In our first episode, the cast of characters come together: a talking dog, a tief-elf, and two gnomes walk into a bakery. There are mysteries afoot well beyond the question of why the dog can talk now, and the fledgeling party is very curious (but very distractible). Will inter-party beef between gnomes derail them entirely before any questions are answered?

Content Notices: Strong language; discussions of offscreen character death; and implied violence to an Awakened animal as part of backstory.

Show Notes

Welcome to Chromythica, an semi-homebrewed actual play Pathfinder 2E tabletop campaign set in the world of Golarion. Join Game Master Esther Wallace and friends as they play a Barbarian, a Sorcerer, an Inventor, and a Rogue fated to sway the destinies of dragons and the course of history...

For updates and sneak peeks, follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr @Chromythica, or visit our website at  

This episode was recorded and produced on unceded Lisjan Ohlone land. We give our great respect to the Lisjan Ohlone and the Indigenous peoples of all the places that you, our audience, are tuning in from. The lands that we are on have always been and will always be Indigenous lands. For more information about how you can support Lisjan Ohlone land reclamation, please visit 

Chromythica Team Members: 
Justin Brown (Ember): Artistic Director 
Fairuz Rougeaux (Temerity Vane): Producer & Creative Director 
Alex Rudy (Professor Z): Technical Director 
Esther Wallace (GM): Creative Director, Lorekeeper, and Executive Producer  
David Yamashiro (Oom Gildrose): Production Advisor

What is Chromythica?

Two gnomes, a tief-elf, and a talking dog walk into a bakery. This is their story.

Chromythica is a Pathfinder 2e actual play campaign about belonging, community, and the process of making meaning out of complex situations. Come for friends having boisterous fun, stay for the journey we go on together!

Esther: Welcome to Chromythica.

I'm your GM, Esther Wallace.

I use she/ her and zhe/zher pronouns.

And I am so excited to welcome you to our story.

A few things before we get started:

First: this episode was recorded and produced on Lisjan Ohlone land.

To learn more about Lisjan Ohlone land reclamation and rematriation
efforts, please refer to the information in our episode description.

Content notices for this episode include:

Strong language; discussions of offscreen character death; and
implied violence to an Awakened animal as part of backstory.

Transcripts for all our episodes are available at our website,

Finally, before we get started, I'd like to take a
moment to have my wonderful players introduce themselves.

I couldn't dream of telling this story without their constant collaboration and input.

I'm a very lucky GM, and I think that y'all are going to know
why I feel that way as soon as you start listening to them play.

So without further ado: here they are.

Fai: Hello everybody!

My name is Fairuz Rougeaux.

You can call me Fai if you like.

I'm going to be playing Temerity.

I use she/they pronouns and this is going to be a lot of fun.

David: Hi, I'm David and I use he/him pronouns.

I play Oom, our party's gnome Sorcerer who's polygendered, and uses she, him, they pronouns.

I also play Nommie, Oom's pseudodragon familiar, who uses he/ him pronouns.

Alex: Hello.

My name is Alex and I use they/them pronouns.

I play our party's gnome Inventor, Professor Z, who uses he/him pronouns, and Z's construct, Buster.

Justin: Hello, my name is Justin.

I use he/him pronouns and I play our party's lovable
canine Barbarian, Ember, who also uses he/him pronouns.

Esther: It's difficult to say where a story really begins.

Like so many threads coming together in a weaving, each thread connected to a spool, each
spool, the product of its own spinning -- every beginning has a genesis of its own.

And the wider the net of a story is cast, the more everything seems connected.

The elders say that to chase down a beginning invites adventure.

So we come into this story not at its beginning, but
as it converges in the gnomish city of Brastlewark.

This most unusual cosmopolis is formally located in the nation of Cheliax under the
jurisdiction of Her Infernal Majestrix Abrogail II of the Thrice-Damned House of Thrune.

Less formally, it lies east of the Whisperwood, nestled in the
foothills of the Aspodell Mountains at the mouth of the River Brastle.

Many the human traveler, finding themselves in Brastlewark
for the first time, will think it a very odd city.

For no one building is like to another in style, and the whole city is painted and
planted in vibrant colors that twirl and swirl and clash with each other's fierce hues.

And even the streets of Brastlewark threaten to overwhelm most human newcomers.

There seems to be no rhyme or reason to these roads.

And a wide thoroughfare can turn as suddenly to a small twisting alleyway as
a narrow lane can spit a pedestrian into a wide park with no paths at all.

Brastlewark prospers as a center of research and innovation, both magical and mundane.

The streets buzz with the carryings on and conductings of business
and trade, ringing with the hammers of tinkerers and the incantations

of wizards, and occasionally an explosion of moderate size.

And the festivals, oh, the festivals!

The celebrations, the jollifications, the merrymakings and parades!

Arguably the most famous of these is the annual Festival of Flight, where folk from far and
wide come to honor and wonder at the innovation in the field of aerial arts and sciences.

At the Festival of Flight, there are kites big enough to hold a grown human in flight,
and hot air balloons and gliders and demonstrations of arcane and primal flight magic...

and gold to be had by the plenty for those whose
innovations and skill are deemed of interest to investors.


Best not to get ahead of our place in the story.

Let it be said that the beating heart of Brastlewark is made of the love of curiosity and becoming.

And for one or two of you, it's also the place you call home.

The particular morning we come into this story is one that blossoms soft and full of possibility.

It's the kind of late winter morning that tweaks the
tips of your ears as the steam rises from the river.

But the light of the early morning sun looks so much
like spring, you'll be tempted not to wear a scarf.

It is the kind of morning that calls for nothing so much as it does a freshly baked
pastry and a hot drink to wake up the mind, particularly if you're a researcher.

It being such a morning, Professor Z: you find yourself
making your way to a local bakery you like to frequent.

Why don't you tell us a little bit about your morning
routine, and what you look like, and what Buster looks like?

Set a scene for us.

Alex: Hm.

I think it's probably easiest to describe Buster first.

Buster is clinking and clunking along.

I wouldn't exactly call Buster in the shape of a robot, so much as in the
shape of a collection of legs that wander around with various bells and

whistles and steam pipes and whatnot protruding in different directions.

Professor Z is wandering down the street.

Well, wandering is probably the wrong word.

Briskly walking with purpose for the morning, excited to start his day of invention and creation.

He's wearing something of a longer coat that has a multitude of pockets
in it, that's maybe got some patchwork on different parts of it.

He looks bright-eyed and cheery and ready to go for the day.

But clearly it's sort of the set of clothing he has as his like usual uniform outfit.

There's not really much variety for him day-to-day.

And as he briskly heads down the street to the bakery, Buster's sort of clinks and
clatters along behind, wobbly, occasionally sort of pitching to one side and then

another but continuing to move with his good little legs ready to go, following loyally.

Esther: Well before too long, you see the familiar facade of Selestine Bakery, a cozy building
of Royal blue brick and six high arching windows in the front, three on either side of the front

door, through which you can see a truly mouthwatering array of breads and pastries and goodies.

The door is large and yellow.

And right now it's open.

There's quite a long line of gnomes, a couple humans,
even some dwarves waiting in line for their baked goods.

There's a large wooden sign hanging above the door that reads
"Selestine Bakery," painted in silver ink on a dark blue background.

And the text of the sign is flanked by several tiny silver stars in an array around the letters
and similar stars and a giant half moon are painted on the dark blue brick of the bakery walls.

It's a two-story building.

And you happen to know that the first floor is the bakery itself and their storefront.

And then the second floor is a little bit of a quieter space that you can eat and chat with friends.

So: as you are going to be waiting in line for a good
few minutes, you'll notice another gnome approaching.

You won't have seen them before.

And I'm going to ask Oom to describe yourself next.

Oom, we'll say you and Nommie have gotten into town pretty recently, probably last night.

And you've stayed in an Inn and Tavern called the Lilyfrost Inn and Tavern, which is right
over the bridge as you cross the River Brastle and first arrive in the city of Brastlewark.

So you've woken up fairly early and the proprietor of Lilyfrost Inn and Tavern
of course encouraged you to eat breakfast at the Inn, but did tell you that when

she's in a pinch, she will buy some very good pastries from Selestine Bakery.

And then she would have directed you west through the city.

Oom, you are amazed by Brastlewark.

You've been traveling around for a while and you've seen a lot -- experienced
a lot -- but this city is like nowhere you have ever been before.

It's bright and colorful.

It's as if someone designed a city and then a force of chaos and curiosity and life
just took it over and burst that design open and put buildings wherever it wanted.

You see little alleyways that come to a dead end, not
at a door, but at a wall or opening to a green vista.

It is really amazing, especially after growing up in Hermea, where everything
has a certain order to it, a certain dignity, that this place is strange.

And it somehow feels like a kind of home.

Like you get an echo of home here.

So, why don't you describe yourself and set the scene for who Oom is and who Nommie is?

David: Sure.

So Oom is a gnome Sorcerer.

She's around, two feet, eight inches tall, kind of short for gnome, also kind of young.

She's around her mid twenties, where the typical adult age is 40.

And so she's definitely a lot younger and a lot more
excited to just smell the smells and see everything.

She has wild red hair.

It's not uncommon to find grass or twigs in it because she's very used to
just lying down in the grass and looking up at the stars kind of flighty,

definitely excited about all of the different colors of different smells, kind
of just following where her gnome nose takes her because she's a sensate gnome.

And that gives her basically everything that's, that's colorful or everything that smells wonderful.

It's just more vivid, to what she experiences.

And so you know, she smells wonderful bread or, or just sees the
magic of just the different colors in the, in the architecture.

I think that's just going to be really amazing for her.

For Nommie, Nommie as a pseudodragon familiar of Oom, but Oom really
sees Nommie as more of a friend and basically a trusted companion.

And so she's worked really hard to both give Nommie
more independence and also, the ability to speak.

Common or Draconic depending on what Nommie wants to do at any given time,
but Nommie tends to prefer to just be silent and just to basically be more of

a familiar where possible, unless that urge to speak sort of rises up in him.

So I think as they explore the different areas Oom's actually going to largely be
following where Nommie leads because part of coming here was for the Festival of Flight.

And part of the reasoning was, was because she thought that Nommie would appreciate
just seeing the different things, seeing the different aspects of flight and

maybe possibly even meeting other pseudodragons if, if that's available here.

And so she'll probably just be watching wherever Nommie flies
sniffing the different areas and seeing wherever that takes her.

Fai: Can I butt in to say that I'm in love with Oom, like already, I'm done.

I'm out.

I'm married to her on the astral plane.

That's all.


Thank you.

Esther: You generally feel that Nommie is making his way sort of towards the bakery.

But is taking you on a roundabout route, which is appropriate in Brastlewark.

