Greyhawk

Beyond The Brass Doors
Inside the sunken rooms

We stood at the great brass doors to the supposed tomb we were tipped off to by a map we’d retrieved from an earlier misadventure. Gold key in hand, we turned the latch and pushed the doors that scraped and creaked across the dark interior of the room. Dust coated all surfaces, from the pillars to the wide tiled floors. D’arcon, Echo, Simone, and Leuwiss with his familiar, entered the room and we saw a blue glow dancing about a sarcophagus at the far wall. As we approached, the doors slammed closed behind us, trapping Duncan and Kevkas on the other side.

An apparition appeared before us, over the sepulcher, demanding we step into a glowing circle in the floor. Once all 4 of us stood in the protection circle, the floor became electrified outside of it. The ghost congratulated us on passing the “first” of many tests. Next versions of our faces appeared on far pillars and we were instructed to run to them and touch them. With the floor electrified, we were in for some painful and fancy footwork to make it to our respective pillar.

The phantom laughed at us and we were blinded by white light. Each of us, I would assume, as we later recalled to each other, now stood in our own endless white room that seemingly had no end where we were forced to fight against a version of ourselves. One by one, we each safely returned to the glowing circle while a large secret panel opened directly to our left.

This next passage took us to a spherical room with a large fountain in the center. The orb was made of a coppery color and it resembled a daylight sky as it faded up to the top above the fountain. In the fountain was a woman bathing and she made us answer 3 riddles that would win us passage to the next room. The first answer was “a towel”, the second was “a sponge” and the third answer was “icicle”.

After the answers were given, the woman and fountain disappeared and a hole appeared in the floor and we were sucked into it. Below the room was a corridor that lead to a room that looked very much like a wooden cabin. Along the farthest wall was a painting that covered much of it. It depicted a large beautiful countryside and when we watched it we could almost make out movement in the leaves.

Echo didn’t wait for a decision and simply walked into the painting and disappeared from view. After some minor debate, we all followed suit. There was a flash of light which seared our sight and we were overcome with a horrible sensation that we were being pulled apart.

As our eyes adjusted, we found the sensation of warm earth and grass under us, which meant we were laying on our backs looking up in to the sky.

It was incredibly overcast and there was the thunderous sound of rain, but it’s as if we were inside an immense building. Then we began to count large panels of glass high over our heads. Sitting up we noticed we were all sitting on what appeared to a large hill inside of gigantic green house! High above our heads banged a violent thunderstorm, hitting the massive crystalline roof. Mountains jut up outside of the greenhouse like snowy teeth and puncture the clouds. In the distance there was the sound of a booming waterfall.

Everyone sounded off to be counted as we marveled the lush landscape within the greenhouse and how it differs from the environment outside. Somebody clearly went to great pains to place this high in the mountains. We turned our face toward the sky as the storm subsided and the coulds suddenly parted. The sky presented us with a large moon, but it looked wrong and where was the second moon? That is when it dawned on Leuwiss, we were far from home. We were looking into the night sky and looking directly at Oerth!

We were on Luna!

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Tomb of Gleph

I write this entry in my journal from the steps of a large set of brass double doors that my companions and I have found in a series of underground caves. While we’ve had some minor excursions here and there, this is our greatest undertaking to date, with a treasure map we’ve found under dubious conditions. I must back track a little to explain.

Before we set out for our expedition north of the city today, Simone, our connection to the thieves in Greyhawk, has brought up some rather upsetting news to the party. The pirates we fought in the docks were mostly hired actors. Further investigation revealed that this third party has seemingly vanished into thin air. I’ve determined that somebody is now toying with us. Thankfully, all was not lost, as Simone was able to confirm that the “treasure map” was indeed real, pinpointing an ancient tomb far to the north of our fair city that has been uncovered due to a small oerthquake and cave in.

Earlier that morning, after we stocked up on provisions, we travelled across the Selintan via barge and headed northward through farmland until it gave way to arid hills. Without much incident, we nearly reached our destination by nightfall and set up camp. D’arcon, Echo, Simone, Kevkas, Duncan and my familiar Tokala perched ourselves up on a hill, overlooking the countryside. Kevkas spotted the area in which we were to travel in the morning, sighting a rather unusual mound of growth in the distance, putting the trees and other vegetation at twice the normal size. The night went rather smoothly, where we only became slightly disturbed when we spied a lone orc who looked badly wounded coming from the direction of our destination.

