We look at the area inside the lattice in the fey quarter. In addition to the strange creatures, we notice that it appears to be moonlit inside, and if we look in and up, we can see a moon in the sky even though it’s not there in the real world. Autumn is horrified by the suggestion to go inside, and settles on Verinal’s shoulder, as he agrees that it sounds like a bad idea.
Autumn notices a large cocoon of spider-silk (small sized, mechanically), and asks about our large spiders. We investigate and find many more, though none nearly that size, most around the size of a bird. The webbing appears to be spider-silk as best as Verinal can tell, but the structure is much more complex, like stranded cable. We follow the trail, and it leads generally in the direction of Verius’s area, and even past that. We ask the guards there about them, and they say that they started showing up a few weeks ago, and they’ve just been tossing them in the trash.
Since they are apparently safe to touch, we cut one open, and release a small bird which flies away. A smaller one is found to contain a few bees. We go back to the first large one we saw, and upon opening it we find a wolf pup which looks like it belongs to the small elven wolf-riders just outside town. We take the pup and a couple of small cocoons and head there to see them.
We talk to one of the treesingers and return the pup. He asks where we found it, and we show him one of the cocoons. He yells for someone called “Petalwing”, who turns out to be a small pixie-like creature called a Preserver. They came here with the elfish people, and apparently some have been wrapping up things they aren’t supposed to. He promises to get them to stop. The creatures wrapped up are essentially in stasis, though they are apparently able to think at least a little.
We then ask him about the lattice, since it looks likely to have been constructed by a treeshaper. He says that he was the one who shaped it, though one of their shamans did the enchantment, and Hagrid’s druids organized the whole thing. The lattice was grown from Yew and Holly. The shaman is primarily an herbalist and midwife, though she has an interest in dreams which is why she became involved. The other physical element of the lattice was actually the “shimmersilk” produced by the preservers, which keeps everything properly contained.
The Fey leader’s dreams are being made manifest, probably due to his growing power and the preposterous amount of drugs he’s taken. The lattice acts as a boundary to limit their intrusion into the real world. (Hannah mentions the Veil, and the shaman seems to like the terminology.) He could force them past the boundary if he chose to do so, but his current level of intoxication prevents him from even considering the idea that there is a world beyond his dreams, and as he sobers up, his gradual realization that he is dreaming will limit his ability to affect the world in this way. So for all practical purposes, the barrier is guaranteed to hold unless some idiot opens the gate, which would allow his dreams to exit. We ask about entering through the world of dreams, and she is intrigued by the concept, especially since we confirm that it really exists, but has no idea what would happen.
As Verinal is shaking her hand, we are brought to the Arena, and apparently she is taken with us. This is likely due to Verinal’s status as a domain holder. Shiva is mildly annoyed at this, and gives Verinal a hastily-scribbled list of rules, most of which either make no sense or are impossible to act on given Verinal’s current knowledge. Shiva goes to see who we’re up against, and apparently the brackets have been re-arranged after multiple teams dropped out due to being killed. This is largely due to extra-dimensional incursions, such as the area-replacement bubbles and dungeon keepers, including what Shiva believes to be a very large dungeon covering an entire peninsula south of Waterdeep.
We will be fighting in a three-way battle against Team Gruumsh and Team Uthgar. We get to choose the battlefield, so in an effort to confuse the opposition, we create an urban/suburban area with a modern Tokyo aesthetic (provided by Rukia). We win, and Shiva also wins additional side bets, including that we would overkill someone by 75, that we would do 120 in a single action, and that we would accidentally hurt ourselves 7 times (this was the 3rd tier of that bet, and the only one for which we surpassed the first tier). Shiva made a nice profit, ending with 69 power points.
When we return to reality, Autumn asks what the $%&* just happened. Apparently she was brought with us too, but was put in the stands rather than with us in the prep area. She says she won a bet with a few other spectators, and shows us 3 divine power gems. One of destruction that she won from an orc (Gruumsh), one of wilderness that she won from a human (Uthgar), and one from an unknown elven woman that seems to be related to Hope, with elements of justice and protection (?). We try to explain to her what the gems are and that the spectators she was betting with were almost certainly gods, but she doesn’t believe us and puts them in her pocket.
We decide to go see if the Department of Mitch might be able to help figure out why Autumn is here, since they know a lot about pixies and fey things. As we arrive, we hear some odd noises and the door to the department is missing. Asking around the regular workers reveals that the noise we heard was some sort of alarm or siren heard near every member of the department, upon which they all ran into the door which then flew away. The statue of Mitch outside has also been replaced with one of a walrus. My theory is that for some reason Mitch was running away from Autumn, though she claims not to know any pixie named Mitch.
Things to follow up on (in no particular order):
- Have someone organize crews to open the shimmersilk cocoons around town, go through the compost heap to open the ones thrown away, and issue a notice that if any more are found by citizens, they are to be opened or brought to guards to be opened (include details to differentiate these from normal spider cocoons). If there is another large batch after this one is dealt with, talk to the wolfriders.
- Find the department of Mitch
- Figure out what’s going on with Autumn
- Put together a list of “What the hell’s wrong with this town?!” for Autumn (task for Verinal, assuming no such list already exists. I would ask if the DoM has a list, but they’re missing, which kind of goes on the list)