Kingmaker

Chapter 20 - The Mites and the Missing

Rova 10 – The town guards warn the group that a bunch of kobolds are approaching. When the group goes to meet the kobolds, they find them injured and tired, led by Jeruk. He informs them that Chief Sootscale is dead. The mites have returned, coming up below the Sootscale Caverns and ambushing them in the night.

The group houses the kobolds at Vors’ shrine and heads to the caverns. They track the mites for days through the tunnels and caves below Sootscale Caverns, until the tunnels open up to a large underground city. Seeing that the place is populated by monstrous creatures, and assuming that they would not be friendly to humans or dwarves, the group returns to the surface to come up with a plan to disguise themselves.

Rova 22 – Over the next few days, the group tracks down several hats of disguise. Also during this time Thali returns with a fairly big chunk of money, her previous companions dead. When Volgrin speaks to her about this, she gets the wrong idea and thinks that he is making romantic advances. She pushes further and they end up sleeping together, though she did not answer any questions about her previous adventures in the swamp.

Rova 25 – The group returns to the underground city, which they find is named Horslavin. They use their hats of disguise to blend in and venture into the city. They question the bartender of a particularly lively pub and find that the mites are hiding out in a desolate part of the city called The Forsaken Ghetto.

When they get there, they find the mites hiding in a dark cellar. The mites, led again by Grabbles, who has apparently survived his fall, admit to having attacked the kobolds. They say it was revenge for their previous encounter. The group argues about how to handle the situation. Yuri is vehemently against hurting them. Instead, they force the mites to promise not to return to the surface. When the group leaves, Stan and Yuri again argue, as Stan tries to nail the cellar door shut.

When the group returns to the Sootscale Caverns, Vors uses his stoneshape magic to close the caves off, so that more creatures cannot come up from below.

Neth 3 – As an apology for their previous argument, Stan carves Yuri a small wooden statue of Mikmak. She is temporarily sated.

Neth 4 Zlasta comes to Stan, saying that she has not heard from her parents in some time. They had left over a month ago to stay at Varnhold until the wedding, but that had been in regular contact through letters. Also, mysteriously the shipment of goods from Varnhold did not arrive this month.

Stan agrees to go with her to Varnhold just to check and see what is going on. They have a nice ride through the countryside, where they talk about the wedding. When they get to Varnhold, however, all conversation is cut short as they find the place completely abandoned. The bridge that crosses the river lies broken in the water. The door of the Waterhorse, Varnhold’s inn and tavern, hangs from its hinges. The streets are empty. Not a single person, living or dead, is in sight.

When they look into the tavern, they see a single large creature, seemingly held in place by magic, the back of it’s head blown out, droplets of its blood and skull fragments still floating in the air. The table it stands in front of is covered in papers and books.

Stan decides to head towards the stockyard, where Maegar Varn himself stays. When they approach however, he sees humanoid creatures walking along the walls. When they spot him, they immediately fire arrows. Stan and Zlasta are forced to flee Varnhold and ride through the night until they reach the safety of Cedwyn. Zlasta, very frightened from the whole ordeal, asks for Stan to stay the night in her bed.

It seems as if there may be something to their relationship after all.

Neth 5 – The next day, Stan tells the rest of the group what he found in Varnhold. They ride over to the town and find it as Stan described. Vors is able to identify the creature in the Waterhorse as a Spriggan – a fey creature that has the ability to grow from it’s normal three foot height to a large nine-foot warrior.

The papers and books on the table are research books on Iobarian history and information about the Nomen centaurs. Also, there is a letter, sent from Maegar Varn to a Maester Pendrod, requesting his presence to examine a jade bracelet that Willas Gunderson found on the banks of a local river.

When they are leaving the tavern, Vors notices a strange raven that seems to be watching them. When he tries to speak to the bird, the raven attempts to fly away. Vors looses an arrow and brings the creature down. When they approach to examine the bird, however, it begins laughing, a guttural voice that no bird would be capable of. Then, without warning, it explodes into a fireball.

The group spends some time watching the Stockyards, examining the creatures that seem to be roaming the grounds. They begin forming a plan as to how to get into the well-guarded place, as that may be where the townsfolk are being held.