At first, you're wandering through a section of a city that's close
to the river that seems to be like a bunch of homes constructed on

parkland with occasional little paved, flagged paths running through it.

And then you abruptly arrive in a district that is just cobblestones all the way.

A lot of stone buildings, smells a little sulfuric, and it's probably 7:30 in the morning.

And suddenly you just hear a boom!

And Nommie probably scampers back to you like, "whoa, what was that?"

And the smell of sulfur gets a little stronger.

David: Well, I mean, got to see what that explosion was.

Esther: Okay.

Is this going to be the first roll of the game?

I think it is.

David, would you have Oom roll me a secret Perception check?

David: Sure.

Esther: You notice there's a nearby building.

It's a couple of stories, but actually fairly low to the ground for Brastlewark.

And it's sort of protruding out of a tower, but they seem to be not exactly the same building.

Like, there's several entrances.

And as you look at it, you see a gnome fanning themself, has some soot in their long eyebrows.

It seems like this is an alchemical explosion and maybe
you've wandered into a district of alchemical labs.

They just sort of cough.

[coughin sounds] "Wow!

Really got a good one!

I think this is promising."

And immediately they start pouring something else into a beaker.

David: I'm going to get closer and actually sniff the
air a bit, be like, "What are you, what are you doing?"

Esther: Their window is open and they'll turn around.

They have huge goggles over their eyes.

And they say, " Ah, well, you must be new here.

I'm an inventor right now.

I'm trying to see if I can make an extract which will help me sprout wings by two weeks time.

It's never worked before, but today could be the day!"

David: "That's so cool.

Do you know how to use wings?

Cause I wouldn't even know what to do if I had them."

Esther: "Well!"

They look at you.

"By the time you reach your first century you're used to improvising.

I mean, I have no idea, but isn't that part of the fun?

Anything could happen!

Keeps the colors bright.

You know what I mean?"

David: "Yeah.

I, I prefer not to fall to my death though, so it's
always good not to, not to fly too close to the sun."

Esther: They look at you for another moment.

"Well, as long as you're here, you'll have nothing to worry about.

And where are you headed this morning, if I might ask?"

David: "Breakfast, I guess."

Esther: "Ah, the bakery."

David: Yeah.

Maybe, unless something else smells better."

Esther: "Yes, you absolutely must try one of their muffins.


Never had anything like it.

Definitely get butter."

And then they go back to pouring something into this beaker.

"Ah, watch out!

There may be another boom."

They seem intent on this work.

David: I'm going to watch to see if there's a boom.

Esther: Alright.

You wait for about five minutes.

They pour things into the beaker, stir it around, pour
a little bit more, measure, pour again, and sure enough!

Another loud explosion that just ricochets them off
their feet this time, blows them back against the wall.

And you hear a delighted giggle.

[giggling] "I think we're really getting somewhere!"

I'm trying to think of what I would ask you to roll me for this.

Do you have Lore: Alchemy?


David: No, [laughs] it's really just watching explosions with no reason.

I think I-

Esther: You could stick around for a while, and after
a bit, you'd get that this may be a slow process.

You certainly don't see anything like wings beginning
to sprout on them, but they seem excited about it.

David: Yeah.

I think, I think eventually Nommie is going to want to get breakfast and, and we'll follow.

So we'll head to the bakery.

Esther: You make your way through this district, which smells, again, a little sulfuric, little
tingly to the nose, and then through another area of green lawns and cute little winding alleyways

until you arrive at this same royal blue-painted brick bakery, little silver stars on the walls.

You see a sign that says Selestine Bakery.

And you will notice standing at the end of the line, Professor Z.

Of course you don't know his name, but there's a gnome who seems
to be a scholarly sort of figure with a construct beside him.

What would you like to do?

David: I'd like to walk up to the construct and just ask, "Is it okay if I, if I touch you?

Are you made of metal or...?"

Alex: The construct makes some sort of clinking noises and releases a bit of
steam that kind of alerts Professor Z that the construct has been interacted with.

And Professor Z turns, it says, "Ah, you want to meet the construct?

Well, this is Buster and Buster's a little bit busted, so it doesn't really speak right now.

Can I help you though?"

David: "This is just, it's so interesting.

Does, does Buster have sentience or, or do you control Buster or how does that work?"

Alex: "Sentience is a strong word.

Buster is a bit of my invention assistant helps me around the place, you know,
but you got to give them a lot of instructions and sometimes he just blows up."

David: "Oh, that's cool.

Can you make him blow up now?"

Alex: "I think it'd be a little bit dangerous out here on the street, but I mean,
you know, we could head off to the lab if you really want to see things fall apart."

David: "That'd be cool.

Maybe, maybe after breakfast."

Alex: "Indeed.

I never start a good day of breaking stuff until I've had my proper breakfast from the bakery here."

David: "Do you recommend anything here?"

Alex: I'm sure I do, but I don't know what to recommend.

Esther: What is Oom interested in, particularly?

Can you indicate to Professor Z the kind of--

David: Sure.


I, I always love-- Hermea has wonderful strawberries and I just haven't had any in a while.

So anything that has strawberries in it would be wonderful.

Esther: Well, Professor Z, you would know that Selestine Bakery
occasionally does have strawberry galettes and strawberry scones.

It's a little bit off-season for strawberries right now; it's the end of winter.

But they might have some preserved or dried.

You never know.

You can also highly recommend their teacakes.

It seems like Oom is maybe a sweet breakfasty person,
so teacakes scones or galettes seem a good bet to you

Alex: "Indeed.

Well, I pick up a scone every morning on my way to work.

That's part of my sort of daily routine to get started on inventing the next big thing, as it were.

You need the right brain food to really get going.

And it's important to have a well-balanced diet, but if you're looking for something a
little more dessert first thing in the morning, the teacakes are absolutely lovely too.

And for a special occasion, I'll happily pick up several teacakes."

David: "That sounds delightful."

Esther: We're going to go to Ember and Temerity.

You've taken a different route into the city.

You made your way south to Brastlewark from Kyonin, first by sailing
along Lake Encarthan, then taking several river barges through various

neighboring countries down to Cheliax until you reached the Chelish border.

And since then you've been making your way on foot to Brastlewark.

You got in range yesterday, but you weren't quite
close enough to push through and make it to the city.

So you stayed with a kind farmer and his husband.

And at Ember's insistence, he sent you on your way quite early in the morning.

And you're going to be arriving in Brastlewark from the Northwest.

So you'll be making your way down through a wide avenue, which is paved and has
trees of several different varieties and little shrubs lining it on both sides.

There doesn't seem to be much rhyme nor reason to
the plantings here in this part of the city, either.

So, why don't you go ahead and describe yourselves?

Justin: Ember is a two-tone copper and white Husky.

He looks a little kind of worse for wear.

His fur is a little bit ragged and he does have quite a few scars across his body.

His eyes are different colors.

The left one is gold with a like, scar going down it and kind of a weird, sort of
like white tuft of fur, like, marking the fur around it, and the other is brown.

He also has on a leather strip around his neck, a single gold ring.

But he is a very good dog.

Fai: chuckles] Okay.

I guess that's me, then.

Temerity appears to be a Tiefling, but maybe not like Tieflings you probably
seen before, his skin is a lush green and his horns look more like antlers.

They're embellished with little spirals of metal on little caps of metal here and there.

He's pretty toothy.

And he has accentuated this with some mouth jewelry.

He's got, you don't know what kind of metal it is, but
there's some kind of metal in there and they're very...

Like they're on the canines and the incisors up on the top and on the bottom.

And if you happen to be able to read elvish script, you
would notice that one of them has a T and the other has a V.

And yeah, I think that's about it.

Oh, he has black eyes.

No sclera, just black.

He looks like a cheerful dude making his way into town with his dog friend.

Like you do.

Justin: Ember is definitely leading the way.

He will say, "It is morning.

Mira will be at the place where bread is made."

Fai: "A bakery?


Justin: And he kind of perks up like, ears perk up a bit and he's like, "This is the way."

And will head off to the bakery.

Esther: Ember, I'm going to need you to roll me Survival.

Justin: I'm so good at that.

Esther: The city has changed since you were last here!

A very long time ago in dog time!

Justin: Oh yes.

It would have been years.




Esther: You feel like something has changed about this place.

Like the routes your nose used to lead you are sometimes blocked
by something, or they're just oriented in a different way.

And yet you can still navigate through.

You find a path pretty easily.

Temerity, sometimes you're like squeezing in between houses.

Sometimes this dog is taking you like down the middle of a thoroughfare and you're dodging like,
carts and people, but you managed to make your way pretty easily, all told, to Selestine Bakery.

And you two will notice this gorgeously painted blue building with silver stars.

Ember, you just know this is the place Mira will be.

Oom and Professor Z, you were at the end of the morning rush line,
which has now fizzled out a little bit and you've made your way inside.

You're probably being served by the gnome woman behind the counter when Temerity and Ember walk in.

And this is pretty remarkable because Oom and Professor Z, you don't
recognize this tiefling-elf at all, but you both recognize this dog.

Z, this looks a lot like the dog that the owner of the bakery, Mira, and her wife used to have.

But like he has been through a LOT since you last saw him.

He looks pretty rough compared to the way he used to.

And Oom, you recognize this as Ember, a dog you met while you
were in Verduran Forest a while ago and felt a connection with.

What would you like to do?

Justin: Do I notice them?

Esther: You smell two scents that you recognize, in addition to
like, flour and sugar and something that smells a little fermented.

These are the smells of friends.

You do not know their names, but you know that one was definitely a friend of your master's.

And the other one has given you scratches behind the ears in this very bakery before.

Justin: But Mira doesn't seem to be...

Esther: You do not smell nor see Mira.

There is someone who seems maybe vaguely familiar behind the counter.

Justin: I'm going to to investigate these friends first.

Ember will be kind of like, confused for a second, but
will pad his way over to Oom, and just look up at you.

And his mouth doesn't move when he speaks.

It just kind of is like, sort of a magical voice.

He will say, "I remember you, you smell like a friend."

His tail wags.

David: "Hi!


I don't think you could speak the last time I saw you.

Uh, how?"

Justin: "I can do many things now."

David: "What can you do?"

Justin: He sits and he thinks for a second and like, cocks his head.

He says, "I can fight.

I can talk.

I can tell people things, I can set bad people on fire."

David: "That's...

that's a very useful skill to have.

Where's Orianna?"

Justin: That's her name!

I don't know, he's a dog!

David: Does he say that?

Justin: No, Justin says that, I've been wondering what her name is for so long.

Fai: Justin, quick question.

When Ember speaks is it out loud or are you talking only to Oom?

Justin: It is out loud.

You would definitely hear it.

It's just his mouth doesn't move, but he does produce sound.

