Ranza (Changeling 5)
Gnarl (Wood Gnome 6)
Hobbs (Hedgefey 6) and Wattles the Giant Swan
Hobbs (Hedgefey 6) and Wattles the Giant Swan
Thrax (Fighter 5)
Vegarious (Changeling 4)
Jonesomon (Specialist 5)
Slugs Mackenzie (Hedgefey 3) [Henchman]
neo-Baihu Cerritulus (Magic User ?) [NPC]
Bagfeed and Cart
After resting for the night, the party awoke to the sound of pouring rain outside. But before venturing forth, they put their minds to work trying to determine what to put in the cups to 'activate' whatever power the party assumed they had. First was to pour some of the black oily material from the vanquished Form of Darkness in the jet cup. And lo, it glowed with a black light. They then tried several forms of water, and brows were furrowed over the question of 'fire which is not fire'. Several attempts were made to get the black flames from the catacombs below into the red cup, but to no avail. While there they also tried bringing 'back' the ruined book from the temple using the black flames (after first burning it thoroughly.) Alas, they got nothing back but the tatters they'd started with. Still thinking the substances they needed were someone in this building, they had Gnarl use the greenstone to perform a thorough search of both temple and catacomb. But this revealed no hidden spaces. They likewise tried turning more pillars, hoping that may unlock some secret, but again gained nothing for their trouble.
Thinking now of wider horizons, the party left the small building to search the rest of the island. Hobbs led them to a smaller clearing he'd observed during his aerial survey. Here they found a small pool of water, next to which was a large pile of moss covered boulders. Gnarl, looking in the pool, was surprised to see the weeds that grew within swirled about even though the water of the pool was still. As he watched, the weeds and grasses formed the face of a pouting young girl, who demanded to know who he was. The wood gnome fumbled out some answers, but thought it best to pull back as he feared being drawn into the pool by some fey magic. So they instead turned to Ranza, with her silver tongue and ring of water breathing. She too was greeted by the green girl, who remarked she wished to be as beautiful as the changeling. Which apparently meant gifts of jewelry and a mirror were required before the girl would say much more. Placated with a ruby circlet, the girl answered their questions as best she could. She was rather fuzzy on things like time and details of anything that did not interest her. But the party did learn that the Prince Who Would Be had been taken away long ago to a secret place in Faerie. By whom she wasn't sure, but she didn't think the Prince went willingly or happily. She also told them of a giant that once walked the island, indicating vaguely towards the face on the cliff above when asked about where he'd gone. She also told them of some other watery woman who dwelt among the cluster of rocks in the river. And before they left, she graciously allowed the party to take a sample of water from her pool, as they though it might be the water they needed for the cup.
Taking leave of the girl in the pool, the party returned to the temple, fighting another group of wood woad guardians as they crossed the clearing. There they learned the pool water was not what they needed for the blue cup. So now they prepared to go even further afield. Returning to the raft, they headed towards the cluster of rocks upstream of the island. When they got there, they noticed the pool at the centre of the cluster of rocks was calm and still, very much unlike the flowing current outside. Ranza called out, and from the pool emerged three lithe female shapes, seemingly formed of water. These greeted the party politely. And immediately one was drawn to Thrax, beckoning the big fighter to come closer and give her a kiss. He was prevented only by calm words and a firm grip from Gnarl, and Hobbs jumped up on a rock and started bad mouthing the woman. This raised their anger, and the three spat in hedgefey's face, nearly blinding him. In the ensuing tussle, the party was able to 'scoop' up some of the creatures watery form, thinking it may be what they needed for the blue cup.
The fight broke up with no one on either side slain, and the trio of women merged back into the water. The party backed the raft away, and headed for the opposite shore where they'd seen a pillar on their first survey of the site. Once ashore and looking closer, they could see it marked the remnants of a bridge that once crossed the river to the island. It now leaned crookedly to one side in a small flooded and boggy area. Atop it was a translucent black ball, which Hobbs flew up to examine more closely. Inside it, he could see a dancing flame. Could this be the 'fire which is not fire'? He easily plucked it up. At which point, something stirred at the base of the pillar. Two massive shapes, formed of weeds and mud, appeared before them. But the party opted to not stand and fight, easily running ahead of the things back to the raft.
They paddled back to the island once more, and headed to the temple to try their luck with the remaining cups. The water from the sirens made the blue cup glow, as did the fire from the ball once Gnarl had freed it with a stone shape. When all there containers were aglow, a loud cracking and rumbling sounds could be heard outside. Stepping out into the clearing, they looked up and saw that the face carved into the cliff now looked almost life like (though still quite grotesque). As as they watched, pair of hands appeared alongside the face, and out of the cliff face emerged a huge giant with a grossly oversized and grotesque head. The giant descended the cliff, wadded the river to the island, and ended up in front of the party. Thankfully he did not flatten them with the tree he now wielded as a club, and the party was able to talk to him. The giant was confused, saying over and over this looks like his home but wasn't. After some time, they figured out his home was a small secret part of Faerie, where he and his brother once ruled before being overthrown by a fey lord. The giant had been cursed to block the passage back to Faerie with his body, and was likewise cursed to never return.
The party, seeing a likely connection between the giants' conundrum and their own quest, agreed to go to Faerie and try to remove the curve. The giant settled down in the clearing and then 'encouraged them' on their way. The party went back to the raft and then sized up the cliff. Unfortunately, it dropped straight into the water, and they could see no where to land but the flat space by the pillar where the two shambling mounds still waited at waters edge. So they headed straight ashore and charged at the pair. In a hard fight, first Thrax and then Jonesomon were engulphed by the things and started to suffocate. Thrax escaped where the rest of the party slew the one that entrapped him; and the fighter then rescued Jonesomon by using his swords wind walk to pull the now airy specialist out of it's grip. However, Slugs was felled by a mighty blow just before the party finished off the second creature.
5 Wood Woad
2 Shambling Mounds