WMD's D&D Campaign: Strixhaven University

Session 16


The crew head to Sedgemoor and find 2 jettys with no boats around at the edge of the swamp. They can see several small islets and several large tree stumps protruding from the water. The largest of the islets have 2 wooden sheds on it.

Archemedes decides to fly around the area inspectinh arouns the islets looking for signs of this unserwater spring. He does not find the spring but does see 2 worgs on the central islet and a snake swarm on another.

After Archemedes reports back Py uses his bag of tricks and gets a badger to wade out and see if the swamp is traverseable. The group goes out to south west islet. They only find one magic ingredient.

Archemedes casts sleep at worgs but fails and then Timmy casts it and manages to get one of them asleep. Arch then distracts the other by flying around overhead and teh others try yo speedily get across and into one of the huts but get noticed. Only Kaylah makes it in.

The worg attacks and Py is knocked off his badger. While some try to fight Timmy disengages and flees into hut. Elleva becomes a bear, bites the 1st one to death and then runs over to gut other one and wakes it! Py gets up and uses catapult magic stone and gets back on badger! Ophelia, in a stop over a previous spell failing, runs into hut! Kaylah steps up and caves it skull in with her quarterstaff!

Thet search for trapdoors in the huts but find none. Timmy finds 2 harvesting kits in the first hut which makes Ophelia jelous as she found nothing. Py goes to the other hut and finds 2 healing potions!

They head north west and find nothing on a small islet, press on to the next where most of the group is oblivious apart from Ophelia, who notices the slight sounds of water bubbling gently. All of a sudden a geyser erupts but its actually a giant scorpion who attacks!

We'll carry on next time with the battle!
Session 17

And straight into battle our fearless group go as a Giant Scorpion had burst out of the water! The scorpion is a flailing maelstrom of claws and stinger! Timmy gets a devastating does of poison and goes down. Py gets caught in one of its claws and starts getting crushed!

Archemedes goes and stabilises Timmy while the other fight back. Kaylah's barrage of quarterstaff and fists, and Elleva's bear form prove most useful. Py attaches a flame thrower to the scorpion's claw but the scorpion is able to simply move its claw so it doesn't get burnt. Archemedes tries to get some sneak attacks in but misses all if them! Ophelia uses a potion to bring Timmy round.

In the end its the work of Kaylah and Elleva that finish of the enraged creature. Archemedes immediately cuts off the stinger to keep and take to his poisons club! Ophelia had identified the corrupted springs location and they take a sample of the water before and after adding the holy water to show ProffessorTotsky.

They also search around for spell components for Totsky and Ophelia finds a oilskin bound journal which she pockets to study later. After collecting all the spell ingredients they head home. Archemedes stashes the stinger at home and they go report to Totsky who is delighted and gives each one a college primer (magical object) for helping save the University from these trobling occurrences.

The group get named Students of the Year at a lavish ceremony in their honour and an expose appears in the Strixhaven Star about the Corrupted Eldritch Balm and our intrepid heroes who saved the day!

Thus brings a close their first academic year at Strixhaven. The group levels up to level 4! They have free time now which is a bit different to the usual free time where they have a couple of weeks on campus before having a couple of months back home before the next academic year starts.
Session 18


So the group are into their extended free time. I've decided to run this like a series of mini games so it doesn't take too long and people don't spend weeks with nothing to do whilst others play out their free time.

Py has decided he wants to spend his summer recreating his own cogwork archivist. I'm sure there are long boring rules about how long it would take a player to make something like this but that would be very time consuming and not fun to play. Basically I had him role a history check (to see how well he recalls the build of one-he works on the cogwork maintenance team at the Biblioplex so seems fair) and also a sleight of hand to see how well can put the thing together. Based on those checks he got 5 d4s he could add to the subsequent checks to make the thing. Basically a different roll for each element of the stat block. Where he did badly it has worse stats and where he did very well it has an improvement. In total was 26 checks to make and I now need to finalise the stats for it but on the whole he did well even though it make be a bit low on hp.

Archemedes had a race against the clock mini game as the poison in the stinger he got off the scorpion would spoil by the end of the summer holiday so needed to acquire a poisoners kit as soon as possible. Basically he could make a check each week to see if he got it, the check type depending on how he is trying to get it with his efforts reducing the DC. After spending his third week studying the poisons book he previously acquired from the Biblioplex he was able to get a specific shopping list of things for his contacts to find and got it on the 4th week of the holiday. There were 2 doses left in it but he only successfully extracted 1 but it is very potent.

Had some discussion with the rest of my players about what they want to do and am trying to devise minigames for them for this week.
Session 19
So I decided to add a part to Archemedes free time as he still had a month left of the summer break. I had him roll a few checks based around studying the book he got from the library and he learnt 2 new poison recipes and how to make antidotes for them. Rather than use poisons from the official rules are they're generally pretty boring I found some homebrew ones online.

Kaylah went off to visit Cadoras over the break. As well as spend time with him she wanted to practice her monk skills (trying to incorporate dance into it) and build an EHS kit. I had her roll a series of checks for each one which accumulated d4s for her and then had her roll all the d4s at the end to determine the final quality of what she obtained. She deepened her relationship with Cadoras to +4 (still need to work out what bonus this will bring) and got a basic EHS kit that grants +2 to charisma check whilst being worn for official duties. Unfortunately the monk practice was a disaster but she had fun dancing!

Timmy went on a treasure hunting trip. I designed this as a dungeon speed run game. Where failed checks would make upcoming checks harder. In the end Timmy was extremely fortunate to obtain a rod of alertness having had a torrid run of dice rolls throughout the game!

Ophelia entered the end of year Dragonchess tournament. She had Mina help her research her opponents and she easily dispatched her quarterfinal opponent. She faced off against Tilana in the semifinal and it was an epic and tense battle that really went down to the wire but Tilana came out victorious. Ophelia was upset and came back to cheer Bhedum in the final and taunt Tilana. She went back to 0 with Bhedum and is at -2 with Tilana.
Had a weekend of DnD!

Session 20
Had to finish the holiday free time with Elleva. She had several smaller things she wanted to do. She failed to advance her relationship with Javenesh. She didn't find the guys having secret conversations in the Tavern. She managed to make a health potions! And she found and studied a bat and an ape for her wildshape form.

