Iscandar: Chronicles of the Southern Continent

Crystals in the Desert

Game recap: April 3, 2011

Cast of characters:
Bellor, human psion/fighter; Qweezil, “human” wizard; Rothbart, troll priest of Amon; Sha’re, human healer/druid; Arcon; Deepwater; Onyx; Shona; Topaz

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The party returns to Farwatch and rests the night.

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Armed with details from Davarian’s journals, the group portals down to the Arkarash desert to retrieve a time crystal. The arrive in sere plains/mesa. They follow the directions and find some ruins in a deep crater. The depression has been carved out of the ground, with large sloping stepped sides leading down to a single structure in the center. The front door is very ornate with a graphic depiction of 5 statues shedding energy toward a focal point. The outer building is made of stone with most of the artistry done in bronze.
The door opens easily and there is a swirl of magical energy. The group enters the building and emerge in a room much larger than the building outside would have indicated. There is a hazy mist that fills the area. In the center of the space is a large circle ritual. There is a pedestal in the center and 5 large humanoid statues ringing the edge, all facing inward.
After some investigation, they determine that an item is needed to “power” the ritual. The more powerful the item, the less time used to create the time crystal. It is necessary to enter the circle to turn on the ritual. Once it is activated, no one may enter or leave. Only those inside the circle may attempt to claim the crystal after it is created. Also, the statues will animate and attempt to prevent the acquisition of the crystal.
The entire party elects to enter the circle (with Onyx remaining outside). Qweezil uses an Astral Shard (piece of the original Astral Plane) to power the ritual. They estimate 5 minutes total to finish the ritual due to the magical power of the shard.
The ritual is started and combat is joined. The animated statues are very formidable, containing aspects of: magic, divine, elemental, nature, psionic, healing, poison and physical. Through great teamwork and a little bit of luck (and some well placed “Time Hop” abilities) the party survives the ritual and gains the time crystal.
After the battle, Qweezil is interested in doing additional research on the ritual and the pocket dimension in general. The group intends to stay there a few days.

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Diving for Water

Cast of characters:
Bellor, human psion/fighter; Moralin, human fighter/mage; Qweezil, “human” wizard; Rothbart, troll priest of Amon; Sha’re, human healer/druid; Arcon; Deepwater; Onyx; Shona; Topaz
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The party needs to retrieve two specialized components that Davarian does not have in his workshop: elemental water from the Highlands and a primal-focusing crystal from the Arkarash Desert. Davarian has had to obtain these items before, so the party has general information about where these items are located.
The party elects to go after the water first. Using Davarian’s teleport circle, they head out to the Highlands. As the magic of the teleportation settles, there is a ripping sound and Moralin is standing next to Rothbart, Tempest in hand.
They quickly come upon a sinkhole with 6 animals in a daze surrounding it. They are staring blankly down into the hole. Rothbart moves two deer to clear a way down into the hole. The animals do not react, but quickly collapse to the ground. Sha’re is concerned but the animals do not seem to be dying immediately. The party descends into the sinkhole. The natural hole opens to a passageway leading north. This gives way to a natural cavern with two openings; one to the north-northeast and the other to the west. Rothbart leads the way to the West. This leads to another large natural cavern. In the center of the room is a small pool of glowing water. There is a gigantic circle inscribed into the ground, filling most of the chamber. Qweezil determines that it is a “Puzzle Circle” and creates a knowledge challenge to prevent access to the pool. All but Sha’re enter. They are unsuccessful in navigating the puzzle. Qweezil attempts on his own and is successful in getting to the center. The water is a “naturally occurring” spring that is connected to the plane of water. Qweezil gathers several samples of the water. The puzzle circle also is designed to keep people from leaving with the water, but Qweezil navigates the challenge and emerges back with the party.
Back up on the surface, Sha’re examines the lobotomized deer. There is little that she can do for them.
At sundown, the party notices a group of campfires off to the south east. It is a tribe of roughly 12-15 families that has set up camp.
Bellor checks on the animals with his psionic powers and realizes that they have some strange psionic mind-link that is connected with something down in the ground and they are nourished by psionic energy. He intends to investigate and takes Rothbart and Moralin with him. They follow the psionic emanations to the n/ne corridor. The passageway is different from the others, they seem more symmetrical and crudely crafted, rather than natural. There is a giant psionic worm that is inhabiting the area. The psionic link leads to a brood of eggs in a large nesting room. A short combat ensues with the worm. Bellor puts up a null-psionics field effectively diminishing the worm’s threat to the group. They destroy most of the eggs, Rothbart took one to cook. (I can’t remember, did Bellor keep one?)
Return to the circle and teleport back to the tower.