In the morning, we headed toward the peculiar mound and it took us about an hour to reach it. Once here, we could see that the ground had settled over many years, pulling into the earth what must have once sat on the top which was evidence to the broken masonary jutting out from the overgrowth. Duncan spotted a large opening in the far side of the mound and we decided to investigate.

Once our eyes adjusted to the dark, we could see light filtering in to a wide cave complex, with a somewhat shallow pool of clear water covering most of the sandy bottom of the cavern. Here we spotted some rather shiny gemstones in the deepest section along with the bones of some humanoid. As we waited for D’arcon to fish them out, Kevkas noticed that we were being watched by a mated pair of giant owls. Kevkas and Duncan bantered back and forth about whether or not to disturb the owls, as the owls had decided to decorate their nest with a rather new set of chainmail and hand axe, which would explain the picked over bones in the bottom of the pool.

After much planning, the two shoo’d the owls out of their nest long enough to grab these two bits, while D’arcon redressed and pointed out the lovely pile of gems he’d worked to retrieve. Duncan agreed to leave the owls and their two eggs alone, which reassured the druid Kevkas. I decided to say nothing, though I knew the eggs could easily fetch 2000 gold in Greyhawk.

The caves sloped down to our left into another larger cave, again with a sandy bottom, but with many stalactites. As we passed through – a strange, disheveled and naked man appeared from around a column seemingly not to notice us, as he plucked beetles and grubs from the moss covered column and placed them in his mouth. He sang to himself and muttered about our appearance as if he was trying to convince himself that we were not there. Kevkas approached him in a friendly manner and we determined that he was not in control of all his senses but we did manage to get some information out of him. That is, until D’arcon decided to slap him back into reality…

The man had come from deeper in the cave complex, where he talked about something that tried to eat him and that there were “mushroom people”. He’d also been trapped in this cavern for some time and not fully aware of his senses. D’arcon decided he had enough of his babbling and swatted him across the face. The man grew very angry, tumbled to an alcove and brandished a dagger with a blue hide covered handle. Sadly, no other information would be forthcoming and D’arcon dispatched the man and took his dagger. This caused a few sideways looks and tutting from the other companions.

We decided to move ahead and we found a passage that forked left or continued forward. We opted for the left passage and it snaked down deep into the ground and dead-ended at a small spring where it was lit by many crystals jutting in all direction. The spring seemed to leak from a fissure in the wall and disappeared somewhere in the floor. Most of the crystals were embedded firmly into the cave wall, but we did manage to extricate three of them. The crystals had strange properties. Whomever touched them felt at peace or very calm, but Kevkas, whether through his abilities or because nature looked kindly upon him, was able to see a vision of a woman dancing about in a green field. We packed these away and headed deeper into the caverns.

Before we came to the next cave, we could hear a great hollow wind whistling about. This cave, upon first inspection, seemed to be made of white stone, punctuated by a deep fissure from which the wind seemed to emanate from the ground below. A natural stone bridge crossed the chasm to the other side. D’arcon soon discovered that the walls were actually spider silk and became trapped as he tried to reach two freshly exsanguinated orc corpses as his fingers can’t seem to resist the lure of hidden treasure, despite the risks. Before we could help him, Duncan was battling a rather aggressive monstrous white spider! Echo, Kevkas and myself rushed to Duncan’s aid where we eventually sent the spider to it’s death. Meanwhile, D’arcon mumbled something about spider eggs just underneath the skins of the freshly killed orcs, grabbed two small pouches they had, and let the bodies fall into the ravine below and freed himself of his webbing. D’arcon announced that we should probably grab some of the spider silk when we leave as it would probably fetch a good price due to it’s strength.

We gathered our wits and headed deeper into the darkness. The next cave slanted down with a very uneven floor with many, many natural cave formations. The cave floor was littered with debris that had been here for some time, which told us something lived here, yet we were unsure where it was hiding. Slowly we entered the large cavern, stepping over the rough floor and broken bones that had been here for a very long time. D’arcon spotted some gemstones and went about collecting them as the cave reverberated with a loud rumbling. A gigantic blind lizard sensed our presence and climbed down the cave wall to attack us!

