B-Teams of Waterdeep

Hells on Faerûn
Prologue to Season 3

The Surviving Lords of Waterdeep (led by Laerel Silverhand and the Blackstaff) are in hiding, and House D’Leanore has, with the Zhentarim, finished rebuilding the City of Splendor. Unfortunately, this has given them a great deal of influence among the citizens, with tacit support from the nobility that they keep indentured through assorted skeletons in closets. There is a push to elevate a single individual as Lord Protector of Waterdeep, and have them act as the first true “ruler” of the city, until the Council of Waterdeep can be established once again. The candidates are:

• Renaer Neverember, the son of Dagault Neverember, heir to his claim on Neverwinter, and an alleged member of the Moonstars, has used numerous resources to keep the peace among those who distrust House D’Leanore for their alleged nefarious connections and those who trust them a little too much.

• Arginine D’Leanore, the “rightful heir” to House D’Leanore, and one of the only members of the family who has stayed “untainted” by the rumors surrounding the House. He is also a survivor of the destruction of the Council of Waterdeep, and is rumored to have personally saved Laerel Silverhand from death.

• Lady Mariel B. Nerisaga, one of the wealthiest nobles of Waterdeep, and another supposed survivor of the destruction of the Council of Waterdeep. She has spent much of her family’s fortune keeping the people fed and safe (as well as given many of her lands to house those who need homes). No one has spent more than her, and the people of Waterdeep are loathed to add to her troubles the burden of leadership (and yet some would want to see her elevated).

Why have the surviving lords been so quiet? Several rumors abound, but Gorcorp has found themselves receiving missives from “The Lost” as they no call themselves. “The Lost” are dispersed around Faerûn, chasing leads and putting their considerable power and influence to good use while the “nefarious ones” do the heavy lifting of rebuilding and stabilizing Waterdeep for them. Why? Because Lolth has set her sights on domination of not just the Abyss, but the Nine Hells as well. With all demons united under her banner, she has brought order to the chaotic brood, and is making more headway in the Blood War than any could have anticipated. The Dukes of the Hells, loathed to admit it, have united to face her…but their own machinations to replicate Lolth’s path to success has kept their alliance in check. It is not a matter of if, but when Lolth succeeds in defeating them and becomes the Queen of Evil, and finally sets her sights on Faerûn.

As such, the Lost have been seeking out ways to defeat Lolth, and her allies (the Drow/Duergar Confederacy, which currently has Neverwinter under their control, and House D’Leanore, which holds Waterdeep). To strike her down, it is not enough to build an army capable of fighting the combined forces of the Abyss and the Hells…they must scour her from existence. The only way, the Lost posit, are to find artifacts known as “The Essence of the Primordial,” items that possess traces of the forces of creation itself. Once found, a “prime essence” can be bound with its opposite, and create a powerful brand that can, in the right hands, hurt a god or goddess. With enough, it can even kill them.

The Lost also posit that it isn’t enough to kill Lolth; there are other rituals that must be taken to contain the evil she is growing to represent. What those are, they have yet to uncover.

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Break Fast
A Rodrigo megadrabble

Rodrigo held the mushroom bread before him and said the simple prayer again.

“Lathander, Dawnlord, I greet you at the Dawn of the New Day. For though I walk in darkness, you are my light and my sunrise, and I need not fear. For no matter how dark the night, there is always a new dawn. Morninglord, hear my prayer. Let today be a good day, I beseech you.”

He bit into the bread, and at once was visited by the revolting smell of manure and detritus, and felt small gnomish hands pluck him from his stem, placing him in a basket with his fellow mushrooms. The vision cleared as he spit out the bit of bread. Today would not be a good day.

Or rather, today will not be good in that way. But I am the Dawnbringer of Lathander, I am his light here in this sunless place. Picking up his mace, the holy symbols on it flared to light casting a warm glow over all. Soon we will rid this place of the foul demons and return to the lands above where I can sit and see the sun again. Then Lathander will purify me again.

I do hope Brother Manteal is doing well, amidst the fiends of the surface. May his light comfort those who need it most, O Lathander.

