Jess brought gifts from her travels for everyone.

Okay, let's stop talking about Fallout 4 for a moment to play some Dungeons and Dragons. But first, did you find that place with the super mutants? No, that other one, with the milk.

We make it back to Waterdeep, with the dwarf Varrum in tow.

Shale makes contact with Lord Neverember ahead of us, only to find out that he is no longer the open lord. Lady Laeral Silverhand has that honor now, but Lord Neverember provides Shale with a letter of introduction, to help ease things along.

Shale says his farewell, and goes to see about seeing Lady Silverhand, at the palace where the previous council had been held.

Before long a meeting is set up, and the dwarf is in their custody.

Leosin comes to us before the meeting. It appears the capture of the dwarf has brought great prestige, with all members of the council in approval. Even Conrad Brawnanvil is warming to us, who is looking forward to trying to Varrum in dwarven court.

The council has agreed to question the dwarf in private session consisting of Lady Silverhand and her advisors, as there is rumors of traitors among the council.

We're escorted to the council chamber. Lady Silverhand is at the head of the table, with Lord Neverember to her right, and a woman to her left is merely introduced as Ella.

The council comes to order, and at Lady Silverhand's request, Shale recounts our most recent adventure.

As soon as Shale finishes her story, Conrad speaks up. "We demand Dwarven justice be brought upon this traitor to his race!"

"Arrangements for this dwarf have already been made," Lady Silverhand says. "You will be able to try him, but not execute him. There are yet traitors among us here who must be dealt with."

She continues. "We also have another great concern at this moment. Dalon Winterhound of the Emerals Enclave has been investigating reports of dragon attacks in the misty forest."

Dalon steps forward, but King Melandrach waves his hand in dismissal. "You are not to worry," King Meladrach says. "We have recently increased our patrols in the area, and the dragon attacks have subsided. We see no reason for the adventurers to further investigate the area."

"None the less," Lady Silverhand says. "It is our decision after speaking to Varrum that this is a significant staging ground, and more information may be gained there. Lady Shale Redfield, you are to go to the misty forest and investigate both the green dragon that has already been seen, as well as the green wyrmspeaker which might also be in the area, and extract what information you may gather. Capture him alive, if possible."

"I insist not," King Melandrach angrily bursts out. "Kill the wyrmspeaker, if he exists. Kill any traitors there, and if you find the dragon's lair, for the good of the misty forest, kill them too."

"The capture of the wyrmspeaker is the best way to gain valuable information," Conrad says. "And is the only way for traitors such as those to face the lord's justice."

Rian steps from the shadows, and requests that our party prepares for our trip while they continue the council.

Very well, we know when we aren't wanted.

"We thank you for your time, and we shall investigate this matter promptly," Shale says as we leave the room.

As we exit, we also hear Rian's protestations at the dwarf's life being spared.

Ella is waiting outside, and she motions Shale over, where they discuss something.

The gist of the conversation is that she represents metallic dragons, who tend to oppose Tiamat. The rest of us don't hear that, but Luke's character has lip reading. Unfortunate for Luke, the dragon's lips don't match the words coming out.

Shale returns, and Luke and Shale have a confused conversation. Luke seems to be using a lot of innuendo at Shale's suggestion that we are to meet with Ella later after our next mission, but Shale doesn't seem catch on. Alissa and I aren't sure what to make of that.

We restock on supplies.

Dan remembers that as a paladin, the find steed spell makes feed pretty useless.

Luke checks his box. His petrified mouse is still there.

Everybody wants to play fallout.

We spend the night, when we hear a crashing sound which wakes us all up.

We rush to see what it is. Luke check on his mouse first, and notices an ear is burned off.

At first, everything looks clear. But there is the smell of smoke, coming from the basement.

The wall is intact, so Luke tries to use clairvoyance to see on the other side, but the spell only reveals to him the visage of an intense burning eye before the spell fizzles out.

I suggest we wall it back off again, but Shale is insistent on confronting the eye, and breaks the wall down. The wall breaks, but it also seems strangely fused together.

The stairs beyond is dark and dusty and a little bit musty. We reach the lowest level, and find the glass eye sitting in the room, but the eye has a crack down the center.

It's the glass eye. But how did it get down here? It should still be in a lockbox under a floorboard.

My long journey. My hopes and dreams of finding my father. It must end here. The eye must be destroyed.

Shale smites the eye, and a scream of pain and suffering is issued from the eye. But Dan can also sense triumph in it.

There's a fiendish aura in the area, but Shale says he cannot sense where it went. It's presence is masked by another one of us.

We discuss what to do. I know how to banish a creature, but without being able to see what it, I can do nothing. Even if we knew who it was possessing, I would only be able to banish the mortal shell.

I tell the others about my father's old letters. I do not remember anything in them that would hint towards the glass eye's origins, but perhaps together we might be able to use them to figure something out.

One thing we can agree on. If we leave the basement, we risk unleashing the fiend upon the populace. Either whoever is inhabited would lose themselves, or the fiend may even be able to jump hosts.

We decide to send only one person, but as we decide, Alissa suddenly uses misty step up the stairs.

Luke runs up the stairs after Alissa to grab the letters, and I banish Alissa to a harmless demiplane. The banishment spell ends, and Shale grapples Alissa, returning her to the basement. Luke returns soon after, with my bag with the scrollcase inside.

I wall off the room using a wall of stone spell. We study the letters, while Shale rests and communes with her god.

Shale makes a connection with her god, but the only guidance she is offered is that destroying one form might only unleash the fiend's power further.

Luke and Shale notice one thing happening as well. Their power to their gods, such that they are, is fading. Something is happening outside.

Finally, Luke suggests that he communes with his god, whatever it is. Something dark. It may take his soul, but he'll do it. To save us.

He does so, but his call is not answered by his own elder dark god, but by another, even darker and worse. It is the night serpent, the eater of words.

Luke accepts the terms. The demon will be devoured, in exchange for his soul. The rest of our souls will "remain intact."

We had tied Luke and Alissa down, but Luke releases himself from the rope binding effortlessly, and the rest of us find ourselves unable to move, as if we are stuck in time.

Luke slashes his own eyes, completing the pact.

Suddenly, I hear and feel the demon! It had chosen me as its host. Horns grow painfully from my head, and it communicates me, desiring escape from this place.

But it can't do it without my help. It requires full control.

I refuse it. I will not give up to it. I must not.

It will not escape this place.

Every fiber of my being becomes pain, and I can see that Alissa and Shale's very souls are being turned into the bindings to contain this fiend, and me as well.

So be it.