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Chapter 19 - Downtime in Cedwyn

After the death of the trolls, things around the kingdom slow down a bit. Even the slow times in Cedwyn are filled with events both mundane and dangerous.

Desnus 26 Zlasta approaches Stan with a proposition of marriage. She is not romantic about the idea at all, instead saying that the union would improve their alliances. She has connections in Rostland and offers to bring those to the kingdom. Her family is also very wealthy and she has a significant dowry that could help the kingdom grow. She seems to be doing this solely for the power and money, but amazingly, after several days of consideration, Stan agrees and the wedding planning begins.

Sarenith 2 Elengoth requests to leave his post at Oleg’s Trading Post. The place is still well-protected and has plenty of employees. Elengoth is not really needed and wishes to pursue his own goals elsewhere.

Sarenith 9 – A tremor shakes the region and a pair of Deathworms emerge from the fault, rampaging through the countryside. The group leads a troop of guards to fight them. They are able to kill the worms after a gruesome fight, but only one of the guards survives – a man named Falco, who is injured but pulls through and is considered a hero among the townsfolk.

Sarenith 19 – Scolars studying the ruins to the east of town find an ancient cyclopean library.

Sarenith 20 Svetlana and Oleg Leveton’s baby is born. They name her Iryna.

Sarenith 25Yuri’s parents come to town. Yael and Johana Kremen ride into town with all their belongings and enough money to buy a house. They move to Cedwyn to be closer to their daughter. They inform her that her old instructor / friend Zheleza has died. They wonder if she has found a man to settle down with and are a bit pushy about it. When they find that she has opened an inn, they all but take over the management.

Erastus 13 Zela, a half-orc with fabulous hair approaches the group, Yuri specifically, having heard of her. He requests help, saying that he has escaped from a group of cultists called the Whispering Way. They are coming for him. The group leaves Cedwyn and meets the cultists outside of town. There, they try to negotiate, but eventually things break down into a fight and they kill the cultists.

In the back of the cultist’s wagon, they find a dozen men and women and children, chained with bags over their heads and their mouths sewn shut. They free the slaves and find that they were captured from the outskirts of the town of Mivon to the south.

Vors casts a spell to speak with the dead cultist and questions her about the cult’s location. He finds that they are from the town of Nystra deep within the Shudderwood, even further south of Mivon.

Erastus 14 – The group wants to go south to Mivon, but has no way of crossing the river and getting there. They find that a local man named Beven Armaki is looking for Silver Eels from Lake Silverstep to make the best eel bake in the world. He also is one of the few people in possession of a Folding Boat, and offers to let the group use it if they can bring him these eels.

The group spends the next few days fishing out of Lake Silverstep, even getting the rescued slaves from Mivon to help them. They are able to deliver even more silver eels than Beven required, and he tells them they may keep the boat and creates the best eel bake that they had ever put in their mouth.

Erastus 18 – Vors creates a path that through the lake that allows the boat to descend to the river below and travel south to Mivon. The rescued slaves leave there and return to their homes. The group then continues south to the Shudderwood and makes their way through to Nystra.

Erastus 20 – The group arrives at Nystra and finds the town decimated and controlled by evil undead creatures. They start a fight that soon gets out of control and are forced to fight off the entire undead forces at once. Stan falls in battle, along with Rex. Vors is able to preserve Stan with magic so he can be resurrected later, but unfortunately Rex is too far gone, and Vors has to say goodbye to his friend.

They find other slaves in Nystra that they free. With this cell of the cult destroyed, they take Stan to Elengoth in Varnhold, then return to Cedwyn.

Erastus 29 – Upon their return to Cedwyn, they find that their spymaster, Akiros has been arrested by soldiers from Restov. They leave to find out what has happened. In Restov, they meet the guard captain who tells them that Akiros has confessed to murdering a councilman in Restov ten years earlier. Volgrin Steelfoot recognizes the name of the councilman – Fergus Craithe. Volgrin had actually paid for Craithe’s murder.

Fergus Craithe was a horrible man who used his power to do despicable things, including murdering Volgrin’s beloved, a dwarf named Tori.

