When we last left the party…
Raltar, Safphron, and Hawthuum had just defeated Scooter and overcome the siren’s mind control, following the familiar’s directions to find Nicholas. In a ship graveyard they finally come across their half-orc companion, who seems to have been through an adventure all his own. But time is short, and the party has to leave quickly before the schooling figures under the surface of the water get brave enough to surface. Hawthuum keeps a thunder wave at the ready and they make it back onto their own ship.
The next morning sees all four adventurers bright eyed and busy tailed. Of course that doesn’t mean that something hasn’t gone wrong, and quickly the four of them notice not only is the sky the wrong color, but they’re all seeing different colors. Nicholas postulates this must be some sort of mass illusion conjured by a powerful source, and having experience with illusions before the party manages to work through until they’re all at least seeing the same thing once again. Unfortunately the rest of the crew still needs to be convinced, and Cabin Boy takes the longest because he was happily in the middle of eating a carrot before realizing there was no carrot to eat.
That settled, Safphron joins Cabin Boy in the galley to cook while they others head above decks. Suddenly the boat comes to a screeching halt, and looking over the side reveals that massive vines have caught the vessel in their grasp. Nicholas, following the trail of magic, discovers that Raltar in an attempt to explore his magical abilities, has unwittingly unleashed a very strong ensnaring strike upon them all. Raltar quickly banishes the vines, and the group resumes their voyage.
Hawthuum and Raltar decide to mediate for awhile, and each of them have different visions. Hawthuum sees Blackbear, still up to his nasty tricks, and still loose on the high seas. Raltar on the other hand sees his kingdom as a forest fire breaks out, just to be extinguished by the same dragon they’ve been seeing more and more of as their time moves on. Meanwhile, Safphron comes up from below with cookies as the dwarf and elf are trying to make sense of their visions. Nicholas receives a scroll from his school, letting him know that he’s passed his term paper, and Raltar descends below to cook their full meal.
Nicholas, ecstatic about passing, has Safphron make him a strong celebratory drink and gets rather intoxicated. While in that state he rambles about hard light, hard dark, and hard twilight, while complaining about Arthurix – a rival student. Raltar dutifully takes notes, and Nicholas passes out after not too long. A little while later the crew spots land, which wakes Nicholas. Using detect magic on the island to discern if there’s any magical danger there, Nicholas discovers that Raltar and Hawthuum both have the wrong magical auras; gold and pink instead of green and blue, respectfully. After freaking out for a little bit they manage to get past the second illusion just as they make landfall.
Stepping onto the island, immediately the four of them feel less intelligent. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that the island is somehow sapping their intelligence, and they beat a hasty retreat. Thankfully only Hawthuum and Scooter got hit super hard by the enchantment, and Nicholas is able to collect and redistribute the party’s information mentally. He keeps Scooter’s intelligence for the moment, struggling with his thirst to know and wanting to give his familiar back his brains. Raltar, meanwhile, makes a call to Barry and Lillian trying to see what the fire and dragon was about. While they acknowledge the fire, neither of them recall seeing a dragon in the area. With more questions than answers, the party hopes that their landing in Zaatir isn’t too far off.
Will Nicholas keep Scooter’s knowledge for himself? Why didn’t anyone in Edron spot a dragon putting out the fire? And is Blackbear closing in? Only time will tell on Dawn of the Storm!