In this episode, our heroes investigate the recent disappearance of three tieflings in Talis'Val. Also, Cam confesses that he did not prepare for the Feast of Stones, a major Talis'Val festival that he was invited to perform.
The Next StepEdit
The episode begins with Trellimar communing with his Patron just before Officer Merrik arrives at the tavern in the previous episode. In his communion, it is nightfall as Trellimar stands on an endless ocean. His patron calls out to him, questioning him why he has taken so long to reach Talis'Val. Trellimar explains that events occurred along the way delayed him, but claims that these events are crucial steps to completing his mission. This eases the patron as he thought that Trellimar prioritised his companions over his mission.
The patron now gives Trellimar the first part of the mission, which is to travel to Old Temple Way and find a temple which is the birthplace of his kind. Granamyr will be able to assist him in retrieving the mask of arcane power, buried in the Temple. However, the patron says that in the Garden of Stone stands the biggest foe he has faced yet.
Trellimar completes his communion and comes to his senses once again in the room as the others discuss the missing tieflings. Cam suggests disguising Jiutóu so she will be safe. Jiutóu asks Cam about his performance, and he produces his writ, which is now rather tattered and smelly. Cam realises that since the event is only attended by the highest-ranking officials, that it will require proper attire. Elora thinks they should go to the government buildings and find out what exactly he needs to do to prepare.
Jiutóu makes it very clear to the others that she needs to kill Korak the Champion. Cam asks if he can at least get paid first. Jiutóu agrees with that since Cam had helped resurrect her. Elora says her father never said anything bad about Korak and wants Jiutóu to be sure it's him. Jiutóu insists she was a slave to the dragonborn in red and gold, so it must be Korak.
However, Jiutóu does admit that had she not ended up dying, she would have had no hesitation in drawing her blade and killing him immediately, since Master Guanyin advised her there are other ways to attain vengeance instead of bloodshed. She now intends to investigate Korak first, then exposes him for the devastation he has caused. Yet, she feels that the single day they have for the performance is enough time to investigate him fully.
Cam offers her a place in his performance and plans to make any investigation part of the act. Jiutóu does not believe she has the talent to perform but Cam reassures her saying she just needs to conjure some fire and do some cartwheels. When Jiutóu states that she never saw Cam perform, Cam claims to only perform for important events. Jiutóu takes the opportunity to mock him saying someone that important would surely have better clothes.
Elora suggests heading to the Guild Quarter first for Cam to figure out the preparations he will need, as well as for her to deliver the letter from the Spire of Eternal Autumn to Korak. Elora worries that Jiǔtóu's actions could harm her upon entering the Guild Quarter, but Jiǔtóu assures her that although she may look younger in appearance, her mind is that of an adult's and will be able to maintain her control.
Cam suggests looking for a clothier along the way to get suitable garments for the Feast of Stone. Everyone agrees to the plan, although Trellimar mentions that he has no interest in any business related to Korak; a tiny tear flows down Jiǔtóu's cheek as she heard that. Trellimar then reveals his purpose for coming to Talis'Val, which is to seek a relic mask that once belonged to his people. He then suggests that if he helps them in their business with Korak, they will return the favour and help him in his quest to retrieve the mask. His companions agree to assist him, although Elora suspects that the quest will be dangerous despite him saying that it is not.
Cam proceeds to the barkeeper Kari and flashes his Writ of Performance. Kari responds curiously to the writ and Cam explains that he needs to find a tailor for this reason. Kari replies that Journeyman's Run does have several start-up clothiers that tend to experiment with new fashion trends. She also mentions that Dawn Square has traditional high society clothing but at a steeper costs. Cam then asks Kari's fox the same question, but the fox ignores him and goes to sleep.
The adventurers then head out of the tavern and search for a suitable clothier. Due to the packed crowds, the adventurers grab one another; Elora holds onto Jiǔtóu's tail. They eventually find a slim and tall clothier, Unicorn's Patch, along one of the main streets and enter the building. At the end of the shop displayed with exquisite silks and garments is an elven man Enoran Swiftwind measuring a young lady for her dress. His notebook and quill, floating in the air, takes down her measurements.
The lady leaves after having her measurements taken, giving a curious look to Cam and Trellimar as she passes them. Cam gazes back at her while rubbing his armour. Enoran comments favourably of his armour and then introduces himself to the adventurers. He then comments on the interesting mix of adventurers, recognising Elora from the Spire of the Moon and Jiǔtóu as "a beautiful little child". Cam shows his writ upside down and says that he will need a garment that can make an impression on others. Enoran proudly replies that he is the only person anyone will need to make an impression. Elora, mesmerised by the elegant silks, starts feeling the clothes. Enoran compliments her choice. Jiǔtóu pokes suspiciously at the garments. Enoran responds that he likes a challenge of creating a garment with a tail involved.