This proved to be a very difficult task, as it took all of us a long time stabbing at it, hiding behind stone formations and jumping out of the way of it’s deadly mouth. Not too badly hurt, we collected ourselves to move forward but noticed two orcs guarding one of the two exits!

They almost seemed like statues, standing almost still until we could get a better look at them. It seemed the lizard was merely an alarm system to alert these “guards”. The closer we approached the more they began to twitch and move, as if they could detect we were coming. To our horror, their skin was covered with a film and had hideous mushroom stalks protruding from their eye sockets!

Kevkas and Duncan voiced concern that they orcs were diseased and were very hesitant about moving forward, so we opted for ranged attacks to bring them down. Simone flung her daggers and I, my magic missiles into the bodies of these foul creatures, which caused them to ooze and pop, sending spores into the air around them. My companions were correct and we stayed away until the air looked settled enough to retrieve Simone’s daggers. We unanimously decided to venture to the other cave mouth instead of the one that the putrescent orcs stood guard at.

This next cave was dimly lit, but we could make out that this was some kind of fungus garden, with taller mushrooms at the periphery of the cave walls. Duncan could see that there was an entrance to the caves we did not want to pursue to the south and another passage to the east that disappeared into pitch black just past the mushrooms. Before we could do much decision making, 3 mushrooms blasted our eardrums with a high pitched scream! The only way it seemed to stop the noise was by killing these annoying things, no doubt, another line of defense for what we soon found to be a colony of mushroom creatures.

The south passage soon filled with moving humanoid shapes from very tiny to nearly 8 feet tall, blocking our way south. Duncan and Kevkas moved to the other cavern mouth and urged us all to do the same. We quickly complied and while they didn’t pursue us, we did feel like we would be watched closely by the colony.

Just past the mushroom garden, we came upon a wall of stacked stones and a passage that descended farther into inky darkness. Carefully, my companions dislodged some of the smaller rocks and found a light coming from the other side, from the cavern I now sit writing down my thoughts of what has transpired.

Working carefully, yet quickly, we removed enough of the rocks to wiggle through to the well furnished cave on the other side. Clearly, whatever or whomever lived here wanted to barricaded itself from the rest of the caves and their inhabitants. Rugs covered the sandy floor and torches lit the space. There was an ornate divan and a table with place settings for dinner. Two large, brass doors stood at a slight angle, yet were fastidiously polished.

From around a large pillar, a peculiar man appeared in a toga. He was tall, bronze and rather friendly. He greeted us and stated that he lived here. His overly friendly attitude alarmed Duncan, the swordsman, and Kevkas, the druid, and declined the meal he served us. I had my thoughts about what kind of creature this could be but I kept that to myself. The “man” began asking us where we came from and what we had seen on our adventures. When the man was sufficiently satisfied and very curious about the crystals we had and offered us a deal. In exchange for the crystals, he would give us whatever we wanted from his hoard of treasure plus the key to the great doors to the tomb that we sought.

Duncan traded the chainmail armor and axe from the owls nest for a pair of mighty gauntlets. The crystals were traded in for a wand of magic missiles, which I gladly snatched up.

If my book is in your hands now, this means I am dead, for I have gone past these great brass doors into the unknown. Into this strange tomb. The “Tomb of Gleph”.

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The Final Resting Place of Dorshak Crane

The dwarf, Dorshak Crane, has always been a mean and terrible man. He lived next door to the Spelloyals and he frightened everyone. His house was always the big dark house that you rarely even saw a candlelight in the window. Dorshak, if anything, was a very, very cheap man. A few months ago, Dorshak disappeared. Somehow this didn’t surprise Leuwiss in the least.

What did surprise Leuwiss was when Klive told us that two of his new hires had gone missing after asking a lot of questions about our neighbor and his wealth, the group knew what was to come next. Soon after, Echo, D’arcon, and Leuwiss were shimmying into an open basement window to track down the two gnomes under Spelloyal’s employ.

After trying to push the door open in the dark for a few minutes, we heard the distinct sound of loud squeaking coming from in the basement’s well. Try as we might, the large rodents were upon us! We fought all eight of them off in close quarters and proceeded to push the door open, while Echo found some treasure inside of a pile of rags and such. Leuwiss found some rope and a lantern and D’arcon found a grappling hook.