He will say, "Orianna," and he will think for a second, it will
probably take him a while, but I think he will eventually realize.

"You mean the Wild Master?"

David: "Or your friend, I mean, you can talk now.

Did Orianna help with that?"

Justin: "No, she is.

She is dead," he will say.

And he's kind of like, his ears go like, just a little flat.

David: "I'm sorry.

Do you, do you need a hug or a pet?"

Justin: "I would like a pet."

He thinks for a second and he is like, "It is sad, but it is the way of all things that live."

David: "Can I get you a scone or a teacake?"

Justin: "I like bread."

David: "You can have whatever bread you want."

Justin: His tail wags some more and his ears perk up.

Fai: "Ember.

Would you like to introduce me to your friend?"

Justin: "This is Friend Elf.

Friend Elf-Tiefling.

This is Friend Gnome."

Fai: "It's a pleasure to meet you.

I'm Temerity Vane."

David: "Hi, I'm Oom.

You have really cool teeth.

Like, can I touch them?"

Fai: "You certainly may."

And I will lean over, I'm a couple feet taller than you, I guess.


Justin: How tall is Temerity?

Fai: Temerity is five foot five!

He's a short king, baby.

Justin: Nice.

David: "That's so cool.

Did that hurt?"

Fai: "Umm, you know, there was some trial and error while I figured it out.

But once I got it, I got it, easy.

If you want some, I'm a very good barber."

David: "That sounds a bit frightening, but maybe."

Fai: "Well, if you change your mind..."

Justin: Ember will look over at Professor Z and be like, "You also smell like a friend."

Alex: "Do I know you?

You seem like quite strikingly familiar."

Justin: "I am Ember."

Alex: "Did you use to like, live here?

Like wasn't there a dog at this baker --also, what is going on?"

Justin: "I know this place.

I have been here before."

Alex: "Okay.

But like, what is going on in this town?

I just, you know, you think you're moving to a place where you can just.

Come and make a name for yourself and you get here and it's like, it's kind of wacky.

Like, I'm sure I know you.


didn't they have a dog here?

Were you the dog here?

Did they have a dog here?

I swear they had a dog here."

Justin: "I am a dog who has been here."

Alex: "You used to sit behind the counter."

" Justin: The counter is warm."

He wags his tail.

Time is not his best thing.

Alex: "I didn't realize you could speak."

Justin: "I can do many things now."

Alex: "This is all quite a lot.

This is all quite a lot.

I thought I understood the ways the world worked, but it's
just, you know, you find something new and it's a real puzzle.

Well, it's, it's good to meet you."

And I'm going to try and like, reach out my hand to shake your hand or paw or, or however that
might work -a little bit awkwardly - and be like, "It's good, it's good to meet you, Ember?"

Justin: He will...

is it like, palm up or like, palm down or like sideways?

Alex: Sideways, like very much like-

Justin: Ember will like try to like put his, his paw on your hand.

Not very gracefully.

Esther: At this, the woman behind the counter, who has been readying your
order and it seems like brewing up some kind of a beverage, turns around.

She's taken some of this in and her jaw has dropped a little bit.

Fortunately the morning buzz has mostly subsided at the bakery, so she doesn't have a huge line.

And she says.

"It's cannot be.

I cannot...

I cannot believe it.

Is it Ember?"

Justin: Ember will turn and like, ears pick up and he'll say, "I am Ember."

Esther: "Oh!

We thought you were dead!"

Justin: I am not dead."

Esther: Oh!

You can talk!"

She starts trembling.

And she sets down the drink she was holding and your pastries, which
are on lovely little earthenware plates, and she just trembles.

"Oh, How can you talk?"

Justin: Just say again, "I can do many things now."

Esther: "[distressed noise] Is Orianna alive?

No, you said she was-- This is quite a lot."

She's going to sit down on a stool behind the counter.

She has, by the way, very beautiful fuchsia hair and deep golden eyes.

She sits down on the stool and takes what looks to be sort of a cloth that's
hanging from a pocket of her apron and starts swabbing her face with it.

" Oh, my.

This is...

I do not know what to say.

Tavi will want to see you, but he's not here right now.

I --oh!"

She looks overwhelmed.

Fai: I'm, I'm gonna...

cut in, I guess.

This poor lady in a tizzy.

We don't know her name, do we?

Esther: You don't know her name.

It is worth noting, Temerity, she sounds like she's from Kyonin.

She's speaking Common with a very Kyonin accent.

Fai: Okay.

Is she a gnome?

Esther: Yes, she is.

Fai: Okay.


I will say, 'Dear lady, is there, is there a way I can help you?

You seem to be a little bit, uh, flushed."

Esther: [indistinct murmuring] Did you know Orianna?"

Fai: "I'm afraid I didn't.

I met Ember...

we've had a couple of adventures together.

We're very good friends, I think.

He thinks.

We think.

Can I get you some water?

Esther: "Oh, no.

Why do you not go upstairs, and I will meet you up there.

And, um, what would you like?

It's, uh, it's on the house."

Fai: I'll just point at something that looks good.

Is there like, a, a display of some sort?

Esther: Yes.

It's gorgeous.

In the windows, there are bountiful trays upon trays behind a counter
lovely little sweet and savory pastries, whole big loaves of bread.

There's more in the windows, what looks like a frittata as well.

And then there's a board that has chalk writing and
different options for various drinks one can buy there.

Coffees from Qadira and Osirion, and elven and gnome
teas, and hot chocolate, and something called steamers.

It's a lovely little bakery.

Fai: I don't want to make her have to like, make something for me, so I'm just going
to point to something that's already re-- you know, a savory pastry of some sort.

Esther: She will give you a savory galette.

And actually she will put it on what seems to be a
system of levers and pulleys that have mechanical gears.

And she will start pulling it up.

She'll say.

"It will be waiting for you on the second floor.

Just let me, uh, let me close up for a moment and I will meet you."

Fai: "Thank you, my lady.

Thank you."

Let's go to the second floor.

Are these randos following us?

David: I'm going to keep petting the dog, so as long as Ember is okay with that.

Justin: The dog is perfectly content with that, but he is also very hot to the touch.

The description on my page says almost painfully hot, but I prefer to imagine that it's just warm.

David: Maybe as, as long as I, I could pet the dog without taking damage.

Esther: You can certainly pet the dog without taking damage.

Justin: Is the magic box that food comes out of new?

Esther: Yeah, I think it would be.

Justin: Okay.

Then I will not expect food to come out of the magic box.

Esther: You will be given what seemed to be a pile of baked treats specifically for dogs.

Justin: Oh, excellent!

Esther: Yeah.

From the display cases.

And Ember, can you climb stairs?

Justin: Yes.

Esther: I thought so, but.

Justin: Not super steep stairs, but like normal inclined stairs, yes.

Esther: Okay.

Normal inclined stairs.

Justin: He does climb them quickly in the way that dogs do so that he doesn't fall.

Esther: There will be a few people eating, chatting quietly over
their breakfast upstairs, but you can find a table in the corner.

And you hear the door shut and a sign flip around downstairs.

Professor Z, what are you and Buster doing?

Alex: I think we will turn to Mira and--

Esther: That's not Mira.

Alex: That's not Mira?

Well, who was serving us, then?

Esther: You would know her name is Keturah.

Alex: Okay.

Keturah, I don't know.

I just figured that Mira was always the one that served me at the bakery.

Esther: She used to be.

Alex: Okay.

So: turn to Keturah and say, "What is all this?

This is such an unusual...

are these people all here for the Festival of Flight?"

Esther: "I do not know.

You know, this is-- this is Mira's wife's dog.




you know what happened to...

to Orianna?

We thought that Ember had died, too.

And Mira certainly does not know...

I do not know how they came here, or why.

I do not know what is going on."

Alex: "I'm confused, too.

I could have sworn I had met this dog before, which I guess I had, but it never spoke."

Esther: "Oh, goodness, no.

Do you think...

it has a devil inside it?"

Alex: "I guess so.

I don't know.

Somebody should study this!

Should we head off to The Tinkerings?""

Esther: "No!

No, no, no, no, no.

If it...

if it is so, because, you know...

you know where Oriana died!

Then we are not the people to deal with this.

Tavi will need to be here.

Professor Z, you must help me.

Protect me!"

Alex: Protect you from what?

I was just going to go get--" Now I need a name for
a professor I vaguely know who's kind of a zoologist.

Esther: One moment.

Fai: Do you have, like, a hat you pick names from, Esther?

Esther: Wolfbert Rumblebelly.

Alex: Wolf-- "I was going to just go get Wolfbert!

Wolfbert would know about this kind of thing."

Esther: "No, no!

Professor Z!

I am just a...

a girl from Omesta who has a passion for fermentation.

Don't leave me!"

Alex: You'll be fine.

This is just the bakery.

Brastlewark is a very safe place."

Esther: "No!

She throws herself against the door and is trembling.

"I do not know what to do.

I never deal with this, but you have gone and done so much, and made this giant...


You are the expert!

Think of what you could learn from them!"

Alex: "Well, that's why I wanted to go ask another professor.

Like, this is a real research opportunity here to really
understand how you go from having a dog to having a...


Esther: "If you must."

She'll unlock the door for you, but she looks terrified.

Alex: At this point, I'm going to say to Buster go
fetch-- and now I've forgotten the name, Professor...

Esther: Wolfbert.

Alex: Wolfbert, yes.

"Buster, go fetch Professor Wolfbert."

And I'll scrawl a little note that says "Professor Wolfbert, there's a
talking dog at the bakery," and put it in a drawer on Buster and then

sort of shove Buster so that Buster gets some momentum and saunters off.

Esther: Okay.

Fai: Before you added the note, I was really like, is he just gonna, are we just going
to see a guy being dragged down the street by his arm, by Buster, who's steaming?

Esther: Buster goes clank....



And you see him reach the end of the block, and decide to turn around and go upstairs.

Alex: Sounds good.

Esther: So your pastries and breakfast items and treats will arrive on this
system of mechanical, mechanistic pulleys, and you can fetch them to the table.

Then Professor Z and Keturah, who will introduce herself to you, will arrive at your table.

"Forgive me, I do not think you all know -- I am Keturah.

I work here at the bakery as one of two Master Bakers in training."

Justin: Ember will gingerly take the treat and then like curl up underneath the table.

Cause he knows that's where he's supposed to be.

Fai: "I am Temerity Vane.

I don't really know what's happening here either, but, you know I
just came with him so that he wouldn't be alone on the trip, really.

He said he had business.

So I said, okay, let's go."

Temerity is the only person who seems like, it's, it's a talking dog, it's whatevs?

It's cool, but like...

everybody else is like "this dog is talking!"

and Temerity's just like, "Yeah, this, this guy.