Upon further investigation, they find that Akiros does not want to be rescued. He is going to be executed and he is fine with that. They interrogate him further and find that he is not actually the one that killed Craithe, but he is covering for his brother who has a family and he does not want to see his brother punished. He’s prepared to be executed to save his brother.

The group does not want to see Akiros die, especially for crimes that he did not do, so they devise a plan to make it appear that Akiros has died in prison, then transport his “dead” body back to Cedwyn. Vors sneaks into the prison and poisons Akiros’ water with a drug that simulates death. After Akiros has “died”, they are able to retrieve his body and transport him back to Cedwyn where they revive him. He is grateful for the rescue, and for their doing it in a way that will make it appear that he has died. He continues to serve as the spymaster for Cedwyn, but now wears a mask on his face at all times in public, and has become known around Cedwyn as The Spectre.

Arodus 25 Jubilost Narthropple comes to the group and tells them about an adventuring party who he sent to explore Candlemere Tower, and they have not returned. He thought that they would be able to handle anything that was there, but he fears that he has sent them to their death.

The group goes to check out the tower and finds several moonflowers growing, with dozens of wil-o-wisps flying all around. Vors recognizes that the moonflowers are all that remains of the adventurers. The wil-o-wisps and the moonflowers are symbiotic and feed off the energy of living creatures.

The group goes into Candlemere, using defensive spells to ward off the wil-o-wisps, and destroy all the Moonflowers. Vors recognizes that the serum that Sarico uses to hold back his disease is composed of moonflower pollen. He takes what pollen he can and bottles it to give to Joanne Vinte

There, Joanne tells him that yes, that is where she got the pollen. She had been using potions to turn invisible and fly in to collect the pollen, then escape. With the moonflower dead, and with the pollen that Vors has brought her, she has enough pollen to make Sarico’s serum for six months.

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Chapter 18 - The Death of Hargulka

Desnus 14 (continued)

The group prepares themselves for the upcoming battle. They know it will be difficult and dangerous, but they press on anyways, venturing back down into the Troll fortress. They find the place empty. All the remaining trolls have gathered in Hargulka’s throne room.

Hargulka holds an unconscious Falchos by one of his legs. She greets the group and wastes no time ordering her trolls to attack, before throwing Falchos’ limp body across the room. Pervilash sits inside a cage to the side of the room, trying to break free to help the fight. Tyg-Titter-Tut goes to his aid, but is soon accosted by one of the trolls, who grabs her and tries to stuff her in its mouth.

During the fight, Volgrin distracts Hargulka by using his superior mobility and defense to dance around her feet, hacking into her legs with his bastard sword. Vors, Stan, and Yuri fight off the other trolls, trying to keep themselves from getting overwhelmed by the massive creatures. Pervilash offers magical assistance from within his cage.

The battle is close, with death possible from every blow. Yuri falls and nearly bleeds out on the ground before Vors comes to her rescue. Pervilash is smashed inside his cage, but Tyg is able to reach him in time and pull him to safety. Stan nearly falls as well, clawed and smashed by the trolls.

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Eventually, the trolls begin to fall. Vors lights one on fire with an oil flask and a well applied spark, then Yuri tosses its burning corpse onto another one, beginning a fiery chain reaction of burning trolls. The panicked trolls are easier to control and the group is able to fight them back. Finally, Hargulka herself attempts to flee, but is beheaded by Yuri, who then uses Hargulka’s Thundering Mace to destroy the rock troll as well. The group is exhausted, but the trolls all lie dead at their feet.

The group rests. Vors applies some much needed magical aid to Falchos, who is a bit less than happy to see them. He blames the group for Tyressia’s death, saying that they lead the trolls directly to Tyressia’s grove. Stan tries to calm him, and succeeds in getting him to talk at least, but Falchos soon goes off on his own in the night.

Desnus 15
The group heads back to Cedwyn, exploring the wilderness along the way. Tyg and Pervilash go their own way, heading off in an attempt to find Falchos and keep him from getting himself killed.

Desnus 17
Finally back in Cedwyn, the group rests for a couple weeks, falling back into the routine of everyday life.