Upon Cam's comment that his designs are getting stale, Enoran replies with sass that he does not know what he is speaking of, and he can custom design any garments. He states that custom orders will cost 500 gold pieces per garment. Cam also mentions that he will need the garments within a day, much to the headache of Enoran, yet he likes the challenge. After the group expresses their concern of limited funds, he admits that despite being appreciated by the high society, he has not been making any sales recently, blaming the people for being stuck in their traditional ways. He then offers the group a discount of 250 gold pieces each for his best designs, provided that they promote his clothing at the Feast of Stone. After much discussion, Enoran gives his final offer of 200 gold pieces per piece for his premium designs and will be their friend with clothing benefits in future. Trellimar states that he does not want any custom garments, bringing down the total cost to 600 gold pieces. Elora then makes the payment.
Cam requests that his garment caters for acrobatic performances, looks spicy and sophisticated, and needs to have long sleeves. He also wants the garment to be over his armour, but Enoran insists that it is not possible. Instead, he can incorporate the design to include the armour over the garment. Cam also states that, due to the recent missing tielfings, Jiǔtóu will need to be covered from head to toe, much to the disgust of Enoran as he compliments her skin tone, exotic looks, and her athletic body, although he looks away when she tries to smile and flex her muscles. Elora hopes that her design can incorporate the Moon Spire, saying that she is here in Talis'Val for royal business.
In the meantime, a ghostly humanoid brings out tea and a platter of tidbits for the group while they wait for Enoran to take down the measurements. He then tells them that the garments will be ready no earlier than four in the evening tomorrow. The group leaves the clothier and heads to the Guild Quarter.
Upon reaching the inner gates of the city, one of the guards in green and black livery halts the group. The guards also bear a symbol of the Council of Guilds. Cam and Elora recognise the guards belong to the Guilded Arms, a private military service protecting the main eight guilds of the city. The inner city is also well guarded, with military forces patrolling the inner walls.
Elora hands over her letter to the guard, and, after reading it, he sends a runner, Sam, to the Government Building to inform them that an ambassador from the elven Spire of Moon is present in the city. Cam hands over his Writ of Performance. The guard then tells him to only head to the Guild Hall of the Guild of Masons where an adviser will take him and his companions in. Sam returns and the guard allows Elora to head to the Government Building. Elora requests her companions to be allowed with her, which the guard agrees to but only with an escort.
The Guild Quarter has a different atmosphere compared to the rest of the city. The streets are not busy. The people of different races are dressed in rich garments, attending to matters of importance. Eight large buildings with connecting atriums encircle the large central tower. The group climbs up a flight of stairs bypassing a statue of Korak with a rendition of Pelor's Light on top of it. Upon entering the foyer, a young human lady at the front desk welcomes them to the Government Building.
Elora informs her that she has reunited with the Spire of Eternal Autumn and wishes to make Talis'Val aware of the latest development. Upon knowing that Elora is the daughter of King Althidon, the lady shares with her that the envoy for the elven spires and friend of Althidon, Afelard, was told by her father that she will be coming to Talis'Val. However, he is away tracking down the Spire of Winter for a couple of weeks and will only return in about a week.
The lady adds that the Council will be pleased on hearing the latest developments about the elven spires, but they can only meet with Korak and the guild leaders no earlier than three days time. The lady then says that she will pass on the letter to the scholars, who will then return the rights of Longwood Forest to the Spire of Eternal Autumn. Elora then informs her that another envoy from the Spire, Falk, will also be making his way to the Council of Guilds. The lady takes note of this for the guards to be made aware of.
Initially inviting Elora to stay at the Government Building, the lady will make accommodation arrangement for Elora and her companions at Dawn Square, per Elora's wish. Elora tries to probe for more information about the Spire of Winter, but the lady has no more to give her. She will arrange for the guards to search his room for any information of the Winter Spire so that they can inform her of the spire's location as her father is relying on her. An appointment for meeting Korak and the guild leaders is arranged as well.