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Ritual Researching

Cast of characters:
Bellor, human psion/fighter; Moralin, human fighter/mage; Qweezil, “human” wizard; Rothbart, troll priest of Amon; Sha’re, human healer/druid; Arcon; Deepwater; Onyx; Shona; Topaz
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Two hours into researching that day, Moralin explodes – violently – covering the room, and all the characters in little bits of gore and viscera. Tempest is catapulted across the room and impales Rothbart through the chest. The sword continues through Rothbart, but does not come out the back. It becomes infused with him. There is some investigation into this. Qweezil immediately goes into the realm of death, but does not see Moralin’s soul. He does see a strange dark energy, unlike anything he has witnessed before that seems to hover near where Rothbart was standing in the Prime Material plane. It seems to be an anchor of sorts, that is existing in both these realms at the same time. Qweezil hypothesizes that it is a beacon that will allow Moralin to return to them at a later time.
Continue researching Davarian’s disappearance. Much of his personal journals and notes have been removed by the wolfen apprentices who are suspicious of the party’s motives. Bellor stumbles across a book on one of the top shelves that looks to be one of Davarian’s personal diaries, missed by the apprentices. It has a cover that is obviously faked, to make it look like an uninteresting research book. Inside the front cover is a thin sheet of mithril, inscribed with mystic symbols. It seems to be a scrying and teleportation focus. Davarian would be able to use this focus to see into the room (or any room in which it was located). He would also be able to use it as a teleport target to send himself unerringly to the location of the book. The contents of the diary itself are quite mundane, not related to his magical research at all.
As they each hit “the wall” in terms of researching, Rothbart and Sha’re ask to be taken back to Far Watch to rest the night. Rothbart goes out in search of good drink, and finds some. He spends the evening in the feast hall by himself. Sha’re spends the evening with her new druid friends.
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Continue researching and find nothing of use. They speak to Grish and ask for Davarian’s personal journals. He says he will do what he can.
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Grish obtains the journals from the three years between Davarian encountering the “Black Hand” and his disappearance. The party gets to work… [Four clues are needed to have a clear picture of what must be done next – skill challenges are presented to simulate this]
Sha’re finds the first clue.
Sha’re and Rothbart return to Far Watch. Sha’re spends more time with Vartalak and Srantala. Rothbart drinks more. A small group of teenage wolfen come to the feasthall and interact with Rothbart. They are tentative at first, but after a couple drinking challenges, everyone gets along. The feasthall seems to be a normal hangout for the wolfen teens,t hey are there despite the giant female troll in their presence.
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More researching: Qweezil finds the 2nd and 3rd clues needed.
Party at the feasthall. There is a large gathering at the feast hall and Rothbart is included in the festivities.
Sha’re runs with the druids through the forest. It is exhilarating. She meets an ancient awakened oak in a druid grove. It gifts her with 10 “Awesome Berries” (much better than good berries).
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More researching: Rothbart finds the final clue.
End at noon.

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The Tower of Davarian

Cast of characters:
Bellor, human psion/fighter; Moralin, human fighter/mage; Qweezil, “human” wizard; Rothbart, troll priest of Amon; Sha’re, human healer/druid; Arcon; Deepwater; Onyx; Shona; Topaz
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The party decide to stay at Gnemo’s Needle for two days. Gnemo provides a portal map to Lone Pine and over the mountain range to Davarian’s tower.
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Portal to Lone Pine. Sha’re speaks to the giant, ancient pine tree from which the town takes it’s name. Qweezil opens a portal to Davarian’s Tower in the Great Akkadian Wilderness. The group arrives in a cleared out area in the center of a magical circle. Spending no time to investigate, they head off toward the mountain, looking for the tower. They are noticed and followed by several wolfen.
As soon as the party starts heading up the trail at the base of the mountain, the wolfen leader approaches the group and demands to know why they are here and trespassing on their land. There is a brief verbal exchange, but the party will not be swayed from continuing up the mountain. A short combat ensues. The wolfen cast several offensive teleportation spells, sending members of the party back to the circle where they first appeared. Bellor is shunted to the plane of shadow. Qweezil reflects that spell back on the wolfen leader a few moments later. Bellor and the wolfen come to an agreement while there. He leads Bellor back to the teleportation circle.
After they return, the battle de-escalates and the party explains they are there to speak with a Dwarf name Davarian. The wolfen know of him and are his apprentices. The leader introduces himself as Grisharkir’r and leads the group back to his village, Far Watch. The wolfen in this village are of the Red Scar tribe and have dwelt in these lands for a long time. The party stays in the village for the day and overnight. Sha’re meets two druids, Vartarak and Srantala.
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Grish takes the party up to the tower. He explains that Davarian has been here for around 20 years. Only recently has he become actively involved with his wolfen neighbors. Seven years ago, he came down from his tower into the village and began interacting with the tribe. About five years ago he selected Grish as an apprentice to study magic with him up in his keep. Over the next three years he taught Grish how to cast spells and focus magical energy to aid in ritual magic. He also took other wolfen as apprentices, but none were as gifted as Grish. Two years ago he completed some ritual and opened a gate to another realm. Even with all his apprentices arrayed to assist, he was beaten and taken by two beings of morphing light.
They would like the group to find him and rescue him, if possible.
The group agrees and begins researching Davarian’s work: trying to find out where he went, what type of magic he was working on and the creatures that took him. [Spend 2 days researching]. Bellor taps into the psychic impressions of the large workroom and sees 3 events of notice: he sees the encounter where Davarian is taken, he sees Davarian complete a ritual and have an encounter with a strange black hand that reaches up out of the center of a circle, he sees the hall being constructed with the aid of many elementals.

