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DM | Thomas Koch | https://twitter.com/ThomasAKoch
UZO | Warren Reid | https://twitter.com/urbanmasque
REMY the Fox | Beau C. Williams | https://twitter.com/Beau_C_Williams
ANDRASTE | Tiana Hanson | https://twitter.com/Vana1895
RUKUS | Aaron Acosta | https://twitter.com/AaronThatDay

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RECAP Spoiler Alert:  Episode 8 – Furry Friends

While Aired tells about the orcs he saw attacking the elf village, Rukus’s head starts hurting from the word “orc.” He sees a half-orc with a cleft palate in flashbacks, and his forehead under its bandage starts to tingle and itch. He tells the group he has a massive migraine and rips off the bandage to reveal a glowing gem carved in a noble family’s crest.

Rukus explains it was his family’s crest, and after they died it was all he had left of any of them (besides his fancy pants). Because he loses too many things, he paid all his money to a blacksmith to hammer it into his face. Now if anyone wants to take it, they’ll have to carve it off his face.

Remy isn’t surprised by any of this since Rukus is so irregular, after all. He asks if Rukus can lean down so he can see better, then bops it and asks how it feels now. “Sore!” Rukus says, then admits the pain is going away, and the gem feels like it’s more a part of him now. He thinks he might be able to store spells in it.

The Irregular Tavern is now looking much better with a finished roof. Inside, the fireplace is lit, and Uzo is sitting there surrounded by animals. Baga is there, along with dogs, cats, chickens, sheep, and a horse sticking its head through the window, and Uzo is talking out loud to them, badmouthing the other Irregulars.

Remy, glancing over the odd animal assortment, demands to know where Uzo was and why he wasn’t there when they needed him. He says they almost died without Uzo, and they rely on him. Uzo is a member of the Irregulars, and they’re a team, a family. It cuts especially close because Remy isn’t used to relying on people. Now that he does, Uzo disappeared without notice or explanation. It changed something in him.

Uzo says he’s sorry Remy feels betrayed, but he had business in Waterdeep with people who are suffering. He was fighting demon-possessed furniture for two days in a mansion. Now that it’s clear, the children he used to care for are living there. He says Remy is too sentimental. They aren’t a family, they’re business partners. He’ll continue to help those in need, and if that’s the Irregulars, then he’ll be there. He asks permission to go have a drink and then go to his room. Is that enough notice for Remy?

Rukus drinks a beer during all of this.

Uzo mentions he can somehow talk to animals and hear their replies now. He dismisses his furry and feathered friends, then retires for the night, barely acknowledging Aired is there.

Aired and Andraste also go upstairs, and Rukus asks Remy about the ring he secretly took in the Kumquat –ahem– Kulat Towers. Remy doesn’t know what it is, but puts it on, hoping he’ll attune to it and learn its secrets. Rukus asks him to tap it on his face, and before he can clarify, Remy punches him.

Remy goes to his room and waits until he discovers he’s wearing a ring of warmth. He pulls out a journal and writes about the day, the rat dreams he’s had, about how close he came to death, and about “her”.

He wakes up in the middle of the night with clawed hands and a furry snout on his face. He goes upstairs to the bathroom mirror and sees a rat. He tells himself to wake up, but it’s not a dream. Locking the door to his room, Remy panics, wondering what to do, and tells himself he doesn’t want to be a rat. He wants to be Remy. The fur disappears, and he realizes he’s a wererat now. The bite he took in the sewers must have changed him. He also knows that lycanthropy is a curse and can be cured. He smokes a brilliant indica and goes to sleep.

Rukus wakes in the morning from a sound outside. There are no windows in his turret room yet, and as a dwarven face lifts up above the sill, he throws a hammer at it. He actually hits. The dwarf worker, standing on scaffolding outside the tavern, falls off, saved by his safety harness. The noise wakes all the others and Uzo apologizes for not telling them the workers would be here. Remy says he shouldn’t have to since they’ve been here every day. He gives the poor worker 2 silver as an apology.

