Chapter 7, Part V: Side Quest City

Xerxes and Nohki took a little bros' trip together to Platinum City. Inside the AGI, they accepted a quest that seemed to insinuate that there was a potentially haunted doll lurking in the Cottage District of the city.

They met Henderson Henders and his daughter Leslie who had unwittingly brought the doll home after finding it in the streets of Platinum City. They are pointed to the backyard where they find the doll at the far side of the yard surrounded by a scene that was almost completely charred to the ground. The doll invited them to play a game, and then roped them into a dangerous version of the classic children's game Red Light Green Light. The doll sang a song at the end of each of her turns. After Nohki and Xerxes took their turns crossing the yard, the doll would either send a wall of fire at them or just sing her song.

Nohki turned into a badger and hid underground to avoid he firewall. Xerxes attempted to get out of the way of the firewall by climbing trees which often crumbled to ash under his hands. They figured out that the amount of La's in the doll's song corresponded to how far they were allowed to cross the courtyard before she unleashed fire on them. Once they reached the doll, the ghost possessing it shot out and engaged them in combat.

Nohki was possessed by the ghost and threw a bead of force at Xerxes. Xerxes was able to call upon Kiln from inside the bead to use his Channel Divinity ability, which knocked the ghost out of Nohki and allowed him to beat the ghost with help from Xerxes once he was able to break out of the bead of force.

They then headed back to Platinum City and took a quest from the AGI board from someone named Ismelda, who needed help moving her furniture. They found an old woman in the Pumpkin Head Cafe, who seemed unhappy that there were only two adventurers and one of them was an old man. She hobbled out of the city and toward a cabin in the woods.

At the door of her house was a large package, and as Nohki and Xerxes examine the couch-shaped Mikea box, it poofed away and then reappeared, but was now surrounded by 3 other similar but slightly different copies. Nohki remembered the orientation of the couch from the box and explained this to Xerxes, which allowed the two of them to find the couch a few times throughout multiple illusion iterations. Ismelda shouted into the woods after someone named "Julian the Hooligan" who she had blamed for the couch tomfoolery. Julian's impish laughter could be heard from somewhere in the woods around them.

Ismelda then asked the duo to help bring the couch into her home, and after Julian the Hooligan enlarged the couch so it wouldn't fit inside, Nohki and Xerxes were able to get the couch back to its original size and bring it into the old woman's house.

Inside, Nohki realized that the soup the woman was boiling has a humanoid eye in it, and Xerxes realized that the tools on the woman's table were large bone saws and cleavers which were coated in blood. The door slammed shut, and then the boys were sucked into a fight with the woman, who now appears as a younger-looking witch, and her two sisters.

Tagg, who heard that his friends had peeled off from the group to take a quest, headed to the AGI to learn some more information. He learned that the quest that they took had seen many adventurers' not return, and so he kool-aid maned through the cabin to help his friends in combat.

Throughout the combat, the witches casted some kind of spell at a hatch in their floor. Although the Talons' trio were able to defeat the three witches, whatever the witches had summoned at the door was growling and ready to break out. Thinking quickly, Nohki used his immovable rod over the hatch to stop whatever was underneath from coming out, and while it banged against the hatch, it reached into Nohki's mind to threaten him and his friends.

The Half-Talons lifted the door open with the rod enough that they could see the creature's large, skeletal head and hollow eye holes, and knew it was best to shut the door again.

Xerxes called Typhon through the shield and explained the situation. Typhon said that they were likely dealing with a Bone Devil and to be very careful. He would send the Platinum Watch to dispatch it, but the Talons could return once they had the rest of their party to help them take it down.

Xerxes used Speak with Dead on one of the witches and learned that the spell they cast was meant to summon the Bone Devil from another plane, creating the opening of a portal directly under the hatch door. They also learned the witches names were Ismelda, Heidi, and Lutara.

They then quickly looted the house, finding a single gold piece and a legendary monster part: an undead skull.

They turned their quest into the AGI and reported that it had not been a quest created in good faith by the quest-giver, which resulted in a default ranking for that particular quest and the gratitude of Judy, who hates when people take advantage fo the AGI quest board to lure people to their deaths.

Completed: May 2024