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Chapter 17 - Drunks, Drakes and Dryads

Desnus 12
The group travels across the Tuskwater towards the mud bowl to get the rattlecap mushrooms for the Old Beldame. They quickly find them and continue south to explore more uncharted territories.

In this hilly region they hear a loud thumping noise coming from the other side of a large hill. Volgrin casts invisibility on himself and goes to check out the commotion. There he finds a giant, who calls himself Munguk. The giant seems to be in a particularly foul mood due to a lack of moonshine. Volgrin promises him moonshine and then leaves. The group sets up a camp nearby, with plans to make moonshine the following day somehow.

During the night, the group is attacked by two trolls. During the fight, Munguk, who seems to have a dislike towards the “ugly troll men”, comes and helps smash them. After the fight, it seems Munguk may continue smashing, but Volgrin is able to talk him down with the promise of moonshine in the morning.

Desnus 13

The next morning, Vors uses his magic to make a banquet fit for a king, or a giant in this case. Munguk quickly devours everything and collapses into a food coma. The group leaves him be and heads west to continue exploring. They enter the forests here and spend the day scouting the region, finding nothing of interest.

During the night, Vors sets up a glyph of warding to protect the camp, allowing them all to get a good night’s rest. Unfortunately, during the night, they are visited by an old friend – Tyg Titter-Tut crosses the glyph and immediately explodes. Stan hears the noise and Volgrin is able to heal her up before she dies.

More bad news follows however, when Tyg tells the group that trolls have attacked Melianse’s grove. They cut down her bondtree, and killed her. Falchos and Pervilash have headed towards the Troll Fortress to seek revenge, while she came looking for them, as she does not think that her friends will survive that attack.

Desnus 14
The group sets a fast pace towards the Troll Fortress. On the way, they hear cracking and breaking branches as the forest drake they had heard about dives in to attack them. They quickly leap off their horses and engage the drake, who spits acid clouds at them. After a short fight, they are able to kill the drake. Vors wants to collect the beast’s hide, but there is no time. They continue towards the troll fortress.

There, they find the place more heavily guarded than the last time they were here. It seems as if the trolls expect them. After much deliberation, they come up with a plan of attack and head up to the front of the fortress. Tyg flies in through the window and unlocks the door, allowing the group to charge in and kill the trolls guarding the front door. One troll escapes to warn the other. They know that there are more below, and that they will be ready for a fight.

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Chapter 16 - The Hag & The Hermit

Desnus 9

Old_Crackjaw.PNG

With no pressing matters upon them, the group decides to head out and take care of some unfinished business with the giant turtle known locally as Old Crackjaw. They head to the turtles beach and noisily cause trouble until the turtle emerges. Then they mercilessly kill it, preventing any further attacks on fishermen in the area. Vors takes the turtle’s shell to use in some future project.

Desnus 10

The group heads back southwest of Cedwyn to explore the region further. In the marshes along the coast of the Tuskwater, they find a hut belonging to a strange looking woman who says she is called the Old Beldame. She brings Stan alone into her hut where they have some soup made from Old Crackjaw. She warns them about the hermit to the south, and the wisps that haunt Candlemere Tower. She also asks him to be on the lookout for some Rattlecap Mushrooms, which are found in the mud bowl to the east of the Tuskwater. Stan remembers this place well. She then says goodbye and the group travels on.

Desnus 11

In the forests to the south, the group encounters a man who calls himself Bokken. He is not the Bokken that the group knows however. The group senses a trap quickly, but follows the hermit anyways. They are unsurprised when he attacks them along with his pet puma. They quickly dispatch them both.

They follow the hermit’s tracks back to a small home inside a large hollow tree. There, they find some valuables including a portrait of a woman, who the group does not recognize.

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Chapter 15 - Fur & Feathers

Gozran 22

The group ambushes the owlbear, who goes into a rage, forcing them to kill it. They find some strange things about the owlbear, that seem to point to somebody controlling it. There is the fresh corpse of a man wearing a cursed ring. The owlbear is also wearing leather barding of some type that seems to have been custom made for it.

