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Recap 80 Supplemental: When the Day Goes to Sleep

July 22nd, 2017

Almost as smart as the kids on the Teletubbies

Having dealt with their casualties, the Motley Too return to the Clam Puzzle, but it continues to prove too difficult. So they move on. In the next room, they find a grandfather clock, a wall safe, and a wight (!). A second after entering the room, bars of blue light shoot down from the ceiling, slicing the wight into pieces. Whew!

The clock is clearly what is needed to return them to the present, per Chumley's instructions, but the party decides to continue trying to solve Mangar's puzzles before doing that.

Moving the minute hand of the clock forward or back causes time itself to move. It also triggers an acid trap from the wall safe, melting Adarra's and The Harper of the North's faces. Fortunately moving the minute hand back to the current time undoes all the damage.

Not sure how to access the wall safe without getting a face full of acid and wight, the Motley Too leaves puzzle and the room only to find yet another frozen Umber Hulk on a colored pedestal; this time a blue one. Beyond that, they find a room with a large table. On the table is a map of the Training Ground, complete with little miniatures representing the party (!) and the Umber Hulks.

The party finds that sitting in the seats puts them into the heads of their respective miniatures. It also activates the Umber Hulks, who start destroying all the possible exits from the Training Ground: the main entrance, the stairway to the Rewards Tower, and the clock.

The colored javelins are the only thing that can injure the Umber Hulks, but the entire building might be destroyed before the group manages to reach each one. Eventually the party realizes that by moving their miniatures on the board, they can move themselves around the Training Ground quickly, and they are able to stop the Hulks before the Tower and clock are destroyed plus acquire another gem.

During their rampage, the Umber Hulks burrowed through the Training Ground, leaving behind tunnels through various walls and floors. Exploring these tunnels, the party finds a chamber directly under the grandfather clock, and from here they can see the mechanism restricting the clock to the 9 minutes of time travel necessary for the puzzle. Per Chumley's instructions, removing that restriction should automatically return the party to the present.

They also find an alcove with writing engraved on the wall:

Foyer     Heavens

Furnace   Squids

Shell     Clams

Clock     Minutes

Head      Players

The things listed in the left column correspond to the labels on the wall panel with the numbered dials. With this information, the Motley Too is able to solve this puzzle. The panel opens revealing another gem.

Back in the clam shell room, Kurtis plays a note imitating the sound the shells make when struck, causing them to open. He places the silver hammer into the silver clam shell. When the shell opens, the silver hammer has been transformed into one of gold. Striking the gold clam shell with it allows them to retrieve the key that unlocks the giant clam shell, gaining them yet another Heaven gem.

The party is now determined to solve the clock room puzzle for the final gem. After some trial and error and the use of a curved mirror, the group figures out how to access the safe without getting melted by acid or cut to ribbons by lasers or killed by a wight.

Taking all the gems that they've collected to the Rewards Tower, each member of the party cashes in a gem allowing them to enhance themselves in one of several ways. When the party leaves the tower, Vain remains behind, shutting himself into a small room behind a door (this was expected, again per Chumley's instructions).

The group then removes the restricting mechanism from the clock, and find themselves instantly thrown through time. Mangar's Training Ground is now a rubble-filled ruin. It's unclear exactly what day it is (e.g. did the party get returned to the exact instant that they left, or did time pass equivalent to the amount they spent in the past?), but it's evident much time has passed. Also, the group has remained in Mangar's Wood instead of being transported back to the island where they first time traveled.

Back To the Future (Or: Where We're Going, We Don't Need Roads)

The Motley Too picks its way through the ruins and heads south towards the Logsend River. In the small logging town of Sabael, they make arrangements to act as guards for a boat delivering lumber to the port city of Betaya. Loggers have been going missing, so the Motley Too's services are welcome.

The party rides a large raft full of logs down the Logsend. Sir Gyles - having summoned his warhorse and fitted it with magical horseshoes found in the past that allow it to run on water - scouts ahead. Unfortunately, as his patrol passes over a spot in the river, a pair of giant skeletal hands reach up from under the river and grab the raft. A gigantic skeleton emerges from the river and forces it to the southern bank. In coordination with that, a horde of undead - including more wights! - come charging from the land to the south.

River Raid

Despite both Sir Gyles and The Harper using their holy powers to repel some of the undead, and despite a song by Kurtis which bolsters the group, one of the loggers is killed by the giant skeleton. And the undead keep coming.

They are seemingly led by what first appears to be a human wizard, but on closer inspection, the wizard has an eye hanging out of its socket and a mangled face. 0_o The wizard waves his hand, and a pair of landsharks barrel towards the raft.

The landsharks have an unusual rusty color and strange pinwheel tails. Behind the landsharks come more horrors: a trio of half-men, half-rhinoceroses, and what appears to be the front half of two dogs sewn together.

The party learns the hard way that the landsharks have been imbued with rust monster attributes. When Jandove strikes the two-headed dog, it splits in half, each half continuing to attack. Despite these challenges, the Motley Too eventually persevere.