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Saving the Needle

Cast of characters:
Bellor, human psion/fighter; Moralin, human fighter/mage; Qweezil, “human” wizard; Rothbart, troll priest of Amon; Sha’re, human healer/druid; Arcon; Deepwater; Onyx; Shona; Topaz
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The lizard creatures put up a paltry defense before the onslaught of Moralin. After the lizard men are killed, the groups tries to deal with the ley line storm. Realizing that more creatures are going to keep coming as long as the storm rages, they try to figure out a way to shut it down. Moralin attempts to dispel the magical storm. As he sends his magical negation out into the storm, there is a tremendous backlash and he falls to the ground dead. A moment later his sword levitates above his body and seems to take a defensive position. A moment after that, there is a bright flash of magical energy from the sword and Moralin is brought back to life, fully healthy.
The group determines that there is likely something going on inside the Needle that is causing, or at least feeding, the ley line storm. The group attempts to enter the building and are pulled into a magical puzzle. Everyone solves the magical labyrith, other than Sha’re, who gives up. The party decides to leave Gneemo’s Needle and see if there is anything that can be done from the outside. Qweezil deduces that he may be able to divert enough of the magical energy from the needle focus, hoping that this will kickstart the magical protections into working properly. He has Moralin and Sha’re assist him and they are successful… barely. There is a massive explosion of chaos, primal energy. Everyone is able to avoid being affected by the wash of chaos other than Rothbart and Moralin. They are both fundamentally changed in the magical explosion.
After the storm has settled, the party meets Gnemo, himself. He appears to have been affected by the chaos-primal as well and has been transformed into an orc adolescent. He is grateful for the groups help in shutting down the storm. They are all granted VIP status at the inn and restaurant and are granted complimentary accommodations whenever they like. Qweezil mentions that they are on their way to meet with a famous Dwarven Thaumaturge and Gnemo tells them that he knows Davarian and can help them arrive faster and with more accuracy.

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Old Friends, New Acquaintances

Cast of characters:
Bellor, human psion/fighter; Moralin, human fighter/mage; Qweezil, “human” wizard; Rothbart, troll priest of Amon; Sha’re, human healer/druid; Arcon; Deepwater; Onyx; Shona; Topaz
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Venger is in Grennis with his travelling circus and sees his old companion Qweezil on the street. They reconnect and Moralin (as he now is called) re-joins the party. He meets the rest of the group at the Casino at sundown. [Moralin is infused with chaos magic and it has strange and often debilitating effects]
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The group is researching teleportation magic to figure out an easier way to travel between Iscandar and Telarra and discovers the work of a specialist in thaumaturgy – a Dwarven wizard named Davarian Trondalak. He is known to have a remote tower/keep in the Northern Akkadian Mountains. His family is originally from the Dwarven city of Overlook in central Cedenia.
Qweezil checks into the Casino’s accounts and notices some discrepancies. He sets up a meeting with Leo and the head pit-bosses. After the meeting Leo informs Qweezil of a guild buy-out that Leo is tight-lipped about and strongly suggests that Qweezil just let it go. The whole situation seems strange and mysterious, with no straight answers forthcoming. Qweezil relents and ends the meeting. He later enlists Sammy to investigate the situation discretely.
Mattox is the closest capital city to Overlook, so the group portals a few miles outside the city. As they approach, they are challenged by the guards. Instead of dealing with getting inside the city (which appears to be prepping for a major military exercise), they port from there to a large lake called Darkfen lake. There is defensive magic that comes from the Mattox city walls and attempts to stop Qweezil’s spell. It succeeds and they move a greater distance away to leave.
The party arrives in Polsmere and has lunch at the Black Stag Brewery. There is a magic shop in town and they buy magical supplies from the Dwarven proprietor, Huckerby. He gives some info about Davarian and tells them of his great niece, Mallory, who currently resides in the family estate in Overlook.
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The group rides up the mountain to Overlook. They arrive, go to the Trondalak estate and meet with Mallory. She agrees to look for info on Davarian and his tower in the north. The party agrees to return the next day at noon.
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Get info from Mallory and return to Grennis.
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Portal to Gneemo’s Needle on the edge of the Timberlands. They arrive during a ley line storm. There are magical lightning strikes and they fight a massive demon-bat-creature. After killing the giant creature, they face the melee at the front of the building. A group of lizard men are attacking the inhabitants…

