Everything's Better Down Where It's Wetter... 'Til Your Charm Free (Part 1)
Last time on the Adventure of Terrimar, the Defenders of Avalon had been separated, but thanks to aid from the king and a local shopkeep,
Angus and Odarod were able to discover the whereabouts of their missing party members, Uruk and Darlynn. Angus and Odarod quickly set off to regroup with their missing friends.
Thanks to the teleportation circle in Runner's Keep, the journey time was cut significantly, and they were able to reach their friends within a few hours of losing them.
Whilst Angus and Odarod scrambled to reach Darlynn and Uruk, Darlynn and Uruk split up in Montley. Uruk decided to search for a magic shop whilst Darlynn waited at The Drowned Lady, a local bar.
Uruk was able to find such a shop that appeared warmer and dryer than the other shops around it. And the golden letters on the storefront spelled out, The Broken Wave.
Uruk entered the shop and inquired about fixing his magic item, a shark tooth necklace.
After some discussion, Uruk paid the shopkeep - Bernard Bray - to fix his magic item and found a new bar close by to wait at. Whilst there, he helped himself to a few drinks to kill time.
Alone in The Drowned Lady, Darlynn waited for her friends to find her. However, before they could reach her, she was met by a lovely woman with golden locks.
This was the woman Darlynn had seen in her dreams the night before.
Instantly charmed, Darlynn sat down to discuss things with this woman - who later revealed herself to be Serena, a "friend" of their missing party member, Soulfire.
Serena convinced Darlynn to take her party to buy water-breathing potions and to meet Serena on the beach as the sun was set to sink beneath the waves.
Darlynn eagerly agreed and saw Serena off, only to be convinced that Serena's plan was her own after Serena's departure.
Angus and Odarod rushed from the teleportation circle in Brilla to Montley and met up with Darlynn at The Drowned Lady.
Darlynn was where one would expect, curled up in the corner with her nose in a book. However, once Angus saw her, he ran over and embraced her, ecstatic to find her safe and sound.
Darlynn was equally pleased to see him, as well as Odarod.
As they regrouped - albeit still with a missing half-orc - Darlynn told them of what had transpired since she had left them,
although her perception was skewed which caused both Odarod and Angus to be concerned. Something seemed off, but they decided to go along with her plan for the time being.
Before leaving The Drowned Lady, Angus eyed a unique instrument he had never seen before. He briefly rushed over to the man, Stevie, to ask about it.
After some back and forth, the man revealed it to be a stretching piano until he found a better name that is.
The Piano Man quickly renamed his musical instrument to an accordion after listening to the words of his friend Davey.
Armed with this new information and filled with a bit of awe, Angus left Stevie and Davey to find The Broken Wave with Darlynn and Odarod.
It was around this same time that Uruk had returned to the Broken Wave to check on his magic item. And as luck would have it, the group ran into one another.
Uruk quickly paid for his now fixed necklace whilst Darlynn began to inquire about water-breathing potions. She acquired ten of them and used the money Serena had given her to do so.
However, that was not all that caught the party's eyes. Along with the water-breathing potions, Darlynn purchased a Bag of Holding.
Odarod purchased three Rings of Swimming, a Small Bag of Holding, and some normal arrows.
Finally, there was Angus who purchased a Pearl of Power and three Potions of Greater Healing and helped finance Darlynn's Bag of Holding after she had pleaded with him to do so.
Although Angus was able to convince Bernard to give the group some generous discounts, they did spend quite a bit of gold at the shop, perhaps more than they should have.
Regardless, they were now set to meet Serena at the beach.
On the way to the beach, Angus confronted Darlynn about a list of items she had shown the shopkeep.
When asked about the list by her party members, Darlynn had said that she had written the note. However, Angus had seen Darlynn's writing before.
The writing on the note was not hers, and Angus wanted to know why she had lied. However, Darlynn wholeheartedly believed that she had written the note.
She was confused, but the couple carried on as Angus dropped his line of inquiry.
Once at the beach, Darlynn gave each of her party members a Potion of Water Breathing and explained they were to swim out to sea to meet Serena to find Soulfire.
Skeptical both Odarod and Angus began probing further, knowing something wasn't right with Darlynn. She was not herself; she was far too chipper and enthusiastic about finding Soulfire.
She had painted Serena in a positive light. These things were far from normal.
Before this, Darlynn had no interest in Soulfire's disappearance, and she was indifferent at best with most other people.
So, on a hunch, Odarod cast Detect Magic and was able to discover that Darlynn had been charmed.
With limited options, the party decided to take drastic measures to free Darlynn from the charm.
Some time ago, they had found a Life Force Pearl that could steal one's life force only to store it within the pearl.
This life force could also be restored on the command of the pearl's owner, which was now Uruk. Angus gripped Darlynn tight as Uruk touched Darlynn with the pearl.
Immediately she went limp, and Angus held her up. As she fell limp in Angus's arms, her essence filled the pearl. Her essence was a deep, royal purple, but it wasn't alone.
A dark, red cloud had entered as well and was intertwined with her own essence.
Frightened for Darlynn's life, Angus quickly cast Cure Wounds on Darlynn which brought her back, or rather brought yet another version of Darlynn back. This one was cold, snappy, and unfeeling.
She screamed at Angus to let her go until he did. She brushed herself off as he asked her what they should do with her essence.
To her, the only logical thing to do was to take it back since she was in a weakened state, and the quickest way to fix that was to reabsorb her lost essence.
With her essence returned to her, the normal Darlynn did as well. Angus attempted to hug his love, and Darlynn responded in kind, glad to be in his arms.
A kiss quickly bestowed on her cheek, and one returned to his before Darlynn was able to clearly explain to the others all that had happened.
With her mind no longer clouded, the whole truth was revealed, but it was too late as the sun had already set.
The party was unable to plan their next step, as Serena and several other sirens had surfaced and began to sing their song.
The melody had successfully charmed Angus, Darlynn, and Uruk, and the three happily joined the sirens in the sea. Odarod, however, was unaffected and was able to keep his wits about him.
However, he decided it was best to follow suit and pretend to have been charmed as his friends had been.
About a mile off the shore, the Defenders of Avalon reached an underwater grove. There in the center lied Soulfire, motionless and severely injured. Odarod quickly moved to check on her.
He cast Cure Wounds, only to find that she was not much more than a corpse now.
As Odarod did this, Serena began to explain how she needed the party's essence to resurrect Soulfire and to turn her into something more, something better than before.
As she explained this to the party, those that were once charmed were able to think clearly. They began questioning Serena until a battle broke out.
The Defenders of Avalon weren't about to be put to death by Serena's hands, even if it meant Soulfire could live once more.