With the loss of Seipora, the Tiefling Sorcerer, Thorga and Kaari had no choice but continue their quest to stop the Troll menace.
DM note, Anna Maria, the player who had lost her character, chose to DM this session to introduce her new character. Super!
Continuing out of the tunnel (that in the years to come would be named “Seipora’s End” by the dwarves), the two companions moved grimly down towards the mine to face the Trolls.
However, they hit an invisible wall in the middle of the road.
Thorga, the sturdy Dwarven Paladin, refused to accept the wall and kept bouncing against it, while Kaari, the Ranger started feeling the invisible shapes and soon a tavern became visible to her.
As Thorga accepted Kaari’s invite to get a mourning beer, the tavern became visible to him as well.
Stepping into the tavern, the pair found a busy tavern and was welcomed by a friendly Halfling named Pumpkinseed Badger.
Pumpkinseed explained he was the owner of the tavern called Tavern between Worlds, a place that appeared for people on important quests who had lost something valuable on the way… and indeed the Hellbenders had lost somethig… someone… valuable in the tunnel.
Pumpkinseed explained the heroes would have to play a game called Finders Keepers where they would face 3 trials to gain a replacement for their loss.
Goliath, the Half-Orc Barbarian
First Kaari faced Goliath, a Half-Orc Barbarian in arm wrestling.
Kaari, doubting she was a physical match to the big Half-Orc, decided to make an entrance by swinging down on to the chair from a chandelier, much to the surprise to Goliath.
First point to Kaari.
However, she then proceeded to try and distract the Half-Orc, but he wouldn’t have it and in the end Kaari opted for pure brute force and managed to pull all her anger into the pull defeating the Half Orc.
As a price she won a massive 2-handed axe called Soul Devourer.
Bolcalal the Hag
While the arm wrestling was going on, Thorga suddenly found a Hag appearing next to him.
She introduced herself as Bolcalal and asked Thorga to fix her mirror.
As Thorga investigated the mirror he found that while the reflection was almost right, there were som oddities. For example a few people in the mirror did not appear in the room and a few people in the room did not appear in the mirror.
Thorga quickly stepped over to the spot in the room where in the reflection a person stood. As he did, the person in the reflection disappeared.
Annoyed at Thorga’s quick wits, Bolcalal upped the ante by making the mirror show the upstairs floor in the reflection. Thorga wasted no time and ran upstairs.
Where he saw a person sleeping in the mirror and where thew same bed was empty in the room, he placed a Soul Coin and the unholy magic of the hellish currency made a crack in the mirror.
Bolcalal finally brought Thorga downstairs and here the mirror showed him Seipora in the reflection of the crowd.
Stunned Thorga dug his hand into his box of need and pulled out a ball of yarn.
Not knowing what to do with the yarn, Thorga instead brought up his shiny, reflective silver axe and held it in front of the mirror creating an infinite reflection loop. This destroyed the mirror.
While Bolcalal was furious at having been overcome, she still held her end of the bargain and even gave Thorga Endless Miner a small leather pouch that produce on piece of healing coal a day.
A cloaked stranger approaches
Thorga, happy having won the second challenge, tossed the ball of yarn to Kaari who in turn threw it skillfully to the Owlbear Cub Polly, who caught it playfully.
The playing annoyed some customers, while others cheer on the little game.
But one particular guest was drawn to the ball of yarn. Cloaked and hooded, the guest stepped out to the heroes and declared themselves the final challenger.
The heroes were asked to solve a riddle:
There’s a place that is bigger than the greatest kingdom.
Kings, armies and civilians live together in peace there.
No war can wipe the place off the map.
No illness can take the lives of the inhabitants.
You can always make good memories there that lasts centuries and you can always find love there.
Hint: People very rarely leave this place.
the heroes each had 3 guesses and even with the hint it was down to the last and final guess of Kaari that was correct: The Graveyard.
Pestilence and his story
The cloaked figure threw back its hood and revealed a black furred Tabaxi Warlock.
Pestilence explained that he long ago had been turned into a skeleton cat by a misfired spell. He had roamed the lands acting as a familiar for powerful mages to learn how to transform back.
By chance, he had befriended Seipora and when her body and soul was taken to back to hell, Pestilence had been reunited with hius patron, Belial one of the rulers of Phlegethos and thus regained his original form.
Now he had come to join forces with The Hellbenders to first aid them in their quest and second seek revenge for his lost friend.
DM notes, and with that, the party is at full strength again and Anna Maria DMed her first game of Dungeons & Dragons!