The inn was more of a minshuku, with robes for everyone and a shared bathing experience. The food was fine, and that night the group did some messaging to inform the masses as to what was going on.
Tamarai messaged the Ambassador about the consecuted, and was asked to just explain “the Xhorhassian embassy can help this affliction.” Stubby got onesies for everyone and sent a message home about it, which led to talking to Wolfe about some of the weird stuff that’s going on, Rinn, and so on. Wolfe got the vibe that something was up with the whole Briarwood battle, but left it up to Stubby to explain when she felt safe.
That night, Stubby was visited by Vax in her dream. He brought “Vex” along with him (aka Lydia Briarwood), who was young again and looked ashamed of what she’d done. Vex explained to Stubby that she was a cleric, more or less, and now had the duty to help those whom the Matron of Ravens decreed were not yet at their time. Stubby also learned that the Matron of Ravens didn’t have a problem with the followers of the Luxon, but maybe don’t spread everything around.
That gave Stubby a lot to think about as they continued their trip. The next stop would be Fort Victor, where Aldor currently lived. Along the road, Fisch suddenly realized this was actually as far away from home that he’d ever been, and was a little nervous and excited. The group kept walking until Rinn realized that the road was not going the way it was on the map. They investigated the difference and found an unmarked lake along the way.
At the lakeshore, three guards were investigating things as well. Stubby sent Sentry (her flying device) to investigate the lake, only to have it attacked (and missed) by a Hyrda. Joy. The guards panicked and ran over to a shrine to pray, while Stubby splashed at the water. That disturbed a naiad, Larissa, who gave the group the actual run down.
The lake showed up a few years ago, not five but more than two. At the time, the naiads were sucked from the Fey Wild into the lake, and set up a home there because why not. They came with a giant mud crab and things were pretty peaceful. The locals started to worship the naiads, which was weird, but whatever. Non-Fey are odd. Still, everyone lived in harmony. The fishers didn’t abuse the lake, the naiads were happy.
However, fairly recently, the portal they came through reactivated and out came a Hydra. The hydra was attacking naiads and townsfolk alive, making a mess of everything. The group decided to help out Larissa and the naiads, formulating a plan to trap the hydra in it’s lair and kill it if it couldn’t be reasoned with.
In order to help the play, Larissa kissed everyone, bestowing them with 24 hours of water breathing. Her presence had a side effect of making Stubby and Tāmari both quite drawn to Larissa.
With an incredible display of teamwork and planning, the group (plus Larissa) killed the hydra (DM: in one round!) and then went to the portal. The crab was asleep nearby, so Stubby cast invisibility and went to check out the portal. It was absolutely a planar portal, possibly to the same place that Vesrah (Water Ashari) protected.
Instead of fighting the mud crab, they managed to explain that they didn’t want to hurt it. After all, the crab was doing just fine until the hydra showed up. With the crab non-competitive. Tāmarai cast Dispel Magic to destroy the portal.
By the time everyone got out of the water, the guards from Fort Victor arrived. The naiads all came out of the water and everyone started to make friends. The guards invited the naiads back to the fort, so everyone came along with the body of the hydra. At the fort, the group found out that Aldor was technically the leader there.
The whole Fort was filled with people who suffered PVDD (post Vasselheim destruction disorder) and all had some serious mental trauma. Aldor, for example, had been killed in the battle of Thar Amphala, raised as a dead warrior for Vecna, destroyed by Pike, and then brought back to live again via some method he wasn’t sure of. Suffice to say, a night at Fort Victor didn’t pass without at least one person waking up screaming. They were all the traumatized soldiers.
After a performance from Tāmarai who told them all the rise and fall of Lydia Briarwood, they had a dinner. The Fort sounded like they planned to rename or rebrand (the name “Victorville” came up, but probbably not) to expand and protect the lake and the growing fisher community. The naiads were going to work with the guards to protect everyone as well.
Once people broke up after dinner, Tāmarai spent some personal time with Larissa while Stubby made an earring and Rinn read his history of the Stormlord book from Saffy.