Upon knowing that her companions are performers of the Feast of Stone, the lady tells Elora that she can also try talking to Korak and the guild leaders at the event itself. Elora also requests for an invitation to the Feast, which the lady arranges for her to get one from the mason guild leader Kirkwall Deepstone. The rest will be entering the Feast of Stone through Cam's Writ. The lady then arranges for accommodations at the Pegasus Lodge, with payments taken care of by the Guilds. Elora is given a diplomatic pass and an invitation to the Feast by the secretary of the Guild Quarter as they leave.
After a while, the group are lead to the horse-drawn carriage waiting for them down the stairs. Jiǔtóu stops and stares at the statue of Korak. Elora gets off the carriage and drags her away from the statue into the carriage. Elora excitedly asks her companions whether she did alright as a princess since she has never been treated in such a way before. Everyone compliments her.
No Performing ExperienceEdit
The group are lead to the Mason's Guild Hall where a female halfling Relenda receives them. As she is expecting more performers, Cam shows his Writ and she now knows that he is a member of the Buckland family. However, she informs Cam that she was expecting two performers from the Buckland family, but Cam replies that there are now three performers. She tells him that she has everything prepared for his song and dance performance, but Cam tells her that his performance will include some surprises as well. Cam then asks her if the stage is fire resistant, to which she replies that it is since it is mainly made of stone.
Relenda then brings the adventurers to their holding room at the end of the Assistant Quarter of the Guild Hall. As she tells them that she will bring them some food while they prepare for the performance, Cam requests for red grapes and gin. She will provide some gin, but not enough to make him drunk before the performance.
She then brings them into a large auditorium, the place where the performers have 30 minutes to perform in front of the audience. Cam now gets nervous as she explains the line-up of the performances: a local bard Fenwick, well-known amongst the higher establishment, playing the lute will be performing first; Cam will perform next; and two acrobat gnomes of a travelling circus will be the last to perform.
Just as Relenda leaves the auditorium to let then rehearse for his performance, Cam turns to his companions and tells them that he is screwed as he does not know how to perform, which shock his companions. Cam admits to them that he is not a performer in his family. Rather, he goes around the audience during the Bucklands' performance and steals people's valuables. Jiǔtóu questions him, saying that he told her he was of royalty, but Cam insists that he is nothing but a "royal thief". Jiǔtóu then questions him on how, in about 24 hours time, he will be performing on a very large stage in front of the high society people and Korak himself for 30 minutes, given that he has nothing but a dark elf, a royal elf and a tiefling fighter with him, and he himself cannot perform. Cam simply replies "Yes", upon Jiǔtóu telling him that he is a fool. Cam insists that it will be fine, with fire everywhere.
Cam shares his idea on how his performance will take place: Jiǔtóu will come out to set the braziers ablaze as Cam introduces himself to the audience and mentions their sponsor Unicorn's Patch. Cam will request a member of the audience and will look at Elora. Before he continues his plan, Elora declines his suggestion when Cam suggests that he throws daggers at her. Instead, Cam will throw daggers towards Granamyr, which results in the pseudo-dragon sending signs of anger towards Cam.
Cam later suggests that Elora could shape-shifts into a dire wolf after the dagger throwing, and wrestle with Jiǔtóu. Elora is convinced by Jiǔtóu when she tells her that it will make a good impression. Elora at one point suggests that she could shape-shifts into a dolphin, but when Cam goes to check with Relenda, there will not be any water tank large enough to fit a dolphin. The final part of the performance will be performed by Trellimar with Granamyr. Trellimar refuses to reveal his plan but assures Cam that his performance will make Cam the talk of the town, although not clarifying if this will be in a positive or a negative way. Cam is excited by Trellimar's words and thinks that the Buckland's name will go down in history. Trellimar replies that it will most definitely, with the same negative insinuations.
Jiǔtóu asks Cam if she will get paid for her part, but Cam lies that no payment will be given for the performance. Cam also says that the performance will be perfect and that they do not need to rehearse. Now having 24 hours of free time, Cam suggests finding the relic mask. However, Trellimar feels that it is best that they find the missing tieflings instead as the quest to retrieve that mask could take more than a day.
In Search for CluesEdit
At The Stacks, the group enters a blacksmith, the Lion's Pick, asking about a tiefling worker. The owner then directs then to The Laughing Blacksmith saying Lao was working there. Upon entering The Laughing Blacksmith, they see a male human with a white beard and an eyepatch mending some metal as he chats away with the customer. The man looks up at the group and mumbles "tiefling" as he sees Jiǔtóu.
