speaks of fifty feet above their secret reading nook and on a leap of faith Arden teleports all "four" down to the chamber only becoming aware of Zaus before it is to late to leave him behind. All four pop into the closed off chamber devoid of a source of oxygen... in a hurry they pillage the cache and utilizing a pair of boots Meunice leaves there to teleport out they make their way back to the Crescent Forge. On their way back Arden at Meunice's request holds up the undead mage's former possessions where not only could the tear have a direct line of sight of the objects but so too could the public... and any aspiring thieves. Bata, having taken a robe to try on experiences a whole new world of sensory overload when dozens of eyes audibly open all over the cloth feeding their visual inputs into the bear's brain. They even see the spirits of the dead floating about and the harsh concentration of souls in the Dragon's Tear. "Bata, that... that's really upsetting to look at" - Bata agrees after self-inspection and commands the eyes to close making their presence and the spectacle they made less attention grabbing Meanwhile back at the forge Sam uses their tales to hype up the Frogemasters and get them focused which is advantageous given that a sizable portion of the smiths had been celebrating before. Therrin takes the chance to get her sword enhanced since it would be used in the quest too, the sword is melted down, magic transferred to a new metal, and a new iteration forged all the while the sergal grows steadily more anxious not understanding the process that seemed to destroy her family heirloom until the final steps. Arden and Bata are reminded that they had brough Suzie and Marcus with them due a crowd blocking their path to the forge having formed to praise and feed the two bugalüs. Wanting to disperse the gathering and avoid unnecessary complications Bata asks the bugalüs to go where they can cause the least trouble which they do for their beloved bear. After they break away gaining their full speed minus the weight of a cart Bata realizes they still have the stone shards on them they would need for umbra material... there also is a chance they are both pregnant which concerns Bata. Startling the onlookers, Bata transforms themselves into a giant lunar moth and flies away after the bugalüs to spend the night looking after them... Arden, standing alone, shrugs defeated in their pursuit of time with Bata and makes their way back to the forge where they find a boisterous party. While they would rather have quiet, the party animals are welcoming and considerate going as far as to pitch a tent in the lobby for Arden and bring drink and food throughout the night.

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Ep 68: Tumbleweeds

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

The party hears out Arden’s plan to visit Bisemutum for repairs and supplies, Roqueport to get Menunice a new body, and then collectively enter the Locus with the vulpine mage’s assistance. Whilst Arden prepares their teleportation spell with assistance from Meunice Therrin learns important bead and breakfast skills, Bata spends some quality time with Suzie and Marcus, Sam ponders old secrets, and when everyone is ready Arden turns the party into light beaming them to Bisemutum for stage one of the plan.

Waking, Therrin finds herself restless, and starts sprucing up the Inn causing quite a racket moving the furniture. She takes mental notes of the layout, how the kitchen and dining room were set before and after their improvements, and pondered on that bed and breakfast idea they had with Sam. Sam and Zaus pull themselves out of bed tiding their chamber shortly thereafter meeting Therrin downstairs where the three decide Zaus would be the least grating member to wake Bata and Arden. "Zaus took our mints... all of them I think" - Bata waking Arden from their peaceful slumber "Well, we may have to destroy him" - Arden jests barely awake "Nooo...." - Bata feigns panic "Oh, I'll let it slide" - Arden relents mentally rolling over "Alright, just this time though" - Bata nods in agreement After a brief discussion on the finer points of Therrin's rearrangement of the dining hall Arden begins in on their plan desiring input and the consent of the whole party before proceeding. To their surprise Therrin becomes their biggest buy in on the idea of getting Mrunice a body back citing that if Arden trusts them enough to do that, as the person who trusts the slowest maybe the party should take that as a sign to follow suit, and that they like the idea of preparing as it served them well with fighting Mr. Moonsea. Thusly the plan became to visit Bisemutum to meet with Elder Percus to get Bata's hammer repaired, see what the elder had for them, raid Meunice's secret cache of goods, and then head to the Roqueport spire to see about getting a new body for the fox mage. From there Meuncie could get them to the Locus without the guesswork Arden would prefer not to do when their opposition is so well positioned to have prepared for interlopers. Sam clenching down on the spear feels themselves slip into the Dragon's Tear to ask if Meunice would still be compelled and if they would still be connected to Okuma getting a yes to both questions; while there they feel something processing in the back of their head. Satisfied Sam departs the tear to assure Arden of his plan and the party hearing that agree they are in agreement to proceed. Therrin sticks around after her friends depart the dining hall, she wants to hear what Ma and Pa think of her alterations to the floor plan. What she does get is a surprised Chef Ramsley would takes the time to teach her of the methodology she merely scratched at before better preparing her to run that future bed and breakfast. Sam munching on their breakfast feels the background noise from earlier coming together as the Dragon's Tear fills in the gaps of knowledge they lacked, and the control song gradually becomes words they can understand though not quite all of it yet. Meanwhile Arden prepares a teleportation spell with the assistance of the fox mage to take the party outside the town with the Crecenant Forge and gathering everyone up they cast the spell spirting the party far from Atlas.

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Ep 67: Starry Eyed Futures

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Arden takes time to pull the Okuma/Meunice amalgamation closer to being an ally and asset to the party; much like the party Meunice would a fair deal of introspection that night. Meanwhile below Sam executes a scheme to pay off their soon to be outstanding bill with the Inn by way of the pirates they healed ultimately leading to a monthly bare-knuckle boxing tournament, fight night league, and Inn restoration and upkeep competition to the proprietors relief.

Ponderous and pensive Arden sets themselves to cleaning of the worst of the grim of battle from their fur before heading down to the bath and they call upon Meunice from the Dragon's Tear to hear their thoughts. Speaking to the fox mage they gain a deeper grasp of how much being awash with Okuma had changed them and forced introspection; they had reveled in their emotional isolation though now it would diminish them and their sense of self. They had lost their bid to change the world directly and now they were content to see what Ardena and their friends were attempting to build and they had gotten to this point without the monstrous acts Meuncie had accepted as matter of course. "I want the world to be better, I think... both of us want the world to be better, we don't know what that looks like though, we do know how to tear down what's there" - Meunice to Arden "Well, as somebody who is adept at destroying things, they can be rebuilt" A realistic but hopeful replay to the elder mage's assessment, Arden offered the chance to rebuild a body of flesh and bone for the combination of their competitor and teacher -- arraigned villain and second father. With Okuma present the threat of backstabbing or malicious activity was lessened but additionally Arden sensed a shift in the fox mage half of that meld of souls that made the offer feel plausible enough for the moment. Giving Meuncie much to consider, the fox mage drifted back into the Dragon's Tear and Arden gets ready to head down unimpressed by the yodeling they hear through the window. Sam seizing the opportunity reasons with the pirates they had helped moments before that if they wanted to be invited back for even bigger and better parties they should leave the venue in excellent condition which their fall out of Therrin's bedroom on the second floor through the first story eaves and then flattening the desert table presented a challenge to. A betting pool was settled on for the top three pirates to split, they would be judged on how well they cleaned, and thereby the condition the hotel was left in. Taking it upon himself to guide the pirates and take bets from the attendees and Bata watching from their spot in the hot springs somewhat awake and consuming the food and drink brought to them by the adoring fans that had found them. Arden steps into the chaos they do not desire firing off spells to intimidate the revelers to cease their party animal nature only to be cheered on for their impressive spell-craft further frustrating them. Determined to gain peace they march back into the Inn gathering Ma from the front counter who is at first aghast at what they find has befallen their business and only by Sam's quick thinking is she satisfied. In alleviating her concerns Sam promises that they pirates were raising money for a repair fund to fic up what they broke, that the pirates were cleaning up their own mess, and that the spontaneous bar-knuckle boxing tournament would be moved to be viewable from all windows of the Inn. Zaus having been so well out of trouble has decided to balance the scales by entering the tournament alarming Bata and Sam until they realize that if Zaus wins then the money can really go to paying the impending bills... so they quietly provide magical boons to Zaus giving them the edge in the final fights. Paying off Ma and earning a bit of coin for themselves alleviating short term concerns.

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Ep 66: Intel Gatherers and Party Crashers

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

On their way back the party acquires information on where they will need to go to thwart the Global Administrator, their name, and to an extent their motivations. Upon arriving back at the Inn they negotiate terms for their bugalüs care, Bata’s moth watches over Suzie and Marcus, and after some haggling with Pa Therrin crashes a room party with gusto.

"I'll help you get what you want, it's okay if you win for now" - Mr. Moonsea Capitulating to Arden Moonsea explains to Ardent that Administrator Jade has allowed the citizens of The Cross to largely decide their own fates and that each time this approach is used they will irrevocably damage the world within their own means. Mr. Moonsea further explains that Jade is an apathetic head of operations with a nostalgic streak for times long forgotten to the world, that perhaps they hope someday the experiment of The Cross will bear fruit though the desired outcome is unclear to the elder umbra. Despite Moonsea's age much of their memory far back has been lost, whenever they become problematic their mind is juiced to reinstate compliance, and when an umbra becomes too much of a hassle Jade consumes them. "When you get as high up as me in the hierarchy you discover that things don't change up there" - Mr. Moonsea allowing their bitterness to bubble to the surface in response to Arden's queries of their personhood Sensing a shift in the umbra Arden points out they have time here in the Dragon's Tear to exercise some personal agency and Meunice agrees though they have been taking a great deal of pleasure in Moonsea's turbulent emotions, seeing them struggle. Arden requests that with the umbra more compliant Meunice be kinder to him and perhaps get additional questions answered. Sam stays behind just long enough to hear Meunice's personal problems in slowly growing a conscious and losing their sense of self connected to the souls of the Dragon's Tear, they give the villain some sound advice for self-improvement, and let's them know that they don't plan to forgive them for the terrible things they have done. Before leaving of their own accord Sam discovers that Meunice cannot remove them so long as they are the "Bearer of the Spear" and that the fox mage would appreciate Sam not telling Arden about this property of the item... something he thinks on before vanishing. "We need to either stop them or convince them to for lack of a better word, do their job" - Arden explains the reason for the party to go to the Locus to Therrin bringing her up to speed "It's where the bad guys are Therrin" - Sam tries to boil it down for Therrin while they continue to touch up the map they had worked on with Arden of where to go and locate the Locus Bata awakens tossed up by an intentional bump in the road struck by a scheming Therrin who would like the bear to use his mighty muscles to carry in the party's stuff and tie up the bugalüs. Upon arriving at the Inn Therrin engages Pa in heated negotiations for the keeping of the party's bugalüs Suzie and Marcus who have been classified as public menaces by the town for their pursuit of food. Ultimately agreeing on hiring a runner to fetch chains to tie them to an enormous rock in the lawn, to continue to pay the runner to acquire food for the bugalüs, and in addition to the initial ten gold turn over the location of the statues at the quarry. Pleased with her negotiations, Therrin enters the Inn without care for additional conversation, Bata leaves their moth, Franklin the Second to oversee Suzie and Marcus to ensure they behave themselves, and Sam relaxes by the hot springs. Therrin and Arden unlike the rest of the group head straight to their rooms seeing Therrin's first they observe that it has been turned into a party room with rickety bar and dance floor; Therrin's own bed has been left untouched by the eight party goers. Confronting the Elephant roommate, she may not be able to remember the name of at the moment she orders him to get rid of them holding her claws out showing them extending unnaturally in an intimidating fashion. The elephant roommate scurries into the room shutting the door and hurrying the party goers out the window while they themselves reset the room. Unable to balance themselves, the menagerie of guests slips off the roof slamming into the desert table making a hug mess and in need of some first aide Sam steps up. With a little help from nurse Zaus Sam gets the lot on their feet and on their way assuring Ma that the group was not with them and while he did convince her of that the bill was still going to be Therrin's to contend with since the party was in her room.

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Ep 65: Social Sandpaper

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

The party gets on the road with two bugalüs as excited as they are to be back at the Inn. Therrin attends to her friends while they rest or enter trances, in the latter case Arden and Sam impose themselves into the Dragon’s Tear acquiring information from Meunice and Mr. Moonsea on the nature of the Global Administrator and the location of the Locus.

Determining that they would not yet be able to bring back the statues Arden asks the party to give the dragon's head casting a shattering spell sending long splinters of the dragon's remaining head and opens a dimensional breaching gate allowing for shards to be taken into the cart. Therrin takes the initiative getting the cart moving, intent on making the dream of being back at the Inn a reality, and Sam joins her at the front. She checks in on her monkey friend curious if he was going to be okay after having their mind split up among the many heads of the hydra form confusing the well-meaning sergal the more he attempted to explain the headspace. As conversation quiets Sam ponders on what might be happening within the Dragon's Tear and focusing their thoughts, begins to listen in finding an inquisition taking place between Meunice and Mr. Moonsea. The way the two spoke clearly exposed insider knowledge to Sam though they had to pay close attention to put the pieces together from scattered inferences and reference; a person by the name of Jade seemed to have successfully kept the two busy competing with one another... they had been played like fiddles. "They both fear Jade" - Sam relays to Arden and Therrin coming out of their trance unable to focus on both places at once Sam puts together that Jade is the global administrator and shares that briefly before their eyes gloss over and they sink back into their trance. Arden opts to follow him in asks Therrin for the Dragon's Tear who passes it back to him and upon Arden making contact with the stone he is quickly offered into the tear by those within enamored with the inquisition occurring inside. Therrin turns away from her friends resigning herself to not fully understanding what was occurring but trusting in them to make the right decisions. Therrin was also hoping they didn't encounter anyone on the way back... she had a young rat contorted trapped by the stone needles in back convinced it was training, a battered Bata snoring so loudly that their location would be no secret to anyone in earshot, and two well-dressed gentlemen swaying in a trance, and her lucid with the hungry bugalüs. Arden throwing caution to the wind attempts to get the crowd of souls surrounding Meunice and Mr. Moonsea into revealing where the Locus could be located and same possessing caution uses a sound sculpting spell to alter Arden's voice as to not give the two away hiding in the crowd of souls. Arden and Sam focus on the context clues that are meaningful to them putting together collectively that the location of the Locus would be North of Atlas. Arden taking another stab at inciting the crowd despite Sam's best efforts to conceal the two get the attention of the two villains of yesteryear. Arden then does what they do best entirely aimed at Mr. Moonsea -- angering him into revealing more than they had put together before from the context clues, and batting aside the elder umbra's haggling for leverage squired their compliance for the time being. "You're social sandpaper" - Mr. Moonsea to Arden having been bested and humiliated within the Dragon's Tear

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Ep 64: Positively Petrified

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

The battle rages and in an act of desperation Arden and Zaus take a gamble that could leave the party positively petrified or cease Mr. Moonsea’s malevolent machinations. When the fighting dies down Meunice welcomes the losing side into their new life as a citizen of the Dragon’s Tear (they were quite pleased it was Mr. Moonsea) and the party debates bringing back the eldritch horror of a minion statue they acquire post combat… maybe a gift for Ma and Pa’s Inn Hot Springs and Stables?

Broad teeth pierce the growing pool of coalescing pool of biomass, collecting themselves and bending into a wicked smile they gleam, and bubbling up two thick arms arise from that reservoir stretching wide and then clap sending tenuous escalating vibrations through the shadows streaming into itself. The basalt monoliths crack and shatter breaking down as the ground opens up to swallow them, the party quick on their feet avoid the widening fissures having gotten a sense of danger from the charming smile, and a head of the hydra cackles amused that they were airborne for this dangerous situation. "Arden, Nooooo" - Bata exclaims seeing Arden falling into the fissure attached to their basalt rock barely pulling themselves over the edge as the stone is crushed into dust behind them Less than pleased Arden snaps a dome of ice into existence over the biomass mildly concerned they could make out the gleam of the creature through the ten feet of ice making up the shell. Sam floats getting the party's smells to locate their location letting their friends know that they cannot see at present and are informed Arden does not have a solution to their plight. Therrin on the other hand is still burning from the inside out and attempts at first to frantically eject the burning liquids from her body only to then produce a cape of flames from her shoulders impressing her friends who were both paying attention and unaware of her ignited insides. Realizing this had not served the intended purpose the sergal steels herself to push the majority of the ignited biomass to her club arm and then severe the limb to save the whole and simple doesn't swing with enough force... she is too awesomely tough for her own good. Seeing the creature attempting to push its way out of the dome of ice causing cracks to form Arden thinking fast warps the stone below their foe causing the mass to bounce around the hemisphere unable to focus on its task. Directing their gravity magic back to Sam's back Arden arrives narrowly avoiding a bite to his cape upon arrival; above the storm gradually condenses becoming something more useful to the elder umbra. "I'll do my best to direct you" - Arden informs the many heads of Sam each with their own demands for direction Therrin's body continues to waste away, she pushes the burning mass into the cape forming at her back, with a grimace she severs the growth freeing herself of the internal fire, and accounts for the damage done. Zaus, horrified for Therrin jumps on their back and tries to administer her a healing potion to seal up those wounds and Bata continues to growl at the sphere of unhappy toothy smiles circling around it. The orbs in the sky condense down and fall like meteors into the party's general area igniting the battlefield in a sea of flames melting the ice prison Arden cast over the grinning mass creating as cloud of freezing fog harmfully chilling the entity within. Arden sensing an opportunity unfurls their cloak once again summoning a small meteorite of their own sending it down to the grinning teeth in the fog exploding drawing Sam's attention creating a debate on what to do about the new stink of evil and a single head questioning as to the health of Bata's moth. Therrin jugs a potion of healing, repositions for a better view nearer to Mr. Moonsea, and explains what had happen to Sam bringing them up to speed. Bata continues to snarl, protected from the fire and cold by their magic ring march into the freezing fog raising up their hammer and bringing it down onto Mr. Moonsea's back, grabbing the creature's attention. Snapping its head around akin to an own surprising Bata confirming to them it was time to release the explosion of rainbow putting the gleaming silhouette on guard catching Bata's next swing and guiding the blow away harmlessly. Contorting the fallen spheres take on a viscous liquid state zooming over the quarry grounds behind the dome of fog building up a body of Mr. Moonsea's trademark, a primordial dragon thirty feet high "Surrender the spear and walk away" - Mr. Moonsea bellows offering the party an opportunity to live for the present "Sounds like he's scared" - Arden replies clearly uninterested in the offer and not missing the opportunity to point out the implication of why the creature felt it "necessary" to make such an offer when they seemed happy to off them earlier Meanwhile Bata's foe crunches the bear's hammer in its paw sending deep cracks throughout allowing the magic to squelch out possibly enough damage to render the weapon a total wreck though Arden is too preoccupied to notice trying to get Mr. Moonsea to talk to them and maybe preparing a potion of chaos magic ready for tossing. Sam regains their sight, all heads exclaiming their joy at being able to operate as expected and threatens to elder umbra to Arden's frustration. Concealed by the fog sphere Bata in their rage decides to grab at the sum total of their exploding necklace beads and hurl them into the monster before them, if they let it pass it promised to turn Arden into blood mist, and they had a ring that could protect them from the fire... somewhat at least... Bata back away as the explosion wraps around the two ballooning the freezing fog upward and while Bata strains to stand the grinning creature destabilizes loosely maintaining a sloppy shape of rolling sludge, the teeth in its smile mixing into the blob apart from one another. Mr. Moonsea lowers their draconic head presumably to blast the party with a destructive breath provoking Arden and Zaus who hurled their potions of wonder at the dragon. Arden's was covered with a dangerous magical trap and Moonsea fell for it triggering a sonic explosion harming Moonsea as well as simultaneously sending the potion's magic over the battlefield causing a sea of green vegetation to overtake the quarry. Zaus's caught up in the unexpected explosion also sent its unstable magics over the battlefield causing the distorting mucky humanoid shape in the mist to petrify with its mouth screaming wide jawline falling to its feet eyes gazing onto the path it saw Bata retreat. "This world was going to be mine" - Mr. Moonsea laments as their unstable body fails to resist the potion's magic seeing that the party had managed to survive Seizing the opportunity Meunice pops their head out requesting to add Mr. Moonsea to the citizenry of the Dragon's Tear preventing them from changing their body back from its stone state. Arden and Therrin agree and in short order Meunice gleefully welcomes the elder umbra into their Dragon's Tear trapping his essence where he could do no further harm to the world at large. "I will name it Franklin... the second" - Bata announces checking their moth companion who seemed quite happy to stick around despite the clear danger to its health Arden squints at the dragon statue casting over their eyes a magic sensing vision revealing where in Moonsea's body the other end of the speat rested, shatters that section with a sonic burst, and with their understanding of magic fuses the two ends back together to be wielded by Sam. Arden takes some quality time to shatter the Moonsea statue's head and the party departs shortly after glad they had thought to put their transport a safe distance away.

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Ep 63: "It’s a Monster Piñata"

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Therrin, Bata, and Zaus come in clutch mopping up the enemies that escape Arden and Sam whislt Sam faces his fears facing off with a colossal water spider to guard the lives of his friends. As the battle continues the boney stones pop open fostering dangerous foes from giant flaming salamanders to murderous otherworldly toads recycled from emerging biomass; though the party ultimately triumphs, with each victory additional inky biomass digs itself into the quarry floor.

With swiftness Arden channels the hunger of The Dragon through their spell crafting lashing through the supernatural rain falling upon the party devouring each tasty drop as well as reliving Arden of his spell casting enhancements granted by The Dragon. Sam floats above a spiney bone like rock embedded in the quarry soil observing it while their heads debate the next best course of action. Therrin wholly focused on Zaus connects to their nervous system holding him tightly, she feels as though she could push out the third presence by removing the inky substance within them both, and feeling out the bodily pathways wrings out them both. Their bodies flexing unnaturally send volleys of the black tar out of each wound, pushed from their blood into their pores, and popping out ejecting the substance over five feet from their person; incidentally covering Bata on one side. Surprised and confused, Bata runs to the nearest bone like rock and strikes it releasing a multi-colored gas and slithering put an enormous humanoid salamander wreathed in fire emerges. The boney rocks begin to fly together connecting into a long undulating storm of stone whipping at Sam's hydra body, meanwhile gases pops from the other boney rocks rolling out in colorful poofs. Marching to the farthest tail end of Sam's elongated body Arden gets just enough range to fire off shockwave of sonic energy shattering the rocky bones and sends the gasses coalescing together on the edges of the quarry. Sam joins in the bone stone destruction with their many heads crunching the rocks like so much popcorn allowing additional gas to escape to the edge of the quarry. Therrin advances on the Fiery Salamander placing themselves between the creature and Zaus barring its path to their recovering party member; carefully judging the risk the creature poses she lashes out with measured strikes observing the salamander's combat prowess. Therrin is alarmed to discover her club arm lit ablaze by contact with the salamander, Zaus having had a moment to breathe summons an icy dagger and chucks the weapon between Bata and Therrin's battle stances exploding severely damaging the fire monster distracting it just long enough for Bata to strike with their full weight turning the creature into dying embers on the wind. The mists split forming two bodies, the first a giant twenty-foot water spider causing a single head of Sam's to cower away, and the second mass of gasses spawns a bulbous toad adorned with fine robes eyeing Arden maliciously from the other end of Sam's body. The spider shoots a web over Sam's many heads, reactively Sam sends their heads in opposite directions to avoid becoming ensnared, and the toad charges Arden driving a hidden blade into the mage's chest causing their body to go solidly rigid. Arden thinking fast changes their center of gravity launching themselves across the field with the strategy of never landing to avoid impact injuries by rapidly changing their center of gravity; the danger being that so long as they are paralyzed, they can't cast most of their spells... mostly helpless. Sam angles their body below the spider and flies upward slamming their body into the spider attempting to make a toad sandwich scrapping the amphibious interloper on the spider. Sam's hydra heads bite into the spider's legs holding them and then the four-remaining chomp into head just above the spider's fangs. Vindication radiates through Sam as they tear and rip apart the spider sending its parts all over the quarry floor melting into the stone and soil; the toad falls from the sundered spider looking for a safe place to land. Therrin spotting the friend stabbing toad meets it where it lands flying into the threat a magic powered sergal missile with her rapier as the tip surprising the toad. Driving her blade into the toad's heart and rushing the enemy into a basalt collum pinning them there; bata follows moment behind Therrin attempting to smash the toad on the wall though their velocity left much to be desired leaving the toad unharmed. The toad reaches out to Therrin grabbing ahold of her sneaking a spell in their motions causing the cells inside the sergals body to ignite in flames and Arden finds himself capable of bodily motion again. Altering his direction Arden finds a safe landing and fires off a few magical missiles at the toad causing them to discorporate into goo then digging into the soil. "Is the toad gone... no one is answering" - A worried Sam hydra head asks unaware of the toad's fate blinded by the creature's spiteful magic moments before its death The shadows around the basalt pillars ominously bend together pooling towards the northwest of the quarry floor barely providing a moment of calm for the party.

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Ep 62: There’s a Big Storm Brewing

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Mr. Moonsea arrives as an incarnation of nature washing over the chosen battlefield striking at the party with elemental warriors, poisonous gases, and hail the size of Bata’s fists. Zaus and Therrin face the imposing will of the elder umbra and Sam is transformed into a mighty hydra tearing into the threats with twelve heads, each a separate part of their identity.

The sky lights up as storm rolls in, gradually devouring the sky as the party awaits their encounter with Mr. Moonsea, and rather suddenly hail the size of apples falls forcing the party to take cover below the towering basalt spikes. Suspicious, Arden checks their tracking device discovering that the elder umbra seems to be high in the skies above the party prompting the magi to attempt diplomacy. "I see you have arrived; can we take a moment and speak... for our interview" - Arden addressing the sky The storm intensifies as if spurned to action by Arden's request, the air sounds with great cracks of thunder dulling the party's senses, and as the hail comes down embedding itself in the soil Therrin downs her potion of woody flesh enhancing their natural toughness. "This is not hail... it's a shapeshifter" - Sam witnessing the hail submerging itself biting into the base of the quarry let's their allies know with a yell just before breaking into a moving song empowering their friends Bata joins Arden in their attempt to get Mr. Moonsea's attention requesting an audience though they seem to anger the elder umbra, following their request four huge multicolored geodes fall through the storm slamming into the quarry floor shaking the earth. Cracks spread over these fallen stones and from within emerge elemental bodies subsuming the geodes into their forms: fire, earth, water, and air express themselves through these elemental bodies. "This is gonna feel strange" - Arden tells Sam casting a transmutation spell empowered by the magic of the dragon warping their body into that of a twelve headed hydra with their oil of enhancing natural armaments at the ready Declaring Sam their center of gravity for the purposes of their directional gravity magic Arden begins floating over to Sam where they will presumably be quite a bit safer than before guarded by the dozen visages of a confused and momentarily discombobulated Samuel. Their sense of self divided among the multitude of heads allowing Sam to weave around the basalt columns to find and tear apart the elementals eventually gaining a greater sense of control over their new noggins allowing for an ever-increasing number of attacks. Therrin saunters over to the water being stabbing holes in its body, Zaus jumps to the swirling tornado getting caught in its body instead of bringing it harm, and Bata thinking fast uses a spell to quench fires causing the flame creature's face to harden and fall off earning a scream of torment for Bata's efforts (Bata possibly prepared this spell encase of spontaneous meditative pyro dynamics). Whilst Bata receives blows from the earthen creature Zaus is repeatedly slammed into a basalt column trapped in the hurricane's grasp and Therrin is swept up in the water creature taking on a whirlpool state churning such speeds the sergal found herself suspended mid-air at its center. Straining Therrin observed drops of water break away latching onto her and attempting to burrow into her flesh as they take on an inky black color. Arden seeing Therin's plight dumps the oil of enhancing natural armaments on Sam's hydra back and summons a blast of high-speed air shooting Therrin out of the whirlpool. Therrin, never losing an opportunity to stick the landing soars majestically skyward flipping and twirling her sergal floof lands on the zenith of a tall basalt column overlooking the battlefield. "All I wanna do is talk, you're wasting both of our time" - Arden screaming into the sky Beholding Sam attack with at least half a dozen of their new heads, Therin perches herself atop the tall stone popping the potion of flight then leaping from pillar to pillar with the aid of the magic to get to Zaus. Bracing herself on a tall rock in arms reach of Zaud and holds her paws out to catch Zaus realizing he was becoming covered in the same black goo that was enveloping her moments before, the tarry substance was pulling Zaus deeper into the winds despite his best efforts to escape. Bata and Zaus continue to take blows while Sam tears into the elemental menaces and then there is a shift in the sky, and a dark fog descends threatening to envelop the whole battlefield in short order. Seeing an opportunity Arden pours an oil of flight on Sam's back granting the enormous many headed beast magical flight with unnaturally accurate maneuverability no creature of Sam's current description should possess. The sky darkened Arden unfurls their cloak calling forth an orb of energy cast into the descending mass exploding burning away the vapors in electrical discharge, satisfying the young mage though they knew they had only whipped away a minor portion of the whole. Taking notice of their floating Sam's heads determine they could angle their main body above the fire creature allowing for all their heads to attack in unison tearing it apart. As the elemental of fire breaks down so do the other elemental incarnations freeing Zaus flinging their body to the grounds below. Therrin zooms down to the rat to give them a potion of healing alarmed by the quantity of black goo leaking out of Zaus's eyes and mouth. Cradling the frantic panicking rat in her arms, Therin feels a mental connection between the two and a third malignant force crawling in. "Please help" - Zaus choking on their words attempting to get help from Therrin Bata runs over freed from the earth threat and casts a healing spell on the rat healing a portion of their blunt force trauma while the tar bubbles inside their body. The fog envelopes the party draining away their hardiness and what appear to be rocks pierce through raining down onto the battlefield surely an indicator of the dangers yet to come.

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Ep 61: Gordont’s Quarry

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

All roads lead to Gordont’s Quarry as the party leaves town closing out their rooms, gathering information on the best location getting feedback from a friendly infant moth bata fed and the implanted memories of the Dragon’s Tear added to Sam’s own. Arriving there the party gets familiar in ways relevant to their own abilities, hide their new undamaged cart in the woods putting their bugalüs safely away from danger, and Therrin has a heart to heart with Bata.