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The Conquering Heroes

Game recap: November 7, 2010

Cast of characters:
Belor, human psion/fighter; Daymoon, “elf” ranger; Qweezil, “human” wizard; Rothbart, troll priest of Amon; Sha’re, human healer/druid; Arcon; Deepwater; Onyx; Shona; Topaz

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9:00 pm: Having defeated all the cultists, Qweezil gets to work deciphering the ritual and figuring out how to reverse it. The other party members assist and they succeed in trapping the Deep One. At the conclusion of the ritual there is a blinding light that pierces from the ceiling and an explosion of light and energy. When the party can see again, there is no evidence of the circle, the hole or even any of the cultists. Spinning in the center of where the circle used to be floats a small silver key. Daymoon looks at it curiously and reaches out to take it. A strange look crosses her face and she says that it belonged to the cultist leader, Morthan. The group backtracks to the living quarters of Morthan and finds his high quality bedroom set. Daymoon does a quick scan of the room and locates a hidden compartment. Belor opens it up and inside they find a locked foot locker (#301). The key fits perfectly.
Deciding to view the treasure later, the party heads back topside to see the results of the battle. The Viruk also saw the bright white light shoot down from the sky. With a little further investigation, the group determines that they are all “missing time” during the flash and explosion of light. Approximately 30 minutes of time had elapsed. Three Viruk total were slain in the fight. Sha’re brings the 3 slain Viruk back to life. The spread of the blight has stopped spreading, although it is still there. The Viruk and Ettercap decide to remain in Vargeddar. Qweezil portals the group 450 miles toward Vallastar.
They set up camp and go through Morthan’s chest and divide the treasure. There are also several sets of clothing and a ring that bear a noble crest. Qweezil believes that it belongs to a relation to the king of Iscandar, perhaps a cousin.
Later that evening, Sha’re detects some druidic/nature magic occurring some distance away. She investigates with Daymoon. They find Aevorlyxalis stepping from a scrub brush. He shares a quick telepathic conversation with Daymoon and tells Sha’re that it is time for Daymoon and Deepwater to return with him; her task is completed. Daymoon and Sha’re say their goodbyes and Daymoon gives Sha’re one of her combs. Sha’re returns to camp.

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Qweezil casts 2 more portals to bring the party just outside Vallastar. They return to Qweezil’s condo and relax. Later that morning, the group disperses to spend their newfound wealth. Qweezil makes inquiries into the clothing and ring recovered from Morthan’s chest.

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Qweezil wants to test his teleportation circle from his place in Vallastar to his mausoleum in Grennis. Belor’s precognition goes off the charts (Danger!) and Qweezil stops. They investigate other ways and decide on having Belor plane shift them all to the astral plane and back to Grennis. He first sets a Greater Anchored Navigation point outside the city then shifts the party astral and back near Grennis. Qweezil mystic portals the group to Grennis proper (his Mausoleum just outside the city.
Shanik is there waiting for their arrival and escorts them to the Casino.