Unwrapping the tasteless wafers he had created the night before, he snapped them in half and ate them, the food of Lathander allowing him the strength to greet another day and face down another night.

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Episode 26: Another One Bites the Dust
We have to go fuck up that beholder again.

So Gilber comes back as an undead creature, but Rodrigo casts Zone of Truth and starts interrogating the thing. Unfortunately, he tries to go invisible so Rodrigo has to blast the area with holy radiance. So we go back to Themberchaud and try to bluster with him about the fact that he didn’t give us a good ally, but he is an arrogant asshole of dragon and doesn’t back down so we leave in a huff and promise we’ll be back, which we will, hopefully with an army at our backs so we will be in more of a power position. We also find out that Emjitus is the last of her line and could be crowned Emperor of Gracklsug if we needed to, another power chip we can use next time we come back, so we start leaving hints and rumors about that.

We head toward Worm Writhings to get the purple worm eggs. We encounter a band of troglodytes arguing about going and getting their leader’s girlfriend back but they descend into a brawl/orgy. We decide to sneak by, but Felo’sial gets really really angry that they killed a bunch of drow, so they take a point of madness to cast a super-empowered firestorm spell. The rest of the party gets upset about this, but Felo’sial is all “You surface-dwellers don’t understand” and Rodrigo is all “yeah, cuz you don’t tell us” and Felo’sial is all sulky Hot Topic Emo Drow.

We walk through a fungus forest and Mudkip gets 3 pounds of blue something mushrooms as he goes to town on that. Rodrigo tries chasing him down to tell him he should come back here after the demons are gone.

We find a skeleton with a +2 drow leather armor and a ring of free action and then a purple worm busts through the tunnel and opens us a path to the worm nest. We send sneaky Mudkip to sneak in and steal some eggs. He does so and avoids the encounter, yay! And we got 3 purple worm eggs! As we leave Worms Writhings, we encounter a shady as fuck guy in a robe who asks us if we’re slave traders after a bit of conversation. Rodrigo manages to pass himself off as a potential skin trader, and finds out that this eye tattoo guy serves the great god Kerakazar, the all seeing. Rodrigo tries to let everyone know it’s the beholder and we should go along and find the beholder piece.

We walk over a bridge and the beholder appears about 20 feet away.

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Rodrigo and Mudkip gets enervated and die after a little bit of back and forth with the beholder. The beholder flees away, leaving the corpses behind. The party flees and brings the bodies to Themberchaud and they give Mudkip to the dragon in exchange for Rodrigo’s resurrection.

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Masterlist of the Youtubes

Here’s the playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL4X7lN2sSL975QSWfZL3B1lbSeEADzndr&jct=vniQ1s0nHiYm2zSPXKOWUE_nnKtK6g

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Episode 25: This is Why We Have Trust Issues
GM's Note: My Dick Has Trust Issues!

The Video Version

Since we’re near Mantol Derith, we decide to go check on our investments. On the way there, we find a scene of a battle between a fire giant and some duergars. Rodrigo goes to study the battle, and he finds that the fire giant is only mostly dead, so he casts spare the dying and heals him. Krethos the Gnome Eater now owes us a debt. He tells us that he was attacked by the duergar who had attacked him with their sharp shark teeth (!). He takes us to Manthol Derith and promises to not eat anyone inside the city, but only on the inside, so we can send anyone we don’t like outside and they’ll be taken care of.

There, Emjitus carouses and gets her money back, Felo’sial botches a research roll for 100 gold, and Rodrigo earns 30 gold baptizing a snvirflebin convert (who then spends the next hour asking questions about banging drow in Elysium). A duergar comes up to us during the week and lets us know that duergar have been driven out from Grackleslug by “Traitors to the flesh”. He offers to have us meet with the Resistance to these traitors. The traitors were a group of duergar who came after the rage of demons and promised immortality to the duergar. Those who first resisted them were boiled into soup. Now only a few duergar are fighting them. The “Traitors to the Flesh” have a tabard of a goat head. Orcus. Fuck.

Also, Rodrigo buys a potion of greater healing for 150 gold.