Discussing location for the upcoming fight with Mr. Moonsea Bata ponders where... and is struck with a moment of inspiration seeing the hungry moths just outside the window. Cutting across the room with a cotton towel in their paw showing the month's that which they desire... fine linens, and through odd body language and grunts Bata secures a deal for information on somewhere suitable to confront the elder umbra. When the bear cracks the window to provide the towels/pillowcases six moth rush through sacking the room for scented oils and Bata having none of that throws the cloth out the window getting the hungry moths to fly out after the linens. Meanwhile Arden and Sam attempt to ask Meunice and the Dragon's Tear for a location only getting a vague memory from the compiled history inside Sam's head known as "Gordont's Quarry". Bata's friends had ceased their discussion turn to watch the bear patiently awaiting a moth return and inform the group that they have acquired a moth that could show them the way to such a place. "Okay so, so, we can either try to go to a quarry I sort of remember from the Dragon's Tear's memories or we can follow the vague direction of a moth" - Sam assessing their options "Or, or we can scare a bunch of vendors out of the area... which sounds fun to me" - Therrin's suggestion "Or we can vaguely terrorize a bunch of people into giving up their prime selling location" - Sam critiquing Therrin suggestion "Look, terrorize or suggest" - Therrin's amendment "Actually, how about we not have a violent encounter with a shapeshifting monster within city limits" - Arden feeling the need to interject "Auuuggg" - Therrin poo-pooing Arden's suggestion "Either way it sounds like we're wandering around in the woods for a while" - Sam's Assessment "The shoreline was also an option" - Bata chiming in another option "I think I'm done with water for a bit" - Sam shooting down the shoreline option "Yeah, I think we all are, as well as falling into water" - Arden agreeing with Sam Heading downstairs they close out their bill and reserve another night allowing them to get those potions before their big confrontation. Leaving the inn having made out like bandits with the deal they made and follow the direction of the moth whilst Sam keeps an eye out for familiar terrain until both the moth and Sam's implanted memories lead them to "Gordont's Quarry". The quarry looks to be abandoned with the gravel having been pushed away by rain leaving spikes of basalt reaching upwards of thirty feet to the sky at jagged angles. Having a look around they get familiar with the quarry Arden is alerted on their tracking device that Mr. Moonsea would be early for their appointment and they now had a appointment with the Global Administrator post Mr. Moonsea interview. Arden interprets this news as dire and Therrin/Zaus interprets the news as the Global Administrator's faith in them to survive the "interview" with Mr. Moonsea perplexing the magi momentarily. Breathing in Arden calls upon the magic of "The Dragon" meditating, Sam sees what Arden is up to and decides to join in the exercise out of boredom humming a tune harmonize with the sounds of the lands around them. Bata heads off to the woods with Therrin following behind, there they hide the cart, Suzie, and Marcus from danger with the added benefit of plentiful that would hopefully keep the bugalüs there. Before heading back Therrin has a heart to heart with Bata about how much his family inspired her, that if things were so good for her, she wouldn't have left Roqueport leaving her puzzled as to why Bata left his home, and he tells her of the siren's call of speaking to a whisper stone -- something he couldn't do back then.

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Ep 60: Jelly and Jelly Accessories

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Sam makes a deal with the proprietors of Ma and Pa’s Inn Hot Springs and Stables after some haggling, hopefully getting their bill paid and some unconfirmed potions they would receive during checkout. Further the group plans for their upcoming “meeting” with Mr. Moonsea learning what they can of the elder umbra’s capabilities from Meunice.

Returned to the inn Therrin, Sam, and Zaus smother their cold breakfast pastries, now concerned with how to make the best use of their new purchase. Meanwhile Bata is awakened by the pitter patter of baby lunar moths begging Bata to let them in so they could eat their bedding, the bear refuses their request with squinty eyes realizing they "understand" the moths. "They're having Breakfast without us" - Bata exclaims aghast overhearing Therrin shouting from downstairs about what foods the jelly can go on Bata makes haste awakening Arden so they can join in on the food though the puppo is more focused on where they will fight Mr. Moonsea as they come to. Sam, after prodding from Therrin makes the attempt to sell the cartload of luxury goods to the inn keepers who have their own angle of potions instead of coin. Sam leads the otter proprietor they could find to the cart just outside with the annihilated front yard providing an unfavorable backdrop for their sales negotiations. If the rooms are left in good condition, then the party might get seven potions instead of six, though when Sam meets Therrin upstairs, he does note that he has not received potions or evidence that they are indeed valuable magical objects. "I don't think anybody should talk to merchants in this party" - Therrin's personal thoughts overhearing the dealmaking Checking on the tracker Arden notices that Mr. Moonsea is about ten to twelve hours out weather condition permitting giving the party plenty of time to prepare their spells, strategies, and have a meeting about how they wanted to handle the upcoming fight. In gathering up their party Arden witnesses Sam and Therrin cleaning and resetting not only their own rooms but an unrelated tenant's room as well, all to Sam's catchy cleaning earworm tune. Finishing the other tenant's room to Arden's frustration the two follow him back to his and Bata's room whilst the bear rounds up Zaus from the hot springs. Bringing Meunice into the conversation to get additional information on Mr. Moonsea's capabilities learning they could assume the form of any of the common states of matter (gas, solid, liquid), control and consume other umbra such as Therrin through direct contact, and is rewarded with the suggestion of preparing their spells just encase they can reform or steam a portion of Mr. Moonsea's body the way they did back at the Roqueport Spire. Zaus is freed at Meunice's request to turn pages for the spectral undead magi allowing them to prepare their spells and for Arden to turn their attention to Sam. Sam being the bearer of the spear is the primary target of Mr. Moonsea's attack. Should Mr. Moonsea acquire the other half of the key to the locus, and presumably an overruling check on the Head Administrator's authority even within the Locus where they could be overthrown and replaced. The spell Arden plans to cast upon Sam would change them into a great beast folding their possessions into the new form preventing theft unless the spell ends, or Sam perishes. Further, Arden makes sure to get the spell containing magic weapons loaded up with healing and exploding rainbows before arguing over the nuances of spell work with Meunice.

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Ep 59: Lessons, Jellies, and Deals

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Therrin puts new schemes into motion with a local fight fixer, Arden receives a lesson preview from Meunice on the wonders of teleportation, and everyone enjoys the hospitality of Ma and Pa’s Inn Hot Strings and Stables. Meunice spies on the kitchen staff giving the loving couple some privacy and Therrin adds Sama and Zaus to her acquisition of the previously mentioned jelly cart.

Therrin unamused by the fight Therrin sizes up the two contestants: a young buff rabbit going by the name "Hops" and an old goat pirate by the name "Rummie". Taking a bet on Rummie Therrin demands they move the fight, wanting to just go to bed, pleasantly surprised when Rummie gives Hops a one hit K.O. punch, earning the two of them twenty-seven gold as the only two betting on the old goat. Taking some time after the brief brawl, Therrin makes a connection with Bubba the fight fixer, learning that there was a sand garden on the edge of town set up to amuse rich folk that could serve as a suitable battleground for future fights. In the mix Therrin orders details written down and acquires a new roommate with the additional condition of getting Therrin set up with the opportunity. Before setting themself to sleep, Therrin moves the elephant Bubb's bed right next to the door and Therrin's remains in the far corner of the room. Laying there she finds the snoring of her roommate cumbersome and considers stretching her neck out the window like a flail and shutting the window but instead disconnects her own hearing bones from her eardrums with a little bodily manipulation then drifting off to sleep. Arden had in part witnessed the nonsense that was the pirate fights skirts around them and to their room discovering chocolates on both pillows adorned with a chocolate and a bowl of drying rose petals. As romantic as those gestures were Arden had a lesson preview before letting the younger mage off to the bath, just before leaving Bata arrives also sending Arden on their way, and once the puppo was gone searched the room. Bata found oil incense burners, massage rocks with warmer, massaging oils, rose petals, and candles with matches available; Bata sets all these up for the couples return later before heading down themselves. Meunice offers a suggestion to have the Dragon's Tear put in another room for the night that Bata unfortunately does not heed allowing them to greet Bata and Arden with the offer of their next less only to be dismissed as a projection to Sam's room (they went to spy on the kitchen staff instead). Poking his head out of his room Sam hears a horrid snoring echoing from Therrin's room with the door creaking back and forth alarming the bard. Cautiously the monkey enters Therrin's room seeing that the place was presumably the site of a party last night by the arrangement of the furniture and bunching of the carpets as best Sam could put together with their quick thinking. Therrin herself was in fact the source of the snoring and despite Sam's attempts to call out to her, to rouse her from her sleep, she remained at rest. Poking at her she roused, groggily taking in her surroundings Therrin attempted to bring her ears back online, to rearrange the bones, and instead caused her ears to melt off provoking a slap across the face from an aghast Sammuel. "What the actual hell Sam" - Therrin asks realizing as she speaks that she still cannot here Therrin, perturbed, forms new functional ears and debates waking the rest of the party but instead inquires at the front desk to discover the whereabouts of the elephant guy to no avail. Here Therrin and Sam part the bard to breakfast and the sergal to search for that jellies cart from the day before. Quickly locating the jam cart, Therrin just as quickly makes a deal with the elephant vendor Suzie for a mere seventy-five gold for the cart and all the product it would have on it at the time of sale later that day. Wasting no time, Therrin headed back to the inn to scrounge up the needed funds, adding Sam and Zaus to her venture back out into town intent on acquiring this needed transport. The cart had not moved and after some debate Zaus relents, paying for the transportation acknowledging that they would be unable to hide underneath or pose on top of the new cart given it being low to the ground and possessing a tarp hood suspended by four polls. Their new vehicle is devoid of benches and with walls rising just high enough around the edges to prevent products or passengers from falling out the three appraise what their money has bought them.

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Ep 58: Titanic Trouble

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Landing in Port Osprey the party get into an argument with the local fishermen over damages to their property due to the party’s landing before making their way into town where they locate a place to stay. Sam takes their time in town finding a place where they might do some shopping, draw out any hostile forces to minimize damage to the locals, and prior to joining the others in the hot springs Bata puts an end to the bugalüs running amuck searching for food.

Commandeering the nearest boat of suitable size, Therrin sets sail to pick up the missing party members with the assistance of Bata and Zaus who does their best to assist Therrin retrieve their friends. Arden, unaware of their friends on the shore generates a hemisphere of ice below him functionally creating a raft that will float to the surface and redirecting their gravity spell to the docks creating propulsion for the ice. The hemisphere of ice rams into boat shattering through its hull and collide with the dock rounding the makeshift vessel and in moments the full party rest on the shore. "Of course..." - Therrin says as the boat begins to sink and she lifts off flying towards shore Upon landing Therrin side-eyes, the fishermen and retracts her wings melding the biomass back into her body further alarming the fishermen decrying the loss of their boat and dock. Arden evaporates the hemisphere of ice eliminating the evidence of their activities and checks on their Mr. Moonsea tracker eyeing that their appointment had been moved a day forward. The fishers collect themselves and demand restitution quickly reviewing a sack of gold from Arden pacifying their concerns. "You said magical accident which is the same thing they say to everything" - Fishermen when putting together how the party got here revealing that The Order had taken liberties in the cove testing spells and performing experiments with consequences for the population Following an intense disagreement over additional payment and a source of new bugalüs related services and accessories the party leaves the docks with their bugalüs in tow. Pondering where to hide out they determine not to visit Sam's family in Atlas as in a day and in short order Arden gets an update that twenty or so appointments have been made titled "Tear Retrieval Operation" attached to various Umbral Operatives with times registered as To Be Announced. At Sam's suggestion Arden checks the map figuring that they had about two days before Umbral Operatives, further emphasizing the need for rest for the group. After they rested Therrin suggests they find a place to do this showdown on their terms instead of getting jumped as per the norm, someplace tactically sound, or retreat to another safe place to buy themselves additional time. As they discuss they arrive at the top of the path overlooking the town of Port Osprey appearing to have been built at the center of a valley with music on the air; the town left a homey calm impression on the party. Eyeing the town as they descended Bata and Zaus spotted a hot springs by the steam rising up bringing about Zaus's volunteering to find a place for the group to stay the night. "I'm glad we are not getting distracted" - Arden says deeply concerned their friends are going to do just that Therrin on the other hand opts to focus on getting new transportation locating a cart of gourmet jellies and jams and shortly thereafter resigns themself to parading through town talking like a pirate. Meanwhile Arden, Zaus, Bata locate a place to stay deciding on an inn with a hot springs avaliabe and a stable for their beloved bugalüs. Sam breaks off looking for a place to shop and a place to draw out their opponents to minimize damage to the community if that attack comes while in town perhaps due to Therrin's earlier suggestion. Sam locates an amphitheater known to the locals as the traveling fair where temporary businesses set up shop, meets up with Bata's group, and rescues Therrin from her fleeting sense of direction bringing her back to the inn learning she was going to buy a jellies and jams cart had she not been distracted earlier. "Welcome to Ma and Pa's Inn Hot Spring and Stables" A couple of welcoming otters greet the party asking how many rooms they will need and after some deliberation three rooms are selected: rooms 32 (Therrin and Zaus), 33 (Arden and Bata), and room 35 (Sam). Therrin announces her legal name to the otters causing their friends to slump and sigh and take the sum of Bata's money sack to cover the cost of the day and the damage actively being caused by the hungry bugalüs; Bata determines that eating is a method that the bugalüs deal with their stress. Finally settling down into comfort Sam and Zaus take a dip in the hot springs, Bata massages the bugalüs before joining their friends in the warm waters, and Therrin discovers a fist fight in front of their bedroom with an offer to place bets on the scuffle.

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Ep 57: Atlas Freefall

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

To repair the Dragon’s Tear and stop the forces at work bringing the collapse of the world the party must go to the Locus all the while in hot pursuit by Mr. Moonsea. With the assistance of the now helpful Meunice whom has been reduced to a spectral image bound to the Dragon’s Tear now in Arden’s possession further coaxed by Therrin’s Project Porcello and their bitterness to ensure that both the Gobal Administrator and Mr. Moonsea taste success in the wake of their own defeat. Utilizing circle magic the party moves like falling stars through the sky across the sea to Atlas to evade Mr. Moonsea’s dogged approach trying to buy themselves time to recuperate before that fateful encounter.

To repair the Dragon's Tear and stop the forces at work bringing the collapse of the world the party must go to the Locus all the while in hot pursuit by Mr. Moonsea. With the assistance of the now helpful Meunice whom has been reduced to a spectral image bound to the Dragon's Tear now in Arden's possession further coaxed by Therrin's Project Porcello and their bitterness to ensure that both the Gobal Administrator and Mr. Moonsea taste success in the wake of their own defeat. Having discovered a new power within themselves Bata transforms into a bugalüs who forces their way into the cart breaking through the outer walls allowing themselves to snuggle with their friends much to their chagrin. The resident dryad at Arden's request provides the group a gateway to edge of the forest by way of tree-to-tree portal transport promising to visit back in the future. Arden's Mr. Moonsea tracker vibrates in their pocket alerting them that they now had a meeting in an hour and a half alarming the who group and their pocket Meunice who agrees at Arden's request to guide them through their first attempt at teleportation magic. Through circle magic Arden, Sam, and Meunice work together to cast this teleportation spell enveloping the party, the surrounding vegetation, and their cart with bugalüs included. Arden and Meuncie weave the raw magic, while Sam with the power of their music guided the transmission of the energy and particles that made up the group to its end destination. "Do we have to hold hands now" - Therrin asks with pause "Everything that is going has to touch" - Arden replies without room for flexibility As if yarn in a hurricane Sam directs the spell in brilliant line at a place of safety, first the secret location of the Bed and Breakfast Mansion they share with Therrin, but in the way they encounter the primal dragon form of Mr. Moonsea, and turn around towards Atlas. Zipping off target Sam pops the party back into material existence one mile above Port Osprey southeast of Atlas just off the Sobeain Cove. The cart, those inside it, and the bugalüs all begin nose diving into the coast line below and Therrin with quick thinking she pops wings out her back catching air eventually sending her away from the cart with partially mangled wings from the velocity. Desperate for a flying bug Bata transforms from a bugalüs into a giant fluffy moth meanwhile Therrin catches Zaus who had been formerly striking poses on the roof of cart before the transmission. Arden casts a quick spell, changing Suzie as their center of gravity keeping them from falling and drawing themselves to the bugs. Sam wheels themselves about in the air free falling in a tumble trying to stabilize their fall and Therrin notices Arden casting a spell shattering the cart to free the bugalüs. At first Therrin notes that this cart had lasted maybe two to three days seeing Arden to shatter key sections destabilizing the structure sending debris into Therrin, Zaus, Bata, and Sam providing a momentary distraction from the oncoming hard land below. Due to Arden's extensive knowledge of terrain and structural integrity the mage debates a plan in their head until they hear Sam's words cut through the winds warning them that they are getting really close. Time to test their theory casting a wind spell blasting the group upward to slow their fall and propel everyone towards the coastline and begin channeling a blast of sonic energy to break the surface tension of the water and Sam feeling the sped picking up again attempts to assist Arden's spell sculpting the sonic blast to not only disrupts the surface of the water but also pulses the frothing cove up to them in a geyser. Both Arden and Sam taste sweet success as Arden releases his spell augmented by Sam's own magical talents and the water softens their fall rising to meet the party pulling them back into the cove. Therrin and Bata having been airborne without need for the same landing watch from above and land in the farmland just off the coast surprising the locals who at first don't see moths so regularly up close but then definitely don't see them transform into a bear or witness their Sergal ally with their meaty paw like wings. Mr. Moonsea searching for the party stealth might have been preferable but inconspicuous group that they are distance would have to do.

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Ep 56: Project Porcello Activates

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Initiating “Project Porcello” Therrin catches Meunice off guard and assists with getting the defeated Admin’s assistance for the group’s goal to take the Dragon’s Tear to the Locus. The party divides up Meunice’s former possessions, Arden inspects Meunice’s spellbook for explosive traps and powerful new spells, and Sam submits to becoming a conduit of the Dragon’s Tear expanding their mind seeding it with the memories of thousands of Tear inhabitants barely maintaining their personhood throughout the process. Discovering Mr. Moonsea is on their way to take their half of the Administrator access granting spear from them, the party sets to flee the spire for a safer hideout while they recover with the blended Meunice/Okuma pocket rock in tow.

Communing with the Dragon's Tear of the Vinculum Spire, Arden learns that they must take the tear to the Locus where it can be repaired quickly with the proper facilities and or tools for the job. "If everyone is concerned about survival, they won't be concerned about how the world works" - Spoken by the Dragon's Tear of Vinculum explains Mr. Moonsea's plan to place limitations upon the cognition of the standing population of the Cross and edit the retained memories of the spires. Back and forth Meunice offers their assistance with the caveats that Sam and Arden counter challenging the implication that they would need an administrator to access the Locus citing the completed spear they intended to have before making the attempt. The Undead administrator points out without the manual (which they were having prepared for them assuming it would have the sensitive material they were hoping for) and the time to learn the functions thoroughly (time they did not have coupled with the knowledge that Mr. Moonsea was headed toward them sooner or later to retrieve the end of the spear the party had)... they would need Meunice not that they wanted to admit that to him. Inquiring if they could trust him or if he would just betray them was about the time Therrin's rage ended and she leaned up from the cloud of bone dust she had kicked up post destruction of the golem. Pipping up Therrin inquires of the Tear if Meunice can betray them and then checks in on their secret project setting into motion Project Porcello. "Is there any sort of progress on this Project Porcello that I started a day two days ago" - Therrin inquired of the Dragon's Tear "Project Porcello Activated" - Stated by the Tear as it connected with the network briefly and four rings of data appeared around Meunice's limbs grafting the project to his cognition The party surprised turn to Therrin to ask what she is talking about, and she sheepishly explains she had asked the last spire administrator to implement a "Project Porcello" to prevent Coeurasa from smashing into The Cross implying the project could be written in broad strokes though she may not be aware of that. This knowledge gives Arden an enormous grin and joy at the idea of needling the smug fox mage for some time to come; Meunice on the other hand has been completely caught off guard and the shock is starkly obvious to the party as the shock turns to mewling. "I have been given a bi-lateral task" - Meunice bemused and concerned "Do you have to do what we say? - Therrin coyly inquiring "No" - Meunice giving a partial truth "Do you have to follow the whatever project thing" - Therrin digging a bit deeper "Yes..." - Meunice relenting to her inquiry "Right Meunice", Therrin's Victorious grin growing with Meunice's bargaining chips ebbing away Menuice offers the party their former possessions as "loot" with scrawling magical explanations of each item above their current location surprising the group. "Wait wait wait... Meunice, you're doing this because you have to, because you're following the program" - Therrin asks confused "I am interpreting the program as a reason to help you... I am also more interested in helping you than helping the "Central Administrator" or Mr. Moonsea" - Meunice answers strained and to the sounds of Therrin cackling and rolling in the bone dust she had made of his golem. Following the dividing up of Meunice's former items Therrin has acquired new boots that can give her some extra pep in her step for almost a minute in a day broken up or all together pleasing the Sergal. Bata acquires vestments gathered from tombs of their forebearers to enhance their connection to the Dragon, the world as it were, and Arden gets magical quarterstaff and Meunice's spell book. Zaus gets a ring that will make it easier for them to hide and change their appearance as well as a magical dagger that, like Arden's staff can store spells much the same way as Bata's hammer. Sam on the other hand is offered to become a conduit of the Dragon's Tear connecting them to the souls within expanding their mind that strains terribly under the weight, but they do not break, and now after they leave the spire the Dragon's Tear will have more than Arden and Meunice to speak to. Bandaged, bruised, and beaten down the party appears with their Meunice/Okuma blended pocket rock and Therrin realizes they would once again be traveling with a Dragon's Tear; Arden on the other hand realizes that the shard Bata knocked off the tear could potentially become their own whisper stone.

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Ep 55: One, for the Many

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Through battle the party downs the undead mage Meunice and in calling for control of the administrator role they cause the spire to summon a projection of the magi’s soul. They seem oddly helpful, having relented upon their defeat their focus for the time being focused on their role as caretaker and administrator they offered to ask Arden’s queries directly; they even allowed them access to the dragon’s tear well of souls.

Stunned or reeling, Sam and Zaus find themselves unable to do any else but watch, Bata reaches for a potion swigging it down with a snarling stern look not aware Meunice was unable to see Bata's intimidating glare. Arden, having shrugged off the worst of the hex hurls steel bending in air as they fly towards Meunice, wrapping around him and the golem restraining them, and Therrin seizes the opportunity beating down on the connecting points binding skeleton to golem. A bubble of protective magic guards Meunice from magical harm just in time for them to generate and detonated a fireball at point blank range, Zaus thinking fast uses their starlight escape spell to swap places with Bata placing them outside the radius of the explosion now enveloping themself, Sam, and Therrin. As the dust settles Therrin with her extendo arms flops to the ground bubbling, Sam stands singed, and Zaus back flips over the explosion earning a thumbs up from a fearsome proud Bata. Attempting to assist Arden with the commandeering of the administrator status begins the admin song they had learned back in Roqueport, while they sang Sam with an understanding of their spear's destructive capabilities when brough to bear against a construct drove their weapon into the golem twice downing the monster toppling Meunice who was still bound by Arden's iron bands. Bata seeing Therrin down and very much still in a state of rage, charged the downed mage swinging with their full weight at the skeleton's jaw, nearly punting the skull off the body. Arden reaches out toward the dragon's tear with earth warping magics threatening to destroy the tear itself and Meunice by extension. Meunice threatens Bata's life in response touching heir body with a habd wraped in necromantic magic, "one for the many", though they are still blinded with a waterfall of sparkles pouring out of the eye sockets. Sam knees down to Therrin's bubbling body chanting a healing tune bringing them back to consciousness and then the monkey turns to Meunice, "not looking good for you man". Bata grabs Meunice's arm and slams their hammer down on the fox's shoulder breaking off the undead mage's arm and retreats with the arm. Arden drops their threat seeing their foe's current state earning a nod of approval from Okuma's specter and a collective sigh of relief from the tens of thousands of souls calling the dragon's tear home. Waving the severed arm at the blind Meunice Bata endeavors to taunting the undead mage. Pointing their paw at the waving paw Arden fires a sound blast avoiding their boyfriend by mere inches turning it to dust and the ring on the skeletal hand fell onto Bata's lower lip latching on. "Yes I agree, one for the many" - Arden to Meunice Leaping towards Meunice Therrin unleashes a flurry of attacks with their extendo arms lashing out over Sam's head as they crouch away witnessing Therrin fly into an unbridled rage concerning the monkey greatly by the lack of warning. In her fury, Therrin's war cry echoing through the chamber only dying down with the skeleton of Meunice disintegrating and their soul zipping into the dragon's tear where they would rest before reincarnating a new skeletal body some time days later. Looking for somewhere to place her remaining rage, Therrin stalks over to the golem and stomps on it with her arms draped over its torso. Standing upright Sam can breathe a sigh of relief with Therrin distracted by the inactive golem frame they could see her experimenting with her control of her malleable body. Arden on the other hand requested to be promoted upon the destruction of the current administrator, instead of receiving a promotion they however summon an image of Meuinice whom Bata chases around the chamber attempting to violence. Once the bear tired out, he fell to the floor and the image of Meunice "I didn't gather people like me, I gathered people better than me" - Meunice to Arden explaining their soul gathering priorities Meunice submits themselves to answering Arden's questions revealing that the spire they currently resided within was a back up control center for the "Locus". Absent directive from the "Locus" this spire would be able to control if Coeurasa fell or was stopped "Moonsea just wants to be on top of the system, they don't wanna change it. They rather like the population as it is now, dull and easily controlled" - Meunice explining the threat Mr. Moonsea poses to the group's goals for change. Granting Arden permission to interact with the tear Meunice floats aloft cross legged, presently resigned to their role as caretaker and administrator; their plans having been halted for the time being.

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Ep 54: Sacred to “Me”

Published: Dec 21st, 2023

Meunice stretches the party’s will, bears down on them where they feel vulnerable, and they hold together covering for one another as the undead magi’s contest strains them. The party fighting for time, fighting to make the world better than it is now, and Meunice to cleanse what they see as a unredeemable system in need of a restart with better guidance than the world had up till now.

Looking about Zaus having landed behind Meunice ponders the party's position, Therrin and Bata flanking the ghastly construct to their left, Sam and Arden a pace away, and the ghost of Archmagi Okuma flittering about deciding to hold their spell for a moment. In the time Zaus considered their options Sam added a second weave of magic to their morale-boosting song filling their friends' hearts with the facsimile of hope despite Meunice the undead menace bearing down on them. Roaring out Bata puts caution aside and throws themselves fully into their blows striking through the construct's magic barriers putting a dent in the foe. Arden summons a hemisphere of rippling magic creating a barrier hindering their mobility, Arden's spell breaker ring flares and guards their magic from Okuma's attempt to counter their spell boosted by Sam's tune. Therrin gives their mace shaped paw a go swinging the limb wildly to pick up momentum crushing into the construct's torso leaving both the construct and Therrin understanding it could have been much worse, Therrin fortunately has the chance to swig again slamming down on their head flattening the noggin somewhat. Shifting their focus of a single blow the construct misses and then swings their quartstaff back to Bata nailing him with a strong necromantic burst tearing away more of the Bear's fortitude. Meunice raises their arms aloft with flames churning throught he space in between, eyeing the duo of Sergal and Bear they release the spell they had been channeling since the fight began, and flaring in Arden's eyes -- as the moon Coeurasa were molten ablaze the Spell Breaker barricaded bata behind a field of brilliant shimmering light designed to eat away at oncoming spells for a time. Zaus seeing the bubbling moon over Meunice's head decided now was they time to act, they feared if they didn't take the risk now, they would be without one of their dads, and with a flash of light their body broke down into starlight. Meanwhile Meunice's moon of fire flashed and released a stream of fire sending out a shrill high-pitched scream as if to burned through the air it touched, and collided with Arden's precautionary shield boring through the lights and Bata felt a tugging away from where they were. Accepting the guidance Bata's body melted away, glittering dust drifting towards Meunice and in their place Zaus manifested ready to dodge away from the oncoming firestorm. The storm did not come however, and Arden's shield they had used to protect their boyfriend and Therrin held leaving Arden exasperated that Zaus would take the risk but ultimately glad both their son and partner were alright for the moment. Gaunt and singed Bata stood behind Meunice held up by the golem they had set themselves into without either of the two noticing the bear upon Bata's arrival. Seeing their friend so badly hurt Sam sprints around Meunice's reach and slaps Bata on the back applying a healing tune to their injuries giving the bear some comfort though also likely revealing him to the foes. Bata stuck between the floating Dragon's Tear and Meunice's back ponders through their anger if they should shatter the corrupted tear or taker a swing at Meunice they aren't expecting, and swing into the Dragon's Tear putting additional fractures in the tear. Seeing Bata Arden unfurls their cloak charging the constellations woven into the cloak for a moment and in their next breath Arden sends forth a lightshow of exploding palm sized balls of celestial light into Meunice thoroughly drawing the undead magi's attention to the puppo. The daring duo united Therrin lunges at the construct now protecting Zaus at their side who seemed to have snuck in a spell as Therrin bears in causing lights to flash between its sections pointing out its softer parts. Seeing these openings the Sergal clubs away battering the construct sending it flying upward and collapsing inoperable on the spire stone floor. Meunice takes a crack at dispelling Arden's countermeasures preventing their spells from acting as they should, attempting to break each individual cube shattering most and vaporizing Arden's field of light leaving only a few places they could not walk. The goelm Meunice sits within turns around and strikes Bata with many furious blows almost sending Bata to the floor, in between the golem's blows Bata sees an opportunity to strike Meunice in the chest. The undead mage turns to Bata as if to say watch what I am about to do completing their spell gathering a bolt to electricity through their fingers and then through Zaus. Sam forces a potion of their strongest healing brew down their throat from behind, and in reprisal Zaus casts their favorite glittering powder burst spell at Meunice blinding both them and their golem as well as lighting the two up with sparkling shimmering dust. Arden has a flash of creativity and points out to the spire that both the administrators are deceased and that Arden was requesting a promotion to which the puppo receives, "death is not an excuse to cease functioning", much to Arden's disappointment. With Meunice blinded Arden power walks up to the Dragon's Tear showing the rest of the party how blind the foe was, encouraging their allies to get close through the display. Therrin taking the hint, squinted her eyes knowing she would need to get in close stalked over getting within about ten feet, and concentrating stretches her arm out as if fired from a cannon tearing away a chunk of mushroom plate mail the skeleton had been previously using for protection. "Survive this", Meunice mutters alarmed by the evidence of their vulnerability letting loose a necrotic hex upon the party forcing their bodies to overproduce cells at an unnatural rate excreting the excess through their pores, the biomass sluffing off of them while their bodies stood stunned by the strain of the experience. Drawing deep of the magic around them Meunice set to work an illusionary spell distorting their body as well as the golem they housed themselves in, they may be blinded, but they would not be without defense while Zaus's spell ran its course.

