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Episode 3 (June 21, 2016)
Our party, now victorious, takes their time in decompressing after the vicious battles in the tunnels. Bo examines the blue potions that they retrieved from underground, but cannot make heads nor tails of it. Kefurgle elects to take a much more straightforward method: he downs one of the potions in one mighty swallow. Curiously enough, one of the rats that had taken up residence in the tavern approaches, and expectantly eyes the barbarian. To Kef's delight, the rat will obey his every order (to the best of the beast's ability, that is). The rat is named Mitch and brought along on the adventure.

The party then questions their merchant friend Zorba about the mysterious red gold that was given to the innkeeper. After a moment of examination, he explains that the gold coins are merely members of a set- each one has a teleportation spell placed on it, linked to the other red coins in the collection. Unfortunately, the coins do not work both ways, and the party is unable to locate the others.

Each member of the team spends their free time in different ways: Fletch pickpockets (and makes a pretty profit while he's at it) while Bo and Silana have a friendly mage hand wrestling match. Silana tells him of the neighboring towns to the north, of huge populous cities where he might be able to find his long lost master. Meanwhile, Kefurgle goes hunting with his new rat friend. A large bear is felled, then brought to the inn for the entire tavern to enjoy. After the feast, he meets with Silana once more with the intent of having a lesson in reading; instead, Silana warns him against trusting the good Lord Paddrick, stating that, "Things are not as they seem."

After Kefurgle fails yet another fiery grog challenge, Lord Paddrick arrives. Apparently, the Kobbald problem is getting worse. The town relies on trade for their income, and with the constant swarm of beasts attacking merchants and villagers alike, business has slowed to a near crawl. He offers a generous amount of gold to the party in return for clearing the surrounding areas of the infestation, and, after a moment of haggling, they agree to examine the problem in the morning.

Fletch and Kefurgle, the only two who had undergone the odd ritual in the tunnels, share a strange dream that night. They were swimming beneath the tumultuous waves of the sea, but never tire, never come up for air as they sink lower and lower into the darkness. A voice, ever present and tempting, whispers, "Join us under the sea, join us under the sea, join us under the sea." It grows louder as they sink, and, when a castle comes into view, it screams "JOIN US" and wakes the warriors.

They pay the dream no mind.

The party is approached by Lord Paddrick upon the morrow and learn that Silana, who Kefurgle was growing quite close to, had been kidnapped and taken to the nearby mining pits. Kefurgle loses it- despite the protests of party members and guards alike, he barrels through the city gates and straight into the mining pit. There, the party dispatches Kobbalds, a warrior by the name of Iron Tooth, and a small group of skeletons.

Kefurgle is the first to approach the captured Silana, anxiously inquiring about her health and bending down to help. Suddenly, evil strikes- Kaorel the Vile appears on a nearby ridge, revealing that Silana was one of his disciples the entire time. She berates Kef, insulting him and wishing him death as her slender elven form twists and morphs into something monstrous. Stunned, Kef goes into an uncontrollable rage. Silana is dispatched in one blow, Kef's strength doubled as his feelings of betrayal and anger rise to a fever pitch. Shaddae aims an arrow for Kaorel's shadowy figure, but without a word, he disappears.

The party now faces their friend and companion Kefurgle, lost in a rage that he cannot control.

Emily Barr (Barrtender) is a member of RCM's Summer Writing program. Any questions, comments, or feedback can be sent to her email at emilybarr77@gmail.com
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