As the party was poking around at the scene of the werewolf killing, a new Wanted poster was found. On it was a sketch of one John Rahmbeau – Butcher of Bakersfield, who was wanted dead or alive for a reward of no less than 100 platinum pieces! I don’t know whether it was the beady little eyes, debonair mustache, or those familiarly pointy elven ears, but something about that sketch made us look at our companion Renleon a little more closely.
Upon our questioning, Renleon quickly fell apart and began spewing tales from this “dark past” that had until now been so mysterious to us. He began with “I was framed… sort of,” and explained how he was part of an elite assassin squad involved in a coup attempt against the king.
This is the point in Renleon’s story where things got confusing. His first rendition involved himself murdering the king’s two children, after which he supposedly snapped and slaughtered 3 dozen people in the Bakersfield town square. He claimed to have no memory of this event. As the party tried to wrap their heads around this horrific tale, we put forth questions about the royal family that Renleon had torn apart. We thought surely his actions could be justified and explained in some way! But he described the king as an OK guy, and the children were only 1 and 4 years old. The four-year-old had thrown a brick at Renleon, but the one-year-old’s only crime was trying to give him a flower.
As he began to see that the party’s reaction was not a positive one, Renleon then changed his story. Now he claimed that he had seduced the queen, and had not, in fact, murdered anyone. He insisted that they had lied on the Wanted poster about his crimes, just to get him back to punish him for his relationship with the queen. He hadn’t told us about this, he said, because the queen was “really ugly” and he was ashamed.
By this time the adventurers were skeptical of all Renleon’s claims, and quite mistrustful of him in general. Leikos and Malakar had a private conversation over a patch of mushrooms, where they decided to let Renleon live at least until we get out of the Pyramid. He is, after all, the only elf in the party, and Vyrellis would not be very helpful to us without him. After the pyramid adventure, however, it may be another story. Meanwhile, Marie and Kobi came to realize that Renleon has gone crazy and is now making up stories about his past as a cry for attention. The entire party agrees to keep a constant eye on him though, as we carry on the adventure.
During the night, as Malakar is dreaming a familiar violent dream, the scene fades away and he hears a voice. He recognizes this as the voice of Karavakos, and it tells him, “we’re not so different, you and I.” Karavakos’ voice explains that he needs Malakar to help him stop Vyrellis from finding all her life-source shards. In return, he offers to help Malakar to see Saladin once again. Later, over breakfast, Malakar questions Kobi & Leikos about Karavakos. They recall that he was a tiefling who commanded an evil demon army and had a great lust for power. He attacked the feywild in his frenzy for power, and was defeated. Now he is trapped here in this pyramid.
After breakfast, the party headed South, and came up on a large room with a very hot and humid climate. It held what appeared to be a green vine maze and had a dirt floor that in places was very cracked. Tree people that look like grim reapers, also known as Grim Treepers, emerged and asked us our business in the Sacred Grove of Arboreans. We explained that we were seeking Karavakos. They explained that he had stolen a seed of the Tree of Life from their grove, which he wanted for dark rituals, and took it North to the library. After questioning Marie quite intensely about her axe, which appeared to still have sap stains on it, the tree people decided we were trustworthy enough to ask us for our help in retrieving the seed from Karavakos. The party, after getting some sage advice from Kobi, agreed to get the seed.
As we were leaving the tree room, Marie recalled some scary childhood bedtime stories about Treepers. It was said that they killed trespassers and fed their plants with their blood. Marie also recalled that they hate fire. After informing the party about these memories, they planned to still pursue Karavakos. They would retrieve the seed, perhaps find out more about its powers, and then decide whether or not to bring it back to the Arboreans.