And onto 2nd year! They now each live at the college they have chosen (Archemedes and Elleva at Witherbloom, Py and Ophelia at Quandrix, Kaylah at Prismari and Timmy at Lorehold) and have chosen their courses for the new year. After leaving class as the start of the year they meet friends in the Tavern on Central Campus and get told about this year's big event: The Battle of Strixhaven! A Mage Tower match held every 3 years between 2 teams of students. The group gets encouraged to enter and they go find Proffessor Mavinda Sharpbeak to put themselves forward. She is happy to sign them up but asks for a favour. College mascots are used in the match and they need to be catalogued but some have got lost and there is a commotion on Witherbloom. She asks them to investigate and tag and mascots they find.

The group head down to the area around Windroot Hall. They arrive on the west side of the area and head north along one of the wooden walkways above the boggy land. They meet Uzmaktok and Melywthorn who have spotted some odd yellow puddles in a clearing. On investigating they become 2 oozes that attack! They swiftly dispatch them which impresses the pair but Py still calls Uzmaktok Uzzy and so goes to -2 with him.

They head further up the path and find an observation hut. Inside they find a mascot hiding under a table and tag it. They spot a clearing further north and notice some rustling at its edge. They head there and Elleva in bear form investigates. 2 enraged Giant Elk emerge and another tense battle ensues. Elleva tries to speak to them but they're confuses and angry. Afterwards they spot a second mascot that they tag. Ophelia notices a strangeness to the sir that might be affecting the wildlife and mascots.

They go back to the hut and have a short rest. Then continue on west and find a nice scenic patch of lovely wild flowers. Elleva, in bear form rolls around in them and Ophelia gives Kaylah a broken one.

They find another observation hut in the northeast. And whilst most go inside, Archemedes and Ophelia check out to fungal mounds which come to life and attack. They defeat one and another seems to come to its senses and run away. Archemedes harvests the tusk of the brackish trudge for study.
Second day of our dnd weekend.

Session 21
The group heads south and finds another observation hut. This one has a downstairs level below the walkway where they find Javenesh talking to a fountain. Inside the spring is a water weird, Lothennep, that has lived on the campus for centuries and is quite pompous. Javenesh needs water from the fountain and Lothennep doesn't want to move. Kaylah tries to mediate but can't persuade Lothennep but Ophelia joins in with a proper reverential tone and manages to get him to allow Javenesh to collect some water. They then spot a third mascot in the hut which they are able to tag.

They continue heading south and follow a clear trail off the main walkway which leads to a clearing with 2 stinky mounds. Elleva immediately charges it and a large plant monster unfurls itself screams that its disturbed! Part way through the battle Archemedes manages to make it fall asleep and then a spirit statue mascot appears saying it doesn't want to follow the rules. They catch it and run away before the plant wakes up! Eventually Ophelia gets angry at it and it stops misbehaving and let's them tag it with tears welling up in its eyes.

The visit the central Windroot Hall, oddly devoid of any teachers or students but the group avail themselves of some supplies, taking 2 health potions, 3 antitoxins and 3 herbalism kits.

They loop east and south and find another observation hut. They spot some rustling on the roof and suddenly a giant scorpion launches itself from the hut onto the walkway in front of them! Archemedes gets excited and rushed in but is caught in its claws and stung and knocked unconscious. Kaylah manages to revive him but Timmy uses shatter whilst Archemedes is still in its claw and is knocked out again! An ankheg appears and starts spitting acid at Ophelia you entangles it and they start a back and forth from range whilst the others save Archemedes and defeat the scorpion. Ophelia almost defeats the ankheg but Timmy swoops in to deal the finishing blow! Archemedes manages to get a sample of poison out of the scorpion sting. And the group head back to rest.

They report to Sharpbeak and explain how brutal and odd the wildlife is behaving in the area. She gives them all a health potion and Archemedes manages to persuade her for more and they get a speak with animals potions and a heroism potion.

They head back the next morning to continue searching the area and find a hidden small clearing full of bones and a piece of chipped chitin.

Far south they find a clearing with a black puddle in it and Elleva is attacked for the trouble of exploring it. Archemedes has is rapier acid damaged as he stabs it and retreats back. Elleva, after having her wolf form defeated, turns into a bear and slashes it which splits it in 2! But they are eventually able to defeat it.

Next time we will continue with the hunt for mascots!
This session as actually played at new years but it's taken me a while to remember to write it up.

Session 22

We pick up with the group still hunting mascots. They carry along the main path and spot another clearing. When investigating 2 Ankhegs burst out of the ground and attack, spraying acid! Elleva and Py's cogwork CAS are both grappled. Luckily Py has fitted CAS with an Artificer device to grant temporary hp to nearby party members! They manage to kill one and the other comes to its senses and flees back underground! They then spot an Inkling mascot. Elleva tries to distract it while Kaylah sneaks up on it. Which failed. But then kaylah just launches herself at ut and manages to tackle it!

Timmy goes and searches a nearby observation hut and finds a pest mascot gnawing on a stone. Archemedes gets it tagged and Py takes the stone to investigate its magical properties. He works out its an Ioun stone of awareness, fixes it up and then Elleva equips it.

After reporting back to Proffessor Sharpbeak about their successful mission she gives them a voucher to get an item from the magical store on campus. This allows Archemedes to replace his damaged rapier with a +1 rapier.

They now go into free time.

Kaylah decides to go back and investigate around Windroot Hall. Most of the gang go with her but they are unable to turn up anything out of the ordinary and even Lothennep is unable to help.

Archemedes goes to his covert poison club to share his summer findings with Erky and Metsutha. They go out into the Witherbloom Campus to try and find ingredients for Hail's Revenge and Metsutha is successful in getting a 1/4 of the ingredients for a dose.

Ophelia goes to the Stixhaven Star offices and brings Archemedes disguised as a halfling going by Quinton Teamantle who is interested in joining. Ophelia catches up with Mina and learns about her personal research and offers to help. This gains her a +3 relationship status with Mina and they become besties.

Meanwhile Archemedes is with fellow prospective club members listening to talks about the club. During Graysons long winded and self agrandising talk he stealths off and sneaks into Grayson's office. This time he is able to break into his secret compartment and finds some blackmail documents. Archemedes takes them, moves things about the office and leaves a note saying All is not well. Ophelia detonated a stink bomb and Arcehmedes is able to flee in the chaos.

