"He's Santa. We killed Santa!" ~ Toby, about Brahm Bones
Finally, some clues we can use to get closer to the truth of this accursed town! Seriously, why do these simple folk have to be so guilty? I am not saying we are the world’s greatest detectives but you have to admit that everyone seems a little…off, right? A place like this is liable to turn a good person into a paranoid wreck. The truth feels like it is just a clue or two away. If we could just catch a small break I am sure everything will come to light. Hopefully Teddy is still ok…
Cast and Player Characters
- Balfis Vantas, the Mayor?
- Constable Andre?
- Doc Habe?
- Tarry Hollow?
- The Mayor's House?
- The Temple of Ioun?
Having just uncovered a plot of freshly dug earth in the pantry of Mayor Balfis Vantas, Rowan digs around, and finds nothing. It's empty. The patch is about 2x2 ft, and too small for a body. Back at the dinner table, Toby and Jaela silently confer about the fact that if Rowan returns without a book, it will look suspicious, as that is why she left in the first place. So Toby must create the illusion of one. Toby becomes offended when Jaela asks if he is capable of doing this, as he is a powerful wizard. Rowan returns, sans book, and Toby casts Silent Image to create the illusion of the book she was retrieving, infusing it with Shadowfell magic to make it real. After talking about what type of pants Rowan is wearing, the Mayor interjects to ask about their book of plans, and Rowan suggests they hang the book and start from scratch. The Mayor agrees, growing increasingly like Foghorn Leghorn as he speaks. Toby decides to get to the matter at hand and questions the Mayor about the missing Teddy. He denies any knowledge of the boy's whereabouts, and Toby almost accuses him of the kidnapping himself! He then asks about if he has any "ongoing investigations with your constabularies," and the Mayor, again, denies this. (This would seem to contradict what Doctor Habe told them in the last episode). Toby asks to search the house, which makes the Mayor defensive and offended, and Rowan asks to speak with Tobester in private. They leave. Rowan tells Toby what she found, and suggests that he go investigate more, but then, suddenly and mysteriously, she feels as though he will not find anything else, remembering how well she rolled when she did it.
Upon returning to the dinner table, the Mayor is in a huff, and asks if they are working with Brahm Bones. He explains that yesterday, Bones came to his house to interrogate him, but the Mayor sent him away. He claims that he was quite Intimidated by the man and, it shames him to say, Bones was able to snoop around for a bit, but says he did not find anything suspicious. He then asks them to leave. Outside, Jaela asks Toby to send Arlington into the house, to look all around. He does, but finds nothing. Toby gets an idea, asks Jaela to lift him up, and boops Rowan on the nose. Before their very eyes, Rowan assumes the form of Brahm Bones! Toby then puts Arlington on her shoulder and makes him part of the illusion. They have to fill up mass, after all, since Bones was bigger than Rowan. She goes off to the constabulary.
Behind a desk sits Constable Andre, who chews out Brahm Bones for being late. He asks Bones why he was snooping around the Mayor's house, to which Rowan replies that he wasn't thinking straight. The missing child is the younger brother of Katrina Dozar, after all, and Bones is, as they say, sweet on her. Constable Andre tells her that he is to be out patrolling right now. Toby speaks through Arlington to communicate to Rowan, telling her to ask about Teddy in a subtle way. He also is regaling the rest of the Ätlän-tã Fælcons with the tale as it is happening, so everyone is up to date. She does bring him up, and the Constable seems dismissive, believing, like so many others, that Teddy is either kidnapped by Nictis Cross, or lost in the wilderness, most likely dead, as it's been 6-7 days since he has been missing. Back together again, they consider Rowan, still as Brahm Bones, going to visit Doc Habe, to spook him. They then come up with the dumbest plan they've ever had, and yes, that includes that one time. They suggest that Rowan runs down the street as Brahm Bones, while Toby chases after, looking like Rowan, in the hopes that she is hit by the same necromancy magic that killed the real Brahm Bones. Toby can make her resistance go up, and Jaela can revivify her. They don't do this, thankfully. Jaela suggests searching Brahm Bones' house, but Toby thinks he isn't that involved, and they won't find much. Rowan suggests going to see Katrina, still as Brahm Bones, which is a little fucked up. Toby then creates one of his weird wind-up toys and makes it real with Shadowfell magic, and has THAT run down the street, but it is not hit with magic, or die, or anything like that. Toby poses a few ideas based on Bones' death:
1. He was cursed, so that if he ran for it, or left the city, he would die.
2. The evil wizard is/was nearby, ready to cast whatever spell killed him.
They finally decide to go and see Katrina. Toby, or is it Tim?, thinks that she may be the number one suspect, since she is the last person they think would do it. She is currently teaching school, but Rowan, as Brahm Bones, walks right in. She says she will be with him after class. They wait. After a bunch of young children run out, Katrina speaks with Bones, acting a bit affectionate toward him. She says she is still worried about Teddy, and Toby, again through Arlington, suggests that she tell her that he thinks Teddy is still in town. The cast doesn't know what to do from here, and receive a message from on high that they are just on the cusp of solving this mystery, and that they could, "crack this thing wide open any second." With the working theory now being that Doc Habe is the culprit, Jaela suggests that since Rowan is still Brahm Bones, she should go to Habe and tell him that he (Brahm) only made the Fælcons think that they killed him, and actually he was alive the whole time. This is a great idea, so they do that.
Rowan sneaks into the Temple of Ioun, as Brahm Bones, remember, and waits sitting in Doc Habe's office desk. Upon his return, he is quite shocked, and lets out a shriek! Toby uses Arlington, using Mage Hand, to slam the door shut behind him, further freaking him out. He seems surprised to see him, believing him to be dead, much to Rowan's dismay. She threatens him, but he again claims his innocence. In a huff, Rowan/Brahm Bones kicks open the door and leaves. She/they go back his apartment above the constabulary, where Steve mists her through the door. The apartment is not well taken care of. There is a half-eaten pizza, a big corkboard with red strings strung across a map of the town. She unlocks the door to let the others in, and Toby finds a list of names of all the people in town, with most names crossed off. There are only two names not crossed off: Kinder Hook, the blacksmith, and Hudson, who runs the general store. Toby drops the illusion making Rowan look like Brahm Bones, so she looks like herself again. They decide that they are hungry, so they go first to the general store.
There, they meet Hudson, who acts kindly and tells them he knows nothing of the boy's location, but Jaela senses something is wrong. The Raven Dagger is buzzing and humming lightly. She casts Zone of Truth, and Hudson becomes defensive. Jaela, having passed her saving throw, lies to him and tells him the spell is to reveal hidden/repressed memories. She asks for his name, which he answers is Hudson. Toby then asks Hudson to tell him (Toby) that he (Toby) is not a gnome, which he is. Hudson is unable to do this, and says that he is a gnome, leading the Fælcons to believe that the spell worked, and that Hudson is now Jim Carrey in Liar Liar. Rowan asks if he had anything to do with the disappearance of Teddy, which he says that he is mildly offended by. He says, definitively, that he had nothing to do it, and that he does not know anyone who might know where Teddy is. He also denies knowing anything unusual about Kinder Hook. He says there is nothing he can tell them about the disappearance, and while he doesn't want them to look through his stuff, there would be nothing he could do if they tried, as he is not a fighter. He denies everything, and the gang grows frustrated. He believes the boy is dead. They ask what he is hiding from them, and he admits that he has wet himself a little. Rowan asks if he is being controlled by anyone right now, to which he responds that he doesn't think he would know if he was. Again in frustration, Rowan launches herself over the counter and runs to the back. She goes down to the root cellar (Deja Vu) and sees, crouched in the corner, a small boy!