Searching the undead wizard's belongings, the party finds the following diary entry:

Jan 15th
My efforts to breed rust monsters with bulettes has hit a snag. With my special process, the offspring are viable, but the inherent strength of the bulette is diluted by the introduction of rust monster genes. Have tried several different splices but all results similar. Of course, simply having gigantic creatures with the attributes of rust monsters is a success of sorts in itself, but it does not equal my vision.

I have gone to the great hag Crulicar for aid with this. In return for sharing all of my research, she has agreed to help. Her initial suggestion is a circumvention of the problem: instead of improving my splicing, she suggested introducing the attributes of a third creature, known as a "zorbo". I have included her notes on the zorbo below. This would indeed solve the durability issue, but it, of course, is not in the spirit of my vision. Still, pursuing this avenue may be illuminating. At Crulicar's suggestion I have drawn up flyers requesting the capture of some zorbo, and she will be distributing them through her channels.

Crulicar's help has not come without its costs, however. In addition to sharing my research, I have agreed to deal with the problem of a rival of hers. Apparently a cleric calling himself the Green Manalishi has managed to "acquire" a large group of undead during the Lich War of South Luka. With that as the basis for an army, he has been raiding shipments in Chumera and has acquired an orb intended for Crulicar. I am to travel to Chumera and get back the orb. Unfortunately there are no direct paths through the Underdark to the area that he dwells in, so I am forced to travel above ground for the first time in some years. But a horde of undead grunts should be no match for my menagerie, and I should soon be able to get back to familiar territory and my research.

Clearly the wizard - whose name was Trenkmar the Magus - turned out to be less prepared to fight the Green Manalishi than he thought, and he and his creations became the Manalishi's puppets.

The party apologizes to the surviving loggers for failing to save all of them, but the loggers are understanding and say that if the group takes the fight to the Green Manalishi it will be a great boon to Sabael and all of Chumera. The Harper offers a few words of comfort to the loggers.

The Harper: Sentience itself (in all of its forms, shapes, and varying affecting degrees) is a monumental spatial mistake that should die out and is ought to be corrected. And, that the best that could happen is the undoing of the universe, by completely reverting the produced subsequent effects, that were caused by the Big Bang--indeed, total blankness and utter silence, spread thorough a vacant ocean of Stygian nothingness...
With all of this being said, I think that it can be safely interpreted that this pungent sense of nauseating existential sickness that many humans seem to have is nothing else than glorious nonexistence calling us back home, by sending a message that is being absorbed by awareness, and later deciphered with the use of cognition... We were brutally evicted from there without permission, and we anxiously want to reclaim our place in it. Something that, after looking at how absurd, chaotic, bizarre, inhospitable, foul and meaningless the world is, it comes to no surprise either, to carry such great internal desire within ourselves.

Loggers stare at The Harper in horror and confusion

Adarra: Don't mind him. Have a nice day!

The loggers paddle away on their raft, leaving the Motley Too behind. With two rangers (and one ranger-turned-bard) in the group, they are easily able to follow the undead horde's trail through the woods back to the Green Manalishi's lair.

The Green Manalishi with the Two-Pronged Crown

The lair is guarded by even more powerful undead: mummies and vampires. And soon the Green Manalishi himself comes out. He is a human wizard dressed in ragged green robes, wearing a spindly crown with two prongs.

Green Manalishi: So, more agents of Crulicar come to take what is mine. You'll suffer the same fate as the rest.

The Harper: There are scarier things in this forest than you.

The Harper surprises the Manalishi by taking control of some of his undead. But the Manalishi touches his hands to his crown, sending out a wave of sickly energy. Delphine, Adarra, and Adarra's Dire Wolf pet Bone Crusher are affected. Their skin shrivels and they take on a zombie-like appearance. Unlike zombies they continue to move at full speed and have all of their abilities, but they are under the Green Manalishi's control.

Kurtis, meanwhile, is attacked by a vampire and his life force is drained. The bard's abilities are weakened, but he's still able to recite a poem:

Kurtis: You fashion yourself King of the Undead
But why don't you call them off instead?
We came here to wage war
With the evil witch named Crulicar.

The Green Manalishi is initially unmoved by this entreaty, but the Motley Too is inspired by Kurtis' heroic poetry in the face of the vampire's attack on him. The Harper uses some of his undead to surprise the Manalishi and knock off his crown. With Sir Gyles and his warhorse bearing down on him, the Manalishi suddenly has a change of heart. He surrenders, and, in exchange for his freedom, tells The Harper that the zombie-fied members of the Motley Too can be restored if the crown is destroyed. After having his undead destroy the crown, The Harper walks up to the Green Manalishi and stabs him.

The Harper: You are free.

Upon further questioning, the Motley Too learn where the Green Manalishi found the crown and where he's hidden the orb that Crulicar is searching for. The orb - a strange crystal sitting in a nest of moving green vines - is found, and all of the remaining undead are destroyed.

Adarra then surprises the group by unleashing Bone Crusher, allowing him to kill the Green Manalishi.

Adarra: There are lots of different types of freedom.

Back to the bullet points

Tags: Adarra, Bone Crusher, Delphine, Doggie, Jandove, Kurtis, Sir Gyles, Tala, The Harper of the North, Vain, Wileu

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