In this next room we found two cots and supplies for an extended stay to last two weeks. From what we later found out, this was were the two gnomes were staying. This also explained why they had barricaded the door, probably to keep the rats from eating them in the night. Stairs went up to the first floor.

The party crept about the house, and much to everyone’s surprise, there were barely any furnishings in this formerly grand estate. The kitchen was bare, as were the halls. No paintings, chairs, or much of anything save for two mouldering beds linens, empty crates, a broken kitchen table and an overgrown garden. In the garden, Leuwiss was savagely attacked by a flock of pigeons, while everyone laughed. While Leuwiss didn’t find it funny, Echo discovered some dwarvish writing on the fountain and determined that the large jug the female dwarf held was a decanter of endless water, which activated by the text but would only continually pour if tipped on it’s side. The magic words also cleaned up the water in the fountain and it was quite lovely. Kudos.

And then there was the ghost.

This “ghost” made sounds, and thumps and groans. While these illusions were quite good, they fooled none of us. Room by room we went, finding absolutely nothing of interest, except for the fact that there were no stairs that went to the second floor. Echo suggested we somehow go up the seemingly wide expanse of the chimney.

D’arcon and Echo discussed how they’d go about climbing up the chimney and began poking around. D’arcon climbed up the chimney and hooked the grappling hook into a vent or flue and we all pulled on the rope until the thing bent open, gaining us access to the second floor.

We searched and searched, killed a couple of large centipedes, but we were greeted with nothing more, save for the strange noises and dark shapes just out of view. We came upon the main bedroom to find a mass, under the sheet of the bed. A dark shape sprung past us and disappeared into the house! Echo and D’arcon were not amused. We decided to stay very still.

Soon we heard voices talking downstairs. Our two gnome invaders were beginning to wonder if we’d finally found the secret place Dorshak had stowed away all his “riches” or perhaps “Dorshak had claimed us”. D’arcon attempted to scare them with a little of their own medicine and caused their own shadows to look menacing, which then caused a bit of a bickering between the two gnome twins. We took this as our opportunity to pounce upon them, and taking them by surprise, one fell through the floorboards while the other tried to pull him from the rotten boards which sprang a nest of 5 angry giant centipedes.

Always one to take advantage of a situation, D’arcon quickly tied them up and we dispatched the wriggling pests. Echo began poking around again in the chimney, I searched rooms with D’arcon, until we got bored and came back to see if Echo had found anything. D’arcon moved a statue on the mantle to reveal a tiny lever with dwarven writing. This produced stairs to and from the first and second floor.

The lever also removed a grate in the chimney and we climbed on up. This secret room was crammed with boxes and crates, all coated in dusty sheets, blankets, and cobwebs. Something in the dark stirred and sprang to life!

Dorshak Crane flew at us, his hair wild and nails long like talons! He attacked Echo, scratching and biting. The language on the man flew like his fists but he was no match for Echo’s rapier and D’arcon’s improvisation with a wooden board! When the two of them subdued Dorshak, they tied him up with the rest of the rope we had left over from tying up the gnomes.

Unknown to everyone, D’arcon has slipped two rings off Dorshak’s fingers and pockets them. One is inscribed with the word “Food” and the other “Water”.

Our attention now turned to the crates and chests. We’d never seen so much wealth in one place and it would have made a dragon jealous. Amongst the coins and the gems, we found 3 curious scrolls: one the title deeds to the mansion, second detailing his share in the Habendorf amethyst mine, and a third scroll which Leuwiss was able to determine was trapped and decided not to unfurl it. We took Dorshak and nearly all the treasure downstairs where Leuwiss pleaded with D’arcon that we should probably hand these things over to his family or the proper authorities. While Echo liked the idea of being wealthy, it didn’t sit right with him either to rob the mean old dwarf of all his money.

Most of these worries were for nothing. When we forced the front doors open, we were greeted by several large city guards and two agents from the Greyhawk Revenue Service. Nearly all of our monetary gains were confiscated for “back taxes owed” by Dorshak Crane and Leuwiss was happy to hand all of the money over. Dorshak Crane was hauled away somewhere. The two gnomes were taken in for trespassing, but were later released.