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Ep 53: A Kinder World

Published: Oct 28th, 2023

The party engages Meunice, they draw out his intent and reasoning until the fox forces their hand threatening the same tear they house their own soul within… the Dragon’s tear of the Vinculum spire. Meunice intends to start the world anew with the souls of the people they feel would make a kinda world and invites the party to add their own soul to the stock of worthy beings they have harvested all this time within the tear beside them.

Bata asks Okuma if the spear would allow them to make additional Dragon's Tears and the archmagi informed them that if they controlled "The Locus" they could. Therrin confused by the events playing out, asks what they should do and what the group's goals are given the new information they have gotten in the spire. Arden suggests they attempt to talk to Meunice first, that what Meunice had done when they bound themself and Okuma to the tear destroying the tear would prevent their reincarnation at the cost of the tear or they would need to contend with Meunice reincarnating given time following a conflict. Departing the party Okuma is summoned to the chamber bearing the tear politely informing the party they would be leaving as they had been summoned. Going over their battle plan should violence be utilized the party listens intently which might have surprised the puppo if they had not been so focused on communicating the weaknesses and strengths of the undead creature on top of Meunice being a mage. Therrin considers her options even going as far to imagine what Arden would tell her in her head deciding that magical spikey club arms making sure to thank advisor Arden. All together they lean into the orb of teleportation bracing for what might await them with in the chamber bearing the Dragon's Tear. "Onward to hope" - Sam as they take Arden's paw connecting everyone together Materializing into an open chamber Meunice looks down on the party with the Dragon's Tear beaming its golden hue over the room, cracked down its center, and shrouded by a swirling nest of wiry metal as brilliant as the amber gemstone. Meunice appears to be set into a larger mechanical creature with a facsimile of Okuma forged from metal at their right side and on their left the spectral image of the archmagi. Upon closer inspection Arden recognizes the creature Meunice set themselves into to be a golem constructed from the pieces of the undead mage's victims, the golem was far from inelegant, but the truth of it was enough to raise a sense of unease. "Greetings my favorite adventurers, you've traveled a long way to get here" - Meunice's greeting to the party "We have, thank you for having us" - Arden staving their mirth at the man "We just wanted to see you that badly" - Sam says tinged with sarcasm "I have that effect on people" - Meunice nodding to Sam's tone amused Approaching Meunice Arden takes into account three orbs of teleportation in the room and attempts to get at the heart of Meunice's motivations and their intents. Arden finds they intend to give the world a new beginning without the powers that be present to further influence the world, the release the knowledge, and the resources withheld by these forces to create a paradise. Meunice offers the party to join the souls teeming within the tear they had cultivated all this time to survive the fall of Coeurasa, to be a part of the new beginning, that while they could not see how they would achieve their lofty goals as the world is presently, Meunice did see value in their perspective self-aware to their own bias world view. Testing the party before they could push the administrator away from the goal they had been working to for decades they threaten the tear quietly, channeling a spell Arden knowns, pushing him to act independently from his friends out of desperation allowing for combat to begin between the two groups, to allow the victor to harvest the souls of those who fell, and to come another step closer to a kinder world. Arden takes the bait lashing out with a spell specialized in breaking down constructs such as the mechanical housing Meunice currently resided within. Additionally, this confirmed for the undead that Arden and by extension his friends would not harm the tear come what may, meaning they would likely have the opportunity to reincarnate, and they could chat up the magi during the interim. Sam strums a somber melancholy song washing over and soaking into the party, they feel the harrowing deep emotion with each not calling their hearts to action, and Bata lunges with Zaus towards Meunice gradually coming to flank their opponent. Therrin attempts to get a good position while Arden calls upon the same spatial distortion magic they used to lock the possessed bird folk the encountered on their way to the spire Arden attempts to lock Meunice in place. With a clever order Arden disables the teleportation orbs in the room utilizing their assistant admin privileges with a single vocal command. Engaging Bata and Therrin the Okuma styled construct wields its quarterstaff slapping Bata with a harsh fiery burst startling the bear and slams their staff down releasing a defensive spell over themselves preparing for what they might do next to the umbra infused sergal.

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Ep 52: Bone Deep

Published: Oct 27th, 2023

Exploring the spire, the party encounters guiding entities and keeping on their best behavior given Deputy Gordon’s warning against rudeness they acquire access to the deeper spire and loosen the lips of their guiding entities providing insights to Meunice as well as their plans.

Bata shares upon prompting from Zaus that the spires likely would contain information that could help the sick of the world and maybe would have been helpful to their dad when he was still around. In conversing with the dryad, the party is encouraged to enter, and the bark covered fey attends to the bugalüs while they are without head pets. Entering the spire causes a change in those that enter causing disorientation in ordinary guests and in the case those with an umbra composition bodily discombobulation. For Therrin and Zaus this means losing control of their solidity reducing them to puddles of writhing ooze like jelly, while Therrin manages to take control of her shape quickly reorganizing her genetics to match her regular form Zaus is not so well versed in the craft. Even with the best of encouragement Zaus occupies a bucket to be carried until they can reorganize themselves into their regular form. As in previous spires this spire was made of layered growing stones, the first oddity being a avian creature that appeared to have been drawn out of a sketchbook directly into reality, and convincing the creature they were a repair crew in a terribly suspicious way completely lost on the entity it offers them a pearl to transport them to another place in the spire. "What is your role within the spire" - Arden before touching the pearl "I have been created by the Pheonix to assist with the reconstruction of the spire and its full capabilities" - Avian Sketch Entity answering Arden "How goes the restoration" - Arden acquiring further information "The restoration is nearing completion, we have acquired many a wayward soul, and we have grown much spire stone here" - Avian Sketch Entity answering Arden The avian sketch entity further explains the final repairs will include reconnecting to the spire network, there are no spire golems here, and after Arden touches the pearl, they are broken down into energy teleporting through the spire to their friends. A final member remains however, and before Sam can touch the pearl they are stopped by the avian sketch, they hear the sounds of charcoal on thick paper, and the entity's face reforms to appear as Meunice. Briefly the enigmatic fox magi communicates their joy with the party's arrival, warnings to Sam of what Arden could become without friends to hold them back comparing the puppo to themselves, and they looked forward to proving that Arden wouldn't overcome their own personality limitations. Taking time to assist Zaus Therrin manages to guide him back into his own ordinary form while everyone waits for Sam to appear. Upon arrival Sam relays their recent experience, welcomes Zaus back to their regular state, but may have forgotten to tell the party their exit had been cut off by Meunice when they burned away the avian sketch entity. As the party collects themselves a spectral image of Archmage Okuma appears inquiring about their purpose here revealing that the repair of the spire would bring about the calamity. Arden asks why Meuinice wants calamity, the image a blending of Okuma and Meunice reveals that the magi does not believe the world is salvable as it currently is and must be started again from a new beginning. Okuma goes on to tell Arden that Meunice has spent so much time working with the darkest parts of the world they have been unable to see the world from a hopeful perspective, they are a person swallowed by an abyss of hopeless yawning depths... an endless repeating cycle of suffering without end they are desperate to break. Arden requests admin access to the spire and through an exercise of good manners, a great challenge for Arden, they receive limited admin access. Entering the new chamber Arden inquires why Meunice seems to be operating with such haste, the image of Okuma explains they are attempting to destroy Mr. Moonsea before they can reach safety below the surface, and their current task of shutting down the spires the timer keeping them vulnerable. Further Mr. Moonsea intends to become the Global Administrator by acquiring the pieces of a magical spear forged in times long past, a spear Sam possesses one half of the spear. The term "Global Administrator" was of great interest to Arden and while they are referred to as an apathetic entity. Asking why this spire was key to Meunice's plans Okuma reveals that they will attempt to alter this spire to exert control over other spires across the coastline forcing them to cease function likely to bring Coeurasa crashing down into the Cross. Putting he pieces together it becomes evident to Arden that Meunice has housed their own soul within the dragon's tear as well as Okuma's in a non-standard method ensuring their longevity even if they were thoroughly destroyed meaning the party would need to neutralize the undead fox, perhaps convince them of another path, and if they wanted to destroy him they would need to destroy the dragon's tear or they would recreate a body for themselves given time.

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Ep 51: Sam: What’s Lost and Gained

Published: Oct 26th, 2023

Sam opens up encouraged by Arden’s kindness while the party zoom down the ridges surrounding the spire in their wagon, the bugalüs attain their desired food, and Arden sends an otherworldly threat packing back to its regular plane of residence.

Below the towering undead hippo quale combo beast sparkles and scurries to the side of the spire the party would be opposite to once they arrive at the bottom. Surprising the party conversely to the undead giant greenery blankets the floor of the canyon all around the spire with great roots sprouting from the ground upward. Ecstatic at the dight of green food stuffs Marcus and Suzie break for the bottom of the canyon driving fear into the undead giant realizing that they will run it over before they will let anything come between them and those roots. Scurrying further away the giant covers in the shadows of the canyon further driven off by Therrin's imposing glare. "There is a good chance we'll die, but it's been pretty good so far" - Arden both thanking and encouraging the party as they descend into the heart of danger In speaking to Sam Arden gets them to open up about their lost love, how they had hopes and dreams coming to Roqueport, and where they had been emotionally before joining the group. Arden offers a spare ambridis to Sam to honor their bracelet friend. "The bracelet is a reminder of things lost, not things to gain" - Hinting that the person associated with the object clearly of great importance to Sam not lost on Arden "Yes, changing the world was what we wanted to do, and I think I actually can" - Thanking Arden for the thoughtful gesture Offering Arden his Courier ring the magi inspects the ring realizing it was well made but the signet denoting it as a courier's ring was added afterwards... Sam was in fact not an official courier... it was a cover this whole time... who else would Mama Noms have done business with... "I went from Atlas to Roqueport on nothing but the money of a woman I loved and the hope of a better world. The first was taken and the second was lost, because of choices I made all I had after that was "some money" ... so with nothing to go back to and nothing to look forward to I had to find my way to a place I could just live and just work and being a nobody from Atlas doesn't get you far so I used some of her money to buy my way into credibility" - Sam sharing their feelings and thoughts with the party "Before I met you guys, life was just another step down the road day after day, and then even though it was a job as first, with Mama Noms money it really has come together that even someone as small as me can make a difference in the world and you and Zaus, and Bata, and Therrin were all proof that maybe I was wrong that good can't be done it's just I lost sight of what that meant" - Sam sharing their feelings and thoughts with the party "We wouldn't have been able to do any of this without you" - Arden sharing with Sam "I'm not so sure about that, but I'm glad that I am here with all of you" - Sam back to Arden "Oh we'd be dead" - Zaus pitching into the conversation Arden turns to Bata and traces a constellation into Bata telling them that partners would do this where they come from so, they would know where to find them when they pass on. Bata comforts them telling them they will both make it out okay and holding them close. Therrin brings the wagon to a halt allowing the bugalüs to feed dragging the cart to wherever food exists ignoring the glitter beast hiding behind the spire. A stare down ensues with the party deciding they cannot risk leaving the creature that eats souls outside the spire alone with their precious bugalüs. Before they can act however the hippopotamus reaches through a portal it rips open with a single fingernail grappling Sam and pulls him through to the other side of the clearing squeezing the handsome monkey. Arden is having none of that and hurls balls of force magic into the monster's hand freeing Sam who manages a hero's landing hurting their legs as one might expect, the spell seems to have been sufficient to force the otherworldly beast to return to their plane of origin, and the soul's it had yet to digest were siphoned into the spire. "What happened to the sparkly beast" - Zaus to the party freed from being tied up in their hammock "It went back to where it belongs" - Arden having sent it back to its home plane "It sparkled no more" - Bata's ominous retelling of its vanishing from their sight The team has a pow wow making sure everyone keeps each other in the loop and as they all agree Sam picks up a song on the wind with magic buried within the notes. Starting their own tune, they turn the new song into their backup singer canceling out the effect on their friends drawing out a tall androgynous deer made of bark and layered mushroom caps. Avoiding combat, they reason with the strange being asserting they were there to help as a repair crew causing the dryad to encourage them enter the structure.

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Ep 50: Fancy Foot Work

Published: Oct 25th, 2023

Therrin makes friends with the bugalüs Suzie and Marcus for the first time in recent memory and with their combined efforts they evade the worst of dangers before the party. Arden discovers what became of some portion of the Atlas Military Excursion and Sam has words about one canyon climber’s foot work.

Zaus casts a spell into Bata's hammer out of concern as the party peers out into the exit of Gordon's valley, all their ears picking up the screams of the remaining members of the Atlas military excursion. Awakened by the squelching of the local beasts the party minus Ardena and Sam readies themselves to leave this place of concerning sounds and scenery. "See, they hate me, you got come over here, and pet them" - Therrin begs of Bata as she receives thousand-yard stares from the bugalüs attempting to get them moving Bata makes the attempt to teach Therrin how to care for Marcus and Suzie the bugalüs with minimal success though Therrin does learn that feeding and petting the bugalüs can help their opinion of her. Convincing their bugalüs the pursuit of food was worth the risk before them, Therrin drives the cart towards their hosts who had agreed to guide them out of their territory safely. Gordon did take the time to request the validity of the stories they had read thus far, especially those written by a Giraffe by the name of Briteny who seemed to know more personal information than they should... Sam is jostled awake along with Arden is surprised at the current state of affairs having slept through the conversations sees Gordon the manipede reading through the accumulated fanfiction littered all around their great bulk. Receiving additional warnings of a giant hornet hives, swarms of spiders, a lady made of stone and wood with powerful compulsion magics, and of course the menace on the loose consuming the souls of the sentient. "We pick the best places to go vacation" - Sam summarizes after they are brought up to speed on the coming dangers Entering into the final stretch seeing the spire at the base of a deep basin surrounded by a forest of petrified trees forming indented rings gradually descending around the spire. Excited by the appearance of food shaped objects, the bugalüs jet towards the trees abruptly with Therrin's guidance to avoid the holes along the way. Bata curious peeked out seeing that in those holes Therrin was avoiding giant wasps and upon arriving at the tree Suzie and Marcus let out distraught squeals realizing the "food" were in fact rocks flailing in total distress having been fed so well before now. Therrin realizes they still have their rations from the start of their adventure and take the opportunity to improve their relationship with great success completely distracted by their current activities while the wasps below surface altered to the sounds of "food". Bata snaps the three out of their joy pointing out the aggressive wasps taking flight, each the size of the cart, and moving slowly as hidden as they can manage Therrin attempts to guide the party to safety through the stone tree forest. Upon seeing a grouping of Atlas soldiers down the path, Therrin considers their options, and the troupe of soldiers turn towards the cart's general direction hearing a single creak of the wagon wheels. Arden notices irregularities in the soldiers slowly putting together they were in fact undead now, something had consumed their souls, and they now served whatever malevolent force acquired them. Therrin hits a pothole bending the axel of the cart just a bit, stopping the cart before they fall into an oncoming chasm as the hornets land on the stone trees above having located food from their recent search. Bata utilizing their wood warping magic attempts to repair the wagon as best they can while the hornets munch on fungal gorgons dropping those familiar green spores on the wagon. Focused on avoiding the hornets Therrin rides out of the woods directly into a troupe of undead soldiers, Arden spots their horn bearer, and with a swiftness casts a harmonic spell on the horn causing it to explode while Zaus adds in their own magical touch with an explosion of sparkles dusting the troupe blinding them and making them abundantly obvious to anyone looking in their direction. Charging past the undead soldiers Therrin follows the corkscrew path down and then the sound of a giant thumping running down the wall alongside the cart getting close alarmingly quickly. Arden spots the source, a twenty-four-foot-tall undead hippopotamus with a quale nested in its chest cavity, a creature crafted by some otherworldly malevolence... perhaps the monster Gordon had refused to fight. "Just keep driving" - Bata also spotting the looming threat as Therrin asks what is following the party Sam thinking quick sends a sound burst at the feet of the monster temporarily stunning the creature and causing It to lose its footing sending it falling behind the party, seizing the opportunity Arden channels a wind blast hurling the stunned opponent down the side of the canyon, and as it falls away from the cart zooming down the road Zaus sends a blast of glittering blinding stream into its eyes blinding it. Suffering the damage from falling down the entire drop the party was unsure if it would be a present or past threat when they got to the bottom, the silver lining being they would almost definitely see it coming.

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Ep 49: We Dub Thee “Gordon”

Published: Oct 24th, 2023

The party encounters an intelligent mutated manipede possessing a posse of will-o-wisps and a mysterious shadowy mass following their commands from a distance. Instead of engaging the creature in combat they decide to speak to it after resting, discovering numerous nuggets of valuable information better informing them of what is to come when they leave the manipede’s territory.

Covering the front of the burned wagon with an illusionary front cab full of luggage, Sam drives the wagon through the crag with great care even avoiding a posse of the same beast they had just encountered an hour or so before. In avoiding the dangerous mushroom clade beasts Sam rides into a canyon with an enormous manipede with a sloth like face sounding an alarm to their invisible allies that they sense intruders and to be on guard. Backing up the cart cautiously Sam hides it as best they can before sneaking up to the edge of the drop to spy on the basin. Awakening from their long rest the rest of the party feels much better and take their time to commune with the land and prepare their spells for the journey ahead as best they can hypothesize the oncoming dangers. Once the group is ready Sam crawls back to the wagon and informs the party of what they had seen and their friends let them know how ragged they look, insisting they take their turn in bed. Arden insists they attempt to talk to the creature seeing how intelligent it is and Sam passes out upon being dropped in the hammock by a concerned Zaus. "Waving your hands attracts everything around us, we could just go to the thing we want to talk to, just putting this out there" - Therrin to Bata when they decide to go to the edge of the basin to attract the attention of the glowing sloth faced manipede Waiting for the manipede Bata, Arden, and Zaus stands on the edge of the basin valley while Therrin protects the precious cargo in their cart aka Sam. As the sun drops and the manipede arrives Arden realizes that in addition to its glowing body four magical orbs floated in symmetrical patters about the creature's head... even stranger they were will o wisps... creatures famous for luring travelers into danger. Introducing the party as a "repair crew" Arden inviting its inspection of their person, while they do Arden makes the case they should be honest with each other as opposed to sneaking past or violating their territory. Agreeing the creature requests a toll of objects from outside the region noting they cannot leave, Bata offers books, Arden offers a deputy stone they received in Bipush related territories, Therrin offers the fan-mail and fictional stories about people that the creature will discover seem to be an awful lot like the party, and Zaus offers short links of rope that may or may not be Sam's ropes. "The Pheonix had touched down here about a week ago, they instructed me to allow any party with "Arden" as a member to pass... were they to be polite" - the creature tells the party before allowing them safe passage through their territory Engaging the creature in long conversation about the dangers to come Arden notes that the will o wisps had warned of a soul consuming monster that had forced the wisps to live symbiotically with the manipede. The party gives the manipede the name "Gordon Deputy... or Deputy Gordon of the Pheonix as a final gift upon discovering they lacked a name and dubbing the manipede's hidden guard "Erickson". Therrin ecstatic that they were able to avoid a fight and that Arden diplomatically acquired assistance from "Gordon" decides to put themselves in danger to trigger their latent shapeshifting abilities to automatically save them from harm. Falling off the cart Therrin splats herself like bata cake batter hitting a frying pan causing concern in Bata as they poke and prod the irritated sergal as they try to snap back to their regular shape. Bata offers some meditative inspired guidance to Therrin who after some practice manages to snap back but not before their friend inspects them for spontaneous fire emissions. "This would have come in handy in my pirating days" - Therrin on her successes with her form altering training after the aide of Arden, Bata, and Zaus allowing her to extend her arms briefly and shift her mass in reaction to oncoming harm Deciding to wait until morning after hearing that trave by night is best left to quiet groups and Arden putting together the cries for help beyond the manpede's territory came from members of a military incursion from Atlas, the choice was obvious to the self-aware group.

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Ep 48: Snow Day

Published: Oct 23rd, 2023

Thar party is assailed by a troupe of shadowy mushroom folk and exposed to a mysterious snow robbing them of their ocular and auditory perceptions of the people around them. Using their wit and brawn they break free of the troupe’s machinations and secure safe travel forward for the time being.

"Everything has turned out fine, we're all okay, but sitting here... is not the most ideal... do we want to leave or do we want... to go deeper" - Bata asks their friends while assessing their current situation New cries are heard in the distance unnerving the party while they check the cart confirming its functionality and decide to head in deeper with Sam at the helm of the carriage guiding the bugalüs in. Instead of resting with Arden, Bata rides atop Suzy the bugalüs giving the two bugs a sense of calm in the scary environment they have been rolling through and Sam throws an illusion over their friends and the cart to better hide them from any monsters that might be abouts. In the distance the party sees a few shadowy figures and then iridescent green snow falls upon the drives unshielded by the cart. At first Sam is affected immediately, unable to perceive the bugalüs or Bata as if they were not present but the cart moved forward with all the weight behind the reins that Sam had become accustomed to. Bata observes the snow as it touches their fur immediately melting into them, attempting to get Sam's attention elicits no response giving the bear concern they were getting the "silent treatment" for some unknown reason, and then it happened to them too. Both the bugalüs evaporates with Sam leaving Bata alone there, "Arden, wake up Arden, things are going weird Arden" - Sam trying to wake Arden up seeing the impression they are leaving in their bedding where they out to be with a minor messaging spell they possess. "You're infected with some sort of fungus, it seems to be raining down from the sky, if you still have a potion or some fire you could probably to dispel it" - Arden back to Sam after assessing the situation. After relaying the information Arden creates a dome of curing air to draw away the spores from the parry preventing additional infections and Therrin quaffs her final fungal inoculation potion. A great mushroom gorgon rests its hoofs on the front of the cart bellowing a toxic cloud of gas into the cart countered by Arden's quick sound blast burst sending the gas into the churning sphere of wind outside the cart. Therrin does battle with the lumbering beast ignoring the smaller mushroom folk outside the cart wiggling their mushroom caps creating the green spore rain. Sam looks upon the creature's warping face aghast and lunges his spear into the monster's joules sending a crack of thunder through the gorgon sending it to the ground and Arden finishes it off causing it to deflate along with the mushroom folk turning into little clouds of spores then sucked up into the dome. Bata seeing the giant cloud of spores suspended above their cart ponders with Therrin on how easy they were to spot before with the bright colors of their wagon and now with the giant green dot above their heads effectively shrug their shoulders as the party gets cured of the spores through "various" means.

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Ep 47: Courting the “Dragon’s Embrace”

Published: Oct 22nd, 2023

Freeing the swan from the swarm of mind-controlling insects, the party continues on through the wasteland, encountering a sort of proto umbral creature driven purely by hunger. The cart thoroughly damaged by their adventures in the last few hours lumbers forward for them while Therrin thinks on the vision she was left with following the battle with the proto umbra of its creation at the hands of a mushroom kin…

The grotesque presence of the buzzing infested swan lands dive bombing Sam a hand outstretched towards the bard. Jumping in desperation Therrin attempts to free Zaus from the swarm of writhing tangle of insects offing one of the bugs freeing one of Zaus's arms, allowing them to stab at their assailants who disarm the rodent swiping Zaus's dagger with a bite. Through compassion and or curiosity Sam heals the swan with a healing hum intensifying the activity below the swan's skin while Bata as covered as Zaus decides to encompass their body in flames to burn off the vermin also igniting themselves and the cart they were still sitting on. Arden ignoring their burning transportation casts a mighty spell warping space around their allies and the swan creating cubes of air preventing travel and entrapping the swarming swan. Grabbing for a second of many daggers Zaus stabs the two remining bugs on their person and falls to the ground no longer held aloft and caught by Therrin landing safely. Hearing the sounds within the swan Sam attempts to disrupt their frequencies with a song to great success reawakening the mind of the bird folk causing it to scream out in anguish instead of assaulting the party. Throwing the full weight of the magic they wield Arden creates a pillar of exploding scintillating rainbows and out of the bird erupts a swarm of insects that break through Arden's barriers flying deeper into the region. Checking in on the swan now that they seem to be free from the swarm they weakly reach out towards Sam knowing they were spending their last moments then and there. "Tell Meunice they were right" - Swan's last words to Sam "I promise to stay in the cart... while it is safe" - Zaus promises Arden upon the puppo's request they prioritize their safety especially in this place. "It didn't even last a day" - Sam shaking their head disappointed viewing the front of the wagon after Bata's ball of fire. "It's been longer than a day..." - Arden counting the brief time they have had the wagon "It'll buff out... it'll buff... out" - Bata attempting to calm any concerns "We should get going" - Therrin hurries their friends in between cart concerns, Zaus moving their hammock into the cabin, and the mention of a giant firebird in the sky they did not see before. Folding up the swan like a sheet Bata wets the bird with oil and ignites the remains to honor the stranger as well as leave behind no remains that could be used in terrible ways. Unfortunately Therrin who is currently getting the bugalüs going backs the cart directly over the remains effectively wrapping the pillowcase oil fire around their back left wheel. "See Zaus this is why you don't ride under the cart" - Arden says pointing out eliciting grimace from the rat folk Bata frees the cart from the flapping swan borrowing Sam's spear to dislodge the remains and uses their water magic to put out the fire as well as splatter the damage caused. Taking a moment to carve off unsalvageable parts from the first Bata alerts Therrin they should avoid going fast with the wagon from here on out due to the wheel. Making their way in Therrin spots something that feels similar to an umbra though it seems unable to hold a consistent or cohesive form, something primordial, and reaching out to it Therrin confirms it is hungry acting only on instinct. Pressing though the wagon's side the party attempts to convince the hungry invader while it amasses inside the cabin of the cart lashing out at the noisy food. When the beast bites it injects itself through its teeth into its prey snapping into Bata and Arden. All the while Therrin asks how it is going focused on driving the cart unaware of what was occurring in back and Arden internally smirks grabbing the monster and magically hurling it and all those attached to it (Bata and Arden) hundreds of feet into the air above the cart. Plummeting towards the ground, a "Dragon's Embrace" if one would be inclined Arden casts their floating spell to slow their fall causing the creature to fall past them while the mighty magi puppo channels a concentrated sound blast. Sam spots the three in the air, the ball of teeth angulating trying to find a form to slow its fall unsuccessfully, Bata attempting to swim through the air, and Arden channeling a spell. Bata gets their pace diving towards the monster, and with a mighty swing Bata brings their hammer down popping the umbra with their hammer causing it to fall faster. Therrin realizes that the monster is intending to land on the cart for a softer landing sending her to the front in a panic trying to get the confused bugalüs to once again start moving so soon. Finished with their channeling Arden emits a shockwave from their maw tearing through the space between sending vibrations through the umbral creature breaking the creature down into a shower of hail directly over Therrin. Muttering about her bugalüs related frustrations just before she was showered with goop rain its last moments of desperation can be felt by the sergal and she feels it wasn't connected to anything else as other umbral beings are normally and a vision of the creature's creation at the hands of a mushroom folk who seemed eerily familiar....

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Ep 46: Shadows of Vinculum

Published: Oct 22nd, 2023

After a comfortable trip back through the woods the party heads for Vinculum where they anticipate confronting Meunice. Entering the region the are plagued by a sense of unease as if the shadows and ambient sounds of the place seek to do them harm at every turn. Sam and Arden break through the illusion cast on the land to hide the dangers within allowing Sam to guide Bata driving the cart at the time around and over dangers hidden from their eyes. Fully awoken to the passive dangers of the place the party ends up assaulted by winged blood sucking insects with a talent for wrapping their long bodies around their prey working with one another – yay teamwork!