Timmy goes to his new job as the Campus Labs and learns about sample preparation. He impresses Uzmaktok with his initiative to learn and improve his skills/knowledge and gets to +3 with Uzmaktok!

Elleva goes to work at the Tavern and flirts with Javenesh asking about his summer and family. Javenesh asks her out and she gets to +3 relationship status with him.

Py goes to the Entrepreneurs Club and shows off CAS. This interests Grayson and they discus inventions and business opportunities at length and agree to enter business together marketing Py's inventions like his self righting armour. Py immediately gets to +2 status with Grayson.
"by pulling out the fuzzy object and throwing it, it will transform into a random creature. this creature will be friendly towards you and even obey orders!"

this is basically my dream come true

sounds like a positive run for your group recently.... I maybe wish for more punishment
"by pulling out the fuzzy object and throwing it, it will transform into a random creature. this creature will be friendly towards you and even obey orders!"

this is basically my dream come true

sounds like a positive run for your group recently.... I maybe wish for more punishment
Haha they have done well recently and definitely above the power curve so will have to start pushing them more! I meed to get them to all have a rival soon as it will make things coming up much more entertaining!

The bag of tricks is fun and Py is using it well!
Session 23


The gang are going out one evening when they bump into Javenesh who excitedly tells them about shenanigans going down at the Rose Stage. The group head down to see the stage filled with College Mascots, the Witherbloom pests being mollified with some pest bait some students have acquired. The challenge is a game of Mascot stacking! 5 spirit statues have volunteered to be the stack bases and in teams of 2 the students have to use special teaching wands to levitate and balance the mascots on top of each other. The highest stack wins!

The teams:
Kaylah and Cadoras
Timmy and Uzmaktok
Elleva and Javenesh
Ophelia and Py
Nora and Tilana

As per Archemedes decides to run a betting scam. After judging his friends and rivals decides Py and Ophelia have the best chance of winning, the Elleva, Timmy, Nora and finally Kaylah in that order and manipulates the odds in his favour.

Let the match commence! It's tense and everyone gets off to a good start. Unfortunately Elleva and Javenesh knock their stack over half way through and can't catch up. The others are neck and neck right to the end! (In terms of game mechanics each member rolls a check- sleight of hand, arcana or animal handling- and the 2 scores are added together. The top 4 teams scored 37, 38, 39 and 40! Super close!) Py and Ophelia come fourth. Timmy and Uzmaktok are 3rd. The rivals Nora and Tilana are 2nd and the winners are Kaylah and Cadoras! Kaylah gets a belt of dwarvenkind as a prize!

Archemedes suddenly owes out 100gp to people and so he just flys away!

Buts what's this?! The pests start to amalgamate and become 1 giant multiheaded monster that starts attacking! Kaylah rushes in to unleash a flurry of blows and Elleva becomes her wolf form and knocks it prone. But it's soon back up again and fighting fiercely against them with Elleva taking the brunt of its attacks. She is soon forced out of her wolf form! Py tries to study it but doesn't glean much. Kaylah manages to stub it and eventually after Ophelia brings it to the brink Timmy lands the final blow!

The beast falls part back into the pests it once was. They look somewhat bewildered but are otherwise unharmed and go back to trying to gnaw on anything nearby! They notice bits of regurgitated pest bait around and collect some for study. Py also goes and gets some uneaten stuff for comparison.

Next time (which will actually be tonight as I post this) we go into another round of free time for the gang.
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Session 24

So we enter free time. I've decided to edit free time so everyone gets 2 things to do rather than 1. I'm trying to mange timelines and everyone has more going on so makes sense to allow them nore to do between main campaign events. I'll go round the group with everyone doing 1 thing then go round again for their second thing.

Archemedes goes to his covert Poison Club and brings Timmy along as Timmy now works in the research labs and may be able to help out with their research. They go out looking for more ingredients for Hails Revenge and after a fruitless morning mange to find a good spot in the afternoon and harvest the remaining 3/4 of ingredients they need to make a dose. Archemedes is able to uccessfylly prepare a dose of Hails Revenge over the couslrse of a week or so. (In terms of game mechanics I'm not going by the book as I really dislike the 5e rules for crafting. It takes far to long to make anything and is wholly unrealistic)

Erky and Metsutha reveal their findings of research into poisons that Archemedes previously asked them to do and Timmy studies the Witherbloom plantlife encyclopedia (all roll insanely well) and so the group now has 3 more poison recipes to try out; Purple Mist, White Tincture and Midnight Tears.

Ophelia wants to become a better Dragonchess player so spends some time training and wants to test what she's learnt.

She studies books at the Biblioplex which doesn't go great, then studies past match reports at the club which goes better and tries to work out how to incorporate that into she play which goes well.

Py allows her to have a practice match against CAS to test herself and although she initially does badly against his robotic efficency once she starts to employ Elthos Gangam's techniques, known as the Gangam Style (I know my group is so witty) into her game she turns the match around and comes out victorious. She earns a +2 to checks in matches when employing the Gangam Style.

[We didn't do a great amount this session. We spent a lot of time chatting nonsense {and a fair bit discussing the dnd OGL controversy} and I took a while to work out what to do about about crafting poisons- I admit I should've worked this out already as I knew it was coming but I didn't realise how bad the 5e rules were] anyway we'll continue with free time next session.
Session 25
We pick up with Timmy's free time. He heads of to work at the research labs and takes some of the pest bait samples with him. When on a break he does some of his own research and also gets help from some of the analysts to investigate. They work out that the pest bait contains little pieces of purple chitin which is the cause of the weird transformation that befell the pests.

He shares this with the group and they realise it must have come from an insect based monster and they realise the colour is similar to a piece of chitin they saw but discarded when tagging the mascots round Witherbloom. Timmy, with Archemedes, Ophelia and Elleva head back to the messy clearing and search the area. Most of the group don't try very hard but Timmy manages to find the piece of chitin and also notices some scrawls in the dirt.

They can't read the messy scrawls and Ophelia and Timmy make drawings of them to study later. Elleva insists on checking them noting that Timmy's drawing is far more accurate. On seeing Timmy's drawing Ophelia realises they are the same font as the handwriting in the journal she found at the end of last year!
Session 26

We have a bit of a meta game switch around as the players for Archemedes and Ophelia can't make it this week, whereas the players for Py and Kaylah (who couldn't make last week's session) are here. So Archemedes and Ophelia scurry off and Kaylah turns up after a date with Cadoras and Py finally extracts himself from his tinkering on CAS to turn up at Witherbloom with Timmy and Elleva.

