When we left our party, they were diving with the merfolk to their city where they hoped to obtain a way to hide magic and learn of some means of convincing Hilbrent that rampant magic is a permissible outcome. They are:
- Doane Six (ByW): Level 5 Nekolyn Monk
- Lamila (BiW): Level 5 Half-Orc, Half-Elf Fighter
- Benquil: Level 2 Spider Monkey Animal Companion
- Lucifer “Lucy” Underfoot (RiH): Level 5 Halfling Bard
- Gelda Roughsole: Level 3 Halfling Thief Follower
- Eymen Hunyadi: Level 2 Drow Padfoot Follower
- Rav Lugulu: Level 2 Goblin Chemist Follower
- Hilderek Ferlwinkle: Level 2 Gnome Tinker Follower
As they swim, they descend into darkness, staying in the middle of the merfolk pod through gentle nudges and the soft glow of the rehabin shell pieces they carry. In the total darkness, they notice the merfolk becoming nervous and learn from them that creatures they call “the sharp-toothed” are closing in. Soon, the merfolk stop, circling and attempting to protect the party as sharkoids make passes at the pod with help of Lucy’s battle song. Eventually, one breaks through, biting Lucy but dying of vicious stabs from the little, battle-inspired halfling.
Finally fed up with the unresponsiveness of the merfolk to questions about whether a light would be harmful, Lamila casts a light spell. She and Doane join the perimeter while Lucy passes behind it healing the merfolk. Doane and Lamila (her axe again a trident) get some hits in on passing sharkoids but one of Doane’s stabs snags in the shark, dragging him out of the protective bubble.
While he is exposed, a second sharkoid grabs him, dragging him away from the light and nearly killing him before he breaks free. While he swims back, Lamila drives an attacker off with a bolt of sizzling energy from her trident and Doane faces another with a spell to create a stone slab between them, which stops it’s charge.
As merfolk usher Doane back to the pod, the sharkoids appear to withdraw just as the light dies. Warning them off the dangers if blood in the water, the merfolk heal Doane.
After another hour of swimming in darkness, they reach a great coral city with pin prick lights giving an outline of spires far taller than any terrestrial building they have seen. They are guided to the tallest spire where Lamila is introduced to the priestess of Laithe. She concedes that she should be able to get them a magic concealing item, but when asked about a time when magic was rampant they say that the information they are looking for can only be found on other worlds.
Though the merfolk history is long and unbrokenly magical, the most magical time in their records is the present. At the onset of their civilization, magic was present, but it declined and all but died before it started to resurge until now, when it has passed a very high peak and leveled off. They do not know what will happen if the magic continues to grow, but they welcome the richness it is bringing to the world.
Doane desires to learn more about magic from the merfolk scholars and they need to wait for the the merfolk to obtain a magic concealer for them. In the meantime, they are provided an air-filled room to get some rest after the long swim. While they all sleep, Lamila dreams.
In her dream, she finds herself in a familiar place, a temple of the goddess Craith. She passes through the washing and anointing process of the temple and stands before its altar before producing the trident of Laithe and using it to destroy the temple guardians and the altar. She awakens to find herself in the water and surrounded by the dimly lit ruins of what looks like a temple to a merfolk god. She approaches the bas-relief of a bare-bosomed merfolk gathering sea creatures in her arm. The stone is badly scarred as if by heat and at the damaged points is warm to the touch.
As she continues to explore, she finds dead merfolk floating in corridors, all with severe burns and damage. While searching one corridor, she becomes aware of astonished merfolk arriving in the main temple. The merfolk have a light and Lamila hangs back in her corridor until one of them comes her way. In the confrontation that follows, Lamila holds them all at trident point until they leave. As her investigation continues, she realizes that she is responsible for the destruction and learns from Laithe that she used her to destroy this temple of Bulootine, a rival merfolk goddess of sea creatures.
Meanwhile, merfolk approach Doane and Lucy asking them to help calm Lamila so she can be restrained for judgement. While they don’t dare to arrest her directly, they do convince her to surrender her water-breathing moss and return to the air filled room. While Lucy and Doane rest and learn, the merfolk priestess of Laithe works with Lamila, acting as her advocate in the merfolk judgement of her for the destruction of Bulootine’s temple. Though the trial doesn’t go particularly well, the priestess succeeds in convincing the court that Laithe is a wild goddess and that Lamila was not in control of herself. This argument leads to Lamila being merely banished from merfolk lands, while the church of Laithe itself surrenders much of its control to other forces including the church of Bulootine and the merfolk government.
The party receives their amulet of magic veiling and departs, swimming straight upward toward the surface. As they swim, Lamila creates a light periodically to keep them aware of their surroundings. Eventually, sunlight starts to provide some light, but when they see something above them, Lamila casts another light spell, revealing a handful of massive jellyfish above them that track their motion.
I anticipated spending at least one more session among the merfolk, but things played out more quickly than expected, allowing us to move on to other things more quickly. Where will they go next?