Moonday, 1 Arodus – Sunday, 6 Arodus, 4723
Finally, I am back in the Verduran Forest on Golarion! It is such a relief to be able to write this at a desk, after a good night's sleep in a real bed! But I am getting ahead of myself. When I last left off, we were poised on the doorstep of Rhoswen's audience chamber.
After making what I suspect was a rather cursory inspection for traps, Knives drunkenly threw the door open. Inside, the evil fairy queen was waiting for us in a chamber with four wooden pillars holding up its vaulted ceiling. Cages of songbirds were located in the corners. Rhoswen had this weird mirror with her, which she used to show us the battle taking place between her spriggans and the fey alliance. She made the usual villain threats, which are honestly just getting tiresome at this point.
But it was just a distraction while an air elementally of Rhoswen positioned itself to ambush Knives. After hitting her once, it swooped past us to take a position behind the group.
I was not about to let some fairy witch ensorcel me, so I drank my potion of protection from evil and rushed to draw the air elemental into battle. Tignus joined me in attacking it, which was a strange site to behold.
Knives and Kubo, meanwhile, pushed into the audience chamber. Rhoswen used her magic to strike fear in Knives' heart. Then the evil fey queen stepped up to one of the wooden pillars and vanished. A freezing mist erupted around the doorway to the chamber, cutting Tignus and I off from the others.
I used Wyrmsmite to cut the air elemental in half. The others did not seem to appreciate my joke about clearing the air, but I think it was pretty good. I charged into the mist and it was fucking cold. I may have spent a few years here in the south, but it was cold even by the standards of my fatherland.
Tignus just bounded through the fog and then tried to talk to the plants. I think it was trying to question them about Queen Rhoswen's location.
Rhoswen then led us on a long chase through the room, as the freezing fog reposition itself, slowly sapping the heat from our bones. After a longer amount of time than I care to admit, we realized that the fairy queen was hiding inside the wooden pillars like a shy dryad.
Tignus used his shape wood spell to split the pillars open so we could get to her. The big tiger-dwarf pounces on her and we all gang up on the witch. She managed to afflict me with a really foul curse, but that only stoked the rage in my heart. It was I who delivered the killing blow. That part I remember clearly.
Once the queen was dead, I slumped onto the throne to rest while Knives and Tagnus ransacked the room. Kubo severed Rhoswen's head and tied it to the Crook of Cildhureen. I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I accepted it as a worthy trophy.
Knives released the songbirds, but Tagnus realizes they were not true birds but polymorphed people. Using some hidden reservoir of charisma, he persuaded the birds to land on him so that he could escort them from the palace.
First, though, we went upstairs to thoroughly plunder the queen's bedroom. Then we used her magical elevator to reach the highest chamber in the palace. There, Tagnus attempted to use the staff to restore the Faneguard spell that seals off the Fellnight Realm. It took him a couple of tries, but he was ultimately successful. After a moment of celebration, we realized that we had to trudge back to the distant mushroom circle in order to leave this place. As I was debilitated by the curse, Kubo insisted on lugging the weird mirror on his back. Knives got drunk on plundered wine, which at least made things entertaining.
After several days' travel, we finally reached the fungal ring and transported back to the Material Plane. The difference between realities was palpable. I'd forgotten how much I missed colors, actual vibrant colors.
The Verduran alliance and the good people of Bellis hailed us as heroes. I was not going to disagree with them. We made some sales in town, Kubo and I collected our pets, and we were put up in the nicest place in town.
After resting up, Kubo announced he was moving on. We wished him well on his journey back to his home and wife. Though we did not always see eye to eye, he was a brave and honorable man. I hope that those evil "oni" cease to trouble him. He has more than earned a bit of peace.
And so have we. The three of us are heading back to Belhaim tomorrow, and we've all sworn to never accept a wedding invitation from strangers ever again.