They go looking for Yedora, the treant Groundskeeper of Witherbloom to see if she knows anything about where/what the purple chitin might have come from. Elleva, a Witherbloom student, confidently leads the way but just takes them on random walk. Kaylah upon realising Elleva has no idea where Yedora might be asks around and soon gets directions to where she will likely be. Py wonders if ut will be d8fficult to find a treant in the woods but given shes a masisve walking, talking tree isnt not that hard.

They tell her about mascots tagging incident and the odd and aggressive behaviour of the creatures in the area, and also show her chitin. Although she does not know precisely what creature it came from she can tell its from a large incect monstrosity, most likely an evil one from the colour. She also explains she has not noticed anything else odd recently around the campus.

Timmy casts identify on the chitin. It is not hugely useful but he is able to better understand the natural magic essence imbued within it. It has elements of various magic schools: necromancy, transmutation and enchantment blended together to create its own unique aura.

Py then heads to the Bibliolex to try and research what the creature might be. Him and CAS search around the main stacks and the 2nd year restricted sections and colect a bunch of books. However, there effort is to no avail and they do not find anything. Py ponders if he should make his own library which would be more useful and starts to plan for an upgrade for CAS so he can be a huge data bank called the Mind Palace. They leave the books for the regular cogworks to put away.

Whilst Py is at the Biblioplex Elleva tells the others about the overheard conversations at the Tavern and the 2 guys she thinks are being blackmailed Grayson as they were outed in his Gossip Column. They discuss options for investigation and are able to discover that Leucis is in Prismari and Bran is in Silverquill. Kaylah promises to keep an eye out for Leucis and she if she can befriend him.

When Py returns he blags to the others that he's narrowing down the search well. Elleva asks Py about Entrepreneurs Club and Grayson. Py sings Grayson's praises, that hes a brilliant business mind that can see the full potential of Py's genius. Elleva warns him to be careful about what he shares as the Gossip Column he writes can be quite brutal but does not share her full misgivings over Grayson with him. Py says he only does Ophelias puzzles in the Strixhaven Star and that he finds them easy; spoiling the latest one for Elleva after revealing the answer was hippogriff.

Kaylah takes purple chitin to LARP Guild (where Cadoras is also a member) to ask for their expert help identifying monstrosities. The LARPers all get very excited over the mysterious chitin and clamour over it, examining it thoroughly. Although no one is aware what it came from their examinations and extrapolations of what it might be suggest the piece came from a large sythe/pincer, the size of a human arm. They reckon this creature would likely be able to walk around on walls. Afterwards she goes to pub with them but does not notice Leucis. She then asks Cadoras to help with her investigation. She happily yells across the Tavern at Elleva asking how work is going, having forgotten she is currently barred from working due to her grades. Elleva isn't too happy!

Elleva meets up with Javenesh when hes on a break from work (Kaylah yells bye at them) and they go for a walk outside. She lets him know about gay couple from the paper (keeping her spying in spider form a secret) but does tell him about the overheard conversations. As an outgoing barman Javenesh knows them, but not well. Leucis is in the same year as Javenesh (the year above the PCs) and Bran is in year above that. She asks Javenesh to keep an eye on them and mentions investigating Grayson. Javenesh warns caution as Grayson has wealth, status and power due to his family who are long time benefactors of the University. He even mentions that one time an accusation simply disappeared. And that people don't challenge Grayson. He's willing to help but they need to be careful.

When they return to teh Tavern Elleva gets into catty argument with Aurora Luna Wynterstarr, who also works ar the Tavern. Aurora accuses Elleva of taking the promotion she should have got as Elleva is moody and bad at service. Elleva says she's helped save the bar and earnt it. Aurora says it's obvious why she actually got the job, implying it's Elleva's relationship with Javenesh. Elleva retorts that she's barely ever even noticed Aurora. Kaylah finds it all entertaining and backs Elleva up with some crowd encouragement. Aurora storms off upset and Elleva jumps to -2 rivals status with her (whenever theres live music on campus the lyrics tend to be degoratory towards you) and Kaylah gets a -1.

[A lot more productive this week! Must less random chatting and getting distracted. Next week we'll be into teh second round of activities for this free time.]
Session 27
Into second round of free time activities. Archemedes goes first and Kaylah asks him about the papers/documents he took from Grayson's office. Archemedes goes to retrieve them from his room but they have gone! In their place is a note saying "Are you sure all is not well?" He immediately performs a search of his room and finds a second note inside the book he'd stolen from the library- "Should you really have this?" He shows the notes to Ophelia but she can't be sure whether it's Grayson's handwriting and Elleva suggests taking some from the Strixhaven Star offices to compare.

They discuss Grayson some more but Ophelia hasn't noticed any odd behaviour or extra security at the Star. Py doesn't believe it can be his friend Grayson as there's no business card left and no notes on great financial advice. Timmy performs detect magic in Aechemedes' room but cannot find anything.

At this point Archemedes is pretty incensed at having his personal space intruded into, but also a little panicked. He heads to Erky's room saying "The operation has been compromised." Archemedes explains the bulk of what is going on and on hearing Grayson's name goes pale. Erky reckons they should destroy the book rather than return it to the library as any evidence could be a problem later. They focus and make any last minute notes from the book while ripping out pages and burning them. They agree to keep an eye out for oddities and people following them. Archemedes wants to take poisonous retribution against Grayson with his Hail's Revenge poison and they agree to start investigating traps. Erky also promises to relay all this to Metsutha.

Meanwhile Ophelia arranges to meet up with Mina. They agree to meet at the top of Grandloft Hall (where the inklings dance in the lights formed by the great magical windows). Ophelia sneaks her way there but is inexperienced at such thing and make a cartoonish show of being sneaky. When the pair meet up Ophelia starts speaking in gnomish to try and prevent being overheard but Mina doesn't speak the language so they acontinue in common.