Doing their best to get the bugalüs off the "Garden" flower beds where they have carved out a wide radius, they are remiss to depart until they get their Bata time, and while on their way through the forest Sam makes their best performance yet just for their friends. With this song the musical monkey man throws an illusion over themself and Bata to make the two appear as a pile of firewood on the front of the cart where the reins would then be pinched between logs. Therrin is abruptly startled by their vibrating dagger given to them by their informant friend: Caruso the hare, and a dire message compacted to relay all he could echoes through the dagger. "To those who know, sea travel has become difficult, the Empire has begun the purification of the sea with the decline in Perch Trading Company. The Order is aiding in this endeavor as is the Courier's Guild now establishing alliances to transport information, raw resources, and supplies in place of safe sea travel or costly teleportation - sincerely your friend" - Update from Caruso through the stabie talkie The news is overheard by Therrin and Sam while the rest of the party is either asleep or Bata who is practically asleep and electing to not pay attention barely holding attention to the road. Sam and Therrin debate the impacts; the aforementioned purge likely being in relation to the pirates running amok without the Perch escort vessels to shield travelers and traders. Sam notes that the only reason the Courier's Guild had not taken to the sea was the Perch Trading Company so this is a natural result of the market opening up though the new relationship with Atlas was strange. Approaching Vinculum Bata might have expected the entrance to be buried in snow and ice as was expected of the region due to its proximity to the great wall surrounding Bisemutum. What they found was a stone archway, a rough warm road that becomes more jagged as one draws deeper into the territory, and not much vegetation to be seen or spoken of. A feeling of unease grips Bata, they feel the land reach out to them, they feel it's been warped or infected. Even the weather has shifted from a cold dry to a warm tropical. Without the knowledge of the region all that comes over Sam is a feeling of weirdness and their attention perked up they see shadows darting around and they listen carefully to the ambient sounds of the place. Breaking down the white noise they hear a chorus and pulled apart the song is composed from screams, yelps, voices, and yawns canceling each other's bitter notes out creating the dull dirge. The unease continues to build until Sam pushes back, wracking his brain looking for a solution for the landscape of shadows he feels shouldn't be, and that thing Arden does comes to mind... if this wasn't real, he doesn't have to harbor its lies in mind or heart. Sam steels himself and pushes the fear burrowing its way into his mind back and away revealing the region as it truly was, a blasted wasteland with shadows drifting about as if by an enchantment masking the true dangers within this place, a monster gathering its strength patiently in wait, and dread drapes itself over Sam's shoulders a friend for the trip to ground him. In the distance Sam sees an enormous bird of fire descending into the heart of the territory where Vinculum is likely at rest. At first Sam tells Bata things aren't so bad, giving the bear a sese of ease, their adorable friend told them things weren't so bad so that must be the case... right? "Can you wake up grumpy" - Sam requests of Therrin "Have they had enough time to rest, I think they have to do magic stuff right"? - Zaus asks from below the cart "That's why we need Arden awake" - Sam responding to Zaus with their anxiousness leaking into their words "Do you want us to wait until he wakes up or"? - Bata seeking confirmation from the group "Wake him up to early isn't he just gonna be mad and not be able to cast magic" - Zaus argues "Umm Sam, could you give me a good reason to incur that wrath, of waking up grumpo puppo" - Therrin also questioning the logic "There is definitely a magical enchantment all over this place, and I saw the firebird from the visions you guys had before, and it feels like we're about to die and..." - Sam letting their concerns "You said it would be fine Sam, wait hold on" - Suddenly alarmed Bata halts the cart wide awake and the news sends Therrin into high alert darting their eyes over the landscape "It just feels like it..." - Sam says shrugging their shoulders Therrin notices hands reaching out of the earth with a primal need, a sense of familiarity with the odd entities, though they seem like they don't seem fully formed mental to the Sergal -- they might be umbra in some way. Seeing the world as it truly is, Sam assures the party that the dangers they see are avoidable and the giant firebird soaring over the mountain range that the rest of the party simply cannot see locked behind the illusionary veil over the land. Taking their time to navigate the shadows, Sam acts as Bata's guide, and throughout they take it slow -- incidentally no one had woken up Arden at this point. Waylaid by a swarm of flying centipede creatures, Sam wracks their brain on why they might have taken interest in their group, the swarm he observes is organizing themselves into formation to run up the back of the cart. Then the memory hits, these critters attempt to wrap around their prey, and fly off with them to drain their body of all liquids... delightful. Therrin is at first intrigued by the monsters until she is reminded about a story her mother told her to keep her in line as a kid. Bata aware of the threat but unable to spot the beasts the bear nervously keeps their eyes on the road as Therrin spots a swan person high above flapping their wings too lazily to naturally hold themselves aloft with an unnerving hum coming from its body audible despite the circumstances, a potential cause for concern. "Zaus, wake up Arden" - Bata to Zaus who in attempting to crawl up the cart to awaken Arden is flung from the cart "Bata, your gonna have to stop the cart" - Therrin asks Bata with a sigh Arden is awakened to the sound of loud banging on the side of the cart courtesy of Sam as the cart comes to a stop and Therrin leaps off the back towards Zaus all the while the monsters swarm about the carriage. Thrilled by the circumstances they awaken to they are further stimulated when they see Therrin swarmed by three of the beasts and carried away with their liquid siphoning mouths locking onto her body. Assessing the situation seeing Therrin swooped up and the blood suckers beginning to drain her of her liquids Arden ponders their nature and then a sonic boom emits from Therrin's body like a tuning fork echoing Sam's scream of concern for her. The sonic explosion rips through the flying blood suckers freeing Therrin mid-flight sending her tumbling to the ground and as she lands, she the numerous monsters flying beside Bata who seems completely unaware. "Therrin, stop playing around" - The bear says seeing her fall with the dead insects but unaware of the threats in their immediate presence flying beside them Arden feels the illusion around them as they turn their attention away from Therrin they grapple with the threads of magic ripping themself from its grasp, now seeing the region as Sam does, the insects besides Bata, and the bird folk in the sky. Bata pops their head out of the wood pile illusion sundering the illusion like a soap bubble provoking the insects nearby to action and they swarm over Bata appearing to him by surprise to the bear. The insects behind the carriage elect to go for Zaus over Therin given his l\smaller body and successfully swarm over him lifting him into the air and the buzzing swan above dive bombs Sam landing on the cart with easily many time the weight they should with a screeching mouth that when opened sounds the beating wings of hundreds of small insects.

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Ep 45: Project Porcello

Published: Oct 21st, 2023

Gathering what they can from Sally the Spire Golem the party reaches out to the guardian that provided the manual to spire operations Arden touts. Arden negotiates the party a new designation as a “repair crew” and the last to leave the spire Therrin requests a “Project Porcello” be initiated to save the Cross.

Arden loses no time in requesting a tracking device to keep an eye on Mr. Moonsea, active umbra, and Meunice with some resistance from the spire guaridan. Going as far to argue for the tracking device Arden presses that they were a administrator in training and had been given a manual for general spire operations, a manual that was currently being translated to a language that Arden could understand by Olain of Roqueport. Naturally the thing to do was to reach out to Cryso to confirm the information and while this did succeed Sam's designation as an administrator was ended as he had never been one to begin with. Sam's knowledge and performance of the control song was purely circumstantial as it were, not an indicator of their status as an administrator. "A directive was given that would change... to better represent the will of the citizens of the cross in a greater control over their own destiny" - Sally the Spire Golem in answering why a directive was given to allow the spires to be deactivated Aside from their request for the tracking device the party learns that the longevity of the people of the Cross relies on the systems that arise in society, that these power centers are important to the Locus's greater project to restore the world, and smaller tasks such as pest control are relegated to them systemically as opposed to directly. The directive for greater will to be granted to the people of the Cross was given out many decades ago but did see a significant rise in success in the years following Meunice becoming an administrator. Sally notes that the tendency of the people of the Cross was to commit to regrettable patterns, the implication being as they were they would bring about the end of the current life cycle of the Cross. Fortunately, in leu of Sam's former assumed administrator status, Arden managed to negotiate a new designation for the whole crew, "repair crew", and they would leave the spire with the mission of getting the spire to the southwest back online. "Project Starlight will recover society from being wiped out by a calamity, it is a reaction to an event" - Sally the Spire Golem to Bata inquiring about the purpose of the project Before Therrin leaves, she asks the guardian golem if they could initiate a project to save the Cross from cataclysm and between the two "Project Porcello" was set into motion. "Oh yeah, we already have a quest... opps" - Zaus is reminded of previous obligational after hearing additional options for adventure

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Ep 44: The Cradle of Life

Published: Oct 21st, 2023

The party makes their way to the top of the spire and meets a resident Spire Golem who proves most helpful if a plentiful source of frustration for Arden. Levying their questions at the ancient being Arden keeps the conversation focused despite the Golem’s indirect answers and with the help of their friends extract answers they sorely need.

"No you got this, go ahead" - Therrin to Arden when they ask if anyone wants to join them through the tubes forming above them Bata snatches up the rest of the group, Therrin included, and the party is sucked up the tube realizing they might need to facilitate their landing as they are shot out the other end. With her grace Therrin manages to attempt to save Arden from face planting while she tumbles to her own safety unaware of his magic ring that allows him to safety drift to the floor. Sam on the other hand falls to the floor saved at the last second by Zaus sliding under them catching them almost getting crushed by the impact, Bata lands safely, and Therin frowns floating to the ground with Arden. The chamber appears to be a domed exhibit extending at least forty feet above them, the tube having now disappeared, and Therrin walks to a wall to commune with the Spire. The walls are covered in murals including the ones from before telling a story wrapping themselves all around up to the ceiling where a Dragon's Tear appears to be set into the center of the ceiling though the object is a crimson red as opposed to the regular gold hue of a Dragon's Tear. "I'll miss you Sam" - Arden says as they rise to the red of the Dragon's Tear Therrin sprouts wings through force of will imposed on her from contact with the spire stone. Therrin also feels an overwhelming need to rise to the red like a moth to a flame giving her reason to work her lil humming bird wings, seeing Arden rise to the light and a lack of immediate concern on their party's faces she considers going too. "You look beautiful, but are you okay" - Sam halts her asking if she is okay earnest in compliment and concern, even blocking her sight allowing her to look away from the Dragon's Tear and regain her composure. Fortunate that Arden was at least in part an umbra by design he begins to vibrate as he draws close to the orb effectively becoming a tuning fork sounding the control song though greatly distorted. Asking the gem to talk the music further distorts and then both the lights as well as the force that drew Arden to the ceiling go out allowing the puppo mage to drift to the floor once again. Fire springs up the walls, then dropping down to form a Arden of fire before dissipating and repeating once more; each time Arden is displayed to be taller and broader with a warped face. Therrin in gazing up once again becomes drawn to the Dragon's Tear, she feels warm and a fire ignites on Therrin's skin, and she zips up to the gem. Upon contact the umbra swashbuckler bursts into droplets and rains down reforming without her wings or flames as she had before at the command of the spire; an unwilling participant in the structure's lesson. Rising from the floor a miniature red spire golem greets the party and Arden wastes no time in revealing Mr. Moonsea is a threat, to be told the information will be considered and that Mr. Moonsea is operating within their parameters. In conversing with the golem they discover Mr. Moonsea was known as the Grand Intercessor who attends to irregular situations. "The Cradle of Life is the land you know as the Cross -- If you were to go beyond it, you would find a dead world" - In response to the question "What is the Cradle of Life" "The Locus my dear administrator" - Resident Spire Golem to Sam when they asked where the most important place in the Cradle of Life was located "Perhaps I have much knowledge I assume you already possess" - The Spire Golem states to a thoroughly frustrated Arden who seems to be unable to get direct answers from the personable golem With help from his friends Arden begins to make headway getting answers from the Golem, asking in a way they have increasing difficulty answering indirectly. Collectively they decern: - The "brain of the spire network is known as the "Locus", though the location is withheld from the party - Mr. Moonsea and Meunice are both administrators working on "Project Starlight" to bring about the Reincarnation Protocol - Meunice resides in the broken spire to the southwest attempting to gather information necessary for the protocol - The spires are connected in a network of energy invisible to the naked eye - The golems of Bisemutum are focused on the development of its people and as such answer questions in a way to provoke further thought and examination (much to Arden ire) - Arden and Therin could interact with the spire to the extent they did because they were in some way umbra - The spires prevent Coeurasa from crashing into the Cross wiping out all life from this cycle - Olain's spire is marked for revisiting in the future but is not in apparent danger at the moment

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Ep 43: Life in “The Garden”

Published: Oct 20th, 2023

Arriving at “The Garden” the party enters the spire following their instincts and discovering information in line with their suspicions laid out before them. Interacting with the depths of the spire show them the great bird ablaze wrapping its wings around the globe and the cycle of life to death for the Bisemutum people, their souls resting in whisper stones as their bodies reconstitute into new life.

On their way to the aptly named "Garden" Bata attempts to meditate with great difficulty, Zaus thumps the wagon with their exercises, the wheels clatter against the road, and Sam hums out the window preventing the bear from concentrating but quite aware of their forestry surroundings. Unburdened with danger the party arrives at the "Garden" breaking away from the forest the soil becomes ashy and sand like, the vegetation is teeming here as if the grove is kept in a state of eternal spring despite the cold of the outer world. Taking care to not hit any non-existent tombstones Therrin stays on the path riding up to the edge of the spire, noting the ground was warmer than expected, perhaps that heat is what was keeping the grove in spring. "I believe Sam is asking if there is something we should do to not commit heresy by your faith" - Bata is asked by Sam and Arden gradually becoming more concerned due to their own concerns Eyes peeping out the party sees no guardians or Order Magi and turning to the spire they ponder on how to get inside the door-less structure. Light bends around the spire, translucent motts appear distorting Bata's appearance, Arden attempts to speak to the spire as they would a Dragon's Tear, and Therrin on the other hand strolls around the walls feeling for an entrance as if by instinct. A door takes shape before Therrin as layers of the spire's walls section themselves folding in on one another forming and entrance. Passageways, murals, and rooms will form as the entrance did for the party as they transverse the spire; the first mural the party passes depicts the garden outside where the inhabitants grow from the soil and return to the soil as death. Further in the optical warping of light occurs within the spire as well weirding out members of the party at first, later turning into playful jabs at one another. Intrigued, Therrin investigates the chamber and the murals, in particular reaching out to one trying to get instruction from a Bata focused elsewhere, deciding to proceed without his guidance she reaches for the spire stone. Upon touching the mural Therrin's vision distorts and is presented with the mural many times its ordinary size she sees many different people going through the cycle of life. The story does not end as it does on the mural however, it continues showing the degradation of their remains and then their souls dip down into a bed of crystals. Pulling her hand away, Therrin's connection is broken, the entire experience weighs on the Sergal forcing them to take time before continuing. Concerned Sam checks on Therrin while Arden pauses to observe the structure seeing the story continues on the floor and the parry observes that the bed of crystals might be a reference to whisper stones. Further manipulating the structure, the party rises to the as if gravity had been negated and the ceiling segments and folds in on itself creating an ever-extending shaft upward. Arriving in another chamber gravity kicks back in dropping the party in a largely empty chamber with a mural at the other end. This mural depicts the spire rising out of the soil of the Garden, ashes falling onto the Garden below, and a great bird of fire rising above it all. Another image of the bird of fire is presented wrapping the whole globe in its wings and at the base of the display the same clutch of crystals from before. Unprovoked Bata pushes Therrin into this mural surprising the Sergal landing her both paws on the base of the mural where the ashes rain onto the soil enriching the world. Therrin finds her mind ripped away from the chamber to an open field filled with smoke and in time fire erupts from the ground taking the form of a great bird soaring into the sky extending its wings wide setting the sky ablaze. Sam pulls Therrin back concerned for her seeing she had just had a similar experience from the last mural and are unamused by Bata's explanation for their actions as if the end result justifies the push. "There is a little more to this and there is a little more to all of you" - Message Arden receives interacting with the mural as Therrin did Continuing their studies Arden and Sam theorize that the process of creating a Dragon's Tear was being played out, forged from the ashes of the departed.

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Ep 42: To Kromek’s Pass or Not To Kromek’s Pass

Published: Oct 20th, 2023

With the knowledge of Kromek’s Pass in mind the party mulls over if the trip out to the wastes would be doable either with the time they had or if they could be prepared enough for the dangers. They meet a potion seller who loads them up with plenty of bottled healing magic, feast on the manipede steaks they brough into town, and leave for the Tempus spire in their new wagon.

Called over by a serpentine saleswoman of potions, essential oils, and cures who identifies Therrin on sight. Looking into her bag of less than a handful of gold, Therrin glances over her bottled water, essential oils, and mysterious tonics apprehensively anticipating without something to trade Therrin would leave empty handed. Instead of a direct trade the potion seller offers to "collaborate" with Therrin, the language they use seems dubious at first getting Sam and Arden's attention prompting a public explanation of what these "collaborations" entailed in layman speak. In summary, what Therrin was offered was a chance to acquire a potion for a sliver of their peripheral memories to be used as an anchor for the magic in the ritual crafting of two potions, one for each participant, and the saleswoman would facilitate the process beyond Therrin's contribution. While this process is normal it is not well known among people who do no craft magic objects themselves so readily and in the process of explaining Arden gets caught up in a deal for four of her best healing potions for the chromatic wild magic flask Arden had acquired from Mildred but a day before. "See everybody, I don't trade for money, you can trussssssttt meee" - Saleslady to audience Arden wraps up a final deal with the saleslady for her final potions of healing and disease removal for a scroll sounding like a magic that could summon a temporary vacation home resilient to even harsh environment. Finishing their business, Arden passes a stone to each member of the party letting them know to keep them in their left pockets at all times. Outside of Bata, the party would be forgiven to not know that High Decorated Deer Chef Arnold was whom the meat handlers were bringing the best cuts of manipede and one amusing song later Sam walked away with three best cuts of the juiciest manipede steaks. At firs they try to share with Bata and Therrin but is turned away, they end up sharing with Arden and Zaus who are none the wiser. "Their name was Charles" - the hunting party tells Bata after they waken Bata offers the party's assistance to retrieve Charles's lost whisper-stone if they are back within four days and to head out on their own if the party did not return in time. Zaus once again excitedly questions if they would be taking Kromek's Pass, the safe path through the Withered Wastes Oatsum's map laid out for them; the seemed especially excited about an adventure into danger away from towns -- at Bata's direction the Tempus spire would have to suffice for now.

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Ep 41: Oatsum the Odious Historian

Published: Oct 19th, 2023

The party negotiates for a new cart, healing aid for their temporary traveling companions, and finds an welcoming place to stay the night. Before they leave for the spire Arden has a cryptic conversation with a knowledgeable historian who takes a special interest in Sam’ spear and the party’s next destination even going as far to offer them a map of “safe” travel through the cursed desert north. Bata makes a point to deter the desert and continue onto the Tempus spire instead quite confident they need not endanger themselves there or deal with the Order magi skulking about the spires therein.

Stopped at one of the numerous guard posts surrounding the town ahead, Bata is greeted by a great tall eel questioning their purpose for travel. Bata proclaims they have arrived with manipede meat for the festival and upon offering the meat the party is notified that the people they drop the meat off with might prefer to keep the wagon instead of transferring the contents, news leaving Sam crestfallen. Arden speaks up letting the guard know that there are three injured people inside as well successfully getting aid for them and transferring their care to the community. Over negotiations for a new wagon Therrin hears an alternative offer for "healing potions" and awakens excitedly before they quickly flow through the stages of grief ultimately settling where the party is emotional in relation to the drippy ",eat carriage". "This is a low bar, as it is now" - Eel Guard responding to Therrin's request for a cooler wagon than they are giving up now Looking ahead to their personal mission the forest stands as a primary barrier between the party and the Tempus spire, then the strain of their long night through the woods, and the battle they are in need of rest. In asking their eel guard associate, he tells them the grass is nice this time of year, ultimately unhelpful. Bata, however, knows that lodgings can be found by looking for a particular symbol set on the door of any residence in town; once located one simply needs to ask if there is room for them and their crew if applicable. Therrin thoroughly taken aback by the level of trust a community would have for that to be a comfortable arrangement or even a custom is both thankful and bewildered knowing that no person engaged in such conduct in Roqueport should expect a satisfactory outcome. "My abode has a basement, that is where the visitors stay" - Alarming no one looking for a place of rest except Therrin "I promise not to steal from you" - Therrin announces to Oatsum the Hippopotamus host taking the party in. Their host is most relieved not having considered that a potential issue into Therrin, unprovoked by Oatsum, notified them it was indeed not a concern. "This isn't a butcher's cellar.... well... you won't get butchered" - Bata to Arden attempting to calm their apprehensions about the semi dark basement with the non-descript hanging dried meat in the far corner of the sleeping chambers The cellar otherwise appears to be covered in pillows set over a tarp on packed earth. Despite initial apprehensions the party wraps Zaus up so they cannot sneak off without the party's knowledge and set themselves around him as a physical barrier. They sleep well and Oatsum waits for them to awaken eager to give them news their new cart had arrived earlier. Everyone but Arden hurries out to see their new ride and in search of Sam's missing belongings, Arden sticks behind to question Oatsum who presents Sam's missing spear, and a cryptic historical conversation. Offering Arden a map to get him through the desert and ample encouragement and far more questions than answers, the magi leaves not realizing they left the speat behind. Getting back to the cart Arden informs the party of their findings with Oatsum. Sam has located bother their missing shoes and bracelet and hearing Arden they eye the house seeing Oatsum placing the spear in their window further confusing Therrin.. Is it theft? Bata goes back in retrieving the spear and touching base with Oatsum finding no ill intentions and a friend if they have need of a space to stay in again. "No last name given upon threat of death: Oatsum" - Arden With a map to safety guide the party through Kromek's Pass the party was considering taking this route to see what the Order had been up to in the Withered Wastes. They were also now aware that a second half of Sam's spear could be located somewhere up north and a artifact of that importance could even be the Order's main objective out there though why eluded the party. "I'm sorry, are we assuming that the map that was given to us by the dude who stole stuff off of Sam and knows our names for no reason, we are assuming this map is safe" - Therrin spoken in disbelief while the party debates going to the desert

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Ep 40: Stakes and Steaks

Published: Oct 19th, 2023

Daring to alter their paws into weapons of great size, Therrin goes in for a final blow on the great fluorescent fungal manipede and the party must decide what to do following that key moment. In the end they will be on their way to Tempus with a cart filled to spilling and a ponderous Arden at its tail with thoughts of “feeding the dragon” on their mind.

Bata considers their options staring down the luminescent fungal manipede, their necklace of exploding rubies certainly would cause some damage, but would also get Therrin in the blast... gritting their teeth they opt to swing their hammer and unleash the rainbow. A spell stored in their hammer from so long ago added to the impact and momentarily sending a aurora of brilliant colors off of the manipede contrasting with the sunrise. Arden drifting in the air called up a great torrent of wind to remove the burning spores, perhaps missing that Zaus was on the beast's head stabbing at the sensitive bits sending the rat lad flying. Therrin playing the colossal bug like a drum with their claws halted but a moment to communicate her approval when Zaus landed with one knee on the ground and Stilton bared doing their best to not show their pain. "Can we stop dancing on the acid monster" - Arden to the Party exasperated during battle The rat-kin rogue keeps the manipede well enough distracted both combatants deflecting each other's blows, ducking, weaving, and dodging giving the party ample opportunity to wail on the monster. Arden mulls over the strategic values of various spells deciding instead of asking the party to disengage they bolstered their reflexes actively supporting their friends' blitz. Wanting to put an end to the threat the manipede posed to Zaus as focused on him as it was Therrin glides, hustles, and leaps up the undulating insect landing on its head. Digging deep the mighty sergal raises their paws and warps them into an oversized scythe while the party occupies its time and then with a mighty swing downs the target of the hunt. Zaus receives soap in celebration of surviving the manipede of glowing wonders and the scented gas that had poured out of the spider's egg sack earlier. Arden takes the time given by Sam heading out for the wagon to reach out to "The Dragon" in an effort to channel the power of the land to restore the body of the manipede. Unfortunately causing the body of the manipede to be ripped asunder while Therrin and Bata were working on portioning the monster's meat surprising and spooking the two in a sort of explosive cellular decay sort of warm fuzzy way. Arden, alarmed at the results of their experiment, realizes they had put their companions in potential danger, checks in on their wellbeing and then presents an exasperated explanation of their intentions promising to be more careful in the future. "Oh, what did he blow up this time" - Sam asks upon returning with the cart The state of the wagon newly dubbed the meat wagon was at first alarming, until the party realized they no could chuck in the slabs, a wonderful connivence. "Arden what I'm saying is you're being reckless which is very weird for you" - Therrin to Arden after Arden explains at length they don't understand how the magic they are experimenting with works and keeps surprising them Weary from their trips the bugalüs and Bata decide on a slow approach to Tempus, quiet and calm. Arden opts to follow behind, not inside of the cart stacked to the brim with raw manipede steaks and injured allies keeping up with the bugalüs leisurely pace.

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Ep 39: Knock Out Hunters

Published: Oct 18th, 2023

A harrowing journey through the forest places the party as tertiary participants between the manipedes and spiders warring over territory throughout the woods. This crescendos into a battle where the group ends up defending the spiders’ young accidentally drawing out the glowing fungal manipede they had set out to locate at the start of the hunt.

Bata and Sam team up at the front of the wagon to keep one another awake, while they travel the shadows of tree branches give the two concerns, and with an anxiously raised torch revealing innumerable egg sacks high in the trees. A deep sigh later Sam ties down themselves and Bata to the cart in the off chance a spider attempts to web either one and yank them right off the cart. Adrenaline coursing through Sam's veins warding off any sense of exhaustion and Bata recalls that manipedes love eating spider eggs; Arden also realizes this and elects to share with the party. Emerging from the woods the wagon of anxiety sighs in collective relief, then Sam's eyes snap wide open, and they look beneath the cart checking in on Zaus. The rat-folk rogue looks up at the courier with a pilfered spider egg sack in their paws, stuck to their grabby paws, and thusly the wagon is halted. A few quick motions and Therrin frees Zaus of the egg sack while also nicking it open covering the rat-kin in a carpet of writhing baby spiders to which Arden leaps from the wagon torch in hand. Zaus standing still with their eyes closed feels the warmth of the torch never quite close enough to burn them waving about and gradually the spiders leave them freeing the rogue once more. Attracted to the scent of its ideal prey the fungal manipede approaches and Arden whips those reins gaining an incredible speed creating distance between the two and with a penchant for danger drifts the wagon to face down the intimidating beast. To Sam's situationally appropriate melody of "not dying to this manipede" the party engages the titanic foe and as they cut into the monster's fungal plate armor spores fly into the air. In a moment of brilliance, the party recall they still have potions to ward off the effects of fungus left over from the start of their adventure so many months ago downing those at their next opportunity to suppress the potential fungal dangers here. Slapping the bugalüs Marcus and Suzy zoom off towards town now assured they would not be abandoning their caretakers in doing so. Solemnly Sam enters the fray humming their tune adding their spear to offense against the neon orange manipede, spores glowing like embers, and a roar to shake stone the battle is joined.

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Ep 38: Tagging in Mildred

Published: Oct 18th, 2023

Bata leads the party through their first stretch of woods and Sam takes care to proceed with care given their cargo of not only their primary party but the hunting party passed out in their wagon. The bugalüs Suzy and Marcus are overjoyed at the arrival of Mildred of Mildred’s Magical Emporium of Wonders, the poor bugalüs have been working so hard lately, and they spy new shinies being acquired by their bipedal friends.

Following Bata's direction, the hunting party teams up with our party proper following the road to a sign warning of the most social season for the mighty manipede and that there was a manipede den nearby. Unfortunately, the cart cannot be taken through the forest without risk, so the original hunting party is invited to guard the cart and lick their wounds with the instruction to ride away if they encounter danger. Locating the manipede den, the young of the vanquished beast writhe outside the cave, tossing in a hunk of food Sam discovers the young are quite hungry both swarming over the food and the vanquished parent insect. Deciding the manipede in the den is a lost cause they decide to pursue the original target as opposed to fighting its young for a partial haul. "If I were to burn every gross and nasty thing, then Roqueport would not stand" - Arden responding to Sam's request to incinerate the manipede young On a wiggly waggly road north the party at a relaxing pace befitting the sleeping and injured passengers unbothered by interruptions until Mildred's Magical Emporium of Wonders rolled up alongside intent on making a sale. "You all look much wealthier than last I saw you" - Mildred of Mildred's Magical Emporium of Wonders said in greeting the Party Through thoroughly harrowing negotiations the party is a box of sharp objects and a few wondrous potions richer and many scrolls of arcane power lighter. The box was a sort of mystery box Mildred claimed even she did not know the contents; while the party attempted to open the container, Mildred moseyed their wagon comfortably away from their clients. Identifying through their best guessing and limited research they discover they have acquired rubies that explode into fireballs, bracers that create protective barriers, and some useful spell components for Arden's magic. From here the party continued their patient trot deeper into the darkening woods, the sun setting above the canopy.

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Ep 37: The No Good Very Bad Day

Published: Oct 17th, 2023

Therrin becomes the defacto leader of the hunt for meats, locates the group’s first prey at the bottom of a hole, and faces off in a flurry of spittle, Roqueport steel, and determination. Meanwhile Sam and Bata free their cart of a mischievous force so they can meet up with Therrin and Zaus who go on ahead.

Awakening with a dule ache here or there Bata pops their head out their tent seeing Zaus and Therrin still about rushed them on their way to their hunting party awaiting on a nearby hill ever so patiently. Met by a wee toad with many blades, a hulking crocodile with javelins, a monitor lizard radiating auras of magic, and a smoll fox allegedly capable of magic. Therrin becomes confused where this beast was still booting up realizes as the crocodile points out they will be traveling as a part of the "hunt". Frustrated with the "rudeness" of the hunters Therrin begins marching in the direction the crocodile directs taking point all the while the rest of the party breaks down camp encountering many unforeseen complications with no easy answers giving Arden plenty of time to prepare their spells. "Is this where we are supposed to go" - Therrin Asks the Crocodile "Well, you were leading the way" - The Crocodile to Therrin "And yet I'm the new person here" - Therrin back to the Crocodile "We're all new" - Crocodile back to Therrin "Ohh.........." - Therrin With the knowledge that they were looking for a large glowing manipede with fungus adorning its armored body the group finds a cave in a dried-out basin covered by the canopy, a perfect place for a manipede to lay their eggs. The single member, to avoid jumping down accidentally flies into the cave followed by stirring, a terrified cry bounces out of the cave, and a moment of chilling silence. Therrin peers into the darkness eyeing the toad warrior in the manipede's maw, a quick command from Therrin and Zaus begins securing an escape route by way of Therrin's fifty feet of silk rope. Scampering up the cliffside incline Zaus ties off the rope as quickly as they are able and Therrin sets themselves to holding off the fifteen-foot tall, segmented beast. Emboldened by Therrin's vigorous melee with the manipede exchanging blows, dodging, and deflecting its enormous mandibles Zaus leaps from the edge to reach the head of the manipede with their new blade. The leap unfortunately had their toes catch a rock and they five directly into the fox mage hiding below under a thin layer of dirt, the impact knocks the mage out, and Zaus charges forward unaware of the fox's condition. With a final mighty ku-thunk of a blow with her new blade Brie with spittle flying off her lips and the hunting party rejoices. "Oh well... it stopped bleeding... I guess" - Therrin after her rage ends Opting not to set up camp in a hole in the ground in front of a cave that could contain additional dangers Therrin leads the way forward unintentionally guiding the hunting party back to the entrance to the woods just in time to meet back up with their party proper. In conversing each member reveals their expectation had been different devoid of a solid basis for the quest of the day, a series of unfortunate events Bata and Therrin are sure to set right.

