For the readers who are also players in this campaign. This log entry and the previous one, are part of a “summer campaign”, the players were playing different characters in a different world. However, without them knowing, it is still part of the Nitharos Rising story, so please do not skip these entries.
Alaeron wakes up with a goal, if he is to enjoy this vacation, he must first solve the mystery, he heads to breakfast determined. Nick wakes, he goes to the diner for food, he spots Alaeron however, and decides its wiser to eat in his room. Allen and Russel eat breakfast together in The Drunken Dragon (The Other Bar) and clean the bar.
Soon after breakfast the door knocks at Allen’s tavern, Alaeron is outside, he wants to borrow Russel, find Viduc, then the peace circus and hunt down the murderer. Allen agrees and showes Alaeron his mirror, the writing “All Lies!” still there. He rushes to his room to gather his old adventuring gear, some light armor and a longspear, before locking up the bar and going out to join the party.
Together they head up to the hotel to inform them that Allen wont be working today, the meet Nick and discover that he didnt know about the other murders, together the four of them head to the docks in search for Viduc. On the way Allen discoveres an old oak tree opposite his tavern…strangely he cant recall ever seeing it before.
Allen sneaks over to the tree, pretending he needs to take a leak. He discoveres a heart carved on the side. The others, wondering where he went, head over looking for him. On their way away from the tree, Alaeron slaps it with his sword, and immediatly hears a voice in his head, “NOT REAL!” it yells.
After much discussion, Allen says “screw this!” and touches the tree, in a short flash he sees things through Alaeron’s eyes. Alaeron, now even more annoyed than before, charges the tree and bounces off, but not before seeing things through Nick’s eyes for a short moment.
They all notice Maya walking towards the tavern, and she nocks on the door. Allen heads over and starts to talk with her. As he leaves, Alaeron urges Russel to touch the tree, as he is the only one who seems outside whatever connection the others have. Russel touches the tree and starts screeming, he falls over in pain, yelling and yelling as he turns into a werewolf.
Alaeron, who has a little history with lycanthropes, attempts to calm him down. Allen locks Maya in the tavern, and together with Nick, the two of them play a soft bardic tune to help calm Russel. After a short while Russel gains controll, and shapechanges into a wolf. Still able to talk, he explains his past to them:
“As a child, I was a slave, not metaphoricly, I was an actuall slave. My owners kept me in their kennels, living with the dogs, treated as one. When i grew older they decided to ‘gift’ me with this curse, used me for entertainment and gambling in illigal arena fights. I managed to escape, thats when i came to this island and joined the employment of Allen”
Allen comforts Russel, and tells him that no matter his nature, he is still a friend and welcome in his tavern. He then runs of because he only has one thing on his mind… he locks himself in his tavern with Maya and the two enjoy a romantic meal…. with a happy ending….
Alaeron fetches the local wizard-for-hire Chikor, and gets him to investigate the tree with divination magic. Chikor proves useless, and sugests that they simply burn the tree, or send it to another place. Alaeron however, attempts to communicate with it to no avail. Asking his deity, Mystra, for guidance, he hears her voice in his head, but she is angry. Mystra tells Alaeron that she is not his god! He has another, she leaves him and he loses his connection to her. As a paladin, this devastates Alaeron, and he collapses in fear and panic. Nick rushes over to try to calm him.
Soon, Corlina comes running down the street, yelling that her husband Roctar is dead! Alaeron and Nick rush over to their home to examine the corpse, while Allen hears the noise and invites Corlina in to calm her. After reaching the house the group finds little new information at the crime scene, so Alaeron reaches out and searches for whatever deity he apparently has. From the cryptic response he recieves, he understands that his true god is being cut off from him, he also learns that he is not who he thinks he is, he is in the wrong body! Again, this news breaks Alaeron, and he collapses to the floor in panic. Worried, Nick grabs hold of him and shakes him, this interaction causes them to exchange bodies.
NOTE at this point the DM asked the players to exchange character sheets.
Alaeron, now feeling very at home, his previous body (Nick) strange and distant. He decides to examine the body a sacond time, and finds blonde hair clutched in the corpse’s hand. Together they head towards the hotel. Allen, Corlina and Maya decide to head towards Volin’s house to make sure he is safe, they find him and take him to the guardhouse.
Meanwhile Alaeron wants to gather the town again, while Nick, remembering the feeling of being lost while he was the paladin, still doesnt feel at home in this body, so all he wants it to go to the hotell and get high on F^2. He does however agree to help find Allen first.
After puting Volin safely at the guardhouse, Allen, Corlina and Maya head towards the hotel where they meet Alaeron and Nick. They tell Allen everything, and before he has a chance to respond Nick grabs hold of Allen, causing them to change bodies.
Allen finaly feels at home in his true body, instead of the paladin or thief. While Nick wakes to a strange feeling of suddenly becoming more comfortable. The three of them turn to see Maya screaming in agony, the ground begins to shake and crack, even the sky shatters into peices.
The players are now told that this adventure was all part of a powerfull mind control spell, and they awaken in their true bodies as Alistair, Bruslina and Viclannan. (with Russel being Bruslina’s dog, Russlabb)