Jiǔtóu asks him about Lao, which the blacksmith replies that he ran off about four days ago, making him doing all the work. He also mentions that Lao was happy to work here and doubts that he would run off, suspecting that he must have been taken away. He last saw him leaving work at eight at night since Lao usually works into the night. When Jiǔtóu probes further, the man mentions that tieflings are generally liked by the people as they are hardworking. He also shares that Lao has been working for him for about five months, making his first blade recently, and he did not mention anything about having enemies or outstanding debts.
The blacksmith says that Lao did not share about his past, and only wished to learn a trade or two in the city. He also mentions that he has a friend Sheng and he sometimes goes over to his friend's tavern to have a drink. When asked about abductions happening in the city, the man shares that he has only heard incidents of children that went missing once in a while, but never anything the scale of abductions targeting a specific race. The man is now worried about the abductions after the adventurers inform him that two more tieflings were also missing. He hopes to have Lao back safely. He then tells Jiǔtóu to be safe also.
The group heads to Lao's apartment from the directions given by the blacksmith. Upon reaching the place, they enter the building as an elderly woman welcomes them. The group asks about their "friend" Lao and she mentions that she last saw him about four days ago in the morning, heading to work. Trellimar wishes to check Lao's room, but the lady refuses, but later allows Jiǔtóu after she claims that she is his sister.
Jiǔtóu, together with Cam, enter Lao's room and investigate. Cam asks Jiǔtóu if she has a god, but she says she is an apathist. She shares that her kind are spiritual, but she herself turned her back against the gods after experiencing events that affected her life. As the duo are distracted in their conversation, they cannot find anything, only some clothes and bottles of mead produced by the Black Valley Brewery.
Meanwhile, as the other two search the street by the building, Elora spots a tip of a dart. Wearing gloves, she picks it up and asks Trellimar to have a look. With the smell emanating from the dart, Trellimar concludes that the poison can knock a person unconscious, and recognises it as being of drow origins. The two then inform Cam and Jiǔtóu of this after they leave the room.
It is now evening as the group heads back to Dawn Square. They reach Pegasus Lodge, a country club, and check-in at the counter through the reservation under Elora's name. Elora then asks the male receptionist at the front desk if he knows of a jeweller's where a tiefling assistant works. The man knows of the place, Open Locket, and exclaims that the tiefling produces very fine works and is well-known within the high society.
Following the directions that were given by the man, it is just after seven in the evening when they see a lady closing up Open Locket for the night with two security guards by the door. Elora walks up to her and asks about the tiefling Lee. She mentions that Lee has been working for her for about four months and he lives in a house at The Stacks. She also shares that he is an excellent jewellery craftsman and hired him after witnessing his previous work at Journeyman's Run.
Cam asks when did she last see "poor Lee", she replies about six days ago, leaving work. She then shares with them that Lee had plans to start a business at Journeyman's Run together with his friends. After the lady leaves, one of the guards, Bill, tells them that Lee had two tiefling friends and they occasionally drink together at the Duck and Porter, where Bill last saw them a few days ago. He was at the tavern as he was interested at the Black Valley Brewery restocking the tavern. With the new evidence, Jiǔtóu now suspects that the tiefling race is not targeted particularly, but rather only these three specific tieflings as they have connections with one another. Elora also suspects that conflicting businesses could be linked to the disappearance.
Duck and PorterEdit
After a night's rest at the Pegasus Lodge, the adventurers head back to The Stacks and manage to find a small house belonging to Sheng tucked in between two smitheries. Elora finds an end of a dart. Trellimar also recognises the dart, this time also knowing that it has been modified to knock a person unconscious, as a typical drow dart is designed to kill a being. In fact, based on the distinct feather design, Trellimar identifies it as belonging to Xandar, and drow who once worked at the House of Kel, and a specialist in alchemy.
In the meantime, Cam manages to break the lock on the door. The group enters the house and find it untouched for a couple of days. Not finding anything of interest, Cam and Jiǔtóu suggests that Xandar may have captured the tieflings for his own agenda. Trellimar then puts forward another possibility that Xandar may be seeking revenge on him as the drow homeland was left under a cloud before Trellimar went forth on his journey. Elora suspects Trellimar is not revealing the full picture of his past. He then reveals that his Home was attacked by some creatures, which left the people in disarray. After some disagreement, Trellimar split off for his own journey. Trellimar states that there was no bad blood between himself and Xandar when he left. None of these has any relations to tieflings.
They leave Lee's home to search for Sheng's home. After an hour, they find his place of residence after a baker, whom Sheng buys stuff from regularly, points to the direction of the tenement. Its residents last saw Sheng three days ago and his apartment was left untouched for a couple of days as well. They did not find any item of interest. Elora cannot find any dart on the street. They then decide to head back to the Duck and Porter as it is where the three tiefling congregate often.