D’arcon, always with a trick or two up his sleeve took his time beforehand and stowed 1,000 platinum coins, the house deeds, and the documentation for share of the amethyst mine for later retrieval. What he plans on doing with these worries Leuwiss to no end.

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Return to the Docks

After re-grouping at the store, we were met late by the druid, Kevkas, and a swordsman, Duncan, but we filled them in on what had happened. With a little encouragement from my father, the group agreed to go back to the docks to run the pirates out of town, but not without a plan.

It was stated that we should burn their ship to the ground, but several of us were very uneasy about that. Leuwiss and Echo didn’t like that idea.

Kevkas and D’arcon helped concoct a plan that zeroed in on the dock adjacent to the Salt-N-Eel Tavern and Inn as the most likely place to find the River Gang. Echo assumed the shape of the gemstone hyacinth and I put him on my lapel. I was to be the decoy. Kevkas would approach first and watch from the under the water while D’arcon would watch from the shadows of the buildings. Duncan would linger and hide from some shrubs and trees near the Inn until the rest of us were there.

Duncan spotted the pirates paying off the city watch with a chest of something valuable as he passed and milled about to scope things out. Kevkas overheard the pirates on the dock talking to the half-orc, who barked out orders to punish them for letting the brooch slip out of their care earlier that night. Here Kevkas learned the name of the ship and also could see the leader counting some coin and placing it into a chest. Leuwiss approached the inn and pretended to look for something he had lost or left behind, making sure he was seen and thrown out of the tavern by the bartender. Leuwiss was soon spotted by the half-orc and the plan went into action.

Kevkas came out of the water as his spell wore off and met Duncan near the trees. D’arcon scampered across to lay in wait as well.

“You! I want to talk to you!” The half-orc shouted.

I continued to look around but head toward the trees where my companions were and when the moment came, Kevkas caused the plants to ensnare the pirates. We learned that the half-orc called “The Prawn” was eager to prove his worth to his gang after the last slip up. Kevkas stood ready to slit his throat if he didn’t start talking and the stupid orc drew a dagger to slip between Kevkas’ ribs!

Without needing a second to think, Kevkas did exactly what he said he would, and the half-orc lay in a puddle of his own blood. D’arcon decided to make himself look rather frightening and changed his visage into that of some sort of demon and heightened the effect with his shadow, which seems to take on a life of it’s own at times, and threaten the pirates souls. They ran away.

Aboard the ship, The Horizon, we fought a dozen or so pirates, buying time for Kevkas to slip below deck and find out who was paying the pirates to be such a nuisance. Quickly, he found the cabin of the “Dread Pirate Grim”, who seemed more of a type of man one might see at the Grand Operahouse in a ruffle and a powdered wig. While not the best fighter, Mr. Grim, was a sneaky one. He surrendered only to have the druid’s back unguarded, to which a female pirate emerged from the shadows to stab him in the back!

Above deck, the companions fought against the pirates, sending one after another screaming into the night! Below, Kevkas, bought time with a fiery hand and threatened to take the whole ship down with him. This frightened the pirates and they came above jumping overboard! These pirates were dreadful – dreadfully easy to scare!

I went below deck and helped Kevkas to his feet but neither Leuwiss could lift the large trunk nor could Kevkas in his hurt state. Just as they were to leave with some documents and the trunk, a pirate emerged from a 3rd room but was quickly dispatched with a firey blast. The ship was now on alight! Here the two enlisted the help of Echo, who changed back into his form and liberated the trunk for the rest of us. Above deck, we reunited with our companions and left as we watched the remaining pirates curse us and threaten us with retribution as they swam to safety, most likely, on the far bank of the river. The pirate ship burned and sank in the river.

We returned to the candy shop with some minor squabble and a further bribe to the gatesman on duty. Simone wasn’t able to find out any more information on this sudden appearance of this gang, but would keep on trying with her contacts. What she did advise was to keep an eye on the woman in the white and yellow leather armor. Her name was Pallorma. She was able to find out that she was half-sisters with a classmate of mine, Sheeba of Ket! Simone then took her leave.

As we counted our treasure for the night, in the doorway of the candy shop appeared the strange woman, Pallorma, D’arcon had encountered earlier. She was with two strong and well armed men and demanded the return of the flower pendant from D’arcon. A melee broke out in the candy store!

