Session #40: Sklooh develops a new fetish
Lena steps forward, seizing the opportunity, and promises to stop looking for her father if Akasha is allowed to continue her life in Telor without consequence, unimpeded, and with her original wealth restored to her. Sensing the deception, but as a show of good faith, Tanya agreed under the condition that Akasha's memory of recent events be erased or altered. Akasha agreed and so did the party.
Before being turned out, the Pillarmen inquired about Tanya. She told them that she has only recently given herself over to attending to the affairs of the world. For hundreds of years she has been living as she pleased, moving from one life to the next, erasing the memories of all those with whom she had become personally connected. Her most recently abandoned life was the persona of Tanya (not her true name), adopted daughter of a couple of elderly Argathans. She chose this life after expulsion from Varda. She expressed sincere appreciation to the Pillarmen for bringing her false parents to Telor -- ensuring they were not harmed or captured by Varda, and more importantly, allowing her to alter their memories and provide for their well-being.
A few parting requests: Tanya asked if a meeting could be arranged between her and Adrian, keep to their words regarding what they promised, and please pretend as though your memories of her identity and the interrogation were absent. With that, she summoned a few guards to escort the party out of the city. She warned them, though, that she could ensure Artel wouldn't kill Lena, but not guarantee the lives of the other Pillarmen nor protect Lena from captivity and torture if he caught them.
On the way out of Telor, Igan and Irthir noticed the prolonged gazes of passerby, noting that some of them looked to be gathering intrigue on the party. Absentmindedly, they revealed that their memories had, in fact, not been altered. Nevertheless, they were deposited outside the mountain and into the forest. It was immediately suggested that they minimize the risk of scrying, at least until they were a good distance from the city. They traveled spread apart from each other, but within eyesight. Irthir and Igan traveled about 15 feet apart as they trekked through the forest. In order to confuse onlookers, Sklooh traveled in the mountainous terrain and Lena traveled in the air (avoiding vegetation by a distance of 10 feet wherever able) to give the appearance of the party having split up.
The Pillarmen bed down for the night, choosing a location suitably mundane enough to confuse attempts to scrying. Irthir, however remained awake and on watch. Partway through the night, a large toad hopped towards the camp. It looked about, tongue lolling out of its mouth. It saw the sleeping party and Irthir saw that it might be considering a nighttime snack. Irthir cast a spell around the toad, collapsing space into the peculiar void-dimension of his patron's subconscious and violent mind. Upon suffering arcane damage from the strange phantasmic disturbance Irthir created, the toad stood up on it's hind legs and revealed itself to be no ordinary toad. Irthir called out for the rest of the party, and the strange toad-thing vanished before his eyes and reappeared outside of the haunted space of Irthir's design. Only then did Irthir realize he wasn't looking at the toad's tongue -- it was the arm of a victim inside its mouth. The creature looked around, hungry and violent.
Sklooh was the first to react, waking up and springing to action against the intruder. Just after Irthir attempted to shatter its bones, Sklooh jumped into the fray with intent to maw it to death. The unnatural movements of the creature eluded Sklooh, however, and he was unable to find purchase. The toad retaliated, though, by spitting up its most recent victim -- a human -- and engulfing the lizardfolk entirely in its mouth. Sklooh felt a strange sapping of his life force and was inexplicably paralyzed inside it's gullet. Lena awoke and bombarded it with a fireball to little effect, though she did make it mad. The creature teleported once more and appeared next to Lena. It whipped her with it's noodley appendage and bit her, critically injuring the frail caster. She retreated into the air, narrowly avoiding another attack.
The creature turned to the only two active targets remaining: Igan and Irthir. Igan continually smashed at the creature with his hammer, and Irthir whittled away at it's vitality with minor spells. The toad began its assault on Irthir next, using it's strange unnatural abilities to damage him quickly. Just as things were looking grim for Sklooh, Igan put a stop to the almost unrelenting monster, beating it into the ground. The dead body of the toad involuntarily regurgitated Sklooh with his life force severely depleted.
With the danger resolved, Sklooh violently tore the monster apart, scavenging it for parts. Irthir dug through its ichor for clues to its mysterious arcane anatomy, finding little he understood. Igan, however, turned his attention to the toad's previous victim: dressed in robes, carrying both a spell component pouch and a Telorian coin pouch. Lena took the components, Sklooh took the coin pouch, and seeing that they had obviously been followed, they relocated to finish out their night's rest.
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