Kari greets them and also wonders why they did not return for the night. She acknowledges that Sheng's tiefling friends come into her tavern every now and then, saying the last time the three met was a week and a half ago. Kari mentions that Sheng looked concerned when he was helping her with the restocking of the Black Valley mead the day before his disappearance. When Elora points out that the Black Valley Brewery keeps on popping up, Kari shares that Black Valley have some of the best mead in the city and has been around for a very long time, with some resurgence recently. When questioned if Sheng had any interest in opening a brewery-related business, Kari replies that he is not into the tavern business at all.
Jiǔtóu requests to look at the cellar, and she leads them to it. Cam sneakily requests to taste the mead to make sure it is not poisoned. Kari gives him a mug and lets him drink. Cam fakes collapsing on the ground and starts frothing at his mouth, sending Kari into a panic. Cam then wakes up and says that he managed to fight against the poison. He lies to Kari that all the mead is poisoned and tells her to give him the barrels for him to dispose of.
Being suspicious of Cam's intent, Jiǔtóu questions Kari as to the cost of those barrels. She says they are worth 120 gold pieces. Jiǔtóu glares at Cam and steps on his feet. Cam finally admits that he is lying and the barrels of mead are not poisoned. Just as Cam requests to take another swig to assure Kari that it is not poisoned, Jiǔtóu reminds Cam of Avandra, which leads Cam running out of the tavern, scratching his brand mark furiously. Elora and Jiǔtóu assure Kari that the mead is not poisoned.
It is now midday. With the Black Valley Brewery all having connections to the missing tieflings, the adventurers decide to head to Artisan's Rest, where its factory is located.
- Bill, guard for Open Locket
- Council of Guilds
- Relenda, Deputy Guild Mistress for Guild of Masons
- Enoran Swiftwind, owner of Unicorn's Patch
- Fenwick Cresthaven, performer for the Feast of Stone
- Guilded Arms
- Sam, runner for the Guilded Arms
- Unnamed Guild Quarter guard
- Lao, Lee and Sheng
- 2 unnamed gnome acrobats
- Unnamed Champion's Hold receptionist
- Unnamed Enoran's assistant
- Unnamed Lao's tenement receptionist
- Unnamed Open Locket owner and Lee's employer
- Unnamed Pegasus' Lodge receptionist
- Unnamed The Laughing Blacksmith owner and Lao's employer
- Unnamed Unicorn's Patch female customer
- Afelard, Dawn Republic ambassador to the Council of Elves
- Council of Guilds
- Kirkwall Deepstone, Guild Master for Guild of Masons
- The Bucklands
- Xandar Kel
- Unlucky: Mark informs Trott about the penalty he receives as punishment for killing Dimitriv last episode. Cam has the feat Lucky, which normally allows Trott to re-roll, or have an enemy re-roll, up to three dice per day giving him an advantage. This has now been replaced by the feat Unlucky, which instead allows Mark as DM to choose when he has to re-roll, giving him a disadvantage.
- Montage: After Jiǔtóu tells Cam that he has less than 24 hours before they perform at the Feast, yet he cannot perform, Mark says that "We're gonna need a montage!", referencing Montage from Team America: World Police soundtrack. Trott makes the same joke again when the adventurers need to search for Sheng's residence as they do not have any evidence.
- No Fan-Art: The fan-art reel that usually plays during the livestream break was not shown for this episode as Chris had to prepare for his trip to Boston the day after.
- Unused Cipher: Mark reveals that he spent time designing a special ciphered message for the players to find which contains a hint as to where the missing tieflings might be. However, due to a number of poor rolls, Mark was unable to use the cipher since the right situation did not appear for him to reveal it. Nonetheless, the adventurers manage to track down the location, which is the Black Mead Brewery. As the cipher cannot be reused, Mark states that he may release the cipher to the public.
- Nilesy: Nilesy was one of the donators, having his message read out near the end of the stream.
- ↑ On no fan-art reel, High Rollers D&D's Twitter, 18 Apr 2016, 20:17 UTC
- ↑ On unused cipher, "The Cipher" thread, High Rollers D&D Sub-Reddit
- ↑ I CAN'T PERFORM! - High Rollers D&D: Episode 12 at 2:58:22.
- ↑ On releasing the cipher to the public, "The Cipher" thread, High Rollers D&D Sub-Reddit