You guys don't know this guy?!"

David: I mean, I'm surprised that he can talk now, but I'm not surprised that he could talk.

I mean, Nommie can talk.

Fai: You know, we live in a magic world.

Why are you guys-- why is it a big deal that the dog is talking?

But I guess you never heard him talk before, but now he talks.

So that's weird.

That's what makes it weird?

David: Yeah.

That's what makes it weird.

He can talk...

he can talk now.

But I mean, him talking isn't weird.

Esther: Keturah sits down and sips what seems to be steamed milk with an infusion of lavender.

"Perhaps it is best you orient me to what is going on, how you all know Ember."

David: "I haven't seen Ember in quite a while, actually.

The last time I, I saw him he was with Orianna and now I hear that Orianna has passed.

How did that happen?"

Esther: "I really feel Tavi should be here to tell you this...

but I do not know.

Only that she was alone -- with Ember, I suppose-- in..."

Justin: It was a bad day," Ember will say, like really sadly.

Esther: Roll me Diplomacy, Secretly, whoever is trying to coax this information from her.

Justin: I'm not, I know this information!

David: I'm trying to, but I don't want to press her if she seems traumatized.

Esther: No, she seems to sigh like she's unburdening something.

Fai: What'd you say to roll?

Esther: Diplomacy.

Fai: I wanna know what it is!

Esther: Keturah leans towards Oom and says, "Orianna's research, which I do not understand fully...

I know that it took her to the Whisperwood.

And something happened there.

And, you know what they say about the Whisperwood!

I can only imagine what it might have been."

David: "What do they say about the Whisperwood?"

Esther: Temerity, what kind of Lore do you have trained?

Fai: Currently?

I have...


That's it.

Esther: I would accept rolls for Religion or Nature or Occult, if anybody has those trained.

All right, Ember.

The memories of that day are in your mind, and whatever you've heard of the
Whisperwood, this word sounds kind of new and nothing is particularly ringing a bell.

Temerity, you will have heard a lot about the Whisperwood.

As you know, one of your mothers is from the Barrowood, which is another forest in Cheliax.

And the Whisperwood has a storied reputation as a place that is full of monsters and irregularities.

There's a rumor that there's a portal to Hell there that has not been closed, and
that for some odd reason, the Hell-worshiping monarchy of this country wants closed.

It's a very intriguing place.

It's a place that you would expect someone powerful to go alone
with their dog, but not just anyone would wander in there.

Fai: So I have definitely never been there.

Is that what you're saying?

Esther: Uh, no, no, you have been there.

You have been there.

You picked up some goods for your friend, Prinkle, several decades ago in the Whisperwood.

Fai: That one friend that I did that work for?

Esther: Yes.

That one friend that you did that work for.

Fai: Okay.

Got it.

Justin: Ember will say, "It is a place with strangers and fog and angry skies.

And it is where I met the Bad Master."

David: Who's the Bad Master?

Fai: Is the Bad Master who...

Am I aware of the Bad Master?

Justin: "You saved me from the Bad Master."

He says again, "You are a good boy," as like his way of saying thank you.

Fai: "I like to think so, Ember, thank you."

David: "So who is the Bad Master?"

Justin: Ember just kind of growls a bit.

Fai: "He's a real dick."

He's a guy, right?

Esther: He's a guy.

Fai: Let's just say...

he's a real fucking dick and leave it at that for now, because I don't think...

is it, does this relate to the story?

This is after.



Esther: "Yes?"

Fai: "Perhaps if we all started together from the beginning we
can make sense of what happened, how Ember learned to talk...

but really, Ember has, has a mission.

And that's why we're here.

He has something that he would like to accomplish.

Where is her wife?"

Esther: "Oh, I do not know.

I mean, she has gone.

But she will be back.

But I do not know where she is now"

Justin: "But it is morning.

Mira is here in the morning."

Esther: "Not this morning, not many mornings.

She -- I really feel it would be best for Tavi to tell you this.

Tavi is Mira's nephew.

He's the other Master Baker.

He's running things in her absence and he, he is not here either.

But he's in the city!

He's just making a very important delivery this
morning, and I do not know exactly when he will be back.

I do not feel it is my place to tell you everything when it is Tavi's family."

Alex: "Where did Tavi head off to?"

Esther: "Well, I should really not be telling you this, but we have been working
so hard on our sourdoughs and the pastries that Tavi was invited to the palace

of King Drum Thornfiddle as a potential vendor for the Festival of Flight.

And so he has been delivering our baked goods there this morning.

And the king and other important people are going to taste them.

And then maybe they will sign a contract.

So it's a big day for Tavi and for the bakery.

And that is where he is."

Fai: Well, congratulations.

That's very good news.

How long does it take to deliver pastries?"

Esther: "Well, he will be there while they eat them.

And then they may ask him questions and then, you know, they may go
on to do something like an outing together to keep the colors bright.

And then they may come back and sign the contract.

So it could be anywhere from an hour to four hours, I would guess."

Fai: Well, you know, you said that he's her family
and everything, but you know, Ember is her family too.

Isn't he?"

Esther: She...

she looks scared.

Fai: You seem very worried."

Esther: "How much do you know about the Whisperwood?"

Fai: "I've been there."

Esther: She looks even more terrified.

[cast laughs] She scoots back slowly in her chair.

Fai: Well, it wasn't recently, it's maybe 40 years ago."

Esther: Her eyes are getting big.



just explain to me one more time what it is you want me to tell you?"

Fai: Okay.

Let me work this out myself for a moment so that I can figure out what it is I want her to tell me.

And this, friends, is why I used an accent in this campaign so that I will never be
busted in character for saying something that was supposed to be out of character.


So what I'm personally trying to figure out as somebody who's
been hanging out with Ember and therefore knows almost nothing.

Like, here's what I kind of know.

Ember had a master whose name he did not know.

She died in the woods, but I didn't know it was those
woods because he didn't know the name of the woods.

She died in the woods.

Everything was very bad.

It was very sad, is what I gathered.

And we're here to bring her ring back to her wife.

All of this other shit is new, right?

The kind of like, weird stuff?

Is that right?

Justin: Ember wouldn't have a lot of knowledge about like the circumstances of the Whisperwood.

He knows about the day, in that it was a very bad day, but not a lot of detail that is useful.

Fai: Okay.



I have, I think I've, I think I've got it.


Keturah, you have to understand, before we came in here, I didn't
really know that there was anything suspicious or weird or scary.

All I know is what my friend told me.

He had a very bad day.

He lost his friend.

He needs to bring her, her wife her ring.

But now you're making it sound like maybe there's something terribly wrong here."

Esther: "Well, all I know is, the Whisperwood sounds like a terrible place.

And he has come back talking!

I do not know if it is some force..

you know...

possessing him!"

Fai: "Oh, I see."


Clarifying question about geography in the world.

We are not currently in Cheliax?

Esther: You are.

Fai: But she's...

oh, but she's from Kyonin and that's why she's so weird.


Got it.

Got it.

Got it.

Esther: She's from Kyonin and that's why she is so weird.

Fai: I see.

Okay, I'm going to come at her from a --wait, hold on.

Are the woods that I'm from in Cheliax?

Like, what I'm trying to gather here is am I from a devil-worshiping country or not?

Esther: You're kind of from three places, right?

Fai: Yes.

Esther: So a third, yes.

Fai: Which third is yes?

Esther: The Barrowood.

Your Bard mama is from Cheliax.

Fai: Okay.

Got it.

Got it.

Got it.

"I think...

I think I understand a little bit better now.

I realize you have a very familiar accent.

You sound like members of some of my family, you know distantly, I think maybe...

perhaps you are not as accustomed to some of the, the hellish things that those
of us who have spent some time in different countries might have been exposed to.

But I've spent a bit of time with Ember here, and I gotta tell you.

I don't think there's anything evil going on.

I think he's, I think he's a good boy."

Justin: Have Professor Z and Oom finished their pastries?

David: I'm busy petting you.

Justin: Okay.

It's just a matter of if they haven't finished their
pastries, I'm definitely going to put my head in their lap.

David: I will share half a pastry with you.

Justin: Yeah.


I'm very happy.

David: "Do you feel possessed Ember?"

Justin: "I am a good boy."

David: "That's good enough for me."

Fai: "Oom --" Wait, we were introduced, right?

We introduced each other.

I know your name.

David: Yeah.

Fai: Okay, great Sorry.

"Are you...

ummm, a magical practitioner of some sort?"

David: "Yes.

I'm a, I'm a sorcerer."

Fai: "Are you able to magically determine if there's evil in our friend here?"

David: "No.

I mean, I could detect if he's magical, but he's clearly magical.

He can talk."

" Fai: Did I say mag...

I mean, evil.

Bad magic, not good magic."

David: "I don't believe I would be able to distinguish between bad magic and good magic.

Just that he is magic.

And he's definitely magic."

Justin: "If I am magic, I am good magic."

Esther: Temerity, roll me another secret Diplomacy check.

Fai: Secret Diplomacy?

Esther: Yes.

Keturah looks very uncertain, but she will slowly crouch down and half-crawl under the
table next to Oom, and like, slowly reach out a hand and touch the very top of Ember's head.

And she says "Oh, he's quite warm!"

David: He did say he could set things on fire."

" Justin: I can set things on fire."

Fai: "But he said he only sets bad guys on fire."

Justin: "Yes, I set bad people on fire."

Esther: "I will....

I will try to believe that he's good."

She turns to Temerity and says "I am just from Omesta, and I
came here because I have a passion for fermentation and baking.

And I heard this is the best city in the world to keep your colors bright."

David: "So he -- he couldn't do this before then, the warm thing?"

Esther: "No."

David: "I don't know.

I think that'd actually be really helpful for a bakery!

You know, fermentation...

warm dog..."

Esther: [laughs] She looks a little overwhelmed.

Fai: "Well, you know, nothing will keep you brighter than a surprise!"

Esther: Well, that is true!"

And she looks encouraged.

"It is definitely a very big surprise and I feel that I am brighter for it, if terrified.

But my father used to say, he said, 'Sometimes a shock of fear
is good for the system.' So I will try to take it that way.

About Mira...

Tavi will be able to tell you more.

What I know is that she has been going on journeys ever since she...

she found Oriana.

And it's for longer and longer periods of time, but she's left Tavi and me in charge of the bakery.

And what she shares with Tavi, I do not completely know.

I get the sense that she's looking for the person who killed Oriana."

Fai: Okay.

Question to Justin.

Justin: Yes.

Fai: Did you tell me that a person killed her or that she died?

Justin: I don't know.

What I remember: she was mortally wounded by a group of strangers.

So I would say yes?


Fai: Okay.

But the stranger, what's-his-name, the douchebag -- he
wasn't related to those strangers, he found you later?

