Ka'Xet's comment, amidst some phantom soreness and stiffness is greeted with mixed reviews.
As the Sea Sprite is pulling into harbor, Lazer says, "Now, even though Vanderboren Manor is targeted, without knowing more about the first mate, it is possible that he has paid scouts to look out for Vanthus' possible return. Given our recent fame against Rowyn Kellani and smashing the Lotus Dragon Guild, we not only could be known quantities working for the honor of our Lady, but remnants may be seeking a reason to strike, given coin and cooperation.
"I'm going to try this flying out, so I'll be high ... but without a good missile weapon (other than the wand of ray of enfeeblement), I'll still come in close for healing and combat. Darrius is on point, but only 5-10' ahead because of crowds and to keep in sight of each other. Celiss and Ka'Xet are next. Korian brings up the rear courtesy of his senses and sixth sense for danger."
When you get into port, the Wormfall Festival is in full swing. Celiss (non-native) and Ka'Xet (rustic) heard about some big new festival occurring, but nothing more than that. Korian, not interested in such things, is entirely clueless. Between the two of them, however, Darrius and Lazer's (equal) knowledge of events typical of this nature, and both natives, have in their own way been looking foward to this festival for some time.
One year ago, a horrific brush with apocalypse in the far-off city of Alhaster sent deadly ripples across the entire face of the world. Even in Sasserine, the Worm god's brief emergence into the world had an effect, as monstrous minions boiled out of the Spire of Long Shadows in preparation of the dawn of this new age. Only the intervention of a band of powerful heroes from the neighboring city of Cauldron saved Sasserine from a terrible fate. Now, one year later, Sasserine honors the heroes of that dark day with a wild parade and festival to remember the fallen and rejoice at the victory of good over evil.
Wormfall, as the holiday has been dubbed by city officials, is to be an annual event, a gigantic affair involving troupes of trained acrobats, marching bands, garish costumes in homage of the heroes of Alhaster and Cauldron (and corresponding effigies of their undead and wormy enemies), and floats constructed in the image of enormous green worms and shrouded skulls. Kites of green worms borne on sticks and strings dance in the air above the rooftops. Green lanterns burn above the streets, casting a sickly pale glow upon the cobble stones below, each with a removable shade and a layer of bright gold paper below to bathe the city in the warm sunlight of victory at the exact moment the worms fell and the heroes of Alhaster struck down their foul god.
When the party arrives in Sasserine they find the city in the throes of Wormfall and must navigate the teeming crowds of celebrating citizens in order to reach Lavinia's estate. Lazer and Darrius are experts at taking the most direct route, and still find the going slow and frustrating.
Lazer happily tells the story, including the above description of these world-saving celebrities.
The heroes of the Wormfall were ...
Winslow Fletcher - leader of the group that finally destroyed the worms, a peerless hafling poet and intellect.
Owbar - a laconic, swashbuckling, roguish whisper gnome with a penchant for cutting down bigger enemies. Credited with being the main hero of the final battle, being practically untouchable.
Cherrystone - a shapeshifting foreign wizard who could turn into bird form, or a birdlike humanoid.
Adam - a walking metalman that wields the powers of Pelor.
Ash - a mouthy, antidisestablishmentarianist woman who wields amazing powers with her falchion.
Celiss, Darrius, Lazer
Cherrystone is a wu-jen from the Kara-Tur.
Adam is a rare type of construct known as a living construct, specifically of a type known as 'warforged.'
Pretty good knowledge of the events as they transpired, having kept abreast of things because of the world effects.
Celiss' order actually had sent some wizards out on supporting missions, but they were turned into worm-zombies. She has very good knowledge on the historical facts concerning this event.
The heroes actually had to make several, brief off-world trips. Adam, though a 'living construct', is somehow reincarnated by spirit to the Wind Dukes of Aaqa, Nirvanan heroes of millenia ago.
The Wind Dukes of Aaqa are a special race of keepers of Law, and fought against Mishka the Wolf-Spider and the Queen of Chaos several millenia ago. The Queen was driven back to her home in the Abyss while Mishka was purportedly killed by a fabled rod that exploded on his death. The seven pieces of this rod - aptly named the rod of seven parts - splintered throughout the cosmos. Occasionally, a piece will be discovered, often coming to the attention of a minor hero who seeks to reconnect the rod. Success or failure, in the end the rod's connected pieces (parts or the whole) find their way back into obscurity.
