Pecan Praline enters an antique shop tucked away on a gloomy side street clutching a package to her chest. The young woman marches up to the counter and waits for the shopkeeper to notice her.
Pecan: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
(The owner does not respond.)
Pecan: 'Ello, Miss?
Shopkeeper: What do you mean "miss"?
Pecan: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!
Shopkeeper: We're closin' for lunch.
Pecan: Never mind that, good sir. I wish to complain about this scrying mirror what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very boutique.
Shopkeeper: (nods) Ah yes, a fine item, Norwegian craftsmanship… what’s wrong with it?
Pecan: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, sir. It’s defective. I asked it show me the face of my dearest love and I get THIS!
(Pecan slaps the mirror down on the counter and she, along with shopkeeper, lean over it and peer into the black glass.)
A scene appears of several figures asleep in a forest clearing...
The group of adventurers woke up in the forest feeling rather hungover from the Battle Royale. The new addition to the party is a human fighter named Myrna. She claims to not remember much beyond her name which should alarm most reasonable folk, but Konraad acknowledges that the fighter was sent to the group by the god Magrum and so she is probably alright.
Being a curious sort, Dar-Wynn triggered the magical staff they collected and injured herself, though not seriously. After careful consideration, it was determined that the staff is extremely powerful and not easy to control. It can focus a tremendous amount of magical power, which should come as no surprise since it belonged to Cantankerous.
After enjoying a delicious breakfast of pork, they briefly considered going back to the town to kill the rest of the ogres. However, the group decides to continue following the compass as it points in a new direction: WEST. After a short walk, the group encounters a 6ft stone statue of a honey badger in the woods.
The statue shows an exquisite amount of detail, no tool marks can be seen. A wound can be seen which suggests that perhaps the statue was once a living honey badger that had been turned to stone. A hammer blow bounces off the stone. Someone theorizes that this could be the art of petrification which does not sound like a good time!
The group ventured on in the direction of the compass cautiously. Davian finds a fallen stone figure of a fighter wearing armor. After a brief discussion about how to continue WEST in a flanking formation, Davian trips while attempting to retrieve the armor prompting a squawk and rustling to be heard from the bushes.
Everyone hides behind a tree (or climbs up if they are able) and quietly debates if they should flee or fight the creature. Could this be the one who is turning living creatures to stone?
Suddenly, a large chicken-like creature descends and attacks Dar-Wynn from behind! The group takes note that the creature is glowing, not unlike the paladin creatures they have previously encountered. Dar-Wynn is clawed by the angry chicken and injured a bit.
Konraad casts a shield spell and Davian jumps down from the tree to assist but twists his ankle and misses. Myrna also misses from her position on the ground.
Lead Tiger jumps down and hits another tree on his way to the ground. Dar-Wynn moves to face her attacker but misses. The creature attacks Myrna and wounds her.
You would think that someone would land a hit already but no, Konraad misses. Davian also misses, trips and hits Konraad. The creature is looking a little smug at this point as the group continues to miss their target.
Dar-Wynn attempts to cast Bull Strength on Lead Tiger but it backfires and weakens him temporarily. The creature lashes out at Myrna but misses. This wounds its confidence but when the group finally starts to land hits and cause injury, the bird-thing attempts to fly up into a tree.
From its position, the creature squawks profanity at the group, surprising them. The assault continues from Davian’s bow and Konraad’s magic. A final attack from Konraad and the foul-mouthed creature falls from the tree.
The Cockatrice is dead. As is the custom among the group, useful parts of the creature are harvested. Konraad receives a silver claw as a trophy. Lead Tiger climbs up to the Cockatrice nest and recovers more gold.
Davian goes back to the fallen fighter and loots some gold and a kite shield. The group takes note that the sigil on the shield is the same as the “wicked kings” band of mercenaries.
At midday, the group continues moving WEST through the forest through thinning trees and eventually reaching a clearing. A huge rock stands in the middle of the clearing but all is quiet, with no signs of life.