Or no?

Justin: I, that, that is a distinction I can't make, he found me soon afterwards.

Fai: But would you have been able to tell if he was the one who killed her?

Justin: He wasn't aware when...

kind of right before she died.

So he doesn't really know.

Fai: Okay.

Okay, cool.

Got it.

Justin: He will say, "If Mira is away, perhaps we should go home."

Fai: Who is he speaking to?

Justin: Just kind of out loud.

Temerity probably, yeah.

Fai: "Where's home, Ember?"

Justin: "Home is nearby."

Esther: "You mean Orianna and Mira's home?"

Justin: Home."

Esther: "If you wait for Tavi, he will take you there.

Or he can meet you there!

I will tell him to meet you there."

Justin: "I can wait."

David: Do I only know Orianna or do I know any of these other names like Mira and Tavi?

Esther: Oriana almost certainly would have mentioned that she was married to a woman named Mira.

And it's very likely she would've mentioned Tavi.

David: "If it's all right, then I'd like to stay and at least pay my respects to Orianna's family."

Esther: "It's fine with me."

David: I'm gonna keep hugging Ember.

Justin: Yay!

Esther: Professor Z, it is worth noting: what Keturah is saying
about Orianna going to the Whisperwood -- it rings some bells.

Alex: I've been furiously taking notes this whole time to write
up in a dispatch paper, to all of my peers about this goings on.

Justin: I think Ember's, Ember's ears perk up and he's like, "You do the scritches.

Wild Master did the scritches."

Alex: "Wild master.

What do you mean by wild master?"

Justin: "Orianna.


This is her name.

Orianna did the scritches when she went to the places that were old."

Alex: "Yes.

I know that.

Uh, Oriana and I collaborated once upon a time."

Justin: Collaborate.

Work together."

Fai: I'm trying to figure out how I want to put this.

"Hi, Temerity Vane, pleasure to meet you".

Alex: "Good to meet you too.

I'm Professor Z.

I'm one of the multitude of inventors of Brastlewark."

Fai: "Lovely.

I would be very interested at another time to learn more about your inventions."

Alex: "Why, yes, I'm the future head of The Tinkerings.

You'll certainly see me in that post coming up.

So I would love to talk about that more."

Fai: "Wonderful."

Justin: "You are not a head.

You are a gnome."

Fai: "I think maybe I mentioned already that I don't know...

everything I know is what Ember was able to tell me.

So maybe...

what were you studying with her?

What was she studying?

He told me she, they go to old places.

I am very interested in that because I'm-- I also like to go to old places,
but I was unable to understand what he, what he meant that they were doing.

Research or just copying things down?

I-- what can you tell me?"

Alex: "Well, you see, I conduct research in a multitude
of fields and I'm preeminent in quite a few of them.

But I was collaborating with Orianna on a particular strain of archeology, as we
went to discover and identify potential places where we might find a magical source

or something which could assist in the problems, which face all of gnomekind.

And we're really, we're, we're quite close to unlocking the archeological puzzles of the wild.

I'm sure that when Orianna returns that we can continue to
collaborate on our, uh, on our latest paper and it'll go quite well."

Esther: Oriana's dead!

[laughs] just making sure Professor Z got that.

Alex: "Sorry.

I didn't mean, you know, when she comes back alive, I guess that's
to say when her, when her research notes come back, but you know,

really the most important thing is that we get the paper published."

Justin: Ember actually growls at this, and basically says, "The dead do not walk again."

Like a warning.

Alex: "Oh, I don't know, Ember, maybe we just haven't discovered the way to make that happen yet.

I mean, the research is just so close, you know?"

Justin: "The dead do not walk again."

Esther: Okay, GM question.

Is Professor Z telling the truth in his own mind?

Alex: In his own mind?

I mean, sort of in his own mind, it's most important to publish the paper.

And I don't think he really cares about how that comes about.

Esther: Okay, then I will need you to make a secret Deception check.

Everybody else roll me secret Perception checks.

Justin: Oh, dear.

Come to me, Ember's character sheet!


Esther: Everybody, you feel like Professor Z is a little full of shit with this story.

Like, maybe he doesn't even fully know that, but you
really get the vibe that something is not quite adding up.

Certainly for Oom, who knew Oriana, you feel like that would have
been a really, really strange collaboration, even for gnomes.

Like -- like something...

something is just not quite right here, though he does seem quite sincere with what he's saying.

David: "Ember, does Professor Z smell like a good person?"

Justin: I don't know.

Does Professor Z smell like a good person?

Esther: He certainly doesn't smell like an enemy.

Justin: "He does not smell bad."

Alex: "That's good.

I do shower every morning."

David: "I wasn't asking you.

I was asking Ember."

Alex: "I'm very confused by all of this.

This isn't really the normal weekday routine.

And I have quite a lot of important work to do to get
the correct meetings set up for the Festival of Flight."

David: I'd like to hear more about your work and exactly how you collaborated with Orianna."

Alex: "Well, you see, I have a long history of important research, including in the
field of archeology, but it was sort of a new undertaking for me when I met Orianna.

And I was you know, out discovering new meanings to certain ruins
and Orianna came along and helped me do some of the translation.

And so I've added her as a co-author on one of my papers."

David: "A co-author, even though it sounds like you're new
to the field and you were taking all of her information?"

Alex: "Well, you see, I wouldn't exactly call myself new to the field.

I'm quite the polymath in, in academia and I'm well-respected across many fields.

So people should just expect that, you know, as, as in many preeminent scholars
that our advanced intellect can help us operate in many, many different areas."

David: "You just said you were new to the field, so which, which is it?"

Alex: "I feel that maybe you're attaching too much weight to newness to the field versus
a vast depth of experience when it comes to invention and making the world a better place.

And it's really important that we allow people from
across multiple fields to contribute in this way.

And that's why I who started out doing a little bit of Alchemy, and then I moved
into some invention and construction work and, and now I'm, I'm on to archeology

and I can just apply the same techniques I've applied everywhere and it, you
know, it will just really bring a new perspective that's really helpful to the

field of archeology, which has been a little bit stuck in the past, shall we say?"

David: "You're talking kind of fast.

Ember, are you sure he doesn't smell like a bad person?"

Justin: "If he smelled like a bad person, I would not talk to him and I would set him on fire."

Alex: "Oh, please don't set me on fire.

That sounds quite painful."

Justin: "You are not a bad person.

I will not set you on fire."

Alex: "Thank you very much."

Fai: What's an Insight check called here?

Esther: It's just Perception.

Fai: Can I do that on Professor?

Esther: Yeah!

Alex, what's your Deception modifier?

Alex: What is my Deception modifier?


Oh, the modifier's two, sorry, with a proficiency of four.

Esther: Okay, so six.

Temerity, that is another secret check.

Fai: Okay.

That's what I was going to ask.

Secret Perception?

Esther: Yeah.

Fai: I just wanna get a read on this guy.

Esther: You get a very, very good read on this guy.

Alex, why don't you tell Fai -- out of character -- the kind of read one would
get with an extremely good roll, if hypothetically one rolled really, really well.

Alex: Professor Z talks a very self-important game and kind of thinks that
academia and, he himself, are the solution to many of the world's problems.

And that people, certainly non-academics in Brastlewark
should respect the high academic arts and traditions.

And then a lot of the talk of like collaboration, too.

Like, it shouldn't be surprising that people would want to
collaborate with academics -- to Professor Z -- in Brastlewark.

Like that's sort of the purpose.

If that makes sense.

Fai: So basically you're saying you're that guy?

Alex: Yeah.

Fai: Got it.

Thank you.

That's all.

I just wanted to check that out and admire how spicy Oom is.

Sweet voice, spicy words!

I love that shit.

David: I just really love this dog.

Alex: "I find Ember quite fascinating too."

David: "Yeah, but right now we're trying to help Ember
and it doesn't sound like you're very forthcoming."

Alex: "I'm sorry.

I ... for the life of me don't understand.

My whole life's work has been about helping others and, and providing
you know, inventions and novelties to make the world a better place."

David: "And that's fine.

We're not questioning your work.

We're questioning how your work overlaps with Orianna's."

Esther: "Excuse me for butting in, I have to open the shop again.

Orianna and Mira liked Professor Z -- for what it is worth to you, Oom."

And she's going to lean over and say, "He's a little much to get
used to, but Orianna spoke very fondly of him when she was in here.

And they called him 'the helpless one.' I never knew why.

So if it helps you, I do not think they distrust him.

I have to get back.

If Tavi comes, I will send him up."

And she sort of gives, like, a few backward glances, especially towards Ember.

Like, she's not quite sure what to make of this dog.

But she will return to her duties and open the bakery again.

And I'm going to suggest we use this moment to go to break.

All right, we are back post break.

So the plan, as I understand it, is to go to the place that Ember
calls home, and then wait for this person named Tavi at home.

So, you can make your way down and out of the bakery after having a delicious breakfast.

And you'll get out into the lane and, indeed, you will walk several feet, maybe several yards.

And then you hear a CLANK, CLANK, CLANK, CLANK noise.

And Buster has reached one of the sudden and complete dead ends that
are a thing in Brastlewark where the lane just ends against a wall.

And Buster has come to this wall and is now CLANK, CLANK,
CLANK, trying to walk, but he can't get any further.

His note is still attached to him.

Professor Z, would you like to help your creation?

Alex: Yeah.

So Professor Z is going to sort of give Buster a tap and then reach into his
pocket and take out something that looks like a wrench and without actually,

like, tightening any bolts or anything like that, just give a like, clank!

And that'll sort of reset Buster so that Buster is now back to following Professor Z.

Esther: Roll me Crafting.

Alex: Crafting...

Esther: So this is the first Natural One of the campaign.

And this is a great time to revisit the concept of Hero Points,
which allow you to reroll something, if you would like to.

And you may spend one Hero Point to reroll a roll such as this, or if you
want to leave it as a Nat One because it's funny, you can do that too.

Alex: I feel like I rebuild Buster on a regular basis anyhow.

So if what happens is I like whack him with the wrench
and he just falls to pieces on the ground, that's fine.

Esther: You whack him with the wrench and like, there's a total freeze.

And then like some [sound effects] guh-guh-guh-guh-guh-guh errrrrrhh!


And something that sounds like a clank inside, and he shutters violently for a moment.

And then everything drops into place, and he begins to move completely normally.

You're not sure what happened, what's going on in there, or if it might need to be looked at later.

But he's moving normally!

And on that note, who is leading the way to Ember's home?

Justin: "I will lead the way.

I know the way home."

I do not know the way home."

Esther: You will need to roll me Society or Survival, whichever is better.

Justin: Survival, please.


Esther: Once again, you are really able to navigate this city.