In another portion of the caves, they find the corpses of men littering the floor around the corpses of a female owlbear and her two cubs. When they inspect further, they hear a whining coming from under the mother and find a third cub trapped under her, protected by her corpse. Vors decides to take it and return it to health.

The group travels back to town to recover. Vors takes the owlbear to his personal shrine to keep him hidden.

Gozran 23 – Desnus 6

The group takes time to recover from the Owlbear attack. Vors nurses the owlbear cub back to health. Ellel comes out to spend some time with him at the shrine as well. The cub is awkward and nervous at first, but slowly begins to become more active and responsive.

The rest of the group takes some much needed leisure time before working at their positions in the city.

The city is slowly recovering from the attack, and rebuilding the areas that were demolished.

Desnus 7

A woman and her unconscious son come to the temple to plea for help. Vors heals the boy and listens to their plea. The son, Martin says that he and his brother Tig were fishing by the river, when they were ambushed by lizard folk. They knocked Martin out and took Tig with them. The mother pleads with Vors to go save her son.

Desnus 8

The group gets together and heads to the south, where the map they got from Jubilost Narthropple shows the Lizardfolk Camp. There, they confront the lizardfolk who guard the gate. After a short battle, they convince the lizardfolk to surrender and the tribe leader comes out to speak with them.

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Vesket the Lizard King comes out and tells them of Stisshak, the spirit of their ancestor who speaks to them and tells them what to do. Stisshak commanded that they kidnap the boy and torture him. Many of the lizard folk are upset by this, as they would rather just eat the boy, but Stisshak wants Tig alive and scared. Vesket does not believe that Stisshak is actually the spirit of an ancestor like he claims. He suspects some magic at play and agrees to let the group come in and take Tig if they can take care of Stisshak for him.

The group confronts Stisshak and finds it to be a will-o-wisp – a magical creature that feeds on fear. They eliminate it and free Tig from the lizardfolk. Vesket agrees to stay away from Cedwyn in exchange for the humans staying away from their camp.

The group returns Tig to his thankful mother and goes back to Cedwyn.

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Chapter 14: Trolls & Tracking

Gozran 19

Seeing that they are facing superior forces, the group decides their best option is to escape from Hargulka and the Troll Fortress. They barely escape with their lives and flee into the forest. The trolls follow them for some distance before losing them in the forests. The group stops at Tiressia’s grove and rests for the night.

Gozran 20

The group begins travelling through the forest back towards Cedwyn. They have to stop and camp on the way.

Owlbear_Attack.JPG

Gozran 21

Back in Cedwyn the group finds their city in turmoil. A huge owlbear attacked the town only hours before the group arrived, killing people and destroying buildings before fleeing to the east. Kesten Garess and a big portion of the towns guards had left to handle a banditry issue in the north, leaving the town with little defense against the beast.

The group does not tarry in town and instead begins tracking the owlbear. It’s moving fast and not stopping. Even Rex cannot catch the owlbear, but they do not lose the tracks.

Gozran 22

They continue tracking the owlbear until they find a cave in the southeast Kamelands. Inside, they find, among other monsters – the Owlbear.

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Chapter 13 - Hodag & Hargulka

Gozran 18

Hodag.jpg

South of Tiressia’s grove, the group finds the trail of a creature called a Hodag. They track this creature to it’s den and set up a trap to kill it. This creature was known to cause problems in the area, and the group felt it should be eliminated. They set the den on fire and the creature charged out, fighting them to the death. After the smoke cleared, the group digs through the den and then explores the area before camping for the night.

Gozran 19

Continuing south, the group spots a Fortress built into the cliffside on the mountains high above. They make their way up the narrow trail, then send Volgrin to sneak up and take a look. He notices that this fortress is dwarven made, and peeks through one of the windows to see two trolls within, eating some strange stew from a large pot. Volgrin knocks at the door and attempts to bluff his way through a conversation, but soon the Trolls tire of him and attack.

The rest of the group joins the fray and the conflict soon attracts the attention of other trolls within the fortress. The group is able to kill several of them, and set them on fire to completely destroy them. Further into the fortress, they fight off another Troll – this one particularly strong, and with two heads. They also find the corpse of an unfortunate halfling.

