? – ?
This adventure covered the later part of the 14 months the party stayed in Home. During this time they began taking duties on patrol, protecting the valley from the threats of the First World. They battled a fire absorbing/spitting tyrannosaurus (and won, salvaging 6 of it’s strange fire absorbing back plates to construct small shields or bucklers) then helped divert a giant slug migration by killing a handful of the huge mollusks.
They also undertook an adventure to seek out some “living steel” that a passing pixie told the people of Home about. Along the way they battled large puff-ball fungi called Ascomoid’s, and were victorious. The living steel tree was indeed where it was said to be but it turned out to be a trap (a prank in the eyes of the pixie) set up by 4 evil red caps. The pixie tried to provide a distraction during the fight with an illusion of a blue giant, the party did not bite however. They killed the red caps, took their treasure, then returned to Home with 5 ingots of living steel.
Also during this time Caelan continued cooking with the people of Home (including making Tyrannosaurus Haggis!) and began training a priest of Erastil to guide the budding religion. Iola and Nolaquen continued trying to convince the other of the correctness of their respective customs. Scotia taught and learned weaving patterns and she even learned the language of Home. Quinn took on an apprentice, his cousin Gaerol. Adal was asked to train with the Guardian and his cadre of 10 warriors.
The learn a bit more about Home’s customs. After a death there is a mourning period of 7 days, followed by a time of happiness and anticipation as people try to guess which couple will be allowed to have children. They also learn that harmony is the culture’s dominant trait.
They also debate whether to take the people of Home with them if they are able to return. Perhaps a bit surprisingly the population, while definitely divided, are more open to the idea than one might assume. (Their world is shrinking, and after countless generations this has been the first opportunity to leave in their history.) One thing is agreed on by all parties. They must all go or all stay, the people of Home will not split up.
Finally, after 14 months (or so, an exact count is impossible) Gaerol rushes to Quinn to inform him that “She’s here, the Old Beldame has arrived!”
The group go to see her. She is at first shocked. Then she looks suspicious. She looks in Caelan’s eyes, pinches his skin, then proclaims “‘taint real. Copies, good ones, I’ll give you that. You’ll have to get rid of dem tattoos if you really want to fool anyone.” Now it is the party’s turn to be shocked. They eventually convince the old witch that they are indeed themselves and she begins to unveil the incredible events from Innisfree.
They find out:
- It has been two and a half to three years on Golarion.
- The Heroes of Innisfree did return a few months after they left to investigate Varnhold.
- They returned with control of Varnhold and an Alliance with the wild Cyclops’ tribes of the Tors.
Since the “heroes” return many things have changed:
- Deoryr Slyss never returned, his position has not been filled.
- The Queen and Prince have very rarely been seen in public since, and only from a distance.
- All power has been concentrated in the King’s hands.
- Oleg and Grigori have been thrown in prison for corruption, both replaced by a Cyclops named Agapetos.
- Jhod has taken ill and rarely leaves the Temple of the Stag in Stagholm
- Money and resources are sent to an unknown location south of Varnhold monthly, the economy has completely stagnated and living conditions are deteriorating.
- Munguk has been chained to the Monument of the People. Instead of a place to speak freely, it has become a place to come and humiliate the dumb creature. Most people have not participated beyond what is required (some even sneak him food and whisky), though sadly a small part of the population enjoys it. When Munguk eventually dies there is a petition to have Sootscale take his place.
- An open bounty has been placed on Centaurs, attracting adventurers of questionable ethics.
- The Heroes of Innisfree rarely mingle with the public anymore, preferring to stay secluded and have underlings do their business. When they are in public they are always accompanied by enormous Cyclops bodyguards.
- A new hardline approach has been taken toward nature and the fey folk. Tyg Titter Tut now leads a fey rebellion , pestering all who venture into the wild places. (The rebellion even includes some citizens of Innisfree such as Verina). Many Cyclops have been killed by this group.
After these revelations the party begins a spirited discussion on what to do next.