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Ep 36: Therrin the Spire-Woven

Published: Oct 17th, 2023

Taking time to speak to Elder Percus the party receives some of the answers they seek and are awarded with additional riddles, questions, and concerns as well as the promise of assistance in the next eight days. Therrin discovers that they are what the Bisemutum elders refer to as a Spire-Woven while the process that Arden and Zaus experienced would indeed rush jobs leaving them with limited benefits by comparison. Bata encourages Therrin and Zaus to take part in the hunt and Arden presses that they want to be nearby encase assistance is desirable for their safety.

In conversing with Elder Percus Arden brings the elder up to date on what their friends had done post leaving the Port of Pinicola and in filling in where the puppo's letters did not cover. A key concern is that both Meunice had been active in Bisemutum particularly in either in the northwest or northeast, the northeast territory being both a cursed wasteland as well as priority of the Order. While the party received warnings of what they could encounter Arden added their own random guesses sarcastically due to the stress of the numerous threats before them; they would later discover how well they had theorized what threats awaited them and their friends. Another priority for the party is seeking out a Guardian of the Spires for further information on the "Cradle of Life" and the dangers arrayed against the inhabitants of The Cross. Percus informs the party that Guardians they encounter in Bisemutum are thoroughly socialized compared to Guardians found in spires outside Bisemutum, Bata adds that they might run into Guardians out and about here. In joining the hunt the party plans to participate and then break off to a functional spire nearby where the hunt will take place, from there they could head to A'Paz for information stored there or head to the spire west or east in the northern territory. Elder Percus offers to help if they can arrive back at the festival within eight days to give the elder time to conduct research and speak to their fellows. Before leaving Elder Percus answers questions from Therrin learning they are referred to as "The Spire-Woven" and when they compare themselves to Arden earning Arden the title of "Half-Baked", something he noted they had heard before. The elder's advice amounts to continue to practice, they develop hot dog fingers, and reverts her hand back to its normal state as a lesson that if she does not train to control her form someone who can, could do that for her. Therrin learns that they may have an extended life due to their body replacing itself with umbral matter over time as parts die off from damage or age and the body heals. "Wow the most reckless of us is the most likely to outlive us" - Arden surprised and bewildered by Therrin's newfound longevity "We have been told of the songs of lost rhyms, it's a field of study" - Elder Percus when Sam speaks of the Song they sang in the Roqueport spire Further magical discussion between Arden and Elder Percus ensues before they depart leaving the young magi with much to think on as they settle into bed.

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Ep 35: Amica Family Reunion and the Grand Performance

Published: Oct 16th, 2023

Arden is welcomed into the Amica family and learns a portion of what that entails before the party performs Sam’s grand vision capping off the night of the festival.

Before the party Bata's parents stand in flowing airy fleece, lace, and leather. Within a breath Bata's mother launches herself at him hugging him waving him about rag-dolling her son while their father waves empathetically. As his paws hit the ground, he explains he was on adventures with new friends whom they are interested in meeting immediately. Drawn over to the cart away from the stage where Bata feels their eyes of the festival on them having become the most interesting point of attention for a time. Arden does his best to make a good impression gazing up to the tower of polar bear muscle eclipsing the sun in his line of sight. While the party knew Bata and Arden were an item Arden cannot remember having made that a public announcement outside their chosen family and they have trouble putting the information into words until Sam shouted out: "They're boyfriends", attempting to alleviate their chaotic state of panic. Followed by an additional giant bear hug with rag doll physics applied the two are offered a house and Therrin gets a hug of their own along with Sam in thanks of their taking care of her son. Introducing Zaus to Bata's mother Arden made a point to inform her that Zaus was their adopted son, surprising her that Bata was already a father in just six months. Elder Percus descends upon the party, the fabulous flamingo from earlier, and confirms with the party their order of performance with the master schedule. "Oh no, they're going to know the crimes I did" - Therrin overhearing Zaus spilling the beans to Bata's mother after their bear hug "Well let's get some dance instruction out of Therrin before she is incarcerated" - Arden Eyeing Therrin Arden is welcomed to the stage introduced as Bata's dear boyfriend, a former mage of the Order, and wanting to show the locals how they party back home. This sent the puppo to their emotional knees needing reassurance that this elder was the pinnacle of respect in the Bisemutum, which they receive dissuading any intent to respond to the information dump of their past six month so life. Arden shifts focus and tells a tale of the dragon the people of the cross, the moons, and the purpose of the spires as a show of appreciation to the people of Bisemutum; all the while the mage utilizes his spells to perform a symbolic representation of the tale as he goes earning many an ooo and ahhh. The crowd goes wild at the display of magic not familiar with this spell weaving and a grumble from Edgar taking the display as encouragement for their own show. While the party awaits their grand performance at the end of the night drawing closer to midnight before they are called to perform. The act directly before warming the audience up with Edgar levitating innumerable popped kernels of crackle corn to the audience, each kernel glowing, and upon consumption transferring that growing glow to the bones of the audience for a short time. "I sell potions for favors" - Edgar the of the Order post-performance getting in their shameless plug Sam's grand performance commences, they gather up the party who realize looking out into the gaze of the audience that they had done no rehearsals with Sam. Sam assures the audience that the events are purely factional and any inspirational is out of appreciation and not mockery. Utilizing the magic of their oratory magics supplementing their tale with a focus on colors, shapes, and shadows. A ballad of a story eerily close to what the party had accomplished up to this point in their adventure, layering illusions over the "actors" masking their true identities while the limelight sets on them leaving the others in darkness until they are needed. The genius of this ballad pushes the actors to significantly dramatize their characters through the tale as actions are fed to them through the song. The illusions end when the tale wraps, the cast bowing, and Therrin taking time to send kisses to their fans strolling the sides of the stage. Shortly thereafter the crowd disperses to their tents and additional food for those yet wanting; Elder Percus giving Sam a knowing nod to the hidden truths of their tale.

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Ep 34: Interrogations and Crafting Circles

Published: Oct 16th, 2023

The party manages to meet another member of Bata’s family, craft some abridis, and plan out their part in the upcoming performances. Therrin manages to get some one-on-one time with Edgar and Bata’s family arrives with an elder excited to see the party.

In search of Edgar Bata discovers a great crackle corn dispensary stall instead opting to take part in the festivities thoroughly distracted from their original task. Therrin on the other hand attempts to locate an ambridis to adorn themselves with since they see practically everyone else with at least one on their person and they are a lady of style. In the sergal's search they join an ambridis crafting circle and do their best often shouting "oww!!" having chosen the needle and thread to tie their ambridis together without the skill set to execute reliably but all the determination that they can. Drawn to the group Bata is greeted and brought into the circle by their sister who wastes no time in interrogating her brother for who they are making their ambridis for and collectively the crafters circle gets a round of ambridis made for their parents; Therrin most unconcerned about the shabby nature of their work given whom it is allegedly for. "By the way Bata, I'm loving how nosey your family is", Therrin said with sly harmonious mirth. Erbuka let's Therrin know they are so interested in his love life because he had never really shown any interest in anyone before they went on their "pilgrimage". Therrin joins in the family ribbing of their dearest brother Bata offering just enough information to help Erbuka's questions his closer to the truh as Bata attempts to deflect and evade sharing too much. Before the two leave the crafting circle they are asked if they are if they will be joining in the hunt prompting interest in the party. "Yes actually, Bata but you will need to learn from Therrin", Sam responding to Bata offering their dancing skills for the bard's performance. Therrin interested by the prospect of flourishing and making a name for themselves in Bisemutum and Erbuka let's it slip that those that do well during the hunt could be rewarded with magical objects or have their possessions enchanted in special circumstances much to Therrin's joy. "I need a middle name! Therrin Allouicious Perch?!?" - Therrin to the world Arden joins in the festivities having become aware of the fuss at the crafting circle intensifying the red on Bata's cheeks, by whimsy or empathetic pity Sam rescues Bata shifting focus to recruiting the party for their grand performance though they are vague on their details. "I am just soaking up all of this family drama" - Therrin when asked if they were going to work on another ambridis Spotting Edgar the aforementioned ferret from the Order, Therrin tracks him down and interrogates the mage discovering their earnest appreciation of the land, its people, and the way they weave magic as well as their advanced crafting of magical objects. Catching the party's attention, the rocks accumulated earlier melt into on another gradually taking the shape of a modest stage elevated three feet into the air and the vegetation around that stage grows into comfortable seating for the performances soon to take place. Upon completion the presumed elder rises with Bata's remaining family from the stage the solidity of the stone temporarily taking on a gel like state for their travel.

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Ep 33: Merry Making

Published: Oct 15th, 2023

Passing through the gates of A-mond the party enters into the festival grounds set up nearby electing to take part in the performances, investigating a robed figure of the Order by the name of Edgar, and discovering the joys of popcorn. Swept up in the experience Bata encounters many that know them suddenly deeply invested in Bata’s return and whom they brought back with them so quickly.

With the gates of Bisemutum wide open the green rolling fields entrance Zaus and the temperature drops quickly as the party makes their way onto the rough roads of Bisemutum. Taking advantage of the clothes Arden and Zaus bought in Bellowport the party begins to layer their garb to protect them from the cold and making it a surprise to no one they were indeed visitors. Therrin in particular takes note of the dangers of water, each river the group passes adding to their concern of the lands around them. Bata explains to the party that the people here will not want their money and instead want their labor and mutual efforts. Therrin suggests to Zaus instead of running off they watch over the party from the shadows as both a lookout and less obviously to keep the rat-kin nearby; Zaus had demands for bugalüs steaks and to meet Bata's parents. Arden is concerned that being here so soon might be bad for Bata and is assured that it does not bode ill that he has returned at this time. Locating a gathering of tents, cooks, and traders set up near the entrance to A-mond to catch the visitors that make their way through before the Blood Nights Zaus sets to work watching for danger and Therrin sets themself to task of observing anything strange in the crowd identifying what could be an Order Mage blending into the crowd. In passing Sam encounters a couple looking for fellow entertainers, a Polar Bear gentleman with two drums hanging off their rear end and a madame Badger bearing a lute over their shoulder. "Why yes hello, I am a singer of sorrowful symphonies and teller of tall tales" - Sam to the duo of entertainers "I'm Peter and I bang the drums; and this is Gurdeene" - Peter the Polar Drum Bearer Minutes of negotiations later the duo drew the party into performing at the festival in exchange for food and board, board being a comfortable, and convenient place to park their wagon at the festival. Therrin is volunteered as a stunt master to the duo's delight and Arden promises that they will not be boring. "Your reckless confidence alarms me sir" - Arden to Peter the Polar Drum Bearer Upon discovering that Bata had not properly informed Arden of the purpose of the ambridis the duo actively encourages Bata to inform them right away. The encouragement comes on the heels of the duo themselves having just arrived back in Bisemutum planning on sharing ambridis this year, this was Peter's first time and Gurdeene having brought them home with them. Therrin thoroughly enjoys the awkward explanation of the multiple meanings behind the sharing of ambridis and in particular the mutual sharing of an ambridis. Sam joins Therrin in enjoying their friends' collective situation with the performers encouraging Bata to explain the significance of their previous gift to the puppo. Sam takes time to prepare the extent they can for their later performance and in not to long both Arden and Sam are taking notes on the new experiences here in Bisemutum. Bata is surprised by their little sister Arbor early to festival to meet up with their boyfriend a local dingo named Pawney, also letting Bata know while Mom is unaware Dad is in the know. Soon after communicating this, she runs off announcing she was now a teenager much to Bata's concern as if he watched the ambassador of chaos depart into the world. In short order people that know of Bata, knew Bata, or overheard the juicy gossip amassed about the nervous bashful Bear asking so many questions he does his best to answer. Therrin enjoys the grilling until the crowd turns its attention to her, stumbling for a few moments the crafty sergal gets the crowd to give her all the details on the mysterious robed figure and enjoys the crowd's attention until they find out where to go. "They are so boring most of the year" - crowd on the mysterious robed Edgar "Collateral damage, what are you going to do" - spoken from Sam to Arden during performance planning Popcorn finds its way into the hands of most of the party, a true Bisemutum festival delicacy, and with forty-eight different flavors such as Sizzle Pop or Garlic Explosion. In the time before the big event Sam teams up with the two minstrels from earlier who do their best to keep up with the monkey's unfamiliar vocals, grabbing the attention of festival goers as they pass by drawn to the bizarre train wreck of a show. Meanwhile Arden describes their plan for their show to Bata leaving their boyfriend mystified at the complex layering and multipurpose of the magics Arden intended to employ making sure to check that there were no safety concerns. In search of a drum for their performance Bata encounters Uda and Yaw, an additional two of Bata's siblings playing drums completely ignoring Bata on instinct until Bata prompts a round of hugs. Immediately suspicious of Bata being in trouble given their return to Bisemutum so soon, are surprised he approached just to ask for a drum, and doubting his purity would allow him to pursue a romantic engagement... until their brother fled from the two mentioning they were going to spend time with someone special peaking their interest. "Sometimes the family you make is worth more than the family you were born to", Sam to Bata during the party's discussions on their upbringings striking a chord with Therrin and inversely with Arden who had a loving family but no meaningful bonds among their peers in the order.

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Ep 32: The Gates of Bisemutum

Published: Oct 15th, 2023

The charms of countryside travel come to an end at the Gates to Bisemutum where the party is presented with an unexpected encounter and Bata becomes closer to the flame within despite his fear.

With levels of energy Therrin could go all day long driving the cart from dawn until the deep of night the mighty Sergal awakens looking about seeing the strange grass circle and is inspired to have a sparring session with Zaus sometime that day. Assuring Therrin that the strangeness in the field was caused by the usual stuff: meditation and Sam gets back to breaking down camp. Zaus interjects describing the glowing Arden exhibited prompting Therrin to immediately challenge the young rat-kin who mirrored Therrin's sudden battle stance and energy through their excitement. Awakened by the sound of training Bata and Arden awaken though the puppo attempts to keep them both there as long as they can warmed by Bata's soft fur, and large muscles. Unamused, Sam pours water over the morning fire sending the smoke over and through Arden's tent forcing the two out of their blissful resting place. "Why's it so smokey....Sam?" - Bata to Sam "Just putting the fire out" - Sam to Bata "Why are you smiling" - Arden to Sam In short order the party gathers up their belongings, the bugalüs bounce with happiness at the sight of Bata bringer of massages, and food stuffs. An hour of bugalüs care later Therrin whips the pampered bugs into gear jetting the wagon surprising Bata who had been the last to be on their way to get on the vehicle. Sam notices the Bata absence popping the back door open seeing Bata and getting Therrin to stop gathering up their Bearbarian. "What are those.... the little slappy boys.... the REINS!" -Therrin Arriving at the one point in the giant white wall separating Bisemutum from its neighbors, water falling down the smooth surface, and the cool Bisemutum air washes over the party much to Bata's comfort. On the other hand for Bata the Great Gate Guards of A'mond are not at their post, instead figures begin to move formerly hidden in plain sight, and each of these creatures possess a golden gem gleaming with ill intent. Arden notes the majority are element primordial entities, strange given that they had never witnessed the successful binding of such entities, narrowing the possible reasons for their presence. "Vinculum has awoken, the Blood Nights Begin, you will not pass here" - Primordial Fire Serpent Announces to the Party Bata pleads with the entities for safe passage explaining they had never been outside the gates during the Blood Nights and that they had been pursued during their travels. The primordials assure the party Bisemutum will be safe from these pursuers undead or not, that the elemental of rebirth has landed in Bisemutum and made Vinculum their perch. Convincing the Blood Night guardians of the gate of the importance of their quest the group is allowed entry into Bisemutum, that their actions leading up to this moment where acts of courage on behalf of the spires and the people of The Cross. "My name is Tevill" - Answer to Arden's Query Arden and Bata are cautioned to stay far from the norther Bisemutum territories, that even the dead are poisoned and distorted by northern wastelands. Taking the time to descend from the walls Tevill informs Bata that they should not turn away from their affinity for fire and then Arden asks what they sense in him. "You might have for more favor reaching and talking to the wind or the earth. I sense a desire for solid things, for strict rules, and clear understanding." - Tevill Arden translates for Bata the ancient tongue of the fire beings prompting Tevill to present Bata with a opportunity, a test of conviction by way of a wall of fire in the party's path for Bata to part through their connection to the element of fire. Bata who had spent much of their life working with bugalüs hoping for guidance, receiving a suggestion from a fellow guardian of Tevill's directing Bata towards Arden for assistance. Utilizing their mutual practice with meditation to influence the wall, Arden discovers the wall was far more than a simple spell, the wall was a sliver of the plane of Tevill's origin, and as such was mailable to force of will. Fumbling through their attempts to part the curtain of fire Bata learns how they feel will influence the flames, calling back to previous Blood Nights they think on the flames of the festivals, and with reassurance Bata parts the flames opening the gates to Bisemutum.

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Ep 31: On the Road to Bisemutum

Published: Oct 14th, 2023

On their way to Bisemutum the party celebrates Zaus’s birthday, takes some time in the fields to think towards the future, and muse on the future of their bed n breakfast prospects.

Considering what the party had been told by Meunice whether interacting with Zaus's sister back in Burnwurth and Arden screams into the sky for privacy much to the party's confusion. Ultimately the group decides not to provoke Meunice. Skipping the visit and instead celebrating today as Zaus's birthday given they don't know when he was born. Arden tells Zaus that they have gotten older and more mature and as with Therrin, they wanted to respect their push toward personal responsibility. As a gift Arden gives the young rat-kin the ring they desired before that would enhance their climbing ability followed by a promise that they would use the ring "responsibly" convincing no one; ultimately, they would use it most to hold onto the bottom of the cart during travel when they wanted exercise or personal space. After a thorough debate on when Zaus might have been born before the twelve years they were the primary caretaker for their numerous siblings and a thank you from Zaus for the trust the rat-kin scampers to the bottom of the cart. Shortly after the party becomes distracted by the option of visiting Therrin and Sam's new mansion, far-off course opting for the responsible decision given the end of the world could be at hand continuing their trip to Bisemutum. "Screaming at her hands again, probably" - Arden about Therrin "I kind of doubt this is a mansion given you won it in a game of bingo"- Arden about the Mansion "Maybe we need to stop at an inn because I think we are all hangry" - Therrin Sam and Therrin take up the front of the cart with the courier providing direction and Therrin their excellent teamster prowess getting the merry lot to Bisemutum's gates. Arden and Bata, now alone in the cart discuss preparations for mediation before bed as they had been requested to avoid doing so while in a "flammable vessel" such as the cart. After getting sleeping arrangements prepared Bata and Arden begin their meditations, the puppo taking on a vigorous glow, and Bata manifests their emotions as balls of fire dancing around the two. The fire catches Sam's attention deciding in haste to cut a circle into the grass around the two hoping to avoid a fire in the rolling fields of flammable grass. Arden draws on the energy of "The Dragon" meeting with the radiant energy of Coeurasa finding that the two seem to complete one another in some way. Following the puppo's intent for their foes the energy once released damaged the grass much to the mage's confusion and alarm. Coming out of their trance Arden sees Bata swarming with little fires, unbeknownst to Bata, and connected to their thoughts of the last six months. The conflux of emotions Bata processed was reflected in the rhythms of motion the fire took gradually becoming chaotic, stepping in to calm their partner Arden guides them out of the trance, and the party joins Therrin in rest.

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Ep 30: Spies and Monsters

Published: Oct 14th, 2023

After the much-anticipated café date with Caruso the party heads out to see the Cobble family on their way to Bisemutum, a surprise to Therrin and Zaus in particular. Along the way Caruso intercepts the party and Arden welcomes themselves into the home of the Burnwurth Library Arsonist.

Miss Ronda's Emporium of Threads and Frames has all you need for your optical and fashion needs; they will even style your wardrobe while you wait. The compliments sent Arden's way unfortunately inspire anxiety within the anxious puppo and the group leaves with a wardrobe for each member of their party "A funeral... no, I am dressed professionally" - Caruso to Arden "Let's stop by, grab Therrin and Sam, after all that "sleeping" they did last night" - Bata on way to the Café Gathering up Therrin and Sam for their café date with Caruso Therrin is perplexed that Arden had not chased off the persistent stranger tidies up their room and appearance before they head out. "He is less bothersome when we give him what he wants, but let's get this over with" -Arden when asked their opinion on Caruso Sharing a cup of tea with Caruso each group discussing their plans as both are leaving town quite unwilling to share too much with one another, the hare leaves without paying the bill, and our heroes pay up instead. The interaction was decidedly strange and even more so that Caruso "forgave" Arden for not trusting him. The cart prepped for travel Zaus requests additional lessons in driving the carriage despite their proficiency, perhaps to keep an eye on oncoming dangers or the mysterious place they were headed next. For as long as Sam is able, they ho hum and tune manifesting a illusionary duplicate of their carriage headed in the opposite direction of their travel eventually sending it over the ocean and starting a legend of the ghost carriage in the small community. The secret location in fact was the Cobble Homestead where they could relax and potentially leave the kid before continuing on their dangerous adventure. Sam let's it slip they are a partial owner of a mansion after spending most of their money on the gambling den at the Spider's Crawl Bar after winning a ship and doing a deed trade. Remembering that Meunice was secretly responsible for the arson of the library the party had got heat for and as such wanted to check in at Burnwurth discovering the party responsible had been caught except it was someone other than to real party. They also discover that the local authorities had been charmed for some time with strong mind manipulation magic and taking a step back Arden asserts their title "Spell Breaker" attempting to unweave the spells on the local sheriff. Arden is successful though the man is disorientated making demands on behalf of the party for property, land, and gold apparently still under some magical effect. Threading the preverbal needle Arden extracts information from the local sheriff in their pliable state discovering Meunice owns property in town and about where it is located. Disturbing the dwelling, Arden takes a meticulous look into the magical defenses of the modest dwelling discovering a variety of wards, spells to cloak what the wards might do, and a high-quality lock. The house seems to shrink away from the light of day when the party notes, taking in a sense of unease Therrin awakens realizing as it happens, Arden blows a hole in the lone table of the residence. With a hole in the wall Arden peers inside looking for any incriminating documents, master plans, evil schemes discovering footprints made of soot implying some sort of fire-based teleportation. Frustrated, Arden leaves a letter with their intent to come for Meunice stabbed into the wall with the Perch listening dagger they acquired from their smithy deal earlier. While this happens the townsfolk flee the area and Caruso runs with hastened stride towards the wagon. Upon arrival their paws are raised they warn the party a red fox giving off unwelcoming dangerous vibes implying the potential danger for the Cobble family. Sam takes time to question the man getting his job of spy out of him taking advantage of the fear in his eyes from whatever he had seen there. Stepping out of the Meunice household Arden confirms what they had just heard, and Therrin slaps the seat next to Therrin indicating the spy sit there while the party loads into the wagon. With all haste the party speeds towards the Cobble Estate hearts beating fast, if the news was true, it could be far too late, and every second could mean a life. Drawing close to the farm the landscape appears to warp and the sky blends in strange colors. The absence of the family makes the sighting of Meunice all the more concerning. Confronting the expressive skeletal fox they are congratulated on making it to the world stage, as fellow troublemakers in their mind, and grant them a cautionary warning. If they were to interact with the Cobble family they would be ordered to wipe them all out, breaking through the illusion Arden knew they were all around the party though both groups were concealed from each other through the fox's warped magic. "Until you can protect people like this, you shouldn't mingle with them" - Meunice "You don't get to have ordinary lives anymore; you have to live with your decisions" - Meunice Meunice also let's slip that Zaus has been accepted into the order officially and that Okuma's soul was being kept by Meunice in Bisemutum; they were wonderful roommates. "You know, there was a wise old lady that told me this once and she was right. Arden, you should be careful about hunting monster, you might turn into one" - Meunice to Arden following his comment to hunt Meunice down as they fade into dust on the wind Deciding it would be an unwise risk to interact with the Cobble family the party leaves understanding that the interaction would result in the erasure of Zaus's family. Head hung sullenly Caruso decides to depart from the group with the situation having gone far above their pay grade especially considering the present risk. They state they currently work for Perch because they pay the most, currently Dominque Perch to be specific causing Therrin to scream into the sky before trying to get everyone on their way. Before they go Zaus asks Arden to point out their family before they leave, with a quick lesson Zaus partially breaks through the illusion, just enough to see their family once more as they depart. Final considerations for Caruso and their long-term safety and that the hare was certainly a person of interest to the undead fox. Caruso's mission was to plant a tracking device on Therrin to monitor the young Perch handed down to them by Dominque Perch herself. In the end they make a deal to exchange information on the two parties Meunice and Dominque Perch between the party and Caruso for their mutual safety.

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Ep 29: All-Nighters and Early-Risers

Published: Oct 11th, 2023

After a night of merry making, suspicious glaring, and gambling the bed and breakfast dream is that much closer to a reality for Sam and Therrin. While Therrin and Sam sleep in from the night before the rest of the party receives a tour of the town by Caruso to key shops in town.

Found friends make merry sharing a toast sharing stories over bugalüs steaks. Therrin makes a point to stay close to Caruso eyeing him up and down from an uncomfortable distance clearly due to suspicion. "Bet it really adds to the general unease of the situation" - Arden Caruso explains they had left their hometown of Pinicola in search of career opportunities as adventurers are hard to come by in their experience giving the impression the hare was attempting to insert themselves into the party. When asked again they assured that they were in town for work and are offered a room for their rescue earlier from an appreciative Zaus putting Caruso in the room farthest room from the party where it would be difficult to overhear the group. While the staff are in the back Bata informs the party they should not drink the "honey mead" because people who live and visit the northern wastelands above Bisemutum become sick and an incurable sickness at that. Following the musings of honey mead ad the lack of other patrons at the bar possibly due to the exotic hazardous beverage the party begins to break off. Arden making a point to physically lock their bed chamber door and consider magical reinforcements opting for a form of invisible magical armor to guard them as they sleep as soon as they get upstairs. Bata and Zaus make sure to stop by Caruso to drop off their meal and heading to Bata's room to cheer up their boyfriend with some hot food. "I know I have trust issues", - Arden "Arden, you know you don't just come out of your shell easily" - Bata "Yeahhhh.... we support you though" - Zaus Breaking away Zaus heads to their new room, room eight, where they can keep an eye on the new interloper making sure to safety seal the space. Meanwhile Therrin threatens to get even with Sam if they ever call her Brie again, his concern could be appreciated, but she just doesn't care anymore if someone knows who she is; all communicated through the noming of a steak and received by a partially inebriated Sam. Shortly after the exchange the bartender informs Sam and Therrin they might want to head off before their regulars come in, they may not be up the measure of that company. Sam and Therrin manage to pull out of the bartender that Caruso finds people to fill their time with while they are in port and as soon as one group leaves, they find another. At the end of the riveting night of bingo and other games of chance Therrin finds themselves with 1% of their personal wealth and a deed to a boat. Sam none too excited about the prospect of being on the water again and having not engaged as readily in the gambling took note of a hippopotamus businessman was aggravated, they lost the boat deed lamenting they would give up their cottage for the boat. Debating the benefits of not being on the water and thinking of the future the two good friends realize they could be one step closer to having their bed and breakfast even perhaps calling it "Claws and Paws Inn Bed and Breakfast". A few signatures later they acquire the property and promise each other to keep it a secret even from their friends. Getting to bed just in time to encounter Arden and Bata claiming they were just about to get their second sleep quite unconvincingly, but their friends let them have this one. Having kept an ear out for the party Caruso pops into the hallway quickly suggesting the party heads to their favorite café which Arden notes they really seem to want them to go to. Zaus pops out after Caruso stating they will need a smithy to reform the awesome swords they had picked up at the spire into better swords. Caruso takes on the role of tour guide for Arden, Bata, and Zaus taking care to inform them they were quite knowledgeable for someone who had only been here for a couple of weeks. First stop at Hagglin they get an offer for eight hundred platinum and a dagger that looks an awful like the dagger Therrin's mom used to spy on them so many months ago; claimed they had found it some time ago and it must have come from an adventurer's backpack. The group argues over whether they should take the deal and the dagger even more so. Upon accepting the offer, they are given 8 platinum bard which they will have considerable trouble spending on small purchases, fortunately Hagglin offers minting services at a reasonable fee and a couple days to mint the coins. Instead, they head to the local magic shop to spend their bars on selecting gauntlets made from fine manipede leather that send the strength of the dead bolstering the wearer's muscular strength for Bata, a wand of healing, and six thousand gold pieces in exchange for the platinum bars and some scrolls.

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Ep 28: A Toast to Found Friends

Published: Oct 10th, 2023

Getting to know their new acquaintance the hare Caruso the party sits down with him for drinks and fruit cake. Therrin performs a series of admirable deeds in town and Arden takes time to talk to Bata about their feelings in their private room away from inquisitive ears.

The party returns to the "Cloak and Badger/Dagger" Inn on the water with their new acquaintance Caruso in two camps, those watching the hare and Bata, and everyone else watching with grave suspicion. Assuring Caruso that the events at the docks were abnormal for Therrin making claims such as she could drive with her teeth, doing a handstand, and loves to flourish their daily activities. With a moderate degree of success, the party attempts to hide their identities mixing their real names in with their aliases in front of the well-informed hare. Those with an interest in a drink and or cleaning out their systems from the two months of a pure pickled diet; during their first round Arden manages to get the aliases "Barden" and "Timothy" in a manner convincing to no one. With introductions out of the way Sam, Zaus, and Caruso make busy snapping pieces of their iced fruit cakes exchanging information with a bit of tongue in cheek. Meanwhile Arden calls Bata to their private room to discuss the strangeness of the well dressed and mannered hare suddenly appearing on the dock alarmingly interested in the party quite unprovoked. "I'm two blocks away, this feels like paninis all over again" - Therrin Hearing plops of something falling nearby, followed by stifled requests for help drawing Therrin into the affairs of a conman throwing rocks at people sinking in sacks he tossed out the back of closed business. She spooks off the dangerous conman and rescues the sinking towns folk, a family of badger weasels, who thank Therrin for their assistance. Enjoying their compliments and offerings of their labor as smiths the Sergal offers one of the party's rooms to the family with the idea that the conman won't bother them if they are around Therrin for a few days since they had escaped Therrin's intimidating presence. Arden displeased with Therrin giving away the third room is calmed and pleasantly surprised at the Sergal's good deed even receiving head pats from a proud Bata. Having been left alone at the bar with Zaus and Caruso Sam presses for information doing their best to outwit the cunning hare. Upon arrival of the remainder of the party they toast, avoid the spooky glowing honey mead opting for their friends to drink of the "ordinary" mead; the mead not made from honey harvested at the giant wasp hives north of Bisemutum. "May the dark dreams be left at sea" -- Zaus toasting landfall with non-alcoholic beverage at the Spider's Crawl bar. "Abigail Empenar sounds great" - Therrin "The dice remind you who is in charge" - Sam

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Ep 27: Names are Hard

Published: Oct 9th, 2023

Before leaving their captain asks the party to name their “new” vessel as they dock at port and with some aid from a friendly stranger, they take time to recover from their voyage and landfall.