On the barge ride over with our giant buddy, we encounter two herezou corpses. We dispatch one and we get to the warm air of the Darklake docks, and we go to a secret jetty underneath the docks and gives us a map to Themberchaud’s Cavern. There, he says, we’ll meet the resistance. There is a constant smell of decay here, and what life we see is a mockery of actual life.

We get told that the pearl we were offered as payment is our key in to meet with the resistance leader. We walk a mile into a cave until we come to two guards who brandish spears at us and tell us to speak to Themberchaud. We see hundreds or dozens of duergar looking like starved refugees but also soldiers. We also see children and the elderly, and eventually we go into a large dragon’s hoard, with a large red dragon with his wings ripped off. He is Themberchaud. He explains that the darakul have infested his city and while Orcus is gone, now is the time to strike his ghoul prince down. He offers us his servant to aid our cause after this is over. It’s Metal Boots!

In preparation for the fight, Rodrigo offers to hear Felo’sial’s confession about Gren and offers to hitch Felo’sial and Piernon. He also offers to throw a Quincenera for Emjitus. Piernon refuses the wedding until after the assault on that. So we have a Heroes’s Feast for breakfast.

We go through the teleportation circle into the city, one at a time, five minutes at a time, and the alchemist who we are here to meet is dead. We check his pockets for “clues” and we find two healing potions. We avoid a pit trap and we meet the ghoul prince floating in his mediatations, bathed in white light. And then we see his face and oh shit, it’s Emjitus’s Dad!

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So we attack the guy and it’s a big fight with reactions and regeneration and paralysis and it’s very challenging, but then Piernon stabs the paralyzed Rodrigo in the back and rips off his face. He’s not Piernon, but Gilbert the French Fuck! So anyways, Emjitus asserts her dominance on her dad and knocks him down and bites him and steals his mace and beats him with it. Felo’sial shoots Gilbert’s face so full of magic missiles it explodes. And Rodrigo gets knocked out, but he gets up again and he then smashes his spiritual weapon on the head of the ghoul prince. We find 3 5,000 gp gems and his mace was a profaned rod of resurrection. We shove Gilbert’s body into the bag of holding along with 42,000 gp.

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Episode 24: All these flavors and you've got to choose salty

So we escape from the tower to the sounds of battle and find a bunch of dead drow and surfacers, with a dark Dread Pirate Roberts look, questioning a surviving Menzobarrenzan guard, asking full-on Christian Bale Batman voice about his family. Rodrigo, of course, offers him a job, but before we can get into the HR part about not calling drows “darkies”, we hear horns of approaching re-inforcements. So Felo’sial suggestions we do a Spider-Man: Homecoming and go visit House Moonshadow where we find Felo’sial’s room blocked off by a landslide and we sense strong evil emanating from there. We clear out enough of the slide to let Mudkip down to see what kind of embarrassing posters Felo’sial had on their wall, but he finds the Babadooks down there. Emjitus decides to throw ears at the Bodaks, Hellace the new hire smites things left and right, Felo’sial manages to persuade them to stop attacking, but because they didn’t speak in common, Rodrigo attacks the Bodaks. So we kill them. We search the room and find a potion of hill giant strength and a torn lithograph of Drizzt Do’Urden with a fake autograph. Mudkip gives him back to Moonshadow. We go find Hellace’s family in a mass grave a few hours walk outside of town. Rodrigo is pissed because Menzobarrenzan has been sacrificing their slaves to protect their city in dark rituals. Gren goes into a despair over this and throws herself off the side of the cliff. We go down into the charnel pit and Gren is not willing to come back to life and Hellace’s family is in pieces, so we stuff Hellace’s family into the bag of holding and hope we can find someone who can cast Resurrection. We also find that the ritual is a big Hallelujah to Lloth thanks to Mudkip reading the book. So Felo’sial persuades Rodrigo that the ritual at Menzobarrenzan is a bad idea, so we’re going to figure out how to modify the ritual so it’s not just the Lloth show while we go collect our plot coupons. So we go back to collect the Goristro’s heart. There were a few vrocks sitting on the wall and Rodrigo, tired of being blamed for starting fights, tells Felo’sial to talk to them in Abyssal. She whips out her crossbow and intimidates them, and of course, the Goristro comes back to life. We ride that razors edge between victory and tpk, with Hellace doing major damage, but come out on top. Rodrigo throws some salt out because the persuasion path didn’t work, and Mudkip feels he wastes the potion of giant strength while rips out the Goristro’s heart.