He only cries when Rowan calls out "Teddy?", and upstairs, they can hear him crying. Toby is asking Hudson increasingly stranger and stranger questions. "Do you like feet?" ("I do indeed!") "Do you miss your mom?" ("Yes.") Jaela tells him to take them all to the sound of the crying child. Toby puts a bucket on his head, and Jaela pushes him to the cellar. Once everyone has assembled, Rowan asks if he is Teddy, but he doesn't answer. He asks if they are here to free him. Rowan says they are, and asks him where he has been, to which he responds, "They've been hiding me from... him." They all ask who Him is, but he just keeps repeating it. He says it's not Hudson, Sinu the Red, or Nictis Cross.
Toby casts Detect Magic and everything light up! It is a lot of Illusion Magic, with some Necromancy. He feels like everything around him is an illusion. Finding it out shatters the illusion, and the cellar falls away to reveal a ruin. Hudson crumbles away, but Teddy (who Michael refers to by name) is still there. They decide to leave. They walk up the stairs and out of the general store, and everyone in town is standing outside, facing them. Toby's Detect Magic extends out, and the whole town of Tarry Hollow falls away. They are standing in an ancient ruin, with a Lich standing in front of them.
Sinu the Red says "Hand over the locket."
The Ätlän-tã Fælcons question several people over the location of Teddy, while Rowan is disguised as the late Brahm Bones. The Mayor seems to know nothing, as does Bones' boss Constable Andre, Katrina Dozar, and Doc Habe. After a lot of growing frustration, they search Brahm Bones' apartment, and find a list of names. The only names not crossed off are Kinder Hook, and Hudson. They go to the general store to speak with Hudson, who also knows nothing, even when they spend some time in the Zone of Truth. Rowan searches downstairs and finds Teddy in the cellar! Everyone goes down there, but Toby casts Detect Magic, which begins to break down the illusion all around them. They are not in the town at all, the whole thing was just one giant illusion! Hudson crumbles away, but Teddy is still there, and when they head back up, they see all the citizens of the town outside staring at them, along with a Lich (presumably Sinu the Red), who says "Hand over the locket..."
- This episode was released on Christmas
- Bachmann seems to forget that Rowan is not Aludra, and makes reference to one of the latter's past adventures
- This may be the first time pizza has been mentioned in world, so that exists in Drunkeros apparently
- Steve reads a lot of gnoll mommy blogs
- They apparently say that meat is good for development in gnoll babies, unlike human babies
Hudson added to Steve's list of commoners
- All of Tarry Hollow seems to have been an illusion!!!! Whoa!
- This episode used music from Syrinscape:
- The songs Inner Sanctum, Dreams Become Real, Decline, and Penumbra were from Kevin MacLeod, at Incompetech.
- +1 Teddy to the party
- -All our minds that exploded
Quest Log Updates
- Tim - 17
- Jennifer - 19
- Bachmann - 7
- Nika - Nat1 - Reverse Bapped
- Rowan, as Brahm Bones rolls Insight to see if she thinks that Katrina is being honest when talking about her brother, Teddy - 11
- Toby, through Arlington also rolls Insight - Nat20
- He fully believes that she is being honest.
- Rowan rolls Stealth to sneak into the Temple of Ioun - 21
- Success - She stealths her way in, she sits at his desk chair, waiting...
- Rowan Intimidates Doc Habe (with advantage) - 12
- Success-ish - he is still quite shaken
- Rowan does an Investigation - Nat1
- Fail - She finds one potato and proclaims that it is a bean
- Toby does an Investigation with his glasses - 21
- Success - He finds the list
- Jaela rolls Insight while questioning Doc Habe - Nat20+7
- Success - She gets a strong feeling that something is wrong here
- They all roll a DC 17 CHA saving throw against Jaela's Zone of Truth spell
- Hudson - ??
- Jaela - > 17
- Toby - < 17
- Rowan - > 17
- Steve - ??
- Toby uses Arcana to try to "discover" the illusion, hoping that that will shatter it - 21
- Success - The illusion breaks