Therrin takes time on the vessel as boredom sets in to reach out through her connection to Olain. Therrin feels a distant light in the far distance, she feels as though she is currently being missed by her friend in Roqueport. Therrin leaves a note with Stilton her old rapier for her unofficial apprentice Zaus telling them to meet Therrin on the deck of the boat, hoping in their heart of hearts they would soon receive instruction with the blade. They would not have to wait long with the brisk morning wind to hit the two lite up by the golden sun rising over the crest of the sea. Therrin commands Zaus to come at her testing him for what skill the lad possesses knocking his blows away however close he comes to giving their teacher a bad hair day and with flourish disarms their student. "Zaus has an understanding of the Oxford Comma" - Arden "Oh boi, knife holes in all our vehicles" - Arden Bata sneaks out of bed during the night attempting to meditate without interruption inevitably distracted by their thoughts of Arden the first night. On the second night Bata has some success reaching out to the light of Coeurasa creating a ball of fire in their paws alarming the bear. Compared to their recent experience with Arden their fire was controlled and with a bit of concentration the druid attempts to dispel their magic about the same time Therrin screams having attempted to alter their biomass accidentally giving themselves hotdog fingers for about five minutes robbing them of sleep for the night. Discouraged, Bata returns to their shared hammock with Arden wrapping their boiled Kimchi fingers around Arden allowing the smell to enter their previously pleasant dreams. Bata fibs to Arden about what occurred upstairs, is caught, comes clean on his antics including their attempt to put out the fire by putting their paws in pickled kimchi. Looking their partner over they identify the magic at play and intend to walk Bata through the process to properly dispel magic later on. Zaus quickly emerges from the deck with a burned moth in their arms further bringing guilt upon Bata all the while telling the moth they would take care of the lil moth friend. With a turbulent spirit bata heals the moth of its wounds and it rests soundly with Zaus. Caruso, a hairfolk with tawny cinnamon colored fur with white markings on their muzzle with garnet shaded eyes wearing a black traveler's cloak over a respectable vest with broach and tie rests at their favorite café in town sipping tea. The were having such a wonderful day until their eyes set onto a vessel driving hard and fast into the harbor circled by a young pale moth signaling to them that their mark had arrived. The sight of the great Captain Curmuzz confirmed the status and they got themselves down to the docks to approach the group that would surly emerge from the ship. Getting off the boat comes with the game of naming the vessel for its time in port, the party is petitioned to come up with something but after many suggestions for Gordon, Marcus, and Ronald the bewildered captain turns to anyone nearby for a better suggestion. Locating Caruso on the dock Captain Curmuzz calls to them for something useable putting together "Renaltha Bronbeard Edd of the Tuberlass" from what they could salvage. With an unceremonious plop of the plank begin leaving the ship before realizing they need a crane to get their cart off the boat instead opting to use a second plank for simplicity by Arden's recommendation. Caruso watches waiting to see what this spectacle was about to turn into, asking for help from everyone Sam pitches in along with Bata who unfortunately experiences a mighty case of unfortunate events as the wagon puts its full weight on the planks. The planks like toothpicks under to much weight snap sending the three, their wagon, and bugalüs diving directly into the bay. With a sign Arden slows the fall with some landing magic followed by bridge growing underneath the wagon crew as their feet hit the bridge's icy surface. About eight feet of steep bridge stand in their way and with one more great effort the wagon lurches forward knocking Bata into the harbor while taking Sam under the back wheel for the trip up the icy ramp the courier being freed once the carriage halts. Caruso helps Sam up apologetically, not having realized how bad the situation was going to become, especially if they did not have their mage. "Honestly, it's pretty par for the course right now" -Sam The hair welcomes the party to land creating suspicion in Sam that he might have ulterior motives or maybe a super fan or insurance salesman. After asking Sam where they came from realizes Bata and Zaus were in the water and grabs their rope tossing it out to the two providing them a route of escape. Sam informs the suspiciously welcoming hair they sailed from Atlas on an expedition while the stranger was partially distracted by their ropework. A fair amount of social sparring and entanglements later Caruso invites the group to their favorite café when they are available. Just as the stranger asking many questions is about to leave Bata invites the man to tell stories at the place they were about to stay even going as far as to offer their real name: Bata. And so, the "merry" lot headed to the bar to hear tales from the new stranger with guarded tongues.

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Ep 26: Shiny Objects and Smokey Planks

Published: Oct 8th, 2023

Following a loot divvy up party Therrin teaches Zau how to steer a ship, Sam plays a sorrowful tune, and Captain Curmuzz takes time out of their busy day to nap below deck where Arden and Bata take time to supportively dig deep within each other.

Arden the spell breaker Inspecting their bed chambers the party discovers gifts left from their friends in Roqueport at first creating concern particularly in Arden who watches for gifts from powerful "allies". Arden receives scrolls from Pattosh and a scholar's garb treated for ocean water with a fancy hat and ample cloak with hood. Sam sets eyes on their new courtier's outfit with a fancy bejeweled belt spelling out "TOUGH" on the backside of the belt. Bata acquires an entertainer's outfit devoid of a proper shirt missing the middle from shoulders down and emphasizes Bata's core much to their delight. Therrin gains a large poofy cold weather outfit made from the puff of a woolen silkie with thick pants and skirt treated for the sea. The party seems to interpret the outfits as reflective of Griff's opinion of each member of the party and frustrated Therrin shoves her own new outfit in a bag grumbling her thoughts. Breaking out the loot begins identifying each item to best share the objects to whom they will best serve a day or so after being on the water taking care of the boat. Bata told the bugalüs about their adventures in the spire, Therrin made sure to check up on Arden's preparations to identify the magic objects at least 3 times while Zaus watched Arden from the shadows the whole time. Sam might have been a mystery with how they feel about time on the open water. Notably Therrin acquires some potions that would enhance their claws for a time and a ring that could allow her to walk on water as opposed to sink, and their father's rapier enchanted to protect as much as it could sting. Arden gets himself a stary cloak that drags behind him, a ring that can counter magic taking note no one else might even know of spell craft or equivalent skill sets. Sam receives a ring that increases their reservoir of arcane power to cast additional spell per day as well as a magical gleaming silvery chainmail (a magnificent boost to their personal protection) and Zaus gets a magical buckler to protect them from danger. Bata comes into possession of a staff further connecting them with the land allowing them to call upon both plant life and bugalüs for aide even summoning bugalüs allies where they not present to attack their foes. Zaus pouts over Arden not giving them the ring that could enhance his climbing ability after the items are divvied up hoping that the effort would change Arden's mind. Announcing that Arden wanted to "try out some new things" with Bata everyone but Therrin gets up to leave the room herself concerned with naming her new rapier writing down every name that comes to mind. While Therrin is set to her task Arden suggests he and Bata enter a trance state to dive deep within themselves and connect with the world around them in a literal sense through energy. The captain advises the two practitioners of magic to remember their intent when casting and reaching out to the world; Therrin takes note of his absence from the helm prompting her to head upstairs. Sam and Therrin note Zaus has taken it upon himself to steer the ship having seen the opportunity to contribute in a way that they would be less likely to be scolded for while on the deck of the ship, and captains are cool. Therrin takes the opportunity to teach Zaus both to not mess around on the edge of the boat and how to steer a ship, the later part to their delight, and Therrin parents the young rat assuring them feeling awkward due to foolishness is justified and they should feel those feelings. Supporting one another in their meditations Bata gains a greater connection to the land and Arden starting a fire on the ship while Bata attempts to mitigate the damage burning themselves continuously in the process while they ask Arden to come out of the trance. A trace stream of smoke comes up from the stairs of the vessel from below where the party knows Bata, Arden, and the captain are all downstairs, the captain being asleep. Bata calls upon the ocean from earlier becoming an aggressive hand sprinkler putting out the fires with Sam descending below taking in the scene before them wondering how it all came to this. "Sprinkler Hands" - the Party (Out of Character) "Our relationship is a literal hot mess right now" - Arden (Out of Character) With the power of love Bata kisses Arden on the cheek to break his trance deciding afterwards that more tongue would triumph over a peck on the cheek just in time for Sam to step forward and slap Arden across the face ripping him out of his peaceful trance. Witnessing a steamy Sam and Bata as soon as his trance ends also noticing they had burned confused by the damage done by them during the trance. "Did I explode", - Arden "I only came down after I saw puffs of smoke from the window, but you were kinda, Bata was spraying you with water, and the fire was on the floor, you weren't exploding, but you were emitting fire" - Sam "That's amazing" - Arden "Bata looks pretty burned and that's amazing"? - Sam "It's hard to explain" - Arden "Okay... try not to burn our boat down in the middle of the ocean" - Sam "This is the experiment I was trying to do before but I'm not broken this time" - Arden Taking time to explain the magnitude of the discovery to Sam before running up to check on Bata who takes the time to heal themselves to hide the wounds to spare their boyfriend guilt. Sam heads up and slaps a healing spell on Bata seeing them in pain greatly helping their restoration process. "It doesn't hurt to cast magic anymore" - Arden

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Ep 25: Museum Heist and Making Waves

Published: Oct 4th, 2023

The party leaves their mark on Roqueport and one museum heist followed by a departure concert later hop on their escape vessel put together for them by Abigail Perch as promised. They discover that their diet will primarily consist of pickled and fermented foods and substances now identified as food, they set sail into the romantic sunset hope in their hearts and the cargo inspectors raging having just missed them at the docks.

Hurried along to the exit to the spire the party manages to make changes to the spire stone mural. Arden takes a piece of spire golem attempts to use the stone to put an end to the remaining unconscious Order Mage halted by Bata attempting to save their puppo from the weight of the action passing the buck to Olain. Arden not losing the opportunity to make a point, leaves the Order Magi with an ultimatum and their feelings fully expressed. "Oh gosh your Arden" - Order Mage "Death will not stop me" - Arden Therrin takes a look around for any remaining loot ensuring the party leaves with at least one adamantine bastard sword. "Ahh puppo got curves" - primordial voice The party debates turning in Arden's corpse for the bounty sparking much interest in Therrin's mind. They might be able to use Arden's frozen body to Pattosh to sweeten their deal for escape. "There is a bounty on my head, I think someone should benefit from my first death" - Arden "To walk with you is to walk with Meunice" - Order Magi Sam leaves an epitaph carved into the spire stone floor just before the party leaves: [Here they were freed from their born flesh Two souls moving unseen A miracle dear friends we kept Given new life into a world between Zaus & Arden] A final thought passes through the party's figurative collective consciousness and they all begin sacking the museum section of the spire on their way out grabbing such artifacts as: "Needle of Father Perch", "That Magic Stick from Bisemutum", and everything Zaus was able to stuff in their ever-growing loot sack. An aside Therrin did leave their spiked boots with Olain as a memento of their adventure together. Landing safety Arden suffers some playful ribbing by Griff, Bata and Sam land in a ring of their fans, and Therrin negotiates for the safety of the spire with Griff successfully by all appearances. The party is rewarded with an escape from Roqueport by way of Crestfang of the Crying Depths with Captain Current Muzzle or as the bars know him, Captain Curmuzz. The party approaches the impromptu concert Sam takes the opportunity to do good PR for the group, Arden in particular turning Arden into a martyr in the eyes of the public fighting back against the influence of the Order of Arcane Mages in Roqueport, and as they villainize the ruling nobility Griff approaches punching out citizens left and right to get access to the performers really selling the public on the mentality of the ruling class. Once Griff breaches the inner circumference of the concert Sam mentions that Griff was of great help and intending to take Arden's corpse Griff flexes like a body builder for the common folk. Quickly finishing up the concert the party depart the concert gathering up their cart and heads to their escape vessel at the docks. Therrin pushes Sam to talk to Captain Curmuzz the alligator captain of the Crestfang who seemed surprised they hadn't seen their old crew after the crew entered town to barhop and maybe hit up a bathhouse. The party negotiates for climbing gear after being offered a method of entering Bisemutum that sounded eerily priatey opting to be dropped off at Bellowport to approach the region respectfully.

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Ep 24: Recollection and Recognition

Published: Oct 2nd, 2023

Gathering what information they can from the spire through the Dragon’s Tear and Olain’s access to the spire network the party determines they need to head to Bisemutum for further information.

This chapter starts with Arden and Bata kissing with sparkles, Sam is laying down exhausted, Zaus is looting all that can be looted, Olain is asserting control as the spire's admin, and Therrin is looking over Roqueport through the transparent window. The spire has awoken disrupting gravity in Roqueport fragmenting buildings and sending structures built atop the spire into the sky towards Coeurasa. Gradually the citizens of Roqueport drift towards the ground with gravity relaxing the spire's operations shifting to regular course. Meeting their Sergal friend at the transparent wall Sam and Therrin lean on one another for support injured as they are and ponder over what they are seeing outside. Arden questions the Dragon's Tear connecting with the stone with greater ease than before meeting an ancient entity creating far more questions than they had answered. From what could be gleamed the spires should never have been deactivated, that civilization should have expanded far past the Cross, and that the spires are utilized to keep Coeurasa held fast in the sky among other uses. Arden discovers the Land of Bisemutum was intended by the creators of the spires as the Cradle of Life and that answers could be found there and that by the entity's analysis the ordinary person was in grave danger with how few spires remain active... the moon could fall. "Who are you again, I suppose I never got a name", Arden. "My dear boy focus on the things that matter most to you, you do not have the time to ask every question, and get every answer", Entity. The entity seemed comforted that Cryso the Spire Golem of the Swamps was doing well, one of their favorite children; they were unable to reach for information beyond the lockdown command. The party looks upon Arden concerned as their head continues to look upward eyes rolled into the back of their head, frothing at the mouth, and Bata approaches attempting to check Arden's health as they come to dispensing with their revelations. "This is astronomical, this is the fate of the planet", Arden Exasperated with Disbelief. Arden is completely dumbfounded that Bata knew some of what Arden only just discovered putting together that the legends of the world eating Coeurasa, that Okuma might be currently impersonated by an umbra, and the dozens of umbra in Atlas are currently on a mission titled "Seeking Coeurasa's Kiss" under orders from Mr. Moonsea. When prompted Olain informs the party they will be remaining at the Spire as the Steward of the Spire and enact its recovery, Arden suggests that Olain make a connection with the people of Roqueport once the spire is ready for that interaction. Sam confirms the song that Mr. Moonsea utilized and that they had heard it in two places prior was indeed a higher command function of the spires. Olain requests a copy of the song for their study, any errors in the song translating into bugs in their "programming". Olain promises to reach out if they reach a breakthrough and pushes the party to make a decision on what they will do next and make haste. Therrin recommends Olain reach out to Pattosh when they are ready to speak to Roqueport and that they see Olain as a part of their chosen family. Bata reveals that their pilgrimage was based on a falsehood, that their whisper stone had bade them do so, and it had instead been silent to them. Before leaving the party make sure to gather up their belongings from the ice and Sam receives a hug and kiss on the forehead from Olain (which Bata takes note of with glee).

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Ep 23: Welcome to the Family

Published: Sep 30th, 2023

In pushing against Mr. Moonsea Ardena, Zaus, and Sam discover a method of saving the rat and puppo recently iced over a chamber before. In much need of rest, a couple reunions, and the shock of witnessing a spire reawaken the group sits breathing before tackling what they will do now that the Tear has been returned.

Bata, raging like they had never before sending cracks through the constructs between them and the dragon while Arden battles with Mr. Moonsea trading barbs as they grasp for control over the spire spawn. "I can still piss off the boss and save my child too", Arden. Sam and Therrin survey the battlefield looking for key enemies and objects throughout asking Olain what they should do next before running forward and breaking into song to invigorate their bruised fellows. Moonsea sets to biting at Arden and Zaus's spirits draining away their force of personality, all that makes they two them. Roaring out into the chamber the primal dragon instills fear in Therrin and Bata moves in closer taking a hefty blow to the draconic mass. "I will attempt to ride the zipline to danger town", Arden. Manipulating their spectral body Moonsea fires their tongue like a tree frog onto Arden's leg pulling the adventurer in despite their efforts to escape. Olain exits the chamber as Therrin does joining in their expletives having also fallen to the aura of fear the primal dragon gives off. Sam hears a familiar song, they recall back from the riverboat so long ago, and they ponder on it. Therin attempts to re-enter the dragon's chamber finding themselves to shaken to breach the threshold and in turning away see their moth's body had disintegrated away while the party had been focused elsewhere. Sam counters Mr. Moonsea's song of the spire with their own taking control of the inky mass and what it could become with some guidance. Dragging themselves grabbing onto open air as if it possessed mass Mr. Moonsea bites at Arden tearing more of the Puppo's sense of self. Bata throws their might against the dragon unexpectedly sending the same vibrations through Sam's vocal cords surprising the courier though he manages to just hold onto his place in the song despite stumbling. "Enjoy the music", Arden shouts down to Moonsea as Arden and Zaus successfully escape into the forming primal dragon also sounding out what they told Moonsea. Bata looking up to hear the dragon's first words, angry and confused Bata sees Arden's face pop out of the dragon's head. Therrin jets back into the chamber as soon as she pushes the fear off also realizing they might drop as soon as their body exerts itself a hair further driving their blade into dragon Arden collapsing with a tinge of regret as Arden speaks back critiquing her actions. Sam leans into the sense that they are the composer facilitating the transfer of control over the inky mass to Arden and Zaus while Moonsea claws their way into the dragon attempting to reassert control. Musical notes and banners of streaming code glitch and warp in open space as control over the primal dragon is contested. Bata rushes to the nearest crystal pillar wrought with angy emotions but unable to bring themselves to hurt something that looks like Arden. Zaus attempts to be a hero with a drop kick to Mr. Moonsea driving the umbra to the edge of the ethereal space encouraged by Sam's tune. Olain rushes in and using their body to sow Therrin together keeps her from bleeding out onto the spire stone floor. Bata continues to desire to pound their hammer into the ground feeling their energy failing them they instead bottle their rage and drink their final potion of restorative juices. With Mr. Moonsea distracted by Zaus taking to whipping the elder umbra's final lifeline to the dragon like they were a bug on a carpet and in that moment, Arden uses what remains of their will to send Moonsea careening into the great beyond. Elated that Moonsea was dealt with for the moment Sam stabilizes the inky black body guiding the spire to shape the body and Olain notes that the mass is what they are made of. Placing the Dragon's Tear back into its receptacle and Bata comes out of their layers of rage now needing to come to grips with the Cronenberg dragon possessing both Zaus's and Arden's faces. "Network Lockdown", echoes through the chamber beckoned by Olain's silent command. Arden uses the experience of sectioning off Moonsea to carve out a section of the mass for Zaus to possess independently with Sam's music providing stabilization under great strain to his vocal cords. Arden guides Zaus into creating their own new body, taller and more muscular than before, perhaps based on how they saw themselves or if they had more nutrition earlier perhaps. Shifting to a soft soothing lullaby Sam's vocal cords thank them with the stress of the song now focused on one rather than two facilitating Arden's reincarnation. Arden attempts removing the scars from their former life and improve his eyesight correcting his vision; their scars are physically removed but the scars still exist in their spiritual self and their vision greatly improves beyond five feet (where they without their spectacles as it had been before). Olain sweeps up the puppo magi and Zaus in their arms happy they both had eventually survived the encounter with Mr. Moonsea and Donique Perch. Arden encourages them to discover themselves, that following the return of the Dragon's Tear they did not evaporate, and they get to assert themselves as a person now. Sam lays down next to Therrin and with a soft tune instills them with vitality awakening them from their unconscious state just in time to witness the spire awaken firing a beam of transparent energy towards Coeurasa. Moonsea is dubbed Munsei accidentally and remembered as a way to aggravate the villain. "I suppose I was wrong Sam, I could come back", Arden. Olain reveals that Arden and Zaus are now among the Umbra operating in the cross being tracked by the spire networks a real welcome to the family from Olain with all the associated baggage that comes with it. A second burst of force emits from the spire sending structures atop the spire skyward, sundered by the sudden change in gravity, and the people of Roqueport floating along all around while the Spire regained its full functionality. "I've never been dead before", observes Therrin.

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Ep 22: Arden on Ice

Published: Sep 26th, 2023

Arden’s special skill is to encourage rage and then have it directed at them… even in death.

The beaten down party in states of neigh death and chuckle at the idea of a lingering threat beyond the large door before them. Sam grapples with the 5 stages of grief, delusion, and content with their stockpile of healing potions - with a renewed energy in their breast their time has come.

Upon entering the final chamber the party is greeted by scrolling text made of light and a black mass bubbling within a great well. The muck takes on the shape of an ancient feral dragon, something that Moonsea could control from afar, something that could wipe out Arden's friends. Golems likely recently spawned from the spire stone walls march forward at Moonsea's direction. Spectral Zaus charges the dragon getting caught in and absorbed into the inky mass. Additional constructs join the fray: warriors and mages by their carved appearances. Arden confronts Moonsea through the umbra's connection to the goopy mass. Bata ponders using his rage and a rage enhancing beverage to square their rage. Old order mage Mc Jenkins possesses a warrior construct and swings their mighty great sword like they had never before missing their targets. The constructs charge and Therrin catches a critical hit by blade end and the crystalline mages emit lighting and ice from their palms and staffs disrupting party formation and strategy. A race against the clock as the constructs get in the way of the party advancement as they look to restore the dragon's tear to its resting place below the inky blob. With a big gulp Bata entered a state of rage, the bearbarian strolls over and with a mighty swing of his magical hammer bonks a warrior construct sending crack streaming throughout its body. In confronting Moonsea Arden charges its spirit and Mr. Moonsea's stomach opens into a gapping sea of teeth and Arden dives in falling deeper the puppo see two souls. Moonsea slapping about Zaus dismissively while the umbra seemiongly focuses on more pressing matters, Arden addresses Moonsea with a fury, and sends Zaus words of encouragement. Striking at break-points Therrin and Sam set to work breaking through the constructs as they advance sending shards of crystal flying all about. Jenkins swings wildly like a spinning top find purchase in an opponent breaking another construct in half. The mages send more lightning towards Therrin, Sam, and Olain to greater effect than before releasing a blast of force Bata's way rustling his matted fur. With their blunt force weapons Olain and Bata break their opponents into bits while Therrin and Sam follow suit with the simple strategy of hitting them harder than before. Arden pushes through force of will to throw Moonsea out of their connection to the inky mass but is overwhelmed as the umbra prepares to swallow both Zaus and Arden. Indignant Arden threatens the elder umbra provoking laughter from Mr. Moonsea. With the tempo of Sam's song the party resists the dragons imposing roar steeling their hearts against a primal fear awakening in their chests. Bata pushes forward empowered by rage and rage water smashing through statue one by one. Arden continues to throw a monkey wrench into the gears of progress Moonsea has set into motion. As a statue halts Bata's hammer with its paws Therrin slides in stabbing at the creature's armpit finding a critical point shattering the enemy across the floor. Encouraged Sam plunges their spear into the statue before them despite low rolls they get their licks in, as does Olain all three to the sounds of shattered crystal. As the dragon takes its form fully the remaining statues take up a defensive wall around the emergent threat.

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Ep 21: Still Hearts

Published: Sep 24th, 2023

Combat comes to a close and the party stock of their dire situation. Arden and Bata have a moment to say what could be goodbye and Sam makes busy grabbing all the shiny loot.

Therrin, having observed her mother melting into the wall of the spire and leaving behind a lookalike ponders. Bata also takes stock of Zaus and Arden frozen in place and Sam breathing peacefully on the spire stone floor. Olain promises to help Therrin use the spire to locate her mother if they can get the dragon's tear back into its proper place combat now having resolved for the moment. Arden feeling their time may be up attempts to speak to the party through bata's whisper stone drawing the bear to Arden's frozen body. Beaten, tired, and somber Bata kneels attempting to reach out to Arden feeling the puppo's spectral touch on the bear's cheek. Touching the whisper stone Arden materializes in a shifting ghastly silhouette of their former self for bata's eyes only. The two exchange what could be their final words together, bearing their souls to one another. Sam alerts Therrin to their back glowing after she helps Sam up and she finds the tear brilliantly emitting sickly joyous light. Within they can see dancing bodies multiplying as they dance, bringing the chant from before to Therrin's mind. Olain anxiously encourages their friends to hurry up anxiety seeping into their mind as the silhouettes continue too multiple. Bata mourns for Arden and that their connection to their whisper stone being made by their favorite puppo departing them for the great beyond. Bata had been searching for the connection for so long and being made like this, in this place, with Arden leaving him almost crushed him entirely. "I wanted us to be a family together, even Therrin" - Arden Meanwhile Sam rounds up what loot they could find, discovering many potions and oils mostly labeled as if to ease Olain's anxiousness giving the delay purpose beyond mournful goodbyes. Bata gets a request to get close to Therrin and upon touching her Arden appears to her confusing her entirely. While they get caught up Sam tries to thaw out Arden'd pupcicle body not realizing Arden is no longer alive. Rushing over Bata gets Arden to talk to Sam whom quickly becomes bewildered and determined like Therrin, to save their friend. Arden pushes the malevolent presence from the tear with a great exertion of their will. The presence focuses its efforts in the next chamber, a gathering storm on the party's horizon. "Ehhyy, Therrin, you're sparkling" - Sam to Therrin "Well your frozen in a block of ice so let someone else try for a change" - Sam to Ghostly Arden over saving their life

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Ep 20: Hollowed Halls

Published: Sep 22nd, 2023

The party battles Dominque and her allies from the Order of Magi and Knights of Atlas ultimately defeating the industry magnate at the pinnacle of the spire just before what could be the control center. The uneasy moment of peace comes with a bitter cost as the party is not yet sure if Zaus or Arden survived the frozen magics of the Order Magi.

Olain and Zaus take up the front as the Knights of Atlas approach and a toxic cloud materializes threatening the duo as the gas moves in. An Order mage transports themselves across the field taking up position beyond the dispelling and ice walls respectively to get a good position surveying the party. Arden sees an opportunity then drawing near to his own dispelling screen eyeing the discerning teleporting mage having taken to leering over the party with their glowing magical paws. Sam rushes the mage holding onto their illusion of Arden, the order mage dodges away from the bard to safety. Olain takes a circumstantial 69 damage and Therrin feels their connection to their goopy friend disrupted by the knight's weapons. Arden engages the Order mage of glowing paws in the vigorous spell battle severely draining the mage of their magic prompting the magi to hurl a burst of life chilling cold catching the party fugitively flat-footed creating both a pup and ratcicle pushing their souls from their bodies. In their spectral selves Arden and Zaus feel the pull of the dragon's tear holding them here in the spire and circumstantially the afterlife. Therrin propped up against a wall between clean air and the doom cloud eyes Zaus and rushes to attempt to scoop up the frozen rat-kin but is unable to separate him from the floor. Running further from Zaus to the entry way Therrin threatens to smash the Dragon's Tear if Donique does not stop prompting a harsh empathic blast of feedback from Olain that they would not under any circumstance harm the Tear deflating Therrin's resolve. Zaus charges through the dispelling wall announcing their discovery to Arden who is matter of factly confirming what he sees as an obvious result ultimately encouraging (if unintentionally) Zaus to continue their experiments. The mage with the scary magic paws point-blanks Sam and Bata with a burst of hot fire disappointed the two have survived thus far. Bata rages and swings on the mage with all his fury nearly punting the mage with his mighty hammer, bonking the mage into unconsciousness. Arden charges into a knight with their ghost body attempting to possess the person discovering the "knight" was a spirit piloting the suit of armor now controlled by Arden. "This isn't what I expected" - Arden after gaining control of a knight with their spirit. Given the chance Arden sets themself to damaging the knight's armor creating a buildup strain that could break the construct. The loose spirit zooms itself in Zaus's direction. Therrin scales the wall of the room hurling themselves over the ice wall towards their mother and near Olain standing before a second mage (this one conscious). Observing Arden's frozen body Sam has difficulty ascertaining Arden's living status and Olain puts the remaining mage to bed (knocks them out). Zaus whom is now floating attempts to tumble around the knightly spirit who kicks and slaps at them catching Zaus in between their movements. A final magus throws up a wall of ice at the entrance while the doom cloud crawls over Zaus's frozen body, fortunately protected by the encapsulating ice. Doninique, keeping a good eye on Therrin through the ice wall, continues to drink potions as they prepare for their servants to fall. Bata confronts the final knight and throws all their strength into their wrathful swings denting the armored knight. When Bata hits the knight their whisper stone feels as though the malicious presence from earlier is within the spire and near. Arden continues to keep the original suit pilot spirit out buoying the spirit back and forth between Arden and Zaus. Therrin approaches the knight Arden has possessed and assists Arden by attacking the construct and Arden warns Therrin to move away as the suit grows much closer to overloading. Zaus zooms away from the mage while the Order Mage is back stabbed by Dominque, no sooner than the mage hits the floor does Dominque run their cape over the mage transmuting his body into naught but dust. Sam drops after the remaining knight catches him unprepared and bata stands over him batting away the knight and protecting Sam while their rage continues. Arden now ready to self-destruct charges towards the other knight and encourages the spirit of the betrayed magi to fight Therrin's mom. Therrin meanwhile loots the downed opponents for shiny loot gaining a magical ring in the process. Olain punches at the wall currently separating the party from Dominque with exaggerated swings surprising the older Sergal looking into a window of her younger self through the ice, a younger her next to Therrin shattering through the barrier one inch of ice with each powerful swing of their arms. Zaus encourages the betrayed mage to follow them through the door Dominique closed earlier, announcing there is a lot of stuff in there. With the threat of the doom cloud nearing Sam's unconscious Bata takes a swig of a potion, tries to let the knight know the party was here to return the tear which the knight is directly attempting to prevent unbeknownst to bata. Arden uses the nearly exploding body to drag Sam into the dispelling screen saving their friend as the cloud billows away repelled by the magic eating wall. Therrin assists Olain by striking the ice wall in key points with her rapier causing fractures and cracks in the ice making the wall easier for Olain to plow through. The knight informs Bata the return of the Tear was never intended to succeed as they strike at Bata who on their knees down to a single point of vitality in a display to convince the construct to side with them realizes that they are not dealing with a friend and casts a spell entangling roots spell to ensnare the hostile knight. Bata scampers towards Zaus's body. With a final request given Arden asks Bata to take care of Sam and the mage self-destructs causing the other construct to explode wiping out some of the doom cloud with their arcane fire. Therrin pleads with her mother to stop the fight; she only wants to undo her mistake followed by Olain demanding the ice wall be dropped. Donique exclaims that she had been defeated by her daughter as a downed mage takes on her appearance and the party observes a moment of uneasy peace. "So you heal magically but have no medical skill and cast spells but have no magical knowledge" - Arden's musings about Sam

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Ep 19: Without Your Poison

Published: Sep 20th, 2023

Olain guides their friends through the spire connecting with the Dragon’s Tear to fill in the information they lack and through that connection an elder umbra strikes at Olain and Therrin through their mutual connection. Surrounded by their chosen family, their friends set to work breaking the connection and they proceed deeper in pondering on the visions they saw and talk their way past the guards stationed inside until Perch stands in their way once more.