Name Owner(If any) Number Page Name Owner(If any) Number Page
Sword of Wounding       7 piwafi cloaks      
Mantle of Spell Resistance Emjitus     7 levels of spell gems      
Eyes of the Eagle       3 vials of holy water      
Potion of Invulnerability       Mithral chain shirt      
Potion of Mind Reading       Superior Healing Potions   2  
Alchemical Jug       Basilisk egg Emjitus    
Folding Boat       Scroll of resurrection      
Rapier +2       Nolzar’s magnificent pigments      
Short Sword + 1       Potion of storm giant strength   1  
Gold Chain Shirt of Fire Resistance       Universal Solvent      

Party Gold as of Episode 19 4028.86 Rodrigo Emjitus Felo’sial Mudkip Marl Figgypus Salazar Hellace
Stipend 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Gold 490 -75
Earnings 20 10 55
Drugs X X
Heroes Feast -1000
Misc. Gems 10000
Rare books 5000
Gold 5000
Gems 10,000
Totals 33518.86 45 110 100 155 100 0

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Episode 23: The 3/5ths Compromise
Marl Bangs One Out

Marl has a side quest where he bangs out a new contract with Grazzt. The two Zhentarim go back to have a hostile takeover of Mantol Derith. When Marl comes back, he berates Rodrigo for getting on his back. When we return to the Gnome King and he’s offered 5,000 gold to the wererats to leave. Also, we got paid back for casting Hallow.

We go and speak to Burrow Warden Diggermattock, and she seems to be ambivalent about the exiling of Clan Gold Whisker.

So we go and speak to Chief Gold Whisker. He had previously been promised by King Diggermattock that his people would be pardoned of the imaginary crimes and would do time for their real crimes and would be given their place in the city. They wanted to become the guards and wardens. We leave to go speak to the king, but Marl goes back and tries to cut a deal with Chief Gold Whisker to foment a coup d’rat. But Chief Gold Whisker is an honorable rat, so that doesn’t go anywhere. So instead Felo’sial goes and hires Chief Goldwhisker to come with us to find a new place to settle down at. He doesn’t buy it completely, and offers half of the rats to come with us. Felo’sial bargains with him and they reach the 3/5ths Compromise, paying the 5,000 gold to hire 30 out of the 50 wererats.

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Episode 22: You Can't Have Your Pudding if You Don't Eat Your Meat

So we wake up and Mark and Cyn’s characters pop out. We go talk to Diggermattock and offer to let us help with un-petrifying her brother. Rodrigo tries to get the rest of the party to hand out food and beer while he goes to speak to Chieftain Diggermattock. Mudkip decides to sell the food and Emjitus, Figgipus, and Saldovar spike the beer with roofies.

Chief Dorbo Diggermattock is in a battle-scarred throne room, and he seems to think that Rodrigo is a slave to Felo’sial, and Felo’sial takes this and runs with it. Rodrigo gets pissed off and storms out. Felo’sial finds out that Blingdenstone was besieged by the Pudding King and had to align with lycanthropes gnomes, Clan Goldenwhisker. Dorbo wants us to “handle them”. Felo’sial apologizes to Rodrigo, half-heartedly, but Rodrigo accepts it because he knows how hard it is for Felo’sial to recognize Upper Light “emotions”. Felo’sial isn’t sure if Rodrigo is being patronizing or not.

Meanwhile, Emjitus carouses and gets caught up in a whirlwind romance with Gnomen Newstonemen. After her wild time, she notices that he has some strange scar right above his butthole. He has to leave to meet up with his “miner, not minor” friends. Emjitus gets 10 gold for her efforts.

Mudkip makes 75 gold, giving Rodrigo 20, while the Figgipus and Saldovar make some gold for selling more drugs. Rodrigo fronts the cost of the Hallow spell with the promise that they’ll get paid back after dealing with the Pudding King. This impresses some of the weaker willed gnomes, who praise Gglathander.