Ophelia confides in Mina about all that's going on with Grayson and their suspicions; about Archemedes break ins, the stolen notes, the overheard conversations and their worries they might now be getting followed and her worries about her reputation getting tainted. She asks Mina to eat her know if she notices anything odd/suspicious about Grayson's behaviour, especially around Silverquill Campus. Mina agrees and would love to take Grayson down a peg or too having become fed up with his overbearing and condescending attitude. And if blackmail is involved definitely wants to stop him as that's not proper journmalism. She also warns Mina tp keep things hush hush for the moment as Py is friends with Grayson and she doesn't want to accidentally let anything out.

Ophelia also divulges her discovery of Murgaxor's journal and the scrawls found in Witherbloom. Mina is shocked to learn the strange events last year were a coordinated attack. This is a huge story and she's willing to help out. Ophelia casts invisibility on them and they sneak into the Biblioplex to research historical events at the university and if anything leaps out at them. They spend a good while, having to be careful over being noticed but do not find anything themat immediately jumps out at them.

Ophelia also spends some time puzzling over the name Murgaxor to see if its an anagram or something but can't work anything out.

Next time we'll continue with free time.
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Session 28

Kaylah has decided to form a new secret club. A fight club! So much weird stuff has been happening and it's always them (and not teachers having to sort it out) that we want to do more training and get other students prepped to defend themselves in combat. (Basically Fight Club meets Dumbledore's Army.) None of the existing clubs fit the brief and Kaylah doesn't want to go through official channels in case she gets turned down.

As a Prismari student she has learnt about Furygale, an area of the Prismari Campus where old magical experiments are stored and left to magically decompose. It's an area that isn't patrolled due to the slightly wild magic in the air and sometimes student might head there to duel or other illicit activities.

Kaylah decides Furygale will be a good place for club meets and tells the rest of the group and discuss possibilities to let other students know. Py offers to bring Grayson in for financial advice but is immediately shot down by everyone. Archemedes and Ophelia suggest using spells like Illusory Script or Message but it would be slow and a hassle for Kaylah so she decides to just scope people out and ask them.

[At this point I explain the rules for the secret club. Basically any player who joins would still go to their other clubs/jobs but would have to lose the student die benefit of one club and gain a new one for this club]

Kaylah goes off to watch Cadoras at the LARPers club and afterwards eyes up a few potential candidates including Rosie and after explaining things (the weird events, always students defending themselves etc) they agree to join. Kaylah also asks them to keep it on the down low, just in case.

None of the main group join - Archemedes feels there's too much heat on him right now, Ophelia would rather use her intellect than brawn, Elleva is too invested in her current activities. Py however does send CAS to join in and train.

The first meeting happens and they head to Furygale. Kaylah knows to keep clear of the weird melted statues as they will attack if you get to close and the group find a clear space in the middle. Kaylah guides them (Cadoras, CAS, Rosie and 2 others) through breathing exercises. CAS makes odd mechanical noises trying to mimic the breathing the others are doing. When getting into proper martial arts techniques, from her monk training, Kaylah isn't the best teacher as the pressure gets to her somewhat. Afterwards she instructs them to practice their breathing!

Kaylah and CAS gain a student die (1d4/long rest) which can be used on an attack roll or dex save.

Elleva goes to talk to Archemedes alone and to discuss going after Grayson. They discuss options for tailing him - Archemedes can disguise self and Elleva can transform into a spider. Due to her club association, they bring in Ophelia, who can gather intel at the Strixhaven Star.

They decide for Ophelia to keep watch at the Star and send them a message when Grayson leads with the other 2 nearby then able to tail him.

However, on the day, as they arrive in Central Campus they soon realise they are being followed themselves! They meander along main streets deciding what to do. They turn down a side street/alley and Elleva marches on while Archemedes flys up to hide.

Archemedes sees the hooded figure look down the alley, then start to peer around as they cautiously start to creep into the side street. Elleva gets to the end, turns the corner, transforms into a wolf and comes charging back round the corner! The figure turns to flee and Archemedes dive bombs him attempting to tackle him but fails and person is off back down the main street!

As a wolf Elleva is able to catch them up but unsuccessfully attempts to trip him several times, as the figure unsuccessfully tries to compel her to stop. Getting frustrated Elleva tries to bite him for real but he dodges her attacks. Archemedes finally gets in range and casts sleep with no effect!

[The last paragraph may not seem like much but it went on for ages with Elleva failing every trip/attack but succeeding every save! Kaylah asked if she could be passing by so I give her a 25% chance of being in the street as they appear from a side street during the chase and she succeeds!]

Kaylah, who just happens to walking by with Cadoras sees a hooded person fleeing froma side street being chased by wolf form Elleva so she tries a stunning clothesline. Which hits but doesnt stun. She then gies into flurry of blows, repeatedly missing! [I promise this guy wasnt tough.] Seeing his girlfriend in battle Cadoras joins fight and attacks the hooded figure aswell.

[As it was late we stopped here as its now entering a full combat situation and will carry on with it next time]
Session 29
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Another dnd live session for my group last weekend!

We pick up in the middle of a ridiculous chase! Elleva actually succeeds in pulling the guys hood down revealing it to be Bran, one of the guys outed in the Strixhaven Star. Kaylah and Cadoras both miss grapple attempts but Archemedes steps in to intimidate the guy and bring some calm to the situation. They head to Firejolt Café and into one of the quiet areas to speak. Along the way Kaylah loudly discusses her Cheer Club routines as a cover which only Cadoras is interested in.

At the cafe Archemedes and Elleva make themselves as intimidating as possible to finally get some answers. Bran reveals he works for Grayson and the documents were a trap supposed to spur them into a compromising situation but as they didn't act the note in the book was then meant to be nudge. He reveals he often has to deliver packages and gets told the drop zones. He is sick of doing Grayson's bidding but won't risk Leucis so he won't interfere with the group but won't actively help them either.

They get Bran to agree to let them know the next time he has work for Grayson and after Bran has gone decide that Py cant be involved due to his friendship with Grayson.

Py goes to the Biblioplex and tales CAS w8th him. He sends CAS to study and start forming the mind palace.

[In terms of mechsnics here we're going to do it by rolling a d6 for the topic CAS decides to study. Then an investigation to see if its successful. Then im going to come up with "skill trees" we can go down to improve his knowledge/capabilities in thise areas. Roll d6 to see area of study:
1. Nature
2. Strixhaven
3. Magical creatures
4. Magic/arcana
5. History
6. Combat]

CAS studies combat, he collects some book and settles in to read for the day. And takes a point towards learning a new special move.