Celiss, Darrius, Lazer
Ka'Xet, Lazer, Korian
The worm-zombies are referred to as the Sons of Kyuss. The mortal agents that aided Kyuss (pronounced kai-us) by a group called the Ebon Triad. Adam became on the most powerful clerics of Pelor before retiring from the Prime to seek out some unknown ancestry.
Up until last year, Kyuss was a hidden, ancient god whose portfolio was the creation and mastery of undead, decay, unholy transformation, and worms. Beaten back, he is now returned to mere demigod status under Nerull, the God of Death.
The Ebon Triad was an unlikely group that found power for a time as the mortal agents of Kyuss when the latter ended up controlling that group before it fell in Wormfall. It was made up of an oft internecine trinity of Hextorians, Vecnans, and Erythnulians. Their mechanations also had much lesser impact on crisis in Cauldron when they aided a group called the Cagewrights that attempted to open a gate to Carceri. The Ebon Triad spies and operatives, who helped to build soul-sapping artifacts known as soulcages, were defeated early on in that conflict before the main threat was ever known.
Ash is a ranger that focused her hatred on undead, evil arcanists, and the Ebon Triad. Owbar also was a ranger, though far less accomplished than Ash, that focused his efforts not only on undead, but was a known giant-slayer as well. Cherrystone is part of a nature-spirit race of shapeshifters known as hengeyokai, though that race only shifts between animal and animal/humanoid hybrid form.
The area around Long Spire, once in lush jungle, is now a blasted wasteland for 10 miles around.
Adam's powers of Pelor weren't just strictly clerical, he came from originally unknown loyal lines of the Wind Dukes of Aaqa, and is one of Oerth's premier paladins as well. Ash, for her part, is the typical rebellious, iconoclastic, royal-in-disguse, as the daughter of a distant duchess.
Ash was a focused swordsage of the Desert Wind school and a ranger that was particularly accomplished fighting undead, and with many combat tricks in hunting and killing enemy wizards and sorcerers.
Owbar combined the skills of a diamond mind-focused rapier-wielder, a brutal and deadly thief, a ranger, a swashbuckler, and a warrior. He specialized in fighting creatures bigger than himself to the point that successively larger and larger creatures were even easier to hit. He could even compact his frame to fight against other small creatures as if they were larger, and was a master at goading enemies into foolish combat with him, fakeouts, and a nearly-untouchable combat defense. He was called Owbar the Onestop for his ability to often lay an enemy low in one blow. Even undead and constructs were not entirely immune to his specialized thrusts.
Ash was killed in the final battle, and the only way the heroes won were to all focus their magic into Owbar, who became an unstoppable and nearly untouchable killing machine. Ash was revived after the battle by Adam. Ash reconciled with her mother and now runs the top Desert Wind school on the continent. Owbar guest-teaches at various Diamond Mind, Setting Sun, and Shadow Hand monasteries, but recently left with the others (sans Ash) to Nirvana to help Adam discover his heritage, but not before he founded a fight school specializing in teaching smaller folk to combat larger aggressors for defense of homelands and vigilante actions. Unfortunately, a group of halflings splintered off to create a more vengeance-related extremists, some good and some bad, which has both tarnished Owbar's fame, but also raised the myth of his notoriety.
Adam's body itself was made of adamantine. His strength and resiliency are legend, and it only took him three hits of his heavy, oversized mace to drop an ancient red dragon named Scarsnout. His powers as a paladin of Pelor match his clerical powers. In the final battelr Kyuss used magic that greatly sapped his strength and vitality. Not being used to vulnerable against debilitating attacks, he was immediately taken out of physical combat, and only his powers as a paladin and priest, and his tactical expertise, guided his fellow Owbar to victory.
As the heroes labor through the crowd, a tipsy gnome practically walks into Darrius, who knocks the poor fellow down. The gnome gets up, pulling up his sleeves, and says, "Watch where ya' goin', you rude oversized lout. What, big muscles? Big ol' shield and glowy stuff, you think you're so tough?"
There is no doubt in Darrius' mind that this mildly inebriated gnome has a chip on his should and was looking to fight somebody, anybody. There's also no doubt in Darrius' mind that he can disassemble this gnome pretty easily. He wears a chain shirt, and carries a light steel shield. He does have a longsword and a light crossbow at his side, though he's not so drunk to threaten you with a lethal weapon (or to invite the same).
Darrius, what do you do?