We go to work on the basilisk encounter, because fuck Jason, and I pissed off Jason with all my bonuses to the party. And so in vengeance, weird slime people come down and attack us, but they run away because that’s fun. In the cave, we find a superior healing potion and a potion of diminutive size and 10 gold worth of basilisk guano. Also, we get a basilisk egg which will sit in Emjitus’s beard until it hatches.

So we go back to Quartermaster Diggermattock, but thanks to the Faereznes the statues become unpetrified so now we just dump a pile of gnome parts out of the bag of holding like menudo out of a ziplock bag.

We cast Heroes’ Feast, and find out that Gnomen is a lycanthrope, but he makes an impassioned plea that his people just want to live. Sure, lycanthropes are bad, but they saved the city. But we table this for a bit. As we eat, which is good because after a night with Emjitus, Gnomen could use a penicillin injection.

We eat the feast, and travel a day and a half to find the pudding King. We shrink Mudkip down with the potion, and open a door and two black puddings attack us. A booming voice tells us to surrender and we may parlay. He also casts cloud of daggers. So yeah, he commands the puddings, Prince Livid and Princess Something Something. Felo’sial uses prismatic spray, Emjitus loses her javelins and goes into a rage, Mudkip has clutch perception checks, Figgipus learns that puddings are immune to cold, and Saldivar wins the game with the killing blow. We pick up a skull with eyes still looking around, which is now a reagent for the ritual, the last remnants of Jubilex. In hindsight, maybe we should have done more to parlay, but I don’t know of any way to cure the demon madness without death.

We found 10 gems worth 1,000 gold each, 3 finely crafted wooden pots with a fine brush (Nolzar’s marvelous pigments), a potion of superior healing, and a scroll of resurrection.

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The Threndoy of the Pit
The Spider Queen's Requiem, the Lamentations of the Abyss XVIIviii

sigil_web.jpg
-The ritualists will construct, from a powder created from the following ingridients, the Sigil of Lolth; lacking the components weakens the sigil but doesn’t prevent its use:

  • The total essence of a purple worm egg.
  • The central eye of a beholder.
  • Six feathers from six different angels.
  • The heart of a goristro.
  • Thirteen tinmasks, or “devil’s mushrooms.”
  • The blood or ichor of a demon lord.
    -There must be six ritualists; one within each circle, and one walking around the whole offering blood sacrifice the entirety of the ritual. The blood sacrifice will chant the following dirge throughout:

“Hail, Lolth, the Mother of the Spider, the Queen of the Abyss, the Lord of Terror. Holy Lolth, the Bringer of Midnight, the Ascendant Demon, the Eight Legs of Hell, the Pillar of Nightmares. Now and forever.”

If the sacrifice expires, the ritualists in the circles will intone the following to raise them so that the ritual may complete:

“Fairest Lolth, return our sibling in night, and praise your glory for such resurrection. Might Lolth, in time you will see the devotion and faith for the rebirth of such a weak fool. Bathe them in night, and bring them back to us so your ascension may be complete!”

The encircled ritualists shall summon the forces of the Primordials and bind their chaos to the land.

“I, (name of first ritualist), summon the might of Earth, and bind it to my will in the name of the Spider Queen.” Offer up a symbol of power to bind the Elemental Earth in sacrifice
“I, (name of second ritualist), summon the wrath of Fire, and bind it to my will in the name of the Dark Mother.” Offer up a symbol of power to bind the Elemental Fire in sacrifice
“I, (name of third ritualist), summon the alacrity of Wind, and bind it to my will in the name of the Pillar of Nightmares.” Offer up the symbol of power to bind the Elemental Wind in sacrifice
“I, (name of fourth ritualist), summon the temerity of Water, and bind it to my will in the name of the Eight Legs of Hell.” Offer up the symbol of power to bind the Elemental Water in sacrifice
“I, (name of fifth ritualist), implore (the celestial names of the demon lords), to come and take this might from Lolth, in all your might, so that you will know that in her resplendent darkness, you are but pathetic larvae.” Offer up a symbol of power to sacrifice and amplify the Call of the Abyss