Already nearly out of spells, most of us had to fight with our weapons and it wasn’t pretty. D’arcon was put upon by the trio and they disarmed him again, forcibly taking the flower from him. The fight went back and forth for awhile with the 3 of them being outnumbered, but D’arcon managed to distract them enough that we managed to subdue one of the men and the woman took a nearly fatal blow from Duncan’s sword! The other man protected her with his life and nearly ended D’arcon’s, dragging Pallorma from the building and administering a potion to help her get on her feet again and they escaped into the night under a rather manner.

People suddenly came out into the streets in the middle of the night as if under a trance, creating a very difficult environment to stop the rogues. The smell of perfume in the air lead us to believe the flower was behind their speedy get-a-way and away they went into the night.

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The Wharves
Barfight at the Salt-n-Eel!

The Spelloyal Adventuring and Trading Company (SATC) have gone to the Wharf District of Greyhawk to investigate reports by various business people in the trading and shipping community that they are being attacked, mugged, or that several people have just disappeared. If anyone was to ask the group, they were simply hired to look after Leuwiss while he found out why his copper brazier wasn’t delivered. Simone, though away on business, was able to get ahold of forged receipts beforehand showing that Leuwiss was owed one copper brazier should the party be stopped while searching for answers.

In addition, Morgrave Spee has been seen coming from the Wharves at all times of the day as well and he’s a suspicious character of note as well.

With three options to begin looking into (the docks, the warehouses, or the Salt-n-Eel Tavern & Inn), the party decided to go to the Inn first. D’arcon, with his boots of spider climbing, walked up the side of the Inn and spied a Baklunish woman pacing in her room, obviously distraught over something. A man in a beggar disguise appeared at her door and informed her that the “River Gang” had not been seen. The woman told the man to resume his post outside of Snagtooth’s Shipyard and report back as soon as anything changes.

Simultaneously, Echo and Leuwiss had spotted a beggar permitted to go upstairs with merely a nod to the two large bouncers on either side of the door leading upstairs. The group reconvened outside, to decide what to do. With Echo and D’arcon tailing the man dressed as a beggar to find out more information, Leuwiss stayed behind performing for the crowd to scope out suspicious types. As they were closing in on the man, 4 loud men came from the docks and rounded the corner of the Salt-n-Eel Inn and went inside, prompting Echo, D’arcon, and the “beggar” to return to the Inn once more.

Leuwiss engaged the group of four men with little result and began to move on. D’arcon returned and stayed in the background to watch the crowd, with Echo following suit. Keeping an eye on one of the men (who was a very ugly 1/2 orc), Echo moved quickly to foil a pick pocket attempt on Leuwiss. The result was 20 gold coins spilling to the floor and Leuwiss turning to accuse the orc, rather publicly, that the man was a “Thief!”

A bar fight ensues, separating the characters in the fray. D’arcon moved quickly, but was nearly caught, to the now unguarded door to the rooms above, trying to unlock rooms and listen at the doors rather unsuccessfully. Before D’arcon could move into one of the rooms, the “beggar” appeared at the top of the stairs barring a quick exit. A struggle ensues where D’arcon is disarmed and is forced into the woman’s room and questioned about the “River Gang”. Playing innocent, D’arcon is set free but warned not to return but learns that the Pirate leader has a gem that the woman wants.

Echo notices the leader, a well dressed and groomed pirate with a flower in his lapel, effortlessly walking through the crowd without a problem and making his way toward the door. Leuwiss stands in front of this man barring his exit, buying time for the others to plan what they’ll do next. D’arcon attempts to pick his pocket, but finds nothing. The pirate gets upset, draws his longsword and Echo draws his rapier. Thinking fast, D’arcon alerts us from across the room with his shadow pantomiming that the Pirate had something on his person. Leuwiss turns and picks up a tray of bottles, dishes and cutlery as he finishes a spell and sets everything on this unseen force. Without warning, Leuwiss pushes it right into the pirate.

While the pirate is down, D’arcon focuses a darkness spell on him, steps into the darkness, plucks the flower and the group runs away, back to the candy shop. The group finds out that the flower is actually a collection of carved gemstones, held together with golden thread, that has different scents and magical powers.

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