They realize Andraste isn’t there and Rukus runs up to her room, nearly crashing through the door. He finds a note on her door he can’t read along with a sack of gold. He takes both down to the others, and Remy reads that Andraste had to deal with issues from her past. It has to do with children and she has to move fast. She’ll explain when she returns. Uzo and Remy apologize for their harsh words, but things are still tense.

The team goes outside to pay Broxley the rest of the money required for the tavern’s renovations. He says all that’s left is the windows and the plumbing. They’ll be ready to open in four days. The team eats some of the work crew’s breakfast around the corner, and Aired and Uzo discuss similarities in their mysterious talents. They shoot eldritch blasts into the sky and blow gusts of wind down the alley. Remy fills Uzo in on what happened while he was gone, and what they now know about the Stone of Golorr and the Staff of Dragons.

Uzo gets a whiff of a horrible, rotten smell and asks if Rukus soiled himself. Rukus says no, but shows the zombie head with the half-brain in it. Some workers vomit. Their vomit makes Remy vomit. Aired uses a gust of wind to blow the smell away, and a group of workers nearby vomit. He phases into his owl familiar Larinda, picks up the head, and flies as far away as he can. When he drops it, the team hears screams in the distance. Then they hear a massive explosion and see a ball of fire ripple through the alley.

Racing around the corner, they see people running in panic. Someone says maybe it was the flying zombie head, but it’s obvious that a fireball was ignited outside the tavern. There are four burned bodies on the ground. Aired phases into Larinda to scout and sees a dark cloaked figure running away. Remy tries to jump on Aired’s back but misses. Uzo laughs, and all four run after the fleeing suspect. The city watch blocks their exit from Trollskull Alley. Remy convinces the gendarmes that the Irregulars are chasing the suspect, and the watch accompanies them.

As they run, Remy sees a flash of gold with a red cape. It climbs onto a roof, and Rukus tosses Remy up to follow it. There he sees a golden clockwork figure of halfling height with a metal mustache and goatee, wearing a red cloak, sash, and hat. Remy says “He’s stealing my look. I don’t like it,” and attacks. They fight while Rukus and Uzo attempt to follow. Meanwhile, Aired sees the original dark-hooded figure and separates to chase that one.

Rukus gets up to the roof next and shrugs off the constructs many attacks with his new full plate armor. Uzo finally makes it up and gets distracted by the gorgeous view over the city he’s never seen. Baga reminds him there’s a fight. He launches an eldritch blast, and the construct turns to run. FAST. Uzo complains he finally got up there, and Remy tries to follow but it’s too fast.

They see an eldritch blast fire straight up in the distance, and think that Aired might be in trouble. Remy parkours down the building but drops the last three feet. Uzo tries to be careful and slips. Rukus just jumps off the roof, still unable to win a fight against architecture. All three are hurt. They go to find Aired who is shooting spells into the air in frustration. He lost his target as well, but saw that it was a heavyset black-clad figure in its mid-40s.

Without suspects or any idea of a motive, the team heads back to Trollskull Alley. The city watch there takes them to Barnibus, and they explain what they saw. Barnibus shows them the crime scene. There are 11 dead, mostly civilians. One human man has a black winged snake tattoo, the sign of the Zhentarim. At the epicenter of the fireball is the burned corpse of a gnome holding a knife. He has dried sewage on his boots. They deduce he might have been Xenethar, and must have seen his attacker, implying the attack happened at close range. It might have been the construct if it could withstand the heat.

Barnibus suggests a meeting with Laeral Silverhand, the Open Lord of Waterdeep. He also says the Irregulars should go to the Temple of Gond. They make clockwork devices and engineering marvels there. They might know about living, thinking constructs.

Uzo suggests resting before they go. He’s tired, his shoulder hurts, and he’s slightly hung over. Rukus asks why having a hangover is a big deal. Doesn’t everyone fight in that state? The others say no, but he can’t fathom that.

-Ben Cislowski