Meanwhile Py himself goes to his maintence job to tinker around and come up with general upgrades for the general cogworks. His investigates areas such as less maintenance, improve parts that wont break/easier to replace parts etc. He manages to come up with some tangible improvements to replace some parts with new designs that wont break, also make some areas easier access for maintenance.

Timmy goes to the Biblioplex to do some research on the area of Kleensdune- its history, battles, geography. He does well [and I need to put together what he actually discovers]

[At this point I'm thinking of throwing in the odd surprise event, I think they will be focused around characters rivals.]

Timmy wakes up in a room that isnt his! He looks around and sees a strange chest on the floor, a bookcase and the walls are covered in wallpaper of moons and stars. He tests the door and gets a small electric shock off it!


As he inspects the chest he notices each side has a keyhole on it with a different animal above each (bat, spider, wolf, snake) and then writing appears on the door:

The treasure hunter, Timmy the gnome,
Trapped in a room far from home!
Can you pass the test?
And escape my little jest!
But first a clue, find the right tome…

Timmy inspects the bookcase and finds a book with a small keyhole on it. Above the keyhole is a symbol of a sun. He spends some time inspecting the wallpaper and finds a small sun symbol. He presses it and it pops out as a tiny drawer holding a small key. He uses the small key on the book and inside are 4 more keys and another note:

The spells on these locks are all the same,
Though each possesses a unique name,
Count on your answer to unlock the way,
But use the wrong key to your dismay.

Timmy spends time working on the clue and figuring things out and works out that the number of letters that spells out each animal matches the number of teeth on the different keys. After using the correct keys on each lock the chest opens revealing an ornate key similar to the doors patterns.

Upon leaving he finds a student before him: Shuvadri Glintmantle. A normally reserved and religious, popular student. But here she seems different. More relaxed and slouched as she sits before him. She berates him for taking so long to solve her puzzle. Telling him treasure hunting is a boring use of his skill but she'll make something more entertaining out of him! Timmy is suddenly teleported back to his room!

Rosie (in Kaylah’s secret fight club) finds the gang and says she's book the Aerojuant Field for them to practice Mage Tower before the Battle of Strixhaven event later this year. [Yes everyone had forgotten this was happening.]

They go down and Rosie reiterates the rules of Mage Tower for them and they split into 2 teams of 3 to have a practice match. Kaylah, Archemedes and Ophelia on one team. Timmy, Py and Elleva on the other. It's a tense battle with the first third going the way of Kaylahs team. The other's rally back in the send third leveling the scores. In the final third Kaylahs tram manage to scrape a slim 6-5 victory! Rosie gifts them a stone of good luck in the hope they are triumphant in the big match!

All of a sudden a Blue Slaad appears rounding from the east dugout. A fierce battle ensues. Archemedes is downed and infected and can't be healed! While some of the group scramble to try and stabilise him Kaylah, Timmy and Py focus of the Slaad. Kaylah drinks her Heroism potion to great effect! After grinding it down and finally stabilising Archemedes Ophelia joins teh fight to land the final blow!

They inspect the slaad and Kaylah cutsboff its arms. They find chipped chitin in some of its wounds and work out it must have been forced to come fight them. They take Archemedes to the medical centre and get him restored (without treatment he would have eventually been turned into a slaad himself!

Next time exams!
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Session 30
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It's time for their second exams of the year; Symbol Glyphs as part of the Scrivening and Symbology course. Kaylah studies using acrobatics to out into a field and forming the glyphs with her body as she dances and does very well! Archemedes used stealth to successfully go find CAS alone and get its help asking it questions. Ophelia tried using persuasion to get Timmy to help her as she recalls he was good at drawing the symbols found in the dirt. Timmy for his part uses sleight of hand to swipe Ophelia's notes! Py uses arcana to use magic hand to draw the glyphs around him so he can memorise them.

Unfortunately Archemedes just fails the exam. He's not too fussed as most of his extracurriculars aren't official anyway! Timmy, Py and Ophelia all pass and gain a single student die to be used for either investigation or persuasion. Kaylah manages to ace the exam! And gains 2 student die for those skills.

[Elleva's player couldn't make this week so we will go over her exam next time]

One of the professors comes up to them afterwards and asks asks them to retrieve a missing book from the Scriptoria Collection at the Biblioplex. He's very busy and doesn't have the time but offers the gang extra credit if they are successful! They have several weeks to get this done.

We enter another round of free time:

Archemedes meets up with Erky and Metsutha and they go to oen of the quiet areas of the Firejolt Cafe. He brings them upto speed with the Grayson investigation, meeting Bran, that hes still unsure of the full picture, and tells them that if they want to bail for their own safety now is the time. Both of them are resolved to stay though. Mutsutha finds the whole thing a little exciting and Erky, while cautious doesn't want to lose what they've built together. They agree to keep on the lookout for tails and see if they can dig anything up on Grayson.

They discuss club matters and Erky has found an interesting book on traps he lends to Archemedes which has note on making poisons last on fixed location traps. They head back to Witherbloom and harvest the slaad arms. They manage to isolate 2 samples of the Chaos Phage disease. Archemedes wonders if they can only be used as us to spread the slaad infection or if they could be an ingredient for a new poison recipe.

Erky and Metsutha are both very appreciative of Archemedes care for their safety and wellbeing and he goes to +2 with both.

Ophelia wants to go to do further research at the library but doesn't want Py to know. So she makes a puzzle but enchants it so that the correct answer keeps changing in am attempt to keep him occupied. She takes it to him saying she wants him to give it a once over before she publishes it in the Strixhaven Star. She then hurries to the library and finds books on dark magic and dark mages to see if she can find any trace of Murgaxor.

Unbeknownst to her Py solves the puzzle very quickly and is soon able to track her down. He rolls over, waving the puzzle above his head, riding CAS and let's Ophelia know she needs to add a logic randomiser to the magical algorithm she's using to change the answer as if was able to work out the pattern.

Ophelia tries to distract Py away from what shes studying pointing out the section that inspired the puzzle but Py doesnt take the bait. He focuses in on the books she has out picking a few up and flicking through stating theres no number puzzles in them. Ophelia then tries to **** his focus again deliberately misunderstanding him and trying to get him to worry that if they're not numbered and categorised properly that would be a problem.

