Egbert, Mage +Rob Conley
Conner, Mage +Tim Shorts
Darius, Mage +Ken H
Alfred, Human Torchbearer (NPC hireling)
Tub, Frost Goblin (Charmed NPC ally)
Bob, Swarthy Dwarf (Charmed NPC ally)
Rundt, Hunchback Swarthy Dwarf (Charmed NPC ally)
Belzar, Swarthy Dwarf (Charmed NPC ally)
Ruger, Swarthy Dwarf (Charmed NPC ally)
Dink, Swarthy Dwarf (Charmed NPC ally)
Gar, Swarthy Dwarf (NPC ally, newly charmed this session, just for good measure)
In the preceding session the party charmed the Minotaur "King" Gor who had taken over the village of Tarn. The Minotaur was now their best friend, but, as king, insisted they swear fealty to him. Egbert said, "Well let's do this ceremoniously – go get into your best finery, and we'll await you down the street in front of the main hall."
Meanwhile other party members had the villagers scrape up what weapons they had available to them, and set them up as a "reception line" leading to the hall, which was in reality to be a gauntlet where King Gor would meet his doom. Heartened by the fact that Gor no longer had 20 some odd dark dwarves protecting him (the party saw to that in the preceding session), the villagers set themselves up as directed.
Long story short: Gor returned in all his regal splendor, walked down the gauntlet and, with a loss of only one of their own, the villagers swarmed on him and beat him to death. Villagers in Ephemera are a tough and very unforgiving lot.*
The villagers nearly went after the party's own charmed dark dwarves. But as a favor to the Cindarrin, to whom they felt they owed their liberation, the Tarnsters agreed to leave the party's dwarves unharmed.
The party then looted Gor's "keep" and found a locked chest amid the filth. Conner opened the chest with a key taken from around Gor's neck, and as he did so felt a needle prick his finger (fortunately making his save). Inside was a bucket load of loot, including some religious items revered by the villagers whose gratitude overflowed when the items were returned to them.
After a feast and a good night's rest, the party planned to set out westward in search of the sage Cosmo the Curious, who might help them find the remaining Star Stones. Tarn's new leader Helen, confirmed what little the party knew of Cosmo's location, and gave them slightly more precise directions she had gleaned from a wanderer who passed through Tarn before the occupation. It would be about a 10-day journey.
The party headed off and, on their way, came upon a log cabin inhabited by an old woman, Mariana, "Keeper of the Obelisk." She took them behind the cabin and showed them a stone obelisk, explaining that she had been here for the 230 years since Armageddon, and that her job was to reveal the obelisk to any Cindarrin who might pass by, and to aid them with food and lodging as well as she could. The sides of the Obelisk were carved with additional cryptic messages about the Cindarrin's nature and their role in Ephemera.
One side of the obelisk.
A second side.
A third side.
Mariana also informed the party that she had encountered one other Cindarrin apart from them – named Rukkus – who some weeks earlier arrived from the west and then departed toward the east.
Another good meal and good night's sleep later the party continued west, and a few days later they found Cosmo's Tower. They were greeted outside by Cosmo's familiar "The Hand" who was, effectively, a pair of gloved hands (and a mouth), that appeared out of nowhere and floated in mid-air to speak with them and open doors along their way into the tower.
Cosmo knew who the Cindarrin were. He explained that he was an information broker, trading information for services. His particular interest in life being the acquisition of magical knowledge, he was always in need of materials for experiments. Having spoken with another Cindarrin some weeks earlier, Cosmo was already aware of what the party was seeking. He presented them with a price list of information he had in stock.
The party perused the list of items and agreed they would attempt to acquire the venom of a man-sized centipede. Cosmo explained that the centipedes made lairs burrowed into the giant trees of a forest near his tower.
The party entered the forest and found a likely burrow in the trunk of a 100' diameter tree. They lit torches and entered it.
And that's where we called it a night. Again, little danger, but a lot of marching, talking, and information-gathering by the party. In the dark confines of what is likely to be a giant centipede burrow, I'm guessing the next session will be rather more hazardous and see some significant dice-slinging.
*Footnote: Regarding the ferocity of villagers in Ephemera, session 3 saw the inhabitants of Alden summarily execute their mayor, of whose betrayal they had just learned.