You were not Awakened the last time you were here, so a lot of the changes in
architecture and roadways and flora and fauna are going to be a little lost on you.

Sometimes the routes you would take are suddenly closed off or blocked, or
there's a whole house where there was not before, or like a well or a garden.

But you managed to wind your way through the streets with a great ease,
following your nose and your heart, to the place that you call home.

It's on the outskirts of the city on the western side of Brastlewark.

Justin: Oh, I see it.

That one all the way on the west side.

Esther: You can see, there's not really a forest immediately outside of
Brastlewark, but there are little groves of trees that form small woodlands.

This cottage is in and amongst some pine trees, and there's like
lots of low scruffy bushes around that look fairly tended, but as if

they are being tended in a wild way instead of a very ordered garden.

And you can make your way there.

It seems to be locked.

No lights are on.

No one is home, at least outside.

Justin: Does it smell familiar?

Esther: It smells very familiar.

It smells of pine and fern and the wood of this house; in fact
the whole house seems to be made entirely of wood, by the way.

Justin: Ember just says, "I am happy.

I am home."

And will happily pad his way, I'd do like a lap around the house.

And I'm gonna go and like smell various things.

Fai: I'm going to follow you while you lap and just kind
of observe, look around, see if anything's interesting.

Justin: I want to find all of my secret hiding places.

Esther: Okay.

Uh, Recall Knowledge- Buried Treasure?

Justin: I wish I had that.

That'd be fun.

Esther: Gosh, what should I even have you roll for this?

David: Just a regular D20?

Esther: I was gonna say Wisdom...

Justin: I can roll Wisdom.

Esther: Just roll me a straight Wisdom.

Justin: Okay.

Plus one, I'm gonna roll with a real die.


Esther: Yeah.


You're very happy that you feel like you're home.

It's just a very tail wagging moment.

So you're going to be a bit distracted by that for a while, and it's going
to take you several minutes, probably a good half an hour to calm down.

Like you're ready to start digging, and then you just have got
to do another lap of the house and tell people that you're home.

But eventually you seem to be able to focus and remember where some of your things were and you
will be able to get to all of them with time, but it'll take you a couple of hours, I would guess.

Justin: I am perfectly content to take that couple of hours and he will dig up...

my starting equipment.

There is a little band of dried leaves.

There is a wolf fang, and there is a little vial, which he
will, he will like happily bring over in his mouth to Temerity.

Fai: I...

Temerity will not make any faces about the dog drool that gets into
his hand from accepting this and say, "What is this, my friend?"

Justin: "It is liquid that makes you feel better."

Fai: Does that mean anything to me?

David: Drugs.

Fai: Okay.

So maybe drugs or maybe a potion.

Does it look like a potion or does it look like drugs?

Justin: It's a minor healing potion, so I don't know.

Esther, you tell me!

Esther: I was going to say you would be familiar with
healing potions, and this looks like a healing potion to you.

Fai: Okay.

"That's great.

Would you like me to hold onto your things for you?"

Justin: "I would like you to use it if it makes one of you feel better.

I was not supposed to take it, but it does make the Master feel better.

And so I wanted to have one."

Fai: He really is a good boy.

I'm going to, I'm going to put that away in my pack.

And you know, obviously if, if Ember has things that need to be held or stashed things
that require hands or thumbs, you got a bro right here with a backpack or whatever.

Justin: He will ask you to help him affix his talismans because you know, he doesn't have hands.

Fai: He has a very dextrous friend.

Justin: Thank you.

Fai: I will do that.

Justin: Okay.

Esther, I would like to fix the wolf fang to my attack and the
Hunter's Bane to my armor by slipping the band around my wrist.

Esther: That sounds good to me.

So, what would the rest of you like to do while you're waiting around for Tavi to get home?

Fai: While he was digging stuff up?

Like I said, I was kind of scoping the place out, like seeing if I could peek in the windows.

You know, just kind of try and get the lay of the land and see if I can glean anything.

Esther: Okay, roll me a secret Perception check.

Fai: Secret perception check.

Justin: We have, we've got a rogue and a locked door.

What could happen?

Esther: You look through the windows.

There are curtains drawn across some of them.

So it's difficult to see inside.

And then you, you peer in and take in a kitchen.

It seems there are some of last fall's apples that are out on the table.

And it looks like a cheery kitchen, a lot of wooden implements.

Just some place that feels homey and like you could share a lot of good meals with sweet friends.

You don't notice anything too leading, though.

Fai: It looks like it's lived in?

Like Tavi still lives here?

It's not like boarded up and dusty or any--

Esther: Oh, no, definitely not.

Fai: Okay.

Justin: Ember will wait at the door to be let in.

Fai: If Ember's at the door, I will ask him if he would like me to open the door.

Justin: "Yes, you should open the door.

The door should be opened."

Fai: "Okay, Ember just to clarify, you understand that the
door is locked and I will be opening it when it's locked.

Does that mean anything to you?"

Justin: Nope.

" The doors should be open so we can go inside.

We should go inside."

Fai: That's good enough for me.

David: I mean, this is Ember's home, so.

Fai: It's his house!

David: Yeah, he lives here, so...

Justin: It's not like he has the capacity to open doors.

So the difference between a locked door and a closed door is effectively nil.

Fai: What do I roll for that ? Not thievery.

Esther: Thievery!

Fai: Thievery!

Esther: Temerity, describe to me how you pick this lock and open the door.

Fai: You know, I do it joyously because I feel like I have permission to.

I feel empowered in this choice to break into this home.

So I'm just like doot dootle-oot dootle oot doot doot...

Esther: You feel something give and the door opens.

Justin: Ember will bound into the house as he usually does.

Esther: Before we get inside, Oom and Professor Z: what are y'all up to?

David: I'm just really enjoying, seeing Ember after so long.

So as long as he's okay with it, I'll just, I'll just enjoy watching him dig up his, his things.

Alex: I'm taking notes and also feeling a little bit uncomfortable about this sort
of violation of what I assume are Brastlewark norms of not breaking and entering.

Fai: We did, like homegirl, we...

He said he wanted to go home.

She said, okay, I'll have...

What's his name?

Esther: Tavi.

Fai: I'll have him meet you there.

She didn't say I'll have him meet you outside of there.

Esther: It's reasonable to assume that she assumed you would not break into the house, but...

Fai: I didn't...

break anything.

The lock's still functional.

You know what?

I'll make sure to, once we're inside lock the door behind us.

Esther: So it's the three of you inside, Professor Z outside, or do you follow them in?

Alex: I'll follow them in, like, I'm sort of going along
with this because I don't quite feel like, I don't know.

David: "Oh, I mean, if you feel uncomfortable, you can wait outside.

I mean, it's fine.

Ember, do you want to invite Professor Z inside?"

Justin: "Everyone should come inside.

Inside is warm.

Unless you want to play in the river, then you should go outside."

Fai: Is it river-playin' weather, or is it too cold for that?

Esther: You all know the river is on the other side of the
city, and it's a little too cold for river playing weather yet.

Fai: Got it.

Esther: So you all go inside and shut and lock the door behind you.

Inside this house is so cozy.

It's got these big wooden beams going across the ceiling and various spun tapestries from wool.

And like, like knitted blankets, over little gnome-sized chairs.

You can see hallways branching off that you assume lead to like, a bedroom or two.

And there is a wide open area that's like a family sitting room.

And then off to one end of it, another room opens up and this room appears to be some kind of study.

There's a huge map on one wall of this study room.

And it has various locations that seem to be marked with either little stars or moons or red suns.

It's absolutely huge.

It's been painted onto the wall, in fact, and the stars
and moons and suns are painted onto it like a huge mural.

There are also desks in this study room with various scrolls and books, some open,
some in wooden bookshelves on either side of a window that looks out to the trees.

Now that you're in the house, what would you like to do?

Justin: Upon seeing the map, Ember is going to get very excited and put his
front legs up on one of the chairs and like get a very good look at the map.

And he's going to sit and stare at this wall map for like 15 minutes making sounds like, "Mmmm.



David: "What does the map mean, Ember?"

Justin: He just is like, "Maps tell you where to go."

Fai: Esther.

I have several questions.

Esther: By all means.

Fai: Question number one.

I don't know if this was offhand or not, but let me just investigate.

You talked about the stars and moons and stuff that are painted on the wall.

You mentioned stars and moons and stuff painted on the bakery.

Esther: Yes.

Fai: Is it similar?

Esther: Yes, very similar style of painting.

Fai: Okay.



So, next question.

You said that there are a bunch of places on the map that are marked.

Esther: Yes

Fai: Some are marked with dots and some are marked with suns?

Esther: Some are marked with little stars.

Some are marked with stars and like, half-moons, and some are marked with those and red suns.

Fai: Okay.



All right.

So am I to assume that there is not a legend painted anywhere
on the wall to tell me what the suns moons and stars mean?

Esther: There is not a legend.

Fai: Alas, had to check.


Next question.

Have I been to the places that are marked, or how many of the places -- I'm
assuming I've been to some places that are marked on a weird map.

Esther: You certainly have.

Fai: But I've been to a lot of places, so.

Esther: You've been to a lot of places.

The three I can tell you you've definitely been on this map: in Cheliax,
marked with a star, you have been to the Barrowood and the Whisperwood.

The Whisperwood also has this half moon and a red sun.

Fai: Does it, it has a star, a moon, and a sun?

Esther: Yeah, that's the Whisperwood.

Fai: Star, half-moon, sun.

Esther: The Barrowood just has a star.

Next place you've been that has a star -- there's a little village
in Kyonin and actually, I don't, I don't know if you've been there.

It's entirely possible!

Um, you can decide.

It's called Erages and it has a star next to it.

And then the other place that you have been, that is marked with a moon, is Mierani Forest.

Fai: Mierani Forest.

So, in the Crying...

Crying Leaf?

Esther: It's not like, in Crying Leaf.

It's like, in the middle of the forest.

These marks aren't necessarily like-- it seems like, to be the
marker of a region more than like, a specific spot in the forest.

Fai: Okay.

But Crying Leaf is also in that forest.

Esther: Yes, it is.

Fai: Got it.

And those are the places that I have been to.

Esther: That I know of, yes.

Fai: All right.

That works.

Justin: Ember is going to whine a little bit and like pad against the wall a few times.

Esther: It is worth saying that Oom and Professor Z,
there's places you've been to on this map as well.

Oom, marked with a star and a half- moon is Verduran Forest where you met Orianna in Taldor.

And the Andoran half of this forest is marked that way as well.

Also marked is the region in Andoran where you met Zhemrin after
meeting Oriana, and it's marked with a star and a half-moon.

And Professor Z, you see the star in the Backar Forest in Molthune.

David: "So, Professor, since you've coauthored papers with
Orianna, could you shed some light on what these symbols mean?"

