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Episode 73: Tortle Recall
(Mark Hulmes) Guest DM
The group is in the jungle and they are hungry. They meet an old tortle fellow who is humming to himself. There's no sense of death or decay around him.
The tortle's name is Xopa, an old, friendly fellow. He says that he's not long for this world.
Xopa asks the group to help him cook a big meal. The group introduces themselves to him.
As they cook. Xopa wants to hear their stories.
How Diath Met Strix
Diath talks about his time in Waterdeep. Diath was having lunch on a rooftop. In the crowd below, and he saw a "black mass" moving among the people. It was Strix, who was living on the streets. He noticed that the crowd was either avoiding or ignoring her.
He could see that she was hungry, so over the next few days he started leaving her food anonymously. When he first tried to engage her, she cast a firebolt at him.
Eventually, Strix warmed to him and they traveled together for a few years. They funded their meager adventures by going on small adventures.
How the Group Met
As a paladin, Evelyn loved to listen to music. She had discovered Paultin playing in filthy bars, and attended all of his shows. She never said anything to him. Paultin played at a number of venues, because he'd get into trouble with whatever bar owner he was working for.
The "jackhole" bartender/owner accused Diath of stealing his coin pouch. Paultin was very drunk and couldn't really play music coherently. Diath hadn't stolen it. The guy started insulting Strix. Because she was a tiefling, most people in Waterdeep assumed that Strix was evil.
Evelyn saw the commotion and came over. She stuck up for Diath and Strix. She punched the bartender! Evelyn tells Strix and Diath that she didn't want to see their "romantic dinner" ruined. Strix is quick to point out that it wasn't romantic.
Things escalated and a bar fight broke out. People were throwing food. Strix grabbed the morsels off the floor and kept them.
Paultin was sick from excessive alcohol consumption. He knew that he needed to get out of the bar, in part because he was the one who stole the coin pouch. Evelyn asked Paultin to come along and he decided to join them.
From that point on, all 4 of them adventured together.
Paultin & Evelyn
Evelyn wants to apologize to Paultin. When she was almost pulled into the Soulmonger, she thought it was because she was found unworthy to pass into Lathander's Court. She thought Paultin was thwarting Lathander's plan for her. She didn't realize that Lathander was working through Paultin.
Diath & Strix
In the jungle, Paultin says he had noticed Evelyn in the crowd way back when. They return to the camp.
Diath's Early Years
Before Diath met Strix, he was all by himself. One day, he was in a tavern where a bunch of adventurers were throwing money around and bragging about their recent exploits. They saved Phlan, and more recently, they killed a bunch of gnolls.
Diath left and decided to check out the lair, looking to scavenge stuff they missed. He found a pouch. In it was an amethyst. It was only worth a couple of gold, but he considers it his most precious treasure. Diath had discovered a new path in life that could help him survive.
Paultin & Strix
Paultin and Strix go into the jungle to get some bark. She starts drinking Paultin's wine and she advises him to stop drinking so much. She tells him to work on showing emotion, because he's tearing the group apart.
Paultin admits that he keeps everyone at arm's length because he is sure that they will die or leave him. Strix does not accept this. Strix says that she was alone for 50 years and she's not losing anybody else. She runs back to camp, crying.
Gifts From Strix
Evelyn comforts her. During her 50 years alone in Barovia, Strix had made creepy little dolls of the waffle crew.  Strix takes out the dolls and gives each character their puppet. It looks like Holly actually made the dolls in real life and mailed them to the players.
She also wrote each of them a note:
- Evelyn: "I will always be your friend."
- Paultin: "I will find you more wine."
- Diath: "I promise I won't run away."
Xopa disappears. End of session.