Kairon Wayward and I were well on our way to Khalab one morning, when we began to hear a loud sound in the woods. It sounded like a woman in danger, so we decided to investigate further. We saw a human woman beset by orcs and what appeared to be a wereboar. To my surprise, we also found my old friends Quip-Qo and Aelar, as well as an Orcish Paladin who later introduced himself as Nar Ghorrunk. We quickly worked together, and began felling the orc soldiers. The lady came to me for protection, naturally, and informed me that we needed to leave. We did not heed her warnings, and soon realized that was a mistake. None of our attacks seemed to hurt the wereboar, and we were at a loss for what to do next.
After collecting our wits, we decided to try attacks of the magical variety. I rushed towards it, and a burst of thunder emitted from all around me. The sound washed over the wereboar and he was flung back a dozen feet. Seizing the opportunity, Kairon opened a portal behind the wereboar into space and time itself. The last thing we saw before it was swallowed by blackness was giant tentacles surrounding the beast, and cold mist seeping out.
The beast attempted to climb out of the dark realm, and we fought to push it back in. Eldritch blasts, stunning fists, and radiant light pushed the beast back into the darkness. After a short time, the beast stopped returning from the darkness, and only after the portal was closed were we assured of the beast’s demise.
The lady introduced herself as Alicia, and once again told us that we needed to head for safety. We agreed, and headed out of the forest.
After walking for about an hour, we approached the edge of the forest. Suddenly, and without warning, Nar vanished before our eyes. Quip-Qo too began to vanish, but stumbled backwards to safety. Kairon tried to magically convince Alicia to go rescue our friend, and she said she would only go if someone came with her. Never one to turn away from danger, I agreed to accompany her, and we started to head across the barrier.
As I took her hand, it felt dry to the touch, almost scaly. At the last possible moment, she began to pull me into the portal. I resisted, and she disappeared into the beyond. After informing my party of the situation, I bravely jumped inside.
Once across, we were in what appeared to be the same clearing, however it was a little darker, and the sky didn’t seem as vast, it seemed smaller somehow. The forest behind us was shaped like a door, but nothing was able to pass through it. A city appeared to be at the foothills below. We rested for a bit, and proceeded into the town.
Nar decided to ask some of the townsfolk where we were. He asked one man, and the man gave a confused look. He asked if we’d checked in yet; not wanting to embarrass ourselves with our ignorance, we told him that, of course we had. He said that if we’d already checked in, we should head to a tavern to relax. He recommended The Stumbling Centipede, which we were told had way better ale than other establishments. Quip-Qo and Aelar decided to head to the bar, while Nar, Kairon, and I went to see what “checking in” consisted of.
We headed up the hill towards the check in location , and found a large, single-storied building with walls made of a kind of paper. It was surrounded with interesting rock gardens, and a door could be seen at the top of a short staircase. We opened the door, which began to quickly fold into a the shape of a small fox. Bewildered, we continued inside to see what this strange place contained.
We found a large desk with a slight, gray-skinned gnomish woman hunched over it. She appeared to be taking notes. When we greeted her, she asked how many were in our party. Not wanting to give up too much information without knowing what we were about, I told her 6. She said she had a reservation for 5; later she found that our party was prepaid, but would not tell us by who. Upon further questioning, we learned her name was Kardira.
We were given a brochure about the building, which included a map of The Clearfall Resort and Clearfall City. She also handed us 6 pieces of folded paper; small origami fox, carp, etc, and told us that Wellington would guide us to our rooms. Wellington appeared to be an automaton. He took us to our rooms, and each was unlocked with the origami fox, carp, etc.
We spent a few minutes in our rooms, before eventually deciding to rejoin the party in town. We headed back towards town, and quickly met up with our group.
Before we could even order drinks, a waitress came out and began apologizing to the group. She said that there was a misunderstanding, and we were to be upgraded to the private room for parties at once. She then began moving Quip-Qo’s plates and glasses to the room to prepare for us.
After we sat down, Wellington came into the room as if to address the party. His mouth opened, and a small piece of paper began sliding from between his lips. The Note, signed by Alethra, spoke of a proposed deal she had to offer us. She had to leave town for awhile, and she said we would work to defend the wall. While we stay, we could accept tokens of her appreciation that would expire once the contract was concluded. If we accepted, however, we would be accepting a magically binding contract, and that we could cancel this contract at any time.
We began opening the boxes, and knew immediately that this was going to be an interesting few days to be sure!