6 strangers arrived in Rootshire in one way or another.
Treydekt, a Dragonborn, warily stayed in the Brazen Centaur and avoided getting noticed by authorities by remaining in the inn.
Reggie and his new wife, Laurana, enjoyed their first night together on their honeymoon in the Brazen Centaur’s suite.
Monkee, a curiously tattooed stone mason finished his tasks in Rootshire’s Temple and went about climbing and swinging from the rafters.
Gilbert and Molly Roundtree strolled into town with their over-tired horse. After Molly oggled some nice swords in the market, the two of them went to the Inn to get a bite to eat and a room.
And Kelleth, a mysterious man, observed the goings-on in town from a perch in the Temple’s bell tower, then proceeded to the Inn for a place to stay, but was told there was no room and he’d have to crash on the sofa in the witch-next-door’s place. So he did.
Then everything went wrong. The earth shook, buildings crumbled, horrible screams rent the air, and Laurana was stolen by a giant smoky black hand. Everyone was caught in the disaster and either passed out from exhaustion or was rendered unconscious from falling debris.
Upon awakening, the group met one another as they all searched for survivors. The Innkeeper, Briares was discovered under a slab of stone close to the town leader’s house. He was hysterical, and the group managed to calm him down and glean info about what might have happened. Their only lead, a giant smokey monster.
Even though he was in hysterics about losing his wife, Reggie managed to pull himself together to help the group find more survivors. Monkee discovered his mentor, Hanar, buried in the merchant tents. He immediately tried to lift him up to carry to safety, but a jagged rock he did not see broke his spine as he lifted him. As he set about praying in the temple for Hanar, the rest of the group found a woman with a broken leg named Christine whom Gilbert took an immediate interest despite her recent widdowhood. Christine didn’t seem to mind…
Treydekt became quite concerned about the state of the town leader’s home and investigated the damage there. He discovered what could only be assumed as the man’s body, and Treydekt took a very distinguishable ring from his hand.
Kelleth seemed over curious about Reggie’s missing wife…
Molly disapproved of the moves Gilbert was making on Christine, and then helped a man out of the guardhouse prison. After finding out he’s a horse-thief and no threat to the group or the town, they let him leave peacefully.
The group also discovered that the home on the edge of town had been long abandoned, much to Briare’s surprise.
They also found the Witch hiding under her cauldron. From what they could find out from Briares and the Witch, they knew that a sorcerer may be responsible for the disaster, and he lives in a mansion hours out of town up a cliffside path. The Witch suspected her thieving nephew might have been helping the sorcerer with spy work and might know a faster way up to the mansion. She didn’t know his whereabouts, however. There was little deliberation once they reasoned that if the sun came down again, they might be in trouble once again, so they found a horse and dug him out while Monkee fixed up a cart. The party was assembled and they rolled out of town while Briares set up a hospital in the Inn’s remnants.
While Monkee pushed and Molly scouted, they ascended the cliffside path in quite a short period of time. Molly found a small cave in which dwelled a small boy. Treydekt became immediately suspicious of the boy living in the cave on his own, and Molly was nice enough to offer rations. The boy gave them no information. It was a weird situation and they decided to leave the boy alone for now. Further up the path they discovered a GIANT-ASS-TREE. It was far too big to climb around, as Molly soon discovered, but Monkee was confidant he could climb up it. Once up in the lower branches he discovered a small marking, shaped like a small tree. He also noticed that the leaves were the same leaves that were in the cave boy’s hair. The group, save a sneaky Treydekt, went back to the cave to talk to the boy.
While they were gone, Treydekt attempted to remove the tree by other means, using a poisonous explosive on the part of the tree closest to the cliff’s edge. Apart from create a small mess, it had no effect on the tree. He hid in the shadows and waited for the group to return.
Meanwhile, after a short friendly talk, the group received a tree-shaped token from the cave-boy. Using it back at the tree, it came to life and climbed down the cliff toward the forest.