Realizing the spire had been harvested for industry drove a fury in Bata's heart learning why they were able to enter the spire at such an uncustomary point. Griff pushes the cart out of the carved-out spire sending it careening into the Roqueport Dump, wishing the party well, and leapt from the great height of the spire to the city below leaving them to their quest. Olain absorbs the Dragon's Tear dulling their sense of self and guides the party through the carved-out pathways of the spire utilizing their connection to the tear to fill in the information they lack. Olain seems to have trouble remembering the faces of their companions initially after beginning their direct connection to the tear. Sam keeps a grasp on Zaus while they travel to ensure the rogue does not stray far from the group. Bata gets to see the extent of the excavation, thousands of greedy irregular cuts, and the echoes of their passing mixing with the sounds of the city bouncing off the hallowed cavern walls. Therrin becomes aware of a sinister presence entering Olain's mind through their empathic connection. Small azure shaded spectral figures appear dancing singing "The Moon Will See" centered on Therrin - no one else seems to notice their presence. The longer they dance the more solid they seem to become to Therrin and song building in presence over senses until they felt as though they could take Therrin's mind the way their mother attempted earlier through the enchanted dagger. With determination Therrin rallies the party to remove the dragon's tear from Olain to break the connection that this sinister presence has over their friend. Feeling responsible for Olain's adventure into personhood Arden tries to draw them back to themself, to recenter on whom they are while the sinister presence takes hold. As this happens Bata's whisper stone resonates creating a similar dancing blue figure with the same song and dance Therrin saw earlier. They break the connection by cutting the stone out of Olain diminishing the Umbra to a puddle on the ground and an amused cackle echoes from the tear into the chamber quieting as the influence fades. Olain comes to reforming and confirms the presence was an elder umbra and that the party is near their destination. Utilizing Olain's current appearance of Dominque Perch nobel of Roqueport the party attempts to get by a group of trained elite Roqueport Guards rather successfully with a short back and forth afterwards between the guards and Arden going something like: Guards: "You look familiar, are you a famous wizard?" - to Mr. Renshaw Arden: "I will be a more famous wizard if you do not so as you are told." Guards: "Yes SIR!" As the party approaches the inner chambers, they meet two order magi marked for the same order branch as Meunice and a few heavily armed guards adorned with obviously magical equipment, likely making them Knights of Atlas. Confronted with her mother, Therrin and Olain freeze taking a moment to speak to the elder Perch before the guards are ordered to seize the intruders. Sam opts to encourage his allies with a rock inspired power ballade giving them additional strength as they battle Domique Perch at the peak of the Roqueport Spire. The party makes quick work of the entry level guards now realizing they had been tricked, the Order mages prep their defensive magics and the Knights of Atlas take up position controlling the party's options for mobility warping the battlefield with walls of ice and fields of magical energy flowing through the chamber semi visible auroras with unknown qualities to contend with. Therrin and Olain square up together working like a well-oiled machine bonking down what entry level guards linger before sending them down the stairs with their friends, a package deal. Sam takes cover and makes a convincing illusionary copy of Arden giving their opponents more than one target to focus on and so the battle then truly began.

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Ep 18: Maximum Stealth

Published: Sep 18th, 2023

With all the caution and stealth they can muster the party heads to the Crown of Roqueport with Griff aiding them through the gates before depositing them “safely” within the underbelly of the port’s spire.

Arden fights the weight of the conscious and the might of bed gravity with Bata's council getting ready for the day unaware of the imminent mission at hand. The party reconvenes laying out their next steps in the limited time they have left beginning to come to terms with the danger of Roqueport, the dueling families, and especially being under the direct gaze of Dominque Perch. Life is a precious thing, fragile, and beautiful. Pattosh greets the party with gifts for Arden all of which raise the wanted mage's concerns as well intentioned as they might be coming from a fellow rogue mage. The gifts being scrolls of magic for Arden to learn and use, Pattosh being far more hospitable than their sibling offers the party information before the mission begins. Utilizing a hunting caravan, the party loads up to get past the guardian Crown of Roqueport. After considering hiding under the hunter's quarry, they are assured they can simply hide within the caravan and need not utilize the product as camouflage much to their relief. Arden uses this travel time to prepare their spells shortly after claiming a wall mounted workstation in the caravan, Sam catches and retrieves Zaus from the bottom of the wagon, and Therrin paces about the taking in their surroundings ponderous. No longer in the thick of combat, naps, and riveting conversation Therrin and Bata really feel the soreness of their bones and muscles drive at their thoughts. When inspections occur at the gates despite the best efforts of the caravan and the driver breaks for it ramming their cart through the checkpoint. With a lift from Pattosh the cart magically gains flight just before it would have gone careening over the edge of city streets guided by Griff to a mined-out entrance on the underbelly of the spire.

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Ep 17: Introspection and Interrogation

Published: Sep 16th, 2023

Inside their premium studio apartment the party rests, bakes cakes, and cleans themselves up getting ready to interrogate Abigal once Griff sends for them.

The party discovers their premium studio apartment is a solid stone structure with no way out, a few couches, a bed, and a small medievalish kitchenet. A chance emerged to escape when Zaus reported back on Griff's activities but was unaware that the door locks itself upon closing and lacks any pins, keyholes, and or other mechanisms for tinkering they could locate. Bata holds Arden as they take stock of their injuries and comforts their partner, Sam sings their friends to a deep-deep sleep through a magical lullaby. Strange dreams come over those who fall into deep sleep, dreams most disturbing, and a bond between Bata and Therrin is tested in that headspace. The great towel rationing begins as Bata makes use of the cloth for their personal hygiene washing up at the deep kitchen sink and wrap a towel about themselves reasoning you do not cook while indecent -- Bata's rule. Olain joins Bata and they make do creaming the available butter, sugar, eggs, and flour; with the power of the wee oven, they make pound cakes for the party. Bata, a dutiful night guard can later be found slumped over in the corner covered in cake - crumbs and chunks. Sam cleans off the group's equipment from residues left over after the bath and concerts while the rest are preoccupied. Olain consumes whole cakes for breakfast, Arden awakens in and strange place, and pushes Bata away. Arden is broken over the conflict at the bathhouse, is consoled by Bata and Zaus. Olain compares the layers of deceit within the city down to its individual members, the feeling is dense... like the cakes. Nightmare monster with an affinity for baking. Therrin negotiations an escape from the most dubious of sources relying on each Roqueport denizen to look out for themselves to a fault.

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Ep 16: Cover Ups Into Public March

Published: Sep 14th, 2023

Relieved of danger at the bathhouse the party makes their way under Griff’s supervision to safer holdings, Bata carries a sleeping Arden through the streets of the Stire’s Grace tightly protected in their arms. Zaus makes off with a compliment of scented soaps, Sam retrieves a bracelet, a loop of sorrow, and Therrin let’s her captured sister know how she really feels about her.

While Griff prepares to escorted the party to safety Bata assesses the situation all choked up while the party gathers their things happy to be escorted to safer holdings. After heated words over where it is best to search Abigail for the dragon's tear Therrin had discovered disappeared earlier, Sam grabs his favored bracelet, and Zaus helps themself to the trashed bathhouse's "complementary" soap supply. The whereabouts of the tear left ambiguous having been given unreliable information from Abigail after Therrin's interrogation under threat of being searched in public. Arden suffers a collapse with the stress of their bathhouse experience, the old man makes friends with their bugalüs opponent, and with a great burst of fire the bathhouse goes up in flames. After the party makes it to their chambers at Griff's mansion and are allowed to settle in before the interrogation they overhear something most interesting and ponder their next move.

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Ep 15: Battle of the Bubbles Conclusion

Published: Sep 10th, 2023

The Battle of the Bubbles reaches its climax while Therrin stands strong, holding back waves of pirates as Sam calls upon their fans for aid, and Arden makes the best of the situation. For the rest of the party sudden sleep, dreams, and aches taken them for a time.

The party asks questions they decide they do not want the answers to upon further consideration. Then springing on the chance to rescue Zaus from immediate peril while receiving continued assistance from a powerful swat happy wizard combating a steam variety bugalüs at the bathhouse inn. Olain ponders whom they are as opposed to what they are while they lose consciousness as the battle of the bubbles reaches its climax. One by one the party takes a knee under the nefarious methods of the Roque Port Pirates and for a moment Abigale takes control before the situation goes belly up. Therrin discoveries new depths of rage for her family and digs deep to put the pirate menace to rest alongside her friends as they fade in and out of consciousness. As the situation continues to deteriorate Sam calls upon his fans and they do not disappoint. While there was indeed a great deal of attention from the public during this stealthy trip to the bathhouse the severity that comes with some benefits demanding Griff's personal touch after a time arriving with an accompaniment of guards to break up the mess.

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Ep 14: Battle of the Bubbles Continues

Published: Sep 8th, 2023

Bata takes on the abilities of a ping pong ball in space, Sam unleashes their fans on a looming pirate threat, both Therrin and Arden meet up with their favorite Perch Sister, and Zaus gathers the party’s things as they attempt their daring escape.

The powers of Sam's ancient spear breaks through the thin wall between their bath and the back of the front desk office where their belongings were stored. The wall shattered as if struck by a sonic boom knocking the thin stone of the wall into the meticulous stacks of their host's coins. As the party moves to gather their things for a quick escape they are headed off by Abigale's pirates. Arden makes good on his offer to embarrass Therin's sister. Sam utilizes their fame to weaponize their fans against the pirates as much as they try to get in the way or throw obstacles in front of the party's escape. Arden uses their mighty magic to take on the body of a humanoid lizard attempting to intimidate Abigail. Bata considers that the sheer quantity of pirates could mean the end of their adventure... and Arden could create a messy situation under that stress.

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Ep 13: Bubbles ‘n Butt Bathhouse Adventure

Published: Sep 6th, 2023

The party makes their way to a local bathhouse and meets faces new and old. Sam and Bata entertain their fans with a meet and greet at the bath drawing local interest while their friends attempt to avoid notoriety.

Bata ponders on the successes and numerous difficulties the party has faced thus far in executing their plans. That despite those challenges they were going to meet Grif and before that they were going to have a refreshing dip at the bath down the road. Seems within the "Spire's Grace" facilities like public baths are made communal to maximize the amount of usable space for industry and minimize necessary space for inexpensive housing. In an effort to keep Therrin and Olain in eye shot they disguise the two and haul them off to the Roqueport Bubbles and Butts Bathhouse. The locals gather around Sam and Bata as the party makes its way to the Bubbles and Butts Bathhouse offering compliments, attention, and at times mildly concerning comments. Sam detects an opportunity to charge for their autographs while bata freely gives to their fans. Arden jets ahead of the party in pursuit of a warm relaxing bath. The party discovers that the Bathhouse has a quest for adventurers within their membership (search for proprietor's daughter -- a missing iguana kin). Frankin the feral rodent, Arden's familiar, guards the party's possessions while they freshen up deeper in the bathhouse. Sam manages to get their spear into the baths and manages to set up a meet and greet for their fans to which the proprietor is extensively thrilled. Olain attaches to the bottom of the bath for warmth as the party gradually relaxes their concentration causing Therin's purple squirrely disguise to evaporate over time. From that disguise of a violet squirrel comes the Bloody Baroness Therrin Perch, whose infamy is best kept to the inner bathhouse away from public scrutiny oh what a time for a meet and greet. The battle of the bubbles begins when Abigale makes her début at the bath with her myriad pirate crews addressing the party ill equipped for a sudden brawl.

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Ep 12: The Show Must Go On

Published: Sep 4th, 2023

The designation of fur-troubled fuzzy is transferred from Therrin to Bata with the power of song and party favors as the concert reaches its peak and the group finds rest. They also find themselves in desperate need of a trip to the local bathhouse discovering that life under the spire employs many of these such public services to save on space.

The party sends off the out of sorts guard and Zaus is informed they are to stay far away from the rowdy pirates --- especially to not emulate the crowd, especially the pirates! Plans are made to visit a nearby bathhouse as the party has gone months without a bath; Therrin with her shirt of self-cleaning is by far the least self-conscious of the bunch. Therrin rests well with her XL purse, Bata's monies, and a loose ten gold coins all resting with her in bed. Bata experiences a Roqueport tradition of rubber pants being filled with beer and ale, Therrin explains it is to emphasize excess. Not much longer and both Bata and Sam reach the end of their rope getting help back up to the room evading the pirates having thoroughly distracted them earlier. Upon awakening Bata takes on the role of fur-troubled party member, reliving Therrin from her season 1 designation. Sam becomes one with the Bell Bottom Patchwork Pants. Therrin begins reading through a sack of fan mail judging the writing capability of the authors and notes the different ship names used in the works. Battam and Sata for instance seem to be the best of the bunch and much to her delight Therrin continues to find new fan-made stories in the bag.

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Ep 11: Bustle ‘n Ballade at the Bar

Published: Aug 30th, 2023

Sam without planning begins their rock star career dragging their friends from sleep to glory. Pirates and the law-abiding public can’t help but encourage one another in the experience; the ever-growing crowd draws in the city guard – is the party in trouble?

We discover Sam grooms their chest fluff in the morning, which pays off as their modest performance shifts into a power ballade, and an impromptu rock concert begins drawing in a growing crowd. Aided by the billowing smoke, minor magical effects, Bata's good spirits, and a roaring crowd of pirates. Drawing in even the city guard Sam continues the show aided by their friends who keep the guard off their back throughout the performance. The guard thoroughly questions Bata looking for Sam's manager, there could be permits for these sorts of things after all. Arden is accused of suspected theft of Order property and Therrin puts a problem to bed.

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Ep 10: Smokey Secrets

Published: Aug 28th, 2023

Sam gathers information, Therrin disguises themselves from the public eye, Olain and Bata get into trouble, and Arden takes their natural charisma forward to inspire their fellow fuzzies and non-fuzzies alike.

The party start off the session by rolling initiative, this time the differences in their results were rather stark. Sam gets to work on gathering information quickly discovering the recent sea quelling following Dominque Perch having taken her fleet to sea protecting the Roqueport side of the Carbon Sea. While the city is currently ready for danger it requires a constant influx of goods and supplies or the city would grind to a halt. Bata graces Arden with their whimsical appreciation of magic and Therrin takes a chance with the magical hat of disguise to change their appearance. Bata gets themselves and Olain into some trouble at the inn, Therrin gets sacked, meanwhile Arden is distracted in pursuit of furthering their coaching career. A former suitor of Therrin's appears from a cloak of billowing smoke by the name of Rupert, whom confronts a fearful Bata and they find a way to escape their cell together. What could this mean going forward, is there truly a smoke machine, and will Arden rescue Sam from the robbers?

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Ep 9: Fresh Off The Boat

Published: Aug 26th, 2023

Master of espionage as they are the party makes no waste in their haste.

Bowties are decided to be fancy, regular or clip on, an important discussion between Bata and Sam while their sleep over in the depths of the ship begins. Arden watches over Bata and Sam while the rest of the party sleep in Zaus's cabin, all members somewhat concerned if they might find themselves attacked in their sleep. They learn the ship's motto, "a living employee is a working employee", and take in the unsettling but true nature of the statement. Shortly followed by Therrin's novel advice, "the early worm gets the cut purse", or something about that. Upon landing in Roqueport, not moments from leaving the Shrieking Mary, the party cannot help but make a stir. Bata receives a prophecy where they may tango with the midnight robbers. Following a riveting conversation with the house Empinar guards the party gets a room, premium with a in room lock and no windows for safety. Arden theorizes about the most popular names on the Cross: Gordon, Ronald, and the new addition of Danny. "Danny Big Boy" incidentally is a mouse guard for Empinar with a personality taller than his glaive and just as mighty.

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Ep 8: Let Them Eat Cake

Published: Aug 14th, 2023

A promise of birthday cake, a new friend, and the infamous Chef Gordon strikes again. All this while the party realizes they may soon encounter a welcome party upon arrival and Zaus returns some of the things they “found” while aboard.

Sam checks in on Zaus to make sure they made good on the courier's request to put back the fancy finery they had liberally removed from the kitchen. Arden makes a brief connection through their mortal experience to the Umbra, and takes a stab at being a motivational speaker. Bata becomes a rather confused and judgmental bear when presented Therrin's then temporary companion ultimately shrugging ang turning a blind eye to Therrin's life choices. The party meets a new friend by the name Olain and gives them advice on their life trajectory. A day before the ship lands the party realizes that extracting the cart and their belongings might be difficult if there were to be a welcome party, they might benefit from contingencies, and debate over the best course of action. Zaus locates a cake made by Chef Gordon from the secret wine cellar interrupting the meeting and the party considers the risk of poison for a time... Arden promises the party a cake in the future, a cake even bigger than Arden, a birthday cake, and Bata acquires a middle name!

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Ep 7: Land Ahoy

Published: Aug 12th, 2023

Therrin becomes one with the Umbra, Arden locates the crew at large, and all parties offer each other a degree of discretion once they make dock.

Therrin experiences their body becomes one with the Umbra, their physiology might be forever changed, and their experiences leave an impression upon their Umbral companion. A feeling of connection grows between Therrin and the Umbra, a empathetic connection, and a juxtaposition between their two lives. When they are done, Sam comforts Therrin and checks their friend after the communion process. Therrin confirms their scientificness, Zaus acquires finery, and Arden closes their door in frustration. The party may not be the best at using aliases much to Arden's chagrin. A harrowing search later Arden locates the captain and comes to an arrangement for discretion between the party and the potions operation below deck.

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Ep 6: Guideless and Lost

Published: Aug 10th, 2023

Adapting to the challenges ahead as best they can the party plans ahead over Bata Cakes and Therrin begins to grow closer to their Umbral ally.

Following the interviews Arden had with the party and a growing concern that the Umbra and Zaus are rarely in sight. Bata has creaky door dreams that keep them sleeping with the bugalüs. The party gives their best effort with one of their greatest fears, swimming successfully out of danger. Sam appraises their cabin furniture for abnormal usage, especially their desk and twin bed. Content as they can be with their cabin they theorize if the boat had wheels on it could it then ride rails. The party works out their plans for infiltrating Roqueport over Bata Cakes. They take into account that the town celebrates the exile of the Courier's guild, and thus Sam might be best served by presenting as an ordinary visitor. They agree that more information is required to make a concrete plan though they do have different options to reach the spire and place the tear. The party may need new clothes given Sam's identity as a Courier, Bata is not dressed for city life, Therrin is Therrin, and Arden looks like a sailor. The conversation shifts to escaping jail cells and gallows in a worst-case scenario. Shortly after planning focuses on the dire situations, Therrin leaves the party for a stroll encountering the Umbra in all its eldritch glory atop the deck.

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Ep 5: Interviews with Friendly Floofs

Published: Aug 8th, 2023

Arden takes time to connect with their party members as friends and has some frank conversations they were not expecting. The interviews and their takeaways occured in the following order:

Bata’s Turn: Shoeing Zaus from his cabin Arden prepares themself for some quality time with their beloved Bata, time aboard the ship to have a heart to heart.

Therrin’s Turn: Arden invites their dear friend Therrin to their cabin for a riveting conversation and inquiry into their personal history post Roqueport life.

Sam’s Turn: Arden and Sam confide in one another after Sam’s friends offer them support below deck, Sam points out the ways Arden is an asset and points out they seem to have trouble relieving stress.

Zaus’s Turn: Esponage can lead to questions, Zaus betrayed by their partner in crime is brough to Arden’s desk, and while the conversation goes deep puppo suffers a few critical hits and healing words.

## Bata's Turn Our adventures, having previously fled Pinicola by boat find themselves with time to ponder and the ever-present threat of the mighty water spider. Desiring some one-on-one time with Bata, Arden harries Zaus out of the bed chamber and closes the door tight. Arden begins querying their companion to Bata's surprise, the mighty arcane puppo is ever thorough. Arden discovers Bata had spent much time as a bugalüs herder and Bata allegedly left their home for the cuisine and drink of the outside world. Arden notes Bata had been quick to settle into the Cobble family, Bata's family turns out to be much larger than even Zaus's kin, and Bata mentions the wilds of their home was far tamer than the wilderness at Mama Noms homestead. Arden restless with the parenthood/mentoring of Zaus, Bara reminds them they aren't in it alone flustering the smoll doggo. Switching subjects Arden inquires as to the details of the Bisemutum people and offers to get Bata a fairytale book in Roqueport noting it might be an offensive depiction of their faith. Bata deflecting away from too many personal details, instead focuses on their observations of the umbra compared to their expectations -- the creature they were traveling with was markedly different than the stories of old. Therrin although not present, becomes the focus of conversation. Bata is in resolute support of her mission to restore the Dragon's Tear to its spire, how she came to the decision, and whether she would fall from their vessel practicing her balance from all many of locations. Bata offers their stone to Arden, their talk of magic rocks brings the realization that Arden's communing with the Tear before could have been severely dangerous and that most people commune with a singular shard as opposed to the overwhelming mass of souls a Dragon's tear possess as a whole. Mulling over their past experiences, their guilt for what they could have stopped if not for their naiveté. Arden resolves to tame their temper and be kinder to Therrin going forward. With lighter hearts Bata leaves Arden to fetch the majestic Therrin balancing flawlessly on the bow of the ship. ## Therrin's Turn Opting to not dramatically kick in Arden's bedroom door, the Sailing Sergal decided to quietly enter and plop down crossing her legs and arms denoting her seriousness. There does appear to be a limited number of vantage points Therrin can balance, incidentally leading to Therrin's advice, "If you want to know how to sack a ship you better know how to sail one". Asking Therrin if they had ever sacked a ship they discovered the number has been well more than zero spawning unexpected anxiety in Arden. Fortunately, city guards can be easily bribed with money especially in Roqueport. Arden does not miss the opportunity to remind Therrin she is a wanted criminal with no less than the following minimum counts of: - x12 vandalism - x3 assault - x7 larceny - x1 illegal use of cheese in a legal proceeding All discovered to have been expunged by the Perch Family Trust Fund. Upon deeper inquiry Arden discovered there were depths to Therrin's past that might have been painful for them to swallow leading to the rebellious phase that brought them into Arden's life. When questioned about the party's stay at Mama Noms Farm they remembered it as a wonderful experience until she was reminded about the poison, upset stomach, hair loss, and hallucinations. Therrin explains she did not run from her mother because she felt responsible for her actions in trying to hurt her mom, she hurt others and wanted to take responsibility - for Therrin this is when she went to-far. Therrin sees Arden as always unhappy so they might be hard to read... much to his chagrin. Therrin admits she was disinterested with Zaus joining the group and once Zaus settled in, they wanted to give them the best shot they could as a member of the party and are glad for the addition now. Arden admits he would have destroyed the tear to save Therrin's life while they were unconscious and that was interesting for her to hear considering all they had been through up to now. Therrin does not often think of her sister as more than a talentless hake with no future beyond what mother was going to let her be. Therrin has had to draw lines and physically distance herself with family for her own mental health, boundaries she knows will not be respected. Writing herself out of the Perch family does not worry Therrin as they would be in danger regardless. Therrin believes in Arden's ability to raid ships and sink the vessels of their enemies were they to join in the business of piracy one day; danger can often be the spice of life for Therrin after all. Then the conversation turned to Reginald and Therrin became serious, spoke fondly of him as a source of many life lessons, and her devotion to the man for what he gave her for the time they were together. Reginald, as loved as he was, chose Therrin's mother over her hurting Therrin giving the Sergal conflicting emotions she wrestles with even now whenever she thinks of him. Arden apologizes for how they handled themselves at the funeral then unexpectedly compares their willingness to put themselves into harm's way to Therrin's devil may care attitude towards danger. Arden is thanked for their efforts and Therrin requests to leave and does so wiping away a tear as she goes. ## Sam's Turn Zaus makes it their personal mission to locate Sam below deck, having already spied in on Therrin and Arden, and with Sam atop a barrel of grog looking sadly into a bracelet resting in their paw. In his own way Zaus gets himself into trouble bringing his friends together before Sam is directed away to a meeting with Arden in their private cabin. With a nervous fidget Sam sits down for their "interview", Sam from Atlas, works in the less upkept parts of the delivery routes. Indeed, a postal worker that has seen a series of unfortunate events and little else to send home about. Arden notes that Sam had mentioned a person being pulled from the deck in front of them and connects that to their aversion to being on the deck of the ship. Part of Sam's life before the adventure was intentional isolation on their part, doing distant deliveries for clients like Moma Noms facilitated the get money and go strategy away from civilization type of lifestyle. Through query Sam shares it is normal for a courier to not know the contents of their delivery, they delivered as couriers, and local authorities enforced their laws that role was not for his guild. Arden indirectly asks if Sam was in fact "Mister Noms" and the answer is... Arden and Sam go over the dangers of the ocean and working through the numerous dangers Sam is more or less put further at ease, much more so than before they talked. Sam compares the Umbra to Arden being calculating and always thinking. Talking of the group they had formed Sam states the party is the closest thing to family and they mean that seriously. Sam pints out that Okuma saved Arden by choice over themselves, an alternative view point to Okuma died because of Arden. Sam believes Arden is the one to put the group together and facilitated plenty for the group in their own right. Arden has a hard time seeing their own self-worth, Sam doesn't seem to have much difficulty pointing their contributions out giving Arden much to think on. They also point out Arden doesn't seem to know how to relieve stress Sam asks how Arden is doing, he ultimately is glad he has his found family though he may not yet refer to them in such manner. Sam offers to help even if Arden wants to go to Atlas and dig deep into the order through their friends and family back in Atlas. As Arden finishes and Sam leaves there is a sense of closeness despite distance that has indeed weighed anchor. ## Zaus's Turn Upon the end of Sam's conversation, the monkey left Arden's bedroom to find Bata and Zaus had been listening in on their conversation. Sam might be of the opinion that these two together are bound to get into mischief... Caught red handed Bata deposits Zaus into the chair across from Arden for questioning while not emphasizing they had been also listening in to the degree Arden would tolerate. Upon inquiry Zaus lays claim to all of the different pronunciations of their name with love in their heart, all are accepted titles thus far. They also don't have a birth certificate and don't have a definitive spelling of their name as they are still learning to write. Before joining the group, they took care of raising their siblings, mom was focused on her many enterprises, and Zaus didn't have time for much beyond being a big brother for their siblings and farm operations. They were happy when their siblings did well and played games with them; they did rib Arden as being the most fun to play with alluding to the time they beat them good at cards. They don't remember their father or if there were multiple, no memory of them as a presence in their early life much less as people. Zaus had to always be aware of who was watching them, how they presented themselves, and the example they set for their siblings. Zaus also guesses that Arden had a very lonely childhood, which they did, and a critical hit is scored. Zaus identifies Therrin as a fun mess upon Arden saying everyone is different with different upbringings. Arden tells Zaus they are the closest thing to a son they will ever have. Zaus also says they feel the freest they ever have around the party, they mused that perhaps part of the reason their mom let them go is they didn't get to live with themselves as a focus or had a childhood in the traditional sense. Speaking to life perspective Zaus states that if they jump right in then they don't spend time worrying, they won't get paralyzed by all the variables, and the party covers for one another. Zaus doesn't want to go back home because they think their dreams would die and/or Meunice would appear on his doorstep one day. Zaus is reading books more now but they say reading people is more fun. The two casters muse over the ways they interact with magic. Magic is like communicating without words, to communicate to be understood, or taxes. Zaus did not understand what was going on in the spire but they noted magic users were affected differently and then that non-studious casters were affected differently; potentially bruising Arden's caster's ego. Being unprepared or ill equipped has never stopped the party before and Zaus takes pride in that. Zaus lets Arden know their stopping of the umbra's punch back when they first met the creature has made them more comfortable with taking bigger risks causing Arden's anxiety to once again spike. Zaus's biggest fear besides Meunice, is losing members of the party, their friends here on the boat, they are glad Arden is taking initiative to talk to their mutual friends, and worries that without a push Therrin might self-isolate similar to what Arden might recall Sam was doing in their own way.

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Ep 4: Upon Gordon’s Heels

Published: Aug 6th, 2023

Courier Gordon becomes the center of debate for the party as they consider abandoning him and their cart to the town guard in their escape through the back of the Couriers’ Guildhall. Following their escape, the party makes preparations for their time on the sea as well as how exactly they would get onto the water, and far away from Pinicola.

