Dirk, Nova, Elena and I enjoyed stuff mushroom and delicious bread and suddenly, the entire scene seemed to change to an outdoor scene, but with a door. I was ready to blame the 'shrooms. The counter was a rocky outcrop, the bottles were turned into a cascade and the patrons seemed to turn into green beans...or chairs. The bar tender had a distinct coloration of the gray, er, grey variety. He shooed out the other patron and cleans things. I asked why he didn't shoo us out and he just tempted to stack glasses in a pyramid. I really wanted to push them off. He threw his towel over his shoulder, and Dirk tried to hand over his pipe and hat but the Grey Archer wanted the signets back since they were on limited return. I miss mine, it was quite handy. He mentioned the dragon plaguing a city. He thought there may be a connection between our current employer and the dragon. He was rather reluctant to give the information we needed, he wanted our "insignificant" time. He wanted twenty-four hours of our time, in exchange for a magical playing cards and a dangerous something or other and pulled a contract from what appeared like thin area. The contract was rather vague for some reason, rather unsettling, and it repeated itself quite a bit. We all noticed a bit on the bottom that said the time for it depended on the plane's version of time. That could get quite costly. Sneaky mate. Dirk called him on it, the Grey fellow waved his hand making the words disappear. After a while, he cast a spell on us that would last for an entire day where we had protection from quite a bit... probably something like "Mind Blank." He handed each of us a magical playing card. We have to be invisible once we shift to our proper place, to get out of dodge because we had been being watched where we were. Quickly, we realized we had no plan to figure out where one another was so Dirk softly whispered "Let's go back to the room." Elena had the bright idea that if we were being watched, they knew where we had been sleeping. We made plans to go to the North Wall.
I went the way that made the most sense to me, and I was in crowded street which probably separated me from my invisible mates. I darted in zigzags between my mates, where I came upon a small leather bag. There were a dozen small gems in, the string on the pouch had been cut. After not too long, we all became visible. I quickly detected magic and we all continued to glow along with our new cards. A wolf creature came out of the woodwork with amber eyes. It spoke to us in our brains and when it licked me, I felt my minor scrapes heal themselves. I like our new friend! Nova called it a... Moon dog, or something of the like I believe. He was very determined about defeating something evil and mentioned undead being nearby. When I'm near him, I didn't feel any fear and somehow felt that nothing evil would bother me. Rather comforting, really. Dirk called him... Twad Cakes... Twad paws... I'm sticking with Twaddy. Well, when I followed Twaddy to the point where he was incredibly puppy like and this gnarly hand comes up and tried to scratch at me. I love my cloak of displacement! We went straight into battle without a second thought as the nasty undead tried to bring us to their ranks... no pun intended, haha. I turned undead and set it on it's way with my holy might before sending Dirk, Nova and Twaddy on its buttocks. It was a sight to see it scamper off. Dirk and Nova had a joyous time sending damaging bits to it before making it a smoldering white bit coating the lovely countryside. We found quite a bit of lovely loot in the lair. Twaddy told us he'd watch out while we slept, but told us that we smelled of weird magic. Didn't realize that magic smelled, but I suppose it's because I don't have a mutt's snout. ...XV
OK, time to start a new journal. Haven’t written about our adventures much, but while we were in Castle Raxir I didn’t exactly have a ton of time to myself, so I suppose it’s acceptable. Anyway, we’re still on the strange plane we followed the spool to, which means that although I know I can now handle the workings for 4th level magics, I can’t actually gather the requisite energy. Novadora’s been making periodic complaints in the same vein, especially since she was so excited to unlock her potential for 5th level magics. Vesta doesn’t have her higher power prayers either, which I think is odd, given the wholly different nature of divine magic versus arcane. Maybe if I get a chance I’ll get the ladies to help me with a bit of research on it. Perhaps the divine and the arcane aren’t really as different as scholar’s have been assuming.
Anyway, back to the present. We continued on from where the odd old man had led us, moving further toward the Valley of Statues. En-route, we were attacked by a massive murder of giant ravens being led by an even more massive one. A few arrows took down the supposed leader, but we still had to deal with the rest of the flock. Nova was tossing acid missiles around like they were candy, which reminds me: I still need to borrow her spellbook and copy over some of the new spells she was able to learn in Todrill that I missed out on. I actually cast a bunch of spell during the combat, which is highly unusual for me, but with how close the birds were to all of us, I didn’t relish the thought of putting an arrow through one of my companion’s heads with a misplaced shot. I instead started spraying burning hands around the area, taking out three or four birds per spell. Vesta was able to patch up the few scorches I put on the women as collateral damage, but I didn’t have anything else to be able to take the ravens out so handily, so I view a bit of needed healing and a few burnt hairs worth it.
After cleaning up scattered feathers and bird guts, we kept walking, making it to within an hour or so of the Valley. During first watch, Vesta and I had an odd experience. We heard singing and followed it after letting Nova and Elaina know what we were doing. It led us into the edge of the Valley and to a large, man-shaped statue. I wasn’t able to get it to respond, but when we turned to leave, it reached out and placed a hand on my shoulder. A white fog coalesced on the statue’s arm, turning into a humanoid-creature that kept singing. I was able to make a tiny bit of progress understanding it, as the tones of it’s music changed as I asked it questions, but I was too tired and unable to make much headway. Nova apparently has a similar experience as a dream-like state, with the creature in the Valley manipulating a stick in our camp to make marks on the ground as answers to questions. She managed to learn that we need to pass through the Valley of Statues, which isn’t safe, and locate a waterfall on the other side, which is apparently where the spool has been taken. We’re packing up the rest of camp now, getting ready to head into the Valley. Hopefully we’ll have some good luck. Artemis, please watch over us.