Our story last left Michael and Chris reviewing some journals for a quest into Blackthorn's dark realm. Blinded by the promise of "untold powers", they decided to get the band back together for a meeting and then to press on for Blackthorn. If you missed it, you can read it here!
I looked around our table in the pub. It was good to have the band back together. There were smiles all around and the laughter echoed in the pub's backroom as everyone caught up. I hoped it would stay that way but feared a trip to this Blackthorn character's dark realm would put an end to that all too soon. Particularly given some of the fresh faces I saw.
David had been unable to make it. In his place we had recruited Clarence, a freshly minted cleric, on the recommendation of Erica's order.
William the Walloper - a title he insisted we use - at least seemed to know his way around a staff. I wasn't sure where Michael had found him, but we needed someone to fill in for Jesse who was recovering from a severe case of elf cancer.
William's son, Rick, seemed prepared enough, but young. He couldn't have been that much more experienced than Clarence, if any, but he had done well enough on Drew's scouting test.
Mork, on the other hand, came from the Sun Soul monastery and could probably take us combined in a fight. We were lucky to have him on our side. He had overheard us convincing Erica to join us and had been a little too eager to help us defeat Blackthorn.
The meeting had been with a local fence who had some items we'd need to activate a portal the previous party had found in the jungle temple. The entries were vague, but it seemed to be a way into Blackthorn's realm. Well-versed in the city's underbelly, Patrick accompanied me to the meeting. Luck was on our side as not only had the fence not met the party, but she had been paid in advance! I was surprised when Patrick's bluff had worked, but it would more than pay for the feast we were enjoying in the backroom at the Chocolate Starfish. Leaving the meeting, Patrick liberated a few purses which he used to purchase some scrolls and potions he thought we might need. I questioned the morality of stealing gold to then purchase supplies, but he assured me it was easier to relieve a few nobles of their purses than steal from the shops.
"I think that's enough for me," I declared while I drunkenly pushed myself up from the table. "We leave at dawn," I reminded no one in particular, as I stumbled towards my room. Before I'd made it three steps, I heard a commotion at the bar. Erica had decided to end her night with a prayer to her patron saint, Lathander, and some local drunk had overheard her offerings to "Sunshine" and was either offended or too amused for his own good. I started to go to her side but, before I could think better of it in my befuddled state, I heard the distinctive *thud* of Matt's club as he let it gently fall to the ground while standing up. That was enough to get the local's attention and remind him of somewhere else he needed to urgently be.