Therrin notifies the party there are issues out front the courier's guildhall, they realize that the town guards are making announcements of their intent to search their "abandoned cart", they also realize that all their things, and "potential contraband" is in their cart - they also don't know where their traveling companion Gordon might be taking a nap (probably the cart). The town guards break open the back of the wagon and the party debates how much they like Gordon while the guards deliberate Gordon's fate. The party makes plans to distract and set the guards into disarray unexpectedly getting puppo deputized. A "Fun Delema" later the party recoups their cart and begin a "high-speed-cart chase". Bata briefly contemplates dressing as a bug and dancing as a bug for the benefit of the party's travel. Sam and Arden speak to the dockmaster, Dockmaster Gordon. Throughout their day the party exhibits their mastery of international espionage. Arden acquires a warm trench coat in preparation for their time on the sea. Before the end of today the party will experience this vessel's maiden voyage!

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Ep 3: Turmoil Pagoda

Published: Aug 4th, 2023

Our time with Julias and Kayde comes to an end as does the mystery of the formerly sealed wooden crate.

This Hero Sandwich has layers folks, let's dive in: At the Gates: Gordon comes to grips with reality at the end of their long rest while Kayde realizes Zaus is hard to keep track of. Therrin accidentally manages to communicate nap time for their bugalüs gently whipping the reins at the gates of Pinicola. For a moment the party reminisces their past exploits in the great dock town and firmly decide they do not care of this place. Bluffing the town guard, they manage to get through the gates for half off, they are all "members" of the couriers' band after all. On inquiry the party is directed to the Travelers Pagoda by an unnamed "wall guard", their only other option for a medical care in town was the surgeon squirrel Indigo -- a professional they would rather avoid. With a deep breath the party once again melds into Pinicola traffic, this time attempting not to draw the attention of the guard as they had in their last visit. At the Pagoda: A frog, owl, and squirrel are encountered at the Pagoda deep in philosophical debate, all eager to help the party. While the philosophers have much trouble with the crate Kayde pops it right open with their trusty Order Issued crowbar and the philosophers get to work restoring the statue of Archmage Okuma. After reminiscing their history as stone smith that philosopher opens a secret compartment in the pagoda floor containing the group's magical healing equipment and supplies, no latent abilities it would seem. Through the combined efforts of the philosophers, Kayde, and Arden break the spell cast on Okuma returning his form to flesh and blood. Unfortunately, it would appear Okuma is missing their soul, unconscious, and unable to take care of their own wellbeing. The party considers the lake they had been informed about while the philosophers make a plan for themselves to escape the forces who's plans they have now meddled in by restoring Okuma though they know not the identity of the archmagi. Looking into Okuma's listless eyes Arden prepares to leave and Bata joins them comforting the troubled pupo as they go. At the Courier's Guild: Therrin and Julias lay the injured on the lawn in front of the Pagoda and have a heart to heart on what inspires each other to action. Julias utterly confounded why the princess of the Perch family is not working to bring order to the cross through economic strength suggesting that leaving the Perch family was a detriment to The Cross Therrin is responsible for. Julias turns the robbers over to the authorities from the yard deflecting attention away from the party triggering a public flogging and parade of shame. Julias and Kayde mull over the questionable nature of their employers, perhaps even questioning to what extent the senator was involved with Okuma's current situation or Meunice's plans. Julias and Kayde hand over the package to a fungoid contact who had been tailing the party since they entered the city. Leaving shortly after handing over the package they nearly miss the fungoid's emotional breakdown seeing the contents of the package at the pagoda, a promise with a Meunice twist. Inside the guildhall the party sends out letters to Elder Percus in Bisemutum and letter back to Mama Noms and the Cobble family doing their best to ignore the state of the world outside the guildhall. Meanwhile outside Julias manages to gain custody of the grieving fungoid to release them outside the city doing their best effort consoling the stranger on the way. The party leaves outside the back of the Courier's Guild making their way towards Roqueport, one step closer to returning the dragon's tooth home.

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Ep 2: A Frosty Hoot

Published: Aug 2nd, 2023

An opportunity for romance? Perhaps danger or an old friend rises to meet the party on their trek? Stay tuned as the reins fly free once more!

The party makes their way towards Pinicola. Our two new traveling companions Julias and Kayde meet Zaus and attempt to come to terms with the outlaw Therrin Perch in their midst, this will be one of the first in many moral quandaries for Julias Paladin of Arcane Order. Theodore the Tranquil, the explicit intimidating howling owl makes an appearance on the road and demands of the party their most questionable possession, the crate Julias and Kayde have for delivery. Julias engages Theodore the Tranquil in a battle of wills clashing their positive energy with Theodore's seething rage. Meanwhile the cart encounters functional challenges prompting a subterfuge and dark intimations. Julias begins to see how deep their circumstances take them with the knowledge of a secret drop off point in dubious territory many hours outside Pinicola. Bata provides service with a wink and a smile while this break neck speed adventure could leave you sputtering like a sprinkler.

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Ep 1: The Roads to Pinicola

Published: Jul 31st, 2023

Agents of the Arcane Order and Senator Mazak get swept up into the chaos of the adventuring life with our heroes teaming up to deliver a suspicious package to Pinicola.

Agents of the Arcane Order and Senator Mazak commence a delivery of delicate goods through the country side meanwhile the main party is waylaid by highway con-men. Following the retreat of a honorary bandit-bush the party ponders on the nature of their infamous baroness (Therrin) traveling through the descending mist and what disguise they could adorn her with patiently waiting for Bata to successfully encourage the bugalüs to move. Senator Mazak's delivery crew Kayde and Julias encounter a necromancer and attempt to talk their way through a dangerous encounter and what might appear to be a mid-life crisis on the part of the necro-pooch. Kayde and Julias are warned of giant spiders in the area and also receive a reading from a local lonely Ronald who makes many requests of their visitors. One wagon collision between the party and the agents of the Arcane order causes a strained alliance to form. United they oppose the necromantic forces occupying the roads and make their way collectively to Pinicola.

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Curse of Coeurasa 2019

Ep 48: What The Future Holds

Published: May 15th, 2019

Bata wakes up from a nightmare only to find it following him to the waking world. Zaus practices his knife throwing skills much to Therrin’s approval, Sam practices his artistry and Bata makes some cakes to pass the time while Arden is catching up on his spells. Our gang begins to make their way back to Pinicola excited for where their adventure will take them.

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Ep 47: Heated

Published: May 13th, 2019

The gang traverses through the swamp and end up camping in it for the night. Their tired state brings to light some heated tempers of problems that have been building up.

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Ep 46: Dealing with Monsters

Published: May 10th, 2019

The gang tries to gain their footing inside the Umbra, the beast of many mouths and eyes taking them away from the Dragon’s Tooth. Beaten, confused, and some even unconscious, they try to strike a deal with the Umbra.

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Ep 45: Headmaster Okuma

Published: May 8th, 2019

Upon exiting the Dragon’s Tooth, the gang finds that everyone that was outside is now gone and Headmaster Okuma is waiting there for Arden.

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Ep 44: Guardian

Published: May 6th, 2019

The gang meet the Guardian of the Dragon Tooth to face their final test.

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Ep 43: Inside The Dragon’s Tooth

Published: May 3rd, 2019

The gang enters the Dragon’s Tooth, suffering from the mental labyrinth the shrine presents. As they continue forth, they are met with several challenges.

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Ep 42: Man Down

Published: May 1st, 2019

During their travels down the swamp, they get attacked by a monstrously sized waterspider and lose a person to the creature. What is left of the gang continues to the Dragon’s Tooth where they meet some acquaintances and come to the realization that time is running out.

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Ep 41: Erickson

Published: Apr 29th, 2019

Zaus practices his ABCs, Bata makes their Bugalus and Therrin jealous, and Sam has an admirer he must confront. They meet their new captain, Erickson, a face Bata and Sam are both familiar with, and the gang heads off into the swamp.

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Ep 40: Festivities

Published: Apr 26th, 2019

Bata gives Arden a gift, Therrin zones out and the gang tries to figure out directions towards the Dragon’s Tooth. They mingle with the locals who are deep in their festivities and Bata has a strange dream about a talking walking bag of money.

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Ep 39: Deliveries

Published: Apr 24th, 2019

Meunice’s package is delivered to the Fungoids and he parts ways from the gang. Therrin goes back to hiding as the illusion spell on her wears off, but an attentive pursuer manages to find her. Bata gets distracted shopping but manages to find potions to ease Sam’s worry.

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Ep 38: Gomphus

Published: Apr 22nd, 2019

Sam’s looking good and attracts the eye of a local. While eating, Therrin gets a little drunk and Zaus tries to sneak a drink. The gang makes their way toward the Gomphus ‘Festival of Becoming’, Therrin becomes shiny, Sam becomes tingly and Bata becomes nervous.

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Ep 37: Barbie Episode

Published: Apr 20th, 2019

The gang continues their shopping at Meunice’s expense. Sam finds a plethora of bowties, Bata and Arden are having difficulty picking clothes, and Therrin gets a knife.

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Ep 36: The Waterspider Strip

Published: Apr 17th, 2019

Meunice lets the gang loose in a shopping strip … they might spend all of his money in the first shop.

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Ep 35: Yet Another Bath Scene

Published: Apr 13th, 2019

The Perchello arrives at dock and Meunice is excited to get going. Meunice provides Arden with a spell scroll and proceeds to clean Bata’s lungs and other places. Sam and Zaus get sent through the wash station as well, Meunice needing his cohorts to be in a presentable state. Therrin misplaces her newly earned gold, Sam misplaces his bedroll, and Franklin is very depressed.

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Ep 34: Mending

Published: Apr 10th, 2019

Mr. Renshaw fixes the wheel of the Perchello. Bata gets his stitches removed and Arden wonders about his future. Therrin impresses the first mate with her acrobatic skills while she gets food for Sam and Zaus. The gang’s all alright.

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Ep 33: Lifelines

Published: Apr 6th, 2019

Zaus saves Sam and brings him back onto the boat and to get him stabilized with the help of Therrin and Arden. Arden then realizes that they are missing one more person from their gang. After fishing Bata out of the water, they regroup downstairs and it is brought to their attention that the boat is badly damaged.

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Ep 32: Overboard

Published: Apr 3rd, 2019

The majority of the crew is dragged overboard and become the feast for the water spiders. Arden and Therrin manage to fend off some attackers, Zaus comes into his own, but Sam and Bata are having a harder time managing the situation.

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Ep 31: Dinner Bell

Published: Mar 30th, 2019

We wake up to the dinner bell being rung. Zaus is awake and he had some vivid and strange dreams while he was out. During dinner, Arden’s studies are interrupted by some skittering foes and Sam goes for a swim.

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Ep 30: Crooning Night

Published: Mar 27th, 2019

Arden’s crying, Therrin’s crying, Sam is nervous and uncomfortable, and Bata doesn’t know how to take all this in. Among their turmoil, they meet a crooning hyena named Jade, who is peculiarly familiar with Bata’s home.

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Ep 29: Family Ties

Published: Mar 23rd, 2019

Sitting down with Abigail Perch, Therrin learns about the consequences of her actions and makes a life decision.

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Ep 28: Madame Stabigail

Published: Mar 20th, 2019

Bata watches over Zaus as Theodore heals him. Arden splits from Sam without saying anything, so Sam goes to find his sleeping room. The captain sings … a tune and Arden catches up with Bata and tries to give him an anxiety attack. Therrin meets up with her sister Abigail and much blood is shed.

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Ep 27: Perchello

Published: Mar 16th, 2019

Heiress Therrin Perch manages to catch the attention of a stumbling captain and she christens the boat they are using to embark on their journey up the swamp. Theodore practices his dentistry on Arden and our adventurers learn more about their employer, Meunice.

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Ep 26: Dragon’s Tear

Published: Mar 13th, 2019

Before leaving Pinicola, Bata retrieves Therrin’s dagger back from Theodore. Bata uses the dagger to leave a message for Madame Perch, asking her to forgive and be kind to Therrin. On the road, Arden decides to gaze into Bata’s whisperstone and as his interest is peaked he turns his attention to the Dragon’s Tear. The Tear proves to have a stronger effect and be too much for Arden, and he realizes that there is more to the Dragon’s Tears than what he has been thought by the Order.

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Ep 25: Meeting Meunice

Published: Mar 9th, 2019

The gang meets up with Meunice, an enthusiastic fox-kin mage who is looking to make money. Bata and Sam stay behind to watch over Zaus and Gordon. Gordon was worse off than they all knew and ends up needing medical attention, but with no cleric in the near vicinity, Sam finds the next best thing. Zaus displays some of his magical capabilities and Sam’s wagon gains yet another hole.

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Ep 24: Brewing Tension

Published: Mar 6th, 2019

Theodore leads the gang to a parking structure where he changes his tune upon realizing that he was antagonizing his future coworkers, he offers some healing before vanishing into a cloud of smoke. Therrin manages to get rid of her dagger Cheddar and proceeds to watch over Zaus. Sam cleans up his wagon and Mr. Renshaw examines Bata’s war hammer, but for some reason, some tension brews between the two of them.

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Ep 23: Pinicola

Published: Mar 2nd, 2019

Zaus confides in Bata about his concerns regarding Therrin, angry that she would steal and lie to him and worried about her behavior, Bata eventually realizing that his advice to Zaus is really advice to himself. As they enter Pinicola, the group gets separated from each other and they meet up with a flustered and angry owl-kin, attracting the attention of some guards.

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Ep 22: Legends and Talking Daggers

Published: Feb 27th, 2019

After Gordon catches up to the gang, they discuss the risk of carrying Therrin’s many possessions. Bata warns of the dangers of the Umbra and the Dragon’s Tear, Zaus begins to distrust Auntie Therrin, and they all see mysterious figures spying on them. Oh, and Bata and Arden hold hands.

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Ep 21: The Umbra’s Threat

Published: Feb 23rd, 2019

Therrin takes her talking dagger back from Zaus and tries to have Arden help her understand why it’s talking, but they are joined by the Umbra during their investigation.

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Ep 20: Muldred’s Magical Extraordinary Emporium of Mysterious Objects

Published: Feb 20th, 2019

We come across a traveling merchant with mysterious and magical items, all legally obtained of course! There are spell books of questionable content, weapons of interesting origins, and potions and medallions of questionable prices.

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Ep 19: Curious Zaus

Published: Feb 16th, 2019

While traveling, Zaus gets bored and decides to learn new things from everyone around him. Therrin offers some balancing lessons, Sam teaches him how to read, Arden makes Zaus’ brain hurt, and Bata avoids some questions.

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Ep 18: Cleaning Up After Therrin

Published: Feb 13th, 2019

Therrin and Zaus are a mess from their encounter with vagabonds. While Therrin rests, the rest of the gang gets cleaned up and recover themselves from the previous night. Additionally, Zaus casts thunder, Arden makes a glowing goddess, and Bata flexes.

Mr. Arden Renshaw’s diary entry

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Ep 17: Therrin’s Bloody Claws

Published: Feb 9th, 2019

When Therrin tries to help her hungover comrades she stumbles into trouble.

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Ep 16: Is This A Date?

Published: Feb 6th, 2019

Our group of adventurers are having trouble getting any rest after their encounter with the Umbra. Therrin decides to teach Zaus some of her ways, Sam shows off his hidden talent, and Arden and Bata go out to get some drinks.

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Ep 15: Confronting Therrin

Published: Feb 2nd, 2019

After taking Therrin back to the cleric, Arden and Bata discover that their travel partner is less than desirable to have around.

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Ep 14: The Umbra

Published: Jan 31st, 2019

The Umbra, a nightmarish beast and a legend from Bata’s homeland, attacks our gang. Will they be able to get away?

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Ep 13: Stirring Up Trouble

Published: Jan 26th, 2019

The gang wakes up bright eye and bushy tailed after their night with the cleric. They find Therrin playing with daggers, Zaus shows off some new tricks he learned and they meet a skunk named Gordon. Then they set off, ready for adventure!

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Ep 12: True Grit

Published: Jan 23rd, 2019

The gang realizes just how hurt they are and travel all night to get to a cleric? Therrin looks badass as always, Arden is self-conscious about his arm bandages and Sam navigates in his sleep.

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Ep 11: A Ruckus

Published: Jan 19th, 2019

The gang buys rations for the journey ahead and Bata gives Arden his clothes back. Therrin buys the “Tunic of a Righteous Warrior”, there is a commotion, and no one likes Arden (except maybe Bata).

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Ep 10: Shopping with Therrin

Published: Jan 16th, 2019

The gang arrive at Burnwurth where Sam is entrusted with a special package, Arden has trouble talking to a girl, we go shopping with Therrin, and Bata’s crush grows.

Mr. Arden Renshaw’s diary entry

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Ep 9: Babysitting

Published: Jan 13th, 2019

Bata serves up his meal, Therrin eats Mama Nom’s Plate, Zaus has a dagger and teases Arden, and Sam’s apparently a courier without a map but don’t worry, he knows the way.

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Ep 8: Cooking with Bata

Published: Jan 9th, 2019

Arden shares a room with Sam. Bata learns to be a stay-at-home dad and gets some love advice from Mama Noms. Therrin does an anime thing, a speech, goes out to find a friend, and acquires some poison?

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Ep 7: Monkey Bro

Published: Jan 5th, 2019

The gang goes out to search for Mama Noms and end up finding a Monkey Bro along with her, they lose a kite, Arden plays games with the kids and Dr. Therrin MD is on the case!

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Ep 6: Windstorm

Published: Jan 2nd, 2019

Mr. Renshaw, Bata and Therrin head back to Mama Nom’s and for some mysterious reason get sick along the way, Therrin makes a “killer” deal and they do a roll-call before leaving the kids home alone …

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Ep 5: The Manipede Attack

Published: Dec 29th, 2018

It rains on our adventurer’s parade, Therrin pitches a tent, Bata loses his Honeymead Bread, Arden gets mistaken for someone else, the last silkie is found and a new great friend has many legs.

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Ep 4: Hide and Seek

Published: Dec 26th, 2018

Our adventures find themselves playing a game of hide and seek, learning manners at the breakfast table, and making pinky promises. The Herdlord enters the scene, Arden pukes, there’s rustling in the tall grass, and our heroes break the festive fourth wall?

Susie, one of Mama Noms' children, wakes up Arden and Therrin and calls them to breakfast. Therrin discovers just how bad her fur looks in the places she got zapped the night before. Susie goes outside and tries to wake up Bata, but he's far too tired to wake up. Susie decides to collapse Bata's tent on top of him. Bata finally wakes up and finds Arden and Therrin at breakfast, but Mama Noms and none of the children are around. Arden still needs time to study, so Bata and Therrin leave him at the house while they go out searching for Mama Noms and her son Ronald, the "Herd Lord". After a couple hours searching around for Mama Noms, Bata and Therrin return to the house to see if they can find any of the kids and discover Suzie in bed. After waking her up and promising not to tell her mother that she went back to bed, the bear and the sergal are taken out to the fields where they finally find Mama Noms and Ronald. Introductions are made, Ronald gives them a few tips on finding silkies, and Bata and Therrin set off to find some of the missing silkies. The bear and sergal join up with Arden back at the house and find some bait to lure out the missing silkies. As dusk settles, our adventurers venture out and find one of the silkies and successfully bring it back. Our group decides to head back out to the fields to camp for the night, and Arden casts light on the end of Therrin's snoot.

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Ep 3: Midnight Snack

Published: Dec 22nd, 2018

Mr. Renshaw and Bata spend some quality time together in a bath. Therrin sneaks around cause she’s hungry and they all make some new friends?

Mama Noms tries to give Bata and Arden singing lessons while they awkwardly take a bath together. Arden tells Bata that Therrin is willing to help them study a working spire. Bata is surprised that Therrin claims she can get into a Dragon's Tooth without being destructive, and Bata explains there are beasts and guardians within. Bata agrees to help as long as they promise to pay respect and not break anything. Meanwhile, Therrin decides to sneak into the kitchen and drink some of Mama Noms' wine to relax. Arden and Bata discover Therrin isn't in the bedroom and decide Bata should see where she went. One of the farm's silkies breaks into the kitchen in search for wine, startling Therrin. Bata finds Therrin, but they make enough noise to spook the silkie, and it attacks Therrin. Therrin gets a good swipe at the Silkie with her claws, but gets electrocuted again. Bata, thinking fast and using his tribal knowledge, carefully approaches and calms the animal with a big bear hug. The group leads the silkie back outside, 9 bottles of wine in tow. Bata leads the silkie into a pen with other silkies and helps distribute the wine in order to keep all the silkies happy. As the night draws to a close, Bata sleeps outside to make sure the silkies don't get out again, Arden hops into the guest bed, Therrin shoves him over and climbs into the bed also.

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Ep 2: Mama Noms

Published: Dec 19th, 2018

Our rat friend Cassie leads the adventurers to Mama Noms. There Therrin steals some things, Arden washes dishes, Bata tells bedtime stories, they get a singing lesson and fight over a bed?

Cassie, the street rat who found our three heroes squabbling, leads the group to the edge of a farm about an hour's walk away from the town. Arden is still suspicious, fearing they're walking directly into a trap. Cassie instructs the group to approach the farm and offer help in exchange for accommodation for the night. Arden, Bata, and Therrin, approach the farm house and meet Mama Noms and her numerous children: Mary, Suzy, Capers, Vallen, Joe, Xeno, Monzy, Marks, Zaus, Caverfol, and Ronald. They learn that Cassie is also Mama Noms' daughter, though Cassie is exercising her independence from the family. Mama Noms informs the group that in light of her husband's passing, they could be most useful by helping Ronald wrangle and return home some of their lost herds. But first, they're treated to dinner and a tour of the house. Therrin, Arden, and Bata jockey for use of the bath and the single guest room bed. Bata manages to find several magical items under the guest bed, and they strike a deal to sell the items for her for a cut of the proceeds. Arden gets very sad while accidentally destroying a magical scroll case, and after identifying the contents gets impatient waiting for his bath and decides he would rather climb into the bath with Bata.

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Ep 1: The Rat Bucket Inn

Published: Dec 15th, 2018

Join Therrin, Bata, and Mr. Arden Renshaw as they solve the … they’re just … eating? Um … Our adventurers regretfully band together after a few too many drinks. There is bread, love at first sight, some tents, death threats and a weasel who owns an inn that is not an inn?

Mr. Arden Renshaw’s diary entry

The Rat Bucket Inn is not an Inn. However it happens to be where three separate paths join together. Bata Amica, a towering Bear Barbarian exploring lands outside his own, finds himself discovering the intricacies of money and buying beer, as well as getting a history lesson about the tavern and the town with his silkie steak. While that happens, Therrin Perch, a gray eastern sergal from the city of Roqueport, silently slips into the tavern trying to blend into the crowd. Finally Arden Renshaw, a short, thin white dog in a blue waistcoat and red cloak, enters for a rest while on a mission to find a "missing" person. Arden and Bata get treated to some surprisingly good bread made by the Rat Bucket Inn's cook, Gertrude, and Fredrickson gives the bear some honey mead whiskey. Arden reveals that he's on a mission to study the spires, however the Spire in Roqueport is shut down due to the power source being stolen. Therrin's interest wanes as she eavesdrops from her nearby table, but before she's able to leave, Arden pipes up. "You look very familiar." He says loudly. "She kind of reminds me of this picture that I saw-" he continues before being cut off by a sergal's claw to his lips. Arden pulls out a poster of Therrin's self image that says "Missing: Reward of 50,000 gold." Fredrickson manages to get his paws on the poster and promptly clears out his tavern, save for the bear, dog, and sergal. With the Rat Bucket Inn cleared out and locked up, Fredrickson asks the group for a good reason to let them go instead of turning in Therrin for the reward. Through diplomacy, bluffs, and intimidation Arden manages to convince Fredrickson that it's ill-advised to do anything to harm the group. Fredrickson allows them to leave, all the while kicking himself over not taking the opportunity to claim the reward. After that close encounter, Arden explains that he's not after Therrin for the reward, but because he wants her expertise given he figures she's the one who stole from the Roqueport spire. The group decides they need to find a place to stay other than the tavern, and as luck would have it, a small street rat named Cassie tells them of a farm outside of town. With cautious suspicion, the group agrees to follow Cassie.

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Game Master

Arden Renshaw

Arden Renshaw

My name is Arden. `Arden Renshaw, Fifth Scribe and Apprentice Abjurer to The Holy Empire of The Crystal Fang’s Order of Arcane Sages`

Arden Renshaw is short and thin white dog, no more than five feet tall and 140 pounds with a single black dot on his left cheek. His head is covered by a wide cloak hood the drapes over his floppy ears and large round glasses. Seen from underneath those glasses are a pair wide, deep blue eyes that constantly scan and analyze the world around him.

He wears a deep red cloak with a small cloak pin of a small scroll, that hides a seemingly new and slightly oversized deep navy waistcoat with brass buttons, held at the waist with a belt that holds a similarly new looking mace, potions, and a very worn and dog eared book on a chain with a rusty clasp holding it shut. His small paws are adorned with linen wrist wraps tap upon the book at his side as he thinks and strategizes his moves, and quickly flips the clasp open and draws the book when he needs to take notes or study his craft.

Beneath his coat, is a close fitting linen tunic, matched by a pair of spotless deep navy breeches and riding boots seeing their first trot through the mud of the world.

Arden is a young prodigy, far too brilliant for his age. He rarely has had few to connect with other than his peers from the order, and has left him detached from the world around him, and more so the people that inhabit it. He often sees most people for their shortcomings, failures, and poor behaviour. This constant scrutiny of those around him has given him a good mind for research and strategy, which he finds to occcasionally be very hard to turn off.

Despite the early onset frown lines beneath his fur, he is still fiercely loyal to those he holds dear, or would plan to if he ever bonded with anyone. He is very driven to do the right thing at all times, even if it grits against his patience like so many things in the world do.

Therrin Perch

Therrin Patch

Therrin is a grey sergal with white chest fluff. She stands roughly 5 feet 6 inches and is clad in flashy leather garments for ease of movement Her particular outfit looks to be better quality than most adventurers usually wear. Aside from the leather, the sergal dons a loosefitting shirt of the finest silk to keep some of her movements hidden from her would be opponents. Tucked into her shirt is a necklace with a signet ring that she keeps hidden most of the time. At her side is her rapier which she’s named Stilton and sits in her modest scabbard when not in action. It’s hilt is ornate and elaborate to the point that it inherently has a story all its own. Overall her attire looks functional, but most importantly, it looks amazing.

Therrin loves adventure and looking cool while doing it. This swashbuckling lass will be the first to jump at any occasion to deal the final blow in any battle. While in action, this sergal is a force to be reckoned with, but all other times she is reserved and has something to hide and always wants to keep moving. You can depend on her in any battle, but not so much for conversation. She will be the first to accept any challenge or job with the hopes it will lead to her next amazing feat.

Bata Amica

Bata Amica

My name is Bata Amica. Bata is a towering Bear Barbarian, he’s strong built and covered in lush white fur. His attire is mostly armor made from large shells of stag beetles. Namely a pauldron over his right shoulder and vambraces over his forearms, both held in place by large dark belts and shell buckles. Below that he wears rough leather garments that have seen some wear, the edges of which are fringed with dark fur. While his chest is bare, a large garment wraps around his midsection, followed by a long loincloth and kilt. A large cloak covers his back, featuring a large but simple burnt in symbol that some whisper is from the lands beyond À Mond.

He rests a large war hammer at his side, one end of the mace was blunt while the other had a chiseled end. A weapon suited for fighting beasts. On his left was a wooden shield, a bit small and unfitting, probably a temporary replacement for a shield he had lost.

His physical appearance is betrayed by his behavior, he’s singing a tune to himself and sporting a friendly smile. He may fumble with his manners and might miss social queues from people, but he’s good hearted, curious, chivalrous, and tends to help others almost to a fault. You can rely on him to assist you in any way.

Samuel M. Horstrom

Samuel M. Horstrom

Samuel M. Horstrom, or Sam, is a white-throated capuchin monkey standing at approximately five foot eight inches. Most of his body is colored an earthy brown, but it fades to white upon his chest and shoulders, spilling slightly down his arms, and wrapping around his face to his forehead. His hair is brown, long, and wavy. His face features a light tan color and his eyes are a dark but intense brown in their own. He wears traveler’s garb, well weathered and worn from use. Simple but sturdy brown leather boots and rough tan cloth pants sit under a tight, well-made but aged light blue cloth shirt, topped by a leather traveling jacket.

Samuel is a Courier, first and foremost, and as such displays a high standard of accountability when it comes to protecting a package or ensuring delivery of a customer’s assets. Unless something jeopardizes his mission as a Courier, Sam tends to be pretty easygoing, enjoying the travels of the world and the sights he sees on his missions. He can be quiet and pensive at times, thinking about life, and energetic and outspoken at others when the troubles of hispast are momentarily forgotten. Sam has no particular ethical or moral drive, carefully weighing economic and personal factors in all things. He cares for others he knows, but unless there’s a crisis he typically does not engage in hasty decisions that could lose business; such is the life of a Courier.

Sam has a certain fondness for the arts that stems from a life of traveling, learning from sailors singing, travelers with hobbies, and performers in caravans. Through the years he’s learned to sing, learned to paint, learned to survive, dance and, most of all, learned how to charm people. Being a Courier was only half the process, he’s met hundreds of associates, clients, hagglers, tradesmen trying to get their way; but most of all it was meeting the travelers. Travelers with hopes, with dreams, destinations, desires, wants, passions. Sam has spent his life listening to them speak, beg, get angry, be romantic, and simply be themselves. Words are their own language to him, hidden beneath the common speak.



One of dozens of Cobble children, standing out from the rest was a necessity growing up giving him common ground with Therrin in terms of their showmanship. Zaus felt a need to leave home in part because there wasn’t a lot of room for growth in town; especially after defeating Arden in a game of strategy and wit. He could have been a rancher, entrepreneur, or something safe but those don’t speak to his adventurous spirit. The opportunity to become a mage at the Order through Arden was inspiring and lucrative, he could manage to take care of and elevate his entire family if he became a success through the Order. That reasoning was enough to convince his mother, particularly after she came to know the people Zaus proposed traveling with. Though deep down the idea of becoming a freelancer like they were feels even more lucrative and exciting a life to live in his mind. Bata reminds him of his mother though perhaps a dose purer but a good source of advice even so.

Recently he started to experience periods of extended sleep where magic seeps from his body as if he were a natural fountain in the world and has begun to harness this ability with the assistance of Arden and Sam, trusting in them to steer him right.

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