Still Py is undeterred and asks if he can help her find what she needs. Ophelia stealthily casts Thurmaturgy to make a nearby bookcase shake and spill books on the floor. Py remains unbothered commenting it's probably the LARPers fault and that the regular cogworks will sort out the mess. Ophelia is getting frustrated and Py finally gets the hint she wants to be left alone. He sadly leaves the puzzle for her and wanders off with the sound of sad violins playing in his imagination. Unfortunately CAS didn't get a good look at the books Ophelia had out.

With Py gone Ophelia is able to get on with studying. She finds a book with notes on corruption magic that would help explain the events of last year but doesn't find anything that seems relevant to this year's strange occurrences. She studies the name Murgaxor again and believes the etymology could imply this Murgaxor is/was a Bullywug.

Py, thinking about how out of character some of those books she had were, wonders if the Biblioplex may hold clues to who us responsible for the strange goings on. He goes to speak with Drazhomir about whether they can investigate if any uncommon books are being taken from the library, perhaps for unusually long periods of time. He lays it on thick saying "it would be bad if someone was using these glorious books for bad reasons." This wins over Draz and they agree to look into Bublioplex records. [Which we will continue with next time! ]
Session 31
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We pick up with Py and Drazhomir investigating library records. Draz suggests they go to the front desk to start with the most recent records. As they are both known employees at the Biblioplex it's straightforward for them to obtain the ledgers saying they want to audit the library's stock versus what is supposed to be out. After some time investigating between the 3 of them (CAS is also there) they come across these suspicious entries:
  • Newton Issacson – Manipulating Forces by Quexig Valrog
  • Delrig Beginor – Scalding Dominion of the Draxian Empire – Heltring Corringer
  • Vellas Caldrin – Insensate: Control of the Mind – Sellius Freng
  • Missing book on Poisons
Py tells Draz not to worry about the Poisons book as Archemedes has it and it must be a mix up of some kind, and that he'll remind Arch to go return it. Py disregards the book about Empire and focuses on the other 2. He always considers Newton to be worthy of investigation and determines to speak to Grayson about him later but is unaware of this other student Vellas.

He asks Draz about Vellus who tells him she's a bit of a loner but is academically bright. This causes Py to list off all his friends, including Draz who goes into a few verses of poem about friendship. Py also asks Draz's opinion of Newton and though they haven't really interacted directly Draz knows that Newton likes to seem important and speak at events around Campus.

As they chat Py wonders if a student could be to blame for all the weird happenings. Draz is agast at the notion a student might be responsible as its gone far beyond a prank. Though the idea a professor might be responsible is even more shocking to him.

Py tells Draz he appreciates their time together which sends Draz into a poetic performance. Py sits there listening intently and has CAS record it. Py reaches +3 status with Draz.

Meanwhile Kaylah runs another Fight Club session. She decides to prep beforehand and studies the ways the Cheer Squad club captains organise things/teach/run sessions etc. With her lesson planned she heads to Furygale and is giving words of encouragement as the members arrive which gets everyone motivated.

She teaches them defense tactics - grabs, disarming people, using their bodyweight against them. As the group practice she wanders around giving explanations and pointing out corrections. This time the group do well and feel like they have made real progress.

All of a sudden 3 gargolyes appear out of the mess stored in Furygale! The battle is tense album everyone tests their mettle amd once one is defeated the other 2 flee with Kaylah launching a firebolt after them. Everyone is buoyed by their success and Kaylah points out the good work they watch did. She gains a +1 with Rosie and goes to +6 with Cadoras which upgrades her Deeply in Love ability.

Timmy wants to investigate the various creatures they encountered around Wildroot Hall. For instance is it a normal habitat for them? Based on his own knowledge he feels the elks and the brackish trudge might be reasonably found in the area. The ankhegs burrow underground and only come up to feed so it is unusual to see so many. The oozes and giant scorpion are more odd to find in that area he feels.

He goes in search of more expert knowledge wondering is Yedora and Professor Lang may be able to help. To begin with he goes to find Yedora.

[We will continue with Timmy next time!]
Session 32
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We continue with Timmy's meeting with Yedora in the Witherbloom woods. Timmy brings up the strange goings on focusing on the creatures odd behaviour around Witherbloom. She explains that giant scorpions shouldn't be able to get that far into campus grounds as there are natural and magically enhanced plants that should deter the worst monsters from getting onto the grounds. Upon pressing from Timmy she realises that there has been more damage to such plants recently!

Timmy inquires if she ever has assistance managing the grounds and Yedora explains the Campus Grounds team employ students to perform maintenance and clean up litter around the university and teams do get sent to Witherbloom to assist her. Also, the Fantastical Horticulture Club has members that volunteer in helping out and some just take charge of small areas they help cultivate.

Timmy asks if he might be able to assist her some day and observe her work. She agrees and as their conversation ends she wanders into the woods pruning plants her and there as she walks.

Next Timmy goes in search of Proffessor Verelda Lang, an expert in Arcano-Biology. He has to ask around a bit to find someone willing to stop and help him. Soon enough he finds her office up in one of the grand tree buildings in Witherbloom and knocks on the door.

After being allowed in and explaining the strange happenings and the odd behaviour of the Ankhegs. This really excites the researcher mind of Proffessor Lang who explains Ankhegs are burrowing creatures, who lay traps by waiting just below the surface, once coming out to quickly snag prey and disappear again. If a foe is too strong they use their acid spray to harm and distract a foe and quickly scarper. For such creature to stay and fight is unheard of!

Timmy decides he trusts her and discloses the discovery of the strange chitin as a possible cause for the creatures strange behaviour. She doesn't want to jump to conclusions but believes it may be possible but proper research would need to be taken.

Timmy goes back and shares his findings with the gang. They discuss options and decide they will give some chitin to Proffessor Lang to research. In addition Elleva says she would like to take some to Uzmaktok to get his insight as well and they can see if the results tally.

And so Elleva heads to the Campus Labs where Urzmaktok works and takes a piece if chitin with her to show him. They make some small talk and Urzmaktok is dismayed to hear Elleva has been failing exams but is encouraged to hear she is studying hard and trying to do better. She asks him how he relaxes and he explains how he likes to read a good book and shows her a heavy textbook and goes into a long winded explanation of complex and wild theorems that she struggles to keep up with!