Celestial Names To Be Included or Excluded: Akyishigal, Alquam, B’aal, Baphomet, Camazotz, Demogorgon, Graz’zt, Ishtar, Kupala, Mechuiti, Namtaru, Nergal, Orcus, Qorgeth, Yeenoghu, Zuggtmoy

Any witnesses will then retreat within the sigil, and be protected from the violence that will follow. If done in large enough beacon of civilization, the Demon Lords shall visit havoc upon its populace and its pillars, but expend themselves in conflict until only one remains to be devoured. To complete the ritual, the encircled shall plunge an obsidian dagger in their hearts and be welcomed to eternity by the Queen of the Abyss.

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Episode 21: There's a gnome place like home.
Jason tries to get us stoned.

Jason tries to get us stoned.
So, we teleport back to Vizzrin’s tower in Araj, but only three of us (Felo’sial, Emjitus, and Rodrigo) make it. And we’ve all got new physical disfigurements, the gift bag from the Fetid Wedding.

So when we tell Vizzrin about this, he’s very disconcerted. We tell him to send the rest of the party to us, and he gives us a magic coin that will let the party track us down.

So we head out to Blingdenstone with Vizzrin’s spineless apprentice of a wizard, Gren. We go to get supplies, but are turned away.

Every night, we forage and hunt and Rodrigo makes a vial of holy water. Felo’sial sees some weird glowing lights and chooses to investigate because chaotic. But she promptly falls into a hole and lands in a pile of fire beetles, but Emjitus makes her animal handling check to tame one but gets us out of the encounter.

The next night, we hear a strange voice in Abyssal, saying it needs help. Felo’sial talks to the demon telepathically, but because Mudkip showed up, we needed to recharge the coin. So splat goes the demon.

The last night, we find some deep gnomes.

As we travel, we harvest 10 lbs of basilisk and 5 lbs of chasme innards and 5 lbs of demon meat. Off some dead Kua-toa, we find a nice pearl and various melted weaponry. Rodrigo 3 vials of holy water.

A squad of deep gnomes encounters us and we manage to talk them into letting us in to the city to help their leader to find the leader of the slimes. Burrowwarden Adamantlepiece leads us to meet their leader. Adamantlepiece is very untrusting, especially of the drow and goblin, but Rodrigo manages to calm things down, but Mudkip and Felo’sial are still upset about this. All they did was make fun of his name. And then get angry about them getting mad.

The mood of the city is tense, and the city has been pockmarked by the acid of the slimes. We are led to the city quartermaster office, where we meet a frazzled female deep gnome, Quartermaster Diggermattock, wife of the chief. She offers us a loyalty quest. There is a force that has long plagued the gnomes, Ogremoch, the lord of the Evil Earth Elemental has some essence remaining. We rest and Rodrigo makes another vial of holy water. We need to search for him, and a wizard comes up to us and she’s the Earth Elemental Wrangler Nomi Pathshudder. She offers to help us.

We find a small pyramid of stacked stones, the waymarker to Entemoch’s boon. We manage to find a side passage thanks to Felo’sial and Mudkip with petrified deep gnomes inside of it; it’s a basilisk den. So we can return back and see about saving the petrified deep gnome, but later. We find a female drow sitting on a zerkwood throne, eyes closed as in meditation or prayer.

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It turns out it was a medusa, which summons up some earth elementals, and it turns out Pathshudder was a ghost. Through luck and good banishment spells and Emjitus’s penchant for “ultimate surrender” (look it up on incognito mode). We gain Ogremoch’s bane in a gem, which may or may not be a reagent for the ritual. Gren is very arrogant about her victory.

We find hidden among the ruins 1400 silver pieces, 350 gold pieces, and among the armor we find a mithril chain shirt.

We return to Blingdenstone and Rodrigo questions Diggermattock about Pathshudder, who appears to have been some sort of super ghost. Rodrigo gets a badge of friendship that allows him (and those who are with him) access to the Chief. But we go and clean up first, and that’s where end. Well, Rodrigo makes a vial of holy water and casts guardian of faith and there’s a friendly ghost child sniverflibn, but we go to sleep there.

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