End @ 10am in Grennis

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Into the Breach

Game recap: October 3, 2010

Cast of characters:
Belor, human psion/fighter; Daymoon, “elf” ranger; Qweezil, “human” wizard; Rothbart, troll priest of Amon; Sha’re, human healer/druid; Arcon; Deepwater; Onyx; Shona; Topaz

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~7:30 pm: The party enters the cavern through the double doors. Qweezil finds that he is unable to enter. He is even prevented from casting spells through some kind of barrier. He investigates while the party continues on. There are a group of cultist defenders in the first half of the cavern. They have some sort of spiritual connection to the “Deep One” that feeds a magic item that projects an energy construct defender. These guys are a much more difficult battle and during the fight, Sha’re is critically struck in her spine and is killed. Qweezil finally breaks through the barrier and the group defeats the cultist defenders. Rothbart channels the power of his goddess and raises Sha’re back from death.
The group regroups and moves deeper in the cavernous room, coming to a narrow and dangerous looking span of stone. Off to each side, the opening seems to drop off beyond the range of sensing. They do not risk investigating and everyone gains the ability fly, safely bypassing the bridge.
There is a giant magical circle around a large gaping hole in the ground. Five cultists, including Morthan, the cultist leader, are there enacting some ritual that will raise the Deep One. Each cultist has a bodyguard and the final battle is joined. The fight is pitched and the foes are capable, but the party is victorious in defeating the cultists and stopping the ritual.

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Plan in Motion

Game recap: August 15, 2010

Cast of characters:
Belor, human psion/fighter; Daymoon, “elf” ranger; Qweezil, “human” wizard; Rothbart, troll priest of Amon; Sha’re, human healer/druid; Arcon; Deepwater; Onyx; Shona; Topaz

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The party is escorted to the ettercap (spider people) enclave by S’sratix. They successfully negotiate with the Ettercap. They will remain out of the conflict with the human cultists and reveal an alternate access to the underground complex. The party meditates to recover much needed energies.
7pm: The Viruk attack the humans on the surface as a distraction. The party breaks through the wall from the Ettercap enclave into the underground human complex. The group navigates the passageways, deciding to take the less used corridor. It takes them to the general quarters of the cultists. In the common room, the party is attacked by a pair of hyper-chuuls. These chuuls have magical symbols covering their bony carapace. They are much faster, stronger and tougher than the creatures they faced out in the wasteland. Regardless, the party makes short work of them by teaming up on one at a time and with Qweezil negating their magical effects.
Beyond the common room, there are two other private quarters. One belongs to the head wizard and his bodyguard and the other belonging to the cultist leader, Morthan. Knowing that time is of the essence, they do not investigate any further and return to the central cavern and move down the main passage.
They come to a barred door guarded by a meager force of 6 human cultists. The cultists are killed very quickly. The party bashes down the barred door. Beyond, they see a massive cavern and a glow in the distance (more than 1000 ft away).

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Gaining Allies

Game recap: May 23, 2010

Cast of characters:
Belor, human psion/fighter; Daymoon, “elf” ranger; Qweezil, “human” wizard; Rothbart, troll priest of Amon; Sha’re, human healer/druid; Arcon; Deepwater; Onyx; Shona; Topaz

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The group intends to meet whatever is happening in town head-on. They ride boldly into town along the main road, entering from the north. They come to one of the bonfires and Qweezil stops to investigate the magical circle and symbols. He determines that the circle effects are four-fold: 1) they channel magical energy from the environment into the circle at an increased rate, 2) the circles are all connected together and most of the magic energy they are channeling is being sent to some other focus, 3) some magic is held to power a barrier of some sort; the barrier is intended to affect a non-prime material plane creature, 4) there is some sort of primal amalgamation happening; using magic, psionic, health and soul energies for the focus.

Daymoon notices some movement along the road ahead. The party continues on… The party sees an ambush and attempts to defuse it with conversation. Qweezil informs the mixed group of ambushers that they are there to help stop the blight from spreading. This tact seems to have some effect as one of the ambushers, a female Viruk, moves across the road and speaks with one of the humans. The party overhears her say, “Morthan lied to us.” The invisible human she was speaking to flees via a teleport spell. The other two humans walk off. A Chuul had attacked, but Daymoon avoided its attacks. The Viruk does something to the Chuul psionically and it burrows away.

The female Viruk introduces herself as S’sratix and says that Morthan, the leader of the humans, deceived them and she wants to help the group stop the spread of the blight. It appears that S’sratix is unaware of anything beyond the realm of the small town, Vargeddar. She is deeply concerned by the news that the blight might be spreading. She escorts the group back to the Viruk enclave. Sha’re heals two of the male Viruk that returned from their encounter outside of town.

S’sratix explains that the humans are in charge and they take some of the Viruk and the strange spider-people down beneath the town. There is some sort of ritual taking place there. The Chuul are unthinking creatures and the humans appear to have them controlled somehow. It is possible that the spider-people ( Ettercap) may be willing to help the group disrupt the ritual or at least not side with the humans. S’sratix will lead the group to the Ettercap enclave and help with the negotiation.

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