Continuing further, they find themselves in the chamber of the Troll’s leader, a huge Troll who announces herself as Hargulka. She wields a giant morningstar, with lightning arcing between the spikes on the head. With her is a Rock Troll, a troll hound and two other trolls that serve as her guards. Without much discussion, she orders the trolls to attack.

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Chapter 12 - The Dancer & The Dead

Gozran 16

West of the dryad’s grove, the group finds an Abandoned Keep. Inside, they are attacked by a Quickling, who soon has them trapped in one of the towers. They are finally able to get past his annoying tactics and kill him before exploring the rest of the keep.

In the central tower, they find a beautiful woman dancing, her movements hypnotizing. She begins to entrance the men in the group, and attacks Yuri while they are stunned. The group soon comes to their senses and they kill the woman, who is actually some kind of devil.

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In another tower, they are attacked by a creature known as a Grimstalker. They quickly fight him off as well. Finally, they find a tower filled with the corpses of victims that have met their unfortunate fate in the area around this Keep. They decide to spend the rest of the day and the next giving these poor creatures a proper burial.

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Chapter 11 - Drowning Gnomes & Dryads

Gozran 11

After a fruitless expedition of exploring the tunnels below the Old Sycamore, Thali becomes bored and wants to return to the surface. Volgrin agrees and the two return. Thali soon takes her leave and goes to rejoin her other adventuring party and head into the swamps west of Cedwyn.

Gozran 12

With Volgrin returned and the party now all back together, they decide to go explore the wilds. A pack of large wolves have been terrorizing the Kamelands east of Cedwyn. The group spends the day hunting this pack down and killing its enormous leader. Vors and Rex are able to somewhat tame the rest of the pack, with Rex becoming their new alpha. Vors vicariously leads the pack as they continue to travel.

Gozran 13

The group travels back through Cedwyn and heads southeast into the unexplored areas around their kingdom. They soon come to a river, with a wagon trapped in the center of the water. It appears the horses were fording the river and panicked midway. A battered gnome upon a loaded cart calls for help. The group manages to get the gnome and his group across the river and they sit down and camp for the night.

The gnome is Jubilost Narthropple – an explorer who has been leading this expedition through the Narlmarches, and is on his way towards Cedwyn now, where he hopes to set up a small business selling maps. He trades information with the group, telling them about several locations to the south of the Narlmarches.

Gozran 14

The next day, Jubilost and his group heads off towards Cedwyn, while our heroes cross the river south and head west. They soon run hear angry voices coming from a grove nearby. They come across a conflict where an angry nixie named Melianse has ensorcelled two lumberjacks, threatening to kill three other loggers. The group tries to calm this situation down, but the nixie is upset that the loggers have chopped down all her coachwood trees, which are extremely old and extremely rare.

The group is able to negotiate the logger’s release, but not before the nixie burns one of the logger’s arm’s off with magic. The group follows the loggers back to Tatzlford, the new town that has been formed by Loy and Latricia Rezbin. After a quick meeting, the group is able to ensure that the loggers will not return to harrass the nixie. They then head into the forest north of the river and track down some coachwood seeds to return to the nixie, to help restore her grove. The nixie is appreciative, if not necessarily satisfied.

Gozran 15

The group continues west from the nixie’s grove and spots a beautiful tree in a clearing rising high above the others. The sun seems to shine directly onto it, giving it an almost unnatural glow. Upon investigation, they find the grove of a dryad named Tiressia. This is her bonded oak, and she lives her with her friend, a satyr named Falchos

After some discussion with Tiressia, she pleas for their help. She is in danger, as a Scythe Tree, a creature that feeds off the flesh of dryads, is coming towards her. Tiressia and Falchos have attempting to fight the scythe tree off, but were unable and Falchos was injured in the battle. She pleads with Stan in particular to save her, and the group agrees.

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South of the grove, the group discovers the Scythe Tree, a horribly evil creature that they soon destroy. They return to Tiressia, and she is very grateful. She takes Stan into her tree and is even more grateful to him personally.

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