Eventually they move onto business and she shows him the chitin and his eye light up with scientific wonder! He is more than happy to help and research the piece but explains it will take time around his job work. Elleva offers to helpnout in any way and he explain if she is able to go get his lunches he will then have more tome on break to conduct research for them.

She agrees and also brings up the dangerous events that have threatened student life and learning and explains she wants to be able to craft healing and other useful potions. She shows him the remains of Kaylah's Heroism potions (she leant her the flask) and asks for any advice. He tells her which textbook has good instructions for healing potions and tells her about a couple of other books that should describe other useful potions they could make use of!

She gets Urzmaktok his lunch for that day and warns him to talk about this research so that information can't get back to anyone possibly controlling these events. Due to her diligence and willingness to learn to gets to +2 with Uzmaktok!

We now move into the 2nd round of free time activities and Kaylah goes first:

She wants to investigate Shuvadri, the student that set Timmy a weird escape room. She brings in Timmy, Archemedes and Elleva, and grey discuss what they know about her. It's only Kaylah and Timmy who know much: they know she is normally calm and reserved, the epitome of serentity. She is religious and devotes herself to gods of community and service. She is popular and smart and has joined Silverquill.

From this they realise her interaction with Timmy was very out of character! Timmy doesn't remember seeing any chitin on her. The group discuss various plans to investigate: to follow her, search her room etc. But Archemedes is worried he's still being followed amd they don't yet know where her room is. They decide to just confront her amd question her. Does she remember her interaction with Timmy, was it actually her? They plan what they want to ask her and plan some spell in case it goes badly amd go wait outside the Student Mages of Faith Club.

Next time we'll see how it goes!
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Session 33
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Elleva's player couldnt make it to this session so we paused Kaylah's free time activity as Elleva was involved.

We pick up instead with Timmy who begins by going in to check on Uzmaktok during one of his shifts at the Capmus Labs. He butters up Uzmaktok telling him he wants to reinforce his learning with practical work and so offers to help him out with the work Elleva asked of him. Uzmaktok explains a complicated piece of analytical equipment and asks Timmy to prepare the samples. Timmy does a decent job and saves Uzmaktok some time!

Timmy then goes to meet Yedora again and go with her as she examines the boundary and to learn about her work. Timmy brings flapjacks with him but Treants don't eat food so Yedora politely declines his offer. As they head towards the boundary Yedora points out soon of the defensive plants such as a special fire resistant plant modified to hold large amounts of water and spray it out in case of a fire nearby. And also a large vicious plant a bit like a venus fly trap that can catch and eat large monsters!

Soon they come across an area with damaged plants. Upon investigating they realise the plants were slashed and cut as if by some sort of scythe. Yedora confirms it is similar to other damage she has seen recently and points out that none of the plants have been eaten. Timmy also investigates for tracks but cannot find any in the general mess of the area.

Yedora spends some time tending to the plants. Cuts some heavily damaged parts off, adds special fertilizer, and uses her Treant abilities to move some plants around and plug the gap in the defenses.

As they head back they pass garden/farm/orchard areas where professors and students are growing plants for their studies. Timmy asks about their use for healing potions and Yedora poi ts out a certain flower used to make basic healing potions but warns these areas are peoples personal stocks and suggests the Sedgemoor swamps as a place anyone can forage.

Archemedes studies the traps book Erky gave him and finds the designs for the trap that can keep poison fresh. It incorporates a special petri dish type vial that seals teh poison away keeping it fresh and has a couple of weak spots that a needle dart can be fired through coating the needle as it is set off.

He then meets up with Erky and Metsutha who are both interested in making those traps. Archemedes tells them Py might be able to help make them but he is friends with Grayson. They agree to get his help as long as they are careful with their story so that info doesn’t make its way back to Grayson.

Archemedes asks if theyve noticed any tails on them or heard any rumours about Grayson. Erky feels he has noticed someone from time to time so has been keeping his head firmly down! Metsutha hasn't noticed anything but has heard that Grayson is having lots of people visit his room recently!

Archemedes then goes to chat to Py and tells him he has a super fun task and challenge for Py. Py says he hopes its better than Ophelia's easy puzzle. Archemedes shows him the trap in the book and explains a bit about being in danger with intruders having been in his room. Py is very confident and already has his tools out. CAS wheels over but Py sends him away saying it's not maintenance time yet!

Py inquires about temperature book and Archemedes promises to ask Erky if Py can borrow it. As he's working Py informs Archemedes about the Biblioplex having the poisons book as missing. Archemedes bluffs that he definitely returned it and that there must be a mistake in the records. Perhaps the Cogworks didn't do their Jon's properly. That gets Py chatting about his upgrades that him and Grayson want to bring out.

Py also asks about the slaad arms and Archemedes explains he's working of extracting the disease but it's dangerous work so he needs to do more study. He warns Py not to speak about the arms as they can't have it stolen. Py wonders why anyone would want to steal from Archemedes- he knows Archemedes likes to hustle people but he has CAS! Archemedes points out that CAS would just bring himself back.

Archemedes tells Py he has no solid clue for the break in but he does think it was Grayson and wonders by what nefarious deeds he gets his information. Archemedes knows Py is friends with Grayson but he wants to discover the truth. Py offers to look into making some sort of arcane device so they can track Archemedes if he gets 'stolen'. Archemedes finds it a bit creepy and only likes the idea if it's some sort of panic button rather than always disclosing his location!

For the moment Archemedes decides to fill the traps with a placebo rather than anything deadly and thanks Py for the trap boxes (one for him, one for Erky and one for Metsutha)

At 6am the next morning Py knocks on Archemedes door and let's himself in as the door is opened announcing it's trap maintenance time! He explains clockwork devices unwind over time so he will need to come round every morning to reset the trap - it only takes an hour!

Archemedes is sure the trap shouldn’t need resetting like this everyday and Py explains that as it was a rush order he could only make something like this with the tools and parts he had available. He would need some time to be able to make a proper version of the trap boxes. He says hes happy to reset them every morning though and will go round the others rooms too. Archemedes tells him not to go bother the others as they might freak out! Especially as they haven't met Py before! Archemedes goes to bed as CAS recites some of Drazhomir's poetry and once Py is finished he sets the trap and leaves.