Fai: Can't wait to hear what bullshit he creates.

Alex: No, I was gonna, I was going to go the other
direction and say, "I've never been to this house.

I'm not sure why we're coming in here.

I mean, the times I met Orianna were, were in the field and then, you know, I would stop
by the bakery every day and we would discuss things there, but is this Orianna's house?"

David: "So in, in all your time, collaborating, you've never been to Orianna's house?"

Fai: So in all the time, we just spent talking about how we were
going to Ember's house, you didn't realize this was Orianna's house?

Wait, sorry that I need to put that into...

"So all of the time we were just talking about..."

et cetera.

Alex: "That's not to say that I don't believe you that this is Orianna's house.

I just, I've never seen this map.

It's clearly of the region and probably has something to do with some of her research.

But when, when we collaborated, I never studied this map."

David: "Okay.

But in your own knowledge, as a, as a researcher in this field
and a coauthor of a paper with Orianna, what does this mean?"

Esther: Would you like to roll something to know what it might mean?

Alex: Yeah.

So I can try and infer what it might mean.



Esther: Can you give me a secret Knowledge - Nature check?

Alex: Secret Knowledge- Nature...

Esther: Fantastic.

And before we get to the results of that, what is Ember doing padding at the wall?

Justin: Oh, Ember was going to get off the chair and like pad over to
Temerity and whine and look very sad and say, "I think it is broken."

Fai: "Is there a hidden, is there a compartment here?"

Justin: "Maps are supposed to tell you where to go, but the map does not speak."

Fai: "I understand.

You see, usually...

I've never seen, personally, a map that can speak, but you know...


Who knows?

Usually one can read the map."

Justin: "Reading."

Fai: "Yes."

Justin: "I cannot read."

Fai: "Well, you learned how to speak, maybe we can teach you how to read.

Personally, I know many languages and whichever one you'd
like to learn, I'll be happy to attempt to teach you."

Justin: "I like to learn new tricks."

He perks up a little bit.

Fai: "Let's put that on the list.

Ember, do you know..."

Wait, now let me not ask him first.

Are there...

there's books around or anything that we can refer to, to know what this shit means?

Esther: There are books.

Fortunately, Professor Z's memory is going to kick in.

This map seems very connected to what you know Orianna did as her research.

It seems likely to you that these are locations of various
ruins and spots along ley lines, as she explained to you.

And that there's some sort of system that marks where she has been,
where she might find more things to explore, and where she needs to go.

Alex: I guess I would express that as, "So you can quite obviously see from this
map that it's an archeological map, and you can find the leylines that are traveling

through this point and this point, and, you know, I know that it's like quite
an important foundational technique just to mark the places that you've been and

that you wish to return to and where there are specific spiritual connections."

Justin: Ember's going to go over to Professor Z and his
tail is going to wag a lot, and say "The map speaks to you.

Will you help me?"

Alex: "Of course.

What are you looking for?"

Justin: "I want to go to the places on the map that the map tells you places to go."

" Alex: There are quite a few of them.

We could visit any number of these archeological sites.

I'm sure we could have a fascinating dig at each one."

Justin: "Let's go then.

We should go."

David: "So you said you, you met Orianna in the field then...

which of these places have you already been to?"

Alex: That's a fact that I don't remember.

Esther: Backar Forest in Molthune.

Alex: Okay.

I will point to that one on the map and say, "I've been to the Backar Forest."

David: "Okay.

Well, this one has got a, a star, right?

So what do you think the star means based on you being there?"

Alex: "Well, this is of course, you know, standard practice in archeology to
label all of the spots where you, where you might find archeological ruins."

David: "Yeah.

So I'm asking, what is this star mean?

What does that label mean?"

Alex: "There're probably some ruins there.

Each archeologist might have a slightly different system
that they use to keep track of everything they've seen.

This isn't, of course, my cataloging.

My cataloging would be in much more detail of the findings."

David: "Yeah, but you've, you've co-- collaborated on papers.

So clearly these labels must mean something, right?

If you're saying it's obvious that these are markings.

So I was just asking you, what's the difference between the star and the moon?"

Alex: I think I'm feeling a little antagonized by Oom?

Fai: She's got it in for you, bruh.

Esther: At this moment, the door opens.

You hear someone's footsteps and then...


Oh, my goodness!"

And what sounds like little footsteps running for the door

Justin: Do I recognize the smell of this individual?

Esther: This individual smells very familiar.

Justin: I would like to bound after this individual and lick them.

Esther: You manage to bowl over a gnome who looks fairly young, actually.

And let me find his description.

Uh, yeah!

He has bright green eyes and very vibrant orange hair, like a fall leaf.

He also sort of smells of flower and something that's a
little fermented, and maybe something a little sweet, too.

And you lick his face and he's going to say: "Oh!

Oh, oh my.

It is you.

It -- it's Ember, isn't it?


And he's gonna -- he's gonna scratch behind your ears

Justin: I will be very happy.

David: "We're so sorry to intrude.

It's just that since Ember said this was his home,
we thought it'd be all right if we went in with him."

Esther: "Ah!

I didn't know he had a key..."

Fai: I will smile.

Very charmingly.

Justin: "They opened the door," Ember will say helpfully.

Fai: "I don't think Ember understands the concept of a lock and he really wanted to be home.

I apologize."

Justin: "Locks are put on things to make them harder to open."

Esther: Tavi just stares for a moment, and then: "Oh, my.

You-- you do talk!

Keturah, wasn't just having a hallucination.

You talk!"

Fai: "He talks."

Justin: "I can talk.

I can do many things."

Esther: He, he will continue scratching behind your ears.

"He's hot.

Does he have a fever?"

David: "I think that's just his normal temperature."

Esther: He collects himself, and then extends his hand.

"I'm Tavidosian Selestine.

This is my, my aunt's home.

And this is Ember, and Professor Z!

What are you and your contraption doin' here?


It's good to see a familiar face."

Alex: Yes.

There's been uh, quite the strange goings on and, you know,
I just figured I had to come with all of these folks to see.

What was going on because you know, I still haven't finished that paper about the
archeological ruins and I just, you know, I wanted to understand the strange happenings here.

And it seems that, uh, Ember has some connection to all of that.

I'm not quite sure yet, but I'm still sort of working that out.

Scratching more things down."

Esther: And -- and -- and who are the two of you?"

Justin: "This is, this is Friend Elf-Tiefling, and this is Friend Gnome," Ember will say helpfully.

Fai: "Temerity Vane.

It's a pleasure to meet you.

You have a lovely home.

We have many, many questions for you."

Justin: "This is friend Tiny Dragon.

I am not supposed to chase Friend Tiny Dragon."

Esther: "And your name?

And the dragon's name?"

David: Hi, I'm Oom.

And this is Nommie.

We actually just got reunited with Ember too.

So maybe together we can, we can piece what's been happening."

Esther: "Yes.

Come in, come into the house and sit down somewhere comfortable.

Again, I'm Tavidosian, but you can call me Tavi.

And I just need a bit of grog from the kitchen."

And he's going to go pour himself a drink and will serve you too,
if you'd like it, as he invites you to sit down in the parlor area.

Fai: I'm going to sit on the floor because the chairs don't fit me, presumably?

Esther: There's one human/ elf-sized chair, and the rest are very gnome sized.

Fai: Very well.

I will take it.

Justin: Ember will do the thing where he like, sits down and for like, half a second and
then stands back u in that dog way of just like, needs to keep being told to sit down.

Esther: "So Keturah was telling me you all...

somehow the two of you know Ember.

And of course, I know the Professor here from the bakery and from my aunts.

So let's try to work everything out.

What do you want from us?

And how did he come back here?

And what can I tell you?"

Justin: Ember will just say, "I came to find Mira."

Esther: "And how did you come to be able to...

to be able to talk?"

Justin: "I can talk now."

Fai: "We're still not very clear on the how of it.

Just that it happened."

Esther: "Last time I saw him was over a year and a half ago now.


you don't look as well as you used to, Ember.

What's happened to you?"

Justin: "I met some bad people.

They were mean, but Temerity saved me."

Esther: "That's very good of you."

Fai: "Well, he's a very good boy."

Justin: "I am."

Esther: "So, where would you like to begin?"

Fai: "That's a great question."

David: "How much time do you got?"

Fai: "I believe we, well, we have several questions.

Do you know where Mira is?

Ember would, would dearly like to return this ring to her."

" Justin: Yes, it will make her sad, but I want her to have it."

Esther: "Is that Orianna's ring?"

Justin: He like, puffs out his chest.

Esther: "Oh, what a very good dog to carry it all this way.

It'll make her very happy."

Justin: "Temerity tied it to my neck so that I didn't have to carry it in my mouth."

Esther: "That's very good of you, Temerity.


you carried it in your mouth for-- for how long?"

Justin: "It has been a lot of time.

I could count the days, but I was not outside most of the time.

So a lot of time."

Esther: "Sounds like you have a lot to tell me now that you can tell those things.

My auntie Mira is not here right now.

But she might be back soon...

or not soon.

It depends.

You see, she and Auntie Orianna were bonded in the way that two married people are.

And so she could feel it when -- when Auntie Orianna died.

And she went looking for her, took off to the Whisperwood
all by herself, even though we begged her not to.

Somehow she convinced these people to go in there with her and -- and find Auntie Orianna's body.

And she did.

But not Ember.

All around the place Auntie Orianna died, there were these tracks and evidence of a great fight.

My Auntie Mira, well, she says love compels her to find
the people who killed Orianna and bring them to justice.

I begged her not to do it.

And she spent months stewing on it.

One day, she took the very best rollin' pin in the whole bakery and her knitting needles.

And she set out to another one of these sites to see if,
if these people were searching for what Auntie Orianna was.

And so she's determined to track them down, however she can.

She goes away for a while.

She comes back.


Goes away for a while.

Comes back.

So, I don't know exactly how long this one's going to take.

She could be back in a couple of weeks.

It could be months.

But she will be in touch soon.

It's been about a month since I've heard from her, and she always writes within that timeframe.

So any day now we could be getting a message.

David: "Do you know, in what direction she was last headed towards?"

Esther: "It's difficult to say.

She sometimes changes her mind about these things.

She wanted to connect with some people at the edge of the Whisperwood who
she thought might be able to give her information about whoever was there.

So she's gone back to check with them.

And then she rumbled about going to Andoran to see someone named Zhemrin.

So, I don't know exactly where she'll be."

Justin: "But she will say when the message comes where she is, and then we can find her?"

Esther: "Yeah, something like that."

Justin: "Then we should wait for the message.

I can wait.

I am good."

Fai: "We might have a potential lead for her in Greengold."

That's where I got Ember from, right?