Davian leads the group forward to investigate the rock. Though the rock felt solid when Lead Tiger reached out to touch it, Dar-Wynn flies up and discovers that the rock is not actually there. Intrigued, Lead Tiger attempts to attack the rock but his fist goes through the illusion.
The rest of the group watches as Lead Tiger enters the rock, followed soon after by Dar-Wynn from above. Next, the rest of the group catches up to them and all are standing in front of a small hut within the illusion.
An old man, presumably a wizard, steps in front of the door to the hut. Someone asks for his name and the man replies “Reclusive”. He wants them all to go away but they won’t, of course because the compass is pointing insistently at the hut.
As they ready to move forward, Reclusive tells them to wait and he vanishes. Another figure steps out and attacks Myrna with magic (Ray of Enfeeblement) but fumbles. Lead Tiger attacks, misses and hits himself in a rather sensitive area.
The assassin attempts another attack on Myrna but again the magic fizzles. She is a little bit peeved at this point and counter attacks. Davian moves to assist but misses as well.
Konraad takes this opportunity to reach out and touch the door which causes everyone to start shrinking – including the assassin. The battle continues until Lead Tiger attacks with Stunning Fist and succeeds, dropping the assassin to the ground. After hits from Dar-Wynn and Konraad, the assassin loses consciousness.
Myrna takes satisfaction in tying up their attacker. His condition becomes critical with multiple attempts to stabilize him. Finally, Lead Tiger succeeds and though Dar-Wynn attempts to use diplomacy to gain information, the assassin does not cooperate. Dar-Wynn kills him.
Davian moves around the hut and finds a dugout hole. He returns to the group to inform them and they follow him to the hole. The hole appears to go up into darkness. Konraad casts a light and sends it up into the darkness. It comes to a stop at some distance above them.
Lead Tiger climbs up and drops a rope which Davian and Myrna climb. Konraad is pulled up by the others. From their position, the group notices signs of life. They are not alone.
Dar-Wynn flies up another 30 feet and comes to 2 alcoves, one on either side of the shaft. The group follows Dar-Wynn and moves up into one of the alcoves. This one, has large spider webs.
As they continue their progress upward, Davian is attacked by a termite. Myrna and Davian struggle to land hits on the creature who does damage to Myrna. Konraad fares better and hits the termite. The group moves up to the next level but not before Konraad suffers some damage and is rendered unconscious. Lead Tiger stabilizes Konraad and Dar-Wynn attempts to heal him and succeeds.
On his feet once again, Konraad casts another light and the group makes plans to flee from the sounds of the termites. Lead Tiger attempts to climb up but a spider appears in front of the group and attacks.
The spider poisoned Davian, affecting his strength. Konraad is able to heal the group under attack. Davian and Dar-Wynn successfully attack the spider. Myrna attacks and misses while Konraad continues to heal himself.
Lead Tiger continues climbing, looking for a route to help his companions. The battle continues below. Each combatant misses and soon Davian takes a hit that causes him to go down. Undaunted, Dar-Wynn hits the spider again and again but the killing blow was landed by Konraad.
With the spider defeated, Konraad and Dar-Wynn turn their attention to Davian and heals him. The group continues moving upward to the next level.
A funnel shaped passage can be seen above them, which Lead Tiger climbs up and then pulls the group up one by one. The area opens up into a hall where termite holes can be seen. Everyone runs forward but Myrna takes damage from the termite as a second termite chases the group.
A light can be seen ahead, leading them on. They run under a cabinet and the group engages the termites in combat. Myrna manages to kill one. Lead Tiger, Davian and Dar-Wynn dispatch the other.
Davian pushes the termite carcass out into the open and a flying creature swoops down to eat it.
(The mirror goes dark.)
Shopkeeper: So that’s it then?
Pecan Praline: Yes, so you can see why I want my money back!
Shopkeeper: How about store credit?
Pecan Praline: (sighs dramatically) I suppose.