The group resumed their course and with a few hours to spare before nightfall, they came to the mansion. They set up camp to rest up a bit while Reggie got visibly nervous. Treydekt remained in the shadows, watching the group with suspicion. When they were ready, the stormed the mansion.
Monkee was immediately impressed by the stone-work of the two entryway gargoyles, and when he approached one, they both sprung to life and attacked the group. In short order they all destroyed the gargoyles, even with the reluctant help of Treydekt. A scream came upstairs, the group rushed in, a manic sorcerer stood before a portal and plunged a dagger into Reggie’s new wife. Monkee’s tattoos took on a faint glow. The entire party wanted this man dead. Four more gargoyle’s sprung to life and the group fought hard and fought well. When the sorcerer died, his zombie-like visage remained tight to his face. When one gargoyle remained, it scratched at the boards that were nailed to the back wall, trying to escape. The group destroyed it, too, but were then taken aback as a giant smokey hand reached out of the portal and it, too, clawed at the back wall. The group hacked and slashed at it on the offensive while they took down the portal itself. Finally, it gave one last lunge out to the back wall when suddenly a giant tree fist broke through the wood and punched the arm back into the portal, closing it into the abyss forever, save a small chunk of finger.
Monkee picked up the finger and played with its curious ever-smoking ability, but just got coughy and smelly from the smokyness. As they prepared to leave and give Reggie and his dying wife a moment, Gilbert suddenly started to attack Molly. He missed, and Molly held him back while Kelleth burst into the closet and discovered a Brain in a Jar. With one fell swoop, he destroyed the brain and Gilbert was freed. Kelleth then discovered notes from the sorcerer and decided to take them back to town with him. The group left the room to give Reggie and his wife a moment.
Laurana was thankful Reggie came back for her, and together they said their peaceful and loving goodbyes. As Reggie made an attempt to commit his love’s body to Moradin, Laurana’s body came back to life, shaking violently and changing before his eyes. “What did you do to me?” was all she could say. Reggie had no words, only horror in his eyes as he watched his wife transform into a Succubus, who screamed at him, hated him, and tore off through the back wall into the night air. Monkee dropped his smoking finger and entered, but it was too late. Poor Reggie.
Gilbert found the finger and created an Ever Smoking Flask with it. The others comforted a confused and depressed Reggie. When they were rested, they made their way back to town, half of the team through the shortcut in the tunnels, half with Reggie on the cart.
Once back in town, Kelleth discovered a secret key which he used on the town’s central fountain. Reggie left his attempt to get smashed behind, Treydekt followed in secret, and Monkee brushed the dirt off himself from burying his mentor. With Molly and Gilbert entering with them, the whole group discovered a secret society of wizards, sorcerers, and seers. A wise wizard excitedly welcomed them and showed them a painting of them in that very doorway. Only Gilbert was missing…how strange.
Giles the gnome led them to the back room where a wise old woman, Hestia, bade them sit around a crystal ball. She told them that destiny has successfully brought them together just as a small gathering of Gods hoped it would. When they all touched the crystal ball, they became forever marked by a specific God who chose them for this group personally. Treydekt was marked by Zehir, God of Poison; Reggie by Moradin, God of Creation; Monkee by Melora, Goddess of the Sea and the Wild; Kelleth by Ilmater, God of Endurance and Suffering; and Molly was marked by Tymora, the Lady of Luck. It seemed that these five, whether they worshiped the God or not, were chosen by them to one day save the realms from a doom forseen by Gods and Men alike. Hestia had no further answers, but was so curious about Gilbert not being chosen that she let them see a vision of a Wizard who rolled into town a few months ago.
He proclaimed he needed to find Gilbert Roundtree to give him a special sword. A sword bearing the marks of all five of these Gods. In his ravings he shouted that the Gods can choose their heroes, but Man has chosen their leader, and it is Gilbert Roundtree. They caught his last name, Harpel, and unfortunately, the wizard had arrived far too early and the group didn’t quite know how to find them. They were given rooms to stay in and the wizards assured the group that the town would be well looked after.
With that, they all went their separate ways for the night, hoping to reconvene in the morning with a better idea of what they should do.