Esther: Iadara.

Fai: Oh, shit.


Then that's where I will say, "We might have a potential lead for her, in Iadara."

Esther: "Where's that?"

Fai: "It's the capital of Kyonin."

Esther: "Kyonin?

Well, that would mean...


Well, elves don't go around killing gnomes.

That seems a bit farfetched."

Fai: "Well, it, it was an elf that I liberated Ember from."

Esther: "Oh my."

Fai: "Awful elf, we don't like that one."

Esther: "This is quite a lot.

"Well, I don't want her going anywhere alone.

My Auntie Mira, that is.

She's a baker.

Well, given, I haven't known her whole life.

And she seems to actually know how to use a sword, which I never knew before she went and got one.

But I don't want to goin' anywhere alone or fightin' anybody alone.

It's too dangerous after what happened to Auntie Ori."

Fai: "But she has been, she has been going alone?"

Esther: "Yes.

Well, I can't stop her.

She's stronger than I am.

But I don't want her to do it!"

Fai: "I see my, my mistake."

David: "If she's been corresponding with, with
Zhemrin and maybe we could try to contact him as well.

Zhemrin has always been a good friend to Orianna, and so hopefully
there might be a way of talking to her together with, with Zhemrin."

Esther: "And just how do you know them all?"

David: "It's it's been quite a while, but our paths crossed as we were researching different things.

That's actually where I first met Ember it's...

I guess it's kind of a long story for that, but there's just been...

it's just seeing Ember again, it's really difficult to, say.


well just know that that Orianna was a good friend to me.

And if I can do anything to help with this, that's really all, all the reason why I'm here."

Esther: Roll me Diplomacy, secretly.

He considers it.

And he really seems affected.

He tears up a little bit, and then he gets this huge lacy
handkerchief out and swipes at his eyes and says: "Thank you.

That means so much.

Professor, do you have any insight into what might be going on?

I know you met Auntie Orianna when you were out and about in the world."

Alex: I don't know what I would say at this point.

Esther: It's okay.

You don't have to say anything.

You could just look confused.

Alex: Okay.

Just look confused.

Justin: The professor was talked to by the map.

The professor knows many things."

Esther: "The map...

you have an interest in the map?"

Justin: The map tells you where to go."

Esther: "What do you all want to know about the map?

I -- I can tell you some things."

Fai: "Everything you know."

Esther: "Well, the stars, the stars are where Auntie Orianna
has been that she found her work had value in these places.

And the moons, and some of them are also with a star, are places she's been and wants to go back to.

And just a moon means she's never been there, but she wants to go there.

The red sun is what Auntie Mira painted on the place where Auntie Orianna died."

There is for the record, a whole list of these places that I will send you in our Discord chat.

David: "That's very helpful, thank you so much for, for sharing that with us."

Fai: Okay.

So Esther, is there -- looking at the map, are there a
lot of places that she wants to go, but hasn't been yet?

Esther: Yes.

She wants to go, but hasn't been: one, two, three,
four, five, six, seven, eight that she's never been to.

And that she has been and wants to go back to: one, two another kind of like big conglomerate...


Fai: So there's, there's too much information for us to narrow down her...

where she could maybe be within a few--

Esther: So it sounds like Mira is likely at the edge of the Whisperwood getting some information
from people, or she's made her way to Andoran to visit this individual named Zhemrin.

Fai: Okay.

"You say you can't be sure where she went.

She doesn't tell you anything about the way she's going before she goes?

That sounds risky, no?"

Esther: Well, I don't think she wants me getting in trouble with her.

I mean, that's why she tells me roughly where she's going, but...

" "
Fai: Okay.

Well, I suppose the question we have here is...

Well, the question is separate of what kind of interesting things
they must be finding in these places is: what should we do?

Do, I assume, Ember, that you want to give it to her directly?

You don't want to leave it here and then leave.

Do you wish to--"

Justin: "I would like to find Mira, but if Mira will
send a message, then we can wait for the message.

Then I want to go to the places that my master wanted
to go and I want to complete what she was doing."

Fai: "Well, okay.

Tavi, that brings us to the question of what was she doing?"

Justin: "I know this.

She would go to the places that are old and she would stare
at the walls and then she would make scritches in her book.

I can do this."

And he will try to find like, a piece of parchment and a quill
and attempt to like make scritches on a piece of parchment.

Fai: It's going to be hard to get ink in that quill, my buddy.

Justin: I don't think he knows.

Esther: "I have so many questions to ask you, Ember.

But Auntie Orianna's research, first of all.

It's a little beyond me.

I'm just a guy who loves baking.


loved this natural world.

And when it would go out of balance, that was very distressing to her.

She found there's these things called leylines.

Again, I don't know much about 'em.

You'd have to go to one of the wizard's towers, or some of
the Professor's friends could tell you much more, I'm sure.

Anyway, they carry some kind of power.

And from what I understand, people in ancient times would, would build on the focal
points of them or would just build up on top of these, these magical lines of power.

And the power, it can come from a lot of places, and it can leak through.

And sometimes the ancients knew how to seal it all up.

But since those technologies and ways of knowing are lost, Auntie
Orianna would say, these, these sites they'd build, they have more leaks.

And when that happens things can come through or it can just throw off the balance of a place.

So Auntie Orianna would go around just trying to set these places to rights.

And she had some grand theory of how it was all connected,
but it was really above my head, if I'm being honest.

I'd kind of zone out when she'd go into it.

She thought maybe they were all connected, some kind of portals, some kinda great power.

It seemed a little scary when I was younger.

I'd get bad dreams from it.

I don't remember a lot of the details.

But she did meet the Professor in one of these places!

Quite the meeting, I'm told!"

Fai: "Meet for the first time?"

Alex: "We met in the field."

Esther: Exactly.

That's what his type calls it: field."

David: "So what, why was it quite the meeting?

I'm interested to hear what happened."

Alex: "Oh, well we were just both--"

David: "I'm actually, I'm actually interested in hearing what
Tavi has to say about the first meeting, if you don't mind."

Esther: "Well, I wasn't there."

David: "Did Auntie Orianna say what happened when she met the Professor, or why it was noteworthy?"

Esther: "Yeah.

She said he was fending off a bunch of these creatures as best
he could, and it was a situation that called for a Druid."

Fai: "Many situations do, in my experience."

" Alex: Research can be a, quite a, quite a perilous activity, you know."

Justin: Ember was there for that meeting, right?

Esther: Ember was not there when Professor Z met Orianna.

It was before they got Ember.

David: "So who were the individuals chasing you, professor?"

Alex: "That was quite some time ago.

When you're out doing research in the field, sometimes you just run into some fey folk or,
you know, other creatures and it gets a, you know, it gets a little bit dicey at times, but I

persevered, Orianna and I went on to have a great collaboration, really discovering these ruins."

David: "You don't recall the people that were trying to hurt you?"

Alex: "Well, I'm not sure-- I mean, do you not have the occasional encounter
with fey folk and in the wild and it just, sometimes it goes a little poorly

and you, you get through it and sometimes that's just kind of the way it goes.

I'm not sure.

I didn't really stop to get to know them if you're, if that's what you're wondering."

" Fai: And sometimes when you meet them in the woods, you have
a big party and you get really drunk and you know, the fey...

it's a great time, but you had, you still have to be careful.

It sounds like maybe they didn't take to you.

Maybe it's because you weren't born in the woods.

I was.



Alex: "Well, I do have to say, I was out there on a work journey.

So, I wasn't really there to be distracted by a fey party.

I was really looking for whatever I could find in the ruins."

Fai: "The thing is, Professor, everything in life,
there's something to learn from, don't you believe?"

Alex: "There are many things to learn from, but personally, I'm really invested in discovering
things which will have the greatest impact on our gnomish society here in Brastlewark."

Fai: "I see, I see.

Tavi, you said that her theories went over your head.

Did she have a manuscript?"

Esther: "She had a notebook, but it was with her when she...

when she went.

And if it's still around, my Auntie Mira has it.

She has all of these resources in -- in that room.

You could go through and see if there's anything interesting in there.

It's, it's not really my thing.

And honestly, it's a little depressing for me to try to look too much into it.

But you're welcome to!"

David: GM question.

Do I have a way of corresponding with Zhemrin?

Esther: There's certainly good old fashioned Sending messages.

You could...


I don't think-- what's your bloodline?


David: Draconic.

Esther: And you have Arcane spells.

So: it's more likely to Zhemrin has a way to communicate with you.

You do know you could probably pay a lot of money somewhere to send Zhemrin
a very direct, magical message, but it's way over your current budget.

So your best bet right now would be like sending a carrier pigeon-falcon.

Fai: Crow.

David: Is that the way that Mira probably was corresponding with him?

Esther: Probably.

David: Okay.

Esther: I mean, she does own a very successful bakery, so
she might have the coin to, to send a message more directly.

Fai: I think the GM just called you poor.

Esther: The GM just called you Level 2.

David: [laughs] Yeah, that sounds about right.

Fai: Okay.


I put to y'all, I guess not in character, but out of character:
should we just hang out and read all these books or what?!

I'm ready to read all these books, but I'm also ready to go and look for some ruins.

Justin: It sounds like we should probably stick around.

Ember obviously is not going to be terribly useful in the reading of books.

There's also the Festival of Flight coming up, which could
be interesting and more pertaining to Professor Z's work.

David: Yeah, I think it's going to depend on where Ember waits.

If Ember's going to wait around here, then I'll totally read some books.

If Ember's going to wander into the Festival of Flight, we're going to see things fly.

Justin: Ember, Ember is not particularly one to fly.

So he's probably going to spend most of his time around the house, I would say.

Unless something calls for him to move.

Esther: So the Festival of Flight starts in a couple of weeks, and you get the vibe that
like, it might take that long for Mira's message to come through, or for her to show back up.

So you have some time to spend in this town, if you want to.

And some of you have various research interests.

You know that Brastlewark is a place of innovation and a lot of scholarly work
of many different kinds, of like practical and artisinal and lore-based, so

there could be things for you to do in this town to figure out your next steps.

And to make some money, which will not hurt.

Fai: Tavi."

Esther: Yes?"

Fai: Would it be possible for us to maybe look through all of these books and papers that are here?"

Esther: "Definitely.


Why don't you do that?

I'll make us all a big lunch.

We can talk more eating lunch together.

How about that?"

Fai: That sounds wonderful."

I'm going to start reading.

Esther: Awesome.

I am going to suggest that we leave it here for today.

And you can regroup over lunch next time.

We can start with rolls on what you might discover as you read things and such.

Justin: Okay.

Fai: That sounds really good.

We did it, lads!

Justin: We did.

Fai: That was really fun.

Esther: Thanks so much for tuning into Chromythica and being in this story with us.

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